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Former national security adviser John Bolton was so disturbed by Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to get the Ukrainians to investigate President Donald Trump’s political opponents that he called it a “drug deal,” former White House official Fiona Hill reportedly told Congress on Monday.

Hill, the former top Europe expert in Trump’s White House, testified that Bolton told her he wanted no part of the effort by Giuliani and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, a person in the room for Hill’s testimony told NBC News.

The New York Times first reported details of Hill’s testimony Monday night.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton told Hill according to the testimony, the Times reported.

Bolton was fired by Trump in September.

Hill testified that Bolton told her to report the situation to the top lawyer at the National Security Council, John Eisenberg, according to the person in the room for Monday’s closed-door hearing. Bolton also was said to have referred to Giuliani as a “hand grenade.”

Hill told lawmakers she considered what was happening to be a clear counterintelligence risk to the United States, the individual in the room for Hill’s testimony told NBC News.

Requests for comment to the White House, Giuliani and Bolton were not immediately returned Monday night.

Also Monday, correspondence between the White House deputy counsel and Hill’s lawyers show the White House tried to limit what Hill could say to Congress in its impeachment inquiry.

The letters, obtained by NBC News, illustrate that while the White House did not try to block Hill from testifying, it did tell Hill’s lawyers about four areas that could potentially fall under executive privilege.

Hill testified under subpoena on Monday to the House. Previously, she agreed to testify at Congress’ written request.

The House has launched an impeachment inquiry over matters that include Trump’s communication with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that involved a request for an investigation by that country into Biden and his son.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.

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Boris vows £1bn tax cuts to fuel Brexit boom and stop Corbyn 'cracking economy'

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BORIS Johnson unveils on Monday an ambitious package of business tax cuts designed to fuel a Brexit boom if the Tories win the general election.

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White House defends Trump’s surprise medical exam amid skepticism online

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The White House said there was nothing unusual about President Donald Trump making a surprise trip to Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday to undergo what he called “phase one” of his annual physical.

But the ordeal was met with skepticism online, where some felt the White House and the president weren’t being upfront about his hospital visit.

“Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center,” Trump tweeted early Sunday morning. “Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.”

Trump, 73, had no public events on his calendar Saturday and no advance guidance was given that he would be getting any kind of medical exam. Trump’s prior to physical exams as president were on the public schedule and advance warning was provided. In addition, those exams did not take place in multiple “phases.” Trump’s most recent physical was in February.

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Trump arrived at the hospital at 2:45 p.m. Saturday and spent slightly more than two hours on site. He was seen leaving with a tan envelope tucked in his arm. The full annual presidential physical typically takes several hours and is unlikely to be described as a “quick exam and labs,” which is how White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham explained the visit afterward.

“Unless the healthiest man alive is shifting to fiscal year reporting, two medicals in the same year ain’t annual, it’s biannual,” tweeted Philippe Reines, who was a top aide to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whose health was also scrutinized during her campaign.

“Perfect example of how the long history of false statements from White House has worn away any presumption of truthfulness,” tweeted Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief David Lauter. “Maybe Trump’s hospital visit was routine, but burden of proof is on WH to show evidence.”

As Trump was at the hospital, Grisham said, “Anticipating a very busy 2020, the president is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed.” Afterward, she said Trump “remains healthy and energetic without complaints, as demonstrated by his repeated vigorous rally performances in front of thousands of Americans several times a week.”

Later in the evening, Grisham told NBC News in a statement that Trump “is fine — perfectly healthy.”

“It was a routine checkup,” she said. “Speculation of this nature is irresponsible and dangerous for this country.”

Speaking with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on her Saturday program, Grisham said Trump is as “healthy as can be” and that he’s “got more energy than anybody in the White House.”

“You know, Stephanie, he’s almost superhuman,” Pirro responded. “I don’t know how anyone can deal with what he’s dealing with. I get frustrated with what’s going on in Washington. I want to throw things at the television. But I don’t.”



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Trump attacks Pence aide who said Ukraine call was ‘unusual and inappropriate’

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President Donald Trump on Sunday blasted an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence who told House impeachment investigators earlier this month that Trump’s asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe the Bidens and Democrats in a July 25 call was “unusual and inappropriate.”

“Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement [sic] from Ukraine,” Trump tweeted. “Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!”

The president has labeled other Trump administration officials who have testified in the impeachment inquiry, including some career diplomats, as Never Trumpers. The term is a reference to conservatives during the 2016 election cycle who pledged never to support the then-Republican candidate, even as he breezed through the GOP primary onto the party’s nomination.

In public testimony last week, George Kent, the senior State Department official overseeing Ukraine, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, all said they were not Never Trumpers.

Williams, a top national security aide to Pence serving as his special adviser for Europe and Russia, told investigators earlier this month that she took notes while she listened in to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy — the call in which Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and a debunked conspiracy theory involving Democrats and the 2016 election. Williams said Trump’s push was “unusual and inappropriate” and “shed some light on possible other motivations” for Trump’s order to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

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The Trump administration released that aid on Sept. 11 — just two days after Congress was made aware of the existence of the whistleblower’s complaint. House impeachment investigators released Williams’ transcript on Saturday. She is expected to testify publicly before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, alongside Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert.

“I found the specific references to be — to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal political agenda, as opposed to a broader … foreign policy objective of the United States,” Williams said, according to a transcript of her testimony.

Trump on Friday released a summary of an April call with Zelenskiy during which Trump congratulated the Ukrainian leader on his election victory. The call took place before Zelenskiy was inaugurated.

In addition to blasting past witnesses as “Never Trumpers,” Trump has sought to distance himself from the administration officials involved in the probe. He has said he “hardly knows” E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a major donor to his political campaign and one of the central players in the impeachment inquiry.

Trump on Friday lashed out at Yovanovitch in a tweet as she was in the middle of publicly testifying before Congress.

Read the tweet as she was answering lawmakers’ questions, Yovanovitch said Trump’s commentary was “intimidating.” Democrats have said the tweet amounts to witness intimidation.

Speaking with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump’s tweet “totally wrong and inappropriate and typical of the president.”

“People don’t insult people, especially when they’re giving testimony before the Congress of the United States,” she said. “I think even his most ardent supporters have to honestly admit this was the wrong thing for the president to do.”

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said, “I think, along with most people, I find the president’s tweets generally unfortunate.”

“It’s certainly not impeachable, and it’s certainly not criminal, and it’s certainly not witness intimidation,” he added.



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