True to form President Donald Trump effectively doubled down on his earlier admission he talked to the president of Ukraine about former Vice President Joe Biden and “corruption.” And this time he added a new element: admitting he used hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid as leverage.
Speaking to reporters as he headed into the United Nations Monday the president of the United States had no trouble trashing his top political opponent while copping to seeking dirt on Biden and his son, Hunter.
“We’re supporting a country,” Trump said of Ukraine, from which he had withheld $250 million in military aid to fight Russia.
“We want to make sure that country is honest,” Trump claimed. “it’s very important to talk about corruption. if you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”
Trump again basically cops to asking Ukraine about Biden: “We’re supporting a country. We want to make sure that country is honest…it’s very important to talk about corruption. if you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?” pic.twitter.com/u2zlloPl1X
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 23, 2019
NCRM could find no reports of Trump discussing withholding aid from foreign nations over issues of corruption. But he has said he would accept aid or support from foreign governments for his campaign.
Responses to Trump’s remarks at the UN have been filled with outrage. A sampling:
Confessin’ to impeachable crimes on social media. Is this part of Trump’s insanity defense? https://t.co/6LaEhVIdAA
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) September 23, 2019
And cops to withholding the money. https://t.co/IQcOpFQuml
— digby (@digby56) September 23, 2019
He just admitted the quid pro quo!!! https://t.co/1zBbkcWp6S
— Ken Gude (@KenGude) September 23, 2019
Kind of hard to make the case that “WE NEED TO WAIT AND INVESTIGATE” while the suspect continually confesses on national television to the crime. https://t.co/tC7OUwYrlf
— Matt Rogers 🎙 (@Politidope) September 23, 2019
This is the suspect admitting to the elements of the crime https://t.co/HT2suDkm5i
— Dylan Williams (@dylanotes) September 23, 2019
For all you @SenateGOP and @HouseGOP cowards claiming the reports about Trump extorting Ukraine into digging up dirt on his political opponent are fake news, here he is – your mob boss – admitting to it AGAIN.
cc @senatemajldr @GOPLeader https://t.co/CrwMnryZsT
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) September 23, 2019
I’m genuinely not sure anymore if Trump is so brazen about his criminality because he knows Congress won’t do anything about it or bc he’s so delusional & entitled and so completely surrounded by sycophants he actually believes the law doesn’t apply to the presidency. https://t.co/UyWQkNwVQ0
— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) September 23, 2019
He just keeps admitting to a criminally corrupt and impeachable offense because he believes no one is going to do a damn thing about it https://t.co/SzAwuUP0H2
— Leigh Drogen (@LDrogen) September 23, 2019
— CC (@ccmoose01) September 23, 2019
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Trump Official Spent Millions of Taxpayer Dollars on Legal Team to Dig Up Dirt on His Own Staff: Report
On Thursday, NPR reported that Michael Pack, the appointee of former President Donald Trump to lead the parent agency of Voice of America, spent millions on a team of lawyers hunting for dirt on his own employees.
“Last summer, an appointee of former President Donald Trump was irate because he could not simply fire top executives who had warned him that some of his plans might be illegal,” reported David Folkenflik. “Michael Pack, who was CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media that oversees Voice of America, in August suspended those top executives. He also immediately ordered up an investigation to determine what wrongdoing the executives might have committed.”
“Instead of turning to inspectors general or civil servants to investigate, Pack personally signed a no-bid contract to hire a high-profile law firm with strong Republican ties,” said the report. “The bill — footed by taxpayers — exceeded a million dollars in just the first few months of the contract.”
Pack, who resigned as Agency for Global Media chief in January at the request of President Joe Biden, also came under fire for trying to purge whistleblowers from his department at the end of last year.
Image: U.S. Agency for Global Media
Trump DOJ Refused to Open Criminal Investigation Into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao IG Says Was ‘Warranted’
The Trump Dept. of Justice refused an Inspector General’s request to open a criminal investigation into Transportation Secretary Elaine’s Chao’s possible misuse of her office. Chao resigned one day after the January 6 insurrection.
“A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday, The New York Times reports. The Times cites “a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing.”
The Inspector General’s report reveals the IG’s office had “referred its findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on December 16, 2020, and the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section on December 17, 2020, both of which declined prosecution.”
In one instance, Chao had her staff pressure a store to do a repair job for her father. “Tell them I’m the secretary of transportation,” she said.
“The report said the Justice Department declined to investigate her promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary in the Trump administration,” the Times notes, suggestion there is no question Chao engaged in “promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary.”
The Times adds: “The inspector general’s investigation detailed a series of instances where Ms. Chao directed her staff to spend federal government time and resources to help with matters related to the shipbuilding company and her father.”
A search of the IG’s 44-page report reveals the word “father” appears 82 times.
Read the Times’ full report here.
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