Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Las Vegas shooting victim’s parents sue gunmaker over daughter’s death.
Trump donor among seven Americans killed in copter crash in Bahamas.
Meghan McCain ‘in talkso r’ teturn to ‘The View,’ but ‘some things need to change’: report.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
US energy independence race producing tons of oil, not so much profit.
These are the most patriotic brands in the US, consumer report reveals.
Presidential salaries, from George Washington to Donald Trump.

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To be honest, many great words have been spoken about our Independence Day. It would be a sin to not reuse such words. Today I will borrow these words of the past by great patriots, including one local man our previous Sherriff BJ Barnes.

Fourth of July speeches, as John Adams predicted in 1776, tent to be “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”

On the 4th of July President Donald Trump See More will deliver such a presidential address during the “Salute to America” celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, I hope the world listens.

Just 2 days later a number of brave men and women will face the hate of domestic terror groups such as Antifa in order to Demand Free Speech, I will be one of those individuals.

We do this because we believe in the Liberty granted to us by brave men who came before us.

Liberty does not consist, my fellow-citizens, in mere general declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action.

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence or attended with close comprehension to the real character of it when you have heard it read?

If you have, you will know that it is not a Fourth of July oration. The Declaration of Independence was a document preliminary to war. Those were grim days, the days of 1776. Those gentlemen did not attach their names to the Declaration of Independence expecting a holiday on the next day, and that 4th of July was not itself a holiday. They attached their signatures to that significant document knowing that if they failed it was certain that every one of them would hang for the failure. They were committing treason against England in the interest of the liberty of 3,000,000 people in America.

All the rest of the world was against them and gave cynical smiles at their audacious undertaking. Do you think that if they could see this great Nation now they would regret anything that they then did to draw the gaze of a hostile world upon them?

The most patriotic man, ladies and gentlemen, is sometimes the man who goes in the direction that he thinks right even when he sees half the world against him. It is the dictate of patriotism to sacrifice yourself if you think that that is the path of honor and of duty.

First President to go into North Korea. Yet some say it means nothing.

First President to bring China back in line by making them pay tariffs and bringing billions back to America, but some say it is not enough, he is putting us in danger.

Having meaningful talks with both our friends and our enemies making it clear he is putting his country before theirs, as it should be.

The best economy in the world, yet some give him no credit.

Best job growth for everyone, black, brown and white, yet some call him a racist.

Some have tried to bring false witness against him and when proven wrong, refuse to believe it.

Every idea must be started by somebody, and it is a lonely thing to start anything. Yet if it is in you, you must start it if you have a man’s blood in you and if you love the country that you profess to be working for.

Do not blame others if they do not agree with you. Do not die with bitterness in your heart because you did not convince the rest of the world, but die happy because you believe that you tried to serve your country by not selling your soul.

The task to which we have constantly to readdress ourselves is the task of proving that we are worthy of the men who drew this great declaration and know what they would have done in our circumstances. Patriotism consists in some very practical things—practical in that they belong to the life of every day, that they wear no extraordinary distinction about them, that they are connected with commonplace duty. The way to be patriotic in America is not only to love America but to love the duty that lies nearest to our hand and know that in performing it we are serving our country.

I’m proud to be an American and proud of my flag and my country. Which one are you, some or other. The world is becoming more complicated every day, my fellow-citizens. No man ought to be foolish enough to think that he understands it all. And, therefore, I am glad that there are some simple things in the world.

Before the coming 4th celebration, stage your own revolution.

Call your local board of elections and if you are a Democrat, change to a Republican or independent.

You can still, vote for whoever YOU want and should.

Your change may send the message these Antifa, Domestic Terrorist, Socialist-leaning groups.

Not in my America!

It’s simple to do and will be like dumping your own bale of tea into the Boston Harbor.

I leave you with this. God Bless America.

DemandFreeSpeech.org

Source

To be honest, many great words have been spoken about our Independence Day. It would be a sin to not reuse such words. Today I will borrow these words of the past by great patriots, including one local man our previous Sherriff BJ Barnes.

Fourth of July speeches, as John Adams predicted in 1776, tent to be “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”

On the 4th of July President Donald Trump See More will deliver such a presidential address during the “Salute to America” celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, I hope the world listens.

Just 2 days later a number of brave men and women will face the hate of domestic terror groups such as Antifa in order to Demand Free Speech, I will be one of those individuals.

We do this because we believe in the Liberty granted to us by brave men who came before us.

Liberty does not consist, my fellow-citizens, in mere general declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action.

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence or attended with close comprehension to the real character of it when you have heard it read?

If you have, you will know that it is not a Fourth of July oration. The Declaration of Independence was a document preliminary to war. Those were grim days, the days of 1776. Those gentlemen did not attach their names to the Declaration of Independence expecting a holiday on the next day, and that 4th of July was not itself a holiday. They attached their signatures to that significant document knowing that if they failed it was certain that every one of them would hang for the failure. They were committing treason against England in the interest of the liberty of 3,000,000 people in America.

All the rest of the world was against them and gave cynical smiles at their audacious undertaking. Do you think that if they could see this great Nation now they would regret anything that they then did to draw the gaze of a hostile world upon them?

The most patriotic man, ladies and gentlemen, is sometimes the man who goes in the direction that he thinks right even when he sees half the world against him. It is the dictate of patriotism to sacrifice yourself if you think that that is the path of honor and of duty.

First President to go into North Korea. Yet some say it means nothing.

First President to bring China back in line by making them pay tariffs and bringing billions back to America, but some say it is not enough, he is putting us in danger.

Having meaningful talks with both our friends and our enemies making it clear he is putting his country before theirs, as it should be.

The best economy in the world, yet some give him no credit.

Best job growth for everyone, black, brown and white, yet some call him a racist.

Some have tried to bring false witness against him and when proven wrong, refuse to believe it.

Every idea must be started by somebody, and it is a lonely thing to start anything. Yet if it is in you, you must start it if you have a man’s blood in you and if you love the country that you profess to be working for.

Do not blame others if they do not agree with you. Do not die with bitterness in your heart because you did not convince the rest of the world, but die happy because you believe that you tried to serve your country by not selling your soul.

The task to which we have constantly to readdress ourselves is the task of proving that we are worthy of the men who drew this great declaration and know what they would have done in our circumstances. Patriotism consists in some very practical things—practical in that they belong to the life of every day, that they wear no extraordinary distinction about them, that they are connected with commonplace duty. The way to be patriotic in America is not only to love America but to love the duty that lies nearest to our hand and know that in performing it we are serving our country.

I’m proud to be an American and proud of my flag and my country. Which one are you, some or other. The world is becoming more complicated every day, my fellow-citizens. No man ought to be foolish enough to think that he understands it all. And, therefore, I am glad that there are some simple things in the world.

Before the coming 4th celebration, stage your own revolution.

Call your local board of elections and if you are a Democrat, change to a Republican or independent.

You can still, vote for whoever YOU want and should.

Your change may send the message these Antifa, Domestic Terrorist, Socialist-leaning groups.

Not in my America!

It’s simple to do and will be like dumping your own bale of tea into the Boston Harbor.

I leave you with this. God Bless America.

DemandFreeSpeech.org

Source

To be honest, many great words have been spoken about our Independence Day. It would be a sin to not reuse such words. Today I will borrow these words of the past by great patriots, including one local man our previous Sherriff BJ Barnes.

Fourth of July speeches, as John Adams predicted in 1776, tent to be “with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”

On the 4th of July President Donald Trump See More will deliver such a presidential address during the “Salute to America” celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, I hope the world listens.

Just 2 days later a number of brave men and women will face the hate of domestic terror groups such as Antifa in order to Demand Free Speech, I will be one of those individuals.

We do this because we believe in the Liberty granted to us by brave men who came before us.

Liberty does not consist, my fellow-citizens, in mere general declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action.

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence or attended with close comprehension to the real character of it when you have heard it read?

If you have, you will know that it is not a Fourth of July oration. The Declaration of Independence was a document preliminary to war. Those were grim days, the days of 1776. Those gentlemen did not attach their names to the Declaration of Independence expecting a holiday on the next day, and that 4th of July was not itself a holiday. They attached their signatures to that significant document knowing that if they failed it was certain that every one of them would hang for the failure. They were committing treason against England in the interest of the liberty of 3,000,000 people in America.

All the rest of the world was against them and gave cynical smiles at their audacious undertaking. Do you think that if they could see this great Nation now they would regret anything that they then did to draw the gaze of a hostile world upon them?

The most patriotic man, ladies and gentlemen, is sometimes the man who goes in the direction that he thinks right even when he sees half the world against him. It is the dictate of patriotism to sacrifice yourself if you think that that is the path of honor and of duty.

First President to go into North Korea. Yet some say it means nothing.

First President to bring China back in line by making them pay tariffs and bringing billions back to America, but some say it is not enough, he is putting us in danger.

Having meaningful talks with both our friends and our enemies making it clear he is putting his country before theirs, as it should be.

The best economy in the world, yet some give him no credit.

Best job growth for everyone, black, brown and white, yet some call him a racist.

Some have tried to bring false witness against him and when proven wrong, refuse to believe it.

Every idea must be started by somebody, and it is a lonely thing to start anything. Yet if it is in you, you must start it if you have a man’s blood in you and if you love the country that you profess to be working for.

Do not blame others if they do not agree with you. Do not die with bitterness in your heart because you did not convince the rest of the world, but die happy because you believe that you tried to serve your country by not selling your soul.

The task to which we have constantly to readdress ourselves is the task of proving that we are worthy of the men who drew this great declaration and know what they would have done in our circumstances. Patriotism consists in some very practical things—practical in that they belong to the life of every day, that they wear no extraordinary distinction about them, that they are connected with commonplace duty. The way to be patriotic in America is not only to love America but to love the duty that lies nearest to our hand and know that in performing it we are serving our country.

I’m proud to be an American and proud of my flag and my country. Which one are you, some or other. The world is becoming more complicated every day, my fellow-citizens. No man ought to be foolish enough to think that he understands it all. And, therefore, I am glad that there are some simple things in the world.

Before the coming 4th celebration, stage your own revolution.

Call your local board of elections and if you are a Democrat, change to a Republican or independent.

You can still, vote for whoever YOU want and should.

Your change may send the message these Antifa, Domestic Terrorist, Socialist-leaning groups.

Not in my America!

It’s simple to do and will be like dumping your own bale of tea into the Boston Harbor.

I leave you with this. God Bless America.

DemandFreeSpeech.org

Source

What is #Trump going to do about IRAN? The world is watching..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Investing in Slack? Here’s how much money the company has actually been making.
Apple, Black & Decker and Steve Madden among US companies moving production out of China. Here’s the full list.
Median age in US rises to 38: How it may impact health care, entitlements.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump to Nominate Satterfield Ambassador to Turkey

President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, to be U.S. ambassador to Turkey, the White House said on Friday.

Satterfield has been the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017. He has previously served as the deputy U.S. chief of mission in Iraq, ambassador to Lebanon, director for Near Eastern affairs on the National Security Council, as well as in Syria, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority NATO ally, borders Syria, Iraq and Iran and is a major player in the region.

The conflict in Syria following Trump's announcement of a U.S. pullout, the fallout from the murder of a Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkey's demand for the extradition of a Muslim cleric from the United States are among the main issues in the two countries' relations.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Trump's decision in December to withdraw American troops from Syria. Washington has backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters while Turkey brands the group a terrorist organization.

Erdogan said in November Turkey would not abide by renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries because they were aimed at "unbalancing the world."

Trump and Erdogan have also taken different tacks in their response to the Oct. 2 killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite a CIA assessment it was likely the prince had ordered the killing. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Trump said in November that he was not considering extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup.

Source: NewsMax Politics

2020 Dems hit early voting states; Weld explores GOP bid

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

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

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

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

___

GILLIBRAND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

HARRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

WELD

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Fox News National

Trump Says Japan's PM Nominated Him for Nobel Peace Prize

President Donald Trump said Friday that Japan's prime minister had nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize for opening a dialogue with North Korea.

Trump also complained about President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize and doubted he would be similarly honored.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize," Trump said at a White House news conference when asked about his late February summit in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "He said, 'I have nominated you, respectfully, on behalf of Japan. I am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize.'"

The Associated Press could not immediately confirm Trump's claim.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it was aware of Trump's remark but cannot comment on details of the exchanges between Trump and Abe.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who also has credited Trump with starting negotiations with the reclusive North, has endorsed the U.S. leader for the Nobel Peace Prize as well.

Trump said early exchanges with Kim were filled with "fire and fury," but that the two have established a good relationship since their first meeting last year in Singapore. He said claimed Abe nominated him because he was worried about North Korea conducting missile tests over Japan.

Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his first year in office, for laying out the U.S. commitment to "seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

Trump complained Friday that Obama was there "for about 15 seconds" before he was awarded the prize.

"I'll probably never get it, but that's OK," Trump said. "They gave it to Obama. He didn't even know what he got it for."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Picks Former Alabama Official to Lead FEMA

President Donald Trump says he will nominate a former Alabama official to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jeffrey Byard held several positions with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency before he joined FEMA in 2017 during the agency's response to Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. Byard is currently the associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery.

If confirmed by the Senate, Byard would succeed Brock Long, who resigned this week after a two-year tenure in which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes. Long was also dogged by questions about his use of government vehicles to and from his North Carolina home.

Long said he wants to spend more time with his family. His last day is March 8.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Trump Picks Former Alabama Official to Lead FEMA

President Donald Trump says he will nominate a former Alabama official to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jeffrey Byard held several positions with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency before he joined FEMA in 2017 during the agency's response to Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. Byard is currently the associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery.

If confirmed by the Senate, Byard would succeed Brock Long, who resigned this week after a two-year tenure in which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes. Long was also dogged by questions about his use of government vehicles to and from his North Carolina home.

Long said he wants to spend more time with his family. His last day is March 8.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Graham: US should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says the response by the United States to China detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive has not been strong enough.

Graham also told Munich Security Conference delegates Friday the international reaction to China’s arrest of ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor hasn’t been enough to persuade China that its apparent use of hostage diplomacy won’t be tolerated.

Graham says President Donald Trump "has been tough on China but this is one area where I think we need to make a more definitive statement, because the two people arrested in China had nothing to do with the rule of law. It was just grabbing two Canadians."

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland mouthed the words "thank you" to Graham.

Source: Fox News World

Graham: US should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says the response by the United States to China detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive has not been strong enough.

Graham also told Munich Security Conference delegates Friday the international reaction to China’s arrest of ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor hasn’t been enough to persuade China that its apparent use of hostage diplomacy won’t be tolerated.

Graham says President Donald Trump "has been tough on China but this is one area where I think we need to make a more definitive statement, because the two people arrested in China had nothing to do with the rule of law. It was just grabbing two Canadians."

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland mouthed the words "thank you" to Graham.

Source: Fox News World

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

National Emergencies not unprecedented

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:32 PM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

The first declaration under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 came during the Iran hostage crisis, which is a national emergency that is still active today. Former President Jimmy Carter blocked Iranian government property from entering the country, a move which has been renewed each year by all presidents since then.

“The steps I’ve taken today are those that are necessary now, other action may become necessary if these steps don’t produce the prompt release of the hostages,” President Carter stated the day he declared it.

President Trump has already issued three national emergency declarations during his tenure. The most prominent one is meant to punish foreign actors who interfere in U.S. elections. He’s also invoked his emergency powers to slap sanctions of human rights abusers around the world as well as on members of the Nicaraguan government amid corruption charges.

In his eight years office, former President Barack Obama declared 12 states of national emergency. These declarations touched on subjects from the H1N1 virus and blocking property transfers to people with connections to certain countries. Nearly all of his national emergencies are still active today.

Before that, former President George W. Bush declared 13 emergencies and former President Clinton declared 17 national emergencies, most of which are still active today.

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In President Trump’s case, there’s two statutes that come to mind which allow the redirection of military construction funds. Questions remain as to whether building a border wall is actually a military construction project or whether the president can declare eminent domain over private property. However, even Democrat lawmakers have said he does, indeed, have the power to do so.

“Well unfortunately, the short answer is yeah, there is a provision in law that says the president can declare an emergency, its been done a number of times, but primarily its been done to build facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq,” stated Representative Adam Smith.

The problem for Democrats is many legal scholars aren’t sure who, if anyone, would have the legal standing to challenge such a declaration with a lawsuit.

Source: OANN Top News

Trump declares national emergency, avoids shutdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Fox News Politics

Trump declares national emergency, avoids shutdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Fox News Politics

President Trump declares a National Emergency at the southern border because of “invasion”

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:56 AM PT — Friday, February 15, 2019

President Trump said the U.S. is confronting a crisis at home, while declaring a national emergency over the issues at the border.

During a speech at the White House Friday, the president said the U.S. must handle what he described as the national security crisis at our southern border. He said he isn’t taking the action to fulfill a campaign promise, but rather because the country needs it.

The president said there’s an invasion of drugs, gangs and people coming into our country, and by signing the national emergency he is doing his part to try and stop it.

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

“We’re talking about an invasion of our country, with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs,” explained President Trump.

Democrat leadership responded to the declaration by calling it unlawful. The president indicated it’ll likely get challenged in court, but he said he’s dealt with that before.

Source: OANN Top News

Trump Gains Weight, Now Considered Obese

President Donald Trump has put on some pounds and is now officially considered obese.

The White House on Thursday released results of his most recent physical, revealing that his Body Mass Index is now 30.4. That's based on the fact that he's now carrying 243 pounds on his 6-foot, 3-inch frame. People with an index rating above 30 are considered obese.

Dr. Sean Conley, the president's physician, said the 72-year-old president "remains in very good health overall."

He gained four pounds from last year. His resting heart rate is 70 beats a minute and his blood pressure reading was 118 over 80, well within the normal range.

Conley said routine lab tests were performed and Trump's liver, kidney and thyroid functions are all normal as were his electrolytes and blood counts. An electrocardiogram, a test that measures electrical activity generated by the heart as it beats, remained unchanged from last year.

Trump went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last week for his second periodic physical, which lasted about four hours. During his exam, he received a flu shot and an inoculation to help prevent shingles, a viral infection that causes a painful rash.

"I performed and supervised the evaluation with a panel of 11 different board-certified specialists," Conley wrote in a memorandum to the White House. "He did not undergo any procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia."

Source: NewsMax America

Trump Tells California to Return $3.5B for High-Speed Rail Line

President Donald Trump wants the $3.5 billion back from California for the high-speed rail line project that would have connected major cities in the north and south of the state following California Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement he was scaling back the plan, Politico reports.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted that California officials "owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now."

California started construction on the line in 2015, a project backed by $10 billion from the state and $2.5 billion from the federal government. It was most recently projected to cost $77 billion.

Newsom did not officially cancel the project but said it would "cost too much and take too long" as currently planned.

"There simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A.," Mr. Newsom said. "I wish there were."

California could be forced to give the money back to the federal government if it misses Central Valley construction by a December 2022 deadline, according to Politico.

Source: NewsMax America

Trump Tells California to Return $3.5B for High-Speed Rail Line

President Donald Trump wants the $3.5 billion back from California for the high-speed rail line project that would have connected major cities in the north and south of the state following California Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement he was scaling back the plan, Politico reports.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted that California officials "owe the Federal Government three and a half billion dollars. We want that money back now."

California started construction on the line in 2015, a project backed by $10 billion from the state and $2.5 billion from the federal government. It was most recently projected to cost $77 billion.

Newsom did not officially cancel the project but said it would "cost too much and take too long" as currently planned.

"There simply isn't a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A.," Mr. Newsom said. "I wish there were."

California could be forced to give the money back to the federal government if it misses Central Valley construction by a December 2022 deadline, according to Politico.

Source: NewsMax America

2019: The Diversity of @CPAC in The Age of #TRUMP & #MAGA CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) is an annual conference/celebration event that is an essential part of the right leaning person’s celebration of their political leanings. One of the greatest facts is that CPAC is an event that keeps growing, with attendance topping the […]

HOLD ON TO YOUR #MAGA HAT ITS GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE JEFF SESSIONS IS FIRED – HOUSE UNDER DEMOCRATIC CONTROL ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN Lots of changes after this years Midterms, and we all know that its going to be a bumpy ride… Lots of Wins and Losses (including mine as I was running […]

Jack’s Twitter Claims the Right is NOT being #ShadowBanned … Do you Believe That? by Peter Boykin @PeterBoykin How can Twitter claim to have First Amendment rights, while also hiding behind Section 230 of our legal codes?   Section 230 says this “no provider or user of interactive computer service shall be treated as the […]

Hurry tickets are selling out fast, we only have a few left. In LA we have scheduled a pre-prescreening dinner (not covered by tickets) at the Greek Restaurant nearby – we have a room reserved for the VIPs only. Trump Lady will entertain us, independent Joy Villa and Ricky Rebel (formerly with No Authority), Omar Navarro, and other special VIPs are attending. Please […]

Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘Death of A Nation’ A Historic Documentary of American History By: Chrissy Piccolo Dinesh D’Souza is one of the most prolific authors, writer, political intellect and filmmaker of our time.  As the debate regarding Immigration continues to fester with critics hell bent on fanning the flames against our country and President, D’Souza is […]

People in very high places that we trust have lost their minds. Why, are people doing everything they can to find “Safe Spaces” for discussing the desire to have sex with toddlers?  Excuse me, but those thoughts should never be said out loud and anyone who acts on said thoughts, deserves to die. Newsweek reports, “An […]

Immigration is a tough topic that takes, compassion, precision, and honesty. With that being said it is time to shift the perception that liberals are trying to save immigrant children from “evil republicans” who want to throw them in cages and holocaust 2.0 the world. (Sarcasm) The reality is,  U.S Border control is reporting that […]


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