Earlier this week news broke that a whistleblower complaint being withheld without precedent by Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire involved disturbing communications by Trump with a foreign leader. The complaint involved a troubling “promise” Trump had made to a foreign leader.
ICYMI: Trump Rages About Whistleblower Report of Troubling ‘Promise’ Made to Foreign Leader: ‘Is Anybody Dumb Enough to Believe I Would Say Something Inappropriate?’
Now we’re learning that the complaint likely involves Ukraine.
The Washington Post reports: ‘Two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and political newcomer who was elected in a landslide in May. That call is already under investigation by House Democrats who are examining whether Trump and his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump’s reelection campaign. Lawmakers have demanded a full transcript and a list of participants on the call.’
The NYT adds: ‘Though it is not clear how Ukraine fits into the allegation, questions have already emerged about Mr. Trump’s dealings with its government. In late July, he told the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that Ukraine could improve its reputation and its “interaction” with the United States by investigating corruption, according to a Ukrainian government summary of the call. Some of Mr. Trump’s close allies were also urging the Ukrainian government to investigate matters that could hurt the president’s political rivals, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his family.’
Meanwhile, as pieces of that puzzle began to emerge, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani flailed over on CNN in an interview with Chris Cuomo.
The Guardian reports: ‘In a testy interview on CNN on Thursday night, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, offered conflicting answers to questions on whether he had asked Ukraine to investigate the former vice-president, and 2020 presidential hopeful, Joe Biden. At one point he dismissed the claim as ridiculous before admitting it and saying he was proud of it.’
Meanwhile, the Morning Joe Panel sees this whistleblower complaint as a turning point in Trump’s impeachment.
Said Joe Scarborough: “I found it very telling that Mitch McConnell caved yesterday, very telling that after doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding over the past several years, and refusing to listen to all the intel chiefs that Donald Trump appointed to protect American democracy against what they call an imminent threat, that Mitch McConnell chose yesterday, as this story was exploding about other foreign interference in American democracy, that’s when he finally caved and stopped worrying about Vladimir Putin and started worrying about protecting and defending American democracy.”
Added former Bush White House aide Elise Jordan: “You almost have to wonder if President Trump thought, ‘Got away with it once, no consequences first go-round, let’s gear up for 2020, let’s see what we can do.’ It is just simply astounding to watch drunk grandpa last night, who needs to be just pulled off to hospice.”