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White House defends vetting of veterans affairs nominee Ronny Jackson

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The White House on Wednesday defended itself against charges that it had failed to adequately vet President Donald Trump’s choice to be veterans affairs secretary, whose nomination has been imperiled by charges of misconduct.

“In fact, because Dr. Jackson has worked within arm’s reach of three presidents, he has received more vetting than most nominees,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters, referring to White House physician Ronny Jackson.

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“Given his unique position of trust and responsibility, Dr. Jackson’s background and character were evaluated during three different administrations,” Sanders said.
Jackson, who was nominated by Trump in March to lead the sprawling Veterans Affairs department, had been considered an unusual choice for the post given his lack of experience managing a large organization.
John Tester, the top Democrat on the Senate committee considering the nomination, has said the panel had received allegations that Jackson had improperly distributed sleeping pills, drank excessive amounts of alcohol on overseas trips and oversaw a toxic work environment.

Earlier this week, the committee indefinitely postponed a hearing it had planned on the nomination while it looks into the allegations.

Sanders said Jackson had undergone four different background investigations, including an FBI check, and had received glowing recommendations from his superiors, including former President Barack Obama.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Tim Ahmann and Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Trott

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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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