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‘He creates his own reality’: Trump telling friends Mueller’s probe will conclude by year’s end

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Donald Trump has been telling friends that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign will conclude by the end of the year, the Washington Post reports.

“This investigation’s going to be over with pretty soon,” Trump’s told friends at his Golf Club and Mar-a-Lago, adding his “brilliant” lawyers have assured him of a rapid conclusion to Mueller’s probe.

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The president’s first year has been embroiled by multiple investigations, and his party—which controls Washington—has failed to net a single major legislative win since Trump took office. Still, friends who’ve visited with Trump describe him as being “in an unusually upbeat mood,” the Post reports.

“He creates his own reality and lives in his own reality and tries to bend reality around himself and his own deep narcissistic needs,” Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told the Post. “But, of course, in the end reality wins out, and trying to disfigure it or reinterpret it doesn’t work.”

“TrumpNation” Author Tim O’Brien echoed Wehner’s sentiment, calling the president’s projected self-confidence a staple of his resilience.

“When you look back on all the adversity he’s overcome — he’s survived three marriages, a brush with personal bankruptcy, he’s overseen several corporate bankruptcies, he’s been through withering press coverage . . . I think he tells fables to himself, about himself, to create the narrative he wants to see,” O’Brien said.

The president’s rose-colored glasses extend beyond Mueller’s investigation. Trump has reportedly taken to floating the notion that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape may not actually be him.

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“He would just assert it, and people would kind of say, ‘Okay, let’s move along,’” a person who’s heard the president’s claim told the Post. “There’s no point in sitting there and litigating it with him.”

“He says, ‘It’s really not me. I don’t talk like that,’” another source said.

During the 2016 election, Trump himself admitted the veracity of that tape, in which he can be heard bragging about grabbing women “by the p*ssy” without permission. Then-candidate Trump even apologized for his language, later dismissing the tape as “locker room talk.”

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And beyond the “Access Hollywood” tape, the president is also reportedly dismissing his low approval ratings as “fake,” telling friends “no president since Harry Truman” has accomplished what he has, the Post reports.

Trump on Saturday took that claim to Twitter, boasting he has “possibly done more than any 10 month President.”

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump lawyer Purpura busted by MSNBC for lying on the Senate floor during impeachment trial

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Moments after the end of the Saturday's Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump concluded, MSNBC host Brian Williams pointed out that one of Donald Trump's attorney's lied on the Senate floor about the president's Ukraine scandal-- and he had a clip handy to prove it.

Sharing footage of attorney Mike Purpura stating the higher-ups in Ukraine were unaware that Donald Trump was withholding aid until after the government helped him by announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the MSNBC host called the attorney out.

To make his point that Pupura was being untruthful, Williams then showed a clip of Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who testified that Ukrainians were asking about the delay on the day of the Trump phone call that was the starting point of the impeachment trial.

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Any normal president could find some defense attorneys who aren’t clowns and grifters

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Donald Trump's penchant for telling reporters about his crimes doesn't leave his legal defense team a lot to work with. In the first week of his Senate trial, they've pounded the desk and rended their garments over how mean their Democrats opponents are toward their client. But the worst is yet to come--WaPo reports that during the next phase of the proceedings, Trump's legal team will offer "a scorched-earth defense of President Trump in the impeachment trial, mounting a politically charged case aimed more at swaying American voters than GOP senators — and damaging Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, Joe Biden."

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