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Trump lashes out at Lindsey Graham after he accuses the president of showing ‘weakness’

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President Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham, once bitter enemies, have become close allies since the 2016 election as the South Carolina Republican realized it was in his personal interest to cozy up to the White House. But on Tuesday, fractures emerged between the two in public over a key issue for Graham: Iran.

Graham is on the severely hawkish wing of the Republican Party, and he clearly wants a war with Iran. He began a series of tweets Tuesday by praising Vice President Mike Pence’s briefing that day about the recent attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, saying he believes that “such a sophisticated attack could not have occurred without Iran’s blessing and direct involvement.” He called it an “an act of war” and lauded the Trump administration’s “efforts to create a regional coalition, thoroughly brief the Congress on the actions taken, and come up with a plan of action to restore deterrence against an evil regime in Iran.”

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But after these words of praise for the executive branch, he offered a mild critique that was bound to get under Trump’s skin:

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Trump was not happy with saying his previous actions — pulling out from a direct strike on Iran at the last minute reportedly because of the potential for a high number of casualties — was a “sign of weakness,” even though Graham also called it “measured.” He responded:

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It seems Graham was trying, by wrapping his criticism of the president in praise, to mildly nudge the president toward taking a more aggressive approach toward Iran. It’s hard to imagine, in fact, that Graham isn’t hoping for all-out war.

The attempt at persuasion was reminiscent of another exchange that played out recently on Twitter when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) argued over who Trump loves more. Paul, an isolationist, argued that he was Trump’s true ally, aligned with the president’s dovish instincts. Cheney, meanwhile, contended that the president is really more of a hawk, like her. They all know that Trump doesn’t handle criticism well, so they offer their opinions to the president in the guise of pretending they really already agree with him.

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But it seems Graham wasn’t subtle enough and overshot when he tried to critique Trump’s previous decision — and the president didn’t buy it. Whether Trump will, nevertheless, be pressured into or decide to launch a needless and disastrous war in Iran, it’s hard to say.


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Trump alerts ‘active-duty U.S. military police’ for possible deployment to Minnesota: report

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President Donald Trump's administration is contemplating using active-duty U.S. troops in an attempt to quell the protests in Minneapolis, the Associated Press reported early Saturday morning.

As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests," the AP reported.

"Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations," the AP explained.

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John Roberts joins liberals as Supreme Court rejects challenge to Newsom’s COVID-19 limits on California church attendance

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In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California. The San Diego area church tried to challenge the state's limits on attendance at worship services:

The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.

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‘Brutal and unacceptable’: Calls for arrest of NYPD cop who put woman in the ER during protests

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The Speaker of the New York City Council is demanding accountability for a NYPD officer caught on tape violently striking a woman during protests of police violence.

Video of the incident appeared on social media on Friday. The video appears to show the cop running up a shoving the woman, launching her off her feet.

She is reportedly now in the ER after suffering a serious seizure.

"This officer needs to be charged with assault," Speaker Cory Johnson posted on Twitter. "Hard to watch. Brutal and unacceptable."

This officer needs to be charged with assault.

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