President Donald Trump dragged Vice President Mike Pence into his growing impeachment scandal during a rambling press conference at the United Nations.
“And the Democrats did this hoax during the United Nations week. It was perfect, because this way it takes away from the tremendous achievements that we’re taking care of doing, that we’re involved in, in New York City at the United Nations,” Trump argued. “So that was all planned, like everything else. It was all planned.”
“And the witch hunt continues, but they’re getting hit hard on this witch hunt, because when they look at the information, it’s a joke,” Trump claimed. “Impeachment for that? When you have a wonderful meeting or you have a wonderful phone conversation?”
Trump urged an investigation of his own vice president.
“And I think you should ask for VP Pence’s conversation, because he had a couple of conversations also,” Trump suggested.
He then said he would release the transcripts of Pence’s communications.
“But the word is that they’re going to ask for the first phone conversation. You can have it any time you need it. And also Mike Pence’s conversations, which were I think one or two of them,” Trump offered. “They were perfect. They were all perfect.”
“It’s very sad what the Democrats are doing to this country. They’re dividing. They’re belittling, they’re demeaning our country,” Trump argued.
He then told one of his stories that begins with somebody calling him “sir” — which is believed by many analysts to be a tell that what comes next is a lie.
“So many leaders came up to me today and they said, ‘Sir, what you go through, no president has ever gone through. And it’s so bad for your country.’ People laugh at the stupidity of what they’ve asked for,” Trump claimed.
If Trump and Pence were both convicted in a Senate impeachment trial for their roles in the scandal, Speaker Nancy Pelosi would ascend to the presidency.
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Federal Judge Orders Barr to Release Redacted Portions of Mueller Report
A federal judge has ordered the Dept. of Justice to publish redacted portions of the Mueller report after determining Attorney General Bill Barr had not met his burden to satisfy keeping the information privileged.
“Based on the Court’s review of the unredacted version of the Mueller Report, the Court concludes that the Department has failed to satisfy its burden to demonstrate that the withheld material is protected by the deliberative process privilege,” U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton wrote, as The Hill reports.
The redactions are important. They detail the process by which Mueller’s team decided to charge or not charge individuals with crimes. The full extent of who that includes in the report is not known, but there was great discussion after the report was released about why President Donald Trump had not been charged.
Judge Walton was appointed by President George W. Bush.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
‘Complicit’: Ex-Trump DHS Counterterrorism Head Slams President’s ‘Dangerous’ Refusal to Condemn White Supremacists
President Donald Trump is being widely condemned for his refusal Tuesday night to condemn white supremacists. Instead of condemning the extremists, the president took control of a group of neo-fascist nationalistic violence-promoters known as the “Proud Boys.”
One of Trump’s top critics is a counterterrorism expert who saw Trump’s actions up close and first hand. She says Trump is already “complicit in the deaths of Americans.”
Elizabeth Neumann served as President Trump’s Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy at the Dept. of Homeland Security until several months ago.
Today she is blasting Trump for his “dangerous” refusal to condemn white supremacists, and says “white supremacist groups & the Proud Boys have been energized by his comments.”
Neumann is cautioning that the “root ideologies at play are responsible for the [Oklahoma] City Bombing,” a 1995 domestic terrorism attack that killed at least 168 people, including children, and injured nearly 700 others.
President Trump’s comments “fall into both the ‘first-hand’ and ‘dangerous’ category,” Neumann says. “I served at DHS as the Asst Secretary for Counterterrorism from 2018-2020. The surge of violent white nationalism happened on my watch.”
Neumann looks at her first-hand experience with Trump to offer some disturbing history.
“I worked to develop policies, laws, and programs to better prevent domestic terrorism. My colleagues & I tried to educate the President and his staff on this threat. Initially, I thought the rebuffing was due to having other priorities (e.g., defeat ISIS, counter Iran, etc).”
And then, a devastating realization.
/5 – I concluded after the attacks in El Paso that POTUS was complicit in the deaths of Americans for his refusal to recognize his language was in the shooter’s manifesto. Tonight, he was given the opportunity to condemn White Supremacy – he refused.
— Elizabeth Neumann (@NeuSummits) September 30, 2020
“He instead told these groups to ‘Stand Back and Stand By’. Online activity shows white supremacist groups & the Proud Boys have been energized by his comments as a rallying cry to attack ‘ANTIFA’ and ‘left-wing’ groups. They’ve already created a logo with those words.”
She’s absolutely correct.
8/8 – Historians & terrorism experts believe this rhetoric is extremely dangerous. This is bigger than countering Antifa protests & militia activity at riots. The root ideologies at play are responsible for the OK City Bombing. Voters, it’s up to you to fix the Trump problem.
— Elizabeth Neumann (@NeuSummits) September 30, 2020
Neumann is the co-founder of Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (RePAIR), and has endorsed Joe Biden for president.
Image by U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Donna Burton via Flickr
‘Their Strategy Now Is Very Clear’: MSNBC’s Heilemann Explains How Trump Will Exploit COVID-19 to Steal the Election
MSNBC’s John Heilemann warned that President Donald Trump doesn’t even seem to be trying to win a fair election anymore, and instead is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to steal the election.
The “Morning Joe” contributor said the president was trying to widen the partisan gap between in-person and mail-in voting so he can challenge any vote that’s not physically cast on Nov. 3.
“Their strategy now is very clear, which is to try to win in enough battleground states the Election Day vote, and that I think is what’s going on here,” Heilemann said.
Many voters are casting their ballots by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Heilemann said Republicans are exploiting the partisan divide in concerns about the deadly virus.
“We already know there’s a disparity between Republicans and Democrats in terms of who’s willing to put health concerns aside and show up on Election Day, stand in a long line, go and vote in person,” Heilemann said. “We know there’s this giant disparity. Democrats are going to vote early and by mail. Republicans are going to show up on Election Day.”
Republicans are concerned that Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting will discourage GOP voters from casting their ballots that way, but Heilemann said that’s exactly what the president wants.
“Trump has focused explicitly on, how do I win the gameday vote?” he said. “How do I get my core base supporters to come out on Election Day, so on the gameday vote, I can put a flag in the ground and say, I won Pennsylvania on Election Day, in-person voting, and then after Election Day, all of those other votes, those tens of millions of votes that come in by mail, that have come in early, many of which are not going to be counted until after Election Day, then engage in a knife fight in the counting rooms, in the validation-certification process, in the courts, in the Electoral College, in the House of Representatives, ultimately.”
“The Trump campaign thinks the fight for the presidency is not — we all say, hey, Election Day’s early, people are voting early right now,” he added. “They say, we don’t care about that, we’re going to contend that all of that was illegitimate, and for us, Election Day starts on Election Day and continues until Jan. 20. That’s where the fight is going to happen.”
Trump is purposefully pushing conspiracy theories about mail-in voting and stoking the possibility of polling place violence because he needs Democrats to stay home on Election Day to claim a narrow win based on higher GOP turnout, according to Heilemann said.
“What’s the Proud Boys thing about?” he said. “It’s about their increasing conviction that there is going to be civil unrest in the country between — I’m talking about their conviction. This is not a left-wing, partisan conspiracy theory. Within Trump’s inner circle, within Trump’s councils of power, within the influential people on the outside, like Steve Bannon, they now talk about the war starts the day after Election Day. The fight is between Nov. 4 and Jan. 20, and some of that fight is going to be, as I said, in counting rooms, in the courts, in the House of Representatives, and, potentially, in the streets, and i think they are getting ready for that fight, and they are in some respects realizing it’s the only path to the presidency for him.”
“It’s going to be really ugly,” Heilemann added. “That’s what Trump said last night, this is not going to be pretty. This is going to be ugly.”
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