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Bloomberg Launches $100 Million Anti-Trump Ad Campaign



Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is shelling out $100 million for ads opposing President Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 election as he considers running for the Democratic nomination.

The online ads target voters in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin ― all battleground states ― and began running Friday, according to multiple outlets. The spots will run through the end of the primary season, regardless of whether Bloomberg launches a presidential bid.

It’s the latest sign that the billionaire is seriously weighing a run. On Tuesday, he registered for the Arkansas primary, and the week before, he registered for Alabama’s ― both of which fall on Super Tuesday. 

If he enters the race, Bloomberg reportedly plans to skip campaigning in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire and focus instead on the 14 states holding primaries on that pivotal primary day, which will fall on March 3.

In an ABC News interview last week, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called Bloomberg’s consideration of a run “the arrogance of billionaires,” and chastised Bloomberg’s strategy as the thinking of someone who feels “he’s too important.”

“You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings, you don’t have to talk to ordinary people,” Sanders said. “What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), another White House hopeful, echoed Sanders’ discomfort with the idea of Bloomberg jumping into the race, arguing it’s not the time for the mega-rich to run.

“When people look at this White House and see this multi-millionaire … I don’t think they say, ‘Oh, we need someone richer,’” she told CNN. “I think you have to earn votes and not buy them.”





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Audience applauds, GOP microphone turned off at end of Yovanovitch hearing


Audience members at Friday’s impeachment inquiry broke into applause after former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchLive coverage: Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies in public impeachment hearing Ex-Trump Russia expert told lawmakers she’s gotten death threats Giuliani lawyers up amid impeachment inquiry MORE concluded her testimony.

Even as Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayNew hemp trade group presses lawmakers on immigration reform, regs GOP motions to subpoena whistleblower Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing MORE (R-Texas) repeatedly asked to be recognized, audience members applauded Yovanovitch and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump on Schiff: ‘He will not make the LSU football team’ Trump knocks testimony from ‘Never Trumpers’ at Louisiana rally Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (D-Calif.) gaveled the second public impeachment hearing closed.

Conaway’s microphone was turned off after he tried to interrupt Schiff immediately after Schiff gaveled the hearing closed, with Conaway citing the need to push back against “disparaging remarks” by Schiff against the Republicans.

As Schiff gaveled out, Conaway requested recognition, telling Schiff that “you disparaged members on this side of the aisle, we should have a chance to respond to your remarks.”

Schiff did not respond to Conaway, while Conaway continued to say “Mr. Chairman” multiple times to get his attention until Conaway’s microphone was turned off.

Conaway’s comments were also partially drowned out by clapping in the room for Yovanovitch, with many attendees, including committee Democrats, giving her a standing ovation for her testimony.

Yovanovitch offered testimony on her ouster as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. She criticized a shadowy effort aimed at discrediting her that appeared to be led by Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump knocks testimony from ‘Never Trumpers’ at Louisiana rally Jordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery ‘ridiculous’ Giuliani under investigation for alleged campaign finance, lobbying breaches: report MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE’s personal attorney.

The most dramatic moment of the more than six-hour hearing came when Trump tweeted criticism of Yovanovitch during the hearing. Schiff then read the tweet to Yovanovitch, who offered her response.

The episode added to the sympathy many members already appeared to feel for the former ambassador. Members of both parties repeatedly credited her for her public service during the hearing.





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Bill Clinton: President Trump Shouldn’t Use Impeachment As An “Excuse” Not To Go “To Work For The American People” | Video



Former President Bill Clinton phoned in to CNN Thursday afternoon to discuss gun control in the wake of the school shooting in a California high school.

He also said President Trump is wrong to use the ongoing impeachment inquiry as an “excuse” not to “go to work for the American people.” Attorney General Bill Barr said Wednesday that the administration could not move forward on gun control legislation due to the impeachment inquiry.

“Look at how much we got done in 1998-1999,” Clinton said, pointing to the time period surrounding his own impeachment.

“We had very productive actions in all three years,” Clinton said. “Once the public rendered judgment on what they thought should be done I kept working with [the Republican Congress]. That’s just an excuse.”

“[President Trump] did indicate a couple of times he would go along with this and then obviously, the gun law got ahold of him and pulled him back, but at some point, denial is no longer an option,” the former president said. “And the Congress is basically in denial of the consequences of doing nothing.”

JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Now, there is nobody in the world who is more of an expert on the need and ability to work with Congress at the same time that they’re impeaching you. I wonder, what is your reaction to [Attorney General Bill] Barr saying, well, the House Democrats decided to impeach, therefore we can’t do anything on guns?

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, my answer is, look at how much we got done in 1998-1999.

And even in ’97. We had very productive actions in all three years. The only really tough year we had, after the Republicans won the Congress, was ’95 to the beginning of ’96 when they shut the government down twice. Once the public rendered judgment on what they thought should be done I kept working with them. That’s just an excuse.

TAPPER: What would your message to President Trump be? What would your message to president trump be about when he says I can’t work with these people. They’re impeaching me?

BILL CLINTON: My message was, would be, look, you got hired to do a job. You don’t get the days back once they’re lost — every day’s an opportunity to make something good happen. And I would say I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling the impeachment inquiry and they should just have at it, meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people. That’s when I would do.

He did indicate a couple of times he would go along with this and then obviously, the gun law got ahold of him and pulled him back, but at some point, denial is no longer an option, and the Congress is basically in denial of the consequences of doing nothing. Whereas, at least the people who are opposed to it.

The easiest thing to do, if they don’t want to pass the assault weapon ban and ammunition clip limit, which I strongly believe they should, just look at the staggering increase in mass shootings since the assault weapon ban expired. If they don’t want to do this at least give us a clean background check law. One that works in the modern world. Take advantage of our information technology. And basically doesn’t bend over backwards to make it easy for people who have no business getting these guns.

TAPPER: Lastly, sir, we haven’t heard from the current president after this school shooting. These school shootings happened, it feels, at least, more often than they did in the ’90s. I’m wondering for any American parent out there or child who is today scared what your message to them would be.

BILL CLINTON: My message is, first of all, your school should do everything they possibly can to minimize this, but they did gun safety drills in the school where the shooting occurred, and that you deserve an environment which minimizes your risks. We can minimize your risk without doing anything to the right that having arms for hunting, sport shooting or self-protection. Nothing, zero, nada. It doesn’t affect that at all to have a good, comprehensive background check law.

And from my point of view, it does nothing to ban military-style assault weapons and ammunition clips over a certain size. When we did it, no one missed any time hunting or sport shooting and no one complained they couldn’t really protect their homes if they didn’t have, you know, an assault weapon.

But if you continue to pretend that you can deal with all this by violations of existing law without trying to prevent it, you’re going to continue to have these things happen.

And we don’t know what the facts are here now. I don’t know what kind of weapons this young man used. I don’t know what went on there. But I do know this. In most of these cases, if we had an aggressive preventive program, it doesn’t interfere, with Second Amendment rights, the Supreme Court specified, we could have prevented or minimized the damage.

I remember at one point in the ’90s, when I was president, a study came out saying that if you got shot with an assault weapon, you were three times likely to die from the wound than if you got one bullet in you from a revolver or from another kind of handgun.

So we just need to calm down and take this out of politics, and give more of our kids a better future. I mean, it’s just — it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s — the political argument that you raised at the beginning is absolutely right. There were people who lost their careers in Congress because of that. And one reason we lost the majority in Congress in ’94 was because of that. But it’s not that way anymore. It’s now a voting issue for the people that agree with us. So if you’re just worried about the naked politics, it’s at least a wash, and people should insist on doing what’s right for the children.





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Twitter Users Burn Eric Trump For Calling Impeachment Hearing ‘Boring’



The first public impeachment hearing for President Donald Trump is definitely a major moment in American history, but don’t tell that to the president’s son Eric Trump or White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Both Trump’s second-born son and his third press secretary took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize the hearing, with acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent, for being dull.

First, Grisham called the hearing “boring” and offered suggestions on what Congress should be doing instead of investigating a president for high crimes and misdemeanors.

A few minutes later, Eric Trump went even further, even using the hashtag #Snoozefest.

Granted, congressional hearings aren’t as exciting as any “Fast and Furious” sequel, but they are a necessary part of government.

Both Taylor and Kent will be the first to speak publicly on their knowledge of the president’s dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

But Washington Post journalist Amy Gardner wondered if the use of the word “boring” was a calculated move to keep President Trump’s supporters from actually watching the testimony.

Regardless of whether Grisham’s and Eric Trump’s word choice was meant to dissuade people from watching, Twitter users found a lot of reasons to mock the president’s second-born son.

One person attempted to correct Eric Trump’s spelling.

Some people did make a good case why the president might find the hearing dull.

One person tried to make it really simple for the president’s son.

And there was the Twitter user who figured, hey, different strokes for different folks.





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House and Senate Dems implore McConnell to sign DACA legislation to protect ‘Dreamers’


House and Senate Democrats called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Biden not ruling out Senate voting to impeach Trump: ‘It will depend on what their constituency says’ Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday to pass the DREAM Act as the Supreme Court hears arguments on President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE‘s move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“I sat in the White House when President Trump says, ‘I want to treat these young people with love.’ Well, love like that we don’t need,” Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the ‘whistleblower’ step forward Isolationism creeps back over America, as the president looks out for himself MORE (D-N.J.) said, flanked by DACA recipients.

“When you started on a pathway that put all these young people at risk, that’s not love,” Menendez added, addressing Trump. “It’s just fundamentally wrong what the administration is doing. Let’s see who stands for the dream and who wants to snuff it out.”

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the highest-ranking Hispanic member of the House, blasted both Trump and White House policy adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerThe New York Times’ ‘Latinx’ problem Cuccinelli gets in heated exchange with ‘Squad’ member on health care for migrants Washington Post columnist Boot changes al-Baghdadi column after criticism MORE in his remarks. “The cruelness that we continue to see coming from this administration, the hateful rhetoric and policies coming from Stephen Miller, they’re not American,” Luján said.

DACA recipients, he added, “represent the highest of the American ideals that we cherish every day. … There’s an opportunity now for the Supreme Court to do the right thing, to uphold what’s happened with the lower courts.”

In 2017, Trump terminated the program for so-called Dreamers, which protected immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Challenges to that decision have now gone all the way to the Supreme Court.

“I can’t tell you how many stories are out there of the real lives and the impact. … Those decisions that we make have real-life impacts. These aren’t just faces. These aren’t just names,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoDemocrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid Former state senator gets DSCC endorsement in North Carolina Senate race Eva Longoria: Moral argument on immigration ‘is not working’ MORE (D-Nev.).

“Mr. President, if you truly love Dreamers and you want to do right by them, their families and this country, then I offer to you to come and sit down with some Dreamers and talk with them. Learn who they are, listen to their stories and you will understand like the rest of us that they are an integral part of who we are as a country, as Americans, as United States and what we have done year after years — open our doors to the best and brightest,” she added.





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Megyn Kelly Interviews Former ABC Producer Fired For Leaking Clip Of ABC Host Complaining About Jeffrey Epstein | Video



Former ABC News producer Ashley Bianco reveals the inside story to Megyn Kelly about the hot mic moment from anchor Amy Robach. In a clip released by Project Veritas, Robach was caught expressing her frustration that the network refused to air an interview she did with one of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims.

Bianco, who claims to be the source of the video, left ABC News for CBS News and was fired by the Tiffany network after the former network alerted them.

In a twist, Project Veritas released a statement that Bianco was not their source.





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Zelensky Was Set To Announce Biden Probe On CNN, Then Congress Pressed For Aid: Report



Ukraine’s president was preparing to announce a groundless investigation into Joe Biden on CNN — against his better judgment — but managed to duck out of it when Congress pressed Donald Trump to release military aid he was withholding, The New York Times reported.

The last thing President Volodymyr Zelensky wanted to do was become entangled in U.S. politics, the Times reported, but he was convinced that the only way he could finally get the appropriated $400 million in U.S. aid was to follow the president’s instructions for announcing an investigation of Biden and his son, according to interviews with Kyiv government officials.

If the money wasn’t released by the end of the fiscal year in September, Ukraine risked losing it for good. Zelensky was determined to do what he had to do for the money, even though avoiding partisan U.S. politics was the “first rule of Ukrainian foreign policy,” the Times reported.

Aides were arguing in favor of “bowing to what was demanded,” said Petro Burkovskiy, a senior fellow at the Democratic Initiatives Foundation with ties to Ukraine’s government, according to the Times. But the “cost was high,” he added.

Trump reportedly expected Zelensky to make a high-profile statement about launching an investigation of his 2020 presidential rival. A top U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, testified before House members that Gordon Sondland, Trump’s appointed ambassador to the European Union, told him the military aid was dependent on Zelensky making a “public statement” about initiating an investigation of Biden.

Sondland said that “President Trump wanted President Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations,” Taylor testified.

Zelensky agreed to an interview on CNN during which he was to reveal “investigations that would have played into domestic political affairs,” Taylor told lawmakers. But the military funds were released Sept. 11 after a congressional uproar, just two days before Zelensky was scheduled to appear on CNN. He quickly canceled, the Times reported.

The Times story, as well as Taylor’s — and others’ — testimony sharply undercuts Trump’s argument that there was no quid pro quo in his withholding of funds and his July 25 phone call pressing Zelensky for an investigation into Biden and his son. The president, however, is now saying there’s nothing wrong with a quid pro quo using military aid to press Zelensky to investigate his political rival, which would predictably affect the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“The Zelensky team was ready to make this quid quo pro,” Burkovskiy told the Times. “They were ready to do this.”





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Trump rails against House Democrats, impeachment inquiry during campaign rally: ‘It’s all a hoax’


President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill Interview: DNC chair calls Latinos ‘imperative’ to winning in battleground states Democrats give Warren’s ‘Medicare for All’ plan the cold shoulder Senate Republicans struggle to coalesce behind an impeachment strategy MORE spent the outset of a campaign rally Wednesday evening railing against House Democrats, accusing them of pursuing a “deranged, delusional, destructive and hyperpartisan impeachment witch hunt.”

“It’s all a hoax. It’s a scam,” Trump told a cheering crowd at the Monroe Civic Center in Louisiana.

“I had a perfect phone call, a totally perfect phone call,” he added, referring to his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump also continued his attacks on the credibility of the anonymous whistleblower who raised alarm about the call, accusing the individual of making a “horrible statement” about the call and claiming without evidence that the person had “disappeared” after the White House released a transcript of it.

Trump then asserted Democrats were “rip[ping] the guts out of our country” and suggested they are engaged in an “illegal act.”

House Democrats are quickening their inquiry centered on Trump’s call with Zelensky and plan to take their hearings public next week. The White House earlier Wednesday brought on two new aides to handle impeachment messaging.

House committees over the last few days have released a number of transcripts from closed-door depositions with witnesses that have offered insight into the unusual driving role Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSenate Republicans struggle to coalesce behind an impeachment strategy Sondland changes quid pro quo story Five things to know about the Sondland, Volker transcripts MORE played in the administration’s policy efforts with respect to Ukraine.

Democrats have also collected a growing body of evidence that the administration held up military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Kiev for investigations that could have benefited Trump politically, including one related to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats give Warren’s ‘Medicare for All’ plan the cold shoulder Senate Republicans struggle to coalesce behind an impeachment strategy Sanders team accuses media of ignoring ‘surge’ in polls MORE.

Trump on Wednesday doubled down on his insistence that there was no quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukraine.

Instead, he accused Biden of engaging in a quid pro quo, repeating an unsubstantiated allegation pushed by Giuliani and others that the former vice president pressed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit his son, who had business ties to a Ukrainian energy company.

“That’s called a quid pro quo. Not here,” Trump said.

Trump has used his rallies as a platform to countermessage Democrats’ impeachment inquiry since House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats give Warren’s ‘Medicare for All’ plan the cold shoulder Republican wins Mississippi governor race Overnight Health Care: Studies show teen e-cig users favor Juul products, mint flavors | Warren offers plan to reduce veteran suicide rate | WH official calls Pelosi drug plan ‘unworkable’ MORE (D-Calif.) formally announced it in late September. Trump took aim at Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSondland changes quid pro quo story Republicans consider putting Jordan, Meadows on Intelligence for impeachment Two more White House officials skip impeachment depositions MORE (D-Calif.), central players in the impeachment inquiry, Wednesday evening, deriding them as “corrupt.”

In normal fashion, Trump also threw barbs at the media, gesturing to reporters covering the rally in the back of the arena, as well as Democratic congressional leaders and candidates.

“Democrats are becoming increasingly totalitarian,” Trump said, accusing them of “staging show trials” and “trying to overthrow American democracy to impose their socialist agenda.”

At one point, Trump threatened economic demise if a Democrat is elected in 2020.

“If the Democrats get back in, you will have a depression the likes of which you haven’t seen before,” Trump said.

Trump made a brief mention of his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Krystal Ball hits media over questions on Sanders’s electability Stein urges New York City voters to approve ranked-choice voting MORE, dredging up his favorite nickname from the last presidential election cycle, “Crooked Hillary,” a remark that brought chants of “lock her up” from the crowd. He also referred to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats give Warren’s ‘Medicare for All’ plan the cold shoulder Sanders team accuses media of ignoring ‘surge’ in polls Tucson elects first female Latina mayor MORE (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas” to highlight the controversy surrounding her past claims of Native American heritage.

Wednesday’s rally comes the day after Democrats won off-year elections in Virginia and Kentucky, which could be a sign of trouble for Trump and the Republican Party.

Democrats on Tuesday regained control of the Virginia Legislature for the first time since 1994. Meanwhile, Democrat Andy Beshear narrowly defeated incumbent Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) one day after Trump traveled to the Bluegrass State to rally for him. However, Bevin has asked for a recanvass of vote totals.

Trump was in Louisiana rallying for Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, who is running to unseat the state’s incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. The runoff election will take place on Nov. 16.

Trump branded Bel Edwards a “radical liberal Democrat” and urged voters to support Rispone, who joined him on stage Wednesday evening.

Wednesday marked the third campaign rally Trump has held in a less than a week, following appearances in Mississippi and Kentucky on Friday and Monday, respectively.





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Rand Paul: Nothing That Prevents Me From Saying Whistleblower’s Name | Video



Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, joins Bret Baier on Tuesday’s ‘Special Report’ and declared there is no law that prevents him from saying the whistleblower’s name.

“There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now, other than that I wanted to be more about the process and less about the person,” Paul told Baier. “But there’s no law that prevents me from mentioning the name of who’s been said to be the whistleblower.”

“I think he should be interviewed, not as the whistleblower, but as a material witness to the Biden corruption in Ukraine,” Paul said.

BRET BAIER, ‘SPECIAL REPORT’ HOST: I referenced that tweet moments ago, Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s attorney, “If Congress and others do not protect my client’s anonymity, which my client is afforded by the law, not only does it jeopardize their safety, but it jeopardizes an entire system that took decades to build.  It will destroy effective Congressional oversight for years to come.”  Your response to that?

 

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): You know, I don’t wish harm on anyone.  I’ve been the victim of political violence not once, but twice.  I was there at the ballfield when Steve Scalise was almost killed.  A staff member was 10 feet from me, who was shot.  I had six of my ribs broken by a hater of President Trump.  So, I know what political violence is all about.  I don’t want that, at all.  But the report was un — not correct, in the sense that the statute says the Inspector General can’t reveal the name.  It says the president should enforce the law, but the person you quoted was disingenuous in what they were saying.  The statute says the Inspector General can’t reveal the name.  There’s nothing that prevents me from saying it now, other than that I wanted to be more about the process and less about the person.  But there’s no law that prevents me from mentioning the name of who’s been said to be the whistleblower.  But there’s also –

 

BAIER: But are you convinced you know?

 

PAUL: Yeah.  And there’s something important, also.  It’s called the Constitution.  The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution says if you are going to accuse me of a crime, I get to stare you down in court.  That is absolutely part of the Constitution.  The statute might say one thing, but, I promise you, if there is a trial, you always get to confront your accuser.  It’s in the Sixth Amendment.  It’s in the Bill of Rights.  There’s no way they can stop –

 

BAIER: Well –

 

PAUL: — the defense from asking for that.

 

BAIER: — I don’t understand what prevents you from getting on the Senate Floor, where you’re protected on –

 

PAUL: Right.

 

BAIER: — on all kinds of things, and just giving a speech and saying what the guy’s name is –

 

PAUL: Right.  I –

 

BAIER: — if you’re convinced you know who it is.

 

PAUL: — yeah.  No, I can, and I may.  But I can do it right now, if I want.  Nothing stops me.  There is no law that stops me from doing it, other than that I don’t want to make it about the one individual.  But I would say this: I do think that this individual is a material witness to the potential Biden corruption.  He was there under Joe Biden.  He was there when Joe Biden was trying to fire the prosecutor that was in — that was investigating Hunter Biden.  So, this person was a Ukrainian expert on the desk, at that time.  I think he should be interviewed, not as the whistleblower, but as a material witness to the Biden corruption in Ukraine.





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Rand Paul demands media print whistleblower’s name


Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump: Whistleblower ‘must come forward’ Admitting North Macedonia to NATO brings more risks than benefits to the US Trump’s criminal justice reform record fraught with contradiction MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday demanded the media reveal the identity of the anonymous whistleblower who raised concerns about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says Republicans should release their own transcripts in impeachment probe Trump keeps NYT, WaPo apps on his phone despite canceling subscriptions: report The big deception behind tariffs and geopolitics MORE’s contacts with Ukraine, leading to the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Paul, speaking in his home state at a Trump campaign rally, referenced unconfirmed reports in conservative media that the whistleblower worked for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCastro hits Buttigieg over ‘bad track record with African Americans’ Harris struggling with substance to match the aspiration Harris: Buttigieg ‘naive’ to suggest it’s becoming two-person race between him and Warren MORE, questioning the person’s credibility.

“We also now know the name of the whistleblower. The whistleblower needs to come forward as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs,” Paul said at the rally after Trump invited him onstage.

 

“I say tonight to the media, do your job and print his name,” Paul told the crowd to loud cheers.

The whistleblower is subject to federal protections against retaliation under the law; his attorneys have been negotiating with Congress about an agreement for possible testimony that would protect the individual’s identity. 

In a statement to The Hill, Mark Zaid, the whistleblower’s attorney, suggested Paul was “betray[ing] the interests of the Constitution and the American people” by calling for the whistleblower to be unmasked.

“A member of Congress who calls for the identity of any lawful whistleblower to be publicly revealed against their wishes disgraces the office they hold and betrays the interests of the Constitution and the American people,” Zaid said.

Paul encouraged Republicans in Congress to more vociferously defend Trump against House Democrats’ fast-moving impeachment inquiry, which is centered on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. 

The call triggered an extraordinary intelligence community whistleblower complaint alleging Trump used his office to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election, in which Joe Biden is a leading Democratic candidate. Trump has denied doing anything improper on the call, describing it as “perfect.” 

Trump and his Republican allies such as Paul have sought to undercut the whistleblower’s credibility as closed-door hearings have produced damaging testimony about Trump and his administration’s actions with respect to Ukraine.  

Paul took aim at Hunter Biden on Monday evening, claiming he engaged in corruption by landing business deals overseas while his father was vice president. There is no evidence either Biden engaged in criminal wrongdoing. 

“President Trump has great courage. He faces down the fake media everyday,” Paul said at the outset of his remarks. “But Congress needs to step up to have equal courage to defend the president.”

Trump, who introduced Paul as a “warrior” and a “great friend,” was impressed by his remarks, telling the crowd after Paul concluded, “Wow, that was excellent. Wow, thank you.”

Earlier Monday, Trump himself called for the whistleblower to testify publicly, saying written answers to lawmakers’ questions were “not acceptable.”

Trump was in Kentucky promoting the reelection of Gov. Matt Bevin (R), one of three governors facing an off-year Election Day on Tuesday, along with those of Mississippi and Virginia.





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