Ambassador Bill Taylor’s 15-page opening statement is being called “devastating” by political analysts and experts who recognize Taylor outed President Donald Trump for an impeachable offense, as outlined in the Constitution.
Namely, Taylor outlined that Rudy Giuliani was taking direction directly from the president of the United States, said national security and legal analyst, Susan Hennessey.
Taylor also testified that he sent a memo to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the concerns he was seeing. It’s the first indication that a memo exists as a warning and it was acknowledged by Trump’s officials.
Giuliani “is personally under investigation and we’ve seen he tried to assert attorney/client privilege with the president,” said Hennessey. “That said, Bill Taylor is laying out a story that shows that Rudy Giuliani was taking direction directly from the president of the United States himself and unlike past scandals in which we’ve seen presidents harmed by things staffers were doing. It is very clear this is being driven personally by the president of the United States.”
Among the findings in the 15-page testimony, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer noted that Trump wanted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to do an interview, specifically mentioning CNN.
“That is what the president really wanted,” Blitzer explained. “A public statement that he was going to investigate this firm Burisma and the Bidens, the 2016 election, and Ukrainian involvement, allegations that Ukrainian, as opposed to Russia, was interfering in the American election and they wanted a public statement from President Zelinsky.”
CNN’s Abbey Phillips too noted that she was confused why they would need a public statement, specifically on camera and with a network like CNN. She noted that such a video could be replayed over and over and end up in campaign ads.
“And Taylor also — alluded to the fact that [Trump] wanted President Zelinsky to personally do it himself,” Phillips said. “And it leads to questions. The most obvious explanation could be this is exactly the kind of thing that can become part of a political campaign. It can be used against Vice President Joe Biden. And based on Rudy Giuliani’s own public statements in the months leading up to all of this, Giuliani made it very clear that he believed that this issue of Burisma and Joe Biden should be a part of the 2020 campaign. It should be counted against the former vice president. So we have to measure up what we’re learning from the hearings, from Bill Taylor and also what Giuliani actually said out loud publicly to everyone who would potentially hear it about what he was trying to do politically for the president.”
She also added that former national security adviser John Bolton had a lot to say about the incident. It’s unknown if Bolton will be willing to testify before the House committees against the president. The CNN panel noted that he left on bad terms.
Zelensky, who was elected promising a crack-down on corruption, has been dragged into Trump’s web of lies and demands that could end in an investigation of the president’s involvement with Trump’s attempt to manufacture another Democratic scandal, but for the 2020 campaign.
Watch the panel discussion below:
Trump’s refusal to bail out cash-strapped cities will blow up in his face at election time: economist
On CNN Saturday, University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers said he was "baffled" by President Donald Trump's flat refusal to allow coronavirus stimulus to go to city governments, ostensibly because they are being mismanaged by Democrats and don't deserve more money.
"I took calls from journalists throughout the last two or three years saying, what is it Trump is going to do in late 2020 to artificially goose the economy to get re-elected? And people were thinking of all sorts of ideas," said Wolfers. "The Democratic Congress has sent him a $3 trillion bill and he's refused to sign it."
GOP strategist shut down by CNN’s Blackwell for fear-mongering about deficits after Republicans handed out tax cuts to the rich
On CNN Saturday, Republican strategist Brian Robinson tried to claim the Democratic coronavirus stimulus proposal was a nonstarter because of deficit spending — and was immediately smacked down by anchor Victor Blackwell, who reminded him his party forced through a 12-figure unpaid-for tax cut for corporations and billionaires in 2017 over Democratic objections.
"$3.4 trillion dollars is where [Democrats] started. That's not a place we can start," said Robinson. "We have to fix our short-term problems. We've got to help people in need. We've got to help people not be evicted from their homes. Those are all important. But, it's not the only consideration. We already added $3 trillion to our national debt in the last few months. That's never happened in our nation's history. There is a limit to how much we can do. Republicans aren't pinching pennies, they're trying to use common sense."
Trump is down to only two paths to victory in November: election-modeling historian
On Saturday's edition of CNN's "Smerconish," American University history professor Allan Lichtman, whose election-modeling system based on 13 "key" factors predicted President Donald Trump's win in 2016 and now predicts former Vice President Joe Biden will defeat him, discussed the two possible ways he believes — contrary to his model — that Trump could potentially turn things around and manage a victory.
"The keys are in granite. He has seven keys against him. It takes six to predict the loss of the incumbent White House party," said Lichtman. "However, there are two things outside the realm of the keys or any prediction system, Michael, that keep me up at night."