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Dem ex-rival didn’t tell voters about Scalise’s racist pals because district has ‘a lot of bigots’

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The campaign manager of a Democrat who challenged U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana tipped off a blogger that the Republican lawmaker had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002.

However, Democrat Gilda Reed did not expose the meeting during the 2008 special election for the House seat because she believed it would not sway the district’s conservative electorate.

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“I felt strongly that it would not have walked,” Reed told Reuters on Wednesday. “I was running in a district with a lot of bigots.”

She lost to Scalise by more than 50 points.

Reed’s son and 2008 campaign manager, Robert Reed, alerted left-leaning blogger, Lamar White Jr., who broke the story that has caused turmoil for Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As Congress prepares to reconvene next week, Scalise, 49, has riled civil rights groups who demand he step aside for addressing the 2002 event hosted by the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO, founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

House Speaker John Boehner and other party leaders have supported Scalise.

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The 2008 special election to replace Representative Bobby Jindal, who resigned to assume the Louisiana governorship, marked the beginning of Scalise’s rapid ascension in Congress, where he is a leader in the Republican’s conservative wing.

Scalise has apologized for attending the event and said he was unaware of the group’s ideology.

Robert Reed said that shortly after his mother’s defeat to Scalise, he informed the state Democratic Party of Scalise’s participation in the EURO event. A party spokeswoman said the leadership had changed several times since 2008 and the current staff did not know what happened in 2008.

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Robert Reed said he contacted the blogger about three weeks ago because of Scalise’s rise to majority whip in June.

“I opened up my laptop and searched ‘Steve Scalise’ and ‘David Duke’ and within 35 seconds I found the Stormfront post,” said White, referring to a contemporaneous posting on a neo-Nazi website mentioning Scalise’s presence at the event.

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A few days later, White found a second post from the same Stormfront user that again mentioned Scalise’s attendance at the EURO event. The second post convinced him that they were genuine, and not planted by political foes, White said.

White posted his story linking Scalise to the EURO event on Sunday.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Marilyn Thompson and Lisa Shumaker)

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2020 Election

Andrea Mitchell knocks Biden for virtual convention speech: ‘How much does that damage the campaign?’

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MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell suggested to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden could "damage" his campaign by holding a virtual convention speech.

Mitchell made the remark after President Donald Trump said that he was considering holding his convention speech at the White House.

"Joe Biden is not going to Milwaukee," Mitchell told Pelosi. "How much does this damage the campaign?"

Pelosi disagreed by insisting that Democrats will hold a "great convention."

Mitchell then asked about Trump's plan to hold his convention speech at the White House.

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2020 Election

Trump’s psychiatric disturbance could destroy democracy if he wins a second term: clinical psychologist

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I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

Trump has shown little interest or intent in following our Constitution. He is not abiding by the emoluments clause. He breaks norms and rules at will. He does not recognize that the three branches of government are co-equal. He operates as if the executive branch has total power. Our democracy is not based on the executive branch having absolute power. It requires that the three branches have separate powers in a check-and-balances system. Trump impugns democracy because it limits his power and requires him to be held accountable.

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WATCH: Sally Yates clashes with Lindsey Graham for claiming Flynn was investigated over a policy difference

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Former acting attorney general Sally Yates testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, answering questions regarding former national security adviser, Michael Flynn and his being the subject of surveillance under a United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant, also known as a FISA warrant.

At one point, Yates went head-to-head with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who accused her of partaking in a conspiracy to prosecute Flynn over a policy difference.

"You weren't investigating a crime, were you?" Graham asked Yates.

"We were investigating a counter-intelligence threat," Yates responded.

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