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Ex-CIA chief of staff explains why Matthew Whitaker’s hiring as acting AG is ‘unprecedented’ — and possibly illegal

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MSNBC analyst Jeremy Bash said President Donald Trump may have violated the law by bypassing established procedure for appointing an acting attorney general.

The president ousted attorney general Jeff Sessions and named Mark Whitaker, his former chief of staff, as his interim replacement — bypassing deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein in the chain of succession.

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“There is a statute that governs how DOJ is supposed to handle appointments to these acting positions,” said Bash, a former chief of staff for both the Department of Defense and the CIA. “It says the individual who becomes active attorney general must be Senate-confirmed. Of course, the chief of staff is not confirmed.”

The 48-year-old Whitaker, who was hired by Sessions shortly after writing a CNN op-ed saying the Mueller investigation had gone too far, had previously worked in private law practice and headed the conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust before joining the Trump administration.

“I think it’s fair to say that the appointment from the chief of staff position, first of all, is unprecedented,” Bash said, “and second, it’s quasi-legal, and it was really done, I think, as part of an effort to obstruct justice, to obstruct the Mueller investigation, to starve it, to constrain it.”

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2020 Election

‘Don’t listen to them’: Insurance industry front group to run ads attacking Medicare for All during Democratic debate

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"We are winning, so the industry is attacking Medicare for All to protect their profits and help the politicians defending those profits."

The Partnership for America's Health Care Future, an insurance industry front group formed in 2018 to combat Medicare for All, announced Wednesday that it will run television and social media ads against healthcare reform during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas.

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Paul Krugman debunks Trump’s bogus claims about the ‘Obama economy’

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that his policies alone are responsible for the economic recovery in the United States, claiming that he inherited a broken economy from his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. But Trump’s claims are wildly misleading, and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman debunked some of them this week in a Twitter thread.

Krugman tweeted, “So, I see that Trump is bad-mouthing the Obama economy. Two points. First, there was absolutely no break in economic trends after the 2016 election.”

The 66-year-old Krugman posted a chart showing GDP (gross domestic product) from 2010 (when Obama was serving his first term) to 2020 (three years into Trump’s presidency). GDP, the chart shows, gradually improved during Obama’s eight-year presidency.

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Right-wing extremists using Facebook to recruit for ‘boogaloo’ attacks on liberals and cops: report

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A right-wing extremist movement is recruiting on social media to target liberals and law enforcement in a violent uprising called the "boogaloo."

The loosely organized movement is trolling for members on mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter, in addition to 4chan and other fringe sites, to promote a second Civil War, reported NBC News.

“When you have people talking about and planning sedition and violence against minorities, police, and public officials, we need to take their words seriously,” said Paul Goldenberg, of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

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