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Trump biographer: Attorney General William Barr failed to prove Trump isn’t a ‘useful idiot’ for Russia

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In an interview with Al Jazeera English, biographer David Cay Johnston argued that President Donald Trump is still a Russian asset, regardless of whether the special counsel could find direct conspiracy.

“In the meaning, in the intelligence world, of the word ‘asset,’ Donald Trump is an asset,” Johnston said. “He is what the old Soviet Union called a ‘useful idiot.’ He has carried the water for the Kremlin repeatedly on things like attacking NATO and other positions.”

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Regardless of what the Attorney General Bill Bar wrote in his summary, it’s clear.

He went on to say that the world has a lot of grey area when it comes to things like this, but for some reason, all roads seem to lead back to Russia for Trump.

“But the underlying important point here is we only know what Bill Barr’s spin is,” Johnston continued. “Bill Barr without being dishonest can put a spin on this that helps the person who put him in office after he auditioned for that job.”

“The world is not black and white,” Johnston said in response to criticism from his other panelist. “Donald Trump will do things that are contradictory — all people do. The world isn’t black and white. And keep in mind, Donald Trump is totally incompetent to be president. So, when you look at his actions…”

At the end of the interview, Johnston said that the president has all of the power in the world to make the report public today or tomorrow. He demanded to know why Trump is refusing to do so.

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Watch the full interview below:


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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Mike Pompeo asks Egypt to stop harassing US citizens

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed Egypt's release of a US citizen but urged the ally to stop harassment of others.

Mohamed Amashah, 24, was freed Monday, nearly 16 months after he was arrested in Cairo's Tahrir Square for holding up a sign seeking the release of prisoners, according to human rights campaigners.

A dual US-Egyptian citizen who lives in New Jersey, he had gone on a hunger strike this year to protest his conditions.

"We thank Egypt for securing his release and his repatriation," Pompeo told a news conference.

"But at the same time, we urge Egyptian officials to stop unwarranted harassment of US citizens and their families who remain there," he said.

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