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Trump’s justification for Suleimani killing unravels after his defense secretary appears on TV

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Since the targeted killing of the Iranian general Qassim Suleimani by the US, the Trump administration has been on the defense. According to Aaron Blake writing for The Washington Post, one of the administration’s justifications for carrying out the attack just fell apart.

President Trump has claimed that Soleimani was plotting to  “blow up” the U.S. embassy in Baghdad as well as “four” other embassies, but according to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper speaking to CBS News, the claim of four embassies being targeted wasn’t based on an intelligence analysis; it was just something Trump “believed” to be true.

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Esper confirmed that there was intelligence to support the claim that Soleimani was targeting the embassy in Baghdad and that intelligence was “shared with the Gang of Eight, not the broader membership of the Congress” — a claim that was somewhat contradicted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who told NBC News that the information was indeed shared with Congress. According to Blake, therein lies the contradiction.

“…Esper now says he hasn’t seen intelligence on the threat to multiple embassies, whereas Pompeo said the ‘specific information’ about imminent threats included threats to those embassies,” Blake writes, adding that “even if we’re to accept that Pompeo was speaking loosely and the intelligence was really just about the one U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Esper said that information wasn’t shared with ‘the broader membership of the Congress,’ but only with the Gang of Eight. Pompeo, in contrast, said ‘we did’ when asked if the information about attacks on embassies was shared in that wider briefing. He later deflected when asked to re-confirm, but he did confirm.”

Read Blake full analysis over at The Washington Post.


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‘Damned evil’: Trump shocks Americans with open boasts about defunding the Post Office before election

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President Donald Trump has shocked many Americans with his declaration that he doesn't want to give the United States Postal Service enough funding to count ballots that have been sent via mail.

When asked by Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo about extra funding for the Post Office during a Thursday morning interview, Trump explicitly tied his refusal to give the USPS what it needed with his desire to block mail-in voting.

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Trump proposes new rules for shower heads after the president complains about what the water pressure does to his hair

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President Donald Trump has a history of complaining about water pressure that he considers inadequate, from toilets to showers. And the Trump administration, Reuters reports, is proposing new rules that would allow shower heads to increase water pressure.

In December 2019, Trump complained about water pressure in toilets, saying, “People are flushing toilets ten times, 15 times as opposed to once.” And recently, during a White House event, Trump complained that water does not come out fast enough when he is taking a shower. Trump told those in attendance, “So, what do you do? You just stand there longer, or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.”

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‘Very cynical and very racist’ Republican operatives are exploiting Kanye West’s mental illness: columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, Molly Roberts says that the Republicans who are enabling Kanye West's presidential candidacy "are very cynical, very racist and also very wrong."

"Their strategy rests on a misunderstanding both of Black voters and of their own," she writes.

While Kanye's wife Kim Kardashian West warned about his bipolar disorder and pleaded with the public to "give grace" to individuals like him, Republicans have appropriated West’s electoral cause as their own are offering a "mixture of enablement and exploitation," according to Roberts.

"This gambit wouldn’t be happening if West were in better health, because it’s much easier to persuade a billionaire with zero political experience to fork over legal fees for catapulting him over the finish line to nowhere, just as the clock is running out, when he’s struggling to maintain his balance," Roberts writes. "And it also wouldn’t be happening if West weren’t Black, because the thinking behind this old-fashioned, third-party ploy relies on reducing both the candidate and his imaginary supporters to their race."

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