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Mueller’s probe shines a light on how much of Trump’s sleazy behavior is perfectly legal: reporter

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has concluded without any indictments of President Donald Trump and his associates for conspiring with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

However, as The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer argues, the investigation has uncovered a lot of very sleazy behavior by the president and his associates that is perfectly legal.

In particular, Foer zeroes in on the revelations that Trump was trying to cut a deal with the Russian government to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was running for president as a shining example of sleazy-but-ethical behavior.

“Trump’s motive for praising Putin appears to have been, in large part, commercial,” he argues. “With his relentless pursuit of Trump Tower Moscow, the Republican nominee for president had active commercial interests in Russia that he failed to disclose to the American people. In fact, he explicitly and shamelessly lied about them.”

Foer then claims that Trump’s reluctance to criticize Russia for interfering in the 2016 election seems to stem from his own fragile ego rather than being a genuine Kremlin puppet.

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This shouldn’t be comforting, however, because it shows that Trump’s first loyalty is to himself rather than to the United States as a whole.

“The president never chooses to distinguish — and indeed, may be temperamentally incapable of distinguishing — his personal interests from the national interest,” he writes. “Why has he failed so consistently to acknowledge Russian interference in the election? Because that interference was designed to benefit him.”

Read the whole piece here.

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‘Bond is dead’: White dudes flip out over casting of a black woman as next Agent 007

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On Monday, the Daily Beast reported that the new 007 -- the special agent in the James Bond series -- will be portrayed by the black actress Lashana Lynch.

The announcement set off predictably racist and sexist reactions.

Perhaps the most prominent right-winger to voice his displeasure was Ben Shapiro, who complained that it didn't make sense for Bond to be a woman because of the character's signature seduction moves.

"Bond is about the guns and the girls," Shapiro said, noting that a woman in a seductive role was not realistic.

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REVEALED: The government just ‘dramatically’ expanded its investigation of Jeffrey Epstein

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Federal investigators have been able to “dramatically expand” their investigation into financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein as prosecutors bring sex trafficking charges against him, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rossmiller said in court on Monday.

The government revealed the expansion of the case at the day’s bail hearing. In searching the defendant’s house, investigators found an old passport with Epstein picture and a fake name that listed Saudi Arabia as the location of his residence, the prosecutor said.

The judge was surprised at this revelation, NBC News reported, asking the attorney, “Say again?”

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Will Hurd becomes first GOP lawmaker to condemn Trump’s ‘racist and xenophobic’ attacks on Dems

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Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) on Monday became the first Republican lawmaker to unequivocally condemn President Donald Trump's racist attacks against four Democratic lawmakers.

When asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour about Trump's weekend tweets, in which he told Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to “go back” to their countries despite the fact that all four are American citizens, Hurd did not hold back on repudiating the president's statements.

"Those tweets are racist, and xenophobic," he said. "They’re also inaccurate. The four women he’s referring to are actually citizens of the United States."

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