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Trump surrounded himself with military people to look ‘macho’ — only for them to spill the beans on his Ukraine plot: MSNBC analyst

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Bloomberg executive editor Tim O'Brien/ MSNBC screen shot

On MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” Bloomberg Opinion editor and MSNBC commentator Tim O’Brien noted a key irony in President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal: His obsession with surrounding himself with military figures may ultimately be what got him caught, and why he now faces impeachment.

“Donald Trump is a performance artist,” said O’Brien. “He doesn’t care about public policy or the public good. He cares about being center stage and he is profoundly aware the power of television and how people can be influenced by others in front of a screen who have credibility. And not only these people have credibility, they’re military. Trump has pride on surrounding himself with military advisors, he sees them as macho, he sees them as authoritative.”

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“And now those very people are going to go before the American public and say the president of the United States not only was a participant, he was the ringleader, of an extortion scheme, the goals of which were to smear a political rival and do a favor, I think ultimately, for Russia, which is to weaken Ukraine,” said O’Brien. “So the national security threat is in the White House. And that is a story, I think, that will come out of this testimony from people who are essentially defining themselves as nonpartisan actors, they care about public policy, they care about civil service, they spent years in this before Trump came into the White House, before Obama was in the White House. And it got upended by someone pursuing something that was entirely self-serving.”

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Things are so bad for Republicans the GOP had to send money to Texas

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In 2016, then-anti-Trump Republican Sen. Linsey Graham proclaimed, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it." It seems his prediction is coming closer to fruition.

Financial reporting reveals that the Republican Party was forced to send $1.3 million to ruby-red Texas as the election nears.

It was something spotted by ProPublica developer and ex-reporter Derek Willis Sunday.

"That's never happened before," he tweeted.

He noted that the Texas GOP raised $3.3 million in August, but nearly half of that came from their national parents.

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What the London ‘Blitz’ reveals about how much pain and tragedy people can handle in 2020

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It's hard to imagine how 2020 could possibly get worse. "If we lose Betty White," a friend said on a drive to the Supreme Court to lay flowers.

So many Americans have lost friends or family members to COVID-19. Thousands of Americans survived the virus only to desperately needed organ transplants and forever will struggle to breathe the way they once did. Others are still suffering without smell or taste even three months after having the virus. Millions of Americans are out of work. Debt is stacking up for those trying to survive in the COVID economy. A lack of health insurance can mean hospitalizations from the virus are putting people into bankruptcy.

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Stop trying to convince people you’re right — it will never persuade anyone: expert

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MSNBC host Joshua Johnson noted that this year has been full of strife, with Americans having a lot to stand up about. Whether the slaying of unarmed Black men and police brutality, or healthcare, and the coronavirus, Americans are lining up to protest.

Johnson asked if people try to start tough conversations, how do they keep it productive, and when it's time to give up. In her book, We Need to Talk, Celest Headlee explains tools that people can use to have productive conversations about tough issues that help move the needle.

"Keep in mind that a protest isn't a conversation, right?" she first began. "That's a different kind of communication. The first thing is that our goal in conversations is not always a productive one. In other words, oftentimes, we go into these conversations hoping to change somebody's mind or convince them that they are wrong. You're just never going to accomplish that. There's no evidence. We haven't been able to -- through years and years of research we haven't been able to find evidence that over a conversation somebody said, 'You're right, I was completely wrong.' You've convinced me. So, we have to stop trying to do that. We have to find a new purpose for those conversations."

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