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Political Notebook

Biden campaign urges TV networks to stop booking Giuliani

Joe Biden’s campaign accuses Rudy Giuliani of spreading “false, debunked conspiracy theories” on Trump’s behalf.
Joe Biden’s campaign accuses Rudy Giuliani of spreading “false, debunked conspiracy theories” on Trump’s behalf.Andrew Harnik/Associated Press 2018 files/Associated Press

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign contacted top television anchors and networks Sunday to “demand” that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, be kept off the air because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family and Ukraine.

“We are writing today with grave concern that you continue to book Rudy Giuliani on your air to spread false, debunked conspiracy theories on behalf of Donald Trump,” wrote a pair of top Biden campaign advisers, Anita Dunn and Kate Bedingfield, in the letter.

“Giving Rudy Giuliani valuable time on your air to push these lies in the first place is a disservice to your audience and a disservice to journalism,” the advisers wrote. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.

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The note was sent to executives and top political anchors at ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, including interviewers like Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd, and Chris Wallace.

Giuliani could not immediately be reached Sunday for comment.

Giuliani has been a ubiquitous presence on television news in recent days, including several appearances on Sunday. Advocating on Trump’s behalf, Giuliani has repeatedly alleged that Biden, while serving as vice president, intervened in Ukraine to assist his son Hunter’s business interests. No evidence has surfaced that Biden intentionally tried to help his son in Ukraine.

New York Times

Giuliani says he’d help probe only with Trump’s OK

Under fire for peddling a debunked conspiracy theory, Giuliani said Sunday he would cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry only if Trump gave him permission.

‘‘If he decides that he wants me to testify, of course I’ll testify,’’ Giuliani said during a series of television appearances where impeachment dominated the discussions.

But it’s not clear whether Representative Adam Schiff, whose House Intelligence Committee is taking the lead on the impeachment investigation, wants to hear sworn testimony from Giuliani.

For now, Schiff, a California Democrat, is working to strike a deal with the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint forms the heart of the proceedings against the 45th president.

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Associated Press

Most ‘not surprised’ Trump asked Ukraine for help

The vast majority of Americans are not surprised that President Trump encouraged the Ukrainian president to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s son, and fewer than half see it as a ‘‘very serious’’ problem, an ABC News-Ipsos poll released Sunday indicates.

Just about half of Americans said they are ‘‘not surprised at all’’ to hear of Trump’s actions. An additional 32 percent said they are ‘‘not surprised.’’

The national poll, conducted Friday and Saturday, also finds that 63 percent of adults say it is a serious problem that Trump pushed the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of his potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden in a July call that has sparked an extraordinary whistleblower complaint and led Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry. Less than half of the public, 43 percent, said Trump’s action was ‘‘very serious.’’

The survey did not ask whether Trump should be impeached or about accusations that White House officials tried to keep the July phone call secret, a claim laid out by an unidentified whistleblower in a seven-page complaint released Thursday.

Several reaction polls released in the past week found an increase in the percentage of Americans in favor of impeachment. An NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist survey found 49 percent approval for impeachment and 46 percent against. After the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller III’s report on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and throughout the summer, most polls showed majorities opposing impeachment.

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House Democrats are gambling that more of the public will support their decision to move ahead with a formal impeachment inquiry as the investigation progresses. Until this week, about half of Democratic caucus members wanted to launch impeachment proceedings. By Friday, all but 11 were on board.

Despite the Ukraine story’s domination of headlines, just about one-quarter of adults say they have followed the news ‘‘very closely.’’ More than 6 in 10 say they are following the issue at least ‘‘somewhat closely.’’

The survey was conducted Sept. 27-28 using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel, an ongoing survey panel recruited through random sampling of US households. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

Washington Post

Cory Booker says he could drop his bid by Tuesday

Cory Booker said he could end his presidential campaign by Tuesday unless he is able to reach his goal of $1.7 million in donations within the next 36 hours.

Speaking on CNN’s ‘‘State of the Union’’ on Sunday, the New Jersey senator said that despite an ‘‘avalanche of support,’’ his campaign needed ‘‘some more help’’ from contributors. His campaign website shows he’s about $150,000 short of the amount he targeted on Sept. 21 to have a viable path to victory.

Although he has languished at 2% or 3% in most polls and is struggling in fund-raising, Booker has qualified for the October debate of Democratic presidential candidates. In the CNN interview, Booker said he has also met the threshold of 165,000 unique donors required to participate in the November debate.

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Booker also rose to the defense of fellow candidate Joe Biden, saying the accusations from President Trump that the former vice president acted improperly to benefit his son Hunter’s business interests in Ukraine are unfounded.

‘‘I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I should be president, not him,’’ Booker said of Biden, with whom he has clashed on the campaign trail and at debates. Yet the allegations from Trump ‘‘should in no way affect the vice president in his pursuit of the nomination,’’ he said. ‘‘This can in no way besmirch his character, his honor, and his incredible service to this country over decades.’’

Instead, Booker said the focus should be on the actions of Trump and his family, and said he would tighten the rules if elected president.

‘‘I’m watching what’s going on with the Trump family right now and Trump properties, and I just find that deeply offensive to just any kind of independent sense of what’s honorable, ethical, not to mention consistent with the emoluments clause,’’ he said, referring to a clause in the Constitution that forbids accepting payments from foreign governments. ‘‘I just don’t think children of president and vice presidents during an administration should be out there doing that.’’

Bloomberg News