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NRA lobbyist shoots elephant in the face and then celebrates with champagne

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The NBC Sports network came under fire this week after it aired an NRA-sponsored program that included gun lobbyist Tony Makris shooting an elephant in the face and then drinking champagne.

Deadspin noted on Tuesday that the Botswana hunt had aired during this week’s episode of Under Wild Skies.

Makris is a longtime friend of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and is best known for orchestrating Charlton Heston’s rise within the organization.

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In a video of the hunt, Makris spots an elephant in the brush, walks up and shoots it in the the face twice. After a short chase, Makris fires again and the elephant is dead.

The NRA lobbyist then takes a moment to pose with his .577 “Tyrannosaur” rifle and the dead pachyderm.

As the episode ends, the group of hunters enjoys a glass of champagne while watching the sunset.

“To hunt an elephant and to harvest and elephant and to bring the ivory back to camp is a very, very special occasion,” one hunter says.

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Botswana announced in 2012 that an all-out ban on commercial elephant hunting would go into effect in January of 2014 over concerns of sharp declines in wildlife species.

The outrage over the NBC Sports broadcast comes as authorities in Zimbabwe this week said that poachers seeking ivory had used cyanide to poison at least 81 elephants.

Watch this video from NBC Sport, uploaded Sept. 24, 2013.

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(h/t: Jonathan Turley)

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‘Looks like the smoking gun’: Meghan McCain less skeptical of impeachment after Bill Taylor testimony

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Meghan McCain gave her strongest indication yet that President Donald Trump was doomed to impeachment, but she was in no mood to talk about it on her birthday.

The conservative host of "The View" turned 35 on Wednesday, a day after former Ukraine ambassador told lawmakers that President Donald Trump had directed efforts to freeze military aid to pressure the foreign ally to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

"This is just killing my vibe," McCain said. "I'm sorry, it's very bad."

"Look, I can't -- I just can't today," McCain said. "I'm so sorry. I would love to stay on this, but it's really bad. It looks like it's highly unethical, and it looks like the smoking gun. That's my political analysis for today. It's my 35th birthday, and I want to move on."

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Watch: All of Trump’s failed defenses for his Ukraine scandal

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CNN's Kate Bolduan on Wednesday reminded her viewers that Trump allies' defenses of the president throughout the Ukraine scandal have continued to evolve after new facts emerge that undercut their older defenses.

While talking with the New Yorker's Susan Glasser, Bolduan delivered an exhausted list of all the failed defenses that the president and his supporters have made to justify Trump's efforts to push Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

"First it was the president was trying to root out corruption when it came to Ukraine," she began. "Then it was there was no direct ask coming from the president. Then it was the whistleblower can't be trusted, then it was Schiff helped the whistleblower write the complaint so it can't be trusted, and then it was the president was joking, Republicans said, when he said on camera that he would like to see investigations. Then it was there was no quid pro quo because Ukraine didn't know the aid was being withheld... and now it's the process is unfair, so you can't impeach."

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Trump is ‘running out of game plan’ as damning facts pile up: Former GOP House Intel chair

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Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who previously served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the Trump White House's angry attacks on ambassador Bill Taylor reek of desperation.

After CNN's Jim Sciutto read the White House's statement accusing Taylor of being a "radical unelected bureaucrat," Rogers dismissed the statement as the act of a cornered administration.

"Bill Taylor is a well respected diplomat over his decades of service to the United States," he said. "When you go on this kind of extreme shouting, hair-on-fire criticism, you are running out of game plan. That's exactly what that tells me."

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