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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.

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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.

“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.”

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

“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.

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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.

“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.

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“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.”

Watch McConnell below:


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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Time for a new special counsel’: Ex-DOJ inspector general calls for formal probe of Trump-Ukraine calls

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A veteran law enforcement official called for a new special counsel investigation of President Donald Trump's communications with the Ukrainian president.

An intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint against the president, and speculation has begun to focus the report concerns Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. aid -- and former Justice Department official Michael Bromwich called for a formal probe.

"Time for a new Special Counsel," Bromwich tweeted.

Bromwich -- inspector general for the Department of Justice from 1994-1999, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra -- was responding to a summation of the allegations against Trump.

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Defiant Trump tells reporters ‘it doesn’t matter what I discussed’ with Ukrainian PM — then smears Joe Biden

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A defiant President Donald Trump said on Friday that whatever he told Ukraine's prime minister about seeking dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden wasn't important.

As reported by CNN's Jim Acosta, the president told reporters in the Oval Office that "it doesn’t matter what I discussed" recently with Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, and then pivoted to attacking Biden.

"Someone ought to look into Joe Biden," the president said.

In Oval, Trump tells reporters when asked about Ukraine and whistleblower “it doesn’t matter what i discussed” and adds “someone ought to look into Joe Biden” (per WH pool).

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