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“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace said Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was trying to get “under President Trump‘s skin” this week and “clearly succeeded to some degree” in her efforts.

Wallace reacted on “America’s Newsroom” to the ongoing feud between Pelosi, D-Calif., and Trump, which erupted this week after Pelosi accused Trump of engaging in a “cover-up” and the president cut short a meeting on infrastructure with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Tensions escalated further Thursday when Trump blasted Pelosi at a news conference, calling her a “mess,” prompting Pelosi to call for him to act “more presidential.”

PELOSI SCRAMBLES TO TAMP DOWN TRUMP IMPEACHMENT FRENZY IN CAUCUS

“I’m not sure who was trolling whom,” said Wallace, noting Trump’s reaction to Pelosi having said she was “praying” for the president and wishing his family would have an “intervention” for the good of the country.

“Clearly she succeeded to some degree in getting under his skin when yesterday at that press conference he called on about four or five members of his administration to confirm the fact that he didn’t have a temper tantrum when he ended the meeting on infrastructure,” said Wallace, adding that Trump “gives as good as he gets.”

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Wallace said the whole episode was “very entertaining” to political reporters, but it’s “concerning” to Americans because the government needs to function and many important issues must be handled.

He said beyond infrastructure spending, the debt limit must be raised this year, an agreement to fund the government must be reached before October 1st and Trump’s new trade deal must be passed.

“There’s a lot of business they need to get done and at this point, they’re not getting any of it done,” he said.

Source: Fox News Politics

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler had to receive medical attention Friday after a health care at an event in New York City.

Despite reports that the powerful New York Democrat appeared to pass out, his office said he merely felt ill but did not faint. A spokesman for Nadler told Fox News that the congressman is “okay” and “seems to have been dehydrated,” describing the room as “very warm.”

Nadler, 71, was speaking at a press conference on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, alongside 2020 Democratic hopeful New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, when the incident happened. De Blasio could be seen checking on him and patting him on the shoulder, as someone brought over a glass of water.

Fox News is told the congressman was being taken to a hospital in an ambulance.

“He is now responsive and receiving a check-up,” a spokesman told Fox News.

Nadler’s office noted that he was sitting down, so he “did not faint or anything.”

But local reporters on social media attending the event said that Nadler appeared to have briefly passed out.

Nadler’s committee is currently battling with the Trump administration over access to an unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. Earlier this month, his panel voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for the full report and its underlying documents and evidence.

Nadler, as judiciary committee chairman, would also oversee any impeachment proceedings should Democrats launch them — a question that has divided the party.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

President Trump has approved the Pentagon’s plan to send roughly 2,000 more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, U.S. officials told Fox News on Friday.

The plan is intended to bolster security for existing American and allied forces in the region and deter attacks from Iran, officials say.  Any additional destroyers or submarines sent to the region would be equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles, they said.

TRUMP TEAM BRIEFS CONGRESS ABOUT IRANIAN THREAT: ‘THIS IS ABOUT DETERRENCE, NOT ABOUT WAR’

“We’re going to be sending a relatively small number of troops,” the president told reporters outside the White House on Friday. “Mostly protective. Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we’ll see what happens.”

No large military units, such as U.S. Army brigade combat teams, are expected to deploy. Instead, senior military leaders want to deploy an additional Patriot anti-aircraft missile battery, a defensive weapon system. They also want to deploy another warship or submarine to the region, more surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and potentially more Air Force fighter jets.

On Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had rejected news reports saying 5,000 or 10,000 troops could be sent to the region, saying the number was “not accurate.” But he did acknowledge more forces could soon be heading to the region for force protection.

The U.S. began reinforcing its presence in the Persian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

In early May, the U.S. accelerated the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Mideast and sent four B-52 bomber aircraft to the region. The Pentagon also decided to move a Patriot air-defense missile battery to an undisclosed country in the area.

GEN. JACK KEANE: SENDING THOUSANDS MORE TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST AMID IRAN THREAT WOULD BE OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE

On Friday, an anti-war Republican ally of the president urged him to reverse his decision.

“I strongly urge @realdonaldtrump to reconsider more troops to the Middle East,” tweeted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. “This escalation doesn’t get us out of our decades long, seemingly endless wars Mr. President. Trust your instincts and follow what you ran on, not the neocons around who want to repeat past mistakes.”

On Tuesday, top officials in the Trump administration were dispatched to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers about the escalating tensions with Iran, saying afterward they are focused on trying to deter attacks and avoid war.

“Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation,” Shanahan told reporters after the briefing. “We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence, not about war.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the briefing: “Our efforts and our ultimate objective over the past days has been to deter Iran.”

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But some lawmakers, after the briefing, still expressed concern about war breaking out.

“We were lied to in terms of Iraq supposedly having weapons of mass destruction,” said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. “A war with Iran would be an absolute disaster, far worse than the war with Iraq. I hope the people tell this administration that we will not go to war in Iran.”

Other lawmakers said the threats from Iran were specific, necessitating actions from the administration to prevent attacks.

“The action taken by the administration is totally appropriate,” Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said after the Tuesday briefing, saying the actions are designed to deter attacks by Iran.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Moves to send more troops into the Middle East shows President Donald Trump is serious about deterring Iran from launching attacks against U.S. interests or allies, Rep. Pete King said Friday.

“The last thing he wants is war, but on the other hand, he can’t allow Iran to think they can get away with attacks against us or our allies,” the New York Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

“The president is doing the right thing. I think the president in the world we live in today has to have this power.”

On Friday, officials reported the Trump administration plans to send a few thousand more troops to U.S. Central Command, which oversees Middle East military operations, reports The Washington Post. The decision was made late Thursday in a meeting between Trump and Pentagon leaders.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff also support the move, said King, as they believe the build-up is not large, but it is significant and “sends a strong signal to Iran.”

Meanwhile, Hamas has enacted austerity plans, noted show host Bill Hemmer, and Shia militia groups have been told to uncover new revenue sources. King said that shows sanctions are working.

“Iran is more vulnerable than it had been,” said King. “Iran is a state terror nation and to the extent, we can weaken them and they run short on cash or assets it’s extremely important and again it strengthens our hand. You combine that with the military deterrents and what the president I think is doing is really reducing the threat of war at the same time reducing the threat from Iran.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Catholic League President Bill Donohue blasted passage a bill by the California State Senate, which he says will “require” priests “to violate the seal of confessional.”

State senators voted 30-4 to approve the bill requiring Catholic priests to report to civil authorities when a penitent confesses to sexual abuse of a minor.

Donohue, in an emailed statement, called the bill “a frontal assault on religious freedom.”

This bill is absolutely unenforceable,” he said. “No priest is going to respect it and violate the sanctity of the confessional. Moreover, Catholics are not required to respect unjust laws—and this is a clear example of such a law.”

The bill now goes before the State Assembly.

“It is all smoke and mirrors,” Donohue said. “It will do nothing to help protect minors from the scourge of sexual abuse. “ 

Source: NewsMax Politics

President Trump is considering potential pardons for military members and contractors accused of war crimes as Memorial Day approaches — deliberations that have prompted warnings from critics that the move could undermine the rule of law but also raised the hopes of their families who say the servicemembers were wrongly prosecuted.

Jessica Slatten, in an interview Thursday, told Fox News she’s praying for Trump to pardon her brother, Nicholas Slatten, one of several Blackwater contractors charged in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians in September 2007.

CONRAD BLACK BLASTS PROSECUTORS, FBI IN FIRST US INTERVIEW SINCE PARDON FROM TRUMP

“Nick is innocent and our family is terrified that he will die in prison for a killing that someone else confessed to multiple times,” she said.

The Blackwater case, and the 2007 massacre at the heart of it, is one of the more controversial portfolios before the president. The New York Times first reported that Trump was weighing possible pardon decisions on an expedited basis going into the holiday weekend.

The report spurred harsh criticism from Democratic lawmakers as well as former top military officials, especially since not all of the accused have faced trial yet.

“Obviously, the president can pardon whoever he thinks it’s appropriate to pardon, but … you have to be careful as a senior commander about unduly influencing the process before the investigation has been adjudicated,” said retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, former head of Joint Special Operations Command.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement: “If he follows through, President Trump would undermine American treaty obligations and our military justice system, damage relations with foreign partners and give our enemies one more propaganda tool.”

The lawyers and family members of the accused, however, insist these cases are not as clear-cut as they’ve been portrayed — and, to the contrary, have been marred by legal problems.

The cases include those of former Green Beret Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who admitted to killing a suspected Taliban bomb maker; Navy SEALS Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, whose own SEALS turned him in for allegedly shooting unarmed civilians and killing a 15-year-old ISIS suspect in his custody with a knife; four Marine snipers who were caught on video urinating on the corpses of suspected Taliban members; and Slatten.

Slatten is one whose case did go to trial. In fact, he faced three of them.

The first ended in a conviction, but it was later thrown out — as federal judges said he should have been tried separately from three other co-defendants, one of whom said he, and not Slatten, fired the first shots.

The second ended in a mistrial, and the third resulted in a guilty verdict. He faces a mandatory life sentence without parole, but his legal team is fighting to set him free.

“Prosecuting veterans for split-second decisions in war zone incidents is wrong,” Slatten’s attorney said in a letter to the White House counsel’s office obtained by Fox News. “Prosecuting ones for killings they did not commit is doubly so.”

The letter is dated Tuesday, three days after the Times reported on the possible pardons.

Slatten’s team argues that prosecutors have the facts of his case all wrong. The letter says that he was not the one who shot and killed Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, and that one of his teammates confessed to the shooting multiple times. Additionally, it claims that any shooting from their side was in self-defense. Further, the letter says Iraqi eyewitnesses changed their story about what happened after the fact.

Slatten and other Blackwater contractors were in the “Red Zone” in Baghdad on that day in 2007, trying to rescue a diplomat after a car bomb had gone off in the area, his defense says. They were told to watch out for a white Kia sedan and, when they saw a car matching that description coming toward them, Slatten’s teammate fired, killing the driver, the letter says. At that point, a firefight erupted, resulting in Slatten’s team’s vehicle taking damage.

As it turned out, driver Al Rubia’y was a civilian, not a car-bomber.

Prosecutors said that Slatten was the one who killed Al Rubia’y and that the Blackwater team opened fire on a crowd of unarmed Iraqis, 14 of whom were killed. Even more were injured.

The jury foreperson explained the reasoning behind the guilty verdict to The Washington Post.

“There had been a lookout for a white Kia,” the foreperson said. “But there’s a million Kias in Iraq, you don’t just shoot every white Kia.”

Still, the foreperson questioned the charge of first-degree murder, without any lesser charges for the jury to consider: “I understand it, but there’s a bit of unjustness to it.”

File photos of former Blackwater Worldwide guards Paul Slough (Dec. 8, 2008), Nicholas Slatten (June 11, 2014), Evan Liberty (June 11, 2014) and Dustin Heard (Jan. 6, 2009).

File photos of former Blackwater Worldwide guards Paul Slough (Dec. 8, 2008), Nicholas Slatten (June 11, 2014), Evan Liberty (June 11, 2014) and Dustin Heard (Jan. 6, 2009). (AP)

Three of the other Blackwater contractors involved in the incident — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were convicted of manslaughter, but the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that their mandatory 30-year sentence was a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

The sentences had been so severe due to a charge related to the use of machine guns. The court noted that the charge was based on a statute meant to combat gang violence, not contractors in a war zone using government-issue weapons. Their cases were sent back down to a lower court, and they are awaiting new sentences.

It is unclear if Slough, Liberty or Heard are among those Trump is considering for pardons, but Slough’s wife Christin is hoping for the best.

“I think that we’re cautiously optimistic,” she told Fox News. She said that her husband is “more than well deserving” of a pardon and is hoping that Trump will come through where other administrations have not.

Legally, a pardon can be issued at any time, not just after a conviction. President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon despite Nixon not facing formal charges. The acceptance of a pardon is technically an admission of wrongdoing, according to the Supreme Court’s 1915 decision in Burdick v. United States, which factored into Ford’s decision.

The case of former Green Beret Golsteyn has a degree of mystery to it. He first drew attention when he admitted during a 2011 CIA job interview that he shot and killed a suspected bomb maker. The Army investigated, stripped him of awards and sent him a written reprimand, but did not charge him.

When Golsteyn appeared on Fox News in 2016, he told host Bret Baier that he shot the suspect. This sparked a second Army investigation, and Golsteyn was charged with murder in December 2018.

RELEASE OF ‘AMERICAN TALIBAN’ JOHN WALKER LINDH FROM PRISON IS UNCONSCIONABLE, SAYS POMPEO

According to The New York Times, Army documents showed that an Afghan tribal source expressed fear that they would be in danger if the suspect went free. Golsteyn and another American soldier also worried that U.S. troops would be in jeopardy, the documents said.

His wife Julie Golsteyn, in a recent interview with Fox News, blasted the prosecution in the case. “I am heartbroken as Matt’s wife, and a mother, and an American that this is how we treat somebody who put himself in such grave danger to make sure that his men came home,” she said.

Gallagher, meanwhile, is scheduled to go to trial on May 28 for allegedly stabbing a teen ISIS suspect to death. His defense maintains that he is innocent and that SEALS turned him in because he was demanding and they wanted to get rid of him.

His attorney, Timothy Parlatore, said his client would accept a pardon, but that he would like to have Gallagher acquitted.

“We want the opportunity to exonerate my client,” Parlatore told the Times. “At the same time, there is always a risk in going to trial. My primary objective is to get Chief Gallagher home to his family. To that end, Chief Gallagher would welcome any involvement by the president.”

Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of the consequences that pardons could bring.

“Absent evidence of innocence of injustice the wholesale pardon of US servicemembers accused of warcrimes signals our troops and allies that we don’t take the Law of Armed Conflicts seriously,” Dempsey tweeted Tuesday. “Bad message. Bad precedent. Abdication of moral responsibility. Risk to us.”

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg also expressed concern. In a Washington Post interview, the Afghanistan War veteran described the potential pardons as “so dangerous and so insulting to people who’ve served.”

Trump’s decision could come in time for the Memorial Day holiday. Despite warnings that a pardon might not be appropriate for cases that have not concluded, Christin Slough noted Trump is not a “traditional president.”

She said he is “more interested in what’s right,” than how things are normally done.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are in the middle of a “short-term breakup” but now it’s time for them to “calm it down a bit,” and get back to business, Rep. Pete King said Friday.

“I understand Nancy Pelosi has to satisfy her base,” the New York Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “She has to say some anti-Trump comments about impeachment but she went too far. You can’t call the president of the United States a criminal an hour before you go in to have bipartisan negotiations and talks, so the speaker was wrong in doing that.”

Trump walked out of an infrastructure meeting with Pelosi and other Democratic leaders on Wednesday after Pelosi accused him of engaging in a cover-up.

Pelosi “has a left-wing base trying to put her in a direction she doesn’t want to go,” said King, but she must “control that base without directly insulting and not calling the president of the United States a criminal.”

On Thursday, Pelosi, D-Calif., doubled down on her cover-up comments and said Trump’s family should stage an intervention with him “for the good of the country.”

Trump shot back that Pelosi is “crazy” and “a mess” and referred to himself as a “stable genius.”

King said he also thinks Trump has gotten “inside Nancy’s head,” as her attacks have become more personal, but both parties are “tough fighters and know what they’re doing.”

Meanwhile, if they could calm down their attacks, Trump could sit and negotiate with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and talk about infrastructure, which is more important, said King.

“They’ve taken their shots,” said King. “Declare victory and go on.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking $100 million on behalf of the family of a Guatemalan woman who was shot to death by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, CBS News is reporting.

The legal claim was filed Thursday – one year after Claudia Patricia Gómez González, 20, was killed.

The ACLU claims she “posed no threat to anyone, as would have been obvious from the slightest glance.” The claim says she was unarmed.

CBS News said that Gómez González, along with several migrants, had crossed the southern border and were confronted by a Border Patrol agent, who opened fire.

The claim, filed by the ACLU of Texas, demands $50 million each for personal injury and her wrongful death.

“Her life was as valuable as anyone else’s, and her family deserves justice for their loss,” said Andre Segura, the group’s legal director. “Our government has a responsibility to treat everyone lawfully, humanely, and with respect regardless of how they came into this country.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, maintained a member of the group rushed the agent and ignored orders to get on the ground. It claimed the agent fired one round.

Gómez González had left for the U.S. after living in poverty and not being able to find work, CBS News reported.

Source: NewsMax Politics

A lone Republican congressman single-handedly stalled a $19 billion disaster aid bill that lawmakers had expected to pass before the Memorial Day weekend.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy took to the House floor late Friday morning to object when lawmakers tried to approve the legislation using a fast-track tactic, with many members of Congress already gone for the holiday.

SENATE PASSES DISASTER AID BILL 

“If I do not object, Congress will have passed a bill with $19 billion without being here to vote on it,” Roy said.

Railing against the “swamp,” Roy objected to speeding the measure through a nearly-empty chamber, complained it wasn’t paid for and challenged a decision not to include President Trump’s $4.5 billion request for dealing with the migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Under House rules, it only took one opposing member to derail the vote. The package likely will now be delayed at least until early June.

Democrats slammed Roy in response. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., called the turn of events “tragic.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., said in a statement it is “deeply disappointing that House Republicans are now making disaster victims wait even longer to get the help they need.”

The surprise development comes after the Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation Thursday afternoon to help several states and Puerto Rico recover from hurricanes, floods and wildfires – this, after Trump himself backed off from his demand that border security money be added.

Senators had passed the measure on an 85-8 vote; eight Republicans opposed it. Trump then said he would sign the measure, tweeting: “The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!”

The legislation is crucial to states still reeling from devastating hurricanes over the past two years and epic flooding that drenched Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. It would provide over $600 million in nutrition assistance and $304 million in aid for Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

President Donald Trump on Friday accused Democrats in Congress of looking for a “do-over” by having special counsel Robert Mueller testify.

“I don’t know why the Radical Left Democrats want Bob Mueller to testify when he just issued a 40 Million Dollar Report that states, loud & clear & for all to hear, No Collusion and No Obstruction (how do you Obstruct a NO crime?),” Trump tweeted. “Dems are just looking for trouble and a Do-Over!”

Trump had said earlier this month that he would let Attorney General William Barr decide whether Mueller can testify. Barr has stated that he has no problem with Mueller testifying.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said Thursday that Mueller has told him that he’s open to making a public opening statement, but would rather deliver his testimony in a private session.

“We think it’s important for the American people to hear from him and to hear his answers to questions about the report,” Nadler said on MSNBC Thursday night.

Mueller concluded in his report that his investigation did not find sufficient evidence to charge any members of the Trump campaign with conspiring with Russia or any Russian representatives to interfere in the 2016 election. However, he did cite multiple examples of potential obstruction of justice, and noted that “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”

Source: NewsMax Politics


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