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Trump aide called GOP operatives to spread Kavanaugh accuser’s name before her story was published

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The identity of the woman who came forward to share her story of being violently sexually assaulted at age 15 by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was given to Republican operatives before the story published, the Washington Post reports.

After preparing the story in which Professor Christine Blasey Ford  told her story, in which she says she worrying that a drunken Kavanaugh might kill her in his attack, the Post contacted the Trump White House for comment, as is standard reporting procedure.

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At that point, the Post now reports, Raj Shah, the Deputy Press Secretary who would be responsible for coordinating an official response reportedly “called a number of Trump allies to warn them about the upcoming story.”

The Post‘s source for the allegations against Shah were provided on the condition of anonymity.

“[Raj Shah] disclosed Ford’s identity to a number of people,” the Post reports.

However, the source and the Post sought to distance Shah from the conduct of Kavanaugh ally Ed Whalen. Whalen, a close friend of Kavanaugh, searched Blasey Ford’s LinkedIn page before the Post’s story was published as part of his research.

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Whelen’s research into Blasey Ford culminated in a series of conspiracy theory tweets in which he named another man who was party of Kavanaugh’s social circle that he alleged was the real rapist.

The White House has told the Post that “neither Kavanaugh nor anyone in the White House gave Ford’s name to Whelan.”

The Post now reports that its anonymous source maintains Shah “did not talk to Whelan.”

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It was unclear how the source would know that Shah did not talk to Whalen unless Shah himself was the source.

Whalen has deleted his conspiracy theory tweets and apologized but refused to tell the Post who contacted him.


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Republicans lack the ‘moxie’ to defend America’s Kurdish allies in Syria: Ex-RNC Chair

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Republicans will criticize President Donald Trump on foreign policy, but lack the nerve to do anything meaningful to protect America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria, the former chair of the Republican Party explained on MSNBC on Wednesday.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Steele about what it would take for Republicans to serve as a check on the president.

"I think the only way to make him change his mind is -- he’s got to think they might walk," Todd said.

"Well, that would require a level of moxie that we haven’t seen from the leadership," Steele replied.

"On the foreign policy space, I think that’s the one area where we’ve seen people actually start to push back rhetorically," he noted. "But I don’t know if internally they’ve really sat down with the president and go, 'This is how damaging this is, this is how troublesome it is, and this is the problem you’re having inside the caucus.' I just don’t — at least from the folks I’ve talked to, I haven’t gotten the sense they’ve gone there yet."

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Here are the two Trump claims that the Pentagon chief refused to vouch for

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The White House meeting Wednesday afternoon didn't go well for either party, according to their counterparts. Both sides are dishing on details, including a Democratic aide who said that there were two of President Donald Trump's claims that his own Pentagon chief wouldn't vouch for.

At the onset of the meeting, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) began by reading a quote from Gen. James Mattis, who briefly served in Trump's administration.

"But POTUS cut Schumer off," reported PBS News correspondent Lisa Desjardins. Trump then "said that Gen Mattis was: 'the world’s most overrated general. You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take 2 yrs. I captured them in 1 month."

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Former Clinton lawyer scolds Trump’s White House counsel on impeachment: ‘we never considered’ behaving this way

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On Tuesday, Lanny Breuer, a special counsel who worked for President Bill Clinton's White House, wrote an open letter in the Washington Post to President Donald Trump's White House Counsel Pat Cipollone — telling him that, while he understands an impeachment is a horrible thing for an administration to go through, Clinton and his lawyers would never have behaved the way Trump is now.

"In 1998, we felt under siege," wrote Breuer. "We argued at the time, as you do in your letter, that Congress should provide additional procedural protections to the president ... For example, instead of conducting its own investigation, the committee relied almost exclusively on [independent counsel Ken] Starr’s report, which had serious flaws. The House took only three months to adopt articles of impeachment, and we had only two days to present our witnesses. The president’s personal lawyer, David Kendall, had only 30 minutes to question Starr. We felt this was deeply unfair and a derogation of the House’s constitutional duty to investigate thoroughly whether impeachment was warranted."

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