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Soldiers who testified against Trump-pardoned war criminal describe ‘nightmare’ of seeing him released

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President Donald Trump last year pardoned 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, a convicted war criminal who was found guilty of two charges of second degree murder and one charge of obstruction of justice.

The Washington Post has now written a lengthy profile of the men who served with Lorance and who described the “nightmare” of watching him being portrayed as a hero by the president of the United States.

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Among other things, the Post has obtained text messages between former specialist Lucas Gray and Staff Sgt. Mike McGuinness on the day that Trump issued a pardon for the man they testified against.

“I feel like I’m in a nightmare,” Gray wrote to McGuinness. “There’s literally no point in anything we did or said. And now he gets to be the hero.”

“And we’re left to deal with it,” McGuiness replied.

Soldier Zach Thomas, who also testified against Lorance at his trial, tells the Post that his “blood just started boiling” when he first heard Fox News’ Sean Hannity talk about pardoning Lorance, so much so that he called up Hannity’s producer and told him to stop portraying his former commanding officer as a hero.

“I’m a big fan, but y’all are being led the wrong way,” he told the producer. “This isn’t some innocent guy.”

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The story also tells of the horrific costs serving in Afghanistan has had on soldiers in Lorance’s unit, as many of them have struggled with PTSD and alcoholism related to their service. A total of five members of Lorance’s unit have died since returning to the United States, which has led surviving members to refer to themselves as the “Cursed Platoon.”

Read the whole profile here.


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2020 Election

Kris Kobach ridiculed after losing comeback bid in Kansas: ‘Adios amigo’

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Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the projected loser of the state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Kobach, a longtime crusader against immigration, headed up President Donald Trump's so-called "voter fraud commission" before it was disbanded after failing to identify any widespread instances of fraud.

Kobach unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.

Here's some of what people were saying about Kobach's defeat:

https://twitter.com/LokayFOX5/status/1290832478865952768

https://twitter.com/davematt88/status/1290831071462875136

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2020 Election

Maddow reveals the ‘shocking sign’ the White House may be betting Trump is going to lose in 2020

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow returned from vacation to host the Tuesday evening edition of her MSNBC show.

Maddow noted, "in 91 days we all get to decide if the guy who's currently in charge of how we're responding to this epidemic should stay in the job for four more years or if Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do better at this."

"It's honestly hard to know what it will be like for a president to stand for re-election with 200,000 dead Americans as a key metric from his first term, while he asks for a second term, but we're going to talk tonight about how some of that is going to work and some of what we can see coming down the pike," she explained. "And a lot of it is very worrying, in terms of the institutions of our democracy and what we count on to keep us a constitutional republic."

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Trump may break with ‘presidential norms’ and give GOP convention speech from the White House lawn: report

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On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Republicans are exploring the possibility of President Donald Trump giving his presidential re-nomination speech from the South Lawn of the White House.

"The decision to stage the most high-profile political event of Trump’s reelection campaign at the national seat of presidential power would be just the latest break by Trump in presidential norms, which have historically drawn clear lines between official business of the president and campaign events," reported Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey. "People involved in the planning said that no final decision had been made on the location of the Republican convention’s celebratory events. Trump abandoned plans to hold the full convention in Charlotte, and later Jacksonville, Fla., over concerns that large crowds could spread the novel coronavirus."

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