Steve Cortes to Newsmax TV: Trump Expanded Republican Party

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Steve Cortes to Newsmax TV: Trump Expanded Republican Party (Newsmax TV's "The Count")

By Eric Mack | Saturday, 16 January 2021 08:29 PM

Despite the angst of Republicans amid President Donald Trump's leaving office and the black eye of the storming of the Capitol, take solace in the fact the grand, old party has expanded, according to Trump campaign strategist Steve Cortes on Newsmax TV.

"I think this is the most optimistic aspect of what President Trump has done," Cortes told Saturday's "The Count." "I know a lot of the supporters out there, a lot of the deplorables, are understandably angst-ridden right now because of recent events in our country.

"But a key reason to be optimistic is the GOP, the Republican Party, has been – largely because of the leadership of President Trump – transformed into truly a worker's party."

Cortes, who focused his efforts on bringing out the Hispanic vote for Trump, pointed to gains in a number of voting blocs to host Tom Basile.

"This worker's movement can continue to grow, can continue to grow power and influence in the United States," Cortes said. "This most critical next step for that movement is going to be 2022, because we made tremendous gains in the House of Representatives on Nov. 3, far better than any of the critics could have imagined.

"And I believe we are poised to take over the House, and not just with Republicans, but America first, economic nationalist Republicans."

Cortes noted Trump will remain active and assert his "star power" in helping the party regain congressional control over the next two and four years.

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Original Article

Migrant caravan demands Biden administration ‘honors its commitments’

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President-elect Biden promises immigration bill, pause on deportations

FOX News correspondent Peter Doocy joins 'Special Report' with the latest from Wilmington, Del.

A migrant caravan moving from Honduras toward the U.S. border is calling on the incoming Biden administration to honor what it says are "commitments" to the migrants moving north, amid fears of a surge at the border when President-elect Joe Biden enters office.

More than 1,000 Honduran migrants moved into Guatemala on Friday without registering, The Associated Press reported. That is part of a larger caravan that left a Honduran city earlier in the day.

BIDEN OFFICIALS URGE CAUTION ON 'DAY ONE' IMMIGRATION CHANGES, SAY SOME WILL 'TAKE TIME'

The outlet reported that they are hoping for a warmer reception when they reach the U.S. border, and a statement issued by migrant rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, on behalf of the caravan, said it expects the Biden administration to take action.

"We recognize the importance of the incoming Government of the United States having shown a strong commitment to migrants and asylum seekers, which presents an opportunity for the governments of Mexico and Central America to develop policies and a migration management that respect and promote the human rights of the population in mobility," the statement said. " We will advocate that the Biden government honors its commitments."

Biden has promised to reverse many of Trump’s policies on border security and immigration. He has promised to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which keeps migrants in Mexico as they await their hearings. The Trump administration has said the program has helped end the pull factors that bring migrants north, but critics say it is cruel and puts migrants at risk.

Biden has also promised a pathway to citizenship for those in the country illegally and a moratorium on deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The migrants’ group also pointed to promises to end the asylum cooperative agreements the administration made with Northern Triangle countries.

TRUMP SAYS 'I KEPT MY PROMISES' AS HE MARKS 450 MILES OF BORDER WALL

"A new United States Government is an opportunity to work with the Mexican Government to develop a cooperation plan with Central America to address the causes of migration, together with civil society organizations, as well as an opportunity to increase regional cooperation regarding the persons in need of protection, and to dismantle illegal and inhuman programs such as Remain in Mexico, the United States’ Asylum Cooperation Agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as the Title 42 expulsions by the United States authorities," it said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) order that allows the U.S. to quickly remove migrants on public health grounds.

Illegal caravans headed to border due to Biden's 'open door policy': Mark MorganVideo

Biden officials, however, have been keen to send the message to migrants that it will not mean open borders overnight.

"Processing capacity at the border is not like a light that you can just switch on and off," incoming Biden domestic policy adviser Susan Rice told Spanish wire service EFE. "Migrants and asylum seekers absolutely should not believe those in the region peddling the idea that the border will suddenly be fully open to process everyone on Day 1. It will not."

"Our priority is to reopen asylum processing at the border consistent with the capacity to do so safely and to protect public health, especially in the context of COVID-19," she said. "This effort will begin immediately but it will take months to develop the capacity that we will need to reopen fully."

It is unclear how far the migrants will get, and Guatemalan and Mexican governments have indicated they intend to turn them back. But the caravan comes amid fears that the new outlook on immigration and asylum from the Biden administration will fuel a surge at the border.

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President Trump warned this week that ending his policies and increasing incentives would lead to "a tidal wave of illegal immigration, a wave like you’ve never seen before" and that there were already signs of increased flows.

"They’re coming because they think that it’s a gravy train at the end," he said. "It’s going to be a gravy train. Change the name from the caravans, which I think we came up with, to the gravy train because that’s what they’re looking for — looking for the gravy."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump Trial Pending, McConnell Calls It ‘Vote of Conscience’

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Trump Trial Pending, McConnell Calls It 'Vote of Conscience' Trump Trial Pending, McConnell Calls It 'Vote of Conscience' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Getty Images)

LISA MASCARO and MARY CLARE JALONICK Saturday, 16 January 2021 07:47 PM

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is likely to start after Joe Biden's inauguration, and the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, is telling senators their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president over the Capitol riot will be a “vote of conscience.”

The timing for the trial, the first of a president no longer in office, has not yet been set. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear Friday that Democrats intend to move swiftly on Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID aid and economic recovery package to speed up vaccinations and send Americans relief. Biden is set to take the oath of office Wednesday.

Pelosi called the recovery package a “matter of complete urgency."

The uncertainty of the scheduling, despite the House’s swift impeachment of Trump just a week after the deadly Jan. 6 siege, reflects the fact that Democrats do not want the Senate trial to dominate the opening days of the Biden administration.

With security forces on alert over the threat of more potential violence heading into the inauguration, the Senate is also moving quickly to prepare for confirming Biden's nominee for national intelligence director, Avril Haines. A committee hearing is set for the day before the inauguration, signaling a confirmation vote could come swiftly once the new president is in office.

Many Democrats have pushed for an immediate impeachment trial to hold Trump accountable and prevent him from holding future office, and the proceedings could still begin by Inauguration Day. But others have urged a slower pace as the Senate considers Biden’s Cabinet nominees and the newly Democratic-led Congress considers priorities like the coronavirus plan.

Biden's incoming White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said Friday the Senate can do both.

“The Senate can do its constitutional duty while continuing to conduct the business of the people," she said.

Psaki noted that during Trump's first impeachment trial last year, the Senate continued to hold hearings each day. “There is some precedent,” she said.

Trump is the only president to be twice impeached, and the first to be prosecuted as he leaves the White House, an ever-more-extraordinary end to the defeated president’s tenure. He was first impeached by the House in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted in 2020 to acquit.

When his second trial does begin, House impeachment managers say they will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric hours before the bloody attack on the Capitol was not isolated, but rather part of an escalating campaign to overturn the November election. It culminated, they will argue, in the Republican president’s rally cry to “fight like hell” as Congress was tallying the Electoral College votes to confirm he’d lost to Biden.

For Republican senators, the trial will be a perhaps final test of their loyalty to the defeated president and his legions of supporters in their states back home. It will force a further re-evaluation of their relationship with Trump, who lost not only the White House but majority control of the Senate, as they recall their own experiences sheltering at the Capitol as a pro-Trump mob ransacked the building.

“These men weren’t drunks who got rowdy — they were terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., in a statement Friday.

“They failed, but they came dangerously close to starting a bloody constitutional crisis. They must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

McConnell, who has spent the past days talking to senators and donors, is telling them the decision on whether or not to convict Trump is theirs alone. His stance, first reported by Business Insider, means the GOP leadership team will not work to hold senators in line one way or the other.

Last week's assault angered lawmakers, stunned the nation and flashed unsettling imagery around the globe, the most serious breach of the Capitol since the War of 1812, and the worst by home-grown intruders.

Pelosi told reporters on Friday that the nine House impeachment managers, who act as the prosecutors for the House, are working on taking the case to trial.

“The only path to any reunification of this broken and divided country is by shining a light on the truth,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., who will serve as an impeachment manager.

Trump was impeached Wednesday by the House on the single charge, incitement of insurrection, in lightning-quick proceedings. Ten Republicans joined all Democrats in the 232-197 vote, the most bipartisan modern presidential impeachment.

It’s unclear who will make up the legal team representing the outgoing president at the trial. Democrats are tapping lawyer Barry Berke among others who worked on Trump’s first impeachment.

McConnell is open to considering impeachment, having told associates he is done with Trump, but he has not signaled how he would vote. McConnell continues to hold great sway in his party, even though convening the trial next week could be among his last acts as majority leader as Democrats prepare to take control of the Senate with the seating of two new Democratic senators from Georgia.

No president has ever been convicted in the Senate, and it would take a two-thirds vote against Trump, an extremely high hurdle. But conviction is not out of the realm of possibility, especially as corporations and wealthy political donors distance themselves from his brand of politics and the Republicans who stood by his attempt to overturn the election.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Thursday, “Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence.” She said in a statement that the House responded “appropriately” with impeachment and she will consider the trial arguments.

At least four Republican senators have publicly expressed concerns about Trump’s actions, but others have signaled their preference to move on. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., issued a statement saying he opposes impeachment against a president who has left office. Trump ally Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is building support for creating a commission to investigate the siege as an alternative to conviction.

The riot delayed the tally of Electoral College votes, the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory, as lawmakers fled for shelter and police, guns drawn, barricaded the doors to the House chamber.

A Capitol Police officer died from injuries suffered in the attack, and police shot and killed a woman. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.

Original Article

25,000 National Guard troops deployed to Capitol as Biden inauguration looms

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25K National Guard troops called to DC ahead of Biden Inauguration

Former Secret Service Agent Dan Emmett joins ‘CAVUTO Live.’

As President-elect Joe Biden's inauguaration nears, officials have boosted the number of National Guard members deployed in Washington, D.C., to 25,000 — an increase of 25 percent.

CAPITOL POLICE WARNED BEFORE RIOT THAT 'CONGRESS ITSELF' COULD BE TARGETED

Guard members have fanned out across the U.S. Capitol lawn, inside the building and in surrounding areas of D.C. for days. It's an unprecedented security force, deemed necessary in the wake of a deadly riot at the Capitol and continuing threats of domestic terrorism.

Armed members of the National Guard are stationed outside of the Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Armed members of the National Guard are stationed outside of the Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

At least 7,000 National Guard troops from dozens of states are already on the ground in the nation's capital, with more expected to arrive in coming days at the request of the Secret Service, said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

The military security force will be more than three times the total number of U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, reflecting heightened concerns after supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol while lawmakers were certifying his loss in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

DC DESIGNATES TWO AREAS FOR INAUGURATION DAY PROTESTS AMID HEIGHTENED SECURITY

Hundreds of National Guard troops inside the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Hundreds of National Guard troops inside the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

"The National Guard has a long and proud history of inauguration support," Hokanson said during an security briefing with Vice President Pence last week. "The forefathers of today's National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been part of every inauguration since."

The National Guard has been briefed on the potential threat of IEDs throughout the city after pipe bombs were discovered outside the Democratic and Republican National Committee headquarters the day of the Capitol riot. The culprit remains at large.

NATIONAL GUARD ON LOOKOUT FOR IEDS WITH CULPRIT BEHIND RNC, DNC BOMBS STILL ON THE LOOSE

Members of the National Guard patrol outside the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Members of the National Guard patrol outside the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Biden's inauguration ceremony is slated to take place outside the Capitol on Wednesday. While there will not be the usual throngs of spectators, security officials from multiple law enforcement agencies are worried about online "chatter" that the FBI said points to the possibility of further violence from Trump supporters who believe, falsely, that the election was "stolen."

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City officials are erecting a perimeter throughout downtown and putting up barriers around the White House, National Mall and Capitol. In order to travel through the perimeter, people will need to provide proof of essential purpose.

The National Mall — with the exception of two designated zones for a limited and tightly controlled number of protesters — will remain closed until the day after the event, as will a perimeter around the monuments, White House and other sections of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Original Article

Pennsylvania Sen. Toomey thanks National Guard troops protecting Capitol with sweets

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25K National Guard troops called to DC ahead of Biden Inauguration

Former Secret Service Agent Dan Emmett joins ‘CAVUTO Live.’

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, who keeps the famed "candy desk" well-stocked in the Senate, is sharing his supply with National Guard troops protecting the Capitol.

Toomey's staff put together 150 packages of candy and hand-delivered them Friday to members of the National Guard who have been deployed in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

EARLY-MORNING CAPITOL PHOTOS SHOW NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS RESTING AHEAD OF IMPEACHMENT DEBATE

Toomey has been maintaining the candy desk in the back row of the chamber since 2015 so senators can grab a sugary treat as they debate the country's thorniest issues.

A staffer for Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., delivers candy care packages to members of the National Guard on Friday.

A staffer for Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., delivers candy care packages to members of the National Guard on Friday. (Sen. Pat Toomey's office)

Toomey, a Republican, has an ample supply of sweets, thanks to Pennsylvania’s numerous candy makers, including Hershey, Just Born confections and Palmer chocolates.

On Friday, his staff handed out surgary care packages to Pennsylvania National Guard members and others. It was an expression of gratitude for their service in the wake of a harrowing week at the Capitol.

Sen. Pat Toomey's staff prepare to distribute candy care packages on Jan. 15, 2021, to National Guard members stationed in force at the Capitol.

Sen. Pat Toomey's staff prepare to distribute candy care packages on Jan. 15, 2021, to National Guard members stationed in force at the Capitol. (Sen. Pat Toomey's office)

Since the riot by a pro-Trump mob, security has been extremely tight in Washington, D.C., ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, with numerous road closures and barriers.

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A total of 21,000 National Guard and 5,000 active-duty troops have been deployed to D.C. amid continuing threats of domestic terrorism.

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.

Original Article

Pompeo urges WHO to probe Wuhan lab illnesses, demands Beijing be transparent

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China may get virus ‘under control’ with strict lockdowns: Dr. Nicole Saphier

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier reacts on ‘Fox and Friends’ to the new coronavirus wave hitting China.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to take a closer look at the lab in Wuhan, China, where the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have originated — while demanding Beijing provide a "full and thorough" account.

"The United States has repeatedly called for a transparent and thorough investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Understanding the origin of this pandemic is essential for global public health, economic recovery, and international security," Pompeo said in a statement.

WHO SCIENTISTS ARRIVE IN WUHAN TO INVESTIGATE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ORIGINS

His statement comes as 13 WHO scientists arrived in Wuhan this week to investigate the origins of the pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and torpedoed economies across the globe.

The U.S. has long expressed doubts about the WHO, and President Trump terminated the U.S. relationship with the U.N. body last year amid questions about its bias toward China and its acceptance of early narratives about the virus. The U.S. had been the top contributor to the agency to the tune of approximately $450 million a year.

The U.S. criticized WHO officials' praise of Chinese "transparency," its' ignoring of warnings about the virus from Taiwan, and its repetition of Chinese claims that COVID-19 could not be spread from person to person. Trump has also pointed to opposition from WHO officials to his decision to place a travel ban on China in the initial days of the crisis.

On Friday, the State Department shared what it said was new information about the lab in Wuhan, specifically that researchers fell sick in autumn 2019 with symptoms consistent with both COVID and seasonal illnesses. Pompeo said it raises questions about officials' claims that there was "zero infection" among staff and students.

STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS WUHAN LAB RESEARCHERS MAY HAVE HAD COVID IN THE FALL OF 2019

Additionally, it urges the WHO to investigate the Wuhan lab’s research on the virus, accusing it of not being transparent about "gain of function" experiments to enhance lethality or transmission — as well as the lab’s alleged links to the military research.

WHO scientists arrive in Wuhan, China to investigate origins of COVID-19Video

Pompeo then took aim at China again for its lack of accountability and refusal to accept help.

"China instead refused offers of help — including from the United States — and punished brave Chinese doctors, scientists, and journalists who tried to alert the world to the dangers of the virus," he said. "Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus, and the next one."

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"The United States reiterates the importance of unfettered access to virus samples, lab records and personnel, eyewitnesses, and whistleblowers to ensure the credibility of the WHO’s final report," he added. "Until the CCP allows a full and thorough accounting of what happened in Wuhan, it is only a matter of time until China births another pandemic and inflicts it on the Chinese people, and the world."

Original Article

VP Pence, Second Lady speak at Lemoore Naval Air Station

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Vice President Mike Pence waved to a crowd of sailors after speaking to them at Lemoore Naval Air Station Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Lemoore, Calif. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:24 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence delivered remarks in the Golden State on Saturday. Mike and Karen took to the the podium at the Lemoore Naval Air Station to tout the Trump administration’s commitment to the military.

Pence also praised the administration’s foreign policy achievements, saying the President understood that if you want peace, prepare for war. The vice president’s remarks followed the recent accomplishments by President Trump through the Abraham Accords to bring peace to the Middle East.

Pence also explained the U.S. military has only flourished under the Trump administration.

“Our military lacked equipment at a level that was actually impacting readiness, and our NATO allies weren’t meeting their commitments to our common defense,” the vice president stated. “Iran was resurgent across the Middle East, and a terrorist organization controlled a landmass the size of Pennsylvania. I couldn’t be more proud to stand before all you heroes today and report under the leadership of President Donald Trump we’ve rebuilt our military, we’ve restored the arsenal of democracy and we’ve enacted the largest increases in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.”

Mike and Karen are now set to visit Fort Drum in New York on Sunday to speak with soldiers there before returning to Washington.

MORE NEWS: Biden’s $1.9T Stimulus Plan Faces Criticism

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Censored by Twitter or Facebook? This state’s bill would let you sue

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closeState lawmaker on bill allowing citizens to sue Big Tech over censorship: 'Things have only gotten worse'Video

State lawmaker on bill allowing citizens to sue Big Tech over censorship: 'Things have only gotten worse'

North Dakota State Rep. Tom Kading explains the bill he is sponsoring to allow users to sue social media over certain restrictions.

After being shocked by Big Tech censoring President Trump and other conservatives in recent months, Republican state lawmakers introduced a bill that would put social media giants like Twitter and Facebook in legal trouble for restricting political posts in North Dakota.

"I drafted it in December and things have only gotten worse," State Rep. Tom Kading, R-N.D., the lead sponsor of the bill, told "Fox & Friends" Saturday.

VAN DUYNE URGES GOP HOUSE MEMBERS TO 'REFUSE ANY AND ALL' BIG TECH MONEY OVER 'CENSORSHIP'

"I'm frankly shocked at what's happening to our country and censoring does not create unity, it does not help the situation of division in our country, and it does not de-escalate the situation," Kading said. "All it really does is make those who have been silenced dig in deeper and be more suspicious of what's going on."

The bill states that social media sites would be liable in a civil lawsuit for damages to a North Dakota resident "whose speech is restricted, censored, or suppressed," as long as it is not "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable."

State lawmaker explains bill allowing 'censored' citizens to sue Facebook, TwitterVideo

"If a website comes out and selectively publishes information," Kading explained, citing case law from state supreme courts, "or manipulates true information in order to create a certain desired narrative, this restrictive action can essentially amount to defamation."

WANT TO GET AWAY FROM BIG TECH? HERE’S HOW

Republicans have questioned whether social media giants should still be afforded liability protections under Section 230 — a rule dating to 1996 that shields social media companies from being held liable for third-party posts on their platforms while allowing them to moderate that content.

The North Dakota state representative believes his bill is in compliance with Section 230, adding: "If Big Tech doesn't follow their terms of service and they are banning one particular political party … and they censor outside the scope of Section 230, then there's this civil liability."

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Free speech experts argue the bill would be challenged in the courts, where it probably wouldn't survive, because users agree to a platform's terms when they sign up.

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden picks Obama veterans for key State Department posts

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Joe Biden pledges to raise federal minimum wage to $15 an hour

What would more than doubling the current minimum wage mean for small business owners coming off of lockdowns? 'Fox & Friends Weekend' small business owner panel weighs in on the 'Rescue Plan.'

President-elect Joe Biden announced Saturday that he will nominate two Obama administration veterans to key State Department posts.

Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. negotiating team for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, is his pick for deputy secretary of state. Biden has promised to re-enter the deal, reversing President Trump's 2018 withdrawal.

BIDEN ANNOUNCE ADDITIONS TO WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS TEAM, INCLUDES FORMER CAMPAIGN STAFFERS

Sherman tweeted that she is "so honored to be nominated to join this extraordinary team."

Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in the Obama administration, is Biden's pick for undersecretary of state for political affairs.

Nuland and Sherman are the two highest-profile former Obama officials among the five officials announced Saturday. They will serve under the incoming secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state and principal deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration.

"This diverse and accomplished team, led by Secretary of State-designate Blinken, embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies," Biden said in a statement.

"Collectively, they have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory — and I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership. America is back," he said.

Biden unveils $1.9T COVID-19 relief package with $1,400 checksVideo

Biden also announced that his longtime Senate aide Brian McKeon will be deputy secretary of state for management.

Bonnie Jenkins will be undersecretary for arms control and international security affairs, and Uzra Zeya will be undersecretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights. Both are former diplomats.

The picks all require Senate confirmation.

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While Biden has emphasized the experience of all his nominees, the number of former Obama officials on his State Department team underscores his intent to return to a multilateralist approach, rejecting the "America First" mandate espoused by President Trump.

The announcements come a day after it was announced that former Obama White House communications director Anita Dunn will serve as a senior adviser to Biden.

Fox News’ Patrick Ward and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Statehouses across U.S. prep for potential inauguration unrest

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A view down Pennsylvania Avenue shows the security around Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:30 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Governors and local officials are making inauguration day security preparations amid reports of potential unrest. Recently, top officials in several states including California, Michigan and Maryland called in the National Guard to work with local law enforcement agencies.

Leaders in Washington D.C. have shut down several parts of the National Mall and other areas around the city. In addition, officials have increased their federal and local police presence on the streets. This is expected to last through the transition of power.

“We cannot allow a recurrence of the chaos and illegal activity that the United States and the world witnessed last week,” Secret Service Special Agent Matthew Miller said. “Our democracy is built on the rule of law, and the Secret Service workforce is dedicated and committed to uphold its oath to the Constitution and assure that its vital no-fail mission regarding the security of the presidential inauguration and the peaceful transfer of power is carried out.”

Law enforcement officials have been put on standby in recent weeks after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier in the month. Several state and local law enforcement agencies have already been put to the test in dealing with possible threats.

In Washington D.C. on Saturday, a Virginia man was arrested at a U.S. Capitol checkpoint for allegedly wielding an unregistered handgun and more than 500 rounds of unregistered ammo.

Two people were arrested at a protest outside the Washington statehouse earlier this week for allegedly trying to undermine police directives.

“Watching the events unfold in Washington D.C. last week and moving into this week really broke my heart,” State Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Pa.) said. “It made me sad for democracy. I know that we are better than that here in the state of Washington, that we can work together to get the people’s work done.”

FBI officials warned that the militia group the Boogaloo Bois could host a violent rally in Minneapolis as early as Sunday.

Democrat congressional leaders are launching an investigation into how intelligence agencies responded to the Capitol Hill protests.

MORE NEWS: Thousands Protest Against Lockdown Measures In Vienna

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Thousands protest against lockdown measures in Vienna

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Demonstrators wave Austrian and a QAnon flags during a protest against the government restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Vienna, Austria on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:34 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Thousands of people took to the streets of Vienna against the latest COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the government. Demonstrators at the gathering on Saturday called for the resignation of Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz.

Protestors could be heard chanting “Austria was free” while also highlighting the economic fallout due the COVID-19 restrictions.

Austria underwent strict lockdown measures for a third time back in December, allowing only essential shops to remain open.

“We are here because our existence is slowly being destroyed. We believe in social distancing, hygiene and taking care of one another. But at some point, suffering this dictatorship from above needs to stop,” Stephanie, a protestor, said. “We can hardly watch anymore how everything is going down the drain.”

Health officials are set to announce the country’s next steps towards stopping the virus’ spread on Sunday.

MORE NEWS: NASA Tests World’s Most Powerful Rocket Engines

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NASA tests world’s most powerful rocket engines

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CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – FEBRUARY 07: Clouds are seen behind the NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center February 7, 2008 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:14 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

NASA tested the world’s most powerful rocket engines in Mississippi. Saturday’s “hot fire” test tested all four of the space launch system’s core stage engines.

Things started smoothly, but engines began to power down over a minute into the test. This is much shorter than the initial eight minute time frame.

Officials said teams are assessing data on the early shutdown.

The SLS will become the world’s largest and most powerful rocket ever flown to space.

“It can travel farther and faster than any other rocket and because of its capacity, it can carry things like large aperture telescopes and deep space exploration probes, so it can enable more science sooner,” RS-25 Engine Program Director Jeff Zotti said. “It’s a key milestone for the program, it’s a key milestone for NASA.”

This is NASA’s last step in the green run test series before launching the Artemis I Mission, which could potentially land the first woman on the moon by 2024.

MORE NEWS: VP Pence, Second Lady Speak At Lemoore Naval Air Station

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Lawmakers launching investigation into Capitol security

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 13: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:10 AM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to shift the blame for last week’s protest away from the left.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening representatives with prosecution if they are found guilty of helping Capitol protesters.

While speaking at a press conference on Friday, Pelosi said authorities are conducting a review on the Capitol building’s security infrastructure. She also announced retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore will lead the investigation on the Capitol building’s security.

“I have asked retired Lieutenant General Russell Honore to lead an immediate review of security infrastructure, interagency processes and command and control,” Pelosi said. “The general is a respected leader with experience dealing with crises.”

The House Speaker then announced an investigation into House members who allegedly helped protesters enter the Capitol.

“When we’re talking about security, we have to talk about truth and trust,” Pelosi stated. “In order to serve here with each other, we must trust that people have respect for their oath of office, respect for this institution. We must trust each other, respecting the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth and that will be looked into.”

This came as reports suggested members of Congress gave unauthorized tours of the Capitol days before protesters stormed the building. She claimed if members are found to have helped demonstrators enter the Capitol, they may face actions beyond Congress.

“If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices,” Pelosi said. “There may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that.”

She went on to condemn the violence at the Capitol and noted they are commissioning an ‘After Action Committee’ to review the incident.

“Members are moving forward with strong oversight from committees, of course, to have after-action review,” Pelosi noted. “There is strong interest in the Congress in a 9/11 type commission and outside commission to conduct that after-action review. In the meantime, I’m very grateful to General Honoré.”

Meanwhile, federal agents continue to investigate individuals involved with the Capitol protest or who pose a violent threat ahead of the presidential inauguration.

MORE NEWS: Pelosi: Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore To Head Capitol Security Probe

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VP Pence, Second Lady speak at Lemoore Naval Air Station

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Vice President Mike Pence waved to a crowd of sailors after speaking to them at Lemoore Naval Air Station Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Lemoore, Calif. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:24 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence delivered remarks in the Golden State on Saturday. Mike and Karen took to the the podium at the Lemoore Naval Air Station to tout the Trump administration’s commitment to the military.

Pence also praised the administration’s foreign policy achievements, saying the President understood that if you want peace, prepare for war. The vice president’s remarks followed the recent accomplishments by President Trump through the Abraham Accords to bring peace to the Middle East.

Pence also explained the U.S. military has only flourished under the Trump administration.

“Our military lacked equipment at a level that was actually impacting readiness, and our NATO allies weren’t meeting their commitments to our common defense,” the vice president stated. “Iran was resurgent across the Middle East, and a terrorist organization controlled a landmass the size of Pennsylvania. I couldn’t be more proud to stand before all you heroes today and report under the leadership of President Donald Trump we’ve rebuilt our military, we’ve restored the arsenal of democracy and we’ve enacted the largest increases in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.”

Mike and Karen are now set to visit Fort Drum in New York on Sunday to speak with soldiers there before returning to Washington.

MORE NEWS: Biden’s $1.9T Stimulus Plan Faces Criticism

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Biden’s $1.9T stimulus plan faces criticism

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Joe Biden spoke about COVID-19 during a press event in Wilmington, Delaware on March 12, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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UPDATED 4:34 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Joe Biden’s massive COVID-19 stimulus proposal is already facing criticism. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was introduced on Friday, includes $1,400 stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits and a federal minimum wage increase.

Economist Stephen Moore has deemed the expensive plan as a “Democrat wishlist.”

“This has nothing to do with the pandemic, it’s really the left’s kind of, playbook that they’ve wanted to pass for 30 years and they shoved it into a $1.9 trillion dollar bill,” Moore stated.

Moore also warned the proposal would place extra burdens on small businesses.

“Small businesses have been so hammered by the shutdowns,” Moore said. “We have 12 million Americans who are hired by the restaurant industry and they are facing a very tough time right now.”

Small business owners have expressed concern about the $15 minimum wage increase, saying it would force them to shutdown as they’re already struggling amid the pandemic.

Critics have said that the $350 billion for state and local governments is meant to bailout Democrat-led areas that have failed to shore up the economy.

Moore advised the best way to get the economy going is for governors to reopen their states.

MORE NEWS: Rep. Stefanik Fires Back At Harvard After Being Removed From Institute Of Politics For Commenting On Voter Fraud

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Rep. Stefanik fires back at Harvard after being removed from Institute of Politics for commenting on voter fraud

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FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2019 file photo, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., asks questions during a public impeachment hearing in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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UPDATED 3:31 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) fired back after being expelled from the Senior Advisory Committee of Harvard’s Institute for Politics for commenting on voter fraud.

In an interview on Friday, Stefanik slammed the left for stifling discourse and free speech, citing government censorship and the intolerance for opinion diversity.

She went on to respond to her removal in a tweet on Tuesday, describing the school as “cowering” to the “woke far left.”

The congresswoman criticized the move as a “march toward a monoculture of like-minded, intolerant liberal views,” which could signal America’s loss of identity.

“The pressure that the cultural left is exerting, whether it’s through the Big Tech censorship or the cancellation of millions and millions of social media accounts, or the cancellation in wiping Parler off of Apple, that is not who we are as America,” Stefanik explained.

Harvard claimed Stefanik was removed from the panel not because of policy, but for statements on the electoral process.

MORE NEWS: Realistic Dinosaur Drive-Thru Debuts In Southern Calif.

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Realistic dinosaur drive-thru debuts in Southern Calif.

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“Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru,” the nation’s largest touring dinosaur exhibit, began its SoCal tour at The Rose Bowl on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 in Pasadena. From the comfort of their own vehicles, guests safely view more than 70 prehistoric creatures that move and roar. (Jordan Strauss/AP Images for Jurassic Quest)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:40 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Dinosaurs are taking over Southern California in a new COVID-19 safe drive-thru exhibit.

On Friday, the Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru debuted in Pasadena and offered families an interactive drive-thru experience featuring life-like 70 foot dinosaurs.

Guests are able to safely interact with the dinosaurs from their vehicles as the dinosaurs roar and roam in realistic scenes across parking lots.

“There is no expense spared in terms of detail,” CEO of Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Adam Friedman said. “These are life-like, true to scale, even the surfaces, their skin. Some have feathers, some have a rubbery texture. We do all the research and when we have these things designed and manufactured, we make sure that they are accurate and true to scale.”

The exhibit is expected to visit different locations across the Los Angeles and Orange County area through the end of February.

MORE NEWS: Fla. Antifa Supporter In Custody After Advocating Call To Arms

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4 Ill. restaurants defy state indoor dining ban and reopen

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(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:05 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Several Illinois restaurants are banding together to defy the state’s restrictive indoor dining ban.

On Friday, ‘Timothy O’Toole’s,’ ‘Stevens’ Steakhouse,’ ‘Kaiser’s Pizza and Pub,’ and ‘The Shanty’ reopened in Lake County. In doing so, all of the restaurants defied a statewide ban on indoor dining.

The group said they would be following strict pandemic regulations, such as a reduced 25 percent capacity and social distancing within the buildings.

Customers praised the restaurants and said they were happy to be able to get out to support local businesses.

“You can go a half-hour up north and go to many different restaurants up in Kenosha,” customer Jeff Moser said. “I think businesses down here in Illinois should be enjoying the fruits of their labors as well.”

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A sign along the sidewalk in an area lined with bars and restaurants in the Wicker Park neighborhood encourages people to stay home on November 11, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, many counties are moving out of the restrictive tier-three regulation as state and county officials are reportedly aware of the restaurant’s reopening plans.

MORE NEWS: Facebook Blocks Events Near Capitol And White House Leading Up To Inauguration

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Fla. Antifa supporter in custody after advocating call to arms

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TALLAHASSEE, FL – NOVEMBER 10: A view of the Florida State Capitol building on November 10, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 1:14 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

The FBI arrested a man for attempting to incite violence at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee. On Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced Daniel Baker was in custody after he put out a call to arms.

The former combat veteran attempted to recruit Florida residents to violently confront demonstrators planning to peacefully protest the election results at the state’s Capitol on January 20. Authorities said they plan to detain Baker until at least the day after the inauguration.

He is charged with transmission of a threat to kidnap or injure and could face five years in prison and a $250 thousand fine if convicted. Baker reportedly took part in anti-police protests in Seattle and Nashville over the summer and used social media to promote anti-government ideologies.

According to a complaint filed by the FBI, Baker attempted to incite violence in over a dozen posts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Baker is also reported to have described to himself as a “hardcore leftist” online.

While reports say his Facebook and Instagram accounts have been removed, YouTube has yet to ban or take down his videos explicitly promoting violence.

Meanwhile, YouTube barred President Trump from uploading new content on the site for at least a week following the security breach at the Capitol on January 6.

However, Antifa and other far-left extremist accounts supporting violence against Trump supporters remain untouched on social media sites.

MORE NEWS: 4 Ill. Restaurants Defy State Indoor Dining Ban And Reopen

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Stadiums across the U.S. become vaccination centers

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SAVANNAH, GA – DECEMBER 15: A nurse shows off a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of the Chatham County Health Department on December 15, 2020 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 12:40 PM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Americans are lining up nationwide to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. From Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, first responders and health care workers have started receiving their first doses of the vaccine.

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, plans to vaccinate up to five thousand people a day.

Officials in Los Angeles hope to get to more vaccines out to the public quickly when Dodger Stadium is fully up and running.

“This site will move us closer to a day we can’t wait to wake up and hear about, a day when we record zero deaths here in Los Angeles, a day in which there are no more families devastated by this virus,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stated. “A day when we say our economy is fully reopened, our children are back in school, we’re hugging our loved ones, we’re back together.”

With the capacity to vaccinate 12 thousand people, Dodger Stadium is the largest vaccination center to open in the U.S.

MORE NEWS: Facebook Blocks Events Near Capitol And White House Leading Up To Inauguration

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