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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As the Trump administration tries to sell its rapidly-evolving trade deal with China to Congress, members of both parties are not convinced it’s in the best interest of the United States.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday during which he pledged that any changes to penalties on the Chinese telecom ZTE, which is publicly traded but whose largest shareholder is an enterprise owned by the state, would not affect American national security.

“I can assure you that whatever the Commerce Department decides, the intel community has been part of the briefings and we will ensure that we enforce national security issues,” Mnuchin said.

"This was not a quid pro quo or anything else," he added.

Last month the United States slapped steep penalties on ZTE for violating U.S. sanctions and doing business with Iran and North Korea. Those infractions, along with concerns that ZTE could use its devices to spy on Americans, led to a seven-year ban on ZTE being allowed to purchase U.S. parts in production, crippling its business. ZTE also agreed to pay a $1.2 billion fine.

Now, however, members of the administration have signaled that the terms of ZTE’s punishment are up for negotiation. President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that China had agreed to buy an unspecified amount of American agricultural exports in exchange for the United States easing its sanctions.

And in remarks at the White House Tuesday, Trump said he envisioned ZTE having to pay another fine, plus installing a new board and management structure, in exchange for sanctions relief.

But he didn't get into many details, saying, "I don't like to talk about deals until they're done. So we'll see what happens."

Trump also noted that ZTE buys most of its parts from American companies, meaning those firms get caught in the crossfire and lose business.

"When you do that, you're really hurting American companies, also. So I'm looking at it," he said.

But vague assurances that China will buy more farm products aren't good enough for some lawmakers, especially those from states that depend heavily on agricultural exports. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., told reporters he had met with farmers and ranchers in his office all morning and that none of them believed this latest development would help them.

“They’re scared to death,” Sasse said, adding that he would “love to see the particulars" of the China proposal that Trump mentioned in his tweet.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services, before which Mnuchin testified Tuesday, tried to ask him more about the specifics of the China arrangement, but he deferred to the Commerce Department, led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, who he said had taken the lead on the talks.

But Mnuchin has participated in those discussions, and Sen. Chris Coons, the ranking member on the committee, said he was disappointed Mnuchin didn’t answer questions more directly.

“I think Sec. Mnuchin is well aware of decisions being made by the Trump administration with regard to ZTE. He simply passed the buck over to the Secretary of Commerce who wasn't in front of us today,” Coons said.

As the administration continues to send mixed signals on the status of the negotiations, lawmakers are wasting no time preparing legislation to potentially check Trump’s authority to lift sanctions on ZTE.

The House of Representatives is voting this week on its annual defense authorization bill which contains a provision which would prevent the military from working with contractors that use ZTE devices and networks. The Pentagon has already banned ZTE products from being sold on American military bases.

House and Senate committees are also working on bills to prohibit the Trump administration from unilaterally lifting the seven-year ban on ZTE’s ability to purchase U.S. supplies. The Senate measure, introduced by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., passed the Banking Committee Tuesday by an overwhelming margin.

“The reality is we should not be trading away national security for some non-security related issue,” Van Hollen said.

Congress is also exploring ways to expand the US government’s ability to review foreign transactions through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The Banking Committee also approved a bill by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas., that would do just that.

But so far the leaders of both chambers have not indicated any sense of urgency to take up bills to curtail the administration’s ability to act on trade issues with China or any other country.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the administration must take national security and intelligence concerns into account but said Tuesday he was “not a party to the administration’s talks.”

When Cornyn, the sponsor of a bill to strengthen foreign transactions oversight, was asked about other legislative solutions, he responded, “I’m sure we’ll be having that conversation quite publicly and it will manifest itself in a number of ways.”

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Instagram(NEW YORK) -- Are your former colleague's workout selfies bringing you down?

Or your college roommate's constant pictures of their newborn adorable but just too much at times?

Instagram's got your back.

The social media platform rolled out a new feature Tuesday where users will be able to mute any account they follow.

By doing so, users will stop seeing posts from those individuals without having to unfollow them, the company said in a post on its blog Tuesday.

Instagram

The muted individuals won't be notified that you have muted them, and you'll still be able to check out their profile page and see their pictures and videos when you do.

The mute option is reversible as well, so once they start posting at a regular rate or you start to warm up to them, again, you can go back to seeing them in your feed without any public acknowledgment of the break.

The mute feature is new to Instagram but Facebook, which owns Instagram, introduced the same concept in December.

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20th Century Fox(LOS ANGELES) -- If your kids appeared in the movie that was currently #1 at the box office, you'd be proud, right? That's why Taylor Swift is pretty excited right now.

In the movie Deadpool 2, star Ryan Reynolds, a good friend of Taylor's, sports a shirt featuring a picture of Taylor's two cats, Meredith and Olivia. The t-shirt says "Olivia & Meredith...best friends purrrr-ever."

Taylor posted a still from the movie on her Instagram story and wrote, "I'm so proud of my fuzzy daughters! Thanks @VanCityReynolds!"

Taylor also posted a video captioned "Telling Mer the news," in which she tells her cat, "In Deadpool 2, they put you and your sister on a shirt in the movie." Meredith purrs loudly, which Taylor says means "she's really happy." She captioned the video, "The purring is really next level. MEREDITH LOVES A CAMEO."

Then we see Olivia and hear Taylor saying, "How do you feel about the shirt?  The world is dying to know!" When Olivia gives no response, Taylor asks, "No comment?"  The cat then walks out of the frame. Taylor captioned that video "She's very private."

The nod to Taylor's cats may be a thank-you from Reynolds, after Taylor featured James, his baby daughter with wife Blake Lively, on her album Reputation.  You can hear her in the intro to the song "Gorgeous."

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Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Serena Williams will not be given a seeding at this year's French Open, her first major tournament since taking maternity leave.

The 36-year-old gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September 2017.

She was ranked number one when she took leave from the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour last year, and had dropped to rank 453 during her absence.

Without a seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam winner could face highly-ranked opponents in the early round of a tournament she has won three times.

“This year, again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women’s seeds based on the WTA ranking,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement to ABC News. “Consequently, the seeds will reflect this week’s world ranking.”

A spokesperson for the French Tennis Federation would not comment on the criticism they have received following the announcement.

In Paris, Williams will compete at her first Grand Slam since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant with Alexis, her daughter with husband Alexis Ohanian.

The American champion returned to the WTA tour in March this year, and compiled two wins and two losses.

Williams spoke to "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts last month about the health hardships she's endured after sustaining a pulmonary embolism the day after her emergency cesarean section.

"Then everything was fine for the first, like, you know, eight to 12 hours," she said. "Then it was after that things started going crazy."

Williams said at the time she was still in the process of fully recovering from the medical ordeal, adding that "it hasn't been easy for me."

Williams' coach said in an interview published May 14, before the seedings were announced, that Williams, who recently attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, has been training very hard.

“She is improving in all the areas fast. I am very satisfied and confident that she will be ready for Roland Garros," Patrick Mouratoglou said in an interview for the WTA's website.

"Serena will play the French Open to win it," he said. "Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything -- after being her coach for six years, I'm even more sure of that statement."

The French Open draw will be made on Thursday. The tournament starts next Sunday.

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump continued to fuel GOP accusations that an informant was embedded in his presidential campaign for political purposes, saying Tuesday that “a lot of people are saying” there were spies.

“A lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign,” President Trump said during his wide-ranging comments in the Oval Office during a press spray of a meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

“If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country,” Trump continued. “It would be very illegal aside from everything else. It would make probably every political event ever look like small potatoes so we want to make sure there weren't. I hope there weren't frankly.”

“If they had spies in my campaign, during my campaign for political purposes, that would be unprecedented in the history of our country,” he later added.

The president has seized on reports from the New York Times and Washington Post that the FBI sent an informant to meet with members of his campaign. The Times cited unnamed sources that these contacts were made only after the FBI had gathered information that the source’s targets had made suspicious contacts with Russians during the campaign.

The FBI has not confirmed that it used an informant and so far there is no evidence that was one embedded in the Trump campaign.

The president rebuffed ABC News' question about whether he continues to have confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who on Sunday said the DOJ would look into whether there was any improper activities related to the Trump campaign after the president ordered DOJ probe the issue.

“What is your next question, please,” Trump said, passing over the question. “I have the president of South Korea here. He doesn't want to hear these questions, if you don't mind.”

On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to issue a "demand" that the DOJ "look into" whether there was any improper surveillance of his campaign "for political purposes."

Later Sunday, Rosenstein issued a statement saying, “If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."

Following the weekend tweet, President Trump met on Monday with Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Despite the timing of the meeting the day after his tweet demand, the president said Tuesday that the meeting was “very routine."

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer is among critics who have called it highly inappropriate.

Speaking of the alleged informant, the president said he’s read in news reports that “some person got paid a lot of money” and “that is not a normal situation, the kind of money you are talking about.”

“I think the Department of Justice wants to get down to it and Congress does so hopefully they will all be able to get together,” Trump said. “General Kelly will be setting up a meeting between Congress and the various representatives and they will be able to open up documents, take a look and find out what happened.”

Democrats have raised objections to that meeting as well – demanding to be included and questioning whether Trump and Kelly would be allowed to review classified information about the Mueller investigation that include the identify of any informant.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli finally pays for his fraud, the federal government argues its coffers should be filled first.

Shkreli, who was convicted of securities fraud and is serving a seven-year prison sentence, owes the IRS more than $1.6 million, according to a new court filing.

“Martin Shkreli has failed, neglected, or refused to pay in full the liability for the income tax year 2015,” government tax attorney Stephanie Chernoff said in the court filing.

The feds asked a judge to determine whether Shkreli should pay that debt before others. Last month the commissioner of Taxation and Finance in New York said Shkreli should first repay his state tax lien of $480,000, “an interest superior to that of the United States of America,” the state attorney general argued.

The state said its tax lien dates to January 2017, well before Shkreli was ordered in March to forfeit more than $7 million in assets to satisfy his securities fraud conviction.

The federal government said its tax lien is even older.

“The long-established priority rule with respect to federal tax liens is that ‘the first in time is the first in right,’” Chernoff said. “The federal tax lien has priority over the commissioner's liens.”

If Shkreli cannot pay, the IRS wants a piece of his other forfeited assets, including an E-Trade brokerage account, a Picasso work and the rare Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The mayor of Washington, D.C., is a 45-year-old single woman who has worked her way to the very top of the city’s government, becoming the youngest person and only the second woman to be mayor.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is now also breaking new ground in political office as a single mom with the announcement she has adopted a baby.

“As any new mother would feel — I am thrilled, nervous and looking forward to each and every stage,” Bowser said in a statement Monday. “I will be taking the next week or so to enjoy these precious moments with my new baby. I am so grateful to be able to start my family in this wonderful way.”

Bowser, who has served as mayor since 2015, revealed that she started the adoption process last year.

“I decided to start the adoption journey, just knowing that it was a great time in my life and I had so much to share with a baby," she told WUSA9, adding that the baby came to her sooner than expected.

"What I've learned from Washingtonians all over our city, is that people start their families in many different ways," Bowser said. "And I have been encouraged by many people to make sure that not only do I pour my heart and soul into being mayor and to governing a great city, but also to think about a family."

She did not share details about her plans for childcare once she returns to work.

The average cost of childcare in Washington, D.C., is $1,886 per month, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Bowser announced in April that she would include $12.5 million in her 2019 budget toward "making early child care more affordable for all District residents" through a refundable tax credit and increased funding to local child care providers.

During Bowser's term as mayor, she has also launched a website, MyChildCareDC.org, that allows parents to search and compare child care options and last year started an initiative to provide more resources for maternal and child health, according to her office.

“It's very, very real and I feel grateful that I have a wonderful family, a wonderful support team to support me in this adoption journey," Bowser told WUSA9.

Bowser is not the first women in public service to welcome a child while in power -- Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., recently did it age the age of 50 -- but she does stand out for doing it on her own.

In the United States, 23 percent of children only live with their mother, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Bowser said she believes her new role will not take away from her job, but add to it.

"It certainly gives me another point of view," she told WUSA9. "I have, we have, been very focused on families in this administration making sure that we do everything for schools and child care and great play spaces and safe neighborhoods."

Bowser received quick congratulations on Twitter from a fellow D.C. legislator who also broke new ground as a mom.

“Zoe can’t wait to meet her new friend,” wrote Council member Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1).

Nadeau gave birth to her daughter, Zoe, while in office last year and, in December, pumped during a public hearing on housing.

After Duckworth, an Iraq veteran and double leg amputee, gave birth to her daughter in April, the U.S. Senate passed a rule change that will allow her, and any woman of the Senate, to bring babies onto the floor and breastfeed them as needed.

In the statehouse in Iowa, Rep. Megan Jones made headlines this year when she returned to work in the State Capitol a mere 13 days after giving birth to her daughter, Alma.

Bowser's adoption announcement and the progress made by politicians who are also moms comes amid a so-called "pink wave" of women running for office across the U.S.

Some of those female candidates have included themselves breastfeeding in their campaign ads — a move they say underscores the dynamic role of mothers in the political sphere.

“It was no accident. It’s my life. It’s the reality of working moms — taking care of family, juggling work and getting the job done,” Krish Vignarajah, a Maryland gubernatorial candidate, told ABC News. “I hope the ad drives a conversation about the lack of representation in elected office in Maryland and the policy consequences of that lack of diversity.”

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