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Trump Says 37 Felony Counts “Ridiculous” and “Baseless”

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Trump Says 37 Felony Counts “Ridiculous” and “Baseless”

Former President Donald Trump slammed his historic federal indictment as “ridiculous” and “baseless” in his first public appearances since the charges were unsealed on Saturday, portraying the 37 felony counts as an attack on his supporters as he attempted to turn dire legal peril into political advantage.

Speaking at Republican state conventions in Georgia and North Carolina, Trump portrayed the Department of Justice’s indictment as an attempt to undermine his chances of re-election to the presidency in a second term.

“They’ve launched one witch hunt after another to try and stop our movement, to thwart the will of the American people,” Trump said in Georgia, before promising the crowd, “In the end, they’re not coming after me.” They’re pursuing you.”

The technique is well-worn for Trump, who remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024 despite escalating legal difficulties, including criminal charges filed against him in New York in March. In the face of an investigation, Trump has repeatedly attempted to delegitimize law enforcement officers and depict himself — and his supporters — as victims, even when he is charged with serious crimes.

Trump also promised on Saturday that he would remain in the race even if convicted in the case.

“I’ll never leave,” he said in an interview with Politico aboard his jet following his address in Georgia. He also anticipated that he would not be convicted and avoided questions about whether he would pardon himself if re-elected.

“I don’t think I’ll ever have to,” Trump declared. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

trump

The indictment, which was unsealed on Friday, alleges Trump with deliberately ignoring Justice Department orders that he surrender secret documents, involving advisers in his efforts to conceal the data, and even instructing his lawyers that he planned to disobey a subpoena for materials housed at his property.

The indictment alleges that he kept documents in a ballroom and a restroom at his Mar-a-Lago property, among other locations.

Trump is scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday. He was accused with personal aide Walt Nauta, who prosecutors claim transferred items from a storage area to Trump’s home for him to see and then lied to investigators about the move. Nauta accompanied Trump to Georgia, where he joined him at a Waffle House stop where he signed autographs, posed for selfies, and told fans, “We did absolutely nothing wrong.”

Earlier Saturday, Trump was greeted like a hero at the Republican National Convention in Georgia, where he slammed the investigation as “a political hit job” and accused his political opponents of launching “one hoax and witch hunt after another” to prevent his reelection.

“The ridiculous and baseless indictment by the Biden administration’s weaponized Department of Injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country,” he stated.

He also used his speech to attack President Joe Biden and his Democratic opponent in 2016, Hillary Clinton, accusing them of mishandling secret material and claiming he was treated unfairly because he is a Republican. But Trump forgot an important distinction: only he has been accused of purposefully obstructing investigators by refusing to return the relevant records.

Clinton investigation

In the Clinton investigation, for example, FBI agents decided that, while she was exceedingly careless in handling sensitive emails on a private server, there was no indication that she intended to breach the law. And, while the Biden inquiry is still ongoing, no evidence has surfaced to show that he purposefully withheld the data or even knew they existed, with his representatives turning over records after they were discovered and freely submitting to FBI searches.

Trump also harped on Georgia’s involvement in his 2020 failure, reiterating his lies about winning the state and justifying his efforts to reverse Biden’s victory, which is the subject of another current investigation, this time by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Willis has stated that any indictments will most likely be issued in August.

The probe revolves around a phone call in which Trump instructs Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” – just enough to overcome Biden and overturn Trump’s narrow loss in the state. Trump has praised the phone call as “perfect,” and he lashed out on Saturday at both Willis and the special counsel in the Mar-a-Lago case.

Despite the new criminal allegations, supporters applauded him on in Georgia and North Carolina, where he appeared at a state GOP convention banquet on Saturday night.

About 100 supporters greeted Trump when he landed at the Columbus, Georgia, airport, some brandishing “Witch Hunt” banners. Jan Plemmons, 66, wearing a large foam “Make America Great Again” hat, termed the government allegations “absolutely ridiculous” and declared her readiness to campaign alongside Trump. To Michael Sellers, 67, it was “criminal what they’re doing to him.”

The indictment comes as Trump maintains his lead in the Republican primary contest. Among the several investigations Trump has faced, the papers case has long been regarded as the most serious legal risk and the most likely to result in prosecution. However, Trump’s continued appeal among Republican voters is obvious in how his primary opponents have handled the federal indictment.

mike pence, trump

Mike Pence, whose appearance in North Carolina was the first joint appearance with his former boss since the ex-vice president announced his own campaign this week, condemned the “politicisation” of the Justice Department and urged Attorney General Merrick Garland “to stop hiding behind the special counsel and stand before the American people” to explain the basis for the federal investigation into Trump.

In an interview with The Associated Press following his speech, Pence said he had read the indictment but refused to share his personal reaction to its contents, which included photographs of boxes containing classified information stacked in a Mar-a-Lago bathroom and on a ballroom stage, or to criticise Trump.

“The very nature of a grand jury is that there is no defence presented,” Pence explained. “That’s why I said today that I’m going to urge patience, that I’m going to encourage people to pray for the former president, but also for all those in authority and for the country going forward.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s primary GOP competitor, did not mention Trump by name but linked his predicament to that of Clinton at a GOP conference in North Carolina on Friday night.

“Is there a different standard for a Democratic secretary of state versus a former Republican president?” DeSantis inquired. “I believe that there should be a single standard of justice in this country.” At the end of the day, my administration will put an end to the weaponization of government.”

Only Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has specifically advocated for Trump’s candidature to be terminated among the declared Republican candidates. Hutchinson told reporters in Georgia that the Republican Party “should not lose its soul” in protecting Trump, and that the evidence thus far indicated that the former president treated national secrets “like entertainment tools.”

Trump Running for President in 2024 a Win for CNN

Trump Running for President in 2024 a Win for CNN

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Ukrainian And Western Leaders Laud US Aid Package While The Kremlin Warns Of ‘Further Ruin’

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AP - VOR News ImageKyiv, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian and Western officials praised a badly needed aid package voted by the US House of Representatives, while the Kremlin warned that the bill would "further ruin" Ukraine and result in more deaths. In a rare Saturday session, the House quickly passed $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other US allies, as Democrats and Republicans came together after months of hard-right opposition to increased American help for opposing Russia's incursion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had warned that his country would lose the conflict without US funding, expressed gratitude for the decision of US senators. "We appreciate every sign of support for our country and its independence, people and way of life, which Russia is attempting to bury under the rubble," he wrote on X.com, a social media site. "America has proved its leadership since the beginning of this war. This type of leadership is necessary to keep a rules-based international order and predictability for all states," he stated. The Ukrainian president stated that his country's "warriors on the front lines" will profit from the aid package. One such "warrior" is infantry soldier Oleksandr, who is battling around Avdiivka, a city in Ukraine's Donetsk region that Russia seized in February after months of fierce battle. "For us, it's critical to have this support from the US and our partners," Oleksandr told The Associated Press. He did not provide his complete name for security reasons. "With this, we can stop them and cut our losses. It is the first step toward the possibility of liberating our territory. Ammunition shortages caused by the assistance holdup over the last six months have forced Ukrainian military commanders to ration shells, a disadvantage that Russia exploited this year, capturing the city of Avdiivka and now advancing on the village of Chasiv Yar, also in the Donetsk region. "The Russians attack us in waves, leaving us weary and forced to leave our positions. "This has happened several times," Oleksandr stated. "Not having enough ammunition means we can't cover the area that is our responsibility to hold when they are assaulting us." In Kyiv, residents expressed their opinions on the US aid plan. "I heard our president openly state that we will lose the battle without this assistance. "Thank you very much, and yesterday was a fantastic event," said Kateryna Ruda, 43. Tatyana Ryavchenuk, the wife of a Ukrainian soldier, expressed the need for more weapons, stressing that soldiers "have nothing to protect us." "They require guns, equipment, and other necessities. We always need assistance. Because without assistance, our enemies can move further and reach the middle of our city," the 26-year-old stated. Other Western officials applauded the aid deal. "Ukraine is destroying Russian combat capabilities with weapons provided by NATO Allies." "This makes us all safer, in Europe and North America," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on X. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that "Ukraine deserves all the support it can get against Russia." German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed her statement, describing it as "a strong signal in these times." "We stand with the Ukrainians fighting for their free, democratic and independent country," Scholz said in a post on X. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk congratulated House Speaker Mike Johnson for his efforts but also acknowledged the congressional gridlock. "It's better to be late than too late. And I hope it is not too late for Ukraine," he posted on X. In Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the acceptance of aid to Ukraine as "expected and predictable." The decision "will make the United States of America richer, further ruin Ukraine, and result in the deaths of even more Ukrainians, the fault of the Kyiv regime," Peskov said, according to Russian news agency Ria Novosti. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also resorted to social media to criticize the aid package. "The allocation of military assistance by the United States to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan will aggravate the global crisis: military assistance to the Kyiv regime is direct sponsorship of terrorist activities," she stated in an email. "The new aid package will not save, but, on the contrary, will kill thousands and thousands more people, prolong the conflict, and bring even more grief and devastation," Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, wrote on Telegram. The entire aid plan will be sent to the United States Senate, which might pass it as early as Tuesday. President Joe Biden has pledged to sign it immediately. In its most recent assessment, a Washington-based research tank stated that the complexities of bringing US support to the front lines would most likely mean that its impact would be delayed for several weeks. "Ukrainian forces may suffer additional setbacks in the coming weeks while waiting for U.S. security assistance that will allow Ukraine to stabilize the front," the Institute for the Study of War stated. "But they will likely be able to blunt the current Russian offensive assuming the resumed U.S. assistance arrives promptly." On the ground, Russia's Defense Ministry announced Sunday that its troops had seized control of the settlement of Bohdanivka in the Donetsk area. Ukrainian officials have yet to react to the claim. According to the prosecutor's office in Ukraine's partially seized Donetsk area, Russian shelling killed one person and injured four others.

Kyiv, Ukraine — Ukrainian and Western officials praised a badly needed aid package voted by the US House of Representatives, while the Kremlin warned that the bill would “further ruin” Ukraine and result in more deaths.

In a rare Saturday session, the House quickly passed $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel, and other US allies, as Democrats and Republicans came together after months of hard-right opposition to increased American help for opposing Russia’s incursion.

ukrainian

AP – VOR News Image

Ukrainian And Western Leaders Laud US Aid Package While The Kremlin Warns Of ‘Further Ruin’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had warned that his country would lose the conflict without US funding, expressed gratitude for the decision of US senators.

“We appreciate every sign of support for our country and its independence, people and way of life, which Russia is attempting to bury under the rubble,” he wrote on X.com, a social media site.

“America has proved its leadership since the beginning of this war. This type of leadership is necessary to keep a rules-based international order and predictability for all states,” he stated.

The Ukrainian president stated that his country’s “warriors on the front lines” will profit from the aid package.

One such “warrior” is infantry soldier Oleksandr, who is battling around Avdiivka, a city in Ukraine’s Donetsk region that Russia seized in February after months of fierce battle.

“For us, it’s critical to have this support from the US and our partners,” Oleksandr told The Associated Press. He did not provide his complete name for security reasons.

“With this, we can stop them and cut our losses. It is the first step toward the possibility of liberating our territory.

Ammunition shortages caused by the assistance holdup over the last six months have forced Ukrainian military commanders to ration shells, a disadvantage that Russia exploited this year, capturing the city of Avdiivka and now advancing on the village of Chasiv Yar, also in the Donetsk region.

“The Russians attack us in waves, leaving us weary and forced to leave our positions. “This has happened several times,” Oleksandr stated. “Not having enough ammunition means we can’t cover the area that is our responsibility to hold when they are assaulting us.”

In Kyiv, residents expressed their opinions on the US aid plan.

“I heard our president openly state that we will lose the battle without this assistance. “Thank you very much, and yesterday was a fantastic event,” said Kateryna Ruda, 43.

Tatyana Ryavchenuk, the wife of a Ukrainian soldier, expressed the need for more weapons, stressing that soldiers “have nothing to protect us.”

ukrainian

Times – VOR News Image

Ukrainian And Western Leaders Laud US Aid Package While The Kremlin Warns Of ‘Further Ruin’

“They require guns, equipment, and other necessities. We always need assistance. Because without assistance, our enemies can move further and reach the middle of our city,” the 26-year-old stated.

Other Western officials applauded the aid deal.

“Ukraine is destroying Russian combat capabilities with weapons provided by NATO Allies.” “This makes us all safer, in Europe and North America,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on X.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that “Ukraine deserves all the support it can get against Russia.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed her statement, describing it as “a strong signal in these times.”

“We stand with the Ukrainians fighting for their free, democratic and independent country,” Scholz said in a post on X.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk congratulated House Speaker Mike Johnson for his efforts but also acknowledged the congressional gridlock. “It’s better to be late than too late. And I hope it is not too late for Ukraine,” he posted on X.

In Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the acceptance of aid to Ukraine as “expected and predictable.”

The decision “will make the United States of America richer, further ruin Ukraine, and result in the deaths of even more Ukrainians, the fault of the Kyiv regime,” Peskov said, according to Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also resorted to social media to criticize the aid package.

“The allocation of military assistance by the United States to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan will aggravate the global crisis: military assistance to the Kyiv regime is direct sponsorship of terrorist activities,” she stated in an email.

“The new aid package will not save, but, on the contrary, will kill thousands and thousands more people, prolong the conflict, and bring even more grief and devastation,” Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, wrote on Telegram.

ukrainian

CNBC – VOR News Image

Ukrainian And Western Leaders Laud US Aid Package While The Kremlin Warns Of ‘Further Ruin’

The entire aid plan will be sent to the United States Senate, which might pass it as early as Tuesday. President Joe Biden has pledged to sign it immediately.

In its most recent assessment, a Washington-based research tank stated that the complexities of bringing US support to the front lines would most likely mean that its impact would be delayed for several weeks.

“Ukrainian forces may suffer additional setbacks in the coming weeks while waiting for U.S. security assistance that will allow Ukraine to stabilize the front,” the Institute for the Study of War stated.

“But they will likely be able to blunt the current Russian offensive assuming the resumed U.S. assistance arrives promptly.”

On the ground, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Sunday that its troops had seized control of the settlement of Bohdanivka in the Donetsk area. Ukrainian officials have yet to react to the claim.

According to the prosecutor’s office in Ukraine’s partially seized Donetsk area, Russian shelling killed one person and injured four others.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

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Getty Images - VOR News Image

In a big victory for climate and environmental groups, the Biden administration completed a rule on Friday that prohibits fossil fuel drilling on nearly half of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, among other substantial conservation measures.

The Interior Department will prohibit oil drilling on more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic, including approximately 40% of the NPR-A, a remote area home to protected wildlife species such as polar bears and caribou.

alaska

Boston Globe – VOR News Image

Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

The reserve consists of more than 23 million acres of public land and an underground emergency oil supply for the United States Navy, which was established in the early 1920s. It has lately been the site of the Willow project, which is owned by ConocoPhillips and is a contentious Arctic oil drilling operation.

When the Biden administration approved Willow in March 2023, it generated a social media reaction from young people, as well as environmental and climate activists. Friday’s measure could boost President Joe Biden’s support among young voters.

“These natural wonders demand our protection,” Biden said in a statement. Biden said he was “proud” of his administration’s decision to protect more than 13 million acres in the Western Arctic, but added that “as the climate crisis threatens communities across the country, more must be done.”

Some Alaska Natives are critical of the drilling restriction covering such a large area of the NPR-A. It has sparked debate among Alaska’s bipartisan congressional delegation, as well as Alaska Native groups, who claim they rely on oil drilling tax money to pay schools and basic services.

The final rule “does not reflect our communities’ wishes,” said Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat President Nagruk Harcharek. The move “will hurt the very residents the federal government purports to help by rolling back years of progress, impoverishing our communities, and imperiling our Iñupiaq culture.”

alaska

wall st journal – VOR News Image

Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

The restriction will also expose the president to Republican criticism for failing to prioritize American energy independence and driving up fuel prices. However, during Biden’s presidency, the United States has produced more oil than any other country in history, according to CNN Business, and petrol prices have dropped $1.35 since their all-time high in June 2022.

In addition to conserving a large portion of the NPR-A on Friday, the Biden administration tried to stop the Trump administration-approved Ambler road in the Alaskan wilderness. If developed, the road would provide access to a proposed copper mine. The government indicated that it intended to take “no action” on the mine, essentially limiting the road’s access to federal territory.

Ambler Metals, the business seeking to mine copper in the region, said it was “deeply disappointed” by Interior’s decision. According to Ambler’s managing director, Kaleb Froehlich, the move would deprive local communities of jobs and tax income, as well as prevent the United States from building a domestic supply of minerals important to renewable energy technologies and national security.

The Alaska announcements cap off a busy week for Biden’s Interior Department. On Thursday, the agency unveiled a new regulation that elevates conservation to the same level as other public land uses such as grazing, mining, and energy production. The new conservation law applies to 245 million acres, the most of which are in the Western United States, or roughly one-tenth of the country’s territory.

According to CNN, Biden plans to enlarge two national monuments in California next week, adding to the ones he has already named during his presidency.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated that the administration’s Alaska conservation announcements “underscore our commitment to ensure that places too special to develop remain intact for the communities and species that rely on them.”

In a statement, Haaland stated that the move would be a significant step toward preserving “the way of life for the Indigenous people who have called this special place home since time immemorial.”

Environmentalists and several indigenous groups praised Biden’s statements on Alaska conservation as a “important step.”

“It’s no secret that the Reserve–a vast region of tundra and wetlands teeming with wildlife–has frequently landed in the crosshairs of the insatiable fossil fuel industry,” said Earthjustice attorney Jeremy Lieb in a statement. “We applaud this move and call for even bolder action to keep the fossil fuel industry out of the Arctic, for the sake of the climate and future generations.”

alaska

NBC – VOR News Image

Biden Administration Bans Drilling In Nearly Half Of Alaska Petroleum Reserve In Sweeping Win For Climate Advocates

In a statement, Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, the former mayor of the North Slope village of Nuiqsut and a staunch opponent of Willow, called on the Biden administration to build on the protections, saying it would help Alaska Natives “continue to sustain and pass along the traditions and activities of our elders for years to come.”

In a recent interview with CNN, Ahtuangaruak stated that building of infrastructure, as well as ice and gravel roads for the Willow project, is well advanced. Ahtuangaruak is concerned that the project is already having an impact on the annual caribou migration, which is a major source of food for people.

“The animals have already begun their migration; we also have animals that get impeded and get stuck on the ice road areas,” Ahtuangaruak, a reporter for CNN, said “It’s really tough to work through all these issues.”

SOURCE – CNN

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Man Set Himself Afire in New York Leaves Shocking Manifesto

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man set himself on fire new york
Man Set Himself Afire: Getty Image

In an online manifesto, the man set himself on fire outside a New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump was on trial, citing political motivations. The individual, Max Azzarello, is alive but badly injured. Police observed him dousing himself with fluids before lighting.

Responders on the scene contributed to the fire’s extinguishment. Azzarello’s pamphlets and social media posts suggest conspiracy ideas, but officials do not believe he targeted anyone specifically.

According to accounts, a recently released manifesto ascribed to the man who set himself on fire outside the lower Manhattan courthouse where Trump’s hush money trial is taking place appears to be motivated only by political reasons.

Identified as Max Azzarello, he supposedly runs a Substack page called “The Ponzi Papers,” with his most recent entry headlined “I have set myself on fire outside the Trump Trial.”

In the first lines, Azzarello reveals his extreme act to highlight a critical revelation: “My name is Max Azzarello, and I am an investigative researcher who has set himself on fire outside of the Trump trial in Manhattan. The purpose of this severe protest is to call attention to an urgent and significant finding.”

He went on to say, “We are victims of a totalitarian con, and our government (along with many of their allies) is about to hit us with an apocalyptic fascist world coup.”

The manifesto references a complicated conspiracy involving cryptocurrencies and government collaboration, reflecting themes from Azzarello’s recent social media activities.

Authorities in New York have confirmed that Azzarello is alive but in critical condition.

Man on Fire New York

Man on Fire New York: Getty Image

During an afternoon press briefing following the incident, New York Police Department Chief Jeffrey Maddrey explained: “At 1.30 this afternoon, we observed a male walk into the center of the park, he starts shuffling around his clothes, he opens up a book bag, takes numerous pieces of paper, he throws the pamphlets throughout the park, and then he pulls out a canister and puts some kind of liquid on himself, and he lights himself on fire.”

“New York citizens, court officers, and representatives of the police department rush into the park and try to put him out with their coats and fire extinguishers. Eventually, New York firefighters were able to extinguish the fire,” Maddrey said.

The New York Fire Department eventually extinguished the fire, and Azzarello was reported to be “alive and intubated” at Cornell Medical Center’s burn center.

“I hope you understand how powerful you are. “I wish you much more than luck,” he said at the end of his lengthy manifesto.

The altercation occurred just as Judge Juan Merchan was about to adjourn for lunch on the third day of Trump’s fraud trial. It occurred in a portion of the plaza where small groups of protestors had been gathered every day since Monday, except Wednesday.

Azzarello was seen kneeling on the ground, his arms gesturing madly as flames devoured him. Television commentators described the harrowing scenario as many police officers and a civilian raced towards him.

Amidst the confusion, one person tried smattering the flames with a coat or blanket, while another used a fire extinguisher. Azzarello remained motionless after the fire was extinguished and was later treated by paramedics.

People in New York Horrified

A spectator who witnessed the incident expressed disbelief, saying, “He made a noise and flung all those brochures. It is shocking. A few folks are crying in the park. “There is nothing you can do.”

The NYPD’s chief of detectives, Joseph Kenny, stated that Azzarello’s pamphlets and social media posts indicated that the trial acted as a backdrop rather than a direct reason for his conduct.

Kenny viewed the pamphlet as propaganda-driven, stating: “The pamphlet appears to be propaganda-based, almost like a conspiracy-theory-type of pamphlet, with some information about Ponzi schemes and the fact that some of our local educational institutes are a front for the mob.”

Kenny discovered that Azzarello, from St. Augustine, Florida, has no criminal history in New York and was unknown to officials.

The NYPD’s deputy commissioner, Tarik Sheppard, stated that detectives did not perceive Azzarello’s conduct as targeting any single people or group, including Trump or his supporters.

“We just right now labeled him as a sort of conspiracy theorist, and we’ll go from there, but the investigation will continue,” he said.

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