Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley discounted President Donald Trump’s frequent excuse that he can’t be colluding with Russia because he’s so hard on them. In a Sunday panel discussion, Brinkley called the president the best friend Russia has ever had.
In a telephone interview with Fox News host Jeanie Pirro, Trump said he’s been “tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other — probably any other president, period. But certainly the last three or four presidents, modern-day presidents. Nobody has been as tough as I have, from any standpoint.”
Brinkley found it absurd.
“It’s wildly inaccurate,” Brinkley called Trump’s assessment. “He’s the best friend that Russia has had. And I’m talking about even, you know, for decades. Look at what’s happened in the last couple of years since Trump has been president. It’s a gift to Putin, the United States now pulling out of Syria. The undermining of our NATO alliance. The pulling out of the climate accord and making Russia look good on the issue of climate and the United States not in the game at all.”
It’s why he and others think that something is “amiss,” he said. “There is too much Russia going on, and not enough Americanism. And so I’m deeply concerned that these stories that have just come out are only adding to this narrative that Donald Trump seems to be beholden to Putin. We don’t know whether it’s because of financial dealings in the 1980s or about collusion in the 2016 election, or whether there’s some secret tape they have.”
Whatever the reason, Brinkley said that it seems like Russia is blackmailing Trump.
Watch the conversation in the video below:
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On Friday, the Washington Post published excerpts from a damning series of emails released in a landmark case in Cleveland around the irresponsibility of drug manufacturers and suppliers in contributing to the opioid crisis.
In one email exchange, Victor Borelli, an account manager for pharmaceuticals corporation Mallinckrodt, told KeySource Medical vice president Steve Cochrane that 1,200 bottles of 30mg Oxycodone tablets had been shipped, to which Cochrane replied, "Keep 'em comin'! Flyin' out of there. It's like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are..." and Borelli responded, "Just like Doritos keep eating. We'll make more."
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On Saturday, writing for Politico, minister and civil rights activist Rev. Dr. William Barber applauded House Democrats' plans to not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, but eliminate the much lower "tipped wage" of $2.13 an hour and require tipped workers to also be paid at least the minimum.
This is important, wrote Barber, because the roots of businesses forcing their workers to rely on tips for a proper wage is deeply rooted in America's history of racial tension.
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Presenting the conservative point of view, Republican strategist Lenny McAllister was asked point-blank by the host, "Lenny, hold on a second, because you as a man of color yourself -- do you feel comfortable in a party that does rallies like that?"
McAllister pushed back saying he had walked away from just those type of events, before admitting, "To the greater point. They're using racism as an avenue through which people feel empowered, they lend you the loyalty, they give you the vote. What Republicans need to do is continue to empower people, but not by using racism and not by using phobia."