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The White House is now ‘furiously backpedaling’ after promoting gun background check legislation

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Will President Donald Trump support background checks on firearms sales? At this point, it’s not even clear if the White House has enough internal coherence to claim he even has any position at all on the matter.

News broke Wednesday morning, originally from the conservative Daily Caller reporter Amber Athey, that White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland, along with Attorney General Bill Barr, brought a proposal for expanded background checks modeled off the Manchin-Toomey bill to GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill:

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But after these discussions became public, the White House quickly began pushing back.

Spokesman Hogan Gidley said that the fact that Ueland — who is, again, the White House legislative affairs director — was promoting the legislation wasn’t “even close” to suggesting that the president backed the idea, CNN’s Elaina Plott reported.

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“This is why you *very* rarely saw former legislative director Shahira Knight get into specifics with lawmakers on policy ideas, or circulate ANYTHING in writing,” Plott added on Twitter. “She felt her job was only to communicate POTUS’s position in that moment alone, nothing more, nothing less, always with the caveat that it could change tomorrow.”

The New York Times’ Annie Karni reported that Gidley added: “That is not a White House document, and any suggestion to contrary is completely false.”

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Athey noted:

“The classic move on gun policy from this White House: Initial openness to look at changes Repubs have previously opposed, followed by furious backpedaling once someone clues them in that there’s blowback from the gun-rights crew,” observed Bulwark writer Andew Egger.

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We’ve seen this play out before, after the Parkland shooting and the recent massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Trump suggests he wants to move forward with gun legislation, but he backs off after the initial shock has faded and the gun lobby reasserts itself.

So what happened here? It’s not even clear that Trump knew the legislation was being floated — it’s possible that Barr and Ueland were freelancing, taking the temperature of lawmakers to what might be doable. But regardless of how it originated, someone, presumably a GOP lawmaker or someone with connections to one, leaked the discussions to the Daily Caller, presumably to stir up conservative blowback or perhaps in another effort to test the waters.

Now, the White House is back to form: deny, deny, deny, and do nothing about gun violence.

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Rudy Giuliani admits ‘Fraud Guarantee’ paid him $500,000 to work for indicted associate

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Rudy Giuliani admitted being paid a half a million dollars by an associate currently being held in federal custody, Reuters reported Monday.

"President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination," Reuters reported.

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John Bolton ripped Rudy Giuliani as a drug dealer and ‘hand grenade’: report

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Then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was reportedly shocked by the shadow foreign policy being conducted by Rudy Giuliani, a top former National Security Council official testified to Congress on Monday, The New York Times reports.

"The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to testimony provided to the investigators."

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‘Vladimir Putin has something on Donald Trump’: Ambassador Sherman says the Kremlin must have kompromat

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Former Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman concluded on Monday that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin must have "something" on President Donald Trump.

"The latest reporting from The New York Times indicates that the thousands of troops that we have there, that the president moved, are now trapped. They don’t have an actual way out since Turkey has cut off the roads and the exit routes that they might use and so now there is the question of will there be an airlift? How will we get the U.S. troops out?" MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asked.

"We haven’t had to get troops out like this since the fall of Saigon," Sherman replied. "This is going to be very, very difficult."

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