The Latest: Trump team defends Crowley on plagiarism claims

AP News
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Posted: Jan 07, 2017 10:46 PM
The Latest: Trump team defends Crowley on plagiarism claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

10:20 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is defending the syndicated talk show host Monica Crowley, named as a communications specialist for the incoming administration, against plagiarism accusations.

CNN reports that Crowley plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, "What The (Bleep) Just Happened."

In its report, CNN says it found more than 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including copying with no changes or minimal changes from news articles, other columnists and think tanks.

The publisher, HarperCollins' Broadside Books, had no comment on the CNN report.

Crowley has been named Trump's director of communications for the White House's National Security Council.

In response to the CNN report, a Trump transition spokesperson commended Crowley for her "exceptional insight and thoughtful work on how to turn this country around" and said that is "exactly why she will be serving in the administration."

The Trump transition team says any attempt to discredit Crowley "is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country."

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President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is defending Monica Crowley, a syndicated talk show host named as a communications specialist for the incoming administration, against claims by CNN that she plagiarized large sections of a 2012 book.

Monica's exceptional insight and thoughtful work on how to turn this country around is exactly why she will be serving in the Administration," according to a statement from a transition spokesperson quoted by CNN. "HarperCollins_one of the largest and most respected publishers in the world_published her book which has become a national best-seller. Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country."

Crowley has been named Trump's senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.

A CNN review of Crowley's June 2012 book, "What The (Bleep) Just Happened," said it found more than 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including copying with no changes or minimal changes from news articles, other columnists and think tanks. The book, which is a New York Times bestseller, was published by HarperCollins' Broadside Books.

9:50 p.m.

Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, is taking steps to distance himself from his sprawling New York real estate business

It is the clearest sign yet he is planning to take a position in his father-in-law's administration.

Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, must navigate a web of entanglements before he takes any post in Washington.

He must overcome federal anti-nepotism laws that bar officials from appointing relatives to government positions as well as eliminate potential conflicts of interest with his family's multi-billion dollar real estate empire.

Kushner, who often has the last word with the president-elect before a decision is made, has explored stepping away from his business post and has consulted with officials about resolving potential conflicts, according to his lawyer.

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1:50 p.m.

Former Sen. Dan Coats — who's in line to be national intelligence director — has swung back and forth between government service and lobbying in the type of Washington career that President-elect Donald Trump has mocked.

The Indiana Republican has made four spins through the capital's revolving door and become wealthy.

Since the early 1980s, Coats either has served in government or earned money as a lobbyist and board director. His most recently available Senate financial disclosure, from 2014, shows he had a net worth of more than $12 million.

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11:45 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is renewing his call for warmer relations with Russia.

That's what he says in a tweet Saturday — a day after intelligence leaders said in a report that Russia meddled in the U.S. election on Trump's behalf.

Trump says on Twitter that both countries should working together to solve some of the world's most pressing issues.

Trump has long argued that improving relations with Russia would be a good thing.

He says the U.S. has enough problems around the world and that "Only 'stupid' people, or fools" would think improved relations were bad.

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9:30 a.m.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul says President-elect Donald Trump "fully supports" repealing President Barack Obama's health law only when there's a viable alternative to replace it.

Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Congress are moving toward a vote on repeal legislation in coming weeks. But they anticipate a transition period of months or years to a replacement.

Some Republicans are expressing reservations about scrapping the law without a near-term replacement.

Paul — a Kentucky lawmaker who sought his party's 2016 presidential nomination — says in a tweet late Friday that he spoke with Trump, and that the president-elect "fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it. The time to act is now."

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7:20 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says he'll nominate former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats as national intelligence director.

Trump says in a statement that Coats — a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee before retiring from Congress last year — will lead the new administration's "ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm."

The post requires Senate confirmation. The office was created after the Sept. 11 attacks to improve coordination among U.S. spy and law enforcement agencies.

Trump's announcement comes one day after release of a declassified government report on Russian efforts to influence the presidential election. The report predicts Russia isn't done intruding in U.S. politics and policymaking.

Trump wants to improve relations with Russia and repeatedly has denounced intelligence agencies' assessment that the Kremlin interfered in the election.