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Putin must think Trump’s decisions on Syria and Ukraine are ‘absolutely fabulous’: former CIA official

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According to retired CIA chief of Russian operations and CNN national security analyst Steven L. Hall, President Trump’s foreign policy decisions probably has Russian President Vladimir Putin wondering if he’s dreaming.

Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper this Monday, Hall said that Putin likely thinks Trump’s flops regarding Syria and Ukraine are “absolutely fabulous.” Referring to a recent Washington Post report that alleges Trump’s view on alleged corruption in Ukraine was influenced by conversations with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Putin, Cooper asked Hall if he thinks Trump seeking advice from the two world leaders jeopardizes national security.

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“You’ve got this veritable buffet of horribleness in front of us, and it’s difficult for me to say which is the most horrible thing,” Hall replied.

“That is certainly a terrible, terrible thing when you’ve got the president of the United States of America reaching out to a foreign leader and asking for that help, regardless of whether there’s a quid pro quo,” he continued.

Regarding Syria, Hall said that Putin is now “running up and down the Syrian border with his military forces opposite Turkey with Russian flags, going into abandoned U.S. bases there and making a big propaganda deal of it.”

Watch the full segment below, via Anderson Cooper 360°:

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Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

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In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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