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‘Trump mentioned him himself’: Shep Smith blows up White House’s attempt to downplay guilty Russia-linked aide

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Fox News host Shep Smith criticized the White House’s attempt to distance itself from a foreign policy advisor who plead guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling.

“The former foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign admits he lies to the feds about his contacts with the Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton,” Smith said.

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It was revealed Monday that former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents.

“They are really downplaying the foreign policy advisor,” Smith told his guest, the Wall Street Journal’s John Bussey. “Unpaid and all of that.”

“It was March of 2016 that President Trump mentioned him himself, said ‘an oil guy, great guy.’ It was April of 2016 that these conversations with the professor regarding Russia began. So one happened in March, the next happened in April. It’s going to be hard for them to downplay him,” Shep said.

Bussey agreed.

“There were e-mails back and forth between him and campaign officials,” Bussey noted, “talking about what you just described, which were his meetings with this Russian who was saying, ‘look, we can get you information on Hillary Clinton, we want to understand a little bit more about where Donald Trump is growing to be on Russia, let’s organize some meetings.'”

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How corporate lawyers made it harder to punish companies that destroy electronic evidence

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In the early 2000s, a series of civil lawsuits against giant corporations illustrated the disastrous consequences that could ensue if a defendant failed to provide electronic evidence such as company emails or records. In one suit against tobacco giant Philip Morris in 2004, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler concluded that the company deliberately deleted troves of emails that contained incriminating information. She fined the company $2.7 million for the breach, levied $250,000 fines against each of the company supervisors found culpable and barred them from testifying at the trial.

Big corporations rallied for changes and got them. In 2006, the rules that govern federal litigation were changed to create a “safe harbor” that would protect companies from consequences for failing to save electronic evidence as long as they followed a consistent policy and, when put on notice of imminent litigation, preserved all relevant materials.

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John Bolton had concerns about Donald Trump’s favors to autocrats: report

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Former national security advisor John Bolton privately told the US attorney general last year about concerns that President Donald Trump was essentially granting favors to autocrats, The New York Times reported Monday.

It said the revelations, concerning the leaders of China and Turkey, come in an unpublished book manuscript by Bolton.

The same manuscript says Trump told Bolton that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped to investigate his political rivals, the Times previously reported.

Those allegations have roiled Trump's impeachment trial that is ongoing in the US Senate.

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Fox News host scolds Mike Pompeo for scuffle with reporter: ‘Don’t be such a baby!’

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Fox News host Steve Hilton scolded Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for being a "baby," a "bully" and an "embarrassment" after NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly reported that he berated and cursed at her for asking questions about the Ukraine scandal.

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got into an ugly dustup with an NPR reporter this week, and I've got something I want to get off my chest," Fox's Steve Hilton told his viewers on Sunday.

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