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Here’s why the FBI thought Trump could be a Russian asset

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It was revealed this week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened an investigation into President Donald Trump attempting to ensure he is not a Kremlin asset. Agents and Justice Department insiders who spoke with them said the White House’s protestations that the investigation was “absurd” are far from the truth, with one admitting it was based on “serious and substantial evidence,” the Daily Beast reported.

Presumably, special counsel Robert Mueller has the information gathered and knows the facts of the case, but the possibility was news to Americans. Washington Post political editor Aaron Blake wrote Saturday that it was a shocking story and the tipping point was FBI Director James Comey’s firing.

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“Investigators reportedly shed their previous reservations about the inquiry after Trump’s televised admission to NBC News’ Lester Holt that the Russia investigation was on his mind when he did it,” wrote Blake. “Another red flag was Trump’s attempts to include a reference to the Russia investigation in Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s letter justifying the firing.”

It’s shocking enough that the president is being investigated for possibly working with a foreign country to score a presidential win, but the idea that a counterintelligence inquiry was launched was even more surprising.

Trump admitted everything to Lester Holt in an NBC News interview. However, the salacious Christopher Steele dossier prompted research into even more questions that it prompted. Then there’s the matter of Trump asking Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails live during a press conference.

“Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous and inexplicable behavior is the possibility — the very real possibility — that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump,” the Post quoted Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who took to the Senate floor last year.

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Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called it “likely” and retired Republican Charlie Dent (R-PA) agreed.

As the investigations continue even more has been uncovered.

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“If Trump was working for Russia, it would be logical to assume he’d need some way of actually learning what Russia desired — which would be difficult through regular channels, given they’d be monitored,” Blake wrote. “We don’t know where these back channels stand in the Russia investigation, but if Mueller were probing a potential secret Trump-Russia alliance, you’d think they’d be of interest.”

Then Trump met with Putin in Helsinki last year. No one was in attendance and no notes or recordings were made. The world had no idea what happened, what was said and what was promised. It has prompted many to speculate that Trump wanted it this way intentionally.

“But there was apparently enough subterfuge and concern here to cause the FBI to take an extraordinary step — even if it might have wound up being a brief one,” Blake closed. “The idea that Trump’s interests might not indeed be “America First” has largely bubbled beneath the surface of American politics for the past two-plus years. It’s still highly speculative, based upon the public evidence, but as always, the question is what Mueller knows that we don’t.”

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Read the full take at The Washington Post.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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