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‘Intentionally Stupid’ Ron DeSantis May Take Over Trump’s GOP by ‘Placing Children’s Lives in Danger’: Morning Joe

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has cultivated a reputation as a more competent Donald Trump, but MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and John Heilemann wondered whether that would survive the latest Florida coronavirus surge.

The Florida governor has moved to block local governments and school boards from imposing COVID-19 precautions, and the “Morning Joe” panelists questioned the narrative comparing DeSantis to the twice-impeached one-term president.

“Is he kind of more rationale, more competent, not quite so crazy version of Donald Trump?” Heilemann said. “I think that’s what he’s trying to do and trying to be, and I think the question you’re raising is whether is it possible that if you take a little bit — if you take the Trump out, like being the less crazy, more competent version of Donald Trump makes you not really that Trumpy at all, and then makes you an ordinary politician again, and I think that’s what DeSantis is flirting with.”

But Republican voters have shown they don’t want anything like a normal politician, so DeSantis may get away with risking children’s lives to prove a partisan point.

“He can be Trump and get away with it because there seems to have been over the last four years an unending tolerance of that in the Republican Party and where political tricks, irrational anti-science policies, culture wars, all of the stuff that Republicans continue to give Donald Trump a wide berth on that,” Heilemann said, “can DeSantis get away with that in the face of COVID and when he’s not actually Donald Trump? You know, if you’re right, and we’re about to reach that tipping point in Florida because of the potency, the threat and damage of COVID, we’re not going to learn something about the politics of COVID. We’ll learn something about how transferable Donald Trump’s theatrics are to non-Trump politicians, and DeSantis may be about to learn that, too.”

The vitriol DeSantis is facing might actually make him more popular to a certain type of voter, Scarborough said.

“Let’s see what the attention that DeSantis has gotten by doing intentionally stupid things, by doing intentionally dangerous things, by doing things that will quote, own the libs, that will get — own the media, yeah, you know?” Scarborough said. “Everybody that Trump supporters hate are criticizing him, and when you have Hollywood actors criticizing DeSantis, when you have Stephen King criticizing DeSantis and people in the media criticizing DeSantis, I mean, that’s a gold mine. Of course, he is being rewarded in a sense for doing something that endangers children, and yet, Donald Trump learned that only made people more loyal to him, and I guess the question is, you know, would Ron DeSantis rather be where he is right now or where Nikki Haley is or where any of the other 30 people who want to replace Donald Trump is — or where Donald Trump is.”

“I mean, DeSantis gets a lot more press now than Donald Trump,” he added. “So maybe he considers placing children’s lives in danger, maybe he considers that a big political win and he doesn’t allow local school boards to take measures that would protect children in their own communities. Maybe that’s a big win for him.”

 

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‘Probably the Biggest Witness Left’: NYT Reporter Explains What Pat Cipollone Can Tell the Jan. 6 Committee

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Pat Cipollone has agreed to testify before the Jan. 6 Committee, and a New York Times reporter explained what the former White House counsel might be able to tell investigators.

Multiple witnesses have placed Cipollone near the center of Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, which the White House counsel repeatedly said were unlawful, and Times correspondent Luke Broadwater told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he would be able to provide valuable testimony even if some topics are protected by executive privilege and the Fifth Amendment.

“Pat Cipollone is an extremely key figure who is there for several of the major moments in this plot to overturn the election, and he may know things we don’t even know about yet that he could reveal to them tomorrow during this interview,” Broadwater said. “I do expect Pat Cipollone’s testimony to be played next week at some of the hearings. There was conversations about whether he should testify live in front of the public, [Rep.] Liz Cheney called for that, but the committee does like to know exactly what a person is going to say before they go up there.”

“They don’t want to turn one of these televised hearings into, you know, a food fight,” he added. “They like to know exactly what a person is going to say before they decide to put them out there, so I think we’ll see Pat Cipollone video clips but not necessarily Pat Cipollone sitting at the witness stand.”

READ MORE: Trump’s ‘full-blown coup’: What was Mike Flynn’s plan? How much did Meadows and Giuliani know? What about Ginni? What happens next?

Congressional investigators understand that Cipollone can’t discuss his private conservations with the former president, due to attorney-client privilege, but he can tell them about discussions with other White House aides and staffers, including Cassidy Hutchinson.

“Everyone concedes that Pat Cipollone does have attorney-client privilege with Donald Trump,” Broadwater said. “He has sort of resisted coming forward and talking about some of those things, so I don’t think we’ll see him necessarily talk about direct conversations with Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean he can’t talk about lots of other material. We heard Cassidy Hutchinson talk about how Pat Cipollone and Mark Meadows were going back and forth into the Oval Office to try to get Donald Trump to call off the mob.”

“Can he talk about the things he said to Cassidy?” Broadwater added. “Can he talk about the things he said to Mark Meadows? You know, we know he was there for meetings about seizing voting machines, he was there when Bill Barr offered his resignation, he was there when they had draft letters to — false draft letters from the Justice Department, and for when he shot down plans from members of Congress, from John Eastman to put forward false slates of electors.”

“There’s so many things that Pat Cipollone knows,” Broadwater added. “I think his testimony could be absolutely crucial for this committee, and he was probably the biggest witness left that they could get, that they hadn’t yet so, you know, I expect this interview to be very important tomorrow.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

Image: Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr 

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Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert

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Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.

Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.

“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”

READ MORE: Longtime friend of GOP’s Eric Greitens calls him a ‘broken man’ and accuses him of lying about his beliefs

“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”

As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”

See the discussion below.

Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks  via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.

 

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‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation

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Newly revealed video footage shows how close British filmmaker Alex Holder got to the Trump family in the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection.

The family allowed Holder to gain exclusive access to them and the former president’s inner circle in the period between the 2020 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Politico obtained a new trailer for the upcoming documentary “Unprecedented,” which will stream on the Discovery+ network.

“Ivanka frets about a line on her dress, and jokes about covering it with a pet roaming about. ‘Can I borrow your dog?’ she asks her makeup artist,” Politico reported. “Jared nervously repositions his tie and asks, ‘Is that okay?’ Don Jr., seen at a rally, screams, ‘We will make liberals cry again!’ Eric is caught on a phone call, mysteriously saying, ‘For the sake of this country, we’re going to get these guys.'”

Those mundane moments build up to Jan. 6, and the film shows Donald Trump encouraging his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, and Holder’s photographer joins the throng.

READ MORE: Robert Crimo III’s family noticed nothing amiss, but social media posts painted a darker picture

“We’ve got to get the roaches out, all of them,” a Trump supporter yells to the photographer.

The documentary crew also recorded scenes from the ensuing attack, and Holder has turned over the raw footage to the House select committee investigating the riot.

“Gaining power is easy,” the narrator says in the trailer. “Surrendering it is not.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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