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Former CIA chief Michael Hayden ‘uncomfortable’ with Iran’s growing influence in Iraq

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Former CIA chief Michael Hayden said Tuesday he was “uncomfortable” with Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, made especially evident by an offensive in Tikrit.

The city, which is the home town of former president Saddam Hussein, is the target of as assault led by Iraqi troops and Shiite militias backed by Tehran.

“I am made uncomfortable by the growing Iranian influence in Iraq. I am made uncomfortable by the fact that it looked like a Shia advance against a Sunni town,” said Hayden, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency between 2006 and 2009.

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“And the proof would be what happens if and when they retake Tikrit… How the militias act toward the local population,” he added, during a roundtable on international intelligence sharing at the New America Foundation.

Hayden said the United States should not be sharing intelligence with the Iranians on Iraq, despite their shared desire to wipe ou the Islamic State group.

“The Islamic republic’s ultimate objective is different,” he explained.

“We are looking for an inclusive government with minority rights and the participation of all the major religious and ethnic groups.

“It’s clear to me that the Iranian policy is based upon Shia dominance of the new Iraqi state, and that effort in itself feeds the Sunni opposition, which ISIL then lives off of to resurrect their movement,” Hayden added, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

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Some 30,000 men have been involved in a week-old operation to recapture Tikrit, one of the IS fighters’ main hubs since they overran large parts of Iraq nine months ago.


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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.

"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."

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Taylor Swift takes on former record label — and #IStandWithTaylor trends on Twitter

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Taylor Swift on Thursday publicly reignited her battle with the heads of her former label, saying it is threatening to bar her from going through with an upcoming performance and Netflix documentary over her plans to re-record her early albums.

Earlier this year the superstar began feuding with industry mogul Scooter Braun over his purchase of her former label for more than a decade, the Nashville-based Big Machine, which gave him a majority stake in the master recordings of her first six albums.

Swift said she would begin re-recording her early albums to create copies she owns herself, saying her contract allows her to begin re-doing albums one through five in November 2020, when she plans to be back in the studio doing just that.

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