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CNN anchor left speechless after GOP lawmaker claims gutting ethics panel is ‘draining the swamp’

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A CNN anchor was left speechless after a Republican lawmaker claimed that weakening a nonpartisan ethics watchdog and placing it under congressional control was “draining the swamp.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) appeared Tuesday morning on “New Day” to discuss the measure, which requires the Office of Congressional Ethics to issue its reports to the lawmakers it’s tasked with investigating instead of releasing them directly to the public.

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“Any time you can provide more accountability and more transparency to any process that is in place, then you’re going to take another step toward draining the swamp,” Blackburn said, echoing a campaign promise by Donald Trump. “I am all for draining the swamp. I think that anyone who knows me knows that I’ve spent much of my career on reducing the size, the scope and the cost of the federal government, and in its place putting transparency and accountability.”

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said, if she’s worried about transparency, that Blackburn should understand why Democrats were concerned that the measure was passed without their input during a nighttime, closed-door meeting.

“Most people would say 5 o’clock in the afternoon is not at night,” Blackburn said, shrugging. “We could discuss that. It does start getting dark outside.”

Blackburn suggested congressional Democrats were hypocrites for holding a private strategy session with President Barack Obama.

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“The Democrats have their meeting behind closed doors also, and on Wednesday, when the president comes to talk to them about how to fight against the repeal of Obamacare, they’re going to do that one behind closed doors,” Blackburn said, punctuating her attack with a wink.

Camerota watched in stunned silence as Blackburn continued with a half-hearted defense of the GOP’s actions.

“The conferences meet together in a room, and that is where they have their conference meetings,” Blackburn said. “Each conference does that, and it is bipartisan and it is bicameral.”

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WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

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During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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