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Trump ‘playing into Putin’s hands’ with ‘disastrous’ plan to withdraw from NATO: Ex-intel chief Clapper

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James Clapper (MSNBC)

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day,” former National Intelligence director James Clapper accused Donald Trump of ”playing into the hands” of Russian President Vladimir Putin with his desire to withdraw from NATO.

Recent reports have indicated that Trump no longer believes the U.S. should remain a member of the military alliance that binds the United States to Europe and Canada to halt aggression.

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Speaking with host Alisyn Camerota, Clapper seemed appalled at the idea that the president sees no need to remain part of the organization, saying Putin would likely be pleased if the U.S. abandoned the other countries.

“If this was in fact a topic of discussion in secret sessions between Putin and President Trump, that’s really terrible,” Clapper began. “Withdrawing from NATO — even discussing withdrawing from NATO — would be disastrous for the security of the United States.”

“This is not about the U.S. just protecting NATO, because the U.S. derives benefit from being forward deployed where our first line of defense is our own shore,” he explained. “This would play into Putin’s hands.”

“This is a primary objective of Putin, to drive wedges between European countries and a wedge between Europe and the United States,” he elaborated. “This would be, to me, a real disaster. NATO has been a bulwark for both us and Europe for 70 years.”

Clapper went on to criticize Trump from hiding transcripts of private conversations he’s had with Putin, saying Americans should be “very concerned.”

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2020 Election

‘This is for the people to decide’: Jaw-dropping CNN supercut lays bare the GOP’s stunning hypocrisy on SCOTUS

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As the battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer — takes shape in Washington, D.C., Republican senators who previously refused to hold a vote on former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick are now having their words thrown in their faces.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Saturday played a devastating supercut that features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explaining why they would not vote on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

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2020 Election

‘How is that not a failure?’: Trump health official called out by CNN’s Tapper over COVID-19 debacle

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Admiral Brett Giroir was put on the spot on Sunday morning by CNN host Jake Tapper over the failure of the White House to still take the coronavirus pandemic seriously, and then ended up receiving a dressing down from the "State of the Union" host.

Noting the lack of masks at recent Trump rallies and the growing death toll of COVID-19 victims, Tapper exclaimed, “How is this not a failure, and how is President Trump leading us out of it in the right way, according to your own words?”

Girior attempted to explain that  “people are empowered to know that they can slow the spread and change the course, they can save lives by doing the things we talk about, wearing a mask.”

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2020 Election

WATCH: Conservative analyst scrambles after calling Ginsburg death a ‘gift’ to Trump and McConnell

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Conservative political analyst Margaret Hoover had an awkward moment on Saturday after she described the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a "gift" to Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quickly catching herself and asserting it was a "political gift" instead.

Speaking with host Anderson Cooper and former White House counsel John Dean, Hoover first stated that Republican voters won't care that GOP lawmakers once stated they would not agree to confirm a Supreme Court nominee in an election year, before admitting the Republicans would take full advantage of the opportunity with the passing of Ginsburg.

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