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‘More than inappropriate’: CNN panel crushes Bill Barr for helping Trump spin the Mueller report

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A CNN panel on Thursday crushed Attorney General Bill Barr for currying favor with President Donald Trump and working to preemptively spin special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on interference in the 2016 presidential election.

During the discussion, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates called out Barr for feeding into partisan talking points by hinting that illegal “spying” took place on the Trump campaign in 2016 — despite the fact hat he then admitted he had no evidence to back up his claims.

“To me, this was a shocking thing for Barr to do,” Coates said. “It was unnecessary if he wasn’t going to talk about what he chose to mention, and it was inappropriate because it was unsubstantiated and still is!”

“It’s more than inappropriate,” replied John Avlon. “This slip of the tongue, imprecise language by the attorney general who ought to know better, dovetails with the White House’s talking points, which is, ‘Investigate the investigators.'”

CNN’s David Gregory also thought it as astonishing that there would be such a large gap in time between Barr’s press conference on the report and the release to the public — which could give Trump plenty of time to spin the report to his own ends.

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“Imagine the specter — you could have a president live-tweeting while he’s reading this report,” Gregory said. “He could just say, ‘Go to page 325, this just shows you what a hoax this whole thing was!'”

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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.

Speaking to Cooper, Friedman denied Trump's characterization of their discussion.

"The president tweeted about a private conversation we had and lobbed in a few insults," said Friedman. "Basically, my response, which I put out on Twitter is that I was encouraged by a friend of his to speak to him after the downing of the American drone, because I thought it was wise that we not retaliate, and I thought he was wise not to retaliate, and this friend of his wanted me to encourage him in that, because he was evidently agonizing a little over that not retaliating. And I did that. I began the conversation by saying that 'I disagree with you, Mr. President on many things, but I think you did the right thing on this.' We talked for about four minutes. We also talked about China and we left it at that."

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Here are 3 things Americans must hear from Mueller’s testimony: Democratic senator

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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.

"Do you think there are Americans out there who still haven't made up their mind on this issue of impeachment, obstruction of justice, collusion and all of that?" Blitzer asked her. "Have the American people moved on?"

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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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