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The fact-free Intelligence Community-Media trial of Trump by innuendo

The fact-free Intelligence Community-Media trial of Trump by innuendo

No evidence of improper or illegal conduct, but imaginations and malicious intentions run wild.

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/

I don’t know whether Donald Trump or his aides had any improper contacts with Russian Intelligence officers.

Neither do you, or the media. The Intelligence Community might know, but they have provided zero facts either officially or through leaks to prove any improper, much less illegal, conduct took place.

Instead, we have trial by innuendo based on there being “contacts” between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence.

Here is what we don’t know even from the leaks as reported in The NY Times and CNN:

Who had the contacts? With whom were the contacts? When did they take place? Is there evidence the campaign aides knew they were talking to intelligence officers. Were they talking about the campaign or unrelated business?

And most important, What was said?

We do know from the NY Times and CNN leak reporting of the leaks is that there is no evidence so far of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

In this fact-free environment, imaginations and malicious intentions can run wild. We have round-the-clock media and social media speculation and frenzy throwing around terms like impeachment, treason, and so on.

It is, in some ways, worse than harmful facts, because there is no clear accusation against which to defend, and no factual basis upon which the public can judge.

If Donald Trump didn’t do anything improper or illegal, I think this will ultimately backfire on the intelligence community. That community either is participating in or turning a blind eye towards those among it who are trying to sabotage the elected president.

If Trump is innocent, he has no choice but to go to political war with the intelligence community, because right now he is receiving political death by a thousand cuts. I think that the 60 million people who voted for him will stand by his side.

If Donald Trump did do something improper or illegal, then the intelligence community is doing the nation a disservice by leaking fact-free innuendo. There presumably are mechanisms whereby factual information could be provided to Congress or persons lawfully allowed to see such information so that we can judge based on facts. Or if you are going to illegally leak, then at least illegally leak facts.

To allow the current situation to continue is unacceptable, and suggests that a secretive permanent bureaucracy has ceded to itself control of the nation over our political institutions.

Here is my take on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LegInsurrection/status/831697948610273280

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Comments

Ohh.
So you are buying into “Deep State”. Seems the notion is seeping out of the murkiness and in the open.

    MattMusson in reply to RodFC. | February 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

    If you read the Clinton emails you know that there is an entrenched group of Bureaucrats and Intelligence experts who used that term to describe themselves.

The New York Times has its narrative, which it puts in its headlines, regardless of whether there is any factual support, or not.

And since this election, the Washington Post is just as bad.

I can get more reliable news online, the day before.

    Notice how often the WAPO drives the media meme of any given day in the news cycle. They are churning out 5 columns a day and digging like crazy. I see links and reactions to WAPO originated news everywhere now. Why isn’t the Washington Times getting linked to ? The Boston Globe? LA Times?

    No, we get daily news cycles about hysteria from WAPO, and then too from NYT and WSJ. The daily hysteria and leaks and things that must be responded to appears to be a manufactured hit job-machine… and Trump will use it to his advantage.. just watch. He’s got this.

    snopercod in reply to Valerie. | February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Even Drudge is lagging other outlets these days.

    MattMusson in reply to Valerie. | February 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I am surprised that Trump is able to remain as calm as he has.
    I am ready to tell the NYT they can kiss my ass for him.

I think you’re assuming too much about the level of access the likely sources of leaks would have, and I know you’re assuming too much about the ability of Congress to effectively oversee the intelligence community. I know a few low and mid-level IC employees, from what they describe, their access to information that’s only tangential to an authorized investigation is so compartmentalized, they’re unable to get anything close to a complete picture. A piece of a conversation usually reveals very little concrete information on its own. If you’re a mid-level analyst at NSA or CIA tasked with the intercepts of an adversary’s diplomatic staff or a particular group of an adversary’s intelligence operations, you get to know a good bit about the comms of your targets, but only occasionally get to know much about their contacts. When one of their contacts are a USP, you get very little follow-up. When it’s a high-level member of the USG (or in this case, former USG and current USG-in-waiting), you get virtually none. There’s no mechanism for follow-up on a USP (and in my opinion, rightly so). All you may have is a transcript of a call, or more often a summary of a transcript along with the names of the parties.

Congress has shown itself as incredibly deferential to the IC. You have a few members speaking out occasionally, but all they really do is demand the FBI or the relevant agency release what they have, they never do it themselves. Meanwhile, the whistleblower ruins their career when it inevitably gets back to their agency that they didn’t go through the chain of command, nevermind that the chain of command ends at the suspected individual.

So, what’s a mid-level cog in the IC supposed to do when he comes across a summary of a conversation between the Russian Ambassador and the now NSA, that directly contradicts the public statements of the administration about what that NSA did? Lets assume this cog is smart enough to know that, while incredibly improper, nothing done here was actually illegal. It’s not illegal to lie to the American people. The Logan Act is, at best, unconstitutionally overbroad. Treason may be thrown around by the denizens of the internet, but its constitutionally defined parameters are actually fairly narrow (just don’t tell the anti-Clinton folks that).

What would you do, professor?

    Milhouse in reply to Awing1. | February 15, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    If nothing illegal was done, then what this cog should do is shut the **** up.

      Awing1 in reply to Milhouse. | February 15, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Really? “Legal” is the standard?

      I just want to be sure this is actually your standard before I respond with the parade of horribles that you would condone the IC turning a blind eye to.

        Milhouse in reply to Awing1. | February 15, 2017 at 11:43 pm

        As far as the cog is concerned, yes, legal should be the standard. If nothing illegal was done then it’s none of his ****ing business.

          Awing1 in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 12:12 am

          Oh, good. So, in your view, if the president is planning to nuke Israel to make the Middle East problem “go away”, and is going to do so on the pretext that a recent Israeli tourist that assaulted a performer on the Vegas Strip constituted an “attack” under the War Powers Resolution, cog should shut his mouth.

          If the President has voluntarily allowed a chip to be installed in his head by the Russians that allows them to control his every action, no illegal conduct, cog should shut his mouth.

          If the President has voluntarily allowed a chip to be installed in his head by the Iranians that allows them to control his every action, no illegal conduct, cog should shut his mouth.

          If the Russians have a video of the President peeing on a bed he believes Barack Obama to have slept in, and then cavorting in that bed with Russian prostitutes, but the cog doesn’t know that it’s actually being used for blackmail, no illegal conduct, cog should shut his mouth.

          Shall I go on?

          Yes please, do go on.

          Your writing is nonsense, proving what a fool you leftist progs are.

          We have elections to decide who leads this country and we did not elect the CIA to make those decisions. When they break the law, it is usually regarded as treason.

          Awing1 in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 12:29 am

          Barry

          Leaking to American press about the actions of the government has never, in the history of this country, been considered treason.

          Have you even bothered to read the Constitution?

          healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

          Who let this moron near a computer?

          The Constitution does not contain the entire criminal law code within it’s lines. It is a grant/establish-power document (and separation of those powers); it is not and has never been a law enforcement guide.

          It is treasonous (by the way, there are different gradations of treason) to knowingly leak classified information for the purposes of political damage to your opponents. See below.

          https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/798

          “(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
          (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
          (2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
          (3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
          (4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
          Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 7:43 am

          Awing, you’re a kook that doesn’t know anything about the constitution or US law.

          Leaks are just one way the IC is committing treason.

          Crawl back in a hole and peddle your nonsense to the other children.

          Awing1 in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 7:59 am

          Wow. So no, y’all haven’t read the Constitution. Article III Section III:

          “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

          The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.”

          Notice the “Treason shall consist ONLY IN…” I’d like you both to think long and hard about the fact that you not only didn’t know that was in our relatively short Constitution, but the fact that you were so confident it wasn’t there that you called me a kook and a moron. Without even bothering to check.

          Y’all are pathetic.

          https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii

          Valerie in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

          “So, in your view, if the president is planning to nuke Israel…”

          From nothing illegal to using nukes is quite a stretch. I’m done reading.

          Your audience here is well aware of what Democrats, including Obama, John F Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi, have done during transition.

          It’s time for the ignorant cog to STFU.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

          If you are a public servant in the intelligence machine, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that you work for the president. The constitution makes him the executive, and you are his hired flunky. Your first duty is to him, not to “the people” (which is to say your view of what is in their best interest).

          If you discover that your boss is breaking the law, you have a responsibility to take that information to the appropriate authorities. But if you discover that your boss is doing his job in a way that he likes and you don’t, or if he orders you to do your job in a way that he likes and you don’t, your duty is to shut up and obey his orders, because it’s his decision, not yours. Your preferences are irrelevant, because you have no authority and he has all of it.

          Certainly you have no right to react to his legal choices by breaking the law. Indeed even if he is breaking the law, you have no right to react by breaking the law yourself, especially if your breach is more material than his.

          And no, none of this is treason. As Awing correctly pointed out, and as Barry and healthguyfsu ought to have known, treason in this country has an exact definition, and anything that is done for domestic political reasons — even knowingly helping an enemy in time of war — is by definition not treason. But “not treason” is a long long way from “not a crime”, let alone from “legally and morally justified”.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm

          Oh, and by the way, the Supreme Court has held that although in law “treason” has an exact definition, in common speech it has a much looser one, and it is not defamatory to call someone a traitor for offenses that don’t meet the strict legal definition. Anyone who has betrayed some duty to someone may justly be called a traitor, even if he may not be charged with the crime of treason.

          Barry in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 9:59 pm

          “As Awing correctly pointed out, and as Barry and healthguyfsu ought to have known, treason in this country has an exact definition, and anything that is done for domestic political reasons…”

          “or in adhering to their enemies”

          Leaking of certain classified information fits precisely that part of the constitution regarding treason.

          So, while seldom used, I disagree somewhat with your assessment.

          I did make a mistake in my wording, as the CIA breaking the law, subjecting their selves to violations punishable by law, is not normally treason. CIA leaks that help the enemies of the state might easily be found as treason. But I did not put it that way.

        inspectorudy in reply to Awing1. | February 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

        Have you ever heard of the word “Patriotism”? I am sure there are many things that the IC sees or hears during the course of the day that would at least be embarrassing if not illegal but there has to be a broader view than that. What was the intent of the act that was observed? What consequences would there be if it went unreported? We can only imagine what must have been common knowledge under Clinton’s terms in office but we never heard a word about it from official IC sources. The only way to stop this crap is to make public the entire conversation between Flynn and the Russian ambassador. All we are doing is speculating about something that has only come from the msm.

I hope the White House will resist getting caught up in this absurd media panic & just soldier on. Thanks, Prof, for the only sane/rational take I’ve read on this whole business so far.

The CIA has always been a Democrat fortress. They plotted against Bush, did their best to bring him down, and now they’re moving against Trump. I remain a #nevertrumper, but this is ridiculous. If there were any actual facts against him, they’d have been revealed by now. The fact that they haven’t been proves that they don’t exist.

    I still remember the CIA, reporting , in the summer of 2008 that in no way was Iran anywhere near being nuke capable and the McCain campaign was nuts for worrying about Iran at all. Funny, huh.

    MarkSmith in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 12:27 am

    I disagree that the CIA has always been a Democratic front. If I recall correctly, Bush was supposedly linked to forcing Ross Perot out of the race by using the CIA. See 1992 times story.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/26/us/1992-campaign-overview-perot-says-he-quit-july-thwart-gop-dirty-tricks.html?pagewanted=all

    I actually think that the Democrats are too stupid to be able to pull off what Intel is doing. Come on, they use “pa$$word” as their password on their email accounts.

    Off topic – I do chuckle when the Dems scream that Putin is killing his political opponents? Anyone heard of Arkancide?

      I’ve been following him on twitter and he’s made some pretty big threats but never will actually come out with any facts. His main theme’s are: Trump tied to Russia, IC will take him down and I know because I’m connected to the IC.

      Oh, and he won’t answer a question.

      Milhouse in reply to MarkSmith. | February 16, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      MarkSmith, the CIA has always, from its very inception, been a Democrat front. “Bush was supposedly linked” by a paranoid lunatic, not by any sane person. People on the hard left have this idée fixe that Bush Sr had some kind of “in” with the CIA, on the strength of having been its politically appointed director for less than a year, but it makes no sense and doesn’t seem to be backed up by any kind of evidence. They just take it on faith.

      Oh, and Putin really is killing his political opponents; it’s not just crazy people in an insane asylum making wild accusations just to hear themselves talk, like that “arkancide” nonsense.

        MarkSmith in reply to Milhouse. | February 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

        like that “arkancide” nonsense.

        Ha, having fun there. You took the bait.

        My take on the CIA is that is is not a Democrat Front. They are just a bunch of egos looking for control. You have about as much proof that the Democrats are the CIA front as I do that Bush used the CIA to photoshoped pictures of Perot’s daughter to get him out of the race.

        As for world leaders wacking political opponents, so what. Except for a few countries, it is a lot more common than we think. Point is that Trump needs to have some sort of relationship with Putin or we are screwed no matter how bad he is.

    Probably the only thing I agreed with him on, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, disband the CIA.

    It’s being used against American citizens. I think Trump knows it, plans to rework it, and the CIA will go to any length to protect itself. ANY length.

Against standing , Federal Law and sanctions, in place by Congress, the Obama administration set about secret negotiations with Iran for 7 years. Without going to Congress or appealing to the citizens or even the UN, the Obama administration unilaterally gave monies to Iran and disclosed it after the fact.

No one in intel was leaking that very real threat to the press and the press , when whiffs came up, downplayed it all until nothing could be done to stop the money or the deal(s). Folks, we have problems in the intel community and their saying their stopping Trump b/c of a link to Russia is a total made up bucket of poo.

Russia, and even Putin were considered buddies to the Donks up until Putin decided to stand up for Assad. Hillary losing the election was icing on the cake and presto! Everyone agrees Russia Russia Russia! Biggest threat ever!! … that we sold uranium to 2 years ago…. and we just authorized to sell uranium to Iran to.. last year. Oh yeah.

    Milhouse in reply to RobM. | February 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Obama started negotiating with Iran before he was elected, directly undermining the US government’s negotiations. Talk about a Logan Act violation, and not just a technical one such as Flynn may or may not have committed.

Pssst…. did you know that the key systems computers for all of the US infrastructure and defense are in the basement of the NYT building? Sure hope no one bombs it.

Trump has in one stroke made the Deep State meme a household word. The state is now the Empire, and Trump is the Resistance.

Just political persyasion 101.

One should recognize political theater and who iis upstaging whom.

this is what fascism looks like.

If this information can be leaked to the Lamestream media then it certainly can be published for all to see. I want to see what this information is and who leaked it.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/15/former-nsa-analyst-claims-intel-community-will-go-nuclear-against-trump/?utm_campaign=atdailycaller&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social
The belief in these Democratic/Corrupt thugs is wide spread. I think we have a Federal government employees coup on hand.

    MarkSmith in reply to puhiawa. | February 16, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Nah, if you know anything about Federal workers, it is a oxymoron. Now government contractors, that is a different story.

    Might want to watch “The Firm” to think outside the box.

    I’ve been following him on twitter and he’s made some pretty big threats but never will actually come out with any facts. His main theme’s are: Trump tied to Russia, IC will take him down and I know because I’m connected to the IC.

    Oh, and he won’t answer a question.

Seems “they’re” opening themselves up to a battle they could very easily lose. What are “they” scared so of?

Seems like the more likely bet this is a coalition of obama and never Trump staff with nothing to lose. But clearly they have they power to cause serious doubt and distribution with a potential political upside in 2018 2020

And guess who is in league with them: the rino scum of the GOPe:

Bill Kristol Backs ‘Deep State’ over President Trump, Republican Government:
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/15/bill-kristol-backs-deep-state-president-trump-republican-government/

Ann Coulter: The Silence of the Lambs Congress
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/15/ann-coulter-silence-lambs-congress/

When the swamp waters of DC recede, as they are doing now, the vermin become visible. Then action can be taken to remove them.

The World has changed, in DC. No longer are the masters of the liberal/Progressive operatives in a position to protect them. Those who are illegally leaking classified material may well find themselves out of a job [at best] and in prison [at worst]. The MSM has just learned that they do not control access to the POTUS, but that the POTUS controls such access. The Establishment politicians will soon become aware that they have much more to fear from political “leaks” from the intelligence and LE community than does the POTUS. The liberal/Progressive/Establishment will soon realize that they have to play by the rules, or get pumped out of the swamp with the rest of the slime.

This is just another battle in the ongoing war against the corruption that Washington DC has become. And, anytime the vermin are exposed, this is a win for the decent people of this nation. The courts exposed their corrupt nature in the immigration TRO scandal. The intelligence community has again exposed the corruption in their midst. The MSM has completely discredited themselves as purveyors of fact. The liberal left has exposed itself to be composed of intolerant totalitarians. And the list goes on. This just makes it easier to identify the problems and remove them. Draining a swamp is never a pleasant activity, but the results can be well worth the effort.

More emanations from the twilight zone. They are on a baby hunt.

It will be very interesting to see what the new AG Sessions has to say about these leaks. He could demand that each intelligence worker come in for an interview and take a lie detector test. If they refuse they are fired. The tests we all know are not perfect but the pressure they put on weaker minds may lead to other things.

    iconotastic in reply to inspectorudy. | February 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Trump control of the DoJ will be the key and the frantic Democrat embeds in the bureaucracy know it. That is why they are burning their covers in order to make, hopefully fatal, wounds to the nascent Trump presidency.

    The typical way the bureaucracy defeats a president is through dull, sludge-like non-activity. Not by actively forming cells using commercial encryption in order to call an ever-decreasing number of voters and a decreasingly irrelevant Dem news media to arms. Witness the latest Trump press conference where the Dem media was simply ignored in favor of questions from outlets that were not part of the typical Dem witchhunt.

    In the next few months I predict that a number of the Obama apparatchiks will find themselves in FBI interviews giving up their co-conspirators in desperate attempts to avoid extended visits to Club Fed.

Exactly, if the situation really as dire as the Media, the Left, and IC claim it to be and they really do have the necessary facts in hand. Why haven’t they held some sort of “Adlai Stevenson Cuban Missle Crisis” style press conference capabilities and sources be damned? Especially since both the media and Left suddenly find them curiously credible again even after all their recriminations about Iraq and Snowden.

If Trump can’t be dismissed as the usual promise-one-thing-do-another politician, then he’s a menace to all ossified government bureaucracies. And any government department more than a few years old becomes ossified. So we can expect that they’re all his enemies. This is quite aside from the very real problem of infestation by Obamanian agents and holdouts. Even a bureaucrat who may have detested Obama and his agenda must fear for his phony-baloney career right about now. And we can’t be surprised when some of them try to fight back.

When Hercules cleaned out the Augean stables, he wasn’t required to clean out just some of the manure and leave the “good stuff”; it was a case of “everything must go”. For Trump dealing with the Executive, it’s the personnel who are just too old and comfortable, even if their departments (at least some of them) should remain.

The challenge Trump faces is not one for a politician, but more one for a troubleshooter called in by the stockholders or the receiver to salvage a failing company. But in this case the company must remain operational while he’s doing it.

The problem is yuge, but it’s not one caused by Trump, any more than a man trying to put out a fire can be blamed for starting it.

I don’t believe for a nanosecond that Trump or anyone in his inner circle has done a single thing wrong with the Russians or anyone else.

The msm can run 10,000,000 stories alleging it, but it’s just noise of known liars & connivers with a transparent agenda that I’ve never agreed with.

If anyone loves America and is loyal to America, it’s Trump. That’s why I voted for him. Granted, he’s not aggressive enough about it, but nobody is perfect.

Descriptive headline and thoughtful article. But you know, this is the Internet so maybe next time try something like this.

“We asked an anonymous intelligence source if this former television star, real estate mogul, and head of state might be a Russian sleeper agent, and you’ll never believe what he said!”

WE DONT NEED NO STINKING EVIDENCE! TRUMP IS GUILTY…of something we are absolutely positively sure maybe???

Lucky the media is on the ball and are busy exposing the dark forces moving against Democracy in America! HHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA 🙂

Mailman

Wow. So no, y’all haven’t read the Constitution. Article III Section III:

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.”

I’d like you both to think long and hard about the fact that you not only didn’t know that was in our relatively short Constitution, but the fact that you were so confident it wasn’t there that you called me a kook and a moron. Without even bothering to check.

Y’all are pathetic.

So will we see another reincarnation of the Church Committee?

The Church Committee was the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church (D-ID) in 1975. The committee investigated abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The committee was part of a series of investigations into intelligence abuses during the mid-1970s, including the Watergate Hearings, the Rockefeller Commission, and the Pike Committee. One result of the committee’s efforts was the establishment of the permanent U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pceuQZbVymg

It’s his mental health, stupid. No more, no less.

Some smart person should turn the major news rags into tabloids and distribute copies along the delivery routes.

https://www.google.com/search?q=tabloid+magazines&espv=2&biw=768&bih=367&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjnqO6X7pTSAhXEwlQKHThSDH4Q_AUIBigB

Just before leaving Obama ordered the NSA to relaese raw data to all 16 agencies. Increase the pool the leakers can hide in.

Obama Administration Releases Long Awaited New E.O. 12333 Rules on Sharing of Raw Signals Intelligence Information Within IC:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/obama-administration-releases-long-awaited-new-eo-12333-rules-sharing-raw-signals-intelligence

Given the thorough lack of any detail in these “news leaks” I have always felt that if anything other than “Trump Enterprises Business” was discussed it was nothing worse than, “I’ll have more flexibility after the election”.

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