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Christian charity provided money to Russians attending National Prayer Breakfast amid influence campaign: report

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The National Prayer Breakfast, a gathering of influential conservative elite, may have been the target of Russian agents, according to a review of federal records by The Young Turks.

A Christian charity associated with the event also reported expenses linked to Russians who attended the breakfast in 2017 and in other years, the TYT reports.

According to a court case against alleged Russian operative Maria Butina, the young Kremlin agent worked with a handler, Alexander Torshin, to infiltrate powerful right-wing institutions—such as the Prayer Breakfast.

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“[I]n furtherance of the conspiracy,” Butina’s plea deal says, “Butina helped [Torshin] organize a Russian delegation to the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast… [Torshin] directed Butina to include certain people.”

The Breakfast’s organizer, Doug Coe, has powerful allies on both sides of the political aisle. Hillary Clinton once said Coe is “a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith.”

As the federal government continues to build its case against Butina, her strategy becomes more apparent: to meet influential conservatives through backdoor channels.

“As an alternative,” her plea deal says, “Butina suggested that Russia could use unofficial channels of communication to the same end.”

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The National Prayer Breakfast—as well as the NRA—were both targeted.


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Betsy DeVos’ DOE threatens to cut university funding for positive portrayal of Islam

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The U.S Department of Education threatened to pull federal funding from a Middle East studies course jointly run by Duke University and the University of North Carolina because it portrays Islam too positively.

The DOE ordered the universities to change their program or lose its federal grant money. In a letter to UNC, the department criticized the program, arguing that topics like Iranian art and film have “little or no relevance” to the Middle East studies program. The letter also argues that the program “appears to lack balance” because its programs are not focused on the discrimination faced by “religious minorities in the Middle East," including Christians and Jews.

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Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession — here’s why

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The Federal Reserve seems a lot more concerned about the state of the economy than it’s been letting on.

The Fed lowered its target interest rate by a quarter point on Sept. 18, the second such cut since July – and the first reductions since the Great Recession more than 10 years ago.

Judging by the words of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, this isn’t that big a deal. In his statement following the decision, he said: “We took this step to help keep the U.S. economy strong in the face of some notable developments and to provide insurance against ongoing risks.”

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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren accuses Congress of complicity in Trump’s continued abuses

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump's continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.

Warren's tweeted statement came hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016.

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