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Trump called Jeanine Pirro before tweeting criticism about Fox News: report

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President Donald Trump reportedly called his longtime friend, Fox News’ “Judge” Jeanine Pirro, before unleashing a tweetstorm about the right-wing news network.

The Washington Post spoke to a person briefed on the call — and noted that the president regularly speaks to the Fox News host who’s been off the air for a week after making Islamophobic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

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Earlier in the day on Sunday, Trump tweeted in defense of Pirro, urging the network to bring back the host and claiming that “Radical Left Democrats” and “the Fake News Media” have “all out campaigns” against Fox hosts “who are doing too well.”

Later that afternoon, he tweeted in criticism of Fox News weekend anchors Arthel Neville and Leland Vittert — and of Shepard Smith, a more centrist host who has regularly fact-checked and criticized the president’s claims.

Smith, Trump tweeted, is the network’s “lowest rated anchor.”

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Two Fox staffers that spoke to the Post said they “could not figure out precisely what it was that had set him off” — and speculated that he may have been thinking about the upcoming report from special counsel Robert Mueller.

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“A source familiar with the inner workings of Fox News said the president isn’t on the phone with producers or executives in charge of coverage,” the Post reported, noting that Trump instead “calls opinion hosts with whom he has a preexisting relationship.”

 

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Sondland briefed Pompeo on Trump’s Ukraine scheme — and secretary of state signed off on it: report

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President Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the loop on efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to announce an investigation of Joe Biden.

Gordon Sondland notified Pompeo in mid-August of a draft statement he'd produced with another U.S. diplomat and Ukrainian officials that they hoped would persuade Trump to invite Volodymyr Zelensky to the Oval Office, reported the New York Times.

He and Pompeo discussed later that month the possibility of pushing Zelensky to pledge during a planned meeting with Trump in Warsaw that he would pursue the investigation sought by the U.S. president in hopes of smoothing relations between the two countries, according to two sources who were briefed on the matter.

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Sondland hotels are facing backlash over Trump ties: ‘Do you want to support him?’

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Gordon Sondland's efforts to shield President Donald Trump from accountability in the Ukraine scandal has been bad for his personal business.

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union has twice updated his closed-door testimony in the impeachment inquiry after other witnesses implicated him in the scheme, and social media users are venting their frustration against his hotel chain on Yelp, reported The Daily Beast.

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Revealed: Nikki Haley sent confidential information about North Korea nuke scare over system meant only for unclassified communications

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"Convenience is not an acceptable reason to skirt information security rules. She should be held to the same standard as everyone else," said Austin Evers, executive director at American Oversight, upon hearing the news that former UN ambassador Nikki Haley used a Blackberry smartphone to communicate with staff regarding North Korea's July, 2017 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the US.

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