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Bernie Sanders responds to report that Russia is intervening to boost his campaign

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) urged Russia to stay out of the upcoming 2020 election in response to a new Washington Post article, which reported Friday that the Democratic frontrunner has been briefed by U.S. officials that the foreign government is trying to boost his candidacy.

“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders told the outlet. “My message to Putin is clear: stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”

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The news comes following an uproar between President Donald Trump and the former director of national intelligence. Joseph Maguire, who had until this week been the DNI, resigned from the government on Friday according to CNN. He’s being replaced by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who has no background in intelligence but is a fervent Trump loyalist.

According to multiple outlets, including CNN, Trump recently became angry at Maguire when he learned that one of his subordinates had briefed members of Congress on the finding that Russia was intervening to help Trump win re-election. Trump “complained that Democrats would use it against him,” the New York Times reported.

But the finding that Russia is intervening in 2016 and throwing support behind both Sanders and Trump wouldn’t be surprising. As the Post noted, federal prosecutors said that the Internet Research Agency — funded by Russia to interfere in 2016 — told its paid online trolls to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them).” This fit with the broader goal of feeding discord in the United States in an attempt to weaken the country. But the intelligence community also reported that President Vladimir Putin and his government “developed a clear preference for” Trump during the campaign.

And though they’re potential competitors, there’s no contradiction in Russia supporting both Sanders and Trump. The Kremlin could hope to see Sanders win the Democratic nomination and for Trump to win in the general. However, the news reports about the intelligence findings are far from sufficient to draw conclusions about Russia’s true intentions.


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2020 Election

Supporters turn on Trump for ‘flat-out lying’ about coronavirus: ‘He’s got no idea what the hell he’s doing’

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President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis has been the breaking point for some of his fans in rural Virginia.

A dozen seafood and agricultural workers in the state's Northern Neck peninsula -- where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by nearly 10 points in 2016 -- expressed frustration to the Insider website over the president's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"A few weeks ago I could ignore the parts of his personality I didn't like," said Cliff, a 25-year Chesapeake Bay waterman. "That's over. I don't believe anything he's saying now."

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2020 Election

Blistering video from George Conway’s conservative group rips laughable claim impeachment ‘distracted’ Trump from coronavirus

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President Donald Trump’s army of knee-jerk defenders in the right-wing media have been jumping through hoops to explain why, back in January and February, he failed to take the coronavirus threat seriously. One Trumpian talking point is that no one could have seen the pandemic coming — which is nonsense, as everyone from intel officials to Peter Navarro (one of Trump’s main economic advisers) to former Vice President Joe Biden was sounding the alarm. And another bogus argument is that Trump, thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other partisan Democrats, was distracted by impeachment. But the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump conservative group that includes attorney George Conway, tears that argument to shreds in a blistering new video.

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2020 Election

Trump tells 10,000 religious leaders they ‘have to’ help him get re-elected: ‘We have to have victory’

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President Donald Trump in a private conference call on Wednesday with 10,000 leaders from his most-devoted base, the religious right, in the middle of a global pandemic, urged them to help him win re-election.

“We have a very, very powerful year coming up because you know what lies ahead,” Trump told the faith leaders, as NBC News reported. “And we have to do it. People of faith have to do it. We have to have victory.”

Rev. Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump’s religious right inner circle, says both the President and Vice President were on the call, which presumably was made from the Oval Office.

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