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Trump campaign aide repeatedly tried to set up meetings with Russian leaders including Putin: report

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Three months before Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with an emissary for the Russia government to discuss potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton, a foreign policy aide for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign repeatedly tried to set up meeting between the campaign and Russian leaders “including [Vladimir] Putin.”

George Papadopoulos repeatedly offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” the Washington Post reports. Papadopoulos reportedly told Trump campaign officials he was acting as an intermediary for the Russian government.

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“Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right,” Papadopoulos wrote in an email to former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on April 27, 2016. He also told Lewamdowski he had fielded “a lot of calls over the past month” related to a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Russia has been eager to meet with Mr. Trump for some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss,” Papadopoulos said in a separate email to former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

As the Post reports, Papadopoulos’ multiple attempts to arrange a meeting between Trump officials and Russia show the Kremlin was “looking for entry points and playing upon connections with lower-level aides to penetrate the 2016 campaign.”

“The bottom line is that there’s no doubt in my mind that the Russian government was casting a wide net when they were looking at the American election,” retired CIA agent Steven L. Hall told the Post. “I think they were doing very basic intelligence work: Who’s out there? Who’s willing to play ball? And how can we use them?”

The report flies in the face of blanket denials by members of the Trump campaign, including Lewandowski, who said earlier this year he doesn’t “know of any person working on the campaign” that had contact with Russia.

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‘Going to need a bigger police wagon’: Viewers stunned as Gordon Sondland exposes Trump’s ‘criminal syndicate’ on live TV

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Gordon Sondland walked into the history books Wednesday morning by delivering damning testimony explicitly implicating President Donald Trump in the Ukraine extortion scheme.

The EU ambassador flipped on the president and other top Trump administration officials -- including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry -- during a devastating opening statement that showed the scheme flowed directly from the White House.

The testimony seemed to catch Republican lawmakers off guard, and shocked and inspired social media users.

It seems like Sondland left out a few interesting details in his initial testimony!

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Conservative Rick Wilson astonished as Gordon Sondland tosses Trump and his crew ‘under the bus wholesale’

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On Wednesday, as E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered his public testimony implicating President Donald Trump and several of his high-ranking officials in an explicit bribery scheme against Ukraine, former Republican strategist Rick Wilson tweeted his astonished reaction in real time, saying that he was throwing everyone "under the bus wholesale":

Sweet mother of God. Sondland is shoveling them under the bus wholesale.

— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 20, 2019

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‘Devastating for Trump’: Former White House lawyer says president’s defense ‘has entirely collapsed’ with Sondland testimony

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland will present "devastating" testimony, as evidenced by leaked copies of his opening statement.

Sondland directly will implicate President Donald Trump for a "quid pro quo" in his opening testimony.

Neal Katyal, the former acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration, offered his analysis of the testimony on Wednesday.

Katyal's analysis offers the implications for Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who Katyal suggests will need to be subpoenaed by House Democrats.

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