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Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

CNN is reporting that, despite denials by Donald Trump and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, information on Russia paying bounties for the murder of American soldiers was included in Trump's "daily brief." That briefing happened "sometime in the spring," though CNN does not indicate that their source provided a precise date for the briefing. The source indicated that this was such a big deal — directly involving the safety of American forces in Afghanistan — that it certainly would have been included in information that reached Trump.


However, there is still a sense in which Trump might not have been briefed, even though he was. That's because, as CNN notes, "Trump is not known to fully or regularly read the President's Daily Brief." So there remains the possibility that Trump didn't know about Russia putting a price tag on the heads of American soldiers, because he was so incompetent, and so unconcerned with the safety of the military, that he simply didn't read the report.

After all, Trump has lots of golf on his schedule. That doesn't leave a lot of time for reading.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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