• 02:17
  • 16.12.2017
Paris security tight before Bastille Parade
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15.12.2017

Paris security tight before Bastille Parade

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Paris is under tight security ahead of a Bastille Day parade that is being opened by American troops with President Donald Trump as the guest of honour to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
Hours before the parade Friday, the famed Champs Elysees avenue was emptied as was the Place de la Concorde with its golden-tipped obelisk.
The wide boulevard has been targeted repeatedly by Islamic extremists, most recently last month when a man crashed his car into a convoy of gendarmes.
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Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron were expected at the parade’s main viewing stand. Macron then heads to the southern city of Nice, where last year an extremist ploughed a truck into the holiday crowd, killing dozens.
On Thursday the two men dined with their wives at the Jules Verne restaurant at the Eifell Tower after giving a joint press conference.
Trump defended his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, characterising it as standard campaign practice and maintaining that “nothing happened” as a result of the June 2016 sit-down.
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That’s despite Trump’s own pick as FBI director saying authorities should be alerted to requests for such meetings during a campaign.
“I think from a practical standpoint most people would’ve taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research, or even research into your opponent,” Trump said.
Trump Jr released emails this week from 2016 in which he appeared eager to accept information from the Russian government that could have damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The emails were sent ahead of a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also attended.
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Asked about the meeting on Thursday, Trump said “politics is not the nicest business in the world” and that it’s standard for candidates to welcome negative information about an opponent.
In this case, he added, “nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened from the meeting.”
Trump’s comments stood in contrast to the position of his nominee for FBI director, Christopher Wray, who at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday was asked what candidates should do if they’re told a foreign government wants to help by offering damaging information about an opponent.
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“Any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation-state or any non-state actor,” Wray said, “is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know.”
Trump Jr himself said in a Fox News interview Tuesday night that “in retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently.”
The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley said he would call on Trump Jr to testify as part of an investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election and would subpoena him if necessary.
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The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, says the panel has also requested documents from Donald Trump Jr.
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