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Trump’s agenda is sabotaging Republican incumbents

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President Donald Trump’s agenda poses a direct threat to the re-election of Republican incumbents, wrote Bloomberg Opinion columnist Jonathan Bernstein.

“Members of Congress typically work hard to represent their districts. In particular, they try to secure benefits that they can bring home and brag about. Constituents wind up hearing good things about their representatives, and therefore tend to vote for them, all else equal. Thus the advantage of incumbency,” wrote Bernstein. “But what happens when incumbents actively support policies that take valuable projects away from their districts? That’s what’s going on with President Donald Trump’s decision to transfer appropriated military funds to pay for his border wall (yes, the one that Mexico was supposed to pay for and that Congress has repeatedly failed to fund).”

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GOP senators who are on the receiving end of these losses are put in a tough spot. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whose state is losing a planned middle school serving a military base on the state line, has vowed to “protect” funding for the project, even while he supports the broader aims of the national emergency declaration to build a border wall.

Others, like Sen Cory Gardner (R-CO), are taking a different line and blaming Democrats for the loss of funding in their states. “It’s unfortunate Democrats can’t defend the border and defend the country at the same time,” said Gardner in a statement. “If they could, we would have a border that was secure and no need for other funding to secure the border.”

However Republicans respond, the standard political calculus has been flipped on its head. Rather than talk about what they’ve brought to their home states, Republicans how have to talk about what they’ve let be taken away.

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Ukraine ambassador Taylor reveals quid pro quo evidence in Trump impeachment: ‘Most thorough account so far’

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The Ukraine ambassador testified that EU ambassador Gordon Sondland told him that foreign aid was being held up for political reasons.

Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified that Sondland revealed to him that military aid to the American ally was being held up by the White House to pressure the foreign country to publicly announce a corruption investigation.

That investigation was considered to be helpful to President Donald Trump's election, sources from both parties said of Taylor's testimony.

“Eyebrows frozen raised,” a source in the room said. "(It is the) most thorough account of everything so far."

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Lindsey Graham and Fox News general twice begged Trump to leave US troops in Syria to protect oil: report

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and retired Gen. Jack Keane went to the White House to ask President Donald Trump to change his mind about giving Turkey the green light to invade Syria.

Keane, a Fox News analyst, showed the president on Oct. 8 a map of Syria, Turkey and Iraq and pointed out all the oil fields that the U.S. and its Kurdish allies had controlled, reported NBC News.

Two sources familiar with the discussion said Keane explained that oil would fall under Iranian control if Trump withdrew all U.S. troops stationed in northern Syria.

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Diplomat Bill Taylor’s long opening statement on Ukraine provoked ‘sighs and gasps’: report

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Veteran diplomat Bill Taylor, who told European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland that he thought it was "crazy" to withhold military aid to Ukraine to help a political campaign, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday over the objections of the Trump State Department.

Even though details of the testimony have not yet been made public, one source tells Politico's Andrew Desiderio that Taylor's opening statement was a hefty 15 pages long and sparked "a lot of sighs and gasps."

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