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Even Lindsey Graham refuses to buy into Trump’s Ukraine conspiracy theories: ‘Russia interfered’

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While Sens. Ron Johnson, John Kennedy and other GOP leaders have decided that Ukraine is to blame for 2016 election meddling, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is refusing to play into the conspiracy theory.

Speaking with a group of reporters, including Mediaite, at the Capitol Tuesday, Graham said “It was the Russians. I’m 1,000 percent confident that the hack of the DNC was by Russian operatives, no one else.”

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“The Ukraine — they had zero to do with the hacking of the DNC and the stealing of the emails,” Graham continued, refuting a key talking point of President Donald Trump. “Whether or not people from the Ukraine met with DNC operatives, I don’t know. All I’ve seen is press reports and nobody’s validated those reports. I have no knowledge that the Ukraine did anything to interfere with our elections other than press reports and to suggest that we know that I think would be a stretch because I don’t think anybody knows that.”

“I’ve got no doubt that it was the Russians who stole the DNC emails,” Graham told CNN after a follow-up question. “It wasn’t Ukraine. Russia was behind the stolen DNC emails and [John] Podesta and all that good stuff.”

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Trump announces Rudy Giuliani ‘wants to go before Congress’ and testify about his Ukraine dealings

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President Donald Trump on Saturday said that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wanted to testify before Congress.

Speaking to reporters as he departed for a Republican fundraiser in Florida, Trump praised the former New York City mayor.

"Rudy, as you know, has been one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years," Trump said of his lawyer, who is reportedly under federal investigation for breaking the law.

"And, he did get back from Europe just recently and I know -- he has not told me what he found, but I think he wants to go before Congress and say, and also to the attorney general and the Department of Justice," Trump said.

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GOP governors are refusing to do Trump’s bidding and ducking him on the campaign trail: report

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On Saturday, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times profiled how President Donald Trump is having less luck whipping Republican governors into line than Republican senators, including governors who arguably owe their election to his support.

"In Florida, Mr. Trump’s aides helped save the flailing candidacy of Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Republican primary, and then the general election," wrote Haberman. "Also last year, in Georgia, Mr. Trump helped pull Brian Kemp over the finish line in both the primary and the general election. In both cases, Mr. Trump’s advisers implored him to stay out of the primaries, and he agreed to — only to surprise his aides by jumping in to support Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Kemp."

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Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president — Trump may change all that

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President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.

It’s not the first test: Struggles over power among the political branches predate our Constitution. The framers chose not to, and probably could not, fully resolve them.

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