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Friday, Feb 21st

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Ex-Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly defends Alexander Vindman and the media

Gen. Kelly supports Vindman and mediaRetired Gen. John Kelly defended Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in President Donald Trump's impeachment, while pushing back on his ex-boss' claim that the media is the "enemy of the state.

For more than an hour, Kelly avoided the elephant in the room, focusing on the "Governance Versus Politics" topic promised during his speaking appearance Wednesday at the Mayo Performing Arts Center.

But after admitting he clashed on several issues with Trump during his tumultuous term as his chief of staff, Kelly finally addressed repeated questions from the audience about the difficulties he encountered in the West Wing.

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Hope Hicks returning to Trump White House as senior adviser

Hope Hicks returns to WH

Hope Hicks, formerly President Donald Trump's most trusted and longest serving aide, is expected to return to the administration in the coming weeks, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

Hicks, who departed in early 2018, will return in the coming weeks as a senior adviser reporting to Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. Her official title will be counselor to the president.

Since her departure, she has served as the head of communications for the Fox Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, among other entities owned by Rupert Murdoch.

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Trump's revenge: He officially withdraws nomination of ex-US attorney from Treasury post

Trump's revengeGeorges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is withdrawing his nomination for former U.S. attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a top position overseeing economic sanctions, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

The big picture: Liu was confirmed in September 2017 to lead the largest U.S. attorney's office in the country, overseeing a number of politically charged prosecutions that included the case against Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and other spinoffs from the Mueller investigation.

  • Liu stepped down from the U.S. attorney's office last month after Trump announced his intention to nominate her to the Treasury position in December 2019.

Lindsey Graham shuts down calls to investigate DOJ's Roger Stone reversal

Linday Graham shuts down probe of DOJ

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has little interest in investigating the Justice Department’s abrupt reversal on a sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone — rebuffing a Democratic demand sparked by President Donald Trump’s attacks on the federal prosecutors in the case.

Graham, a staunch Trump ally, said Wednesday he did not intend to bring Attorney General William Barr in for testimony aside from the committee’s general oversight of the Justice Department. And while Senate Republicans broadly criticized Trump’s Twitter forays into the case, they said further investigation was not warranted — dismissing Democrats’ calls for congressional action over allegations of politically motivated favoritism.

TVNL Comment: Every time you think they've reached the lowest of the low, they sink to an even lower level.  Wake up, America.  They're stealing our democracy.

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Three Roger Stone prosecutors resign from case after DOJ backpedals on sentencing recommendation

Prosecutors resign Stone case

Three prosecutors in Roger Stone's criminal case abruptly resigned from the case on Tuesday after the Justice Department said it planned to reduce the recommended sentence for the longtime Trump associate.

The Justice Department on Tuesday said it was pulling back on its request to sentence Stone to seven to nine years in prison after President Donald Trump blasted the sentencing proposal as "a miscarriage of justice."

The revised recommendation doesn't ask for a particular sentence but says the one that was recommended earlier "does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter."

Update: The lead prosecutor was the fourth and last on the team to also withdraw from the Stone case. This DOJ interference after the filing of sentencing requests is unheard of.

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New Hampshire 2020 Primary: Live Coverage as Voting Begins

New Hanpshire primary
  • In a surprise move, Mr. Biden announced that he would leave New Hampshire early and head for South Carolina, where he expects to do well.
  • More than 40 percent of voters are independents and can participate in either party’s primary. There’s a Republican primary, too, but President Trump faces no serious threat.

Trump looks to kill student loan forgiveness program

Trump to kill student debt forgiveness program

As student debt continues to climb, President Donald Trump on Monday released a budget for 2021 that would slash many of the programs aimed at helping borrowers.

Student loan spending would be cut by $170 billion in Trump’s plan, titled “A Budget for America’s Future.” The reductions include “sensible annual and lifetime loan limits” for graduate students and parents and the end to subsidized loans, in which the government covers the interest for borrowers who are still in school or experiencing economic hardship.

It would also reduce the number of repayment options for borrowers and nix the popular, if challenged, public service loan forgiveness program.

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