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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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Princeton historian delivers the definitive smackdown of Trump’s ‘insulting’ lynching tweet

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Princeton University History Professor Kevin Kruse on Tuesday delivered a thorough takedown of President Donald Trump's claim that House Democrats' impeachment inquiry represents a "lynching."

In calling the tweet "twelve different kinds of bullsh*t," Kruse began by discussing the constitutional mechanics of the impeachment process in the House that only require a bare majority of lawmakers to favor in order to advance. Concerns about due process in impeachment only come into play in the Senate, where the president is ensured a fair trial and where two-thirds of lawmakers are needed to convict the president and remove him from office.

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CNN panel busts Trump for ‘grotesque’ lynching comment in effort to create chaos before key impeachment hearing

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Moments after Donald Trump fired off a tweet calling his impending impeachment a "lynching" a CNN panel hammered the president for making the horrific comparison -- but also pointed out that the president's use of the word was timed for a very specific reason.

Admitting a reluctance to read Trump's tweets on the air, "New Day" host Alisyn Camerota nonetheless, recited the president's tweet, reading, "So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump tweeted. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” with obvious disgust.

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‘We’ve got a queer running for president!’ Tennessee official bursts into a racist, anti-gay rant at council meeting

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On Monday in Sevier County, Tennessee, during a county commission meeting to discuss a pending vote to become a gun sanctuary city, Commissioner Warren Hurst exploded in a racist, homophobic tirade that stunned onlookers.

"It's time we wake up people, it's time, it's past time," said Hurst, in footage originally captured by WVLT News. "We got a queer running for president, if that ain't about as ugly as you can get. Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to [Sevier County Sheriff] Hoss' jail and get better people out of there than those running for Democratic [sic] to be president of the United States."

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