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‘We’re not playing games here’: Conservative Hugh Hewitt shamed into silence after joke about Trump shutdown

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With the deadline for a new spending bill looming, President Donald Trump invited Congressional Democratic leaders to the White House and held on-camera negotiations where he pledged to shoulder the blame for any government shutdown that occurred because of his insistence on funding for a border wall.

On Saturday, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton had a panel discussion about the shutdown that featured conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt and liberal talk show host Joe Madison. Madison shamed Hewitt into silence.

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“Just between us, when you think about it, this president got adamant about it after his fellow conservatives Rush Limbaugh and others started beating up on him. Isn’t this the president trying to hold his base because there was an erosion from the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh that he panicked and went in overdrive trying to prove to the 33% base that listens to these people that he is tough and going to do what he said?” asked Sharpton.

“I don’t think it was panic,” said Hewitt. “One ought to always take into account, if you’re conservative, what Rush has to say—he has the largest single audience in America with 20 million people tuning in every week to listen… There have been 17 previous shutdowns… and they always end with a compromise. And this time the compromise is denied by the Democrats.”

Sharpton shot his argument down, pointing out that a compromise bill everyone agreed to was on the table before Trump announced that he would refuse to sign it.

“You’re still in the first quarter!” said Hewitt. “Chuck Schumer got the football with the $2.5 billion offer.”

The other three speakers groaned before Madison unloaded.

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“Oh, come on,” said Madison. “We’re not playing games here. Let’s quit this football analogy. I have family members, too, that are saying we don’t know what we’re doing do. Nobody it playing games. Let me tell you, the mortgage companies aren’t playing games. So let’s quit the talk about football, first quarter, that type of thing. The reality is that the President of the United States said, and he said it emphatically, ‘I will take responsibility for the shutdown.'”

As Hewitt sat silently, Sharpton decided to stop the panel.

“Let the panel take a breath,” said Sharpton.

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2020 Election

Masks take center stage in presidential race as Biden slams Trump for ‘costing people’s lives’

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In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden laid into President Donald Trump for his comments belittling his decision to wear a mask at the Memorial Day events at the beginning of the week.

"He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way," said Biden. He added that "This macho stuff ... It's costing people's lives."

Trump has frequently refused to don a mask while speaking to the media, even when he is in public places where masks are required.

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“He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way,” Biden to @DanaBashCNN about Trump belittling his wearing of a mask. “This macho stuff ... It’s costing people’s lives.”

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COVID-19

1 in 5 teachers—citing COVID-19 concerns—likely won’t return to US schools this fall: survey

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While most U.S. schools have ended in-person instruction for the rest of this academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, polling results published Tuesday show that the majority of parents and teachers expect classrooms to reopen in the fall and worry about what that will mean for safety and education.

In mid-May, Ipsos conducted a pair of online polls for USA Today of K-12 teachers and parents of school-aged children. Pollsters found that if schools reopen in the fall—with strict new rules to limit Covid-19 infections—nearly six in 10 parents would consider not sending their kids back and one in five educators likely would not return to teaching. Among teachers 55 and older, that figure was one in four.

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Trump says he can ‘absolutely’ force governors to reopen churches if he decides to do so

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At Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing, President Donald Trump was pressed on whether he really has the authority to force governors to allow houses of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Can you explain what authority you had in mind when you said that you would do that?" asked a reporter.

The president emphasized that he does have the power — but did not elaborate on how specifically he would do so, and added that he doesn't think he will have to.

"I can absolutely do it if I want to," said Trump. "I don't think I'm going to have to, because it's starting to open up. We need our churches and our synagogues and our mosques. We want them open, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other — we want them open and we want them open as soon as possible."

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