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Officials verify Russian dossier claim diplomat who fled US to hide election interference was spy: report

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U.S. officials have reportedly verified a part of a dossier written by former British intelligence agent, which claims that a Russian diplomat who fled the U.S. during the 2016 presidential election was in fact a spy.

Sources told BBC’s Paul Wood that the officials had “verified” that Mikhail Kulagin was a known Russian intelligence agent.

A dossier about then-candidate Donald Trump’s connections to Russian that was compiled by former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele said that Kulagin “had been withdrawn from Washington at short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US presidential election operation… would be exposed in the media there.”

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Although the dossier was commissioned by Trump’s political opponents, the explosive claims in the document were eventually provided to U.S. law enforcement, lawmakers and the media.

Wood’s source said that officials were suspicious of Kulagin because he claimed to be a diplomat but was never seen performing the duties of the job.

“Nobody had met him,” a former official told Wood. “It’s classic. Just classic [of Russian intelligence].”

Wood was also informed by a source that Steele’s dossier on Trump “was found to be of value by the people whose job it was to look at Russia every day.”

Read Paul Wood’s entire report here.

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CNN host goes off on Trump as COVID-19 surges: ‘The president is peddling debunked illogical crap’

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During a segment on CNN this Monday, anchor Brianna Keilar had some harsh words for President Trump and his response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, starting out by saying that the U.S. is "losing its battle" against the virus.

"...the people who are supposed to be in charge of the national response to the pandemic instead are escalating their attacks on doctors," she said, pointing out that up to 60,000 Americans are testing positive for the virus, each day.

"They're doing this even though they won't mandate the use of masks which are proven to save lives," she said. "They're doing this because the President is continuing to make claims that the only reason the U.S. has a surge in cases is because of an increase in testing."

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WATCH: White House uses Fauci’s words to praise Trump – hours after trashing him

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Literally hours after providing reporters with a list of what an anonymous White House official called mistakes Dr. Anthony Fauci has made over the year on coronavirus, the White House turned the tables to use the veteran immunologist's words to praise President Donald Trump.

On Sunday in a statement to CNN the White House outlined "the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things."

Calling it a "new campaign of deception," CNN reported Monday morning that "the White House is trying to destroy the reputation of one of America's most respected public servants, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for telling the truth about how bad things are getting."

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FAILURE: Here are 470 ways Trump failed to protect America from COVID-19

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Crises have a way of sorting the good presidents from the bad.

Historians consistently rank Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt among the top three presidents for their handling of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II.

By contrast, the string of catastrophes that trailed George W. Bush, from Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to his obliviousness to warning signs in the housing market before the 2008 crash guarantee that he will have a permanent place in the bottom tier of presidents.

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