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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When President Donald Trump said he was planning to release the record of his April 21 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, many observers yawned. In the controversy surrounding the July 25 call, some had raised questions about Trump’s only other call with the new leader, but interest in the April 21 conversation died down as the evidence against the president in the broader Ukraine scandal became so overwhelming and damning.

It was easy to assume that since Trump was so eager this week to release the record of the April 21 call, it would likely be insubstantial and only amount to a distraction for the core issues at impeachment. Jokes were already circulating about the idea that Trump would claim that, since he didn’t commit any crimes on one call, he couldn’t have possibly committed other crimes.

Yet somehow, the release of the new records — again, a decision made largely of Trump’s own initiative — completely backfired.

The reason? The call transcript further undermines Republicans’ already implausible defense of Trump’s effort to induce Ukraine to investigate his political enemies: that he genuinely cares about fighting corruption.

These two facts dramatically undercut the argument that Trump was pursuing legitimate anti-corruption policy, rather than his own craven interests. But it gets worse.

Politico reported Friday night that “advisers suggested President Donald Trump raise the broad issue of corruption in his first call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 21, but Trump chose not to, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

So, instead of supporting the idea that Trump really cares about fighting corruption — which always sounded like a joke — the focus on the April 21 call just emphasizes that the president is, in fact, actively uninterested in this foreign policy objective.

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Photo by stingrayschuller licensed under CC BY 2.0

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

President Donald Trump's media allies are distorting a quote from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in order to falsely claim that Biden called police "the enemy." The lie followed a now well-trod path from Trump's campaign to his propagandists in Fox News prime time.

Biden has called for police reform following the brutal killing of George Floyd by officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While describing some of his campaign's proposals during an interview with progressive activist Ady Barkan published by NowThis News on Wednesday morning, Biden highlighted the problem of police militarization and how it impacts public perceptions of law enforcement.

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