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US Senator Rubio visits Haiti amid political crisis there

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio met on Wednesday with the Haitian president and members of parliament and discussed the formation of a new Cabinet following the ouster this week of Jean Henry Ceant as prime minister.

The Florida Republican lawmaker arrived in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, following crippling nationwide protests and a political crisis touched off by the dismissal of Ceant in a vote of no confidence by the country’s legislative body on Monday.

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Haiti has had several prime ministers in recent years. President Jovenel Moise remains in office.

Rubio wrote on his Twitter account that he discussed the formation of a new government in his meeting with Gary Bodeau, head of the lower house, and Carl Cantave, president of the Senate.

Ceant took office in September as thousands of demonstrators were streaming through the streets in the main cities of the impoverished island nation.

In renewed protests since Feb. 7, many called for Moise to step down because of ballooning inflation, a weakening currency and allegations of misused funds from a Venezuelan oil subsidy scheme called PetroCaribe.

Ceant, who has likewise been blamed for the rampant inflation and protests, has insisted his dismissal on Monday was unconstitutional and that he is still the head of government.

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Moise said on Twitter that he spoke with Rubio about security and holding parliamentary elections.

Rubio heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.

His visit comes days before Moise and four other Caribbean leaders attend a meeting on Friday with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela and China’s commercial expansion.

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Reporting by Ezequiel Abiu Lopez; Editing by Delphine Schrank and Peter Cooney


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Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump

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Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.

But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.

"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"

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DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.

"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."

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2020 Election

GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed

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The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.

According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"

However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.

As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."

That was the general consensus in the comments.

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