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Maddow: Debating Sanders is ‘a hat trick, grand slam and slam dunk’ all at once for Trump

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Thursday that the prospect of a debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump was “a hat trick, a grand slam and a slam dunk all in one” for the Republican presidential nominee.

“In fact, the better Bernie Sanders looks in a debate with Donald Trump, the better it is in the long run for Donald Trump. Because that would only elevate Bernie Sanders’ standing in the ongoing Democratic primary — which is still ongoing,” she said.

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While Sanders has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she said, Trump faces no risk at all after garnering the necessary 1,237 delegates for his party more than a month before the GOP convention in Cleveland.

She also found it “very strange” that Democrats could allow Trump to hijack their party’s primary, comparing it to the prospect of President Barack Obama agreeing in 2012 to debate Newt Gingrich instead of then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the Republican primary campaign.

“It would have been a hilarious, hilarious play in the other party’s primary,” she said. “A giant cross-party dirty trick.”

Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Thursday, below.

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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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