Sep 29, 2019

Ex-Trump adviser: The best way to self-impeach is to hire Rudy Giuliani

Former Trump homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said on ABC's "This Week" that the conspiracy theory that Ukraine hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 has been "debunked," and he condemned Rudy Giuliani for continuing to push it with President Trump.

"It's not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked. I don't want to be glib about this matter, but last year, retired former Sen. Judd Gregg wrote a piece in The Hill magazine saying the 3 ways or the 5 ways to impeach one's self. And the 3rd way was to hire Rudy Giuliani. And at this point, I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing in repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again. And for clarity here, George, let me just again repeat that it has no validity."

Why it matters: In his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump claimed that the hacked DNC server is in Ukraine and asked Zelensky to work with Attorney General Bill Barr to "get to the bottom of it." The assertion is part of an easily debunked right-wing conspiracy theory that alleges that CrowdStrike, the first firm to publicly release evidence that Russia perpetrated the hack, made up information to fuel the Russia investigation.

The big picture: Bossert said that while he doesn't believe Trump was "pressuring" the Ukrainian president, he was "deeply disturbed" by the phone call and said that Trump could be in serious trouble as House Democrats' formal impeachment inquiry heats up: "It is a bad day and a bad week for the president and for this country if he is asking for political dirt on an opponent."

  • Bossert added that Trump needs to "move forward" from 2016 collusion allegations and that Giuliani's obsession with the Ukraine-DNC conspiracy could help bring down the president.

Go deeper: Trump, Ukraine's president and the call heard 'round the world

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Updated 11 mins ago - Technology

Twitter: Trump's Minnesota tweet violated rules on violence

Twitter said Friday morning that a tweet from President Trump in which he threatened shooting in response to civil unrest in Minneapolis violated the company's rules. The company said it was leaving the tweet up in the public interest.

Why it matters: The move exacerbates tensions between Twitter and Trump over the company's authority to label or limit his speech and, conversely, the president's authority to dictate rules for a private company.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump threatens to "assume control" of Minneapolis over unrest

Flames from a nearby fire illuminate protesters standing on a barricade in front of the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump threatened via Twitter early Friday to send the national guard to Minneapolis following three days of massive demonstrations and unrest in the city over George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody this week.

Details: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right," Trump tweeted after a police station was torched by some protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters cheer as the Third Police Precinct burns behind them on in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Cheering protesters set a Minneapolis police station on fire Thursday night in the third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city, per AP.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week, as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.