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Maddow warns Russia is interfering in the 2020 election in ‘exactly the same way’ as they did in 2016

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday warned that Russia and the Republicans are running the “exact same play” against Democrats in 2020 — and this time will be aided by the United States Justice Department.

“And they are playing it again already for the next election. And some of it is happening just like it did in 2016. And some of it is worse and I think it’s going to be more powerful than it was in 2016. In part because this is a second draft for these guys, right? They ran this play in 2016. They worked out some of the kinks,” she explained. “Now they’ll do it again with the benefit of knowing what worked for them and what didn’t work the first time around. It’s a second draft. It’s going to be better and more polished.”

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“More seriously, though, I think some of this is also going to be worse this time around, because this time, the intended beneficiary of this same play — this slime and false equivalency play — this time, he’s not just a candidate, he’s a president. With the resources of the U.S. government at his disposal and his own willingness to use the resources of the U.S. government to benefit himself politically,” Maddow feared.

“Russia right now today is playing it online exactly the same way they did in 2016. I mean, it’s literally today, Facebook took down these Russian meme-making anti-democratic online personas,” Maddow reported. “These pro-trump online engines. So that part is in place again, just exactly like it was before. I mean, why wouldn’t the Russians do it again, right? It’s not like they got in trouble for doing it the first time.”

“So we know politically that things going to get weird, right? We are going to have — we already have more foreign interference, weaponizing social media in favor of Trump and against the Democrats and particularly trying to divide the left and the center against itself. We’ve got that already,” she noted. “We’re also going to have another run of the no puppet, no puppet, you’re the puppet, blame the other side stuff. From Trump and from conservative media and from Trump supporters.”

“What is new is that this time it really does seem that they are going to use the power of the U.S. Justice Department to help them make that case that the Democrats are the real source of the scandal here,” Maddow warned. “And that is what is new about what is coming and what we are already starting to live through for the 2020 campaign. And because the Justice Department will be the source of these claims that the Democrats are the real scandal here, that will be irresistible to most of the media.”

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2020 Election

How right-wing groups use old laws and imperfect data to purge voters from statewide rolls

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Wisconsin has become early 2020’s Exhibit A for political fights surrounding the updating of statewide voter lists, where escalating court battles over conflicting law, procedures and underlying data could lead to removing thousands of legal but infrequent voters.

The fray’s epicenter is a series of rulings by a county judge against Wisconsin’s bipartisan but deadlocked state election board, which has refused to immediately delete 209,000 voter registrations in a swing state with 3.3 million voters. The conflict may preview legal battles coming to other states. California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia have all received letters from Judicial Watch, a right-wing group, threatening to file suits like the complaint from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) against the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC).

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2020 Election

Michael Bloomberg’s unconventional 2020 campaign strategy is expensive and unprecedented — but can it work?

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Eric Graves isn’t your typical voter. He has cast ballots for Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and, most recently, Donald Trump. He said party isn’t as important to him as the candidate, and heading into 2020, he has a new mantra: Bloomberg or bust.

Graves, a 69-year-old insurance agent, stood toward the back of a Michael Bloomberg event at an East Austin brewery earlier this month, among a crowd that skewed elderly and white. Counting down the minutes until he was able to shake hands with the Democratic candidate, Graves said the political party had lost its way.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders? “So far left.” Joe Biden? “He’s lost whatever he had” during the Obama era.” Pete Buttigieg? “Doesn’t have the track record.”

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2020 Election

Mick Mulvaney released treasure trove of OMB documents — 2 minutes before midnight

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Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney released a huge cache of documents on Tuesday evening -- minutes before the midnight deadline.

The documents were released to the ethics group American oversight, which had pursued a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the department.

"Two minutes before midnight, OMB released 192 pages of Ukraine-related records to American Oversight, including emails that have not been previously released," American Oversight announced.

"The files released tonight include emails sent by OMB Acting Director Russell Vought and Assoc Director for National Security Michael Duffey — two key players in the withholding of Ukraine aid — in on the morning of President Trump’s July 25 call with President Zelensky," the ethics group noted.

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