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‘How the f*ck did Avenatti find out?’: New York Times, NBC News back up Stormy Daniels’ lawyer on Cohen claim

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The news that Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen received $500,000 from Russia oligarch Viktor Vekselberg after the 2016 presidential election did not come from the New York Times, NBC News, or any traditional news outlet—though most major publications were able to corroborate that report.

Instead, the source of the day’s bombshell came from Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, who tweeted out an “executive summary” Tuesday afternoon—a fact that reportedly stunned sources.

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“After significant investigation, we have discovered that Mr. Trump’s atty Mr. Cohen received approximately $500,000 in the mos. after the election from a company controlled by a Russian Oligarc with close ties to Mr. Putin,” Avenatti tweeted. “These monies may have reimbursed the $130k payment.”

“How the fuck did Avenatti find out?” one source asked The Daily Beast when pressed on Cohen’s payment from Vekselberg.

In documents released via Twitter, Avenatti also alleged “[Cohen’s company] Essential received $200,000 in four separate payments of $50,000 in late 2017 and early 2018 from AT&T.” Shortly after Avenatti’s tweet, AT&T admitted it retained Cohen for “insight” into the Trump administration.

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The New York Times on Tuesday referenced Avenatti’s document release in an article on Vekselberg’s payments to Cohen:

“References to the transactions first appeared in a document posted to Twitter on Tuesday by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film star who was paid $130,000 by Essential Consultants to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Mr. Trump. The lawyer’s six-page document, titled ‘Preliminary Report of Findings,’ does not explain the source of his information but describes in detail dates, dollar amounts and parties involved in various dealings by Mr. Cohen and his company.

The Times’s review of financial records confirmed much of what was in Mr. Avenatti’s report. In addition, a review of emails and interviews shed additional light on Mr. Cohen’s dealings with the company connected to Mr. Vekselberg, who was stopped and questioned at an airport earlier this year by investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

Though originally noting Avenatti “provided no documentation for his claims,” NBC News was also able to “review financial documents that appear to support” the attorney.

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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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