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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.

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“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.”

“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.”

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“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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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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