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The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry
President Trump made a series of false claims at his rally in Lexington, Kentucky, tonight.
Trump claimed, as he has several times, that President Barack Obama left him with 142 federal judges to appoint.
- Facts First: According to Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks judicial appointments, there were 103 vacancies on district and appeals courts on Jan. 1, 2017, just before Trump took office, plus a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Trump also said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell passed "VA Choice and VA accountability for our amazing veterans."
- Facts First: The Choice bill, a bipartisan initiative led by Sens. Bernie Sanders and the late John McCain, was signed into law by Barack Obama in 2014. In 2018, Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which expanded and changed the program.
On China, Trump said "they've never given us 10 cents before."
- Facts First: The US government has been charging tariffs on imported Chinese goods for more than two centuries, and it took in billions from such tariffs long before Trump imposed his own. (As always, we'll note it is US importers and consumers, not China, who have paid these tariffs.)
Trump claimed China "stole up to $500 billion of American dollars."
- Facts First: The US has never had a $500 billion trade deficit with China.
Trump made three false claims about immigration and the border. He claimed "Democrats want open borders," "the wall is being built," and "we have 27,000 Mexican soldiers on our border."
- Facts First: Even 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who advocate the decriminalization of the act of illegally entering the country do not support completely unrestricted migration, as Trump suggests. Furthermore, no new miles of border wall had been built during Trump's presidency as of Sept. 30. And the approximately 26,000 Mexican troops are split between the US border and Mexico's southern border.
Like he did at his rally last Friday, Trump claimed he would "always protect patients with pre-existing conditions."
- Facts First: We usually don't fact-check promises, but this one has already proved untrue. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have repeatedly put forward bills and filed lawsuits that would weaken Obamacare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
President Trump claimed tonight that he released a rough transcript of his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, made his supposed "parody" of the call.
Trump said Schiff "he made a horrible statement, it was a total lie and then I actually went and released the actual conversation."
Facts First: Schiff made his comments about Trump's call with Zelensky the day after Trump released the rough transcript, not before.
President Trump continued to poke the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry during a rally in Kentucky tonight.
Trump reiterated that the whistleblower has been quiet since he released a rough transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“You haven’t heard about the whistleblower after that, have you? Cause the whistleblower said lots of things that weren’t so good folks. You’re gonna find out,” Trump said, although it’s unclear what he meant by what would be found out.
In recent days, Trump has escalated his attacks on the whistleblower, implying the person is politically motivated and urging reporters to disclose their identity. The whistleblower’s report has been corroborated by mounting on-the-record testimony from witnesses.
President Trump came out swinging at his rally tonight in support of Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin ahead of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election.
“Radical Democrats are going totally insane," Trump said.
He went on to criticize Democrats, saying they “want to obliterate the rule of law… silence you online, confiscate your guns — you better be careful.”
President Trump, speaking at a rally in Kentucky tonight, said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should go back to her district to "get rid of the needles that are lying all over the street and all of the things that are washing into the ocean."
Facts First: There is no evidence for Trump’s claim that Pelosi's district, which includes San Francisco, has especially significant pollution, including needles, being sent into the ocean through storm sewers.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed called Trump’s claims “ridiculous,” saying in a statement that the city’s sewer system “ensures that all debris that flow into storm drains are filtered out at the city’s wastewater treatment plants.”
President Trump will hold a rally in Lexington, Kentucky, tonight ahead of Tuesday's election.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who was elected in 2015, is running for reelection against the state's attorney general, Democrat Andy Beshear.
Trump, who has endorsed Bevin, is looking to encourage voters to turn out for the Republican candidate.
Trump won Kentucky by nearly 30 points in 2016, but in 2015, Bevin's victory came within 10 points of his opponent.
You can watch Trump's rally live in the video player above or watch it here.
Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, directly contradicted public comments made by the top US diplomat when he testified under oath last month as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
McKinley, who resigned amid the Ukraine controversy, raised concerns about former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's removal, which was pushed by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and has become a central part of the inquiry, according to a transcript of that testimony released Monday.
While Pompeo told ABC News last month that McKinley never raised the idea of issuing a statement of support for Yovonovitch, McKinley directly contradicted that statement while under oath, telling lawmakers he mentioned it on three separate occasions.
Specifically, McKinley who testified behind closed doors on Oct. 16, said that he raised the Yovanovitch matter with Pompeo three times and proposed releasing a statement of support for the former diplomat, who was abruptly recalled from her post, but did not receive a response from the secretary of state, including when he told Pompeo he was leaving the department.
McKinley told lawmakers that he raised the issue on two other occasions, including during a phone call to discuss his resignation.
What Pompeo said: In the ABC News after McKinley's testimony, the secretary of state said: "From the time that Ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that (McKinley) came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision that was made," Pompeo said of McKinley. "Not once ... did Ambassador McKinley say something to me during that entire time period."
President Trump said today that the whistleblower gave “a lot of false information” and their report was “very wrong,” despite mounting on-the-record testimony from witnesses corroborating the whistleblower’s account.
“I think that whistleblower gave a lot of false information and you have to see who the whistleblower is. Once I released the transcript, which was almost immediately, the whistleblower’s report was very wrong because as you know the whistleblower covered mostly my transcript, my call with the President of Ukraine. So once I released that call, I released a very detailed version of that call, all of a sudden the whistleblower’s report was incorrect,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a rally in Kentucky tonight.
In recent days, Trump has escalated his attacks on the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry, implying the person is politically motivated and urging reporters to disclose their identity. Today, Trump questioned the whereabouts of the whistleblower, as well as a second whistleblower and an informant.
“The whistleblower seems to have disappeared and I also wonder what happened to the second whistleblower, and what happened to the informant?” he asked.
Trump has been falsely claiming the whistleblower complaint has been debunked. According to a CNN analysis, the overwhelming majority of allegations in the complaint have been corroborated by official government documents, Trump’s public statements, and news reporting. Trump has relied on lies and falsehoods to undermine the complaint.