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CNN’s Cuomo hammers GOP lobbyist for saying Trump can fire the inspector general

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On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” anchor Chris Cuomo pushed back on GOP lobbyist and American Conservative Union director Matt Schlapp for saying President Donald Trump has the right to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson for transmitting the whistleblower complaint.

“Why would it be okay for the president to go after the inspector general for dealing with the whistleblower?” said Cuomo.

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“Because he serves at the pleasure of the president. The president can get rid of them at any time,” said Schlapp. “At the State Department during Obama’s presidency, during the whole time Hillary was at the State Department, he didn’t bother to pick an IG.”

“Does the reason why you get rid of somebody, if it’s because he’s seen as disloyal for finding the whistleblower credible, does that color your determination?” said Cuomo.

“No, the president has the right to remove you for whatever reason you want,” insisted Schlapp. “It’s the reason the president may publish the transcript so every American can read what went down in that conversation. He’s going to release the first conversation he had with the president of Ukraine later this week.”

“But you don’t believe that Mr. Atkinson mishandled the whistleblower situation, do you?” Cuomo shot back.

“I think he did what Rod Rosenstein did,” replied Schlapp. “He took the easy path.”

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“What would have been the hard path?” asked Cuomo.

“For those who have read the transcript with a fair mind, it is not as some people made it out to be, including the whistleblower,” said Schlapp.

“To be clear and fair to Mr. Atkinson, that’s not his job,” pointed out Cuomo. “His job is to assess the credible, see if he can corroborate it and if so give it to the DOJ. It is their job and they passed on this. Imagine this, my brother. Imagine if they hadn’t and they had investigated this claim, we may not be here right now.”

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“The whistleblower, by all accounts of what we’ve been able to put together, has all been corroborated already,” added Cuomo. “That’s why I don’t understand this push about making the whistleblower a bogeyman and making the person who assessed his credibility a bogeyman. I don’t get the tactic.”

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If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

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Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

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CNN

Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible

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Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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CNN

CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield flattens Trump apologist for hilariously bad defense of the president

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CNN host Fredricka Whitfield did battle with President Donald Trump's official apologist on the network, Jim Shultz.

Schultz quoted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who said that if Democrats want witnesses, then all witnesses should be available to be called. The problem is that Republicans want to call people that weren't even involved in Trump's obstructions of Congress. Republicans want to call Vice President Joe Biden and his son, there are likely some Republicans who want to call Hillary Clinton to talk about Benghazi again, and they'll likely search for reasons they can randomly call Democratic officials in Congress, who also had nothing to do with Trump's actions.

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