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Joe Biden’s thinking muddled by ‘racist concepts,’ Ohio Republican claims

Joe Biden’s “racist concepts” may be to blame for recent controversial statements the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee made about the nation’s Black and Latino communities, an Ohio Republican says.

Ken Blackwell, an African-American conservative activist who served as mayor of Cincinnati and Ohio state treasurer, among other positions, was among critics who reacted Thursday to a pre-recorded interview in which Biden suggested Blacks were a less “incredibly diverse” community than Latinos, and that Blacks were more likely to vote as a bloc in elections – rather than make independent-minded choices at the polls.

But Biden’s view just isn’t so, Blackwell, 72 — who was mayor of Cincinnati from 1979-1980, Ohio state treasurer from 1994-1999 and Ohio secretary of state from 1999-2007 – argued in a video posted on social media.

TRUMP SLAMS BIDEN FOR LATINO DIVERSITY REMARKS: ‘WHAT A DUMB THING TO SAY!’

“Individuality. Free will. Fashioned in the image of God. Joe Biden doesn’t believe that these notions, these concepts, apply to Black people,” Blackwell said. “He doesn’t believe that we have an individual conscience, that we have a free will, that we are not humanoids, that we’re not the products of group-thinking.

“We are, in fact, fashioned in the image of God and we, in fact, think according to our conscience.”

Blackwell, a Fox News contributor, then suggested that the views Biden expressed in the interview that went public Thursday stemmed from the former vice president’s long-held but flawed beliefs.

“Joe Biden’s racist concepts continue to flow from not only his history but from his current statements,” Blackwell concluded. “C’mon, Joe.”

“Joe Biden’s racist concepts continue to flow from not only his history but from his current statements. C’mon, Joe.”

— Ken Blackwell, Ohio Republican

(Ken Blackwell (Family Research Council))

In the interview, which aired at the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Biden contrasted the Black and Latino communities.

BIDEN WALKS BACK AFRICAN AMERICAN ‘DIVERSITY’ REMARKS, LAUDS COMMUNITY’S ‘DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT’

“Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things,” Biden claimed.

Biden later made similar remarks while speaking virtually to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials conference. In that appearance, he vowed that if elected, his administration would reflect “the full diversity of this nation” as well as “the full diversity of the Latino communities.”

“Now what I mean [by] full diversity [is], unlike the African American community and many other communities, you’re from everywhere,” Biden explained. “You’re from Europe, from the tip of South America, all the way to our border in Mexico, and the Caribbean. And [of] different backgrounds, different ethnicities, but all Latinos. We’re gonna get a chance to do that if we win in November.”

After critics, including President Trump, derided Biden’s comments as insulting to the nation’s African-Americans, Biden tried to clarify his remarks via Twitter.

“Earlier today, I made some comments about diversity in the African American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden wrote. “In no way did I mean to suggest the African American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”

BIDEN’S HISTORY OF CONTROVERSIAL RACIAL COMMENTS

“Throughout my career,” Biden continued, “I’ve witnessed the diversity of thought, background, and sentiment within the African American community. It’s this diversity that makes our workplaces, communities, and country a better place.”

It was far from the first time Biden has dealt with blowback following race-related remarks. Some past examples:

In May, Biden did a radio interview with host Charlamagne tha God and suggested that Black voters “ain’t black” if they decided to support President Trump.

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In August 2019, Biden told a crowd in Iowa that “poor kids are just as bright and talented as White kids.”

In June 2019, used the term “gangbanger” when referring to disadvantaged Black youths, drawing criticism from fellow Democrat Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is African-American.

That same month, Biden was for fondly recalling his past work with former U.S. senators who were known to support racial segregation.

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Fact-checking several claims from Joe Biden

Here’s a look at several incorrect and misleading claims Biden has made during these events and interviews over the past several weeks.

In a June 23 virtual fundraiser with former President Barack Obama, Biden claimed Trump “wants to cut off money for the post office so they cannot deliver mail-in ballots.”

Facts First: While Trump has said he won’t approve additional funding for the US Postal Service unless they agree to certain changes, primarily an increase in package prices, there’s no evidence his intention is to prevent USPS from delivering mail-in ballots. Factcheck.org reported that the Biden campaign did not provide any instances of Trump specifically saying he wants to impede the service’s ability to deliver ballots.
Trump’s antipathy toward mail-in voting is no secret, as he has falsely claimed on several occasions that it is rife with fraud and could lead to the most rigged election in history. He has also previously criticized the USPS, but not in regards to the upcoming presidential election.
Some, like Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, are concerned that if the Postal Service can’t receive the loan from the Treasury Department, the resulting operational delays and disruptions could impact mail-in voting. However, a USPS spokesperson told CNN that the Postal Service’s “current financial condition will have no impact on its ability to deliver mail-in ballots this year.”

Republican tax cut

While criticizing the 2017 Republican tax cut during a June 11 roundtable in Philadelphia on reopening the economy, Biden claimed that the Heritage Foundation — a conservative think tank — said the tax cut did not increase growth in the economy.

“Even places like the Heritage Foundation said it didn’t grow the economy,” Biden said of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Facts First: While economists and experts disagree as to the overall effect of the tax cut, Biden is incorrect that the Heritage Foundation “said it didn’t grow the economy.”

When asked about Biden’s claim, the Heritage Foundation pointed us to Senior Policy Analyst and tax analyst Adam Michel’s tweets pushing back against nearly the exact same claim from Biden in 2019. At the time, Michel tweeted, “I think I’ve written something basically every week for the last year+ that says the tax cuts are working.”
In response to Biden’s most recent claim, Michel tweeted, “This again?”
Heritage also pointed us to a tweet following Biden’s comment from the Executive Director of Heritage Action — a sister organization and lobbying wing of the Heritage Foundation — Jessica Anderson who said that Biden’s “false claims…have been debunked again and again” adding that “the country saw increased wage growth, business investment, and employment thanks to the law.”

Blocking judges

During a June 10 town hall with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Biden was asked about older judges stepping down to allow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to usher new judges through the Senate. In response Biden suggested that Senate Democrats should somehow block that from happening.

“At this point if he does that I’m going to urge the Democrats in the U.S. Senate to block the ability to have a vote on those judges,” Biden said. “We only have 140-some days left to go. We are not going to let that happen.”

Facts First: It’s unclear how Biden would propose stopping Senate Republicans from approving judges because Republicans only need a simple majority — which they currently have — to approve judges.

In 2013, Senate Democrats — under the leadership of Harry Reid — removed the filibuster for many Presidential nominations. Senate Republicans now only need 51 votes to break a filibuster and approve a judicial nomination. They currently hold 53 seats.

Hispanic unemployment

During a June 5 speech on the economy, Biden twice claimed that Hispanic unemployment had increased in that day’s jobs report.

Condemning comments President Donald Trump made on George Floyd, Biden said “the fact that he did so on the day when black unemployment rose, Hispanic unemployment rose, black youth unemployment skyrocketed tells you everything you need to know about this man.”

Later, Biden said, “Latino [unemployment] jumped to over 37%.”

Facts First: The jobs report showed that Hispanic unemployment decreased, not increased.

A readout of Biden’s speech shows that in referencing the “jump to over 37%” Biden was supposed to say “Latino youth unemployment,” which would have been correct.

“Latino youth unemployment jumped to over 37 percent,” the readout says. However, Biden incorrectly said Hispanic unemployment had risen twice during the speech.

According to the report, in May the Hispanic or Latino unemployment fell from 16.7% to 15.1% while the Hispanic youth unemployment rate increased from 35.8% to 37.4%.

NAACP endorsement

In an interview with radio host Charlamagne tha God on May 22, Biden falsely claimed that the NAACP has endorsed him “every time I’ve run.”

Facts First: The NAACP does not endorse candidates.

While Biden does have a lifetime membership with the organization and recently participated in an NAACP town hall, the organization has a policy of not endorsing candidates.
After the comment from Biden, the organization issued a statement “to clarify that the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level.”

White supremacy

In a June 16 interview on Instagram with actress and musician Keke Palmer, Biden claimed that Trump has not acknowledged the problem of White supremacy.

“You know the President has talked about the systematic racism,” Palmer said, “but whenever he’s asked…he just says that the answer is a better economy, that’s what will fix it. But I really don’t think that’s the answer.”

Palmer went on to ask Biden what his plan was to eradicate White supremacy in the US.

“Well first of all, I don’t even think Trump’s even acknowledged White supremacy,” Biden said. “He doesn’t even acknowledge it,” Biden later added.

Facts First: Trump has condemned White supremacy but only recently said “there probably is some” systemic racism in the US.

Following the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas in August 2019, Trump in prepared remarks said that “in one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and White supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”
Two days after the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which Heather Heyer was killed, Trump issued a statement condemning racism, specifically “the KKK, neo-Nazis, White supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

This statement came a few days after Trump suggested there were “very fine people on both sides” of the rally and protest, a statement for which he has been sharply criticized by Biden and others.

Trump has also been criticized for not being as forceful or persistent in criticizing White supremacist violence as he has about terrorism by Islamic extremists or crime by undocumented immigrants — and he has himself used racist rhetoric.

Regardless, it’s not true that he has not acknowledged the problem of White supremacy at all.

Several days after the Instagram interview with Biden, Trump addressed systemic racism — potentially for the first time in his Presidency — in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on June 17.

“I’d like to think there is not” systemic racism, Trump told the journal, “but unfortunately, there probably is some. I would also say it’s very substantially less than it used to be.”

CDC employees in China

During a May 14 interview on MSNBC, Biden said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff in China went down from 44 to 4 members.

“We had over 44, if I’m not mistaken, people from the CDC in China, in China to observe what was going on,” Biden said. “The President brought home the vast majority of them, I think left only four in place.”

Facts First: Biden is right that under Trump the CDC staff in China decreased, but he overstated that decrease. It shrank to 14 members, not 4.

Biden hedged on both numbers with “if I’m not mistaken” and “I think” — the actual number of staff in China in 2017 was 47, with 8 US assignees and 39 locally employed. By December of 2019 that number was 14, with 3 US assignees and 11 local workers.

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Donald Trump Falsely Claims Schumer Has Been ‘Missing In Action’ During Coronavirus Crisis

President Donald Trump on Thursday responded to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for a military “czar” to coordinate production and distribution of medical equipment with a letter accusing the New York Democrat of leaving his state unprepared for the worldwide coronavirus pandemic by participating in the president’s impeachment trial.

Earlier on Thursday, Schumer sent Trump a letter criticizing the “the tardiness and inadequacy” of his administration’s response, and warning him that shortages of medical equipment, personal protective equipment, testing supplies, and other necessary goods were “beyond acute” in both New York and other areas with high numbers of coronavirus cases.

“While companies that volunteer to produce ventilators and PPE are to be commended and are appreciated, America cannot rely on a patchwork of uncoordinated voluntary efforts to combat the awful magnitude of this pandemic,” Schumer wrote. “It is long past the time for your Administration to designate a senior military officer to fix this urgent problem. That officer should be given full authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to complete and rapidly implement a plan for the increased production, procurement and distribution of critically-needed medical devices and equipment.”

Schumer noted that the official Trump has charged with overseeing use of the Defense Production Act, National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro, is “woefully unqualified” for such a task due to his being an economist with no training or experience in logistics.

He added that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who leads a second parallel effort to mobilize private industry, is “equally inexperienced and unqualified.”

Both should be replaced by a trained military logistics expert, Schumer said, one who has spent his or her career “ensuring that every service member from the foxhole to headquarters have everything they need in peacetime and wartime, regardless of whether they are in the middle of a desert; at sea; or providing support to civilian authorities in the wake of a natural disaster.”

“This is a matter of the utmost urgency for the health of every American. Regrettably, our national response is far behind where it should be. But by acting now, there is still time to help protect our medical professionals, reduce suffering and save lives,” he wrote.


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer leaves after speaking to the press prior to attending a meeting to discuss a potential economic bill in response to the coronavirus, COVID-19, in Washington, DC, on March 20.
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

But shortly after 6:00 pm, the president hit back with a missive of his own, thanking Schumer for his “Democratic public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong and incorrect in every way.”

Trump explained that the person in charge of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is still Vice President Mike Pence, but added that Navy Rear Admiral John Polowczyk “is in charge of purchasing, distributing, etc” despite Navarro’s role on the task force as the Defense Production Act policy coordinator.

The president also claimed that the Defense Production Act “has been consistently used by my team and me for the purchase of billions of dollars’ worth of equipment, medical supplies, ventilators, and other related items” because it provides “powerful leverage” that pushes companies to comply voluntarily with requests. However, Trump offered no evidence to support this statement.

Continuing, Trump boasted of having “given New York many things, including hospitals, medical centers, medical supplies, record numbers of ventilators, and more,” and claimed that Schumer “should have had New York much better prepared,” even though members of Congress play no role in disaster preparedness by state or local governments.

“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax… and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the ‘invisible enemy,'” he wrote, meaning the Coronavirus known as SARS-Cov-2.

However, as a sitting senator, Schumer had no choice but to participate in Trump’s impeachment trial, which ended February 5. But according to reports in The Washington Post, Trump had multiple briefings warning him about the possibility of a coronavirus pandemic.

Similarly, Schumer participated in a Senate briefing about the virus from US public health officials on January 24.

While Trump concluded his letter by claiming that Schumer has been “missing in action” during the coronavirus crisis, the New York Democrat played a key role in moving the $2 trillion CARES Act relief bill through the Senate last week.

Neither the White House nor Schumer’s office immediately responded to Newsweek’s request for comment.

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Joe Biden acknowledges he wasn’t arrested in South Africa despite earlier claims

“I wasn’t arrested, I was stopped. I was not able to move where I wanted to go,” told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

Biden had recently claimed multiple times on the campaign trail that he was arrested on the trip to South Africa during apartheid.

On February 16, Biden said that he “got arrested trying to see” Nelson Mandela in prison, and on February 18, he said the same thing again as part of a story about trying to get his wife, Jill, to marry him.

The New York Times could not find any mention of an arrest in a review of news accounts, and a former United States ambassador to the United Nations, who had joined Biden on that trip, rebutted Biden’s account to the newspaper.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Trump is victim of politicized justice system, Kellyanne Conway claims | US news

The White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway has escalated the dispute over Donald Trump’s meddling in the US justice department, claiming a “two-tier criminal justice system” featuring politicised prosecutions is actively undermining the president and his associates.

Conway used Fox News Sunday to pour fuel on the fire of the accusations levelled against Trump: that he is engaging in an unprecedented effort to influence criminal prosecutions in his favour. The truth, she claimed, was the exact opposite.

Far from making a dangerous intervention in criminal cases involving his friends and perceived enemies, it was Trump himself who was the victim of the politicisation of the justice system.

“If you’re President Trump or people associated with him there’s prosecutions that have gone one way,” Conway said, alluding to the nine-year sentencing recommendation for Trump’s long-time friend and convicted criminal Roger Stone which enraged the president this week.

She then contrasted the decision announced by the Department of Justice on Friday to drop charges against a prime target of Trump’s wrath, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

Directly contradicting her own claim that Trump, despite his “vast powers”, was not engaging in political interference in criminal cases, Conway proceeded to interfere in a criminal case. She called McCabe a “serial liar and leaker”.

She went on: “The president thinks that Andy McCabe should have been punished because he lied and lied several times to the investigators.”

McCabe, a deputy to fired FBI director James Comey and a key figure in the Russia investigation, was fired by Trump in March 2018, two days shy of retirement.








Trump and William Barr seen in the White House in November. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Conway is well known as a contentious figure dispatched by Trump to disseminate highly contentious opinions on the TV circuit.

The furore over Trump entirely ignoring protocols that have kept a distance between the White House and federal prosecutors imposed in the wake of Watergate has dominated the political debate for several days. It began when the president slammed the nine-year sentencing recommendation for Stone as “horrible and very unfair”.

That erupted into a full-blown constitutional crisis when the attorney general, William Barr, released a new sentencing memo. In the fallout, four career prosecutors who handled the case and framed the recommendations resigned in disgust.

Barr tried to squash the perception he had been leaned on by Trump by calling on Trump to stop tweeting about criminal prosecutions. He told ABC News the president’s unrestrained comments were “making it impossible for me to do my job”.

But speculation continued to swirl that Barr had kowtowed to Trump and was doing his legal bidding. Demoralisation spread rapidly through the DoJ and its cohort of career prosecutors, and intensified when it emerged that Barr has ordered outside prosecutors to re-examine criminal cases against Trump associates including former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The gathering sense that the hallowed independence of the US justice system is being destroyed was heightened when Trump flagrantly refused to abide by Barr’s entreaty. He began by making the constitutionally dubious claim that as president he had the “legal right” to stick his finger into any criminal case.

Then on Saturday Trump re-entered the fray over McCabe, claiming falsely that DoJ inspector general Michael Horowitz recommended the former FBI man’s firing. Horowitz referred criticisms of McCabe to prosecutors but did not recommend dismissal.

Conway’s incendiary remarks, clearly following a line dictated by Trump himself, were almost identical to those of Marc Short, chief of staff to vice-president Mike Pence, on CNN’s State of the Union.

Like Conway, he claimed without evidence that criminal justice had been skewed against the president.

“The scales of justice aren’t balanced any more,” he said, “when someone like Roger Stone gets a prosecution that suggests a nine-year jail sentence and candidly someone like Andy McCabe who also lied to federal investigators gets a lucrative contract here at CNN. People say, ‘How is this fair?’ and that’s the source of the president’s frustration.”

Short went on to repeat a conspiracy theory popular in Trump circles: that the report of special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian connections with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election was a hoax instigated by the “deep state”.

“What’s been happening inside the justice department has been unprecedented,” he said, “when you basically knew the Russian investigation was a hoax but you continue to pursue it, you continue to entrap people – that’s something the American people have not seen before.”

The justice row has also become a major talking point on the campaign trail among Democrats vying to take on Trump in November.

Former vice-president Joe Biden told NBC’s Meet the Press: “No one, no one, including Richard Nixon, has weaponised the Department of Justice” as much as Trump.

The crisis over judicial independence is personal for Biden, given Trump’s efforts to coerce Ukraine into investigating him and his son Hunter which led to the president’s impeachment. Last week it was revealed that Barr has set up a channel to review information gathered in Ukraine by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani relating to the Bidens.

“To have a thug like Rudy Giuliani reporting to the attorney general – I mean this is, this is almost like a really bad sitcom,” Biden said.

“Any self-respecting Republican or Democratic top-flight lawyer would have just resigned by now, in my view. It’s just the things that are being done are so beyond the pale.”

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Pompeo Claims NPR Reporter Lied to Him, Couldn’t Even Find Ukraine on a Map

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused a National Public Radio reporter of lying to him and breaking her word to keep a post-interview conversation off the record.

He further took a jab at her geography knowledge, claiming she was not able to find Ukraine on a map.

“NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice,” read Pompeo’s statement, posted on the State Department’s website.

“First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency.”

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“This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration. It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity,” the statement added.

Referring to comments Kelly made about being told to point to Ukraine on a blank map, Pompeo concluded, “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.”

Kelly said that after an interview with Pompeo, which aired Friday, she had an additional conversation with him in his private living room.

Do you believe Pompeo’s side of the story?

She claims she was never told that post-interview meeting was off the record, according to CNN.

She said Pompeo lashed out at her for inserting questions about Ukraine into an interview that he said was supposed to focus on the Middle East.

Kelly told her listeners in an NPR broadcast that Pompeo dared her to find Ukraine on a map, and that after a blank map was brought out, she did so.

During the interview, a transcript of which was posted by NPR, Kelly asked Pompeo, “Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?”

Yovanovitch was a U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled by the Trump administration in May 2019.

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“You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran. That’s what I intend to do,” Pompeo said.

He then summarized the administration’s efforts to support Ukraine.

“I know what our Ukraine policy has been now for the three years of this administration,” Pompeo replied. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done. This administration delivered the capability for the Ukrainians to defend themselves. President Obama showed up with [meals ready to eat]. We showed up with Javelin missiles.

“The previous administration did nothing to take down corruption in Ukraine. We’re working hard on that. We’re going to continue to do it,” he said.

Throughout the rest of the interview, Kelly continued to pose questions related to Yovanovitch and Ukraine, at one point asking, “The American public wants to know as a shadow foreign policy, as a back-channel policy on Ukraine was being developed, did you try to block it?”

“The Ukraine policy has been run from the Department of State for the entire time that I have been here, and our policy was very clear,” Pompeo said in response.

NPR defended its reporter.

“Mary Louise Kelly has always conducted herself with the utmost integrity, and we stand behind this report,” Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president of news, said in a statement.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

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Trump ‘knew exactly what was going on’, Giuliani aide claims

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas is an associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer

An aide to Donald Trump’s lawyer claims the president “knew exactly what was going on” with efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son.

Lev Parnas told MSNBC he went to Ukraine to put pressure on officials on behalf of Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

The alleged intention was to damage Mr Biden, a potential Democratic rival to Mr Trump in next year’s US election.

President Trump denies involvement.

The US president also says that he does not know Mr Parnas – a Ukrainian-American businessman and Republican party donor who is facing separate charges of campaign finance violations.

The extent of Mr Trump’s involvement in the alleged plan to undermine Mr Biden – whose son Hunter Biden was on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma – will be examined in his impeachment trial, which is due to begin next week in the US Senate.

He is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What did Lev Parnas say?

In the interview aired on Wednesday, Mr Parnas said Mr Trump was “aware of all my movements”.

“I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. Why would [Ukrainian] President Zelensky’s inner circle or [Interior] Minister [Arsen] Avakov or all these people or [former] President [Petro] Poroshenko meet with me?

“Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work,” he added.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Rudy Giuliani has been central in pushing the suggestion that the Bidens were involved in wrongdoing in Ukraine

Mr Trump “decided to” increase pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens’ activities by withholding military aid, Mr Parnas said.

Mr Parnas also said he told a Ukrainian official that US Vice-President Mike Pence would not attend President Zelensky’s inauguration unless there was an investigation into the Bidens.

Other White House officials knew about the alleged campaign against Mr Biden, Mr Parnas alleged. They included Attorney General William Barr, who Mr Parnas said was “basically on the team”, and former national security advisor John Bolton, who Mr Parnas said “100%” knew about it.

Mr Trump has said he does not know Mr Parnas. Referring to photos of himself with Mr Parnas and another Giuliani associate, he said: “It’s possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody.”

But Mr Parnas said Mr Trump “lied”. “He knew exactly who I was.” he said.

What else has Parnas provided?

Earlier this week, letters, phone records, notes and flash drives were obtained from Mr Parnas in a bid to bolster the Democrats’ case against Mr Trump at the forthcoming Senate trial.

Documents show that Ukraine-born Mr Parnas was in regular contact with Mr Giuliani as well as Ukrainian officials, and suggest that Mr Parnas was directly involved in trying to have Mr Zelensky look into Mr Biden.

One handwritten note from Mr Parnas states: “Get Zalensky [sic] to Annonce [sic] that the Biden case will be investigated.”

There is also a screenshot of a previously undisclosed letter from Mr Giuliani to Mr Zelensky, in which he asks to arrange a meeting.

Image copyright
House Intelligence Committee

The letter from Mr Giuliani describes himself as “personal counsel to President Trump” and states that Mr Trump had “knowledge and consent” of Mr Giuliani’s actions.

The meeting never took place, as Mr Giuliani eventually cancelled his May trip to Ukraine.

What about the former US ambassador to Ukraine?

Some of the materials obtained show Mr Parnas and Mr Giuliani discussing the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the then US ambassador to Ukraine.

Several of the text messages appear to suggest Ms Yovanovitch was placed under surveillance.

In Wednesday’s interview, Mr Parnas claimed the only motivation to have Ms Yovanovitch removed was because she was in the way of the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden.

Mr Parnas was apparently given updates on the ambassador’s location and mobile phone use by a man named Robert F Hyde.

Mr Hyde is a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut and a Trump campaign donor.

Ms Yovanovitch is calling for an investigation into the messages.

“The notion that American citizens and others were monitoring [her] movements… is disturbing,” her lawyer said.

On Thursday, Ukraine announced a criminal investigation into the possible illegal collection of information about the former ambassador.

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