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Ex-RNC chairman slams Trump’s ‘bromance’ with Kanye: This doesn’t ‘absolve’ you of racism

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The former chairman of the Republican National Committee took Donald Trump to task Thursday for attempting to excuse his racism by paling around with Kanye West in their Oval Office press conference.

In a panel interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, ex-RNC chair Michael Steele noted that it was “unsettling” for Trump to hold the photo op with the rapper while a hurricane barreled down on the gulf coast and a Saudi Washington Post reporter is still missing and rumored to have been killed.

“I’m sorry, meeting with Kanye does not absolve you of your position on Charlottesville,” Steele said, referencing the infamous time the president equated anti-fascist protesters and the white supremacists they were protesting against at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.

“It does not absolve you on talking about the continent where my ancestors came from as an [sic] ‘S-hole,’” he added before noting that the meeting will not excuse Trump’s desire to build a wall to keep Mexican immigrants out or putting migrant children “in cages.”

“So you can meet with Kanye and have your bromance moment,” he said, “but the American people see through it and see it for what it is.”

The black community, Steele added, is not “going to wake up and go, ‘he met with Kanye, I think I’ll go vote for Trump.'”

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“That’s not how that works,” the former GOP official concluded.

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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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2012

British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate

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Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.

The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.

In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.

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Saudi Arabia blames Iran for tanker attacks but does not want war

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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and called on the international community to take a “decisive stand”, but said that the kingdom does not want a war in the region.

Attacks on two oil tankers on Thursday, which the United States also blamed on Iran, have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region. Iran has denied any role in the strikes south of the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route and major transit route for oil.

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