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Donald Trump’s entire campaign was likely constructed as a ‘criminal conspiracy’: Trump biographer

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During an MSNBC discussion on the various entities of Donald Trump’s empire that are under investigation, one of his biographers pointed out that his entire presidential campaign was constructed like a “criminal enterprise.”

Speaking with AM Joy host Joy Reid, author and columnist Tim O’Brien sat back and put the most recent revelations from special counsel Robert Mueller in context:

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“What we have learned from these documents is that there is the very real possibility that the Trump campaign was a criminal conspiracy from its beginnings and that criminal acts might have been committed,” O’Brien observed. “Now you have the Trump White House dealing with the consequences of all of these.”

“When you have Rudy Giuliani distracting people, focussing only on campaign finance issues, focussing inaccurately on campaign finance issues, it distracts from this larger halo of illegality hanging over this entire Trump team,” he offered.

“You know, Trump and his advisers have put out three defenses in the wake of Cohen’s sentencing memo that Michael Cohen cannot be trusted,” the biographer continued. “He is a dishonest narrator, that he was giving the president advice and it wasn’t the other way around and none of it had anything to do with the election.”

“You can pick apart on the fact pattern in all three of those things,” he explained. “Specifically, it had nothing to do with the election and that it was Cohen taking advice from Trump, rather than Trump being the architect of those of these issues.”

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Addressing the Mueller investigation, among others, he added, “These are smart, veteran prosecutors who are assembling a case and Michael Cohen is a small part of that.”

You can watch the video below:

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Israel’s election outcome remains unclear — but the ‘ultimate loser’ will be Palestinians

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Israel is facing political turmoil as Tuesday’s election remains too close to call. With 92% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and ex-military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party appear to be nearly tied. Both leading candidates aiming to be prime minister had run on platforms vowing to take harsh measures targeting Palestinians. Netanyahu promised to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, if he won re-election. Earlier this year, Gantz had threatened to bomb Gaza back to the “Stone Ages.” On Tuesday night, Gantz said he had fulfilled his mission by preventing Netanyahu’s outright re-election, while Netanyahu did not claim victory or concede defeat in a speech to supporters. From Jerusalem, we speak with Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu about the significance of the snap election. “It’s not clear who will be the ultimate victor,” Buttu says. “I can tell you who will be the ultimate loser, and that’s the Palestinian people.”

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‘Just like Brett Kavanaugh’: GOP candidate who pleaded guilty to sexual battery claims he was the real victim

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A GOP congressional candidate in Utah is comparing himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — favorably — to explain away his guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Cory Green, an Army Reserve and Navy veteran and private security officer running for Utah's 1st Congressional District, was charged with forcible sexual abuse in 2010 after he allegedly brought two teenage masseuses to a Motel 6, performed a sex act with an escort in front of them, and then paid one of the teenage girls for sex. He insists that the girl lied about her age and that his victim extorted him.

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Trump orders ‘substantial increase’ in Iran sanctions over Saudi oil field attack

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "substantially increase sanctions" imposed on Iran, amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.

He did not give details on the move, which follows weekend attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that some U.S. officials blamed on Iran. Iran has denied those allegations.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for the strikes on a Saudi oil field and the world's largest crude processing plant. The attacks disrupted global oil supplies.

Saudi Arabia has said oil production would be fully recovered by the end of the month.

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