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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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Fox & Friends floats impeachment conspiracy theory about GAO findings of Trump crimes against Ukraine

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"Fox & Friends" assured viewers they could ignore a federal watchdog agency's findings that President Donald Trump broke the law by withholding Ukraine aid.

The nonpartisan the Government Accountability Office found the White House Office of Management and Budget violated the law by freezing $400 million in congressionally approved military aid, but the Fox News hosts suggested the agency was only trying to hurt the president.

"Do you think it's just a coincidence that that news would drop exactly the same day the (impeachment) trial started?" said co-host Steve Doocy.

Co-hosts Pete Hegseth and Ainsley Earhardt agreed, and accepted administration denials at face value.

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GOP senators are questioning allegiance to Trump as impeachment becomes a reality: Morning Joe panel

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According to members of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel, Donald Trump may see more defections by previously supportive Republican senators now that the impeachment of the president has become a reality and their conduct will be scrutinized by voters back home.

Speaking with columnist David Ignatius, host Joe Scarborough noted that multiple Republican senators -- including several who are retiring -- are going soft on defending the president and may be inclined to allowing multiple witnesses who could damage the president.

"David Ignatius, you know, we've known Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) both of us, for a long time. and as they coming to the end of their careers," Scarborough began. "I would think [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell would be concerned that these gentlemen would vote their conscience and not just blindly follow Donald Trump and would vote to have a fair, open hearing and trial and get this new evidence that's coming in, that's come in since the House impeached."

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Iran’s supreme leader says Trump is a ‘clown’ who will betray Iranians

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Iran’s supreme leader said President Donald Trump is a “clown” who only pretends to support the Iranian people but will “push a poisonous dagger” into their backs, as he struck a defiant tone in his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the mass funerals for Iran’s top general, who was killed in a US airstrike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials. He said the “cowardly” killing of Soleimani had taken out the most effective commander in the battle against the Islamic State group.

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