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How Trump played Pence: Budget negotiation deal reveals president’s humiliation of his own VP

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- Commentary

While President Donald Trump bounced all over the place on Twitter and in public over a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown, Vice President Mike Pence quietly worked behind the scenes to get Republican and Democratic leaders to agree on a deal — only to have Trump humiliate him by blowing it up.

In a Politico deep dive into budget negotiations to keep the government up and running, it is revealed that Pence stepped in to work out a deal.

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Politico reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unable to confidently work out with a deal with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) because he didn’t know what Trump would agree to, leading the vice president to jump into the fray.

“Yet while that procedural fracas was playing out, Republicans were frantically trying to come up with something they could put on the floor,” Politico reports.”The shuttle diplomacy continued throughout the day. Pence, Kushner and Mulvaney went from Schumer’s office to Pence’s own hideaway in the Capitol, where Corker came to visit. Then they went to the House side of the Capitol to negotiate with conservatives and GOP leaders, trying to figure out what could pass that the president would sign.”

“As emphatically as he could, Pence had told senators that Trump would sign the legislation, only to see that backfire,” the report states. “So Pence couldn’t sign off any deal with Schumer or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who was even more skeptical — unless Trump publicly backed it first.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed consternation that a deal couldn’t be arrived at, saying of the volatile President, “That was my belief at the time. That was my belief at the time based on all the representations made. But as you know, things change.”

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According to the report, Trump’s repudiation of the deal left McConnell “steaming.”


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CNN

Congressman blasts Trump administration’s ‘lawless’ move to quash whistleblower: ‘He does not have the authority’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) previewed what he expects to learn about the developing Director of National Intelligence whistleblower scandal at the hearing with the inspector general on Thursday.

"In tomorrow's hearing with the intelligence community's inspector general, who forwarded this report, saying it was an urgent concern, what exactly is the inspector general going to be able to talk about?" asked Cooper. "I know it's behind closed doors, but is he going to be able to tell you what is actually in the complaint or who is instructing him or who's instructing the DNI not to hand it over to your committee, if that's what's happening?"

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CNN

White House is preparing for a ‘big fight’ with Congress over whistleblower scandal: CNN reporter

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," reporter Evan Perez said that the White House is gearing up for a showdown with the House Intelligence Committee over a whistleblower complaint of "urgent concern" for national security that President Donald Trump's officials appear to be covering up.

"Evan, this has been developing through the day. [Intelligence] Chairman [Adam] Schiff was very quiet, and now suddenly there's going to be this briefing, and what's really going to happen at the briefing tomorrow?" asked anchor Erin Burnett.

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CNN

Foreign trolls are trying to create a ‘circular firing squad’ among US veterans: digital researcher

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Foreign troll accounts have been working to sow division and create a "circular firing squad" among American veterans, a veterans advocate warned CNN on Wednesday.

During an interview with Brianna Keilar, Kris Goldsmith of Vietnam Veterans for America talked about the ways that trolls have been infiltrating veterans organizations and trying to divide their members along political and racial lines.

Goldsmith said that two years ago his group notice an "impostor Facebook account" that would spread misinformation and propaganda to its members.

"After months of studying it, we came to recognize that it was an entity somewhere in Bulgaria who was spreading falsified news," he explained. "So what they do is copy and paste a real story about something like veterans' benefits possibly getting cut, change the date, and make it look fresh and get people upset."

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