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Emails show Sarah Sanders lied about Pentagon being ‘fully aware’ of Trump’s warning to Syria

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Newly-uncovered emails illustrate that not only was the Pentagon entirely unaware that President Donald Trump appeared to draw a new “red line” in Syria last summer, but that then-deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied about it.

The emails, acquired by BuzzFeed News through a Freedom of Information Act request applied for by the Democracy Forward watchdog group, confirm initial media speculation from late June 2017 that the Pentagon was left in the dark about the president’s threats to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his alleged chemical weapons use on his own people.

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“I have nothing,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, Pentagon spokesman, told reporters via email in the newly-released documents. “I suppose we send queries back to the White House,” he told Pentagon press officers in another.

A day after speculation raged about the disconnect between the White House and the Pentagon, Dana White, the spokesperson for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, emailed a Breitbart reporter claiming that the reports were the source of “anonymous leaks.”

“DOD knew about the White House statement and provided edits in advance of its release,” White’s email to Breitbart read. “Anonymous leaks to the contrary are false or misinformed.”

The site immediately ran a story touting its scoop, BuzzFeed noted, and soon after, Sanders told reporters that “the military chain of command was also fully aware of the statement as it was being prepared and later released.”

Democracy Forward told BuzzFeed that the emails predating White and Sanders’ statements offer the impression that they were lying about the broken channels of communication being “leaks.”

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“These new documents reveal what the administration has actively denied all along: the White House failed to consult military officials before issuing a statement on a potential Syrian chemical attack last year,” Democracy Forward director Anne Harkavy said. “Worse yet, administration officials lied when questioned by reporters. How can we trust an administration that lies about the potential use of chemical weapons?”


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Giuliani can’t whine about ‘fair play’ when his boss is denying electoral fairness to the American people: columnist

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President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani has been raging against the impeachment investigation that came about, in large part, due to his own behavior. On Tuesday, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal lamenting that the impeachment process is "unprecedented, constitutionally questionable, and an affront to American fair play."

As Danielle Allen wrote for the Washington Post on Wednesday, Giuliani wanting to talk about "fair play" is a rich proposition.

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Trump made a ‘huge mistake’ talking to reporters about impeachment: Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann

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One of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors explained on MSNBC how President Donald Trump made a "huge mistake" on Wednesday.

Andrew Weissmann, who is now an MSNBC legal analyst, was interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press Daily."

The former federal prosecutor says Trump committed a blunder by denying a call with a Gordon Sondland staffer.

"Why is that?" Todd asked.

"Because he now can’t rebut it," Weissman replied.

"He has now said I don’t remember that phone call. So you’re going to have Sondland testifying to it. You’re going to have a staffer testifying to it," he explained. "If [Trump] doesn’t like their testimony, he’s going to have to say, 'Oh, now I remember that I didn’t say that.'"

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Republicans want Americans to believe Trump cared deeply — about something he never mentioned

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One of the main points made by Republicans during the House hearings on the impeachment claimed that President Donald Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine that he was holding back the funding. It wasn't bribery because it was all about legitimate foreign policy, according to Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Their greatest problem is that Trump has never held back speaking out about something he cared for. As the Washington Post noted, the argument doesn't stand up.

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