Trump blasts House Democrats over impeachment: ‘They had nothing, there’s no crime’

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President Trump mocked House Democrats on Saturday during a Turning Point USA event in West Palm Beach, Fla., for voting to impeach him without providing any evidence of a crime.

“They had nothing. There’s no crime. There’s no nothing," Trump said. "How do you impeach? You had no crime. Even their people said there was no crime. In fact, there’s no impeachment. Their own lawyer said there’s no impeachment. What are we doing here?”

Trump then briefly turned his focus to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and called her "crazy Nancy" before criticizing her for delaying the process by withholding the articles of impeachment from the GOP-controlled Senate.

"The world is watching," Trump said. "Crazy Nancy. She’s crazy. So now she says she has no case. She has no case, so let’s not submit it. That’s good, right? That’s good, but you know what? So unfair. It’s so unfair. She has no case."

JEFF FLAKE CLAIMS SENATE REPUBLICANS, NOT JUST TRUMP, ARE ON TRIAL

The commander in chief accused Democrats of violating the Constitution and claimed his poll numbers have benefited from their divisive rhetoric.

"They are violating the Constitution, totally. Totally. They’re violating the Constitution. In the meantime, our polls have gone through the roof," Trump said.

Later in the speech, the president questioned the patriotism of congressional Democrats and accused them of not believing in democracy.

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"When all else fails, they pursue an illegal, unconstitutional and hyperpartisan impeachment," he said. "They go with the impeachment thing. Some of these extremists may call themselves Democrats, but they really don't believe in democracy. They can't. They can't believe in democracy."

He added, "Generations of patriots before us did not work, fight and sacrifice so that we could surrender our country to a raging, left-wing mob. And that's what's happening. While they want to punish America, we will fight to preserve America… Together we will stand up to socialists, we will defend our nation — the greatest and most glorious republic in the history of this world."

"And you know what? The best is yet to come," he added.

Original Article

Trump blasts evangelical magazine after blistering editorial calling for his removal from office

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Evangelical enthusiasm for Trump heading into 2020

Fox News contributor Pastor Robert Jeffress says Trump isn’t running in the presidential election on promises, he’s running on accomplishments and areas that matter to evangelicals.

President Trump blasted Christianity Today on Friday after the evangelical publication founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham called for his removal after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“A far left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President,” Trump tweeted early Friday.

“No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on state. I won’t be reading ET [sic] again!” he continued.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM SLAMS CHRISTIANITY TODAY FOR INVOKING FATHER'S NAME IN CALL FOR TRUMP'S REMOVAL

Late Thursday, Christianity Today editor in chief Mark Galli penned a blistering op-ed calling for Trump’s removal from office.

“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments,” he wrote.

Galli conceded that “Democrats have had it out for [Trump] from day one” and that everything they do is “under a cloud of partisan suspicion.”

But nevertheless, Galli wrote: “The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” the editorial read. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

CHRISTIANITY TODAY CALLS FOR TRUMP'S REMOVAL FROM OFFICE FOLLOWING IMPEACHMENT

Congress leaves for Christmas break without sending articles of impeachment to the SenateVideo

“The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in this administration,” he added, noting that he has “hired and fired” people who are “convicted criminals,” and slammed him for his “immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud.”

“His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused,” Galli continued.

“To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior.”

PRO-TRUMP EVANGELICAL LEADERS CONDEMN DEMOCRATS' IMPEACHMENT VOTE AS 'UTTERLY PARTISAN'

Meanwhile, Evangelical Christian pastors and leaders who have prayed with the president in the Oval Office slammed the impeachment vote this week calling it “utterly partisan.”

Paula White-Cain, Trump's personal pastor and special adviser to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative in the White House, posted a midnight prayer for the newly impeached president, who overwhelmingly won the evangelical vote in the 2016 election.

"Tonight we lift up President Trump in prayer against all wickedness and demonic schemes against him and his purpose in the name of Jesus," White-Cain wrote. "Surround him with your angels and let them encamp around about him. Let all demonic stirrings and manipulations be overturned!"

Revs. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, said Democrats impeached Trump for "the policies and people that he represents."

"The Democrats in the House impeached millions of God-fearing, family-loving and patriotic Americans from the Democrat and Republican parties," the two leaders said.

"Our relentless prayers especially rest with the President of the United States and upon all of those who led us into this utterly partisan disregard of the most powerful tool our Founders gave us to undo a presidential election – which is exactly what this is an attempt to do," they added.

Evangelist Franklin Graham said: "Dems have been trying to destroy Trump since day one."

The president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association added, "We need to pray for President Trump and this nation."

Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel, listed Trump's accomplishments as president, saying he feels the need to pray for him again.

"The people's voice will be heard like never before when we vote again," Franklin said. "Pray, fast, and vote your faith 20/20!"

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach Trump, adopting two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He is the third president in American history to be impeached.

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At the center of the impeachment inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations—regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Fox News' Caleb Parke contributed to this report.

Original Article

House Dem blasts Trump after attack on John Dingell: ‘Hell will be too good for him’

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Bret Baier: Trump 'stepped in it' with remark on John Dingell

'Special Report' anchor Bret Baier says President Trump has possibly hurt himself with Michigan voters and independents after suggesting Democrat Rep. Debbie Dingell's late husband John Dingell may be 'looking up.'

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., had a scathing response to President Trump after he criticized the former congressman John Dingell, D-Mich., by suggesting that he might be "looking up" after his death.

"It's moments like these that we are reminded that the president is not only a criminal, he is impulsively cruel and truly rotten to the core," Yarmuth tweeted on Thursday. "Hell will be too good for him."

Trump lodged that attack during a Wednesday rally in Michigan after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him. He took special aim at Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., the former congressman's wife, after she voted to impeach him.

“Debbie Dingell, that’s a real beauty,” Trump said to a rapt crowd that booed the mention of Dingell's name. The president said he gave the late Dingell the “A+ treatment” after his death last February and his wife had called him to say “it’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened, thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He’s looking down.”

REP. DINGELL RESPONDS AFTER TRUMP ATTACKS LATE HUSBAND: WE NEED TO TREAT EACH OTHER WITH 'DIGNITY AND RESPECT'

“I said, 'That's OK. Don't worry about it.' Maybe he's looking up. I don't know," he quipped to mixed reactions from the audience. “Maybe, but let’s assume he’s looking down.”

Rep. Dingell responded on Wednesday night via Twitter. "Mr. President, let’s set politics aside. My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service," she said.

"I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder."

On Thursday, she also told Fox News' Sandra Smith that the comment made her "sad."

Debbie Dingell: Trump's attack on my husband made me sad, but I'm still going to do my jobVideo

TRUMP GETS HELL FROM DEBBIE DINGELL AFTER SAYING DEM'S LATE HUSBAND MAY BE 'LOOKING UP' AT MICHIGAN RALLY

"I was already having a hard time with this holiday, and the comment that he made was just — it made me sad," she said. "But I'm going to keep doing my job and I'm going to work with Republicans and Democrats, as I always do."

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She added that "compromise isn't a dirty word," and "we need to listen to each other" and "respect each other."

"Treat each other with dignity and respect and you can get things done," she stated.

Fox News' Brie Stimson and Julia Musto contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump blasts ‘Crooked Hillary’ for ignoring swing-state Michigan in 2016, ponders her 2020 run

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President Trump used Wednesday night's rally in Michigan as a chance to take aim at his 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton, as well as a slew of other Democrats, as the U.S. House back in Washington voted along party lines to impeach him.

Trump addressed thousands of supporters who waited out in the cold to attend his “Merry Christmas” rally in Battle Creek. About 40 minutes after the rally began, the Democrat-controlled House voted – without any Republican support – to impeach Trump for "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress" related to his dealings with Ukraine.

HILLARY CLINTON SAYS TRUMP IMPEACHMENT MAKES 2020 ELECTION 'MORE COMPLICATED'

“The radical left in Congress is consumed with hatred and envy and rage. You see what's going on. I'll tell you, these people are crazy. You ever hear it's the economy, stupid?” Trump said, touting the country’s successful economy before pivoting to Clinton.

“I have the greatest economy in the history of this country. And nobody talks about it,” Trump said. “Let me just tell you a little secret. If Crooked Hillary would have won, your economy would have crashed.”

Trump also suggested that Bill Clinton calls his wife “Crooked Hillary” – and further scolded her for ignoring Bill's advice to visit key swing states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, during the 2016 presidential election.

“You horrible human being, you better start listening to me, or you’re gonna get your a– whooped,” Trump said, imagining a conversation between the Clintons.

“In all fairness to Bill Clinton, you know, he used to be a friend of mine until I ran for office,” Trump added.

According to Trump, Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama made last-ditch attempts to win over voters with an “emergency trip” to Michigan on Election Day – generating a crowd of only about 500 people.

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Trump claimed that about 2,000 people — who had lined up in the cold to see him Wednesday — were turned away because the arena could accommodate only about 5,500 people.

Original Article

Trump blasts Carolyn Maloney after NY Democrat votes for impeachment: ‘Give me back the damn money’

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Trump blasts Rep. Maloney, D-N.Y., for supporting impeachment

Trump blasts Rep. Maloney, D-N.Y., for supporting impeachment

President Trump criticized his former U.S. congresswoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., telling the crowd at his Michigan rally he was stunned to see her speak out and vote in support of his impeachment.

Maloney, who represents the part of New York City where Trump Tower sits, on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, said Wednesday in her floor remarks that Trump "abused the power of his office for his own personal and political gain at the expense of our national security."

Later, while speaking in a packed arena in Battle Creek, Mich., Trump called Maloney's remarks disappointing and claimed he had in the past helped her in her reelection bids.

LINDSEY GRAHAM ON IMPEACHMENT: 'THE MOB TOOK OVER THE HOUSE

"It's so disappointing," he said. "I see a woman — Carolyn Maloney — she's a longtime 'nothing-much'. She's a congresswoman from Manhattan, [the] East Side."

"I was with her [for] her first race, I helped her. She was always so nice," he added. "I made lots of contributions over the years."

U.S. ​​​​​​​Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, both New York Democrats, address reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 31, 2019.(Associated Press)

U.S. ​​​​​​​Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler, both New York Democrats, address reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 31, 2019.(Associated Press)

Trump remarked that Maloney, who first won congressional office in 1992 — defeating then-Rep. Bill Green, R-N.Y. — could have considered his past support for her candidacies.

"New York — if you're not in it — it's purely Democrat — especially Manhattan," he said.

"I made lots of contributions — years and years and years … the first person I see: Carolyn Maloney — 'I raise my hand to impeach' — Well give me back the damn money that I've been paying her for so many years."

"I made lots of contributions — years and years and years … the first person I see: Carolyn Maloney — 'I raise my hand to impeach' — Well give me back the damn money that I've been paying her for so many years."

— President Trump

In her remarks on the House floor, Maloney defended her vote in favor of impeaching her former constituent — as the president recently announced he has made his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida his main home address — saying that she takes her role as Oversight Committee chairman seriously and that that role is what led her to think critically about the impeachment inquiry. (Maloney was elected to lead the panel in November, following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., in October.)

"In an attempt to cover up his abuse of power, he ordered the entire executive branch not to participate in the inquiry, and directed it to defy lawful subpoenas from Congress," she said.

"As chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I find this obstruction particularly offensive. Even President Nixon accepted Congress' impeachment authority and allowed his aides and advisers to produce the documents to Congress. And President Nixon allowed current and former staff to testify in both the House impeachment and the Senate Watergate investigations…," the New York lawmaker continued.

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"By contrast, President Trump — without any legal basis — directed current and former officials not to cooperate with the House's inquiry."

"President Trump's wholesale obstruction of Congress is unprecedented, indisputable, and impeachable," she also said.

Original Article

Judiciary Committee’s minority blasts articles of impeachment report, ‘anemic case’

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Rep. Adam Schiff defends Democrats' impeachment case against President Trump

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

The House Judiciary Committee's minority blasted the committee's rush to impeach President Trump and wrote that history will not look kindly on how exculpatory evidence was ignored to meet a "self-imposed December deadline," according to the full articles of impeachment report released early Monday.

The minority, which is comprised of Republicans, blasted the Democrat-led majority for not making the case for impeachment and simply employing "holdover" arguments from other investigations to make their case. Despite the divide, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the committee, wrote for the majority that Trump is a threat to the Constitution and should be removed from office.

CHAD PERGRAM: CONGRESS COULD SEE ITS BUSIEST WEEK EVER

The committee released a 658-page report on the impeachment resolution that lays out the case against Trump. Democrats have raised two articles of impeachable offenses, including abuse of power by soliciting Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election and then obstructing Congress during its investigation.

NADLER BRUSHES OFF POSSIBLE DEM DEFECTION

The minority wrote that both articles are supported by assumptions and hearsay. The minority, headed by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the committee, wrote that the majority decided to “pursue impeachment first and build a case second.”

The majority ignored exculpatory evidence but proclaimed the "facts are uncontested,” the minority wrote.

"The facts are contested, and, in many areas, the majority's claims are directly contradicted by the evidence," the minority wrote. They continued that "not one of the criminal accusations leveled at the president over the past year—including bribery, extortion, collusion/conspiracy with foreign enemies, or obstruction of justice—has found a place in the articles. Some of these arguments are just holdovers from an earlier disingenuous attempt by the majority to weaponized the Russia collusion investigation for political gain."

The majority's actions were "unprecedented, unjustifiable, and will only dilute the significance of the dire recourse that is impeachment," they wrote.

The minority also claimed procedural missteps by the majority by not allowing a "minority day of hearings," despite several requests to Nadler. They called the denial “blatant” and “intentional.” They claim Nadler also refused a request to subpoena witnesses. They wrote that there was a complete absence of “fact witnesses” and the case rested with the testimony from four academics and another with a panel of Congressional staffers.

The majority claimed that they were transparent. The majority wrote that the minority wanted to hear testimony from the whistleblower, but the majority stressed the importance of protecting the person’s identity. The minority's request to hear from Hunter Biden—the son of Joe Biden—was "well outside the scope of the inquiry," the majority wrote.

At the heart of the first charge, is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats have relied on a whistleblower’s complaint that claimed that there was at least an implied quid pro quo during the phone conversation. Trump was also accused of using agents "within and outside" the U.S. government to compel Kiev to investigate the Bidens and their business dealings in the country. The claim is that Trump withheld $391 million in essential military funds to pressure Kiev on the investigations.

Both Trump and Zelensky deny there was ever any implied or explicit quid pro quo.

The newly released report also claims that Trump directed key players in the inquiry from participating.

Trump "interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘‘sole Power of Impeachment’’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives,” the report said.

The report listed John “Mick” Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, and Robert B. Blair, a senior adviser to Mulvaney, as officials who have denied subpoenas.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Sunday proposed in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that Mulvaney be subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment trial. McConnell told Fox News last week that the chances of Trump being removed from office are zero.

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Republicans say Democrats are impeaching the president because they can’t beat him in 2020. Democrats warn Americans can’t wait for the next election because they worry what Trump will try next.

The House is expected to vote on the articles next week, in the days before Christmas. That would send the impeachment effort to the Senate for a 2020 trial.

The majority claimed that the impeachment inquiry was performed in a fair manner and pointed out that the purpose of the inquiry was to determine if Trump “may have committed an impeachable offense.” Trump was offered the opportunity to participate, but he declined, the majority wrote. The president has refused to participate in the proceedings.

At about the time the impeachment report was being released, Trump was on Twitter touting his record and slamming the allegations. He wrote that despite the impeachment and "obstruction," he had one of the most successful presidencies in history.

The Associated Press and Bradford Betz contributed to this report

Original Article

CNN’s Don Lemon blasts Trump-Thanos edit as ‘juvenile meme game’

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 11

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CNN host Don Lemon blasted the Trump campaign Tuesday for playing what he described as a “stupid, juvenile meme game” and effectively undermining the “seriousness of what is happening” after House Democrats announced they're filing two articles of impeachment against the president.

DEMOCRATS UNVEIL IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES, AS WHITE HOUSE SLAMS 'BASELESS AND PARTISAN' EFFORT

Lemon reacted to a doctored video posted by Trump War Room, an account managed by Trump 2020 campaign, depicting the president’s head edited on top of the body of Thanos, the extraterrestrial menace in the Avengers films from Disney and Marvel Studios. In the clip, Trump-Thanos says “I am inevitable,” before snapping its fingers and causing Nancy Pelosi and key Democrat committee leaders at a press conference to disintegrate into dust.

“House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want,” the Trump War Room account tweeted. “President Trump's re-election is inevitable.”

“What are we, in junior high school? Like what the hell? What is this?” Lemon asked on "CNN Tonight." “Like what — What?! I cannot believe that I’m even having to report this on the news. This is — this is crazy. This is literally crazy. Are you people insane? Are you insane?”

“Go ahead, troll the Democrats on Twitter. Do this stupid, silly you-know-what. Play this stupid, juvenile meme game,” Lemon continued. “History won’t record this meme stupid crap, but history will record this. The seriousness of what is happening, that today is the day that the House of Representatives in the United States of America introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States of America, for committing high crimes and misdemeanors. A big deal.”

At the same press conference depicted in the video, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment against Trump alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress regarding his interactions with Ukraine. They outlined their impeachment plans in a brief and pointed statement to the media early Tuesday morning, and left without taking questions.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., later posted text of the articles, which declare Trump's actions warrant impeachment, trial and removal from office. In response, the White House accused Democrats of using the Ukraine issue as an excuse for "this partisan, gratuitous, and pathetic attempt to overthrow the Trump Administration and the results of the 2016 election."

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In the Marvel movie "Avengers: Infinity Game," the character Thanos used his Gauntlet to defeat the heroes before celebrating his victory by snapping his fingers, wiping out half of all life forms in the universe. Thanos was ultimately beaten by Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, in a rematch seen in this year’s "Avengers: Endgame."

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Fox Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.

Original Article

Barr blasts FBI’s Trump probe, accuses investigators of ‘gross abuse’

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AG Barr: Beginning of Russia investigation was 'very flimsy'

Attorney General Bill Barr discusses the beginning of the Russia investigation and the origins of the Steele dossier

Attorney General Bill Bar is blasting the FBI’s conduct during the Russia investigation, saying investigators relied on "flimsy" evidence in launching the probe and disputing key conclusions from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report released Monday.

Horowitz was critical of the FBI for their practices in using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but he concluded that the investigation itself was launched properly, without evidence of political bias.

7 TAKEAWAYS FROM FISA REPORT

“It’s hard to look at this stuff and not think that it was a gross abuse,” Barr said during a discussion Tuesday at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council forum in Washington. He referred to the investigation as a whole as a "travesty."

"Where I disagree with Mike, I just think this was very flimsy," he said about the basis for the investigation. The FBI cited comments by Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to an Australian official as sparking concerns about the campaign's possible involvement with Russia. Barr dismissed this as "a comment made by a 28-year-old volunteer on a campaign in a bar."

Barr also pointed to the FBI’s failure to include key evidence in their FISA warrant applications that would have gone in Page’s favor.

"They withheld from the court all the exculpatory information," he said, calling the anti-Trump dossier used to bolster the warrant applications a "sham."

CLICK TO READ THE IG REPORT

He also pointed out that the Russia investigation was supposed to be a counterintelligence probe, yet there was no effort to warn the Trump campaign about suspected Russian activities.

“The normal thing to do in this situation,” Barr said, “is to go to the campaign, and here I don’t think there’s a legitimate explanation for why they didn’t.”

Barr made it clear that he does not know for sure that there was political bias.

Former DOJ official: Horowitz report findings a 'big problem for America'Video

"I don't know what the motivations were," he said, stating it is premature to make a determination on that.

"That's why we have Durham," Barr said, referring to the ongoing investigation by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, which is broader in scope than Horowitz's review. "Durham is able to look at all the evidence," Barr said. He specifically referred to Durham's ability to talk to other government agencies and private parties, and to compel testimony.

Barr’s remarks echo what he said in a blistering NBC interview earlier Tuesday.

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Barr said that despite the report saying Horowitz did not have evidence that political bias played a factor in the investigation, he believes the IG left open “the possibility that there was bad faith” involved.

“All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn't find anything to contradict it,” he said. Barr also pointed a finger at the media, saying: "I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press."

And he said the Trump campaign was "clearly spied upon" during the investigation.

Original Article

Nunes blasts Schiff for ‘blatant disregard’ of impeachment rules; blames ‘vendetta’ against Trump

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House Intel Ranking Member Devin Nunes will pursue legal action on exposed phone records

EXCLUSIVE: House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes blasted committee Chairman Adam Schiff for what he called an “alarming” and “blatant disregard” for the rules governing the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump, saying Schiff transmitted his investigative findings to the Judiciary Committee for the next phase in the proceedings without consulting him.

Fox News exclusively obtained the letter Nunes, R-Calif., sent to Schiff, D-Calif., on Sunday night. In the letter dated Friday, Nunes wrote that Schiff chose not to consult with him so that he could meet a “bogus” deadline for impeaching the president. The GOP congressman also accused the Democrat of having a “vendetta” against the president.

“I write in objection to your December 6, 2019 transfer of additional records and other materials relating to the Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry to the House Committee on the Judiciary,” Nunes wrote.

He went on to cite the rules governing the impeachment inquiry, passed in the House in October, which stated that “the chair of the Permanent Select Committee or the chair of any other committee having custody of records or other materials relating to the inquiry referenced in the first section of this resolution is authorized, in consultation with the ranking minority member, to transfer such records or materials to the Committee on the Judiciary.”

“As the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I received no consultation prior to the transfer of materials, in violation of H. Res. 660,” Nunes wrote. “Accordingly, I expect that you immediately provide me a full accounting of documents that were provided to the Committee on the Judiciary.”

“Your consistent and blatant disregard for the rules is alarming,” Nunes continued. “I can see no reason for you to continue to ignore these rules, which the Democratic majority put in place, other than to meet a bogus deadline of impeaching the President by Christmas.”

Schiff obtains, publicly releases phone records of political opponents and conservative journalistVideo

He added: “I urge you to put an immediate end to your vendetta against the President, stop your constant rule breaking, and begin treating this Committee and its oversight responsibilities with the seriousness they deserve.”

Last week, the Intelligence Committee voted to adopt and issue a scathing report on its findings from its impeachment inquiry. Democrats on the panel asserted that their inquiry “uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”

NUNES LOOKS AT LEGAL OPTIONS AFTER SCHIFF RELEASES PHONE RECORDS IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

In their impeachment inquiry, the committee conducted extensive interviews with witnesses connected to the Trump administration’s relationship with Ukraine, after an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that during a July 25 phone call, Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election.

The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and witnesses have claimed showed a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump repeatedly has denied any wrongdoing.

The Democrats’ report claimed that Trump withheld nearly $391 million in military aid from Ukraine, conditioning its delivery as well as a White House visit with Zelensky on a public announcement that Zelensky was conducting the investigations. It also accused Trump of obstruction of justice for instructing witnesses not to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Rep. Nunes says he will pursue legal action on release of phone recordsVideo

Nunes took issue with the issuance of the report to the Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., without consulting with him, as well as the transmission of additional underlying investigative material, according to an aide familiar with the matter. Also part of the committee’s report were Nunes’ phone records, which Schiff subpoenaed and released in connection with the impeachment inquiry.

Meanwhile, House Republicans issued their own report earlier this week delivering a point-by-point rebuttal to Democrats’ impeachment efforts.

“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations, and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” Republicans said in their report released Monday.

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Nevertheless, Nadler and Judiciary Committee Democrats, in consultation with Intelligence Committee and Oversight Committee Democrats, and at the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have begun drafting articles of impeachment, which are likely to encompass two major themes: abuse of office and obstruction.

The Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Monday, when counsels for the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees' Democrats and Republicans are to present evidence in the case.

Original Article

George Conway blasts Nikki Haley, says her ‘shameless’ Trump defense is ‘trashy’

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Haley on impeachment inquiry: Let the American people decide during 2020 election

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley weighs in on impeachment hearings on 'The Story.'

George Conway ratcheted up his vicious rhetoric toward former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley after she criticized him over his barrage of attacks targeting Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.

Conway, the outspoken anti-Trump husband of White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, called Stefanik "lying trash" after she had accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of trying to "silence" her during last Friday's public impeachment hearing, during which Schiff prevented her from asking questions to former U.S. diplomat Marie Yovanovitch per House rules.

He also urged others to donate to the campaign of Stefanik's opponent. He later showed that he himself donated the legal maximum of $2,800 to the Democrat, former legislator Tedra Cobb.

MEDIA CRITICIZES ELISE STEFANIK DURING IMPEACHMENT HEARING AFTER PRAISING WARREN'S 'NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED' MOMENT

Haley knocked the attorney on Monday, calling his attacks on Stefanik "uncalled for and disgusting."

"This is absolutely uncalled for and disgusting. What is wrong with people? George Conway is the last person that can call someone 'trash,'" Haley tweeted.

Conway fired back and held no punches.

"Oh, @NikkiHaley, just the other day you said that the world’s biggest pathological liar, @realDonaldTrump, was a “truthful” man. *That’s* the very essence of disgusting, trashy, and pathetic—utterly shameless and transparent dishonesty," Conway wrote.

That was in reference to Haley's defense of President Trump, where she said he had always been "truthful" to her when asked if her former boss was a "truthful" person.

He later suggested Haley would say "anything to get the vice-presidential nomination."

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Conway received backlash over the weekend after he retweeted an apparently edited image of Stefanik raising the middle finger during a round of applause Yovanovitch received at the end of the hearing, while doubling down on his "trashy" attacks.

He later deleted the tweets, but did not offer an apology.

Original Article

Schiff opens impeachment hearing, as Nunes blasts ‘scorched earth war’ against Trump

closeTrump impeachment inquiry hearingsVideo

Trump impeachment inquiry hearings

The first public impeachment hearing in more than two decades kicked off in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff questioning whether President Trump's "abuse of power" in the Ukraine controversy is "compatible with the office of the presidency."

Schiff, D-Calif., in his opening statement, outlined the parameters of the impeachment inquiry, questioning whether the president sought to condition official acts and "exploit" Ukraine's "vulnerability" for personal political gain.

"The matter is as simple and as terrible as that," Schiff said in his opening statement Wednesday. "Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency but the future of the presidency itself, and what kind of conduct or misconduct the American people may come to expect from their commander in chief."

Schiff described the core of the impeachment inquiry, and said: "If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?”

But committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., staunchly defended the president and his actions, criticizing Democrats for a partisan process, and reminding the public of the Democrats' actions during the now-closed Russia investigation.

"And yet now we’re supposed to take these people at face value when they trot out a new batch of allegations," Nunes said. "Anyone familiar with the Democrats' scorched earth war against President Trump will not be surprised to see all the signs that this is a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign."

He described the probe as the "low-rent Ukrainian sequel" to the Russia case.

The hearing is the first in the public phase of the impeachment inquiry and features testimony from State Department official George Kent and top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor.

Both officials have already testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees in the run-up to this week.

Schiff and top Republican on the committee, Nunes, R-Calif., will have 45 minutes each for questioning or can designate staff attorneys to do so. Members of the committee will then get five minutes each to ask questions, alternating between Republicans and Democrats.

For the Democrats, Daniel Goldman and Daniel Noble, both counsels for the Intelligence Committee, will likely lead portions of questioning. Fox News has learned that on the Republican side, Steve Castor, whom Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan brought over from the Oversight Committee, will be the counsel to pose questions for the minority.

At the center of the impeachment inquiry, which began in September, is President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he pressed him to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine and 2016 election meddling—specifically, the younger Biden’s lucrative role on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, and his father's role ousting a prosecutor looking into the firm. That phone call prompted a whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community inspector general, and in turn, the impeachment inquiry in the House.

The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and some witnesses have cited as a quid pro quo arrangement.

Zelensky, though, has said he felt no pressure during the call. The White House has maintained no wrongdoing, with the president calling the call “perfect” and arguing that it contained “no quid pro quo.”

The whistleblower’s complaint also stated their concerns that Trump was soliciting a foreign power to influence the 2020 presidential election – a concern that Taylor directly testified to privately last month.

Taylor, during his closed-door deposition, testified that he “understood that the reason for investigating Burisma was to cast Vice President Biden in a bad light.” Taylor added that it would benefit “a political campaign for the reelection of President Trump.”

Kent testified during his closed-door deposition that he had concerns regarding Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma—an admission that Republicans are likely to zero in on in their questioning and defense of the president.

Meanwhile, Schiff has already teed up three days of additional public hearings next week which, among other witnesses, includes three sought by Republicans—ex-National Security Council official Tim Morrison, former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, and high-ranking State Department official David Hale.

Republican lawmakers have sought a slew of other witnesses, including Hunter Biden and the whistleblower, but it is not yet clear whether any will be permitted to testify by Democrats on the committee as part of the inquiry.

Original Article

Haley book blasts UN migration pact for focus on climate change: ‘Give me a break’

closeNikki Haley: Kelly, Tillerson were 'two unelected people who thought they knew more than the president'Video

Nikki Haley: Kelly, Tillerson were 'two unelected people who thought they knew more than the president'

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defends allegations in her new book that former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to undermine President Trump and the Constitution.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, in her newly released book, defended the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the United Nations' global migration pact — arguing that it would have eliminated the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, and sharply questioning its focus on issues like climate change.

The U.S. withdrew from the drafting of the U.N.’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in December 2017. The document, which was adopted by the global body a year later in Morocco, saw a host of other countries –including Hungary, Poland, Austria and Israel — pull out of the compact amid concerns it would hurt nations’ ability to control their borders.

TILLERSON DENIES UNDERMINING TRUMP AFTER NIKKI HALEY ALLEGATIONS

The accord included 23 objectives for managing migration at "local, national, regional and global levels." But many of those aims are vague, including objectives like: "enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration" and "address and reduce vulnerabilities in migration."

Haley, in “With All Due Respect,” said that speculation that she was pressured into ending U.S. participation was “not true” and then went into detail about her objections to the internationalist document.

“The compact grew out of an international statement of principles on migration that had been championed by the Obama administration. The statement was a mess,” she said. "Like so much of our immigration debate today, it attempted to erase all distinctions between illegal and legal immigration.”

Haley, the daughter of legal immigrants from India, said that it also blurred the lines between economic or family-based migrants and refugees escaping persecution — distinctions she argues are “critical.”

Immigration issue absent at latest Democrat primary debate in OhioVideo

“If we no longer acknowledge a difference between legal and illegal immigration — and between people who need international protection and those who just want to escape poverty or crime — we will have a system of completely open immigration,” she wrote. “We will have effectively eliminated our borders. We can never do that.”

In the book, she said that while the document was nonbinding and largely symbolic, she first believed the U.S . could change the document's language and direction — but as the debate went on, realized that wasn’t the case. Instead, she said, the document started turning toward focusing on issues like climate change.

“Give me a break,” she said. “Millions of people didn’t flee Syria because of climate change. They fled because chemical bombs were being dropped on their homes by a war-criminal dictator who was clinging to power.”

That remark comes just as 2020 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders released his immigration plan, which calls for pathways to citizenship for those in the country illegally as well as the acceptance of a minimum of 50,000 “climate migrants” in the first year of a Sanders administration.

SANDERS IMMIGRATION PLAN: HALT DEPORTATIONS, ABOLISH ICE, WELCOME 50K 'CLIMATE MIGRANTS,' GIVE WELFARE TO ALL

Nikki Haley discusses growing up differentVideo

Ultimately though, Haley said the “deal breaker” on the U.N. compact for the U.S. was that it called for migration and refugee policy to be governed by international law rather than individual countries.

“American decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. Only we will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country,” she said. “The Global Compact on Migration was headed toward creating an international right to migration, which does not exist in international law and is not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”

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Elsewhere in the book, Haley accused the left of trying to erase the difference between legal and illegal immigration, and pushing the message that those who want borders are cruel — and calls it an example of “the divisive politics that is poisoning our public debate.”

“What those pushing this argument don’t realize or don’t want to acknowledge is that this kind of polarizing, us-versus-them politics actually hurts those immigrants who want to come to America, work hard, respect our laws, and embrace our principles,” she wrote. “Equating support for immigration with open borders only causes people to oppose immigration."

Original Article

Bernie Sanders blasts Michael Bloomberg at Iowa rally: ‘You ain’t gonna buy this election’

closeWatch: Bernie Sanders blasts former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg at a rallyVideo

Watch: Bernie Sanders blasts former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg at a rally

Senator Sanders called out Bloomberg as yet another billionaire trying to buy himself a position of power at a rally in Iowa.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had a billionaire in his sights at a campaign rally in Iowa Saturday night — and for once, it wasn't President Trump.

“Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg, 'Sorry, you ain’t gonna buy this election,'" Sanders told a crowd in Coralville, outside Iowa City. " … Those days are gone."

Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, qualified Friday to get on the ballot in Alabama, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on March 3, 2020, a date known as Super Tuesday. His team is also making plans to file in Arkansas, which has a Tuesday deadline and also holds its primary March 3.

Sanders also excoriated Bloomberg for avoiding the earliest states on the primary and caucus calendar and focusing his efforts on the states that hold nominating contests on Super Tuesday and later in 2020.

“You’re not going to get elected president by avoiding Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada," Sanders said. "Yes, we don’t have a super PAC and I’m not worth $52 billion."

The billionaire businessman initially ruled out a 2020 run, but began to reconsider in recent weeks, citing concerns about the ability of the current crop of contenders to defeat Trump.

Now, the Sanders campaign is fundraising off the news. An email to supporters started off this way: "Did you see the news? Mike Bloomberg is filing paperwork to run for President of the United States. Just what America needs…another billionaire using his wealth to try to buy an election."

Bloomberg won two New York City mayoral elections as a Republican before winning a third term as an independent in 2009. In 2018, he switched his party affiliation to Democrat, saying he was "far away" from the Republican Party and wanted Democrats to provide the "checks and balances our nation needs so badly."

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At an earlier campaign stop in Iowa Saturday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., appeared to refer to Bloomberg when she complained of candidates "trying to completely purchase our political system [by] running as Republicans and now tossing in their hats as Democrats in the field as well."

"But what we're here to say is that in a democracy, it shouldn't matter how much money you have, what should matter is whether you vote, whether you caucus when you turn out," she went on. "It's the numbers. It's the people. It's a movement."

Original Article

Pence blasts ‘Anonymous’ book, impeachment proceedings as he files for Trump in New Hampshire

closeVice President Pence files primary paperwork for Trump in New HampshireVideo

Vice President Pence files primary paperwork for Trump in New Hampshire

Pence urges supporters to re-elect President Trump to keep America great.

CONCORD, N.H. – Vice President Pence blasted a new report Thursday that suggested he had considered supporting the use of the 25th Amendment to have President Trump removed from office.

And on the day that a State Department aide detailed to the vice president's office was testifying as part of the Democrats’ House impeachment inquiry, Pence emphasized that neither he nor the president did anything wrong in their dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

ANONYMOUS CLAIM THAT PENCE WOULD SUPPORT 25TH AMENDMENT TO REMOVE TRUMP SHOT DOWN

Pence addressed both issues after filing to place Trump’s name on the first-in-the-nation Republican primary ballot in New Hampshire. Making clear there's no daylight between running mates, Pence dismissed “without qualification” rumors that he considered invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

Pence’s comments came hours after the anonymous author of an upcoming anti-Trump book reportedly cited anonymous sources to declare that the vice president was seen to support using the 25th Amendment to have Trump removed from office back in 2017. The Huffington Post obtained an excerpt of "A Warning,” which is written by the unnamed senior Trump administration official who penned a scathing attack on the president in an anonymous New York Times op-ed last year.

WHAT IS THE 25TH AMENDMENT?

The Huffington Post reported that the anonymous author “did a back-of-the-envelope tally of which Cabinet members would be prepared to sign a letter invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution” and “there was no doubt in the minds of these senior officials” that Pence would be on board.

Asked by Fox News if there was any validity to the report, the vice president said: “When those rumors came out a few years ago, I dismissed them then. I never heard any discussion in my entire tenure as vice president about the 25th Amendment. And why would I? I mean the record that we’re celebrating today here in New Hampshire, the record that we’re going to be taking all across this country is a testament to President Donald Trump’s leadership.”

To hammer home his point, Pence added: "I’m happy to dismiss them without qualification today."

The vice president also took aim at the anonymous author.

"The very notion of this anonymous who wrote an editorial, now it's reported that they’ve written a book, it’s just appalling to me," Pence said. "If there’s someone in our administration or [who] served in our administration who doesn’t support this president, doesn’t support his agenda, they should do the honorable thing and resign."

Vice President Mike Pence files to place the name of President Trump on the first-in-the-nation presidential primary ballot at the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Oct.  7, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence files to place the name of President Trump on the first-in-the-nation presidential primary ballot at the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., on Oct. 7, 2019

As Pence was in New Hampshire, Jennifer Williams — his office's special adviser for Europe and Russia — was behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Fox News learned that the White House had tried to prevent Williams from appearing or limiting her testimony, but she complied with a subpoena served by House Democrats.

According to a Trump administration official, Williams was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

The president has come under fire over the phone conversation, in which he asked Zelensky to look into the dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Biden is one of the top Democrats aiming to challenge Trump in next year’s election. Fueled by a whistleblower complaint, a transcript of the call released by the White House and numerous witness testimony, Democrats have argued the president was asking a foreign country to interfere in a U.S. election.

ANONYMOUS CLAIM THAT PENCE WOULD SUPPORT 25TH AMENDMENT DUBBED 'FAKE NEWS'

Adding to the controversy was the fact that before that phone call, millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine was put on hold. Despite allegations that Trump was using the money as leverage, Trump has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong. He said there was no “quid pro quo” and has on numerous occasions described his conversation with the Ukrainian leader as “perfect.”

Pence told reporters, “The American people have the transcript of the president’s call and they can see that there was no quid pro quo and the president did nothing wrong.”

“The president’s focus has been, as my focus in was my meetings with President Zelensky, on supporting President Zelensky’s efforts to deal with a historic pattern of corruption in Ukraine and also to enlist more European support,” he added.

The vice president, who’s remained on the periphery of the scandal to date, stressed that “in all of my discussions with President Zelensky, we focused exclusively on President Zelensky’s efforts to end corruption in Ukraine and also to enlist more European support. Know as the facts continue to come out, people will see that the president did nothing wrong, that the focus of our administration, all of my contacts with President Zelensky, were in the national interest."

SESSIONS LIKELY TO LAUNCH SENATE RUN IN ALABAMA

Pence’s trip to New Hampshire came hours before former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was expected to announce his 2020 bid for the Senate in his home state of Alabama. Sessions served as a senator from Alabama for two decades before joining the Trump administration as attorney general.

Sessions, who resigned from the Justice Department a year ago amid public attacks from the president, was one of Trump’s most loyal and trusted advisers before their relationship soured over his recusal from the Russia investigation. If he runs for a seat, Sessions would join a crowded field of Republicans already vying to take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, who faces a challenging reelection in the conservative southern state. The filing deadline to enter the race is Friday afternoon.

Asked if he would campaign on behalf of Sessions if the former attorney general were to win the nomination, Pence said: “We’ll let the people of Alabama make that decision” before pivoting to the president’s own 2020 reelection.

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New Hampshire was Trump’s first primary victory. His crushing win over a large field of 2016 GOP rivals launched him toward winning the nomination and eventually the White House.

Pence filed on behalf of the president — continuing a tradition of the vice president filing in New Hampshire on behalf of an incumbent president running for reelection. Then-Vice President Biden traveled to New Hampshire in 2011 on behalf of then-President Barack Obama, as they ran for reelection in 2012.

While there’s plenty of speculation that the vice president will run for the top stop in 2024, Pence told reporters: “I’ll keep you posted.”

Fox News' Brian Flood, Mike Emanuel, John Roberts, Chad Pergram and Patrick Ward contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump says Ukraine whistleblower ‘must’ testify, blasts offer of written answers

closeWhistleblower offers to answer House GOP questions with written statementsVideo

Whistleblower offers to answer House GOP questions with written statements

Criminal defense attorney David Bruno weighs in.

President Trump joined congressional Republicans in publicly rejecting the Ukraine call whistleblower's offer to respond to written questions from Republican lawmakers, instead insisting that he or she appear in person as part of the impeachment inquiry — a move that would reveal the anonymous official's identity.

The whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, tweeted over the weekend that his client — whose complaint about Trump's July phone call with the president of Ukraine touched off the impeachment probe — would provide sworn, written answers under penalty of perjury. Trump in turn attacked the whistleblower's credibility and demanded in-person testimony.

REP. JIM JORDAN REJECTS WHISTLEBLOWER'S OFFER TO PROVIDE WRITTEN ANSWERS TO GOP QUESTIONS

"The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify," the president tweeted Monday morning. "Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!"

Trump was referring to the whistleblower's early interaction with Schiff's staff. The whistleblower's central allegation that Trump in July urged Ukraine to launch politically related investigations, however, has been supported by other witnesses as well as the call transcript released by the White House.

But the president joins House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in calling for the whistleblower to come forward and testify in person.

Late Sunday, Jordan seemingly rejected Zaid's offer, saying, "written answers will not provide a sufficient opportunity to probe all the relevant facts and cross examine the so-called whistleblower."

Jordan has claimed the only one in Congress who knows the whistleblower's identity is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is leading the impeachment inquiry. Zaid insists that Schiff has not personally had any contact with the whistleblower or their legal team.

The Republican allegations about Schiff's ties to the whistleblower stem from the revelation that in the weeks after Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Vlolodymyr Zelensky and the filing of the whistleblower's complaint, the whistleblower was in touch with Schiff's staff but failed to disclose this.

Trump has used this as a talking point for casting doubt on the complaint and the ensuing impeachment inquiry that is currently exploring whether the president pressured Ukraine into investigating his political opponents.

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Current and former Trump administration officials have testified regarding the phone call and surrounding events, as Democrat-led House committees attempt to learn more about the context of Trump's request for Zelensky to assist in the investigations of Democratic activities during the 2016 election as well as former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, specifically pertaining to Hunter's business dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.

Zaid tweeted Sunday that he and his team have "directly engaged GOP as to the irrelevance of the whistleblower's information and identity."

Fox News' Gregg Re, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Tulsi Gabbard blasts Hillary Clinton’s ‘failed legacy’ in scorching op-ed

closeTulsi Gabbard slams claim she's a Russian assetVideo

Tulsi Gabbard slams claim she's a Russian asset

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard rejects suggestion that she is being groomed by Russia to run as a third-party candidate; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines, Iowa.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, penned an op-ed on Wednesday expressly refuting claims by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that she is "favorite of the Russians" planning to run as a spoiler candidate to help reelect President Trump.

In the Wall Street Journal piece, Gabbard writes that she is running for president “to undo Mrs. Clinton’s failed legacy.” She adds that after she decided to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., over Clinton in 2016, Clinton never forgave the slight.

“The smears have been nonstop ever since,” Gabbard writes.

EX-CIA BOSS BRENNAN APPEARS TO PARTLY BACK HILLARY CLINTON'S THEORY TULSI GABBARD IS A RUSSIAN ASSET

Earlier this month, Clinton said on David Plouffe’s podcast that a Democratic candidate was being groomed for a third-party run in 2020. Clinton's team later confirmed the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard.

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," Clinton told Plouffe.

Hannity – Thursday, October 24Video

Market Watch reported, however, that Clinton was referring to Republicans, not the Russians, as “grooming” Gabbard for a third-party run, revising some initial media reports.

Gabbard hit back at Clinton on Twitter, calling her the “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”

She also claimed that from the beginning of her candidacy there has been a concerted effort to destroy her reputation.

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“Whether Mrs. Clinton’s name is on the ballot or not, her foreign policy will be,” Gabbard wrote in the op-ed, writing that many of the Democratic candidates “adhere to her doctrine of acting as the world’s police, using the tools of war to overthrow governments we don’t like, wasting taxpayer dollars, costing American lives, causing suffering and destruction abroad, and undermining America’s security.”

Meanwhile, Gabbard announced last week that she will not seek re-election to Congress so she can focus on her presidential bid.

Original Article

Trump says Democrats have a ‘death wish’ as he blasts impeachment proceedings

closeHouse to hold first vote on formal impeachment investigationVideo

House to hold first vote on formal impeachment investigation

Resolution will put lawmakers on the record as they head into a more public phase of the impeachment inquiry; chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel reports from Capitol Hill.

President Trump railed against Democrats Tuesday morning as he argued their party leadership is trying to "destroy" the GOP but will ultimately end up harming themselves.

The president specifically mentioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced Monday that the House will vote on an impeachment inquiry resolution on Thursday, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is heading up the ongoing closed-door probe.

TRUMP DEFENDS KEEPING 'LEAKER' SCHIFF, PELOSI OUT OF THE LOOP ON AL-BAGHDADI

"Nervous Nancy Pelosi is doing everything possible to destroy the Republican Party," Trump tweeted. "Our Polls show that it is going to be just the opposite. The Do Nothing Dems will lose many seats in 2020. They have a Death Wish, led by a corrupt politician, Adam Schiff!"

Trump is the latest Republican to criticize Democrats for their recent tactics. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said Sunday that Schiff's Intelligence Committee has been so busy with impeachment-related activities that they have not had a briefing related to terrorism in "well over a month."

It comes as Democrats have complained that the president did not brief Pelosi or Schiff ahead of time on the weekend operation that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The president told reporters that he did not tell Pelosi about the raid beforehand because he "wanted to make sure this kept secret” and did not "want to have people lost."

Similarly, Trump said Monday that he did not give Schiff advance notice of the raid "because I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington," calling the House Intelligence Committee chairman a "corrupt politician."

Schiff's impeachment investigation continues Tuesday with the testimony of Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who serves as a director on the National Security Council. Vindman said in prepared remarks obtained by Fox News that he was "concerned" by Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which they discussed investigations of Democratic activities in the 2016 election, as well as Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Vindman said that he "did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen."

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Trump dismissed Vindman as a "Never Trumper witness" and disputed his reaction to the call.

"Was he on the same call that I was?" Trump tweeted. "Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!"

Original Article

Dem senator blasts World Series crowd for ‘lock him up’ chant aimed at Trump

closeWashington Nationals fans get indefinite ban for flashing Astros pitcherVideo

Washington Nationals fans get indefinite ban for flashing Astros pitcher

A pair of social media personalities claim they've been banned indefinitely from Major League Baseball stadiums. This is the punishment they received for exposing their breasts to Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole during game 5 of the World Series.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on Monday slammed the crowd at Nationals Park for a “lock him up” chant directed at President Trump during Game 5 of the World Series.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Monday, Coons chastised the crowd for disrespecting the presidency, even if they do not support the man who holds the high office.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., warns his party not to adopt incendiary chants against the president. 

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., warns his party not to adopt incendiary chants against the president. (CNN)

"I have a hard time with the idea of a crowd on a globally televised sporting event chanting ‘lock him up' about our president," Coons said. "I frankly think the office of president deserves respect, even when the actions of our president, at times, don't."

The chanting arose after Trump was shown on the ballpark’s video screen during Game 5 of the World Series between the hometown Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.

In breaking with precedent, Trump didn't throw out the first ceremonial first pitch.

The “lock him up” chant was an inversion of what Trump supporters began in 2016 against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

HISTORY WILL JUDGE DEMOCRATS HARSHLY FOR IMPEACHMENT OF TRUMP, KEN STARR SAYS

Coons warned Democrats not to adopt similar chants at rallies or conventions so as not to jeopardize the integrity of the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

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"I understand why crowds in Washington would feel a lot of animus towards our president, given a lot of things that he has done," Coons said.

"But frankly, that's why I think those of us in the Senate need to approach the impeachment process seriously, in a measured and responsible way, because our very institutions, our Constitution, is at risk by the passions that have been unleashed by the politics at the moment."

Fox News’ Jack Durschlag contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump blasts Chicago police chief as ‘disgrace,’ in fiery takedown at law enforcement conference

closePresident Trump bashes Chicago's top cop Eddie Johnson: He's not doing his jobVideo

President Trump bashes Chicago's top cop Eddie Johnson: He's not doing his job

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson boycotts President Trump's address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Chicago.

President Trump tore into Chicago’s top cop on Monday at a law enforcement conference in the city, blasting Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson for soaring violent crime rates and accusing him of putting "criminals and illegal aliens" before Windy City residents.

The series of broadsides from the commander-in-chief came after Johnson boycotted the president’s speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. Trump went after Johnson at length — going so far as to suggest he should be replaced while describing the city as more dangerous than Afghanistan — before diving into his prepared remarks.

“People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago,” Trump said. “Those are his values and, frankly, those values to me are a disgrace.”

SECOND MAN CONVICTED IN REVENGE MURDER OF 9-YEAR-OLD CHICAGO BOY

Chicago is a "sanctuary city" where local authorities do not cooperate with federal immigration officials, denying information that would help them deport people living in the U.S. illegally. Proponents say Chicago's efforts encourage cooperation between local police and immigrant communities.

Trump, who has long been a critic of Chicago’s policies dating back to former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s time in office, was in the city to, among other things, sign an executive order establishing the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. But he repeatedly slammed Johnson for the city’s rampant gun violence, while saying rank-and-file officers deserve a leader who has their backs and "who sides with you."

Chicago FOP issues no confidence vote in police superintendent for skipping Trump eventVideo

"It's embarrassing to us as a nation," Trump said. "All over the world they're talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison."

Trump specifically called out Johnson for failing to tackle the city’s high murder rate.

CHICAGO HAS MOST VIOLENT WEEKEND THIS YEAR: 52 SHOT, 10 DEAD

“He’s not doing his job,” Trump said. “565 people were murdered last year.”

The actual number is slightly higher as a Chicago Tribune analysis found that 573 people were killed in the city in 2018. That number, however, is lower than the 675 people killed in 2017 and much lower than the 795 people killed in 2016 – the year Johnson took the helm of the Chicago Police Department.

The murder rate in Chicago for 2018 was still much higher than the combined number of homicides in America's two largest cities, New York and Los Angeles. As of about mid-December last year, New York reported 278 homicides and Los Angeles 243.

Johnson, who attended a number of other events at the conference, told local media in Chicago that his decision not to attend Trump’s speech was because of “personal feelings.”

Chicago mayor forbids police from helping immigration agentsVideo

"I have to take into account, not just my personal feelings about it, but our core values as a city," Johnson said. "We are nothing without trust and with some of our communities under siege, it just doesn't line up with our city's core values along with my personal values."

Trump did not take Johnson’s “values” comment well – reviving criticism of Johnson and Chicago that he started during last year’s IACP conference in Orlando.

“More than anyone else this person should be here because maybe he could learn something,” Trump said of Johnson. “That’s a very insulting statement after all I’ve done for the police.”

Trump added: "I want Eddie Johnson to change his values and to change them fast."

Johnson's decision to skip Trump's address also angered the city's chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which said in a Facebook post that "such a gesture would be an insult to both President Trump and the office of the presidency itself and would be a mark of disgrace upon the city throughout the entire nation, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot." Lightfoot has also refused to meet with Trump while he is in the city.

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FOP Lodge 7, which represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers, then announced that it had cast a vote of no confidence in Johnson.

While Trump was giving his speech, the Chicago police were on high alert dealing with a number of planned protests against the president.

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Protesters by the dozens streamed toward the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago hours before a planned demonstration outside.

Waiting for them, it seemed, was an equal number of uniformed police officers.

Metal temporary fencing and city snowplows blocked Wabash Avenue, preventing anyone from crossing the Chicago River to stand directly in front of the hotel.

Some protestors carried signs with the words "Impeach Trump" and "Trump is a traitor" and other slogans. And a few wore Trump masks, something that was popular last Halloween.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article