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Pence knew about and actually participated in Trump’s apparent Ukraine extortion plot: report

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Vice President Mike Pence is seemingly complicit in President Donald Trump’s apparent extortion and bribery plot, based on the transcript of a press conference the VP held in Poland on September 2. At issue is a whistleblower’s complaint that the White House refuses to release. It is believed it says Trump repeatedly threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine until, or in exchange for, that country digging up and handing over dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. There is no evidence any dirt was found or even exists.

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Talking Points memo editor Josh Marshall writes Monday that “the key thing about this latest and most egregious Trump scandal is that his senior team was clearly in on it, aware of it, participated in it. One key person here is Vice President Mike Pence.”

Marshall published the official White House transcript of that press conference with President Duda of Poland. It’s clear Pence not only knew about the scheme but participated in it, based on his own admissions.

A few excerpts of Pence’s remarks and responses (bolding is Marshall’s):

Pence says he and Ukraine President Zelensky “discussed America’s support for Ukraine and the upcoming decision the President will make on the latest tranche of financial support in great detail.

Remember, Trump held back $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, then released it literally one day after the House sent him a letter announcing it was launching an investigation into the withholding of that aid.

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But as President Trump had me make clear, we have great concerns about issues of corruption.”

Trump has never before, as far as NCRM could find, mentioned concerns about corruption in any other country or ever before this scandal was revealed.

“I mean, to invest additional taxpayer in Ukraine, the President wants to be assured that those resources are truly making their way to the kind of investments that will contribute to security and stability in Ukraine. And that’s an expectation the American people have and the President has expressed very clearly.”

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So Pence freely admits what Trump admitted, and what Giuliani admitted.

Pence moments later admits that he told Ukraine President Zelensky “that I would carry back to President Trump the progress that he and his administration in Ukraine are making on dealing with corruption in their country.”

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Marshall concludes, “in the context of what we know was happening and especially the call we know took place a month earlier, these repeated references to progress on corruption and holding up military aid until Zelensky acted could scarcely be more clear.”

 


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Lindsey Graham promises Fox viewers a new investigation into Andrew McCabe despite the Justice Dept clearing him

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Appearing on the Fox Business channel with host Maria Bartiromo, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) promised viewers he fully intends to use his position as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee to launch his own investigation into former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Andrew McCabe despite the former law enforcement official already having been cleared by the Justice Department.

Complaining that the controversial Steele dossier was based on " a bunch of bar-talk and hearsay," Graham said he plans to call -- at the very least -- McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey in to be grilled by his committee.

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2020 Election

‘Kiss Florida goodbye’: Voto Latino head warns Democrats of coming 2020 debacle

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," Voto Latino CEO María Teresa Kumar said Democrats should not count on taking Florida's 29 electoral votes in the upcoming 2020 presidential election if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the at the top of the ticket.

During a fairly contentious panel discussion on the viability of Sanders as a candidate due to self-identifying as a democratic socialist, Kumar claimed that would not play well Florida's Latino community.

"All I can think about when David [Corn] was unpacking it for us, we can all agree is you can kiss Florida goodbye," she explained. "I say that, Floridians -- Latinos that have fled socialism, they have fled and they are in Florida and they have sensibilities that are different from the rest of the Latino community."

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CNN’s Bakari Sellers schools Rick Santorum over claim Trump is not part of the ‘extreme hard right’

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During a panel discussion on CNN's State of the Union, contributor Bakari Sellers set fellow panelist Rick Santorum straight after he tried to claim that Donald Trump doesn't take far-right positions.

Following a discussion on Sen. Bernie Sanders' Nevada caucus win, Santorum tried to note the major differences between Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Responding to conservative commentator Linda Chavez who called both Sanders and Trump "two angry people," Santorum remarked, "I wanted to take issue with what Linda said: two angry folks representing the extremes, and I would agree with that, with Bernie Sanders, and he is representing, no question, the extreme of the Democratic Party and he says that he is a socialist and he is angry, I agree."

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