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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

May 31, 2017
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The election was nearly seven months ago, but the Republican and Democratic nominees can't stop getting their jabs in.

President Trump got the ball rolling, tweeting Wednesday night, "Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC." Trump was likely referring to comments Clinton made earlier in the day at Recode's CodeCon, when she said she inherited "nothing" from the Democratic National Committee once she became the nominee, adding that the DNC was "bankrupt" and had data that was "mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong."

Clinton hit back quickly, pouncing on Trump's weird half-finished tweet that was up for most of last night, tweeting, "People in covfefe houses shouldn't throw covfefe." Clinton was most certainly referring to the fact that there are several government investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, ensnaring many of his closest aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and personal attorney Michael Cohen. Catherine Garcia

January 27, 2017
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President Trump is expected to sign an executive order restricting or entirely suspending visas for people from seven nations in the greater Mideast, among them Iraq. If Trump moves forward with the order, Baghdad is reportedly considering retaliating with a similar suspension of visas for Americans.

"There is mutual treatment between Iraq and the U.S. in terms of diplomatic relations and visa issuance," said Renas Jano, an Iraqi lawmaker from the Kurdistan Democratic Party and a member of the foreign relations committee. "It is very likely that Iraq might suspend issuing visas to U.S. citizens following the U.S. president's decision to suspend visas to Iraqi citizens."

Such a move could have serious consequences for the United States' 14-year military intervention in Iraq, which in theory — if not in practice — would be hobbled by a U.S. visa ban by Baghdad. "If Iraq responds the same way to Trump's decision by suspending visas to U.S. citizens, we will lose a lot," Jano said, "as there is a big American force here helping us in our war against [the Islamic State]. In addition, there are many U.S. diplomats and business people here." Representatives of the Iraqi government are planning a visit to Washington to discuss the matter, Jano added. Bonnie Kristian

January 25, 2017
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Hours after President Trump signed an executive order directing federal funds to the building of a U.S.-Mexico border wall, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said his country absolutely will not pay for it.

Trump has said several times that Mexico will reimburse the U.S. for "100 percent" of the wall's cost, but Peña Nieto, who said he "regrets and disapproves" of Trump's rush to build the barrier, disagreed. "I've said it time and time again: Mexico won't pay for any wall," he said. "It comes as our country is talking on new rules on cooperation, trade, investment, security, and migration in the North American region. As president, I assume the complete responsibility to defend the interests of Mexico and Mexicans." Mexico does "offer its friendship to the American people and its willingness to reach accords with their government," he added. "Agreements that will be in favor of both Mexico and the U.S."

Peña Nieto is scheduled to visit Trump in Washington on Jan. 31, and did not mention canceling or putting off the trip. Catherine Garcia

December 27, 2016

On Monday night's Kelly File, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly took to task the critics who feign horror at President-elect Donald Trump's choosiness when it comes to media access. Trump famously blacklisted certain news organizations during his campaign, and he has yet to hold a formal news conference since winning the presidency nearly two months ago.

When a panelist mentioned Trump's "blacklist against reporters," Kelly was quick to cut in that "Barack Obama had a blacklist against reporters who happened to work at this news channel," referring to Fox News. She then explained that she asked Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, "50 ways from Sunday" to appear on her show, but Clinton steadfastly declined.

Why does Kelly think she never snagged the interview? "The reason, I think, was [Clinton] was scared," Kelly said, "but also, her team didn't want to 'legitimize' Fox News. And yet people who didn't call her out at all are now shocked and horrified that Donald Trump might not sit with certain news reporters or organizations." Watch the full discussion below. Kimberly Alters