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White House limiting staff access to Trump’s phone calls to prevent future whistleblowers: CNN

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On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that President Donald Trump has grown furious about the state of White House leaks, and his officials are working to keep as many people in the administration as possible shut out from his phone calls with foreign leaders — precisely to avoid situations like the exploding DNI whistleblower scandal.

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“As for the whistleblower complaint that’s being kept from Congress, a senior administration official tells CNN as these leaks from these calls have angered Trump, top officials in the West Wing began to limit who could listen in on these conversations so as to tighten the circle of people in the know and what the president has been discussing in some of these phone calls with foreign leaders,” said Acosta.

“That means there may be only a small number of people are aware of the details contained in this whistleblower complaint,” he added. “Lot of questions for the White House, not a lot of answers tonight.”

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Republicans are rushing to retire in part because ‘they hate’ having to defend Trump’s tweets: WaPo reporter

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on Monday announced that he would not be running for Congress again in 2020, making him the 17th House Republican to announce his retirement within the last year alone.

While there are several reasons for all these retirements, Washington Post reporter Rachel Bade told CNN's John King that one reason is the sheer exhaustion of having to constantly defend President Donald Trump.

"You can't overstate how much Republicans hate having to answer for the president's controversial tweets," she explained.

Bade then said that Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) told her that he decided to hang it up after the president delivered racist attacks on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over the summer.

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‘It’s not a game show’: Soledad O’Brien reams CNN host for fretting over impeachment TV ratings

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Soledad O'Brien, a former CNN host, slammed the network over the weekend for what she referred to as "Cillizza-level inanity," referring to contributor Chris Cillizza.

In a Sunday segment on CNN's Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter wondered about the ratings for the "first episode" of the public impeachment hearings.

"I hate to talk this way," Stelter said. "Will the Democrats put on a powerful first episode? Will they convince people to keep watching?"

"Why is CNN so stupid about important shit?" O'Brien wrote on Twitter. "This is Cillizza-level inanity. Brian should be ashamed of himself."

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CNN’s Avlon warns ‘poisonous polarization’ is destroying America: ‘E Pluribus Unum’ has become ‘Us Against Them’

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On Veterans Day, CNN fact-checker John Avlon took the opportunity to warn of the dangerous levels of polarization in American politics.

"November 11th was chosen because it was the day World War I ended. A century later, it’s a good time to reflect on a good bit of political wisdom that’s been lost: the thought that partisanship ought to end at the water’s edge," said Avlon. "Today partisanship doesn’t end anywhere. Dividing families, schools, churches, houses. It’s a prime driver of the overall polarization that’s weakening our political and social bonds. And driving bitter cultural divides. Separating us into tribes."

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