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Trump’s ‘aberrant’ Omar excuse is the same ‘two-step’ he did when former Ku Klux Klan Grandwizard endorsed him: CNN contributor

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On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” contributor Ron Brownstein reacted with outrage to President Donald Trump’s attempts to disown his supporters’ racist chants of “Send Her Back!” regarding Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) while at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.

“Let me read a tweet that generated a lot of reaction, a tweet that you posted,” said anchor Wolf Blitzer. “It goes like this. ‘If 20 high school students chanted this at a classmate how many would be expelled? If 20 employees yelled this at a colleague how many would be fired? If 20 Army soldiers aimed this at a platoon mate how many would be discharged? How much of US will accept this as a new standard?’ You got a lot of reaction from that.”

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“I think if we focus on the president’s maneuvering, and all he’s doing today is the same two-step he did with [former Klan leader] David Duke and Jake Tapper back in 2016. He puts out the message, and then he tries to embroider a little deniability.”

“But if we focus on his maneuvering, we lose the magnitude of how aberrant this is,” continued Brownstein. “And I think the way to understand how aberrant this language is, the original ‘Go back,’ not to mention the ‘Send Her Back’ chant, is to imagine it, as I’m saying in any other context in American life. Imagine 20 high school juniors standing around a classmate in a hijab on a football field at a high school anywhere in America and saying ‘Go back,’ or chanting ‘Send Her Back.’ Or 20 people in a lunchroom surrounding an employee and chanting ‘Go back,’ or for that matter 20 soldiers doing the same thing. General Hertling, I asked him what would happen if that happened under his command, and he said they would be gone instantly.”

“Just before I came on the air, I got an email from a senior executive at one of the leading U.S. business associations, who said to me, ‘At major U.S. organizations and companies, we have strict policies and mandatory training programs against discrimination. It would be a fireable offense for any employee to say such inflammatory language to another employee.’ I think we have to hear from the heads of Ford and GM, and Walmart, and Apple, and Exxon, and G.E., what would happen at their company if someone used this language at another employee, or if they used it as a CEO, how long would they be in that job?”

“This kind of thing gets normalized if people don’t make clear how abnormal it is,” Brownstein warned.

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CNN buried in scorn for asking final debate question on Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush’s friendship

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Viewers lambasted CNN on Tuesday for using its time with Democratic presidential candidates to bring up Ellen DeGeneres' friendship with former President George W. Bush, who is considered to be a war criminal by some Democratic voters.

CNN asked about the friendship at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, where moderator Anderson Cooper put the question to the entire field of candidates -- even though no questions had been asked about climate change or China.

Watch the video and read some of the Twitter responses below.

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2020 Election

Julián Castro says Atatiana Jefferson’s name on debate stage: ‘Police violence is also gun violence’

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Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said on Tuesday that he would not support the mandatory buyback of assault-style weapons because it could be lead to more police violence.

At Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, Castro was asked if he supported Beto O'Rourke's plan to buy back assault weapons.

Castro argued that unless police go "door-to-door" then the buyback program "is not truly mandatory."

"But in the places I grew up in, we weren’t exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door," he said, pointing to the recent shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by an officer in Fort Worth.

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2020 Election

Tom Steyer slams corporate power: We’ve seen ‘a 40-year attack on the rights of working people’

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At Tuesday night's presidential debate in Ohio, billionaire investor and political activist Tom Steyer — for whom this was the first debate he had qualified — gave an impassioned defense of worker rights and a call to dismantle the political power of big corporations.

"First of all, let me say this. Senator Sanders is right," said Steyer. "There have been 40 years where corporations have bought this government and those 40 years have meant a 40-year attack on the rights of working people and specifically on organized labor. The results are as shameful as Sen. Sanders says, both in terms of assets and in terms of income. It's absolutely wrong. It's absolutely undemocratic and unfair. I was one of the first people on this stage to propose a wealth tax. I would undo every Republican tax cut for rich people and major corporations."

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