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Ex-CIA agent demolishes Trump defender’s talking point that Obama was to blame for Russian hacking

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Appearing on CNN on Saturday morning, the former deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center took on a conservative CNN commentator’s accusation that the fault for not stopping Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election belongs to former President Barack Obama.

Appearing with host Victor Blackwell, Phil Mudd was asked about an opinion piece by conservative Scott Jennings where he suggested that the collusion charges leveled against Donald Trump were created to cover up Obama’s dereliction of duty.

The former CIA agent shot that notion down.

“If you look at this, there’s a fair question about what the Obama administration should have done. whether they should have, in the midst of dealing with issues like Syria and Isis, whether they should have said, ‘wow, this seems like the Russians are trying to meddle in the electoral process,” Mudd explained. “The counter-analysis is simple: let’s go to the campaign between Clinton and Trump.”

“Imagine the Democratic candidate standing there a month before the election telling the American people, ‘believe it or not, there’s credible information about Russia meddling. and our enemy is trying to favor the Republican candidate over Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “What do you think people would have said if Donald Trump had lost? I think there’s a fair question that Obama should have done more, but the question isn’t focused on what would have happened if Obama had gotten out there and tried to say what we saw.”

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Mudd later attacked Republicans who were informed about Russian attempts to hack the election — but dismissed them — and continue to block efforts to stop more attacks.

You can see the video below:

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NYT columnist says one of Trump’s friends begged him to talk him out of launching war with Iran

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On Monday, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper, following President Donald Trump's attacks on him for calling his behavior racist in a recent article. The president accused him of "kissing [his] a**" in an Oval Office phone call.

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No one can say with certainty what former special counsel Robert Mueller will tell the American people when he testifies before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday.

But on Monday, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer the broad strokes of what Mueller will be expected to say — and what the American people should be listening for if they are not yet convinced President Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

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Trump is becoming more hawkish on Iran — and he’s running out of options: report

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So far, one of the only pieces of good news in the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran is that President Donald Trump has been reluctant to use military force, taking his cues in part from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has personally warned him that it would end his presidency — resisting the urges of his most trigger-happy advisers like John Bolton.

Now, however, the president appears to be having second thoughts as it becomes clearer that he will not be able to broker a better deal than President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement, and is starting to view the conflict more hawkishly, reported CNN's Kaitlan Collins on Monday.

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