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Spy exfiltrated from Russia has shockingly lax security after Putin paints a target on his back: columnist

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The U.S. spy exfiltrated from Russia following intelligence risks exacerbated by President Donald Trump was, by all accounts, an extremely deep-embedded asset, with direct access to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And yet, noted Amy Knight of The Daily Beast, the spy — whose identity remains anonymous for their protection — allegedly does not have security measures as strong as would be expected at their northern Virginia home.

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“Given the threat from the vengeful and murderous regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the home appears to be closely watched (judging by the convergence of cars when The Daily Beast showed up), but security seems, to say the least, lax,” wrote Knight.

Why is this the case? Knight offered multiple theories.

First of all, she noted, “perhaps he’s not that important or indeed that spy. Maybe there was another Deep Throat extracted from the Kremlin. But the profiles do seem to fit.”

“Another more likely possibility is that over the years the CIA has come to believe that the Russian secret services would not dare to carry out what are known in the trade as ‘wet works,’ or assassinations, on U.S. soil,” she suggested.

But if this is the case, it seems foolhardy. The Russian government has proven itself more than capable of targeted plots against its enemies on the soil of Western countries, most notably the attempted murders of Alexander Litvinenko in London and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

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Moreover, noted Knight, it is possible the Russian government already knows who this spy is, given that they were reportedly the source of the knowledge that Putin directly ordered Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the Kremlin began an aggressive campaign of investigations and arrests as U.S. intelligence officials revealed the scope of the plot.

“It has long been conventional wisdom that the Kremlin would not dare to assassinate its enemies in the United States,” wrote Knight, partly because the security services struggle to find people willing to undertake such assignments. But, “there have been at least two suspicious deaths of important defectors here in the U.S.” — Walter Krivitsky, and Sergei Tretyakov.

“The fact is Putin does not much care if the Kremlin is caught red-handed. Quite the opposite,” concluded Knight. “The goal, as always, is to send a warning to political enemies and would-be defectors that Putin’s vengeful reach extends around the globe.”

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2020 Election

GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed

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The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.

According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"

However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.

As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."

That was the general consensus in the comments.

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Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’

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In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.

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BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble

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On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?

"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.

These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.

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