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GOP lawmakers want nothing to do with Giuliani and his conspiracy theories: report

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According to a report in the Daily Beast, GOP lawmakers are refusing to meet or communicate with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the impeachment of Donald Trump heads to the Senate for a trial.

Although several House members — Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) have repeated Giuliani’s debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican senators are taking great pains to not be associated with him.

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“In the weeks leading up to their impeachment trial, senators on Capitol Hill are actively avoiding meeting with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani—partly because they fear he might try to pass off Russian conspiracy theories as fact, according to interviews with more than half a dozen Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides,” the report states. “Various lawmakers, as well as administration officials and national security brass, have privately expressed concerns about Giuliani’s latest Ukraine jaunt, given that the Trump lawyer’s efforts are what helped create this Ukraine scandal and get the president impeached in the first place.”

Noting that both “Democrat and Republican senators have steered clear of the president’s personal attorney over concern that the information he is trying to disseminate originated from figures in Ukraine known for spinning the truth or spreading outright lies,” the Beast reports that lawmakers’ concerns go beyond just his conspiracy-mongering.

“Rudy Giuliani long ago lost any shred of credibility, especially after the dossier he assembled for the State Department stunningly mirrored Russian propaganda,” explained Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). “Knowing that, anyone that attempts to defend President Trump’s behavior by citing Rudy’s information over our own intelligence agencies is simply irresponsible, uninformed or willing to be that useful idiot the Kremlin desires.”

Pointing out that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has also not spoken with Giuliani, who is serving as Trump’s attorney, the report notes that lawmakers are wary of Giuliani’s blundering about.

“’I wouldn’t trust Rudy to represent me in a parking dispute so I’d say avoid,’ a senior GOP Senate aide said tersely when asked if it was a good idea for Republican senators to meet with Giuliani to get a Ukraine briefing,” the report states. “Another top aide in a different Republican office said their senator had informed staff that they had ‘no interest at all’ in meeting with Giuliani on this, fearing it would amount to a ‘waste of time,’ if not something worse.”

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Still, another worried about Giuliani’s sloppiness.

“’I do not want my name showing up in a [news] story about what Rudy and the president discuss,’ said one senior White House official. ‘I don’t want my text messages with [Giuliani] being all over cable news,’ this official continued, referencing the incident when Trump’s personal lawyer went on Fox News and unveiled texts sent between him and Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine,” the Beast reports.

You can read more here.

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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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