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Reporter gasps after Melania whitewashes Trump’s child camps: ‘That briefing was like everything’s fine’

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A CNN panel on Thursday suggested that First Lady Melania Trump’s visit to a center housing child immigrants was meant to whitewash President Donald Trump’s policy of separating parents and children.

A day after the president signed an executive order ending child separations for future immigrant cases, Melania Trump made an unexpected visit to a child “home” run by a private contractor in Texas. During the visit, employees of the facility made clear that most of the children in the facility had entered the U.S. unaccompanied and were not the children who had been taken from their parents.

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Following Melania Trump’s discussion with the private contractor, The Daily Beast’s Jackie Kucinich appeared taken aback by the deception.

Kucinich noted that the children visited by the first lady “are not the children that were taken from their parents.”

“They are children that have come unaccompanied across the border,” she explained. “Yes, it’s important that she’s taking the press through. It’s important that she’s drawing attention to this.”

“That said,” Kucinich continued, “that briefing was a little bit like, ‘Everything’s fine. The kids come in here, they’re a little upset and then they relax.’ I think is what one of the officials there [said]. We have read accounts that that is not the case with these young children who come in and do not calm down, are catatonic. There could be permanent damage from what has already occurred to them.”

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“Forgive me for looking at this with a little bit of a skeptical eye,” she said, struggling to find words.

CNN host Dana Bash also pointed out that the facility visited by Melania Trump is not one of the so-called tender age detention centers, which house toddlers and infants.

“This was a handpicked place by the American government to give a certain impression,” CNN correspondent Nia-Malika Henderson observed. “We don’t know what these facilities are like. They are all over the countries. There are some in New York, there are some in Michigan… That’s what this highlighted to me, again, how little we know and how selective the government has been in giving access.”

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Watch the video below from CNN.


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‘Mulvaney lied’: CNN panel breaks down ‘incredibly damning’ White House confession

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," a panel discussed how White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's press briefing was a disaster for President Donald Trump.

"Can I just point out why this matters?" said CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "I mean, this is not just some gotcha thing because we all want to get something on the chief of staff. Here we have congressionally appropriated money. Congress says give this money to the Ukrainians. Taxpayer money. And what the White House has done and what they admitted today was, you only get the money if you help us win the election. Not because you help us [with] national security, international relations. The only thing we want from you is help to defeat Democrats. That is wrong. That’s why this matters."

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Sondland may have refused to be ‘the fall guy’ — but he’s still complicit: CNN security analyst

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," CNN security analyst and Lawfare editor Susan Hennessey pointed out that even though EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland turned against President Donald Trump in testimony, it should not be forgotten he was a willing participant in much of the Ukraine scheme.

"In his opening statement today, Sondland wrote he was 'disappointed by the president's direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani in the Ukraine policy,'" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "In his actions, though, did Ambassador Sondland actually advance Giuliani's goals here?"

"Yes, and to the extent that he was disappointed in what the president asked of him, he took the ball and ran with it," said Hennessey. "He was trying to facilitate Giuliani's efforts, trying to introduce him to Ukrainian officials, and Sondland himself was carrying the same corrupt message, including they needed to be investigating the Bidens for the president's personal political interest. This is Sondland saying, I'm not going to be the fall guy. So I don't know how strong of a message it is that he was saying, I knew it was wrong, but that's the message that he's not willing."

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Trump’s lead counsel disavows Mulvaney’s admission the president engaged in Ukraine quid pro quo

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On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney stunned reporters by effectively admitting President Donald Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for foreign aid appropriated by Congress.

According to CNN's Jim Acosta, Mulvaney's speech was so out of left field that the president's chief attorney immediately disavowed it.

"Mulvaney's performance blindsided the president's outside legal team, as the president's lead attorney, Jay Sekulow, said on the record to CNN, the legal team was not involved in the acting chief of staff's press briefing," said White House correspondent Jim Acosta. "That is pretty telling when the chief counselor to the president is saying, we did not have anything to do with this."

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