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Trump ‘seemingly favoring’ Putin compromises US response to Russia nuclear threat: Retired colonel

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In a state of the nation address, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning to the US and its allies.

“I’m saying this clearly and openly – Russia will be forced to create and deploy new types of weapons that could be used not only against the territories where a direct threat to us comes from, but also against the territories where decision-making centers directing the use of missile systems threatening us are located,” Putin said.

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In October, President Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing Russian non-compliance with the pact.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton appeared on CNN Wednesday to discuss Putin’s threat—and why Donald Trump’s relationship with Putin complicates how the US will respond.

“This is shades of the Cold War all over again,” Leighton said. “And we need to listen very carefully not only to what President Vladimir Putin is saying, but also what the Russians are doing.”

Leighton listed the different kinds of missiles Russia appears to be researching and developing, including a weapon that travels at nine times the speed of sound and another that goes 27 times the speed of sound. “What it means for us is that it becomes almost impossible for us to defend against missiles of that type.”

“The Trump administration has some real difficulties here because of the Russia investigation for one thing,” he said. “On the one side, you have President Trump seemingly favoring Vladimir Putin from a personal standpoint. But the other side of the coin is this. If we don’t stand up to the Russians for whatever reason they’re going to feel free to not only violate treaties, but they’re also going to feel free to deploy weapons systems of this type that we’re talking about.”

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CNN’s Don Lemon lists all the facts in Trump’s Ukraine scandal one must ignore to buy the GOP defense

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CNN's Don Lemon on Thursday listed all of the evidence one would have to ignore to believe the Republican defense of President Donald Trump.

The CNN anchor listed the "transcript of the president's infamous July 25th Ukraine call" as one piece of evidence that would have to be ignored.

He also listed the sworn testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. And the "bombshell" testimony from Ambassador Bill Taylor and the text messages between Taylor and Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The necessity of there not just being an investigation of the Biden family, but an announcement of an investigation, is another inconvenient fact that would have to be ignored, he explained.

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Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."

"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."

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Former GOP lawmaker criticizes his party’s impeachment stance: They ‘seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts’

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI official and Nevada Republican state Sen. Greg Brower broke down one of his key frustrations with how his party is handling the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

"I'm a Republican who has never agreed with everything in the Republican Party platform. Most of it I did, and that's why I was a Republican elected official, and felt comfortable as one, but things have changed," said Brower. "I guess what I'm most surprised at is the number of Republicans, both in Congress and just out there in the country, who seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts, who seem to be okay with the president directing witnesses who clearly have information relevant to this inquiry, directing them to not cooperate and testify."

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