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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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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

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The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

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Republicans blundered badly as their own impeachment expert witness wrecked their defenses of Trump: columnist

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Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pinned their hopes on George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, their sole expert witness on the panel at the hearing on Wednesday, to discredit the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.

But as anti-Trump conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote for the Washington Post, even Turley's testimony ended up damaging the GOP more than Democrats, because he undercut one of the GOP's most solid narratives in defense of the president: that trying to extort Ukraine with military aid would not be impeachable even if it was proven.

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