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Pompeo now regrets not defending Ukraine ambassador as scandal ensnares the State Department: report

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Sources are saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become frustrated by the loss of some top officials and regrets his failure to defend the former ambassador to the Ukraine from a smear campaign.

One source said Pompeo failed to get involved because he was afraid of upending U.S.-Ukraine policy and be pushed out of the administration like former national security adviser John Bolton, reported CNN.

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A handful of former U.S. ambassadors to Ukraine urged State Department officials in a letter this spring to defend Yovanovitch, and one of Pompeo’s closest senior officials, Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, said the message had been received and would be considered.

But the secretary of state did nothing, and Yovanovitch was recalled two months later on Trump’s orders.

Pompeo got a packet of information in March from Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani that contained unfounded claims against Yovanovitch, along with Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Giuliani has said Pompeo spoke to him about the packet and said the information would be passed along for investigation, but it’s not clear whether Pompeo shared the information with the Department of Justice.

Brechbuhl gave the packet to the State Department’s inspector general.

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CNN’s sources said Pompeo felt victimized by criticism after the departures of Kurt Volker, former special representative to Ukraine, and senior adviser Michael McKinley, who each have testified before Congress.

“He has been very disappointed,” said one source who spoke to Pompeo. “He feels that with these departures, the actual good work on Ukraine policy has come to a halt.”


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Trump blows up at Fox News reporter for asking him about disbanding pandemic team

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump lost his temper at a coronavirus press briefing when Fox News correspondent John Roberts asked him about his administration disbanding the pandemic response team.

"We didn't do that. That turned out to be a false story," said Trump. (It is not a false story.) "Now you're starting to go — are you working for CNN?"

"I'm pointing out what they have said and what you have said, that's all," said Roberts.

"Fox isn't so easy either, don't kid yourself," whined Trump. "Look, John, let me tell you something. You know that's a false story. What you just said is a false story, this doctor knows it better than anybody ... you shouldn't be repeating a story that you know is false."

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More than 1 in 5 ventilators in federal government stockpile is holding for emergencies don’t work

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As the coronavirus is raging through the United States, President Donald Trump has begun releasing personal protective equipment from federal stockpiles as well as much-needed ventilators. Unfortunately, however, one in five ventilators from the government don't work.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that there are 10,000 ventilators that the government is holding back for the next wave of the emergency.

"But what federal officials have neglected to mention is that more than 2,000 of the lifesaving devices are unavailable after the contract to maintain the government’s stockpile lapsed late last summer, and a contracting dispute meant that a new firm did not begin its work until late January. By then, the coronavirus crisis was already underway."

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Pro-Trump reporter banned from White House briefing room for ignoring social distancing guidelines

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On Wednesday, the White House Correspondents Association announced that it would be banning One America News Network reporter Chanel Rion from the press briefing room, after she repeatedly refused to follow social distancing guidelines imposed as a safety precaution against coronavirus.

The WHCA taking action after OANN staffer Chanel Rion repeatedly broke the agreed-upon rules --> https://t.co/8uTRLaVSbd

— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 1, 2020

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