Pelosi insists Dems are united, even after Nadler makes new push towards impeachment

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Speaker Pelosi says she supports Nadler resolution on impeachment procedures

The Speaker of the House calls the resolution a continuation of what the democrats have been doing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exclusively assured Fox News on Monday evening that Democrats "all work together," even as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler made a major push towards impeachment proceedings that she has consistently resisted.

Pelosi's public show of unity belied a simmering fissure in the Democratic Party. At least 135 House members now support an impeachment inquiry — but many moderate Democrats in swing districts do not.

Nadler's panel announced earlier in the day that it would take up a procedures resolution on Thursday on rules that would govern rules for any impeachment hearings, as it works to determine whether to recommend formal impeachment proceedings. The committee said that the resolution was similar to procedural votes taken at the beginning of the impeachment investigations into Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Pelosi, meanwhile, was heckled last month in San Francisco for saying Democrats should focus on the 2020 elections, and not trying to take down the president in Congress.

TOP JUDICIARY CMTE REPUBLICAN SLAMS 'PITIFUL' NADLER IMPEACHMENT PUSH

"I think you should characterize it [the resolution] for what it is," Pelosi told Fox News. "It's a continuation of what we have been doing. You know, we all work together on these things."

Earlier Monday, Nadler told Fox News that he also felt that Pelosi's public hesitation on impeachment was unremarkable.

Rep. Nadler announces formal impeachment proceedings are underway Video

"The speaker has backed us at every point along the way," Nadler said.

Nadler also maintained that he wasn't worried that the public might become confused, and think actual impeachment proceedings have started — even as he openly called his efforts an "impeachment inquiry."

"It has been an impeachment inquiry and it continues to be," Nadler said. "What we are doing is clear. It has been very clear. It continues to be very clear."

Nadler added establishing procedural rules for impeachment "enables us to move more effectively and quickly.”

Republicans, however, were unsparing in their criticisms of Nadler throughout the day, and urged Democrats to focus on more practical issues like healthcare and trade.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, called Nadler's latest impeachment efforts "pitiful" on "Fox & Friends" Monday, and said their actions have compromised the mission and legitimacy of the House Judiciary Committee.

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"[Nadler] is trying to pull a fast one on the American people again. They know they don't have the votes to go for a full, formal impeachment inquiry," he said. "They want to continue to put a false narrative out there… It's really become a pitiful scene."

Collins added: "I just wish the chairman would be the chairman and let's work together, find those ways. We understand we're going to disagree. But quit going after the president."

Fox News' Kelly Phares, Chad Pergram and Joshua Nelson contributed to this report.

Original Article

For Congress, a new session of compressed chaos

closeHouse and Senate leaders under pressure as Congress returns to WashingtonVideo

House and Senate leaders under pressure as Congress returns to Washington

House Judiciary Committee considers formalizing its impeachment probe, as Mitch McConnell faces calls to take action on gun control; Kristin Fisher reports from Capitol Hill.

It was extraordinary that nee-Pittsburgh Steelers/Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown could condense so much chaos into a matter of a few weeks, let alone days.

Those calling this the “Antonio Brown saga” are wrong. It hasn’t gone on long enough to be a saga. It doesn’t matter whether Brown was recovering from frostbitten feet in France, scrapping with the league over the type of helmet he was permitted to wear or getting into a heated confrontation with Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock. Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden said late last week he expected Brown to play on Sunday. Then the Raiders planned to fine and suspend Brown. Oakland cut the All-Pro wideout Saturday morning. By nightfall, Brown signed, with of all teams, the New England Patriots.

The compressed chaos rocked the NFL.

But that’s nothing.

Congress regularly crams just as much mayhem into similar timeframes.

GUNS, IMPEACHMENT PUSH, BORDER WALL: WHAT'S IN STORE AS CONGRESS RETURNS FROM RECESS

The House and Senate are now back after a lengthy summer recess.

Consider what all will unfold on Capitol Hill in the coming days.

Democrats are ramping up efforts to push the Senate to vote on House-approved gun measures. The House will follow suit soon prepping additional firearms related legislation dealing with hate crimes and red flag laws. House Democrats are formalizing aspects of their impeachment inquiry. Impeachment will unquestionably dominate Washington as Democrats continue their rope-a-dope strategy with President Trump. The sides must forge an agreement to fund the government by Oct. 1.

The budget accord Congress approved earlier this summer could help avoid a shutdown. But the president’s repeated efforts to bypass Congress and redirect money tagged for other projects to his border wall ignited tempers on both sides. Lawmakers are very protective of their constitutional prerogatives when it comes to federal spending.

The reprogramming of federal funds is a flashpoint. Lawmakers may seek to restrict Mr. Trump from moving money around without their blessing in upcoming appropriations bills. Democrats could draw his ire as they wrestle with impeachment and investigations.

That is the wild card in all of this. Impeachment and inquiries could set the president off, making it hard to come to an accord on the spending bills.

“You know, a shutdown would help him with his base,” observed one House Republican.

TRUMP SAYS TALKS WITH TALIBAN ARE 'DEAD,' AFTER CANCELING SECRET CAMP DAVID SUMMIT

And, don’t forget how inflamed lawmakers are about President Trump inviting Taliban leaders to Camp David for peace talks on the eve of 9/11. The president canceled the conclave over the weekend and now says a deal is essentially dead. But members of both parties were incensed that an American president would even ask Taliban chiefs to visit U.S. soil.

In addition, lawmakers are sure to continue their questioning about stopovers by the U.S. Air Force in Scotland. And we haven’t even gotten down to Sharpie-gate. Members may find it hard to resist putting too fine a point on that imbroglio.

There is a special election for a House seat in North Carolina tomorrow night. Republican Dan Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready. The seat has been vacant since Jan. 3. Former Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., lost the primary last year. But due to election irregularities, the seat was never filled. Political observers bill a lot of special elections as bellwethers. Many are not.

But this one truly meets the bellwether bar. North Carolina is a swing state. This is a flippable district for Democrats. The outcome of the race could serve as one of the few federal, electoral metrics between now and next year’s primaries.

So much squished into such a short period of time.

That’s just how Congress always rolls. Congress stuffs all of its Washington activity into abbreviated workweeks. Usually late in the day Monday through early afternoon Thursday. It’s hard to see how things wouldn’t be anything but tumultuous.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., returned to the Capitol Monday for the first time after a fall at his home in August where he fractured his shoulder. The Kentucky Republican sported an elevated splint, propping up his left arm as he navigated a warren of reporters in the Ohio Clock Corridor, en route to the floor.

Read moreFor Congress, a new session of compressed chaos

Trump calls GOP challengers ‘laughingstock’ publicity seekers

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 9

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President Trump on Monday brushed off attempts by a trio of longshot primary challengers vying for the Republican Party presidential nomination as a "laughingstock" and a "publicity stunt."

Former South Carolina governor and congressman Mark Sanford became the third Republican to announce his intention to unseat Trump. Other challengers include former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois and William Meld, the former governor of Massachusetts.

“The three people are a total joke," Trump told reporters outside the White House. "They’re a joke. They’re a laughingstock."

FLASHBACK: SANFORD, MULLING GOP PRIMARY BID IN 2020, CONFESSES: 'I DON'T THINK ANYBODY'S GOING TO BEAT DONALD TRUMP'

In this July 21, 2018, file photo, Republican politician Mark Sanford speaks at OZY Fest in Central Park in New York. Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, has decided to launch a longshot Republican challenge to President Donald Trump. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

In this July 21, 2018, file photo, Republican politician Mark Sanford speaks at OZY Fest in Central Park in New York. Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, has decided to launch a longshot Republican challenge to President Donald Trump. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

He went on to mock their polling numbers before saying they had no credibility, Politico reported.

“I guess it’s a publicity stunt,” Trump said. “To be honest, I'm not looking to give them any credibility. They have no credibility.”

The three challengers already face an uphill battle. Over the weekend, Republicans in at least four states — Nevada, South Carolina, Kansas and Arizona — decided to abandon their presidential nomination contests.

"With no legitimate primary challenger and President Trump's record of results, the decision was made to save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million and forgo an unnecessary primary," South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a news release.

In a tweet last week, Weld blasted Trump amid reports the states were going to scrap its primaries and caucuses, saying Trump would rather be "crowned president than elected."

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Trump denied playing a part in the decision by GOP officials.

“The four states that canceled it don't want to waste their money. If there was a race, they would certainly want to do that, but they are considered to be a laughingstock,” Trump said on Monday, according to Politico.

Original Article

Records raise new questions about FBI’s Michael Flynn investigation

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Then-deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the White House in early February 2017 that the bureau was not considering then-national security adviser Michael Flynn for a potential Logan Act prosecution over conversations with the Russian ambassador before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, government records reviewed by Fox News indicate.

McCabe was referring to the rarely prosecuted 200-year-old statute that bars American citizens from engaging with a foreign government without authorization from the current U.S. government.

FLYNN LAWYER AT WAR WITH MUELLER TEAM, ACCUSING PROSECUTORS OF ‘MALEVOLENT CONDUCT’

The records also indicate that Flynn reported, on two separate occasions, in the days leading up to his White House firing that FBI agents had told him the bureau investigation was over or being closed out.

Both incidents raise questions over the underlying offense that formed the basis for the initial FBI and DOJ investigation into Flynn.

The retired general was later fired by the White House for misleading the vice president about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, during the transition before Trump was sworn in.

Should Andrew McCabe be criminally prosecuted? Video

Flynn was never charged with improperly communicating with Kislyak, but in December 2017 pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

On Tuesday, Flynn and his legal team are back in court after alleging that special counsel prosecutors withheld evidence. Fox News has reached out to McCabe’s legal team for comment.

Earlier this year, Flynn fired the legal team that negotiated his guilty plea.

In an Aug. 30 court filing, Flynn’s new lawyer, Sidney Powell, wrote, "The prosecutors in this case have repeatedly failed to produce Brady evidence despite…the clarity of this Court's Order… their ethical and constitutional obligations…specific requests for documents the prosecutors know are exculpatory, and… those requests being made multiple times."

Brady evidence refers to all exculpatory evidence prosecutors are obligated to turn over, as established in the Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland.

Powell has alleged that members of the special counsel team prosecuting the case under the direction of prosecutor Andrew Weissmann "affirmatively suppressed evidence (hiding Brady material) that destroyed the credibility of their primary witness, impugned their entire case against M. Flynn, while at the same time at the same time putting excruciating pressure on him to enter his guilty plea and manipulating or controlling the press to their advance to extort that plea."

The filing also highlights contact, reported by Fox News, between Weissmann and other senior Justice Department officials in the fall of 2016 before the presidential election, and nearly a year before Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel.

Powell, Flynn’s attorney, highlighted to the court that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr was a back channel to the FBI and shared the anti-Trump dossier with Justice Department officials who later joined the special counsel team.

Ohr gave a closed-door transcribed interview last August sharing details of his 2016 meetings with British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier later used to secure a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide. The interview was part of the Republican-led House Oversight and Judiciary Committee probes.

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In a series of questions about his meetings with Steele, including one on July 30, 2016, and who he shared the information with, Ohr referenced both McCabe and Weissmann.

A separate motion from Flynn’s legal team accused the prosecution of withholding the original FBI summary of Flynn's interview known as a 302.

The publicly released version of the 302 shows it was dated mid-February 2017 — almost three weeks after the interview took place.

The prosecutors have taken the position that they gave Flynn's original legal team the relevant records, and in December 2017, Flynn accepted responsibility for his actions under oath.

Original Article

Trump tweets dramatic photo of lightning strike behind Air Force One: ‘Amazing!’

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President Trump hosts a Keep America Great rally

The president speaks to supporters in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

President Trump on Monday tweeted a dramatic photo of a lightning strike behind Air Force One shortly before arriving for a campaign rally in North Carolina.

“Departing MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina for Fayetteville, North Carolina. This is amazing!” the president tweeted.

The photo was first tweeted by CNN politics supervising producer Steve Brusk, who noted that Trump “had to cancel his planned tour of Hurricane Dorian damage because of thunderstorms in Fayetteville, NC.”

“This was a lightning strike behind Air Force One shortly after he arrived.” Brusk wrote.

TRUMP HOSTS RALLY IN NORTH CAROLINA AHEAD OF PIVOTAL HOUSE SPECIAL ELECTION

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The president's visit to North Carolina comes three days after Hurricane Dorian made landfall there, with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph. Days earlier it lashed the Bahamas as a Category 5 monster hurricane.

Original Article

Outed agent Valerie Plame shows off ‘CIA driving’ in campaign launch video critics call misleading

close Valerie Plame bashed for retweeting anti-Semitic article Video

Valerie Plame bashed for retweeting anti-Semitic article

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz sounds off on controversy on 'Fox & Friends'

Valerie Plame, the former intelligence operative who rose to prominence when her identity was outed during President George W. Bush's administration, showed off what she called her CIA-taught driving skills in a splashy launch video for her newly announced congressional candidacy on Monday.

"Yes, the CIA really does teach us how to drive like this," Plame, a Democrat, claims in the video, after driving a Camaro muscle car in reverse for several seconds before executing a sharp turn on a dirt road, exiting the car, and strutting confidently towards the camera.

Plame also boasts: "You name a hot spot? I lived it," as images of Iraq, Syria, North Korea and Iran flash on the screen. "I come from Ukrainian Jewish immigrants," Plame says later on, seemingly to rebut previous accusations that she intentionally posted anti-Semitic content on Twitter.

There were just a few problems, observers said — and they could dog Plame's Democratic bid for a contested open House seat in northern New Mexico currently held by exiting Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.

The former operative was never stationed in Iran or North Korea, for example. And her recounting of what became known as "PlameGate" was missing some seemingly key details.

"Dick Cheney’s chief of staff took revenge against my husband and leaked my identity," Plame states. "His name? Scooter Libby. Guess who pardoned him last year?”

However, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said in 2006 that he was the one who revealed Plame's identity to journalist Robert Novak, not Libby. Plame alleged that the leak came because Bush officials wanted to punish her husband, former diplomat Joe Wilson, for opposing the Iraq War.

DERSHOWITZ: PLAME KNEW EXACTLY WHAT SHE WAS TWEETING

"Dear Valerie Plame: Scooter Libby didn’t reveal your identity, Richard Armitage did," Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union and a Fox News contributor, said on Twitter. "Starting your campaign w this inaccuracy is, well, revealing."

Schlapp added: "Scooter went to prison [because] Republicans always agree to special counsels who never prosecute the wrongdoing but do set perjury traps. Democrat administrations are smarter."

Scooter Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, mingles before a ceremony to unveil a marble bust of Cheney in the Capitol in 2015. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan - GF20000084054

Scooter Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, mingles before a ceremony to unveil a marble bust of Cheney in the Capitol in 2015. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan – GF20000084054

Bush commuted Libby's sentence after he was convicted of lying to investigations and obstructing justice in the matter, and Trump removed that conviction from his record through a pardon.

Plame's video also reportedly aroused the ire of CIA officials by allegedly overhyping her credentials. Journalist Yashar Ali noted that former Plame colleagues on Twitter were complaining that her "launch spot trivializes the work they do and turns it into a James Bond ad rather than conducting serious/important clandestine operations and offering critical analysis to policymakers."

Plame is no stranger to well-orchestrated stunts — at one point raising nearly $90,000 on a crowdsourcing site to buy a stake in Twitter in hopes of banning the president from the social media platform.

She is also no stranger to controversy, and in 2017, faced a torrent of criticism retweeting, and praising several anti-Semitic articles. For example, Plame retweeted an Unz Review article titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars," and called it "very, very provocative, but thoughtful."

The Unz Review website was founded by former California GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz, who has said that the "standard Holocaust narrative is at least substantially false, and quite possibly, almost entirely so."

"The retweeted article by Phillip Giraldi itself contains the usual anti-Semitic tropes: Jews are guilty of dual loyalty; they control politicians, the media and entertainment; they want the U.S. to fight wars for the country to which they have real allegiance – Israel; they are dangerous to America. Giraldi has been pushing this garbage for years and Plame is one of his fans," Alan Dershowitz wrote for FoxNews.com at the time.

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Dershowitz added: "For Plame to claim that she was unaware of the anti-Semitic content of Giraldi’s article is to ignore reality. Plame had to be aware, since she was aware of Giraldi’s bigotry. Her apologies ring hollow."

Despite Plame's apparent effort to defuse the controversy by reminding viewers of her Jewish relatives in her campaign advertisement, commentators honed in on the issue Monday evening. CNN anchor Jake Tapper posted a "flashback" image showing a screenshot of 2017 of Plame's effort to buy Twitter to evict Trump — as well as her retweet of the anti-Semitic article.

Plame, amid the backlash in 2017, apologized and resigned from the board of the Ploughshares Fund, which provides grants for projects aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

Read moreOuted agent Valerie Plame shows off ‘CIA driving’ in campaign launch video critics call misleading

CBP leader insists border agency did not violate law over migrant detainee DNA

close Government watchdog claims DNA lapse by CBP allowed violent migrants to elude detection Video

Government watchdog claims DNA lapse by CBP allowed violent migrants to elude detection

The independent Office of Special Counsel says the CBP failed to implement a DNA screening program for illegal migrants, violating the law for a decade and compromising public safety; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports.

The leader of the Department of Homeland Security’s border agency insisted Monday that the agency did not break the law, even though an independent government watchdog recently found that it is in violation of federal law for failing to collect DNA from those in its custody.

"I want to clarify one of the false narratives out there that DHS — because this really is a DHS issue — has violated some law by not doing this,” Acting Customs and Border Protection Commission Mark Morgan said when pressed by Fox News at a White House briefing Monday. “And that’s just factually inaccurate.”

Morgan added: “There’s no violation of law.”

WATCHDOG ALERTS TRUMP THAT BORDER AGENCY VIOLATED DNA COLLECTION LAW FOR YEARS

In August, the Office of Special Counsel sided with three CBP whistleblowers, first profiled by Fox News, who said the border agency failed to collect DNA and run it against an FBI database for violent crimes. The goal: to identify individuals whose DNA links them to open cases — including rape, even murder.

Federal investigators rejected CBP's argument that an Obama administration waiver was valid — based on resource limitations — a decade after the fact. Morgan cited that waiver Monday.

“So, the Attorney General has stipulated there’s a waiver, and he’s allowed the Secretary of DHS to decide whether they want to apply that waiver,” Morgan said. “And this was done under former Secretary Napolitano for a whole host of what I think are legitimate operational concerns and budgetary issues of why they granted that waiver.”

In a harshly worded report last, the Office of Special Counsel said the border agency put lives at risk, and had failed to fulfill its law enforcement responsibilities.

"CBP's noncompliance with the law has allowed criminal detainees to walk free," Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner wrote. "Given the significant public safety and law enforcement implications at issue, I urge CBP to immediately reconsider its position and initiate DNA collection from criminal detainees."

Border agency violated DNA collection law for years under Obama-era waiver Video

On Monday, at a briefing related to border security, Morgan said “we need to take a look at this” but said there was no definite timetable to move forward.

“So, we don’t have a time because there’s a lot that goes into that,” Morgan said, adding multiple agencies are involved, and DHS need to figure out "the most appropriate" way to proceed.

CBP REBUKED BY WATCHDOG, WHISTLEBLOWERS FOR 'FAILURE' TO COLLECT DNA FROM MIGRANT DETAINEES

He added: “We’re going to do this in a very meaningful, thoughtful way. And when we’re ready to actually execute it effectively, then that’s when we’ll do it.”

This comes after Fox News recently obtained an internal memo, sent less than 24 hours after the Special Counsel findings were public, that showed mixed messages about the border agency’s willingness to accept the findings — as well as future compliance with the 2005 federal law.

On August 21st, the federal government’s Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to President Trump and Congress saying that the CBP had been in violation of federal law for nearly a decade by failing to collect DNA from illegal migrants and running it against an FBI violent crimes database.

That same day, Aug. 21, the Department of Homeland Security responded to Fox News by suggesting changes were in the works, saying they are “working closely with the Department of Justice on a path forward for DNA collection.”

But an internal DHS memo – sent within minutes of the DHS public statement – appeared to challenge the Office of Special Counsel findings and raised questions over the department's future compliance.

The one-page internal memo from a CBP spokesperson to the public affairs shop and other officials for "principals out doing media" outlines five "high-line talking points" that were "cleared by CBP Counsel."

“The bottom line is that we – the U.S. government – are doing DNA testing,” the talking points state. “When CBP makes a criminal referral, meaning an alien with a warrant or someone who has committed a crime in front of us, we turn them over to ICE or the U.S. Marshals, and those entities do DNA collection.”

It continued: “So we believe the government is doing DNA testing on the right people.”

Government watchdog says CBP violated its DNA collection law for years Video

The internal memo talking points conflicted with the Office of Special Counsel report, which found CBP's "noncompliance with the law has allowed subjects subsequently accused of violent crimes, including homicide and sexual assault, to elude detection even when detained multiple times by CBP or Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE]."

Read moreCBP leader insists border agency did not violate law over migrant detainee DNA

Trump calls for end to GOP committee chair term limits

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President Trump called for an end to term limits for congressional Republican committee chairs on Monday, a move possibly prompted by a wave of GOP retirements.

“House Republicans should allow Chairs of Committees to remain for longer than 6 years. It forces great people, and real leaders, to leave after serving,” Trump tweeted. “The Dems have unlimited terms. While that has its own problems, it is a better way to go. Fewer people, in the end, will leave!”

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers have announced intentions not to seek reelection next year, opening up a slew of races that Democrats hope to capitalize on to extend their majority in the House.

The six-year limit for GOP committee chairs was created in 1994 as a way to bring in fresh leadership into the party's top ranks, USA Today reported.

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Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas., and former House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah., — now ranking members in their respective committees — announced in July they would not seek reelection.

The paper reported Trump has supported electoral term limits. In 2018, he tweeted that he was giving lawmakers "my full support and endorsement" on the matter.

Original Article

Texas leads charge against Google in massive antitrust probe

close Potential Big Tech break up in focus amid reports about antitrust probe of Google Video

Potential Big Tech break up in focus amid reports about antitrust probe of Google

Sources say the Department of Justice is ramping up its probe of claims that Google violated antitrust laws; reaction from former prosecutor John Pavia.

Less than two months after the Justice Department initiated a wide-ranging antitrust review of big tech companies, 50 U.S. states and territories, led by Texas, Monday announced their own investigation into Google's "potential monopolistic behavior."

The announcement closely followed one from a separate group of states Friday that disclosed an investigation into Facebook's market dominance. The two probes widen the antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies beyond sweeping federal and congressional investigations and enforcement action by European regulators.

A key issue in the states' probe is whether Google abuses its market dominance in online search, advertising, and mobile operating systems to unfairly gain leverage in other markets, stifling innovation and harming consumers. Although anti-conservative bias among Google's leadership has been documented and frequently draws the ire of top Republicans, the antitrust probes do not expressly relate to those concerns.

CALIFORNIA GOP REP SUES TWITTER FOR MILLIONS, ALLEGING ANTI-CONSERVATIVE 'SHADOW BANS'

At the same time, President Trump tweeted ominously last month after meeting Google CEO Sundar Pichai in the Oval Office: “We are watching Google very closely!”

The president's comment came after an individual whom Google called a "disgruntled former employee" alleged that the company was working to ensure Trump does not win re-election.

FILE - In this May 1, 2019, file photo a man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco. A group of states are expected to announce an investigation into Google on Monday, Sept. 9, to investigate whether the tech company has become too big. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE – In this May 1, 2019, file photo a man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco. A group of states are expected to announce an investigation into Google on Monday, Sept. 9, to investigate whether the tech company has become too big. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Nebraska attorney general Doug Peterson, a Republican, said at a press conference held in Washington that 50 attorneys general joining together sends a "strong message to Google." The news conference featured a dozen Republican attorneys general plus the Democratic attorney general of Washington, D.C.

California and Alabama are not part of the investigation, although it does include the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Tara Gallegos, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, declined to confirm or deny any state investigation and would not comment on the announcement by the other states.

Both sides of the political aisle have targeted Google and other large tech companies in recent weeks. Several 2020 presidential candidates, most prominently Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have called for the tech giants to be broken up for alleged anticompetitive behavior — the most extreme remedy available under the Sherman Antitrust Act.

YOUTUBE REMOVED 100,000 VIDEOS AND 17,000 CHANNELS IN MAJOR 'HATE SPEECH' CRACKDOWN

AT&T and Standard Oil are among the most notable instances of companies being broken up by antitrust law. Perhaps the closest comparison to any attempt to split up Google would be the 2000 effort to break up Microsoft into two companies: one producing the Windows operating system, and the other producing software.

That remedy was approved by a trial judge but later overturned on appeal in favor of other sanctions, as experts argued that the operating system and software could not meaningfully be separated without undermining the quality of both products. Others pointed out that competitors could flourish — and point to Apple's rise as vindication.

Regulators could focus on Google's popular video site YouTube, an acquisition Google scored in 2006, as a possible entity to spin off.

"People's whole internet experience is mediated through Google's home page and Google's other products."

— Jen King, the director of privacy at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society.

"Google's services help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country," a Google spokesperson told Fox News in an emailed statement last week. "We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector."

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls so many facets of the internet that it's fairly impossible to surf the web for long without running into at least one of its services. Google's dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

HUNDREDS OF GOOGLE EMPLOYEES SAY THEY REFUSE TO WORK WITH IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS ON CLOUD-COMPUTING WORK

Google said it expects the state authorities will ask the company about past similar investigations in the U.S. and internationally, senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker wrote in a blog post Friday.

Critics often point to Google's 2007 acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick as pivotal to its advertising dominance.

Europe's antitrust regulators slapped Google with a $1.7 billion fine in March for unfairly inserting exclusivity clauses into contracts with advertisers, disadvantaging rivals in the online ad business.

Read moreTexas leads charge against Google in massive antitrust probe

Trump says talks with Taliban are ‘dead,’ after canceling secret Camp David summit

close New Taliban threats after President Trump cancels talks Video

New Taliban threats after President Trump cancels talks

Trump cancels secret peace talks at Camp David after the Taliban admitted to a deadly car bombing that killed an American soldier in Kabul; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

President Trump declared Monday that peace talks between the United States and the Taliban over the war in Afghanistan are “dead,” after canceling secret plans over the weekend for a Camp David summit.

"They're dead. They're dead. As far as I'm concerned, they're dead," he said.

The president made the comments to reporters as he departed the White House to board Marine One.

PEACE TALKS WITH AFGHANS, TALIBAN CALLED OFF AFTER TRUMP CANCELS SECRET MEETING

Over the weekend, the president said he had intended to hold a secret meeting Sunday with Taliban representatives at Camp David, but called it off due to the Taliban’s role in a deadly bombing in Kabul last week that resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier.

“They thought they had to kill people in order to put them in a little better negotiating position,” Trump said Monday. He added: “You can’t do that. You can’t do that with me.”

Trump's tweet was surprising because it would mean that the president was ready to host members of the Taliban at the presidential retreat in Maryland just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. More than 2,400 U.S. troops have been killed since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to go after the Taliban, which were harboring Al Qaeda leaders responsible for 9/11.

Trump defended his intention to host the Taliban at Camp David: “There have been plenty of so-called bad people brought up to Camp David for meetings. The alternative was the White House and you wouldn’t have been happy with that either.”

Secretary Pompeo on disaster relief in Bahamas, peace talks with the Taliban, containing Iran threat Video

Trump wants to start withdrawing thousands of the remaining 13,000 to 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan and eventually end U.S. involvement in the conflict that is closing in on 18 years.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration's diplomat talking to the Taliban leaders for months, has said recently that he was on the "threshold" of an agreement with the Taliban aimed at ending America's longest war. The president, however, has been under pressure from the Afghan government and some lawmakers, including Trump supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who mistrust the Taliban and think it's too early to withdraw American forces.

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On Thursday, a Taliban car bomb exploded and killed an American soldier, a Romanian service member and 10 civilians in a busy diplomatic area near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The bombing was one of many attacks by the Taliban in recent days during U.S.-Taliban talks.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this Sunday the Taliban “overreached” and showed that they cannot be trusted to move forward with a peace process at this point in time.

“What they did here was they tried to use terror to improve their negotiating position,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Border apprehensions plunge as Trump administration hails Mexico pact

close US Border Patrol arrests continue to drop in August Video

US Border Patrol arrests continue to drop in August

Does this mean President Trump's policies are working? National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd weighs in.

Immigration officials apprehended just over 64,000 migrants at the southern border in August – a dramatic drop that the Trump administration is presenting as a sign its diplomatic engagement with Mexico and other countries is having positive effects on the ground.

The 64,006 migrants apprehended or deemed inadmissible represents a 22 percent drop from July, when 82,055 were apprehended, and a 56 percent drop from the peak of the crisis in May, when more than 144,000 migrants were caught or deemed inadmissible. While the numbers typically drop in the summer, the plummet is steeper than typical seasonal declines.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND DETAILS ON DEMS' MYSTERIOUS TRIPS TO MEXICO

Meanwhile, the number of caravans has also dropped. In May, 48 caravans of migrants were recorded coming to the U.S. In August, the tally was six. Border Patrol now has fewer than 5,000 migrants in custody, down from 19,000 at the peak in the spring.

The Trump administration says that while the numbers are still at crisis level, the numbers show the extent to which Trump policies — such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that keep migrants in Mexico as their asylum cases are heard — are working and that countries south of the border are taking action to stop the flows in response to pressure from the U.S.

“That international effort is making an impact. Mexican operational interdiction is certainly [the] highlight of that effort, but the shared responsibility we’re seeing in the region, governments stepping up and saying we also own this,” Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Fox News on Monday.

A senior administration official also said "the tariff threat with Mexico changed the dynamic significantly with our partners."

Three GOP senators criticize diverting Pentagon money to border wall Video

Trump announced in May that he intended to impose tariffs on Mexico if it did not help the U.S. combat the migration crisis. Trump ultimately suspended the tariffs days before after a deal was reached that included Mexico taking “unprecedented steps” to boost enforcement, including deploying its National Guard, while the MPP, known informally as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, was expanded.

Mexico has now been giving those migrants a permit to remain, work authorizations and social security and providing free transportation to anyone who wants to return to their home countries.

A senior administration official pointed to engagement with countries in Central America and agreements made with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador on issues such as human smuggling – the main countries sending migrants to the U.S. The official said that Honduras has so far more than doubled its border force after the U.S. requested they triple it.

Meanwhile at home, the U.S. is pushing through a change to the Flores court settlement which limits how long minors can be kept in custody, as well as a rule (currently facing court challenges) that says that migrants cannot claim asylum if they have passed through other safe countries. It is also eyeing expanding DNA tests on migrants claiming to be family units.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Now, the official said, instead of releasing almost all family units into the U.S., the majority of families are being kept in Mexico or being returned home.

But the numbers are still higher than August last year. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan called the work being done by the administration a “game changer” but warned that Congress needs to act in order for that work to be sustained.

“For this to be a durable, lasting positive impact to address this crisis, Congress has to act," he told reporters at a briefing Monday. "It has to pass meaningful legislation that we’ve been telling them for a long time they need to do to effectively address the loopholes in our current legal framework.”

However, with House Democrats increasingly taking liberal positions on illegal immigration issues, fueled by 2020 candidates who have been embracing policies such as closing detention centers and giving health care to illegal immigrants, the future of congressional action is unclear.

Original Article

California federal judge reimposes nationwide ban on Trump asylum policy, defying appeals court

close Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 9 Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 9

Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 9 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

A federal judge in California has defied an appeals court in reinstating a nationwide injunction over the Trump administration’s ban on asylum for anyone trying to cross the southern border by transiting through a third country, such as Mexico.

The injunction blocks enforcement of the policy across the four states along the U.S.-Mexico border.

TRUMP BLASTS ‘TOTALLY ILLEGAL’ DACA ORDER, SAYS OBAMA DIDN’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO SIGN IT

The order follows a federal appeals court decision last month narrowing the scope of that injunction to just California and Arizona. The ACLU and other groups then went back to the district court seeking to have the nationwide injunction reimposed, which the district court now has done.

A look at President Trump's impact on the federal judiciary Video

“While nationwide injunctions are not the ‘general rule,’ they are appropriate ‘where such breadth [is] necessary to remedy a plaintiff’s harm,’” U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar wrote. “This is such a case. Accordingly, and for the reasons set forth above, the Court grants the [immigrant rights] Organizations’ motion to restore the nationwide scope of the injunction.”

The Trump administration in July announced the sweeping new policy tightening restrictions for asylum seekers. The new rule requires most migrants entering through America’s southern border to first seek asylum in one of the countries they traversed – whether in Mexico, in Central America, or elsewhere on their journey. In most cases, only if that application is denied would they then be able to seek asylum in the United States.

Monday's ruling is another defeat for the administration on its asylum policies, and a win for immigrant rights groups.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The ACLU’s Lee Gelernt celebrated the order Monday, saying, “The court recognized there is grave danger facing asylum-seekers along the entire stretch of the southern border.”

The Supreme Court is also considering an emergency appeal in the same case, over whether an injunction should be imposed until the issue is fully litigated. An order from the high court is due at any time.

Original Article

Trump probes rocket to front of Dem agenda, as president dismisses new ethics complaints

close Democrats chart path to impeachment as Congress returns from break Video

Democrats chart path to impeachment as Congress returns from break

Impeachment looms over House fall agenda; Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese and Democratic strategist Zach Friend weigh in.

House Democrats are accelerating and expanding their Trump-focused investigations as they return from summer recess, as President Trump rejects the latest round of ethics complaints and his allies warn that the ever-multiplying probes could derail the Democrats' legislative agenda.

In the latest major development, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., announced a vote for later this week that will essentially formalize the early stages of impeachment proceedings following weeks of confusion. A committee vote is scheduled for Thursday to set the rules for future hearings in its investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president.

DOUG COLLINS CALLS HOUSE DEMS 'PITIFUL' FOR IMPEACHMENT PUSH

“The unprecedented corruption, coverup, and crimes by the President are under investigation by the Committee as we determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment or other Article 1 remedies,” Nadler said in a statement Monday. “The adoption of these additional procedures is the next step in the process that will help ensure our impeachment hearings are informative to Congress and the public, while providing the President with the ability to respond to evidence presented against him.”

He added: “We will not allow Trump’s continued obstruction to stop us from delivering the truth to the American people.”

The new procedures would empower Nadler to hold full or subcommittee hearings as part of the impeachment investigation. Nadler also announced that the committee will hold a hearing for former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski—whom they subpoenaed last month—on Sept. 17.

Republicans panned the new efforts as yet another bid to go after Trump, after hearings starring witnesses ranging from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen failed to deliver a political deathblow.

Rep. Jordan: Democrats pushing 'ridiculous' impeachment probe at cost of American people Video

“That doesn’t stop them,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Monday. “They’re going to continue to push this ridiculous impeachment narrative.”

Jordan also suggested that Democrats should call Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who has been looking into the origins of the Russia investigation and potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), while suggesting that Democrats are not focused on their legislative agenda.

“They’re so focused on impeachment, they’re missing, I think, the important things,” Jordan said.

The focus on an array of Trump investigations threatens to overshadow the Democratic agenda, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to focus on policy items like gun control and prescription drug prices. Last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., sent a memo outlining the agenda for the party this fall — including votes on bills to block offshore drilling, to boost funding for the National Flood Insurance Program, and more.

Pelosi, D-Calif., has been cool to the idea of impeachment all along, amid concerns that the focus could hurt some members politically. Pelosi has suggested the public generally does not support impeachment, and many moderate Democrats have also distanced themselves from the process, saying there is no chance of obtaining a two-thirds vote in the Republican-controlled Senate necessary to convict and remove Trump from office.

“I’ve been traveling all of August,” Rep. Henry Cueller, D-Texas, said last week. “This is not an issue people bring up. I think a lot of people would rather just vote him out, vote the president out.”

HOUSE DEMS INVESTIGATE PENCE STAY AT TRUMP'S DOONBEG RESORT

And 2020 presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said in an interview that impeachment proceedings would “tear our country apart.”

The issue of impeachment has not been a top priority for voters. In June, a Fox News poll showed that most Americans didn’t think impeachment was in the president’s future and did not want him impeached and removed from office.

Last month, though, a Fox News poll showed growing public support on another hot-button issue: gun control. Bipartisan majorities of voters have favored background checks on gun buyers and taking guns from people who have posed dangers to themselves or others, the poll found.

Democrats have said a top priority this session would be to seek a Senate vote on what they called “the much-needed, House-passed Bipartisan Background Checks Act.” That bill was passed by the House in February and would require background checks on all gun sales, including those between strangers meeting online or at gun shows.

Currently, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been employed for sales involving licensed firearms dealers, constituting the majority of all firearm sales.

But the impeachment and investigation agenda threatens to soon be all-consuming.

More than half of the 235 House Democrats support launching a formal impeachment inquiry into the president. The escalation in support for impeachment proceedings came after Mueller delivered testimony on Capitol Hill before both the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees. Many felt that they were given little new material to fuel a case for impeachment after Mueller’s back-to-back hearings, but Nadler defended it as “an inflection point.”

Read moreTrump probes rocket to front of Dem agenda, as president dismisses new ethics complaints

Trump awards Medal of Valor to Dayton police officers, commendations to El Paso first responders

close Officers and civilians honored at the White House for their response to mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso Video

Officers and civilians honored at the White House for their response to mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso

President Trump presents Dayton officers with Medal of Valor, El Paso civilians with Heroic Commendation.

President Trump on Monday presented the nation's award highest award for public safety to six Dayton police officers who responded to last month’s mass shooting in the Ohio city that left nine people dead and more than two dozen injured.

Appearing alongside Attorney General William Barr, the president presented the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to the officers who first responded to the Aug. 4 mass shooting in a crowded downtown Dayton entertainment district. The officers confronted the shooter within 30 seconds, a swift response credited with preventing more deaths.

“There are few people who could have done, and would have done, what these police officers did,” Trump said from the White House’s East Room. “To each of you, we are in awe of your swift response, sterling professionalism, and rock-solid nerves of steel.”

OHIO SHOOTING VICTIMS INCLUDE GUNMAN'S SISTER, MOTHER OF TWO WHO WAS A NURSING STUDENT

The Dayton police officers who received the Medal of Valor were Sgt. William Knight and officers Brian Rolfes, Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, Ryan Nabel and David Denlinger.

According to authorities, 24-year-old Connor Betts shot 26 people in the span of 32 seconds before Knight returned fire after hearing the gunshots from his police cruiser. The five other officers rushed toward the gunman and prevented him from continuing his rampage.

Dayton city manager praises heroic response by fellow agencies Video

“These officers were the thin blue line between life and death,” Barr said. “We thank God on that horrible night in Dayton we had men with these qualities.”

The president also honored the heroism of five civilians with heroic commendations for having helped others as a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and wounding others.

Calling the shooter “soulless and bigoted” and the attack “racist,” Trump went on to praise the civilians who put their lives in danger to help save others when the gunman began his shooting inside the Walmart.

EL PASO SHOOTING SUSPECT'S MOM SAYS SHE CALLED POLICE WITH CONCERN ABOUT RIFLE SON OWNED: REPORT

“In the darkest moments of despair, God called them into action and they put love of their neighbor above their life,” Trump said. “We are forever inspired by their goodness and the grace of their deeds.”

The commendations were granted to Robert Evans, who notified store employees of the shooting; Gilbert Serna, who guided customers to the back entrance during the shooting and hid them in shipping containers; Marisela Luna, who guided customers near the store’s lobby; Angelica Silva, who helped save the lives of wounded victims; and Chris Grant, who was wounded when he threw soda bottles at the shooter to district him.

Hundreds gather to mourn El Paso, Texas shooting victim Video

“To the families of the heroes, you understand the difference your loved ones made in lives,” Trump said. “We thank you from bottom of our hearts.”

The pair of shootings in August – followed by another one in Texas weeks later – has sparked renewed national discussion of gun control.

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In the days after the shootings, which happened within 24 hours of each other, Trump signaled he was open to proposals for new background checks, saying "there is a great appetite" for such measures. But within days, following a call with NRA president Wayne LaPierre, Trump abruptly changed his tone and said background checks would not have helped.

Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas shootings renew gun control debate Video

Trump's comments were reminiscent of his wavering last year, when he vowed to support background checks in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, only to relent after receiving pressure from the NRA.

This time there seems to be more sustained momentum to produce some sort of measure after Trump asked aides to pull together a comprehensive list of ideas. White House officials have been meeting with lawmakers and congressional staff as they try to formulate a plan Trump can support without risking fallout from his political base.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

About those head-to-head polls

close 2020 Democrats promise new government programs as President Trump pushes trade, immigration reform Video

2020 Democrats promise new government programs as President Trump pushes trade, immigration reform

Which message will voters buy? Reaction and analysis from Fox News contributor Kat Timpf, Millennial Politics founder Nathan Rubin and New York City Councilman Joe Borelli.

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: About those head-to-head polls – Warren continues to gain ground in latest poll – Trump heads to N.C. rally on eve of House election – What’s in store as Congress returns – New phone, who dis?
ABOUT THOSE HEAD-TO-HEAD POLLS
It’s no surprise to regular readers of this note (and it’s precursors) for the past nine years that our absolute favorite part is corresponding with you. We call it “From the Bleachers,” but by any name it would be a treat.
You never fail to impress us with your wit, kindness, thoughtfulness, patriotism and knowledge. You have shown remarkable devotion and a willingness to both encourage and correct us.
There are, as of last counting, 316,052 of you willing to make space for us in your inboxes. We are impossibly, unendingly grateful. But we are selfishly the most pleased for the correspondence — especially your terrific questions.
For example, reader Peggie Hall of North Little Rock, Ark. raised a particularly good one last week about the relative value of head-to-head polling at this point in an election cycle:
“We see polls almost every day comparing [President Trump's] latest standing against all the likely Democrat nominees. I strongly suspect I'm not the only person who'd like to see how the President fares in a comparison of then candidate and then nominee's standing in the polls against Hillary — and Sanders too, of course — in 2015 and throughout 2016 right up through Election Day.Thanks for considering what may or may not be just a harebrained idea from a devoted reader!”
Ms. Hall, you are far from harebrained in your wondering! We have explained here and elsewhere why we care about these polls so far out from the election. First, it does say something about what voters generally want. Second, in a reelection cycle, it has a great deal to say about how voters feel about the incumbent.
Our basic rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t pay too much attention to how well the potential challenger is doing, but you should instead look at the incumbent’s numbers. Whomever the Democrats nominate will not be the same person in the eyes of voters after they finish the nominating process (ouch) and then have the incumbent’s campaign drop $1 billion worth of negative advertising on his or her head (double ouch).
The current Democratic front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, is certainly a well-known public figure. But the amount of attention he is getting on a day-to-day basis is nothing compared to a sitting president, especially one who is locked in the most intense, obsessive relationship with the press of any incumbent in history.
If Biden does go on to win his party’s nomination, his reputation and perceived attributes will be quite different in the eyes of voters a year from now.
But it’s still worth paying attention to how voters choose when forced to contemplate next year’s election. In an average of the five most recent methodologically sound polls comparing Trump with Biden, Biden leads by almost 12 points — 52.4 percent to 40.6 percent.
Like so:
TRUMP V. BIDEN
Trump: 40.6 percent
Biden: 52.4 percent
Biden +11.8 points
We’re not going to bother going down the list of Democrats because of the reasons listed above. Most of them are just not well known enough at this point to shed any useful light on their chances. It is worth noting, however, that Trump fares about the same against all of them, hanging out around 40 percent.
That tells us what is confirmed in other surveys that asked the question more directly: There is a strong appetite for change (again) in the electorate. That’s why so much of the focus for Trump and his campaign is going to be on trying to render his eventual challenger as a dangerous choice.
The most recent reelection cycle was notable for the profound negativity of the incumbent. We expect that trend to intensify.
As for your comment about how many of these polls there are, it may just seem that way. We had to reach back to July to find our fab five. Accordingly, we are going to cheat a little bit and look not at the state of polling at this point four years ago, but rather at the end of September 2015 in order to get a better, more compact sample.
Just for fun, we looked at the polls eight years ago as well. That cycle is probably a more useful comparison anyway since they are both reelections.
We can’t really test the question before the 2012 cycle. In September of 2007 there were exactly zero national polls — of any procedure or provenance — that tested then-Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton (lolz) against then-Republican front runner Rudy Giuliani (doublelolz).
As much as people talk about what’s the matter with polling, there is far more (at least on a national level) and far better polling than there was 12 years ago. We do have a problem with sufficient high-quality, state-level polling in the age of mortally ill local newspapers, and there is a lot of unreliable, cheapo national polling to be studiously ignored. But all in all, this exercise has caused us to count our blessings.
We are also not going to fool around with Bernie Sanders since he wasn’t included in all the polls four years ago. As he has learned the hard way in his second candidacy, much of his relative success was as a protest vote against a little-liked but still dominant front runner.
Here’s how it looked in September 2015:
TRUMP V. CLINTON
Trump: 43 percent
Clinton 46.8 percent
Clinton +3.8 points
Not bad, pollsters! Clinton won the popular vote by a little bit more than two points, so the surveys of September 2015 turned out to be pretty predictive. It looks even more prescient when you consider that one of the five polls was a pretty obvious outlier that put Clinton up by 10 points. All of the rest, including our own Fox News poll, were clustered narrowly showing close contest but with Clinton having the edge.
No national polls then or now can account for the electoral map, but they certainly could identify the possibility for a blowout election in which one side was so big that it made the map a moot point. That is certainly not what voters were feeling four years ago when they were asked what they would do if forced to choose between Trump and Clinton.
And here’s how it looked eight years ago at this point:
OBAMA V. ROMNEY
Obama: 47 percent
Romney: 46.8 percent
Obama +1.8 points
Once again, pretty spiffy. Obama would go on to win the national popular vote by 3.9 points, but the shape of the race — a small but decisive advantage for the incumbent — was evident.
The contests in both 2012 and 2016 went through a lot of wild gyrations between the fall of the previous year and Election Day, but in the end, voters’ initial estimates when asked to consider what would be their eventual choices ended up in synch.
There is no way to know whether that will be true again in 2020. But we can at least say that early polling is probably pretty useful at measuring, as it does, voters’ initial, snap responses. At the very least, polling this consistently bad should be quite alarming to the incumbent and his party.
So thank you very much, Ms. Hall, for sending us down memory lane. It turned out to be quite instructive and useful.
But then again, what else should we expect from the very best readers in the world?
THE RULEBOOK: AMEN
“Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.” – Alexander Hamilton or James Madison, Federalist No. 51
TIME OUT: ‘AN UNRIVALED TRIBUTE’
Garden&Gun: “Off a winding Louisiana road, down an allée of spindly oaks, past an ancient split-cypress fence, grows a garden. There, Jack Holden points his pruning shears at the privet hedge lining a path, lilies springing as they please, and ferns seeking pockets of dappled light. … At each turn in this Eden lies another note of beauty, history, and delight, the funky, fruity smell of flowers swirling all around. … [Jack and his wife Pat] understand the connection between French history and the wilds of Louisiana better than perhaps anyone. Not only have they rescued plants during decades of drives through the state, they’ve also salvaged early antique furniture, farm tools, dishes, even entire decaying buildings. The Holdens are treasure hunters of the highest order, preservationists of Louisiana’s memories. Their collecting focuses on the cultures of the Acadians—descendants of the French—and the mixed-race Creoles who long shaped Pointe Coupee, a southeastern parish near Baton Rouge.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 28 points
Warren: 19 points
Sanders: 15.6 points
Harris: 6.8 points
Buttigieg: 4.8 points
[Averages include: ABC News/WaPo, IBD, Quinnipiac University, USA Today/Suffolk University and Monmouth University.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 40.2 percent
Average disapproval: 55 percent
Net Score: -14.8 percent
Change from one week ago: down 1.8 points
[Average includes: IBD: 39% approve – 55% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 56% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk University: 44% approve – 54% disapprove; Gallup: 39% approve – 57% disapprove; Monmouth University: 41% approve – 53% disapprove.]
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WARREN CONTINUES TO GAIN GROUND IN LATEST POLL
ABC News: “A gain for Elizabeth Warren and a slip in support for Kamala Harris place Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Warren atop the field in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, days in advance of the Sept. 12 Democratic debate in Houston, sponsored by ABC and Univision. The poll finds Biden, this summer’s front-runner, far better rated for electability than for being ‘the best president for the country.’ Still, his supporters are more committed than those of other candidates, and electability has advanced as a priority, helping him hold his ground — albeit not advance. Biden has support from 27 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in the national survey, compared with 19 percent for Sanders and 17 percent for Warren. The rest of the field is in the single digits, including 7 percent for Harris, 4 percent for Pete Buttigieg and 3 percent apiece for Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang. All others are at 1 percent or less in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.”
Warren, Biden stand out at N.H. Dem convention – NYT: “But no one was embraced at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s state convention Saturday quite like Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts senator took the stage to a standing ovation that lasted around two minutes… Ms. Warren and Mr. Biden were two of 19 candidates who assembled here for a daylong party gathering that attracted some of the state’s most committed activists, including more than 1,200 delegates. The event was an imperfect test of the New Hampshire primary electorate — indeed, there were plenty of attendees who came from out of state. An unknown number of Warren supporters came to the event from outside New Hampshire, judging from several social media posts of Democratic backers from Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and elsewhere who came to the convention for her on Saturday.”
Team Harris acknowledges struggles in N.H. – Politico: “A briefing memo accidentally left behind at a restaurant [in New Hampshire] showed Kamala Harris’ staff expected her to be grilled on her lack of presence in the state as well as her campaign’s ‘summer slump.’ The document, obtained exclusively by POLITICO, detailed intricacies of her campaign’s relationships with Granite Staters she was set to meet last weekend — from how much her campaign has donated to local politicians to advice she received from a local TV reporter. It included talking points to rebut expected criticisms from voters or reporters, such as the limited number of visits she’s made to the first-in-the-nation primary state and her lackluster poll results. … Harris has struggled to break out of single digits in nationwide and New Hampshire polling over the past several weeks.”
Steyer qualifies for October debates – NYT:Tom Steyer, the billionaire and former hedge fund investor turned impeachment activist, became the 11th Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the October debates on Sunday after a new poll showed him with 2 percent support in Nevada. To make the cut, candidates must procure donations from 130,000 people and earn 2 percent support in four qualifying polls. Mr. Steyer fell one poll short of qualifying for the third Democratic debate in Houston this week. But the Democratic National Committee’s rules allow polls to carry over and count toward qualification for the fourth set of debates. With three qualifying polls already under his belt and the fourth published Sunday, Mr. Steyer has now secured a spot in the debates next month, scheduled for Oct. 15 and possibly Oct. 16, in a location to be announced in Ohio.”
Warren and Clinton keep lines of communication open – NBC News: “Elizabeth Warren's team doesn't want to talk about Hillary Clinton, but that doesn't mean the 2020 presidential candidate isn't talking with her party's 2016 nominee. … It’s hard to know exactly how many times they’ve reached out to each other — or precisely what they’ve discussed — in part because neither camp wants to reveal much of anything about their interaction and in part because they have each other's phone numbers, and there are many ways for two high-powered politicians to communicate that don’t involve their staffs. One source was aware of just one additional call between Warren and Clinton since then. But a person who is close to Clinton said the contact has been substantial enough to merit attention, describing a conversation between the two as seemingly recent because it was ‘front of mind’ for her.”
TRUMP HEADS TO N.C. RALLY ON EVE OF HOUSE ELECTION
AP: “President Donald Trump’s rally in North Carolina will serve as a measure of his clout in trying to elect a Republican to the House in a closely watched special election that’s seen as a tossup race. It will be his first campaign rally since a tough end of summer that saw slipping poll numbers, warning signs of an economic slowdown and a running battle over hurricane forecasts. Trump will visit the state Monday night on the eve of the House election. He enjoys wide popularity within his own party, but a GOP defeat in a red-leaning state could, when combined with a wave of recent bad headlines, portend trouble for his reelection campaign. … Trump’s appearance Monday on behalf of Republican Dan Bishop is shaping up as a test of the president’s pull with voters. The special election could offer clues about the mindset of Republicans in the suburbs, whose flight from the party fueled the GOP’s 2018 House election losses.”
This comes as Sanford announces run – NPR: “Former South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford says he's running for president, making him the latest Republican to attempt a long-shot bid against President Trump in the 2020 GOP primary. Sanford, who was also South Carolina's governor, made the announcement on Fox News Sunday. He called for a ‘conversation about what it means to be a Republican’ and criticized Trump over adding to the national debt. Sanford lost reelection to the House in 2018 when the president endorsed his primary challenger, who narrowly lost to a Democrat in the general election. … Sanford joins former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh as Republican challengers to Trump. All three have little chance of winning.”
WHAT’S IN STORE AS CONGRESS RETURNS
Fox News: “As Congress heads back to work on Monday in Washington after a six-week recess, lawmakers who already have struggled to pass substantive legislation this term are set to grapple with a slew of combustible issues, ranging from trade deals and border wall funding to gun control and impeachment proceedings. With an already heated presidential cycle in full swing, experts have said the political landscape would afford little hope for legislative compromise, but plenty of opportunity for gamesmanship and stonewalling. To top it all off, lawmakers also need to fund the government by Oct. 1 to avert another shutdown, despite deep-seated disagreements on appropriate budget levels for the State Department, the Pentagon, and other key agencies. … However, despite the gridlock, experts said lawmakers likely would reach a deal to avert another government shutdown this month. The House already has okayed ten of the annual 12 spending bills, but those bills would be dead on arrival in the Senate.”
Pelosi and Schumer ready to push gun safety legislation – NYT: “The top two Democrats in Congress called on Sunday for President Trump to defy the National Rifle Association and get behind legislation, already passed by the House but blocked in the Senate, to expand background checks to nearly all gun buyers. With gun control high on Congress’s agenda as lawmakers return to Washington this week after their August recess, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, sent a joint letter to the president, telling him that his ‘urgent, personal intervention is needed to stem the endless massacres of our fellow Americans by gunfire’ and that he had a ‘historic opportunity to save lives.’ The letter, which Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer intend to follow with a news conference on Monday, is part of what Democrats say will be an all-out push for gun safety legislation this fall.”
House Dems share impeachment procedures – Politico: “President Donald Trump's attorneys would be allowed to review some of Congress’s impeachment-related evidence under a set of procedures unveiled Monday by the House Judiciary Committee, part of a plan to spell out the panel’s authorities as it intensifies its consideration of articles of impeachment. The measure, obtained by POLITICO, would also allow smaller groups of lawmakers on the Judiciary panel’s subcommittees to consider evidence — a step that could streamline and hasten its review. It would also allow committee staff for both Democrats and Republicans to question witnesses for an extra hour, part of an effort to focus questioning and elicit more useful information. Though the measure is largely technical — it’s titled ‘Resolution for Investigative Procedures’ — it is the first effort by lawmakers to acknowledge the committee’s consideration of whether to recommend Trump’s impeachment…”
PLAY-BY-PLAY
Peace talks with Afghans, Taliban called off after Trump cancels secret meeting Fox News

Republicans look to clean up the House from embattled members – Politico
Reps. Liz Cheney and Joe Kennedy face test to prove they’re more than their family names
WaPo
AUDIBLE: MAN’S BEST FRIEND
“My dog’s name is Sherman. I quote him all the time.” – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday when asked by Chuck Todd why he wouldn't quote Gen. William Sherman’s famous “I will not accept if nominated” line about the Kansas Senate race.
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
NEW PHONE, WHO DIS?
NY Post:Donald Sizemore’s technique for fighting pushy telemarketers sure fits the bill. Like many Americans, this Alabama man is sick of the constant interruptions to his daily life — so he used a quacky talent to get some lighthearted revenge. ‘Hewhoah? Hewwwwhoooooah, are you dhere?’ a deadpan Sizemore, 77, employing a pitch-perfect Donald Duck voice, is heard saying in to a seemingly taken aback telemarketer. ‘Dhis is Dawnald Sizemoah, who are you?’ When the caller claims he’s being contacted about ‘litigation,’ Sizemore quipped, ‘Ohhhh, doah, am I in tawubble?’ [After several seconds of silence the caller eventually hung up on Sizemore.] … His wife, Gayle Sizemore, 73, captured the rollicking robocall encounter in a video that’s since racked up more than 8,658,765 views and nearly 300,000 shares on Facebook.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“For the president of the United States, there are consequences. When the president’s id speaks, the world listens.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on June 8, 2017.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

House Republicans demand details on Dems’ mysterious trips to Mexico

close DHS bars Democratic staffers from visiting border facilities Video

DHS bars Democratic staffers from visiting border facilities

'The Five' co-host Juan Williams weighs in on comments from Rep. Elijah Cummings saying the DHS doesn't want reports on the conditions of border detention facilities.

EXCLUSIVE: Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are calling on their Democratic colleagues to provide more details about a series of trips taken to Mexico while staff were touring border detention facilities, amid reports that at least one Democrat has been involved in “coaching” migrants there on how to exploit U.S. immigration law.

In a letter to Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., obtained by Fox News, ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said there were at least two committee staff trips into Mexico in August — one of which required Border Patrol agents to provide a special escort back into the U.S.

DHS BARS DEM STAFFERS FROM VISITING BORDER FACILITIES AFTER 'RUDE' AND 'DISRUPTIVE' BEHAVIOR

“Although you have the authority to direct Committee staff to travel internationally on official committee business, you have not explained why you authorized this travel into Mexico or what you sought to learn through these trips,” Jordan wrote, adding that Republicans were not notified of the trips.

Jordan went on to accuse Democrats of seeking “to delegitimize the administration’s border security efforts and vilify the men and women who protect our border.” He said GOP members are concerned the trips “could continue to result in misleading information about the administration’s border security efforts.”

Fox News has reached out to Cummings' office for a response to Republicans' claims.

Specifically, Jordan highlighted a report that said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, was in attendance on one trip to Tijuana on Aug. 21. Escobar, who is not on the Oversight Committee, has been a vocal advocate of left-wing policies on illegal immigration.

On front-lines of border battle, agents say Trump’s deal with Mexico paying dividends Video

According to The Washington Examiner, staff from Escobar’s office recently coached migrants in Ciudad Juarez on how to exploit federal immigration law — including telling would-be border crossers to pretend they cannot speak Spanish to exploit a loophole that would let them enter the U.S.

Escobar responded by calling the article “fabricated” and “fueled by xenophobia and misinformation.”

ON THE BORDER, OFFICIALS SEE DIVIDENDS FROM TRUMP'S DEAL WITH MEXICO

In the letter, Jordan asked Democrats a number of questions including what the purpose of the visit was, which individuals and groups they interacted with, why Escobar’s office was invited, and what “coaching” on immigration laws, if any, was given to migrants.

The letter marks the latest controversy over Democrats’ trips to the border. Fox News first reported last month that the Department of Homeland Security had barred staffers from the committee from visiting Customs and Border Protection facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border during a trip after staff were allegedly disruptive and refused to follow instructions.

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Sources told Fox News that DHS revoked access to CBP facilities for one visit, citing staff behavior that “interfered” with law enforcement operations — including refusing to leave one site after their scheduled window, skipping some tours and being "rude" to officers.

Democrats suggested the visit was nixed due to concerns about what staff were learning from detainees about conditions on the ground. Cummings later wrote that his staff was blocked "after previous staff inspections revealed potentially serious ongoing problems with the treatment of children and adults in DHS custody."

Original Article

Trump mocks Sanford for 2009 affair after GOP primary challenge announced

close Mark Sanford on possible primary challenge to President Trump Video

Mark Sanford on possible primary challenge to President Trump

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

President Trump did not waste time going after Mark Sanford after the former South Carolina governor became the third Republican to challenge him in the party's presidential primary race.

A day after Sanford announced his campaign on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump brought up the 2009 scandal where Sanford, as governor, disappeared for days only to later admit that he was in Argentina having an extramarital affair.

MARK SANFORD ANNOUNCES TRUMP PRIMARY CHALLENGE: GOP 'HAS LOST OUR WAY'

“When the former Governor of the Great State of South Carolina, @MarkSanford, was reported missing, only to then say he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend, it sounded like his political career was over. It was, . . . but then he ran for Congress and won, only to lose his re-elect after I Tweeted my endorsement, on Election Day, for his opponent,” he tweeted Monday.

Trump was referring to when Sanford's whereabouts were unknown for almost a week in 2009, as a spokesperson falsely claimed he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was later discovered he was in Argentina with María Belén Chapur.

The affair led Sanford and his wife Jenny to get divorced. In 2012, he and Chapur were engaged, but they broke it off in 2014. Sanford blamed the breakup on pressures from the divorce proceedings and obligations to his children.

SEVERAL STATE GOP PARTIES COULD SCRAP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES, INFURIATING POTENTIAL TRUMP CHALLENGERS

Despite the scandal, Sanford went on to win a seat in Congress after a special election in 2013. He then lost a close primary battle in 2018, when Trump tweeted support of Sanford's opponent, state legislator Katie Arrington, the day of the primary vote.

Trump also mocked Sanford at a 2018 rally, when he referred to Chapur as a "flamingo dancer." Chapur fired back at Trump at the time. While "flamenco" is a Spanish dance," she pointed out that she is from Argentina, where they dance the tango. Trump's Monday tweet calling her a "Flaming Dancer" appears to be a variation on flamingo.

Trump finished his Twitter slam by addressing Sanford's newly announced presidential bid.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“But now take heart, he is back, and running for President of the United States," Trump said. "The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go!”

Those "Three Stooges" include Sanford, former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who have also announced campaigns against Trump in the Republican primaries.

Original Article

Harris seeks end to executions, cash bail, private prisons

close Former Kamala Harris opponent: She has a glass jaw and last night's debate proved it Video

Former Kamala Harris opponent: She has a glass jaw and last night's debate proved it

Former California GOP Chair Tom Del Beccaro, who ran against Harris for Senate in 2016, says the presidential hopeful does not perform well when being put on the spot.

WASHINGTON– California Sen. Kamala Harris, whose record as a prosecutor has been under scrutiny since she entered the presidential race, has unveiled a criminal justice plan that calls for abolishing the death penalty, ending cash bail and collecting more data on officer-involved shootings.

Harris condemns the death penalty as "immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars."

The California Democrat also calls for eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing at the federal level and ending the use of private prisons as well as solitary confinement.

Harris says a national standard should be established to allow the use of deadly force only when "necessary" and when no reasonable alternatives are available. She also wants to create a National Police Systems Review Board, which would collect data and review police shootings and cases of alleged severe misconduct. The board would issue recommendations and implement safety standards based on evidence revealed in reviews.

Harris' plan comes in the same week that Democrats are set to meet for the third presidential primary debates, the first with all leading candidates sharing the same stage. During the round of debates in July, Harris found herself on the defensive as former Vice President Joe Biden and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard attacked her record as a prosecutor. Gabbard focused on Harris' stance on the death penalty and said Harris had "blocked evidence" that could have helped "innocent people" on death row.

Harris spent seven years as district attorney for San Francisco and six years as the state's attorney general, the first black woman in that position. As a prosecutor, she tended to defend the status quo or take a cautious approach to reforms rather than advocate for bold changes. While some now question the timing of her call for criminal justice reforms, her supporters say she was expected as an official to represent the government and uphold the law.

Her campaign has sought to cast her as a change agent, dedicated to improving a flawed system from the inside. In her stump speech, she argues that she is uniquely qualified to "prosecute the case" against President Donald Trump, who she says has a long "rap sheet."

Harris was not the only candidate pressed on her criminal justice record in the second round of debates. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker ripped into Biden and suggested that the former senator — a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and for several years its chairman — is partly responsible for the criminal justice system that he is seeking to reform as a presidential candidate.

Original Article

Schumer, Pelosi send letter to Trump to take action on guns

close Democratic leaders urge Sen McConnell to take up background check gun legislation Video

Democratic leaders urge Sen McConnell to take up background check gun legislation

Nancy Pelosi says the Senate must end its obstruction and pass house-approved legislation to end gun violence.

Calling the moment “critical,” Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent President Trump a letter on Sunday urging him to expand background checks and use his influence to sway Republicans in the Senate who blocked the bill passed by the House earlier this year.

TRUMP'S FEUD WITH TEIGEN, LEGEND TURNS NASTY

The letter mentioned earlier reports that Trump has signaled an openness to stricter background checks. Last month, Hogan Gidley, the White House principal deputy press secretary, told Fox News that Trump is for meaningful checks, but Democrats seize on any willingness to compromise and say “no, unless you’re for saying to Hell with the Second Amendment and taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, then you are responsible for the deaths of people across the country.”

HERE'S WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN CONGRESS COMES BACK FROM RECESS

Pelosi and Schumer pointed to the mass shootings in August that claimed 51 lives and told the president that he is “uniquely positioned” to answer the call of Americans for more gun restrictions.

The New York Times first reported on the letter. Fox News has obtained a copy.

The two Democrats said the bill would “close the gaping loophole in the law that allows private gun sellers to evade existing background check requirements.”

The bill passed by the House in February would require background checks on all gun sales.

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Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo., said Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that "the president needs to step up here and set some guidelines for what he would do. … I'm afraid what's going happen here is what always happens, is we take this silly, 'if we don't get everything, we won't do anything.'"

Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report

Original Article