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Maddow explains Trump’s ‘genius move’ to thwart FBI investigations into his corruption

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On day 30 of President Donald Trump’s government shutdown, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow explained how the president’s actions were threatening the ability of FBI agents to investigate the White House.

“If you ever wanted to put the FBI out of business, one cheap and cheerful way to do that is organize a federal government shutdown that went on, I don’t know, for some really long period of time like more than 30 days,” Maddow explained.

“One of the things that you endure regularly, if you work for an agency like the FBI is that they routinely do financial background checks on you,” she noted. “A big part of the way they assess you in terms of whether some adversary or crook might be able to leverage something against you, part of the way they check that, is to check your finances.”

“If you’re going to have access to sensitive national security or intelligence-related information, they want to make sure you’re not going to be sub susceptible to bribery, literally selling your country for cash,” she explained.

“If you are in financial dire straights, if you’re in debt up to your eyeballs and have financial burdens of any kind that might cause you real stress, that’s a big red flag,” she continued. “So they stress test you financially before you can get a security clearance and if you are an FBI agent, looking at the outset of your career while employed as an agent at the FBI, they will go back and frequently recheck that aspect of your life to make sure your financial situation has not changed to open you up to that pressure or leverage.”

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“Given that reality, one easy peasy way to screw up the whole FBI, not even just the FBI, everybody involved in law enforcement and national security, intelligence work, if you want to take a part in the U.S. government, it’s easy, just start taking away paychecks from all of those people all at once,” Maddow noted. “Not just one paycheck, it would really help if it was multiple paychecks — let them go multiple pay periods with zero income while still requiring them to work every day.”

“With that one genius move, you can break the family finances of basically every single federal law enforcement and national security agent in the country,” she concluded. “And even better than that, in one foul swoop with just this one neat trick, you screw up all of their careers. you can create security clearance problems for all of them — all at once — by putting them all under financial strain.”

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George Takei opens up about being held in an internment camp — and his views on Trump

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At a time when comic books are regularly adapted into superhero movies, George Takei's new graphic memoir "They Called Us Enemy" involves heroes who would also work wonderfully on the silver screen. To be sure, the main characters don't wear colorful costumes or use superpowers, but they are heroes nonetheless — and what they do, in the face of evils no less than those posed by fictional villains, is pretty super too.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Joy Reid says Trump ‘pulled a full Charlottesville’ by ‘fanning the flames’ of racism and ethno-nationalism

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MSNBC anchor Joy Reid blasted President Donald Trump's racism during her opening segment while hosting "The Last Word" on MSNBC on Friday.

"That didn’t last long. Having read the talking points crammed into his hands by nervous Republicans for almost an entire day, Donald Trump pulled a full Charlottesville, praising his supporters who chanted 'Send Her Back' to attack Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at his North Carolina campaign rally as 'incredible patriots,'" Reid reported.

"Yep, 24-hours-ago, Trump -- per those nervous Republican talking points -- claimed that he disapproved of the racist chant about congresswoman Omar and even tried to stop it," she said. "He got nice headlines that claiming he was disavowing the chant from some of the news media who indulged in the false balance tick of pretending whatever the president said is true and it’s a given fact."

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Maddow revolted by child sex trafficking charges against Trump pal George Nader: ‘None of this is normal’

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow connected the dots between the President Donald Trump's administration and George Nader, who served time for child pornography prior to Trump's 2016 campaign and has subsequently been arrested on child sex trafficking charges.

"In what is an astonishingly scandal-ridden presidency, populated by an astonishingly strange cast of characters, he remains one of the most unsettling figures in all of Trump world. Again, to be clear, to disambiguate here, we are not talking about Jeffrey Epstein, seen here with the president, who is also now in custody awaiting child sex trafficking charges," Maddow explained. "No, this is a whole different guy who you can see in this picture with the president who is now in federal custody awaiting a different set of sex trafficking charges as well as serious child porn charges and not for the first time."

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