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Koch stooges booed off stage in disastrous attempt to meddle in Montana’s Medicaid debate

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Zach Lahn, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Montana, speaks at a town hall in Dillon (Facebook)

Dozens of voters shouted down paid staffers from a Koch brothers advocacy group that targeted a Montana Republican lawmaker who is open to expanding Medicaid in his state.

State Rep. Frank Garner has refused to sign a blanket pledge against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and Americans for Prosperity-Montana is campaigning against him and two other lawmakers — state Reps. Jeff Welborn and Tom Berry — who have done the same.

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The Koch-sponsored group is blanketing their House districts with mailers that show each lawmaker’s face superimposed over a photograph of President Barack Obama.

About 100 people turned out for a town hall meeting Thursday in Kalispell that was promoted by AFP, and Garner traveled eight hours from Helena to speak with his constituents after a reporter told him about the event, reported the Flathead Beacon.

“I support their right to have an opinion. I just didn’t like how they did it,” Garner said. “They didn’t even extend the courtesy of telling me about the meeting. What does that say about their intentions?”

Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock wants to accept federal money to expand coverage to 70,000 low-income Montana residents, but the Republican statehouse majority opposes the measure.

However, some GOP lawmakers, including Garner, have refused to dismiss the proposal outright and remain open to some type of expansion of health care coverage.

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Garner, the former police chief in Kalispell, said he understands his constituents better than an out-of-state group.

Voters frequently interrupted the AFP presentation with laughter, booing, and other jeers from Garner’s supporters.

“You have pissed me off,” one voter said. “Character assassination does not go down well in Montana. If he has to take a pledge then I want it to be the Pledge of Allegiance, because they don’t represent you, they represent me.”

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Another voter challenged AFP’s activists to explain what they were up to and harshly rebuked their bosses.

“Why did you call this a town hall meeting?” said voter Nathan Kosted. “I didn’t get an invite. I wish I’d been invited, because I want to know how we get the Koch Brothers out of politics. I want to know how we get you out of politics.”

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AFP-Montana’s state director, Zach Lahn, insisted the meeting was intended to send a message to lawmakers about what he described as a bad policy – but Garner dismissed the claim as absurd.

“If the purpose is to make sure legislators know, then why am I the only one here? And why didn’t I get an invite?” Garner said as voters cheered.

“I promised the people here when I ran that I would listen to you and not out-of-town special interests,” Garner said to wild applause. “If every time they want me to sign a pledge card and I don’t do it they are going to rent a room and have a meeting, then this is going to get real expensive — because I’m not signing the pledge card.”

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Trump ‘is aiding and abetting Putin’s efforts’: HR McMaster

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During an appearance on MSNBC this Thursday, former National Security advisor to President Trump, H.R. McMaster, was asked if President Trump is posing a greater threat to the 2020 election than Vladimir Putin.

McMaster said that he agrees Trump is "aiding an abetting Putin's efforts" by not directly "calling out Putin for what he's doing."

The retired lieutenant general also addressed what many say is President Trump's refusal to directly condemn white supremacist groups, saying he "missed a huge opportunity" and that it should be "super easy to condemn white supremacists."

Watch the full segment below:

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2020 Election

These were the 6 most revealing moments from Tuesday night’s debate as Trump unleashed a torrent of rage

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The first presidential debate was as horrific as we feared it would be. We were barely able to hear a word from Joe Biden or moderator Chris Wallace thanks to Trump’s incessant interruptions and nonstop insults. Here are the six most revealing moments:

1.Trump refused to disavow white supremacy.

He reiterated his baseless claims that anti-fascist groups and left-wing organizers were the ones causing violence – a narrative contradicted by multiple studies and his own national security officials. The violence Trump claims is the greatest threat facing our country does not exist. The latest draft of the Department of Homeland Security’s threat assessment report characterizes white supremacy as the “most persistent and lethal threat” to national security.

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‘Seriously?’ Melania Trump ripped for honoring ‘Substance Abuse Prevention’ as president and Don Jr mock Hunter Biden

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Melania Trump marked National Substance Use Prevention Month with a video message, but other social media users noted the statement came as her husband and stepson publicly mock a recovering addict.

The first lady posted the video Thursday morning on her Twitter account, after President Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden to attack his son's struggles with substance abuse and Donald Trump Jr. called Hunter Biden a "crackhead."

This October I am honoring National Substance Use Prevention Month by joining @ONDCP to highlight the dedicated efforts of our Nation's youth to encourage healthy drug-free lives. Share how you are helping your community using #BeDrugFree - we look forward to hearing from you! pic.twitter.com/DiMTCsk9Si

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