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Onetime Bachmann opponent declares mission ‘accomplished’ as he drops out

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Jim Graves, the independent candidate who nearly unseated Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), indefinitely suspended his campaign on Friday for Minnesota’s 6th congressional seat, according to MinnPost.

“After meeting with my closest family members, friends and supporters, we he have decided to suspend Jim Graves for Congress indefinitely,” Graves said in a statement published by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “This was never about Jim Graves; this was about challenging the ineffective leadership and extremist ideology of Michele Bachmann on behalf of those she represents. As of Wednesday, that goal was accomplished, and our supporters should be incredibly proud of that accomplishment.”

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Bachmann announced in a YouTube video published overnight on Wednesday that “after a great deal of thought and deliberation,” she would no longer be seeking re-election to Congress in 2014. “I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year, who recently announced he is once again running. … And rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff. It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign.”

“I don’t know everything that went into her decision,” Graves said in an interview with MinnPost, “Obviously something happened to cause her to believe that she shouldn’t run again. We’re very happy she dropped out. The country can do better.”

He also told MinnPost he didn’t see any future in politics. “I’m not a politician; I’m a business guy,” he told the website. “Now there are zero things on my agenda that I feel a need to do in public life.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Bachmann secured a victory over Graves in 2012 with just 4,296 votes, nearly 6 percentage points less than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney secured in the district.

Graves is responsible for founding the AmericInn hotel chain in 1979 and sold the chain for an undisclosed amount in 1993. The Press estimates his net worth to be somewhere between $22 million and $111 million, based upon financial disclosure forms he filled out for the 2012 election.

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(h/t TPM)

[Jim Graves speaks at St. Cloud State University on Nov. 4, 2012 by Flickr user ericadamaustin]

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Trump spent 45 minutes talking with cast of right-wing play dramatizing ‘Deep State’ conspiracy theories: report

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The coronavirus emergency has given President Donald Trump one of the most daunting tests of his administration, with less than a year to go before he stands for re-election.

And yet in the midst of all the chaos, one thing the president found time to do on Thursday was meet with the cast of a bizarre right-wing play dramatizing the supposed "deep state" plot at the FBI to frame Trump in the Russia investigation.

According to The Daily Beast, Trump spent 45 minutes talking with the people behind "FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers," which focuses on the affair between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The leading roles of Strzok and Page were played by Dean Cain, the former Superman actor, and Kristy Swanson, who played the starring role in the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

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All US Navy ships in the Pacific near countries with coronavirus ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days

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CNN National Security reporter Ryan Browne tweeted Thursday that the U.S. Navy has ordered all of its vessels in the Pacific that have been near countries with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, "to remain at sea for at least 14 days before pulling into another port in order to monitor sailors for any symptoms of the virus."

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‘Most wicked to ever represent Cleveland’: Jim Jordan ripped by hometown paper for covering up sex scandal

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President Trump likes to call his enemies 'sleaze bags" and Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan a "warrior," but according to Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin, Trump has it backward.

While Jordan may not seem like the worse politician to ever come out of Ohio, the "crimes" he's committed "don't involve felonies," according to Larkin. "They are crimes against America, crimes involving total disregard for the principles of democracy, trampling the truth on behalf of a corrupt president who revels in his inhumanity."

Watching Jordan question witnesses during the House impeachment inquiry particularly incensed Larkin, who writes that it was like watching a man who "spent his childhood gleefully ripping wings off flies."

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