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Internal Pentagon study: Most troops support repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

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An internal Pentagon study has found that most U.S. troops and their families don’t care whether gays are allowed to serve openly and think the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” could be done away with, according to officials familiar with its findings.

The survey results were expected to be used by gay rights advocates to bolster their argument that the 1993 law on gays could be repealed immediately with little harm done to the military. But the survey also was expected to reveal challenges the services could face in overturning the long-held policy, including overcoming fierce opposition in some parts of the military even if they represent a minority.

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Details on the survey results were still scarce Thursday, with the Pentagon declining to discuss the findings until after Dec. 1 when it rolls out its own plan for repeal.

The officials who disclosed the survey’s findings spoke on condition of anonymity because the results had not been released. NBC News first reported the findings Thursday.

President Barack Obama has said “don’t ask, don’t tell” unfairly discriminates against gays. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the military’s top uniformed officer, agree but want to move slowly to ensure that military effectiveness doesn’t suffer.

Among their top concerns is that forcing too much change, too soon on an institution that historically has been reluctant to embrace gays could prompt a backlash among troops and their families.

With a Democratic-controlled Congress already considering a change to the law, Gates in February ordered a yearlong study into the matter. As part of that effort, the Pentagon sent out some 400,000 surveys to troops and another 150,000 to family members on the military’s policy toward gays.

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Officials said that with the survey results complete, the working group is analyzing the results and working on a plan to overturn the policy should Congress repeal the law.

Gay rights groups attacked the 103-question survey. They said it assumes troops don’t want to serve with openly gay service members and repeatedly uses the term “homosexual,” considered to be outdated and derogatory.

The survey was prepared by the Maryland-based research firm Westat under a $4.5 million contract.

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Earlier this month, the Pentagon was forced to lift its ban on openly serving gays for eight days after a federal judge in California ordered the military to do so. The Justice Department has appealed and a federal appeals court granted a temporary stay of the injunction.

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The View’s Meghan McCain thinks Pam Bondi did a good job: ‘We’re talking about Hunter Biden on the show’

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"The View" co-host Meghan McCain praised President Donald Trump's defense team for changing the subject in the impeachment trial.

Her fellow panelists criticized Trump's lawyers for throwing up a "smokescreen" by attacking former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden -- but McCain thought their defense was effective.

"I watched a bit of Pam Bondi yesterday when I was home, and I, along with 51 percent of the American public, according to 538 which is a pollster, by the way, that works for ABC News, in case you want to question this poll, think this is a bad use of Congress' time."

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‘You sound frightened’: Trump mocked for raging at Fox News’ ‘politically correct’ impeachment coverage

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This Tuesday morning, President Trump fired off a series of tweets slamming Fox News, his otherwise preferred network, for being too "politically correct" in its coverage of him and allowing Democrats who are "playing up the impeachment hoax" to appear on the network.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1222183788924502017

Trump went on to declare that it's the "beginning of the end for Fox," just like MSNBC and CNN "which are dying in the ratings."

The tweets brought a wave of mockery from Trump's critics on Twitter, who saw the rant as another example of the pressure of impeachment catching up with the president.

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Rick Santorum: ‘I have no problem’ with John Bolton testifying after ‘this impeachment thing’ is over

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Conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum asserted on Tuesday that former National Security Adviser John Bolton should wait until after President Donald Trump's impeachment trial ends to reveal what he knows about the president's scheme in Ukraine.

"The only thing I would question is sort of the timing of submitting the book for review," Santorum said during an appearance on CNN. "I mean, you're doing it at a time -- knowing the history of what goes on in this White House, that leaks are prevalent -- to submit this manuscript at this time, I think was bad judgement."

"I have no problem with John Bolton writing a book," he continued. "This is someone who deeply believes in his worldview and what is best for America and I think he felt compelled to write something about the state of foreign policy in America and where our country is going."

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