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GOP lawmaker: FBI should drop Russia probe because we never investigated Obama’s birth certificate

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Rep. Tom Garrett Jr. (R-VA) on Monday likened the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections to President Donald Trump’s racist “birtherism” campaign to convince Americans that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

“This Russia investigation is essentially birtherism,” Garrett told CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “Imagine if there was a politically funded investigation of President Obama’s place of birth where the levers of power were leveraged.”

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“Do you think Russia didn’t meddle?” Keilar asked. “Is that why you mean it’s birtherism?”

“The question is what the American government does to its own people against the Fourth Amendment right to privacy,” Garrett replied.

The lawmaker called on Congress to release classified documents that we prepared when the FBI requested surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

“Watergate was a bunch of political hacks [but] these are employees of the federal government,” he opined. “And so what’s at stake here isn’t Republican or Democrat, it’s about who we are as a country.”

Keilar, however, seemed puzzled by the comparison to birtherism.

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“Why do you equate the two?” she asked. “I mean, President Obama was born in the United States and when you look at this investigation, one, Russia meddled in the election and then there were some contacts between either associates or members of the Trump campaign with Kremlin-backed Russians.”

“I guess I don’t understand why you’re equating birtherism, which by the way was really spearheaded by President Trump, with this Russia investigation that is spearheaded right now by Robert Mueller,” Keilar said.

For his part, Garrett insisted that it was unfair to criticize the Trump campaign for meeting Russians.

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“Any contact then becomes the smoking gun?” Garrett complained. “That’s ridiculous. So, the crazy people who made aspersions against President Obama didn’t have the wight of the federal government being brought to bear to sort of flesh out those aspersions.”

Watch the video below from CNN.

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‘Russia is delighted’: Maddow says the elephant in the room is ‘rearing up and stomping its feet’

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The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC broke down how all of President Donald Trump's decisions in the Ukraine scandal primarily benefited Russia.

"We are in the middle of this impeachment now and it is still unfolding and there is still more to learn and tomorrow is going to be — tomorrow should be a big deal," Maddow noted. "Even just the news tonight is a big deal."

"But even after one day of public hearings so far, the elephant in the room here feels like it’s rearing up and stomping its feet, because who benefits with all these things Trump has done?" Maddow asked. "With all of them. With all this stuff in the middle of the impeachment, but all the other stuff he’s doing simultaneously."

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Trump begs Louisiana for a ‘big win’ after his last-minute rally in Kentucky backfired

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At his last-ditch rally in Louisiana to help the struggling gubernatorial candidacy of GOP businessman Eddie Rispone, President Donald Trump boasted — incorrectly — that his rally in Kentucky narrowed the gap for Gov. Matt Bevin, who lost the race, by 19 points. He then begged voters to give Rispone a "big win."

"We elected everybody," said Trump. "The governor got brought up, in a few short days, 19 points. I went, we made a speech, the whole ticket was there, everybody won big. Governor's a really good guy. But 19 points is a big thing, and he lost by just a few thousand votes. And the headlines next day, Trump took a loss — I lifted him up a lot. But Trump took a loss. So you gotta give me a big win, please, okay? Okay?"

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Republicans are treating voters like ‘children’ with their defense of Trump: Ex-presidential adviser

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former presidential adviser David Gergen laid into Republican lawmakers for claiming that the impeachment probe is only based on "hearsay."

"The Republicans are treating us like idiots," said Gergen. "They just — they say you're only bringing forth hearsay. You don't have any firsthand information. We know there are three people who know exactly what happened. One is named [Rudy] Giuliani. One is chief of staff [Mick] Mulvaney and the third is [John] Bolton. And what's happened here? They all three have been called. The president said no, you must not talk. So the Republicans then come up and say, well, you only have hearsay."

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