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Trump’s new lawyers are a ‘big middle finger’ to America: MSNBC Morning Joe panel

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough can’t believe President Donald Trump hired a billionaire sex predator’s attorneys to represent him in the impeachment trial.

The “Morning Joe” host can’t think of another president that would hire Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr to defend him in the Senate, and he can’t believe those two attorneys are taking the opposite stance on impeachment than they did more than 20 years ago.

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“Let’s talk about the selection of a legal team, and talk about a president who has such trouble finding legal representation that he actually got the legal team that helped put together the plea deal and helped represent Jeffrey Epstein, one of the most disgraced figures in modern American popular culture,” Scarborough said. “I can’t imagine another president at any time having to select a team that would be associated with a pedophile who, according to recent reports, trafficked young girls as young as 11 years old.”

Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of Lawfare and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the pair was hired to send a message.

“This is a legal team that was chosen not for its legal acumen, though it certainly has some skills and, you know, no lack of talent,” Wittes said. “It’s a group composed in order to make a statement, and the statement is one of unswerving loyalty in public to the president, no matter how awful the circumstances, and the statement is also a big middle finger stuck up to people who care about #MeToo issues.”

Scarborough just couldn’t believe that Trump would underline his own association with Epstein by hiring the lawyers who helped him cut a sweetheart plea agreement.

“Why in the world would the president of the United States, after being caught in videos with Jeffrey Epstein at Mar-A-Lago and after saying really nice things about Jeffrey Epstein in the early 2000s, why would Donald Trump then get Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers that allowed this pedophile to continue to roam free and prey on young women?” he said.

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“Is anybody concerned in the White House concerned about this?” Scarborough added. “These guys would never, ever, be selected by any other president to do anything after their association with Jeffrey Epstein, one is a friend and a running buddy, and the other is a guy that was part of a plea agreement that allowed this serial rapist of girls to be on some lax house arrest inside his mansions, and then set free?”

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Devin Nunes’ hometown newspaper blasts ‘authoritarian’ lawmaker: ‘He should step aside’ — and get a job on Fox News

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Rep. Devin Nunes’ war against the free press reached a new low on Tuesday when he barred The Fresno Bee from covering a major water forum in Tulare, Calif.The forum covered matters of crucial public interest. The chief executive officer of Friant Water Authority, a public agency, moderated the event. David Bernhardt, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, also attended. Yet despite the fact that the McClatchy reporters had reserved tickets, Nunes’ staff banned them.“The Fresno Bee learned at 10 a.m. Tuesday that its reporters would not be allowed to cover the event, after receiving ... (more…)

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Investigators see ‘xenophobic motive’ behind Germany shootings

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German investigators said Thursday they suspected a "xenophobic motive" behind shootings at a shisha bar and a cafe that left 10 dead overnight in the city of Hanau.

Hours after police found the suspected gunman dead at his home in the early hours of Thursday following a huge manhunt, federal counter-terror prosecutors took over the case.

The probe was of "particular importance" and there were "signs of a xenophobic motive", a spokesman for the prosecutors told AFP.

Sources close to the investigation confirmed media reports that text and video material was found at the home of the perpetrator, who media reported was a 43-year-old man identified only as Tobias R.

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What makes dogs so special? Science says love

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The idea that animals can experience love was once anathema to the psychologists who studied them, seen as a case of putting sentimentality before scientific rigor.

But a new book argues that, when it comes to dogs, the word is necessary to understanding what has made the relationship between humans and our best friends one of the most significant interspecies partnerships in history.

Clive Wynne, founder the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University, makes the case in "Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You."

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