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Coburn: Medicare and Social Security ‘are things we don’t absolutely need’

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Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is encouraging Democrats to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits because the programs are “things we don’t absolutely need.”

Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopolous on Sunday about the so-called fiscal cliff, Coburn said that he would be willing to accept tax hikes for the top 2 percent of earners if Democrats and President Barack Obama agreed to reform Social Security and Medicare.

The ABC host pointed out that Obama’s health care reform law had already achieved about $716 billion in Medicare savings and many Republicans — including former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — ran against those cuts.

“The $700 billion in savings doesn’t save the government a penny because what it does is takes that $700 billion and spends it on other people,” Coburn insisted. “We’ve seen the president demand that we’re going to solve 7 percent of this problem [with tax hikes on the rich] but he’s totally inflexible on the other 93 percent.”

“It doesn’t really matter what happens at the end of this year because ultimately the numbers and the bond holders throughout the world will determine what we’ll spend and what we won’t. So, we can play the political game that is being played out in Washington right now or we can be absolutely honest with the American people and say, ‘Medicare is going bankrupt, Social Security disability will be bankrupt in two years, Social Security trust fund will be bankrupt in five years, Social Security total will be bankrupt in 16,17 years.'”

“The fact is we are spending money we don’t have on things we don’t absolutely need,” he concluded. “And there’s no grownups in Washington that will say, ‘Timeout, stop the politics, let’s have a compromise rather than play the game through the press and hurt the country.’ We’re already going to get another debt downgrade just from what’s happening now because nobody in positions of power are willing to do what’s important and necessary for our country.”

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Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Dec. 9, 2012.

 
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‘To know Trump is to hate Trump’: biographer says that even ‘Ivanka despises him’

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On Monday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," The Art of the Deal co-author Tony Schwartz told anchor Chris Hayes that President Donald Trump is so isolated at this point that even his eldest daughter can't stand him anymore.

"To know Trump is to hate Trump," said Schwartz. "Meaning everybody who knows him, deep down, hates him completely."

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Trump campaign frantically announces new ‘polls’ to counter data that shows him losing — but there’s one problem

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Frantically trying to contain the embarrassment after President Donald Trump fired his own internal pollsters for showing him trailing Democrats in key states he previously carried, the Trump campaign is now trying to claim that the bad polls are relying on old numbers and they have newer data that is much more favorable to the president.

But as CNN's Abby Phillip explained on Tuesday evening to anchor John Berman, there's a major problem with the new numbers — they aren't actually matching Trump up with Democrats.

"Despite what the president said publicly about this polling being fake, your sources tell a different story," said Berman.

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‘They don’t trust him’: Ex-CIA operative says intel officials’ efforts to conceal information from Trump is ‘stunning’

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On Monday, former CIA officer Bob Baer told CNN's Erin Burnett that he had never heard of a situation before like the new reports that intelligence officials concealed information from President Donald Trump about efforts to plant malware in the Russian power grid.

"It is pretty stunning, the reporting here that they didn't tell him everything that they were doing because they were worried that he would tell the Russians themselves or make them stop doing it," said Burnett. "Could you imagine a scenario like this?"

"Never," said Baer. "In all my years in intelligence and around it and studying it and the rest, I have never heard of an operation intentionally kept away from the president. It just doesn't happen, ever. I know of no circumstances, and I'm talking 50, 60 years, that this has ever occurred."

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