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Ohio Republican breaks ranks — and slams Trump’s actions laid out in Mueller report

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Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) took a step toward siding with special counsel Robert Mueller over President Donald Trump.

The Ohio Republican refused to call the 448-page Mueller report an “exoneration” of the president, as many conservatives and GOP lawmakers have, and even criticized Trump’s behavior documented in the special counsel’s findings, reported the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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“The report confirms there was no conspiracy or collusion to violate the U.S. law between Russia and the Trump campaign,” Portman said in a statement released Friday.

“Second, while the report documents a number of actions taken by the president or his associates that were inappropriate,” he added, “the special counsel reach no conclusion on obstruction of justice. Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein have concluded that the Special Counsel’s investigation did not include sufficient evidence to warrant any obstruction of justice charges.”

Republicans have seized on the fact that Mueller wrapped up his investigation last month without issuing any new indictments or documenting conclusive evidence of a conspiracy with Russia, and the special counsel examined 10 episodes of possible obstruction without charging Trump.

So Portman’s criticism stands out, even though it’s far milder than characterizations by most Democrats, and he called on Congress to prevent Russia from engaging in efforts in future elections that were documented in Mueller’s investigation of the 2016 campaign.

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“There are new details about the extent to which the Russians worked to undermine our democracy,” said Portman, who is traveling with other senators in Vietnam, “and I hope that the House and Senate review these findings carefully and continue to work together to ensure this type of election interference never, ever happens again.”

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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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Whistleblower hands House Dems evidence of ‘inappropriate’ interference on Trump’s tax returns

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A federal employee turned over “credible” evidence to House Democrats of possible “inappropriate efforts to influence” the IRS presidential audit process, House lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday.

In July, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., sued Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin after the latter rejected the panel’s request for six years of Trump’s tax returns. On Tuesday, House lawyers cited the new evidence in a motion asking a federal judge to rule without trial that the Treasury Department is required by law to turn over the president’s tax returns.

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‘Manic, unhinged and unnerving’: MSNBC host warns that Trump’s erratic behavior has ‘crossed the threshold’

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MSNBC guest host John Heilemann warned on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s behavior has been “manic, unhinged, and unnerving” in recent days — and some fear it will only get worse.

Heilemann was filling in for Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House.”

He noted at the top of the show that Trump’s behavior has driven a consensus this week that he’s even less even-keeled than usual — which is saying a lot.

“The world is reeling and offering a collective judgment of O-M-G and W-T-F,” Heilmann said. He then played a clip of Trump’s bizarre, belligerent, and blatantly racist comments. He claimed that “no one can be trusted,” that Jews who vote for Democrats are “disloyal,” and that he is “the Chosen One.”

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Texas governor busted sending racist call-to-arms a day before El Paso attack: ‘take matters into our own hands’

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On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) tweeted out a message of unity and promised to work to reduce violence in his state, in the wake of the shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured:

Today we had hearings responding to the tragic shooting in El Paso.

We focused on community healing, combating domestic terrorism, reducing hateful ideologies, & keeping guns out of hands of deranged killers while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.

We’ll keep TX safe.#txlege pic.twitter.com/ymct4aiSgK

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