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BUSTED: Bill Barr caught briefing White House on Mueller report before public release

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Attorney General Bill Barr has been briefing the White House prior to Thursday’s public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on President Donald Trump’s campaign colluding with Russia and obstruction of justice, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

“Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions,” The Times noted. “The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.”

The impending public release is causing even more chaos in the West Wing.

“A sense of paranoia is taking hold among some of Mr. Trump’s aides, some of whom fear his backlash more than the findings themselves, the people said. The report might make clear which of Mr. Trump’s current and former advisers spoke to the special counsel, how much they said and how much damage they did to the president — providing a kind of road map for retaliation,” The Times reported.

Barr’s decision is likely to increase criticism of his tenure as attorney general.

“The discussions between Justice Department officials and White House lawyers have also added to questions about the propriety of the decisions by Attorney General William P. Barr since he received Mr. Mueller’s findings late last month,” The Times noted. “The discussions between Justice Department officials and White House lawyers have also added to questions about the propriety of the decisions by Attorney General William P. Barr since he received Mr. Mueller’s findings late last month.”

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Lock him up? Democrats are pushing prosecution for Trump — but those calls alarm some law enforcement vets

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President Donald Trump -- whose rallies are still punctuated with "lock her up" chants" -- may face turnabout from his Democratic rivals.

Some Democratic candidates are openly threatening Trump with prosecution once he's out of office, and those taunts are alarming to some law enforcement veterans, reported Politico.

“Presidents aren’t supposed to suggest there be investigations or prosecutions of particular people, let alone their political rivals,” said Matt Axelrod, a former Justice Department senior official under Obama. “President Trump has flagrantly and repeatedly violated that norm, but that doesn’t mean the norm has been obliterated.”

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WATCH: Alabama GOP official berates reporter about Sodom and Gomorrah after she questions his anti-LGBT rant

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Republican Mobile County Treasurer Phil Benson defiantly told a reporter from a local news station to read the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah when she came to ask him about his recent anti-LGBT rant that he posted on Facebook.

The controversy surrounding Benson started when he reacted angrily to a story about a bakery getting sued for refusing to serve an LGBT wedding.

"Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy," Benson wrote on Facebook in response to the story.

Local news station NBC 15 sent out reporter Andrea Ramey to question him about his remarks, and he tried to insist that she read Chapter 19 of Genesis, which details the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah over their tolerance of homosexuality.

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Charitable giving drops after GOP tax ‘cut’: report

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On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that charitable giving dropped 1.7 percent last year, adjusted for inflation, even as the economy surged.

The likely culprit? The GOP tax law, according to a report from Giving USA.

Although corporate donations rose 2.9 percent and foundation gifts rose 4.7 percent in the previous year, charitable donations from individuals — which is where the bulk of actual charity takes place — dropped 3.4 percent, the first time this has happened since the financial crisis.

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