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Here’s how Trump’s latest comments dredge up his nasty treatment of John McCain

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- Commentary

Speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Wednesday, President Donald Trump once again made comments revealing he has little interest in treading sensitively around his feud with the late Sen. John McCain.

He lamented that fact that, during his first two years as president, he struggled to get the votes he wanted for his agenda because he only had 51 (initially 52) Republicans in the Senate.

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“And sometimes, you know, they had a little hard time with a couple of them, right?” Trump added, referring to GOP senators who didn’t bow to his will. “Fortunately they’re gone now. They have gone on to greener pastures. Or perhaps far-less-green pastures. But they are gone. They are gone … I’m very happy they are gone.”

Of course, one of the GOP senators that gave Trump “a little hard time” was John McCain, the Arizona Republican who shared mutual a dislike with the president. Trump has repeatedly bemoaned the fact that McCain, who vacated his Senate seat after he died in August 2018, voted against the Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare (Trump rarely mentions the two other Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who were also instrumental in torpedoing that bill). McCain has been replaced by Republican Sen. Martha McSally.

Steve Benen, writing for MSNBC, suggested that Trump’s claim about some of his opponents in the Senate going to “perhaps far-less-green pastures” might have been shown that he is “celebrating John McCain’s death and suggesting the late senator ended up somewhere unpleasant.”

Trump has been less than subtle about his hatred for McCain — he even resisted lowering the flag after the senator’s death in a particularly petty episode of spite — so he’s done little to deserve the benefit of the doubt. However, the comment could easily have been an attack on former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a frequent critic of the president, who is simply no longer in government.

Flake seemed to take the remarks in stride in a playful tweet:

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But Trump’s comment that he’s “very happy” the troublesome senators “are gone” — which no doubt included McCain — left less room for interpretation. He’s clearly expressing the idea that he’s happy McCain is out of the Senate — an outcome that only occurred because he died. Even if Trump didn’t mean to imply what this clearly implies, he should know better than to use such callous and thoughtless language when referring to dead people. But given how upfront Trump has been about his bitterness toward McCain even after his death, there’s no reason to think the comment wasn’t a deliberate broadside.

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Indeed, that’s exactly how Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Balhous interpreted his remarks:

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Fox News hosts lob conspiracies and personal attacks at Democrats as they argue against impeachment

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The three prime time hosts at Fox News hosts invoked conspiracy theories and lobbed personal attacks about the appearances of Democrats lawmakers participating in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump in lieu of attacking the substance of the testimony given on the first day of public hearings.

This article was first published in Salon.

After describing the hearing as a “complete and utter disaster” for Democrats in her opening monologue Wednesday night, host Laura Ingraham invited Raymond Arroyo, the conservative author and lead anchor for the news division of the Eternal Word Television Network, to discuss the public hearings with her.

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Nancy Pelosi sends a big hint about a likely article of impeachment

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly pounded home on Thursday the idea that “bribery” is a central charge in the impeachment inquiry surrounding President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal during a briefing with reporters.

“The devastating testimony [on Wednesday] corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry and that the president abused power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival,” she said of the previous day’s pubic hearing. “A clear attempt of the president to give himself the advantage in the 2020 election. Doing so, as I’ve said to the president, jeopardized our national security, undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our electoral system.”

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Trump asks the Supreme Court to save him from a criminal investigation

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President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block Manhattan prosecutor Cy Vance from obtaining his tax records via a grand jury subpoena as part of a criminal investigation.

This appeal is the president’s last chance to avoid handing over the materials after the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the legitimacy of the subpoena. If the Supreme Court declines to take the case, Trump will be obligated to hand over his financial records and tax returns, which have been the subject of much speculation and controversy since he failed to release them during the 2016 campaign, despite his promise to do so.

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