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Republicans grow increasingly anxious that Trump will not be able to survive

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As President Donald Trump prepares for a new congressional session — the first of his presidency in which Republicans won’t be in control of both chambers — his White House is bracing for a political battle for which many of the president’s allies fear he is underprepared.

This article was originally published at Salon

A source close to the president believes that Trump is concerned about impeachment being a “real possibility” although other aides are convinced that only the campaign finance violations have any real chance of sticking, according to CNN. The report also describes White House officials as convinced that special counsel Robert Mueller won’t find enough in terms of potential collusion with Russia to convict the president of a crime. Although they believe there might be enough in terms of campaign finance violations to constitute a crime, they don’t believe that issue alone will be enough to motivate both parties to forcibly remove him from office.

Democrats, by contrast, are discussing not only impeaching Trump based on the alleged campaign finance violations and the Trump-Russia scandal but also indicting him after he leaves office if he is defeated in 2020. A separate CNN report detailed Trump’s concerns about the specifics of what will happen once the Democrats take over Congress:

Trump has become increasingly concerned in recent weeks about what his administration is facing come January, when newly empowered Democrats are expected to unleash the full force of their oversight powers on the Trump administration.

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Those include compelling Cabinet secretaries to testify, requesting the President’s tax returns and scrutinizing some of his most controversial policy decisions. Trump often complained that Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, was not politically shrewd enough for the task.

Many of Trump’s Republican allies are also worried about his legal situation, with some expressing concern that he and his White House team aren’t sufficiently prepared for whatever Robert Mueller might put into his report, according to The Washington Post.  The paper, which based its reporting off of “interviews with 14 administration officials, presidential confidants and allies,” elaborated on the seeming inadequacies of how the Trump White House is planning for the future:

Rather than building a war room to manage the intersecting crises as past administrations have done, the Trump White House is understaffed, stuck in a bunker mentality and largely resigned to a plan to wing it. Political and communications operatives are mostly taking their cues from the president and letting him drive the message with his spontaneous broadsides.

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“A war room? You serious?” one former White House official said when asked about internal preparations. “They’ve never had one, will never have one. They don’t know how to do one.”

 


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The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter

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President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.

One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."

The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing

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Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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