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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.

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“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.

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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‘He’s long ago left the fact-based world’: Ex-CIA operative takes down Trump’s lies about recapturing ISIS fighters

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former CIA operative Bob Baer destroyed President Donald Trump's claims that ISIS fighters in Syria have mostly been recaptured.

"Okay. So you heard him, right? They've been largely recaptured and there were only a few who got out," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Unfortunately, it's not true. His own special envoy for Syria and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS an hour before the president said that, said the exact opposite thing about the escaped ISIS fighters."

"We would say that the number is now over a hundred," said Ambassador James Jeffrey in the clip. "We do not know where they are."

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‘I will be buying an AR-15’: MLB investigating umpire who called for civil war if Trump is impeached

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On Wednesday, ESPN reported that baseball officials are looking into a tweet by Major League umpire Rob Drake, in which he announced he was buying a semiautomatic rifle in preparation for the civil war that would erupt if President Donald Trump is impeached.

"I will be buying an AR-15 tomorrow, because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL [sic] WAR!!! #MAGA2020" tweeted Drake, who has umpired postseason games since 2010 and lives in Arizona.

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CNN

‘Ridiculous’ for Trump’s team to ‘feed people this line’ that Ukraine didn’t know about the frozen aid: CNN contributor

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President Donald Trump and his associates have recently tried a new defense for the Ukraine scandal, claiming that there couldn't have been a quid pro quo because the Ukrainians were supposedly unaware of the military aid freeze the Trump apparently ordered to force them to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Washington Post journalist David Swerdlick and his co-panelists smacked down that narrative.

"The New York Times reports that the Ukrainians learned in early August that aid was frozen and they were told to reach out to the acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney," said anchor Wolf Blitzer.

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