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Nuclear arms experts: Trump’s tweets could easily bait North Korea into nuking Japan

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When President-elect Donald Trump tweets about nuclear weapons, people around the world will get nervous.

And now some arms-control experts tell the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that people really should be worried about the potential fallout from some of Trump’s most radioactive tweets.

Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear non-proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, tells Sargent that Trump simply should not be given access to Twitter if the United States gets into an escalating crisis with a nuclear power such as North Korea, as that country could easily misinterpret his intentions and start lobbing missiles at American allies.

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“Imagine we’re in a crisis — if he recklessly tweets, people could read these things in the worst possible light,” Lewis explains to Sargent. “The North Koreans have a plan to use nuclear weapons very early in a conflict. They’re not going to wait around. If they think we are going, they’re going to use nuclear weapons against South Korea and Japan.”

Bruce Blair, a nuclear policy expert at Princeton University, similarly tells Sargent that Trump’s Twitter habits could cause a situation that’s already a crisis to spiral out of control and push other nations to take unforeseen actions.

“Almost any threat could be perceived as warranting some sort of response that’s not only rhetorical, but operational,” says Blair. “Words and threats have consequences in the nuclear operations world, and can instigate a cycle of escalation that spins out of control.”

Read the whole analysis at this link.

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2020 Election

If Democrats fight right-wing ‘fake news’ fire with fire, we all lose

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Democrats are increasingly worried about losing the 2020 presidential election to Donald Trump. The party is in seeming disarray from the botched Iowa caucuses and the failure of an "electable" frontrunner to emerge early in the primary season. Trump's fundraising and digital operations are humming, buoyed in part by his acquittal at the Senate trial which refused to remove him from office for soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 elections and obstructing the House's investigation of it.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats

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In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.

According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."

Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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