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Manafort associate Sam Patten’s guilty plea could help Mueller nail Cambridge Analytica for rigging 2016 election

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The Paul Manafort associate who pleaded guilty Friday as part of a cooperation agreement could help investigators fill in some blanks about Cambridge Analytica’s work for the Trump campaign.

Lobbyist Sam Patten agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors after admitting to failing to register in as a foreign agent for his lobbying work for a Ukrainian political party.

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Patten worked with Manafort, the former Trump campaign chair who was convicted last week of tax and bank fraud, and suspected Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik, who was indicted this summer in the special counsel probe.

Another longtime Manafort associate, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty in February to lying to federal authorities and conspiracy to commit fraud, and he testified in court against his former boss.

Special counsel Robert Mueller referred the Patten case to the U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia as part of his sprawling investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia.

Patten worked at the Oregon officer of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Group, where he helped the data company develop voter targeting operations ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

The lobbyist described that work on his professional website, saying that he helped conduct beta tests of voter micro-targeting that he boasted were “adopted by at least one major U.S. presidential candidate.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) hired Cambridge Analytica during his Republican primary run, but after he dropped out the data company was hired by Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who oversaw the campaign’s digital operations.

Mueller is investigating the company, which was owned by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer.

There’s no evidence that Patten did any work for the Trump campaign or Cambridge Analytica, whose board included Trump’s campaign CEO and former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon.

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But he played a central role in SCL Group’s work in Nigeria in early 2015, when the Cambridge Analytica parent company reportedly hired Israeli hackers to steal emails and dig compromising information on the candidate challenging incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan.

Russian hackers conducted similar operations against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign, and Mueller is investigating how the Trump campaign knew which specific voters to target with that hacked data on social media.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 3 losers from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the other leading Democratic presidential primary candidates Wednesday night in the fieriest evening of the race so far.

His presence on the stage drew fire from the other candidates, but it also seemed to change the overall tone of the debate, with more attacks, counter-attacks, and passion than was generally seen earlier in the campaign.

Here’s a (necessarily subjective!) list of the winners and losers from the fray:

Winners

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — Warren hit her stride right as the debate started by attacking Bloomberg for his record on the mistreatment of women, racist policies, and his tax returns. She repeatedly came back to skewer the former mayor, making herself the biggest and most notable presence in the debate. But importantly, she also continuously brought the discussion back to the issues she cares about — like expanding health care, environmental justice,  and consumer protection — while getting in digs at the other candidates on the stage.

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After bombing in #DemDebate internet changes Mike Bloomberg’s ‘death’ date on Wikipedia

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Someone online changed former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's information on Wikipedia during the Wednesday debate to say that he died on Feb. 19.

After being ripped to shreds during the MSNBC Democratic debate, it became clear that Bloomberg wasn't quite as prepared as the other Democratic candidates.

The Wikipedia article was also changed to indicate that his cause of death was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

https://twitter.com/joshrobin/status/1230333066280886273

Bloomberg had several unfortunate moments, namely his refusal to release female accusers from nondisclosure agreements, he came out in favor of fracking, he blamed India for China's involvement in climate change, and many many more things.

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Internet slams ‘cringe-worthy elitist’ Mike Bloomberg for saying he’s too rich to use TurboTax

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At the Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stumbled after being asked when he will release his tax returns, when he suggested that he "can't go to TurboTax" because he's too wealthy.

Moderator: "You've said you'll release your tax returns, but why do Democrats have to wait?"

Bloomberg: "We do business around the world. The document will be thousands of pages. I can't go to TurboTax."

😂😂😂#DemDebate

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