Daily Archives: October 3, 2019

‘I don’t care.’ Trump dismisses GOP concern over protecting whistleblower – USA TODAY

Posted: October 3, 2019 at 10:46 am

President Trump said "a whistleblower should be protected if the whistleblower's legitimate." USA TODAY

WASHINGTON PresidentDonald Trump dismissed concernsWednesday including from some GOP lawmakers about the need to shielda whistleblower at the center of allegations that he pressured officials in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

Asked about those concerns, Trump responded:"I don't care."

"He either got it totally wrong, made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistleblower was dishonest," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "And this country has to find out who that person was, because that person is a spy, in my opinion."

Speaking alongside the president of Finland, Trump added that "a whistleblower should be protected if the whistleblower's legitimate."

Trumphas repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the unnamed whistleblower in the intelligence community who filed an Aug. 12 complaintabout the president'sphone call with Ukraine's president.

'Did you hear me?': Furious Trump blasts reporters amid Ukraine impeachment inquiry

Mike Pence: Pence aide monitored Donald Trump's call with Ukraine president, Washington Post reports

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who launched an impeachment inquiry of Trump last week, has said she was alarmed at the whistleblowers report and a summary of a July 25 phone call between Trump andUkrainian PresidentVolodymyr Zelensky that has been made public.

On the call,Trump repeatedlypressed Zelensky to investigate Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner, and his son, Hunter, who once had business interests in Ukraine. During the time of the conversation, the White House was holding up a military aid package Congress had approved for Ukraine.

President Donald Trump rails against journalists asking questions about an impeachment inquiry during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the East Room of the White House October 02, 2019.(Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

Trump returned to the whistleblower during a combative press conference in the East Room of the White House later Wednesday, saying he had respect for people calling attention to government abuses but only when those claims are "real."

"You look at the whistleblower statement, and it's vicious.Vicious," Trump repeated. "And that whistleblower, there's no question in my mind that some bad things have gone on, and I think we'll get to the bottom of it."

The whistleblowerhas accused Trump of abusing the power of his office to try to discredit a political rival. Trump has said there was nothing improper about the phone call and has insisted there was no "quid pro quo" over the military aid.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a co-founder of the Senate Whistleblower Caucus, said on Tuesday that the whistleblower deservesto be heard and protected.We should always work to respect whistleblowers requests for confidentiality, Grassley said.

Trump said that the whistleblower's characterization of his call with the Ukrainianpresident was "erroneous."

"In other words, he either got it totally wrong, made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistleblower was dishonest," the president said.

Whistleblowers have been at time essential and detrimental to a country's democracy, but what makes them different than a leaker? We explain. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

Trump also renewedhis attacks on House Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. whochairsthe House Intelligence Committee. Trump said Schiff couldn't carry Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "blank strap," an apparentreference to a "jockstrap."

Earlier, Trump used a series of tweets to condemn the impeachment inquiry as damaging to the country. He challenged Pelosi's stated desire to work on trade and drug prices, saying Democrats are instead obsessed with impeachment.

Pelosiis "incapable" of working on other issues, the president wrote."It is just camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment. The Do Nothing Democrats are stuck in mud!"

Unleashing an unusual show of anger, President Donald Trump railed against former Vice President Joe Biden, his son, the media and the World Trade Organization at a joint press conference in the White House East Room with Finland's president. (Oct. 2) AP, AP

In a tweet that preceded his meeting with the president of Finland, Trump used a barnyard epithet in condemning the impeachment drive. The president described Democrats as wasting their time on "bullshit" despite his election in 2016.

He added:"Get a better candidate this time, youll need it!"

House Democrats have questioned the presidents past attacks on the whistleblower.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press after arriving on Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, September 26, 2019.(Photo: SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)

I hope that you understand, and I suspect that you do, the seriousness of the president of the United States saying he wants to interview that person, Pelosi said.

The president probably doesnt realize how dangerous his statements are when he says he wants to expose who the whistleblower is and those who may have given the whistleblower that information, she added.

Contributing: Bart Jansen, Maureen Groppe

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/02/donald-trump-dont-care-gop-concerns-whistleblower/2442994001/

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Shoot them is the real Donald Trump | Editorial – NJ.com

Posted: at 10:46 am

The president once privately suggested to White House advisors that we shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down, among other venomous ideas.

His comments, reported this week by the New York Times, fit a pattern of inhumanity at the border, now spelled out in black and white. Its an insight into the mind of Trump and his policy man with a perma-smirk, Stephen Miller.

Its a clarifying moment: The underlying principle is that they hate these people.

Of course, you can be for tighter controls on immigration without being for cruelty. But this is no longer about how many immigrants we want, or how many deserve asylum here because their lives are in danger.

What weve seen under Trump is consistent, needless cruelty: Deliberately separating babies from their parents; congratulating the use of tear gas at the border on women and children in flip-flops.

Now White House advisors say Trump told them we should just shoot these people, many of whom are crossing our border to legally apply for asylum.

He also threw out other caricaturish villainries: a moat filled with snakes and alligators to keep them out; an electrified wall with spikes on top to inflict wounds.

Trump actually asked his advisors to seek a cost estimate for this stuff, they said which they apparently did, instead of telling him that he was nuts.

On Wednesday, the president dismissed the moat and the wall with spikes in his usual manner, with a tweet calling it fake news although Trump himself once tweeted out a drawing of a border fence with sharp spikes on top.

Noticeably, he didnt deny suggesting that we shoot migrants. Indeed, hes said much the same in public. We should fire bullets across the border if a migrant throws a rock, Trump once declared.

He joked about shooting immigrants at Florida appearance, too. Then a deranged admirer actually did so in El Paso, with a manifesto that quoted the presidents rhetoric about a border invasion.

Our immigration system is broken, and both Republican and Democratic presidents have tried to address this. But Trump and his misanthropic wonk are different. Both are steeped in the fear-mongering world of right wing talk radio, and are against immigration, period unless its from places like Norway.

Trump has complained about immigrants trying to infest America, and made it clear hes talking about the shithole countries populated by people who are not white. When it comes to stopping their immigration, he is willing to leave any moral, humanitarian or legal implications aside.

Even Kirstjen Nielsen, who carried out and defended Trumps singularly harsh family separation policy, was forced out as Homeland Security chief because she did so only reluctantly. She didnt delight in it, the way Miller did.

Nor does every Trump voter, based on reports from Trump country. When a pillar of the Grander, Indiana community a business owner who lived here nearly 20 years was snatched from his U.S. citizen wife and children and deported to Mexico, his neighbors who backed Trump spoke out against it.

I voted for him because he said he was going to get rid of the bad hombres, local resident Dave Keck told 60 Minutes. Roberto is a good hombre.

Cruel policies and chants like go back where you came from are easier to adopt in the abstract. The closer you get, the better you see the neighbor torn from his family; the mother whose wailing toddler was taken from her.

This is the real Donald Trump, and he is the bad hombre.

Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

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Trump demanded to meet his accuser. There are at least 22 of them. – Vox.com

Posted: at 10:46 am

President Trump says he wants to confront his accuser.

That was one of the many demands the president issued in a series of enraged tweets over the last few days. Like every American, Trump tweeted on Sunday, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called whistleblower, represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way.

Trumps demand to face the person accusing him struck many observers as ironic, given that at least one person accusing Trump of crimes is quite eager to face him in court.

Summer Zervos, a restaurant owner and former contestant on The Apprentice, alleges Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007. Shes one of at least 22 women including, most recently, author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll who has alleged sexual misconduct by Trump (the president has denied all allegations). Zervos sued Trump in 2017 for calling her a liar when she came forward with her allegation, and ever since, shes been fighting to take him to court.

Although its the whistleblower report that finally triggered an impeachment inquiry against Trump, his recent tweets are a reminder that the list of allegations against him is long and includes the testimony of at least one woman who would be only too happy to meet him in a court of law, should he give her the chance.

When Trump tweeted about his desire to meet my accuser, the response from critics was swift. Karine Jean-Pierre, chief public affairs officer for the liberal group MoveOn, simply tweeted a list of some of the women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including Zervos.

Many of these women came forward after the October 2016 release of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump was heard bragging about his ability to grab women by the pussy. He at first dismissed the comments as locker-room talk but multiple women soon stated publicly that he had, in fact, grabbed, touched, or kissed them without their consent.

There was Jessica Leeds, who said Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt when they were seated on a flight together in the 1980s. He was like an octopus, she told the New York Times. His hands were everywhere.

There was Natasha Stoynoff, who said that when she visited Mar-a-Lago to write a People magazine story about Trump in 2005, he pushed her up against a wall and forced his tongue down her throat. Melania Trump was pregnant at the time.

And there was Summer Zervos, who said Trump invited her to dinner with him at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007. She went, hoping for career help. Instead, she said, Trump brought her to his private bungalow, where he touched her breast and pressed his genitals against her.

After she went public with her story in 2016, Trump said that every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. His campaign also released a statement from Zervoss cousin, arguing she was making up the allegations as a way to get famous.

Zervos sued Trump for defamation in January 2017. But his lawyers argued that, because she filed her suit in state court in New York, it should be thrown out. They claimed that although a sitting president can be sued in federal court (Paula Joness lawsuit against Bill Clinton established that), it is illegal to sue a president in state court. Theyve lost at every step most recently, in March, a New York appeals court ruled that Zervoss suit could go forward.

Meanwhile, the list of allegations against Trump continues to grow. Most recently, E. Jean Carroll wrote in her new book What Do We Need Men For?, excerpted in New York magazine, that Trump sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in 1995 or 1996. Trump denied the allegation and insulted Carroll, saying shes not my type.

Trumps claim that he deserves to meet the whistleblower who raised the alarm about his communications with Ukraine reads as an attempt to intimidate that person, especially given Trumps previous comments on this issue. At a private event last week, Trump described the whistleblower, whose identity is not publicly known, as almost a spy, and said, we used to handle [spies and treason] a little differently than we do now. Similarly, Trump has tried to intimidate the women who came forward with misconduct allegations, saying in 2016 that all of these liars will be sued after the election is over.

The tweet is also a reminder that while the matter with Ukraine is the basis for the current impeachment inquiry, its far from the first serious allegation lodged against the president. And of the nearly two dozen women who have accused him of assaulting or harassing them, Trump has so far faced no consequences for their allegations.

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The Shark-Infested Waters of Trumps Tweet-Filled Weekend – The New York Times

Posted: at 10:46 am

Over one weekend, the president of the United States sent out more than 100 tweets or as they will soon be known, Exhibits A through Z. JAMES CORDEN

Its so bad, at one point last night, Trumps iPhone threw itself in the toilet. JIMMY FALLON

And hes playing all the hits. He called this the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country. Even his witch hunts are the greatest in history. JIMMY KIMMEL

But Trump tweeted he wants to meet the whistle-blower in person, however their identity and whereabouts are unknown. They are probably hidden in a place no one ever goes so most likely, theyre at a Forever 21. JIMMY FALLON

I would say the president is starting to unravel, but that would imply he was raveled in the first place. I think he might be smoking black-market vapes. JIMMY KIMMEL

Hes losing what little was left of his mind. He even retweeted a comedy Twitter account called Trump but About Sharks. This is an account that takes his tweets and makes them about sharks. So he retweeted it. Hes so rattled, for lunch today aides say he ate a bucket of Adderall and snorted his fried chicken. JIMMY KIMMEL

I know it seems careless, but in Trumps defense he does just automatically retweet anything as soon as he sees the words great white. JAMES CORDEN

Hillary Clinton weighed in on Mike Pompeos participation in Trumps call to Ukraine while appearing on The Late Show with her daughter Chelsea.

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Republicans split with Trump on celebrating China – POLITICO

Posted: at 10:46 am

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said the American people stand with the freedom-seekers in Hong Kong, and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said the Chinese Communist Party has waged economic warfare against Missourians through currency manipulation and tariffs targeting our farmers.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a close Trump ally, said "it has been a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control.

In the House, Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) lambasted the Chinese government's appalling record of repression."

Security personnel pose in front of Mao Zedongs portrait on Tiananmen Gate for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Republic of China in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019. | Ng Han Guan/AP Photo

Those statements stood in stark contrast to the presidents remarks on Twitter.

Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China! Trump tweeted.

The disparate responses underscore the ever-growing gap between Trumps foreign policy perspective and the views of most members of his party. Senate Republicans have voiced alarm at the violent protests in China. Over the summer, McConnell wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal warning Beijing would face consequences if Hong Kongs autonomy is eroded.

But while White House aides have encouraged the president to back the pro-democracy protesters, Trump has appeared reluctant to directly condemn Xi for the demonstrations particularly as he tries to negotiate an end to a trade war that continues to spiral.

Last week, during his speech before the United Nations, Trump went the furthest hes gone in criticizing China for its response to the protests, saying his administration was carefully monitoring the situation in Hong Kong."

The world fully expects that the Chinese government will honor its binding treaty made with the British and registered with the United Nations in which China commits to protect Hong Kong's freedom, legal system and democratic ways of life, Trump said. We are all counting on President Xi as a great leader.

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Historians on Trump: We’ve never seen anything like this – CNN

Posted: at 10:44 am

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"},{"title":"Lawmaker explains 'urgent' meeting with inspector general ","duration":"00:55","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/raskin-inspector-general-meeting-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/raskin-inspector-general-meeting-tsr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002180010-raskin-tsr-10-2-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/raskin-inspector-general-meeting-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"State Department Inspector General Steve Linick requested an urgent briefing with Congress to provide and discuss documents that contain many unproven claims about Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) talks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the documents. 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Excerpt from:

Historians on Trump: We've never seen anything like this - CNN

Posted in Donald Trump | Comments Off on Historians on Trump: We’ve never seen anything like this – CNN

The world is learning the price of friendship with Donald Trump – CNN

Posted: at 10:44 am

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The world is learning the price of friendship with Donald Trump - CNN

Posted in Donald Trump | Comments Off on The world is learning the price of friendship with Donald Trump – CNN

This 2016 map tweeted by Donald Trump is hugely misleading – CNN

Posted: at 10:44 am

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","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs and fortifying the US-Mexico border wall with a water-filled trench with snakes and alligators, during an Oval Office meeting, according to the New York Times. "},{"title":"How Lindsey Graham went from Trump critic to supporter","duration":"02:04","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/01/evolution-lindsey-graham-trump-support-serfaty-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/01/evolution-lindsey-graham-trump-support-serfaty-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191001103539-03-lindsey-graham-file-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/01/evolution-lindsey-graham-trump-support-serfaty-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has completely changed his tune on President Trump over the past four years. 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This 2016 map tweeted by Donald Trump is hugely misleading - CNN

Posted in Donald Trump | Comments Off on This 2016 map tweeted by Donald Trump is hugely misleading – CNN

Freewheeling Trump was often unprepared for foreign leader calls, had to be coached by staff – CNN

Posted: at 10:44 am

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","descriptionText":"House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said he was "deeply concerned" that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may interfere with witnesses called to testify in front of the Intelligence Committee during the impeachment inquiry process. "},{"title":"Sec. 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","descriptionText":"Former Vice President Joe Biden responds to President Donald Trump's allegations about Biden's role in the Ukraine controversy during a campaign stop in Reno, Nevada. 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","descriptionText":"Russian President Vladimir Putin joked on Russian TV that Russia would interfere in America's 2020 election. CNN's u003ca href="http://www.cnn.com/profiles/frederik-pleitgen" target="_blank">Fred Pleitgenu003c/a> reports. "},{"title":"Lawmaker explains 'urgent' meeting with inspector general ","duration":"00:55","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/raskin-inspector-general-meeting-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/raskin-inspector-general-meeting-tsr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002180010-raskin-tsr-10-2-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/raskin-inspector-general-meeting-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"State Department Inspector General Steve Linick requested an urgent briefing with Congress to provide and discuss documents that contain many unproven claims about Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) talks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer about the documents. 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","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump scolded a reporter after he repeatedly asked Trump about his goal of speaking to the Ukrainian about the Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son. 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","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs and fortifying the US-Mexico border wall with a water-filled trench with snakes and alligators, during an Oval Office meeting, according to the New York Times. "},{"title":"How Lindsey Graham went from Trump critic to supporter","duration":"02:04","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/01/evolution-lindsey-graham-trump-support-serfaty-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/01/evolution-lindsey-graham-trump-support-serfaty-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191001103539-03-lindsey-graham-file-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/01/evolution-lindsey-graham-trump-support-serfaty-pkg-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has completely changed his tune on President Trump over the past four years. 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Freewheeling Trump was often unprepared for foreign leader calls, had to be coached by staff - CNN

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Trump Is Still Getting Impeached Over Russia – POLITICO

Posted: at 10:43 am

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Opinion

By RICH LOWRY

October 02, 2019

Rich Lowry is editor of National Review and a contributing editor with Politico Magazine.

After three years, were still on the Russia story.

To be sure, the locus has shifted 500 miles west from Moscow to Kiev, and now we are consumed with the Ukraine controversy rather than the Russia investigation, although its essentially the same thinga battle over President Donald Trumps legitimacy fought out with allegations of foreign interference.

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The effort to widen the Ukraine controversy, from the core itTrumps mention of the Bidens on his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyto his urging Ukraine, Australia and others to cooperate with William Barrs investigation of the origins of the Russia probe illustrates the point nicely.

Theres nothing wrong or unusual about a U.S. president asking foreign leaders to provide information useful to his attorney general in a duly constituted investigation. Why would there be? Except the presidents detractors dont consider Barrs investigation above-board, in fact consider it another form of Trumps perfidy.

In its report on Trumps call with the Australian prime minister, the New York Times saysin a news report, mind youthat the call shows the president using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests. Trump is pleased with Barrs investigation, and would be even more pleased if it unearthed anything untoward. That doesnt make it merely a pet political project, or mean that there isnt a genuine public interest in knowing in greater detail how and why the Russia story got started.

The Times of London reported of Trumps call to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he wanted to gather evidence to undermine the investigation into his campaigns links to Russia. Theres not really anything to undermine, though, since the investigation has been over for months.

Trump is basically being accused of the entirely new offense of obstruction after the fact. There were many novel theories of obstruction advanced during the Mueller probe, but this is the most creative.

The Russia investigation figures into the Ukraine story in another way. Its not clear that even Democrats would consider his Ukraine call impeachable if it werent for their belief that Trump has gotten away with so much previously, as cataloged in the Mueller report. There was already significant backing in the House for impeachment prior to the news of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint, and Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler already said he was conducting an impeachment inquiry.

Even the framework of the Ukraine matter reflects the Russia story. Trumps critics say he was asking for Ukrainian interference in our elections, when what was really going on was that he and Rudy Giuliani were interfering in Ukrainian politics. They were pushing the Ukrainians to undertake investigations, including, of course, into Joe Bidens actions in the country.

If you accept the premise that any information developed in a foreign country and used in American politics is election interference, then Trumps opponents themselves were masters at leveraging Ukrainian interference during the 2016 election. As POLITICO reported in 2017, Ukrainian government officials helped Clintons allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.

Giulianis Ukraine adventure was motivated, in large part, by the desire to get to the bottom of this activity in 2016, and turn the tables on Trumps critics. (Instead, he appears to have turned the tables on himself.)

There will be lots of comparisons with the 1990s as the House moves toward impeachment. Yet, the 1790s might be the more apt comparison. Back then, at the outset of the republic, each nascent political party was consumed with the idea that the other was a tool of a foreign power (either France or Britain), and believed that the other was a fundamental threat to American democracy. It made for particularly vitriolic politics.

Today, the Democrats still have not gotten beyond the idea that Trump is somehow a a tool of Russia, while Republicans point to Democratic coordination with shadowy foreign forces to get the Russia investigation rolling. Books fly off the shelves about Trump being an alleged fascist, and Republicans are gripped by a Flight 93 mentality that fears if they lose a presidential election, they will never win another one again.

The Russian story contributed to and fed off this feverish atmosphere. For the longest time, it offered Democrats the hope of deliverance from a president whose election they never truly accepted. When Mueller didnt have the goods, House Democrats were at sea for a while, until Trumps call and the whistleblower complaint brought impeachment deliciously back into play.

Ukraine is more an epilogue of the Russian investigation than the beginning of a new book.

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Trump Is Still Getting Impeached Over Russia - POLITICO

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