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Mike Flynn’s name was never ‘masked’ in FBI document — which eliminates Trump’s claim of an ‘illegal leak’

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Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s name was never “masked” by the FBI in the document that cited it. It flies in the face of President Donald Trump’s claim that someone illegally leaked it from former President Barack Obama’s administration.

According to the story from the Washington Post, the Republican attempt to tie former Vice President Joe Biden to a scandal that doesn’t exist has failed spectacularly.

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According to the report: “in the FBI report about the communications between the two men, Flynn’s name was never redacted, former U.S. officials said.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that he wants to subpoena witnesses over the unmasking of Flynn. He sent a letter demanding Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell ask why a declassified list of Obama officials made the requests “that revealed Flynn’s name in intelligence documents ‘did not contain a record showing who unmasked’ Flynn’s identity in relation to “his phone call with” the Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak,” said the Post.

“They were unmasking anyone and everyone so that they could leak information to a press that was willing to take that illegal information to build a fake, phony narrative, to set up numerous people on the Trump team, not just General Flynn,” claimed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) in a Fox News interview.

Conservative super PAC director Matt Schlapp implied during a Fox News interview last week that it was Biden that leaked the information to the Washington Post. It didn’t hold up against actual information, however, because the former vice president requested the information after the article appeared in the Post, according to the date on the list Grenell released.

“The list, prepared at Grenell’s request by the National Security Agency, covered requests made between Nov. 30, 2016, and Jan. 12, 2017. The majority of requests occurred before Flynn’s communications with Kislyak on Dec. 29,” said the Post. “It was the FBI, not the NSA, that wiretapped Kislyak’s calls and created the summary and transcript, the former officials said.”

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“When the FBI circulated [the report], they included Flynn’s name from the beginning,” saying that it was essential to understanding its significance, a former senior U.S. official told the Post. “There were, therefore, no requests for the unmasking of that information.”

The Post called Graham’s office to tell him that the name was never masked, but Graham’s aide said the committee would still like a “written answer” to their question.

When told by The Post that the name was never masked in the Dec. 29 communication, a Graham aide said the committee would still like the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s “written answer” to its question.

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No Republican Senator has yet to ask for the notes from the actual call Flynn had with Sergey Kislyak, but former national security adviser Susan Rice has asked what the White House has to hide.

Read the full report from the Washington Post.

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Ted Cruz mocked for tantrum about Gorsuch siding with Native American rights: ‘Way to channel Andrew Jackson’

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In a surprise move on Thursday, Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with Native American rights, ruling that Oklahoma must honor a treaty granting tribal sovereignty over much of the eastern portion of the state.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to Twitter to vent his outrage over the decision.

Neil Gorsuch & the four liberal Justices just gave away half of Oklahoma, literally.

Manhattan is next. https://t.co/Ic9gqqznJp

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace chuckles after Times reporter explains why Trump has no hope of pivoting to an empathetic campaign

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace struggled to stifle a chuckle in a conversation about President Donald Trump's struggle to run a campaign that can contend with most Americans' needs in a horrific pandemic.

"I think to Nick [Confessore's] point earlier, there should be a sense of nervousness in Trump's camp," began Democratic strategist Basil Smikle. "You don't see -- you talked about enablers. You don't see Republicans engaged in their behavior with respect to the president at this juncture. You're starting to see them not nationalize he's the president of the United States. They should be more allied with him, but instead, they're focused on local campaigns. The president has lost several cases at the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act case notwithstanding. There's a lot of things they should be rallying around, but they can't."

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Here’s how bad things are for Trump after the Supreme Court ruling: columnist

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In a piece for Vanity Fair, columnist Eric Lutz addressed the degree to which President Donald Trump is in trouble after the ruling by the Supreme Court on his financial records.

Trump has spent the better part of four years fighting any transparency about his finances and taxes, which many have suspected might reveal illegal activity.

"He's not going to release his tax returns," said senior adviser Kellyanne Conway in 2017. "We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care."

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