Trump tells reporters he doesn’t know if Giuliani is still his attorney thumbnail

Trump tells reporters he doesn’t know if Giuliani is still his attorney

John WagnerNational reporter leading The Post’s breaking political news team October 11 at 11:12 PM House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed Friday that President Trump “will be held accountable” as the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry moved forward with closed-door testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. In opening remarks, Yovanovitch, who is appearing under subpoena, said her abrupt departure in May came as a direct result of pressure Trump placed on the State Department to remove her. Also Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a key figure in the Ukraine controversy, bucked the State Department and announced he would appear before House investigators under subpoena next week. The State Department blocked Sondland last week from appearing before three panels focused on Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden at a time when U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being withheld. Trump, meanwhile, prepared to stage his second campaign rally outside Washington in as many days and took jabs at the Democrats on Twitter. That included highlighting a past impeachment effort that failed badly. ● At least four national security officials raised alarms about Ukraine policy before and after Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president. ● White House political appointees overrode career staffers before freezing Ukraine aid. ● Two business associates of Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani were arrested at the airport as they tried to leave the United States. The whistleblower complaint | The rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky |The letter from White House counsel to House leaders 9:55 p.m.: Trump tells Louisiana crowd that Pelosi ‘hates’ the United States In the hours after the former U.S. ambassador testified that Trump pressured the State Department to oust her and House Democrats vowed to press on with their impeachment inquiry, the president took the stage in Lake Charles, La. — the roaring crowd a far cry from the drumbeat of investigations in Washington. Trump began the rally — his second in two days — with a familiar harangue against Democrats, comparing the inquiry to a “nonstop battle to overturn your vote.” But when he singled out Pelosi, he escalated his attacks, calling her “Nervous Nancy” and crudely pantomiming her mannerisms. He said her support of the investigation means she “hates the country.” “Nancy Pelosi hates the United States of America,” he repeated. His comments come the day after his Minneapolis rally, when Trump leveled some of his most personal attacks yet against Biden and his family, mixing curse words with unsubstantiated claims. Earlier Friday, Pelosi told Democratic lawmakers in a conference call that Trump’s rhetoric had become “beyond disgraceful.” “POTUS has become a potty-mouth, and children are listening,” she said, according to a Democratic aide who took notes on the call. At the rally, Trump deployed more profanity in talking about the impeachment inquiry. As he spoke, the newest Little League World Series champions, hailing from Louisiana, watched from the stands. 8:30 p.m.: Yovanovitch finishes all-day deposition, as Democrats praise her decision to come forward and Republicans blast the closed-door process After nine hours of questioning on Capitol Hill, Yovanovitch left the closed-door deposition at 7:40, accompanied by her lawyers. Democrats praised the former ambassador for complying with their subpoena and sitting for the lengthy interview. On a conference call with House Democrats, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) called her act courageous. “She has had a distinguished career where she demonstrated great courage, and she may be demonstrating her greatest moment of courage right now,” Schiff said, according to a member who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) said in an interview with CNN that Yovanovitch’s example could prompt other officials to come forward, too. “There are a lot of folks at the State Department, the [National Security Council] and throughout the United States government who will see this as a good example, that it can be done,” he said. Republican lawmakers, however, blasted Democrats — particularly Schiff — for presiding over a secretive process that they said was unfair to the president. “For goodness sake, now we’ve got almost 20 hours of testimony from two ambassadors, and the American people don’t know what happened in those closed-door sessions, other than what the majority has selectively cherry-picked and leaked out,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Jordan and other Republicans refrained from commenting on Yovanovitch’s testimony, citing the classified nature of the proceedings, while also claiming that nothing in her testimony warranted such secrecy. They would not, for instance, say whether they accepted her denial — made in a publicly released opening statement — that she ever spoke ill of Trump, an allegation that circulated widely in conservative circles and appears to have contributed to the decision to recall her. Instead, they lambasted the process and the Democrats running it. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) called for allowing Trump’s counsel to be present and to be able to cross examine witnesses, as well as for Republicans to be afforded subpoena power. “How about the Democrats provide the Republicans and the president the same exact rights that they would demand if everything was reversed?” he said. Jordan also called for the unmasking of the anonymous CIA whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment probe, amplifying calls from Trump that have been renounced by some Republicans. “Why don’t we know who this whistleblower is?” he said. “They deserve protection, but … they’re not entitled to anonymity.” — Mike DeBonis 6:30 p.m.: Pelosi tells lawmakers to keep impeachment inquiry focused on Ukraine, calls Trump a ‘potty mouth’ Pelosi told House Democrats on Friday evening that they should resist the urge to expand their ongoing impeachment investigation and stay focused on Trump’s conduct in Ukraine — even as the president ramps up his rhetoric and new allegations emerge about his dealings with China and Turkey. “There are a lot of rabbit holes to go down here, but we need to resist that temptation,” one member said, describing Pelosi’s comment. “Keep it clear in a way that is easy to communicate to folks.” That lawmaker and others described the hour-plus caucus conference call on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation. Another member echoed that account, saying that Pelosi indicated some of their ancillary findings could merit investigation, but “the Ukraine issue and abuse of power is not only the most egregious act, but it’s an act he already admitted to and has the additional virtue of being easily understood by the public.” Pelosi was also asked what the House could do to enforce its subpoenas, which the White House has indicated it will ignore. One member said Pelosi signaled she “would be willing to do what was necessary.” She acknowledged that some lawmakers have suggested using the House Sergeant at Arms “to round up witnesses,” neither endorsing nor dismissing the idea, according to a senior Democratic aide, but saying she’d leave the decision up to the relevant committees. The speaker then criticized Trump’s recent public statements — particularly about Biden and his other potential Democratic opponents — saying they’ve become especially acerbic. “POTUS has become a potty mouth, and children are listening,” she said, according to an aide’s notes on the call. “This is beyond disgraceful.” She instructed her caucus to ignore his rhetoric, which she said was purely politically motivated. “What we are doing on impeachment is about the facts — ‘Just the facts, ma’am’ — and the Constitution,” Pelosi said. “His policy, his personality, his potty mouth, that’s about the election and let’s make sure that we understand the reasons he is — the inquiry is because he has not honored his oath of office. We will honor ours.” — Mike DeBonis 5:15 p.m.: Trump, when asked if Giuliani is still his attorney, says ‘I don’t know’ Trump told reporters Friday that he didn’t know whether Giuliani was still his personal attorney, adding that the two hadn’t spoken since Thursday. “Well, I don’t know,” Trump said, responding to a question about the lawyer as he prepared to leave the White House for a rally in Louisiana. “I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney.” Trump then added, “Yeah, sure,” before moving on to another question. In a text message to The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey shortly after the president’s comments, Giuliani confirmed that he’s still representing Trump. “Yes,” Giuliani wrote. “I am still his attorney.” In messages to New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, Giuliani offered two “thumbs up” reactions to Nuzzi’s questions about Trump’s statement, before reportedly telling her, “I spoke to him yesterday and I have no reason to believe I’m not.” 2:10 p.m.: Yovanovitch appeared under a subpoena House investigators say they issued a subpoena to compel the appearance of Yovanovitch after learning Thursday night that the State Department had directed her not to appear Friday for a voluntary interview. “This is the latest example of the Administration’s efforts to conceal the facts from the American people and obstruct our lawful and constitutionally-authorized impeachment inquiry,” three Democratic chairmen said in a joint statement. “As is required of her, the Ambassador is now complying with the subpoena and answering questions from both Democratic and Republican Members and staff.” In the statement, the chairmen also renewed a warning to the White House that preventing witness cooperation “will be deemed obstruction of a co-equal branch of government and an adverse inference may be drawn against the President on the underlying allegations of corruption and coverup.” The statement came from Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.). 2 p.m.: White House talking points suggest a ‘serious danger’ Yovanovitch will reveal information without authorization In talking points distributed to Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the White House suggested arguing that Yovanovitch is in a “precarious position” because she is appearing f
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