In the wake of the whistleblower allegations against President Trump, some Republicans have hit the ground defending him with a set of key talking points that, according to the Washington Post‘s Amber Phillips, are easily debunked. She focuses on four main talking points emanating from Republicans in Congress, starting with the claim that there is no “quid pro quo” in the infamous July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — a claim she says is “technically true” but ignores the fact that a quid pro quo is clearly implied during the conversation.
“The context surrounding this call would lead any reasonable person to believe that Trump had things to offer the Ukrainian president if he helped Trump out,” she writes. Of course, there’s the fact that Trump froze military aid to Ukraine days before the call took place. Trump also reportedly dangled a potential White House meeting at Zelensky, which was something the Ukrainian leader wanted for some time.
Then there’s the question of the whistleblower’s credibility, which was backed up in testimony by the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee this Thursday.
“I believe the whistleblower is operating in good faith and has followed the law,” Maguire told Adam Schiff (D-CA).
In regards to the claim that the whistleblower only had second hand knowledge of the call, that, as Phillips points out, is also true. But the key is to “think of the whistleblower as a reporter,” she writes.
In one key instance, we have original source material to back up what the whistleblower has alleged. So far, this person nailed the call between Trump and Zelensky. This person correctly reported nuances about how Trump not only asked about the Bidens, but asked Zelensky for help about other election-related topics.
Strengthening the whistleblower’s account is the fact that he/she talked to numerous U.S. officials while compiling the complaint, which included multiple sources who were “in the room” with the President during the call.
Finally, there’s the narrative that says the allegations against Trump are based on a conspiracy theory disseminated by an anti-Trump media complex. Phillips cites an article from the Washington Examiner that says this exact narrative was given to Republicans by the White House to counter the allegations and to sow distrust in the media.
“The whistleblower does use public events, as reported by journalists, to bolster his or her claims and help paint a picture of a president abusing his power for personal gain. But those news reporters are used to bolster his or her own sources,” Phillips writes, adding that press reports are only part of the story.
“…but they’re not the whistleblower’s only story. In addition, broadly speaking, the reporting by The Washington Post and other outlets on the contents of this complaint have proved to be accurate.”
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‘Not true’: Manic GOPer Mark Meadows shut down by CNN’s Bash for repeating lie about Ukraine
A fifteen-minute CNN interview with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) wound down to an abrupt end on Sunday morning as the "State of the Union" host Dana Bash cut off the Trump defender's insistence there was no quid pro quo offer from the president to Ukraine's leadership, with the CNN host telling the GOP lawmaker, "That's not true. I don't want to debate about it."
In an interview where Meadows continued to rage about former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter, Bash finally brought up Trump's phone call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that led to the impeachment inquiry.
Discussing the call where Trump asked for a favor, Meadows pushed back after she said Trump, "Allegedly held up aid and he said it in this phone call."
GOP’s Collins demands delay in impeachment hearing after being overwhelmed with Dem’s massive case against Trump
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has demanded that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) postpone a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing slated for Monday after being blindsided by a massive report from the Democrats on the committee making the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
According to Newsmax, Collins -- who has become one of the president's main surrogates opposing ouster of the president -- fired back at the Democrats over their Saturday release of thousands of pages of documents to be considered from the House impeachment investigation.
Trump revealed his impeachment strategy 21 years ago — when he defended Bill Clinton
Digging back into the archives, Politico reveals that President Donald Trump appears to be re-purposing the advice he suggested to Bill Clinton when the embattled Democratic president faced impeachment 21 years ago.
According to the report, Trump made an appearance on NBC's Hardball during the Clinton impeachment saga, where he told host Chris Matthews that Clinton needed to "go after his enemies," which has, to date, been Trump's main response to his own impeachment.