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WATCH: Lindsey Graham literally runs away when asked to defend Trump’s firing of Rex Tillerson

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday deflected questions about President Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and instead chose to focus on qualifications of the new nominee, Mike Pompeo.

MSNBC’s Garrett Haake caught up with Graham in the U.S. Capitol Building soon after Trump announced on Twitter that he was firing Tillerson.

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“I appreciate Rex’s service to the country,” Graham said. “Pompeo is a great choice. The primary job of the secretary of state is to be able to execute policy and to explain policy to the world in terms of what the president is thinking. Nobody is closer to President Trump than Mike Pompeo. So in that regard, I think he’ll be very effective.”

Haake noted that Tillerson “had a much more muscular stance on Russia than the president did.”

“How much of a factor do you think that might have been in this decision?” the MSNBC reporter asked.

Graham, however, refused to talk about Tillerson.

“I don’t think Mike Pompeo is taking a backseat to anyone when it comes to Russia,” the senator insisted. “Mike is very clear that Russians interfered in our election and that Russians are a bad actor. I don’t think it has anything to do with that.”

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As Haake pointed out that “two top level cabinet [are] officials out in a week,” Graham began running away from the reporter without explaining why.

“How much does that concern you about people who are advising the president?” Haake wondered.

“I think Pompeo is a good choice,” Graham replied as he dashed into a meeting room.

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Watch the video below from MSNBC.

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Trump in 2014 fantasized about Obama falling apart emotionally if he got impeached: ‘He’d be a mess!’

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President Donald Trump has been angrily obsessing over House impeachment hearings -- just like he imagined former President Barack Obama would do if Republicans impeached him back in 2014.

Media Matters this week dug up an old "Fox & Friends" interview with Trump in which he mused over whether Obama secretly wanted to be impeached to boost his poll numbers, similar to what happened with former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

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Lawyers use belief in Trump far-right conspiracy theories for murder suspect’s insanity defense

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In the age of Trump, far-right conspiracy theories have gripped a large section of his base, birthing one of the most convoluted and bizarre rumors to date, namely the QAnon conspiracy theory -- which details a complicated and sometimes nonsensical plot by the "Deep State" against Trump and his supporters.

While most people regurgitate this particular brand of paranoia from behind their keyboards, some have been driven to commit acts of violence after being radicalized online, one example being a 29-year-old North Carolina man whose belief in "Pizza Gate" prompted him to walk into a D.C. pizzeria in 2016 and open fire with an assault weapon, believing he was rescuing children held hostage by a Hillary Clinton-run child sex trafficking ring.

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Trump’s undermining of efforts to fight Putin detailed in ex-CIA agent’s disturbing new column

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A recently retired CIA agent reveals that President Donald Trump was a "wild card" that prevented a full-scale effort to combat Russian aggression against the U.S. and its allies.

Marc Polymeropoulos, who retired from the agency in June, said in column posted at Just Security that the CIA issued an informal "call to arms" in the wake of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election, but those efforts were hampered by Trump's relationship with Russia's president Vladimir Putin.

"The Call to Arms required a whole-of-agency effort to counter the Kremlin," Polymeropoulos wrote. "It involved moving resources and personnel inside CIA. Most importantly, it required a change in mindset, similar to what occurred within the Intelligence Community after 9/11, that an 'all-hands-on-deck' approach was required."

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