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Sen. Lindsey Graham, a military lawyer, dismisses Mueller convictions: Lying to the FBI is not a ‘big event’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an Air Force JAG officer, on Sunday defended President Donald Trump by saying that lying to the FBI is not a “big event.”

During an interview on Face the Nation, host John Dickerson asked Graham to react to the news that former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

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“I don’t know yet,” Graham replied. “I know that from the [Judiciary Committee] point of view we found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. I think [Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman] Richard Burr said from the Intel point of view that he has seen no evidence of collusion.”

Graham argued that Mueller should be allowed to complete his investigation, but the South Carolina senator also said that he was “disappointed” that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails had been closed.

“I’m very disappointed no Democrat seems to be worried about the corruption at the Department of Justice and the FBI regarding the Clinton e-mail investigation, early stages of the Russian investigation,” Graham complained.

Dickerson asked Graham to grade Mueller based on his record of indictments, pleas and guilty verdicts in the Russia investigation.

But Graham suggested that guilty pleas for lying to the FBI do not carry the same weight as other convictions.

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“You got to look at the substance of what people pled to,” the military lawyer opined. “Some people pled to lying to the FBI like [George Papadopoulos] got two weeks in jail.”

“I don’t see that as a big event,” Graham added. “Manafort could have a lot of stuff or he could just have stuff around financial transactions. I don’t know yet. You don’t look at the numbers.”

According to the senator, Mueller’s investigation is much like Ken Starr’s investigation of former President Bill Clinton.

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“I think it’s proceeding in a way that these things start with a land deal and wind up with a blue dress,” Graham quipped.

Watch the video below from CBS.

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

But, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, that doesn't mean Democrats don't have one last big play to rein in the president's abuses of power. They can use the first and strongest authority delegated to them: the power of the purse.

"What can Democrats really do when it comes to oversight of the president?" asked Cooper. "I mean, now that impeachment is over, does seem like there are fewer and fewer guardrails, if any."

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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