DEATH OF A LEGEND: Pulitzer Prize winning conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dead at 68

New York, N.Y — Legendary political commentator Charles Krauthammer, whose wit and humor was a mainstay in American politics for generations, has died. He was 68.

The Pulitzer Prize winning political analyst, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author’s death came just weeks after he announced that he only had a short period of time to live.

In a statement released by the network, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott issued this statement confirming Krauthammer’s passing:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend, Charles Krauthammer. A gifted doctor and brilliant political commentator, Charles was a guiding voice throughout his time with FOX News and we were incredibly fortunate to showcase his extraordinary talent on our programs. He was an inspiration to all of us and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife Robyn and his son Daniel.”

In a letter to colleagues, friends and viewers on June 8, Krauthammer said he was dying of cancer and thanked those who had supported him over the years.

“I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me,” Krauthammer wrote.

“Recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned,” he continued. “There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over.”

“I leave this life with no regrets,” Krauthammer went on. “It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”

“I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny,” he added.

In recent years, Krauthammer most frequently appeared as a panelist on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier” and as a commentator on an array Fox news programs.

Following the announcement confirming the death of his “good friend,” Baier posted on Twitter, “I am sure you will be owning the panel discussion in heaven as well. And we’ll make sure your wise words and thoughts – your legacy – will live on here.”

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FLOTUS UPDATE: First Lady to leave hospital in ‘2 or 3 days’

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted an update on Melania Trump’s health, indicating that the First Lady should be released from hospital care within the next few days.

“Our great First Lady is doing really well. Will be leaving hospital in 2 or 3 days. Thank you for so much love and support!” the president wrote.

Mrs.Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham disclosed on Monday that “First Lady Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition.”

“The procedure was successful and there were no complications,” Grisham said in a written statement. “Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week. The First Lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere.”

The president reportedly spent a great deal of time visiting with the First Lady at Walter Reed Medical Center Monday evening.

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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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CLINTON CRIMES: Bill Clinton to face new accusations of sexual assault, says report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bill Clinton may soon be answering to new allegations of sexual assault, says a bombshell report by the U.K.’s Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5090399/Bill-Clinton-accused-sexual-assault-four-women.html).

According to the report, Clinton has been notified that four separate women plan to testify that the former president sexually assaulted them after leaving the White House in 2001. Best selling author and journalist Ed Klein says he has been made aware of the report and that a member of Clinton’s legal team has confirmed the allegations.

This is not the first time that Clinton has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The 42nd president and husband of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was famously impeached in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to an affair with his much younger intern Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton was also accused of varying degrees of sexual assault by a slew of women, including Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey and has admitted to at least two extramarital affairs during his marriage.

Klein, who has penned a number of politically motivated tell-all books, says the women coming forward this time to accuse Clinton were employed in “low-level positions” at an organization owned by billionaire playboy Ron Burkle. Klein asserts that many of the incidents in question took place on Burkle’s private jet — which he claims was commonly referred to as “Air Fuck One.”

Klein reports that in an effort to buy the women’s continued silence, Clinton has engaged in lengthy negotiations with their attorneys and is prepared to pay a hefty sum to secure just that.

If successful, this will not the first time that Clinton has settled out of court. In 1998 Clinton paid Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who worked for Clinton during his term as Governor, $850,000 to drop a civil suit Jones had filed against him in which she accused the then president of exposing himself to her inside a Little Rock hotel. The information which surfaced as a result of that case helped lead to Clinton’s impeachment.

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FRANKENGATE: Second woman to accuse Al Franken of sexual assault opens up as Senator continues to deny allegations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The second woman to accuse Democratic Senator Al Franken of sexual assault is stepping up her claims, according to published reports.

Lindsay Menz told her story to CNN on Monday, claiming that Franken groped her while posing for a photo with her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 (http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/politics/al-franken-inappropriate-touch-2010/index.html). Menz was the second woman to accuse Franken of sexual assault in less than a week, following allegations made by Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her during a 2006 tour while supporting the USO.

Menz detailed her claims after tweeting about the incident last Thursday, following Tweeden’s revelations.

“In August 2010, @alfranken grabbed me while taking a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair,” Menz tweeted last week. “I felt violated & embarassed. I 100% believe your account of him & his actions, @LeeannTweeden. Thank you for sharing your story. #metoo.”

Menz told CNN the incident occurred almost two years after Franken was elected to the Senate as she worked her father’s radio booth, meeting various elected officials, political candidates, and celebrities at the fair.

Menz says as she posed for the photo with the Minnesota Senator, Franken “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear. It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”

“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said. “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”

“I felt gross. It’d be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt,” Menz continued. “You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”

In a statement to CNN, Franken denied the allegations but said he apologized if he made Menz feel “uncomfortable” during the encounter.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken said. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

The allegations against Franken have led to calls for him to step down, even from some of his own party’s staunchest supporters.

“What kind of party do we want to be?” Democratic South Carolina state representative Bakari Sellers said on Friday. “The Democratic Party has to clean up their own house….And what I mean by that is its fair for me to say, as I do believe, that Al Franken should resign. I’m a Democrat saying Al Franken should resign.”

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DIRTY POLITICS: Yet another woman comes forward to accuse George H.W. Bush of sexual assault

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another woman has come forward to accuse former president George H.W. Bush of sexual assault.

The latest woman to accuse the 41st president of wrongdoing claims that the incident occurred during a fundraiser for Bush’s re-election campaign in Dearborn, Michigan in 1992.

The accuser, who does not wish to be identified, told CNN that Bush grabbed her buttocks as the two posed for a photo together (http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/politics/george-h-w-bush-accuser-1992/index.html).

“We got closer together for a family photo and it was like ‘Holy crap!'” she said, describing the incident. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”

When asked why she did not come forward until now, the woman, now 55, claims she felt too intimidated up until now.

“All the focus has been on ‘He’s old.’ OK, but he wasn’t old when it happened to me,” she told CNN. “I’ve been debating what to do about it.”

The latest accuser is the 7th woman to come forward with claims that Bush touched them inappropriately or made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including one woman, Rosyln Corrigan, who claimed she was 16 years old at the time.

“My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan told Time Magazine (http://time.com/5019182/george-hw-bush-groping-allegation/). “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything.”

“What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States?” she asked.

A Bush spokesperson issued a statement of apology on behalf of the former president last month after first being accused of groping actress Heather Lind.

Calls for comment to a Bush spokesperson on the latest allegations have not yet been returned.

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Hannity withdraws support for Roy Moore; ‘Explain yourself or exit Senate race’

NEW YORK, NY — Fox News host Sean Hannity turned the tables on embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, telling viewers during his Tuesday night show that Moore has “24 hours” to explain conflicting answers to the sexual misconduct allegations against him or withdraw from the race.

“You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies,” Hannity demanded. “You must remove any doubt. If he can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race.”

Hannity’s sudden change of heart toward the Alabama judge comes after a number of sponsors withdrew advertising from Hannity’s nightly news program in response to his initial support of Moore, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault.

Moore has steadfastly denied the claims and insists the allegations against him are no part of a “witch hunt” to bring him down.

“How do you know if it’s true? How do we — what’s true? What’s not true? How do you ascertain the truth? What happens when it’s 38 years later?” Hannity asked last week on his radio show after interviewing Moore.

But Hannity says he’s since spotted some glaring inconsistencies in Moore’s story that concern him.

“Between this interview that I did and the inconsistent answers. Between him saying ‘I never knew this girl,’ and then that yearbook comes out,” Hannity said on Tuesday night’s show, referencing a yearbook produced by one of Moore’s accusers which appears to show his signature. “You must remove any doubt. If you can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race.”

Hannity is not the only big name Conservative who seems to be losing trust in Moore.

According to a report by The Daily Beast (https://www.thedailybeast.com/steve-bannon-and-allies-have-second-thoughts-about-roy-moore-sources-say), Steve Bannon, who has been one of Moore’s most vocal defenders in regard to the controversy, allegedly told insiders that he too has developed doubts.

The Breitbart chairman said, “I will put him in a grave myself,” if he determines that Moore was lying to him about the numerous accusations, a source close to Bannon told The Beast.

Calls for comment to Moore’s representative were met with “no comment”.

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‘TRUMP MUST GO’: Dems call for Trump impeachment ‘for sake of Constitution’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Six House Democrats on Wednesday filed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on the grounds that his remaining in office was a threat to national security.

“Given the magnitude of the constitutional crisis, there’s no reason for delay,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), the sponsor of the action.

“We have taken this action because of great concern for our country and our Constitution, our national security and our democracy,” Cohen said at a press conference at the Capitol building. “We believe President Trump has violated the Constitution.”

“Given the magnitude of the constitutional crisis, there’s no reason for delay,” Cohen added. “It’s time for Congress to take action to stop this reckless and harmful behavior by removing Mr. Trump from office and to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States.”

Cohen is joined by five of his fellow colleagues, including fellow Judiciary Committee Democrat Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, Representative Adriano Espaillat of New York, Representative Al Green of Texas, Representatives Marcia Fudge of Ohio and John Yarmuth of Kentucky.

The allegations against the 45th president that Cohen says warrants impeachment include obstruction of justice, violations of both the foreign and domestic emoluments clause, undermining the federal judiciary and undermining the freedom of the press.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who serves as minority whip, criticized his colleague’s actions, saying calls for impeachment against Trump are fruitless and represent the wrong move at the wrong time.

“Do we disagree with the policies? We do. But disagreeing with the policies is not enough to overturn an election, a free and fair election,” Hoyer told a waiting sea of reporters shortly after Cohen’s press conference.

“There are a large number of Democrats that believe this president ought to be impeached, we have just a made a judgment that the facts aren’t there to pursue that.”

In a statement, The Republican National Committee scolded Democrats for calling for impeachment.

“House Democrats lack a positive message and are completely unwilling to work across the aisle, so instead they’ve decided to support a baseless radical effort that the vast majority of Americans disagree with,” spokesman Michael Ahrens said. “Republicans are focused on issues the middle class actually cares about, like cutting taxes and growing the economy.”

This isn’t the first time that Democrats have called for the removal of the 45th president. Green filed his own articles of impeachment last October, claiming Trump was responsible for ongoing racial and ethnic divisions throughout the country.

That attempt failed.

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JUDICIAL WATCH: LORETTA LYNCH USED ALIAS IN EMAILS ABOUT CLINTON TARMAC MEETING

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former attorney general Loretta Lynch used the alias “Elizabeth Carlisle” in email discussions regarding her now infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, reports Judicial Watch.

Lynch, who served as AG under Barack Obama’s administration during the FBI’s probe into then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, met with former president Clinton at a Phoenix, Arizona airport just before the FBI announced it would not recommend charges against Donald Trump’s political rival.

Although the meeting raised many eyebrows in both legal and political circles, both Lynch and Clinton claimed at that time that the meeting was accidental and that the probe into whether Hillary Clinton had revealed classified information when using private email servers while secretary of state was never discussed.

However, new documents obtained by conservative watchdog groups Judicial Watch and American Center for Law and Justice reveal that Lynch used the alias “Elizabeth Carlisle” in discussing the controversy surrounding the meeting and how to best respond to the growing media frenzy surrounding it (http://media.aclj.org/pdf/Clinton-Lynch-Documents-1.pdf).

The emails were included in 413 pages obtained as a result of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch seeking information about the June 27, 2016 meeting. Although Lynch officially denied any wrongdoing, it was later revealed that Lynch took great efforts to conceal the meeting, which was discovered by a reporter in Phoenix based on a tip.

After learning of the meeting, the Phoenix’s ABC News affiliate contacted the Justice Department to inquire about the possible conflict of interest. The Judicial Watch emails reveal that the reporter’s call touched off a mass panic to develop talking points to help quell the developing scandal.

In a statement, Lynch’s attorney, Robert Raben, confirmed to The Daily Caller (http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/07/here-is-the-alias-email-account-loretta-lynch-used-as-attorney-general/) on Monday that Lynch, in fact, used the pseudonym for the purpose of security, but denied any iniquity.

“That address was and is known to the individuals who process [Freedom of Information Act] requests; the practice, similar to using initials or numbers in an email, helps guard against security risks and prevent inundation of mailboxes,” Raben said.

When pushed for details on what was discussed during her meeting with Bill Clinton, Lynch claimed the two kept the conversation “light” and primarily discussed each other’s grandchildren.

It was later pointed out by critics of the story that Lynch, who has no children of her own, had no grandchildren to discuss.

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TRUMPED AGAIN: 9TH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS BLOCK ON TRAVEL BAN; RULES PRESIDENT DISCRIMINATED ON BASIS OF NATIONALITY

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In yet another blow to the Trump administration the 9th Circuit Court on Monday again ruled against the president’s embattled travel ban.

In a hearing to determine whether or not the president discriminated against people based on their nationality, the court upheld a prior injunction from the 9th Circuit, which blocked enforcement of a Trump executive order that would have temporarily prevented immigrants from terror prone countries from entering the United States.

“We conclude that the President, in issuing the Executive Order, exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress,” the opinion (http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2017/06/12/17-15589.pdf), which came from an anonymous three-judge panel, reads. “Immigration, even for the President, is not a one-person show.”

“In suspending the entry of more than 180 million nationals from six countries, suspending the entry of all refugees, and reducing the cap on the admission of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 for the 2017 fiscal year, the President did not meet the essential precondition to exercising his delegated authority,” the ruling continues. “Here, the President has not done so.”

In its ruling to uphold the previous ruling, the 9th Circuit cited the president’s tweet on The judges cited a tweet by the president on June 5, in response to the terror attack in London.

“That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!” Trump tweeted.

“Indeed, the President recently confirmed his assessment that it is the ‘countries’ that are inherently dangerous, rather than the 180 million individual nationals of those countries who are barred from entry under the President’s ‘travel ban,'” one judge on the panel wrote.

The panel also cited comments by White House press secretary Sean Spicer that the President’s tweets are “considered official statements by the President of the United States.”

“The President must make a sufficient finding that the entry of these classes of people would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Further, the Order runs afoul of other provisions of the INA that prohibit nationality-based discrimination and require the President to follow a specific process when setting the annual cap on the admission of refugees. On these statutory bases, we affirm in large part the district court’s order preliminarily enjoining Sections 2 and 6 of the Executive Order,” the jurists concluded.

President Trump has said a temporary travel ban on individuals seeking to enter the U.S. from terror prone countries is essential to providing the federal government the time it needs to develop enhanced vetting procedures. Critics, however, claim the executive order amounts to an unconstitutional “ban on Muslims”.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia also ruled against the travel ban in an opinion given on May 25. That ruling has been appealed by the Trump administration to the Supreme Court.

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