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Trump faces a ‘personnel time bomb’ as his complicit officials get hauled before Congress: columnist

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President Trump’s prospects for a second term are threatened by two kinds of people: Those “who have either had enough of him or are being forced by subpoena to share what they’ve seen,” according to a new Washington Post opinion piece by Paul Waldman.

Waldman writes that it isn’t Trump’s top administration officials who are threatening his presidency; it’s the lesser known professionals who are “so distant from the Oval Office that Trump probably doesn’t even know they exist” — one example being former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

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“It’s these professionals who have been the most appalled at what they have seen Trump do,” Waldman writes. “The most important of them is the whistleblower who sounded the alarm on the Ukraine scandal. Yovanovitch is another; she apparently lost her job because her efforts to help Ukraine overcome corruption drew the ire of Giuliani and his associates, who were seeking to make the country more corrupt so they could cash in.”

Just beneath Trump’s most loyal defenders are members of his administration who aren’t necessarily beholden to him. First, there are the “Republican professionals” who’ve come from previous administrations, and then there are the “semi-Trumpite Republicans,” who are fans of Trump but don’t think their fandom is worth putting their necks on the line for him.

“For those in any of these categories, ‘turning on Trump’ might consist of nothing more than telling the truth under oath,” writes Waldman, adding that telling the truth is not a good career move in Trump’s White House.

Since so many are complicit in Trump’s scandals, the specific reckonings many want to see may never happen. But since so many are complicit, the stage has been set for a “personnel time bomb” to go off, Waldman writes — a time bomb “made up of both civil servants and political appointees, people throughout his administration who were not quite the kind of rabid true believers we see defending Trump on TV.”

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Quarantine, racial strife, Trump have Michelle Obama feeling down

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama said she is suffering from "low-grade depression" from coronavirus quarantine, racial strife in the United States and the "hypocrisy" of the Trump administration.

Obama made the remarks in the latest episode of "The Michelle Obama Podcast" released on Spotify on Wednesday.

"I'm waking up in the middle of the night because I'm worrying about something or there's a heaviness," the 56-year-old former First Lady said.

"I try to make sure I get a workout in, although there have been periods throughout this quarantine, where I just have felt too low," she said.

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Another watchdog at US State Department abruptly gone

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The internal watchdog looking into accusations against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly quit Wednesday, just months after his predecessor was fired.

The State Department's acting inspector general, Stephen Akard, is a longtime aide to Vice President Mike Pence and his installation in May had widely been seen as a way to keep a friendly figure in the role.

Akard informed colleagues that he is "returning to the private sector after years of public service," a State Department spokesperson said.

"We appreciate his dedication to the Department and to our country."

But Akard's departure comes just as his office finalizes a report on Pompeo's controversial decision to bypass Congress to sell $8.1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies.

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2020 Election

Andrea Mitchell knocks Biden for virtual convention speech: ‘How much does that damage the campaign?’

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MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell suggested to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden could "damage" his campaign by holding a virtual convention speech.

Mitchell made the remark after President Donald Trump said that he was considering holding his convention speech at the White House.

"Joe Biden is not going to Milwaukee," Mitchell told Pelosi. "How much does this damage the campaign?"

Pelosi disagreed by insisting that Democrats will hold a "great convention."

Mitchell then asked about Trump's plan to hold his convention speech at the White House.

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