During Thursday’s impeachment hearing, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) laid bare the human cost of President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine to force them to hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden’s family — something that ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) spent the previous day denying.
“In my colleague’s efforts to defend this president, you want him to be someone he’s not. You want him to be someone he is telling you he is not,” said Swalwell. “You’re trying to defend the call in so many different ways, and he’s saying, guys, it was a perfect call. He’s not who you want him to be. And let me tell you how selfish his acts were. And ranking member Collins, you can deny this as much as you want. People died in Ukraine at the hands of Russia,” said Swalwell. “In Ukraine, since September 2018 when it was voted on by Congress, was counting on our support. One year passed and people died. And you may not want to think about that, it may be hard for you to think about that, but they died when the selfish, selfish president withheld the aid for his own personal gain.”
“And I get it, oh, Obama, he only gave them x, y, z,” continued Swalwell. “We’ve proven the record President Obama gave them not only military capabilities, military training and military equipment. So don’t tell yourself Ukrainians didn’t die. They died. Ambassador Taylor, he said these were weapons and assistance that allowed the military to — if further aggression were to take place, more Ukrainians would die. So it’s a deterrent effect these weapons provided.”
“But you didn’t only hurt Ukraine, Mr. President, by doing this. You helped Russia,” continued Swalwell. “And to my colleagues who believe we have such an anti-corruption president in the White House, I ask you this. How many times did this anti-corruption president meet with the most corrupt leader in the world, Vladimir Putin? How many times did he talk to him? 16 times between meetings and phone conversations. And how many conditions did the president put on Vladimir Putin to get such an audience with the most powerful person in the world at the highest office? Zero conditions.”
“That’s who you’re defending,” said Swalwell. “So keep defending him. We will defend the Constitution, our national security and our elections.”
The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad attracted American white supremacists
As President Trump goes through an impeachment trial in the US Senate for pressuring Ukraine to produce dirt on his political rival, the war in that country is exporting extremism back to the United States.
In early 2014, violent street protests in Kyiv forced the resignation of the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Within four months, Russia had annexed Crimea and was backing separatists in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.
Five things to watch for at the Grammys
Music's glitterati will sparkle on the red carpet at this Sunday's Grammy awards, which honors the top hits and artists of the year.
Scandal at the Recording Academy, which puts on the show, has overwhelmed the lead-up to the glam event, but there are still plenty of musical moments to watch for.
Here is our quick guide to the event, which will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles:
- Women poised to lead -
Women dominated at last year's gala and are leading the pack this year as well, with the twerking flautist Lizzo and the teenage goth-pop phenomenon Billie Eilish expected to battle for the top awards.
Mexican children take up arms in fight against drug gangs
With baseball caps and scarves covering their faces, only their serious eyes are visible as a dozen children stand to attention, rifles by their side.
In the heart of the violence-plagued Mexican state of Guerrero, learning to use weapons starts at an early age.
In the village of Ayahualtempa, at the foot of a wooded hill, the basketball court serves as a training ground for these youths, aged between five and 15.
The children practice with rifles and handguns or makeshift weapons in various drill positions for a few hours every week.
"Position three!" yells instructor Bernardino Sanchez, a member of the militia responsible for the security of 16 villages in the Guerrero area, which goes by the name of Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PF).