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‘Dismaying’: WaPo fact checker exasperated by Trump’s insane conspiracy theory about Ukraine

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Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler found himself exasperated by President Donald Trump’s continued insistence on promoting a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine being in possession of the Democratic National Committee’s email server.

In his latest column, Kessler breaks down all the ways that Trump’s belief in the conspiracy theory about CrowdStrike is absolutely false.

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“Trump has been obsessed with the idea that the FBI never took physical possession of the servers at the DNC that were hacked,” Kessler writes. “But the FBI felt it was not necessary to enter the DNC’s premises and take custody of the affected servers, as agents were able to obtain complete copies of forensic images made by CrowdStrike, which first identified that the DNC had been hacked by Russian operatives.”

Kessler then takes Trump to task for calling CrowdStrike a “Ukrainian” company when it was co-founded in California by cyber security expert Dmitri Alperovitch, who was actually born in Russia and is now an American citizen.

Given that Trump keeps repeating these false claims despite the fact that his own national security advisers keep telling him they have no merit, Kessler writes that it’s difficult to even convey the scope of the president’s dishonesty.

“It is dismaying that despite all of the evidence assembled by his top aides, Trump keeps repeating debunked theories and inaccurate claims that he first raised more than two years ago,” he concludes. “There are some days when we wish we were not limited to just Four Pinocchios. We were tempted to display 16 Pinnochios, four for each false statement. But this claim will certainly end up on our list of the Biggest Pinocchios of 2019.”

Read the whole analysis here.

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Mike Pence’s office blocks top health officials from CNN as punishment

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Vice President Mike Pence has kept the nation's top health officials from appearing on CNN since the network stopped carrying the daily coronavirus briefings in their entirety.

The vice president's office, which is responsible for booking those officials to deliver pandemic information, told CNN that Dr. Deborah Birx or Dr. Anthony Fauci would not be permitted to appear on the network until it carries the briefings, including Pence's remarks, in full.

"When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air," a Pence spokesperson told CNN.

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‘Well-spoken cultist’: Bill Barr trashed for praising ‘statesmanlike’ Trump and urging an end to COVID-19 lockdowns

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During an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham Wednesday night, Attorney General Bill Barr praised President Trump's "statesman-like" effort at the "beginning" of the coronavirus epidemic where he "tried to bring people together" while "working with all the governors" -- a characterization that did not go over well with many of the President's critics on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1248241999297339394

https://twitter.com/andeparks/status/1248255118291742722

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The Supreme Court is poised to extend gun rights at the worst possible time

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“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” —Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

As the deadly COVID-19 contagion sweeps across the country, gun sales are surging, spurred in many regions by panic buying and purchases by first-time firearm owners. Fearful and insecure Americans are taking advantage of weak and ineffective gun-control laws and stocking up, as President Trump might say, “like never before.”

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