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White House limiting staff access to Trump’s phone calls to prevent future whistleblowers: CNN

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On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that President Donald Trump has grown furious about the state of White House leaks, and his officials are working to keep as many people in the administration as possible shut out from his phone calls with foreign leaders — precisely to avoid situations like the exploding DNI whistleblower scandal.

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“As for the whistleblower complaint that’s being kept from Congress, a senior administration official tells CNN as these leaks from these calls have angered Trump, top officials in the West Wing began to limit who could listen in on these conversations so as to tighten the circle of people in the know and what the president has been discussing in some of these phone calls with foreign leaders,” said Acosta.

“That means there may be only a small number of people are aware of the details contained in this whistleblower complaint,” he added. “Lot of questions for the White House, not a lot of answers tonight.”

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Watch: All of Trump’s failed defenses for his Ukraine scandal

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CNN's Kate Bolduan on Wednesday reminded her viewers that Trump allies' defenses of the president throughout the Ukraine scandal have continued to evolve after new facts emerge that undercut their older defenses.

While talking with the New Yorker's Susan Glasser, Bolduan delivered an exhaustive list of all the failed defenses that the president and his supporters have made to justify Trump's efforts to push Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

"First it was the president was trying to root out corruption when it came to Ukraine," she began. "Then it was there was no direct ask coming from the president. Then it was the whistleblower can't be trusted, then it was Schiff helped the whistleblower write the complaint so it can't be trusted, and then it was the president was joking, Republicans said, when he said on camera that he would like to see investigations. Then it was there was no quid pro quo because Ukraine didn't know the aid was being withheld... and now it's the process is unfair, so you can't impeach."

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CNN

Trump is ‘running out of game plan’ as damning facts pile up: Former GOP House Intel chair

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Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who previously served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the Trump White House's angry attacks on ambassador Bill Taylor reek of desperation.

After CNN's Jim Sciutto read the White House's statement accusing Taylor of being a "radical unelected bureaucrat," Rogers dismissed the statement as the act of a cornered administration.

"Bill Taylor is a well respected diplomat over his decades of service to the United States," he said. "When you go on this kind of extreme shouting, hair-on-fire criticism, you are running out of game plan. That's exactly what that tells me."

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CNN

‘This is simply indefensible’: Two former GOP lawmakers clash over Ukraine testimony

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "New Day," former GOP Reps. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Sean Duffy (R-WI) argued vehemently about the significance of the testimony from Ukraine envoy William Taylor against President Donald Trump.

"The dam is barely holding on. Because look, very persuasive," said Dent. "I don’t know how any Republican member can look at this thing or any member of Congress cannot be alarmed by this. The quid pro quo was stark. And the president is insisting on using, you know, official resources to dig up dirt on his opponent. This is simply indefensible."

"Charlie and I weren’t in the room yesterday for the hearing. And neither were you or your viewers," replied Duffy. "We had more Democrats rush to cameras and with their perspective give us their take on what happened ... I think in America we should open this process up, let every American see Bill Taylor."

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