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Dan Savage: Why would Santorum and Huckabee’s ‘imaginary gay friends’ invite them to their wedding?

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The real question is not whether Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin or other GOP presidential hopefuls would attend a same-sex wedding, columnist Dan Savage said on Tuesday — it’s how anybody believes they would be invited to one at all.

“When the anti-gay bigots like Rick Santorum are challenged on their anti-gay bigotry, or [Ted] Cruz or [Mike] Huckabee, they always point to their imaginary hypothetical gay friends who might apparently invite them to a gay wedding,” Savage told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “In Walker’s case it was his own sister, and that’s what’s so interesting about it.”

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Hayes played a clip of Walker telling MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt that he went to the reception for an unidentified relative, but not the actual wedding. Hayes described the response as the governor’s attempt to “thread a very fine needle” on the issue of marriage equality, which Savage said was pitting Republicans not just against progressives, but against their more conservative supporters.

“When it comes to flesh and blood and family versus base, a lot of Republicans are having a hard time now choosing base over family,” Savage argued. “And that’s really the whole trajectory of the LGBT civil rights movement right there in a nutshell.”

Another prospective GOP candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, told CNN he planned to attend a gay friend’s wedding despite his personal opposition to same-sex marriage, a stance Hayes said humanized Kasich while also painting him as an “ideological and philosopical basket case.”

“What the heck is the rationale for showing up at something that you think is some sort of deep violation that you think should be illegal?” Hayes asked.

Watch Hayes’ interview with Savage, as aired on MSNBC on Tuesday, below.

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‘He got caught!’: Adam Schiff gives impassioned condemnation of Trump to close out the day’s impeachment hearing

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When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was gaming out the plan for impeachment hearings, she took a somewhat surprising step by placing the Intelligence Community front and center in the proceedings as it pursues the Ukraine investigation. And on Tuesday, after a long day of testimony from four critical witnesses, Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivered an impassioned speech that exemplified why Pelosi entrusted the trying task of leading the effort to him.

Schiff thanked Ambassador Kurt Volker and White House aide Tim Morrison for their testimony, noting that Volker had debunked Republicans' attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Don Lemon notes the GOP panic after their own witnesses gave testimony harming Trump: ‘Worried much?’

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CNN anchor Don Lemon explained how witnesses called by Republicans in the impeachment inquiry destoryed the defenses employed by President Donald Trump and his allies.

"Now, let's just be honest, the shakedown -- that's exactly what it is -- the shakedown is exposed, people," Lemon said.

"And the evidence comes from the Republican's own witnesses," he noted. "The former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- who resigned just one day after the release of the whistleblower's report -- telling the president's defenders exactly what they did not want to hear."

"They called him apparently expecting him to say what he said in his closed-door testimony, that he saw no evidence of a quid pro quo, or let's call it for what it is again -- a shakedown," he continued. "Well, now he says he was wrong."

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NSC aide Morrison flounders as lawmaker asks why he reported Trump’s phone call if he didn’t think it was a big deal

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At the impeachment hearings on Tuesday, National Security Council aide Tim Morrison stressed that he didn't believe there was anything inappropriate about the call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But when Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) asked him why he reported the call to government lawyers, he had no answer.

"You responded to a series of questions about the call and saw nothing wrong with it, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to legal counsel to find out — I guess to find out what to do, because you were concerned about the political fallout, not about anything being appropriate or wrong with the call, is that correct?" asked Demings.

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