For the first time on Friday, a bombshell New York Times report confirms that federal investigators looked into whether President Donald Trump was a Russian asset.
MSNBC host Joy Reid, who filled in for Rachel Maddow on Friday night, asked former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi what to make of the revelation that Trump was under a counterintelligence investigation by his own government.
“The impetus for the special counsel inquiry not necessarily just figuring out the degree to which the Russians influenced the campaign,” Figliuzzi said. “But, rather now, we’re faced with a worst-case scenario, which is the possibility that the president had been co-opted and was in the pocket of the Russians.”
Given how far the investigation proceeded there had to be “specific articulable facts” that Trump “may be an agent of a foreign power.”
“That would not have been done in a vacuum, that would have gone across the street to the Department of Justice,” Figliuzzi said.
Figliuzzi noted that we still don’t know how that investigation turned out.
“There are some unanswered questions here but it is really sobering to think that maybe, if the reporting is right, that Donald J Trump, that name, was in the header, in the subject title, of a counterintelligence investigation.”
“The FBI is privy to all sorts of information, and if you’re going to open a case, as the New York Times reports, into the President of the United States you’re going to have more than just unstable public behavior,” Figliuzzi said. “You’re going to have something that at least gives you a reasonable suspicion, if not specific and articulable facts…. it means they’ve got intercepted communications, it means they’re privy to how these Russians were talking to the president or about the president.”
Based on his 25 years of experience and running the counterintelligence division Figliuzzi said he’s sure “there’s more than just the crazy public behavior.”
Heather Heyer’s mom says things have gotten worse since Charlottesville — but she has a solution
CNN's Ana Cabrera on Saturday interviewed Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer. Her daughter was murdered by a white nationalist terrorist during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
"When you watch what’s happening in Portland, thankfully everything right now is peaceful, but does it sort of give you that knee-jerk reaction where your hackles kind of go up, just given everything your family has been through?" Cabrera asked.
"My hackles don’t really go down anymore," Bro replied. "I am constantly tracking these things around the country as they happen. Yeah, I think after two years ago, mine will never completely go down again."
Trump-loving “hate group” leader struggles to defend chauvinism during CNN interview on Portland chaos
Portland, Oregon on Saturday was the scene of another far-right mobilization by groups such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.
Tarrio had traveled from Miami to take part in the far-right rally in Portland and appeared to be wearing body armor.
Trump’s ‘clown car’ economic team is totally unprepared to handle a financial crash: CNN’s Catherine Rampell
Washington Post economics columnist Catherine Rampell on Friday warned that President Donald Trump's team of economic advisers is woefully unprepared to handle a recession should one strike within the next year.
During a panel discussion of this week's economic news, which included a massive drop in the stock market after the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted, Rampell explained why Americans should be deeply worried about the prospects of a recession under this president.
"They don't have a plan for what to do if things go wrong, and they could go wrong," she said. "We have this clown car of economic advisers... you have a guy who plays an economist on TV, you have a former Hollywood producer. This is not the dream team who will be handling a crisis if we face one."