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Trump says he believes Putin’s denials over election meddling

President Donald Trump said he is done confronting Vladimir Putin over accusations that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and said he  took the Russian leader at his word when he said that his country did not seek to interfere,  CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

"He said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from Da Nang to Hanoi in Vietnam. "Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.’ And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it."

The two leaders chatted Saturday as they walked together during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Reuters reported.

Although White House officials said no formal meeting between the two leaders was planned, the two men shook hands at a dinner Friday evening and again at the start of Saturday’s main APEC meeting.

Television cameras caught the two leaders talking as they headed toward the area designated for a group photograph, Reuters reported.

Putin said he had a normal dialogue with Trump and described  the President as civil, well-educated, and comfortable to deal with.

Trump is in Vietnam on the fourth leg of a 12-day tour of Asia.

‘America first,’ Trump tells leaders at Pacific Rim economic summit

Vowing not to let the United States “be taken advantage of anymore,” President Donald Trump issued a stern warning at an economic summit of Pacific Rim leaders on Friday, CNN reported.

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“I am always going to put America first, the same way I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first,” Trump said in a speech at the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Trump repeated his criticism of previous U.S. administrations, saying they ignored imbalances in trading practices.

“The current trade imbalance is not acceptable,” Trump said. “I do not blame China, or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs."

"I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it," Trump said.

Trump tears into Russia 'dossier,' Hillary Clinton and Uranium One in Twitter spree

President Donald Trump began his Sunday by laying into his political enemies.

>> Reports: First charges filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted about the now-infamous “dossier” prepared by intel group Fusion GPS.

Recently, reports revealed the Clinton campaign was one of the major backers of the dossier.

>> Trump ally Roger Stone suspended from Twitter after profanity-laden rant

Trump also tweeted about the “Uranium Deal" – a reference to reportedly unfounded allegations that Hillary Clinton allowed the sale of uranium to Russian energy agency Rosatom in exchange for a $145 million donation to the Clinton Foundation – as well as Clinton’s email scandal. Fact-checking sites such as Snopes and FactCheck.org have disputed those claims.

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“There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out,” Trump tweeted. “DO SOMETHING!”

Although the tweets came just days after reports that a grand jury approved the first charges filed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, White House lawyer Ty Cobb told NBC News that Trump's tweets were not "a reaction to anything involving the special counsel, with whom the White House continues to cooperate."

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Taliban hostage rescued after 5 years in captivity didn't believe Trump was president

A Canadian man who had been held in Afghanistan for five years by Taliban-tied kidnappers revealed that he thought his kidnapper was joking when he said Donald Trump was president of the United States.

Joshua Boyle said one of his captors told him Trump was president just before he was forced to film a “proof-of-life” video, according to the Toronto Star.

>> Read more trending news

“It didn’t enter my mind that he was being serious,” Boyle said.

The Boyle family, including Joshua, his American-born wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three young children, who were all born in captivity, were rescued by Pakistani forces after U.S. intelligence informed them of the of the family’s location.

The family was in the trunk of a car being transferred to another location when their kidnappers engaged in a shootout with Pakistani forces. Some of their kidnappers died in the fight while others fled, but the entire family made it to safety.

Iran nuclear deal: What to know about Trump's aggressive new strategy

UPDATE 1:30 p.m. ET:

President Donald Trump said Friday during a news conference that Iran is not living up to the “spirit” of the nuclear deal signed in 2015.

Trump criticized the deal, calling it “one of the worst” and most “one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”  

>> Full transcript: Read President Trump’s remarks about the Iran nuclear deal 

The president’s new strategy will include tougher sanctions that will aim to deny the Iranian regime all paths to nuclear weapons.

>> Here is President Trump’s new strategy on Iran

ORIGINAL REPORT:

President Donald Trump is expected to announce an aggressive new strategy toward Iran on Friday, disavowing the 2015 nuclear accord that was negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama. But Trump will stop short -- at least for now -- of scrapping the agreement or even rewriting it.

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"It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Trump said in a statement released early Friday.

Here are some things to know about Trump’s actions on the accord, which was signed by the United States, Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union.

  • In his remarks, scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Friday, Trump will declare his intention not to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal. But the move does not amount to tearing up the deal, which was a promise he made during his run for the presidency in 2016.

  • Trump will send the agreement to Congress, which will have 60 days to determine a policy. 

  • If Congress imposes new punitive economic sanctions on Iran, the nuclear deal likely would fall through. However, Trump wants legislators to adopt new measures to keep it in place and define parameters by which the United States would impose new sanctions in the event Iran violates its agreements.

  • Some of the violations could be defined as continued ballistic launches by Iran, refusal to extend its constraints on the production of nuclear fuel, or if U.S. intelligence agencies conclude that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon in a year or less.

  • Two times, Trump reluctantly certified the deal, but told his top advisers that he would no longer do it. To do so, he asserted, would make it appear that the president was breaking his campaign process.

  • Iran has rejected reopening the accord or negotiating a new one. 

In his statement Friday, Trump said his decision was the “culmination of nine months of deliberation” with Congress and U.S. allies on how to best protect American security.

Jimmy Carter offers to sit down with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

Former President Jimmy Carter is offering to sit down with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, according to a retired University of Georgia professor – who has passed the word to a Korean newspaper.

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Park Han-shik, an emeritus professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia, reported having the conversation with Carter, according to the Korea JoongAn Daily:

>> PHOTOS: Jimmy Carter through the years

"'Carter wants to meet with the North Korean leader and play a constructive role for peace on the Korean Peninsula as he did in 1994,' Park, 78, told the JoongAng Ilbo over phone after meeting with the 93-year-old former president."Park, a prominent scholar of North Korea-related issues who has traveled to Pyongyang over 50 times, visited Carter, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work with the Atlanta-based Carter Center, at the former president’s home in Plains, Georgia, on Sept. 28."

>> Former President Jimmy Carter turns 93

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has requested confirmation from the Carter Center.

Trump's cryptic tweet about North Korea: 'Only one thing will work'

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to double down on recent ominous remarks about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!" Trump wrote

Trump’s tweets follow a tense few weeks between the United States and North Korea. On the floor of the United Nations, Trump and the North Korean foreign minister traded accusations and threatsOn Oct. 1, Trump tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should save his “energy, we’ll do what has to be done.”

Last week, Trump had dinner with military leaders and their spouses. Before the event, he called in the press corps and directed them to take a picture of the group. Surrounded by his military top-brass, the president remarked, “You know what this represents? It could be the calm before the storm.” However, he hasn’t remarked what “the storm” he alluded to might be, and some suspect he was just playing up the cameras.

>> Watch the moment here

The United States and North Korea have also been flexing their military muscles at each other over the past few months. Kim's regime has launched multiple missiles, setting the nations around him like Japan and South Korea on edge. In response, the United States has flown bombers right up to the border and run military exercises with the South Koreans.

Otto Warmbier's parents speak out about son's death, North Korean torture

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, parents of Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who was imprisoned for allegedly taking a propaganda poster in North Korea and later died, rebuked the DPRK as “terrorist” in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” their first since their son’s death.

>> Watch the interview here

Cindy said when she and Fred heard their son was in a coma, they never imagined there was nothing that could be done to save him.

>> On Rare.us: College professor under fire for comments about Otto Warmbier’s death

“So what we pictured, because we’re optimists, is that Otto would be asleep and maybe in a medically induced coma, and then when our doctors here would work with him and he’d get the best care and love, that he would come out of it,” she said.

Matching other accounts of North Korean torture, Fred said their first encounter with their son after he returned to the U.S. was horrifying:

>> On Rare.us: Otto Warmbier, American student released from North Korea, has died

"We walked over to the plane, the engines are still humming, they had just landed … When we got halfway up the steps we heard this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound. We weren’t really certain what it was. Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently. He was blind. He was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him, it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth."

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The Warmbiers said that “North Korea is not a victim; they are terrorist,” that they “tortured and intentionally injured [Otto]” and that they are a “state sponsor of terror.”

President Donald Trump said Otto Warmbier was “tortured beyond belief” in a tweet praising the interview.

>> See the tweet here

The interview comes at a time when tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have escalated significantly, with North Korea having fired at least 21 missiles during 14 tests since February 2017.

North Korean officials reach out to Republicans for help understanding Trump: report

North Korean officials are reaching out to Republican-linked analysts in an attempt to better understand President Donald Trump, according to a report published Tuesday by The Washington Post.

>> Read more trending news

The effort began before Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un started trading fiery rhetoric in the wake of the Hermit Kingdom’s repeated missile tests, the Post reported.

“Their number one concern is Trump,” a source, who was not identified, told the newspaper. “They can’t figure him out.”

The Post reported that at least seven invitations have been extended to Washington-based analysts, including Douglas Paal, an expert on Asia who served on the National Security Council under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Paal, who is currently vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told the Post that he declined North Korea’s request to arrange talks between its officials and “American experts with Republican ties.”

Read more from The Washington Post

“The North Koreans are clearly eager to deliver a message,” Paal said, adding that North Korean officials wanted the meeting to take place in a neutral location, such as Switzerland. “But I think they’re only interested in getting out of the country for a bit.”

Trump's latest statement 'a declaration of war,' North Korean foreign minister says

North Korea's foreign minister on Monday told reporters that President Donald Trump has issued "a declaration of war" against the Hermit Kingdom in the president’s most recent statements on the country.

>> Read more trending news

However, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted at a news briefing on Monday that no declaration had been made.

“We’ve not declared war on North Korea, and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd,” she said.

On Saturday, Trump said that North Korea "won't be around much longer" if it continues to threaten the United States.

 

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