The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Trump responded angrily on Wednesday to being asked what, exactly, he wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to do with regard to former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The question, sir, was what did you want President Zelensky to do about Vice President Biden and his son Hunter,” Jeff Mason of Reuters asked Trump at a joint press conference with Sauli Niinistö, the president of Finland.

Trump responded by asking, “Are you talking to me?”

“It was just a follow up of what I just asked you, sir,” Mason replied.

Trump ordered the reporter to ask a question to Niinistö, instead: “Listen, listen. You ready? We have the president of Finland, ask him a question.”

When Mason refused and sought an answer from Trump, Trump became angrier.

“Did you hear me? Did you hear me,” Trump asked Mason. “Ask this gentleman a question, don’t be rude.”

When Mason continued to press Trump on the question, Trump launched into a tirade, attacking the investigation into his call with Zelensky as “a whole hoax” and blamed the “fake news media,” which he also referred to as the “corrupt media” for “playing into” it by asking questions.

Despite repeated questioning, Trump dodged it every time, adamantly refusing to say what he wanted Zelensky to look into with regard to Biden.

The question Trump refused to answer centers around a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. A White House memo summarizing the call  — which Trump has repeatedly said is a “word for word transcript” — shows Trump explicitly bring up Biden after asking Zelensky for “a favor.”

“The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Trump said. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

At the press conference, Trump had the opportunity to explain what he meant when he requested Zelensky to “look into it.” Trump has made false allegations that Biden was seeking to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son, Hunter Biden. There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.

The call has become central to a House impeachment inquiry, since soliciting foreign interference in a U.S. election is illegal. National security experts also see Trump’s actions as a gross abuse of power that puts the country at risk.

When pressed about it by a reporter, Trump’s reaction is both anger and a desire to shift attention.

Published with permission of The American Independent.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}