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Former CIA operative explains why Trump was ‘the perfect dupe’ for Putin — and why Russia had to make him win

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Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump (Photos by: Evan El-Amin and Shutterstock)

How did Donald Trump apparently end up in the pocket of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin?

On Thursday night, CNN’s Don Lemon had a panel discussion of this question featuring former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem and former CIA operative Robert Baer.

“As a candidate, he clearly wanted his dealings with Russian real estate to go through—that meant the Russians had something on him,” Kayyem said. “Then, he lies about it—which meant the Russians had something on him…. so the amount of leverage that the Russians had on Trump, whether it was exposed or not, is something that we didn’t know before which has now been exposed by Michael Cohen.”

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Baer said that Russians first identified Trump as an easy mark in 1985.

“They could see right away that he was biddable—in 1985 he started taking Russian money, it was dirty Russian money, mobster money from Brighton Beach,” he said. “He was the perfect dupe for the Russians.”

The Russians had no intention of letting Trump build a hotel in the 80s, Baer said. But they got to know him “really well.”

Kayyem said that we are now deep in the weeds on the financial matters, but that it’s important to not forget the election side.

“This only works for Putin—all this blackmail and leverage—if Trump wins,” she said. “That is why these two pieces of the investigation, the election hacking, the fake news, whether there’s meetings about Wikileaks, and the financial stuff are related. Putin’s leverage only works if Trump’s in charge.”

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Democratic strategist rains hell on Trump apologist for lying that Biden would destroy energy industry

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On CNN Saturday, Republican strategist Brian Robinson tried to claim Joe Biden's pledge to "transition" from oil is a sign he will harm the energy industry — and was promptly swatted down by Democratic counterpart Maria Cardona.

"A gaffe in politics is saying what you really think," said Robinson. "He wants to have a liberal agenda on energy issues. And he's got supportive comments of the Green New Deal on his website. So I do think that it's something we can pin on Democrats, of their lurch to the left of an issue that directly impacts jobs, directly impacts quality of life and the cost of living in our communities."

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2020 Election

Endangered Republicans face grim election day because Trump is ‘dragging them down’: CNN analyst

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According to an analysis by CNN's Harry Enten, at least five embattled Republican senators may be out of a job following the November 3rd election because they can't escape the shadow of Donald Trump who will be sitting at the top of the ticket.

Noting that Donald Trump is trailing in the national polls by ten points, Enten explained there was a correlation between states where Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden and the prospects of GOP Senators in those states who are also running for re-election.

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Mary Trump sheds light on the president’s bizarre pattern of psychological projection

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President Donald Trump's niece, psychologist Mary Trump, appeared Friday on CNN to discuss her uncle's behavior during the recent president debate.

CNN host Anderson Cooper noted that Tony Schwartz, who is best known for ghostwriting "Trump: The Art of the Deal," has said "that when the president attacks people, the words he uses, the attacks he wages against other people are really things that are true about himself."

The CNN host said a similar dynamic was at play during the final presidential debate when Trump attacked Biden as being part of an organized crime family.

"It is amazing how much projection there is and I don't know if that's the term," Cooper said.

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