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Trump is openly colluding with Ukraine to smear Biden

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President Donald Trump is defending his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, one that recent media reports suggest may have been made in order to dig up dirt about one of Trump’s likeliest and strongest opponents in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared on Salon.

“The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!”

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He later claimed the reporting about his administration’s contacts with Ukraine as “the Ukraine Witch Hunt” and said that Democrats and the media were pursuing the story because they “have gone ‘bust’ on every other of their Witch Hunt schemes.” He also posted tweets on Saturday that quoted right-wing analysts claiming that the coverage is “another malicious seditious effort to protect the Obama/Clinton gang” (Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton) and that Trump was being spied upon by someone in one of America’s intelligence agencies (Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett). He also said that Biden was being “protected by the Media,” referred to The New York Times and The Washington Post as “The Enemy of the People” and said that “the Fake News Media nowadays not only doesn’t check for the accuracy of the facts, they knowingly make up the facts.”

In August an official in the U.S. intelligence community blew the whistle on what are alleged to have been improper communications between Trump and Zelensky, according to a USA Today story on Sunday that analyzed the confirmed information about the Ukraine scandal. Prior to the call, right-wing operatives and Trump advisers like Rudy Giuliani had been fabricating a story that Biden had pressured the country’s former top prosecutor into resigning in order to protect his son, Hunter Biden, from prosecution over corruption. There is no evidence that Hunter Biden had been under investigation for wrongdoing or that Biden’s pressure occurred for any reason other than the stated one, which was that the incumbent prosecutor was accused of ignoring corruption in his own office.

On July 25, Trump called Zelensky and told him that pursuing corruption cases could help the country’s image. The following day, America’s special representative to Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, met with Zelensky while Giuliani met in Spain with one of Zelensky’s aides, Andriy Yermak. The Trump administration also withheld more than $250 million in security assistance that had been appropriated for the nation by Congress, although the money was later made available. During this time Giuliani repeatedly discussed the Biden-Ukraine hoax in public forums, and as recently as Thursday admitted that he had talked with Ukraine (although he said that “I did what I did on my own. I told [Trump] about it afterward.”).

On August 12 a whistleblower complained about the Trump-Ukraine connections, including a supposed “promise” that Trump made to the Ukrainian leader. Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, has refused to share the whistleblower’s letter with Congress, although the inspector general for the director of national intelligence (DNI), Michael Atkinson, has said that he disagrees with that decision. Biden responded in a statement saying that “if these reports are true, then there is truly no bottom to President Trump’s willingness to abuse his power and abase our country. This behavior is particularly abhorrent because it exploits the foreign policy of our country and undermines our national security for political purposes.”

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The former vice president also alluded to the Trump-Russia scandal, writing that if true the accusation means Trump was pressuring a country “that is still under direct assault from Russia” to “subvert the rule of law in the express hope of extracting a political favor.”


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Stephen Colbert rips ‘idiot’ GOP senator for defending Trump’s unconstitutional self-dealing

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"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert returned from New Zealand for a new show that aired Monday evening.

"I have been as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet.

I've heard there have been some developments over the last 10 days that did not go well for Donnie,"

The host ripped Trump's 71-minute press conference.

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[caption id="attachment_1555275" align="aligncenter" width="800"] ‘The Late Show’ graphic (screengrab)[/caption]

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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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