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Former federal prosecutor who worked with Rod Rosenstein explains his ‘dry’ humor — and why it may have misled officials

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A former federal prosecutor who worked with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein explained during an MSNBC panel why his alleged comment about wearing a wire when speaking with Donald Trump was likely made in jest — but may have misled those around him.

“Rosenstein, who I worked with, is a very dry guy,” former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said. “He has the ability to say something where he’s being sarcastic and to look deadly serious.”

“For people who were perhaps new to working with him in a very tense situation, Rod’s sarcastic response might have come off as serious,” she added.

The ex-prosecutor noted that Rosenstein issued a denial of the New York Times‘ report claiming he floated invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office and suggested she believes him, calling the deputy attorney general a “straight shooter.”

“Before we all decide that the president will accept this at face value, I think we need to contemplate that they’ve increasingly had a good relationship and the president may see this exactly the way that Rosenstein does,” Vance said. “And so perhaps it will end there.”

“If it does lead to Rosenstein’s firing,” she added, “it will do incalculable damage to the [special counsel Robert] Mueller investigation.”

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Gun ‘Van Gogh killed himself with’ to go under hammer

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The revolver with which Vincent van Gogh is believed to have shot himself is to go under the hammer Wednesday at a Paris auction house.

Billed as "the most famous weapon in the history of art", the seven mm Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch up to 60,000 euros ($67,000).

Van Gogh experts believe that he shot himself with the revolver near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris, where he spent the last few months of his life in 1890.

Discovered by a farmer in 1965 in the same field where the troubled Dutch painter is thought to have fatally wounded himself, the gun has already been exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

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Hong Kong protests a rare defeat for China’s President Xi Jinping say analysts

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China's powerful President Xi Jinping has been dealt a rare setback with the suspension of unpopular legislation in Hong Kong following massive protests, but Beijing could bite back by tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city, according to analysts.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters returned to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, calling for the resignation of the territory's pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam -- even after she suspended a deeply unpopular bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland.

Xi is not used to such challenges, having consolidated his power and tightened his grip on civil society on the mainland since taking office in 2012.

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2020 Election

Trump’s reelection support is 50-50 in Texas, Biden and O’Rourke lead the Democrats, UT/TT Poll says

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Texas voters are split when asked about reelecting the president, and Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke are their favorites for the Democratic nomination to challenge him, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Half of the registered voters in Texas would vote to reelect President Donald Trump, but half of them would not, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Few of those voters were wishy-washy about it: 39% said they would “definitely” vote to reelect Trump; 43% said they would “definitely not” vote for him. The remaining 18% said they would “probably” (11%) or “probably not” (7%) vote to give Trump a second term.

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