Weekend Reads: CNN: Trump wants impeachment witnesses fired despite top aides’ warning - - PressFrom - Canada
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Weekend Reads CNN: Trump wants impeachment witnesses fired despite top aides’ warning

22:36  19 november  2019
22:36  19 november  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Fox Anchor Chris Wallace: Sondland Just Ran the Bus Over Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Giuliani and Mulvaney

  Fox Anchor Chris Wallace: Sondland Just Ran the Bus Over Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Giuliani and Mulvaney pDuring the first break in Wednesday’s impeachment hearings—which featured U.S. Ambassador to the EU and million-dollar Trump donor Gordon Sondland implicating President Donald Trump in a quid pro quo with Ukraine—Fox News anchor Chris Wallace declared that Sondland “took out the bus and ran it over” President Donald Trump and a number of his allies and aides. “I think what Gordon Sondland was trying to do here is protect himself more than he is to protect anybody else,” Wallace said during Fox News’ special coverage.

a close up of a woman: Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian affairs, looks toward her lawyer Justin Shur as she testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2019. © REUTERS/Loren Elliott Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian affairs, looks toward her lawyer Justin Shur as she testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2019.

A CNN report indicates that President Donald Trump is considering sending impeachment witnesses, who are currently on loan from other agencies, back to their own departments before they were due to leave the White House. In the case of others, he is indicating he has already fired them, when in fact he has not.

Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’

  Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’ Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’Those words, Ivanka Trump claimed, were spoken by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. In a Thursday evening tweet, the first daughter used the quotation to bash the impeachment hearings against her father, President Donald Trump.

Trump is reportedly flying in the face of advice from aides who tell him the moves will be viewed as vindictive. His actions could even be used by Democrats as further evidence that he should in fact be impeached, CNN says.

Among the witnesses targeted for an early switch because of their impeachment testimony, CNN reports, is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whom Trump has attacked as a “Never Trumper.” Vindman, director of European affairs at the national security council, testifies in public over Ukraine today. He has already said, in private testimony, that he had concerns about Trump’s behaviour in regard to Ukraine.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera:  National Security Council Ukraine expert Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman testifies during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019.© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images National Security Council Ukraine expert Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman testifies during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019.

Now, Trump reportedly wants Vindman and others gone, and Republicans seem to be backing his strategy of attacking witnesses in the probe, which is centred on Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. The House of Representatives’ Democratic-led inquiry is looking into whether Trump misused U.S. foreign policy to undermine former vice president Joe Biden.

Trump insists on debunked Ukraine theory, despite testimony

  Trump insists on debunked Ukraine theory, despite testimony Trump insists on debunked Ukraine theory, despite testimonyTrump called in to “Fox & Friends” and said he was trying to root out corruption in the Eastern European nation when he withheld aid over the summer. Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president is at the centre of the House impeachment probe, which is looking into Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rivals as he held back nearly $400 million.

Last week, Trump launched into a Twitter diatribe against Marie Yovanovitch, ex-ambassador to Ukraine, as she testified, maligning her time as a U.S. diplomat in Somalia, among other insults.

Piling on, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted as Yovanovitch testified:

“America hired (Donald Trump) to fire people like the first three witnesses we’ve seen. Career government bureaucrats and nothing more.”

The Democrats reacted furiously to Trump’s attack on Yovanovitch, calling it witness intimidation.

But Republican Representative Mark Walker disagreed:

“I don’t think it’s witness intimidation. What I do think, it is a redirection to make sure that people understand, specifically at the State Department, that they serve at the pleasure of the president,” he said, Reuters reported.

William B. Taylor Jr., Marie L. Yovanovitch are posing for a picture:  This combination of pictures created on November 18, 2019 shows from (L-R) top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent during their House Intelligence Committee public impeachment hearings of U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images This combination of pictures created on November 18, 2019 shows from (L-R) top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent during their House Intelligence Committee public impeachment hearings of U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.

Yovanovitch, for her part, said she has been the victim of a smear campaign. She said that when she learned that Trump, talking to Zelensky, had said that “the woman” (Yovanovitch) was “going to go through some things,” the colour drained from her face. She felt the words sounded “like a threat,” NBC reported.

Anticipating Impeachment, Republicans Debate Trial Timeline

  Anticipating Impeachment, Republicans Debate Trial Timeline Anticipating Impeachment, Republicans Debate Trial TimelineSeveral Republican senators discussed the issue with some of Mr. Trump’s top aides on Thursday during a meeting at the White House that unfolded as the House Intelligence Committee capped off two weeks of public impeachment hearings exploring whether the president should be impeached on charges of pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals.

Before Yovanovitch testified, Trump used Twitter to abuse Jennifer Williams, a Mike Pence foreign policy aide, who testified behind closed doors earlier this month that some of Trump’s comments on the phone call last summer were “inappropriate.”

“Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!” the president tweeted.

Williams said Trump’s insistence that Ukraine carry out politically sensitive investigations — which she heard on the call to which she was listening — “struck me as unusual and inappropriate.”

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19:  Jennifer Williams, adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian affairs, and National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrive to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the third day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals and the unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukrainians, not Russians, were behind the 2016 computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)© Getty WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Jennifer Williams, adviser to Vice President Mike Pence for European and Russian affairs, and National Security Council Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman arrive to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the third day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals and the unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukrainians, not Russians, were behind the 2016 computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Watch the National Post’s new documentary — Beyond Jordan Peterson: Free speech on campus

These countries have the fastest-shrinking populations in the world

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CNN reports that Pence, in the wake of her testimony and Trump’s attack, has now made attempts to distance himself from Williams, indicating that she is a State Department staffer on loan to his office, rather than someone he handpicked.

“You elected Donald Trump to drain the Swamp, well, dismissing people like Yovanovitch is what that looks like. Dismissing people like Kent and Taylor, dismissing everybody involved from the Obama holdover days trying to undermine Trump, getting rid of those people, dismissing them, this is what it looks like,” Trump tweeted on Nov. 16, indicating that he had already gotten rid of three perceived enemies.

And yet, those he was talking about — George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Bill Taylor, an American diplomat in Ukraine, remain in their jobs, CNN reports. Yovanovitch, too, is still employed by the State Department.

CNN reports Trump staffers as saying that the uncertainty over their co-workers’ futures is making life difficult.

And the move may even open a rift with Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, who had made a point of diplomatically defending his staff at the State Department, while not yet trying to push back against what Trump has said, directly.

With files from Reuters

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