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Thursday’s release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was supposed to be the end of a two-year-long probe but as the “The Five” discovered Thursday, it may be only the beginning of a continuing debate between Democrats and Republicans.

The issue of whether President Trump obstructed justice led to a very tense moment between co-hosts Marie Harf, Dan Bongino and Jessie Watters.

MUELLER REPORT SHOWS PROBE DID NOT FIND COLLUSION EVIDENCE, REVEALS TRUMP EFFORTS TO SIDELINE KEY PLAYERS

“Why are they not apologizing for being wrong?” Bongino asked Harf, wondering why Democrats don’t just “take the loss” and admit they were wrong about the president colluding with Russia or obstructing justice.

“They are not wrong,” Harf responded. “If you look at Part Two of the report which is on obstruction. Mueller outlines multiple attempts — “

“He didn’t collude,” Bongino interrupted.

“Can I finish?” Harf retorted.

Thursday’s release of the Mueller report highlighted the partisanship on Capitol Hill, with Democrats calling for the unredacted report and continuing investigations while Republicans claim vindication and now want to focus on how the Mueller probe started in the first place.

Harf and Watters continued to argue their perceptions of the report.

Mueller “didn’t say that in the report. He did not say that there was no collusion,” Harf said.

“You don’t need to succeed in obstruction or have an underlying crime legally for it to be obstruction.”

RUDY GIULIANI ON THE RELEASE OF THE MUELLER REPORT: ‘THIS PRESIDENT HAS BEEN TREATED TOTALLY UNFAIRLY’

“If that’s your argument, the audience can’t hear that. It’s gobbledygook,” Watters said.

“It happens to be the truth, Jesse,” Harf responded.

“Collusion was a very simple thing to sell. Everybody understood that. Attempted obstruction of a crime that never happened, you can’t sell that,” Watters said.

Source: Fox News Politics

Sixty-eight percent of Americans say they paid the same amount or more in federal taxes for 2018 as they did the previous year, despite a “tremendous” tax break promised by President Donald Trump before he passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, according to a new Hill-HarrisX survey released Thursday.

Taxes were filed April 15, and the poll, which surveyed 1,001 registered voters, was conducted April 12-13.

The poll found:

  • 36% of Americans said they paid the same amount in federal taxes last year than in 2017.
  • 32% said they paid more last year than in 2017.
  • 18% said they paid less last year than in 2017.
  • 46% of respondents earning $125,000 or more per year said they owed more in 2018.
  • 33% of respondents making between $50,000 and $75,000 said they owed more in 2018 as well.
  • 29% of respondents making between $100,000 and $125,000 paid less in federal taxes in 2018.

HarrisX CEO Dritan Nesho warned a number of respondents could have filed their own taxes.

“You might actually have a little bit of an effect where people tried to do their own taxes, rather than hire a professional,” Nesho told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons. “They’re not realizing a lot of the returns or a lot of the gains that they could be realizing.”

Source: NewsMax America

The Trump administration wants to crack down on illegal immigrants using government services by strengthening checks around federally subsidized housing.

The Washington Post reported Thursday the Department of Housing and Urban Development will beef up its verification process for people who request housing help.

“We need to make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, according to the Post. “Given the overwhelming demand for our programs, fairness requires that we devote ourselves to legal residents who have been waiting, some for many years, for access to affordable housing.”

Illegal aliens are not eligible to receive subsidies for federal housing programs, but families comprised of both illegal and legal immigrants are eligible — as long as someone with a legal status serves as the head of household.

HUD believes there are roughly 32,000 households illegally taking advantage of federal housing subsidies, the Post reported.

The Trump administration is trying to close loopholes and crack down on illegal immigration, particularly as several caravans from Central America make the long journey from their home countries to the U.S. and ask for asylum.

Source: NewsMax America

CONCORD, N.H. — Beto O’Rourke isn’t the shiny new thing anymore in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Indeed, the media spotlight and the momentum appear to have shifted in recent weeks to South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose candidacy has surged over the past month.

O’ROURKE CONFRONTED AT TOWN HALL

But O’Rourke, a former three-term congressman from El Paso, Texas, says he’s not fretting.

“I feel great,” he told Fox News on Thursday. “I feel like we’re in a good place.”

He added: “I think more than any other candidate, we’ve been showing up answering questions. I think we’ve answered nearly 600 questions so far in a little bit more than a month. Have visited more communities. That’s what I want to do. That’s democracy.”

O’Rourke spoke with Fox News during stops in Derry and Concord, N.H., making his second trip since launching his campaign to the state with the first primary in the race for the White House.

THE LATEST 2020 REPORTS FROM FOX NEWS

O’Rourke was soaring in the polls and was posting eye-popping fundraising figures as he basked in generous media attention and large crowds on the campaign trail in the weeks after he declared his candidacy in last month.

But even if the sheen has diminished to some degree, O’Rourke remains a draw on the campaign trail. Derry’s Grind Rail Trail Cafe was packed with voters eager to get a look at the former congressman, who nearly upset Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas last year. And a crowd of a couple of hundred watched him at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, a key stop for Democratic White House hopefuls.

“We show up for everyone. We take no one for granted,” he told the audience.

In an interview after the event, O’Rourke pointed to the calendar, emphasizing that “we’re still roughly 10 months out from the first votes being cast. And that’s a lot of time, a lot of miles, a lot of hours, a lot of town halls, a lot of questions, and I’m up for it and I’m looking forward to it.”

He discounted early polling, saying, “I just am not concerned about, nor am I following, the polls. You may know that throughout the Senate campaign we never hired a pollster or participated in a focus group.”

O’Rourke raised more than $9 million in the 18 days from the launch of his campaign through March 31, which was the end of the first quarter of fundraising. Asked if he can keep up that pace in the second quarter, he noted that “there are more people who have given to us (in last year’s Senate campaign) that can give for the first time in this race, or who can give additional amounts. I think that speaks to our ability for capacity and pace.”

He said he’ll tap his nascent campaign war chest to increase staff in New Hampshire and other early-voting states, and “use that money doing what we’re doing here, ensuring that we have an ability to show up everywhere, in every part of every state that we go to.”

BIDEN JOINS STRIKING UNION MEMBERS AS 2020 SPECULATION MOUNTS

O’Rourke’s trip to the Granite State came days before a likely presidential announcement by onetime Vice President Joe Biden.

O’Rourke said Biden “would be a great addition to an already outstanding field of Democratic contenders. He certainly brings something to the conversation, to the debates.”

Ahead of O’Rourke’s arrival in New Hampshire, the Republican National Committee painted him as one more too-liberal Democrat supporting fringe proposals.

“Beto’s socialist schemes would kill jobs, hike taxes and reverse our country’s roaring economic success,” RNC spokesperson Mandi Merritt told Fox News.

Source: Fox News Politics

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, Tom Perez, seemed to sidestep a question on Thursday about whether it was wise for his party to file articles of impeachment in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

“Do you think politically, as the chairman of the Democratic Party, that that is the right thing for the Democratic Party to do?” Fox News host Bret Baier asked during his show, “Special Report.”

Perez didn’t give a “yes” or “no” answer, instead saying that Democrats could “walk and chew gum” by pushing policies, like coverage for pre-existing conditions, while conducting effective oversight in Congress. “I think that there are more questions to be asked here,” Perez said after Baier repeated the question.

“We don’t know whether obstruction occurred. There were 954 redactions,” he said in reference to the investigative report released by the Justice Department earlier in the day.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM MUELLER’S REPORT ON RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

While Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report did not formally accuse Trump of obstructing justice, it also didn’t “exonerate” the president. Instead, the report listed 10 items concerning potential obstruction — details that congressional Democrats could well use to continue pressing the administration.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has already requested that Mueller testify before his committee, and said he would subpoena the full, unredacted report. Although some Democrats have previously raised the prospect of impeachment, the House Democratic leadership recently rejected the idea.

Impeachment proceedings could arise out of further investigation into whether the president committed obstruction of justice. And according to Perez, that was still a possibility. He pointed to Mueller’s own language, which indicated his team wasn’t confident that Trump hadn’t obstructed justice.

FOX NEWS POLL: INTEREST IN 2020 ALREADY AT ELECTION DAY LEVELS

“The notion that there’s no obstruction is just hogwash,” Perez asserted. He also suggested that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s attorney, jumped the gun in arguing that the president didn’t have corrupt intent.

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Source: Fox News Politics

Hours after the Department of Justice on Thursday released a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez committed to adding her name to an impeachment resolution aimed at President Trump.

The New York Democrat revealed her intentions on Twitter, vowing to sign onto the resolution put forward by fellow freshman lawmaker Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., last month.

The proposal calls on the House Judiciary Committee to probe whether or not the president committed any offenses that rise to the level of impeachment.

MUELLER REPORT SHOWS PROBE DID NOT FIND COLLUSION EVIDENCE, REVEALS TRUMP EFFORTS TO SIDELINE KEY PLAYERS

In announcing her decision, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the report, writing it “is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President.”

“While I understand the political reality of the Senate + election considerations, upon reading this DoJ report, which explicitly names Congress in determining obstruction, I cannot see a reason for us to abdicate from our constitutionally mandated responsibility to investigate,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.

TRUMP DECLARES VICTORY AS MUELLER REPORT DROPS: ‘NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION’

The report showed that investigators did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller, however, did not reach a conclusion on whether the president’s conduct amounted to obstruction, stating: “[W]hile this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued on Twitter, explaining that she doesn’t often speak about the matter of impeachment and would rather focus her attention on other matters. But the report’s release brought the subject to the forefront, she argued.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“Many know I take no pleasure in discussions of impeachment. I didn’t campaign on it, & rarely discuss it unprompted,” she tweeted. “We all prefer working on our priorities: pushing Medicare for All, tackling student loans, & a Green New Deal.”

“But the report squarely puts this on our doorstep,” she wrote.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said on “The Todd Starnes Show” that Dems’ obsession with the Mueller report exists for good reason: to cover up their own misdeeds.

Said the lawmaker, “As long as the Democrats in their minds … can drag this thing out, and keep throwing rocks at Trump, then the better chance that no Democrats will be going to prison.”

The release of the full investigative report, with redactions, on Thursday was, to some observers, a moment of closure nearly two years in the making. At the same time, though, others saw it as just the start of a new round of partisan conflict.

READ THE ROBERT MUELLER REPORT

The report aligned with the findings revealed in Attorney General Bill Barr’s four-page memo from a month ago — no collusion with Russia, no clear verdict on obstruction. But it also added new layers of detail about Trump’s purported efforts to thwart the investigation.

Looking ahead, both sides were already using the findings to reiterate and amplify arguments about Trump’s conduct, Republicans cast him as a victim of harassment, while Dems painted the president as stepping far over the line to derail the investigation.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

A Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City’s recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city’s public health authority exceeded its authority.

In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents’ petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

The judge sided with municipal health officials who defended the order as a rare but necessary step to contain a surge in the highly contagious disease that has infected at least 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in the borough of Brooklyn.

Another 222 cases have been diagnosed elsewhere in New York state, mostly in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County, northwest of Manhattan.

The New York outbreaks are part of a larger resurgence of measles across the country, with at least 555 cases confirmed in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts say the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated. Most profess philosophical or religious reasons, or cite concerns – debunked by medical science – that the three-way measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

The judge rejected the parents’ contention that the vaccination order was excessive or coercive, noting it does not call for forcibly administering the vaccine to those who refuse it.

He also dismissed assertions in the petition disputing the “clear and present danger” of the outbreak. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,” the judge said.

SECRET IDENTITIES

The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine.

The court challenge was brought in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court by five people identified only as parents living in the affected neighborhoods. Their identities were kept confidential to protect their children’s’ privacy, their lawyers said.

In court on Thursday, they told Knipel the city had overstepped its authority and that quarantining the infected would be a preferable approach.

Robert Krakow, an attorney for the parents, estimated that just 0.0006 percent of the population of Brooklyn and Queens had measles. “That’s not an epidemic,” he said. “It’s not Ebola. It’s not smallpox.”

The health department’s lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

The judge cited 39 cases diagnosed in Michigan that have been traced to an individual traveling from the Williamsburg community at the epicenter of Brooklyn’s outbreak. The surge in measles there originated with an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, where the highly contagious virus is also running rampant.

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period last year, the World Health Organization said this week.

Source: NewsMax America

The release to the public of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election was no comfort to veterans of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.

“Apparently it’s not criminal to help foreign agents carry out their plans to disrupt an election,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told Politico. “I wish instead of just relitigating the past, we would spend some time crafting laws to prevent this in the future.”

One of the revelations in the report was President Donald Trump’s obsessive interest in Clinton’s deleted emails, according to Politico. The Trump campaign, however, never found them.

“After candidate Trump stated on July 27, 2016, that he hoped Russia would ‘find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’ Trump asked individuals affiliated with his campaign to find the deleted Clinton emails,” the report stated, the news outlet noted.

“Michael Flynn — who would later serve as national security adviser in the Trump administration — recalled that Trump made this request repeatedly, and Flynn subsequently contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails.”

Jesse Ferguson, a senior spokesperson on the Clinton campaign, told Politico that “aside from Trump’s scandal, corruption, and potential criminality in the Mueller report, it also confirms that Trump got elected thanks to an extensive Russian infiltration and operation.”

Clinton spokespeople Jennifer Palmieri and Brian Fallon both called for impeachment hearings.

“This should be a reminder to all 2020 opponents that you aren’t dealing with a normal candidate. They are playing incredibly dirty,” Adrienne Elrod, the campaign’s director of strategic communications and surrogates, told Politico, adding the report should be used to to guide congressional probes. “This is far from over.”

Source: NewsMax America

Dems and the fake news media are struggling to come to grips with the release of the FBI Special Counsel’s report, which found no collusion between President Trump and Russia!

Source: The War Room


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