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MSNBC conservatives call for Congress to censure Trump and strip McConnell of power after Putin appeasement in Helsinki

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Two conservatives appearing on an MSNBC panel hosted by Stephanie Ruhle went to a new level of outrage at where President Donald Trump has taken their party after his disastrous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with one going so far as to call for the president to be censured by Congress.

Following a montage of clips of Fox News hosts appearing disturbed and distraught at Trump abasing himself in front of Putin in Helsinki, GOP strategist and now-former Republican Steve Schmidt launched an attack on Trump before turning to GOP lawmakers who are standing by watching the president destroy their party — and the country.

“It’s the musings of an imbecile” Schmidt said of Trump’s press conference in Helsinki. “Trump is what the Russians call a ‘useful idiot,’ someone in service to the Russian Federation, either unwitting or wittingly.”

“For the first time in the history of the United States, you have an American president who is absolutely unwilling to defend the country from a hostile foreign power that has attacked it,” he exclaimed. “He is faithless to his oath of office. We watched Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and you watch Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and a couple of others [criticize Trump]. What we know for sure is that the Congress under this Republican control is as feckless to American ideals, to the Constitution, to the country, as Donald Trump is.”

“So Jeff Flake and Snowe and Sasse and all the rest of them can say ‘disgraceful, bad, terrible,’ but they actually have power to do something about it,” he explained. “This is an extraordinary moment, and the Congress is absolutely unwilling to exert oversight over this president. So Sasse and Snowe and Flake have it in their power to cut a deal with the Democrats to remove Sen. Mitch McConnell from power, who’s up in this up to his eyeballs as well.”

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“He [McConnell] was informed before the election that the Russians were meddling by President Obama and refused to take any action on it as well,” he added.

Republican strategist Evan Siegfried went a step further, calling on Congress to officially censure the president, but also warned that Republicans who oppose the president may pay at the polls as Trump loyalists turn on them.

According to Steve Schmidt, “So what?” adding voters should either be on “Team America or Team Putin.”

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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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