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‘Alarming’: CNN legal analyst says Barr’s ‘dangerous’ new powers should set off warning bells

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CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey on Friday issued a stark warning about the sweeping new powers that President Donald Trump has given to Attorney General Bill Barr to declassify intelligence related to the investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

During an appearance on CNN, Hennessey argued that Trump has given Barr the power to selectively declassify intelligence in order to build a misleading narrative about the origins of the Russia investigation, which she said would be unprecedented in American history.

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“This actually is representing something quite dangerous,” she argued. “Ordinarily, whenever we think about sources and methods and classified information and what information the United States government wants to protect, the concerns that we’re worried about are national security concerns and not political concerns. One of the things that’s so alarming is that the president has decided to shift this authority from the director of national intelligence to the attorney general.”

She then outlined why the DNI has traditionally been placed in charge of handling intelligence declassification and how dangerous it could be to give those powers over to someone who is only looking to protect the president.

“The idea that the president would put this new authority with the attorney general, someone who is not best positioned to understand the consequences of declassifying… this is not about the protection of national security, but the potential political benefits,” she said.

Watch the video below.

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Markets are ‘getting ready for something worse’ amid coronavirus chaos: Expert

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," business analyst Richard Quest said that the United States is not likely on track for a recession at the moment — but that if the coronavirus outbreak explodes within the country, it could destabilize the economy into a tailspin.

"The 1,190-point drop today, the largest in the history of the New York Stock Exchange," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Over the past week, the Dow Jones has dropped 3,581 points since last Thursday alone ... could the U.S. economy now go into recession if the coronavirus spreads here in the United States?"

"Right, the qualifications of that is the last bit of your question: If it spreads in the United States," said Quest. "At the moment, there's no reputable economist that is forecasting a global recession or a U.S. recession if the status quo is maintained, i.e., periodic expansions of this with just a few more cases. However, if there was a full-scale outbreak and you start looking at large parts of the U.S. economy being shut down, no question about it. A recession would be on the cards."

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Trump is getting a ‘no-confidence vote from financial markets’ over erratic coronavirus response: CNN’s Harwood

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank once again in early trading on Thursday amid concerns about how the spread of the coronavirus will impact the economy.

CNN's John Harwood on Thursday said that President Donald Trump's efforts to calm markets by appointing Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the government's coronavirus response had clearly flopped, as the Dow dropped by more than 700 points in early trading.

"What you have seen today and last night, when Dow futures fell while that press conference was going, on is a no confidence vote from financial markets," Harwood said. "You have the president appointing Mike Pence saying he's good on health -- we all remember that as governor of Indiana, he struggled to cope with a public health crisis on HIV by delaying needle exchanges. That had real consequences in terms of lives lost, so the administration has not gotten its act together."

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NYT reporter reveals the stunning reason Trump believed coronavirus would disappear next month

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On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that President Donald Trump is angry about his administration's coronavirus response — in part because he misunderstood what the experts told him about the disease and thought they meant it was going to go away soon.

"The president has been very frustrated with the public messaging of this from his administration, but not for the reasons that people necessarily think," said Haberman. "It's because there were experts who were saying one thing from the CDC, which was that there is this problem growing, and then he was trying to tamp this down in his own comments, and he keeps saying something that, as I understand it, is a misinterpretation of what he was told in a briefing, which was that viruses tend to decrease in numbers in terms of spread during warmer weather. He has taken that and put his own spin on it which is, it's going to stop by April. He's been telling people that for a while."

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