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Trump rails against another woman impeachment witness

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President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that Jennifer Williams, a special adviser on Europe and Russia issues for Vice President Mike Pence’s foreign policy team, was a “Never Trumper” after her deposition in the impeachment inquiry was revealed to have characterized the commander-in-chief’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “unusual and inappropriate.”

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“Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement [sic] from Ukraine,” Trump tweeted. “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!”

The president repeated his claim later Sunday night that witnesses such as Williams had not actually been privy to the July 25 phone call at the heart of the impeachment inquiry

“‘All they do is bring up witnesses who didn’t witness anything.’ @KatrinaPierson @SteveHiltonx  Nothing matters except the two transcripts of the presidential calls, and the statement of no pressure put out by Ukraine!” Trump tweeted.

Williams was listening to the call as it occurred, according to the transcript of her deposition released Sunday. She claimed that she had taken notes about the political conditions surrounding the call, because she was concerned that its contents were “unusual and inappropriate.”

Trump asked Zelensky during the call to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

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As she testified about the call before impeachment investigators, Williams said she “found the specific references to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal political agenda,” than the broader “foreign policy objective of the United States.”

The deposition of Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council official, who served as the top Russia and Europe adviser in the Trump White House, was also recently made public. Morrison, who had also been listening in on the call, testified that he had conversations with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, in which he was informed that the president wanted Ukraine to investigate the Bidens before receiving the military aid they had been promised.

Morrison alleged that Sondland told him “he was acting — he was discussing these matters with the president.” He also claimed that after a meeting between Pence and Zelensky in Warsaw, Sondland approached Morrison and told him that “what he communicated was that he believed what could help them move the aid was if the prosecutor general would go to the mic and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation.”

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Trump’s practice of tweeting about individuals who testify against him during the impeachment inquiry has been criticized as potential attempts to intimidate those witnesses. During an appearance on “Face the Nation” on CBS News on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Trump for tweeting about former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch as she appeared before Congress.

“He made a mistake, and he knows her strength,” Pelosi said. “And he was trying to undermine it. Of course, presidents appoint ambassadors, but people don’t insult people, especially when they’re giving testimony before the Congress of the United States. I think even his most ardent supporters have to honestly admit this is the wrong thing for the president to do.”


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Nagasaki marks 75 years since atomic bombing

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The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday commemorated the 75th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with its mayor and the head of the United Nations warning against a nuclear arms race.

Nagasaki was flattened in an atomic inferno three days after Hiroshima -- twin nuclear attacks that rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons.

Survivors, their relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended a remembrance ceremony in Nagasaki where they called for world peace.

Participants offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the time the second and last nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city.

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Lebanon information minister resigns over Beirut blast

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Lebanon’s information minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday quit in the first government resignation since a deadly port blast killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of Beirut.

?After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,? she said in a statement carried by local media, apologising to the Lebanese public for failing them.

A number of MPs also submitted their resignations a day earlier due to the explosions.

On Saturday afternoon, thousands took to streets in downtown Beirut in anti-government protests that demand the overhaul of the political system, days after massive explosions.

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2020 Election

Trump admitted on live TV he will ‘terminate’ Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November

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President Donald Trump on Saturday afternoon openly vowed to permanently "terminate" the funding mechanism for both Social Security and Medicare if reelected in November—an admission that was seized upon by defenders of the popular safety net programs who have been warning for months that the administration's threat to suspend the payroll tax in the name of economic relief during the Covid-19 pandemic was really a backdoor sabotage effort.

Announcing and then signing a series of legally dubious executive orders, including an effort to slash the emergency federal unemployment boost by $200 from the $600 previously implemented by Democrats, Trump touted his order for a payroll tax "holiday"—which experts noted would later have to be paid back—but said if he won in November that such a cut would become permanent.

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