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Devin Nunes refuses to say if he crafted anti-FBI memo in concert with the White House

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House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Tuesday declined to say whether he worked with the White House on the anti-FBI memo written by members of his staff, the Daily Beast reports.

His refusal came during a closed-door committee meeting, during which Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) asked Nunes if his staffers engaged with the White House as they wrote the memo alleging improper surveillance by the FBI during the 2016 presidential election.

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That memo has created a political firestorm in recent weeks with leading Republican figures demanding the release of the memo while simultaneous deferring to the Trump administration on whether to actually release it. Democrats have accused the Nunes memo of being a political ploy designed to provide cover to Donald Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

As the Beast reports, Nunes told Quigley, “I’m not answering” when asked point-blank about possible communications with the White House.

Nunes’ non-denial recalls a similar effort he made last year on behalf of the Trump administration. In March the House Intelligence Committee chairman held a press conference alleging former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department “unmasked” Trump officials.

According to Nunes, people related to the Trump transition team (which the House intel chairman was himself on) were swept up in “incidental surveillance” and improperly monitored by the former administration.

It was later reported Nunes received that information during a clandestine meeting with two White House officials—the day after former FBI Director James Comeys’ devastating testimony before Nunes’ committee.

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According to Trump, Nunes’ press conference “somewhat vindicated” his baseless claim that Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower in 2016. As the News Yorker’s Ryan Lizza reported last year, in the aftermath of that unsubstantiated claim, the White House put out an “all-points bulletin” to “find something” that would validate Trump’s charge.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said “the unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes.”

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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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