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Trump’s offer to pay White House aides’ legal bills stuns MSNBC panel: ‘Potentially an admission of guilt’

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A  report from Axios that President Donald Trump is offering to personally fund the legal defense of some current and former White House aides drew a stunned response from an MSNBC panel, with one panelist calling the suspicious move “potentially an admission of guilt.”

Saturday afternoon it was reported that Trump would dip into his personal bank account to pay the legal fees of White House staffers who have been drawn into federal investigations into the Trump administration and presidential campaign.

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Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell cut right to the chase wondering what Trump’s motivation might be to shell out big bucks to staffers who may be testifying against him.

“I would wonder what his motivations are” she explained. “Maybe he feels guilty that his associates and aides are now having to bear the burdens of these bills. Whether or not it’s his motivation, this would be a very effective way to keep them in line and keep them in hock to him.”

‘If he doesn’t want people who know where the bodies are buried — if there’s bodies — to flip on him and disclose that information to [special counsel] Mueller, offering to pay legal bills is an effective way to keep pulling the strings,” she added.

Erin McPike from the Independent Review Journal what more blunt, saying the deal has a bad smell to it.

“One of the things we know about Donald Trump is that he really likes to throw money at the problem, whatever the problem is,” she explained. “He often does that and he also throws money around to curry influence as he did throughout the campaign and said he was going to donate some of his campaign funds to veterans groups.”

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‘He really seems to like to do that a lot,” she remarked. “I’d also point out this could potentially be some kind of admission of guilt on some level, even if Trump himself didn’t know what was going on in the campaign, should there have been collusion. It just all smells kind of funny.”

No other panelist could recall a sitting president offering to pay legal bills of aides when their own White House was under investigation.

You can watch the video below via MSNBC:

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 3 losers from the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the other leading Democratic presidential primary candidates Wednesday night in the fieriest evening of the race so far.

His presence on the stage drew fire from the other candidates, but it also seemed to change the overall tone of the debate, with more attacks, counter-attacks, and passion than was generally seen earlier in the campaign.

Here’s a (necessarily subjective!) list of the winners and losers from the fray:

Winners

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — Warren hit her stride right as the debate started by attacking Bloomberg for his record on the mistreatment of women, racist policies, and his tax returns. She repeatedly came back to skewer the former mayor, making herself the biggest and most notable presence in the debate. But importantly, she also continuously brought the discussion back to the issues she cares about — like expanding health care, environmental justice,  and consumer protection — while getting in digs at the other candidates on the stage.

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Michael Bloomberg ‘lost everything’ in Las Vegas: MSNBC analyst

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Senior editor for "The Root," Jason Johnson, concluded that the biggest loser of the Democratic debate in Las Vegas Wednesday was Michael Bloomberg, but not merely because of his debate performance.

"The big new name was going to be Michael Bloomberg," he said. "This was probably the most expensive night in Vegas I've ever seen. He lost everything. This guy has spent $320 million. He had the opportunity to stand on stage, and appear to be an equal, and he looked bored. He looked disenchanted. He stumbled over obvious questions that anybody would have anticipated about sexual harassment and stop and frisk. I thought it was a bad night for him."

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Pro-immigration protesters interrupt Joe Biden’s closing statement at debate

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Former Vice President Joe Biden's closing statement was interrupted by protesters at Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate.

As Biden began his remarks, demonstrators began shouting about the Obama administration's record on deportations.

WATCH: Protesters interrupt the #DemDebate as the debate nears end. pic.twitter.com/TKCn6eIEsN

— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 20, 2020

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