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Russia threatens US media with ‘tit-for-tat’ crackdown after Kremlin-controlled RT complains of ‘persecution’

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Russia on Monday threatened US media operating in the country with new legal restrictions after Kremlin-controlled broadcaster RT complained of persecution by Washington.

The Russian justice ministry sent letters to “a number of US media operating in Russia” warning them of the “unacceptability of breaching Russian law,” its press service said in a statement quoted by Interfax news agency.

It said the letter was “a tit-for-tat measure in response to the persecution of Russian media in the United States.”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is US-funded, reported it received a letter warning its activities could fall under a controversial law that forces NGOs to register as “foreign agents”.

This law, passed in 2012, has not so far been used against media.

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It obliges groups with so-called “political” activities and international funding to call themselves “foreign agents”, a term that recalls Stalin-era repression and Cold War espionage.

The rules have seen some organisations reject much-needed funding from abroad, while others have closed down.

A government source was quoted by Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti as confirming the existence of the letters.

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The source said US media received “an official letter informing them of upcoming changes in Russian legislation about the broadening of the list of NGOs that can be named ‘foreign agents.'”

The source said the letters had gone out to media including the Voice of America multimedia broadcaster and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and its regional websites, one of which specialises in news from Moscow-annexed Crimea.

The source stressed that “these actions concern only American media, and this is an exceptional measure in response to the possible assignment of ‘foreign agent’ status to RT in the US.”

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The warnings come after the Kremlin on Friday criticised “unprecedented pressure” on Russia’s RT state-controlled broadcaster in the United States and warned of possible reciprocal action.

RT, which broadcasts in English and other languages, said last month that the US Justice Department had asked it to register as a “foreign agent.”

According to RT, the channel has been given a deadline of October 17 to register under FARA, a law written in 1938 to blunt Nazi propaganda, which specifically exempts news organisations.


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2020 Election

Trump’s racist attacks on Dem lawmakers are a test run in case he faces Kamala Harris in 2020: MSNBC contributor

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Speaking with host Alex Witt on Sunday afternoon, an MSNBC contributor speculated that Donald Trump's racist attack on four female Democrats -- none of whom are white -- was a test run to see how far he can go attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) should she be his opponent in the 2020 general election.

According to Democratic strategist Don Calloway, Trump may not have a grand strategy, but he's in "campaign mode" which brings out his barely concealed inner-racist.

"I'm not one to ascribe a strategy to the president when it's clear he's not a deep thinker, but he is, however, in campaign mode," he explained. "I see this as a good campaign device for him to gin up his base, fueled by the xenophobia and race-based hatred."

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Here’s how lawyers enabling Trump’s obstruction can have their livelihoods stripped from them — by anyone

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In a column for the Daily Beast, a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives laid out a simple way to force lawyers advising aides to Donald Trump to defy Congressional subpoenas -- or avoiding one themselves -- to stop giving bad advice by moving to have them disbarred.

According to Brad Miller, who represented North Carolina in Congress between 2003 and 2013, the way in which former President Bill Clinton's impeachment was handled -- and the penalty he eventually received -- is a road map for legal retaliation even if Democrats in Congress won't do it.

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Lara Trump snarls at critics of ‘send her back’ for pushing a ‘biased, racially-charged narrative’

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Lara Trump, the wife of President Donald Trump's son Eric, has accused CNN anchor Anderson Cooper of pushing a "biased, racially-charged narrative" after he criticized her recent defense of the Trump administration over the "send her back" scandal.

This article first appeared on Salon.

"Anyone insinuating that there was some premeditated plan to orchestrate the “send her back” chant is obviously desperate to continue pushing a biased, racially-charged narrative. #FakeNews," Trump posted to her Twitter account on Saturday. She included a link to the Washington Examiner, a right-leaning newspaper which included a quote from Cooper blasting Trump for supposedly "lying" about her role in whipping up a crowd to chant "send her back" about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

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