Russia ambassador pick breaks with Trump on Ukraine

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Politico: “Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan implicitly broke with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that it would not be ‘in accord with our values’ for a president to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival. Sullivan was speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is vetting his nomination as the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. His appearance has offered Senate Democrats a rare chance to quiz a top Trump administration official on issues related to the House-led impeachment inquiry into Trump — and they took full advantage. Sullivan was grilled in particular by New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the committee’s ranking Democrat, on impeachment-related topics, including the propriety of what Trump is accused of doing: pressuring Ukraine’s government to investigate a political rival, former vice president Joe Biden. On that aspect, Sullivan was fairly direct. ‘Soliciting investigations into a domestic political opponent — I don’t think that would be in accord with our values,’ he said.”

Trump attacks on Army colonel puts GOP in bind – WaPo: “Trump and his allies on TV lashed out at Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who said his concerns about what he heard in Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky drove him to notify his superiors. Trump dismissed Vindman as a ‘Never Trumper,’ while some of his allies questioned the patriotism of the Army combat veteran because his family emigrated from the Soviet Union when he was 3. Trump’s attack on the Purple Heart recipient unnerved Republicans in Congress, with several pushing back, albeit without naming the president. … The response from Trump’s party created an unusual dynamic in which Republicans were defending a man who was simultaneously accusing the president of undermining national security for his own political purposes. Privately, several Republicans found Vindman’s testimony to be damaging and lamented that once again they were forced to defend the president.”

Officer said White House left out key parts of Trump call transcript – NYT: “Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to include them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony. The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.”

Pelosi tries to shoot the gap on impeachment rules – Fox News: “House Democrats on Tuesday introduced a resolution to formalize their impeachment inquiry and adopt rules to govern the proceedings, following sustained complaints by congressional Republicans and the White House that the inquiry hasn’t followed past precedent and violates the president’s due process rights. But … Democrats have adamantly denied that the document is an ‘impeachment resolution,’ perhaps out of concern for how that label would play in more moderate swing districts. The resolution directs the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Judiciary, and Ways and Means Committees to ‘continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry…’ Republicans, however, have countered that there is no ‘existing’ impeachment inquiry because the House has not voted to open one as it did during the Clinton and Nixon impeachments — and Tuesday’s resolution does not explicitly open the probe, either.”

“The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.” – Alexander HamiltonFederalist No. 8

History: “‘War of the Worlds’ was not planned as a radio hoax, and [Orson] Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause. The show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. … Sunday evening in 1938 was prime-time in the golden age of radio, and millions of Americans had their radios turned on. … Welles introduced his radio play with a spoken introduction, followed by an announcer reading a weather report. Then, seemingly abandoning the storyline, the announcer took listeners to ‘the Meridian Room in the Hotel Park Plaza in downtown New York, where you will be entertained by the music of Ramon Raquello and his orchestra.’ Putrid dance music played for some time, and then the scare began. An announcer broke in to report that ‘Professor Farrell of the Mount Jenning Observatory’ had detected explosions on the planet Mars. Then the dance music came back on, followed by another interruption in which listeners were informed that a large meteor had crashed into a farmer’s field in Grovers Mills, New Jersey.”

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Biden: 27.6 points (↓ 1.2 from last wk.)
Warren: 24.8 points (↓ 0.4 from last wk.)
Sanders: 14.6 points (↑ 0.8 from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 6.4 points (↑ 0.4 from last wk.)
Harris: 4.8 points (↑ 0.2 from last wk.)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, CNN, Fox News, IBD and Monmouth University.]

Average approval: 41 percent
Average disapproval: 55.6 percent
Net Score: -14.6 percent
Change from one week ago: ↓ 0.4 points
[Average includes: Grinnell/Selzer: 43% approve – 51% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 58% disapprove; CNN: 42% approve – 57% disapprove; Fox News: 43% approve – 55% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve – 57% disapprove.]

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CBS News: “Following days of criticism over an apparent softening of his stance toward super PACs, former Vice President Joe Biden‘s campaign warned a newly formed independent entity not to attack Biden’s Democratic competitors. ‘Our campaign would be extremely frustrated if the super PAC was used to attack other Democrats,’ Biden’s campaign manager Greg Schultz told reporters Tuesday. The new pro-Biden super PAC, named Unite The Country, was registered with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. Biden has denied changing his opinion over whether he would welcome the assistance of super PACs, which allow for backers to spend unlimited sums to boost a candidate. Federal law prohibits super PACs from coordinating directly with campaigns. ‘The super PAC was not encouraged. It was not discouraged. And the reality is Trump does not want to run against Joe Biden. He’s spending $10 million to date against him,’ said Schultz.”

Bernie goes all in for Latino vote – Politico: “…Latino activists say they hear all the time from voters in their community who are high on [Bernie] Sanders, and that’s backed by polling showing him leading or tied among Latinos. Sanders won the highly coveted endorsement of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His campaign co-chair is San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. Afro-Latina rapper Cardi B is a fan. … The fact that Joe Biden is counting on strong support from African Americans to win the Democratic nomination is widely known. Less understood is the similar bet that Sanders is making on Latino voters: His campaign believes that by driving up turnout among Latinos, as well as young and working-class voters of all ethnicities, he can build out the electorate, bring new voters into the fold, and expand the 15 to 20 percent of Democratic voters who zealously support the democratic socialist.”

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