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Woman Stole Credit Card Info Working as Receptionist: PD


Norwalk police are searching for a woman accused of stealing patient information when she worked at a local doctor’s office as a receptionist.

Police hold a multiple arrest warrants charging 35-year-old Rashel Williams with larceny, identity theft, credit card fraud and forgery. According to police, while working at as a receptionist at a local doctor’s office Williams stole patients’ credit card numbers and check information.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Cisero at 203-854-3034 or leave an anonymous tip on the Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111. Anonymous tips can also be made online at www.norwalkpd.com.

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department

Connecticut Sees Average Gas Price Increase


Average gas prices across the country have remained stable, despite the usual increase during this time of year, according to AAA.

However, Connecticut ranks among the top ten largest yearly increases for average gas prices.

AAA reports that Monday’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.29 per gallon.

Connecticut comes in at $2.39 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, which is 40 cents higher than the average price of gas on this same date last year. Along with the price surge in Connecticut, other states such as Washington have seen up to a 61 cent increase.

The prices across the state vary; Bridgeport has an average of $2.46, New Haven at $2.37 Hartford at $2.36, and New London at $2.34.

These prices differ greatly with the nation’s top ten least expensive markets. Ranging from South Carolina at $2.01 to Missouri with $2.10, Connecticut faces a steep fee for gas.

Gasoline in the country may see changes, after last week’s OPEC’s Joint Technical Committee meeting. The JTC met to “review compliance and participant’s level of adherence to the production cut agreement,” said AAA Allied Group of Greater Hartford.

Learn more about current gas prices in Connecticut and the rest of the country at AAA.com/mobile.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gorsuch Said Many Women Manipulate Maternity Leave: Student


A former law student of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee alleges that Neil Gorsuch told a class that "many" women manipulate their employers for maternity benefits and that law firms should ask female interviewees about their pregnancy plans in order to protect their companies, NBC News reported.

Jennifer Sisk, a 2016 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, wrote in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee published on Sunday that on April 19 of last year, Gorsuch presented his legal ethics class with a hypothetical of law students interviewing for jobs at firms.

Sisk's letter was sent on Friday and was addressed to committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and to Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

In a letter provided to NBC News on Monday by a person helping with the Gorsuch nomination process, another former student wrote to the committee to refute Sisk's claims.

A former law student of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee alleges that Neil Gorsuch told a class that "many" women manipulate their employers for maternity benefits and that law firms should ask female interviewees about their pregnancy plans in order to protect their companies.
Jennifer Sisk, a 2016 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, wrote in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee published on Sunday that on April 19 of last year, Gorsuch presented his legal ethics class with a hypothetical of law students interviewing for jobs at firms.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

17 CT Residents on Forbes 2017 Billionaires List


Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for The New York Times

Volunteer Firefighter Accused of Breaking Into Newtown Home


A volunteer firefighter and a 17-year-old are accused of breaking into a Newtown home and attacking one of its occupants.

Brian Anthony Carriero, 18, of Monroe, has been charged with first-degree burglary, disorderly conduct and third-degree assault. A 17-year-old suspect also accused in the crime faces the same charges.

Carriero and the 17-year-old are accused of breaking into a home on Elizabeth Street shortly before 3:30 a.m. Saturday. When confronted by the occupants, the pair attacked one and punched the victim in the face, then fled, according to police.

Police said that the victims knew Carriero and his companion.

Police said Carriero is a volunteer firefighter in Monroe and was found and arrested at a firefighter training course in Trumbull.

Fire officials at the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department said Carriero is not a member of their department but said to their knowledge he is a member of the Stevenson Volunteer Fire Company. NBC Connecticut reached out to the Stevenson Volunteer Fire Company, but they chose not to comment.

Carriero was held on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Photo Credit: Newtown Police Department

Milder Air Moves in for the First Day of Spring


Milder air is moving into the state for the first day of spring, but unfortunately the more seasonable air only sticks around through Tuesday.

Spring officially started at 6:29 a.m. today.

We're forecasting high temperatures to reach the upper 40s throughout the state. Skies will be mostly sunny for most of the day with a few clouds moving in during the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will be a degree or two warmer for Wednesday with some locations reaching 50 degrees. 

The mild air recedes by Wednesday and much cooler air is expected to work into the state. 

We're forecasting temperatures Wednesday afternoon to only reach the middle 30s. Very cold air arrive by Thursday morning with many locations in the single digits. 

The forecast over the next seven days is a bit of a roller coaster. Here's a look at the temperature trend.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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Store Clerk Hits Knife-Wielding Robber With Coffee Pot: NHPD


A store clerk hit a man trying to rob a Sam's Store in New Haven over the head with a coffee pot while he was brought down by another store employee, police said.

New Haven police said they responded to a robbery in progress at the Sam's Store on 16 Kimberly Avenue at 9:55 p.m. Dispatchers told police the suspect had a large knife and was likely still at the store. 

Hector Luis Marrero was found struggling with a man and woman at the rear door of the store. 

The Sam's Store clerk said he was closing up and letting the clerk from Dunkin' Donuts (which share the same building) out through the back when Marrero came in waiving a knife.

Marrero demanded "everything", police said, and took cash from the store's lottery and from one of the clerks. The Dunkin' Donuts clerk said she called police right away.

She also grabbed the knife from Marrero while the other clerk tackled him to the ground. That's when the Dunkin' Donuts clerk grabbed a coffee pot and smacked Marrero over the head with it, police said.

When police arrested Marrero, he was still clutching the cash and bleeding from his mouth. EMTs were called to clean him up, New Haven Police said.

Neither clerk was injured and the knife was recovered.

Marrero was charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree larceny. 

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

On Twitter, Trump Puts His Spin on Intel Hearing


President Donald Trump's official Twitter account, @POTUS, reacted six times on Monday to the testimony of the directors of the FBI and National Security Agency while the pair were in a hearing on allegations that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. 

Trump didn't respond to FBI Director James Comey's statement that he and the Justice Department could not substantiate Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of him.

The last of the tweets from @POTUS addressed the bombshell revelation of the hearing: That the FBI is investigating members of Trump's presidential campaign as part of its probe into Russian meddling.

"FBI Director Comey: fmr. DNI Clapper 'right' to say no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump Campaign. #ComeyHearing," @POTUS wrote.

But video of the exchange captioned by the Twitter account showed Comey agreeing that Clapper was "right about characterizing the report," meaning the intelligence community's report from January.

At least two other Trump tweets appeared to misrepresent the answers that Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers gave to members of Congress.

In the first tweet, the @POTUS account said that "Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia."

But Comey neither confirmed nor denied discussing briefings with the president, and instead said, "I can't answer that," as the video that @POTUS shared shows.

That answer was consistent with Comey's testimony throughout the hearing, in which he avoided discussing classified information, information about specific American citizens or information shared with the president.

And he repeatedly requested that people not read into what information he could not share, including on questions about members of the Trump campaign.

In the second tweet, @POTUS captioned video by saying that Comey and Rogers told Congress "Russia did not influence electoral process." But the pair only denied that any votes were changed as a result of Russian influence in the election, which has been documented in a report compiled by the United States intelligence community.

That was one of two tweets fact-checked later on in the hearing. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., asked Comey and Rogers to respond to Trump's tweet about their testimony.

"We've offered no opinion, have no view, have no information on potential impact because it’s not something that we looked at," Comey said. Rogers agreed.

Trump's next two tweets showed video of the pair of intelligence officials discussing leaks, which Trump and Republicans on the intelligence committee repeatedly condemned as illegal and dangerous.

In the fifth tweet, @POTUS wrote "FBI Director Comey admits Obama’s White House had ability to 'unmask' American citizens," referring to the naming of people discussed in classified intelligence. Asked about certain members of the Obama administration, Comey said they would be able to unmask citizens in certain situations.

Himes asked about that as well — Rogers said he didn't want to comment on the tweet, though he did say, "I assume the comment is designed to address the leaking of such information."

The White House did not immediately reply to questions about the content of the tweets, if there would be a comment about the FBI's investigation into whether the Trump campaign had links to Russia and Comey's remarks about wiretapping.

Press secretary Sean Spicer, speaking Monday afternoon, said "there's a lot more to be discussed and looked at" regarding the investigation.

Trump and his team have been continuously focused on how information about alleged ties between Trump's campaign and Russia have come out. Trump referred to it as "the real story" in a tweet early Monday morning.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to Trump as "the Deflector-in-Chief" in a statement Monday afternoon.

His "desperation demands answers to our original question: what is Russia's political, personal and financial grip on the Trump Administration? The American people want and deserve the whole truth about the Trump-Russia connection," she said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Analysis: Comey Delivers Political Gut Punch


In sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey said there was no evidence to support President Donald Trump's claims that Barack Obama wiretapped him and Trump Tower, as the current president alleged in a series of tweets earlier this month. Comey also confirmed that his agency was investigating the 2016 Trump campaign's links with Russia's effort to intervene in the presidential election.

His confirmation of that investigation was "historic," as NBC's Ari Melber declared on MSNBC, even as the director declined to discuss details. NBC News called the testimony a "political gut-punch" that threatened to overshadow what could have been a political win for Trump: Monday's mostly smooth confirmation process for his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Monday's back-to-back revelations from Comey could complicate matters for Trump's team and agenda in at least three key ways.

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Crews Respond to Fire at Junkyard in Waterbury

Bill Could Increase Auto Insurance Minimum for Connecticut


There are around 2.5 million drivers in Connecticut, some who could be paying more for car insurance.

Currently, your car insurance must cover at least $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $10,000 per accident for property damage.

But, there is a movement at the state's capitol building to increase those minimums to $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 per accident for property damage.

"They've been the same since 1971, so for 46 years. Medical costs have risen dramatically, over a thousand percent, wages have increased, car costs have increased dramatically, and the minimum limits currently don't provide any meaningful form of fair compensation for injuries," said Mike D'Amico of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, which said it wants the increase in order to make you more whole when you are in an accident.

Opponents of the idea, including insurance companies, said they are concerned that many drivers will simply drop coverage if minimums go up. They said it's likely the greater the coverage, the higher the premium.

"The bill will unfortunately raise rates for those who can least afford it because the people who are really carrying minimum coverage right now are those who can't afford policies that have increased coverages," said Eric George of the Insurance Association of Connecticut.

The insurance committee voted the increase up to the general assembly, so now it's in the hands of your state lawmakers.

Photo Credit: Getty

Mild Weather Replaced by a Mid-Week Arctic Blast


Mild weather is forecasted again for Tuesday however big changes are on the way as we head into the middle of the week.

We're forecasting high temperatures tomorrow in the upper 40s and low 50s. Skies will be partly cloudy early with clouds increasing throughout the afternoon. 

A strong cold front pushes through the state late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. With it comes strong winds and below normal temperatures. 

High temperatures are only forecasted to reach the low to middle 30s Wednesday and Thursday. Those temperatures are 15 degrees below where they should be this time of year. 

Temperatures moderate a bit for the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. 

We're watching the threat of a wintry mix for Sunday into next Monday. 

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Bullet Found at Brooklyn Middle School


A bullet was found on the floor at a Brooklyn Middle School on Gorman Road.

The school's prinicipal reported the finding to police.

State police said they are investigating.

No other details were immediately available. 

Editor's note: State police originally said the bullet was found at the elementary school, but said this morning that the bullet was found at the middle school.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images RM

US, UK Ban Laptops From Cabins in Flights From Some Nations


The U.S. and British governments, citing unspecified threats, are barring passengers on some international flights from mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.

Passengers flying to the United States from 10 airports in eight countries will be allowed only cellphones and smartphones in the passenger cabins, senior Trump administration officials said. Larger electronic items must be checked.

The British security rules will affect flights from six countries and will bar passengers from taking "any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal sized mobile or smartphone," into the cabin.

The U.S. rules took effect Tuesday, and airlines will have until 3 a.m. EDT Saturday to implement them or face being barred from flying to the United States, the officials said.

They said the decision was prompted by "evaluated intelligence" about potential threats to airplanes bound for the United States. The officials would not discuss the timing of the intelligence or if any particular terror group is thought to be planning an attack.

Trump administration officials briefed reporters on condition they not be identified publicly. That was despite President Donald Trump's repeated insistence that anonymous sources should not be trusted.

The outlines of the new policy were revealed Monday when Royal Jordanian Airlines "jumped the gun" and sent an advisory to passengers, a U.S. official told NBC News.

The electronics ban affects flights from international airports to the U.S. from in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. About 50 flights a day, all on foreign carriers, will be affected. The officials said no U.S.-based airlines have nonstop flights from those cities to the United States.

The British security rules will apply to flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

With the order affecting flights from predominantly Muslim nations, the ban may invite comparisons to Trump's orders barring travel from several Muslim-majority-nations, which have been blocked by courts. Early in his candidacy, Trump had called on barring Muslims from entering the United States.

But the comparison has its limits. The travel ban was more severe, separating families and barring students from studying in the U.S. The laptop ban is more of an inconvenience and its stated reason is to protect the very travelers who are affected by it. Still, it's bound to annoy powerful business people and diplomats, and could affect the travel plans of wealthy tourists sought after by the U.S. travel industry.

Details of the electronics ban were first disclosed by Royal Jordanian and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.

In its statement, Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban would affect its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.

A spokesman for Royal Jordanian says the airliner has not yet started to enforce the new U.S. regulation. Basel Kilani has told The Associated Press that the airline was still awaiting formal instructions from the relevant U.S. departments, which could possibly come later on Tuesday.

EgyptAir officials said the airline will implement that ban on Friday, while Emirates officials said the new security procedures would start on Saturday for its passengers.

However, the Mideast's biggest airline is confirming that U.S.-bound passengers will be prevented from carrying electronic gadgets aboard aircraft.

Dubai-based Emirates said Tuesday the ban takes effect on Saturday. That guidance differs from the information provided by senior Trump administration officials, who have said the ban is in place from Tuesday

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on aviation security issues that have prompted the impending electronics ban, according a congressional aide briefed on the discussion. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The administration officials who briefed reporters about the ban said foreign officials were told about the impending order starting Sunday.

A U.S. government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal security discussions by the federal government.

The ban would begin just before Wednesday's meeting of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Washington. A number of top Arab officials were expected to attend the State Department gathering. It was unclear whether their travel plans were related to any increased worry about security threats.

Most major airports in the United States have a computer tomography or CT scanner for checked baggage, which creates a detailed picture of a bag's contents. The equipment can warn an operator of potentially dangerous material, and may provide better security than the X-ray machines used to screen passengers and their carry-on bags. All checked baggage must be screened for explosives.

Associated Press writers Adam Schreck, Karin Laub, Maamoun Youssef, David Keonig, Matthew Lee, Joan Lowy and Ted Bridis contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP, file

Malloy, Bail Bondsmen at Odds Again


For the second year in row, Governor Dannel Malloy has proposed eliminating cash bail for non-violent offenders, specifically young people who may have been accused of committing a crime for the first time.

The measure, in addition to its attempt at criminal justice reform, is being billed as a savings generator by Malloy. His office projects that the move could save the state as much as $30 million in the next budget.

"No one should be sitting behind bars, simply because they are poor,” Malloy said during a hearing on the subject in the Legislative Office Building. It’s rare for a governor to appeal directly in such a way, which he acknowledged, calling the sight of him sitting, in a similar way to members of the general public, testifying and answering questions before lawmakers.

"I want young people earning a college education, not an education in how to be a better criminal,” Malloy added.

The governor’s foe on this issue is the bail bonds industry in the state. The group was successful in killing the measure last year, as it never made its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

The arguments the Connecticut Bail Association last year are similar to the ones being deployed in 2017.

“It will eradicate us as an industry,” said Andrew Marocchini, the president of the association said. He’s also a bail bondsman in Manchester.

Marocchini argues that the governor’s logic and statistics are flawed. The governor quoted state prison figures Monday that showed more than 500 people are in jail with bonds worth less than $2,000.

Marocchini said such statistics have been cherrypicked, and says many of those people are not first time offenders. He also doesn’t think those people simply can’t afford to be released.

"No one is in jail who is a low level offender that just simply can't afford bond,” he said.

The governor says the issue of repeat offenders is part of his entire point. He says if people remain in jail simply because they can’t afford to get out, then they will likely return, meaning taxpayers would have to spend $168 per night to house them, leading to costs in the millions, and an increase in recidivism.

"Ninety-five percent of people come out of jail sooner or later,” Malloy said. “I'd rather they come out less likely to commit another crime, than more likely to commit another crime."

Ledyard Neighbors Exploring Options to Rid of Gypsy Moth Infestation


Some people living in Ledyard are hoping to get rid of a creepy, crawly problem before that problem gets rid of their trees.

They’re afraid of facing another large gypsy moth infestation this spring. With New London County as one of the hardest-hit counties in Connecticut, some are looking into options to exterminate the gypsy moths.

“Trees were covered, houses were covered, cars were covered,” said Dan Grimm of Ledyard.

Gypsy moth caterpillars and their droppings coating his Ledyard neighborhood last spring.

“You’d have about two or three inches coming off the curb — it was dead gypsy moths. So if you went for a walk or a run, you were stepping on thousands of dead gypsy moths,” Grimm said.

It’s part of the reason he thinks a community effort to spray for the gypsy moth is a great idea. The other reason is defoliation. Grimm said his trees looked bare in the summer because of the caterpillar. Plus, another mass hatch could kill some of his trees.

“We’re looking at what it takes to do aerial spraying like it was done back in the 1980s,” said Lorraine Healy of Ledyard. She’s part of the town’s gypsy moth ad hoc committee.

She is going door to door asking people if they’re in favor of using a special spray — that would be sprayed via helicopter — that specifically targets moths.

There are a few hiccups, though. Not all neighborhoods in Ledyard are affected and the town doesn’t have the money to pay for it. Healy said the cost would have to come out of neighbors’ pockets. At about $350 per acre, and 100 to 200 acres being targeted, it’s not cheap.

Also, Healy said if a neighbor doesn’t want the spray, there needs to be a 200 foot buffer from his or her property.

“Pretty much would like to take the wait and see attitude,” James Theroux, a Ledyard resident said, wanting to wait to see how bad the hatch this spring is.

Claire Rutledge, an associate agricultural scientist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, said there’s a fungus that kills the gypsy moth that develops during and after spring rains.

But with a lot of the state in a drought, the gypsy moth came out in full force last year. And there’s still a lot of egg mass throughout the state, Rutledge added.

She said the gypsy moth affected about 175,000 acres in 2015. In 2016, they affected around 230,000 acres.

Healy said the ad hoc committee is also exploring the option of a ground spray and hopes to finalize plans at their meeting Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Ivanka Trump Sued for Alleged ‘Unfair Competition’


Ivanka Trump's clothing company has been hit with a class action lawsuit by a San Francisco rag trade rival that claims she is cashing in on her father being President of the United States, NBC News reported.

Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC) says the first daughter's firm has also gained an "unfair advantage" from her husband Jared Kushner "working for the President of the United States" and claimed that President Trump, his trusted adviser Kellyanne Conway, and White House spokesman Sean Spicer have all helped boost sales of Ivanka Trump Marks LLC products.

"That advantage is specifically prohibited by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the law of the State of California," MAC claimed in courtdocuments filed last week in San Francisco Superior Court and first obtained by the International Business Times.

MAC is seeking a restraining order that would bar any Ivanka Trump label clothing or accessories from being sold in California.

In an email to NBC News, a representative for the Ivanka Trump brand declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Haven Moves Closer To Starting Bike Share Program


By early 2018, New Haven’s bike share program could be up and running, according to the city’s top transportation official.

“I've seen them in D.C., New York, Paris, Boston,” said Robert Jacobson, who works at College Street Cycles. “You can get to point A, point B a lot faster, not waiting on bus schedules, staying healthy while you’re at it.”

Jacobson had some advice for bringing a system of sharing 300 bikes to the Elm City.

“Make sure the bikes stay in good shape so you’re not putting anyone in danger and keep it affordable to that everyone can actually do it,” he said.

According to New Haven’s Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking Director Doug Hausladen, the pricing would be similar to bike shares in other cities, like New York and Hoboken, New Jersey.

“We’re looking at an annual price, a monthly price and a daily price as well,” he said.

Hausladen said the environment will benefit from the bike share and it will offer residents a more cost-effective way to get to and from work.

“To make someone spend over $10,000 a year just to own a car so they can get to work is not doing transit right,” Hausladen said.

Christen Quijano said she hopes one of the bike share stations will be located near where she works at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“If there’s bikes there, and I know I can drop it off down here on Howard avenue, yeah I would definitely use it,” Quijano said.

Through the See Click Fix app and a city website, transportation officials are taking suggestions on where to set up the 30 bike share stations.

The Board of Alders will hold a public hearing to review the contract for the company being considered to operate the bike share Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there is the third community meeting on the bike share program at the Fair Haven School.

Silver Alert Canceled for 1-Year-Old Waterbury Girl


The Silver Alert police issued Monday for a missing 1-year-old Waterbury girl has been canceled.

Police were searching for Akira Shori and said she might have been with a Daniella Shori. No additional information has been released, including the relationship between Akira and Daniella.

The Silver Alert was issued just before 2 p.m. Monday and canceled just before 9:30 p.m.

Tillerson to Skip Meeting of NATO Summit, Plans Russia Trip


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip what would have been his first official meeting with NATO in April, NBC News reported, and he plans to travel later in the month to a series of unspecified meetings in Russia.

A State Department spokesman confirmed the Russia trip to NBC News, and added that Tillerson will meet almost all of the alliance's members Wednesday at a summit on ISIS in Washington that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will also attend.

Tillerson's decision will nevertheless likely raise eyebrows among the United States' European partners, some of which have expressed concern about President Donald Trump's mixed signals on whether he would protect them against Russia.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has neither confirmed nor denied Tillerson's trip.

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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