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Mueller likely has ‘classified’ communication intercepts showing Trump working with Russia: Ex-FBI counterintel chief

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The former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller likely has “classified” evidence about President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia.

Frank Figliuzzi, a national security contributor for NBC News, joined MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Saturday.

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Host Joy Reid noted the “extraordinary” reporting from The New York Times that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Trump in 2017.

“I think this is particularly sobering, even for career counterintelligence professionals who always in the back of their minds think there is an outside possibility someone could rise to high office who might be playing for another team,” Figliuzzi explained.

“To see this in writing, to hear this report — if it’s accurate to say the bureau actually opened a case on Donald J. Trump — is really like hitting the American people in the gut,” he continued.

Figluizzi predicted the FBI had additional evidence.

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“It means likely, Joy, even though the article is citing the public behavior of the president, as you just noted, in order to get this to pass muster, in order to get this through FBI headquarters, through teams of lawyers, across the street to the Department of Justice, to be the title name of an investigation, I am virtually certain that more evidence than just the public behavior of the president is involved in this and I think that evidence is likely classified evidence,” he explained.

Reid noted that the National Security Agency had recently relaxed rules on sharing information with other governmental departments.

“Does that tell you — as a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI — that the FBI might have intercepted phone communications and signal intelligence about ongoing cooperation between the president of the United States and Russia?” Reid asked.

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“The short answer is yes,” Figliuzzi replied. “But I don’t even think that those relaxed regulations may play into that or not. They might, but from day one, Joy, you’ve heard the intelligence professionals saying there is much more to this iceberg than just the tip.”

“That is what we call the dark side — the signals intelligence, the intercepts worldwide,” he continued.

Signals intelligence refers to electronic communications that have been intercepted by intelligence agencies.

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“We know from reporting throughout this case that allied partners have shared intelligence, whether it’s Australians or Brits or others,” Figliuzzi noted.

“This is really the hard part to get your arms around, literally our allies may hav been helping — and our intelligence community may have been supporting — a case and evidence development against our own president,” he concluded.

Watch:

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Trump waves off deaths in Syria: The Kurds are ‘no angels’

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to leave Syria by saying the Kurds are "no angels."

Trump made the remarks during a White House meeting.

"They are no angels, by the way," he was quoted as saying about the Kurds.

Republicans have accused Trump of betraying a U.S. ally by abandoning the Kurds to be crushed by Turkish forces in Syria.

Read some of the reports below.

Per pool, Trump described the Kurds as "no angels." Your regular reminder that the Kurds were our allies in the fight against ISIS -- which Trump has taken full credit for eradicating.

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Trump’s tax inconsistencies look like ‘bank fraud’: Ex-prosecutor

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On Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance argued that the inconsistencies in Trump's tax information resemble outright "bank fraud," and must be subject to further investigation:

No surprise that Trump’s NY state tax filings are inconsistent with bank loan applications. Perhaps there’s an explanation but it looks like either bank fraud or tax fraud & at a minimum, merits further investigation. https://t.co/czxdpNjrvA

— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 16, 2019

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‘Too much for him’: Pompeo’s senior adviser plans to deliver damning testimony on ouster of Ukraine ambassador

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Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is set to deliver damning testimony to Congress about the ouster of former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

The Washington Post reports that McKinley will tell investigators on Wednesday that he resigned from the State Department because he was disgusted by its unwillingness to stick up for Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post after pressure from both President Donald Trump and personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

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