October 13, 2019

Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level Since 1969

The U.S. economy created 136,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Economists had expected the economy to between 120,000 and 179,000 with the consensus number at 145,000, according to Econoday. Unemployment was expected to remain unchanged at last month’s 3.7 percent.

The jobs data for the two previous months were also revised upward, indicating that the labor market was stronger over the summer than previously indicated. Employment for July was revised up by 7,000 from 159,000 to 166,000, and August was revised up by 38,000 from 130,000 to 168,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 45,000 more than previously reported.

The stronger numbers for July and August may also explain the slightly-below expectations figure for September since some of the growth in employment forecast for last month had already occurred.

The last time the rate was this low was in December 1969, when it also was 3.5 percent.

Economic data has been intensely scrutinized this week for signs of economic sluggishness after the Institute for Supply Management’s survey of manufacturing companies suggested the manufacturing sector had unexpectedly contracted for a second consecutive month. Survey data of non-manufacturing companies, however, showed that the services sector continued to expand in September. Similarly, data on private payrolls and unemployment claims suggested that the U.S. economy had cooled but was not near a recession.

September’s hiring may have been weighed down by the strike by General Motors workers, which has sidelined GM plants and likely prevented GM suppliers from hiring new workers. The latest data suggests that manufacturing held its job count near steady, shedding just 2,000 jobs during the month.

Wage growth was weak in the month. In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $28.09, were down 1 cent, after rising by 11 cents in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 4 cents to $23.65.

By John Carney


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FROM A LIBERAL: An Open Letter to the Democratic Party

The days of buffet-style politics are no longer allowed

This article is in The Spectator’s inaugural US edition.

Dear Democrats, I’m mad at you. I was raised a die-hard, bleeding-heart liberal. My grandmother was an Irish Catholic New Englander who worshiped JFK almost as much as Jesus. My dad and his nine siblings sang for the Kennedys at Hammersmith Farm.

For decades, I was a loyal regular at your bar until suddenly you started ignoring me. You took my support for granted and dismissed my concerns, focusing instead on courting the young city hipsters with their scooters and their designer weed and their craft beers. You began overlooking pragmatic moderates and catering to loud extremists who favor rewriting the Constitution and accelerating our lurch towards socialism.

So in 2016, feeling politically homeless, I dropped my party affiliation. How did this happen? How did I go from being a lifetime Democrat to a registered independent? I am far from alone: why don’t you Democrats seem to care?

Like most Americans, I developed my politics through osmosis. You absorb what you grow up around. I call this unexamined position ‘factory settings’. Factory settings are the default beliefs installed when you were a child. ‘I grew up in a conservative home and so I vote Republican.’ Or ‘I hate the Yankees because I’m from Boston.’

As a young person, I could spout Democratic party lines verbatim. I didn’t care all that much. Prior to 2015, I viewed politics as something that only affected the very rich and the very poor. I wasn’t dependent on the government and tax cuts didn’t benefit me. The winner of any election had very little influence on my life. I worked as a waitress. Too busy living paycheck to paycheck, I felt like just another cog in the wheel.

For most of the 20 years in which I have been able to vote, I’ve kept my head down and voted Democrat because I believed they were the ‘party of the people’. And I was told Republicans were evil my whole life.

I understood the importance of voting, but had fallen asleep at the wheel of a self-driving car and was happy to let the autopilot navigate. It was easier. And not in a lazy, ignorant or unmotivated way — I was simply too busy trying to survive, so I rested in the default settings I was born into and trusted the geniuses in charge could work on the details.

For a long time, politicians could count on the factory-settings crowd. People know the lever they’re supposed to pull and that’s about all they’re there to do. But social media and unprecedented amounts of interconnection have added new layers that disrupt the quiet majority of factory-settings voters like me.

Having been born and raised a liberal Democrat, I had only a vague sense of the truth behind America’s political divisions. This was because of the left’s firm domination of media, entertainment and education. I subscribed to what I now call ‘The Approved Message’, a sort of ‘right-think’ that meant you were one of the good guys: a Democrat. It made for a simpler life.

Then came Trumpism. The Approved Message grew louder and angrier. It coalesced into a progressive religion, ‘Wokeism’, which adopted increasingly complex rules. Suddenly, there was no limit on what someone might deem offensive. Certain opinions, words and ideas became unacceptable overnight. Citizens took to policing one another’s jokes, tone and internet histories.

It quickly became clear that anyone who supported Trump (to be clear, I am not a fan) should be shamed and ostracized. If they were a family member, disowned. In fact, coming out as anything other than anti-Trump could end your career, get you kicked out of your mommy group or land you on the wrong side of a virtual mob.

Like most Americans, I was suddenly playing catch-up. Speech is violence, capitalism and democracy are oppressive, critical thinking is ‘fence-sitting.’

If you try nuance or engage in ‘wrong-think’ on sacred issues, you won’t just get into a tiff with the neighbors; now there’s every chance you will have your personal life dragged into the public square in order to shame you into obscurity. The days of buffet-style politics are no longer allowed. You either check all the boxes of the ‘good’ party, or you belong to the ‘bad’ one. When I dared to push back by writing articles, I was struck by how quickly the left rejected me. Millions noticed this too: they watched in stunned silence as leftists demanded books be censored, scrutinized language and called anyone who disagreed a Nazi.

Flash forward three years into a Trump administration and instead of learning from mistakes, the loudest members of the party are heading for the same brick wall. At this point the 2020 Democratic platform feels like a barely veiled threat: ‘Vote for us or you’re racist.’

The progressive push to fully embody the promise made in the Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal’ used to feel aspirational and attainable. Now, the open-mindedness and tolerance that attracted me to the Democratic party seems like a thing of the past. Gone is the party that stood in direct opposition to the rigid moralizing of conservatism.

In its place is a movement that feels less about liberation and more about obedience. Progressivism is no longer interested in ideological diversity and instead demands rigid adherence to dogma. Dare to defy and risk being, as we say on Twitter, ‘canceled.’

When a movement is no longer open to dissent, the movement is dead. It is no longer a living, breathing dialogue. It’s a cult.

Like it or not, I’m a canary in the coal-mine. If I, a citizen of the Republic of California, have been abandoned in the center, how many people are there in Ohio? Or Florida? Or Wisconsin? I guarantee a lot more than the polls currently reflect, and a lot more than Democrats can perceive from their liberal bubble. You can’t bully people into voting the way you like and then when they push back imply they are racist and say good riddance — not if you want to survive.

So Democrats, please stop with this nonsense that people like me have left you, as you endlessly tell me on Twitter. You pushed us away. Offer us a compelling vision of the future based on the strength of your ideas and policies. If you can’t, maybe you don’t deserve to win.

by Bridget Phetasy


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Doomsdays That Didn’t Happen: Decades of Failed Climate Predictions

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested Miami would disappear in “a few years” due to climate change. The United Nations is convening a “Climate Action Summit” next week. And climate activist Greta Thunberg is on Capitol Hill this week telling lawmakers they must act soon.

But while data from NASA and other top research agencies confirms global temperatures are indeed rising, a newly compiled retrospective indicates the doomsday rhetoric is perhaps more overheated.

The conservative-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute has put together a lengthy compilation of apocalyptic predictions dating back decades that did not come to pass, timed as Democratic presidential candidates and climate activists refocus attention on the issue.

The dire predictions, often repeated in the media, warned of a variety of impending disasters – famine, drought, an ice age, and even disappearing nations – if the world failed to act on climate change.

An Associated Press headline from 1989 read “Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials.” The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000.

Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending “cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere.” That claim came from an “international team of specialists” cited by The New York Times in 1978.Video

Just years prior, Time magazine echoed other media outlets in suggesting that “another ice age” was imminent. “Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest,” the magazine warned in 1974. The Guardian similarly warned in 1974 that “Space satellites show new Ice Age coming fast.”

In 1970, The Boston Globe ran the headline, “Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century.” The Washington Post, for its part, published a Columbia University scientist’s claim that the world could be “as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.”

Some of the more dire predictions came from Paul Ehrlich, a biologist who famously urged population control to mitigate the impacts of humans on the environment. Ehrlich, in 1969, warned that “everybody” would “disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years,” The New York Times reported.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Ehrlich, warning of a “disastrous” famine,” urged placing “sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water.”

Those predictions were made around the time former President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. Since then, the U.S. has adopted a series of environmental reforms aimed at limiting emissions.

Years after those initial predictions, media outlets and politicians continue to teem with claims of apocalyptic scenarios resulting from climate change.

Earlier this month, leading Democratic presidential candidates held a town hall on the issue and warned about the “existential” threat posed by a changing climate. Before the end of the month, 2020 candidates are expected to have another climate forum at Georgetown University.

CEI’s report came just before the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, an event that promises to “spark the transformation that is urgently needed and propel action that will benefit everyone.”

It also came a week after Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned that Miami would be gone in a “few years” because of climate change. She was responding to critics of her ambitious “Green New Deal,” which seeks to reach net-zero emissions within just decades.Video

Ocasio-Cortez, whose plan has been endorsed by leading presidential candidates, previously joked that the world would end in 12 years if it didn’t address climate change. But short-term predictions weren’t a laughing matter in the years following “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary produced by former Vice President Al Gore.

In 2008, ABC released an ominous video about what the world would look like in 2015. As the video warned about rising sea levels, a graphic showed significant portions of New York City engulfed by water. Gore himself famously predicted in the early 2000s that Arctic ice could be gone within seven years. At the end of seven years, Arctic ice had undergone a period of expansion, though recently it has been melting at a quicker pace.

Sam Dorman is a reporter with Fox News. You can follow him on Facebook here.


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US Attorney Charging FBI’s McCabe for Lying In Hillary Probe

U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against Andrew McCabe, as the Justice Department rejects a last-ditch appeal from the former top FBI official.

McCabe appealed the decision of the U.S. attorney for Washington all the way up to the deputy attorney general, but the department rejected that request, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The potential charges relate to DOJ inspector general findings against him regarding misleading statements during the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

A source close to McCabe’s legal team said they received an email from the Department of Justice which said, “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office.”

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.

U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against Andrew McCabe, Fox News has learned, as the Justice Department rejects a last-ditch appeal from the former top FBI official.

McCabe — the former deputy and acting director of the FBI — appealed the decision of the U.S. attorney for Washington all the way up to Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general, but the department rejected that request, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The potential charges relate to DOJ inspector general findings against him regarding misleading statements concerning a Hillary Clinton-related investigation.

A source close to McCabe’s legal team said they received an email from the Department of Justice which said, “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office.”

McCabe, who recently was hired as a paid CNN commentator, spent 21 years with the FBI. He became the acting director in May 2017 after President Trump fired former director James Comey.

Last month, a source close to the process told Fox News that McCabe had a “target on his back” because of the Justice Department inspector general findings.Video

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 after the inspector general found he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a leak to The Wall Street Journal regarding an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

The IG report faulted McCabe for leaking information to Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for an Oct. 30, 2016 story titled “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe.” The story — written just days before the presidential election – focused on the FBI announcing the reopening of the Clinton investigation after finding thousands of her emails on a laptop belonging to former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

The Journal’s account of the call says a senior Justice Department official expressed displeasure to McCabe that FBI agents were still looking into the Clinton Foundation, and that McCabe had defended agent’s authority to pursue the issue.

That leak confirmed the existence of the probe, the report said, which then-FBI Director James Comey had up to that point refused to do.

The report says that McCabe “lacked candor” in a conversation with Comey when he said that he had not authorized the disclosure and didn’t know who had done so. The IG also found that he also lacked candor when questioned by FBI agents on multiple occasions since that conversation.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and said the inspector general’s conclusions relied on mischaracterizations and omissions, including of information favorable to McCabe.

Last month, McCabe sued the FBI and the Justice Department over his firing, arguing it was part of Trump’s plan to rid the bureau of leaders he perceived as disloyal to him. McCabe argued in his complaint that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president’s wishes.

The stated reason for the firing was that McCabe had misled investigators over his involvement in a news media leak, but McCabe says the real reason was “his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man.”

McCabe has been attacked by the president since before he was elected after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there. McAuliffe is a close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who was being investigated at the time for her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state.

After McCabe’s hiring by CNN, Trump called it “disgraceful.”

CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Fox News’ Brian Flood, Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Trump Wins Again! Supreme Court Backs Border Wall Funding

SCOTUS RULING — The Constitution does not prevent President Trump from moving federal funds to build a wall on the southern border — and the Supreme Court will not rule otherwise.

Democratic leaders greeted last week’s news that the Pentagon had carried out Trump’s transfer of $3.6 billion for the border wall as if the constitutional heavens had fallen.  “The president is negating the Congress’ most fundamental principles — the Constitution’s most fundamental principle — the separation of powers,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday, “by assaulting the Constitution’s power, our power of the purse, and he’s undermining the oath of office he takes to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people.” Even conservative commentators have echoed the claim that the president is violating the Constitution by moving funds for the wall without congressional permission.

Most of this criticism is pure partisanship. But those on the Left and Right who oppose the president’s actions in good faith are either wrong or confused about the nature of presidential power and congressional delegations of authority.

The Constitution says only a specific list of “legislative Powers herein granted” are “vested in a Congress.” But it vests “[t]he executive Power” of the entire federal government wholly and completely to the president. The Constitution purposefully does not limit the president to a specific list of powers, as it does with Congress. “Good government,” Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 70, requires “energy in the executive,” which is “essential to the protection of the community from foreign attacks” and “the steady administration of the laws.”

The Framers knew that it was impossible to define beforehand the nature of emergencies and crises, and so did not try to define the president’s powers to act in response. Because the “circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite,” Hamilton warned in Federalist 23 during the fight over ratification, “no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power.”

If presidents are to protect America and execute its laws, they must have the ability to identify an emergency. Throughout our history, presidents have understood the Constitution’s grant of “the executive power” to include such a power. Thomas Jefferson effectively did so in response to Aaron Burr’s effort to raise a rebellion in Louisiana; Abraham Lincoln declared an emergency at the start of the Civil War; FDR did so, with far less justification, at the start of his presidency to handle the Great Depression.

Not only do presidents have the constitutional authority to respond to emergencies, but Congress has also enhanced it with the right to re-allocate military spending. 

In the judgment of President Trump and, presumably, many of those who elected him, our immigration laws at the border have failed.  Even the New York Times and other media critics of the president have called the situation at the border an “emergency.” As commander-in-chief, the president has already ordered 3,000 troops to defend the integrity of the border. This recalls the U.S. Army to its roots — safeguarding the frontier.

Congress long ago blessed presidential authority to follow up an emergency declaration with deeds. In 1976, Congress enacted the National Emergency Act. While it terminated most existing emergencies, the NEA neither defined a national emergency nor limited the president’s ability to declare one. The law only sets out the process for publication and congressional notification for the president’s declaration. Every president has used the NEA to declare a national emergency, several under circumstances far less immediate than this one. The Supreme Court has never disagreed.

Not only do presidents have a reservoir of constitutional authority to respond to emergencies, but Congress has also enhanced it with the right to re-allocate military spending. Congress has passed at least two specific laws that give the president the power to transfer funds to a construction project, such as a wall, after a declaration of emergency. The first, Section 2808 of Title 10, states that if Trump declares an emergency “that requires use of the armed forces, the Secretary of Defense…may undertakemilitary construction projects” using construction funding if it supports the armed forces.

A wall would clearly support the troops deployed at the border. A wall would make the troops safer by protecting them and reducing the size of migrant flows. A wall would also reduce the size of necessary deployments along the border by reducing the area that must be patrolled.  Further, decisions over what “requires” the armed forces and what is “necessary to support” them traditionally have rested within the expertise of the president and have rarely, if ever, been second-guessed by the courts

A second law, Section 2293 of Title 33 of the U.S. Code, allows the secretary of Defense to reallocate funds from military construction projects if the president declares an emergency. This means the president can “terminate or defer the construction, operation, maintenance, or repair” of any project “he deems not essential to the national defense” and “apply the resources of the Department of the Army’s civil works program, including funds, personnel, and equipment” to military construction projects deemed essential.

This statute appears even more generous than Section 2808. It does not demand that the national emergency requires the use of the U.S. Armed Forces; it allows that it could be an emergency that “requires or may require” their use. It also does not require that the construction be necessary to support the armed forces. Instead, the statute requires that (a) the civil works, military construction, or civil defense project be “authorized,” and (b) that the project be “essential to the national defense.” As law professor John Eastman has observed, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 authorized construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which meets condition (a).

These laws do not define what construction projects are essential to the national defense. The courts will be rightly reluctant to review these decisions. Instead, the Supreme Court will likely give the president the broadest deference to decide whether any construction project, even a border wall, would satisfy this statutory language.

This makes perfect sense. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to define by antecedent law what is militarily necessary — this lies squarely within the scope of executive power. Would the courts review whether the president’s decision to build a particular base, road, waterway, airport, fortification, defense structure, storage facility, arsenal, or even a bunker, is “essential” to the national defense? Such a decision would depend on the circumstances and the nature of the threat, which almost by definition could not be fully anticipated by Congress.

Despite the pleas of administration critics, the Supreme Court will almost certainly agree. If President Trump’s critics disagree with him as a matter of policy, they will be free to vote for someone else in 2020.


Matthew Peterson, Ph.D, is Vice President of Education and Salvatori Research Fellow at the Claremont Institute.

John C. Yoo is Heller professor law at UC Berkeley School of Law, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a visiting scholar at The Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of the new book “Striking Power: How Cyber, Robots and Space Weapons Change the Rules of War.” 


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9/11 Anniversary: Trump Says Day is ‘Seared into our Soul’

Eighteen years after the Tuesday morning President Trump says “is seared into our soul,” the nation paused to solemnly mark the events of the 9/11 terror attacks and the nearly 3,000 people who were lost – but never forgotten.

Morning ceremonies were held Wednesday at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa. And this year is the first time the names of each are being read in the presence of a new, bittersweet section of the 9/11 Memorial — one honoring the growing list of first responders who’ve passed away from illnesses diagnosed in the aftermath of the attacks.

“For every American who lived through that day, the September 11 attack is seared into our soul,” Trump said during a ceremony at the Pentagon. “It was a day filled with shock, horror, sorrow and righteous fury.”

He added: “For the families who join us, this is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss. It’s the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over: the last kiss, the last phone call, the last time hearing those precious words ‘I love you’.”

Trump, a native New Yorker, said he and first lady Melania Trump are “united” with the survivors “in your grief.”

“We come here in the knowledge that we cannot erase the pain or reverse the evil of that dark and wretched day, but we offer you all that we have: our unwavering loyalty, our undying devotion and our eternal pledge that your loved ones will never, ever be forgotten,” he said.

This morning, the names of each victim at the Pentagon were read aloud, followed with the ringing of a bell. Former President George W. Bush is also expected to lay a wreath at the Pentagon this afternoon, while Vice President Pence will attend a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa.

Following the annual reading of names in Manhattan, the Port Authority — the owner of the original World Trade Center — will be holding an interfaith remembrance service at nearby St. Peters’ Church.

First responders and family members invited to dedication ceremony in Lower Manhattan; Rick Leventhal reports.

Farther north, the largest free-flying American flag in the world, which weighs 450 pounds and measures 60 by 90 feet, will be greeting drivers on the George Washington Bridge. And in the evening, the Tribute in Light beams that emanate from near Ground Zero will be visible up to 60 miles away.

The 9/11 Memorial Glade, which opened in late May, pays tribute to the more than 2,000 firefighters, police officers, federal agents and other first responders who have died after inhaling toxic fumes during recovery efforts and when clearing rubble at the scene.

The exhibit – just steps away from the reflecting pools — features six granite monoliths, each weighing 13 to 18 tons, inlaid and bound with strips of World Trade Center steel. The stones point skyward, crafted to look bruised, not broken, as a testament to the strength of the human spirit after the tragedy, the architects told Fox News earlier this year.

A visitor touches one of the granite slabs at the 9/11 Memorial Glade in New York City. When the names of nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims are read aloud today at the World Trade Center, a half-dozen stacks of stone will quietly salute an untold number of people who aren’t on the list. (AP)

A visitor touches one of the granite slabs at the 9/11 Memorial Glade in New York City. When the names of nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims are read aloud today at the World Trade Center, a half-dozen stacks of stone will quietly salute an untold number of people who aren’t on the list. (AP)

“Here we honor the tens of thousands / From across America and around the world / Who came to help and to heal / Whose selflessness and resolve / Perseverance and courage / Renewed the spirit of a grieving city / Gave hope to the nation / And inspired the world,” reads an inscription at one end of the Glade.

It opened on May 30 — the 17th anniversary of the official end of the rescue-and-recovery efforts that followed the 9/11 attacks.

But the number of those who have died from 9/11-related illnesses is expected to climb over time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s World Trade Center Health Program says.

In this year alone, those illnesses have claimed the lives of six police officers, the most recent being Cayuga County Undersheriff Stephen McLoud, who passed away from cancer just before Labor Day weekend, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Smoke rises from the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center after hijacked planes crashed into the towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP)

Smoke rises from the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center after hijacked planes crashed into the towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP)

In June, William Leahy, an officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, also passed away from cancer, which he was diagnosed with in the wake of the attacks.

“[He was] tough as nails and always got the job done,” Lt. Daniel Rhein told the New York Daily News. “At the same time, he would call his mother every day.”

At the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Glade, Caryn Pfeifer, whose firefighter husband Ray Pfeifer died of cancer in 2017, described the area as a “beautiful place for our heroes.”

She told The Associated Press that right after the World Trade Center towers fell, Ray “spent the next nine months searching and digging at Ground Zero without being asked, without being told, and without thinking about the consequences.

“But there were consequences,” she added. “There was illness and pain and death and for Ray that meant his guys and their families were in trouble.”

To date, only two men have been tried and sentenced in connection to the Sept. 11 attacks, leaving victims’ families increasingly frustrated.

Yet as this 18th anniversary comes, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind, is inching closer. He and four other men will face war crimes charges at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba beginning in early 2021, a military judge said Friday.

As for today though, America continues to remember the lives lost, including of those who died at the Pentagon and those on board United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.


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Trump’s Guy Wins! Rep-elect Dan Bishop Credits Trump for Special Election Win

Rep-elect Dan Bishop, R-N.C., appeared on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday following his special election victory for North Carolina’s ninth congressional district seat, and credited President Trump with helping him across the finish line.

“[Trump] was a tremendous help,” he said. “We really only were competitive in terms of funding for about six weeks. So the president and the vice president stepping in and committing the way they did to this race was tremendous. And a lot of credit goes to the president.”

Bishop praised Trump’s fighting spirit and said American voters usually respond well to leaders who speak plainly, and directly.

“That’s the thing about President Trump. There’s never been a greater fighter in the White House than he is,” he said. “I think that’s what we’ve got to do is demonstrate fight. He’s got a great vision for America with an economy that’s booming, taxes that are lowered, jobs more plentiful, et cetera. And it’s just an attractive picture. And if you stand up and deliver it the people will respond and they did here last night.”

Bishop also spoke about concerns regarding his slim margin of victory and admitted certain parts of the state have turned blue, before commending Trump once more.

“I really think you can’t overstate the circumstances specific to this race and I think the president’s message — he’s actually fairly well-embraced,” he said. “Charlotte, where I live, is becoming bluer but we knew we had an unconventional strategy, frankly. We knew that the eastern part of this district… [was] important and the president — that’s where he went… and it made a big difference.”


Nick Givas is a reporter with Fox News. You can find him on Twitter at @NGivasDC.


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DOJ Inspector General lists Several Times ex-FBI Boss Comey Violated FBI Rules

Former FBI Director James Comey received heavy criticism from the Justice Department’s inspector general in a blistering report released Thursday about his infamous memos documenting his discussions with President Trump.

The report found that Comey violated bureau policies by drafting, leaking and retaining the memos. However, it noted that the Justice Department declined to prosecute Comey over the violations.

For his part, Comey responded by insisting that he is not a “liar and a leaker,” saying an apology from his critics “would be nice.”

READ THE IG REPORT ON FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY Video

The following is a digest of the numerous times Comey was criticized and cited in the report for violations:

  • “Comey did not seek authorization from the FBI before providing Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to his attorneys.” (page 2)
  • “Comey did not seek FBI authorization before providing the contents of Memo 4, through Richman, to a reporter.” (page 2)
  • “As described in this report, we conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.” (page 3)
  • “Comey told the OIG that he did not notify anyone at the FBI that he was going to share these Memos with anyone, and did not seek authorization from the FBI prior to emailing these four Memos to Fitzgerald.” (page 38)
  • “Accordingly, Comey stated that he did not notify anyone at the FBI that he was going to share the contents of the Memo 4 with Richman or the media, and that he did not seek authorization from FBI to provide Memo 4 to Richman.” (page 40)
  • “Accordingly, after his removal as FBI Director, Comey violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement by failing to either surrender his copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to the FBI or seek authorization to retain them; by releasing official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization; and by failing to immediately alert the FBI about his disclosures to his personal attorneys once he became aware in June 2017 that Memo 2 contained six words (four of which were names of foreign countries mentioned by the President) that the FBI had determined were classified at the ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ level.” (page 52)

Video

  • “Despite knowledge that Memo 3 contained classified information, Comey did not appropriately mark Memo 3 with classification banners, portion markings, or a classification authority block. By failing to do so, Comey violated Executive Order 13526 and Intelligence Community, Department, and FBI policies governing marking of classified information.” (page 53)
  • “Comey’s actions with respect to the Memos violated Department and FBI policies concerning the retention, handling, and dissemination of FBI records and information, and violated the requirements of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement.” (page 54)
  • “Comey violated Department and FBI policies, and the terms of his FBI Employment Agreement, by retaining copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 after he was removed as Director, regardless of each Memo’s classification level.” (page 55)
  • “As a departing FBI employee, Comey was required to relinquish any official documents in his possession and to seek specific authorization from the FBI in order to personally retain any FBI documents. Comey failed to comply with these requirements.” (page 55)

COMEY VIOLATED FBI POLICIES, IG REPORT SAYSVideo

  • “As the FBI Director and Head of a Department Component, Comey was required to apply for and obtain authorization from the Assistant Attorney General for Administration to retain any FBI records after his removal. Comey violated these Department and FBI policies by failing to surrender his copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 upon being removed as FBI Director and by failing to seek authorization to retain them.” (page 55)
  • “Comey violated FBI policies and the requirements of his FBI Employment Agreement when he sent a copy of Memo 4 to Richman with instructions to provide the contents to a reporter, and when he transmitted copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and a redacted version of 7 to his three attorneys.” (page 56)
  • “Comey violated FBI policy and the requirements of his FBI Employment Agreement when he chose this path.” (page 56)
  • “Comey was not authorized to disclose the statements he attributed to President Trump in Memo 4, which Comey viewed as evidence of an alleged attempt to obstruct the Flynn investigation and which were relevant to the ongoing Flynn investigation.” (page 56)
  • “Rather than continuing to safeguard such evidence, Comey unilaterally and without authorization disclosed it to all.” (page 56)
  • “However, Comey’s own, personal conception of what was necessary was not an appropriate basis for ignoring the policies and agreements governing the use of FBI records, especially given the other lawful and appropriate actions he could have taken to achieve his desired end.” (page 57)
  • “The unauthorized disclosure of this information—information that Comey knew only by virtue of his position as FBI Director—violated the terms of his FBI Employment Agreement and the FBI’s Prepublication Review Policy.” (page 57)
  • “However, Comey was not authorized to provide these Memos to his attorneys without prior approval from or coordination with the FBI.” (page 58)
  • “By providing Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to his attorneys without seeking FBI approval, Comey took for himself the ‘carte blanche authority’ expressly denied by the courts, in clear violation of the FBI’s Prepublication Review Policy and the requirements of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement. As a result, Comey not only disclosed sensitive law enforcement information to his personal counsel but also a small amount of information contained in Memo 2 that the FBI subsequently determined was classified at the ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ level.” (page 58)
  • “Once he knew that the FBI had classified portions of Memo 2, Comey failed to immediately notify the FBI that he had previously given Memo 2 to his attorneys.” (page 59)
  • “The FBI’s Safeguarding Classified National Security Information Policy Guide clearly states that ‘[a]ny person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, compromised, or disclosed to an unauthorized person must immediately report the circumstances to his or her security office.’ Comey violated this requirement by failing to immediately inform the FBI that he provided Memo 2 to his attorneys.” (page 59)
  • “By not immediately reporting that he had provided Memo 2 to his attorneys when Comey first learned that the FBI had designated a small portion of Memo 2 as classified at the ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ level, Comey violated FBI policy.” (page 59)
  • “However, after his removal as FBI Director two months later, Comey provided a copy of Memo 4, which Comey had kept without authorization, to Richman with instructions to share the contents with a reporter for The New York Times.” (page 60)
  • “But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information. Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility.” (page 60)
  • “We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with Department policy. Comey’s unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism.” (page 61)
  • “Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.” (page 61)

By FoxNews.com


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Judge Slaps Down Nadler and Dem Gambit in Trump Probe

A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday shot down an attempt by House Judiciary Committee Democrats to link their subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn to a separate request for secret grand jury information from the Russia investigation after the Justice Department accused them of trying to “game the system.”

Normally cases are assigned to judges randomly, which the DOJ said is meant to keep parties from “attempting to game the system” by “shopping” for a judge they like. But in a Tuesday court filing, the department alleged the Democrat-controlled committee was trying to do exactly that by exploiting an exception that allows “related” cases to be heard by the same judge. In this case, the DOJ said the panel improperly sought to connect the McGahn case to the grand jury case simply because they’re both part of their investigation of President Trump.

“[A]t first blush, the House Judiciary Committee’s view that the related case rule applies is understandable,” D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell wrote in her order rejecting the bid. “Nonetheless, closer examination demonstrates that these connections between the two cases are too superficial and attenuated for the instant McGahn Subpoena Case to qualify[.]”

Howell, who is currently assigned to the grand jury case, agreed with the DOJ’s argument that the committee’s request to unseal secret grand jury information from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe has to do with the application of the law under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, while the McGahn case is a civil matter dealing with enforcing a subpoena where immunity has been asserted. Video

“This later-filed, subpoena-enforcement suit involves no issues of fact or law common to the earlier Grand Jury application, nor does it focus on a common event or transaction such that the matters would be ‘related,’” the DOJ argued in its court filing.

The House Judiciary Committee claimed that the cases are related because they both tie into what they are now calling an “impeachment investigation” of Trump. Their complaint against McGahn calls him the “most important witness, other than the President, to the key events that are the focus of the Judiciary Committee’s investigation” into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The DOJ, however, argued that the term “related” refers to cases that have “common issues of fact” or stem from a “common event or transaction.” They claimed the committee “gets it backwards” because they are “trying to relate completely unrelated cases simply because it filed them in service of its overarching desire to bring various matters together in its investigation of the President.”

McGahn’s refusal to comply with a subpoena is the real “event or transaction” in this case, the DOJ said, “not the Committee’s asserted ‘impeachment investigation.’”

Howell also identified the legal issues in the grand jury case, pointing out that those issues “are entirely absent” from the McGahn case.

The Justice Department also countered the committee’s claim that linking the cases would make the judicial process more efficient by noting that while the committee knew about McGahn’s refusal to testify back in May, they waited until August – soon after filing the grand jury information case – to sue over it.

“Thus, any delay is the Committee’s doing at this point,” the DOJ said, questioning how getting around the random judge assignment process would help make things go faster.

Judge Howell countered the committee’s argument by saying that “judicial efficiency is not served where two cases present such different factual and legal issues, as is the circumstance here.”

The McGahn case will now be transferred to the Calendar and Case Management Committee to be randomly reassigned.

The existence of an “impeachment investigation” has also been called into question. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., has stated that “formal impeachment proceedings” are underway, but the committee’s ranking Republican Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said that is impossible because the House never voted to approve such an investigation.

Several House Democrats have claimed that a vote is not necessary, either because the Constitution grants them the power to conduct impeachment investigations or because a recent expansion of committee powers allows it.

By Ronn Blitzer


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Democrat Donor Epstein Found Dead – Another Clinton Witness Doesn’t Make it to Testimony

Disgraced multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sex trafficking minors, died from an apparent suicide inside in his Manhattan jail cell, officials confirmed Saturday.

Attorney General William Barr said in a statement Saturday that he was “appalled” to learn of the death and the Inspector General would open an investigation into the circumstances of his death. The FBI is also investigating.

“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” he said. “In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”

The 66-year-old Epstein was found unresponsive inside his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City around 6:30 a.m. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff. He was transported to the New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital and was dead on arrival, officials said.

Law enforcement sources told Fox News that the initial call to the jail was cardiac arrest. Multiple reports claimed that he hanged himself. An autopsy is pending.

Marc Fernish, one of Epstein’s attorneys, blamed the government, the judge in the case and the media for this “unthinkable tragedy.”

“All these actors appear to bear some responsibility for this calamity. All seem to have a share of Mr. Epstein’s blood on their hands. All should be ashamed of their behavior,” the said in a personal statement to Fox News. “I call for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s death. The public needs to know exactly what happened and why — and how his custodians could have let it occur.”

Epstein’s death comes two weeks after the 66-year-old was placed on suicide watch after he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck. At the time, it was not clear whether the injuries were self-inflicted or from an assault.

He had been taken off suicide watch before he killed himself, a person familiar with the matter told the AP. It wasn’t immediately clear when he was taken off suicide watch.Video

Epstein was arrested on July 6 over the alleged sexual abuse of dozens of young girls in his Upper East Side townhouse and his waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005

Epstein allegedly created and maintained a “vast network” and operation from 2002 “up to and including” at least 2005 that enabled him to “sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls” in addition to paying victims to recruit other girls. Prosecutors said that victims would be escorted to a room with a massage table where they would perform massages on Epstein.

At the time of Epstein’s arrest, prosecutors said they found a trove of pictures of nude and seminude young women and girls at his $77 million Manhattan mansion. They also say additional victims have come forward since the arrest.

He had pleaded not guilty and faced up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

His death also comes a day after thousands of documents were unsealed Friday in connection with a defamation cause against his alleged recruiter that revealed dozens of high-profile names including former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.Video

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has long claimed Epstein forced her to have sex with powerful men, claimed in the lawsuit that Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, kept her as a “sex slave” in the early 2000s when she was underage.

Giuffre claimed in the unsealed May 2016 deposition to have been trafficked to have sex with and provide erotic massages to powerful politicians, foreign leaders, and well-heeled businessmen.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S HIGH-PROFILE ASSOCIATES ‘BREATHING A SIGH OF RELIEF’ AFTER DEATH: DEROY MURDOCK

Her attorney, Brad Edwards, reacted to Epstein’s apparent suicide on Saturday, telling Fox News it was “unfortunate and predictable.”

“The fact that Jeffrey Epstein was able to commit the selfish act of taking his own life as his world of abuse, exploitation, and corruption unraveled in both unfortunate and predictable,” he said in a statement. “While we engaged in contentious legal battles for more than a decade, this is not the ending anyone was looking for.”

He continued: “The victims deserved to see Epstein held accountable, and he owed it to everyone he hurt to accept responsibility for all of the pain he caused. It is never too late to come forward with information. We will continue to represent his victims and will not stop in their pursuit of finality and justice.”Video

Epstein’s arrest drew national attention, particularly focusing on a deal that allowed Epstein to plead guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida and avoid more serious federal charges.

Federal prosecutors in New York reopened the probe after investigative reporting by the Miami Herald stirred outrage over that plea bargain.

But his lawyers maintained that the new charges brought by federal prosecutors in New York were covered by the deal and were improper. They said he hasn’t had any illicit contact with girls since serving his 13-month sentence in Florida.

High-profile attorney Lisa Bloom, who presents some of Epstein’s accusers, tweeted Saturday that his death means a “consciousness of guilt.”

“He was charged with only two counts. But he knew. He knew he was guilty, and all of his money would not prevent the inevitable conviction. He knew justice was coming and he could not face it”, she wrote.

David Boies, who represents several women allegedly victimized by Epstein, told Fox News: “This is the end of one chapter, but only one chapter, of the battle to bring the sex traffickers to justice.  Jeffrey Epstein did not act, and could not have done what he did, alone. Justice demands that those who acted with him also be held to account.”

Before his legal troubles, Epstein led a life of extraordinary luxury that drew powerful people into his orbit.

He socialized with princes and presidents and lived on a 100-acre private island in the Caribbean and one of the biggest mansions in New York. A college dropout, he became a sought-after benefactor of professors and scientists, donating millions of dollars in donations to Harvard University and other causes.Video

Still, it was never entirely clear how the middle-class Brooklyn math whiz became a Wall Street master of high finance.

Epstein’s death is likely to raise questions about how the Bureau of Prisons ensures the welfare of high-profile inmates. In October, Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a federal prison in West Virginia where had just been transferred.

The Justice Department and the federal Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Fox News’ Bryan Llenas, Robert Gearty, Marta Dhanis, Brooke Singman, Travis Fedschun, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter & Editor for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang


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Ohio Shooter a Leftist Democrat Socialist Warren Supporter – Warren Raises Money

The 24-year-old gunman who killed his sister and eight other people in Ohio is an ardent leftist socialist democrat and supporter of Sen Elizabeth Warren (D) and Sen Bernie Sanders, and their socialist agenda.

“I want socialism, and i’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding,” read one tweet.

Betts also exhibited a fascination with the devil, using such hashtags as “#selfie4satan,” “#HailSatan,” and “@SatanTweeting”. Typical leftist.

Sen Warren and the liberal media have completely ignored this reality and have launched money raising campaigns based on the assertion that the El Paso shooter didn’t like illegal aliens. They have further attempted to saddle President Trump with blame for both shooting sprees, completely ignoring the reality that the Ohio shooter was their guy.

Connor Betts, 24, the deceased gunman who shot and killed nine people in Ohio and wounded 27 others in a mass shooting early Sunday morning, had a twitter account showing he supported ANTIFA and socialist causes and was a supporter of presidential candidate Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

The Twitter biography reads, “he/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / i’m going to hell and i’m not coming back.” Tweets include praising Satan and “F— John McCain” after late Arizona Sen. John McCain died.

While the El Paso shooter decries the “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” he specifically tells the world that his personal beliefs “predate Trump and his campaign,” and are not part of the Trump agenda or movement.

Warren and Democrats are abusing the victims, their families and loved ones, as well as the public by misrepresenting the truth, and by demanding money at a time of national sorrow. Opportunists and vultures–as always.

by James Thompson

Dem Judge Dismisses DNC Hacking Lawsuit Against Trump

Judge says claims ‘entirely divorced from the facts’

A federal judge (in the Southern District of New York, appointed by Pres. Clinton) in very frank terms Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against key members of the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over hacked DNC documents, saying they “did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place” and therefore bore no legal liability for disseminating the information.

The ruling came as Democrats increasingly have sought to tie the Trump team to illegal activity in Russia, in spite of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that the campaign in fact refused multiple offers by Russians to involve them in hacking and disinformation efforts.

President Trump, in a tweet late Tuesday, noted that the judge in the case, John Koeltl, was appointed by Bill Clinton. The president called Koeltl’s decision “really big ‘stuff'” and “yet another total & complete vindication and exoneration.”

The DNC had asserted in court filings that the Trump team’s meetings “with persons connected to the Russian government during the time that the Russian GRU agents were stealing the DNC’s information” were “circumstantial evidence” that they were conspiring with the Russians to “steal and disseminate the DNC’s materials.”

The suit did not allege that the stolen materials were false or defamatory but rather sought to hold the Trump team and other defendants liable for the theft of the DNC’s information under various Virginia and federal statutes, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and laws protecting trade secrets.Video

However, Judge Koeltl, sitting in the Southern District of New York, wrote in his 81-page opinion Tuesday that the DNC’s argument was “entirely divorced” from the factual record in the case.

The DNC first filed its suit in April 2018, and the defendants responded that the First Amendment legally protected the dissemination of stolen materials.

“In short, the DNC raises a number of connections and communications between the defendants and with people loosely connected to the Russian Federation, but at no point does the DNC allege any facts … to show that any of the defendants — other than the Russian Federation — participated in the theft of the DNC’s information,” Koeltl said.

“Nor does the DNC allege that the defendants ever agreed to help the Russian Federation steal the DNC’s documents,” he added.

The DNC claimed the defendants illegally compromised their trade secrets contained in some of the stolen documents — including donor lists and strategies. But, the judge said, any such claim to trade secrecy was lost when the documents became public in the first place, and in any event, the newsworthiness of the matter trumped the trade secrecy issue.

“If Wikileaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet,” the judge wrote. That, he said, would elevate a privacy interest impermissibly over the First Amendment rights of people and media outlets to disseminate matters of “the highest public concern.”

Koeltl went on to describe multiple hacking efforts directed by Russians at the DNC, in which Russians “hacked into the DNC’s computers, penetrated its phone systems, and stole tens of thousands of documents.”

Author of ‘The Russia Hoax’ Gregg Jarrett says the president’s lawyers flagged Mueller’s lack of understanding of the Russia report months ago.

But, even if the Russians had provided the hacked documents to the Trump team directly, the judge wrote, it would not be criminal for the campaign to then publish those documents, as long as they did not contribute to the hacking itself. Similarly, the judge said, it is not criminal to merely solicit or “welcome” stolen documents.

Koeltl cited the infamous Pentagon Papers case in which the Supreme Court held that The New York Times and The Washington Post were protected by the First Amendment when they published articles concerning the government’s public justification for the Vietnam War.

“At first glance, this opinion raises serious concerns about our protections from foreign election interference and the theft of private property to advance the interests of our enemies,” DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

The suit also named the Russian government, but Koeltl noted that federal law prohibited suits against foreign governments except in highly specific circumstances. Koeltl nevertheless acknowledged that the Russian government “undoubtedly” was involved in the hacking.

Koeltl denied the Trump team’s motion for sanctions but dismissed the suit with prejudice — meaning it had a substantive legal defect and could not be refiled. An appeal remained possible.

In addition to the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, and Russia, the DNC’s suit named Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos, Richard Gates (whose connections with Russia were especially “threadbare,” the judge wrote), Roger Stone, Joseph Mifsud and Julian Assange.

The DNC in its complaint mentioned, among other contacts, Papadopoulos’ meeting with Mifsud in Italy in March 2016, as well as the claim Mifsud told Papadopoulos on April 26, 2016, that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails.

The FBI probe into the Trump team came after the bureau learned Papadopoulos then allegedly told an Australian diplomat about his contacts with Russians.

Mifsud had ties to both western and Russian intelligence, and Papadopoulos relayed to his superiors on the Trump campaign that there were “interesting messages coming in from Moscow.” There has been no evidence Papadopoulos told the Trump team specifically about the stolen emails.

The DNC also focused on statements from Stone that may have suggested he had advance warning of pending email hacks or dissemination, as well as Trump Jr.’s statement that he would “love” to receive potentially damaging information on Clinton. Several other communications from Trump officials to Russians or people tied to Russia were mentioned throughout the DNC’s complaint.Video

None of these alleged episodes, the judge ruled, established a criminal conspiracy.

Republicans, meanwhile, have focused increasingly on the DNC’s own apparent role in the origins of the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign, which began in the summer of 2016 — after British ex-spy Christopher Steele, a longtime FBI informant funded by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign, began work on his now-discredited dossier.

The dossier was used in secret surveillance warrants to monitor members of the Trump team, and later fueled media reports that kept the investigation going, despite many apparent problems with its reliability. For example, the dossier claimed that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to Prague to discuss Russian interference efforts, which Mueller found no evidence for.

The dossier also claimed the Russians had a compromising, lurid tape of Trump, and were running an interference operation out of a nonexistent Russian consulate in Miami, complete with Trump-affiliated U.S.-based hackers. Additionally, Mueller was unable to substantiate the dossier’s claims that former Trump aide Carter Page had received a large payment relating to the sale of a share of Rosneft, a Russian oil giant.

Multiple DOJ reviews into the dossier’s use, and related matters, were ongoing.

The chances of the FBI securing a secret 2016 surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide were “50/50” without the anti-Trump dossier, according to testimony in recently confirmed congressional transcripts from senior FBI lawyer Sally Moyer to House investigators.

And, Papadopoulos on Sunday told Fox News he was heading back to Greece to retrieve $10,000 that he suspected was dropped in his lap during the campaign as part of an entrapment scheme by the CIA or FBI. Federal investigators want to see the marked bills, which he said were stored in a safe.

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Papadopoulos said on “Sunday Morning Futures” he was “very happy” to see House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., grill Mueller about the summer 2017 payment during last week’s hearings — even though Mueller maintained, without explanation, that the matter was outside the scope of his investigation.

“I was very happy to see that Devin Nunes brought that up,” Papadopoulos said. “A man named Charles Tawil gave me this money [in Israel] under very suspicious circumstances. A simple Google search about this individual will reveal he was a CIA or State Department asset in South Africa during the ’90s and 2000s. I think around the time when Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI.”

Fox News’ Bill Mears and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.


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A-listers Flock to Italian Resort in Private Jets, Yachts for Global Warming Confab


Hypocrite Stars attend Google summit on climate change in private jets, mega yachts.
Geniuses like Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio and more attended a Google summit on climate change in private jets and mega yachts.

Google Camp is hosting the likes of former President Barack ObamaPrince HarryLeonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry in Sicily, Italy, to discuss climate change, but it may come at a steep cost to Mother Earth.

“Everything is about global warming, that is the major topic this year,” a source told the New York Post.

Sources told the outlet that the three-day event will cost the tech giant $20 million.

Many of the guests, including Obama and DiCaprio – who has his own climate change foundation – have described global warming as the biggest threat to future generations.

Italian press reports allege that the Google Campers would show up in 114 private jets, and 40 had arrived by Sunday.Video

If the guests took 114 flights from Los Angeles to Palermo, the private jets would reportedly release 100,000 kilograms of CO2.

“Google Camp is meant to be a place where influential people get together to discuss how to make the world better,” a source told the Post. “There will likely be discussions about online privacy, politics, human rights, and of course, the environment, which makes it highly ironic that this event requires 114 private jets to happen.”

Attendees, who according to a source were personally invited by Google founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page, reportedly will foot the bill for their travel costs to Sicily’s Verdura Resort, but Google will pay the rest of their expenses. Rooms reportedly start at $903 a night in the luxurious vacation spot.

Other stars in attendance will be Perry’s fiancee Orlando Bloom, singer Harry Styles, Bradley Cooper, Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra, Gayle King, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, designer Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller. Furstenberg and Diller reportedly arrived via their $200 million yacht Eos; Dreamworks founder David Geffen is said to have given Perry and Bloom a lift to the event on his $400 million yacht, Rising Sun.

Perry, who’s starred in UNICEF videos about combating climate change, was reportedly spotted in a Maserati SUV that gets only an estimated 15 miles per gallon.


By Jessica Sager | Fox News


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Supreme Court OKs Trump to Use Military Funds for Border Wall

President Donald Trump talks with reporters as he reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration on Friday in lifting a freeze backed by a lower court that had halted plans to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall construction.

The decision, which split the bench along ideological lines, allows the administration to move ahead with plans to use military funds to replace existing fencing in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

The conservative justices on the court ruled in favor of the administration. Liberal justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. And Justice Stephen Breyer issued a split opinion, agreeing in part with both sides.

The president celebrated the ruling on Twitter: “Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that the lower courts should not have halted construction of walls on the southern border,” Justice Department spokesperson Alexei Woltornist said in a statement. “We will continue to vigorously defend the Administration’s efforts to protect our Nation.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which opposes the funding for the wall, vowed to keep fighting.

“This is not over,” said Dror Ladin, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “We will be asking the federal appeals court to expedite the ongoing appeals proceeding to halt the irreversible and imminent damage from Trump’s border wall. Border communities, the environment, and our Constitution’s separation of powers will be permanently harmed should Trump get away with pillaging military funds for a xenophobic border wall Congress denied.”

The ruling means the Trump administration can tap the funds and begin work covered by four contracts it has awarded.

A trial court initially froze the funds in May and an appeals court kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to take up the issue.

Earlier this month, a divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower-court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of the planned wall in the three aforementioned states.Video

At stake is billions of dollars in funding that would allow Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term.

Trump declared a national emergency after losing a funding fight with the Democrat-led House that resulted in a 35-day government shutdown. Congress agreed to spend nearly $1.4 billion on barriers in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, an amount well below the $5.7 billion the president had sought.

Trump grudgingly accepted the money but declared the emergency in order to tap up to $8.1 billion for wall construction. That amount includes $3.6 billion from military construction funds, $2.5 billion from Defense Department counterdrug activities and $600 million from the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.


Fox News’ Shannon Bream and Bill Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com.


 

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AGAIN: Facebook Pays Historic $5B Fine for Privacy Violations

After months of speculation, Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to a $5 billion fine for privacy violations, as well as new oversight on how the company handles user data.

The fine is the largest the FTC has ever levied on a tech company and to the disappointment of some, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is only being held personally responsible in a limited fashion.

As part of the agency’s settlement with Facebook, Zuckerberg will have to personally certify his company’s compliance with its privacy programs. The FTC said that false certifications could expose him to civil or criminal penalties.

Facebook also does not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

In a statement posted to the FTC’s website, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said the Zuckerberg-led company “undermined consumer choices and the fine is being used not only to punish past violations, but future ones as well.

“Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices,” Simons said in the statement. “The magnitude of the $5 billion penalty and sweeping conduct relief are unprecedented in the history of the FTC. The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations. The Commission takes consumer privacy seriously, and will enforce FTC orders to the fullest extent of the law.”

Three Republican commissioners voted for the fine while two Democrats opposed it. “The proposed settlement does little to change the business model or practices that led to the recidivism,” wrote Commissioner Rohit Chopra in his dissenting statement.

Chopra added the settlement imposes “no meaningful changes” to the company’s structure or business model. “Nor does it include any restrictions on the company’s mass surveillance or advertising tactics.”

The money is likely to go to the U.S. Treasury and far surpasses the FTC’s previous record for a fine on a tech company, $22.5 million, which it levied upon Google in 2012 for bypassing the privacy controls in Apple’s Safari browser.

The largest punishment against a non-tech company was the $14.7 billion fine that was handed out to Volkswagen to settle allegations it cheated on emissions tests and deceived customers.

The FTC investigation, which opened last year, stems from the scandal that data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica took user information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

The government agency had also been looking into whether Facebook violated a settlement with government regulators in 2012 after it was determined the social networking giant broke privacy promises to users. That settlement said Facebook required user consent to share personal data that overrode their privacy settings.

Cambridge Analytica eventually shut down as a result of the scandal.

In a statement, Facebook’s General Counsel Colin Stretch said the agreement with the FTC would provide new standards for protecting user privacy.

“After months of negotiations, we’ve reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that provides a comprehensive new framework for protecting people’s privacy and the information they give us,” Stretch wrote in a blog post.

“The agreement will require a fundamental shift in the way we approach our work and it will place additional responsibility on people building our products at every level of the company. It will mark a sharper turn toward privacy, on a different scale than anything we’ve done in the past,” Stretch added.

Zuckerberg said the company has a “responsibility to protect people’s privacy,” and as part of the deal with the FTC, it will further its efforts.

“As part of this settlement, we’re bringing our privacy controls more in line with our financial controls under the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Our executives, including me, will have to certify that all of the work we oversee meets our privacy commitments. Just as we have an audit committee of our board to oversee our financial controls, we’ll set up a new privacy committee of our board that will oversee our privacy program. We’ve also asked one of our most experienced product leaders to take on the role of Chief Privacy Officer for Products.”

Sources close to the matter said that Zuckerberg will also discuss the changes at a company-wide meeting Wednesday afternoon.

On its first-quarter earnings call in April Facebook told analysts that it estimated the settlement with the FTC to be between $3 billion and $5 billion.

Separately, The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that Facebook would also settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission to close the matter of whether it properly disclosed its privacy practices to investors and pay a fine “larger than $100 million.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia


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Omar Introduces Resolution to Boycott Israel, Likens it to Nazis, USSR

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar proposed a resolution this week supporting the right to boycott Israel, likening the boycott of the Jewish state to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Omar’s resolution seeks to push back against U.S. laws banning the boycott of Israel and affirms the right of Americans to organize boycotts of foreign countries if they so wish.

While the resolution doesn’t explicitly name Israel or the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, she told media outlets that the resolution concerns the Jewish state.

“And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”— U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar told Al-Monitor.

“And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement,” she added.

The resolution attracted some Republican detractors, with Rep. Lee Zeldin slamming Omar for introducing it, saying she brought “her hateful twist” by propping up the BDS movement.

“Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom & liberty, surrounded by existential threats,” Zeldin wrote in a tweet. “Shame on Rep Omar for bringing her hateful twist on that reality to House Foreign today, propping up the BDS movement & blaming Israel for all of its challenges.”

The resolution affirms the right to boycott as an expression of free speech and cites examples of boycott movements against Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and apartheid South Africa.

“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” Omar said in the resolution introduced Tuesday.

“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust.”— U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Omar’s measure will be co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., the first female Palestinian-American lawmaker in Congress who openly supports a one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

But the resolution will likely lead to yet another clash with her fellow Democrats who are mulling a resolution condemning the boycott movement.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed Wednesday a resolution that accuses the BDS movement of promoting “principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation,” the Times of Israel reported.

It remains unclear if the resolution will be introduced to the whole Congress next week amid fears over intra-party clashes.

“I think the timing would not be very wise to take up additional measures around the Middle East,” Rep. Mark Pocan told Politico. “Donald Trump just brought us all together, so let’s take advantage of that.”


Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com


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CNN’s Collapsed Ratings Trigger Network Panic

CNN is suffering a credibility crisis as viewership for the once-proud network continues to crater with a no apparent plan in place to fix things anytime soon, according to media watchdogs and insiders.

CNN’s audience shriveled in the second quarter of 2019, averaging only 541,000 total viewers while being more than doubled by Fox News Channel’s 1.3 million average in the process. But CNN struggled even more during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, finishing as the fifteenth most-watched network on basic cable behind networks such as TLC, Investigation Discovery and the Hallmark Channel. CNN averaged a dismal 761,000 primetime viewers while FNC averaged 2.4 million.

The Hill media guru Joe Concha told Fox News that CNN’s freefall may not be slowing.

THIS IS CNN? PRIMETIME SHOWS FILLED WITH LIBERAL OPINION, NOT STRAIGHT NEWS AS NETWORK CLAIMS

“The numbers warrant concern, yes. Q2 was a particularly news-rich quarter highlighted by the release of the Mueller report and all the aftermath and controversy following it, plus the launch of several high-profile Democratic candidacies including Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg to propel 2020 coverage into high gear,” Concha said. “It may only get worse in Q3 given the numbers we’re already seeing.”

CNN did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

CNN started off the third quarter with “the network’s lowest average since 2015” when it comes to primetime viewers among the key demographic of adults age 25-54, according to TVNewser. But the network has extended various contributors through the election, indicating that its apparent anti-Trump programming strategy will remain in place for at least the duration of the president’s first term.

“You know the answer,” a longtime CNN employee said when asked if staffers are panicked about the ratings decay before declining further comment.

Another current CNN employee told Fox News that there is widespread concern about the network’s ratings problem, but high-profile hosts such as Anderson Cooper remain unfazed.

“The people that are concerned – it’s certainly not the anchors who have lucrative contracts – it’s the people among the lower levels, such as producers and show bookers.”— CNN employee

“The people that are concerned – it’s certainly not the anchors who have lucrative contracts – it’s the people among the lower levels, such as producers and show bookers,” the employee said.

A third current staffer told Fox News that CNN “is clearly doing something wrong if the ratings are like this,” before asking, “So why don’t we try something different?”

Cable news viewership has declined in general as more and more consumers cut the cord in favor of OTT streaming services, but CNN’s losses are overwhelming. Zucker’s network lost 18 percent of its audience compared to the second quarter of last year. CNN also dropped a whopping 38 percent of primetime viewers among the key demo.

“Losing nearly 40 percent of an already-third place audience must be a primary topic in internal meetings, with immediate remedies not readily apparent.”— Joe Concha

“Losing nearly 40 percent of an already-third place audience must be a primary topic in internal meetings, with immediate remedies not readily apparent,” Concha said.

CNN’s most popular show averaged only 910,000 viewers. Fourteen Fox News programs and 10 MSNBC programs attracted larger audiences.

Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper are part of CNN’s struggling primetime lineup that lost 38% of its audience in the key demo during the second quarter of 2019.
Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper are part of CNN’s struggling primetime lineup that lost 38% of its audience in the key demo during the second quarter of 2019.

Reporter-turned-banker Porter Bibb is surprised parent company AT&T hasn’t made any changes. “My guess is that senior management is more concerned about the launch of HBO Max than CNN, at least for the moment,” he said.

Sagging ratings weren’t the only negative headlines generated by CNN executives during the second quarter, as the network reduced headcount days after publically declaring there wouldn’t be mass layoffs.

A CNN spokesperson told Fox News on May 7 that reports of looming layoffs were a “crazy rumor,” but staffers were shocked when members of the network’s Atlanta-based staff that covered health care were shown the door only two weeks later.

CNN also saw over 100 employees accept a voluntary buyout option, losing bureau chiefs and award winners in the process while the network moved into elaborate new New York City digs.

“My guess is that senior management is more concerned about the launch of HBO Max than CNN, at least for the moment.”— Porter Bibb

CNN began broadcasting in May from the network’s ritzy new facility in the Hudson Yards area on the West Side of Manhattan. The brand-new, state-of-the-art headquarters is part of a luxurious complex that also features condominiums which start at $4.3 million, high-end restaurants and stores such as Cartier, Rolex, Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus.

The second quarter also saw the release of the White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s anti-Trump book. Before its June release, one current CNN employee told Fox News that CNN’s Acosta might not be the right person to cover Trump’s White House these days.Video

“Jim Acosta is, a lot of times, asking the right questions but it doesn’t always need to be about him and his grandstanding,” the CNN staffer said. “People get tired of it. Acosta is supposed to be a correspondent reporting the facts but you can’t tell the difference between him and a paid pundit.”

MSNBC’s recent Democratic presidential primary debate attracted a large audience, and CNN is set to host its own version later this month. The event would typically be a reason for optimism, but CNN announced on Monday that opinion host Don Lemon would a moderator, raising eyebrows in the process as respected journalists such as Erin Burnett and Poppy Harlow remain on the sideline.

Debate moderators are historically straight-news journalists, as opposed to partisan pundits, but CNN’s decision mirrors NBC’s strategy to allow Maddow to moderate last month’s Democratic Debate. CNN has continued to label Lemon an “anchor” despite him spouting anti-Trump opinions on a regular basis.

Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that CNN’s decision is “a disservice to voters all across the political spectrum” because Lemon – whose beleaguered primetime show has contributed to the network’s ratings crisis — is so open about his own views.Video

DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall recently told Fox News that Lemon is no longer a news anchor in the traditional sense because of his partisan rhetoric.

“He is a host of an opinion-driven show in which his opinions are front and center. Thus, he is a host rather than a news anchor,” McCall said. “His show does discuss news topics, but it is not designed as an objective news show.”

In recent memory, Lemon has compared Trump to Adolf Hitler, then claimed he “didn’t mean” to compare the president and Hitler. He has also called Trump a “racist,” a “fraud,” “con man,” questioned whether or not the State of the Union should air on a delay to avoid “propaganda,” declared that he wouldn’t shake the president’s hand and questioned Trump’s mental fitness.

“To pretend he’s not an opinion host is lunacy,” a CNN employee told Fox News.

Lemon has also suggested Trump doesn’t do enough work, speculated on whether or not the president lies about his weight, tied Trump to the college admissions cheating scheme and took a shot at Trump as he was giving his colleague Chris Cuomo a brief tour of his new studio, suggesting that the president can’t afford such a lavish space since he isn’t a “real billionaire.”

One certainty is that Lemon wasn’t selected to lift the debate’s viewership totals. Lemon’s “CNN Tonight” finished the second quarter of 2019 as the 35th most-watched show on cable news.


Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.


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New Witnesses in Obama Admin FISA Abuse Probe Agree to Testify

Key witnesses sought for questioning by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz early in his investigation into alleged government surveillance abuse have come forward at the 11th hour, Fox News has learned.  

Sources familiar with the matter said at least one witness outside the Justice Department and FBI started cooperating — a breakthrough that came after Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the bureau’s 2016 Russia case that laid the foundation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz looks on as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on "Examining the Inspector General's First Report on Justice Department and FBI Actions in Advance of the 2016 Presidential Election" in the Hart Senate Office Building on June 18, 2018, on Capitol Hill. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images)

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz looks on as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on “Examining the Inspector General’s First Report on Justice Department and FBI Actions in Advance of the 2016 Presidential Election” in the Hart Senate Office Building on June 18, 2018, on Capitol Hill. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images)

While the investigative phaseof the inspector general’s long-running probe is said to be complete, the sources said recent developments required some witnesses to be reinterviewed. And while Barr testified that he expected the report into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse to be ready in May or last month, multiple sources said the timeline has slipped.

“The wheels of inspector general investigations move very, very slowly,” former senior DOJ official Tom Dupree told Fox News.

Dupree, who served as deputy assistant attorney general from 2007 to 2009, does not have firsthand knowledge of the current IG case but is familiar with the process. He added, “Like any investigation, you talk to one person, something that person tells you sends you back … to the first person, so it can be a very extensive, exhaustive process, because you are constantly picking up leads, interviewing former sources and navigating complex questions of classified information.”

Late-breaking information is known to delay such investigations. Horowitz’s office similarly encountered new evidence late in the process of the IG review into law enforcement decisions during the 2016 Hillary Clinton email investigation. In this case, additional FISA information came to light late in the process – including October 2016 contact (first reported by The Hill and confirmed by Fox News) between a senior State Department official and a former British spy Christopher Steele, who authored the infamous and salacious anti-Trump dossier.  

The State Department contact with Steele was relayed to a senior FBI official.  The timeline matters because about two weeks later, the FBI and DOJ used Steele’s unverified research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign, to secure a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. At the very least, it’s been argued, Steele’s contact with another government agency should have been a red flag for the FBI because it may have violated his confidential human source agreement.

Steele was later fired by the FBI over his media contacts before the 2016 presidential election. The Page surveillance warrant is the central issue of the DOJ IG’s review.

With the timeline for Horowitz’s report not public, one of the wild cards is the final review by the FBI and DOJ, which includes classification issues and could take weeks.

A spokesman for Horowitz would not comment on the report’s status. But during largely unrelated testimony in November, Horowitz offered some guidance for the timeline of the FISA abuse probe in response to questions from GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.  

“What I can say is given the volume of documents we’ve had and the number of witnesses it looks like we’ll need to interview, we are likely to be in the same sort of general range of documents and witnesses as the last report,” Horowitz said, referring to his team’s review of the Clinton email case. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we are in that million or so plus range of documents and a hundred-ish or so interviews. The last review, as you know, took us about … 16 months or so.”

If that same guidance holds, the window for completion would begin this month, though it remains unclear how much the DOJ/FBI review and the additional interviews could delay the process.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Facebook’s Process to Label You a ‘Hate Agent’ Revealed

Facebook monitors the offline behavior of its users to determine if they should be categorized as a “Hate Agent,” according to a document provided exclusively to Breitbart News by a source within the social media giant.

The document, titled “Hate Agent Policy Review” outlines a series of “signals” that Facebook uses to determine if someone ought to be categorized as a “hate agent” and banned from the platform.

Those signals include a wide range of on- and off-platform behavior. If you praise the wrong individual, interview them, or appear at events alongside them, Facebook may categorize you as a “hate agent.”

Facebook may also categorize you as a hate agent if you self-identify with or advocate for a “Designated Hateful Ideology,” if you associate with a “Designated Hate Entity” (one of the examples cited by Facebook as a “hate entity” includes Islam critic Tommy Robinson), or if you have “tattoos of hate symbols or hate slogans.” (The document cites no examples of these, but the media and “anti-racism” advocacy groups increasingly label innocuous items as “hate symbols,” including a cartoon frog and the “OK” hand sign.)

Facebook will also categorize you as a hate agent for possession of “hate paraphernalia,” although the document provides no examples of what falls into this category.

The document also says Facebook will categorize you as a hate agent for “statements made in private but later made public.” Of course, Facebook holds vast amounts of information on what you say in public and in private — and as we saw with the Daily Beast doxing story, the platform will publicize private information on their users to assist the media in hitjobs on regular American citizens.

Breitbart News has already covered some of the individuals that Facebook placed on its list of potential “hate agents.” Paul Joseph Watson eventually was categorized as “hateful” and banned from the platform, in part, according to the document, because he praised Tommy Robinson and interviewed him on his YouTube channel. Star conservative pundit Candace Owens and conservative author and terrorism expert Brigitte Gabriel were also on the list, as were British politicians Carl Benjamin and Anne Marie Waters.

The Benjamin addition reveals that Facebook may categorize you as a hate agent merely for speaking neutrally about individuals and organizations that the social network considers hateful. In the document, Facebook tags Benjamin with a “hate agent” signal for “neutral representation of John Kinsman, member of Proud Boys” on October 21 last year.

Facebook also accuses Benjamin, a classical liberal and critic of identity politics, as “representing the ideology of an ethnostate” for a post in which he calls out an actual advocate of an ethnostate.

In addition to the more unorthodox signals that Facebook uses to determine if its users are “hate agents,” there is also, predictably, “hate speech.” Facebook divides hate speech into three tiers depending on severity and considers attacks on a person’s “immigration status” to be hate speech.

Here’s how “hate speech” — both on and off Facebook — will be categorized by the platform, according to the document:

Individual has made public statements, or statements made in private and later made public, using Tier 1, 2, or 3 hate speech or slurs:

3 instances in one statement or appearance = signal
5 instances in multiple statements or appearances over one month = signal

If you’ve done this within the past two years, Facebook will consider it a hate signal.

Other signals used by Facebook to determine if its users should be designated as hate agents include carrying out violence against people based on their “protected or quasi-protected characteristics,” attacks on places of worship, and conviction of genocide.

Are you a source at Facebook or any other corporation who wants to confidentially blow the whistle on wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari securely at allumbokhari@protonmail.com.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


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2 Oil Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two oil tankers were damaged in a suspected attack off the Gulf of Oman early Thursday, prompting the rescue of dozens of crew members.

The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet told Reuters it was assisting two tankers in the Gulf of Oman after receiving two distress calls. Details of the incident were unclear, but one of the operators made an unconfirmed report that a torpedo had hit its ship, Reuters reported.

“We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local time and a second one at 7:00 a.m.,” Joshua Frey of the Fifth Fleet said. The Fleet did not blame anyone for the attack.

An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.
An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran. (AP/ISNA)

One of the vessels involved was identified as the MT Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged but Norwegian-owned crude oil tanker carrying naphtha, a petrochemical product, to Japan.

International Tanker Management, which operates the MT Front Altair said an explosion had caused a fire onboard. The firm told the Associated Press the incident is still being investigated and it was unclear what caused the explosion. Its 23 crew members were evacuated by the nearby South Korean-based Hyundai Dubai Vessel and are now safe, the firm said.

Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA, claimed the Front Altair had sunk, but the Norwegian shipping firm Frontline said it was still afloat.

The Iranian Students News Agency tweeted unverified images of the Front Altair on fire.

International Tanker Management, which operates the MT Front Altair said an explosion had caused a fire onboard. The firm told the Associated Press the incident is still being investigated and it was unclear what caused the explosion. Its 23 crew members were evacuated by the nearby South Korean-based Hyundai Dubai Vessel and are now safe, the firm said. 
International Tanker Management, which operates the MT Front Altair said an explosion had caused a fire onboard. The firm told the Associated Press the incident is still being investigated and it was unclear what caused the explosion. Its 23 crew members were evacuated by the nearby South Korean-based Hyundai Dubai Vessel and are now safe, the firm said. (AP Photo/ISNA)

The other vessel, the Panama-flagged, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, reportedly carrying methanol, sustained damage on its hull starboard side. 21 sailors were evacuated, and one was slightly injured.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations — an arm of the British Navy — had put out an alert earlier and urged “extreme caution” amid U.S.-Iran tensions.

In this photo released by state-run IRIB News Agency, an oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz have been reportedly attacked. The alleged assault on Thursday left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels. The U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.
In this photo released by state-run IRIB News Agency, an oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz have been reportedly attacked. The alleged assault on Thursday left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels. The U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran. (IRIB News Agency via AP)

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, described the incidents as “suspicious” and called for regional talks. His comments came as Ayatollah Khamenei was meeting Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, for talks in Iran.

The area of the explosions is near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic route through which 20 percent of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers. Oil prices rose by about 4 percent in the wake of the latest incidents, while the tanker association INTERTANKO said that there were growing worries for the safety of ships sailing through the strait.

“Following two attacks on Member vessels this morning, I am extremely worried about the safety of our crews going through the Strait of Hormuz,” Paolo d’Amico, chairman of INTERTANKO, said in a statement.

“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s (seaborne) crude oil passes through the Straits. If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

This May 2018 image made available by Marine Traffic shows the MT Front Altair in Antwerp, Belgium. (Patrick Vereecke/Marine Traffic via AP)
This May 2018 image made available by Marine Traffic shows the MT Front Altair in Antwerp, Belgium. (Patrick Vereecke/Marine Traffic via AP)

Thursday’s incident comes a month after the U.S. accused Iran of attacking ships off the coast of United Arab Emirates. The UAE told the U.N. Security Council a “state actor” was most likely behind the attacks but stopped short of blaming Iran.

The timing of Thursday’s incident was especially sensitive as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visiting Iran as an interlocutor for President Donald Trump to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, reviews an honor guard as he is welcomed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, in an official arrival ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, reviews an honor guard as he is welcomed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, in an official arrival ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran. (AP)

On Wednesday, after talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Abe warned that any “accidental conflict” amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. must be avoided at all costs.

While meeting with Abe on Thursday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that while Tehran doesn’t want an atomic bomb, “America could not do anything” to stop Iran if it did.

Khamenei was quoted earlier saying that Iran “will in no way repeat” negotiations with the U.S. amid tension over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Khamenei’s official website quoted him as telling Abe: “I don’t regard Trump as deserving any exchange of messages and have no response for him and will give no response.”

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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