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Chuck Todd: Trump should have invited a ‘grieving Benghazi mother’ to debate instead of Flowers

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In a discussion with campaign consultants regarding the gamesmanship of Donald Trump inviting Bill Clinton’s former mistress to Monday night’s debate with Hillary Clinton, Meet The Press host Chuck Todd suggested the GOP nominee should have invited a “grieving” member from one of the Benghazi families.

Despite the fact that the Trump campaign has since said that Gennifer Flowers will not not be at the debate, host Todd asked Democratic consultant Stephanie Cutter how campaign advisers played head games with their candidate’s opponents.

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Cutter agreed with Clinton’s choice of Trump-critic and billionaire Mark Cuban, but ripped Trump for his invitation to Flowers, saying the blustery New York businessman was “swimming in the sewer.”

“What Clinton and Trump are doing is trying to throw each other off their game,” Cutter remarked. “The difference is, Hillary Clinton is doing it with a legitimate businessman and also a celebrity. And, as John Podesta put it earlier on your show, Trump is just jumping right down in the sewer and swimming in it by inviting Gennifer Flowers.”

After Cutter suggested that candidates should make a “legitimate point about your opponent,” host Todd had a suggestion of his own.

Turning to former McCain campaign manger Steve Schmidt, Todd said, “It would have made more sense to me if Trump had responded by bringing  a grieving mother of one of the Benghazi, one of the Benghazi grieving family members. That seems to be the counter that would have made a policy sense.”

Todd failed to mention that multiple GOP-led investigations into the loss of four men in Benghazi in 2012 — including Ambassador Christopher Stevens — found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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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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