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Live Blog

Here's your live blog for today:

Funny and sad at the same time:

 

 

Of interest:

"The U.S. Senate Select Committee request confirms their interest in hearing from Mr Assange," lawyer Jennifer Robinson said in a statement.

"The inquiry has asked for him to appear in person at a mutually agreeable time and place. We are seriously considering the offer but must ensure Mr Assange's protection is guaranteed."

Assange, unfortunately,  has a problem with some of the Democrats on the committee -- especially Senator Mark Warner (who has been so friendly with a certain Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin who was working with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele while Steele was putting together the dirty dossier).

 

Derek Hunter explains it all.

U.S. built Mercedes-Benz SUV's held up by Chinese customs.

And now comes the Niggling Little Details phase of the Trade War:

Mercedes-Benz sports utility vehicles built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are being checked for potential problems by Shanghai customs authorities, Daimler (DAIGn.DE) confirmed on Thursday, as a trade dispute between the United States and China heats up.

Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS models, built in the United States between May 4 and June 12, 2018, have a brake issue which poses a “safety risk,” according to a Chinese customs document circulating on Chinese social media.

The document said authorities in Shanghai had found the rear brakes on these vehicles to be “insufficient.” The authenticity of the documents could not be verified with Chinese authorities.

Over at Zero Hedge, Tyler Durden quips, "We are sure it's just a coincidence."

Wink wink, nudge nudge.

This could be slightly more serious: Apple could be used as a 'bargaining chip' in the trade war, Chinese state media warn.

Apple will probably announce its new iPhones (and maybe iPads) next month, so keep an eye out for China's next move.

Over at AoSHQ, Ace is all over that story about Fusion GPS, British spy Christopher Steele and his client/pal/patron/best friend/boss/acquaintance Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch linked to Putin who had his visa revoked because of suspected involvement with Russian organized crime.

Sorry for the confusion, but Ace had a lot of typos in his post.

Whoops, I mean his pal Deripaska! I certainly don't mean to suggest that this Gentleman Spy and Patriot was actually on the payroll of a Russian oligarch linked to Putin!

Boy is my face red on that.

But Steele maintained some sort of relationship with Deripaska before he was even hired to dig up dirt on Trump.

And as Byron York reports at the Washington Examiner, emails in 2016 between Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr strongly suggest Steele was advocating on the oligarch's behalf regarding his legal status while at the same time collecting Russia-related allegations (from Deripaska?) against Donald Trump for the dirty dossier.

It's amazing how much actual collusion seemed to be going on between Democrats and Russians surrounding the 2016 election -- yet the only ones getting in trouble for "collusion" are Republicans.

Or not.

At a Senate hearing in February, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-OK) asked the FBI director about an inquiry Senator Grassley had made regarding Steele and his pal/patron/client/acquaintance Deripaska.

"Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, last week sent a letter to a London-based lawyer who represents Mr. Deripaska," Cotton continued, "and asked if Christopher Steele was employed, either directly or indirectly, by Oleg Deripaska at the time he was writing the so-called Steele dossier. Do you know if Christopher Steele worked for Oleg Deripaska?'"

"That's not something I can answer," Wray said.

"Could we discuss it in a classified setting?"

"There might be more we could say there," Wray answered.