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Where’s Rudy? Giuliani strangely silent as FBI confirms probe of Russia hacks he predicted

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- Commentary

As the scandals swirling around Pres. Donald Trump’s White House, one voice has been conspicuously absent from the fray, that of former Republican New York City mayor and longtime Trump booster Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani was one of Trump’s most dependable surrogates during the 2016 presidential campaign, but has fallen silent in the weeks since Inauguration Day.

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In early March, TMZ cornered the former mayor at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. and asked him what he thinks of the chaos in the White House, but other than that interaction, Giuliani has been uncharacteristically close-mouthed about developments in Washington.

Perhaps Giuliani is suffering from lingering feelings of disappointment after neither receiving an appointment as Secretary of State or Attorney General or even for the cybersecurity czar position he was purportedly nominated for in early January.

Or maybe — like Trump’s longtime friend and associate Roger Ailes — Giuliani looked at the chaos unfolding in Trump’s world and decided it would be a “waste of time” to keep shoring up a president who seems to be constitutionally incapable of introspection, of admitting errors or of apologizing to anyone about anything.

Giuliani’s son Andrew Giuliani joined the Trump administration in early March, taking a job in the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, but Giuliani has maintained radio silence with regards to the mushrooming scandal about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and the calls for an independent investigation.

During the 2016 campaign, Giuliani raised eyebrows by seeming to predict key moves by Wikileaks before they occurred. The mayor has yet to clarify on the record how he knew in advance what the hacker collective was about to publish.

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‘Our chances of ever exiting the nightmare are shrinking’: Paul Krugman explains how the GOP is getting worse

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It is a great detriment to civil discourse that the divide between left and right in the United States is often depicted as being purely cultural — as if one’s politics were solely mediated by aesthetics, such as whether one prefers shooting guns or drinking lattes. This fabulist understanding of politics is harmful inasmuch as it masks the real social effects of the policy agendas pushed by left versus right. Seeing politics as aesthetic transforms what should be a quantitative debate — with statistics and numbers about taxation and public policy, questions of who benefits more or less from policy changes — and devolves it into a rhetorical debate over values.

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Legal battles sparked by Trump’s behavior could affect how the US government works for generations — long after his impeachment trial is over

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After the last Senate staffer turns out the lights, major questions remain to be decided outside of the Capitol about the limits of presidential power, the willingness of courts to decide political questions and the ability of Congress to exercise effective oversight and hold a president accountable.

Here are three of those questions.

What are the limits of presidential power?

First, the aggressive exercise of executive power by Trump has put this power under court scrutiny.

Trump’s vow to “fight all the subpoenas” breaks from the traditional process – negotiation and accommodation – that previous presidents have used to resolve disputes between branches of the government.

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Secret recording features Trump falsely claiming that weed makes people ‘lose IQ points’

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President Donald Trump falsely claimed that marijuana makes people "lose IQ points" in a secret recording released by indicted former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

Parnas released the recording, which captured more than one hour of conversation at a private donor dinner with Trump in 2018, to show that the president told him that he would fire then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. But the recording, which was apparently captured by Parnas' indicted associate Igor Fruman, also featured Trump discussing Kim Jong Un's golf game, the European Union trying to "screw the United States," the 2016 election . . . and his views on marijuana.

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