A prominent U.S. Republican Senator learned directly from an American ambassador that President Donald Trump was attempting to extort dirt on his top Democratic opponent via the president of Ukraine in exchange for the release of $400 million in military aid. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), a loyal Trump supporter, confronted President Trump on the quid pro quo allegations. Trump denied the facts. The Senator did not pursue it any further.
Senator Johnson serves on the Committee on Foreign Relations, so he has a fiduciary responsibility to investigate the allegations that were made to him in August against the president by the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. But Senator Johnson is also the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, meaning it is literally his job to look into executive branch abuses of power, especially related to military aid to foreign countries.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in an interview Senator Johnson said he had “raised the issue with Mr. Trump in a phone call on Aug. 31, shortly before the senator was due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Mr. Trump flatly rejected the notion that he directed aides to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on a new investigation by Kyiv, Mr. Johnson said.”
Text messages, including those to and from Ambassador Sondland, released late Thursday night by House Democratic chairman reveal Trump’s declaration of innocence to be a lie.
“Mr. Johnson, who supports aid to Ukraine and is the chairman of a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the region, said Mr. Trump was adamant on the issue,” The Journal adds.
“He said—expletive deleted—‘No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?” the Wisconsin senator recalled. Mr. Johnson told Mr. Trump that he had learned of the arrangement from Mr. Sondland.
Sen. Johnson on Thursday was exposed by CNN for supporting President Donald Trump’s false smears against Joe Biden, while having signed a 2016 letter demanding Ukraine reform its top prosecutor’s office – the same prosecutor then-Vice President Joe Biden had been demanding be removed for not prosecuting known corruption.
Johnson also came under fire Thursday for saying he supports President Trump’s very public and illegal request that China invetigate Trump’s top political opponent, Joe Biden.
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‘We should just burn it up’ says Nunes of Mueller Report.
Devin Nunes (R-CA), who has most recently been in the news after suing a Twitter account based on a fictitious cow, has a unique take on the report prepared by Robert Mueller into Russian interference into the 2016 election: he thinks it should be burned.
“The Mueller report, we should just burn it up,” said Nunes on Fox & Friends this morning. “I mean, it is a partisan document. The Democrats are going to say, ‘Well, we need to see the underlying information.’ What we really need to see is, what was the FBI’s involvement with Fusion GPS? Who did they know about?”
“Fusion GPS was essentially the Hillary Clinton campaign,” added Nunes. “They were hired by the Clinton campaign. We need to see all that. We need to see the FISAs fully disclosed.
“I can’t imagine why they brought Jerome Corsi into this,” said Nunes. “He’s just a longtime kind of press guy. He had every right to call Julian Assange or anybody else that he wants to. Press people do that all the time. That’s part of our First Amendment rights.”
Nunes’ mention of Clinton is noteworthy: The re-emergence of Hillary Clinton in GOP talking points the last couple days has, to some signaled that Republicans will once again attempt to use her as a scapegoat going into the 2020 election cycle.
Lindsey Graham, speaking last night at Mar-a-Lago, called for a new investigation into Clinton and her involvement in the Steele Dossier. That dossier was one part of the Mueller investigation. A chant of “Lock Her Up!” started as Graham spoke about Clinton.
Nunes was part of the Trump transition team and could potentially face liabilities in the report.
View the exchange below:
Devin Nunes tells Fox & Friends that Mueller’s report should be burned and that Trump’s DOJ should instead launch an investigation of the Obama administration. pic.twitter.com/V7GREE56dI
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) March 24, 2019
Paul Ryan Falsely Claims Intelligence Agencies Determined Russian Interference Did Not Affect Election
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan broke with President Donald Trump Tuesday morning, stating that Russia did interfere in the U.S. 2016 elections – but in a gift to Trump, he falsely claimed a “year-long investigation” proved Russia’s interference did not have an effect on the outcome of the election.
“We just conducted a year-long investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections,” Speaker Ryan told reporters. “They did interfere in our elections. It’s really clear. There should be no doubt about that.”
But Ryan continued, wrongly claiming that it’s “also clear” that Russia’s interference “didn’t have a material effect on our elections.”
“We just conducted a yearlong investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections. They did interfere in our elections. It’s really clear. There should be no doubt about that.”
– Speaker Paul Ryan pic.twitter.com/JSKC9FtbA0
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 17, 2018
That is a false GOP talking point, one that even CIA Director Mike Pompeo stated, and the CIA moved quickly to correct.
The U.S. intelligence community did “not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” CNN, quoting a declassified public report issued by the Director of National Intelligence, reported.
The consensus of the U.S. Intelligence agencies is that Russia absolutely interfered in the 2016 elections, but they did not investigate if Russia’s actions had any effect on the result of the elections.
To be clear, the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA), the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” and turned from seeking to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” as The New York Times had reported.
On Monday, after President Trump’s disastrous performance supporting Putin over America, Ryan issued a statement stating in part: “There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Cancels Fox News Interview After Internet Mocks Her for Being Bad at Her Job
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cancelled a scheduled interview on Fox News after twenty minutes of intense online mockery.
Fox News had hyped on Twitter that Sanders would make an appearance with The Daily Briefing host Dana Perino, who had served as press secretary during the George W. Bush administration.
The network then deleted their tweet hyping the appearance after a brief period of intense backlash.
Perino tweeted that Sanders had “been pulled into a meeting” and would be unavailable.
— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) June 26, 2018
Between the announcement and the announcement of the cancellation, many people mocked Sanders for not holding a press briefing and instead going on Fox News.
Here’s some of the best analysis of the situation:
Sarah had to cancel.
Fox deleted its tweet. https://t.co/3g6yHrjFug
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 26, 2018
On day when there is no scheduled press briefing. https://t.co/FBu4a0Zdb9
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) June 26, 2018
i’m told Sanders cancelled her Fox hit. some speculation here that a late briefing may be added… https://t.co/sGPZnLPzNj
— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) June 26, 2018
Chucky .@SarahHuckabee .@PressSec, You know how you’re payed by the American taxpayer? Along with that comes the obligation to brief the press and thereby the people. Hint: In the job title. No sitting on the sidelines because your feelings were hurt. #eatasalad #tellthetruth https://t.co/va0cG8bwCi
— Secretly Psyched (@SecretlyPsyched) June 26, 2018
State TV, anyone……? https://t.co/9bV6FMN3Ii
— Dennis Herring (@dcherring) June 26, 2018
Maybe you’ll meet up with her later and go out to dinner. Might prove interesting.
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01) June 26, 2018
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