Andrew O’Reilly

Hillary Clinton took to Twitter on Monday to slam President Trump for declaring a national emergency along the United States southern border.

In her tweet, the former secretary of state said the “real national emergencies” were “Relentless gun violence. Children separated from their families at the border. Climate change” and “Americans dying for lack of health care.”

Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential race, has been one of his harshest critics since his election. On Instagram on Monday, she appeared to troll Trump by posting a photo of the three living former Democratic presidents – Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and, her husband, Bill Clinton – as well former First Lady Michelle Obama alongside the message “Happy Presidents Day.”

TRUMP WILL SIGN BORDER SECURITY BILL, DECLARE NATIONAL EMERGENCY, WHITE HOUSE SAYS

Clinton’s national emergency tweet follows Trump declaring a national emergency Friday to shift billions of federal dollars earmarked for military construction to the border after lawmakers in both parties blocked his request for billions of dollars to fulfill his signature campaign pledge for a border wall.

Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution disapproving of the declaration once Congress returns to session and it is likely to pass both chambers. Several Republican senators are already indicating they would vote against Trump — though there do not yet appear to be enough votes to override a veto by the president.

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told "Fox News Sunday" that "the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration." Asked if that meant Trump was ready to veto a resolution of disapproval, Miller added, "He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed."

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Miller insisted that Congress granted the president wide berth under the National Emergencies Act to take action. But Trump’s declaration goes beyond previous emergencies in shifting money after Congress blocked his funding request for the wall, which will likely factor in legal challenges.

Trump aides acknowledge that Trump cannot meet his pledge to build the wall by the time voters decide whether to grant him another term next year, but insist his base will remain by his side as long as he is not perceived to have given up the fight on the barrier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Authorities in California are struggling to enforce a state law that permits officials to seize firearms from people with previous criminal convictions or mental health issues – running into staffing and budgetary issues that have contributed to a massive backlog of guns marked for confiscation.

The law, which was passed in 2013 following the shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school and set aside $24 million for seizure programs, had a goal of confiscating around 20,000 guns over three years. But six years later, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report, there are still roughly 9,000 of those guns out there, with more being added to the list yearly.

While the state’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, has made gun control a priority of his new administration and has proposed a multi-million-dollar increase to hire more agents, the program reportedly has been hit by retention issues and a lack of experience among new agents.

CALIFORNIA DEMS FLEX NEW SUPERMAJORITY, WITH PLANS TO PURSUE GUN TAX AND MORE

“This is just the unglamorous continual need to invest in the task and to see it through,” former state Sen. Mark Leno told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It just does not go away, and the job is never done.”

When the law was first introduced in 2013, funding was available for about four-dozen temporary positions to supplement 42 Justice Department special agents. But retirements and transfers kept the total number to around 57 and the department was forced to return $6 million of its $24 million increase. An additional $5 million was made available in 2016, but officials in the state say they’ve still had problems with hiring.

Under California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, seven positions open over the last year have gone unfilled and last year agents were made to sign contracts guaranteeing they would stay on the force for at least two years.

“We get people straight out of college, with minimal law enforcement experience, and we have to train them for a year,” Alfredo Cardwood, president of the Justice Department agents union, told the Chronicle. “After we train them, they skip out and go work for the local D.A.s.”

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New hires make between $50,844 and $66,852, and a recent report by the California Department of Human Resources found that state agents make around 19 percent less than their local counterparts.

Source: Fox News Politics

Biden slams Trump's treatment of European allies as speculation mounts of possible 2020 run

Amid widespread speculation that he could soon declare his candidacy for the 2020 presidential race, former Vice President Joe Biden offered up this weekend his latest critique of the Trump administration and its foreign policy direction.

Speaking during a security conference in Munich on Saturday, Biden criticized President Trump’s treatment of the United States’ traditional allies in Western Europe and promised a rekindling of the close ties European powers shared with Washington.

“The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world or our closest allies,” Biden said, as The Washington Post reported.

He added: “The America I see cherishes a free press, democracy, the rule of law. It stands up to the aggression of dictators and against strongmen.”

BIDEN, SANDERS, HARRIS, WARREN TOP 2020 DEM FIELD IN NEW POLL

Biden has been one of the harshest voices speaking out against Trump’s isolationist “America First” initiatives and his continued condemnation of the White House’s policies have added more fuel to the rumors that he could plan to challenge Trump in the 2020 race.

“This too shall pass. We will be back. We will be back," Biden said in Munich, according to the New York Times.

A source close to the Biden camp told Fox News last week that the former vice president is almost certain to enter the race soon.

The source said the timing of an announcement is still up in the air. With such a crowded field of Democratic hopefuls, Biden wants to keep big donors and potential staffers with him and has been conducting outreach to former colleagues, grassroots activists and contributors, the source said.

The 76-year-old former vice president’s decision comes as a slew of younger and more liberal Democrats have already jumped into the fray, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

BIDEN STRIKES CONTRAST WITH 2020 FIELD, JOKES ABOUT LIKING REPUBLICANS

However, some close to Biden have suggested that with his name recognition and long record of public service, he could afford to wait before moving forward.

Also speaking at the conference in Munich was the man who took Biden’s job when Trump came into office, Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence used his time at the pulpit to double down on American criticism of Europe.

Pence stuck to the U.S. line that the NATO guideline for its nations to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense is a strict commitment rather than a target, saying while more alliance members have met the criteria, "the truth is, many of our NATO allies still need to do more."

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He also reiterated American opposition to the joint German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which Washington has claimed could make Europe overly reliant on Russian gas.

"The United States commends all our European partners who’ve taken a strong stand against Nord Stream 2," he said. "And we commend others to do that same."

He added: "We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East."

Fox News’ Alex Pappas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Marco Rubio: Venezuelan soldiers would be committing 'crime against humanity' by blocking aid

During a visit to the Colombian border city of Cucuta, Sen. Marco Rubio warned Venezuelan soldiers that they would commit a "crime against humanity" if they blocked the entry of U.S. aid being channeled through rivals of disputed socialist President Nicolás Maduro.

The Florida Republican made a stop in Cucuta on Sunday, where U.S. aid packages were being stockpiled for distribution by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized by the U.S. and dozens of other countries as Venezuela’s legitimate president.

Maduro has been using troops to block aid from entering, saying it’s unnecessary and part of coup to overthrow him.

Venezuelans fleeing hardship at home have rushed into Cucuta seeking food and medicine in recent months. Rubio told a cheering crowd that Venezuelan soldiers who blocked aid would spend "the rest of their lives hiding from justice."

REPORT: POPE SAYS NOT TIME YET FOR MEDIATION IN VENEZUELA

During a contentious hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told members of the committee that while the Trump administration has preferred to use economic, humanitarian and diplomatic channels to deal with the Maduro regime, the use of military force is not being ruled out.

“When we say all options are on the table, that is because all options are on the table,” Abrams said, adding that military force “is not the preferred route and not the route we’re going down.”

The comments on Capitol Hill by Abrams came as President Trump met last week in the Oval Office with Colombian President Ivan Duque. The two leaders discussed, among other issues, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela that has sent an estimated 1.14 million refugees into Colombia.

Despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela is gripped by widespread malnutrition, disease and violence after 20 years of socialist rule launched by the late President Hugo Chávez. Critics have accused Maduro, Chávez’s hand-picked successor, of unfairly winning an election last year for a second six-year term by banning his popular rivals from running and jailing others.

The U.S. and other nations have demanded Maduro step down and have recognized National Assembly leader Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful leader. Venezuelans also have staged large protests to pressure Maduro to leave.

Venezuela’s opposition has called its supporters into the streets across the country in a campaign to break the military’s support of Maduro, while Maduro has rallied supporters to demonstrations following over a month of pressure led by Guaido.

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"Right now, I’m going to give this order to the armed forces: Allow in the humanitarian aid. That’s an order," Guaido told the mass of people gathered in Caracas.

Guaido said last week that he would try to run caravans of badly needed food and medicine into Venezuela — but it wouldn’t start for nearly two weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

Anthony Weiner released from prison as part of federal re-entry program

Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner has been released from prison and is now part of the federal re-entry program in New York as he awaits his full release later this spring.

Weiner, who was convicted for sexting a 15-year-old girl from North Carolina and sentenced to 21 months behind bars, has been transferred from Federal Medical Center in Massachusetts into the care of New York’s Residential Re-entry Management program.

While a staff member at New York’s RRM in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood was unable to provide Fox News with Weiner’s exact whereabouts, it is believed that he is serving the remaining time of his sentence in a halfway house or in home confinement before his official release on May 14.

ANTHONY WEINER SENTENCED TO 21 MONTHS IN PRISON IN TEEN SEXTING CASE

Good conduct while in prison has shaved off about three months from his sentence. He will spend three years on supervised release and will have to pay a $10,000 fine as well as register as a sex offender.

Once a prominent star in the Democratic Party, Weiner’s political career began to unravel in 2011 when he resigned from Congress after admitting to sending an X-rated photo and engaging in inappropriate relationships with women online. While he attempted a comeback in 2013 when he ran for New York City mayor, that campaign went off the tracks when it was revealed that he had sexted with another woman under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger.”

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In 2017, he was busted for texting with a high school girl and eventually sentenced to time behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote issued the sentence in federal court in New York.

“This is a serious crime that deserves serious punishment,” Cote said in a statement.

During his sentencing, Weiner wept openly and read from a prepared statement for several minutes, describing himself as “an addict” and calling his crime “rock bottom.” He said he has a “disease,” but it is not an “excuse.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Graham calls McCabe comments 'beyond stunning' as he threatens to subpoena former FBI chief

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., vowed Sunday to investigate alleged discussions at the Department of Justice about invoking the 25th Amendment as a way to oust President Trump from office and threatened to subpoena former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe if he refused to testify on the matter before the Senate.

"We’re going to find out what happened here and the only way I know to find out is to call the people in under oath and find out, through questioning, who’s telling the truth because the underlying accusation is beyond stunning," Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on CBS’ "Face the Nation."

Graham added that he also plans to subpoena both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if they won’t voluntarily agree to testify before the committee.

"There is no organization beyond scrutiny," Graham said. "There is no organization that can’t withstand scrutiny. And the FBI will come out stronger."

ANDREW MCCARTHY: MCCABE, ROSENSTEIN AND THE REAL THRUTH ABOUT THE 25TH AMENDMENT COUP ATTEMPT

He said: "But we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. What are people to think after they watch "60 Minutes" when they hear this accusation by the acting deputy — acting FBI director that the deputy attorney general encouraged him to try to find ways to count votes to replace the president? That can’t go unaddressed."

Graham’s comments come on the heels of a Fox News story that reported that former FBI lawyer James Baker, in closed-door testimony to Congress, detailed alleged discussions among senior officials at the Justice Department about invoking the 25th Amendment.

The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book.

Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials. But in his testimony, the lawyer said McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page came to him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including discussions of the 25th Amendment.

“I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the deputy attorney general, he had stated that he — this was what was related to me – that he had at least two members of the president’s Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment,” Baker told the committees.

CBS News reported on McCabe’s comments after he told “60 Minutes” that Justice Department officials discussed the possibility of removing Trump via the 25th Amendment and that Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein had offered to wear a wire around the president.

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The 25th Amendment provides a mechanism for removing a sitting president from office. One way that could happen is if a majority of the president’s Cabinet says the president is incapable of discharging his duties.

Since giving the interview to “60 Minutes,” McCabe has since made an about-face, with a spokesperson for the former FBI chief releasing a statement that says McCabe did not "participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

The Justice Department issued a statement calling McCabe’s comments “inaccurate and factually incorrect."

Reports of the discussions of invoking the 25th Amendment and of Rosenstein wearing a wire were reported in The New York Times.

Source: Fox News Politics

New York City's de Blasio blames Amazon for caving on deal for new headquarters in city

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio laid the blame on Amazon deciding to pull up stakes on a new headquarters in the city squarely on the corporate behemoth, saying that the company just “took their ball and went home.”

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” de Blasio defended progressive Democrats who argued against Amazon’s move to the country’s largest city, but did add that the deal could have been a way for progressive leaders to show a balance on economic issues.

“I have no problem with my fellow progressives critiquing a deal or wanting more from Amazon — I wanted more from Amazon, too,” de Blasio said. “The bottom line is, this was an example of an abuse of corporate power. They had an agreement with the people of New York City."

He added: "They said they wanted a partnership, but the minute there were criticisms, they walked away. What does that say to working people, that a company would leave them high and dry, simply because some people raised criticism?"

AMAZON BLASTS OCASIO-CORTEZ, SAYS ‘WE DON’T WANT TO WORK IN THIS ENVIRONMENT IN THE LONG TERM’

Amazon officials joined de Blasio and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November to announce plans to build a $2.5 billion headquarters in Queens.

De Blasio and Cuomo said the $2.8 billion in tax breaks and subsidies they were offering Amazon would result in $27 billion in tax revenue.

The company, however, announced on Thursday that it had dropped plans to build a new headquarters in Queens amid pressure from politicians and activists over the tax breaks it would receive.

“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion — we love New York,” the online giant from Seattle said in a blog post announcing its withdrawal.

The stunning move was a serious blow to Cuomo and de Blasio, who had lobbied intensely to land the project, competing against more than 200 other metropolitan areas across the continent that were practically tripping over each other to offer incentives to Amazon in a bidding war the company stoked.

Cuomo lashed out at fellow New York politicians over Amazon’s change of heart, saying the project would have helped diversify the city’s economy, cement its status as an emerging tech hub and generate money for schools, housing and transit.

“A small group (of) politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community,” he said.

But Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York City’s new liberal firebrand, exulted over Amazon’s pullout.

“Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” she tweeted, referring to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The swift unraveling of the project reflected growing antipathy toward large technology companies among liberals and populists who accuse big business of holding down wages and wielding too much political clout, analysts said.

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“This all of a sudden became a perfect test case for all those arguments,” said Joe Parilla, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Amazon ultimately decided it did not want to be drawn into that battle.

Amazon announced in November that it had chosen the Long Island City section of Queens for one of two new headquarters, with the other in Arlington, Va. Both would get 25,000 jobs. A third site in Nashville, Tenn., would get 5,000.

The company planned to spend $2.5 billion building the New York office, choosing the area in part because of its large pool of tech talent. The governor and the mayor had argued that the project would spur economic growth that would pay for the $2.8 billion in state and city incentives many times over.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

California AG Becerra plans to sue Trump administration over national emergency declaration

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Sunday that he will "definitely and imminently" file a lawsuit against the Trump administration for declaring a national emergency at the U.S.’ southern border.

"It’s clear that this isn’t an emergency, it’s clear that in the mind of Donald Trump he needs to do something to try to fulfill a campaign promise," Becerra said during an interview on ABC News’ "This Week." The construction of a border wall has been a central issue for Trump since he first announced he was running for president in 2015.

Becerra added: "That doesn’t constitute a national emergency that would require us to essentially stand down on all sorts of federal laws and also violate the U.S. Constitution.”

TRUMP DECLARES EMERGENCY ON BORDER, EYES $8B FOR WALL

Becerra, a former Democratic congressman for the state, has become one of the Trump administration’s biggest foils on a state level, especially in regards to the White House’s policies on immigration and border security.

"It’s become clear that this is not an emergency, not only because no one believes it is, but because Donald Trump himself has said it’s not," Becerra said. "Typically, our presidents have focused on issues where the national interests are clearly at stake. The national interests aren’t at stake here."

Trump declared the emergency Friday in an effort to go around Congress to fund his border wall. It would allow him to move federal dollars earmarked for military construction to the border — but is already facing legal and political challenges.

Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution disapproving of the declaration once Congress returns to session and it is likely to pass Congress. Several Republican senators are already indicating they would vote against Trump — though there are not yet enough votes to override a veto by the president.

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White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told "Fox News Sunday" that "the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration." Asked if that meant Trump was ready to veto, Miller added, "He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed."

Miller insisted that Congress granted the president wide berth under the National Emergencies Act to take action. But Trump’s declaration goes beyond previous emergencies in shifting money after Congress blocked his funding request for the wall, which will likely factor in legal challenges.

Source: Fox News Politics

“Quit Drinking So Much Coffee” Howard Schultz decries a potential 2020 bid   Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in an interview with Fox News, fired back Wednesday at Democrats who are fuming over the possibility he could launch an independent presidential bid and claiming such a move would boost President Trump in 2020.    Watch the […]


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