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Senators seek Rod Rosenstein pledge to name a special prosecutor on Russia ties

Donald Trumps deputy attorney general nominee faces a confirmation hearing in which his approach to investigating alleged Russia ties will be the key question

Will Trumps nominee for deputy attorney general pledge to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaigns ties to Russia?

Thats the question Democrats will be asking Rod Rosenstein during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday morning. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader, said on Monday that this was far and away the most important question that Rosenstein would need to answer.

Richard Blumenthal, one of the Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee, pledged again on Monday to use every tool, every power available to slow Rosensteins confirmation if he would not promise to appoint a special prosecutor.

Schumer said a special prosecutor would have greater latitude to investigate Russias interference in the election, as well as greater independence to conduct the inquiry, since he or she could only be removed from the investigation for good cause and would have the power to prosecute not only the subject of an investigation but anyone who attempts to interfere.

The Republican chair of the Senate judiciary committee resisted these demands. Nobody should be prejudging as to if there should or shouldnt be a special prosecutor, Beth Levine, a spokeswoman for Senator Chuck Grassley, said in a statement. Mr Rosenstein should go into the job without any predeterminations and evaluate the necessity on the facts and the merits.

The FBI is reportedly investigating Russias interference in the 2016 election, including scrutiny of links between Trump associates and Russia.

Under bipartisan pressure from Congress, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself last week from overseeing any election-related investigations. Sessions failed to mention his election-year meetings with the Russian ambassador during his own confirmation hearing, despite a direct question about whether he had been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election. Sessions later said he should have mentioned the meetings, but has also defended his response as appropriate given that he did not recall any conversations regarding the political campaign on these occasions.

Sessions recusal puts the deputy attorney general, the justice departments second-highest ranking official, in charge of overseeing any investigations of Russian interference in the election.

Rosenstein, currently the US attorney in Maryland, is a widely respected career prosecutor with 26 years experience within the justice department. Former justice officials from Democratic administrations praised his skill and integrity, with one calling him a surprisingly non-partisan choice for a Trump administration appointee, and saying he was the perfect person to oversee a fraught political investigation that might touch on the White House itself.

Schumer and Blumenthal said they believed a special prosecutor should investigate not only Russias interference and any contacts between Moscow and Trump associates, but also whether members of the administration, including Sessions himself, had made cover-up attempts or tried to meddle in the investigation.

In a press conference on Monday, Blumenthal invoked the Watergate investigation of President Richard Nixon, when senators used the confirmation process to force the presidents attorney general nominee to promise to appoint a special prosecutor and guarantee him independence to carry out his investigation.

That same precedent should be followed in Rosensteins confirmation process, Blumenthal said.

Other Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee did not respond to requests for comment on Monday on whether they agreed with Blumenthal.

Democrats have acknowledged Rosensteins reputation as a straight shooter and honorable public servant, with Schumer calling him a fair man.

A CNN survey of about 1,000 American adults found that nearly two-thirds supported having a special prosecutor investigate links between Russia and Trump associates, including 43% of Republicans.

As a young Republican lawyer, Rosenstein was tapped to join Kenneth Starrs independent Whitewater investigation into Bill and Hillary Clintons real estate dealings an investigation that later pivoted to digging into Bill Clintons affair with a White House intern.

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Trump’s treasury secretary pick failed to disclose nearly $100m in assets

Steven Mnuchin didnt tell the Senate finance committee that he was a director of an investment fund incorporated in a tax haven and omitted other assets

Steven Mnuchin, the hedge fund millionaire Donald Trump has picked to run the US treasury, failed to disclose nearly $100m in assets to Congress, including his role as a director of offshore funds and close to $1m in art owned by his children.

The error was disclosed hours before Mnuchin was grilled by the Senate finance committee on Thursday over his role at a California bank that foreclosed on thousands of vulnerable borrowers, his attitude to tax havens and the future regulation of the US financial system.

On Wednesday night the committee learned Mnuchin had initially failed to disclose he was a director of Dune Capital International, an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven. He also omitted other assets, including $95m in real estate and $906,556 worth of artwork held by his children.

Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire he does not consider these assets to be investment assets and thus did not disclose them, even though the committee directs the nominee to list all real estate assets, according to documents filed with the committee.

Mnuchin was questioned by the Democratic senator Bob Menendez who asked how he had failed to disclose the assets when he signed a statement listing his holdings on 19 December.

I have a ton of other questions on policy but first and foremost is truth and veracity, what Americans need in their treasury secretary said Menedez. In essence isnt it true that what you did here is take these companies, put them offshore so you could help your clients, who you were making money from, to avoid US taxation.

Mnuchin said that was not true at all.

I assure you that these forms were very complicated, he said. When I certified those forms I thought it was correct. Mnuchin said he may have erred in giving the forms in early and should have waited and that his lawyer had assured him he had filled the forms in correctly.

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to understand list all entities, said Menendez.

Mnuchin said his decision to move his investment vehicles offshore was not always about taxes but about making investments eligible for pensions and other non-profits. These are very complicated issues. We need tax code simplification, he said. Mnuchin said he was in favor of changing the tax code and to make sure we dont let anybody avoid taxes.

Over five hours the treasury secretary nominee remained composed as he faced tough questions over his management of OneWest, a California bank created after he took over IndyMac in 2009 after it collapsed during the financial crisis, dragged down by a portfolio of bad loans.

OneWest foreclosed on more than 36,000 homeowners under Mnuchin. including one 90-year-old woman over a 27-cent payment error. Under Mnuchin, OneWest churned out foreclosures like Chinese factories churned out Trump suits and ties, Senator Ron Wyden told the hearing.

On Wednesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren accused Mnuchin of making millions at OneWest by grinding families into the dirt. Warren held a press conferences with four women who had loans with Mnuchins former firm and who had either lost their home or were in danger of being evicted.

In his prepared testimony for his confirmation Mnuchin denied accusations that OneWest Bank was a foreclosure machine designed to profit from the bursting of the housing bubble.

Since I was first nominated to serve as treasury secretary, I have been maligned as taking advantage of others hardships in order to earn a buck. Nothing could be further from the truth, Mnuchin wrote in his opening statement.

Mnuchin said he could not talk about specific loans because of privacy but that some had been in the public eye. The most troubling was to the octomum [Natalie Suleman, who became a media celebrity after she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009]. We worked very, very hard, that was a terrible situation, to move her to another home that they could afford, he said.

There were mistakes, we regret those, said Mnuchin. He said banks would prefer to make a loan modification than to foreclose which is very costly to the bank.

Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican chairman of the committee, said it was disappointing that Democrats were unfairly objecting to Trumps nominees and that if the Senate concentrated on Mnuchins qualifications there would be little if any opposition to Mr Mnuchins nomination.

Hatch dismissed Warrens conference as a mock hearing that was essentially unrelated to Mr Mnuchins qualification for the job.

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Ben Carson refuses to guarantee no housing funds will benefit Trump

Former presidential candidate is accused of plagiarism in opening remarks at Senate confirmation hearing for housing secretary post

Ben Carson has refused to guarantee that no federal housing funds would benefit the Trump family should he be confirmed as the secretary of housing and urban development (Hud).

The retired neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate faced a pointed line of questioning during his Thursday hearing before a Senate committee, and although he said he will absolutely not play favorites for anyone, he declined to give a direct promise that none of the billions of dollars that Hud distributes in grants and loans would benefit the president-elect, his family, or their real estate holdings.

It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American, he said. Its for all Americans, everything that we do.

The Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren repeatedly questioned Carson on the matter. Although Carson avoided directly answering her questions, he did say he would not cut or limit a program if someone gained money from it.

If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program thats working for millions of people, and it turns out that someone that youre targeting is going to gain, you know, $10 from it, am I going to say no, the rest of you Americans cant have it? I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way, he said.

Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, ended her careful line of questions to call for the passage of a law she and other Democrats proposed this week that would require Trump to place all of his assets in a blind trust.

She told Carson: The problem is that you cant assure us that Hud money, not of $10 varieties but of multimillion-dollar varieties, will not end up in the president-elects pockets. And the reason you cant assure us of that is because the president-elect is hiding his familys business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America. And this just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elects refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust.

Warren criticized Trumps continued refusal to distance himself completely from his business empire before taking office. On Wednesday, in his first press conference since July, Trump and one of his lawyers said all control of Trumps business assets would be handed over to his adult sons. Trump has repeatedly ignored calls from ethics experts to create a blind trust. The head of the federal governments ethics agency made a rare public statement on Wednesday evening to say that Trumps proposal to put his children in charge of the business would not be satisfactory to avoid conflicts and broke with 40 years of precedent.

Before Carson faced Warrens questions, he delivered off-the-cuff opening remarks, speaking freely instead of reading directly from the written statement he had prepared and submitted in advance of Thursdays hearing.

At least a portion of those prepared remarks appear to have been plagiarized, reported the Washington Post, including two paragraphs copied word-for-word from a 2008 policy report published by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation. The text describes the dangers of lead paint and the impact that unsafe housing can have on health.

A spokesman for the president-elects transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Guardian, but told the Post that the mistake was in error and that a set of hyperlinks and footnotes meant to be included in the text seems to have fallen off.

Other senators on the committee questioned Carson on his personal background growing up in poverty, his lack of government experience, and his previously expressed desire to reduce government spending.

Carson, who has no government experience and no political experience aside from his failed bid to be the Republican nominee for president, spoke extensively about his upbringing and his work as a neurosurgeon and philanthropist. Republican senators questioning him on Thursday seemed largely unworried by the prospect of Carson running a large federal agency despite his lack of experience.

Senator Mike Rounds brushed aside such concerns, saying: It seems to me that probably running this department is not really brain surgery, and if you can handle that you most certainly have the abilities to step in and look at this with fresh eyes.

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EPA fears ‘unprecedented disaster’ for environment over Scott Pruitt pick

Senate Democrats vow to fight Trumps nominee to lead the EPA, a climate denier who has sued the agency multiple times as attorney general of Oklahoma

Democrats have promised to stage a last-ditch effort to thwart the appointment of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, amid fears within the agency that he will trigger an unprecedented disaster for Americas environment and public health.

Donald Trump has nominated Pruitt to lead an agency he has sued multiple times in his role as attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt has vowed to dismantle serried environmental rules and is currently involved in a legal effort by 27 states to overturn Barack Obamas clean power plan, the presidents centerpiece policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses, Pruitt said in a statement.

Trump said Pruitt is a highly respected attorney general who will reverse the EPAs out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs. Earlier this year, the president-elect said there would be just little tidbits left of the EPA if he made it to the White House.

Environmental groups have reacted with dismay at the nomination of Pruitt, warning that he will not only tear up much of Obamas climate legacy but also imperil the reliably clean air and water that Americans have largely enjoyed over the past 40 years. Democrats have vowed to fight Pruitts nomination, with Chuck Schumer, the minority Senate leader, promising a torrid confirmation hearing for the Republican lawyer.

Some Democrats are hopeful that a number of Republicans could join them to block Pruitts confirmation. This is full-fledged environmental emergency, this is someone (Pruitt) who is a professional climate change denier, said Brian Schatz, a senator from Hawaii. This is a litmus test for every member of the Senate who believes in science. We are going to do everything to oppose his nomination, and we are confident we can do so.

Other elected Democrats have also vowed to take on Pruitt, with Eric Schneiderman, attorney general of New York, promising to use the full power of my office to compel the EPA to uphold federal environment laws.

Republicans, the majority party in the Senate, have largely welcomed Trumps pick. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma senator and a vocal denier of climate science, said Pruitt is thoughtful, experienced and a natural pick for the EPA administrator role. Inhofe is chairman of the Senate environment committee, which will question Pruitt prior to his confirmation.

EPA staff have expressed nervousness over Pruitts nomination, given his zealous pursuit of the agency. Pruitt has fought against EPA regulations that prevent air pollution haze in national parks, methane leaks from drilling and mercury and arsenic seeping from power plants.

The attorney general has proved to be such a staunch advocate for fossil fuels that he allowed Oklahoma firm Devon Energy to use his letterhead to send a three-page complaint to the EPA in 2014. He has questioned the accepted scientific stance on climate change, claiming in May that the debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.

One EPA scientist, who asked not to be named, said that Pruitt risks being an unprecedented disaster for the natural world and public health. Other EPA advisers warned that the agency risks being trampled under Trumps agenda of boosting corporations and eviscerating climate action.

Pruitt doesnt believe in the mission of the EPA, which is to protect human health and the environment, said Lisa Garcia, vice-president of Earthjustice and a senior adviser to the last two EPA administrators.

This isnt a business agency, its an environmental agency. Its scary to have someone who doesnt believe in the mission of the EPA walking in to run it. I expect they will choke the funding of the EPA and stop enforcing laws. The work of the agency will basically come to a halt.

People at the EPA are in shock, they are worried about carrying out its mission. People are worried about how they will do their jobs, even people who voted for Trump. They didnt expect this. Clean air and water, safe places for our children to play these things should be bipartisan. They should be above politics.

Trump has previously called climate change a hoax and threatened to end all spending on climate change and clean energy, but environmentalists saw a glimmer of hope when the real estate magnate met with Al Gore, the former vice-president, and the actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Both regularly call for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The nomination of Pruitt, however, presages a lengthy battle between the Trump administration and green groups.

Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to wage war on clean air and clean water, said Benjamin Schreiber, climate and energy program director at Friends of the Earth US. Trump has also put our climate in peril and shown he is out of step with the American people. With this EPA pick, Donald Trump is putting all Americans at risk.

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9/11 tapes reveal raw and emotional Hillary Clinton

For the 15th anniversary, we partnered with WNYC to look back at Clinton at Ground Zero a far cry from the controlled figure now a step away from the presidency

It was 26 August 2003, almost two years since 9/11, and the sickening plume of smoke that hung over Ground Zero in lower Manhattan had long since dissipated. But steam was rising from the steps of city hall, three blocks away, where Hillary Clinton was venting her rage at the Bush administration for having lied to the American people.

I dont think any of us expected that our government would knowingly deceive us about something as sacred as the air we breathe, she said, her voice tightening in anger. The air that our children breathe in schools, that our valiant first responders were facing on the pile.

Surrounded by firefighters and the doctors who were treating them for respiratory and other illnesses incurred when they worked on the massive mound of Ground Zero rubble the pile, as it was known the junior senator from New York was incandescent. Audiotape recorded at the time by WNYC, the citys public radio affiliate, captures a Clinton quite unlike the controlled public figure who is now a step away from the White House.

Andrea Bernstein, senior editor politics and policy for WNYC, listens back to Hillary Clintons comments in the wake of 9/11.

The Clinton who emerges from the WNYC tapes is passionate, raw and unrestrained. Above all, she is livid. She had just learned that the Bush administration instructed officials of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reassure New Yorkers after 9/11 that the air over Ground Zero was safe. In fact, they had a pretty good idea that it was a toxic pall of asbestos, cement, glass dust, heavy metals, fuels and PCBs.

I am outraged, Clinton went on. In the immediate aftermath, the first couple of days, nobody could know. But a week later? Two weeks later? Two months later? Six months later? Give me a break!

Of all the varied chapters of Clintons tumultuous 30 years in public life, the story of her response to the attacks on the twin towers is one of the richest in terms of the clues it provides as to what to expect from a Clinton presidency. It reveals elements of her character, of her domestic policy strengths, as well as her tendency to lean towards the hawkish side in international affairs.

As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the memories of those days, and her role in them, remain fresh for many who stood by her side. Richard Alles was on the smoldering pile on 12 September, the day after the attacks, when Clinton turned up and proclaimed: This attack on New York is an attack on America, its an attack on every American.

Hillary Clinton greets New York City firefighters at the funeral for department chaplain the Rev Mychal Judge, who died at the World Trade Center. Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Then a uniformed firefighter with battalion 58 in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Alles arrived at Ground Zero 20 minutes after the second tower collapsed. He stayed there for two days and nights, seeking survivors amid the ruins. What struck him most about Clinton that day, he said, was what he called her compassion.

She really went out of her way to speak to the first responders on the site to reassure them, he said. I never forgot it.

Alles was also struck by how Clinton quickly grasped the potential health risks of Ground Zero, and how doggedly she pursued treatment for those who suffered. We all knew from the get-go that the air was contaminated, he said, but we had a job to do so we kept on working. Senator Clinton was at the forefront over dealing with it, she showed herself to be a fighter.

On 9/11, Peter Gorman was president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association of New York City, a union that represents largely white, blue-collar workers of the sort who today might back Donald Trump. The union had pointedly put its weight behind Clintons opponent in the 2000 senatorial race, Republican Rick Lazio.

Yet Gorman recalls being pleasantly surprised by Clintons commitment, both in terms of her mastery of policy detail and on a personal level. She would call me on my cellphone to ask how I was doing, how my members were doing, he said. One time I was pumping gas at a Texaco station, it was Christmas Eve, and she wanted to know how things were going. When a senator calls someone on my level, thats impressive.

That same personal care made a profound impression on Lauren Manning, one of very few people who survived severe injuries from the planes crashing into the towers. She was engulfed by a fireball of jet fuel as she was entering the elevators in the north tower to go up to work at Cantor Fitzgerald, on the 105th floor.

She was burned on 83% of her body; 658 of her colleagues died.

A few months later, Manning was in treatment at the Burke rehabilitation hospital in White Plains, New York, when she had a visitor. Clinton walked into her small hospital room and embraced me as best she could, she said. She was kind and gentle, and she very specifically said to me that she was here for me and that she would remain at my side.

Manning, who gave a keynote speech on behalf of Clinton at the Democratic national convention in July, said that her most vivid memory was of the senators eyes.

Hillary Clinton attends a memorial event at Ground Zero. Photograph: Jennifer S. Altman/WireImage

I was covered and swathed in bandages, she said, dealing with a great deal of pain, but she captured me with her eyes. They were wide open and expressive, and they remained on mine. She didnt lose sight of what I was saying to her. To me, that was the mark of somebody who is sincere, who you want on your side.

Having declared 9/11 to be an attack on all Americans, Clinton soon discovered that the national response was not entirely united or favorable to struggling New Yorkers. The head of the EPA at the time, Christine Todd Whitman, repeatedly insisted the air at Ground Zero was safe even as early as three days after the towers collapsed, as did Mayor Rudy Giuliani despite worries within City Hall that they were facing thousands of liability claims.

Confronted by this wall of denial, Clinton was one of the most powerful voices warning of an impending health crisis. Ben Chevat, chief of staff to congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York on 9/11, recalls the impact.

The Bush administration was saying, Theres no problem, move along, he said, and so it was hard work getting any traction in the media. Yet we knew there was a problem because people were getting sick with respiratory diseases and cancers.

Chevat, now executive director of 9/11 Health Watch, said: It took Clinton to put a spotlight on the issue and change the frame.

She was a sponge for knowledge

Clinton and her allies started small but over time succeeded in dramatically expanding the health program for those who became ill after
9/11. Within weeks of the attacks she had helped secure $12m for a pilot project at Mount Sinai hospital, screening some 9,000 workers with suspected Ground Zero illnesses.

By April 2004 the program had grown to a $90m fund offering three free medical exams a year to 50,000 first responders and residents of lower Manhattan. In 2010, Clinton having passed on the baton to her successor in the US senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, reluctant Republicans in Congress were cajoled into passing the $4bn Zadroga Act, covering the health costs of those impaired by the toxic fumes. Last year the program was extended for 75 years, and now serves 65,000 emergency responders and almost 10,000 9/11 resident survivors.

Philip Landrigan, who hosted the first World Trade Center medical program at Mount Sinai, puts this success story in no small part down to Clintons relentless pursuit of the subject coupled with her attention to detail.

She was angry at the Washington political leaders who would come to Ground Zero, have photos taken and then go back to DC and do nothing, he said.

Hillary Clinton tours the site of the World Trade Center the day after 9/11 with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Governor George Pataki, left. Photograph: Robert F Bukaty/AFP/Getty Images

She became deeply knowledgable on the subject, not just fiscal and administrative details, but also about medical and mental health problems. She was a sponge for knowledge.

Clintons powerful engagement in the 9/11 health cause makes for a strong contrast with how her presidential rival, Donald Trump, spent his time in the wake of the terrorist attacks. He used a loophole in federal funding to help small businesses hurt by the disaster to claim $150,000 in subsidies for a Wall Street real estate project.

Yet when it comes to this years presidential race, several of the people who worked closely with Clinton after 9/11 said they were puzzled by her struggle to win over voters. As a senator operating on the ground, and one to one, she came across as an effective and empathetic leader, they said. Writ large across the nation, her persona struggled to come across.

She may not be the most natural politician, said former firefighters union president Peter Gorman. I regret that sometimes she doesnt come across well in front of a crowd as people dont know her as so many of us do.

Alles, the firefighter, put her troubles with popularity in 2016 she has an unfavorable rating of 55%, according to the average of polls down to the criticism she has endured from political opponents and enemies over decades, from Whitewater in the 1990s to Benghazi and the email controversy today. He doubted many of his fellow firefighters would back her in November, as the good work she did after 9/11 has faded from view.

Younger fire officers arent aware of what she did as senator, he said. While they were growing up all they heard was this bad stuff about Clinton the damage has been done.

What hasnt faded from view is something else that has frequently bugged Clinton: her vote in October 2002 to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, a resolution that paved the way for the invasion the following year. The controversial decision the hardest of her political life, she has said was predicated on her response to the collapse of the twin towers.

As she told WNYCs Brian Lehrer, the 9/11 attacks marked me, and made me feel [fighting terrorism] was my No1 obligation as a senator.

Micah Zenko, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has studied Clintons changing approach to Iraq, suggested her views were more nuanced and thoughtful than she has been credited for. He pointed to her speech to the Senate floor before casting her war vote.

Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer bow their heads during a moment of silence at Ground Zero. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/AP

She emphasizes the UN and sanctions route, and doesnt emphasise neo-conservative nation building, he said. She was very conscious that this was not a blank check.

On the other hand, Clinton continued to support the military escapade in Iraq until 2005 and only fully disavowed her vote a couple of years ago, when she wrote in her memoir Hard Choices that she got it wrong. That she continues to wrestle with this vexed subject, and her record on it, was shown on Wednesday night when she used a foreign policy town hall in New York City to state bluntly that she would not put US ground troops into Iraq ever again.

That has not assuaged anti-war campaigners who were active in 2002 and 2003. They are still angry about Clintons pro-war vote, given the warnings they raised at the time.

There were many concerns raised, and one of the biggest was that little wars lead to big wars and big wars lead to bigger wars and this is going to be a quagmire, said Leslie Cagan, co-chair of the anti-war coalition United for Peace and Justice. There is no endgame here and of course thats what happened.

As early as 2004, Clinton was back on the Brian Lehrer show slamming the Bush administration again, this time for having misled the American people over weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Husseins purported links to al-Qaida. There wouldnt have been a vote if everything we knew now had been known then, she said.

But that further peeves the anti-war campaigners because it ignores the fact that before the invasion happened they were sounding the alarm about precisely those issues.

As Cagan put it: There were many warnings: dont do this, dont go into Iraq, dont start a war that doesnt need to be started. It wasnt like you couldnt hear that, if you were listening.

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