Trump says he’d ‘want to hear’ foreign dirt on 2020 rivals
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says if a foreign power were offering dirt on his 2020 opponent, he’d be open to accepting it and would have no obligation to call in the FBI.
Speaking to ABC News, Trump says, “I think I’d want to hear it.” He adds, “There’s nothing wrong with listening.”
Trump’s eldest son’s role in organizing a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer offering negative information on Hillary Clinton was a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers that Donald Trump Jr. should have called his agency to report the offer. Mueller said he did not find enough criminal evidence to bring conspiracy charges.
But Trump, who nominated Wray as director in 2017, says he disagrees and that “the FBI director is wrong.”
CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Judiciary panel to interview ex-Trump aide Hicks
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks has agreed to a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee, according to two people familiar with the deal.
The panel subpoenaed Hicks last month as part of its investigation into obstruction of justice and special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The interview will be held June 19 and a transcript will be released, according to one of the people. It is a significant breakthrough for the committee, as President Donald Trump has broadly fought attempts at congressional oversight.
Hicks, a longtime aide to Trump, is mentioned throughout Mueller’s report.
The people familiar with the deal requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss it.
HONG KONG-EXTRADITION LAW
Traffic flowing in heart of Hong Kong as rain curbs protests
HONG KONG (AP) — Traffic has been restored in the heart of Hong Kong a day after clashes between police and protesters who oppose legislation that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.
Heavy rain Thursday morning kept fresh protests from following those Wednesday by thousands of activists who shut down government headquarters and the Legislative Council on the day it was to debate the extradition bill. More than 70 people were hurt.
Police fired tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets after well-organized protesters breached their cordon, forcing the assembly to postpone the debate.
Protesters said they were seeking to block the passage of the legislation they see as part of Beijing’s moves to tighten its grip over the former British colony.
STANLEY CUP-THE LATEST
The Latest: O’Reilly wins Conn Smythe as playoff MVP
BOSTON (AP) — Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues has been named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player of the playoffs.
The gritty forward lifted the trophy on the ice moments after the Blues beat Boston 4-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. He scored the opening goal late in the first period.
MILITARY KIDS-SEX ASSAULT-REFORMS
Pentagon still struggles with military kid sex assault cases
The Defense Department is rolling out big changes to how it responds when the children of service members sexually assault each other — and the rollout has been uneven.
Tens of thousands of military kids live and go to school on U.S. bases worldwide. An Associated Press investigation last year showed broad failures to help sex assault victims or to hold accountable the kids they accuse.
Congress responded by requiring reforms to nearly every aspect of how juvenile sex assault cases are handled.
A Pentagon-wide policy is not yet ready. So the Army published its own, which mandates both a criminal investigation and victim assistance.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon-run school system published guidelines that try to extend to its 70,000 students protections public school students get under federal law.
Klug reported from Seoul, South Korea; Pritchard reported from Los Angeles. Reese Dunklin in Dallas contributed.
Contact Pritchard at https://twitter.com/lalanewsman .
CENSUS CITIZENSHIP QUESTION-THE LATEST
The Latest: ACLU seeks delay in decision on census question
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Supreme Court to hold off issuing a decision about whether to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census.
In a filing Wednesday with the Supreme Court, the ACLU asks for the delay while a lower court considers new evidence that the ACLU argues is part of a larger effort to increase the political power of the Republican Party.
A decision by the Supreme Court is expected later this month. But the ACLU says a federal judge in New York should be given time to consider the new evidence.
Documents unearthed last week suggest that the Trump administration seeks to add the citizenship question to help officials gerrymander legislative districts in overtly partisan and racist ways.
PERSIAN GULF-TENSIONS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Japanese leader seeks to cool US-Iran tensions
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The leader of Japan is visiting Iran to warn that an “accidental conflict” could be sparked amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered that message just hours after Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked an airport in Saudi Arabia, wounding 26 people.
Abe’s trip is the highest-level effort yet to de-escalate the crisis as Tehran appears poised to break the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers. The Trump administration pulled out of the accord last year.
Success may prove difficult for Abe, as the Houthi rebel attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha regional airport underscored. The attack is just the latest in a wave of rebel drone and missile attacks targeting the kingdom, which has been mired in a yearslong war in Yemen.
Maine becomes 8th state to legalize assisted suicide
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine has become the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed the bill Wednesday. She had previously said she was unsure about the measure.
The proposal had failed once in a statewide referendum and at least seven previous times in the Legislature.
The current bill passed by just one vote in the House and by a small margin in the Senate. It would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill people a fatal dose of medication.
Opponents had called on the governor to veto the bill they said puts the terminally ill in “grave danger.”
Supporters say the terminally ill should have the right to choose a peaceful end.
Catholic bishops approve new sex-abuse reporting hotline
BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. Catholic bishops have voted to create a new national sex-abuse hotline.
The system would field allegations accusing bishops of committing abuse or covering it up. It’s supposed to be operating within a year and would be run by an independent entity.
The initiative approved Wednesday marks one of the church’s most tangible steps in confronting its sex-abuse crisis, which has prompted many Catholics to reduce their donations and attendance at Mass.
The hotline would take complaints by telephone and through an online link.
Hotline operators would relay allegations to regional supervisory bishops. Church leaders are encouraging those bishops — though not requiring them — to seek help from lay experts in assessing and investigating allegations.
DAVID ORTIZ-THE LATEST
The Latest: DR prosecutor vows no impunity in Ortiz shooting
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the Dominican Republic says that no one involved in the shooting of former Red Sox star will remain in impunity, not even in the intellectual author of the crime.
Authorities say six suspects, including the alleged gunman, have been detained in the shooting of Ortiz at a popular Santo Domingo bar Sunday night.
The Dominican Republic’s chief prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez said Wednesday the suspects “are being interrogated and we will continue deepening the investigation to get to the truth about what happened.”
Rodríguez said: “Nobody involved in this lamentable episode will remain in impunity, not even the material or intellectual author” of the crime, said Rodríguez.
In Boston, Ortiz’s wife said in statement that the former Red Sox star was able to sit up and take some steps as he recuperates in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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