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Efforts to eliminate the electoral college date back 50 years — and even Nixon was on board: CNN’s John Avlon

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With at least one presidential candidate calling for the elimination of the Electoral College, CNN’s John Avlon delivered a fact check that showed that the idea is hardly radical: efforts to get rid of it date back to the founding of the country, and even President Richard Nixon was on board.

“The Electoral College has been targeted for reform or abolition some 700 times,” said Avlon. “That’s more than any other part of the constitution.”

Founding father James Madison declared the Electoral College “evil at its maximum” a year before Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but lost the presidency to John Quincy Adams. “Happening again in 1876 and 1888, which made incumbent Grover Cleveland so mad that he ran again 4 years later and reclaimed the office his supporters felt could be stolen from him,” Avlon said.

“This little glitch didn’t happen during the 20th century but reform efforts continued,” Avlon went on. “In fact, Indiana senator Birch Bayh, who just last week died at age 91, came within a few votes of advancing an amendment to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with a direct popular vote.” That effort eventually got the support of 80% of Congress.

“One year later, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, to abolish the Electoral College,” Avlon said. “Even president Nixon was on board, but it was filibustered to death in the Senate by southerners led by Strom Thurmond.”

Avlon said that the Electoral College ceased to be an issue until the 2000 election, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote but won the presidency, as did Donald Trump in 2016.

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Trump had two goals in ramping up pressure on Iran — and he’s failing at both: CNN

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he doesn't want war with Iran, which would likely put him at odds with his more bellicose advisers like John Bolton.

That being said, the president clearly believes he can bully Iran into unconditional submission to whatever the United States demands. And Iran is having none of it, escalating its own acts of maritime aggression and proclaiming they have missile technology capable of striking U.S. aircraft carriers.

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CNN

Mitch McConnell busted on CNN as the ‘ringmaster’ leaving the door open for more Russian election interference

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On Tuesday, CNN's John Avlon broke down how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is every bit the obstacle to secure and safe elections as President Donald Trump is.

"There should be things that transcend petty politics, and towards the top of that list is stopping foreign powers from interfering in our elections," said Avlon, playing a clip of former special counsel Robert Mueller warning about the dangers. "Robert Mueller's warning is again, falling on willfully deaf ears. We know that foreign powers continue to try to meddle in our elections. Trump's FBI director and Director of National Intelligence have made this crystal clear."

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2020 Election

CNN panel destroys Trump’s mass arrest threat of millions as a wildly unrealistic Orlando rally stunt

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The panel on CNN's New Day cast a jaundiced eye at a threat Donald Trump made on Monday night where he threatened mass arrests of millions of immigrant families as part of an ICE operation.

On Twitter, the president wrote: "Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people."

According to one panelist on CNN, the president's threat was timed as a political stunt, with the contributor Jackie Kucinich calling it "rally-fodder" before his Orlando campaign kickoff.

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