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Former CIA director says the Russians have a name for Trump: ‘Useful idiot’

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Former CIA director Michael Hayden Wednesday implied Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is acting as a “useful idiot” in his refusal to denounce the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Asked by CNN’s Jake tapper about an op-ed written by former CIA deputy director Mike Morell that referred to Trump as an unwitting agent” of Putin, Hayden declined to use Morell’s description, opting instead to launch into a description of his own.

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“There’s a phrase in Russian espionage-lore about ‘useful idiots’: people who don’t know what they’re doing but then do things that seem to fit what the Russians would like them to do.” Hayden said.

“Are you calling Donald Trump a useful idiot,” Tapper asked.

“I did not, I did not,” Hayden said. “I simply referred to what the Russians have a reference to.”

“You seem to be… implying it,” Tapper interjected, as Hayden laughed.

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“But he is doing things,” Hayden continued. “He’s refusing to criticize Putin, he doesn’t talk about Putin and the Ukraine. Let me get down to a really basic thing that had to contradict what he got in his intelligence briefings. He said ‘the Russians are fighting ISIS,’ no they’re not—the Russians are bucking up the Assad regime, they are not fighting ISIS.”

Watch the video below, via CNN.

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[h/t @RobPulseNews]

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

Watch below:

Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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