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Angry White House staff ‘beyond disbelief’ at John Kelly’s defense of alleged wife beater Rob Porter: report

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White House chief of staff John Kelly was reportedly one of the few White House officials who wanted staff secretary Rob Porter to stay at his job despite two ex-wives claiming that he used to beat them.

Now sources tell Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman that Kelly’s attempt to go to bat for Porter left a bad taste in many White House officials’ mouths, as they thought it made the White House seem insensitive to issues such as spousal abuse.

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“It’s beyond disbelief,” a former White House official tells Sherman. “Everyone is trying to figure out why Kelly is leading the charge to save him.”

Staffers were particularly frustrated that Kelly put out an official statement defending Porter shortly before he decided to step down in which he called the staff secretary “a man of true integrity and honor” and a “trusted professional.”

“How many times has Kelly put out a statement defending Trump?” one Republican asked.

Sherman said that Porter has served as Kelly’s right-hand man and has worked to limit the kinds of information that President Donald Trump sees to prevent staffers slipping him conspiracy-laden InfoWars articles.

Despite the fact that two of Porter’s ex-wives told the FBI that he physically abused them, Porter himself has denied all accusations by calling them “slanderous and simply false.”

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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Shep Smith blasts autocrats in first public remarks since leaving Fox News — and donates $500,000 to protect journalists

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On Thursday, for the first time since exiting Fox News, reporter Shepard Smith gave public comments at the International Press Freedom Awards — and used the occasion to blast autocratic leaders who use their power to suppress journalism.

"Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” said Smith. "Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that."

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