Biden

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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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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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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IRAN Says The Channel For Diplomacy Is Closed ‘Forever’ Should We Or Trump Worry?

Iran blasts new US sanctions, says channel for diplomacy is closed ‘forever’
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials close any channel for diplomacybetween the two countries “forever.” President Trump signed an executive order Monday issuing See More “hard-hitting” financial sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates. The U.S. and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial U.S. sanctions squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million U.S. Navy drone. Trump said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support.”

Trump wonders if Biden has a ‘big secret’
Ahead of the first Democratic primary presidential debates on Wednesday and Thursday, President Trump has renewed his attacks on Joe Biden, this time questioning why former President Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed his former vice president. In a new interview with the Hill, Trump wondered if there was a “big secret” as to why Obama has not backed Biden. “How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him, there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,” Trump told The Hill. “He was the vice president. They seemed to have gotten along. President Obama not endorsing him is rather… a big secret.”

Report: White House moves to prevent Conway from testifying about alleged Hatch Act violations
The White House has reportedly moved to prevent counselor Kellyanne Counselor from testifying before Congress about allegations of violations of the Hatch Act, the Washington Post reported Monday. The House Oversight Committee, anticipating a lack of cooperation from Conway and the White House, plans to vote Wednesday on a subpoena to force her testimony. In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Conway pushed back against a finding that she violated the Hatch Act and dismissed a recommendation that she be fired as an attempt to “silence” her and prevent her from working toward President Trump’s re-election.

Newly-released video footage show Jussie Smollett with rope around his neck
Chicago police released hundreds of files and nearly 70 hours of video footage on Monday from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim back in January that he was attacked by two men — an allegation that police later characterized as a hoax. In one ofthe videos, police body-cam footage showed Smollett — with his face blurred — wearing a white rope that he told detectives his attackers looped around his neck. When one of the officers asked Smollett if he wanted to take the rope off of his neck, the 37-year-old actor did while stating: “Yeah. I do. I just wanted you all to see it.” The release of the footage, marked the latest chapter in a story that began with Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He eventually was arrested on charges that he lied to police, but prosecutors later dismissed the charges.

Missing mother’s family denies her case is a ‘Gone Girl’ disappearance
Family and friends of missing Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Dulos on Monday countered a claim from her estranged husband’s lawyer that the author was “deeply troubled,” and rejected any suggestions that she was faking her disappearancein a plot similar in the 2015 cinematic thriller “Gone Girl.” In a Fox News interview on Friday, lawyer Norm Pattis said his client, Fotis Dulos, was “emotional, tired, distraught” over the “exhausting ordeal” and disappearance of his estranged wife. He said Jennifer Dulos “had a troubled past,” describing her as a writer who “wrote a manuscript similar to ‘Gone Girl,'” a thriller that later became a hit Hollywood movie. In response, Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for family and friends of the missing mother, said: “This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends.”

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IRAN Says The Channel For Diplomacy Is Closed ‘Forever’ Should We Or Trump Worry?

Iran blasts new US sanctions, says channel for diplomacy is closed ‘forever’
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials close any channel for diplomacybetween the two countries “forever.” President Trump signed an executive order Monday issuing See More “hard-hitting” financial sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates. The U.S. and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial U.S. sanctions squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million U.S. Navy drone. Trump said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support.”

Trump wonders if Biden has a ‘big secret’
Ahead of the first Democratic primary presidential debates on Wednesday and Thursday, President Trump has renewed his attacks on Joe Biden, this time questioning why former President Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed his former vice president. In a new interview with the Hill, Trump wondered if there was a “big secret” as to why Obama has not backed Biden. “How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him, there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,” Trump told The Hill. “He was the vice president. They seemed to have gotten along. President Obama not endorsing him is rather… a big secret.”

Report: White House moves to prevent Conway from testifying about alleged Hatch Act violations
The White House has reportedly moved to prevent counselor Kellyanne Counselor from testifying before Congress about allegations of violations of the Hatch Act, the Washington Post reported Monday. The House Oversight Committee, anticipating a lack of cooperation from Conway and the White House, plans to vote Wednesday on a subpoena to force her testimony. In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Conway pushed back against a finding that she violated the Hatch Act and dismissed a recommendation that she be fired as an attempt to “silence” her and prevent her from working toward President Trump’s re-election.

Newly-released video footage show Jussie Smollett with rope around his neck
Chicago police released hundreds of files and nearly 70 hours of video footage on Monday from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim back in January that he was attacked by two men — an allegation that police later characterized as a hoax. In one ofthe videos, police body-cam footage showed Smollett — with his face blurred — wearing a white rope that he told detectives his attackers looped around his neck. When one of the officers asked Smollett if he wanted to take the rope off of his neck, the 37-year-old actor did while stating: “Yeah. I do. I just wanted you all to see it.” The release of the footage, marked the latest chapter in a story that began with Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He eventually was arrested on charges that he lied to police, but prosecutors later dismissed the charges.

Missing mother’s family denies her case is a ‘Gone Girl’ disappearance
Family and friends of missing Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Dulos on Monday countered a claim from her estranged husband’s lawyer that the author was “deeply troubled,” and rejected any suggestions that she was faking her disappearancein a plot similar in the 2015 cinematic thriller “Gone Girl.” In a Fox News interview on Friday, lawyer Norm Pattis said his client, Fotis Dulos, was “emotional, tired, distraught” over the “exhausting ordeal” and disappearance of his estranged wife. He said Jennifer Dulos “had a troubled past,” describing her as a writer who “wrote a manuscript similar to ‘Gone Girl,'” a thriller that later became a hit Hollywood movie. In response, Carrie Luft, a spokeswoman for family and friends of the missing mother, said: “This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family, and her friends.”

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Prosecution witness admits no evidence of stab wound in Navy SEAL trial.
Pelosi faces revolt in her party over $4.5B emergency aid bill for migrants.
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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.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
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.
These are the college majors with the highest and lowest unemployment rates.

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

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

Pence Chastises EU, Rejects Merkel's Call to Work with Russia

Vice President Mike Pence rebuked European powers over Iran and Venezuela on Saturday in a renewed attack on Washington's traditional allies, rejecting a call by Germany's chancellor to include Russia in global cooperation efforts.

In speeches and in private talks at the Munich Security Conference, Pence and Chancellor Angela Merkel laid out competing visions for how the West should address world crises.

"America is stronger than ever before and America is leading on the world stage once again," Pence told European and Asian officials in Munich, listing what he described as U.S. foreign policy successes from Afghanistan to North Korea, and urging support from American allies.

"America First does not mean America alone," he said, hailing the results of Donald Trump's presidency as "remarkable" and "extraordinary," and calling on the EU to follow Washington in quitting the Iran nuclear deal and recognizing the head of Venezuela's congress, Juan Guaido, as the country's president.

Addressing an audience that included Trump's daughter Ivanka, Pence's speech was the latest attempt by a Trump administration official to put the president's "America First" agenda into a coherent policy plan.

European leaders are troubled by Trump's rhetoric, which they say is erratic and disruptive, citing his decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as undermining an arms control agreement that prevented Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

But Pence — who last week accused Britain, Germany and France of undermining U.S. sanctions on Iran — repeated his demand for European powers to withdraw from the deal.

"The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal," he said, and later pressed Merkel over the issue in bilateral talks.

He also reiterated to her Washington's opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under construction between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea. "We cannot strengthen the West by becoming dependent on the East," Pence said.

Merkel, who made a robust defense of Germany's foreign trade relations and ties with Russia during her speech, said later it was unreasonable to assume that Russia would be an unreliable energy supplier.

"AMERICA WILL BE BACK"

Speaking before Pence, Merkel questioned whether the U.S. decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal and withdrawal from Syria was the best way to tackle Tehran in the region.

During a question-and-answer session, she added that it would be wrong to exclude Russia politically, but Pence said Washington was "holding Russia accountable" for its 2014 seizure of Ukraine and what the West says are efforts to destabilize it through cyber attacks, disinformation and covert operations.

"Geostrategically, Europe can't have an interest in cutting off all relations with Russia," Merkel said.

Pence, who used his trip to Europe to push Trump's policy of favoring sovereign states as opposed to alliances and blocs, took aim at the EU over Venezuela's political crisis.

"Today we call on the European Union to step forward for freedom and recognize Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president of Venezuela," he said, calling President Nicolas Maduro a dictator who must step down.

In his roving address, Pence also stepped up U.S. pressure on Chinese telecoms gear companies such as Huawei Technologies Co, urging allies to avoid the firms and saying Chinese law requires them to give Beijing access to networks and data.

China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi rejected Pence's comments. "Chinese law doesn't require companies to install back doors to collect intelligence," Yang told the conference.

Yang, one of the architects of Chinese foreign policy, echoed Merkel's vision, saying the world should "pull together" to address global challenges, while former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden got a standing ovation for a speech in which he said that after Trump, close traditional U.S.-EU would resume. "America will be back," he said.

Source: NewsMax Politics

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.”

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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

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. […]


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