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Trump instructed the White House counsel to level personal attacks on Schiff in letter rejecting impeachment probe: report

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President Donald Trump has made no secret of despising Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the former prosecutor and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a key leader of congressional oversight who is now overseeing the impeachment investigation. Trump has lobbed a number of schoolyard nicknames at the congressman, including “Little Adam Schitt,” “Little Pencil-Neck Adam Schiff,” and “Shifty Schiff.”

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But it doesn’t end there. According to The Daily Beast, Trump expressly instructed White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to attack Schiff by name while drafting the legal letter to Congress announcing the administration’s refusal to consider the impeachment investigation legitimate.

“According to two people familiar with the process, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone had multiple meetings with President Trump in the days leading up to the issuance of the letter,” wrote Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein. “During those meetings with Cipollone, the president would get especially animated when names such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee leading the probe into the whistleblower complaint, came up. The sources said that Trump enthusiastically suggested adding various jabs at Democratic lawmakers and would request that their ‘unfair’ treatment of him be incorporated into the letter.”

As a result, the letter ostensibly from the top White House lawyer was peppered with Trumpisms and naked political attacks.

“President Trump took the unprecedented step of providing the public transparency by declassifying and releasing the record of his call with President Zelensky of Ukraine. The record clearly established that the call was completely appropriate and that there is no basis for your inquiry,” said the letter at one point. “The fact that there was nothing wrong with the call was also powerfully confirmed by Chairman Schiff’s decision to create a false version of the call and read it to the American people at a congressional hearing, without disclosing that he was simply making it all up.”

Cornered by the impeachment inquiry, Trump is increasingly micromanaging the countereffort — and his instincts are shining through.

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2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

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According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

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Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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2020 Election

GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.

At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

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