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Trump is ‘undermining the credibility of the United States’ with latest cover-up: Dem Senator

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President Donald Trump’s efforts to carry water for Saudi Arabia by suggesting that Jamal Khashoggi was killed by “rogue killers” is undermining the credibility of America on the world stage, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) declared on MSNBC on Monday.

MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace brought on the senator after he sent a blistering tweet against the White House’s complicity in the reported murder of the Washington Post journalist.

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“Former CIA directors, former ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, have said over and over again — on our air and other networks — that if this operation is as the Turkish government describes it, it absolutely would have been done with the knowledge of [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] and officials at the top of the Saudi government,” Wallace reported.

“Well, Nicolle, it’s shameful that the President of the United States would allow himself to be used as the mouthpiece for the Saudi regime’s cover-up story here,” Van Hollen replied.

Van Hollen said, “the notion that the Crown Prince or the highest members of the Saudi government did not know that Khashoggi was walking into their consulate that day, even as they had those two Saudi aircraft arriving in Istanbul, just defies any kind of reality.”

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“And for the President of the United States to participate in, what clearly is a Saudi effort at cover-up and whitewash, is really undermining the credibility of the United States in so many ways,” he concluded.

Wallace, a former top White House official in the Bush administration, asked if there was any way that the “rogue killers” line was the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community.

“Look, I am willing to bet the farm on this one, Nicolle, there’s no way that is what the CIA has said,” Van Hollen answered. “In fact, the CIA said with respect to the — again, this was in the public reporting — with respect to the killing, that there’s no way the Crown Prince would not know. Whether the King knew, I don’t know, but there’s no way that the Crown Prince, who has taken the reins of day-to-day government in Saudi Arabia, was not either hatching this plot, certainly aware of this plot.”

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“So far, we have had a strong bipartisan condemnation of what the Saudis appear to have done here and hopefully we will keep that bipartisan coalition together,” he continued. “And the real concern here is that Republicans somehow, you know, take the president at his word as part of this cover-up, but I don’t think it’s going to happen in this instance because that would undermine the credibility of the United States government.”

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2020 Election

William Barr made it clear this week that he’d sign off on a sham investigation into the Dems’ 2020 nominee

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

A perfect storm propelled New York's sleaziest real estate developer to an Electoral College victory in 2016 despite winning three million fewer votes than his opponent, but Nate Silver made a compelling argument that the letter James Comey sent to Congress just 11 days before Election Day announcing that the FBI was re-opening its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails was decisive.

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Bill Barr is serving notice to DOJ officials that he’ll ruin them if they investigate Trump: MSNBC host

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An MSNBC discussion about Bill Barr running interference within the Justice Department for Donald Trump ended with "AM Joy" host Joy Reid suggesting that the attorney general's very public "media blitz" over the so-called "Horowitz Report" is a warning shot to anyone in the DOJ who thinks about investigating the president.

As Reid explained it, "He did a whole TV blitz to basically say that his own agency, the FBI, was spying on the Trump campaign, something that the inspector general said did not happen."

Reid took that to its logical conclusion.

"Now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’ve got a different report that’s going to find the motivations’ that he’s basically saying are bad motivations by people in the FBI.  And if you’re that FBI agent and then you hear that Donald Trump may be again looking for foreign help and maybe again getting help from Russia or forcing help from Ukraine, what do you do?" she asked. "Would you then not be concerned that, should you go ahead and investigate foreign interference in our election, that William Barr may come after you?"

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Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump

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Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.

But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.

"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"

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