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Trump team ‘is as incompetent, shambolic, paranoid, and given to conspiracy theories as it appears’: MSNBC panel

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In a Sunday evening panel discussion, MSNBC commentators explained that the White House appears to be just as chaotic and marred by chaos as the rumors say.

Many in the White House learned that the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was working overseas in Ukraine. Giuliani claimed that he’s been producing a film that he couldn’t get Fox News to run, as it will appear on the fringe network OAN.

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“What Rudy Giuliani is doing is using Kremlin-manufactured propaganda as a defensive shield for the president,” said CNBC’s John Harwood. “Fiona Hill was unambiguous in her testimony to the intelligence committee. What Rudy Giuliani has been doing with these two indicted men who are linked to a Russian oligarch who is tied to Russian organized crime, is trying to manufacture a story that Ukraine, rather than Russia or in addition to Russia or differently from Russia, meddle in the campaign. That is false.”

He specifically named Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Kennedy (R-LA), who both have taken up the Kremlin talking points to help defend accusations against Russia and the U.S. president.

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens said that it further indicates that the administration is just as disorganized as rumors say.

“The overall picture for me is that the administration, internally, is as incompetent, shambolic, paranoid, and given to conspiracy theories as it appears to be from the outside,” he said.”I think that’s really the striking feature.”

While Secretary Mike Pompeo may be the confirmed head of the State Department, it appears Trump has assigned Giuliani to conduct foreign policy in secret.

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“We have an administration that believes in conspiracy theories that are clearly manufactured or serve the interests of Russia,” Stephens continued. “And a Republican Party that gets behind what it would’ve opposed if a Democratic administration had been behaving in exactly the same way.”

Watch the full discussion below:

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Experts explain how Trump team’s defense against the Bolton bombshell is blowing up in the president’s face

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Should former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial? This question has loomed over the entire proceedings, given Bolton's key role in the events in question, but it garnered heightened urgency when a report broke recently in the New York Times revealing that the ex-Trump aide would likely confirm the core of the Democrats' case against the president.

It still seems Republicans may succeed in quashing any demands for witnesses like Bolton. But as Trump and his attorney responded to the release of Bolton bombshell, they actually strengthened the case for having him testify rather than weakening it. Even if the GOP successfully brings the trial to a swift close, their having accidentally strengthened the case for witnesses may hurt the legitimacy of the Senate's proceedings and undermined Trump's inevitable claims of exoneration.

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Trump argues John Bolton should have complained when he was ‘very publicly terminated’

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President Donald Trump lashed out at his former National Security Advisor in a tweet that was sent after midnight.

"Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this 'nonsense' a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated. He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!" Trump argued.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1222385653029261312

Trump has seemed increasingly nervous about Bolton testifying in his Senate impeachment trial.

Here are some of this recent social media musings on the subject:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1221764212873224193

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2020 Election

Democrats storm Iowa with all to play for in first US vote

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The race to take on Donald Trump begins in earnest Monday in Iowa with Democrats struggling to identify a clear-cut presidential challenger, as the crowded contest heads to a photo finish in the heartland state.

Liberal Senator Bernie Sanders and the more moderate former vice president Joe Biden, both in their seventies, are setting the pace days before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

But the two frontrunners' divergent political views suggest Democrats remain undecided on which path -- revolution or realism -- their party torchbearer should take as they battle to avoid a Trump re-election in November.

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