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Ex-CIA head John Brennan tells MSNBC: Trump is endangering America with politically-motivated document dumps

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Former CIA Director John Brennan told MSNBC he’s not sure exactly what President Trump and the Republican Party have in store for the midterm elections, but he worried that a potential “October surprise” document dump -reported by Politico on Thursday- could do irreparable damage to the United States’ national security.

“I have no idea whether or not something like that will be planned or anticipated but I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be other efforts to undermine the Mueller investigation as we’ve seen Mr. Trump and others try to do,” Brennan said.

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Brennan admitted he didn’t know what might be coming. “I’m all for transparency, as far as making sure we have good government and good government officials who are carrying out their responsibilities,” he said. “But I’m also very concerned, like Jim Comey is, about exposing intelligence sources and methods and doing anything that might compromise an ongoing criminal investigation.”

He added, “it seems as though the White house and the Republicans are being very selective in terms of what it is that they put out.”

Brennan also acknowledged that President Trump is empowered to declassify the documents. But, he pointed out, just because “the president has the authority” doesn’t make a given action “the right thing to do.”

“I really hope that the officials in positions of authority and with access to Mr. Trump are going to explain to him in a very calm and rational manner what the real adverse impact would be on intelligence capabilities or criminal investigations or whatever,” Brennan said. “There needs to be a basis to redact information and keep it from the public, particularly if a president of the United States directs them to do it.”

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Brennan’s biggest worry was that declassification would “inhibit individuals from cooperating with law enforcement or intelligence in the future out of fear that their identity, their name, the information they share in a very confidential way” could be compromised.

“I think a lot of individuals who might want to work with the U.S. government are going to think twice and three times about it if a president of the United States can just capriciously, arbitrarily, unilaterally, recklessly release that information.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

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Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.

”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia trainings at ‘The Base’ near Spokane: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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