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WATCH: Maddow details the ‘lurid saga’ of Mike Flynn changing position on a major NATO question — for $600,000 payoff

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Monday reported on how Michael Flynn changed his position on a major national security issue involving a NATO ally — in return for money.

The events occurred during the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign, when Flynn was a retired United States Army Lieutenant General and top advisor to Donald Trump.

Maddow reminded of 2016 attempted coup in Turkey — which has the second largest army of any NATO allies.

“And that night in Cleveland, Ohio, the top national security adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, he himself was giving a speech to a conservative group in Cleveland, and he diverged from his prepared remarks to tell people about this coup that was at this moment breaking out in turkey,” Maddow noted.

“And Mike Flynn basically explained to that conservative audience that night in Cleveland, as the coup was going on, that the coup was basically awesome, that it was something that that audience there should literally applaud because basically, it would be great if the Turkish government was overthrown in that coup that night,” she explained.

“Thanks to a new federal felony indictment that was just unveiled today, now we know prosecutors say it took at most 11 days for Mike Flynn, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, to do an absolute U-turn on that important national security issue in exchange for a big pile of money,” Maddow reported.

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The Flynn Group charged $600,000 for the about-face.

Maddow noted on how Flynn wanted to return Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania, to the country.

“For the low, low price of $600,000, he will not only stop telling Americans that they should applaud that coup, he will help the government that was the target of that coup hunt down the guy they’re blaming it on,” Maddow explained.

“National security matters affect all of us and you can’t get anywhere near the lurid story of Mike Flynn and his lies to investigators and his schemes and his foreign entanglements that he was covering up while he was involved in these sensitive matters, all the ways he was caught, all the warnings and the red flags flying around, you can’t get anywhere near this lurid saga of Mike Flynn as a national security and counterintelligence disaster at the highest levels of this administration without at least wondering why the Trump administration did not care about any of this,” Maddow noted.

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“Flynn as national security adviser — given what we now know what was going on with Flynn and what we now know the law enforcement community and the intelligence agencies knew what was going on with Flynn and what they warned the incoming Trump folks about Flynn — Flynn as national security adviser is something that just seems impossible in retrospect,” Maddow concluded.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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