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Trump spokesperson boasts the president isn’t ‘going to be beholden to courts anymore’

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A White House spokesman let slip something in a Fox News interview on Friday he probably didn’t mean to say.

Discussing the defeat in the Commerce Department’s effort to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley tried to argue — as President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have said — that despite all appearances, the administration was actually vindicated by the Supreme Court.

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“The Supreme Court even ruled this question could be on there, but it was impossible to get it on in time for printing,” Gidley said.

Of course, Gidley didn’t mention the fact that the reason it’s “impossible” to put the citizenship question on the Census in time is that the court found that the administration’s first attempt to include the question violated the law. Chief Justice John Roberts struck down the Commerce Department’s plans because it provided an apparently “contrived” justification for including the question. The impossibility only became a factor because the administration was so wildly inept and deceptive; it would have had to start all over again to add the question back to the Census because it is currently legally blocked from including it. And there just isn’t enough time for redo.

“We looked at inserts, we looked at all types of options,” Gidley continued. “And the president said: ‘Listen. I’m not going to be beholden to courts anymore. I have the legal authority to find out this information. The American people deserve to know it. So I’m moving forward with this method.”

Host Bill Hemmer ignored Gidley’s claim that the president claims he’s not “beholden” to the courts and quickly moved on. While it was likely just more pseudo machismo in the face of a humiliating defeat, the claim echoed what many feared when Barr and Trump suggested they might try to include a citizenship question on the Census despite the Supreme Court’s ruling. Trump ended up directing the administration to find other methods of calculating the number of American citizens. Since even the Census Bureau long acknowledged that including the question on the decennial survey was not the best method for counting American citizens, it seems the administration’s real purpose for including the question in the first place was not really to get a quantitative answer. Rather, it sought to discourage response rates in regions heavily populated by Hispanics and immigrant groups, thus shifting political power from Democrats to Republicans.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump-loving evangelicals don’t want Mike Pence as president because he has too much ‘decency’: WaPo columnist

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Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig this week talked with Ana Marie Cox on her "With Friends Like These" podcast about how evangelical Christians have an almost apocalyptic fervor for supporting President Donald Trump.

Bruenig, who is herself a practicing Catholic, earlier this year traveled to her home state of Texas to get a sense of how evangelicals were feeling about politics headed into 2020.

What she found, she told Cox, was a group of Christian conservatives who are even more devoted to the president than they were just three years ago when they helped power his electoral college victory.

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TN GOPer claims to ‘honor’ women on same day his caucus refuses to condemn rep. who ‘sexually abused three girls’

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David Byrd (WSMV/screen grab)

The Tennessee Democratic Party lashed out at state Republican lawmakers for refusing to bring up an effort to condemn a lawmaker who has reportedly admitted sexually harassing or abusing three girls.

The Tennessean reported on Monday that the Republican caucus controlling the state House had refused to add to the calendar an expulsion vote for Republican Rep. David Byrd.

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‘He’s ‘a sinister master manipulator’: Why Trump’s narcissistic bullying energizes his base

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump railed against the media on Twitter, accusing reporters of artificially sinking his poll numbers, which have consistently hovered at 43 percent nationwide.

Trump's attacks on the media—which he dubbed the "LameStream Media" in his tweet—have been consistent over the course of his administration. The name-calling also echoes his attacks on other perceived enemies, including lawmakers, ethnicities, immigrants and whole countries.

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