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Category Archives: Donald Trump

Donald Trump Tweets His Defense by Attacking AOC – Mother Jones

Posted: January 25, 2020 at 2:30 pm

President Donald Trumps lawyers, who launched his defense at his impeachment trial in the Senate Saturday morning, have claimed that they will respond substantively to Democrats methodical case for why the president should be removed from office. But shortly before the Senate convened for the first day of the White House defense, the president teed up the proceedings with a tweet strong on name calling and short on evidence.

His targets include two lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who have no role in the impeachment trial. Trump also postedtweets quoting Fox Business News host Lou Dobbs praising him.

Trumps defenders thus far have not disputed the facts of the case against him. Senate Republicans have complained about comments by Democratic impeachment managers and launched attacks on President Obamas foreign policy and other topics that are at best tangental. Trumps lawyers on Saturday have said they will focus on Vice President Joe Bidens actions related to Ukraine in 2016, and that the president did nothing wrong. White House counsel Pat Cipollone promised in his opening remarks that Trumps team will focus on evidence that the House impeachment managers did not include. But their boss appears to have another strategy.

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Take Her Out: Donald Trumps Role in the Ukraine Scheme Is Reportedly Caught on Tape – The New Yorker

Posted: at 2:30 pm

Lordy, there are tapesor, at least, one tape. When Lev Parnas, one of Rudy Giulianis Ukraine bagmen, gave an interview to MSNBCs Rachel Maddow last week, he recalled attending a private dinner in April, 2018, at the Trump International Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue, where the hotels proprietor, who works part time as the forty-fifth President of the United States, ordered a White House aide to fire Marie Yovanovitch, a veteran diplomat who was then serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

This was one of many damaging claims that Parnas made to Maddow, prompting Trumps supporters to dismiss him as a self-serving fantasist. But, on Friday, it emerged that Igor Fruman, Parnass sidekick and fellow-defendant, has provided a tape recording to federal prosecutors that features Trump using mob-boss language to order Yovanovitchs axing. ABC News, in a report published on Friday morning, as the House managers were preparing to wrap up their presentation in the Senate impeachment trial, said that it has reviewed a tape recording in which a voice that appears to be President Trumps says of Yovanovitch, Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I dont care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. O.K.? Do it.

The White Houses response to the ABC News story didnt deny that Trump attended the dinner, which reportedly took place on April 30, 2018, or that the President used the language attributed to him in the ABC News report. Every President in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his Administration, the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement.

Nobody has suggested that Trump didnt have the authority to replace Yovanovitch; the issue is why he did it, and why has he been lying about his relationship with Parnas. Just last week, Trump said, I dont know him at all. Dont know what hes about, dont know where he comes from, know nothing about him. I can only tell you this thing is a big hoax. Are those statements still operative? Grisham didnt mention them, of course.

ABC News didnt say how it got access to the recording, which appears to have been made by Fruman, a longtime business associate of Parnas. He used a phone placed down on a table with the audio still recording the conversation between the Commander-in-Chief and other guests, the report said. Early on Friday afternoon, Parnass defense lawyer, Joseph Bondy, confirmed to the Daily Beast that Parnas was aware of the tapes existence and said that Fruman made it. Last year, before he was arrested, Mr. Parnas personally heard a recording of his April 30, 2018, dinner with the president and others, made by Mr. Fruman, at which the subject of Ambassador Yovanovitch was discussed, Bondy told the news site. We have hoped that, to the extent this recording still existed, it would be released to Congress for use in the impeachment trial.

The ABC News report said that the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York, which brought the charges against Parnas and Fruman, and which is reportedly also investigating their relationship with Giuliani, has a copy of the recording. Will it be handed over to Congress, and will Parnas be called as a witness in the impeachment trial? Given the Republicans abject stonewalling, this seems unlikely. On Friday afternoon, the Times reported that the House managers presentation does not appear to have accomplished its chief objective of persuading enough Republicans that they need to hear from live witnesses and see withheld documents.

Still, Parnas seems eager to be deposed; issuing a subpoena to him wouldnt raise any executive-privilege issues, and he has a story to tell that is germane to the trial. Clearly, he has some credibility issues. But, at the very least, he would be able to convey to the Senate the sordid origins of the scheme that lies at the center of the proceeding.

Parnas claims to have worked with Giuliani for more than a year to persuade the government of Ukraine to open a number of investigations that Giuliani and Trump wanted, including one into a Ukrainian company that employed Hunter Biden. Evidently, the participants in this scheme viewed Yovanovitch, a veteran diplomat who was appointed to her post during the Obama Administration, as a barrier to their progress. During the dinner with the President, it seems that Parnas tried to do something about it. On the recording, a voice that appears to belong to him is heard telling Trump that Yovanovitch had been bad-mouthing him in Kyiv and that we gotta get rid of her, ABC News reported. The voice goes on, Shes basically walking around telling everybody, Wait, hes gonna get impeached, just wait.

These remarks from Parnas prompted Trumps order to take her out, according to the ABC News report. They didnt lead to Yovanovitchs immediate removal from Kyiv, however. She wasnt called back to Washington until May, 2019. In his interview with Maddow, Parnas recalled that there was silence in the hotel room after Trump issued his order. Then, according to Parnas, Johnny DeStefano, a White House staffer who was also at the dinner, responded, We cant do that right now because PompeoMike Pompeo, who replaced Rex Tillerson as Secretary of Statehasnt been confirmed yet.

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Trump Attacks Greta Thunberg At Davos, Then Claims He Doesnt Know Anything About Her – Vanity Fair

Posted: at 2:30 pm

When we last checked in on Donald Trumps ongoing feud with a child, he was ranting about the fact that Time magazine had named Swedish activist Greta Thunberg its person of the year. So ridiculous, he fumed last month on Twitter. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill! Previously, hed taken to his account to ridicule Thunberg for chiding world leaders on their inaction on climate change, mocking her impassioned speech about mass extinction and empty words by tweeting, She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! After his last polemic on the minor 57 years his juniorwhich first lady and anti-bullying crusader Melania Trump suggested was warrantedwe assumed the president would move on to other matters, like running the country, lying about imminent attacks on Americans, and mounting his extremely flimsy defense against impeachment. In retrospect, though, that was a ridiculous assumption re: his priorities, which of course include continuing to publicly ridicule a child.

In a prepared speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump took the opportunity to take a swipe at Thunbergwho was in the audiencederiding perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse about the environment. They are the errors of yesterdays fortune-tellers, Trump claimed, and we have them and I have them and they want to see us do badly, but we dont let that happen, adding that in order to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the warnings of such individuals.

For those of you keeping up at home, thats two outright attacks on Thunberg by name via Twitter and one veiled swipe at her in person. So, obviously:

President Trump said on Tuesday said he didnt know anything about Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg but called her very angry in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. I dont really know anything about her, Trump said of Thunberg when asked about her on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Claiming not to know someone despite reams of documented evidence to the contrary is, of course, the presidents thing. Earlier this month, he claimed not to know Lev Parnas, a man he allegedly tasked with working on the scheme to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden, according to CNN, and with whom hes been photographed on numerous occasions. Previously, hes also denied knowing E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor, former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, among others. So Thunberg is in good company.

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Great Lakes poll in Ohio, 3 other states offers snapshot of voter opinions on Donald Trump and political issu – cleveland.com

Posted: at 2:30 pm

BEREA, Ohio - Women voters across four Great Lakes states are a major factor why Donald Trump might have some ground to make up if he is to again win Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the 2020 election, a recently released poll suggests.

Among women polled, their support for a Democrat over Trump ranged from 11.2 percentage points in Ohio to 26.1 points in Michigan, according to the Great Lakes Poll, released Wednesday by Baldwin Wallace Universitys Community Research Institute. The preference among men ranged from 2.5 points in favor of Trump in Ohio to 4.4 points against in Pennsylvania.

This was one takeaway from the first of four Great Lakes polls BW will be conducting this year, in partnership with Ohio Northern University in Ada and Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The states were chosen because they flipped from Democratic in 2012 (Barack Obama) to Republican (Trump) in the last presidential election.

After the findings were released Wednesday, cleveland.com published a series of stories providing both an overall summary of the poll, and delving into individual issues.

Here are some of the highlights. Read more about each topic by following the links below:

* Trump trails in each of the four states, indicating the extent to which hell have to entice wavering voters to swing his way before November. Yet Democratic support was softest in Ohio, where the generic Democrat led Trump just 44.3% to 39.4%, with the rest undecided.

Donald Trump trails in four key states he won four years ago, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the Great Lakes Poll from Baldwin Wallace University.Rich Exner, cleveland.com

* Women breaking away from Trump could be a deciding factor in 2020 presidential race: Women are more likely than men to vote for the Democratic nominee than Trump, although there are still many women who are undecided.

* Voters distrust social media as a source of campaign news and worry about foreign interference: Theyre wary of getting presidential campaign news from social media, with the majority viewing articles on social media as untrustworthy or misleading.

There is a general distrust in the news find on social media, according Baldwin Wallace University's Great Lakes Poll.Rich Exner, cleveland.com

* Immigration was a key issue in 2016: What do voters think about it today?: The bulk of voters polled disapprove of how President Donald Trump has handled immigration policy.

* Should popular vote replace Electoral College?: Those polled overwhelmingly said they supported getting rid of the Electoral College system.

* Its the economy, voters in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania say about the 2020 election: Wisconsin voters rank health care as the No. 1 issue in this years presidential campaign. In Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, its the economy.

The economy is the top issue among voters in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, while health care is the No. 1 issue in Wisconsin, according to Baldwin Wallace University's Great Lakes poll.Rich Exner, cleveland.com

* Good news for Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders: Biden or Sanders lead in each of the states, followed by Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg, though the primaries wont reach these states for several weeks.

Joe Biden leads polling in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, while Bernie Sanders leads in Wisconsin, according to the Great Lakes poll released by Baldwin Wallace University.Rich Exner, cleveland.com

BW, in partnership with Ohio Northern and Oakland universities, polled more than 1,000 registered voters in each state from Jan. 8-20. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 to 3.3 percentage points for the statewide results in each state, higher for sub groups.

BW said the poll included quotas for age, education, and gender for each state based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau from the overall adult population in each state. The makeup of voters may be different.

There will be a second poll in the spring. BW hopes to time that poll to when the Democratic nominee becomes clear. Plus additional Great Lakes polls are planned for September and October.

Lauren Copeland, associate director of the Community Research Institute at Baldwin Wallace University, noted that the large number of undecided voters left ample room for Trumps support to grow.

If you take into account the people who are undecided, the race is a tossup in all four states, Copeland said.

A BW Ohio poll a month before the 2016 election showed Hillary Clinton leading Trump, 43.2% to 34.4% with a substantial number undecided at the time. In the election, Clinton received almost exactly that support (43.6%), but Trump did much better (51.7%) in the state.

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Great Lakes poll in Ohio, 3 other states offers snapshot of voter opinions on Donald Trump and political issu - cleveland.com

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Donald Trump dismisses injuries of US military troops, proves (again) there is no bottom – CNN

Posted: at 2:30 pm

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"},{"title":"Attorney: Trump caught on tape demanding ambassador's firing","duration":"03:59","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/01/25/trump-ukraine-ambassador-yovanovitch-audio-ward-ctn-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/01/25/trump-ukraine-ambassador-yovanovitch-audio-ward-ctn-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200124094515-trump-yovanovitch-split-large-16-9.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/01/25/trump-ukraine-ambassador-yovanovitch-audio-ward-ctn-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Donald Trump was u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/2020/01/24/politics/trump-phone-call-ukraine-ambassador/index.html" target="_blank">captured on tape at a 2018 dinner with Lev Parnas and Igor Frumanu003c/a> demanding the firing of Marie Yovanovitch, who was then the US Ambassador to Ukraine, according to an attorney for Parnas. ","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump was u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/2020/01/24/politics/trump-phone-call-ukraine-ambassador/index.html" target="_blank">captured on tape at a 2018 dinner with Lev Parnas and Igor Frumanu003c/a> demanding the firing of Marie Yovanovitch, who was then the US Ambassador to Ukraine, according to an attorney for Parnas. 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Alexander Vindman, a key National Security aide who testified before congress on the Ukraine scandal.","descriptionText":"A CNN panel discusses a series of tweets made by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in which she makes false claims against Lt. Col. 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","descriptionText":"In the final day of House Democrats' opening arguments, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) urges Senate members to imagine they -- rather than Joe Biden or Marie Yovanovitch -- were being investigated by President Donald Trump. "},{"title":"Dems invoke McCain during Senate impeachment trial","duration":"03:25","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/01/24/schiff-dems-invoke-mccain-trump-impeachment-trial-ukraine-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/01/24/schiff-dems-invoke-mccain-trump-impeachment-trial-ukraine-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200124145123-schiff-dems-invoke-mccain-trump-impeachment-trial-ukraine-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/01/24/schiff-dems-invoke-mccain-trump-impeachment-trial-ukraine-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"Impeachment House manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) used video footage of late Sen. John McCain during the Senate impeachment trial to exemplify the threat posed by Russia on Ukraine over the course of history, and to reinforce the notion that support for Ukraine is critical to US national security.","descriptionText":"Impeachment House manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) used video footage of late Sen. John McCain during the Senate impeachment trial to exemplify the threat posed by Russia on Ukraine over the course of history, and to reinforce the notion that support for Ukraine is critical to US national security."},{"title":"Senate impeachment trial sparks partisan news bubbles ","duration":"03:08","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/01/24/partisan-news-bubbles-john-avlon-reality-check-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/01/24/partisan-news-bubbles-john-avlon-reality-check-newday-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200124083904-reality-check-1242020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/01/24/partisan-news-bubbles-john-avlon-reality-check-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's John Avlon explains how partisan news bubbles amid the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump may lead people to self-segregate themselves into separate political realities. ","descriptionText":"CNN's John Avlon explains how partisan news bubbles amid the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump may lead people to self-segregate themselves into separate political realities. 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","descriptionText":"Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders leads in New Hampshire, continuing to widen his top position ahead of the primaries, according to a new WBUR poll. "},{"title":"How a tie in a Senate impeachment trial is decided","duration":"03:28","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2020/01/24/chief-justice-split-vote-tie-impeachment-trial-senate-sot-cpt-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2020/01/24/chief-justice-split-vote-tie-impeachment-trial-senate-sot-cpt-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200124010228-joan-biskupic-01242020-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2020/01/24/chief-justice-split-vote-tie-impeachment-trial-senate-sot-cpt-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN Supreme Court analyst u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/joan-biskupic" target="_blank">Joan Biskupicu003c/a> explains what would happen if a vote during the Senate impeachment trial ends in a tie. 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Donald Trump dismisses injuries of US military troops, proves (again) there is no bottom - CNN

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Donald Trumps legal defense team will not deny Trumps actions, just say they are not impeachable – MSNBC

Posted: at 2:30 pm

Donald Trumps legal defense team will not deny Trumps actions, just say they are not impeachable  MSNBC

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Donald Trumps legal defense team will not deny Trumps actions, just say they are not impeachable - MSNBC

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Trump’s dismantling of environmental regulations unwinds 50 years of protections – CNN

Posted: at 2:30 pm

Last year, the EPA finalized a rule replacement for the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era proposal which would have required states to meet targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Trump administration's replacement states can set their own carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants -- a rule that the agency itself says could result in 1,400 more premature deaths by 2030 than the Obama-era plan it will replace.Additionally, the EPA proposed last year to ease regulation of methane emissions, a particularly potent greenhouse gas believed to contribute significantly to climate change. The Trump administration has asserted that the Obama administration improperly regulated the emissions. The EPA recently proposed scaling back the requirements for storing and releasing waste from coal-fired power plants, despite also finding an increase in toxic leaks from waste pits. The agency has also recently proposed granting Georgia authority to regulate in its state the handling of coal ash, despite calls for increased regulation in the state over their compromised handling of the byproduct. Around the same time as the proposed change in Georgia, the EPA also announced it would expand a temporary and voluntary "self-audit" program for oil and natural gas explorers and producers that would cut penalties for polluters that discover, self-report and fix problems.Trump has frequently complained about the orange hue that results from energy efficient lightbulbs. In 2019, the Energy Department blocked stricter efficiency requirements for many common types of lightbulbs that would have taken effect in 2020. The government, consumer groups and environmentalists have disputed how much the standards, developed under the Obama administration and based on a Bush-era law, would cost or save.And earlier this month, the Trump administration announced planned changes to National Environmental Policy Act rules, which require federal agencies to assess the environmental impact of projects such as the construction of mines, highways, water infrastructure and gas pipelines. 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Trump's dismantling of environmental regulations unwinds 50 years of protections - CNN

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Op-ed: Alexander Hamilton would have impeached and removed Trump – Los Angeles Times

Posted: at 2:30 pm

Its not surprising that Rep. Adam B. Schiffs opening statement in President Trumps Senate impeachment trial began with an impassioned warning by Alexander Hamilton about the danger of demagogues subverting the Constitution and pursuing personal gain.

When a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, Schiff quoted Hamilton, having the advantage of military habits despotic in his ordinary demeanor known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty when such a man is seen to mount the hobbyhorse of popularity to join in the cry of danger to liberty to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government and bringing it under suspicion to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.

Schiff (D-Burbank) went on to say that Trump has acted precisely as Hamilton and his contemporaries had feared and that impeachment is one of the core constitutional mechanisms the founders devised to protect our free system of government from such harm.

Now as the Senate sits in judgment of Trump, the members of that body must weigh the prospect of removing him from office in the face of mounting evidence and testimony against their own policy preferences.

In this respect, theres a parallel to Hamilton and the Federalists who were tested by the irregular outcome of the presidential election of 1800. In a critical vote in a single chamber of the Congress, they, too, had to choose between preserving the United States constitutional government and supporting a man who might deliver policies they liked better.

Most revealing of Hamiltons view of the perils of a demagogue in the White House is the stance he took in December 1800 when a fellow New Yorker, Aaron Burr, tied Thomas Jefferson 73-73 in the electoral college vote for the presidency. Hamilton was a Federalist, who advocated for an energetic central government. Jefferson and Burr were Democratic-Republicans, far more concerned with protecting states and citizens from the potential abuses of federal power.

This electoral standoff was unprecedented, driving the selection of the third president into the House of Representatives as laid out in Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution.

Initially, a large group of Federalists in the House wanted to put Burr in the White House, because he was a shaky and capricious adherent to the Democratic-Republican Party compared with Jefferson, who staunchly opposed the Federalist platform of expansive federal powers, broad national taxes, the funded debt, a central bank, and a standing army and navy.

The Federalists in the House, who had it in their power that winter of 1800-1801 to determine the fate of the presidency, considered Jefferson to be their worst nightmare. They deplored his principles and policies on almost every political issue that had emerged since he became secretary of State in 1790. Burr, they felt sure, would bend to their will far more easily, enabling them to advance their partys agenda in spite of his formal affiliation with the Democratic-Republicans.

Hamilton, an acknowledged leader of the Federalist Party, had a radically different view of the impending vote. Burr, a man he knew well from New York political and legal circles, he said, was deficient in honesty and one of the most unprincipled men in the UStates.

One example Hamilton gave of Burrs corrupt intentions in government was Burrs lobbying in New York on behalf of a land speculating company, the Holland Company, while a member of our legislature.

If Burr gained the White House, Hamilton believed, he would disturb our institutions and disgrace our Country abroad. He would listen to no monitor but his ambition and be governed by a singular principle to get power by any means and to keep it by all means.

Consequently, when Hamilton heard reports of the Jefferson-Burr electoral tie, he barraged his fellow Federalists in Washington with more than a dozen letters imploring them to preserve the Country!

He told them repeatedly that their party must vote for Jefferson, who, though their political enemy and the champion of policies abhorrent to them, was nevertheless a man devoted to the Constitution.

As Hamilton wrote in one letter: [If] there be [a man] in the world I ought to hate, it is Jefferson. But Burr, he said, would drive the country toward chaos and tyranny, content with nothing short of permanent power in his own hands.

In a striking echo to the impeachment charges against Trump, Hamilton further noted that if Burr ever reached the White House, there was a risk that, for the purpose of self-benefit, he would undertake a bargain and sale with some foreign power, or combinations with public agents in projects of gain by means of the public monies.

The historical consensus is Hamiltons efforts that winter to avert a Burr presidency proved decisive. In February 1801, the House cast 35 consecutive ballots for president, none of which achieved the nine-state majority necessary to declare a victor. Only on the 36th ballot, thanks to the votes and abstentions of the Federalists, did Jefferson win with a 10-state majority. Three years later, in a battle of honor, Burr killed Hamilton in a duel.

In Trumps impeachment trial, senators are facing an existential choice similar to what the Federalists confronted in their critical vote: whether to put aside their partisan and short-term policy objectives in the best interests of the nation.

Hamiltons advice today would be the same as it was in the Jefferson-Burr contest of 1801. The public good, Hamilton wrote to another Federalist congressman as he labored to keep Burr out of the White House, must be paramount to every private consideration.

Eli Merritt is a visiting scholar in the department of history at Vanderbilt University.

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Op-ed: Alexander Hamilton would have impeached and removed Trump - Los Angeles Times

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Trump weighs travel ban expansion in coming days – POLITICO

Posted: at 2:30 pm

Nonetheless, any new restrictions are likely to strain ties with the affected countries, some of which assist the U.S. on issues like fighting terrorism, and some of which Washington has been trying to court for strategic reasons.

Trump confirmed Tuesday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal from Davos that he is trying to add additional nations to the travel ban, but declined to list the countries.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley declined to confirm any details about plans to expand the travel ban, but defended the original order in a statement.

"The travel ban has been profoundly successful in protecting our country and raising the security baseline around the world," he said. "While there are no new announcements at this time, common sense and national security both dictate that if a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should also comply with all security and counter-terrorism measures because we do not want to import terrorism or any other national security threat into the United States."

Trump signed the original travel ban on Jan. 27, 2017, just a week into his tenure. The order initially denied visas to citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, though it was later modified as it went through a series of court challenges.

The Supreme Court eventually allowed a third iteration of the order to go into effect. It restricts entry of some citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was removed from the original list.

The countries under consideration for the expanded travel ban include some that have either had solid relationships with the U.S., or which the U.S. has courted.

Nigeria, for instance, is a U.S. counter-terrorism partner and there is a large Nigerian diaspora community in the United States. At the same time, Trump has in the past referred to African nations as "shithole" countries whose citizens he did not want coming to the United States.

He also once said that if Nigerians come to the U.S., they will never go back to their huts in Africa, according to The New York Times.

Myanmar is another intriguing case: the United States has spent the last decade trying to improve ties with the country, which has embraced partial civilian rule after years of living under a military dictatorship. The U.S. still wants to coax Myanmar out of China's orbit, despite the Myanmar military's mass slaughter of Rohingya Muslims.

U.S. officials also have been keen to improve relations with Belarus, a country long seen as under the sway of Russia. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had planned to visit the country just weeks ago, but had to cancel the trip to respond to rising tensions with Iran.

Sudan, meanwhile, has long had poor relations with the United States. But it recently underwent a revolution, and longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted. Sudan's new leadership has been trying to improve its standing in Washington. Being added to the travel ban could undermine the new government's domestic standing.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf acknowledged Friday that the U.S. has been creating criteria for foreign governments to address in helping vet foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States.

"For a small number of countries that lack either the will or the capability to adhere to these criteria, travel restrictions may become necessary to mitigate threats," he said in prepared remarks for a Homeland Security Experts Group event.

The Homeland Security Department and State Department did not respond to requests for comment.

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Trump weighs travel ban expansion in coming days - POLITICO

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Trump and Conor McGregor congratulate each other on Twitter – Business Insider

Posted: at 2:30 pm

Conor McGregor showered President Donald Trump with praise on Monday night, referring to him on Twitter as a "phenomenal president" and "quite possibly" the greatest US president of all time.

McGregor added: "Most certainly one of them anyway, as he sits atop the shoulders of many amazing giants that came before him. No easy feet. Early stages of term also. Incredible. Congrats and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day America."

He was responding to a tweet in which Trump said: "It was exactly three years ago today, January 20, 2017, that I was sworn into office. So appropriate that today is also MLK jr DAY. African-American Unemployment is the LOWEST in the history of our Country, by far. Also, best Poverty, Youth, and Employment numbers, ever. Great!"

Trump on Tuesday morning then congratulated McGregor on his UFC victory against Donald Cerrone over the weekend, tweeting, "Congratulations on your big @UFC WIN!"

Both Trump and McGregor have a history of courting controversy and generating headlines with incendiary behavior. They've also both been accused of sexual assault by multiple women (Trump and McGregor have denied the allegations).

McGregor took a different tone on then-candidate Trump in 2015. At the time, Trump had recently criticized the UFC fighter Ronda Rousey after she lost a fight to Holly Holm not longer after endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.

"Glad to see that @RondaRousey lost her championship fight last night," Trump said in a November 2015 tweet. "Was soundly beaten - not a nice person!"

Subsequently, McGregor told reporters that Trump should "shut his big, fat mouth."

"It's easy for someone who isn't in there to comment," McGregor said. "It's different when you're in there the emotions are high."

"I don't give a f--- about Donald Trump," McGregor added.

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Trump and Conor McGregor congratulate each other on Twitter - Business Insider

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