Govt Shutdown on the line …Trump backs away from the ‘Wall’…Open Thread for April 24, 2017…

Coming up being stuck between an rock and hard place?

Donald Trump appears to have blinked….

No ONE want’s his monstrasity of a wall build between Mexico and the American border states…

There is no apitite for it from Democrats or Republicans….

Image result for ryan /schumer

There is no need for it with border aprehesions dropped by 60% since Trump started lowering the hammer on illegals at the border and around the country…

And there is NO money for this campiagn dream project either…

So it appears that Trump has signalled that he will withdrawn his demand that a ‘new beautiful 30 foot wall be constructed and settle for some drone’s and smart technology to add to the border effort ….Thus helping his adopted party solve one of the two major obstacles in the way of getting a budget….The other is the idea of Repealing Obamacare…THAT isn’t gonna happen the way he wants either…

And…

The Mexicans where NEVER gonna  pay for the thinbg and smart lawmakers aren’t gonna have Americans anti up the money either….

(Of course Trump is still bullshitting outloud about the wall..But lawmakers aren’t paying much attention to his tweets )…

….Republicans were working to define Trump’s campaign promise down, arguing that any form of border security would fulfill it.

“There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of immigration reform who challenged Trump in the 2016 primaries. “I think it’s become symbolic of better border security. It’s a code word for better border security. If you make it about actually building a 2,200-mile wall, that’s a bridge too far — but I’m mixing my metaphors.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a key appropriator and member of Senate leadership, said that “there could be a wall in some places and technology in other places,” implying that there would not be funding for the wall sketched out in campaign rhetoric. “I think you’re going to get a down payment on border security generally,” he said….

Among other guarantees, Democrats want assurances that insurance subsidies through the Affordable Care Act will continue to be funded. There have been discussions among Republicans that Democrats could agree to provide money for the construction of the wall in exchange for those health funds, but Democrats have refused.

Sunday morning, congressional Democrats submitted to Republicans a compromise spending plan, which included some new money for border security but only if it did not go toward a wall. Democrats also asked for assurances that the health insurance subsidies would continue to be funded, language that would shore up benefits for coal miners and a change that would expand Medicaid benefits to people in Puerto Rico, according to a senior Democratic congressional aide.

image of ….House Speaker Ryan, Trump and Senate Minority leader Schumer…nymag.com

 

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GA-06 Spec Election Democratic turnout ‘unusually strong’….

The Democratic base HAS stayed energized since Trump moived into the White House…

The aim for the party would be to KEEP this going for another year and half for the 2018 Midterme elections….

If THAT is possible?

Democrats could very well stun eveyone a recapture a US House majority…And even a US Senate majority might just be possibe to pull off?

But first a win on June 20th in the GA-06 would suit Democrats fine…

Jon Ossoff benefited from an unusually strong turnout in the first round of voting in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District last week, surpassing all recent benchmarks for Democratic turnout in an off-year election, according to an Upshot analysis of newly released voting data.

Past Democratic primary voters represented a larger share of the district’s voters than they did in 2016 or 2014, and they turned out in greater numbers than in a typical midterm election.

The election in Georgia’s Sixth is only the latest in a string of special elections where Democrats have turned out in impressive numbers. It’s a reversal from recent off-year elections, when Republicans turned out at far greater rates than Democrats.

If the pattern holds into next year’s midterm elections, it will help the party’s long-shot goal to win back the House. Historically, Democratic midterm turnout has been stronger when Republicans hold the presidency.

The Republican turnout was not weak. Past Republican primary voters turned out at rates that were nearly typical for a midterm — a rare feat for a special election. It was enough to keep Mr. Ossoff beneath the 50 percent necessary to win outright.

But Democrats did something even rarer: A larger percentage of Democratic primary voters turned out than did Republican primary voters, by a four-percentage-point margin. Even when Democrats surged in successful years nationally in 2006, 2008 and 2012, their turnout of primary voters didn’t beat that of the Republicans, either nationwide or in Georgia’s Sixth….

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There is a place and time for American Spec Ops…That isn’t Everyplace

The New York Times feature’s a thoughtful piece that explains the increased use of Special Ops American troops by President Obama isn’t the be all to end all….

The combats units ARE highly trained and self reliant..

Image result for spec ops troops

Obama used them because they tend to operate in ‘drop in and get out’ combat missions that afford them low causality rates…

But as the NY Times piece points out?

Special Operators are NOT the troopers you use to hold ground….

As the US AGAIN ramps up military action in the Ira, Afghjanstain and Syria along with sveral Africa nations?

Special Operator ‘s will called into action…

But if the mission will be take ground and hold it?

The Army and Marines would be a better choice….

Trump’s general’s are veterans of Middle East conflicts….

One hopes they stay reluctant to get dragged into an escalation of America boots on the ground in the region….

When special operations forces have succeeded tactically — as they so frequently and impressively have — they rarely have produced strategic success on their own. Presidents Bush and Obama hoped that precision strikes by special operators would decapitate the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the insurgents endured so long as they controlled territory and population. The killing of Osama Bin Laden did not cripple Al Qaeda, and it produced a strategically damaging backlash in Pakistan. With the notable exception of the defeat of the Taliban in 2001, strategic victory has required the integration of special operations forces with both conventional forces and civilian national security agencies.

It’s also uncertain how relevant special operations forces will be in the next war. Although Mr. Trump may not be interested in fighting a major war, he may be left with little choice. Lyndon Johnson sent American troops into Vietnam in 1965 after campaigning as the peace candidate in 1964. George W. Bush became enmeshed in counterinsurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq despite a vow to keep the nation out of such quagmires.

America’s special operations troops can hunt down a terrorist or train an elite unit better than anyone. But they can’t destroy a Russian armored division or occupy a North Korean city….

More….

image….businessinsider.com

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Trump Education head ends Student Loan reform try…

For those of us paying those education loans her move seems short sighted and harmful….

More than 20 Democratic state attorneys general denounced Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s in a letter Monday over her decision to end the department’s efforts to reform the student loan service, according to a Monday Reuters report.

 Her decision would halt the department’s efforts to help borrowers know about their debt and repayment options.

“We should be looking for ways to ease the burden of student debt, not enabling the student loan servicing industry to manipulate and exploit students,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote, according to Reuters.

DeVos, an controversial Trump appointee, announced in an April memo that she was ending the reform efforts because of “moving deadlines, changing requirements and a lack of consistent objectives.” DeVos’s decision echoes the Republican policy view that the federal government should not be involved in the student loan business.

Former President Barack Obama moved the student lending business from banks and companies to the federal government, and worked to set up safeguards to ensure lenders followed the law.

In the $1.3 trillion business, $137 billion of student loan debts are in default, according to a March report by the Consumer Federation of America….

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ex-President Obama is back….

Barack Obama sit down on stage in Chicago and speaks about organizing by young people into the American political system…

He was greeted by warm applause and gave a folksy intro…..

He also acknowledged some misses that he had as President ,for his party ,and the country…

Obama WILL be under pressuer to speak up FOR the party , which is rudderless right now as Trump is constantly splashed across the media…

Ex-President’s tradionally do NOT do that, though…

Former President Barack Obama returned to his adopted home on Monday for his first public event since leaving the White House, pledging to work toward preparing the next generation of political leadership in America.

In opening remarks during a conversation with six young people in front of an audience at the University of Chicago, Mr. Obama spoke fondly of starting his political career on the city’s South Side, where his presidential library will eventually be built.

“This community taught me that ordinary people, when working together, can do extraordinary things,” Mr. Obama said. “This community taught me that everybody has a story to tell that is important.”

Mr. Obama said that he still cared about problems like economic inequality, climate change, justice issues and the spread of violence. But he said that it was a lack of leadership that prevented the country from making more progress on confronting those problems.

“The single most important thing I can do,” he said, is to “help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and to take their own crack at changing the world.”

Mr. Obama has spent the three months since Inauguration Day on an extended vacation even as his staff begins setting up an office in Washington and planning continues on the library in Chicago. He is also starting to work on a memoir.

But on Monday, the former president began what will be a series of public appearances in the United States and Europe.

Aides have said Mr. Obama does not intend to use his platform to directly challenge President Trump, despite his successor’s aggressive efforts to reverse many of Mr. Obama’s legacy-making accomplishments.

But the first event on Monday offered an example of the pressure the former president will be under to speak out….

More….

image….Joshua Lott for The New York Times

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A LOT of Trump Admin pick’s don’t make the cut…

The Washington Post goes over the growing list of people who have left the Admin for various reasons…Some quietly…Some with headlines…

The first three tumultuous months of Trump’s term have seen a perhaps unprecedented number of personnel casualties. A big part of the problem is that his transition team did a lousy job of vetting. Red flags that might have been discovered by a simple Google search didn’t emerge in some cases until after nominees were named publicly. The president also gravitated toward billionaires as he stocked the government, and the richer someone is the more conflicts they are likely to have. Complying with the requirements of the Office of Government Ethics proved too onerous for some. The premium that this president places on loyalty over experience and qualifications cost others their postings. Backstabbing and palace intrigue — which created a brutal, joyless work environment in the West Wing — drove others away after only weeks in their dream jobs….

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American’s want MORE Government…Not Less…

The Republicans mantra is LESS government…

THAT isn’t what American want….

Is the Republican Partygoing the WRONG way with the majority of American voters who voted AGAINST Donald Trump

RIP, Tea Party: A record number of Americans say government “should do more”

And this is another striking finding from the NBC/WSJ poll: 57% of the public says that the government should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of Americans, versus 39% who said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. That’s the highest share yearning for a more active government since the poll began asking voters about the role of government in 1995. And it’s a significant shift even since 2015, when 50% said that the government should do more while 46% complained that it was too active. More NBC/WSJ poll numbers are coming out later today….

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In November, voters gave control of the White House and Capitol Hill to the party traditionally associated with reducing the size of government. But now, a record number of Americans say that the government should do more — not less — in order to solve the nation’s problems.

A new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll finds 57 percent of the public saying that the government should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of Americans, versus 39 percent who said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

That’s the highest share yearning for a more active government since the poll began asking voters about the role of government in 1995. And it’s a significant shift even since 2015, when 50 percent said that the government should do more while 46 percent complained that it was too active….

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Republicans begin to worry if Trump will cost them in next years MidTerm elections…

Again?

The word has been that Republicans would have the political advantage in keeping and even increasing their majorities in the US House and Senate….

But?

That isn’t what a LOT of of people beginning to think with Donald Trump running high disapproval numbers, slow government startup and his issistance on trying to get stuff passed that isn’t gonna happen…

Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast — or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018.

With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern about Trump’s lack of legislative accomplishments, his record-low approval ratings, and the overall dysfunction that’s gripped his administration.

The stumbles have drawn the attention of everyone from GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who funneled tens of millions of dollars into Trump’s election and is relied upon to bankroll the party’s House and Senate campaigns, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Adelson hasn’t contributed to pro-Trump outside groups since the inauguration, a move that’s drawn notice within the party, and McConnell is warning associates that Trump’s unpopularity could weigh down the GOP in the election.

Potential GOP candidates whom party leaders want to recruit are afraid of walking into a buzz saw, uncertain about what kind of political environment they’ll be facing by the time the midterms come around — and what Trump’s record will look like….

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Democrats sent prospective campaign staff members to school…

Democrats begin to set the ground work for trying to get back  majorities  in political offices  across the country….

If an anti-Donald Trump wave is coming, House Democrats want to be ready to catch it. So they’re sending hundreds of operatives to school in a massive training operation that they say is bigger and starting earlier than anything the party has attempted before.

Over 1,300 aspiring campaign managers, field directors, and finance chiefs have so far enrolled in what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is calling “DCCC-University.”

Image: DCCU
The DCCU logo includes a mortarboard. DCCU

Like “American Idol” for political junkies, students who show the most promise in each of the cities will be invited to a more advanced course in Washington, D.C.

They hope to discover promising political talent outside the Beltway, and to provide a path into politics for accomplished people in other professions who are looking for ways to fight Trump, but might not have any experience in campaigns.

It’s a roving school that will train those in eight cities across the country and online this Spring to meet heightened demand for next year’s midterm elections, when Democrats hope the backlash to an unpopular president will give them a chance at re-taking the House…

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Republicans DO NOT want a Government Shutdown…

But they have their party leader Donald Trump pushing for goals that will NOT preclude one….

Trump wants money for a Wall and a victory on Repealing the Affordabale Healthcare Law…

Democrats will NOT go for either…

….Today, Republicans control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and allowing the federal government to go dark on their watch might be hard to explain.

“Our Republican colleagues know that since they control, you know, the House, the Senate and the White House, that a shutdown would fall on their shoulders, and they don’t want it,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader.

Republican leaders from President Trump on down insist they are determined to avoid a shutdown and will be successful in doing so. Failure would put a bizarre exclamation point on the symbolic 100-day marker that the administration coincidentally will reach Saturday.

“No one wants a shutdown,” Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, told reporters on Friday. “We want to keep it going.”

Republicans have good reason for doing so considering that history shows the party image takes a beating with the public when government agencies lock their doors, national parks refuse visitors and federal workers are told not to report to work. Democrats, while not victorious in special House elections held so far, have shown renewed strength, and a shutdown in the early days of Republican stewardship of Washington would only fuel their energy….

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Closing on the Trump 100 day mark and a possible Govt Shutdown…

The Media gets excited….

Should be a good political week…

Trump wants the impossible…

While he works a 9 to 5 schedulw with weekends off in Florida…

Democrats up for a fight….(including closing things down a la’ Teaparty?)

And may have support coming from some Republicans…

Will a’ busy ‘ President Trump picture get him win, or will it fall flat like his efforts to get anything thru Congress except a judge ….

Democrats and Republicans agree the word of the week will be “promises.” As President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office nears, the battle will be over whether they’ve been kept or broken.

After angst from the president and senior aides over the 100-day mark — and anticipation that press coverage will be dominated by his failure to change Obamacare — the White House plans to spend the week telling Americans he has kept his promises from the 2016 campaign, according to senior administration officials and a planning document reviewed by POLITICO.

The White House has a packed schedule for the president. With reelection in 2020 already on their minds, aides noted that even though recent polls show Trump has a lower approval rating than any modern president at the same point, they also show his base believes he is delivering.

Meanwhile, Democrats’ theme for the week will be “100 Days of Broken Promises to American Families,” a strategy party leaders say will focus on contrasting the “bold commitments” of Trump’s campaign with what they consider a “historic lack of accomplishment” in office.

Democrats so far have been divided on how to peel supporters away from Trump, but this week’s strategy will launch a broader effort heading into the midterm election cycle to convince voters he is a phony, congressional aides said.

“So far, the president’s first 100 days have been defined by broken promises to America’s working class,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

Trump has packed his next six days with meetings and meals with prominent senators, ambassadors from United Nations Security Council countries, and U.S. Supreme Court justices. Higher-profile Cabinet secretaries will hit the road to promote his agenda, and the president plans to woo his base with a White House reception for conservative media figures and a speech at the National Rifle Association conference.

The White House hopes the hectic schedule drowns out coverage of the misfires and highlights his successes. Administration officials spent much of the weekend huddling on a strategy and are shooting for a week of “us being busy every day,” one administration official said….

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The White House, which is trying to force another vote on an Obamacare repeal, seems desperate to either win some of Trump’s priorities in a deal next week, or force a government shutdown that it can blame on Democrats. That might energize Trump’s supporters, who don’t have much to celebrate yet.

But it’s not just the Democrats who oppose several Trump priorities. Congressional Republicans, who are generally united in support for the increase in defense spending, are divided on the border wall, which is not popular among border-state Republicans, and the deep domestic-spending cuts.

So far, it does not look like a bridgeable gap. “This is going to be high-stakes poker,” the White House official said….

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Donald Trump STILL lives in a Alternate Universe….

……The guy apparently doesn’t know what ACTUALLY happened in November?…..

…twitter….

Trump is tweeting today about how he “would still beat Hillary in popular vote.” Just a reminder: He lost the popular vote.

New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative. Would still beat Hillary in …..

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French voters pick a Centrist and Far Right Woman for their Presidential Run-Off in two weeks…

As in America?

A Non-politican will be the countries next leader…

The choice will between the center and the left…

Early view is the centrist , Emmanuel Macron, should win in two weeks in the final contest….

In France’s most consequential election in recent history, voters on Sunday endorsed Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen — one a political novice, the other a far-right firebrand — both outsiders but with starkly different visions for the country, early returns and projections indicated.

The result was a full-throated rebuke of France’s traditional mainstream parties, setting the country on an uncertain path at a critical moment when France’s election could also decide the future of the European Union. The two candidates appeared to be headed to a runoff on May 7.

Mr. Macron, a former investment banker, abandoned traditional parties a year ago to form his own movement with an eclectic blend of left and right views. He campaigned on a pro-European Union platform, coupled with calls to overhaul the rules governing the French economy.

Ms. Le Pen’s success is a victory for skeptics who oppose the European Union and for those who want to see more “France First” policies to restrict signs of Muslim faith in public, like the wearing of head scarves.

Supporters of Mr. Macron celebrating in Paris after the first round of the presidential election.CreditEric Feferberg/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The great debate will finally take place,” Ms. Le Pen said on Twitter. “French citizens need to seize this historic opportunity.”

Ms. Le Pen spoke later to her cheering supporters in the small town of Hénin-Beaumont in northern France, and although the final results were unclear she could claim a victory of sorts. Not only will she be in the runoff for the first time, but she also got a higher percentage of votes than she did in 2012, and a higher percentage than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, did in 2002, when he made it to the second round as the National Front candidate.

She called the outcome as “an act of French pride, that of a people who are raising up their heads, that of a people sure of their values and confident of the future.”

Few analysts give her much of a chance of winning in the second round, however….

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While Trump holds his base?…Resistance to his Presidency grows…

Could the mounting pushback against Trump and the Republican majority in Congress and across the countries state office holders echo the 2010 and 2012 AGAINST Republicans come next years Midterm Elections?

Is Trump working almost singlehandedly to help Democrats who have taken HUGE political loses under Obama’s time in office?

From pink-hatted protesters to big town hall turnout, the anti-Trump resistance has been in full swing since January’s inauguration. The left is taking a page out of the Tea Party playbook, and building the resistance from the grassroots up.

Why it matters: We saw a similar rise on the right in 2009-2010 shortly after Obama was inaugurated, and a huge number of Republican lawmakers were voted into office. That movement shook up US politics and changed the face of the Republican Party, and we could see similar aftershocks here.

Money:

Media:

  • The most engaged partisan Facebook pages belong to left-leaning and Trump resistance groups. These pages are outperforming popular news competitors in overall engagement.
  • Anti-Trump sites launched across the web — some with prominent names behind them, such as ‘Crooked Media,’ by former Obama staffers and ‘Resistance Calendar,’ by filmmaker Michael Moore.
  • Cell phone apps and internet start ups that send daily text messages about getting involved have emerged with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Politics:

  • Former politicians are getting involved. Barbara Boxer’s Fight Back PAC is establishing itself against Trump’s agenda but also as a movement to win votes for progressives.
  • Trump’s disapproval rating is on the rise: 57% – Quinnipiac, 55% – Gallup Daily Tracker, 52% – Economist/YouGov, 49% – Marist
  • Congressional town halls and protests have been flooded with angry voices over what has been dubbed the ‘resistance recess.’ The movement was loud enough to get a response via twitter from President Trump.
  • Activism among liberal democrats is on the rise:
    • 47% of liberal Dems report say they’ve gotten involved in the last past two months, compared to 23% of all adults.
    • Liberal Dems, more than any other group, anticipate taking part in activism in the next two years
Peaceful protests:

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Scientists March Against Trump Policies…. ‘March for Science’…

They join other groups in protesting the direction that the new people in the nations White House are moving to make cuts…

Thousands of scientists and their supporters, feeling increasingly threatened by the policies of President Trump, gathered in Washington on Saturday for what they called the March for Science, abandoning a tradition of keeping the sciences out of politics and calling on the public to stand up for the scientific enterprise.

Their call was echoed by protesters in hundreds of cities across the United States and around the world, including at marches in Europe and the Asia-Pacific that had already concluded.

In Washington, the rally was just getting underway Saturday morning, with thousands of people packing into the National Mall, some wearing white lab coats and ponchos on a misty day. Marchers carried signs calling for funding for scientific research — “science is not an alternative fact,” some said. Others noted pointedly that Albert Einstein was a refugee.

The March for Science evolved from a social media campaign into an effort to get people on the streets for the cause of science. Its organizers were motivated by Mr. Trump, who as a presidential candidate disparaged climate change as a hoax and cast suspicions on the safety of vaccines. Their resolve deepened, they said, when the president appointed cabinet members who seemed hostile to the sciences and then proposed a budget that would cut funding for research across the federal government.

Organizers said they hoped the day’s demonstrations result in sustained, coordinated action aimed at persuading elected officials to adopt policies consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change, vaccines and other issues.

“This has been a living laboratory as scientists and science institutions are willing to take a step outside their comfort zone, outside of the labs and into the public spheres,” said Beka Economopoulos, co-founder of the pop-up Natural History Museum and an organizer of the march. “This represents an escalation of a global movement that you’re just beginning to hear from.”

What began as a movement by scientists for scientists has drawn in many science enthusiasts who have joined efforts to organize the marches….

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Pence: U.S. to take Syrian refugess thru Australia…

Huh?

I thought his boss Trump thought this was a bad deal?

ANOTHER 180 turnaround from Trump…..

Maybe the refugee’s from the Trump ‘Ban’ countries should go to Australia first?

The United States will honor an Obama-era agreement with Australia to help resettle Syrian refugees, despite the Trump administration not favoring the arrangement, Vice President Mike Pence announced Saturday.

“President Trump has made it clear that we’ll honor the agreement — that doesn’t mean we admire the agreement,” Pence said during a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney, according to the Associated Press.

Up to 1,250 refugees housed in Australian detention camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea would come to the U.S. under the agreement made with President Barack Obama.

Within the first 10 days as president, Trump had a tense phone call with Turnbull about the agreement. He followed up the phone call with a tweet several days later where he called the deal “dumb.”….

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