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Ex-State Dept. diplomat pushed out by Trump urges Tillerson to spill the beans on the president

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A career State Department diplomat fired by President Donald Trump early in his administration had words of encouragement and advice for newly-ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday afternoon.

Thomas Countryman, who learned he was fired by the president in the first week of his administration while en route to Rome for a meeting on nuclear weapons, told a CNN panel led by host Brooke Baldwin that he could understand what the secretary of state might be going through.

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“I feel empathy for Rex Tillerson,” Countryman said. “It’s no fun to get fired — but it can be liberating.”

“I hope that that’s what he feels tomorrow,” the ex-diplomat said in the moments after Tillerson’s press conference responding to his ouster.

Though Countryman said he disagreed with Tillerson “for not defending adequately the budget and the personnel of the State Department,” he respected him and the role he played — particularly as “somebody who was a restraining influence on the worst instincts of a president who is — I don’t know if the right word is unchained or unhinged.”

“What concerns me now is that there will not be that kind of influence from Secretary [Mike] Pompeo,” he concluded.

Watch below, via CNN:

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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