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Top Trump aide worked for wealthy members of a controversial celebrity ‘sex cult’

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A top aide in President Donald Trump’s White House has been tied to NXIVM — a celebrity “sex cult” where women were branded and kept as sex slaves — through one of his clients.

BuzzFeed News reported Monday that five sources relayed that Joe Hagin, the president’s deputy chief of staff for operations, worked with Libyan expat Basit Igtet, who capitalized upon the Arab Spring to make a comeback in his home country. Igtet and his wife, Seagram heiress Sara Bronfman, supported the NXIVM cult both financially and through proselytization.

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Three sources told BuzzFeed that Hagin worked for Igtet on two occasions — to “help him build support for the rebel government that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, and later he and his colleagues would run an international treasure hunt to try to recover Libya’s stolen billions in exchange for a massive payoff for his firm.”

The longtime GOP presidential consultant was aware of Igtet and Bronfman’s involvement with NXIVM, but continued to work with them because he saw a chance to get rich.

Former NXIVM publicist Frank Parlato — a man who later became a whistleblower for the spiritual self-help group that exposed founder Keith Raniere for physically branding his alleged “slaves” — told BuzzFeed that the cult emboldened Igtet’s view of himself.

“Basit went through a transformation and became a student of Raniere’s too,” Parlato said, adding that the group’s leader “began to coach him that he could be the next leader of Libya.”

In statements to BuzzFeed, Hagin admitted that he was aware of the couple’s involvement with the alleged cult masquerading as a self-help group, and was once invited to a NXIVM meeting, but declined the invitation after having read about it.

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“I have nothing to do with the group,” the Trump aide said. “I remember reading about it, and stayed away from it.”


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The real DC showdown: Pelosi vs. Trump

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Love her or hate her, Nancy Pelosi is a classy, effective and persuasive Speaker.

Repeatedly through the Trump presidency, she has stepped up to offer just the right gesture, just the right opinion, just the right level of evenness or passion that proves effective in making the role of leadership believable.

Along the way, she manages to count votes, keep her caucus in line and stand up for a totally understandable and admirable bar of justice and American value, for the Constitution itself.

Her statements yesterday in outlining in measured tones the reasoning that Donald Trump’s actions have left “no choice” but moving forward towards impeachment were well-said, logical, and belied the emotion behind them.

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Trump’s tax cuts and tariffs have been even more disastrous than skeptics predicted: Paul Krugman

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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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