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Trump officials fear president’s fired personal assistant might spill more serious secrets

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According to a report from the New York Times, White House insiders are afraid that Donald Trump’s fired assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, may seek revenge by spilling more secrets and details about the inner workings of the Oval Office now that she has been booted.

Westerhout was fired on Thursday after it was reported that she gossiped with reporters about Trump’s relationship with his daughters as well as other tidbits of gossip.

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Of major concern is that a belief that she may never have signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) before taking the job as Trump’s office gatekeeper and secretary.

The report notes that Westerhout, who is not a longtime associate of Trump, was not happy when the president was elected and was recommended for the job by ousted Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

The Times reports, “Current and former officials also expressed alarm about what information Ms. Westerhout could share down the road, not just about the president, but about her colleagues.”

“Unlike most other officials, Ms. Westerhout was not thought to have signed a nondisclosure agreement, a document that Mr. Trump has frequently used in effort to tamp down on leaks,” the report continues before adding, “At least one publishing house on Friday had discussions about trying to approach Ms. Westerhout for a book, according to one person familiar with the discussions.”

You can read more here.

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Democrats believe they left GOP reeling after first day of impeachment hearings: They ‘were grasping at straws’

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According to a report at Politico, Democratic leaders believe the first day of Donald Trump impeachment hearings went very well and that the Republican Party is already back on its heels after some devastating testimony from two diplomats with knowledge about Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

As the report notes, "House Democrats’ attempts to present a damning case of alleged abuses by President Donald Trump finally went their way."

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NBC News torched for complaint that impeachment hearings lacked ‘pizzazz’: ‘Were they expecting a wardrobe malfunction?’

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During the first day of public impeachment hearings, diplomats William Taylor and George Kent painted a chilling picture for the American people of how Ukraine was dependent on U.S. military aid to protect its citizens from Russia, and the evidence that led them to worry President Donald Trump was suspending that aid to extort them into helping him smear a domestic political rival.

But according to NBC News, the problem with the hearing was that it didn't have enough "pizzazz" for the American people to follow it:

Analysis: The first two witnesses called Wednesday testified to President Trump's scheme, but lacked the pizzazz necessary to capture public attention. https://t.co/1UfkaeZ3I4

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Impeachment Day One: Republicans weaponized nihilism by trying to defend Trump and destroy reality

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Watching the incoherent, 52 Pickup-style performance of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday — which seemed less calculated to defend President Trump for his obvious crimes than to convince onlookers that President Trump is a fictional character, crimes are not crimes and that nothing, strictly speaking, can be said to exist at all — I was reminded of two things. Neither of them was directly relevant, but that’s where we are.

I started thinking about “Dialectic of Enlightenment,” the 1947 philosophical treatise by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno that pretty much launched the field now known as “cultural studies.” A lot of semi-educated right-wingers, not coincidentally, appear to believe that the “Frankfurt School” (to which Horkheimer and Adorno belonged) essentially ruined liberal arts education in America in the ensuing decades and turned it into a system of indoctrination in “cultural Marxism.” It’s a better-developed anti-Semitic conspiracy theory than most (and yes, that’s exactly what it is), which falls apart mostly because the people who believe it are relying entirely on Glenn Beck’s SparkNotes versions of the books in question and have no idea what they’re talking about.

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