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Ex-CIA officer Phil Mudd: Trump’s airstrikes change nothing for Russia in Syria — and here’s why

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Philip Mudd (CNN)

A former CIA counterterrorism official doesn’t think the Russians will be particularly impressed by the U.S. bombing of Syrian airfields.

Phil Mudd, a former CIA official and current CNN analyst, said Wednesday morning on “New Day” that President Donald Trump’s authorization of airstrikes will change anything in Russia’s long-term efforts to establish a base in Syria.

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“The Russians are better at the art of the long view than the Americans,” Mudd said. “Let me tell you why I think this is just the first move from a chess board that I don’t think is significant unless there are further moves.”

He said Russian forces had been battling in Syria for years, while the U.S. has logged “fewer than five minutes in airstrikes.”

“If I’m Vladimir Putin, in this tough world, I’m saying, ‘If that’s the price I’ve got to pay for a foothold in Syria, not a big price,'” Mudd said.

He said Russia would likely sit back and wait for the U.S. to lose interest.

“There are other questions the Russians will ask, (such as) will you initiate no-fly zones for Syrian civilians, will you strike other targets, including other air force targets and regime targets, will you commit to changing the Assad regime and try to bring in other players — for example, the Turks and Iraqis — to change the regime?” Mudd said.

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“I’m going to bet the Russians are going to say the Americans are short-term, they staged some relatively small strikes against one airfield, but they don’t want in this game after what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that the Russians gamble we will once again step away,” Mudd continued. “Interesting step for Friday, (but) I don’t think it’s a huge step for the future unless we follow up.”


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Former federal prosecutor says judge could void Trump’s pardon for Flynn — here’s how

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Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner responded to President Donald Trump's pardon of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn by saying that it's entirely possible that the judge in Flynn's case could nullify the pardon.

"Just as Judge Emmet Sullivan refused to grant Barr’s corrupt motion to dismiss, I hope Judge [Emmet] Sullivan sets a hearing on whether this pardon is corrupt & hence illegal/void," said Kirschner.

https://twitter.com/glennkirschner2/status/1331713173171343368

Civil Rights attorney Andrew Laufer agreed, saying that he too wants to see how Judge Sullivan deals with the development.

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Reporter busts Trump with damning list of times he previously claimed Flynn was guilty

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump decided to issue a full pardon of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI in the course of the Russia investigation — despite Flynn's attempt to take back his plea and Attorney General William Barr's efforts to shut down the prosecution.

Although Trump and his supporters for years have painted Flynn as a hero, that was not always the sentiment, however. As BuzzFeed News' Jason Leopold noted in a lengthy Twitter thread, Trump previously was enraged with Flynn's criminal conduct, and publicly declared him a liar.

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Nicolle Wallace bashes ‘two-bit criminal’ Trump for ‘skivvy’ tweet pardoning Michael Flynn

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Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn admitted his guilt to Judge Emmett Sullivan, but President Donald Trump announced that the former director of national intelligence would never see jail time. After issuing a pardon to Flynn the day before Thanksgiving, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace attacked the manner in which Trump announced the pardon: by tweet.

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