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Republicans ‘went nuts’ on intelligence officials who told them Russia is ready to support Trump’s re-election: report

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On Thursday, an explosive new report showed that not only was Russia planning once again to sabotage the U.S. presidential election, but that President Donald Trump was furious when intelligence officials informed House Democratic investigators of this threat — shortly before he announced he would be replacing the acting Director of National Intelligence with a hardcore partisan loyalist.

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But according to The Daily Beast, Trump wasn’t the only one who was outraged. House Republicans who received the briefing also objected to the intelligence.

“The meeting, which took place on February 13, was conducted for the House Intelligence Committee by an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maquire [sic],” wrote Spencer Ackerman, Betsy Swan, Erin Blanco, and Sam Stein. “According to a legislator who was present, the aide, Shelby Pierson, Maguire’s election security chief, described a Russian elections-intrusion effort that never stopped from 2016.”

The report continued: “‘The Republicans [on the committee] went nuts,’ over Pierson’s presentation, the member told The Daily Beast. A second source familiar with the briefing said that Republicans didn’t understand why the Kremlin would try to boost Trump, since he had been so tough on Russia, in their view. Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Chris Stewart (R-UT) — who according to The Times, has been a Trump favorite to replace Maguire — were particularly vocal in their skepticism, the member said.”


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Maddow reports Florida governor is letting ‘coronavirus-denialist megachurch guy’ hold huge services

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On Sunday, the River Church in Tampa was packed with parishioners despite the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.

The following day, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for violating the county's social distancing rules.

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Here’s how Christian Nationalists have shaped the federal government’s response to coronavirus

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On Thursday, appearing on the Slate radio show "The Gist" with Mike Pesca, journalist Catherine Stewart outlined some of the ways the Christian Right is responsible for the federal government's disastrous response to coronavirus.

"The coronavirus pandemic is real wrath-of-God type stuff, isn't it?" said Pesca. "Well, there are some people who are waiting for this, who are ready for this, and who, quite scarily, have been tasked with the response."

"It's a complex question, and I think that Christian Nationalism, which is what we're dealing with here, is not a religion," said Stewart. "Many evangelicals are doing very positive things, many religious people are doing a lot of positive things in this situation with the coronavirus. But Christian Nationalism is not a religion, it's a political ideology that cloaks itself in religious rhetoric. And it's a movement that put Trump in power."

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Jared Kushner ripped by NYT columnist: He will ‘get us all killed’ with his incompetence

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On Thursday, writing for The New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg laid into President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who appeared at the day's coronavirus press conference to blame states for the federal government's slow response.

"Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror," wrote Goldberg. "According to Sherman, when New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that the state would need 30,000 ventilators at the apex of the coronavirus outbreak, Kushner decided that Cuomo was being alarmist. 'I have all this data about I.C.U. capacity,' Kushner reportedly said. 'I'm doing my own projections, and I've gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.'"

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