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Trump put Ivanka in an ‘awful position’ her entire life — but she’s still ‘Exhibit A for nepotism’: Biographer

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Biographer of President Donald Trump, Michael D’Antonio, told CNN Tuesday that he had some degree of “empathy” for First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who has had to defend her father her entire life — but that empathy stopped the minute she hit adulthood and began taking advantage of taxpayers. D’Antonio made the remark during a discussion of the Charlottesville aftermath, described in Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the new exposé of the Trump family, in which Ms. Trump defended her father against charges of racism.

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“She’s been put in this position time and time again really throughout her adult life,” D’Antonio said. “We have to remember, this is the kid who walked to school seeing her parents’ tabloid divorce scandal played out on the newsstands that she passed on the street. So she’s been in this awful position of having to explain this man for her whole life.”

“I have to have some empathy for her, she’s almost trapped in this dynamic,” he continued. “Either she acknowledges that her father has racist leanings and says racist and bigoted things, or she has to lie about it and join sort of this family practice of denying the truth, manipulating the facts, and distorting when things are uncomfortable.”

However, D’Antonio said his sympathy had its limits — and details about Trump and her husband Jared Kushner trying to get inappropriate access to Air Force planes for travel was a hard line.

“Before I get carried away with my empathy for Ivanka Trump, that sort of stops with her adulthood,” he said. “She has taken advantage of everything that her family name and her wealth offered.” He compared Trump and Kushner’s White House appointments explicitly to the college entrance exam scandal that roiled the country Tuesday, and said they had no business being there.

“I think Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are exhibit number one for nepotism,” he said. “They’re strikingly unqualified. It’s appalling that they have offices in the White House at all.”

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Trump’s Senate trial will be ‘riddled by hypocrisy’ with Ken Starr defending him: CNN legal analyst

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President Donald Trump's decision to tap former Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr for his impeachment defense team drew a sharp rebuke from former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on Friday.

"Whatever they do will be riddled by hypocrisy," Honig said of Trump's impeachment defense team during an appearance on CNN. "Ken Starr, the guy who spent years trying to throw a president out of office for lying about sex in a civil deposition, is now defending a president who has been impeached for trying to shake down a foreign country to interfere with an election. I don't know how you square that."

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Rick Santorum flattened by CNN’s Berman after calling Parnas bombshell revelations ‘extraneous’ to impeachment

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Rick Santorum and CNN's John Berman got into a frantic back-and-forth on Friday morning after the former Republican senator attempted to dismiss the revelations by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as something that should not be submitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Discussing the Senate trial expected to start next week, Santorum said the only testimony and witnesses that should be allowed are ones that came up in the earlier House hearings.

"The House's responsibility to bring to us a case," Santorum stated. "They're the one who is said these are offenses that are worthy of the president being removed from office; here is the record, here are the charges. The Senate didn't impeach, the House did, so we are going to look at the record the House presented us. We're going to look at the witnesses and say are there are questions that we have for the people that brought this case forward and relied on these witnesses and look at their testimony."

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CNN

Here’s why some Americans don’t appreciate ‘extraordinary’ accusations from Lev Parnas

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down a key reason why indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas hasn't quite gotten across the severity of his accusations against President Donald Trump to the American people.

"Jeff, what do you think of Parnas as a witness?" asked Cooper.

"He has a distinctive style. He's very deadpan, very low-key," said Toobin. "You somehow don't realize how extraordinary story he is telling. The proprietor of a company called Fraud Guarantee, and he is going to the leadership of the government of Ukraine and saying, unless you announce an investigation of the Biden family,  you are not getting the money that Congress has authorized. you are not getting the visit from the president and you are not getting an Oval Office visit. And it's true. None of it happened."

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