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Why Hope Hicks’ new job with Rupert Murdoch makes her more likely to testify against Trump

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Congressional Democrats have issued a subpoena to former White House communications director Hope Hicks, and panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” agreed her future depends on her compliance.

The White House has directed other former officials to ignore the legally binding orders to testify, but the 30-year-old Hicks had her pick of jobs before landing at New Fox as executive vice president and chief communications officer — and ignoring a subpoena could kill her career.

“She now works for a public company, listed on the stock exchange,” said MSNBC analyst Mike Barnicle. “Prior to accepting this job, she interviewed with several other public companies. She was well-liked in the interview process, people thought highly of her, but each of the public companies that she interviewed with were afraid of the Trump taint. What happens to her going forward with that in the background?”

Vanity Fair reporter Emily Jane Fox, who’s covered Hicks for years, agreed the media company’s ultimate responsibility to shareholders does put the former White House official and Trump confidante into a precarious position.

“She took this new job at New Fox, which is a (Rupert) Murdoch-owned company,” Fox said. “Someone who I spoke to for the story explained to me, it is sort of Trump light, right? She’s not totally out of the Trump universe — this is a company that would accept someone who worked in the Trump administration. It’s not like going to a new company that had its reservations and hesitations about someone who worked in the Trump administration.”

But ultimately, her career fate could be decided by business, and not just politics.

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“At the end of the day, they have shareholders,” Fox said. “Someone who is in a big, prominent position within the company, being dragged back and forth for months on end over a legal battle, is not good for the company, it’s not good for investors.”

“I think that the idea of her getting this out of the way and ripping the Band-Aid and stopping the bleeding really fast is definitely better for the company,” Fox added. “What is best for Hope Hicks personally, in her own personal calculation, may not be the same. I think that’s where we’re going to see the tension play out here.”

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Commentary

Why do conservatives hate Oberlin College so much?

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When I was an undergraduate at Oberlin in the mid-Aughts, there was a student in my class year who was obsessed with 19th-century British Royal Naval culture. Every Friday evening, he would host a sing-along in a dorm lounge, for which he would bring xeroxes of historical sea shanty lyrics and pass them around so that we could sing along, waving our glasses of “grog.” This was a semi-established event — he had distributed flyers around campus advertising the weekly British Royal Naval sea-shanty singalong and grog-drinking event, which would extend late into the night. Though he was not a resident of the dorm where it took place, he was welcomed into the lounge by its members, and became a fixture of sorts.Like many well-endowed liberal arts schools in rural areas, Oberlin College functions as a sort of de facto social welfare state, and is designed to encourage and cultivate one’s passions, even if they are not strictly academic. Thus, after writing up a proposal for the student-run activities board, the same student, the British Royal Navy culture guy, was able to plan, organize and execute a ticketed Royal Naval Ball, held in the atrium of the science center. The event featured 20 dishes of authentic British era-appropriate cuisine, cooked by student chefs, several courses of wine and port, and a violinist present to play period-specific music. The whole affair culminated with a traditional, British partner line dance — its sole inauthenticity the fact that we didn’t pay attention to our dance partners’ genders the way the Brits would have.
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2020 Election

Here are 5 reasons why 2020’s down-ballot races could reshape America’s future

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The political press always tends to focus mostly on the marquee race for the White House but that's especially true this cycle, as Donald Trump runs for a second term. He demands attention and his antics enrage his opponents and delight his supporters in equal measure.

But national reporters risk missing the big picture by centering so much of their reporting at the top when many of the most important political battles in 2020 will take place further down the ballot.

Trump is catnip for reporters and their editors, but the dearth of coverage of downballot races didn't begin with his election. As the news media in general faces structural changes—with print circulation declining and much of their work moving into digital spaces that are more difficult to monetize--publishers have cut back on reporters assigned to the state and local government beat. Nevertheless, Trump has arguably worsened the trend by getting so much airtime— one estimate suggested that over the past four years, Trump has taken up, on average, 15 percent of the entire daily news cycle on the three leading cable networks, nearly three times what Obama did.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Katie Porter explains to constituents why her conscience demands support for Trump impeachment inquiry

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Congresswoman Katie Porter, in a video posted on social media Monday night, shared with residents of her purple California district why she is joining dozens of other Democrats who support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

"I didn't come to Congress to impeach the president," said the first-term representative. "But when faced with a crisis of this magnitude, I cannot with a clean conscience ignore my duty to defend the Constitution. I can't claim to be committed to rooting out corruption and putting people over politics and then not apply those same principles and standards in all of the work I do."

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