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White House abruptly cancels their daily press briefing after yesterday’s disaster

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- Commentary

The White House late Tuesday morning mysteriously canceled the “daily” press briefing after Monday’s absolutely disastrous one held by Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah. No reason was given for the cancellation.

But the Trump White House is facing even greater scrutiny this week than usual. Due today is the President’s formal disclosure, mandated by law, of any “liabilities that exceeded $10,000 at any time during calendar year 2017.” That would include any payments made to Stormy Daniels or any other potential payments to any other possible mistresses.

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Trump is also under heightened scrutiny and facing increasing outrage over his astonishingly tone-deaf tweets in support of a Chinese cell phone manufacturing giant that the U.S. government banned from selling its goods. Trump promised to lift sanctions that he says are putting ZTE out of business. ZTE has been identified as violating American trade controls against Iran and North Korea and accused of engaging in cyber espionage against Americans.

Also odd is the First Lady’s sudden kidney surgery on Monday, which the President did not attend. The White House is refusing to discuss it, other than to issue a short press release. An administration spokesperson actually cited HIPAA regulations, claiming they prevented her from talking about Melania Trump’s operation.

“I am not going to expand beyond the statement I put out. The First Lady is in good spirits and she is resting. There are HIPAA laws to consider, but she also deserves personal privacy,” Stephanie Grisham, communications director for the the first lady, told CNN Tuesday “when asked why the routine procedure would require a multi-day hospital stay.”

Monday’s press briefing itself was a disaster.

Of the now 60 or more Palestinians killed by Israel forces, the White House insisted Hamas was entirely to blame. The dead include at least eight children and even an infant.

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Raj Shah came up empty when pressed on who authorized two far right wing extremist pastors to preach at Monday’s opening celebration ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Shah told reporters he just didn’t know how they came to be invited to speak.

One, Pastor Robert Jeffress, has said that Jews are going to hell. Also, anyone who practices any religion other than Christianity – including those of the Islamic and Mormon faiths. And, gay people.

The other, John Hagee, once said Hitler was fulfilling God’s plan when he slaughtered millions of Jews.

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Shah said he did not know who invited them. He did not offer to find out, nor did he even condemn the pastor’s remarks. He merely questioned that they had made them, and said they don’t reflect the Trump White House’s positions.


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‘The country got an education’: Nicolle Wallace explains why impeachment could move public opinion

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MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace offered her analysis after the day of televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry.

Wallace, who served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, drew upon her experience as a top Republican strategist.

"Listen, I haven’t spent a nanosecond in a courtroom, but I’ve spent my career in the court of public opinion. And if you look at what the Democrats have set out to do and you look at why this has swung public opinion in a way the Mueller probe never did is that they have laid brick on top of brick on top of brick," Wallace explained.

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Room erupts in laughter as Democrat Peter Welch destroys Jim Jordan during impeachment hearing

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There was a moment of levity four-hours into the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the bombastic Freedom Caucus member who was added to the committee at the last moment by Republicans, had argued that the White House whistleblower started the scandal.

"There’s one witness, one witness that they won’t bring in front of us, they won’t bring in front of the American people, and that’s the guy who started it all, the whistleblower," Jordan argued.

Unfortunately for the wrestling coach turned politician, Jordan was followed by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe succinctly debunks Jim Jordan’s defense of Trump

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe debunked the key defense of President Donald Trump that was offered by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) during the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry.

Jordan did not address the fact President Donald Trump solicited foreign election interference in violation of federal law, but attempted to debunk the additional charge that there was extortion/bribery.

The Ohio Republican argued that there could not have been a quid pro quo because the aid was eventually released.

But Tribe, who has taught at Harvard Law for half a century and argued three dozen cases before the United States Supreme Court, fact-checked the congressman who never passed the bar exam.

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