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Former GOP rep upends CNN panel over State Dept ‘Mar-a-Lago ad’; reminds who set the precedent

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A CNN discussion on the president’s first 100 days in office seemed to fall to pieces as a former congressman defended President Trump.

Former Rep. Jack Kingston upended the CNN panel on Monday by defending the first family and blaming former President Obama for the “click-bait campaign” starting by the U.S. State Department.

Following political analyst Ana Navarro’s criticism of Ivanka Trump for selling “Trump shoes and Trump handbags,” the discussion had turned to the State Department’s decision on Monday to take down an article that was posted earlier in the month describing Trump’s private Florida property, Mar-a-Lago.

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“The State Department website got a lot of attention for plugging the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.,” CNN host Jake Tapper said. “It was also on the website of the U.S. embassy in the U.K.”

Liberal commentator and former Obama adviser, Van Jones, referred to the article as “outright kleptocracy.”

“It’s outrageous. It’s completely outrageous,” he said. “Part of the thing that is shocking to me is, with a few exceptions, you don’t hear conservatives shouting about this. One of the things you want to be able to rely on the conservatives for is limited government, clean government, small government. It’s outright kleptocracy from what I can see.”

He concluded that the Mar-a-Lago article on a government website was an advertisement for the private club.

“This is — you literally have somebody who says, my house, my business is the winter White House,” Jones said. “This is an ad. — you would pay a billion dollars for this ad. “

Kingston agreed that he was “outraged,” but had another point to make.

“I also want to point out, this is actually part of a $72 million clickbait campaign that the State Department had previous engaged in, it was not done under the Trump administration, and it’s part of what they’re trying to ferret out, the waste in government,” the former Georgia Republican congressman said.

Navarro slammed Kingston’s view, arguing about “blurring lines between personal profit and government” and noting that the Mar-a-Lago post was placed during Trump’s administration.

“You forced me into reminding you, this was left over from the Obama administration — I tried not to say that,” Kingston responded.

This sent Tapper, Jones, Navarro, and political analysts Rebecca Berg and David Gergen into overload as they pushed back against Kingston.

“C’mon, c’mon, Jack,” Gergen said while the others audibly moaned and attempted to keep talking over Kingston.

“Look, I’m going to agree with Van — it sounded like a real estate ad, it was stupid, it was taken down immediately for that reason, I don’t think it should be up, I’m in agreement with you on that,” Kingston said.

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“But,” he added,  “I’m saying the bureaucracy does all kinds of silly and stupid things.”

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Frieda Powers

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