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Both parties refusing to work together makes the United States more vulnerable to cyberwar: report

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A decade ahead of Russia’s hack of the 2016 American election, Russia waged a cyberwar against Estonia, trying to take down the government systems and banking systems. It should have been a warning for the U.S. to prepare, but when Russia was found out to be waging a cyberwar against the country, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to act in America’s interest.

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According to New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo, Russia’s attack was more than just a “dry run,” it was actually successful.

“They had disinformation campaigns. They had the cyber component,” he explained. “They were also doing the same thing they did in the United States. which is kind of pulling at the seams of natural division inside society and actually getting people into the streets. So, when you pull this all together, it starts to look more and more like not a dry run or a trial run, because they actually did some stuff. But a foundation, a blueprint actually for what happened in 2016.”

While technology has changed significantly since 2007, the methods and the goals are the same. Only the tools have changed.

“What we saw in 2016, of course, was, you know, using Twitter and using Facebook, using ad-buys that targeted specific demographics of people,” Apuzzo continued. “But what the real lesson I think from Estonia was that the natural divisions, the stuff that are the real flashpoints in society, whether it’s immigration or race or income inequality, abortion, gay rights — those hot-button issues really make for a natural, you know, weapons in a disinformation warfare.”

He said when modern technology is coupled with societal division and the result is the kind of chaos Russia wants to see. Ultimately, it makes America more vulnerable.

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“So, that I think is what spins this story forward when we talk about 2020,” he went on. “You know, if the two parties aren’t talking to each other and Democrats don’t like Republicans and Republicans don’t like Democrats, it actually makes them more vulnerable to manipulation.”

Watch the full episode of “The Weekly” at The New York Times.
Watch the panel discussion below:

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Fox News triggers outrage with graphic comparing how much stocks have risen after racist tragedies

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On Friday, Fox News displayed a graph that appeared to compare the amount the stock market has risen in the week after various racial tragedies, including the assassination of Martin Luther King, the beating of Rodney King, the Ferguson incident, and the death of George Floyd.

2. Here’s the video of the graphic as it aired on Fox News this evening. pic.twitter.com/Iww2DnzkkI

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 5, 2020

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Bill Barr denies giving the order to gas protesters for Trump photo-op

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America's top law enforcement office on Friday denied giving the highly-controversial order to gas protesters prior to a photo-op with President Donald Trump holding a Bible.

"Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision," The Associated Press reports.

"Barr’s comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday were his most detailed explanation yet of what unfolded outside the White House earlier this week. They come after the White House and others said repeatedly that the attorney general ordered officers to clear the park," the AP reported. "Shortly after officers aggressively pushed back demonstrators, President Donald Trump — accompanied by Barr, Pentagon leaders and other top advisers — walked through Lafayette Park to pose for a photo at a nearby church that had been damaged during the protests."

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Steve Schmidt breaks down why Joe Biden should be an ‘easy’ choice for moderate Republicans

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On MSNBC Friday, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt criticized Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) claim that she was struggling over whether to support the president — and laid out why she should unequivocally decide she doesn't.

"We saw the president direct violence against peaceful protesters this week, and seen the president lie to the country nearly 20,000 times," said Schmidt. "We've seen the president divide the country and incite violence. And we've seen a level of ineptitude in this historic pandemic that defied description, but included standing in front of the nation when tens of thousands are dead, talking about his ratings or telling the American people that it is a good idea to ingest or household disinfectants. We've seen a president preside over the shattering of an economy. We have seen a president race-bait, demean, disgrace his office, to desecrate the bonds of affection that exist between us as Americans."

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