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Sen. Carl Levin: Only way to hold James Clapper accountable is to ‘fire him’

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The head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday the only way to hold the top U.S. intelligence official accountable for lying to Congress was to fire him.

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) stopped short of himself calling on President Barack Obama to fire Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

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“I’m troubled by that testimony,” he said. “I don’t know how he has tried to wiggle out from it, but I’m troubled by it, so how do you hold him accountable? I guess the only way to do that would be for the President to somehow or other fire him. I think he made it clear he regrets saying what he said and I don’t want to call on the President to fire him, although I’m troubled by it.”

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) specifically asked Clapper if the National Security Agency collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper denied the NSA amassed such data, but that testimony was later proven false by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Clapper has said he provided the “least untruthful answer possible.”

Levin said he felt adequately informed about the NSA’s surveillance programs with the exception of PRISM, a program that intercepted foreign Internet communications. Though “in principle” the NSA was doing what intelligence services had done for decades, current technologies allowed for levels of surveillance that were previously unthinkable, the senator added.

“They can’t look at the substance of my conversations, but they can find out a heck of a lot about me by what phone calls I make,” Levin remarked. “If this technology were in the hands of [former FBI director] J. Edgar Hoover, would I feel comfortable? No. But, on the other hand, I wasn’t comfortable with J. Edgar Hoover with his technology.”

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Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast July 16, 2013.

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Congresswoman criticizes Republican press guy for claim Black folks don’t care about Kamala Harris: Does he know any?

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Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) hilariously mocked former press secretary Ari Fleischer, who worked for former President George W. Bush's White House. Fleischer claimed Black people won't be that excited about Sen. Kamala Harris on the ticket.

"She's just not that historically exciting to African-Americans," said Fleischer speaking to Laura Ingraham during a Fox News appearance after the announcement.

During a conversation with MSNBC's Joy Reid, the host called Fleischer "a sort of a bygone era Republican voice" and asked Bass to listen to his comments.

"I wonder how many African-Americans," asked Bass, chuckling.

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Trump draws ridicule for press conference after Biden/Harris event: ‘Did someone give him a Valium?’

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On Wednesday, just as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) were winding down their first official joint campaign event, President Donald Trump kicked off his latest White House briefing.

As usual, the president triggered a round of mockery from social media.

A somnambulant Trump starts his August 12 press briefing with some casual xenophobia and then starts hyping the stock market pic.twitter.com/T4ObIke7qN

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 12, 2020

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Trump doubles down after being confronted with his claim Biden wants an ‘invasion’ of suburbs

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At Wednesday's press conference, President Donald Trump was confronted with his claim that former Vice President Joe Biden would trigger an "invasion" of suburban neighborhoods — widely considered to be a racist dog whistle for affordable housing that will attract more people of color.

“What do you mean by invasion?” the reporter asked.

“They’re going to open up areas of your neighborhoods — they’re going to destroy suburbia,” insisted Trump. He added that "by the way, 30 percent of the people in suburbia are minorities," evidently on the defensive from claims that he was appealing to racism.

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