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Trump administration moves to keep full CIA ‘torture’ report secret

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has begun returning to Congress copies of a voluminous 2014 report describing the CIA’s harsh detention and interrogation programs, U.S. officials said on Friday.

The Trump administration’s move means it could be more difficult for the full, 6,700-page report to be made public, because documents held by Congress are exempt from laws requiring government records to eventually be made public.

The White House made the move in response to requests by Sen. Richard Burr, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s current Republican chairman, officials said.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, Burr said: “I have directed my staff to retrieve copies of the Congressional study that remain with the Executive Branch agencies and, as the Committee does with all classified and compartmented information, will enact the necessary measures to protect the sensitive sources and methods contained within the report.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat who chaired the committee when the report was produced, had asked that it be distributed to multiple executive branch agencies, a move designed to make it eventually releasable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act law.

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Feinstein said in a statement that she was “concerned and disappointed” that Burr requested that the document be returned, calling it a departure from the committee’s normal bipartisan nature.

“No senator, chairman or not, has the authority to erase history. I believe that is the intent of the chairman in this case,” she said.

Sen Mark Warner, who succeeded Feinstein as the committee’s top Democrat, said in a Twitter post he was “disappointed” with Burr’s decision, and that the report “must be preserved so we can learn from past mistakes & ensure that abuses are never repeated.”

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A declassified executive summary of the report was made public in December 2014. It concluded that the CIA’s interrogation programs, using techniques such as waterboarding that most observers consider torture, were more brutal and less effective than the CIA had told policymakers.

The report said that not a single terrorist attack was foiled as a result of the use of harsh interrogation techniques.

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed litigation to have the full report released. But U.S. courts ruled that because the document was created by Congress, it was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

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At least one copy of the report, however, will not be returned to the committee. That’s because a copy has been preserved in former President Barack Obama’s presidential archive, according to a Dec. 9, 2016 letter written to Feinstein by Obama’s top White House lawyer at the time, W. Neil Eggleston.

The CIA declined to comment. Burr’s move was first reported by the New York Times.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Jonathan Landay; Writing by Warren Strobel; Editing by Bernadette Baum)


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Newly revealed video shows Trump and Jeffrey Epstein ogling cheerleaders at Mar-A-Lago party

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Newly revealed video recorded in 1992 shows Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein ogling NFL cheerleaders at a party held at the future president's Mar-A-Lago club.

The video recorded by NBC and broadcast Wednesday by MSNBC shows Trump, then a celebrity businessman, dancing with dozens of cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, and then greeting Epstein and two other men.

Trump and the accused pedophile Epstein are then seen pointing toward various women and commenting on their looks, although it's not always clear what they're saying.

"She's hot," Trump says about one woman, and then leans in to say something that makes Epstein double over with laughter.

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were astonished by Kellyanne Conway's response to a reporter asking about President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four first-year lawmakers.

The White House senior adviser asked Breakfast Media White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg, who is Jewish, about his ethnicity after he asked Conway what countries Trump was telling the Democratic congresswomen to return.

"I won't draw any parallels with any fascist countries, but what happened yesterday in a press gaggle has nothing to do with the United States of America," Scarborough said, "and in any other administration over the past 240 years, a person that did what Kellyanne Conway did yesterday would have been fired on the spot. By the time she left the press gaggle and went back into the White House, they would have already packed up her belongings and would have told her leave by the back door and never talk to us again."

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Elon Musk shows off progress on brain-machine interface

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Futurist entrepreneur Elon Musk late Tuesday revealed his secretive Neuralink startup is making progress on an interface linking brains with computers, and said they hope to begin testing on people next year.

Musk has long contended that a neural lace meshing minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being so outpaced by artificial intelligence that, under the best of circumstances, humans would be akin to "house cats."

Musk and members of the Neuralink team laid out progress they have made on their mission at an event held in San Francisco to recruit talent in software, robotics, neuroscience and more.

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