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‘Pointless’: Trump privately dismissed his own address strategy to news executives before his speech

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According to a New York Times report, President Donald Trump doesn’t support his own speech he made Tuesday evening.

Trump reportedly wanted to go over the heads of Congress and launch his own campaign for the wall. It was feared that Trump would declare a national emergency so that he has the freedom to do whatever he wants with the border wall.

“Privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless,” the Times reported. “In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.”

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“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Trump said according to one person in the room.

The Times said that the scheduled trip to the border the president has planned this week is nothing more than a photo opportunity.

“‘But,’ he added, gesturing at his communications aides, Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, ‘these people behind you say it’s worth it,’” the Times quoted.

Read the full report from the New York Times.

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Here’s why Mike Pompeo picked the worst possible moment for his expletive-laden anti-Ukraine rant

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By all accounts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's interview with "All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly was a disaster. He reportedly swore at her, challenged her to pick Ukraine off an unmarked map, and said "Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" — an incredibly insulting statement for America's top diplomat to say of an allied foreign country.

But as Politico noted, the timing of all this was especially ill-considered, because Pompeo is gearing up for an official visit to Ukraine — and even before this outburst, that visit was fraught with difficulties.

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Pompeo ridiculed by CNN panel for his ‘phony mock outrage’ response after being outed as a foul-mouthed bully

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Responding to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued through the State Department accusing an NPR journalist of being "shameless" for going public with an encounter she had with him in his offices where he cursed at her, a CNN panel all but rolled their eyes at his "phony" outrage.

Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called out the blustery Pompeo as well as many Republicans who took "umbrage" at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) mentioning a report that the Donald Trump would have their heads on "on a pike" if they crossed him.

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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