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‘Mueller told us this would keep happening’: Ex-FBI counterintelligence expert says Russian hacks are ‘the new normal’

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In an MSNBC panel discussion Tuesday, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, warned that American law has not kept up with technology. As a result, the laws and regulations on international hacking are ambiguous. The recent act by Russia to hack the Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma to search for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden is exactly what former special counsel Robert Mueller cautioned would happen in 2020.

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“We have been told, including by Bob Mueller, that Russians were doing this in an ongoing fashion,” said Figliuzzi. “This is the new battlefield. This is the new normal. We’re going to see this go on and on and on. And it may be Joe Biden that this is about right now, but every candidate should hunker down and get ready for foreign influence, hacking and propaganda.”

Former FBI special agent Clint Watts explained that the way the American government protects against cyber-espionage is really only isolated to .gov and .mil sites and accounts. They don’t have the bandwidth to protect every .com in the United States. So, companies like CrowdStrike, which President Donald Trump has accused of some type of conspiracy, is a private company that helps corporations, banks or law firms protect their networks.

Figliuzzi went on to say that it’s clear the Russians don’t care about intruding in the American election because no one will stop them.

“The similarity that you’re describing is what’s so brazen about this,” he said. “Russians made no effort to try something different. This is a message to us that, look, we don’t fear any reprisal. No one’s going to push back on us, so why should we bother masking our identity? We could pretend to be Iranians; they’ve done that before. We could pretend to be North Korean. We could pretend to be the 400-pound guy in his bed but no, we’re going to leave a trail of bread crumbs that you’ve seen before. It leads right to us. Now do something about it. That’s the challenge we’re facing with Russia.”

Host Katy Tur went on to ask Watts what the security apparatus can do when the president of the United States goes so far as to put out misinformation and propaganda to help his campaign.

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Watts explained that’s why Trump was asked what he would do if compromising material was given to him by a foreign government again. Reporters asked Trump if he would hand it over to the FBI, and he said “no,” and he would willingly collude with the foreign power again. Watts said that when foreign governments see Trump’s comments, then they are more willing to intrude on the election more openly now.

Watch the full panel discussion below:

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‘He has no clue’: Internet slams Trump’s ‘breathtaking’ incoherence at coronavirus press conference

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump gave a barely intelligible press conference on the coronavirus outbreak, during which he claimed he saved America by shutting down flights, appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead a coronavirus task force despite having few qualifications to do so, suggesting his public health budget cuts are no big deal because he can just hire more doctors later, and insisting that it was Democrats, rather than the epidemic, that tanked the stock market this week.

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Trump said coronavirus won’t spread — his scientists said the opposite right in front of him: Congresswoman

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Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) blasted President Donald Trump after his press conference Wednesday because he contradicted his own scientists on the coronavirus.

During an MSNBC discussion after the Q&A, the Congresswoman explained that it only confuses Americans more.

"He's not doing very well on the coronavirus," she said. "Because the test of leadership is not talking about something you know very little about and he just confused the American people about whether this virus is going to spread. All the scientists said it is going to spread and the president gave the opposite impression. And presidents have to know that when they're in a situation like this with complicated science, they put the scientists, physicians in front of them, preferably, by the way, in white coats, and let them reassure the American people."

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Trump says that the financial markets dropped because of Democrats — not coronavirus

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The U.S. stock market dropped over 2,000 points this week, but President Donald Trump said that it's more about Democrats than the coronavirus.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Trump for the way he has handled the crisis.

"I think Speaker Pelosi is incompetent," Trump said in response to the question about her. "She lost the Congress once. I think she's going to lose it again. She lifted my poll numbers up ten points. I never thought I would see that so quickly and so easily. I'm leading everybody. We're doing great. I don't want to do it that way. It's almost unfair if you think about it. But I think she's incompetent and I think she's not thinking about the country. Instead of making a statement like that where I've been beating her routinely at everything, instead of making a statement like that, she should be saying we have to work together because we have a big problem potentially and maybe it's going to be a very little problem."

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