Media, Don’t Allow Trump’s Surrogates To Spread Already Debunked Lies Against VP Biden

The month of September 2019 has been trans-formative with regards to the republican President Donald Trump being held accountable for his list of wrong-doings which until now, it looked like his moniker of “Teflon Don” befitted him. No matter how outrageous his behaviors, he appeared to go untouched by events that would have been the ruin of anyone else.

But the president’s good luck has been smashed to smithereens when the Washington Post broke the story with its 9/18/2019 report about a whistleblower’s complaint regarding a July 2019 phone conversation between President Trump and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, alleging that President Trump had used the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country (Ukraine) in the 2020 election by having Ukrainian prosecutors manufacture dirt on VP Biden and his son, Hunter who had been a director for an Ukrainian natural gas company from 2014-2018, and that Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr appeared to be involved in the effort as well. In addition, the president had frozen military aid committed by the US Congress in May 2019 to Ukraine to the tune of $391 million dollars, to help the Ukrainians fight back Russia’s aggressiveness, just days before the infamous 7/25/2019 Trump- Zelenskiy phone call. Finally, White House staffers recognizing the political lethal quality of the call, secreted the notes about it, in a server designated for covert operations where access was extremely limited.

Additional reporting by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times confirmed the whistleblower’s complaint, providing new additional details. The Post and the Times then both verified that the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani had met with an Ukrainian aide in Madrid, just days after the 7/25 Trump-Zelenskiy phone call, to spell out more specifics.

Image result for photos pompeo william barr
POMPEO/ BARR

 

Yahoo News tweeted the following breaking news story on 9/30/2019:

BREAKING: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in a July phone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy that is at the heart of a House impeachment inquiry, the WSJ reported on Monday yhoo.it/2nfHWYr
CNN News is breaking the story as per NYT that President Trump had a recent phone call with the Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison where the president  pushed the Australian prime minister to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the FBI’s Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.

Image result for IMAGES Viktor Shokin

The Democratic Party’s House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had persistently resisted pressure to have the House initiate an impeachment inquiry against the president, a power granted it by the US Constitution, finally announced her approval to move forward on impeachment proceedings based on the president’s brazen act of soliciting aid from a foreign government’s leader to help his 2020 campaign with opposition research and thereby, interfere with 2020 US elections, a repeat of what Russia did in 2016 against the USA.

In response to all the above hoopla, the president’s surrogates hit all the Sunday news talk shows on 9/29/2019 to defend their standard bearer by trumping out the GOP talking points, accidentally sent by email to the Democratic Party’s House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Image result for PHOTOS Thomas P. Bossert

Despite the president and his surrogates having been fully informed of the reality that the GOP conspiracy theories regarding any alleged wrong-doings by the Bidens in Ukraine had been debunked by credible fact checkers from 2015-2019, and that any allegations about Ukraine having messed with 2016 US elections being false, as per President Trump’s first homeland security adviser Thomas P. Bossert, they continued to push the conspiracy theory narratives as factual.

The best news talk show host who challenged the president’s surrogates’ talking points, was the FOX News TV reporter Chris Wallace with the White House adviser, Stephen Miller.

As per a September 25, 2019 Axios report, “White House accidentally sent Democrats talking points on Trump-Ukraine call” by Fadel Allassan

“The White House on (9/25/2019) emailed talking points to Trump allies on how to defend the release of a summary of the president’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.”

The catch: “The email was mistakenly also sent to Democratic lawmakers before the White House attempted to “recall” it — but not before Democrats tweeted it and sent it to reporters. The apparent blunder revealed the White House’s strategy for combatting allegations that Trump acted improperly when asking Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden.”

“Some of the talking points match what Republicans have been saying on cable news and on the floor of chambers of Congress this morning.”

Image result for images of trump zelensky

Details: “The memo claims there was no quid pro quo or anything inappropriate about the conversation between the two presidents.”

  • It says that the idea that Trump asked Zelensky to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate Biden is a “myth” and that Trump only mentioned Giuliani after Zelensky brought him up.
  • “Trump only mentioned Biden in one exchange.”

“What the president actually talks about was entirely proper,” the email reads.”

“When a high-ranking U.S. government official, like then Vice-President Biden brags that he used his official position to derail an investigation in another country that could have impacted his son, it is appropriate for the President to suggest that the matter be looked into.”

TRUMP IS BACK TO POINTING AT CLINTON’S EMAIL SCANDAL

“The memo adds that the real scandal is the leaks about the president’s phone conversation.”

  • “It blames “‘the Deep state,’ the media and Democrats in Congress” for leaking confidential information damaging to national security “for political gain.”
  • “It also says the president only mentioned assistance to Ukraine to stress that other countries should be pitching in more to help Ukraine. But the president first publicly mentioned that as a reason for withholding assistance this week.”

 Read the full memo of Trump’s call with Zelensky

See: theweek.com/    The White House accidentally emailed its Ukraine talking points to Nancy Pelosi  .

As per the 9/23/2019 MediaMatters report, “Debunking lies about Trump, Biden, Ukraine, and the whistleblower” by Courtney Hagle and Bobby Lewis

“On September 19, Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time and denied, then admitted, then denied again that he had asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Additional reporting from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times appeared to confirm the whistleblower complaint, providing new additional details. The Post and the Times then both confirmed that Giuliani had met with an aide days after Trump’s call to spell out more specifics.”

“Trump and his allies are relying on the complexity of the story to muddy the waters, pushing out a slew of myths in a rush to provide cover for Trump as details surrounding the story continue to emerge. Trump’s allies in right-wing media are frantically trying to reframe the story to be about Biden’s supposed corruption in Ukraine, push false or misleading information about the Ukrainian prosecutor at the center of the story, discredit the whistleblower as a “deep state” snitch seeking to undermine Trump, insist that Trump was just engaging in run-of-the-mill foreign policy discussions, and assert that the Trump administration doesn’t have a responsibility to turn the complaint over the Congress.”

Here are six myths and facts surrounding Trump, Biden, Ukraine, and the whistleblower complaint:

Myth: The real story is alleged Biden corruption in Ukraine

“Right-wing media have rushed to try to make the story not about Trump attempting to force a foreign country to investigate a political opponent, but about Biden’s connections in Ukraine. Trump and Giuliani allege that then-Vice President Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor — Viktor Shokin — overseeing a corruption investigation of one of Ukraine’s biggest gas companies, Burisma Group. Biden’s son, Hunter, was serving on the company’s board at the time.”

“Over the weekend, Fox & Friends Saturday guest Peter Schweizer called for the Department of Justice to investigate Biden, and Fox host Sean Hannity declared that he is “happy at the news” because of the opportunity to expose Biden.”

Fact: There is no evidence of any wrongdoing on Biden’s part

“The Biden-Ukraine “connection” is a conspiracy theory that has been circulating among right-wing media for months. In reality, the push to get Shokin fired was a part of a Ukrainian anti-corruption effort by advocates and international supporters of Ukraine. It was well-established that the United States’ position was that ousting Shokin was a critical aspect of anti-corruption measures. At the time of his removal, The New York Times reported that the “US and other Western nations had for months called for the ousting of Mr. Shokin” for “turning a blind eye to corrupt practices.”

“In May, Daria Kaleniuk, a lawyer who founded Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, expressed frustration at how the false accusation was being portrayed by some. The Intercept reported that Kaleniuk felt that “there is simply no truth to the rumor now spreading like wildfire across the internet” and that the reality “is that Shokin was forced from office at Biden’s urging because he had failed to conduct thorough investigations of corruption, and had stifled efforts to investigate embezzlement and misconduct by public officials following the 2014 uprising.”

“Reporter Daniel Dale also fact-checked the matter for CNN.Myth: There was nothing untoward about Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin.”

“Frequently conservative media, such as this opinion piece from John Solomon, do not note Shokin’s actual reputation, only calling him a Ukrainian prosecutor.”

Fact: The Obama administration, along with the international community and Ukrainian activists, pushed to remove Shokin because of his own corruption

“The Obama administration sent Biden to condemn Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor general because of his widespread reputation for corruption.”

“Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor general was marked by keeping in place holdovers from the corrupt regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of now-President Vladimir Putin. At the time, Shokin was also close to then-president Petro Poroshenko, contributing to Ukraine’s global reputation for corruption.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF SHOKIN
VIKTOR SHOKIN

“The International Monetary Fund cited Shokin’s continued term in office as among the reasons that a $40 billion aid package could be withheld.”

“Shokin had also become a target of popular protests in Ukraine, demanding that he be fired for such acts as launching an investigation against a Ukrainian anti-corruption watchdog group, as well as his having fired anti-corruption prosecutors.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF Vitaliy Kasko“Moreover, former deputy prosecutor general Vitaliy Kasko told Bloomberg this past May that the Burisma case in Shokin’s office had been long dormant: “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.” And while Kenneth Vogel and The New York Times said in May that Shokin had Hunter Biden’s employer “in [his] sights,” Vogel  reported on September 22 that Shokin was “not aggressively pursuing investigations into Mr. Zlochevsky or Burisma.”

“Shokin’s eventual firing was publicly hailed by European leaders. When he was fired, The New York Times described him as “one of several political figures in Kiev whom reformers and Western diplomats saw as a worrying indicator of a return to past corrupt practices, two years after a revolution that was supposed to put a stop to self-dealing by those in power.”

“Fittingly, one of his last acts out the door was to fire a deputy prosecutor who had been attempting to pursue corruption cases.”

“The bottom line: Given the widespread calls for Shokin’s dismissal, there is no disputing that Obama administration efforts were driven by good faith efforts to reduce corruption in the office.”

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Fact: The identity of the whistleblower is still unknown, and the inspector general agreed that the complaint was credible and lawful under current protocols set for whistleblowing to expose unlawful activity

“The identity of the whistleblower is still unknown, making assertions that they’re a partisan deep state snitch ring hollow. Additionally, the whistleblower correctly followed protocol established by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998. Under this statute, a whistleblower is protected from retaliation so long as they follow protocol when filing a complaint. The complaint was given to Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who then makes the decision whether it is credible, (within 14 days.). Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and urgent, prompting him to forward the complaint to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire. In an unprecedented move, Maguire failed to forward the complaint to the intelligence committees within seven days, as required by the statute, and has also refused to comply with subpoenas issued by the House intelligence committee.”

Image result for IMAGES Viktor Shokin

Fact: The law requires the executive branch to turn the report over to Congress

“The law is perfectly clear. Once the intelligence community inspector general determines that the complaint is of “urgent concern” to the American people, as Michael Atkinson did in this case, then the report must be disclosed to Congress. The Justice Department has concluded that the matter involved did not meet the standards of the law, but Atkinson has stated his disagreement with this conclusion, writing that “the Complainant’s disclosure not only falls within the [director of national intelligence’s] jurisdiction, but relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people.”

“The idea that the whistleblower complaint is merely a “policy” disagreement ignores the definition laid out in the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of what is covered in its purview: genuine abuses of power and various other violations deemed worthy of “urgent concern.” The inspector general would not have referred the whistleblower complaint Congress if he did not deem the allegation credible and concerning.”

Link to entire report: mediamatters.org/  Debunking lies about Trump, Biden, Ukraine, and the whistleblower..

Image result for images of Thomas P. Bossert
Thomas  Bossert

On September 29, 2019, the New York Times published the following report, ” Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was Completely Debunked” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker.

Thomas P. Bossert, President Trump’s first homeland security adviser, said he was “deeply disturbed” that Mr. Trump had urged Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

 President Trump was repeatedly warned by his own staff that the Ukraine conspiracy theory that he and his lawyer were pursuing was “completely debunked” long before the president pressed Ukraine this summer to investigate his Democratic rivals, a former top adviser said.”

Thomas Bossert, who served as Mr. Trump’s first homeland security adviser, said he told the president there was no basis to the theory that Ukraine, not Russia, intervened in the 2016 election and did so on behalf of the Democrats. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Bossert said he was “deeply disturbed” that Mr. Trump nonetheless tried to get Ukraine’s president to produce damaging information about Democrats.”

Link to entire article: nytimes.com/  Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’…

One comment

  1. Gronda, very thorough. A couple of comments:
    – Being overt about finding out the identity is prima facie evidence of Trump’s abuse of power.
    – Chris Wallace has been relentless in calling out these bogus stories even when he indicts people at his own network.
    – A few bright spots have been the condemnation of Trump by Republicans for the Rule of Law and select legislators like Senators Grassley and Romney and a reprentative who callrd Trump on the carpet for repeatlng a civil war remark. Keith

    Like

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