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Florida Republican flames out after claiming immigrants are more dangerous than guns

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On Thursday, tensions erupted between Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the father of a slain Parkland student.

The grieving father was attending a hearing on gun violence prevention. Gaetz said illegal immigrants were a bigger safety concern than guns, prompting Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was gunned down during the Parkland shooting, to yell “That’s not true.” Gaetz had him escorted out.

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Another Florida representative, Michael Waltz (R-FL) tried to defend his colleague’s actions, while simultaneously making the case for a wall.

“Well, look, first, Brianna, let me say that I’m the father of a 15-year-old girl. I can certainly and deeply sympathize with the Parkland parents. And just where they are emotionally and where they are on this issue. Certainly that entire incident breaks my heart.”

He then tried to make the case that further gun regulations aren’t necessary—before pivoting to the need for a wall. “I think we need to enforce the laws on the books before we get to these other issues.”

“What I think and this is what the president has said and what I have said is that barriers are a proven way to slow down and deter illegal immigration,” Waltz said. “I think that’s just common sense.”

“I’m not going to get at this one or that one.”

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He then argued that Gaetz should not have been expected to know the identity of the Parkland father.

“I don’t think you can reasonably expect a member of Congress to know everyone who’s in the audience or to memorize faces.”

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‘Close friend of the president’: The Hill’s owner let columnist feed Trump conspiracy stories — here’s why

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According to a report from CNN, the owner of "The Hill" has managed to fly under the radar as Donald Trump is facing impeachment despite the fact that he personally approved of conspiracy-based columns by the now-departed John Solomon that the president has used to defend his Ukraine dealings.

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Trump did ‘real damage’ to himself with attack on Yovanovitch and he’ll be watching again today: NYT’s Haberman

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Appearing on CNN's "New Day," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman stated that Donald Trump did serious damage to his defense against impeachment when he attacked former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on Twitter as she testified last week and added she fully expected the president to watch Tuesday's hearing with interest.

Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, Haberman was asked what the American public can expect from the president on Tuesday as Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer who works on the National Security Council testify.

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Vindman will be the ‘crucial witness’ — and GOP smears against him will be ‘self-defeating’: Ex-prosecutor

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former federal proseuctor Elie Honig walked through the importance of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's upcoming testimony in the impeachment hearings.

"He's going to be a crucial witness," said Honig. "The crux of Vindman's testimony has to do with Gordon Sondland, who we know was in direct contact with President Trump. Vindman has testified before that Sondland discussed what the deliverable would be — that's an important word — in order to get the meeting. He talked about the investigation into the Bidens, that the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens. That goes right to the quid pro quo. Now also, of course, Vindman listened to that July 25 phone call live, and his reaction was that this was about getting a White House meeting. It was a demand for him to fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting. Again, that goes to the central corrupt exchange here."

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