MARK LEVIN: The Democrats’ End Goal Is To Destroy America

NEWSMAX: Fox Suspends Judge Jeanine Show After Discovering Pirro Intended To Expose Biden Voter Fraud

TRUMP: I Reversed on Striking Iran Because 150 People Would Die

WASHINGTON (Newsmax) — President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran for downing an unmanned American surveillance drone, but he canceled the strikes he had ordered 10 minutes before they were to be launched after being told 150 people could die

Trump’s tweeted statement raised several questions, including how he could have learned about casualties only minutes before the operation when that information typically would be provided much earlier. His tweet was the latest indication that he does not want to escalate the U.S. clash with Tehran, though he didn’t rule out future strikes. He said U.S. economic sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy, more are being added and he insisted anew that the U.S. would never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon

After days of harsh words against the United States, Iran also seemed to be tamping down its rhetoric.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division, told reporters on Friday that a U.S. spy plane with around 35 crew members was flying close to the unmanned U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk that was shot down, but that Iran chose not to target the manned aircraft. Separately, he told Iranian state TV that Iran warned the drone several times before downing it with a missile.

Late Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration barred American-registered aircraft from flying over parts of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and several major airlines from around the world on Friday began rerouting their flights , including British Airways, Australia’s Qantas, Germany’s Lufthansa and the Dutch carrier KLM.

In a lengthy tweet, Trump defended his stance on Iran amid criticism from Democrats who accuse him of having no strategy. He said he pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which gave Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for pledges to rein in its nuclear program, because the agreement only temporarily blocked Iran from having nuclear weapons. Trump said the nuclear deal also did not stem Iran’s support of militant groups or restrain its ballistic missile program.

He said his exit from the deal and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran has crippled its economy.

“Now they are Bust!” Trump tweeted and then outlined his reasons for canceling the strikes.

“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it.”

He added that those deaths would not be a proportionate response to the downing of an unmanned drone.

“I am in no hurry,” he said. “Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”

The overnight events, however, were a stark reminder of the serious risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces as the Trump administration combines its “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions with a buildup of American troops in the region. As tensions have mounted in recent weeks, there have been growing fears that either side could make a dire miscalculation leading to war.

The U.S. military operation was called off around 7:30 p.m. Washington time, after Trump had spent most of Thursday discussing Iran strategy with top national security advisers and congressional leaders.

The downing of the U.S. drone — a huge, unmanned aircraft — over the Strait of Hormuz prompted accusations from the U.S. and Iran about who was the aggressor. Iran insisted the drone violated Iranian airspace; Washington said it had been flying over international waters.

Trump’s initial comments on the attack were succinct. He declared in a tweet on Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake!” But he also suggested that shooting down the drone — which has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737 — was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation, suggesting he was looking for some way to avoid a crisis.

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said at the White House. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, cast the shootdown as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”

But fears of open conflict shadowed much of the discourse in Washington. As the day wore on, Trump summoned his top national security advisers and congressional leaders to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room. Attendees included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.

“The president was very clear of what he wants to achieve with Iran — to never allow them to have a nuclear weapon,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told “Fox and Friends” Friday.

“He was very clear that there will be action,” said McCarthy, who was in the meeting.

“He has a long-term game plan here and it doesn’t mean that you have to act within the few hours. … He’s just not overreacting. It’s going to be measured. And it’s going to achieve a goal.”

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said at the White House. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, cast the shootdown as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”

But fears of open conflict shadowed much of the discourse in Washington. As the day wore on, Trump summoned his top national security advisers and congressional leaders to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room. Attendees included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.

“The president was very clear of what he wants to achieve with Iran — to never allow them to have a nuclear weapon,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told “Fox and Friends” Friday.

“He was very clear that there will be action,” said McCarthy, who was in the meeting.

“He has a long-term game plan here and it doesn’t mean that you have to act within the few hours. … He’s just not overreacting. It’s going to be measured. And it’s going to achieve a goal.”

Pompeo and Bolton have advocated hardline policies against Iran, but Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, said “the president certainly was listening” when congressional leaders at the meeting urged him to be cautious and not escalate the already tense situation.

On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers insisted the White House must consult with Congress before taking any actions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no specific options for a U.S. response were presented at Thursday’s meeting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The administration is engaged in what I would call measured responses.” And late Thursday, House Republicans on the Foreign Affairs, intelligence and Armed Services committees issued a statement using the same word, saying, “There must be a measured response to these actions.”

The Trump administration has been putting increasing economic pressure on Iran for more than a year. It reinstated punishing sanctions following Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of an international agreement intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from earlier sanctions.

Citing Iranian threats, the U.S. recently sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region and deployed additional troops alongside the tens of thousands already there. All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.

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TRUMP: State of Union address to stress ‘unity’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday that “unity” will be the theme of his first State of the Union address under divided government and that he respects Stacey Abrams, who will give the Democratic response.

“I hope she does a good job. I respect her,” Trump said of Abrams, who will be the first black woman to deliver the rebuttal.

Trump will give his speech Tuesday before a joint session of Congress at a sensitive time in talks over keeping the government open and funding for the border wall he is demanding as part of any deal. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling also hovers. And Trump will be surrounded by living reminders of the changes wrought by the 2018 midterm elections that ushered Democrats into the House majority.

Sitting behind him: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who maneuvered the president into retreating last week on his demand for a border wall in exchange for an end to the longest government shutdown in history.

In the audience: A record number of women in Congress, many of whom will be wearing white, in honor of suffragettes.

In the gallery above: Victorina Morales, who worked for one of Trump’s clubs in New Jersey for years even though she was born in Guatemala and lived in the U.S. illegally. Morales, a guest of New Jersey Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman, said in an interview that she feels respectful toward the president. But she does have a message for him after years of hearing Trump describe immigrants as a scourge that takes jobs from Americans.

“Forget about the wall, stop separating families and focus on an immigration reform,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press, conducted in Spanish.

After Trump speaks: Abrams, heavily courted by Democrats to run for a Georgia Senate seat after narrowly losing her bid to be the nation’s first African-American woman governor.

On Sunday, the 45-year-old Democrat will take her push for voting rights to the airwaves in her home state during the Super Bowl. Abrams’ political group, Fair Fight, has bought airtime on Georgia affiliates the NFL broadcast so the Atlanta Democrat can push for election law changes.

Abrams has said her speech rebuttal will come “at a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose.”

___

Associated Press Writers Bill Barrow and Bernard Condon contributed to the contents of this report.

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KAVANAUGH RESPONDS: Trump’s Supreme Court nominee slams new allegations against him as ‘ridiculous’ and from the ‘Twilight Zone’ as third accuser comes forward

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh hit back on Wednesday, calling new allegations set forth against him by a third alleged victim “ridiculous”.

Julie Swetnick, a former student at a Maryland high school, alleged through a statement released by her attorney, Michael Avenatti, that Kavanaugh was present during a party at which she was gang-raped by a group of boys.

“I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s,” Swetnick says in her statement, which she signed under penalty of perjury.

In the affidavit, Avenatti further claims that Kavanaugh and several of his friends would “spike” the drinks of girls at house parties with grain alcohol and/or drugs to “cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.’”

Swetnick said Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge intentionally took part in incapacitating the girls so they “could then be ‘gang-raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.” She said “I became the victim” of one such rape “where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.”

“This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone,” Kavanaugh said in a statement released by the White House. “I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”

He told Fox News earlier this week that “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”

In a letter to Judiciary Committee leaders made public after a second accuser came forth with claims of sexual misconduct, Kavanaugh vowed not to withdraw his nomination.

“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Trump took to Twitter to put Swetnick’s attorney, Michael Avenatti on blast.

“Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” the president tweeted. “He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships – a total low-life!”

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‘COMPLETELY FALSE’: Kavanaugh comes out swinging against claims of 80’s sexual assault; White House says accuser ‘will be heard’.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday denied allegations made by a woman who claims he sexually assaulted her while at a high school party in the 1980’s.

“This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said in the statement Monday. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making the accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity.”

Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court, also visited the White House on Monday for a closed-door meeting with the president on the matter.

Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is standing firm in her allegations against him, however, and is willing to testify before Congress if asked, Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, told reporters Monday.

In a letter published by CNN and sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein, (D)-Calif, Ford claimed: “Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980s.”

“The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others,” Ford wrote. “Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.”

“She clearly considers this an attempted rape,” Katz said Monday. “She believes that if it were not for the severe intoxication of Kavanaugh, she would have been raped.”

Kavanaugh, in a statement last week, said he has nothing to hide and too is willing to testify under oath on the matter.

“I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said, adding that he “categorically and unequivocally” denies the allegations that have been made against him.

So far the White House has not made any determination as to whether or not the president will revoke Kavanaugh’s nomination, but issued a statement on Monday that Ford “deserves to be heard”.

“This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored. I think the Senate is headed toward a reasonable approach, allowing this woman to be heard in sworn testimony, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to be heard in sworn testimony,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, told “Fox & Friends” Monday. “I spoke with the president, I spoke with Senator [Lindsey] Graham and others. This woman will be heard.”

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MAD MAXINE: Waters goes on new ‘impeachment’ rant; Vows to ‘get’ Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Fox News) — Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters escalated her rhetorical assault on President Trump over the weekend – vowing to “get him” and repeating the word “impeachment” over and over.

Waters, who took heat earlier this year for urging her supporters to confront Trump administration officials in public, told a group gathered in Los Angeles that some Democratic leaders have asked her to stop talking about impeaching Trump.

“There’s a difference in how some of our leadership talk about how we should handle all of this,” Water said. “They say, ‘Maxine, please don’t say impeachment anymore.’”

“And when they say that, I say ‘impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment.’”

In video posted by The American Mirror, Waters said she wakes up in the middle of the night and “all I can think about is I’m going to get him,” in reference to Trump.

The California congresswoman, who was accepting an award from the Stonewall Young Democrats on Saturday, has been one of the most outspoken congressional Democrats calling for impeachment. While many in party leadership have shied away from those demands, Waters and her allies are emboldened by the prospect of Democrats retaking the House in the midterms and, potentially, using a majority to launch impeachment proceedings.

In June, Waters made controversial comments amid the backlash over the White House’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy leading to family separations at the border.

“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.

The lawmaker later claimed that she wasn’t calling for protesters to actually “harm” Cabinet members.

On Saturday, Waters once again brought up the remarks from earlier in the summer and said she did not threaten Trump supporters — but seemed to joke that she’s done that before.

“It frightened a lot of people, and of course the lying president said that I had threatened all of his constituents,” Waters said. “I did not threaten his constituents, his supporters. I do that all the time, but I didn’t do it that time.”


Andrew O’Reilly of Fox News contributed to this report.

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WHITE HOUSE STRIKES BACK: Press Secretary slams ‘anonymous’ source of New York Times op-ed piece

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House on Thursday hit back hard at a supposed administration insider who anonymously wrote an opinion piece published by the New York Times questioning Donald Trump’s mental stability.

In a statement released to Twitter, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders wrote:

“For those of you asking for the identity of the anonymous coward:

The media’s wild obsession with the identity of the anonymous coward is recklessly tarnishing the reputation of thousands of great Americans who proudly serve our country and work for President Trump. Stop.

If you want to know who this gutless loser is, call the opinion desk of the failing NYT at 212-556-1264.”

The response caused an almost instantaneous uproar on social media, with some demanding that Sanders be fired for releasing the telephone number to the Times’ opinion desk.

Richard Painter, a chief ethics lawyer under former president George W. Bush, tweeted that Sanders was “misusing her official position” and that her post “is a direct affront to the First Amendment.”

“She should be fired,” Painter told Newsweek on Thursday.

Norm Eisen, the top ethics official under ex-President Barack Obama and chairman of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, echoed Painter’s observation, adding that he saw Sanders’ actions as a federal ethics violation.

“A government official inciting the public to flood the phones of a private corporation & media outlet with harassing calls–openly interfering with its work–is a violation of the prohibition on “Misuse of Position” in 5 CFR 2635.702,” Eisen tweeted on Thursday. “Oh, the 1st Amendment is kinda relevant too.”

Calls to the White House for statement on the matter were met with “there will be no further comment”.

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WHITE HOUSE: ‘Economy Firing on All Cylinders’

WHITE HOUSE

Council of Economic Advisers

July 30, 2018

The rate of growth of the economy, also known as Gross Domestic Product or GDP, is one of the most important indicators of the health of our country’s economy. Today’s news did not disappoint; over the past year (4 quarters), our average annual growth rate has been a healthy 2.8 percent.

Thus far in 2018, real GDP is on track for growth of 3.1 percent over the calendar year, which would be the first calendar year of growth over 3 percent since 2005. This is exactly in line with the Administration’s own forecast of 3.1 percent, and well above the Obama Administration’s forecast of 2.3 percent. It is also a growth rate many claimed was impossible.

To put this achievement in perspective, during the entire period from 2001-2016, the annualized rate of real GDP growth in the first half of the year averaged just 1.9 percent.

President Trump believed we could get away from the Obama-era theories of “secular stagnation” – being doomed to slow growth – by changing the policies that caused that sluggishness. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, deregulation, and other business-friendly Administration policies are making higher growth possible.

As a result, over the first 6 full quarters of the Trump Administration, growth has averaged 2.7 percent. In contrast, during the first 6 full quarters of Presidents Obama’s second term, growth averaged just 2.4 percent, when the economic expansion should have been in full swing and demographic pressures were less of a weight. Overall, during their respective 8 years in office, growth under Presidents Bush and Obama averaged just 1.8 and 1.9 percent, respectively.

With growth in 2016 still only 1.9 percent, the Obama Administration projected this “new normal” to continue. Instead, growth edged up to 2.5 percent in 2017, exactly in line the Trump Administration’s forecast, and surpassing the Obama Administration’s forecast of 2.4 percent.

Driving this acceleration is increased private business investment, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and deregulation, raising after-tax rates of return.

In the 6.5 years between the start of the recovery in 2009:Q3 and 2015, growth in real private nonresidential fixed investment (commercial real estate, tools, machinery, and factories) averaged 5.4 percent, and had slowed to just 1.8 percent in 2016. Since then, growth jumped to 6.3 percent in 2017, and over the first two quarters of 2018, grew at an annualized rate of 9.4 percent.

Since September 2017, growth of equipment investment was a robust 7.4 percent at an annual rate, thanks largely to TCJA’s allowance for full expensing of equipment investment retroactively to 2017:Q4. Meanwhile, business investment in structures and intellectual property has also surged—up 13.6 percent for structures and 11.1 percent for intellectual property, respectively, in the first half of 2018.

Planned capital expenditure indices from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have accordingly reached record or near-record highs. As of July 2018, CEA has tallied a total of over $217 billion in new corporate investment announcements directly attributed to TCJA.

Americans also have more to spend as a result of the strong economy. During the Obama recovery, people didn’t feel better off and they didn’t have much to show for their labor. In the 6.5 years between the start of the recovery in 2009 and 2015, growth in real disposable personal income – money people have to spend – averaged just 2.2 percent, and had slowed to 1.6 percent in 2016, over seven years after the recession had officially ended. Under President Trump, growth ticked up to 2.8 percent in 2017, and spiked to 3.5 percent in the first half of 2018.

People feel better about the economy right now. In May 2018, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism rose to 107.8, its second highest level in its 45-year history. Reports of compensation increases hit a 45-year record high, with views of expansion and reports of positive earnings trends also the highest in the survey’s history. Since December 2017, the Index has averaged an unprecedented 106.5, above its 45-year average of 98 and close to the all-time high of 108.0 in July 1983. In March 2018, consumer sentiment in the United States reached its highest level since January 2004, while for the first 5 months of 2018, consumer sentiment was the highest it has been since 2000.

Money is also coming back to the US, where it belongs. Thanks to our outmoded and perverse tax code of the past, American firms were essentially incentivized to offshore jobs to other countries and kept foreign investment away from our shores. But the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought reason back to the tax system, and we are seeing immediate results.

In the first quarter of 2018, U.S. companies brought home (repatriated) a record $306 billion, or $1.2 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate. If the pace of repatriation continues through the remainder of 2018, it would generate an additional $98 to $189 billion in tax revenue for the Federal government, exceeding expectations.

It is good for the economy to have past corporate earnings working their way through U.S. capital markets from the repatriation as a result of the TCJA, with cash-rich firms distributing those earnings to shareholders for reinvestment in other firms that can productively use cash infusions.

Overall, the economy is strong as are the economic fundamentals: 3.7 million jobs have been created since Election Day 2016, and African American, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment rates have recently reached their lowest levels in recorded history. The women’s unemployment rate recently achieved a nearly 65-year low. Under President Trump the veterans’ unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in over 15 years. Meanwhile, consumer, business, and manufacturing confidence have recently reached multi-decade and even all-time highs. We look forward to continued prosperity for the American people.

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WHITE HOUSE: ‘Welfare Work Requirements Will Ease Poverty and Improve Our Labor Force’

Trump administration policies are responsible for a faster growing, more robust economy, which is incentivizing millions of Americans to get off the sidelines and back into the job market. But to continue to grow our economy, we will need capable workers. One place to find these workers is among low-income Americans who currently receive welfare benefits. While our welfare programs provide important assistance to help families make ends meet, especially in bad economic times, they don’t do enough to encourage work and eventual self-sufficiency in good times.

The Trump administration recognizes this issue, which is why President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April instructing agencies to encourage and require work in welfare programs whenever possible under current law.

A new report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers shows why these efforts could bring more potential workers into the workforce. During the 1990s, a bipartisan effort transformed our cash welfare system by requiring and rewarding work among recipients. The result was an increase in single mothers’ employment, a lesser reliance on welfare programs and a reduction in poverty. But today, most welfare assistance to low-income families comes via non-cash programs such as health insurance and food stamps that do not require most non-disabled recipients to work or prepare to work in return for these taxpayer-provided benefits.

Work is the best way to escape poverty

As we show in our report, perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, in a given month, the majority of Medicaid and food stamps adult beneficiaries are of working age and not disabled. Focusing solely on this “expected to work” population, we find that the majority do not work. That’s a problem because work is the single most important way to escape poverty, providing both “dignity,” in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago, as well as the promise of more income than is possible while receiving welfare. And, in this hot economy, jobs are available.

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