PELOSI: Trump Tax Debt ‘Matter of National Security’

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said President Donald Trump’s alleged tax debts were not only an issue of public concern but a “matter of national security,”

Responding to a New York Times report which detailed the president’s financial records over the past two decades, Pelosi, (D)-Calif., called the revelations a matter of “grave concern.”

“This president appears to have over $400 million in debt, $420 million whatever it is,” Pelosi told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have? So for me, this is a national security question.”

“We take an oath to protect and defend, Pelosi continued. This president is commander in chief. He has exposure to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, to whom? The public has a right to know.”

The Times report suggested that the president has paid no income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, primarily due to financial losses, and that the president is facing a decades long Internal Revenue Service audit over a $72.9 million tax refund he received that could wind up costing him more than $100 million.

Pelosi went on to question whether any of the debts in question were tied to Russia.

“The question is what does Putin have on the president politically, personally, financially in every way that the president would try to undermine our commitment to NATO, give away the store to Russia and Syria, try to cast blame on Ukraine for interfering in our elections when he knows full well with the consensus from the intelligence community that it is Russia. The list goes on and on. The annexation in the Crimea, and the rest of that that the president just turns away from,” Pelosi said. “So, he says he likes Putin and Putin likes him. Well, what’s the connection? We’ll see.”

In a series of tweets, the president defended himself and his financial records, referring to the New York Times report as “fake news.”

DEADLIER BY THE DAY: More dead from Coronavirus than number killed on 9/11

WASHINGTON– A startling new report released by John Hopkins University Tuesday says more Americans have now died from the deadly Coronavirus than the number killed during the terror attacks on September 11.

According to the report, COVID-19 had caused the deaths of 3,415 Americans as of Tuesday afternoon, while the 9/11 attacks claimed 2,977 American lives.

A majority of the deaths have been reported in the so called “hot spots” of New York, New Jersey, and Washington State, where the country’s initial COVID-19 were first detected.

In an appearance on Tuesday’s NBC “Today Show” White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the projected numbers of deaths estimated by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci could range from 100,000 “if we do things perfectly” to as high as 1.6 million to 2.2 million if the virus is permitted to spread beyond control.

“I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5,000 cases very quickly,” she said. “I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines.”

As of Tuesday afternoon the number of confirmed deaths worldwide stood at 838,061.

President Donald Trump announced Sunday that the administration’s guidelines on social distancing have been extended until April 30.

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ALEX JONES: ‘Psychosis’ caused me to doubt events at Sandy Hook

AUSTIN, Tx. — Alex Jones now says a form of “psychosis” caused him to previously doubt the events at Sandy Hook took place and that he now believes there was no conspiracy involved.

Jones, who is the subject of eight lawsuits by some of the Sandy Hook families, was questioned for more than three hours last week by the Texas law firm Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball, LLP.

He had previously promoted the theory on this wildly popular radio show “Infowars” that the reported school shooting, in which twenty children and six adults were killed in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, was a staged event by the Obama administration to justify stricter gun control.

“We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts of different people,” one suit quotes Jones as saying in March 2014. “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it.”

“I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’ve now learned a lot of times things aren’t staged,” Jones told attorneys during the deposition. “So I think as a pundit, someone giving an opinion, that, you know, my opinions have been wrong, but they were never wrong consciously to hurt people.”

Jones also blamed the “trauma of the media and the corporations lying so much” for causing him to question the government’s motives. “Kind of like a child whose parents lie to them over and over again,” he said.

“So long before these lawsuits, I said that in the past I thought everything was a conspiracy and I would kind of get into that mass groupthink of the communities that were out saying that,” Jones added. “And so now I see that it’s more in the middle. … So that’s where I stand.”

“The public doesn’t believe what they’re told anymore,” he said.

Jones, who has famously said the terror attacks that took place on Sept. 11 were an “inside job” and that bombings in Oklahoma City and at the Boston Marathon were “false flags” staged by crisis actors on behalf of the government, was thrown off most major social media platforms in 2018 as a result of his conspiracy claims.

Jones now claims that his comments were taken “all out of context” and that the quotes attributed to him aren’t “even what I said or my intent.”

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‘TREASONOUS’: President slams collusion accusors for their ‘evil’ acts

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump came out swinging Monday against those who had for more than two years accused him of colluding with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things, I would say treasonous things against our country,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “And hopefully people that have done such harm to our country — we’ve gone through a period of really bad things happening — those people will certainly be looked at. I have been looking at them for a long time. And I’m saying, “Why haven’t they been looked at?” They lied to Congress. Many of them — you know who they are — they’ve done so many evil things.”

“I will tell you, I love this country. I love this country as much as I can love anything: my family, my country, my God. But what they did, it was a false narrative. It was — it was a terrible thing,” Trump continued. “We can never let this happen to another President again. I can tell you that. I say it very strongly. Very few people I know could have handled it. We can never, ever let this happen to another President again.”

The president’s comments come just one day after an official report released by Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to tie the president to any unethical activities relating to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller’s investigation, which had gone on for nearly two and one-half years had encompassed the entire first half of Trump’s first term in office.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Monday called for congressional hearings to investigate many of the president’s most prominent critics including former CIA Director John Brennan, Former FBI Director James Comey and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“The media and Democrats have called the president an agent of a foreign government,” Sanders said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today”. “That is an action equal to treason, which is punishable by death in this country.”

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‘YOU’RE OFFENSIVE!’ Trump blasts media; Defends anti-migrant ad

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday defended an ad that warned America against the dangers of the incoming migrant invasion and urged voters to vote red in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“I don’t know about it. I mean you’re telling me something I don’t know about,” Trump said when asked about the ad’s being pulled by NBC and Fox in response to the controversy surrounding it. “We have a lot of ads. And they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we’re seeing.”

“A lot of things are offensive,” the president added when another reporter pressed him for further comment. “Your questions are offensive a lot of times so, you know.”

The ad, which was paid for by the Trump campaign, tied the migrant caravan heading towards the southern border from South America with Luis Bracamontes, a man convicted of killing two U.S. police officers. In it, Trump accuses Democrats of attempting to flood America with criminals like Bracamontes through methods like the caravan.

In addition to Fox and NBC’s rebuke, CNN declined to air the ad declaring it’s content “racist”.

Republicans and the president have made the topics of immigration reform and securing the nation’s border key issues of the 2018 midterms.

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SECOND AMENDMENT SHOWDOWN: Congress returns as debate over gun control rages on

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress returned to work Monday after a ten-day break with advocates on both sides of the gun control debate demanding to be heard.

The Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and President Donald Trump’s subsequent calls on Congress to take action are expected to top the list of issues congressional members will face following their return.

In the wake of the deadly shooting in which 17 people were reportedly killed, the president called for a stricter background-check system for Congress to raise the minimum age for some gun purchases to 21. On Tuesday, the president also directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to draft regulations that would ban “bump stocks,” devices which allow semiautomatic weapons to fire at a faster pace.

“I think we’re going to have a great bill put forward very soon having to do with background checks, having to do with getting rid of certain things and keeping other things, and perhaps we’ll do something on age,” Trump said in a Fox News Channel interview Saturday night. “We are drawing up strong legislation right now having to do with background checks, mental illness. I think you will have tremendous support. It’s time. It’s time.”

The president also called for select, specially trained educators to carry weapons on school grounds.

“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them,” he tweeted (https://tinyurl.com/y7so7rbf). “Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”

But anti-gun advocates claim those steps are simply not enough and are demanding that lawmakers ban AR-15s and similar semi-automatic rifles like those used in the shooting.

“The real test of President Trump and the Republican Congress is not words and empathy, but action,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y said on the matter. “Will President Trump and the Republicans finally buck the NRA and get something done?” Schumer asked. “I hope this time will be different.”

Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Sunday he planned to renew an effort with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks for commercial gun sales, but he said he was “skeptical” about proposals to raise the minimum age for civilians to buy guns.

“I’m very skeptical about that because the vast majority of 18-, 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds are law-abiding citizens who aren’t a threat to anyone,” Toomey told host NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) agreed with Toomey’s stance on implementing higher age restrictions and praised the president’s call to arm educators.

“Those are false senses of security,” he told “Meet the Press” on raising the age requirement to purchase certain firearms to 21 (https://tinyurl.com/ya2vgfsh). “And in 10 years we’re still going to have school shootings unless you propose real legislation like President Trump has proposed, that would allow teachers to be armed.”

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LOCK AND LOAD: Trump calls for arming of teachers, staff in response to Florida school shooting

WASHINGTON, D.C.– President Donald Trump on Thursday called for the arming of school officials in the wake of last week’s Florida school shooting during which 18 students were reportedly killed.

Responding to criticism he received the day before after suggesting that teachers should be trained in the use of a firearm, the president said that well-armed staff may prevent such tragedies in the future.

“I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC”, the president tweeted (https://tinyurl.com/yc3m6jaf). “What I said was to look at the possibility of giving ‘concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience- only the best.”

“20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards,” Trump continued. “A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”

The president’s comments followed a gathering at the White House Wednesday in which he was joined by students, parents, and teachers affected by the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. Parents affected by the Sandy Hook and Columbine massacres were also invited to attend.

After asking the parents for their feedback, one father suggested the possibility of arming teachers, an idea that the president openly embraced. After discussing the suggestion at length, the president said his administration would be looking “very closely” into the option.

The president also on Thursday announced plans to ban bump stocks, gun modifiers that enable semi-automatic firearms to fire more quickly. In addition, he spoke of plans to raise the age requirement to buy a gun from 18 to 21 and called for stricter background checks.

“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health,” he announced on Twitter. “Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue—I hope!”

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LAUER AXED: ‘Today Show’ host latest to be targeted by sexual misconduct claims

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Matt Lauer has been fired from his high profile role as host of “The Today Show,” according to a press release by the network.

Lauer, who had hosted the morning news show for more than 20 years, was terminated after a colleague complained about inappropriate sexual behavior toward her, NBC News chief Andrew Lack said in a memo published to the show’s website (https://www.today.com/video/matt-lauer-has-been-terminated-from-nbc-news-1105840707690).

According to the statement, although the colleague’s complaint was the first official allegation received by the network regarding Lauer’s behavior, show executives have cause to believe more allegations may soon surface.

“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” the memo reads.

Lack said the allegation against Lauer “represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” the memo continued.

Lauer’s longtime “Today Show” co-host, Savannah Guthrie, confirmed the news to viewers on Wednesday morning. “All we can say is we are heartbroken; I’m heartbroken,” Guthrie said.

Describing Lauer as “a dear, dear friend,” Guthrie said she was “heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.”

Calls for statement to Lauer’s publicist were met with “no comment at this time”.

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OFFICIAL STORY FALLS APART: Hotel worker claims he dodged bullets before Las Vegas shooter opened fire

LAS VEGAS, NV — In yet another blow to the government’s official story, a hotel worker for Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino says he called for help before shooting suspect Stephen Paddock opened fire.

Stephen Schuck, a hotel engineer at the now infamous resort, said he radioed for assistance after Paddock shot at him and a fellow security guard.

“I could feel them (bullets) pass right behind my head,” engineer Stephen Schuck told NBC News’ “Today” on Wednesday (https://www.today.com/news/las-vegas-hotel-workers-took-cover-hallway-after-gunman-opened-t117342). “Something hit me in the back.”

Schuck claims he was on an upper-level floor of the Las Vegas hotel on Oct. 1 when he received a request to look at a fire exit door that wouldn’t open on the 32nd floor.

The exit door in question was located on the same floor where Paddock allegedly opened fire on concertgoers 1,200 feet below, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more.

Schuck claims he entered the hallway when the first round of bullets went off at about 9:59 p.m.

“As soon as they stopped, I saw Jesus pop out….he yelled at me to take cover,” Schuck said. “As soon as I started to go to a door to my left, the rounds started coming down the hallway.”

“It was kind of relentless so I called over the radio what was going on,” he said. “As soon as the shooting stopped we made our way down the hallway and took cover again and then the shooting started again.”

Schuck’s claims are in direct contrast to the official story given by investigators that he and security guard Jesus Campos were wounded by Paddock after the suspect opened fire on crowds from his hotel room but before turning the gun on himself.

According to police and FBI reports on the shooting, investigators claim Paddock fired through the door of his room and injured the unarmed guard after shooting into the crowd.

Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired New York City police sergeant, told ABC-7 Las Vegas (http://abc7.com/las-vegas-shooting-chilling-audio-recordings-released/2519385/) that the new timeline “changes everything.”

“There absolutely was an opportunity in that timeframe that some of this could’ve been mitigated,” he said.

The Schuck’s claim is accurate, it means that based on the Las Vegas police’s own timeline it took 19 minutes for the LVPD to know what the guard and the maintenance worker already knew — where exactly Paddock was shooting from. Families of the victims say that leads them to wonder how many of their loved ones could have been saved.

Nicole Rapp, whose mother was trampled during the chaos of the shooting said she’s “having a hard time wrapping my head around” the new revelations.

“It’s very confusing to me that they are just discovering this a week later,” she told ABC 7. “How did we not know this before? It’s traumatic for the victims and their families not to be sure of what happened.”

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TAKING ON THE MEDIA: Trump threatens to strip NBC, other networks of broadcast license over ‘fake news’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday took his biggest swing yet against the mainstream media by hinting he may strip certain networks of their broadcast licensing after reporting what the president said was a false story.

“Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC=CNN!” Trump tweeted (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/918110279367643137?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2F2017%2F10%2F11%2Ftrump-threatens-to-target-licenses-nbc-and-networks-after-nuclear-arsenal-report.html). “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”

The president’s comments came in response to a report published by NBC, which said Mr. Trump had sought to increase America’s nuclear arsenal after being briefed on the reduction of such weaponry since the 1960s. The story cited three officials who claim to have heard the president make the comments during a gathering with national security leaders.

The war of words is just the latest battle between the president and many of the mainstream news networks, which he refers to as “fake news”.

Thus far, ABC has not issued statement over the the president’s remarks but Democrats were quick to jump on board the controversy.

“It is inappropriate for the President to propose challenging broadcasters’ licences because he disagrees with their coverage,” Democratic Senator Ed markey wrote in a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday. “The First Amendment is hte cornerstone of our democracy, and the news media plays an instrumental role in educating the American public and holding elected officials accountable. Any insinuation that elected officials could use the levers of government to control or sensor the news media would represent a startling degradation of the freedom of press.”

When reached directly for response, a representative for NBC declined to comment but MSNBC host Ali Velshi tweeted (https://twitter.com/AliVelshi/status/918114443300626434?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2F2017%2F10%2F11%2Ftrump-threatens-to-target-licenses-nbc-and-networks-after-nuclear-arsenal-report.html) that the network “stands by our reporting.”

Television and radio stations require a license from the FCC in order to broadcast and are issued to individual stations and local affiliates, not to networks as a whole.

If the president chose to move foreward with his threat, say analysts, he would likely face a wealth of legal challenges.

A 2008 commission report (https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/public-and-broadcasting.pdf) declares the First Amendment “protects broadcasts that criticize or ridicule established customs and institutions, including the government and its officials.”

It also states that the FCC “generally will not intervene” in “allegations that stations have aired inaccurate or one-sided news reports or comments.”

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