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Trump lies about paying defense for sucker-punching supporter: ‘I didn’t say I was going to pay his fees’

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Donald Trump denied saying he would pay legal fees for a supporter who sucker-punched a black protester last week during a rally in North Carolina.

The Republican presidential candidate earlier this month told supporters in Michigan that he would “defend (them) in court” if they hurt protesters, and he said Sunday that he would consider paying defense costs for 78-year-old John McGraw — who was charged with disorderly conduct after he was caught on video punching a protester.

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“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it,” Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Just two days later, Trump flatly denied saying anything like that in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where host George Stephanopoulos asked whether he would send the message that he condones violence if he paid for McGraw’s legal defense.

“I don’t condone violence and I didn’t say I was going to pay for his fees,” Trump said Tuesday morning. “No, I didn’t say that. I haven’t looked at it yet, and nobody’s asked me to pay for fees and somebody asked me the question, and I haven’t even seen it. So I never said I was going to pay for fees, no.”

Stephanopoulos said he understood Trump had previously said only that he would look into paying for his supporter’s legal fees, and he asked again if his openness to assisting McGraw would essentially be rewarding violence.

“Well, maybe so, and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it — I don’t condone violence at all,” Trump said. “You know, I looked and I watched and I’m going to make a decision, but I certainly don’t condone violence and maybe you’re right, and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it.”

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Stephanopoulos asked whether he would tone down his rhetoric in the face of criticism that he incites violence against protesters at his rallies.

“Well, I don’t think I should be toning it down because, you know, I’ve had the biggest rallies of anybody probably ever, in terms of primaries, and there’s not even a contest, and we’ve had very, very little difficulty,” Trump said. “We closed down one in Chicago. Other than that, we’ve had very, very little difficulty, if you look at when you have 25,000 or even 35,000 people at these rallies — we’ve had very, very little difficulties.”

The reversal is reminiscent of when Trump tried to have it both ways just two weeks ago when a former Ku Klux Klan leader threw his support behind the GOP frontrunner.

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Trump refused to disavow white supremacist David Duke or the KKK in a Feb. 28 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, saying he would have to research the white supremacist groups before commenting on their support.

The following day, Trump blamed his wishy-washy reaction to a “very bad earpiece” that prevented him from understanding the question about Duke and the KKK.

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White nationalists were caught on video March 1 roughing up black protesters at a Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky.

Watch the interview posted online by ABC News:


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‘You don’t get to dictate terms’: Trump soundly mocked for demanding speedy resolution to impeachment

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President Donald Trump broke with his Republican defenders, who say impeachment is moving too fast, and demanded a quick resolution to the constitutional process.

House Democrats moved the impeachment process from the Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee after nearly two weeks of testimony, and Trump called for a speedy end to the matter.

"The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House," Trump tweeted. "They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy."

"Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business," he added. "We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to 'Clean the Swamp,' and that’s what I am doing!"

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InfoWars made up lies about Islamic community to help Alex Jones generate more traffic: former writer

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On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Josh Owens, a former staffer at the fringe conspiracy theory site InfoWars, admitted that his team knowingly promoted fake stories about Islamberg, a rural religious community founded by mostly Black Muslims from New York City on the border between New York and Pennsylvania.

According to Owens, InfoWars initially conducted interviews with people near the community, hoping that they would tell horror stories about a group of militants hellbent on enslaving America under Sharia law. Instead, locals described the people of Islamberg as "kind, generous neighbors." This wasn't a story Alex Jones would have been able to sell to his far-right conspiracy theorist audience — so, Owens said, his team decided to just lie.

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Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian lawmaker met this week to discuss Joe Biden conspiracy theories

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A Ukrainian lawmaker says he met in recent days with Rudy Giuliani to discuss a conspiracy theory involving Joe Biden.

Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine's parliament, said Thursday in a Facebook post that he met with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer to discuss the creation of an interparliamentary group to fight corruption and investigate the alleged misuse of U.S. taxpayer money by Ukraine's government, reported Reuters.

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