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Trump claims he needs money for ‘border security’ crisis — but he already has billions still unspent

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President Donald Trump has spent the past five days of the government shutdown holding federal workers hostage until Democrats meet his $5 billion ransom over a wall. But there’s one major problem with his latest budget showdown.

Trump’s cadre of cable news shills argue that Democrats have already funded his “wall” in previous votes. Conservative Steve Cortes claimed Democrats supported “border security” this year and last year in budget bills. The reason they’re not doing so now, according to Cortes, is that it’s Trump’s wall isn’t President Barack Obama’s idea.

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While the talking point sounds like it was an idea some communications intern thought was “genius,” it puts Trump in an awkward predicament. If Democrats already funded Trump’s “border security” in previous years, why does Trump need more money now?

Closer examination reveals the Democrats supported funding of border security in the previous spending bill and it even included $1.6 billion for a border fence. At that time, Trump was demanding $25 billion for his concrete wall. But the president hasn’t even used the money he got this year.

“We’re absolutely willing to fund border security,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“The American people want us to spend money in a smart way,” he continued. “Five billion dollars is a lot of money … to spend it on a 4th-century strategy rather than on stuff that actually improves border security — it’s something that we’re just not going to do …. Border security all the way. In fact, again, the president has a lot of money we gave him last year for border security and he’s not using it.”

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Merkley explained that Trump is “sitting on” over $1 billion and he’s only spent six percent of it.

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the same observation, suggesting the president use the money he’s got first.

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Meanwhile, 59 percent of Americans don’t want to fund Trump’s wall, a CBS poll found. Trump has claimed until very recently that Americans would not foot the bill for his project.

“Mexico will pay for it, believe me,” Trump told Americans. “It’s so easy. Just rely on me.”

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It begs the question: if the president truly wanted to secure the border, why isn’t he spending the money he has to do it? It could be that Trump and the GOP don’t actually want border security and instead want to stage a fight with the new Democratic Congress to see if they’ll cave.


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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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