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Presidential historian trashes Trump’s ‘disgraceful’ speech to troops in Iraq

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Presidential historian Michael Beschloss lectured President Donald Trump on MSNBC for politicizing the military during a Wednesday visit to Iraq.

Beschloss appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” with guest host Joy Reid.

“Yesterday Donald Trump flew to the air base in Iraq to visit the U.S. troops stationed there. That part, that part there’s precedent for,” Reid explained. “What’s unprecedented is how this particular president spoke while he was there.”

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Reid played a clip of the commander-in-chief whining about Democrats refusing to spend taxpayer funds to build his wall.

“I thought it was obscene,” Beschloss noted.

“Just as you were saying, the president goes to speak to Americans whose lives are in jeopardy, the tradition is you keep it nonpolitical — you try to unite the group,” he explained.

“And for him to start talking about — in a nasty way — about Democrats and Nancy Pelosi and we’ve been played for suckers in the past, that’s fine if you want to say those things at a Trump rally, because people go to a Trump rally voluntarily and if they hear things they do not like, they can leave,” he reminded. “These are young Americans for the most part who have chosen to serve their country, if the president says something they privately disagree with they don’t have the right to jeer him or get up and leave the way the rest of us do if we’re here in the United States.”

“I thought it was disgraceful,” he added.

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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