Tag Archives: 2020 Presidential Election

Trump Suggests Impeachment Inquiry Against Him Is a ‘Coup

President Trump on Tuesday slammed the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, claiming the process resembled a “coup” against him as elected president and US citizens’ constitutional rights.

The president wrote that the investigation into his alleged abuse of power is “intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” calling the whole process a “coup.”

Trump’s tweet on Tuesday echoed the president’s words during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump regularly decried the probe as a “witch hunt” and referred to it earlier this year as “a coup,” likening it to something that would happen in a “third world country.” Mueller’s report did not establish that Trump conspired with Russia, while leaving it up to Congress to decide whether he obstructed justice.

House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings against Trump come after the contents of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have upended US politics, especially following the revelation that a hushed-up whistleblower complaint from an administration insider concerned their talk. In the call, the transcript of which was made public last week, Trump asked Zelensky to open an investigation in connection with the elder Biden’s pressing Kiev to end a 2016 corruption investigation of a company on whose board Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, sat. Trump then blocked the director of national intelligence from releasing a whistleblower complaint about the call to the House Intelligence Committee, prompting the inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


Trump dubs house impeachment inquiry ´coup´

United States (US) President Donald Trump on Tuesday described a formal impeachment inquiry by Democratic members of the House of Representatives as a “coup”, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting Trump’s Tweet.

“I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP,” Trump said on Twitter.

He said the attempt is intended “to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall and their God-given rights as a Citizen of the United States of America!”

The House began its impeachment investigation into Trump last week. At issue is a July 25 phone conversation the president had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump repeatedly pressed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated claims of corruption.

The elder Biden is the leading Democratic candidate heading into next year’s presidential elections, making him a clear political rival to Trump.

Soliciting the assistance of a foreign leader to undermine Biden has raised questions of election interference that have been the foundation for the House’s impeachment investigation.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining his call with Zelensky was “perfect” while seeking to undermine the whistleblower whose complaint brought the phone call and other related matters to the public’s attention.


Nancy Pelosi: ‘Doesn’t Matter’ if Impeachment Cost Democrats the House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Saturday that pursuing an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump is worth House Democrats losing a majority.

Appearing at the Texas Tribune’s Tribune Fest, Pelosi stated it’s more important for Congress to uphold its duty of holding the president accountable than maintaining power over the lower chamber.

“It doesn’t matter,” Pelosi replied when asked by Tribune CEO Evan Smith if she harbors any “anxiety” over the Democrats’ ability to keep the House if their impeachment inquiry goes awry.

“Our first responsibility is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” said the speaker.

“People say you have to take a political risk doing that,” she went on. “That doesn’t matter. Because we cannot have a president of the United States undermining his oath of office, his loyalty to his oath of office, undermining our national security, and undermining the integrity of our elections.”

Pelosi’s comments come after the speaker announced an impeachment inquiry this week against President Donald Trump over a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the pair discussed U.S. military aid and the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and 2020 White House contender Joe Biden. The July 25th conversation was the subject of so-called “whistleblower” complaint, which according to its author, a CIA officer, is comprised entirely of second-hand knowledge of the call. Additionally, the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel’s (OLC) affirmed that the Deep Stater has a bias in favor of a political rival of President Trump. Further, CBS News and Fox News report that the complaint includes inaccuracies, including the false claim charging that Ulrich Brechbuhl, the Counselor to the U.S. State Department, was on the call.

Notwithstanding, in a nod to transparency, the White House released the Trump-Zelensky call transcript on Wednesday. The complaint was published by the House Intelligence Committee the following day.

President Trump lambasted critics of the call in a pair of tweets Saturday, writing: “The Whistleblower’s complaint is completely different and at odds from my actual conversation with the new President of Ukraine. The so-called “Whistleblower” knew practically NOTHING in that those ridiculous charges were far more dramatic & wrong, just like Liddle’ Adam Schiff.”

“The conversation with the new and very good Ukraine President, who told the Fake News, at the United Nations, that HE WAS NOT PRESSURED BY ME IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, should by and of itself bring an end to the new and most recent Witch Hunt. Others ended in ashes!” the president added.


Julián Castro on Ukraine Call: Trump Running a ‘Shadow Government’

Appearing Saturday on CNN, flailing 2020 White House candidate Julián Castro claimed President Donald Trump’s July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows he is operating a “shadow government.”

WOLF BLITZER: Let’s talk about all the developments that are unfolding very rapidly right now. The now-former special U.S. envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who resigned just yesterday, will now appear before various congressional committees as early as this coming Thursday. What does it tell you that he decided to resign?

JULIÁN CASTRO: What it tells me is this story has a lot of legs. What happened here has a lot of people involved…It is amazing what is emerging in terms of the scope of what happened between Donald Trump and the Ukraine and the way he’s been trying to get a country like Ukraine to do his political dirty work and the involvement of Rudy Giuliani, someone who doesn’t have security clearance that ought to be required to do that kind of work, this rogue operation as the ‘New York Times’ has said to set up a shadow government, shadow dealings with Ukraine. There’s a lot here.


Trump blasts ‘Democrat savages’ after launch of impeachment inquiry

President Trump laced into Democratic lawmakers Saturday, ripping them as  “do nothings” and “savages.”

“Can you imagine if these Do Nothing Democrat Savages, people like Nadler, Schiff, AOC Plus 3, and many more, had a Republican Party who would have done to Obama what the Do Nothings are doing to me,” he said. “Oh well, maybe next time!”

“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he added in a follow up tweet, that comes days after Dem leaders announced an impeachment inquiry.

Democrats say the president violated his oath of office, and allege he pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in brief remarks Tuesday.

The president has insisted that he has done nothing wrong, and son Eric Trump announced Friday that nearly $15 million had been raised from supporters over the issue.


AOC: Impeachment Inquiry Needed to Prevent ‘Potential Meddling’ in 2020 Election

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has defended the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, saying that it will help prevent “a potential meddling in the 2020 election that has still yet to happen.”
Ocasio-Cortez was speaking Wednesday on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time when she described the inquiry as an “urgent action.”

“We have the opportunity to act now to prevent a profoundly destabilizing action and intervention in our democracy before it happens,” she said. “And I think that is a profoundly urgent action that we need to take right now.”

In the phone transcript, Trump said:

There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he supports full transparency on the whistleblower information, but added that transparency is also needed from Biden and any potential wrongdoing concerning his son, Hunter.

The president was referencing a 2018 letter sent to Ukrainian officials by Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez, Dick Durbin, and Patrick Leahy urging them to continue investigations into President Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign. Such allegations have since proven baseless.

“The Democrats have done what they’re accusing me of doing,” Trump said during a press conference on Wednesday.


Biden: ‘Hard to Avoid the Conclusion’ Trump Committed ‘an Impeachable Offense’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 2020 Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden stated that “it’s awful hard to avoid the conclusion” that President Trump committed “an impeachable offense and a violation of constitutional responsibility.”

Biden said, “Based on the material that they acknowledged today, it seems to me it’s awful hard to avoid the conclusion that it is an impeachable offense and a violation of constitutional responsibility. But look, that’s — I am confident in the ability of the House and Senate to deal with this. My job is just to go out and flat beat him. … I can’t let this distract me in a way that takes me away from the issues that really — the reason why I’m running.”


Inside Trump world, public defiance vs. private anxiety over impeachment

n public, Trump world is casting the Democratic impeachment inquiry as more white noise.

In private, White House aides and allies say the impeachment momentum is now presenting a serious threat to the rest of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda, to his negotiating strength with world leaders and to his concentration.

The political furor over the president’s call with the Ukrainian president will put the two pictures in contrast for at least the coming weeks, testing how well the Teflon-encased president can withstand the latest revelations that he tried to pressure a foreign leader to dig up dirt on the son of his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, heading into the 2020 campaign.

The Democrats’ decision to launch an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday afternoon raises the stakes of this massive White House gamble, even as the president called any impeachment proceedings “just a continuation of the witch hunt.”

Few in the White House or wider Trump orbit have privately defended Trump’s call with the Ukraine leader in which he reportedly asked eight times about investigating the Biden clan’s business dealings in the country. The incident violates the principle that U.S. officials should never allow or encourage foreign governments to interfere in U.S. elections.

The White House is betting that Trump will ride out this “outrage du jour,” as one senior administration official called it.

But Trump advisers and senior administration aides instead quickly pivot any discussion of the president’s call and ensuing whistleblower complaint to focus on the Bidens — in an effort to turn the attention to a rival much the way the Trump campaign successfully undercut Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in 2016 by constantly bringing the discussion back to her campaign’s hacked emails.

“The president’s strategy on these matters has always been pretty clear: Never back up, and go forward. He learned that from Page Six,” said Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to Trump who served as House Speaker during Republicans’ impeachment inquiry of President Bill Clinton. “For the average American, this won’t move anything. It just further pins the Democrats into a negative anti-Trump position.”

“My guess is that, in the long run, the White House and campaign think the media eventually and reluctantly will have to take a serious look at Hunter Biden’s business dealings both in China and the Ukraine, and it will be devastating,” Gingrich added.

The White House is betting that Trump will ride out this “outrage du jour,” as one senior administration official called it, and move on just as he has skated through the release of the Mueller report, concerns of late about a possible recession, the Charlottesville uproar, Stormy Daniels, the explosive “Access Hollywood“ tape and dozens of other threats to his presidency.

“Everything is presented as Armageddon. The absolutely worst thing he has ever done! You can excuse the public for believing nothing is that way,” the official added.

“Our country’s doing the best it’s ever done. They’re going to lose the election,” — Donald Trump

White House and Department of Justice lawyers are tuning out the media coverage and focusing on the legal nuances of the whistleblower statute, while the president himself is leading the ensuing political battle.

Like any public relations guru, he has sought to get out ahead of the Ukraine story, set the boundaries of the narrative so that Joe Biden is as squarely in the bullseye as he is and overwhelm Americans with new and often conflicting information so the details change by the hour — and always at his bidding.

“Our country’s doing the best it’s ever done. They’re going to lose the election,” Trump told reporters before a bilateral meeting with the Iraqi president at the United Nations.

“They say it’s a positive for me,” he added about the impeachment proceedings.

By Tuesday afternoon, Trump announced on Twitter that he intended to release a transcript of his call with the Ukraine president on Wednesday. And a senior administration official said the White House also planned to release to Congress by the end of this week the whistleblower complaint and Inspector General documents at the center of the fight.

Both moves suggest the White House is confident it can withstand any fallout from the Ukraine call.

But current and former administration aides believe Trump will view the latest impeachment inquiry as a major blow to his ego — and the proceedings will likely distract him, cloud all of his meetings and halt any agenda for this fall including the passage of a major trade bill heading into an election year.

“It would mean USMCA probably doesn’t get done. It would declare war on whatever legislative agenda they still have,” said one former administration official.

That may not matter for Trump’s political standing or his popularity with his base, which has remained fairly constant during his presidency even some of its most controversial moments.

“People have made up their minds on Trump. It would take a momentous event to change enough minds to alter his job approval rating away from the average of 43 or 44 percent,” said Whit Ayres, founder and president of North Star Opinion Research, a Republican polling firm. “We’re so polarized and in our tribes that people will look through their current lens and determine either the president did something wrong, or Joe Biden did something wrong. The facts won’t be particularly relevant.”

The White House press office framed the impeachment inquiry as the Democrats’ effort to “continue to weaponize politics.”

“President Trump is working hard on behalf of our country here in New York City while they continue to scream the word impeachment. Nothing new here,” said Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director.

And the president’s 2020 campaign quickly rushed to motivate Trump voters and raise money from the fight. “Democrats can’t beat President Trump on his policies or his stellar record of accomplishment, so they’re trying to turn a Joe Biden scandal into a Trump problem,” Brad Parscale, the Trump 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement. “The misguided Democrat impeachment strategy is meant to appease their rabid, extreme, leftist base, but will only serve to embolden and energize President Trump’s supporters and create a landslide victory for the President.”

Still, the impeachment proceedings could lead to other revelations that are even more distracting for Trump and the GOP agenda.

While the Democrats pushed ahead with the impeachment inquiry, the reaction in the Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday was more muted and mixed.

“It will be similar to the Mueller report. Remember how much time we spent on that? It’s got all the same characteristics,” said Republican Senator Mike Braun of Indiana. “To me, it’s amazing how you keep pushing a dynamic like that, and I think clearly, in this case, it’s backfired, and its focused attention on Biden and his son.”

Both Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski expressed the need for additional information, with Romney calling the release of the transcript a helpful way to clarify the president’s intentions. “It would be much more helpful if we can just get the full and honest story out there,” Murkowski told POLITICO. There’s a lot of speculation about what was really said. So, hard to say until we see what’s real.”

But for Senate Democrats, the House’s new impeachment inquiry seemed justified.

“This is very serious. I’m not sure [Trump] understands how serious this is,” said Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who supports impeachment. “I’m not sure intellectually, he personally understands how serious this is when you’re holding up military assistance passed by Congress in order to extort a political action of a leader in a foreign country.”


Karen Pence was worried about going broke after Trump won

Second Lady Karen Pence was terrified after Donald Trump won the 2016 election — scared that the couple would go broke.

“What are we going to do, Mike? We don’t have any money!” she railed at husband Mike Pence the day after Trump’s surprise victory, according to an upcoming book. “Who’s going to pay for my inaugural gown?”

Trump’s inaugural committee ended up picking up the tab for Karen Pence’s outfit, according to Tom LoBianco, author of “Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House.”

But it wasn’t the only time Karen Pence got upset with her husband’s boss.

She was furious after the “Access Hollywood” scandal, when Trump was heard on an old recording bragging about grabbing women by their genitals — but she resigned herself to the embarrassing admission.

“The couple had always known there would be times that Trump said and did things they would never do. That doesn’t change the mission,” LoBianco writes.


Joe Walsh Says He Has ‘Lost’ His Radio Show

Appearing Monday on CNN’s AC360, former congressman Joe Walsh said he has lost his radio program since launching a longshot Republican presidential primary challenge to President Donald Trump.

JOHN BERMAN: What’s the impact — and I’ve been curious about this because you’re a conservative radio talk show host and I have a hard time believing that your audience will like the idea that you’re running against the president — so what has the impact been on your radio show?

JOE WALSH: Eighty to 90 percent of my audience supports the president. I just found out I lost my national radio show. So, that’s gone. I figured that might happen, John.

BERMAN: You lost it why?

WALSH: I don’t know why. I just got a notice before I came to the studio. I’m running for president, I oppose this president, most of my listeners support the president. It’s not an easy thing to do to be in conservative talk radio and oppose this president. I knew that when I made the announcement yesterday, that it could be in jeopardy.

BERMAN: So no more radio show at all for you?

WALSH: No more radio show, but that’s okay, I’m going to campaign full-time. This was a difficult thing to do, but I believe it’s urgent because this president is a danger. We cannot let him get elected for another four years.