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Here’s what the Mueller report says about 6 key players in Trump’s orbit

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Attorney General William Barr has publicly released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation. Despite the redactions, a wealth of information is in the report—and many of President Donald Trump’s past and present associates are discussed extensively.

Here’s what the Mueller report says about the roles of some key players and Trump associates.

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1. Hope Hicks

On Page 101 of Mueller’s report, former Trump White House staffer Hope Hicks  is quoted as saying that e-mails in which Donald Trump, Jr. said, in 2016, that he would “love it” if Russia would leak some dirt on Hillary Clinton looked “really bad” for the president’s son. Mueller’s report states, “the President was insistent that he did not want to talk about it and said he did not want details.”

2. Jeff Sessions

In March 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to Mueller’s report, was assessing whether or not he should recuse himself from the Russia investigation. And Trump asked White House Counsel Don McGahn to stop Sessions from recusing himself; regardless, Sessions recused himself, and Trump was angry with him for that. Sessions’ recusal became an ongoing source of tension between himself and the president.

3. Don McGahn

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On June 17, 2017, Trump called McGahn at home and directed him to call the acting attorney general and tell him that Mueller “had conflicts of interest and must be removed.”

4. Sarah Huckabee Sanders

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in 2017, told the press that after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, she heard from “countless” FBI agents that they had lost confidence in Comey. But Sanders acknowledged to investigators that her comments were not based on anything.

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5. Steve Bannon

Mueller’s report discusses the relationship between Steve Bannon and former Blackwater exec Erik Prince, who was an ardent supporter of Trump but wasn’t actually part of the campaign. Bannon and Prince were in touch during the campaign as well as during the Obama-to-Trump transition after Trump won the election. Mueller’s report says that “Prince and Bannon would discuss, inter alia, foreign policy issues and Prince’s recommendations regarding who should be appointed to fill key national security positions.”

As AlterNet reported earlier, investigators were unable to gather significant facts about a meeting between Bannon and Prince that occurred just before Prince met with a Russian hedge fund manager in Seychelles. According to the Mueller report, “text messages on both their phones have disappeared.”

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6. Donald Trump, Jr.

Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort (Donald Trump’s campaign manager) were among those present at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York City in which Trump’s allies discussed dirt that Russians had on Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, Sr., however, was not present. And Mueller’s report says that “by June 2017, the president became aware of e-mails setting up the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Russians who offered derogatory information on Hillary Clinton as ‘part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.’”

Mueller’s report adds that “on multiple occasions in late June and early July 2017, the president directed aides not to publicly disclose the e-mails, and he then dictated a statement about the meeting to be issued by Donald Trump Jr. describing the meeting as about adoption.”

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GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief

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The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.

Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."

"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.

"It was extraordinary today when she -- in effect, begged -- asked, certainly, members of the committee to stop supplying Russian talking points, to stop advancing Russian propaganda in the Congress of the United States," he continued.

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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