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Former Republican Oklahoma senator Ralph Shortey pleads guilty to hiring boy prostitute

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A former Oklahoma state senator who had campaigned as a champion of family values has pleaded guilty to hiring a 17-year-old boy prostitute “to engage in a commercial sex act,” court papers filed on Thursday showed.

Republican Ralph Shortey, 35, who resigned from the state Senate earlier this year after he was found in a suburban Oklahoma City motel with the teenage boy, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Oklahoma to a charge of child sex trafficking.

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In reaching a plea deal, Shortey said he knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored and transported the boy for sex, the papers showed.

“It is in my best interest and in the best interest of my family,” the papers show Shortey as saying of the plea deal.

Shortey faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and will be sentenced at a later date, the papers said. In exchange for the deal, federal prosecutors dropped three child pornography charges that had been filed against Shortey.

According to a police arrest affidavit on the motel incident: “Officers present observed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the room and inside the room at the time of their contact with the defendant,” the documents said, adding that also found an opened box of condoms in Shortey’s backpack.

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Shortey, who was first elected as a state senator in 2010, made national news in 2012 when he introduced a bill prohibiting the manufacture and sale of food or products that use aborted human fetuses. He provided no evidence to show that such a practice was taking place, and there are no known food products that contain aborted fetuses.

The bill did not become law.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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‘Smart rats jump a sinking orange ship’: Columnist predicts more Republicans will flee Trump

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New York Times contributing columnist Wajahat Ali predicted that more Republicans would likely flee President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.

Already, Trump's own officials, appointees, and staff are lining up to testify to the House committees, despite Trump saying they will not cooperate with any investigations.

"I believe smart rats jump a sinking orange ship, and if you don't believe me, you haven't paid attention to the last week," Ali told CNN's Don Lemon. In the past week, several of Trump's appointees have lined up to give a deposition or testify. Even outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry revealed in a Wall Street Journal interview, that Rudy Giuliani was to be the point person on all things related to Ukraine.

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CNN panel mocks the White House for promoting a photo of Trump looking ‘subservient’ to Pelosi

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The White House posted a series of photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Wednesday after their meeting, showing Pelosi being the only person in the room literally standing up to President Donald Trump. It was an image that baffled the mind of at least one CNN panelist as to why the Trump people would be promoting Pelosi.

According to reports from those who were in the room, the president flew off the handle after Pelosi quipped that it seems all roads lead back to Russia for this president. It was at that point that Trump called Pelosi a "third-grade politician," though presumably, he meant "third-rate," and the meeting broke apart.

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Max Boot calls BS on Republicans for trying to claim Syria is Nancy Pelosi’s fault because of impeachment

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President Donald Trump is conducting foreign policy like a 1980s television character, according to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot.

In a panel discussion about the letter Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Boot mocked Republicans for suddenly trying to claim that Trump's withdrawal from Syria was Speaker Nancy Pelosi's fault because of impeachment. It is unclear if Republicans are confessing the president is too distracted by impeachment to be making foreign policy decisions or if they are blaming Pelosi for military decisions.

"I mean there's a lot of really lame Republican talking points out there, Don," Boot said to CNN host Don Lemon. "But to suggest, as Rep. Liz Cheney and others have done that somehow Trump's inexplicable decision to give the Turks the green light to invade Syria — that was somehow the fault of Nancy Pelosi because of the impeachment process? What?"

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