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Trump claimed he read James Mattis’ resignation letter — but didn’t know it was critical of him until he saw it on TV: report

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A bombshell report in the New York Times that details the split between President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was once one of his closest advisers.

“One aide said that although Mr. Trump had already seen the resignation letter when he praised Mr. Mattis, the president did not understand just how forceful a rejection of his strategy Mr. Mattis had issued,” the Times reported.

When Trump received the resignation letter he tweeted out his overwhelming support for Mattis for his service and the work he’d done. He called the resignation a “retirement” that Mattis deserved.

General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!” Trump tweeted.

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The resignation letter was then released to the public, where cable news pundits pointed out how critical of Trump it was.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis said in the two-page letter.

Two days after the president allegedly read the resignation letter and tweeted his positive support, Trump took a 180-degree turn to attack the general.

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“When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.,” Trump tweeted Saturday.

It was reported that the president read the letter, it’s unclear if he understood what he was reading at the time. Mattis will be replaced by a former Boeing executive.

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Donald Trump is gambling racism will win for him in 2020

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Can we retire the phrases, “double-down” and “triple-down” please? Trump made them meaningless this week as he repeatedly made racist attacks on the four female Democratic members of congress who have become known as “The Squad.” They are the four women who got themselves elected to congress and together represent 2.9 million Americans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Just to put that in perspective, 15 states have populations smaller than the number represented by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Talib of Michigan. Trump’s racist attacks on the four members of congress implied that they are not adequately “American.” In fact, three of them are citizens born in this country, and one, Ilhan Omar, came here at the age of 10 and is a naturalized citizen. Trump’s demand that they “go back” to their countries of origin, apart from its obvious racism, belies the fact that they symbolically represent a huge swath of the American population which Trump doesn’t count among his supporters.

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Stephen Miller wants zero refugee admissions in 2020 — and he might just get it

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Trump adviser Stephen Miller, a hardline immigration hawk who has quietly taken over the administration’s border policy, is pushing to stop all refugee admissions to the United States.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Miller allies urged the administration to slash refugee admissions to zero during a key meeting with security officials last week, Politico reported. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official John Zadrozny and State Department refugee chief Andrew Veprek, whom Politico described as “proxies” for Miller, argued that the government needs to severely limit the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S., due to unspecified “security concerns.”

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Trump keeps up racist attacks by promoting fan praising him for ‘send her home’ rally chant by his ‘big and patriotic crowd’

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In an early morning tweet where it appears Donald Trump is trying to have it both ways, the president writes he was not "particularly happy " with the racist "send her home" chant at his North Carolina rally, while at the same time retweeting a fan who encouraged him to make the attacks on immigrants his new 2020 campaign slogan.

The president wrote: "As you can see, I did nothing to lead people on, nor was I particularly happy with their chant. Just a very big and patriotic crowd. They love the USA!"

However the clip the president included came with the encouragement: "New Campaign slogan for #2020? 'Don’t love it? Leave it!' Send her back is the new lock her up. Well done to #TeamTrump."

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