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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

Facebook gave special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, records of Russian ad purchases on the website and copies of the ads, several outlets reported Sunday.

Reuters first reported that Facebook had given Mueller data on the ads last week, and the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Facebook turned over copies of the ads and details about how they were targeted and the accounts that purchased them.

CNN on Sunday confirmed, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter, that Facebook gave Mueller copies of the ads and “related information.”

Both CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook did not give the same information to congressional committees also investigating Russian interference, and that Facebook’s policy states that it will only turn over the “stored contents” of an account in response to a search warrant.

In a statement to CNN, Facebook said it was giving Mueller information “including ads and related account information.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said Donald Trump Jr. will publicly testify before the panel “this fall.”

“It will be this fall. I know that for sure. Things keep changing, not by design, but by just the press of other business on the committee,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She said “people have to be patient” with the panel’s investigation.

“It may take a long time. This could take a year, a year and a half, if not more,” Feinstein said.

“Your committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, is having trouble getting in touch with President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort,” Dana Bash asked Feinstein. “When will you and Chairman Grassley decide send him a subpoena?”

“We will likely do that,” Feinstein said, referring to herself and the panel’s chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), “if he refuses to come before the committee.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said President Donald Trump is neither conservative nor liberal, but simply “pro-Trump.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Schiff called Trump’s discussions with Democrats “purely transactional.”

“This is a president, look, who has no ideology. He’s not conservative, he’s not liberal; the only consistent theme seems to be, he’s pro-Trump,” he said. “He’s for his own personal interests.”

Schiff also questioned Trump’s reluctance to enforce policies implemented by former President Barack Obama’s administration.

“I don’t know why it is so hard for this administration, whether it’s on climate or on Iran or on our strategy of defeating ISIS, to acknowledge that the prior administration did some things right,” he said.

Asked about National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s suggestion that President Donald Trump could respond to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program with military force, Schiff said the United States needs to “underscore that we are willing to sit down at the table” to negotiate.

“This is going to be hard to accomplish and we all need to be pulling in the same direction,” Schiff said. “Right now, too often, Gen. McMaster is talking about a president not that we have, but one that he wishes we had.”

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday attempted to interpret what the President’s ersatz early-morning tweet about “Rocket Man” meant for his policy on North Korea.

“I assume ‘Rocket Man’ is Kim Jong Un?” George Stephanopoulos asked McMaster on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the North Korean leader.

“Well, it’s — it appears to be so,” McMaster replied. “That is where the rockets and missiles are coming from, is North Korea.”

He said the United States has to “make sure all options are under development to ensure that this regime cannot threaten the world with a nuclear weapon.”

“If he doesn’t give up those nuclear weapons, the President will strike?” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“He’s been very clear about that,” McMaster replied. “All options are on the table.”

Two members of President Donald Trump’s administration on Sunday insisted that the President’s tweet claiming that a subway bombing in London was perpetrated by “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard” was not criticism of the British law enforcement agency.

“What you saw was a reaction to the fact that this is terrible,” United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She said Trump “would not want to do any harm to the investigation.”

“So if he goes out and gets emotional and passionate about the fact that he’s upset at what happened in the U.K., I mean, of course, that’s what he put out there,” Haley said. “But there was no ill intent with that. I think it was the fact that he was just very concerned and very disturbed.”

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster claimed on ABC’s “This Week” that Trump was “communicating” that “law enforcement professionals, intelligence professionals have these terrorist organizations under scrutiny.”

“But not these individuals,” George Stephanopoulos interjected. “To be clear, the President did not know from any intelligence he had that Scotland Yard had these perpetrators in their sights, did he?”

“What he’s meaning to communicate is that we look at these organizations every day,” McMaster said.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said President Donald Trump would reconsider withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement if it included “an agreement that benefits the American people.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” however, McMaster pushed back on suggestions that Trump could reverse his position on the agreement.

“It’s false. That’s a false report,” McMaster said.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union’s commissioner for climate action and energy, on Saturday said U.S. officials said they would “review the terms on which they could be engaged” with the climate change agreement, CNN reported.

The White House denied that Trump’s stance was softening, however.

“He left the door open to reentering at some later time if there can be a better deal for the United States,” McMaster said on ABC’s “This Week” of Trump’s withdrawal from the climate agreement.

“Of course he’s open to any discussions that will help us improve the environment, that will help us ensure energy security and will advance our prosperity,” he added. “If there’s an agreement that benefits the American people, certainly.”

President Donald Trump began tweeting before 8 a.m. on Sunday.

Trump opened his Twitter salvo with a jab at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who Trump dubbed “Rocket Man.” (Kim pledged Saturday to achieve “equilibrium” in military force with the United States.)

“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing,” Trump tweeted. “Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”

Trump also retweeted a slew of praise and memes apparently complimenting himself, as well as conservative journalist David Martosko’s criticism of the New York Times.

One of the memes the President retweeted was an edited animation of himself hitting a golf ball and striking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton appeared on national media last week to promote her campaign tell-all, titled “What Happened.”

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R), who is running to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat, suggested earlier this year that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks might have been a form of divine punishment.

In remarks he made in February, surfaced by CNN’s KFILE, Moore quoted from the Old Testament’s Book of Isaiah to support his claims.

“This iniquity will be to you as a breach ready to fall, swell out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instance,” Moore quoted, and added his own annotation: “Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose breaking came suddenly at an instance, doesn’t it?”

“You know, we’ve suffered a lot in this country, maybe, just maybe, because we’ve distanced ourselves from the one that has it within his hands to heal this land,” he added.

The remarks were similar to comments Moore made in a speech at Georgetown in January 2003, as CNN noted, where he cited the Book of Isaiah foretold a “day of great slaughter when the towers fall.”

“How many of you remember Americans running to get gas masks because (of) some bearded man in Afghanistan?” Moore said. “There are consequences when we turn away from our source of our strength.”

As TPM reported, Moore has the support of former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon in his campaign against appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Trump himself.

President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed that “many Republicans” agree with his newfound strategy of negotiating with Democrats about policy. Members of his own conference have vocally criticized the results of Trump’s new approach.

“What do you say to Republicans who are looking at your outreach to Democrats and saying, what’s going on here?” a reporter asked Trump during a brief press availability on Air Force One.

“Well, many Republicans really like it,” Trump said. “Look, my relationship with the Republicans is excellent. Many of them agree with what I’m doing.”

The President claimed he is “a Republican through and through” but said he has discovered that isn’t always an effective way to pass policy.

“I’m also finding that sometimes to get things through it’s not working that way,” he said. “We have to get things passed, and if we can’t get things passed, then we have to go a different route, but we have to get things passed.”

Members of the far-right, anti-immigration wing of the Republican Party had a rough morning on Thursday after news broke that Trump had tentatively promised top Democrats that he would work on a plan to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without tying it to funding for his proposed border wall.

Many did not, in fact, seem to agree with Trump’s negotiation tactics.

“If you do the amnesty part first, that’s instant, and then conservatives will never get what they want,” Rep. David Brat (R-VA) complained.

And Rep. Steve King (R-IA) warned that the “only” thing that could splinter Trump’s base was “if he cracks on immigration.”

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Maricopa County sheriff whom President Donald Trump pardoned in August, on Thursday said that he’ll support “whatever final policy” the President comes up with to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“Whatever final policy he supports, I’ll also support,” Arpaio told the Los Angeles Times.

He called Trump “very intelligent” and claimed the President “cuts deals,” but said the decision about what to do with the program should ultimately fall to Congress, because Trump “can’t make it himself.”

Arpaio denied that Trump was betraying his supporters on the subject of immigration, and said Trump was “trying to make deals and get stuff done.”

The former sheriff, who was convicted of criminal contempt for violating court orders dating back to 2011 barring his office’s practice of racially discriminatory traffic stops targeting immigrants, said if it were up to him, he would ask Congress to deport undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children who were protected by DACA.

“Why not send them back to the country where they came from? It’s good for them to go see the country where they came from,” Arpaio argued.

He said deported DACA recipients could then “come back legally” and “cut to the front of the line.”

“But that’s just some of my views,” he added. “I’m not the President.”

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