Why the FBI might’ve thought Trump could be working for Russia

By Aaron Blake writing for The Fix in the Washington Post –

The theory that President Trump is or has been a Russian asset is a popular one among his detractors. But for the first time, we’re learning that it’s something the FBI suspected strongly enough to dig into.

The Washington Post has confirmed that the FBI launched a counterintelligence inquiry into whether Trump was working for Russia shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey in May 2017. The news was first reported by the New York Times.

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Posted in Donald Trump, FBI, Russia, Washington Post

How do European countries differ in religious commitment? Use the interactive map to find out

By Jonathan Evans and Chris Baronavski of Pew Research –

Europeans generally are less religious than people in other parts of the world. But within Europe, there are sometimes sizable differences in levels of religious commitment, according to an analysis of recent Pew Research Center surveys in 34 countries.

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Posted in Europe, Religion

A congressman rails against undocumented immigrants as his estranged siblings care for them and other patients in need

By Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post –

Three months had passed since Grace Gosar and five of her siblings decided they had to do something to stop their brother, a hard-line conservative and staunch defender of President Trump, from winning reelection to Congress.

Their solution back then had been startling: Film a campaign ad for their brother’s opponent.

Grace, a 54-year-old mother of three, was battling ovarian cancer. The disease had taken a steady toll on her body, so much so that when she faced the camera that day and endorsed her brother’s opponent, she worried that the remainder of her life would be measured in months rather than years.

“I couldn’t be quiet any longer, nor should any of us be,” she said in the ad, which cut to another one of her siblings and then another and another and another and another, all imploring voters to cast aside their brother.

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Posted in Congress, Democracy, Economics, Elections, Families, House of Representatives

We’re All To Blame For The Shutdown

By Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight –

At its strategic core, the partial government shutdown is a breakdown of bargaining: two sides, no solution in sight. President Trump and congressional Democrats are engaged in the latest battle of a game that economists have studied for decades.

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Posted in Congress, Democracy, Donald Trump, Shutdown

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

By Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos of the New York Times –

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

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Posted in Donald Trump, FBI, James Comey, Russia, United States