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Lawmakers have given up trying to deal with Trump on shutdown: ‘We are in this horrible purgatory’

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As the longest government shutdown goes into its fourth week, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have all but given up trying to bring it to an end because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to bend on his demand for border wall funding, reports Politico.

Asked how things are going, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) succinctly described the lawmakers’ dilemma as “We are in this horrible purgatory between heaven and hell.”

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According to the report, the inability of Republicans to figure out what Trump would agree to, that could lead to a budget deal he would sign, has tied their hands when it comes to even attempting negotiating.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) lamented the situation she has been put in as her constituents — in a state that depends heavily on federal dollars — press her to get the government up and running.

“Glum. Glum. I’m not a glum person. I’m not somebody who gets down. But I’ve been discouraged,” Murkowski explained. “People I work for back home in Alaska are asking me to ‘fix it.’ And it’s hard for one person to fix anything around here. Unless you’re the president. Or the speaker. Or the majority leader.”

Independent Senator Angus King (ME) concurred.

“It’s very frustrating for me because my whole instinct is: Let’s find a way to get this solved. But so far anyway, his idea of negotiating is to say ‘here’s what I want, I’ll give you nothing,’” King remarked. “I could sit down with Mike Pence for an afternoon and we might come to some agreement. And then [Trump would] blow it up.”

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The report goes on to state that Republicans led by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rob Portman (R-OH) hoped to fashion a compromise that would meet with Trump’s approval –while attempting to get 20 fellow Republicans to support it — only to see it fall apart due to reluctance to fail once again.

As it stands, with Trump also being buffeted by new allegations of possible impeachable offenses, lawmakers think a plan to get federal employees back to work with pay looks bleak.

“I think he’s going to agree to open up the government on a hope and a prayer when donkeys fly. OK?” explained Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), with Connolly chiming in, “Democrats are more than willing to try to give him a face-saving way to step down. He doesn’t seem to want to even consider it.”

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FBI investigating possible ‘criminal enterprise’ in Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse death

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The director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that the FBI was investigating whether Jeffrey Epstein's death was related to a criminal enterprise.

Two correctional officers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were arrested and charged Tuesday with falsifying prison records to cover up their lapses in their official duties, which included checking on Epstein every half hour, reported the Miami Herald.

The officers instead remained at their desk, browsing the internet and moving around the common area.

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Trump mounts sexist attack on Pelosi during impeachment hearing: ‘I think the woman is grossly incompetent’

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President Donald Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from the White House on Tuesday.

As impeachment testimony was underway in the House, Trump told reporters in a Cabinet meeting that Pelosi is "grossly incompetent."

The president also said that Republicans are "killing it" in the impeachment hearings.

But Trump took a shot at Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an expert on Ukraine who was testifying at the time.

"I don't know him. ... I never saw the man," he said. "I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in. No, I don't know Vindman at all. What I do know is that even he said that the transcript was correct."

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‘You ran out of a book signing!’ Donald Trump Jr torn to shreds for questioning Vindman’s heroism

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Donald Trump Jr. questioned the military service of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and was sprayed with venom.

The president's eldest son posted a link to a Federalist article suggesting Vindman is not a dedicated military officer and public servant, a line of questioning which Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also pursued during an impeachment hearing.

"Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero," Trump Jr. tweeted, quoting the piece's headline.

Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero https://t.co/f2Jq7SdxO9

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