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Trump Lackeys Get Beat Up on Sunday Morning Shows -- The Latest on the Impeachment of President Donald Trump

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 29, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 29, 2019 |


September 29th

Briefly, Trump’s lackeys are getting beat up on the morning shows this Sunday. Jake Tapper wipes the floor here with Jim Jordan and coyly brings up the fact that Jim Jordan helped to cover up sexual abuse allegations.

Rudy continues to be nutbar on This Week.

Here’s Adam Schiff on the courageousness of the whistleblower, who he also says has agreed to meet with the House Intelligence Committee.

Meanwhile, Chris Wallace — on Fox News — wouldn’t let Stephen Miller get away with anything.

And if you’re wondering what Trump is up to this morning (besides golf), here you go:

September 28th

7:30: CNN reports that Donald Trump also “locked down” phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi royal family, including crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the latter after conversations about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. (And by “locked down,” I mean, he hid the phone calls in a classified server to keep others from seeing them).

Meanwhile, according to The Washington Post:

President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries, an assertion that prompted alarmed White House officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter.

Neither of these two revelations is surprising, but what I do find interesting is all these “sources” and “officials” that are coming out of the woodwork now to reveal information that we should have known months and years ago. The source to The Washington Post story could very well be H.R. McMaster, who lied after that 2017 meeting with the Russians and said that Trump’s conversation was “wholly appropriate,” which Trump is now tweeting as a defense.


September 27th

10:00: Kurt D. Volker, the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine who Rudy Giuliani tried to drag into this mess, has abruptly resigned. Rudy kept insisting that he met with Zelensky’s aide at the insistence of the State Department in a meeting set-up by Volker, which is only half true. Volker did set up the meeting, but only at the repeated insistence of Giuliani, and Volker had been trying to help Ukrainian officials navigate their relationship with Giuliani and Trump without being pressured into doing anything.

I don’t know if this has been obvious to everyone, but it should be noted that Trump hates Ukrainians, and the only reason he had any interest in talking with Zelensky was to pressure him to investigate Biden and unearth a nonexistent Crowsdstrike server. Volker is a Republican, but he’s also a veteran foreign diplomat and one of the last friends the Ukrainians had in the Trump administration. His resignation, unfortunately, hangs the Ukrainians out to dry when it comes to U.S. aid in their conflict with Russia.

Oh, and asked about Joe and Hunter Biden’s business with Ukraine, Elizabeth Warren offered the exact right answer: “I know that everyone wants to try to drag in other people. But what happened with Ukraine is about Donald Trump.”

6:00: Here’s Chris Wallace on Fox News, who is trending now on Twitter for … telling the truth.

I heard Kellyanne Conway a little earlier, and this is the defense the Trump team is going with right now (I swear to God): “Trump didn’t say 2020 election in that phone call, therefore he did nothing wrong.” That’s where they’re gonna split the hairs. Oh, sure, they asked Zelensky to investigate Biden — one of Trump’s biggest political opponents — but it wasn’t politically motivated because Trump didn’t say “2020 election.” JFC.

5:45: After a House recess, the House Intelligence Committee will meet with the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, on October 4th (next Friday). He’s the guy who elevated the whistleblower complaint, so hopefully, the House will have a more cooperative witness than was Joseph Maguire. From Axios: “Atkinson is likely to be able to give the most detailed testimony on the issues raised by the complaint, short of the committee hearing directly from the whistleblower.”

5:00: The House has subpoenaed Mike Pompeo for documents, by October 4th. They are moving fast.

Drag his ass into it, too!

Meanwhile, one minute, I was reading an article about how the language regarding impeachment has a lot of “shalls” in it, leading one editorial writer to believe that, should the Senate not want to, it technically didn’t need to have an impeachment trial. It’s expected, but not required, and in these extraordinary times, no one — least of all Mitch McConnell — does what is expected. So, my hopes for an impeachment trial took a hit. Five minutes later, I saw this:

Oh? Well, well, well.

Actually, it turns out, McConnell made those comments months ago, but the AP is just reporting it. In either respect, McConnell is on the record stating that he would have to hold a trial. In these extraordinary times, however …

Meanwhile, OF COURSE HE IS. He should probably stay there because there’s no extradition.

Update on that:

1:30: I must have missed it this morning because I barely pay attention to Trump tweets, but I guess he called on Adam Schiff to resign. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, Tulsi Gabbard has finally joined the impeachment party.

11:26: I’m not sure that “appropriately” means what Trump thinks it means:

10:08: I don’t know if this is going to turn into anything if it will bolster the current whistleblower case or get drowned out by the current whistleblower case, but apparently, there is another whistleblower who went to the Ways and Means Committee to report that Trump had engaged in some funny business with his IRS audit. From HuffPo:

In a brief last month, the [Ways and Means] committee told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that a “federal employee” had approached them with “evidence of possible misconduct” and “inappropriate efforts” to influence an IRS audit of the president. The document provided no further detail about the whistleblower, but in a footnote, Democrats offered to tell U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden all about it in private.

A spokesman for the committee said this week that McFadden, a Trump nominee who donated to the Trump 2016 campaign and volunteered for the Trump presidential transition, has so far not asked to hear more about the whistleblower. He denied a Democratic motion to speed up the case.

I’d like to believe that Democrats could pursue two cases at once, but I also know that the public’s attention cannot maintain focus on two big scandals at the same time. If Democrats start publicizing this scandal too much, attention on the Ukrainian scandal will shift, and then we’ll end up with another two-year investigation which will produce a report that the American public will no longer care about.

I am hoping that today, the impeachment news cycle will not turn over 17 times, as it has the last couple of days, because I got some fall television I need to cover. It seems, perhaps, that now the dust is settling a little, that Friday will be bad take day. To wit:


The Times is on a roll with bad takes:

Meanwhile, how has a man this incredibly dumb managed to remain President for 3 years.

The stupidity is staggering, and it is infectious. See, e.g., Rudy Giuliani:

For those who may be having some difficulty parsing the stupidity of Rudy Giuliani, what he’s doing — and what he’s been trying to do the last couple of days — is shift blame for his illegal activities to Mike Pompeo and the State Department, but he’s too dumb to understand that he — a personal attorney for the President — should never have been taking orders from the State Department in the first place. So, instead of shifting blame, he’s mostly just dragging the State Department down with him. It’s not surprising in this Administration. Pompeo has been shit-talking Giuliani behind the scenes, and Giuliani has turned his criminal activities into a pissing match within the Administration.

The best thing to ever happen to Chris Christie was not getting hired by the Trump Administration.

Meanwhile, after Trump released the transcript of his call with Ukranian President Zelensky — and it’s become evident now that there was likely a lot in the call left out of the “transcript” (for instance, we know the phone call was 30 minutes long, but that transcript doesn’t read like a phone call that took 30 minutes) — other countries, specifically Putin’s Russia, are really hoping that Trump doesn’t release transcripts of their phone calls, which is a weird way to call attention to those phone calls. What’s in those calls? Pelosi thinks that the Russians are probably involved in this, too. I don’t doubt it.

Here’s Pelosi, too:


Elsewhere, I doubt this is true, but …

… it does track with Vanity Fair’s reporting:

Anyway, the news cycle is probably gonna get real weird in the coming days, as think piece and op-ed writers (like David Brooks) take what we already know and beat it so thoroughly that no one is gonna want to hear about it anymore. That’s to Trump’s advantage. So, ignore the deflection, obfuscation, and other distractions.

This is a very easy explained scandal:

Donald Trump along with his personal attorney, the Attorney General, and probably the State Department, lobbied the President of a foreign country to investigate a political opponent for personal political gain, and then they tried to cover it up. At the end of the day, that’s all you need to remember. And not even Republicans in the Senate are denying this version of events; their only arguments are that it doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment worthy offense (it does), or that the whistleblower was politically motivated (which doesn’t matter).

We will continue to update this post throughout the day, as necessary.