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Here’s how fake news becomes Donald Trump’s reality: Russian lawyer edition

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It looks like the only fake news President Donald Trump is reading is coming at him from the right.

According to BuzzFeed News, Trump appears to have gotten wind of a conspiracy theory attempting to link Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer Donald Trump, Jr. met with last summer to ostensibly provide “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, to the Obama administration — and may even believe that she was planted as a part of some “Democratic plot” against him.

The exhaustively researched and detailed BuzzFeed report reveals the origins of the conspiracy theory — an article in the Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump blog known for sharing conspiracy theories.

“Well Look Here: Russian Lawyer Veselnitskaya is Pictured with Obama Ambassador to Russia — 8 Days After Trump Jr. Meeting,” the Gateway Pundit’s headline reads. The photo in question is of Veselnitskaya sitting behind Michael McFaul, Obama’s former Russia ambassador.

As her career and immigration records suggest, the lawyer was likely at that hearing as part of her work against Russian sanctions — but that didn’t stop the Drudge Report, Infowars, alt-righter Mike Cernovich and others from suddenly linking Veselnitskaya to Obama, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and even Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

The theory then made its’ way to the mouth of the president. In a speech with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Trump made the bold claim that “she was here because of Lynch,” who was AG at the time of Veselnitskaya’s multiple denied visa requests and subsequent 10-day “parole” entry into the U.S.

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“Somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General Lynch,” Trump said during the speech. “Now, maybe that’s wrong. I just heard that a little while ago. So she was here because of Lynch.”

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After Trump reiterated the claim to a group of pool reporters after his speech with Macron, Lynch released her own statement setting the record straight.

“Attorney General Lynch, as the former head of the Justice Department, does not have any personal knowledge of Ms. Veselnitskaya’s travel,” Robert Raben, Lynch’s spokesperson, said. “The State Department issues visas, and the Department of Homeland Security oversees entry to the United States at airports.”

 

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2020 Election

Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy is familiar: Troll the libs!

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Late on Tuesday, I got an email from an unusual source. A reporter for the conservative publication the Washington Examiner asked if I'd be interested in sharing thoughts on Joe Biden's history of joking "about 'locking up your daughters'" and on "Biden's view of women and gender relations." This was in light of my previous criticisms of Biden's apparent condescension towards girls and women, and his pockmarked history on gender relations in general.

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Cory Booker rips Biden for praising racist senators: ‘You don’t joke about calling black men boys’

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) blasted Joe Biden for praising two segregationist senators he'd served with as a lawmaker.

The former vice president and current Democratic presidential frontrunner reminisced about his relationship with Mississippi Democrat James Eastland and Georgia Democrat Herman Talmadge, two notoriously racist senators during the Civil Rights era, reported The Hill.

“At least there was some civility, we got things done," Biden said, recalling that Eastland had never called him "boy." "We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done, we got it finished."

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Most Republican voters admit to feeling ‘embarrassed’ and ‘exhausted’ by Trump’s comments

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Some diehard supporters of President Donald Trump have asserted that they admire the fact that he is so unapologetic about his rhetoric and his actions. But according to a new Pew Research survey, most Republican or Republican-leaning voters admit that they sometimes feel “embarrassed” or “concerned” about things that Trump says.

According to Pew, 53% of Republican or Republican-leaning voters say they sometimes feel “embarrassed” by Trump’s comments — while 59% are sometimes “concerned” by them. Some of the adjectives Pew ran by GOP or GOP-leaning voters were even stronger, including “angry,” “exhausted” and “frightened.”

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