Trump was again a disaster at the NATO meeting this week. He said NATO spending was going down before he took office. He lied. He said the US spends 4 – 4.3% of GDP on the military. It’s 3.4%. He repeated an old story that the US was out of ammunition when he took office. The origin here is that he was informed of low numbers of certain KINDS of munitions but didn’t understand his briefing. He said most ISIS prisoners are from Europe. That’s a lie. He asked Macron if he would like to have some of them then smirked. He said Ukrainian president Zelensky said he’d done nothing wrong. That’s a lie. He said Republicans didn’t get any witnesses or lawyers in the impeachment hearings. That’s a lie. He said China was “down about $32 trillion.” It’s hard to call this a lie as no one has any idea what that means. He said China is eating his tariff cost. That’s a lie. Tariffs are taxes on US consumers. He said the US never won at the WTO before him. That’s a lie. He overstated our trade deficit with the EU and said those deficits are “losses.” Trade deficits are not losses. The president has never shown any sign of comprehending this. He said his approval in the Republican party is at 95%. That’s a lie. He responded to a question about climate change with his usual pivot that he wants clear water and air. Aside from these not being the same as climate change, air and water quality have decreased under Trump as he’s rolled back environmental regulations.
The Intelligence Committee released their impeachment report. I highly advise reading the entire executive summary which I will quote here: “President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign. The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election. To compel the Ukrainian President to do his political bidding, President Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcement of the investigations: a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary.”
John Durham, who has been tasked by Attorney General Barr to investigate the Russia investigation, has found no evidence that the investigation was begun or conducted improperly. This aligns with the Inspector General report reaching the same conclusions. Republicans have long pushed conspiracy theories about the FBI and Mueller’s team acting improperly in their investigation of the Trump campaign’s communications with the Russian government. Those conspiracy theories are now discredited.
The president is now claiming he does not know Prince Andrew. He’s given interviews in the past about enjoying his company. It’s a common tactic of Trump to claim he does not know someone connected to him when that person has been accused of wrongdoing.
Call records show Giuliani was in contact with the White House, Devin Nunes, the Office of Management and Budget, and Lev Parnas on key dates related to the Ukraine activities. Giulani placed several calls to the White House on the very day Ambassador Yovanovich was told to return to the United States. These records also show Devin Nunes was in contact with Lev Parnas, despite claiming he didn’t know who he was.
The president tweeted today that he was asking Ukraine to do the country a favor because they “knew a lot about it” referring to the 2016 election interference. The conspiracy theory Trump is referring to is that Russia did not hack the DNC, Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton assassinated him over it, and Crowdstrike hid “the server” in Ukraine because the company was founded by a Ukrainian. Not only is no portion of this true, it’s literally Russian propaganda designed to clear them and blame Ukraine for what Russia did in 2016.
In her testimony Pamela Karlan said, “The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the President can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.” The same Republicans who excused their nominee saying he liked to “grab em by the pussy” are characterizing her statement as an attack on Barron Trump and feigning outrage.