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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 73,140

Journal Archives

Trump impeachment inquiry could be pivotal in Warren-Biden primary fight

NBC News

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren looks to be the primary beneficiary of President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal and the House impeachment inquiry into it, but Joe Biden's allies think there's an opportunity for him to rally voters — especially if he gets more aggressive in going after Trump.

That friction goes to the heart of Biden's "electability" argument and could make the next several weeks decisive in the race for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump next November.

It could be that Trump's focus on Biden persuades Democrats that the former vice president is the toughest candidate, or it could be that primary voters fear Trump's allegations against Biden would weaken him in a general election, regardless of the truth.

Warren's allies are careful in how they frame the Ukraine narrative as helpful to her — obviously sensitive to Biden's popularity in the party, their own candidate's aversion to attacking competitors and Democrats' anger with Trump for trying to enlist a foreign government's help in dragging a political opponent's name through the mud.

A Royal Decree...


In Ukraine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — No one bothered to put special limits on the number of people allowed to sit in the “listening room” in the White House to monitor the phone call because it was expected to be routine. By the time the call was over 30 minutes later, it quickly became clear that it was anything but.

Soon after President Trump put the phone down that summer day, the red flags began to go up. Rather than just one head of state offering another pro forma congratulations for recent elections, the call turned into a bid by Mr. Trump to press a Ukrainian leader in need of additional American aid to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats.

The alarm among officials who heard the exchange led to an extraordinary effort to keep too many more people from learning about it. In the days to come, according to a whistle-blower complaint released on Thursday, White House officials embarked on a campaign to “lock down” the record of the call, removing it from the usual electronic file and hiding it away in a separate system normally used for classified information.


Moreover, other officials amplified the narrative on Thursday with details that were not in the complaint. For instance, they said, at one point an order was given to not distribute the reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call electronically, as would be typical. Instead, copies were printed out and hand delivered to a select group.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/us/politics/trump-ukraine-timeline.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

Someone seems grumpy this morning...


Giuliani: State Department official should 'step forward,' 'I wasn't operating on my own'

Source: The Hill

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Thursday called on Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine, and other State Department officials to say that they directed Giuliani to meet with Ukrainian officials in the wake of a whistleblower complaint released Thursday on Trump and Giuliani’s contacts with Ukraine.

Giuliani appeared to share text messages from Volker in an appearance on Fox News Thursday night. One encouraged Giuliani to call him to “brief you more about [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky dynamic,” and another “connected” Giuliani with Andrey Yermak, a Zelensky aide.

“He should step forward and explain what he did,” Giuliani told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “The whistleblower falsely alleges that I was operating on my own. Well, I wasn’t operating on my own.”

“I went to meet Mr. Zelensky’s aide at the request of the State Department,” Giuliani continued.

Read more: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/463340-giuliani-state-department-official-should-step-forward-i-wasnt

Smart enough not to be the patsy?

Pelosi: Attorney general 'has gone rogue'

Source: The Hill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused Attorney General William Barr on Friday of going "rogue" in his efforts to protect President Trump from the fallout over a whistleblower complaint related to Trump's conversations with the president of Ukraine.

During an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Pelosi argued that Barr was part of a White House "cover up" of Trump's call to Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky about the possibility of launching an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

"He's gone rogue," Pelosi said. "I think where they're going is a cover-up of a cover-up."

"I think it's sad, to have a Justice Department go so rogue," she continued. "Well, they have been for a while. And now it just makes matters worse."

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/463342-pelosi-attorney-general-has-gone-rogue

Nancy Pelosi coming up on MORNING JOE in 5 min (7:30)

Her first interview since the Impeachment Inquiry announcement

'Total panic' as 'shell-shocked' White House struggles to find impeachment footing

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — White House officials were scrambling Thursday to figure out how to counter the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, with one source familiar with the situation describing a sense of “total panic” over the past week at the lack of a plan to address the new reality.

There appears to be rising “anxiety, unease, and concern” — as one person close to the White House described the mood in the West Wing — that the whistleblower’s allegations could seriously wound the president and some of those around him. “There’s not a lot of confidence that there’s no there there,” this person said.

White House officials remained unsure of how to proceed, not only because there is no apparent plan to deal with the situation, but because the allegations are so serious that the usual methods the president has used to successfully escape past controversies may not apply: “This doesn’t look like something that’s going to be overtaken by the next news cycle,” the person said.

Another person familiar with the discussions described the mood inside the White House as “shell-shocked,” with increasing wariness that, as this impeachment inquiry drags out, the likelihood increases that the president could respond erratically and become “unmanageable.”

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/total-panic-shell-shocked-white-house-struggles-find-impeachment-footing-n1059251

Next week's NEW YORKER cover

Giuliani reads his private texts from State about Ukraine on Fox News...

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