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National Intelligence Director issues thinly-veiled warning to AG after Trump gives Barr broad powers

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The Director of National Intelligence has just issued a thinly-veiled warning to Attorney General Bill Barr to not overstep now that President Trump has created unprecedented, sweeping powers for the head of the Dept. of Justice. Thursday night the intelligence community and intel experts were stunned when Trump announced he had given Barr total authority to declassify any information related to any investigation of the 2016 election.

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Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) warned Barr in a public memo to work “in accordance with the long-established standards to protect highly-sensitive classified information,” and not “put our national security at risk.”

Those are strong words that indicate President Trump did not consult with Coats, and likely did not consult with FBI Director Chris Wray or CIA Director Gina Haspel before tweeting out Barr’s new powers, then heading to Japan barely 12 hours later.

Coats added that the Intelligence Community “will continue to faithfully execute its mission of providing timely, apolitical intelligence to the President and policymakers,” again, clearly suggesting that Trump’s actions, and possibly Barr’s, are entirely partisan.

Interestingly, Coats characterized Barr’s investigation into how the Russia investigation was started as a “review of intelligence activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” which is not what Barr is conducting.

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Trump’s decision to hand Barr the keys to the Intelligence Community’s kingdom is seen as just the latest in a long line of actions – albeit possibly the most dangerous to date – of Trump using the presidency to attack the Intel community – and to “investigate the investigators.”

Intelligence experts have begun to weigh in on Coats’ memo.

Former Intelligence Community attorney, now the Executive Editor of Lawfare, and a Brookings Senior Fellow, and CNN National Security and Legal Analyst:

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CBS News Intelligence and National Security Reporter:

We’ll add more reactions from experts as they come in.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Ex-prosecutor demands congressional investigation after latest report on the FBI and Brett Kavanaugh

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had another allegation of sexual misconduct revealed on Saturday in a bombshell report in The New York Times.

"A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly," the newspaper reported.

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Boris Johnson promises Britain will be like the Incredible Hulk during Brexit negotiations

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday he was making a "huge amount of progress" towards a Brexit deal with the EU, in an interview in which he compared Britain to the Incredible Hulk.

"It's going to take a lot of work between now and October 17" when EU leaders gather for their final summit before Britain's scheduled exit from the bloc, he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"But I'm going to go to that summit and I'm going to get a deal, I'm very confident. And if we don't get a deal then we'll come out on October 31."

His comments came ahead of talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Luxembourg on Monday.

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NYT blasted for ‘spectacularly offensive sentiment’ after tweet illustrating ‘rape culture’

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The results of a 10-month investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly was published on Saturday.

But attention was taken away from the powerful reporting after the Twitter account of The Times opinion page posted a shocking message.

"Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun," read the tweet.

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