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‘I was on my own fact finding mission’: Ex-Congressman denies Trump was in on scheme to float a pardon to Assange

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Former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) swears Julian Assange is lying.

An Al Jazeera reporter said Wednesday that Assange revealed to him that President Donald Trump would pardon him if he denied that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee. The go-between, according to Assange, was Rohrabacher.

“At no time did I talk to President Trump about Julian Assange,” the former Congressman said. “Likewise, I was not directed by Trump or anyone else connected with him to meet with Julian Assange. I was on my own fact finding mission at personal expense to find out information I thought was important to our country.”

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He went on: “At no time did I offer Julian Assange anything from the President because I had not spoken with the President about this issue at all. However, when speaking with Julian Assange, I told him that if he could provide me information and evidence about who actually gave him the DNC emails, I would then call on President Trump to pardon him.”

He claimed that he never made any kind of “deal” for Trump.

“Upon my return, I spoke briefly with Gen. Kelly,” he continued in the statement. “I told him that Julian Assange would provide information about the purloined DNC emails in exchange for a pardon. No one followed up with me including Gen. Kelly and that was the last discussion I had on this subject with anyone representing Trump or in his Administration.”

He closed by demanding an investigation for the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was killed by a mugger while walking home. Republicans, like Rohrabacher, have alleged it was all a conspiracy and that Hillary Clinton had him killed.

Read the full statement from Rohrabacher.

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2020 Election

Trump campaign ramps up smear campaign on Obama’s ebola czar for exposing the president’s COVID-19 bumbling: report

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Stung by a highly effective video he made for Vice President Joe Biden criticizing Donald Trump's response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the communications team working on the president's re-election is going after President Barack Obama's former ebola czar, Ron Klain.

Klain, who is now becoming a fixture on cable news, took part in a video ad touting the campaign of Biden, and used his expertise to rip into the Trump administration's efforts to deal with the national health crisis. That put a target on his back as the president's 2020 campaign team is trying to stem the damage that threatens the president's chances of being re-elected in November.

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Trump ignored advice to tell country the coronavirus pandemic was ‘bad and could get very worse’ in early March: report

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According to a day-by-day examination of the White House efforts to get up to speed on dealing with the growing coronavirus pandemic that has now brought the country to an almost complete standstill, Politico reports that Donald Trump was advised in early March to warn the public things were about to get worse and chose to ignore that advice.

The report notes that the final realization about the dangerous spread of COVID-19 preceded the president's rare prime time address to the nation.

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Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

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The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.

The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.

So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.

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