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Kremlin thrilled GOP is using their Ukraine talking points in impeachment hearings: ‘Everyone is laughing at you’

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On Saturday, The Daily Beast reported that Russian officials are openly gloating about how Republican lawmakers are using Kremlin talking points to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment over the Ukraine scandal.

“As Russia’s state media watch impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald J. Trump they’re loving what they see,” wrote Julia Davis for the Beast. “They don’t think the man they brag about getting elected is in much danger. They listen in delight as Republicans parrot conspiracy theories first launched by Russians. And they gloat about the way Trump removed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, because they blame her for promoting democratic ‘color revolutions’ that weakened Moscow’s hold on the former Soviet empire. Best of all, from the Kremlin’s point of view, they see Trump pushing Ukraine back into the Russian fold.”

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“The ongoing impeachment inquiry is a twofold gift for the Kremlin,” wrote Davis. “On the one hand, President Trump and the Republican Party are doing Putin’s work by assailing U.S. intelligence agencies, career diplomats and institutions. On the other hand, the impeachment inquiry revealed an unprecedented rift between the United States and Ukraine—America’s strategic partner that enjoyed decades of strong bipartisan support.”

And, Davis noted, they are openly saying this on 60 Minutes, the state-sponsored Russian news program.

“Using the treasure trove of documents released during the impeachment inquiry, Russia’s master propagandists are weaponizing the information to demoralize the Ukrainians,” wrote Davis. “State TV hosts, experts and talking heads are browbeating visiting Ukrainian guests and audiences by painting a picture where the West is merely using Ukraine for its own ends — predicting Trump will soon abandon the country just as he did America’s Kurdish allies in Syria. There is a common thread permeating the Russian media blitz: Ukraine is all alone and has nowhere left to turn, except to Russia.”

“‘Everyone is laughing at you,’ scoffed Skabeeva, addressing a Ukrainian panelist on 60 Minutes. Maksim Yusin, the editor of international politics at the leading Russian business daily Kommersant exclaimed, ‘Ukraine is toxic, everyone will want to avoid it now,'” wrote Davis. Meanwhile, “When Ukrainian panelist Alexander Goncharov said that his country is relying on the support of Republicans, the hosts and other panelists broke out in uproarious laughter. ‘Listen to Rand Paul,’ said the co-host of 60 Minutes, playing the clip of the Kentucky senator bluntly stating: ‘I wouldn’t give them anything.'”

“The Kremlin is poised to reap more rewards from the presidency of Donald Trump — and suddenly, Ukraine seems to be within reach,” warned Davis.

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FBI investigating Erik Prince for arms trafficking after attempt to modify crop dusters into attack aircraft: report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating prominent Donald Trump supporter Erik Prince for violating arms trafficking laws.

"Prince, an heir to a billion-dollar fortune who is widely viewed as a shadow adviser to the president, is under federal investigation for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations," The Intercept reported Thursday, citing "two people familiar with the investigation."

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‘This is not how words work’: Trump trashed after ranting that Roger Stone will be ‘exonerated’

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President Donald Trump went off on a strange rant after the sentence was handed down in the Roger Stone case.

Trump was supposed to be speaking about his new system of pardons which would pass down recommendations, but instead, he wanted to talk about those he felt should be prosecuted instead of Stone.

"But it happened to Roger Stone, and it happened to Gen. Flynn. and it happened to -- I won't name names," Trump continued during his Hope for Prisoners commencement address. "I know Roger but a lot of people know Roger. Everybody sort of knows Roger. And what happened to him is unbelievable. They say he lied. But other people lied, too. Just to mention [James] Comey lied. [Andrew] McCabe lied. Lisa Page lied. Her lover Strzok, Peter Strzok, lied. You don't know who these people are? Trust me. They all lied."

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Trump’s praise for Dana Rohrabacher comes back to haunt him after ex-congressman confirms offering pardon deal to Julian Assange

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Former Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California confirmed a shocking revelation to Yahoo News on Thursday — that he had offered a pardon to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017 if he publicly disputed the notion that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee.

The offer was first reported on Wednesday when Assange’s lawyers revealed the exchange in a British court.

But while Rohrabacher confirmed that he presented Assange with the idea, he said President Donald Trump was not aware of the possible pardon. Instead, Rohrabacher said that he discussed the pardon with then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after the Assange meeting. But while Kelly was “courteous,” Rohrabacher said, they never broached the topic again, and there’s no indication Trump was even made aware of it.

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