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Trump’s threat to ‘hereby’ force manufacturers to do his bidding stomped by legal analyst

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President Donald Trump is claiming extraordinary powers in his escalating trade war with China.

On Friday, Trump demanded that American companies look for alternatives to China.

“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA,” Trump tweeted.

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Of course, the president has no power to order such a thing.

Trump then announced massive tariffs on China, citing the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.

However, that power may not exist in this case, Above the Law executive editor Elie Mystal explained to MSNBC Joy Reid.

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“The authority Trump is arguing that he has is something called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. It works much like the National Emergencies Act, which when the president says, i feel like this is an emergency, he wide latitude to do all kinds of crazy things much like a centrally planned economy like China would have the authority to do,” Mystal explained.

“First of all, there is an important part of the statute which says he can only declare an emergency under unusual and extraordinary circumstances. China existing is not unusual or extraordinary, it’s just a thing that always has happened,” he noted. “So there is very little legally binding precedent to suggest that Trump can declare a national emergency, a national economic emergency, based on China existing.”

“The times this has been used before were against Iran when they took actual American hostages — that’s one of the last time this was used,” he noted.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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Shep Smith blasts autocrats in first public remarks since leaving Fox News — and donates $500,000 to protect journalists

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On Thursday, for the first time since exiting Fox News, reporter Shepard Smith gave public comments at the International Press Freedom Awards — and used the occasion to blast autocratic leaders who use their power to suppress journalism.

"Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” said Smith. "Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that."

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FBI official facing criminal investigation for allegedly altering surveillance document in Russia probe: report

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On Thursday, CNN reported that John Durham, the U.S. Attorney tasked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the 2016 Russia probe, has opened a criminal investigation into an FBI official accused of altering a document pertaining to the original surveillance efforts.

It is unclear how the document was altered, or whether it played any significance in the FBI's efforts to obtain warrants to surveil members of the Donald Trump's presidential campaign, including adviser Carter Page.

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