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How Devin Nunes suckered Republicans into believing Trump is the victim of Democratic conspiracy over Russia

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According to an overview in the Washington Post, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is behind convincing skeptical Republicans that Donald Trump is the victim of a massive conspiracy by the Democrats to tie the president to Russia.

According to the Post’s Aaron Blake, the so-called “Nunes memo” is more frequently being waved about by Republicans who are using it to bolster their belief that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report exonerated the president.

“Whatever legitimate questions might be asked about the process for obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants or the Justice Department’s initial inquiries in the Russia probe, it’s worth noting just how long this “coup” narrative took to build on the political right — and how much GOP leaders initially eschewed it,” Blake wrote, adding, “Then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) first injected this into the public bloodstream via the so-called “Nunes memo,” which raised questions about the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.”

As Blake notes, former FBI counsel Jim Baker shot that theory down this past week.

“There was no attempted ‘coup,’” Baker said in a speech. “There was no way in hell that I was going to allow some coup or coup attempt to take place on my watch,” before adding, that came forward because he “just became sick of all the B.S. that is said about the origins of the investigation.”

Nonetheless, Republican defenders of Trump have made the Nunes memo the centerpiece of their fight to keep Trump from being impeached.

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“Some GOP leaders were clearly uncomfortable with where the Nunes memo might lead. When Trump approved its release, then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) urged colleagues not to overstate its details,” the report states, however, “Those days are long gone. Now that the Mueller report has alleged no conspiracy with Russia (and Mueller punted on obstruction, citing DOJ policy), Republicans have largely echoed Trump’s talking points — or at least raised suggestive questions — that the surveillance of Page might have been symptomatic of an effort to take Trump down. And unlike in Sessions’s day, Attorney General William P. Barr is hearing them out.”

“Today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) has called for investigating the origins of the probe,” Blake wrote, adding, “It’s a pretty predictable outcome of the Nunes memo. And it’s one that even some top Republicans predicted and clearly worried about.”

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Right now Donald Trump thinks he’s winning — and he might not be wrong

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Donald Trump thinks he's winning.

For months, Americans have grown accustomed to Trump in his cornered-rat mode, lashing out defensively and ruminating obsessively over the possibility of impeachment. But his tweets this week have been surprisingly cheerful, suffused with the buoyant spirits of a teenage bully who has successfully swirlied a nerd.

First, like an overexcited child on Christmas Eve who unwraps his presents too soon, Trump — overcome with the pleasures of racist sadism — tweeted on Monday night that "ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens."

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Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’

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On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.

As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.

Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:

1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."

Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR

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Rick Wilson hilariously ridicules the ‘formal flip-flops’ and ‘dress cargo pants’ worn by Florida Trump supporters

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson mocked the attire of the Donald Trump supporters who were bused in from around Florida for his official campaign kickoff in Orlando.

Wilson, a Florida man himself, joined MSNBC's Brian Williams for post-rally analysis on "The 11th Hour."

Williams played a clip of a Trump supporter with sleeveless Trump T-shirt identifying her as a "proud member of the basket of deplorables" explaining why she'll vote to re-elect the president in 2020.

"The main reason? Because he’s one of the best presidents we’ve had for a very long time," the woman argued. "Very long time."

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