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Sarah Sanders’ lies were worse than reported — here is how she got away with them

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In her tenure as White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders became legendary for her ability to lie at the podium.

But according to conservative commentator Andrew Egger, writing for The Bulwark, Sanders’ real “success” for the Trump administration did not come from how frequently she lied — it came from the fact that most of her lies were boring.

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“Her morose, plodding style and Bartlebyesque refusals to grant reporters a single inch of ground poured cold water on news cycle after news cycle that might otherwise have ignited,” wrote Egger. “The downside, of course, was that she lied a lot. But even here she distinguished herself from [predecessor Sean] Spicer, whose sweaty, frantic tall tales—that was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period!—always invited heaps of instant ridicule. Deadpanning her way through boring, misleading briefing after boring, misleading briefing, Sarah Sanders managed to take most of the fun out of calling her out—as much of a victory as Trump could typically hope for, under the circumstances.”

There were certainly some falsehoods so egregious that they did catch the media’s attention. The time that she lied that “countless” FBI agents told her they had lost confidence in former Director James Comey, for example, which she herself admitted to former special counsel Robert Mueller was a lie. And her claim that CNN reporter Jim Acosta had attacked a White House intern, which was the pretext for revoking his press credentials and which she tried to back up with doctored video footage.

But these lies were the exception rather than the rule, said Egger. Most of her ignoble talent lay in her ability to simply deny things, over and over, relentlessly, until reporters just gave up. This has been the norm on everything from reporters asking her questions about the Mueller investigation, to the times the president has glorified the idea of violence against journalists.

“It wasn’t any single heroic act of staggering duplicity that earned Sarah Sanders her paycheck at the White House,” concluded Egger. “It was the mealy spaces between the highlights: the constant barrage of bald denials of plain fact, all delivered in a bored monotone that made them seem not outrageous, or even particularly notable, but simply tiresome. How will they manage to replace that?”

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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