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Lou Dobbs Guest Mocks Vindman: He’s a ‘Deep State Crybaby’

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 20:04

 He’s a ‘Deep State Crybaby’After an impeachment hearing that featured Republicans suggesting National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was insufficiently loyal to America on Tuesday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs and former Trump aide Christian Whiton openly mocked the Iraq War veteran for wearing his Army uniform to testify.During Tuesday night’s broadcast of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs—who also serves as an informal adviser to the president—groused about Vindman requesting Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) properly refer to him by his military rank during the hearing.“This Colonel Vindman, who insisted for some reason on wanting to be called lieutenant colonel,” the Fox host grumbled. “I have never heard anyone referred to a lieutenant colonel as lieutenant colonel when addressing them verbally but, you know, as he wishes. I mean, he looks like a popinjay, he really does!”Later in the program, after Dobbs asserted that the American public is already growing bored with the impeachment hearings, Whiton embraced the latest Trumpist strategy of ridiculing a decorated military officer.“You see Vindman, this bureaucrat who poured himself into an Army outfit to go and frankly speak contemptuous things against the commander-in-chief, incidentally, a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” Whiton declared.“If you did that as a private in the Army you would get court-martialed,” the ex-Trump adviser continued. “I guess if you're, you know, a never-Trump bureaucrat Deep State crybaby you get away with it.”Whiton went on to complain that Vindman wasn’t a “political appointee” of Trump’s, claiming this is the “way the Deep State works” to take down a president.“They take detailees, not the best from these agencies, often the worst, they stick them into the White House,” he concluded. “It's a practice that frankly should end, and the political appointees, Tim Morrison and [Kurt] Volker aren't mistaking themselves for the president, it's these Deep State bureaucrats that do.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

Adam Schiff asks Americans what kind of president they are prepared to accept

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 19:50

Adam Schiff asks Americans what kind of president they are prepared to acceptHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) ended Tuesday's hearing by directly calling out the Republican lawmakers who continue to staunchly defend President Trump, and by posing a question to all Americans."My Republican colleagues, all they seem to be upset about with this is not that the president sought an investigation of his political rival, not that he withheld a White House meeting and $400 million in aid we all passed in a bipartisan basis to pressure Ukraine to do those investigations," Schiff said. "Their objection is that he got caught. Their objection is that someone blew the whistle, and they would like this whistleblower identified, and the president wants this whistleblower punished. That's their objection. Not that the president engaged in this conduct, but that he got caught."Americans, he continued, should care about this impeachment inquiry because it is a matter of national security, and they need to ask themselves: "Are we prepared to accept that a president of the United States can leverage official acts, military assistance, White House meetings, to get an investigation of a political rival? Are we prepared to say well, you know, I guess that's just what we should expect in a president of the United States. I don't think we want to go there."Schiff also suggested the Founding Fathers wouldn't approve, because when they "provided a remedy, that remedy being impeachment, they had the very concern that a president of the United States may betray the national security interests of the country for personal interests. They put that remedy in the Constitution not because they wanted to willy nilly overturn elections, no, because they wanted a powerful anti-corruption mechanism when that corruption came from the highest office in the land." Watch the full video below. More stories from theweek.com Ken Starr on the Sondland testimony: 'It's over' Sondland just obliterated Trump and put the entire White House in peril White House and Trump campaign officials are reportedly 'freaking out' about Sondland's testimony

A California nanny promised children would be 'safe' in his care. He instead used them in porn videos, authorities say

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 19:34

A California nanny promised children would be 'safe' in his care. He instead used them in porn videos, authorities sayA former California nanny will serve 30 years in federal prison for filming child pornography with at least 5 victims in his care, authorities said.

Impeachment witnesses cast doubt on Trump's motives for requesting Ukrainian investigations

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 19:05

Impeachment witnesses cast doubt on Trump's motives for requesting Ukrainian investigationsTwo theories cited by President Trump came under fire Tuesday by witnesses at his impeachment hearing.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for ousting White House adviser Stephen Miller as a 'white supremacist'

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 19:01

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for ousting White House adviser Stephen Miller as a 'white supremacist'Ocasio-Cortez described Miller’s presence as one of the more “disturbing” aspects of the Trump administration. She is among many Democrats who have called for Miller’s removal.

India Wants the F-21, but Is It Really Just an Old F-16?

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 19:00

India Wants the F-21, but Is It Really Just an Old F-16?Worth the cost?

Schiff gives fiery closing on Day 3 of public hearings

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 18:56

Schiff gives fiery closing on Day 3 of public hearingsAfter nearly 12 hours of testimony, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff concluded Day 3 of public impeachment inquiry hearings with impassioned remarks.

Impeachment testimony by Volker and Morrison doesn't totally contradict White House narrative, a partial victory for Trump

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 18:52

Impeachment testimony by Volker and Morrison doesn't totally contradict White House narrative, a partial victory for TrumpOn Tuesday afternoon, former National Security Council staffer Tim Morrison and former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker testified before the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry. Though they had been called by the panel’s Republican minority, they by and large confirmed the Democratic narrative. That they did so without personally implicating Trump could be seen as a victory of sorts for the White House.

Hong Kong students' sewer escape thwarted

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 18:46

Hong Kong students' sewer escape thwartedSome anti-government protesters trapped inside a Hong Kong university on Wednesday tried to flee through the sewers, where one student said she saw snakes, but firemen prevented further escape bids by blocking a manhole into the system. Reuters witnesses said fewer than 100 protesters remained inside the Polytechnic University, ring-fenced 24 hours a day by riot police, after more than 1,000 were arrested from late on Monday. Some surrendered while others were held during escape attempts that included trying to clamber down ropes to waiting motorbikes on Monday night, with protesters throwing petrol bombs and police responding with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.

School district in rural Colorado tries new ways to attract teachers

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 18:43

School district in rural Colorado tries new ways to attract teachersThe Big Sandy School District in Simla, Colorado, has 335 students from grades pre-K to 12th grade who learn under one roof

Police release sketch of child whose remains were found at Delaware softball field

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 18:07

Police release sketch of child whose remains were found at Delaware softball fieldPolice say the girl, whose remains were found at a softball field in Smyrna, Delaware, was 2 to 5 years old.

Morrison Says He Heard No Demand By Trump: Impeachment Update

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 17:59

 Impeachment Update(Bloomberg) -- The House Intelligence Committee began its second week of public impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump on Tuesday.Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs on the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, special adviser for Europe and Russia in Vice President Mike Pence‘s office, testified in the morning.The afternoon session heard from Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, NSC senior director for Europe and Russia.Here are the latest developments:Morrison Says He Heard No Demand By Trump (7:55 p.m.)Morrison said he didn’t hear Trump make any demands in his July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.“I did not hear him make any sort of demand,” Morrision said while being questioned by Republican John Ratcliffe. Asked by Ratcliffe whether anyone on the National Security Council expressed concern after the call that a crime such as bribery or extortion had occurred, Morrison said, “No, sir.”Volker Now Recalls Sondland Statement (7:01 p.m.)Volker said he now remembers a statement made in July by Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that Volker had omitted from prior testimony, saying that statements by Vindman “jogged my memory.”Volker said Tuesday that Sondland made a “generic comment about investigations” during a July 10 meeting with Ukrainian officials in then-National Security Advisor John Bolton’s office. Volker said everyone present thought it was inappropriate.Asked by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff why he didn’t mention the statement when he testified in private on Oct. 3, Volker said, “I did not remember that at the time.“Volker said he didn’t believe foreign governments should be asked to investigate a U.S. official.When Schiff asked Morrison whether he had any concern about Trump’s July 25 request for an investigation, he said, “As a hypothetical matter I do not” because he didn’t understand the president to be seeking a probe of Joe Biden.Schiff noted that Morrison nonetheless went to a National Security Council lawyer about his concern that information about the call might leak.“If it was a perfect call, would you have a concern about it leaking?” Schiff said, alluding to Trump’s frequent description of the July 25 call as “perfect.” Schiff asked whether it would be appropriate to ask Ukraine to investigate former Ohio Governor John Kasich, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Volker.Morrison said those would be inappropriate. Asked the difference between that and an investigation of Biden, he said, “I can only speak to what I understood at the time and what I felt at the time.”Judge to Rule Monday on McGahn Subpoena (6:07 p.m.)A federal judge said she’ll rule next Monday on whether former White House Counsel Don McGahn must obey a subpoena to testify to the House Judiciary Committee.U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, in a brief order, said she’ll issue a ruling barring “unforeseen circumstances.”Trump has asserted that absolute immunity shields McGahn from being questioned.Sondland Described Aid Link, Morrison Says (5:16 p.m.)Morrison said Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told him on Sept. 1 he had advised a Ukrainian official that the release of nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being linked to an announcement by Ukraine of a commitment to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 elections.Then, Morrison said Sondland told him on Sept. 7 that Trump had said that Zelenskiy, specifically, would have to make that announcement himself.Sondland said “there was no quid pro quo but President Zelenskiy had to make the statement and he had to want to do it,” said Morrison.Pence Aide Heard Nothing Wrong in July Call (4:53 p.m.)Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, Keith Kellogg, said in a statement Tuesday that he listened to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and that he “heard nothing wrong or improper.”Kellogg issued the statement after Jennifer Williams, a Pence aide who was also on the call and reports to Kellogg, testified in the House impeachment inquiry. Kellogg said Williams accurately testified that she didn’t inform him of any concerns after the call.“In fact, she never reported any personal or professional concerns to any other member of the vice president’s staff, including our chief of staff and the vice president,” he said.Kellogg also said Williams’ testimony about Pence’s Sept. 1 meeting with Zelenskiy in Poland was accurate. The two discussed the delay in U.S. financial aid at the meeting.“She affirmed that the vice president focused on President Zelenskiy’s anti-corruption efforts and the lack of European support and never mentioned former Vice President Joe Biden, Crowdstrike, Burisma, or investigations in any communication with Ukrainians,” he said. -- Alex WayneMorrison Disappointed by Trump Ukraine Call (4:38 p.m.)Morrison said he was disappointed in Trump’s handling of the July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.“I was hoping for a more full-throated statement of support from the president concerning President Zelenskiy’s reform agenda,” Morrison said during questioning by a Democratic staff lawyer.Regarding Trump’s request for a Ukrainian investigation of the president’s political rival, Morrison said, “It’s not what we recommended to the president to discuss.”Morrison said the call confirmed the “parallel process” of policy toward Ukraine that former U.S. official Fiona Hill had warned him about.Volker said he was surprised and troubled when he read the record of the call when its was released in late September.“I don’t think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these things I consider to be conspiracy theories circulated by the Ukrainians” are “things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine,“ Volker said.Democrats Seek McGahn Hearing in Next Phase (4:12 p.m.)Citing an “urgent need” in connection with the House impeachment inquiry, Judiciary Committee Democrats asked a federal judge in Washington to rule quickly on their request to enforce a subpoena issued in April requiring testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn.“Given that the House’s impeachment inquiry is proceeding rapidly, the committee has a finite window of time to effectively obtain and consider McGahn’s testimony,” committee lawyers told U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in a filing on Tuesday.Jackson heard arguments Oct. 31 on whether lawmakers can compel McGahn to appear before them or whether Trump’s assertion of absolute immunity shields the attorney from being questioned.McGahn’s testimony originally was sought for May 21 in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of that probe by Trump. The House sued in August to force him to testify.“In addition, recent evidence produced in the criminal proceedings against former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone indicates that President Trump may have provided false statements in his written answers to the special counsel’s office,” the committee’s lawyers said in court papers.Stone was convicted on Friday of lying to Congress, obstructing a congressional investigation and witness tampering. -- Andrew M. HarrisVolker Says He Missed Biden-Burisma Link (4:08 p.m.)Volker said he thought there was an “important distinction” between Joe Biden and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, on whose board Biden’s son Hunter sat. He said he now realizes that others saw the idea of Ukraine investigating Burisma the same as investigating Biden.“In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections,” Volker said.He also said he wasn’t aware of a phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, on July 26 -- a day after Trump spoke to Ukraine’s president. David Holmes, a foreign service officer in Kyiv, has testified that he overheard Trump on the call asking Sondland about “the investigations.”Volker Not ‘Aware’ of Bid for Biden Probe (3:49 p.m.)Volker told the committee that he wasn’t aware of and didn’t knowingly take part in any effort to urge Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden.“Vice President Biden was not a topic of our discussions,“ Volker said. “I was not on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and President Zelenskiy. I was not made aware of any reference to Vice President Biden or his son by President Trump, until the transcript of that call was released on Sept. 25.”Volker said that until he resigned on Sept. 27, his role was to lead “the official channel” of relations with Ukraine.Morrison Says ‘Fears’ About Call Realized (3:46 p.m.)Morrison said he worried at the time of Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine that disclosing its contents would have a negative effect in Washington.“My fears have been realized,” Morrison said.Hearing Resumes With Volker, Morrison (3:25 p.m.)The Intelligence Committee opened its afternoon session, with testimony planned from Volker and Morrison. Their appearance was requested by Republicans on the panel.Ukrainian Calls Vindman Job Offer a ‘Joke’ (2:58 p.m.)Former Ukrainian national security official Oleksander Danylyuk said he was joking when he offered Vindman a job as Ukraine’s defense minister.In a telephone interview, Danylyuk said, “It is is important to differentiate serious matter and humor.”“The ‘offer’ to join Ukrainian government was made in a joking manner, which was clear by the context and tone as a comment that it used to be fashionable to hire expatriates in the government few years ago,” Danylyuk said. “It was clear to me that it was taken by Alex Vindman as a joke.”Vindman testified earlier Tuesday that he dismissed the offer. He called it “comical” and said he reported the incident to his superiors. -- Daryna KrasnolutskaVolker, Morrison Due In Afternoon Session (2:07 p.m.)On deck for the committee’s afternoon hearing are Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Timothy Morrison, a National Security Council expert on Europe and Russia.GOP lawmakers want Volker to testify publicly because he said he wasn’t aware of attempts to withhold U.S. aid unless Ukraine announced it would open investigations that would help Trump politically.Other witnesses have described Volker as a key player in an effort led by Rudy Giuliani at Trump’s behest to push Ukraine into investigations that would entangle former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival of the president.Morrison listened to the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s president, and Republicans are likely to focus on his past statements that he heard nothing illegal in the conversation. He did, however, testify that he was concerned about how it would look if leaked.Part One of ‘Today’s Circus’ Ends (1:50 p.m.)The morning hearing adjourned after about four and a half hours. “Act one of today’s circus is over,” said top committee Republican Devin Nunes.“The Democrats are no closer to impeachment than they were three years ago,” Nunes said. “Democrats continue to poison the American people with this nonsense.”Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, said that even though Republicans say Trump was urging Ukraine to investigate corruption, instead the message from the president was, “Do engage in political investigations and do it for my re-election.”The effort is “no less odious because it was discovered and it was stopped,” Schiff said.White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said, “We have learned nothing new in today’s illegitimate ‘impeachment’ proceedings.” She accused Democrats of trying to “overturn the outcome of a free and fair election.”Vindman Describes ‘Shock’ During July 25 Call (1:24 p.m.)Vindman said “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing” when he listened to Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.“It was probably an element of shock, that maybe in certain regards my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out and how this was likely to have significant implications for U.S. national security,” Vindman said. He said he reported his concerns to a White House lawyer “because that was my duty.”Democrat Sean Maloney had Vindman reread the portion of his opening statement where he directly assured his father he would be fine after taking on the most powerful leader in the world. Maloney asked him why he could have that confidence.“Because this is America,” Vindman said. “This is the country that I have served and defended,” he said, adding, “Here, right matters.”Vindman Excluded From Meetings After Call (12:24 p.m.)Vindman said he was excluded from some meetings to which he would normally have been invited after his connection to the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine’s president became known.Whether that was a direct reprisal, Vindman said, “I am not sure I can make that judgment,” but he said it was “out of the course of normal affairs.”Vindman is Quizzed on Ukraine Job He Spurned (12:13 p.m.)Under questioning from Republican staff lawyer Steve Castor, Vindman said he was offered the job as Ukraine’s defense minister while on an official trip to that country.“I’m an American, I came here as a toddler, and I dismissed the offer,” said Vindman, an immigrant from Ukraine. He called the offer “comical,” and said he reported the incident to his superiors.Later, Democrat Jim Himes accused Republicans of seeking to question Vindman’s loyalty to the U.S. by raising the matter.“They’ve accused you of espionage and dual loyalties,” Himes said.“That was designed exclusively to give the right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties,” Himes said. The questions about the job offer “may have come cloaked in a Brooks Brothers suit and in parliamentary language, but that was designed exclusively to give the right-wing media an opening to question your loyalties.”Asked by Himes whether he considers himself a “never Trumper,” Vindman responded, ”Representative, I’d call myself never partisan.”Vindman Rebuffs Nunes on Whistle-Blower (10:56 a.m.)Vindman rebuffed questions from top committee Republican Devin Nunes about the identity of the whistle-blower whose complaint led to the House inquiry.Nunes asked Vindman whether he discussed Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president with anyone afterward. Vindman said he provided readouts to State Department official George Kent and “an individual in the intelligence community.”Nunes asked which agency in the intelligence community, but committee Chairman Adam Schiff cut him off, saying the committee is obligated by law to protect the whistle-blower’s identity. “These proceedings will not be used to out the whistle-blower,” Schiff said.Vindman said he doesn’t know the whistle-blower’s identity and that he’s been advised by his lawyer and instructions from the committee chairman not to provide any specifics about anyone in the intelligence community.Nunes responded, “You can answer questions or you can plead the Fifth.”Nunes noted that Republicans have tried to subpoena the whistle-blower to give a sworn statement, but that Schiff has rejected the request.At one point Nunes addressed Vindman as “Mr. Vindman,” and the Army officer responded, “Ranking member, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please.”Transcript Viewed as Sensitive, Vindman Says (10:27 a.m.)Vindman said the decision to put the rough transcript of the July 25 call into a secure server was made “on the fly” after he expressed concerns about it to a National Security Council lawyer.“My understanding is that this was viewed as a sensitive transcript,” Vindman said, and that to avoid leaks and “preserve the integrity of the transcript it should be segregated in a smaller group.” He said he wasn’t sure what officials meant by preserving the integrity of the transcript.Vindman said he didn’t take the decision as “anything nefarious” and that he also didn’t view it as a mistake.Vindman Says He Saw Trump Request as Demand (10:03 a.m.)Vindman said because of the “power disparity” between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, he viewed Trump’s request for investigations as a demand.In military culture, “when a senior asks you to do something, even if it’s polite and pleasant, it’s not to be taken as a request, it’s to be taken as an order,” Vindman said.Because of Trump’s power over Zelenskiy, it was clear that “in order to get the White House meeting, President Zelenskiy would have to deliver these investigations,” Vindman said.“It was inappropriate, it was improper for the president to request, to demand an investigation into an political opponent,” Vindman said. “Especially a foreign power where there is at best dubious belief that this would be a completely impartial investigation.”“It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play,” Vindman said. “This would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing bipartisan support, undermine U.S. national security, and advance Russia’s strategic objectives in the region.”Vindman Defends Career of Service to U.S. (9:50 a.m.)Vindman defended his career of service to the U.S., responding to Republicans and conservative media figures who raised questions about his loyalty. He recognized his father who brought Vindman and his family from the former Soviet Union to the U.S. 40 years ago.The decorated Iraq war veteran also recognized his two brothers, who also serve in the military.“Dad, my sitting here today, in the U.S. Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family,” Vindman said. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”Vindman Says He Reported Concerns Properly (9:47 a.m.)Vindman said he reported his concerns about the July 25 call “in official channels, to the proper authorities in the chain of command.”“My intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country,” Vindman said.He also lambasted the attacks on his colleagues who testified.“I want to state that the vile character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible,” Vindman said. “It is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate, this has been our custom since the time of our Founding Fathers, but we are better than callow and cowardly attacks.”Vindman Calls Giuliani Disruptive on Ukraine (9:40 a.m.)Vindman told the committee that last spring, he became aware of two “disruptive actors” in Ukraine -- Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko. He said they were “promoting false information that undermined the United States’ Ukraine policy.““The NSC and its inter-agency partners, including the State Department, grew increasingly concerned about the impact that such information was having on our country’s ability to achieve our national security objectives,” Vindman said.Williams Describes Trump Call as Unusual (9:37 a.m.)Williams said in her opening statement that she listened to Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president and found it “unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.”She said she didn’t know whether Pence reviewed her update or the transcript of the call, and she didn’t discuss the call with him or any colleagues in the vice president’s office.Nunes Says Witnesses Identified No Crimes (9:27 a.m.)Top committee Republican Devin Nunes criticized the House investigation, saying the three officials who testified last week had only second- or third-hand knowledge and were “unable to identify any crime or impeachable offense that the president had committed.”He accused the news media of being “puppets of the Democratic Party” in covering the impeachment investigation. “They’ve learned no lessons” as they “try to stoke another partisan frenzy,” he said.Nunes again called for testimony from the whistle-blower whose complaint set off the investigation. The lawmaker asked about the whistle-blower’s biases and suggested the person had connections with Democratic politicians and the news media.Schiff Says Trump Acted for Personal Aims (9:14 a.m.)House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said in his opening statement that Trump “put his own personal and political interests above those of the nation.““He undermined our military and diplomatic support for a key ally, and undercut U.S. anticorruption efforts in Ukraine,” Schiff said.“How could our diplomats urge Ukraine to refrain from political investigations of its own citizens, if the president of the United States was urging Ukraine to engage in precisely the same kind of corrupt and political investigation of one of our own citizens?” the chairman said.House Hearing With Vindman, Williams Begins (9:08 a.m.)House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff gaveled in Tuesday’s hearing that will receive testimony from Vindman and Williams.NSC Aide Vindman to Open Week’s Testimony (8 a.m.)Lawmakers will ask Vindman at the morning hearing about his previous testimony that he listened to Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and was so disturbed by the conversation that he reported it to the NSC’s legal counsel.Williams, who will appear with Vindman in the morning, was also on the July 25 call and previously testified that she found some of the discussion to be “unusual and inappropriate.” She said Trump mentioned the Burisma energy company, which had former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on its board.During an afternoon hearing, lawmakers will hear from Volker, one of the “three amigos” designated by Trump to lead back-channel relations with Ukraine. Volker said earlier in closed-door testimony that he was never told why Trump withheld security aid from Ukraine.Morrison will be asked about his earlier statement that he wasn’t concerned that anything illegal was discussed during the July 25 call.Catch Up on Impeachment CoverageKey EventsGOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he doesn’t remember Trump telling diplomatic officials to talk to his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about Ukraine during a meeting last May. U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified that Trump told U.S. officials to “talk to Rudy” about Ukraine policy.The Gordon Sondland transcript is here and here; former special envoy Kurt Volker’s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of David Holmes, a Foreign Service officer in Kyiv, is here. The transcript of Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale is here. The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent’s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Fiona Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper’s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson’s is here and Catherine Croft’s is here. Jennifer Williams’ transcript is here and Timothy Morrison’s is here.Taylor’s opening statement is here; Kent’s statement is here. Yovanovitch’s opening statement is here. Kurt Volker’s opening statement is here; Tim Morrison’s statement is here. Alexander Vindman’s statement is here. Jennifer Williams’s opening staement is here. \--With assistance from Steven T. Dennis, Andrew Harris and Nick Wadhams.To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Litvan in Washington at llitvan@bloomberg.net;Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Turner says Volker took apart the ‘entire case’ for impeachment

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 17:14

Turner says Volker took apart the ‘entire case’ for impeachmentRep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker took apart the ‘entire case’ for impeachment.

Dem lawmaker says it's his 'mission' to have Trump removed from office

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 17:12

Dem lawmaker says it's his 'mission' to have Trump removed from office“It’s about what he’s doing to our country and how he is corrupting our society,” said Rep. Al Green.

AMA calls for total ban on all e-cigarette, vaping products

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 17:07

AMA calls for total ban on all e-cigarette, vaping productsThe AMA cited a surge in underage teen use of e-cigarettes, which typically heat a solution that contains nicotine. “It’s simple, we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people.” Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA’s president, said in a statement. Officials believe a thickening agent used in black market THC vaping products may be a culprit.

Trump impeachment: Republican witness says Biden corruption claims 'not credible'

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 16:54

 Republican witness says Biden corruption claims 'not credible'Allegations of corruption in Ukraine levelled at Joe Biden were “not credible”, a witness called by Republican politicians has told the impeachment inquiry.In comments that appeared to debunk one of the conspiracy theories Republicans have often cited to try and undermine the former vice president, Kurt Volker told member of Congress he did not believe it.

Corbyn Catches Up With Johnson in Dramatic U.K. Election Debate

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 16:16

Corbyn Catches Up With Johnson in Dramatic U.K. Election Debate(Bloomberg) -- Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn defied his negative ratings to draw level with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a crucial television debate ahead of the U.K.’s general election.The opposition leader, who’s been lagging behind Johnson in personal approval scores, effectively tied with the premier in a snap poll on which candidate won the clash Tuesday night. The pound remained lower after the survey.The YouGov/Sky News poll of 1,600 people gave Johnson a narrow victory, with 51% saying he won the ITV debate, against 49% saying Corbyn performed best.That was a significant turnaround for Corbyn, 70, who has struggled to persuade the public that he is prime minister material.He went into the election campaign with a net satisfaction rating of minus 60. That was by far the lowest such score since IpsosMORI started tracking the ratings in 1979. Johnson’s score stood at plus 2 when the figures were compiled at the end of October.While Corbyn fared better than expected this time, his party remains stuck behind the Conservatives in the polls. It was only one debate, and more are planned, including another head-to-head between the two leaders on Dec. 6.The YouGov verdict followed an hour of clashes between the two men vying to lead the U.K. in what is one of the highest stakes elections in recent British history.When voters cast their ballots on Dec. 12, they will face a choice between Johnson’s promise to deliver a speedy Brexit and Corbyn’s pledge to call another referendum on European Union membership that could ultimately allow the divorce to be canceled.Corbyn received applause and landed verbal punches on Johnson, 55, who struggled to win over an audience that laughed and groaned as he tried to steer the topic back to Brexit.In his most successful moments, Corbyn said he would give the prime minister a festive present of Charles Dickens’s classic short story, ‘A Christmas Carol,’ so he could learn how “nasty” the miserly Scrooge was. Corbyn also attacked the royal family over its handling of Prince Andrew’s friendship with the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, saying the monarchy needed “improvement.”Corbyn struggled to shake off allegations that antisemitism is rife inside the Labour Party, and was mocked by some audience members for claiming his policy on Brexit was clear, when he could not say whether he would vote to remain or leave the bloc in a referendum he’s promising to hold. But he won a cheer for promising to end the privatization of the National Health Service.Johnson had one big message: That he could get Brexit done – and quickly. It served him well in the opening 20 minutes, but then his repeated attempts to make it all about Brexit began to look forced. For example, when trying to think of a Christmas gift for Corbyn, he said he’d send him a copy of “my brilliant Brexit deal.”There were other awkward moments for the Tory leader. Some audience members laughed when Johnson said he believed trust was important in politics.The theme of trustworthiness also featured in the spin battle between the rival parties afterward. Tory Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab appeared among reporters backstage in Salford, northwestern England, to say “there is a real issue of trust” with Corbyn’s Brexit stance. Labour’s trade spokesman accused Johnson of telling “lie after lie after lie.” YouGov’s pollsters found Corbyn beat Johnson 45% to 40% on trustworthiness.“The choice is very simple: we can get Brexit done or we can spend another year with another referendum,” Johnson said in his closing remarks. “If we have a working majority Conservative government, I pledge we will have a Parliament that works for you, that focuses on the NHS and the cost of living, because when we get Brexit done by Jan. 31 we will go forward.”Corbyn used his final message of the night to promise to protect the NHS and invest in “good jobs” across the country. “Vote for hope and vote for Labour on the 12th of December,” he said.According to the YouGove poll, Corbyn beat Johnson 59% to 25% on being in touch with ordinary people. But Johnson beat Corbyn 54% to 29% on appearing prime ministerial and 54% to 37% on being likeable.Although the headline result was a draw, 67% of respondents thought Corbyn performed well, against 59% for Johnson. That suggested the Labour leader had done better than people thought he would.(Adds pound, quotes, context.)\--With assistance from Greg Ritchie.To contact the reporters on this story: Kitty Donaldson in Salford, England at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net;Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.net;Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Ukrainian gas executive cooperating in US probe of Giuliani

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 15:49

Ukrainian gas executive cooperating in US probe of GiulianiFederal prosecutors in New York are investigating Rudy Giuliani's business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent.


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