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There are alarming similarities between Barr’s letter and the 2000 election Florida chaos: historian

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President Donald Trump has claimed “complete and total exoneration” by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — and a historian noticed some alarming similarities between that declaration and George W. Bush’s narrow election win in 2000.

Julian Zelizer, co-author of Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, said the rollout of Mueller’s report — and attorney general William Barr’s brief summary of the findings — gave him a queasy feeling.

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“This week is starting to remind me of the 2000 presidential election,” Zelizer tweeted. “This is what I was thinking.”

The historian said Republicans had declared victory before the results came in — just as they had during the Florida recount — and exploited structural weaknesses in the news media to establish a narrative.

“Republicans count on the national media to quickly repeat their conclusion,” Zelizer said. “Pack journalism gets to work.”

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That allowed Republicans to insist Bush had won, even after legal challenges to restrictive Florida voting laws and paid GOP protesters pressured officials in Miami-Dade County to halt their recount.

“When serious concerns emerge about the results, Republicans stand by the initial declaration of victory,” Zelizer said.

Thus, Republicans complained that Democrats were trying to “steal” Bush’s election win by challenging the GOP’s arguments on which votes should be counted — and then they waited.

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“Meanwhile, charge that Democrats are being ‘sore losers’ by asking legitimate questions about what is going on,” Zelizer said. “The GOP then tries to force an ending to the controversy by running out the clock”

Republicans in 2000 claimed a clear mandate, despite narrowly winning the election under highly questionable and unprecedented conditions, and Zelizer sees the same narrative playing out as Trump claims exoneration and Republicans try to block the public from seeing Mueller’s evidence against him.

“After the Supreme Court stops the Florida recount in December 2000, Republicans act like there is a clear mandate and national consensus about the results,” Zelizer said. “Never look back.”

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“Does this all bring back some memories?” he added.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

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With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

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A likely recession could doom Trump

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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Trump snaps at media for reporting on his ‘chosen one’ comment — and not knowing he was trying to be funny

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Donald Trump broke his embargo on talking about his highly-derided claim that he is the "chosen one," claiming the media should be able to tell when he is being funny or not.

In two tweets from France where he is attending the G7 conference, Trump called reporting on his claim of divinity "fake news."

"When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said 'I am the chosen one,' at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a 'Messiah complex.'" he wrote. "They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just....having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH...And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust! "

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