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NRA now officially part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election influence

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CNN is reporting special counsel Robert Mueller is now probing the relationship between Russia and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The NRA got behind Trump very early in the game and was able to fundraise millions and millions more than they typically raise for elections, setting a record for the organization. Their haul was helped in part by a single donation of $19.2 million in 2016 from an undisclosed “individual.”

“When I was interviewed by the special counsel’s office, I was asked about the Trump campaign and our dealings with the NRA,” former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told CNN.

“The special counsel’s team was curious to learn more about how Donald Trump and his operatives first formed a relationship with the NRA and how Trump wound up speaking at the group’s annual meeting in 2015, just months before announcing his presidential bid,” CNN cited what Nunberg told them.

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina founded a pro-gun advocacy group that partnered with the NRA and other pro-gun advocates throughout the election. She pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy against the United States and admitted she attempted to infiltrate the Republican Party and GOP circles to have an impact on US-Russia relations. She also worked to build relationships with powerful influencers in the NRA.

Former American Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, explained that the NRA was a very easy conduit to the GOP and to Trump.

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“She believed she was trying to meet people that may be close to a future president in the Republican circles,” McFaul explained. “The NRA is a logical choice there and she had success.”

“Americans traveled to Russia, she attended these meetings,” he continued. “She was close to senior people on the Russian side, including [ Russian politician] Aleksandr Torshin, a person I used to work with when I was in the government.”

“Nobody knows where he is today by the way,” McFaul said with a knowing smile. “Back then he was in the Putin circles. This idea of a back channel and influence and contacts is something I’ve seen when other Russian delegations had the same mandate.”

Authoritarian expert Sarah Kendzior called the NRA — and Republicans general — “pathetic” for being duped.

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“Its a pretty pathetic look for the NRA and the Republicans that they are, on the one hand, this easily manipulated, but also complicit,” Kendzior said. “There are voluntary participants in this. They are people who will be indicted themselves for failing to register as foreign agents.”

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has already asked the NRA to turn over key documents.

Former NRA President Wayne Lapierre resigned his position before the stories began to break about the NRA’s connections to Russia.

The NRA continues to refuse to comment on any of the investigations or allegations, which prompted MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to rip them to shreds.

The story is developing…

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Trump flips out and threatens ‘obliteration’ after Iran calls him retarded

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday angrily hit back at Iran after the nation accused him of being "retarded."

Writing on Twitter, the president accused Iran of making a "very ignorant and insulting statement" against him, which he said "only shows that they do not understand reality."

The president then threatened the nation with "obliteration" if it didn't wise up.

"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force," he wrote. "In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!"

....Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!

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Condo owner sends recording of monkey noises to prospective renter — and repeatedly calls her the N-word

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Giulia Ozyesilpinar, the owner and operator of the Ocean Five Condo Hotel in Miami Beach, went on a racist tirade this week against a prospective renter because she didn't promptly respond to her WhatsApp messages.

The Miami New Times reports that London resident Monifah Brown had booked a condo at Ocean Five with some friends who were planning to go with her to a summer vacation in Miami.

However, after booking the condo, Ozyesilpinar sent her messages saying that she was having problems processing her credit cards. After Brown didn't initially respond to those messages, Ozyesilpinar sent her a racist message telling her that she was hurting the reputations of other black people.

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‘Incoherent’ Trump blistered by ex-National Security Council member for acting as Putin’s unwitting stooge

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In a ferocious column for Politico, a former member of the National Security Council who served under both President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton called out Donald Trump for what he called the president's "incomprehensible" policies when it comes to Russia.

According to Andrew S. Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment, the American president is likely the best friend Russian President Vladimir Putin could wish for.

Pointing out that Trump's meeting with Putin in Osaka is only days away, Weiss, who worked on Russian affairs in the State Department, said the get-together is happening just as three government officials with the most experience dealing with Russia -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford, the NSC’s in-house Russia expert Fiona Hill, and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman -- are leaving the administration.

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