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Obama: Sony made a mistake by canceling the release of ‘The Interview’

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President Barack Obama vowed that the United States will respond to the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on the North Korean government.

Obama said the cyber attack “caused a lot of damage” to Sony but that he believed the company made a mistake in canceling the release of “The Interview,” a comedy portraying the assassination of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

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“We will respond,” Obama told an end-of-year news conference. “We’ll respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.”

Two hours before he spoke, the FBI announced that investigators had determined that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony, calling it an unacceptable act of state-sponsored “intimidation.”

Obama said North Korea appeared to have acted alone.

It was the first time the United States had directly accused another country of a cyber attack of such magnitude on American soil and sets up a possible new confrontation between longtime foes Washington and Pyongyang.

The destructive nature of the attack, and threats from the hackers that led the Hollywood studio to pull the movie, set it apart from previous cyber intrusions, the FBI said.

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A North Korean U.N. diplomat said Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyber attack. “DPRK (North Korea) is not part of this,” the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Obama said he wished that Sony had spoken to him before yanking the movie, suggesting it could set a bad precedent. “I think they made a mistake,” he said. “I wish they’d spoken to me first.”

He added: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”

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Despite that, Obama’s options for responding to the computer attack by the impoverished state appeared limited.

North Korea has been subject to U.S. sanctions for more than 50 years, but they have had little effect on its human rights policies or its development of nuclear weapons. It has become expert in hiding its often criminal money-raising activities, largely avoiding traditional banks.

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The FBI said technical analysis of malware used in the Sony attack found links to malware that “North Korean actors” had developed and found a “significant overlap” with “other malicious cyber activity” previously linked to Pyongyang.

(Writing by Matt Spetalnick, additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Ju-min Park and Jack Kim in Seoul, Editing by David Storey)


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‘Angry’ Trump Michigan voters admit they want ‘this nightmare to end’ in November

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President Donald Trump's Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.

In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they'd met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.

Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn't lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.

"I'm turning into more of an angry person than I've ever been in my life," she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. "I've just got a countdown to November now, and I'm hoping we'll wake up from this nightmare we're in."

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Trump abusing the intelligence community in an attempt to keep them quiet about Russia election hacks: Conservative

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The New York Times Magazine piece outlining President Donald Trump's battles with the U.S. intelligence community revealed that Russia is continuing to wage its own cyberwar against the world. According to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot, the devastating report explained the extent to which the president is ignoring the threats to the 2020 election.

“The options faced by the intelligence community during Trump’s presidency have been stark: avoid infuriating the president but compromise the agencies’ ostensible independence, or assert that independence and find yourself replaced with a more sycophantic alternative," wrote Robert Draper in his lengthy investigation into Trump's efforts to politicize international intelligence. According to Boot, the most shocking part of the investigation was that the experts in the intelligence community have been banned from speaking honestly about the Russian attacks.

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2020 Election

‘Incompetent moron’ Chuck Todd ripped for letting Trump official claim Democrats want more COVID-19 deaths

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"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd is under fire -- once again -- after letting Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro claim on NBC that Democrats want more Americans to die during the coronavirus pandemic to boost their chances at the polls in November.

Instead of pushing back the NBC host known for his lack of follow-up questions let the comment slide by responding, "I take your point."

Todd's failure to call out the Trump aide for what one Twitter commenter called a "disgusting" comment led to an avalanche of criticism for the MBC political director who recently saw his weekday show cut back to make room for more commentary by colleague Nicolle Wallace.

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