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Obama crushes Anderson Cooper and ‘gun grab’ conspiracy theory once and for all

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Even CNN’s Anderson Cooper appeared to be a little surprised when he asked President Barack Obama whether it was really a conspiracy theory to suggest that he was out to force gun owners into giving up their firearms.

“A lot of people really believe this deeply. They just don’t trust you,” Cooper said.

“I’m sorry, Cooper. Yes, it is fair to call it a conspiracy,” Obama replied. “What are you saying? Are you suggesting the notion that we are creating a plot to take everybody’s guns away so that we can impose martial law is a conspiracy? Yes, that is a conspiracy. I would hope that you would agree with that. Is that controversial, except on some websites around the country?”

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The discussion was touched off by a sarcastic question from former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark on how the government could confiscate the 350 million guns under ownership in the US. Mark Giffords said that both gun lobbyists and lawmakers have insisted to them that expanding background checks on gun purchases was the first step toward a totalitarian government.

“There are certainly a lot of people who just have a fundamental distrust that you do not want to go further and further and further down this road,” Cooper said at one point.

“I’m only gonna be here for another year. When would I have started on this enterprise?” the president asked in response.

Watch the exchange, as aired on Thursday, below.

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White House pulls new FEMA nominee for barroom brawl — but not for his boss’ bribery

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow began her Wednesday show detailing that Jeff Byard, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead FEMA, has withdrawn his name from nomination because of an "altercation" previously reported.

Already Trump's FEMA is having problems because of the lead FEMA officials being named in serious bribery scandals. Byard's boss, in particular, is under a 10-count indictment. To make matters worse, a former deputy is also under indictment, but for a completely different case involving a 2013 Navy scandal.

"Any mystery around that part of the guy’s past would have been cleared up this past year in August when he was indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged involvement in that Navy bribery scheme," Maddow reported. "He was arrested thereafter."

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Congressman blasts Trump administration’s ‘lawless’ move to quash whistleblower: ‘He does not have the authority’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) previewed what he expects to learn about the developing Director of National Intelligence whistleblower scandal at the hearing with the inspector general on Thursday.

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White House is preparing for a ‘big fight’ with Congress over whistleblower scandal: CNN reporter

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," reporter Evan Perez said that the White House is gearing up for a showdown with the House Intelligence Committee over a whistleblower complaint of "urgent concern" for national security that President Donald Trump's officials appear to be covering up.

"Evan, this has been developing through the day. [Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff was very quiet, and now suddenly there's going to be this briefing, and what's really going to happen at the briefing tomorrow?" asked anchor Erin Burnett.

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