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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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Suspect Who Opened Fire In Naval Air Station Pensacola Was Saudi Aviation Student

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The suspect involved in the killing of three individuals and the wounding of several others at Naval Air Station Pensacola was apparently a Saudi Arabian aviation student. Authorities investigating the shooting that occurred on Friday are working to find out if the incident is terrorism-related. The suspect, as of this writing, has not yet been named, though it is known this individual was here in the United States to receive flight training. Here’s more from Washington Examiner: The U.S. Navy confirmed that the gunman and two other people were killed in the mass shooting, which took place in one of the base’s classrooms. Eight people were transported to the hospital where an additional victim died. Two of those wounded in the shooting were deputies who engaged in a shootout with the man. One was shot in the arm and another in the knee but both are expected to survive. The gunman was killed shortly before 8 a.m. by other responding law enforcement officers. More than 23,000 military and civilian personnel work at NAS Pensacola. It’s considered one of America’s oldest stations and is known to be the home of the well known Blue Angels flight demonstration team.

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Hungarian Officials Says Impeachment Witness George Kent Not Credible. ‘I Was There, He Was Not.’

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A top Hungarian official recently stated that George Kent is not a credible witness for the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, poking fun at his allegations that Prime Minister Viktor Orban encouraged the president to view Ukraine negatively. Here’s more from Washington Examiner: “This is a great honor for us, to be honest, that we were portrayed as a central European country which can change the position of the president of the United States,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto joked in an interview with the Washington Examiner on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders’ Meeting. “It can be taken as an honor. Well, I’m afraid it has distance from reality, to be honest.” Orban emerged as an unlikely player in the Ukraine impeachment controversy in October, when a senior State Department official testified that the Hungarian leader had contributed to Trump’s distaste for Ukraine. George Kent, one of the State Department’s top officials for Europe, told lawmakers that Orban echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin in portraying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as in a “thrall” of corruption. “He’s not that credible in this regard,” Szijjarto said of Kent, whom he noted did not attend Orban’s May 13 meeting with Trump. “Simply because he was not there. I was there, he was not there.” “Viktor Orban’s beef with Ukraine is derived in part [from] his vision, in my opinion, of a greater Hungary. This issue of greater Hungary is at the top of Orban’s agenda. And so he has picked this particular issue and, for instance, blocked all meetings in NATO with Ukraine at the ministerial level or above because of this particular issue. So, his animus towards Ukraine is well-known, documented, and has lasted now two years,” Kent continued. Kent then went on to say in his testimony that the Hungarian…

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