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Mike Pence is trying to distance himself from Trump’s Ukraine scandal

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Vice President Mike Pence does not want you to think he’s at all wrapped up in the Ukraine scandal.

His press secretary, Katie Waldman, sent out an email blast Monday night to reporters ahead of the impeachment inquiry testimony of Jennifer Williams, another Pence aide. Waldman wanted to alert reporters to key points in the testimony:

Ahead of Pence aide Williams testifying tomorrow, VP press sec sends out blast email aiming to highlight other parts of previous testimony that affirm what Pence folks have said about Zelensky: pic.twitter.com/P9fhQpGnZT

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 19, 2019

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This last point, in particular, creates a sharp dividing line between Trump and Pence. As the call record of Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed, they specifically discussed Biden, Crowdstrike, and — according to congressional testimony — Burisma, the company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter served. Trump’s demands for investigations of these entities, and Trump’s leveraging of his office to have those demands met, prompted the impeachment inquiry.

Pence has tried to dismiss the idea that Trump or his administration are implicated in any wrongdoing in the scandal. Like many of the president’s Republicans defenders, he has rejected Democrats’ calls for impeachment outright.

But this statement on Monday shows Pence isn’t entirely comfortable defending Trump’s conduct on the merits. If everything Trump did was completely above board, then he would have no need to emphasize that he didn’t do what Trump did.

For now, he seems willing to play the loyal soldier for Trump. But as next in line for the presidency should Trump, against the odds, meet with a sudden downfall, Pence wants to hedge his bets.

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2020 Election

How Lindsey Graham keeps lowering his standards for Trump

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As the coronavirus pandemic spread and death tolls increased across the United States over the last three months, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repeatedly raised the number of deaths he would find acceptable in defense of President Donald Trump's botched response.
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White woman pulls gun on Black woman after allegedly almost hitting her with her car

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On Wednesday, a viral video showed a white woman in Auburn Hills, Michigan, pulling a handgun on a Black woman in an altercation in a parking lot.

According to the woman taking the video, the white woman nearly hit the Black woman while backing up her van, and the argument escalated quickly.

"Get the license plate!" the Black woman can be heard shouting.

"Don't you f**king jump behind my car," replied the woman with the gun. "Get the f**k back! Get the f**k back! Back the f**k up!"

According to the poster, the woman who brandished the gun has been arrested.

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July 4 re-opening still on after employee at private sports club owned by billionaire governor tests positive for coronavirus

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After at least three complaints alleging lax reopening practices at West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s luxury resort hotel, a kitchen employee has tested positive for the coronavirus at a residential and sports club affiliated with The Greenbrier.

Local Health Department officials directed a 14-day quarantine for potentially exposed employees at The Lodge, a restaurant at the Greenbrier Sporting Club, and the venue will remain closed until July 10. Festivities planned at the club for July 4 will go on, but with food from other facilities.

"While the events of the past few days certainly have thrown us a curve ball, we have reached out to our friends and colleagues in the area to pull together a festival that will have something for everyone," the director of operations at the sporting club, Allen Wills, told its 400 members in a Tuesday night email, obtained by ProPublica.

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