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Paul Begala calls out right-wing for promoting insane conspiracy about Pentagon staffer Evelyn Farkas

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Anderson Cooper’s AC360 panel discussed the latest conservative talking point that Evelyn Farkas — former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia — somehow confirmed that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower. Snopes has debunked this theory.

Cooper asked panelist Jeffrey Lord to please explain why it would be controversial for a former pentagon expert on Russia to suggest the outgoing administration was concerned that the Trump team — some of whom are under federal investigation for possibly colluding with Russia — would try get rid of any intelligence relevant to the investigation?

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“What’s controversial is that whatever went on in the administration and the Obama administration turned up in the New York Times and the Washington Post repeatedly,” Lord said. “So somebody was leaking classified information within the Obama administration.”

Kirsten Powers shot back at Lord, noting that Farkas never said Trump was surveilled by the Obama administration. “Incidental collection is not surveillance,” she said, adding, “Isn’t that the crux of what the smoking gun — that you believe that she’s saying that there was surveillance?”

After some back and forth over what constitutes surveillance versus incidental collection, Cooper asked political consultant Paul Begala, “Do you think the White House or its allies will be able to distract from all of this by continually bringing up Evelyn Farkas?”

“It’s not a smoking gun, it’s a smoke screen,” Begala explained. “Donald Trump is not very good at being president,” he said, noting that Trump has the lowest approval rating in American history for an incoming president. “But what he’s great at — and I mean this, the best I’ve ever seen — is distraction.”

“He uses weapons of mass distraction,” Begala said. “That’s what the Farkas fracas is, it’s just a way to distract us.” Begala then pointed to an example of Trump distraction from earlier today. “Ten minutes before the Senate Intelligence Committee convened … What did Donald Trump do?”

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“He tweeted out an attack on the House Freedom Caucus for primary elections that are 20 months away,” said Begala.

Watch the full clip below.


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Trump snaps at Jim Acosta for reminding him of coronavirus death toll: ‘Fake news CNN’

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President Donald Trump on Monday snapped at CNN's Jim Acosta when he reminded the president that the novel coronavirus so far has killed 155,000 Americans.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters, the president boasted that the United States had done an "amazing" job at handling the COVID-19 pandemic, at which point Acosta interrupted him and tried to ask him about the 155,000 people who have died from the disease in just five months.

"The U.S. has so many deaths," Acosta said.

"Hold it!" Trump replied.

"So many countries around the world..."

"Fake news CNN!" he said. "Hold it. We have done a great job in this country. We haven't been given enough -- not me, Vice President Pence, the task force -- have not been given the kind of credit."

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COVID-19 obituary blames Republicans for Texas man’s untimely end: ‘They blame his death on Trump’

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One family in Texas recently used their loved one’s obituary to criticize President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for allowing “needless” COVID-19 deaths.

David W. Nagy died alone in a hospital bed, leaving behind his "inconsolable wife."

"He suffered greatly from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and the separation from his much loved family who were not allowed at his bedside," the obituary says.

"Family members believe David's death was needless," the obituary continues. "They blame his death and the deaths of all of the other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives."

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Pennsylvania teen issues violent threat to defend friend from racism accusation: ‘I can show you what a real hate crime is’

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A Pennsylvania man was charged with making terroristic threats after a Black teenager accused his friend of being racist.

A friend of Andrew Smith, of Chalfont, attacked a Central Bucks West High School student by name and used racial slurs, reported the Bucks County Courier Times.

Smith's friend, who has not been charged, lashed out at the teen for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and said her views “make me wanna commit a black hate crime,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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