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Republican scandal-ridden presidency 100 years ago laid the groundwork for the release of Trump’s tax returns — here’s how

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A scandal-ridden Republican presidency 100 years ago led to laws that could facilitate the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns if Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, the New York Times explained today.

The tool that could finally free the information Trump had claimed he would release after an “audit” but then refused to disclose is Section 6103 in the tax code, which empowered Congress to investigate bribes paid to members of the Warren G. Harding administration by citizens who wanted to lease federal lands with oil reserves.

The provision allows Congress’s tax-writing committees to request from the Treasury Department tax returns or related information on any tax filer. That includes the president.

The president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that the issue would backfire as voters wanted to be kept in the dark about Trump’s possible illegal acts and compromising business ties.

“It is really for the purpose of political harassment,” Giuliani said. “It is a heck of a good battle for a president.”

However, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said it would be a no-brainer.

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“That is one of the first things we’d do — that’s the easiest thing in the world,” she said.

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WATCH: Here’s the secret to dissecting Trump’s chaotic distractions

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In an extended examination on MSNBC, host Ari Melber took a hard look at how President Donald Trump creates almost daily distractions for the media and the public to keep the focus off his multiple scandals and to make it look like he is doing something -- when all he is doing is creating controversy for controversy's sake.

Put simply, Melber explained, the president's tweets out some plan he has no intention of implementing, hypes it up for days -- then drops it like it never happened.

Using Trump's aborted attack on Iran as a jumping off point, Melber -- and his panel -- explained that Trump's style of governing is based on "head fakes" and "bluffs."

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Chuck Todd’s terrible interview with fabricator-in-chief Trump snapped the tether: From here on out there’s no truth

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Nothing will ever be the same again. Donald Trump’s unwavering disregard for reality and his acts of violence against the truth are rapidly metastasizing into the marrow of the national debate. I'm not sure we have enough heroes in this country to successfully extricate Trumpism and toss it into the biohazard waste bin of history, along other embarrassments in America's mixed record.

The very fabric of right and wrong in America is disintegrating as one of our two major parties, with some crucial help from Russia, has convinced four out of every 10 voters that verifiable truth is nothing more than a fake news plot against them and their beloved Fifth Avenue Clampetts. As a result, half of the political debate, from the local level on up, is built exclusively on wrongness — on total nonsense, invented by Trump himself along with his propaganda cable network.

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Trump considering withdrawal from 68-year-old treaty with Japan: report

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President Donald Trump has been privately talking about withdrawing from the postwar defense treaty with Japan, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is telling confidants the treaty is unfair to the U.S. because it promises to help if Japan was ever attacked, but doesn't require Japan to come to America's defense, the sources told Bloomberg.

So far, the president hasn't taken any step toward pulling out of the treaty, which was signed in 1951, and administration officials insist that move would be highly unlikely.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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