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White House official offers baffling explanation: Bannon added to security council to watch over Flynn

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Steve Bannon was abruptly pulled from his seat on the National Security Council, but the White House explanation raises more questions than it answers.

The White House chief strategist and former Breitbart News publisher was added to the security council on Jan. 29, three days after then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates raised concerns about Michael Flynn — then national security adviser — and his communications with the Russian ambassador.

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A senior White House official told reporters Wednesday that Bannon was added to the NSC to keep an eye on the national security adviser, who resigned two weeks later, and “de-operationalize” the council from Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice.

“We all knew Flynn had issues,” the senior White House official said.

Flynn resigned Feb. 13 after it was revealed he had lied to the vice president and other White House officials about discussions he’d had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions.

President Donald Trump complained afterward that Flynn, one of his closest campaign advisers, was a “wonderful man” who was unfairly targeted by the media.

The same official said Bannon’s position on the NSC was intended to be temporary, and he never went to a meeting.

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A White House source said Bannon completed the work he was asked to do for the president and was no longer needed on the council.

The decision to remove Bannon was made by Trump’s new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who reinstated the director of the Central Intelligence Agency as to the principals committee and restores the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of National Intelligence as permanent members.

The move comes one day after the White House blamed Tuesday’s chemical gas attack in Syria on former President Barack Obama’s “weakness.”

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Several officials said the NSC had been preparing a different statement, but Trump’s closest advisers took over the process.


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‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him

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President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.

The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.

Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.

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MLK was ‘gravely disappointed’ with white moderates — whom he believed were responsible for impeding civil rights

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"We also realize that the problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power."

—Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes as moderate Democrats, falling in line behind former vice president Joe Biden, are warning that the party risks re-electing Donald Trump if it nominates too radical a candidate for president — by which they mean someone like Senators Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

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Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe catches Alan Dershowitz in humiliating hypocrisy: ‘He’s not to be trusted’

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Harvard Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe called out President Donald Trump's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, Sunday on Twitter, noting that his opinions seem to evolve depending on who he's defending.

Dershowitz is on a kind of press junket for the president, defending him in various media appearances. The former lawyer to Jeffrey Epstein is handling Trump's defense as it pertains to the abuse of power. Dershowitz thinks that charge has no basis in law. In fact, impeachment trials aren't actually legal proceedings, they're political proceedings, because the Justice Department claimed that Trump can't be indicted under the law while he's president.

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