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Trump’s pick for Interior secretary has links to neo-Confederate group that inspired Dylann Roof

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Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Interior has gotten donations from white supremacists and endorsed them in political races.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), like chief of staff Steve Bannon, brings troubling ties to organized hate groups to the Republican president-elect’s inner circle, reported Fusion.

Zinke made news during his 2014 election campaign when he accepted a $500 donation from Earl Holt, head of the Council of Conservative Citizens, whose writings about “brutal black on white murders” inspired Dylann Roof, who gunned down nine black worshipers the following year in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

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A spokeswoman for Zinke later said the congressman would donate that contribution to a fund for the victims’ families.

The website also reported he co-sponsored legislation to designate English as the official language in the U.S., and he discussed the bill in an interview with the anti-immigrant ProEnglish organization, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Zinke endorsed a Montana statehouse candidate who was active in a white nationalist group as a student at Liberty University and has extensive ties to European right-wing extremists.

Taylor Rose, the former vice president of the Youth for Western Civilization, lost his election race but garnered 47 percent of the vote, but he boasted that Zinke’s support — along with the backing of a couple of other Republicans — made him a mainstream candidate despite his racist writings, which were promoted by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Rose’s campaign website claims he managed U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ (R-MT) “campaign in the Northwest,” and he also claims he worked for state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, the vice-chair of the Montana Republican Party and CEO of the Koch-linked American Lands Council.

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Greg Gianforte, who lost his Republican gubernatorial race, gave Rose $170 in campaign contributions, and he got the same amount from GOP state Sen. Mark Blasdel.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, has said he may consider running for the congressional seat vacated by Zinke.

The state’s Democratic Party called on GOP officials to denounce Spencer’s campaign, but they were a bit more reticent.

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“I’m guessing most quarters of the Republican Party in Montana would look skeptically at Mr. Spencer,” said Jeff Essmann, the state’s GOP chairman.

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Mitch McConnell just gave Democrats a huge gift — by publicly tainting any acquittal of Trump: columnist

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It seems all but inevitable that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will end with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mustering the votes to block conviction, no matter what the evidence says and no matter whether Democrats successfully bring in new witnesses and documents.

But McConnell has already handed a victory to Democrats in one key aspect, wrote columnist E. J. Dionne for the Washington Post. His handling of the trial has removed any possibility that impeachment will bolster the president's approval — and emboldened Democrats to take their case to the American people as hard as they can. Indeed, wrote Dionne, Democrats "owe a debt" to McConnell.

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Here is how Jason Crow ‘pulled rank’ on John Roberts — and exposed the Chief Justice’s bias

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Former Army Ranger Jason Crow repeatedly drew upon his experience serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during his prosecution of President Donald Trump as an impeachment manager.

Crow, who was awarded the Bronze Star and retired as a Captain, attended law school after his military service before successfully winning a seat in Congress during the 2018 midterm elections.

Elie Mystal, a justice correspondent for The Nation magazine, explained how Crow pulled rank on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Mystal broked down how Crow put Roberts in his place with the subtle question of whether senators were getting restless and needed a break.

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Ted Cruz smacked down by ex-FBI agent for suggesting Trump’s Ukraine scheme was about anti-corruption

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Despite the fact that it is now clear that President Donald Trump did not care if Ukraine investigated former Vice President Joe Biden's family, but just wanted them to announce that they were heading into election season, some Republicans are still attempting to claim that his scheme to illegally withhold military funds until they did so served a legitimate purpose in stamping out global corruption.

One such Republican is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who took to Twitter to argue this point:

A reminder of what this is all about: any president -- any administration -- is justified in investigating corruption.

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