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Maddow links Trump lawyer who tried to sue Bill Maher to Russian oligarch in Trump Tower meeting

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In one of the strangest links in President Donald Trump’s Russia scandal yet, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noticed an interesting history with a key lawyer.

During Thursday’s show, Maddow hilariously mocked Trump’s “slapstick legal team,” including “the amazing mustache guy” and another attorney who seems to have disappeared. “Maybe he got Raptured,” she speculated. But years ago, Trump had an attorney that helped him with an incident involving Bill Maher.

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In 2013, Trump offered President Barack Obama $5 million for proof that he was born in the United States. In return, “Real Time” host Bill Maher offered Trump $5 million if he could prove he wasn’t the spawn of an orangutan. While Obama refused to dignify Trump with any attention or response, the self-proclaimed billionaire sent Maher a bill along with his birth certificate.

Maher lampooned Trump on his HBO show at the time, reading the letter and displaying it on the screen. He specifically cited the signature of the attorney who sent the letter and the way in which the scribble seems to trail off, as if the lawyer was humiliated by sending the letter. That letter, however, listed the name of the attorney, Scott Balber.

This week, The Washington Post and CNN reported a story about greater details between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The intermediary between Veselnitskaya and the Trump campaign were Putin-linked Russian billionaires Aras and Emin Agalarov. The lawyer that represented Agalarovs is none other than Scott Balber.

“The same lawyer who represented Donald Trump in his stupid fight with Bill Maher in 2013 over whether or not Donald Trump was secretly half an orangutan,” Maddow continued. “Maybe there was just the one time but he was Trump’s lawyer on something like that. He is now representing the Russian side of the Trump Tower meeting, where the top echelon of the Trump campaign took a meeting with Russian officials to get assistance in the election including dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

Maddow’s research team reached out to Balber to ask if there was a connection to his representation to Trump and to the fact that he now represents Putin-linked Russian oligarchs. His response was short.

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“Nice try, but absolutely no connection whatsoever,” Balber said.

“But when somebody who used to be the president’s lawyer, quite recently, turns up in the middle of that investigation representing the Russian side, that seems like something that requires more than ‘nice try’ as an explanation,” Maddow noted. “If the president had less hilarious legal representation in the first place, we could probably expect more of an explanation than that. But in this world that we live in…”

Watch the full segment below:

Part one — Maddow’s lead in:

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Part two on Balber:


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Doctor fighting fraud charge cites Donald Trump in his defense of doling out COVID-19 drug

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As President Donald Trump promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine, one California doctor took his recommendations to the bank.

According to the San Diego Tribune, Dr. Jennings Staley is being charged in what appears to be the first case involving the drug. The FBI is charing Staley with mail fraud as part of an effort hailing hydroxychloroquine as a "miracle cure" and the "magic bullet" to an undercover agent posing as a patient, court documents say.

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The few police willing to join in solidarity with protesters

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Reports of the protests across the country are focusing on the violence, clashes and property damage caused by a small few rather than the peaceful protest of those rallying against injustice and the police standing in solidarity with them.

A few captured positive moments of cities where officers support the protests and believe Black lives do actually matter.

There were moments of protesters fist-bumping police, hugs with police, and in one incident in New York City over the weekend, one officer was separated from his unit. Protesters surrounded him with locked arms to protect him from those being violent. In Miami, Florida and Seattle, Washington, police joined protesters in kneeling.

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2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

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In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

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