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Russia demands veto power over releasing the transcripts of calls between Trump and Putin

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On Monday, Reuters reported that the Kremlin is demanding the United States seek permission from them if officials intend to publish the transcripts of phone calls between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Of course their publication is to some extent only possible by mutual agreement of the parties. This is a certain diplomatic practice,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Diplomatic practice in general does not envisage their publication. If there are some signals from the Americans, then we will discuss [them].”

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There is no clear legal authority Russia would have under law to veto the release of any of the transcripts.

Some members of Congress are seeking to publish the transcripts of these calls as part of their impeachment investigation into Trump, which was kicked off by the revelation that an intelligence community whistleblower filed a complaint that he tried to strong-arm Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

White House officials subsequently moved that transcript, among others, onto a server intended for code-word classified information, to prevent them from being leaked — a highly unusual and improper move.


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Michigan man assaults passerby who made fun of him for wearing coronavirus mask made from thong underwear

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported police in Michigan are looking for a 47-year-old man accused of assaulting a passerby who had made fun of him for wearing a coronavirus mask made out of thong underwear.

"According to The Battle Creek Enquirer, the 57-year-old victim told police he was in his home on Monday evening when the suspect approached him wearing thong underwear over his face. The victim allegedly told the suspect that the makeshift mask looked like the thongs laying around his own home."

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Trump ‘said the quiet part out loud again and acknowledged when more people vote Dems win’: MSNBC host

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MSNBC's Chuck Todd had to cut into President Donald Trump's Wednesday press conference twice to fact-check inaccurate claims he was making. However, one thing Katy Tur noticed, amid the inaccuracies about vote-by-mail, that Trump inadvertently "said the quiet part out loud again."

Democrats have said that one of their most-haves in the next coronavirus bill is funding for states that want to go to a vote-by-mail system.

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Trump’s ex-ethics director: The president is in the late stage of ‘an authoritarian coup

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When Donald Trump was running for president in 2016, he vowed to “drain the swamp” if elected — which was his way of promising to clean up the political environment in Washington, D.C. and make the federal government more accountable. But former ethics official Walter Shaub, in an op-ed for USA Today, argues that Trump’s presidency has been a nonstop attack on accountability.

Shaub served as director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics from 2013-2017. He resigned in the middle of Trump’s first year in office in protest of the White House’s complete disregard for ethics rules. And in his new op-ed, Shaub details some of the many ways in which accountability has been under attack during Trump’s presidency — from his “assault on inspectors general” to “open presidential profiteering” to the firing of officials who stood up to him, including former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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