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Former CIA official says having Trump in the White House is the gravest threat since Civil War

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A report published by the New York Times last night revealed that members of the Donald Trump campaign frequently communicated with Russian intelligence officials prior to the election.

At the same time, the high level officials interviewed in the piece had not seen evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign to tip the election in favor of Donald Trump.

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Meanwhile, the President has continued his attacks on the intelligence community for the staggering number of leaks that have battered his administration in the past several weeks.

“Information is being illegally given to the failing & by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia,” he tweeted.

For context, Sean Illing at Vox spoke with a 23-year CIA veteran, Glenn Carle, who served as deputy officer on the National Intelligence Council. He does not have good news.

“We are facing the gravest threat to our institutions and our government since 1861, since the country broke in half,” Carle tells Vox. “This is a graver crisis than Watergate, which was about corruption, not the usurpation of our laws and our checks and balances. It’s graver than World War II, when Hitler never actually threatened our institutions or occupation of Washington.”

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“We’re dealing with a man in Trump who doesn’t accept a fact-based reality, who only acts for his own self-aggrandizement, and who views any action that does not serve him as a threat that must be destroyed,” he continues.

Vox asks the former intelligence professional about why some officials appear to be more concerned about the source of the leaks than what they reveal.

“These sorts of accusations are outrageous and part of the problem. It’s shocking to see such a betrayal of the oaths these people took to serve the nation,” Carle says. “With only a handful of exceptions, nearly every Republican has marched in lockstep to protect their leader because it allows them to pursue their agenda — tax cuts for the rich, increasing voter restrictions on minority districts, the elimination of entitlement programs, etc.”

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Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install an new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Alternet 2020

Nancy Pelosi faces serious challenges — but she’s failed miserably in two key ways

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As I wrote earlier this week, with its muddled messaging on impeachment, the House Democratic leadership may have figured out a way of both demoralizing the Democratic base and firing up Trump's supporters. It's a mess.

But fairness requires us to acknowledge an important fact: Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn't have the votes to launch an official impeachment process. And it's not close. At present, The Washington Post's tally finds 137 members of the House in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry, with 92 opposed and 6 others not taking a position. Leadership can twist arms on a close vote, but when you're close to 100 votes shy of a majority, it's impossible to whip a measure across the finish line--especially one of such consequence.

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