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Report reveals Trump’s idea to stop ‘war games’ around North Korea may have come from Putin

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President Donald Trump’s ideas about stopping the joint military exercises between the United States military and South Korea may have come from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A Wall Street Journal puff piece from Jan. 2018 walked through 50 staffers who gave insights into how to deal with the president after his first year in office. Nested within that story, however, was a story about the conversation Trump had with Putin at the G-20 summit last summer.

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At the time, Trump was reportedly angry with Congress for inserting itself into his decision to impose sanctions against Russia.

“Around the same time, Mr. Trump had an idea about how to counter the nuclear threat posed by North Korea, which he got after speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin,” The Journal wrote of the plan.

“If the U.S. stopped joint military exercises with the South Koreans, it could help moderate Kim Jong Un’s behavior,” the report continued. Tuesday, Trump announced exactly that.

“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis used an approach that aides say can work: ‘He says, ‘Your instincts are absolutely correct,’ and then gets him [the president] to do the exact opposite of what his instincts say,'” The Journal wrote, citing a person close to the White House.

“Mr. Trump dropped the idea, although he has ordered aides to give the exercises a low profile, eliminating press releases and briefings about them,” the report closed.

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The U.S. had previously said it would never make such a move because the military exercises were part of its military alliance with South Korea and served as a deterrent to Kim Jong-un.

During the 2016 presidential debate, Trump was accused of being a puppet of the Russian president.

“No puppet. No puppet,” Trump said to Clinton. “You’re the puppet”

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump lawyer Purpura busted by MSNBC for lying on the Senate floor during impeachment trial

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Moments after the end of the Saturday's Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump concluded, MSNBC host Brian Williams pointed out that one of Donald Trump's attorney's lied on the Senate floor about the president's Ukraine scandal-- and he had a clip handy to prove it.

Sharing footage of attorney Mike Purpura stating the higher-ups in Ukraine were unaware that Donald Trump was withholding aid until after the government helped him by announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the MSNBC host called the attorney out.

To make his point that Pupura was being untruthful, Williams then showed a clip of Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who testified that Ukrainians were asking about the delay on the day of the Trump phone call that was the starting point of the impeachment trial.

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Any normal president could find some defense attorneys who aren’t clowns and grifters

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Donald Trump's penchant for telling reporters about his crimes doesn't leave his legal defense team a lot to work with. In the first week of his Senate trial, they've pounded the desk and rended their garments over how mean their Democrats opponents are toward their client. But the worst is yet to come--WaPo reports that during the next phase of the proceedings, Trump's legal team will offer "a scorched-earth defense of President Trump in the impeachment trial, mounting a politically charged case aimed more at swaying American voters than GOP senators — and damaging Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, Joe Biden."

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