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Trump spent dinner with conservatives bashing AG Sessions for Russia recusal: ‘You could feel it dripping with venom’

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Donald Trump on Monday met with conservative leaders for a dinner in the Blue Room at the White House, during which he re-upped his criticism of Jeff Sessions over the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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According to the Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Ballhaus, attendees at the dinner could feel Trump’s speech “dripping with venom” as he derided AG Sessions, yet again, for removing himself from the department’s probe.

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Sessions was forced to recuse himself in May following concerns over conflicts of interest after it was revealed he failed to disclosed multiple meetings with the Russian envoy. Trump has called that decision “very unfair to the president,” arguing he would not have hired Sessions as attorney general had he known he would step aside.

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump told the New York Times in June.

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“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” Trump later added. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair—and that’s a mild word—to the president.”

Shortly after that interview, the president referred to Sessions as “beleaguered” and “weak,” and questioned whether the former Alabama Senator merely backed then-candidate Trump because he “won the state by a lot, massive numbers.”

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Trump also reportedly used the meeting to praise his recent attacks on the NFL, telling attendees the issue has “really taken off.”

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Florida reports record number of coronavirus deaths one month ahead of GOP convention

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Florida, the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, reported a record 156 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday and nearly 14,000 new infections.

The total number of virus cases in the "Sunshine State" has now surpassed 315,000 and there have been 4,782 deaths, according to Florida Department of Health figures.

The reporting of 156 virus deaths in the state in a 24-hour period surpasses the previous high of 132 deaths announced just two days earlier.

Florida is now reporting more COVID-19 cases daily than any other state in the country. California and Texas are next with about 10,000 new cases a day.

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GOP officials admit 2020 platform is basically whatever’s on Trump’s Twitter account

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President Donald Trump has shaped the Republican Party into his own image in less than four years on the job, and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.

Nearly half of the House Republicans on the job when Trump took office in 2017 have either retired, resigned, been defeated or are retiring in 2020, and many of the GOP newcomers are devoted Trump loyalists, reported Politico.

“Whether the president wins or loses, his policy views and style have firmly taken over the Republican Party — nationalism and white grievance, those kinds of things,” said Matt Moore, former chairman of South Carolina's GOP. “I don’t think that Trumpy politics will be leaving the stage anytime soon.”

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Coronavirus data disappears from CDC dashboard after Trump hijacks info

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The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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