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Official: FBI asked to run news interference...Kelly contradicts Trump...Pipeline protest camp closed

By The Associated Press | Posted - Feb. 23, 2017 at 9:36 p.m.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official says chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election. The New York Times reported that U.S. agencies had intercepted phone calls last year between Russian intelligence officials and members of Trump's 2016 campaign team. The White House official would not comment when asked if the administration was concerned about the appropriateness of Priebus' communications.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is pledging that America won't enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that there will be "no mass deportations." The declarations came as senior Trump administration officials sought to temper Latin American concerns about a new U.S. immigration crackdown. Kelly spoke in Mexico City after he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with their Mexican counterparts. Kelly said all deportations will honor human rights and the U.S. legal system. Earlier, President Donald Trump called his deportation push a "military operation."

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal immigration officials are firmly denying that they misled a local police force in California in a raid targeting an El Salvador-based gang. Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel had said Thursday that Department of Homeland Security officials lied when they assured them that a Feb. 13 joint operation in the region would not include immigration-related arrests. Police say they later learned that 11 people had been detained for being in the country illegally.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the American Conservative Union has forcefully denounced as "sinister" the alternative right movement. Dan Schneider, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committee, called the alt-right movement anti-Semitic, racist and sexist and those who hold such views are in no way conservative. Schneider specifically decried a recent Washington meeting of people who were shown on video extending their arms in the Nazi salute.

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The last of the holdouts have been cleared from a North Dakota protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had been gathering for months. Hundreds of officers and 18 National Guardsmen cleared the camp Thursday, making 46 arrests. Native Americans who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline established the camp last April on federal land near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. They contend the project will hurt the environment and sacred sites. They've lost a series of court battles and the pipeline is nearing completion.

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