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CNN’s Anderson Cooper explains why Trump’s Israel gambit was a ‘potentially unconstitutional’ attack on Congress

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper argued Thursday night on his show that President Donald Trump’s latest broadside against Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Minnesota and Ilhan Omar of Michigan was “potentially unconstitutional.”

Trump, who has routinely targeted the Muslim congresswomen and hypocritically accused them of anti-Semitism, urged Israel on Thursday to bar them from entering the country. Reports suggested that Trump has been pressuring Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to take this step, and the Israeli government wasn’t inclined not to. But after Trump tweeted his opinion, Israel made the ban official.

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How could this be unconstitutional? Cooper argued that Trump’s targeting of lawmakers in their official duties could violate the Speech or Debate Clause of the foundational document.

“The president and the courts have a sworn duty to not interfere with duly elected lawmakers going about their jobs,” Cooper said. “Which, today, it seems the president did. With a foreign government’s help, no less.”

Watch the clip below:


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WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

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During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

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Lewandowski’s testimony will let Democrats build Nixon-like articles of impeachment: Ex-prosecutor

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As President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski combatively testified before the House Judiciary Committee, he admitted that Trump asked him to communicate to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation must be shut down. Aside from that revelation, most of the testimony was unproductive, with Lewandowski lashing out at members of Congress and running interference for the president.

But as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter, these outbursts — and the fact that Trump sanctioned the way that Lewandowski behaved in the hearing — could be the basis for Democrats to write up articles of impeachment against Trump similar to those drafted against Richard Nixon in 1974:

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Putin aims a weaponized barb at Trump over Saudi attack – and hits the mark

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Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

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