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Obama expected to nominate Ashton Carter to lead Pentagon

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U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter as U.S. defense secretary, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Carter, a former deputy secretary at the Department of Defense, had been considered a leading candidate for the job to replace Chuck Hagel, who is resigning.

A Pentagon spokesman said he was unaware of a decision and referred reporters to the White House, which had no immediate comment on the report. A spokeswoman for Carter also had no immediate comment.

Other names have been circulated as a possible replacement for Hagel, including former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig and Kurt Campbell, a former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs who now heads the Asia Group, a strategy and capitol advisory group.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former general counsel at the Pentagon who had been believed to be under active consideration, took himself out of consideration, according to a source familiar with the situation.

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Carter was the No. 2 official at the Pentagon from October 2011 to December 2013. Previously, he was the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer.

He also served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under President Bill Clinton.

Carter has bachelor’s degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar, according to the Pentagon website.

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Hagel resigned under pressure last week after less than two years at the helm of the Defense Department.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Andrea Shalal and Bill Trott; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jeffrey Benkoe)


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2020 Election

Trump’s racist attacks on Dem lawmakers are a test run in case he faces Kamala Harris in 2020: MSNBC contributor

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Speaking with host Alex Witt on Sunday afternoon, an MSNBC contributor speculated that Donald Trump's racist attack on four female Democrats -- none of whom are white -- was a test run to see how far he can go attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) should she be his opponent in the 2020 general election.

According to Democratic strategist Don Calloway, Trump may not have a grand strategy, but he's in "campaign mode" which brings out his barely concealed inner-racist.

"I'm not one to ascribe a strategy to the president when it's clear he's not a deep thinker, but he is, however, in campaign mode," he explained. "I see this as a good campaign device for him to gin up his base, fueled by the xenophobia and race-based hatred."

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Here’s how lawyers enabling Trump’s obstruction can have their livelihoods stripped from them — by anyone

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In a column for the Daily Beast, a former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives laid out a simple way to force lawyers advising aides to Donald Trump to defy Congressional subpoenas -- or avoiding one themselves -- to stop giving bad advice by moving to have them disbarred.

According to Brad Miller, who represented North Carolina in Congress between 2003 and 2013, the way in which former President Bill Clinton's impeachment was handled -- and the penalty he eventually received -- is a road map for legal retaliation even if Democrats in Congress won't do it.

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Lara Trump snarls at critics of ‘send her back’ for pushing a ‘biased, racially-charged narrative’

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Lara Trump, the wife of President Donald Trump's son Eric, has accused CNN anchor Anderson Cooper of pushing a "biased, racially-charged narrative" after he criticized her recent defense of the Trump administration over the "send her back" scandal.

This article first appeared on Salon.

"Anyone insinuating that there was some premeditated plan to orchestrate the “send her back” chant is obviously desperate to continue pushing a biased, racially-charged narrative. #FakeNews," Trump posted to her Twitter account on Saturday. She included a link to the Washington Examiner, a right-leaning newspaper which included a quote from Cooper blasting Trump for supposedly "lying" about her role in whipping up a crowd to chant "send her back" about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

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