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By ZEKE MILLER

WASHINGTON (AP) — He wrote a book on the art of negotiation and was elected to office claiming he alone could end Washington gridlock, but President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to broker a big, bipartisan deal has turned into a big mess.

The failure to find consensus on immigration and spending is a blow to Trump’s presidency on the anniversary of his inauguration — and perhaps more painfully, a blow to his brand as a wheeler-dealer. The funding feud, which led to a government shutdown at midnight Friday, is the second time Trump has dived into a negotiation and come up short on a top priority. As with failed talks about overhauling the nation’s health system, Trump has again slammed into the difficulties of Washington’s particular mix of tricky politics and complex policy.

“Negotiating in politics is a lot different than real estate,” said GOP strategist Alex Conant. “In Washington, not everybody wants to make a deal. Trump’s initial premise that politicians just needed to be prodded more to make a deal was always flawed. Nobody runs for Congress because they want to compromise their principles. They want to advance their agendas.”

Democrats’ agenda in this case is, chiefly, protection for the 700,000 young immigrants who may face deportation when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program expires in March. Republicans are seeking more time to talk and a long-term funding bill that would provide the Pentagon with major increases.

It’s not been entirely clear what the president’s agenda is. Over the past few weeks, he has expressed openness to extending the DACA program, but then rejected a bipartisan plan on that front. He fired off a tweet that appeared to reject the GOP plan for a short-term funding bill that would buy time for more negotiation, but the White House walked it back. He abruptly tried to cut a broad deal with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader and a fellow New Yorker, and then backed off.

“I’m looking for something that President Trump supports,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Wednesday, two days before the shutdown deadline. “And he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign. As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels going to this issue on the floor, but actually dealing with a bill that has a chance to become law and therefore solve the problem.”

Democrats have been less diplomatic: “Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O,” Schumer said Saturday, gleefully recounting what he claimed was a blow-by-blow account of Trump’s failed efforts to avert a shutdown.

The White House doesn’t necessarily view the confusion as a problem.

In his most notable work, “The Art of the Deal,” Trump boasted of his fickleness as a negotiator, describing it as a strategy. “I never get too attached to one deal or one approach. For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first.”

A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, said the White House prefers to keep the government open, but sees potential political upside in Democratic “overreach.” Trump’s team sees the shutdown as an example of the president’s commitment to tough negotiation and believes Democrats will cave in, the official said.

It is a familiar sentiment for presidents stuck in crises with Congress. During the 2013 shutdown, President Barack Obama predicted the confrontation would “break the fever” driving Republican opposition — ultimately to no avail.

Who bears the blame for the current debacle is difficult to predict. Some Republican critics of Trump said he might emerge with his reputation intact should Democrats bear the brunt of the blame. “It’s pretty clear Sen. Schumer wasn’t going to be able to get to ‘yes,’” said Mike Steel, a former aide to Republican House Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan.

And many of Trump’s core supporters aren’t particularly interested in compromise. “He was elected for the 46 percent who voted for him,” says William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked in the Clinton administration. “He was a mold-breaker who wouldn’t cow to conventional opinion.”

But Trump, himself, has suggested he should be on the hook for the impasse.

In 2013, when he criticized Obama over another shutdown mess, he said: “Well, if you say who gets fired it always has to be the top. I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader. And he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead.”

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Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

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Politics

2018 Onslow County Sheriff’s Election Coverage: “Boyd Brown Drops The Papers”

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At nearly noon today, challenging Sheriff candidate Boyd Brown dropped his formal election filing with election board officials, in an effort to get the bumbling and crooked incumbent, Hans Miller, out of office.

Boyd’s filing makes him the third official candidate in the race, following Hans Miller who announced his candidacy early in July of 2017 – months before any official filing period – and has since stirred up rumors of a setup against himself via his phony account, “Norbert Bayer”. Norbert Bayer is a fake account that Miller deleted as soon as he logged on to News In Onslow and saw that he was exposed in August of 2017, but not before information affirmatively linking him to the phony was captured.

While only time will tell, Boyd so far seems to be running a clean campaign, tackling Miller’s underhanded and dirty tactics head on. Boyd so far has outlined a detailed and fair response to Miller’s efforts to discredit him, while Miller has remained silent behind his fake accounts and crutches against the work of his employees. He also seems to love his ability to solicit votes on the public’s dime and property. Much to his advantage, he’s the only person he has permitted to advertise and solicit for votes at or on OCSO property.

Hans Miller is allegedly in violation of the “Personnel Policy Manual” by having this poster posted inside the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

This poster is posted inside the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Personnel Policy Manual below, Miller can’t use county “equipment” to advertise. Is Hans Miller misusing county property for political gain?

“Personnel Policy Manual”

As locals will recall, Miller claimed he was a victim in 2014, and as result defeated incumbent Ed Brown and escalated himself from a one-man “chief” of a building to the Sheriff’s Office where he now wears phony 5-star general’s rank, instead of the phony Marine Colonel insignia that Camp Lejeune had stripped him of.

Miller has tried to capitalize on the same claim twice so far this election cycle: once by using a phony “bot” account Norbert Bayer (much like the Russian meddling) by claiming a setup at his hangout the “Angry Ginger”, and yet again by direct messaging citizens with his alleged “dirt” on Boyd; information he promises to release for political reasons and no matter what the statutes state about the confidentiality of criminal investigations! He sure didn’t do that with the Will Clifton investigation!

If Miller really believed that Boyd was involved in a theft, then he is the person directly responsible for enforcing the law and holding Boyd accountable. Failure to perform those duties, under state law, would merit his removal from office. One must ask – why does this only surface at election time and at the hands of a crooked, or perhaps the most crooked, of cops?

Somehow, Miller has decided to act like the dirty cat he is and use his own wild and crazy imagination for political leverage. He is spreading his dirt from multiple “bot” accounts. We think he’s a bit deep in the “sauce”, or maybe just whacky from all those bier-fueled accidents.

The third candidate, John Yopp, has yet to make a showing at the Board, and no signs of his candidacy seem to exist since 1 January of this year. Perhaps his campaign has fizzled entirely, leaving a narrowed field for more prominent challengers.

John Raymon Yopp, Onslow County 2018 Sheriff’s Election Republican Candidate.

Old curmudgeon, Walter Scott, is still in the ring. A former public relations officer for the county – doubts are beginning to surface about his competency. Is he fit to fill the shoes of the Onslow County Sheriff? One source has advised News In Onslow, “OMFG. He’s a nice guy at home, but a total idiot! What a joke! “. Little info has otherwise surfaced.

Sheriff Candidate, Walter Scott

As things heat up between primary challengers Boyd and Hans, be sure to stay tuned to News In Onslow. We’ll bring you the real dirt before anyone knows it’s coming!

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The Latest: 13 Russians accused of plot to disrupt election

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaks to the media with an announcement that the office of special counsel Robert Mueller says a grand jury has charged 13 Russian nationals and several Russian entities, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Washington. The defendants are accused of violating U.S. criminal laws to interfere with American elections and the political process. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the indictments in the special counsel’s Russia probe (all times local):

10 p.m.

The U.S. special counsel has accused 13 Russians of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, charging them with running a huge but hidden social media trolling campaign aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The federal indictment, brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most detailed allegations to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House.

The Russian organization was funded by a wealthy St. Petersburg businessman with ties to the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin.

Trump is claiming vindication, but the indictment does not resolve the collusion question at the heart of the continuing Mueller probe.

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6 p.m.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton says the indictments in the special counsel’s Russia probe confirm “what we’ve long known.”

Nick Merrill says on Twitter, “Time will tell us more, but Russia went to great lengths to undermine our democracy, & the President won’t protect us.”

The indictment by federal prosecutors alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and ads falsely purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the campaign between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Merrill tweets, “No matter your politics, it’s un-American. We have an adversary that is laughing at us, who will act again.”

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5:20 p.m.

Facebook says it is doubling its security staff to 20,000 and actively working with the FBI to stop election interference by Russians and others.

The company’s statement is in response to the indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian organizations by federal prosecutors. The charges shed light on the extent to which Russians manipulated social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Joel Kaplan is Facebook vice president of global policy. He says officials know they have more to do to prevent future attacks, and are committed to staying ahead of deceptive and malevolent activity.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the company has no comment, and YouTube has not yet responded.

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3:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says “far-fetched theories” about collusion in the 2016 election “only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia.”

Trump is reacting to news that special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian organizations for plotting to influence the 2016 campaign.

Trump says, “It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks.”

The Russians are accused of using social media propaganda aimed at helping Trump and harming the prospects of Democrat Hillary Clinton. The indictment alleges that the Russians cooperated with “unwitting” Trump campaign staffers and outside backers who did not know their true identities.

Trump says, “We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”

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3:40 p.m.

The attorney for the California man who pleaded guilty in the Russia probe says his client made a mistake.

The lawyer tells The Associated Press that Richard Pinedo’s connection to Russian meddling “is way beyond anything he could have possibly imagined” being involved in.”

The lawyer says Pinedo thought he was helping people fraudulently open online bank accounts, but that Pinedo had no idea “his customers were foreign nationals” trying to meddle in the election.

Jeremy Lessem says his client will not make any public statements.

Pinedo is from Santa Paula, California. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to using stolen identities to set up bank accounts that were then used by the Russians.

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3:30 p.m.

“No collusion.” That’s the reaction of President Donald Trump to the indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian companies for plotting to meddle in the 2016 election.

The president tweeted Friday that the indictment shows, “The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!”

The Russians were charged Friday with using social media propaganda aimed at helping Trump and harming the prospects of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump notes that the Russian influence campaign is alleged to have started in 2014, “long before” he declared his candidacy.

He says, “The results of the election were not impacted.”

In fact, while prosecutors have not alleged that meddling altered the election’s outcome, the indictment does not rule it out.

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3:15 p.m.

The online payment company PayPal has been unexpectedly drawn into the Russia probe. Federal prosecutors allege that Russian criminals used PayPal to help pay for propaganda aimed at influencing voters in the 2016 election.

Thirteen Russians and three Russian companies were charged Friday with plotting to interfere in the election.

In the indictment, prosecutors allege the defendants used PayPal as a primary conduit to transfer money for general expenses as well as to buy Facebook ads. Prosecutors say the accounts were opened using fake identities to help bypass PayPal’s security measures.

PayPal says it is cooperating with the Justice Department. A spokesman says, “PayPal is intensely focused on combatting and preventing the illicit use of” its services and works closely with law enforcement, including in this instance.

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2:40 p.m.

A California man has pleaded guilty to unwittingly selling bank accounts to Russians meddling in the US elections.

Richard Pinedo of Santa Paula pleaded guilty earlier this month to using stolen identities to set up bank accounts that were then used by the Russians. A Justice Department spokeswoman says Pinedo did not know at the time he was dealing with Russians.

The plea deal is the third in special counsel Robert Mueller’s continuing Russia probe. It was revealed the same day prosecutors charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with an extensive scheme to meddle in the U.S. elections.

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2:20 p.m.

A Russian businessman known as “Putin’s chef” who was indicted Friday by federal prosecutors says “Americans are very impressionable people.” He says he’s not upset to be named in the indictment.

Thirteen Russians and three Russian companies were charged Friday with a plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda.

The indictment says the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm, started interfering as early as 2014 in U.S. politics, extending to the 2016 presidential election.

The indictment says the agency was funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman dubbed “Putin’s chef” because his restaurants and catering businesses once hosted the Kremlin leader’s dinners with foreign dignitaries.

Prigozhin was quoted by Russia’s state news agency as saying Americans “see what they want to see.”

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2:05 p.m.

One of those indicted in the Russia probe is a businessman with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yevgeny Prigozhin (pree-GOH’-zhin) is an entrepreneur from St. Petersburg who’s been dubbed “Putin’s chef” by Russian media.

His restaurants and catering businesses have hosted the Kremlin leader’s dinners with foreign dignitaries. In the more than 10 years since establishing a relationship with Putin, his business has expanded to services for the military.

Prigozhin’s assets also include an oil trading firm that reportedly has been sending private Russian fighters to Syria. Prigozhin is on the list of those sanctioned by the U.S.

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2 p.m.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says there’s no allegation that any Americans were “knowing participants” in what federal prosecutors call an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Thirteen Russians and three Russian companies were charged Friday with plotting to meddle in the election through social media propaganda aimed at helping Republican Donald Trump and harming the prospects of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Charges were brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller and represented the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the election.

Rosenstein said Friday that there is “no allegation in this indictment” that any American was a knowing participant.

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1:50 p.m.

The deputy attorney general says a new indictment does not allege that Russian meddling altered the outcome of presidential election.

Federal prosecutors have announced charges against 13 Russians and three Russian entities with an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The indictment was brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller. It alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the race between Republican Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says the indictment does not include allegations that the plot swayed the outcome of the vote.

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1:40 p.m.

Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein says the goal of 13 Russians and three Russian entities charged Friday was “spreading distrust” of 2016 candidates and the political system.

The indictment details an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The indictment was brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller. It alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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1:21 p.m.

Thirteen Russians and three Russian entities were charged Friday with an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

The indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the race between Republican Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

The charges are the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling in the election.

The goal, the indictment says, was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

The charges arise from Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether there was improper coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

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Trump cites mental health _ not guns _ in speech on shooting

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By CATHERINE LUCEY

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring the nation united and grieving with “one heavy heart,” President Donald Trump promised Thursday to tackle school safety and “the difficult issue of mental health” in response to the deadly shooting in Florida. He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.

Not always a natural in the role of national comforter, Trump spoke deliberately, at one point directly addressing children who may feel “lost, alone, confused or even scared.”

“I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be,” Trump said. “You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you.”

While Trump stressed the importance of mental health and school safety improvements, his latest budget request would slash Medicaid, the major source of federal funding for treating mental health problems, and cut school safety programs by more than a third. Last year, he signed a resolution blocking an Obama-era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people.

The president spoke to the nation from the White House, one day after a former student with an AR-15 rifle opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring 14 more. It was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago.

Trump, who owns a private club in Palm Beach, Florida, about 40 miles away, said he planned to visit the grieving community, but no date was immediately set. He canceled plans to promote his infrastructure plan in Orlando on Friday and to attend a campaign rally in Pennsylvania next week.

Trump’s silence on guns was noted with displeasure by many who are seeking tougher firearm restrictions. But the White House said the president wanted to keep his remarks focused on the victims. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the point was “to talk about grief and show compassion in unifying the country.”

Before he was a candidate, Trump at one point favored some tighter gun regulations. But he embraced gun rights as a candidate, and the National Rifle Association spent $30 million in support of his campaign

During his brief, televised statement, Trump said he wanted to work to “create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life,” a phrase likely to resonate with his conservative base.

He pledged to work with state and local officials to “help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” adding that safe schools would be a key focus when he meets with governors and state attorneys general later this month.

Trump made no specific policy recommendations, and he did not answer shouted questions about guns as he exited the room.

In contrast, former President Barack Obama tweeted out a call for “long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws.” Obama wrote: “We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job.”

In reacting to previous mass shootings, Trump has largely focused on mental health as a cause, dismissing questions about gun control. After a shooting at a Texas church in November left more than two dozen dead, the president said, “This isn’t a guns situation.”

The 19-year-old suspect in Florida, Nikolas Cruz, is a troubled teenager who posted disturbing material on social media. He had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for “disciplinary reasons,” Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Scott Israel said.

The profile photo on Cruz’s Instagram account showed a masked face wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat like those associated with Trump’s campaign.

The leader of a white nationalist militia called the Republic of Florida said Cruz was a member of his group and had participated in exercises in Tallahassee. But neither the Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee nor the Southern Poverty Law Center could confirm any link between Cruz and the militia.

Trump was criticized in early August for saying that both white nationalists and counter-protesters were responsible for the violent clashes at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While Trump has offered somber responses to some tragedies, he has also drawn criticism for other reactions.

After the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub that left 49 dead in June 2016, then-candidate Trump tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” In the wake of a deadly terror attack in London last June, he went after Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter.

News of Wednesday afternoon’s shooting had come as the White House was embroiled in a weeklong scandal surrounding the handling of domestic abuse allegations against Rob Porter, a top aide who resigned last week.

The typically daily White House press briefing was repeatedly delayed, as aides tried to craft a strategy on that issue. One option was to have chief of staff John Kelly, who has come under intense pressure for his handling of the Porter matter, be part of the briefing, according to two White House officials not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations.

Once the magnitude of the Florida tragedy became clear, the White House canceled the briefing. The president tweeted his condolences and the White House deliberated its next move.

Kelly was not in the room when Trump addressed the nation on Thursday morning, and his job security remained an open question. But with the West Wing focused on the shooting aftermath, any immediate change seemed unlikely

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Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire contributed from New York. AP writers Zeke Miller, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Maria Danilova contributed from Washington.

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