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Rep Mark Meadows has been the White House ‘sherpa’ on impeachment — and may be next chief of staff: report

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Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget who also works as the acting White House chief of staff, is struggling in his job as the impeachment inquiry moves to the public hearings phase.

“Mick Mulvaney is isolated, marginalized and growing more irrelevant to the West Wing staff he’s meant to lead during one of the most consequential moments of the Trump presidency,” Politico reported.

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Mulvaney is increasingly out of the loop on impeachment.

“Though the White House’s acting chief of staff is still participating in impeachment meetings and working out of the White House, the strategy is increasingly being driven by White House lawyers, legislative affairs team and top officials from the press and communications shops who spent the week setting up a rapid-response team and developing plans to push back on witnesses’ testimony in real-time,” Politico reported. “It’s an awkward staff situation that mirrors so many moments of the Trump presidency: aides trying to proceed with business as usual while unusual dramas play out, and the very people expected to lead the effort instead witnessing jockeying by potential replacements.”

Mulvaney’s predicament may result in yet another White House shake-up.

“Adding to the speculation that Mulvaney is no longer within Trump’s inner circle and ultimately replaceable as chief of staff has been the recent, constant presence of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) at the White House. Meadows has been a ubiquitous figure in the West Wing ever since House Democrats launched their inquiry in September, and Trump sees him as a loyal ally who provided useful advice early on, when Mulvaney and other senior administration officials were reluctant to take charge or establish a coherent defense strategy,” Politico noted.

“One White House official described Meadows as the internal ‘sherpa’ for impeachment, likening the conservative congressman, who is especially close with the president, to aides who spent long hours guiding Trump’s Supreme Court nominees through the grueling Senate confirmation process,” Politico added.

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Cop shoots and kills man who stabbed an elderly store customer for asking him to wear a mask

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A Michigan man has been shot and killed by an Eaton County deputy on Tuesday after he stabbed an elderly man who confronted him in a store for not wearing a mask, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Sean Ernest Ruis, 43, was confronted by a 77-year-old male customer for not wearing a mask inside the store. The argument continued outside in the parking lot, where Ruis stabbed the man and then fled on foot. The victim, whose name has not been released, is reportedly in stable condition.

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New York couple point guns at Black Lives Matter protesters marching past their house

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A New York couple pointed guns at protesters marching past their house during a Black Lives Matter rally, and activists want them to be charged.

Protesters were nearing the end of their parade route when a white man came out of his home shouting obscenities in an apparent attempt to incite the group, and then yelled to his wife to get his gun, reported WNYT-TV.

Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, who took part in the march, said the woman came back outside and started waving the gun around.

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Australian columnist aghast at America’s ‘rotten’ COVID-19 response: ‘We are witnessing the fall of a great power’

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A columnist for an Australian newspaper has been watching the United States' response to the novel coronavirus with a mix of shock and horror -- and he now believes "we are witnessing the fall of a great power."

Crispin Hull, an editor and columnist for The Canberra Times, argues in his latest column that President Donald Trump's disastrous handling of the pandemic is symbolic of deep rot within the American political system.

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