2020

Trump saluted America in A #MAGA July 4 event, despite critics, What Do you Think About His Speech?

Trump salutes America in elaborate July 4 event, despite critics — and a downpour of rain
Despite concerns that he would use the Fourth of July event as a glorified campaign rally, President Trump used his “Salute to America” speech Thursday evening to praise the men and women of the armed forces and American exceptionalism. With the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop and flanked by camouflaged See More Bradley fighting vehicles, Trump stuck mainly to the script during his speech – praising the spirit that “runs through the veins of every American patriot” and attempting to strike a more unifying and conciliatory tone than he is generally known to take.

While Trump’s speech set a unifying tone, the lead-up to the event was far from harmonious – with Trump’s opponents,especially 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, slamming him on everything from the cost of the event to the perceived exploitation of the holiday for a political purpose. Two outside groups, the National Parks Conservation Foundation and Democracy Forward, want the Interior Department’s internal watchdog to investigate what they say may be a “potentially unlawful decision to divert” national parks money to Trump’s “spectacle.”

White House seeking all options on citizenship question for 2020 census
President Trump on Thursday doubled down on his push for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, promising that his administration is “working very hard” on the controversial issue — as reports say he is mulling using an executive order to get the question on the census. “So important for our Country that the very simple and basic ‘Are you a Citizen of the United States?’ question be allowed to be asked in the 2020 Census,” he tweeted. He added that the Commerce and Justice departments were “working very hard on this, even on the 4th of July!” Earlier this week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that his department was going ahead with the printing of the census without the citizenship question, apparently indicating that the administration had dropped the controversial issue. That decision came after a Supreme Court ruling last week that blocked the citizenship question for the time being until more reasoning from the administration was provided.

Ocasio-Cortez calls border officials liars after new report on offensive Facebook posts
In a Twitter message Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., branded the leadership of U.S. Customs and Border Protection as liars after a news site reported that CBP officials knew much longer than they claimed about a Facebook group on which some past and current CBP employees had posted offensive material. Ocasio-Cortez was the subject of some of this material. ProPublica, a self-described non-profit news group, reportedly has obtained screenshots of doctored images of Ocasio-Cortez, including one that shows a smiling PresidentTrump forcing her head toward his crotch.

According to Politico, top CBP officials had known about offensive posts “for up to three years” – even though officials claimed this week that they had only recently learned about them. “Looks like CBP lied,” Ocasio-Cortez charged Thursday, one day after the Politico story appeared. “Reporting shows they knew about it for *years.* This is a big deal.”

Ted Cruz schools Kaepernick, adds ‘context’ after ex-NFL star quotes Frederick Douglass ‘Fourth of July’ speech
Sen. Ted Cruz responded Thursday night after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernickposted a passage earlier on the Fourth of July from a famous speech by Civil War-era abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The passage Kaepernick cites is from Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass delivered to the speech at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852 – nearly nine years before the Civil War began.

Kaepernick posted the following portion, without adding any comments: “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking andbloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.” “You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass,” Sen. Cruz writes in response, “but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand.”

Closely watched June jobs report to be released Friday
Wall Street will be closely watching Friday’s release of the June jobs report, which could provide insight into whether the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its July meeting. As the U.S. enters the longest economic expansion on record, investors are looking at the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll and unemployment data for signs that the rapid job growth over the past two years is softening and lending way to an overall growth slowdown.

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.@AOC ain’t nothing but s Hounddog just crying/lying all the time.. do you think the news covers her way too much?

Ocasio-Cortez continues to compare border conditions to ‘concentration camps,’ critics accuse her of misinformation campaign
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has sparked controversy in recent weeks with arguably increasingly inflammatory rhetoric in her conversations about the conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Despite coming under fire last month for See More saying the U.S.government is “running concentration camps on our southern border,” Ocasio-Cortez once again made the same comparison on Twitter on Tuesday. On Monday, after traveling to a border detention center in El Paso, Texas, with almost a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, she blasted border officials as “violent” and “inhumane” while claiming agents forced detained migrant women and children to drink toilet water.

Current and former immigration officials rejected the congresswoman’s allegations and accused her of pulling a political stunt. Hispanic pastors who toured the same facility Ocasio-Cortez visited said the conditions at the detention center were “drastically different” than what she described. They said they were “shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.” The controversy over AOC’s latest comments come as afederal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot categorically detain asylum seekers while they pursue their cases.

Navy SEAL rejoices in not guilty verdict
Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher said he feels thankful and vindicatedafter a jury on Tuesday found him not guilty on almost all charges he was facing, including murder and attempted murder, in the 2017 killing of a teenage ISIS war prisoner in Iraq. “I’m happy and I’m thankful,” Gallagher told reporters after the verdict, as he joked with his legal team that “it’s Independence Day,” his freedom coming days before the Fourth of July. Jurors did find him guilty of the seventh charge, posing for a photo with a corpse, considered the least egregious of the crimes, which carries a maximum prison sentence of four months. Having already served seven months in confinement ahead of the trial, Gallagher, a Bronze Star recipient, is expected to go home a free man after his sentencing, his defense lawyers said.

Trump detractors sound the alarm as military vehicles roll in for July 4 celebrations
Appearing on “Deadline: White House,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid insisted on Tuesday that President Trump is using the upcoming Fourth of July “Salute to America” celebration as a “threat” to Americans who oppose him. Trump has longed talked about showing off America’s military capabilities in celebration of Independence Day, and now his vision is coming to fruition as tanks arrive in Washington, D.C., ahead of Thursday’s festivities. Reid claimed that Trump aspires to be a “mini” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, these kind of complaints are the ramblings of Trump haters.

Still, as preparations were underway Trump’s July 4 celebration, a few problems emerged along the way as military vehicles were hauled into the capital city. On Tuesday, a flatbed carrying the tanks was apparently unable to clear an underpass, according to photos tweeted by a Politico reporter. A crane was later employed to resolve the issue. Retired U.S. Army Gen. Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, told the Daily Reporter that some local roads are ill-equipped to handle the weight of the tanks.

Missing Connecticut woman’s estranged husband maintains innocence
Fotis Dulos, a Connecticut real-estate developer charged in connection with the disappearance of his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, maintained his innocence Tuesday during his first sit-down interview about the case, claiming he’s “worried” about his wife and never wished her “ill in any way.” “I know what I’ve done, I know what I haven’t done,” the 51-year-old Greek immigrant told New York City’s WNBC-TV. “I have to stand and fight and hope that the truth is going to come out.” Jennifer Dulos, 50, hasn’t been seen since dropping her children off at school in New Canaan, Conn., on May 24.

Remembering Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca, the father of the Ford Mustang and former chairman of Chrysler, has died of natural causes at his home in Bel Air, Calif., his family said Tuesday. He was 94. Iacocca, born in Allentown, Pa., on Oct. 15, 1924 as the child of Italian immigrants, started working at Ford Motor Co. in 1946 and is heralded as the leader of the team that created the first Mustang in 1964. He ascended to CEO of the company in 1970 but was fired by Henry Ford Jr. in 1978. He moved on to Chrysler Corp. in 1978 and became the CEO a year later, pulling the company out of bankruptcy after taking it over. Iacocca successfully persuaded the federal government to provide the company a $1.2 billion loan in 1979 and made major cuts to the workforce, slashing wages — including his own, which he shrunk to $1 a year — and closing plants. He also introduced fuel-efficient cars and the minivan. His effortswere successful and Chrysler made a comeback, profiting $20 million. The turnaround made Iacocca a media star. Later, he was a key figure in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and creation of the Ellis Island museum.

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How Many Times Do We Have To Warn Iran? Trump Says If He Is Forced To Do Something It’s Going To Be A Large Response.

After showing military restraint, Trump warns Iran in ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ interview
President Trump, after calling off a military strike on Iran following the downing of an American drone last month, delivered a stern warning to the regime during an interview with Fox News. Speaking exclusively with Tucker Carlson, Trump said he “built up a lot of See More great capital” after his decision — but said that means “if something should happen, we’re in a positionto do far worse by not doing it.” He quickly added, “But, hopefully, we don’t have to do anything.” The president’s comments on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” were made before it was reported on Monday that Iran has exceeded the threshold for the Islamic Republic’s low-enriched uranium stockpile agreed upon in the 2015 nuclear deal. But at a White House event on Monday, he said Iran was “playing with fire.”

During the “Tucker” interview, President Trump also shared his plans to combat rising homelessness and mental illness in America.

Cory Booker unveils plan to ‘virtually eliminate immigrant detention’
Sen. Cory Booker, trying to jolt his 2020 presidential campaign, is unveiling a comprehensive plan to “virtually eliminate immigrant detention” and expand protections for illegal immigrants through executive order — bypassing Congress entirely — “on day one of his presidency.” The aggressive proposal comes as polls consistently have shown Booker trailing many fellow Democrats in the White House race, including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Although several of his rivals already have announced similar proposals and even endorsed decriminalizing border crossing entirely, Booker’s plan was unique in focusing on the immigrant detention facilities that have attracted national attention in recent weeks.

Booker’s plan comes as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is facing a lingering political backlash from liberal House Democrats over his role in the passage of a bipartisan border bill last week, which saw House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced to back down from a push to include restrictions on immigration enforcement. It also comes amidoutrage over claims made by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that women at a southern border facility are being forced to drink “out of toilets.” U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials have strongly denied AOC’s allegations.

Report: Nike dropped Betsy Ross-themed Fourth of July sneaker after Colin Kaepernick complained
Just don’t do it. That was the message ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick delivered to Nikeover the planned release of a USA-themed sneaker, which featured a Betsy Ross flag on the heel, according to a report. Nike nixed the released of the Air Max 1 USA after having already sent the sneakers to retailers because the protesting quarterback said he felt the use of the Betsy Ross flag was offensive and carried slavery connotations, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Accused Navy SEAL’s fate in jury’s hands
Jurors will begin their first full day of deliberations in the court-martial of a decorated Navy SEAL accused of murdering a wounded ISIS war prisoner in Iraq. Jury deliberations started Monday following closing argumentswhere military prosecutors said Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher’s words and actions proved he murdered a member of the Islamic State terror network in May 2017. The defense argued the prosecution’s case had “huge gaping holes” and that Gallagher was a subject of “fixation” by military prosecutors. “They started with a conclusion … [and] … ignored everything that didn’t fit,” Timothy Parlatore told the jury of five Marines and two sailors during his closing argument.

Charlie Kirk launches GOTV campaign to enlist 1 million ‘Students for Trump’ in 2020
Conservative activist Charlie Kirk is launching a massive get-out-the-vote campaign Tuesday aimed at identifying and enlisting 1 million student supporters of President Trump ahead of the 2020 election. The “Students for Trump” campaign will look to target students on more than 300 campuses, in what Kirk describes as the biggest operation of its kind. “This is the most aggressivevoter identification GOTV program targeting students on college campuses for a Republican president ever,” Kirk told Fox News.

TUNE IN: Charlie Kirk will appear on “Fox & Friends” today at 6:30 a.m. ET

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With Peace In North Korea And China Trade Deals, Don’t You Think It’s Time Trump Got A Nobel Peace Prize?

Fox News Exclusive: Trump tells Tucker Carlson he’s optimistic about trade deal with China, slams Big Tech bias
President Trump expressed optimism about a possible trade deal between his administration and Chinese President Xi Jinping,during an interview with Tucker Carlson set to air Monday night on Fox News. Trump had met with Xi during the G20 summit in Osaka and See More described the meeting as “excellent” before saying the two countries were “back on track.” “We had a very good meeting,” thepresident said. “He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess you’d say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade.”

Trump sat down with Carlson during the president’s trip, which included stops in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit, and a first-of-its kind visit by a U.S. president to North Korea, meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which Carlson witnessed. During the interview, the president also ripped alleged biases from Big Tech, which includes Facebook, Google and Twitter, saying, ” They were totally against me. I won … They fought me very hard. I mean, I heard that and they’re fighting me hard right now.” 

TUNE IN: Don’t miss Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with President Trump tonight on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET

Trump and Kim agree to revive talks on nuke problem in historic visit, but what’s next?
President Trump made history this weekend by becoming first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into the Hermit Kingdom. The event in the Demilitarized Zone also included a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, the first face-to-face sit-down between the two since their failed summit in Hanoi in February. The two leaders have agreed to revive talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, with Trump saying “speed is not the object” and “we’re looking to get it right.”

The president’s critics, especially Democrats looking to run against him in 2020, are skeptical and have called the latest meeting between Trump and Kim another elaborate photo-op and accused the president of “coddling” dictators. Other critics have wondered whether Trump will ever reach an actual deal with Kim, noting that nothing of substance was achieved in their previous two meetings. Still, Harry J. Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest,wonders whether Trump’s unconventional diplomatic approach to North Korea is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Stay tuned.

Kudlow: No ‘amnesty’ for Huawei
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday tamped down expectations of a quick resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute, adding that President Trump’s decision to let Chinese telecom giant Huawei buy some additional U.S. products is “not a general amnesty.” Trump announced Saturday that U.S. suppliers will be allowed to sell components to Chinese telecom giant Huawei following talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow said Trump’s move does not mean the administration no longer regards Huawei as a surveillance agency of the Chinese Communist Party. Still, U.S. stock futures jumped ahead of Monday’s open as investors reacted to the progress between the U.S. and China at the G20 Summit.

Fox News Exclusive: Friends of Utah student say suspected killer was ‘hunting for women’
In a Fox News exclusive interview, friends of the University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck said Sunday they believe the suspect arrested in her disappearance and murder was “hunting for women.” Lueck, 23, disappeared after police said she met with the suspectidentified as 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, who was arrested and charged with aggravated murder Friday. The student met with Ajayi around 3 a.m. on June 17 near a park in Salt Lake City after she had been dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police. “There’s a lot of people that say she deserved this because she put herself in this situation and we don’t officially know that,” Kennedy Stoner, a sorority sister and friend of Lueck’s, told Fox News in an exclusive interview on Sunday. Follow the latest developments on this story on FoxNews.com.

Many 2020 Dems on the chopping block
The Democratic Party’s crowded field of 2020 presidential candidates could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates. Short on support and money and bound by tough party rules, once soaring politicians may soon be seen as also-rans. They include: Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama who is trying to capitalize on his strong debate performance last week; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, one of her party’s most outspoken feminists; and Sen. Cory Booker, who first rose to stardom as the energetic mayor of Newark, N.J. Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six right now are sure to appear in the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2 percent in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors. – Associated Press

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With Peace In North Korea And China Trade Deals, Don’t You Think It’s Time Trump Got A Nobel Peace Prize?

Fox News Exclusive: Trump tells Tucker Carlson he’s optimistic about trade deal with China, slams Big Tech bias
President Trump expressed optimism about a possible trade deal between his administration and Chinese President Xi Jinping,during an interview with Tucker Carlson set to air Monday night on Fox News. Trump had met with Xi during the G20 summit in Osaka and See More described the meeting as “excellent” before saying the two countries were “back on track.” “We had a very good meeting,” thepresident said. “He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess you’d say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade.”

Trump sat down with Carlson during the president’s trip, which included stops in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit, and a first-of-its kind visit by a U.S. president to North Korea, meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which Carlson witnessed. During the interview, the president also ripped alleged biases from Big Tech, which includes Facebook, Google and Twitter, saying, ” They were totally against me. I won … They fought me very hard. I mean, I heard that and they’re fighting me hard right now.” 

TUNE IN: Don’t miss Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with President Trump tonight on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET

Trump and Kim agree to revive talks on nuke problem in historic visit, but what’s next?
President Trump made history this weekend by becoming first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into the Hermit Kingdom. The event in the Demilitarized Zone also included a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, the first face-to-face sit-down between the two since their failed summit in Hanoi in February. The two leaders have agreed to revive talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, with Trump saying “speed is not the object” and “we’re looking to get it right.”

The president’s critics, especially Democrats looking to run against him in 2020, are skeptical and have called the latest meeting between Trump and Kim another elaborate photo-op and accused the president of “coddling” dictators. Other critics have wondered whether Trump will ever reach an actual deal with Kim, noting that nothing of substance was achieved in their previous two meetings. Still, Harry J. Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest,wonders whether Trump’s unconventional diplomatic approach to North Korea is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Stay tuned.

Kudlow: No ‘amnesty’ for Huawei
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday tamped down expectations of a quick resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute, adding that President Trump’s decision to let Chinese telecom giant Huawei buy some additional U.S. products is “not a general amnesty.” Trump announced Saturday that U.S. suppliers will be allowed to sell components to Chinese telecom giant Huawei following talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow said Trump’s move does not mean the administration no longer regards Huawei as a surveillance agency of the Chinese Communist Party. Still, U.S. stock futures jumped ahead of Monday’s open as investors reacted to the progress between the U.S. and China at the G20 Summit.

Fox News Exclusive: Friends of Utah student say suspected killer was ‘hunting for women’
In a Fox News exclusive interview, friends of the University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck said Sunday they believe the suspect arrested in her disappearance and murder was “hunting for women.” Lueck, 23, disappeared after police said she met with the suspectidentified as 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, who was arrested and charged with aggravated murder Friday. The student met with Ajayi around 3 a.m. on June 17 near a park in Salt Lake City after she had been dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police. “There’s a lot of people that say she deserved this because she put herself in this situation and we don’t officially know that,” Kennedy Stoner, a sorority sister and friend of Lueck’s, told Fox News in an exclusive interview on Sunday. Follow the latest developments on this story on FoxNews.com.

Many 2020 Dems on the chopping block
The Democratic Party’s crowded field of 2020 presidential candidates could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates. Short on support and money and bound by tough party rules, once soaring politicians may soon be seen as also-rans. They include: Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama who is trying to capitalize on his strong debate performance last week; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, one of her party’s most outspoken feminists; and Sen. Cory Booker, who first rose to stardom as the energetic mayor of Newark, N.J. Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six right now are sure to appear in the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2 percent in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors. – Associated Press

TODAY’S MUST-READS
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At G20 summit in Japan, these were the five biggest moments you missed.
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With Peace In North Korea And China Trade Deals, Don’t You Think It’s Time Trump Got A Nobel Peace Prize?

Fox News Exclusive: Trump tells Tucker Carlson he’s optimistic about trade deal with China, slams Big Tech bias
President Trump expressed optimism about a possible trade deal between his administration and Chinese President Xi Jinping,during an interview with Tucker Carlson set to air Monday night on Fox News. Trump had met with Xi during the G20 summit in Osaka and See More described the meeting as “excellent” before saying the two countries were “back on track.” “We had a very good meeting,” thepresident said. “He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess you’d say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade.”

Trump sat down with Carlson during the president’s trip, which included stops in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit, and a first-of-its kind visit by a U.S. president to North Korea, meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which Carlson witnessed. During the interview, the president also ripped alleged biases from Big Tech, which includes Facebook, Google and Twitter, saying, ” They were totally against me. I won … They fought me very hard. I mean, I heard that and they’re fighting me hard right now.” 

TUNE IN: Don’t miss Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with President Trump tonight on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET

Trump and Kim agree to revive talks on nuke problem in historic visit, but what’s next?
President Trump made history this weekend by becoming first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into the Hermit Kingdom. The event in the Demilitarized Zone also included a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, the first face-to-face sit-down between the two since their failed summit in Hanoi in February. The two leaders have agreed to revive talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, with Trump saying “speed is not the object” and “we’re looking to get it right.”

The president’s critics, especially Democrats looking to run against him in 2020, are skeptical and have called the latest meeting between Trump and Kim another elaborate photo-op and accused the president of “coddling” dictators. Other critics have wondered whether Trump will ever reach an actual deal with Kim, noting that nothing of substance was achieved in their previous two meetings. Still, Harry J. Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest,wonders whether Trump’s unconventional diplomatic approach to North Korea is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Stay tuned.

Kudlow: No ‘amnesty’ for Huawei
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday tamped down expectations of a quick resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute, adding that President Trump’s decision to let Chinese telecom giant Huawei buy some additional U.S. products is “not a general amnesty.” Trump announced Saturday that U.S. suppliers will be allowed to sell components to Chinese telecom giant Huawei following talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow said Trump’s move does not mean the administration no longer regards Huawei as a surveillance agency of the Chinese Communist Party. Still, U.S. stock futures jumped ahead of Monday’s open as investors reacted to the progress between the U.S. and China at the G20 Summit.

Fox News Exclusive: Friends of Utah student say suspected killer was ‘hunting for women’
In a Fox News exclusive interview, friends of the University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck said Sunday they believe the suspect arrested in her disappearance and murder was “hunting for women.” Lueck, 23, disappeared after police said she met with the suspectidentified as 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, who was arrested and charged with aggravated murder Friday. The student met with Ajayi around 3 a.m. on June 17 near a park in Salt Lake City after she had been dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police. “There’s a lot of people that say she deserved this because she put herself in this situation and we don’t officially know that,” Kennedy Stoner, a sorority sister and friend of Lueck’s, told Fox News in an exclusive interview on Sunday. Follow the latest developments on this story on FoxNews.com.

Many 2020 Dems on the chopping block
The Democratic Party’s crowded field of 2020 presidential candidates could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates. Short on support and money and bound by tough party rules, once soaring politicians may soon be seen as also-rans. They include: Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama who is trying to capitalize on his strong debate performance last week; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, one of her party’s most outspoken feminists; and Sen. Cory Booker, who first rose to stardom as the energetic mayor of Newark, N.J. Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six right now are sure to appear in the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2 percent in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors. – Associated Press

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Sanders hits back at AOC after Ivanka Trump dig.
Kentucky farmers say federally-protected vultures are terrorizing livestock: report.
UFC president confirms talks to promote Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise match.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
At G20 summit in Japan, these were the five biggest moments you missed.
Billionaire Bernie Marcus to donate majority of fortune, support Trump for re-election.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ narrows gapto break highest-grossing film record following re-release.

Source

With Peace In North Korea And China Trade Deals, Don’t You Think It’s Time Trump Got A Nobel Peace Prize?

Fox News Exclusive: Trump tells Tucker Carlson he’s optimistic about trade deal with China, slams Big Tech bias
President Trump expressed optimism about a possible trade deal between his administration and Chinese President Xi Jinping,during an interview with Tucker Carlson set to air Monday night on Fox News. Trump had met with Xi during the G20 summit in Osaka and See More described the meeting as “excellent” before saying the two countries were “back on track.” “We had a very good meeting,” thepresident said. “He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess you’d say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade.”

Trump sat down with Carlson during the president’s trip, which included stops in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit, and a first-of-its kind visit by a U.S. president to North Korea, meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which Carlson witnessed. During the interview, the president also ripped alleged biases from Big Tech, which includes Facebook, Google and Twitter, saying, ” They were totally against me. I won … They fought me very hard. I mean, I heard that and they’re fighting me hard right now.” 

TUNE IN: Don’t miss Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with President Trump tonight on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET

Trump and Kim agree to revive talks on nuke problem in historic visit, but what’s next?
President Trump made history this weekend by becoming first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into the Hermit Kingdom. The event in the Demilitarized Zone also included a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, the first face-to-face sit-down between the two since their failed summit in Hanoi in February. The two leaders have agreed to revive talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, with Trump saying “speed is not the object” and “we’re looking to get it right.”

The president’s critics, especially Democrats looking to run against him in 2020, are skeptical and have called the latest meeting between Trump and Kim another elaborate photo-op and accused the president of “coddling” dictators. Other critics have wondered whether Trump will ever reach an actual deal with Kim, noting that nothing of substance was achieved in their previous two meetings. Still, Harry J. Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest,wonders whether Trump’s unconventional diplomatic approach to North Korea is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Stay tuned.

Kudlow: No ‘amnesty’ for Huawei
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday tamped down expectations of a quick resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute, adding that President Trump’s decision to let Chinese telecom giant Huawei buy some additional U.S. products is “not a general amnesty.” Trump announced Saturday that U.S. suppliers will be allowed to sell components to Chinese telecom giant Huawei following talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow said Trump’s move does not mean the administration no longer regards Huawei as a surveillance agency of the Chinese Communist Party. Still, U.S. stock futures jumped ahead of Monday’s open as investors reacted to the progress between the U.S. and China at the G20 Summit.

Fox News Exclusive: Friends of Utah student say suspected killer was ‘hunting for women’
In a Fox News exclusive interview, friends of the University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck said Sunday they believe the suspect arrested in her disappearance and murder was “hunting for women.” Lueck, 23, disappeared after police said she met with the suspectidentified as 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, who was arrested and charged with aggravated murder Friday. The student met with Ajayi around 3 a.m. on June 17 near a park in Salt Lake City after she had been dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police. “There’s a lot of people that say she deserved this because she put herself in this situation and we don’t officially know that,” Kennedy Stoner, a sorority sister and friend of Lueck’s, told Fox News in an exclusive interview on Sunday. Follow the latest developments on this story on FoxNews.com.

Many 2020 Dems on the chopping block
The Democratic Party’s crowded field of 2020 presidential candidates could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates. Short on support and money and bound by tough party rules, once soaring politicians may soon be seen as also-rans. They include: Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama who is trying to capitalize on his strong debate performance last week; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, one of her party’s most outspoken feminists; and Sen. Cory Booker, who first rose to stardom as the energetic mayor of Newark, N.J. Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six right now are sure to appear in the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2 percent in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors. – Associated Press

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At G20 summit in Japan, these were the five biggest moments you missed.
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With Peace In North Korea And China Trade Deals, Don’t You Think It’s Time Trump Got A Nobel Peace Prize?

Fox News Exclusive: Trump tells Tucker Carlson he’s optimistic about trade deal with China, slams Big Tech bias
President Trump expressed optimism about a possible trade deal between his administration and Chinese President Xi Jinping,during an interview with Tucker Carlson set to air Monday night on Fox News. Trump had met with Xi during the G20 summit in Osaka and See More described the meeting as “excellent” before saying the two countries were “back on track.” “We had a very good meeting,” thepresident said. “He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess you’d say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade.”

Trump sat down with Carlson during the president’s trip, which included stops in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit, and a first-of-its kind visit by a U.S. president to North Korea, meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which Carlson witnessed. During the interview, the president also ripped alleged biases from Big Tech, which includes Facebook, Google and Twitter, saying, ” They were totally against me. I won … They fought me very hard. I mean, I heard that and they’re fighting me hard right now.” 

TUNE IN: Don’t miss Tucker Carlson’s exclusive interview with President Trump tonight on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET

Trump and Kim agree to revive talks on nuke problem in historic visit, but what’s next?
President Trump made history this weekend by becoming first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into the Hermit Kingdom. The event in the Demilitarized Zone also included a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors, the first face-to-face sit-down between the two since their failed summit in Hanoi in February. The two leaders have agreed to revive talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, with Trump saying “speed is not the object” and “we’re looking to get it right.”

The president’s critics, especially Democrats looking to run against him in 2020, are skeptical and have called the latest meeting between Trump and Kim another elaborate photo-op and accused the president of “coddling” dictators. Other critics have wondered whether Trump will ever reach an actual deal with Kim, noting that nothing of substance was achieved in their previous two meetings. Still, Harry J. Kazianis, director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest,wonders whether Trump’s unconventional diplomatic approach to North Korea is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Stay tuned.

Kudlow: No ‘amnesty’ for Huawei
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday tamped down expectations of a quick resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute, adding that President Trump’s decision to let Chinese telecom giant Huawei buy some additional U.S. products is “not a general amnesty.” Trump announced Saturday that U.S. suppliers will be allowed to sell components to Chinese telecom giant Huawei following talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow said Trump’s move does not mean the administration no longer regards Huawei as a surveillance agency of the Chinese Communist Party. Still, U.S. stock futures jumped ahead of Monday’s open as investors reacted to the progress between the U.S. and China at the G20 Summit.

Fox News Exclusive: Friends of Utah student say suspected killer was ‘hunting for women’
In a Fox News exclusive interview, friends of the University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck said Sunday they believe the suspect arrested in her disappearance and murder was “hunting for women.” Lueck, 23, disappeared after police said she met with the suspectidentified as 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi, who was arrested and charged with aggravated murder Friday. The student met with Ajayi around 3 a.m. on June 17 near a park in Salt Lake City after she had been dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police. “There’s a lot of people that say she deserved this because she put herself in this situation and we don’t officially know that,” Kennedy Stoner, a sorority sister and friend of Lueck’s, told Fox News in an exclusive interview on Sunday. Follow the latest developments on this story on FoxNews.com.

Many 2020 Dems on the chopping block
The Democratic Party’s crowded field of 2020 presidential candidates could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates. Short on support and money and bound by tough party rules, once soaring politicians may soon be seen as also-rans. They include: Julian Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama who is trying to capitalize on his strong debate performance last week; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, one of her party’s most outspoken feminists; and Sen. Cory Booker, who first rose to stardom as the energetic mayor of Newark, N.J. Of the 20 candidates who qualified for the first round of debates in June and July, just six right now are sure to appear in the September-October round, when the Democratic National Committee requires participants to hit 2 percent in multiple polls and 130,000 individual donors. – Associated Press

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Sanders hits back at AOC after Ivanka Trump dig.
Kentucky farmers say federally-protected vultures are terrorizing livestock: report.
UFC president confirms talks to promote Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise match.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
At G20 summit in Japan, these were the five biggest moments you missed.
Billionaire Bernie Marcus to donate majority of fortune, support Trump for re-election.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ narrows gapto break highest-grossing film record following re-release.

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Is Joe Biden a Racist?

Harris puts Biden’s race record on trial in Round 2 of Dem primary debate
Democratic presidential primary front-runner Joe Biden ran into a formidable challenge at Thursday night’s debate from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who tapped into her prosecutor toolbox to put his race record on trial following the controversy over his comments on segregationist senators. In perhaps the most heated momentof the night, Harris told Biden she doesn’t believe he is a “racist” but See More considers his recent comments about being able to work with segregationist senators early in his career “hurtful.”

Biden has said he disagreed with the senators on segregation, but was still able to work with them in the Senate. But that explanation did not deter Harris during Thursday’s debate. “You worked with them to oppose busing,” Harris said, referring to efforts to limit orders for school desegregation by busing. In an emotional moment, she told her own story of being bussed as a little girl in California. Biden fired back that Harris’ comments were a “mischaracterization of my position across the board.”

Biden, though, mostly kept his focus on the candidate he really wants to face — President Trump. He repeatedly invoked the name and record of his popular running-mate Barack Obama and brushed back swipes at his age from long-shot candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell,who repeatedly called on him to “pass the torch.” It’s unclear whether the clash with Harris might damage Biden — considering most prior controversies have not dinged his poll numbers — or simply give Harris some needed momentum.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders avoided any direct clash with Biden. He spent much of the night defending his big-government agenda against questions from moderators and criticism from more centrist leaning – and lower-polling – candidates. Several rivalstook issue with some of Sanders’ socialistic policies, like “Medicare-for-all” and free college tuition. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg broke with Sanders in saying while he supports free college for children of low and middle income, “I just don’t believe it makes sense to ask working-class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires.”

Still, the debate also made clear how Democrats have moved to the left on issues relating to immigration. All 10 Democrats raised their hands when asked if their government health care plan would cover illegal immigrants. Pollster Frank Luntz summed it upthis way on “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday: “This is not your parents’ Democratic Party.” Click here for former Clinton strategist Mark Penn’s list of winners and losers from Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Trump likes what he saw in the Democratic debate from afar
At one time, some pundits were predicting that Democrats could defeat President Trump and the Republican Party on health care. However, thanks to the Democratic Party’s stance on health care for illegal immigrants, Trump and Republicans are feeling very confident. While attending the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, the president said Democratic White House contenders’ willingness to extend government health care to illegal immigrants in America will get him reelected. Trump tweeted: “All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!?” He then added: “That’s the end of that race!”

Friends of missing Utah student spot activity on Instagram account
The search for missing Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has taken a peculiar twist. Friends of Lueck told Fox News that they noticed activity on her Instagram account on Wednesday and turned the information over to authorities. Lueck’s personal Instagram account liked a page called “fatherless,” around noon, and her friends quickly took screengrabs to document the activity and turn over to police. The @fatherless handle had more than 47,000 followers as of early Friday but was following only 15 accounts — not including that of Lueck.

The 23-year-old woman was last seen meeting an unknown individual around 3 a.m. June 17 at a park in Salt Lake City after being dropped off by a Lyft driver. She hailed the ride after flying in from Los Angeles – where she had attended her grandmother’sfuneral. While the Lyft driver has been cleared, police searched the Salt Lake City home of the man they said is a “person of interest”for about 19 hours the past two days. Police said they are also looking for a mattress and box spring removed from the home last week.

Iraqi general: Accused Navy SEAL did not stab ISIS prisoner
The Iraqi general at the scene of an alleged murder of an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 testified in a deposition video played in court Thursday that Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher never stabbed the teenage detainee. In a recording made earlier this month, Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri testified he never saw Gallagher stab the detainee in the neck. Gallagher served alongside Abbas’ unit in an advise-and-assistcapacity in Mosul. Abbas told the defense lawyer if had he witnessed improper conduct from SEALs, he would have taken action. Last week, a Navy SEAL, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, testified that Abbas’ unit tortured, raped and murdered prisoners. Scott said he killed the ISIS prisoner by putting his thumb over the detainee’s breathing tube in order to save him from falling into the hands of Abbas’ unit.

France highly motivated in Women’s World Cup showdown with Team USA
The United States has its ranking and its trophies, and that’s all the motivation France needs. The Americans face the French on Friday night at the Women’s World Cup, a match that’s been described as a final in the quarterfinals. It really has it all: The defending champions against the upstart hosts. The City of Lights. A sellout crowd. “They’ve got a great trophy cabinet and we still have everything to prove,” French captain Amandine Henry said. The only downside? The country is in the midst of a heat wave and temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s, although a 9 p.m. local time start should bring some cooling. France is seeking to become the first nation to simultaneously hold the men’s and women’s World Cup trophies. (The men won last year in Russia.) The United States already has three FIFA Women’s World Cup trophies, most of any nation.

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Supreme Court blocks citizenship question on 2020 census for now.
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2020 Dems take shots at Trump And They Are All Blank! Ready For A Reload?

2020 Dems take shots at Trump, clash over policy proposals during Round 1 

The first primary debate of the 2020 presidential election season saw cracks of daylight emerge in a Democratic field that has largely played to the progressive base,with the candidates clashing sharply over controversial policies like “Medicare-for-all” and calls to decriminalize illegal border crossings — while taking ample shots at See More President Trump in the process. Staking out the left flank of the party Wednesday night in Miami were Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — the highest-polling candidate in the first debate batch — and long-shot Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. They were the only candidates to raise their hands when asked who’s willing to give up their private health insurance for a government option. Warren went on to staunchly defend 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” plan.

Beto O’Rourke, the one-time media darling in the crowded Democratic field who has watched his poll numbers wilt in recent months, looked to regain much of his lost momentum on Wednesday night. While he was among a handful of candidates who gave some responses in Spanish, he repeatedly found himself on the receiving end of swipes from rivals, especially former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Among the candidates looking for breakout moments, Castro may have come the closest with his controversial call for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings, challenging his fellow presidential hopefuls to agree to repeal the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies. He called out O’Rourke by name for not supporting his proposal, saying, “I think you should do your homework on this issue. If you did your homework on this issue you would know that we should repeal this section.” Discussing the heartbreaking photo that emerged this week of a migrant father and toddler daughter who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande, Castro said it “should piss us all off.”

President Trump, who was on his way to Osaka, Japan, for the G-20 Summit, watched at least the first half-hour of Wednesday’s debate, tweeting a one-word verdict of the event: “BORING!” He later swiped at NBC News and MSNBC for technical difficulties that marred part of the telecast.

Despite their differences on major issues, the candidates – especially Warren — rallied to downplay economic successes and growth under the Trump administration. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren said of the economy.The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee rapid response team, though, sent email blasts and tweets “fact-checking” and defending the president’s economic record and the creation of “6 million jobs” since Election Day 2016.

Biden, Sanders to share the stage, more fireworks expected in Round 2

The second round of the first Democratic primary debate will take place in Miami on Thursday and will feature the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the same stage. The debate will also include these eight candidates: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg;U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California; Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper; U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California; author Marianne Williamson; and businessman Andrew Yang

Ahead of G-20 Summit, Trump vows more tariffs on China if no deal is reached
Before leaving for the G-20 Summit, President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday, vowed to impose additional tariffs on China if a trade deal is not reached. “When tariffs go on in China, we are taking in billions and billions of dollars,” Trump said. “We never took in 10 cents — now you have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet. It’s ripe for taxing — for putting tariffs on.” Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade between the world’s two largest economies. The result could have broad implications for the markets and the global economy.

Although it’s “possible” to reach a good deal, Trump said his “plan B” may include a 10 percent tariff on the remaining “$600 billion” worth of Chinese goods. Besides Xi, Trump’s agenda in Osaka includes sit-downs with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Teyyip Erdogan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Woman recalls falling ill in Dominican Republic, says doctor flagged possible poisoning

A Canadian woman who stayed at a Bahia Principe resort in the Dominican Republic in 2016alleges that she fell critically ill after being exposed to a strong chemical odor in her room, and that she has battled multiple health problems ever since. Tina Hammell told CNN that the smell in her room at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana resort woke her and her husband from a nap. Hammell is one of several people who have come forward to tell reporters about having fallen ill — sometimes requiring hospitalization — while at a resort in the Dominican Republic. After she and her husband returnedhome to Ontario, doctors told her that she may have been poisoned by something in the Dominican Republic.

Possible new clue is search for missing Utah college student

Salt Lake City police reportedly served a search warrant Wednesday at a home connected to the disappearance of a missing Utah college student, reports said. Mackenzie Lueck, 23, was last seen June 17 near a Salt Lake City park after she was dropped off by a Lyft driver. The University of Utah student was returning from her grandmother’s funeral in California. Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said there is a “nexus” between the home and Lueck’s disappearance, but he did not say if anyone has been arrested, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Lyft driver, who was cleared as a suspect, told police he dropped off Lueck around 3 a.m. at Hatch Park, where another car was waiting for her.

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Wayfair walkout: How furniture retailer can avoid ‘slippery slope’of political pressure.
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2020 Dems take shots at Trump And They Are All Blank! Ready For A Reload?

2020 Dems take shots at Trump, clash over policy proposals during Round 1 

The first primary debate of the 2020 presidential election season saw cracks of daylight emerge in a Democratic field that has largely played to the progressive base,with the candidates clashing sharply over controversial policies like “Medicare-for-all” and calls to decriminalize illegal border crossings — while taking ample shots at See More President Trump in the process. Staking out the left flank of the party Wednesday night in Miami were Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — the highest-polling candidate in the first debate batch — and long-shot Bill de Blasio, the New York City mayor. They were the only candidates to raise their hands when asked who’s willing to give up their private health insurance for a government option. Warren went on to staunchly defend 2020 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” plan.

Beto O’Rourke, the one-time media darling in the crowded Democratic field who has watched his poll numbers wilt in recent months, looked to regain much of his lost momentum on Wednesday night. While he was among a handful of candidates who gave some responses in Spanish, he repeatedly found himself on the receiving end of swipes from rivals, especially former Housing Secretary Julian Castro.

Among the candidates looking for breakout moments, Castro may have come the closest with his controversial call for the decriminalization of illegal border crossings, challenging his fellow presidential hopefuls to agree to repeal the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies. He called out O’Rourke by name for not supporting his proposal, saying, “I think you should do your homework on this issue. If you did your homework on this issue you would know that we should repeal this section.” Discussing the heartbreaking photo that emerged this week of a migrant father and toddler daughter who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande, Castro said it “should piss us all off.”

President Trump, who was on his way to Osaka, Japan, for the G-20 Summit, watched at least the first half-hour of Wednesday’s debate, tweeting a one-word verdict of the event: “BORING!” He later swiped at NBC News and MSNBC for technical difficulties that marred part of the telecast.

Despite their differences on major issues, the candidates – especially Warren — rallied to downplay economic successes and growth under the Trump administration. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren said of the economy.The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee rapid response team, though, sent email blasts and tweets “fact-checking” and defending the president’s economic record and the creation of “6 million jobs” since Election Day 2016.

Biden, Sanders to share the stage, more fireworks expected in Round 2

The second round of the first Democratic primary debate will take place in Miami on Thursday and will feature the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the same stage. The debate will also include these eight candidates: U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg;U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California; Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper; U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California; author Marianne Williamson; and businessman Andrew Yang

Ahead of G-20 Summit, Trump vows more tariffs on China if no deal is reached
Before leaving for the G-20 Summit, President Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday, vowed to impose additional tariffs on China if a trade deal is not reached. “When tariffs go on in China, we are taking in billions and billions of dollars,” Trump said. “We never took in 10 cents — now you have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet. It’s ripe for taxing — for putting tariffs on.” Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade between the world’s two largest economies. The result could have broad implications for the markets and the global economy.

Although it’s “possible” to reach a good deal, Trump said his “plan B” may include a 10 percent tariff on the remaining “$600 billion” worth of Chinese goods. Besides Xi, Trump’s agenda in Osaka includes sit-downs with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Teyyip Erdogan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Woman recalls falling ill in Dominican Republic, says doctor flagged possible poisoning

A Canadian woman who stayed at a Bahia Principe resort in the Dominican Republic in 2016alleges that she fell critically ill after being exposed to a strong chemical odor in her room, and that she has battled multiple health problems ever since. Tina Hammell told CNN that the smell in her room at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana resort woke her and her husband from a nap. Hammell is one of several people who have come forward to tell reporters about having fallen ill — sometimes requiring hospitalization — while at a resort in the Dominican Republic. After she and her husband returnedhome to Ontario, doctors told her that she may have been poisoned by something in the Dominican Republic.

Possible new clue is search for missing Utah college student

Salt Lake City police reportedly served a search warrant Wednesday at a home connected to the disappearance of a missing Utah college student, reports said. Mackenzie Lueck, 23, was last seen June 17 near a Salt Lake City park after she was dropped off by a Lyft driver. The University of Utah student was returning from her grandmother’s funeral in California. Assistant Chief Tim Doubt said there is a “nexus” between the home and Lueck’s disappearance, but he did not say if anyone has been arrested, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The Lyft driver, who was cleared as a suspect, told police he dropped off Lueck around 3 a.m. at Hatch Park, where another car was waiting for her.

TODAY’S MUST-READS

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Mueller has agreed to testify before the House judiciary and intelligence committee, do really think he had anything important to say?

Mueller agrees to testify under subpoena before House lawmakers 
It looks like critics who thought they had heard the last from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the ongoing President Trump-Russia collusion saga have been proven wrong. Mueller has agreed to testify before the House judiciary and intelligence committees on July 17 after they subpoenaed See More Mueller on Tuesday, according to the committees’ chairmen, Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif. House Democrats have fought toget access to Mueller and his unredacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether President Trump obstructed justice. Weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the Justice Department ultimately resulted in the subpoena.

Fox News has learned Mueller would agree to appear only under a subpoena – and that the subpoena was “friendly.” Perhaps a bigger question is, What do Democrats hope to achieve with Mueller’s testimony? The news of his scheduled appearance has already overshadowed this week’s scheduled Democratic primary debates and could be addressed by all 20 presidential candidates over the two-night event in Miami. Some GOP lawmakers, such asU.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a Judiciary Committee member, warn that Democrats could be planting the seeds of “impeachment by surprise.” But Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., says Mueller better be prepared for a “GOP cross-examination” when he testifies.

Dershowitz: Dems ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ with Mueller subpoena
Democrats will regret issuing a subpoena to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to famed legal scholar Alan Dershowitz. Democrats, Dershowitz argues, appear to have overlooked that Republican lawmakers also will have an opportunity to question Mueller and highlight weaknesses and potential biases in his investigation and report. And Mueller cannot refuse to answer questions from Republicans not covered by “privilege,” Dershowitz said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” “I’m trying to stop them from shooting themselves in the foot,” he said. In separate column for FoxNews.com, Dershowitz, writes the following: “Mueller should refuse to say anything about the investigation of Trump and his campaign beyond what is already in his report.”

Democratic primary debate, Night 1
The road to the 2020 presidential election will heat up, starting with the first Democratic primary debate, which will take place over two consecutive nights, starting Wednesday. Because so many qualified for the first round of debate, the candidates were split up randomly into two groups. The two-hour debates will kick off at 9 p.m. E.T. in Miami, Fla. on Wednesday and Thursday. A total of 20 candidates — 10 each night — will debate. Wednesday’s participants will include: Julian castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development; John Delaney a former congressman from Maryland; U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas; U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio; and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Showdown over border aid bill brews in Congress; Customs and Border Protection chief steps down
The House approved a $4.5 billion supplemental spending bill on Tuesday night to address humanitarian issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and to provide additional funding for food, water, medical services and stronger protections for unaccompanied children, among other things — setting up a showdown between the Democrat-led House and the Republican-led Senate. The House bill, which passed 230-195, included specifics that would prevent the Trump administration from allowing any funding to go toward supporting Immigrationand Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel at the border, likely to become a point of contention with Republicans. President Trump warned Monday that he would veto the House bill if it passed. Earlier Wednesday, Acting Commissioner John Sanders of U.S. Customs and Border Protection resigned amid ongoing controversy over conditions at migrant detention facilities along the U.S-Mexico border.

Navy SEAL’s defense expected to begin at court-martial
The prosecution in the court-martial of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher rested its case Tuesday, ending six days of testimony in which SEALs accused one of their own of stabbing to death an ISIS prisoner in Iraq in 2017. Special Operations Chief Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder. In a trial that has frayed the reputation of the SEAL community, the Navy’s lead investigator took the witness stand Tuesday for cross-examination and was accused of vindictiveness, incompetence and a rush to judgment. Gallagher’sdefense is expected to begin its case Wednesday morning and show jurors videotaped testimony from an Iraqi general who handed over the ISIS fighter to Gallagher for medical treatment..

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Jay Sekulow: Obama administration’s anti-Trump actions revealed in newly disclosed documents.
Lawrence Jones: NBA ‘owner’ nix is ‘political correctness gone wild.’
Dozens of uniformed service members attend funeral of 5-year-old who wanted to be ‘Army Man.’ 

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Wayfair employees plan walkout over $200G furniture order to immigration detention facility.
These are the most undervalued cities in the US this year.
Town where Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates live is running out of money.

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Mueller has agreed to testify before the House judiciary and intelligence committee, do really think he had anything important to say?

Mueller agrees to testify under subpoena before House lawmakers 
It looks like critics who thought they had heard the last from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the ongoing President Trump-Russia collusion saga have been proven wrong. Mueller has agreed to testify before the House judiciary and intelligence committees on July 17 after they subpoenaed See More Mueller on Tuesday, according to the committees’ chairmen, Reps. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif. House Democrats have fought toget access to Mueller and his unredacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether President Trump obstructed justice. Weeks of negotiations between the Democrats and the Justice Department ultimately resulted in the subpoena.

Fox News has learned Mueller would agree to appear only under a subpoena – and that the subpoena was “friendly.” Perhaps a bigger question is, What do Democrats hope to achieve with Mueller’s testimony? The news of his scheduled appearance has already overshadowed this week’s scheduled Democratic primary debates and could be addressed by all 20 presidential candidates over the two-night event in Miami. Some GOP lawmakers, such asU.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a Judiciary Committee member, warn that Democrats could be planting the seeds of “impeachment by surprise.” But Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., says Mueller better be prepared for a “GOP cross-examination” when he testifies.

Dershowitz: Dems ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ with Mueller subpoena
Democrats will regret issuing a subpoena to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to famed legal scholar Alan Dershowitz. Democrats, Dershowitz argues, appear to have overlooked that Republican lawmakers also will have an opportunity to question Mueller and highlight weaknesses and potential biases in his investigation and report. And Mueller cannot refuse to answer questions from Republicans not covered by “privilege,” Dershowitz said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” “I’m trying to stop them from shooting themselves in the foot,” he said. In separate column for FoxNews.com, Dershowitz, writes the following: “Mueller should refuse to say anything about the investigation of Trump and his campaign beyond what is already in his report.”

Democratic primary debate, Night 1
The road to the 2020 presidential election will heat up, starting with the first Democratic primary debate, which will take place over two consecutive nights, starting Wednesday. Because so many qualified for the first round of debate, the candidates were split up randomly into two groups. The two-hour debates will kick off at 9 p.m. E.T. in Miami, Fla. on Wednesday and Thursday. A total of 20 candidates — 10 each night — will debate. Wednesday’s participants will include: Julian castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development; John Delaney a former congressman from Maryland; U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; Washington Gov. Jay Inslee; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas; U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio; and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Showdown over border aid bill brews in Congress; Customs and Border Protection chief steps down
The House approved a $4.5 billion supplemental spending bill on Tuesday night to address humanitarian issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and to provide additional funding for food, water, medical services and stronger protections for unaccompanied children, among other things — setting up a showdown between the Democrat-led House and the Republican-led Senate. The House bill, which passed 230-195, included specifics that would prevent the Trump administration from allowing any funding to go toward supporting Immigrationand Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel at the border, likely to become a point of contention with Republicans. President Trump warned Monday that he would veto the House bill if it passed. Earlier Wednesday, Acting Commissioner John Sanders of U.S. Customs and Border Protection resigned amid ongoing controversy over conditions at migrant detention facilities along the U.S-Mexico border.

Navy SEAL’s defense expected to begin at court-martial
The prosecution in the court-martial of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher rested its case Tuesday, ending six days of testimony in which SEALs accused one of their own of stabbing to death an ISIS prisoner in Iraq in 2017. Special Operations Chief Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder. In a trial that has frayed the reputation of the SEAL community, the Navy’s lead investigator took the witness stand Tuesday for cross-examination and was accused of vindictiveness, incompetence and a rush to judgment. Gallagher’sdefense is expected to begin its case Wednesday morning and show jurors videotaped testimony from an Iraqi general who handed over the ISIS fighter to Gallagher for medical treatment..

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Jay Sekulow: Obama administration’s anti-Trump actions revealed in newly disclosed documents.
Lawrence Jones: NBA ‘owner’ nix is ‘political correctness gone wild.’
Dozens of uniformed service members attend funeral of 5-year-old who wanted to be ‘Army Man.’ 

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Wayfair employees plan walkout over $200G furniture order to immigration detention facility.
These are the most undervalued cities in the US this year.
Town where Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates live is running out of money.

Source

A Theory On Just Why IRAN Decided To Foolishly Attack Us… What Do You Think?

Director of Defense Intelligence Agency gives theory behind Iran’s recent attacks
Iran’s recent attacks on tankers and the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone appear to be part of an effort to change “the status quo,” the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) told Fox News exclusively. “I’d say that they’re probably at an inflection point right now,” the director, See More Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr., explained in his first national TV interview as the leader of the nearly 17-thousand strong agency. Director Ashley said, based on their activity over the last several years, the Iranians would probably say they were in a “favorable” position with their influence over the Iraqi government and the likelihood their longtime regional ally — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — will remain in power. But, Director Ashley said the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran deal and subsequent sanctions made a major impact on the regime.

His comments come as President Trump has promised to impose new sanctions against Iran on Monday on top of what has already been a crippling campaign for the Islamic nation’s economy. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said he does not wish to go to war with Iran but warned an armed conflict would bring “obliteration like you’ve never seen before.” An Iranian military official warned Monday that Tehran is capable of shooting down more American spy drones. Tune in to “Special Report” on Fox News today at 6 p.m. ET to see Catherine Herridge’s exclusive interview with DIA Director  Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr.

2020 Dems jockey for position before first debate
Days before the first Democratic primary presidential debate on Wednesday, it appears the various potential challengers to President Trump in 2020 are battling to set the tone and stand. Some critics may argue that some of the 2020 Dems are trying to out-radicalize each other. Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to announce on Monday a policy proposal that would eliminate all $1.6 trillion of American student debt, according to a report.

Some 2020 candidates may seek to regain some of the momentum they lost to upstart Pete Buttigieg. The South Bend, Ind. mayor faced criticism at a town hall on Sunday from residents angered over a white police officer’s fatal shooting of a black man on June 16. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic frontrunner plans to introduce his immigration policy as the debate over the border wall and how to deal with illegal immigration rages on in Washington.

Lawmakers doubtful about reaching solutions to asylum loophole problems
President Trump over the weekend delayed a planned mass roundup of illegal immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for two weeks, in the hope that a bipartisan solution to the “asylum and loophole problems at the southern border” can be reached. However, lawmakers have their doubts. Democrats reportedly would rather focus on a comprehensive immigration overhaul or measures to fund the asylum process at the border. Republicans, would rather focus on legislation limiting asylum options and on building Trump’s proposed border wall.

Utah student last seen getting a Lyft ride remains missing
A University of Utah student who disappeared after ordering a Lyft in Utah was still missing Sunday — nearly a week after she was last seen. Mackenzie Lueck, 23, was flying to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles after attending a funeral last weekend. The Salt Lake City Police Department said Lueck arrived at the airport on June 17 and ordered a Lyft ride-share to an address in North Salt Lake. Investigators said she was last seen “in the early morning hours of Monday.”

Aerialist Lijana Wallenda walks on a high wire above Times Square, Sunday, June 23, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason Szenes)

Flying Wallendas stop traffic at New York City’s Times Square
The Flying Wallendas conquered the Big Apple on Sunday night. Nik Wallenda, a seventh-generation acrobat, and his sister, Lijana Wallenda, coming back after a near-fatal accident in 2017, when she broke nearly every bone in her face, crossed Times Square in New York City on a high wire between skyscrapers, 25 stories above the pavement. “Thank you, Jesus, glory to you, Holy God,” Lijana said on air as she crossed on the wire. The siblings walked from opposite ends of the 1,300-foot wire suspended between the towers, crossing each other in the middle as she sat on the wire. They were listening to Christian Gospel music as they crossed, and they were wearing tethered safety harnesses mandated by the city in case they fell.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
ICYMI: Holocaust survivors respond to AOC’s ‘concentration camp’ comments in new video.
Trump opens up about his ‘biggest mistake’ as president.
Robert Friend, one of last original Tuskegee Airmen, dead at 99.

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Walmart adds AI-powered cameras to more than 1,000 stores to reduce checkout theft, report says.
Bill Gates reveals the ‘greatest mistake’ he’s ever made.
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What is #Trump going to do about IRAN? The world is watching..

The world awaits a ‘measured’ US response to Iran
After weeks of mounting tension and a war of words, both the United States and Iran have refrained so far from further escalating their conflict after aU.S. drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missileWednesday evening. According to multiple reports, the U.S. military made preparations for limited strikes on Iran but approval was withdrawn before the attacks See More were launched. The New York Timesreported that President Trump had approved the strikes, but then called them off.

Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters that Iran made a “very big mistake” but also said he had the feeling that it might have been the result of someone being “loose and stupid,” rather than a deliberate provocation by Iran. Top administration officials and lawmakers had a classified briefing at the White House and suggested a “measured” U.S. response is likely coming soon. Fred Fleitz, who also served as chief of staff to current National Security Adviser John Bolton, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that thepresident has acted responsibly and with restraint but that the use of force against Iran “is on the table.”

US citizen death total in Dominican Republic rises to 11
The families of two U.S. citizens have told Fox News that the pair died suddenly while visiting the Dominican Republic. They were identified as Chris Palmer, a 41-year-old Army veteran from Kansas who died April 18, 2018, and Barbara Diane Maser-Mitchell, a 69-year-old retired nurse fromPennsylvania who died Sept. 17, 2016, after falling critically ill at a resort. The State Department confirmed their deaths to Fox News on Thursday.

The two would bring the total of U.S. citizens known to have died while visiting the Dominican Republic to 11. Most of those deaths that have become matters of public record occurred in 2018 and 2019. Maser-Mitchell’s death is the earliest one reported so far.

Bombshell testimony in Navy SEAL’s trial
Navy prosecutors are still pursuing murder charges against Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher even after bombshell testimony Thursday by a Navy colleague who confessed that he was the one to kill a teenage Islamic State fighter. Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a SEAL Team Seven medic, testifying for the prosecution under an immunity agreement,told the court that he held the teen’s “thumb over his TT tube until he quit breathing,” admitting that he asphyxiated the captive, despite saying that he saw Gallagher stab the boy in his neck.

When cross-examined by the defense, Scott said he killed the fighter because he knew “he was going to die anyways.” “I wanted to save him from what was going to happen to him next,” Scott said, referring to alleged torture by Iraqi captors.

Scandal-ridden Roy Moore announces new Senate bid, despite opposition from Trump, conservatives
Roy Moore, the scandal-scarred Republican who lost a 2017 bid for the U.S. Senate in Alabama,announced Thursday he will run again for Senate next year, despite President Trump and other conservatives in Washington insisting he can’t win. “Yes, I will run for the United States Senate in 2020,” Moore said during a defiant announcement in Montgomery,after railing against the Republicans who have said they oppose his candidacy. “Can I win?” Moore said. “Yes, I can win. Not only can I, they know I can. That’s why there’s such opposition.”Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, mocked Moore, specifically a report that Moore said he would improve on his previous run by engaging in “more personal contact with people.”

US women’s soccer team dominates Sweden
The United States is showing just how fiercely it is prepared to defend its Women’s World Cup title. The Americans faced their toughest test of the tournament on Thursday night and dominated in a 2-0 victory over Sweden, the rivals that stunned them at the2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The U.S. went undefeated in the group stage, posting wins against Thailand and Chile before beating the Swedes, all without conceding a goal. It is the first time the Americans have shut out all their group opponents in the World Cup. They’ve also scored a group-stage record 18 goals. – Associated Press

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House Dems slammed for focusing on Hope Hicks’ love lifeduring testimony.
Oregon governor sends out state police to find GOP lawmakersskipping climate vote.
Man must pay ex $15M after winning lottery during divorce, arbitrator rules.

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Investing in Slack? Here’s how much money the company has actually been making.
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We Get It No One Wants WAR With IRAN, But Yesterday It Was Mining A Oil Tanker, Today Blowing Up Our Drones, Do You Want To See Tomorrow?

Iran shoots down US drone
Amid heightened tensions with the United States, a U.S. Navy MQ-4C high-altitude drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missileWednesday evening over the Strait of Hormuz in international airspace, a U.S. official told Fox News. A commander for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the shooting sends “a clear See More message” to the U.S. He said while Iran has no intention of war with anyone, it’s “ready for war.”

The shootdown of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the U.S. military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blames Iran for the attack on the ships; Tehran has denied the allegations. Iran recently has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium and threatened to boost its enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels, trying to pressure Europe for new terms to the 2015 nuclear deal. In recent weeks, the U.S. has sped an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and approved sending approximately 1,000 additional troops “to address air, naval, and ground-based threats” in the region. Mysterious attacks also have targeted oil tankers as Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

Fox News Exclusive: Trump says DOJ investigating whether his calls were secretly monitored
One day after formally launching his 2020 presidential bid, President Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity” exclusively on Wednesday that investigators areworking to determine whether his personal phone calls were secretly monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies during the 2016 campaign — a possibility he called “the ultimate.” The president also hammered House Democrats for putting his former top communication adviser Hope Hicks “through hell,” after photos of Hicks testifying before a closed-door session on Capitol Hill earlier in the day leaked on social media. “What’s happened to the Democrats? And in the meantime, they’re not doing any work in Congress,” Trump told Sean Hannity, calling the party “unhinged.”

Hicks is executive vice president and chief communications officer for Fox Corp., of which Fox News is a subsidiary.

Biden, Booker clash over former VP’s past work with segregationist senators
Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden told reporters Wednesday that he was not going to apologize for invoking his ability decades ago to work with two segregationist Southern senatorsto “get things done.” A Fox News camera was rolling when Biden was asked if he was going to apologize for his remarks. “Apologize for what?” he responded. Later, Biden faced scorching criticism from his primary rivals, including two of the three black candidates running for the White House — Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California – who raised serious concerns after Biden highlighted his ability to work with the segregationist senators. Booker said in a statement he was “disappointed” Biden had yet to issue an “immediate apology.”

Second aide to Senate Democrat charged in Kavanaugh ‘doxing’ plot
A second aide to Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., is facing federal charges stemming from a scheme to publicly post the personal information of several Republican politicians amid the contentious confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The aide,Samantha Deforest Davis, was a staff assistant in Hassan’s office from August 2017 until last December. She was fired after Capitol Police discovered her possible involvement in the so-called “doxing” effort. Court documents accuse Davis of aiding 27-year-old Jackson A. Cosko, a former Hassan aide who has pleaded guilty to five federal offenses, including two counts of making public restricted personal information, and one count each of computer fraud, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

David Ortiz shooting a case of mistaken identity, Dominican officials say
Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was not the intended target of a shooting in a nightclub in his hometown on June 9, according to the Dominican Republic’s lead prosecutor. Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said the shooting was result of mistaken identity, and the target was another man, dressed similarly to Ortiz, who was seated with the ex-baseball star on the night of the shooting at a bar in Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic’s attorney general and national police director told reporters that the attempted murder was ordered from the United States by Victor Hugo Gomez, an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Heckling, drama mark House hearing on slavery reparations as top Dem asks, ‘Why not now?’
Syrian refugee arrested in plot to bomb Pittsburgh church for ISIS, feds say.
McCain appears to use vulgarity during heated ‘View’ debate with Behar over Trump.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Mexico ratifies USMCA trade deal with US, Canada.
Schumer asks for probe into delay of Harriet Tubman $20 bill.
Art Laffer, ‘Trumponomics’ author, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Source

We Get It No One Wants WAR With IRAN, But Yesterday It Was Mining A Oil Tanker, Today Blowing Up Our Drones, Do You Want To See Tomorrow?

Iran shoots down US drone
Amid heightened tensions with the United States, a U.S. Navy MQ-4C high-altitude drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missileWednesday evening over the Strait of Hormuz in international airspace, a U.S. official told Fox News. A commander for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the shooting sends “a clear See More message” to the U.S. He said while Iran has no intention of war with anyone, it’s “ready for war.”

The shootdown of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the U.S. military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. blames Iran for the attack on the ships; Tehran has denied the allegations. Iran recently has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium and threatened to boost its enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels, trying to pressure Europe for new terms to the 2015 nuclear deal. In recent weeks, the U.S. has sped an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and approved sending approximately 1,000 additional troops “to address air, naval, and ground-based threats” in the region. Mysterious attacks also have targeted oil tankers as Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

Fox News Exclusive: Trump says DOJ investigating whether his calls were secretly monitored
One day after formally launching his 2020 presidential bid, President Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity” exclusively on Wednesday that investigators areworking to determine whether his personal phone calls were secretly monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies during the 2016 campaign — a possibility he called “the ultimate.” The president also hammered House Democrats for putting his former top communication adviser Hope Hicks “through hell,” after photos of Hicks testifying before a closed-door session on Capitol Hill earlier in the day leaked on social media. “What’s happened to the Democrats? And in the meantime, they’re not doing any work in Congress,” Trump told Sean Hannity, calling the party “unhinged.”

Hicks is executive vice president and chief communications officer for Fox Corp., of which Fox News is a subsidiary.

Biden, Booker clash over former VP’s past work with segregationist senators
Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden told reporters Wednesday that he was not going to apologize for invoking his ability decades ago to work with two segregationist Southern senatorsto “get things done.” A Fox News camera was rolling when Biden was asked if he was going to apologize for his remarks. “Apologize for what?” he responded. Later, Biden faced scorching criticism from his primary rivals, including two of the three black candidates running for the White House — Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California – who raised serious concerns after Biden highlighted his ability to work with the segregationist senators. Booker said in a statement he was “disappointed” Biden had yet to issue an “immediate apology.”

Second aide to Senate Democrat charged in Kavanaugh ‘doxing’ plot
A second aide to Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., is facing federal charges stemming from a scheme to publicly post the personal information of several Republican politicians amid the contentious confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The aide,Samantha Deforest Davis, was a staff assistant in Hassan’s office from August 2017 until last December. She was fired after Capitol Police discovered her possible involvement in the so-called “doxing” effort. Court documents accuse Davis of aiding 27-year-old Jackson A. Cosko, a former Hassan aide who has pleaded guilty to five federal offenses, including two counts of making public restricted personal information, and one count each of computer fraud, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

David Ortiz shooting a case of mistaken identity, Dominican officials say
Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was not the intended target of a shooting in a nightclub in his hometown on June 9, according to the Dominican Republic’s lead prosecutor. Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez said the shooting was result of mistaken identity, and the target was another man, dressed similarly to Ortiz, who was seated with the ex-baseball star on the night of the shooting at a bar in Santo Domingo. The Dominican Republic’s attorney general and national police director told reporters that the attempted murder was ordered from the United States by Victor Hugo Gomez, an associate of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate his cousin, whom Gomez suspected of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Heckling, drama mark House hearing on slavery reparations as top Dem asks, ‘Why not now?’
Syrian refugee arrested in plot to bomb Pittsburgh church for ISIS, feds say.
McCain appears to use vulgarity during heated ‘View’ debate with Behar over Trump.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Mexico ratifies USMCA trade deal with US, Canada.
Schumer asks for probe into delay of Harriet Tubman $20 bill.
Art Laffer, ‘Trumponomics’ author, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Source

Trump Sees The Future Is Keeping America Great Because He Has 2020 Vision! Trump Is Making America Great Again! Will You Vote For Trump?

Trump officially launches re-election campaign, makes case for second term: ‘Keep America Great’
President Trump formally launched his 2020 re-election campaign Tuesday night before a jam-packed crowd in Orlando’s Amway Center, and quickly unloaded on the media organizations and government actors he said tried their hardest to bring down both See More his candidacy and then presidency with the Russian collusion scandal. “Our patriotic movement has been under assault from the very first day,” Trump said. He specifically called out the “phony” dossier used by the FBI to secure a secret surveillance warrant to surveil one of his former aides, Carter Page. To supporters’ delight, Trump even debuted a new impersonation of Hillary Clinton.

For the most part, Tuesday’s rally focused on Trump’s policy successes, from criminal justice reform to the economy. He also touted the planned Space Force, celebrated the “obliteration” of ISIS, and Republicans’ role in a newly energized national pro-lifemovement. And after polling the boisterous crowd, Trump appeared to settle on a new campaign slogan: “Keep America Great.” Still, not everyone loves the new Trump rallying cry. In an op-ed in the Opinion section of FoxNews.com, Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock explains why he believes the president needs a better re-election campaign slogan and what it should be.

Republicans demand Democratic leadership condemn AOC for ‘concentration camp’ remarks
Top Republicans are urging Democratic leadership to condemn Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks comparing detention facilities on the southern border to concentration camps. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday told her Instagram followers on a live-stream that the U.S. government is “running concentration camps on our southern border.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said AOC’s remarks disrespect history and disregard what happened during the Holocaust. “It’s a total disregard to the facts, in particular about the Holocaust, but also you see the extent to which her colleagues and the people whoare supposed to be leading the Democrats in the House – Speaker Pelosi, Steny Hoyer – won’t stand up and criticize what she’s saying and condemn those comments,” the House Republican Caucus chairwoman said in an interview on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

The debate over slavery reparations comes to the Hill
Slavery reparations will be the center of debate during a scheduled hearing Wednesday before a House Judiciary subcommittee. After being treated as a fringe issue, reparations increasingly have been discussed by the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed looking at the idea, though they have stopped short of endorsing directpayouts for African-Americans. Still, the nation remains divided on the issue, as illustrated by remarks ahead of Wednesday’s hearing by Sen. Cory Booker, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In addition to Booker, actor and activist Danny Glover and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates are also among the witnesses expected to testify at the hearing.

Will a US-China trade talk breakthrough come at the G-20?
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to meet in Japan and discuss trade at the G-20 Summit, amid a weeks-long stalemate on negotiations and tension over looming new tariffs on China. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he and Xi had had “very good” telephone conversations. “We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan,” the president tweeted. “Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

Pentagon in transition as acting Defense Secretary Shanahan plans to depart
President Trump abruptly announced Tuesday that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is withdrawing from consideration to lead the Pentagon and he’s naming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper as Shanahan’s replacement. While speculation had brewed for days about Shanahan’s status, the announcement came shortly after the publication of an explosive USA Today report that the FBI has been probing a violent domestic dispute from 2010 between Shanahan and his then-wife as part of his background investigation. Speaking to reporters outside the White House,the president said, “it’s a difficult time for Pat,” adding Shanahan would take “some time off for family matters.” In a resignation letter Tuesday, Shanahan said “it is unfortunate that a painful and deeply personal family situation from long ago is being dredged up and painted in an incomplete and therefore misleading way in the course of this process.”

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Kelly Shackleford: Why Oregon cake bakers’ victory matters so much (for all of us).
New York clerk ‘will not be granting drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants,’ contrary to new law: report.
Guests watch in horror as massive huntsman spider eats a possum in their ski lodge.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Will the Fed cut interest ratesduring its meeting this week?
Amazon Prime Day 2019: Here’s everything we know so far.
These colleges have the highest employment rate after graduating.

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AOC Warned That Trump Will Win 2020 : Do You Agree?

US-China trade war takes center stage
The US. Trade Representative’s office is set to hold public hearings Monday that will focus on the new round of 25 percent tariffs the Trump administration plans to slap on $300 billion in imported Chinese items not already hit with levies, including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers. President Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of goods from China and has said a See More new round of tariffs are needed to force the nation to end unfair trade practices. Meanwhile, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart and Target, have signed a letter telling the president that an escalating trade war with China will hurt families, jobs and the U.S. economy.

AOC has a warning for Democrats — and Trump agrees (in a way)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned Sunday there is “very real risk” President Trump will win re-election in 2020, sparking a rare response of its kind from the president: “I agree.” “I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News’ Jon Karl on “This Week” in her first Sunday morning show appearance since she took office in January.

The president quoted the congresswoman in a tweet Sunday night, adding: “I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!” Ocasio-Cortez said she did not see herself endorsing a particular candidate “any timesoon,” however. Still, one must wonder if ultimately, she would support Sen. Bernie Sanders, who told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that a “political revolution” is needed enact “real change” in the country.

Iran to defy uranium stockpile limits
Iran is set to break its uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal within 10 days, according to a spokesman for the country’s atomic agency. The comment was broadcast live during a news conference on Iranian state television on Monday. The spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spoke to journalists at Iran’s Arak heavy water facility. He acknowledged that Iran has already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

Buttigieg: I’m won’t be the first gay president — because I’m ‘almost certain’ we’ve already had one
Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t believe he’ll be the first gay president if elected in 2020. “I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones,” he told “Axios on HBO.” “I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.” Asked if he possibly knew which commander-in-chief was gay, the Democratic hopeful said: “My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively. But one can only assume that’s the case.” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., has been rising in the polls and would be the first openly gay presidential candidate, if nominated next year.

Jury selection set to begin in trial of Navy SEAL accused of killing ISIS prisoner
The trial of a decorated Navy SEALcharged with killing an ISIS prisoner in his care is set to begin with jury selection on Monday. Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the killing of an ISIS prisoner and attempted murder in the shootings of two Iraqi civilians in 2017. The politically-charged case has included the removal of the lead prosecutor for tracking the defense team’s emails and suggestions by President Trump that he may pardon the defendant.

Woodland plays spoiler in US Open win
In the contest of guts and nerve and skill that was the final round of the 119th U.S. Open, Gary Woodland was the last man standing. Woodland, 35, shot a two-under-par 69 at Pebble Beach Golf Links to win his first career major and deny Brooks Koepka (68) the chance to become the first man to win three straight U.S. Opens in more than a century.Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player to record four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
O.J. Simpson: Kris Jenner relationship rumors are ‘bogus.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share sweet Father’s Day photo of Archie.
Thousands of court cases under review in Ohio after former judge allegedly came to work drunk.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Boeing CEO acknowledges ‘mistake’ in handling of cockpit warning problem before fatal Max jet crashes.
DOJ, major banks meet to address elder financial abuse.
AOC blasts Amazon’s Bezos for paying workers ‘starvation wages.’

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AOC Warned That Trump Will Win 2020 : Do You Agree?

US-China trade war takes center stage
The US. Trade Representative’s office is set to hold public hearings Monday that will focus on the new round of 25 percent tariffs the Trump administration plans to slap on $300 billion in imported Chinese items not already hit with levies, including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers. President Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of goods from China and has said a See More new round of tariffs are needed to force the nation to end unfair trade practices. Meanwhile, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart and Target, have signed a letter telling the president that an escalating trade war with China will hurt families, jobs and the U.S. economy.

AOC has a warning for Democrats — and Trump agrees (in a way)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned Sunday there is “very real risk” President Trump will win re-election in 2020, sparking a rare response of its kind from the president: “I agree.” “I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News’ Jon Karl on “This Week” in her first Sunday morning show appearance since she took office in January.

The president quoted the congresswoman in a tweet Sunday night, adding: “I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!” Ocasio-Cortez said she did not see herself endorsing a particular candidate “any timesoon,” however. Still, one must wonder if ultimately, she would support Sen. Bernie Sanders, who told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that a “political revolution” is needed enact “real change” in the country.

Iran to defy uranium stockpile limits
Iran is set to break its uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal within 10 days, according to a spokesman for the country’s atomic agency. The comment was broadcast live during a news conference on Iranian state television on Monday. The spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spoke to journalists at Iran’s Arak heavy water facility. He acknowledged that Iran has already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

Buttigieg: I’m won’t be the first gay president — because I’m ‘almost certain’ we’ve already had one
Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t believe he’ll be the first gay president if elected in 2020. “I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones,” he told “Axios on HBO.” “I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.” Asked if he possibly knew which commander-in-chief was gay, the Democratic hopeful said: “My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively. But one can only assume that’s the case.” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., has been rising in the polls and would be the first openly gay presidential candidate, if nominated next year.

Jury selection set to begin in trial of Navy SEAL accused of killing ISIS prisoner
The trial of a decorated Navy SEALcharged with killing an ISIS prisoner in his care is set to begin with jury selection on Monday. Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the killing of an ISIS prisoner and attempted murder in the shootings of two Iraqi civilians in 2017. The politically-charged case has included the removal of the lead prosecutor for tracking the defense team’s emails and suggestions by President Trump that he may pardon the defendant.

Woodland plays spoiler in US Open win
In the contest of guts and nerve and skill that was the final round of the 119th U.S. Open, Gary Woodland was the last man standing. Woodland, 35, shot a two-under-par 69 at Pebble Beach Golf Links to win his first career major and deny Brooks Koepka (68) the chance to become the first man to win three straight U.S. Opens in more than a century.Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player to record four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
O.J. Simpson: Kris Jenner relationship rumors are ‘bogus.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share sweet Father’s Day photo of Archie.
Thousands of court cases under review in Ohio after former judge allegedly came to work drunk.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Boeing CEO acknowledges ‘mistake’ in handling of cockpit warning problem before fatal Max jet crashes.
DOJ, major banks meet to address elder financial abuse.
AOC blasts Amazon’s Bezos for paying workers ‘starvation wages.’

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AOC Warned That Trump Will Win 2020 : Do You Agree?

US-China trade war takes center stage
The US. Trade Representative’s office is set to hold public hearings Monday that will focus on the new round of 25 percent tariffs the Trump administration plans to slap on $300 billion in imported Chinese items not already hit with levies, including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers. President Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of goods from China and has said a See More new round of tariffs are needed to force the nation to end unfair trade practices. Meanwhile, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart and Target, have signed a letter telling the president that an escalating trade war with China will hurt families, jobs and the U.S. economy.

AOC has a warning for Democrats — and Trump agrees (in a way)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned Sunday there is “very real risk” President Trump will win re-election in 2020, sparking a rare response of its kind from the president: “I agree.” “I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News’ Jon Karl on “This Week” in her first Sunday morning show appearance since she took office in January.

The president quoted the congresswoman in a tweet Sunday night, adding: “I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!” Ocasio-Cortez said she did not see herself endorsing a particular candidate “any timesoon,” however. Still, one must wonder if ultimately, she would support Sen. Bernie Sanders, who told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that a “political revolution” is needed enact “real change” in the country.

Iran to defy uranium stockpile limits
Iran is set to break its uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal within 10 days, according to a spokesman for the country’s atomic agency. The comment was broadcast live during a news conference on Iranian state television on Monday. The spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spoke to journalists at Iran’s Arak heavy water facility. He acknowledged that Iran has already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

Buttigieg: I’m won’t be the first gay president — because I’m ‘almost certain’ we’ve already had one
Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t believe he’ll be the first gay president if elected in 2020. “I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones,” he told “Axios on HBO.” “I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.” Asked if he possibly knew which commander-in-chief was gay, the Democratic hopeful said: “My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively. But one can only assume that’s the case.” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., has been rising in the polls and would be the first openly gay presidential candidate, if nominated next year.

Jury selection set to begin in trial of Navy SEAL accused of killing ISIS prisoner
The trial of a decorated Navy SEALcharged with killing an ISIS prisoner in his care is set to begin with jury selection on Monday. Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the killing of an ISIS prisoner and attempted murder in the shootings of two Iraqi civilians in 2017. The politically-charged case has included the removal of the lead prosecutor for tracking the defense team’s emails and suggestions by President Trump that he may pardon the defendant.

Woodland plays spoiler in US Open win
In the contest of guts and nerve and skill that was the final round of the 119th U.S. Open, Gary Woodland was the last man standing. Woodland, 35, shot a two-under-par 69 at Pebble Beach Golf Links to win his first career major and deny Brooks Koepka (68) the chance to become the first man to win three straight U.S. Opens in more than a century.Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player to record four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
O.J. Simpson: Kris Jenner relationship rumors are ‘bogus.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share sweet Father’s Day photo of Archie.
Thousands of court cases under review in Ohio after former judge allegedly came to work drunk.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Boeing CEO acknowledges ‘mistake’ in handling of cockpit warning problem before fatal Max jet crashes.
DOJ, major banks meet to address elder financial abuse.
AOC blasts Amazon’s Bezos for paying workers ‘starvation wages.’

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Report: Bernie Sanders Records Campaign Announcement Video

Bernie Sanders has recorded a campaign video in which he says he’s running for president in 2020, Politico reports, citing two people familiar. It’s unclear when, or whether, the video will be released, Politico says.

Sanders, 77, an independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said earlier this week he would introduce a Medicare for All bill “fairly soon.” In the event of a campaign announcement, he would be joining a widening group of presidential hopefuls including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Kamala Harris of California, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Sanders spokeswoman Sarah Ford didn’t respond to a request for comment from Politico. In January, Politico reported that the Sanders team was in talks with film-making company Means of Production, which created New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign video in the 2018 midterm election.

Source: NewsMax Politics

2020 Dems hit early voting states; Weld explores GOP bid

Several Democratic presidential candidates are spending the long holiday weekend on the campaign trail, while a Republican has announced he’s creating an exploratory committee for a possible 2020 run.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California are visiting early voting states on Friday that will be critical to securing the Democratic nomination next year.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, said Friday that he was considering challenging President Donald Trump in a 2020 Republican primary.

A look at midterm campaign activities ahead of Presidents Day weekend:

___

GILLIBRAND

Gillibrand, in New Hampshire, participated in a walking tour of downtown Concord before visiting businesses in Dover and meeting members of the LGBT community in Somersworth.

On Friday, she called Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border "inappropriate" and said Trump manufactured a crisis to justify the move.

The only national emergency, she said, "is the humanitarian crisis that President Trump has created at our border from separating family from children and treating people who need our help inhumanely."

Gillibrand visited a coffee shop in downtown Concord before stopping to listen to a homeless man, Kevin Clark, play a song by Cat Stevens called "Father and Son." She praised his singing and gave him a hug before heading off to a consignment shop, where she bought a vase and a small plate.

Later Friday, Gillibrand spoke at Teatotaller, a cafe in Somersworth that refers to itself as an "oasis of queer, hipster, tea, coffee and pastry goodness."

She told the crowd that she would advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ community and called it "an outrage" for Trump to tell transgender people what bathrooms they can use or whether they are qualified to serve in the military. She said she would support the addition of a non-binary or third gender classification.

Gillibrand also spoke out in favor of the Green Neal Deal, a set of proposed programs that aim to address climate change.

___

HARRIS

Harris, who is campaigning in South Carolina, visited Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the site of the 2015 shooting that killed nine African-American churchgoers.

Speaking to reporters after a lunchtime stop, Harris said she’d visited the church, known as Mother Emanuel, earlier Friday and called it a "very tragic symbol of failure of people, in particular in the United States Congress, to pass smart gun safety laws."

Mother Emanuel is one of the oldest black churches in the South. During her visit, Harris paid her respects and left flowers. The church has been a pillar of African-American and spiritual life in South Carolina.

At a town hall in North Charleston later Friday, the scoreboard overhead in the gymnasium was changed to reflect the date of South Carolina’s Democratic primary: Feb. 29, 2020. The crowd swelled, and some attendees climbed on top of folded bleachers for makeshift seating.

Harris talked about the bill that the Senate passed this week that would explicitly make lynching a federal crime. Harris, one of three black members of the Senate, introduced the bill with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. Booker is also running for president.

Harris says lynchings are "a stain on America’s history."

While in South Carolina, she received an endorsement for president from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said on MSNBC: "I think the American people could not do better" than Harris.

___

WELD

Weld, who is little-known on the national stage but well-respected among veterans in the GOP established, announced the creation of an exploratory committee for president on Friday.

The move makes Trump the first incumbent president since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge.

Weld served as Massachusetts governor from 1991 to 1997 and was popular despite being a Republican in a heavily Democratic state. He held the line on spending and taxes but embraced liberal positions on abortion and gay rights.

Trump remains very popular with Republicans so he faces little risk of losing the GOP nomination.

But primary challenges often foreshadow trouble ahead for incumbent presidents. Bush and Democrat Jimmy Carter lost their bids for a second term after facing challenges from inside their own party.

Source: Fox News National

Trump declares national emergency, avoids shutdown

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On the roster: Trump declares national emergency, avoids shutdown – Time Out: Teddy’s bears – Fox Poll: Majority thinks Dems can unseat Trump in 2020 – Schultz won’t run if Dems nominate a centrist – Something special turnip-ed eventually

TRUMP DECLARES NATIONAL EMERGENCY, AVOIDS SHUTDOWN
NYT:President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border wall that Congress refused to give him, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a fundamental confrontation over separation of powers. In a televised announcement in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said he would sign the declaration to protect the country from the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants coming across the border from Mexico, which he characterized as a profound threat to national security. ‘We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we’re going to do it one way or the other,’ he said. … The declaration will enable Mr. Trump to divert $3.6 billion budgeted for military construction projects to the border wall, White House officials said. Mr. Trump will also use more traditional presidential budgetary discretion to tap $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs and $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund.”

Will a legal war be next? – Politico: “President Donald Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency … is set to unleash a furious legal war that could bog down the project for months or years. Immigrant rights advocates, property rights activists, environmentalists, Democratic lawmakers and state officials are all loudly signaling plans for a hail of legal writs aimed at blocking the president from what they have denounced as an unconstitutional end-run around the usual budget process. … [H]istorically it has been almost unthinkable for judges to interfere with or second-guess a president’s declaration of a military or national security emergency. However, legal experts said Trump’s history of erratic and inflammatory statements, his frequent rhetorical disconnects with senior officials in his administration and his tendency to see crises that others view as completely contrived mean that challengers stand a strong chance of finding a judge willing to throw a monkey wrench into the president’s plans.”

Fox Poll: Most voters favor immigration deal – Fox News: “A sizable majority of voters favors a broad immigration deal that includes a border barrier, non-barrier security measures, and humanitarian aid. At the same time, support for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border stands its highest since 2015. The number favoring the wall inched up for the second time in two months to 46 percent, according to the latest Fox News Poll. It was 43 percent last month during the government shutdown and 39 percent in September. The high mark was 50 percent in November 2015. Currently, 50 percent oppose the wall, down one point since January. A bipartisan 66 percent majority favors a budget deal that includes funding for some form of a border barrier, plus other security measures and humanitarian relief.”

THE RULEBOOK: STAY IN YOUR LANE
“In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 14

TIME OUT: TEDDY’S BEARS
History: “On this day in 1903, toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears. Michtom had earlier petitioned President Theodore Roosevelt for permission to use his nickname, Teddy. The president agreed and, before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom’s stuffed bears, which soon became a national childhood institution. One of Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting expeditions provided the inspiration for the Teddy bear. … Reports differ as to the exact details of the inspiration behind the teddy bear, but it is thought that while hunting in Mississippi in 1902, Roosevelt came upon an old injured black bear that his guides had tied to a tree. (The age, sex and state of health of the bear remain contested.) While some reports claim Roosevelt shot the bear out of pity for his suffering, others insist he set the bear free. Political cartoonists later portrayed the bear as a cub, implying that under the tough, outdoorsy and macho image of Roosevelt lay a much softer, more sensitive interior.”

Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval: 
41.8 percent
Average disapproval: 54.4 percent
Net Score: -12.6 points
Change from one week ago: up 3.6 points 
[Average includes: Fox News: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; Gallup: 44% approve – 52% unapproved; CNN: 42% approve – 54% disapproval; IBD: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 57% disapprove.]

FOX POLL: MAJORITY THINKS DEMS CAN UNSEAT TRUMP IN 2020
Fox News: “After President Donald Trump took office, many voters doubted he would finish his term, much less stand for re-election. But, as the 2020 race heats up, voters are increasingly confident the eventual Democratic nominee will indeed face off against the current occupant of the White House. In August 2017, 58 percent thought Trump would finish his term. Now 70 percent do, according to the latest Fox News Poll released Thursday. The poll also found, paradoxically, an even higher number — 80 percent — think Trump will run for re-election. Fourteen percent do not. … So what are the odds the Democrats defeat Trump? A 55-percent majority say either excellent (19 percent) or good (36 percent) while 39 percent think they have either no chance (13 percent) or not much of one (26 percent). Most Democrats (84 percent) and a plurality of independents (48 percent) think the Democratic Party’s chances are excellent or good…”

Iowa Poll: Voters think a ‘seasoned’ politician can defeat Trump – Des Moines Register:Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders top the list of potential presidential candidates preferred by Iowa’s likely Democratic caucus-goers, reflecting their belief that it will take political experience to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. The results are part of a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, setting the stage for the contest that will sweep across Iowa in the next 14 months. … Nearly half of poll respondents in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state — 49 percent — say the right person to defeat Trump should be a ‘seasoned political hand’ rather than a ‘newcomer.’ … Thirty-six percent of poll respondents say a political ‘newcomer’ is best suited to defeat the president. In that role, Iowans currently favor Beto O’Rourke…”

Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Weld announces exploratory committee – ABC News: “Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, little-known on the national stage but well-respected among veterans in the GOP establishment, announced an exploratory committee for president on Friday, becoming the first Republican to move toward a serious primary challenge against President Donald Trump. There are new signs he won’t be the last. In the immediate aftermath of the 73-year-old Weld’s announcement at a breakfast event in New Hampshire, a senior aide for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich indicated Kasich is likely to launch a primary challenge as well. … Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, meanwhile, met privately last week with conservative leader Bill Kristol, who’s driving an effort to recruit a top-tier Trump primary challenger and operatives on the ground in key states. … Weld’s move makes Trump the first incumbent president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge.”

Team Trump keeping close eye on Harris, Warren and Booker – Politico: “Donald Trump’s political advisers are homing in on three declared Democratic candidates who they believe are the most viable at this early stage of the campaign. The reelection campaign has begun compiling opposition research on Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker and is eyeing opportunities to attack them. … Trump’s advisers are certain the list of announced Democratic candidates will grow exponentially before the first primary debate in June, and that their targets are certain to fluctuate over time. … Interviews with more than two dozen of the president’s closest advisers reveal that the Trump operation is watching the opening days of the Democratic primary with a mix of relief over the field’s sprint to the left, surprise over Harris’ impressive launch, and trepidation over the prospect of Joe Biden and Sherrod Brown threatening Trump’s Midwest stranglehold.”

SCHULTZ WON’T RUN IF DEMS NOMINATE A CENTRIST
WaPo: “Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Thursday that he would be willing to abandon his presidential ambitions midstream if Democrats nominate a centrist who makes it too difficult for him to win as an independent candidate. Schultz, who made the comments while visiting The Washington Post, has premised his exploration of a presidential campaign on the assumption that Democrats are likely to nominate a candidate that embraces what he calls ‘far-left’ ideas that will turn off enough moderate voters to open space for an independent candidate. He has paid for internal polling that he says suggest he would be competitive in a three-way race against President Trump and a liberal Democratic candidate such as Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). A more moderate Democratic nominee, such as former vice president Joe Biden or former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, could complicate Schultz’s perceived path to victory.”

Beto heads to the Midwest – Politico: “Beto O’Rourke is hitting the road again, this time for the Midwest. Following a massive rally in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, on Monday, the former Texas congressman and potential presidential candidate will visit with students at University of Wisconsin, Madison on Friday. He will then travel to Chicago, where he will address a national conference of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute on Saturday. Julián Castro, who has already declared for president, is also scheduled to speak at that event. O’Rourke’s meeting with students is closed to the media, a spokesman confirmed. … The events mark O’Rourke’s first public steps outside of Texas since a solo road trip that drew widespread attention throughout the Southwest. The visits come as O’Rourke edges closer to a presidential campaign. He has said he will make a decision about entering the race by the end of the month.”

Poll: New Jersey voters aren’t feeling Booker’s presidential bid – Monmouth University: “Sen. Cory Booker’s nascent presidential bid may get mixed reviews in his home state, but he starts off on much better footing than New Jersey’s last major contender, former governor Chris Christie. The Monmouth University Poll finds that Booker continues to earn a net positive job rating from Garden State residents, although his disapproval numbers have climbed. Most feel he will not be able to keep up with his senatorial duties while he is running for president but don’t think he needs to resign. However, if Booker is able to win the Democratic nomination, most New Jerseyans say he should forego a simultaneous run to retain his U.S. Senate seat in 2020. Booker earns a 48% approve to 36% disapprove rating from Garden State residents for his performance as the state’s junior U.S. senator. … [Booker’s] disapproval rating is the highest it has been since he took office in 2013.”

Dems announce first debate details – NYT: “The Democratic National Committee on Thursday unveiled the criteria for participation in the first two presidential primary debates, splitting the debates across two consecutive nights to accommodate an already sprawling field of candidates. … To qualify, a candidate must either reach 1 percent in three approved polls or raise at least $65,000 from 200 donors in 20 different states. Each candidate’s slot will be selected by a random drawing. The criteria will apply only to the first two debates, scheduled for back-to-back weeknights in June and July, allowing the committee to update its requirements as the field shifts. NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo are sponsoring the first debate, and CNN will host the second, with specific dates and locations to be announced in the coming weeks.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns to work NBC News

Pergram: ‘Trump needs a transfer, may have to rob Peter to pay Paul’ Fox News

Interesting read: ‘The most important new woman in Congress is not who you think’Politico

SupCo to decide whether citizenship question can be included in 2020 census Fox News

McCabe rep downplays DOJ discussions on using 25th Amendment to oust TrumpFox News

AUDIBLE: TIME WILL TELL
“We’re nicer people. I mean look who they produced.” – Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said of Republicans and Trump to Politico. Brown added that Democrats will continue to remain nice to one another through primary season.  

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with Rush Limbaugh. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

SOMETHING SPECIAL TURNIP-ED EVENTUALLY
WEHT: “Valentine’s Day is a chance to get your significant other something special. Sometimes, people will let you in on what they’re looking for, but one Ohio County man’s Valentine’s mix-up caused some big laughs on Thursday. Allan and Nina Harris, of Hartford, [Kentucky] have been married since 2006. For Valentine’s Day this year, Nina wanted something that would last so she told Allan that if he got her flowers, she’d like some tulips that she could plant outside. Tulips are an annual, which means they will come back every year. However, Nina did not know how to react when Allan showed up with turnips for Valentine’s Day on Thursday. Allan had apparently misunderstood what Nina wanted. Once the couple worked through what had happened, Allan did eventually go and get some tulips as well.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“One price of demystifying the universe is that science, unlike religion, asks only how, not why. As to the purpose of things, science is silent. But if science cannot talk about meaning, it can talk about harmony. And Halley’s [Comet] is at once a symbol and a proof of a deep harmony of the spheres.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Dec. 13, 1985. 

Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Source: Fox News Politics

Trump declares national emergency, avoids shutdown

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

On the roster: Trump declares national emergency, avoids shutdown – Time Out: Teddy’s bears – Fox Poll: Majority thinks Dems can unseat Trump in 2020 – Schultz won’t run if Dems nominate a centrist – Something special turnip-ed eventually

TRUMP DECLARES NATIONAL EMERGENCY, AVOIDS SHUTDOWN
NYT:President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border wall that Congress refused to give him, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a fundamental confrontation over separation of powers. In a televised announcement in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said he would sign the declaration to protect the country from the flow of drugs, criminals and illegal immigrants coming across the border from Mexico, which he characterized as a profound threat to national security. ‘We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we’re going to do it one way or the other,’ he said. … The declaration will enable Mr. Trump to divert $3.6 billion budgeted for military construction projects to the border wall, White House officials said. Mr. Trump will also use more traditional presidential budgetary discretion to tap $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs and $600 million from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund.”

Will a legal war be next? – Politico: “President Donald Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency … is set to unleash a furious legal war that could bog down the project for months or years. Immigrant rights advocates, property rights activists, environmentalists, Democratic lawmakers and state officials are all loudly signaling plans for a hail of legal writs aimed at blocking the president from what they have denounced as an unconstitutional end-run around the usual budget process. … [H]istorically it has been almost unthinkable for judges to interfere with or second-guess a president’s declaration of a military or national security emergency. However, legal experts said Trump’s history of erratic and inflammatory statements, his frequent rhetorical disconnects with senior officials in his administration and his tendency to see crises that others view as completely contrived mean that challengers stand a strong chance of finding a judge willing to throw a monkey wrench into the president’s plans.”

Fox Poll: Most voters favor immigration deal – Fox News: “A sizable majority of voters favors a broad immigration deal that includes a border barrier, non-barrier security measures, and humanitarian aid. At the same time, support for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border stands its highest since 2015. The number favoring the wall inched up for the second time in two months to 46 percent, according to the latest Fox News Poll. It was 43 percent last month during the government shutdown and 39 percent in September. The high mark was 50 percent in November 2015. Currently, 50 percent oppose the wall, down one point since January. A bipartisan 66 percent majority favors a budget deal that includes funding for some form of a border barrier, plus other security measures and humanitarian relief.”

THE RULEBOOK: STAY IN YOUR LANE
“In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 14

TIME OUT: TEDDY’S BEARS
History: “On this day in 1903, toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom places two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears. Michtom had earlier petitioned President Theodore Roosevelt for permission to use his nickname, Teddy. The president agreed and, before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom’s stuffed bears, which soon became a national childhood institution. One of Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting expeditions provided the inspiration for the Teddy bear. … Reports differ as to the exact details of the inspiration behind the teddy bear, but it is thought that while hunting in Mississippi in 1902, Roosevelt came upon an old injured black bear that his guides had tied to a tree. (The age, sex and state of health of the bear remain contested.) While some reports claim Roosevelt shot the bear out of pity for his suffering, others insist he set the bear free. Political cartoonists later portrayed the bear as a cub, implying that under the tough, outdoorsy and macho image of Roosevelt lay a much softer, more sensitive interior.”

Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval: 
41.8 percent
Average disapproval: 54.4 percent
Net Score: -12.6 points
Change from one week ago: up 3.6 points 
[Average includes: Fox News: 46% approve – 52% disapprove; Gallup: 44% approve – 52% unapproved; CNN: 42% approve – 54% disapproval; IBD: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 57% disapprove.]

FOX POLL: MAJORITY THINKS DEMS CAN UNSEAT TRUMP IN 2020
Fox News: “After President Donald Trump took office, many voters doubted he would finish his term, much less stand for re-election. But, as the 2020 race heats up, voters are increasingly confident the eventual Democratic nominee will indeed face off against the current occupant of the White House. In August 2017, 58 percent thought Trump would finish his term. Now 70 percent do, according to the latest Fox News Poll released Thursday. The poll also found, paradoxically, an even higher number — 80 percent — think Trump will run for re-election. Fourteen percent do not. … So what are the odds the Democrats defeat Trump? A 55-percent majority say either excellent (19 percent) or good (36 percent) while 39 percent think they have either no chance (13 percent) or not much of one (26 percent). Most Democrats (84 percent) and a plurality of independents (48 percent) think the Democratic Party’s chances are excellent or good…”

Iowa Poll: Voters think a ‘seasoned’ politician can defeat Trump – Des Moines Register:Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders top the list of potential presidential candidates preferred by Iowa’s likely Democratic caucus-goers, reflecting their belief that it will take political experience to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. The results are part of a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, setting the stage for the contest that will sweep across Iowa in the next 14 months. … Nearly half of poll respondents in the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state — 49 percent — say the right person to defeat Trump should be a ‘seasoned political hand’ rather than a ‘newcomer.’ … Thirty-six percent of poll respondents say a political ‘newcomer’ is best suited to defeat the president. In that role, Iowans currently favor Beto O’Rourke…”

Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Weld announces exploratory committee – ABC News: “Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, little-known on the national stage but well-respected among veterans in the GOP establishment, announced an exploratory committee for president on Friday, becoming the first Republican to move toward a serious primary challenge against President Donald Trump. There are new signs he won’t be the last. In the immediate aftermath of the 73-year-old Weld’s announcement at a breakfast event in New Hampshire, a senior aide for former Ohio Gov. John Kasich indicated Kasich is likely to launch a primary challenge as well. … Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, meanwhile, met privately last week with conservative leader Bill Kristol, who’s driving an effort to recruit a top-tier Trump primary challenger and operatives on the ground in key states. … Weld’s move makes Trump the first incumbent president since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge.”

Team Trump keeping close eye on Harris, Warren and Booker – Politico: “Donald Trump’s political advisers are homing in on three declared Democratic candidates who they believe are the most viable at this early stage of the campaign. The reelection campaign has begun compiling opposition research on Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker and is eyeing opportunities to attack them. … Trump’s advisers are certain the list of announced Democratic candidates will grow exponentially before the first primary debate in June, and that their targets are certain to fluctuate over time. … Interviews with more than two dozen of the president’s closest advisers reveal that the Trump operation is watching the opening days of the Democratic primary with a mix of relief over the field’s sprint to the left, surprise over Harris’ impressive launch, and trepidation over the prospect of Joe Biden and Sherrod Brown threatening Trump’s Midwest stranglehold.”

SCHULTZ WON’T RUN IF DEMS NOMINATE A CENTRIST
WaPo: “Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Thursday that he would be willing to abandon his presidential ambitions midstream if Democrats nominate a centrist who makes it too difficult for him to win as an independent candidate. Schultz, who made the comments while visiting The Washington Post, has premised his exploration of a presidential campaign on the assumption that Democrats are likely to nominate a candidate that embraces what he calls ‘far-left’ ideas that will turn off enough moderate voters to open space for an independent candidate. He has paid for internal polling that he says suggest he would be competitive in a three-way race against President Trump and a liberal Democratic candidate such as Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). A more moderate Democratic nominee, such as former vice president Joe Biden or former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, could complicate Schultz’s perceived path to victory.”

Beto heads to the Midwest – Politico: “Beto O’Rourke is hitting the road again, this time for the Midwest. Following a massive rally in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, on Monday, the former Texas congressman and potential presidential candidate will visit with students at University of Wisconsin, Madison on Friday. He will then travel to Chicago, where he will address a national conference of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute on Saturday. Julián Castro, who has already declared for president, is also scheduled to speak at that event. O’Rourke’s meeting with students is closed to the media, a spokesman confirmed. … The events mark O’Rourke’s first public steps outside of Texas since a solo road trip that drew widespread attention throughout the Southwest. The visits come as O’Rourke edges closer to a presidential campaign. He has said he will make a decision about entering the race by the end of the month.”

Poll: New Jersey voters aren’t feeling Booker’s presidential bid – Monmouth University: “Sen. Cory Booker’s nascent presidential bid may get mixed reviews in his home state, but he starts off on much better footing than New Jersey’s last major contender, former governor Chris Christie. The Monmouth University Poll finds that Booker continues to earn a net positive job rating from Garden State residents, although his disapproval numbers have climbed. Most feel he will not be able to keep up with his senatorial duties while he is running for president but don’t think he needs to resign. However, if Booker is able to win the Democratic nomination, most New Jerseyans say he should forego a simultaneous run to retain his U.S. Senate seat in 2020. Booker earns a 48% approve to 36% disapprove rating from Garden State residents for his performance as the state’s junior U.S. senator. … [Booker’s] disapproval rating is the highest it has been since he took office in 2013.”

Dems announce first debate details – NYT: “The Democratic National Committee on Thursday unveiled the criteria for participation in the first two presidential primary debates, splitting the debates across two consecutive nights to accommodate an already sprawling field of candidates. … To qualify, a candidate must either reach 1 percent in three approved polls or raise at least $65,000 from 200 donors in 20 different states. Each candidate’s slot will be selected by a random drawing. The criteria will apply only to the first two debates, scheduled for back-to-back weeknights in June and July, allowing the committee to update its requirements as the field shifts. NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo are sponsoring the first debate, and CNN will host the second, with specific dates and locations to be announced in the coming weeks.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns to work NBC News

Pergram: ‘Trump needs a transfer, may have to rob Peter to pay Paul’ Fox News

Interesting read: ‘The most important new woman in Congress is not who you think’Politico

SupCo to decide whether citizenship question can be included in 2020 census Fox News

McCabe rep downplays DOJ discussions on using 25th Amendment to oust TrumpFox News

AUDIBLE: TIME WILL TELL
“We’re nicer people. I mean look who they produced.” – Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said of Republicans and Trump to Politico. Brown added that Democrats will continue to remain nice to one another through primary season.  

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with Rush Limbaugh. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz - Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET.

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

SOMETHING SPECIAL TURNIP-ED EVENTUALLY
WEHT: “Valentine’s Day is a chance to get your significant other something special. Sometimes, people will let you in on what they’re looking for, but one Ohio County man’s Valentine’s mix-up caused some big laughs on Thursday. Allan and Nina Harris, of Hartford, [Kentucky] have been married since 2006. For Valentine’s Day this year, Nina wanted something that would last so she told Allan that if he got her flowers, she’d like some tulips that she could plant outside. Tulips are an annual, which means they will come back every year. However, Nina did not know how to react when Allan showed up with turnips for Valentine’s Day on Thursday. Allan had apparently misunderstood what Nina wanted. Once the couple worked through what had happened, Allan did eventually go and get some tulips as well.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“One price of demystifying the universe is that science, unlike religion, asks only how, not why. As to the purpose of things, science is silent. But if science cannot talk about meaning, it can talk about harmony. And Halley’s [Comet] is at once a symbol and a proof of a deep harmony of the spheres.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Dec. 13, 1985. 

Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Source: Fox News Politics

President Trump could have first 2020 GOP challenger

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:46 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld on Nov. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

President Trump may soon have a 2020 challenger on the GOP side. On Friday, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld announced he is launching an exploratory committee as he eyes a possible White House run.

Weld would be the first Republican candidate to announce a bid against the president as all major polls indicate President Trump would crush any GOP opponent in a hypothetical 2020 primary.

Weld looks to be trying to frame himself as a candidate who moderate Republicans and Independents can get behind, but still maintains the president has skills others will never have.

“He may have great energy and considerable raw talent, but he does not use them in ways that promote democracy, truth, justice and equal opportunity for all,” he stated when referencing President Trump.

Weld decided earlier this month to rejoin the Republican Party after switching to the Libertarian Party in 2016. He served as Massachusetts governor from 1991 to 1997.

Source: OANN Top News

Biden, Bernie, Beto Oh My what a Generational Divide they Weave as they practice to …. The yawning age gap emerging in the Democratic 2020 field could force primary voters to choose between the party’s old and new guards. Former Vice President Joe Biden is 76. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is 37. Rep. Eric Swalwell is 38. Sen. […]

Media cherished as well as previous Texas Senate prospect Beto O’Rourke is blogging his approach via a typical American journey, with a rambling essay educating visitors he has in fact “been stuck recently” as he strikes the street to fulfill individuals as well as damage the funk (as well as probably pick a 2020 run). […]


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