Trump claims Adam Schiff is faking the transcripts he’s putting out from Intelligence Committee depositions

President Donald Trump tweeted out another conspiracy theory about Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) Monday as two more transcripts were released from those testifying in the House Intelligence Committee as it prepares for impeachment.

“Just like Schiff fabricated my phone call, he will fabricate the transcripts that he is making and releasing!” Trump tweeted.

Trump also claimed that Shiff will not allow Trump any witnesses. The president’s lawyers haven’t explained to him that the House does not hold the trial for impeachment, it’s the Senate that holds the trial. That’s where witnesses will be presented and the White House can refute the claims. Schiff is having a hearing around the impeachment inquiry and investigation.

Last week Republicans demanded that the depositions be made public. Once Shiff announced that the hearings would be public and he would release the transcripts of the depositions to the public, Republicans then said the hearings should be behind closed doors and the president claimed the depositions were fake.

Republicans were present during the depositions and are quoted in the transcripts.

Trump did not present any evidence of his claim.

[Raw Story]

On Veterans Day, Trump Laments Passing Whistleblower Law Meant to Improve VA: ‘To Think I Signed!’

On Veterans Day, President Donald Trump lamented passing a whistleblower law meant to increase protections for employees who uncovered wrongdoing in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“To think I signed the Whistleblower Protection Act!” Trump said Monday, stepping on an announcement from the White House twitter account praising Trump’s accomplishments for veterans.

The actual Whistleblower Protection Act was passed in 1998, but Trump has passed at least two laws related to whistleblower protections, according to a review of the congressional record.

The White House tweet is apparently referring to the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which was sponsored by GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. The law passed the Senate via voice vote.

The law established a new special office in the VA to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and makes it easier to fire employees accused of misconduct. However, an Inspector General report released late last month found the office had largely failed in its mission to protect whistleblowers and conducted corrupt investigations.

Trump also signed the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 into law, which is named for a VA doctor who was ousted and later killed himself after he blew the whistle on the over-prescription of opiates at his VA facility.

[Mediaite]

Trump Lies About Fact Checkers

President Donald Trump slammed The Washington Post late on Wednesday night over their report claiming that he wanted to have Attorney General William Barr hold a press conference and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing from his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying that the story was “totally untrue.”

The Washington Post reported late on Wednesday evening:

The request from Trump traveled from the president to other White House officials and eventually to the Justice Department. The president has mentioned Barr’s demurral to associates in recent weeks, saying he wished Barr would have held the news conference, Trump advisers say.

…As the rough transcript was released, a Justice Department spokeswoman said officials had evaluated it and the whistleblower complaint to see whether campaign finance laws had been broken, determined that none had been and decided “no further action was warranted.” It was not immediately clear why Barr would not go beyond that statement with a televised assertion that the president broke no laws, nor was it clear how forcefully the president’s desire was communicated.

“The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying ‘President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine,’ is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist,” Trump tweeted. “The LameStream Media, which is The Enemy of the People, is working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust!”

Trump added, “Years ago, when Media was legitimate, people known as ‘Fact Checkers’ would always call to check and see if a story was accurate. Nowadays they don’t use ‘Fact Checkers’ anymore, they just write whatever they want!”

[The Daily Wire]

Trump claims bribery isn’t an impeachable offense — but it’s in the Constitution as an example

President Donald Trump went off on Twitter Sunday against the idea that “some” reports are incorrectly citing Republican senators believe he tried to extort Ukraine.

“False stories are being reported that a few Republican Senators are saying that President Trump may have done a quid pro quo, but it doesn’t matter, there is nothing wrong with that, it is not an impeachable event. Perhaps so, but read the transcript, there is no quid pro quo!”

Quid pro quo” is a Latin word that simply describes extortion or bribery. The Constitution outlines “high crimes and misdemeanors” as impeachable offenses and gives examples in Section 4 of Article II.

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

[Raw Story]

Trump Threatens to Expose Information on Vindman

Donald Trump on Sunday appeared to threaten to expose information on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the decorated veteran who reportedly testified that the president omitted certain key words and phrases from the White House’s memo of the Ukraine phone call at the center of an impeachment inquiry. While speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump repeated unfounded claims that Vindman is a “Never Trumper,” a label he also bestowed on former Ukraine Ambassador William Taylor after his impeachment inquiry testimony outlined how Trump officials made demands of the Ukrainian government in exchange for investigations into the Bidens. 

Vindman, a decorated Iraq War veteran and National Security Council official, reportedly testified that he was instructed by White House counsel John Eisenberg to keep quiet about the call after voicing his concerns. “It’s a whole scam… it’s between the Democrats and the fake news media,” Trump said of the inquiry. When asked what evidence he had that Vindman is a “Never Trumper,” the president responded: “We’ll be showing that to you real soon.”


[The Daily Beast]


Trump Baselessly Claims ‘Freak’ Adam Schiff Will ‘Change the Words’ of Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts

President Donald Trump baselessly claimed transcripts from his impeachment inquiry will be altered in some way by “freak” Rep. Adam Schiff, demanding the GOP release their own versions.

“If Shifty Adam Schiff, who is a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the “call,” is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words,” Trump claimed Sunday night.

“Republicans should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda,” he continued.

Trump also called for the impeachment of Schiff, saying he is “really the one who should be impeached!”

There is no mechanism to impeach members of Congress.

A number of House Democrats have said transcripts of private testimony in the impeachment inquiry will be released to the public in the coming week.

Trump also attempted to corral Republicans who have said Trump may have “done a quid pro quo” but that it is not impeachable behavior.

“Perhaps so, but read the transcript, there is no quid pro quo!” Trump said.

[Mediaite]

Trump rails against impeachment inquiry as key White House witness testifies

President Trump on Tuesday railed against the impeachment inquiry into his alleged abuse of power ahead of key testimony from a White House official that threatens to deepen the president’s problems.

Trump tweeted or retweeted dozens of messages denying wrongdoing, chastising Democrats for their handling of the impeachment proceedings thus far and questioning the credibility of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official who will meet behind closed doors with lawmakers on Tuesday.

“Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call ‘concerned’ today’s Never Trumper witness,” Trump tweeted. “Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!”

In another tweet, Trump questioned “How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify” and asked “why so many” people were listening in on his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The president repeatedly urged his followers on Tuesday to read a White House rough transcript of the call, which was released in September. The document shows Trump urging Zelensky to look into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and a company with ties to the Russia investigation.

Vindman on Tuesday will become the first official who was on the call to testify. He will tell lawmakers that he was troubled by Trump urging Zelensky to investigate a political rival and reported it to his supervisor, worrying that the president’s conduct threatened to undermine U.S. national security, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by The Hill.

Vindman is a Ukrainian American immigrant and received the Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.

The July 25 call, a whistleblower complaint about the conversation and testimony from several administration officials have formed the basis of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. The House is scheduled to vote this week to formalize the inquiry and lay out rules to govern the process.

Republicans and White House allies have spent recent weeks hammering Democrats over transparency and questioning the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry without a formal vote. But in light of Democrats agreeing to hold such a vote, the president’s backers have shifted their message.

Trump on Tuesday retweeted dozens of messages from Republican lawmakers and conservative voices blasting the process as a “sham” and disputing that holding a formal vote at this point in the process changes that.

“A vote now is a bit like un-Ringing a bell as House Democrats have selectively leaked information in order to damage President @realDonaldTrump for weeks,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted in one message shared by Trump.

“Codifying a sham process halfway through doesn’t make it any less of a sham process,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in another message the president retweeted.

While Republicans have largely focused their complaints on process, Trump has fixated on the substance of the investigation and repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

“I’d rather go into the details of the case rather than process,” Trump said Monday. “Process is good. But I think you ought to look at the case. And the case is very simple. It’s quick. It’s so quick.”

The president’s insistence that he has done nothing wrong puts Republicans in a difficult spot, particularly in the Senate, where some GOP lawmakers have been hesitant to defend Trump’s actions.

Most Republican senators backed a resolution last week condemning the impeachment inquiry against Trump and calling on the House to hold a formal vote on the inquiry. But the document largely focused on process, and a few key senators have yet to sign on to it in support.

[The Hill]

In Chicago, Trump calls the city an embarrassment to the US

 Visiting Chicago for the first time as president, Donald Trump disparaged the city Monday as a haven for criminals that is “embarrassing to us as a nation.” The city’s top cop sat out Trump’s speech to protest the president’s immigration policies and frequently divisive rhetoric.

“There is one person who is not here today,” Trump told a friendly audience at a conference of police chiefs. “Where is he? I want to talk to him. In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something, and that’s the superintendent of the Chicago Police, Eddie Johnson.”

Johnson’s decision to boycott the event angered the city’s chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which said in a Facebook post that “such a gesture would be an insult to both President Trump and the office of the presidency itself and would be a mark of disgrace upon the city throughout the entire nation, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot.”

But the Democratic mayor and Illinois’ Democratic governor stood in solidarity with Johnson, who announced days before the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference that he would not attend.

“This is the land of Lincoln and when you come to the state of Illinois you should respect all the people who live here in the state of Illinois,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Lightfoot also refused to meet with Trump, and said on Twitter that she supports Johnson.

“It’s no surprise that @realDonaldTrump brought his insulting, ignorant buffoonery to Chicago,” the mayor tweeted. “Luckily, in this city, we know the truth and we will not let anyone — no matter how high the office — denigrate who we are as a people or our status as a welcoming city.”

“Rather than belittle Chicago’s communities with hateful and dishonest rhetoric, he needs to go back to D.C. and face his fate,” Lightfoot said, apparently referring to the House impeachment inquiry against the president.

Trump has frequently criticized Chicago for its crime problems and status as a sanctuary city , one of scores of cities around the country that refuse to work with federal authorities to round up people who are living in the U.S. illegally.

At a news conference later Monday, Johnson said Trump had ignored a “double digit” reduction in violent crime in the city over the past three years.

Trump has long held up the nation’s third-largest city as the poster child of urban violence and dysfunctional Democratic politics.

At one point in the address, Trump turned his daily complaint about the impeachment inquiry into a swipe at “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who authorities say fabricated a claim about being attacked by Trump supporters in Chicago earlier this year.

“You have the case of this wise guy Jessie Smollett … and he said MAGA country did it,” Trump said, using the acronym for his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. “It’s a real big scam, just like the impeachment of your president is a scam.”

The FOP Lodge 7, which represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers, announced that it had cast a vote of no confidence in Johnson. The union’s president, Kevin Graham, was first to greet Trump on the tarmac of O’Hare International Airport, after he landed in the city.

In the speech, Trump rattled off Chicago crime statistics and claimed that Johnson puts the needs of people living in the U.S. illegally above those of law-abiding residents of Chicago. “Those are his values and frankly those values to me are a disgrace,” Trump said. “I want Eddie Johnson to change his values and to change them fast.”

During the conference, Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on law enforcement to study issues like substance abuse, homelessness and mental illness. The president also announced that the Justice Department will begin a “surge” to crack down on violent crime in the United States, targeting gang members and drug traffickers in high-crime areas.

Johnson, meanwhile, is under internal investigation after he was found sleeping in a city-owned vehicle earlier this month. Lightfoot said Johnson, who called for the investigation, told her he had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before he fell asleep at a stop sign while driving home. Johnson blamed the episode on a change in his blood pressure medication.

While in Chicago, Trump headlined a campaign luncheon at his hotel in the city, raising approximately $4 million for a joint fundraising committee benefiting Trump’s reelection effort and the Republican National Committee, according to the GOP.

Thousands of demonstrators rallied outside the hotel, waving colorful signs that said “Impeach Trump Now” and “Quid Pro Quo Trump Must Go.” They also shouted chants such as “Lock him up” and “Trump must go.”

Some said they came to protest out of a fear for the country they have never felt before.

“It will take decades to put things back in place,” said Caroline Mooney, a 61-year-old marketing analyst from the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park.

“If something doesn’t happen next November, we may not recover,” said her friend Steve Schaibley, who drove 2-1/2 hours from Livingston County.

The gathering was mostly peaceful. But two people were taken into custody after apparently attacking a man waving a Trump flag. The Trump supporter was bloodied but did not appear to have been seriously injured.

[Associated Press]

Media

WHITE HOUSE GOES FULL “DEAR LEADER” IN PRAISE OF “GENIUS” DONALD TRUMP

Accused by former White House chief of staff John Kelly of replacing him with a “yes man,” President Donald Trump dispatched a yes woman to rebut him. “I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President,” Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to CNN on Saturday, offering North Korean television a lesson in sycophancy.

The dust-up began when Kelly claimed at a Washington Examiner political summit over the weekend that he’d spoken to Trump before his January departure about the perils of silencing dissent in office. “I said, whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth,” Kelly claimed. “Don’t do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached.” He continued, paraphrasing the conversation: “Don’t hire someone that will just, you know, nod and say, ‘You know, that’s a great idea Mr. President,’ Because you will be impeached.’”

In the months since Mick Mulvaney took over as acting chief of staff, Democrats have launched an official impeachment inquiry into Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine into opening investigations into Joe Biden and an u founded conspiracy theory that Russia was framed for election hacking in 2016. The irony was apparently lost on Grisham—who has not held a single press briefing since taking over from Sarah Sanders. Grisham issued an almost uncanny “Dear Leader”-style response to Kelly’s claim, proclaiming Trump’s unparalleled greatness.

“I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President,” Grisham said in a statement. That president, likewise refused to allow Kelly even the briefest of credit. “John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that,” Trump replied in his own statement. “If he would have said that, I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does.”

Kelly—sometimes credited as one of the “adults in the room” when it came to managing Trump—went on to express mild regret at his departure from the White House. “I have an awful lot of, to say the least, second thoughts about leaving,” he added. “It pains me to see what’s going on, because I believe if I was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of, all over the place.”

He concluded of Trump’s recent struggles with the office, “the system that should be in place, clearly — the system of advising, bringing in experts, having these discussions with the president so he can make an informed decision — that clearly is not in place. And I feel bad that I left.”

[Vanity Fair]

TRUMP THREATENS TO SUE DEMOCRATS AND ‘SHIFTY ADAM SCHIFF’ FOR FRAUD OVER IMPEACHMENT

President Donald Trump spent early Friday evening denouncing the “impeachment scam” by Democrats and said his lawyers should sue the Democrats and “Shifty Adam Schiff” for fraud. The president, through tweets, said he had a “perfect Ukrainian call” and that Democrats not wanting Whistleblower testimony anymore furthers what he calls a “witch hunt.”

The president wrote Friday:

“Democrats just announced that they no longer want the Whistleblower to testify. But everything was about the Whistleblower (they no longer want the second Whistleblower either), which they don’t want because the account of my call bore NO RELATIONSHIP to the call itself…..,” Trump tweeted.

“…The entire Impeachment Scam was based on my perfect Ukrainian call, and the Whistleblowers account of that call, which turned out to be false (a fraud?). Once I released the actual call, their entire case fell apart. The Democrats must end this Scam now. Witch Hunt!”

Three minutes after that pair of tweets, the president said his lawyers should sue Rep. Adam Schiff, who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and his Democrat colleagues.

“My lawyers should sue the Democrats and Shifty Adam Schiff for fraud!”

The calls for Trump’s impeachment has grown exponentially among Democrats this calendar year, from freshmen representatives like Rashida Tlaib to veteran lawmakers like Maxine Waters, Al Green and the late Elijah Cummings.

Schiff has been the most notable House member pushing impeachment, after reports of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Democrats say Trump’s call was to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads most 2020 Democratic presidential candidate polls, and his son, Hunter Biden.

Trump said the call was to congratulate Zelensky on his victory and that he told the Ukrainian president they could quickly improve their image.

In August, a whistleblower filed a complaint with Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, in regards to the Ukrainian phone call by Trump. A month later, Trump acknowledged bringing up Biden’s name in the phone call.

On Sept. 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s actions. A day later, the White House released a transcript of the Ukraine call.

Trump has called the impeachment inquiry a “scam” and “witch hunt,” and began targeting the whistleblower, asking for a personal interview with them.

Three weeks ago, the White House indicated it would not cooperate with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiries.

While each side has threatened lawsuits against each other, it was President Trump on Friday encouraging his side to sue the Democrats and Rep. Schiff in the latest round of the impeachment standoff.

[Newsweek]

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