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April 21, 2017

Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin (R) won the praise of Morning Joe for her interview Thursday with CNN's Jake Tapper. Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough wasn't necessarily impressed with what she said, per se, but rather how she said it. "I'm not being snide when I say this: She spoke in complete sentences," Scarborough said Friday, seemingly amazed at how coherently Palin spoke as she advised women that were being harassed in the workplace to "stand up and do something about it, not stick around for a paycheck for years and years."

Scarborough reminisced on how for the "past five, six, seven years, every time she got on TV she rambled to such a degree — it was a word salad." "If there were a Chop't chain for the English language, Sarah Palin would be the major franchise owner," Scarborough said.

Scarborough's fellow co-hosts chided him for setting an "unbelievably low" bar for Palin — though they didn't disagree. Contributor Donny Deutsch said he was floored Palin was able to communicate "a single coherent thought."

Watch Morning Joe marvel over Palin's progression into "complete sentences" below. Becca Stanek

2:24 p.m. ET

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) took to the floor Thursday to passionately attack the Republican Senate's ObamaCare replacement, the "Better Care" act. "Senate Republicans wrung some extra dollars out of kicking people off tax credits that help them afford health insurance," Warren said. "They raked in extra cash by letting states drop even more protections and benefits, like maternity care or prescription drug coverage or mental health coverage."

"And then they got to the real piggy bank," Warren added. "Medicaid. And here, they just went wild."

Warren noted that 1 in 5 Americans is on Medicaid, and that the program serves 30 million children. "These cuts are blood money," she said. "People will die. Let's be very clear. Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives." Watch below. Jeva Lange

2:15 p.m. ET

Hours after Republican Senate leadership released a proposal for replacing ObamaCare, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) announced they would not support their party's bill.

"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation," the senators wrote. They added, though, that "it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise made to Americans: to repeal ObamaCare and lower their health-care costs."

The GOP cannot lose the support of more than three senators for the bill to pass, as no Democrats or independents are expected to back the plan. A vote is expected next week. Jeva Lange

2:12 p.m. ET
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A 92-year-old from Washington state has finally graduated from her old high school. Mary Matsuda Gruenewald was an honors student at Vashon Island High School in 1942 when, like some 120,000 other Japanese-Americans during World War II, she was sent to an internment camp. Matsuda Gruenewald graduated from the camp's makeshift school and went on to become a nurse. But she always wanted her diploma from Vashon. When the school's principal heard her story recently, he invited her to walk in the class of 2017's commencement. "This eliminates all the heartaches," she says. Christina Colizza

1:14 p.m. ET

President Trump confessed Thursday on Twitter that he does not have tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. In May, shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted a threat: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Comey then called the president's bluff during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

On Thursday, Trump finally came clean:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a friend and ally of Trump's, told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that he thought Trump's threat was simply "his way [of] instinctively trying to rattle Comey."

"He's not a professional politician," Gingrich said. "He doesn't come back and think about Nixon and Watergate. His instinct is: 'I'll out-bluff you.'" Jeva Lange

1:09 p.m. ET

University of Minnesota graduate student Victoria Fiorentino pinpointed a particularly alarming line in the Senate Republicans' health-care replacement bill, which was unveiled Thursday:

Medicaid covers roughly 50 percent of all births in the country. Jeva Lange

12:50 p.m. ET

The Senate Republican health-care bill was released Thursday, revealing its steep cuts to Medicaid and slashing of essential health benefits to the American public. The bill's drafting had been shrouded in secrecy for weeks, to the point that even several Republican senators had expressed frustration with the process.

Shortly after the bill was released, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) admitted to MSNBC that he had only "started to read" the bill, but he nonetheless offered a rather unflattering assessment: "In some ways it's more evil, in some ways it's even dumber than the House proposal," Murphy said, adding the Senate's bill "largely mirrors" the House's version, but scales up cuts to Medicaid. The House bill passed with a razor-thin margin early last month.

Murphy also noted the Senate bill's lack of an individual mandate, which he said "makes any protection for people that are sick meaningless," and said the bill "logistically" didn't make sense. "I just think it's an absolute monstrosity of a bill," he said.

Watch below. Kimberly Alters

12:43 p.m. ET

After Senate Republicans released the text of their health-care bill Thursday, approximately 60 protesters — including several in wheelchairs — stormed the hallway outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office.

The sit-in was organized by Arc, a group that "promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."

Security soon began removing protesters, even physically dragging some people away:

Even as they were being escorted out, many protesters turned to reporters' cameras to demand "no cuts to Medicaid." "Medicaid covers 30 percent of non-elderly adults with disabilities and 60 percent of children with disabilities," Slate writes. Jeva Lange

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