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Trump’s attack on congressional legitimacy ‘boggles the mind’: Ex-Whitewater counsel

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On Monday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” former Whitewater senior counsel Paul Rosenzweig and anchor Erin Burnett discussed how Alexander Hamilton warned about leaders like Trump in his writings — and the president’s stunning declaration of the impeachment probe as “crap” and “illegitimate.”

“Historian Ron Chernow, whose biography on Hamilton is the biography, the one used for the Broadway musical, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post,” said Burnett. “He says Hamilton, who was a defender of executive power, would have supported impeaching Donald Trump. He cites one of his Federalist Papers, where Hamilton writes, in part, ‘When a man unprincipled in his private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper … when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’ Hamilton warning such a leader will become a demagogue and a tyrant … Does it sound like Hamilton, even so long ago, could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul?”

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“Well, what he’s warning about is an authoritarian populist who destroys American institutions as a way of maintaining power and cowing his political opposition,” said Rosenzweig. “He was experienced with that in his times, people who had ambition and avarice, and I think that it’s very much a lesson that should be translated into what’s happening today.”

“I can’t imagine how anyone could think that a process that is explicitly provided for as a check against abuse of authority was, itself, an illegitimate act of Congress,” added Rosenzweig. “It boggles the mind.”

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CNN

‘What the hell does that mean?’ CNN’s Berman buries Tucker Carlson’s non-apology for employing racist lead writer

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday night acknowledged that his former lead writer, Blake Neff, had been let go after it was revealed that for years he had posted racist messages in a chat room under a pseudonym.

Oliver Darcy, the CNN reporter who broke the story about Neff, told hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota on Tuesday that it was notable that Carlson never said he was sorry for employing a straight-up racist to write for his show.

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2020 Election

Why is the stock market soaring amid a pandemic? Because Trump thinks that may save him

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Donald Trump isn't a smart man, but he knows how to manipulate the stock market. Not only is he allegedly engaging in market manipulation while president, but it's a Trump con that goes back decades.

Back in October 2018, the New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize-winning profile of Trump's extensive tax fraud schemes, and in the process of that reporting uncovered one of the ways Trump screwed with the financial markets. Journalists David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner reported that Trump would routinely engage in a scam known colloquially as "greenmailing." It involved Trump, along with his father, Fred, as his "wing man," exploiting the news media to pump up the price of a stock by planting rumors, devised by Trump himself, about a takeover. This would drive up the price of the stock, only for Trump to either sell or to demand "lucrative concessions from the target company to make him go away."

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CNN

‘Not even Nixon rewarded his henchmen this way’: CNN’s Avlon lists off all the criminals Trump sprung with pardons

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On CNN Tuesday, fact-checker John Avlon broke down the pattern of President Donald Trump rewarding criminals in his orbit with pardons and commutations.

"The Trump orbit has far more than the fair share of felons, many of them out of prison only after sucking up to the president," said Avlon. "Roger Stone is a felon and just the latest beneficiary of the presidential gift to loyalists. A commutation of his 40-month sentence. Even though one of the prosecutors testified they had pressured to go easy on Stone because of the relationship with president. He tampered with witnesses, he was the campaign's primary conduit to Wikileaks, and had hoped to be rewarded for not rolling over on Trump. Not even Nixon rewarded the henchman this way."

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