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Trump’s corruption is elevating being a grifter into an ‘honorable profession’: Trump ghostwriter

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The man Donald Trump hired to write The Art of the Deal noted that although the newly-indicted Obama White House counsel Greg Craig may have been from a previous administration, his “grift” — which included Paul Manafort — flourished under the current president.

Trump ghostwriter Tony Schwartz remarked in a Thursday conversation with MSNBC’s Ari Melber and fellow analyst Maya Wiley that the president “created a world where being a grifter is an acceptable, actually even an honorable profession these days.”

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In a case stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Craig was charged with making false statements to the Justice Department about whether Skadden Arps, his law firm, operated as foreign agents for the Ukrainian government.

The case was an offshoot of Mueller’s charges against Manafort, who worked extensively for former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich.

“In 2012, Manafort helped Ukraine’s government retain Skadden to write a report evaluating the prosecution of Yanukovych’s political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko,” Vox reported earlier in the day. “Craig was the lead partner in that project.”

“The risk to the law when you have someone assaulting it from every side every day, I don’t think it’s ever been as high as it is,” Schwartz said, referencing Trump.

“It’s scary,” the ghostwriter added. “This is what Trump does to people. He brings them down to his level.”

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The Republicans’ impeachment lawyer made 2 huge mistakes in questioning Gordon Sondland

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered complex and convoluted impeachment testimony on Wednesday about his involvement in President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. He gave detailed evidence recounting the president and the rest of the administration’s involvement in his effort to get Ukraine to launch investigations of Trump’s political opponents — including by leveraging a potential White House meeting and a hold on military aid.

But he also, to the Republicans’ delight, left some ambiguity about how much Trump had been involved in the effort to leverage the aid, saying that he had “presumed” Ukraine’s announcement of the investigations would release the hold. And he noted that, in one phone call the president — as the scheme was slowly being uncovered — Trump angrily denied there was a quid pro quo.

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Rick Santorum smacked down for claiming Sondland testimony helped Trump

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that the testimony of E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland actually helped President Donald Trump — and was promptly challenged.

"I think the Democrats had a good morning. I don't think they had a good afternoon," said Santorum. "I think what when the Republicans actually started questioning Sondland about the details, I think it fell apart a little bit."

"How so?" asked Chris Cuomo.

"He said the president never said any of these things to him," said Santorum. "In fact, what the president said, he quoted what the president said is, no, there's no quid pro quo. What he says is, well, I'm surmising, this is what I'm just sort of gathering. Did anything come from the president? No, it came from Rudy Giuliani."

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‘The cost of acquitting Donald Trump just went up’ for the Republicans: MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid

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MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid explained during the post-hearing wrap-up that things aren't looking good for Republican senators up for reelection in 2020.

In the wake of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony, things are getting more difficult for Republicans faced with a vote on impeachment.

"Even if [the numbers] don't move, the problem is going to be a lot of these people have to run for re-election, letting the president off the hook when it's pretty clear what happened," Reid said. "This is pretty simple, and if I'm Cory Gardener (R-CO), I'm not feeling great."

Brian Williams noted that Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) is one of the many Republicans "who's leaving town on a fast horse." If anyone could be pealed off by Democrats, Williams thinks it is Hurd.

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