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As part of his absurd “deep state” conspiracy theory about U.S. intelligence agencies being out to get him, Trump has ordered an investigation into how the CIA handled its investigation of Russian election interference. Specifically, Trump is hoping that an investigation led by one of his loyalists, Attorney General William Barr, will cast doubt on the CIA’s conclusion that Russia wanted Trump to win the race.

There’s just one problem, as Politico reported Friday. Trump’s own secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, already debunked this theory — two years ago, in a thorough inquiry he led when he was the head of the CIA.

The inquiry, which Politico noted was conducted at the CIA’s “highest levels,” verified that the CIA did nothing improper in its investigation.

Pompeo “ultimately found no evidence of any wrongdoing, or that the analysts had been under political pressure to produce their findings,” the outlet reported.

The investigation was more extensive than simply a briefing.

“Pompeo asked the officers tough questions about their work and how they determined Putin’s specific objectives,” a source familiar with the process told Politico.

Despite Pompeo’s investigation and its conclusions, however, Barr has brought in U.S. attorney John Durham to re-investigate the CIA.

The CIA investigation is just one part of Durham’s inquiry, which many in the national security community find to be inappropriate and alarmingly broad, Politico notes.

“The Justice Department’s job is to see whether a crime has been committed, not to assess the quality of intelligence analysis,” former acting CIA director Michael Morell told Politico. “They have no training or experience in that.”

Former CIA analyst Jeffrey Edmonds told the outlet that he fears the Barr inquiry “is a political attempt to undermine the intelligence community’s assessment.”

House Republicans allied with Trump have also tried to attack the agency’s work on the Russia investigation — even though the inquiry led by Senate Republicans affirmed the CIA’s findings.

The U.S. intelligence community has very clearly found that Russia intended to help Trump when it interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Even Trump’s own secretary of state came to the same conclusion.

Yet Trump is still pushing his loyalists to find another explanation that makes him look better.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

IMAGE: Mike Pompeo testifies before a Senate Intelligence hearing on his nomination to head the CIA on Capitol Hill in Washington January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on CNN Sunday morning with Jake Tapper on his State of the Union show. In part because Democratic reps, like Republican reps, going on Sunday shows is about this coming election, and in part because newscasters are not particularly deep or creative when it comes to talking about politics, Tapper decided to spend a lot of time trying to get Ocasio-Cortez to attack Joe Biden for their differences of political opinions. Newsflash: Ocasio-Cortez, progressive hero, co-author of the ambitious Green New Deal environmental package, and Vice President Joe Biden aren't exactly on the same page as to how to handle climate change.

More to the point, Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez whether or not she was bothered by the fact that Biden has not said he would outright ban fracking. The move to ban fracking in states across the country has been a seesaw battle of fossil fuel interests fighting against progressive environmentalism and science. Biden's refusal to provide full-throated support for a ban on fracking is disappointing to many of us on the left, but it isn't surprising. Even more importantly, it is below the most essential first step the progressive movement—and the country for that matter—needs to take: getting rid of Donald Trump and getting rid of the Republican majority in the Senate.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez isn't going to be pulled into a pointless argument about fracking with Jake Tapper. Her position is well-reported. So is Biden's. AOC explains very clearly that this is how politics work in a representative democracy.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: It does not bother me. I believe, and I have a very strong position on fracking. You know, the science is very clear, the methane emissions from fracking are up to 64 times more powerful than CO2 emissions and trapping heat in the air, and just from a perspective of stopping climate change there is a scientific consensus. However, that is my view. Vice President Biden has made very clear that he does not agree with the fracking ban and I consider that, you know—it will be a privilege to lobby him should we win the White House but we need to focus on winning the White House first. I am happy to make my case but I also understand he is in disagreement on that issue.

Tapper wonders whether this will depress the youth vote, a vote that AOC represents more closely than Biden. This, of course, is literally the only reason Trump and his surrogates have been bringing up this difference of positions the last couple of weeks. The hope is that it will depress the more progressive vote, while spooking some more conservative-leaning folks in fossil-fuel heavy states like Pennsylvania and Texas. Ocasio-Cortez points out that the youth vote over the past couple of years has not simply become more sophisticated since 2016, it has brought in more progressive candidates and officials into local elections. The turnout in 2018 showed that, and Ocasio-Cortez believes that this election is very clearly a choice between Donald Trump, someone who is a non-starter of a human being, and Joe Biden.

Tapper then plays a clip of Biden telling reporters that he isn't "getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time," but that he's talking about getting rid of the subsidies the fake free-marketeers enjoy in the fossil fuel industry. While Tapper is hoping that this will illustrate how Biden isn't AOC and the youth vote may be turned off by this statement, she sees it as an important step in the right direction.

REP. OCASIO-CORTEZ: When he says we are eliminating subsidies, I think that is, frankly, an important first step. A lot of folks who like to tout themselves as free market capitalists, while still trying to make sure they get as much government subsidy, and propping up of the fossil fuel industry as possible. ... If you do believe in markets, solar and renewable energies are growing less and less expensive by the day in many areas. They are starting to become less expensive than fossil fuels. When you eliminate government subsidies, it becomes more difficult for fossil fuels to compete in the market. I think while the vice president wants to make sure that he is not doing it by government mandate or regulation. I do believe that we are moving towards that future. I believe that there's a way and that we should push that process along but again, the vice president and my disagreements are, I believe, recorded and that is quite all right.