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Category Archives: Donald Trump

Trump stares impeachment in the face and doesn’t like what he sees – CNN

Posted: October 3, 2019 at 10:43 am

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CNN's u003ca href="https://www.cnn.com/profiles/dana-bash-profile" target="_blank">Dana Bashu003c/a> reports."},{"title":"Biden fires back at Trump: I'm not going anywhere ","duration":"01:34","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/03/joe-biden-responds-to-donald-trump-ukraine-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/03/joe-biden-responds-to-donald-trump-ukraine-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191003001733-biden-reno-nevada-remarks-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/03/joe-biden-responds-to-donald-trump-ukraine-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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. "},{"title":"Hear from the reporter who had tense exchange with Trump","duration":"02:58","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/jeff-mason-trump-exchange-ebof-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/jeff-mason-trump-exchange-ebof-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002194352-jeff-mason-ebof-10022019-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/jeff-mason-trump-exchange-ebof-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason about his questioning of President Donald Trump during a press conference.","descriptionText":"CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason about his questioning of President Donald Trump during a press conference."},{"title":"Congresswoman defends saying Trump should be imprisoned","duration":"01:47","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/03/maxine-waters-defends-trump-prison-tweet-sot-ac-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/03/maxine-waters-defends-trump-prison-tweet-sot-ac-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002230953-maxine-waters-anderson-cooper-360-october-2-2019-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/03/maxine-waters-defends-trump-prison-tweet-sot-ac-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) defended her tweet calling for President Donald Trump to be imprisoned and said that the media isn't focusing enough on Trump's actions.","descriptionText":"Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) defended her tweet calling for President Donald Trump to be imprisoned and said that the media isn't focusing enough on Trump's actions."},{"title":"Putin jokes about interfering in 2020 elections","duration":"01:25","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2019/10/02/putin-2020-election-interfering-pleitgen-tsr-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2019/10/02/putin-2020-election-interfering-pleitgen-tsr-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002192722-putin-jokes-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2019/10/02/putin-2020-election-interfering-pleitgen-tsr-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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. ","descriptionText":"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. "},{"title":"Trump press conference goes off the rails","duration":"04:05","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/trump-press-conference-schiff-impeachment-inquiry-acosta-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/trump-press-conference-schiff-impeachment-inquiry-acosta-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002142603-01-trump-presser-1002-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/trump-press-conference-schiff-impeachment-inquiry-acosta-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Donald Trump attacked the House impeachment inquiry, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and the press during a wild press conference. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump attacked the House impeachment inquiry, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and the press during a wild press conference. CNN's Jim Acosta reports."},{"title":"Tapper: Trump refused to answer this question","duration":"01:38","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/trump-finnish-president-heated-reporter-question-tapper-lead-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/trump-finnish-president-heated-reporter-question-tapper-lead-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002154054-trump-tapper-slipt-10-2-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/trump-finnish-president-heated-reporter-question-tapper-lead-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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. "},{"title":"King: 'The President constantly and repeatedly lies'","duration":"01:17","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/john-king-trump-challenges-ip-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/john-king-trump-challenges-ip-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002140939-john-king-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/john-king-trump-challenges-ip-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's John King explains how challenging it is to cover the President, especially during an impeachment inquiry.","descriptionText":"CNN's John King explains how challenging it is to cover the President, especially during an impeachment inquiry."},{"title":"Exclusive: FBI using Facebook ads to target Russians in Washington","duration":"01:36","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/fbi-russia-facebook-ads-crn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/fbi-russia-facebook-ads-crn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002121120-20191002-facebbok-fbi-ads-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/fbi-russia-facebook-ads-crn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"The FBI is running ads on Facebook in the Washington DC area seemingly designed to target and recruit Russian spies as well as those who know about their work, CNN has learned. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has more.","descriptionText":"The FBI is running ads on Facebook in the Washington DC area seemingly designed to target and recruit Russian spies as well as those who know about their work, CNN has learned. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has more."},{"title":"Trump: Adam Schiff should be looked at for treason","duration":"01:29","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/adam-schiff-treason-resign-trump-whistleblower-ukraine-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/adam-schiff-treason-resign-trump-whistleblower-ukraine-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002124349-06-trump-oval-office-1002-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/adam-schiff-treason-resign-trump-whistleblower-ukraine-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Donald Trump says that House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) should be looked at for treason and should resign. ","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump says that House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) should be looked at for treason and should resign. "},{"title":"Schiff: Deeply concerned by potential Pompeo interference","duration":"01:22","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002122753-adam-schiff-presser-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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. Pompeo describes Trump call with Ukraine president","duration":"00:54","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/mike-pompeo-trump-ukraine-president-call-presser-sot-newday-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/mike-pompeo-trump-ukraine-president-call-presser-sot-newday-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002072714-pompeo-call-italy-presser-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/mike-pompeo-trump-ukraine-president-call-presser-sot-newday-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"During a press conference in Italy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he was on the phone call with President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This phone call is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. ","descriptionText":"During a press conference in Italy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he was on the phone call with President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This phone call is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. "},{"title":"Trump aides prepare impeachment inquiry response plan","duration":"02:07","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-inquiry-defense-plan-abby-phillip-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-inquiry-defense-plan-abby-phillip-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002000626-01-donald-trump-0930-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-inquiry-defense-plan-abby-phillip-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's Abby Phillip reports that Trump administration officials are preparing an impeachment inquiry response plan for the president.","descriptionText":"CNN's Abby Phillip reports that Trump administration officials are preparing an impeachment inquiry response plan for the president."},{"title":"Trump's impeachment map tweet is inaccurate. Here's why","duration":"01:50","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-2016-election-map-tweet-inaccurate-philip-bump-ctn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-2016-election-map-tweet-inaccurate-philip-bump-ctn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191001090326-trump-map-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-2016-election-map-tweet-inaccurate-philip-bump-ctn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Donald Trump tweeted a map with the words "Try to impeach this" written across it that purported to show county-by-county results of the 2016 election, but it inaccurately displayed multiple blue counties won by Hillary Clinton as red counties won by Trump.","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump tweeted a map with the words "Try to impeach this" written across it that purported to show county-by-county results of the 2016 election, but it inaccurately displayed multiple blue counties won by Hillary Clinton as red counties won by Trump."},{"title":"NYT: Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs","duration":"01:47","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/01/donald-trump-migrants-snakes-alligators-trench-nyt-sot-vpx-tsr.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/01/donald-trump-migrants-snakes-alligators-trench-nyt-sot-vpx-tsr.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191001100021-trump-ventila-su-molestia-por-juicio-politico-falsas-teorias-ione-molinares-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/01/donald-trump-migrants-snakes-alligators-trench-nyt-sot-vpx-tsr.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty reports.","descriptionText":"Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has completely changed his tune on President Trump over the past four years. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty reports."}],'js-video_headline-featured-13azz5i','',"js-video_source-featured-13azz5i",true,true,'this-week-in-politics');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

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Trump stares impeachment in the face and doesn't like what he sees - CNN

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Donald Trump Falls Another 16 Spots On The Forbes 400 List – Forbes

Posted: at 10:43 am

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By Dan Alexander and Chase Peterson-Withorn

After months of scouring property records, inspecting financial disclosures and interviewing 62 of the presidents colleagues, partners and industry observers, Forbes estimates that Donald Trump is still worth $3.1 billion. Its the second straight year the presidents fortune has remained flat on our annual ranking of Americas 400 wealthiest people, even as many of Trumps billionaire peers have gotten richer.

He is now the 275th-richest person in America, by our count. Thats 16 spots lower than where he ranked a year ago and 119 places lower than where we had him before he became president.

Not that Trumps fortune is static. His branding businesses, for instance, are in steep decline. Real estate developers are no longer signing up to put the Trump name on their properties, and existing customers have scraped the brand from projects in places like Toronto and Panama. Forbes estimates that Trumps real estate licensing business, which is further limited by his pledge not to do foreign deals while in office, is worth about $80 million today, down from $170 million a year ago. Meanwhile, the value of the presidents product licensing operationwhich earns money by putting the Trump name on goods such as shirts, ties and mattressesis approaching zero. In 2016, before Trump became president, it was worth an estimated $14 million.

Luckily for Trump, not everything he owns has his name on it. The value of his 30% stake in two nondescript office towers managed by billionaire Steven Roths publicly traded Vornado Realty Trust continues to soar. His share of those properties, 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan and 555 California Street in San Francisco, are worth a combined $928 millionup $77 million from a year agothanks to timely renovations and strong markets for office space. The two buildings, which Trump did not want in the first place, remain his two most valuable holdings.

Trumps Washington, D.C., hotel also continues to be a bright spot in his portfolio. Popular with Trump fans and those apparently looking to curry favor with his administration, the hotel had a slight 1% uptick in revenue last year, despite a sluggish local hotel market. That helped push the value of the presidents 77.5% stake in the property up by an estimated $11 million.

Things appear to be leveling off in Miami, where the Trump National Doral golf resort had been bleeding business, particularly from the customers traveling down from the liberal-leaning northeast. Revenues fell an estimated 26% from 2015 to 2017 but rose by 1.5% last year, helping lift the value of the resort by nearly $20 million. Forbes also nudged up the value of the presidents Mar-a-Lago club by $10 million, after a pair of nearby properties sold for record prices.

In addition, the president added an estimated $10 million to his cash pile last year, the result of his sons un-Trumpian strategy of conservatively managing their fathers fortune while hes in office. Eric and Don Jr. have sold more than $100 million of Trumps real estate portfolio since his inauguration, through more than 100 tiny transactions that have mostly flown under the radar. Last year, they sold real estate in Manhattan, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Dominican Republicbrushing away potential ethics concerns as they paid down debt.

At $3.1 billion, Trump is the richest person running for president in 2020. His only billionaire challenger, hedge fund tycoon Tom Steyer, did not make the $2.1 billion cutoff for The Forbes 400 list. Steyers estimated $1.6 billion fortune makes him eight times wealthier than fellow candidate John Delaney but barely half as rich as Donald Trump.

See the full breakdown of the presidents fortune here.

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Donald Trump Falls Another 16 Spots On The Forbes 400 List - Forbes

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The Floodgates Open on Trump – The New Yorker

Posted: at 10:43 am

Shortly after eight on Monday morning, the President of the United States, making maximal use of his executive time, wielded his smartphone to issue a legal threat against the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. It is worth reading the missive from @realDonaldTrump in full:

Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people. It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?

Were the collective nerve endings of the electorate not so frayed and numbed by now, we might be even more alive to the ugliness of this message from the White House. One of the consequences of the Trump Presidency is the way that it constantly diminishes our expectations of anything other than hideous rhetoric and action. But there are those who are intensely aware of the potential consequences of such a threat. Sources close to Schiff told The New Yorker on Monday that Democrats in Congress are deeply worried about the President using Twitter to incite violence and to direct it at specific members.

The threat to Schiff via Twitter came just a few days after the President, speaking at the United States Mission to the United Nations, said that whoever provided information to the whistle-blower about his July 25th telephone call with the President of Ukraine was close to a spy. Trump went on to wax nostalgic about how spies were dealt with in the old dayswith the death penalty, in other words. As soon as I heard that, I thought, He has the soul and the mind of an authoritarian, Nicholas Burns, a former high-ranking diplomat who has served in Republican and Democratic Administrations, told me. What other President in American history would say that?

The offhanded encouragement of vengeance, even violence, is hardly new or unusual for Trump. Some selections from the anthology of incitement:

If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would ya? he told the crowd at a February, 2016, rally in Iowa. I promise you, I will pay the legal fees.

In the good old days, theyd rip him out of that seat so fast. But, today, everybodys politically correct, Trump said at a rally in Oklahoma. Our countrys going to Hell with being politically correct.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump issued a winking endorsement of violence against his opponent, Hillary Clinton, who, he said, might go so far as to appoint judges who favor gun-control laws. If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks, Trump said. Although the Second Amendment peoplemaybe there is, I dont know.

More than three years later, Trump has intensified the search into his singular obsession: Hillary Clintons e-mails. Details seem to emerge almost hourly about the extent of his corruption and subterfuge. On Monday, the Times reported that Trump behaved with the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, much as he had with the Ukrainian leader, pressing Morrison in a recent telephone call to assist Attorney General William Barr and the Justice Department in an attempt to undermine the findings of the Mueller report. The Washington Post then added to the miserable picture, reporting that Barr had held private meetings overseas with various foreign-intelligence officials to get them to investigate and ultimately help to discredit the findings of the C.I.A. and other U.S. intelligence agencies about Russian interference in the last Presidential election.

The onset of an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representativesan initiative that is gathering increasing public support during an election seasonis sure to elicit more, and increasingly lurid, threats of retribution from the President. As a result, anxiety throughout the federal government has deepened. This is a time of real fear inside the State Department, Burns, a former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told me. Diplomats throughout the foreign service became particularly concerned when, in May, the Administration recalled the Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Widely considered a deeply knowledgeable, experienced, and nonpartisan diplomat, Yovanovitch had wound up on the wrong side of the Trump circle, including Rudolph Giuliani and Donald Trump, Jr., who referred to her on Twitter as a joker. According to the government account of his call with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump said ominously that Yovanovitch was going to go through some things.

Burns, who is now an informal and unpaid adviser to Joe Biden on foreign-policy issues, told me that Trumps disregard of democratic norms has reached such a point of crisis that the floodgates are now going to open, and people inside the White House and the federal government may now come forward to the inspector generals inside the system. This President has overturned much of what has made us great. And that, I think, is appalling to career people.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, told me that the Administration is propagating a long-held conspiracy theory to justify its behavior. My understanding is that Trump, Giuliani, and others in the Administration believe that there is a deep-state conspiracy in the State Department against the President and that Masha Yovanovitch was part of this. Her recall from Kiev, he said, was a consequence of that conspiracy theory.

The Deep State conspiracy theory is hardly confined to the West Wing, Murphy went on: I hear this, too, from my Republican Senate colleagues. There is a belief that there is a group in every corner of the government that is out to get Trump. There really are morally centered people who find him deeply distasteful, and it is required of them to raise questions of corruption if they see it. The Trump Administration sees that as a conspiracy.

Murphy is hardly revealing a deeply held Republican secret. On Fox News, Stephen Miller, Trumps senior policy adviser, told Chris Wallace that the whistle-blower was a deep-state operative, pure and simple. The whistle-blowers report, he added, was little more than a seven-page Nancy Drew novel.

Wallace pushed back against these talking points, calling Millers answers obfuscation. Then Wallace played a video of Joseph Maguire, the acting director of National Intelligence, testifying before the House Intelligence Committee last week that the whistle-blower and the inspector general who brought the report forward had acted by the book and followed the law.

Among the most pressing questions being discussed now in Washington is how long Republican members of Congress and former White House officials will continue to show fealty to Trump. I am still stunned that Republicans are circling the wagons in the way that they are, Murphy said. They may just decide to ride this out. It may be that they are so entwined around the President, they are so stuck to him with Super Glue, that they can never come unbound.

The testimony of the whistle-blower could be a dramatic chapter in this unfolding drama. But who else might come forward to testify? One person might be Yovanovitch, who has so far steered clear of speaking publicly about her dismal, and deeply unjust, fate at the hands of the Administration. Others might include Kurt Volker, who just resigned his post as special representative for Ukraine; lawyers in the White House counsels office; and other high-ranking officialsincluding former Cabinet secretaries, national-security advisers, and chiefs of staffwho may finally see no point in reserving their soured descriptions of Trump for deep-background sessions with reporters and authors. They may soon decide it is time to speak in their own names, for the sake of history, decency, and their reputations. And finally: What level of perfidy in the White House, what permutation of public opinion, will it take before Mitch McConnell decides he can no longer continue his cynical marriage to Trump?

It can be assumed that the President will go on using the weapons he learned at the feet of Roy Cohn: constant attack, ruthless threats, the shameless propagation of conspiracy theories. John Dean, whose testimony helped to tip the scales against Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair, told me that the character of Donald Trump insures that this story could get far uglier than it already is.

Even Nixon would be offended by this effort to use foreign assistance for a very personal, political reason, which is a very corrupting undertaking, Dean said. I dont think Trump has any morals or shame. He will do anything to get relected before.... Its just the way Trump thinks. He doesnt care. He will destroy anybody. I find him a deeply troubling character. When he first went in, I worried that his ignorance would get us in trouble. Now its his disposition that I find most troubling of all.

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The Floodgates Open on Trump - The New Yorker

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These GOP defenses of Trump called ‘disastrous’ – CNN

Posted: at 10:43 am

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These GOP defenses of Trump called 'disastrous' - CNN

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Why Donald Trump is popular in Nigeria, Israel, and South Korea – Quartz

Posted: at 10:43 am

President Donald Trump is one of the most controversial world leaders in modern times, igniting the ire of Americas staunchest allies.

Whether its the proposed Muslim ban, the US border wall and immigration, or his praise of authoritarian leaders, Trump is deft at inciting deep divisions among the public.

In 2018, political scientist Daniel Drezner summarized this consensus in The Washington Post: The world hates President Trump.

Data from the Pew Research Center illustrates Drezners thinking. For the residents of US allies, their confidence in the US president dropped substantially from the last year of Obamas presidency to the beginning of Trumps time in office.

So, where might Trump be popular overseas, and just where might he be electable? As a political scientist who has written about the US image abroad, this question fascinates me.

Most of the world might hate Trump, but in some places, based largely on his policies, there is hope and even admiration.

In 2016 and 2017, Gallup asked respondents in more than 100 countries, Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States? In 29 countries, Trump outdid Obama in terms of job performance.

When I look at these countries and compare them with data from Freedom House on which countries are democracies and nondemocracies, a pattern emerges. Trump is more popular than Obama among people in authoritarian nations.

Among regions around the world that seem to feel the most pro-Trump, Africa stands out.

In January 2018, The Washington Post reported that Trump derided immigrants coming from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. Trump said, Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? He added, We need more people from Norway.

The African Union issued an immediate response: Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice.

Nigerias response, however, was more tepid. A few months later, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was the first head of state from sub-Saharan Africa to visit the White House. When pressed on the matter of Trumps remarks at a joint press conference, Buhari remarked, Im not sure about, you know, the validity or whether that allegation against the president was true or not, adding, So, the best thing for me is to keep quiet.

What could explain this turn of events? One explanation may be that Nigerians like Trump. According to data from the Pew Research Center, Nigerian confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs was at 59% in 2018, higher than some points during the Obama administration.

Data on Trumps total followers on Twitter may also shed some light. As of this writing, among those active Twitter accounts that follow Trump, those based in Nigeria rank in the top five. But this is notwithstanding the fact that more and more Twitter accounts are hacked and sometimes controlled by bots.

Some of Trumps foreign policies in Nigeria might explain his relative popularity. In February 2017, President Trump approved the sale of jet fighters to the Nigerian government, reversing a policy from the Obama administration. This aided the Nigerian government in its campaign against Boko Haram.

South Korea is another country where the public is warming to Trumps approachparticularly with North Korea.

Trump has made it a major priority of his administration to develop a personal relationship with North Koreas reclusive leader, Kim Jong Un. To date, Trump has had three face-to-face meetings with Kim.

Until Trump, a sitting American president had never visited with a North Korean head of state while in office. Prior to Trumps tenure, the highest-level visit between these two countries ever was former President Bill Clintons trip to Pyongyang in 2009.

Although Trump is still far from being beloved among South Koreans, they see his meetings with Kim as a good thing overall for the Korean peninsula. Confidence in Trump has risen, from 17% in 2017 to 44% in 2018 among people in South Korea.

And data from Gallups Korean headquarters illustrate that favorability toward Trump among South Koreans has more than doubled, from a paltry 9% in 2017 to a high of 32% in 2018.

Part of the reason for Trumps relative success with North Korea to date is South Koreas concurrent interest in fostering more high-profile diplomatic talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

If theres one place in the world where Trumps policies seem to be enjoying the most public support, it would be Israel.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly praised Trumps withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

That same month, after Trump pledged to move the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Netanyahu compared Trump to King Cyrus the Great, from 2,500 years ago, who proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon could come back and rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem.

As in the case of Nigeria and South Korea, Trumps popularity in Israel seems to be a reversal of his predecessor. Frosty personal relations plagued Obama and Netanyahu, beginning with Obamas first major foreign policy address to the Arab world in Cairo in 2009. This culminated in Netanyahus visit to Congress in 2015, when he urged Congress to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement.

In 2016, prior to the rise of Trump, Israelis ranked Obama as the worst US president for Israel in the last 30 years.

Trump, in the meantime, has surpassed Obama and is far more beloved in Israel. In July 2018, a poll found that since the election of Donald Trump, 53% of Israelis felt US standing in the world had gotten stronger, compared to just 14% who felt it had stayed the same, and 21% who felt it was weakened.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Why Donald Trump is popular in Nigeria, Israel, and South Korea - Quartz

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The Ukraine Scandal Shows That the Safeguards around Donald Trump Are Breaking Down – National Review

Posted: at 10:43 am

Ukraines President Volodymyr Zelenskiy listens during a bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, September 25, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)Theres no longer any difference between Twitter Trump and the man himself and his advisers may not be able to save him from his worst instincts.

Yesterday and again this morning, the president of the United States tweeted that Representative Adam Schiff should be questioned for treason and possibly arrested. He also approvingly quoted an absurd statement from an increasingly unhinged Trumpist pastor named Robert Jeffress that threatened a Civil War like fracture (led by Evangelicals!) if he is impeached and removed.

Given the lack of serious grounds on which to defend these statements, Trumps apologists fell back to the claim that they were just tweets, and that we should instead always focus on his actions. If he doesnt actually attempt to have Schiff arrested, they said, then we need to stop our pearl-clutching, and if he doesnt actually attempt to start a civil war, then all were dealing with is a metaphor no worse than the war rhetoric we see all the time in politics and public controversies.

These arguments dont hold water. One of the reasons why the Ukraine scandal is starting to have legs is that it demonstrates that the Trump you see on Twitter is not some virtual persona distinct from the man himself; they are one and the same. There is no just Twitter. There is just Trump, and Trump can and will operationalize his vendettas and conspiracy theories, including by running unofficial diplomatic operations through his personal legal team. He can and will break through the safeguards erected around him, even in matters of grave national importance.

We know from Twitter and other public statements that Trump obsesses over various conspiracy theories, especially when they have the potential to magnify his 2016 victory. He has repeatedly claimed that millions and millions of people (including illegal aliens) voted unlawfully for Hillary Clinton, and time and again expressed doubts that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. This, above and beyond the evidence of a quid pro quo and the calls for a dependent, desperate foreign nation to investigate a domestic political opponent based on mischaracterized facts, is what makes the summary of Trumps call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky so jolting: Trump was attempting to enlist a foreign leader in the private investigation, led by his personal counsel, of a debunked conspiracy theory.

In fact, his commitment to this absurd theory is so complete that he apparently tossed aside his advisers repeated warnings that it had been debunked and allowed it to taint American diplomacy. This weekend, former Trump homeland-security adviser Thomas Bossert spoke on the record to ABC News and the New York Times and noted that members of the administration had repeatedly tried to convince Trump that there was nothing to the notion that a Crowdstrike server in Ukraine held the key to questioning the reality of Russian election interference.

In my initial post about the conversation with Zelensky, I gave Trump a pass for his request for assistance in investigating 2016 election interference. I did so because it is, in theory, entirely proper to ask for foreign help in tracking down any valid leads that could help determine if another nation or an American engaged in inappropriate or unlawful conduct to influence the outcome of an American presidential election. But Trumps actual ask was tainted by his conspiratorial obsessions.

Think of Zelenskys position. His nation desperately needs American military assistance, and so he makes a direct ask for a key weapons system. Trump responds not with a reasonable request but rather with a question about a conspiracy theory, and then he urges Zelensky to work not just with the proper conduit for investigations of election interference, Attorney General Bill Barr, but also with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani the same man who Bossert said would feed him all kinds of garbage, including that conspiracy theory.

Trump was thus placing immense pressure on the government of Ukraine to validate a thoroughly debunked theory, and in so doing to place an even greater strain on American politics. And from Ukraines perspective, obtaining access to a supply of American weapons that can deter further Russian aggression might well have been worth (in the short term, at least) the cost of sowing political chaos in the United States. Could any reasonable person trust a pro-Trump Ukrainian investigation when Ukrainian lives and territorial integrity were on the line?

Indeed, the entire sordid affair demonstrates how ultimately even Trumps most loyal aides cant always prevent him from abusing the vast powers of his office. Trumps first term has been marked by repeated moments when presidential friends or advisers either ignored or slow-walked his most problematic commands. As the Mueller Report indicates, Don McGahns defiance and Corey Lewandowskis delays in carrying out presidential edicts may well have saved Trumps presidency once already. But here a determined Trump used his own counsel to conduct his own diplomatic initiative according to the dictates of a conspiracy-obsessed mind.

Americans have always paid close attention to their presidents words for a simple and profound reason: Words convey beliefs and intentions. For four years, Trumps defenders have persuaded tens of millions of Americans that his words matter less than the words of other presidents, that there exists some kind of unbreachable firewall between bad tweets and bad acts. The Ukraine scandal shows that this is not true. Trump is like any other president in one key respect: His words matter, and when, as is so often the case, theyre irresponsible, irresponsible actions can and will follow.

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The Ukraine Scandal Shows That the Safeguards around Donald Trump Are Breaking Down - National Review

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What would it really take for Trump to resign? – CNN

Posted: at 10:43 am

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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":"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":"During a press conference in Italy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he was on the phone call with President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This phone call is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. 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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. ","descriptionText":"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. "},{"title":"Trump press conference goes off the rails","duration":"04:05","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/trump-press-conference-schiff-impeachment-inquiry-acosta-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/trump-press-conference-schiff-impeachment-inquiry-acosta-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002142603-01-trump-presser-1002-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/trump-press-conference-schiff-impeachment-inquiry-acosta-pkg-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"President Donald Trump attacked the House impeachment inquiry, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and the press during a wild press conference. 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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. "},{"title":"King: 'The President constantly and repeatedly lies'","duration":"01:17","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/john-king-trump-challenges-ip-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/john-king-trump-challenges-ip-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002140939-john-king-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/john-king-trump-challenges-ip-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's John King explains how challenging it is to cover the President, especially during an impeachment inquiry.","descriptionText":"CNN's John King explains how challenging it is to cover the President, especially during an impeachment inquiry."},{"title":"Exclusive: FBI using Facebook ads to target Russians in Washington","duration":"01:36","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/fbi-russia-facebook-ads-crn-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/fbi-russia-facebook-ads-crn-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002121120-20191002-facebbok-fbi-ads-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/fbi-russia-facebook-ads-crn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"The FBI is running ads on Facebook in the Washington DC area seemingly designed to target and recruit Russian spies as well as those who know about their work, CNN has learned. 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"},{"title":"Schiff: Deeply concerned by potential Pompeo interference","duration":"01:22","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002122753-adam-schiff-presser-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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":"During a press conference in Italy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he was on the phone call with President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This phone call is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. "},{"title":"Trump aides prepare impeachment inquiry response plan","duration":"02:07","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-inquiry-defense-plan-abby-phillip-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-inquiry-defense-plan-abby-phillip-pkg-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002000626-01-donald-trump-0930-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/trump-impeachment-inquiry-defense-plan-abby-phillip-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"CNN's Abby Phillip reports that Trump administration officials are preparing an impeachment inquiry response plan for the president.","descriptionText":"CNN's Abby Phillip reports that Trump administration officials are preparing an impeachment inquiry response plan for the president."},{"title":"Trump's impeachment map tweet is inaccurate. 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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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What would it really take for Trump to resign? - CNN

Posted in Donald Trump | Comments Off on What would it really take for Trump to resign? – CNN

There’s a good reason why Trump is intent on smearing Biden – CNN

Posted: at 10:43 am

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Adam Schiff (D-CA) should be looked at for treason and should resign. ","descriptionText":"President Donald Trump says that House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) should be looked at for treason and should resign. "},{"title":"Schiff: Deeply concerned by potential Pompeo interference","duration":"01:22","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191002122753-adam-schiff-presser-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/politics/2019/10/02/schiff-pelosi-pompeo-presser-concerned-witness-interference-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/","description":"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. ","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":"During a press conference in Italy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he was on the phone call with President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This phone call is now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. 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There's a good reason why Trump is intent on smearing Biden - CNN

Posted in Donald Trump | Comments Off on There’s a good reason why Trump is intent on smearing Biden – CNN

Ukraine, Australia, Italy, and UK feature in Trump-backed conspiracies – Vox.com

Posted: at 10:43 am

President Donald Trump is embroiled in a major scandal that stretches from Ukraine to Australia all stemming from his belief in long-debunked right-wing conspiracy theories.

Last week, the White House released a readout of a phone call showing the president pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into a missing computer server belonging to Democrats that Trump believes is in Ukraine and contains incriminating information about the origins of 2016 election meddling.

The problem is there is no missing physical server; theres no actual reason to suspect Ukraine would have such a server in the first place; and theres no evidence Ukraine interfered in the 2016 vote at all.

This idea stems from a conspiracy theory that has circulated in right-wing media for several years and has been thoroughly debunked. Yet Trump believes it all the same enough that he felt the need to rope a foreign leader into investigating it.

But new reporting this week reveals that this is not the only wacky right-wing internet conspiracy theory that Trump has latched on to and tried to enlist foreign help to investigate.

We now know that a collection of these conspiracy theories has driven Trump to reach out to the governments of Australia, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Which brings us to an unsettling conclusion: Trumps discussions with foreign leaders a major part of how the US uses its power and conducts foreign policy are steeped in conspiracy theories and other untruths.

In Trumps July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump cryptically asked about a computer server in Ukraine and mentioned the American cybersecurity company CrowdStrike.

I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people ... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation, Trump said.

Trump was referring to a debunked conspiracy theory: Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and CrowdStrike covered it up. Its a belief he continues to hold even though his top aides have repeatedly told him the theory had been debunked.

CrowdStrike was hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016 to look into who hacked into their networks during the election. The firm determined that it was two Russian groups with Kremlin ties.

Case closed, right? Not exactly.

Trump seems to believe and has often mentioned that a mysterious DNC server with the real information on it has gone missing, and that CrowdStrike (and the FBI) is somehow involved in its disappearance. He brought the issue up during his Helsinki meeting alongside Putin.

You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server, the president said during the July 2018 press conference. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server and what is the server saying?

But heres the problem: There is actually no missing physical server associated with the DNC breach to speak of. Instead, the roughly 140 servers most of them cloud-based are already out of use.

Whats more, Trump seems to believe CrowdStrike is a Ukrainian company, not an American one. In a 2017 interview with the Associated Press, for example, Trump said CrowdStrike was Ukraine-based even though its headquarters are in California. I heard its owned by a very rich Ukrainian, thats what I heard, he continued.

Thats incorrect. The companys cofounder, the Russian-born US citizen Dmitri Alperovitch, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, which receives funding from Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk. But that flimsy connection is a far cry from the firm he started being secretly run by an Eastern European billionaire. (Before coming to Vox I worked at the Atlantic Council and interacted with Alperovitch on a few cybersecurity-related events and projects.)

CrowdStrike denies any wrongdoing in a statement to reporters issued last week: With regards to our investigation of the DNC hack in 2016, we provided all forensic evidence and analysis to the FBI. As weve stated before, we stand by our findings and conclusions that have been fully supported by the US intelligence community.

Its still unclear just where Trump got this idea in his head, but its ingrained enough that he mentioned it on a call with Ukraines president.

Trumps belief in a deep state conspiracy that led to the investigation into his campaigns ties with Russia also seems to have led him to bring up the topic with Scott Morrison, Australias prime minister.

Heres the reality of what happened: The FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaigns contacts with Russian agents in July 2016. That investigation was opened after Australias top diplomat in Britain, Alexander Downer, informed his American counterparts about a conversation hed had two months earlier with George Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

During a night of heavy drinking in London, Papadopoulos bragged to Downer about his knowledge that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign, as the New York Times put it in a December 2017 report.

However, Papadopoulos has alleged that Downer, the Australian diplomat in the UK, was spying on him a belief echoed in many right-wing circles. Many Fox News personalities have pushed the (unproven) idea that the Obama administration sent Downer to keep tabs on the Trump campaign and help Hillary Clinton win the election.

Trump now seems to believe this, too.

Australia, for its part, seems open to working with Washington on Trumps request. The Australian Government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation, the government said in a Monday statement. The [prime minister] confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the President.

Papadopoulos has claimed he was also spied on by a London-based Maltese professor named Josef Mifsud who was working on behalf of the Democrats.

Heres why: On April 26, 2016, Papadopoulos heard a bombshell from Mifsud. Mifsud had just returned from meeting with top Russian officials in Moscow, he said, where hed learned that the Russians had dirt on Clinton. Papadopoulos later told the FBI that Mifsud specifically said Russia had thousands of emails.

The timing of the Papadopoulos-Mifsud meeting is crucial because there was zero public indication that Russia had hacked top Democrats emails at that point. News of the DNC hack wouldnt become public until June of that year, and the hack of Clinton campaign chair John Podestas emails wouldnt leak until October.

(However, Papadopoulos says Mifsud was referring to Hillary Clintons own emails, which were never actually leaked, unless you count those she sent to Podesta.)

Mifsud clearly has ties to Italy, as he was found by reporters at the University of Rome shortly after his meeting with the former Trump aide came to light. I never got any money from the Russians: my conscience is clear, he told Italys La Repubblica newspaper in late 2017. I am not a secret agent.

Thats not how Mueller sees it. In his report, the special counsel noted that Mifsud had connections to Russia and maintained various Russian contacts, including ties to someone who worked with the Kremlin-linked hacking group that infiltrated the DNCs networks.

That hasnt dissuaded Trumps allies who allege Mifsud was a British, Italian, or American intelligence plant sent to speak with Papadopoulos.

Its therefore likely that Attorney General Bill Barrs recent trip to Italy is at least in part an effort to divine how Mifsud got the meeting with Papadopoulos and if the professor is somehow tied to Italian intelligence.

So far, though, theres zero evidence to back up that belief.

Barr also reportedly spoke to British officials recently to inquire about the origins of the Mueller probe. There are two probable reasons why.

First, Trump and his allies have tried to muddy the waters about the origins of the Russia investigation by insisting it actually started with the Steele dossier, an unverified opposition research document compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer. That document includes numerous claims (most of which are still unverified) about Trump-Russian collusion.

Fox News has helped Trump normalize the lie that the Steele dossier is what really sparked the FBI investigation, and Trump backers have continued to push it on TV and elsewhere. But, again, that is not true: the FBI probe was prompted by the Australian diplomats revelations about Papadopolouss sketchy Russia comments.

Its therefore likely that Barr reached out to British intelligence officials to find out more about Steele, particularly to see if his dossier was meant as a Democratic-inspired hit job. (Narrator: it wasnt.)

Second, Trump has promoted a right-wing conspiracy theory that British intelligence helped the Obama administration spy on Trumps presidential campaign. That conspiracy was promoted by former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, whos been known to spread false stories before (such as claiming he has a video of former First Lady Michelle Obama using a slur to disparage white people).

The odd thing about this is that both US and British intelligence officials have denied this persistent narrative for years. As we have previously stated, the allegations that [British intelligence] was asked to conduct wire tapping against the then President Elect are nonsense, reads a UK government statement from April released after Trumps tweet.

In 2017, then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned the conspiracy during a briefing, only to see the White House backtrack from the claim. Even Fox News, which initially ran with the story, has stopped using that talking point.

It therefore doesnt seem like theres much for Barr to actually uncover in the UK. But that clearly hasnt stopped him from trying.

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Good morning, Im Tim Walker with todays essential stories.

Donald Trump has been accused of incitement to violence after a day in which he appeared to unravel over the impeachment inquiry: again accusing the congressman Adam Schiff of treason at a bizarre press conference with the visiting Finnish president, while denouncing the inquiry as BULLSHIT on Twitter. Schiff, the chair of the House intelligence committee, said on Wednesday that Congress was not fooling around, and insisted the inquiry would not be slowed by presidential stonewalling.

The brother of Botham Jean, an innocent black man murdered in his apartment by a former Dallas police officer, made an extraordinary show of forgiveness after the 26-year-old accountants killer was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday. With permission from the judge, Brandt Jean hugged Amber Guyger in the courtroom, telling her: I love you just like anyone else, Im not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I personally want the best for you.

The Trump administration is manipulating research findings and targeting scientists for political gain while handing improper influence to special interests, according to a nonpartisan taskforce of former government officials who warn that the White Houses war on science is at a crisis point. In a report published on Thursday, the National Task Force on Rule of Law and Democracy said the administration was trying, at times, to undermine the value of objective facts themselves.

EPA cites SF. The EPA has made good on a threat by the Trump administration, issuing an environmental notice of violation to San Francisco over an inaccurate claim linking water pollution to the citys homeless crisis.

Boris Johnson will outline his plan for the Northern Irish border in the House of Commons on Thursday, giving MPs a final chance to challenge his Brexit proposals before a crucial European council summit on 17 October. The UK prime minister has said he wants a deal in place to present at the summit, but the EUs chief negotiator Michel Barnier has already privately described the proposal as a trap, while the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said Johnsons plans do not fully meet the agreed objectives of the backstop.

Close friend. Jennifer Arcuri, the American businesswoman facing scrutiny over her close friendship with Johnson and grants her firm received while he was mayor of London, has insisted all the allegations are false.

World markets fell on Thursday as the US opened a new front in its trade wars by announcing $7.5bn of tariffs on European exports including whisky, wine and aircraft, in retaliation for subsidies awarded to the Airbus group by a WTO ruling.

The Trump administration intends to expand the collection of DNA from migrants at US borders, and to pass that information to the FBI for inclusion in a national criminal database.

Senator Bernie Sanders is recovering and in good spirits following a heart procedure for an artery blockage, his presidential campaign has said. He has nonetheless cancelled all his campaign events and appearances until further notice.

Officials say at least five people have been killed after a second world war B-17 bomber crashed in an aborted takeoff at Bradley international airport in Connecticut on Wednesday. According to reports, there were 13 people onboard the plane.

Prada Marfa artists return to their capitalist parody

Fifteen years ago, when Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset erected Prada Marfa, a non-functioning replica of a Prada boutique on a remote Texas highway, they thought news of its existence might spread quietly, like a rumour. But that was before Instagram and the rise of selfie culture, they tell Janelle Zara.

The years most personal look at immigration

Coverage of Trumps immigration crackdown has rarely focussed on those most affected. A new Netflix documentary series, executive produced by Selena Gomez, aims to change that, writes Adrian Horton. Living Undocumented focuses on eight families living outside the skyscraping walls of American citizenship.

How the alt-right co-opted the OK hand sign

The once-innocuous OK hand sign has now been officially recognised as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League, just like Pepe the Frog and the milk emoji. Co-opting such mundane icons as emblems of fear is all part of the alt-rights hunt for attention, explains Poppy Noor.

What their pop culture tastes say about the 2020 Democrats

In a recent interview, Pete Buttigieg revealed a fondness for Rick & Morty and Rebel Wilsons new Netflix movie. Stuart Heritage rounds up the pop culture preferences of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warrens surprising affection for Ballers.

Young activists are right when they say global leaders have failed to meet the challenge of climate change, says the UN secretary general, Antnio Guterres. The recent climate summit in New York was designed to jolt countries into taking action and to shine a light on those that refuse.

Our planet needs action on a truly planetary scale. That cannot be achieved overnight, and it cannot happen without the full engagement of those contributing most to the crisis.

Liverpool and Chelsea both claimed hard-won Champions League victories on Wednesday night, over Salzburg and Lille respectively, while two goals from Luis Suarz helped Barcelona overcome an early scare against Inter.

A former collegiate cheerleader who suffered multiple brain injuries during her time on the cheer squad at the University of California, Berkeley, is suing the school, the sports national governing body and her former coaches for failing to implement concussion protocols.

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