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CNN explodes with laughter as Trump adviser defends Jared Kushner’s Russia comments

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On CNN, the Trump Hispanic Advisory Council’s Steve Cortes tried to defend Jared Kushner’s recent dismissal of Russian attacks on the 2016 election as “buying some Facebook ads” — and was immediately shouted down with laughter from host Chris Cuomo and attorney Angela Rye.

“If discretion were part of the calculus in getting security clearance, we understand why Kushner had a hard time with these other guys that look into whether or not you’re worthy of what they want to give you,” said Cuomo after playing the clip of Kushner. “You would never argue what he just did. You would never argue that. Not on this show.”

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“I would argue that Jared Kushner is exactly correct,” said Cortes.

“No,” laughed Cuomo.

“I’m sorry. I thought he was going to say something different,” chortled Rye.

“They spent a total of $100,000 on Facebook ads,” Cortes plowed on. “Look at the amount of time that the media and Democrats have spent on this over the last two do you know how much the campaign spent? $81 million on Facebook ads in a presidential campaign with billions of dollars in total spending. What this is really about is to try to create a scapegoat and I have not heard sore losers blame a scapegoat this badly since Steve was blamed for the 2003 cubs meltdown in the playoffs. Voters in Wisconsin did not have their minds changed by the Russians.” (In fact, the Mueller report shows that Russia spent more like $1.25 million on ads per month.)

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“If that’s how you feel, why grossly, grossly underplay Russia’s efforts spelled out in great and unredacted detail largely in the Mueller report. Anyone who looks at that, Steve, is gonna say, that’s poppycock, they did tons of stuff. They had a reach that was extraordinarily by Facebook’s own reckoning.”

“Here’s the bottom line,” said Rye. “When we get to a point that we say I’m not going to really engage in this conversation about whether or not the impact they intended to have was indeed felt. The bottom line is, Russia interfered with the election, full stop. It doesn’t matter the size of the contribution, it doesn’t matter the cost of the campaign. The fact that you don’t even understand that they literally bought off low level activists that were targeted in my community is a problem.”

“So we can’t just calculate this by the amount they spent on Facebook ads. It’s far bigger than that and I think once we get to the point where we can justify this type of cyber warfare by saying it wasn’t that significant, Donald Trump spent way more money or Hillary Clinton spent way more money?” Rye said. “Bro, you’re just wrong.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump may look unstable now — but the economy is going to make him much worse: CNN’s April Ryan

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," analyst and American Urban Radio Network Washington bureau chief April Ryan walked through how President Donald Trump backed himself into a corner by trying to build his brand on a great economy — and is coming to pieces as a result.

"April, what are you hearing? Is the economy causing the president's erratic behavior?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.

"Yes, yes, and yes," said Ryan. "This president has been touting a great economy, and this is the cornerstone since I guess since the very beginning of his administration for people to feel that he should win re-election, that he is firmly planted for the American public and he's working for them," said Ryan. "But indicators, non-traditional indicators, are saying something different. He is having a hard time trying to marry the great economy with what it looks like for the American public, particularly the grassroots."

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CNN

‘It is all crazy’: CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin goes off on people who try to insist Trump’s rants are just jokes

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scorned the idea from President Donald Trump's defenders that rants like his recent anointment of himself as "the chosen one" are made in jest, for entertainment value.

"One of the strange things about President Trump is that nobody has ever seen him laugh, like a full laugh on camera," said Toobin. "Think about it. You never see it. And this notion of explaining crazy things he says as jokes is not — that is just not true. He does not joke. When he said 'Russia, you know, I want you to find Hillary Clinton's emails,' they tried to explain it as a joke. It wasn't. Russia went right to work trying to find Hillary's emails."

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CNN

‘It’s always dread with President Trump’: CNN analyst says G7 leaders are revolted they have to meet with Trump again

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," reporter Abby Phillip said that world leaders are feeling "dread" about the prospect of meeting with President Donald Trump after his latest round of erratic behavior on the world stage.

"There is a big test on foreign relations for President Trump this weekend," said host Brianna Keilar. "He's going to the G7. He, Abby, is headed there after insulting Denmark by pulling out of a state visit, keeping in mind that Denmark is a key intel and military ally of the U.S. What is the mood going into this forum?"

"Honestly, it's always dread with President Trump," said Phillip.

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