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Trump and Pence were warned in January that CIA had proof Putin directed election hacks: report

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President Donald Trump was notified during the transition that the CIA had conclusive proof that Russian president Vladimir Putin had personally directed hacking operations before the 2016 U.S. election.

Trump has repeatedly denied U.S. intelligence findings about Russian interference, and both he and Putin have insisted the claims were made up by Democrats to justify the election loss by Hillary Clinton.

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But the Washington Post reported Thursday that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James B. Comey met with Trump on Jan. 6 to report the CIA “had captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation.”

The officials had already briefed President Barack Obama and members of Congress about the intercepts, and they expected the president-elect to throw them out of Trump Tower.

However, they said he reacted to the findings calmly.

The three top officials had rehearsed their briefing, which was also attended by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Reince Priebus, Mike Pompeo and Mike Flynn.

A copy of their report was left with Trump’s designated intelligence briefer, the newspaper reported.

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Comey then met privately with Trump to discuss a salacious dossier compiled by a former British spy that was being scrutinized by the FBI, and which was published four days later by BuzzFeed News.

Trump continues to deny Russian interference in the U.S. election, saying just last month after a face-to-face meeting in Vietnam that he believed Putin’s insistence that the Kremlin hadn’t meddled.

The president’s aides avoid bringing up the topic during national security briefings for fear of Trump going “off the rails,” according to the same report.

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Intelligence officials and lawmakers say the U.S. has not taken sufficient precautions to prevent Russia or another foreign power from interfering in upcoming elections.


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Trump spent 45 minutes talking with cast of right-wing play dramatizing ‘Deep State’ conspiracy theories: report

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The coronavirus emergency has given President Donald Trump one of the most daunting tests of his administration, with less than a year to go before he stands for re-election.

And yet in the midst of all the chaos, one thing the president found time to do on Thursday was meet with the cast of a bizarre right-wing play dramatizing the supposed "deep state" plot at the FBI to frame Trump in the Russia investigation.

According to The Daily Beast, Trump spent 45 minutes talking with the people behind "FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers," which focuses on the affair between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The leading roles of Strzok and Page were played by Dean Cain, the former Superman actor, and Kristy Swanson, who played the starring role in the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

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All US Navy ships in the Pacific near countries with coronavirus ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days

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CNN National Security reporter Ryan Browne tweeted Thursday that the U.S. Navy has ordered all of its vessels in the Pacific that have been near countries with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, "to remain at sea for at least 14 days before pulling into another port in order to monitor sailors for any symptoms of the virus."

Health experts have said that the two-week period should give enough time for infected people to become aware that they are sick.

The highly-contagious disease has spread very quickly in South Korea and California after public exposure. The first person verified with "community-spread" transmission was identified just outside of Sacramento, California.

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‘Most wicked to ever represent Cleveland’: Jim Jordan ripped by hometown paper for covering up sex scandal

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President Trump likes to call his enemies 'sleaze bags" and Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan a "warrior," but according to Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin, Trump has it backward.

While Jordan may not seem like the worse politician to ever come out of Ohio, the "crimes" he's committed "don't involve felonies," according to Larkin. "They are crimes against America, crimes involving total disregard for the principles of democracy, trampling the truth on behalf of a corrupt president who revels in his inhumanity."

Watching Jordan question witnesses during the House impeachment inquiry particularly incensed Larkin, who writes that it was like watching a man who "spent his childhood gleefully ripping wings off flies."

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