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Prosecutors decided to revisit Assange as part of Trump’s war on the media: report

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On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the decision for Justice Department prosecutors to go after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose case had lain dormant since the early years of President Barack Obama’s administration, was made around the time President Donald Trump pushed to purge “leakers” from the White House.

According to one former national security official, while the current Assange charges are carefully crafted in response to First Amendment concerns — focusing on conspiracy to commit computer hacking as opposed to espionage, for example — they arose shortly after the administration decided to reexamine “what qualifies as media.”

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The Obama administration had been interested in pursuing the case, stemming from a 2010 release of classified documents supplied by private Chelsea Manning, but as a result of the tangled policy issues at play, decided not to pursue it.

More recently, Assange has been accused of working with Russia to disrupt the 2016 presidential election by publishing documents stolen from Democratic Party officials by Russian military operatives. Assange has denied that his source for these hacked files is Russia, and these allegations are not part of the charges for which the United States is seeking extradition.

Opinions vary on whether Assange is a journalist exposing information in the public interest, or a de-facto vigilante intelligence service operator engaged in criminal conduct. Complicating the matter is that even if he is the latter, the precedent prosecutors may set by targeting him could have consequences for the former.


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‘The man who sold America’: Mitch McConnell’s mountain of political sins catalogued in devastating new profile

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Mitch McConnell finally has the power he's longed for since he was a 22-year-old intern for Sen. John Sherman, but his ruthless march to become Senate majority leader has seen him abandon almost all of his stated principles -- and earned him a lot of enemies.

The Kentucky Republican has been unpopular in his home state for years, but this summer has seen his approval rating plunge to 18 percent after MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tarred and feathered him with the nickname "Moscow Mitch," and he's increasingly seen as "the man who sold America," reported Rolling Stone.

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Sarah Sanders rages on Fox News that the ‘out-of-control’ media is ‘making stuff up’ about Trump

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In her new gig as a Fox News contributor, former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders complained to host Sean Hannity that the "out-of-control" media makes "stuff up" about Donald Trump because they hate him for winning in 2016.

Sanders, who once told reporters that "countless" FBI agents had lost confidence in James Comey only to later tell investigators from special counsel Robert Mueller's office that she made it up, complained to the Fox host about the press being untrustworthy.

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There will be ‘nightmarish’ consequences if ‘buffoon’ Trump starts a war with Iran: Rick Wilson

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Longtime Republican strategist Rick Wilson is warning about the severe dangers that will come from President Donald Trump getting America into a war with Iran.

In a scathing column written for the Daily Beast, Wilson warns that the president is "entirely unequipped to handle" any serious fight against Iran, which has been accused of launching strikes against Saudi oil production facilities.

"The mullahs know what they’re seeing when they behold Trump: a buffoon and a bluffer who just might be dumb enough to start a war with nightmarish consequences," Wilson writes. "Iran sees an American defense and intelligence apparatus run by toadies and temporary/acting/provisional/until-the-next-tweet nonentities whose tenures depend not on strategic insight or depth of knowledge, but on their ability to abase themselves before the Dear Leader."

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