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There are people close to Trump who are ‘trying to stop him’: Pulitzer winner

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President Donald Trump. (AFP Photo)

The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt spoke with NPR this Wednesday and posited that one of the most unusual aspects about Donald Trump’s presidency is the fact that there are so many in his administration who are trying to steer Trump away from breaking the law and damaging the country.

Schmidt has a new book out titled “Donald Trump v. The United States,” which focuses on former FBI Director James Comey and former White House counsel Don McGahn — two government officials who challenged Trump.

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“In our history as a country, we’ve largely focused on how our presidents use their power, how the people around them help them do that, and what that says,” Schmidt said. “In this instance of the Trump presidency, Trump’s use of power is so unusual that we have a phenomenon here where the people around the president are trying to stop him.”

According to Schmidt, McGahn was “the most fascinating character of the Trump era.” He pointed to McGahn’s pushback on Trump’s threats to fire Mueller in 2017. McGahn threatened to resign if Trump went through with the plan.

“Every time Trump wanted to do something crazy McGahn wasn’t cowering in the corner,” Schmidt said. “McGahn had a very good antenna for what a prosecutor may think of what Trump was trying to do and [how] the public and politics would see those actions.”

McGahn’s actions ultimately led to his leaving the White House in 2018.

“For McGahn, it was sort of an example of the way that Trump treats people around him,” Schmidt said. “McGahn had done all of these things for the president. He had stopped Trump from hurting himself. He had been in charge of the judges. And I think McGahn wanted to go out on his own terms and had been talking to Trump about that. But here, via tweet, he was finding out that he was done.”

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Read the full interview over at NPR.


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2020 Election

Republicans’ naked power grab will unwind the legal framework of the majority — and replace it with minority rule

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The big story today is big indeed: how and when the seat on the Supreme Court, now open because of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, will be filled. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced within an hour of the announcement of Ginsburg’s passing that he would move to replace her immediately. Trump says he will announce his pick for the seat as early as Tuesday.

Democrats are crying foul. Their immediate complaint is that after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016, McConnell refused even to meet with President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, on the grounds that it was inappropriate to confirm a Supreme Court justice in an election year. He insisted voters should get to decide on who got to nominate the new justice. This “rule” was invented for the moment: in our history, at least 14 Supreme Court justices have been nominated and confirmed during an election year. (Three more were nominated in December, after an election.)

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Donald Trump may kill off democracy — but Mitch McConnell was the real murderer

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Ever since Donald Trump's oversized suit-clad carcass first befouled the Oval Office, there's been talk in the media about if and when he would cause a constitutional crisis. The assumption underlying this discourse is that a constitutional crisis would hit us like a thunderbolt and we would collectively realize, all at once, that the very fate of our democracy was on the line. Instead, there's been a series of mini-constitutional crises, from Trump stomping all over our laws against foreign emoluments (an old-timey phrase for being bribed by foreign leaders), obstructing justice during Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's role in Russian election interference, blackmailing the Ukrainian president to extract dishonest election assistance and about a dozen other instances it would be tedious to list.
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‘It affects elderly people … that’s it’: Trump falsely downplays coronavirus to Ohio supporters

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At a rally in Ohio on Monday, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that coronavirus only affects the elderly, and that young people don't die from the illness.

Trump: "We now know the disease... it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems. That's what it really effects. That's it."

— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) September 22, 2020

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