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Pro-Clinton PAC in cahoots with campaign to spend $1 million to fight critics on social media

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A super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is saying that it can work with her campaign on an initiative concerning online comments — a departure from the rules usually governing such groups, the Daily Beast reported.

The group, Correct The Record, is allowed to do so through a Federal Election Commission (FEC) loophole regarding the issue.

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“Super PACs aren’t supposed to coordinate with candidates. The whole reasoning behind Citizens United rests on [PACs] being independent, but Correct the Record claims it can coordinate,” Sunlight Foundation staff writer Libby Watson said. “It’s not totally clear what their reasoning is, but it seems to be that material posted on the internet for free—like, blogs—doesn’t count as an ‘independent expenditure.'”

As the Washington Post reported, that rationale stems from a 2006 commission ruling creating an “Internet exemption” regarding content posted for free online.

Michael E. Toner, who chaired the FEC at the time, said that the ruling “totally exempt individuals who engage in political activity on the Internet from the restrictions of the campaign finance laws. The exemption for individual Internet activity in the final rules is categorical and unqualified.”

The group, which was founded last May as an offshoot of the American Bridge super PAC, announced on Thursday that it was spending $1 million to fund what it calls “barrier breakers” — a task force focusing on countering anti-Clinton rhetoric online on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Correct The Record said in a statement that it had already addressed more than 5,000 Twitter users who have “personally attacked” the former Secretary of State and current Democratic front-runner.

Correct The Record said the project was inspired by “lessons learned from online engagement with “Bernie Bros,” a derisive term for people backing Clinton’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders. One Reddit user who identified himself as a Sanders supporter said his inbox “turned to cancer on Tuesday” as a result of the group’s actions.

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“Been a member of reddit for almost 4 years and never experienced anything like it,” they wrote. “In fact, in all my years on the internet I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

Correct The Record’s parent group was created by Media Matters for America founder David Brock, and was criticized last year by the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center.

“What they are doing with Correct the Record is groundbreaking,” said an attorney for the center, Paul Ryan. “It is creating new ways to undermine campaign regulation.”

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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2020 Election

Bloomberg and Biden attack Sanders supporters’ ‘Trump-like’ tactics

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On Monday, The New York Times analyzed the state of the Democratic presidential primaries heading into the Nevada caucuses. One of the key new developments is a fresh volley of attacks on the behavior of supporters for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which is being characterized as "Trump-like" by former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, which has largely focused its attacks on President Trump, on Monday mounted a frontal offensive against one of his Democratic rivals for the first time, comparing Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign tactics with those employed by the president," wrote Thomas Kaplan, Kate Conger, and Reid Epstein.

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