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Trump’s head of black outreach: Rally-goers blurt N-word to show ‘frustration with the system’

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Ashley Bell, Donald Trump’s newly-appointed director of African-American outreach, said on Wednesday that he did not intend to excuse the use of the N-word and other epithets at campaign rallies by suggesting that it was only a reflection of supporters’ “frustration with the system.”

On Wednesday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Bell if racial slurs and hateful rhetoric at Trump’s rallies would make it more difficult to bring aboard black voters.

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Cuomo pointed to a recent uncensored New York Times video of Trump supporters which, according to the paper, “provides eye-opening examples of how Trump supporters often express their views in angry and provocative ways. As viewers are alerted before the video starts, it contains vitriolic language and racial and ethnic slurs.”

In a clip of the video presented to Bell on Wednesday, a Trump supporter could be heard yelling “Fuck that n****r” in reference to President Barack Obama.

“How do you explain to a non-white voter that this atmosphere that is often — not once, not twice, not three times — is often in play at Trump events?” the CNN host wondered. “That that’s nothing for them to be worried about, that this is your home?”

Bell asserted that Democratic rallies included “frustrated young black voters, members of a different movement upset at the Clintons because of the failed criminal justice policies of the ’90s. I heard a lot of them frustrated saying a lot of awful things.”

“But that’s not a reflection of Hillary Clinton’s campaign as much as it is the frustration of America, he continued. “The frustration on both sides — black and white are frustrated with the system.”

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“So you can’t just look at that group and say that’s a reflection on Donald Trump,” Bell concluded. “It’s a reflection of the frustration. The reason he’s our nominee is because people are frustrated. Because they don’t want another insider, another secretary of the status quo.”

Update: In a statement to Raw Story on Wednesday, Bell said that the idea “that a black person would not condemn the N word is offensive and ridiculous.”

“During my interview this morning on CNN, I was not in studio,” Bell explained. “I was via satellite and could not see what was being played live. The audio was bleeped out on the clip. All that could be heard were angry voices. My comments were about that frustration and the frustration of many Americans with the status quo.”

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A spokesperson for Bell also clarified to Raw Story that Bell condemns epithets targeting Hispanics and any other racial slurs in the New York Times video.

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Aug. 10, 2016.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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