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Rand Paul: #BlackLivesMatter should change their name to ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Innocent Lives Matter’

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) criticized the Black Lives Matter movement on Wednesday, accusing it of “bullying people.”

“I think they should change their name maybe, if they were ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Innocent Lives Matter,'” Paul told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I am about justice, and frankly I think a lot of poor people in our country, and many African-Americans, are trapped in this war on drugs and I want to change it. But commandeering the microphone and bullying people and pushing people out of the way I think really isn’t a way to get their message across.”

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Members of the movement have often pointed out that using the phrase “all lives matter” is a means for opponents to downplay the number of black deaths as a result of excessive force by law enforcement officials. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was booed when he used the phrase “every life matters” during the Netroots Nation progressive conference earlier this month. He later apologized for doing so.

The protest at Netroots touched off a series of appearances by activists connected to the movement at events featuring O’Malley and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, as well as GOP candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Protesters also met with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after reportedly being blocked from attending one of her events.

Both Paul and Hannity also talked up the Tea Party senator’s outreach efforts to black communities.

“I’ve appeared with many members of the Congressional Black Caucus to talk about criminal justice,” the senator said. “I’ve been to Howard University, I’ve discussed it in Chicago and other cities, and so I’m more than willing to discuss it. But having people take the microphone — they need to go somewhere else and they need to rent their own microphone.”

Paul did not mention that he tried to argue to a Howard student that bringing up Republican voter suppression efforts in the present day was demeaning to the civil rights movement.

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Watch the interview, as aired on Wednesday, below.

[h/t Buzzfeed]

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Devin Nunes defends discredited Hill columnist John Solomon in bonkers opening statement

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) delivered a bonkers opening statement on Tuesday in which he attacked the mainstream media while praising a former columnist for The Hill whose work has been widely discredited by multiple witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.

Columnist John Solomon, whose debunked opinion columns about Ukraine helped Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani spread conspiracy theories about Ukraine supposedly being responsible for interference in the 2016 presidential election, has come under heavy criticism and The Hill announced this week that it would conduct a factual review of all his past work on Ukraine.

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Trump did ‘real damage’ to himself with attack on Yovanovitch and he’ll be watching again today: NYT’s Haberman

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Appearing on CNN's "New Day," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman stated that Donald Trump did serious damage to his defense against impeachment when he attacked former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on Twitter as she testified last week and added she fully expected the president to watch Tuesday's hearing with interest.

Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, Haberman was asked what the American public can expect from the president on Tuesday as Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer who works on the National Security Council testify.

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Vindman will be the ‘crucial witness’ — and GOP smears against him will be ‘self-defeating’: Ex-prosecutor

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former federal proseuctor Elie Honig walked through the importance of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's upcoming testimony in the impeachment hearings.

"He's going to be a crucial witness," said Honig. "The crux of Vindman's testimony has to do with Gordon Sondland, who we know was in direct contact with President Trump. Vindman has testified before that Sondland discussed what the deliverable would be — that's an important word — in order to get the meeting. He talked about the investigation into the Bidens, that the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens. That goes right to the quid pro quo. Now also, of course, Vindman listened to that July 25 phone call live, and his reaction was that this was about getting a White House meeting. It was a demand for him to fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting. Again, that goes to the central corrupt exchange here."

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