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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump said that Iran appears "to be standing down" after Tuesday night's missile attack in Iraq and that "the American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed."

Trump, in a nationally televised address from the White House, also announced a new round of what he termed "punishing economic sanctions" against the Iranian government. And he called on NATO to become "much more involved in the Middle East process."

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces, targeting at least two military bases in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department announced late Tuesday.

The strikes on military and coalition personnel at the Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar province and in Irbil — at the center of Iraq's Kurdistan region — began at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, according to a statement.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the strike, saying it was an act of "self-defense."

President Trump has been criticized after retweeting a post to his 68 million followers on Twitter that included a name linked to the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry.

At the time of the complaint, the individual was an intelligence community official who sounded the alarm about Trump's pressure campaign with Ukraine that House Democrats cited in impeaching the president for alleged abuse of power.

AP (left) and Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Most of America, even some Republicans, were stunned this week by President Trump’s letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That is, the raging, six-page tirade at the articles of impeachment against him — you don’t often see “you have found NOTHING!” typed on Oval Office stationery — which the U.S. House of Representatives approved Wednesday night.

But in South Florida, people probably weren’t all that shocked.

The U.S. Navy said Thursday that it will proceed with a hearing to consider the expulsion of Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher from the Navy SEALs, despite his support from President Trump.

Gallagher and three supervising officers were informed of the administrative review board hearing, set for Dec. 2, on Wednesday.

Twitter is letting users become their own moderators. The company announced Thursday that it has rolled out a new feature allowing users to hide replies to their tweets.

"Everyone should feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter," said Suzanne Xie, director of product management at Twitter, said in a blog post. "To make this happen, we need to change how conversations work on our service."

Updated at 6:04 p.m. ET

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his social media platform will stop running political ads, citing online ads' "significant risks to politics." Facebook has been criticized for allowing deceptive political ads.

"We've made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought," Dorsey tweeted late Wednesday afternoon.

He explained his reasons in a long thread of tweets.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is being sued by two people who say they criticized her on Twitter and were then blocked from her account, which has more than 4.7 million followers.

Hackers Take Over Tampa Mayor's Twitter Account

Feb 21, 2019

UPDATED at 1:20 p.m. with cybersecurity information.

Several racist, sexist and pornographic images have been deleted from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Twitter account after they were posted reportedly by hackers early Thursday.

Most of the Twitter accounts that spread disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign remain active now, according to an ambitious new study released on Thursday.

Knight Foundation researchers examined millions of tweets and concluded that more than 80 percent of the accounts associated with the 2016 disinformation campaign are still posting — even after Twitter announced back in July that it had instituted a purge of fake accounts.

Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET

President Trump snapped back at Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday with a series of Twitter posts that sarcastically took up Sessions' theme about the importance of political independence at the Justice Department.

"Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the 'other side' including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr......" Trump wrote.

Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that he only found out "later on" about payments his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged before the 2016 election to try to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

However, Trump has been heard on a tape with Cohen discussing arranging payment to one of the women.

President Trump just gave Omarosa Manigault Newman the gift of another news cycle. Trump tweeted a scathing criticism of his former top-level aide just as her book-promoting media tour was gaining steam, all but guaranteeing the kind of made-for-cable feud that made them both reality TV stars and ultimately brought them to the White House.

Manigault Newman's book, Unhinged, is due out Tuesday.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has explained in a series of tweets why his platform has not suspended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones or his website Infowars. Earlier this week, tech companies YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify banned main content outlets in what Jones described as a "purge."

"He hasn't violated our rules. We'll enforce if he does," Dorsey tweeted. In an apparent reference to other tech companies, he added that Twitter would not "succumb and simply react to outside pressure."

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