The Senate Healthcare Bill would hurt MORE people than the House one…Open Thread for June 15, 2017

Media reports on the Senate stealth healthcare bill write up points to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doing about the same thing as Speaker Ryan….

Crafting a bill that will hurt millions of Americans JUST to be able to say their party did SOMETHING….

Any change to the Affordable Healthcare Law, slang named Obamacare is viewed as INCREASING UN POPULAR to the American public ACROSS the board….

Why?

Congressional Republicans and President Trump seem hell-bent on pushing through a bill to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. “Duh,” you say, “the Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare since literallythe day it was passed.”

But here’s where things get interesting. We tend to assume political parties want to get their policy goals adopted, but also to stay in power. Republicans won control of Congress in 2010 in part because Democrats pushed through a health care bill that the plurality of voters did not approve of, according to several major polls from that time. The Republicans are doing the same thing now, only their health care bill is significantly more unpopular than the ACA was in 2010.

So why are Republicans so determined to pass a bill that they already seem to know is not popular and could hurt them in next year’s elections? It’s almost impossible to determine exactly what drives a politician’s actions, particularly because sometimes the reasons they give publicly are not their only or primary motives. So while we can’t prove anything, we can still identify four likely reasons that Republicans are pushing so hard on health care….

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Note….

Trump just mentioned that he thought the House Bill was ‘mean’……

….

The latest: Even though Republicans had raised expectations that they were finishing a draft bill, it turns out that GOP leaders actually submitted multiple policy options to the budget office — partly explaining why senators won’t say much about their bill, let alone release a draft of it.

Both the bill and its CBO score will be public eventually, and there’s nothing inherently scandalous about trying to run the traps on a piece of legislation before bringing it to the floor.

The problem: What happens next? How long will the bill be publicly available before a vote? Will policy experts have time to digest it, and will voters have time to process that analysis? Will there be a real, good-faith opportunity for senators to offer amendments? GOP leaders have already short-circuited an awful lot of the process by not holding hearings or committee markups.

Working with CBO now will likely help Senate Republicans avoid the kind of bad-news bombshells the House experienced — but it’s making that July 4 timetable look less and less realistic.

Who could lose from state health benefit limits

Data: CAP analysis, 2015 American Community Survey, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2017 Willis Towers Watson Survey; Table: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to a new analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers….

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Sailing 35th America’s Cup: Oracle Team USA fights back; Emirates Team New Zealand still leads 4-1

Oracle Team USA, right, and Emirates Team New Zealand split two America’s Cup races on Saturday. The Kiwis lead, 4-1, in the first-to-seven series. CreditMike Segar/Reuters
Morning all!
After a 5-Day Break the 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton resumed on Saturday with both Teams getting a WIN. What was obvious yesterday the American Defenders have sped up their Boat significantly to match the Kiwis Speed. Oracle lost the first Race of the Day by having gotten two Penalties. The first one of the Starting Line when they crossed it too early and the second one by not keeping clear after the Kiwis dialed them down on the first upwind Leg.
Race 6 was the tightest Race of the Series thus far with the leads changing multiple times during the 7 Leg Course with Oracle Team USA coming away with an 11 Secs win.
America’s Cup Day 3 Round-Up here:
My Thoughts
It looks like we might have a boat Race now but I think the early lead the Kiwis have had after the first weekend will stand. I think Oracle Team USA has run out of time this year.
Daniel G.
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Like it or NOT?…Barack Obama is not gonna be a quiet memory….

Image result for obama after presidency

The now ex-President just got finished shodowing Trump around Europe talking their leaders after Trump ….

He has take to defending his Affordable Healthcare program while Republicans seek to turn the program into a tax cut for the rich and cut funding to states Medicaid programs ….

And he seems to be a sometimes target for the Trump….

And in the last few days fellow Democrats…

In small, but visible ways Obama is still very relevant.

He traveled to Europe at the same time as President Trump who there as part of his first foreign trip as president. He then continued his bromance with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month when the two met for a meal in Montreal, the pictures quickly exploding on social media. And then there’s his latest: On Thursday he took to Facebook to write a detailed defence of the Affordable Care Act. Hours later, he agreed to his first post-presidency campaign event — likely a rally for the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, with no date yet set.

Obama probably didn’t plan for his presidential afterlife to be like this. He might have looked the polls last fall, as most did, and assumed that Hillary Clinton would win. If that had happened, he likely would have instead focused on writing his memoirs, setting up his presidential library, and a giving a few paid speeches around the world.

But, of course, Clinton did not win and the current president has something of a fixation on tearing down Obama’s legacy. This is particularly true when it comes to issues of immigration, health care, the Iran nuclear deal and on the environment.

Compound that with the fact that Donald Trump has had consistently low approval ratings and the Democratic Party is in ruins without any sign of a comeback. Obama, by contrast, left office with the highest approval ratings of any outgoing president since Ronald Reagan. He’s the Democrats best — and perhaps only — effective voice right now.

In the past, the party might have pushed a former president to lie low so as to give the next generation the spotlight. Not this time…..

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image…sarahpalin.co0m

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Green Party Jill Stein…Post Trump Election Win…

Turns out Stein had a ‘meet and great’ with Putin , just like Mike Flynn….

Oh, those third and fourth national party people!…

Democrats ain’t happy…

Image result for jill stein

So does Stein, with the benefit of hindsight, have any regrets? “I don’t think so,” she tells me by phone from her home in Lexington, Massachusetts. Decrying “fake news,” citing the “sabotage of Bernie Sanders” and talking up the “tremendous” campaign she could have run with more money, Stein is projecting a Trump-worthy level of defiance. “I consider it a great honor that the party and our prior campaign for president is suddenly being attacked outside of an election season,” she says.

Those attacks aren’t merely sour grapes from a party still reeling from its stunning defeat in November. Some Democrats would like to see Stein hauled in front of Congress to explain mysteries like what, exactly, she was doing at a 2015 Moscow gala thrown by a Russian state-owned broadcaster—the same RT event that got Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in such trouble.

“We’re certainly interested in any efforts the Russians made to influence our election,” says California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the election. “There have been public reports, I think, that Jill Stein was also in Russia attending the RT function, so we’re going to need to look at any efforts the Russians made through whatever means to influence our elections.”

Stein didn’t just attend the gala—dressed in a shimmering silver shawl, she sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has barely disguised his glee at the political chaos that what he calls “patriotic” Russian hackers have unleashed in the United States. And she recorded a video from Moscow’s famous Red Square, in which she talked about “the need to rein in American exceptionalism” and replace “a U.S. policy based on domination”—words that sounded like they were ripped from Putin’s talking points.

Stein isn’t sorry about any of it. She says she’d welcome the opportunity to testify before Congress and dismisses the idea that she was a spoiler or that her campaign was co-opted as a tool of Russian influence as Democrats’ “pathetic excuses” for losing the election….

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image…time.com

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Graphic comparison of House/Senate Healthcare Bill’s…

Helpful comparison chart

Montel Williams/USA Today, self-styled Reagan conservative:

For seven years, House Speaker Paul Ryan and congressional Republicans told us they had “a better way.” Many voters took them at their word. We’re finding now, however, that Republicans had no replacement plan, instead cobbling one together last minute. Most likely, congressional Republicans believed they’d never have to actually repeal Obamacare. I’m betting many of them are praying that enough colleagues oppose the bill so that it simply dies, allowing them to blame Democratic obstruction.

At the end of the day, I don’t want another tax cut at the expense of another father not being able to get his daughter the lifesaving care I was able to provide my daughter. No father should have to choose between back-breaking debt and his child’s life. That is the inevitable result of the Senate proposal.

Republicans need to own the fact they’ve created a monster by lying to the base for the last seven years. They need to come clean. The truth is that they don’t really think this is a good bill. They are afraid of their own voters, to whom they gave a bad idea as a battle cry…..

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Sailing 35th America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton Day 3 LIVE BLOG

Bermuda (BDA) - 35th America's Cup 2017 - 35th America's Cup Match Presented by Louis Vuitton - Race Day

Afternoon all!
Today the battle for the 35th America’s Cup resumes. Emirates Team New Zealand, the Challenger leads Defender Oracle Team USA 3-0 heading into Race Day 3 of the America’s Cup Finals. Can the New Zealanders finish the job, can the Americans stage a Comeback?
Stick around and find out. The Races will once again be broadcasted on NBC National starting at 1pm ET.
Preview of Race Day 3 here
The LIVE BLOG on the PDog starts Now…..
Daniel G.
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Trump’s Russian Connection isn’t an issue to most Americans…

While the media spends headlines about Trump & Co’s entanglements with the Russians?

Most Americans could care less….

Actually?

Trump could probably sit down in a bar with Putin and most Americans could STILL care less…

Democratic leaders have figured out in the loss of the last 5 special House elections that attacking Trump HIMSELF does virtually nothing…

Americans Democrats and Republicans KNOW their President doesn’t stick to the facts, they know he gets few things actually done…

But Trump political strength seems to be the he rants against the status quo that most of us feel in dealing with our everyday lives in a country of 300 million plus, that has a LOT of ways to get in our paychecks….

Democrats tend to talk about the ideology of helping those who need government help….Trump has money and continues to make money off BEING President….

Middle Class people and Rich ones LIKE that…

Remember all those stories we did here and out in the media about how the demographics of America was changing?

Well, they ARE….

Trump and Republican efforts to close the door on the changes won’t stop them…

And voters of the above classes won’t change things either….

 

Democrats will have to do things the ‘old fashion way’ as the commercial used to say…

‘They will have to EARN IT’…

That means reaching for the hearts and minds of the Middle Class voters that left Hillary Clinton last year, and had started leaving Barack Obama 8 years ago…

And THAT means the economy and yea….’feel your pain’ stuff for people who actually vote…Not just have the time to protest…

“We can’t just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren’t really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. “They’re trying to figure out how they’re going to make the mortgage payment, how they’re going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like.

“And if we don’t talk more about their interest than we do about how we’re so angry with Donald Trump and everything that’s going on,” he added, “then we’re never going to be able to win elections.”

Ryan is among the small group of Democrats who are sounding calls for a changing of the guard atop the party’s leadership hierarchy following Tuesday’s special election defeat in Georgia — the Democrats’ fourth loss since Trump took office. But Ryan is hardly alone in urging party leaders to hone their 2018 message.

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) has been paying particularly close attention to voters’ concerns because he’s running for governor in 2018. The Russia-Trump investigation, he said, isn’t on their radar.

“I did a 22-county tour. … Nobody’s focusing on that,” Walz said. “That’s not to say that they don’t think Russia and those things are important, [but] it’s certainly not top on their minds.”

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) delivered a similar message, saying his constituents are most concerned with two things: dysfunction in Washington and the Republicans’ plans to repeal ObamaCare. The controversies surrounding Trump, he said, don’t tally.

“We should be focused relentlessly on economic improvement [and] we should stay away from just piling on the criticism of Trump, whether it’s about Russia, whether it’s about Comey. Because that has its own independent dynamic, it’s going to happen on its own without us piling on,“ Welch said. …

More….

That also means that the party does NOT go running to the left on everything….

In the end?

Donald Trump is either gonna tweet himself out of a job?

Or….

Robert Mueller will pull the legs out from under him so that his party members in Congress abandon him…

But the Russian brake is coming from his OWN party members and Mueller with help from the Intelligence Community that he dissed without realizing that THEY where watching ALL the things he and buddies had be hiding from the public….

Payback, eh?

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Who needs to spy on Trump?…Just check his twitter feed…

Oh, and Twitter lucked out BIG TIME, eh?

It’s a brand new game …..

Why even have a Press Sec?

Even they have been reduced to following their boss’s tweets to find out his view on things….

And of course he doesn’t heed his lawyers and advisors warnings to stop giving judges ammo to rule against his own comments and admissions on line….

But that’s Donald Trump people…

He ain’t gonna listen…

He ain’t gonna change…

Nada Bakos: “Every time President Trump tweets, journalists and Twitter followers attempt to analyze what he means. Intelligence agencies around the world do, too: They’re trying to determine what vulnerabilities the president of the United States may have. And he’s giving them a lot to work with.”

“Trump’s Twitter feed is a gold mine for every foreign intelligence agency. Usually, intelligence officers’ efforts to collect information on world leaders are methodical, painstaking and often covert. CIA operatives have risked their lives to learn about foreign leaders so the United States could devise strategies to counter our adversaries. With Trump, though, secret operations are not necessary to understand what’s on his mind: The president’s unfiltered thoughts are available night and day, broadcast to his 32.7 million Twitter followers immediately and without much obvious mediation by diplomats, strategists or handlers.”

Politicalwire…

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Justice Kennedy thinking around retiring from the Supreme’s?

Image result for justice kennedy

Democrats worst fears for the nation’s highest court….

Sources close to Justice Anthony Kennedy tell CNN that he “is seriously considering retirement, but they are unclear if it could occur as early as this term.”

“His departure would cause a seismic shift and offer President Donald Trump a chance to continue reshaping the court. Trump’s first nominee — Justice Neil Gorsuch, himself a former Kennedy clerk — joined the court earlier this year.”…

Politicalwire….

image…politico

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The NY Mets’s will probably be changing faces…

They start off as they usually do….

Strong based on a good crew of pitchers…

But one by one those guys have bit the dust….

Added to the teams problems is their bats have silent, leaving tons of people hanging out on base unable to score…

So coach Terry Collins is probably gonna have to change it up on the Rooster….

The season has officially shifted on the Mets from one that had spring training talk of the World Series to now talk about selling veteran assets at next month’s trade deadline. While it’s not being said out loud, it’s clear it’s time to start over. With a farm system that is thin and veterans that are in their walk-year, they are ready to listen for offers on player like Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jay Bruce, an industry source confirmed an ESPN report.

They are looking to flip veteran players for prospects to rebuild from the minor leagues up, the industry source confirmed Friday.

“They aren’t out there shopping them yet,” the source said, “but they are open to listening to offers.”

They have to because this season is all but over.

Curtis Granderson, in final year of his 4-year deal with Mets, is a strong candidate to be dealt.

Curtis Granderson, in final year of his 4-year deal with Mets, is a strong candidate to be dealt. (MARK J. TERRILL/AP)

Thursday night, the Mets dropped to 10 games below .500 when they were swept by the Dodgers. They went into Friday night’s game with the Giants 12 games behind the Nationals in the division and 14.5 games out of the second wild card spot.

With three of their starters on the disabled list and Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey not expected back until at least late next month, the idea of a Mets’ turnaround has faded….

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Obama and his people KNEW what the Russians were doing last Summer…

Yes….

There was/IS  concrete proof….

But as some of us point out….And question…..

Image result for Barack Obama

Why did Obama and his staff worry so much about what political damage THEY might suffer that they simply let the Russians continue with their efforts that proved successful? …..

Hillary Clinton (And every Democrat that voted against Trump last November) is right to have been ‘angry’..….

She ended up running against Donald Trump, Republicans

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

 AND the Russians…..

In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy. It was a case that took almost no time to solve, traced to the Kremlin through cyber-forensics and intelligence on Putin’s involvement. And yet, because of the divergent ways Obama and Trump have handled the matter, Moscow appears unlikely to face proportionate consequences.

Those closest to Obama defend the administration’s response to Russia’s meddling. They note that by August it was too late to prevent the transfer to WikiLeaks and other groups of the troves of emails that would spill out in the ensuing months. They believe that a series of warnings — including one that Obama delivered to Putin in September — prompted Moscow to abandon any plans of further aggression, such as sabotage of U.S. voting systems.

Denis McDonoughDenis McDonoughWhite House chief of staff. McDonough was one of the first few officials to discuss details of the intelligence., who served as Obama’s chief of staff, said that the administration regarded Russia’s interference as an attack on the “heart of our system.”

“We set out from a first-order principle that required us to defend the integrity of the vote,” McDonough said in an interview. “Importantly, we did that. It’s also important to establish what happened and what they attempted to do so as to ensure that we take the steps necessary to stop it from happening again.”

But other administration officials look back on the Russia period with remorse….

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Note….

The Washington Post piece is a HUGE black eye for Barack Obama and his people….

They KNEW the Russians were working to get THEIR solution in an American Presidential Election….

They KNEW that an American sympathetic to the Russians , who initially had NO chance to win the election was getting help that he needed right IN FRONT of their eyes….

In a way this was typical Barack Obama , who always was looked at as a President who was NOT strong on certain actions….

image….cnn.com

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Is the Senate Healthcare bill just a Tax Cut for the Rich and Benefits cut for the Poor?

Nate Silver over @ Five Thirty Eight thinks so…

He also thinks that inspire of all the media noise?

The Senate Bill isn’t all that different from the vastly unpopular House Bill that Trump has called ‘mean’…..

….twitter…

Replying to

AHCA is a tax cut and a reduction in the welfare state dressed up as health care reform. McConnell likes tax cuts! It’s 1-dimensional chess!

Problem is that a tax cut isn’t the replacement for Obamacare that voters asked for or that Trump promised. So AHCA is incredibly unpopular.

Replying to

The giveaway is that McConnell barely altered the House bill, despite implying the Senate bill would be different. It’s the bill he wants.

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Obama will campaign for Democrat Ralph Northam Virginia’s run for governor…

Barack Obama eases back into politics….

Former president Barack Obama is making his first campaign foray of 2017, agreeing to stump for Democrat Ralph Northam in his bid to be Virginia’s next governor.

David Turner, a spokesman for Northam, said the former president agreed this week to hit the campaign trail for Northam, but said he wouldn’t “go into any further detail about the private conversations that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam had with President Barack Obama.”

An aide to Obama confirmed that the former president agreed to campaign for Northam during a congratulatory call, although no events have been planned.

The HuffPost first reported Obama’s plans to campaign for Northam.

The Virginia governor’s race, one of just two gubernatorial contests this year, is shaping up as the next high-profile electoral contest in the era of President Trump. It follows a couple of Democratic losses in high-profile special elections to fill congressional vacancies, including the House race in Georgia earlier this week that became the most expensive in U.S. history…..

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Trump not happy that Comey and Mueller are ‘good friends’….

Actually one would think that Donald Trump just wants to go back to where he was after winning the GOP nomination….

Donald Trump has questioned the impartiality of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the US election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

In an interview with Fox News aired Friday morning, Trump argued that Mueller, a former FBI director, is “good friends” with James Comey, Mueller’s successor at the spy agency whom Trump fired on 9 May. Trump later acknowledged he took this step with the Russia investigation in mind.

When George W Bush was president, Mueller and Comey worked together – Mueller as FBI director and Comey as deputy attorney general.

Trump also said that some of the staffers that Mueller has hired for his investigation “are all Hillary Clinton supporters”. US news reports say some of these staffers have made campaign contributions to Democratic candidates.

Asked point blank if Mueller should recuse himself from the Russiainvestigation, Trump said: “Well, he’s very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome. But he’s also – we’re going to have to see.”…..

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Media reports of Republican Senator’s trouble with Healthcare Bill doesn’t mean the bill will not pass….

As with the House Bill?

In the end?

Most GOP Senator’s will bite the bullet and vote FOR passage even if it screws MILLIONS ….

This while Democrats stand by on the sidelines….

Within a few hours of the release of the Senate legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and overhaul Medicaid, four conservatives came out against the bill, putting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) two votes short of what he will need to pass it.

But this is not, by any means, the death knell for the bill, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and it might not be even a major obstacle.

A key phrase in the statement from Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI)  criticizing bill is that they are not ready to vote for it but “are open to negotiation.”  And there’s plenty of reason to believe McConnell left himself some wiggle room, even in the expedited timeline he has set to vote on the bill next week, to win their votes.

Anyone who watched the House dynamics around the passage of their version of a Obamacare repeal bill will remember this old song and dance well. A tantrum by the conservatives there led to the bill being pulled farther to the right. When some House GOP moderates then revolted, some money was thrown at their problems with the bill —namely its rollback of Obamacare protections for pre-existing conditions—and House GOP leadership got enough moderate Republicans back on board to assure its narrow passage.

If anything, McConnell has set up a scenario that is a cleaner and quicker version of this kabuki theatre.

Conservatives aren’t saying yet what exactly they want changed about the bill in exchange from their support, other than that the current bill fails “to repeal Obamacare and lower … healthcare costs.”…..

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Trump jobs promises go up in smoke….Layoffs increase…

During his first victory laps after he moved into America’s White House Donald Trump went around showcasing how he had muscled corporations into saving American jobs…..

That was typical Trump…..

Style and NO SUBSTANCE…..

Companies are continuing to lay people off….

“As your president, I’m going to do everything I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and to put our great people back to work,” Trump said at the time. “It has to be much easier for manufacturers in our country, and much harder [for them] to leave.”

Boeing is the second business that Trump has visited to later announce lay offs.

The Carrier plant in Indianapolis, which Trump convinced to stay open late last year, will lay off more than 600 employees beginning next month….

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Trump misses Flynn….

Flynn has problems…..

President Trump considered restoring former national security adviser Michael Flynn to his White House role after his resignation in February and still praises the former aide, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Flynn was forced to resign less than a month after stepping into the senior White House role amid revelations that he misled Vice President Pence about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Trump, according to the Post, has seemed to regret the decision to oust Flynn, in spite of mounting controversies surrounding the former adviser.

Trump has spoken fondly of Flynn, even after his ouster, saying in private that he “served the country well” and complaining that he has been treated unfairly by the news media….

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