President Donald Trump said Friday he “may very well talk” to Prime Minister Theresa May about potential spying on the 2016 campaign by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Mr. President, are you going to talk to Theresa May about potential Five Eyes spying into your campaign,” he was asked.
“I may very well talk to her about that, yeah,” he responded, according to a transcript of the remarks released by the Office of the Press Secretary.
“There’s word and rumor that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved, with the U.K., having to do with the Russian hoax,” he continued. “And I may very well talk to her about that, yes.”
Trump on Thursday issued an order allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any information Barr sees fit during his review of the events that prompted the FBI to open an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Source: NewsMax Politics
Musician and fashion designer Kanye West reportedly laments the treatment of President Donald Trump voters, saying they’re “bullied” by “liberals,” and “treated like enemies of America.”
In an interview on David Letterma’s Netflix show “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” West tried to explain his affection for Trump in a conversation that began about his “fear” as a man during the #MeToo movement, the Daily Beast reported.
“This is like my thing with Trump—we don’t have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel,” he said, adding that when he wears his “Make America Great Again” hat, it’s “not about politics” but an attempt to break the stigma of supporting Trump.
“So if I see a person that I admire talking about Donald Trump can think whatever he does, I wonder if those thoughts, indirectly, aren’t hurting people who are already being hurt,” Letterman said.
West responded instead that he sympathized with Trump voters who are “treated like enemies of America because that’s what they felt.”
“Have you ever been beat up in your high school for wearing the wrong hat?” West asked later. “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters.”
The hour-long discussion and four other episodes of the show can be streamed on Netflix beginning May 31.
Source: NewsMax Politics
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich says there is and criticized Democrats and the media for favoring Pelosi. Indeed, Pavlich defended the president for defending himself.
“I love how the phrase ‘getting under someone’s skin’ is now defined by simply responding to attacks. Remember how [then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett] Kavanaugh defended himself and everyone’s like, ‘he’s too angry to be on the Supreme Court.’ This is basically the same thing,” Pavlich said Friday while co-hosting “The Five.”
“She accuses him of a cover-up in front of everybody to appease her Democratic caucus after an impeachment meeting, and then wonders why the president would have something to say about her behavior and what they are doing.”
Trump and Pelosi went back and forth Thursday, with the speaker asking the president’s family to hold an intervention for Trump due to his meeting walkout Wednesday. Trump responded by saying Pelosi was “not the same person, she’s lost it.”
Pavlich called out MSNBC host Joe Scarborough for saying Friday that the president was “pre-dementia.”
“People very close to him told us that he feared he was pre-dementia, that he had changed. You watch Donald Trump in the late 1980s, even in the 90s, you watch him now, he is completely changed,” Scarborough said.
“Can we talk about the media again doing their own self-diagnosis of the problem? Like, you’re not allowed to make any jokes right now about Jerry Nadler having an issue, but people like Joe Scarborough are allowed to go on national television and say that people have told him without actually naming anybody, that the president is pre-dementia,” Pavlich said.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler, D-N.Y., had to receive medical attention Friday after a health scare at an event in New York City.
His office said he merely felt ill but did not faint, disputing reports. A spokesman for Nadler told Fox News that the congressman “seems to have been dehydrated.”
Pavlich criticized members of the media for speculating on the president’s health.
“I remember when … we weren’t allowed to ask about anybody’s health when it came to that, but now news anchors are diagnosing people’s mental health,” Pavlich said.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Representative Steube, R-Fla., claimed Friday on “Outnumbered Overtime” that anyone involved in potential interference “has every right for justice to be served.”
Steube’s remarks come in the wake of President Trump giving Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the attorney general of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“The attorney general has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” Sanders’ statement continued.
Steube, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, predicted that Barr would empanel a grand jury if indictments are necessary in the future.
He added Americans are likely concerned with the existence of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.
“I think that every American would initially have some grave concerns of a court that is operating completely in secret,” Steube claimed. “Given all the information and facts, if the information that was represented to the FISA court — if they knew this was campaign fodder or promulgated and still decided to issue a warrant, that would bring a lot of things to questions.”
“Those are questions that I would have,” he said.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Donald Trump is reportedly ready to release an executive order to mandate the disclosure of healthcare prices in an industry that’s used to conducting its business in private, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The order, which has the force of law, could come as early as next week, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
According to the news outlet, the order could direct federal agencies to push the healthcare industry for transparency on cost data – and could use the Justice Department to bust up monopolies of hospitals and health-insurance plans for driving up the cost of care.
The White House has been working for months on a strategy to lower healthcare costs by giving consumers and employers data on the discounted and negotiated rates between insurers, hospitals, doctors and other providers, the Journal reported.
Internal administrative disputes over how aggressively to mandate price disclosure have delayed earlier plans for an executive order, the Journal reported.
The administration is also likely to use a coming hospital outpatient rule to require hospitals to disclose their negotiated rates with insurers – a move expected in the summer, the Journal reported.
“In a grocery store, you can get a price check for a can of peas on Aisle 2,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in introducing legislation that would make insurers tell consumers what their out-of-pocket costs would be for drugs or in-network procedures, the Journal reported.
“Health care is much more difficult, but it ought to be a lot easier for Americans to find out what they will have to pay before they get to a doctor.”
Source: NewsMax Politics
The Health and Human Services Department on Friday released a proposed regulation that in effect says “gender identity” is not protected under federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination in health care. It would reverse an Obama-era policy that the Trump administration already is not enforcing.
“The actions today are part and parcel of this administration’s efforts to erase LGBTQ people from federal regulations and to undermine nondiscrimination protections across the board,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a senior attorney on health care at Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization representing LGBT people.
The administration also has moved to restrict military service by transgender men and women , proposed allowing certain homeless shelters to take gender identity into account in offering someone a bed for the night and concluded in a 2017 Justice Department memo that federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work. As one of her first policy moves, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos withdrew guidance that allowed students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity.
More than 1.5 million Americans identify as transgender , according to the Williams Institute, a think tank focusing on LGBT policy at the UCLA School of Law. A bigger number — 4.5% of the population— identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), according to Gallup.
Pushing back against critics, the HHS official overseeing the new regulation said transgender patients would continue to be protected by other federal laws that bar discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Roger Severino, who heads the HHS Office for Civil Rights. “We intend to fully enforce federal laws that prohibit discrimination.”
Asked about the charge that the administration has opened the door to discrimination against transgender people seeking needed medical care of any type, Severino responded, “I don’t want to see that happen.”
In some places LGBT people are protected by state laws, said Lambda Legal attorney Gonzalez-Pagan, “but what do you say to people living in a state that doesn’t have state-explicit protections? Do they move their home?”
Behind the dispute over legal rights is a medically recognized condition called “gender dysphoria” — discomfort or distress caused by a discrepancy between the gender that a person identifies as and the gender at birth. Consequences can include severe depression. Treatment can range from sex-reassignment surgery and hormones to people changing their outward appearance by adopting a different hairstyle or clothing.
Many social conservatives disagree with the concept.
“Sex is not subjective, it is an objective biological reality,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement supporting the Trump administration’s move. The proposed rule will ensure that federal law “isn’t used as a vehicle to advance transgender or abortion politics,” he said.
Under the Obama-era federal rule, a hospital could be required to perform gender-transition procedures such as hysterectomies if the facility provided that kind of treatment for other medical conditions. The rule was meant to carry out the anti-discrimination section of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in health care but does not use the term “gender identity.”
The proposed new rule would also affect the notices that millions of patients get in multiple languages about their rights to translation services. Such notices often come with insurer “explanation of benefits” forms. The Trump administration says the notice requirement has become a needless burden on health care providers, requiring billions of paper notices to be mailed annually at an estimated five-year cost of $3.2 billion.
The American Civil Liberties Union served notice it expects to challenge the rule in court when it is final. Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director said the potential impact could go beyond LGBT people and also subject women to discrimination for having had an abortion.
That’s because the proposal would remove “termination of pregnancy” as grounds for making a legal claim of sex discrimination in health care, one of the protections created in the Obama years. Abortion opponents had argued that the Obama regulation could be construed to make a legal argument for federal funding of abortions.
UCLA legal scholar Jocelyn Samuels, who oversaw the drafting of the HHS transgender anti-discrimination rule under Obama, said that rule reflected established legal precedent that transgender people are protected by federal anti-discrimination laws.
“This administration has manifested its intent to roll back that well-considered understanding in every context,” she said.
Samuels questioned the timing of the Trump action, since the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases this year looking at whether federal civil rights law bans job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The proposed rule change is unlikely to have immediate consequences beyond the realm of political and legal debate. It faces a 60-day comment period and another layer of review before it can be finalized.
HHS official Severino said the Trump administration is going back to the literal text of the ACA’s anti-discrimination law to correct an overly broad interpretation.
The Obama rule dates to a time when LGBT people were gaining political and social recognition. But a federal judge in Texas has said the rule went too far by concluding that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is a form of sex discrimination.
Severino said the proposed rule does not come with a new definition of a person’s sex. Earlier, a leaked internal document suggested the administration was debating whether to issue an immutable definition of sex, as based on a person’s genital organs at birth.
Source: NewsMax Politics
The Trump administration on Friday informed Congress the president will invoke his emergency authority to bypass lawmakers’ approval of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing the threat to the United States from Iran.
The move comes as Trump announced plans Friday to send about 1,600 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran.
“Iran’s malign activity poses a fundamental threat to the stability of the Middle East and to Americans at home and abroad. We took this step of prudent diplomatic deterrence to augment our partners’ long-term capacity for self-defense and threat mitigation,” a senior State Department official told Fox News.
The official added, “Congress won’t act, but we will. “
The administration is using an emergency loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with sales of $7 billion in precision-guided munitions, other bombs, ammo and aircraft maintenance support to Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, without lawmakers’ approval.
“These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said in a Friday statement.
On Capitol Hill, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, said he was “reviewing and analyzing the legal justification for this action and the associated implications.”
The administration pointed out that this authority has been invoked by past presidents on multiple occasions, including in 1979, 1984, 1990 and 2006.
The plan was swiftly condemned by Democratic senators.
“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump administration has failed once again to prioritize our long-term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia,” said New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“President Trump circumventing Congress to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia is unacceptable,” said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
“President Trump is only using this loophole because he knows Congress would disapprove of this sale,” said Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In his notification, Pompeo said he had made the determination “that an emergency exists which requires the immediate sale” of the weapons “in order to deter further the malign influence of the government of Iran throughout the Middle East region.” He said the transfers “must occur as quickly as possible in order to deter further Iranian adventurism in the Gulf and throughout the Middle East.”
It comes as the administration has actively courted close ties with Saudi Arabia over congressional objections, notably following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S.-based columnist for The Washington Post, by Saudi agents in October.
There is a precedent for using the emergency exemption for arms sales to Saudi Arabia. President Ronald Reagan invoked it in the 1980s, and both Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush used it for sales before the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq war, respectively.
Fox News’ Rich Edson, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Administration officials, according to Axios Friday, debated to decide between two different provisions — a religious-based exemption and striking down the previous administration’s rule altogether — to accomplish their goal without facing defeat in the courts.
The policy change would likely come in July and through the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Civil Rights, a group that has been at the forefront of angering progressives with rules advancing Trump’s religious freedom agenda.
Roger Severino, director of that office, reportedly refused to comment directly on the issue.
The administration’s reported decision reflected a broader battle in which states struggled to balance religious interests with those of same-sex couples. Multiple Catholic adoption agencies have already shut down, refusing to comply with anti-discrimination policies due to Church teaching on marriage and sex.
The reported policy drew swift condemnation from the Human Rights Campaign, which has derided similar measures at the state level.
“Quite literally the definition of cruel and evil,” HRC president Chad Griffin tweeted on Friday.
“Our leaders should be making it easier for children in need of a loving home to find one, not trying to find new ways to license discrimination,” he added. “This is unconscionable and an attack on families.”
Conservatives have maintained that same-sex couples could seek opportunities with secular agencies. They’ve also argued that without religious exemptions, foster children would lose even more resources as longstanding agencies drop their practices altogether.
In Philadelphia, foster families sued the city over an ordinance that would force Catholic Social Services to end its program. The suit, according to the firm that brought the case, represented the first opportunity to test how courts viewed religious freedom in that context. A Christian adoption agency similarly sued the city of Syracuse after it gave them an ultimatum: serve same-sex couples or close shop.
The Supreme Court eventually dismissed a request to grant a preliminary injunction on behalf of the foster families in Philadelphia. Becket Fund senior counsel Lori Windham, who spearheaded that case, said HHS’s current rules violated the First Amendment.
HHS did not immediately provide comment when requested by Fox News.
“We need all hands on deck finding loving homes for kids. We have already seen this regulation used to try to shut down faith-based agencies in Michigan,” Windham said in a statement provided to Fox News.
“HHS should admit that this rule violates the First Amendment. Then it should remove barriers to the full participation of faith-based adoption agencies.”
News of the administration’s decision came on the same day that HHS faced blowback over a rule excluding “gender identity” from sex discrimination protections for health care.
HHS, along with the Education Department, took the controversial step of interpreting Title IX — a sex discrimination statute — as only applying to biological attributes rather than self-described identity.
Source: Fox News Politics
Since announcing my campaign to challenge Thom Tillis to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate two weeks ago, the Swamp – Washington politicians and their consultants – have come out of the woodwork to challenge my support of President Trump.
In 2016, during the presidential primary, like other conservatives I had my doubts about Mr. Trump. Without a policy record, I questioned whether he would govern as a conservative. Like millions of Americans, I could not more delighted, and frankly amazed, at how he has transformed this country in the last two years. His policies and leadership have more than fulfilled his commitment to conservatives and to the American people and I proudly stand with him in his initiatives.
Mr. Tillis, on the other hand, has publicly opposed the president numerous times. My doubts were in 2016. In 2019, Thom Tillis wrote a scathing op-ed opposing the president on the emergency funding for the border wall and he placed it in The Washington Post, the biggest opponent of the president in media, save MSNBC and CNN.
What’s worse, Tillis co-sponsored a bill with liberal Democrat New Jersey Senator Cory Booker to protect the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s search and destroy investigation against President Trump.
When President Trump proposed cuts to foreign aid spending by 30%, Thom Tillis said ‘No.’
Thom Tillis voted to bust President Trump’s 2018 and 2019 budgets by $200 billion and voted to give Congress a veto over President Trump’s tariffs.
Veto power over the most successful negotiating position the President could put us in?
This is what Washington insiders do, they claim to be something that they are not. Tillis has proven, time after time, that he does not have the president’s back. When it comes to difficult decisions to do the right thing for the American people, President Trump goes one way, Tillis goes the other.
The Senate Leadership Fund, the Washington insider Super PAC that ran ads supporting anti-Trump Senator Jeff Flake two years ago, is now trying to tell the media and voters in North Carolina that Tillis is pro-Trump. I say actions speak louder than words.
That’s why President Trump has turned Washington upside down. He is actually accomplishing what he told the voters he would do in 2016. He cut taxes and cut onerous regulations on businesses to allow them to thrive, which they, and the economy have done. Job numbers at an all-time low. On foreign policy, he has crushed ISIS, brought home three hostages and Otto Wambier from North Korea. Despite all the naysayers, President Trump got North Korea to the table, is standing up to Russia and China and Iran and affirming our close alliance with Israel in the Middle East.
President Trump has been the most pro-life president in the last several decades and he has stood strong to protect religious liberty both on the domestic and international front.
After elected he worked quickly to repeal Obamacare only to be stymied by John McCain. On his signature issue, he has done everything in his power to build the wall he promised the American people he would build and is getting it done by finding bloated bureaucratic spending that could be better spent on protecting the American people.
Fulfilling your promises to the American people is foreign to the elite powerbrokers in Washington who want to keep the status quo and their padded consulting and lobbying fees.
The powerbrokers and establishment in U.S. Senate, like Tillis and Mitch McConnell, want to keep their power and have shown they will oppose the president at will to do so.
These are the reasons North Carolinians need a new, fresh, outside-the-Beltway conservative to represent them. Someone who can admit when they are wrong about this president and who can work with him to continue to fulfill his promises to the American people.
Garland Tucker, a respected entrepreneur, founded Triangle Capital Corporation, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is the author of Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Changed America – Jefferson to Reagan.
This opinion piece first appeared in The American Spectator.
Source: NewsMax Politics
Presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, (D-Hawaii), said Friday she would re-enter the Iran nuclear deal if elected to the White House.
On “America’s Newsroom,” Gabbard told hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith that the United States is on the brink of war with Iran, echoing comments she made during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday night.
“I know where this path leads us and I’m concerned because the American people don’t seem to be prepared for how devastating and costly such a war would be,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard, 38, referred to her time as a service member, saying, “I’m very familiar with the region, the cost of war, and where this path leads us. And, the American people need to understand how devastating and costly such a war would be, how it would impact almost every part of our lives.
“It would undermine our national security. It would strengthen terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda. It would take a terrible human toll: the cost of countless American service members’ lives: my brothers and sisters in uniform. The cost to civilians in the region…Increasing the refugee crisis across Europe…And, it would cost trillions of dollars. Trillions of dollars that would come out of our pockets. Taxpayers’ pockets. To pay for this endless war. Resources that we would not be able to use for things like rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.”
President Trump approved the Pentagon’s plan to send about 1,600 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, U.S. officials told Fox News on Friday.
Fewer than 1,000 new troops are deploying, but about 600 soldiers who are already deployed will be extended. The 600 are part of a Patriot missile battalion currently deployed in the region.
Gabbard said that the decisions the Trump administration has taken towards Iran have made relations even more strained. “The decisions that this administration has taken towards Iran have made things worse not better. They have made our country, the American people, less safe—not more secure—by pulling out of this Iran nuclear deal.”
Gabbard acknowledged there were “flaws” and “concerns” in the Iran nuclear deal, “…that should’ve been addressed separately while maintaining and upholding the Iran nuclear deal to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”
“Instead, by the Trump administration pulling out from this deal, they’ve essentially given Iran an excuse to be able to restart this Iran nuclear weapons program,” said Gabbard. “That makes us and the world far less safe.
“So, as president, I would re-enter the Iran nuclear deal. I would work out the difference separately outside of that and de-escalate the tensions that are, unfortunately, bringing us to the point where we are at a brink of war with Iran today.
“As president, I will end these wasteful regime-change wars. Whether it’s against countries like Venezuela, Iran, or Syria…Work to end this new Cold War that we are in with ever-increasing tensions between the United States and nuclear-armed countries like Russia and China, and end this nuclear arms race and take the trillions of dollars that we would continue to spend on these wars and weapons if we continue down the path we are on. And, take those dollars and put them back in the pockets of the American people. Use those dollars to serve the needs of the American people,” she said.
Source: Fox News Politics