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‘Jaw dropping’: Libertarian explains how Trump’s congressional defenders are gaslighting America

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GOP counsel Steve Castor (screengrab)

Libertarian columnist Jacob Sullum of Reason Magazine has tried to keep an open mind about impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump — but he has found himself confounded time and again by the president’s defenders completely misstating or misrepresenting basic facts.

In his latest column, Sullum calls out Republican lawyer Stephen Castor for making a “jaw dropping” argument that Trump never asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political opponents, despite the fact that the White House’s own readout of the now-infamous July 25th call shows he did exactly that.

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“The president’s defenders have repeatedly contested well-established facts in a way that makes fair-minded nonpartisans despair of having an impeachment debate based on a shared understanding of reality,” he writes. “You can argue, as Republicans have, that there was nothing improper about that request. But you cannot credibly deny that Trump made it.”

Sullum says this is part of a pattern for Republican defenders of the president. In particular, he points to the House Republicans’ rebuttal of Democrats’ impeachment report from the House Intelligence Committee that argued Trump was merely asking Zelensky to look into Biden out of a sincere desire to root out corruption in Ukraine.

“Trump did not broach that subject in the July 25 call or an earlier conversation with Zelensky, and his interest in discrediting Biden is consistent with the lobbying of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who by his own account was seeking ‘information [that] will be very, very helpful to my client,'” he writes. “Current and former administration officials have testified that such an announcement was a prerequisite for a White House meeting and the release of congressionally approved military aid that Trump had delayed without explanation.”

Read the whole column here.


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WATCH: Shep Smith ends his show with a passionate plea to ‘follow the Fauci’ as COVID-19 surges

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CNBC host Shepard Smith, a former veteran newsman at Fox News, on Friday begged Americans to follow guidance from Anthony Fauci to prevent the spread of COVID-19

“Those of us in New York and the Northeast are worried about you, our friends, our loved ones and our viewers across the country, now more than ever really,” Smith said. “This new COVID surge is awful. So, follow the Fauci. Not for us, we are mostly good around here, we are worried for you. So please, follow the Fauci," he said.

New York was hit hard during the initial stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States. "We lived the horror of neighbors and friends sick and dying," Smith said.

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Trump gets schooled by a historian for comparing his achievements to Abraham Lincoln’s

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During the final presidential debate on Thursday, President Donald Trump boasted that he had done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. On Friday, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared on CNN and blasted Trump for his remark.

“The most important thing in a time of crisis is for a president to be willing it take responsibility. One of FDR’s aides once said when things are going on right, people don't have to think a lot about the character demanded by the presidency. He can just stay in that old picture frame,” she told CNN host Chris Cuomo.

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2020 Election

Trump argues Biden is the candidate of ‘needless death’ — on the ‘worst day of the pandemic’

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President Donald Trump attempted to brand former Vice President Joe Biden as the candidate of "needless death" during a Friday night campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida.

"Biden is the candidate of endless wars and needless deaths," Trump argued, as coronavirus fatalities continue to mount.

"The United States is in the midst of one of the most severe surges of the coronavirus to date, with more new cases reported across the country on Friday than on any other single day since the pandemic began," The New York Times reported Friday.

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