From David Boddinger at SPLINTER:
Chuck Todd, the normally insufferable host of NBC News’ Meet the Press, has appeared increasingly uncomfortable over the past few days with the talking heads who appear on his show to repeat GOP talking points about Donald Trump.
But something happened on Sunday to trigger Todd, and that something was Republican Sen. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, which rhymes. Johnson appeared on NBC acting like a combative, right-wing lunatic, and spewing pro-Trump conspiracy theories that sounded like they came straight from Fox News, Breitbart, or even InfoWars.
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From The Guardian:
An effort in recent months by Donald Trump to rewrite the history of the 2016 US presidential election and set up a 2020 re-election victory was more geographically sprawling and reliant on the day-to-day participation of top cabinet members than previously reported, it emerged on Monday.
William Barr, the attorney general, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, collectively participated in contacts between Trump and leaders of at least four foreign countries, according to multiple reports.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday fired back at critics who accused him of being a “Russian asset” after he blocked legislation last week that would have strengthened U.S. election security.
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From Yahoo News:
Attorney General William Barr refused Wednesday to turn over his notes on a conversation he had with Robert Mueller during which the special counsel complained about Barr’s summary of his report about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump’s attempts to cover it up.
“No,” Barr responded when asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., if he would provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with the notes he took to document the call with Mueller.
“Why not?” Blumenthal responded.
“Why should you have them?” Barr answered.
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From The Washington Post:
Rod J. Rosenstein, again, was in danger of losing his job. The New York Times had just reported that — in the heated days after James B. Comey was fired as FBI director — the deputy attorney general had suggested wearing a wire to surreptitiously record President Trump. Now Trump, traveling in New York, was on the phone, eager for an explanation.
Rosenstein — who, by one account, had gotten teary-eyed just before the call in a meeting with Trump’s chief of staff — sought to defuse the volatile situation and assure the president he was on his team, according to people familiar with matter. He criticized the Times report, published in late September, and blamed it on former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, whose recollections formed its basis. Then he talked about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and told the president he would make sure Trump was treated fairly, people familiar with the conversation said.
“I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein said, according to an administration official with knowledge of what was said during the call. “I can land the plane.”
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From CBS News:
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a top White House adviser, sent hundreds of emails about government business from a personal email account last year, CBS News confirms.
The emails were sent to White House aides, Cabinet members and Ivanka Trump’s assistants, many in violation of public records rules, The Washington Post first reported Monday.
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(CNN) Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, routinely — and illegally — used campaign funds to pay personal bills big and small, from luxury vacations to kids’ school lunches and delinquent family dentistry bills, according to a stinging 47-page indictment unsealed Tuesday.
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