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David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) responded to President Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, calling the display “shameful.”

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If you blinked you might have missed it.

After initially saying the Senate “should do nothing to artificially delay” the consideration of the next Supreme Court justice in the wake of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) now says a confirmation vote for President Trump’s next Supreme Court pick should take place after the 2018 midterm elections.

NBC News’ Garrett Haake captured Blumenthal’s original sentiment just before 3 p.m. ET:

By about 4 p.m., it appeared Blumenthal realized that was an untenable position:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) successfully blocked President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016, arguing that the American people should have a voice in the choice by electing the next president.

TPM is rounding up Democratic senators’ positions on the precedent McConnell set here.

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President Trump on Friday weighed in on the numerous scandals facing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, saying, “I’m not happy about certain things, I’ll be honest.”

But despite the mounting allegations of ethical impropriety, Trump said he thought Pruitt was doing a “fantastic job” at the agency.

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For the second time in two days, President Trump called for Russia to be let back into the G-7.

Russia was kicked out of the global summit over its invasion of Ukraine. But Trump, who has asserted a decisively pro-Russia posture, said Saturday at the G-7 in Canada that it would be an “asset to have Russia back in.”

“This used to be the G-8, not the G-7, and something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in,” Trump told reporters. “I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world. I think it would be good for Russia. I think it would be good for the United States. I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G-7. I think the G-8 would be better. I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We’re looking for peace in the world, we’re not looking to play games.”

Before leaving the White House Friday to travel to the summit, Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the group. Trump boasted that he had been Russia’s “biggest nightmare,” but that the country should have a seat at the negotiating table.

Speaking about Russia’s military incursion in Crimea, a peninsula that was part of Ukraine, Trump on Saturday blamed President Obama for the annexation.

“He was the one who let Crimea get away … Crimea was let go during the Obama administration. Obama can say all he wants. He allowed Russia to take Crimea. I may have had a much different attitude,” Trump said.

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace weighed in on President Trump’s latest complaints about the press on Wednesday by reminding viewers of Trump’s malicious comment about fellow MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski last summer.

Trump claimed Brzezinski got a face lift and was part of a “poorly rated” show. Wallace took issue with Trump’s claim that he doesn’t watch the program.

“He watches every day like a slave,” she said.

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Friday contrasted the mugshot of the suspected gunman in the Texas high school shooting massacre to an earlier photo that Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, posted of himself on social media.

“Aside from the obvious weight gain, people will note his eyes have gone dead in the mugshot,” Williams said.

Watch:

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin responded to the White House’s squabbling over leaks about the John McCain “dying” remark with some tough words about the administration on Monday.

“These are soulless people working for a soulless President,” Rubin said on MSNBC. “The President of the United States doesn’t have a purpose higher than himself, and therefore the people who work for him do not have a higher purpose.”

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The White House aide who brushed off Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) opposition to CIA director nominee Gina Haspell because he’s “dying” still works in the administration, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.

NBC News’ Kristen Welker asked whether White House special assistant to the President Kelly Sadler still works at the White House, and Sanders responded, “Yes, she does.”

Sanders mostly refused to engage reporters’ questions about Sadler’s remark, saying that she didn’t want to validate a leak from an internal White House meeting.

Watch the exchange below:

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President Donald Trump told reporters Friday morning that his new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, knows that the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.”

“He started yesterday. He’ll get his facts straight. He’s a great guy. But what he does is he feels it’s a very bad thing for our country, and he happens to be right.”

During a series of interviews this week, Giuliani said that Trump paid back his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for a hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has claimed that she had an affair with Trump about a decade ago.

Before boarding Air Force One to travel to the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas, Trump addressed the Giuliani situation once again.

“I will tell you this, I will tell you this, when Rudy made the statement, Rudy’s great, but Rudy had just started, and he wasn’t totally familiar with everything. And Rudy, we love Rudy, he’s a special guy. What he really understands is that this is a witch hunt. He understands that probably better than anybody.”

Watch:

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