William Barr rips federal judges over nationwide injunctions

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 10 min 10 sec ago

Attorney General William P. Barr on Thursday railed against federal courts issuing nationwide injunctions blocking President Trump from implementing his policies, saying they wield "unprecedented power."

In a speech before the American Law Institute, Mr. Barr said such injunctions block politicians of all stripes from enacting the voters' will.

"One ...

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Beshear to face Bevin in Kentucky governor’s race

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 14 min 51 sec ago

Kentucky Democrats have nominated state Attorney General Andy Beshear to face Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in November’s general election.

Beshear, the son of former Gov. Steve Beshear, won Tuesday’s Democratic primary, defeating two main rivals for the nomination: state House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and former state Auditor Adam Edelen.

While Republicans have dominated Kentucky elections in recent years, Bevin enters the general election following a closer-than-expected GOP primary victory on Tuesday — and with low approval ratings in opinion polls that suggest a competitive race in the fall.

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Infanticide bills put Democratic governors on hot seat

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 29 min 28 sec ago

After Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam described what would happen to a baby born alive after a botched abortion, Republican legislatures began sending infanticide bills to Democratic governors daring them to use their veto pens.

And so far, the Democrats are taking that dare.

Two weeks ago, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock ...

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Trump to Democrats: No infrastructure without trade deal

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 41 min 14 sec ago

On the eve of a highly anticipated meeting with Democrats at which President Donald Trump was expected to unveil a way to fund a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, Trump instead put Congress on notice that it will have to take a backseat to a trade deal.

“Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal,” Trump wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday evening.

The White House has been working feverishly behind the scenes for months to try to pass the USMCA by the end of this summer, but Democrats still have a number of concerns about various provisions of the trade deal. There is no guarantee USMCA will pass, despite the administration’s ground work.

He also stipulated that his preference is to meld any infrastructure package with a recurring reauthorization for highway and transit programs, all but assuring a less ambitious package dedicated to traditional transportation uses, instead of a broad-spectrum vision of funding everything from veterans hospitals to broadband.

Leaders from both parties have insisted that leadership from Trump was an essential ingredient for passing an infrastructure bill, with Democrats hoping that Republicans would support a gas tax increase or other revenue source if Trump did. They have been clear since their April 30 meeting, at which Trump and Democrats agreed to pursue a $2 trillion plan, that Trump needed to be the one to propose a funding source.

However, in his letter released Tuesday night, Trump laid out his own expectations, suggesting it was Democrats' own vision that had gotten muddled and urging that they pare down their wish list.

"It would be helpful if you came to tomorrow’s meeting with your infrastructure priorities and specifics regarding how much funding you would dedicate to each. Your caucus has expressed a wide range of priorities, and it is unclear which ones have your support," he wrote.

He also accused the Democrats of canceling a scheduled meeting of their staff members, “preventing them from advancing our discussions.”

The administration has been eyeing spending cuts from the last budget proposal, as well as the potential sale of assets as possible ways to pay for any infrastructure package. Still it remains unclear if that would be enough to fund any major rebuilding of roads and bridges — and even the amount of federal money the White House would consider putting toward a hypothetical package remained unclear.

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Former Trump opponent Cuccinelli may land key immigration post

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 47 min 29 sec ago

It was a defining image of the 2016 Republican National Convention: Ken Cuccinelli throwing down his credentials in disgust after failing to secure a rules vote that could have complicated Donald Trump’s nomination.

Cucinelli had led the delegate operation for Trump’s chief GOP rival, Sen. Ted Cruz. Three months earlier, Trump’s convention manager, Paul Manafort, had accused the Cruz team of engaging in “Gestapo tactics” to win over delegates. “This is disgusting,” Cuccinelli said after his call for a vote was rebuffed.

Many Trump allies have never forgotten the chaos on the 2016 convention’s first day. So some of them were surprised to learn that a president notorious for holding grudges is likely to tap Cuccinelli to help oversee the administration’s immigration policy, a core issue of Trump’s presidency.

But White House officials and other allies of the president said Tuesday that Trump is aware of Cuccinelli’s past, and has nonetheless come to admire him.

“Trump doesn’t dwell on stuff like that,” said a Republican close to the White House. “That’s what he has supporters for.” A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment about how the president views Cuccinelli’s actions at the convention and his role on the Cruz campaign.

White House officials said Trump was planning to tap Cuccinelli for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security, though his exact responsibilities and title remain unclear, raising questions about how he’ll fit into the White House’s decision-making process on immigration policy.

The 50-year-old Cuccinelli had previously been mentioned as a candidate for an immigration “czar” position the White House has considered to help coordinate border policy across federal departments and agencies. Another candidate for that job, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, fell out of favor after The New York Times reported he had issued a list of demands that would need to be met before he’d accept the job.

Whatever the precise role, tapping Cuccinelli would seem to underscore Trump’s continued impatience with his administration’s progress on implementing hardline immigration policies that led to the recent ouster of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other senior DHS officials.

Despite his theatrical convention protest before the television cameras, Cuccinelli distanced himself from the “Never Trumpers” at the convention, insisting his call for a vote on the rules was not about bringing down. Unlike the Trump critics who hoped to free up delegates to vote for other candidates, Cuccinelli said he was simply trying to change the rules for future Republican primaries so that only registered Republicans could vote.

“As I said when Ted Cruz got out, I’m going to vote for Donald Trump. I am Never Hillary,” he told Fox Business Network shortly after the spectacle on the convention floor. Cuccinelli did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump has long obsessed over the loyalty of his advisers, keeping track of perceived slights. He has rejected job candidates who have publicly criticized him, and blocked or complained about “Bushies” in his administration — shorthand for people who worked for the George W. Bush administration, of which he has been highly critical.

But there’s no better way to redeem oneself in Trump’s eyes than through public flattery, and Cuccinelli is a cable news regular who defends the president at every turn.

“He’s said positive things about Trump on CNN for two years, so I don’t really think it’s an issue,” former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg said when asked about Cuccinelli’s past.

A White House official downplayed reports that Cuccinelli would serve as an immigration “czar,” signaling that he’s being considered for a more narrow position. Policy czars are typically based out of the White House, where they oversee issues across multiple departments.

How much influence Cuccinelli would have over the administration’s immigration agenda remained to be seen — particularly given that two of Trump’s most senior White House advisers, Stephen Miller and his son-in-law Jared Kushner already play major roles on the issue.

Two people familiar with the matter said Miller, known as a fierce bureaucratic infighter, supports the decision to hire Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli’s pending hiring is intended in part to reassure White House and DHS officials concerned that acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan isn't aggressive enough to address an ongoing border migration crisis, according to another person familiar with the situation. McAleenan, who took over for Nielsen after her April resignation, has brought in several officials from Customs and Border Protection that his critics believe are not ideologically aligned with Trump’s hard-nosed approach to immigration.

“What is unclear is what kind of authority Cuccinelli will have," the person said.

Thomas Homan, the tough-talking former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Fox News regular, admitted in an interview to being “a little confused” by Cuccinelli’s job. But he stressed that he thinks he’s a good choice. “I like Ken Cuccinelli,” he said. “I think he was a good attorney general. He’s pro-immigrant enforcement.”

Cuccinelli has spoken to Trump and other administration officials about the role in recent days, one of the White House officials said.

Though Trump has long weighed hiring an immigration czar, administration officials have wrestled with exactly how much power the person should have and whether the person should be based at the White House or within a federal agency. “The debate was where the position would sit,” a person close to DHS said. “There needs to be better coordination with the agencies.”

Cuccinelli served as Virginia’s attorney general from 2010 to 2014, gaining national attention for suing the Obama administration over the constitutionality of its federal health care overhaul. After losing Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, he subsequently became a cable news regular.

As attorney general, Cuccinelli took a series of controversial actions, including advising public colleges that they didn't have to adopt nondiscrimination policies protecting gay people and accusing a climate science of fraud.

As a member of the Virginia legislature previously, Cuccinelli pushed to revoke citizenship rights for children of illegal immigrants who are born in the U.S. and protected employers who fire employees for not speaking English.

Cuccinelli’s new role is unlikely to require Senate confirmation — something he might have trouble winning. A political action committee he led, the Senate Conservatives Fund, backed primary challenges to several prominent Republican Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The president has spoken to a number of associates in recent weeks about joining the administration to help coordinate immigration policy.

He recently offered the job to Homan, two people familiar with the situation said. But Homan turned down the position because it didn’t come with enough authority, two people familiar with the situation said. Homan has also told associates that he’s reluctant to rejoin the administration because of threats to his family he received when he was at ICE.

Homan, who had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Nielsen, declined to confirm the job offer, saying his conversation was merely about his advice for structuring the immigration position.

Michael Neifach, who worked for former President George W. Bush, was also approached about the job last year, a former administration official said.

It’s unclear whether the White House is still searching for somebody to fill the immigration czar role. But some people close to the administration say Trump still needs one.

“You need a point of contact for all government’s response — not just a policy person but someone who will coordinate the response,” Homan said.

Gabby Orr contributed to this story.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Donald Trump, Cabinet shunned at college graduations

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 58 min 18 sec ago

President Trump and his Cabinet are speaking rarely at this year's college graduations, even as the annually lopsided measure of liberal versus conservative commencement speakers seems more balanced than usual.

When they do speak, they are opposed by students such as those who walked out Saturday at Taylor University, a ...

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Vulnerable Democrats split as impeachment pressure mounts

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 1 hour 18 min ago

Freshman Democrats who delivered the House majority are starting to split under impeachment pressure, as a number of those in competitive districts are now warming to the idea of launching proceedings against President Donald Trump.

As the administration continues to stonewall requests for documents — not just surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but oversight probes into other agencies and Trump’s finances — Democrats are growing frustrated. Some freshmen are questioning what recourse can be taken other than an impeachment inquiry — a tactic presented by a number of veteran Democratic leaders to strengthen their hand in court.

“We’re just getting closer and closer to a point where we have to do something,” said Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), a freshman member of leadership who beat a GOP incumbent last fall. “Each of us is personally struggling because we see on so many levels ... where he’s committed impeachable offenses.”

The shift by some creates a divide among the class of vulnerable members into two camps: those who see a moral and constitutional obligation to say Trump’s conduct is unfit for the presidency despite potential political risks, and those who believe impeaching Trump won't result in his removal — and will only hurt Democrats like them.

Until recently, the majority of Democrats in competitive districts have stayed away from calling for impeachment or even commenting on current investigations. But the growing interest in impeachment among several key battleground members could be a sign that the Democratic caucus as a whole is inching toward taking more drastic action to rebuke Trump — over the objections of their leadership. Multiple vulnerable Democrats privately say that refusing to pursue impeachment could actually hurt their reelection chances by depressing enthusiasm among the party's base.

The rift demonstrates the near-impossible balance for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies as they attempt to expose what they see as unprecedented misconduct by Trump, without distracting from an ambitious legislative agenda that delivered them the majority.

“The public wants us to do our job, which we are, but it also includes continuing our investigation and the more the Trump administration and the president defies Congress's Constitutional law the more we're seeing increasing demand for Congress to take action,” said Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.) who flipped a longtime Republican seat in Orange County in 2018, told POLITICO.

Days later, Rouda went further during an interview on MSNBC, saying he thinks Democrats should “draw a line in the sand.”

“Either honor the subpoenas and the request for documentation by this date, or we will move towards impeachment proceedings,” Rouda said Sunday.

And the administration's move this week to block former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying, coupled with the unproductive negotiations over Mueller’s public testimony, have pushed more frontline Democrats to consider an impeachment inquiry, which they argue wouldn’t necessarily lead to an actual vote on the floor.

New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski, who is a top Republican target in 2020, plans to decide whether he supports an impeachment inquiry in the coming days.

“I’m going to be cautious, but I think the administration's actions are pushing us to a point where that may be the only option,” Malinowski said. “The hard question that we’ve been forced to confront is: How do we fulfill our constitutional and moral obligation at a time when Congress is broken by partisanship, and we know that the Senate will not remove him if he shoots a man on 5th Avenue. That’s what a lot of us have been struggling with.”

But while some of the party's most vulnerable freshmen are warming to the idea, many of the caucus’ moderates, especially those in districts Trump carried in 2016, are privately grateful for Pelosi’s efforts to stamp out talk of impeachment.

Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), who flipped a Staten Island-based seat that went for Trump by nearly 10 points in 2016, expressed frustration with his fellow battleground-district freshman who are inching toward impeachment.

If Democrats go down that path, Rose said, “then they should warm to the idea of going back to the minority.”

“Right now we’re in this incredibly childish game of impeachment chicken, and everyone has to start acting like adults," Rose added. "The president needs to listen to Congress. Congress needs to act responsibly — I believe that for the most part it is — and then let’s go back to actually doing the work of the American people that they sent us here to do.”

Several freshmen moderates say they’re anxious that it could drown out all talk of the caucus’s legislative agenda, particularly issues like health care and infrastructure.

“I think impeachment is probably the last decision that we would ever want to make,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.). “If there really isn’t something significant enough there to impeach — which I don’t think there is at this point — then let’s move on and get the work of the people done.”

“The thing that I’m concerned about is that we constantly risk losing focus on the legislation that affirmatively helps people’s lives,” added Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), who also acknowledged that the White House’s response is “not going in the right direction right now.”

Even Democrats from safe districts privately worry that mounting talk of impeachment will carry the same political costs today as it did two decades ago for Republicans. They point to 1998, when Democrats defied history in Bill Clinton's second midterm election and actually gained seats amid a fierce impeachment battle with congressional Republicans.

Pelosi and her top deputies have repeatedly said that the caucus’s decision on how to proceed on impeachment will not be based on the party’s chances in 2020. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer acknowledged to reporters Tuesday that the caucus does have to consider political factors.

“To say there’s no political calculus would not be honest for any of us in the Congress,” Hoyer (Md.) said. “The political calculus is, what is the reaction of the American people? What do the American people think we ought to be doing?”

The loudest calls for impeachment, so far, have been mostly confined to members of the House Judiciary Committee — few of whom are expected to face competitive elections back home.

One exception is Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), who sits on the committee and is also among the caucus’s most vulnerable Democrats. McBath said she talks to her colleagues daily about the political pressures she faces at home on matters like impeachment.

“Specifically, for people like me that are in the kinds of districts that I’m in, impeachment is not something that a lot of people in my district want to talk about,” she said. “But at the same time, I’m tasked with being on this committee to make sure no one is above the law.”

Another Democrat on Judiciary, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.), who is a GOP target, took a different tack, though she dodged questions about her support for launching an inquiry.

“[Trump is] acting as an authoritarian leader, which I have seen many times in Latin America, and it is very dangerous,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “I want the people living in South Florida, people living in my community, to understand what is written in that report, and we can’t do that unless we have these hearings.”

Heather Caygle and Kyle Cheney contributed reporting.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Mississippi abortion law ‘smacks of defiance,’ judge says

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 1 hour 19 min ago

JACKSON, Miss. — A federal judge indicated Tuesday that he is likely to block a Mississippi law that will ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The new law puts a cutoff point for abortion at about six weeks, when many women may not yet know they’re pregnant.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves heard arguments about a request from the state’s only abortion clinic, which wants him to block the law from taking effect July 1, as scheduled. Reeves is the same judge who ruled last year that Mississippi’s 15-week ban is unconstitutional because it would prohibit access to abortion before a fetus could survive outside the pregnant woman’s body. Viability is generally considered to be about 23 or 24 weeks.

In an indication of which way he is leaning on the request to block the new law, Reeves asked attorneys: “Doesn’t it boil down to: Six is less than 15?”

Mississippi is one of several states enacting abortion restrictions this year in hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court, with new conservative justices, will reevaluate and maybe overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Reeves criticized Mississippi lawmakers for passing an earlier ban after he struck down the one at 15 weeks.

“It sure smacks of defiance to this court,” he said.

The state is appealing Reeves’ ruling on the 15-week ban, and Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the new law in March. The state’s only abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, quickly sued the state.

Reeves said he would decide soon on the request to block the law, but did not indicate when he would issue a ruling.

Governors in Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia have signed bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Alabama’s governor signed a measure making abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

The Mississippi law says physicians who perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected could face revocation of their state medical licenses. It also says abortions could be allowed after a fetal heartbeat is found if a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life or one of her major bodily functions. Senators rejected an amendment that would have allowed exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

Hillary Schneller, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the Mississippi law is “clearly unconstitutional” because it bans abortion before viability.

If the law were to take effect, “Women will be forced to leave the state to obtain legal abortions ... or will be forced to remain pregnant against their will,” Schneller said.

Mississippi Special Assistant Attorney General Paul Barnes said the new law is not an outright ban on abortion but a limitation on when the procedure can be done.

“When a fetal heartbeat is detected, our position is it is constitutional” to prohibit abortion, Barnes said. He also said the state respectfully disagrees with Reeves’ ruling on the 15-week ban.

If Reeves temporarily blocks the new Mississippi law, he would hear arguments later on the larger question of constitutionality.

Reeves asked Barnes whether a 10- or 11-year-old girl who is impregnated by rape would have to carry the pregnancy to full term if she waited too long to tell anyone what had happened to her. Barnes said he did not know whether a family court judge would allow the child to have an abortion after the fetal heartbeat is found. Barnes said the man who impregnated the girl could be charged with capital rape.

Reeves said legislators were aware the law did not allow exceptions for rape or incest. Barnes said he did not know if they knew, and Reeves responded: “Well, they speak through their statute.”

After the court hearing, more than 100 abortion-rights supporters rallied outside the state Capitol in downtown Jackson less than a mile from the federal courthouse. They chanted: “We won’t go back” and “My body, my choice.”

Zakiya Summers of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said outlawing abortion will not get rid of the procedure but will make it more dangerous.

“The decision whether to become a parent is in the hands of those who are involved. It is not the politicians’ decision to make,” Summers said. “Bodies do not belong to the government.”

After the rally, Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves held a news conference at a church in the Jackson suburb of Byram with pastors and others who oppose abortion. Tate Reeves, no relation to the federal judge, said he will continue to try to restrict abortion if he is elected governor this year.

“Mississippi is overwhelmingly pro-life,” Tate Reeves said. “And we need a governor that will be overwhelmingly pro-life.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Donald Trump tells Democrats to approve USMCA trade deal before he'll agree on infrastructure

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 1 hour 25 min ago

President Trump told Democratic leaders Tuesday night that he wants Congress to approve his new trade deal with Canada and Mexico before he'll agree to a plan of up to $2 trillion for rebuilding infrastructure.

The president's letter, coming on the eve of a White House meeting with Democrats scheduled ...

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Rep. Don Beyer is first member of Congress from Virginia to call for impeachment

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at 1 hour 25 min ago
The northern Virginia Democrat said Trump has shown ‘utter contempt for the Constitution from the moment he took office’
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Trump wants to kill this federal agency. Democrats blasted the idea.

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at 1 hour 26 min ago
House Democrats called an administration plan to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management — the first elimination of a major federal agency in decades — an act of hostility against the apolitical civil service.
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The Latest: California also suing over Trump health rule

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 1 hour 35 min ago

NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on states suing the Trump administration over a rule allowing medical providers to cite religious beliefs in declining to perform abortions (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

California has joined nearly two dozen states and municipalities in suing the federal government to stop a new ...

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Knight, DeStefano leaving Trump White House

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 1 hour 35 min ago

Two top White House officials, Shahira Knight and Johnny DeStefano, announced their long-anticipated departures from the West Wing on Tuesday, leaving huge holes in an already thinly staffed administration.

Knight is expected to leave in early June to return to the private sector in Washington D.C., while DeStefano plans to exit the White House this Friday to do consulting work for companies such as Juul, the e-cigarette manufacturer.

Unlike a bevy of other top aides, both Knight and DeStefano are leaving on their own terms with their relationships with the president intact.

“Shahira has done a wonderful job as my Legislative Affairs Director. She was outstanding for us and for our country and will be a tremendous success in the private sector,” President Donald Trump said in a statement.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump similarly praised DeStefano: “Johnny, we will miss you — you did a great job!”

Knight’s departure will set off a turf battle among top White House officials as to who gets to fill the slot of the top White House liaison to Capitol Hill, said one former senior administration official. Officials expected to have input into any new hire include acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Jared Kushner, and Stephen Miller, said a second former administration official.

She joined the Trump White House in its early days as a top policy staffer for the White House National Economic Council, for which she played a key role in the passage of the Republicans’ 2017 tax bill. Knight was promoted to the deputy director of the council before taking on her current role as legislative affairs director, which had previously been held by Marc Short, the current chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

DeStefano served as an assistant to the president and oversaw a handful of key offices inside the White House including the Office of Presidential Personnel and Office of Public Liaison. He joined the administration immediately after the inauguration and was charged with hiring hundreds of political appointees to fill key agency jobs.

CNN first reported Knight’s official departure, while the Washington Post reported DeStefano’s.

Other White House comings-and-goings are being discussed.

Trump is expected to tap former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for a senior position at the Homeland Security Department, even if the exact title is still under discussion.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Amy Coney Barrett, potential Supreme Court nominee: 'Justice should not turn on what judge you get'

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 1 hour 43 min ago

Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is on the president's short list for the Supreme Court, said Tuesday faith and politics must be separated from the law, stressing judges should put their duty over politics.

"Justice should not turn on what judge you get," Judge Barrett said during an appearance at ...

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Two 2 More Former White House Officials Subpoenaed

This news was published by : US Politics exactly at 1 hour 54 min ago
The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed two more former top White House officials after ex-White House Counsel Donald McGahn ignored his subpoena to testify about President Donald Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice. Democratic chairman Jerrold Nadler says the committee wants to hear from former communications director Hope Hicks and McGahn’s former chief of staff Annie Donaldson. They have been ordered to provide documents and summoned to appear before the lawmakers next month. Shortly before she resigned in March 2018, Hicks told the House Intelligence Committee that she sometimes told “white lies” for Trump. As McGahn’s second-in-command, Donaldson is believed to have pages and pages of notes related to Trump and his reaction to the Mueller investigation. ​Contempt of Congress Meanwhile, Nadler is threatening to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress for his refusal to testify Tuesday, after Trump told him to ignore the subpoena and the Justice Department said he cannot be forced to appear.  “Our subpoenas are not optional,” Nadler said as he sat just a few meters from McGahn’s empty witness chair. “Let me be clear: this committee will hear Mr. McGahn’s testimony even if we have to go to court to secure it...we will not allow the president to stop this committee’s investigation.” Nadler said McGahn’s testimony was essential after the Mueller report recounted that Trump ordered McGahn to get rid of Mueller and then lie about it to the press. McGahn refused to carry out Trump’s orders. The Mueller team interviewed McGahn for 30 hours about his interactions with Trump. ​GOP sees a ‘circus’ The leading Republican Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, attacked Democrats for staging the short hearing without McGahn, calling it “a circus.” “The Democrats are trying to make something out of nothing,” noting that Mueller concluded that Trump did not collude with Russia to help him win the White House. Trump tweeted Tuesday “The Democrats were unhappy with the outcome of the $40 million Mueller Report, so now they want a do-over.” Mueller reached no decision whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to thwart his investigation. Attorney General William Barr and former deputy Rod Rosenstein concluded there there weren’t sufficient grounds to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. ​Lawmakers not satisfied Nadler’s committee voted two weeks ago to hold Barr in contempt of Congress after he refused to turn over an unredacted copy of Mueller’s 448-page report into whether Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. But congressional Democrats, along with several Republicans are not satisfied by Mueller’s stated inability to reach a conclusion about obstruction allegations, and his statement that he could not exonerate the president. A Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, David Cicilline, told MSNBC television that if McGahn listened to Trump and defied the subpoena, an impeachment inquiry against the president should be started.
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Chick-fil-A bill passes Texas House over gay lawmakers' objections

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 1 hour 57 min ago

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signaled he will sign legislation that Republicans say is a defense of Chick-fil-A and religious freedom, but gay lawmakers sometimes tearfully railed against it on the House floor as a license to discriminate.

The bill, given final approval Tuesday in the Texas ...

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Kristen Wiig film pulls out of Georgia over 'heartbeat' abortion ban

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 5 min ago

Hollywood's boycott of Georgia over its "heartbeat" abortion law has apparently claimed its first feature-film casualty.

The film "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar" — a comedy from the creative team behind "Bridesmaids" — scrapped plans to shoot in Georgia, Variety reported Tuesday afternoon.

The entertainment-industry ...

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Rex Tillerson meets with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 2 hours 6 min ago

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with a handful of House members and staffers for seven hours Tuesday, holding talks reportedly on his rocky, aborted tenure as President Donald Trump’s chief diplomat.

A congressional aide confirmed that Tillerson met with New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the panel’s top Republican. House staffers also joined the conversations.

No immediate details were available about the substance of the discussions with Tillerson, whose visit with lawmakers was first reported by The Daily Beast. But various media reports said it focused on his tenure in the Trump administration and foreign policy issues.

Trump fired Tillerson in March 2018 after the two clashed on several fronts, including how to handle the Iran nuclear deal. Tillerson is reported to have once called Trump a “moron” behind his back.

Since leaving the State Department, Tillerson has largely avoided the spotlight. But in one appearance, he said Trump had at times wanted to take actions that Tillerson had to explain to him were against the law,

Tillerson previously served as the chief executive officer for energy giant ExxonMobil. He was a deeply unpopular figure at the State Department, where many diplomats felt he was too isolated and unwilling to listen to their advice.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Eleanor Holmes Norton champions D.C. statehood with recess

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 11 min ago

D.C. congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton took one of her colleagues, Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, to school yesterday.

The issue? D.C. statehood.

The lesson came after Mr. Connolly, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, excused himself from a hearing on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The acting ...

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California sues Trump administration over high-speed rail money

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 17 min ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California sued Tuesday to block the Trump administration from cancelling nearly $1 billion for the state's high-speed rail project, escalating the state's feud with the federal government.

The Federal Railroad Administration announced last week it would not give California the money awarded by Congress nearly a decade ...

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The Latest: Lawmaker asked to resign if abuse charge true

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 21 min ago

LUCEDALE, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on a Mississippi lawmaker accused of punching his wife (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Mississippi's House speaker says a state lawmaker should resign if he punched his wife in the face.

Republican Speaker Philip Gunn says he has tried to contact Republican Rep. Doug ...

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Inside the Beltway: Gallup: GOP, conservatives reject socialism

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 23 min ago

A new Gallup poll got considerable news coverage and some screaming headlines this week by revealing: "Four-out-of 10 Americans embrace some form of socialism." It is understandable that such a finding would prove intensely interesting in a political climate which finds Democratic socialism both in style and intriguing among many ...

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Senate GOP trade hopes renewed after Trump lifts steel tariffs

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 2 hours 34 min ago

President Donald Trump’s trade chief on Tuesday praised an unlikely figure on the other side of the Capitol: Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In a closed-door lunch with GOP senators on Tuesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that he was optimistic about the prospects of getting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement passed and said that Pelosi was focusing on it.

“He was very complimentary of Speaker Pelosi, I’ll be honest,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said in an interview with POLITICO. “He said he felt that Speaker Pelosi was going to be working hard on that.”

Senate Republicans left the lunch with renewed hope about the prospects of the new trade pact with Mexico and Canada, which only weeks ago was on life support.

The fortunes of Trump’s signature legislative priority were revived after the U.S. reached a deal on Friday to lift onerous tariffs the president had placed on steel and aluminum with the two partner nations. In turn, Canada and Mexico removed the counter-tariffs they had slapped on more than $15 billion in U.S. exports, including many agricultural products important to Midwestern states.

GOP senators say they believe that the new pact will easily get through the Senate now that those duties are gone. The real work now is getting Pelosi and House Democrats to approve the deal and send it to the upper chamber.

Lighthizer is “still negotiating with Speaker Pelosi and he thinks there is a sincere interest in the House on trying to get this done and so hopefully they can find a way to get it passed by the House,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune.

Lighthizer’s praise of Pelosi is not one sided. Earlier this month, the California lawmaker called the curmudgeonly trade chief “fabulous” in terms of working with Democrats.

House Democrats, however, have raised a host of other problems they have with the revised deal and have called for large-scale changes to the pact’s provisions on labor, environment and pharmaceuticals. Most pressing is the need for Democrats to see an agreement that can be effectively enforced to improve conditions in Mexico and prevent jobs from moving south.

“It’s very clear that the litmus test for moving this bill is enforcement that has real teeth,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the top Democrat of the Senate Finance Committee told POLITICO.

Wyden and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have been discussing enforcement demands with House Democrats to help secure votes for the deal. Both senators have proposed a mechanism that would require Mexico to conduct inspections of factories accused of poor working conditions. However, Mexico has shut down that proposal.

Trump administration officials “know what they have to do to get people like me to support it,” Brown said.

Vice President Mike Pence on Monday called on Congress to approve the agreement this summer. Another factor that could help the recent momentum is the fact that neither Canada nor Mexico favor reopening the pact to address Democrats‘ remaining concerns.

There are some recent signs that Pelosi is working in good faith to reach a deal. Among those is the formation of four working groups that will try to negotiate improvements in the areas of labor, environment and medicines. The fourth group will cover miscellaneous issues that Democrats wants resolved, said a House aide familiar with the plan.

The White House had planned to submit paperwork to Congress this week that would have started the process for getting the deal approved. Lighthizer ultimately held back after Pelosi and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal said sending up the documents without any path toward resolving Democratic concerns would have made it more difficult to maintain a constructive process, the aide said.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a former U.S. trade representative himself, said it remains up to Pelosi when the deal will be considered in Congress.

Asked whether Lighthizer indicated when he'd submit the final text of the deal, Portman said: "There's no decision made yet. It depends on the House leadership."

Portman is still optimistic that the deal could be ratified this summer. He explained that the trade promotion authority legislation, which allows for Congress to put trade deals for a vote with an up-or-down vote with no amendments, makes it possible for lawmakers to act swiftly once the bill is sent.

"It really becomes up to the speaker at first on timing and then up to the majority leader, and it can move pretty quickly," Portman said. "It doesn't need to take the 120 days provided in the statute."

Senate Republicans also know the clock is ticking. With the coming presidential election, they share a goal with the administration to see the deal ratified before the end of the summer. That would mean a big trade win that both Senate Republicans up in 2020 and the president can run on.

“Giving Donald Trump a victory is their biggest concern and let’s do it sooner rather than later,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), adding “I would like to help them with that.”

Alex Panetta contributed to this report.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Activists rally against abortion ban bill in Alaska

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 37 min ago

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Abortion rights activists rallied across from the Alaska Capitol Tuesday to oppose a bill that seeks to outlaw abortion in the state.

The bill, from Republican Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla, remains in play for the next regular session, which starts in January.

Democratic Rep. Ivy ...

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Biden caps cash dash with big Florida haul

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 2 hours 42 min ago

Joe Biden collected at least $1.7 million this week from two Florida fundraisers, underscoring the former vice president’s pull with big-dollar Democratic donors and his front-runner status in a crowded presidential primary.

The twin fundraisers in the Miami and Orlando areas capped a month-long coast-to-coast cash dash by Biden, who spent the eve of his campaign announcement fretting about whether he could raise the money to prove he was the real deal. Biden then went on to shatter first-day fundraising records, as his campaign built an online small-dollar fundraising machine to complement his pursuit of traditional donors who can write max-out checks of $2,800 per election.

Biden’s huge two-day financial haul in Florida highlights the still-ample power of big donors in a Democratic primary field that has put more emphasis on digital dollars. The fundraising schedule and courting of donors by Biden used to be as common for a presidential campaign as printing mailers, but it now stands out as an increasingly vocal progressive wing and its favored candidates — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — have cast Biden’s fundraising in a negative light, which his donors resent.

“It’s sour grapes, like saying they wouldn’t join a club that wouldn’t have them as a member anyway,” said John Morgan, the Orlando-area trial lawyer who hosted a Biden fundraiser at his home on Tuesday and said days before the event that he had $1.3 million in donations already committed to Biden.

“What they [Sanders and Warren] are doing is playing a game to try to block him from taking low-hanging fruit that, in some cases, they can’t get. But in other cases, they haven’t even tried. Joe has,” Morgan said.

Morgan said that donors are turned off by the type of “socialism” that Warren and Sanders espouse and many personally like Biden anyway because “Biden is in the middle, and that’s where the majority of the country is and where the donors are.”

Sanders and Warren’s campaigns didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Before Morgan’s $1.3 million fundraiser on Tuesday, Miami developer and longtime Biden supporter Michael Adler hosted a fundraiser Monday evening in Coral Gables that brought in as much as $400,000, according to two people familiar with the preliminary numbers.

In contrast, in nearby Miami Beach and at the same time as Biden’s Monday fundraiser, Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg had a fundraiser that pulled more than $100,000, according to one organizer. Buttigieg also hosted a small-dollar event in Miami that drew hundreds of attendees, but his campaign wouldn’t say how much he raised total.

In Hollywood, Biden reportedly raised $700,000 earlier this month. And in his first day as an announced candidate on April 25, $700,000 of the $6.3 million Biden raised in the first 24 hours of launching his campaign came from an event at the Philadelphia home of a Comcast executive, which Warren and Sanders criticized.

“How did Joe Biden raise so much money in one day?” Warren wrote in an email to supporters when the news of Biden’s record-setting one-day haul was reported. “Well, it helps that he hosted a swanky private fund-raiser for wealthy donors at the home of the guy who runs Comcast’s lobbying shop.”

But while Warren bashed “fancy private fundraising events where only big donors are invited,” the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Warren had raised money in similar settings in Philadelphia from some of the same donors — but for her Senate race.

Sensitive to the criticism that he’s doing the bidding of special interests in secret, Biden made a novel move for a front-running presidential candidate, opening up the fundraisers to the press to ensure a measure of transparency — and free media coverage. The result is that Biden often gives a condensed 15-minute version of his standard stump speech.

“For some people it’s like, ‘What am I paying for?’ Because it’s not like they’re getting anything extra,” said one donor who didn’t want to be identified speaking critically of the campaign. “But most people just want to support the candidate and get their picture taken, so it’s not that big of a deal.”

Biden’s campaign said in a press release Tuesday that his momentum is increasing.

“Our fundraising has been driven by rapid, massive growth over the last month,” Brandon English, a Biden adviser, said in a written statement. “We're grateful for the overwhelming grassroots support we're seeing through our digital outreach, the majority of which comes from donors brand new to our list. We're continuing to build a robust digital operation that brings new voters to Team Joe and puts our campaign in a position of strength to take on Donald Trump.”

According to the campaign, 97 percent of all donations to Biden are under $200 and almost two-thirds of campaign donors have contributed $25 of less. Biden’s campaign added that its “largest hour of grassroots fundraising since the campaign launch came on Saturday during the Philly kickoff rally, raising more than $1,000 per minute.”

Heading into the race, Biden knew fundraising was a key to his candidacy.

"People think Iowa and New Hampshire are the first test. It’s not. The first 24 hours. That’s the first test,” he said of posting a big fundraising total. “Those [early states] are way down the road. We’ve got to get through this first.”

For Rufus Gifford, finance director for President Obama’s reelection campaign and a former ambassador to Denmark, the Biden campaign has skillfully managed expectations and balanced the need for raising big sums with the knowledge that it might cost him some voters in a primary. But the rewards outweigh the risks, he said.

“One of the biggest issues for Democrats to who can beat Trump, who’s more electable,” Gifford said. “You know what makes you more electable? Money.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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The Trailer: Why the 2016 Sanders voter is still up for grabs

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 43 min ago
In this edition: Democrats try to convert the Berniecrats, Fox News becames a primary issue, Marianne Williamson campaigns in Washington, and Kentucky Democrats pick their nominee for governor.
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Trump campaign and Senate GOP clash over president's pollster

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at 2 hours 46 min ago

A top strategist on President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has withdrawn from an effort to unseat North Carolina GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in 2020 — an arrangement that sparked tensions at the highest levels of the Republican Party.

Pollster John McLaughlin’s work for a Tillis primary challenger had angered leading Senate Republican campaign officials, who said the president’s team should be unified in the effort to reelect both Trump and incumbent Republican senators.

Aides at the Senate GOP campaign arm reached out to multiple Trump 2020 officials and separately to the Republican National Committee in recent weeks to express their displeasure over McLaughlin’s work. The pollster had signed on to help Garland Tucker, a former investment company executive who’s pledged to spend at least $1 million of his own money against Tillis.

The Senate Republican officials argued that a disruptive primary could wreak havoc on the party’s prospects in the battleground state and ultimately hurt Republicans up-and-down the ballot, including Trump.

Contacted by POLITICO on Sunday, McLaughlin said he hadn't decided whether to keep working for Tucker. But by Tuesday, he and his firm had cut ties with the candidate, two people familiar with his decision said.

The run-in was the first major rift this year between the Trump campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, threatening to drive a wedge between the two organizations at a time of unease about the party’s prospects. With Trump trailing Joe Biden in internal GOP polling and Senate Republicans defending at least a half-dozen endangered incumbents, there is widespread agreement within the party hierarchy that its array of committees, groups, and campaigns need to get along.

The president is establishing a sprawling political apparatus and Republicans from across the party ecosystem have praised the reelection campaign for embracing a collaborative approach and for establishing clear lines of communication.

But in some corners of the party, the North Carolina episode has reignited long-held concerns that the Trump political machine at times operates on its own with little regard for other Republicans. The first-term Tillis is one of the most endangered senators up for reelection, and senior Republicans worry that the primary challenge could further complicate his prospects.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who wields vast control over the Senate campaign arm, is fiercely protective of incumbents, particularly those facing primaries. During the 2014 midterms, the NRSC took the unusual step of blacklisting consulting firms that worked for primary challengers to sitting lawmakers.

“Clearly for party committees, they want to avoid anything that could cause turmoil for their incumbent members, especially in states that are critical to both Senate majorities and winning the White House,” said Doug Heye, a former RNC official who has worked on multiple North Carolina statewide campaigns.

Spokespersons for the Trump campaign and NRSC declined to comment.

McLaughlin, a veteran GOP pollster who also worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, has downplayed the extent of his role with Tucker. During a May 10 phone call, he told NRSC executive director Kevin McLaughlin (no relation) that his work on the Tucker campaign was limited to a November 2018 poll and to a recent media buy that his firm had placed, two people familiar with the conversation said.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, has told Trump campaign officials that he’s turned down other candidates looking to wage anti-incumbent campaigns who’d asked him for help. He has also said that his work for Tucker began before the Trump campaign spoke to him about coming on board.

Still, the arrangement has caused considerable angst among those in the tight-knit world of Senate GOP operatives, many of whom view McLaughlin as an important figure in Trump’s orbit. McLaughlin, who recently worked on a 17-state polling project for the Trump campaign, had been expected to attend a summit last weekend at Camp David focused on 2020 that was to include the president, McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. (The summit ended up being canceled.)

McLaughlin was brought into the Tucker campaign by Carter Wrenn, a veteran North Carolina political hand with whom he's long worked. The arrangement put the pollster opposite Tillis strategist Paul Shumaker, a prominent strategist in the state who is regarded as a fierce Wrenn rival.

The North Carolina flare-up is not the first disagreement between the Trump 2020 campaign and the Senate GOP campaign arm. Trump aides have vigorously pushed back on Senate Republican efforts to recruit Iraq war veteran and rising GOP star John James into the Michigan Senate race.

In a private memo and in face-to-face meetings, Trump aides have told Senate GOP officials that a statewide campaign by James would cause Democrats to spend more money in the battleground state — thereby diminishing the president’s prospects.

Senate Republicans strongly disagree with the assessment, maintaining that James would give the party a formidable statewide ticket.

Those involved describe the Michigan debate as the kind of strategic difference that frequently arises in campaigns. The North Carolina clash, by contrast, has stoked fears that the fiercely anti-establishment president could be receptive to primary challenges against GOP incumbents, they say.

Some of them said McLaughlin’s work could give the false impression that Tucker has the president’s backing, which the Tillis campaign is trying to head off. Late last year, as word circulated that Tucker was interested in running, Shumaker sent the White House an op-ed Tucker wrote in 2016 campaign in which he called Trump "a twice-divorced, self-acknowledged adulterer" and expressed regret about supporting him in the general election.

There are early indications, however, that the president is aligning himself with Tillis. Trump met with the senator last week, and on Wednesday Tillis is expected to attend a Trump 2020 fundraiser in Greensboro, N.C. headlined by Vice President Mike Pence.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Oreo mocks Ben Carson over hearing blunder

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 53 min ago

Instead of dunking its cookies in milk, Oreo spent part of Tuesday dunking on Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and his senior moment earlier in the day.

The social-media joshing began with a House Financial Services Committee hearing earlier Tuesday, at which Mr. Carson seemed confused by a ...

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson Was Asked About a Common Term Related to Foreclosure. He Heard ‘Oreos’

This news was published by : TIME POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 55 min ago

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson didn’t seem to know what a congresswoman was talking about when she asked a question related to foreclosures during a congressional hearing on Tuesday. Instead, Carson apparently thought she was talking about Oreo cookies.

Speaking at a House Financial Services Committee meeting on housing on Tuesday morning, Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat from California, asked Carson why more homes that are financed with loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) end up being foreclosed on than properties purchased with other types of loans.

If a homeowner cannot pay their mortgage, a lender may seize the property and try to sell it in a foreclosure auction. When the property doesn’t sell at auction, it becomes Real Estate Owned (REO.)

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, former Republican presidential candidate and conservative who famously called poverty a “state of mind,” didn’t seem to know the term.

I asked @SecretaryCarson about REOs – a basic term related to foreclosure – at a hearing today. He thought I was referring to a chocolate sandwich cookie. No, really. pic.twitter.com/cYekJAkRag

— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019

OH, REO! Thanks, @RepKatiePorter. Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way! pic.twitter.com/q4MMTBWVUI

— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019

“Do you know what an REO is?” Porter asked Carson.

“An Oreo?” Carson said.

“No, not an Oreo. REO. REO.”

“Real estate?” Carson said.

“What’s the “O” stand for?” Porter said.

“The organization…”

“Owned. Real Estate Owned,” Porter said.

She explained that REO relates to properties that go into foreclosure, instead of going to loss mitigation or other alternatives that are less likely to result in owners losing their houses.

“So we’d like to know why we have more foreclosures that end in people losing their homes with stains to their credit and disruptions to their communities, and their neighborhoods at the FHA,” Porter said.

Carson’s gaffe triggered an avalanche of tweets that weren’t particularly flattering to the HUD secretary.

Amazing: Watch as a well qualified congresswoman, @RepKatiePorter, has to explain to Trump's clueless HUD Secretary Ben Carson what his own agency does & how it's failing.

When she mentioned REOs, he thought she was talking about "Oreos."

Totally unqualified. pic.twitter.com/l0aIlPVBuN

— Arlen Parsa (@arlenparsa) May 21, 2019

Carson himself tried to get in on the joke on Twitter, tweeting photos of himself sending a pack of Double Stuf Oreos to Porter’s office.

“OH, REO! Thanks, [Rep. Porter]. Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way!” Carson tweeted.

OH, REO! Thanks, @RepKatiePorter. Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way! pic.twitter.com/q4MMTBWVUI

— Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019

Some noted that while Carson’s mistake was funny, the reality is more serious.

“It would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic that people are losing their homes with FHA loans,” wrote one Twitter user.

Even the camera man laughs when she corrects him. "Not Oreo. REO."
It would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic that people are losing their homes with FHA loans.

Rep. Kathy Porter Shows Ben Carson, Housing Secretary, Does Not Know Basic Housing Term https://t.co/3FMzw9Cvma

— 🌊Molly💙 #Kamala2020 (@mollylyons) May 21, 2019

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Michigan House Republican remove lawmaker from caucus

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 56 min ago

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republicans in the Michigan House have removed a lawmaker from their caucus following his indictment on charges of seeking a bribe from a union.

Rep. Larry Inman was kicked out Tuesday. It means the Traverse City-area Republican will be unable to attend private meetings during which ...

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Sierra County, New Mexico rejects migrant relocation, asks Donald Trump to close border

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 58 min ago

A New Mexico county has approved a resolution opposing the relocation of migrants within its boundaries as federal authorities grapple with the influx of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Sierra County Commission approved the resolution during a meeting Tuesday, saying there's a crisis in southern New Mexico and that ...

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Tillerson meets for seven hours with Democrats on House Foreign Affairs panel

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at 2 hours 58 min ago
The former Trump secretary of state has kept a low public profile since being fired by tweet more than a year ago.
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US Lawmakers Turn Focus to Full Range of Russian Influence Ops

This news was published by : US Politics exactly at 3 hours 41 sec ago
With all the focus on Russian efforts to sway U.S. elections with social media, there are fears other aspects of Moscow's influence operations are being overlooked. Specifically, some lawmakers and experts are worried just as much damage is being done with old-fashioned, face-to-face contact, along with promises of favors and the prospects of financial reward. In order to help curtail the dangers, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee introduced legislation Tuesday that would require all U.S. political campaigns to report any contact with foreign nationals seeking  to collaborate or coordinate with candidates' election efforts. "Most Americans already know that if a foreign adversary reaches out about interfering in our elections, you should report that contact," Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said in a statement. But in a swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump, Warner added, "It's clear that some Americans haven't taken that responsibility seriously." The Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections (FIRE) Act would mandate that any U.S. political campaign contacted by foreign nationals report the contact within one week to both the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The bill would also require campaigns to train all paid employees on how such contact must be handled. Warner cited the recent report into Russian election interference by special counsel Robert Mueller, which found at least 140 contacts between members or associates of the Trump campaign and Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, as a key reason the legislation is needed. ​"The Trump campaign welcomed the help, and sought to hide that from the American people," Warner said. Separately, a panel of experts urged lawmakers Tuesday to take steps to limit the ability of Russia, China and other countries to secretly pump money into U.S. political campaigns. "There's a vast amount of resources that are held by oligarchs, tycoons, businessmen, Russian companies that is available for use in dark money operations," Mike Carpenter, a one-time foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "The most important is our campaign finance system, which is so opaque that we don't even have an inkling how much foreign dark money is sloshing around the system," he said. "It's simply all too easy and we don't know the extent." Carpenter, who now heads the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy, said money is also likely getting into U.S. campaigns through the use of shell companies and "high-end" real estate deals. Heather Conley, the senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said tackling the potential abuse would require substantial changes to the way the U.S. is currently combating financial threats. "We are structured to fight terrorism and terrorism financing," said Conley, who also served at the U.S. State Department under Democratic and Republican administrations. "We are not structured to fight (Russia’s) malign influence and its many manifestations," she said. "We have to treat financial transparency and money laundering as the challenges to America's national security as they are."
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European elections 2019: Parties hold final rallies ahead of vote

This news was published by : BBC POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:55
On the penultimate day of the EU election campaign, parties seek to shore up their support.
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California sues over rule on denial of abortions, other care

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:51

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California has joined nearly two dozen states and municipalities in suing the federal government to stop a new rule that lets health care clinicians decline to provide abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.

California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a ...

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Biden parries Trump’s Pennsylvania jab

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:43

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday responded to President Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine the Democratic primary front-runner’s ties to Pennsylvania by playing up his connection to another key voting bloc — the working class.

“Yesterday, Trump tried to attack me at his campaign rally by saying I abandoned Pennsylvania. I’ve never forgotten where I came from,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “My family did have to leave Pennsylvania when I was 10 — we moved to Delaware where my Dad found a job that could provide for our family.”

Already, Trump’s campaign team is ratcheting up its efforts to win over voters in Pennsylvania, as well as in Wisconsin and Michigan — states that were key to the president’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Trump on Monday told an audience of thousands at an airport hangar in Montoursville, Pa., that Biden abandoned the state and never looked back.

“He's not from Pennsylvania,” the president said of Biden. “I guess he was born here, but he left you folks. He left you for another state. Remember that, please.”

“He left you for another state, and he didn't take care of you, because he didn't take care of your jobs,” Trump continued. “He let other countries come in and rip off America. That doesn't happen anymore.”

Biden was born in Scranton in 1942, but his family in 1953 moved to Delaware, where Biden would eventually serve six terms as senator.

Trump’s jabs would seem to reflect deep-seated concerns about Biden’s candidacy, which the president reportedly views as his biggest threat in 2020. Trump has repeatedly lobbed a wide range of insults at the former vice president, often presenting himself as more youthful and energetic than Biden, who at 76 is four years older than the president.

The white male septuagenarians, however, appeal to overlapping constituencies that could prove to be crucial to winning in 2020, should the pair face off in the general election. As former President Barack Obama’s running mate, Biden helped win over blue-collar and Rust Belt voters — the same groups that helped propel Trump to the White House in 2016.

Biden’s tweet highlighted the contrast between his background and that of the president, a billionaire businessman from New York.

The Trump campaign recently completed a polling project that shows the president trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, two people briefed on the results told POLITICO. Those close to Trump, however, said they think the former vice president’s popularity will decline once the honeymoon stage of his campaign — which he launched last month at a union hall in Pittsburgh — dies down.

Both candidates seem to have honed in on Pennsylvania in particular as the key to the White House in 2020, dedicating attention and resources to the state. Biden on Saturday railed against the president at an event in Philadelphia, where his campaign headquarters is located.

Trump, on the other hand, has already made moves to ramp up GOP forces in the state, which he won by less than 1 percent in 2016. During his appearance Monday, the president told the Montoursville crowd: Their state is one he’s “got to win.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Joe Biden clinches 2020 Democratic nomination before race begins

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:32

New Hampshire's 2020 presidential primary is still more than eight months away. The two dozen candidates now in the race haven't even faced off yet in debates. But the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is already over.

The winner: Joe Biden.

While the media will play up the expansive ...

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Dems struggle to secure testimony from a wary Mueller

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:31

House Democrats are scrambling to secure Robert Mueller’s public testimony amid concerns from the special counsel and his staff about what he can share publicly related to his Russia investigation, according to key lawmakers and sources familiar with the talks.

Negotiations between Mueller’s team and staff on the Democrat-led Judiciary and Intelligence Committees have faltered in recent weeks over the best arrangement for open hearings involving the former FBI director. The sources say Mueller has been reluctant to set a firm date for hearings until he gets more clarity from his Justice Department supervisors about the boundaries for what exactly he can publicly discuss that goes beyond what’s in the redacted 448-page report released last month.

“Mueller appears to be a by-the-book guy,” said a source familiar with the negotiations between the special counsel’s team and the Democrats. “As such, he needs clarity about what he can and cannot talk about and under what conditions, public or private, he can talk about that.”

“The Justice Department seems attuned to that, and Democrats think DOJ is fucking with him,” the source added.

Democrats have been eager to get Mueller on the record in a public setting — with the gavel-to-gavel live television coverage that comes with it — discussing his work over nearly two years examining Russian interference in the 2016 election and his offshoot probe into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice to stymie that work.

But those efforts to land Mueller have stalled amid a broader fight between Democrats and the Trump administration over access to documents and testimony tied to the special counsel’s efforts. Some Democrats now say that despite their preference for a blockbuster public hearing, they should at least consider allowing some portion of the hearing to be behind closed doors.

"I'll note that testimony given in private can be used in impeachment proceedings," said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). "I think we have to consider the unique circumstances of each witness as we move forward. So all possibilities in my mind are on the table."

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, said she thinks it's important for Americans to hear directly from Mueller, but that there may be room to negotiate.

"It is also worthy of considering aspects that would be classified," she said.

Jackson Lee confirmed in an interview on CNN Tuesday that Democrats are trying to accommodate the special counsel and remain open to both public and private testimony with Mueller if that makes it easier for the Russia investigator.

The Texas congresswoman added that Democratic committee attorneys have been in direct talks with the special counsel’s office, rather than his DOJ supervisors.

“I think what is important is to make Mr. Mueller comfortable in the open setting,” Jackson Lee said. “Obviously, there should be many options. There may be an option of doing both an open setting and a closed setting.”

“We want not Mr. Mueller’s very attractive presence, but we want the truth and the facts and the basis of volume two, which is that he left many of these issues of obstruction of justice to the Congress,” she added. “That means we have to do our job, and to do our job it’s important to have him as a witness.”

Not all members of the Judiciary Committee are open to private testimony from Mueller though.

“I think it’s important that Mr. Mueller come before the committee, but I also think it’s important to come before the committee and testify in public," said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) "The American people have a right to hear Mr. Mueller walk through the Mueller report — the findings he made, the conclusions he came to, the evidence he collected."

"They have a right to see the results of this investigation and to really hear from the individual who led it," Cicilline said.

Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler last week said there’d be no Mueller hearing before the Memorial Day recess, meaning that testimony from the special counsel would need to wait until June at the earliest.

The New York Democrat had previously set a tentative May 23 deadline for Mueller to publicly testify in a letter last month after the release of a redacted version of the special counsel’s 448-page report.

But Nadler conceded that a delay would be necessary for his panel, which has been stuck in a broader fight with the Trump White House over access to documents and testimony tied to the Russia investigation.

Among the issues that have prompted the breakdown in talks between Mueller and the Democratic committees: Trump earlier this month wrote on Twitter that Mueller “should not testify” and his administration has invoked or threatened to invoke executive privilege on a range of outstanding congressional requests, including for access to a full unredacted version of the special counsel’s report and its underlying evidence.

In an interview last week with the Wall Street Journal, Attorney General William Barr said it’s up to Mueller to decide whether to appear before lawmakers. “It’s Bob’s call whether he wants to testify,” said Barr, who Nadler’s Judiciary Committee earlier this month voted to hold in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over a copy of the full Mueller report.

So far, Democrats and Mueller have yet to reach an agreement on the details or timing for a hearing with the special counsel. Peter Carr, a Mueller spokesman, declined comment when asked Tuesday about the special counsel making a public appearance before lawmakers.

Mueller remains a government employee and still has a small staff assisting him with closing down his office. But that designation, according to Greg Brower, the former head of the FBI congressional affairs office, may be part of the holdup in securing the special counsel’s testimony.

“I’m beginning to think that Mueller should resign from DOJ and simply decide what he wants to say,” Brower said.

He noted that Mueller’s work is already public except for the redacted materials in the report – which covers classified information, grand jury testimony, materials related to ongoing investigations and details that shield “peripheral third parties” from reputational damage. All of that should be off the table during a public hearing.

“If he waits for DOJ guidance, I’m afraid he will never get it,” Brower said.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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New York moves to undercut Donald Trump pardon power

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:27

ALBANY, N.Y. — A presidential pardon won't be enough to clear a person of similar state charges under legislation approved by New York state lawmakers.

The Democrat-led state Assembly passed the measure Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign it into law.

The bill adds ...

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Fox News divides 2020 Democrats

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:16

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders appeared on a Fox News town hall and attracted nearly 2.6 million viewers. Elizabeth Warren turned down a similar chance while branding the network a "hate-for-profit racket." Pete Buttigieg used Fox News' own air to criticize two of its most popular personalities.

Whether to appear on ...

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Trump names new Air Force secretary

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:15

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Barbara Barrett, former head of the Aerospace Corporation, a government-funded research center, to be the next secretary of the Air Force.

"She will be an outstanding Secretary!" Trump tweeted this afternoon.

Barrett, 68, a former bank chair and business executive from Arizona, also served as ambassador to Finland under former President George W. Bush. She has also done stints at the government-funded RAND Corporation and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett would replace Heather Wilson, who is stepping down to serve as president of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Texas House advances school security bill after shooting

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:13

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas lawmakers are gearing up to pass new measures aimed at increasing campus security, adding more armed personnel and boosting student mental health resources a year after a mass shooting at a high school near Houston killed eight students and two substitute teachers.

The move marks ...

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Trump officials seek to placate Congress on Iran

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:13

Top Trump administration officials insisted to nervous members of the House and Senate Tuesday that U.S. military moves in the Middle East are aimed at deterring Iranian aggression, not escalating tensions that some fear will lead to war.

The classified briefings led to mixed reactions from lawmakers, with Democrats more skeptical than Republicans about whether President Donald Trump’s administration has a strategy for calming the situation and containing Iran.

"It was not very enlightening from what they said in there in terms of how it's going to progress," Rep. Adam Smith, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), a member of the panel, urged his colleagues to look at the administration’s information “with a discerning eye.”

“Nothing in the intelligence that I received today indicates that the administration would be justified in starting a war with Iran,” he said in a statement. “Escalation in this scenario would be a grave mistake.”

But Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, like other GOP lawmakers briefed Tuesday, said the administration's moves were "totally appropriate."

Romney told reporters "our intelligence community had a high degree of confidence that something might occur that would be of detriment to our personnel."

The briefings were held after lawmakers demanded an explanation from the administration for why it had issued a vague warning of an Iranian threat and sped up the deployment of an aircraft carrier and other warships to the Middle East.

Trump and various U.S. and Iranian officials have all said they do not seek a war. But both sides have warned the other of terrible consequences if either is attacked.

The briefers Tuesday included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, and Joe Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

Pompeo in particular spent several minutes of the House briefing going over the fraught history of U.S.-Iran relations, annoying Democrats who felt the focus was misplaced.

Lawmakers “stood up and said we know Iran is bad,” Smith said, adding that Pompeo had essentially said the administration was too “busy” to brief Congress earlier, an answer Smith said was not acceptable.

Smith also noted that despite the Trump administration's pursuit of a "maximum pressure campaign" on Iran with heavy use of sanctions, Tehran continues to support militant groups and carry out other moves viewed as dangerous by the United States.

Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee praised the briefing as very “credible.”

He said the Iranians had used proxy militias to carry out a number of attacks, including the launching of a rocket that landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

It was not immediately clear whether McCaul was attributing that rocket launch to Iran due to what he’d heard in the briefing, but other observers have been more cautious in directly blaming Iran.

McCaul said the administration was clearly deploying its military assets as an act of deterrence.

“The fact is they’re the ones who are being aggressive,” McCaul said of the Iranians.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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States, Cities Sue to Block Health Care ‘Conscience’ Rule

This news was published by : US Politics exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 23:11
A coalition of 23 U.S. states and municipalities sued the Trump administration Tuesday to stop it from enforcing a rule that would make it easier for doctors and nurses to avoid performing abortions on religious or moral grounds. The lawsuit led by New York Attorney General Letitia James said the expanded “conscience” protections could undermine the ability of states and cities to provide effective health care without jeopardizing billions of dollars a year in federal aid. It also said the rule would upset legislative efforts to accommodate workers’ beliefs while ensuring that hospitals, other businesses and staff treat patients effectively. Sterilizations and assisted suicide are among other medical procedures that might be affected, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan. “The federal government is giving health care providers free license to openly discriminate and refuse care to patients,” James said in a statement. The rule is scheduled to take effect July 22. It will be enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “The rule gives life and enforcement tools to conscience protection laws that have been on the books for decades. HHS finalized the conscience rule after more than a year of careful consideration and after analyzing over 242,000 public comments. We will defend the rule vigorously,” Roger Severino, director of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement. Religious liberty President Donald Trump, a Republican, has made expanding religious liberty a priority, and the proposed rule drew support from anti-abortion activists.  Critics, including some civil rights medical groups, have said the rule could deprive some patients, including gay and transgender people, of needed health care because they might be deemed less worthy of treatment. The lawsuit said the rule could even prevent hospitals from asking applicants for nursing jobs whether they opposed giving measles vaccinations, even during an outbreak. So far in 2019, the worst U.S. measles outbreak in a quarter century has sickened 880 people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. 23 plaintiffs The 23 plaintiffs in Tuesday’s lawsuit are led by Democrats or often lean Democratic. They also include New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.; the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin; and Cook County, Illinois.  Hundreds of lawsuits by Democratic-leaning states and municipalities have targeted White House policies under Trump.  The case is New York et al v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-04676.
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Phil Scott, Vermont governor, to allow H. 57 no-limits abortion bill to become law

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:54

A spokeswoman for Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he will allow a sweeping no-limits abortion bill to become law, although it may do so without his signature.

The pro-choice Republican governor has ruled out a veto of H. 57, meaning that he will either sign it or allow it to ...

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Abortion rights protesters rally at Arizona capitol

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:52

PHOENIX (AP) - Scores of pro-abortion rights activists rallied at the state Capitol in Phoenix to protest a new wave of anti-abortion laws being adopted by other states.

Tuesday's rally drew an estimated 200 people, mainly women, plus a handful of anti-abortion protesters.

Many protesting the new laws held signs ...

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Watch HUD Secretary Ben Carson confuse Oreo cookie with basic housing term

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:45
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William Barr’s revealing quote about his agenda

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:40
“I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, and I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul,” Barr says.
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William Barr’s revealing quote about his agenda

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:40
“I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, and I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul,” Barr says.
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Carlton Reeves, federal judge: Mississippi abortion ban 'smacks of defiance to this court'

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:39

JACKSON, Miss. — A federal judge who struck down Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban last year said during a court hearing Tuesday that the state's legislators defied his ruling by passing a new law that sets the ban even earlier.

The new law - which is not yet in effect - ...

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Cuccinelli, a righteous, faith-driven warrior who delights in provocation, will join Trump administration

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:33
Trump’s new adviser on immigration rails against illegal immigrants, gays and Obamacare
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Joe Biden hits back at Trump's accusation that he abandoned Pennsylvania

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:33

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. hit back Tuesday at President Trump's accusation that he abandoned Pennsylvania, saying he always remembers his roots in the Scranton area.

"I've never forgotten where I came from," Mr. Biden tweeted. "My family did have to leave Pennsylvania when I was 10 — ...

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Brexit supporting MP called a liar while giving TV interview

This news was published by : BBC POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:32
David Davies, who wears a body camera because of abuse, is also called a traitor outside Parliament.
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DOJ renews counteroffer to Schiff over unredacted Mueller report

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:30

The Justice Department on Tuesday reiterated its counteroffer to the House Intelligence Committee to view an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in a last-ditch effort to avert an “enforcement action” against the attorney general.

In a letter to the panel’s chairman Adam Schiff on Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd again offered members of the committee to review a “minimally redacted” version of Mueller’s report - tripling the number of lawmakers allowed to view the report from 12 to 34.

So far, the six Democrats currently allowed to access the report have refused to view it in protest of the restrictions.

The less-redacted document does not include grand jury material or the requested foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information Mueller’s team gathered as it investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Boyd’s latest letter follows a protracted back-and-forth between the House panel and DOJ over the full Mueller report. Schiff and his Republican counterpart, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, asked the Justice Department for the full, unredacted report and its underlying evidence in March. Schiff subpoenaed the Justice Department earlier this month with a deadline of May 15, claiming the department had failed to respond to the panel’s requests.

Schiff on Tuesday said he’s “not ready to comment yet” on DOJ counteroffer.

In his letter, Boyd warned Schiff that “in recognition of the committee’s interest in counterintelligence and foreign-intelligence matters,” DOJ is “willing to expedite access” to the prioritized information the panel wants — provided the committee “confirms today that it will not pursue any vote on an ‘enforcement action’” now or in the future.

The latest offer from DOJ does not appear substantially different from the original offer, which Schiff called “unacceptable” and said “places the department at risk of unlawfully withholding foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information from the committee.”

After the May 15 deadline came and went with no new documents provided to the committee, Schiff told reporters that he would be consulting with the House Intelligence Committee’s general counsel on some kind of “enforcement action” that the panel may vote on as soon as Wednesday.

Boyd seemed eager to avoid that, telling Schiff that should the panel avoid a contempt vote on Wednesday, DOJ will “host a meeting with the committee’s senior staff” on May 23 and 24 to update them on the status of its own review of the requested documents. Boyd called it “an extraordinary accommodation” on DOJ’s part.

Schiff has expressed frustration over what he’s described as an unexplained delay in receiving a briefing from the FBI on the counterintelligence portion of the special counsel probe. He’s also claimed that the intelligence community “is obligated to share” grand-jury information with the House Intelligence committee, citing an exception that allows DOJ “to provide information of a counterintelligence or foreign intelligence nature” to the panel.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico governor, wants federal reimbursement amid border surge

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:21

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is traveling to Washington, D.C., to press for more federal resources to cope with an influx of asylum seekers at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said the governor was departing Tuesday for a scheduled face-to-face meeting this week with ...

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The Latest: Border governor seeks federal reimbursement

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:18

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on immigration and border-related concerns in New Mexico (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is traveling to Washington, D.C., to press for more federal resources to cope with an influx of asylum seekers at the U.S. border with ...

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RNC paid $2 million to law firm employing former White House counsel Donald McGahn

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:13
The RNC said the payment encompassed two years of work by the law firm Jones Day on a variety of matters.
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The legend of Donald Trump’s rich cop

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:09
A police officer Trump says he spoke to in December 2018 keeps getting wealthier.
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Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson subpoenaed by Jerrod Nadler, House Judiciary Committee

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:03

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued subpoenas Tuesday to Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson, both former Trump White House employees, demanding they turn over documents he's seeking from their time working for the president's team.

They were among the 81 persons or entities in the Trump orbit that Mr. ...

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Ben Carson misheard a housing term as ‘Oreo,’ and other tense moments

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:02
HUD secretary is grilled during a three-hour hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.
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House panel subpoenas Trump’s former top staffer, aide to McGahn

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:00
The Judiciary Committee’s move comes amid growing outrage among Democrats about the Trump administration’s resistance to congressional probes.
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House Judiciary Committee subpoenas Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 22:00

House Democrats issued subpoenas for Hope Hicks, the president's former adviser and confidant, as well as former White House deputy counsel Annie Donaldson.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenas request documents from Hicks and Donaldson by June 4, and they request that Hicks testify on June 19 and Donaldson on June 24.

Donaldson’s notes on the chaotic atmosphere in the West Wing after special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment were among Mueller’s most vivid evidence of the president’s state of mind during the Russia probe.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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‘Angry women get things done’: Watch this tense abortion rights protest

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:51
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Mueller's team reluctant to have him testify: Report

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:40

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is reportedly hesitant to have him testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, CNN reported Tuesday that Mr. Mueller's team worries he will appear political after staying out of the public limelight while spearheading a 22-month investigation into President ...

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Prison for smuggler after 2015 Texas wreck, 2 immigrants die

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:37

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) - A South Texas man identified by prosecutors as leader of a human smuggling ring must serve nearly 22 years in federal prison over a 2015 wreck that left two immigrants dead.

Osvaldo Gonzalez of Mission was sentenced Tuesday in McAllen. The 26-year-old Gonzalez in November pleaded ...

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Brutal new 2020 numbers for Beto O’Rourke and Bill de Blasio

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:34
One of them has a lower net approval than Trump.
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Ben Carson confuses a real-estate term and a cookie

This news was published by : POLITICO TOP PICKS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:29

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tussled awkwardly with freshman Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) at a hearing on Tuesday over HUD real estate owned — or REO — homes, at one point asking if she was referring to an “Oreo.”

REO homes are acquired by HUD after a foreclosure on a Federal Housing Agency-insured mortgage, and Porter said foreclosure rates for such properties were higher than for homes not backed by the FHA.

She asked Carson to “explain the disparity in REO rates — do you know what an REO is?”

“An Oreo?” Carson responded.

“No, not an Oreo. An R-E-O. R-E-O,” Porter said, prompting Carson to offer, “real estate?”

“Real estate owned – that’s what happens when a property goes into foreclosure, we call it an REO, and FHA loans have much higher REOs, that is, they go into foreclosure rather than into loss mitigation or to non-foreclosure alternatives like short sales, than comparable loans” at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Porter, who later tweeted out the exchange.

"So I’d like to know why we’re having more foreclosures that end in people losing their homes, with stains to their credit and disruption to their communities and their neighborhoods at FHA than we are at” Fannie and Freddie, the two companies that dominate the mortgage financing market, she said.

Carson's appearance before the House Financial Services Committee — his first since Democrats took control of the chamber — was contentious throughout the morning, with Chairwoman Maxine Waters opening the hearing by accusing HUD of "actively causing harm" with its policies.

Porter — who often uses committee hearings to try to make Trump administration witnesses appear foolish, occasionally using props like textbooks and whiteboards — had earlier asked Carson whether he supports adjusting the interest curtailment penalty schedule for FHA loans that are in default.

“In some cases, I might be in favor of it, in some cases I might not,” Carson replied.

“OK, do you know what the interest rate curtailment schedule is at FHA and how it’s different from the GSEs?” Porter said.

“Explain,” Carson said, leading Porter to sigh.

Carson said he had not had “any discussions about that particular issue, but I will look it up.”

“You’re getting way down in the weeds here,” Carson said later, adding, “I’m very happy to put you in contact with the people who deal with that. If I got down in the weeds on every issue, I wouldn’t get very far.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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DOJ offers to share Mueller documents to avoid House action

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:17

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department says it is willing to provide the House intelligence committee with documents from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, as long as the panel agrees not to take any action against Attorney General William Barr.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter Tuesday to ...

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Libyan National Army led by Hifter hires US lobbying firm

This news was published by : WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:12

WASHINGTON (AP) - The self-styled Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter has hired a lobbying firm to assist it in forging better relations with the U.S. government.

A foreign agent registration posted Tuesday on the Justice Department's website shows the Houston-based Linden Government Solutions is to paid ...

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Flynn opposes further release of documents related to his plea for lying to FBI

This news was published by : WASHINGTON POST POLITICS exactly at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:08
The former national security adviser’s lawyers said case documents should remain partially sealed to protect privacy interests.
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Recommended reading [ Posts, articles, documents ]


COPIAGUE, NY - A Lindenhurst man was arrested after he was caught recklessly driving an ATV on Sunrise Highway in Copiague on Saturday evening, according to Suffolk Police.


The Florida man who gained instant internet fame for choosing jail instead of removing the “I eat a–” decal on his car said Wednesday that only “sour apples” don’t like his raunchy sticker — which he will continue to drive around with, intact, since free speech “...


Background history: We needed the best newsticker on the market for our own websites, and we bought all of them, but none of them was advanced enough, easy to use, and worked on all computers and systems. They always had flaws somewhere.


The definition of "political avenue" are built on the fact that a political decision affects the road of life-choices people have access to when they 'travel' through their lifes or the options politicians make available to them.

Report internet garbage on this webpage 24 hours. Apr 16 0 By POLITICAL AVENUE

On this page you can report the worst and shitty online garbage content that made it's way up to the internet.


Police in the Netherlands are investigating the brutal torture of a bitcoin trader, whose home was raided by criminals looking for cryptocurrency.


The Department of Justice on Thursday announced a criminal charge against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, accusing him of conspiring to hack into a classified U.S. government computer.


Honestly, check the CNBC headline:
'Alexa, find me a doctor': Amazon Alexa adds new medical skills

Amazon is moving more deeply into the $3.5 trillion health care sector.


Want to learn more about SIGINT? -Read this.
Here's the evidence from within the NSA organization. Even when the original document is dated a bunch of years back in time, we think of it as a schoolbook example of what USA is up to.


Twenty-nine-year old Devon Alexander, of Coraopolis, worked as a behavioral specialist at the Pace Special Education School in Churchill. The drugs included suspected cocaine, crack cocaine, raw and packaged heroin, a plastic bag of Xanax, marijuana and ecstasy.


Why is it a brown-red ring-of-light around the moon! You know, we don't have brown-red clouds in Sweden. What causes the brown-red light around it, never seen before? The shining lasted for a total of 2-3 days and was not constant.


World's most powerful nuclear submarines, Arkhangelsk and Severstal, are to be dismantled after 2020. The Russian federal nuclear power watchdog, Rosatom, found their further exploitation unprofitable.

-None property have space for gardens.. Mar 3 0 By POLITICAL AVENUE

The Yerdelen brothers, construction entrepreneurs from Istanbul was riding a real estate boom, and had plans to build more than 700 minicastles.


CYBERTERRORISM is the use of modern communication technology in the commission of terrorist activities.


At the height of his power, Escobar was said to be the seventh richest man in the world, with his Medellin drugs cartel thought to be behind -up to- 80 percent of all the cocaine shipped to the United States.


NEW DELHI: Gearing up for its most challenging space mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is leaving no stone unturned to make the Chandrayaan-2 (lunar-2) mission a success.


Abwehr scored perhaps its greatest victories in the area of industrial espionage, as agents managed to steal the blueprint for every major American airplane produced in the war effort.


Shorn on the sides, thick on top for the Kim Jong-un look; bright and blonde for the Donald Trump-loving customers. -A creative Hanoi barber is offering free cuts ahead of the leaders’ meeting in the next week in their Vietnamese capital.


Time for a history lesson ! - Here's some old newspaper frontpages you might recognize in memory lane! *Hitler is dead* *Hindenburg* etc.
This is a relatively new post, and it will be updated later with more frontpage material.


Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time.

Most of the news published here, you can read in tomorrow's newspaper,
or watch on your television news first in 2 - 3 hours. It's a fast robot to pick up all news fast.
Most often within 30 seconds from when the news first got released or published the first time in any part of the world.
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Hold your mousepointer here in the grey window, or dot it, if you have touchscreen.

Click on the orange button to subscribe to the WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED - RSS FEED!

It works great if you want to have a VERY good up-to-date check of what's happening globally. This delivers all the main news directly to your computer via RSS functions. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is an XML-based method for distributing the latest news and information from a website that can be easily read by a variety of news readers or aggregators. All the world news in one easy to read RSS source / or / website intel category page, Sir & Ma'm!
We have developed the world/&/political news RSS with 1000 news items for supplying foreign intelligence agencies with global information and important intel newsitems dating up to 3 days back in time.
[ Works perfect with net/surf/software Firefox & MS Edge ]
You get all intel/newsitems delivered directly to your computer!

Updates automatically by our news and intel robot every minute.

https://www.politicalavenue.com - All the world news as reported from Washington Post.All the Reuters News Directory at https://www.politicalavenue.comAll the CNN NEWS -click here!The BEST ACCOMPLISHED website WE KNOW of /says NSA about the political avenue - https://www.politicalavenue.com.Politicians are trustworthy says politicalavenue.comhttp://www.politicalavenue.com/TASS news agency page.