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Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa mocks Trump as a ‘clown and a racist’

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Peruvian Nobel prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa said on Tuesday that Donald Trump was a “clown” and a “racist” who would doom the Republican party to defeat if it chose him as its candidate for November’s U.S. presidential election.

“He is a danger to the United States,” said Vargas Llosa, who himself ran as a center-right candidate for the Peruvian presidency in 1990.

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“It is a country that is too important for the rest of the world to have in the White House a clown, a demagogue and a racist like Mr Trump,” he told a news conference in Madrid to launch his new novel, “Cinco esquinas” (“Five Corners”).

Trump, the frontrunner in the Republican primaries, has said he wants to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and deport 11 million illegal immigrants. He also suggested, at his campaign launch last June, that Mexican immigrants were rapists and drug dealers.

Vargas Llosa said Trump’s “seemingly unstoppable” campaign would guarantee another term for the Democratic party.

“Hillary Clinton surely will win a massive victory if the Republican candidate is Donald Trump,” he said.

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Vargas Llosa, 79, won the Nobel Literature Prize in 2010 and now lives mainly in Madrid. He is known for books such as “The Time of the Hero” that explore Latin America’s structures of political power.

(This version of the story corrects translation in headline and first and third paragraphs to “racist” from “fascist”)

(Reporting by Angus Berwick; Editing by Sonya Dowsett and Kevin Liffey)

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Elections 2016

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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