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GOP Watch Keeping an Eye on Republicans for You - Page 27

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” ― Theodore Roosevelt Welcome to GOP Watch keeping an eye on Republicans for you. The Republican Party is using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts and whataboutism to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin. The GOP is a danger to America and Americans.

By Ella Nilsen

McConnell just outlined his opposition to HR 1 in scathing detail. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took square aim at the sweeping anti-corruption and voting rights bill House Democrats are pushing as their first of the year. McConnell wrote a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post on Thursday, characterizing the bill as a Democratic attempt to “grow the federal government’s power over Americans’ political speech and elections.” “It should be called the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” he wrote. The legislative package, known as HR 1, has three main ideas at its core: reforming campaign finance, strengthening the government’s ethics laws, and expanding voting rights. The aim is to get more information on how lobbyists and Super PACs are spending their money, make it easier to vote, and restructure the current campaign finance system to allow for public financing of elections. McConnell could be nervous. Americans of both parties have been clamoring to get money out of politics for years; Donald Trump ran on a message of “draining the swamp” in 2016, and House Democrats rode to a wave election in 2018 on an anti-corruption message. Democrats wanted to follow up that win by taking concrete action to reform elections, especially after multiple allegations of voter suppression in states like Florida, Georgia, and North Dakota. “I’m not surprised that he would be attacking the bill and all of its various pieces because I think it presents a threat to the kind of system he’s built,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), who is spearheading the legislation. “The fact that McConnell would pen something like that validates that we’re doing the right thing.”

Sen. Chris Coons on Wednesday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of protecting the president by blocking a vote on legislation that would shield special counsel Robert Mueller from White House interference. Asked directly on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe" whether McConnell (R-Ky.) was trying to protect the president, Coons (D-Del.) quickly replied "yes," citing support for legislation to shield Mueller from Senate Republicans across the ideological spectrum, including Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Calls to codify protections for Mueller and his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign have taken on more urgency this month after the president fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him on an acting basis with Matt Whitaker, who has criticized the Mueller investigation in the past.

The House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas for James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, and Loretta E. Lynch, the former attorney general, as part of an investigation into their handling of inquiries into Hillary Clinton’s email server and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The subpoenas, issued on Wednesday by Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, the committee’s chairman and a Republican, require Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch to appear in closed-door sessions with members of Mr. Goodlatte’s committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mr. Comey has been called to appear on Dec. 3, and Ms. Lynch a day later. On Twitter, Mr. Comey objected to the format that Republicans are demanding for the interview. “I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions,” he said. “But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see.” - Republicans refused to ask hard questions or issue subpoenas to people related to Trump and Russian interference in to our elections but have no problems issuing subpoenas for a closed case.

Former White House counsel John Dean—one of the central figures during the Watergate scandal—has suggested that President Donald Trump’s behavior may be worse than that of disgraced former President Richard Nixon. Dean made his comments following reports that Trump had pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute former FBI director James Comey and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Speaking on CNN, host John Berman suggested to Dean that such a plan was “the definition of Nixonian.” According to a Tuesday report in The New York Times, Trump’s efforts to prosecute two of his most prominent adversaries received pushback from White House counsel Don McGahn, who left his post last month.

“Such an ironic Op-Ed title coming from you @senatemajldr - don’t you think?” Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot who captured headlines earlier this year for her attempts to unseat Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), said on Twitter. Such an ironic Op-Ed title coming from you @senatemajldr - don’t you think? https://t.co/RFJVeRp6z4 — Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) November 13, 2018. Remember all the times when @SenateGOP acted in a bipartisan way over Merrick Garland? Or ever?” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on Twitter. Pocan was referring to the Republican refusal to hold a confirmation hearing for former President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court in 2016 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Remember all the times when @SenateGOP acted in a bipartisan way over Merrick Garland? Or ever? Me neither. https://t.co/8ew8zVDPue — Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) November 13, 2018. "Perfect. Let’s invest in infrastructure, reduce Rx drug costs & take care of Dreamers. *All things Trump says he supports," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) also said on Twitter in response to McConnell's op-ed. "But are you still the obstructor who in 2010 said 'The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.'" he asked. Swalwell was referring to remarks the Republican made in 2010 when he said that defeating Obama was his highest political goal. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he said then. He also said in 2016 he wished Republicans “would have been able to obstruct more” parts of Obama’s agenda while in office.

“They are trying to steal this election. It’s not going to work." Republican lawmakers seem to be increasingly implying that voting counts is the same as stealing an election. On Friday, President Donald Trump said that there was “theft” in the Florida elections and “electoral corruption” in the Arizona elections, two other states where votes are still being counted. In Arizona, as of Friday night, Democratic candidate Krysten Sinema was leading her Republican opponent, Martha McSally, by more than 20,000 votes. Republican groups in Arizona filed a lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the state’s process for counting mail-in ballots. - Republicans want to deprive some of their rights to vote. All votes should be counted otherwise you are depriving someone their right to have their vote counted.

Trump’s decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with a Trump loyalist has been widely decried, and even Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano says the move is illegal.

Although Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd conveniently thinks that U.S. presidents are above the law and can't be removed from office for obstructing justice, Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, and dozens of other GOP members of Congress disagree. At least they strongly disagreed back in 1999, when it suited their  agenda to get Bill Clinton impeached for his obstruction of justice  during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Back then, Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Senator said, “The facts are  disturbing and compelling on the President's intent to obstruct  justice." And Sessions wasn't alone. According to Politico: More than 40 current GOP members of Congress voted for the  impeachment or removal of Clinton from office for obstruction of  justice. They include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who  mounted his own passionate appeal to remove Clinton from office for  obstruction of justice – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck  Grassley and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who  was a House member at the time. - Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell and the GOP have no problem with Donald J. doing far worse. They don’t care Trump may be compromised by Putin and the Russians.

It’s been a stratospheric rise. Over the course of 14 months, Matthew Whitaker has gone from being part of Washington’s right-wing political furniture to overseeing the Justice Department, if only for a maximum 210-day statutory limit. Whitaker, who once called for a special counsel investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use, is now President Trump’s choice to oversee the Russia probe. His time in the years before joining government show him raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in part by heading The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) from October 2014 to September 2017. The group devoted most of its time under Whitaker’s tenure to calling for investigations of Hillary Clinton and alleging ethical violations by other leading Democrats. The group’s most recent tax filing indicates Whitaker received a salary of $402,000 in 2016 as the group’s executive director, as it paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to conservative DC mainstays.

The Senate's top Republican expressed confidence Friday that the Russia investigation will be allowed to run its course, saying President Donald Trump has never signaled to him that special counsel Robert Mueller could be fired. Speaking to reporters in his home state, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also predicted that Matthew Whitaker's stint as acting attorney general will be short. McConnell said he thinks the president will "pretty quickly" send the Senate a nominee for a new attorney general. McConnell, a close Trump ally who said Friday that he talks frequently with the president, insisted that Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in 2016 is not under threat. - Everyday Trump attacks the Mueller investigation everyday Trump talks about firing everyone involve in the Muller investigation. Now Donald J. Trump has fired Jeff Sessions who could not protect him and put a flunky in place to oversee the Mueller investigation to protect his ass. Mitch McConnell is full of shit and needs to pull his head out of his ass.

Even though he survived his re-election bid, Nunes will no longer be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, so Nunes will lose his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, and with it his ability to protect President Donald Trump. This is not inconsequential for Nunes. The California congressman rose from obscurity during the first two years of Trump's term by repeatedly carrying the president's water, even when that meant undermining his credibility as an ostensibly impartial overseer of the Trump-Russia investigation.

For its last show before the midterm elections, "Saturday Night Live" took on a familiar target: Fox News.
Source: CNN

This is particularly true of the president. In campaign speeches, advertisements and interviews, Republican politicians are showing a zeal for protecting Americans with pre-existing health conditions. President  Trump has gone the furthest, saying not only that he will ensure  protections for the previously ill, but also pledging that his party  will do so more effectively than Democrats. There are many reasons to doubt these words. Republican officeholders have taken numerous actions that would tend to  weaken those protections — in Congress, in states and in courts. The  Trump administration introduced a sweeping new policy just last week that would allow states to sidestep Obamacare’s requirement to cover pre-existing conditions.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel defended a racist advertisement that a member of her own party called 'sickening' and blamed the Democrats for her party's violent rhetoric on immigration. Tapper pointed out that the video promoted false information, given that the individual entered the U.S. under the administration of former Republican President George W. Bush. “It’s factually inaccurate and it’s racially incendiary,” Tapper said of the video. “You don’t have any issue with that?” “President Trump is inaccurately blaming [Democrats] for putting a cop killer, for letting him into the country — for letting him into the country! The last time he came into the country was under George W. Bush!” Tapper responded.

Why Republicans can’t tell the truth about their health care plans. The scale of the Republican Party’s lying about their health care policy is, as Sarah Kliff writes, stunning. The Republican Party is driving legislative and judicial efforts to gut protections for people with preexisting conditions that are now the law of the land. At the same time, they are running ads about their commitment to protecting people with preexisting conditions that feature the very elected officials suing to negate those protections, and President Donald Trump is saying, well, this: "Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican" - Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018. That’s not exaggeration. It’s not spin. It’s not misleading. It’s a lie. It’s pure up-is-downism. It’s a flagrant foul committed against reality. It’s scandalous, and it should be treated as a scandal. As Sarah notes, 14 percent of voters say protecting people with preexisting conditions is their top priority. The essence of elections is that voters have a clear idea of what the two parties intend to do so they can make an informed choice between them. The fact that the president is trying to utterly deceive them is important.

President Trump says he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order. But most legal scholars — and even leaders of the president's own party — are skeptical. In an interview with Axios, published Tuesday, the president said he wants to end the automatic right to citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to noncitizens. "You can definitely do it with an act of Congress," Trump said in the Axios interview. "But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order."

President Donald Trump is tearing through constitutional norms again with his suggestion that he can remove the right to citizenship for children born in the United States of undocumented immigrants. Even if this idea goes nowhere and it is likely to go nowhere -- the Constitution's 14th Amendment 150 years ago conferred automatic citizenship to anyone born in the US, and the Supreme Court has upheld that birthright - the latest assertion reinforces a singular Trump message: The law is what he says it is. Trump has declared people innocent or guilty, based on his personal views. He has derided US judges for decisions with which he disagrees. He has swatted away fundamental notions of due process by calling for the death penalty of people before they were even formally tried in court. Now he appears to want to rewrite the Constitution with the stroke of his pen. - Donald J. Trump is a dictator he is trying to change our constitution using executive orders. Our constitution would be destroyed if the president is allowed to change using executive orders. Donald J. Trump (Wannabe dictator) cannot change our constitution, only congress can.

The Justice Department is investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for possibly using his office for personal gain, following a referral from Interior's inspector general, two sources familiar with the investigation say. The full extent of the inquiry is unclear. Zinke has faced multiple ethics questions during his time at Interior, and the inspector general's office has multiple public inquiries into the secretary including the department's handling of a Connecticut casino project, whether the boundaries for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument were redrawn to benefit a state lawmaker and conversations between Zinke and Halliburton Chairman David Lesar about a Montana land development project.

Somewhere, somehow, a memo must have gone out to Republican lawmakers who voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare: If you are attacked for undermining protections for people with existing health problems, jab back by saying the claim got Four Pinocchios from The Washington Post. That’s not true. Republicans are twisting an unrelated fact check and are misleading voters. We have found at least seven politicians who have done this.

An at times incredulous former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail again Friday ahead of the November midterms, attacking what he calls outright lies by Republicans on the issue of health care and telling the crowd in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: "In Washington, they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team. " "Their promise to drain the swamp, that was not on the up and up," Obama added, "Nobody in my administration got indicted."

President Obama slams President Trump and the Republican Party with gloves off for "blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly, lying" while campaigning Friday afternoon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: BARACK OBAMA: Look, listen. Throughout human history... Certainly throughout American history,...

This has been the year of the TV remake: reboots of “Charmed” and “Magnum P.I.,” revivals of “Murphy Brown” and “Roseanne.” So maybe it should not be surprising to find Fox News remaking a hit from 2014: “Terror at the Border,” with a significant role for one Donald J. Trump. For viewers who forgot the original, here’s a brief recap. In the fall of 2014, with the midterms approaching, Fox and other conservative media went in overdrive on the “border crisis” and ISIS — two issues that Republicans were using to suggest that the Obama administration was failing to protect America from teeming hordes. As the election approached, the two stories merged into a single Frankenfear. According to the right-wing outlet Judicial Watch, terrorist organizations were poised on the Mexican border to sneak into the United States. Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, claimed to Fox’s Greta Van Susteren that 10 ISIS operatives had been apprehended crossing the border.

Former President Barack Obama while campaigning Friday afternoon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: "In Washington they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team. Nobody in my administration got indicted. So, how is it that they cleaned things up?"

President Trump has settled on a strategy of fear — laced with falsehoods and racially tinged rhetoric — to help lift his party to victory in the coming midterms, part of a broader effort to energize Republican voters with two weeks left until the Nov. 6 elections. Trump’s messaging — on display in his regular campaign rallies, tweets and press statements — largely avoids much talk of his achievements and instead offers an apocalyptic vision of the country, which he warns will only get worse if Democrats retake control of Congress.

Trump called Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte “my kind of guy” because he bodyslammed a Guardian journalist. The same day missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s last column was published by The Washington Post, President Donald Trump applauded a criminal act of violence against a journalist to wild applause from a crowd of adoring supporters at a campaign rally. Stomping on his own narrative that "Democrats produce mobs, Republicans produce jobs,” the president praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, a convicted criminal, during a rally in Montana on Thursday. He's "my kind of guy," Trump said of the recently elected Republican who bodyslammed Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs one day before the 2017 special election. Congressional Republicans, for their part, aren't complaining about Trump's off-script quip. They've either stayed mum, stuck to campaign talking points or refused to respond to requests for comment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended a lawsuit to undo the Affordable Care Act’s protection of insurance for pre-existing health conditions even though it’s become a problem for Republican candidates in the campaign for control of Congress. “Our candidates are able to deal with it,” McConnell said regarding a barrage of Democratic ads criticizing his party’s candidates on the issue. "There’s nobody in the Senate that I’m familiar with who is not in favor of coverage of pre-existing conditions." The case, filed by Texas and backed by the Trump administration, contends that because Congress eliminated the tax penalty for violating the requirement that most individuals have insurance, the rest of the law including the consumer protections must be thrown out.

For months now, Democratic leaders and congressional candidates have argued that the budget-busting Republican tax cuts put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid at risk. It was only a matter of time, they warned, before the GOP seamlessly pivoted from adding $1.9 trillion to the national debt to decrying the poor state of the nation’s finances, as if they had nothing to do with it, and demanding that the budget be balanced on the back of the country’s three biggest social insurance programs. As evidence to support their concerns, Democrats had pointed to remarks by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately after the passage of the tax cut legislation, and more recently to comments by top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Mitch McConnell says that Republicans will not take any serious steps to reduce the deficit, unless they can also share blame for unpopular entitlement cuts with Democrats. He didn’t use exactly those words during his Tuesday interview with Bloomberg. But the Senate Majority Leader came close, admitting that changes to programs like Medicare and Social Security might be “impossible to achieve” as long as Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. It was a quietly refreshing moment, in which McConnell effectively dropped the entire charade that Republicans are a party that prioritizes fiscal prudence—making explicit what has long been obvious to anyone who has paid the faintest bit of attention to Washington over the past decades.

Had Scott gone through with this scheme, the Florida Supreme Court would have gone from 4-3 GOP appointees to 7-0. This year, Florida has very good odds of  electing Andrew Gillum, the charismatic, progressive Tallahassee mayor,  as their next governor. But outgoing GOP governor Rick Scott thought he  had a perfect plan to ensure that even if Gillum won, the state courts  would remain in solid Republican control for years to come. On Monday, however, the Florida Supreme Court put a stop to his scheme.

In a few weeks, the citizens of Georgia won’t just be casting ballots for their governor; they will be deciding the fate of their democracy. The Democratic nominee, Stacey Abrams, has pegged her campaign to progressive policy and voter mobilization, hoping to turn the state’s substantial population of white liberals, black Americans, and other nonwhite residents into a voting majority. If elected, Abrams would be the first black woman elected governor in the United States. Her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, has also turned to base mobilization, tying himself to President Trump and building his campaign around overt hostility to the political and cultural opponents of the Republican right.

Republicans have convinced themselves that Democrats are dirty, so they feel entitled to be even dirtier. The past couple of weeks of the news have served up a hefty reminder not just of the deep corruption of Donald Trump, but of the entire Republican Party. On top of the headline-dominating story about Republicans ignoring all sorts of ethical concerns to place Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, there was also a blockbuster New York Times report showing that Trump amassed his massive fortune not through hard work or business acumen, but old-fashioned tax fraud and corruption. Meanwhile, there's a pileup of stories indicating that Republicans intend to shore up their prospects in the November midterms through blatant and racist cheating, using a series of Jim Crow-style strategies to keep black and Native American voters from the polls in November.

An analysis found that 70 percent of people whose voter registration is in jeopardy are black residents. A Georgia process for verifying voters’ information has left the applications of over 53,000 people in jeopardy, and 70 percent of those applications are from black people, an Associated Press analysis published Tuesday found. The stark disparity drew scrutiny because Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R), the state’s top elections official, is running for governor. He is locked in a tight race with Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic leader in the Georgia statehouse who, if elected, would be the first black woman to serve as a governor in the United States. The reason so many voters’ registration status is considered incomplete is because the state requires the information in a new application to exactly match the way the potential voter’s name appears in a state driver’s license database or a federal Social Security database. Any small discrepancy, like a hyphen or varied spelling, puts someone’s registration in jeopardy. Danielle Lang, senior counsel at Campaign Legal Center, which sued Georgia over the practice in 2016, said it’s easy to get a mismatch under the process. She pointed to a 2009 audit from the Social Security Administration’s inspector general that said matching voter records with a Social Security database produced inaccurate matching.

Expert says Donald Trump’s effective reliance on personal attacks have caused ‘racist and bigoted’ ads to become more prevalent. Negative campaign advertisements are as familiar in US elections as door-knocking and yard signs. But as the 2018 midterm election campaign pulls into its homestretch, Republican attacks in two congressional races happening 3,000 miles apart have triggered alarm bells for targeting non-white candidates in an apparent effort to highlight their “otherness”. The first comes from California’s 50th district, where Ammar Campa-Najjar is running as a Democrat for a seat currently occupied by the Republican Duncan Hunter. NBC’s Chuck Todd, a veteran political reporter and commentator called the spot “maybe the most shocking and outrageous political ad I’ve ever seen”, in a Meet The Press Daily segment. The ad zeroes in on Campa-Najjar’s heritage – his mother is Mexican American and his father is Palestinian – calling him a “Palestinian, Mexican, millennial Democrat” who is “working to infiltrate Congress” and a “security risk”. “At best it’s desperate. That’s putting it mildly,” said Campa-Najjar, who also called the effort “blatantly ignorant” and “unhinged from reality”.

And the truth is, he doesn’t care so long as he gets his judges. After a series of gut-wrenching moments, intense and emotional exchanges, and by far the weirdest hearing I have ever seen on Capitol Hill, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as the newest justice of the Supreme Court. Only that wasn’t the end of the matter. Kavanaugh then went to the White House to partake in a fake swearing-in ceremony that—because Donald Trump has to be Donald Trump—had all the hallmarks of a political rally. Sitting in the front row at that ceremony, taking it all in, was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which was appropriate since all of this—the weird hearing, the subtle dismissal of victims of sexual assault, the secrecy around the nominee’s record—was his doing. He is the maestro of moving judicial nominees through the Senate, and Kavanaugh was a prime testament to McConnell’s ruthless, amoral, pursuit of that singular mission.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has been one of the biggest proponents of President Trump’s crackdown on China, welcoming tariffs on Chinese imports while conceding that they will raise costs for American businesses and consumers. “There is no way for us to address China without absorbing some pain here,” Mr. Graham said in August. But behind the scenes, Mr. Graham has been working to help chemical and textile companies in his home state avoid the pain of Mr. Trump’s trade war. The senator has advocated on behalf of seven South Carolina companies that import products from China, writing letters urging the Trump administration to remove materials they rely on from a list of goods subject to Mr. Trump’s tariffs. Mr. Trump’s tariffs, Mr. Graham told the administration, could “economically harm consumers and stifle economic growth in South Carolina.”

Here’s a striking image: Capitol Police aren’t allowing staffers, members of the public, or the media to walk along the 4th floor of Dirksen pic.twitter.com/GSdcv8vPMq — Alan He (@alanhe) October 3, 2018. That’s the floor that Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins’ office is on. Collins, of course, holds one of the key swing votes that will determine whether Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, and as such is of great interest to reporters/constituents/protesters at the moment. Her staffers say they didn’t tell Capitol Police to block such individuals from having access to the hallway above, but they also didn’t “contest” the decision. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell complained this morning about protesters “harassing” his “members” at airports, which was seemingly a reference to the two self-identified sexual assault survivors who approached Georgia Sen. David Perdue at D.C.’s Reagan National Airport; when one extended her arm to shake his hand, he told her not to touch him, then ducked into a men’s bathroom.

Charles Ludington, a former Yale classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, says that Kavanaugh was not being truthful when recounting his relationship with alcohol during his college years to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republicans are planning a careful choreography for the results of the FBI's background probe into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, including sending only a single copy to Capitol Hill that will be housed in a safe. The FBI report, which officials said will include interviews about Kavanaugh's conduct in high school, will first go to the White House and then to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where lawmakers will read it in a secure location. Senate Republicans are planning the cautious approach amid a debate over how much of the FBI's investigation into Kavanaugh's past – including allegations of sexual assault – should be available for public view. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said only senators will be able to see the results of the FBI's work.

The beachfront property was rented, the guests were invited and an ever-organized Brett M. Kavanaugh had some advice for the seven Georgetown Preparatory School classmates who would be joining him for the weeklong escapade. In a 1983 letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, the young Judge Kavanaugh warned his friends of the danger of eviction from an Ocean City, Md., condo. In a neatly written postscript, he added: Whoever arrived first at the condo should “warn the neighbors that we’re loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us. Advise them to go about 30 miles...” More than three decades later, the elite, privileged high school world that Judge Kavanaugh inhabited is the focus of international attention. He has been accused of sexual assault during his time at Georgetown Prep — claims that have delayed, and threatened to derail, his confirmation to the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

The FBI's contact with Charles Ludington, a classmate of Brett Kavanaugh at Yale, is a new development in its background investigation. Charles Ludington, a classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Yale University, will provide information to the FBI on Monday, he confirmed to NBC News. News of Ludington's involvement was first reported by The Washington Post, which said he planned to give a statement to the FBI at its field office in Raleigh, North Carolina, "detailing violent drunken behavior by Kavanaugh in college." In a copy of his statement given to The Post, Ludington, a professor at North Carolina State University, described Kavanaugh as a "belligerent and aggressive" drunk.

The South Carolina senator’s 2016 remarks are at odds with what he’s saying now about Brett Kavanaugh. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was called out for hypocrisy on Monday after comments he made in 2016 resurfaced on social media. - The conservative lawmaker is a staunch defender of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault. On Monday, Graham slammed Democrats for calling for an FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh allegations, and claimed that they were playing politics by trying to keep the seat open until after the midterm election. "All they want is a political outcome. Keep this seat open and hope they win the midterms. Pathetic" - Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 1, 2018. Yet Graham and his fellow Republicans in the Senate blocked Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s March 2016 Supreme Court pick, and Graham himself admitted it was for political reasons.

Kavanaugh said he “doesn’t have a specific recollection." Text messages indicate his team had a photograph. A new report from NBC indicates Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may not have told Republican Judiciary Committee staffers the truth on September 25 when he said he “doesn’t have a specific recollection” of attending a wedding in 1997 with Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate who has accused him of sexual assault. Text messages exchanged between two friends of Kavanaugh’s that were reviewed by NBC indicate “Brett’s team” was actually in possession of a photo of Kavanaugh and Ramirez taken at the wedding no later than September 22 — three days before the judge sat down to talk with Judiciary Committee staffers.

In the face of numerous allegations of sexual assault dating back to his high school and college years, all of which are said to have involved copious alcohol use, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has tried to push back on reports that make it seem as though he and his friends were frequently drunk and belligerent, claiming he was a well-behaved boy who simply liked (and still likes!) beer — a characterization that a mounting number of his classmates are calling inaccurate. Though he claimed during his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that one of his female “feminist” friends from college sent him a text telling him that he’s a “good man,” a growing number of his former classmates are recalling harsher images of Kavanaugh: someone who was “belligerent,” “aggressive,” and “often drank to excess.” But when the New York Times revealed the four witnesses the FBI will question about the accusations against Kavanaugh, notably absent from the list were his former classmates who have contradicted the SCOTUS nominee’s testimony about his partying. This raises obvious concerns about how serious the investigation is being taken — and whose interests it is seeking to protect. Below, a list of every one of Kavanaugh’s former classmates who have called out his lies. “In denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.” In a statement issued to the New York Times, Chad Ludington, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s who claims they frequently drank together, said he is “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.”

One of President Donald Trump's closest allies in Congress is alleging misconduct by former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, an unproven and disputed assertion that the President amplified Tuesday morning, the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. At issue are claims made by Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who said on Monday that newly-discovered text messages between Strzok and Page discussing a "media leak strategy with DOJ" suggest a "coordinated effort" by the FBI and the Justice Department to "release information in the public domain potentially harmful to President Donald Trump's administration."

For all six ads, we found that the Congressional Leadership Fund took a sliver of accurate information and spun it in a misleading way.

In a newly leaked audio recording, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, suggests that his party needs to retain control of the House of Representatives to protect President Donald Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Determined to get to the "bottom" of the Steele Dossier, Devin Nunes was treated like a joke by British intelligence because he is one.  

Despite urgent warnings of the need to bolster the U.S. Coast Guard's ailing polar icebreaker fleet – now just a single functional 42-year-old vessel – some Republicans in Congress have proposed diverting $750 million planned for a new ship to President Donald Trump's long-promised border wall.

President Donald Trump's allies are mounting a fresh line of attack against special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian interference probe, zeroing in on ties between a senior Department of Justice official and the Washington research firm Democrats hired to investigate Trump. I guess they forgot Trump donated to the Democrats. Whom you donate to does not determine how you do your job.

Femme fatales, lavish Moscow parties and dark money – how Russia worked the National Rifle Association.

Amendment would have funded cybersecurity efforts and replaced outdated election equipment. Republicans are not protecting America from foreign interference in our elections.

In inquiries on Benghazi and Russia and beyond, the California congressman has displayed a deep mistrust of the expert consensus on reality — a disposition that has helped him make friends in the current White House.

steady drip, drip of news makes it look as if  there is a coordinated effort among Republicans and President Trump to  undermine the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in  the 2016 election, and possibly to end it. Their  attacks on officials leading the Russia investigation are escalating,  right as the FBI raided documents from Trump's longtime personal lawyer,  Michael Cohen, including documents about Trump's alleged affairs.

They claim the grounds for impeachment of Deputy  Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein is his alleged stonewalling of their  document requests into investigations into Justice investigations of  Hillary Clinton and President Trump. But that  gets harder to believe when you look at this group’s penchant for using  the “i-word” against their political opponents, their Republican  colleagues' lack of support for impeaching Rosenstein and all the reasons to believe there is a GOP conspiracy to help Trump undermine the independent Russia investigation.

A group of conservative House lawmakers on Wednesday introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top Department of Justice (DOJ) official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Trump is the one who should be impeached instead of impeaching Trump republicans are trying to stop the investigation by impeaching Rod Jay Rosenstein. History will not be kind to Trump and the republicans.

Top GOP officials know Russia used them to influence the 2016 election. They just don’t care.

Here is the years’ worth of evidence.

Republicans placed an anti-patriot in the Oval Office—just as the Russians bet they would.

As part of a lengthy effort to infiltrate  the National Rifle Association, an important Republican interest group,  an alleged Russian spy began a romance with a Republican activist, met  multiple Republican leaders and fostered a relationship between American  gun advocates and Russians. Over the last few years, the Christian right, another key part of the GOP coalition, has grown increasingly close to Putin, whom they see as an ally in a global clash of civilizations between Christianity and Islam. In Congress, Republicans have undertaken an aggressive campaign to discredit and, many of them plainly hope, shut down the probe into the Russian attack on America. Though they mounted seven separate investigations of Benghazi, they are nearly united in their position that no further investigation into a hostile foreign power’s attempt to manipulate the American electoral system is necessary. Fox News, which functions as the propaganda arm of the Republican Party, has aired relentless attacks on the Russia investigation and calls for it to be shut down.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 GRU  (Russian military intelligence) officers and the Department of Justice’s  arrest of Maria Butina both reveal that Russia’s influence campaign went well beyond just helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton. These indictments make clear that, even before Trump emerged as a  viable candidate, the Russians were carrying out a broader influence  campaign designed to infiltrate the Republican Party as a whole … which  raises the question of whether Congressional Republicans have been  abdicating oversight to protect others besides Trump and his team.

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation was not involved in Butina’s arrest, but it’s reportedly investigating whether Torshin funneled Russian money to the NRA for use in the 2016 campaign.

“Despite bipartisan support to put American national security before jobs in China, the Republican leadership refused to take any real, substantive action on ZTE. Instead, they joined President Trump in bowing to Beijing,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat. “It’s weak and shameful.”

Maria Butina was accused of trying to influence the Republican Party at Russia’s behest.

Republicans are, under cover of fake oversight, actively working to interfere in the investigation, on Trump’s behalf.

The Republican Party of yesteryear was known for its abhorrence of the  Soviet Union and all things related to communism. Now the U.S. has a  president and Republican leadership unwilling to protect us from Russian meddling in our elections.

Like a cult, the Republican Party expects loyalty to party above truth and loyalty to the country. Republicans defend Trump at the expense of our democracy, our judicial system, our intelligence agencies and our allies.

Trump and the GOP are trying to take away our first amendment rights and subvert justice.

One of the most comical — or perhaps deeply troubling — aspects of the  massive effort by President Trump and his allies to create an alternate  narrative to the Russia probe is that it continues unabated, even as the  numerous conspiracy theories created to bolster it have, one after  another, fallen like dominoes.

Do Republicans just have a Trump problem, or, is the alleged Russian involvement with the Trump Administration the tip of a much larger Putin problem for the Republican Party?  Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the Republic, not the Republican Party. Is the GOP going to stand in defense of our Democracy, or purely preserve power?

Newt Gingrich turned partisan battles into bloodsport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Trump’s rise. Now he’s reveling in his achievements.
By McKay Coppins

Newt Gingrich is an important man, a man of refined tastes, accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and so when he visits the zoo, he does not merely stand with all the other patrons to look at the tortoises—he goes inside the tank. On this particular afternoon in late March, the former speaker of the House can be found shuffling giddily around a damp, 90‑degree enclosure at the Philadelphia Zoo—a rumpled suit draped over his elephantine frame, plastic booties wrapped around his feet—as he tickles and strokes and paws at the giant shelled reptiles, declaring them “very cool.” It’s a weird scene, and after a few minutes, onlookers begin to gather on the other side of the glass—craning their necks and snapping pictures with their phones and asking each other, Is that who I think it is? The attention would be enough to make a lesser man—say, a sweaty magazine writer who followed his subject into the tortoise tank for reasons that are now escaping him—grow self-conscious. But Gingrich, for whom all of this rather closely approximates a natural habitat, barely seems to notice. more...

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