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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.

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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Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight

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A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."

It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.

The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.

The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.

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Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

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Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

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Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns

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Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.

In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.

The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.

"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."

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