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Vindman blows apart ‘preposterous’ Ukraine story cited by Trump as excuse for firing ambassador

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On Saturday, The Daily Beast reported that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council official who offered extensive testimony on the events of the Ukraine scandal, went out of his way to debunk the “investigative reporting” of a right-wing journalist whose work formed the basis for President Donald Trump and his allies to go after former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

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John Solomon, a longtime reporter who served as a columnist and executive vice president for the D.C.-centered newspaper The Hill, wrote several articles about the supposedly corrupt efforts by Biden to push out a Ukraine general prosecutor, and made appearances on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to promote them. Later reporting revealed that Solomon was in contact with allies of Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, and his colleagues at The Hill have blasted him for embarrassing their newsroom.

One of Solomon’s most influential pieces was an interview with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who claimed that officials in his country leaked information on Paul Manafort to help Hillary Clinton and that former U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovith gave him a “do-not-prosecute” list while working to help Clinton sabotage Trump. This likely formed the basis for Trump’s decision to fire Yovanovitch — who was trying to raise red flags about Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine with military aid — as ambassador.

According to The Daily Beast, when Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) — an ally of Trump — asked Vindman about Solomon’s reporting, Vindman called it a “false narrative,” which he knew to be untrue based on “authoritative sources.” He added that he talked to “interagency colleagues from State and the Intelligence Community” who found Solomon and Lutsenko’s claims against Yovanovitch “preposterous … I think all the key elements are false.”

“Just so I understand what you mean when you say key elements,” Zeldin said. “Are you referring to everything John Solomon stated or just some of it?”

“All the elements that I just laid out for you,” Vindman said. “The criticisms of corruption were false. Were there more items in there, frankly, congressman? I don’t recall. I haven’t looked at the article in quite some time, but you know, his grammar might have been right.”

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Vindman’s testimony matches up with that of U.S. diplomat George Kent, who said in his interview with impeachment investigators that Solomon’s reporting, “if not entirely made up of full cloth … was primarily non-truths and non-sequiturs.”


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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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