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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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Fox News commentator Sean Hannity appears to be knee-deep in Trump’s Ukraine scandal — despite his denials

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Fox News host Sean Hannity raved that he never spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about ousted Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch after a third witness confirmed the alleged call to impeachment investigators.

David Hale, the undersecretary of State for political affairs, testified under oath that Yovanovitch was the victim of a baseless smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney of President Donald Trump, which led to her ouster. According to a transcript of the closed-door deposition released Monday, the smears originally stemmed from the conservative columnist John Solomon, who wrote in The Hill that former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko had claimed that Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute list.” Lutsenko later retracted that claim.

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Will Sondland turn on Trump? Watch live coverage of Day 4 of the Trump impeachment hearings

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On Wednesday the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold its fourth public impeachment hearing looking into allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office by attempting to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation that would benefit the president politically in return for releasing $400 million in much-needed security aid.

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A historian explains why Robert E. Lee wasn’t a hero — he was a traitor

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There’s a fabled moment from the Battle of Fredericksburg, a gruesome Civil War battle that extinguished several thousand lives, when the commander of a rebel army looked down upon the carnage and said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” That commander, of course, was Robert Lee.

The moment is the stuff of legend. It captures Lee’s humility (he won the battle), compassion, and thoughtfulness. It casts Lee as a reluctant leader who had no choice but to serve his people, and who might have had second thoughts about doing so given the conflict’s tremendous amount of violence and bloodshed. The quote, however, is misleading. Lee was no hero. He was neither noble nor wise. Lee was a traitor who killed United States soldiers, fought for human enslavement, vastly increased the bloodshed of the Civil War, and made embarrassing tactical mistakes.

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