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Trump’s already poisoning 2020 primaries with Russian-style disinformation: report

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(AFP/File / Jim WATSON)

Conspiracy theories sprouted after Iowa’s Democratic Party was unable to identify a winner in the state’s primary caucus — and President Donald Trump and his allies were happy to sow seeds of doubt.

The president, along with his eldest son and his re-election campaign manager, happily jumped into the gap to suggest the Democratic caucus had been rigged, a conspiracy theory Trump has been pushing since 2016, according to conservative columnist Amanda Carpenter for The Bulwark.

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“Recall that in 2016 Trump insisted that the Democratic primary was ‘rigged’ against Bernie Sanders to favor Hillary Clinton,” Carpenter wrote. “To support his claims, he relied upon the Democratic National Committee emails that were hacked by Russians and showed some DNC staffers speaking about Sanders in disparaging terms.”

“Did he genuinely have Bernie’s well-being in mind? No,” she added. “It was a transparent play to appeal to Sanders supporters and delegitimize Clinton.”

He’s doing it again after Iowa’s caucus debacle, and Carpenter warned that Democrats don’t seem to have learned from the last election how to respond to Trump’s outlandish — but frequently repeated — attacks.

“At this point, it almost doesn’t matter what the Democrats eventually say, other than perhaps ‘the Iowa caucuses are cancelled,'” Carpenter wrote. “The damage has been done. The caucus has failed. Discord has been sown.”

“The Russians couldn’t have done it better themselves.”

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Joy Reid: What’s the point of having laws if the president’s friends can break them without consequence?

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The recent pardon of ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn exasperated MSNBC's Joy Reid, who welcomed former federal prosecutors on her show Wednesday. She explained that President Donald Trump's opposition to "law and order" when it comes to his friends is just more example of Republican hypocrisy to which Americans have become accustomed.

"You know, and Congressman Lieu, you've got The Wall Street Journal going sort of deeper into some of the other things that he did," Reid said of Flynn. "This is not the guy we remember just chanting 'lock her up' at the 2016 Republican National Convention, which is what probably people know him for. Michael Flynn planned to forcibly kidnap a Muslim cleric living in the United States and deliver him to Turkey under the alleged proposal. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr. were to be paid as much as $15 million to deliver him to the Turkish government, basically renditioning him for cash. Yet you have Lindsey Graham still Lindsey Grahaming calling it 'a great use of the pardon.' A-OK. Great job, Donald. I wonder what you make of this. I'm old enough to remember when Bill Clinton did a pardon for which Republicans would love to see him clacked in leg irons at the end of his presidency!"

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‘Last chapter in The Godfather’: Watergate prosecutor tears into Trump’s ‘continuing coverup’ of his associates’ Russia misdeeds

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On CNN Wednesday, former Watergate assistant special prosecutor Nick Akerman tore into outgoing President Donald Trump for his pardon of ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — and warned that a larger coverup is looming.

"I think you have to look at the big picture here," said Akerman. "The big picture is that this is part of the continuing coverup of Donald Trump's efforts to conceal what happened between his campaign in 2016 with the Russian government. It started with Jim Comey, his firing because he refused to basically give an oath of loyalty to Donald Trump. It continued when Robert Mueller was appointed, the continuing threats of firing Mueller and his staff. It continued with Roger Stone, who was — his sentence was commuted."

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Conservative Charlie Sykes tells Trump if he wants a pardon — he’ll have to admit he’s guilty first

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Editor and creator of The Bulwark, Charlie Sykes, told MSNBC's Joy Reid that the most "Trumpy" of things President Donald Trump could do is pardon himself ahead of leaving office in January.

After the president pardoned ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, it sparked new anticipation on how Trump will protect himself from prosecution after leaving office. Trump was alleged to have committed at least ten acts of obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller. In that case, the Justice Department followed the internal rule that sitting presidents could not be indicted. Then, it stands to reason that the Justice Department would also follow a 1974 memo from the same Office of Legal Counsel that said a president could not pardon himself.

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