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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

Steve Schmidt, a former Republican political strategist, summed up President Trump’s move to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance as “an abuse of power by a President who shows his tendency towards his autocratic fetish with increasing frequency.”

Watch Schmidt’s comments on MSNBC Thursday:

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced Friday that confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin on Sept. 4, the day after Labor Day. Grassley said he expects the hearings to last three to four days.

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George Conway, husband of senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway, on Friday dismissed a claim in Omarosa Manigault Newman’s forthcoming memoir that said President Trump used a racial slur against him.

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Caitlin MacNeal sends in this dispatch from the Manafort trial. The next witnesses expected to take the stand are Maximillian Katzman (an NYC menswear retailer), Ronald Wall (presumably a vendor Manafort used) and Daniel Opsut (comptroller of the Alexandria, Virginia Mercedes Benz).

More to come this afternoon.

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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