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Lobbyists panic after Mueller team digs into foreign agent databases as part of Trump-Russia probe

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Lobbyists scrambled to file paperwork after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a pair of top Trump campaign officials with violating a rarely enforced federal law.

News reports began circulating earlier this year that Mueller and FBI agents were examining databases in the U.S. Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Unit, and an unusually high number of lobbyists filed paperwork disclosing their overseas work, reported NBC News.

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Mueller indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates in October on a variety of charges, including money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Previously, only three indictments had ever been handed up for alleged FARA violations since the amendment of the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1966, although none resulted in a conviction.

An NBC News analysis found that first-time filings under FARA jumped 50 percent between 2016 and 2017, while the number of supplemental filings detailing campaign donations, meetings and phone calls doubled to 1,244 last year.

The parent company of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm owned by Trump donor Robert Mercer, recently filed paperwork showing it had helped spread propaganda against Qatar as part of an information war with Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

SCL Social Limited disclosed to the Justice Department that it had taken $333,000 from UAE to conduct a social media campaign linking Qatar to terrorism last year, as the Trump administration endorsed the Saudi and UAE positions and cut diplomatic ties with the tiny Gulf nation.

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The company created multiple ads on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media with the hashtag #boycottqatar, which were spread during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September.

Some of the ads called for President Donald Trump’s attention to the issue, but the filing does not otherwise link the president or Cambridge Analytica to the activity.

Lobbyists say American firms have been doing business for foreign governments over the past decade to influence public opinion on humanitarian crises or introduce foreign leaders to U.S. officials.

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One lobbyist told NBC News that U.S. firms can function as “little State Departments,” and they were often reluctant to file under FARA because their foreign clients preferred to remain anonymous.

But Mueller’s attention to FARA regulations has already pulled away some of that veil of secrecy, the network reported.

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Trump Tower is ‘under siege’ as Chicago Police make arrests to defend the president’s building

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Protesters marched on Trump Tower in Chicago on Saturday, as Chicago police in riot gear and on horses defend the president's building.

State police were deployed to the scene to back up local police, who are reportedly arresting protesters.

On video showed protesters taking a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.

Actor John Cusack was among those documenting the protest.

Here are some of the images from the scene:

https://twitter.com/dmihalopoulos/status/1266849888555409408

https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1266850390047408130

https://twitter.com/DirtyComoDiana/status/1266848376102039552

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George Floyd’s brother tears up discussing condolence phone call from Trump: ‘It hurt me’

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The brother of George Floyd described the condolence phone call he received from President Donald Trump during a Saturday interview on MSNBC.

Philonise Floyd was interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on "Politics Nation."

While Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third degree murder, the other three officers involved in the killing remain free.

"They all need to be convicted of first degree murder and given the death penalty," Floyd said.

"What was the conversation with President Trump like?" Sharpton asked.

"It was so fast," Floyd replied.

"He didn't give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard, I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept like pushing me off, like 'I don't want to hear what you're talking about.' And I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight."

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Bill Barr slammed by ex-FBI official for ignoring the right-wing ‘Boogaloo Bois’ infiltrating protests

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Attorney General Bill Barr was slammed by the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for misleading Americans about the source of violence at the protests over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

"There's evidence developing, Brian, that the organization we're seeing of the most violent protesters is coming from a couple of disturbing places," both, by the way, there's disparate in terms in being from the right or the left. here's what those who monitor these groups and sites are seeing.

"We're seeing a far-right group, one group for example known as the Boogaloo Bois, who on their private Facebook page and social media outlets are calling for violence, calling for people to show up," Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC's Brian Williams.

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