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Prosecutors offered indicted GOP congressman a deal to keep his multiple taxpayer-funded trysts quiet — but he refused

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On Tuesday, CNN reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), facing indictment for stealing campaign funds and falsifying spending reports, was offered a deal by to keep secret the incidents in which he used taxpayer money to finance affairs with lobbyists — but he refused.

“Prosecutors told a judge they tried to cut a deal with Hunter to avoid revealing the alleged tryst, but his attorneys refused,” reported CNN’s Tom Foreman.

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The affairs were made public shortly after it was revealed that Hunter’s wife Margaret, an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, was cooperating with prosecutors. Hunter had previously tried to blame the entire scheme on his wife — a claim that looks increasingly dubious.

“Prosecutors describe a trip to Heavenly Mountain Resort in California in 2010, where the congressman and a female lobbyist spent the weekend skiing, ordering room service, and enjoying the amenities, using his campaign credit card to cover the $1,000 tab and more campaign cash for travel,” said Foreman. “Other trips with the same woman, a double date to Virginia Beach where prosecutors say Hunter dropped $900, a concert at which he spent $121 in campaign funds on beer, nachos, and wings, and a golf outing with greens fees for two, ten beers, an Adidas shirt, and a visor all paid for, prosecutors contend, with campaign money.”

“At the Republican convention in Tampa in 2012, the papers say Hunter took up with a woman who worked for a Republican House leadership member, using funds to cover dinners, cocktails and Uber rides to her home,” said Foreman. “A similar pattern allegedly occurred with another woman from his own office in early 2015, where the papers say the two occasionally spent nights together. Then again with another lobbyist that fall, and yet again with another lobbyist the next year.”

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CNN buried in scorn for asking final debate question on Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush’s friendship

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Viewers lambasted CNN on Tuesday for using its time with Democratic presidential candidates to bring up Ellen DeGeneres' friendship with former President George W. Bush, who is considered to be a war criminal by some Democratic voters.

CNN asked about the friendship at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, where moderator Anderson Cooper put the question to the entire field of candidates -- even though no questions had been asked about climate change or China.

Watch the video and read some of the Twitter responses below.

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2020 Election

Julián Castro says Atatiana Jefferson’s name on debate stage: ‘Police violence is also gun violence’

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Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said on Tuesday that he would not support the mandatory buyback of assault-style weapons because it could be lead to more police violence.

At Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, Castro was asked if he supported Beto O'Rourke's plan to buy back assault weapons.

Castro argued that unless police go "door-to-door" then the buyback program "is not truly mandatory."

"But in the places I grew up in, we weren’t exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door," he said, pointing to the recent shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by an officer in Fort Worth.

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2020 Election

Tom Steyer slams corporate power: We’ve seen ‘a 40-year attack on the rights of working people’

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At Tuesday night's presidential debate in Ohio, billionaire investor and political activist Tom Steyer — for whom this was the first debate he had qualified — gave an impassioned defense of worker rights and a call to dismantle the political power of big corporations.

"First of all, let me say this. Senator Sanders is right," said Steyer. "There have been 40 years where corporations have bought this government and those 40 years have meant a 40-year attack on the rights of working people and specifically on organized labor. The results are as shameful as Sen. Sanders says, both in terms of assets and in terms of income. It's absolutely wrong. It's absolutely undemocratic and unfair. I was one of the first people on this stage to propose a wealth tax. I would undo every Republican tax cut for rich people and major corporations."

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