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Ex-CIA head: Most important issue is stopping Russia from hacking voting machines in future elections

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CNN’s Erin Burnett invited a panel to her OutFront segment on Thursday night to discuss the new information surrounding House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) that was released on Thursday by the New York Times. The report reveals that Nunes may have received intelligence information from the White House itself.

As panelists discussed Nunes’ sources and the possible collusion between him and the White House, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey said, “I think we’re looking largely at the wrong issue.”

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“What we’re looking at is government by tweet and how does this all work and who knew what when — it doesn’t matter much at all,” he argued. “What matters is what kicked this all off, which is whether the Russians were interfering in our election.”

Woolsey continued, explaining that “if they tried, they didn’t succeed in affecting the outcome of the election,” however, their success in 2016 doesn’t mean they won’t try again in the future.

“The Russians have a program called ‘disinformation,’ otherwise known as lying, and they try to affect the outcome of lots of states … What’s new is doing this with cyber —” Woolsey continued before Burnett cut in.

“But also to be fair, I think they haven’t come to a conclusion as to the impact on the election,” Burnett said, before also asking if “it is true that Devin Nunes — that the White House was coordinating with him, or colluding with him, or giving him information that backed up the president’s tweet about being wiretapped and not giving it to anyone else, how big of a problem is that?”

“It’s kind of politically interesting,” said Woolsey. “But it’s nowhere near the problem that the Russians could cause in our next election by doing their planned hacking and putting malware into our voting machines, and so forth over the course of the next period of time before the next election.”

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He continued, “There’s a real danger here, because 25 percent, approximately, of our voting machines in the United States do not have paper backups, so if the electronics have been tampered with, you will never know, and you can’t do a recount.”

“We’ve got to get that fixed,” he said. “The rest is very minor by comparison.” He later noted, “The ability of our country to run a fair electoral system is not just another ancillary issue. It’s the heart of having a republic.”

Watch the full panel below:

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‘The country got an education’: Nicolle Wallace explains why impeachment could move public opinion

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace offered her analysis after the day of televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry.

Wallace, who served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, drew upon her experience as a top Republican strategist.

"Listen, I haven’t spent a nanosecond in a courtroom, but I’ve spent my career in the court of public opinion. And if you look at what the Democrats have set out to do and you look at why this has swung public opinion in a way the Mueller probe never did is that they have laid brick on top of brick on top of brick," Wallace explained.

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Room erupts in laughter as Democrat Peter Welch destroys Jim Jordan during impeachment hearing

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There was a moment of levity four-hours into the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the bombastic Freedom Caucus member who was added to the committee at the last moment by Republicans, had argued that the White House whistleblower started the scandal.

"There’s one witness, one witness that they won’t bring in front of us, they won’t bring in front of the American people, and that’s the guy who started it all, the whistleblower," Jordan argued.

Unfortunately for the wrestling coach turned politician, Jordan was followed by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe succinctly debunks Jim Jordan’s defense of Trump

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe debunked the key defense of President Donald Trump that was offered by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) during the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry.

Jordan did not address the fact President Donald Trump solicited foreign election interference in violation of federal law, but attempted to debunk the additional charge that there was extortion/bribery.

The Ohio Republican argued that there could not have been a quid pro quo because the aid was eventually released.

But Tribe, who has taught at Harvard Law for half a century and argued three dozen cases before the United States Supreme Court, fact-checked the congressman who never passed the bar exam.

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