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Trump cut off military aid a week before calling the Ukrainian president about Biden: report

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donald trump on the phone
Donald Trump on the phone in Air Force One (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The apparent quid pro quo Trump was offering Ukraine for election interference was flushed out further on Monday evening in a bombshell report by The Washington Post.

“President Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden, according to three senior administration officials,” the newspaper reported.

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“Officials at the Office of Management and Budget relayed Trump’s order to the State Department and the Pentagon during an interagency meeting in mid-July, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. They explained that the president had ‘concerns’ and wanted to analyze whether the money needed to be spent,” The Post reported. “Administration officials were instructed to tell lawmakers that the delays were part of an ‘interagency process’ but to give them no additional information — a pattern that continued for nearly two months, until the White House released the funds on the night of Sept. 11.”

The newspaper noted that Trump’s order is likely to “fuel suspicions on Capitol Hill that Trump sought to leverage congressionally approved aid to damage a political rival.”

The report was confirmed by The New York Times.

“President Trump directed the acting White House chief of staff to freeze more than $391 million in aid to Ukraine in the days before Mr. Trump was scheduled to speak by phone with the new Ukrainian president, two senior administration officials said Monday,” the newspaper reported. “The revelation that Mr. Trump ordered the aid package blocked, which was first reported by The Washington Post, adds a vital new element to the raging debate over pressure being put on Ukraine by Mr. Trump to investigate unsubstantiated allegations that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden had engaged in corrupt activities in dealing with Ukraine.”

The reports come against a backdrop of growing calls for impeachment.

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“Mindful that Democrats may have only a brief window to decide their course, Speaker Nancy Pelosi summoned the leaders of six House committees involved in investigations of the president to meet on Tuesday, telling the lawmakers to come without aides. Afterward, she planned to convene a special meeting of the Democratic caucus to discuss impeachment,” The Times reported.


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WATCH: Trump walked out of a 1990 interview with CNN when they asked about his finances

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Long before he became the president, Donald Trump was a business tycoon who had trouble holding onto his money.

As New York Times reporting on the president's personal income tax records has shown, Trump throughout his career would frequently burn through money at a stunning rate throughout the 1990s, at one point reporting adjusted gross losses of nearly $1 billion per year in 1994 and 1995.

The tax records obtained by the Times show that things really started going downhill for Trump in 1990, when he reported a gross net loss of $400 million.

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GOP lawmaker in Tennessee admits to prescribing opioids to his second cousin — who was also his lover

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Tennessee state Sen. Joey Hensley (R) is under investigation by a medical review board for providing opioids to family members, one of which was his second cousin -- who also happened to be his lover, the Tennessean reports.

Hensley, an anti-LGBT ideologue who wrote his state's infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill, admits that he prescribed drugs for his relatives, but says he's the only doctor in town.

“There are not many people in the county who haven’t been to see Dr. Hensley, and she was one of them,” defense attorney David Steed said, adding, “Half of the county are Hensleys. Everyone there knows everyone. There were multiple relationships and the physician-patient relationship was only one and somewhat incidental to the others.”

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2020 Election

West Virginia voter: ‘I’ll probably vote for Donald Trump’ because ‘he keeps the people to the TV set’

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A group of West Virginia voters explained their voting choices to MSNBC on Monday.

"I don't have TV, I don't have internet," one woman said. "I'm pretty far behind. And I bet you a lot of around here are because we're poor. I don't know nothing about Joe [Biden]. I ain't never heard nothing about him at all. Donald Trump, I know a little bit about him because of the past couple of years."

"I'll probably vote for Donald Trump," Jeff Kibbey told MSNBC. "He keeps the people to the TV set."

"One, Trump is good," Francis Senter insisted. "Biden -- however you pronounce his name -- is good too. But like I say, I can't judge either one of them. It's the same community it ain't never going to change because if it was going to change it wouldn't look like this right here."

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