congress

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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Hunter Biden didn’t invite father, Joe, to his recent wedding: report.
Camping World CEO: ‘I’d rather go to jail’ than yield to city in American flag controversy.
No foul play suspected in sudden death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
These are the best and worst run cities in the US, report finds.
US economy breaks record with post-recession expansion.
Apple CEO Tim Cook disputes ‘absurd’ report on Jony Ive’s exitfrom company.

Source

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

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

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.
Nebraska woman’s accused killer slashes his neck in courtroom horror: reports.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
EXCLUSIVE: After Stephen Moore’s failed Fed bid, he’s creating a crypto central bank. 
Bitcoin hits $11K: A timeline of cryptocurrency’s rise, fall and rebound.
Average retirement-age Americans have this much in their 401(k), report says.

Source

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.
Nebraska woman’s accused killer slashes his neck in courtroom horror: reports.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
EXCLUSIVE: After Stephen Moore’s failed Fed bid, he’s creating a crypto central bank. 
Bitcoin hits $11K: A timeline of cryptocurrency’s rise, fall and rebound.
Average retirement-age Americans have this much in their 401(k), report says.

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.

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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 Emergency Declaration Faces Fights in the Courts

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border and predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.

That might have been the only thing Trump said Friday that produced near-universal agreement.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump's declaration that the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."

Nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed suit later, urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "bar Trump and the U.S. Department of Defense from using the declaration and funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic state attorneys general already have said they might go to court.

The coming legal fight seems likely to hinge on two main issues: Can the president declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress' refusal to give him all the money he wanted and, under the federal law Trump invoked in his declaration, can the Defense Department take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction?

The Pentagon has so far not said which projects might be affected.

But after weeks of publicly ruminating whether to act, Trump's signature on the declaration set in motion a quick march to the courthouse.

Trump relied on the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which Congress adopted as a way to put some limits on presidential use of national emergencies. The act requires a president to notify Congress publicly of the national emergency and to report every six months. The law also says the president must renew the emergency every year, simply by notifying Congress. The House and Senate also can revoke a declaration by majority vote, though it would take a two-thirds vote by each house to override an expected presidential veto.

Beyond that, though, the law doesn't say what constitutes a national emergency or impose any other limits on the president.

The broad grant of discretion to the president could make it hard to persuade courts to rule that Trump exceeded his authority in declaring a border emergency. "He's the one who gets to make the call. We can't second-guess it," said John Eastman, a professor of constitutional law at the Chapman University School of Law.

Courts often are reluctant to look beyond the justifications the president included in his proclamation, Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane said on a call organized by the liberal American Constitution Society.

But other legal experts said the facts are powerfully arrayed against the president. They include government statistics showing a decades-long decline in illegal border crossings as well as Trump's rejection of a deal last year that would have provided more than the nearly $1.4 billion he got for border security in the budget agreement he signed Thursday. Opponents of the declaration also are certain to use Trump's own words at his Rose Garden news conference Friday to argue that there is no emergency on the border.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time," Trump said. "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Congress made a conscious choice not to give Trump what he wanted. "A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act," Amash said on Twitter.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said Trump's remarks are an admission that there is no national emergency. "He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress," Romero said in a statement that also said the rights group would file a lawsuit next week.

Trying to turn the president's words against him failed in the challenge to Trump's ban on travel to the United States by citizens of several mostly Muslim countries. The ban's opponents argued that Trump's comments as a candidate and as president showed the ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, not concern about national security. Lower courts struck down the ban, but the Supreme Court upheld it in a 5-4 vote last year.

Trump said he expected to lose in lower courts that he claims have been unfair to him, particularly if lawsuits are filed in California. "Hopefully, we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban," he said.

Beyond the challenge to Trump's authority to declare an emergency, lawsuits also are expected to focus on the military construction project law that allows the re-allocation of money in a national emergency.

Eastman said he doubts that the Supreme Court would try to interfere with Trump's decision to send the military to the border and then authorize the use of money from other Defense Department construction projects to build miles of a border wall. "The president is authorized to make those judgments, not some judge in San Francisco," Eastman said.

But the ACLU's suit will argue that Congress allowed for flexibility in using money it appropriated for projects needed to support the emergency use of the military forces, like overseas military airfields in wartime.

Several legal experts said claims that the building of the wall is not the kind of project contemplated in the military construction law could be more difficult to rebut because border security is more like a law enforcement issue than a military emergency.

But Shane, the Ohio State professor, said, "It's hard to know how exactly this is going to unfold politically or judicially."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Emergency Declaration Faces Fights in the Courts

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency along the southern border and predicted his administration would end up defending it all the way to the Supreme Court.

That might have been the only thing Trump said Friday that produced near-universal agreement.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced its intention to sue less than an hour after the White House released the text of Trump's declaration that the "current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency."

Nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen filed suit later, urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to "bar Trump and the U.S. Department of Defense from using the declaration and funds appropriated for other purposes to build a border wall."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several Democratic state attorneys general already have said they might go to court.

The coming legal fight seems likely to hinge on two main issues: Can the president declare a national emergency to build a border wall in the face of Congress' refusal to give him all the money he wanted and, under the federal law Trump invoked in his declaration, can the Defense Department take money from some congressionally approved military construction projects to pay for wall construction?

The Pentagon has so far not said which projects might be affected.

But after weeks of publicly ruminating whether to act, Trump's signature on the declaration set in motion a quick march to the courthouse.

Trump relied on the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which Congress adopted as a way to put some limits on presidential use of national emergencies. The act requires a president to notify Congress publicly of the national emergency and to report every six months. The law also says the president must renew the emergency every year, simply by notifying Congress. The House and Senate also can revoke a declaration by majority vote, though it would take a two-thirds vote by each house to override an expected presidential veto.

Beyond that, though, the law doesn't say what constitutes a national emergency or impose any other limits on the president.

The broad grant of discretion to the president could make it hard to persuade courts to rule that Trump exceeded his authority in declaring a border emergency. "He's the one who gets to make the call. We can't second-guess it," said John Eastman, a professor of constitutional law at the Chapman University School of Law.

Courts often are reluctant to look beyond the justifications the president included in his proclamation, Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane said on a call organized by the liberal American Constitution Society.

But other legal experts said the facts are powerfully arrayed against the president. They include government statistics showing a decades-long decline in illegal border crossings as well as Trump's rejection of a deal last year that would have provided more than the nearly $1.4 billion he got for border security in the budget agreement he signed Thursday. Opponents of the declaration also are certain to use Trump's own words at his Rose Garden news conference Friday to argue that there is no emergency on the border.

"I could do the wall over a longer period of time," Trump said. "I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Congress made a conscious choice not to give Trump what he wanted. "A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act," Amash said on Twitter.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said Trump's remarks are an admission that there is no national emergency. "He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress," Romero said in a statement that also said the rights group would file a lawsuit next week.

Trying to turn the president's words against him failed in the challenge to Trump's ban on travel to the United States by citizens of several mostly Muslim countries. The ban's opponents argued that Trump's comments as a candidate and as president showed the ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias, not concern about national security. Lower courts struck down the ban, but the Supreme Court upheld it in a 5-4 vote last year.

Trump said he expected to lose in lower courts that he claims have been unfair to him, particularly if lawsuits are filed in California. "Hopefully, we'll get a fair shake and we'll win in the Supreme Court, just like the ban," he said.

Beyond the challenge to Trump's authority to declare an emergency, lawsuits also are expected to focus on the military construction project law that allows the re-allocation of money in a national emergency.

Eastman said he doubts that the Supreme Court would try to interfere with Trump's decision to send the military to the border and then authorize the use of money from other Defense Department construction projects to build miles of a border wall. "The president is authorized to make those judgments, not some judge in San Francisco," Eastman said.

But the ACLU's suit will argue that Congress allowed for flexibility in using money it appropriated for projects needed to support the emergency use of the military forces, like overseas military airfields in wartime.

Several legal experts said claims that the building of the wall is not the kind of project contemplated in the military construction law could be more difficult to rebut because border security is more like a law enforcement issue than a military emergency.

But Shane, the Ohio State professor, said, "It's hard to know how exactly this is going to unfold politically or judicially."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump’s declaration of national emergency was unnecessarily ‘dramatic’: Victor Davis Hanson

The pending legal battle over the national emergency declared by President Trump may all center around “semantics,” Hoover Institution fellow Victor Davis Hanson argued Friday.

Earlier in the day, President Trump officially declared a national emergency in order to allocate funding for the border wall that wasn’t included in the compromise border security bill that Congress passed and that the president signed into law.

On Friday’s "Special Report" All-Star panel, Hanson — along with Townhall.com political editor Guy Benson and former Obama White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina — weighed in on the political fallout from the president’s decision.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL SHOW

Hanson began by suggesting that President Trump should have echoed his predecessor President Barack Obama’s “I have a pen and I have a phone” remark and incrementally pulled funding from various departments instead of making his move so “dramatic.”

“I think that the news cycle is going to go on and it’s not going to be the big cycle drone that everybody thinks,” Hanson predicted.

The Hoover Institute fellow later added that it was “psycho-dramatic” to say that the Constitution is “in danger,” pointing to Obama’s actions on the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program for delaying deportation for adults who came to the U.S. illegally when they were children).

Messina pointed out that during his news conference, President Trump admitted that he “didn’t need” to declare a national emergency but that he did so to expedite funding for the wall, which Messina concluded made the event the “definition of not an emergency.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“This is a troubling move by a president. The framers put together a Constitution to make sure that there was separation of powers and not to have kings. And I think the president is right, he’s going to spend a lot of time in court,” Messina said.

Benson seemed to agree with the sentiment, calling Trump’s decision “politically questionable” and “legally dubious.”

“Frankly, as a conservative, I hope he loses in court on this because I do not want a precedent where presidents can get rejected or stymied by Congress and go ahead and do what they want anyhow."

Source: Fox News Politics

Rahm Emanuel warns Dems not to 'mimic' Trump’s politics, says Virginia's Northam shouldn't resign

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn’t agree with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that if President Trump can declare a national emergency to bypass Congress in order to secure funding for his long-promised border wall, a Democratic president can do the same for guns.

“The one thing you don’t want to mimic … their politics,” Emanuel said during a guest appearance Friday on HBO’s’ Real Time with Bill Maher. “He [Trump] wants you on certain cases to actually mimic what he’s doing because then there’s a difference of nothing. That’s not where you want to go against him.”

The conversation quickly moved on to other topics without a mention of Friday’s deadly workplace shooting in Aurora, Ill., that ended with six dead, including the gunman, and several wounded police officers.

RAHM EMANUEL LEAVES BEHIND TAINTED LEGACY AS CHICAGO MURDER RATE, CRIME AND CORRUPTION SURGE ON HIS WATCH

Emanuel — the former White House chief of staff under former President Barack Obama — believes Trump is using a national emergency declaration, not to enhance border security, but to deliver on his signature campaign promise.

“You have a faux constitutional crisis to basically cover a real campaign crisis,” he said “This is all about the campaign. Some pledge he made.”

The two-term mayor was then asked his thoughts on embattled Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, who has resisted calls to resign over his 1984 medical school yearbook page that featured one person in Ku Klux Klan garb and another in blackface. Northam denies that he is in the photo.

“I don’t buy that that’s not his photo,” said Emanuel, before making his case that Northam shouldn’t leave office. He cited Obama’s initial opposition to gay marriage and Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation of slaves.

“Part of civil rights. Part of any change is maturity and evolution,” he said. “He is now going to be the greatest fighter for civil rights because he has something to prove. That fact is he has evolved.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“There’s nothing like a convert. He is going to have a zealotry to prove something because he has the campaign of his reputation.”

A recent poll found that 58 percent of African-American residents in Virginia want Northam to remain in office.

Source: Fox News 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

DHS official: Border security bill does not contain ‘amnesty’ poison pills

Immigration hawks slammed the border security compromise President Trump signed into law Friday for containing last-minute provisions that they argued give "amnesty" to many – but a Department of Homeland Security official insisted to Fox News that’s a misunderstanding of the bill.

The amnesty claim was made by lawmakers and conservative commentators.

TRUMP DECLARES EMERGENCY ON BORDER, EYES $8B FOR WALL AS HE SIGNS SPENDING PACKAGE

"This ‘deal’ provides de facto amnesty for anyone claiming to be even in the household of a potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien minor," Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote on Twitter Thursday.

That ‘amnesty’ claim is based on section 224 of the budget — which appears, on first glance, to block the deportation of many people who are illegally in the U.S.

That’s because it states that no funds may be used to detain or deport any "sponsor" or "potential sponsor" of an "unaccompanied alien child." It adds that even any "member of a household" of a "potential sponsor" is now immune from deportation.

But a DHS official told Fox News that terms like "potential sponsor" have precise meanings in Department of Homeland Security regulations – meanings that severely limit the number of people the budget keeps safe from deportation.

BETO O’ROURKE SAYS HE ‘ABSOLUTELY’ SUPPORTS DESTROYING EXISTING WALLS ON SOUTHERN BORDER

For example, to be a "potential sponsor" according to the DHS regulations, one must file significant paperwork — such as showing ID (U.S. or foreign) and proof of residency. The adult applying must also submit documents about the child.

Further, because the bill only applies to kids who are unaccompanied, it does not provide protection for those bringing kids into the US.

That would significantly limit the number of people to whom the no-deportation provision applies.

The section was added to ensure that people coming to pick up kids in custody did not find themselves deported for showing up to pick up the kid.

Chris Chmielenski, the deputy director of NumbersUSA, which fights for lower immigration levels and which urged President Trump to veto the budget, told Fox News that the provision is still problematic despite DHS’s clarifications.

“We still have some serious concerns about the provision,” Chmielenski told Fox News. “It still protects these sponsors and/or relatives who make it into the US. That’s not a precedent we should be setting.”

He noted that, despite the paperwork DHS demands of someone to become a “potential sponsor,” some might still try to game the system and that it could still encourage “unaccompanied” kids to be sent over the border.

TRUMP’S NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION OVER BORDER WALL SPARKS REACTIONS FROM LAWMAKERS

“We would prefer this wasn’t in there. We would also hope this is something that expires at the end of fiscal year,” he said.

The provision in the budget will be replaced by whatever the next budget says.

Another major alleged “poison pill” that may be misunderstood is a clause requiring the federal government to "confer and seek to reach mutual agreement" with local governments before building any wall.

The Center for Immigration Studies, which favors lower immigration levels, tweeted that “the spending bill would give local governments in the Rio Grande (all of which are *heavily* Democratic) the ability to veto the fence. If those blue municipalities don’t agree with DHS, the fence can’t get built.”

But the DHS official told Fox News on background that the exact language in the budget — "confer and seek to reach mutual agreement" – nowhere requires the federal government to actually reach an agreement before building fences.

Rather, it just requires DHS to consult with local governments – something DHS already generally does, the official noted.

Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says he remains skeptical.

“I hope DHS is right, I just think it’s wishful thinking,” he told Fox News. “Do you really want to bet that a judge won’t read that differently?”

But Trump allies say that the information from DHS shines light on why Trump ultimately signed the bill after reviewing it. Some warned about “disinformation” on Thursday.

“Just spoke with the White House. There will be NO Amnesty and NO path to citizenship,” Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to President Trump and a Fox News contributor, tweeted Thursday.

Other criticisms of the budget Trump signed include that it allows the Department of Homeland Security to more than double the number of guest worker visas, from 65,000 to 135,000. However, the law merely allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to make such an increase; it would only happen if the secretary authorizes it.

Another matter of contention is that the budget authorizes 45,000 ICE detention beds; an increase from the past budget which paid for 40,520 beds, but less than the number of detention beds ICE actually has.

However, the number of beds authorized by Congress does not actually force ICE to reduce its number of beds, as they can use money from other parts of the budget.

Gorka says the claims of the sky falling are overblown, and also told Fox News that it was silly to call anything in the budget “amnesty” because it’s just an annual budget.

“How is a funding bill that expires before the end of the fiscal year able to create conditions for a lasting ‘amnesty?’” Gorka said.

Maxim Lott is Executive Producer of Stossel TV and creator of ElectionBettingOdds.com. He can be reached on Twitter at @MaximLott.

Source: Fox News Politics

Trump Declares Emergency for Border Wall, First Lawsuit Filed

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican president's move to circumvent Congress represented an escalation in his efforts to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a wall to halt the flow into the country of illegal immigrants, who Trump says bring crime and drugs.

Three Texas landowners and an environmental group filed the first lawsuit on Friday challenging the declaration aimed at freeing up billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said.

The lawsuit, brought in federal court in the District of Columbia, claims the south Texas landowners were told by the U.S. government that it would seek to build a border wall on their properties if money for the project were available in 2019, Public Citizen said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee said it had launched an investigation into the emergency declaration.

In a letter to Trump, committee Democrats asked him to make available for a hearing White House and Justice Department officials involved in the action. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

"We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel.

Trump on Friday also signed a bipartisan government spending bill that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday.

The funding bill represented a legislative defeat for him since it contains no money for his proposed wall – the focus of weeks of conflict between him and Democrats in Congress.

Trump made no mention of the bill in comments to reporters in the White House's Rose Garden.

He had demanded that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund the agencies. That triggered a historic, 35-day December-January government shutdown that hurt the U.S. economy and his opinion poll numbers.

By reorienting his quest for wall funding toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency, Trump risks plunging into a lengthy legislative and legal battle with Democrats and dividing his fellow Republicans – many of whom expressed grave reservations on Friday about the president's action.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent Trump from invoking emergency powers to transfer funds to his wall from accounts Congress has already committed to other projects.

'EXCLUSIVE POWER'

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer swiftly responded to Trump's declaration.

"The president's actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution," they said in a statement. "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

New York state's attorney general, Letitia James, said her office would also challenge Trump in court. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, also pledged to file suit.

"We won't stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal," James wrote on Twitter.

The president acknowledged his order would face a lengthy court fight.

"I expect to be sued. I shouldn't be sued … We'll win in the Supreme Court," Trump predicted.

Trump may have also undermined his administration's argument about the urgency of the situation when he told reporters, "I didn't need to do this. But I'd rather do it much faster."

In their letter to Trump, House Judiciary Democrats said that language had left them "troubled."

Both the House and the Senate could pass a resolution terminating the emergency by majority vote. However, that measure would then go to Trump, who would likely veto it. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Trump says a wall is needed to curb illegal immigrants and illicit drugs coming across the border. But statistics show illegal immigration via the border is at a 20-year low and that many drug shipments come through legal ports of entry.

Confronted with those statistics by reporters at the Rose Garden event, Trump said they were "wrong."

Also present were a half-dozen women holding poster-sized pictures of family members killed by illegal immigrants. Trump noted their presence in announcing the emergency declaration.

He estimated his emergency declaration could free up as much as $8 billion to pay for part of the wall. Estimates of its total cost run as high as $23 billion.

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the wall. It was one of his biggest applause lines at his campaign rallies. Mexico firmly refused to pay, and now Trump wants U.S. taxpayers to cover the costs.

REPUBLICANS CONCERNED

Some congressional Republicans expressed dismay following Trump's announcement.

Greg Walden, a senior House Republican, said on Twitter he was "deeply concerned about the precedent that this action sets."

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement that Trump' declaration was not a solution.

"It wouldn't provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders, it would likely get tied up in litigation, and most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing president would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress," Tillis said.

Other Republicans, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, were supportive.

With an emergency formally declared, Trump left Washington to travel to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida for a holiday break.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Declares Emergency for Border Wall, First Lawsuit Filed

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican president's move to circumvent Congress represented an escalation in his efforts to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a wall to halt the flow into the country of illegal immigrants, who Trump says bring crime and drugs.

Three Texas landowners and an environmental group filed the first lawsuit on Friday challenging the declaration aimed at freeing up billions of dollars to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said.

The lawsuit, brought in federal court in the District of Columbia, claims the south Texas landowners were told by the U.S. government that it would seek to build a border wall on their properties if money for the project were available in 2019, Public Citizen said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee said it had launched an investigation into the emergency declaration.

In a letter to Trump, committee Democrats asked him to make available for a hearing White House and Justice Department officials involved in the action. They also requested legal documents on the decision that led to the declaration, setting a deadline of next Friday.

"We believe your declaration of an emergency shows a reckless disregard for the separation of powers and your own responsibilities under our constitutional system," said the letter signed by Chairman Jerrold Nadler and other top Democrats on the panel.

Trump on Friday also signed a bipartisan government spending bill that would prevent another partial government shutdown by funding several agencies that otherwise would have closed on Saturday.

The funding bill represented a legislative defeat for him since it contains no money for his proposed wall – the focus of weeks of conflict between him and Democrats in Congress.

Trump made no mention of the bill in comments to reporters in the White House's Rose Garden.

He had demanded that Congress provide him with $5.7 billion in wall funding as part of legislation to fund the agencies. That triggered a historic, 35-day December-January government shutdown that hurt the U.S. economy and his opinion poll numbers.

By reorienting his quest for wall funding toward a legally uncertain strategy based on declaring a national emergency, Trump risks plunging into a lengthy legislative and legal battle with Democrats and dividing his fellow Republicans – many of whom expressed grave reservations on Friday about the president's action.

Fifteen Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent Trump from invoking emergency powers to transfer funds to his wall from accounts Congress has already committed to other projects.

'EXCLUSIVE POWER'

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer swiftly responded to Trump's declaration.

"The president's actions clearly violate the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our Founders enshrined in the Constitution," they said in a statement. "The Congress will defend our constitutional authorities in the Congress, in the courts, and in the public, using every remedy available.”

New York state's attorney general, Letitia James, said her office would also challenge Trump in court. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, also pledged to file suit.

"We won't stand for this abuse of power & will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal," James wrote on Twitter.

The president acknowledged his order would face a lengthy court fight.

"I expect to be sued. I shouldn't be sued … We'll win in the Supreme Court," Trump predicted.

Trump may have also undermined his administration's argument about the urgency of the situation when he told reporters, "I didn't need to do this. But I'd rather do it much faster."

In their letter to Trump, House Judiciary Democrats said that language had left them "troubled."

Both the House and the Senate could pass a resolution terminating the emergency by majority vote. However, that measure would then go to Trump, who would likely veto it. Overriding the veto would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Trump says a wall is needed to curb illegal immigrants and illicit drugs coming across the border. But statistics show illegal immigration via the border is at a 20-year low and that many drug shipments come through legal ports of entry.

Confronted with those statistics by reporters at the Rose Garden event, Trump said they were "wrong."

Also present were a half-dozen women holding poster-sized pictures of family members killed by illegal immigrants. Trump noted their presence in announcing the emergency declaration.

He estimated his emergency declaration could free up as much as $8 billion to pay for part of the wall. Estimates of its total cost run as high as $23 billion.

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the wall. It was one of his biggest applause lines at his campaign rallies. Mexico firmly refused to pay, and now Trump wants U.S. taxpayers to cover the costs.

REPUBLICANS CONCERNED

Some congressional Republicans expressed dismay following Trump's announcement.

Greg Walden, a senior House Republican, said on Twitter he was "deeply concerned about the precedent that this action sets."

Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said in a statement that Trump' declaration was not a solution.

"It wouldn't provide enough funding to adequately secure our borders, it would likely get tied up in litigation, and most concerning is that it would create a new precedent that a left-wing president would undoubtedly utilize to implement their radical policy agenda while bypassing the authority of Congress," Tillis said.

Other Republicans, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, were supportive.

With an emergency formally declared, Trump left Washington to travel to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida for a holiday break.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Judge imposes partial gag order in Roger Stone case

A federal judge on Friday issued a partial gag order in the criminal case of former Trump political adviser Roger Stone as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the federal court for the District of Columbia on Friday ordered that Stone “refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case,” according to the court filing.

ROGER STONE PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO MUELLER CHARGES IN FEDERAL COURT

Jackson further ordered that any participants in the case, including witnesses and counsel, “refrain” from making any statements to the media or public when they are near the courthouse that could “influence any juror, potential juror, judge, witness or court officer or interfere with the administration of justice.”

"There will be no additional restrictions imposed on the defendant’s public statements or appearances at this time, although this order may be amended in the future…if necessary," Jackson said in a court order. "This order should not be interpreted as modifying or superseding the condition of the defendant’s release that absolutely prohibits him from communicating with any witness in the case, either directly or indirectly. Nor does this order permit the defendant to intimidate or threaten any witness, or to engage or attempt to engage in any conduct in violation of [U.S. Code.]"

She added: "Finally, while it is not up to the Court to advise the defendant as to whether a succession of public statements would be in his best interest at this time, it notes that one factor that will be considered in the evaluation of any future request for relief based on pretrial publicity will be the extent to which the publicity was engendered by the defendant himself."

Stone, who last month pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress after being indicted last month as part of Mueller’s probe, was also ordered not to travel anywhere other than Washington, the Eastern District of New York, and the Southern District of Florida while the case is pending.  Stone is not permitted to have a passport in his possession or apply for any new passport. Stone was also ordered to return to court “whenever required.”

Stone, 66, was taken into custody last month after being indicted by a federal grand jury a day earlier as part of Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election. More than a dozen FBI agents arrived in tactical gear outside of Stone’s home.

Following his arrest, Stone made several media appearances and comments about the case on his social media accounts.

The 24-page indictment released last month alleges that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by making false statements to the committee, denying he had records sought by the committee and persuading a witness to provide false testimony.

The indictment does not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published the emails, or with Russian officers Mueller says hacked them. Instead, it accuses him of witness tampering, obstruction, and false statements about his interactions related to WikiLeaks.

Stone served as an adviser to Trump for years before Trump ran for president. He left Trump’s campaign in August 2015, but maintained regular contact with and publicly supported the Trump campaign throughout the 2016 presidential election.

FBI’S SHOW OF FORCE IN ROGER STONE ARREST SPURS CRITICISM OF MUELLER TACTICS 

Jackson, who presided over the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, also imposed a gag order in that criminal case as part of Mueller’s probe.

Mueller’s investigation, which was initially ordered to look into the 2016 election, has gone on for more than a year and a half. It has expanded to probe financial crimes of Trump associates before the election, conversations Trump’s national security adviser had with the Russians during the transition and whether Trump obstructed justice with his comments and actions related to the probe.

Twenty-six Russian nationals and three Russian companies have been charged with interfering in the 2016 presidential election. But none of the Trump associates have been charged with crimes related to collusion.

Other convictions include former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who both pleaded guilty to making false statements in 2017. Former campaign adviser Rick Gates in 2018 pleaded guilty and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted and later pleaded guilty in a separate financial crimes case dating back before the 2016 election.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements in a case brought by Mueller in November. Alex van der Zwaan, a London-based lawyer, pleaded guilty to making false statements this year, and Richard Pinedo, a California man, pleaded guilty to identity fraud in 2018.

Source: Fox News 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.”

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

House Democrats attempt to block president’s National Emergency declaration

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:20 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

Two Democrat representatives said they are co-sponsoring a bill to stop President Trump’s National Emergency declaration. The proposal by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas congressman Joaqin Castro is an attempt to block the president’s move to secure additional border funding.

On Thursday, Castro called the declaration a “fake emergency,” saying he would be filing a joint-resolution under the National Emergency Act to terminate the declaration.

“There have been very critical comments that have been made by senators, including Republican senators, about the president’s ability and wisdom of declaring a National Emergency for this purpose,” he stated.

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro. 9Photo/TOM WILLIAMS/AP)

In a recent tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said she and Castro aren’t going to let the president declare an emergency without a fight.

The House would have to vote on the resolution before it headed to the Senate.

When the bill would be introduced is still unknown as Congress has already adjourned, and will be out next week for the President’s Day holiday.

Source: OANN Top News

House Democrats attempt to block president’s National Emergency declaration

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:20 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

Two Democrat representatives said they are co-sponsoring a bill to stop President Trump’s National Emergency declaration. The proposal by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas congressman Joaqin Castro is an attempt to block the president’s move to secure additional border funding.

On Thursday, Castro called the declaration a “fake emergency,” saying he would be filing a joint-resolution under the National Emergency Act to terminate the declaration.

“There have been very critical comments that have been made by senators, including Republican senators, about the president’s ability and wisdom of declaring a National Emergency for this purpose,” he stated.

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro. 9Photo/TOM WILLIAMS/AP)

In a recent tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said she and Castro aren’t going to let the president declare an emergency without a fight.

The House would have to vote on the resolution before it headed to the Senate.

When the bill would be introduced is still unknown as Congress has already adjourned, and will be out next week for the President’s Day holiday.

Source: OANN Top News

House Democrats attempt to block president’s National Emergency declaration

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:20 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

Two Democrat representatives said they are co-sponsoring a bill to stop President Trump’s National Emergency declaration. The proposal by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas congressman Joaqin Castro is an attempt to block the president’s move to secure additional border funding.

On Thursday, Castro called the declaration a “fake emergency,” saying he would be filing a joint-resolution under the National Emergency Act to terminate the declaration.

“There have been very critical comments that have been made by senators, including Republican senators, about the president’s ability and wisdom of declaring a National Emergency for this purpose,” he stated.

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro. 9Photo/TOM WILLIAMS/AP)

In a recent tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said she and Castro aren’t going to let the president declare an emergency without a fight.

The House would have to vote on the resolution before it headed to the Senate.

When the bill would be introduced is still unknown as Congress has already adjourned, and will be out next week for the President’s Day holiday.

Source: OANN Top News

Conservative lawmakers praise the President’s decision to declare a National Emergency

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:27 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

Top conservatives are praising the president’s decision to declare a National Emergency at the southern border.

Representative Mark Meadows tweeted Friday, saying he is seeing speculation Congress could override a presidential veto with GOP votes. However, he said that will not happen, because the votes aren’t there.

Meadows also said there is broad Republican and American support for the president to take legal action to protect families.

Meanwhile Representative Jim Jordan also chimed in by simply tweeting out “of course it’s a national emergency.” He then listed reasons why, which included caravans and angel families losing loved ones.

The lawmaker also asked what will it take for the left to acknowledge the crisis at the border.

Central American immigrants line up to register with Mexican Immigration officials at a shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

Source: OANN Top News

Trump Org Scraps Plans for 2 Hotel Chains, Blaming Politics

President Donald Trump's company is scrapping plans for two new hotel chains announced two years ago, casting blame in part on a hostile political environment.

The Trump Organization said Thursday that it will no longer try to open hotels under its Scion and American Idea brands catering to budget and mid-priced travelers, a departure from its focus on luxury hotels. The announcement comes as the company has posted losses at a few of its golf properties and brand experts say it has lost some of its appeal.

"We live in a climate where everything will be used against us, whether by the fake news or by Democrats who are only interested in presidential harassment and wasting everyone's time, barraging us with nonsense letters," the president's son, Eric Trump, said in an emailed statement. "We already have the greatest properties in the world and if we have to slow down our growth for the time being, we are happy to do it."

The rollout began with promises of fast success. The company said in March 2017 that nearly two dozen developers had already signed letters of intent to open mid-priced Scion hotels, and was enthusiastic about the future prospects.

"It's full steam ahead," said Eric Danziger, who oversees the hotel business for the family. "It's in our DNA."

But the avalanche of deals never materialized, as was the case for its budget-priced American Idea, which was launched a few months later at a party at the Trump Tower in New York.

The only developer willing to strike a deal was Chawla Hotels of Mississippi. It planned to open as many as four hotels in the state — but now that is off, too.

"In today's politically charged environment," hotel consultant Lee Hunter told The Associated Press recently, "everyone is cautious."

The company is also struggling with some self-imposed restraints on expanding its business.

When Trump became president, he handed day-to-day control of the company to Eric and his other adult son, Donald Jr. He also agreed his company would not pursue new deals abroad and that domestic deals would be vetted by a lawyer hired to make sure they posed no conflicts with Trump's presidency.

"We walked away from billions of dollars' worth of deals and ceased virtually all expansion," said Eric Trump in his statement. "We continue to make tremendous sacrifices and understand the bigger picture more than anyone — our father has the most important and powerful job in the world."

The Trump Organization did not dismiss the possibility that it could revive the new brands someday, perhaps when Trump leaves the presidency.

The end of the rollout follows bad news for the company in other areas.

Charities have canceled events at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, his Scottish clubs lose millions of dollars each year and several buildings have stripped the Trump names off their facades.

The Trump Organization owns or has licensed its name to 17 golf clubs and more than two dozen hotels and residential buildings around the world.

The Trump Organization has also drawn scrutiny in federal probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Michael Cohen's campaign finance violations. More recently, it is facing blowback from Democrats in Congress for firing long-time workers at several of its U.S. golf clubs for being in the country illegally, raising doubts about its hiring practices amid the president's vow to crack down on such workers and build a wall to keep more from coming in.

The company has said it had no choice but to fire workers once it discovered they were in the country illegally.

Source: NewsMax America

Trump Org Scraps Plans for 2 Hotel Chains, Blaming Politics

President Donald Trump's company is scrapping plans for two new hotel chains announced two years ago, casting blame in part on a hostile political environment.

The Trump Organization said Thursday that it will no longer try to open hotels under its Scion and American Idea brands catering to budget and mid-priced travelers, a departure from its focus on luxury hotels. The announcement comes as the company has posted losses at a few of its golf properties and brand experts say it has lost some of its appeal.

"We live in a climate where everything will be used against us, whether by the fake news or by Democrats who are only interested in presidential harassment and wasting everyone's time, barraging us with nonsense letters," the president's son, Eric Trump, said in an emailed statement. "We already have the greatest properties in the world and if we have to slow down our growth for the time being, we are happy to do it."

The rollout began with promises of fast success. The company said in March 2017 that nearly two dozen developers had already signed letters of intent to open mid-priced Scion hotels, and was enthusiastic about the future prospects.

"It's full steam ahead," said Eric Danziger, who oversees the hotel business for the family. "It's in our DNA."

But the avalanche of deals never materialized, as was the case for its budget-priced American Idea, which was launched a few months later at a party at the Trump Tower in New York.

The only developer willing to strike a deal was Chawla Hotels of Mississippi. It planned to open as many as four hotels in the state — but now that is off, too.

"In today's politically charged environment," hotel consultant Lee Hunter told The Associated Press recently, "everyone is cautious."

The company is also struggling with some self-imposed restraints on expanding its business.

When Trump became president, he handed day-to-day control of the company to Eric and his other adult son, Donald Jr. He also agreed his company would not pursue new deals abroad and that domestic deals would be vetted by a lawyer hired to make sure they posed no conflicts with Trump's presidency.

"We walked away from billions of dollars' worth of deals and ceased virtually all expansion," said Eric Trump in his statement. "We continue to make tremendous sacrifices and understand the bigger picture more than anyone — our father has the most important and powerful job in the world."

The Trump Organization did not dismiss the possibility that it could revive the new brands someday, perhaps when Trump leaves the presidency.

The end of the rollout follows bad news for the company in other areas.

Charities have canceled events at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, his Scottish clubs lose millions of dollars each year and several buildings have stripped the Trump names off their facades.

The Trump Organization owns or has licensed its name to 17 golf clubs and more than two dozen hotels and residential buildings around the world.

The Trump Organization has also drawn scrutiny in federal probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Michael Cohen's campaign finance violations. More recently, it is facing blowback from Democrats in Congress for firing long-time workers at several of its U.S. golf clubs for being in the country illegally, raising doubts about its hiring practices amid the president's vow to crack down on such workers and build a wall to keep more from coming in.

The company has said it had no choice but to fire workers once it discovered they were in the country illegally.

Source: NewsMax America

House Panel Backs Expanded Gun Background Checks

A key House committee has approved a bill to require background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms, a first step by majority Democrats to tighten gun laws after eight years of Republican rule.

The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the bill 23-15 Wednesday, sending it to the House floor. If approved by the full House, the bill would be the most significant gun-control legislation approved by either chamber of Congress in at least a decade.

Democrats have pledged additional gun legislation, including restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a measure to allow temporary removal of guns from people deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the background checks bill long overdue to address a "national crisis of gun violence" that claimed nearly 40,000 lives in 2017.

"Our country is awash in guns, and we have the shameful death toll to show for it," he said.

The vote on the bill came after a contentious, daylong hearing in which Republicans offered a series of amendments, all of which were blocked by Democrats. Republicans said they were ready to offer additional amendments when Nadler shut off debate around 8 p.m., 10 hours after the hearing began.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the panel's senior Republican, called Nadler's action "disturbing" and said it did not bode well for the two-year congressional session.

"If this is the way the chairman wants to begin this session of Congress, I really wonder where we go from here" and whether the two parties can work together, Collins said.

But Democrats said Republicans were delaying a vote on the bill because they oppose universal background checks for gun purchases.

"This isn't a debate, it's a show," said Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. She called universal background checks for all gun sales common sense and said, "Let's move forward."

As if to demonstrate her point, freshman Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., displayed a large cup that read, "The Second Amendment is my gun permit." Steube was among several Republicans who tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill.

Fellow freshman Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., said lawmakers "know background checks work, that they save lives, and yet we need to close loopholes" that allow some private purchases and transfers to be made without background checks.

Instead of working with Democrats, "Republicans are adding more loopholes, which is shameful," Dean said.

Republicans pushed to allow exceptions for victims of domestic violence and transfers among family members, but were dismissed by Democrats.

Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., a freshman whose son was killed by gun violence, said she has been working on gun legislation since his death more than six years ago.

"As a survivor of gun violence myself, I refuse to let my colleagues stand here and devalue the importance that this bill has," she said.

Wednesday's vote came a day before the one-year anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., said that while the bill "can't bring back" any of those killed in Parkland or other shootings, it will help reduce gun violence. "If this legislation prevents one person wishing to do harm to others with a gun from doing that, it will be something we can be proud of," he said.

Source: NewsMax America

House Panel Backs Expanded Gun Background Checks

A key House committee has approved a bill to require background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms, a first step by majority Democrats to tighten gun laws after eight years of Republican rule.

The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the bill 23-15 Wednesday, sending it to the House floor. If approved by the full House, the bill would be the most significant gun-control legislation approved by either chamber of Congress in at least a decade.

Democrats have pledged additional gun legislation, including restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a measure to allow temporary removal of guns from people deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the background checks bill long overdue to address a "national crisis of gun violence" that claimed nearly 40,000 lives in 2017.

"Our country is awash in guns, and we have the shameful death toll to show for it," he said.

The vote on the bill came after a contentious, daylong hearing in which Republicans offered a series of amendments, all of which were blocked by Democrats. Republicans said they were ready to offer additional amendments when Nadler shut off debate around 8 p.m., 10 hours after the hearing began.

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the panel's senior Republican, called Nadler's action "disturbing" and said it did not bode well for the two-year congressional session.

"If this is the way the chairman wants to begin this session of Congress, I really wonder where we go from here" and whether the two parties can work together, Collins said.

But Democrats said Republicans were delaying a vote on the bill because they oppose universal background checks for gun purchases.

"This isn't a debate, it's a show," said Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. She called universal background checks for all gun sales common sense and said, "Let's move forward."

As if to demonstrate her point, freshman Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., displayed a large cup that read, "The Second Amendment is my gun permit." Steube was among several Republicans who tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill.

Fellow freshman Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., said lawmakers "know background checks work, that they save lives, and yet we need to close loopholes" that allow some private purchases and transfers to be made without background checks.

Instead of working with Democrats, "Republicans are adding more loopholes, which is shameful," Dean said.

Republicans pushed to allow exceptions for victims of domestic violence and transfers among family members, but were dismissed by Democrats.

Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., a freshman whose son was killed by gun violence, said she has been working on gun legislation since his death more than six years ago.

"As a survivor of gun violence myself, I refuse to let my colleagues stand here and devalue the importance that this bill has," she said.

Wednesday's vote came a day before the one-year anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., said that while the bill "can't bring back" any of those killed in Parkland or other shootings, it will help reduce gun violence. "If this legislation prevents one person wishing to do harm to others with a gun from doing that, it will be something we can be proud of," he said.

Source: NewsMax America

DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME! @RealDonaldTrump warns in a tweet to Congress as he renews the call for #TheWall President Trump renewed his call Wednesday for a border wall to be part of a final government spending package, warning congressional negotiators that they are “wasting their time” if they don’t include that funding.  “If the committee […]


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