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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?

“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?”

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“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?”

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

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Watch the full clip below.


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Jeffrey Epstein’s IT consultant reveals he saw girls who ‘couldn’t have more than 15 or 16’ on private island

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ABC News broke a story just after midnight Thursday about a former IT consultant of Jeffrey Epstein's who resigned because he couldn't take some of the things he was seeing on Epstein's private island compound.

The island, which has been called "pedophile island" by locals, had "topless women everywhere.

"There were photos of topless women everywhere," said contractor Steve Scully, who began working for Epstein in 1999 and continued for six years. "On his desk, in his office, in his bedroom."

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‘Names are going to start coming out’: New report says more elites will be exposed in the Epstein case — and ‘DC is on edge’

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Will other powerful people — presumably men — get taken down as a result of the sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein?

That’s the hope of many closer followers of the story, but it’s far from clear what, if any, fallout there will be. Epstein’s connections to Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have raised suspicions about potential evidence of their wrongdoing, such suspicions remain unproven. Alan Dershowitz has already faced accusations of being involved in Epstein’s crimes, though he denies the charge vigorously.

But a new report from Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman says that “DC is on edge” over the Epstein case, and any elites who have run in his circles could be involved. Dozens of girls, if not more, are believed to be involved in his alleged sex trafficking, and lawyers for some of the women who have accused Epstein are strongly suggesting that other high-profile figures will be implicated.

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‘It’s so un-American’: Internet scorches Trump supporters for racist chants of ‘Send her back!’

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The ignoble highlight of President Donald Trump's rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Wednesday was when his fans doubled down on his racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color and targeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), chanting "Send her back! Send her back!"

Political commentators of all stripes were gobsmacked by the crowd's naked racism — and buried them in condemnation:

The crowd at Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” after the President viciously and dishonestly attacked Ilhan Omar is one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.

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