Donald Trump’s “opaque” business deals in the former Soviet Union, history of tax disputes and real-estate projects abroad were critical areas of research that led to the dossier alleging a compromised relationship between the president and the Kremlin, according to the transcript of a congressional interview released Thursday. Glenn Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee in a private interview in November that after his firm, Fusion GPS, was hired to look into Trump, it enlisted a former British spy “to figure out what Trump’s been up to” in Russia “because he’s gone over a bunch of times” and “said some weird things about [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.” The committee released a transcript of the hours-long interview Thursday, following the lead of a separate Senate panel that made public its own session with Simpson. The two documents give new details about the origins of the dossier.

Reinforcing its strong connection with social conservatives, the Trump administration announced Thursday a new federal office to protect medical providers refusing to participate in abortion, assisted suicide or other procedures on moral or religious grounds.Leading Democrats and LGBT groups immediately denounced the move, saying “conscience protections” could become a license to discriminate, particularly against gay and transgender people.

President Donald Trump’s very public pushback against his chief of staff’s statement that the president’s views on a border wall have “evolved” is casting a fresh spotlight on the limits of John Kelly’s ability to manage White House tumult, navigate Capitol Hill and keep a demanding, scattershot president on track. Trump fumed at Kelly privately and chided his chief of staff over his remarks. No stranger to upbraiding his closest aides in remarkably public ways, Trump did not use Kelly’s name in a series of tweets Thursday.

Source: Associated Press

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