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Trump’s new press secretary isn’t holding briefings because she fears suffering Sarah Sanders’ ‘fate’: report

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- Commentary

The White House has a new press secretary, but even if you’re a pretty close follower of political news, you may have missed her.

Stephanie Grisham, who had previously been serving just as First Lady Melania Trump’s communications director, took over for Sarah Sanders as press secretary for President Donald Trump at the beginning of July. She has retained her previous position working for the first lady, and she’s also functioning White House communications director.

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One way she has been able to juggle all these duties is that she has declined to hold a single on-camera press briefing since taking over for Sanders. Sanders had once held briefings with some regularity but by the end of tenure, she had gone months without taking questions from reporters in the White House press room. CNN reported Friday that it has been 165 days since a formal on-camera White House briefing.  The State Department and the Pentagon, too, have drastically cut back on their press availabilities.

The new CNN report also focused on Grisham’s decision not to hold briefings. This reportedly came as a surprise to her friends, who thought she would reinstate the practice once she took on the new role. Instead, Trump has been giving increasingly frantic, disjointed, and bigoted comments to reporters in impromptu outdoor question and answer sessions.

CNN noted:

People close to Grisham have said she is now doubtful about fielding questions from reporters on camera, and has weighed holding off camera briefings instead. She has remarked she doesn’t want a fate similar to her predecessor, Sarah Sanders, whose tenure was marked with confrontations with reporters.

Sanders’ mendacious and tumultuous time as press secretary has indeed permanently tarnished her reputation, though she may still thrive on the appreciation she’s earned from stalwart Trump supporters. Perhaps in one of the darkest moments of her career, Robert Mueller revealed in his report that Sanders concocted a completely baseless story she told reporters about FBI agents calling her to thank the president for firing former Director James Comey, the event that triggered the special counsel investigation.

Grisham, understandably, may indeed want to avoid this “fate.” But a better strategy than tearing down an institution of government transparency would be to refuse to work with a liar like Trump altogether.

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Trump impeachment trial: 4 stories from first day spell doom for Mitch McConnell

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If the score was kept for the first day of the impeachment trial, it would show hefty losses for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As Former Special Counsel for the Department of Defense, Ryan Goodman, pointed out, four major headlines perfectly reflect the cracks in the strangle-hold McConnell has had on his party.

First, McConnell was forced to change the impeachment hearing rules. After a huge uprising by Americans demanding to be able to watch the impeachment trial during normal human hours, senators told McConnell he'd lost the votes to hold proceedings after midnight.

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Hugh Hewitt is once again under fire, this time for almost appearing to be glad a deadly SARS-related virus has been diagnosed in a patient in Washington state – saying additional diagnoses will take the focus away from the Senate's historic impeachment trial. Hewitt is a conservative Washington Post columnist, radio host, MSNBC and NBC contributor, and law professor who went from being a "Never-Trumper" to all-in for President Donald Trump.

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Trump pushed for a sweetheart tax deal on his first hotel — it’s cost NYC $410,068,399 and counting

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In 1975, New York City was run-down and on the verge of bankruptcy. Twenty-nine-year-old Donald Trump saw an opportunity. He wanted to acquire and redevelop the dilapidated Commodore Hotel in midtown Manhattan next to Grand Central Terminal.

Trump had bragged to the executive controlling the sale that he could use his political connections to get tax breaks for the deal.

The executive was skeptical. But the next day, the executive was invited into Trump’s limousine, which ushered him to City Hall. There, he met with Donald’s father Fred and Mayor Abe Beame, to whom the Trumps had given lavishly.

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