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Peter Boykin
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Trump declares Mueller-probe win, tweeting out NY Post front page

President Trump, reiterating his firm belief that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation had been a political and unsuccessful witch hunt, tweeted out the New York Post's front page and its bold, declarative  headline: "TRUMP CLEAN."

The page showed Trump smiling alongside the phrases, "No crimes committed," and "Dem hoax destroyed."

The tweet was something of a victory lap for Trump, after Mueller's report said there wasn't enough evidence to charge him with either conspiracy or obstruction of justice.

Despite what Trump's tweets may have implied, the battle was far from over, however, as congressional Democrats continued to push their own follow-up investigation. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed the unredacted Mueller report and requested that Mueller testify before Congress.

CONTROVERSIAL STEELE DOSSIER BACK IN SPOTLIGHT AFTER MUELLER REPORT'S RELEASE

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, spoke of concerns about Russian election meddling and collusion. He said that even though Mueller's report didn't show collusion "beyond a reasonable doubt," it contained enough suspicious information to raise red flags.

"There was certainly evidence of collusion, not evidence that met the beyond a reasonable doubt standard," he said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called for impeachment proceedings in the aftermath of the Mueller report's release, and pushed back on concerns that the issue might hurt Democrats' 2020 prospects.

“I know people say this is politically charged and we shouldn’t go there, and that there is an election coming up, but there are some things that are bigger than politics,” she said.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., also pushed a resolution calling on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Trump committed impeachable offenses.

MUELLER REPORT IGNITES NEW DEM BATTLE OVER IMPEACHMENT

Those reactions aside, though, Trump was exuberant, according to his adviser Dan Scavino.

While the president touted the Post's front page, it also had its share of critics who felt it was an astounding example of overreach.

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"Special alternate-universe front-page award to [New York Post]," Dan Froomkin, editor of White House Watch, tweeted.

Source: Fox News Politics

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NFL mock draft: Cardinals face conundrum

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Pro Day
Mar 13, 2019; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray participates in positional workouts during pro day at the Everest Indoor Training Center at the University of Oklahoma. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

April 20, 2019

Unlike the 2018 NFL Draft, when the Cleveland Browns kept us guessing until practically draft night, the first overall pick seems to have been preordained for months.

There remain whispers about whether ownership is on board, and as long as the Arizona Cardinals still have Josh Rosen on their roster, we can’t be absolutely certain first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury will draft his former high school recruit, Kyler Murray, with the top pick.

But for now, there’s no reason to expect a late surprise – on that would set off an entirely different chain of events. Even with Murray penciled in at No. 1, it’s anybody’s guess where the other top quarterbacks wind up.

1. Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

The importance of Murray’s mobility in Kingsbury’s offense is overstated, but if you’re going to hire an offensive coach, why not let him pick his quarterback?

2. San Francisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Acquiring Dee Ford won’t change the 49ers’ approach here — Bosa is a perfect complement, as a bigger, powerful end who can win outside and inside as a rusher while also stopping the run.

3. New York Jets: DT Ed Oliver, Houston

The Jets desperately wish to trade down, and most have Quinnen Williams or Josh Allen here if they stay, but don’t rule out roll the dice on Oliver’s unique athleticism.

4. Oakland Raiders: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

Josh Allen or Devin White could be in play here, but Williams is the best player on the board. A potential shocker cannot be ruled out: Drew Lock.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LB Devin White, LSU

With Josh Allen still available, this is tricky. While the Bucs need more edge rush, Todd Bowles’ scheme creates pressure via blitzes, and White is a classic modern-day linebacker who can blitz, cover and play the run.

6. New York Giants: OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky

Dave Gettleman is never shy about taking the best player available, glaring hole at quarterback be damned.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

T.J. Hockenson would be an option, but Taylor makes too much sense. He fills the Jags’ hole at right tackle perfectly, as a mauler who excels in a power run game.

8. Detroit Lions: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

Rashan Gary or Montez Sweat could make sense, but Matt Patricia’s defense doesn’t prioritize edge rushers. Instead, the Lions grab a two-way tight end after nearly trading for Rob Gronkowski last year.

9. Buffalo Bills: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan

The Bills addressed a bunch of spots in free agency so they could take the top player on their board. They might hope Hockenson is still there, but with him gone, they grab one of the draft’s best athletes.

10. Denver Broncos: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

Many believe the Broncos are targeting a second- or third-tier quarterback to develop behind Joe Flacco. Would Haskins slipping to No. 10 change their mind?

11. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

This would be bold for a notably conservative organization, but if Zac Taylor wants to pick his QB, it’s hard to argue against him. Devin Bush would be in play if it’s not a QB.

12. Green Bay Packers: OL Jonah Williams, Alabama

The Packers added Billy Turner in free agency, but Williams could be an upgrade at left guard over Lane Taylor while serving as insurance and the successor to oft-injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga.

13. Miami Dolphins: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State

Miami let Ja’Wuan James walk and hasn’t replaced him, so Dillard (or Williams or Cody Ford) could fill the hole at right tackle. Clelin Ferrell would also be a perfect fit in Brian Flores’ defense.

14. Atlanta Falcons: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Wilkins would slot in next to fellow Clemson product Grady Jarrett inside as a disruptive penetrator with terrific character.

15. Washington Redskins: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

With some concerned about his heart issue, Sweat slides a tad, and Washington nabs a dynamic rusher opposite Ryan Kerrigan.

16. Carolina Panthers: DE Brian Burns, Florida State

Julius Peppers is finally retired, and Bruce Irvin isn’t the answer. Burns can threaten early as a situational rusher while adding power to be a full-time starter down the line.

17. New York Giants (from Cleveland): QB Daniel Jones, Duke

If the Giants don’t love any of the top quarterbacks but — as believed — like Jones, it would be sensible to wait and see if he reaches No. 17.

18. Minnesota Vikings: OL Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

The Vikings might prefer a left tackle — which would bump Riley Reiff to left guard — but with Williams and Dillard gone, they take perhaps the draft’s best interior lineman.

19. Tennessee Titans: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

The Titans’ offense needs an injection of speed, and nobody in this draft has more of it than Brown. Lindstrom would also be in consideration if available.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Devin Bush, Michigan

Bush could land closer to the top 10, but if he slips this far, Pittsburgh should pounce. The Steelers have needed speed at inside linebacker since Ryan Shazier’s injury.

21. Seattle Seahawks: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

The Seahawks likely hope to trade down, as is their norm in Round 1, but more help on the edge makes sense with Frank Clark’s future unclear.

22. Baltimore Ravens: C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

A solid, scheme-versatile pivot, McCoy might fit the Ravens better than Garrett Bradbury, who played in a predominant outside-zone scheme at NC State.

23. Houston Texans: CB Byron Murphy, Washington

With Taylor, Dillard and Williams gone, Houston opts to wait on offensive tackle and reinforce a weakened secondary instead.

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): TE Noah Fant, Iowa

While the Raiders need more reinforcements on defense, Jared Cook’s departure leaves the team with no receiving threat at tight end. Jon Gruden can’t help himself.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State

If Bradbury reaches 25, I love this pick. He would provide insurance for Brandon Brooks (torn Achilles) at right guard and eventually take over at the pivot when Jason Kelce retires.

26. Indianapolis Colts: WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Metcalf has a wide range of possible landing spots, but his combination of size and speed would make sense for Indy if he gets this far.

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia

I could see Gruden gambling on Jeffery Simmons, but since the Raiders already nabbed a defensive tackle in Quinnen Williams, they opt for a cornerback here.

28. Los Angeles Chargers: DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

The Chargers re-signed Brandon Mebane, but he’s 34 and got only a two-year deal. Lawrence would immediately fortify the run defense, with pocket-pushing potential down the line.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Greedy Williams, LSU

Don’t be shocked if they pick a wideout, but with the value not lining up here, the Chiefs add much-needed help to the secondary.

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): DB Darnell Savage, Maryland

A late riser, Savage can play all over the place — single-high, two-deep, in the box or over the slot — making him a perfect fit in Mike Pettine’s scheme.

31. Los Angeles Rams: OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma

L.A. lost interior linemen Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan and has yet to replace them. Ford would compete at left guard, perhaps starting from Day 1.

32. New England Patriots: TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

Smith is a better blocker on the move than inline, so the offense would require some adaptation, but he’s a dangerous receiver who thrives after the catch, which is critical in Josh McDaniels’ horizontal passing game.

–David DeChant, Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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Johnson surges into lead at windy Hilton Head

PGA: RBC Heritage - Third Round
Apr 20, 2019; Hilton Head, SC, USA; Dustin Johnson tees off from seventh hole during the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

April 20, 2019

(Reuters) – World number one Dustin Johnson overhauled halfway leader Shane Lowry to open up a one-stroke advantage after the third round of the windswept RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Saturday.

Johnson, a South Carolina native, shot a three-under 68 in trying conditions to end on 10-under 203, making his move with three consecutive birdies from the 13th and holding on to his lead despite dropping shots at 16 and 17.

Lowry’s lead evaporated with three bogeys on the back nine and he finished with an even-par 71, tied for second on nine-under along with Ian Poulter (67) and Rory Sabbatini (68) at Hilton Head Island’s Harbour Town Golf Links.

Six others were tied a shot further back on eight-under 205.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

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Post-Mueller report, journalists rethink handling of Romney’s 2012 Russia prediction

The release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe report has some journalists in apology mode, saying they paid too little attention to Mitt Romney's 2012 observations about the Kremlin's threat to U.S. interests.

Back in 2012, Senator Romney. R-Utah, was running for president. And he tagged Russia as the United States' greatest geopolitical foe.

Back then, Romney "was broadly mocked" over that position, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted on Friday. "I was among reporters who should have given it more weight."

New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow also joined in. So did Washington Examiner correspondent David M. Drucker, who said he wanted to "reset" his 2017 op-ed titled, "Romney was right about Russia."

ERIC SWALWELL: NO APOLOGY NECESSARY FOR SURVEILLING TRUMP CAMPAIGN

People on Twitter panned journalists for issuing those statements, suggesting they were disingenuous.

Their comments came as Romney caught heat for criticizing the president over claims made in the special counsel's report. "I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President," he said in a statement tweeted Friday.

Both Democrats and Republicans have seized on the report and what its findings meant for American democracy. While the administration celebrated the fact that no one helped Russia meddle in the 2016 election, Democrats have emphasized the extent to which Russian interference did occur.

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Fox News contributor Donna Brazile called the report a "wake-up call." "We had a foreign power, another government that was interfering in our election," said Brazile, who served as interim chairwoman for the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

Source: Fox News Politics

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Report: P Gonzalez opts out of Yankees contract

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gio Gonzalez (43) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

April 20, 2019

Pitcher Gio Gonzalez opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees and intends to become a free agent, MLB.com reported Saturday.

Now, the next move belongs to the Yankees.

Gonzalez signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in March, and under the terms, he could opt out on April 20. The Yankees have 48 hours to grant his release or add him to the roster.

If he is put on the roster, Gonzalez will be paid a $3 million base salary, along with $300,000 per start.

In three starts at Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he as a 2-1 record with an ERA of 6.00.

Gonzalez, 33, made his major league debut in 2008 with Oakland. Last season, split between Washington and Milwaukee, he was 10-11 in 32 starts and had a 4.21 ERA.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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Spain’s Socialists lead with 30.3 percent ahead of April 28 election: El Mundo poll

Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) kicks off the general election campaign in Dos Hermanas
FILE PHOTO - Spain's Socialist leader and current Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during a PSOE party meeting ahead of the April 28 general election in Dos Hermanas, near Seville, Spain April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

April 20, 2019

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Socialists led in a poll published on Saturday in newspaper El Mundo with 30.3 percent of votes, equivalent to between 122 and 133 seats in the 350-seat parliament, but fell short of a majority with its main far-left ally ahead of a general election on April 28.

A coalition of three right-wing parties – People’s Party (PP), Ciudadanos and far-right Vox – would get 45.3 percent of votes, equivalent to between 152 and 174 seats, but this would also be short of the 176 seats needed to secure a parliamentary majority, according to the poll conducted by Sigma Dos.

It is exactly the same number of seats that the Socialists and anti-austerity Podemos would have together.

But Socialist Pedro Sanchez could be reelected as prime minister if he manages to get also the support of small regional parties that backed him in the past without having to rely on Catalan pro-independence parties that last February voted against his budget, forcing him to call for a snap election.

(Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

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UK PM May to be told to quit by top Conservative: Sunday Times

Extraordinary European Union leaders summit in Brussels
FILE PHOTO - British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a news conference following an extraordinary European Union leaders summit to discuss Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

April 20, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – A top member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party will tell her in the coming week that she must step down by the end of June or her lawmakers will try again to depose her, the Sunday Times reported, without citing sources.

May survived a vote of no confidence in December and although party rules mean lawmakers cannot challenge her again until a year has passed, lawmaker Graham Brady will tell her the rules will be changed unless she quits, the newspaper said.

Brady, who chairs the Conservative Party’s influential 1922 Committee of backbench lawmakers, will tell her that 70 percent of her members of parliament want her to resign over her handling of Brexit, the Sunday Times said.

Britain was originally due to leave the European Union on March 29, but that deadline was pushed back to April 12 and then again to Oct. 31 as May failed to break an impasse in parliament on the terms of Brexit.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Source: OANN

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On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman set an Aug. 12 court date for former White House counsel Greg Craig as he faces allegations of lying to the FBI and appeared as one of 14 criminal referrals in the report, released Thursday, by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Craig, who served under former President Barack Obama, came under scrutiny after he failed to register as a foreign agent while Paul Manafort, Trump’s ex-campaign manager, financed a report that Craig authored and that was in service to the Ukrainian government. He has pleaded not guilty to lying to the FBI.

GREG CRAIG, EX-OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, INDICTED FOR ALLEGED FALSE STATEMENTS

Craig has pleaded not guilty to lying to federal prosecutors about his work for the Ukrainian government. The prosecution was “unprecedented and unjustified,” he said in a video posted to YouTube.

A grand jury indicted Craig, claiming that he made false statements to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit which enforces laws surrounding disclosure for foreign lobbying activities.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In his video response posted earlier this month, Craig claimed the FARA unit made a formal determination agreeing that he didn’t act as an agent. “I did not participate in a scheme to mislead the government or conceal material facts,” he said.

Source: Fox News Politics

It’s important to have somebody who will “put the president to his proofs” and to challenge him on his stances, former two-term Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who has announced his primary challenge against President Donald Trump, said Tuesday.

“You ask him some questions, like, why do you think it’s good to insult our military allies, why do you praise dictators?” Weld told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Is it because you wish the United States was more dictatorial? I’m afraid that might be the case. Why are you so angry about everything all the time?”

Weld, who also ran for vice president on the 2016 Libertarian party ticket headed by Gary Johnson, said his plan is to enlarge the electorate by targeting independents, millennials, female voters and others, as he did when he ran for governor in Massachusetts.

He also struck back at people who say they don’t like Trump’s style, but they do like his substance.

“It’s not style when you’re as angry all the time and uncurious as this president is,” said Weld. “For example, the president insists that global warming is a hoax. Well, does he think those scientists who did those measurements are making money off the deal and lying about the results of the scientific examination? It just betrays a lack of homework and not really thinking ahead about what to do.”

Weld also said as president, he’d push for the education displaced workers need in the wake of new technology, including making community college free for them.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens appeared on “Hannity” on Tuesday night following a hostile confrontation with protestors on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Owens began by acknowledging that she “knew” what she was getting herself into but didn’t know “how ugly it could get.”

“I can’t believe this is the ‘tolerant’ left, but I think it’s really important to hold up a mirror to leftists and to expose them for exactly who and what they are,” Owens told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

The communications director of Turning Point USA expressed that her “Blexit” movement, which is aimed at African Americans to “exit” the Democratic Party and vote Republican, is “resonating” in the black community and is why the opposition is “upping their attacks.”

“In 2020, the black vote is fully on the table,” Owens declared, “and they are petrified because they rely on the black vote. We are talking about moving it five points and the Democrat Party is toast. These antics that you’re seeing is really their fear.”

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Owens also added that she had enough of going through basements and backdoors after events challenged other black Americans to “walk through the front door.”

Source: Fox News Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SECRET IDENTITIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: NewsMax America

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell holds news conference following two-day policy meeting in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a news conference following the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo/File Photo

April 12, 2019

By Jeff Mason and Howard Schneider

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday he has confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell but that President Donald Trump intends to proceed with plans to name a controversial partisan to the U.S. central bank’s board of governors.

Kudlow said at an event sponsored by The Hill the White House is sticking by Herman Cain as a candidate for a Fed seat “at the moment,” even after several Republican senators came out against the idea and despite allegations of misconduct against the former pizza company chief executive.

Kudlow noted that Cain was being vetted.

“He is in the process. We’ll let him go through it. And the president insists on that,” Kudlow said. Trump had reiterated his support for Cain as late as Wednesday night, he said.

Controversy over Cain’s possible nomination, as well as that of economic commentator and Trump supporter Stephen Moore, continued on Thursday.

Senator Kevin Cramer became the fourth Republican senator reported to oppose Cain’s expected nomination, potentially putting his chances in peril.

Elected officials and interest groups on both sides of the political aisle voiced support for Powell, and for the need to keep the Fed at arms length from the influence of politicians in its interest rate decisions.

“The chairman of the Fed is the leader in the world of central banks. Now, thank God, Chairman Powell is there, but for him to have to deal with a politically motivated Fed – this is a really dangerous one,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

INDEPENDENCE

Powell briefed House Democrats in a closed-door session at their annual retreat on Thursday evening but declined to comment on Trump’s candidates for the Fed, lawmakers said afterwards.

“He said he didn’t comment on appointments,” Representative Donna Shalala said.

Representative Ami Bera said Powell talked about the domestic and global economy. “The Fed will continually watch what’s happening, but things like Brexit and trade uncertainty obviously are things that they are paying attention to,” Bera said.

Representative Brad Sherman said Powell emphasized the Fed’s independence and also talked about how U.S. debt and deficits are unsustainable in the long term.

“When Powell was first appointed, he might have gotten a chilly reception from our caucus” because he was elevated to Fed chair by Trump, Sherman said. “But it’s obvious now that Trump doesn’t like Powell and is trying to appoint people to Powell’s board that are the cultural antithesis to Powell. Because Powell is disliked by Trump, we like him a lot more,” he said.

The issue was also percolating through the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, institutions whose largest shareholder is the United States. The country has been looked on to serve as a sort of global touchstone on issues such as the importance of leaving politics out of interest rate decisions.

“How do you see the Fed’s independence, given what appears to be political persuasion trying to guide policy from outside the building?” Institute of International Finance President Tim Adams asked Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, an apparent reference to recent demands by Trump that the Fed lower interest rates.

“We are accountable to the Congress,” Clarida said in an answer that skirted mention of Trump. “The Fed is a creation of the U.S. Congress by statute. We have a very clear in black-and-white mandate assigned to us … which is maximum employment and price stability,” not maximizing the growth rate of gross domestic product, he said.

WHITE HOUSE CRITICS

Central bank “capture” by national leaders has been blamed for a variety of economic ills, from hyperinflation to runaway debt used to finance projects in hopes of winning reelection.

Moore has said recently he wanted to accommodate Trump’s policies, that he feels the president’s reelection was necessary for the country’s economic success, and wants to do battle with what he calls “growth-phobiacs” at the Fed.

The president nominates members to the Fed’s seven-member board of governors and Trump elevated Powell to chairman a year ago. The nominations must be approved by the Senate. Another 12 members of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets interest rates, head regional banks and are chosen by local boards of directors, not the president.

Trump and Kudlow have both been critics of the Fed’s policies under Powell.

Kudlow reiterated on Thursday that he disagreed with the Fed’s most recent interest rate hikes.

“He’s a fine person,” Kudlow said of Powell. “I think he’s going to turn into a good Fed chairman.”

Kudlow noted the Fed was independent but said that would not stop him and others from weighing in on its activities.

“The Fed is an independent central bank and we aim to keep it that way,” Kudlow said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t express our opinions periodically.”

Asked about the controversy over the usually staid Fed, including statements by Cain and Moore in mainstream and social media, St. Louis Federal Reserve bank President James Bullard said the institution tends to “convert” people pretty quickly to its technocratic methods.

Moore, for example, said in a Bloomberg interview that he felt Fed meetings should be televised – a likely non-starter for an organization that publishes minutes of its meetings three weeks after the fact and holds regular news conferences but feels a camera in the room would inhibit free discussion.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Howard Schneider; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and Trevor Hunnicutt Editing by Richard Chang and Paul Tait)

Source: OANN



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