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Conservative site publishes op-ed penned by Russian oligarch offered private Trump campaign briefings by Manafort

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The conservative Daily Caller blog on Thursday afternoon published a column written by a Russian oligarch that was given private briefings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

In the editorial, former Manafort employer and Russian steel magnate Oleg Deripaska claims the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin is a manufactured non-scandal.

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“The ever-changing ‘Russia narrative’ in American politics is today’s ‘Wag the Dog’ scenario,” Deripaska wrote, likening the many government investigations into potential Trump-Russia collusion to the 1997 black comedy in which a fictitious American president creates a war with Albania to distract from his own sex scandal.

Deripaska, who Manafort offered to give private updates on the Trump campaign’s status when he was its helm, went on to charge people suspicious of the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia with making it up as a means to boost the military.

Citing his attendance at the Munich security conference in February as evidence, the Russian oligarch charged Democrats bashing “Deep State”-obsessed right wingers with promoting the “military-industrial complex.”

“One of the panelists, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), said: ‘What the Breitbart crowd would call the ‘Deep State’ is what many of us would call ‘knowledgeable professionals,'” Deripaska wrote. “The panel’s uniform message was essentially: Ignore Donald Trump and increase your defense budget to 2 percent, because the generals who are ‘operationalizing policy’ remain in charge.”

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“What has been inelegantly termed the ‘Deep State’ is really this: shadow power exercised by a small number of individuals from media, business, government and the intelligence community, foisting provocative and cynically false manipulations on the public,” he continued. “Out of these manipulations, an agenda of these architects’ own design is born.”

Manafort, who has been indicted on 32 counts by Mueller primarily related to bank fraud and his work for a Ukranian political party, wrote to an intermediary just before Trump accepted the Republican nomination that he’d be willing to give Deripaska “private briefings” if he required them. Deripaska sued Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates in January for $25 million in damages stemming from a failed business deal.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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