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‘I was wrong’: Matt Gaetz admits his ‘caravan’ conspiracy video is based on a lie — but defends it anyway

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted on Sunday that he had provided false information when he tweeted a video of a “caravan” of Latinos who he suggested had been paid by liberal billionaire George Soros.

In a tweet last week, Gaetz sent a video of a group of people, who he said were from Honduras and asked if they were being paid by Soros to illegally come to the U.S. The video was later re-tweeted by President Donald Trump.

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During a panel discussion on CNN, Gaetz conceded that he had been wrong about the video.

“I was wrong,” Gaetz told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It wasn’t in Honduras, it was in Guatemala. That tape was provided to me by Honduran government officials. It was collected by Central American intelligence officials. And I think we’ve got to learn a lot more about how these large organizations of people come together.”

Gaetz said that he had learned that there were three groups: “the thugs, the organizers and then you have a lot of desperate migrants.”

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“You have those thugs forcing local businesses to turn over cash and resources,” he continued. “That’s a problem. If you have organizers working in concert with U.S. NGOs or left-leaning groups, that’s also a problem.”

Gaetz, however, failed to offer evidence that a liberal conspiracy was behind the caravan.

Democratic strategist Symone Sanders slammed Gaetz for the misleading tweet.

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“I don’t think we should be fear mongering,” Sanders said. “There’s a real conversation we need to have about immigration this country. Unfortunately, some folks — your tweet included — weren’t having it.”

Florida Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi tied the issue to the opioid crisis.

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“All I’m seeing is young kids overdosing on opioids,” she opined. “And they are coming — I never thought in any of our lifetimes we would see heroin in a pill form — that is coming in to our country from Mexico!”

Watch the video below from CNN.

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‘I don’t know how Secretary Pompeo is not dragged in’: Ex-FBI counsel says Secretary of State must testify

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI general counsel James Baker told Chris Cuomo that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has to answer for the allegations laid out in the impeachment testimony.

"They wanted to give [Ukraine Ambassador Marie] Yovanovitch support, she asked them for support, they decided no, maybe because they thought the president would jump all over them. So what?" said Cuomo.

"The issue with her is that they wanted to and were inclined to get her out of the way, unless she was willing to play ball, unless she was willing to acquiesce in this sort of irregular channel and the goals of the irregular channel that Ambassador Taylor described," said Baker. "They were going to either get her out of the way, or have her join the team. This is what it seems to me was going on. They were trying to achieve these other objectives and they were going to either do it by forcing the career people to go along and compromise their values, quite frankly, or they were going to do it through the Giuliani channel."

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Trump’s ‘thuggish’ demands his aides lie for him blasted by CNN analyst: ‘The president operates like he’s a king’

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Kirsten Powers blasted President Donald Trump for his "thuggish" insistence that his aides help him conceal his own wrongdoing.

"Kirsten, it will be interesting to see how the president decides to conduct himself this week, whether or not, you know, he continues to tweet against witnesses or about witnesses as they are testifying," said Cooper.

"Yeah. Why wouldn't he keep doing what he always does?" said Powers. "He seems incapable of not doing that. And I do think this moving people, punishing people, right, for testifying under oath and telling the truth, I think it's thuggish. It really is. It's beyond inappropriate, in the sense that the president operates like he's a king, basically. Like these people are supposed to go up there and lie. They've been called before Congress. They're telling the truth. They should not be punished for that. They work for the U.S. government, which is something that is actually bigger than Donald Trump."

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GOP lawmakers are ‘shaken’ by State Department aide’s testimony — and dread what he’ll say on Wednesday: CNN

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," correspondent Jamie Gangel told anchor Erin Burnett that Republican lawmakers were shocked at what State Department official David Holmes revealed in the impeachment investigation — and fear that his public testimony on Wednesday could be even more damaging.

"This is your reporting, 'shaken' is the word you are using of how some Republicans feel about David Holmes' testimony," said Burnett. "What are you hearing?"

"What we're hearing is, according to one congressional GOP source, several GOP lawmakers were, quote, 'more shaken by David Holmes' testimony than they have publicly let on,' that behind closed doors they expressed a lot of frustration about Sondland's testimony in light of what David Holmes said," said Gangel. "We're also hearing that they're now very worried about Sondland's testimony. We've been told by multiple sources that he was ill-fitted to being a diplomat, that multiple sources in the diplomatic community thought that he was in over his head, and they're really worried about what he's going to say on Wednesday and how far he will go."

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