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A Grammy-winning R&B singer took $75K to sing for Trump — and then watched her fans desert her

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During the contentious time following the 2016 presidential election, R&B singer Chrisette Michele thought she could “be a bridge” to unite the country by performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

She did not succeed in her goal.

Instead, the black musician alienated her fanbase by validating Trump despite his decades-long history of racism.

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“She accepted the gig against the advice of her fans, former collaborators and even her husband,” The Washington Post explained. “The 36-year-old lost an album distribution deal and radio stations stopped playing her songs. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and endured a miscarriage that she publicly attributed to stress from death threats and a hydrant of criticism.”

“She still feels the sting of former fans who saw themselves in her music, then accused her of selling her blackness to a presidential candidate who, while on the campaign trail, repeatedly cast black Americans as impoverished people living in hellholes and dependent on food stamps,” The Post explained.

Yet Michele took the gig, for which she was paid $75,000 to perform a single song. Questlove, the drummer for The Roots, offered to pay her to cancel, but she did not accept his offer.

Linette Payne, the singer’s mother, was unprepared for the backlash.

“I had no kind of thought in my head that it would turn into the bomb that it did,” Payne said.

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Two years later, Michele reflected on her decision.

“People didn’t feel hopeful from that moment,” Michele said. “They didn’t feel represented in that moment. They felt misrepresented.”

“They felt further misunderstood, and they felt the person they were depending on to speak on their behalf just betrayed them,” she explained.

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Watch the performance that sidelined her career:

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Two House Democrats push a clever plan that calls Republicans’ bluff on their Biden attacks

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Democratic Reps. Katie Porter of California and Max Rose of New York introduced a clever plan this week that will expose whether Republicans’ criticisms of former Vice President Joe Biden in the Ukraine scandal reflect good faith — or if, as many assume, they are just a shameful distraction and a bluff.

The lawmakers announced a bill on Wednesday called the Transparency in Executive Branch Officials’ Finances Act. It has two key components:

First, it would require all politically appointed executive branch officials, as well as the president and the vice president, to “disclose any positions they or any members of their extended families hold with foreign-owned businesses, any intellectual property they own that is protected or enforced by a foreign country, and whether any members of their families have stakes in companies that engage in significant foreign business dealings.”Second, it will “require the President and Vice President to disclose their tax returns for the previous five taxable years and prohibit political appointees from accepting payments from foreign entities.”

What’s clever about the proposal is that it latches on to two important issues, creating a wedge for Republicans. As part of the GOP’s defense of President Donald Trump in the Ukraine scandal, Republicans have argued that the president’s patently corrupt efforts to get a foreign country to investigate Biden, a political rival, were legitimate because the former vice president’s son created a conflict of interest by taking part in business in Ukraine.

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Nancy Pelosi praised as ‘the only serious national leader’ in America — and Trump is ‘jealous’

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was praised on Thursday for her leadership as she directed the House of Representatives to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

MSNBC's anchor Nicolle Wallace played a clip of the Speaker's press conference, where Pelosi strongly replied after a question on whether she hated Trump that was asked by James Rosen, who works for the right-wing Sinclair Broadcasting network.

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Contracts show how Giuliani-backed lawyers planned to help fired Ukraine prosecutor get revenge on Biden

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Newly revealed contracts obtained by the Daily Beast show that two lawyers backed by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani explicitly promised to help fired Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin regain his reputation by digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

A contract written up by attorney Victoria Toensing this past April stated that Shokin would agree to pay Toensing and her husband, fellow attorney Joseph diGenova, $125,000 "for the purpose of collecting evidence regarding [Shokin’s] March 2016 firing as Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the role of then-Vice President Joe Biden in such firing, and presenting such evidence to U.S. and foreign authorities."

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