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OAN’s Kremlin journalist proves the ‘merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media’ is complete: Former FBI special agent

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US President Donald Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July. (AFP/File / DON EMMERT, Natalia KOLESNIKOVA)

Its headlines look like they’re written to please an audience of one.

“Political Strategist: President Trump’s reelection looks good in state-by-state analysis of chances.”

“Pres. Trump touts strong approval rating as economy remains solid.”

“GOP businesswoman Scherie Murray announces campaign for AOC’s seat.”

It’s been called an “obscure” pay-cable TV station, but One America News Network, which at time feels more like Fox News than Fox News, is President Donald Trump’s new favorite news channel. It worked hard to get there, and as a 2017 Washington Post article noted its “taking ‘pro-Trump’ to new heights.”

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The President has noticed, occasionally tweeting out their stories.

On Monday The Daily Beast‘s Sr. National Security Correspondent, Kevin Poulsen, noticed another reason why OANN may be Trump’s favorite new news outlet.

“One of the on-air reporters at the 24-hour network is a Russian national on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.”

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Kristian Rouz, “originally from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, has been living in San Diego, where OAN is based, since August 2017, reporting on US politics for the 24-hour news channel,” The Daily Beast reports. “For all of that time he’s been simultaneously writing for Sputnik, a Kremlin-owned newswire that played a role in Russia’s 2016 election interference operation, according to an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community.”

What kind of journalism does Rouz practice?

There’s “a wholly fabricated 2017 segment claiming Hillary Clinton is secretly bankrolling antifathrough her political action committee,” while other “smears target billionaire financier George Soros.”

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In one segment, Rouz amplified a thoroughly debunked claim that Soros collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, when the Jewish philanthropist was 14 years old. Another Rouz story accused Soros of secretly funding migrant caravans.

Former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, who served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force and has testified before Congress, weighed in.

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“This completes the merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media,” Watts, now a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Daily Beast. “We used to think of it as, ‘They just have the same views’ or, ‘They use the same story leads.’ But now they have the same personnel.”


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2020 Election

Trump attacks 2 GOP governors on flight to Georgia rally: ‘Republicans will NEVER forget this’

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Republicans have been "working frantically behind the scenes" to keep President Donald Trump on message during his Saturday campaign rally in Georgia, but the efforts do not seem to be working.

GOP strategists hoped Trump would make the case for the two GOP senators in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, but Trump has continued to fixate on his delusions that he won the presidential election.

Aboard Air Force One on the flight to the rally, Trump attacked two GOP governors: Brian Kemp of Georgia and Doug Ducey of Arizona -- and seemed to threaten political retribution for the pair not going along with the president's debunked conspiracy theories about the election.

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Trump holds large rally in Georgia — one day after the Peach State set a new coronavirus record

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President Donald Trump departed the White House on Saturday for an evening campaign rally in Georgia -- despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is ostensively making the trip to support Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. However, Republicans fear Trump will use his speech to continue bashing GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.

Trump's visit also comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

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2020 Election

Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp

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Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.

Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1335268230206722048

"Trump is to headline a campaign rally for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the state Saturday night — his first major political event since before the Nov. 3 election. GOP officials are working frantically behind the scenes to try to keep the president on script at the rally, worried that he will use the forum to attack Kemp and other state GOP officials who have resisted his pressure, according to a person familiar with the discussions," The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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