December 19, 2019


Putin Says Trump's Impeachment Is Based on 'Absolutely Made-Up Reasons' (PETER WADE , 12/19/19, Rolling Stone)

Putin also expressed doubts the Republican-controlled Senate would vote to impeach one of their own, saying, "I doubt they will want to expel from power their party representative based on what I think are absolutely made-up reasons." Putin continued echoing Republican talking points (which are from Putin himself) and said, "It then turned out that there was no collusion and it could not form the basis for impeachment, and now there is this made-up pressure on Ukraine."


Former White House officials say they feared Putin influenced the president's views on Ukraine and 2016 campaign (Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey and  Carol D. Leonnig , Dec. 19, 2019, Washington Post)

Almost from the moment he took office, President Trump seized on a theory that troubled his senior aides: Ukraine, he told them on many occasions, had tried to stop him from winning the White House.

After meeting privately in July 2017 with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Trump grew more insistent that Ukraine worked to defeat him, according to multiple former officials familiar with his assertions.

The president's intense resistance to the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia systematically interfered in the 2016 campaign -- and the blame he cast instead on a rival country -- led many of his advisers to think that Putin himself helped spur the idea of Ukraine's culpability, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

One former senior White House official said Trump even stated so explicitly at one point, saying he knew Ukraine was the real culprit because "Putin told me."

Posted by at December 19, 2019 5:11 PM