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

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White House senior advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump stand behind the president in the Oval Office (Twitter)

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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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

Conservatives are hopping mad that their clumsy Hunter Biden smear is a flop

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

In 2016, Steve Bannon did an amazing job rolling out the Clinton Foundation nontroversy. He gave The New York Times and CNN early access to Peter Schweizer's book, Clinton Cash, and the outlets gave it mainstream credibility. Later, when the Uranium One story was thoroughly debunked, it didn't matter. The foundation remained under a pall of fuzzy suspicions.

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GOP insiders give Pence little chance of ever being president after four years spent defending Trump: report

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On Saturday, writing for The Washington Post, Ben Terris reported that many Republican consultants and insiders believe that Vice President Mike Pence's presidential ambitions are doomed, for several reasons.

"If you list the top 10 most likely people to have a strong shot at the nomination, maybe Mike Pence makes number nine or 10," said former Marco Rubio presidential campaign manager Terry Sullivan in the piece. "Maybe." Former Jeb Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller agreed, saying, "I could maybe see him becoming the nominee, but president? I just don’t see it."

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