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Trump responds to Brussels attack by insulting the ‘city’ of Belgium — and calling for torture

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Donald Trump wasted no time launching off the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning to advocate for waterboarding, a method of torture that simulates drowning.

Speaking on the TODAY Show, Trump, the GOP front-runner, spoke to the hosts by phone about the suicide bombings in the Belgian capital that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

Trump was asked what he would do to get information out of Salah Abdeslam, the chief suspect in the terror attacks on Paris last year. He was captured by Belgian police earlier this week.

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“Frankly, waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we change the laws or have the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump said. “We work within laws. They don’t work within laws. They have no laws. The waterboarding would be fine and if they could expand the laws I would do a lot more than waterboarding.”

Many experts say torture, which is illegal, yields unreliable information.

When host Matt Lauer pointed out that the Belgian justice system is handling Abdeslam, Trump went on to say he believed Abdeslam should be turned over to military custody by Belgian police.

“That’s okay, I mean he’s being held by whoever. Let the military take him over, they have to get their act together,” Trump said. He continued to bash Belgium. “Belgium is no longer Belgium. Belgium is not the Belgium that you and I knew, Matt, from 20 years ago, which was one of the most beautiful cities and one of the safest cities in the world. Belgium is a horror show right now.”

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Watch Trump’s comments, as posted to YouTube, here:


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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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