Bolton: House Democrats botched impeachment with ‘partisan process’

Ambassador John Bolton, who was President Trump's national security adviser, has deep familiarity with Republican administrations. But as he describes in a new book, "The Room Where It Happened," Bolton found Trump's divergence from presidential norms "stunning." Bolton's claims about Trump's foreign policy, in particular, have stirred national controversy. Bolton joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

Senate Republicans recommit themselves to Trump—no matter how much he endangers the country

Sure, Donald Trump is unfit. Sure, Trump may have begged yet another country—China—to help him win reelection. Sure, Trump is emotionally damaged and intellectually addled, according to a written account by his former national security adviser John Bolton. 

But does that matter to the Senate Republicans who cosigned Trump's presidency by saving him from conviction without hearing from a single witness? Are you high? No effing way do they have the integrity required for a little self-examination, according to CNN reporting. They're in the tank for Trump—always have been, always will be, no matter what.

Wanna give Senate Republicans the boot? Give $2 right now to say “Bye Felicia” this November.

Asked whether Senate Republicans should have sought to secure Bolton's testimony now that his book is out, the ever-reflective Sen. Ron Johnson responded, "No," adding, "We never should have had an impeachment trial."

Of course, that's not what Bolton said. Based on Trump's persistent pattern of placing his own personal and electoral needs over duty to the country, Bolton said Trump should have been investigated and impeached for more, not less. Trump engaged in "obstruction of justice as a way of life," as Bolton said, referring to his interventions in criminal investigations for personal favors.

Still, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who's likely one of the top two most-endangered GOP senators seeking reelection, had the nerve to speak up and blame House Democrats for not taking Bolton to court over this unwillingness to testify. "The House didn't think it was important," Sen. Gardner quipped. What a weasel. Bolton, who's no hero, did publicly express his willingness to testify in front of the GOP-led Senate—the Republican caucus just refused to hear from him, or any other witnesses for that matter.

The sole Republican senator to express regret about not hearing from Bolton also voted in favor of having witnesses at the trial. “I wish we had a trial with the people testifying under oath,” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters.

But most Republicans did the only logical thing one could do in the face of a 500-page manuscript documenting the myriad ways in which Trump is selling out and endangering the country: They refused to comment. 

Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, however, really went the extra mile, affirming that he's more convinced than ever that Trump's the right guy for the job despite begging China to buy more agricultural products in order to secure his reelection. "Different people use different sales techniques," Barrasso offered. Whether they’re legal or not apparently isn’t relevant. "Every president has, one way or another, thought they ought to be reelected. I think President Trump should be reelected. I support his reelection, I'm for it."

Do Republicans even know the Constitution exists? They are  proving themselves more useless by the day, and have no business stewarding the country.

Bolton Trashes Trump In Seething Book, Many Say Bolton Is Lying

On Wednesday many media sources, including LifeZette, were given access to the manuscript of a new book by former U.N. Ambassador and National Security Advisor John Bolton. In it, Bolton is extremely critical of President Trump.

Bolton’s animosity stems from his bruised ego over his very public firing and the basic geopolitical disconnect between the neocon Bolton and the America First Trump.

But Bolton, who had access to America’s most sensitive secrets, wrote the book without official clearance to safeguard he is not compromising national security. As such, the Trump administration has gone to court to stop publication.

The Justice Department is seeking an emergency injunction halting the release of Bolton’s book, saying Bolton bypassed the necessary classification review process and that his manuscript still contains classified information. If so and it was published, the book could do serious damage to the country’s defense posture and international security status.

There are also those quoted in the book who claim Bolton is not relating the facts accurately.

A source close to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told media late Wednesday: “Bolton is about selling books, not about telling the truth.“ Bolton claimed, during an international meeting, Pompeo passed him a note about the president that read, “He is so full of sh**.” The source added that Pompeo isn’t a note-passer, and suggested Bolton should verify his claim by producing the purported note.

Other Trump officials, including veep Mike Pence, Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, are telling the press that Bolton is making up conversations out of whole cloth.

The president counterattacked in an interview with “Hannity” on Wednesday night and in tweets early Thursday, Trump called Bolton a “Wacko,” a “dope,” and a “disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war.” Trump said The New York Times had described Bolton’s book as “exceedingly tedious,” Trump added: “President Bush fired him also. Bolton is incompetent!”

Among other Bolton claims are these:

On the basis for impeachment Trump allegedly said, “I don’t want to have any f—ing thing to do with Ukraine. They f—ing attacked me. I can’t understand why. Ask [lawyer] Joe diGenova, he knows all about it. They tried to f–k me. They’re corrupt. I’m not f—ing with them.”

On the 2020 ticket Trump, “raised the widespread political rumor he would dump [Vice President Mike] Pence from the ticket in 2020 and run instead with [then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki] Haley, asking what I thought.”

But the most serious charges and the crux of the book deal with U.S.-Chinese relations, “Xi told Trump that the U.S.-China relationship was the most important in the world.

He said that some (unnamed) American political figures were making erroneous judgments by calling for a new Cold War with China. Whether Xi meant to finger the Democrats or some of us sitting on the U.S. side of the table, I don’t know, but Trump immediately assumed that Xi meant the Democrats.

“Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”

Bolton writes: “Xi had explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang. According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do. The National Security Council’s top Asia staffer, Matthew Pottinger, told me that Trump said something very similar during his November 2017 trip to China.”

The claims that the president considered replacing Pence and making common cause with the Chinese on concentration camps flies in the face of not only the president’s public and privately reported words, but all of his actions to this point. That is why many in and out of the media have doubts about the veracity of this book. But nevertheless, much of the press will use it to bash the president.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on June 18, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Trump’s lawsuit against John Bolton is pointless, incompetent, and weak

A million years ago, in the time before the coronavirus pandemic—a time also known as January—former National Security Advisor John Bolton had a chance to do this nation a solid. In both the House and the Senate, testimony in Donald Trump’s impeachment made it clear that Bolton was a key witness to the events during which Trump had attempted to suborn false statements from the Ukrainian government in an attempt to get a political edge over Joe Biden. Bolton then exacerbated the calls for his appearance at the hearings by leaking excerpts from an upcoming book and promising that there was blockbuster info both in connection to Ukraine and to Trump’s other foreign entanglements.

Even with Republicans putting on a genuinely history show of cowardice in voting to listen to no witnesses at all, Bolton had an opportunity. He didn’t have to testify in the Senate, he just had to … testify. He could have gone on any news show in America and made a genuine impact by revealing the information he knew about Trump’s lies, attempted bribery, incompetence, and profiteering. Instead, Bolton stayed silent, choosing to wait for the moment when his book was released to maximize his own profits while simultaneously assuring that he would not be there when his nation needed him most. So now Bolton’s book is here. Or almost here. Because despite months of review and revision to remove anything that could be considered classified, Donald Trump has now declared that everything is considered classified. Every single word that ever dropped from Trump’s lips has been retroactively classified by Trump. And now he’s suing Bolton to block the release of his book.

Even the title of Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened, suggests that Bolton was witness to a crime. And he’ll share the salacious details with the rest of us … for a price. On the one hand, there would be a definite satisfaction if Bolton, who found he liked teasing the nation more than providing vital testimony, never got to profit from his book. His abdication of his responsibilities, not just as a former government official, but as a citizen, was so egregious that watching Bolton and Trump locked in a fruitless legal snarl from now until both have shuffled off, would seem like justice of a sort.

As The New York Times reports, Trump’s suit claims that Bolton has broken an agreement for review of the manuscript and that he’s unilaterally deciding that it’s okay to go forward with the material in the book. Bolton handed over draft copies of the manuscript for review in 2019, and Bolton made changes in response to a set of initial requests. But after that, the response from the Trump White House was to simply not respond. Bolton never got the standard written release to mark the end of the review.

The suit charges Bolton with “breach of contract” in proceeding with publication and distribution of the book without securing that White House approval. Since the Justice Department now acts as Donald Trump’s personal law firm, the DOJ has asked a federal judge to both claw back Bolton’s payment for the book, and tell Bolton to get Simon & Schuster to pull copies from the shelf. The fact that the suit doesn’t name the publisher directly is an indication of just how fragile Trump’s suit really is. There are a semi-infinite number of previous cases that can be referenced when it comes to trying to block the publication of material that’s deemed to be classified, and very few of them are helpful to Trump’s position. So instead the suit skates around trying to extract either money or action directly from the publisher and attempts to both go after Bolton’s pocketbook and force him to act to block sales of the book.

On the one hand, the careful tiptoe made by the DOJ in framing the suit to skirt the publisher is a sign that even William Barr understands how tenuous this attempt to block the book really is. On the other hand, the suit includes claims that Bolton leaked classified information. Leaking classified information is a federal crime. Bolton hasn’t been charged with that crime, but including that claim in the lawsuit certainly suggests that if he doesn’t agree to a further delay of the book, those charges could appear.

But … overall the effort from the DOJ seems to be halfhearted. Everything points to this being more an exercise in Barr making Trump happy than a serious attempt to block publication. Simon & Schuster has actually printed and distributed hundreds of thousands of copies of Bolton’s book to warehouses, and even book stories, across the nation. There’s not so much as a request for a restraining order—even a temporary order—that would stop the publisher from simply giving stores the thumbs-up to begin sales.

Trump’s suit seems to be a good deal of smoke, but there’s little sign it contains any fire. Bolton’s book is going to be released. That doesn’t mean it should be bought.

John Cusack Outrageously Claims Military Has ‘Abandoned’ Trump: Says Supporters He Still Has Are Racist

The radically liberal actor John Cusack had yet another unhinged meltdown stemming from Donald Trump and his supporters. In a deranged tweet that was full of typos, Cusack claimed that the president is “playing for an exit strategy” and that the only supporters he has left are racist.

“Trump is playing for an exit strategy—that keeps him from jail- miltary [sic] has abandoned his fascism—all he’s got left is rascists [sic]- He wants something to leverage – to stay out of jail,” Cusack tweeted, noticeably misspelling the words “military” and “racists.”

In another tweet today, Cusack called Trump a “bloated punk,” which just goes to show how deep his hatred for the president runs.

Cusack’s Twitter page is full of disturbing meltdowns against Trump and those who voted for him, indicating all-consuming hatred for the president equivalent to many of his Hollywood cohorts. Back in March, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Cusack called for another impeachment effort against Trump, saying it was necessary to “save lives.”

“We need strikes /  and we need to remove trump from power to save lives Impeach him again / Pressure for 25th,” he tweeted on March 31.

All Cusack is accomplishing with these tweets is showing the world that he is just another Hollywood liberal elitist who has lost all touch with reality.

This piece was written by PopZette Staff on June 13, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Trump keeps screwing everything up and it’s killing him in the battleground states

This is the current national state of play with Donald Trump as he faces his worst job ratings in two years: 

It’s a legit roadmap of the 2020 presidential election.

Here's the current electoral map picture: 

It’s a little confusing, since the color blue in the first map “approves of Trump,” while in the second map it means the exact opposite. But it’s still not too hard to sort out: Blue states really don’t like Trump. Red states like Trump. There are the edge-case states—states that are evenly divided on the question, but aren’t current battlegrounds (Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah). And then there are the seven battlegrounds—all states that voted for Trump in 2016, and all states in which his numbers are currently net-negative. 

Approve DisapproVe net Arizona Florida Georgia Michigan North Carolina Pennsylvania Wisconsin
42 56 -14
46 51 -5
45 51 -6
42 55 -13
45 53 -8
44 52 -8
45 53 -8

Arizona continues to surprise. Who would’ve thought it looks better for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden than Pennsylvania does? And worse for Trump, his numbers are trending even lower. For example, let’s look at Arizona: 

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Trump has gone from -10 net favorables in Arizona, to -14. Arizona has around 4 million registered voter. Going from -10 to -14 net favorability means that around 160,000 Arizona voters changed their mind about Trump. 

Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won the state by just 56,000 votes in 2018. Democrats picked up the secretary of state office by 20,000 votes. These shifts in public opinion may seem small, but in a tight battleground state, every point matters. And it should be noted, the shift in job approvals in Arizona started during the impeachment hearings. They really did set the stage. 

Let’s look at Florida: 

Florida is Florida, balanced on a razor’s edge, but once again, impeachment took a bite out of Trump, and the pandemic is further widening the split. Looking at Michigan, however, and impeachment didn’t leave any mark, but the pandemic is: 

Click around and see for yourself, but the virus is having an impact in every one of these battleground states. (In every state, actually, but only the battlegrounds are close enough for it to matter.) This is the reason much of the battleground polling lately has been so gaudy-good for Joe Biden and Democratic down-ballot candidates (like the recent Civiqs surveys out of North Carolina and Georgia. Even South Carolina looked better than 2016 numbers).

Will it stay that way? We can’t assume that, of course. It helps us that Trump isn’t trying to actually win new voters. The a-hole is running ads mocking Biden for wearing a mask, when 72% of Americans support wearing masks. He's playing to his peanut gallery. He’s certainly not trying to minimize the continued death toll, having given up entirely on the matter. He’d rather pretend everything is fine so states open up as quickly and as fully as possible. And while some renewed economic activity is inevitable as restrictions loosen up, that still won’t save tens of millions of jobs before November. 

So will Trump be able to recapture that support he’s recently lost? It’s possible! The charts obviously do show their up-and-down fluctuations over the last four years. A skilled, capable, compassionate, and focused leader could certainly manage to parlay this crisis into broad popular support. President George W. Bush hit 90% approvals after 9/11, despite having ignored a report that literally warned that al-Qaida was about to strike the nation. The public wants to rally around their leader in a crisis. 

Trump isn’t skilled or compassionate or capable. He’s a barely functioning adult. And this crisis has made it harder and harder for people to cling to the notion that Trump is actually a good president. 

It’s hard for people to admit that their sincerely held beliefs were wrong. And politics is now akin to religion—part of one’s self-identity. Leaving the Republican Party is like leaving a cult. Not everyone can manage it. And yet, it’s happening. It happened in 2018, with suburban white women testing the waters, and the water was fine! Newly re-minted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wasn’t the boogeyman! She ended up being nothing like that asshole in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. 

And now it’s time to leave the Cult of MAGA, and it’s happening, little by little, inch by inch. It’s been enough to spot Biden a clear lead in the Electoral College, it has been enough to deprive Trump of an expanded map, it has been enough to create two new battleground states in previously red (and solidly red!) Arizona and Georgia. 

Can Trump reverse that trend? Sure, it’s within the realm of possibility, but no, he won’t. He can’t. He probably doesn’t even want to. 

Bill Maher Regrets Trump Impeachment: It ‘Turned Out To Be A Horrible Thing’

Liberal talk show host Bill Maher surprised everyone on Friday’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” when he admitted he now regrets the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying that it “turned out to be a horrible thing.”

While talking to leftwing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Maher pointed to Trump’s recent firings of various inspectors general, complaining that they got very little media attention amidst COVID-19. He believes that much of this lack of coverage can be traced back to Trump’s impeachment.

“Just the impeachment, you know, I mean, if I could do it over again I wouldn’t because it just emboldened him,” Maher said, according to Fox News. “Now he can conduct this war on accountability and nobody even— it barely made the papers. I bet you people are watching this and going, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard that because the news is all COVID.'”

Moore agreed with him, going so far as to say the removal of the government watchdogs makes Trump “very dangerous.” This comes one month after Maher called for Trump to be impeached for “favoring” states that “are nice to him” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Blaze.

“I find one of the most galling parts about this is that the president is favoring certain states over the others. Governors who are ‘nice’ to him, as he calls it, get a lot of attention and all of the equipment they want,” Maher told Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “To me, this is even more of an impeachable offense than what he did with Ukraine or Russia.”

Maher has long been vocal about his support for impeaching Trump, voicing his support for it in January of 2019. “I don’t know how we get out of this except by getting him out of office,” Maher said. “I wasn’t necessarily for impeachment until recently, but I think you have to go ahead and do it.”

Democrats were so focused on their effort to impeach Trump earlier this year that they almost completely ignored COVID-19 when the virus was starting to make its way to the U.S. Had Democrats not been distracting everyone with their impeachment nonsense, there’s no telling where we’d be with coronavirus today.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on May 24, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Obama’s office slams GOP investigation into Ukraine, Joe Biden, in private letter from March

In a letter from March, the office of former president Barack Obama condemned a congressional investigation into former vice president and now presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. You likely remember the Republicans’ incessant focus on Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural energy company. Trump and various Republican allies have alleged that there’s a scandal there, and alleged possible conflict of interest for Joe Biden, who was key on Ukraine policy at the time. And of course, Republicans had claimed this investigation had nothing to do with wanting to distract from Trump’s impeachment proceedings or the upcoming general election. 

In the private letter signed by Obama’s records representative and now available because the office released it to BuzzFeed News upon request, Obama’s office described it as an effort to "to shift the blame for Russian interference in the 2016 election to Ukraine” and said it was “without precedent." The letter, which was first obtained and reported on by BuzzFeed News, does not actually explicitly mention Biden by name, and does agree to release the requested presidential records.  

"The request for early release of presidential records in order to give credence to a Russian disinformation campaign--one that has already been thoroughly investigated by a bipartisan congressional committee--is without precedent," the letter, dated March 13 and sent to the National Archives and Records Administration (which maintains presidential records), says in part. 

As a quick review, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson made the record request in November 2019. The two senators have effectively spearheaded the investigation into the Bidens and Ukraine, and have been doing so since last fall. Both wanted records on meetings between Ukrainian officials and the Obama administration from the National Archives. 

The letter from Obama’s office refers to former National Security Council analyst and Russia expert Fiona Hill’s now-viral opening testimony about the notion that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that had a misinformation effort in the 2016 election. She said it’s “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

The Obama office relented and has allowed the records to be released "in the interest of countering the misinformation campaign underlying this request.” Former presidents (and technically, current presidents, though it’s no surprise that representatives for Trump wouldn’t do so) are allowed to review and use executive privileges on record requests thanks to a federal mandate. But neither Obama’s office nor Trump’s did so. Obama’s office released the records essentially to counter the message that is beneath the request.

The letter finishes: “We emphasize that abuse of the special access process strikes at the heart of presidential confidentiality interests and undermines the statutory framework and norms that govern access to presidential records.”

At the time of Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, Republicans went out of their way to distract from any perceived weakness and create an enemy—in this case, Hunter Biden and Ukraine. But it didn’t end there. For example, Sens. Grassley and Johnson have reportedly recently dug into Secret Service documents to see whether Joe and Hunter Biden ever overlapped on trips to Ukraine. It’s endless. Even now, as a global pandemic rages on and the United States continues to fumble public health crisis management, GOP senators continue to dig into the Burisma theories. 

Shifty Schiff: Coronavirus Deaths Fault Of Failure To Impeach Trump

Representative Adam Schiff put the blame for coronavirus deaths squarely on the fact that President Donald Trump was not impeached back in January.

Schiff: ‘Little Did We Know How Great The Casualties’ Of Impeachment Failure Would Be

Sparked off by a comment from MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell, Schiff went on an insane diatribe linking the casualties of coronavirus to the failed impeachment.

“We can’t act even slightly surprised by this because you told us this was going to happen in your argument in the Senate impeachment trial,” O’Donnell put to Schiff.

“Well, we certainly told the senators that he was not going to change, and there was no way to constrain him. That he is who he is, and he would continue to operate the way he had, and indeed, that’s exactly what we’ve seen since,” Schiff replied. “The one thing we dramatically understated is when we asked the question, ‘If you found him guilty, do you really need to remove him given there is another election only nine months away, how much damage could he really do?'”

“We said a lot, but little did we know just how great the casualties would be. Some days we lose the equivalent of the number of people we lost on 9/11,” Schiff claimed, with clearly no self-reflection. “You know, I think that there is no way we could have foreseen just how tragic his malfeasance would be in his remaining months in the administration.”

Absolutely Unhinged!

The RNC called Schiff’s arguments “unhinged” in their tweet covering his appearance, and I am very much inclined to agree. It’s completely deranged to not only put the blame for deaths from the coronavirus on President Trump, but also in the impeachment itself. Ironically, you can make a far more coherent case that the impeachment debacle actually distracted the attention of the Democrats in Congress from the growing threat of the pandemic back in January!

As Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed out on his March 16th show, Democrats weren’t interested in the coronavirus at all. When the first person with coronavirus entered the country on January 21st, the Democrats were “in the throes of an all-consuming, what has been the culmination of a three-year quest to impeach and throw Donald Trump out of office.” On January 23rd, when China sealed off the Hubei province, House impeachment managers were starting their opening arguments. And on January 31st, when President Trump issued the travel ban to and from China and declared a national health emergency, Democrats, including Schiff, were busy trying to impeach him.

Try denying that Schiff!

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Trump Wants to Know Why George Bush Didn’t Call For End to Partisanship When He Was Being Impeached

President Trump took a jab at George W. Bush after the latter made a rare public statement to address the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video message posted over the weekend, the former President called for an end to partisanship in the midst of the crisis, something America experienced in the days following the 9/11 tragedy.

“In this time of testing, we need to remember a few things: First, let us remember we have faced times of testing before,” Bush stated. “Following 9/11, I saw a great nation rise as one to honor the brave, grieve with the grieving, and to embrace unavoidable new duties.”

“Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat,” he concluded. “In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants, we are human beings equally vulnerable and wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together.”

RELATED: Obama Caught Golfing While Michelle Tells Residents They Need to Stay Home

Where Has He Been?

Bush seems to have forgotten how Democrats, almost immediately after the nation rallied around him, tore him apart in the following months and claimed they never supported his response to the 9/11 attacks.

On its surface, Bush’s plea for unity is a genuinely solid message … in normal times.

But these are not normal times. And Trump would like to know where Bush has been with his calls for coming together when Democrats were raking him over the coals from day one, pursuing impeachment hoax after impeachment hoax.

The President quoted Fox News personality Pete Hegseth in a tweet Sunday stating, “Oh by the way, I appreciate the message from former President Bush, but where was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside?”

Trump added his own thoughts: “He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!”

RELATED: The Extraordinary Measures Trump is Taking to Honor President George H.W. Bush

Coming Together Means Bowing to Democrats

Understand that there has been a deep past of contentiousness and highly charged political rhetoric amongst the Bush family and the President.

That said, since when are emotions and pride supposed to dictate what great leaders do?

Trump’s correct – if this crisis is enough to coax Bush to ask for an end to partisanship, then it should equally have been of importance to try to bring the nation together when Democrats were distracting the nation with an impeachment witch hunt that wasted the time of lawmakers and likely distracted them from the coronavirus crisis in the first place.

Perhaps had he asked for unity then, there could have been a non-partisan response to the pandemic.

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