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Ex-intel officials push back against ‘absurd’ claim that Trump wasn’t briefed on Russian bounty info

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President Donald Trump -- screenshot

President Donald Trump and his administration have found themselves facing yet another Russia-related scandal — this time, over reports that the Russian government offered a bounty to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan if they would kill U.S. troops. White House officials have denied that Trump was briefed on the matter because the intelligence was “not verified,” but according to an article for CNN’s website, former intel officials are having a hard time believing that Trump was never briefed on the bounty.

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CNN reporters Zachary Cohen, Jamie Gangel, Barbara Starr, Kevin Liptak and Kylie Atwood explain: “Numerous former senior intelligence officials are pushing back on the White House denials, saying it was ‘absurd,’ ‘ridiculous’ and ‘inconceivable’ that the president would not have been briefed on such critical intelligence that potentially put U.S. soldiers in harm’s way.”

On June 27, National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe claimed, in an official statement, that “neither the president nor the vice president were ever briefed” on the Russia/Taliban intelligence. And White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that Trump “was not personally briefed” because there was too much “dissent” within the intelligence community.

But the former intel officials CNN interviewed had a hard time believing such assertions. One of them told CNN it was “ridiculous” and “hard to believe” that Trump wasn’t briefed. And another former intel official told CNN it is “absurd” to claim that unanimous agreement would be needed for intel officials to brief the president.

“You would have trouble getting unanimity on tomorrow being Tuesday,” that source told CNN.

Another former senior intelligence official told CNN, “Presidents are briefed on credible intelligence based on the best validation of the information we can provide. It’s not a court of law, it’s an intelligence briefing.”

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David Priess, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who served under President Bill Clinton and later, President George W. Bush, explained to CNN, “You don’t put things in the president’s daily brief only when they are completely corroborated and verified because then, it is not intelligence anymore — then, it’s fact.”


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2020 Election

Supreme Court mail-in voting ruling raises alarm: Democrats may ‘never win another national election’

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A divided Supreme Court rejected a Pennsylvania Republican effort to curtail mail-in voting, but experts say the Democratic victory may be short-lived — and confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett would be a "disaster for Democrats."

This article was originally published at Salon

With Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's three liberals, the court split 4-4 to reject a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block an order from the state's Supreme Court allowing mail-in ballots to be counted if they are received within three days of Election Day — even if they do not have a clear postmark. The tie left the state decision in place, which Democratic lawyers hailed as "great news for voting rights."

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2020 Election

Trump can ‘rage from the balcony’ but he ‘will not succeed’: Dem super lawyer promises to protect the vote

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President Donald Trump has a lot of options available to him when it comes to his attempt to steal the election. That doesn't mean they'll work, however.

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2020 Election

Will American elections ever again be legitimate?

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Only an established, legal “right to vote“ can defeat Republican voter suppression.

Republican politicians and conservative commentators are shocked, shocked! that Chief Justice John Roberts would say that people who voted before election day in Pennsylvania but their ballots were delayed by Lewis DeJoy’s sabotage of the Post Office should have their vote counted.

Increasingly, this election is coming down to the simple question of how effective 40 years of concerted Republican voter suppression efforts will be.

Their main strategy, particularly since George and Jeb Bush got together in 2000 to use a Texas felon list to purge 90,000 Black people off voting roles in Florida, has been removing the names of people who are legitimate voters.

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