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Bill Taylor, Who Opposed What He Called ‘Crazy’ Ukraine Scheme, Testifies In Impeachment Inquiry



U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor, who was against withholding foreign aid in order to apply pressure to Ukraine in order to push President Trump’s political interests arrived on Capitol Hill to testify in the impeachment inquiry against the president.

Here are the details from The Washington Examiner:

A career foreign service officer who became the top American diplomat in Ukraine after Trump’s controversial ouster of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Taylor did not speak to reporters as he entered the closed-door deposition. But House investigators plan to question Taylor about why he believed Trump’s team was trying to orchestrate a quid pro quo would involve using security aid to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations involving the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trending: Nikki Haley Reveals Rex Tillerson & John Kelly Told Her to Oppose Trump to ‘Save the Country’

“That is important of where he got the information that this was going on, what his impression of it was,” Nevada Rep. Dina Titus, a Democratic member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Examiner on Friday. “I think it’ll be very interesting to see what he has to say. I think that’ll be the prime question.”

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Taylor emerged as a central figure in the Ukraine controversy after the State Department’s former point-man for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, gave investigators a batch of text messages that show Taylor condemning any push for a quid pro quo. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor wrote in a Sept. 9 text message to Volker and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Taylor may have been reacting to the media reports about delayed security assistance rather than being in possession of any inside information, according to a Democratic investigator.

“Of course we know that there was already press reports suggesting that the aid was cut off for that purpose,” New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski, another Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said to the media. “We also know a very interesting fact, which is that aid to a critical country was suspended and nobody working the policy toward that country knew why, which has probably never happened in the history of America.”

Malinowski continued on saying, “It would be natural [based on those two facts alone] for our ambassador or our acting ambassador in Kiev to have that supposition.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated emphatically that the aid delay in question had nothing to do with any sort of quid pro quo scheme to force Ukraine into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

“The conversation was always around what were the strategic implications, would that money get to the right place, or would there be corruption in Ukraine and the money wouldn’t flow to the mission that it was intended for, how did we protect that, is it appropriate for us to provide defensive weapons systems?” Pompeo said in an interview conducted on Sunday.

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Joe Scarborough Says Americans See Trump As ‘Either An Agent Of Russia’ Or A ‘Useful Idiot’



Host of MSNBC’s “The Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough, said that he personally thinks that President Trump going on a visit to Russia might be disastrous for him, reinforcing the view that “a lot” of Americans hold, namely that Trump is some sort of Russian asset. Trump spoke with the media on Friday last week where he stated that he was considering attending Russia’s Victory Day, a holiday designed to celebrate the country’s 1945 victory over Nazi Germany. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have both attended the event during their time in office. Here’s more from The Washington Examiner: “I’m not saying Donald Trump should go to Russia. I think, though, at some point, the United States needs to recognize, in a very public way, the remarkable sacrifice the Russian people made in the defeat of Hitler, along with all of our other allies,” Scarborough said Monday on his show. “But I’m just wondering whether Donald Trump can actually be that president,” he continued. “Because of everything that’s preceded it. The fact that there are a lot of people in America who believe that Donald Trump is either an agent of Russia or at least a useful idiot.” “He is doing the very thing that Vladimir Putin would want a western leader to do more than anything else, and that is to undermine NATO. He could not be doing Putin’s bidding more effectively if he were an active agent of Vladimir Putin and the KGB,” the host said last year about the president. Although Trump said he was considering the trip to Russia, he also said that going might conflict with campaign season. “It’s a very big deal, celebrating the end of the war. I appreciate the invitation, it’s right in the middle of the political season,” said…

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Ilhan Omar Bids ‘Good Riddance’ GOP Rep. Peter King; Calls Him ‘Islamophobe’



Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has become notorious over the last year for the many, many anti-Semitic statements she’s made about Jews and Israel, bid a very not fond farewell to GOP Rep. Peter King, who stated he would not be seeking re-election next November. King, who is 75-years-old, stated he would not be seeking a 15th term in Congress on Monday morning. Omar wasted no time in saying “good riddance.” Here’s more from The Washington Examiner: “Peter King is an Islamophobe who held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims, said ‘there are too many mosques in this country’ and blamed Eric Garner for his own death at the hands of police,” the Minnesota freshman congresswoman tweeted. “Good riddance.” As Omar referenced, King said that there “too many mosques in this country” in a 2007 interview with Politico. He then explained his statement saying, “I think there has been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community.” King later hit back at Politico’s framing of his remarks claiming, “The quote was taken entirely out of context by Politico. My position in this interview, as it has been for many years, is that too many mosques in this country do not cooperate with law enforcement. Unfortunately, Politico was incapable of making this distinction.” Not every Democrat shares Omar’s hatred for King. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised King, calling him “principled” and stated he would “miss him in Congress.” King, in a statement released on Monday, said, “The prime reason for my decision was that after 28 years of spending 4 days a week in Washington, D.C., it is time to end the weekly commute and be home in Seaford.”

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