LOCK AND LOAD: Trump aides urged to arm up in wake of threats by Dems

Washington, D.C. (Washington Examiner) — Facing a new wave of potentially dangerous threats, called for by a top Democratic lawmaker, legal and gun experts are calling on top Trump aides to get their concealed carry permit and back it up with a pistol.

“There are simply not enough police in D.C. or Virginia or Maryland to protect all Trump officials at their homes and when they go out to restaurants. Getting a concealed handgun permit would be helpful to protect themselves and their family,” said John R. Lott Jr., president of the influential Crime Prevention Research Center.

“High level officials in the Trump administration, especially if their faces are likely to be recognized by many in the public as a result of appearances on TV, might want to consider applying for a license to carry a concealed weapon in the District of Columbia, and/or other states they frequent, in view of the call by Rep. Maxine Waters for the public to ‘absolutely harass’ these officials in public places, and other recent events indicating the increased danger they are in,” added public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

And Emily Miller, who wrote a book about the difficult process getting a gun permit in “Emily Gets Her Gun,” tweeted, “Trump admin officials can get DC gun carry permits to defend themselves from the crazies who obey Maxine Walters.”

Mark Smith, author of #Duped: How the Anti-gun Lobby Exploits the Parkland School Shooting – and How Gun Owners Can Fight Back, added, “While I do not think Maxine Waters wishes violence on anyone including on Trump supporters, the reality is her rhetoric that liberals should ‘harass’ Trump supporters could easily be misconstrued by someone predisposed to criminal violence as encouragement to commit violence on Trump supporters and staff.”

He added, “All law-abiding citizens should exercise their Constitutional right to choose whether to own and carry a gun to protect themselves and their families.”

Recent legal decisions have lowered the hurdle for Washington residents to get a concealed carry permit but it can take a long time to get one, unlike in neighboring Virginia.

As a result, Banzhaf suggested Trump aides move now.

“Since the application process, including a detailed background check, can reportedly take some time, they may wish to begin the process now,” he said. “That way, if and when they decide that they should carry a small firearm to protect themselves and/or their families, they will be able to do so. Obviously it will always be their own choice, since having a permit certainly does not require them to carry a gun at all times, or even at any time,” added the George Washington University law professor.

The issue was sparked when three top Trump aides were harassed at restaurants. In the last case, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a Lexington, Va., restaurant owned by a Trump critic.

Waters over the weekend told her legion of followers to confront Trump aides.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said Saturday in Los Angeles.

Lott noted that even though it is less hard to get a D.C. carry permit, there are many areas where packing heat is unlawful. “There are so many places in D.C. where you can’t carry, that a permit is of very limited use there,” he told Secrets.

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BLUE WAVE TUMBLES: Democrats in panic mode ahead of November election as polls show more voters siding with Trump

Washington, D.C. (Washington Examiner) — Enthusiasm for Democrats in the upcoming fall elections appears to be waning, especially among younger and black voters, as confidence in President Trump’s handling of the economy and national security firms up, according to a new national survey.

The latest Zogby Analytics polls, provided to Secrets, revealed that the public trusts Trump more on the economy and national security, a finding that is likely to increase his value on the campaign trail for Republicans.

When asked “Who do you trust more?” on the economy, it was Trump over Democrats 41 percent to 35 percent, and on national security the president again led, 40 percent to 38 percent.

Added to the poll’s other findings that support for Democrats is down among millennials, blacks, and so-called Walmart and NASCAR voters, it would appear that Trump is back in favor among voters and that the ballyhooed “Blue Wave” is dissipating.

“Could Trump prove to be the difference maker for Republicans in 2018? The data does point in this direction but the election is still six months out. Now Republican congressional candidates must decide if they want President Trump to blaze the campaign trail for them. That could prove to be wise at the moment,” said pollster Jonathan Zogby’s analysis.

Overall, the poll showed that 40 percent plan to support Democrats in the elections, 33 percent Republicans. In January, said Zogby, support for Democrats was at 44 percent.

The poll is the latest to suggest that Democrats are not on their way to a House and Senate rout. It indicates that since January, enthusiasm has tempered for the Democrats.

But the poll, and another on Trump’s approval numbers, do not show a big boost for Trump. He remains at an approval rate of just 46 percent and he has a “see-saw” relationship with elements of his base that he needs to secure, said the poll.

Still, the two polls provide some evidence that the Democratic march has been slowed.

Consider:

Since January, support for Trump among African Americans has increased 8 percent.
Democrats lost more than 10 percent since January among voters aged 18-50, 14 percent among Millennials aged 18-29. African American support for Democrats has dropped 20 percent since January.

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IT’S OFFICIAL: Trump wins nomination for Nobel Peace Prize

Washington, D.C. (Washington Examiner) — Eighteen House Republicans have formally nominated President Trump for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in helping to improve relations between North and South Korea.

Led by Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., the Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Wednesday outlining the actions Trump has taken to pressure North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program and commit to a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

“Although North Korea has evaded demands from the international community to cease its aggressions for decades, President Trump’s peace through strength policies are working and bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula,” the Republicans wrote. “We can think of no one more deserving of the committee’s recognition in 2019 than President Trump for his tireless work to bring peace to our world.”

The GOP lawmakers credited the Trump administration with uniting the international community to impose sanctions on Pyongyang, which they said have “decimated the North Korean economy and have been largely credited for bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.”

Messer has been pushing for a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump since March, and last week, the Indiana congressman said he was gathering support from his congressional colleagues to formally nominate the president.

His latest push came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for a historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The two committed to ending the 65-year-old Korean War and will sign a peace treaty.

In a joint statement released after the meeting before the two Koreas, North and South Korea said they’re committed to achieving a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Trump has agreed to meet with Kim himself, though the date and location are still being discussed.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, then the CIA director, met with Kim last month.

“This is more progress in North Korea than we saw during the entire Obama administration,” Messer said in a statement. “And it’s a direct result of President Trump’s leadership on the world stage.”

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PROTECTING OUR BORDERS: Refugee entries down by 77 percent under Trump’s watch; Expert says that number may drop to zero

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Entry into the U.S. by refugees from other nations is down a whopping 77% according to a report published Wednesday by The Washington Examiner.

The report, which reflects an Obama era high of 110,000, estimates the number of entries under the Trump administration has dropped to a staggering low of 25,000.
By comparison, the Obama administration averaged 75,000 refugee admissions during each year of his presidency.

“The national quota was lowered drastically by the Trump administration from 2018. His quota is, like, 45,000. Likely by the end of the year the number will be substantially less than even that,” Don Barnett, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, said of the numbers. “I personally think it will come in at half that. I think it will come in at 25,000 or so,” said Barnett. “It’s not going to come anywhere near 45,000.”

Further, Barnett said during a Tuesday conference that Trump may “zero out” the number of refugees who enter the U.S. altogether, because “it is up to the president to set levels”.

Trump, who campaigned hard on issues surrounding immigration as part of his campaign promise to “make America great again,” has fought a hard battle against pro-immigration groups who targeted his “America first” policies as “racist”.

His tough stance on illegal immigration and “extreme vetting” of foreign refugees, however, is in large part what many political pundits credit toward his presidential win against Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton in 2016.

During a visit to California last week, the president visited a prototype of the wall he famously promised to build if elected, which would create a physical divider between the U.S. and Mexico.

Before leaving for California, Trump targeted the Golden State’s pro-illegal immigration policies as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

“California’s sanctuary policies are illegal and unconstitutional and put the safety and security of our entire nation at risk,” he tweeted. “Thousands of dangerous & violent criminal aliens are released as a result of sanctuary policies, set free to prey on innocent Americans. THIS MUST STOP!”

The wall to secure the nation’s border is expected to cost taxpayers an estimated $1.6 billion to complete.

By comparison, the cost to house, clothe, feed, educate and provide medical care for illegal immigrants runs the American taxpayer approximately $135 billion per year.

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WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Comey told lawmakers Flynn didn’t lie in dealings with Russia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former FBI director James Comey told lawmakers last March that Michael Flynn, who briefly served as National Security Advisor for the Trump administration, that Flynn did not lie to them according to published reports (https://tinyurl.com/y77sxtrl).

The revelation contradicts the findings of a congressional panel who had been tasked with investigating whether or not Russia had interfered with the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Those findings led to Flynn having been charged with a violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits American citizens from negotiating with foreign governments regarding U.S. disputes. In Flynn’s case, he was accused of speaking off the record to Kislyak regarding sanctions the U.S. had placed on Russia.

The Washington Examiner report cites two sources familiar with the case who claims Comey told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that he believed Flynn was telling the truth when asked about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Donald Trump’s transition.

Flynn’s being charged with lying to the FBI by special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly came as a surprise to Comey in light of his report to lawmakers, says the report, particularly in light of Comey’s defense of the former general.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators is continuing its ongoing probe into what, if any, influence the Russian government had on the outcome of Trump’s win in November of 2016. The investigation has resulted in four indictments thus far.

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THE ‘CALM BEFORE THE STORM’? US deploys second nuclear warship, 7,500 marines to North Korea strike zone

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump has ordered The USS Theodore Roosevelt to the western Pacific amid reports that North Korea is about to test a nuclear weapon with capabilities of reaching the United States.

According to military officials, the vessel is expected to join the build-up of warships along the North Korean border.

Admiral Steve Koehler, a strike group commander on the ship, said 7,500 sailors are on board the ship and “ready as a war fighting force”.

“The US Navy carrier strike group is the most versatile, capable force at sea,” he said in a statement before the ship’s launch.

“After nearly a year of training and integration exercises, the entire team is ready as a warfighting force and ready to carry out the nation’s tasking.”

The announcement follows cryptic remarks by President Donald Trump last week as he was hosting a dinner for military commanders and their spouses that the event was “the calm before the storm”.

When pressed for clarification, the president refused to comment other than to say, “you’ll soon see”.

Constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz said of the president’s comments that they were a warning to North Korea and Iran not to fool with the United States (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/alan-dershowitz-trumps-calm-before-the-storm-is-a-message-to-north-korea-and-iran/article/2636914).

“North Korea and Iran are taking the measure of President Trump to see how far they can push him and how much they can get away with,” Dershowitz said in an opinion piece for The Washington Examiner. “If these worrisome actions by the two rogue nations persist, there will be a storm.”

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have reached a fever pitch over the course of the past several months. In a series of recent Tweets, President Trump said as diplomatic alternatives continue to fail, use of military force against North Korean leader Kim Jung Un may be America’s only option.

In an interview with Russian media agency TASS (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-trump/north-korea-says-trump-has-lit-the-wick-of-war-russias-tass-agency-idUSKBN1CG28W), North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said in response, “With his bellicose and insane statement at the United Nations, Trump, you can say, has lit the wick of a war against us.”

“We need to settle the final score, only with a hail of fire, not words,” he warned.

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‘NOT ENOUGH’: EMBATTLED HEALTH CARE BILL ON LIFE SUPPORT AS ‘GANG OF 4’ OPPOSE PASSAGE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The embattled Republican health care plan faced a serious setback on Thursday as four key Republican leaders again came out in opposition of the bill.

Senators Rand Paul, (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz, (R-Texas), Mike Lee, (R-Utah), and Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), told the press Thursday morning that they intend to contest the Senate Republican plan in its current form.

“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” the foursome said in a released statement. “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system but it does not appear this draft, as written, will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal ObamaCare and lower their health care costs.”

Paul, who holds a unique perspective on the plan being a physician himself, has been exceptionally vocal in his disapproval of key elements of the bill, particularly refundable tax credits, and has taken his issues with the bill in it’s current form to the president himself.

““I told him, part of my problem is it still looks too much like Obamacare for me,” Paul told The Washington Examiner (http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/22/rand-paul-ted-cruz-mike-lee-and-ron-johnson-oppose/).

“My hope is not to defeat the bill, but to make the bill better,” Paul told a group of waiting reporters in DC. “Now the discussions begin — I think it could take longer than a week.”

Cruz and Lee say their main issue with the bill as written is that it does not do enough to lower premiums for Americans.

“As currently drafted, this bill draft does not do nearly enough to lower premiums. That should be the central issue for Republicans — repealing Obamacare and making health care more affordable,” said Cruz. “It is important to remember that what was released today was only a draft,” he said. “I am hopeful that as we openly debate this legislation, real improvements will be made prior to floor consideration so that we can pass a bill that provides the relief from Obamacare that Republicans have repeatedly promised the last seven years.”

As for Johnson, the Minnesota native says he opposes what he calls the “secretive” drafting process and worries that the Senate might be rushing to a vote.

“I’ve got to talk to the governor, to our state legislators, to doctors, to nurse, to health care providers, to hospitals — and we actually have to get the information we don’t have yet,” he said.

In it’s current state, the bill repeals key components of the original ObamaCare plan but has managed to cut some of the “crucial” spending that conservatives have fought for, primarily a cut to Planned Parenthood funding.

Senate GOP leaders hold a 52-seat majority, so they cannot afford to lose more than two votes. Doing so will most certainly lead to a Democratic filibuster on the bill.

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