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Trump’s lead counsel disavows Mulvaney’s admission the president engaged in Ukraine quid pro quo

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On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney stunned reporters by effectively admitting President Donald Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for foreign aid appropriated by Congress.

According to CNN’s Jim Acosta, Mulvaney’s speech was so out of left field that the president’s chief attorney immediately disavowed it.

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“Mulvaney’s performance blindsided the president’s outside legal team, as the president’s lead attorney, Jay Sekulow, said on the record to CNN, the legal team was not involved in the acting chief of staff’s press briefing,” said White House correspondent Jim Acosta. “That is pretty telling when the chief counselor to the president is saying, we did not have anything to do with this.”

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GOP lawmaker goes on extended rant about Schiff to duck Tapper questions about Trump intimidating witnesses

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On Sunday morning House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) attempted to blow off questions by CNN's Jake Tapper over whether President Donald Trump was trying to intimidate former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch with a tweet during her testimony, choosing instead to attack committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for wanting to impeach the president.

Following a long interview where the State of the Union host had to correct the Ohio Republican's assertions multiple times -- with Tapper once flatly stating "That's not true" -- the CNN host asked about Trump's tweets that were immediately characterized as witness intimidation.

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2020 Election

WATCH: Pete Buttigieg surges to first place in ‘gold standard’ poll of Iowa caucuses

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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg surged in a poll of Iowa released Saturday night.

The poll, by Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom, showed major movement in the race.

"Since September, Buttigieg has risen 16 percentage points among Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers, with 25% now saying he is their first choice for president. For the first time in the Register’s Iowa Poll, he bests rivals Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are now clustered in competition for second place and about 10 percentage points behind the South Bend, Indiana, mayor," the newspaper reported.

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Holmes’ testimony shows Trump lied about his relationship with embattled Ambassador Sondland: ex-FBI agent

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On CNN Saturday, former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa noted that State Department aide David Holmes' testimony does not just make a liar of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland for claiming he wasn't aware of any plot to extort Ukraine with military aid, it also makes a liar out of President Donald Trump for suggesting he had barely even interacted with Sondland in the first place.

"What does all of this mean when we look ahead to the space that Sondland, Ambassador Sondland is in, and what he's going to say on Wednesday?" asked anchor Christi Paul.

"Yeah, so Holmes is really important because he has firsthand knowledge of this call," said Rangappa. "He was sitting there and he heard — he overheard this conversation. I just want to emphasize that, because one of the big objections that the Republicans have had is that everything has been hearsay. So we are getting closer to getting firsthand corroboration and information."

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