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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.

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

“They’re ignorant statements, what the president put out on Twitter,” Santorum began. “I don’t think they were racist statements and I think that’s one of the things that’s going on here which is that everything — and again, I’m not defending what the president said in his tweets — but what I am saying is to take everything and turn it into, you know, racism is what gets people all sort of fired up.”

“You know, the fact is that the president was attacking their radicalism,” he continued. “He was attacking their radical positions on a variety of issues. and I think to that extent, you know, that’s sort of what’s gotten people fired up.”

“The underlying fact is that Rep. Ayanna Pressley was born in Cincinnati [editors note: she was born in Chicago] and represents a district in Massachusetts,” Berman shot back.

“Right, like I said, it’s an ignorant statement,” the ex-GOP lawmaker conceded.

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“What they all have in common is they are people of color and that’s what makes this racist,” Berman continued. “I asked you, do you think the president had to look like he was walking this back?”

“Yeah. look, I mean, as I said, the president’s statements were wrong and ignorant and he needed to somehow try to heal this because while I don’t think they were racist, I think you probably have as good a case that a lot of the things the president says are termed as racist,” Santorum explained. “This is probably one because, as you mentioned, the people are the people of color so it makes it maybe the most subject to be called racist.”

“And also because there’s long history of people being told to go back where they came from,” Berman reminded his guest. “He didn’t invent that. He just bought into this thing we’ve heard for centuries, all of us have heard for centuries or with their own families if you come here as immigrants.’

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2020 Election

State Department retaliated against NPR by kicking reporter off Mike Pompeo’s plane: report

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The U.S. State Department appears to be retaliating against National Public Radio (NPR) after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered a caught-on-tape meltdown following an interview with NPR "All Things Considered" co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

According to PBS "Newshour" reporter Nick Schifrin, the State Department kicked NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen off of Pompeo's jet.

"State Department removes NPR’s Michele Kelemen from Sec. Pompeo plane--where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation--during upcoming trip to London, Kiev," Schifrin reported.

AFP State Department correspondent Shaun Tandon blasted the move on behalf of the State Department Correspondent's Association.

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2020 Election

Legal expert calls Susan Collins statement on Bolton news ‘weak tea’ – and drops bombshell: Chief Justice can issue subpoena

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Former American Constitution Society president Caroline Fredrickson has some harsh words for U.S. Senator Susan Collins over the Maine Republican lawmaker's statement on the John Bolton bombshell. Fredrickson also dropped a bombshell of her own, about the powers of the Chief Justice during an impeachment trial.

"It's less than weak tea, it's not even water," Fredrickson said on MSNBC Monday morning. She was referring to Collins' remarks on news Bolton's unpublished book reveals Trump personally told the former National Security Advisor in August that he wanted to continue to withhold aid to Ukraine to extort that country into producing "dirt" on Joe Biden.

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2020 Election

‘She will lose my vote’: Maine voters tell MSNBC they’re ready to kick Susan Collins out of office

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MSNBC traveled to Maine this week to get a sense of how voters there feel about Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) -- and it looks like the moderate Republican is making a lot of people unhappy.

In interviews, both supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump's impeachment said they were upset with how Collins is sitting on the fence and wringing her hands about whether to call witnesses at the president's Senate impeachment trial.

"She will lose my vote when she runs again," pro-impeachment Maine voter Stevie Colburn tells MSNBC, although she also held out hope that Collins would agree to call witnesses and subpoena documents in the president's trial.

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