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White House uses anonymous spokesperson to contradict Brennan testimony and decry anonymous leaks

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The Trump administration on Tuesday used an anonymous spokesperson in its official response to John Brennan’s testimony before Congress. After pushing back on the former former CIA director’s statement, the anonymous spokesperson attacked “the leaks of classified information,” which are typically delivers by anonymous sources.

“This morning’s hearings back up what we’ve been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia Trump campaign collusion, that the President never jeopardized intelligence sources or sharing, and that even Obama’s CIA Director believes the leaks of classified information are ‘appalling’ and the culprits must be ‘tracked down,’” the statement read. That statement was attributable to an unnamed “White House spokesman.”

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It marks the second time in two days the White House has used an anonymous official to condemn anonymous sources. Monday, the White House denied a bombshell report in the Washington Post that Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers to push back against former FBI Director James Comey’s March 20 testimony revealing the bureau is investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. That Washington Post report relied on two current and two former officials who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

“The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on leaks from anonymous individuals,” an unnamed spokesman told the Post.

Officials in Trump’s orbit, and the president himself, have pushed back on a series of damaging reports about the president’s attempts to quash the multiple ongoing investigations into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz—who famously provided cover for Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower (a highly controversial that was similarly exposed through leaks)—told Fox News on Sunday that leakers should be handcuffed and thrown in jail.

Trump himself leaked highly classified information to the Russian ambassador and Russian foreign minister during a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office earlier this month. The president later revealed the source of that information while attempting to refute the validity of those leaks.

The White House has tried in vain to stop the leaks. Earlier this month, Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “lectured” staffers about leaking information to the media. That lecture was immediately leaked.

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GOP senator admits she’s hoping Trump’s Ukraine scheme successfully sinks Biden

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In a press conference with reporters on Monday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) gave the game away by implying she hopes that President Donald Trump's scheme to dig up foreign dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden successfully sinks his candidacy and causes him to lose the Democratic caucuses in her state.

"Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?"

The remarks came after White House lawyers spent hours trying to change the subject from Trump's attempts to extort the president of Ukraine with military aid, to the conspiracy theory surrounding Biden's son's work in Ukraine that he had been demanding they pursue.

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Republicans defended ‘a vile scoundrel’ who is ‘racist’ and ‘a petty tyrant’ — and it wasn’t Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump's defense attorneys were blasted for their defense of a different president on Tuesday.

"I mean, of course Trump's lawyers are defending Andrew Johnson. Of course," noted MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes.

"Johnson was a vile scoundrel and a drunk and a racist and a petty tyrant whose presidency brought blood and shame upon this nation," Hayes continued. "That's the kindest characterization I could muster."

The host linked to a 2019 piece on Johnson that he wrote for The New York Times as a book review of "The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple.

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There are 51 votes to approve calling witnesses in Trump impeachment trial: PBS

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After pieces of John Bolton's manuscript leaked to the press confirming President Donald Trump's bribery of Ukraine, Republicans have turned to support the witnesses they once opposed.

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) both voted against witnesses and were leaning against them until Bolton's manuscript was leaked to the press after it was turned over to the White House for approval.

PBS News Hour reporter Lisa Desjardins tweeted Monday evening that the news tipped the scales and there were officially 51 votes to approve witnesses.

https://twitter.com/LisaDNews/status/1221951089647538177

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