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‘Either they were criminally negligent — or they weren’t and they knew’: Maddow calls BS on Mike Flynn excuses

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow once again hammered President Donald Trump’s administration for their claims that they didn’t know anything about what was going on with Gen. Mike Flynn and Russia. The evidence is stacking up about Flynn’s Russian dealings while working with Trump as are interviews with Flynn where he admits interaction with the Russians.

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Flynn did an interview while at the Republican National Convention where he was asked about a speech he gave while in Moscow. The reporter asked him who paid him or how he got paid. Flynn tried to dodge questions that he was paid but eventually fessed up that he was and that his speakers bureau got the check so he didn’t know who it was from. He stayed in a 5-star hotel right off of Red Square and brought his son Mike Flynn Jr. along with him.

(READ MORE: Rachel Maddow calls BS on Pence claim he never knew about Flynn’s Turkish contract)

“American public officials are not allowed to take payments from a foreign government and the department has made clear that retired military officers are not allowed to take payments from a foreign government,” Maddow explained. “Michael Flynn took it, though. Plus the money he took from his other two Russian gigs that we learned from his speaker’s bureau that was published by [Michael] Isikoff.”

Maddow continued that anyone who wants to do a speaking gig or be paid by a foreign government would have to get approval from their branch of the military. The U.S. Army indicated that their records say Flynn did not ask.

“Did they vet this guy at all when they made him National Security Advisor?” Maddow asked. “When they brought him in to sit in on the president’s daily brief and all the other highly classified intelligence briefings he received alongside Donald Trump during the transition and into his time at the White House?”

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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has asked the White House to release the relevant parts of Flynn’s application for security clearance.

“Did he hide these payments from Russia when he applied for a security clearance?” Maddow asked. “If he hid those payments why wasn’t the White House able to discover them anyway? I mean, Mike Isikoff is a good reporter but he’s not that good. He’s not omniscient.”

She continued, asking if he disclosed he’d taken the money from Russia how he could be appointed as the National Security Advisor, particularly if the money was illegal.

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“Now he’s retroactively declared that he was also taking money from another foreign government,” she went on. “He was also taking money to lobby on behalf of the government of Turkey while he was advising the Trump campaign and while he was working in the transition, while he was getting those highly classified intelligence briefings alongside the new president.”

She noted that it has been a full month since Flynn was let go but there are still questions. Vice President Mike Pence maintained he knew nothing.

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“There are increasing questions as to how on earth the Trump campaign and the Trump transition and White House could ever have hired him,” she wondered. “Either their vetting was criminally negligent or it wasn’t and they knew what they were getting with him and they wanted somebody like him around classified information which is inconceivable unless they’ve got a brilliant explanation for it.”

She went on to say that there are two options and “it’s a scandal if they say A – its a scandal if they say B and that’s all they have A or B.”

Watch the video below:

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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren wins coveted Iowa caucuses endorsement from the Des Moines Register newspaper

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) received a coveted endorsement on Saturday evening when her 2020 bid was endorsed by the Des Moines Register newspaper.

"Who would make the best president at this point in the country’s history? At a time when the economic deck has become so stacked against working Americans that the gap between rich and poor is the highest in more than 50 years? At a time when a generation of war has stressed military families and sapped the treasury?" the newspaper asked. "The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the best leader for these times."

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Lev Parnas’s attorney hilariously trolls Mitch McConnell in bid for witnesses during impeachment trial

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The attorney for Lev Parnas trolled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Saturday in a bid for a "fair" impeachment trial.

Attorney Joseph Bondy posted to Twitter a video mashing together the audio of Trump meeting with Parnas and Igor Fruman along with the music from Rick Astley's 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Posting the song as an online prank, known as rickrolling, dates back to at least 2007.

Included with the video was a message to McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Bondy urged the two to "vote with integrity and conscience."

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President Xi Jinping warns China’s coronavirus situation is ‘grave’ due to ‘accelerating spread’ of the virus

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President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a virus that has killed 41 people and caused a drastic scale-back of Lunar New Year celebrations.

The world's most populous country, which is scrambling to contain the disease that has infected nearly 1,300 people and overwhelmed health facilities, is building a second field hospital and closing more travel routes.

After more countries reported cases, Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on the disease that China was "faced with the grave situation of an accelerating spread of the new coronavirus" but that the country will "definitely be able to win the battle," according to state media.

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