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Trump advisor Fiona Hill to testify Giuliani circumvented the NSC with shadow Ukraine policy: report

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President Donald Trump’s former Senior Director for European and Russian affairs plans to testify that Rudy Giuliani circumvented the National Security Council with his shadow foreign policy, NBC News reported Thursday.

“Fiona Hill to testify to Congress that Giuliani, Sondland circumvented the NSC and normal White House process to run a shadow #Ukraine policy,” NBC reporter Josh Lederman tweeted Thursday, citing a person familiar with her planned testimony.

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Her testimony “has stoked fear among people close to the president,” a former senior White House official told NBC News.

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2020 Election

‘This spells disaster’: Columnist says GOP is heading for a wipeout in the Senate — and beyond

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On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Henry Olsen said the electoral signs are getting grimmer for the GOP by the day — for their prospects of maintaining control of the Senate, but also of their seats further down the ballot.

"Elections in both the House and Senate are increasingly syncing with broader presidential races," wrote Olsen. "In 2016, every Senate race was won by the same party that won that state in the presidential contest. In 2018, House races largely correlated with Trump’s approval rating, with even the most popular GOP incumbents unable to run more than a few points ahead of the president. Polls for Senate races this year show the same trend, with Republican incumbents’ totals closely matched with Trump’s. This spells disaster for the party."

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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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