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January 1, Trump Denies Pressuring Ukraine | Climate Activists Shut Down DC | US Soldier Arrested for Domestic Terror | GOP Attrition Under Trump



This Day in History | 1789 

The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. 

Good morning Middle Americans!

Should the White House release the transcript from President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Volodimir Zielinski? Democrats are demanding it, Ukraine is against it and it would violate long established protocols of confidentiality between heads of state and the president of the United States. But it would certainly clear up the confusion about the accusations. 

Also today, the folks who work in Washington DC, should have a better commute, after climate change activists shut down the capitol yesterday The stunt was coordinated to happen while the UN was also focused on climate change in New York.  That event featured a teen aged activists who has become the poster child for green movement. 

Finally, there is no question President Trump having an enormous impact on the Republican party. But is it good or is it bad? According to the numbers, almost 40% of House Republicans have either quit or lost their seats since his inauguration.  

Trump Will Not Commit to Transcript Release from Call with Ukrainian President 

(Reuters) – Trump gave a contradictory message about whether he would release a transcript of the call with the Ukrainian leader.

“I may do it because it was a very interesting call,” Trump said. “It was a very nice call. I hope you get to see it and I hope you get to see it soon,” he said.

But he added: “I don’t think it’s a great precedent to be releasing calls with foreign countries, heads of foreign countries. So I don’t think it’s a great precedent.”

Earlier on Monday, Trump shrugged off the impeachment talk, saying he was not taking it seriously.

Read more from Reuters here

Climate Change Activists Shut Down DC

(Axios) – A decade after millennials’ hopes and dreams faded with the Great Recession, Generation Z is taking to the streets to proclaim climate change their era’s defining issue

In New York, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg confronted world leaders today: “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

And in D.C., climate protesters shut down intersections and jammed up traffic, with a target list called “climate criminals” that includes lobbyists, energy companies, government buildings and industry and trade associations.

Read more from Axios here

The FBI Arrests a US Soldier For Planning Domestic Attacks

(NBC News) – Pfc. Jarrett William Smith, 24, stationed out of Fort Riley in Kansas, was arrested Saturday and charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

In a chat Friday on the cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram, an undercover agent said he wanted to target a “liberal Texas mayor” for bombing and asked Smith if he had any other suggestions, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Brandon LaMar.

“Outside of Beto?” Smith allegedly responded, in an apparent reference to Democratic presidential candidate and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke. “I don’t know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died.”

Smith is a native of Conway, South Carolina, and had previous stints at Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bliss in Texas, according to a U.S. Army spokesman.

Learn more from NBC News here

40 % of House Republicans Have Quit or Lost Since Trump’s Inauguration

(Washington Post) – Mitchell is among a growing list of House Republicans — 18 to date — who have announced plans to resign, retire or run for another office, part of a snowballing exodus that many Republicans fear is imperiling their chances of regaining control of the House in the 2020 elections.

And the problem for the GOP is bigger than retirements. Since Trump’s inauguration, a Washington Post analysis shows, nearly 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who were in office in January 2017 are gone or leaving because of election losses, retirements including former House speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), and some, such as Mitchell, who are simply quitting in disgust.

Read more from the Washington Post here

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