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Trump’s Ukraine extortion scheme began as a plot to undermine Mueller: report

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A new report from the Washington Post claims that President Donald Trump’s efforts to shake down the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden actually began as an effort to undermine the work of special counsel Robert Mueller.

As the Post reports, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has admitted publicly that he started traveling to Ukraine in late 2018 because he’d received a “tip” about the Ukrainian government conspiring against Trump.

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While it’s not known for certain who gave Giuliani this “tip,” the Post notes that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has for years been pushing the theory that Ukraine framed the Russian government for the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee.

“In the summer of 2016, [Manafort] began to suggest to other Trump campaign aides that the Ukrainians might have been responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016, rather than the Russians,” said that Post, citing sworn testimony by former deputy Trump campaign chairman Rick Gates. “Gates told investigators that Manafort’s comments attributing the hacks to Ukrainians ‘parroted a narrative’ that was also advanced at the time by Konstantin Kilimnik, an employee of Manafort who the FBI has assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence.”

Paul Rosenzweig, an attorney who served on former special prosecutor Ken Starr’s team in the 1990s, tells the Post that it appears that the president and his allies have been successfully manipulated by a Russian disinformation campaign.

“All roads lead to Russia,” he said.


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2020 Election

‘So many bootlicking hacks’: Trump campaign ignites mockery with ‘hilarious’ list of potential debate moderators

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Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the last presidential debate to the first week in September, according to Axios. In his letter to the commission, he also included a list of suggested moderators.

The list included several mainstream journalists, such as Norah O'Donnell of CBS News and David Muir of ABC News. But it also contained a number of right-wing pundits, like Hugh Hewitt.

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CNN’s Brianna Keilar explains why she battled Trump adviser: ‘You can’t just ignore BS — you have to shovel it’

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This Tuesday, CNN's Brianna Keilar got into a heated exchange with Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp, fact-checking her assertions that mail-in voting can lead to election fraud. This Wednesday, Keilar did a follow-up on the segment, saying that a coronavirus death in the U.S. is more than "2000-times likely to occur than a case of voter fraud in any type of election."

Keilar then addressed some criticism her network has received over its choice to interview Trump campaign officials when their struggles with the truth are well known.

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Jerry Falwell Jr has apologized to ‘everybody’ for bizarre yacht photo — and says mystery women is his wife’s assistant

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Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. says he has apologized to “everybody” after posting – then deleting – a disturbing photo showing him on a yacht with his arm around a woman he now says is his wife’s assistant, and in a state of undress that one of his students says would lead to a fine or expulsion.

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