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Senate GOP-led committee cleared Ukraine of US election meddling – and yet Republicans now spreading same Putin propaganda

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The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017 investigated allegations that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and cleared that country of any actions that would be in any way similar to the attacks by Russia to put Donald Trump in the White House.

And yet increasingly prominent members of the GOP are parroting those widely-debunked talking points that come straight from the Kremlin. Among the Republicans spreading Russian propaganda are House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes of California,  Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, and of course, President Donald Trump.

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The Intelligence Committee “thoroughly investigated” the claim that Ukraine attacked the U.S. election, Politico reports, “and found no evidence that Ukraine waged a top-down interference campaign akin to the Kremlin’s efforts to help Trump win in 2016.”

The Committee released a bipartisan report that found, in part, Politico notes, that “there was ‘little evidence’ of a ‘top-down effort’ by the Ukrainian government to sabotage Trump’s campaign.”

On Sunday, for example, Senator Kennedy (R-LA) (video below) said that “Russia was very aggressive and they’re much more sophisticated, but the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that [former] President Poroshenko [of Ukraine] actively worked for Secretary Clinton.” That is false.

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That 2017 Senate Intelligence Committee report did, however, note that Russia tried to blame Ukraine for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Russia is believed to be behind the crash that killed all 298 passengers and crew members.

Read the full Politico report here.

 

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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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