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Trump was obsessed with Ukrainian corruption because he wanted to emulate it: op-ed

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In a piece for The Atlantic this Friday, Franklin Foer argues that President Trump’s obsession with Ukrainian corruption was actually genuine: “He wanted it thoroughly investigated—for the sake of its emulation.”

While the diplomats who testified in the House impeachment inquiry may have intended to shine a light on kleptocracy, Trump “apparently regarded them as an instructional video on selective prosecution, the subversion of a neutral judiciary, and the punishment of whistle-blowers who expose corruption,” Foer writes.

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“Over the course of Trump’s presidency, his critics have speculated about the model of illiberal democracy that he would adopt as his own,” Foer continues. “After the past week—which saw the firing of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the revocation of the Justice Department’s sentencing memo for Roger Stone, and Attorney General Bill Barr’s increasingly heavy-handed control of the investigations into his boss—there’s less doubt about the contours of the state Trump hopes to build. He’s creating Kyiv-on-the-Potomac.”

Foer gives Joe Biden credit for his “legitimate accomplishment” of helping to move Ukraine’s judiciary towards a system that resembled the US —  at least the way it looked before Bill Barr became attorney general. But that success was undermined when the US began “plundering Ukraine’s recent past, borrowing its worst practices.”

“The corrupt [Ukrainian] prosecutors who were displaced in the course of reform have reemerged as the conspiratorial figures whispering in Rudy Giuliani’s ear, stoking unfounded theories about Burisma and Biden,” Foer writes. “They urged Trump to exact revenge against his enemies, with the same malevolent prosecutorial intent and flimsy evidence that they might themselves have deployed.”

Read the full piece over at The Atlantic.

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2020 Election

Trump says he’s considering Georgia Republican running for Senate as next Director of National Intelligence

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2020 Election

Devin Nunes denies Russia is intervening in the 2020 election to support Trump’s reelection

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The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee denied reports that Russia was intervening in the 2020 presidential campaign to support Donald Trump's reelection.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was interviewed by Laura Ingraham on Fox News about the breaking news on Russia.

"A senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers last week that Russia wants to see President Trump reelected, viewing his administration as more favorable to the Kremlin’s interests, according to people who were briefed on the comments," The Washington Post reported Thursday. "Trump learned about Pierson’s remarks from Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Republican and a staunch Trump ally, said one person familiar with the matter."

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WATCH: Martin Sheen interrupts Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show with Trump/Putin 2020 bumper sticker

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MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday joked about Donald Trump and his running mate, Vladimir Putin, after the bombshell report that Russia was actively intervening in the 2020 presidential election in an effort to reelect the president.

The host returned from a commercial break to share an image "Janet and Martin Sheen texted me."

The image was of a bumper sticker a friend of the Sheen's had made with the Trump/Putin 2020 theme.

[caption id="attachment_1593484" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Screengrab, zoomed in and enhanced.[/caption]

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