Live updates: Trump dares Democrats to ‘try to impeach this’ as he reminds them of 2016 support

Live updates: Trump dares Democrats to ‘try to impeach this’ as he reminds them of 2016 support

Trump once again insisted that his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “PERFECT,” dismissing concerns at the core of a whistleblower’s complaint that he pressed for an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son.

While Congress is officially on recess, depositions are planned in coming days of key figures to the controversy.

● Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

● Trump lashed out at the whistleblower and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.)

●Three House committees issued a subpoena Monday to Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, demanding he turn over all records pertaining to his contacts regarding Ukraine, the Biden family and related matters.

Read the whistleblower complaint | The rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky | Related coverage and analysis of the Trump impeachment inquiry

9 a.m.: Hillary Clinton calls Trump’s efforts to out the whistleblower ‘really dangerous’

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee defeated by Trump in 2016, warned Tuesday that his efforts to unmask the whistleblower are “really dangerous.”

“From everything we know, and we don’t know much, this is an experienced person who saw things that bothered him,” Clinton said during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “That’s what the whole whistleblower statute is for, and it’s to protect their identity.”

Hillary Clinton: ‘Carefully thinking through’ not one of Giuliani’s ‘strong points’

On Monday, Trump told reporters that he was trying to “find out about” the anonymous U.S. intelligence official who filed the complaint. In tweets Sunday night, Trump said he wants to meet his “accuser” and warned of “Big Consequences.”

During her ABC appearance, Clinton said she is confident Democrats will not overplay their hand in the impeachment inquiry.

“I think the evidence concerning Ukraine is so dramatic and irrefutable, because it came right out of the White House,” she said. “I know that they will do a thoughtful, thorough job. Nobody should jump to any conclusions.”

Clinton is currently on a tour to promote “The Book of Gutsy Women,” which she wrote with her daughter, Chelsea.

8:35 a.m.: Giuliani seeks to put focus on Hunter Biden’s business dealings

Giuliani sought Monday to focus attention on the former vice president and his son, Hunter, complaining that the media hasn’t adequately covered the latter’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.

“How corrupted is most of our media if they can’t figure out that Ukraine and China was paying for Biden’s office, not his struggling son’s non-existent expertise,” Giuliani said. “Every time we lecture them on corruption, they laugh and say you’re no different.”

Trump says Hunter Biden ‘walks out of China with $1.5 billion.’ Biden’s lawyer said that’s not true.

Hunter Biden served for nearly five years on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private gas company, whose owner came under scrutiny by Ukrainian prosecutors for possible abuse of power and unlawful enrichment.

Hunter Biden was not accused of any wrongdoing in the investigation. As vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who Joe Biden and other Western officials said was not sufficiently pursuing corruption cases. At the time, the investigation into Burisma was dormant, according to former Ukrainian and U.S. officials.

Hunter Biden also traveled with his father on Air Force Two to China during his tenure as vice president.

Twelve days later, Hunter Biden joined the board of a just-formed investment advisory firm, known as BHR, whose partners included Chinese entities.

7:15 a.m.: Trump: ‘Try to impeach this’

Trump pinned to the top of his Twitter feed a largely red 2016 election map with the words “Try to impeach this” emblazoned across it.

The map depicts counties Trump won in red and those carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton in blue. Because Clinton, for the most part, won more densely populated parts of the country, many of them on the coasts, the map appears largely red even though Clinton received nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, who prevailed in the electoral college.

7:10 a.m.: Trump once again claims his call was ‘PERFECT’

Trump on Tuesday resurrected familiar defenses of his call with Zelensky, calling it “PERFECT” in one of a spate of tweets on the controversy and claiming he is the target of a “HOAX!”

Trump also took fresh aim at Schiff, whom Trump suggested on Monday should be arrested for treason.

“The congratulatory phone call with the Ukrainian President was PERFECT, unless you heard Liddle’ Adam Schiff’s fraudulently made up version of the call,” Trump tweeted. “This is just another Fake News Media, together with their partner, the Democrat Party, HOAX!”

In a statement at a hearing last week, Schiff offered an embellished recreation of Trump’s call with Zelensky. Schiff later said that it was meant as parody, which he said should have been obvious to Trump.

During morning tweets, Trump also shared television clips of several allies defending him, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

In a tweet that included a clip of his appearance Monday night on Fox News, Scalise wrote: “Radicals & socialists have taken over the Democrat Party. They’re calling all the shots now. Just last week, they pressured Pelosi into launching a baseless impeachment inquiry based on false rumors & left-wing rage. This is a witch hunt of @realDonaldTrump, plain & simple.”

During his Tuesday morning tweets, Trump also touched on a few other topics, including a viral video of an airport cart spinning wildly on the tarmac at Chicago’s O’Hare International. In another tweet, he congratulated China on 70 years of Communist rule.

6:30 a.m.: Kamala Harris calls on Twitter to suspend Trump’s account

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) on Monday night called for Twitter to suspend Trump’s account as he continued his attacks on the whistleblower and told reporters he was trying to “find out about” the anonymous U.S. intelligence official who filed the complaint.

“The president’s tweets and his behavior about this are just further evidence of the fact that he uses his power in a way that is designed to beat people down instead of lift people up,” Harris, a 2020 Democratic White House hopeful, said during a CNN appearance. “If you look at what he’s been tweeting today directed at the whistleblower, I frankly think that based on this and all we’ve seen before, including attacking members of Congress, that his Twitter account should be suspended.”

As Trump lashes out at whistleblower, analysts fear law offers meager protection

In his tweets Monday, Trump called the complaint lodged by a whistleblower “a fraud.” In tweets Sunday night, Trump said he wants to meet his “accuser” and warned of “Big Consequences.”

6 a.m.: Inspector general pushes back on claims that whistleblower relied solely on hearsay

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson pushed back Monday on repeated claims by Trump and Republican allies that the whistleblower lacked firsthand knowledge of events and based his claim only on “hearsay.”

In a lengthy statement, Atkinson, a Trump appointee, said it was not true that he found the whistleblower could “provide nothing more than second-hand or unsubstantiated assertions.”

“[A]lthough the Complainant’s Letter acknowledged that the Complainant was not a direct witness to the President’s July 25, 2019, telephone call with the Ukrainian President, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community determined that other information obtained during the ICIG’s preliminary review supported the Complainant’s allegations,” the statement said.

Fact Checker: Trump’s false claim that the rules for whistleblowers were recently changed

Amid a spate of tweets on Monday, Trump promoted the false narrative that has been spread by Republicans in recent days that the intelligence community recently eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, firsthand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings. The statute has never required that standard — a point Atkinson also made in his statement.

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