JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Do you think President Trump is really concerned about corruption?
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Yes, I do. Actually I think he's concerned about corruption. I also think he is concerned about the people of Ukraine and the war that's there. And the House managers have tried to say he's not concerned about them at all when the president stepped up, provided lethal aid, provided aid in the past to them, has been very clear to be able to engage in a lot of things with Ukraine over several years.
And so where President Obama would not provide lethal aid, he was sending blankets and MRE packets for food, President Trump has increased that dramatically during his time period for the last several years.
So there is this story that they're trying to allude to the president really doesn't care about anything on Ukraine, and then there is the actual facts around it, that I think have not come out yet.
TAPPER: I'm sorry, Wolf. Can you just give me one more example, one other example of anywhere where President Trump has ever expressed concern about corruption? Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel? I mean, is there any example you can point to where President Trump expressed any concern about corruption?
LANKFORD: Sure I can. If you want me to send you a long list, I can send you a long list.
TAPPER: Just give me a couple of --
LANKFORD: Well, you're trying to put me on the spot to be able to talk about international world policy on that, but he's talked about corruption all over the world. So there is this spin that's out there all the time to say the president is corrupt and he likes only corrupt leaders. And so there is this constant spin in the national media. That is not true. And there are lots of areas where the president has reached out directly on areas of corruption. If you want me to send you a list on that, I can certainly be able to pull it together and get it to you.
In his closing remarks at the Senate impeachment trial Saturday, Patrick Philbin, deputy counsel to the president, questioned the credibility of House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his relationship with the alleged whistleblower that kicked off the Ukraine investigation. Philbin argued after it was exposed that Schiff had a relationship with the alleged whistleblower, it became critical to shutdown any inquiry into this person.
Philbin pointed out that a transcript of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, who questioned the political bias of the alleged whistleblower, in executive session in the House is "still secret."
PATRICK PHILBIN, DEPUTY COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Now as a slight shift in gears, I want to touch on one last point before I yield to one of my colleagues. That relates to the whistleblower. The whistleblower who we haven't heard that much about who started all of this. The whistleblower we know from the letter that the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community sent that he thought that the whistleblower had political bias. We don't know exactly what the political bias was because the Inspector General testified in the House committees in an executive session, and that transcript is still secret. It wasn't transmitted up to the House Judiciary Committee. We haven't seen it. We don't know what's in it. We don't know what he was asked and what he revealed about the whistleblower. Now you would think that before going forward with an impeachment proceeding against the President of the United States that you would want to find out something about the complainant that had started all of it because motivations, bias, reasons for wanting to bring this complaint could be relevant, but there wasn't any inquiry into that.
Recent reports, public reports, suggest that potentially the whistleblower was an Intelligent Community staffer who worked with then Vice President Biden on Ukraine matters, which if true, would suggest an even greater reason for wanting to know about potential bias or motive for the whistleblower. At first when things started, it seemed like everyone agreed that we should hear from the whistleblower including Manager Schiff. I think we have what he said.
SCHIFF (tape): Yes, we would love to talk directly with the whistleblower.
We'll get the unfiltered testimony of that whistleblower.
We don't need the whistleblower.
PHILBIN: What changed? At first Manager Schiff agreed we should hear the unfiltered testimony from the whistleblower, but then he changed his mind and he suggested that it was because now we had the transcript. But the second clip there was from September 29th which was four days after the transcript had been released. But there was something else that came into play, and that was something that Manager Schiff had said earlier when he was asked about whether he had spoken to the whistleblower.
SCHIFF (tape): We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.
PHILBIN: It turned out that that statement was not truthful. Around October 2nd or 3rd, it was exposed that the Manager Schiff's staff at least had spoken with the whistleblower before the whistleblower filed the complaint and potentially had given some guidance, some sort to the whistleblower. After that point it became critical to shut down any inquiry into the whistleblower. During the House hearings, of course Manager Schiff was in charge. He was chairing the hearings. That creates a real problem from a due process perspective, from a search for truth perspective, because he was an interested fact witness at that point. He had a reason, since he had been caught out saying something that wasn't truthful about that contact, he had a reason to not want that inquiry. It was he who ensured that there wasn't any inquiry into that.
Now this is relevant here I think because as you've heard from my colleagues, a lot of what we've heard over the past 23 hours, over the past three days, has been from Chairman Schiff. He has been telling you things like what's in President Trump's head, what's in President Zelensky's head. It's all his interpretation of the facts and the evidence trying to pull inferences out of things. There's another statement that Chairman Schiff made that I think we have on video.
CHUCK TODD (tape): But you admit all you have right now is a circumstantial case.
SCHIFF: Actually, no Chuck. I can tell you that the case is more than that and I can't go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. Again, I think --
TODD: So you have seen evidence of collusion.
SCHIFF: I don't want to go into specifics, but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of investigation.
PHILBIN: That was in March of 2017 when Chairman Schiff was ranking member of HIPSY was telling the public, the American public, that he had more than circumstantial evidence through his position on HIPSY that President Trump's campaign had colluded with Russia. Of course, the Mueller Report, as Mr. Sekulow pointed out, after $32 million and over 500 search warrants or roughly 500 search warrants, determined that there was no collusion. That that wasn't true. We wanted to point these things out simply because for this reason. Chairman Schiff has made so much of the House's case about the credibility of interpretations that the House Managers want to place on not hard evidence just but on inferences. They want to tell you what President Trump thought. They want to tell you don't believe what Zelensky said. We can tell you what Zelensky actually thought. Don't believe what the other Ukrainians actually said about not being pressured. We can tell you what they actually thought. That it is very relevant to know whether the assessments of evidence he's presented in the past are accurate. We would submit that they have not been and that that is relevant for your consideration.
PBS NEWSHOUR: New York Times columnist David Brooks and The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's political news, including how effective House impeachment managers are at making the case for President Trump's removal, the latest 2020 campaign dynamics in Iowa and the loss and legacy of NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer.
Brooks said you can't impeach Trump for interfering in the 2020 election as the election has not yet happened.
"[Schiff] said, you can't trust Trump in the 2020 election, when China may interfere," Brooks said. "But you can't impeach for something that hasn't already happened. And so I think the removal part is still a slightly weak case. All Republicans secretly know he did it, some, if there any honest brokers out there, little doubtful about removal."
JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: It has been a historic week.
Here to weigh what we heard as Democrats make their case to remove President Trump from office, the analysis of Brooks and Tumulty. That's New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty. Mark Shields is away.
Hello to both of you.
It has been a historic week, and it's still going on. The Senate is in session tonight. It will be tomorrow.
David, look back at the week. What do you make of what the Democrats have presented, how they framed the case against the president?
DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, they were certainly exhaustive. There's been a lot of talk and a lot of…
WOODRUFF: You say exhaustive?
BROOKS: Well, both, and ing, exhausting.
But I think, overall, they have to feel satisfied. I think Adam Schiff proved to be the highlight, just a very good prosecutor, speaker, very clear, knows when to hammer a point home.
I have to say, if I graded them, I would give them an A on proving that Trump did it. I think the evidence was overwhelming before walking in, but they presented it clearly.
I would give them a lower grade on, should he be removed from office?
And to me, for doubting Republicans, if there are any, that's the more important argument to make. I thought they hit that less hard, and, frankly, less well. All my friends loved Adam Schiff's closing comments last night.
I was a little less impressed. I mean, the two main arguments were - that's when he directly addressed why this is worth removing. And it was, well, Trump believed Giuliani, and not his own intelligence agencies, and he did it out of self-interest.
That strikes me as true, not a big crime. And then he said, you can't trust Trump in the 2020 election, when China may interfere.
But you can't impeach for something that hasn't already happened. And so I think the removal part is still a slightly weak case. All Republicans secretly know he did it, some, if there any honest brokers out there, little doubtful about removal.
WOODRUFF: Karen, what do you make of this week?
KAREN TUMULTY, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think, though, the longer-term effect of this is, I think, just by the accumulation of material that they have put out there, I do think that Democrats have done a good job in proving that this wasn't a frivolous exercise, that this wasn't some sort of impulsive thing that they were doing and, as the Republicans keep saying, to overturn the results of the last election.
And the other thing is, the line out of Schiff's closing argument that really struck me, as people keep talking about the institutional imperatives here, where he said, the frameworks couldn't protect us from ourselves, if right and truth don't matter.
Well, I think that that does sort of speak to where we find ourselves, where the thing the framers worried about the most, factionalism, seems to trump everything else, to use a verb.
And that's a - it's an interesting case, because I agree with Karen. It's sort of a moral critique. And it's a big - like, if honesty doesn't matter, does our Constitution work? And if loyalty to the country doesn't outweigh loyalty to party, does our Constitution work?
WOODRUFF: And they kept coming back to that.
BROOKS: And so that's a moral case.
The question to me, do we then think - how much do we think of this as a legal thing, and how much do we think as a moral thing?
I'd be a little wary of removing a president because we find him morally objectionable. I mean, I think these are all great arguments for not to vote for the guy, but to do a Washington legal process of a removal.
WOODRUFF: David, you still have Republican senators - I interviewed Deb Fischer of Nebraska this afternoon - who say they're not even ready to accept the premise that the president tried to persuade the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, that she said that hasn't been proven yet.
If that's the case, they - it seems to me they still have a way to go.
I mean, this is the interesting counterfactual. Suppose they had a president who was a reasonable human being who could say, I messed up, I apologize, I'm - make it up to Ukraine, but don't - it's not worth removing.
And this was sort of the Clinton approach during that impeachment process.
But Trump has laid down the law that it's going to be all or nothing.
And that recall - that requires a massive denial of reality on behalf of all Republicans...
And there was a Wall Street Journal editorial today which said, this is - it's setting the wrong standard for removing a president, that he did something in his own political interests. All presidents do that. That might - that seemed to foreshadow the argument that we will hear from their lawyers...
WOODRUFF: Well, while all this is going on, there are four senators, David, who are running for president who, if it weren't for this impeachment trial, would be campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire.
And, by the way we are today, I think, 10 days away from the Iowa caucuses. What do we know about the race right now, to the extent we can - we know anything? There's clearly some polls, but how does that race look?
BROOKS: Yes, I think both Sanders and Biden are looking stronger and stronger by the day. Somehow, there seems to be coalition around those two senators.
I think the senators that are now forced to be in Washington are going to suffer because of this. I think it's a small electorate in Iowa. The last minute really changes things. And actual rallies and encounters actually do change things in Iowa.
And so I think it's a serious disadvantage for Klobuchar, Warren and Sanders in particular, and that they will just have to struggle with it.
Barack Obama, the most corrupt president in US history, called Donald Trump a “fascist” during a 2016 phone call to Senator Tim Kaine.
Tim Kaine, Crooked Hillary’s vice presidential running mate in 2016, recounted the phone call he had with Barack Obama in an episode of “Hillary” which is a documentary series that will be released on Hulu in early March.
The documentary, which chronicles Hillary’s rise in DC, will premiere at the Sundance Festival Saturday night with Hillary Clinton in attendance.
President Barack Obama called Donald Trump a “fascist” in a phone conversation with Sen. Tim Kaine during the 2016 presidential election, the Virginia lawmaker says in a video clip featured in an upcoming documentary about Hillary Clinton.
Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket, recounts the call during an exchange with Clinton that was caught on camera in 2016. Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, was also present.
“President Obama called me last night and said, ‘Tim, remember, this is no time to be a purist. You’ve got to keep a fascist out of the White House,'” Kaine says before adding with a laugh that Obama “knows me and he knows that I could tend to err.”
“I echo that sentiment,” Clinton replies to Kaine, nodding her head. “But that’s really — the weight of our responsibility is so huge,” Hillary said.
Obama was so threatened by Donald Trump in 2016 that he unleashed the might of the US government on Trump’s campaign and illegally obtained FISA warrants to spy on Trump and put his administration into chaos.
The post Barack Obama Called Trump a “Fascist” During 2016 Election in Phone Call to Senator Kaine appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.
Twenty-four hours of Democrats lies and bloviating was a bridge too far.
Democrats lost their audience… literally.
Even the Senate gallery was half-empty — FOR AN IMPEACHMENT!
The Daily Mail reported:
The Senate spectator gallery was unexpectedly half-empty throughout the first week of President Donald Trump’s historic impeachment trial.
The Senate trial began on January 16 after Trump was impeached in the House on two articles stemming from accusations that he withheld military aid money from US ally Ukraine until they conducted an investigation into presidential hopeful Joe Biden.
Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma told New York Post: ‘I’m really surprised at that because this is kind of historic and I would think this would be an opportunity for people to get in there regardless of whose side you are on.’
Americans don’t like being lied to.
Democrats lost one-third of their audience in three days.
Even Jeopardy had higher ratings.
THIS WAS A DISASTER!
The non-stop lies and rambling insults turned off American viewers… Pack it up #Pelosi your #SchiffSham was a bust. pic.twitter.com/kJ3W5KjB29
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) January 25, 2020
It was so bad this week for Democrats that they lost Mittens.
Via CNN Politics:
During the break, GOP Sen. Mike Braun walked by his neighbor, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, and told him, “I think we’ve got another six hours.”
Romney looked genuinely surprised and overwhelmed. “Oh jeez,” he said, shaking his head. “No one’s watching!”
A few seconds later, GOP Sen. Tim Scott walked by and said something to Romney, who responded, “I’m dying, I’m dying!” He then opened up a bag of what looked like peanuts, then walked over to talk to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The post Schiff Screwed the Pooch: Impeachment Soooo Boring the Gallery was Half-Empty and They Even Lost Mittens appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at a press conference after President Trump's defense team presented their case Saturday: "The president's counsel did something that they did not intend. They made a really compelling case for why the Senate should call witnesses and documents."
SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Let me say a few things. First, the President's lawyers will have their work cut out for them. The House managers did an amazing job and set a very, very high bar which it will be difficult of the President's lawyers to overcome.
The House presentation has been strong, detailed, comprehensive and at many times, compelling. Just drew you right into it. And, they successfully in advance, pre-empted just about all of the arguments that the President's lawyer will make. They anticipated what those arguments would be and they answered them even before the President's lawyers got there and then they have to do that because they don't' get another chance to rebut the way McConnell set out the rules.
Let me pay Hakeem Jeffries an incredible compliment. Hakeem, my fellow Brooklynite, you are as good as Adam Schiff, and he did an amazing, amazingly great job.
Now, we didn't hear too much about the Article 2--Article 2 in the impeachment charges 'til this afternoon but I believe it's the sleeper. The argument was incredible. It was strong. And it's become clear that President Trump demanded complete immunity, participated in a blanket obstruction and had absolute defiance. President Trump in saying he wanted immune--immunity for everything past, present and future said I'm not a President I'm a king and no one can stop me. Nobody can over--oversee me. Nobody can put a check on me. That is not America. It what President Trump has demanded and what justifies the House bringing these articles is totally out of sync with the Constitution, the founding fathers and every other impeachment trial.
Neither President Andrew Johnson, President Nixon or President Clinton had the gall, the temerity to come close to even asking what President Trump is asking for which is total absolute. He says I'm going to defy all subpoenas past, present and future. I'm not even going--I won't even wait to see what the subpoena is. I'm not going to answer it. That is so against what the founding fathers set up in this country. It is so against what we've had as our tradition and it is so against the Constitution.
The President is and then--and the President even knows the weakness of his argument because he says he wants complete executive privilege but he hasn't invoked it once. Not once in this trial in--in any of the cases. I'll take a few questions on this subject on the subject I talked about first, but others too.