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Trump's Biggest Whoppers


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10 things you need to know today:
 
7:09 AM · Feb 14, 2020·Sprout Social
 
1. Barr: Trump's tweets 'make it impossible for me to do my job'

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that President Trump's tweets attacking Justice Department personnel and commenting on pending cases had made it "impossible for me to do my job." The comments, unexpected from such a strong Trump ally, came after the president slammed prosecutors for recommending a sentence of up to nine years for Trump ally Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering. Trump's broadside came shortly before Justice Department leaders overruled the prosecutors, saying they would push for a lighter sentence. Democrats have demanded an investigation into whether Trump improperly influenced the case. Barr acknowledged in an interview with ABC News that the timing looked bad, but said: "I'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody." [ABC News, The New York Times]

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2. Pentagon to divert $3.8 billion for Trump's border barriers

The Defense Department is diverting another $3.8 billion from other projects to help build President Trump's border barrier, The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing Pentagon documents it reviewed. The money is part of $7.2 billion the White House wants to pull from the Pentagon budget to pay for the "wall" — a central promise in Trump's 2016 campaign — as Trump runs for re-election. The Pentagon on Thursday informed Congress that the $3.8 billion would come from money earmarked for the purchase of aircraft and other equipment. The funding shift is being done under an obscure counternarcotics law allowing the Defense Department to build fencing in drug-smuggling corridors. [The Washington Post]

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3. Senate passes resolution to limit Trump's military options against Iran

The Senate on Thursday passed an Iran War Powers Resolution limiting President Trump's military options against Tehran. The final vote received bipartisan support, with eight Republicans joining Democrats to advance the measure to approve it, just as they did on Wednesday to advance it to a final vote. The 55-45 vote came despite opposition from President Trump, who urged all Republicans to reject it. "If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day," Trump tweeted on Wednesday. The House passed a similar nonbinding resolution in January, but due to differences it will have to approve the Senate version to send it to Trump, who is expected to veto it. [CNN]

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4. Last month was hottest January on record

Last month was the hottest January ever recorded on Earth, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces was 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 53.6 degrees. It was the 421st straight month with temperatures higher than that average. Russia, Scandinavia, and eastern Canada were hit hardest, with temperatures 9 degrees above average or more. Alaska and part of western Canada were exceptions to the trend, with their temperatures cooler than normal. The warming shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice more than usual. [NBC News]

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5. Coronavirus cases surge for 2nd day after China revises diagnosis criteria

China on Friday confirmed another 5,090 coronavirus infections, and 121 more deaths, bringing the death toll near 1,400. The country has seen a surge in new cases for the last two days since health authorities in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, changed the way they identify infections, with most of the new cases based on a physician's diagnosis before lab results come back. The surge in confirmed cases has dampened hope that the spread of the flu-like virus was slowing, but health experts say the higher numbers are partly due to the new methodology. "I suspect but can't be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards," said Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia in England. [The Associated Press]

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6. Hope Hicks to return to White House

Hope Hicks, a longtime confidante to President Trump, is returning to the White House roughly two years after leaving. Hicks, who had no political experience before joining Trump's 2016 campaign, served as a top communications aide before moving on to take a job at Fox Corporation. Hicks enjoyed working her new job but is rejoining the White House out of a sense of duty, CBS News reported, citing a source close to Hicks. She will be working with Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and political director Brian Jack, not back in the communications department. Hicks testified to Congress during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and said she told some "white lies" to defend Trump. [CBS News]

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7. Judge halts Microsoft's JEDI contract due to Amazon lawsuit

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked Microsoft's JEDI contract with the Pentagon. The move marked a win for Amazon, which has filed a lawsuit against the Defense Department, accusing President Trump of "repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer" the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract toward Microsoft in order to "harm his perceived political enemy," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The contract, which aims to create a centralized computing system for U.S. military agencies, is estimated to be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. Microsoft won it last October, but Amazon claims Trump used "improper pressure." The judge ordered work on the network to be halted due to the ongoing lawsuit. Microsoft said it was "disappointed." [The Washington Post]

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8. Prosecutors accuse Huawei of stealing trade secrets

Federal prosecutors have filed new charges that were unsealed Thursday accusing Chinese telecommunications gear maker Huawei of stealing trade secrets. Huawei already faces charges of stealing intellectual property, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. In the new case, Huawei USA and Futurewei, two subsidiaries that were located in the U.S. at the time, allegedly took technology from six American companies by breaking confidentiality agreements it had with them. The theft allowed Huawei to "drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage," prosecutors said in a press release. Andy Purdy, the chief security officer for Huawei in the U.S., said the charges were part of a "campaign to carpet bomb Huawei out of existence." [The Hill, The New York Times]

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9. Oklahoma to resume executions after 5-year pause

Oklahoma will resume executing inmates on death row after a five-year pause, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and other state officials announced Thursday. The state put a hold on lethal injections after several botched executions; in 2014, an inmate flailed on the gurney after being injected with the drugs, and a year later, another inmate was executed with an unapproved drug. During a press conference Thursday, Stitt and other leaders said the state would use midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride, the same drugs used in the earlier bungled executions. Dale Baich, a federal public defender representing death row prisoners challenging the constitutionality of the state's three-drug protocol, said, "Oklahoma's history of mistakes and malfeasance reveals a culture of carelessness around executions that should give everyone pause." [The Associated Press]

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10. House backs removing deadline for ratifying ERA

The House on Thursday voted in favor of removing a 1982 deadline for the states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. A similar measure has been introduced in the Senate. It takes ratification by three-quarters of the states to add an amendment to the Constitution, and the ERA didn't reach that threshold until Virginia, with new Democratic majorities in its legislature, became the 38th state to ratify it. The courts could have the final word. Illinois, Nevada, and Virginia have filed a lawsuit calling for the amendment to be added to the Constitution; Alabama, Louisiana, and South Dakota last year filed a case against ratification. The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has told the national archivist not to certify the ratification, citing the expired deadline. [The Washington Post]

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21 minutes ago, jakeem said:

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Dear @SenateGOP, This is what another quid pro quo by the President of the United States looks like.
 
👇
 
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Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
 
I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!
 
2:37 PM · Feb 13, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

"Oh, I think he's learned his lesson" - Susan Collins

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1 hour ago, jakeem said:

Because he was too scared to say so himself.

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Barr now chalks it up to miscommunication with his staff but is not even curious why the 4 prosecutors then resigned.

Barr says he was very surprised by the sentencing recommendation -- but he also suggests he hasn't tried to find out what happened. How can that be?

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In a morning tweet, the president said he has never asked his attorney general to do anything regarding a criminal case, but said he has ‘the legal right to do so.”

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58 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

Who wants to be the new ambassador to Europe?  What i don't get is why the $600?

This event and others show President Trump has embraced big donors, who get special access at intimate gatherings.

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To later be shown on videos and Trump denies he ever met them.

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19 hours ago, jakeem said:

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Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham issues a statement saying he has “complete confidence” in Barr - after his ABC interview criticizing Trump tweets. “He is the right man at the right time to reform the Department and stand up for the Rule of Law,” Graham says
5:06 PM · Feb 13, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

The right man to stand up as he helps the Rule of Law fall!

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20 hours ago, jakeem said:

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"Attorney General Bill Barr told ABC News on Thursday that President Donald Trump 'has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case' but should stop tweeting about the Justice Department because his tweets 'make it impossible for me to do my job.'"
4:07 PM · Feb 13, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Trump’s tweets make it impossible for  Bill Barr to do his job, which is to conduct Trump-ordered  politically-motivated investigations against Trump’s perceived rivals and enemies, or people who have pointed out Trump’s lies and criminal activity, often under oath.  Trump’s tweets give the game away, which Barr is trying to act like he is not a part of, or that Trump did not order these.  Pu-.Leeze!  Barr is a major liar and slime bag doing the bidding of an even bigger liar and slime bag!

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9 hours ago, jakeem said:

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In a rare moment of introspection, the president talked about the personal toll the months-long impeachment battle has taken on him
 
4:15 PM · Feb 13, 2020·Hootsuite Inc.

There’s that un-photoshopped tan line again....or is it Melania’s make up?!?

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8 hours ago, jakeem said:

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Wouldn't you think the President of the most powerful nation in the world would have people checking these things BEFORE the SOTU? My god, the incompetence of this administration is mind-boggling
 
 
6:02 PM · Feb 13, 2020·Twitter Web App

The lies start at the top:  the staff go along with the Liar-in-Chief’s example to lie all the time about everything.

No wonder Pelosi tore up the script of the speech as nothing but lies!

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The Washington Post
The Post Most
 
 
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(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Trump bucks Barr’s request to stop tweeting about Justice Dept., declaring a ‘legal right’ to seek intervention in criminal cases

In a morning tweet, the president said he has never asked his attorney general to do anything regarding a criminal case, but said he has “the legal right to do so.”

By Matt Zapotosky and John Wagner   Read more »

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CNN
 
Attorney General William Barr is ordering a re-examination of several high-profile cases, including that of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, US officials briefed on the matter say
 
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Per a DOJ official the US Attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, is "assisting" ex-Mueller prosecutor Brandon Van Grack in the review of the Flynn case's handling. Official says the two are working "hand in glove" and that Jensen is not in a supervisory role, per @alex_mallin
 
2:05 PM · Feb 14, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
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