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Conservative columnist maps out a nightmare scenario where Trump loses in 2020 — and refuses to leave

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Although the thought of a president refusing to leave after losing an election is typically a conspiracy theory spouted by fever-swamp-dwelling partisans, conservative columnist Matt Lewis believes it’s a scenario that warrants consideration when it comes to President Donald Trump.

Writing in the Daily Beast, Lewis says he was inspired this week by Trump’s decision to welcome foreign interference in the 2020 election, which he says continues the president’s tradition of shattering norms.

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“After all, once you’ve trampled on some long-held norms and institutions, what is the limiting principle?” he asks rhetorically. “Is it a stretch to think that a president who is fine with taking political dirt from a foreign adversary might not be as deeply committed to the concept of a peaceful transfer of power as you or I would be?”

Lewis then imagines a nightmare situation in which Trump refuses to acknowledge defeat in 2020 and urges his followers to not accept any other president as legitimate.

“If a Democrat wins a close election that Trump calls illegitimate, he will probably have a third of the country agreeing with him,” he writes. “Imagine what that December and January would be like. You might start to see people panicking and moving out of the country for fear it had slipped into soft despotism. And even if Trump ultimately acceded to pressure and vacated the presidency, you could have a large contingent of Americans who believe the election was stolen.”

Read the whole column here.

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Never-before-seen tax docs show Trump’s businesses made themselves seem more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials

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Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

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‘Make it a twofer’: Trump brutally mocked after claiming ‘rumor has it’ CNN’s president will resign ‘momentarily’

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President Donald Trump unleashed his second attack on the media over the course of less than 24 hours, this time attacking his top news target, CNN, as "a virtual fraud." The president also claimed "rumor has it" CNN's president, Jeff Zucker, "will be resigining momentarily?" (The typo is Mr. Trump's.)

Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigining momentarily?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2019

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Trump and the end of the American myth of meritocracy

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The following is chock-a-block with spoilers for "Succession" Season 2, including the finale, so proceed with caution.For understandable reasons, the internet is all a-chatter about the final scenes of Season 2 of "Succession." On Sunday's finale, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), who spent most of this season looking like a whipped puppy, finally stuck it to his old man, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), throwing the patriarch under the bus during a live press conference, during which Kendall was supposed to offer himself up as the fall guy for Waystar Royco's criminal behavior. It was a moment of Kendall showing spine and competence, and understandably, audiences cheered him on.
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