The White House

FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller listens at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at an oversight hearing about the FBI on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller, as FBI director, listens during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing about the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo

March 25, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller acted honorably, President Donald Trump said on Monday, days after the fellow Republican wrapped up his Russia probe with no evidence of criminal collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Asked if he thought Mueller acted honorably, Trump told reporters at the White House “yes.”

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Source: OANN

William Davis | Contributor

Ivanka Trump responded Sunday to the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation by tweeting a famous quote from former President Abraham Lincoln.

“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander,” the quote reads.

With her not-so-subtle tweet, the eldest daughter of President Donald Trump became the latest member of Trump-world to take a victory lap after Mueller’s 675-day-long investigation concluded that neither the president nor members of his campaign attempted to collude with Russia. (RELATED: The Media’s Russia ‘Bombshells’ Look Even Worse Now That Mueller Found No Collusion)

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote, according to a letter sent by Attorney General Bill Barr to Congress. (RELATED: White House Reacts To Mueller Report Release)

The Trump family has approached the nearly two-year-long investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election with confidence. In an interview with ABC News last month, Ivanka said that she had “zero concern” about the probe.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks past his daughter and White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump to participate in an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting in the White House State Dining Room in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Donald Trump walks past his daughter and White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump … REUTERS/Leah Millis

“There’s nothing there, yet it’s created weeks and weeks and months of headlines,” she said at the time. “So, no, I have zero concern.”

The full Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, but Barr’s letter has widely been seen as a victory for the president and his family, after nearly two years of speculation and rumors. President Trump himself tweeted Sunday night that the report was a “Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION,” Trump said. “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

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Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. President Trump welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures next to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a ceremony to sign a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

March 25, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump signed a decree on Monday at the start of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the United States recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory that Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

The decree formalized Trump’s statement on March 21 saying it was time for the United States “to fully recognize” Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. The move appeared to give Netanyahu a boost ahead of the closely contested April 9 Israeli elections.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

Source: OANN

There have been no conversations about President Donald Trump issuing pardons for any of his associates who have been charged or pleaded guilty as part of the U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the White House said Monday.

There has been "no discussion that I'm aware of" regarding pardons, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. Fellow White House spokesman Hogan Gidley also told MSNBC in an interview that the White House has not had any conversations about such pardons.

Gidley said he did not know whether any lawyers for Trump's associates had approached the White House counsel about pardons.

Mueller's team finished up work on Friday and submitted its findings to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who issued a four-page summary on Sunday. Barr said the Special Counsel's Office had found no evidence of criminal collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia in the 2016 election but had left open the issue of whether Trump had tried to obstruct justice.

Still, Mueller's investigation led to charges and guilty pleas against dozens of people, including a series of Russian nationals and companies as well as several top Trump advisers, such as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and former adviser Roger Stone.

"We have a very rigorous process that relates to pardons," Gidley told MSNBC.

Source: NewsMax

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was cutting his trip to the U.S. short after a rocket strike from Gaza hit a home just north of Tel Aviv and injured several people, according to Reuters.

“In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the U.S.,” he told Reuters.

Netanyahu, who had only arrived Sunday for a four-day visit, will still meet with President Donald Trump today before boarding his return flight to Israel this afternoon.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 5: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands withIsrael Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House March 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. The prime minister is on an official visit to the US until the end of the week. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 5: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House March 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The rocket from Gaza landed on a home in the small agricultural town of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv, in early morning. A military spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interception system had not been deployed in the area and was unable to bring down the rocket.

It left one house destroyed in addition to the surrounding damage. Reuters reported one infant, a 3-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and a 60-year-old woman were among those being treated for injuries.

Gazan officials have not claimed responsibility for the rocket, but are reportedly preparing for retaliation.

“There was a criminal attack on the state of Israel and we will respond forcefully,” Netanyahu said in a video statement sent to the Wall Street Journal.

The border along Israel and Gaza recently marked one year of continued border protests. President Trump recently expressed support for Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and is reportedly planning to make that statement official by signing a decree during today’s meeting, according to Reuters.

Netanyahu is running for an unprecedented fifth term. His main political rival, former Chief of the Israeli General Staff Benny Gantz, immediately issued a statement accusing Netanyahu of having “bankrupted national security” by permitting such attacks.

The election will be held April 9. (RELATED: Israel Holding Early Elections As Bribery Allegations Engulf Netanyahu)

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  • Carter Page is speaking out for the first time in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s finding that nobody on the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.
  • Page was Prime Suspect #1 in the government’s collusion investigation. He was a target of illegal government leaks to the media.
  • But Page said he was “not even slightly” worried he would face indictments by Mueller.

Carter Page insists he was never worried about being indicted in the special counsel’s probe, which ended on Sunday with more of a whimper than a bang.

“Not even slightly,” the former Trump campaign adviser insisted to The Daily Caller News Foundation on Sunday when asked if he ever expected to be charged in the investigation.

“That’s why I laughed at this stuff all along,” he said.

Page, 47, was at one point in time a major focus of the Russia investigation, which was led by special counsel Robert Mueller and played out in the media.

In a letter to Congress, Attorney General William Barr said Mueller found no evidence that President Donald Trump, Trump associates or members of his campaign conspired with Russia to sow disinformation or release emails stolen from Democrats. (RELATED: Mueller Finds No Collusion)

The letter exonerates Trump. It also exonerates Page, who was a volunteer national security adviser for Trump’s team.

Page was one of four initial targets of that counterintelligence investigation, which was formally opened by the FBI on July 31, 2016. Dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation started with George Papadopoulos, another young Trump aide who joined the campaign at the same time as Page.

During the probe, Page faced perhaps the most intrusive media and government scrutiny other than Trump himself. He faced it all without the base of support enjoyed by Trump, or his financial means.

Page was placed under government surveillance, was targeted by at least one FBI informant, and was the subject of a series of leaks by government officials to the media. He was also the target of public ridicule, allegations that he was a Russian agent and the death threats that accompanied such an explosive charge. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Met With Trump Campaign Adviser During Campaign, Beyond)

FBI Director Robert Mueller III testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Dec.14, 2011 in Washington, D.C.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Page, a Naval Academy graduate, dispels the idea that he’s a victim.

He says Trump was the true target and that he was collateral damage.

Page has said he had interactions over the years with the FBI and CIA, largely because of his work in Moscow, where he worked as a consultant during the 2000s. He landed back on the U.S. government’s radar just after he joined the Trump campaign in March 2016. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey and other U.S. officials discussed Page after he joined Trump’s team. The FBI deployed a longtime informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with Page in July 2016.

The pair met at an event held at Cambridge University on July 11-12, 2016 where the upcoming U.S. election was the topic of discussion. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was in attendance, as was Sir Richard Dearlove, a former chief of MI6.

Halper, a colleague of Dearlove at Cambridge, approached Page at the conference, and the pair remained in contact through September 2017, the same month the FBI’s fourth and final Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant expired.

It is still unclear what information the FISA warrants and Halper recovered from Page. But Page’s absence on the roster of indictees in the Mueller investigation suggests they didn’t find much.

The FBI appears to have applied for the first FISA against Page in September 2016, around a month before obtaining the warrant on Oct. 21, 2016.

Applications that have been declassified and released show the Steele dossier was a major component of the investigation. Compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats, the dossier makes several serious allegations against Page, all of which he denies.

Steele claimed in his 35-page report that Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to conspire with the Russians. It was also Page’s idea to release emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee through WikiLeaks, Steele’s sources said.

The dossier also alleges that Page met with two sanctioned Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, during a trip to Moscow he made just before his Cambridge visit. During an alleged conversation with Sechin, the dossier says that Page offered to lobby against Russian sanctions in exchange for a brokerage stake on a deal involving Rosneft, the Russian oil giant.

Steele, a former MI6 officer, shared those allegations with reporters, including Michael Isikoff at Yahoo! News. On Sept. 23, 2016, Isikoff published an article laying out the claims about Page. It would later be revealed that Isikoff was one of a handful of reporters who Steele met with at the behest of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Trump.

Republicans in Congress have investigated the FBI’s applications for the FISA warrants. They say that bureau officials withheld key evidence from FISA Court judges regarding the provenance of the Steele dossier, which remains unverified.

That investigation is expected to intensify now that Mueller has closed his investigation. Page is among those supporting the probe.

Page was also targeted with a series of damaging media leaks that he believes were tied to his decision to speak out publicly about the dossier’s allegations. His first television appearance was with PBS’s Judy Woodruff on Feb. 15, 2017, a month after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed.

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson on Capitol Hill on Oct. 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

On April 3, 2017, a story broke in BuzzFeed that Page was targeted for recruitment in 2013 by two Russian spies. Page was not accused of wrongdoing in the case. One of the Russian spies was recorded calling Page an “idiot.” Nevertheless, Page’s contacts with Russian operatives fit into the prevailing narrative that he had illicit ties to Russia. James Wolfe, a senior staffer for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has since been identified as leaking information to BuzzFeed for the report. He pleaded guilty to lying about contacts with the BuzzFeed reporter, who he was dating at the time.

A bigger bombshell landed a week after the BuzzFeed report.

On April 11, 2017, The Washington Post broke the news that Page was the target of a FISA application. In order to be targeted with that type of surveillance, the FBI and Justice Department would have had to present probable cause that Page was working clandestinely as an agent of Russia.

The source for that leak of classified information has yet to be identified.

“I think it’s all interrelated, right?” Page said when asked whether the leaks were a response to his media appearances. “It’s all retribution.”

The Washington Post leak had its intended effect, Page argues.

The argument at the time was that if the FBI felt that Page was a Russian agent, then surely he must have been. That thesis has since come under scrutiny as it became clear the FBI relied heavily on the Democrat-funded dossier to meet that probable cause standard.

Even Halper, the FBI-CIA informant, hinted to Page that collusion was a non-starter.

“It seems attention has shifted a bit from the ‘collusion’ investigation to the ‘contretempts’ [sic] within the White House,” Halper wrote in a July 28, 2017 email to Page.

“I must assume this gives you some relief,” he continued, urging Page to “be in touch when you have the time. Would be great to catch up.”

Twenty-six months after its publication, none of the major allegations in the dossier have been verified. There is strong reason to doubt many of its claims.

Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer, has denied one of the dossier’s most serious collusion allegations under oath. On Feb. 27, he told Congress that he has never visited Prague, which is where the dossier claims Cohen visited in August 2016 to pay off Russia-linked hackers.

The dossier has other inaccurate information about Cohen. The source who provided information to Steele was also an intermediary for allegations about Page.

Page is vague when asked about his dealings with the FBI and the Mueller team. He has recently — albeit reluctantly — acknowledged he testified to Mueller’s grand jury on Nov. 1, 2017. He told TheDCNF that he was informed that he was not a target of the investigation.

“I was never even asked any question which comes anywhere near the zone of illegality. Not by a long shot,” he said.

He hinted he was informed during the course of the investigation that he was not a target. Federal prosecutors place individuals involved in investigations into three separate categories: witness, subject and target.

Page made an analogy to salsa: “mild, medium or hot.”

“I was the mildest of the mild,” he said.

Page concedes that if he has one regret, it’s not speaking out forcefully against allegations that began trickling into the press about him in the run-up to the 2016 election. He said if he had not been so easy-going in the face of allegations he was a Russian agent, he could have avoided further surveillance and media attention.

“If I had fought about the witch hunt earlier, all of this stuff wouldn’t have transpired,” he said, noting his relative obscurity made him an easy target for investigators, in the media and in government.

“It’s a lot easier to paint a picture on a blank slate,” he added.

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he returns to the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as the president returns from a weekend in Florida at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

March 25, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There have been no conversations about President Donald Trump issuing pardons for any of his associates who have been charged or pled guilty as part of the U.S. Special Counsel’s Russia probe, White House representatives said on Monday.

There has been “no discussion that I’m aware of any pardons,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters at the White House. Fellow White House spokesman Hogan Gidley also told MSNBC in an interview that the White House has not had any conversations about such pardons.

(Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey)

Source: OANN

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

A caravan of mostly Central Americans began its trek toward the United States over the weekend, setting the stage for what will likely be another showdown between border enforcement officials and migrants.

Around 1,200 migrants formed a caravan in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas and, following the same route as numerous groups before them, started their journey northward Saturday, according to Reuters. The U.S.-bound group is made of mostly Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, but also includes Cuban migrants.

The National Migration Institute — a department within the government of Mexico that tracks immigration — said the migrants were already within the country before they decided to assemble into a caravan near the country’s southern border with Guatemala.

The latest caravan will likely further inflame tensions between these Central American countries and the White House. President Donald Trump, who has made increased immigration enforcement a hallmark of his executive agenda, has threatened Central American governments with repercussions for allowing migrants to freely make their way to the U.S.

“… Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!” Trump tweeted in late December upon the news of a 15,000-person caravan heading northward.

The number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has surged in recent months, with the Department of Homeland Security predicting nearly 100,000 apprehensions by the end of this month — which would mark the highest number in over a decade.

A group of Central American migrants surrenders to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A group of Central American migrants surrenders to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Unlike in the early 1990s and early 2000s, the migrants getting apprehended today are mostly Central American and unaccompanied children, individuals who cannot be as easily deported as adult Mexican nationals. Border enforcement resources have been stretched thin because of this, forcing overcrowded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities to release about 100,000 illegal aliens in the past three months. (RELATED: Central American Migrants Are Sending Billions Back To Their Home Countries)

The vast number of migrants are also submitting so many asylum requests that border checkpoints have buckled under the weight. Officials with the El Paso Border Patrol sector revealed that they temporarily closed their highway checkpoints due to the record amount of asylum requests.

The Trump administration has begun implementing what is known as the “remain in Mexico” policy in response to the immigration and asylum surge, The directive calls for foreign nationals who claim asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to remain within the Mexican interior as their case runs through the U.S. immigration court system. The new policy is meant to curb abuse by asylum seekers who do not show up to their court date and simply disappear in the U.S. after making their claim.

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Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his house after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election in McClean, Virginia
U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his house after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election in McClean, Virginia, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 25, 2019

By Makini Brice and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday it was up to the U.S. Justice Department to decide if detailed findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation would be made public, a day after the attorney general said President Donald Trump had been cleared of any collusion.

Mueller wrapped up his investigation after nearly two years on Friday and submitted his findings to Attorney General William Barr, who on Sunday released a four-page summary saying there was no evidence of criminal collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. Mueller’s report left unresolved whether Trump obstructed justice.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin on Monday said President Vladimir Putin was ready to improve ties with the United States following the release of Barr’s summary and called on the United States to formally recognize there was no collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Trump last week openly backed the public release of the report from the investigation, which he had repeatedly lambasted as a “witch hunt.”

The Barr summary handed Trump a political victory ahead of his 2020 re-election effort, even as Democratic challengers and lawmakers vowed to press on with other investigations into his business and personal dealings.

Democrats also called for the full findings from Mueller to be released to Congress and the public and vowed to call Barr to appear before lawmakers to answer questions.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that while Trump wanted the special counsel’s report to come out, it was not up to him.

“I think that the president is doing exactly what he should and that’s leaving that decision into the hands of the attorney general and we’ll see what decision he makes on that front,” Sanders said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” program on Monday.

Sanders declined to comment on whether Trump would invoke presidential privilege to withhold any information. But Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, said it “would be very inappropriate” to release the president’s written answers to the special counsel, saying they were confidential. Despite lengthy negotiations, Mueller never obtained an in-person interview with the president.

“As a lawyer, you don’t waive privileges and you don’t waive investigative detail absent either a court order or an agreement between the parties,” Sekulow told CNN in an interview, adding that Barr would make the final decision.

Trump embraced the summary’s findings, retweeting Barr’s assessment and related headlines news media despite years of decrying the “fake news” as #ReleaseTheFullMuellerReport trended nationwide on social media.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a on a conference call with reporters, called on Washington to make the first move to reset ties and repeated Moscow’s denial of any interference in U.S. elections and internal affairs or those of any other country.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said the allegations of election meddling against a number of Russians were politically motivated.

Mueller’s investigation led to charges and guilty please against dozens of people, including a series of Russian nationals and companies as well as several advisers to President Donald Trump, including this former campaign chairman and national security adviser.

(The story was refiled to add the dropped word “said” in the first paragraph)

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump would likely not object to at least a partial release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on NBC Monday morning.

“I don’t think the president has any problem with it. . . . He’s more than happy for any of this stuff to come out because he knows exactly what did and what didn’t happen and now frankly the rest of America knows. They know there was no collusion, they know there was no obstruction and it’s a complete and total exoneration of the president,” Sanders said when asked if Trump would support the release of the report.

Presidential lawyers Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani said in multiple media interviews Sunday that they defer to Attorney General Bill Barr on whether the full Mueller report should be released. Barr delivered a letter, which detailed the top line findings of the Mueller report, to lawmakers Sunday afternoon. (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions To Congress, Determines No Collusion) 

Trump celebrated the results of the report on Twitter Monday morning.

Barr quoted Mueller’s finding that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” and the report  “does not conclude that the President committed a crime,” but “it also does not exonerate him.”

Democratic lawmakers have called nearly unanimously for the full report to be released, noting that they do no trust Barr’s mere quoting from sentences of the report. Democrats have fixated on Mueller’s declaration that he does not exonerate Trump from obstruction of justice and compiled evidence to the contrary.

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has fueled 533,074 web articles since its inception in May 2017, according to NewsWhip data cited by Axios.

After nearly two years of saturated media coverage of the topic, Attorney General William Barr delivered a report of the special counsel’s investigation to Congress Sunday. Barr wrote in a memo that the special counsel found no evidence the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

The investigation continues to dominate headlines — all four stories on the front page of The New York Times were Mueller-related Monday. (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions To Congress – No Collusion)

The more than 530,000 articles on “Russia and Trump/Mueller” generated an additional 245 million likes, comments and shares on Twitter and Facebook since May 2017, according to Axios. That is not counting all of the airtime the investigation (and pundits’ opinions) received on cable news.

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up sign to supporters who applauded as he returned to the White House after spending the weekend in Florida March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up sign to supporters who applauded as he returned to the White House after spending the weekend in Florida on March 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

MSNBC seems to lead the pack when it comes to Mueller coverage, with over 4,200 posts mentioning the Mueller probe popping up when searched, according to research by the Republican National Committee (RNC). The RNC also found that 1,965 CNN stories mentioned the Mueller investigation since May 2017, while 1,156 by The New York Times mentioned it and 1,184 by The Washington Post.

The Mueller report seemingly attracted more coverage than other issues Americans also care about. For example, WaPo published 192 more stories about the Russian interference probe than about the Trump administration’s defeat of the Islamic State, according to research by the RNC.

Many pundits on the right called out members of the media for allegedly rooting for a different outcome in the Mueller probe.

“Mueller: no evidence of collusion [with] Russia. Now will the media who invested so much in this narrative accept it, remembering that they are not supposed to root for outcomes? Or will they hold on, looking for ways to save face on their earlier (wrong) predictions/coverage?” former NBC host Megyn Kelly wrote on Twitter Sunday.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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Derek Hunter | Contributor

Today’s show is all about the Mueller report and how Democrats and the media are dealing with their grief. It turns out, they still aren’t letting the facts stand in the way of their narrative.

Listen to the show:

Nothing short of Robert Mueller frog-marching President Donald Trump out of the White House was ever going to be enough for leftists who were convinced the president has a sock drawer full of Rubles and Vladimir Putin’s direct number on his iPhone. The special counsel’s report ended the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election with no indictments of any Americans for anything related to collusion and no evidence either.

Democrats, both elected and in the media, who spent the last 2 years swearing there were bags full of smoking guns, spent the weekend scrambling to convince their audiences that they weren’t lied to. They failed. We have all the audio and analysis.

The usual suspects retreated to their safe spaces — CNN and MSNBC — to claim more investigation is needed. Journalistic fossil CNN contributor Carl Bernstein even had that gall to praise the media’s coverage of the whole affair. Apparently, like most of America, he doesn’t watch CNN.

You have to hear it all to believe it.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Derek Hunter | Contributor

Today’s show is all about the Mueller report and how Democrats and the media are dealing with their grief. It turns out, they still aren’t letting the facts stand in the way of their narrative.

Listen to the show:

Nothing short of Robert Mueller frog-marching President Donald Trump out of the White House was ever going to be enough for leftists who were convinced the president has a sock drawer full of Rubles and Vladimir Putin’s direct number on his iPhone. The special counsel’s report ended the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election with no indictments of any Americans for anything related to collusion and no evidence either.

Democrats, both elected and in the media, who spent the last 2 years swearing there were bags full of smoking guns, spent the weekend scrambling to convince their audiences that they weren’t lied to. They failed. We have all the audio and analysis.

The usual suspects retreated to their safe spaces — CNN and MSNBC — to claim more investigation is needed. Journalistic fossil CNN contributor Carl Bernstein even had that gall to praise the media’s coverage of the whole affair. Apparently, like most of America, he doesn’t watch CNN.

You have to hear it all to believe it.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Israeli policemen and soldiers inspect a damaged house that was hit by a rocket north of Tel Aviv Israel
Israeli policemen and soldiers inspect a damaged house that was hit by a rocket north of Tel Aviv Israel March 25, 2019. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad

March 25, 2019

By Tova Cohen

MISHMERET, Israel (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he will cut short his trip to the United States after a rocket attack near Tel Aviv wounded seven people.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said the projectile was fired from Gaza, an enclave controlled by the militant Hamas group, and Netanyahu said Israel would respond forcefully.

Netanyahu, who arrived in Washington on Sunday for a four-day visit ahead of an April 9 Israeli election, said he would fly home immediately after meeting President Donald Trump at the White House, as planned, later on Monday.

The early morning attack on Mishmeret, an agricultural town north of Tel Aviv, came at a time of high tension ahead of the anniversary of Gaza border protests at the weekend, and Trump’s expression of support for Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

“In light of the security events I decided to cut short my visit to the U.S.,” Netanyahu said, calling the rocket fire a “heinous attack”.

In Mishmeret one house was completely destroyed, and at least one other house and cars were left badly damaged.

Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was treating seven people, including an infant, a 3-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and a 60-year-old woman who was suffering from blast injuries, burns and shrapnel wounds.

The strike came minutes after the Israeli military activated air raid sirens in the area and said one rocket had been launched out of the Gaza Strip, a coastal territory 50 miles (80 km) away where Hamas and other factions possess such weapons.

Smadar Castelnovo, a Mishmeret resident who lives opposite the destroyed house, said they were woken up shortly after 5 a.m.

“We heard the siren and we didn’t think it was anything, but my daughter made us go into the reinforced room,” said Castelnovo, still in her pajamas.

“My daughter was upset because we had left the dog out. We went out to get the dog and as soon as we went back in there was a very loud boom.”

Police sealed off streets, and emergency services were working at the scene, as Israeli politicians visited to talk to media crews.

GAZA BRACING

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Gaza, where Palestinians were preparing for Israeli retaliation.

Israel told Palestinian officials it was closing all Gaza crossings as well as access to the sea from the blockaded territory.

Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Islamist militant group Hamas in the coastal enclave, canceled a planned public meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon, with Hamas officials citing “developments.”

Netanyahu said his decision to return to Israel was made after he consulted with Israeli military and intelligence chiefs. He had been due to address AIPAC, the largest U.S. pro-Israel lobby, on Tuesday.

But early on Monday he said: “In a few hours, I will meet President Trump and immediately after that I will return to Israel to direct our actions close-hand.”

His chief rival in next month’s election, centrist ex-general Benny Gantz, issued a statement accusing the rightist premier of having “bankrupted national security” by permitting such attacks. Gantz, who is also in Washington to address AIPAC, had urged Netanyahu to return home.

Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, and outlying communities had last come under a long-range rocket attack that caused casualties during the 2014 war with Hamas.

Two rockets were launched at Tel Aviv on March 14 but caused no injuries or damage. Israel blamed those rocket launches on Hamas, though a security official later said the salvo had been set off by accident.

The latest attack follows disturbances involving Palestinian prisoners in southern Israel. Palestinian officials said 20 prisoners in Israel’s jail in the Negev were injured during violence inside the prison in the wake of “humiliating searches” by prison guards. Israeli officials said two guards were stabbed and wounded.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Farrell and Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by Jeffrey Heller)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with former hostage Danny Burch and his family in the Oval Office at the White House
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question as he meets with former hostage Danny Burch, an oil engineer who was taken hostage in Yemen in September 2017, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

March 25, 2019

By David Lawder, Philip Blenkinsop and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s blunt-force use of tariffs in pursuing his “America First” trade agenda has angered many, from company executives to allied governments and members of both parties of Congress.

But there’s one effort which has drawn broad support from those who oppose him on almost everything else – his push to force Beijing to change what are widely viewed as China’s market-distorting trade and subsidy practices.

As U.S.-China talks to end a trade war reach their endgame, politicians, executives and foreign diplomats are urging Trump and his team to hold out for meaningful structural reforms in China to address entrenched problems in the relationship that hurt U.S. and other foreign companies and workers.

Trump’s trade war “has let the genie out of the bottle” by lifting expectations that the trade war will force China to reform policies that businesses and foreign governments regard as unfair, said Steven Gardon, vice president of indirect taxes and customs at Lear Corp. Gardon’s firm is an automotive seating and electrical supplier with plants in 39 countries, including the United States and China.

“Now that all these issues have been raised, there’s a lot more domestic political support to address these issues, and I don’t think you can pull back from that,” Gardon said at a Georgetown Law School forum this month. “There’s now pressure politically that they have to be addressed for the long term.”

Gardon’s comments reflect a broad shift in U.S. and international business sentiment towards China’s economic and trade policies, one that is aligned with Trump’s goals, if not his tactics.

Trump’s trade team say they are in the final stages of negotiating what would be the biggest economic policy agreement with China in decades. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin head to Beijing this week to try to accelerate talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Liu is set to travel to Washington for another round of negotiations in early April.

Eight months into the trade war that has disrupted the flow of billions of dollars of goods between the world’s two largest economies, it is unclear if a deal acceptable to both sides can be done.

China’s President Xi Jinping is seen as reluctant to make economic reforms under pressure from the United States, and Trump has said he may keep tariffs on Chinese goods in place for “a substantial period” even if a deal is struck.

Xi may find it easier to live with the tariffs Trump has imposed on trade than to change China’s model for economic development.

As part of a deal, Beijing has offered to make big-ticket purchases from the United States to help reduce a record trade gap. Trump’s team has said those purchases would be worth more than a trillion dollars over about six years.

While big Chinese purchases might be tempting for Trump’s administration, they would do nothing to address what U.S. firms competing in China or against Chinese firms say are structural problems with a system stacked against them.

The United States complains China engages in systematic intellectual property theft, forces foreign firms to give up trade secrets for market access and spends huge sums subsidizing its own industry. Redressing those complaints would require policy reform at the highest level from Xi and China’s ruling Communist Party.

A survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China in late February showed that a majority of member U.S. companies supported increasing or maintaining tariffs on Chinese goods, and nearly twice as many as last year want the U.S. government to push Beijing harder to create a level playing field.

The U.S. tariff demands have even encouraged some reform-minded Chinese officials and private-sector business executives to call for a faster pace of reform in China as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first steps toward capitalism.

Lighthizer told lawmakers in late February that Chinese-American business people in particular have urged him to “hang tough” in the talks and not to “sell out for soybeans.”

STAY THE COURSE

When Trump delayed a threatened tariff increase well before a March 1 deadline for a deal, he stoked fears that he may be swayed by the big purchase order and leave longstanding structural problems unresolved.

Since then, a steady drumbeat of lobbyists, company executives, foreign diplomats and U.S. lawmakers from both parties have urged Trump to stay the course on his structural demands.

Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, one of the most pro-trade Republicans and a critic of Trump’s tariffs, recently joined that call.

“While we want China to buy more U.S. goods … it’s even more important for us to hold China accountable to meeting high international standards on intellectual property rights, subsidization, overcapacity, and the other structural ways in which China distorts the global economy,” he said at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing just days after the tariff delay was announced.

Last week, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, a longtime China trade hawk, took to the Senate floor to urge Trump not to “back down” and take a deal based largely on Chinese purchases of American soybeans and other goods.

On Thursday, Schumer tweeted: “Now’s not the time to drop $200B in tariffs just because China’s close to a deal, @realDonald Trump.”

QUIETLY ROOTING FOR TRUMP

European Union members, traditional allies of the United States, are still smarting about the steel and aluminum tariffs Trump imposed on imports into the United States last year. The EU is also worried that Trump will impose duties on autos. But the bloc shares many of the same frustrations over China’s technology transfer policies and market access constraints.

“We get complaints every day from our companies,” one European official told Reuters in Beijing, noting that despite repeated pledges from the Chinese government to make life easier for foreign companies, little had changed.

    EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom’s assessment of China’s behavior sounds almost like it was written by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, charging that China has abused global trading rules.

China has “blurred the lines between state and private sector. The state has undue influence,” she said in a Washington speech this month. “Intellectual properties of companies are stolen. State subsidies, direct or indirect, are common. And these impacts are felt at home and abroad.”

Malmstrom says that while the U.S. and EU “agree on the diagnosis,” they differ on tactics, and she argues for a more multilateral approach, citing the EU’s work with the United States and Japan to address the issues through reform of World Trade Organization rules.

Some worry that Europe could lose out if Washington and Beijing strike a deal to purchase billions of dollars more in products to try to shrink the U.S. goods trade deficit with China.

“If China is buying more from America then inevitably it will buy less from Europe,” a second European official based in Beijing said, adding that could in particular affect large European multinationals.

But European diplomats and officials acknowledge a begrudging support for Trump’s goals, even if they are repulsed by his blunt tactics. Many are secretly rooting for his success.

“We are against unilateral measures, but nobody is exactly sorry for China. On content we think he does have a point,” said one EU diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity in Brussels. “Beijing has to understand that without reform, the system could just stop working.”

Trump administration officials insist that he has gotten the message and is holding out for “structural changes” to the U.S.-China relationship, along with an enforcement mechanism that holds China to its pledges.

Clete Willems, a White House trade adviser, told the Georgetown Law School forum that Trump is determined to fix problems with China’s trade relationship that he has railed against for years, long before he ever sought office.

“The notion that he’s just going to suddenly accept a bad deal is totally inaccurate. The president is going to walk away from bad deals,” said Willems, who announced on Friday that he is leaving the White House for family reasons.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Simon Webb and James Dalgleish)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he returns to the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as the president returns from a weekend in Florida at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

March 25, 2019

By Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that Donald Trump did not collude with Russia to win the presidency in 2016 gives the president a powerful weapon to use against his Democratic opponents and a potential boost to what is shaping up to be a tough bid for re-election in 2020.

Mueller’s conclusion that neither Trump nor his aides conspired with Russia in 2016 takes away a central charge that Democrats have flung at Trump for two years – that he did not win the presidency fairly or cleanly. The allegations have played out on an endless loop on cable TV news shows, overshadowing Trump’s presidency from day one.

Democrats have vowed to continue congressional investigations into the 2016 election campaign and Trump’s business practices. But without the solid foundation of a Mueller report that found evidence of any crimes by the president, they now risk seeming to overplay their hand.

“This is a gold star day for Donald Trump,” said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. “Now the shackles are off. He’s able to demonize the news media and Democrats as perpetuating what he calls a hoax. And he’ll be able to use his innocence as fodder for the campaign trail.”

The question for Trump now is whether he will be able to bring a minimum of discipline to his campaign messaging and to the presidency itself.

History suggests he will have trouble with self-discipline. Just last week, he was immersed in a strange fight with a dead man, sharply criticizing the late Republican Senator John McCain and falsely accusing him of being at the root of some of the collusion allegations against him.

He has also been prone to making baffling abrupt decisions, such as occurred last week when he called off a round of sanctions against North Korea before they had even been imposed.

Despite the Mueller report’s conclusions, Trump remains an intemperate president, eager to lash out at any and all critics and perceived slights.

“This was an illegal takedown that failed,” Trump said on Sunday, even though Mueller left open the question of whether the former real estate magnate had attempted to obstruct the Russia probe, which did find extensive evidence that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

“Now is the time to get back on the offense on the economy and growth,” said Republican strategist Scott Reed. “This is a good time to get back to a real healthy dose of message discipline for the entire administration, department-wide and the White House. That’s what you do when something like this happens.”

Trump, on a golfing weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, got the news in his private quarters at his Mar-a-Lago retreat from White House counsel Emmett Flood, and watched TV coverage of the Mueller report in his cabin on Air Force One.

Trump’s initial comments in reacting to the Mueller conclusion suggests he is not inclined to move past the investigation.

Speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One for the flight back to Washington, Trump called for Democrats to be investigated, expanding on his often repeated assertion that the Mueller probe was Democrat-inspired. Mueller was appointed by Trump’s Department of Justice in 2017 after he fired FBI director James Comey.

“It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this,” Trump said. “Before I even got elected it began, and it began illegally.”

Trump’s comments could foreshadow an effort by his supporters to seek payback for the cloud that has hung over his time in the White House.

“I’m interested in moving on and trying to get this behind us, but people have to pay for what they’ve done for the past two years,” said former Trump campaign aide David Bossie. “We must investigate the investigators.”

CHALLENGES FOR DEMOCRATS

Trump’s path to re-election remains a perilous one. Analysts say he will probably need to win the Midwestern states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, just as he did in his improbable 2016 victory, and Democrats are already pouring resources into those states.

Trump will foreshadow his campaign message on Thursday night when he headlines a “Make America Great Again” rally in Michigan.

Trump supporters viewed the Mueller report as a blow to the more than a dozen Democrats who are campaigning for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

“This is very problematic for any Democrat who’s running for president in 2020 that was hoping they would face a weakened or beaten-down President Trump,” former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller said. “In fact, President Trump will likely see a ratings boost coming out of this and a strong tailwind pushing him toward the upcoming election.”

Reuters/Ipsos polling has shown that Americans decided early on in Mueller’s investigation whether they thought Trump was guilty of collusion or not. The polling found few undecided voters.

Brinkley said Democrats will need to adjust their tactics and emphasize their differences with Trump’s record on issues ranging from healthcare and climate change to immigration.

“Some of those charges are going to have to rise to be the main charges against Trump,” he said, noting there was fatigue with the Russia issue.

(Reporting By Steve Holland, Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Ross Colvin and Chris Reese)

Source: OANN

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” — Letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr

Now that the findings of the Department of Justice have exonerated the president, will Democrats follow their own advice, admit there was no collusion or obstruction and Move On?

The liberal activist organization of that name was founded a generation ago when Congress investigated and tried to impeach President Clinton. Congress didn’t take the advice of legal experts and constitutional scholars then, and unfortunately it looks like Democrats intend to repeat the mistake.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) says regardless of the report’s findings, he will pursue investigations even “broader” than what the special counsel has done with 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, some 500 search warrants and more than $25 million over the last two years.

Democrats and the media should be trying to heal the nation not divide us. Instead, Democrats intend to spend the next two years subpoenaing and dragging every member of Trump’s administration, his family and business associates to testify before their committees.

Nadler says he’s doing it to protect “the rule of law.”

But will House Democrats really respect the institutions and traditions of American jurisprudence? If the past is prelude, the answer to that questions is, sadly, no.

Democrats did away with the presumption of innocence for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Kavanaugh, with his family and the American people paying the price Now, Democrats are now ready to abandon other bedrock principles of American justice.

One of the most basic principles is equality before the law!

The Constitution prohibits double jeopardy. It’s a matter of basic fairness — no one should be victimized by vindictive prosecutors armed with the power of government and $25 million in financial backing of the U.S. Treasury.

Congressional Democrats’ endless investigations, leaks and political machinations violate the spirit of that constitutional prohibition. Americans understand that, no matter what the spin or who stands accused. The constitution guarantees fair and equal justice for every American regardless of who they are!

Democrats want to convict President Trump in the court of public opinion to set the stage for impeaching him. That’s what Rep. Nadler told George Stephanopoulos: “Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen.” Fortunately Mueller’s exoneration of President Trump will make that extremely difficult to do, despite media persecution and false news stories,

The Democrats are ready to violate another norm of legal precedent by asking Attorney General Barr and the DOJ to release every scrap of paper the special counsel gathered.

Prosecutors normally don’t release confidential material gathered during an investigation out of respect for the privacy of individuals not charged with a crime.

”The normal procedure is that unless there’s a damn good reason, you don’t release grand jury material,” Nadler said a generation ago when he opposed releasing the evidence behind the Ken Starr report.

Nadler and fellow Democrats accused the Judiciary Committee of seeking the background material to build a public case for impeaching President Clinton.

“They don’t think there is enough of a vote for impeachment yet out in the public,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), the second ranking Democrat on the committee, said. “So what you have a very one-sided, partisan effort to release material, before the president gets a chance to review it or respond to it, that makes the president look bad.”

Nadler took a page from that playbook and now demands the raw material Mueller obtained to build his own case for impeaching President Trump. Furthermore, he says the White House “should not get an advance look at the report” or the evidence.

That’s quite an about face from the Jerry Nadler of 1998 who fought for Clinton to have time to look at the Starr report. “The president is asking for two days. The Republicans say no,” he said bitterly.

The DOJ does not release such information to protect the innocent. Furthermore, the Trump administration has a legal right to review the report, prepare a response, rebuke any false accusations and information covered by executive privilege. 

As for an impartial hearing, President Trump can expect no better from House Democrats than Senate Democrats gave Judge Kavanaugh.

Chairman Nadler already convicted the president of obstruction of justice before seeing the attorney general’s letter and the Mueller report.

House Democrats don’t care that the special counsel found the president did not collude with the Russians or obstruct justice. They will continue their investigations, attempts to smear the president. Like Javert obsessed with Jean Valjean, Democrats can’t help themselves.

All Americans, Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, should be celebrating the fact investigators found no evidence of collusion. However, Democrats won’t take the finding of no collusion or obstruction for an answer.

That tells you they were never pursuing the truth, just a political vendetta and a different outcome for the 2016 election. Their obsession with President Trump will only further divide the nation, not help unite us.

Rep. Nadler says he wants to protect the rule of law and “the institutions we depend on for our democratic form of government.”

But Democrats are weakening those institutions by engaging in relentless political warfare. Voters elected Congress to address the very real challenges our country faces — an opioid epidemic, China’s economic aggression, the crisis on our southern border, the difficulty of raising a family, to name, just a few.

Our system is founded on belief in equal justice under the law. All will be held accountable.

We hope the politicians, intelligence officials, journalists and media executives who fed Americans unfounded speculation, conspiracy theories for the last two years that have done incalculable damage to our country and its institutions will be held accountable.

Preserve the principles of justice on which our incredible country was founded.

Kimberly Guilfoyle (@KimGuilfoyle) is vice chairwoman of America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting key policy initiatives that will work for all citizens in our country and put America first.


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

California Sen. Kamala Harris sent a signal to the old guard of Democratic politics that every era has its end.

At an Atlanta church service Sunday, the presidential candidate compared leadership to a relay race in which each generation must ask themselves "what do we do during that period of time when we carry that baton."

Then she added with a smile that for "the older leaders, it also becomes a question of let's also know when to pass the baton."

At 54 years old, Harris is one of the younger contenders for the White House in 2020. While former Vice President Joe Biden has not said whether he will run, both the 76-year-old and 77-year-old Bernie Sanders have previously run for the White House and fallen short.

Biden and Sanders are seen as strong contenders for the Democratic nomination, though other candidates and some voters have emphasized the need for a more youthful approach to try and beat President Donald Trump in the general election. Several other candidates in the race, including two governor, are also in their late sixties.

Other highlights of Sunday campaigning:

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand assailed President Donald Trump as a coward who is "tearing apart the moral fabric of the vulnerable," as she officially started her campaign for president.

The senator spoke in New York Sunday, feet away from one of Trump's signature properties, the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

She said that instead of building walls as Trump wants to do along the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans build bridges, community and hope.

Gillibrand also called for full release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report in the Russia investigation. Attorney General William Barr released a summary Sunday afternoon, but Democrats want to see the full details.

Gillibrand is trying to position herself in the crowded field of Democrats seeking the party's nomination. While some hopefuls have shied away from mentioning Trump, Gillibrand has not hesitated to do so.

ELIZABETH WARREN

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Sunday the National Rifle Association is holding "Congress hostage" when it comes to stemming gun violence.

The Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate tells a campaign rally that if seven children were dying from a mysterious virus, "we'd pull out all the stops till we figured out what was wrong." But in terms of gun violence, she said the NRA "keeps calling the shots in Washington."

Warren finished a two-day campaign trip to New Hampshire with an event at a middle school in Conway Sunday afternoon.

Warren focused much of her speech on her approach to economics, but paid special attention to unions Sunday. She said more power needs to be put back in the hands of workers.

BETO O'ROURKE

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told voters in Las Vegas Sunday that President Donald Trump bears blame for the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border but responsibility lies with everyone in the country to fix the situation.

O'Rourke spoke Sunday to more than 200 people packed into and snaking around a taco shop on the city's north end. He said immigrant families are leaving their home countries and journeying on foot because they have no other choice.

The former Texas congressman said desperate families were broken up in the U.S. when they were at their most vulnerable and desperate moments, and what happened to them "is on every single one of us."

Source: NewsMax

California Sen. Kamala Harris sent a signal to the old guard of Democratic politics that every era has its end.

At an Atlanta church service Sunday, the presidential candidate compared leadership to a relay race in which each generation must ask themselves "what do we do during that period of time when we carry that baton."

Then she added with a smile that for "the older leaders, it also becomes a question of let's also know when to pass the baton."

At 54 years old, Harris is one of the younger contenders for the White House in 2020. While former Vice President Joe Biden has not said whether he will run, both the 76-year-old and 77-year-old Bernie Sanders have previously run for the White House and fallen short.

Biden and Sanders are seen as strong contenders for the Democratic nomination, though other candidates and some voters have emphasized the need for a more youthful approach to try and beat President Donald Trump in the general election. Several other candidates in the race, including two governor, are also in their late sixties.

Other highlights of Sunday campaigning:

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand assailed President Donald Trump as a coward who is "tearing apart the moral fabric of the vulnerable," as she officially started her campaign for president.

The senator spoke in New York Sunday, feet away from one of Trump's signature properties, the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

She said that instead of building walls as Trump wants to do along the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans build bridges, community and hope.

Gillibrand also called for full release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report in the Russia investigation. Attorney General William Barr released a summary Sunday afternoon, but Democrats want to see the full details.

Gillibrand is trying to position herself in the crowded field of Democrats seeking the party's nomination. While some hopefuls have shied away from mentioning Trump, Gillibrand has not hesitated to do so.

ELIZABETH WARREN

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Sunday the National Rifle Association is holding "Congress hostage" when it comes to stemming gun violence.

The Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate tells a campaign rally that if seven children were dying from a mysterious virus, "we'd pull out all the stops till we figured out what was wrong." But in terms of gun violence, she said the NRA "keeps calling the shots in Washington."

Warren finished a two-day campaign trip to New Hampshire with an event at a middle school in Conway Sunday afternoon.

Warren focused much of her speech on her approach to economics, but paid special attention to unions Sunday. She said more power needs to be put back in the hands of workers.

BETO O'ROURKE

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told voters in Las Vegas Sunday that President Donald Trump bears blame for the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border but responsibility lies with everyone in the country to fix the situation.

O'Rourke spoke Sunday to more than 200 people packed into and snaking around a taco shop on the city's north end. He said immigrant families are leaving their home countries and journeying on foot because they have no other choice.

The former Texas congressman said desperate families were broken up in the U.S. when they were at their most vulnerable and desperate moments, and what happened to them "is on every single one of us."

Source: NewsMax

Celebrating "no collusion and no obstruction" as reported by Attorney General William Barr's summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, President Donald Trump claimed "complete and total exoneration."

"Collusion, the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard," President Trump told the media before boarding Air Force One, leaving Florida's Mar-a-Lago during a weekend away from the White House. "No collusion and no obstruction.

"Complete and total exoneration." 

President Trump called the witch hunt of his administration and campaign "an illegal takedown that failed."

"It's a shame our country has had to go through this," he said. "It is a shame your president had to go through this."

President Trump also expressed hope "the other side of this" will be investigated, suggesting potential investigative abuses of FISA warrants and investigating the political opposition.

"The president was totally vindicated," Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News after Trump's statement to the media. "And investigation by people who hate him."

Source: NewsMax

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand delivered her presidential campaign kickoff speech in front of the Trump International Hotel Sunday as she struggles to stand out among an increasingly crowded field of candidates.

Gillibrand spent the bulk of her speech excoriating President Donald Trump for being a “coward” who crafted a career building “a shrine to greed, division and vanity,” referring to hotel she was standing beside. She also applauded those who attended her speech for being “brave.”

“The people of this country deserve a president worthy of your bravery,” Gillibrand said, referring to the audience. “A president who not only sets an example, but follows yours. Your bravery inspires me every day, and that is why I’m running for president of the United States.” (RELATED: 2020 Democratic Hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand Can’t Even Get Her Home Delegation To Back Her) 

She added: “He (Trump) demonized the vulnerable, and he punches down. He puts his name in bold on every building. He does all of this because he wants you to believe he is strong. He is not. Our President is a coward.” Gillibrand and other female 2020 candidates have struggled to make a name for themselves as their male counterparts continue to soak up most of the media attention.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announces he will not seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination with his wife Jill (R) at his side in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announces he will not seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination with his wife Jill (R) at his side in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Polls show that former Vice President Joe Biden and self-avowed socialist Democratic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are leading in Iowa. The two septuagenarians are so far besting the likes of Gillibrand and Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris as they compete to see who can knock off Trump come 2020. Some Democratic operatives believe the media are giving preferential treatment to Gillibrand’s male opponents.

“I feel like the media is always captivated by the person they seem to think is a phenom: Bernie, Trump, Beto. But they always seem to be white men who are phenoms,” Mary Anne Marsh, a Democratic political consultant, told reporters March 15. “In a year where we have more choices than ever, more women and more persons of color than ever, none of them seem to be deemed a phenom.”

Gillibrand has garnered one endorsement from a sitting member of Congress since announcing her 2020 run. Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney is the only member of Congress who had endorsed Gillibrand as of March 18. Democratic New York Reps. Sean Maloney and Kathleen Rice opted to endorse her rival, former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, instead.

Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump's tweet on withdrawal of North Korea sanctions was unprecedented and "shouldn't have happened that way," according to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

"I've never seen that before from this or any administration, so something happened here," Sen. Rubio told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

Undoing sanctions requires "a long interagency process," Rubio told host Chuck Todd, adding President Trump acting unilaterally is "unusual" and unprecedented.

"Frankly, look, I think people around the world would look at it and say from now on, when they hear about sanctions, they're going to ask for a double confirmation from the White House," Rubio told Todd.

"So, look, I wish it hadn't happened that way, and it shouldn't have happened that way."

The Treasury Department announced large scale sanctions against North Korea for their nuclear weapons program, but President Trump quickly tweeted a revocation of them shortly after Friday:

"It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale sanctions would be added to those already existing sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional sanctions!"

Rubio's rejection of President Trump's work to denuclearize North Korea, negotiating with Kim Jong Un is based on skepticism on the part of Kim, not any doubt about Trump. 

"I would love for Kim Jong Un to give up his weapons and everything else," Rubio said. "And I don't criticize the president for trying. I just never believed he would. I don't believe he ever will.

"I'm not skeptical because I want it to fail; I'm skeptical because I believe it will fail."

Source: NewsMax

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Special counsel Robert Mueller attended a church service across the street from the White House on Sunday, just two days after submitting his report to Attorney General William Barr.

Mueller and his wife, Ann, attended a Sunday morning service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is just across the street from the front doors to the White House. As President Donald Trump is in Florida, Mueller and his wife, who reportedly are regular attendees of the church, stopped by, just two days after Mueller submitted his completed report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller walks with his wife Ann Mueller on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Ann Mueller and Special Counsel Robert Mueller walk on March 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Both Democrats and Republicans have called for the full report to be made public. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said Sunday that anything related to Mueller’s probe should be released to the public.

Regardless of the report’s findings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler requested a number of documents from the White House and sent letters seeking information from people and organizations close to Trump on March 4. (RELATED: Nadler Unleashes Massive Document Requests Into Threats Against Rule Of Law)

Nadler sent the requests to 81 groups, people and organizations, searching for Constitutional abuses and corruption by Trump. The New York Democrat said Sunday the requests for documents are to “begin investigations, to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, about corruption and abuse of power.”

Democrats and cable news pundits have begun to say the Mueller report is a cover up, even though it has not been released.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that there is compelling evidence that President Donald Trump colluded with Russian interests during the 2016 presidential election.

The accusation comes as special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation without charging any U.S. citizen with a collusion-related crime, though six Trump associates were charged for unrelated criminal offenses.

“There’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy,” Schiff told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“I have trust in [Mueller’s] prosecutorial judgment,” Schiff added. “But that doesn’t mean, of course, that there isn’t compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people.”

Schiff listed several episodes as substantiating the collusion charge, including the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a Kremlin-aligned lawyer, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s post-election conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and erstwhile Trump confidant Roger Stone’s communications with WikiLeaks.

The conduct underlying those widely reported episodes did not result in criminal indictments, though Flynn and Stone were charged with various process crimes. Mueller’s investigation, at Schiff’s urging, of Donald Trump Jr., Erik Prince and Jared Kushner for lying to Congress also concluded without indictments. (RELATED: Tucker Calls For Roger Stone Pardon)

WATCH the interview:

Attorney General William Barr will deliver a top line summary of Mueller’s report to Congress on Sunday. It is not yet clear whether Congress or the public will have access to Mueller’s report in full. In a Friday letter to relevant committee chairmen, Barr said he would make decisions as to disclosure consistent with the law and DOJ practice.

“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible,” Barr wrote.

A related dispute as to executive privilege may follow. The White House may wish to shield portions of the report that relate to communications within the executive branch, among other subjects. Such a move is sure to draw fierce criticism from Democrats.

Whatever the particulars of the special counsel’s report, Schiff indicated that the House Intelligence Committee would continue its investigations, Mueller’s own conclusions notwithstanding.

“We have an independent obligation to share the facts with the American people,” Schiff said. “We in the Intelligence Committee have a particular obligation to determine whether there is evidence that the president may be compromised in any way, whether that is criminal or not.”

The House Judiciary Committee is separately undertaking its own wide-ranging investigation of the president.

Mueller submitted his final report to Justice Department leadership on Friday.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said anything related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe should be released to the public Sunday, as Attorney General William Barr looks over the completed report.

“If he is going to release all of the information, then I want all of it released,” Jordan said on ABC’s “This Week.” I want those 302’s. I want the conversations between Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele, the guy who wrote the dossier, Glenn Simpson, the guy the Clinton campaign hired to put the dossier together, I want all those conversations that Bruce Ohr had with Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele. Those notes from the FBI, I want all that made public.”

WATCH:

“I want the FISA application to be made public! They used that dossier, took it to a secret court, didn’t tell the court the Clinton campaign paid for that document, didn’t tell the court that a foreigner who was desperate to stop Trump from being elected president, wrote the document,” Jordan continued. “Let’s release it all.”

Regardless of the reports findings, which is likely to show no collusion between Trump and Russia, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler requested a number of documents from the White House and is sending letters seeking information from people and organizations close to President Donald Trump on March 4. (RELATED: Nadler Unleashes Massive Document Requests Into Threats Against Rule Of Law)

Nadler sent the requests to 81 groups, people and organizations, searching for Constitutional abuses and corruption by Trump. The New York Democrat said Sunday the requests for documents are to “begin investigations, to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, about corruption and abuse of power.”

Democrats and cable news pundits have begin to say the Mueller report is a cover up, even though it has not been released.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing and any attempt by the White House and President Donald Trump to block parts of special counsel Robert Mueller's report from Congress or the public would not be "right" nor "successful," according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

"The president must personally assert executive privilege, and I do not believe it exists here at all because, as we learned from the [former President Richard] Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing," Nadler told NBC's "Meet the Press."

". . . The president may try to assert it, may try to hide things behind it, but I don't think that's right or [would] be successful."

Rep. Nadler referred to the unanimous 1974 Supreme Court ruling on the Nixon tapes that rejected executive privilege overriding the judicial process.

President Trump has reportedly weighed using executive privilege to review classified material not related to any indictment legal proceeding, merely the public release of potentially politicized material that is not used in review criminality.

"Congress must get all the information and the evidence that the Department of Justice may have in order to exercise our function of being able to hold the president accountable," Nadler told host Chuck Todd. "If we don't do that, if we can't do that the president is effectively above the law."

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Israeli soldiers stand on tanks near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
FILE PHOTO: Israeli soldiers stand on tanks near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

March 24, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will on Monday sign a decree recognizing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights while hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Israel’s acting foreign minister said.

A senior U.S. official said last week that the Trump administration was preparing an official document to codify support for Israel’s annexation of the strategic plateau that it seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

“Tomorrow, President Trump, in the presence of PM Netanyahu, will sign a decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan. Israel-U.S. ties are closer than ever,” Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz tweeted on Sunday.

The United Nations considers the Israeli-held Golan to be occupied territory.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alison Williams)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Potential 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Gillibrand arrives for a campaign stop in Manchester
FILE PHOTO: Potential 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) arrives for a campaign stop at Stark Brewing in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

March 24, 2019

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will deliver a fiery first speech as an official presidential candidate in New York City on Sunday, calling U.S. President Donald Trump a “coward” at the doorstep of one of his most famous properties.

The location in front of Trump International Hotel – which she plans to call a “shrine to greed, division and vanity,” according to excerpts from her prepared remarks – is intended to show voters that Gillibrand will attack Trump directly, in contrast to some Democratic rivals who have hesitated to focus on the Republican president early in the 2020 campaign.

“President Trump is tearing apart the moral fabric of our country,” she plans to say. “He demonizes the vulnerable and he punches down…Our President is a coward.”

While some candidates, most notably Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, have harshly criticized Trump, others have largely avoided using his name, as Democrats try out different tactics for confronting the divisive president.

“She’s trying to differentiate herself from the field,” said Maria Cardona, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. “It’s a pretty crowded field. She’s not really in the middle of it, and she needs to be in the middle of it.”

Though Gillibrand launched her formal campaign for the Democratic nomination only a week ago, she announced she was exploring a candidacy in January and spent the last two months visiting states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina that will hold early nominating contests next year.

But she has struggled to build momentum among a group of more than 15 announced and potential candidates, including five other sitting senators and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet decided but is expected to join the race.

“Gillibrand simply lacks the star power or national prominence that would lead to extensive free media time,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Polling Institute at Monmouth University.

In recent surveys, Gillibrand has remained stubbornly mired in the 1-percent range, while other first-time presidential candidates like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, both U.S. senators, have shown more competitiveness.

The race remains in its infancy, however, with the first nominating contest in Iowa still 10 months away.

“Most voters are just learning the candidates’ names,” said Jesse Ferguson, a senior spokesman for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. “Right now, the priority for a candidate is to introduce themselves and show what their values are and how that’s the answer to what we have in the White House.”

Gillibrand, known as a moderate when she served as a congresswoman from upstate New York, has refashioned herself into a staunch progressive, calling for strict gun laws and supporting the environmental agenda known as the Green New Deal. Some liberal activists have viewed that shift with skepticism.

In recent years, she has led efforts to address sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, and she pushed for Congress to improve its own handling of sexual misconduct allegations. But she recently was forced to defend her office’s handling of a sexual harassment investigation, after a former employee said her allegations against a supervisor were mishandled.

The theme of her speech on Sunday will focus on what it means to be “brave.” Gillibrand will argue that she has stood up against big banks, sexual assault and most importantly Trump himself, with more votes against the Trump administration than any other senator.

“Symbols are powerful, and for Democratic primary voters, no symbol more clearly represents what’s wrong than the icon of Trump’s egotism that is Trump International,” Ferguson said.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Additional reporting by James Oliphant in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S and China trade talks in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Chinese staffers adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

March 24, 2019

(Reuters) – Ahead of fresh high-level trade talks this week, China is not conceding to U.S. demands to ease curbs on technology companies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing three people briefed on the discussions.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to travel to Beijing for talks starting on March 28, the White House said on Saturday.

The FT report said Beijing had yet to offer “meaningful concessions” to U.S. requests for China to stop discriminating against foreign cloud computing providers, to reduce limits on overseas data transfers and to relax a requirement for companies to store data locally.

China made an initial offer on digital trade that the United States judged as insufficient, the report said, citing a source.

China then retracted the offer after the United States demanded stronger pledges, the report said, without giving further details.

The White House and China’s Commerce Ministry did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that the talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute were progressing and a final agreement seemed probable.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Neil Fullick)

Source: OANN

Television cameras stand in front of the Department of Justice the day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election and any potential wrongdoing by President Donald Trump in Washington
Television cameras stand in front of the Department of Justice the day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election and any potential wrongdoing by President Donald Trump in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 24, 2019

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers waited on Sunday for details of a confidential report into a probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election that has cast a pall over President Donald Trump’s time in office and raised questions about possible collusion between the Republican’s campaign and Moscow.

Attorney General William Barr was expected to give Congress and the public a summary of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller who has conducted a 22-month-long Russia investigation.

Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, spent nine hours on Saturday studying the report. He had said he hoped to hand over a summary of its “principal conclusions” by the end of the weekend.

There appeared to be initial good news for Trump and his inner circle, as Mueller did not bring any further indictments when handing over the report to Barr on Friday.

That signals there might be no more criminal charges against Trump associates on the issue of whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to help ensure the Republican businessman’s surprise election win against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

It was not immediately known what Mueller’s report says about another strand of inquiry: whether Trump committed obstruction of justice to hinder the Russia investigation by acts such as firing then FBI Director James Comey in 2017.

Mueller brought charges against 34 people and three companies during his investigation, with prison sentences for some of Trump’s ex-aides such as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

None of those charges, however, directly related to the question of collusion between the campaign and Moscow. Mueller, a former FBI director, did not interview Trump in person for his probe. Instead, Trump sent written answers to some questions about contacts with Russia.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded shortly before Trump took office in January 2017 that Moscow meddled in the election with a campaign of email hacking and online propaganda aimed at sowing discord in the United States, hurting Clinton and helping Trump.

TRUMP GOES QUIET

Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, resort for the weekend, remained uncharacteristically silent about the completion of the investigation.

He has frequently derided Mueller’s work as a “witch hunt” and denies collaborating with Moscow or obstructing justice. Russia says it did not interfere in the election.

Spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters that the White House still has not received or been briefed on Mueller’s report.

The president took part in no public events on Saturday and played golf with musician Kid Rock.

House Democrats have asked for the release of the full Mueller report, as well as other documents backing up its conclusions, and have threatened to issue subpoenas if necessary.

Trump and his core team still face legal risks even if the report does not find that they committed crimes, and congressional Democrats on Saturday vowed to keep looking into his activities.

Trump’s business, his charity and presidential transition operation remain under investigation, said Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Other prosecutors have picked up strands of the Mueller probe, most notably the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York which is looking into Trump’s business practices and financial dealings.

Under Department of Justice regulations, Barr is empowered to decide how much to disclose of the Mueller report publicly. He is a Trump appointee who only took office in February after the president fired his predecessor, Jeff Sessions.

Barr, who first served as attorney general in the early 1990s under President George H.W. Bush, told lawmakers on Friday that he is “committed to as much transparency as possible.”

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in West Palm Beach, Florida; David Morgan, Makini Brice, Karen Freifeld, Susan Cornwell and Pete Schroeder in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump spent Saturday afternoon at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. playing a round of golf with musician Kid Rock.

“Another great day on the links!” Kid Rock tweeted. “Thank you to POTUS for having me and to EVERYONE at Trump International for being so wonderful. What a great man, so down to earth and so fun to be with!! KEEP AMERICA GREAT!! -Kid Rock.”

An avid golfer who is known to often mix his play with work, the president has played the game with a gamut of notaries, from professionals like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to politicians like Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul to world leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with musician Kid Rock (R) after signing the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at ensuring artists who released records prior to 1972 are paid royalties from digital services, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with musician Kid Rock (R) after signing the Hatch-Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill aimed at ensuring artists who released records prior to 1972 are paid royalties from digital services, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 11, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP/Getty Images)

Source: The Daily Caller

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Justice Brett Kavanaugh has joined the faculty of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he will co-teach a summer course in the United Kingdom on the origins of the Constitution.

Kavanaugh, who has evaded public attention following his bitter confirmation in October 2018, will remain in England for nearly six weeks while the Court is on its summer recess. The justice has generally kept a low profile since joining the Court, avoiding solo public appearances and divisive opinion writing.

“It is a rare opportunity for students to learn from a Supreme Court justice and we believe that contributes to making our law program uniquely valuable for our students,” the law school said in a statement.

George Mason University’s student newspaper was first to report that Kavanaugh joined the law faculty.

It is common for the justices to teach law abroad during the summer, when the high court is not in session. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch led seminars in Italy in July 2018, while retired Justice Anthony Kennedy taught in Austria.

Yet Kavanaugh’s 38-day course is unusually long in comparison to his colleagues, whose teaching commitments generally run a few short days. Ginsburg and Gorsuch’s Italian jaunt ran about two weeks, while Kennedy’s lasted about three.

Another round of skirmishes relating to Kavanaugh’s confirmation are likely this summer, which may be a factor in his lengthy retreat to the UK. Politico’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman will publish an account of Congress during President Donald Trump’s tenure in April, which purports to contain the definitive story on his confirmation. Another book called “Confirmation Bias” will follow in June from Carl Hulse of The New York Times.

Kavanaugh defenders Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino will publish their own book-length treatment of his nomination this summer, which is meant to preempt forthcoming projects thought to be unflattering, according to Axios. (RELATED: Supreme Court Deals Trump Administration Immigration Victory)

Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor and Jackie Calmes of the Los Angeles Times are also writing books on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times will publish a history of the justice’s early years this October called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh attends his ceremonial swearing at the White House on October 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Justice Brett Kavanaugh attends his ceremonial swearing at the White House on October 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Once a staple of law school programming, Kavanaugh lamented that he might never return to academia, after three women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. He denied those allegations.

“I love teaching law,” Kavanaugh told Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats during his second confirmation hearing in September 2018. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.”

Just days after that hearing, Harvard Law School announced it had cancelled Kavanaugh’s January-term course on the modern Supreme Court. The announcement followed weeks on intense pressure from students and alumni, who hoped the law school would disassociate itself with the beleaguered Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh was named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard in 2009.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Congressional Democrats are plotting strategy as they await the conclusions of Robert Mueller's now-completed Russia investigation, with senior lawmakers demanding full transparency and preparing for next steps if the results are favorable to President Donald Trump.

House Democrats planned meetings by phone on Saturday to share what they know about the probe and to discuss how to move forward. It was unclear how soon they will have more information from Attorney General William Barr, who received the report from Mueller on Friday and has notified Congress that he intends to share its "principal conclusions" soon.

The Justice Department told lawmakers that Barr's summary was not expected Saturday but could still come over the weekend, according to multiple people familiar with the notification. The people requested anonymity to discuss the private message from the Justice Department.

The conclusion of Mueller's probe comes as House Democrats have launched several of their own into Trump and his personal and political dealings. And no matter what Mueller concludes, they say there is much more investigating to do.

"It's the end of the beginning but it's not the beginning of the end," said Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoing his party's strategy moving forward.

In a Saturday conference call, Coons also issued a warning for his fellow Democrats, many of whom have pinned astronomical political hopes on Mueller's findings: "Once we get the principal conclusions of the report, I think it's entirely possible that that will be a good day for the president and his core supporters."

As they waited for more information, House Democrats planned conference calls. In a letter to colleagues Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there would be an "emergency caucus conference call" in the afternoon in which committee chairmen would update all Democratic House members on "where we go from here." Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee were expected to convene on a smaller call beforehand.

Without the results of the report, the Democrats were expected to discuss the few details that are currently known and also their own plans to call for more transparency. Pelosi said in the letter that Barr's offer to provide Congress with a summary of conclusions was "insufficient."

Democrats have said they have to see the full report from Mueller, including underlying evidence, before they can assess it. Those demands for information are setting up a potential tug of war between Congress and the Trump administration that federal judges might eventually have to referee.

Six Democratic committee chairmen wrote in a letter to Barr on Friday that if Mueller has any reason to believe that Trump "has engaged in criminal or other serious misconduct," then the Justice Department should not conceal it.

"The president is not above the law and the need for public faith in our democratic institutions and the rule of law must be the priority," the chairmen wrote.

It's unclear what Mueller has found related to the president, or if any of it would be damning. In his investigation of whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the 2016 election, Mueller has already brought charges against 34 people, including six aides and advisers to the president, and three companies.

Lawmakers say they need that underlying evidence — including interviews, documents and material turned over to the grand jury — because the Justice Department has maintained that a president cannot be indicted and also that derogatory information cannot be released about people who have not been charged. So if the investigation did find evidence incriminating Trump, they may not be able to release it, under their own guidelines.

The Democrats say it could be tantamount to a cover-up if the department did not let Congress and the public know what they found.

Barr testified at his confirmation hearings that he wants to release as much information as he can about the inquiry. But the department's regulations require only that the attorney general report to Congress that the investigation has concluded and describe or explain any times when he or Rosenstein decided an action Mueller proposed "was so inappropriate or unwarranted" that it should not be pursued. Barr said Friday there were no such instances where Mueller was thwarted.

But anything less than the full report won't be enough for Democrats.

"If the AG plays any games, we will subpoena the report, ask Mr. Mueller to testify, and take it all to court if necessary," said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y. "The people deserve to know."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told CNN on Friday that he's willing to subpoena Mueller and Barr, if needed, to push for disclosure.

Though Trump himself has said the report should be made public, it's not clear whether the administration would fight subpoenas for testimony or block the transmission of grand jury material.

If the administration decides to fight, lawmakers could ask federal courts to step in and enforce a subpoena. A court fight could, in theory, reach the Supreme Court. But few tussles between Congress and the White House get that far. They often are resolved through negotiation.

In both the Clinton and Obama administrations, even when talks failed and courts got involved in assessing claims of executive privilege, the White House decided not to take the fight to the high court and complied with lower court rulings against it.

The Democrats, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, could also formally ask Mueller to send his committee evidence that could be used in possible impeachment proceedings against Trump, as suggested by Benjamin Wittes, a senior Brookings Institution fellow and editor-in-chief of the Lawfare blog.

That's the course one of Nadler's predecessors followed during Watergate, although an impeachment inquiry against President Richard Nixon had already started by that point. Grand jury material from special counsel Leon Jaworski, provided through the federal judge who presided over the Watergate trials, became the road map that the House committee used to vote for articles of impeachment. Nixon resigned before the full House acted on his impeachment.

Pelosi said recently that she's not for impeaching Trump, at least for now.

Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

Source: NewsMax

Bill Maher claimed Friday that Democrats may have “put too much trust” in special counsel Robert Mueller after the latter released his report with no new indictments.

“I don’t need the Mueller report to know Trump is a traitor. I have a TV,” Maher said. (RELATED: Ben Shapiro Drowns Bill Maher In Logic On Civility: ‘I Needed 600 Officers To Protect Me At Berkeley’)

WATCH:

But Maher, like many others in the media, only came to this conclusion — that Mueller’s report is essentially irrelevant to what he’s certain happened regardless of evidence — when it became clear that the president was not going to be led away from the White House in handcuffs.

Take a look at the glowing praise Maher had for Mueller in the months leading up to Friday’s announcement.

June 2017:

September 2017:

May 2018:

July 2018:

That’s quite a departure.

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Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, second from left, talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, right, look on before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China February 15, 2019. Andy Wong/Pool via REUTERS

March 23, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for the latest round of high-level trade talks scheduled to start on March 28, the White House said in a statement on Saturday.

The United States also will receive a Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He for meetings in Washington that are set to begin on April 3, the White House said.

President Donald Trump said on Friday the negotiations with China were progressing and a final agreement seemed probable, as the world’s two largest economies seek to ease tensions from an eight-month-old trade war.

But earlier this week, Trump warned the United States may leave tariffs on Chinese imports for a while, though Beijing has pushed for them to be removed as part of any deal.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Special Counsel Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Special Counsel Robert Mueller (R) departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

March 23, 2019

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. law enforcement official could release as early as Saturday the main findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report on his 22-month-long inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and any potential wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.

Attorney General William Barr, who received the report from the former FBI director on Friday, told U.S. lawmakers he may be able to inform them of Mueller’s “principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.” Under Justice Department regulations, Barr is empowered to decide how much to disclose publicly.

The big question is whether the report contains allegations of wrongdoing by Trump or exonerates him. Mueller investigated whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow to try to influence the election and whether the Republican president later unlawfully tried to obstruct his investigation.

Mueller did not recommend any further indictments, a senior Justice Department official said, signaling there might be no more criminal charges against Trump associates arising from the investigation. Throughout his investigation, Mueller brought charges against 34 people and three companies, with prison sentences for some of Trump’s key former aides.

Lawmakers in both parties urged a quick release of the report, and Democrats in particular demanded that nothing be held back, saying they would issue subpoenas if necessary. Barr, who took office in February, was appointed by Trump after the president fired his predecessor Jeff Sessions in November.

“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review,” Barr told lawmakers in a letter.

By handing over the long-awaited report to Barr, Mueller marked the end of his work, with his spokesman saying the 74-year-old special counsel would conclude his service in the coming days.

Trump has denied collusion and obstruction. Russia has denied election interference. Trump has sought to discredit the investigation, calling it a “witch hunt” and accusing Mueller of conflicts of interest. But he said on Wednesday he does not mind if the public is allowed to see the report.

Key Trump aides, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, national security adviser Michael Flynn and personal lawyer Michael Cohen, have already either been convicted or pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller.

None of those charges, however, directly related to the question of collusion between the campaign and Moscow. The Justice Department has a policy that sitting presidents cannot face criminal charges.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer – the two top Democrats in Congress – said it was “imperative” the full report be made public, that Barr not give Trump and his team a “sneak preview” of the findings and that the White House not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts are made public.

They said the investigation focused on questions that “go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, and whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation.”

The White House has not received or been briefed on the report, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said, adding that “we look forward to the process taking its course.”

‘OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, said, “The attorney general has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”

Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican and a strong ally of the president, expressed confidence the report would not find collusion with Russia.

“The reports that there will be no new indictments confirm what we’ve known all along: there was never any collusion with Russia. The only collusion was between Democrats and many in the media who peddled this lie because they continue to refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election,” Scalise said.

Even if the Mueller report exonerates Trump, that may not spell the end to his legal troubles. Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance violations in a case overseen by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who said in court filings that Cohen carried out the crimes at the direction of Trump.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is also looking at the spending of Trump’s inaugural committee and business practices at the Trump Organization, the family’s company.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow meddled in the election with a campaign of email hacking and online propaganda aimed at sowing discord in the United States, hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and helping Trump.

A small number of House Democrats have pushed for Congress to impeach Trump and remove him from office but the party’s leadership including Pelosi has urged caution. No president has every been removed from office via impeachment.

Several House committees in the meantime are conducting aggressive investigations of Trump and people around him.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Eric Beech, Makini Brice, Karen Freifeld, Susan Cornwell and Steve Holland in Washington, Nathan Layne in New York and Roberta Rampton in Florida; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

The Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby will not be attending Monday’s scheduled visit to The White House in celebration of the 2018 Stanley Cup Championship.

“It’s one of those things you have to think about, but for me, I have to stay true to my values. I’m going to respectfully decline the offer,” Holtby said after a practice, according to ESPN.

Holtby claims that because of decisions made by sports teams before, he had to make a personal decision if he wanted to attend or not.

“It’s a tough situation for everyone, to be forced into making a decision. You’re a team. You want to stick together no matter what. I hope everyone kind of blows it away- that you don’t worry about who goes and who doesn’t,” Holtby said. “For me, it’s just a personal thing. I believe in what I believe in. In order to stick to those values, I have to do what I think is right, but that doesn’t make a difference in anyone else’s decision.” (RELATED: Washington Capitals Goalie Preserves Shutout With Incredible Glove Save [Video])

Capitals coach Todd Reirden backed Holtby’s decision while calling the White House visit “an amazing opportunity, according to ESPN. “I understand our players and their decisions and I respect it. They’re allowed to make their own decisions. It’s important that we support them in whatever decision they make,” Reirden told ESPN.

The Capitals announced this week they would be visiting the White House on Monday, March 25, but there would be no public ceremony and no media availability during the visit.

Source: The Daily Caller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation does not recommend any further indictments, according to several media reports.

A Justice Department official,who called Mueller's report "comprehensive" told the Associated Press that Mueller is finished pursuing indictments as part of his probe.

The official was not authorized to discuss the probe and asked for anonymity.

Mueller delivered his report to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at some point on Friday. The White House was informed of the news at 4:45 p.m. ET, according to reports.

As of now, the contents of the report are a closely guarded secret among a select group of DOJ officials. Barr told lawmakers he could brief them on Mueller's findings as soon as this weekend.

The Mueller investigation produced roughly three dozen indictments, although the vast majority of them involved Russians or Russian companies. President Donald Trump has proclaimed his innocence since the start, calling it a "witch hunt" and said his campaign did not work with the Russians to win the election.

Trump has yet to comment on the conclusion of Mueller's probe. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said neither Trump nor anyone else at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been briefed on Mueller's findings.

Source: NewsMax

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation does not recommend any further indictments, according to several media reports.

A Justice Department official,who called Mueller's report "comprehensive" told the Associated Press that Mueller is finished pursuing indictments as part of his probe.

The official was not authorized to discuss the probe and asked for anonymity.

Mueller delivered his report to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at some point on Friday. The White House was informed of the news at 4:45 p.m. ET, according to reports.

As of now, the contents of the report are a closely guarded secret among a select group of DOJ officials. Barr told lawmakers he could brief them on Mueller's findings as soon as this weekend.

The Mueller investigation produced roughly three dozen indictments, although the vast majority of them involved Russians or Russian companies. President Donald Trump has proclaimed his innocence since the start, calling it a "witch hunt" and said his campaign did not work with the Russians to win the election.

Trump has yet to comment on the conclusion of Mueller's probe. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said neither Trump nor anyone else at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been briefed on Mueller's findings.

Source: NewsMax

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation does not recommend any further indictments, according to several media reports.

A Justice Department official,who called Mueller's report "comprehensive" told the Associated Press that Mueller is finished pursuing indictments as part of his probe.

The official was not authorized to discuss the probe and asked for anonymity.

Mueller delivered his report to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at some point on Friday. The White House was informed of the news at 4:45 p.m. ET, according to reports.

As of now, the contents of the report are a closely guarded secret among a select group of DOJ officials. Barr told lawmakers he could brief them on Mueller's findings as soon as this weekend.

The Mueller investigation produced roughly three dozen indictments, although the vast majority of them involved Russians or Russian companies. President Donald Trump has proclaimed his innocence since the start, calling it a "witch hunt" and said his campaign did not work with the Russians to win the election.

Trump has yet to comment on the conclusion of Mueller's probe. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said neither Trump nor anyone else at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been briefed on Mueller's findings.

Source: NewsMax

A man stands outside the Bandes bank headquarters in Caracas
A man stands outside the Bandes bank headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

March 22, 2019

By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s development bank, Bandes, a day after the Trump administration warned there would be consequences for the arrest by Venezuelan authorities of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s top aide.

The U.S. Treasury said on Friday it was slapping the sanctions on Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, including its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia.

Congress head Guaido, who invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, has accused Bandes of being used by President Nicolas Maduro’s government to funnel money outside Venezuela.

The White House said in a statement it was committed to preventing Maduro’s government from stealing Venezuela’s resources and from arresting those pushing for political change.

Venezuela’s information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Guaido’s chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, was detained in a pre-dawn raid on Thursday, sparking vows of reprisals from the United States, which along with most Western countries backs Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful leader.

“The United States will not tolerate the arrest of peaceful democratic actors, including members of the democratically-elected Venezuelan National Assembly and those Venezuelans working with interim President Juan Guaido,” the White House said in a statement.

The U.S. Treasury said Maduro tried to move $1 billion out of Venezuela through Banco Bandes Uruguay in early 2019 as he came under increasing pressure from the United States and other countries in the region to step down.

Bandes has received billions of dollars over the past decade from the China Development Bank, in exchange for oil, which the Venezuelan government used to fund infrastructure projects.

Uruguay has stayed neutral on Venezuela’s political crisis and has called for dialogue, while China, Russia and regional ally Cuba have backed Maduro.

But the sanctions on Bandes could test Beijing’s ties with Caracas, since it would impede Venezuela from restructuring its $20 billion debt with China, opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado said on Friday.

“That makes it even less likely that China will step in to save Maduro,” Alvarado wrote on Twitter. Guaido and his allies have repeatedly argued that China and Russia are more likely to collect on their loans to Venezuela with Maduro out of office.

The sanctions freeze assets belonging to the bank and its subsidiaries, and prevent U.S. citizens from any dealings with Bandes. They follow a raft of other sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump in recent months against Maduro, top government officials, and state oil firm PDVSA.

Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton tweeted: “BANDES bank is to Venezuela’s financial sector what PDVSA is to its oil sector. This action will severely affect any attempted currency movements by Maduro and his cronies moving forward. Do not test the resolve of this Administration.”

Maduro’s government accuses Washington of waging a “economic war” to force them from power and has said that the sanctions only harm regular Venezuelans.

The United States also on Friday imposed sanctions on other state-owned Venezuelan banks, including Banco de Venezuela and Banco Bicentenario. It said that Visa, Mastercard and American Express would be prohibited from facilitating transactions involving those banks, beginning in March 2020.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, additional reporting by Angus Berwick and Luc Cohen in Caracas, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump never sat down for a formal interview with special counsel Robert Mueller prior to the Friday conclusion of the investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, according to reports.

Trump never sat down with the special counsel because his lawyers prevented it and Mueller never subpoenaed the president, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported.

This investigation was closed without Trump ever sitting for a formal interview. His lawyers did not want him to and Mueller never sought a fight over subpoenaing the president. Written answers was what the Mueller team got.

“The President today answered written questions submitted by the special counsel’s office,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement to reporters in November. “The questions presented dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry. The President responded in writing.”

Mueller submitted his report of the Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. It is now up to Barr to determine what lawmakers will see and when. He has said that he should share the report with lawmakers as soon as this weekend. (RELATED: Mueller Expected To Make Moves After The Midterms — Here’s What He Could Do)

“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said minutes after Barr revealed that he had received the report. (RELATED: The Mueller Investigation Is Over)

The special counsel’s office indicted or obtained guilty pleas from 34 individuals during the investigation, which began in May of 2017. Six Trump associates were either indicted or pleaded guilty in the probe, though none faced charges related to conspiracy with Russia. Mueller reportedly did not recommend any additional amendments prior to the conclusion of the investigation.

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Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump never sat down for a formal interview with special counsel Robert Mueller prior to the Friday conclusion of the investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, according to reports.

Trump never sat down with the special counsel because his lawyers prevented it and Mueller never subpoenaed the president, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported.

This investigation was closed without Trump ever sitting for a formal interview. His lawyers did not want him to and Mueller never sought a fight over subpoenaing the president. Written answers was what the Mueller team got.

“The President today answered written questions submitted by the special counsel’s office,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement to reporters in November. “The questions presented dealt with issues regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry. The President responded in writing.”

Mueller submitted his report of the Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. It is now up to Barr to determine what lawmakers will see and when. He has said that he should share the report with lawmakers as soon as this weekend. (RELATED: Mueller Expected To Make Moves After The Midterms — Here’s What He Could Do)

“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said minutes after Barr revealed that he had received the report. (RELATED: The Mueller Investigation Is Over)

The special counsel’s office indicted or obtained guilty pleas from 34 individuals during the investigation, which began in May of 2017. Six Trump associates were either indicted or pleaded guilty in the probe, though none faced charges related to conspiracy with Russia. Mueller reportedly did not recommend any additional amendments prior to the conclusion of the investigation.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires
U.S. President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

March 22, 2019

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss a range of issues including trade and NATO funding, the White House and a senior administration official said.

The phone call took place shortly after Trump began a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

A White House statement said the conversation covered issues including trade, the Brexit debate in Britain, and upcoming meetings. A senior administration official said the conversation also covered funding for the NATO alliance.

Trump has long complained that Germany needs to pay more for the common defense in Europe.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton in Palm Beach, Florida; Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

Leaders on Capitol Hill responded Friday to special counsel Robert Mueller’s delivery of his report related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General Bill Barr.

Barr sent a letter to Capitol Hill committee chairmen in both chambers, informing them that the report was submitted to the Justice Department. (RELATED: Breaking: Mueller Submits Report To Justice Department)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement he welcomed that the announcement from the special counsel has finally completed his investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections.”

He continued, “Many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests. I hope the special counsel’s report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy.”

McConnell said Barr will now need time to review the report, adding, “The attorney general has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”

Little is known about the contents of the report that was two years in the making and led to the indictment or guilty plea of six Trump associates. However, not one indictment was related to conspiracy or collusion with Russians.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L), U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd R), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) and other congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A senior Justice Department official told Fox News that the special counsel has not recommended any further indictments.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the complete public release of the report in a joint statement:

Now that special counsel Mueller has submitted his report to the Attorney General, it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress.

Attorney General Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public.

The Special Counsel’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, and whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation. The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.

Although the Mueller investigation has ended, Democrats have vowed to continue their own investigations of Trump from the Judiciary Committee and Oversight Committee in the lower chamber. Additionally, Democrats are counting on investigations of the president and his allies from the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York.

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Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125

Source: The Daily Caller

The White House has made its first comment regarding special counsel Robert Mueller's final report, saying it has not been briefed on the contents.

"The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter. "The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel's report."

Mueller delivered his final report on the Russia probe to Barr late Friday afternoon. According to reports, the White House was informed of the news around 4:45 p.m. ET.

It's not yet clear what the report says, but Barr wrote to Congressional leaders that he might be able to brief them on the findings as soon as this weekend.

The probe began in May 2017 over claims that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: FBI Director Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller, as FBI director, testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight on Capitol Hill in Washington June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

March 22, 2019

By Sarah N. Lynch and Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted the report on his investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election, Attorney General William Barr must decide how much of the document – if any – to make public.

Justice Department regulations governing special counsels adopted in 1999 give Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, broad discretion in deciding how much to release to Congress and the public. Barr, in his January Senate confirmation hearings after being nominated by Trump, promised to “provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law” – a pledge that still gives him a lot of wiggle room.

Trump said on Wednesday he does not mind if the public is allowed to see the report.

Mueller was named special counsel in May 2017 by the department’s No. 2 official, Rod Rosenstein, to take over an investigation that had been headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He examined whether Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired with Russia and whether the president unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction and Russia has denied election interference.

Here is an explanation of the rules Barr must follow and the political pressures that he faces in deciding on disclosure of Mueller’s findings.

WHAT DO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS CALL FOR?

Justice Department regulations do not require the release of the entire special counsel report but also do not prevent Barr from doing so, giving him leeway to disclose it if it is in the public interest.

Special counsels can be appointed by the department to investigate matters of high sensitivity that are not handled through the normal channels.

The department placed limits on special counsel powers in the 1999 regulations creating the post.

The regulations state that when an investigation is conducted a special counsel must provide the attorney general a “confidential report” explaining why particular individuals were or were not charged.

The regulations require Barr to notify the top Republicans and Democrats on the House of Representatives and Senate Judiciary Committees that the investigation has ended. Department policy calls for Barr to summarize the confidential report for Congress with “an outline of the actions and the reasons for them.” According to the regulations, Barr “may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions.”

In deciding what to release, Barr may have to confront thorny legal issues involving secrecy of grand jury testimony, protecting classified information, communications with the White House possibly subject to the principle of executive privilege shielding certain information from disclosure, and safeguarding confidential reasons for why some individuals were not charged.

WHAT POLITICAL PRESSURE MIGHT BARR BE FEELING?

Some Democrats have expressed concern Barr may try to shield Trump and bury parts of the report. Barr may feel pressure from the Republican president to conceal damaging parts of Mueller’s report and release any findings that may exonerate him.

Barr, 68, is a veteran Washington insider who also was attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under Republican President George H.W. Bush. He has embraced an expansive view of presidential powers but also is considered a defender of the rule of law.

Trump fired Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions, in November after complaining for months about Sessions’ 2017 decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.

WHAT IF BARR DECLINES TO RELEASE THE FULL REPORT?

Democrats control the House and some already have pledged to subpoena the report and Mueller and go to court if necessary to secure its full release. The House on March 14 voted 420-0, with four conservative Republican lawmakers voting “present,” to approve a non-binding resolution urging Barr to make public everything in Mueller’s report that is not expressly prohibited by law and to provide the entire document to Congress.

HOW HAVE OTHER SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORTS BEEN HANDLED?

Only two special counsels have been appointed under the 1999 regulations: Mueller and former Senator John Danforth, who was appointed that same year to investigate the deadly 1993 federal raid on the Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas. Danforth’s report in 2000 cleared government officials of wrongdoing.

In appointing Danforth, Attorney General Janet Reno specifically directed him to draft a report for public release on his findings, which he did. Rosenstein made no such demand on Mueller.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Jan Wolfe; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

The White House will defer the review of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to Attorney General Bill Barr, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a Friday afternoon statement.

“The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report,” Sanders said minutes after Barr revealed that he had received the report. (RELATED: The Mueller Investigation Is Over) 

FBI Director Robert Mueller speaks during a news conference at the FBI headquarters June 25, 2008 in Washington, DC. The news conference was to mark the 5th anniversary of Innocence Lost initiative. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

FBI Director Robert Mueller speaks during a news conference at the FBI headquarters June 25, 2008 in Washington, DC. The news conference was to mark the 5th anniversary of Innocence Lost initiative. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mueller delivered his final report to Barr after 675 extraordinary days of appointment, during which he sought to review any potential contact between Russia and the Trump 2016 campaign. The investigation became a sprawling review and led to the indictment of many of those in Trump’s orbit. It dominated headlines in the first two years of Trump’s presidency and became a major foil for the president who decried it as a “WITCH HUNT” throughout the process.

William Barr, nominee to be US Attorney General, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 15, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

William Barr, nominee to be US Attorney General, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 15, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Mueller’s appointment came in May 2017 after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him. Rosenstein appointed Mueller after a period of turmoil during which Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, prompting questions of whether he did so to curtail the Russia investigation.

Barr will now review Mueller’s report and told lawmakers Friday afternoon that he hopes to share the top findings of the report with them as soon as this weekend. Barr’s letter noted that at no point did the Department of Justice curtail any of Mueller’s activities.

Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump on Friday said he knew nothing about son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's use of the WhatsApp encrypted messaging tool, a day after a top Democratic congressman pressed the White House for information on the issue.

Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, on Thursday asked the White House about Kushner's use of the Facebook Inc-owned messaging application as part of his government work.

In a letter to the White House, seen by Reuters, Cummings said Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell had told lawmakers that Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties, a move that would violate current law prohibiting White House officials from using non-official electronic messaging accounts.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump denied any knowledge of Kushner's unofficial communications.

"I know nothing about it. I've never heard that, I've never heard about it," the Republican president said.

Representatives for Cummings had no immediate comment.

In his letter on Thursday, Cummings said Lowell also told Congress that Ivanka Trump – the president's daughter, Kushner's wife and also a top White House adviser – continued to use a personal email account for official business. That would also violate the Presidential Records Act.

Lowell, in a reply to Cummings, denied telling lawmakers that Kushner had communicated through any app with foreign "leaders" or "officials" but said Kushner had used such apps for communicating with "some people," who were not specified.

Lowell also denied commenting on Ivanka Trump's personal email account, saying the president's daughter "always forwards official business to her White House account."

In the 2016 presidential race, Trump railed against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, inspiring chants at his rallies of "lock her up."

The FBI and the Department of Justice investigated Clinton but brought no charges.

Kushner's communications, particularly with foreign leaders, have been under scrutiny since the presidential campaign, and questions have been raised about his security clearance.

Separately, the Washington Post reported that Democratic leaders of six House committees planned to call on several federal agencies to preserve information they have given Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team for its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The request will go to the Department of Justice, the FBI and the White House counsel's office, among others, the Post said, citing unnamed congressional aides familiar with the plan.

Cummings, in an essay in the Washington Post this week, said the White House so far has refused to respond to 12 letters seeking information on various topics and that his panel may have to issue subpoenas.

"If our committee must resort to issuing subpoenas, there should be no doubt about why," Cummings wrote. "This has nothing to do with presidential harassment and everything to do with unprecedented obstruction."

Trump has called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt" and has blasted House Democrats' investigations, likening them to "presidential harassment." Russia has rejected the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that it interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump's campaign.

Source: NewsMax

President Donald Trump on Friday said he knew nothing about son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's use of the WhatsApp encrypted messaging tool, a day after a top Democratic congressman pressed the White House for information on the issue.

Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, on Thursday asked the White House about Kushner's use of the Facebook Inc-owned messaging application as part of his government work.

In a letter to the White House, seen by Reuters, Cummings said Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell had told lawmakers that Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties, a move that would violate current law prohibiting White House officials from using non-official electronic messaging accounts.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump denied any knowledge of Kushner's unofficial communications.

"I know nothing about it. I've never heard that, I've never heard about it," the Republican president said.

Representatives for Cummings had no immediate comment.

In his letter on Thursday, Cummings said Lowell also told Congress that Ivanka Trump – the president's daughter, Kushner's wife and also a top White House adviser – continued to use a personal email account for official business. That would also violate the Presidential Records Act.

Lowell, in a reply to Cummings, denied telling lawmakers that Kushner had communicated through any app with foreign "leaders" or "officials" but said Kushner had used such apps for communicating with "some people," who were not specified.

Lowell also denied commenting on Ivanka Trump's personal email account, saying the president's daughter "always forwards official business to her White House account."

In the 2016 presidential race, Trump railed against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, inspiring chants at his rallies of "lock her up."

The FBI and the Department of Justice investigated Clinton but brought no charges.

Kushner's communications, particularly with foreign leaders, have been under scrutiny since the presidential campaign, and questions have been raised about his security clearance.

Separately, the Washington Post reported that Democratic leaders of six House committees planned to call on several federal agencies to preserve information they have given Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team for its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The request will go to the Department of Justice, the FBI and the White House counsel's office, among others, the Post said, citing unnamed congressional aides familiar with the plan.

Cummings, in an essay in the Washington Post this week, said the White House so far has refused to respond to 12 letters seeking information on various topics and that his panel may have to issue subpoenas.

"If our committee must resort to issuing subpoenas, there should be no doubt about why," Cummings wrote. "This has nothing to do with presidential harassment and everything to do with unprecedented obstruction."

Trump has called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt" and has blasted House Democrats' investigations, likening them to "presidential harassment." Russia has rejected the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that it interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump's campaign.

Source: NewsMax


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