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State Department retaliated against NPR by kicking reporter off Mike Pompeo’s plane: report

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The U.S. State Department appears to be retaliating against National Public Radio (NPR) after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered a caught-on-tape meltdown following an interview with NPR “All Things Considered” co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

According to PBS “Newshour” reporter Nick Schifrin, the State Department kicked NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen off of Pompeo’s jet.

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“State Department removes NPR’s Michele Kelemen from Sec. Pompeo plane–where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation–during upcoming trip to London, Kiev,” Schifrin reported.

AFP State Department correspondent Shaun Tandon blasted the move on behalf of the State Department Correspondent’s Association.

“We can only conclude State retaliating against NPR as result of this exchange. State press corps has long tradition of accompanying secretaries on travel, we find it unacceptable to punish individual member of our association,” he wrote.

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2020 Election

Donald Trump has launched a 2020 campaign disinformation juggernaut — and it’s gaining speed

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You may be forgiven if you are under the impression that the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak is just one more example of his incompetence, aggressive ignorance, contempt for science and outright abuse of government. But it's worse than that. For the White House, and especially for Donald Trump's re-election campaign, it's an opportunity to put into play the massive disinformation apparatus they have built for the 2020 presidential race.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner vows there will be ‘no drama’ in Trump’s second term: ‘It’s high-competence’

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Jared Kushner vowed on Friday that a second term from his father-in-law, President Donald Trump,  would be both efficient and drama-free.

The senior White House adviser claimed that Trump's re-election campaign was running smoothly, much as the president's second term supposedly would, while speaking with organizer Matt Schlapp at the Conservative Political Actions Conference (CPAC).

"The way that you see the campaign being run, there's no leaks. There's no drama. I would say it's high-competence, low-drama," Kushner said. "Everything is very efficiently run, and I think that's exemplary of how President Trump would run his second term in office."

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2020 Election

How the religious vote in 2020 could tip 6 swing states

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Let's look at the bad news from this Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) tracking survey first: despite remarkably lousy-but-stable favorability numbers (41% approve, 55% disapprove), Pres. Trump has a strong chance of being re-elected in November, unless the situation changes significantly between now and then.

To understand why from a religious perspective, consider three factors: partisanship, race, and region. Republicans, whites, and residents of the South and Midwest are most likely to support Trump. White evangelicals tend to be conservative, giving the president a strong base in the South—this much is not surprising. Less obvious is that after Mormons, white Catholics and white mainline Protestants are Trump's strongest supporters in the religious economy.

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