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Russian social media conglomerate gave information about Trump campaign to Senate investigators: report

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Russian social media monolith Vkontakte has provided information to the Senate Judiciary Committee about one of their senior executives allegedly communicating with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

As Talking Points Memo reported Wednesday evening, Vkontakte, a company similar to Facebook, “appears to be cooperating with the Senate Judiciary Committee by providing documents related to communication between Russian nationals and Dan Scavino, a Trump campaign staffer who now works as the White House social media director.”

Scavino was reportedly also in contact with British publicist Rod Goldstone after the infamous Trump Tower meeting between top campaign aides and Russian nationals in June 2016.

TPM notes that although the content of the Vknontakte documents is unclear, “previous reports in the press have detailed emails exchanged in 2016 between Konstantin Sidorkov, VKontakte’s director of partnership marketing, and Scavino.”

Last month, the Washington Post reported on the messages between Sidorkov and Scavino based on interviews with people familiar with the exchange. Sidorkov reportedly told Scavino in an introductory email that he could make Trump “the top news in Russia,” though it’s unclear if the aide responded.

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BUSTED: CNN’s panel of women defending Trump’s racism were literally the ‘Trumpettes’

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CNN aired a panel that featured “Republican women” defending President Trump’s racist tweets, but failed to mention that they were actually part of a pro-Trump group whose members the network had interviewed in the past.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s faulty human shield against accusations of racism

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Ben Carson is back in the news — after another long absence — because Donald Trump has once again been accused of racism.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the only African-American member of the president’s Cabinet, and is often trotted out to clean up after Trump makes a mess too obviously problematic for the media to ignore. While Trump has tried to spin his recent racist attacks on four progressive freshman congresswomen as a strategic maneuver meant to manipulate Democratic infighting to his advantage, Carson's re-emergence from his stupor should be a clear indication that the president’s team recognizes the damage that can be caused by his unforced errors.

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An illegal trend could be emerging after Trump let Kellyanne Conway off the hook for breaking federal law

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Federal workplaces are supposed to be free of politics, but a Trump administration appointee used a government forum Wednesday to express support for the president’s reelection.

At a conference on religious freedom hosted by the State Department, an official told the crowd of several hundred people that “hopefully he will be reelected,” referring to President Donald Trump.

It’s illegal for federal employees to engage in political activities while they are on the job.

“It’s a violation of the Hatch Act for a federal official, to say in her official capacity, to hope that the president will be reelected,” said Kathleen Clark, an expert on legal ethics at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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