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‘I don’t believe for one second’ that North Korea talks collapsed because of Cohen hearings: Ex-House Intel chair

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Former House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) in a Monday MSNBC appearance scoffed at President Donald Trump’s claim that the Michael Cohen hearings were to blame for his failed summit with North Korea, saying Trump should blame himself.

“I never think it is helpful to have, I don’t care what president’s in office, to have contentious hearings like that when there is some serious negotiations happening overseas,” said Rogers. “But I don’t believe for one second that’s why the talks collapsed.” Rogers then cast the blame specifically on the president.

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“Setting Kim Jong-Un up as an international player is really risky,” Rogers said. “He went from that isolation -saw no light of day outside of the borders of North Korea- to now this international player, certainly in the region and that gave him stature for him to walk in and do what he did in those hearings.”

Rogers said whether “it was worth the risk” was subject to debate, but the outcome certainly wasn’t. “I think that led more to the walk out of Kim Jong-Un than anything,” he said.

Rogers also disputed Trump’s insistence that ending U.S. military exercises with South Korea represented a savings for the US, and instead cast it as a victory for North Korea.

“I disagreed with it when they offered that up the last go around and got nothing for it, and now we will get nothing for it again,” he said. “I didn’t think this went well for the president at all.”

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We’ve been living in ‘Game of Thrones’: Ex-CIA official blasts Trump for trying to crush whistleblower

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Angry Phil Mudd

On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former CIA Counterterrorism Center Deputy Director Philip Mudd laid into President Donald Trump over his administration's efforts to quash a whistleblower with sensitive information on a promise Trump allegedly made to a foreign leader.

"You watch Game of Thrones on TV ... In the past 24 hours I feel look we've lived it," said Mudd. "Let me give you a take — I'm not sure of any side except the White House is wrong here. The inspector general says, I have something so egregious that I need to act on it, even if it includes activities of the White House. You have the acting DNI saying, that might be egregious activity but if it's White House personnel they don't work for me. I'm supposed to report on people who work for me and activities that might be inappropriate among my employees. Why am I responsible to reporting to Congress on somebody at the White House who is not my employee? I'm not sure anybody is wrong here. Both may be right. The person in the middle, I think, is the president and I think it's going to come out."

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CNN

White House limiting staff access to Trump’s phone calls to prevent future whistleblowers: CNN

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that President Donald Trump has grown furious about the state of White House leaks, and his officials are working to keep as many people in the administration as possible shut out from his phone calls with foreign leaders — precisely to avoid situations like the exploding DNI whistleblower scandal.

"As for the whistleblower complaint that's being kept from Congress, a senior administration official tells CNN as these leaks from these calls have angered Trump, top officials in the West Wing began to limit who could listen in on these conversations so as to tighten the circle of people in the know and what the president has been discussing in some of these phone calls with foreign leaders," said Acosta.

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CNN

Even CNN’s Republican commentator agrees foreign leaders in his call list ‘is not great’ for Trump

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donald trump on the phone

President Donald Trump has found himself embroiled in yet another scandal as his Justice Department is muzzling a whistleblower who raised important concerns about a call between the president and a foreign leader. According to the complaint, the conversation between Trump and the leader was so concerning that it prompted a rare complaint to the inspector general by an intelligence officer.

During a CNN panel discussion, even the Republican commentator agreed that it doesn't look good for Trump. The list of leaders that Trump contacted during the time of this complaint were, Vladimir Putin (Russia), Kim Jong Un (North Korea), Imran Khan (Pakistan), Mark Rutte (Netherlands) and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Qatar).

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