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Sally Yates’ warnings about Mike Flynn just took on a whole new significance

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The day before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey to allegedly relieve pressure on himself over the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified to Congress about the activities of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

As Yates explained, she was concerned that Russia knowing about Flynn’s lies allowed him to be easily blackmailed.

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“We weren’t the only ones that knew all of this… the Russians also knew about what General Flynn had done,” she said. “And that created a compromise situation, a situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians.”

As national security analyst Marcy Wheeler explains in a new post, at the time Yates knew that Flynn had lied about Russian sanctions. But what Yates did not know was that Trump himself may have ordered Flynn to get rid of the sanctions, as many believe happened based on conversations between Flynn, Trump and Flynn’s aide KT McFarland, who was stationed at Mar-a-Lago with the president.

“Neither Yates nor the FBI would have known that the Russians were offering a Trump Tower deal and dirt on Hillary Clinton to induce Don Jr to commit to revisit sanctions,” Wheeler writes.

Yates believed Flynn was compromised and sounded a warning bell, Wheeler writes, but based on what we now already know, Trump may have been “more susceptible to blackmail than Flynn, because Flynn had just been doing what he was told, didn’t have a prior bribe to hide, and might expect a pardon if he successfully protected the President.”

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Based on what we’ve learned since, it appears Yates’ testimony foreshadowed Trump’s increasingly unhinged actions.

“Trump would be stuck committing one after another act of obstruction in an attempt to prevent the FBI from discovering the full truth,” she writes. “Each of those acts would put him deeper in the hole, because each time he engaged in obstruction, the Russians would measure his increasing vulnerability.”

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Trump’s lawyers are trying to tell Appeals Court they actually won the taxes lawsuit — but are still appealing

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President Donald Trump's lawyers sent out a bizarre letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, making the case that they actually won their case to keep the president's taxes a secret. It's an odd take given that they're filing for an appeal.

Oct. 7, a federal judge dismissed Trump's efforts in a 75-page opinion calling the White House claim "extraordinary."

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero explained that no occupant of the White House enjoys "absolute immunity from criminal process of any kind." Such a position "would constitute an overreach of executive power."

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Nate Silver claps back at right-wing pollster for accusing him of fraud

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One of the worst-performing national pollsters in the 2018 election cycle was Rasmussen Reports, a right-leaning outfit that is consistently the only one to show President Donald Trump with a net positive approval rating. In 2018, Rasmussen showed Republicans leading the generic congressional ballot by 1 point — but Democrats won the popular vote by 8.4 points.

Nonetheless, Rasmussen is proud of its methodology and particularly irritated when polling analyst and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver points out their inaccuracy. Over the past two weeks, they have twice accused him of "fraud" and characterized his analyses as "corrupt."

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Trump told Republicans he didn’t care ‘about terrorists 7,000 miles away’

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President Donald Trump reportedly doesn't care about terrorists, according to sources inside the room after Democrats abandoned the Wednesday meeting with the president.

Washington Post Congressional reporter Mike DeBonis said that the president said "several times" in the meeting that he isn't concerned about terrorists that live 7,000 miles away.

The source said that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) had to remind the president that the Sept. 11 terrorists "came from 7,000 away" themselves.

https://twitter.com/mikedebonis/status/1184592170545745920

The president has neglected to understand terrorists can attack the U.S. on North American soil as well as at embassies, military bases, international sporting events, or even Trump's properties. It would be simple for ISIS to use a car bomb to attack Trump's property in Indonesia, as an example.

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