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Ukrainian President Says There Was ‘No Blackmail’ During Phone Call With President Trump

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has now come out and flatly rejected the idea that President Trump used any kind of blackmail techniques during a phone call made back in July that has stirred up controversy and also inspired an impeachment inquiry into the president.

House Democrats have been striving hard as of late to move the impeachment inquiry forward, claiming that Trump used blackmail tactics as a means to procure information about an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Here are more details via Washington Examiner:

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As House Democrats push to move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s call with Zelensky, the Ukrainian president attempted to set the record straight. Zelensky confirmed that Trump did speak to him on July 25 and that the transcript released by the White House was accurate. He rejected, however, the whistleblower complaint’s assertion that he was being coerced into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, through withheld monetary aid from the United States. “There was no blackmail,” Zelensky said from a Kiev food market. “They blocked this money and nobody asked us [for] anything.”

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Zelensky acknowledged that $400 million in military aid from the U.S. had been withheld over concerns of corruption but flatly denied that blackmail or extortion had been a factor in such a decision. That money and aid were later released to Ukraine.

“In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch, and all future occupants of the office of the presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances,” the White House wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released Tuesday.

The attempts to impeach Trump come just months before the 2020 presidential election is set to kick off in a heated race for the White House, leaving many to wonder if the Democratic Party is anxious to remove the president because they fear they will not be able to compete with him or his loyal base of followers.

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DA Says Andrew Brown Shooting was ‘Justified’, ‘Tragic’

New video evidence was released on Tuesday to explain the justification.

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Weeks ago, the small town of Elizabeth City, North Carolina was rocked by another police-involved shooting of an unarmed man named Andrew Brown Jr. Police had arrived to execute an arrest warrant on Brown, who had attempted to flee the scene when he was shot by officers.  Lawyers for Brown’s family suggested that the shooting was an “execution”, and demanded that authorities release body cam footage of the killing to the public. Now, the county’s district attorney has stated that, while the incident was certainly “tragic”, the police officers were justified in their use of force. North Carolina District Attorney Andrew Womble said at a press conference on Tuesday that the deputy-involved shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. “while tragic, was justified” – and no law enforcement officers will be criminally charged in the case. Womble, the elected district attorney for Judicial District 1, which covers seven counties of the northeastern part of the state, said that Brown was shot at by three Pasquotank deputies, whose actions were “justified because Brown’s actions caused deputies to reasonably believe it necessary to use force to protect themselves and others.” Womble began playing four body camera videos during the press conference, which was broadcast by several news outlets. Brown ignored deputies’ commands to stop and began to drive his car directly at one of the officers, Womble said. He said the first shot fired at Brown’s car went through the front windshield, not the back as was previously reported. The newly released portion of video was available online, and is graphic in nature. https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1394751010938183684?s=20 There is no telling if the explanation will satisfy police reform protesters, however, and Elizabeth City could see renewed protests in the coming days.

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CDC Mask Guidline Confusion Demonstrated in Latest Polling

Americans just don’t seem to trust the CDC.

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Around the nation, businesses are reopening to full capacity, fans are filling the stadium stands, and bands are announcing their touring plans, thanks to the diminishing perception of a threat stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been a long time coming for Americans, and some carry with them a wee bit of trepidation still about the coming recovery. A new poll shows that many Americans are even having a hard time processing the CDC’s latest mask-guideline adjustment. A significant portion of the public still believes in wearing a mask outside regardless of guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a recent survey. The survey indicates that forty-two percent of respondents believe everyone in their area should continue to wear a mask regardless of the CDC guidelines. Of the respondents, 39 percent said everyone should follow the CDC guidelines that state masks are only necessary outdoors when in crowds compared to only 19 percent of respondents who actually believe “everyone should do [what] they want regardless of guidelines.” And, somewhat surprisingly: Of those who believe in continuing to wear masks, broken down by party, the results were almost even; 36 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats want everyone around them to wear masks. Of course, the distrust that Americans naturally have for their government shouldn’t be overlooked either, as their handling of the coronavirus pandemic has spawned a number of protests and lawsuits around the nation.

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