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Former US Homeland Security officials back nominee ahead of hearing

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A bipartisan group of dozens of former U.S. Homeland Security officials sent letters supporting the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen as the new head of the department ahead of her confirmation hearing on Wednesday by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Among the signers were former Homeland Security (DHS) secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, both Republicans who served under former President George W. Bush.

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“Ms. Nielson has been engaged in counter-terrorism, all-hazard risk mitigation, critical infrastructure protection, and response policy from the earliest days of what we now know as homeland security,” the two former secretaries wrote in a latter viewed by Reuters.

A separate letter was signed by former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander and former DHS officials Charles E. Allen, James M. Loy and John McLaughlin.

The letter was also signed by Jane Holl Lute and Alejandro Mayorkas, both who served as under secretaries of DHS under former President Barack Obama.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nielsen would take the reins at a sprawling department with more than 240,000 employees that is responsible for U.S. border and airport security, immigration policy, disaster response, refugee admissions and other matters.

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Nielsen, 45, is a cyber security expert with a considerable resume in homeland security work that includes service at the department’s Transportation Security Administration and on former Republican President George W. Bush’s White House Homeland Security Council.

She was nominated to the role after John Kelly, the previous secretary, was named White House chief of staff this summer. Nielson worked as Kelly’s deputy in the White House prior to being nominated in October.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson)

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‘A threat to virtually everything that the United States should stand for’: Scathing NYT op-ed on Trump goes viral

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damning piece by New York Times Opinion Columnist David Leonhardt is going viral. “Donald Trump vs. the United States of America” says it’s “Just the facts, in 40 sentences.”

That’s all it is.

40 sentences, 40 facts chronicling President Donald Trump’s lawlessness, self-dealing, un-American behavior, attempts to do real damage to vital institutions, and grotesque acts. Some are impeachable offenses. Some are just not worthy – or are disqualifying – of a president of the United States.

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Mississippi: African American voters sue over election law rooted in the state’s racist past

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A lawsuit over a Mississippi election law, if successful, will change the way that state elects its governor.

Four African Americans filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in May 2019, charging that the way their state elects its statewide officials violates the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment and the principle of “one-person, one-vote.”

To win election, a candidate for governor of Mississippi has to win an outright majority of the popular vote – and win a majority of the state’s 122 House districts.

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Fox & Friends pushes lies and distortions about intel whistleblower: ‘Almost as if they heard a rumor’

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"Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy pushed inaccurate claims about a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence official against President Donald Trump.

The Fox News broadcaster downplayed the complaint, which reportedly involved Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to dig up dirt against Joe Biden, and falsely claimed that Congress had no authority to investigate.

"In this country, you know, we've heard a lot over the last couple of years about how the Democrats would like to impeach the president of the United States," Doocy said, and co-host Brian Kilmeade feigned shock.

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