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Tennessee Republican kicked out of state House for sexually harassing 22 women

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A Tennessee lawmaker was expelled from the state’s House of Representatives on Tuesday following accusations of widespread sexual harassment, media reported.

Republican state Representative Jeremy Durham was ousted by a vote of 70-2, according to the Tennessean newspaper, which said this was the state’s first legislative expulsion since 1980.

Durham did not immediately respond to request for comment. The Tennessean reported that Durham said no formal complaint had been filed against him and that he has not been charged with a crime.

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“I’m very pleased that the House made the decision it did today. This was good for the taxpayers of the state. It was good for the victims of the state,” the newspaper quoted House Speaker Beth Harwell as saying.

A spokeswoman for Harwell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A report released by Tennessee’s attorney general in July accused Durham of inappropriate sexual conduct with 22 women over a four-year period. The report said Durham repeatedly made unwelcome sexual advances toward female legislative staff, interns and lobbyists.

Durham declined to be interviewed by investigators, the report said. His lawyer, Bill Harbison, said at the time that the report was politically motivated and unfair.

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Harbison could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.

The chairman of Tennessee’s Republican Party, Ryan Haynes, said on Tuesday: “I am saddened that all of my former colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, have been placed in this terrible position by the reprehensible misbehavior of one individual.”

(Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville and Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Writing by Timothy Mclaughlin; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Fox News launches desperate clean up effort after Mulvaney acknowledges Ukraine quid pro quo

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Several Fox News hosts embarked on a large cleanup effort Thursday night in the hours after acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that President Donald Trump withheld millions in military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the country to launch an investigation that could benefit him politically.

This article was originally published at Salon

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Pompeo now regrets not defending Ukraine ambassador as scandal ensnares the State Department: report

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Sources are saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become frustrated by the loss of some top officials and regrets his failure to defend the former ambassador to the Ukraine from a smear campaign.

One source said Pompeo failed to get involved because he was afraid of upending U.S.-Ukraine policy and be pushed out of the administration like former national security adviser John Bolton, reported CNN.

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Trump’s selfish betrayal of the Kurds is not just outrageous — it’s criminal

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Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria may well be remembered as one of the most egregious and inhuman disasters that he has ever taken since he came to power. For a President of the United States to make such a critical decision with so many implications, simply based on a conversation with Turkish President Erdogan, not only shows his shortsightedness and total lack of strategic approach, but his inability to appreciate how that will adversely affect our friends and please our foes. We are already witnessing the unfolding disaster, and there are no words to explain how and by what logic the President of the United States in particular can take such critical steps, knowing how disastrous the repercussions of his actions would be.

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