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GOP lawmaker short circuits when CNN host asks if Dem president could declare climate change a ‘national emergency’

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Friday appeared to short circuit after CNN’s John Berman asked him if a Democrat president could in the future use the precedent being set by President Donald Trump to unilaterally declare climate change a “national emergency.”

During a discussion about Trump potentially bypassing Congress to order the construction of his border wall by declaring a “national emergency,” Berman asked Brooks what he would think of a future Democratic president using the same tactics to address climate change.

“I’m sorry, you’d have to… that was kind of convoluted, the way I heard it, could you please restate it?” Brooks said in response.

“What I’m saying is, if the president can make the claim that national security money, emergency money is needed for a wall, could a president at one point say it’s needed to fight climate change?” he asked.

At this point, Brooks’ eyes darted about and there was an uncomfortable pause before he responded.

“I would have to look at the specific statutes to see what you can and cannot do,” he said. “This is so far out there…”

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“Why?” Berman interjected. “If it’s a matter of national security and the president deems it so, why is it outside the purview of the law?”

“I don’t see how that example that you gave affects the national security of the United States,” he replied.

“The Pentagon and the intelligence services often talk about the affects of climate change,” Berman shot back.

Watch the video below.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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CNN

‘He clocked Beto’: Van Jones says ‘Castro came out of nowhere’ to dominate the first Democratic debate

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CNN host Van Jones asserted on Wednesday that former Transporation Secretary Julián Castro was the breakout star of the first Democratic presidential debate.

"I was super proud to be a Democrat," Jones said following the debate. "I thought they all did better than Trump."

The CNN host went on to call Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a "college professor" compared to the other candidates, who he said were more like "graduate students."

"She is able to go back and forth between policy and the human thing," Jones marveled before moving on to praise Castro.

"It was Castro that came out of nowhere!" Jones exclaimed. "Nobody was talking about Castro. He did the Texas takedown, turned around, clocked Beto [O'Rourke]. I mean, you never saw it coming."

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CNN

CNN’s Toobin shuts down Rick Santorum for spinning about the Mueller report

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that there was no point to Democrats calling former special counsel Robert Mueller for a public hearing — but legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin quickly shut him down.

"The Democrats think it will spark some sort of outrage for impeachment," said Santorum. "I just think, and this is why the president is frustrated, it's because they won't let go. They won't accept the fact that the American public moved on and they haven't."

"Jeff? Has the American public moved on?" asked Cooper.

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