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GOP’s impeachment ‘game plan’ fell apart after Trump’s Yovanovitch tweet and now they’re unsure how to defend him: Politico reporter

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On CNN Saturday, Politico’s Melanie Zanona noted that President Donald Trump’s decision to attack former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in a tweet while she was testifying to Congress not only risks another article of impeachment — it is also leaving his Republican allies unable to defend his behavior.

“Melanie, it’s hard to know what all independent and undecided voters might be thinking, but I had a guest on earlier who made a powerful point, in that some voters might be looking at the pattern of how the president describes particularly powerful women, and he would call her bad news and she had such an esteemed reputation,” said anchor Fredricka Wilson.

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“Right, and this plays exactly into Democrats’ hands. It makes her more of a martyr,” said Zanona. “This is what Republicans did not want to happen. They had huddled in the basement. They weren’t going to go after her and attack her credibility as a witness. They wanted to praise her and thank her for her service. So privately, Republicans were dumbfounded that he would tweet in the middle of this hearing. Some of the Republicans wouldn’t even answer questions about it. I had one lawmaker on the committee, a Republican, John Ratcliffe, I tried asking him about it and he faked a phone call to avoid talking to me about this. It shows how difficult a spot Republicans are in.”

“Melanie, you said you’ve reached out to Republicans defending the president’s attacks on Yovanovitch, her claims of this smear campaign. In your view, does this show that some Republicans may be rethinking their defense of the president on this?”

“I think they’re rethinking a lot of their defenses,” said Zanona. “We’ve seen each one of their defenses has crumbled under the weight of this. They’ve tried to mention he was just trying to root out corruption in Ukraine. We have witness after witness saying he was focused on investigations. They’ve tried to say that most of these witnesses are secondhand accounts, they don’t have firsthand knowledge. Now we have another potential witness who is saying he directly heard Trump’s voice talking about these investigations … They don’t have a whole lot of good options here.”

Watch below:

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AG Bill Barr will ‘try to interfere’ in the 2020 election to re-elect Trump: MSNBC national affairs analyst

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Attorney General William Barr will use the Department of Justice to "try to interfere" in the 2020 presidential election to re-elect Donald Trump, MSNBC's national affairs analyst predicted on Tuesday.

John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."

"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved in a -- as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug and who has behaved not as attorney general of the United States," Heilemann said.

"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," he added.

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Trump welcomed Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to the White House — to humiliate us all

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Despite the fact that President Donald Trump still refuses to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington for an officials meeting — a topic at the center of the scandal driving Trump’s impeachment — the White House hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

And while Lavrov was honored with his second private Oval Office meeting (the first one was a cataclysmic disaster) and a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the foreign minister took his opportunity here to repeatedly humiliate the United States.

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United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.

However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

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