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‘Might be easier just to tell the truth and stick with it’: Tapper nails Trump’s ever-changing Flynn tale

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CNN’s Jake Tapper went all in on the Trump administration’s ever-changing story regarding the resignation of former national security advisor Mike Flynn, pointing out it “might be easier just to tell the truth and stick with it.”

Flynn resigned late Monday night after mounting questions surrounded his Dec. 29 phone call with the Russian ambassador to the United States, which occurred on the same day former President Barack Obama levied sanctions against the Kremlin for hacking 2016 the presidential election. Despite initially insisting he did not discuss sanctions with the ambassador—a claim parroted by Vice President Mike Pence—three separate reports published Thursday indicated the former general did indeed speak about the administration’s impending punishment.

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Speaking with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Tuesday, Tapper asked if he had made a “determination as to whether Flynn was fired or resigned because he wanted to resign,” noting reporters are “getting two messages from the White House.”

Acosta said the administration originally claimed it was not the president’s decision to let Flynn go; just this morning top counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway, insisted Flynn “did not want to be a distraction and he tendered his resignation last night.”

“Something occurred and the White House determined that they felt the president was the one who had asked Michael Flynn to step aside,” Acosta told Tapper. “But clearly this is a huge contradiction in terms of what the events were that happened over the last 24 hours. Up until last night, we were being told that Flynn decided to step aside on his own … but that story changed today.”

“Might be easier just to tell the truth and stick with it,” Tapper replied.

Watch the video below, via CNN:

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Trump may even pardon former Detroit mayor in November to score Black Michigan votes: Root editor

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One of the things President Donald Trump's pardons revealed Tuesday is that Trump isn't above using the judicial system for political purposes, said Jason Johnson, politics editor at "The Root."

In a panel discussion with MSNBC's Brian Williams, Johnson said that it's all indicative of a man who wants to believe that he is an all-powerful king of the United States.

"The goal is Donald Trump wants to use all of the sort of pardons and this commuting of sentences in order to create a commercial," he explained. "It's theater. 'I'm the benevolent king. I can put my thumb up or down like a powerful emperor. Look at all these people I can rescue.' And when he does that, and people come out like Rod Blagojevich, and they say, 'Oh, hey, I owe him this or I'm going to give school (sic) to that person,' it allows him to sort of demonstrate that he's got an imperial presidency."

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America’s millionaires just stopped paying into Social Security for the rest of 2020

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On Wednesday, not even two full months into 2020, millionaires will stop paying into Social Security for the year due to the program's payroll tax cap.

The cap limits annual wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax to the first $137,700. Sarah Rawlins, program associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), wrote Tuesday that the cap means "someone who makes $1,000,000 per year stops paying into the program on February 19, 2020."

"That makes a millionaire's effective tax rate well below the 6.2% of income that most Americans pay," Rawlins noted. "Instead, it is less than 1% of a millionaire's income. The Social Security tax is only levied on wages, excluding income from other sources like capital gains, meaning those with wages over the cap likely have an effective tax rate even lower than this estimate."

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DOJ puts out bizarre late-night statement: AG Bill Barr ‘has no plans to resign’

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The Department of Justice put out a statement Tuesday evening denying that Attorney General Bill Barr would be resigning from office.

Kerri Kupec, the director of communications and public affairs at DOJ, issued the statement at 10:28 p.m. in Washington, DC.

"Addressing Beltway rumors: The Attorney General has no plans to resign," Kupec announced.

The denial came after a Washington Post report that Barr was considering quitting if Trump continues to tweet about active investigations.

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