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Trump’s GOP defenders will abandon him if he continues to make them look like ‘idiots’ with his lies: columnist

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According to Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Bernstein, Donald Trump did not do any of his most avid defenders sitting on the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearing panel any favors on Friday when he attacked former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Twitter.

Noting the presidential tweets, which sought to undermine her credibility as she spoke, Bernstein suggested that Trump had once again undermined “those who try to defend him.”

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The columnist pointed out that Trump made multiple possible fatal missteps on Friday, releasing a written summary on Friday of his first phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that muddied the waters even more and then tweeting out his lie-filled attack on Yovanovitch.

“As Yovanovitch began to testify, and just about at the point where she said that she felt personally threatened by Trump’s comments about her in the July 25 call, Trump then tweeted a personal attack on her. As the committee chair, California Democrat Adam Schiff, pointed out, this confirmed that Trump was engaging in a pattern of witness intimidation, a crime,” he wrote. “Perhaps just as bad for Republicans trying to defend Trump, however, this kind of petty and nasty attack put them in a position of defending the indefensible. As if to make that point, Republican Representative Elise Stefanik of New York told reporters during a break that she disagreed with Trump’s tweet. In other words, Trump managed to provide evidence for the point Democrats were making, and did so in a way that Republicans couldn’t stomach.”

Bernstein notes, “Providing supporters with safe ground is important to Trump’s future. Most politicians are willing to go pretty far out on rhetorical limbs to advance what they see as their political interest. What they don’t like is to be exposed as fools soon after doing so.”

He went to point out, “The real importance of the “smoking gun” tape that ended Richard Nixon’s presidency was that it discredited his supporters for repeating what turned out to be lies, and convinced them that Nixon would go on doing that to them as long as they were willing to stick with him. They might have been willing to let him shred the Constitution, but they weren’t willing to look like idiots.”

“Trump is repeatedly giving Republicans that same choice. So far, they’ve been willing to go along. But each time he pushes them, it makes it a little more likely they’ll eventually make the same choice that Republicans made in August 1974,” he warned.

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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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