Clinton suggests Putin may have known about riot in Capitol, Pelosi wants 9/11 commission-type probe

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Democrat questions patriotism of National Guardsmen in Washington

Victor Davis Hanson, Harmeet Dhillon and Dinesh D'Souza react on 'The Ingraham Angle' to Rep. Steve Cohen's comments

Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her podcast about the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month and hinted that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have been receiving updates about the chaos from President Trump.

Clinton, who hosts the podcast, "You and Me Both," told Pelosi that she would be interested in obtaining President Trump's phone records to see if he was on the phone with Putin while the Capitol was being breached.

Clinton lost to Trump in 2016 and said it is clear that Trump has a disdain for democracy, but its true depths may never be known. She said the president had "other agendas" while in the White House and hopes that one day it becomes known who exactly the president was "beholden to" and "who pulls his strings."

"I would love to see his phone records to see if he was talking to Putin the day the insurgents invaded our Capitol," she said. She asked Pelosi if she believed the country would benefit from a 9/11-commission-type probe to investigate what exactly led up to the deadly riot.

Pelosi said she is in favor of such a commission and she recalled telling the president that, "With you, Mr. President, all roads lead to Putin."

"I don’t know what Putin has on him politically, financially or personally, but what happened last week was a gift to Putin because Putin wants to undermine democracy in our country and throughout the world," Pelosi said. She said those that took part in the riot were "Putin’s puppets."

DEMS DIDN'T ALWAYS CONDEMN VIOLENCE

"So yes, we should have a 9/11 commission and there is strong support in the Congress to do that," she said.

Representatives from Pelosi and Clinton did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

The suggestion from a former top diplomat that a sitting president could have somehow interacted with a foreign leader during such a trying time in the country's history is remarkable and perhaps is an example of how divided the parties are in Washington. Trump supporters often tie President-elect Joe Biden to China.

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Clinton called the breach an "invasion" while Congress was "doing the work of Democracy" and certifying an election. Earlier this month, she offered her support for impeaching Trump a second time, but claimed that the root problem that led to the riot at the Capitol last week – white supremacy – will still remain.

She wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the violent protest "was the tragically predictable result of white-supremacist grievances" that she said were fed by Trump's rhetoric.

"Removing Trump from office is essential, and I believe he should be impeached," Clinton wrote. "Members of Congress who joined him in subverting our democracy should resign, and those who conspired with the domestic terrorists should be expelled immediately. But that alone won’t remove white supremacy and extremism from America."

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report

Original Article

Live Updates: Congress gears up as hearings for Biden’s Cabinet nominations set to begin today

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Biden set to undo Trump record with series of executive orders

Correspondent Peter Doocy reports from Wilmington on 'Special Report'

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations are set to begin on Tuesday, just one day before his inauguration on Jan. 20.

The action kicks off in the morning, with the Senate Finance Committee hosting Treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen, the Senate Intelligence Committee holding a hearing for Director of National Intelligence pick Avril Haines, and Homeland Security secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas appearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

FAST FACTS

    • Confirmation hearings are often marked by partisan differences, and this week is likely to be no different
    • Time will tell whether opposition to any of the picks will be enough to sink their nominations

That afternoon, Biden's pick for secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will have a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing for Defense secretary nominee Lloyd J. Austin III.

Thursday will see the hearing for Transportation secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

Follow below for more updates. Mobile users click here.

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Live Updates: Eric Swalwell brings political baggage as impeachment manager

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Democrats insist on Senate impeachment trial of Trump after term ends

FOX News chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel joins 'Special Report' with the latest

When House Democrats present their case to senators about why they should vote to convict President Trump of the impeachment charge that he incited an insurrection in the Capitol, some say their case may be hampered by the presence of Rep. Eric Swalwell as an impeachment manager.

Swalwell was given the heavy responsibility of being on the team to present the case against Trump to the Senate in his impeachment trial. The result — although Trump will be out of office when the trial happens — could be that Trump is barred from ever holding office again.

FAST FACTS

    • Swalwell most recently has been embroiled in a controversy about whether or not he should retain his seat on the House Intelligence Committee
    • Swalwell has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but was linked with Chinese spy Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, for years.

But some don't believe Swalwell, D-Calif., is a serious enough person for the responsibility with which he's been entrusted.

Follow below for more updates. Mobile users click here.

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Cuccinelli: Caravan heading to US-Mexico border acting as ‘human Petri dish’

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Cuccinelli: Caravans heading to US border acting as 'human Petri dish'

DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli warns of coronavirus surges on 'Hannity'

Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli warned Monday of a surge in coronavirus transmissions with thousands of migrants expected to reach the U.S.-Mexico border in the early weeks of the incoming Biden administration.

More than 3,000 Honduran migrants moved into Guatemala on Friday as part of a larger caravan that left a Honduran city earlier in the day en route to the U.S. They are hoping for a warmer reception when they arrive at the border in light of the President-elect's pledge to reverse the Trump administration's policies on border security and illegal immigration.

MIGRANT CARAVAN DEMANDS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION 'HONOR ITS COMMITMENTS'

"When these caravans come up and really [thoughought] the whole illegal immigrant pipeline, Sean, they are in tight conditions that they don’t control with people who don’t care about them," Cuccinelli told "Hannity."

"Let’s be very clear about that," he added. "It is an absolute human Petri dish opportunity for the transmission of a demonstrably very transmissible virus, and then we have to worry about this new strain now."

BIDEN TRANSITION OFFICIAL TELLS MIGRANT CARAVANS: 'NOW IS NOT THE TIME' TO COME TO US

Cuccinelli said the looming surge at the border "isn’t a surprise or a shock to anyone," but warned the Biden administration that their scaled-back immigration policies will yield "way more than you bargained for."

"While I don’t like it or appreciate it or think it’s consistent with the law, it’s not like Joe Biden snuck up on anybody with this, right?" Cuccinelli said.

"I mean, this is what he said he was going to do. And what we were saying along with the Department of Homeland Security is hey look, you are going to get way more than you bargained for."

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Biden has promised to end the Migrant Protection Protocols, which keeps migrants in Mexico as they await their political asylum hearings. The Trump administration has said the program has helped end the so-called "pull factors" that bring migrants north, but critics say the policy is cruel and puts asylum-seekers at risk.

Biden has also promised a pathway to legal permanent residency for those in the country illegally and a moratorium on deportations by ICE.

Original Article

Madison Cawthorn’s Dem opponent compares GOP freshman to Guantanamo Bay detainees

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Rep-Elect Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Jimmy Failla

The Democratic opponent who lost to Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., in the general election appeared on Monday to compare Cawthorn to a Guantanamo Bay detainee.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Moe Davis, who served as the Chief Prosecutor of the Guantanamo military commissions between 2005 and 2007, tweeted that there is "far more evidence of Congressman Madison Cawthorn’s guilt than there was of guilt for 95+ percent of the detainees."

"It’s time we start a domestic war on sedition by American terrorists," Davis said.

Davis appeared to be referring to the fact that Cawthorn spoke at a Trump rally moments before a mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, and refused to accept Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

Cawthorn told the crowd that "Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans, hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice."

CAPITOL POLICE’S PREPARATION FOR DEADLY RIOT REMAINS SHROUDED IN SECRECY, THANKS TO FOIA EXEMPTION

Cawthorn’s involvement in the rally prompted state Democrats from Cawthorn’s 11th Congressional District to write a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking for an investigation into the Republican congressman. They claim there was an ethics violation for "violent language" he used leading up to the Capitol riots.

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Cawthorn said he had a constitutional duty to vote against Biden. He condemned the violence in Wednesday's attack, but compared it to last summer's protests over police brutality.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden administration teases small taste of immigration plan

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Mark Morgan: Biden 'kicking immigration crisis down the road'

U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner reacts to looming crisis on 'FOX News Primetime'

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gave a tease of the incoming Biden administration's sweeping immigration plan during an interview with Univision's Ilia Calderón.

Harris said the administration plans to create "greater efficiencies" to streamline the naturalization process, including decreasing the amount of time required to acquire U.S. citizenship from 13 years to eight years, offering certain members of the Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs automatic green cards and adding immigration judges to help eliminate backlogs on court hearings.

"We believe it is smarter and a more humane way of approaching immigration for immigrants," Harris said.

The full plan will be sent to Congress on President-elect Joe Biden's first day in office.

AOC TWEETS 'ABOLISH ICE' AFTER AGENCY COMMEMORATES MLK DAY

The announcement comes as a migrant caravan from Honduras is heading to the United States, with one member citing Biden’s pledge to place a 100-day moratorium on deportations – one of several items on his agenda that will reverse some of President Donald Trump’s signature policies.

The migrant told the Hill news outlet that he was fleeing a "bad situation" that was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes, and a president who is not helping the people.

When asked what he wanted for "his people," the migrant said it was "to get to the U.S. because they’re having a new president."

"He’s gonna help all of us," the migrant said of Biden. "He’s giving us 100 days to get to the U.S." to get legal status and "get a better life for our kids and family."

HOMAN: BIDEN'S WORDS WILL CAUSE 'A SURGE AT THE BORDER THAT WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE'

But any migrants who arrive at the U.S. border within the first 100 days of the new Biden administration will likely be disappointed. On Sunday, an unnamed Biden transition official said the migrants hoping to claim asylum in the U.S. during the first few weeks of the administration "need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the U.S. immediately," NBC News reported.

The Biden transition official told NBC News that while "there’s help on the way," now "is not the time to make the journey."

MIGRANT CARAVAN MEMBER CITES BIDEN'S PLEDGE TO SUSPEND DEPORTATIONS FOR 100 DAYS AS REASON FOR TRAVELING TO US

Former acting ICE director Thomas Homan told Fox News that by "throwing all those promises out, to cater to the left to win an election, [Biden] put his own political ambitions ahead of the country."

When asked about the Biden transition official telling migrants that now is not the best time to come to the U.S., Homan said: "Too little, too late."

"They’re already on their way. They’re not going to wait in Mexico. They’re going to try to come across the border," Homan said. "Sooner or later, even if they do gather up in Mexico city, [Biden] is going to open the flood gates."

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Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrant rights group, issued a statement on behalf of the caravan, saying it expects the Biden administration to take action.

The group is expected to hold a virtual press conference in Tijuana Tuesday afternoon, where they will release a petition with demands including opening the U.S. border to individuals seeking asylum, eliminating the Remain in Mexico policy implemented by the Trump administration, ending the separation of migrant families, and the "guarantee" of legal representation for asylum seekers.

Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain said in a publicly released memo over the weekend that the president-elect will sign an executive order on immigration reform within the first 10 days of taking office, which will "restore dignity to our immigration system and our border policies, and start the difficult but critical work of reuniting families separated at the border."

Fox News' Bradford Betz and Yael Halon contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump rebuts NY Times ‘1619 Project’ with ‘1776 Report’ urging schools to reject ‘ideological poison’

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The Post-Trump Republican Party

GOP must now navigate through Trump and Trumpism.

The President Trump-backed 1776 Commission released a report on the state of American education Monday in what the White House described as a "rebuttal" to the New York Times "1619 Project" and other historical accounts that take a critical view of the country’s earliest days.

"The 1776 report," released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was developed in response to Trump’s call to promote "patriotic education" in schools. In the report, the commission argues that schools "should reject any curriculum that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our principles.

"Neither America nor any other nation has perfectly lived up to the universal truths of equality, liberty, justice and government by consent," the report says. "But no nation before America ever dared state those truths as the formal basis for its politics, and none has strived harder, or done more, to achieve them."

The Politics and Law of Trump's Second ImpeachmentVideo

Trump first announced plans to form the commission last September after protestors during nationwide protests against racism toppled statues depicting Founding Fathers who had owned slaves. At the time, the president tweeted that he would "stop the radical indoctrination of our students."

In one passage, the 1776 Commission argued that America's founding fathers should not be seen as hypocrites for espousing freedom despite the existence of slavery in the country.

"The most common charge leveled against the founders, and hence against our country itself, is that they were hypocrites who didn’t believe in their stated principles, and therefore the country they built rests on a lie," the report says. "This charge is untrue, and has done enormous damage, especially in recent years, with a devastating effect on our civic unity and social fabric."

"Many Americans labor under the illusion that slavery was somehow a uniquely American evil," the report adds. "It is essential to insist at the outset that the institution be seen in a much broader perspective."

Much of Trump’s criticism has focused on the "1619 Project," a series of long-form essays by the New York Times Magazine which sought to reexamine American history by analyzing the long-term consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans.

"Critical race theory, the 1619 Project and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison, that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together, will destroy our country," Trump said at a press conference last September announcing plans for the commission.

Proponents of the "1619 Project" argue its critical examination of American history is a necessary critique of the country’s failings. However, the project has drawn criticism from a number of historians who have questioned its accuracy.

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The 1776 Commission’s report identifies the "1619 Project" as an example of a "radicalized challenge" to past views of American history that sought to "diminish our shared history and disunite the country by setting certain communities against others."

"Such works do not respect their students’ independence as young thinkers trying to grapple with social complexity while forming their empirical judgments about it," the report says. "They disdain today’s students, just as they doubt the humanity, goodness or benevolence in America’s greatest historical figures. They see only weaknesses and failures, teaching students truth is an illusion, that hypocrisy is everywhere, and that power is all that matters."

The report adds that U.S. colleges are "often hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel, and censorship that combine to generate in students and in the broader culture at the very least disdain and at worst outright hatred for this country."

Original Article

AOC tweets ‘Abolish ICE’ after agency commemorates MLK Day

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Concha slams AOC for suggesting government 'rein in' media: 'Belongs in China'

Fox News contributor Joe Concha weighs in on media coverage of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's controversial comments about a new government commission.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday appeared unimpressed by a tweet from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To show their appreciation for the civil rights icon on the federal holiday, ICE tweeted an image of a King statue, with the text: "Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of hope, justice and equality."

Without addressing King directly, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the text and called for the agency to be abolished.

Ocasio-Cortez has called for dismantling the agency for years, even in moments when her Democratic colleagues appeared to back away from the idea.

MEDIA, DEMOCRATS QUICK TO SLAM REPUBLICANS FOR PRAISING MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Though Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter feed on Monday was filled with references to King and his legacy, King's niece, Alveda King, told Fox News that the congresswoman ought to "take a page out of Martin Luther King Jr.’s book."

The suggestion came in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s comments during a virtual town hall last week in which she referred to President Donald Trump as the "poison of White supremacy."

"I believe that AOC really should take a page out of Martin Luther King Jr.'s book." King told Fox News host Harris Faulkner.

Alveda told Faulkner that while her uncle praised the law for keeping bad actors in line, "he also said that the law cannot transform the human heart."

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"There are laws on the books now that will severely punish White supremacists, and that should be the case," she explained. "We know that White supremacy is wrong, it must be punished, but every crime against humanity is bad and so we have to protect human dignity, but not only with the law. We have to transform these hearts."

Original Article

Migrant caravan member cites Biden’s pledge to suspend deportations for 100 days as reason for traveling to US

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Thousands of migrants headed to U.S. border in early challenge to Biden

Fox News host Pete Hegseth discusses the growing caravan of migrants heading to the U.S. southern border as Joe Biden prepares to take office.

A migrant traveling with a caravan that left Honduras on Friday told a reporter he was headed to the U.S. because soon-to-be President Joe Biden is "giving us 100 days to get to the U.S."

The migrant, seen in an interview shared by The Hill, did not provide his name but said he was from Roatán, a tourist island off the northern coast of Honduras.

He appeared to be citing Biden’s pledge to place a 100-day moratorium on deportations – one of several items on his agenda that will reverse some of President Donald Trump’s signature policies.

The migrant told a reporter he was fleeing a "bad situation" that was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes, and a president who is not helping the people.

When asked what he wanted for "his people," the migrant said it was "to get to the U.S. because they’re having a new president."

"He’s gonna help all of us," the migrant said of President-elect Joe Biden. "He’s giving us 100 days to get to the U.S." to get legal status and "get a better life for our kids and family."

Biden has promised a pathway to legal permanent residency for those in the country illegally and a suspension on deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Honduran migrants, top, stand between cargo trucks as they confront Guatemalan soldiers and police blocking them from advancing toward the US, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

Honduran migrants, top, stand between cargo trucks as they confront Guatemalan soldiers and police blocking them from advancing toward the US, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (AP)

But any migrants who arrive at the U.S. border within the first 100 days of the new Biden administration will likely be disappointed. On Sunday, an unnamed Biden transition official said the migrants hoping to claim asylum in the U.S. during the first few weeks of the administration "need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the U.S. immediately," NBC News reported.

The Biden transition official told NBC News that while "there’s help on the way," now "is not the time to make the journey."

"I said if Biden became president, this would happen," Thomas Homan, former acting director of ICE, told Fox News. "The things he said, the promises that he made … like ending the remain in Mexico program, and getting rid of private detention, putting a moratorium on deportations, stopping ICE from doing worksite enforcement operations, offering free healthcare. When you throw those kinds of enticements out, who’s not going to come to the greatest country on Earth?

"I briefed the White House numerous times on what’s causing the surges. So, he knew by throwing all those promises out, to cater to the left to win an election, he put his own political ambitions ahead of the country."

Asked what he thought about the Biden transition official telling migrants that now is not the best time to come to the U.S., Homan said: "Too little, too late."

"They’re already on their way. They’re not going to wait in Mexico. They’re going to try to come across the border," Homan said. "Sooner or later, even if they do gather up in Mexico city, (Biden) is going to open the flood gates."

BIDEN CONFRONTED WITH MIGRANT CARAVAN CHALLENGE AS HE TAKES OFFICE, GOP BLAMES CAMPAIGN RHETORIC

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrant rights group, issued a statement on behalf of the caravan, saying it expects the Biden administration to take action.

The group is expected to hold a virtual press conference in Tijuana Tuesday afternoon, where they will call on the incoming administration to reverse President Trump’s policies and immediately allow asylum seekers to continue the asylum process in the U.S.

In a statement released Monday, the group assailed Trump’s "Remain in Mexico" policy, which compels migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico while their case is being reviewed.

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Pueblo Sin Fronteras said at Tuesday’s press conference it will release a petition for the Biden administration. Items on the list include a demand the U.S. border be open to people who are seeking asylum, the elimination of the Remain in Mexico policy, an end to the separation of migrant families, and the "guarantee" of legal representation for asylum seekers.

Fox News' Yael Halon contributed to this report.

Original Article

Biden promises on Day One to reinstate rule protecting transgender student use of bathrooms

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How far to the left will the Biden administration push America?

Anchor of 'The Story' Martha MacCallum previews the start of the Biden administration.

President-elect Joe Biden has promised to get straight to work after he is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, which could include swift action on federal guidance President Trump revoked that was designed to protect transgender students.

The Trump administration, early in its tenure, revoked an Obama-era federal rule that extended Title IX protections to transgender students, allowing them to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identities and not just their biological sex.

Biden has already begun to lay out his two-step plan to tackle the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and has promised to immediately undo several moves made by President Trump, including his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

Biden is prepared to sign nearly a dozen executive orders on his first day in the Oval Office, on issues ranging from the pandemic to a travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries.

But among the Trump actions Biden has promised to undo on his first day in office are federal guidelines for transgender students under Title IX.

BIDEN’S REPORTED PLANS TO KILL KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE ALARM CANADIAN OFFICIALS

Without these Title IX protections, it has been left to states to make their own rules on the issue.

The decision was considered a setback for transgender rights, though proponents argued the Obama rule was an example of federal overreach.

Biden’s website has a page dedicated to policies designed to support the LBGTQ+ community, and includes the promise to reinstate protections for transgender students on his first day in office.

"On his first day in office, Biden will reinstate the Obama-Biden guidance revoked by the Trump-Pence Administration, which will restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity," the website reads.

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Some of the other policies he intends to promote and implement include protecting the LBGTQ+ community from violence, ensuring access to high-quality health care and ensuring fair treatment in the criminal justice system.

It is unclear whether Biden will be able to tackle all of these promised issues on his first day in office.

His focus could be turned initially to the coronavirus pandemic, as the U.S. death toll approached the 400,000 milestone.

A spokesperson for Biden’s team did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Harry Reid now calls Romney a ‘very fine human being’ after false 2012 claim he didn’t pay taxes

closeHarry Reid proud he lied about Romney's tax recordVideo

Harry Reid proud he lied about Romney's tax record

Retiring Senate Minority leader has no regrets as he crows, 'Romney didn't win did he?'

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid heaped praise on Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, in a recent podcast, raising questions about the former Senate Democratic leader's suggestion during the 2012 presidential campaign that the latter didn't pay his taxes.

Reid told the Salt Lake Tribune that he and Romney had a "make up" meeting of sorts after Romney lost his presidential bid as the Republican party's nominee.

"I asked my friend of many, many years, Gov. [Mike] Leavitt of Utah who had been head of Health and Human Services, to arrange a meeting with me and Mitt Romney after the election," Reid said in a "Mormon Land" podcast published last week.

"And we had a meeting at his home in Salt Lake where Mitt and I talked about probably how we had done things wrong about each other and our wives were there and we had a very nice meeting — kind of a make-up session. So, I admire Mitt Romney. I think he's a very very fine human being."

HARRY REID ISSUES WARNING TO DEMOCRATS AHEAD OF 2020: DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE TRUMP

It's unclear what exactly the two spoke about, but Reid caused a stir in 2012 when he spoke about Romney from the Senate floor. "The word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't," Reid said. Romney later released returns showing that he paid $1.9 million in taxes in 2011.

Politifact rated that claim "pants on fire," stating: "Reid has made an extreme claim with nothing solid to back it up." Reid claimed in 2012 that an "extremely credible source" told him that Romney hadn't paid taxes for ten years.

When CNN's Dana Bash asked Reid in 2015 about criticism that his remarks were McCarthyite, Reid seemed unrepentant. "Well, they can call it whatever they want," Reid told her. "Romney didn’t win, did he?"

Romney's office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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According to The Washington Post, Reid also sent a thank you letter to Romney after his vote to convict President Trump last year.

"Donald Trump will go down … as the worst president in the history of the country," Reid told the Tribune. "And that says a lot because we’ve had some pretty bad ones."

Original Article

Freshman Republican lawmaker describes her first 100 hours in Congress as ‘hell’ after riot, impeachment

closeRep. Nancy Mace: My first 100 hours in Congress 'were hell'Video

Rep. Nancy Mace: My first 100 hours in Congress 'were hell'

Freshman South Carolina Republican reflects on riot, election certification, impeachment on 'The Story'

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., described her first 100 hours on Congress as "hell" Monday, telling "The Story" that the deadly Capitol riot, the fight over the Electoral College vote count and the second impeachment of President Trump represented an unbelievable series of events.

I couldn't imagine being in this situation in my lifetime … it was heartbreaking and made me really angry," Mace, who unseated Democrat Joe Cunningham in November, told host Martha MacCallum.

"I have spoken out strongly against the president and my own colleagues … we have a Constitution as our guide. The vote to certify the Electoral College is in our Constitution," she said of the political battle that precipitated the riot. "That was a ceremonial vote to certify all 50 states that were legally certified."

While Mace voted against objections to the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, she also voted against impeaching Trump on the single count of "inciting insurrection." She argued that House Democrats had tarnished the tool of impeachment by rushing it to the floor for a vote.

TRUMP DOES NOT HAVE FUTURE IN REPUBLICAN PARTY AFTER CAPITOL HILL RIOT: REP. NANCY MACE

"We bypassed the Judiciary Committee process," she said. "So for anyone, that sets a very scary constitutional precedent. It's not something that should be rushed."

Mace added that there are "constitutional questions about whether or not you can impeach a president, remove him from office when he's already out of office. He's going to be gone."

Mace said Senate leadership is sending "mixed signals" about whether they would break precedent and seek to convict President Trump.

"There's questions [about] whether they're doing is constitutional, even having a trial and impeaching him when he is out of office … It's basically shredding the Constitution," she argued. "We have to be consistent in how we apply the Constitution across the board, and further, it will sow seeds of division. We're already divided as a nation. That will throw gasoline on the fire."

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Mace, who invited her children to attend her swearing-in Jan. 3, told MacCallum that she immediately became concerned about the atmosphere ahead of the vote certification.

"Because of the rhetoric I saw from my colleagues, the president, the calls [coming] in our office, I felt like violence was going to be the outcome on the 6th," she said. "I put my kids on the first plane home Monday morning. If they were there, I would have been devastated. It's personal for me."

Original Article

Put that in your Hot Pocket

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Fox News Flash top headlines for January 18

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com.

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On the roster: Put that in your Hot Pocket – Biden taps hardliners for finance regulation – Impeachment on the back burner for now – Trump said to ready a pardonpalooza – ‘Right’
PUT THAT IN YOUR HOT POCKET
The news today that more than three-quarters-of-a-million pounds of Hot Pockets have been recalled because of the potential presence of "extraneous materials," including hard plastic, has prompted some questions in our minds.
1) We kind of thought surprising contents were part of the Hot Pocket charm. Couldn’t "Peppy Pepperoni With Garlic-Style Flavoring and Extraneous Materials" sell? Why not turn this into an opportunity?
2) Given the news that the pockets in question would have been freezer-stable and ready for microwave sleeve toasting until well into 2022, can we get the Hot Pockets people to get to work on the avocado problem? Imagine the possibilities!
3) Has anyone told Jim Gaffigan?
We know what you’re thinking: How are you going to go from recalled meat sheaths to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in this terribly troubled time for our country?
It’s all about "extraneous materials."
The United States has been many different kinds of nations in our long and proud history. We have been an agrarian nation, an industrial nation, an Atlantic nation, a trans-continental nation, a nation of people mostly descended from Western Europeans, a nation of dizzying diversity, a poor nation, a rich nation and so on…
But what we have always been is a constitutional republic that says it aspires to the American Creed contained in the Declaration of Independence – right there at the start of the second paragraph: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Having secured that independence declared so brashly by a bunch of upstart colonists, these rebels turned statesmen sought to "secure the blessings of liberty" for themselves and those who came after them by crafting a Constitution that prescribes a system of government designed to protect those rights.
Things went along pretty well for a time, but the question of the continuation or abolition slavery would ultimately prove impossible for a third generation of American leaders to resolve.
Eighty-seven years after the Declaration, or as he put it, "four score and seven years," Abraham Lincoln put in context the cause and objective of the war that had filled thousands of graves in the rolling hills outside of Gettysburg, Pa.
Lincoln began his address by quoting the words penned by Thomas Jefferson in the American Creed, setting them as the North Star by which Americans should navigate their present struggle.
The real audacity of Lincoln, though, was to point to the horizon toward which he said the country should sail. Speaking of those honored dead, he said, "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
In that way and thousands of others, Lincoln joined the Founding Fathers in defining the purpose of our republic. While Americans North and South had many different reasons for fighting or supporting the war, Lincoln put his stamp on the effort for all time. The Civil War would forever be aimed at finishing the work left undone by the Founders’ generation.
In the darkest time in American history, Lincoln’s "new birth of freedom" was not a departure from our foundational beliefs, or an overthrow of our constitutional system, but rather a perfection of it. In so doing, Lincoln not only saved the nation but renewed our character.
Before Lincoln could finish his work and help the nation move on from the justice of the "terrible, swift sword" and into the mercies described in his second inaugural – "with malice toward none, with charity for all" – an idiot murdered him.
What happened instead was a long period in which frustrated Southerners spent the fury of their wounded pride on African Americans in their midst. The cruelty and indignity of this American apartheid is well known to many, but always worth remembering.
From the end of Military Reconstruction in the 1870s until at least the 1950s, Black Americans, especially those living in the officially segregated South, were denied the rights the Founders described and Lincoln claimed on their behalf.
It is hard to imagine greater violence done to the spirit and the words of our Constitution than using the force of government to oppress millions of people because of the accident of their status at birth.
And that is exactly what King sought to prove to White Americans, especially in the North. Northerners had turned a blind eye to the tyranny taking place south of the Mason-Dixon Line, feeling superior despite the racism present in their own communities. King and his fellow civil rights advocates through their non-violent protests used the Constitution and the American Creed as a mirror with which to show the nation its true reflection.
He did not say that this tyranny was evidence of a defect in the American system of government or the constitutional order, but rather one that could be solved through that system and order.
King chose as the location of his defining speech, delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. King began by saying "five score years ago," referring to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. That put King at about an equal distance from Lincoln as Lincoln was from the Founders. And at that moment, took his place with the 16th president and our founding generation in the pantheon of American liberty.
"When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir," King said. "This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned."
From the Founders to Lincoln, from Lincoln to King.
There are lots of things that make America great and special. There are also lots of things that make America difficult and, certainly at the moment, troubled. But unlike other nations we know what to do when things get tough. We go back to the source code.
As the United States tries to sort itself out in the weeks, months and years to come, we will face many different choices, all of which will be variations on the same theme: Do we believe in the virtues of our founding and are we committed to seeking remedy through the Constitution which is our collective inheritance?
Lincoln, King and hosts upon hosts of great American leaders have known that the essential ingredient for liberty is the rigorous application of that recipe for success.
Everything else is just "extraneous materials."
THE RULEBOOK: NO THANKS
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." – James Madison, Federalist No. 47
TIME OUT: WHAT’S ANOTHER WORD FOR CREATOR?
BBC: "Peter Mark Roget was born on [this day in] 1779 in London, the son of a Swiss clergyman. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and graduated in 1798. As a young doctor he published works on tuberculosis and on the effects of nitrous oxide, known as ‘laughing gas,’ then used as an anaesthetic. … In 1814, he invented a slide rule to calculate the roots and powers of numbers. This formed the basis of slide rules that were common currency in schools and universities until the age of the calculator. … In 1840, Roget effectively retired from medicine and spent the rest of his life on the project that has made his name, ‘Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases,’ which was a dictionary of synonyms. … His thesaurus was published in 1852 and has never been out of print. Roget died on [Sept. 12] 1869."
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
GOT A WILD PITCH? READY TO THROW A FASTBALL?
We’ve brought "From the Bleachers" to video on demand thanks to Fox Nation. Each Wednesday and Friday, Producer Brianna McClelland will put Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt to the test with your questions on everything about politics, government and American history – plus whatever else is on your mind. Sign up for the Fox Nation streaming service here and send your best questions to HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM.
BIDEN TAPS HARDLINERS FOR FINANCE REGULATION
NPR: "President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a statement from Biden's transition team Monday morning. The pair's selection marks a triumph for progressives who have pushed for more aggressive oversight of the financial industry. Gensler is a top financial regulator known for taking on big banks and trading houses after the Dodd-Frank financial reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. A former Goldman Sachs executive, Gensler has an extensive career in government, serving as under secretary of the treasury for domestic finance from 1999 to 2001 and assistant secretary of the treasury for financial markets from 1997 to 1999. He went on to serve in the Obama administration as the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and was the CFO for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign."
Harris steps down from Senate – Politico: "Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat effective Monday, capping a brief legislative career marked by her tough cross-examinations of Trump administration nominees and the push last summer for police reforms after the killing of George Floyd. Harris notified California Gov. Gavin Newsom and has sent her formal indication to surrender the Senate office as she prepares for her move to the Naval Observatory, aides said. Newsom named California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the final two years of Harris’ first term, though it’s unclear when Padilla will take the oath of office this week, or whether it will be administered by Harris. … ‘This is not a goodbye from the Senate,’ a Harris aide stressed, given her role as the tie-breaker and expected work helping Biden with negotiations on Capitol Hill."
A different kind of inaugural – Fox News: "The guest list for the presidential inauguration scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. this Wednesday will be scaled back amid both the coronavirus pandemic, as well as beefed-up security measures put in place two weeks after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. … This year, members of the 117th Congress will be given only a plus-one. … Biden has said Pence was ‘welcome to come,’ and he'd be honored to have him. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are expected to attend the inauguration in person. The only other living president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, who has spent the pandemic largely at home in Plains, Ga., will not attend… Biden's inaugural committee announced the lineup Sunday for ‘Celebrating America,’ a multi-network broadcast that will be televised Wednesday night after Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president. The broadcast will be held in lieu of traditional inaugural balls."
What a Democratic Senate can do for Biden, and what it can’t – AP: "So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden? … The unexpected new balance of power giving Democrats only the barest control of Congress has big consequences for the president-elect — easy confirmation of his Cabinet most importantly — but the road ahead for his ambitious legislative agenda remains complicated and murky. Republicans remain poised to block most of Biden’s proposals, just as they thwarted much of President Barack Obama’s efforts on Capitol Hill. But 50/50 control permits action on special legislation that can’t be filibustered, and momentum for the popular parts of COVID-19 relief could easily propel an early aid bill into law. What 50-50 really gets — and doesn’t get — Biden as he takes office…"
IMPEACHMENT ON THE BACK BURNER FOR NOW
Fox News: "Details of the upcoming impeachment trial for President Trump are still up in the air as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — who will soon swap jobs — have remained silent about the details of how the trial will work, how long it will last and more. When the trial will start is up in the air as well. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after overseeing the impeachment of Trump just one week after he egged on a group of supporters who later ransacked the Capitol while Congress was certifying the election results, has yet to send the article of impeachment to the Senate. Pelosi did not answer questions during a Friday press conference on when she would send over the articles. Her office also did not immediately respond to a message from Fox News on Monday morning asking when she would send the article."
Ross Douthat: ‘Could Mitch McConnell Get to Yes?’ – NYT: "That’s the best way to think about why, notwithstanding the fact that Trump will be out of office and the vast majority of Republican voters will still be resolutely opposed to his impeachment, McConnell might conceivably extend himself to rally 17 Republican votes for a Senate conviction. The point wouldn’t be to punish Trump or alter the majority leader’s public reputation or create a moment for the history books. It would be to use a power that Senate Republicans have now, and will presumably never have again — the power to guarantee that Trump cannot be a candidate for president four years from now, which can be accomplished by a simple majority vote following a Senate conviction."
Rudy won’t be part of defense team – NYT: "President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, will not be taking part in the president’s defense in the Senate trial for his second impeachment, a person close to Mr. Trump said on Monday. Mr. Trump met with Mr. Giuliani on Saturday night at the White House, and the next day the president began telling people that Mr. Giuliani was not going to be part of the team. It is unclear who will be a defense lawyer for Mr. Trump, given that many attorneys have privately said they won’t represent him. Mr. Giuliani himself at first said he was taking part in the trial and then a day later said he had no involvement. He told ABC News on Sunday that he would not be part of the defense, noting that he is a potential witness…"
Guard troops bring security, but risk, too –AP: "U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches."
Sasse: GOPQ? – Atlantic: "If and when the House sends its article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate, I will be a juror in his trial, and thus what I can say in advance is limited. But no matter what happens in that trial, the Republican Party faces a separate reckoning. Until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon. They can’t. The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about."
Pergram: Emerald City – Fox News: "Consider some of the mayhem congressional reporters have covered in recent years which have nothing to do with legislation and hearings: The 1998 shooting at the Capitol of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson. The 9/11 plane headed toward the Capitol which eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. The 2001 anthrax attack on the Senate. The 2011 assassination attempt on the life of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. … We haven’t even discussed going to the Capitol on a daily basis to cover Congress in the age of COVID. Show up on Capitol Hill for work now and you must navigate a ‘Green Zone’ like in Baghdad to reach the building. And, considering the radioactivity of threats to the Capitol, it’s doubtful these layers of security disappear any time soon."
TRUMP SAID TO READY A PARDONPALOOZA
Fox News: "President Trump is expected to issue between 50 and 100 commutations and pardons before he leaves office this week, two sources familiar with the list told Fox News. The sources told Fox News that the announcement of the pardons will likely come in one large batch on Tuesday, but there is a slight chance the White House will wait to make them official Wednesday morning. The president has until noon on Wednesday to do so. Fox News has learned that there was a meeting at the White House on Sunday afternoon to finalize the growing list of pardons and commutations. But sources with knowledge of the process say Trump is not expected to grant protective pardons for any members of his family, nor is he expected to attempt to issue a pardon for himself."
Trump cronies cashing in on pardon frenzy – NYT: "As President Trump prepares to leave office in days, a lucrative market for pardons is coming to a head, with some of his allies collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates to push the White House for clemency… The pardon lobbying heated up as it became clear that Mr. Trump had no recourse for challenging his election defeat, lobbyists and lawyers say. One lobbyist, Brett Tolman, a former federal prosecutor who has been advising the White House on pardons and commutations, has monetized his clemency work, collecting tens of thousands of dollars, and possibly more, in recent weeks… Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer John M. Dowd has marketed himself to convicted felons as someone who could secure pardons because of his close relationship with the president… A onetime top adviser to the Trump campaign was paid $50,000 to help seek a pardon for John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information…"
AUDIBLE: WHAT ABOUT CHRIS GAINES, THO?
"I've played for every president there is, since Carter, with the exception of Reagan. This is an honor for me to get to serve… and it's one of the things that, if my family is around, no matter who the president-elect is, it's an honor to be asked." – Country singer Garth Brooks talking to Entertainment Tonight about performing at Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
"It’s interesting to consider Presidential job approval ratings and how they change as time and historians give us perspective after Presidents leave office. I checked on Harry Truman’s job approval rating in the latter part of 1952. According to Gallup it was 22% – worse that Trumps current approval rating of 29%. But Truman seems to have risen considerably in the estimation of historians since he left office. I remember my parents saying that they had both voted for Dewey in 1948 but that they weren’t particularly upset that Truman won. I wonder what Trump’s reputation will be like 25 years from now." – John May, San Diego
[Ed. note: History shows us lots of revisions — in both directions — for former presidents. Each one is different and determined by different external factors. Truman’s approval was so low for a variety of reasons, but a main driver was the revolt of the segregationist South. Truman’s decision to integrate the armed forces kicked off the 20-year journey of white southerners from the Democratic Party to the GOP. They hated him for his betrayal of the bigots, and since that had been the great Democratic stronghold, it cost him dearly. Republicans certainly didn’t approve of the rest of Truman’s agenda, so that left him with few friends. As the Korean War went sideways and fears of communism reached new heights, Truman found himself almost friendless. He rebounded a bit to the mid 30s by the time he left office, but he certainly concluded his time as an unpopular figure. As Republicans reconsidered his legacy of leadership at the end of WWII and the memory of his efforts at universal health insurance etc. faded, their estimation of him improved. His decision to integrate, the very thing that set him up for unpopularity, became a badge of courage and decency. In time, Truman came to be seen as a good, if not great president. Similar forces worked on his successors. George H.W. Bush is maybe the best example. Like Truman, he rode the wave from the highest highs to the lowest lows, but is increasingly revered for his steady hand in post-Cold War leadership. Or think of George W. Bush who left office in dire shape because of the Iraq War and the Panic of 2008, but who has already seen a substantial upgrade in estimations because of his personal attributes and post-9/11 leadership. Or there’s Jimmy Carter who got no revisions on his presidency but has become beloved by many for his post-presidential life. It goes the other way, too. Bill Clinton left office with a 65 percent job approval rating according to Gallup. And why not? The nation was at peace, the budget was balanced and the economy was booming. But like the negative conditions that afflicted other presidents, positive conditions fade from memory, too. Two decades later, Clinton’s character matters more than it did before and, thank to the #metoo moment, he is a pariah. He will never escape the judgement of history for the self-dealing, self-seeking way in which he governed and conducted himself. His efforts to build a post-presidential legacy were crushed by greed and ambition as his buckraking proved a toxic asset to his efforts to return his wife to the White House. Trump, not surprisingly, is a unique case. He’s never been popular. Trump’s highest job -approval rating, achieved in the early rally-round-the-flag days of the pandemic, was 49 percent, far below the highs achieved by all of his predecessors back to the birth of polling. But his lows have not been as deep as some of them. That’s in part because of the crazy partisanship that grips America these days, but also because Trump did not play for popularity, but rather catered only to his core supporters. Trump’s current average clocks in just below 39 percent, about the same as it was in the wake of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Like his predecessors, Trump’s place in history will depend on how events unfold and how he conducts himself. Trump in time may be seen as the avatar of the cultural populism of the white working class — the personification of a backlash against multiculturalism and political correctness — and a warning sign for a nation badly alienated from itself and at risk of losing its common purpose. It will depend on how well or poorly America heeds the warnings and whether we can rediscover our capacity for self-governance. If the next two decades show a reversal of those trends, people will no doubt mellow in their judgments. If the politics of cultural resentment and anger become the norm, Trump will decline further. The bad news for Trump’s legacy is that the major historical events of his presidency — double impeachments, a pandemic and the attack on the Capitol — will, as in Clinton’s case, never fall out of the first paragraph of his biography.]
"I have refrained from emailing you and reading your commentary for a long time. I have to speak now. You live in DC and have caught their disease. Maybe venture out into the country to treat the disease. Republicans play gentleman, the high road, hoping that indiscretions will disappear and not return. Then, like magic, they come back. And, then the process repeats. At the first time conservatives push back, you shame us. What % of conservatives, Republicans and Libertarians stormed the Capitol? Voter fraud is alive and well in CT, it runs like a well oiled machine. It is now more widely reported and discussed nationally. The patterns are eerily similar and don't necessarily require complicated machines, but simple tricks and ‘attacks’ at the polling place as described by GA's Governor during a 2016 hearing on Capitol Hill when he was Ga's Sect Of State. Missing bar codes on ballots that confirm signatures. Fraud on the scale we have seen is unfair to the whole country. Take some time to get to know this country." – Betsy Pulitzer, Oxford, Conn.
[Ed. note: I don’t suppose you can imagine how funny it is to me to be lectured on getting in touch with the nation by a woman writing me from a rich town in the New York suburbs. I know you don’t know anything about me or my life or where I come from or you wouldn’t probably send such a nastygram. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter whether I grew up in a poor town in a poor state or not or if my dad was a coal salesman or any of that stuff. We’re all real Americans. From tony Connecticut enclaves to the North Fork of Short Creek to inner cities to flyspecks in flyover country. You aren’t more American than any of us, but neither are you any less. You are God’s own creation free to think and do as you wish, thanks in large part to the fact that you get to live in this great country we share. As you try to put things in perspective over time, just remember that it is possible for voter fraud to be real — trust me, West Virginia will put the Nutmeg State to shame every time — and for it to be a massive fraud to claim that Donald Trump won the election in a landslide. It seems to me that the right place to start is to stop looking down your nose at people who aren’t like you and start looking for ways to rebuild this soul-sick nation.]
"Has everybody in Washington, including you, lost your minds? The picture is much bigger than your petty annoyances with Trump’s unnumbered imperfections. Seventy plus million reasonably thoughtful men and women voted for Trump, and we are not all in need of your personal judgments masquerading as penetrating insights. Trump is NOT the biggest problem you, the rest of us, or this country have at this point in our history. Again, how about your list of people with Trump’s policy positions and proven courage of convictions who meet your oh so exacting standards." – Eric Hutchins, Santa Barbara, Calif.
[Ed. note: Who said Trump was the biggest problem the country faces? Not by a long shot. Whatever you read that made you think that, I promise it was not what I meant. It sounds like you love the guy, and I wish you the best in that. But I would encourage you to think about politics in more ways than can be accommodated by the binary choices offered by presidential elections. The motivations of the 74,224,501 Americans who voted for Trump were as varied as we can imagine, as were those of the 81,284,778 who voted for Joe Biden. Those voters do not belong to Trump or Biden in perpetuity and many, if not most of them were cast more in opposition than support. Some of them were thoughtful, some of them were jerks, some of them flipped a coin. I understand why you are sensitive and quick to stand up for your man, but don’t let that prevent you from seeing the real threats to the country — starting with the blind partisanship that is causing us so much pain just now.]
"I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, and never took the trouble, but today, I have to ask. Just after reading about CNN’s crowbar/ProBar correction, which one tweet dubbed ‘too good to check’ because no one asked the obvious question, ‘Why would Ted Lieu have a crowbar in his office?,’ I read about a pigeon in Australia that was sentence to death, only to learn his identification tag was a fake, yet no one asked the obvious question, ‘Why would anyone fake a pigeon ID tag?’" – Jerry M. Spiker, Virginia Beach, Va.
[Ed. note: I mean, Nancy Pelosi keeps baseball bats in her office… As for the pigeon, I can only assume that it might have been part of an attempted coo… I’ll show myself out.]
"I live in Fairmont, West Virginia home to the famous Yann's Hotdogs. Saw today in the local news he had sadly passed away. I know how much you love his sauce! Love listening to you and Dana on I'll Tell You What, and love when you guys discuss West Virginia. Too often we get a bad rap, but never on your podcast! Thanks for all the work you both do!" – Jacob Ellis, Fairmont, W. Va.
[Ed. note: Oh, Mr. Ellis! Thank you so much for passing along that sad news. If America’s culinary pantheon were correctly composed, Russell Yann would surely have his place. I grew up in Wheeling where Louis’ Famous was the top dog and Coney Island was the style. Yann’s is the one plus ultra of this approach: simple, spicy and soft. It would not be until I followed the scent of newsprint to Charleston, where I worked for a decade, that I discovered the more elaborate West Virginia slaw dog and succumbed to its many virtues. Imagine if we could get Yann’s sauce on a full-dress slaw dog! Dare to dream…]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
‘RIGHT’
CWB Chicago: "A Grand Crossing man stole a towing company’s truck and then called 911 himself because he was upset that the truck’s driver dared to pull a gun on him, prosecutors said. Elliott Scott, 22, is charged with aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle, misdemeanor theft, and driving on a suspended or revoked license. ‘Mr. Scott called 911?’ a befuddled Judge Charles Beach asked prosecutors after hearing their allegations. ‘Yeah,’ Scott interjected. ‘Right.’ Scott’s defense attorney quickly advised him, ‘it’s not best to talk about the charges’ in court. Prosecutors said police responded to a call Tuesday after someone stole a flatbed tow truck operated by Chi-City Towing… The company’s owner provided police with its GPS coordinates, and cops went to that location. While police were on their way, ‘the defendant called 911 and said he stole a truck and he was upset because the owner pulled a gun on him,’ an assistant state’s attorney told Beach…"
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
"If an ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country, a statesman is a man who lies from the comfort of home." – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the Time magazine on July 31, 1995.
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

Biden Institute Donor List to Remain Secret

Biden Institute Donor List to Remain Secret joe biden exults during a campaign speech (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 18 January 2021 10:45 PM

The Biden Institute, a policy research center founded by President-elect Joe Biden in 2017, reportedly will not disclose its donors after the inauguration.

That news, reported by Politico on Monday, seemingly could create headaches for the new administration.

That is because, while other foundations and groups carrying the president-elect's name have been shut down after Biden declared his presidential candidacy in 2019, the Biden Institute continues to exist and fundraise. In fact, the research center at the University of Delaware is in the middle of a $20 million fundraising campaign.

A perception that donors might be seeking favors certainly seems possible.

Some ethics experts said Biden and his family should have severed ties with every Biden-named organization to avoid drawing allegations of wrongdoing.

"They should at the very least disclose their donors, and I think the Biden family should at the very least take their name off if they're going to continue to raise money," Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush's White House, told Politico.

"I just don't think it's worth it."

A Biden transition official emailed Politico to say the new administration would be taking steps to prevent any real or perceived "ethically compromising positions."

"The administration will adhere to high ethical standards and ensure any affiliations with outside groups will not result in special access or treatment," the official said.

Not only did a University of Delaware spokesperson say the Biden Institute was not compelled to make its list of donors public in a 2019 interview, the Penn Biden Center, a foreign policy center opened by Biden at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, also said it would keep its donor list secret.

The Washington Free Beacon reported foreign donations to the University of Pennsylvania tripled between 2016-20, going from $31 million to more than $100 million, with China the biggest donor.

The Biden family has been dogged by allegations of impropriety and charges that Biden's son Hunter swapped access to his then-veep father to land multi-million deals in China and Ukraine, per the New York Post.

The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, founded by Joe Biden following his eldest son's death in 2015, will begin making public its donors Wednesday.

Biden, who will be sworn in Wednesday, started the institute in 2017 after exiting the vice president's office.

Original Article

Biden Institute Donor List to Remain Secret

Biden Institute Donor List to Remain Secret joe biden exults during a campaign speech (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 18 January 2021 10:45 PM

The Biden Institute, a policy research center founded by President-elect Joe Biden in 2017, reportedly will not disclose its donors after the inauguration.

That news, reported by Politico on Monday, seemingly could create headaches for the new administration.

That is because, while other foundations and groups carrying the president-elect's name have been shut down after Biden declared his presidential candidacy in 2019, the Biden Institute continues to exist and fundraise. In fact, the research center at the University of Delaware is in the middle of a $20 million fundraising campaign.

A perception that donors might be seeking favors certainly seems possible.

Some ethics experts said Biden and his family should have severed ties with every Biden-named organization to avoid drawing allegations of wrongdoing.

"They should at the very least disclose their donors, and I think the Biden family should at the very least take their name off if they're going to continue to raise money," Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush's White House, told Politico.

"I just don't think it's worth it."

A Biden transition official emailed Politico to say the new administration would be taking steps to prevent any real or perceived "ethically compromising positions."

"The administration will adhere to high ethical standards and ensure any affiliations with outside groups will not result in special access or treatment," the official said.

Not only did a University of Delaware spokesperson say the Biden Institute was not compelled to make its list of donors public in a 2019 interview, the Penn Biden Center, a foreign policy center opened by Biden at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, also said it would keep its donor list secret.

The Washington Free Beacon reported foreign donations to the University of Pennsylvania tripled between 2016-20, going from $31 million to more than $100 million, with China the biggest donor.

The Biden family has been dogged by allegations of impropriety and charges that Biden's son Hunter swapped access to his then-veep father to land multi-million deals in China and Ukraine, per the New York Post.

The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, founded by Joe Biden following his eldest son's death in 2015, will begin making public its donors Wednesday.

Biden, who will be sworn in Wednesday, started the institute in 2017 after exiting the vice president's office.

Melania Trump releases farewell message: ‘It has been the greatest honor of my life’

closeTrump should ‘force the Democrats to come forward’ with incitement evidence: former Colorado senatorVideo

Trump should ‘force the Democrats to come forward’ with incitement evidence: former Colorado senator

Committee to Defend the President Chairman and former Colorado Senator Ted Harvey discusses impeachment efforts on ‘Fox & Friends First.’

Outgoing first lady Melania Trump reflected on her four years in the White House during a farewell address to the American people on Monday.

In a nearly seven-minute-long video message, Trump thanked military service members, law enforcement workers, caregivers and others who have inspired her since she entered the White House in 2017. She highlighted her work, including her leading role in the "Be Best" campaign, which sought to address cyberbullying, opioid abuse and other challenges facing America’s children.

"It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as first lady of the United States," Trump said in the video message. "I have been inspired by incredible Americans across our country who lift up our communities through their kindness and courage, goodness and grace."

The first lady spoke at length about the coronavirus pandemic, thanking health care workers for their efforts to combat the deadly virus. She called on Americans to "use caution and common sense to protect the vulnerable as millions of vaccines are now being delivered."

Trump also appeared to reference the recent violence in Washington D.C., where mobs of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

"Be passionate in everything you do, but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified," Trump said.

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In a break with longstanding tradition, the Trumps will not be in attendance for Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. The outgoing president and first lady typically attend the event to symbolize the peaceful transfer of power.

Moving trucks were spotted outside the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where the Trump family is expected to reside upon leaving office.

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Trump National Garden order includes statues of Whitney Houston, Kobe Bryant, Vince Lombardi, Frank Sinatra

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President Trump issued an executive order on Monday in which he listed dozens of "historically significant" Americans, including entertainers, founding fathers, religious figures, and others, to be featured in the new National Garden of American Heroes.

Singer Whitney Houston, basketball star Kobe Bryant, football Hall of famer Vince Lombardi and entertainer Frank Sinatra were among those dubbed historically significant.

"In short, each individual has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love," the order read.

Monday's directive follows another from July of last year, around the time when wave of racially charged demonstrations swept through the United States that resulted in the defacement of monuments and statues.

DC COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS CHANGES TO WASHINGTON MONUMENT, JEFFERSON MEMORIAL, OTHER HISTORICAL ASSETS

"Across this Nation, belief in the greatness and goodness of America has come under attack in recent months and years by a dangerous anti-American extremism that seeks to dismantle our country's history, institutions, and very identity … The National Garden is America's answer to this reckless attempt to erase our heroes, values, and entire way of life," Trump said Monday.

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Among the statues was Martin Luther King Jr. whose memory was honored in a national holiday on Monday. Other prominent figures included legendary comedian Bob Hope, former President John F. Kennedy, singer Elvis Presley, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and physicist Albert Einstein.

The order defined those as people "who made substantive contributions to America's public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America's history."

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Acting secretary of defense says no intel of insider threat to inauguration

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Fox News senior strategic analyst Jack Keane discusses security precautions for the event on ‘America’s Newsroom.’

Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said in a statement on Monday that the Department of Defense has not received any intelligence indicating a potential insider threat to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

However, Miller added that the department is "leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital," noting that all National Guardsmen deployed to Washington, D.C. will be vetted.

"This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique," Miller said. "The D.C. National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in D.C. that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command. We appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their Nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the [North Capital Region]."

The announcement comes after defense officials expressed concerns over the potential for an insider attack, following a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by pro-Trump protesters that left five dead and resulted in dozens of arrests.

The FBI warned in a memo earlier this month of potential plans for protests staged in all 50 state capitals which could occur before, on and after Inauguration Day.

INSIDER ATTACK FEARED DAYS BEFORE BIDEN'S INAUGURATION, SERVICE MEMBERS IN DC VETTED BY FBI

While members from across the military were at President Trump’s rally prior to the riot, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press it's unclear how many were there or who may have participated in the breach at the Capitol.

The U.S. Army said in a statement on Sunday that it would work with the Secret Service to determine if any service members on hand needed additional background screening. As part of the Threat Awareness and Reporting Program, military personnel are required to report "any information regarding known or suspected extremist behavior that could be a threat to the department or the U.S."

"Any type of activity that involves violence, civil disobedience, or a breach of peace may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or under state or federal law," the Army’s statement read.

The Associated Press reported that the Secret Service is in charge of event security. In addition to the National Guard and the FBI, Washington's Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Park Police will also be involved in the inauguration ceremony.

The bulk of the National Guard members at the inauguration will be armed.

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McCarthy said that Guard units are going through repeated drills to practice when and how to use force and how to work quickly with law enforcement partners, including "constant mental repetitions of looking at the map and talking through scenarios with leaders so they understand their task and purpose, they know their routes, they know where they’re friendly, adjacent units are, they have the appropriate frequencies to communicate with their law enforcement partners."

Law enforcement officers would make any arrests.

He noted that the key goal is for America’s transfer of power to happen without incident.

"This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution," said McCarthy. "We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully."

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin, Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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Eric Swalwell, prolific tweeter who had ties to Chinese spy, brings political baggage as impeachment manager

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When House Democrats present their case to senators about why they should vote to convict President Trump of the impeachment charge that he incited an insurrection in the Capitol, some say their case may be hampered by the presence of Rep. Eric Swalwell as an impeachment manager.

After months of stating falsehoods about the election results, Trump assembled a mass of his supporters in Washington, D.C., and doubled down on his debunked claims. After a rally in which Trump lambasted the Congress that was certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win, a mob of his supporters marched across the city and stormed the Capitol.

Hundreds of lawmakers were forced into hiding as the rioters overwhelmed the Capitol Police. Some chanted "Hang Mike Pence" as the vice president hid nearby. Multiple people died as a result, including one Capitol Police officer.

A week later, Trump was impeached by the House, and Swalwell was given the heavy responsibility of being on the team to present the case against Trump to the Senate in his impeachment trial. The result — although Trump will be out of office when the trial happens — could be that Trump is barred from ever holding office again.

MCCONNELL, SCHUMER MUM ON CONTOURS OF IMPEACHMENT TRIAL AS DC PREPS FOR INAUGURATION UNDER LOCKDOWN

"America is under an attack incited by President Donald Trump. Lives have been lost and future plans are in place to stop a transition of power," Swalwell said in a statement. "It is a solemn privilege to be named an impeachment manager."

But some don't believe Swalwell, D-Calif., is a serious enough person for the responsibility with which he's been entrusted.

"Pelosi could have had the House GOP Conference Chair as one of the impeachment managers and instead she went with… Swalwell," Cato Institute staff writer and former Libertarian campaign consultant Andy Craig tweeted. "That you want it to fail is just about the only reason to put Swalwell in charge of anything."

Added Federalist Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway: "I saw a NYT reporter say something to the effect of … you could tell that Dems were trying to take this impeachment more seriously than the last because they didn't have Schiff as a manager. Uhhhhhhh, Swalwell, anyone?"

Swalwell most recently has been embroiled in a controversy about whether or not he should retain his seat on the House Intelligence Committee after it was revealed by Axios he had longtime ties to a Chinese spy.

Swalwell has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but was linked with Chinese spy Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, for years. That fact has raised questions about his judgment. Fang helped raise money from others for his 2014 campaign and placed at least one intern in his office.

SPEAKER PELOSI NAMES REP. ERIC SWALWELL AMONG TRUMP IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS

Axios reported that Fang had sexual interactions with at least two Midwestern mayors. Swalwell's office on multiple occasions did not answer questions on whether or not he had sexual or romantic interactions with Fang. His office referred Fox News to a statement it gave Axios.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calf., votes to approve the second article of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Swalwell will be an impeachment manager for Trump's second impeachment trial. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calf., votes to approve the second article of impeachment against President Donald Trump during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Swalwell will be an impeachment manager for Trump's second impeachment trial. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

"Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI," the statement read. It added that Swalwell "will not participate" in the story out of concerns about possible classified information.

But outside of Swalwell's history with Fang is his Twitter history. The representative is a prolific tweeter with a track record of being antagonistic to Trump and Republican senators. This was especially true during the contentious confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Notably, Swalwell in 2018 posted a tweet at 3:24 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2018, mocking Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, over her complaints that she and her staff had received threats from those who opposed the Kavanaugh confirmation.

"Boo hoo hoo. You’re a senator who police will protect. A sexual assault victim can’t sleep in her own home tonight because of threats," Swalwell said. "Where are you sleeping? She’s on her own while you and your [Senate GOP] colleagues try to rush her through a hearing."

SEN. CORY BOOKER EXPECTS TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL 'AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE'

Swalwell later deleted the tweet and apologized: "Sexual assault victims deserve respect. And senators shouldn’t be threatened by the public. I said something stupid and minimized ugly behavior. That tweet is deleted and I’m sorry for that."

In this June 30, 2020, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Collins, who has long been critical of President Trump, is among the better bets among Republicans to vote to convict Trump at a Senate impeachment trial. (Al Drago/Pool via AP, File)

In this June 30, 2020, file photo, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Collins, who has long been critical of President Trump, is among the better bets among Republicans to vote to convict Trump at a Senate impeachment trial. (Al Drago/Pool via AP, File)

Collins' office on Monday panned Swalwell's 2018 tweet.

"Threats like these are wrong. Period," Collins Communications Director Annie Clark said. "The threats aimed at Senator Collins that Rep. Swalwell derisively mocked have since led to three arrests and two convictions. We have no idea why he thought his actions were acceptable."

The offices for Swalwell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did not immediately respond to requests for comment about whether they are worried Swalwell's baggage and temperament might harm the case for convicting Trump of the serious charge against him.

Swalwell won't be the head of the Democrats' efforts in the Senate trial. That will fall to Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who was one of the authors of the impeachment article accusing Trump of inciting an insurrection.

The other impeachment managers are Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Ted Lieu of California, Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Joe Neguse of Colorado.

Swalwell also has a history of attacking other Republican senators online.

"Let’s not give @senatemajldr McConnell too much credit by calling him #MoscowMitch," Swalwell tweeted in 2019. "Russia protects its people from gun violence by requiring background checks. Mitch is blocking that here."

DEMOCRATS WON'T COMMIT TO IMPEACHMENT TIMELINE AFTER SOUNDING ALARM ABOUT TRUMP

McConnell, R-Ky., last week left open the possibility that he could vote to convict Trump at an impeachment trial. His vote will be key, as it could provide political cover for other Republicans to vote for Trump's conviction too. This would include close McConnell allies like Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

"Senator @JohnCornyn, listen to the Chief. Keeping people safe is his job. Turns out, it’s also yours, too. But the Chief doesn’t have to count on the NRA to keep his," Swalwell said of Cornyn in 2018.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is another Republican who is considered a potential vote for Trump's conviction. So is Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.

"Ben Sasse remains the Mitt Romney of Susan Collinses: He talks a good game but generally falls into line with Trump at the drop of a hat," Swalwell said in a tweet in October, after a report that Sasse harshly criticized the president in a call with constituents.

With 50 Democrats expected to vote for Trump's conviction, 17 Republican Senators would need to join them for Trump to be convicted.

It's unclear when a Senate impeachment trial might start. Pelosi has yet to transmit the article to the Senate, which would trigger the beginning of the trial immediately.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday that he wants to ensure an impeachment trial does not interfere with other important business in the immediate aftermath of Biden's swearing-in.

"Well, we have the trial of the president. That's mandated by law," Schumer said. "Second, there's a very, very real need for President Biden to have in place key people in his Cabinet, the people in charge of national security, the people in charge of domestic security, the people in charge of making sure everyone gets vaccinated as quickly as possible."

He added: "And third, this country is in the greatest economic crisis since the Depression, the greatest health care crisis since the Spanish pandemic flu 100 years ago, and we must pass more relief for the American people. We must do all three and we have to do them all quickly. One cannot stand in the way of the other."

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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