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Trump’s FAA official refusing to ground troubled airplane is former industry lobbyist: report

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National security analyst Juliette Kayyem noted that the Federal Aviation Administration chief responsible for grounding commercial airplanes not only used to fly them but served as their lobbyist at one time.

The biography of Daniel Elwell on the FAA’s website details he was a pilot for American Airlines for 16 years. American is one of several airlines who have the Boeing 737 MAX 8 flying passengers around the country. While many other countries have grounded the plane after two crashes that took place immediately after takeoff, Elwell proclaimed the U.S. planes to be safe.

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“Elwell was Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) from 2008-2013. In this role, Elwell represented civil aerospace manufacturers and led policy development and advocacy,” quoted Kayyem.

American Airlines has 24 of the planes in its fleet, while Southwest Airlines has 34 carrying passengers.

According to the US National Safety Council, flying on a commercial airline is the safest form of transportation there is. In an analysis of census data, the odds of dying as a plane passenger is 1 in 205,552. The odds of dying while riding a bicycle is 1 in 4,050 and 1 in 1,086 people died by drowning. Car crashes are among the worst with 1 in 102 people dying in them.

Yet, in a matter of just six months, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 crashed. Boeing has announced a software fix to the Lion Air problem, but it’s unclear what happened with the Ethiopian flight.

In a CNN interview Tuesday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said that when every other country in the world grounds a plane, Americans should probably “get to the bottom of the problem” before authorizing the planes to fly.

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“We want to make absolutely sure that the FAA is not trying to keep these planes flying even though they’re not safe just because Boeing and airlines want it that way,” he said.

According to a Politico report, pilots in the U.S. complained at least 5 times over the past several months about problems they’ve had controlling the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet during “critical moments of flight.”

Kayyem noted that taking these planes out of commission would have very little impact on the planes in the country.

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Ken Starr is an awful choice for Trump’s legal team because he’ll look like a hypocrite: Former federal prosecutor

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President Donald Trump has a severe hypocrisy problem, and it has extended to his legal team. In a CNN explainer answering legal questions from viewers, former state and federal prosecutor Eli Honig explained that the choice of Ken Starr for Trump's legal team was a terrible idea.

Trump has chosen lawyers that are like a Fox News legal discussion panel. Pat Cipollone, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Wray, Pam Bondi and Jay Sekulow are all key people Trump has called on to defend him. But one person stands out, Honig explained. Ken Starr.

"He may emerge as a symbol of hypocrisy," Honig said. "He was the independent counsel who pursued Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ken Starr turned over Heaven and Earth in his investigation of Bill Clinton. He talked to everyone who ever had known Monica Lewinsky, ex-boyfriends, teachers, window washers. And here he's going to say you shouldn't be hearing from primary witnesses?"

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CNN

If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

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Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

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CNN

Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible

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Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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