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Kanye West proclaims his love for Trump: ‘We are both dragon energy’

  • Rapper tweets: ‘He is my brother’
  • Trump calls message ‘very cool’ in latest sign of mutual affection

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Kanye West proclaims his love for Trump: ‘We are both dragon energy'” was written by Adam Gabbatt and Ben Jacobs, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 25th April 2018 20.42 UTC

Donald Trump has thanked Kanye West after the rapper professed his love for the president and said the pair “are both dragon energy”.

West posted a series of tweets about Trump on Wednesday afternoon, days after praising a rightwing pundit on Twitter.

“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him,” West said.

“We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”

Trump retweeted West’s message, describing it as “very cool”, in the latest display of affection between the pair.

West later posted a picture of himself wearing a hat featuring Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, then posted a closeup picture of a Make America Great Again hat that appeared to have been signed by Trump.

It is not clear what prompted West’s display of affection. In between tweets about Trump he had also written: “I’m nice at ping pong.”

West visited Trump Tower during the presidential transition and was booed during a concert shortly after the 2016 election when he declared that he “would have voted for Donald Trump”.

This week the Hot 97 radio show host Ebro Darden claimed that West told him: “I do love Donald Trump” during a conversation over the weekend. He also praised the rightwing pundit Candace Owens on Saturday.

It is unclear how Trump discovered West’s messages. He does not follow West on Twitter, and Trump did not respond to a later tweet from West clarifying his remarks.

“My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don’t agree with everything Trump does. I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself,” West said in his subsequent message.

During a briefing on Wednesday afternoon the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, was asked whether West had spoken to Trump since their Trump Tower meeting.

“I don’t know of any conversations that they have had over the last week or so,” Sanders said. “I’ll keep you posted if that changes any time.”

The meeting did not mark West’s first presidential interaction. In 2005, West said on live television during a telethon for victims of Hurricane Katrina: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Bush later described that moment as the worst of his presidency.

In 2009, the then president, Barack Obama, labeled West “a jackass” after West charged the stage in protest at the MTV Video Music Awards after Taylor Swift won an award.

Asked for a comment, a spokesman for the Trump critic Senator Ben Sasse paraphrased an infamous West remark, saying: “Kanye, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Cardi B had one of the best rants on taxation as theft of all time.”

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House Democrats Subpoena Full Mueller Report, and the Underlying Evidence

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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee formally issued a subpoena on Friday demanding that the Justice Department hand over to Congress an unredacted version of Robert S. Mueller III’s report and all of the evidence underlying it by May 1.


The subpoena, one of the few issued thus far by House Democrats, escalates a fight with Attorney General William P. Barr over what material Congress is entitled to see from the special counsel’s nearly two-year investigation. The chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, asked for all evidence, including summaries of witness interviews and classified intelligence.

“My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement. “Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates. It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”

Mr. Nadler’s deadline falls a day before Mr. Barr is scheduled to testify publicly before the Judiciary Committee in what is expected to be an explosive session where Democrats plan to excoriate Mr. Barr’s handling of the report and Republicans will urge their colleagues to accept that there was no criminality and move on.

Mr. Barr released to Congress and the public a redacted copy of the more than 400-page report on Thursday. Though the redactions were less extensive than some Democrats feared, the Justice Department had blacked out sections of the report that it said contained classified material, secretive grand jury testimony or information that would affect investigations still underway.

Democrats have been threatening to issue a subpoena for weeks, and the Justice Department on Thursday sought to head off the subpoena with a pledge to share more information with Congress.

Stephen E. Boyd, an assistant attorney general, wrote in a letter that the department would allow the bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the heads of their judiciary and intelligence committees, to view a fuller version of the report beginning next week. But he said even that copy would still have secretive grand jury information blacked out because of legal requirements.

Given the sensitive nature of the information, Mr. Boyd wrote, “all individuals reviewing the less-redacted version” must agree to keep the newly unredacted information confidential.

Mr. Nadler rejected the proposed accommodation as insufficient on Friday. He has repeatedly asked the Justice Department to join him in requesting that a court unseal the grand jury information, in particular, for Congress to review privately. Mr. Barr has so far rejected that request.

“I am open to working with the department to reach a reasonable accommodation for access to these materials,” he said, “however I cannot accept any proposal which leaves most of Congress in the dark, as they grapple with their duties of legislation, oversight and constitutional accountability.”

(Reporting by Washington Post)

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Health

Judge Rejects Anti-Vaxxer Lawsuit Against New York City’s Vaccine Mandate

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A state judge on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by anti-vaccination parents who sought to lift New York City’s new measles vaccination mandate, as parts of the metropolis continue to face an outbreak.


“A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire,” Judge Lawrence Knipel wrote in his ruling. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion.”

Five anonymous parents in Brooklyn filed the lawsuit earlier this week against the city health department for ordering the mandatory vaccinations in parts of the borough amid a growing outbreak of the measles virus concentrated in the Williamsburg area. The lawsuit said the city’s response is “irrational,” and that the spread of the virus does not pose a clear danger to public health.

Knipel ruled that the city’s decision to require measles vaccinations during the outbreak is supported by “largely uncontroverted” evidence.

New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot issued the emergency order on April 9, requiring everyone who lives and works within four Brooklyn ZIP codes to receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine if they hadn’t already gotten it. Failure to comply with the mandate could result in misdemeanor punishments, including criminal fines or imprisonment.

The city has already issued summons to three people who refused the mandate and face $1,000 in fines.

As of Wednesday, the measles outbreak has infected at least 329 people since October, mostly children from Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, according to Barbot. Many Orthodox Jewish people believe vaccinations go against Jewish or Talmudic law, resulting in low vaccination rates for some communities.

Barbot praised the decision to dismiss the lawsuit, saying in a statement to HuffPost that it “will protect New Yorkers from a very dangerous infection with potentially fatal consequences.”

She added that officials “do not want to issue violations but will continue and hope that New Yorkers make the best choice for their families, their neighbors and their own health ― to get vaccinated.”

(Reporting by HuffPost)

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Court Rulings

Federal Appeals Court Backs California Laws To Protect Immigrants

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday kept in place three California laws intended to protect immigrants, continuing the state’s efforts to be a national leader in opposing Trump administration policies.


The court upheld lower court rulings denying the Trump administration’s request to block law enforcement from providing release dates and personal information of people in jail, as well as to throw out a law barring employers from allowing immigration officials on their premises unless the officials have a warrant.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected U.S. District Judge John Mendez’s reasoning last year for denying a portion of the third law, which requires the state to review detention facilities where immigrants are held. It ruled that the section requiring the state to review circumstances surrounding the apprehension and transfer of detainees puts an impermissible burden on the federal government.

But the appellate panel said Mendez can consider rejecting a preliminary injunction for that section on other legal grounds.

The U.S. Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has repeatedly sued the Trump administration mostly over immigration and environmental decisions, said the ruling shows that states’ rights “continue to thrive.”

“We continue to prove in California that the rule of law not only stands for something but that people cannot act outside of it,” Becerra said in a statement.

California officials have said the immigration laws promote trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement, while the administration argued the state is allowing dangerous criminals on the streets.

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