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Trump’s defense secretary plans to step down after 2020 election regardless of who wins: report

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper speaks to the press during a press conference at the Pentagon Briefing Room in Washington, D.C., Jan. 7, 2020. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia)

According to a report from Bloomberg, President Trump is privately mulling over whether to replace Secretary of Defense Mark Esper after the 2020 election.

A person close to the matter speaking to Bloomberg says that Esper plans to step down regardless of who wins in 2020.

“Trump has been frustrated that Esper, who became secretary in July 2019, hasn’t done more to publicly defend him on key issues, including reports that Russia paid Taliban fighters ‘bounties’ for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan,” Bloomberg reports. “Trump was also angered that Esper in June publicly opposed the idea of deploying active-duty military to contain nationwide protests over racism. He confronted his defense secretary June 3 at the White House after Esper held a news conference in which he said that using active-duty military forces to perform law enforcement within the U.S. is ‘a matter of last resort’ and that the National Guard was better-suited to the task, people familiar with the matter said.”

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Read the full report over at Bloomberg.


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‘It’s pathetic’: John Avlon slams Trump’s ‘delusional’ fantasy that he’s winning by ‘a lot’

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On CNN Wednesday, fact-checked John Avlon tore into President Donald Trump for his "delusional" claim that he's the real winner of the election.

"Let's not normalize that lie, because it is delusional," said Avlon. "It's the political equivalent of someone standing outside and saying that the sky is green, that the moon is made out of cheese and they're Napoleon. It's pathetic. It shows a fundamental disrespect for fact and reality, and frankly, his supporters as well. It's a symptom of an unwell person."

"We should not normalize it because it's just Trump lying trying to overturn the election as he wants to do. No, he's delusional," added Avlon. "People who follow him are being sucked into a vortex by someone who is struggling with his own soul."

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New evidence shows GOP’s David Perdue might have lied about his knowledge of stock trades: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that, despite Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) repeatedly claiming that his stock portfolio is managed by "outside" advisers, there is evidence that Perdue in fact personally made decisions on individual stock trades.

"On Wednesday, [The New York Times] reported that Perdue was investigated by the Department of Justice as it probed possible insider trading from a number of lawmakers over their investment activity around the coronavirus spread," reported Sam Brodey. "That investigation found that an executive at an Atlanta-based company called Cardlytics, where Perdue had previously served on the board, mistakenly sent Perdue a vague email in January saying changes were coming to the company."

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Bill Barr called dangling pardons to Mike Flynn a crime during his confirmation hearing

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Attorney General Bill Barr testified before the U.S. Senate in 2019 that he disapproved of the president dangling pardons to ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in exchange for his silence.

As legal expert Marcy Wheeler pointed out, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked Barr in his confirmation hearing, "Do you believe a president could lawfully issue a pardon in exchange for the recipient's promise not to incriminate him?"

Barr responded, "No, that would be a crime."

The question applies because it was revealed that Flynn was cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller after pleading guilty. Suddenly, Flynn stopped. It's unknown if Mueller was finished with Flynn or Flynn refused to move forward with additional information. Mueller later said the cooperation was "complete" and proceedings for Flynn could move forward.

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