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GOP congressman: Trump ‘actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign’

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In a New York Times op-ed published Friday, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), a former undercover CIA officer,  bluntly lays out the case that President Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them,” Hurd writes.

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He explains why this is dangerous.

“By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad,” Hurd says.

He reiterates the fact that the intelligence community’s conclusion about Russian meddling in the 2016 election are certain.

“Our intelligence community has concluded with high confidence that President Putin personally ordered his security services to undertake an influence campaign aimed at undermining confidence in American democracy to sow chaos in our electoral system,” he writes.

Hurd then outlines the tools Congress can use to counter Russian disinformation and meddling around the world.

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He asks that Congress continue arming Ukraine in its fight against Russian separatists. Hurd also calls for more stringent sanctions, and legislation that might improve Ukraine’s ability to counter Russian disinformation. He wants State Department head Mike Pompeo to testify before Congress about what transpired during meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and President Vladimir Putin.

Hurd also emphasizes the importance of arming the intelligence community with the tools it needs to counter Russian intelligence.

“Without action, we risk losing further credibility in international negotiations with both our friends and foes on critical trade deals, military alliances and nuclear arms.”

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By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad.


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Trump is about to endure vegetarian meals on India trip — but friend admits ‘I have never seen him eat a vegetable’

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An uncomfortable cultural division is about to pay out in India this week, as a burger-loving president will be forced to attend several vegetarian meals.

President Donald Trump, who prefers his steaks well-done and his burgers from McDonald's, will have at least one lunch and a banquit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is a deoted vegitarian.

CNN spoke with a person close to the president who has dined with him several times. According to the friend, every now and then, the president will have a salad, but outside of that, "I have never seen him eat a vegetable."

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Are Roger Stone’s attacks on the judge just a desperate attempt to score a new trial?

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Once again, Roger Stone's lawyers filed a demand that Judge Amy Berman Jackson recuse herself from his case. And once again, Jackson denied the attempt.

Stone's relationship with Berman Jackson has been fraught with melodrama that seems entirely of his own making.

In the very early days of the trial, Stone was put under a gag order to keep the case out of the news and ensure the jury could remain impartial. Stone not only broke the gag rule, but he also went on his own personal attack against the judge, posting a photo of the judge surrounded by the crosshairs of a gun.

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White House swears absence of Mulvaney on Trump’s India trip has nothing to do with comments begging for immigrants

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The White House swears that the real reason chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was nixed at the last minute from attending the India trip has nothing to do with his latest comments about the desperate need for immigrants for the future of the United States.

Mulvaney was outed this week after he was caught on tape saying that the United States is "desperate" for immigrants.

"We are desperate — desperate — for more people," Mulvaney told a private group in England Wednesday. "We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we've had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants."

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