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Conservative attorney explains why Trump is doomed in Acosta case: ‘We can’t have a president acting like dictators’

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Bush v. Gore lawyer Ted Olson told CNN on Tuesday why he’s leading their lawsuit against the Trump administration for stripping CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials, saying that U.S. presidents must never be allowed to treat the free press in the same manner as a dictator would.

“If the White House has to have rules with respect to those press conference, it should adopt rules and let everybody know what those rules are,” said Olson, who had no patience for the White House’s shifting explanations for their decision.

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“Why is Jim Acosta being picked out? Because the president has said again and again he does not like Acosta, he does not like Acosta’s reporting,” he added. “We can’t have a president acting like dictators do all over the world to silence reporters that they don’t like.”

Olson said that the president was intent on shutting down Acosta and any other reporters “who say things or dig too deeply or expose the president.”

“He cannot do that under the First Amendment,” Olson concluded.

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White House aides want Trump to stop saying his Ukraine phone call was ‘perfect’: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta said President Donald Trump's aides were frustrated with the president's defense of his phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he apparently tried to use military aid to extort political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

Furthermore, there is fear in the White House that some Republicans may defect and vote to impeach the president — which would wreck their narrative.

"I just spoke with a source close to the White House a short while ago who objected to the president continuing to say that his phone call with the leader of the Ukraine was 'perfect,'" said Acosta. "Nobody really is echoing that message on behalf of the president. It doesn't seem that anybody here in Washington, except for the most partisan of partisans feels, that the president's phone call with the leader of Ukraine was perfect."

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CNN

House Democrat smacks down Trump’s claim of ‘doctored’ transcripts: ‘Those transcripts are reviewed by those witnesses’

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," during a discussion of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's legal situation, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) trashed President Donald Trump's claim that the transcripts from the impeachment hearings were somehow falsified.

"I will say that the craziness continues," said Connolly. "For the president today to assert, based on nothing, the transcripts were doctored and don't really reflect the deposition of the witnesses we heard from — and by the way, those transcripts are reviewed by those witnesses and their attorneys before they're released for accuracy — but secondly, of course, to have the chief of staff of the president actually suing his own White House to get a decision about whether or not he's required to respond to congressional demand for testimony or the White House directive really brings us into all-new territory in terms of craziness. And it's really disturbing to watch."

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CNN

Trump’s decision to cut off Ukraine aid is something ‘you would expect to read about in a dictatorship’: Ex-Obama official

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former Obama administration official and national security analyst Samantha Vinograd excoriated President Donald Trump for his decision — further laid out in newly released House transcripts — to suspend military aid to Ukraine.

"This process that is described and echoed in other depositions is a process that you would expect to read about in a dictatorship, where a leader rules by fiat and his national security team scrambles to find a legal justification and to sell a bill of goods to legislators and the American people about why the president has made a certain decision," said Vinograd.

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