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‘That’s retaliation’: CBS host stuns Lindsey Graham as he backs Trump’s firing of impeachment witnesses

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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has become a target of Republicans after participating in the president’s impeachment hearings. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested that Vindman, who was forced out of his White House position, likely leaked information about President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scheme to the original whistleblower who outed the crime.

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However, there is no evidence to support Graham’s theory.

“What have I learned in the last two years?” Graham told CBS host Margaret Brennan. “As to Col. Vindman, he was not allowed to be asked questions about his alleged connections to the alleged whistleblower.”

“He was asked,” Brennan interjected. “And he denied it.”

The CBS host pointed out that Vindman’s twin brother was also removed from the administration although he had no role in the Ukraine scandal.

“Nobody knows this!” Graham exclaimed. “I can promise you this, he has never been asked questions like, ‘Did you leak to the whistleblower?’ People in his chain of command have been suspicious of him regarding his political point of view.”

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Brennan reminded Graham that the Trump administration is on record saying there were no leaks from the National Security Council.

“Well, I am not,” Graham stated. “I want the man to be asked about what he did with the information. I appreciate his service but there are FBI agents who took the law in their own hands, there are CIA agents who took the law into their own hands. There are Department of Justice lawyers who lied to the court. There’s been a movement since President Trump was elected by people in our government to bring him down.”

“Is this retaliation?” Brennan asked of Vindman’s firing.

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“We’re not going to be intimidated,” Graham shot back. “Who is the whistleblower?”

“He is an officer and he is not a allowed to speak out on his own behalf,” Brennan continued.

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“I don’t know what role he played with the whistleblower but we’re going to look,” Graham said, brushing aside Brennan’s point.

“Should Gordon Sondland have been fired too?” Brennan wondered.

The question set Graham off: “We’re not going to live in a world where the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI can cut corners, go after Trump and nobody gives a damn.”

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“It was retaliation,” Brennan observed.

Watch the video below from CBS.


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Georgia GOP governor orders several beaches to reopen days after acknowledging he’s woefully uneducated on coronavirus spread

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported today that Kemp is reopening Tybee Island and other beaches along the Georgia coast.

Local officials in several of Georgia’s coastal communities reacted with fury on Saturday after Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order simultaneously reopened several of the state’s most popular beaches.

The stupidity and lack of regard of human life on display in Republican-run states is beyond criminal and inhumane. In fact, there are no words to describe this. Because the longer these so-called “leaders” make decisions that are in the best interests of, I don’t know who, the longer it will take to come out of this pandemic that is claiming so many thousands of lives.

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Health care insurers expected to jack up premiums as much as 40 percent to recoup coronavirus losses

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Private health insurers are expected to raise premiums by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment, according to a new analysis from Covered California, the state's health care marketplace.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Though it remains unclear how much the coronavirus crisis will ultimately cost in health care expenditures, insurers will be submitting their 2021 rates to state regulators next month. Analyzing a wide range of models, Covered California expects that this year's care associated with the virus will cost between $34 billion and $251 billion, or between 2% of premiums and 21% of premiums. The analysis estimates that insurers would price the costs at double the rate into their 2021 premiums, projecting increases that range from as little as 4% to more than 40% for the 170 million workers and individuals who have private plans.

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‘A completely false narrative’: Defense secretary Epser snaps at CNN’s Tapper over firing of Navy captain and safety of sailors

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper was put on the hot seat on Sunday morning by CNN Jake Tapper over the firing of Captain Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was relieved of duty helming the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt for writing a letter for expressing concern for his crew as the coronavirus began to spread.

Esper went out of his way to say that he backed acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly decision to relieve Crozier who was attempting to protect the 5,000 sailors under his command, saying, "First and foremost, we needed to take care of the sailors on the ship. Ensure their well-being and get that ship out to sea as soon as possible. I'm pleased to report, over half of the ship has been tested. 155 came up positive, those are mild to moderate, no hospitalization whatsoever. The crew is being taken care of. With regard to the relief of the captain, I think the acting secretary made a tough decision, a decision that I support. It was based on his view that he lost faith and confidence in the captain based on his actions. It's just another example of how we hold leaders accountable for actions."

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