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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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

Read the full report here.

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Jay-Z files second civil lawsuit against Mississippi prison for ‘barbaric’ treatment of inmates

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Alleging "barbaric" conditions, rapper and record executive Jay-Z has filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections on behalf of 152 inmates, The Guardian reports.

The lawsuit states that Parchman prison is responsible for "abhorrent conditions, abuse and constant violence, inadequate health care and mental health care, and overuse of isolation," adding that "the people confined at Parchman live a miserable and hopeless existence confronted daily by imminent risk of substantial harm in violation of their rights under the US Constitution."

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Scottish lawmaker: Reasonable grounds to suspect Trump or his associates ‘have been involved in serious crime’

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A Member of the Scottish Parliament is asking his fellow ministers to investigate President Donald Trump’s deals through which he acquired his properties in Scotland, including Trump’s two multi-million dollar losing golf courses. President Trump prizes his Turnberry, Scotland  resort, but reports that the American president is using the U.S. federal government to help keep it afloat have dogged him.

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Florida woman zips boyfriend into suitcase and lets him suffocate: police

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A Florida woman zipped her boyfriend into a suitcase and recorded video as he suffocated to death, police said.

Sarah Boone was arrested on second-degree murder charges in the death of Jorge Torres Jr., who died inside a suitcase during an apparent domestic dispute, reported WESH-TV.

The 42-year-old Boone told police that she had been drinking chardonnay with Torres, who she said agreed to climb into the suitcase and be zipped inside as a joke.

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