Parents of teen accused of killing Italian cop speaking out for first time ahead of son’s trial

In this combo photo released by Italian Carabinieri, Finnegan Lee Elder, sits in his hotel room in Rome. (Italian Carabinieri via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:42 AM PT — Saturday, February 22, 2020

The parents of one of the teenagers accused of killing an Italian police officer are speaking out. This came as the teen’s lawyer claimed “foul-play” by Italian prosecutors.

Parents of 19-year-old Finnegan Elder broke their silence Friday, just days before their son heads to trial.

Elder and a friend are facing aggravated murder and attempted extortion charges in connection with the stabbing of an officer in Rome last year.

Although the teen admitted to the stabbing, he claimed self defense and said the officers failed to identify themselves as officials and he feared for his life.

Family members of Finnegan Elder embrace as their family attorney Craig Peters, right, speaks to members of the media in front of their home in San Francisco on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Elder’s defense team claimed poorly translated transcripts are playing out in the prosecution’s favor. His parents said they worry their son is being mistreated by police.

“The pain is relentless,” stated the father Ethan Elder. “It’s constant, it’s when we go to sleep, it’s when we wake up, it’s when we sit together, when we’re happy, it’s when we’re sad, it’s always there.”

Elder’s trial is set to begin Feb. 26.

RELATED: N.Y. Man Arrested After Allegedly Targeting Police Officers

Original Article

Judge in Roger Stone’s case schedules phone conference ahead of sentencing date

In this Feb. 21, 2019, photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, leaves federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:49 PM PT — Sunday, February 16, 2020

The case of Roger Stone took a new turn just days ahead of his sentencing. On Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson called for an on-the-record telephone conference for this coming Tuesday with attorneys from both sides. It’s not clear what the discussion will focus on.

This came amid speculation that President Trump could pardon Stone after the DOJ moved to alter its sentencing recommendation last week.

FILE- In this Oct. 4, 2018, file photo Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., arrives at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Meanwhile, some Republican senators said Stone is facing a disproportionately tough sentence.

“Roger Stone is pretty good at bad decisions and nobody would confuse him with Alexander Hamilton,” stated Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “Being, Mr. Stone’s status as a chucklehead is not a criminal act.”

The upcoming conference comes after Stone’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial last week amid allegations of potential juror bias.

RELATED: Attorneys For Roger Stone Request New Trial

Original Article

Johnson reshuffles cabinet ahead of EU deal

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:47 PM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

Several of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet members are resigning or being let go as post-Brexit negotiations get underway. The prime minister started a major cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, as his government prepared to tackle trading terms with the EU following its departure from the bloc.

One of the most surprising resignations among senior officials was Treasury Chief Sajid Javid, who said he would not listen to orders to fire his team of aides.

Other big names leaving are Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Northern Ireland Minister Julian Smith, who helped end the country’s political stalemate.

“I think the prime minister has to choose who’s in the cabinet, who serves,” stated Smith. “We’ve done a lot of really good stuff (and) there’s a lot more to do, but that’s up to the prime minister.”

Johnson is now appointing several new ministers to his cabinet in hopes of making a deal with the EU by the end of this year.

RELATED: Canadian Prime Minister Visits Ethiopia For African Union Summit

Original Article

Workers in India building wall ahead of President Trump’s visit

Indian workers construct a wall in front of a slum ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit, in Ahmadabad, India, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:15 PM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

Construction workers in India are building a wall ahead of President Trump’s visit later this month. The president is expected to attend an event in the country in the coming weeks.

Before his arrival, workers are expected to complete a seven-foot tall wall that will reportedly conceal slum communities. However, a government official said the wall is part of an ongoing “beautification and cleanliness” project. Officials also said the wall is being built for security purposes.

Some residents are already excited about the president’s upcoming arrival.

“We are very happy that Donald Trump is coming here. We are going to give him a warm welcome by making him wear a traditional scarf, which we make here. We are also going to do prayers and he is going to attend prayers of all faiths.” – Pratimaben Vohra, local museum guide

In this Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 photo, Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium stands illuminated, days before it is inaugurated in Ahmadabad, India. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is transferring additional funds to the president’s U.S. border wall in an effort to increase security. On Thursday, the Pentagon said it’s moving $3.8 billion from several programs toward building the wall.

Officials said the funds are being pulled from its lower priority programs, such as the controversial F-35 fighter jet.

Democrats have denounced the wall as a “vanity project,” but immigration officials said it actually works to deter crime near the border. The Pentagon added the border wall has greatly reduced threats to U.S. national security as well.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Original Article

President Trump hosts ‘Keep America Great’ rally in N.H. ahead of primaries

Supporters gesture as they chant “Four More Years” while President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:17 PM PT — Tuesday, February 11, 2020

President Trump recently held a ‘Keep America Great’ campaign rally at the Southern New Hampshire Arena in Manchester.

The president spoke with his supporters on Monday night, just hours before polls opened for the first-in-the-nation primaries. He acknowledged his Democrat competitors are also in the state trying to rally support, but said he believes the turnout at his rally was significantly larger than any of the other candidates.

Attendees waited in long lines for a chance to see the president speak during this crucial election year, with some camping out over night. Other supporters, even those who have not traditionally voted Republican in the past, said they were inclined to attend the rally since the Democrat Party is going “too far left” on the political spectrum.

“I’ve actually always been independent, I’ve not registered either way, but lately he’s doing the job,” said New Hampshire voter Dave Dussault. “And I think that there’s a lot of the independent folks that are going to be leaning his way, particularly if the Democrats are leaning so far to the left like they seem to be in the media.”

During the rally, the president touted the booming economy and assured he plans to “keep it that way.” He went on to highlight the growth of the U.S. military’s power, improved trade agreements, increased exports of American made goods and followed-up by slamming Democrats for advocating for open borders.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president then addressed the public outrage over Nancy Pelosi’s handling of his State of the Union address last week, where she ripped up a copy of his speech live on television.

President Trump also made sure to address the global concern over the deadly coronavirus. He assured all patients with confirmed cases of the virus are recovering, quarantined and getting better. His comments come after the CDC reported coronavirus has a low public health risk in the U.S. However, health officials confirmed the 13th case of the virus in San Diego on Monday.

After the rally, President Trump traveled back to Washington, D.C. to gear up for another busy day at the White House.

RELATED: President Trump Unveils Spending Cuts, Fiscal Stimulus In 2021 Budget

Original Article

Democrat candidates make last efforts to rally voter support ahead of Tuesday’s N.H. primary

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:23 AM PT — Monday, February 10, 2020

2020 presidential hopefuls are hoping to lock down voter support with New Hampshire’s Democrat primaries just around the corner. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) is eyeing a comeback after seemingly falling just short of first place in the Iowa caucuses.

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared to take the lead at the nation’s first test of electability in a shocking upset for the Sanders campaign. He managed to pull in a record 1,800 person crowd in a campaign event Sunday, which was the largest turnout among all Democrat candidates in New Hampshire.

During a Saturday Town Hall featuring his fellow contenders, however, Buttigieg was taunted by a large group of attendees. The group was protesting his acceptance of donations from billionaires and PACs.

Buttigieg also took a hit during last week’s Democrat debate when asked about the rise in African American arrests in South Bend after he took office in 2012.

“These things are all connected, but that’s the point,” he stated. “So are all of the things that need to change in order for us to prevent violence and remove the effects a systemic racism not just from criminal justice, but from our economy, from health, from housing and from our democracy itself.”

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Plymouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Meanwhile, a new Emerson survey showed Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) polling third place in New Hampshire, which is likely due to her performance at the Friday debate.

Klobuchar took fourth behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in Iowa. She attributed her rise in popularity to her message of unity and not budging to calls from the far-left to advocate for some of the controversial issues championed by progressives.

As for Klobuchar’s message to voters in New Hampshire:

“I’m the one with the receipts that can bring people with me. I think that’s why we have growing momentum in New Hampshire. And the most important thing, I’ve passed over 100 bills as a lead Democrat the U.S. Senate.”

New Hampshire voters will head to the polls Tuesday, where Sanders has recently dominated and as Buttigieg holds off on clinging to his more liberal agenda.

With President Trump’s approval numbers remaining steady, it will be up to the Democrat Party to find the nominee they believe can hold off a second victory for Republicans come November.

RELATED: Klobuchar Murder Case May Have Been Mishandled

Original Article

Bernie Sanders pulls ahead of Democrat opponents

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., walks on stage at a campaign rally Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Sioux City, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:50 PM PT — Friday, January 31, 2020

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is saying Monday’s Iowa caucus will be a very tight race.

“I think it’s going to be really close, we’re neck and neck. Bernie’s up, I’m up. They’re basically a statistical tie, and we’ll see who shows up.” – Joe Biden, former Vice President of the United States

His remarks came in response to a newly released Wall Street Journal and NBC poll, which showed 27 percent of Democrat primary voters nationwide favored Sen. Bernie Sanders. Biden followed closely behind with 26 percent of the vote. Sen. Elizabeth Warren garnered 15 percent support.

The data showed Sanders has a remarkable lead among young Democrat voters, whereas Biden’s support came mainly from older Democrats. Sanders polled nearly 30 points ahead of Biden with Democrat voters under age 50 and nearly 40 points higher with those under age 35. As for Democrat voters over 50 years old, the former vice president held a strong 25 point lead.

Supporters of democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hold up signs as Portugal. The Man performs at a campaign rally Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Sioux City, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

When asked whether or not he had fallen out of touch with today’s politics, Biden said that’s not the case.

“The next president, from day one, is going to have to stand on that world stage and not have any time for on the job training,” he said, “I’m running because of the fact I have this experience, not in spite of the fact I have this experience.”

Candidate Pete Buttigieg polled at seven percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar captured five percent and Andrew Yang drew four percent of the support. The survey was conducted across 428 registered voters earlier this month.

Original Article

McCarthy and Hoyer make fiery remarks ahead of House impeachment vote

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Key takeaways from House impeachment debate

Senate readies for January trial as full House vote looms; reaction and analysis from the 'Special Report' All-Stars.

Two of the top lawmakers from opposing parties gave their last remarks on the House floor before a historic vote Wednesday night to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to a Senate trial.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, accused Republicans of the "craven rationalization of presidential actions" and applauded his independent colleague, Justin Amash, I-MI, who says he is supporting impeachment against Trump despite laying no claim to a party.

"Party loyalty must have its limits," Hoyer said.


Earlier in the day, Amash expressed his support for impeaching Trump saying "I come to this floor not as a Democrat, not as a Republican but as an American who cares deeply about the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of the people."

Hoyer built on those statements saying, "The votes we are about to take concern the rule of law and democracy itself. Let us not forget the words of John Locke… 'Whenever law ends, tyranny begins.'"

The second-ranking lawmaker in the House drew applause from his Democratic colleagues when he pushed back on notions that impeachment efforts are a mere attempt to undo Trump's 2016 victory.

"There's been a lot of talk about the 63 million people who voted for Mr. Trump. Little talk about the 65 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton," Hoyer said as members of the House cheered.

Still, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, lambasted Democrats in his closing speech saying "Because they lost to him in 2016, they’ll do anything to stop him in 2020."

McCarthy: 'My Democratic colleagues hate to hear 'Donald J. Trump is president of the United States'''Video

"That’s not America. That’s not how democratic republics behave. Elections matter. Voters matter," McCarthy said. "They want to undo the results of the last election to influence the next one."

In his final remarks before the House voted on charges that Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress, McCarthy accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, of "undoing a national election" and attempting to "disqualify our voice before the 2020 election."

"We know Democrats hate President Trump, his beliefs, the way he governs and even the people who voted for him. They say so, day after day. In 2016, they dismissed his supporters, calling us 'Deplorables.' Now, they are trying to disqualify our voice before the 2020 election," McCarthy said.
The bitter partisanship ahead of the vote threatens to leak into the start of a Senate trial, especially after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, met with the White House to go over the strategy and optics of the inevitable proceedings.


Democrats have decried that the GOP-led Senate will not abide by a fair trial, and Hoyer proposed the idea of delaying transmitting the articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate in an effort to stall a dismissal of the case against Trump.

“Some think it’s a good idea. And we need to talk about it,” Hoyer said early Tuesday.

Original Article

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announces reelection campaign ahead of expected Senate trial on Trump

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 18

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Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Wednesday she'll be seeking reelection, in an announcement ahead of the Senate's expected trial of President Trump.

Collins has maintained she's willing to have an open mind when considering articles of impeachment against the president. The center-leaning senator famously gave a last-minute speech in support of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court last year ahead of the Senate's narrow vote to confirm the justice.

Although she hasn't publicly weighed in on whether or not she would vote for or against removing the president, Collins repeatedly has defended the whistleblower whose allegations of misconduct by Trump have been central to the investigation into the president's abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.


The last remaining New England Republican in Congress, Collins historically has presented herself as a moderate politician, bucking party-line stances on issues such as abortion and challenging Trump's policies, including building a wall on the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico and withdrawing troops from Syria.

In this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is surrounded by reporters as she heads to vote at the Capitol in Washington. Collins officially launched her bid for a reelection Wednesday, Dec. 18, setting up an expensive and closely watched battle for the seat the moderate Republican from Maine has held for nearly 24 years. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is surrounded by reporters as she heads to vote at the Capitol in Washington. Collins officially launched her bid for a reelection Wednesday, Dec. 18, setting up an expensive and closely watched battle for the seat the moderate Republican from Maine has held for nearly 24 years. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Collins detractors from the left have slammed her for supporting Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, despite a myriad of sexual misconduct allegations against him, as well as advocating for the GOP tax cut.

"The fundamental question I had to ask myself in making my decision was this: In today's polarized political environment, is there still a role for a centrist who believes in getting things done through compromise, collegiality, and bipartisanship?" Collins said in an email, according to reports by NPR. "I have concluded that the answer to this question is 'yes' and I will, therefore, seek the honor of continuing to serve as Maine's United States senator."

Four Democrats are vying for the party’s nomination to face the 67-year-old senator, include activist Betsy Sweet, attorney Bre Kidman, former Google executive Ross LaJeunesse and Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, who is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Collins has amassed $8.6 million for her reelection bid, the largest haul of any political candidate in Maine history.

The expensive race is projected to cost anywhere between $80 million to $100 million before the 2020 elections, making it the most expensive run the state has ever seen.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Rep. Van Drew, ahead of expected party switch, compares impeachment to how ‘third-world countries operate’

closeTempers flare on House floor as Rep. Louie Gohmert shouts at Rep. Jerry NadlerVideo

Tempers flare on House floor as Rep. Louie Gohmert shouts at Rep. Jerry Nadler

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert returns to the podium to address House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler's 'Russian propaganda' claim.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew hasn’t officially switched parties yet, but the New Jersey congressman said he moved over to stand on the GOP side of the aisle Wednesday for the historic impeachment votes because it was “appropriate.”

The freshman Democrat opposes impeachment and is expected to jump to the Republican Party for political survival in a district President Trump carried in 2016.

“As I’ve said all along, I’m going to vote ‘no,’” Van Drew told reporters at the Capitol. “So I think they [Republicans] are all going to vote ‘no’ so it’s certainly appropriate in this case regardless of any other discussions we might be having.”


Van Drew, still officially a Democrat, sat with Republicans when impeachment debate kicked off and said he was welcomed warmly. He even got a pep talk from Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who was condemned on the House floor in January for white supremacist comments.

“Jeff right now today is the loneliest man in Congress,” King told Fox News. “I’ve got sympathy and empathy for that circumstance. And I just expressed that to him. Let him know [to] follow your conscience and follow your heart in what you do today. Let it be something that fits within who you are and it’ll be OK.”

Van Drew confirmed that King had kind words for him and all the Republicans were “very, very nice.” But he denied feeling lonely: “I have a lot friends,” he told Fox News.


News of Van Drew’s planned party switch broke over the weekend, followed by an exodus of his Democratic staff, who resigned in protest.

Van Drew and Rep. Colin Peterson, D-Minn, were the only Democrats to vote "no" against the launch of the impeachment inquiry on Halloween. And the pair again were the lone dissenters on an earlier vote Wednesday on the rule to kick off the impeachment debate.

“I’ve always felt this impeachment is going to do a tremendous amount of harm to the country,” Van Drew said. “It’s really going to create more division, more hardship, more hate, more civil unrest. It’s going to disfranchise thousands and thousands of people who voted.”

Van Drew doesn’t believe Trump’s conduct amounts to removal from office and compared impeachment to erasing the 2016 election vote result.

“I sometimes believe that not everyone understands the severe seriousness of impeachment. It is how an oligarchy operates. It is how third-world countries operate…the vote is what counts,” he said.


Van Drew is among the 31 Democrats who won in districts Trump won in 2016. These swing-district Democrats are feeling the heat from an onslaught of attack ads from GOP-aligned groups, and some have acknowledged their vote for impeachment could cost them their seat.

Van Drew was coy when asked if he’d making is party switch official at the White House ceremony, saying “we’ll see.” He said an announcement will come “very shortly” but not on Wednesday.

“Today is all about impeachment,” he said.

Original Article

Trump supporters camp out in bitter cold ahead of rally

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 18

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A growing crowd of Trump supporters are lining up outside in Michigan's bitterly cold weather ahead of an evening rally with President Trump that coincides with House Democrats voting to formally impeach him.

Footage from the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek showed throngs of attendees waiting for Trump's "Merry Christmas" rally on Wednesday, but Trump's supporters reportedly started camping out as early as Monday.

“We got here about 5:30 in the morning. We’re cold. We’re very, very cold but it’s worth the wait," one woman told Fox News on Wednesday.

"It’s very cold, very cold, but we got warmers. We got hand warmers and stuff like that and so it’s worth it. It’s so worth it," another attendee said.


Battle Creek city officials are reportedly expecting 10,000 attendees, which is more than the arena's capacity. The city's fire chief told a reporter that the permitted capacity is 5,400.

The Trump campaign told Fox News it expected the arena to be packed with supporters outside as well.

"I've seen a lot of rock concerts at Kellogg Arena. This is going to be the best show I've ever seen," one man said, according to Fox17.

Reporter Sarah Grimmer also posted footage a long line of Trump supporters who camped out overnight.


The rally is the same day that the House of Representatives debated articles of impeachment. For months, House Democrats have been pursuing an inquiry into whether Trump abused his power during a July call with Ukraine.

Trump blasted the impeachment push on Wednesday, tweeting that it as an "assault on America." Despite Washington's critical atmosphere, rally attendees told Fox News they were confident in the president and his place in the White House.

“He’s going to be stoked like the rest of us who have been here for many hours waiting for this — we got your back, president," one woman said.


"We’re here to support him, sir," another woman said. "You know, we're behind him 100 percent. We know that the House might obviously have favor because they have the numbers but it’s not going anywhere in the Senate."

Democrats are expected to approve impeachment along partisan lines but Senate Republicans have already indicated they wouldn't vote to remove Trump from office.

One female attendee defend Trump's conduct on the call, saying that he was trying to "look out" for Americans.

“He did what he’s supposed to do as president and that’s look out for us and make sure that when we send money to other countries it’s going to the people that it needs to go to," she said.


Democrats have accused the president of trying to pressure Ukraine into helping him in the 2020 presidential election. Trump denied any wrongdoing, arguing that he was acting appropriately when he requested the eastern European nation investigate corruption concerns surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden.

Not everyone in Battle Creek is happy about Trump's visit. Protesters are expected to show up near the Sojourner Truth monument at 5 p.m. local time, according to Michigan Live. Protesters could number as high as 500 at the monument, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. The state's Democratic Party also reportedly planned to speak outside of the event.


Counterprotesters will also show up to defend the president. "I'll be damned if I let them ruin my president's visitation to our great city," Devon Warren, who's organizing a counterprotest, told the Battle Creek Enquirer.

"The original protesters are radical leftists that are further dividing the country, and I started the protest to deliver a good old fashioned American beat down," Warren said.

Original Article

Dems plow ahead with impeachment articles as initial vote looms

closeChairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins deliver their opening statements at impeachment markup meetingVideo

Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins deliver their opening statements at impeachment markup meeting

Representatives Nadler and Collins deliver opening remarks.

The House Judiciary Committee is poised to be the scene of another major partisan clash Thursday as lawmakers press ahead with two articles of impeachment against President Trump, ahead of an initial vote expected by day's end likely to advance the measures to the floor.

The final "markup" process began Wednesday evening, immediately breaking out into fiery disagreement. Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., argued that it would be unsafe to wait until the 2020 election to remove Trump from office.


"We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the president threatens the very integrity of that election," Nadler claimed during Wednesday's session.

Democrats from districts that supported Trump in 2016, however, have been less enthusiastic. Recent polls have shown declining support for impeachment in key swing states, with two polls released Wednesday indicating that most Americans did not want Trump removed.

Politico reported earlier this week that the numbers were making a "small group" of moderate Democrats, who have held seats in districts where Trump won in 2016, nervous about how to vote. They instead have suggested Trump be censured, which would prevent the GOP from holding a potentially damaging Senate trial and give them political cover in the upcoming election.

The House is now composed of 431 current members, meaning Democrats would need 217 yeas to impeach Trump. There are currently 233 Democrats, so Democrats could lose only 16 of their own and still impeach the president. Among the House Democrats, 31 represent more moderate districts that Trump carried in 2016.

Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich. – who flipped a GOP district in 2018 that Trump won by seven points in 2016 – told Fox News last month that she was tentatively weighing all the evidence. On Wednesday, she confirmed that she's still undecided.

"The phones are ringing off the hook," she told CNN. "We literally can't pick up the phones fast enough — and it's people on both sides of it."

Republicans, meanwhile, have vociferously opposed the impeachment effort. The committee's ranking member, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, stated that Democrats have been trying to impeach Trump since he took office. He echoed the White House's argument that the impeachment was politically motivated theater, long in the works and foreshadowed openly by Democrats for months, if not years.


He and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., each argued that unlike previous presidents who have faced impeachment, Trump was not accused of an offense actually defined by law: neither "abuse of power" nor "obstruction of Congress" is a recognized federal or state crime. Those are the two offenses outlined in the articles of impeachment before the committee. (The separate charge of contempt of Congress, according to the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel, exempts the president for separation-of-powers reasons.)

The markup is expected to go until Thursday afternoon. If the committee votes to approve the articles of impeachment, as expected, there will likely be an impeachment vote on the House floor in the middle of next week.

The articles center on Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation into his political rivals – namely, former vice president Joe Biden – while withholding aid. Democrats argue Trump wrongly used U.S. aid and the prospect of a White House meeting as leverage, but Trump denies doing so.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

Original Article

Tulsi Gabbard trades Hawaii for snowy New Hampshire ahead of February primary

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on US strategy for Syria, whether she would consider a position in the Trump administration

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard joins Maria Bartiromo on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, has rented a home in New Hampshire just two months before the first-in-the-nation 2020 presidential primary state votes in February.

"I grew up in Hawaii, where Christmas was 80 degrees and a day at the beach, and so being here in the winter, it's just — the first snow of the year is always fun," she said, according to WMUR-TV in Manchester.

Gabbard said she thinks New Hampshire, which votes after Iowa, will be her best chance to break through as a presidential candidate.


On Tuesday, Gabbard tweeted a post of a yoga session at her new place just outside Manchester.

“Rain, snow or sun … it’s always a good time for #yoga,” she wrote while doing poses with a blanket of snow visible outside the window.

"We had a town hall in Rochester and then in Gilford right before the storm hit, and people said, 'You must be getting out of town,' and nope, we're here for the duration," Gabbard said, WMUR reported.

Gabbard is currently polling in fifth place at 5 percent in the state, according to the Real Clear Politics average.


She has not yet qualified for the Democratic presidential debate in December.

Original Article

House plows ahead

closeNancy Pelosi asks House to proceed with articles of impeachment against President TrumpVideo

Nancy Pelosi asks House to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Trump's actions have 'seriously violated the Constitution,' leaving her no choice but to act before he tries to 'corrupt the election once again for his own benefit.'

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On the roster: House plows ahead – I’ll Tell You What: Love me tenders – Kerry backs Biden, will hit campaign trail – ‘Left money, took pies.’

WaPo: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Trump’s wrongdoing strikes at the heart of the Constitution and asked House committee chairs to proceed with articles of impeachment, saying lawmakers have ‘no choice but to act.’ Her address, in which she invoked principles espoused by the nation’s founders, came shortly after Trump went on Twitter to urge House Democrats to impeach him quickly, if they plan to do it, and suggested he would call an expansive list of witnesses during a trial in the Republican-led Senate. At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that President Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine in the face of Russian military aggression, to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”
Pergram: Could proceedings drag on into 2020? The timing’s unclear – Fox News: “Is there enough time for lawmakers to deposit articles of impeachment on the House floor this calendar year? Or, could this wait? Finally, do Democrats have the votes to impeach? If a House impeachment vote drifts into 2020, analysts likely will crow that it would be extraordinary for the House to attempt to impeach President Trump in ‘an election year.’ But, it’s tough to calibrate the political advantages or disadvantages of doing impeachment in December or when the calendar flips. It’s doubtful that in the future, the public would recall precisely when the House voted to impeach. Republicans would assert that Democrats were so brazen that they ‘impeached the president in an election year.’ Putting impeachment on the floor in, say, October, just before a November general election, may be a real no-no. However, nobody on the Hill has suggested that scenario would be in play.”
Moderate Dems warn to leave Mueller out of it – Politico: “A group of House Democratic centrists is warning its caucus that any case against President Donald Trump should steer clear of Robert Mueller — resurfacing an ugly internal debate on impeachment that could complicate the coming weeks. Multiple moderates — including freshman lawmakers deemed most at risk in 2020 — have urged Democrats not to relitigate the issues in the Mueller report in their own investigation into the Ukraine scandal. But key Democrats, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, have suggested that it could be included in eventual articles of impeachment, with many in the caucus still eager to repudiate Trump for his misconduct outlined by Mueller. ‘Activities from the 2016 election, I think, should be left to voters in the 2020 election,’ said Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah), who represents one of the most GOP-leaning seats in the nation. ‘My focus is on those things that are forward looking.’”
Trump threatens to have Schiff, Bidens, Pelosi testify – Fox News: “President Trump on Thursday challenged House Democrats to impeach him ‘fast’ and ship the process over to the Senate, where he threatened to seek testimony from top Democrats including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. ‘The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy,’ Trump tweeted, just before Pelosi announced that she wants the Judiciary Committee to proceed with articles of impeachment.… ‘We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.’”
White House preps for Senate trial –WaPo: “The White House signaled Wednesday that it will aggressively defend President Trump in a near-certain Senate impeachment trial in the coming weeks, as legal experts called by House Democrats testified in a contentious hearing that Trump’s Ukraine dealings constitute an impeachable offense. Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters that Trump ‘wants his case made fully in the Senate,’ previewing a strategy that would include live witnesses on the floor… Ueland was among a quartet of top White House officials, including Counsel Pat Cipollone, who met with GOP senators on Wednesday as the administration continues to strategize with Republicans on the Senate proceedings. The private session … underscored the extent to which Trump has largely blown off the House inquiry and is focusing on a likely trial in the GOP-controlled Senate, where the White House says he would get a fair defense and can easily win an acquittal.”
“The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state, provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28
Smithsonian: “When Leeann Wallett reflects on happy days from her childhood, she thinks of New Year’s Eve. … The centerpiece of these meals was a miniature Crock Pot called the Crockette, which kept food hot from dinner until the clock struck midnight. The recipes varied from year to year … but all still strike a deep chord of nostalgia for Wallett, who grew up to become an avid home cook and, in her spare time, a food writer for local and regional outlets in her home state of Delaware. … Nearly 80 years after its patent was issued, the Crock Pot continues to occupy a warm place in American kitchens and hearts. For Paula Johnson, curator for the Division of Work & Industry at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., the Crock Pot’s ubiquity lends to its charm. When Johnson returns to family potlucks in her own Minnesota hometown, she can count on seeing a long, buffet line of Crock Pots.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Biden: 26 points (no change in points)
Warren: 19.4 points (no change in points)
Sanders: 17.2 points (no change in points)
Buttigieg: 10.2 points (no change in points)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, CNN, Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
Average approval: 43 percent
Average disapproval: 52.8 percent
Net Score: -9.8 percent
Change from one week ago: no change in points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 54% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove; Monmouth University: 45% approve – 52% disapprove.]
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss the thinning field of 2020 Democratic candidates after Kamala Harris dropped out of the race, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg's new campaign ad and investigated the case of the missing chicken tenders. Plus, Chris answers tough listener trivia.LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE
WaPo: “Former secretary of state John F. Kerry endorsed Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy on Thursday, saying his longtime friend and colleague has the character, experience and leadership skills to restore the nation’s standing abroad and confront urgent problems at home. ‘I’m not endorsing Joe because I’ve known him a long time. I’m endorsing him because I know him so well,’ Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, said in a telephone interview ahead of the formal announcement of his endorsement. Kerry will join Biden on the campaign trail on Friday in Iowa, where the former vice president is in the midst of a week-long bus tour of the state, and in New Hampshire on Sunday, according to the Biden campaign. The former secretary of state said he would continue to campaign for Biden in the weeks and months ahead.”
Fringe candidates running out of time to qualify for December debate – Politico: “Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang could get more airtime than ever to introduce themselves to America with just one more poll — or they could spend the December debate sitting at home. Right now, six candidates … are set to take the stage for the Democratic primary debate co-hosted by POLITICO and PBS NewsHour on Dec. 19: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren. Gabbard and Yang are not among them, with only one week left before qualification closes. For both Gabbard and Yang, being excluded from the debate stage could starve their long-shot campaigns of the oxygen that comes with the nationally televised platform — which has helped sustain their small-dollar fundraising and marginal poll numbers — as the rest of the field continues to winnow. But if one or both qualify, they are likely to get greater shares of the speaking time than ever before. No debate thus far has included fewer than 10 candidates…”
Where will Harris’ remaining backers land? – WaPo: “The ‘Reckoning Crew,’ a famed group of Democratic black activists in South Carolina, huddled deep into the night Tuesday at their leader’s home in Hopkins, S.C., and tried to agree on who to back after Sen. Kamala D. Harris dropped out of the race. Already, two campaigns had sought them out, asking for the group’s support, and the members — who helped Hillary Clinton dominate the state in the primary four years ago, initially believed they’d be able to quickly settle on a new candidate. As the night wore on, it became clear that they weren’t quite ready. … The competition for her backers, especially African American women, is particularly fierce given the delicate racial dynamics of the remaining Democratic field, which polls show is now led by four white candidates. All are trying to either cement or make inroads among African American voters. At least initially, the campaigns of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former vice president Joe Biden appeared likely to benefit.”
Warren tears into Bloomberg on Bloomberg TV – Fox News: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has been an outspoken critic of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's candidacy – but on Wednesday, she took her message to his own backyard. During an interview on Bloomberg TV, host Joe Weisenthal acknowledged that his ‘boss’ was running against Warren and asked her if it's ‘naïve’ to think that candidates such as Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg could champion bipartisanship in 2019 politics. … She then took aim at her billionaire rival. … ‘I don’t believe that elections ought to be for sale, and I don’t think as a Democratic Party that we should say that the only way you’re gonna get elected, the only way you’re gonna be our nominee, is either if you are a billionaire, or if you’re sucking up to billionaires.’”
This week Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano discusses the Supreme Court hearing an important gun rights case: “Will the New York City gun owners suffer the same fate? Perhaps not. There is a little-known and rarely used exception to the standing requirement — a judge-made exception — that holds that if a dispute repeatedly comes to the Supreme Court or if lower federal courts are repeatedly misinterpreting a Supreme Court decision, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal to stop the repeated appeals or to correct lower court misunderstandings, even if there is no adversity between the parties. Have lower federal courts been misinterpreting the Heller and McDonald cases? Yes. By one study, they have ruled 96 percent of the time in favor of city and state gun restrictions in the home and against the pre-political nature of the right to self-defense. Are there constitutional implications in this case beyond standing? Yes.” More here.
Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., announces he will not run for re-election Roll Call
White House tightens food stamp requirements Fox News
“I pray for the president all the time. So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked by a reporter whether she hates President Trump.
“Chris, In reading the Halftime Report for today, Wednesday, December 4th, I noticed in the first item of the Play-by-Play section that ‘Rep. Denny Heck, R-Nev., announces retirement.’ Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link to the story in ‘Medium,’ to find that Rep. Denny Heck is a Democrat from the state of Washington and not a Republican from the state of Nevada. Thanks and other than this, keep up the good work!” – Jerry Donohoe, Longwood, Fla.
[Ed. note: Quite so, Mr. Donohoe! My brain failed me for a second as I hurried through a final edit and confused the retiring congressman with a former member of the same last name from Nevada. Thanks for your kind words and good catch!]
“Chris, The good news about Cole [the Jeep] is that he will run forever. The bad news about Cole is that he will run forever.” – Jason Bell, Naples, Fla.
[Ed. note: Don’t I know it, Mr. Bell! The unsinkable Cherokee!]
“C'mon Chris, tell it like it is. In response to a reader's suggestion that The Times has slipped, you concede that ‘There are certainly articles and story angles in the NYT's news section that evince a point of view on the part of writers and editors … .’ Point of view, my foot. You mean bias. The Times is a house organ for the Democratic Party and has been for generations. The last time The Times endorsed a Republican candidate for President was Eisenhower, running for a second term in 1956. (In 1952, it was Stevenson over Ike). In its news coverage, The Times devotes its considerable resources to advancing the worldviews and political agendas of its lords and masters on the left.” – Stuart Barr, Durham, N.C.
[Ed. note: You certainly don’t sound like a wimp, Mr. Barr. In fact, you present yourself here as a tough-minded truth teller. I wonder then why you would feel so crabby about the biases of the New York Times. I can certainly understand how in the 1950s when there was relatively little in the way of media diversity that American conservatives were unhappy about the lack of right-leaning opinions on editorial pages or the conservative worldview in story selections. But in the past 70 years, conservatives have fought back and, in many cases, won the media war. Now, Americans can pick and choose among hundreds of outlets online, on television and on radio. I work at an outlet that regularly comes in from criticism from Democrats for the kind of bias that you ascribe to the NYT. And when they do, we patiently explain that our opinion hosts are certainly not shy about sharing their point of view, but that in our news division, the stories and analyses we provide are fair, thoroughly reported and non-partisan. And I tell Democrats who complain that if they can’t handle hearing from the likes of Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Dana Perino and me, then maybe they should think about adding a little more variety to their news diet. I offer you the same encouragement. You seem like a knowledgeable man with more than enough awareness of the political landscape to be able to navigate the NYT without being led astray. I encourage folks to read widely and courageously but always with that very American attribute: Skepticism. It’s quite a lot of fun if you let it be.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
UPI: “Police in Missouri said someone took two pies from a store that was accidentally left unlocked while closed — but the culprit left money and a note, making it an ‘after-hours transaction’ instead of a burglary. The Ballwin Police Department said the front door of Honey Baked Ham had apparently been left unlocked accidentally on Thanksgiving Day, when the store was closed for the holiday, and a customer who came inside the empty store in the afternoon called police. Police found some cash on the counter and a note reading: ‘Happy Thanksgiving! No one was here, and we were in desperate need of pies. Left money, took pies. Thanks!’ … Police said the pie-taker would have had to go behind the counter and retrieve the pies from a refrigerator, which could potentially have led to trespassing charges, but the store declined to pursue criminal charges for the ‘after-hours transaction.’”
“Two decades into the unipolar world that came about with the fall of the Soviet Union, America is in the position of deciding whether to abdicate or retain its dominance. Decline – or continued ascendancy – is in our hands.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Weekly Standard on Oct. 19, 2009.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

Trump tweets photo of himself as ‘Rocky’ ahead of more impeachment hearings

closeBreakfast with 'Friends': Florida Trump supporters react to president's rallyVideo

Breakfast with 'Friends': Florida Trump supporters react to president's rally

Patrons at the Flashback Diner in Boca Raton, Florida speak out on attending the president's 'homecoming' rally.

President Trump seemed to declare himself a heavyweight champion in politics on Wednesday, tweeting out a picture of his face superimposed onto one of actor Sylvester Stallone as Rocky.

The tweet, which didn't include any context, came after polling showed voters souring on impeachment and as House Democrats prepare another round of hearings in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. On Tuesday, Trump denounced Democrats' inquiry to a packed rally in Florida.

“First it was the Russia hoax,” Trump said. “And now the same maniacs are pushing the deranged … impeachment” narrative.

For the past few months, Trump has been fending off accusations that he sought to influence the 2020 election by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

The president and Republicans have denied any wrongdoing and repeatedly portrayed Trump as the victim of a partisan attempt to overturn the 2016 election.


"It is a Democrat Scam that is going nowhere but, future Presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another President!" Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Trump also tweeted a clip of Fox News host Pete Hegseth reporting on the massive crowd size of Tuesday night's rally in Florida. During interviews with Hegseth, rally attendees expressed their support for the president.

"I come from a family of Democrats and I just can't take the swamp anymore," one attendee said. Another said that he grew up as a Democrat but became a "staunch supporter of Trump."


On Twitter, Trump faced a wave of mockery for posting a photo of his face on Rocky's body. Some knocked his physical appearance, suggesting that he was nowhere near the shape that Rocky was. It also comes as Trump is dismissing rumors he had a health scare after a recent visit to Walter Reed Medical Center.

The photo also seemed to indicate Trump's mood going into the second round of impeachment hearings, led by the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the committee's chair, sent a letter to Trump, apparently welcoming a challenge for the first hearing, which is scheduled for Dec. 4.


In his invitation to the president, he asked whether “you and your counsel plan to attend the hearing or make a request to question the witness panel.”

Fox News' Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

GOP on defense ahead of public impeachment hearings

closeRepublicans reveal impeachment inquiry defense of President TrumpVideo

Republicans reveal impeachment inquiry defense of President Trump

An 18-page staff memo has been distributed to Republican members on the three House committees ahead of the start of public impeachment hearings; chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel reports from Capitol Hill.

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On the roster: GOP on defense ahead of public impeachment hearings – Buttigieg continues to rise in Iowa – Supreme Court divided over future of DACA – La. governor’s race sees record number in early voting – Marathon man
Fox News: “Three top Republicans serving on panels involved in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump penned a memo to GOP members on those committees outlining ‘key points of evidence’ from the closed-door inquiry ahead of public hearings slated to begin Wednesday. Addressed to the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, House Oversight Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, the memo outlines arguments in defense of Trump. It makes the case that Democrats failed to present any evidence of quid pro quo in Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They say Trump had a ‘deep-seated, genuine and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine and U.S. taxpayer-funded foreign aid’ due to the country's history of ‘pervasive corruption’ since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The memo points out that both Trump and Zelensky have said they felt no pressure during the call. Another piece of evidence cited by the memo's authors is that Ukrainian government officials interfered in the 2016 presidential election in opposition to Trump in an effort to sway the race in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a claim that Trump has made but has not been proven.”
Schiff warns GOP about going after Bidens – Fox News: “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff set the stage for the first public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry by vowing to keep questions at Wednesday's lead-off session focused on the Ukraine controversy — in an implicit shot at Republican members who have signaled an interest in turning the tables on Democrats as they defend President Trump. … Notably, he cited rules for the investigation that would keep it focused on alleged attempts by the president to seek politically advantageous investigations from a foreign government, and whether he sought to cover it up. The first hearings in the public phase of the impeachment inquiry will feature testimony from State Department official George Kent and top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor on Wednesday. Later this week, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich will appear.”
Mulvaney reverses course, will follow Trump’s order not to cooperate – WaPo: “On the eve of the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry, President Trump complained that Democrats are relying on ‘2nd and 3rd hand witnesses,’ while a memo by Republican staff previewed how they plan to defend him. … In morning tweets, Trump, meanwhile, said that both Bidens should be called as witnesses in the public hearings that begin Wednesday with testimony from two State Department officials. … Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney no longer plans to seek a judge’s ruling on whether he should testify in the impeachment inquiry and will instead follow Trump’s order not to cooperate. In a court filing Tuesday, Mulvaney’s lawyer said Mulvaney is reversing course and would not file suit seeking a court opinion on whether he must comply with a House subpoena.”
“All violent policy, as it is contrary to the natural and experienced course of human affairs, defeats itself.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 25
Smithsonian: “‘At the present time we have only enough water for two weeks. Please supply us immediately,’ read the message sent by American sailors stationed at Midway, a tiny atoll located roughly halfway between North America and Asia, on May 20, 1942. The plea for help, however, was a giant ruse; the base was not, in fact, low on supplies. When Tokyo Naval Intelligence intercepted the dispatch and relayed the news onward … their American counterparts finally confirmed what they had long suspected: Midway and ‘AF,’ cited by the Japanese as the target of a major upcoming military operation, were one and the same. This codebreaking operation afforded the United States a crucial advantage at what would be the Battle of Midway, a multi-day naval and aerial engagement fought between June 3 and 7, 1942. … Midway, a new movie from director Roland Emmerich … traces the trajectory of the early Pacific campaign from the December 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor to the Halsey-Doolittle Raid in April 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea in May of that same year, and, finally, Midway itself.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Biden: 27.6 points (↓ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 22.6 points (↑ 1.2 points from last wk.)
Sanders: 17.6 points (↑ 1.4 point from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 7.6 points (↓ 0.2 points from last wk.)
Harris: 3.2 points (↑ 0.4 points from last wk.)
[Averages include: Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ, ABC News/WaPo, Fox News and IBD.]
Average approval: 42 percent
Average disapproval: 55.4 percent
Net Score: -13.4 percent
Change from one week ago: no change
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 45% approve – 52% disapprove; NBC News/WSJ: 45% approve – 53% disapprove; ABC News/WaPo: 39% approve – 59% disapprove; Fox News: 42% approve – 57% disapprove; IBD: 39% approve – 56% disapprove.]
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
Monmouth University: “South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has joined former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at the top of the leaderboard in the third Monmouth University Poll of the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses. Buttigieg’s gains since the summer have been across the board, with increasing support coming from nearly every demographic group. Regardless, less than one-third of likely caucusgoers say that they are firmly set on their choice of candidate and most would not be too disappointed if they had to switch their support. The poll also finds that Mike Bloomberg receives a chilly reception among Hawkeye State Democrats as he considers whether to make a late entry into the nomination contest. Four candidates are currently vying for the top spot in Iowa’s caucuses – Buttigieg (22%), Biden (19%), Warren (18%), and Sanders (13%). Compared to Monmouth’s August poll, Buttigieg has gained 14 points (up from 8%)…”
Sanders falls to fourth in Granite State – Quinnipiac University: “With less than 100 days to go, former Vice President Joe Biden has an edge in New Hampshire's Democratic primary for president, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Biden receives support from 20 percent of New Hampshire likely Democratic primary voters, with Senator Elizabeth Warren getting 16 percent, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg getting 15 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders at 14 percent. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard gets 6 percent, businessman Andrew Yang gets 4 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer are each at 3 percent. No other candidate tops 1 percent, and 14 percent of likely voters are undecided. Independent voters, known as ‘undeclared voters’ in New Hampshire, who are likely to vote in the Democratic primary are divided in their top choice. Biden receives 16 percent support among these voters, while Sanders and Buttigieg get 14 percent each, and Warren and Gabbard receive 10 percent each.”
Mark Sanford drops out of presidential race – The [Charleston, S.C.] Post and Courier: “Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford dropped out of the race for president just moments ago, ending his protest bid 60 days after it began. In a noon press conference at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Sanford announced his long-shot run is ending after previously declaring he would spend most of November campaigning in the Granite State, site of the nation’s first primary. The move came after Sanford failed to collect much of a following, especially as President Donald Trump remains the favorite of most Republican voters nationally and while Washington is gearing up for impeachment hearings. Sanford said the impeachment inquiry surrounding the president had sucked the proverbial oxygen out of the 2020 debate. ‘You gotta be a realist, and what I did not anticipate is an impeachment,’ he said, adding he is suspending the campaign and will look for other ways to advance his stance against the deficit.”
Former governor of Massachusetts considering bid – NYT: “Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to three Democrats familiar with the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses. Mr. Patrick, a respected two-term governor and one of the highest-profile black leaders in the party, has told some of the Democratic officials that he doesn’t think any of the candidates have established political momentum and that he thinks there is an opening for somebody who can unite both liberal and moderate voters, according to Democrats who have spoken to him. He and some of his top advisers had a meeting Sunday in Boston to discuss what a campaign would look like, according to two Democrats.”
Sen. Michael Bennet expanding campaign in N.H. – WMUR: “While another Democratic presidential candidate is cutting back her effort in New Hampshire and still another is pulling out of the state entirely, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is expanding his presence and making a bold commitment. The Bennet campaign currently has one New Hampshire office, in Manchester, and small number of staffers in the state. But that’s about to change. The Bennet campaign told WMUR on Monday that within the next several weeks, it will open three new offices, including a new office in Manchester, and is currently ‘aggressively hiring’ additional Granite State staffers. Bennet made a public commitment. ‘Spending time with New Hampshire voters has made me a better candidate,’ he said in a statement shared with WMUR.”
Milwaukee DNC replaces top fundraiser – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “There's been a quiet shakeup in the leadership of the fundraising team for next year's Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. Out as the Host Committee's fundraising director is Marcus Switzer, a 32-year-old Milwaukee native who served as deputy national fundraising director for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Switzer has returned to Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign team. Switzer held the post for about six months. Replacing him is Leah Israel, a 36-year-old Chicago native who worked as a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat. … In her new post as fundraising director, Israel is taking on the daunting task of raising up to $70 million for next July's big event.”
Fox News: “The future of the DACA program for young illegal immigrants remained uncertain as the Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared to lack consensus on whether the Trump administration's plans to rescind legal protections for so-called Dreamers were proper. The cases were debated during 80 minutes of tense oral arguments. No side appeared to command a clear majority of justices over what has become a major test of executive power on the contentious issue of immigration reform. At issue is the Obama-era program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. It was created under executive order and gives about 700,000 people brought as children to the United States illegally –or on visas that later were overstayed — the opportunity to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit. Hundreds of Dreamers and their supporters rallied outside the court. Members of Congress were among those watching the arguments inside.”
Monroe [La.] News Star: “Louisiana loves voting early with voters coming close to setting an all-time record last week for the Nov. 16 governor's election. In all, 489,654 cast early ballots for the Nov. 16 runoff between Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone in a race generally considered a tossup. That's 100,000 plus more ballots than were cast early for the Oct. 12 primary that whittled the field to Edwards and Rispone. ‘This is a sea change between what existed previously,’ said Pearson Cross, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette political science professor. ‘I think it's a good thing that spurs turnout.’ … Early voting isn't likely to hit 40% of the total for the Nov. 16 election, but it could account for a third or more of total votes cast. Trump will headline another rally at 7 p.m. Thursday at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.”
Widow Rep. Elijah Cummings announces campaign for husband's seat – Fox News: “The widow of late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said on Monday that she will launch a campaign to win her husband’s seat as representative of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, 48, initially told The Baltimore Sun that she would formally announce her campaign on Tuesday, nearly a month after her husband died of cancer on Oct. 17 at age 68. … In her first televised interview since her husband’s death, Rockeymoore Cummings said on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show Monday evening that she and her husband decided about six months ago that she would be the best fit to carry on his legacy and vision for the Baltimore district.
Former President Jimmy Carter out of surgery to reduce pressure on brain after recent falls AP
Poll finds majority of Georgia voters support impeachment AJC
“Our politics are paralyzing the country. We practice suspicion or contempt where trust is needed, imposing a sentence of anger and loneliness on others and ourselves. We scorch our opponents with language that precludes compromise. We brush aside the possibility that a person with whom we disagree might be right. We talk about what divides us and seldom acknowledge what unites us. … Contending viewpoints and vocal dissent are inevitable, and not the issue. … What is dangerous is not that people have serious differences. It is the tone—the snarl, the scorn, the lacerating despair.” – Former secretary of defense James Mattis in his piece “The Enemy Within,” published in the Atlantic.
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
BBC: “A British man has become the first person to run a marathon in every country in the world. Nick Butter, 30, from Bristol, [England] has run 196 marathons in 196 countries after starting in Canada in January 2018 and finishing in Greece on Sunday. He was inspired to do it to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK after a friend was diagnosed with the disease. Mr. Butter said he was ‘overwhelmed’ to have finished, after he crossed the finishing line of the Athens marathon. He said he was ‘very tired’ after completing the challenge, which took 674 days and involved visiting an average of just over two countries a week. … He chose Athens for his final run due to it being ‘the home of the marathon.’ Mr. Butter, originally from Dorset, [England] crossed the line with his friend Kevin Webber, who has prostate cancer and who inspired him to take up the challenge.”
“There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration…” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Washington Post on Sept. 13, 2008.
Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

GOP memo outlines party’s plan to defend Trump ahead of public hearings

closeGOP on offense as impeachment hearings go publicVideo

GOP on offense as impeachment hearings go public

Reaction from Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz and former Clinton impeachment manager Bob Barr.

Top Republicans serving on panels involved in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump penned a memo to GOP members on those committees outlining "key points of evidence" from the closed-door inquiry ahead of public hearings slated to begin Wednesday.

The memo to the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, House Oversight Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee outline arguments in defense of Trump. They make the case that Democrats failed to present any evidence of quid pro quo in Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They said Trump had genuine concern about Kiev due to its "pervasive" corruption.

They point out that both presidents have said they felt no pressure during the call.

Another piece of evidence cited by the memo's authors is that Ukrainian government officials interfered in the 2016 presidential election in opposition to Trump, a claim he has made but has not been proven.

The United States provided Ukraine with much-needed security assistance despite it not investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, according to the letter.

The Republicans also accused committee Democrats of lacking transparency and hiding information from the American people.

"Simply put, the evidence gathered to date does not support the Democrat allegation that President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the President's political rivals for his benefit in the 2020 presidential campaign, the letter said. "The evidence does not establish an impeachable offense."

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