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Trump officials are worried the president is trying to find a ‘scapegoat’: report

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White House photo of Donald Trump and staff in the Oval Office. From left, Kellyanne Conway, Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Dan Scavino, Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Mercedes Schlapp

Congress and the Southern District of New York are not the only people investigating President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, the White House has launched an inquiry of their own, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

“President Trump has for weeks sought to unmask the whistle-blower who shed light on his Ukraine dealings. But instead aides have fixated on one another: Advisers began a fact-finding review that some fear is a hunt for a scapegoat, according to White House aides and other people familiar with it,” the newspaper reported. “They are seeking to understand White House officials’ actions around Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which is central to the whistle-blower’s allegation that Mr. Trump abused his power.”

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John Eisenberg is reportedly at the center of the investigation.

“The lawyers’ inquiry centers on why one of their colleagues, the deputy White House counsel John A. Eisenberg, placed a rough transcript of the call in a computer system typically reserved for the country’s most closely guarded secrets,” The Times reported. “Eisenberg reacted angrily to suggestions that he is under scrutiny, according to two people told of his response.”

The origins of the investigation are murky.

“It was not clear who sought the review,” the paper noted. “The acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, has encouraged it, and his aides are helping the White House Counsel’s Office, led by Pat Cipollone, the people said. Aides in the two offices have otherwise been at odds since the transcript was released, according to administration officials.”

The publication of the report in The New York Times destroyed one of Trump’s talking points.

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“The existence of the review also threatens Mr. Trump’s narrative that his call with Mr. Zelensky was “perfect.” Instead, the review underscores the evidence that he bent foreign policy to his personal advantage by pressing Mr. Zelensky to open investigations that could damage his political opponents,” The Times noted.

Read the full report.


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Trump’s most unhinged supporters paying $5 a pop to use special emojis on YouTube

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The pro-Trump cable network One America News is cashing in on QAnon conspiracy theorists on its YouTube channel.

OAN viewers can pay $4.95 a month to become "members" of the right-wing channel, which then allows them to use customized emojis to signal their recognition of the conspiracy theory's lore, reported The Daily Beast.

"It’s not clear how many people have signed up for the OAN YouTube membership, when OAN started offering the emojis, or how many of those sign-ups were driven by the opportunity to use QAnon emojis," writes The Beast's Will Sommer. "But the creation of the emojis reflects a decision to monetize, not expel, the conspiracy believers. If QAnon fans are going to spam QAnon in the OAN comments, it seems the network has decided they might as well get some money out of it."

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2020 Election

Former federal prosecutor explains how AG Barr could help Trump steal the election — and take the US to ‘a very dark place’

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Between the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest in major U.S. cities, huge anti-racism protests, bitter political divisions, a heated Supreme Court battle and President Donald Trump’s ruthless voter suppression efforts, the United States’ 2020 presidential election is turning out to be even more chaotic than the elections of 2000 and 1968. Trump has a devoted loyalist in U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade discusses the effect he could have on the 2020 election in a disturbing op-ed published in the Washington Post on September 22.

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You’d think Mitch McConnell would use RBG’s open seat to drive election turnout — but he has a different goal in mind

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President Trump repeatedly says that he's accomplished more than any president in history. I've never heard anyone ask him to lay out specifically what he means by that. He can try to take credit for signing big tax cuts for the wealthy, but that was passed by the Republican Congress with little input from him. It's true that his executive branch agencies have overturned many environmental rules and other regulations, but he hasn't been involved and clearly doesn't know the details.Trump's corruption has given his consigliere, Attorney General Bill Barr, the opportunity to further his own "powerful executive" theory. His craven pandering to white supremacists and the evangelical right has kept the base bonded tightly to the Republican Party. But beyond that his list of accomplishments is nil. He has literally done nothing but run his mouth and turn the U.S. into an object of fear and pity around the world
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