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Inside Daily Brief (Dec 3rd, 2017)

President Trump criticized the FBI in a series of tweets Sunday morning after reports said an agent was removed from special counsel special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The agent was removed over the summer after sharing text messages that were viewed as possibly anti-Trump. The agent also worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. Trump referred to the agent as "Tainted (no, very dishonest?)" on Twitter. Trump called the FBI's reputation the "worst in History" and suggested a major overhaul is needed by FBI director Christopher Wray. — NBC

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The threat of war from North Korea is "increasing every day," national security advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday at a defense forum in Simi Valley, California. “Every time [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un] conducts a missile launch and nuclear test, he gets better. And whether it's a success or a failure isn't as important as understanding that over the years he's been learning from failures, improving and thereby increasing his threat to all of us," McMaster said. His comments come several days after North Korea's latest ballistic missile test. It was the 15th missile test this year. McMaster said Americans traveling in February to the Winter Olympics in South Korea "should feel safe because we have an extraordinarily ready and capable military and that military is getting stronger every day.” — BBC

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The Trump administration on Saturday pulled the United States out of the United Nations' global compact on migration, saying it is "not compatible" with American sovereignty. "Our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone," she said. "We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country," U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said. The United States joined the pact in 2016 when 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly adopted the declaration. It pledges that countries will uphold the rights of refugees and help them rebuild. In a statement, Miroslav Lajčák, president of the General Assembly, said, "The role of the United States in this process is critical as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world." — THE GUARDIAN

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ABC News' chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross was suspended Saturday for four weeks without pay after he erroneously reported that President Trump, as a presidential candidate in 2016, instructed former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with Russia. Flynn on Friday pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. On the network's "World News Tonight" program, Ross explained the error and clarified that his source said Trump asked Flynn to contact the Russians after the election. In a statement, ABC News said, "It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience — these are our core principles. We fell far short of that." — NBC

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A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Ecuador on Sunday morning. No deaths were immediately reported. Last year, another strong earthquake hit the same area, close to the town of San Vicente. This story is developing. — REUTERS

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More than 7 inches of rain fell Saturday in the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. Areas across the state recorded record-breaking rainfall. In Echuca, near the border of New South Wales, a 159-year record broke as more than 123 millimeters (or almost 5 inches) of rain was recorded. In Echuca, near the border of New South Wales, reported rainfall of 123 millimeters (about 5 inches) broke a 159-year record. Farmers reported cherry crop damage at a time when a "bumper crop of grade-A cherries" was expected. "Some of these rainfall totals we've seen are well and truly an entire summer's rain almost in just a 24-hour period," Premier Daniel Andrews said. — THE AUSTRALIAN

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A partial implosion Sunday morning failed to bring down the upper section of the Pontiac Silverdome near Detroit, Michigan. An official with the demolition company said 10 percent of explosive charges in eight key areas failed to detonate due to a wiring issue. The company was investigating to find the issue. Excavator crews will take down the structure unless it falls on its own. The stadium was home to the Detroit Lions from 1975 through 2001 and the Detroit Pistons from 1978 to 1988. — DETROIT FREE PRESS

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TALK BLOCK

On "Meet the Press," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said they are compiling evidence for a possible obstruction of justice charge against President Trump regarding his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. As a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Feinstein said the committee is beginning to put together a case of obstruction of justice. "We see this in the indictments, the four indictments and pleas that have just taken place, and some of the comments that are being made. I see it in the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House: the comments every day, the continual tweets," she said. President Trump has said he is not under investigation. — NBC

On "Face the Nation," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would be "impossible" to guarantee a tax cut for everyone in the middle class. McConnell said "an overwhelming majority" of the middle class will get a tax cut. The Senate passed its version of tax reform Saturday by a vote of 51-49, with all but one Republicans voting in favor of the proposal, and no support from Democrats. Congress still will need to reconcile it with the tax bill passed by the House. The average family of four would receive a tax cut of about $2,200 a year, McConnell said. He said the tax plan is geared toward stimulating the economy — something that did not happen during the Obama era due to "a combination of overregulation and a lousy tax code." — CBS

On "This Week," Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said he wasn't surprised by the guilty plea from Michael Flynn. Schiff said Flynn's guilty plea "sets out that he wasn't acting as a rogue agent ... (and) that, in fact, he was acting with the knowledge and at the direction of people who were senior members of the transition team." Schiff said the plea indicates "that this is not the end of it by any means." Schiff said he thinks Flynn will "incriminate others" in the Trump administration. — ABC

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CLICK ROULETTE

Oh, mom

mother-son hop-hop duo

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