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Former Trump adviser: White House position on shutdown ‘makes absolutely no sense whatsoever’

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On Thursday, the Boston Globe published remarks from an interview with Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s former economic adviser, in which he blasted the president’s federal government shutdown over the border wall and suggested that the White House had no sensible exit strategy from the situation:

On Thursday, the Boston Globe published remarks from an interview with Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s former economic adviser, in which he blasted the president’s federal government shutdown over the border wall and suggested that the White House had no sensible exit strategy from the situation:

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Cohn, in the interview, sharply criticized the ongoing shutdown, calling it “completely wrong,” and said the furloughing of thousands of federal workers “makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

“I don’t understand what the outcome is here, and I don’t understand where we’re going with it,” said Cohn, a free-trade advocate who resigned last March after Trump announced he was imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. “I’m confused as to what the White House’s strategy is on this a little bit.”

Cohn’s bemusement at the president’s strategy is understandable. The border wall is unpopular in polling, the shutdown over it is even more so, the public overwhelmingly blames Trump for the standoff, and the White House seems completely uninterested in offering any concessions to lawmakers to get anything they want. In fact, some of Trump’s advisers, like Office of Management and Budget director and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney seem to think it’s actually a good thing the government is shut down, despite the fact that it is starting to risk serious economic damage.

Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, is hardly a foe of the Republican agenda. Before he fell out with Trump over his tariff strategy, Cohn played a key role in passing the GOP tax scam bill, which showered benefits on the wealthiest Americans and multinational corporations even as it has exploded deficit spending.

Next month, Cohn will take up a new position at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, alongside his longtime acquaintance, former Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

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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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Jim Jordan’s attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman at impeachment hearing badly backfire

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Republicans tried to raise doubts about Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s credibility and loyalty during Tuesday’s impeachment hearing. Their attacks appeared to backfire.

Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council and an Iraq war veteran who earned a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat, faced questions from the House Intelligence Committee in full uniform.

This piece first appeared at Salon.com.Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who was transferred to the Intelligence Committee specifically for the impeachment hearings, attempted to discredit the witness during his questioning.

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WATCH: Dejected Devin Nunes slumps back in his chair after he fails to yield his time to Elise Stefanik

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The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee was visibly frustrated after once again getting shut down while attempting a parliamentary maneuver.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has been attempting to ignore the rules governing the impeachment inquiry so that he can yield Republicans' time to fellow members of Congress, instead of just the professional GOP counsel.

Nunes has attempted to yield time to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has been raising re-election funds off of her outbursts in the hearings.

Once again, Nunes attempted to yield his time to a fellow Republican and once again Nunes was told that is against the rules.

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