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U.S. slaps sanctions on "dictator" Maduro after "sham" election

Jesus Hernandez / AP

The U.S. levied sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Monday after a "sham" election Sunday that was internationally condemned as a power grab.

"Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people," Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told reporters at the White House Monday. This is the fourth head of state the U.S. has ever sanctioned, Mnuchin said.

The sanctions: They freeze any assets Maduro has in U.S. jurisdictions and blocks Americans from doing business with him. The U.S. sanctioned 13 Venezuelan officials last week.

About oil: U.S. officials previously said sanctions could target Venezuela's oil sector, which would cripple Venezuela's economy and impact U.S.gasoline prices as well. Per the AP, the U.S. held off due to complications.

Mike Allen 24 mins ago
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Why Trump added a streetfighter to his legal team

Screenshot via Fox News

A new addition to President Trump's legal team — Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney who is well-known in Washington and has argued for the president on Fox News — reflects three White House realities.

The state of play: (1) The White House is digging in for a fight that looks to be longer and messier than officials had expected. (2) This is another example of the president responding to televised cues. Trump has spent most of his adult life in litigation, and obsesses about legal positioning in the same way that he is consumed by his press coverage. (3) It's another pugilistic voice at the table, and suggests that this weekend's attacks on Mueller won't be the last.

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Facebook reaches a tipping point

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Of all the news crises Facebook has faced during the past year, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is playing out to be the worst and most damaging.

Why it matters: It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years. But stakeholders crucial to the company's success — as well as the public seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time around.