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‘Blockbuster’ new Manafort revelations should end ‘witch hunt talk’: Conservative columnist

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A conservative Washington Post columnist has written a column in which she argues the latest revelations about former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort sharing confidential campaign polling data with accused Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik is “a blockbuster revelation should end talk of a ‘witch hunt.'”

Jennifer Rubin points to the apparent exchange between Trump’s inner circle and the Russians, in what appears to now be a two-way street.

“This is not the first piece of evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russian figures, to be sure,” she said. “The Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 between Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr., and Russians promising ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton has been known for some time. But here we see Manafort giving something of value (insider polling data) to a Russian.”

As Rubin notes, we need to know why Manafort wanted to pass polling to Kilimnik. She quotes former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller in explaining that there likely isn’t an innocent explanation.

“It’s hard to see what good polling data would be to a Russian oligarch, so it raises the question of whether Manafort’s actual goal was to get the information to the Russian government itself,” Miller said.

As Rubin notes, this is yet another bullet-hole in Trump’s original claim to have nothing to do with Russians during the campaign.

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“We have, at the very least, yet another previously undisclosed contact between the Trump campaign and Russians,” she writes. “We’ve come a long way since Trump claimed neither he nor anyone on the campaign had contacts with Russians… It’s hard to describe how bizarre this many contacts between a campaign and a hostile foreign government — one trying to influence the campaign to that side’s favor — truly is. Keep in mind that no major party presidential campaign of which we are aware ever had a single contact with the Russians.”

Read the full column here.

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QAnon authors in a fight over doing an audiobook — because they think their followers can’t read

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.

QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book's co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of "JoeM," for his "petty and hostile and paranoid" refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a "grifter" who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.

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Missouri governor appoints judge who fundraised for crisis pregnancy center to help decide Planned Parenthood’s license

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On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) has appointed former Macon County Associate Circuit Judge Philip Prewitt to the Administrative Hearing Commission, a state agency that oversees disputes between the state and organizations seeking licensure.

Prewitt, a former Republican candidate for office, once fundraised on Facebook for Ray of Hope Pregnancy Care Ministeries, a "crisis pregnancy center" that masquerades as a health care facility in order to trick women seeking abortions into listening to anti-abortion propaganda. In 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court reprimanded Prewitt for the post encouraging people to donate, saying that it violated judicial ethics rules.

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Trump being a ‘compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus’ is why he failed on Iran: Conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump's highly-criticized decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has resulted as was warned, with the country reviving its nuclear program, a conservative columnist explained in The Washington Post on Monday.

Conservative Max Boot took a victory lap in the hard-hitting column, reminding that he had signed a March 2016 letter by 121 Republican foreign policy analysts warning about Trump's approach.

"I wish we had been wrong, but we were all too right," Boot wrote.

"Trump has shown no ability to grow in office; but then it’s hard to learn if you all you read is Fox News chyrons. He is today the same compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus he was at the start of the 2016 campaign," Boot said. "Only now, the stakes are much higher."

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