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Trump is ‘itching’ to jump into shutdown debate even as aides struggle to keep him quiet: report

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President Donald Trump has kept a low profile since the government shutdown began late Friday night, prompting some pundits to question when the president’s purported skills as a bargainer would come into play.

The Washington Post reported on Sunday that in fact, Trump is eager to jump into the fray, even as exhausted aides and advisers try to keep him from doing more damage.

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White House advisers told the Post that Trump has been counseled to keep his head down so as not to get branded as the face of the shutdown — although polls show that he and the Republicans are taking the brunt of blame from the public.

White House chief of staff John Kelly, director of legislative affairs Marc Short, budget director Mick Mulvaney and others have cautioned Trump against appearing too ready to make a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

“Aides and advisers also reminded Trump of the perils of getting too deeply involved at this point, noting Congress is more unpopular than him and talking about some of the unpleasant experiences he has had negotiating with Capitol Hill,” wrote the Post‘s Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker.

“Privately, some of his closest advisers admit the president is an erratic dealmaker who can unexpectedly overturn negotiations like a flimsy coffee table,” the Post said.

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Sources say Trump is “itching” to be involved, watching TV coverage of the shutdown obsessively and orchestrating media appearances by surrogates. He has managed to restrain himself on Twitter and let aides do the bulk of the talking over the weekend.

However, the president is nothing if not changeable and could be expected to rebel against his current level of message discipline at any time.

He has asked aides in recent days if they feel he’ll be blamed for the shutdown while simultaneously boasting that he’s handing the crisis better than then-President Barack Obama did in 2013.

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Irritated at public perception that he’s not working, Trump released a series of official White House photos on Saturday, but they were promptly ridiculed.

“Trump’s desk was empty,” said the Post.

Read the full report here.

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WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

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During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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