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Lev Parnas has Trump ‘unnerved’: ex-FBI official says the president doesn’t know what he ‘has up his sleeve’

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President Donald Trump is “very nervous” about what Lev Parnas may have on him, a former top FBI official suggested on MSNBC on Friday.

Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence was interviewed by MSNBC’s Peter Alexander.

The host played clips of Trump denying any relationship with Parnas.

“Well, I don’t know him, I don’t know Lev Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken — which I do with thousands of people,” Trump argued. “I don’t know him at all, don’t know what he’s about, don’t where he comes from. I can tell you this — I don’t know him. I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him. I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him.”

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“Frank, what’s your take on that?” Alexander asked.

“Well, I’m up to, I think, eight photographs of — seeing eight photographs of Parnas and the president, at least one video of Parnas and the president, but what has my attention, Peter, is this is a variance from the president’s usual approach of ‘I did it, so what?’ or doubling down,” Figliuzzi said.

“Now what we’re seeing the exact opposite, now it’s, ‘I don’t know the guy.’ When someone varies from their usual M.O.., you should pay attention and I think Parnas has him very nervous,” he continued.

“My theory is because Parnas is the guy who can actually say none of this Ukraine stuff was ever about corruption — and by the way, I’m one step away from the president because I’m working for Rudy Giuliani,” he explained. “I think that’s got the president unnerved.”

“And the problem is he really needs to be careful because he doesn’t know how much Parnas has, he doesn’t know what Parnas has up his sleeve,” Figliuzzi noted. “does he have voice mails and videotapes or recordings that he’s saving for later? Maybe for SDNY?”

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‘Didn’t Trump want the death penalty for drug offenses?’: White House mocked for claim Blagojevich was freed to combat ‘aggressive sentencing’

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During an appearance on Fox News this Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addressed President Trump's recent pardons and commutations, specifically the commutation of Rod Blagojevich, suggesting it was done in an effort to clamp down on "aggressive sentencing" by prosecutors.

"The fact is, the president is clearly against excessive sentencing," Gidley said. "Whether it's Rod Blagojevich or Alice Johnson, he's focused on making sure people who serve time in prison, who have rehabilitated, who show regret and show remorse, don't have to rot away in a jail cell their whole life."

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2020 Election

Will Wednesday’s debate finally prove that Bloomberg is not Batman?

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After months of highly repetitive Democratic primary debates that, with pointless inevitability, turn into tedious squabbles over different health care plans that will never actually be passed in their proposed forms, there's finally going to be some real tension going into a debate again. That's because information billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is expected to show up tonight in Las Vegas, having purchased his way into the debate by infusing the airwaves and our very bloodstreams with a series of ads that are as inspiring as Bloomberg the man is not.

This article was originally published at Salon

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Paul Krugman debunks Trump’s bogus claims about the ‘Obama economy’

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that his policies alone are responsible for the economic recovery in the United States, claiming that he inherited a broken economy from his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. But Trump’s claims are wildly misleading, and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman debunked some of them this week in a Twitter thread.

Krugman tweeted, “So, I see that Trump is bad-mouthing the Obama economy. Two points. First, there was absolutely no break in economic trends after the 2016 election.”

The 66-year-old Krugman posted a chart showing GDP (gross domestic product) from 2010 (when Obama was serving his first term) to 2020 (three years into Trump’s presidency). GDP, the chart shows, gradually improved during Obama’s eight-year presidency.

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