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Kushner ally Crown Prince Salman led a brutal campaign of torture against Saudi dissidents: report

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A New York Times report from over the weekend claims that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a major crackdown of his political foes that includes multiple instances of kidnapping and torturing dissidents.

The report, which was based on the accounts of two U.S. officials who have read U.S. intelligence analyses of the Saudi government, claims that the kingdom has taken on at least a dozen operations against dissidents over the past two years, and that most of them took place before the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

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In many cases, Saudi operatives kidnapped Saudi women’s rights activists who were living abroad and brought them back to the kingdom so they could be tortured and threatened with rape.

Saudi Arabia has denied that the crown prince ordered any such operations and it has told the New York Times that it “takes any allegations of ill-treatment of defendants awaiting trial or prisoners serving their sentences very seriously.”

The crown prince is an ally of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has worked to cultivate ties with the Saudi government ever since becoming a top White House adviser in 2017.


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GOP leader McCarthy swats aside Fiona Hill’s national security testimony debunking his Ukraine conspiracy theory

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On Thursday, during one of the final scheduled impeachment hearings this week, National Security Council official Fiona Hill demolished President Donald Trump's conspiracy theory that Ukraine, rather than Russia, meddled in the 2016 election, calling it a "fictional narrative" and noting that it originated with the Kremlin itself.

But in conversation with reporters, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) flatly disbelieved Hill's testimony, and insisted he still held onto the theory.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told me that he was not going to lose any GOP votes during impeachment.

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Nicolle Wallace breaks down the impeachment moment ‘women will be talking about for years’

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace on Thursday highlighted one of the key moments from the impeachment inquiry testimony from Dr. Fiona Hill.

"Often when women show anger, it’s not fully appreciated. It’s often, you know, pushed onto emotional issues perhaps, or deflected on other people," Hill testified.

Here's Fiona Hill on why she thinks Sondland misunderstood her anger — and how women's anger is often viewed, more generally: "It's not fully appreciated. It's often pushed off onto emotional issues." pic.twitter.com/AsMR3A9InI

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Mulvaney lawyer denies Mick was ‘so heavily involved’ — despite his White House briefing room confession

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was referenced multiple times during Dr. Fiona Hill's testimony Thursday, but Mulvaney's lawyer said he doesn't understand why.

"We have no idea why Ms. Hill believes Mr. Mulvaney was so heavily involved, especially in light of Ambassador Sondland’s contrary testimony," said Fox News reporter Chad Pergram, quoting a statement from Robert Driscoll.

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram/status/1197633921065930753

As former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance pointed out, Hill recalled during her testimony how angry she was about Sondland not briefing her. She said that after hearing his testimony Wednesday and learning he was briefing Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Mulvaney and President Donald Trump. She then decided he was correct-they had separate missions and Sondland was on a domestic political errand.

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