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‘Buckle up’: Russia experts predict a full-on onslaught of Kremlin interference in 2020 election

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailed a stunning scope of actions taken by the Russian government, or on their behalf, to sabotage the integrity of the 2016 presidential election — ranging from the troll farm at the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency disrupting social media, to Russian officials trying to get in contact with President Donald Trump’s campaign.

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But that could just be the beginning. On Thursday, Axios laid out how the United States is still vulnerable to an attack of the sort Russia perpetrated in 2016 — and how the attack could be even worse in 2020.

First, Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and several GOP state officials have obstructed any attempt to coordinate election integrity or cybersecurity efforts. Second, America is even more on edge now than it was in 2016, with Trump stoking fear and hatred on a daily basis, all of which would make the country vulnerable once again.

Experts debate what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do next — but many are worried.

Russian intelligence scholar Mark told Axios he expects Russia will seek “to escalate and magnify the inevitable divisions that become exacerbated in election times … these opportunities are likely to be plentiful.” Andrew Weiss, an authority on Russia at the Carnegie Endowment, said “I see no reason to expect that U.S./Western actions since 2016 have changed Moscow’s appetite for risk. Buckle up.” And Aric Toler, the lead researcher at European investigative group Bellingcat, suggested that Putin will simply do what he did before, with “a lot of ad hoc actors within and from outside the Russian government/security services with similar targets as in 2016.”

After all, it worked last time.

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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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