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Trump’s corruption of intel community ‘will make it easier for him to lie’: legal experts

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President Donald Trump struck a decisive blow in his ongoing war against truth by effectively politicizing U.S. intelligence agencies.

He has attacked the intelligence community throughout his presidency, but Trump’s ouster of a well-respected acting director of national intelligence in favor of an inexperienced partisan ally shows his intention to corrupt those agencies for personal gain, according to a pair of legal experts writing for The Atlantic.

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“Trump moved decisively to politicize the intelligence community, beginning the process of transforming a group of agencies that produce apolitical analysis of regional and global trends and threats to the United States into a blunt tool of presidential power,” wrote Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes, of Lawfare. “The changes will make it easier for the president to lie about matters of the gravest consequence. The move is objectively alarming—and yet, for some reason, has not generated the alarm it is due.”

The president pushed out Joseph Maguire and his deputy in a dispute over a congressional briefing on Russian election interference, and replaced him with German ambassador Richard Grenell and Kashyap Patel, a former aide to pro-Trump Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

“The politics here were not subtle; the president’s own tweets on the subject made his concerns perfectly clear,” Jurecic and Wittes wrote.

Trump had raged against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, and baselessly accused him of leaking classified information and called for his prosecution, and the White House was also fighting the publication of a book by former national security adviser John Bolton.

“The politics don’t even have the shame to lurk beneath the surface,” the pair wrote. “The president spent the week reshaping the intelligence community to serve his political needs, removing those who speak inconvenient realities, and using control over classified material to suppress criticism. And the result was, within a remarkably short period of time, exactly the sort of public abuse of intelligence one might expect from such conduct.”

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World virus cases top 6 million as leaders disagree on pandemic response

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The number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped six million Sunday, with Brazil registering another record surge in daily infections as divisions deepened on how to deal with the pandemic.

Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region, even as much of the world exits lockdowns that have wrecked economies and stripped millions of their jobs.

In Brazil -- the epicenter of South America's outbreak with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases, lagging only behind the United States -- disagreement among leaders over lockdown measures has hampered efforts to slow the virus as the number of fatalities in the country nears 30,000.

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Curfews and clashes as police brutality protests escalate

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Curfews were imposed on major US cities as clashes over police brutality erupted across America with demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop the violent protests "cold."

Minneapolis, the epicenter of the unrest, was gripped by a fifth consecutive night of violence on Saturday with police in riot gear firing tear gas and stun grenades at protesters venting fury at the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in the city on Monday.

Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta were among two dozen cities ordering people to stay indoors overnight as more states called in National Guard soldiers to help control the civil unrest not seen in the United States for years.

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2020 Election

‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters

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As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw

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