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Mitch McConnell’s latest bid to save Trump is about to blow up in the faces of his GOP colleagues: report

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In a commentary for MSNBC, contributor Steve Benen echoed former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) who made the case that history will not look kindly upon Republican senators who are planning to give Donald Trump a pass in his impeachment trial, saying they are all on trial now.

With multiple Republican senators facing uphill battles for re-election in 2020 with Trump likely heading the ticket, the MSNBC contributor claimed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made their task even harder with the impeachment trial rules he hopes to impose on the Senate.

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As NBC notes, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will allot each side a total of 24 hours to present their arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, but the time must be confined to two working days, according to the text of his organizing resolution, which NBC News obtained Monday. The proposal also suggests that none of the evidence collected as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry will be admitted automatically. Instead, according to the text, the Senate will vote later on whether to admit any documents.”

“Not to put too fine a point on this, but it appears the fix is in – or at least it will be, if McConnell’s plan is implemented,” Benen explained. “The timing of the announcement was itself notable: the Senate GOP leadership team had a month to present a proposed set of rules for the presidential impeachment trial, but McConnell waited until last night to unveil them, narrowing the window for members to evaluate the blueprint and craft possible amendments.”

Referring to Flake’s comment directed at his former colleagues (“President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong.”) Benen writes, “McConnell’s blueprint includes no guarantees of witness testimony, no guarantees that senators will be able to consider new evidence, and no guarantees that the trial will even allow the evidence collected through the House impeachment investigation to be admitted in the Senate proceedings.”

“To be sure, that may yet change. There will be votes, for example, on proposed amendments to the Senate majority leader’s proposed game plan. What’s more, senators will have opportunities once the trial is underway to vote on introducing information, including witness testimony, and a handful of Republicans have expressed a willingness to do so,” he added, before bluntly noting, “But that’s not the blueprint the GOP leadership has in mind.”

You can read the whole opinion piece here.

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Trump spent 45 minutes talking with cast of right-wing play dramatizing ‘Deep State’ conspiracy theories: report

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The coronavirus emergency has given President Donald Trump one of the most daunting tests of his administration, with less than a year to go before he stands for re-election.

And yet in the midst of all the chaos, one thing the president found time to do on Thursday was meet with the cast of a bizarre right-wing play dramatizing the supposed "deep state" plot at the FBI to frame Trump in the Russia investigation.

According to The Daily Beast, Trump spent 45 minutes talking with the people behind "FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers," which focuses on the affair between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The leading roles of Strzok and Page were played by Dean Cain, the former Superman actor, and Kristy Swanson, who played the starring role in the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

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All US Navy ships in the Pacific near countries with coronavirus ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days

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CNN National Security reporter Ryan Browne tweeted Thursday that the U.S. Navy has ordered all of its vessels in the Pacific that have been near countries with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, "to remain at sea for at least 14 days before pulling into another port in order to monitor sailors for any symptoms of the virus."

Health experts have said that the two-week period should give enough time for infected people to become aware that they are sick.

The highly-contagious disease has spread very quickly in South Korea and California after public exposure. The first person verified with "community-spread" transmission was identified just outside of Sacramento, California.

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‘Most wicked to ever represent Cleveland’: Jim Jordan ripped by hometown paper for covering up sex scandal

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President Trump likes to call his enemies 'sleaze bags" and Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan a "warrior," but according to Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Brent Larkin, Trump has it backward.

While Jordan may not seem like the worse politician to ever come out of Ohio, the "crimes" he's committed "don't involve felonies," according to Larkin. "They are crimes against America, crimes involving total disregard for the principles of democracy, trampling the truth on behalf of a corrupt president who revels in his inhumanity."

Watching Jordan question witnesses during the House impeachment inquiry particularly incensed Larkin, who writes that it was like watching a man who "spent his childhood gleefully ripping wings off flies."

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