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Rep. Swalwell ridicules Pompeo’s definition of ‘imminent threat’ after contentious Iran press briefing

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Appearing on CNN right after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a fairly contentious press conference where the definition of “imminent” was debated, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) expressed a great deal of skepticism over Donald Trump’s administration’s evolving rationale for abruptly killing Iran military official Qassim Suleimani in Iraq.

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During Pompeo’s press conference he was pressed by CBS’s Paula Reid and, after he refused to elaborate by only offering that the government didn’t know precisely how the threat would pan out, Pompeo was grilled by the reporter who told him, “That’s not the definition of ‘imminent’.

Speaking with CNN’s Kate Bolduan, Swalwell agreed.

“You were briefed in a classified setting and, since the president put this out there and Mike Pompeo has said that the threat was two embassies, did they tell you there was a threat to U.S. embassies in your briefing?” host Bolduan asked.

“No, it is not confusing to me, Kate, so I can’t go into specific details,” Swalwell began. “What I can tell you is consistently, in the multiple briefings I received intel on this they have not shown imminence. But they have also now consistently shown is that the president, whether it is on Russia, Ukraine or Iran, with this recent Wall Street Journal reporting, puts his interests above America’s interests.”

“Mike Pompeo said you all were told about what he’s laid out here. Let me play that for you,” the CNN host remarked before running a clip from Pompeo’s press conference.

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“What you played earlier [a Fox News clip] with Mike Pompeo saying ‘I can’t say precisely when or where,’ that aligns with the lack of evidence that I have seen consistently and every brief I received in last week. I’ve been briefed multiple times from multiple briefers on this,” the lawmaker explained.

“Can all of these things be true? That they did not lay out when, they did not lay out where, but they did lay out that it was — that the threat included two U.S. embassies?” Bolduan pressed.

“I’ll say that’s not imminent then,” Swalwell elaborated. “The justification was that this was an imminent attack. Imminent means now, that’s what imminent means and they have not justified –.”

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“Mike Pompeo was asked specifically by (CNN’s) Kaitlan Collins what is his definition of imminent and he said it is going to happen — that’s exactly what he said. Is that your definition of imminent?” Bolduan interupted.

“No,” Swalwell said with a small smile. “Because that’s also the definition of, you know, New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve 2020 is going to happen — it is just 350 some odd days away. That’s not imminent.”

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“That was the justification they gave, and it’s not adding up now. And now, as the Wall Street Journal and others start to report, I fear this president acted out of his own political interests and jeopardized the national security of the United States, escalating the conflict,” he added.

Watch below:


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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