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GOP lawmakers in revolt against Trump and are avoiding using White House ‘toxic talking points’: WSJ

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Adding to Donald Trump’s impeachment worries are reports that Republicans are putting distance between themselves and the embattled president.

According to the Wall Street Journal, support for the president among GOP lawmakers is waning in light of his phone call with the president of Ukraine — which set in motion the House beginning an impeachment inquiry — and then his decision to hold next year’s G7 conference at one of his golf resorts — a decision he later abandoned.

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According to the Journal, “Mr. Trump’s support within his party will face fresh tests this week, as key witnesses from the State Department and Pentagon are expected to testify in closed hearings before a trio of House committees on the president’s dealings with Ukraine.”

“Private criticism from Republican lawmakers about Mr. Trump’s decision to hold the G-7 summit at his own property, in Florida, helped prompt the president’s reversal, White House officials said,” the report continues. “White House aides privately told the president his foreign-policy agenda would be overshadowed at the summit by the controversy. Republicans also phoned the White House on Thursday to complain that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s comments about aid to Ukraine made it more difficult to defend the president, the officials said.”

More concerning to Trump is the fact that few lawmakers are willing to go out on a limb and defend the president exactly for the reason that Mulvaney’s attempts backfired spectacularly.

“Republicans are making clear to the White House that it is becoming harder to justify blanket support for the president in the wake of recent events,” the report states, leading GOP strategist Rick Tyler to explain that  White House is attempting to mount a defense of Trump but the Republicans are demurring.

“What you have in recent days are landfills of toxic talking points,” Tyler — who helped run Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 2016 presidential campaign — stated. “It’s systematic mismanagement.”

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To buttress the point, the Journal reports that the White House became immediately aware that Mulvaney’s stab at presenting the President’s case last Thursday before the press failed spectacularly, with White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham telling the acting White House chief of staff, “There’s a couple things we’re going to have to clean up.”

You can read more here (subscription required).


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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