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John Bolton went around Mick Mulvaney — and released aid to Ukraine before resigning: report

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The timeline in the administration’s Ukraine scandal changed again on Saturday with a bombshell new report from Bloomberg News.

“President Donald Trump says he lifted his freeze on aid to Ukraine on Sept. 11, but the State Department had quietly authorized releasing $141 million of the money several days earlier,” Bloomberg reported, citing “five people familiar with the matter.”

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“The State Department decision, which hasn’t been reported previously, stemmed from a legal finding made earlier in the year, and conveyed in a classified memorandum to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. State Department lawyers found the White House Office of Management and Budget, and thus the president, had no legal standing to block spending of the Ukraine aid,” Bloomberg explained.

The report highlights how the administration was divided over the funding, with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who is also the director of the Office of Management and budget supporting Trump’s decision to block the aid, while others, including then-National Security Advisor John Bolton, reportedly wanted the funds released.

“The OMB has argued all along that the congressional notification by the State Department was only one step and it still had the power to hold the money after it was sent because of its authority to apportion — or distribute — the funds,” Bloomberg explained. “But the State Department disagreed. Taylor, the envoy to Ukraine, said in his testimony that it was remarkable that the legal offices at the State and Defense departments had decided ‘they were going to move forward with this assistance anyway, OMB notwithstanding.’”

“The memo to Pompeo had determined that State had the authority to spend the money — regardless of what Trump was saying through the OMB — and would start the process by Sept. 7. But State officials were also wary of provoking a confrontation with OMB and Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff who still leads the budget office, whose team argued they could block the money through a process known as apportionment,” Bloomberg reported.

The new report suggests that Bolton went around Mulvaney to release the aid.

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“What they didn’t know, according to one of the people, was that shortly before Sept. 9, Bolton had relayed a message to the State Department that the funding could go ahead. It’s not clear whether Bolton, who resigned from the job a week later, did so with Trump’s approval,” Bloomberg noted.

Read the full report.

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Internet blown away by Trump’s multi-tweet attack frenzy lashing out at Dems and GOP alike: ‘You are absolutely terrified’

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After spending the past two days mostly tweeting out videos that are complimentary to him, Donald Trump unleashed a flood of Twitter bile at Democrats, Republicans, a New York Times columnist and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace late Sunday afternoon.

After attacking Wallace, the president also went after an aide to Vice President Mike Pence -- calling her a "Never Trumper" -- then again demanded to know who the whistleblower, whose report initiated the current impeachment hearings, is.

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‘Never Trumper’: President unleashes on Pence aide after she testifies about ‘inappropriate’ Ukraine pressure

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President Donald Trump on Sunday lashed out at an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence after she testified that the president put "inappropriate" pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

"Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls," Trump ranted on Twitter. "[S]ee the just released ststement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!"

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Trump melts down on ‘nasty and obnoxious’ Chris Wallace over Fox host’s interview with Steve Scalise

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President Donald Trump blew a gasket on Sunday afternoon after seeing -- or possibly just hearing about -- a contentious interview conducted by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

Taking to Twitter, Trump denounced the longtime Fox host as "nasty and obnoxious."

"@SteveScalise blew the nasty & obnoxious Chris Wallace (will never be his father, Mike!) away on Chris’s lowest rated (unless I’m on) morning show. This kind of dumb and unfair interview would never have happened in the @FoxNews past. Great job Steve!" Trump tweeted.

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