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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 50)

President Trump’s Legal Team To Begin Impeachment Defense

Westlake Legal Group sekulow_wide-a7fc8c9d5fffdc6c3c9810440501296763709701-s1100-c15 President Trump's Legal Team To Begin Impeachment Defense

Jay Sekulow, personal attorney for President Trump, speaks during a news conference in the Senate subway on Friday. Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  President Trump's Legal Team To Begin Impeachment Defense

Jay Sekulow, personal attorney for President Trump, speaks during a news conference in the Senate subway on Friday.

Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lawyers representing President Trump get their first shot Saturday to poke holes in the impeachment case made this week by Democrats.

But the topics they bring up may go far beyond the two impeachment charges related to foreign aid in Ukraine and obstruction of Congress, Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump, told reporters Friday.

Proceedings on the Senate floor are expected to begin again at 10 a.m. ET.

Sekulow said the defense team will speak for about three hours Saturday to lay out “coming attractions” for the trial when it resumes again on Monday.

That includes discussing the Steele Dossier and efforts made by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Sekulow also tried to argue, as many Republicans have over the course of the impeachment proceedings, that Clinton solicited foreign interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election.

“You should be able to be able to get a sense from what I’m saying right now that we’re going to rebut and refute and we’re going to put on an affirmative case tomorrow,” Sekulow said.

American intelligence agencies have been unanimous in their assessment that it was Russia that interfered in the last presidential race.

Another of Trump’s defense attorneys, Alan Dershowitz, told NPR’s David Folkenflik that he would focus his arguments on what he sees as “non-impeachable offenses” brought forward by the House.

“They charged him with non-impeachable offenses: namely obstruction of Congress and abuse of power,” Dershowitz said. “Those would have clearly been rejected by the framers as too broad, too open-ended and not sufficiently specific. So I’m going to focus my argument on the criteria used by the House.”

On Friday, House Democrats closed their opening arguments after 24 hours. Trump’s defense team will get the same amount of time for its response.

Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the case against Trump had nothing to do with feelings of hatred or anger against the president, as many Republicans have claimed.

“I only hate what he has done to the country,” Schiff said in his final remarks before leaving the Senate floor. “I grieve for what he has done to this country.”

Republicans have largely stood by the president throughout the week, and because they hold a majority in the Senate, it remains unlikely that Trump will be removed from office.

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Former US Rep. Pete Stark, California Dem who helped draft ObamaCare legislation, dies at 88

Westlake Legal Group pete-stark Former US Rep. Pete Stark, California Dem who helped draft ObamaCare legislation, dies at 88 fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 1b61523e-57d4-586d-a3ee-f9a04d3938ce

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Stark, an outspoken progressive California Democrat who was an anti-war activist, died at his home in Maryland on Friday at age 88, his family said.

During his 40-year career, Stark left a lasting impact on health care, helping to create COBRA, which allows people to keep getting health insurance for a period of time after leaving a job and he helped draft the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“Today, America has lost a champion of the people and a leader of great integrity, moral courage and compassion,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “Congressman Pete Stark was a master legislator who used his gavel to give a voice to the voiceless, and he will be deeply missed by Congress, Californians and all Americans.”

ELIJAH CUMMINGS DEAD AT 68

Stark drew criticism from Republicans over the years — not only for his political stands but also for some of his comments. He once called former U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., “a whore for the insurance industry” who acquired information through “pillow talk,” and once claimed GOP lawmakers approved sending U.S. troops to Iraq so they could “get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement,” Politico reported.

Stark started his career as a banker where he gave free child care to his employees before running for Congress in the San Francisco area’s East Bay in 1972.

“Pete Stark gave the East Bay decades of public service as a voice in Congress for working people,” U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who won Stark’s seat in 2012, tweeted. “His knowledge of policy, particularly health care, & his opposition to unnecessary wars demonstrated his deep care and spirit. Our community mourns his loss.”

“Pete Stark was a giant,” Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents California’s nearby 17th Congressional District, tweeted. “He opposed the Vietnam and Iraq wars. He was for single payer before it was popular. He was a friend and mentor and helped build the progressive movement, even when it was lonely.”

Stark is also remembered for his “persistent” work for LGBTQ rights, foster children and paid family leave.

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He leaves behind his wife Deborah Roderick Stark, seven children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, The Chronicle reported.

Westlake Legal Group pete-stark Former US Rep. Pete Stark, California Dem who helped draft ObamaCare legislation, dies at 88 fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 1b61523e-57d4-586d-a3ee-f9a04d3938ce   Westlake Legal Group pete-stark Former US Rep. Pete Stark, California Dem who helped draft ObamaCare legislation, dies at 88 fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 1b61523e-57d4-586d-a3ee-f9a04d3938ce

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Jessica Simpson’s shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned

Jessica Simpson is baring it all in her upcoming memoir, “Open Book.”

The singer, 39, talks about the most intimate moments in her life including her marriage to Nick Lachey, sexual abuse she experienced during her childhood, and the pressure she felt to lose weight, which led her to use diet pills.

Here are the five most shocking things we learned from her powerful new book.

JESSICA SIMPSON TALKS MOTHERHOOD, SAYS HAVING 3 YOUNG CHILDREN IS ‘NO JOKE’

1. Simpson’s past sexual abuse

The mother of three revealed that she was inappropriately touched by a family friend’s daughter when she was 6 years old.

Westlake Legal Group simpson Jessica Simpson's shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 290e06fb-387d-5f0f-b39a-55c98f20c3f5

Jessica Simpson arrives at a hotel in SoHo on September 25, 2019 in New York City.  (Raymond Hall/GC Images)

“It would start with tickling my back and then go into things that were extremely uncomfortable… I was the victim but somehow I felt in the wrong,” Simpson described in an excerpt from the memoir shared with People magazine.

JESSICA SIMPSON REVEALS PAST SEXUAL ABUSE AND ADDICTION ISSUES IN TELL-ALL MEMOIR

It took Simpson six years to tell her parents, Tina Simpson and Joe Simpson, and her dad “said nothing” but “we never stayed at my parents’ friend’s house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”

2. Alcohol and pill abuse

The suppressed trauma led Simpson to turn to alcohol and pills.

“I was killing myself with all the drinking and the pills,” she admitted in her book. She got sober in 2017 after she was too “zoned out” on Halloween to help get her kids ready for a party, Simpson said.

“I was terrified of letting [my kids] see me in that shape,” the fashion designer admitted. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.”

Later that night, Simpson said she took an Ambien and woke up late the next morning in an effort to avoid her kids — “I slept in, afraid to see them, afraid I had failed them. I hid until they left, then drank.”

JESSICA SIMPSON REALIZED SHE HAD TO STOP DRINKING AFTER SHE WAS UNABLE TO DRESS HER KIDS FOR HALLOWEEN

Simpson realized her lifestyle choices weren’t healthy and told a few close friends that she needed help. “I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s alcohol that’s doing this and making things worse, then I quit,” she recalled. “Giving up the alcohol was easy. I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.”

3. Her first marriage to Nick Lachey

Simpson divulged about meeting the boy-band singer at an industry Christmas party when she was just 18 and he was 25.

“Nick loved the fact I was so strong in my faith and that I had this wide-eyed innocent approach to life,” she wrote in passages published by People. “When he proposed in 2002, I said yes.”

Westlake Legal Group RT_NickLacheyJessicaSimpson Jessica Simpson's shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 290e06fb-387d-5f0f-b39a-55c98f20c3f5

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson arrive for the MTV “Bash,” a night of comedy at the expense of MTV VJ Carson Daly in Hollywood. (Reuters)

Simpson said Lachey was her first love and she was enamored by the musician. Their relationship was featured in its own reality TV show, “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica,” which chronicled their personal life and catapulted them to superstar status in pop culture.

Though their show only lasted from 2003 to 2005, Simpson said during this time that she and Lachey struggled to keep pieces of their marriage intact and admitted that she felt she was doing their fans a disservice by pretending everything was perfect.

JESSICA SIMPSON DETAILS WHAT WENT WRONG DURING MARRIAGE TO NICK LACHEY

“I couldn’t lie to our fans and give somebody hope that we were the perfect golden couple,” she said. “We were young and pioneering our way through reality television, always [mic’d] and always on.”

“We worked and we were great at it but when it came time to being alone, we weren’t great at it anymore,” Simpson explained. “We really got crushed by the media and by ourselves. I couldn’t lie to our fans and I couldn’t give somebody hope that we were this perfect golden couple.”

4. Weight and body issues 

Simpson was allegedly asked to lose 15 pounds at age 17 by Tommy Mottola, former CEO and chairman of Sony Music Entertainment, before she was signed, according to People.

Simpson claimed that Mottola insinuated to her that she needed to be thinner to make it in the industry and other execs allegedly asked her to show more skin. Simpson said she ultimately reached Mottola’s weight goal but was “so freaking hungry.”

JESSICA SIMPSON TURNED TO DIET PILLS AFTER RECORD LABEL CEO TOMMY MOTTOLA ASKED HER TO DROP 15 POUNDS AT 17

Simpson said she had weighed 118 pounds and was 5-foot-3 at the time. Mottola’s request led the singer to turn to diet pills in order to drop to 103 pounds. She would continue to pop diet pills for “the next twenty years.”

Westlake Legal Group jessica-simpson-2000-getty Jessica Simpson's shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 290e06fb-387d-5f0f-b39a-55c98f20c3f5

Jessica Simpson is all smiles at the Water Club where Teen People magazine and Columbia Records hosted a party to promote her new album, Irresistible. (Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Also at age 17, Simpson said she began taking sleeping pills in an effort to get the voices in her head to stop taunting her about her weight.

“I started hearing voices when I was alone at night, waiting for the sleeping pill to kick in, ‘Do more sit-ups, fat a–,'” she wrote.

5. Simpson’s sex life 

Simpson talks about her dating life, including her relationship with singer John Mayer.

In a 2010 interview with Playboy, Mayer, now 42, called Simpson “sexual napalm,” which she did not find flattering.

“He thought that was what I wanted to be called,” Simpson told People magazine. “I was floored and embarrassed that my grandmother was actually gonna read that.”

JESSICA SIMPSON REVEALS PAST SEXUAL ABUSE AND ADDICTION ISSUES IN TELL-ALL MEMOIR

She added: “A woman and how they are in bed is not something that is ever talked about. It was shocking.”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-74677489 Jessica Simpson's shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 290e06fb-387d-5f0f-b39a-55c98f20c3f5

John Mayer and Jessica Simpson at the Stereo in New York City, New York (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage) (Getty)

“He was the most loyal person on the planet and when I read that he wasn’t, that was it for me,” Simpson said. “I erased his number. He made it easy for me to walk away.”

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Mayer apologized in 2017, telling The New York Times that the statement was “far out of touch.”

“I know that he’s publicly apologized and I don’t want to take that away from him,” Simpson said. “I think he knows a lot of this about me already but he doesn’t know the perspective I have as a woman. That was Jess in her 20s.”

Fox News’ Julius Young, Nate Day, and Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125664264001_6125661299001-vs Jessica Simpson's shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 290e06fb-387d-5f0f-b39a-55c98f20c3f5   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125664264001_6125661299001-vs Jessica Simpson's shocking tell-all memoir: 5 things we learned Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 290e06fb-387d-5f0f-b39a-55c98f20c3f5

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Cindy Axne, Congresswoman From Iowa Swing District, Endorses Joe Biden

Westlake Legal Group 25dems-facebookJumbo Cindy Axne, Congresswoman From Iowa Swing District, Endorses Joe Biden United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Midterm Elections (2018) Endorsements Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Axne, Cindy

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Representative Cindy Axne of Iowa is endorsing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., giving him another prominent backer with just over a week until the state’s caucuses.

Ms. Axne, a freshman Democrat who unseated a Republican incumbent, hails from the kind of swing district that was key to the party’s takeover of the House in the 2018 midterm elections, and will be crucial to its continued control of the chamber.

“He is who I believe is the one sure bet to beat Donald Trump,” Ms. Axne said in an interview, describing him as “a person who can bridge the divisiveness in this country.”

Mr. Biden has now been endorsed by two of Iowa’s three Democrats in Congress. Representative Abby Finkenauer, another freshman who also flipped a Republican-held seat in 2018, endorsed him in early January. The state’s other House Democrat, Representative Dave Loebsack, has endorsed former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

The endorsement comes as campaigning in the presidential primary resumes in force, after a week in which the senators who are running were confined to Washington for the impeachment trial of President Trump. After an abbreviated impeachment session on Saturday, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar were scheduled to fly to Iowa to resume their courting of the state’s Democrats, who will start the nominating process on Feb. 3 with caucuses across the state.

Ms. Axne is set to appear with Mr. Biden on Saturday night when he holds a campaign event in her district in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines. Earlier Saturday, Mr. Biden was scheduled to hold an event in Salem, N.H., before flying to Iowa.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Biden stresses the importance of choosing a Democratic presidential nominee who will help candidates down the ballot, and he frequently cites his efforts campaigning for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, when the party won control of the House.

“Who do they most want to run with?” Mr. Biden said in Claremont, N.H., on Friday, noting the importance of keeping control of the House. “Who will most help them from the top of the ticket? That’s for you to decide. Obviously, I think I’m the guy.”

Ms. Axne’s district includes Iowa’s most populous city, Des Moines, and covers the southwestern corner of the state. President Barack Obama won the district in 2012, but Mr. Trump carried it in 2016. Two years later, in the midterm elections, Ms. Axne unseated Representative David Young, a two-term Republican.

Ms. Axne said she believed that Mr. Biden would drive turnout in districts like hers, and emphasized the importance of protecting the Democratic majority in the House.

“Any message that doesn’t focus on hope and bringing this country together, that doesn’t have solid pragmatic solutions to solve the issues that we’re seeing today, if we don’t have somebody who has that type of message, I do believe it could hurt folks like us,” she said.

She also nodded to what she suggested was Mr. Biden’s broad appeal. “I truly believe that there are Iowans that would have some difficulty with some of the positions by other people running in this party,” she said.

Mr. Biden campaigned in Iowa this past week with another House member from a swing district, Representative Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania. This weekend, Ms. Finkenauer, Representative Colin Allred of Texas and Representative Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania are scheduled to campaign for Mr. Biden in the state in what his campaign is billing as a “We Know Joe” tour.

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Donald Trump Has Been A Strong Witness Against Himself

Westlake Legal Group 5e2b123b21000019030002e1 Donald Trump Has Been A Strong Witness Against Himself

WASHINGTON ― The biggest unanswered question about the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is whether it will feature any new witness testimony. 

But even if Democrats can’t drag in White House officials like acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney or former national security adviser John Bolton, they already have evidence from someone much better: Donald J. Trump himself, who has provided some of the most incriminating remarks in the impeachment trial.

After an unidentified official blew the whistle on the president last August for trying to coerce a foreign government into helping him win the 2020 election, the White House released a partial transcript of the phone call that sparked the complaint. Republicans contend that it shows Trump cares about corruption; Democrats say that it shows Trump asking the Ukrainian president for a sham investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. 

If there was any doubt about which side is right, Trump has explained exactly what he wanted from Ukraine.

“I would think that, if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said outside the White House on Oct. 3 last year. “It’s a very simple answer.”

During the first three days of arguments in front of the U.S. Senate, Democratic House impeachment managers played the clip of Trump’s comment at least four times.

As the president’s legal team assumes control of the proceedings on Saturday, they’ll have to come up with a credible explanation for his comments ― something that Trump’s defenders in Congress have struggled to do so far. 

“I can’t imagine being in the position of being President Trump’s attorney, because he says things all the time that are directly contradictory to his own interests, to his defense strategy or to what he said yesterday,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told HuffPost this week.

The Oct. 3 clip is just one of several videos Democrats have shown repeatedly at trial. In another, from a June 12 ABC News interview, the president said that if a foreign government offered dirt on an opponent, he’d accept it ― contrary to campaign finance law, which prohibits candidates from accepting anything of value from foreign governments. 

“There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump said in the video. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said,] ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

In an Oct. 17 video shown at least four times, a reporter explicitly asked Mulvaney to confirm that the Trump administration had withheld military assistance from Ukraine as a “quid pro quo” in return for political favors.

“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said, adding a moment later: “Get over it.”

Democrats, obviously, think the videos are great stuff, even though they’re not new. 

“The video is telling the story very powerfully and the president of the United States and his chief of staff … basically confessed to the violations that they’re charged with,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said. 

Republicans are less impressed. “Old stuff,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). 

But in the months since the videos were recorded, Republicans haven’t come up with a compelling defense of a president openly demanding that a foreign government investigate his political opponent. They have argued instead that the Democrats used a flawed process in the House impeachment inquiry. 

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) acknowledged this week that the Biden request was bad. “I wouldn’t have done it myself, but it’s not impeachable,” Braun told HuffPost. 

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of the House members advising Trump’s trial team, seemed to concede that the president’s statements have not helped his case, but Meadows suggested the public has already factored in those remarks. 

“The poor narratives are already out there,” Meadows said. “I don’t see anything that could get any worse.”

Trump’s call for a “major investigation” of Biden by Ukraine points to a fundamental question: Is it OK for the president to ask a foreign government to investigate his political rival? 

Many Republicans have avoided giving a yes or no answer. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told HuffPost that, speaking hypothetically, if a president asked a foreign government for electoral assistance, “it would not be a good thing.” But he said that’s not what Trump did on his phone call. 

So what did Trump do?

“I think that he asked the Ukrainian president if the government would cooperate in ongoing American investigations, DOJ investigations, which seems fine to me,” Hawley said.

On the call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to talk to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and to U.S. Attorney General William Barr about investigating both Biden and a conspiracy theory (favored by Trump) that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

The Department of Justice said in September that it had nothing to do with any investigation into Biden. “The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son,” a DOJ spokesperson said at the time. “The president has not asked the attorney general to contact Ukraine — on this or any other matter.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ― who is probably the president’s biggest Senate defender and someone who has described Trump’s impeachment as a “lynching” ― acknowledged this week that the president might be wrong about a few things. 

“The president believes that what happened in the Ukraine with the Bidens was inappropriate. Now, whether or not that will withstand scrutiny, I don’t know,” Graham said, adding that the Ukrainian government was definitely not a bad actor in 2016. 

“All I can do tell you is that from the president’s point of view, he did nothing wrong in his mind,” Graham said.

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Chicago-area cigar lounge shooting: Woman fires at 3 men, killing 1, then kills self, police say

Westlake Legal Group Police-line Chicago-area cigar lounge shooting: Woman fires at 3 men, killing 1, then kills self, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio beb8488d-afb0-5c09-aa5b-ebe6e92a9d2e article

A 51-year-old woman fatally shot a 51-year-old man at a Chicago-area cigar lounge Friday night before turning the gun on herself, according to reports.

Two other men were wounded after the gunfire broke out at The Humidor in Lisle, Ill., about 26 miles west of downtown Chicago, WMAQ-TV reported.

ILLINOIS WOMAN MISSING SINCE LATE DECEMBER FOUND DEAD IN TRUNK OF HER CAR

“The person responsible for the shooting did take their own life,” police told the station.

The woman had shot all three of the men, Lisle police Chief Ron Wilkes told the Chicago Tribune. The two wounded men were taken to hospitals, he said.

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“At this point we have no idea why this happened,” Wilkes told the newspaper. “We’re interviewing a lot of witnesses and hope to get to the bottom of this.”

Westlake Legal Group Police-line Chicago-area cigar lounge shooting: Woman fires at 3 men, killing 1, then kills self, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio beb8488d-afb0-5c09-aa5b-ebe6e92a9d2e article   Westlake Legal Group Police-line Chicago-area cigar lounge shooting: Woman fires at 3 men, killing 1, then kills self, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/illinois fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime/chicagos-crime-wave fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio beb8488d-afb0-5c09-aa5b-ebe6e92a9d2e article

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Karen Pence: The Trump-Pence administration is working tirelessly for America’s veterans and military families

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113960344001_6113972182001-vs Karen Pence: The Trump-Pence administration is working tirelessly for America's veterans and military families Karen Pence fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 82c5003e-f52b-59f7-933e-cf3cf68a2014

None of my duties and experiences as second lady of the United States has been as fulfilling as the opportunity to work with those who have served and sacrificed for this country: America’s military service members, spouses, veterans, and their families. As a proud Blue Star mom of a U.S. Marine, I have a deeper understanding of the daily sacrifices. Without a doubt, our Armed Forces deserve our respect and care.

In 2016, President Trump and my husband, Vice President Mike Pence, placed veterans at the very center of their campaign, promising to do right by the men and women who put their lives on the line for this country, many of whom served in the decade and a half following Sept. 11, 2001. Veterans rewarded that commitment with their support, voting Republican by a ratio of nearly two to one in the 2016 presidential election and remaining steadfastly behind this administration ever since.

The president and the vice president have ceaselessly endeavored to honor this country’s promises to military service members and their families. First and foremost, this administration has fulfilled its pledge to remold American foreign policy and stop the open-ended overseas deployments that put Americans in harm’s way and separate them from their families for years on end.

CALIFORNIA POLICE FIND 106-YEAR-OLD VET’S CLASSIC CADILLAC, GIFTED BY RITA HAYWORTH, AFTER THIEVES STEAL IT

While the realities of our unstable world and the continued existence of groups that would do us harm necessitate a continued American military presence in certain parts of the world, the past three years mark the first time in a generation that we’ve gone so long without new, large-scale combat deployments. That hasn’t stopped us from achieving extraordinary successes, including the eradication of the Islamic State’s “caliphate” of medieval brutality and the elimination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the terrorist monster who once reigned as its despot.

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Still, the sacrifices made during the years of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and countless other deployments in the War on Terror — not to mention earlier conflicts — are still fresh in the minds of thousands of military families who must live with the physical and psychological consequences of those conflicts.

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Over the course of this administration, I’ve had the honor to try to help alleviate those deep scars. I’ve worked to bring awareness and access to creative arts therapies for those with service-related traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to hear wounded warriors tell me of the relief that treatment has brought them.

Americans consider it a sacred duty to reward veterans for their service and ease the suffering many of them endure as a result. During the previous administration, our Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sometimes fell woefully short of upholding that duty. Our president and vice president promised to rectify the shortcomings, and they have kept that promise.

The president recently signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act — the largest-ever investment in the United States military. Before President Trump and Vice President Pence took office, the military experienced destructive budget cuts on a regular basis. As candidates, they promised to reverse this devastating trend, and I’m proud to say they have delivered.

In the last fiscal year, the president secured the largest budget for the VA in history: $86.5 billion. But money alone was not enough. The president also signed the VA MISSION Act, a bill to dramatically improve healthcare quality and choice for veterans, and the “Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2019,” which extends key programs for veterans such as anti-homelessness initiatives.

He has also implemented major reforms of VA management, signing a bill to create a new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the VA in order to make it easier to fire bureaucrats who are not delivering for veterans and replace them with competent employees who will give our veterans the quality of service they deserve.

We all have a duty to the families of those who serve: men and women who make sacrifices of their own to support their spouses, parents, and children in uniform. That’s why I’ve been so proud to lead an awareness campaign to elevate and encourage our military spouses. I’ve met hundreds of spouses who live throughout the United States and other parts of the world in helping to address military spouse unemployment, one of their biggest challenges.

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As part of the effort to encourage more business to hire and retain veterans’ spouses, I’ve had the honor of celebrating the new Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones (MSEEZ) around the country to help ensure those military family members are able to enjoy their fair share of the jobs and prosperity created by the strong and growing Trump economy.

As we move into the thick of the 2020 presidential campaign, the Veterans for Trump coalition will be an indispensable element of the movement to secure another four years of progress for veterans and military families. My hope is that veterans will look at the promises kept so far and decide to entrust this administration with another four years to continue this important work.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113960344001_6113972182001-vs Karen Pence: The Trump-Pence administration is working tirelessly for America's veterans and military families Karen Pence fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 82c5003e-f52b-59f7-933e-cf3cf68a2014   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113960344001_6113972182001-vs Karen Pence: The Trump-Pence administration is working tirelessly for America's veterans and military families Karen Pence fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 82c5003e-f52b-59f7-933e-cf3cf68a2014

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Donald Trump Has Been A Strong Witness Against Himself

Westlake Legal Group 5e2b123b21000019030002e1 Donald Trump Has Been A Strong Witness Against Himself

WASHINGTON ― The biggest unanswered question about the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is whether it will feature any new witness testimony. 

But even if Democrats can’t drag in White House officials like acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney or former national security adviser John Bolton, they already have evidence from someone much better: Donald J. Trump himself, who has provided some of the most incriminating remarks in the impeachment trial.

After an unidentified official blew the whistle on the president last August for trying to coerce a foreign government into helping him win the 2020 election, the White House released a partial transcript of the phone call that sparked the complaint. Republicans contend that it shows Trump cares about corruption; Democrats say that it shows Trump asking the Ukrainian president for a sham investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. 

If there was any doubt about which side is right, Trump has explained exactly what he wanted from Ukraine.

“I would think that, if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said outside the White House on Oct. 3 last year. “It’s a very simple answer.”

During the first three days of arguments in front of the U.S. Senate, Democratic House impeachment managers played the clip of Trump’s comment at least four times.

As the president’s legal team assumes control of the proceedings on Saturday, they’ll have to come up with a credible explanation for his comments ― something that Trump’s defenders in Congress have struggled to do so far. 

“I can’t imagine being in the position of being President Trump’s attorney, because he says things all the time that are directly contradictory to his own interests, to his defense strategy or to what he said yesterday,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told HuffPost this week.

The Oct. 3 clip is just one of several videos Democrats have shown repeatedly at trial. In another, from a June 12 ABC News interview, the president said that if a foreign government offered dirt on an opponent, he’d accept it ― contrary to campaign finance law, which prohibits candidates from accepting anything of value from foreign governments. 

“There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump said in the video. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said,] ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

In an Oct. 17 video shown at least four times, a reporter explicitly asked Mulvaney to confirm that the Trump administration had withheld military assistance from Ukraine as a “quid pro quo” in return for political favors.

“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said, adding a moment later: “Get over it.”

Democrats, obviously, think the videos are great stuff, even though they’re not new. 

“The video is telling the story very powerfully and the president of the United States and his chief of staff … basically confessed to the violations that they’re charged with,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said. 

Republicans are less impressed. “Old stuff,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). 

But in the months since the videos were recorded, Republicans haven’t come up with a compelling defense of a president openly demanding that a foreign government investigate his political opponent. They have argued instead that the Democrats used a flawed process in the House impeachment inquiry. 

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) acknowledged this week that the Biden request was bad. “I wouldn’t have done it myself, but it’s not impeachable,” Braun told HuffPost. 

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of the House members advising Trump’s trial team, seemed to concede that the president’s statements have not helped his case, but Meadows suggested the public has already factored in those remarks. 

“The poor narratives are already out there,” Meadows said. “I don’t see anything that could get any worse.”

Trump’s call for a “major investigation” of Biden by Ukraine points to a fundamental question: Is it OK for the president to ask a foreign government to investigate his political rival? 

Many Republicans have avoided giving a yes or no answer. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told HuffPost that, speaking hypothetically, if a president asked a foreign government for electoral assistance, “it would not be a good thing.” But he said that’s not what Trump did on his phone call. 

So what did Trump do?

“I think that he asked the Ukrainian president if the government would cooperate in ongoing American investigations, DOJ investigations, which seems fine to me,” Hawley said.

On the call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to talk to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and to U.S. Attorney General William Barr about investigating both Biden and a conspiracy theory (favored by Trump) that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

The Department of Justice said in September that it had nothing to do with any investigation into Biden. “The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son,” a DOJ spokesperson said at the time. “The president has not asked the attorney general to contact Ukraine — on this or any other matter.” 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ― who is probably the president’s biggest Senate defender and someone who has described Trump’s impeachment as a “lynching” ― acknowledged this week that the president might be wrong about a few things. 

“The president believes that what happened in the Ukraine with the Bidens was inappropriate. Now, whether or not that will withstand scrutiny, I don’t know,” Graham said, adding that the Ukrainian government was definitely not a bad actor in 2016. 

“All I can do tell you is that from the president’s point of view, he did nothing wrong in his mind,” Graham said.

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Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: ‘Everything came together as a perfect storm’

More than two years after Aaron Hernandez took his life, the former NFL star is the subject of a shocking new documentary.

Netflix recently released “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” a three-part series that aims to examine the rise and fall of the late New England Patriots tight end.

Hernandez, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2015, hanged himself in 2017 at age 27. He was discovered in his cell by corrections officer at a Massachusetts prison, the New York Times reported.

Executive producer Kevin Armstrong, who as a sportswriter originally followed Hernandez’s career, was there when the star was arrested and charged with the killing of semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez’s fiancée.

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“I covered all 10 weeks of his first trial regarding the killing of Odin Lloyd,” Armstrong explained to Fox News. “Aaron was a very confident defendant. I really, truly believe that he thought he would get off… He walked into the courtroom each day with a bit of a swagger, a confident gate that he had. And even at the very end when he was convicted, it was pretty clear that he was surprised.

“He looked back at his fiancée and his mother and he tried to console them a little bit,” Armstrong continued. “His mother kept on saying, ‘Come back, come back.’ And I’ll never forget that sight. Obviously they had a very difficult relationship, which we get into the docuseries. But at the end of the day, Aaron was very confident that he could get off throughout the first time.”

Armstrong is aware that the documentary has already faced some controversy. Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez, who participated in the series, told TMZ the series implied his client agonized over his sexual orientation and might have even taken his life because of his secret. He argued that Hernandez’s death was triggered by severe CTE — a degenerative brain disease that affects memory, judgment and behavior.

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Westlake Legal Group d416173d-Getty_2 Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

While Jose Baez (left) participated in the new Netflix documentary about the life and death of Aaron Hernandez, Shayanna Jenkins announced she was stepping away from social media. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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“We appreciate [Baez] sitting down with us,” said Armstrong. “We definitely sought him as someone who could provide perspective. But at the end of the day, I’m not sure that any of us truly know why Aaron Hernandez did what he did. Obviously, in the docuseries we explore a number of things from sexuality to CTE to drug use and even just his family development as a child. So I think that all of us are still trying to search for what exactly it was that led Aaron Hernandez to make the decisions he made.”

In the special, Dennis SanSoucie, who played high school football with Hernandez, claimed they had an on-and-off relationship “from the 7th grade to the junior year of high school.” SanSoucie alleged there were few people at their school who were “out of the closet,” and therefore they had to “hide what we were.”

“I was in such denial… because I was an athlete,” said SanSoucie. “You mean to tell me that the quarterback and the tight end was gay? He sleeps with other men? No, it doesn’t sit right with people. It doesn’t sit right within our own stomach at the time.”

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Westlake Legal Group KillerInside_TheMindofAaronHernandez_LimitedSeries_Episode1_00_15_09_15 Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

In the first episode of the three-part series “Killer Inside,” high school quarterback Dennis SanSoucie alleges that he and Hernandez were in “an on and off relationship from seventh grade to junior year of high school.” (Netflix)

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Following Hernandez’s suicide, rumors began circulating that he had a relationship with another prisoner.

Jenkins, who did not participate in the documentary, told Dr. Phil in 2017 she did not believe Hernandez was gay or bisexual. She stressed he was “very much a man” and called the rumors “embarrassing” and “hurtful.”

Armstrong stood by the special’s deep dive into Hernandez’s violent, brief life.

“We wanted to provide proper perspective throughout,” he explained. “We took pride in panoramic reporting, really speaking to everybody from every angle, exhausting all resources that we had… We tried to really put that in the context of what led Aaron Hernandez to make some of the decisions he made across his life… I think it’s an open question in terms of just how much Aaron’s compartmentalization of his life really weighed on him over the years.”

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Westlake Legal Group George-Rizer-for-The-Boston-Globe-via-Getty Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

Aaron Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd and was sentenced to life in prison. (George Rizer for The Boston Globe via Getty)

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But one thing both Armstrong and Baez agreed on is that Hernandez seemed elated during his final days — at first. Just a few days before his death, Hernandez was found not guilty in a second murder case, a 2012 drive-by shooting of two people in Boston.

Transcripts the Bristol County sheriff released last year of more than 900 jailhouse telephone conversations Hernandez had with family and friends showed he was expected to be released from jail and resume his football career. Hernandez had a five-year, $40 million deal with the Patriots at the time of his arrest.

“I think Aaron had reason to be optimistic in his final days,” said Armstrong. “A week earlier he gained the acquittal in the double homicide case… There [were] a lot of things going well for him and it had been a number of years since he had really had success with anything… But in those final days, I think Aaron made a decision where he was still serving a life sentence. He had the possibility of pursuing the appeal and Jose Baez potentially being the attorney to represent him in that appeal as well. But at the end of the day, he made the decision that he did.”

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Westlake Legal Group Elise-Amendola_AP_5 Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) hangs on to the ball as New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris (52) takes off his helmet on a hit during the first half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. ((AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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After Hernandez’s death, doctors found he had advanced CTE, which is linked to concussions and other head trauma commonplace in the NFL.

“I think [CTE] was a part of his decision-making, but I think there was an entire cocktail of events here in terms of the stresses and strains of life [that impacted him],” said Armstrong. “He was a young father, he had a flophouse, he had the secondary life where he kept other things away from people… Everything came together as a bit of a perfect storm for him.”

According to state police, the player wrote “John 3:16,” a reference to a Bible verse, in ink on his forehead, as well as in blood on a cell wall. The verse says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

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Westlake Legal Group Yoon-S.-Byun_The-Boston-Globe-via-Getty-Images Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

Trophies and a picture of Odin Lloyd were left at 10 Fayston Street where Lloyd resided in Dorchester neighborhood of Boston on June 20, 2013. Lloyd’s body was found in North Attleborough. (Photo by Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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A Bible was also found nearby, open to John 3:16. The verse was marked with a drop of blood. Authorities said that Hernandez was a member of the Bloods gang and had been disciplined for having gang paraphernalia behind bars.

“I know Aaron often pointed to a tattoo on his arm,” said Armstrong. “It says, ‘If it is to be, it is up to me.’ His father had given that to him. It was a saying that he had used… That was a message from his father — you’re responsible for the decisions you make. I think both father and son made some bad decisions [in their lifetimes].”

Hernandez’s story continues to both horrify and fascinate audiences. Prior to the Netflix special, other documentaries aired on both Oxygen and Investigation Discovery [ID]. There was also a “48 Hours” special, along with books by bestselling author James Patterson and even Baez.

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Westlake Legal Group 319f796c-Getty_1 Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

Aaron Hernandez blowing a kiss to his daughter. (Getty)

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“I think the most intriguing part of Aaron’s story is he had everything,” said Armstrong. “And this was the time [in] his life when he made the decision to kill Odin Lloyd…  There’s just so many strands to him that after following his story for seven years, and even knowing him as a reporter, I think there [are] layers that continue to unravel at even two years past his death.”

“Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” is currently streaming on Netflix. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126308646001_6126308955001-vs Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126308646001_6126308955001-vs Aaron Hernandez Netflix documentary explores his sexuality, final days: 'Everything came together as a perfect storm' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/organization/netflix fox-news/entertainment/genres/streaming fox-news/entertainment/genres/documentary fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c78cbc26-def9-52b7-a0f7-487fcb572c46 article

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#AdamSchiffHasMyRespect Trends After Powerful Closing Speech In Impeachment Trial Goes Viral

Westlake Legal Group ysflSUc01DI_AI0JIzJWgWnBwudZwdoXJ_Ojoo2_u88 #AdamSchiffHasMyRespect Trends After Powerful Closing Speech In Impeachment Trial Goes Viral r/politics

John Oliver has an analogy

Trump is like a 5yo that’s Shitting in the salad bar at a restaurant. At some point you’ve got to stop focusing on the kid and look at the parents and others that are not stopping him.

It’s incomplete

This particular 5year old is just barely intelligent enough to know that his parents are making a fortune running a child prostitution business in their basement and many of the customers of the restaurant are their customers too.

If they try to stop him shitting in the salad bar or doing anything else to upset him he might blow the lid on everything.

So they insist

  • He’s not actually shitting

  • And if he is nobody wanted the salad anyway

  • And if they did he should be allowed to do it.

  • And they should enjoy the taste because it’s prince shit

And then they sit down to enjoy their own salad.

The prior decades of corruption they largely got away with have led the GOP to be slaves to a moron 5year old that’s in a perpetual state of tantrum and shitting on everything.

They don’t really have a choice now, unfortunately they’re going enable him to shit all over America

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