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Mueller has gotten witnesses to turn over their phones so his team can access encrypted messages: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has successfully gotten multiple witnesses in his probe to turn over their phones so that he and his team can have access to messages that they sent and received over encrypted messaging services.

According to CNBC, many of the witnesses have cooperated with Mueller’s request instead of risking being subpoenaed.

“Since as early as April, Mueller’s team has been asking witnesses in the Russia probe to turn over phones for agents to examine private conversations on WhatsApp, Confide, Signal and Dust,” CNBC reports. “While it’s unclear what Mueller has discovered, if anything, through this new request, investigators seem to be convinced that the apps could be a key to exposing conversations that weren’t previously disclosed to them.”

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Encrypted messaging applications were used by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to allegedly conspire to tamper with witnesses who might testify against him.

Mueller’s team reportedly intercepted some of Manafort’s encrypted messages because he backed them up to his iCloud account, which federal officials apparently have access to via search warrant.

Cloud computing services such as iCloud, Google Drive and DropBox can automatically back up files that you create on your devices to a web storage space where you can access them from other web-connected devices.

This means that if you back up encrypted messages sent to other people through one of these services, anyone who has access to your cloud account can view them — even though they were encrypted when you sent them to someone else.

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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George Conway taunts Republican voters for sticking by ‘psycho buffoon’ Trump

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Conservative attorney George Conway launched a mini-tweet storm on Sunday morning just as President Donald Trump was leaving the country for a visit to India, telling Republican voters that they didn't have to settle for him being their candidate in 2016.

Along the way, he described the president as "a psycho and a buffoon."

In the series of tweets, Conway -- the husband of Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- noted that a more mainstream candidate could have won in 2016, writing, "Some perspective for supporters of @realDonaldTrump: A stable and competent GOP candidate would have won the popular vote in 2016, perhaps even by a few percentage points; a stable and competent GOP president, having inherited such a strong economy and goosed it with massive deficit spending, would have approval ratings of at least 55%."

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Why Americans are afraid to have babies

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Many Democrats are completely fixated on getting Donald Trump out of the Oval Office, no matter what it takes (or which Democratic presidential candidate). While that's certainly an important and obvious goal, the political stakes in 2020 are far, far greater than that.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Yes, there are compounding, existential and political crises that go beyond corrupt Beltway intrigue so much of the media fixates on.

Capitalism is in crisis. It is manifested in the deterioration in local conditions, a decline in the birthrate as well as in entrepreneurship.

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