This past weekend all the media outlets lit up with a “bombshell” report that President Trump and his attorney former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had attempted to get the new Ukrainian president, Volodomyr Zelensky, to give them information about corrupt business dealings with Hunter Biden and the connection between Hunter’s help and the influence of his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.
That story seems to have done damage to Mr. Biden’s campaign, but at the same time it also appears to be stirring up the globalist hornets-nest because the President is going where the globalist elite definitely do not want him to go.
The original story was written about in such a way to try to portray it as a major threat to President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Here is an example of such writing from USA Today in one of their pieces:
WASHINGTON – A whistleblower complaint and Democratic outrage over President Donald Trump’s discussions with the Ukrainian president have sparked yet another inquiry into Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders and has spilled over into the 2020 presidential campaign.
The story folds together diplomatic efforts from both the Obama and Trump administrations. Here we’ve attempted to breakdown what everyone is talking about.
First, it’s important to know the players, who include familiar and some not-so-familiar names. They are: Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin and current Ukrainian secretary general Yuriy Lutsenko.
At the heart of the matter are two developments that took place this summer: an August whistleblower complaint by a U.S. intelligence official and a July phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky. Democrats have demanded access to the whistleblower complaint and are seeking more information about the contacts with Ukraine, including those involving Trump and his personal lawyer, Giuliani.
When this news was released, to hear the mainstream and even Fox talk about it, it sounded like it was some dire crisis. In fact, the word “collusion” reappeared on some reports, suggesting that President Trump was attempting to collude with Zelensky against one of Trump’s political opponents, and of course, the use of this word was made to make all of this sound criminal.
Except that it isn’t. Not at all.
The American news cycle has made studied use of the “late Friday bombshell” when it wants to throw slander at President Trump. This has occurred so many times already that the question now seems to be “How long will this one work?”, and the answer seems to be less and less time with each attempt. This one began to die as early as Friday evening.
While the story was being stoked as much as possible by the MSM over the weekend, rather than breathlessly try to report this as a “new breaking development”, I chose to watch and wait through the weekend to see what happened by Sunday night.
Sure enough, by early morning here in Moscow (late Sunday night in the US), the media narrative was falling apart, largely because the President and Mr. Giuliani were quite forthright that they did, in fact, make these calls and they did, in fact, try to get information that would expose how corrupt Joe Biden actually is.
(This also opens a window for the Western reader to show how utterly dishonest the US relationship with Ukraine itself is. We offer more information on this in a separate piece, linked here.)
President Trump openly acknowledged that he talked to Mr. Zelensky about Biden, and Fox News has a report up currently noting that Rudy Giuliani is accusing Ukraine of laundering US$3 million for Hunter Biden. Mr. Giuliani also said that this scandal is likely just at the beginning of its course, and not the end.
If Dem party doesn’t call for investigation of Bidens’ millions from Ukraine and billions from China, they will own it. Bidens’ made big money selling public office. How could Obama have allowed this to happen? Will Dems continue to condone and enable this kind pay-for-play?
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 23, 2019
Well, how about that? The thing is that this claim has backup we know about:
While the notion that VP Biden did this directly to aid his son Hunter is not verified by this, there are some interesting comments in this video when taken in context: multiple trips to Ukraine. Loan guarantees (who benefits?) and it is certainly easy to verify that the elder Biden was highly involved with the Poroshenko / Yatseniuk government.
There is more. Devin Nunes, one of California’s leading (Republican) US Representatives noted that Joe Biden’s presidential aspirations may just be killed by this, and here, a Fox News piece explains:
California Rep. Devin Nunes predicted on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that Joe Biden’s campaign is likely coming to an end — all because of newly resurfaced reports about his possible misconduct in Ukraine that “first originated back when Hillary Clinton was trying to make sure Biden didn’t get in the race…”
Nunes, speaking to anchor Maria Bartiromo, said a whistleblower’s allegation that President Trump had acted inappropriately during a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will ultimately backfire, and shine a light on Biden’s own possible misconduct. CNN later acknowledged that the whistleblower had no first-hand knowledge of the call, and a top Ukrainian official on Saturday defended Trump’s actions.
“These stories first originated back when Hillary Clinton was trying to make sure Biden didn’t get in the race,” Nunes said. “So now that these have been resurrected, I don’t know who came up with the scheme — maybe this whistleblower really is not a partisan. We want to hear from that whistleblower, but it sure looks like the scheme has backfired. And, like I said, it looks like this is the end of Biden’s campaign. I really do… his lead is basically down to zero.”
Late Sunday, Trump echoed Nunes’ comments, and emphasized that Biden recently bragged about pressuring Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor when he was vice president. At the time, the prosecutor was probing a company closely linked to Biden’s son, Hunter.
“Sleepy Joe Biden … forced a tough prosecutor out from investigating his son’s company by threat of not giving big dollars to Ukraine,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “That’s the real story!”
This is turning into an interesting story, but it is appearing more and more to be far from anything that could allude to the wrongdoing of the President. There is nothing wrong with the President – any president – of the United States asking foreign leaders for help finding information about political opponents. Why would there be?
It makes little sense to hope that this interchange with Ukraine suggests a new direction for the US, ostensibly one that is more Russia-friendly. But the freewheeling style of the Trump presidency appears to be gaining in breadth as time goes on. He is unafraid of political consequences, and in case after case he shows that he is onto the right problems, even if he is not aware of, or acknowledging, their full scope.
Two more pieces over the last few days seem to confirm this. One comes from the web magazine Politico, in its piece “An unshackled Trump finally gets the presidency he always wanted.” One of the significant points from this piece:
[T]o many Trump allies, aides and longtime observers, the president is showing the world the way he’s always operated. Only now it has become clearer because he is receiving less pushback from staff and advisers — and has very few effective checks on his administration from Congress, the national security community or fellow Republicans.
“The Trump I’m seeing now, to me, is the same Donald Trump who has existed for the 50 of his last 73 years. This is very much in keeping with how he rolled in the business world. The only difference is now he is doing it on the global stage,” said Timothy O’Brien, author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald“ and executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion.
The other piece of interest is from National Review, penned by Andrew McCarthy, who is a superb political analyst. He was much more swift to push aside the media hype and distill the situation to this summary (emphasis added):
Giuliani, a key outside adviser to the president, has been pressing the Ukrainians to look into Biden, and, when asked on Friday about whether he discussed Biden in the July call with Ukraine’s president, Trump declined to answer directly, replying, “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”
And maybe someone should. The fact that Biden may end up being Trump’s rival in the 2020 election does not immunize him from investigation. If he used his political influence to squeeze a foreign power for his son’s benefit, that should be explored. Of course, Trump should not use the powers of his office solely for the purpose of obtaining campaign ammunition to deploy against a potential foe. But all presidents who seek reelection wield their power in ways designed to improve their chances. If Trump went too far in that regard, we could look with disfavor on that while realizing that he would not be the first president to have done so. And if, alternatively, the president had a good reason for making a reciprocal commitment to Ukraine, that commitment would not become improper just because, collaterally, it happened to help Trump or harm Biden politically.
The president has the power to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. The Congress has the power to subject that exercise to thorough examination. The clash of these powers is a constant in our form of government. It is politics.
UPDATE: Drudge Report’s splash page makes this situation look more and more dire for President Trump as of 9:02 am Moscow time:
However, this appears to be just the next salvo in the globalist / Democrat arsenal, because as stated before, the President has the power to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. The real issue here is that he is interfering with “the plan” and there are a lot of forces in both American political parties who want this not to be interfered with.
Further updates are coming, as the policy nothingburger appears to be exploding into a showdown between President Trump and the establishment elite.