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  • Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The father of William "Ryan" Owens, a U.S. Navy SEAL who died in a military raid in Yemen last month, is demanding answers from the Trump administration.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) --  A White House spokesperson pushed back on calls for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia's alleged interference in the presidential election, suggesting such talk is premature."I don't think we're there yet," said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House's deputy principal press secretary, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday. "Typically, you go through a congressional oversight review. We're doing that. Let's not go to the very end of the extreme. Let's let this play out the way it should.Stephanopoulos asked Huckabee Sanders about a top Republican's call for an independent investigation of Russia's alleged meddling in the election.When Bill Maher on his show Real Time pressed GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California on whether President Trump's appointee as attorney general, Jeff Sessions, should investigate reports that members of President Trump's campaign had contact with Russian officials, Issa agreed an independent prosecutor is needed.Issa told Maher, "You cannot have somebody -- a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions -- who was on the campaign and who is an appointee ... You're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute and office."Attorney General Sessions oversees the FBI and the Justice Department which -- separate from any congressional committee reviews -- is investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the election and reported contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officialsHuckabee Sanders said on ABC's This Week on Sunday that Congress should complete its review first, which she said she is confident will show that Trump associates had not involvement in Russia's actions."Whatever review that Congress wants to do, I think that's the first step," she said. "There are two committees that are currently doing that. We're extremely confident that, whatever review, they're all going to come to the same conclusion -- that we had no involvement in this."Huckabee Sanders also suggested that a Russia probe is not something "that the American people care about.""At some point, we get to a place where we've got to move on and start focusing on the things that the American people care about, and I don't think this is it," she said.Stephanopoulos also asked Huckabee Sanders why the president decided not to attend this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner.On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he will not be attending the annual dinner of White House journalists which presidents traditionally attend. "One of the things we say in the South is if a Girl Scout egged your house, would you buy cookies from her? I think that this is a pretty similar scenario," Huckabee Sanders said.Huckabee Sanders said, "This wasn't a president that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities. This is a president who campaigned on speaking directly to Americans, and that's what he's going to spend his time doing."A day prior to his tweet, Trump doubled down on his attacks on the media at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He repeated his assertions that "fake" news is the "enemy of the people," specifically hitting the press for using unnamed sources. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House communicated with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes and Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard Burr about rebutting reports that Trump associates had contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.The Washington Post first reported on Friday that the White House turned to senior members of the intelligence community and Congress to rebut the news reports after the FBI declined to do so publicly.The White House maintains that there were no improper communications and that the FBI came to them to discredit an earlier New York Times report on contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials. The White House then asked the FBI if they could help shoot down the story publicly but the bureau declined.White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that, similarly, a congressman reached out to the White House to refute the New York Times report."A congressman who also had the same information also reached or to us not the other way around," Sanders said. "The bigger story here isn't that they called us, but that the New York Times story was false."The White House acknowledged that in addition to communicating with Nunes, the administration also reached out to Burr.Burr has yet to respond to an ABC News request for comment, but a spokesman for Nunes maintains that the congressman did nothing wrong in communicating with the White House on refuting the news reports."Chairman Nunes did nothing inappropriate," Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said in a statement. "He made inquiries into the allegations published by the New York Times and couldn't find evidence to support them. So he told that to multiple reporters, and then a White House aide asked if he would speak to one more. So he spoke to that reporter as well, telling that person the same thing he told the other reporters."Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he has "grave concerns" about what role the White House played in seeking help from members of Congress and the intelligence community to rebut the story."I have called [CIA Director Mike Pompeo] and Chairman Burr to express my grave concerns about what this means for the independence of this investigation and a bipartisan commitment to follow the facts, and to reinforce that I will not accept any process that is undermined by political interference," Warner said in a statement.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A 4-year-old Syrian girl whose reunion with her family in the United States was delayed by President Donald Trump's travel ban had a joyful return to her parents on Friday.Muna Khadra and her family have lived in the United States since 2013. After a family trip to visit relatives in Lebanon in October, Muna was the only one denied entry back into the United States because of an issue with her visa. Her family was forced to leave her behind with her grandmother in Jordan, where she has lived since.Her father, Abdallh Khadra, was trying to get his daughter back into the United States when the president on Jan. 27 signed an executive order temporarily banning the entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, where Muna was born. Khadra told ABC News at the time that he was told his daughter is now “ineligible for U.S. entry.”“This is heartbreaking. We cannot believe this happened," said Khadra, who fled Syria with his family after speaking out against the government there. He was vetted and cleared for U.S. entry in 2011 on a religious work visa, and later applied for political asylum.Trump's executive order has since been put on hold by a federal judge in Seattle.Muna's father was finally able to get her on a plane back to the United States after four months of their being apart. The child flew into O'Hare International Airport in Chicago with Khadra's sister, Hagar Haltam.Her family drove from their home in Raleigh, North Carolina, to greet Muna with balloons, hugs and tears.“She’s part of me. She’s part of me,” Khadra told ABC owned-and-operated station WLS on Friday. “You feel a part of you is missing, so how do you live?”Haltam captured the emotional reunion in a cellphone video, which was provided to ABC News.In the video, Abdallh runs through the terminal with open arms upon seeing Muna for the first time in months. The little girl, dressed in pink and carrying a Hello Kitty backpack, wraps her arms around her father’s neck as he scoops her up into an embrace and breaks down in tears. Muna’s mother then kneels by her husband’s side and begins to cry as she takes the little girl into her arms.
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  • Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(PARIS) -- French President Francois Hollande on Saturday dismissed President Trump's recent remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference about Paris and Europe.
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  • U.S. House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) --  California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said a special prosecutor is needed to investigate into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.Bill Maher asked Issa during an interview on his show Real Time about reports that members of President Trump's campaign had contact with Russian officials.Maher presented the Republican representative with a hypothetical scenario -- if Russians had hacked the campaign of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 and if there had also been contacts between the Obama administration and the Russians."You're going to let that slide?" Maher asked Issa."No," Issa said."So you're not going to let this slide?" Maher followed up, referring to Russia and the Trump campaign."No," Issa said again.When Maher then pushed Issa on the need for an independent investigation, the California Republican agreed that a special prosecutor is necessary. The investigation shouldn't be overseen by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was appointed by the president and was active in Trump's campaign, Issa said."You cannot have somebody -- a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions -- who was on the campaign and who is an appointee," Issa said. "You're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute and office.""There may or may not be fault," Issa said.But he said, "The American people are beginning to understand that Putin ... is a bad guy ... We need to investigate [the Russian leader's] activities and we need to do it because they are bad people." Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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