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CNN host shuts down Jack Kingston as he defends Trump’s bullying with bizarre rant about Hillary on the Grammys

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A former Republican congressman from Georgia was shut down on CNN after attacks on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during a bizarre defense of President Donald Trump’s authoritarianism.

“So Donald Trump’s presidency, it has some critics raising the question, ‘is our democracy in danger?’ Specifically Harvard professors who’ve studied democracies for decades, because they say the answer is yes,” CNN anchor Christi Paul explained.

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The warning signs include weak commitment to democratic rules, denying the legitimacy of opponents, tolerates violence and is willing to curtail civil liberties.

“We wrote this book, How Democracies Die, inspired in part by the campaign and that checklist you just gave us, during the campaign season, he went after the media, he condoned violence at election rallies, he said he wouldn’t necessarily accept the results of the election,” Daniel Ziblatt, a professor of government at Harvard, explained.

“We — having looked around the world — this set off alarm bells for us, because we’ve seen when democracies die around the world, often political leaders come to power displaying these same tendencies,” Prof. Ziblatt continued.

“So Jack, do you see him edging toward demeaning democracy in some way? Or disintegrating it?” Paul asked former Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), who served as a senior advisor to the Trump campaign.

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“No, I don’t,” Kingston argued. “If you want to look at violence, why aren’t we looking at antifa, the violence of the resistance, who are denying the election results?”

“How come the conversations of eastern liberalism always conveniently leaves that out and then finds things about Donald Trump?” Kingston asked. “He is moving on, he has got a great cabinet, he has got a great agenda, and…”

“Wait a minute,” CNN anchor Victor Blackwell interrupted.

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“I was going to let you run there, but to characterize the president as having moved on…moving on is not objectively the way to describe President Trump’s view of his political opponents,” Blackwell fact-checked.

“She won’t go away,” Kingston claimed, referring to 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “And neither will Joe Biden.”

“Joe Biden is out there now,” Kingston complained. “I mean, Hillary Clinton shows up at the Grammys reading a book.”

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Kingston then went on to attack Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Prof. Ziblatt explained how Kingston’s tirade was exactly what political scientists would predict.

“The argument that we make in our book, is that when powerful politicians use this kind of rhetoric, it is dangerous on its own, but it also provokes a counter reaction,” Ziblatt explained. “We look around the world, when authoritarian leaders use this recipe, democratic opposition radicalizes and you get a kind of spiraling politics exactly the kind of thing Mr. Kingston is worried about.”

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“This kind of polarized rhetoric that Mr. Kingston, frankly, is using is a predictable response to this kind of politics,” Ziblatt continued. “And the president has a particular moral responsibility to not engage in that kind of rhetoric.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Has anything changed since Burning Man’s sex assault and labor issues were exposed?

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The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Truckers are facing a ‘bloodbath’ in their industry — and it’s turning many in the pro-Trump group against him: report

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Truckers are numerous, conservative, and hurting. And despite their widespread support for Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016, a new report from Business Insider suggests the pain in the industry might be turning these workers away from the president.

The political trends in trucking are not insignificant. According to the American Trucking Associations, there were an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers in 2018. RTS Financial has found that there are 7.4 million jobs total “tied to the trucking industry.” And Business Insider reported that nearly 90 percent of truckers are registered voters, higher than the general population.

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WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism

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President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.

"There was an important development in support for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives today," MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell reported Tuesday. "Important both in who the new support comes from and what that support is based on."

"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.

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