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‘This is untethered to facts’: Jake Tapper issues brutal takedown of Trump’s ‘nonsense’ wiretap claim

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Jake Tapper on Monday issued a brutal take-down of Donald Trump’s latest conspiracy theory, that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign, lambasting those around the president who are “enabling” his “nonsense” claims.

“Where did the president get this latest conspiracy from?” Tapper asked, tracing it back to right-wing radio host Mark Levin’s suggestion that Obama and his allies mounted a “silent coup” against then-candidate Trump. That notion made its way through conservative outlets, including Breitbart, before landing on the president’s Twitter feed.

Tapper explained that “rather amazing detail” of Trump’s latest claim is that none of the conservative outlets “reported as fact what President Trump is claiming.”

“It would be back enough if the president valued conjecture and accusations of these sources more than the facts that he has access to,” Tapper said. “ … But it’s actually worse than that.”

Trump, he explained, took separate pieces of information and “made them even less tethered to fact.”

“He took it one step forward and said [wiretapping] happened and President Obama was behind it,” Tapper said. The CNN host argued while there are “legitimate reasons” to question leaks and motivations behind them, Trump decided to push an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about his predecessor.

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“Keep in mind one not-irrelevant detail here for anyone trying to make sense of it all,” Tapper continued. “We’ve been here before, and this is not a land with much sense, or respect for facts. This is a place of conspiracy theories untethered to facts.”

Tapper then listed off numerous other false theories propelled by Trump, from birthirism, to Muslim celebrations on 9/11, to Ted Cruz’s father having something to do with John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“It goes on and on,” Tapper said, “None of it’s true. And the people around President Trump who are enabling this nonsense, the ones who know better, you have to ask yourselves this question: are you really serving the president? Are you really serving the American people?”

Watch the video below, via CNN:

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We have to prepare for this Trump nightmare scenario as Republican power-grabbers grow bolder

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Polls currently show that all the major Democratic presidential candidates are pulling way ahead of Donald Trump, and while Democrats should take nothing for granted — Trump will run a campaign so nasty it will likely put 2016 to shame — there is at least some reason hope that Americans will turn out in large numbers and that Trump will be soundly defeated in 2020. That victory would be both exciting and an enormous relief, a moment when we all collectively begin to believe that the national nightmare is ending.

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Jon Stewart’s journey from satirist to political advocate is no laughing matter

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When Jon Stewart quit the Daily Show, the satirical news and comedy show he hosted for 16 years until August 2015, he explained to his replacement, Trevor Noah, that he was tired – and angry at the state of politics and political discourse in the US. As Noah reported:

He said ‘I’m leaving because I’m tired.’ And he said, ‘I’m tired of being angry.’ And he said, ’I’m angry all the time. I don’t find any of this funny. I do not know how to make it funny right now, and I don’t think the host of the show, I don’t think the show deserves a host who does not feel that it is funny.‘

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Record plunge in manufacturing for New York region: NY Fed

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Manufacturing activity in New York State took a record dive this month and fell into contraction, suddenly reversing recent gains, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported Monday.

The surprising drop was another worrying sign for the US manufacturing sector, a day ahead of the start of a Federal Reserve meeting that comes as markets clamor for signs the central bank will cut interest rates soon to preserve economic growth.

Manufacturing has been a weak spot for the American economy this year as global demand slows and President Donald Trump pursues a multi-front trade war with some of America's largest trading partners.

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