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Ex-CIA officer refutes Trump on campaign informant: ‘This is what the FBI does’ if you have a Russian spy on staff

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Former CIA officer Robert Baer on Monday disputed President Donald Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, after they suggested that the Obama administration had improperly used a confidential informant to spy on the Trump campaign.

Over the weekend, both Trump and Giuliani hyped the news that a confidential informant may have been used in a counter-intelligence investigation involving Trump’s campaign. Trump revealed on Sunday that he would “demand” that the Department of Justice investigate itself over “whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes.”

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Baer told CNN on Monday that Trump and Giuliani were being “disingenuous” about the use of informants.

“The FBI, when it got a lead that [Trump campaign staffer] Carter Page was possibly a Russian agent, at that point was legally obligated to open an investigation, which included putting a tap on his phone,” Baer explained. “And also running a confidential informant into Carter Page and a couple of other suspect Russian moles. This is what the FBI does.”

“But I guarantee you that the president, President Obama, did not call up the FBI and say, ‘Open up a political investigation into Donald Trump,'” the former CIA officer added. “It just did not happen. He’s conflating these two things: a counter-intelligence investigation and political dirty tricks.”

Baer was also troubled by Trump’s embrace of conspiracy theories.

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“You have a president that truly believes there is such a thing as a deep state, the FBI is at the center of the deep state and is out to get him,” Baer lamented. “There simply has been no evidence brought forth to support that. There is no deep state, of course, but what can you do?”

Watch the video below from CNN.

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CNN’s Toobin says all evidence points to Trump running an extortion scheme for political dirt

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laid out how all the evidence points to President Donald Trump attempting to extort Ukraine for political dirt — even the evidence Trump himself has put forward to the public voluntarily.

"May 14th, Trump tells Vice President Pence not to attend Zelensky, the Ukrainian president's inauguration," said Cooper. "July 18th, Trump decides to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that's already been passed by Congress. July 25th is that Trump and Zelensky phone call. I mean, I don't know if it's, you know, if it begins with the call from Putin, but there certainly is a lot of activity, a lot of dominos falling."

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Trump’s attack on congressional legitimacy ‘boggles the mind’: Ex-Whitewater counsel

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Whitewater senior counsel Paul Rosenzweig and anchor Erin Burnett discussed how Alexander Hamilton warned about leaders like Trump in his writings — and the president's stunning declaration of the impeachment probe as "crap" and "illegitimate."

"Historian Ron Chernow, whose biography on Hamilton is the biography, the one used for the Broadway musical, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post," said Burnett. "He says Hamilton, who was a defender of executive power, would have supported impeaching Donald Trump. He cites one of his Federalist Papers, where Hamilton writes, in part, 'When a man unprincipled in his private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper ... when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.' Hamilton warning such a leader will become a demagogue and a tyrant ... Does it sound like Hamilton, even so long ago, could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul?"

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Senate Republicans are ‘frustrated’ that Mulvaney has ruined everything: CNN reporter

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," reporter Phil Mattingly noted that there is tremendous "frustration" among Senate Republicans over President Donald Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, for acknowledging a quid pro quo and throwing a wrench in the president's defense against impeachment efforts.

"The Republicans we're talking to tonight are not nearly in the same place that Mitt Romney is on most things, but on Mick Mulvaney, there is an agreement and broad frustration," said Mattingly. "Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) saying he believed if you ask Mick Mulvaney, he would acknowledge it wasn't his best performance over the last couple of interviews. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the number two ranked Republican said it is, 'a rough patch for Mick Mulvaney.'"

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