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Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

The TV president has met his match.

According to preliminary figures highlighted by The Hollywood Reporter, more people tuned in to watch Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (awkwardly) stand side-by-side to rebut President Trump’s Oval Office address on the border wall than Trump’s primetime speech.

Four percent more people tuned in to watch the second quarter of the nine o’clock hour when Pelosi and Schumer spoke than the first part of the hour when Trump’s speech was broadcast across ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News and NBC, according to the Hollywood Reporter’s assessment of the figures:

The quarter hour (9-9:15 p.m. ET) containing the president’s speech drew a combined 28.1 household rating in metered markets on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News and NBC. The following 15 minutes, including analysis and the Pelosi-Schumer rebuttal, averaged 29.3 across those same networks, a bump of about 4 percent.

Full ratings will reportedly be available later on in the day.

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The declaration of a national emergency at the border in order to receive wall funding is still the most likely route for President Trump to take, a source close to Trump told Axios.

But conservatives close to President Trump are also concerned the move would be translated as an “abuse of his authority,” in Axios’ words.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to reporters outside the White house Wednesday that it was “something we’re still looking at. Something that’s still on the table,” according to CNN. 

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t hold back in her critique of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) rebuttal to President Trump’s Oval Office address.

During an interview on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning, Sanders called it “frankly, sad” and “ridiculous” that “Democrats want to continue to live in denial and pretend that things that are coming across this border that bring harm to people in this country aren’t happening.”

They care more about playing politics than they do about protecting Americans. I think what we saw last night was, frankly, pathetic excuse,” she continued. “If this is the face and the future of the Democrat party, I think things are looking really good for Republicans.”

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday evening reacted on Fox News to President Trump’s Oval Office address, calling it the “most presidential” he had ever seen and said he was “flabbergasted” by his Democratic colleagues who said the perceived “crisis” at the border was manufactured.

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CNN political commentator and former congressman Rick Santorum said the Trump campaign’s “biggest vulnerability” in the Russia investigation centers on the fact that “nobody wanted to work” for then-candidate Trump during the primaries.

“The biggest vulnerability of the Trump [campaign], of Donald Trump in this whole investigation is the fact that A, B, and C list players who were political players in the Republican Party would not go to work for Donald Trump during the primary,” Santorum said on CNN Tuesday evening. “Nobody wanted to work for him, so he had to go and get a lot of the — you know, Paul Manafort, who hadn’t been active in Republican politics in forever, and was not well respected, had all sorts of issues, The bottom line is, he had some people around him.”

The comments follow a new New York Times report that shows Manafort requested that 2016 data be shared with a Russian oligarch at the time.

Santorum added there was a 99 percent chance that then-campaign manager Manafort was a “lone wolf” in his dealings with Russia and the rest of the Trump campaign was unaware of his actions.

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