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Morning Joe’s Eugene Robinson pins death of Epstein on the ‘rot’ at the heart of the Trump administration

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Concluding a panel discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” regular contributor Eugene Robinson said the laxness and understaffing at the federal jail where convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was being held until he reportedly committed suicide is an example of the “rot” at the heart of Donald Trump’s administration.

Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, the Washington Post columnist decried incompetence down the line.

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“We ought to reflect on the fact that Jeffrey Epstein was, at the time of his death in the custody of Donald Trump and [Attorney General] William Barr,” he explained. “He was in federal custody and so it really is their ultimate responsibility and their ultimate failure.”

“One thing this reminds me is that this is an administration that down the line just can’t be bothered to fully staff the federal bureaucracy with competent people who can identify problems like those that we’re starting to learn about at the Metropolitan Corrections Center and do something about it,” he continued. “And that didn’t happen here.”

“I believe there’s an acting director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and I believe there’s no number two,” he added. “It’s just — you know — it’s a tragic example of the kind of rot we are seeing in a lot of places in the government.”

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Did Trump just signal he may fire ‘current’ FBI director hours before meeting Russian foreign minister?

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President Donald Trump attacked his FBI director hours ahead of his White House meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and other social media users noticed a big coincidence.

The president turned on Christopher Wray in an early morning Twitter rant after the FBI director broke with Attorney General William Barr and agreed the Justice Department's inspector general had found no evidence of wrongdoing at the start of the Russia probe.

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‘Political Madness!’ Trump melts down over pending articles of impeachment release

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President Donald Trump started off Tuesday morning in a frothy rage -- hours before Democrats were scheduled to release two articles of impeachment.

House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment accusing the president of abuse of power and obstruction of justice, and Trump raged against the constitutional process that's consuming his presidency.

"To Impeach a President who has proven through results, including producing perhaps the strongest economy in our country’s history, to have one of the most successful presidencies ever, and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!#2020Election," Trump tweeted.

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2020 Election

Your guide to the 2020 Democrats: Who’s in, who’s out and WTF is going on anyway?

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With the Iowa caucuses less than two months away, the 2020 Democratic presidential field is finally starting to achieve ... no, forget it. It's definitely not coherent and it's probably not permanent either; we may well see more dropouts and late entries. But with the departure of Sen. Kamala Harris (and the earlier departures of a bunch of guys whose names you don't remember), the field now has a recognizable shape.

There's a frontrunner, who has led almost every national poll since last winter, allowing for a few outlier polls and a brief period around the end of the summer. There are three other leading contenders, two of whom have been near the top of the polls for months, while the third only recently emerged from the pack. There is a pack of dark-horse candidates, whose odds of being elected president now approach zero but who remain in the race for various reasons.  There are some with no shot at all. There are two fringe candidates, likely using this campaign to explore career options. And there's a pair of billionaires who hope to buy their way to the presidency by spending alarming amounts of money on campaign ads. That probably won't work — but you might have heard the same thing about another billionaire in that other party, a few years back.

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