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CNN  — 

“Get over it.”

So advised White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney Thursday.

The staggering thing was exactly what he was admonishing folks to get over – get over the quid pro quo that, Mulvaney admitted, President Donald Trump had engaged in with Ukraine, withholding military aid until the Ukrainian president agreed to probe a debunked tale about 2016 election interference. “There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” he said on live TV. “Get over it.”

After a press briefing whose first bombshell was that President Donald Trump will hold next year’s G7 summit at his own financially troubled property (Trump National in Doral, Florida), almost no one took Mulvaney’s advice. So few opted to get over it, in fact—including Republicans and a reportedly rattled President– that hours later Mulvaney denied ever saying those words. He went from what Paul Begala called the President’s “yes-man” into a “hey, I didn’t really mean it”-man.

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A real chief of staff, Begala argued, is someone who doesn’t hesitate to say “no sir” to the commander in chief: “Those words never seem to emerge from Mr. Mulvaney’s mouth,” wrote Begala. “Far from being a public servant, the acting chief of staff revealed himself to be a throne-sniffer of the worst order. If he were any more of a toady, he’d be catching flies with his tongue.” And after significant backlash, Trump reversed course Saturday to say the G7 won’t be held at Doral after all.

Mulvaney’s floundering capped a week of new impeachment-inquiry intrigue, after Fiona Hill, who used to direct Russian and European affairs for the National Security Council, testified that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his possible 2020 rival Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden. In Michael D’Antonio’s assessment, “the testimony of Fiona Hill – and the role of national security adviser John Bolton – may eventually become inciting incidents in a narrative that could rival Watergate as a political tragedy caused by a single man’s self-delusion.” Throw in the tough testimony from current and former administration officials facing House questioning (and those who have already testified), Samantha Vinograd pointed out, and “this may be the tip of the iceberg.”

More smart takes:

Jill Filipovic: Trump family throws stones at Biden from a glass house

Elie Honig: Your impeachment questions, answered

‘A man of dignity and discipline’

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The sudden passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings – chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and veteran of the Civil Rights Movement – drew immediate and bipartisan outpourings of respect for a man who served in Congress for over two decades and served his community of Baltimore (and others) for far longer.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson remembered Cummings as “a man of dignity and discipline,” his “beloved brother;” he said “it has been one of the great joys of my life to watch the nation get to know, respect and admire this great patriot, public servant and man of God.”

Both the Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy eulogized Cummings in the Washington Post. Pelosi called Cummings “our North Star” and paid tribute to his accomplishments as a legislator and mentor, a “generous leader.” Gowdy recounted moments when Cummings had been critical or disagreed with him, but dismissed all that: “It’s not the hearings or political squabbles I’ll remember. I’ll remember his laugh. I’ll remember the commanding voice that made him the most compelling orator in Congress. I’ll remember his hand coming toward mine to let me know that a piece of advice was headed my way, once I stopped talking.”

Historian Peniel Joseph echoed the thoughts of many when he deemed Cummings’ passing “a major loss to American politics…It is especially poignant for Cummings’ constituents (and the rest of us) to be suddenly faced with the task of mourning a man of his history and stature at a time when both the civil rights activism and public service he embodied seem by many to be under attack.”

Trump may have just pushed Republicans too far