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Trump busted running ‘illegal covert PSYOP on the American people’: Ex-FBI agent calls it ’black propaganda

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President Donald Trump’s foreign election interference scandal is the result of an “illegal” and “covert” psychological operations (PSOP) on the American people, a former FBI special agent has expertise in the arena explained on Friday.

CNN analyst and Just Security editor Asha Rangappa explained her conclusion in a thread posted on Twitter.

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“One thing not to overlook in understanding the significance of the texts is that in addition to soliciting section assistance and abusing his power, Trump was attempting to employ covert propaganda against the American public,” she wrote, posting a clip of her appearing on CNN.

“As I note in the clip above, one thing the texts make clear is that the administration wasn’t just interested in Ukraine investigating Biden — they were specifically interested in the *messaging* about the investigation. If what you care about is “corruption,” you would be satisfied with an assurance that Ukraine was going to investigate. Instead, the Trump admin doesn’t care so much about the investigation itself, but making sure that the fact that it is being investigated is *being broadcast* to the audience they care about: American voters.”

“IMPORTANTLY, they are very invested in the message being crafted in a *specific way* — tailored to Trump’s benefit by maximizing the “seeds of doubt” on both Biden and the 2016 election. It’s being drafted by Trump’s personal lawyer!” she noted. “In addition, the message was going to be delivered as an official statement from Ukraine, with NO INDICATION that the United States either precipitated or participated in its creation in any way.”

“This, folks, is called black propaganda,” Rangappa concluded. “Black propaganda attempts to conceal the true source of information, so that the target cannot accurately assess the credibility of the message or the motives of the source behind it. Trump wanted to cloak his own role and motives behind a statement of a foreign country.”

“The goal here is to manipulate the American public into to thinking that Ukraine had *independently* reached the same conclusions about the Russia investigation, and/or uncovered criminal leads about Biden,” she explained. “Trump could then use this to bolster his own views.”

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Rangappa explained her experience with cases like this.

“Not for nothing, but a good chunk of the cases I investigated in the FBI were ‘perception management’ (propaganda) cases,” she revealed. “We actively try to STOP foreign countries from doing this to us, because we believe that part of an open society and marketplace of ideas is ensuring that people know the true source of information in order to assess credibility and critically evaluate the content (FARA originated in 1938 as a way to combat Nazi propaganda, [by] requiring state-sponsored content to be identified as such).”

” Basically, you have the Trump admin attempting to conduct an illegal covert psyop on the American public, using officials from the State Department and his own attorney to do it. It’s literally a version of what Russia did in 2016,” Rangappa concluded.

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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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