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MSNBC panel explains how Donald Trump’s own lawyer is a bigger threat to the White House than Vladimir Putin

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MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber examined the political implications of Friday’s Wall Street Journal bombshell report that longtime Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid an adult film star $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election.

Melber asked former Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MA) to explain how today’s revelations could impact special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations.

“I want to pick up on a point you raised earlier in the hour, congresswoman, the potential influence of this story in the wider probe by Bob Mueller, because one of the unverified accounts, which the president has denied and brought up, was the notion that the Russian government might have some sort of blackmail material on him, that related to his sort-of private contacts, I’ll put it that way,” Melber explained.

“And here’s a report that his private history would somehow be something that he had to keep secret,” Melber noted.

“Right, this agreement with Stormy Daniels was negotiated in October of 2016, a month prior to the election,” Edwards noted. “And what is not really clear to me, is one, whether there might be others that were negotiated in that same time frame. We may not have known about them, but the Russians might have known.”

“This particular allegation as described in the Wall Street Journal is consensual, but is allegedly something they paid well over $100,000 they paid to keep secret,” Melber noted.

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Since The Wall Street Journal report, a second adult actress has come forward to corroborate Stormy Daniels’ account.

Alana Evans told The Daily Beast, “Stormy calls me four or five times, by the last two phone calls she’s with Donald [Trump] and I can hear him, and he’s talking through the phone to me saying, ‘Oh come on Alana, let’s have some fun! Let’s have some fun! Come to the party, we’re waiting for you.'”

“Howard, let me compare this in light of another individual who faced questions about his private conduct, but is held in much higher regard than Donald Trump. That is David Petraeus, a widely respected general, who many people felt served his country honorably and served at the CIA and there were not complaints about his professional management of the CIA, but ultimately he was not only removed but charged, because in the national security context, even consensual activity could form basis of a national security blackmail risk,” Melber reminded.

“Your analysis?” Melber asked NBC News contributor Howard Fineman.

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“In my view, this underscores the fact the real threat, perhaps, to Donald Trump is not so much Vladimir Putin, but Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s long-time personal attorney,” Fineman answered.

“Who knows what deals Michael Cohen did, to keep things quiet on Donald Trump’s behalf, in the decade that he worked directly for Donald Trump, was his closest adviser really and closest legal confidante,” Fineman observed.

“Was this the only deal he did to keep someone quiet? What other deals were there?” Fineman asked.

“What did Michael Cohen know and when did he know it?” Fineman wondered.

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Supreme Court rejects Virginia GOP’s last-ditch attempt to block fair legislative elections

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On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, shutting down the Virginia GOP's last ditch effort to rig the upcoming state legislative election taking place this November.

In 5-4 decision, the justices held that the House of Delegates has no standing to appeal the decision made by the lower court. The vote broke along unusual lines, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writing for a majority with Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch, and Justice Samuel Alito writing a dissent joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh.

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Gun-loving Parkland teen loses admission to Harvard over racist texts

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A pro-gun Parkland school shooting survivor has lost his admission to Harvard University over recently revealed racist remarks.

Kyle Kashuv broke with many of his classmates on gun safety laws after a February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and he was accepted to attend the Ivy League university after working as a conservative activist.

However, the 18-year-old Kashuv announced Monday, that admission was rescinded after texts and other derogatory comments he made nearly two years ago were reported.

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Shell-shocked manufacturers hammer Trump’s plan to impose sweeping new China tariffs: ‘We’re barely profitable now’

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According to a report from the Washington Post, President Donald Trump is considering yet another wave of tariffs aimed at China, which has American manufacturers and farmers stunned after the economic battering they have already sustained during his trade wars.

The Post reports that the Trump administration is considering new tariffs on virtually all imports from China, which is receiving major pushback from representatives attending hearings being held by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

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