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MSNBC’s Morning Joe admits he was wrong about democratic norms: Only laws will stop a ‘would-be tyrant’

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough admitted he may have been wrong about democratic institutions holding back President Donald Trump’s assault on the rule of law, and he said unwritten norms must be codified to prevent another “would-be tyrant.”

The “Morning Joe” host laid out a list of norms Trump had violated and loopholes he had exploited to gather power and possibly even avoid prosecution, and he said the Constitution must be updated to keep that from happening again.

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“There are people like myself that said, oh, the institutions will hold, the institutions are fine, the institutions have held thus far, but that’s because good men and women stood up at the right time, including Jeff Sessions when he recused himself,” Scarborough said. “The attorney general, (William) Barr, is now proving there are people that go in that are so craven for power that they actually will blow up constitutional norms.”

Scarborough said sweeping changes were needed to strengthen congressional checks on executive power.

“So whether you’re looking at the attorney general possibly being selected like the FBI director for 10 years, and I would say even by a supermajority of the United States Senate,” Scarborough said, “whether you’re talking about a new way to look at these security clearances, there has to be a new way to look at the security clearances.”

“We have to stop saying whatever the president says is declassified,” he continued, “because after attacking Hillary Clinton throughout an entire campaign for sending emails that might have been classified, he just blabs to the foreign minister of Russia, and just blabs. Every time he does something reckless and irresponsible that concerns the intelligence community, everybody goes, well, if the president says it’s not classified, then it’s not classified — wrong. That’s the wrong answer.”

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“The president should be indicted, Democratic or Republican presidents,” Scarborough added. “You can’t shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and ride it out. You can’t be in a position where Donald Trump is, if he’s not re-elected, he might be sent to jail or indicted, but if he is re-elected, and he commits crimes to get re-elected he still can’t be indicted — wrong, and it’s wrong for the president of the United States to be a national security risk.”

Scarborough said the Constitution must be reviewed and updated to protect against unscrupulous presidents, lawmakers and other officials.

“We need a constitutional review by brilliant Republican and Democratic — conservative, liberal scholars — can look at it,” he said. “I appoint George Conway to run the whole thing. I’m dead serious, because he’s a conservative jurist, and Neal Ketyal. They get together and figure out what doesn’t work when you have somebody that is a would-be tyrant in the White House.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… 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.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

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Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region.

Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia.

Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.

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Amazon fires: how celebrities are spreading misinformation

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Many high-profile figures seeking to denounce the fires in the Amazon -- from Madonna and Cristiano Ronaldo to Leonardo DiCaprio and Emmanuel Macron -- have unwittingly ended up misleading millions on social media, either sharing photographs of the region that are years old or images taken in other parts of the world.

Official figures show nearly 73,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year, the highest number for any year since 2013. Most were in the Amazon.

- Leaders -

"Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning," France's President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, posting a photograph of a burning forest (1) accompanied by the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon.

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US charges 80 in internet fraud and money laundering scheme

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US authorities on Thursday announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States.

Most of the remainder of those indicted were believed to be in Nigeria, the US Justice Department said.

The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the internet.

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