Follow #MagaFirstNews via Social Media
President Trump told Fox News' "Hannity" in a wide-ranging interview Thursday night that Attorney General Bill Barr is handling the "incredible" new revelations that Ukrainian actors apparently leaked damaging information about then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to help Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Last month, Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko opened a probe into the so-called black ledger files that led to Manafort's departure from the Trump campaign, after an unearthed audio recording apparently revealed that a senior Ukrainian anticorruption official admitted to disclosing Manafort's information to benefit Clinton.
Asked by host Sean Hannity whether Americans need to see the results of Ukraine's ongoing investigation into whether officials in that country worked with the Clinton team, Trump replied: "I think they do."
With that remark, Trump echoed his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "Keep your eye on Ukraine."
A Ukrainian court recently ruled that the Manafort leak amounted to illegal interference in the U.S. election.
Separately, a 2017 investigation by Politico found that Ukrainian officials not only publicly sought to undermine Trump by questioning his fitness for office, but also worked behind the scenes to secure a Clinton victory.
Among other initiatives, Politico found, the Ukrainian government worked with a DNC consultant to conduct opposition research against Trump, including going after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for Russian ties, helping lead to his resignation.
"I defer to the attorney general, and we'll see what he says about it," Trump told Hannity.
Trump also unloaded on former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, following a Fox News report earlier in the day concerning newly revealed internal text messages between the two.
The messages indicated they discussed using briefings to the Trump team after the 2016 election to identify people they could "develop for potential relationships," track lines of questioning and "assess" changes in "demeanor" – language one GOP lawmaker called “more evidence” of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.
"They were trying to infiltrate the administration," Trump told host Sean Hannity. "Really, it's a coup. It's spying. It's hard to believe in this country we would have had that."
"They were trying to infiltrate the administration. Really, it's a coup. It's spying. It's hard to believe in this country we would have had that."
Trump called the news "very disconcerting" and emphasized that Strzok and Page used their government-issued phones not only to exchange numerous anti-Trump text messages but also to hide their extramarital affair from their spouses.
"They were going hog wild to find something about the administration, which obviously wasn't there," Trump charged, referring to Strzok and Page as "two beauties," "lovers," and "sick, sick people" who are "like children, when you look at them."
"They're trying to infiltrate the White House, long after the election," Trump said. "This is a disgrace. Hopefully the attorney general will do what's right, and I believe he will. ... It's possibly the greatest scandal in the history of this country."
"Hopefully the attorney general will do what's right, and I believe he will. ... It's possibly the greatest scandal in the history of this country."
As for his widely mocked tweet that the Obama intelligence community had wiretapped Trump Tower -- which was followed months later by the revelation that the FBI had, in fact, monitored one of his former aides -- Trump said his remarks were the product of a "little bit of a hunch” and a “little bit of wisdom."
Trump additionally voiced little confidence in Robert Mueller, saying the special counsel was perhaps "best friends" with former FBI Director James Comey -- whose termination led to Mueller's appointment.
Trump also faulted Mueller for, in his view, needlessly wrecking the careers of many members of his team.
Trump asserted he had "turned down" Mueller to head the FBI, and that Mueller was "conflicted" not only "because of the fact that Comey and him are best friends," but also because Trump "had a nasty business transaction" with Mueller.
That was an apparent reference to an episode, referenced in Mueller's report, in which Mueller sought a refund -- apparently unsuccessfully -- from Trump after withdrawing from membership in his golf club.
But Trump said it was a "very good" sign that the New York Times acknowledged in a recent article that there were credibility problems in the discredited dossier that the FBI used to justify surveilling one of his campaign aides.
The Times finally joined a chorus of publications that have long cast doubt on the dossier's veracity, writing that the document "financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee" was "likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries."
The article noted that British ex-spy Christopher Steele relied in part on Russian sources and that, ironically, the document could have been part of a "Russian disinformation" effort to smear Trump even as Moscow was going after Clinton.
The article, Trump said, suggested that dossier skepticism, once panned as denialism, has entered the mainstream, as Mueller's report found "some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove."
As he did in his previous interview on "Hannity," Trump vowed to declassify and release not only the documents related to the surveillance warrants to surveil his campaign, and even more.
"Everything's going to be declassified, and more," Trump said. "It'll all be declassified."
"Everything's going to be declassified, and more. It'll all be declassified."
Responding to the entrance of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race, Trump emphasized the economic growth and health care successes for veterans under his administration, who "don't have to die waiting in line" anymore.
Biden attracted mockery on Thursday for insisting that he told former President Barack Obama not to endorse his run.
"I've known Joe over the years. He's not the brightest lightbulb in the group," Trump said. "But he has a name they know."
Source: Fox News Politics
A man stands in a doorway during heavy rain near the security cordon surrounding St. Anthony's Shrine, days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
April 26, 2019
COLOMBO (Reuters) – Muslims in Sri Lanka were urged to pray at home on Friday and not attend mosques or churches after the State Intelligence Services warned of possible car bomb attacks, amid fears of retaliatory violence for the Easter Sunday bombings.
The U.S. embassy in Sri Lanka also urged its citizens to avoid places of worship over the coming weekend after authorities reported there could be more attacks targeting religious centers.
Sri Lanka remains on edge after suicide bombing attacks on three churches and four hotels that killed 253 people and wounded about 500. The attacks have been claimed by the extremist Islamic State group.
Nearly 10,000 soldiers are being deployed across the Indian Ocean island state to carry out searches and provide security for religious centers, the military said on Friday.
Fears of retaliatory sectarian violence has already caused Muslim communities flee their homes amid bomb scares, lockdowns and security sweeps.
The All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ullama, Sri Lanka’s main Islamic religious body, urged Muslims to conduct prayers at home on Friday in case “there is a need to protect family and properties”.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith also appealed to priests not to conduct mass at churches until further notice.
“Security is important,” he said.
Police have detained least 76 people, including foreigners from Syria and Egypt, in their investigations so far.
Islamic State provided no evidence to back its claim that it was behind the attacks. If true, it would be one of the worst attacks carried out by the group outside Iraq and Syria.
Islamic State released a video on Tuesday showing eight men, all but one with their faces covered, standing under a black Islamic State flag and declaring their loyalty to its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
The Sri Lankan government said there were nine homegrown, well-educated suicide bombers, eight of whom had been identified. One was a woman.
Authorities have focused their investigations on international links to two domestic Islamist groups – National Thawheed Jama’ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim – they believe carried out the attacks.
Government officials have acknowledged a major lapse in not widely sharing an intelligence warning from India before the attacks. Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando resigned over the failure to prevent the attacks.
The Easter Sunday bombings shattered the relative calm that had existed in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka since a civil war against mostly Hindu ethnic Tamil separatists ended 10 years ago.
Sri Lanka’s 22 million people include minority Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Until now, Christians had largely managed to avoid the worst of the island’s conflict and communal tensions.
Most of the victims were Sri Lankans, although authorities said at least 38 foreigners were also killed, many of them tourists sitting down to breakfast at top-end hotels when the bombers struck.
They included British, U.S., Australian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals. Britain warned its nationals on Thursday to avoid Sri Lanka unless it was absolutely necessary because there could be more attacks.
(GRAPHIC: Sri Lanka bombings – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Xy02BA)
(GRAPHIC: A decade of peace shattered – https://tmsnrt.rs/2W4wZoU)
(This story was refiled to change dateline to COLOMBO from SYDNEY.)
(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Paul Tait)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Devin Bush (Michigan) is selected as the number ten overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers and poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
April 26, 2019
Two teams looking to dethrone the New England Patriots as kings of the AFC — the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers — joined forces Thursday night and pulled off the first trade of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Broncos sent the 10th overall pick in the draft to the Steelers, who in turn used the pick to select Devin Bush, an inside linebacker who played at Michigan.
In return, Pittsburgh sent Denver the Nos. 20 and 52 picks in this year’s draft and a third-round pick in 2020. The Broncos used the 20th pick to select Iowa tight end Noah Fant.
According to multiple reports, the teams had been in talks about the 10th pick, but as the Broncos went on the clock, they presumed the Steelers were no longer interested in making a deal. However, in the closing minute of Denver’s allotted time to make a pick, Pittsburgh called and made the trade.
Bush will be looked upon to help address the void in production the Steelers have yet to fill since losing Ryan Shazier to a spinal injury in 2017. As a junior last season with the Wolverines, Bush had 66 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and four passes defended.
According to reports, the Broncos were eyeing tight end T.J. Hockenson — Fant’s teammate at Iowa — with the 10th pick. However, Hockenson went to the Detroit Lions at No. 8.
–The Seattle Seahawks traded the 21st overall selection to the Green Bay Packers, who used the pick on safety Darnell Savage Jr. from Maryland. In return, the Seahawks got pick No. 30 plus a pair of 2019 fourth-round picks.
Savage was the first defensive back taken in a draft that initially was dominated by front-seven players and offensive linemen. Though not viewed by many prognosticators as being in the running to be the first defensive back off the board, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Savage had at least 52 tackles in each of his final three seasons with the Terrapins. He also had seven interceptions and 10 passes defended over the last two seasons.
Savage could pair with Adrian Amos in a new-look back line for the Packers. The team signed Amos to a four-year contract this offseason after he spent his first four seasons in Chicago.
–On the very next pick, the Baltimore Ravens sent the No. 22 overall selection to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the No. 25 overall pick as well as fourth- and sixth-round picks in this draft.
The Eagles used the pick to select offensive tackle Andre Dillard out of Washington State. He is the first offensive lineman from Washington State taken in the first round.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Houston Texans targeted Dillard with the No. 23 pick, forcing the Eagles’ hand. Cornerstone tackle Jason Peters, a likely future Pro Football Hall of Fame member, is 37 and entering his 16th season.
–Field Level Media
Contrary to some public statements, President Trump and his campaign staff are likely "pretty concerned" about having former Vice President Joe Biden as a potential opponent in 2020, the Federalist publisher Ben Domenech said Thursday.
"I actually think they are pretty concerned about him," Domenech said during an appearance on Fox News' "Special Report with Bret Baier."
Domenech noted that part of the concern may stem from the fact that Trump and Biden -- a Democrat who made his White House bid official Thursday morning -- appeal to some of the same types of voters.
"I think part of that has to do with the fact that Joe Biden has clearly proven in the past to appeal to the same states that were key to President Trump in deciding the 2016 election," Domenech said. For example, Biden -- a longtime U.S. senator from Delaware, often speaks of his childhood in Pennsylvania, a state that Trump won over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
In his campaign kickoff video Thursday, Biden argued that "if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen."
Nevertheless, Trump welcomed Biden to the race, calling him "Sleepy Joe" in a tweet and warning Biden to prepare for a "nasty" primary fight against a large field of other Democrats seeking the party's presidential nomination.
Domenech said Biden is a much stronger candidate than others believe he is, in particular with African-Americans.
"Personally I think the elite opinion is wrong about Joe Biden, that he actually is a much stronger candidate that they are giving credit for," Domenech said. "I think a large part of that is that he has an enormous wellspring of support among African-American voters that you do not see for a lot of the other candidates in this race. Where they might be appealing to the more 'woke' white progressive vote that I think is the loudest and shouting about a lot of different issues right now."
The Federalist publisher also said Biden will need to deal with issues from earlier in his career that his Democratic rivals will almost certainly raise.
"The problem here for him is how does he deal with all the hits that are going to come against him from his past?" Domenech said.
"We've seen them used in lot of different ways and I think they will be deployed against him. He will have to come up with different ways to respond to the different aspects of that."
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Howard Dean warned the party's latest official candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, about the troubles he may face ahead, including the “35-year-olds” who Dean says have been running the party -- a clear nod to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and fellow freshman Democrats.
Dean, whose 2004 primary campaign fizzled after early signs of promise, gave his take on the Democrats of 2019.
“This party is being taken over by 35-year-olds. The people who won the races are 35 years old,” Dean told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
“And, they’re mostly centrists, they’re not particularly liberals. AOC gets all the press, who I am a big fan of, Rashida Tlaib, [Ilhan] Omar, they get all the press. There’s 37 people who come from Orange County, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas- that’s where we picked up the seats.”
“This is a very different party than even the party Joe Biden ran in in 2012. Very different,” Dean continued. “A lot of people could win this race. There’s 20 people in there. I think it’s going to take $20 million to get to the starting line. If you can’t raise $20 million, you’re gone, and I think that’s going to take care of about six or eight of these folks... but it is not the same party that it was five years ago.”
Dean, 70, later added that he himself would never run for president at his age, saying the 35-year-olds taking over represented the “best thing” that could happen to the party.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Donald Trump said Thursday he based his controversial claim President Barack Obama had his "wires tapped" in Trump Tower on "a little bit of a hunch."
In a phone interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the pair lamented alleged improper behavior from federal law enforcement, which Trump says continued after he won the election in 2016.
"I don't know if you remember, a long time ago, very early on I used the word 'wiretap,' and I put in quotes, meaning surveillance, spying you can sort of say whatever you want," Trump said, saying it attracted attention "like you've never seen."
"Now I understand why, because they thought two years ago when I said that just on a little bit of a hunch and a little bit of wisdom maybe, it blew up because they thought maybe I was wise to them," Trump continued.
"Or they were caught. And that's why. If they weren't doing anything wrong it would've just gotten by, nobody would've cared about it."
"It was pretty insignificant I thought when I said it, and it's pretty amazing," he added.
The president made the claim about his predecessor in March 2017, alleging "President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"
The Justice Department in a court filing the following September said neither it nor the FBI had evidence Trump Tower was the target of surveillance efforts by the Obama administration during the presidential election.
But Trump reasserted his allegations following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the election, when Attorney General William Barr's contention that "I think spying did occur."
Source: NewsMax America
President Donald Trump on Thursday called the Mueller probe a "coup," and said Hillary Clinton destroyed the lives of people on his presidential campaign.
"We had people coming out to vote from all over this country that are in love with what we're doing. It's called Make America Great Again, and that's what we've done and what we're doing. This was an overthrow, and it's a disgraceful thing. I think it's far bigger than Watergate. I think it's possibly the biggest scandal in political history in this country."
"This was a coup. This wasn't stealing information from an office in the Watergate apartments," he added, referring to the scandal that led to former President Richard Nixon's resignation. "This was an attempted coup. Like a third world country. Inconceivable. I think a lot of information is coming out, and it's coming out fast, much faster than anybody would have thought, and there are a lot of people very nervous about things that are going on."
Trump's phone call into the show came a day after Clinton published a column in The Washington Post calling for Congress to be "deliberate, fair, and fearless," in continuing Mueller's work by holding substantive hearings that build on the report "and fill in its gaps."
Source: NewsMax America
Follow #MagaFirstNews via Social Media
Since he took office, President Trump has taken a largely hands-off approach to marijuana in states where it’s legal, earning praise from civil libertarians. But now pot politics are poised to take a big toll on businesses who are selling a marijuana extract that doesn’t get you high. It’s called CBD, often seen as marijuana’s less-controversial cousin. CBD is best described as a health supplement derived from cannabis, but containing no THC – the psychoactive ingredient in pot. In other words, it can give a relaxing effect without the “high” associated with regular marijuana. But the disparity has some lawmakers and regulators wondering how to classify it.
The Farm Bill passed by Congress last year (which took effect in December) specifically makes CBD legal nationwide, but that new law is now creating inconsistencies with local health regulations in a number of states. And some businesses say it’s impossible to follow one set of rules without violating another. “All my labels are regulated. All my labels say that is not FDA approved, which that’s the legality of CBD oil right now,” insists Igor Yakovlev, who runs the Beezy Beez Honey company in New York. But the proper labeling and licensing didn’t stop him and a number of other CBD retailers from being raided by city agencies, even after getting the green light from the federal government. “We were informed [of the new regulations] through the news overnight, no letter, no directions,” says Dorothy Stepnowska, owner of the Flower People Coffee Shop in New York. “It’s like they’re treating us like we’re nothing.”
The White House is now asking the Food and Drug Administration to explore ways to standardize CBD rules and regulations throughout the country, in an effort to avoid confusion, establish standards, and streamline the permitting process. But so far, the Agency hasn’t approved it for use in food or dietary supplements, which legal experts say is a direct contradiction of the new law created by the Farm Bill.
Another big concern has been protecting doctors and researchers who are studying medicinal uses for CBD. Psychiatrists are particularly keen on the compound, which they say can be used to safely treat a host of social issues. Dr. Raphael Bernier of the University of Washington says his team is hoping CBD “will ameliorate some of those challenges we see, reduce irritability, and increase social ability.” The uncertainty surrounding the legality of both the testing and treating with CBD, however, have had a chilling effect in the research community, and funding has largely dried up as a result.
But the uncertainty isn’t stopping the commercial market from exploding. According to the financial services company Cowen, Americans spent at least $600 million on CBD products last year, and that number is expected to climb over the $2 billion mark by the end of 2019, with projected sales reaching some $16 billion by 2025. And business owners say the potential for that kind of growth will keep them in the CBD business for years to come. “Every day is just like a new challenge between this and that,” says Yakovlev. “But, when they come out with them, if you follow the proper guidelines, I think everything will be okay and sweet like honey.”
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: A life-size model of the spaceship Insight, NASA’s first robotic lander dedicated to studying the deep interior of Mars, is shown at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, U.S. November 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
April 23, 2019
(Reuters) – NASA’s robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be a “marsquake,” marking the first time a likely seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California reported on Tuesday.
The breakthrough came five months after InSight, the first spacecraft designed specifically to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down on the surface of Mars to begin its two-year seismological mission on the red planet.
The faint rumble characterized by JPL scientists as a likely marsquake was recorded on April 6, the lander’s 128th Martian day, or sol.
Scientists are still examining the data to conclusively determine the precise cause of the signal, but the trembling appeared to have originated from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind, JPL said in a news release.
“We’ve been collecting background noise up until now, but this first event officially kicks off a new field: Martian seismology,” InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said in a statement.
The tremor was so faint that a quake of the same magnitude in Southern California would be virtually lost among the dozens of tiny seismological crackles that occur there every day, JPL said.
The April 6 rumble on Mars stood out because the surface of the red planet is extremely quiet in comparison with Earth.
The size and duration of the marsquake also fit the profile of some of the thousands of moonquakes detected on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1977 by seismometers installed there by NASA’s Apollo missions, said Lori Glaze, planetary science division director at NASA headquarters in Washington.
No estimated Earth-magnitude equivalent was immediately given for the apparent marsquake.
Three other apparent seismic signals were picked up by InSight on March 14, April 10 and April 11 but were even smaller and more ambiguous in origin, leaving scientists less certain they were actual marsquakes.
(Reporting by Joey Roulette in Orlando, Florida, and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney)
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at church, in Sonning, Britain April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
April 23, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May told Ukraine’s President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a congratulatory call on Tuesday that Britain would continue to support his country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, her office said.
“The Prime Minister stressed the importance of our two countries working together alongside the international community to deter Russian aggression,” a spokeswoman for May said in a statement, following Zelenskiy’s election victory in a run-off on Sunday.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Gareth Jones)
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato
April 24, 2019
(Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is looking to acquire a 5 percent stake in German payments company Wirecard AG, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
SoftBank has engaged financial advisers and is working on a deal to acquire bonds that can be converted into Wirecard shares, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
A deal could be announced as early as this month, if an agreement is reached, the report added.
SoftBank declined comment on the matter when contacted by Reuters while Wirecard was not immediately available for comment.
The investment talks come as Wirecard defends itself against Financial Times newspaper reports earlier this year saying staff at its Asian operations had inflated reported revenue.
Last month, Wirecard said an outside law firm investigating the matter found local staff at its Singapore office may have committed crimes but these were not material to the German payment company’s financial position.
(Reporting by Mekhla Raina in BENGALURU; Additional reporting by Supriya Roy in BENGALURU; Editing by Tom Brown and Christopher Cushing)
The Justice Department announced Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report is set to be released to the public and Congress Thursday morning.
“This is going to be an evidentiary summary without a verdict,” the Fox News contributor and former South Carolina congressman told “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.
“Tomorrow’s going to do nothing but validate what your previously held conviction is, which is why I’m not a fan of releasing the report.”
Last month, in a letter to Congress, Attorney General Bill Barr, summarized the Special Counsel’s report and concluded it found no collusion between President Trump and Russia to win the White House in the 2016 race.
As a former federal prosecutor, Gowdy said he has never had a trial where there wasn’t evidence on both sides.
“At some point, someone has to say the more credible evidence is on this side, and that has to be a jury that hasn’t already made up its mind.”
Gowdy believes it should not be a partisan issue because Russia went after the American people, not one side or the other.
“If you don’t like Trump, you’re going to seize on something,” Gowdy said. “Someone’s going to seize on something they consider to be ‘evidence,’ and they’re going to use that to extrapolate and try to reach a conclusion. That’s why you need a jury that’s impartial, and we don’t have that.”
Gowdy says he doesn’t think the report will shed new light on the Russia investigation.
“I’ll bet you can’t find a single person tomorrow who says his or her opinion has changed on President Trump or the House Democrats.”
Source: Fox News Politics