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Russia will attack our elections again in 2018 — and Trump will call it ‘fake news’

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Reporters are increasingly sounding the alarm on Russia’s likely attacks on America’s next elections — and there’s little likelihood that President Donald Trump will try to stop them.

As Paul Waldman wrote in The Washington Post Tuesday, Russia’s electoral interference “was hard enough to resist when the executive branch wanted to resist” it. With Trump in office and likely to feel “more politically threatened by upcoming elections and Robert S. Mueller’s investigation,” there’s no telling how bad it could get.

Waldman, a senior writer at The American Prospect, cited a Christmas Day report from the Post about successful Kremlin operations to infiltrate left-wing news sites. The article details how a suspected Kremlin operative under FBI surveillance managed to get published in sites like CounterPunch under the pseudonym “Alice Donovan” — all while American intelligence experts fumbled to figure out their true objectives.

“U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies saw some warning signs of Russian meddling in Europe and later in the United States but never fully grasped the breadth of the Kremlin’s ambitions,” the report read. “Top U.S. policymakers didn’t appreciate the dangers, then scrambled to draw up options to fight back.”

Waldman noted that experts in the intelligence community admit that Russia’s media interference didn’t end after November 8, 2016, and that “most experts believe Vladimir Putin’s motives are more complex than that, and involve sowing discord and confusion that destabilizes our system.”

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If and when American intelligence agencies conclude that Russia is once again attempting to meddle in our elections, the danger lies in how Trump will respond. Given reports that claim Trump “views any and all questions about Russian meddling as nothing more than an effort to delegitimize his glorious 2016 victory,” Waldman concludes that the president will respond any differently than he has in the past to such alarms.

He goes on to outline what may happen: Trump will call the intelligence community’s investigations “fake news” and try to discredit the FBI and other organizations (as he did this morning and has for months). Right-wing media will then parrot his discrediting and “attack the analysts and agencies warning of the Russian efforts.” Finally, GOP members of Congress may try to “launch their own investigation of the investigation.”

As Waldman notes, this scenario isn’t just conjecture — it’s happening now as Trump, right-wing media and congressional Republicans have raised their voices to decry the “deep state” conspiracy against the president within the intelligence world.

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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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Conservative suggests Trump’s racist rhetoric will incite worse than ‘send her back’ chants: ‘One shudders to wonder’

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In a column for the Washington Post, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Kathleen Parker said the refusal by Republican lawmakers and the evangelical community to condemn Donald Trump's racist rhetoric is paving the way for something far worse than mere "send her back" chants.

Under a headline that bluntly states, "Those who don’t condemn Trump’s racism are complicit in his bigotry," Parker gets right to her opinion of the president, writing, "Going out on a limb here: President Trump is a racist. And a sexist. And a xenophobic nationalist. Among other things. Not to name call or anything."

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BUSTED: Leaked drug exec emails showed them encouraging opioid abuse to the point people would eat them ‘like Doritos’

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On Friday, the Washington Post published excerpts from a damning series of emails released in a landmark case in Cleveland around the irresponsibility of drug manufacturers and suppliers in contributing to the opioid crisis.

In one email exchange, Victor Borelli, an account manager for pharmaceuticals corporation Mallinckrodt, told KeySource Medical vice president Steve Cochrane that 1,200 bottles of 30mg Oxycodone tablets had been shipped, to which Cochrane replied, "Keep 'em comin'! Flyin' out of there. It's like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are..." and Borelli responded, "Just like Doritos keep eating. We'll make more."

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