08:38 GMT +313 November 2019
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    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before awarding the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 30, 2019

    Trump Slams CNN, WaPo as Fake News for Story He Wanted AG Barr to Clear Him on Ukraine

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    The impeachment saga started with allegations that the US president might have abused his power by pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the son of Democratic hopeful and possible rival in the 2020 election Joe Biden. The Washington Post has fuelled the controversy with new accusations against the commander-in-chief.

    US President Donald Trump has lambasted his long-time critics, The Washington Post and CNN, over the report, which claims he requested that Attorney General William P. Barr hold a press conference to announce that the POTUS did not break any laws during the now infamous call. Trump took to Twitter to tear the new allegations apart as totally untrue.

    “The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by Fake News CNN, saying ‘President Trump asked for AG Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine’, is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don’t exist”, he tweeted.

    ​He was not sparing with his harsh words for the aforementioned news outlets, calling them “the LameStream Media” and “the Enemy of the People”, saying that they are “working overtime with made up stories in order to drive dissension and distrust”.

    Several hours after the initial tweets on the report, Donald Trump was back on social media to reiterate his criticism against The Washington Post and urged to read the transcript.

    “Bill Barr did not decline my request to talk about Ukraine. The story was a Fake Washington Post con job with an “anonymous” source that doesn’t exist. Just read the Transcript. The Justice Department already ruled that the call was good. We don’t have freedom of the press!” he tweeted, adding in caps in another post that the outlet had made up the story, before concluding that it “Never happened, and there were no sources!”

    He also said in a separate tweet that Barr denies the story as well, taking aim at the journalists who authored it.

    ​New Fuel for Impeachment Blaze

    The story that prompted his Twitter tirade was published earlier in the day and claimed, citing unnamed sources, that Attorney General William Barr had declined to hold a news conference and clear Trump on the Ukraine inquiry despite POTUS expressing such a wish.

    His request was said to have made it to the Justice Department via other officials. According to the outlet, the department has “sought some distance from the White House” amid the impeachment inquiry, although the president and his attorney general remain on good terms.

    Road to Impeachment

    The ongoing inquiry into Trump and his phone call to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky was triggered by a whistleblower complaint. The inquiry alleges that the content of the talk, the transcript of which was declassified and made public on Trump’s order, could constitute an abuse of power, as the president was accused of offering a barter exchange. He reportedly vowed to continue aid to Ukraine in exchange for a thorough investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s allegedly “corrupt” dealings in Ukraine.

    The claims have been vehemently denied by Trump and Republicans, with POTUS vowing to read the transcript of the talk “out loud” to prove that no quid pro quo was implied.

    Related:

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    Conflicting Narratives Presented in Trump Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts
    Trump Reportedly Asked Australia's Morrison to Help AG Barr Investigate Mueller Probe Origins
    Tags:
    impeachment, Twitter, The Washington Post, William Barr, Donald Trump, US
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