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WATCH: Jimmy Fallon makes Matt Lauer look like Jon Stewart in softball Trump interview

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Donald Trump stuck up for Matt Lauer — whose performance hosting NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum last week was roundly panned — during an interview with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Thursday.

“Frankly I thought Matt Lauer did a a fantastic job,” said Trump, who was widely believed to get a softer line of questioning during the event. “They’re trying to game the system by saying Trump won the debate because Matt Lauer wasn’t as tough on Trump as he was on Hillary Clinton. And that wasn’t it. I mean, he was tough on me and he was tough on her.”

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Instead of correcting him for misrepresenting the event as a debate, however, Fallon played along.

“We love Matt Lauer. We’re a fan of Matt Lauer here too,” the host said instead.

At one point, Fallon gave Donald Trump a presidential “job interview” as part of a wide-ranging interview on Thursday night, during which he discovered Trump’s back-up plan should he lose to Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.

“What will you do if you don’t get this position?” Fallon asked.

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“You know, I think I want to, more than anything ever, I want to take over The Tonight Show,” Trump answered.

“That’s not available,” Fallon quickly replied.

Earlier in the interview, the GOP presidential nominee also downplayed his gushing praise toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he described as being “far more” of a leader than US President Barack Obama.

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“I don’t know him. and I know nothing about him, really,” Trump claimed. “I just think if we got along with Russia, that’s not a bad thing and getting along with other countries. The Democrats try to say i like him somehow. I don’t like him. I don’t dislike him. I don’t have any feelings one way or the other.”

The first half of the interview can be seen here.

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And part two can be seen below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

Watch below:

Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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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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