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New York Magazine writer outlines the case that Donald Trump could have been a Russian asset this whole time

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What if Donald Trump has been a Russian asset this whole time? That was the question Taegan Goddard asked after reading a haunting New York Magazine piece Sunday.

“The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory,” wrote New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait.

The text comes as a score of Democrats and some Republicans have tried to caution that the United States has been compromised not only in terms of the election but also the U.S. power grid as well as other critical infrastructure. The security of the nation, however, has fallen by the wayside as the GOP has been able to score legislative and judicial victories they feared they’d lost.

“A minority of analysts, mostly but not exclusively on the right, have promoted aggressively exculpatory interpretations of the known facts, in which every suspicious piece of evidence turns out to have a surprisingly innocent explanation,” Chait continued. “And it is possible, though unlikely, that every trail between Trump Tower and the Kremlin extends no farther than its point of current visibility.”

He goes to on imagine an “unlikely but possible outcome,” that things are actually worse than an adversarial country hacking a power grid and an election.

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“What would it look like if it were reassembled into a single narrative, one that distinguished between fact and speculation but didn’t myopically focus on the most certain conclusions?” he asked.

While a conspiracy theory, it wouldn’t be far from possibility as Trump eagerly begged for approval to open a Trump Tower Moscow and hoped to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin while hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

“The first intimations that Trump might harbor a dark secret originated among America’s European allies, which, being situated closer to Russia, have had more experience fending off its nefarious encroachments,” wrote Chait. “In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies began picking up evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit.”

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He then cited an April 2016 audio recording from Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign captured by one of the Baltic states and shared with then–CIA director John Brennan.

“In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Chait wrote as another piece of evidence. “The contents of these communications have not been disclosed, but what Brennan learned obviously unsettled him profoundly.”

While testifying before Congress, Brennan “hinted that some Americans might have betrayed their country,” Chait recalled.

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“Individuals who go along a treasonous path,” Brennan said, “do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late.”

But in an interview, Chait notes, Brennan was more open about what he learned.

“I think [Trump] is afraid of the president of Russia. The Russians may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult,” he said.

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Read the full report at New York Magazine.


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Fox News hires former Trump spokesman as Senior Vice President: report

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The revolving door between the White House and Fox News was spinning on Friday as a former spokesman for President Donald Trump was hired by Fox News.

"A bit of news: Raj Shah, the former spokesman in the White House, is joining Fox as a senior Vice President," Washington Post White House correspondent Josh Dawsey reported on Friday.

https://twitter.com/jdawsey1/status/1152374273522241537

After Hope Hicks left her job as White House communications director, she was hired to lead corporate communications for New Fox, the parent company of Fox News.

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Here’s why President Trump’s explicit racism is an impeachable offense

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Without even waiting for former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify about President Donald Trump's obstruction of justice, Democrats are legally justified in acting now to impeach the president for his explicit racism, a civil rights activist argued on Friday.

Journalist and author Shaun King laid out his argument in a column published by The Intercept.

To make his argument, King explained the difference between implicit and explicit racism.

"Across the country, corporations and government agencies, including police departments, are offering a wave of what’s called 'implicit bias training.' The fundamental theory is that, in this country, otherwise well-meaning employees can be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or xenophobic in ways that they may not really even be aware of," he explained. "It’s the notion that people unknowingly or unconsciously discriminate against others."

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Former FBI Director James Comey outlines the burning questions he’d ask Robert Mueller

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Former FBI Director James Comey has written a lengthy post at the Lawfare blog outlining the most important questions that Democrats need to ask of former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Although many of the questions outlined by Comey are simply asking Mueller to rehash the findings of his final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he does ask some questions designed to get Mueller to offer up his own analysis of President Donald Trump's actions, such as, "Did you find substantial evidence that the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?" and "Did you reach a judgment as to whether the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?"

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