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National security officials knew Trump was going to extort Ukraine president before call – and they rang the alarm

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The Washington Post has just reported that several national security officials were aware President Donald Trump – even before his infamous July 25 telephone call – would be trying to extort the president of Ukraine in a military funds for dirt scheme so egregious it has led directly to an impeachment inquiry.

“At least four national security officials were so alarmed by the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure Ukraine for political purposes that they raised concerns with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after President Trump’s July 25 call with that country’s president,” The Post reports.

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“Within minutes,” of Trump’s disturbing attempts to pressure the Ukraine president, during which he asked for that now infamous “favor,” “senior officials including national security adviser John Bolton were being pinged by subordinates about problems with what the president had said.”

The reporting positions Bolton as not in on the call. Earlier reporting showed that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat in on the call, despite having pretended to be unfamiliar with the call’s details.

“Bolton and others scrambled to obtain a rough transcript that was already being ‘locked down’ on a highly classified computer network.”

The Post spoke with one person familiar with the events of that day.

“When people were listening to this in real time there were significant concerns about what was going on — alarm bells were kind of ringing,” said one person familiar with the sequence of events inside the White House, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. “People were trying to figure out what to do, how to get a grasp on the situation.”

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Ultimately, no one did, and the whistleblower’s complaint was filed, leading to the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Former National Security Council spokesperson and CIA veteran Ned Price weighed in via Twitter, noting “the July 25 call was months in the making, with the President and his allies pressuring Ukraine on several fronts.”

“This wasn’t a slip of the tongue with Zelensky. It was a concerted, coordinated campaign of betrayal,” Price observed.

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2020 Election

RNC chair attacks ‘progressive liberal’ Pete Buttigieg – says Trump would beat him for lack of foreign policy experience

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is targeting Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, apparently seeing his rise in the polls as a threat to President Donald Trump.

McDaniel Thursday told reporters at a breakfast meeting the South Bend, Indiana mayor who currently is polling in first place in Iowa is not a moderate but a "progressive liberal," and insisted President Trump would beat him should he become the Democratic nominee, The Hill reports.

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2020 Election

Democrat debate exposes divides despite united front on Trump

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Divides between Democrats vying to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election were laid bare in a combative debate Wednesday, as the campaign's rising star Pete Buttigieg acknowledged he faced challenges in attracting black voters.

Buttigieg, the contest's youngest candidate who occupies the same moderate lane as frontrunner Joe Biden, offered a unifying message as a way to bring Democrats and Republicans toward a broad political middle.

Democrats can seize a majority on issues like immigration and guns "if we can galvanize, not polarize that majority," Buttigieg told the debate in Georgia.

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2020 Election

Democratic candidates demand investigation into toxic culture at NBC ahead of MSNBC debate

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Four Democratic candidates called on NBC’s parent company Comcast to launch an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at the network ahead of Wednesday’s presidential debate to be broadcast by MSNBC.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey signed a letter calling the allegations of “sexual assault and harassment” by employees and “a cover-up by NBC’s management” deeply “troubling.” Instead of addressing the company, the senators issued their letter to Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.

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