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Here’s what Trump and his defenders are hiding whenever they insist that something is ‘perfect’

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On Saturday’s edition of MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” civil rights activist and MSNBC contributor Maya Wiley pinned down what it means when President Donald Trump and his associates describe something as “perfect” — a word they have frequently used throughout the Ukraine scandal.

“The problem we have here … is there is no sunshine, there is no light being shone on what happened here. And one of our questions should also be, why not?” said Wiley. “Every time we hear the word ‘perfect’ out of the White House — it was a ‘perfect’ call with the Ukrainian president, now Mick Mulvaney is saying [Trump National Doral] was a ‘perfect’ place [for a diplomatic summit], serving the needs — every time we hear ‘perfect,’ and we kind of get the suggestion that they’re worried and they’ve got something to hide.”

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“If it is so perfect, there should be no reason they wouldn’t provide complete transparency into every aspect of this transaction,” said Wiley. “And when we add to that the pattern — because remember, in 2017, we saw the State Department and U.S. embassies putting up advertisements for Mar-a-Lago in the UK … how did that happen? Who actually directed and suggested that Mar-a-Lago advertisements go up across government website properties? There is no question — so, not to mention all the other things we could say.”

“So, there’s no question that there are no controls,” continued Wiley. “Plus, we have heard all week long in relation to Ukraine, senior members of the administration, including hand-picked people by Donald Trump, say, ‘I didn’t feel comfortable, but the president told me.’ So, what is happening here with Mick Mulvaney? Because he was also part of that story.”

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Rep Mark Meadows has been the White House ‘sherpa’ on impeachment — and may be next chief of staff: report

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Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget who also works as the acting White House chief of staff, is struggling in his job as the impeachment inquiry moves to the public hearings phase.

"Mick Mulvaney is isolated, marginalized and growing more irrelevant to the West Wing staff he’s meant to lead during one of the most consequential moments of the Trump presidency," Politico reported.

Mulvaney is increasingly out of the loop on impeachment.

"Though the White House’s acting chief of staff is still participating in impeachment meetings and working out of the White House, the strategy is increasingly being driven by White House lawyers, legislative affairs team and top officials from the press and communications shops who spent the week setting up a rapid-response team and developing plans to push back on witnesses’ testimony in real-time," Politico reported. "It’s an awkward staff situation that mirrors so many moments of the Trump presidency: aides trying to proceed with business as usual while unusual dramas play out, and the very people expected to lead the effort instead witnessing jockeying by potential replacements."

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GOP will struggle to fight impeachment when the key piece of evidence is Trump’s own words: CNN commentator

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Washington Post reporter David Swerdlick noted a key problem Republicans will likely run into when the public impeachment hearings start this week.

"Will this hearing give Republicans, potentially, some opportunities to find cracks in the Democrats' case?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.

"If Democrats handle these hearings like they handled the last hearing with Cory Lewandowski, or if they handle it like that last hearing where Robert Mueller testified, then yes, Republicans will have opportunities, because Democrats, tactically, did not do a good job of laying out a story that was easy for the viewer at home to follow," said Swerdlick. "That being said, on the substance, I think it'll be tough for Republicans to poke holes in Democrats' case, because the central piece of evidence that Democrats will be putting forward is that partial transcript that the White House itself released of the July 25th call between President Trump and President Zelensky. And the rest of the witnesses are corroborating the basic narrative that Democrats want."

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Republicans asked for a witness to undermine impeachment — but she wants to call their ‘bluff’

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Devin Nunes

Since Republicans have no substantive defense of President Donald Trump’s effort to extort political investigations out of the Ukrainian government, their big hope in protecting the White House from the impeachment inquiry relies on kicking up enough dirt and throwing up red herrings to distract voters and keep Republicans united.

As part of this effort, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) proposed nine witnesses from the GOP side for the forthcoming impeachment hearings, many of whom aren’t relevant to the central questions of the inquiry.

One of those names is likely unknown the vast majority of the American public: Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa. But Politico revealed Tuesday with a new interview that Chalupa is actually willing to testify — and wants to call the Republicans’ “bluff.”

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