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Ambassador McFaul: It is ‘absolutely impossible to believe’ Mike Pence’s denials in Trump’s Ukraine plot

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On Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul scoffed at the Vice President Mike Pence’s denials that he knew nothing about President Donald Trump’s apparent plot to extort the Ukrainian government in to digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

“What are the chances that the vice president didn’t read the notes from the call with the world leader he was flying to meet?” asked anchor Nicolle Wallace.

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“Well, I just want to be clear … I don’t know the facts. But let me speculate,” said McFaul. “I used to work at the White House. I used to be on these calls. I used to travel with Vice President Biden when he went to meet leaders, including the Ukrainian leader one time.”

“Here is the deal,” McFaul continued. “Why was the national security adviser for the vice president on the call in the first place? That is very strange. He’s on the call because they’re about to go meet with Mr. Zelensky. Number two, the transcript is, what, six, seven pages long? It’s a 30-minute call. The flight to Warsaw is eight hours. I find it absolutely impossible to believe that he wouldn’t want to know every single word that the president of the United States said to President Zelensky before meeting with him. It just does not sound credible.”

“And number three, why do you think all these people are on this call?” added McFaul. “Why do you think Secretary of State Pompeo is on the call? Secretary Clinton was not on a single call I did in the White House for three years. They are on the call because they are nervous about what the president of the United States is going to say on these calls. And that’s precisely why they would want to know before they meet with Mr. Zelensky. So maybe it’s true, I don’t find it credible.”

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People close to Giuliani are advising him to hire a criminal lawyer: CNN reporter

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After two business associates of Rudy Giuliani were arrested, it was revealed federal investigators were looking into the finances of Giuliani to see the degree to which he was involved financially with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Now, those close to Giuliani are urging him to hire a criminal attorney to handle possible charges.

"Rudy Giuliani is parting ways with the personal attorney representing him so far in matters related to the impeachment inquiry," tweeted CNN's Shimon Prokupecz. "Giuliani confirmed to CNN Tuesday that his current attorney, Jon Sale, is ending his representation of the former New York City mayor shortly."

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Trump trade adviser busted for making up ‘whimsical pen name’ to quote himself in his books for years

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A senior economic and trade advisor to President Donald Trump has been busted for making up a person he can quote in his books and to justify his policies.

A shocking expose in The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that Peter Navarro invented the name "Ron Vara," an anagram for Navarro, to justify his own opinions in his books.

The so-called Ron Vara has strong opinions, fortune-cookie-style quotes and an elaborate back story as "a military veteran and Harvard-trained economist who made seven figures in the stock market by investing in companies that do well during international crises," the report said.

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Trump’s ‘diplomacy of narcissism’ is the most damaging attack on US credibility in history: career diplomat

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In an op-ed for Foreign Affairs this Monday, former career Foreign Service officer and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, William J. Burns, argues that President Trump has headed the biggest attack on US diplomacy that he's seen in his entire career.

"The contemptible mistreatment of Marie Yovanovitch—the ambassador to Ukraine who was dismissed for getting in the way of the president’s scheme to solicit foreign interference in U.S. elections—is just the latest example of President Donald Trump’s dangerous brand of diplomatic malpractice," Burns writes. "His is a diplomacy of narcissism, bent on advancing private interests at the expense of our national interests."

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