Trump Targeted Ukraine For Putin

Here is Treacherous Tucker. Fox needs to be sued. Trump and most Republicans are the cause for high gas prices at the pump. There is no doubt that Trump and his handlers prepared the way for Putin to invade. Most Republicans wondered who was coaching Their Moron on Ukraine. Who coaches Tucker?

John Presco

Tucker Carlson Says America Is Literally at War With Russia and Trump Was Impeached to Make It Happen (Video) (msn.com)

Tucker Carlson accused the Joe Biden administration of actively goading Russia into invading Ukraine. He further claimed that this is the end result of a nefarious scheme by Democrats and even some Republicans to get the U.S. into a war with Russia that even included the first impeachment of Donald Trump. Also, Tucker Carlson said that the U.S. already is at war with Russia. It was a lot”.

“Democrats have accused the president of abusing his office by urging Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election and by withholding a White House meeting and military assistance as leverage. Mr. Trump has defended his conduct as proper and said his aim was to encourage Ukraine to fight corruption.”

“Mr. Trump initially scolded advisers who had been urging him to approve the missile sale, the current and former officials said. Mr. Trump objected to providing what he called “lethal aid” to Kyiv and said European allies should do more to protect their neighbors, according to several former White House officials.

H.R. McMaster, then the national security adviser, and then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis assured Ukraine that the request would go forward when, according to one foreign official briefed on the matter, Mr. Trump was “in a good mood.”

President Trump shaking hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting in the Oval Office in June 2017.PHOTO: EVAN VUCCI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

By Vivian Salama Follow and Rebecca Ballhaus Follow

Nov. 16, 2019 5:30 am ET

WASHINGTON—Since taking office, President Trump has criticized Ukraine for corruption and expressed sympathy with Russia’s historical claim to parts of the country—views that have tempered his engagement with Ukraine.

Mr. Trump’s skepticism on Ukraine was fueled even before he took office when, in the thick of the 2016 election, the country’s anticorruption agency released information alleging payments to Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Mr. Trump’s views on Ukraine are now an important backdrop to the impeachment hearings under way in the House of Representatives, which focus on whether the president sought to pressure Kyiv to investigate his political rivals.

In White House meetings and talks with foreign leaders, Mr. Trump has repeatedly described Ukraine as “totally corrupt” and full of “terrible people,” according to current and former administration officials. At their introductory meeting in Germany in 2017, President Vladimir Putin urged Mr. Trump to recognize Russia’s claim of sovereignty over part of Ukraine, citing links dating to an 11th-century political federation located in modern-day Ukraine, Belarus, and part of Russia.

Since then, Mr. Trump has often complained about U.S. support for Ukraine, describing the country to European leaders as “your Ukraine” and “part of Russia,” U.S. and foreign officials said.


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The president’s skepticism toward Ukraine cropped up in deliberations in which he initially opposed the sale of missiles to Ukraine to bolster the nation’s defenses against Russia, according to current and former officials. Mr. Trump ultimately approved transferring the missiles, which the Obama administration had refused to do.

His distrust also showed in his initial resistance to meeting Ukraine’s then-president in 2017 at the White House, though he later relented. Mindful of Mr. Trump’s reluctance, President Petro Poroshenko agreed during that visit to a request from an administration official to buy coal from a Pennsylvania company ahead of a speech Mr. Trump was giving, said people familiar with the discussion. Mr. Trump then touted Ukraine’s interest in buying U.S. coal in his remarks.

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The White House didn’t respond to requests for comment. Mr. Trump has said improved relations with Russia would benefit U.S. interests and has urged Moscow and Kyiv to negotiate.

Democrats have accused the president of abusing his office by urging Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election and by withholding a White House meeting and military assistance as leverage. Mr. Trump has defended his conduct as proper and said his aim was to encourage Ukraine to fight corruption.

Reducing corruption is a longstanding U.S. goal in Ukraine; the country was ranked 120 out of 180 on Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index. The U.S. has also provided financial and other assistance to support Ukraine against Russia, especially since it annexed Crimea in 2014 and backed armed separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine.

During the 2016 presidential election, Ukraine’s independent anticorruption bureau published extracts from a secret account book that allegedly showed $12.7 million in cash payments from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party to Mr. Manafort for work as a political consultant. The bureau said it released the information because it had been inundated with requests from reporters.

As a result, Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign three months before the election. He denied wrongdoing at the time but was later convicted of bank fraud and tax evasion related to payments for his Ukraine work. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence. Mr. Trump has said he believes Mr. Manafort was roughly treated by Ukraine.

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President Trump attending a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit in Osaka in June.PHOTO: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

After his election, Mr. Trump took steps to improve U.S. relations with Russia while accusing Ukraine of interfering in the 2016 election to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. U.S. intelligence and special counsel Robert Mueller have documented that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump—a conclusion Mr. Trump has repeatedly questioned.

Current and former aides said his reluctance to accept that finding fueled his chilly approach to Ukraine.

Administration officials were “puzzled as to why he seemed so much more favorably disposed towards Russia than towards Ukraine—especially when their interests diverged,” a former administration official said.

When Mr. Poroshenko prepared for his June 2017 visit the White House, Mr. Trump was initially opposed to meeting the Ukrainian leader, who had been scheduled to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, according to two people involved in the planning.

Still, White House advisers believed the presidents should have at least a quick photo op and meeting as a show of support, particularly since Mr. Trump had granted an unscheduled visit to two top Russian diplomats the month before.

In the lead-up to the visit, Mr. Trump told aides he wanted Ukraine to buy coal from the U.S., the former administration official said. When another official suggested to Mr. Poroshenko that Ukraine buy the coal from a Pennsylvania company, the Ukrainian leader agreed, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Nine days after their Oval Office meeting, Mr. Trump touted Ukraine’s plans to purchase coal at an event in Washington billed as “Unleashing American Energy.”

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“Ukraine already tells us they need millions and millions of metric tons right now,” Mr. Trump said. “There are many other places that need it, too. And we want to sell it to them.”

A deal was struck the next month between the Ukrainian state-owned utility Centrenergo and XCoal Energy and Resources to import hundreds of thousands of tons of coal, worth tens of millions of dollars.

Such asks of friendly countries were typical early in the Trump administration. Before any meeting with a foreign leader, officials would brief the president on what sorts of purchases the visiting country could make or how it could help the U.S. economy, the former official said. “The president always wanted to know,” the official said.

Poland, for example, in mid-2017 began importing U.S. liquefied natural gas—a favorite commodity of Mr. Trump’s when urging foreign leaders to import American goods, said the former official.

Three months after their 2017 White House meeting, Mr. Trump met Mr. Poroshenko again, at the United Nations General Assembly. Catherine Croft, a top State Department official, told a closed-door impeachment hearing last month that throughout that meeting, Mr. Trump repeatedly described Ukraine as a “corrupt country,” a line he also took when Ukraine requested the purchase of U.S.-made Javelin antitank missiles.

Mr. Trump initially scolded advisers who had been urging him to approve the missile sale, the current and former officials said. Mr. Trump objected to providing what he called “lethal aid” to Kyiv and said European allies should do more to protect their neighbors, according to several former White House officials.

H.R. McMaster, then the national security adviser, and then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis assured Ukraine that the request would go forward when, according to one foreign official briefed on the matter, Mr. Trump was “in a good mood.”

The opportunity came in December 2017 after Congress approved the president’s sweeping tax-reform bill a day earlier. Messrs. McMaster and Mattis brought the Javelin approval document to Mr. Trump the next day and he signed it, according to a foreign official and a former administration official.

Still, Mr. Trump’s view of Ukraine has remained consistently negative. In June 2018 at the Group of Seven dinner in Canada, he told his counterparts that Ukraine was “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” according to a foreign official.

Last month, defending the efforts of his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to push investigations in Ukraine, Mr. Trump told reporters: “He looks for corruption wherever he goes. Everybody understands Ukraine has big problems in that regard.”

—Alan Cullison and Michael C. Bender contributed to this article.

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Tucker Carlson Says America Is Literally at War With Russia and Trump Was Impeached to Make It Happen (Video) (msn.com)

Tucker Carlson accused the Joe Biden administration of actively goading Russia into invading Ukraine. He further claimed that this is the end result of a nefarious scheme by Democrats and even some Republicans to get the U.S. into a war with Russia that even included the first impeachment of Donald Trump. Also, Tucker Carlson said that the U.S. already is at war with Russia. It was a lot.

The Ukraine scandal burst into the view of Congress and the public this summer when the House Intelligence Committee obtained a whistle-blower’s report. The report focused on a July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and Trump’s plot to withhold military aid as leverage. But the fact that this sequence of events was exposed does not mean it is the entirety of the plot. The sequence of events instead suggests that Trump has been extorting Ukraine for his own political gain not only in 2017, but during the previous two years as well.

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Begin with Trump’s notion that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked Democratic emails. This is the idea he raises in his call with Zelensky, asking his befuddled Ukrainian counterpart to locate a server that, according to this bizarre conspiracy theory, was handed by Democrats over to Ukrainians and that would prove Russia had been framed. American intelligence officials have described the theory as a Russian-backed disinformation campaign.

Where did Trump get this idea from? He seems to have first heard it in the summer of 2016, from Paul Manafort, his campaign manager. Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, told Robert Mueller that Manafort had been spouting the theory that Ukrainians framed Russia since the summer of 2016, and that the theory seemed to come from Manafort’s partner, Konstantin Kilimnik, who American officials believed was a Russian intelligence operative.

By April 2017, Trump was repeating this theory in public, falsely telling an Associated Press reporter that a “Ukrainian-based” company had taken the Democratic server with the stolen emails. A few months after that, Rudy Giuliani began meeting with Ukrainian officials. Giuliani recently explained that he pursued the theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had hacked Democratic emails because it would exonerate Trump. Obviously, Trump could not have colluded with Russia to exploit stolen emails if Russia hadn’t stolen the emails in the first place. “I knew they were hot and heavy on this Russian collusion thing, even though I knew 100 percent that it was false,” he told Glenn Beck. “I said to myself, ‘Hallelujah.’ I’ve got what a defense lawyer always wants: I can go prove someone else committed this crime.”

Giuliani undertook what appear to be two previous episodes of trading diplomatic favors to Ukrainians in return for steps to protect Trump from the Mueller investigation. The first apparent trade involved a meeting between Trump and Ukraine’s then-president Petro Poroshenko in return for a Ukrainian investigation that would exonerate Manafort, then a prime target of Mueller’s.

Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake summarizes the timeline:

June 8, 2017: Trump ally Rudolph W. Giuliani meets with Poroshenko and then-Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko.
June 9, 2017: Lutsenko’s office joins an existing investigation into the “black ledger,” which implicated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The investigation had previously been handled only by Ukraine’s independent National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), and critics alleged the new move was meant to bury the scandal.
June 14, 2017: Reports in Europe indicate Poroshenko will meet with Trump.
June 19, 2017: Spicer says Poroshenko will meet with Vice President Pence, but doesn’t confirm a meeting with Trump.
June 20, 2017: Poroshenko gets a brief “drop-in” visit with Trump.
This is either a direct trade, or an exchange of mutually-beneficial actions that coincidentally occurred in very rapid succession.

The next apparent quid pro quo took place the next year. The U.S. sold desperately needed Javelin missiles to Ukraine that year, and the New York Times reported at the time that Ukraine suspended cooperation with the Mueller investigation. (This is another one of those Trump-era episodes where a credible report of shocking misconduct immediately sinks without a trace into the vast ooze of other Trumpian outrages.) “In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials,” one Ukrainian lawmaker and close ally of President Poroshenko explained to the Times.

The benefit of this move to Trump was immense. Manafort and Kilimnik were key figures in the Mueller probe. Mueller found that Manafort had slipped Kilimnik 75 pages of polling data during a meeting in the summer of 2016. Here you have proof that Trump’s campaign manager gave valuable, detailed information to a known Russian spy, at a time when the Russians were running a pro-Trump media operation. But Mueller never determined what the polling was for. And Kilimnik was able to leave Ukraine and escape to Russia, where Mueller could not interview him. A State Department document concluded that Lutsenko, who had met with Giuliani, allowed Kilimnik to leave the country.

Neither of these episodes has been investigated in anything like the depth of the 2019 episodes. But both bear all the same superficial hallmarks to what occurred this year. In both instances, Giuliani had contacts with Ukrainian officials, and traded the same things (a presidential meeting and military aid). Also in both cases, Ukraine put its famously corrupt judicial system at the disposal of Trump’s domestic interests.

In 2017 and 2018, Trump was consumed by the Mueller investigation, and seems to have pushed Ukraine to take steps to stymie it. By 2019, Giuliani had taken an interest in claims of wrongdoing by Joe Biden, and added demands for a Biden probe to his push for investigations that would exonerate Russia’s (and therefore Trump’s) behavior in 2016.

By 2019, Trump and Giuliani were barely hiding their actions. Giuliani was boasting about his activities to every reporter who would listen. And Trump was directing a growing array of officials to follow Giuliani’s lead, despite the obvious impropriety of placing American foreign policy in the hands of his private attorney who was openly working on his political behalf.

Why did they flaunt their scheme so widely and carelessly? Most likely because they had already been doing the same thing for two years.

Former President Donald Trump on Monday sought to recast his administration’s role in bolstering Europe’s security, claiming credit for strengthening NATO and arming Ukraine’s military with advanced weaponry.

But critics were quick to point out that Trump, whose “America First” foreign policy slogan often reflected efforts to pull back from allies, frequently undermined NATO and once threatened to withhold military aide from Ukraine — a move that was deemed illegal by a government watchdog and became central to Trump’s first impeachment trial in Congress.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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