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FBI probe into Trump and Russia was ‘much bigger’ than Mueller investigation: NYT reporter

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One of the New York Times reporters who broke the bombshell story on the FBI’s secret investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia after he fired James Comey explained how that probe differed initially from special counsel Robert Mueller‘s — and how it adds to what the public already knew.

“Our collective understanding, the public’s understanding of the Trump investigation [and] the Mueller investigation of Trump, has been focused to the past year and a half on the question of criminal obstruction,” NYT reporter Michael Schmidt explained to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes after the report was published.

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“What we’re reporting tonight is the investigation initially … was much bigger than that was looking that question of Trump’s ties to Russia,” the reporter added. “What was he trying to cover up a relationship with the Russians? Was he working … wittingly or unwittingly working on their behalf? And this is the investigation they opened after Comey was fired. The other part was counterintelligence and national security investigation into the president’s ties to Russia.”

Schmidt noted that the type of investigation the FBI opened is similar to those the bureau opens for an agent or other government official they believe has been “compromised” by a foreign power.

The reporter also clarified, as per the Times‘ report, that the investigation was later taken on by Mueller when he was appointed in the days following Comey’s firing.

Watch below:

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Trump pardoned Edward Gallagher for war crimes — but the Navy is still ousting him from the SEALs: report

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The acceptability of committing war crimes while in uniform is putting the U.S. Navy on a collision course with President Donald Trump's White House.

"The Navy SEAL at the center of a high-profile war crimes case has been ordered to appear before Navy leaders Wednesday morning, and is expected to be notified that the Navy intends to oust him from the elite commando force," The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing "two Navy officials."

"The move could put the SEAL commander, Rear Adm. Collin Green, in direct conflict with President Trump, who last week cleared the sailor, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, of any judicial punishment in the war crimes case. Military leaders opposed that action as well as Mr. Trump’s pardons of two soldiers involved in other murder cases," the newspaper reported.

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Climate groups applaud Gavin Newsom’s temporary fracking ban in California, but say other ‘critical next steps’ still needed

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"Relentless organizing" by climate action groups across California forced the governor to call for a moratorium on fracking, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said.

Anti-fracking advocates were cautiously optimistic Tuesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on fracking in the state and new steps to mitigate the disastrous public health effects that extractive industries have on communities.

Author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben credited "relentless organizing" with pressuring the Democratic governor to ban—at least temporarily—the high-pressure steam injection central to the fracking process and pledge to reverse the increase in drilling permits that's taken place under Newsom's administration.

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Relax, Devin Nunes – theater is essential to politics

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A televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats.” With these words, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes expressed his discontent with the beginning of presidential impeachment hearings. He indirectly invited listeners – both supporters and detractors – to consider the relationship between theater and politics.

As the hearings continue, it’s important to remember that theater is one of the most consequential elements in U.S. history, enabling the killing of a president, the election of at least two, and probably the impeachment of another.

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