Talking Points

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Stuart Carlson)

In other news, federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Rudy Giuliani's efforts to personally profit from the political extortion scheme he was running for Trump in Ukraine. Giuliani is a financial partner in the natural gas company they were promoting.

Citing people briefed on the matter, the [Wall Street Journal] said two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, pitched a new company, and plans for a Poland-to-Ukraine pipeline carrying U.S. natural gas, to Ukrainian officials and energy executives earlier this year, and said the project had White House support.

Parnas and Fruman also told Ukrainian officials that Giuliani was a partner in the pipeline venture, a project of their company Global Energy Producers, the newspaper said, citing one of the people.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg says he's spending $100 million on a wave of anti-Trump campaign ads in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin starting today.

Finally, former intelligence officials say that foreign intelligence agencies probably have recordings of Trump's conversation with US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in which they discussed the extortion scheme.

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's cell phone call to President Donald Trump from a restaurant in Ukraine this summer appears to be a shocking security breach that raises significant counterintelligence concerns, according to several former officials, who told CNN there is a high probability that intelligence agencies from numerous foreign countries, including Russia, were listening in on the conversation. [...]

Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, revealed during the first public impeachment hearing Wednesday that a member of his staff, who was accompanying Sondland to meetings in Kiev, saw the ambassador call Trump from his cell phone and overheard the President asking about "the investigations."

It remains unclear if Sondland's cell phone was encrypted but US ambassadors do not typically have that type of protection on their mobile devices, according to current and former US government officials.

It's possible foreign governments knew what Trump was doing before we did.

Then again, hasn't that always been the case?

Have a good weekend.