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Naval War College prof explains how Trump’s ‘stress’ tweets are a roadmap for America’s enemies

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Of the many revelations from former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ Senate hearing on May 8, Naval War College professor Tom Nichols said in a series of tweets that President Donald Trump’s response might have been the most interesting.

The 14-tweet-long thread begins with Nichols explaining his background as a “Sovietologist”, and how he “would have given anything for Andropov or Gorbachev to give me a running narrative of their mood and inner thoughts in real time” the way Trump appears to have done with his tweets about Yates following her testimony.

He went on to say that the president’s Twitter feed “is basically a raw feed of POTUS thoughts to foreign analysts” because they are “pieces of the president’s moods and thoughts that day”.

“This only occurred to me today as I realized how easily POTUS tweets were giving me a minute by minute image of his reactions to Yates,” Nichols tweeted, and then added “this is the kind of instant leadership portrait that I wouldn’t want a foreign nation to have when gaming out a crisis with us.”

“It is, from a foreign intel analyst’s viewpoint, in some ways probably more valuable than classified memos,” Nichols tweeted. “It’s real and instant.”

He said Trump’s tweets broadcast “how the President reacts under stress,” which is “something you never want the enemy to know”. Nevertheless, Nichols tweeted, “it’s all out there, every day”.

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After an aside about “how the President processes information” and how valuable that kind of information can be, he completed the thread by saying that while it’s not his place to “tell the President how to communicate,” he finds “hugely dangerous in revealing real-time POTUS reactions”.

Read Nichols’ entire thread below.

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Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore

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Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.

But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib

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Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening

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In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.

FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.

"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.

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Trump’s anti-abortion rule attacking Planned Parenthood can go into effect in 49 states: appeals court

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According to the Associated Press, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday that President Donald Trump's domestic "gag rule" can take effect while litigation proceeds, potentially making it far harder for low-income women to access abortion care.

District judges in California, Oregon, and Washington previously blocked the rule from taking effect. But a three-judge panel in San Francisco today said that the rule was "reasonable" as an interpretation of federal law, and lifted the injunction preventing it from being enforced. The rule can now take effect in every state except Maryland, where another federal judge's order has still enjoined the policy.

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