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Trump Ukraine call becomes political fodder for Democrats

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WASHINGTON – The political battle over the Donald Trump-Ukraine phone call began a few hours before a summary was released publicly.

It may last months.

Wednesday morning, the White House gathered about a dozen Republican lawmakers for a private briefing on Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They were given a chance to view the summary and ask questions.

Trump phoned in from United Nations in New York, where he was attending meetings. He told the lawmakers his conversation with Zelensky was “a nothing call.”

Throughout the day, from the White House to Democratic and Republican Party offices across the country, presidential allies and critics gave potential voters very different analyses of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky – and of the impeachment inquiry inspired by it.

‘I thought it was dead’: Donald Trump says he thought he had escaped impeachment after Mueller report

In between words upon words of mutual praise in the summary of the call between Trump and Zelensky are clues to House Democrats’ questions as they move forward with an impeachment inquiry announced Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Did Trump improperly pressure Zelensky to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter?

Trump struck a defiant tone after the five-page summary was released, saying the document did not reveal anything improper.

“The way you had that built up, that call was going to be the call from hell,” Trump told reporters at the UN, repeating the description of the conversation as a “nothing call.”

Republicans delivered similar messages via news releases, media interviews, e-mails and tweets, as well as news conferences and chats with reporters in office hallways or over the phone.

“ZERO discussion of foreign aid quid pro quo,” tweeted Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., one of the lawmakers on the White House early morning guest list. “That’s it? THAT’S what Democrats are impeaching on?”

Democrats used the same tactics to deliver a much different message to their voters.

They stressed that Trump repeatedly talked about the prospects of U.S. aid to Ukraine while requesting that its government investigate Biden and his son, who once had business interests in the country.

‘Deeply disturbing’: Lawmakers read whistleblower complaint at center of Trump-Ukraine scandal

“What those notes reflect is a classic Mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

The White House, Republicans and Democrats can be expected to deliver these contrasting interpretations throughout a months-long impeachment process, and probably throughout the 2020 election.

Both the Trump and the Biden campaigns, among others, sent out donation requests after the release of the Trump-Ukraine transcript.

“In the 24 hours since news of Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment announcement, @realDonaldTrump’s campaign & @GOP have BLOWN OUT fundraising!” claimed a tweet from Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager.

Parscale, Trump and other Republicans seek to turn the impeachment issue against the Democrats, accusing them of pursuing impeachment out of a desire to reverse the results of the 2016 election while ignoring the nation’s challenges.

“Because of their pure hatred for President Trump, desperate Democrats and the salivating media already had determined their mission: take out the President,” Parscale said in a statement.

Democrats said the call is proof that Trump is willing to use a foreign government to smear his enemies.

In an email solicitation to voters  Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party said Trump “seemingly asked a foreign power to target an American citizen so as to influence an American election.”

Biden called Trump unfit for office, saying, “This is is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It is a national security issue. It is a test of our democratic values.”

The White House is getting out its message through talking points to surrogates. One of them claimed to identify the “myths” and “reality” of the phone call with Zelensky and media reports on it.

The White House rapid response operation was not without glitches. One staff member accidentally sent the talking points to Democratic congressional offices. The staffer had the recall button, but was too late; Democrats gleefully passed them out to reporters.

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Doctored video shows Trump violently attacking media figures

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Issued on: 14/10/2019 – 13:20Modified: 14/10/2019 – 13:31

A video showing a doctored image of US President Donald Trump shooting and assaulting members of the media and political opponents was shown at an event for his supporters last week at Mar-a-Lago, The New York Times reported.

In the internet meme entitled “The Trumpsman”, the US president‘s head is superimposed on an image of a man attacking people whose faces have been replaced with the logos of media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, NBC and the BBC. The video has been taken from a scene in the film “Kingsman: The Secret Service”.

[embedded content]

As the rampage continues inside the “Church of Fake News”, the Trump character strikes late senator John McCain on the back of the neck and torches the head of Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential rival.

He throws former Republican senator Mitt Romney to the ground and strikes former president Barack Obama in the back before slamming him against a wall.

The video also depicts Trump attacking people including his 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton; former president Bill Clinton; Congressman Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee who is leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump; actor Rosie O’Donnell; and financier George Soros, who is often a target of alt-right conspiracy theories. Trump is also shown attacking someone whose head has been superimposed with the Black Lives Matter logo.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

The organiser of last week’s “American Priority” event – which was held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Miami – said the clip was part of a “meme exhibit”. Speakers at the conference included the president’s son Donald Trump Jr and former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech,” Alex Phillips told The New York Times.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media figures and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported on Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

‘Enemies of the people’

The White House Correspondents Association said in a statement that it was “horrified” by the video and that “all Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed towards journalists and [Trump’s] political opponents”.

CNN wrote on Twitter: “This is not the first time that supporters of the President have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining, but it is by far and away the worst.”

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

Trump, the White House and his campaign must denounce the clip, the channel said, adding that “anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence”.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump’s 2020 election campaign, told the Times the “video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence”.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.

A brutal video clip depicting Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Randy Report, Twitter / YouTube, The Geekz Team

Media organisations have come under regular verbal attack from Trump and his supporters.

At rallies, the US president repeatedly encourages the crowd to boo and heckle journalists covering the event, calling them “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

Trump has previously tweeted a roughly edited video clip of him attacking a wrestler whose head had been superimposed with a CNN logo.

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Everything you Need to know About Maxime Bernier

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Maxime Bernier PC MP (born January 18, 1963) is a Canadian businessman, lawyer and politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Beauce since 2006. He is the founder and current leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC).

Prior to entering politics, Bernier held positions in the fields of law, finance and banking. First elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative, Bernier served as Minister of IndustryMinister of Foreign AffairsMinister of State for Small Business and Tourism, which later became the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism and Agriculture in the cabinet of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Following the Conservatives’ defeat in the 2015 election, he served as opposition critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development in the shadow cabinets of Rona Ambrose and Andrew Scheer, until June 12, 2018.

Federal party leaders

Bernier ran for the Conservative Party leadership in the 2017 leadership election, and came in a close second with over 49% of the vote in the 13th round, after leading the eventual winner, Andrew Scheer, in the first 12 rounds. Fifteen months later, in August 2018, Bernier resigned from the Conservative Party to create his own party, citing disagreements with Scheer’s leadership.[1] His new party was named the People’s Party of Canada in September 2018.

He has been a separatist, a Conservative cabinet minister, even ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party. So how did Maxime Bernier wind up leading a brand new party in this election campaign?

And when did some of his more controversial positions take hold? 

In the sixth and final Canadian leadership profile, Jayme Poisson speaks to the CBC’s Jonathan Montpetit about Maxime Bernier, the controversial head of the People’s Party of Canada. 28:05

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Everything you Need to Know About Yves-François Blanchet

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Yves-François Blanchet (born April 16, 1965) is a Canadian politician serving as Leader of the Bloc Québécois since 2019.

He is a graduate from the Université de Montréal where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology in 1987. He later worked as a teacher and was a founder of an artist, disc and concert management firm, YFB Inc. while being the president of the ADISQ from 2003 to 2006. He was named the local business personality of the year by the Drummondville Chamber of Commerce, while he and associated artists received 10 Félix Awards.

Yves-Francois Blanchet in October 2009.jpg

Blanchet was elected to represent the riding of Drummond in the National Assembly of Quebec in the 2008 provincial election. In the 2012 election, he was reelected, this time in Johnson electoral district. He was defeated by CAQ candidate André Lamontagne in the 2014 Quebec election. A member of the Parti Québécois (PQ), Blanchet was Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks from 2012 until 2014.[2] He was also a member of the Youth National Committee of the Parti Québécois in 1988 as well as a regional director of the PQ.

On November 26, 2018, Blanchet announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Bloc Québécois (BQ). As no other candidate had entered the race by the time nominations closed on January 15, 2019, Blanchet was officially acclaimed leader on January 17, 2019.

He’s definitely not as familiar outside of Quebec as he is in his home province. But the Bloc Québécois has been the official opposition in the past and so it’s important to know what Yves-François Blanchet stands for and what he would fight for on behalf of Quebec.

If nothing else, listen to learn Blanchet’s nickname — and how he earned it. 

The Bloc Québécois was once a powerful federal political party, forming the official opposition in 1993 and holding around fifty seats in the House in the mid to late 2000’s. But the last two elections have nearly wiped the Bloc from existence, and the party has had a revolving door of leaders. This year, Yves-François Blanchet took over the reins. Today on Front Burner, as part of our series on the federal party leaders, we take a look at who Blanchet is and what he stands for with Martin Patriquin, a freelance political journalist based in Montreal. 21:28

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