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‘The quid pro quo is clear as day in these texts’: Ambassador McFaul breaks down ‘extraordinary’ release

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America’s former ambassador to Russia said there was a clear quid pro quo in the 22-pages of text messages among Trump officials released by House Democrats on Thursday evening.

Michael McFaul was interviewed by MSNBC’s Brian Williams on “The 11th Hour.”

“We have a lot of information now that was just released about texts between Ambassador Volker, between our EU Ambassador,” McFaul explained. “Goodness knows why he is involved in any of this, by the way.”

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“And it is not just this phone call. We now know that they were prepping the phone call, and the quid pro quo is clear as day in these texts,” McFaul said.

“The quid pro quo is not only, you need to open an investigation, Mr. Zelensky, but you need to put it on the record that you are going to do this investigation,” he explained. “Oh, and you need to also put it on the record that you are going to expose what Ukraine did in interfering in the 2016 elections.”

“Extraordinary stuff that just dropped a few minutes ago, but it shows that it’s a much bigger story. It wasn’t just an off-the-cuff remark that the president, as he sometimes does, as you and I know, this was all calculated,” McFaul concluded.

The two noted a tweet by Susan Glaser of The New Yorker:

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FBI investigating Erik Prince for arms trafficking after attempt to modify crop dusters into attack aircraft: report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating prominent Donald Trump supporter Erik Prince for violating arms trafficking laws.

"Prince, an heir to a billion-dollar fortune who is widely viewed as a shadow adviser to the president, is under federal investigation for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations," The Intercept reported Thursday, citing "two people familiar with the investigation."

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‘This is not how words work’: Trump trashed after ranting that Roger Stone will be ‘exonerated’

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President Donald Trump went off on a strange rant after the sentence was handed down in the Roger Stone case.

Trump was supposed to be speaking about his new system of pardons which would pass down recommendations, but instead, he wanted to talk about those he felt should be prosecuted instead of Stone.

"But it happened to Roger Stone, and it happened to Gen. Flynn. and it happened to -- I won't name names," Trump continued during his Hope for Prisoners commencement address. "I know Roger but a lot of people know Roger. Everybody sort of knows Roger. And what happened to him is unbelievable. They say he lied. But other people lied, too. Just to mention [James] Comey lied. [Andrew] McCabe lied. Lisa Page lied. Her lover Strzok, Peter Strzok, lied. You don't know who these people are? Trust me. They all lied."

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Trump’s praise for Dana Rohrabacher comes back to haunt him after ex-congressman confirms offering pardon deal to Julian Assange

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Former Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California confirmed a shocking revelation to Yahoo News on Thursday — that he had offered a pardon to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017 if he publicly disputed the notion that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee.

The offer was first reported on Wednesday when Assange’s lawyers revealed the exchange in a British court.

But while Rohrabacher confirmed that he presented Assange with the idea, he said President Donald Trump was not aware of the possible pardon. Instead, Rohrabacher said that he discussed the pardon with then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after the Assange meeting. But while Kelly was “courteous,” Rohrabacher said, they never broached the topic again, and there’s no indication Trump was even made aware of it.

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