In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/14

  • A California board voted to enact tougher energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, pushing back against a rollback from the Trump administration of Obama-era environmental rules.
  • The jury has entered deliberations in the trial of Roger Stone, veteran political operative and longtime friend of President Trump.
  • Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has said he is confident the president will remain loyal to him as an impeachment inquiry unfolds in which the former New York mayor has become a central figure. But, Giuliani joked that he had good “insurance” in case Trump did turn on him, amid speculation Republicans will seek to frame him as a rogue actor.
  • A second official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine overheard U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s call with President Trump about the need for an investigation by Ukraine. Ambassador William Taylor testified Wednesday that someone on his staff overheard a July 26 call between Trump and Sondland during which Trump asked Sondland “about the investigations.” Sondland replied that “the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.” “Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine,” Taylor said. “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.”
  • President Trump’s political appointees inappropriately retaliated against a career civil servant at the State Department in part because of her ethnic background, her perceived political views, and the fact that she was in government during prior administrations, a federal watchdog says. State Department Inspector General Steve Linick recommends that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo consider disciplining officials found to have violated policies that require they use merit-based factors in determining where to place career staffers.
  • Mark Morgan, the head of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters that the Trump administration has still not completed construction of a single mile of new border wall.
  • Trump tweeted: “@RepRatcliffe asked the two ‘star’ witnesses, ‘where is the impeachable event in that call?’ Both stared straight ahead with a blank look on their face, remained silent, & were unable to answer the question. That would be the end of a case run by normal people! – but not Shifty!’ 

NOTE: Ambassador Taylor attempted to respond as to his reason for testifying, but was unable to get a word in with Ratcliffe speaking over him. Finally, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff suspended the time and allowed Taylor to speak. Taylor said he and Kent were not there to decide on anything having to do with impeachment. “That is not what either of us are here to do. That is your job.”

  • Trump was viewed in the Oval Office having an “animated conversation” with Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone. Trump was scheduled to leave the White House at 4:10PM for a rally in Louisiana, but he could be seen through the window of the Oval Office talking to Barr and Cipollone.
  • The Trump administration is preparing paperwork to begin taking over private land to build the president’s long-promised border wall as early as this week, according to two officials familiar with the process.
  • The ratings for the first day of televised Impeachment hearings contradict claims from some of the president’s allies, including his son, Eric, who said on Fox News that “no one was watching it. No one cares.” FoxNews and MSNBC ratings were double what they receive on a typical day.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/13

  • The Trump Organization agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to the government of Scotland following an unsuccessful attempt by the company to block construction of an offshore wind farm within view of one of the organization’s golf courses.
  • Jared Kushner and other senior Trump administration officials are planning to set up webcams to live-stream construction of Trump’s border wall, going against objections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. The Army Corps and CBP have told Kushner that construction contractors do not want their proprietary techniques visible to competitors.
  • Mina Chang, a senior Trump admin. official, has embellished her resume with misleading claims about her professional background, raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the US State Department.
  • Trump has reportedly been threatening to fire acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney for weeks over recent missteps amid the House’s impeachment investigation. 
  • Trump has complained about Acting White House Chief of Staff Mulvaney’s appearance at an Oct. 17 press conference in which he admitted military aid to Ukraine was withheld to pressure Kyiv to launch investigations into alleged 2016 election meddling and former Vice President Joe Biden. Senior aides have reportedly advised that firing Mulvaney at such a pivotal moment during the House’s impeachment inquiry could be risky, particularly given Mulvaney’s role in the decision to temporarily freeze the aid and the chaos that would ensue in trying to find a replacement for him.
  • Ignoring bi-partisan requests to not do so, Trump hosted Turkish President Erdogan at the White House. Several GOP senators were invited for the unusual meeting with Erdoğan to “clear the air.”
  • During Erdogan/Trump meeting, Turkish forces launched fierce attacks on predominantly Christian town of Til Temir, causing massive displacement of the residents, in clear violation of the cease-fire agreement.
  • In a private speech to Morgan Stanley’s largest hedge fund clients,Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton said that the president made a foreign policy decision in Turkey based on his own business interests. Bolton said he believes there is a personal or business relationship dictating Trump’s position on Turkey because none of his advisers are aligned with him on the issue.
  • Trump Tweeted that William Taylor and George Kent, the public witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry, are “Never Trumpers.” They both denied the claim while under oath.
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and United States Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified in the first publicly aired impeachment hearing.

NOTE: For a recap of the day’s Impeachment report, visit The Hill. There is just too much to include here and their reporting is unbiased. http://bit.ly/2pfOW8B

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/12

  • Christopher Anderson, a top U.S. diplomat, testified before Congress that Trump’s push for Ukraine to launch specific investigations into 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and the 2016 election ran counter to the administration’s policy to combating corruption: “Long-standing U.S. government policy, as I understood it, was that we did not interfere in individual cases.”
  • Trump accused House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of editing and changing impeachment inquiry transcripts.

NOTE: There is no evidence to support the President’s claim.

  • President Trump slammed former President Obama and so-called “Dreamers” just hours before the Supreme Court will hear arguments about Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Trump Tweeted: “Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”

NOTE: People with serious criminal histories are not eligible for DACA. Many of the people in DACA are “no longer very young” but a 2017 study found the most common age of entry was 3 years old. Obama did not say he had no legal right to sign the order.

  • White House officials are drafting a plan that would place conditions on U.S. foreign aid on how well countries treat religious minorities. The proposal would likely cover U.S. humanitarian assistance, but could also include military aid
  • Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, testified that then candidate Trump and Roger Stone had a call in late July 2016 and afterwards Trump said that more information was forthcoming from Wikileaks. In his sworn statement to the Mueller Inquiry, Trump stated, “I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with [Stone], nor do I recall Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign.” 

NOTE: Gates’ testimony suggests both Trump and Stone lied to prosecutors.

  • Leaked emails show that Trump’s top immigration advisor, Stephen Miller, lay out his anti-immigrant policies. His source material included: White nationalist websites; a “white genocide” themed novel; Eugenics-era laws that Adolf Hitler lauded in “Mein Kampf.” He raged at retailers who stopped selling Confederate flags after the massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston and argued repeatedly for “severely limiting or ending nonwhite immigration to the United States”
  • Trump said of his daughter, Ivanka, “And when she started this, two and a half years ago, her goal was 500,000 Jobs,” He added, “She has now created 14 million jobs.

NOTE: There is no basis for this claim. Total US employment rise in past 3 years, including normal population growth, is around 6 million.

  • Trump Tweeted: “To think I signed the Whistleblower Protection Act!”

NOTE: George Bush signed it into law in 1989. 

  • President Trump has considered firing the official who reported the whistleblower complaint to Congress, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The president has weighed getting rid of Inspector General Michael Atkinson because he provided the whistleblower complaint to Congress which sparked the impeachment inquiry

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

(And the weekend, too)

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/11

  • John Bolton has knowledge of “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine pressure campaign that House impeachment investigators do not yet know about, his lawyer told lawmakers.
  • Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs, Fiona Hill: “[H]e told me, and this is a direct quote from Ambassador Bolton: You go and tell [John] Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this, and you go and tell him what you’ve heard and what I’ve said.”
  • Trump said he will release the transcript of another phone call with the President of Ukraine “probably” on Tuesday — this communication having taken place in April before the July conversation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
  • Over the span of about an hour, Trump retweeted 17 messages hammering Democrats over impeachment, with his early-morning tweetstorm coming days before the inquiry is set to enter a new, public phase.
  • The Trump Administration is proposing to become one of just four countries in the world to charge a fee for asylum
  • A lawyer representing Lev Parnas says that his client warned Ukrainian officials that the Trump administration would freeze military aid to Ukraine unless Kiev announced an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Parnas is planning to tell House Democrats that he traveled to Ukraine to warn top officials that military aid would be frozen and that Vice President Pence would not attend Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration were the announcement not made.
  • At an event promoting his book, Don Jr said to the audience, “Name a time when conservatives have disrupted even the furthest leftist on a college campus.” Soon after, he was heckled off stage by far right attendees, because the expected Q&A with him was cancelled. 
  • A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking Trump to rescind his White House invitation to Turkish President Erdoğan. Erdoğan is scheduled to visit the White House on Wednesday. But, the lawmakers expressed “deep concern” at the planned trip, citing Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.
  • Two political backers of Energy Secretary Rick Perry landed a lucrative oil and gas exploration deal from Ukraine’s government shortly after Perry reportedly included one of the two men in a list of suggested potential advisers to Ukraine’s new president.
  • Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley claims Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly repeatedly tried to get her to go behind Trump’s back to “save the country.”
  • A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by President Trump trying to stop the House Ways & Means Committee from using a New York law to get his state tax returns.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/8

  • The Trump administration has made it easier to sell U.S. firearms outside the United States, including assault rifles and ammunition. The proposed rule changes, which would move oversight of commercial firearm exports from the U.S. Department of State to the Department of Commerce, could be enacted as soon as the end of this year, the sources said late on Wednesday.

NOTE: While the State Department is primarily concerned with international threats to stability and maintains tight restrictions on weapons deals, the Commerce Department typically focuses on making it easier for U.S. companies to sell products overseas.

  • In his new book, Don Jr writes about a visit to Arlington National Cemetery before his father’s inauguration and compares the sacrifice of the soldiers buried there to his. “In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed — voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals.”
  • The White House sent its nomination for outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s replacement to the Senate. Nominee Dan Brouillette currently serves as the deputy secretary at the Department of Energy.
  • Jennifer Williams, an aide to VP Pence who listened to the call between Trump and the Ukrainian President told impeachment inquiry investigators that she found the conversation to be unusual because it was political in nature.
  • A lawyer for the Ukraine whistleblower has sent the White House a cease and desist letter to stop Trump’s attacks. “Your client, the President of the U.S., is engaging in rhetoric and activity that places my client and their family in physical danger.”
  • Trump’s Acting Chief Of Staff Mick Mulvaney ignored a subpoena to appear before House committees for a closed-door deposition.
  • President Trump says they’re going to impose a 21 year old age limit for vaping. He says it’s coming next week.
  • Trump refutes China’s claim the 2 sides have reached a deal to slowly rollback tariffs. The President says he has not agreed to such a deal at this point, negotiations are continuing and China ‘wants a deal more’ than the US.
  • After weeks of Republicans demanding that Schiff open up the doors and allow the public to see the impeachment proceedings, Trump says this morning: “They shouldn’t be having public hearings.”
  • Trump says he’s considering visiting Russia in May. He told reporters that Vladimir Putin invited him to a May Day parade.
  • Trump tweeted: “I will be announcing the winners of the #MAGACHALLENGE and inviting them to the @WhiteHouse to meet with me and perform. Good luck!”

NOTE: The MAGA Challenge is a Twitter challenge among Trump supporters, in which they upload Trump-friendly raps to the internet.

  • Trump will host the Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov at the White House later this month, the White House announced Friday. The two leaders plan to discuss security in the Black Sea region, energy and “countering malign influence,” Grisham said.
  • The House committees running the impeachment inquiry into Trump released the transcript of their closed-door deposition with the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman and Deputy Assistant to the President, Fiona Hill.
  • Months before Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – both Giuliani clients who are currently awaiting trial – urged then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko to announce those investigations in return for a state visit to DC.
  • White House counsel Pat Cipollone told top NSC lawyer John Eisenberg in July to talk to Trump about NSC aides’ concerns that Ukrainians were being unduly pressured. Eisenberg never did that nor reported the complaints to DOJ.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/7

  • President Trump was more personally involved in his campaign’s effort to obtain Democratic emails stolen by Russian operatives in 2016 than was previously known, phone records introduced in federal court suggested.
  • Rudy Giuliani Tweeted, “The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.”

NOTE: As Republicans are espousing that investigating the Bidens was of legitimate state interest, Rudy steps in to confirm that the requests he and the State Dept were making of Ukraine were simply to advance Trump’s personal interests.

  • It was reported that Trump wanted Attorney General Barr to hold a news conference declaring that Trump had broken no laws during a phone call in which he pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, though Barr ultimately declined to do so. The request for the news conference came sometime around Sept. 25, when the administration released a rough transcript of the president’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.

NOTE: In response, Trump Tweeted: “Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an “anonymous” source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!”

  • Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and more recently a lobbyist at a firm with extensive ties to Trump, will join the White House communications staff temporarily to help with messaging during the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
  • The Trump administration has sued Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company that sells H.I.V.-prevention drugs, accusing it of earning billions from research funded by taxpayers without paying taxpayers back
  • Trump repeated the false claim that a large liquified natural gas project in Louisiana couldn’t get approval under Obama and that he had it approved almost immediately. The plant got its final federal go-ahead June 2014.
  • Republicans intend to subpoena the government whistleblower to testify in the House’s impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, according to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.
  • Interviews in Kiev have revealed high-level Ukrainian officials ultimately decided to acquiesce to Trump’s request for a public announcement about investigations, because the need for aid was so great. By a stroke of luck, they never had to follow through.
  • Trump has had talks of having a post-presidency reality show. One of the ideas kicked around was shooting a new version of The Apprentice, tentatively titled ‘The Apprentice: White House,’ and to produce it shortly after the president leaves office.
  • Trump Tweeted: “It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS. It is a Pelosi, Schiff, Scam against the Republican Party and me. This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!”

NOTE: Trump hasn’t been charged with a crime and impeachment isn’t a legal proceeding, so he doesn’t have any of the rights, including due process, associated with a criminal case. As a matter of law, a president has essentially no claim to any kind of participation in the impeachment process. 

  • A federal judge has ruled the Trump administration must provide mental health services to migrant families that have undergone trauma as a result of being separated from their families at the border.
  • A NY state judge has ordered Trump to pay $2 million to a collection of non-profit organizations as part of a settlement with the New York state attorney general’s office to resolve a civil lawsuit that alleged “persistent” violations of charities law.

NOTE: In 2018 Trump Tweeted: “The sleazy New York Democrats, and their now disgraced (and run out of town) A.G. Eric Schneiderman, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. I won’t settle this case!”

  • R&B singer, Ray J, in talks to meet with the Trump administration to get Suge Knight pardoned for manslaughter conviction.
  • Roger Stone’s trial has begun and prosecutors are citing evidence that Trump lied to Special Counsel Mueller.
  • In the released transcript, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent confirms Ambassador to the European Union Sondland was told by Trump to seek quid pro quo: “Gordon [Sondland], had talked to the President, POTUS in sort of shorthand, and POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton.”
  • Kent corroborates that Sondland told Ambassador to Ukraine Yovanovitch to send a supportive tweet about Trump to save her job.
  • The House Impeachment Committee is moving on from their efforts to obtain testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton. Though Bolton was scheduled to voluntarily testify Thursday, he did not. A lawyer for Bolton threatened to file a lawsuit if their client was subpoenaed.
  • The Government Accountability Office is looking into the Trump administration’s hold on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to see if the freeze, which is at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, was illegal.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/6

  • At his rally in Kentucky Monday night, Trump said that Matt Bevin losing “sends a really bad message” and pleaded with his fans, “you can’t let that happen to me!”

NOTE: Blevin lost to Democratic challenger, Andy Beshear.

  • Fox News is now spreading Trump’s lie that Bevin was losing by 20 points in Kentucky before Trump went there are rallied for him.

NOTE: Bevin was ahead 5 points in a poll released November 1st.

  • David Hale, the under secretary of State for political affairs, arrived in the Capitol to testify in the impeachment investigation, bucking a White House that has vowed to offer no cooperation in the fast-moving inquiry. Hale  is expected to provide insights into the campaign by Trump and some of his allies to remove Marie Yovanovitch from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron took a dig at Trump over climate pact exit, “When China, the European Union and Russia commit to [the Paris Agreement], the isolated choice of this or that [country] isn’t enough to change the course of things.”
  • House Intel Chair Adam Schiff confirms first impeachment open hearings are set for next week: “Those open hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves … but also to learn first-hand about the facts of the President’s misconduct.”
  • Melania Trump’s visit to Boston Medical Center was met by medical professionals out in protest. 
  • A federal judge in New York struck down a Trump administration rule that would allow doctors to refuse services that conflict with their religious beliefs
  • Lindsey Graham, “What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to. They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.”

NOTE: Republican defense of Trump has shifted from:

  1. The president did nothing wrong.
  2. The process the Dems are using is unfair..
  3. The president may have done something wrong, but it’s not impeachable.
  4. The president might have done impeachable stuff, but we just don’t care.
  5. The president’s bumbling Ukraine policy was so incoherent, they couldn’t properly execute a crime.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/5

  • Lev Parnas, one of two Ukrainian-American associates of Rudy Giuliani who were indicted last month, is now prepared to comply with the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, his lawyer says.
  • Former State official Michael McKinley in sworn testimony says he spoke with Secretary of State Pompeo three times about a public statement for Yovanovitch, including on Sept. 26 when Pompeo offered no response. Pompeo, to ABC in Oct., says he “never heard” McKinley say a “single thing about his concerns.”
  • Former National Security Advisor John Bolton will testify as part of the impeachment probe this Thursday, per an official working on the inquiry.
  • Trump says there is “nothing wrong” with a quid pro quo, because “it is not an impeachable event.”

NOTE: Bribery is impeachable. It’s actually one of the only two specified offenses listed as impeachable.

  • Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Sen. Rand Paul demanded the news media print the whistleblower’s name as he delivered a speech at Trump’s rally in Kentucky.

NOTE: Under Federal Law, an intelligence whistleblower is protected from retaliation so long as he or she follows the protocol when filing a complaint.

  • Trump Tweeted, “The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!”

NOTE: Trump provided written answers to the Mueller investigation that were incomplete and misleading.

  • Trump said the US is ready to “wage war” on the drug cartels and “wipe them off the face of the earth” after at least 10 members of a prominent Mormon family, including three women and seven children, were killed in an ambush attack near the US-Mexico border.
  • Trump offered Putin aid to fight forest fires in Siberia while threatening to withhold aid from California.
  • House impeachment investigators asked Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to appear for a deposition later this week
  • Jennifer Williams, a senior adviser to Vice President Pence, is likely to comply with a request to testify on Thursday in front of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry.
  • Trump has set the lowest refugee cap in history despite record numbers of refugees globally.

NOTE: America was conceived as a haven of refugees, people fleeing repression and persecution.

  • The Justice Department opened a new front in the legal battle between congressional impeachment investigators and the White House by announcing that Congress must allow government attorneys to accompany executive branch witnesses who testify about Trump’s relations with Ukraine.
  • Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland says he told Ukraine that aid was conditioned on announcing an investigation that would help Trump politically
  • Ambassador Kurt Volker texted to a top Ukrainian official the script they wanted Zelensky to read to announce the Burisma (i.e. Biden)/2016 election investigations.
  • Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he won’t read any of the transcripts, and dismissed Sondland’s testimony. “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of B.S.”

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/4

  • Trump reiterated his calls to reveal the name of the whistleblower, mentioning unconfirmed reports about the person’s identity and possible ties to the previous administration
  • Federal appeals court in New York rejects President Trump’s bid to keep his tax returns from state criminal investigators. The three-judge appeals panel rejected Trump’s argument that he is immune, as president, from criminal investigation while in the White House.
  • From the transcript: When Ambassador Yovanovitch sought advice from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, he recommended that she Tweet her praise of President Trump.
  • Four senior White House officials refused to testify today to House impeachment investigators: John Eisenberg, Michael Ellis, Robert Blair, and Brian McCormack.
  • Trump formally began the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord on Monday, a yearlong process that sets off a global scramble to save the deal without American cooperation.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/2

  • The federal government’s outstanding public debt has surpassed $23 trillion for the first time in history, according to data from the Treasury Department.
  • Trump names Chad Wolf to be the next acting head of Homeland Security, the fifth person in the job for this administration.
  • An increasing number of GOP senators are preparing to acknowledge that there was a quid pro quo in President Trump’s leveraging of military aid with Ukraine as a means to urge the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, breaking with Trump’s claims there was no quid pro quo. But they say they plan to argue it simply wasn’t illegal.
  • UK officials say of AG Barr’s effort to manufacture evidence to discredit the Mueller probe, “It is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services”.
  • Trump deleted and re-tweeted a thread because he misspelled the word “of” (seriously). In his 2nd version he misspelled the words “wonderful” and “people.”
  • Outgoing Energy chief Rick Perry refuses to testify in House impeachment inquiry.
  • Using Sawzalls, people have repeatedly sawed through new sections of Trump’s border wall opening gaps large enough for people to pass through. The saws can slice through one of the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in a matter of minutes. After cutting through the base of a single bollard, the steel is pushed aside, allowing an adult to fit through the gap. Because the bollards are so tall and are attached only to a panel at the very top, their length makes them easier to push aside once they have been cut and are left dangling. 
  • Fake accounts tied to intelligence services in China, Iran and Russia have directed thousands of tweets at Trump. Trump has retweeted at least 145 unverified accounts that have pushed conspiracy or fringe content, including more than two dozen that have since been suspended by Twitter. Tweets that tag his handle, @realDonaldTrump, can be found with hashtags like #HitlerDidNothingWrong, #IslamIsSatanism and #WhiteGenocide.
  • The defense by Senate Republicans is becoming: “Yes, Trump did indeed use US national security interests to extort Ukraine into investigating his political rival, but there’s nothing wrong with that.”
  • The Justice Department has released hundreds of documents pertaining to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump, including interviews and emails related to key witnesses, such as Rick Gates, who told investigators that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort spread the conspiracy theory that Ukraine was behind the Democratic National Committee hack.
  • Trump and top 2016 campaign officials reportedly had several private conversations about how they could obtain stolen Democratic emails as part of an effort to find damaging information on then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton according to newly released interview notes from former special counsel Robert Mueller.
  • Trump was loudly booed while attending a UFC fight at MSG