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Authoritarianism expert: Russia hacked Lindsey Graham’s personal emails so Trump may be blackmailing him

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Writer and expert on authoritarian regimes Sarah Kendzior appeared on MSNBC Thursday and blasted Republicans for their submissiveness to President Donald Trump.

She and host Joy Reid discussed the bizarre turn-around of Sen. Lindsey Graham who went from calling Trump a “kook” to attacking the media for trying to “label the guy some kind of kook not fit to be president.”

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The uncomfortably effusive praise of Trump by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet, as well as an unctuous speech by long-serving Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) led Kendzior to speculate that Trump might even be blackmailing some officials.

“The RNC was hacked,” Kendzior said. “We don’t know what happened with those e-mails. We know that Lindsey Graham’s personal e-mails were also hacked and we know that Trump has a long track record of blackmailing and threatening those who he sees as his political opponents. That goes back throughout his entire career.”

Kendzior reminded Reid that many Republicans benefitted in 2016 from millions of dollars of dark money donated by Kremlin-aligned Russian nationals living in the U.S. and that Graham is one of those politicians.

“I think what concerns me most is that they seem afraid,” she said of the Republicans gathered to heap compliments on Trump this week. “They seem unable to stand up for themselves. They lack all dignity.”

“Trump has berated them, he has insulted them,” Kendzior said. “He’s often gone after their wives and their family members, saying terrible things and yet they prostrate themselves to him. What kind of leader are you? What kind of man are you?”

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Rumors have long swirled about the never-married Graham’s sexual orientation. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee insinuated earlier this year that he has concerns about Graham’s sexuality.

When the South Carolina senator was proving to be insufficiently loyal to Trump in March, Huckabee said, “I sometimes wonder what uniform he puts on each morning when goes out to the field to play… and I’m not just talking about the partisan uniform.”

Watch the video, embedded below:

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‘Wow’: CNN’s Jake Tapper stunned by Sen. Rick Scott’s factually-impaired attack on Joe Biden

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has launched a new ad attacking 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden just ahead of the caucuses this coming Monday, declaring that despite the Democrats' ongoing impeachment effort against President Trump, the "real story here is the corruption Joe Biden got away with." According to the Wall Street Journal, the ad buy was worth $19,000 and will appear on local cable TV in Des Moines, Iowa.

On CNN this Wednesday, Jake Tapper was taken aback by the ad's message, saying, "Wow!" after airing a clip of the ad.

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‘Are you done?’ The View audience goes wild as Whoopi Goldberg cuts off Alan Dershowitz during combative interview

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"The View" host Whoopi Goldberg clashed with Alan Dershowitz after he refused to move on from an argument and let the other co-hosts ask questions.

The Harvard Law professor emeritus appeared Wednesday on the daily talk show after defending President Donald Trump from his impeachment trial, where he argued that Democrats had not proven he broke any laws -- which he defined was the standard for conviction by the Senate.

"I'm not arguing about witnesses," Dershowitz said. "What I'm saying is, the charge of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power are not within the constitutional terms high crimes and misdemeanors. The framers rejected terms just like that. They rejected maladministration as a potential term and maladministration is virtually the same as abuse of power."

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‘It’s pretty much over’: Ex-RNC chief Michael Steele says ruse to call witnesses is ‘head fake’ by McConnell

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Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday said that the Senate trial of President Donald Trump is "over" for all practical purposes.

Steele shot down reporting that House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not have the votes to prevent witnesses from being called in the impeachment trial.

"At the end of the day, there will be no more witnesses added to this conversation," Steele told an MSNBC panel. "This is pretty much over. I mean, I think we just need to wrap our heads around that and think about the longer game to come."

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