• ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain's momentous "thumbs down" vote on Republicans' proposal to repeal Obamacare may not have happened if Meghan McCain had gotten her way.The senator’s famous vote in July 2017 and the impassioned speech he gave that same week on the Senate floor came just about 10 days after he had brain surgery to remove a tumor, said Meghan McCain and the senator's biographer and longtime speech writer, Mark Salter, on "The View" this morning.Doctors in Arizona warned the veteran senator against flying to Washington, D.C., for the health care vote because "basically your brain could explode if you get on a plane this soon after brain surgery," Meghan McCain recalled.She opposed the trip and recalled an emotional moment in the hospital room at which Salter was also present."I was like, 'You're all crazy, he's gonna die'... and I was screaming which I don't normally do," Meghan McCain said on "The View."But her dad was determined."He said 'It's my life and my choice!'" his daughter said, adding of the subsequent flight to Washington. "That plane ride was horrible."The seriously ill McCain took the Senate floor on Friday, July 28, surprising his GOP colleagues and the public by voting no to the Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act, ending GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare.That vote came a few days after the Republican senator helped his party leaders by assenting on a procedural vote on health care and gave a much-heralded speech urging his fellow lawmakers to overcome political polarization.Salter, who co-authored Sen. McCain's latest book, "The Restless Wave," helped him write the speech."He had something that he wanted to say to the Senate, even before he was diagnosed," Salter said on "The View." "He does love the institution" of the Senate.Also on "The View" on Monday was documentary filmmaker Teddy Kundhardt, who produced and directed the upcoming film, "John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls."Salter recalled the moment last year when McCain told him of the brain-cancer diagnosis. The two men were preparing the Senate speech and Salter had to press McCain for information about recent medical tests."I said, 'Well, have you gotten the results back?' and he said, 'Yeah,'" Salter said. "And I said, 'What did they say?'"McCain said, "'Well not good,' and that's all he said at the time," Salter said. "He went right back to talking about the speech ... He wanted to get back to Washington and make that speech and make that vote.""It was just typical, your dad," Salter said on "The View" to Meghan McCain.Salter, who played a vital role in McCain's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008, also discussed a decision from that time that he felt has been "misunderstood."He said that in spite of reports to the contrary, McCain has never said that he regretted choosing then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate because of anything to do with her specifically. It was just that Palin wasn't his first choice, Salter said."He did want to pick his friend Joe Lieberman," Salter said, referring to the then-senator from Connecticut who at the time was a Democrat."That started to leak out to [GOP] party elders, I guess we could call them," Salter said. Then McCain's campaign advisers, including Salter, convinced him "not to pick Lieberman.""He didn't regret choosing Gov. Palin, he regretted not picking Joe Lieberman," Salter said. "But once he was persuaded not to, he picked her and he's never said anything, never regretted it private or public since."
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  • ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump made a rare visit to CIA headquarters on Monday to deliver remarks at incoming director Gina Haspel’s swearing-in ceremony and expressed his optimism for the agency’s future under her leadership."There is no one in this country better qualified for this extraordinary office than you," Trump said.Haspel's nomination followed President Trump's surprise ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who he replaced with Haspel's immediate predecessor Mike Pompeo. President Trump hailed her appointment as the first female director of the CIA as a "proud milestone.""That's big," Trump said. "Now Gina will lead this agency into its next great chapter."Early on in the president's remarks, he gave a special shout-out to House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes as “courageous. ”It followed the president’s weekend tweets backing up Nunes and other House Republicans looking to increase pressure on the Department of Justice complying with their requests for information reportedly concerning a confidential informant.The president also briefly alluded to the political fight Haspel underwent during her confirmation, referring to the “very negative politics” that surfaced as lawmakers raised objections over Haspel's reported role running a CIA 'black site' in Thailand.“It took courage for her to say yes in the face of a lot of very negative politics, and what was supposed to be a negative vote,” Trump said. “But I'll tell you, when you testified before the committee, it was over. There was not much they could say.”For her part, despite the president’s repeated clashes with the intelligence community, Haspel delivered her own set of remarks describing Trump as a steadfast friend of the CIA.“You have placed enormous trust in the C.I.A. throughout your presidency,” Haspel said. “And the men and women of C.I.A. do not take that for granted.”
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  • Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, in his first major foreign policy address, outlined 12 demands the U.S. has for Iran moving forward after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S out of the Iran nuclear deal.The demands ranged from ceasing all nuclear activity to ending support for terrorist groups like the Houthi rebels in Yemen, to pulling Iranian forces out of Yemen and Syria.“Relief from our efforts will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran’s policies,” Pompeo said during the speech delivered at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington. Pompeo noted the list of demands may seem long, but placed the blame for the long list on Iran’s malign activity including holding U.S. citizens hostage.However, Pompeo did not explicitly outline the pressure campaign the U.S. intends to use to bring Iran to the negotiating table, nor did he outline a timeline for achieving his stated goals.The U.S. has already re-imposed sanctions lifted under the Iran deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed new sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank and other entities funneling money to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force as well as Hezbollah.Pompeo said the new sanctions are “just the beginning” of the pressure campaign and the sting “will only grow more painful” if the regime does not change course.“These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” Pompeo said.Affecting that much change in Iran’s behavior may be an uphill battle for the Trump administration, given the lack of support for this new deal from European allies.“From my conversations with European friends I know that they broadly share these same views of what the Iranian regime must do to gain acceptance in the international community,” Pompeo said, calling on allies to join the U.S. in pressuring Iran to change.But Pompeo later said he understands the European allies may try to keep the JCPOA in place.“That is certainly their decision to make. They know where we stand,” Pompeo said.In a question and answer session after the speech, Pompeo said in his first days as secretary of state, he spent time “Trying to see if there was a way to fix the deal.” Pompeo flew to Brussels for a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting just hours after being sworn in.“We couldn’t get it done. We couldn’t reach an agreement there,” Pompeo said of his efforts. He didn’t specify how he would convince the European allies to go along with the U.S. plan. “I’m convinced that over a period of time, there will be a broad recognition that the strategy president trump has laid out is the right one, that will put Iran in a place where it will one day rejoin civilization in the way we all hope that it will.”The European Union is currently moving ahead with launching a “blocking statute” against U.S. sanctions on Iran to soften the blow. The law would prevent European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions. The European Commission also suggested EU governments make direct money transfers to Iran’s central bank to avoid U.S. penalties and bypass the U.S. financial system.Those moves to save the deal indicate the Europeans would be reluctant to join a coalition with the U.S. to negotiate a new deal.And despite those moves, Iran says Europe’s support for the JCPOA is not enough.“With the withdrawal of America… the European political support for the accord is not sufficient,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told the EU Commissioner for energy and climate during a meeting in Tehran Sunday.National Security Advisor John Bolton has said “it’s possible” that the U.S. would also impose sanctions on European corporations who continue to do business with Iran
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  • Don Arnold/Getty Images(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton took a subtle jab at her rival in the presidential election in 2016 today -- but also, injecting one of most contentious issues in the heated race, poked a little fun at herself, too.Clinton delivered the speech at Yale University's College Class Day and kept in the tradition of bringing an "over the top hat."In a sea of ostentatious hats worn by faculty and soon-to-be graduates -- ranging from an open book, a wedding veil and a lampshade -- Clinton, who graduated from its law school in 1973 and gave the 2001 commencement speech, came prepared."I brought a hat, too," Clinton, dressed in a ceremonial gown, quipped. "A Russian hat."Clinton raised from the lectern a furry black Ushanka hat and held it up with her right hand in the air as the crowd erupted in applause."If you can't beat them, join them," she said.The dig was directed at the president and the looming investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller over whether the Russian government meddled with the election to benefit Donald Trump.Clinton went on to say that she was happy for all of the graduates -- even those whose ballots weren't tallied."Even the three of you who live in Michigan who didn't request absentee ballots in time," she said.The speech went on to praise Yale University's acceptance of women into its vaunted institution and for changing the term "freshman" to "first year."She mentioned how the institution's a cappella singing group, the Whiffenpoofs, bucked its all-male tradition this year and began welcoming women into its ranks.Clinton used that to take a shot at herself."As for my long lost Whiffenpoofs audition tape ... I've buried it so deep Wikileaks can't find it," she joked. "If you thought my e-mails were scandalous, you should hear my singing voice."Her speech took on a more sobering turn from there, expressing her concern that the country is in "one of the most tumultuous times" and that it's going to be a long fight ahead."It's not easy to wade back into the fight every day," she said.Clinton was also full of hope that "standing up to policies that hurt people" is a battle worth fighting."I'm optimistic just how tough America has proven to be," she said.Yale's Senior Class Day is an annual tradition at the university, described as a "colorful, informal event." The school's commencement ceremony will be Monday. They traditionally do not have a commencement speaker, though 2001 was an exception.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump said in a tweet Sunday that he is ordering the Department of Justice to "look into" whether his 2016 presidential campaign was improperly "infiltrated or surveilled" for political purposes.Trump added that he'd ask whether "any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration."The president said he would make the order official on Monday but offered no further details about what form he would expect such an inquiry to take.The Department of Justice currently did not have a comment on the tweet.The tweet is the latest escalation by the president in fueling an assertion that the Trump campaign may have been spied on by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the DOJ. President Trump has sent out a series of tweets in recent days advancing the accusation first voiced by some conservative commentators that the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign.The Washington Post and New York Times have reported in recent days that the FBI sent an informant to talk to several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 election. The Times cited unnamed sources that these contacts were made only after the FBI had gathered information that the informant’s targets had made suspicious contacts with Russians during the campaign.The reports do not assert that there was an informant embedded inside the campaign or that the informant ever acted improperly.On Saturday, the president in a tweet also called for the congressional review or release of classified DOJ documents that have been sought by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., "regarding a specific individual," according to a letter the Justice Department sent to Nunes rejecting his demand for the information earlier this month.In rejecting Nunes' request, the Department of Justice warned that the disclosure of such information "can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives."
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  • Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said the special counsel has indicated they can wrap up a portion of their investigation by September 1.Giuliani said about a month ago if the president agrees to an interview, special counsel Robert Mueller personally said his office will aim to finish up the investigation related to President Trump by that time.A timetable for other aspects of the remaining investigation, which has expanded over the course of the last year, was not discussed, according to Giuliani."We needed some indication how long it will take for them to write a report," the former New York City mayor told ABC News.Mueller and his investigators have been investigating whether the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election to favor Donald Trump.On a newly emerging storyline, the former New York City mayor is in lock step with his client when it comes to an alleged FBI informant who was speaking to members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election."We have not made a request yet but will soon," Giuliani tells ABC News regarding all notes and information the Department of Justice has on this alleged informant."We can't prepare for any interview by the President until we know what this person may have said," he added. "We think the guy [informant] is going to support the fact that there was nothing going on as it relates to Russia and the campaign but we don't know that until we see the interview notes."
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