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Senate delivers stinging bipartisan rebuke to Trump — and blocks Saudi arms sales

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The Trump White House suffered a stinging defeat on Thursday when a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers voted to block sales of American arms to Saudi Arabia.

The vote in favor of blocking the arms sales received affirmative votes from all Senate Democrats, as well as votes from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Todd Young (R-IN).

Graham, who is usually one of President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies, said he voted for the bill because he believed the United States could not ignore the behavior of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, as well as the Saudi government’s killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Now is not the time to do business as usual with Saudi Arabia,” Graham said, according to the New York Times. “I am also very concerned about the precedent these arms sales would set by having the administration go around legitimate concerns of the Congress.”

The Trump administration, led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, used an emergency order to circumvent Congress and continue supplying arms to the Saudis, who are widely blamed for creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis via their proxy war with Iran in the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen.

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Even though the bill blocking Saudi arms sales is expected to also pass in the House of Representatives, Trump has said he will veto it once it reaches his desk.


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New Hampshire GOP lawmaker: Owning slaves doesn’t make you a racist

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A New Hampshire state lawmaker came under fire this week after he argued that owning black people as slaves does not make someone racist.

USA Today reports that Republican state Rep. Werner Horn recently responded to a Facebook post from a former state House member named Dan Hynes, who argued that President Donald Trump couldn't possibly be the most racist president ever because he never owned slaves.

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Trump catapulted a baseless smear about Omar’s marriage from the online fringes into the political mainstream

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President Donald Trump pushed a baseless smear against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) that originated in the online fringes -- as he incited a North Carolina rally crowd to launch a racist chant.

The president told his supporters in Greenville that he'd heard Omar had married her brother, an evidence-free claim that was first posted online in August 2016 as her political career began to take off but has since gained traction in conservative media, reported The Daily Beast.

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2020 Election

CNN host forced to explain to Republican Rick Santorum why Trump’s attack on Democratic lawmakers was racist

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During an appearance on CNN's "New Day" -- along with fellow Republican Charlie Dent (PA) -- ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) received a lecture from host John Berman on why Donald Trump's tweets and attacks on four Democratic lawmakers were racist.

While Dent revealed that down-ticket Republicans running for re-election in 2020 are "terrified" that Trump's descent into overt racism as a campaign strategy may kill their chances of holding their seats, Santorum said he was disgusted with the whole spectacle while saying he didn't see the attacks as racist.

Asked about the president's attacks, Santorum tried to brush them away and blame the recipients of Trump's ire.

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