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April 1, 2018
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China's Finance Ministry announced Monday that in response to President Trump imposing tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum last month, the country is raising import duties on several U.S. products, including pork and fruit, by up to 25 percent.

A spokesman for the ministry told The Associated Press the U.S. tariff increase "has seriously damaged our interests," and China's response is "a proper measure adopted by our country using World Trade Organization rules to protect our interests." In 2017, U.S. farmers sent almost $20 billion worth of products to China, including $1.1 billion in pork alone. Catherine Garcia

March 25, 2018
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President Trump is considering expelling at least 20 Russian diplomats from the United States, The Washington Post reported Saturday night, in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter who now live in England.

The U.S., U.K., France, and Germany have blamed the nerve gas attack on Moscow, which denies the accusation. Britain already expelled 23 Russian diplomats, and Russia returned the favor.

A State Department representative described expulsion as one of several options "to demonstrate our solidarity with our ally and to hold Russia accountable for its clear breach of international norms and agreements." She declined to list other possibilities on the table. Bonnie Kristian

March 5, 2018
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Russian voters will head to the ballot box on March 18, where they are expected to deliver a decisive re-election victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the run-up to that election, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments reported by state-run media Monday, the United States has attempted to meddle with the vote.

Ryabkov did not share the evidence he claims Moscow has obtained, but he said that "U.S. attempts to interfere in our internal affairs have been particularly active over the recent years." Also Monday, Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov said Washington has a "rich tradition" of tampering with other countries' politics.

This is not the first time Russia has made this accusation; Peskov made similar comments in late January.

The United States does indeed have a tradition of election meddling, as The New York Times has detailed. "We've been doing this kind of thing since the CIA was created in 1947," Loch K. Johnson, an intelligence community expert, told the Times. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners — you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George’s cavalry': suitcases of cash." Bonnie Kristian

January 11, 2018
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The former president of Mexico is at it again, taking President Trump's words and using them against him.

During a meeting with lawmakers on Thursday, Trump referred to African nations, Haiti, and El Salvador as "shithole countries." Vicente Fox, an outspoken critic of Trump who once trolled him by saying Mexico won't "pay for that f—ing wall," quickly went on the attack, tweeting, "@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who's welcome in American and who's not. America's greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?"

Trump is the son of an immigrant — his mother was born in Scotland and came to the U.S. at age 17 — and his first wife, Ivana, and third and current wife, Melania, are both immigrants from Europe. Catherine Garcia

October 8, 2017
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Shortly after the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced Sunday it would no longer handle any non-immigrant visa applications in Turkey, the Turkish Embassy in Washington fired back, saying it was also suspending visa services.

The U.S. Embassy cited "recent events" that forced the U.S. government to reassess Turkey's "commitment" to the security of U.S. personnel in the country. Earlier this week, a Turkish national who worked at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul was arrested and accused of being involved in the July 2016 attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Non-immigrant visas are issued to people traveling for tourism, business, medical treatment, study, and temporary work. Catherine Garcia

August 31, 2017
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On Thursday, the State Department ordered Russia to close three of its consular offices in the U.S. Russia has until Saturday to vacate a consulate in San Francisco, a consular annex in New York, and a chancery annex in Washington, D.C.

The order was given in response to Russia's "unwarranted and detrimental" mandate in late July for the U.S. to drastically cut staff at its mission in Moscow, a retaliatory response to new sanctions passed by Congress. Earlier this month President Trump expressed his gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of American diplomats: "I want to thank him, because we're trying to cut down on payroll," Trump quipped.

The State Department's order, made in the "spirit of parity," will make it so both the U.S. and Russia "remain with three consulates each." "The United States hopes that, having moved toward the Russian Federation's desire for parity, we can avoid further retaliatory actions by both sides and move forward to achieve the stated goal of both of our presidents: improved relations between our two countries and increased cooperation on areas of mutual concern," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. "The United States is prepared to take further action as necessary and as warranted." Becca Stanek

August 13, 2017
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The Iranian parliament on Sunday voted to increase expenditures on the nation's ballistic missile program and Revolutionary Guards in response to new U.S. sanctions. Lawmakers described the spending bump as a way to "counter America's terrorist and adventurist actions."

The legislation "was designed wisely so that it does not violate the nuclear deal and provide excuses for opposing sides," said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, giving Iran "potential and actual options to confront hostile U.S. actions." Some members of parliament reportedly chanted the slogan "Death to America" when the bill passed. Bonnie Kristian

July 30, 2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday announced 755 members of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Russia will be expelled from his country. This reduces the number of American diplomats in Russia from about 1,210 to 455, putting the American delegation on par with the Russian diplomatic contingent in the United States.

Putin's announcement comes in response to new sanctions against Russia overwhelmingly passed by both houses of Congress this past week. While President Trump initially lobbied against the sanctions package, he later supported it after some changes were made and it became clear his veto would be easily overridden.

Moscow announced Friday that expulsions were coming, but the extent of the change was not apparent before Putin's Sunday statement. "We waited for quite some time that maybe something will change for the better," Putin said of the delay in disclosing this detail. Bonnie Kristian

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