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‘I don’t want to be associated with him’: 100 eighth graders refuse to pose with Paul Ryan during DC trip

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About 100 eighth grade students refused to pose with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Friday, snubbing the top Republican to protest his policies.

Though Ryan’s official Instagram features a photo of him waving to a group students from South Orange Middle School in South Orange, New Jersey, it does not show their peers sitting in a park lot across the street, in an apparent rebuff of the GOP leader.

Got that #FridayFeeling 👊

A post shared by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on

“It’s not just a picture,” student Matthew Malespina told ABC News. “It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country.”

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When he learned of his school’s impending photo op with Ryan, Malespina texted his mother he’s “just not going to do it.”

“The point was, ‘I don’t want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for,’” Matthew’s mother Elissa Malespina said.

An equal number of students opted to participate in the photo.

“I thought it would be very cool just seeing the man who is the third most powerful man in our country. It would be cool, even if you disagree with him,” student Miles Handelman said.

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Parents were just as split about the message the students sent with their dissidence. One parents took to Facebook to complain these kids should “respect the office of the Speaker of the House, even if they disagree.”

Others commended the teens for standing up for their beliefs.

Watch the coverage below, via ABC:

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‘Expect the worst’ as Trump doubles down on racist rhetoric to rile up his base: columnist

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In a column for the Daily Beast, commentator and Sirius radio host Dean Obeidallah claims that all signs point to Donald Trump doubling down on racist rhetoric in an effort to rally his base as his internal polling shows him losing the key states that propelled him to the White House.

As Trump officially launches his re-election bid in Orlando on Tuesday night, Obeidallah notes Trump is falling back on what helped him appeal to disgruntled white workers in the Midwest and that he will likely ramp up attacks on undocumented immigrants -- including official actions.

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2020 Election

‘It can be hacked’: Election experts already see red flags in the Democrats’ 2020 nomination process

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The Democratic National Committee may reverse course on its plans to increase participation in 2020 presidential caucus states by offering off-site voting options—starting with telephone voting in Iowa and possibly online voting in other states.

That prospect of a reversal, at least in the early nominating caucuses, stems from growing concerns in top party circles about protecting the “integrity of the process” in a post-2016 climate, said James Roosevelt III, co-chair of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.

“It is entirely possible,” said Roosevelt. “The committee is going to be looking to be convinced that it will work. I think the committee is subject to competing pressures. One is to honor Iowa’s commitment to participatory democracy. And the other is to a heightened sensitivity that did not exist four or certainly eight years ago to the integrity of the process.”

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Trump was ready to ‘blow up everything’: Biographer Michael Wolff on why Mueller didn’t indict

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It is not an easy task to discern the truth when confronting a president and his allies who have created their own reality, one in which truth and lies have no absolute meaning and are, for them, ultimately interchangeable.

Donald Trump does this on a personal level: he has lied at least 10,000 times while president.

During his recent interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Donald Trump continued to lie in public, asserting that he did not try to fire special sounsel Robert Mueller. As multiple sources and witnesses agree, this is not true. Trump also asserted that he can do anything that he wants, according to the Constitution: He apparently believes he is a king or emperor. This too is a lie. The Constitution grants the president no such powers, and was drafted by the framers to stop demagogues and would-be tyrants such as Donald Trump.

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