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WSJ reporter: No one will tell me how GOP source who tried to get Hillary’s emails from Russia died

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Shane Harris, the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the bombshell story about Republican operative Peter Smith trying to obtain Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails from Russian hackers, made a startling revelation on Morning Joe Friday morning.

During the interview, Harris explained that Smith reached out to him to tell him his story shortly before he passed away on May 14 at the age of 81. MSNBC’s Elise Jordan then noted that Harris never mentioned Smith’s cause of death in his story about his role in trying to retrieve Clinton’s deleted State Department emails from Russian state hackers.

“How did Mr. Smith die?” she asked him.

“It’s a great question, and I should say we do not know how he died,” he said. “We made multiple attempts, both with family members and with associates of his, as well as government officials in the town where he lived, to try and determine his cause of death, and we were unsuccessful.”

Harris did note that Smith was 81 years old, and he had seen no evidence of any kind of foul play involved in his death.

Smith’s obituary, which appeared in the Chicago Tribune last month, similarly never mentioned the cause of his death.

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Retired admiral could pose serious threat if he decides to run against Iowa Republican: report

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On Wednesday, Iowa Starting Line reported that Ret. Adm. Michael Franken is in talks with state and national Democrats about challenging GOP Sen. Joni Ernst.

Franken, who has served as Deputy for Military Operations for AFRICOM, Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Department of the Navy, hails from Sioux Center, a town in the deeply conservative northwest part of the state.

Ernst, who first gained national attention for her 2014 campaign ad about castrating hogs, is a reliable vote for President Donald Trump in the Senate, and the president's poor approval ratings in Iowa have left Democrats hopeful that they can defeat her.

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Here’s why Trump and Putin are only frenemies at this point

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President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran has hit an obstacle: Russia.

While the United States insists that Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in international airspace last week, Russia rejected the charge on Tuesday and supported Iran’s claim that the Global Hawk drone with a 116-foot wingspan was shot down over Iranian territory.

A top Russian official stated Moscow’s intelligence findings at a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, according to Haaretz, the Israeli daily.

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2020 Election

How the GOP is embracing more ruthless power grabs in the face of huge political challenges

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On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases highlighting the collision between partisan power grabs and setting the ground rules for two of the most important elections in America—those for U.S. House and state legislative chambers.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

One ruling concerns whether the Trump administration can add a question to the 2020 census that asks if anyone residing in that address is not a U.S. citizen. The other concerns whether hyper-partisanship is unconstitutional when state legislatures run by a single party draw electoral districts to maximize their party’s likelihood of winning elections.

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