Today is October 8 and these are the stories I am watching.
1-Whistleblower wrote memo after learning of Ukraine call
Immediately after learning second-hand information from a White House official about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine, the first whistleblower wrote a dramatic personal memo, saying the White House official characterized the call as “crazy” and “frightening”. In the two-page, single-spaced memo on July 26, the day after the Trump-Zelensky phone call, the whistleblower wrote that the conversation with the unnamed White House official “only lasted a few minutes, and as a result, I only received highlights.”
In contrast to a publicly released transcript of the July 25 phone call, the two-page memo used dramatic language. According to the memo, the White House official “described the (July 25th) call as ‘crazy,’ ‘frightening,’ and ‘completely lacking in substance related to national security.’”
DML: I am never easy on Trump, but lets be clear… the phone call with the Ukraine president is nothing to be impeached over. This is a manufactured crisis. Sound familiar?
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., all issued subpoenas Monday to the Pentagon and the White House Office of Management and Budget for documents related to Trump’s call. And Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday denied rumors that he would resign amid allegations he played a role in the controversy surrounding President Trump and Ukrainian officials.
DML: Subpoenas are to DC Democrat what crack cocaine is to a junkie.
3-Trump defends decision to withdraw US troops from Syria
President Trump on Monday vigorously defended his decision to withdraw United States troops from northern Syria ahead of a planned invasion of the region by Turkey, even as his Republican allies in both the Senate and House vehemently criticized the move. In his first public comments since news broke early Monday of the troop withdrawal, Trump said he understood the concerns raised by his fellow Republicans, but added that it was time to fulfill his campaign promise to bring the troops home. The GOP lawmakers, who have stood lockstep with the president on almost every other issue, have expressed concern that the withdrawal could lead to the genocide of the U.S.’s Kurdish allies and a return to power of the Islamic State in the region. Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming were just a few of the prominent Republicans who voiced opposition to the president’s decision.
DML: The decision is one of the worst Trump has made since taking office.
4-Hong Kong stock exchange drops bid to buy London exchange
The Hong Kong stock exchange officially dropped its takeover bid for its London counterpart on Tuesday. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. said it was “unable to engage” with managers of the London Stock Exchange Group. The London exchange cited concerns including the Hong Kong exchange’s ties to the government of the Chinese territory. The Hong Kong Exchanges made the surprise $36.6 billion offer in mid-September.
DML: Smart move, London.
Kroger joins Walgreens, Walmart to end the sale of e-cigarette products
Kroger has become the latest grocery retailer to ban the sale of e-cigarette products in its stores. It joins Walmart and Rite Aid, which ended sales early this year. Walgreens also said it would end sales of e-cigarettes and related items. E-cigarettes, which exploded into popularity in the last few years, have suddenly come under a blitz of public scrutiny, as vaping-related illnesses have claimed at least 18 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s another 1,080 probable cases across 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the agency noted.
5- Trump gets a temporary victory over tax returns
President Trump was granted at least a brief reprieve Monday after a federal judge issued a scathing order allowing the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to subpoena his tax returns from accounting firm Mazars USA. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals put the subpoena on hold after Trump’s attorneys filed an emergency appeal. “We are very pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has issued a stay of the subpoena issued by New York County District Attorney Cy Vance,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said. The administrative stay will only be in place while the court reviews the case, and it’s unclear how that will resolve.
DML: Make no fuss about it, Trump’s returns will be revealed in time and he’s going to have a tremendous tax liability that follows. I have always said this was the one thing that could end his presidency as Dems will use it to force him to resign or lose the Trump Org due to fines and back taxes causing him financial ruin.
6 – Facebook probe to widen
A state attorneys general probe of alleged anticompetitive practices by Facebook is expanding. An estimated 40 states want allegations of practices at the social media company investigated, according to Reuters.The probe was announced in September and is led by New York, with several other states joining in. Big tech companies have been accused of engaging in anti-competitive practices and not protecting consumer data.
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