Politics: Trump juggles statecraft and impeachment on a historic day - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Trump juggles statecraft and impeachment on a historic day

04:35  14 november  2019
04:35  14 november  2019 Source:   latimes.com

Graham on the impeachment inquiry: 'I made my mind up. There's nothing there'

  Graham on the impeachment inquiry: 'I made my mind up. There's nothing there' Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) doubled down on his defense of President Trump amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry, arguing there's "nothing there" in the call between Trump and Ukrainian leaders to suggest the president did anything wrong. "You make your mind up about the phone call. I made my mind up. There's nothing there," Graham said in an interview Saturday with KCCI, a Des Moines CBS affiliate. "I'm trying to let the House know, 'You're"You make your mind up about the phone call. I made my mind up. There's nothing there," Graham said in an interview Saturday with KCCI, a Des Moines CBS affiliate.

Public impeachment hearings are expected to last about two weeks, until the Thanksgiving holiday break. Upon conclusion of its work, the intelligence committee is to submit a report to the judiciary committee, which then could draw up and vote on articles of impeachment .

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives opened historic impeachment hearings on Wednesday and heard a senior American diplomat reveal startling new testimony that drew But even so, Mr. Trump was busy all day retweeting allies commenting on the proceedings and defending him.

WASHINGTON — Projecting unusual calm in the middle of a political firestorm, President Donald Trump pleaded ignorance Wednesday about the first public impeachment hearing, unexpectedly insisting that he really wasn’t paying attention to sworn testimony in the House Intelligence Committee that could determine whether he serves out his term in office.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump walks along the colonnade after greeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upon his arrival at the South Portico of the White House on November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. © Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS U.S. President Donald Trump walks along the colonnade after greeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upon his arrival at the South Portico of the White House on November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.

The disclaimer might be more credible if Trump hadn’t already tweeted or retweeted about the hearing 34 times earlier in the day — including mocking the Democrats’ use of what he called “television lawyers” to help question witnesses.

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Our panelists weigh in on whether the historic hearings went as Democrats hoped.

A historic impeachment hearing asks: Is Trump ’s norm-breaking a betrayal of his oath or his right as the commander in chief? Daniel S. Goldman, the Democrats’ counsel, focused on a methodical inquiry, sketching out the timeline under which Taylor and Kent learned about the pressure campaign

Known for his addiction to cable television, the former reality TV star-turned-president insisted he didn’t watch the historic hearing “for one minute,” suggesting he was more focused on weightier matters of statecraft.

“I hear it’s a joke,” Trump said at a joint news conference in the White House East Room with the visiting president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “I’ve been with the president, which is much more important.”

Asked about the first day’s ostensible bombshell — the disclosure by William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, that one of his aides had personally heard Trump discuss his demand for investigations of Democrats on a cellphone call to an official in Kyiv — Trump professed bewilderment.

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Mr. Trump has confirmed aspects of his conversation with the Ukrainian leader in recent days , but he continues to insist he acted appropriately. The president said on Tuesday that he would authorize the release of a transcript of the conversation, part of an effort to pre-empt Democrats’ impeachment push.

Historic impeachment hearings targeting U.S. President Donald Trump are opening Wednesday in Washington Trump continued to scoff at the impeachment hearings against him, only the The committee will also hold three days of hearing next week. Among the witnesses scheduled to appear

“I know nothing about that,” Trump said. “First time I’ve heard of it.”

Slideshow by photo services

Trump’s casual, almost breezy dismissal suggested he and his aides were adjusting to the new public phase of the impeachment inquiry by, at least for now, casting the proceedings as boring.

Too boring, he seemed eager to convey, to merit any of his time.

His mild comments came as a surprise if only because Trump is not known for message discipline, and normally spews his anger or disdain with relentless 140-character certainty. Indeed, several hours earlier he had accused his accusers — Taylor and George Kent, an assistant secretary of state, the first two witnesses — of being “NEVER TRUMPERS.”

Asked about Trump’s tweet in the hearing, both diplomats denied that characterization, describing themselves as nonpartisan career professionals who had served for decades under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Embracing Turkey’s strongman at the White House while lawmakers at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue focused on Trump’s apparent efforts to force Ukraine to investigate his political foes by freezing U.S. military aid — a move that could benefit another autocrat, Russian President Vladimir Putin — provided a strong symbolic subtext to the day’s events.

Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll

  Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll The televised impeachment hearings that began this week in the U.S. House of Representatives do not appear to have changed many minds about President Donald Trump, with public support for his impeachment about the same before and after the first U.S. diplomats testified, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. © Reuters/TOM BRENNER U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on honesty and transparency in healthcare prices inside the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington The national online poll, which ran from Thursday to Friday morning, showed that 44% of U.S.

Trump impeachment inquiry: Public hearing schedule. Read the redacted whistle-blower complaint The inquiry is centred on a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian Hill also described Bolton's dismay over the unofficial statecraft of Trump 's personal lawyer, Giuliani.

But Trump’s stoic efforts to appear preoccupied with foreign affairs, however controversial Erdogan might be, and unaffected by the impeachment hearings that garnered wall-to-wall TV and radio coverage, served a strategic purpose, according to a Republican official familiar with the White House game plan.

“If you watch the hearings and you believe these witnesses are ultimately credible, that could be a problem” for Trump, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If you’re convinced it’s boring, maybe you don’t watch as much, which is what we’d prefer.”

Republicans, ironically, had clamored for public hearings ever since House Democrats began closed-door hearings Oct. 1 to take sworn depositions. Many of those witnesses are now scheduled to testify in public.

But when GOP lawmakers finally got their chance to question witnesses in public, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the committee’s top Republican, derided the hearing as a made-for-television “drama,” dismissing the probe as “the low-rent Ukrainian sequel” after “the main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended.”

Numerous GOP lawmakers pointed out that the two diplomats didn’t have firsthand knowledge of Trump’s now-infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, looking to dismiss their testimony as hearsay.

At his news conference, Trump made the same point — even as he insisted he had not watched the testimony.

“They said it’s all thirdhand information, nothing direct at all,” Trump said.

Still, the diplomats’ testimony offered a detailed and damning picture of a president putting his personal political interests at the center of U.S. relations with Ukraine, a struggling European democracy that is under siege by Russian troops.

Trump mostly sought to avoid the subject of the hearings during his afternoon news conference, which began an hour late and only after the six-hour hearing on Capitol Hill had wrapped up.

But he was asked about it. Standing stiffly and speaking in a measured tone, Trump expressed his desire to reveal the identity of the whistleblower whose Sept. 12 complaint sparked the inquiry, and to investigate the intelligence community’s inspector general, who validated the complaint as credible and urgent.

“This is a sham. It shouldn’t be allowed,” Trump said. “It was a situation that was caused by people that shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. I want to find out who is the whistleblower.”

He added, “I want to find out … why would (the inspector general) have presented that?”

Erdogan made a point of criticizing the Democrat-led House — a brazen move for a foreign leader at a podium in the White House — for approving a resolution condemning the century-old mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as a genocide.

He said he hoped the GOP-run Senate “will take the United States out of this vicious cycle.”

Trump praised Erdogan, calling him a “great friend.”

Trump had told reporters around noon that he was “too busy” to watch the hearing, but he then took a shot at Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor from New York who questioned the witnesses on behalf of Democrats.

“I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers — they took some guys off television,” he said. “You know, I’m not surprised to see it, because (Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif.) can’t do his own questions.”

After weeks of White House denials that it needed a “war room” to coordinate a response, Trump reelection campaign officials, Republican lawmakers and other backers appeared to operate off similar talking points, tweeting comments that sought to poke holes in the Democrats’ case.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham dismissed the proceeding as “boring” and “a colossal waste of taxpayer time & money.”

Trump’s reelection campaign blasted out a fundraising email as the House proceeding began, seeking to raise $3 million over 24 hours and dismissing the impeachment inquiry as an unwarranted partisan attempt to take down the president. The letter, signed by Trump, was blunt.

“It’s obvious they hate me,” he wrote to supporters. “But more importantly, they HATE YOU.”

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

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Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll .
The televised impeachment hearings that began this week in the U.S. House of Representatives do not appear to have changed many minds about President Donald Trump, with public support for his impeachment about the same before and after the first U.S. diplomats testified, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. © Reuters/TOM BRENNER U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on honesty and transparency in healthcare prices inside the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington The national online poll, which ran from Thursday to Friday morning, showed that 44% of U.S.

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