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Trump’s Russian and Ukraine scandals are directly linked for one very important reason: Jeffrey Toobin

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In a new essay for the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin explains at length how President Donald Trump’s 2016 scandal with Russian interference in the presidential election and his current scandal trying to push Ukraine to investigate his political opponents are actually directly linked.

“The Russia and Ukraine scandals are, in fact, one story,” Toobin writes. “Indeed, the President’s false denials in both of them capture the common themes: soliciting help from foreign interests for partisan gain, followed by obstruction of efforts to uncover what happened.”

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Looking beyond those similarities, however, Toobin shows how both scandals involve the advancement of Russian interests.

“In the Ukrainian chapter, Trump has done Putin’s bidding, to the extent that he can, going so far as to embrace a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 campaign,” Toobin explains. “The rest of the U.S. government has never been as enamored of Putin as Trump is. That includes Republicans in Congress, who joined the Democrats in voting for military aid to Ukraine. Trump wants no part of conflict with Putin, but the aid package tied his hands.”

Toobin then argues that Mueller’s indecision about whether to charge Trump with obstruction of justice got him off the hook politically, which has now only emboldened the president to behave more lawlessly.

“One way of looking at Trump’s evolution from candidate to President, from Mueller’s time to Schiff’s, is that his abuses are accelerating, with each unpunished act serving as a license for more,” he writes. “The Constitution gives Congress the tools to halt this cycle in Trump’s out-of-control Presidency.”

Read the whole essay here.

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‘Breadth and scale’ of nationwide protests is ‘staggering’: NYU history professor

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Protests continued to grow in size in cities and towns from coast-to-coast -- and around the world.

"As a historian of social movements in the U.S., I am hard pressed to think of any time in the past when we have had two straight weeks of large-scale protests in hundreds of places, from suburbs to big cities," NYU history Prof. Tom Sugrue posted on Twitter.

"The breadth and scale of #Floyd protests is staggering," he continued.

"We have had some huge one-day demonstrations, e.g. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963); antinuclear march in NYC (1982), and Women's March (2017). We have widespread, simultaneous protests, such as in the days following MLK, Jr.'s assassination (1968)," he explained. "But the two together--very unusual."

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Incel blew his hand off — and may have been planning for suicide bomber attack on ‘hot’ cheerleaders: report

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A young man in Virginia was photographed for his mugshot with extensive facial injuries.

"A 23-year-old Virginia man who appeared to be planning an incel bomb attack on "hot cheerleaders" accidentally blew off his hand with explosives, authorities say," BuzzFeed News reported Saturday. "Cole Carini was charged in federal court on Friday connection with the plot after he allegedly lied to FBI agents by saying his extensive injuries were the result of a lawnmower accident."

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Big turnout for protest in Texas town known as a ‘haven’ for the Ku Klux Klan

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Protesters gathered in Vidor, Texas on Saturday for a rally against racism and police violence.

https://twitter.com/JordanJamesTV/status/1269366486189080576

The East Texas town has long had a reputation for racism.

Vidor is a small city of about 11,000 people near the Texas Gulf Coast, not too far from the Louisiana border. Despite the fact that Beaumont, a much bigger city just 10 minutes away, is quite integrated, Vidor is not. There are very few blacks there; it's mostly white. That is in large part because of a history of racism in Vidor, a past that continues to haunt the present," Keith Oppenheim reported for CNN in 2006.

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