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Secret CIA report from sources ‘deep’ in Kremlin detailed Putin’s direct order to elect Trump: report

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A report compiled by the CIA and sent directly to former President Barack Obama detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct instructions to interfere in the 2016 election and help elect Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, the Washington Post reports.

Among the revelations in a bombshell report detailing the shortcomings of the Obama administration in response to Russia’s threat against American democracy is the existence of a report that detailed Putin’s “direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.” That effort, according to the Post, included specific orders to defeat Clinton and elect Trump.

Intelligence officials have been unanimous on Putin’s direct involvement in Russia’s election hacking since last year, but have been previously reluctant to ascribe a goal to Kremlin’s influence campaign for fear of exposing sources and methods. As the Post notes, the CIA’s report on Putin’s directive to elect Trump over Clinton came “from sourcing deep inside the Russian government” and was considered too sensitive to be shared in the President’s Daily Briefing.

Many in the Obama administration fear the former president did not do enough to stop Russian interference, for fears that any action would be seen as tipping the scales in favor of Clinton, who’d served in the 44th president’s cabinet. Instead Obama left his successor a secret program that could be used to retaliate against the Kremlin—which was left entirely up to Trump to implement. As the Post reports, the Obama administration felt the retaliation effort was undermined by the incoming Trump administration.

For his part, Trump has been reluctant to even admit Putin was responsible for last year’s attack on the U.S. voting system, let alone that the Russian president had a specific goal to elevate Trump over Clinton. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he’s yet to ask the president whether he believes Russia interfered in the election.

“I have not sat down and asked him about his specific reaction to them, so I’d be glad to touch base and get back to you,” Spicer told reporters at Wednesday’s press briefing.

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Investigators are currently trying to ascertain to what extent the incoming administration interfered with retaliation efforts put in motion by Obama. As Time reports, they’re also looking into whether the Trump associates used data from hacked voter databases during the campaign.

It wouldn’t be the first time Trump used hacked information to his advantage. In March of 2016, then-candidate Trump implored Russia to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from Clinton’s private server. That comment was made during the height of an extensive Russian cyber campaign targeting the U.S. voting system with—as the Post reports—the expressed intent to elect Trump president.

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Trump’s horsewhip-carrying chief of protocol will resign after intimidating State Department staff: report

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President Donald Trump's chief of protocol plans to step down just ahead of the G-20 summit in Japan, according to Bloomberg News.

Sean Lawler, whose job includes assisting the president in diplomatic talks overseas and with foreign leaders in the White House, faces an investigation from the State Department's inspector general for intimidating subordinates, including carrying a horsewhip around the office.

The president reportedly did not care for Lawler, at one point asking officials why he still works at the White House.

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Jerry Falwell, Jr blasted as ‘un-Christian prat’ after trying to defend Donald Trump in battle with Southern Baptist ethics chief

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Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. was ripped online for attempting to rationalize President Donald Trump's detention camps for children.

Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted on Twitter an Associated Press story on the "perilous conditions" at a Texas Border Patrol station holding 300 children.

"The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this," Moore wrote.

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How one woman taunting a homeless McDonald’s employee turned his life around

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A woman in Fayette County, Georgia recently took to Facebook to disparage a McDonald's worker who was sleeping in the restaurant. "I go and tell an employee there is someone is asleep in their booth and her response was 'oh yeah, we know hee hee, it's ok' and I said 'not really but whatever,'" she wrote.

It turned out the sleeping employee, Simon Childs, is a 21-year-old homeless father who had recently lost his mother and was trying to catch some rest between multiple shifts at the restaurant.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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