同情美国总统特朗普

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    Our current crisis unites the wrongdoing of the Nixon and Reagan administrations as they have never been combined before.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

    By James M. Banner Jr., editor of “Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today”

    During the Watergate investigation, I contributed to an unprecedented history of presidential misconduct that the impeachment inquiry of the House Committee on the Judiciary requested in 1974. Now, 45 years later, I’ve edited an expanded version, covering all U.S. presidencies through Barack Obama’s. Looking over that 230-year span, what I’m forced to conclude is deeply troubling: Since the early 1970s, the behavior of American presidents has worsened in alarming ways.

    Until then, executive branch malfeasance followed what we might think of as normal human misbehavior: the search for easy money, attempts to escape responsibility and the subversion of existing law for personal gain. Only occasionally, and then without major threat to the public welfare, did administration officials thumb their noses at the law and engage in flagrantly illegal acts.

    That changed decisively in the 1970s.

    With the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, criminal acts were engineered and implemented directly from the White House. Then, during Ronald Reagan’s administration, a shadow government composed of administration officials acting outside normal channels and without legal authorization seized control of aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

    Today, the Trump White House has allegedly engaged in what looks like a breathtaking combination of both Oval Office complicity and shadow government operations. These two kinds of illicit executive action seem to have been brought together to drive U.S. relations with other foreign powers. This sort of criminal behavior has never before so permeated a presidency or so deeply threatened American governance.

    Earlier in the nation’s history, official corruption assumed simpler, less sinister forms. The first known instance of executive branch malfeasance by members of the chief executive’s “official family” (his Cabinet officials and subordinate officers) occurred during George Washington’s first term (1789-1793) — when Assistant Treasury Secretary William Duer stole more than $250,000 from federal accounts for his speculative purposes. Like so many subsequent acts of misconduct, this one was actuated by greed — exploiting public office for private gain.

    Such corruption was made easy by the absence of laws that effectively prevented and punished it. Well into the late 19th century, money could buy public office. Kickbacks for federal appointments were commonplace. As they remain today, public offices were made available as a reward for political support and campaign contributions even if appointees were incompetent or ignorant of the requirements of their offices.

    Not until 1883, with enactment of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, were federal government positions subject to competitive examination and protected against partisan retribution. The 1939 Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from taking part in partisan politics, brought still greater protection of the public interest. So did subsequent whistleblower protection laws and some modest campaign finance reforms — even in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s notorious 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision.

    Rarely, however, have presidents themselves been caught in outright illegal or dishonest behavior. The administrations of Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) and Warren G. Harding (1920-1923), for example, may have been two of the most corrupt in U.S. history. But neither of those presidents were themselves corrupt. Naïve and too trusting of their subordinates, they simply failed to set high standards of behavior. They could not bring themselves to dismiss cronies and associates in whom they’d misplaced their trust. Presidential failures of this sort have been frequent.

    It was during the Nixon presidency (1969-1974) that, seemingly for the first time, illegal and corrupt acts were orchestrated from the Oval Office. As tape-recorded conversations and other documents and testimony revealed, Nixon himself knew of his subordinates’ misdeeds, urged them on and joined in efforts to obstruct justice by covering up their illegal acts. For that, Nixon was the first president to be named an un-indicted co-conspirator in a legal filing. The Watergate break-in and associated scandals — which included warrantless wiretapping, break-ins, surreptitious surveillance and secret plotting among White House staff members — ultimately cost Nixon his presidency.

    But the revelation of the Nixon administration’s wrongdoings and the punishments of those involved failed to deter others. Under Reagan in the 1980s, a second serious departure in the modern annals of presidential behavior emerged. Members of Reagan’s administration devised a secret operation — the Iran-Contra Affair — in defiance of Congress’s explicit ban against transferring funds authorized for one purpose to an unauthorized one. The scheme involved covert weapons-running, dealings with terrorists and money-skimming.

    Yet even these criminal misdeeds have been surpassed today in two respects. First, plotting to skirt public policy and engage in foreign policy outside official State Department and intelligence channels has now involved private individuals as well as plotters within the White House. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, acting as Trump’s amateur foreign policy representative without congressional confirmation, is their embodiment.

    Second, and more deeply troubling, our current crisis unites the wrongdoing of the Nixon and Reagan administrations as they have never been combined before.

    Nixon-like secret, illegal malfeasance now appears to be mixing with Reagan-administration cabal-like secret plotting. Illegal behavior is being plotted by a group of conspirators both within and outside the government — and the president of the United States admits he connived in it.

    Many people are now placing confidence in the impending public House impeachment hearings to alter the president’s behavior — though previous congressional oversight, robust press exposure of the administration’s actions, Republican election losses, court decisions and aroused citizens have failed to do so. Consider, however, that it was the threat, not the fact, of impeachment that drove Nixon from office, and that the two other impeachments in U.S. history — of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — couldn’t gain the two thirds of the Senate vote required to remove a president from office. There’s seems slim chance that this one will do so either.

    All Americans ought to be deeply fearful about what this portends for the future. If those responsible for illegal and corrupt acts don’t pay the price for their flagrant disregard of our laws and the U.S. Constitution — and if new laws and institutions are not created to prevent their happening again — the nation’s future is not bright.
     
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    (CNN) In her forthcoming book about her time in the Trump White House, former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley claims that she was recruited by White House chief of staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to subvert the wishes of President Donald Trump.

    "Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the President, they weren't being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country," writes Haley in "With All Due Respect," which is out on Tuesday. (The Washington Post obtained an early copy.)

    In the wake of that revelation, much has been made -- by Haley -- of the fact that she resisted those entreaties. "It should have been, go tell the President what your differences are and quit if you don't like what he's doing," Haley told CBS over the weekend. "To undermine a President is really a very dangerous thing. And it goes against the Constitution and it goes against what the American people want. It was offensive."
    But the focus on Haley -- and what she did or didn't do -- misses the point, which is this: Two of the top Cabinet officials within the Trump administration were concerned enough about the behavior of the President of the United States that they were actively reaching out to other influential members of the Cabinet to actively work around him.

    That is a VERY big deal. Especially when you consider how Tillerson and Kelly came into their jobs.

    The former was the head of Exxon, a massive, multinational company. Trump touted Tillerson as the crown jewel of his Cabinet -- a hugely successful and accomplished businessman that only this President could recruit to work for the government.

    The latter was a hugely accomplished general who led Southern Command among other gigs in a lifetime spent in the military.
    It was these resumes that drew Trump to them. Of all his Cabinet officials, he bragged on these two the most in the early days of his White House. Of Tillerson, Trump said: "He's a world-class player. He's in charge of an oil company that's pretty much double the size of its next nearest competitor." He so valued Kelly that he when the chief of staff job opened, Trump moved the general from his post as head of the Department of Homeland Security to the vacant job.

    Neither of these men were "never Trumpers." Both were Trump's top picks for hugely important jobs -- perhaps the two most powerful Cabinet gigs -- and, at least in the early days of Trump's presidency, were considered primetime players. These were the people who, along with Trump, were going to shape the future of the country and the world.

    Neither Tillerson nor Kelly can be accurately described as so-called "deep state" actors either. Both men were new to this level of government. They were the farthest thing from embedded within the vast government bureaucracy. And not to sound like a broken record, but Trump appointed both of them!

    So consider what it means that within a relatively short period of time, not only had both men identified major concerns with the President, but were so concerned that they were reaching out to others within the administration to try recruit them to a protect-the-country-at-all-costs mission.

    You can absolutely question -- as Haley has done -- why Tillerson and Kelly didn't just resign rather than trying to run a persuasion campaign within the White House to sideline the President. (My guess would be that they would say they were worried what might happen if they left.)

    But what, to me, is the most important part of the story is that both of these hugely accomplished Cabinet officials, who were hand-picked for their roles by the President and who, presumably, came into the administration favorably inclined to him, so quickly and clearly assessed that the man they were working for was an active danger to the country.

    And such a danger that they were in the process of actively recruiting people within the administration to help them keep the President from doing anything that would endanger the country.

    Think about that. It's terrifying.
     
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    NYT: President Trump has considered firing intelligence inspector general
     
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    Donald Trump has insisted that the US military presence in Syria is “only for the oil”, contradicting his own officials who have insisted that the remaining forces were there to fight Isis.

    Trump made his remarks while hosting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, just over a month after the Turkish president launched an offensive into northeastern Syria, which has been formally condemned as destabilising by state department officials.

    Sitting alongside Erdoğan, Trump contradicted his own officials and the Republican leadership on a range of issues, most importantly on the US military mission in Syria. In a later press conference, the Trump declared himself a “big fan” of Erdogan, and made no criticism of the Turkish incursion.

    Erdoğan, however, criticised Trump for inviting a Kurdish leader he condemned as a terrorist to the White House. Erdoğan also noted he had returned a letter which Trump had to him on 9 October, urging his US counterpart to hold back his Syrian invasion plan.

    “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump had said in the letter, which Erdoğan had said showed a “lack of respect”.

    Asked about the letter on Wednesday, Erdogan – through a translator – said: “We gave back the letter that we have received.”

    Following Trump’s earlier insistence that his administration was solely interested in “keeping” Syrian oil, the US military deployed mechanised military units to oil fields in the east of the country.

    However, seizing or benefiting from oil on a foreign territory, without permission from the sovereign authority, would be a violation of international law. Several US officials had sought to interpret the president’s remarks as the US meant to meaning that the denying Isis access to the oil.

    “Our mission is the enduring defeat of Isis,” the defence secretary, Mark Esper, told reporters on Wednesday, adding: “We’re going to have about 500 to 600-ish troops there, at the end of the day.”

    “A way that we ensure the enduring defeat of Isis is deny them access to the oil fields because if they have access to the oil fields, they can generate revenue. If they can generate revenue, then they can pay fighters, they can buy arms, they can conduct operations,” Esper said.

    On the same day however, Trump repeated his intention that the US should take possession of the oil in the region.

    “We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil,” Trump said.

    At a joint press conference with Erdogan, the US president said the ceasefire in northeast Syria “while complicated, is moving forward and moving forward at a very rapid clip.”

    Erdogan praised Trump, describing him as “a dear friend”, but went on to denounce the US partnership with Syrian Kurdish forces.

    Both parties in Congress have condemned the Turkish incursion and threatened sanctions unless it is reversed. US officials have describe it as unwelcome and destabilising. In the run-up to Erdogan’s controversial visit to Washington, senior officials expressed concern about reported war crimes committed by Turkish-backed Arab militias spearheading the offensive. One senior official told reporters that the US held Ankara responsible.

    However, sitting alongside Erdogan, Trump said: “I want to thank the president for the job they’ve done.”

    “The president and I have been very good friends, we’ve been friends for a long time – almost from day one,” Trump said. “I understand the problems that they’ve had, including many people from Turkey being killed, in the area that we’re talking about.”

    It is unclear what the president meant. Turks have not been killed in significant numbers in north-eastern Syria, nor is there evidence of attacks on Turkey being launched from the area.

    There are strong links between the Kurdish People’s Protection units (YPG), the main force in the SDF, and the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), which has carried out attacks inside Turkey.

    In blunt remarks in the White House on Wednesday, Erdoğan criticised Trump for inviting the SDF leader Mazloum Kobani, (to whom he referred by his birth name, Ferhat Abdi Şahin) to the White House. Noting his PKK links, Erdoğan blamed Mazloum for hundreds of civilian deaths and said: “A person like this should not be welcomed by a country such as the United States.”

    It is not the administration’s official position that PKK attacks justify the incursion into Syria. Officials including Jeffrey have criticised Turkey for abandoning a joint security mechanism agreed with the US, and invading the safe zone along the border that mechanism was intended to safeguard.

    Challenged by a Turkish reporter about US links with the YPG despite its ties to the PKK, Trump said that the US had “a great relationship with the Kurds”, adding: “A lot of that is definition – what’s your definition of the various groups within the Kurds. You have various groups and some like them and some don’t.”

    But he shrugged off the broader concerns voiced by administration officials and Republican leaders about the Turkish invasion.

    “It’s time for us not to be worried about other people’s borders. I want to worry about our borders,” the president said.
     
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    A top US diplomat told impeachment hearings that President Trump directly asked about a Ukrainian investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

    In previously unheard testimony, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, said a member of his staff was told Mr Trump was preoccupied with pushing for a probe into Mr Biden.

    He was speaking at the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry.

    Mr Trump told reporters he did not recall making such comments.

    Mr Trump is accused of withholding US military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country's new president to publicly announce a corruption inquiry into Mr Biden, among the favourites to take him on in the 2020 presidential race.

    Mr Trump denies any wrongdoing and has called the inquiry a "witchhunt".

    What did Trump allegedly ask about?
    During a detailed opening statement, Mr Taylor said a member of his staff had overheard a telephone call in which the president inquired about "the investigations" into Mr Biden.

    The call was with Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, who reportedly told the president over the phone from a restaurant in Kyiv that "the Ukrainians were ready to move forward".

    After the call, the staff member "asked ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine", Mr Taylor said.

    Mr Taylor said: "Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden."

    Meanwhile observers and former officials have drawn attention to the security implications of making the call from a restaurant, potentially exposing the conversation to eavesdropping by Russian intelligence.

    When asked about Mr Sondland earlier this month, the president had said: "I hardly know the gentleman."

    Responding to queries from reporters after the hearing, Mr Trump said: "I know nothing about that, first time I've heard it."

    He said he recalled Mr Sondland's testimony, in which the diplomat said he spoke to the president "for a brief moment" and Mr Trump had "said no quid pro quo under any circumstances".

    He did not recall the phone call Mr Taylor described, "not even a little bit", and "in any event it's more second hand information", he said.

    The impeachment inquiry has been going on for more than a month - but all previous hearings were private, with reports based on leaks and sources speaking to the media.

    Wednesday's public hearings were the first time the public heard from witnesses directly and a chance for Democrats and Republicans to win over voters.

    upload_2019-11-13_23-59-48.png

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50395015
     
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    American lawmakers have also criticized Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian domestic politics. The House voted last week by an overwhelming margin to describe the early-20th-century massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces as a “genocide,” angering Erdogan, who considered canceling his visit in response.

    Erdogan’s return of the letter wasn’t the only uncomfortable moment the Turkish president created for Trump on Wednesday.

    At the outset of the news conference, Erdogan delivered a more than 10-minute long monologue, a few minutes longer than Trump’s opening remarks, while the U.S. president fidgeted at his lectern. Erdogan complained about Kurdish forces in Syria allied with the U.S. that he considers “terrorists” as well as a Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for fomenting a 2016 coup. The U.S. has refused to extradite Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania. Erdogan also again criticized the House resolution on the Armenian massacre.

    Later in the news conference, Erdogan called on a Turkish reporter who asked Trump to explain why he had invited a Kurdish military leader to the White House, calling the person a “terrorist.”

    Trump responded that the U.S. is working closely with both the Kurds and the Turks, adding: “You sure you’re a reporter and you don’t work for Turkey with that question?”
     
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    Career diplomat Marie (Masha) Yovanovitch got to elaborate in public testimony Friday before the U.S. House intelligence committee about her removal as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, an event that clearly left her disappointed and puzzled.

    Yovanovitch was removed from her post just over two months before a now-infamous July 25 call in which U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Ukraine counterpart Volodomyr Zelensky for a "favour," bringing up the possibility of investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden — whose son Hunter served on the board of Ukraine energy giant Burisma while his father was U.S. vice-president — as well as a probe into whether Ukraine actors interfered in the 2016 election through cyber activities on behalf of Democrats.

    That phone call and the withholding of U.S. aid to Ukraine for several weeks have formed the basis of an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. Democrats allege Trump improperly used the powers of his office for personal gain and that Yovanovitch, given her exemplary record, was an obstacle to getting buy-in for those desired investigations.

    After testifying for about five hours, the Montreal-born Yovanovitch left the room on Capitol Hill to applause.

    Here are some of the highlights:

    'It sounded like a threat'
    In a rough summary released of the Trump-Zelensky phone call, the U.S. president described Yovanovitch as "bad news" and said she was "going to go through some things."

    Yovanovitch described learning of the call: "It was a terrible moment. The person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the colour drained from my face. I think I even had a physical reaction."

    Asked by Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman about the content, specifically the "going to go through some things," Yovanovitch replied: "It didn't sound good. It sounded like a threat."

    Trump, in a move that was even criticized by analysts on Fox News, sent off a derogatory tweet while the hearing was ongoing, criticizing Yovanovitch's record of public service.

    In a surreal moment, Adam Schiff, House intelligence committee chair, read the Trump tweet and got Yovanovitch to respond.

    "Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously," said Schiff.

    The White House denied in a statement that it was intimidation, and an angry Trump insisted in a scrum with reporters on Friday afternoon, "I have a right to speak."

    Republicans tried to push back at the notion Yovanovitch's professional life has ended dismally, with more than one lawmaker referring to the effusive praise she's received from fellow diplomats in testimony, as well as her current role teaching at Georgetown University.

    Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley scoffed at that notion, getting her to admit Georgetown was not where she ultimately would like to be at this point in her career, and he then made his main point with a reference to Trump's pre-presidency role as The Apprentice host.

    "It's not the end of a Hallmark movie. It's the end of a really bad reality TV show brought to you by someone who knows a lot about that," said Quigley.

    High stakes
    Yovanovitch's three decades of public service in posts have included time spent in hot spots. The diplomat spoke of fleeing from nearby gunfire in a breakaway Soviet republic, and being on the front lines several times in Ukraine as it has tried to fight off Kremlin-backed Russian fighters in the eastern part of the country.

    Yovanovitch, stoic for much of the day, became a bit emotional recalling how she was summoned back to Washington for what would be her dismissal around the time she was involved in posthumously honouring Ukrainian Kateryna Handziuk, an anti-corruption activist who died after spending weeks in the hospital after having acid thrown at her.

    "This isn't a tabletop game," said Yovanovitch at one point. "There are lives in the balance."

    Yovanovitch also testified that she believed the circumstances regarding her ouster had negative repercussions pertaining to morale for foreign service officers as well as U.S. credibility in diplomatic circles around the globe.

    "Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests around the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want," she said. "After these events, what foreign official — corrupt or not — can be blamed for wondering whether the U.S. ambassador represents the president's views?"

    Again with the bribery
    Article 2, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the president and other officers of government "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours."

    As happened with the impeachment cases concerning Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, it has been presumed that if the Democrats were to draft articles of impeachment, they would accuse the president of the ill-defined "high crimes and misdemeanours."

    But in her weekly news conference on Wednesday, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought up the spectre of bribery in connection with the $391 million US in aid that was held up for several weeks. Democrats allege it was conditional on Ukraine announcing the investigations Trump desired.

    "The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That's bribery," said Pelosi.

    Connecticut Democratic Jim Himes picked up the mantle from Pelosi in Friday's hearing, getting Yovanovitch to agree that bribery was a "serious abuse of power."

    Trump a friend to Ukraine: Republicans
    As the testimony got underway, the White House released a rough transcript of a call in late April between Trump and Zelensky, soon after the latter was elected.

    Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the committee, read liberally from the transcript, in which both presidents spoke of their kinship as outsider candidates and political neophytes with a high profile from TV appearances — Zelensky was a comic actor — before pulling off stunning electoral wins.

    The value was questionable, given that the Democrats are largely focused on events between May and September. As they did in the first public hearing earlier this week involving U.S. diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent, Republicans were probably more effective in focusing on the biggest contribution of the Trump administration to Ukraine's defence against Russia.

    President Barack Obama's administration provided Ukraine with nonlethal military supplies, including counter-mortar radars, night-vision devices and medical items. The Trump administration in 2017 agreed to provide lethal weapons, committing to sell $47 million in Javelin anti-tank missiles.

    Ohio Republican Brad Wenstrup got Yovanovitch to agree that the missiles serve as a deterrent to Russia.

    [​IMG]
    Republicans Mike Conaway of Texas and Mike Turner of Ohio are shown in front of a placard emphasizing the Trump administration's sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

    A bad look for Democrats

    There has never been credible information to emerge that indicates the Bidens engaged in wrongdoing.

    But Texas Republican John Ratcliffe essentially got Yovanovitch to agree that the appearance of a potential conflict of interest for Joe Biden was ever present, and that when she went through confirmation hearings in 2016 for her post, questions about the Bidens and Burisma were part of the preparation material for the Democratic administration.

    Yovanovitch could not specifically recall if any other Ukraine company was mentioned in the prep material.

    Other Republicans brought up anti-Trump comments made publicly by Ukraine officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign as evidence they were "out to get him," in the words of Republican counsel Steve Castor.

    Yovanovitch admitted it was probably not appropriate for the Ukraine politicians to be so forthright about Trump, but felt they were "isolated incidents."

    "Those elements that you've recited don't seem to me to be kind of a plan or plot of the Ukrainian government to work against President Trump or anyone else," she said.
     
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    前两天弹劾听证会上,乌克兰大使泰勒披露他的助手听到了欧盟大使和Trump的通话,这个助手今天在“关门”作证中披露了他听到的内容,很火辣,欧盟大使Sondland告诉Trump,乌克兰总统“love”Trump的a$$。。。

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    As a star witness in the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump was being questioned by lawmakers in the second day of televised hearings in Washington, D.C., and denigrated on Twitter by the president, her former boss was commending her work in Canada.

    Marie Yovanovitch had just begun testifying about her ouster as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, when Trump started commenting on the proceedings on Twitter.

    "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," he tweeted. "She started off in Somalia, how did that go?"

    Yovanovitch worked in Somalia early in her more than three-decade career in the U.S. State Department. That career included two years in Ottawa as the political-military officer at the U.S. embassy from 1996 to 1998.

    upload_2019-11-15_22-44-7.png

    It was a homecoming of sorts for Yovanovitch. She was born in Canada, in Montreal, to parents whose families, according to her earlier testimony, had fled the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. She moved to the U.S. as a young child.

    A former U.S. ambassador to Canada, Gordon Giffin, recalled her as Masha, the Russian short form of her first name and what her embassy colleagues called her when they worked with her.


    [​IMG]
    Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Gordon Giffin, far right, pictured with former U.S. president Bill Clinton and former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien in October 2017, recalled Yovanovitch as an 'energetic and intelligent officer.' (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

    Yovanovitch was a junior officer early in Giffin's stint as Bill Clinton's ambassador to Canada in the late 1990s.

    "She was a very energetic and intelligent officer — someone who exemplified the enthusiasm and dynamism of the career foreign service," Giffin recalled Friday.

    A textbook ambassador
    A student in line outside the hearing room on Capitol Hill Friday hoping to watch the hearing live called her a textbook professional — literally.

    Hunter Congdon, an international affairs student at Georgetown University, said he has a decade-old textbook about diplomacy, Inside a U.S. Embassy, in which she's cited as an example of a model ambassador.

    "The person who is featured as the example ambassador abroad is Marie Yovonavitch," Congdon said.

    "So, she is considered to be the prototypical U.S. ambassador. So, it is really interesting to see that she is the one being questioned."


    [​IMG]
    Hunter Congdon, an international affairs student at Georgetown University, found a reference to Yovanovitch in his textbook Inside a U.S. Embassy. (Sylvia Thomson/CBC)

    After being pulled out of Ukraine this spring, Yovanovitch is now the senior State Department fellow at Georgetown's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

    Lawyer Steve Castor, who was doing the bulk of the questioning for the Republicans Friday, suggested the prestigious Georgetown fellowship undercut the idea that she was ousted for corrupt motives.

    Castor noted that Yovanovitch was retained within the State Department and sent to Georgetown. In Ukraine, she was replaced by someone who had strong credentials and shared her commitment to the country: William Taylor, recently appointed in a temporary role as chargé d'affaires.

    [​IMG]
    Witnesses at the impeachment hearings are being questioned by lawyers Steve Castor for the Republicans and Daniel Goldman for the Democrats. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

    Yovanovitch replied that the U.S. still has no official ambassador in Kyiv.

    One of the Republican congressmen who questioned Yovanovitch praised her record of service and her fortitude.

    "You're tough as nails. You're smart as hell," said Will Hurd, a former CIA officer who is not running for re-election in the 2020 election. "You're an honour to this country."

    Removal sets bad precedent: Yovanovitch
    She gave an account of her removal as ambassador, which she said came after she butted heads with allegedly corrupt Ukrainian officials helping Trump execute a parallel policy on Ukraine.

    The Democrats' central allegation in their impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine is that he delayed U.S. military aid — approved by Congress — to pressure the country's president to launch investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter's role at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, as well discredited allegations that Ukraine had a hand in 2016 U.S. election interference.

    She was asked how she felt earlier this year when Trump's son Donald Jr., commenting on an article about calls to remove her, tweeted that the U.S. needs "less of these jokers as ambassadors."

    "I was worried," she said.

    "How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government? … Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want."
     
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    4188 知名会员 ID:78993

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  12. ccc

    ccc 难得糊涂 ID:6614 管理成员 VIP

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards addresses his supporters after securing reelection on Saturday night.

    Washington (CNN) Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards narrowly won reelection, CNN projected Saturday night, beating out Republican challenger Eddie Rispone, who was backed by President Donald Trump.

    Edwards will claim victory in a deep red state Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016, and against a businessman who closely aligned himself with the President. Trump held two rallies in Louisiana over the past 10 days, but the attempt at a last-minute boost was not enough to carry Rispone over the finish line.

    This is the second Democratic gubernatorial victory in a red state this month, coming after a Democratic victory in Kentucky. Democrat Andy Beshear defeated Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in a state that Trump won by 30 percentage points in 2016.

    Last month, Edwards was forced into a runoff election after falling short of the majority vote needed to clinch reelection. He was the top vote getter (47%) in the jungle primary in which all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, ran against each other. Rispone got 27% of the vote, Republican Ralph Abraham got 24%, and Republican Patrick Landry got 1%.

    Edwards, 53, is the only statewide elected Democrat in Louisiana. He has accomplished the national Democratic priority of expanding Medicaid, but has been far to the right of his party on some social issues -- including abortion rights and gun control. He is a former Army Ranger who describes himself as pro-guns and a pro-life Democrat. Earlier this year, Edwards signed a bill banning abortions once a heartbeat is detectable with no exceptions for rape or incest.

    He was the minority leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives before being elected governor in 2015. As governor, Edwards signed an executive order to expand Medicaid in the state, and supports a modest increase to Louisiana's minimum wage, according to his campaign website. He touts cutting taxes and state government spending while in office, and working across party lines.

    Rispone is a 70-year-old businessman with a background in construction, and is a first-time candidate. A longtime donor, he spent millions of dollars of his own money on his campaign. He billed himself as a "conservative outsider," and is an ardent Trump supporter. He campaigned on banning sanctuary cities and cracking down on illegal immigration, and is a vocal critic of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

    Edwards won office back in 2015 on somewhat of a fluke. Polling showed him only clearly beating one Republican in a runoff, scandal-ridden David Vitter, and Vitter was the Republican who managed to secure a runoff spot alongside Edwards. Edwards was helped by then-Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal driving up the state budget deficit and providing the political environment for Edwards to win.
     
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    4188 知名会员 ID:78993

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    Rudy Giuliani Is Officially Under Criminal Investigation
     
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  14. ccc

    ccc 难得糊涂 ID:6614 管理成员 VIP

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    upload_2019-11-17_23-53-21.png

    Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump on Sunday lashed out at a State Department employee who is set to testify publicly this week before lawmakers, the latest in a series of social media attacks made by the President against those cooperating in the House impeachment inquiry.

    Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence and a career foreign service officer, is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. In his Sunday tweet, Trump resurfaced an unfounded accusation he has raised against other officials who have testified in the probe, characterizing Williams as a Never Trumper and associating her with other "Never Trumpers."

    Tweeting a day after Williams' earlier, closed-door testimony was released, Trump urged Williams to "read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls."

    During a closed-door deposition earlier this month, Williams told lawmakers she was in the White House Situation Room listening to Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in real time and reviewed a transcript of Trump's April call prior to Pence's own April call with Zelensky. Williams also listened to a second call between Pence and Zelensky, which took place on September 18 after the hold on security assistance was lifted.

    Trump's July 25 call is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, in which a whistleblower complaint alleges Trump asked for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential rival, and his son Hunter Biden. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden in Ukraine.

    Williams testified that Trump's request for specific investigations struck her as "unusual and inappropriate" and "shed some light on possible other motivations" for Trump's decision to freeze security aid to Ukraine.

    Pence's office on Sunday declined to defend Williams after Trump's Twitter attack.

    "Jennifer is a State Department employee," Pence's press secretary Katie Waldman said in response to CNN's request for comment.

    Like many foreign policy advisers at the White House, Williams is a State Department employee detailed to Pence's office.

    Staffers in the vice president's office have made a concerted effort to distance Pence from Williams, even before she sat down to testify. But sources explained to CNN that his office is selective about which career officials get detailed to their staff. His senior staff typically interviews them beforehand.

    Keith Kellogg, the vice president's national security adviser, was responsible for selecting Williams.

    CNN has reached out to Williams and her attorney for comment, but has not received a response.

    She is currently serving as a special adviser to the vice president for Europe and Russia. Current and former colleagues have praised Williams, with one White House official saying: "She is the most professional person in this building."

    Williams is just the latest government employee that Trump has accused without evidence of being a Never Trumper. He has also labeled Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, and National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as such.
     
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    ccc 难得糊涂 ID:6614 管理成员 VIP

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    upload_2019-11-17_23-57-34.png

    Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited U.S. President Donald Trump to testify in front of investigators in the House impeachment inquiry ahead of a week that will see several key witnesses appear publicly.

    Pushing back against accusations from the president that the process has been stacked against him, Pelosi said Trump is welcome to appear or answer questions in writing, if he chooses.

    “If he has information that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame, then we look forward to seeing it,” she said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Trump “could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” she said.

    “If Donald Trump doesn’t agree with what he’s hearing, doesn’t like what he’s hearing, he shouldn’t tweet. He should come to the committee and testify under oath. And he should allow all those around him to come to the committee and testify under oath,” Schumer told reporters. He said the White House’s insistence on blocking witnesses from cooperating begs the question: “What is he hiding?”

    The comments come as the House Intelligence Committee prepares for a second week of public hearings as part of its inquiry, including with the man who is arguably the most important witness. Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, is among the only people interviewed to date who had direct conversations with the president about the situation because the White House has blocked others from cooperating with what they dismiss as a sham investigation.

    And testimony suggests he was intimately involved in discussions that are at the heart of the investigation into whether Trump held up U.S. military aid to Ukraine to try to pressure the county’s president to announce an investigation into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 candidate, and his son, Hunter.

    Multiple witnesses overheard a phone call in which Trump and Sondland reportedly discussed efforts to push for the investigations. In private testimony to impeachment investigators made public Saturday, Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide and longtime Republican defense hawk, said Sondland told him he was discussing Ukraine matters directly with Trump.

    Morrison said Sondland and Trump had spoken approximately five times between July 15 and Sept. 11 — the weeks that $391 million in U.S. assistance was withheld from Ukraine before it was released.

    And he recounted that Sondland told a top Ukrainian official in a meeting that the vital U.S. military assistance might be freed up if the country’s top prosecutor “would go to the mike and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation.” Burisma is the gas company that hired Hunter Biden.

    Morrison’s testimony contradicted much of what Sondland told congressional investigators during his own closed-door deposition, which the ambassador later amended.

    Trump has said he has no recollection of the overheard call and has suggested he barely knew Sondland, a wealthy donor to his 2016 campaign. But Democrats are hoping he sheds new light on the discussions.

    “I’m not going to try to prejudge his testimony,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said on “Fox News Sunday.” But he suggested, “it was not lost on Ambassador Sondland what happened to the president’s close associate Roger Stone for lying to Congress, to Michael Cohen for lying to Congress. My guess is that Ambassador Sondland is going to do his level best to tell the truth, because otherwise he may have a very unpleasant legal future in front of him.”

    The committee will also be interviewing a long list of others. On Tuesday, they’ll hear from Morrison along with Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, Alexander Vindman, the director for European affairs at the National Security Council, and Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine.

    On Wednesday the committee will hear from Sondland in addition to Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, and David Hale, a State Department official. And on Thursday, Fiona Hill, a former top NSC staffer for Europe and Russia, will appear.

    Trump, meanwhile, continued to tweet and retweet a steady stream of commentary from supporters as he bashed “The Crazed, Do Nothing Democrats” for “turning Impeachment into a routine partisan weapon.”

    “I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower,” Pelosi said.

    Trump has been under fire for his treatment of one of the witnesses, the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump criticized by tweet as she was testifying last week.

    That attack prompted accusations of witness intimidation from Democrats and even some criticism from Republicans, who have been largely united in their defense of Trump.

    “I think, along with most people, I find the president’s tweet generally unfortunate,” said Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    Still, he insisted that tweets were “certainly not impeachable and it’s certainly not criminal. And it’s certainly not witness intimidation,” even if Yovanovitch said she felt intimidated by the attacks.

    Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, said Trump “communicates in ways that sometimes I wouldn’t,” but dismissed the significance of the attacks.

    “If your basis for impeachment is going to include a tweet, that shows how weak the evidence for that impeachment is,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    And the backlash didn’t stop Trump from lashing out at yet another witness, this time Pence aide Williams. He directed her in a Sunday tweet to “meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!”
     
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