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‘Mueller is playing chess — Trump is playing Donkey Kong’: Morning Joe panel mocks outmatched president

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Panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” agreed that special counsel Robert Mueller was conducting a strategically brilliant game of chess against President Donald Trump, the target of his investigation — who wasn’t even playing the same game.

The special counsel has reportedly been cooperating with New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, which could ensnare former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in a pardon-proof trap, because presidential pardons don’t cover state crimes.

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“Paul Manafort is clearly becoming very much in the crosshairs of this probe, both with his own dealings with foreign governments, his time working a pro-Russian party in the Ukraine, but also now, as suggested, the idea that he could be leaned upon here,” said Jonathan Lemire, White House correspondent for the Associated Press. “This is going to happen in a state jurisdiction, (so) the president can’t pardon you.”

He said the president’s unusual pardon last week of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio signaled that he was willing to flout conventions for issuing pardons, but the involvement of Schneiderman — who has a long history with Trump — took away that powerful option.

Trump pardons Arpaio and Mueller hits — it’s like they’re paying chess,” said BBC anchor Katty Kay, “and it’s check again. Mueller hits back, okay, we’ll go to the state level and this is where you can’t pardon them. The way that Mueller is handling this is strategically brilliant. He’s keeping the investigation going but he’s giving signals to Trump he’s not going to be messed with.”

Historian Jon Meacham, executive editor at Random House and contributing editor for Time, said Trump was vastly outmatched against Mueller.

“I think Mueller is playing chess and Trump is playing Donkey Kong,” Meacham said.

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Host Joe Scarborough agreed, and cited a months-old tweet that still made him laugh.

“Mueller’s playing three-dimensional chess and Trump is playing four-dimensional Hungry Hungry Hippo,” Scarborough said.

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‘Help me’: CNN’s John King begs guests to say something after bonkers Giuliani interview leaves him speechless

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CNN host John King on Thursday found himself at a loss for words while watching the latest escapade of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who is in Ukraine this week to apparently resume his quest to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

During a segment about Giuliani's latest Ukraine caper, King played an interview clip with former Fox News host Eric Bolling in which Giuliani refused to say what he was doing in the country.

"I'm not here -- I don't have to defend myself!" Giuliani said, when asked about his reasons for traveling to Kiev. "I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't do a darn thing wrong!"

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Fox News legal analyst makes stunning prediction: Trump will testify under oath in impeachment trial

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Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano predicted that President Donald Trump would testify during his impeachment trial.

Napolitano told "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer on Thursday that he believed the president would testify on his own behalf once the House votes to impeach him and the Senate holds a trial, reported The Hill.

“If you go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?” Hemmer asked.

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Trump supporters live in an ‘alternate universe’ like post-truth Soviet Union: Former world chess champion Kasparov

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Before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Russia established a capitalist government that was headed by President Boris Yeltsin and later, President Vladimir Putin, it was infamous for Orwellian language: government-owned media reported what the Soviet Communist Party told them to report. Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was among those who grew up in the Soviet Union, and in a December 5 op-ed for CNN’s website, he finds some Orwellian parallels between the old Soviet Union and the Trump Administration.

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