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Trump boots top officials — but includes Steve Bannon — in reshuffled National Security Council

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In another series of executive orders on Saturday, Pres. Donald Trump restructured the National Security Council (NSC) and created a position on it for senior aide and former Breitbart.com CEO Stephen K. Bannon.

The Washington Post reported Saturday night that in addition to installing Bannon on the council, Trump ordered the Pentagon to come up with a strategy to defeat ISIS and conducted his first phone call with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and conducted calls with other heads of state.

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The Post reported that Bannon has been given a regular seat on the National Security Council’s principals committee, which will include the nation’s highest ranking security officials, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.

Unlike previous presidential administrations, Trump’s Saturday memo specified that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs will only attend principals committee meetings that pertain to their specific “responsibilities and expertise.”

The changes, Trump said, will bring “a lot of efficiency and, I think, a lot of additional safety.”

Bannon — who famously compared himself to Star Wars villain Darth Vader, former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and Satan — has already exerted a heavy hand over the formulation Trump’s foreign policy agenda, aides say, and is extending his influence ever deeper into the administration’s workings.

The former Goldman Sachs executive presided over the expansion of Breitbart.com from a fringe right-wing web community to a sprawling hub of the so-called “alt-right,” a collection of white nationalists, racists, anti-feminists and neo-Nazis.

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On the council, Bannon will be privy to some of the country’s most highly classified military and intelligence secrets. Typically membership on the council is reserved to the president and key administrators and is, as columnist and author Dan Froomkin said Saturday night “off limits to political hacks.”

This week, Bannon gave a contentious interview to the New York Times in which he urged the media to “keep its mouth shut and listen” and stop reporting negative stories about the new administration.

Many in the media, including CNN’s Jake Tapper and Christiane Amanpour let Bannon know that the U.S. media isn’t prepared to be so compliant to the administration’s wishes.

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Aside from Putin, Trump spoke on Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzu Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Pres. Francois Hollnde and others.

The call with Putin was described as “positive” and “congratulatory.”

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Trump-loving mayor faces furious backlash after shrugging off George Floyd killing: ‘That man died of overdose or heart attack’

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In a post to Twitter this Tuesday, the mayor of a Mississippi town asked: "Why in the world would anyone choose to become a police officer in our society today?"

The tweet from Mayor Hal Marx, which was in reference to the death of George Floyd, prompted another Twitter user to respond: "Would be nice to get a few in there that understand reasonable force, when it’s needed, and don’t give the rest of them a bad reputation."

But as the Hattiesburg American points out, it was Marx's response that set Twitter on fire.

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Trump rages at Twitter — but the social media outlet fears public opinion more than it fears the president

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In a landmark action, Twitter has for the first time attached independent fact-checking information directly to two tweets from President Donald Trump. The president’s tweets make false claims alleging that wider use of mail in ballots will result in an increase in voter fraud.

This is far from the first time Trump has posted falsehoods on Twitter. But it is the first time the social media company has taken action against his account.

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‘I’m entitled’: Kayleigh McEnany defends her 11 mail-in votes while calling it ‘fraud’ for the masses

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday faced questions from Fox News about why she had voted by mail 11 times even though President Donald Trump has called absentee ballots a "scam."

McEnany was asked about her voting history after the Tampa Bay Times reported that she had used mail-in voting nearly a dozen times in recent years.

"So why is it OK for you to do it?" Fox News host Ed Henry asked McEnany. "I understand you are traveling, you're in a different city. But how can you really be assured that your votes were counted accurately but when other people do it, it's fraud."

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