President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the European Union is testifying behind closed door to congressional impeachment investigators and has just delivered a devastating indictment of the president. Ambassador Gordon Sondland says President Trump ordered him to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine.
“He directed those of us present at the meeting to talk to Mr. Giuliani, his personal attorney, about his concerns,” Ambassador Sondland said, according to The Washington Post. “It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the president’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani.”
Sondland added that it was not “until much later that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the president’s 2020 reelection campaign.”
Vice News’ Cameron Joseph adds that “Sondland, in prepared opening statement, says Trump directed him, Volker and Perry to work with Giuliani on Ukraine corruption in late May.” Volker is former United States special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Perry is Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
CNN adds, from Sondland’s prepared remarks that he “will testify that Trump put on hold effort to strengthen relations with Ukraine until top US officials were in contact with Giuliani, who had been pursuing investigation into the Bidens and 2016 elections.”
But one expert is poking holes in Sondland’s claims of innocence.
Matthew Miller, a former Dept. of Justice top spokesperson:
About Sondland's claim that he didn't realize on May 23 that what Giuliani and Trump were really after was a Ukraine investigation into Biden…the NYT had reported that's what Giuliani wanted on May 9. It was a big story! https://t.co/2YkROA2XcZ
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) October 17, 2019
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‘You Just Want to Talk About White Power’: Kellyanne Conway Attacks Reporters Over Trump’s Racist Tweet
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway clashed with reporters on Wednesday over a racist video that was shared on Twitter by President Donald Trump.
While taking questions outside the White House, NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Conway about a video tweeted by Trump in which a man shouts “white power.”
Conway noted that the president had eventually deleted the tweet.
“Does he need to condemn white power?” Welker asked.
“He condemned it by taking it down,” Conway replied. “He never heard that. He doesn’t support that phrase. This is a president that has worked for all Americans. If you’re not going to cover the other side of the coin, respectfully, everything he’s done for African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, vulnerable populations.”
“You just want to talk about white power!” she complained. “He took the tweet down. Do you regret asking it three days later. I mean, honestly, you’re like a reporter for a major — I respect you, Kristen — you’re a reporter for a major network and you’re gnawing on the same bone three days later. Why?”
“It’s not a three-day-old story,” the reporter pressed. “Because there’s a reckoning on race in this country. That’s going on now. And the president still hasn’t come out and condemned it.”
“Condemned what?” Conway interrupted.
“White power,” the reporter said. “It’s a longer story.”
“No, it’s a longer story because you want it to be,” Conway remarked. “Because you think you decide how the president speaks and what words and punctuation he uses. And it doesn’t work that way. America sees what he’s doing for this country.”
“So, yes, we have to have an ongoing conversation,” she added. “I have that conversation with my own children. Of course we should have it as a nation. But if you’re just going to throw out the Sesame Street word of the day and expect us to have a conversation, that’s not how to have a conversation.”
Watch the video below from C-SPAN.
Republicans Start Pretending They’ve Always Supported Masks – Now That COVID-19 Is Surging in Red States
When blue states like Washington, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were hit with coronavirus in large numbers, Republicans from President Donald Trump to Fox News were vehemently opposed to mask wearing. But now that coronavirus is surging in red states, like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, they’re changing their tune – and pretending they’ve always supported mask wearing.
“If Americans submit to wearing masks,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked one month ago, “what other rights and freedoms can be taken?”
Another show, another anti-mask rant from Laura Ingraham, who thought that masks were a great idea until liberals and public health experts started saying they were a great idea and then they became a dictatorial tool of social control. https://t.co/3puI6Bl6Vh pic.twitter.com/v3hjcwilGB
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) May 28, 2020
Fast forward to this week.
Here’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
Senate Majority Leader McConnell: ”We must have no stigma, none, about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people. Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves, it is about protecting everyone we encounter.” pic.twitter.com/ZYt7C56QUJ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 29, 2020
The President of the United States still refuses to wear a mask in public, and has made clear he remains vehemently against them, but his son, Donald Trump Jr., on Tuesday out of the blue declared mask-wearing is no big deal.
“You know, I don’t think it’s too complicated to wear a mask,” Jr. told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview discussing the upcoming GOP convention.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney Wednesday said that President Trump should tell Americans that wearing a mask “is the best thing you could possibly do,” and suggested he “start wearing them to send that message.”
“It would not hurt him I don’t think politically, it certainly wouldn’t hurt us economically it would probably help for him to go out and say you know what go back to work just wear a mask it is the best thing you could possibly do,” says former W.H. Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. pic.twitter.com/WaQu8prxHh
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 1, 2020
“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy seemed to mock RNC chair Rona McDaniel on Tuesday for her apparent continued opposition to mask-wearing – and her defense of the President’s refusal as well.
“I think that if the president wore one, it would just set a good example. He’d be a good role model. I don’t see any downside to the president wearing a mask in public,” Doocy said. “MAGA should now stand for ‘Masks Are Great Again.’ Let me give you some marketing advice right there.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but after Steve Doocy asked how have the RNC’s plans changed given coronavirus spikes and a mask order in Jacksonville, Ronna McDaniel doesn’t say anything different from the answer she’s been giving for weeks. pic.twitter.com/R22OpyaMBi
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) June 30, 2020
Here’s uber-conservative Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee:
“Unfortunately, this simple, life-saving practice has become part of the political debate.”
In Senate hearing, Sen. Lamar Alexander and health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, stress importance of face masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19. https://t.co/8UYo6kdkT0 pic.twitter.com/i7DNWp1T36
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2020
Unofficial Trump advisor, Fox News host Sean Hannity, acts like he’s always supported mask-wearing – even though he called the coronavirus crisis a hoax. In fact, as Yahoo News reported in April, Hannity suggested “the pandemic might be a ‘deep state‘ plot to hurt the economy or, at another point, claiming concerns over the novel virus was a ‘new hoax‘ designed to ‘bludgeon’ Trump.”
Now, coronavirus is real and “masks work.”
Hannity: I went to my grocery store every week. Guess what? They wore masks… I think they work. pic.twitter.com/SMwIgZVV5Y
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 30, 2020
This week we’ve seen Vice President Mike Pence wear a mask. In fact, the White House posted this image of the VP at a rare coronavirus task force meeting Tuesday:
Not all Republicans are on board.
Like President Donald Trump.
“The president has said he has no problems with masks,” McEnany says when asked about suggestion from some Republicans for Trump to wear a mask to set an example.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2020
And Senator Rand Paul.
Paul: There are people who should wear masks and then there are other times in which it’s sort of Kabuki Theatre pic.twitter.com/sMnmVsC9vI
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 30, 2020
More Proof: Intel Analysts Intercepted Electronic Data Showing Financial Transfers From Russian Military to Taliban
President Donald Trump is calling it a hoax but day after day more data points of proof appear, showing that Russia, as many news outlets have reported, paid the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers.
The latest evidence, according to The New York Times, comes from intelligence analysts who say, “American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account.”
That data “was among the evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence.”
Early Sunday morning Trump claimed Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops was just a “hoax.”
…Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine – Where’s Hunter? Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their “source”?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2020
The next day Trump suggested Russia paying terrorists to kill American soldiers was perhaps “another fabricated Russia Hoax,” despite all evidence to the contrary.
Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!! https://t.co/cowOmP7T1S
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2020
President Trump and his administration, despite numerous reporting to the contrary, claim he was never briefed. His former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has said he briefed Trump on the Russian program in March of 2019.
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