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Trump Used the Coronavirus to Extort Governors Like Ukraine. It Worked.

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04.05.2020

Last year, President Trump attempted, and very nearly pulled off, a scheme to extort Ukraine. Trump’s ask was simple: He wanted a foreign country to announce an investigation of a political opponent, believing the mere existence of the investigation would generate news coverage he could exploit.

Very soon after the Senate voted against removing him from office over this abuse of power, Trump set in motion a remarkably similar scheme. The target was not Ukraine but American governors, especially Democratic ones. The leverage was not military aid and a presidential meeting but federal coronavirus assistance. And Trump’s ask was not to rough up Biden but to praise Trump. The main difference is that it worked.

Trump’s reelection campaign is rolling out a seven-figure television spot featuring two quotes by Democratic governors, New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom, praising his handling of the coronavirus. The payoff to his latest extortion scheme is coming to your television screen.

Trump presented his terms to........

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