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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.

“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.”

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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.”

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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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

"But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign," The Times reported.

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