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Secret Trump Russia investigation confirmed by ex-FBI agents as based on ‘serious and substantial evidence’

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Former FBI agents and Justice Department officials have rushed to the FBI’s defense over a report that President Donald Trump was being investigated for working for the Kremlin after he fired ex-director James Comey, saying it would not have been opened if officials were not seriously alarmed.

According to a report at the Daily Beast, agents and DOJ insiders who spoke with them said the White House’s protestations that the investigation was “absurd” are far from the truth, with one admitting it was based on “serious and substantial evidence.”

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Stating that decision was made way up the FBI’s hierarchy, one ex-agent said it was “unprecedented,” which indicated it was not entered into lightly.

“This is uncharted territory,” explained Ali Soufan, a former FBI counterterrorism agent. “I don’t believe that it had happened before… Ever.”

Explaining why the agency took the extraordinary step of opening the investigation, a Justice Department attorney explained the process.

“There are a variety of ways to gather information about foreign efforts to influence a U.S. official that don’t require the sensitive step of targeting that official’s communications, and those who are criticizing the FBI for pursuing a counterintelligence investigation are doing so without any knowledge of what investigative steps were actually undertaken,” the attorney said.

Another former agent agreed that the decision to investigate a sitting president had to have the approval from senior Justice Department officials.

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“It would be most likely that the highest levels of the FBI and DOJ signed off on the investigation,” former agent Mike German confirmed before adding, “Of course, with the U.S. president as a subject, the threshold would be much higher than normal.”

Another source in the Justice Department speculated that the investigation may still be ongoing.

“They take a long time. They’re not over quickly. And based on the president’s public statements and actions, I think you have to open a cointel investigation,” explained the former senior DOJ official who oversaw counterintelligence investigations. “You might never know that it’s resolved. These cases often never see the inside of a courtroom. The findings are often kept within the intelligence community, indexed and filed away.”

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‘You lost me’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez graciously defuses confrontational question

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In an appearance on ABC's popular daytime talk show "The View" Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about what she called a "disconnect" between centrist, establishment members of the Democratic Party and progressive lawmakers who have been viewed as agitators in the party.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg said that while she had applauded Ocasio-Cortez's surprise victory in her 2018 primary against Wall Street-backed former Rep. Joe Crowley, she has since cooled on the lawmaker due to what she views as a dismissal of baby boomers' past activism. Ocasio-Cortez has pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to back a Green New Deal, called on her fellow Democrats to support Medicare for All, and criticized Democrats who take big-money donations from the financial, for-profit healthcare, and fossil fuel sectors.

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Security experts sound the alarm on Russian interference in the 2020 election: Their campaign is ‘underway’

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Cybersecurity experts have been warning that it isn’t a question of whether or not the Russian government under President Vladimir Putin will try to interfere in the United States’ 2020 election — it’s a question of how successful they will be and the ways in which they will make an attempt. Three security experts (Alex Finley, John Sipher and Asha Rangappa) address this concern in a February 19 article for Just Security, warning that troubling vulnerabilities remain in the United States’ election system.

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Trump ‘does have a tendency to lash out’: Texas Republican tells president to ‘temper’ his rabid impulses

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Republicans are concerned about President Donald Trump's rabid impulses and are urging self-discipline and constraint, two words that aren't typically associated with the president.

In a Politico report, Republican officials explained that they agree with the attorney general that Trump should calm down and let him handle things.

“The president does have a tendency to lash out, and I think in this case he would be well advised to try to temper that,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “Because I think Bill Barr is his best path on seeing that justice is done in terms of all of these various investigations, including the counterintelligence investigation and the lead-up to the Mueller report.”

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