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Trump will declare a national emergency — after signing bipartisan spending bill: McConnell

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Thursday that members might be voting to pass a funding measure to keep the government open, but he expects President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency.

Trump has been making the threat for over a month and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned this move by Trump was likely.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she would not fund Trump’s 2,000-mile concrete border wall, but would be willing to fund extensive border security measures and fund 55 miles of a fence. Trump said he was “not happy” about the agreement.

Conservative influencers like Ann Coulter, Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity are all opposed to the deal because it doesn’t fully fund the wall the president pitched to the American people. That said, the president also said the wall would be funded by Mexico, not the American taxpayer.

According to the New York Times, Trump spent hours calling the right-wing advisors at Fox to beg them not to criticize the bipartisan deal.

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“Nobody got everything they wanted,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in an MSNBC interview. He noted there are more pressing issues in the country than the border. He said, specifically, Director of National Security Dan Coats didn’t even name it as a top priority among his international threats.

According to a Pew poll, unauthorized immigration and refugee claims have actually fallen to historically low levels, despite the president’s claim of a “crisis.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) warned the president against it in an interview with Politico earlier this month.

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“The president’s going to get sued and it won’t succeed in accomplishing his goal … [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi will introduce a resolution of disapproval that will pass the House and come over here and divide Republicans,” he said. “It strikes me as not a great strategy.”

Lawsuits are almost certainly en route. The president has said that he thinks the courts will uphold his decision that this is a national emergency. Even if the courts strike it down, Trump will be able to tell his supporters that he did whatever he could to get the wall.

If Pelosi takes the route Cornyn suggests, Republicans will be put in an awkward position, particularly those running for reelection in 2020. If they vote against Trump, they could end up with a primary challenger supported by the president. If they vote against it, they will probably alienate moderate and independent voters in the general election.

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“He’s threatening to declare a national security state of emergency and unilaterally deploy troops with Pentagon funding to build the wall,” wrote Heather “Digby” Parton. “This is a shocking idea, but it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. After all, Trump invoked a rarely used national security provision in trade law to unilaterally slap tariffs on steel and aluminum.

When asked if she was filing a lawsuit, she said she hasn’t yet, but she “may.” When speaking to reporters Thursday, Pelosi cited the separation of powers outlined in Article I of the U.S. Constitution that gives to Congress. She also gave a hint of a warning to Senate Republicans about this precedent that could give a Democratic president the ability to declare his or her own national emergencies at will.

“Want to talk about a national emergency, let’s talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America,” she continued. “That’s a national emergency. Declare that an emergency, Mr. President, I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. So the precedent the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by Republicans and we respond accordingly when we review our options.”

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Watch McConnell below:

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Jeffrey Epstein’s IT consultant reveals he saw girls who ‘couldn’t have more than 15 or 16’ on private island

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ABC News broke a story just after midnight Thursday about a former IT consultant of Jeffrey Epstein's who resigned because he couldn't take some of the things he was seeing on Epstein's private island compound.

The island, which has been called "pedophile island" by locals, had "topless women everywhere.

"There were photos of topless women everywhere," said contractor Steve Scully, who began working for Epstein in 1999 and continued for six years. "On his desk, in his office, in his bedroom."

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‘Names are going to start coming out’: New report says more elites will be exposed in the Epstein case — and ‘DC is on edge’

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Will other powerful people — presumably men — get taken down as a result of the sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein?

That’s the hope of many closer followers of the story, but it’s far from clear what, if any, fallout there will be. Epstein’s connections to Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have raised suspicions about potential evidence of their wrongdoing, such suspicions remain unproven. Alan Dershowitz has already faced accusations of being involved in Epstein’s crimes, though he denies the charge vigorously.

But a new report from Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman says that “DC is on edge” over the Epstein case, and any elites who have run in his circles could be involved. Dozens of girls, if not more, are believed to be involved in his alleged sex trafficking, and lawyers for some of the women who have accused Epstein are strongly suggesting that other high-profile figures will be implicated.

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‘It’s so un-American’: Internet scorches Trump supporters for racist chants of ‘Send her back!’

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The ignoble highlight of President Donald Trump's rally in Greenville, North Carolina on Wednesday was when his fans doubled down on his racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color and targeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), chanting "Send her back! Send her back!"

Political commentators of all stripes were gobsmacked by the crowd's naked racism — and buried them in condemnation:

The crowd at Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” after the President viciously and dishonestly attacked Ilhan Omar is one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.

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