In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/18

  • Gordon Sondland, President Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, reportedly kept top officials in the Trump administration updated on efforts to persuade Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Biden ahead of Trump’s much-publicized July call with the country’s president. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Sondland updated officials, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, via email on the results of his efforts, which have become the center of House’s impeachment inquiry.
  • Jennifer Williams, Special adviser to Vice President Pence, who was listening in on the July 25 phone call, told House impeachment investigators that Trump’s request that Ukraine open a Biden probe was “unusual and inappropriate.”
  • Trump claims that a China Phase 1 trade deal is very close.  The Chinese keep insisting that a deal is far away.
  • In September, President Trump said he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise. But two months later, under pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists to factor in the potential pushback from his supporters, Mr. Trump has resisted moving forward with any action on vaping, while saying he still wants to study the issue.
  • In reply to Speaker Pelosi’s call for the President to testify in the impeachment hearings, Trump Tweeted : “Nervous Nancy Pelosi…suggested on Sunday’s DEFACE THE NATION I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”
  • The House of Representatives is now investigating whether President Trump lied to special counsel Robert Mueller in written answers he provided in the Russia investigation, the House’s general counsel said in federal court Monday.
  • Reversing decades of US policy on West Bank, the Trump administration will stop treating Israel’s West Bank settlements as a violation of international law, a step that may doom peace efforts with Palestinians.
  • The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a ruling that requires an accounting firm to turn over President Donald Trump’s taxes taxes to Congress. Trump has refused to show his tax returns since announcing his run for president in 2015, although those documents are customarily made public by presidential candidates. The president has asked the Supreme Court to keep his tax returns shielded from congressional investigators and prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
  • Staff members for Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D -Oregon), the chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, met with an IRS whistleblower earlier this month regarding the whistleblower’s allegations that at least one political appointee at the Treasury Department may have tried to interfere with an audit of President Trump or Vice President Pence, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, a sign that lawmakers are moving to investigate the complaint lodged by a senior staffer at the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Mina Chang, a high-ranking State Department staffer who inflated her resume, has resigned from her position. Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, was accused of overstating her academic credentials.
  • Congressional aides working on the impeachment inquiry announce that David Holmes, the man who overheard the Sondland/Trump phone call, will testify alongside Fiona Hill on Thursday.
  • U.S. State Department officials were informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden even before the July phone call that has led to impeachment hearings in Washington, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. In early May, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, including then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, were told Zelenskiy was seeking advice on how to navigate the difficult position he was in.
  • According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Amazon will pay nothing in federal income taxes for the second year in a row. Thanks to the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Amazon’s federal tax responsibility is 21% (down from 35% in previous years). But with the help of tax breaks, according to corporate filings, Amazon won’t be paying any taxes despite posting more than $11.2 billion in profits in 2018.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So Weekend Edition

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/16-11/17

  • California and twenty-two other states sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, challenging President Trump’s decision to block the state from setting tougher tailpipe emissions standards. Trump announced in September that he was revoking the waiver California has relied on for decades that require automakers to produce more environmentally friendly cars for the state.
  • President Trump defended his Friday morning Tweet attacking former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony in House impeachment inquiry, saying: “I have freedom of speech just like other people do” and that he’s “allowed to speak up” if others are talking about him.
  • Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman had a private meeting with Giuliani and Trump at the White House’s annual Hanukkah party last year. At one point during the party, Parnas and Fruman slipped out of a large reception room packed with hundreds of Trump donors to have a private meeting with the President and Giuliani. Later Parnas bragged he was on a “secret mission” on behalf of Trump to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the DNC.
  • The Agriculture Department will begin distributing another round of tariff relief payments next week to farmers and ranchers burned by President Donald Trump’s trade war.The Trump administration has already paid farmers at least $6.7 billion for their 2019 production, on top of $8.6 billion provided for last year’s production and additional trade relief efforts like commodity purchases and marketing assistance.
  • The White House is standing by senior adviser Stephen Miller as he faces calls to resign after newly released emails showed he circulated material linked to white nationalism to conservative media before taking his role in the Trump administration.
  • Syrian President Assad announced a “resistance” against US troops. Which translates into Iran coordinating militia attacks against American military & SDF allies in East Syria. Militias to include Syrian Baath, Hezbollah, Iraqi Hashd, and other factions. The goal is to seize the oil and subdue the Kurds. 
  • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards defeated Trump-endorsed Republican Eddie Rispone. This is the second time this month that Trump campaigned for a gubernatorial candidate and lost in a state he carried in 2016.
  • After harsh criticism from North Korea, U.S. and South Korean military forces have indefinitely delayed a planned joint exercise in what Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “I see this as a good-faith effort by the United States and the Republic of Korea to enable peace, to shape … to facilitate a political agreement – a deal, if you will – that leads to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Despite the gesture, North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying it has no plans to negotiate over denuclearization unless the U.S. first puts an end to “hostile” policies toward North Korea.
  • FedEx, a company that had a tax bill of $1.6 billion in 2017 fiscal year, reportedly owed zero dollars in taxes the fiscal year after President Trump signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax cut that sharply reduced tax rates for corporations in the country.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

11/15

  • President Trump is taking his efforts to block the release of his tax returns to the Supreme Court, setting up a historic separation-of-powers test.
  • Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is being investigated by federal prosecutors for campaign finance violations and possibly breaking laws against bribing foreign officials.
  • Turkish media are seizing on President Erdoğan’s comments that President Trump had “no reaction” to his returning the American leader’s notorious letter to him, saying it shows a clear victory over Trump. A headline in Sabah Daily said that international media were reporting that Erdoğan returned the “scandalous” letter to Trump and the American president was “silent.” A headline in Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily quoted the Turkish leader talking about Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “I told him what he needed, he learned his lesson.”
  • The Justice Department inspector general’s office has told witnesses who are set to review draft sections of its long-awaited report on the FBI investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign that they will not be allowed to submit written feedback — one in a series of unusual restrictions that some fear could make the final document less accurate. As is the case in most inspector general probes, witnesses are being invited to review draft sections of the report and offer comments and corrections. But, unlike most cases, they are being told those comments must be conveyed only verbally.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced a new commission that he said will decide which human rights are more important to U.S. foreign policy. Every member of the commission is an anti-LGBTQ activist.
  • Mark Sandy, a longtime career employee at the White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to testify Saturday in the House impeachment inquiry, potentially filling in important details on the holdup of military aid to Ukraine. Sandy  would be the first OMB employee to testify in the inquiry, after OMB acting director Russell T. Vought and two other political appointees at the agency defied congressional subpoenas to appear.
  • The US has warned Egypt of pos­si­ble sanc­tions over Cairo’s de­ci­sion to pro­ceed with a pur­chase of Russ­ian war­planes.A letter obtained by WSJ says the buy may “complicate future US defense transactions with and security assistance to Egypt.”
  • Trump is demanding that South Korea pay roughly 500% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping US troops on the peninsula. The price hike has frustrated Pentagon officials and deeply concerned Republican and Democratic lawmakers, according to military officials and congressional aides. It has angered and unnerved Seoul, where leaders are questioning US commitment to their alliance and wondering whether Trump will pull US forces if they don’t pay up.
  • President Trump on Thursday moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an aide to former national security adviser John Bolton seeking a ruling on whether he must comply with a congressional subpoena to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. In the filing, he sought to have a judge dismiss White House official Dr. Charles Kupperman lawsuit seeking guidance on whether he should comply with the subpoena or the president’s directive not to comply.
  • After news surfaced that President Trump’s phone call with U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was overheard by others in a restaurant in Ukraine, top former national security officials say Russian spies almost certainly overheard at least some of the president’s conversation.
  • The White House announced Friday that President Trump will attend the NATO leaders meeting in the United Kingdom early next month, where he is set to address shared costs between NATO member countries and attend a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • President Trump denigrated Marie Yovanovitch on Twitter even as she testified about how she felt threatened by him, leading Democrats to accuse him of trying to intimidate a witness in real time. While Ambassador Yovanovitch was testifying before the House, President Trump live Tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.” 
  • Roger Stone, the right-wing provocateur and longtime associate of President Trump, was convicted of 7 counts of lying to Congress and witness tampering. The verdict is another victory for former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose legal team alleged that Stone had tried to conceal from Congress his contacts with the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.
  • President Trump complained of a historic “double standard” after his longtime associate Roger Stone was convicted on seven felony counts, including lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his efforts to feed the Trump campaign information on WikiLeaks in 2016.
  • President Trump claimed the identity of the whistleblower who first raised concerns about his relationship with Ukraine is known to everyone in D.C. Trump told “The Dan Bongino Show,” “Everyone in Washington knows who it is, by the way. The whistleblower is no great secret. Everybody knows who the whistleblower is, and [it] has to be revealed.”
  • In a historic move, President Donald Trump announced Friday that hospitals will be required to disclose the rates they privately negotiate with insurers. Part of a larger transparency push aimed at reducing health care costs, the controversial requirement has already raised the ire of the powerful industry. Four hospital groups quickly promised to file a legal challenge, arguing the rule exceeds the administration’s authority.
  • Trump said he watched some of Friday’s proceedings and said, “I thought it was a disgrace. When we have great Republican representatives…and they’re not allowed to even ask a question. They’re not allowed to make a statement.”

NOTE: Time to make statements and ask questions are allotted to both Democrats and Republicans equally. 

For full coverage of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee, visit The Hill http://bit.ly/2Qo4tyc

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

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

11/6

  • 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.