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FILE PHOTO: Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone gives an interview to Reuters in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
FILE PHOTO: Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone gives an interview to Reuters in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

February 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone apologized on Monday after posting on Instagram a photo of the judge overseeing his trial for allegedly making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

The photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, which included a symbol that appeared to represent crosshairs, was later taken down.

An attorney for Stone said in a filing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that Stone “apologizes to the Court for the improper photograph and comment” and said “Mr. Stone recognizes the impropriety and had it removed.”

The judge issued a gag order on Friday that prohibits lawyers involved in the case from speaking with the news media and prohibits other participants, such as Stone himself, from making statements that may affect the case when they are near the courthouse.

“A photo of Judge Jackson posted on my Instagram has been misinterpreted. This was a random photo taken from the Internet,” Stone said in a statement posted to Instagram. “Any inference that this was meant to somehow threaten the Judge or disrespect court is categorically false.”

Stone has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election and whether President Trump’s Republican campaign conspired with Moscow.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Andy Sullivan; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has revealed new details of his horrifying ordeal in an Iranian prison, telling The Guardian newspaper that while he was never physically abused, "I was certainly tortured, and they have to pay for that."

Rezaian, who was held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for 18 months on accusations of espionage and related charges before his release in January 2016, has sued Iran in U.S. federal court, alleging he received such "physical mistreatment and severe psychological abuse … that he will never be the same." He also has written a memoir about his experience, "Prisoner," which was published last month.

A native of California, Rezaian held both U.S. and Iranian citizenship at the time of his arrest in July 2014. He was working as the Post’s Tehran correspondent and was living in the capital with his wife, Bloomberg News reporter Yeganeh Salehi, when both were arrested by members of the theocracy’s secret police.

HELL ON EARTH: INSIDE IRAN’S BRUTAL EVIN PRISON

"For the first six or seven months, [the threat of execution] was pretty regular," said Rezaian, who recalled seeing condemned prisoners when he was taken to and from court for his secret trial. "It was the constant anxiety of: ‘Are they going to kill me, are they going to keep me forever or am I going to be released tomorrow?’ You don’t know what to believe. That’s the method. That’s the torture."

Rezaian told The Guardian he had nightmares of being kept in prison after he was supposed to be released. He also said he’s become more nervous about taking on overseas assignments.

"Like many foreign correspondents, I used to be pretty intrepid in where I was willing to go," he said. "Now I’m not. I have to have very concrete plans. I get anxious and paranoid if I don’t know how I’m going to get back to my hotel. All these things are so counter to the way that I lived for so many years."

WIFE OF U.S. SCHOLAR IMPRISONED IN IRAN SPEAKS OUT: ‘HIS ONLY CRIME IS HE’S AMERICAN’

Rezaian also said the murder of Saudi activist Jamal Khashoggi, who contributed columns to the Post’s global opinions section, had a psychological effect on his wife and him. Khashoggi was murdered this past October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

"We were kindred spirits, in the sense that we both felt forced out of place," Rezaian told the Guardian of Khashoggi and himself. "[We felt] that these governments didn’t want to see us in their midst any longer."

In one of Rezaian’s final conversations with his interrogators before returning to the U.S., he said, they predicted that Donald Trump would win the U.S. presidential election.

"It’s very simple," one of them reportedly told Rezaian. "Trump is the candidate that hates Muslims most."

Click for more from The Guardian.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

A heckler at a rally for Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren yelled on Saturday “Why’d you lie?” when Warren started talking about her background and who she was.

The heckler wanted to know why Warren identified as a Native American. It was revealed in February by The Washington Post that Warren wrote “Native American” on her Texas bar exam.

Warren admitted, following a DNA test, that she’s not an actual tribal citizen, saying “tribes and only tribes determine citizenship.”

Check out this mash-up of Warren’s latest awkward moments. (RELATED: Bar Hopping With Liberals On Election Night)

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A Honduran lawmaker has been stripped of her seat in Congress after being convicted last month of defaming and slandering a local banker.

The court on Monday also sentenced Maria Luisa Borjas of the opposition Libre party to serve two years and eight months, but she can avoid jail by paying a fine of $1 for each day.

Her congressional seat will pass to an alternate from her party.

Borjas was running for election in 2017 when she read a list of suspected "intellectual authors" from security ministry report about the 2016 killing of environmental activist Berta Caceres.

The list included Camilo Atala, president of Ficohsa bank.

Atala sued her for defamation, saying the comments caused "irreparable damage" to his reputation. He has denied any connection to the slaying.

Source: Fox News World

State police armoured vehicles patrol at an industrial park where employees from some plants are on strike in Matamoros
FILE PHOTO: State police armoured vehicles patrol at an industrial park where employees from some plants are on strike in Matamoros, state of Tamaulipas, Mexico Janaury 29, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

February 19, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A group representing some of Mexico’s biggest companies told left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday that politicians should resist “extortion” by labor unions after strikes and blockades in recent weeks.

Alejandro Ramirez, president of the Mexican Business Council, said strikes at factories in the northern state of Tamaulipas and blockades of railways by a teachers union had caused more than a billion dollars in losses and could cause businesses to close.

Members of the group, including Mexico’s second-richest man, German Larrea, who controls mining and transport conglomerate Grupo Mexico, were critics of Lopez Obrador before his July 1 election, warning voters should be wary of populism.

“In labor matters, we look favorably on Mexicans starting a new era of union freedom that will allow the end of old protectionist practices for a few unions and companies,” said Ramirez, chief executive of cinema chain Cineopolis.

“Freedom of association and respect of the rule of law should be the axis of this new labor reform. For that reason, we make a respectful call to lawmakers of all parties that it doesn’t just guarantee union freedom but also avoids union extortion.”

Since taking office, Lopez Obrador and members of the ruling party have sought regulation in areas ranging from banking and pensions to mining to make services cheaper for consumers.

The former Mexico City mayor wants to encourage investment to drive growth, but some worry regulation will be heavy handed and unpredictable.

MORENA, the party created by Lopez Obrador, is planning a reform to make it easier for workers to form independent unions. Traditionally, unions have allied with the former party of power, the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Lopez Obrador brought veteran union leader Napoleon Gomez into his party as a senator. Gomez has a history of conflict with Grupo Mexico, including strikes.

Gomez last week founded a federation called the International Workers Confederation.

Monday’s event was the first time the group met with Lopez Obrador since he took office in December. Earlier in the day, he met the Council for Investment Promotion, Job Creation and Growth, a body he created to advise on economic policy.

Labor strikes in January at manufacturers in the Mexican city of Matamoros on the U.S. border cost about $50 million a day in unfulfilled international contracts.

Teachers from the National Committee of Education Workers blocked railroad tracks for weeks in January to protest labor demands.

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Yaya Niass, a hairdresser who works out of a road-side shack, is pictured inside his shop in Pikine, on the outskirts of Dakar
FILE PHOTO: Yaya Niass, a hairdresser who works out of a road-side shack, is pictured inside his shop in Pikine, on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal February 1, 2019. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra

February 19, 2019

DAKAR (Reuters) – For Yaya Niass, who cuts hair in a roadside shack on the outskirts of Dakar, the time for political change in Senegal – and in Africa as a whole – is well overdue.

“We are late in terms of development compared to other continents …so I expect from the next president, from the next African presidents that they work to …be in power for the people,” he said as the country prepares to elect a new leader on Sunday.

Niass, 48, who grew up in France and lived there until 1985, did not say who he will vote for, but was sure he wanted to see fundamental changes in the country.

“The African people are really tired, we make do…but I think states really have the power to change things.”

Senegal was on a good path, he said. “(But) just one group of Senegalese that live really well in comfort while all the rest suffer, that needs to stop.”

(Reporting by Christophe van der Perre; Editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

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On the roster: When every day is Presidents’ Day – Would Biden be the real frontrunner? – List of litigants against Trump emergency growing – Audible: Like freedom fries? – Tudder for an udder

WHEN EVERY DAY IS PRESIDENTS’ DAY
We are in the midst of a needful and long-overdue discussion about executive authority.

But don’t expect it to last.

In the past seven decades, Americans have substantially learned to live without the small-r republicanism that was so much a part of our founding and first century and a half of our history.

Consider the long, slouchy slide into the abomination that we call “Presidents’ Day.” The holiday is still “George Washington’s Birthday” by law, having survived an effort in 1968 to standardize the observance as a generic honor for all presidents.

Abraham Lincoln, born on Feb. 12, never had a federal observance of his own, but most states had holidays for the Great Emancipator. Washington was born on Feb. 22, so this created something of a holiday logjam in February, which was unhelpful for schools and employers.

Over time, confusion between state and federal observances and the pressure from advertisers who wanted a standard way to hawk mattresses and minivans, dumbed down the holiday.

While it’s true that it doesn’t really matter what we call the day for the sake of celebrations. Americans ought not need to be told how and when exactly to venerate our two greatest leaders. Plus, ski weekends…

What does matter, though, is that the generic holiday is an unfortunate reflection of the royalist strain that has so much taken hold of American political thinking.

There’s no doubt that in our republic, the president is afforded many of the powers of a term-limited king. The power of the commander in chief to defend against an attack or of whether to pardon a criminal are magisterial indeed.

The fear among the Federalists in support of the Constitution was, in fact, that the legislative branch would be too powerful and that the executive would be too puny to get the job done. Sapped of the capacity for decisive action, the executive branch would become a kind of ceremonial head of state – a hood ornament for the country. Meanwhile, Congress would be unable to provide decisive responses to *ahem* national emergencies.

It’s turned out to be exactly the opposite. Congress can seldom act, it’s true. But the response from what is supposed to be the preeminent branch has been to cede its own authority. For decades now and under the control of both parties, Congress has taken itself from the lion of our government into a pipsqueak.

The idea behind venerating Washington and Lincoln is that they were special men who, at crucial moments, led the country out of dangerous straits and into greater glories. And in both cases, that given the opportunity to be demagogues or to hoard power for themselves, they instead placed those authorities back in the hands of the representatives of the people.

But the reason their self-sacrifice is so remarkable is that it is so rare. And it is so rare because, as the verdict of 10,000 years of history clearly shows, the people generally don’t want the power. Autocracy and highly centralized power haven’t been the norm in human history just because of the efforts autocrats, but also the will of the people.

Being a citizen in a republic is harder duty than being the subject of a king or queen. You have to make decisions. You have to know the facts. You have to participate.

The imperial American presidency has been growing and growing to the point now where we are even having a discussion about whether the current occupant of the Oval Office can even disregard the domestic spending direction of the Congress. That we are even in debate on the subject tells us how far we have fallen.

And in this case, like every executive usurpation that has come before, the executive points to the abuses that came before and were allowed to stand by a craven Congress. We won’t here delve into the cause of congressional cravenness, except to say that the individual ambitions of careerist lawmakers has made lawmaking seem rather too icky.

Where we’ve landed, and this has been very much for the current presidency and the one before it, is where everything seems focused on the man in the White House. Day after day after day of focus on one single human. As if a president could be so powerful… 

Whatever sign they hung in the window at the mattress store today doesn’t matter, but we would submit that when we divorced the observance from the individual men, it was another step toward a monarchical America.    

The truth that most of us would probably not like to confront is that America likes it better that way.

THE RULEBOOK: FANCY THAT
“The representatives of the people, in a popular assembly, seem sometimes to fancy that they are the people themselves, and betray strong symptoms of impatience and disgust at the least sign of opposition from any other quarter…” Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 71

TIME OUT: UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Fashion critic Vanessa Friedman shares some thoughts on the passing of the original “influencer.” NYT: “What does it mean to have your greatest legacy be one of ‘taste?’ I have been thinking about this since the news of Lee Radziwill’s death arrived, along with the flood of photographs from all corners of social media featuring Ms. Radziwill throughout her life — in white corduroys and a blue boat-neck T-shirt, in bouffant chignon and tunics; in a pink shift with her sister, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, atop an elephant during a tour of India; in a white-and-silver beaded gown dancing with Truman Capote at his Black and White Ball; in a black patent python jacket — all of them used to pay homage to her extraordinary ‘taste.’ Been thinking about it since some of the obituaries and reminiscences almost seem to use the word as a backhanded compliment; a reference to a life that had more impact in style than substance… But are the two really so unrelated?”

Flag on the play? – Email us at [email protected] with your tips, comments or questions.

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

WOULD BIDEN BE THE REAL FRONTRUNNER?

Politico:Joe Biden’s big lead in early Democratic 2020 polling might be a bunch of malarkey. While most polls show the former vice president hovering around 30 percent of the Democratic primary vote, well ahead of second-place Sen. Bernie Sanders, two recent surveys paint a starkly different picture — raising the question of whether Biden is a real front-runner or just has big name-recognition. Those polls show far more Democratic voters undecided about which candidate to support, and they pegged Biden’s backing at a much less intimidating 9 to 12 percent. The results are so varied partly thanks to different methodological choices by the pollsters. But parsing the results is more than an academic exercise: While Biden weighs a third campaign for the presidency, he and his allies must consider whether polls a year before primary season really reflect Biden’s true strength — and his potential rivals have to calculate whether the former vice president could overwhelm lesser-known challengers in 2020.”

The mom lane – The Boston Globe: “As the 2020 Democratic primary shapes up, its leading women candidates – accomplished stateswomen, all – are drawing attention to another role they play: Mom. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar both talked about being mothers in the opening statements of their presidential bids. Senator Kamala Harris speaks often of her husband’s two children and the nickname they have given her: Momala. There are already indications that the women of 2020 plan to draw on their own experiences to embrace policies that affect mothers and working parents more broadly, bringing such issues as child care and family leave firmly into the political mainstream. This week, for example, Warren plans to introduce a universal child care and early learning plan, which she has said would be paid for by taxing the wealth of the richest Americans.”

Busy weekend on the trail – AP: “Five Democratic senators vying for their party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020 fanned out across the country Saturday to campaign and meet voters. Kamala Harris of California spent her second straight day in the pivotal early-voting state of South Carolina, holding a town hall meeting in Columbia, the capital. Also visiting the state was Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who met with an estimated 800 voters in Greenville before heading to Georgia… Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York both focused on New Hampshire. Booker made his first visit to there since joining the race earlier this month, holding a question-and-answer session with more than 400 voters in Portsmouth. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, meanwhile, made her own uncommon choice for early campaigning by visiting Wisconsin before heading to Iowa, home to the nation’s first caucus. And a Democratic heavyweight who’s yet to address his 2020 plans, former Vice President Joe Biden, made his own high-profile appearance at the Munich Security Conference.”

Bernie’s team talked of grim standing with non-white voters –  NYT: “Shortly after Senator Bernie Sanders suffered a crushing loss in South Carolina’s Democratic primary in 2016, his campaign’s African-American outreach team sent a memo to top campaign leaders with an urgent warning. ‘The margin by which we lost the African-American vote has got to be — at the very least — cut in half or there simply is no path to victory,’ the team wrote in the memo, which was reviewed by The New York Times. Mr. Sanders had won 14 percent of the black vote there compared with 86 percent for Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls. Over seven pages, the team outlined a strategy for winning black voters that included using social media influencers and having Mr. Sanders give a major speech on discrimination in a city like St. Louis or Cincinnati. Mr. Sanders’s inner circle did not respond.”

LIST OF LITIGANTS AGAINST TRUMP EMERGENCY GROWING
NBC News: “California and a dozen other states are filing a lawsuit challenging Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday. ‘The president admitted that there’s not a basis for the declaration. He admitted there’s no crisis at the border. He’s now trying to rob funds that were allocated by Congress legally to the various states and people of our states,’ Becerra told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC Monday afternoon. ‘The separation of powers is being violated, we’re going to go out there and make sure that Donald Trump cannot steal money from the states and people who need them, since we paid the taxpayer dollars to Washington, D.C., to get those services,’ he said. … New Jersey, Colorado, and Connecticut all confirmed to NBC News they are a part of the lawsuit. ‘The only national emergency is the president’s trafficking in lies and deceit,’ Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement.”

Stephen Miller on the hot seat – USA Today: “During an interview on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ host Chris Wallace pressed [senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller] on the need for a national emergency, citing U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data showing between 80 to 90 percent of drugs seized in attempted smugglings happened at ports of entry. … Wallace pressed Miller to cite another example from the 59 times presidents used the National Emergency Act where it was invoked to obtain money that Congress had refused to appropriate. Miller did not cite such a precedent and took issue with the premise of the question. ‘They didn’t refuse to appropriate it,’ Miller said. ‘They passed a law specifically saying the president could have this authority. It’s in the plain statute. That’s the decision that Congress made, and if people don’t like that, they can address it.’”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate McCabe’s claimsWaPo

North Carolina election officials make their case against GOP ‘ballot harvesting’ in unresolved House raceRaleigh News & Observer

AUDIBLE: LIKE FREEDOM FRIES?
“I think that whatever you eat is a very personal decision and everybody should eat what they want to eat. That’s America- that’s what we believe in freedom.” – Presidential Candidate Cory Booker (D-NJ) explained his vegan diet to his voters via twitter over the weekend.

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Chris, be serious, neither [Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld] nor [Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan] can be classified as ‘notable’. I’d put [Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich] in that category, but I don’t think he’ll get into a race that he knows for sure that he can’t win.” Lou Banas, Brea,Calif

[Ed. Note: I can’t be sure of your definition of notability, Mr. Banas. But the second-term governor of a state of 6 million or so souls strikes me as within any reasonable definition. The ting about primary challenges is that they don’t have to be successful to do their damage. In 1980, Ted Kennedy didn’t beat Jimmy Carter, nor did Pat Buchanan unhorse George H.W. Bush in 1992, but both campaigns were certainly consequential. That’s why the Trump campaign is rightly worried about just such a run.]

“One of the greatest walls between us, the people, and an overzealous government is the separation of powers. The Founding Fathers, in perhaps one of their greatest acts of genius, divided the power of government into three separate branches so as to insure there was no party with absolute power. Declaring an ‘emergency’, after the president has already given the congress the opportunity to act and has acted, creates a huge breach in this wall of protection. Gaining short-term funds for building a border wall in exchange for the Constitutional wall of protection created by the separation of powers is neither conservative nor is it wise. Liberals often believe the end justifies the means, I hope conservatives do not stray down this dangerous road.” Steve Bartlett, Greenville, S.C.

[Ed. Note: The Constitution is always getting strange new respect from the party out of power. We could call it hypocrisy, but that would be too narrow of a view. In fact, our charter has very much in mind keeping majorities from turning into steamrollers. So then maybe it makes a certain sense that the party out of power holds the Constitution in greater reverence.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at [email protected] and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

TUDDER FOR AN UDDER

Reuters: “A Tinder-inspired app is helping farmers match up potential partners for their cattle. Called ‘Tudder’ ― a mix of dating app Tinder and udder – it lets farmers swipe right on cattle they like the look of. They are then directed to a page on the SellMyLivestock website where they can browse more pictures and data about the animals before deciding whether to buy. Valuable information is available on matters like milk yield and protein content, or calving potential, explained Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare Agritech which runs SellMyLivestock (SML) and Graindex, a UK-based online agritech trading platform. ‘Matching livestock online is even easier than it is to match humans because there’s a huge amount of data that sits behind these wonderful animals that predicts what their offspring will be,’ he said.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Nixon might indeed have committed crimes. But the spectacle of an ex-president on trial and perhaps even in jail was something Ford would not allow the country to go through.”  – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on July 27, 2017.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Liz Friden contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Source: Fox News Politics

Liberal actor Jussie Smollett is accused of staging a racist and anti-gay attack on himself, which Smollett blamed on supporters of President Donald Trump.

Smollett’s alleged fake “hate crime” appears to be the latest instance of liberals manufacturing hate crimes for attention in the Trump era.

The Daily Caller News Foundation compiled below some of the most outrageous fake hate crimes since Trump was elected, in rough chronological order:

Anti-Muslim Hate Crime In Michigan Turns Out To Be A Hoax (Nov. 2016)

A Muslim woman at the University of Michigan received national attention from national outlets like The Washington Post in November 2016 after she claimed a drunk 20-something man threatened to light her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab. The university condemned the “hateful attack,” which turned out to be a hoax.

Bisexual Student Fakes Trump-Inspired Hate Crime (Nov. 2016)

Taylor Volk, an openly bisexual senior at North Park University claimed to be the target of hateful notes and emails following Trump’s election in November 2016. Volk told NBC News that “I just want them to stop.” But the “them” referenced by Volk turned out to be herself, as the whole thing was fabricated.

Gas Station Racism Goes Viral — Then Police Debunk It (Nov. 2016)

Philadelphia woman Ashley Boyer claimed in November 2016 that she was harassed at a gas station by white, Trump-supporting males, one of whom pulled a weapon on her. Boyer claimed that the men “proceeded to talk about the election and how they’re glad they won’t have to deal with n—–s much longer.” Boyer deleted her post after it went viral and claimed the men had been caught and were facing criminal charges. Local police debunked her account.

White Men Rob Muslim Woman Of Her Hijab And Wallet — Except It Never Happened (Nov. 2016)

An 18-year-old Muslim woman in Louisiana claimed in November 2016 that two white men, one of whom was wearing a Trump hat, attacked and robbed her, taking her wallet and hijab while yelling racial slurs. She later admitted to the Lafayette Police Department that she made the whole thing up.

Church Organist Vandalizes Own Church (Nov. 2016) 

A church organist was arrested in May 2017 after he was found responsible for spray-painting a swastika, an anti-gay slur and the words “Heil Trump” on his own church in November 2016. When the story first broke, media outlets tied the hoax to Trump’s election. “The offensive graffiti at St. David’s is among numerous incidents that have occurred in the wake of Trump’s Election Day win,” The Washington Post reported at the time.

“Drunk White Men” Attack Muslim Woman In Story That Also Never Happened (Dec. 2016)

Another 18-year-old Muslim woman, this time in New York, was the subject of breathless headlines in December 2016 after she claimed to have been attacked by a group of Donald Trump supporters on a New York subway while onlookers did nothing. The woman, Yasmin Seweid, would go on to confess that she made the whole thing up.

White Guy Sets His Own Car On Fire, Paints Racial Slur On His Own Garage (Dec. 2016)

Denton, Texas, resident David Williams set his own car on fire and painted “n***** lovers” on his home’s garage, in an apparent attempt to stage a hate crime. Local police investigated the arson as a hate crime. Williams and his wife, Jenny, collected more than $5,000 from Good Samaritans via a GoFundMe page before the hoax was exposed.

Prankster Tricks Liberal Journalist Into Spreading Anti-Trump Hoax (Dec. 2016) 

As tales of Trump-inspired “hate crimes” were spread far and wide by liberal journalists after Trump’s election, one online prankster decided to test just easy it was to fool journalists. The prankster sent Mic.com writer Sarah Harvard a fictitious story in which a Native American claimed to have been harassed by an alleged Trump supporter who thought she was Mexican. Despite no evidence backing up the claim, Harvard spread the fake story, emails the prankster shared with The Daily Caller showed.

Student Writes Anti-Muslim Graffiti On His Own Door (Feb. 2017)

A Muslim student at Beloit College wrote anti-Muslim graffiti on his own dorm room door. The student was reportedly motivated by a desire to seek attention after a Jewish student was targeted with an anti-Semitic note.

Israeli Man Behind Anti-Semitic Bomb Threats in the U.S. (April 2017) 

Media outlets didn’t wait to find out who was behind a string of bomb threats targeting synagogues and Jewish schools before linking the threats to Trump. A U.S.-Israeli man was charged in April 2017 and indicted in February 2018 for the threats. A former reporter for The Intercept was also charged in March 2017 with making several copycat threats.

Hoax at St. Olaf (May 2017)

Students at St. Olaf college in Minnesota staged protests and boycotted classes in May 2017 after racist notes targeting black students were found around campus, earning coverage in national media outlets like The Washington Post. It later came out that a black student was responsible for the racist notes. The student carried out the hoax in order to “draw attention to concerns about the campus climate,” the university announced.

Fake Hate At Air Force Academy Goes Viral (Sept. 2017) 

The Air Force Academy was thrown into turmoil in September 2017 when horrific racist notes were found at the academy’s preparatory school. “Go home n***er,” read one of the notes. The superintendent, Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria, went viral with an impassioned speech addressing the racist notes.

Two months later, authorities determined that one of the students targeted by the notes was also the person responsible for writing them.

K-State Fake Hate Crime (Nov. 2017)

A student at Kansas State University filed a police report in November 2017 over racist graffiti left on his car. “Go Home N***** Boy” and “Whites Only,” read the racist graffiti, which the the student later admitted to writing himself.

Racist Graffiti Carried Out By Non-White Student (Nov. 2017) 

Another instance of racist graffiti that same month also turned out to be a hoax. A Missouri high school investigated after racial slurs were left on a bathroom mirror in November 2017, only to find that the student responsible was “non-white.”

Waiter Fakes Note Calling Himself A Terrorist (July 2018)

Texas waiter Khalil Cavil went viral after posting a Facebook picture of a racist note that he claimed a customer had left on the receipt, in lieu of a tip. The note described Cavil as a “terrorist.” Saltgrass Steak House, where Cavil worked, initially banned the customers for life, before their investigation revealed that the waiter had faked the racist note. “I did write it,” Cavil later admitted. “I don’t have an explanation. I made a mistake. There is no excuse for what I did.”

Waitress Fakes Racist Note, Blames Law Enforcement (July 2018)

A Texas waitress apologized in July 2018 after blaming local law enforcement for an offensive note targeting Mexicans. She later admitted to writing the note herself.

New York Woman’s Hate Crime That Wasn’t (Sept. 2018)

A New York woman was charged in September 2018 after police determined she fabricated a story about white teens yelling racial slurs at her and leaving a racist note on her car.

Student Faked Racist Notes (Dec. 2018)

Several racist notes at Drake University were actually the work of one of the students who had been targeted by them. “The fact that the actions of the student who has admitted guilt were propelled by motives other than hate does not minimize the worry and emotional harm they caused, but should temper fears,” university president Marty Martin said afterwards.

The Covington Catastrophe (Jan. 2019)

National media outlets pounced on a selectively edited video from the March for Life that showed Native American activist Nathan Phillips beating a drum in front of a boisterous group of boys from Covington Catholic High School.

REUTERS/Madalyn McGarvey

The exterior of Covington Catholic High School Dennis Griffin stadium is pictured in Park Hills, Kentucky, U.S., January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Madalyn McGarvey

Phillips originally told The Washington Post the students swarmed him while he was preparing to leave the Indigenous People’s March scheduled for the same day. Phillips originally said one student, who later identified himself as high school junior Nick Sandmann, blocked his path from leaving as he tried to do so. The extended video shows that wasn’t the case: Phillips approached the high school boys during their cheers, not the other way around. Some of the people with Phillips were directing racially charged language at the students, not the other way around.

Phillips told a second variation of his story to the Detroit Free Press. Phillips claimed he was playing the role of peacemaker by getting between the students and four “old black individuals,” whom he claimed the students were attacking. “They were in the process of attacking these four black individuals,” Phillip tolds the Michigan paper. “I was there and I was witnessing all of this … As this kept on going on and escalating, it just got to a point where you do something or you walk away, you know? You see something that is wrong and you’re faced with that choice of right or wrong.”

“These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that,” he added. Extended video shows that account also isn’t accurate. The four individuals Phillips referenced were members of the Black Hebrew Israelites and they launched racist and anti-gay slurs at the high school students, not the other way around. (RELATED: Nathan Phillips Keeps Changing His Story, Keeps Getting It Wrong)

WATCH: 

Bonus: Anti-Semitic Vandal Exposed As Democratic Activist (Nov. 2018)

Anti-Semitic vandalism in New York City turned out to be the work of a Democratic activist, according to police. It wasn’t a hoax — the anti-Semitic vandalism was real — but the suspect wasn’t the right-winger some had assumed him to be. The man police arrested, based on surveillance footage, was 26-year-old James Polite, who had actually interned for City Hall on anti-hate issues.

Bonus IITrump-Inspired Racist Blaze At Black Church Was Carried Out By Black Church-goer (Nov. 2016)

This hoax occurred one week before Trump was elected, but TheDCNF is including it as a bonus because it was so egregious. Leftist media outlets ran headlines like “A Black Church Burned in the Name of Trump” after a black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire and spray painted with the words “Vote Trump.” The Washington Post’s original coverage of the incident read in part,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the fire a ‘hateful and cowardly act,’ sparked by the incendiary rhetoric of GOP nominee Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.” But the church was set on fire by one of the church’s own congregants, who is black.

Did we miss any hoaxes? Shoot me an email

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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Source: The Daily Caller

A woman who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of raping her while they were undergraduates at Duke University nearly two decades ago called Monday for the state’s general assembly to hold a public hearing into her allegations and those of another woman against the Democrat.

Meredith Watson wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece that she was "frustrated by calls for an investigation rather than a public hearing" into the allegations brought against Fairfax by her and Vanessa Tyson.

"Such ‘investigations’ are secret proceedings, out of the public eye, leaving victims vulnerable to selective leaks and smears. And we all know how such investigations end: with ‘inconclusive results,’" Watson wrote. "My privacy has already been violated, yet I am still willing to testify publicly under oath. Tyson has made the same offer. Our plea to the Virginia General Assembly to require the same of Fairfax has been met with inaction."

Watson has said that Fairfax raped her in 2000, but that she did not report it because of how Duke officials responded to her earlier claim that she was raped by basketball star Corey Maggette. An attorney for Watson has claimed that Fairfax was one of the people she told about the alleged assault by Maggette and that the future lieutenant governor "used this prior assault against Ms. Watson" when he allegedly raped her. The attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, claimed that Fairfax told Watson at a campus party after the alleged assault that "I knew that because of what happened to you last year, you’d be too afraid to say anything."

FACEBOOK MESSAGES SHOW SECOND FAIRFAX ACCUSER DETAILED RAPE ALLEGATIONS DURING 2017 RACE

Last week, Fox News obtained Facebook messages from Watson in which she commented on Fairfax’s 2017 candidacy for Virginia lieutenant governor and told contacts about the alleged rape.

"I see you’ve been promoting Justin Fairfax on FB despite knowing he raped me, which is mind-blowing to me. Are you seriously voting for him today? #METOO,” she wrote to one contact on Election Day, 2017.

Tyson, an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California, previously accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Fairfax, who was attending Columbia Law School, was working as a so-called "body man" for vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

Fairfax has said that the encounters with Watson and Tyson were consensual and suggested that both women’s accusations are part of a political smear campaign to prevent him from succeeding Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam if he’s forced to resign amid a racist photo scandal.

Watson wrote that she had refused to make her allegations "a partisan issue" or "a financial issue by suing for compensation. I have refused to make it a law-enforcement issue. Despite nearly 100 offers to be interviewed, I have refused to make my rape a media opportunity … My motivation was never for personal gain. And what have I gained? I have endured relentless scrutiny of my personal life and an unending, bitter flood of hurtful misinformation trumpeted by the media."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

"Despite every attempt to shame me, I am not ashamed," Watson concluded. "It is Justin Fairfax who should be ashamed. It is the Virginia legislature that should be ashamed. And it is the media that should be ashamed.

"If we as a society continue to allow women who report rape to be abused, disparaged and tormented a second time, then shame on us all."

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Matt Richardson, Garrett Tenney and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Matt M. Miller | Contributor

Former President Barrack Obama has been privately meeting with and counseling several Democratic 2020 hopefuls and declared candidates, according to The New York Times. One of the messages Obama relayed to candidates during these meetings, the Times noted, is that they must be willing to combat President Donald Trump’s “bleak and divisive rhetoric about economic change” with an alternative that resonates with rural voters in largely Republican areas.

The article reveals that, although the former president has been reluctant to openly endorse a specific 2020 candidate, he has been privately counseling a number of declared as well as likely candidates from his Washington, DC office:

“He has counseled more than a dozen declared or likely candidates on what he believes it will take to beat President Trump, holding private talks with leading contenders like Ms. Harris, Mr. Booker and Senator Elizabeth Warren; underdogs like Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.; and prominent figures who remain undecided on the race, like Eric H. Holder, his former attorney general, and Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.”

Senior Obama adviser Eric Schultz said that Obama had been “happy to speak privately with candidates seeking his guidance on the best way to lead the country.” (RELATED: Obama’s Former Border Patrol Chief Blames Fight Over Border Wall On ‘Identity Politics’)

Obama reportedly offered a mix of supportive advice to the potential candidates, as well as warnings against a harmful primary battle that could damage the Democratic Party moving into the general election. One piece of advice Obama offered was for candidates to appeal to rural voters in generally Republican areas, bringing a centrist counter to Trump’s “right-wing populism,” as the article characterizes it.

“He has urged candidates to push back on Mr. Trump’s bleak and divisive rhetoric about economic change, and to deliver a competing message that can resonate even in Republican-leaning areas, courting rural voters and other communities that tend to distrust Democrats.”

It is widely known that a large number of two-time Obama voters voted for Trump in 2016. Of the 650 counties that voted for Obama twice, nearly a third of them voted for Trump in 2016, largely occurring in key states such as Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. (RELATED: Former Shell Oil President Says Obama Had Nothing To Do With Increased Fuel Production)

Source: The Daily Caller

A Democratic candidate who has apologized after once saying that giving money to Israel was worse than donating to the Ku Klux Klan is looking to win a seat in the Virginia state legislature on Tuesday.

Ibraheem Samirah, a dentist and Chicago native who bills himself as a “second-generation Palestinian refugee,” recently made headlines when he denounced what he called a “slander campaign” that exposed a series of old social media posts that were viewed as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

“This slander campaign is using five-year-old Facebook posts from my impassioned college days, posts that upon my reflection and with the blessing of time, I sincerely regret and apologize for,” Samirah said in a statement on Friday.

“I am so sorry that my ill-chosen words added to the pain of the Jewish community, and I seek your understanding and compassion as I prove to you our common humanity. Please do not let those who seek to divide us use these words out of context of time and place to accomplish their hateful goals.”

PELOSI, DEM LEADERS CONDEMN REP. OMAR FOR ‘ANTI-SEMITIC’ LANGUAGE   

In addition to the remark about the Klan, Samirah has also said the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would burn in hell. In another post, he charged Israeli teenagers were using Tinder to “cover up the murders in their names."

Samirah is running in a special election for a vacated seat in Virginia’s 86th district, a suburban area in Fairfax County. The conservative website Big League Politics first reported the story, which has been picked up by Israeli media.

Samirah’s apology hasn’t been accepted by critics who say he remains virulently anti-Israel. They note in particular that he has advocated on social media for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

BDS supports Palestinian rights and opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Israeli officials say the BDS movement is anti-Semitic.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Samirah’s opponent in the race is Gregg Nelson, an Air Force Veteran whose campaign took up the issue after the story of the past posts broke.

“There is never a place for any hateful speech whether it’s in politics or daily life. Dr. Samirah owes it to the voters of District 86 to address his statement that sending money to Israel is “worse” than sending money to the KKK. The people of the 86th District look forward to hearing his response,” said a statement from Nelson’s campaign manager, Chad Brown, before the apology.

Source: Fox News Politics

DCNF Video Team | Contributor

Is former House Speaker John Boehner for the legalization of marijuana now? Check out this mash-up video of all the times it was questionable whether or not Boehner was on pot, as well as his evolution on the topic.

“29 states have had a vote, either a referendum or their state legislature voted to legalize the use of cannabis in some form, but there’s a big conflict with the federal law where it’s a scheduled one narcotic. Congress over the last couple of years has pretty much stopped any real enforcement,” Boehner said in an interview in April 2018 on CNBC.

Boehner currently sits on the board of cannabis investment company Acreage Holdings.

“It’s time for the federal government to take a look at this. And I think de-scheduling this drug, allowing for the research would be very helpful to the American people,” Boehner goes on to say in the interview. (RELATED: Bar Hopping With Liberals On Election Night)

Watch some of The Daily Caller News Foundation’s other videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you never miss out.

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Check out the most recent videos by TheDCNF:

Is Thanksgiving Racist?

Super Bowl Or See Michelle Obama Speak?

Do You Really Need An ID To Purchase Cereal?

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Source: The Daily Caller

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."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

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

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Women are earning four-year college degrees at a higher rate but working at a rate significantly lower than men in the U.S., Axios reports.

Adults in the U.S. are overall more educated now than at any other point in history, with 34.6 percent of women and 33.7 percent of men holding four-year college degrees. In workforce participation, men still have a substantial edge on women 69.2 percent to 56.9 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Men with a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree are more likely to be working than women with the same level of education, Axios reports. (RELATED: Prime-Age Labor Force Dropouts May Never Return To Work, Fed Paper Says)

Men are more likely to begin working sooner and work longer hours than women. According to a December 2018 Harvard study, the gender pay gap between men and women is due to men’s greater willingness to work overtime at higher wages. Women value a safer and more predictable schedule.

The percentage of women in the workplace has declined alongside men for several years, worrying experts that declining workforce participation will worsen growing deficits in Social Security and Medicare. The Baby Boomer generation, which propped both programs up when they were founded, is now retiring and placing greater financial strain on the systems.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as his daughter, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, speaks during a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. midterm election in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as his daughter, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, speaks during a campaign rally on the eve of the U.S. midterm election in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

In 1985, the United States ranked second in women participation in the workforce. By 2016, the U.S. was ranked ninth, passed by countries such as France, Japan and the United Kingdom, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF report attributed the trend to European policies that guarantee women more flexibility with longer maternity leave and greater access to childcare.

Ivanka Trump is leading a White House effort to adopt similar polices in the U.S. She met with lawmakers Wednesday to discuss potential legislation to be introduced to Congress, pushing paid family leave policies.

Follow Tim Pearce on Twitter

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Source: The Daily Caller

Nigeria’s president says security forces should be "ruthless" ahead of the country’s postponed election and that anyone who tries to disturb the vote "will do so at the expense of his own life."

President Muhammadu Buhari spoke Monday as both Nigeria’s ruling party and top opposition party condemned the last-minute decision to delay Saturday’s vote until Feb. 23.

The president’s comments brought an outcry from some Nigerians since he signed a pledge last week to contribute to a peaceful election.

But a ruling party chieftain in Rivers state, Eze Chukwuemeka, said the comments didn’t endorse "jungle justice, as some people are putting it. As leader, you don’t sit down and watch while your nation is going down the drain."

The electoral commission has allowed election campaigning to resume.

Source: Fox News World

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump is strongly considering at least three people to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations after former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert dropped out of the running Saturday, multiple sources familiar with the process tell The Daily Caller.

These candidates include Michigan Republican and former Senate candidate John James, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Bloomberg News also reported that former NSC official Dina Powell is under consideration, though she removed herself from consideration in the previous search.

Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, gives a speech as he attends a congress of the Junge Union (JU), the youth wing of Germany’s conservative CDU/CSU union, on October 5, 2018 in Kiel, northern Germany. (Photo by Daniel Bockwoldt / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT

Nauert withdrew from consideration late Saturday evening, saying in a statement, “I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and, therefore, it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration.”

The list to replace Nauert bears striking resemblance to the list of contenders before Trump announced her as his pick for the job in early December.

Trump has shown particular affection for James, a black U.S. military veteran who drew his significant support during the 2018 midterm elections. James fell short of defeating incumbent Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow by a margin of 6.5 percent, but developed a national GOP profile in the process. James interviewed with Trump for the United Nations position and was seen as a viable pick to replace Haley. (RELATED: Michigan Sen. Candidate John James Stands By Trump: ‘Our President’s Policies Don’t Have A Race’)

John James, Michigan GOP Senate candidate, does an interview with a news media outlet before holding an election night event at his business, James Group International, August 7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Michigan Primary election is being held today, and James, one of two Republican Senate candidates competing to see who will run against Democrat incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, has President Donald Trump's endorsement. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

John James, Michigan GOP Senate candidate, does an interview with a news media outlet before holding an election night event at his business, James Group International, August 7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A source familiar with the process noted that James also met with Haley before Nauert was officially selected.

Grenell is similar favorite of the president, though an official familiar with the process said Trump may not want to take him out of his current position because he is so pleased with his performance so far. Grenell has proven particularly adept at pushing Trump’s agenda in Europe, especially in convincing German companies to stop doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Craft is also in the running to replace Nauert and was seen at the White House shortly after Haley’s departure to discuss the job. White House aides noted shortly after Haley’s announced departure that Trump was inclined to name a woman to replace her.

Source: The Daily Caller

Just as Infowars predicted in early 2017, the Deep State is working with political elements of the FBI, the intelligence community and Democrats to overthrow President Trump.

Over the past two weeks, multiple media outlets and political commentators reported on the McCabe/Rosenstein silent coup, which revolved around the attempted use of the 25th Amendment to oust the president, that Infowars reported was the plan nearly two years ago.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh encapsulated the situation on his show last Thursday:

So this is kind of classic. We have Andrew McCabe and his new book. Now, this guy was one of the ringleaders of this coup to get rid of Donald Trump, and he’s got a new book out, and 60 Minutes is helping him push and promote the book, and he is bragging about this. He is bragging about his efforts to undermine and overthrow Trump. He’s admitting, essentially, that he and his buddies put in motion a silent coup to get rid of Donald Trump. He admits that the talk of wiring Rosenstein to entrap Trump in an Oval Office conversation was real.

None of the ringleaders were elected by the American people, as Limbaugh pointed out on Friday:

I want to go back to McCabe and his book. Here is a guy who is writing a book and profiting — earning money — on his admission, essentially, that he was running a silent coup to overturn a presidential election.

And every one of the people he was working with… McCabe working with Comey and Bruce Ohr and James Baker/Jim Baker in the FBI, and Clapper and Brennan and all the others. Rosenstein. Not one of them has ever been elected to anything. Not one of them has any kind of a mandate from anybody in the American people to do what they were doing, and they were running an effort to undermine a duly elected president. It was a coup, and the media was in on it, and they continue.

The 25th Amendment, ratified after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, provides the procedure for replacing the president in the event of “death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation” – and these ringleaders were hoping to overthrow the president through the “incapacitation” clause, talks of which began in 2017 as part of the Deep State’s “Continuity of Government” (COG) program to remove the president, as Infowars pointed out in early 2017.

As reported at the time, the COG procedures, which were first drafted during the Cold War to ensure the government’s survival during a nuclear war, could be exploited to ensure the Deep State’s survival when it doesn’t control the White House.

Furthermore, in May 2017 Infowars highlighted an article from the New Yorker magazine that reported on how members of Congress – and other creatures of DC – were holding “secret conversation” on removing the president.

The article’s author, Evan Osnos, claimed to have “interviewed several dozen people about the prospects of cutting short Trump’s Presidency,” including “his friends and advisers; to lawmakers and attorneys who have conducted impeachments; to physicians and historians; and to current members of the Senate, the House, and the intelligence services.”

The atmosphere of intrigue is why some analysts were skeptical when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claims to have been “joking” about wearing a wire into the Oval Office.

Last week, McCabe said the offer wasn’t a joke and that the idea was actually discussed with the FBI’s general counsel.


Democrats will do anything to remove President Trump from office and have now admitted there was a coup to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Source: InfoWars

Just as Infowars predicted in early 2017, the Deep State is working with political elements of the FBI, the intelligence community and Democrats to overthrow President Trump.

Over the past two weeks, multiple media outlets and political commentators reported on the McCabe/Rosenstein silent coup, which revolved around the attempted use of the 25th Amendment to oust the president, that Infowars reported was the plan nearly two years ago.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh encapsulated the situation on his show last Thursday:

So this is kind of classic. We have Andrew McCabe and his new book. Now, this guy was one of the ringleaders of this coup to get rid of Donald Trump, and he’s got a new book out, and 60 Minutes is helping him push and promote the book, and he is bragging about this. He is bragging about his efforts to undermine and overthrow Trump. He’s admitting, essentially, that he and his buddies put in motion a silent coup to get rid of Donald Trump. He admits that the talk of wiring Rosenstein to entrap Trump in an Oval Office conversation was real.

None of the ringleaders were elected by the American people, as Limbaugh pointed out on Friday:

I want to go back to McCabe and his book. Here is a guy who is writing a book and profiting — earning money — on his admission, essentially, that he was running a silent coup to overturn a presidential election.

And every one of the people he was working with… McCabe working with Comey and Bruce Ohr and James Baker/Jim Baker in the FBI, and Clapper and Brennan and all the others. Rosenstein. Not one of them has ever been elected to anything. Not one of them has any kind of a mandate from anybody in the American people to do what they were doing, and they were running an effort to undermine a duly elected president. It was a coup, and the media was in on it, and they continue.

The 25th Amendment, ratified after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, provides the procedure for replacing the president in the event of “death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation” – and these ringleaders were hoping to overthrow the president through the “incapacitation” clause, talks of which began in 2017 as part of the Deep State’s “Continuity of Government” (COG) program to remove the president, as Infowars pointed out in early 2017.

As reported at the time, the COG procedures, which were first drafted during the Cold War to ensure the government’s survival during a nuclear war, could be exploited to ensure the Deep State’s survival when it doesn’t control the White House.

Furthermore, in May 2017 Infowars highlighted an article from the New Yorker magazine that reported on how members of Congress – and other creatures of DC – were holding “secret conversation” on removing the president.

The article’s author, Evan Osnos, claimed to have “interviewed several dozen people about the prospects of cutting short Trump’s Presidency,” including “his friends and advisers; to lawmakers and attorneys who have conducted impeachments; to physicians and historians; and to current members of the Senate, the House, and the intelligence services.”

The atmosphere of intrigue is why some analysts were skeptical when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claims to have been “joking” about wearing a wire into the Oval Office.

Last week, McCabe said the offer wasn’t a joke and that the idea was actually discussed with the FBI’s general counsel.


Democrats will do anything to remove President Trump from office and have now admitted there was a coup to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Source: InfoWars

President Donald Trump “showed contempt for the American people” when he met with the Russian officials for a closed-door meeting in 2017, according to former Massachusetts governor William Weld.

In an interview with Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, Weld blasted Trump’s choice to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in May, 2017, not long after the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election began, and just after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey.

"That showed contempt for the American people if anything I've ever seen does,” said the former Republican governor, who may challenge Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020.

“Abroad, he seeks out the company of people who are dictators and despots,” Weld said later in the interview. “People like [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, like President Kim [Jong Un] of North Korea.”

“I do think the president has shown a tendency to associate with autocrats,” he continued. “I think his domestic instincts are in the same direction. I recall him saying on television, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to have elections?’ I’m sure he will say that was a joke — I’m not so sure it was a joke. I mean, the response to my announcement of an exploratory committee has been for everybody to close ranks among the state Republican Party’s and say, ‘No, we can’t have a primary.’”

“And the truth is — if the president had his first choice — he wouldn’t have a primary, and he wouldn’t have an election,” Weld said.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Comedian Chelsea Handler kicked off her own personal celebration of Presidents Day by delivering a thank-you tweet to President Donald Trump and his entire family.

“On Presidents Day, I’d like to thank the Trump family for my awakening,” Handler tweeted on Monday. “It drove me to see a psychiatrist, unwrap my own personal injuries, write a book and film a documentary on white privilege. I am awake because of this presidency, and I choose to stay that way.”

Handler has been very open — and quite vocal — about her hatred for this president and his entire family throughout his presidency. (RELATED: Chelsea Handler Choose National ‘Coming Out’ Day To Imply That Lindsey Graham Is ‘Closeted’)

Handler started off the Trump presidency with a bang as well, tearfully explaining that she really had wanted to move to Spain after his election but ultimately decided not to because “that’s just what the people who gave this hateful message want us to do, and we’re not going to do it.”

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron waits for the arrival of Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed at the Elysee Palace in Paris
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

February 18, 2019

By Michel Rose

PARIS (Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron will describe Brexit as a wake-up call in a speech this month in which he will outline how Europe must be more assertive in the face of rival world powers, sources close to the French president said.

His words are intended as a “warning shot” for a continent unable to project power and defend itself, said aides who described the speech as Macron’s most important since he spoke at the Sorbonne University in Paris in September 2017 urging fundamental reform of the European Union.

“This is a critical time,” a source close to Macron told Reuters. “If we Europeans don’t want to have other Brexits and become trapped in a naive defense of status quo, we have to wake up.”

Macron’s speech coincides with rising tensions in the West, which has been shaken by U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies and Britain’s departure from the EU. A more assertive China and Russia also pose major challenges.

Although Macron will use Britain’s planned departure from the EU on March 29 as the main impetus for his speech, the aim is not to offer an initiative to unblock the negotiating stalemate between London and Brussels, the source said.

The date and location of the speech have not yet been fixed.

“He won’t comment on the negotiation, or offer some kind of ‘Macron plan’ to fix the problem. The idea is to draw the lessons from Brexit,” the source said.

In Macron’s view, Brexit is part of the same phenomenon that brought Trump to power and sparked the “yellow vest” movement in France: a fear of losing out from globalization, territorial inequalities and rising contempt for the establishment.

The French leader will focus on championing a “Europe that protects” in the May 26 European election and seek to convince voters with plans aimed at reforming Europe’s trade, competition, digital and climate policies.

The speech will also seek to convince his European counterparts, who have watered down many of his Sorbonne proposals since 2017, to start thinking of the EU as a tougher geopolitical player in a ruthless world.

“The EU has done the internal regulation rather well, built a nice, peaceful area, with benign trade and regulated competition. But Europe hasn’t understood how to carry itself in a brutal world,” the source said.

(Writing by Michel Rose; additional reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey)

Source: OANN

Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they are not satisfied that dossier author Christopher Steele has provided only written responses to the committee.

“As we’ve made clear to Mr. Steele and his attorney, there is no substitute for a face-to-face interview when it comes to answering some of the Committee’s most pressing questions,” a Republicans spokesperson for the committee told ABC News. “We wouldn’t be satisfied with written responses from any other key witness, and we are not here, either.”

North Carolina GOP Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate panel, and other committee members have “sought an in-person interview with Mr. Steele for 25 months,” the spokesperson said.

A rift between the committee and Steele became apparent earlier in February when Burr said in an interview that “multiple attempts” have been made to interview the former British spy in person as part of an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. (RELATED: Richard Burr: ‘We Don’t Have Anything That Would Suggest Collusion’)

Burr also said in that same interview that his committee had not found evidence of collusion, even after two years of investigation and interviews with more than 200 witnesses.

As a contractor for the Democratic-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS, Steele compiled 17 separate memos alleging a massive conspiracy between the campaign and Kremlin. The campaign-related allegations in the report remain unverified, and Burr has said in the past that the committee had hit a roadblock on investigating its allegations because Steele had not been interviewed.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), accompanied by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chairman of the committee, speaks at a news conference to discuss their probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, accompanied by Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the committee, speaks at a news conference to discuss their probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Steele, a former British spy who operates a private intelligence firm in London, submitted written responses to questions from the Senate committee in August 2018. His attorneys claim the committee agreed that written responses would be sufficient.

“It’s not true that Chris did not engage with the committee,” Steele’s lawyer said. “The committee pronounced itself satisfied with Chris’s engagement … by way of written answers and [they] committed to not seek any further information from Chris.”

It is unclear why Steele opposes an in-person interview with Congress, especially given that he met with numerous reporters to discuss his unverified allegations that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government. He also met with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr before and after the election.

It is also unclear whether committee Republicans are interested in interviewing Steele specifically about allegations in his dossier or about other topics. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have investigated whether Steele lied to the FBI about his interactions with the press while working on the dossier.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Brad Bannon | CEO of Bannon Communications Research

I dedicate this column to the strict constructionists out there who supported Donald Trump in 2016, because they were concerned about executive overreach during the Obama administration. I offer my condolences to all of you.

Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on Friday was such an abuse of executive power that it makes Barack Obama look like Herbert Hoover when it comes to executive action.

I have a part time gig as a political science professor, and when I teach Introduction to American Government and Politics, I spend the first few weeks discussing the Constitution. The pitch I make to my students is that you can’t play the game without knowing the rules and the Constitution is the rule book. Apparently, there wasn’t much concern about checks and balances in POS 101 at Trump University.

When I teach, I dutifully discuss the two famous axioms about checks and balances. “The power of the presidency is the power to persuade” and “the power of Congress is the power of the purse.” The new Trump doctrine is “steal the purse from Congress if you can’t persuade it to spend the money you want.”

For the record, if anyone cares, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution  states, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Trump’s emergency declaration Friday was a statement to Congress that the power of the purse belongs to “The Donald,” not Congress.

Trump’s 911 call to the public will fall on deaf ears

Donald Trump lives in a world of of political fantasies dreamed on soft feather pillows. Trump and his political advisers — at least the ones who aren’t in jail — seem to believe the president can ride his vanity wall project to a 2020 re-election win. Good luck with that! CNN asked Americans earlier this month whether they would favor or oppose an emergency declaration to secure funds to build the wall. The public opposed the idea by a two-to-one margin (66 percent to 31 percent).

The president may have undermined the urgency of the “crisis” and his prospects in the court of public opinion when he followed his emergency declaration at the White House with a trip to Florida for a weekend of sun, fun and golf.

Many Republican officials shared the public opposition to the president’s decision to bypass Congress and spend $8 billion on the Trump Mahal. Will Hurd, a Republican congressman who represents a Texas district on the Mexican border, told Meet The Press on Sunday,”I don’t think we needed a declaration.” He added, “That is not a tool, the president needs to solve this problem.”

The hostility to Trump’s executive over reach among Republicans reveals the cracks in Trump’s vaunted base.

A national survey last month by the Washington Post and ABC News indicates part of the Trump base has bailed on the president. One out of every three Republicans (32 percent) would support a challenge to the president’s renomination. Two-thirds (65 percent) of the GOP electorate still supported Trump’s renomination, so it would be tough for Mitt Romney or John Kasich to deny the incumbent the GOP nod.

The internal GOP anti-Trump sentiment does mean some Republicans might not vote in the next election. Or the dissenters might vote against Trump, and instead opt for either a Democrat or for an independent candidacy by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. There’s a lot of talk about the danger that Howard Schultz could cause the eventual Democratic nominee, but Kasich’s independent candidacy could cause even bigger problems for the president.

The battle over Trump’s executive order now goes to federal courts.

The good news for the president is there are a lot of new Trump-appointed judges out there. The bad news is many of them came with the imprimatur of the Federalist Society or The Heritage Foundation, which aren’t fans of presidential overreach — at least not when Barack Obama was president.

Brad Bannon (@BradBannon) is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally ahead of the Karnataka state assembly elections in Bengaluru
FILE PHOTO: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally ahead of the Karnataka state assembly elections in Bengaluru, India, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo

February 18, 2019

By Rajendra Jadhav

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A hardline Hindu nationalist group in western India will partner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in coming elections after agreeing a seat-sharing plan in Maharashtra state, the parties said on Monday.

The tie-up with the Shiv Sena, a partner in the governing coalition led by the BJP, is a boost to Modi as he seeks alliances ahead of the general election, which is due to be held by May. The Shiv Sena had said last year it would contest the election on its own.

In Maharashtra state, the Shiv Sena and the BJP would contest 23 and 25 seats respectively, state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also a member of the BJP, told a news conference in Mumbai, the state capital and the country’s financial capital, where the Shiv Sena is headquartered.

The Shiv Sena enjoys considerable political clout across Maharashtra. Like the BJP, it believes India is a fundamentally Hindu nation, despite the country’s secular constitution.

Maharashtra sends 48 lawmakers to parliament, second only to northern Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, which elects 80 lawmakers.

“We have entered into the alliance to keep the opposition parties out,” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said.

Modi’s BJP has been scrambling to make an alliance with regional parties for the general election, which pollsters say could produce a fractured mandate.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), traditional political rivals in Uttar Pradesh, last month forged an alliance in an effort to defeat the BJP.

In a fillip to opposition parties, the BJP lost power in three states in December, dealing Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014.

(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

A policeman stands guard at a street during a curfew in Jammu
A policeman stands guard at a street during a curfew in Jammu, February 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

February 18, 2019

By Krishna N. Das and Devjyot Ghoshal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suffered a series of political reverses in recent months but widespread anger after 40 troopers were killed in an Islamist militant attack last week could lead to a surge in support for his Hindu nationalist party.

As emotions run high following the deadliest attack on security forces in decades, Modi, who faces a general election by May, said he had given a free hand to security forces to avenge the killings in Kashmir, the region disputed with arch-foe Pakistan.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals have ratcheted up and shouts of “down with Pakistan” and “blood for blood” have reverberated at funerals of the victims. Many Indians have held candle-lit marches across the country demanding the government “not forget, not forgive”.

The attack has been claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group but the Pakistan government has denied any responsibility.

Rakesh Kumar, a 32-year-old part-time teacher in Kasba Bonli town in the western state of Rajasthan, said he was now inclined to vote for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the national election after backing the main opposition Congress in a state vote late last year.

“If he teaches Pakistan a lesson, support for him will rise,” Kumar said in a telephone interview. “It’s a matter of the country’s security, and we need to see what he can do for us.”

The BJP was ousted from power in three major states, including Rajasthan, in December, and Modi has been blamed for weak rural incomes and an inability to provide employment to the millions of young Indians entering the job market each year.

Although still tipped to win, pollsters had said before the attack that the ruling party could fall short of a majority in the general election.

No polls have been published since the attack, but political analysts say the anti-Pakistan wave has become a rallying point for the BJP.

Yogendra Yadav, a former pollster and now a political activist, said the Kashmir attack would be a distraction from economic challenges facing the government.

“Ever since those issues have emerged, there have been systematic attempts to divert attention, some by design, some by accident,” he said.

“The consequence (of the attack) would be to bring the spotlight on issues of national security, which is exactly what the ruling party may have wanted.”

NO COMPROMISE

The BJP has not lost time in underlining its nationalist credentials. Addressing a political rally on Sunday, party president Amit Shah ended a brief period of bipartisan politics by saying that Modi was better at responding to militant attacks than the previous government headed by Congress.

“This time it’s not a Congress government that is in power. The BJP government of Narendra Modi does not do any compromise in matters of national security,” Shah said to loud cheers.

“The BJP government will completely uproot terrorism. Narendra Modi’s political will to finish terrorism is the highest among global leaders.”

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal state and an outspoken critic of Modi, has lashed out at the BJP comments.

“We didn’t raise any questions (about the attack) because we thought we will be united in the fight (against terror),” she told reporters. “But now we see that we are silent and they are giving such speeches that it seems only they are patriots and the rest are outsiders.”

Modi has often spoken about adopting a more muscular approach to Pakistan, after a surprise visit to the neighbor in 2015 failed to improve ties.

BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli declined to say if the response to the attack would be an election issue for the party. But he defended party chief Shah’s comments as a reflection of the “national mood of grief and anger”.

In 2016, Indian forces carried out what they called a “surgical strike” on militant targets across the border in Pakistan in retaliation to an attack on an army camp in Kashmir.

Earlier this month, before last week’s attack, Modi said the strike had “shown to the world what will be the new policy and culture in India”.

On Monday, he said any hesitation to take action against militancy and those who support it was akin to encouraging the menace.

“Terrorism is a very serious threat to global peace and stability,” Modi said. “The brutal terrorist attack shows that the time for talks is over.”

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

February 18, 2019

(This February 14 story corrects to make clear Ukraine is not an EU member)

By Alexander Tanas and Alissa de Carbonnel

CHISINAU/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Thursday it had disrupted an attempt to influence voters in Moldova, increasing concerns that EU elections in May could be prey to malign activity.

Employees of the Moldovan government were linked to some of the activity, the California-based social media company said.

Authorities in Chisnau, capital of the tiny former Soviet republic, denied knowledge.

Facebook said it dismantled scores of pages and accounts designed to look like independent opinion pages and to impersonate a local fact-checking organization ahead of Moldova’s elections later this month.

“So they created this feedback loop,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters in Brussels. “We did assess that there were links between some of that activity and individuals associated with the Moldovan government.”

The government said it welcomed any initiative to combat “fake news”, saying it did not check the private accounts of its more than 200,000 state employees.

“They have different political views and opinions, and the state is obliged to maintain the boundary between fighting the phenomenon of Fake News and guaranteeing the freedom of expression for citizens,” it said.

Facebook said it removed 168 accounts, 28 pages and eight Instagram accounts involved in “inauthentic behavior”. Some 54,000 accounts followed at least one of these Facebook pages.

The owners of pages and accounts typically posted about local news and political issues such as requirements for Russian- or English-language education and potential reunification with Romania, the company said.

GUARDING ELECTIONS

Facebook stepped up efforts to combat disinformation, including accounts in Russia, Iran and Indonesia, over the last year after coming under public scrutiny for not doing enough to stem the spread extremism and propaganda online.

The vulnerabilities exposed in Moldova, sandwiched between EU member Romania and Ukraine on the fringes of the bloc, were a warning ahead of polls in neighboring Ukraine and for the European legislature.

The European Union has pushed tech companies to do more to stop what it fears are Russian attempts to undermine Western democracies with disinformation campaigns that sow division.

Russia has repeatedly denied any such actions.

The sheer perception of manipulation can damage polls, Gleicher warned. “We are starting to see actors try to create the impression that there is manipulation without owning lots and lots of accounts,” he said.

“We already have the teams up and running and focused on the European parliamentary elections and that is only going to grow as the elections get closer and the pace of threats increases.”

Dogged by scandal, Moldova’s pro-Western government has failed to lift low living standards. That has driven many voters toward the Socialists, who favor closer ties with Russia.

The European Parliament called Moldova a “state captured by oligarchic interests” in November, and there are concerns whether the parliamentary election on February 24 will be fair.

The election is likely to produce a hung parliament, which could set the scene for months of wrangling or possibly further elections.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Alexander Tanas in Chisinau and Alissa de Carbonnel in Brussels; Editing by Matthias Williams and Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

February 18, 2019

(This February 14 story corrects to make clear Ukraine is not an EU member)

By Alexander Tanas and Alissa de Carbonnel

CHISINAU/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Thursday it had disrupted an attempt to influence voters in Moldova, increasing concerns that EU elections in May could be prey to malign activity.

Employees of the Moldovan government were linked to some of the activity, the California-based social media company said.

Authorities in Chisnau, capital of the tiny former Soviet republic, denied knowledge.

Facebook said it dismantled scores of pages and accounts designed to look like independent opinion pages and to impersonate a local fact-checking organization ahead of Moldova’s elections later this month.

“So they created this feedback loop,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, told reporters in Brussels. “We did assess that there were links between some of that activity and individuals associated with the Moldovan government.”

The government said it welcomed any initiative to combat “fake news”, saying it did not check the private accounts of its more than 200,000 state employees.

“They have different political views and opinions, and the state is obliged to maintain the boundary between fighting the phenomenon of Fake News and guaranteeing the freedom of expression for citizens,” it said.

Facebook said it removed 168 accounts, 28 pages and eight Instagram accounts involved in “inauthentic behavior”. Some 54,000 accounts followed at least one of these Facebook pages.

The owners of pages and accounts typically posted about local news and political issues such as requirements for Russian- or English-language education and potential reunification with Romania, the company said.

GUARDING ELECTIONS

Facebook stepped up efforts to combat disinformation, including accounts in Russia, Iran and Indonesia, over the last year after coming under public scrutiny for not doing enough to stem the spread extremism and propaganda online.

The vulnerabilities exposed in Moldova, sandwiched between EU member Romania and Ukraine on the fringes of the bloc, were a warning ahead of polls in neighboring Ukraine and for the European legislature.

The European Union has pushed tech companies to do more to stop what it fears are Russian attempts to undermine Western democracies with disinformation campaigns that sow division.

Russia has repeatedly denied any such actions.

The sheer perception of manipulation can damage polls, Gleicher warned. “We are starting to see actors try to create the impression that there is manipulation without owning lots and lots of accounts,” he said.

“We already have the teams up and running and focused on the European parliamentary elections and that is only going to grow as the elections get closer and the pace of threats increases.”

Dogged by scandal, Moldova’s pro-Western government has failed to lift low living standards. That has driven many voters toward the Socialists, who favor closer ties with Russia.

The European Parliament called Moldova a “state captured by oligarchic interests” in November, and there are concerns whether the parliamentary election on February 24 will be fair.

The election is likely to produce a hung parliament, which could set the scene for months of wrangling or possibly further elections.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Alexander Tanas in Chisinau and Alissa de Carbonnel in Brussels; Editing by Matthias Williams and Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

Spain's PM Sanchez holds a news conference in Madrid
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez holds a news conference after an extraordinary cabinet meeting in Madrid, Spain, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Juan Medina

February 18, 2019

MADRID (Reuters) – Four opinion polls published since Spain’s prime minister called a general election for April 28 have predicted widely different outcomes, illustrating how the emergence of new parties, and in particular the far-right Vox, has upset political forecasting.

In December, pollsters failed to predict the success of the anti-immigration Vox, which won 12 seats in a regional election in Andalusia in the first electoral win for a far-right party in Spain in over four decades.

The four surveys published since last Friday’s election announcement by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez agree on one thing: Vox will get lawmakers elected to the national parliament. But their predictions range from 16 to 46 seats.

Similarly, all polls see Sanchez’s Socialists leading the election and getting more seats than in the previous election in 2016, while falling well short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament.

But the GAD3, Gesop, Metroscopia and NCReport polls disagree on who would have a shot at a coalition deal – the conservative People’s Party (PP) with center-right Ciudadanos and Vox, or the Socialists with Ciudadanos.

To complicate matters, government sources do not rule out a Socialist deal with Ciudadanos, but the center-right party officially says it does not want one at a national level, although it does not exclude such deals for municipal elections.

“We have a context of high volatility,” said Lluis Orriols, a political science professor at Carlos III university, saying that was making it harder for pollsters to interpret results.

The electoral system gives the party with the most votes a bonus in terms of seats. There is also a gray area around the 10-15 percent of votes where there can be a huge difference in the number of seats allocated, while parties getting less than 10 percent of votes see their number of lawmakers drop sharply.

For instance, in 2015 Ciudadanos obtained 13.9 percent of the vote and 40 seats. In an election the following year, it obtained 13.1 percent of the vote but eight fewer seats.

Ciudadanos, Vox and the far-left Podemos are all now potentially in that 10-15 percent gray area.

“A word of advice: more caution than ever with the polls,” Narciso Michavila, the head of GAD3 pollsters, told ABC newspaper.

He also noted that the last polls before the election will be published during Easter holidays, at a time when many voters will be focused on issues other than the elections.

(Reporting by Belen Carreno; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

Albania’s center-right opposition party says its 31 lawmakers plan to resign from parliament over alleged corruption and inefficiency of the country’s Socialist government.

Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha said Monday the parliamentary group decided to hand in their mandates. Basha asked for a transition government to be put in place until an early election is held.

Members of smaller opposition parties might join the Democrats leaving Albania’s 140-seat parliament, where the governing Socialists hold 74 seats.

The opposition plans to rally outside parliament on Thursday.

Basha accused the government of links to organized crime, stealing votes, and sidestepping lawmakers and the justice system.

Socialist Deputy Prime Minister Erion Brace called the resignations "unimportant." He alleged the Democrats don’t want to have corrupt lawmakers from the party undergo required financial background checks.

Source: Fox News World

North Carolina elections officials are conducting a hearing Monday focused on allegations that a political operative tampered with mail-in ballots in a contested November congressional race.

At stake is the 9th Congressional District seat that includes Charlotte. The State Board of Elections has not certified unofficial results that showed Republican Mark Harris narrowly beating Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

The board could decide a winner or call for a new election at the end of the hearing, which is expected to last a minimum of two days. The political operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., was hired by Harris’ campaign consultants.

The state has twice refused to declare Harris the winner, after hearing reports of irregularities just before the election in rural Bladen County, where Dowless lives.

TRUMP DISMANTLES VOTER FRAUD COMMISSION

One of the methods participants said Dowless used was to hire workers to collect absentee ballots from voters who received them, and then turn them over to him, according to an elections board investigation.

State election law prohibits anyone other than a guardian or close family member to handle mail-in ballots. Harris’ team said in a legal briefing submitted to the elections board last week the board should certify him the winner – no matter what Dowless did for the campaign.

"Technical irregularities —like ballot harvesting — do not provide enough reason to order a new election," the attorneys said. Amar Majmundar, the election board attorney, said “the number of disputed votes more than sufficiently” call the margin of Harris’ election-night lead “into question," according to Politico.

The elections board also is expected to hear about the unusual number of absentee ballots that voters requested but never returned. A Harvard University elections expert is expected to testify that absentee ballots in Bladen and neighboring Robeson counties disappeared at a rate 2.5 to three times higher than the rest of the congressional district or elsewhere in North Carolina.

Four of the five members on the board — composed of three Democrats and two Republicans — would need to agree a new election is necessary.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

If that doesn’t happen, McCready’s lawyers said state officials should send their findings to the Democrat-dominated U.S. House and let it decide whether Harris should be seated — arguing the U.S. Constitution gives the House authority over the elections and qualifications of its members.

“Our focus since the start has been calling for this evidentiary hearing, making sure that the facts and the evidence are laid to bare and the people’s whose voices were stolen by the Mark Harris campaign have their voices heard,” said Aaron Simpson, McCready’s spokesman, according to Politico. “If the board does decide to call for another election we want to be ready for that.”

Politico added that the North Carolina GOP initially didn’t stand behind Harris, but now is expressing support.

The group said in a memo quoted by Politico: "the ‘evidence and lack thereof will result in the certification of Congressman-elect Mark Harris.’"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

North Carolina elections officials are conducting a hearing Monday focused on allegations that a political operative tampered with mail-in ballots in a contested November congressional race.

At stake is the 9th Congressional District seat that includes Charlotte. The State Board of Elections has not certified unofficial results that showed Republican Mark Harris narrowly beating Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

The board could decide a winner or call for a new election at the end of the hearing, which is expected to last a minimum of two days. The political operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., was hired by Harris’ campaign consultants.

The state has twice refused to declare Harris the winner, after hearing reports of irregularities just before the election in rural Bladen County, where Dowless lives.

TRUMP DISMANTLES VOTER FRAUD COMMISSION

One of the methods participants said Dowless used was to hire workers to collect absentee ballots from voters who received them, and then turn them over to him, according to an elections board investigation.

State election law prohibits anyone other than a guardian or close family member to handle mail-in ballots. Harris’ team said in a legal briefing submitted to the elections board last week the board should certify him the winner – no matter what Dowless did for the campaign.

"Technical irregularities —like ballot harvesting — do not provide enough reason to order a new election," the attorneys said. Amar Majmundar, the election board attorney, said “the number of disputed votes more than sufficiently” call the margin of Harris’ election-night lead “into question," according to Politico.

The elections board also is expected to hear about the unusual number of absentee ballots that voters requested but never returned. A Harvard University elections expert is expected to testify that absentee ballots in Bladen and neighboring Robeson counties disappeared at a rate 2.5 to three times higher than the rest of the congressional district or elsewhere in North Carolina.

Four of the five members on the board — composed of three Democrats and two Republicans — would need to agree a new election is necessary.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

If that doesn’t happen, McCready’s lawyers said state officials should send their findings to the Democrat-dominated U.S. House and let it decide whether Harris should be seated — arguing the U.S. Constitution gives the House authority over the elections and qualifications of its members.

“Our focus since the start has been calling for this evidentiary hearing, making sure that the facts and the evidence are laid to bare and the people’s whose voices were stolen by the Mark Harris campaign have their voices heard,” said Aaron Simpson, McCready’s spokesman, according to Politico. “If the board does decide to call for another election we want to be ready for that.”

Politico added that the North Carolina GOP initially didn’t stand behind Harris, but now is expressing support.

The group said in a memo quoted by Politico: "the ‘evidence and lack thereof will result in the certification of Congressman-elect Mark Harris.’"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

North Carolina elections officials are conducting a hearing Monday focused on allegations that a political operative tampered with mail-in ballots in a contested November congressional race.

At stake is the 9th Congressional District seat that includes Charlotte. The State Board of Elections has not certified unofficial results that showed Republican Mark Harris narrowly beating Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.

The board could decide a winner or call for a new election at the end of the hearing, which is expected to last a minimum of two days. The political operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., was hired by Harris’ campaign consultants.

The state has twice refused to declare Harris the winner, after hearing reports of irregularities just before the election in rural Bladen County, where Dowless lives.

TRUMP DISMANTLES VOTER FRAUD COMMISSION

One of the methods participants said Dowless used was to hire workers to collect absentee ballots from voters who received them, and then turn them over to him, according to an elections board investigation.

State election law prohibits anyone other than a guardian or close family member to handle mail-in ballots. Harris’ team said in a legal briefing submitted to the elections board last week the board should certify him the winner – no matter what Dowless did for the campaign.

"Technical irregularities —like ballot harvesting — do not provide enough reason to order a new election," the attorneys said. Amar Majmundar, the election board attorney, said “the number of disputed votes more than sufficiently” call the margin of Harris’ election-night lead “into question," according to Politico.

The elections board also is expected to hear about the unusual number of absentee ballots that voters requested but never returned. A Harvard University elections expert is expected to testify that absentee ballots in Bladen and neighboring Robeson counties disappeared at a rate 2.5 to three times higher than the rest of the congressional district or elsewhere in North Carolina.

Four of the five members on the board — composed of three Democrats and two Republicans — would need to agree a new election is necessary.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

If that doesn’t happen, McCready’s lawyers said state officials should send their findings to the Democrat-dominated U.S. House and let it decide whether Harris should be seated — arguing the U.S. Constitution gives the House authority over the elections and qualifications of its members.

“Our focus since the start has been calling for this evidentiary hearing, making sure that the facts and the evidence are laid to bare and the people’s whose voices were stolen by the Mark Harris campaign have their voices heard,” said Aaron Simpson, McCready’s spokesman, according to Politico. “If the board does decide to call for another election we want to be ready for that.”

Politico added that the North Carolina GOP initially didn’t stand behind Harris, but now is expressing support.

The group said in a memo quoted by Politico: "the ‘evidence and lack thereof will result in the certification of Congressman-elect Mark Harris.’"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: Traders work at the floor of Brazil's BM&F Bovespa Stock Market in downtown Sao Paulo
FILE PHOTO: Traders work at the floor of Brazil’s BM&F Bovespa Stock Market in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

February 18, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian markets fell on Monday as investors feared a brewing political scandal could put strains on President Jair Bolsonaro’s coalition in Congress, hurting his ability to pass a pension reform seen as key to bolstering the country’s economic recovery.

Bolsonaro is facing pressure from some supporters to fire one of his most senior aides, Secretary General Gustavo Bebianno, over accusations of misuse of campaign funds in the October election.

Bebianno, who helps coordinate internal government affairs and was acting president of Bolsonaro’s right-wing Social Liberal Party last year, denies wrongdoing. Debate over his fate has exposed sharp differences among allies in Congress.

Brazilian markets put in one of their best performances of the year last week as investors welcomed early details of the government’s proposed social security reform.

But some of that gloss came off in early trading on Monday, likely exacerbated by thin liquidity due to the U.S. Presidents Day holiday. Brazil’s stocks and currency slipped, while implied market interest rates a year out edged higher.

“This was the main news over of the weekend, so perhaps it is weighing on sentiment a bit as New York is out today, but I would not expect a major market move,” said one fund manager in Sao Paulo.

“Critics of Bolsonaro’s administration will say this is the beginning of the end and the walls are closing in. But I don’t think this spat tells us too much about reforms or the future of the administration,” he added.

Brazil’s Bovespa stock market fell 0.6 percent, the dollar rose 0.75 percent to 3.7300 reais and January 2020 interest rates rose 2.5 basis points to 6.395 percent.

Last week, the Bovespa rose 2.3 percent, within touching distance of its record high 98,588 points. Interest rates fell 15 basis points, the biggest weekly drop for two months.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Brad Haynes and Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Traders work at the floor of Brazil's BM&F Bovespa Stock Market in downtown Sao Paulo
FILE PHOTO: Traders work at the floor of Brazil’s BM&F Bovespa Stock Market in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

February 18, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian markets fell on Monday as investors feared a brewing political scandal could put strains on President Jair Bolsonaro’s coalition in Congress, hurting his ability to pass a pension reform seen as key to bolstering the country’s economic recovery.

Bolsonaro is facing pressure from some supporters to fire one of his most senior aides, Secretary General Gustavo Bebianno, over accusations of misuse of campaign funds in the October election.

Bebianno, who helps coordinate internal government affairs and was acting president of Bolsonaro’s right-wing Social Liberal Party last year, denies wrongdoing. Debate over his fate has exposed sharp differences among allies in Congress.

Brazilian markets put in one of their best performances of the year last week as investors welcomed early details of the government’s proposed social security reform.

But some of that gloss came off in early trading on Monday, likely exacerbated by thin liquidity due to the U.S. Presidents Day holiday. Brazil’s stocks and currency slipped, while implied market interest rates a year out edged higher.

“This was the main news over of the weekend, so perhaps it is weighing on sentiment a bit as New York is out today, but I would not expect a major market move,” said one fund manager in Sao Paulo.

“Critics of Bolsonaro’s administration will say this is the beginning of the end and the walls are closing in. But I don’t think this spat tells us too much about reforms or the future of the administration,” he added.

Brazil’s Bovespa stock market fell 0.6 percent, the dollar rose 0.75 percent to 3.7300 reais and January 2020 interest rates rose 2.5 basis points to 6.395 percent.

Last week, the Bovespa rose 2.3 percent, within touching distance of its record high 98,588 points. Interest rates fell 15 basis points, the biggest weekly drop for two months.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Brad Haynes and Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

European Union leaders summit in Brussels
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

February 18, 2019

By Angel Krasimirov

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s ruling center-right party GERB on Monday dropped plans to revise the election code after they prompted the main opposition Socialist Party (BSP) to walk out of parliament.

The BSP said on Sunday that fair elections could not be guaranteed in Bulgaria following the revisions, voted through after a marathon, 14-hour session last Thursday.

The move by the BSP, which holds 79 of the 240 seats in parliament, threatened to undermine the assembly’s ability to pass legislation by making it harder to reach a quorum.

The amendments would have raised the threshold for preferential voting in elections, widened the use of machine voting as opposed to paper ballots, and changed the way the election commission operates.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose GERB party has 95 seats, said a new election commission would be formed “in a clear and transparent way” before the European Parliament elections in May.

The BSP, heir to Bulgaria’s once-mighty Communist Party, reacted cautiously to Borisov’s announcement.

“You will only see us back in the chamber when we have seen real action by GERB,” said BSP deputy Tasko Ermenkov.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister enters a car after speaking at a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel
Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister enters a car after speaking at a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

February 18, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – One of Israel’s most prominent dovish politicians, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, said on Monday she was leaving politics and warned “democracy is in danger”.

A former peace negotiator with the Palestinians, Livni won recognition abroad for her part in U.S.-brokered talks that aimed to end the decades-old conflict and which collapsed in 2014.But her career has foundered in recent years, along with the Middle East peace process. The United States plans to present a new peace plan after Israel’s April 9 election, although expectations of a breakthrough are low.

“I am leaving politics but I will not let Israel abandon the hope for peace,” a tearful Livni told a televised news conference in Tel Aviv.

“These past years have been hard for me and for the things I believed in … peace became a dirty word, and democracy is in danger,” she said, citing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criticism of legal authorities conducting corruption probes against him and attacks he has made on the local media.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

Opinion polls have shown that Livni’s centrist Hatnua party was expected to win no seats in parliament in the election in which the right wing, led by Netanyahu’s Likud party, looks likely to prevail.

Hatnua had been part of the biggest left-wing faction in parliament, the Zionist Union, together with the Israeli Labour party.

But in January the alliance, which led the opposition, ended after Labour head Avi Gabbay dumped Livni on live television as he announced he was dissolving the partnership.

Livni, now 60, served as foreign minister from 2006 to 2009. A former junior officer in the Mossad intelligence agency, she has been a member of several parties and coalition governments since entering politics in 1999 and has quit politics before only to return.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Alison Williams)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin holds an annual news conference in Kiev
FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin speaks during an annual news conference in Kiev, Ukraine January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

February 18, 2019

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s foreign minister asked the European Union on Monday for hundreds of millions of euros in loans and aid for infrastructure and businesses in its troubled east and south, regions he said Russia was trying to “suffocate”.

EU foreign ministers were discussing increasing support for Ukraine, which holds a presidential election next month in tough conditions. Russia annexed its Crimea peninsula in 2014 and backs armed separatists in its eastern industrial Donbas region.

The EU is also moving to put more Russians under sanctions over Moscow’s standoff with Kiev in the Azov Sea, to the southeast of Ukraine.

“We need targeted… support for the Ukrainian south, to work with us on infrastructure… Further Russian attempts to destabilize Ukraine’s south would be very detrimental for European security,” Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told reporters in Brussels.

“(There is) an attempt to suffocate the whole Ukrainian Donbas… We need infrastructure, it’s about roads and railways. And to support people… help them to launch new small and medium businesses because we need to fundamentally reshuffle the whole economic model there,” he added.

President Petro Poroshenko, elected amid high hopes for change in Ukraine after street protests ousted his pro-Russian predecessor in 2014, is in an uphill battle for re-election after his popularity plunged over graft and sliding living standards.

Klimkin accused Russia of turning the Donbas region – which remains outside the control of the Kiev government – into a “big (money) laundering machine”. He also said Kiev could “under no circumstances” allow Russians to be part of an OSCE election monitoring mission.

The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, who chaired Monday’s ministerial meeting, stressed the bloc’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty” but also urged Kiev to press on with economic and political reforms.

Despite Western pressure, Moscow has vowed never to return Crimea to Ukraine. A peace plan for eastern Ukraine, sponsored by Germany and France, has helped put an end to heavy fighting there but has since largely stalled.

Relations between the EU and Russia plunged to fresh lows last year over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain. But the EU is divided over how hard to punish Moscow – or how far to support Kiev – as some would prefer to prioritize business ties with Russia.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

Former President Barack Obama’s financial backers earlier this month secretly interviewed numerous 2020 presidential candidates to determine which one or two of them they should support monetarily, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Obama’s former chief strategist David Axelrod confirmed that he briefed the group, but not as an official Obama emissary. He said he did not think the former president would endorse anyone, even if his Vice President Joe Biden entered the race, and that Obama did not believe it was up to him to determine the 2020 nomination, preferring instead that the primaries serve as a contest of ideas.

But Obama has advised more than a dozen declared or likely candidates on what he thinks is needed to beat President Donald Trump.

According to sources briefed on these informal discussions, Obama has encouraged candidates to push back on Trump’s bleak and divisive rhetoric about economic change and stress an alternative message that also can attract rural voters and others that are likely to distrust Democrats.

He also has urged candidates to avoid attacking each other in bitterly personal terms during the primaries that could later help Trump in the general election.

Obama has, however, spoken admiringly about a few potential presidential candidates, encouraged about the rise of a newer generation of leaders in the party.

He also campaigned for the midterms, focusing many of his endorsements on promoting women and candidates of color. Obama also has taken a leading role in the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group established to battle against congressional gerrymandering.

Some Democrats hold out hope that Obama might eventually help resolve the primary, perhaps if the race narrows to just two candidates and the former president is convinced one of them cannot defeat Trump.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Donald Trump slammed the deep staters who, it appears, plotted to unseat him from the Presidency by abusing the 25th Amendment.

Trump took to Twitter and hammered former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, accusing him of lying, following a CBS interview Sunday during which he claimed that the Department of Justice sought to force Trump out of office.

“Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged.” Trump tweeted.

The president also blasted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying that McCabe and “Rosenstein, who was hired by Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught.”

“There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more.” Trump wrote.

“This was the illegal and treasonous “insurance policy” in full action!” Trump added, referring to the term used by FBI agent Peter Strzok to describe the deep state plan to oust Trump should he win the election.

During McCabe’s interview, he asserted that Rosenstein was “counting votes, or counting possible votes” among cabinet officials to unseat the President.

Attempting to exonerate himself, McCabe claimed “I didn’t have much to contribute” and that Rosenstein was the driving force behind the attempted coup.

“The deputy attorney general was definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time,” he claimed.

Source: InfoWars

FILE PHOTO: China-Africa Summit in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Senegal’s President Macky Sall speaks at the 2018 Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation joint news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China September 4, 2018. Lintao Zhang/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

February 18, 2019

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal, the most stable democracy in West Africa, is preparing for an election on Sunday with President Macky Sall facing off against four other candidates.

Sall is widely expected to win a second term, after the country’s two best-known opposition figures were barred from running because of corruption allegations, in moves critics said represented a worrying crackdown on dissent.

Below is a look at the five candidates competing in the Feb. 24 ballot:

THE INCUMBENT: MACKY SALL

Favorite to win the upcoming vote, the Senegalese president first came to power in 2012, after beating former president and mentor Abdoulaye Wade in the second round.

Sall, 57, started in politics as a member of Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and served as his prime minister between 2004 and 2007. Internal disputes led Sall to split with Wade in 2008 and form his own party, Alliance for the Republic (APR).

As president, Sall launched an ambitious development and reform program aimed at transforming Senegal into an emerging economy by 2035. The plan includes an array of big ticket infrastructure projects, including a rail project, power generation and a futuristic new city on the outskirts of Dakar.

But the barring of his main rivals, Khalifa Sall, who is in jail for corruption, and Karim Wade, son of the former president, also previously jailed for graft, has raised eyebrows among voters. Heavy-handed crackdowns by security forces on some protests have also prompted accusations that President Sall has an authoritarian streak.

THE TWICE-DEFEATED: IDRISSA SECK

Like Sall, Idrissa Seck, 60, served as Wade’s prime minister in the 2000s, but his subsequent bids for the presidency have been unsuccessful.

Seck was sacked as prime minister in 2004 over embezzlement allegations and spent some months in jail before his case was dismissed. In 2006, he founded the party Rewmi (“The Country”, in the Wolof language) and ran against Wade in 2007, finishing second.

He ran again in 2012 but did not make it to the second round. He is one of Sall’s main challengers, but a widely-cited survey in November showed him trailing the incumbent with little over eight percent support.

THE NEWCOMER: OUSMANE SONKO

At 45 years old, Sonko is the youngest contestant in the race and a newcomer to the political scene. His relative youth plays to his advantage in Senegal, where more than 60 percent of the population is under 25 and anxious for change.

The tax inspector made a name for himself in 2016 when he became a whistleblower, denouncing corrupt practices in the Senegalese elite.

He was sacked over the activism, but his new-found prominence led to his election as a lawmaker in 2017, representing his own party: the Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF).

He is Sall’s other main challenger with 15 percent support, according to the November survey, which was conducted before the candidates list was finalised. Official opinion polls are banned ahead of elections.

THE ACADEMIC: ISSA SALL

The 63-year-old IT professor represents the Party of Unity and Assembly (PUR). His party is affiliated with the Moustarchidine religious movement, part of a leading Sufi brotherhood in Senegal.

Founder of a private university in Dakar, Issa Sall launched his political career in the late 1990s. He is one of only three representatives of his party in the national assembly.

THE OUTSIDER: MADICKE NIANG

Madicke Niang, 66, is seen as having the least chance of winning the upcoming vote.

A long-time member of the PDS, Niang was a loyal supporter of former president Wade and served as a minister in his government for many years. His decision last year to run for president led to his banishment from the party, as Wade wanted his son Karim to represent PDS in the race.

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Alessandra Prentice, William Maclean)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: China-Africa Summit in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Senegal’s President Macky Sall speaks at the 2018 Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation joint news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China September 4, 2018. Lintao Zhang/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

February 18, 2019

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal, the most stable democracy in West Africa, is preparing for an election on Sunday with President Macky Sall facing off against four other candidates.

Sall is widely expected to win a second term, after the country’s two best-known opposition figures were barred from running because of corruption allegations, in moves critics said represented a worrying crackdown on dissent.

Below is a look at the five candidates competing in the Feb. 24 ballot:

THE INCUMBENT: MACKY SALL

Favorite to win the upcoming vote, the Senegalese president first came to power in 2012, after beating former president and mentor Abdoulaye Wade in the second round.

Sall, 57, started in politics as a member of Wade’s Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and served as his prime minister between 2004 and 2007. Internal disputes led Sall to split with Wade in 2008 and form his own party, Alliance for the Republic (APR).

As president, Sall launched an ambitious development and reform program aimed at transforming Senegal into an emerging economy by 2035. The plan includes an array of big ticket infrastructure projects, including a rail project, power generation and a futuristic new city on the outskirts of Dakar.

But the barring of his main rivals, Khalifa Sall, who is in jail for corruption, and Karim Wade, son of the former president, also previously jailed for graft, has raised eyebrows among voters. Heavy-handed crackdowns by security forces on some protests have also prompted accusations that President Sall has an authoritarian streak.

THE TWICE-DEFEATED: IDRISSA SECK

Like Sall, Idrissa Seck, 60, served as Wade’s prime minister in the 2000s, but his subsequent bids for the presidency have been unsuccessful.

Seck was sacked as prime minister in 2004 over embezzlement allegations and spent some months in jail before his case was dismissed. In 2006, he founded the party Rewmi (“The Country”, in the Wolof language) and ran against Wade in 2007, finishing second.

He ran again in 2012 but did not make it to the second round. He is one of Sall’s main challengers, but a widely-cited survey in November showed him trailing the incumbent with little over eight percent support.

THE NEWCOMER: OUSMANE SONKO

At 45 years old, Sonko is the youngest contestant in the race and a newcomer to the political scene. His relative youth plays to his advantage in Senegal, where more than 60 percent of the population is under 25 and anxious for change.

The tax inspector made a name for himself in 2016 when he became a whistleblower, denouncing corrupt practices in the Senegalese elite.

He was sacked over the activism, but his new-found prominence led to his election as a lawmaker in 2017, representing his own party: the Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity (PASTEF).

He is Sall’s other main challenger with 15 percent support, according to the November survey, which was conducted before the candidates list was finalised. Official opinion polls are banned ahead of elections.

THE ACADEMIC: ISSA SALL

The 63-year-old IT professor represents the Party of Unity and Assembly (PUR). His party is affiliated with the Moustarchidine religious movement, part of a leading Sufi brotherhood in Senegal.

Founder of a private university in Dakar, Issa Sall launched his political career in the late 1990s. He is one of only three representatives of his party in the national assembly.

THE OUTSIDER: MADICKE NIANG

Madicke Niang, 66, is seen as having the least chance of winning the upcoming vote.

A long-time member of the PDS, Niang was a loyal supporter of former president Wade and served as a minister in his government for many years. His decision last year to run for president led to his banishment from the party, as Wade wanted his son Karim to represent PDS in the race.

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Alessandra Prentice, William Maclean)

Source: OANN

The former head of far-right Alternative for Germany party has appeared in court on charges of perjury.

Frauke Petry appeared Monday before the regional court in Dresden to defend herself against accusations that she made false statements to parliament while under oath.

Petry has previously acknowledged making erroneous statements about the nature of loans that members made to the party during an election campaign, but denied doing so intentionally.

A ruling is expected next month.

The 43-year-old left Alternative for Germany after the country’s 2017 national election and founded her own party, which plans to contest this year’s regional election in the eastern state of Saxony.

She remains a lawmaker in Germany’s national parliament.

Source: Fox News World

FILE PHOTO: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen attends a meeting in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen attends a signing meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China December 7, 2017. Fred Dufour/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

February 18, 2019

By Mohamed Junayd

MALE (Reuters) – A court in the Maldives ordered the arrest and detention on Monday of the former president, Abdulla Yameen, on suspicion of money laundering.

Yameen, who drew the Indian Ocean island country closer to China during his rule, is accused of receiving $1 million of government money through a private company, SOF Private Limited, which has been implicated in a corrupt deal to lease tropical islands for hotel development.

He denies the allegations.

After a two-and-a-half hour remand hearing on Monday, prosecutors sought a court order to detain the former president. The court ruled that Yameen, who appeared in person, should be taken into custody.

Preliminary hearings in his money-laundering trial are expected to begin this week.

The Maldives is due to hold a parliamentary election on April 6, with corruption likely to dominate campaigning.

On Friday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih suspended two government ministers over financial transactions conducted with SOF Private.

The scandal has implicated several other businessmen and politicians, all of whom deny wrongdoing.

Officials from SOF could not be reached for comment.

The state-run Anti-Corruption Commission in 2016 found that SOF, a company launched by former tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb, was used to launder more than $92 million from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, the country’s tourism board.

(Reporting by Mohamed Junayd in Male; Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe announces the results of the national health care fraud takedown during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe announces the results of the national health care fraud takedown during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

February 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe decried the “relentless attack” he said U.S. President Donald Trump has launched against the agency, according to released excerpts of an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, to be aired early Monday.

“I think the FBI has been under a relentless attack in the last two years,” said McCabe, who is promoting his new memoir, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terrorism and Trump.”

Trump’s attack is one of the reasons he wrote his book, he said in a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from his own firing, the probe into Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election, and FBI morale.

McCabe denied news reports that anyone in the Justice Department had made a serious effort to remove the president.

“At no time did I ever perceive that there was a legitimate effort underway by [Deputy Attorney General] Rod [Rosenstein] or anybody else to remove the president under the 25th Amendment or in any other way,” McCabe said in the interview.

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlines how a sitting president can be removed by the vice president and cabinet.

He also said in the interview that he believes his own firing just hours before his retirement “sends an unbelievably chilling message to the rest of the men and women of the FBI.

McCabe was dismissed from the FBI in March 2018, following a tumultuous relationship with Trump, after the President fired former FBI director James Comey over the investigation into the Trump election campaign’s alleged connections with Russia.

Trump, who has frequently criticized Comey, McCabe and the Russia inquiry, on Thursday attacked McCabe on Twitter as a leaker and a “disgrace to the FBI.”

In June 2017, Comey told a Senate committee he believed Trump had directed him to drop a probe into the Republican president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as part of the broader Russia investigation.

McCabe himself was later fired by then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited an internal Federal Bureau of Investigation watchdog report that found McCabe leaked information to reporters and misled investigators about his actions. McCabe said he was targeted over the Russia probe.

In the Morning Edition interview, McCabe said he has an ongoing civil lawsuit against the Department of Justice over the circumstances of his firing.

He said he believes the report by the FBI’s Office of Inspector General used as the basis of his dismissal was biased against him. He pointed to the personal attacks Trump has launched against him on Twitter and said of the OIG, “I don’t believe they were independent or fair.”

The book is set to be released this week.

(Reporting by Rich McKay, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

The European Parliament has projected which parties will get seats after the European Union-wide May election and says that the center-right Christian Democrat EPP group would remain the largest party ahead of the center-left Socialist S&D.

The redesigned European Parliament is expected to have 705 seats total, which would include lawmakers from 27 EU nations after the expected departure of Britain on March 29.

In Monday’s projections, the EPP would win 183 seats and the S&D 135. The pro-business ALDE group would be the third biggest in parliament with 75 seats.

The elections will be held May 23-26 in all EU nations.

The Parliament’s Public Opinion Monitoring Unit based its projections on voting intention polls from each EU nation and adapted the results to the current makeup of the political groups.

Source: Fox News World

FILE PHOTO - Zimbabwe's former finance minister and opposition leader Tendai Biti looks on after appearing at the Magistrate Court in the capital Harare
FILE PHOTO – Zimbabwe’s former finance minister and opposition leader Tendai Biti looks on after appearing at the Magistrate Court in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe August 10, 2018. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

February 18, 2019

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s former finance minister and senior opposition politician Tendai Biti was on Monday convicted and fined $200 for unlawfully and falsely announcing the results of last year’s presidential election that was won by Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Biti, vice chairman of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, was charged last year after announcing that MDC leader Nelson Chamisa had won the presidential election. Biti was later deported by Zambian authorities after a failed asylum bid.

The MDC and Chamisa continue to dispute Mnangagwa’s victory, which was also upheld by the country’s top court, and say Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems will not be fixed until the president’s legitimacy is resolved.

Magistrate Gloria Takundwa said state prosecutors had proved the case against Biti, whom she said would be jailed for six months if he commits a similar offence in the next five years.

Biti’s lawyer Alec Muchadema, who paid the $200 fine, said he would appeal against the conviction and sentence.

“I am absolutely innocent and we will be appealing that decision. It’s unacceptable what is happening, we will keep on fighting,” Biti told reporters outside the courthouse.

Chamisa said Biti was being persecuted for telling the truth and that the former finance minister was one of many MDC leaders being targeted by Mnangagwa’s government in a bid to cripple the opposition. The government has denied the charge.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe, editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Harris, Republican candidate from North Carolina's 9th Congressional district speaks as U.S. President Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Charlotte
FILE PHOTO: Mark Harris, Republican candidate from North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina U.S., October 26, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

February 18, 2019

By Gabriella Borter

(Reuters) – North Carolina election officials on Monday will begin hearing evidence on allegations that absentee ballots unlawfully collected by a Republican operative may have tipped a tight November U.S. congressional election in favor of a Republican candidate.

The U.S. House of Representatives seat has remained vacant since state officials refused to certify the apparent victory by Republican Mark Harris over Democratic rival Dan McCready after voters in the state’s 9th congressional district said the Harris campaign team had collected their incomplete absentee ballots.

State officials have named Republican political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless as a person of interest in their election fraud probe after voters in Bladen County said people working with Dowless came to their homes and collected ballots, which would violate state law.

Each side will have a chance to present evidence to the five-member State Board of Elections in hearings that could run through Wednesday. Under state law, the board could order a new election if it finds sufficient evidence that voter fraud affected the outcome of the election. If it does not, it could certify Harris as the district’s congressional representative.

If the Democrats pick up the seat, they would widen their 235-197 majority in the House after taking control of the chamber from President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in the Nov. 6 election.

While Trump has repeatedly and without evidence said that large numbers of illegal immigrants have cast ballots in U.S. elections to the benefit of Democrats, the North Carolina dispute involves alleged election fraud by the Republicans.

Harris declared victory after early vote tallies showed him with a 905-vote edge out of 282,717 ballots cast. McCready initially conceded, then withdrew his concession after the reports about absentee ballots appeared.

In January, a state judge declined a Harris request to overturn the board’s decision not to confirm that he had won. The judge said it would be a “dramatic intervention” to do so before the state concluded its investigation.

“We hope to have Dr. Harris certified so he can take his seat in the congressional district,” said David Freedman, a lawyer representing Harris.

Representatives for McCready did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dowless’ lawyer, Cynthia Adams Singletary, has denied that her client violated state or federal campaign laws. She did not respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Singapore's Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat speaks at a UBS client conference in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat speaks at a UBS client conference in Singapore, January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim/File Photo

February 18, 2019

By John Geddie and Fathin Ungku

(Reuters) – Singapore unveiled an expansionary budget for the next financial year on Monday, setting aside S$6.1 billion for the welfare of its elderly in a generous package before an election expected as soon as this year.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat also announced a S$1.1 billion bonus package for all Singaporeans to mark 200 years since the former British colony’s founding, that includes vouchers, a cash bonus for lower income workers and income tax rebates for the middle class.

The government finance for the 2019 fiscal year that begins April 1 is expected to turn to a deficit of S$3.5 billion, after a predicted surplus of S$2.1 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.

The budget proposal comes after data showed Singapore’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than two years in the fourth quarter, and its trade ministry warned that manufacturing is likely to face significant moderation this year.

Analysts have said stronger fiscal impulse will also be needed to tackle heightened external pressure on the economy, including from the U.S.-Sino trade war and Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union.

Singapore must hold its next general election by early 2021, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, eyeing retirement, has suggested it could be this year.

“The Merdeka Generation Package is a gesture of our nation’s gratitude for their contributions and a way to show care for them in their silver years,” said Heng, who been tapped to be the next leader of the People’s Action Party which has ruled the city-state for over half a century without interruption.

The so-called Merdeka, or “independence” generation refers to those born in the 1950s, near the end of British colonial rule. With the second-fastest aging population in the world after South Korea, and as pressure grows on more of the elderly to stay in the workforce beyond retirement age, the low-tax finance hub is facing rising social angst over the welfare of its aged.

Heng said about 30 percent of Singapore’s total budgeted expenditure for the 2019 fiscal year will support defense, security and diplomacy efforts and the quota for foreign workers in the services sector will be reduced in coming years.

Among other budget highlights was a hike in excise duty for diesel to 20 Singapore cents per liter from 10 cents with immediate effect. For all the highlights, click.

(Reporting by John Geddie and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN

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Developing now, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019

McCABE SAYS DEPUTY AG ROSENSTEIN ‘ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS’ ABOUT SECRETLY RECORDING TRUMP: The former FBI deputy director said in an interview broadcast Sunday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "was not joking" when he suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump in the Oval Office following the May 2017 dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

McCabe, speaking to CBS News’ "60 Minutes," recounted a conversation soon after Comey’s firing about the ongoing Russia investigation in which he said Rosenstein told him: "I never get searched when I go into the White House. I could easily wear a recording device. They wouldn’t know it was there."

"Now, he was not joking," McCabe said of Rosenstein’s comments. "He was absolutely serious. And in fact, he brought it up in the next meeting we had."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

CORY BOOKER ‘WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT ON SMOLLETT CASE AFTER CALLING IT ‘ATTEMPTED MODERN-DAY LYNCHING’: Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker told reporters Sunday that he would withhold judgment on the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett after calling the incident "an attempted modern-day lynching" when it was first reported last month … Booker cited the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue this past October as well as the June 2015 shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C.

FILE: Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. 

FILE: Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles.  (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

"I’m gonna withhold until all the information actually comes out from on-the-record sources," the senator from New Jersey said after meeting with voters in Rochester, N.H. "We know in America that bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise in a serious way, and we actually even know– in this country– that since 9/11, the majority of the terrorist attacks on our soil have been right-wing terrorist attacks — the majority of them white supremacist attacks."

RUSH LIMBAUGH: SPENDING BILL WAS EFFORT BY SOME REPUBLICANS TO SABOTAGE TRUMP: Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, speaking to "Fox News Sunday," charged that the compromise spending bill recently signed by President Trump to avert another partial government shutdown was little more than a disguised effort by some Republicans to torpedo his 2020 presidential candidacy…The radio host rejected claims that Trump is unduly influenced by right-wing media figures and "wackos" — an accusation that resurfaced amid the ongoing border wall funding dispute.

"Both parties have people that are still trying to get rid of Donald Trump," Limbaugh said, asserting that Democrats are also working to guarantee a "permanent underclass of voters" who are "uneducated" and "don’t even speak" English.

  • WATCH: Rush Limbaugh on whether Trump is justified in taking executive action to secure funding for his border wall

BILL DE BLASIO CORRECTS OCASIO-CORTEZ’S CLAIMS ABOUT SPENDING AMAZON TAX BREAK MONEY: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested on Sunday that critics of the potential Amazon campus New York City — such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — got the facts wrong over the money behind the tax breaks … The Democratic mayor said: “And that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.”

On Sunday morning, de Blasio responded in the affirmative when Chuck Todd of NBC News’ “Meet the Press” asked if the tax breaks offered to Amazon weren’t “money you had over here. And it was going over there.”

THE SOUNDBITE

SOMETHING WAS AMISS – “This is a duly elected president, someone who the entire country said we want to be our president, and here we see that yet again people cannot accept the results of an election. And by the way, the president knew that something was amiss, he’d been saying from the very beginning, something’s going on within in the FBI, something’s wrong within my justice department. He knew and everybody said, “oh, he’s crazy.” No, he wasn’t. This is exactly the thing that he was talking about happening. It’s disgraceful and I think he needs to answer a lot of questions.” – Lara Trump, on “Fox & Friends,” discussing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s admission that he ordered an obstruction of justice probe against President Donald Trump. WATCH

TODAY’S MUST-READS

New Yorkers fleeing to Florida need to leave their terrible blue state policies behind as well

How Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer went to war

Florida boy, 11, arrested after refusing to recite ‘racist’ Pledge of Allegiance: report.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Student-loan payment may soon come directly out of your paycheck

IRS refund frenzy: Democrats blast Trump Treasury for ‘goosing’ paychecks

Amazon vs Ocasio-Cortez: 25K NYC job promise had holes

If Joe Biden runs, his presidency goes through Wall Street

Married filing taxes jointly vs. separately: Pros and cons

STAY TUNED

On Fox Nation:

Dr. Drew reacts to Jonah Hill’s comments on "UN-PC" – Dr. Drew Pinsky urged actor Jonah Hill to "double-down" on his traditional form of comedy on Fox Nation’s "UN-PC" after Hill said in a recent interview that he wants to "challenge traditional masculinity" in his films. Watch a preview of the show now.

Not a subscriber? Click here to join Fox Nation today!

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include Scott Stephenson, president of the Museum of the American Revolution; Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO of National MS Society; Chef John Doherty, former executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City for 23 years, owner and chef at Black Barn Restaurant; Spencer Brown, Young America Foundation.

Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulker, 1 p.m. ET:  Guests include Ash Wright, GOP strategist, Sr. advisor to George P. Bush, former political director at the Republican Party of Texas.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Special guest: Melissa Armo, founder of the educational firm "The Stock Swoosh."

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Guests include: Katie Pavlich, FNC contributor, and Juan Williams, co-host of "The Five."

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Elizabeth Wagmeister, Page Six TV.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET:  Gregg Jarrett, attorney, and Fox News anchor.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: "Trump Will Defend National Emergency Declaration" - President Trump and his advisers defend the use of a national emergency declaration to get funding for a border wall. FOX News Contributor and CEO of 32 Advisors, Robert Wolf, discusses what happens next. Famous for his role of Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, Gary Sinise has been traveling the world and supporting the United States military through his work with his foundation. He joined the podcast to talk about his experiences, and about what he’s learned. Plus, commentary by FOX’s Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Guests include: Rich Lowry discusses President Trump’s national emergency and the 2020 race; Amb. Dennis Ross, former special assistant to President Barack Obama, on Iran; Jonah Goldberg on McCabe, Trump’s national emergency and the 2020 race; Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on McCabe and the national emergency; American historian Jay Winick discusses Presidents’ Day.

#TheFlashback

2009: President Barack Obama launched a $75 billion foreclosure rescue plan aimed at saving homes.

1988: Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1997: Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery completed their tune-up of the Hubble Space Telescope after 33 hours of spacewalking; the Hubble was then released using the shuttle’s crane.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this edition. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.

Source: Fox News National

Welcome to Fox News First. Not signed up yet? Click here.

Developing now, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019

McCABE SAYS DEPUTY AG ROSENSTEIN ‘ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS’ ABOUT SECRETLY RECORDING TRUMP: The former FBI deputy director said in an interview broadcast Sunday that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "was not joking" when he suggested secretly recording President Donald Trump in the Oval Office following the May 2017 dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

McCabe, speaking to CBS News’ "60 Minutes," recounted a conversation soon after Comey’s firing about the ongoing Russia investigation in which he said Rosenstein told him: "I never get searched when I go into the White House. I could easily wear a recording device. They wouldn’t know it was there."

"Now, he was not joking," McCabe said of Rosenstein’s comments. "He was absolutely serious. And in fact, he brought it up in the next meeting we had."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

CORY BOOKER ‘WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT ON SMOLLETT CASE AFTER CALLING IT ‘ATTEMPTED MODERN-DAY LYNCHING’: Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker told reporters Sunday that he would withhold judgment on the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett after calling the incident "an attempted modern-day lynching" when it was first reported last month … Booker cited the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue this past October as well as the June 2015 shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C.

FILE: Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. 

FILE: Actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles.  (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

"I’m gonna withhold until all the information actually comes out from on-the-record sources," the senator from New Jersey said after meeting with voters in Rochester, N.H. "We know in America that bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise in a serious way, and we actually even know– in this country– that since 9/11, the majority of the terrorist attacks on our soil have been right-wing terrorist attacks — the majority of them white supremacist attacks."

RUSH LIMBAUGH: SPENDING BILL WAS EFFORT BY SOME REPUBLICANS TO SABOTAGE TRUMP: Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, speaking to "Fox News Sunday," charged that the compromise spending bill recently signed by President Trump to avert another partial government shutdown was little more than a disguised effort by some Republicans to torpedo his 2020 presidential candidacy…The radio host rejected claims that Trump is unduly influenced by right-wing media figures and "wackos" — an accusation that resurfaced amid the ongoing border wall funding dispute.

"Both parties have people that are still trying to get rid of Donald Trump," Limbaugh said, asserting that Democrats are also working to guarantee a "permanent underclass of voters" who are "uneducated" and "don’t even speak" English.

  • WATCH: Rush Limbaugh on whether Trump is justified in taking executive action to secure funding for his border wall

BILL DE BLASIO CORRECTS OCASIO-CORTEZ’S CLAIMS ABOUT SPENDING AMAZON TAX BREAK MONEY: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested on Sunday that critics of the potential Amazon campus New York City — such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — got the facts wrong over the money behind the tax breaks … The Democratic mayor said: “And that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.”

On Sunday morning, de Blasio responded in the affirmative when Chuck Todd of NBC News’ “Meet the Press” asked if the tax breaks offered to Amazon weren’t “money you had over here. And it was going over there.”

THE SOUNDBITE

SOMETHING WAS AMISS – “This is a duly elected president, someone who the entire country said we want to be our president, and here we see that yet again people cannot accept the results of an election. And by the way, the president knew that something was amiss, he’d been saying from the very beginning, something’s going on within in the FBI, something’s wrong within my justice department. He knew and everybody said, “oh, he’s crazy.” No, he wasn’t. This is exactly the thing that he was talking about happening. It’s disgraceful and I think he needs to answer a lot of questions.” – Lara Trump, on “Fox & Friends,” discussing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s admission that he ordered an obstruction of justice probe against President Donald Trump. WATCH

TODAY’S MUST-READS

New Yorkers fleeing to Florida need to leave their terrible blue state policies behind as well

How Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer went to war

Florida boy, 11, arrested after refusing to recite ‘racist’ Pledge of Allegiance: report.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

Student-loan payment may soon come directly out of your paycheck

IRS refund frenzy: Democrats blast Trump Treasury for ‘goosing’ paychecks

Amazon vs Ocasio-Cortez: 25K NYC job promise had holes

If Joe Biden runs, his presidency goes through Wall Street

Married filing taxes jointly vs. separately: Pros and cons

STAY TUNED

On Fox Nation:

Dr. Drew reacts to Jonah Hill’s comments on "UN-PC" – Dr. Drew Pinsky urged actor Jonah Hill to "double-down" on his traditional form of comedy on Fox Nation’s "UN-PC" after Hill said in a recent interview that he wants to "challenge traditional masculinity" in his films. Watch a preview of the show now.

Not a subscriber? Click here to join Fox Nation today!

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include Scott Stephenson, president of the Museum of the American Revolution; Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO of National MS Society; Chef John Doherty, former executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City for 23 years, owner and chef at Black Barn Restaurant; Spencer Brown, Young America Foundation.

Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulker, 1 p.m. ET:  Guests include Ash Wright, GOP strategist, Sr. advisor to George P. Bush, former political director at the Republican Party of Texas.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Special guest: Melissa Armo, founder of the educational firm "The Stock Swoosh."

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Guests include: Katie Pavlich, FNC contributor, and Juan Williams, co-host of "The Five."

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: Elizabeth Wagmeister, Page Six TV.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET:  Gregg Jarrett, attorney, and Fox News anchor.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: "Trump Will Defend National Emergency Declaration" - President Trump and his advisers defend the use of a national emergency declaration to get funding for a border wall. FOX News Contributor and CEO of 32 Advisors, Robert Wolf, discusses what happens next. Famous for his role of Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, Gary Sinise has been traveling the world and supporting the United States military through his work with his foundation. He joined the podcast to talk about his experiences, and about what he’s learned. Plus, commentary by FOX’s Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Guests include: Rich Lowry discusses President Trump’s national emergency and the 2020 race; Amb. Dennis Ross, former special assistant to President Barack Obama, on Iran; Jonah Goldberg on McCabe, Trump’s national emergency and the 2020 race; Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on McCabe and the national emergency; American historian Jay Winick discusses Presidents’ Day.

#TheFlashback

2009: President Barack Obama launched a $75 billion foreclosure rescue plan aimed at saving homes.

1988: Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1997: Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery completed their tune-up of the Hubble Space Telescope after 33 hours of spacewalking; the Hubble was then released using the shuttle’s crane.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this edition. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.

Source: Fox News National


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