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GOP now panicking about Trump because they’re losing ‘plausible deniability’ for their racist agenda: columnist

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After smearing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as anti-Semitic—-and letting the crowd at his Greenville, North Carolina rally roar “send her back!” for more than 10 seconds — President Donald Trump was forced to distance himself from the chant.

He falsely claimed that he’d continued his speech immediately after the crowd started yelling. On Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump was under intense pressure by his daughter, Ivanka, and Vice President Mike Pence, to disavow the chants.

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Writing in the Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent lays out why “send her back” makes Republicans so nervous, when they seem perfectly fine with radical immigration policies like zero-tolerance and the separation of kids from their parents, which are applied to non-white asylum seekers.

Even though Trump’s rhetoric and policy specifically target non-white migrants and countries, Republicans have a degree of cover from criticisms that they’re in line behind a racist president.

“You can locate a zone of plausible deniability, in which one can claim support for such policies on pragmatic, economic or “cultural” grounds, and not out of any desire to make the United States whiter,” Sargent writes. “It’s precisely this zone that Republicans now seek to inhabit.”

And that, Sargent says, is why “send her back” is a major liability for the President and his party.

“That’s why the GOP panic about the “send her back” chant is significant. It shines a floodlight into this zone and reveals why it’s so hard to credibly inhabit it.”

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But “send her back” is a turning point.

“Trump’s naked hatred and cruelty was captured on live television, and along with it, so was the seething anger of the hard-core Trump base,” he writes.

“The whole nation saw in dramatic fashion that Trump voters understood his meaning perfectly well, and watched them not just agree with it but also amplify it with as ugly and hate-curdled a chant as one could imagine.”

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It’s a lot harder to pretend Trump’s policies aren’t driven by white nationalism.


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John Bolton had concerns about Donald Trump’s favors to autocrats: report

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Former national security advisor John Bolton privately told the US attorney general last year about concerns that President Donald Trump was essentially granting favors to autocrats, The New York Times reported Monday.

It said the revelations, concerning the leaders of China and Turkey, come in an unpublished book manuscript by Bolton.

The same manuscript says Trump told Bolton that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped to investigate his political rivals, the Times previously reported.

Those allegations have roiled Trump's impeachment trial that is ongoing in the US Senate.

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Fox News host scolds Mike Pompeo for scuffle with reporter: ‘Don’t be such a baby!’

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Fox News host Steve Hilton scolded Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for being a "baby," a "bully" and an "embarrassment" after NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly reported that he berated and cursed at her for asking questions about the Ukraine scandal.

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got into an ugly dustup with an NPR reporter this week, and I've got something I want to get off my chest," Fox's Steve Hilton told his viewers on Sunday.

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White House grants press access to Christian site whose founder called impeachment a ‘Jew coup’

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The White House granted press credentials to a Christian news site whose founder claimed that President Donald Trump's impeachment was a "Jew coup" organized by a "Jewish cabal" in anti-Semitic remarks.

Five employees of the Florida-based conservative Christian news outlet TruNews received press credentials from the White House to cover Trump's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, founder Rick Wiles told The New York Times from a ski lodge reserved for press members by the Trump administration. The outlet was not granted special access to Trump, though TruNews' Edward Szall asked Ivanka Trump a question during a news conference, according to the report.

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