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Rachel Maddow: ‘Veterans’ group’ fundraising off Trump speech is really one guy in S. Dakota

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow exposed the “veterans group” using an appearance by Donald Trump as a fundraiser on Tuesday as an apparent one-man organization.

Trump’s appearance aboard the USS Iowa, she explained, was an event benefiting Veterans for a Strong America, with tickets ranging between $100 and $1,000.

However, Maddow said, the Federal Election Commission filings for the group’s PAC reveal that, besides having only $30 cash in hand and $318 in debts, the organization’s only member is founder Joel Arends.

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“Donald Trump was not in the military, but he did use a pretty military backdrop tonight to raise money for a non-existent veterans’ group, which endorsed him formally as part of his introduction — and he said they have hundreds of thousands of members,” she said. “And they don’t. And so the whole thing is fake.”

According to Heavy.com, Arends endorsed the real estate mogul, citing his “exceptional positions on national security and veterans issues.”

Tuesday’s speech came after Arends released a statement earlier this year backing Trump after he insulted Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) war record. Heavy reported that Arends worked on McCain’s campaign in Iowa in 2007.

“I’m sure that in that moment, Donald Trump was very grateful to have that statement of support from this group,” Maddow said. “But Veterans For A Strong America really does appear to be just one guy.”

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Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Tuesday, below.

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‘He’s long ago left the fact-based world’: Ex-CIA operative takes down Trump’s lies about recapturing ISIS fighters

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former CIA operative Bob Baer destroyed President Donald Trump's claims that ISIS fighters in Syria have mostly been recaptured.

"Okay. So you heard him, right? They've been largely recaptured and there were only a few who got out," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Unfortunately, it's not true. His own special envoy for Syria and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS an hour before the president said that, said the exact opposite thing about the escaped ISIS fighters."

"We would say that the number is now over a hundred," said Ambassador James Jeffrey in the clip. "We do not know where they are."

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CNN

‘Ridiculous’ for Trump’s team to ‘feed people this line’ that Ukraine didn’t know about the frozen aid: CNN contributor

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President Donald Trump and his associates have recently tried a new defense for the Ukraine scandal, claiming that there couldn't have been a quid pro quo because the Ukrainians were supposedly unaware of the military aid freeze the Trump apparently ordered to force them to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Washington Post journalist David Swerdlick and his co-panelists smacked down that narrative.

"The New York Times reports that the Ukrainians learned in early August that aid was frozen and they were told to reach out to the acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney," said anchor Wolf Blitzer.

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Giuliani henchmen caught on tape doing statewide tour for Indiana Republicans during 2018 election

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New images of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman with prominent Republicans emerged on Wednesday.

"Two associates of Rudy Giuliani who are accused of illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. campaigns attended an Indiana Republican event promoting U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and others just days before the 2018 election," the Indy Star reports.

"The reason remains a mystery," the newspaper noted.

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