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Trump to May: U.S. is with U.K. "all the way" on spy attack

Trump and May at the G20 summit last year. Photo: Matt Cardy / Getty Images

President Trump told Prime Minister Theresa May in a call this afternoon that the U.S. would be with the U.K. "all the way" over the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal with a Russian-manufactured nerve agent on U.K. soil, according to Downing Street's readout of the call.

The White House said that Trump agreed that Russia "must provide unambiguous answers" and said that Trump and May are united in calling for "the need for consequences for those who use these heinous weapons."

The backdrop: Trump hedged this morning, saying he wanted to wait to get the "facts straight" before condemning "Russia — or whoever it may be."

Khorri Atkinson 15 hours ago
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NYT: Mueller witness tried to influence White House on Gulf states

Interviews and previously undisclosed documents revealed that a witness in Robert Mueller's probe had worked for over a year to convert a Republican fundraiser into a White House influencer to help usher in deals on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times reports.

The backdrop: George Nader, a political adviser of the U.A.E. and Elliott Broidy, the RNC's deputy finance chair, reportedly urged the White House to dismiss Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support of combative approaches to Iran and Qatar. In another case, Nader promised Broidy over a $1 billion in contracts for his private security company in exchange for deals.

David Philips 17 hours ago
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Expert Voices

Russian obstruction on Syria at UN Security Council demands response

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein speaking during a press conference at the UN Offices in Geneva.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

Russia used a procedural vote on Monday to prevent UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein from presenting on human rights conditions in Syria to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Why it matters: To date, Russia has vetoed nine resolutions aimed at intensifying pressure on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, moves that not only counter U.S. interests but undermine the international system.