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‘These are Republicans’: Morning Joe delivers devastating takedown of Trump’s panicked ‘witch hunt’ yelps

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped up President Donald Trump’s panicked claims about a “witch hunt” in the wake of a no-knock FBI raid on his longtime attorney Michael Cohen.

The “Morning Joe” host pointed out that nearly every official involved in executing the search warrant was a Republican, and several were appointed by Trump himself.

“I know this will shock a lot of people that watch our show and that follow Donald Trump every day, but he said so many things yesterday that need a little bit of clarification,” Scarborough began.

The president complained during a Cabinet meeting Monday, after news of the raid broke, that he was the victim of a political witch hunt that began when he won the Republican presidential nomination, but Scarborough walked through each of the key players in the raid to knock down Trump’s claims.

“Just in case you want to know who these witches are, that Donald Trump says are coming after him, they’re Bob Mueller, a Republican, this is the conspiracy,” he said. “You’ve got Rod Rosenstein, who was screaming about yesterday. He’s a life-long Republican, despite the fact that Donald Trump called him a Democrat from Baltimore. The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who he was raging at — you and I both heard not only Donald Trump, but Jared Kushner (call him) the greatest, most stand-up guy, best Republican ever during the campaign. He, he is also this conspiracy, a Republican.”

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“The FBI director, who Donald Trump appointed, Republican,” Scarborough continued. “The four FISA judges that were leading this conspiracy — Republican, Republican, Republican, Republican. The House run by Republicans, the Senate run by Republicans and yesterday’s raid was run by the U.A. Attorney from the Southern District of New York — remember the one that replaced Preet (Bharara)?”

“He fired Preet because he didn’t think he could be loyal, so who did he appoint?” Scarborough added. “He appointed Geoffrey Berman, who executed this raid yesterday, in charge of this raid yesterday, ordered this raid yesterday. Not on Robert Mueller’s behalf, but on the behalf of the people of New York and the United States of America. He was appointed by Donald Trump — and also, he was, his mentor, you guessed it: Rudy Giuliani. He’s a Giuliani guy.”

Scarborough pointed out that Berman had actually contributed $5,400 to Trump’s presidential campaign, and he reminded viewers that Trump had been a Democratic donor until fairly recently.

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“Everybody that I named on that list has never been Democrats,” Scarborough said, “they’re most of their lives like Donald Trump, have never contributed hundreds and hundreds of dollars to Democratic campaigns like Donald Trump, have never contributed to Nancy Pelosi like Donald Trump, have never contributed to Rahm Emmanuel, because this is important, he says they’ve Republicans say they’ve contributed to Democrats, some of the people who have investigating on the team, have never contributed to Chuck Schumer, never contributed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC.”

“These are Republicans,” he added. “Most of these players that Donald Trump is attacking were appointed by Donald Trump, and this was executed yesterday by a Giuliani man, who gave $5,400 to Donald Trump, was just appointed in January, and is a Trump guy through and through.”

“But you know one thing that Donald Trump doesn’t understand?” Scarborough said. “Is that every one of those Republicans that I named are Republicans, but they put their country and they put the rule of law above Donald Trump — and that is something that this man will never understand. Never.”

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US fake meat firm mounts challenge to legal restrictions

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A US firm that sells turkey-flavored tofu has taken legal action against a law that prohibits use of the word "meat" to describe its products, amid a political backlash to the growing popularity of meat substitutes.

Tofurky is contesting a law, due to take effect in the southern state of Arkansas this week, which would fine companies $1,000 per violation for plant-based food products that were labeled as alternatives to meat.

In a lawsuit filed Monday and backed by the powerful American Civil Liberties Union, the firm said the move violated its constitutional rights to freedom of speech.

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UK PM contender Johnson’s biggest controversies

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During a decades-spanning career as a journalist and politician, likely next British prime minister Boris Johnson has stoked plenty of controversy.

Here are some of the most contentious episodes in the life of the bombastic 55-year-old former foreign secretary and London mayor, widely expected to become Britain's new leader this week:

- Fired for lying -

After graduating from Oxford University, Johnson landed a trainee reporter job at The Times newspaper in 1987.

But he was dismissed within a year for concocting a quote in an article about king Edward II and the monarch's suspected gay lover.

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Want to meet with the Trump Administration? Donald Trump Jr.’s hunting buddy Tommy Hicks can help

Tommy Hicks Jr. isn’t in government, but he’s a longtime pal of the president’s son. That has put him in the room when the administration talks China and 5G policy, and it lets him help others — including one friend who had $143 million riding on the outcome.

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Over the past two years, the Trump administration has been grappling with how to handle the transition to the next generation of mobile broadband technology. With spending expected to run into hundreds of billions of dollars, the administration views it as an ultra-high-stakes competition between U.S. and Chinese companies, with enormous implications both for technology and for national security. Top officials from a raft of departments have been meeting to hash out the best approach.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

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