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CNN’s Jim Sciutto obliterates the Russian talking points parroted by the GOP with a brutal fact-check

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Filling in on CNN’s New Day, host Jim Sciutto did an on-air fact check of the Russian talking points that were parroted over the weekend by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) and were used by defenders of Donald Trump during two weeks of impeachment hearings.

Using clips from Kennedy’s contentious interview with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, where Todd told the Republican senator he was being duped if he believed what he was repeating in defense of the president, Sciutto went point by point through the interview and knocked every assertion down.

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“Since the 2016 election, President Trump has searched for someone to blame other than Russia for interfering in the U.S. election despite the clear assessment by multiple U.S. intelligence agencies,” Sciutto began. “The impeachment inquiry in the House has brought the president’s belief in the conspiracy theory that Ukraine is the one that meddled in the election into full view — and now Republican lawmakers seem to be picking up on it.”

After sharing clips of Kennedy’s scrambling attempts to defend Trump by repeating discredited assertions, Sciuto brought the hammer down.

“So why are these statements from Senator Kennedy, a sitting member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, so misleading? I’ve laid out the facts,” the CNN host began. “Russia interfered in the 2016 election to a degree no other country ever has. That assessment is backed up by Intelligence and the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is a fact, not an opinion.”

“Also a fact, U.S. intel agencies are aware of a year’s long campaign by Russia to shift blame away from themselves and onto Ukraine,” he continued. “That’s what Russia expert Fiona Hill said in public testimony. According to our reporting, senators were even briefed on Russia’s campaign to blame Ukraine for meddling in 2016 just this fall — Senator Kennedy says he did not attend that briefing. Now, how can we be sure about Russia interference? Well, two of the Russian hacking groups, dubbed ‘cozy bear’ and ‘fancy bear,’ were already well known to u.s. intelligence agencies. They had already hacked the State Department email system in 2014 and 2015. They used similar patterns in 2016 when a former NSA deputy director told me they didn’t even bother to hide.”

Sciutto also referenced the timing of DNC emails that were dumped to the public just as the “Access Hollywood” tape that should have derailed Trump’s campaign was released.

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“Now, the president has claimed falsely that Ukraine may have taken the DNC server.,” Sciutto added. “No one, not U.S. intelligence, not the Senate Intel Committee or private security firms believes this and, by the way, that server? It still sits in the basement of the DNC headquarters.”

Watch below:


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WATCH: Franklin Graham tells Jeanine Pirro coronavirus pandemic is because of people sinning

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Franklin Graham blamed sinners for the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News.

Host Jeanine Pirro noted the growing death toll and wondered how God could let that happen.

"Well, I don't think it's God's plan for this to happen," Graham said.

"It's because of the sin that's in the world, judge," he argued.

"Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness and that's what Easter's all about," he continued.

"This pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world that has turned its back on God," he added.

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Drought causing water shortage amid coronavirus crisis in Chile

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With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.

"There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers," Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment, told AFP.

One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.

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Trump warns of ‘tough week’ ahead — after the United States surpassed 300,000 coronavirus victims

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US President Donald Trump warned Americans on Saturday to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days as the total number of global fatalities from the pandemic soared past 60,000.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 300,000 with more than 8,300 deaths, there was some encouraging news in Italy and Spain.

Europe continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic, however, accounting for over 45,000 of the worldwide deaths, and Britain reported a new daily high in fatalities.

There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.

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