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Ukraine transcript reveals exactly how foreign leaders manipulate Trump’s vanity

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On Wednesday, the White House released a partial transcript of a conversation President Donald Trump had with the president of Ukraine. The release of the transcript was meant to allay fears that Trump had promised Volodymyr Zelensky military aid in exchange for dirt on Joe Biden, a political opponent.

But the transcript raised more questions than it answered. Writing in Esquire, columnist Jack Holmes observes that the transcript is a revealing record on how Trump engages with foreign leaders—as well as how they respond to him.

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Holmes observes that Zelensky flatters Trump by pledging to “drain the swamp” and praising Trump as a great teacher.

“Trump gushed in response, then went on a rant about all the problems he has with other European leaders and emphasized about how ‘good’ the U.S. has been to Ukraine,” Holmes writes. “Zelensky agrees with everything he says without caveats, and in fact works to boost his claims. He then mentions Ukraine wants to buy more Javelins—anti-tank missiles—from the U.S., and Trump responds immediately by asking for ‘a favor though because our country has been through a lot.'” Holmes writes.

“This smells a bit like the kind of quid pro quo Lindsey Graham told me wasn’t in there, although Trump does not mention Biden specifically until the next exchange. He did, however, repeatedly suggest putting the Ukrainians in contact with Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr for the purposes of said investigation.”

Even more revealing, in a later part of the conversation, Zelensky makes sure to let Trump know that when he visited New York he stayed in Trump Tower.

“Having flattered Trump relentlessly and nodded along to whatever he said, Zelensky came in with the tried-and-true finish: I stayed at your property and put money in your pocket,” Holmes says. “This is the way you do business with the United States of America now. You call up our president, tell him he’s a very good boy who everyone loves, and then hint that there’s money in it for him if you have a productive relationship.”

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WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.

Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.

"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."

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John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police

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John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.

It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."

While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."

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Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent

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The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.

The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.

Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1267291138655956992

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