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Times’ Haberman describes Trump’s strange Mar-a-Lago holiday launching an airstrike between rounds of golf

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A new report by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman looked into the strange juxtaposition of President Donald Trump’s time on the golf course and his official presidential duties during his Christmas holiday.

“The days were generally marked by casual-wear trips to his nearby golf club, where he would talk with members and meet with White House advisers. The evenings were marked by elaborate dinners at Mar-a-Lago that included his family members, his campaign advisers and his national security aides,” wrote Haberman.

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Unlike past holiday vacations, Trump is now under an impeachment investigation.

“Throughout Christmas week, the president watched the news coverage on impeachment and tweeted his frustrations with Speaker Nancy Pelosi for slowing down the process by refusing to send to the Senate the articles charging him with high crimes and misdemeanors,” Haberman recalled. “He spoke with advisers about what the Senate trial might look like.”

After the holiday, Trump responded to a violent attack on a group of Jews at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York by yelling at cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder for not supporting him, said three people briefed on the call.

Lauder employees a pollster who also works for Michael Bloomberg, a Trump antagonist who just filed to run for president.

“Trump said that he had done more for Jews than any other president and that he could still lose the Jewish vote,” quoted Haberman. “The president never mentioned campaign contributions, but advisers and others briefed on the call said he left the clear impression that was referring to financial support.”

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Trump spoke with aides who gave him options for how to respond to a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base. Pompeo advocated killing Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani, someone he’s wanted to take out for years, according to Reuters.

By Jan. 2, Trump had already decided he agreed with Pompeo, and the wheels were turning.

“In the middle of a meeting with campaign advisers, he left the table to give the final authorization to kill General Suleimani,” reported Haberman. “The president then returned, and, compartmentalizing what had just happened, resumed talking about the campaign.”

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The White House refused to confirm the action for hours, but Trump was tweeting about it, leaving out specifics. He stayed glued to his television and Twitter searching for those who supported him. He also kept score of those who opposed him, like Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

It was Jared Kushner who finally was able to pressure the president to say something to the American people by Jan. 3. He then went to join evangelical Christians gathering in Miami so they could pray over him and announce that Trump was humble and never bragged about being perfect.

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He then returned to Mar-a-Lago, where his cultish following was available to shake his hand and reach out to touch him.

It was less than 24 hours later that Trump landed back in Washington, D.C., where reality slapped him in the face with the start of his fourth year in office beginning under the weight of scandals and impeachment.

Read Haberman’s full write up at The New York Times.

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Lev Parnas has Trump ‘unnerved’: ex-FBI official says the president doesn’t know what he ‘has up his sleeve’

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President Donald Trump is "very nervous" about what Lev Parnas may have on him, a former top FBI official suggested on MSNBC on Friday.

Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence was interviewed by MSNBC's Peter Alexander.

The host played clips of Trump denying any relationship with Parnas.

"Well, I don't know him, I don't know Lev Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken -- which I do with thousands of people," Trump argued. "I don't know him at all, don't know what he's about, don't where he comes from. I can tell you this -- I don't know him. I don't believe I've ever spoken to him. I don't believe I've ever spoken to him."

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Trump is now feuding with Iran’s Supreme Leader on Twitter: ‘Make Iran Great Again!’

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President Donald Trump is now replying directly to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Twitter.

I Friday, Khamenei tweeted a screenshot of a Trump tweet, with a message of his own.

"The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers," Khamenei posted.

"Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail," he added.

https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/1218141834842660864

Trump retweeted the message, adding his own argument.

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Trump raises tensions in Virginia as local authorities fear Richmond gun rally could be the next Charlottesville

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President Donald Trump appeared to pour gasoline on a political fire in Virginia only days before a far-right protest that many are worried could result in violence.

Gun activists have been threatening civil war if the commonwealth's legislature enacts new gun safety legislation.

Right-wing militias sought to organize an armed action at the capitol, but Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to prevent firearms on the grounds.

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