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Mar-a-Lago may be ‘the worst counterintelligence nightmare since the Cold War’: Former FBI agent

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Trump mar-a-lago

Ali Soufan, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, has written an editorial for the Washington Post in which he explains that President Donald Trump’s regular trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort are a “nightmare” from a national security perspective.

Reacting to the news that an alleged Chinese spy named Yujing Zhang was recently caught with surveillance equipment in Trump’s club, Soufan argues that the resort’s openness to its members and their guests makes it nearly impossible to keep secure.

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“Unfortunately, Mar-a-Lago appears wide open to such operations,” he argues. “Zhang’s arrest is only the latest in a string of indications that the club is far from secure. Mar-a-Lago may present the worst counterintelligence nightmare the country has faced since the Cold War.”

He goes on to document how security concerns surrounding Mar-a-Lago have been present since the very start of Trump’s presidency, particularly when guests used their phones to snap photos of the president receiving a national security briefing on North Korea’s missile program with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“That could not have happened at the White House, not even during a state banquet, because visitors are not allowed to take in their devices,” he writes. “At Mar-a-Lago and other Trump resorts, there is no such restriction; indeed, according to federal prosecutors, Zhang’s interesting taste for electronics included carrying four cellphones on her person.”

Where is all this leading? According to Soufan, it may only be a matter of time before the security flaws in Mar-a-Lago blow up in the president’s face.

“For the safety of the United States’ secrets, and of the president himself, a comprehensive review of Trump’s unique way of working, and its counterintelligence implications, is urgently needed,” he concludes.

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Read the whole op-ed here.


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Central Park incident just one more example of white women using their status to terrorize black men: NYT’s Charles Blow

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Amy Cooper is just the latest example of white women using their privilege and femininity to terrorize black men, according to a new column from Charles Blow.

The New York Times columnist explains that a video recording of an incident involving Cooper, an investment manager, and Christian Cooper, a science editor, has a long and shameful historical precedent.

"This racial street theater against black people is an endemic, primal feature of the Republic," Blow write. "Specifically, I am enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men. This has long been a power white women realized they had and that they exerted."

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New Zealand epidemiologist: ‘We look at Trump’s behavior and we’re horrified’

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To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we bring you Part 2 of our discussion of New Zealand.

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Trump White House hammered for covering up their own economic projections as jobs vanish

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The Trump White House has decided against releasing midyear economic projections this summer, breaking precedent at a time when unemployment is expected to top 20 percent.

The Washington Post reports that the administration is not releasing updated economic projections that "would almost certainly codify an administration assessment that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic downturn" with massive job losses that have topped 36 million in just two months.

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