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Senate GOPers floundering on impeachment defense as top White House aides battle over who is running the show

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According to a report from Bloomberg, the Republican Senate leadership is dead in the water on what approach the White House would like them to take to defend Donald Trump from impeachment because key administration officials are in a power struggle.

The report notes that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone are feuding over impeachment strategies, even as the House inquiry prepares to switch to public hearings next week.

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“Cipollone sees impeachment as his domain because he views it as a legal matter and has privately complained to colleagues that Mulvaney is trying to wrest control, the people said. Mulvaney believes he’s in charge because impeachment is political and expects Cipollone to report to his office, ” Bloomberg reports.

The report goes on to state that Mulvaney might be working with a weaker hand after a disastrous press conference on October 17, where he blurted out that the president was engaging in quid pro quo negotiations with Ukraine’s president despite presidential disavowals at the time.

Noting that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has suggested dumping Mulvaney, Bloomberg reports, “Cipollone was privately critical of Mulvaney’s performance and was caught off guard by his comments about Ukraine, according to one person familiar with the situation. Officials from the White House counsel’s office met with Mulvaney’s staff to discuss the news conference before it took place, according to another person.”

The battle is not only limited to impeachent, with the two also squabbling over non-impeachment issues.

“Cipollone and Mulvaney argue regularly, two people said, over impeachment, judicial nominations and other issues,” the report states. “Mulvaney recently complained privately that Cipollone hasn’t aggressively coached White House staff on their rights when subpoenaed by the House, and hasn’t been explicit about whether they should testify, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

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Bloomberg notes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed dissatisfaction with White House dysfunction and, as such, “has yet to offer a vigorous public defense of Trump’s conduct,” and allowing “passage of a September resolution pushed by Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York urging the White House to let lawmakers see a whistle-blower’s complaint about the president’s actions.”

For his part, Mulvaney has been summoned to testify before a closed-door House committee on Friday, with the White House stating he will not appear.

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Trump’s digestive system the butt of jokes after he argues it takes 10 to 15 times to flush the toilet

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President Donald Trump made a brazen claim about how many times it takes to flush a toilet that had people wondering about the commander-in-chief's experiences when sitting on his thrown.

"People are flushing toilets ten times, fifteen times -- as opposed to once," Trump claimed while arguing against water conservation efficiency standards.

Here's Trump saying that he's heard from many people complaining about "flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times." pic.twitter.com/75HXYcH4xq

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Ex-GOP lawmaker drops the mic on Lindsey Graham: ‘A political opportunist who will flop with the winds’

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Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told Vox.com's Sean Illing this week that he hasn't seen that much change between the Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that we saw before President Donald Trump's election and the Lindsey Graham we see today.

Over the course of a lengthy interview, Illing asked Jolly how anyone could compare the statements that Graham made about Trump in 2016 with the fierce defenses he's recently been making of the president and not conclude that the South Carolina senator is a blatant fraud.

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Nikki Haley buried for Confederate flag ‘heritage’ defense: ‘Pleading to Trump to make her the VP right here’

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Former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley stepped in it on Friday afternoon after making the bizarre claim that the Confederate flag was a symbol of "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until convicted murderer Dylann Roof "hijacked" it.

During an interview with conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, Haley stated, "“Here is this guy who comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag. And [he] had just hijacked everything that people thought of. We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina — there’s always the small minority, that’s always going to be there — but people saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it.”

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