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GOP operative begs Trump to stop associating himself with ‘galactically stupid people’

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In a New York Times article published Thursday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) wondered, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King said.

“Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

In the past, King has also met with a far-right Austrian party and supported a Toronto mayoral candidate with neo-Nazi ties.

On CNN Friday, Republican operative Scott Jennings urged the rest of the party, including President Donald Trump to denounce King and to support a primary challenger to him.

“This bozo shows up now and again and ruins it,” Jennings said, about the Republican party’s efforts to be seen as more inclusive and mainstream. “I want them to ostracize him,” he added.

CNN’s Poppy Harlow noted that King and President Donald Trump appear to be close, both in their ideology and in past praise of each other’s work. Jennings prompted the president to focus on his criminal justice reform work as outreach to people of color, while disavowing GOP politicians who hew a white nationalist line. But ultimately, Jennings is not surprised the president and King continue to be friendly.

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“We’ve had this situation before, where the president has been associated with people who’ve done galactically stupid and offensive things,” Jennings concluded.

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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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‘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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