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Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism

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Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump’s racism.

“I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, ‘Are you sure?’ button on Twitter,” Tarkanian argued.

“I’m a black man, I’m a Republican and a black man,” the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. “My mother’s an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother.”

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“Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from,” Tarkanian argued. “I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes.”

“The tweet was racist,” Watkins declared.

If Tarkanian did not even view Trump’s attacks as racist, anchor Kendis Gibson attempted to find out what it would take for her to consider a comment racist.

“Let me ask you this. What is a racist comment? What would you say?” Gibson asked.

“I’m not going to make a racist comment, are you crazy?” she replied.

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“Define what is a racist comment,” Gibson said.

“Okay, I am not going to go down that direction at all,” she replied.

Watkins, a fellow Republican who served in the George H.W. Bush administration and was once the party’s nominee to be lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, had a far different take.

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“If someone says something that’s racist, it’s racist — and you ought to call it out for what it is. Maybe they’ll hear what you’re saying and they’ll not do it anymore,” Watkins suggested.

But Tarkanian refused to take the pastor’s advice.

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“I have met the president on numerous occasions, I have even been in a house of prayer with the president and worshipped along his side. He’s not a racist, he’s not xenophobic, he’s not a religious bigot of any sort,” Tarkanian claimed.

In March, Tarkanian also struggled to defend Trump’s racism during an appearance on MSNBC.

Watch:

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Paul Krugman: GOP would ‘cheer on’ Trump if he launched ‘a military coup’

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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday warned that it's wrong to compare President Donald Trump to President Richard Nixon, on the grounds that Trump is far worse and more dangerous.

Krugman acknowledges that there are some similarities between Trump and Nixon, such as their willingness to use racial grievance to gain power and their cavalier attitude toward obeying the law.

But Krugman thinks that the biggest difference between Trump and Nixon is that the Republican Party of 2020 is not the same as the Republican Party that pushed Nixon out in 1974.

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Last redoubt: Pygmies return to forest to isolate against coronavirus

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Dzanga-Sangha, a wildlife sanctuary in southwest Central African Republic, is a remote place, linked to the rest of the world by a narrow trail that becomes impassable in heavy rain.

But for the region's Pygmies -- outcasts in a country already ranked among the poorest in the world -- Dzanga-Sangha's isolation could be a blessing.

As coronavirus spreads in the CAR, with more than 1,000 cases officially recorded and four deaths, a campaign has been launched to encourage the Bayaka people, who divide their time between the village and the forest, to hole up in the reserve.

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Disturbing video exposes the dangerous message a State Patrol officer told team: ‘Don’t kill them, but hit them hard’

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Krystal Marx, the executive director of Seattle Pride, shared a disturbing video this week revealing the violent message an officer in the Washington State Patrol gave to his team as it prepared to confront protesters.

“Don’t kill them, but hit them hard,” he said as he walked through a group of his colleagues.

“I remember shaking,” Marx told the Seattle Times of the experience filming the patrol from her office window. “Why not say, ‘Restrain them, calmly’?”

Chris Loftis, a spokesperson for the patrol, gave the Times a statement trying to explain away the comment as poor “word choice,” but it was not reassuring:

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