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‘That’s all he wanted’: Devout Catholic Sean Spicer gets cut from Trump’s visit with Pope Francis

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In what some are taking as an ominous sign regarding his job security, President Donald Trump’s White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was not asked to attend Wednesday’s meeting between the president’s delegation and Pope Francis.

Politico.com reported that the entourage was limited to the president and First Lady Melania Trump, the president’s daughter Ivanka, former campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and White House social media coordinator Dan Scavino.

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“Also in attendance were State Department aide Brian Hook, security head Keith Schiller, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster,” wrote Politico’s Annie Karni.

Both the Vatican and the Trump delegation were asked to limit the number of personnel attending the half-hour meeting in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. Non-Catholic members of the traveling group gave up their spots to that Catholic staffers could meet the pontiff.

Politico quoted a Spicer interview about his faith during the presidential transition in which he said, “I’m going to look to God every day to give me the strength to do what’s right. That’s all you can ask for is to get up and say, ‘Can I do this thing?’ Help guide me and ask Him for strength.”

This makes it doubly curious that Spicer did not attend. Last year, Spicer told members of the media that he was giving up alcohol for Lent. He also attended a press briefing one Ash Wednesday with a smudged, sooty cross on his forehead, an ancient Catholic observance during Holy Week.

Rumors have flown for weeks that Spicer could be the next high-profile member of the Trump administration to lose their job. Melania Trump is reportedly especially eager to have Spicer gone at the end of the current international trip.

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It seems needlessly mean, however, to deny Spicer what could be his single chance to meet a sitting Pope.

CNN reported that when reporters asked one administration source about Spicer’s absence from the delegation visiting the Pope, they were completely taken aback at the slight. Spicer remarked before the trip that he was excited to meet Pope Francis.

“Wow,” the person said. “That’s all he wanted.”

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Trump evangelicals abandoned the Sermon on the Mount and replaced it with the ‘Trumpian order’: Historian Jon Meacham

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In an op-ed for the New York Times this Tuesday, historian Jon Meacham discusses the state of Christianity in America during the age of Donald Trump. He points out that Christianity, especially in the hands of Trump-supporting evangelicals, has lost its moral authority in the eyes of many Americans. Understandable, since the hero of millions of Christians "has used the National Prayer Breakfast to mock the New Testament injunction to love one’s enemies."

But according to Meacham, "history suggests that religiously inspired activism may hold the best hope for those in resistance to the prevailing Trumpian order."

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Devin Nunes’ income called into question as watchdog asks for investigation of his finances

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According to a report from the Fresno Bee,the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center is requesting a federal investigation into whether U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) is receiving legal services in violation of House ethics rules.

Over the past year, the conservative Republicans has launched a handful of lawsuits against critics -- including the McClatchy newspaper chain and a person on Twitter purporting to be one of his cows.

According to the Bee, "The complaint says Nunes appears to be in 'blatant violation of House rules,' because he would have trouble paying for all these lawsuits solely from his congressional salary of $174,000 per year. The group argues he’d only be able to pay if he received legal services for free, at a discounted rate, or based on a contingency fee, meaning the lawyer would get compensated from Nunes’ winnings if he prevails in his lawsuits."

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2020 Election

$1,750+ ticket prices for South Carolina debate spark outrage

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"I think it speaks to the fundamental, endemic corruption of the Democratic Party establishment that you had to pay... multiple thousands of dollars to get into that room."

Unusually loud booing and jeering directed disproportionately at Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate—particularly when the senators criticized billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg—sparked probing questions about the class composition of the audience packed inside the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

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