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‘Unprecedented’: Experts stunned as Trump hands AG Barr broad power to declassify 2016 election surveillance Intel

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Intelligence and law enforcement experts are stunned after President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he has just handed his Attorney General strong powers to declassify intelligence on “surveillance activities” undertaken during the 2016 presidential election. That would include actions taken by the FBI, CIA, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Trump’s order giving Barr carte blanche came just hours after he literally called prosecutors who worked on the Mueller investigation “killers,” and accused FBI, DOJ, and possibly President Barack Obama of “treason” immediately after a reporter reminded him that the punishment for that crime is the death penalty.

Trump is insisting, as he has done for over two years, that President Barack Obama had then-candidate Trump’s “wires tapped,” an accusation the Dept. of Justice actually investigated and reported it could find no evidence to support President Trump’s claim.

Trump expanded that claim to say that the FBI spied on his campaign, despite having no evidence. Attorney General Bill Barr during an open and live-televised congressional hearing told lawmakers, “I think spying did occur.”

The deliberate use of the word “spying” rankled the intel community and many lawmakers.

This via Maddow tonight:

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Here’s how some experts are responding to the President’s order and accusations.

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Former U.S. Attorney, now a law professor and MSNBC contributor:

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Former Chief of Counterintelligence and Export Control Section at Justice Dept.:

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Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics:

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Former CIA officer and former National Security Council spokesperson, currently an NBC News contributor:

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Former Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Department of Justice, and a current MSNBC Justice & Security Analyst:

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Professor at the U.S. Naval War College and academic specialist on international affairs:

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New York Times editorial board writer on law and justice issues (and yes, he is being sarcastic):

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Vox co-founder and editor:

 

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Jerry Falwell, Jr blasted as ‘un-Christian prat’ after trying to defend Donald Trump in battle with Southern Baptist ethics chief

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Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. was ripped online for attempting to rationalize President Donald Trump's detention camps for children.

Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted on Twitter an Associated Press story on the "perilous conditions" at a Texas Border Patrol station holding 300 children.

"The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this," Moore wrote.

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Prosecutors offered indicted GOP congressman a deal to keep his multiple taxpayer-funded trysts quiet — but he refused

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On Tuesday, CNN reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), facing indictment for stealing campaign funds and falsifying spending reports, was offered a deal by to keep secret the incidents in which he used taxpayer money to finance affairs with lobbyists — but he refused.

"Prosecutors told a judge they tried to cut a deal with Hunter to avoid revealing the alleged tryst, but his attorneys refused," reported CNN's Tom Foreman.

The affairs were made public shortly after it was revealed that Hunter's wife Margaret, an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, was cooperating with prosecutors. Hunter had previously tried to blame the entire scheme on his wife — a claim that looks increasingly dubious.

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How one woman taunting a homeless McDonald’s employee turned his life around

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A woman in Fayette County, Georgia recently took to Facebook to disparage a McDonald's worker who was sleeping in the restaurant. "I go and tell an employee there is someone is asleep in their booth and her response was 'oh yeah, we know hee hee, it's ok' and I said 'not really but whatever,'" she wrote.

It turned out the sleeping employee, Simon Childs, is a 21-year-old homeless father who had recently lost his mother and was trying to catch some rest between multiple shifts at the restaurant.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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