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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Republican members of Congress — at least, those who deigned to show up — faced angry constituents in district town hall meetings across the country Tuesday. Many of the meetings drew overflow crowds filled with local residents who turned out specifically to voice anger over GOP threats to Obamacare. Tuesday morning, Donald Trump took to Twitter to dismiss those voters with the latest conservative myth: That any constituent who voices dissent is a “paid protester,” a liberal plant from out of town.

Like all of Trump’s lies, the strategy is obviously to repeat this talking point until it becomes the accepted wisdom of his base — or, perhaps, until fed-up constituents vote these spineless GOP sycophants out of office.

Here’s a look at some of the justifiably angry and organized masses that turned out just last night.

1. At a luncheon meeting in his home state of Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was roasted by a woman voter who questioned him on coal jobs and the Obamacare repeal. “If you can answer any of that, I’ll sit down and shut up like Elizabeth Warren,” the constituent said at the end of her speech, referencing the now infamous incident that occurred on the Senate floor earlier this month.

2. Iowa’s Chuck Grassley was challenged by two constituents. An Afghan man, who worked as an interpreter with the U.S. military, questioned what would be done to aid him as the Trump administration rolls out its unconstitutional Muslim ban. “Who will save me?” he asked the senator.

And a local farmer revived the Republican myth of Obamacare “death panels” to drive home how lives would be imperiled by an ACA repeal.

3. In Colorado, constituents held an “in absentia town hall” for legislators who were no-shows. Already familiar with the lie Trump again repeated the morning before, they kicked off the session by holding up their Colorado drivers’ licenses to prove they’re local residents.

4. Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey avoided his constituents altogether, but they went ahead with a town hall anyway. It featured an empty suit in Toomey’s place, to which constituents directed their questions.

5. Here’s a crowd angrily booing Senator Joni Ernst after she cravenly ducked out of a meeting with constituents from Maquoketa, Iowa after just 45 minutes.

6. Dave Brat of Virginia did his job and held a second consecutive night of town hall meetings Tuesday, but not without a chorus of criticism.

7. Watch this Arkansas crowd’s reaction to Steve Womack’s ridiculous answer about an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. Bonus point to the constituent who yells, “You guys wasted a lot of money on Benghazi—waste a little on Trump.”

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)