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Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez picked to head DNC

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U.S. Democrats elected former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as chairman on Saturday, choosing a veteran of the Obama administration to lead the daunting task of rebuilding the party and heading the opposition to Republican President Donald Trump.

Members of the Democratic National Committee, the administrative and fundraising arm of the party, picked Perez on the second round of voting after one of the most crowded and competitive party leadership elections in decades.

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Perez will face challenges in trying to unify and rejuvenate a party still reeling from the Nov. 8 loss of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and anxious to channel the growing grassroots resistance to Trump into political support for Democrats at all levels of government across the country.

“We are suffering from a crisis of confidence, a crisis of relevance,” Perez, a favorite of former Obama administration officials, told DNC members. He promised to lead the fight against Trump and change the DNC’s culture to make it a more grassroots operation.

Perez beat top challenger U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who was backed by liberal leader U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, on a 235-200 vote. Perez is the son of Dominican immigrants, while Ellison is the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.

The showdown between candidates backed by the establishment and progressive wings of the party echoed the bitter 2016 primary between Clinton and Sanders, a rift Democrats will try to put behind them as they turn their focus to fighting Trump.

(Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Mary Milliken and Diane Craft)

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Mike Pompeo under increasing scrutiny as as Trump impeachment ramps up: report

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On Saturday, WVAS Radio's Scott Simon profiled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — and how the impeachment investigation is shaping his political situation.

"As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump continues its march through Congress, questions are churning around his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo," wrote Simon. "For example, did he know, as witnesses testified before House investigators, that President Trump sought political favors from Ukraine in exchange for millions in U.S. assistance? Why did he take days to reveal he was on the now infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy? And does he believe allies of the president who — despite the findings of the intelligence community — claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election?"

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Mitch McConnell’s effort to sabotage Trump impeachment could hit this brick wall

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his GOP allies have signaled that they might pass a highly partisan set of rules designed to sabotage an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which might include everything from time limits on Democrats trying to submit evidence, to a parallel public investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden to make Trump's Ukraine behavior look legitimate.

But on MSNBC's "AM Joy," justice and security analyst Matthew Miller walked host Joy Reid through how difficult such a package of rules could be to pass — and how even a small defection of senators from his caucus could block it.

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World leaders mocked Trump because they’re tired of his ‘center of attention’ act: MSNBC guest

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During an MSNBC segment on President Donald Trump's abrupt departure from NATO talks in London after video was released of world leaders making fun of him, an MSNBC guest said those same leaders have become tired of his act.

Speaking with host David Gura, the LA Times Eli Stokols said international diplomats have realized there is no dealing with the president who is in his own world and just wants attention..

"Your colleague had a great line: 'This is a president who views norms like a teenager views curfews,'" Gura began.

"Well, he likes going to these things and blowing them up and being the center of attention," Stokols replied.

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