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GOP lawmaker stuns MSNBC host with Devin Nunes defense: ‘He answers to the president’

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Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) defended the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee’s integrity Thursday on MSNBC by misrepresenting the embattled Republican’s constitutional duties.

Nunes has come under fire after publicly revealing the Trump transition team had been snared in the U.S. surveillance of foreign agents, and then briefing the White House, before sharing those details with his colleagues.

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He still hasn’t shared the documents, which he obtained from an undisclosed source on the White House grounds, and some GOP lawmakers have begun calling for him to step down from overseeing the investigation.

“I know Devin, (and) he’s a man of high integrity and character,” Yoho said, echoing his previous defense of Nunes.

“I think he will do the right thing,” Yoho continued. “If he feels he’s been compromised and needs to step aside, I’m sure he will. Until he makes that decision I’m not concerned with it.”

The Florida Republican then misrepresented the Constitution’s separation of powers to justify Nunes briefing President Donald Trump on the surveillance, even though some members of his transition team — and possibly the president himself — are under FBI investigation for alleged ties to Russia.

“You have to keep in mind who he works for,” Yoho told MSNBC. “He works for the president and answers to the president.”

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MSNBC’s Craig Melvin asked Yoho whether the committee chairman actually worked for his constituents, and not the executive branch.

“You do both,” Yoho said. “But when in that capacity, if you’ve got information, I’m okay with what he did.”

Yoho then complained that he didn’t work for the president when Melvin asked him about Trump’s attacks on his fellow conservatives in the Freedom Caucus.

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“I don’t work for the president, I don’t work for the (House) leadership,” Yoho said. “I work for the people that sent me here.”

Melvin pointed out that Yoho had claimed just moments before that Nunes worked for the president, and the lawmaker stumbled.

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“As a congressman, they work for their constituents, as a chairman of a committee, he has, okay?” Yoho said.


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Florida Democrats ask their own candidate to withdraw his candidacy after cocaine arrest: report

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Democrats in Florida are asking their own candidate to end his campaign for county commission after an arrest for DUI and cocaine.

"A Collier County commission candidate's arrest in East Naples this past weekend has prompted calls from his party to drop out of the race," the Naples Daily News reported Monday. "John Jenkins, 55, was booked into the Naples Jail Center Sunday morning and faces a felony charge of possession of cocaine, according to a Collier County Sheriff's Office arrest report. He was released later that day on $5,000 bond."

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Harvard researchers want less accurate tests for COVID-19

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The aphorism "perfect is the enemy of good enough" has been played out to tragic effect in the US's inadequate testing for the coronavirus, according to researchers calling for quick tests that cost only about a dollar each, and which may not be as accurate but can be carried out several times a week by the whole population.

Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, has for weeks been pushing for what he calls "crappy" tests.

His idea is to move away from the current high-precision molecular tests, known as PCR tests, which are still scarce in large swathes of the country and which people often have to wait hours to get done, and then have to wait days -- or up to a week -- for the results.

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WATCH: Seth Meyers goes after ‘sociopath’ Jared Kushner for America’s coronavirus failures

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The host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on NBC harshly criticized senior White House advisor Jared Kushner for America's COVID-19 testing failures.

"More than 155,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus pandemic," Meyers noted. "Cases are rising in more than 20 states. The U.S. now accounts for one-quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the world."

"And in some parts of the country, people are waiting as long as two-weeks to get their test results -- which is insane. The whole point of testing is to find cases, isolate them and trace their contacts. If it takes two weeks, it's pointless."

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