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NBC News correspondent: We’ve seen Trump when he wants to denounce something — this isn’t it

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Angry Donald Trump yells at reporters at the White House following Robert Mueller's testimony (screen grab)

The contentious press briefing with the White House’s Kayleigh McEnany Thursday spawned many questions about why President Donald Trump resists an emphatic denouncing of white supremacy.

McEnany claimed that in the past Trump has denounced racism, reading off a series of quotes from the president. But in many cases, Trump has refused to denounce white supremacists and the armed militia groups because they overwhelmingly support him.

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MSNBC host Chuck Todd noted that on day-two of this issue, the refrain sounds familiar. “So, for the Republican response to the president’s comments have been an awkward dance of rebuke, embrace and silence.”

“The hand wringing from Republicans comes as the president’s campaign is reeling,” Todd continued. “They are trailing in the polls and they are being just pounded on the airwaves by the Biden campaign. Trump is being outspent in battleground states by more than a 2 to 1 margin… there’s so many rules of crisis management but a simple one is sometimes, you know, just rip the band-aid off and they’ve let this story on white supremacists linger a second day. Frankly, it’s campaign malpractice which tells me this is the president who is being stubborn on this.”

In a conversation with Todd after the briefing, NBC News correspondent Carol Lee agreed, saying that Trump seems to be “digging in” on this issue.

“He doesn’t want to come out and say that he misspoke or said something wrong,” said Lee. “Kayleigh McEnany was asked this by not just John Roberts but wouldn’t definitively say what I think the questioners were looking for, reporters were asking is just to say, ‘yes,’ to say, ‘yes, I denounce, and the president denounces white supremacy.’ Part of the reason why this, I think, Chuck, is — continues to be an issue is because we all know what it looks like when President Trump wants to denounce something.”

In the past, Trump has been emphatic in his denunciation of a great many things. He has rage-tweeted about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, Jeb Bush’s contacts, attacking Arnold Schwarzenegger, called Bette Midler unattractive, and a long history with “losers and haters.”

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He’s even raged against Twitter, threatening that he would shut them down.

“This isn’t it,” Lee continued. “He, on any given issue, makes crystal clear on where he stands on something that he opposes. And we just haven’t seen that same sort of sledgehammer that he takes to anyone that he or anything that he is against, and having used that against rhetorically against white supremacy. We haven’t seen that same emphasis from him on this issue and that’s in part why this continues to be something that has legs. They’re pointing to the president’s past statements. Yesterday he was asked this and said, ‘sure.’ It’s not this definitive robust sort of denouncement that you would expect from the president of the United States. And you’d expect from a president who is in a campaign and that has this story hanging over him, for now, two days.”

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2020 Election

‘#PerdueIsChicken’: Internet mocks ‘coward’ GOP senator for canceling debate after Ossoff destroyed him in viral video

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Democratic Senate hopeful Jon Ossoff destroyed his Republican incumbent opponent so thoroughly Wednesday evening that Georgia Senator David Perdue has just canceled the third and final debate.

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2020 Election

A fake ‘intelligence staffer’ crafted the groundwork for the Trump conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden

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It's unclear why President Donald Trump and his allies have chosen to attack Vice President Joe Biden's last living son as a key tenant to the 2020 reelection instead of focusing on his opponent himself. But according to a well-researched NBC News report by Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, the "documents," actually came from a fake person that never existed using a profile photo created by an artificial intelligence face generator.

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2020 Election

Glenn Greenwald resigns from The Intercept over Biden article

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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald said Thursday he had resigned from The Intercept after the US investigative media outlet refused to publish his article critical of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Greenwald, one of the first journalists to report on the Edward Snowden documents on US mass surveillance, said he was leaving the website he started in 2014 with two other journalists.

"The final, precipitating cause is that The Intercept's editors, in violation of my contractual right of editorial freedom, censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden," Greenwald said in a blog post.

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