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Ex-Bush ethics lawyer: Donald Trump ‘will conform with the Constitution or we will remove him’

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Richard Painter, the former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, warned on Monday that Donald Trump “will be impeached” if he continues refusing to conform to the U.S. Constitution.

In a Monday interview on Australia’s ABC News, Painter said that he hoped that Trump would “figure this out” when it came to understanding the Constitution’s ban on receiving profits from foreign governments and the protections it gives to the rights of Americans.

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“He did what he needed to do to be a successful businessman, he figured that out and he now has to figure out how to be a successful president,” Painter explained. “But he is going to need to sell his business interests, he’s going to need to stop giving inflammatory speeches and not try to politicize our intelligence services.”

The former Bush adviser said the FBI and Director James Comey engaged in “illegal political activity before the election [and] we don’t want any more of that.”

“We want a president to be an effective president within the bounds set forth by the Constitution,” Painter continued. “A president who cannot do that will be impeached. But I don’t think Donald Trump is going to choose that route.”

Painter specifically cautioned Trump not to run afoul of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bans presidents from receiving things of value from foreign governments.

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“That also means the provisions of the constitution that protect Americans from discrimination based on their religious faith,” he continued. “We are not going to be keeping a registry of Muslims, we are not going to be deporting Muslims, we’re not going to be barring people from coming into our country because of their religion.”

“He is going to need to comply with the Constitution in order to be a good president, in order to remain as president. We will remove a president who cannot comply with the Constitution.”

Watch the video below from ABC 730.

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Elections 2016

Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson send anti-trans signals to Trump’s evangelical base

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While Trump grabs headlines, his Cabinet members quietly use transphobia to shore up white evangelical support

The white evangelical vote is almost certainly a lock for Donald Trump in 2020, but it appears the president is taking no chances of losing this critical voting block. One major part of that strategy appears to be quietly deploying his Cabinet members, especially those associated with the Christian right, to generate stories highlighting the Trump administration's overt bigotry toward trans people, and its eagerness to deprive trans Americans of basic rights.

Just this week, both Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson snagged coverage by making community visits that were ostensibly for noble purposes, but were clearly meant to signal to Christian right voters their hostility to trans rights.

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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