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Trump is kissing up to GOP senators — after spending months attacking them

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK, left) and President Donald Trump (images via Creative Commons and screengrab).

In July, President Donald Trump came after Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for refusing to vote for the Republican Party’s replacement for Obamacare. Further, she refused to vote for the straight repeal of Obamacare. Trump was reportedly furious to hear members of his own party.

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“My vote yesterday was from my heart for the people that I represent,” Murkowski told CNN’s Elizabeth Landers. “I’m going to continue working hard for Alaskans and focus on that.”

A strange battle appeared to unfold. The interior secretary warned Murkowski that her vote could have negative consequences for energy and land use in Alaska. Immediately, an investigation began into the threat. The threats disappeared. Murkowski then was the senator that worked to ensure Trump couldn’t do any recess appointments during the August recess, though Murkowski said the two weren’t related.

Now Trump needs the Alaska senator, so he’s trying to make nice, according to a CNN report. The senator has been invited to a private lunch with the president earlier this month. While she was unable to attend because of a prior engagement in Alaska, she called the invitation “very kind.”

“I don’t think there’s a sourness,” Murkowski told CNN. “If there were, I don’t think he would continue to be engaging — and that’s what we are going to continue to do.”

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Murkowski swore that she is “not one who follows the tweets that handily.” She walked through her long list of policy goals, saying, “I have to focus on my job. I have to focus on what I came here to do.”

She’s not the only senator Trump has gone after in recent months. After Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) walked away from the Obamacare negotiation table, Trump’s Super PAC ran attack ads in his state. Heller is up for reelection in 2018 and is considered an endangered Republican. Trump’s ads certainly had an impact and Heller now has a primary opponent from a far right candidate, who identifies as a Trump loyalist. Many GOP leaders unleashed a tirade of fury after. Even Fox News ripped the PAC’s spokesperson Katrina Pierson live on air.

“He wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” Trump said as Heller sat next to him. Trump laughed, but Heller likely didn’t think it was funny.

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The same seems to be happening with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). After Trump called him “weak” on border security and crime, Vice President Mike Pence was dispatched to try and smooth things over.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker blasted Trump, questioning his “competence” and “stability” to serve as president. Once again, Pence was sent in as a clean-up crew to fix things.

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Corker confirmed to CNN Monday that the two spoke “very briefly” about the public dispute in August. He quickly then pivoted to another issue.

“No question,” he said, “my relationship is just the same as it was before.”

Corker didn’t disclose what that relationship was like before, however.

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Pence is smoothing over the relationship with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) too.

“He and I have known each other so long, he’s traveled with me when he was in the House,” McCain said of the Vice President. “It’s not like there’s outreach, we’ve known each other so long.”

The report explains that Pence is managing the relationship with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as well. It isn’t clear if he’s doing that out of a legislative duty or because Trump and McConnell don’t seem to get along well. It could also be both reasons.


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2020 Election

Lincoln Project whacks the president: ‘We end COVID when we end Trump’s presidency’

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President Donald Trump on Thursday held a campaign rally in Wisconsin with supporters "packed in like sardines."

At the rally, Trump ridiculed former Vice President Joe Biden for social distancing at campaign appearances with America's death toll over 200,000. Also on Thursday, Biden held a town hall meeting on CNN where he spoke in-depth about the challenges of a coronavirus vaccine.

The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists working to defeat Trump, said that "only one candidate will protect your family from coronavirus" in a new video.

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Trump said he would give UN speech despite pandemic — but reversed course and won’t be attending

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US President Donald Trump will not attend next week's UN General Assembly gathering in person, his chief of staff told journalists aboard Air Force One Thursday, according to a pool report.

The decision marks an about-face for Trump, who last month said he wanted to deliver his speech in the General Assembly hall in New York, even if other world leaders are staying away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ended the debate once and for all, telling reporters en route to Wisconsin, where Trump was to hold a campaign rally, that the president would not physically attend the General Assembly's 75th session, which will take place mainly by videoconference due to the health crisis.

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2020 Election

Trump mocked for 95-minute ‘slurring’ campaign speech — before crowd ‘packed in like sardines’ in Wisconsin

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President Donald Trump gave a fear-filled and factually inaccurate campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin on Thursday.

The rally, held in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, featured a large crowd closely packed together.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's speech, which lasted approximately 95 minutes:

https://twitter.com/RSBNetwork/status/1306433275381116928

https://twitter.com/bad_takes/status/1306758848577966081

Trump is slurring and sounds tired pic.twitter.com/6MJLw2fpms

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