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Trump, Manafort and Flynn’s finances are ‘the glue’ that holds the Russia probe together: Former deputy AG

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Former deputy assistant attorney general Harry Litman told MSNBC on Monday that “the glue” tying together all the actors in the Russia probe is the finances of President Donald Trump and those of his convicted campaign manager Paul Manafort and his convicted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

The remark occurred during a larger discussion of Paul Manafort’s role in the conspiracy, including his “work on behalf of pro-Russian figures in Ukraine” and his subsequent lying about it to the special prosecutor after he got caught.

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“If you’re looking for the quid pro quo, you see the quid, you see the work by Russia, and the meddling in the election. What is the quo?” fellow guest Ken Vogel, who broke the story for the New York Times. “You have at least the potential of building a theory around the idea that the quo would be a peace deal that would favor Russia and potentially result in the lifting of U.S. sanctions against Russia which, of course, is the biggest driving foreign policy objective of the Russians.”

Litman noted that prosecutor Andrew Weissman’s refusal to share specific details “even in a closed door hearing” showed that the special counsel was getting close to the “radioactive core” of the case, but offered tantalizing hints.

“What [Weissman] is proposing, even though it is heavily redacted, as Ken says, seems a kind of grand bargain involving not simply a sweetheart deal for Russia and Ukraine, but the lifting of sanctions, which Putin dearly wanted,” Litman said. “And the glue that holds it all together on the U.S. side are the personal financial interests of the actors. Manafort to make money from [pro-Russian former President of Ukraine, Viktor] Yanukovych, Flynn to do something with the sanctions, and Trump to build his big crown jewel of the Trump Tower.”

“So it really seems to be getting toward quite a grand scheme,” he added, “where officials are feathering their nests at the expense of U.S. national interests, and doing Russia’s bidding.”

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Trump melts down in cabinet meeting when question about ISIS: ‘It was me who captured them’

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President Donald Trump reportedly excoriated members of the media on Monday after he was questioned about his decision to pull troops out of Kurdish areas of Syria.

"Plenty of Turks have been killed because of conflicts on their borders," Trump said, according to a pool report. "ISIS was all over the place... it was me who captured them."

After criticizing President Barack Obama, the president continued.

"I'm the one who did the capturing," Trump insisted. "I'm the one who knows more about it than you people or fake pundits."

NOW: From pool report. POTUS says he captured ISIS and “plenty of Turks” have been killed. ?@realDonaldTrump? pic.twitter.com/AnzDXYlnUt

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The View’s Joy Behar nails ‘sad truth’ about spiteful Trump voters: ‘They don’t want health care if you get it also’

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Joy Behar nailed the "sad truth" about spiteful supporters of President Donald Trump.

"The View" co-host pointed to a New York Times column written by University of Florida professor Darlena Cunha, who spoke with some of her neighbors about their support for the scandal-plagued Republican president.

One man who struck up a conversation with the writer apologized right away for his poor dental health, which he couldn't afford to improve, but said he'd rather do without health care than pay for someone he didn't think deserved it.

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Department of Justice distances itself from Rudy Giuliani in unusual statement

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In an usual statement, the Justice Department on Sunday sought to distance itself from Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump.

This article was originally published at Salon

The law enforcement agency claimed that Brian Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, and other officials would not have taken a meeting with Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, several weeks ago had it known federal prosecutors in New York were investigating two of his business associates.

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