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Trump, declining to provide evidence, says thinks Obama adviser Rice committed crime: NYT

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U.S. President Donald Trump, declining requests for evidence, said on Wednesday he thinks Susan Rice, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, committed a crime by seeking the identities of Trump associates mentioned in intercepted communications, the New York Times reported.

In an interview, Trump declined to tell the New York Times whether he had reviewed intelligence to bolster his claim about Rice but said he would explain himself “at the right time.”

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Rice declined to comment on the president’s remarks when contacted by Reuters.

Trump and his allies have focused on unsubstantiated reports that Rice, who served as Obama’s national security adviser, disclosed the names of Trump aides swept up in U.S. surveillance of foreign targets.

Rice dismissed the reports as “absolutely false” in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday.

According to five U.S. intelligence officials, Rice followed standard procedure in requesting the National Security Agency to reveal to her the names of American citizens who had been in contact with Russians whose communications were monitored by U.S. intelligence.

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It is unlikely she would have know that any unidentified American had a connection to Trump, the officials said.

As White House national security adviser, Rice could not order the NSA to reveal the identities of any Americans. Instead, she could only request it to do so.

Such requests, which a number of senior officials are authorized to make, trigger a legal and intelligence review by the agency to determine whether revealing the name has potential intelligence value and could expose a security threat to the United States, said one of the officials, who is familiar with the process and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal intelligence procedures.

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There is nothing unusual, much less suspicious, about any request by Rice, said another intelligence official, especially since it could have revealed Russian intelligence contacts or agents operating in the United States. This official and two other intelligence officials said the NSA often receives dozens of such requests in a month.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Mark Hosenball and John Walcott; Editing by Tim Ahmann and James Dalgleish)


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Ukrainians are divided over Trump’s ‘quid pro quo’

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As Americans turn their attention to the first public hearings in the House impeachment investigation, there is another country that has been affected by the scandal that’s fueling the investigation: Ukraine.

What do the Ukrainian people think of the impeachment controversy?

The congressional investigation centers on Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy into opening a corruption investigation into presidential candidate Joe Biden.

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Why Elon Musk is infuriating astronomers

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It is a truism that commercialization often comes at a detriment to science. The internet, once an academic and intellectual space free of advertisements, has been transformed into a digital billboard; likewise, the commercialization of radio airwaves has made Earth-based radio astronomy difficult due to interference from Wi-Fi, AM/FM and TV signals. Now, as capitalists are gearing up to commercialize space, astronomers have renewed reason to be upset by an announcement by SpaceX that could make ground-based observational astronomy much more difficult, forcing astronomers to work around the zipping of satellites across the night sky.

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2020 Election

America’s largest nurses union endorses Bernie Sanders for president

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Pointing to his tireless advocacy on behalf of Medicare for All, his bold proposals to combat the climate crisis, and his commitment to "putting people above profits," National Nurses United—the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S.—announced Tuesday morning that it is endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

"National Nurses United has endorsed Bernie Sanders because we need a president who will unite all workers to fight for social, economic, racial and gender justice, and who will champion bold ideas on workplace democracy, Medicare for All, and climate change," tweeted NNU executive director Bonnie Castillo, RN.

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