Liberal activists planning day of protests against Trump’s national emergency declaration
The demonstrations are being organized for Presidents Day, the federal holiday on Monday that some workers have off. Many have been scheduled to take place at noon.
“We’re mobilizing rapid-response events on Presidents Day—Monday, 2/18—against Trump’s fake crisis and racist deportation force and to stand with immigrant, Muslim, and Black and brown communities to stop Trump’s dangerous and illegal power grab,” the liberal MoveOn.org posted on its website.
Some local protests have been listed on the website Rallylist.com.
President Trump said Friday he is declaring a national emergency on the southern border, tapping into executive powers in a bid to divert billions toward construction of his long-promised wall.
“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border … one way or the other, we have to do it,” Trump said in the Rose Garden.
The move is expected to face a swift and forceful legal challenge that could stall the attempt in the courts for the near future. But the declaration and other money-moving plans allow Trump to continue to fight for border wall construction while also averting another partial government shutdown — which would have been triggered at midnight on Friday absent the new funding package.
Trump, in the Rose Garden, declared once again that "walls work" as he confirmed the emergency declaration would accompany the spending legislation.
"We’re talking about an invasion of our country," Trump said.
And in an almost-casual tone, the president predicted a legal fight that will wind up before the Supreme Court.
"We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued," Trump said, adding that the federal appeals courts could well rule against his administration. "Then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court — just like the [travel] ban.”
A senior administration official told Fox News that the White House plans to move $8 billion in currently appropriated or available funds toward construction of the wall. Of that, $3 billion could be diverted with help from the emergency declaration.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Tear down that border wall: Is Beto's battlecry the new Dem litmus test for 2020?
Beto O’Rourke may have inadvertently got the ball rolling this week on an emerging litmus test for Democrats eyeing the White House in 2020 when he said he “absolutely” supports tearing down the existing barriers along the southern border with Mexico.
Since then, the other Democrats eyeing the 2020 Democratic nomination are facing calls to say whether they agree. And some are now expressing an openness to it, as they work to appeal to a liberal base that argues the wall is immoral.
“Curious to know if @KamalaHarris, @CoryBooker, @ewarren, @JulianCastro, @gillibrandny and @amyklobuchar agree with @BetoORourke that we should tear down the wall that already exists at the border?” tweeted Brad Parscale, Trump’s re-election campaign manager.
O’Rourke, the former Texas Democratic congressman and potential presidential candidate, called for the destruction of the El Paso wall after the White House said President Trump would declare a national state of emergency to fund the remainder of his border wall project.
During an interview in his hometown on Thursday, MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked O’Rourke: "If you could, would you take the wall down here — knock it down?"
"Yes, absolutely," answered O’Rourke, who is widely thought to be a potential candidate in 2020 but has not formally announced his intention to run. "I’d take the wall down."
And on Friday, at least one Democrat in the 2020 field signaled they are open to it.
"I could look at it and see which part he means and why and if it makes sense I could support it,” New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told Fox News in New Hampshire on Friday.
Meanwhile, Republicans expressed disbelief over O’Rourke’s comments, while signaling they believe they could use the issue to paint Democrats as extreme and pro-open borders.
“Correct me if I am wrong, but did Beto say he would tear down existing border fencing and walls?” tweeted Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who is up for re-election in 2020. Some Democrats have encouraged O’Rourke to challenge Cornyn if he doesn’t run for president.
“Give Beto O’Rourke points for honesty: he admits that he wants to tear down existing border walls & have totally open borders,” said Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton. “At least he’ll say what most Democrat politicians believe.”
RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel used O’Rourke’s comments to say it’s proof Democrats are “the party of open borders.”
While O’Rourke was the first likely 2020 presidential candidate to call for tearing down walls, other lesser-known Democrats in recent weeks have suggested they support the idea.
In an interview in January for example, Democratic Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar told CNN that "we know walls don’t work, that they don’t stop drugs, that they don’t stop migration." Escobar also suggested she was open to destroying existing walls, remarking that they are "really ugly" and "monuments to division."
But not all Democrats have embraced the idea: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said during an interview on Fox News’ "Special Report with Bret Baier" last month that border walls "obviously" work in some areas, and he rejected suggestions that barriers should be removed where they already exist.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Mueller claims to have evidence Roger Stone communicated with WikiLeaks
Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday claimed in a new court filing that prosecutors have evidence that former Trump adviser Roger Stone communicated with WikiLeaks, the organization that released hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign.
Stone – who was indicted last month on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering – denied to Fox News that evidence of such communications exists.
“There is no such evidence,” Stone said in a text message.
In a Friday motion, Mueller’s team said that “search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone’s communications” with an organization widely believed to be WikiLeaks.
Last month’s indictment does not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published the emails, or with the Russian officers Mueller says hacked them. Instead, it accuses him of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements about his interactions related to WikiLeaks’ release.
The indictment says Stone spoke to Trump campaign officials during the summer of 2016 about WikiLeaks and information the organization had that might be damaging to the Clinton campaign. It also says Stone was contacted by “senior Trump campaign officials” to inquire about future WikiLeaks releases of hacked Democratic emails.
Stone has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Earlier Friday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the federal court for the District of Columbia instituted a partial gag order, ordering that Stone “refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case.”
Jackson further ordered that any participants in the case, including witnesses and counsel, “refrain” from making any statements to the media or public when they are near the courthouse that could “influence any juror, potential juror, judge, witness or court officer or interfere with the administration of justice.”
Fox News’ Eben Brown, Brooke Singman and Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Kentucky House passes bill banning abortions if Roe v. Wade overturned
Lawmakers in Kentucky’s House of Representatives on Friday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state – if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
The bill passed 69-20 in the House, and now heads to the state’s Senate. It would ban abortions except for cases when it is necessary to save the life of the mother.
The legislation would take effect if Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the country, is reversed and states have the authority to outlaw abortion.
Lawmakers staked out their views on abortion during the emotionally charged debate.
"Not one of us, man or woman, has the moral authority to take the life of an unborn," said Republican Rep. James Tipton. "There is no other medical procedure that I know of that the goal is to intentionally take the life of an unborn child."
Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian said if the bill were to take effect, it would amount to government intrusion into the private medical decisions of women.
"It’s none of our business," she said. "If you want to go have a colonoscopy, should we get ourselves involved in that? If you want to take Viagra, should we get ourselves involved in that?"
Kentucky is among states enacting strict abortion laws in hopes of triggering a legal challenge to the high court. Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have similar laws on the books triggering abortion bans if the Roe v. Wade decision is struck down.
Anti-abortion legislators and activists around the country believe President Trump has strengthened the push to topple the Roe v. Wade ruling with his appointments of conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, liberal states, including New Mexico, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, have been making efforts to pass bills that loosen restrictions on abortion.
Controversy has erupted in Virginia, where the Democratic sponsor of a Virginia abortion proposal acknowledged it could allow women to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment before birth, for reasons including mental health.
Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam came under after he waded into the fight, with critics saying Northam indicated a child could be killed after birth.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Sarah Sanders says she ‘voluntarily’ agreed to Mueller interview
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders acknowledged Friday she was interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of their probe into whether anyone on the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The president urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel. I was happy to voluntarily sit down with them,” Sanders said in a statement.
She did not elaborate on when the interview took place, or what was discussed. But others involved in the campaign who later took White House jobs have been interviewed by Mueller’s team, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer.
Sanders worked on the presidential campaign of her father, Mike Huckabee, before joining Trump’s campaign in 2016. She later took a press job in the White House, before being promoted to White House press secretary.
CNN first reported Friday that Sanders had been interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Mueller’s investigation, which was initially ordered to look into the 2016 election, has gone on for more than a year and half. It has expanded to probe financial crimes of Trump associates before the election, conversations Trump’s national security adviser had with the Russians during the transition, and whether Trump obstructed justice with his comments and actions related to the probe.
Sanders, as Trump’s top spokesperson, has repeatedly denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
"It’s very clear that Russia meddled in the election, it’s also very clear that it didn’t have an impact on the election, and it’s also very clear that the Trump campaign didn’t collude with the Russians in any ways for this process to take place," Sanders said during a briefing last year.
Several weeks ago, then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said during congressional testimony that he’s been “fully briefed, and I look forward to Mueller delivering the final report. Right now, the investigation is, I think, close to being completed.”
Fox News’ John Roberts and Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
“So help you GOD” will remain in the Oath although the Democrats tried to remove it… The House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday voted to keep “so help you God” in the oath administered to witnesses testifying before the panel, a day after Republicans decried an apparent effort from Democrats to remove the phrase. “It […]
Now Virginia might sign an Abortion Bill copycatting New York allowing termination of babies right up to birth, what you to think about this? The abortion debate erupted anew this week after a video surfaced showing the Democratic sponsor of a Virginia abortion proposal acknowledging it could allow women to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment before birth, for reasons […]