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Rachel Maddow debunks Trump’s ego trip: Putin called him ‘flamboyant’ — not ‘brilliant’

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow put to rest on Thursday Donald Trump’s idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin called him “brilliant.” And she was upset that she even had to.

“This is an election year where the Republican Party is running as their candidate for president a candidate who is so self-centered and narcissistic that a flippant — and apparently misquoted — compliment from another foreign leader was enough to put enough stars in his eyes that the Republican Party’s presidential nominee now really does say that he prefers the president of Russia to the president of the United States,” she fumed. “This is crazy. And it’s irrelevant. But this is the highest level of our politics right now.”

A night earlier, Maddow’s colleague Matt Lauer presented as fact that Putin called Trump “a brilliant leader” during their interview at the “Commander-in-Chief forum” aired on the network.

“Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, OK?” Trump responded.

But Maddow played footage of Putin himself correcting CNN’s Fareed Zakaria earlier this year regarding the matter, telling him, “I only said that he is a bright person. Isn’t he bright?”

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However, even that description was lost in translation. Maddow explained that had Putin meant to call Trump “brilliant” because of his intellect, he would have used the word “blestiashchlii.” Instead, he used the adjective “yarkii,” which is closer to calling him brightly-colored or flamboyant.

“And you know what? It really shouldn’t matter,” she said. “On the one hand, who cares? On the other hand, we now have to. Because this is an election where the Republican presidential campaign at the number-one online ‘debunker’ of 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing and the Challenger disaster, and the Aurora movie theater massacre, and the Sandy Hook shootings, and the Boston bombings because ‘all of those things didn’t really happen — they’re all government conspiracy theories.'”

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

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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