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Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump has only himself to blame for ‘boneheaded idea’ to let McGahn talk with Mueller

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White House counsel Don McGahn has reportedly been cooperating extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe — and former Watergate special prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste told CNN on Monday that this could come back to bite President Donald Trump.

During an interview with CNN’s John Berman, Ben-Veniste said the president has no one but himself to blame for this latest blunder, which he said could open him up to even further legal jeopardy.

“Here’s an area where Mr. Trump apparently made the decision to let him go forward, and it’s something that is quite unusual,” he explained. “And it’s something — to the extent that it’s a boneheaded idea — that he can’t blame his designated whipping boy, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for. This is on Trump.”

Ben-Veniste also said he was appalled that Trump would publicly weigh in on former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s prosecution even as jurors were deliberating about whether to convict him for tax fraud.

“Unprecedented,” he said. “Never in the history of, at least, modern times has a president so blatantly tried to intervene in the deliberations of the jury.”

Berman then asked the former Watergate prosecutor if he found the president’s behavior unsettling.

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“There’s everything unsettling about it,” he said.

Watch the full interview below.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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CNN

‘He clocked Beto’: Van Jones says ‘Castro came out of nowhere’ to dominate the first Democratic debate

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CNN host Van Jones asserted on Wednesday that former Transporation Secretary Julián Castro was the breakout star of the first Democratic presidential debate.

"I was super proud to be a Democrat," Jones said following the debate. "I thought they all did better than Trump."

The CNN host went on to call Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a "college professor" compared to the other candidates, who he said were more like "graduate students."

"She is able to go back and forth between policy and the human thing," Jones marveled before moving on to praise Castro.

"It was Castro that came out of nowhere!" Jones exclaimed. "Nobody was talking about Castro. He did the Texas takedown, turned around, clocked Beto [O'Rourke]. I mean, you never saw it coming."

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CNN

CNN’s Toobin shuts down Rick Santorum for spinning about the Mueller report

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that there was no point to Democrats calling former special counsel Robert Mueller for a public hearing — but legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin quickly shut him down.

"The Democrats think it will spark some sort of outrage for impeachment," said Santorum. "I just think, and this is why the president is frustrated, it's because they won't let go. They won't accept the fact that the American public moved on and they haven't."

"Jeff? Has the American public moved on?" asked Cooper.

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