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‘In the middle of the conspiracy’: MSNBC panel calls out Roger Stone contacts with Russian intel as like ‘a spy thriller’

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Longtime Donald Trump associate and infamous GOP dirty tricks operative Roger Stone may be the critical link between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, Joy Reid explained on MSNBC Friday night.

Guest hosting All In with Chris Hayes, Reid brought on two guests with the last name of Ackerman to dissect the Daily Beast scoop that the hacker who released emails from the Democratic National Committee was a Russian Intelligence Agent. Despite Stone promising he wasn’t working with any Russians.

“So Roger Stone was wrong. We know, in fact, he was in contact with not only a Russian, but a Russian intelligence agent,” Reid explained. “And not just any Russian intelligence agent. The Russian intelligence agent who claimed credit for hacking the DNC.”

“How was it discovered the person that Roger Stone was communicating with, this Guccifer 2.0, was a Russian intelligence agent?” Reid asked Spencer Ackerman, who co-wrote The Beast bombshell with Kevin Poulsen.

“Joy, it’s basically out of a spy thriller,” Spencer Ackerman replied. “The Russian operative in question, an officer for Russia’s largest intelligence agency, known as the GRU, slipped up in a crucial bit of trade craft.”

“Usually, when Guccifer 2.0 went online and connected to his Twitter account, connected to his WordPress blog, he secured his IP address, his originating location, so to speak, digitally, through a VPN. Basically something that would prevent an outside observer figuring out where his location is,” he explained. “In one occasion he did not that meant that on the servers of an American social media company was this person’s real IP address and that address traced back to the Moscow headquarters of the GRU.”

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Reid then interviewed former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman about the legal consequences of Spencer Ackerman’s reporting.

“So that brings me to the other, Mr. Ackerman, Nick. How much would it take to go from Roger Stone admitting he communicates with Guccifer 2.0 to Guccifer 2.0 being revealed to being a Russian intelligence officer to collusion?” Reid asked.

“It puts Roger Stone right in the middle of the conspiracy with the Russians to steal the e-mails out of the Democratic National Committee and use them to elect Donald Trump,” he replied. “This is the first instance that we have, maybe except for the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower, where you have somebody from the Trump campaign dealing with a Russian operative.”

The former prosecutor added, “you can see how this conspiracy is coming together and more evidence is coming up showing that, in fact, the Trump campaign did conspire with the Russian government to get Trump elected.”

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“And very quickly, Nick, I want to put up the list of all the people who, at least we know of, that had contacts with the Russians,” Reid said. “As a prosecutor, can it be coincidental this that many people were having outreach and communications with the Russians without it being a conspiracy or collusion in your view?”

“In my view, they were all part of this conspiracy to break into the Democratic National Committee, steal those emails, and use them to get Donald Trump elected,” he concluded.

Nick Ackerman and Spencer Ackerman are not related.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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