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CORRUPTION

Trump Said He Had an ‘Obligation to End Corruption’ in Ukraine but Tried to Gut Billions Targeted to Do Just That

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President Donald Trump for a few days earlier this month repeatedly insisted he was all about fighting corruption. So dedicated to this new slogan was the American president that one might assume it had been part of his 2016 campaign stump speech (it was not.)

On TV and on Twitter Trump insisted his attempts to extort the president ofUkraine (photo) in a scheme to get dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for $400 million in congressionally-appropriated military aid, were merely about ensuring that nation, bedeviled by corruption in years past, was on a new path.

“To me everything is about corruption,” Trump told reporters in early October. “We want to find out about what happened with 2016,” he insisted, furthering his conspiracy theory that the Obama administration investigated him in an attempt to illegally interfere in the election, and that Ukraine and the Democrats colluded, while Russia did not attack the U.S. election. All of which is false.

“I don’t care about Biden’s campaign, I do care about corruption,” Trump continued, which clearly is false. “His campaign that’s up to him. Politics, that’s up to them. I don’t care about politics.”

A few more examples via Twitter:

If all this were true, why is it President Trump and his administration repeatedly attempted to gut billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and other countries, aid specifically targeted at fighting corruption?

“The administration’s professed interest in fighting corruption in Ukraine has not been reflected in its annual budget requests to Congress,” The Washington Post reports in an article titled, “Trump administration sought billions of dollars in cuts to programs aimed at fighting corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

For example, the administration sought to cut a program called International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement. Among the goals of the program, as described in White House budget documents, is “helping U.S. partners address threats to U.S. interests by building resilience and promoting reform in the justice and law enforcement sectors through support to new institutions and specialized offices, such as Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.”

The Post details another example, reporting that “the administration sought to streamline a number of overseas democracy assistance and foreign aid accounts under one larger umbrella called the Economic Support and Development Fund. The White House believed that consolidation would cut those programs by more than $2 billion.”

 

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CORRUPTION

Wallace Skewers Christie for Trying to ‘Save’ the GOP and Favoring Fox News

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MSNBC news host Nicolle Wallace skewered former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while he was promoting his book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.”

“Is bias more dangerous to the country than conspiracy theorists?” Wallace asked.

“No, but that’s the third section of the book where I talk about the movement forward. In the second portion of the book, we talk about the conspiracy theories and the truth-denying that went on with things like Qanon, Pizzagate, the election situation, John Birch Society… that’s what I talk about. There’s two sections of the book and I’m sure you’re conflating them,” Christie answered.

“I’m not conflating them,” Wallace said. “I don’t think it’s an intellectually honest case to make against conspiracy theories without taking on Fox News.”

During the interview, Wallace also asked Christie if he thought former President Donald J. Trump gave him COVID-19. He denied naming Trump specifically in the contraction, but ultimately said he didn’t know who gave it to him.

See below for how Twitter has responded to the interview, which originally aired Tuesday night, and also to the news of Christie’s potential run for president in 2024.

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CORRUPTION

GOP Rep. Gonzales: ‘I Will Not Let’ Trump ‘Steal’ the 2024 Election

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A stern warning was issued to Republicans Friday by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH): don’t rest on your laurels – former President Donald Trump will try to steal the next election.

“January 6 was an unconstitutional attempt led by the President of the United States to overturn an American election and reinstall himself in power illegitimately,” Gonzalez said. “That’s fallen nation territory, that’s third world country territory. My family left Cuba to avoid that fate. I will not let it happen here.”

Gonzalez said he could see one of two outcomes: “He either wins legitimately, which he may do, or if he loses again, you just try to steal it.”

Gonzalez was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Gonzalez and his family were the target of attacks and threats following the impeachment hearing. He has chosen to retire from Congress at the end of his term and avoid facing off with a Trump-backed primary challenger.

Gonzalez told CNN he will try to stop Trump from running the same 2020 playbook to overturn another election.

“The institutions don’t hold themselves,” Gonzalez said. “In the moments of truth, you need the right people to pass the most difficult tests. We had just enough people on January 6 pass the test. We have to make sure we have equal number of people to continue to pass the test going forward.”

“I’m afraid that the kind of political violence, the kind of abandonment of the rule of law, the kind of abandonment of the constitution that we watched, does threaten the foundations of democracy, the foundations of our system,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who was kicked out of House GOP leadership over her criticism of Trump.

“And the fact that so many in my party are willing to be silent, are complicit, are enabling it, adds very much to the peril,” added Cheney, one of two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating January 6.

“I have real concerns about the future of this democracy,” said Bill Gates, a Republican supervisor in Arizona’s Maricopa County who pushed back on claims that there was fraud in the 2020 election result. “I didn’t think we had this sort of pull towards authoritarianism in our in our democracy.”

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CORRUPTION

FBI Raids ‘Two Locations Associated with Project Veritas’ Under Bill Barr: Report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week reportedly raided two locations associated with conservative group Project Veritas as part of a probe that started under former Trump-appointed Attorney General Bill Barr.

According to the New York Times, the searches were related to an investigation into how the personal diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden, was stolen just ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“Federal agents in New York conducted the court-ordered searches on Thursday — one in New York City and one in suburban Westchester County — at places linked to people who had worked with the group and its leader, James O’Keefe,” writes the Times. “Project Veritas did not publish Ms. Biden’s diary, but dozens of handwritten pages from it were posted on a right wing website on Oct. 24, 2020, at a time when President Donald J. Trump was seeking to undermine Mr. Biden’s credibility by portraying his son, Hunter, as engaging in corrupt business dealings.”

A member of the Biden family contacted law enforcement officials about the diary’s theft and a Department of Justice investigation into the matter began shortly afterward.

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