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Trump Dumped Bolton Because He Thought He Leaked One of the Wildest Stories About His Presidency: Sources



President Donald Trump fired national security adviser John Bolton by tweet, largely over their disagreement on holding peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David, but the president also had lost trust in his adviser.

Bolton strongly disagreed with Trump’s desire to meet with Taliban leaders and his willingness to meet with Iran’s president, but three sources revealed that Trump was angry at Bolton for another reason, reported CBS News.

Those sources, who were directly involved, said Trump was driven to distraction by his belief that Bolton or those close to him had leaked a story about the president asking whether nuclear weapons could be used against hurricanes.

Axios reported last month that Trump had asked senior Homeland Security and national security officials multiple times to explore using nukes to stop hurricanes from hitting the U.S., and they stood behind their reporting after the president denied asking about it.

“I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” Trump asked, according to one source who was present. “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?”

Related: ‘They Quoted Your Staff’: Trump Massively Mocked for Denying Report He Wanted to Nuke Hurricanes

The White House official assured the president they would look into that, but sources said aides were astonished by Trump’s question.

A National Security Council memo from 2017 shows that Trump asked about bombing hurricanes.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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House Republicans Have a Plan to Defend Trump During Impeachment Hearings – It’s All About His ‘State of Mind’



Rather than act as impartial investigators, dedicated to ascertaining the facts of the President’s actions, and whether or not those actions were legal, or are impeachable, House Republicans will stick to a plan that focuses on his “state of mind” and other intangible arguments.

“Confronted with a mountain of damaging facts heading into tomorrow’s opening of the public phase of impeachment, House Republicans plan to argue that ‘the President’s state of mind’ was exculpatory,” Axios reports, noting it has obtained an 18-page GOP memo that was sent out to House Intelligence Committee members Monday night.

“To appropriately understand the events in question — and most importantly, assess the President’s state of mind during his interaction with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky — context is necessary,” the memo reads. “The evidence gathered does not establish an impeachable offense,” it insists, wrongly.

Also wrong, or immaterial, are these four critical points the memo directs Republicans to make during the hearings.

“The July 25 call summary — the best evidence of the conversation — shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure.” (False.)

“President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call.” (True, but immaterial.)

“The Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call.” (False.)

“President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump’s political rivals.” (Immaterial. Doesn’t matter. Attempts to commit crimes are still crimes.)

You can read the full memo here.

The impeachment inquiry hearings with live, televised witness testimony, begin Wednesday.

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Whistleblower’s Attorney Warns Trump to ‘Cease and Desist’ Attacks or Face ‘Legal and Ethical Peril’



A lawyer representing the anonymous whistleblower who exposed the Ukraine extortion scandal on Thursday sent the White House Counsel a letter urging him to warn President Donald Trump to “cease and desist” his attacks against his client, and asking him to remind the president he will be in “legal and ethical peril” should the whistleblower or his family be harmed.

“I am writing out of deep concern that your client, the President of the United States, is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower, and their family in physical danger,’ the letter, published by CNN, reads. “I am writing to respectfully request that you counsel your client on the legal and ethical peril in which he is placing himself should anyone be physically harmed as a result of his, or his surrogates’, behavior.”

The attorney, Andrew Bakaj, reminded White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, that President Trump has repeatedly attacked the whistleblower, even at one point likening him to a “spy,” and saying, publicly: “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

Bakaj continued: “In the ‘old days,’ spies were summarily executed.”

“Respectfully, your client’s rhetoric and behavior fall well beneath the dignity of the office,” Bakaj added.

“These are not words of an individual with a firm grasp of the significance of the office which he occupies, nor a fundamental understanding of the significance of each word he articulates by virtue of occupying that office,” Bakaj also told Cipollone.

Bakaj also warned Cipollone of the likely violations of federal law Trump may have engaged in.

“In light of this, it is reasonable to submit that your client’s activity constitutes a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512, Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant. Furthermore, because my client is a lawful whistleblower and a prospective congressional witness, any threats to influence, obstruct, or impede my client’s cooperation is a violation of 18 U.SC. § 1505, Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees. Finally, reprisal against my client for cooperating with a congressional inquiry would be a violation of 18 U.SC. § 1513, Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant.”

“Let me be clear: should any harm befall any suspected named whistleblower or their family, the blame will rest squarely with your client.”


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‘No Reason to Call Witnesses’: Trump Freaks Out Over Impeachment Inquiry – Tweets ‘There Is No Whistleblower’



After a weekend of attacking and threatening an impeachment inquiry witness, demanding the publication of the whistleblower’s name, and refusing to commit to not shutting down the federal government if Democrats do not end the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump clearly is in full freak-out mode.

Monday morning the president continued his deep descent into illogical and potentially illegal attacks.

Trump falsely suggested the existence of the whistleblower is a con-job while claiming they gave false information to and worked with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. The president also demanded the whistleblower “be brought forward to testify.” That could be illegal, given the whistleblower is protected by federal law.

The president also insisted, “There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning,” after blocking four administration witnesses who were scheduled to testify today.

And he claimed once again his damning July 25 call extorting the president of Ukraine was done “perfectly.”

“There is no Whistleblower,” Trump tweeted, quoting thrice-failed GOP congressional candidate turned Trump-supporting pundit Dan Bongino, who also appeared to be threatening House and Senate Republicans.

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