Pompeo closes first trip to Africa with comments to steer Ethiopia’s leaders away from China’s influence

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday Feb. 19, 2020. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)

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UPDATED 7:25 AM PT — Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with business leaders in Africa to discuss China’s influence in the country. On Wednesday, he gave a speech to the UN Economic Commission in Addis Ababa, where he advised against input from China.

Pompeo added fuel to criticism from President Trump about China’s ability to send poor countries further into debt when funding infrastructure projects.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has continued working to limit China’s authority in Africa. Secretary Pompeo warned leaders that deals with China are often unstable.

“Not every nation doing business in Africa from outside the continent adapts the American model of partnership,” he explained. “Countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises; they breed corruption, dependency…they don’t hire the local people, they don’t train, they don’t lead them.”

Pompeo did not officially announce any new projects, but told the group of leaders that the president loves to make deals.

RELATED: U.S. to offer financial support for Ethiopia political reforms

Original Article

Bloomberg accused of ‘racism’ over redlining comments

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg poses for photographs with supporters during his campaign launch of “Mike for Black America,” at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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UPDATED 7:56 AM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020

Mike Bloomberg is facing new accusations of racism due to his remarks in defense of so-called ‘redlining.’ A resurfaced video from 2008 shows Bloomberg stating that the decision to prohibit ‘redlining’ caused the mortgage meltdown and global financial crisis at the time.

‘Redlining’ was a banking practice of denying loans to residents of impoverished neighborhoods. Bloomberg argued banks could not return their loans as a result of the push for social justice.

Some critics have said this latest controversy, along with Bloomberg’s recent apologies for stop-and-frisk policies, could derail his campaign’s outreach to left-leaning, non-white voters.

RELATED: Michael Bloomberg comments on stop-and-frisk policy

Original Article

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin criticized for comments on pardon of convicted child rapist

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 20

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 20 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin defended his pardon of a man found guilty of raping a 9-year-old child, saying the conviction was not based on physical evidence.

Micah Schoettle was in the second year of a 23-year sentence when Bevin controversially pardoned him of rape, sodomy and other sexual crimes last week.

"There was zero evidence," Bevin said during a 17-minute radio interview with talk show host Terry Meiners on Thursday, according to The Courier-Journal.

He noted the girl's sister was in the room during the alleged incident and denied the sexual assaults occured.

"Both their hymens were intact," he added. "This is perhaps more specific than people would want, but trust me. If you have been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically."

KENTUCKY REPUBLICAN GOV. MATT BEVIN CONCEDES TO DEM ANDY BESHEAR IN REELECTION BID

In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin looks out at the crowd during a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Lexington, Ky. Bevin, who lost to Democrat Andy Beshear last month in a close race, is being criticized for comments he made during a Thursday radio interview about pardoning a man convicted of raping a young child. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin looks out at the crowd during a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Lexington, Ky. Bevin, who lost to Democrat Andy Beshear last month in a close race, is being criticized for comments he made during a Thursday radio interview about pardoning a man convicted of raping a young child. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Prosecutors opposed to the pardon blasted Bevin for his comments on the case.

“He obviously did not do any research on this matter or he would know that only 2 percent of sexual assault victims show any visible physical injury as a result of the rapes that they’ve suffered,” said Rob Sanders, prosecutor in Kenton County who put Schoettle away. “This is the kind of foolish ignorance that prosecutors have been working for decades to overcome.”

Kentucky's former chief medical examiner Dr. George Nichols said Bevin's comments were factually inaccurate.

Gov. Matt Bevin says Kentucky voters are outraged by impeachment 'charade'Video

KENTUCKY GOV. MATT BEVIN RAISES VOTER-FRAUD CONCERNS AS UNOFFICIAL TALLY HAS HIM TRAILING BY 5,000 VOTES

“Rape is not proved by hymen penetration,” he told the newspaper. “Rape is proved by phallic penetration … where the vaginal lips meet the outer surface of the vagina."

“He not only doesn’t know the law, in my humble opinion, he clearly doesn’t know medicine and anatomy,” he added.

Bevin, a Republican, pardoned 428 people, including some violent offenders, between when he lost his re-election bid on Nov. 5 and his final day in office on Dec. 9. The pardons have prompted an investigation by Sanders' office.

Bevin concedes to Beshear in Kentucky governor's raceVideo

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The probe is expected to look into whether Schoettle's pardon is connected to his family's wealth and political connections.

Several of Bevin's other pardons have also drawn rebuke. The pardon of Patrick Baker, who was convicted of murder and other crimes, was also criticized. His family held a political fundraiser for Bevin last year that raised $21,500. Two others charged alongside Baker for the murder of Donald Mills are still in prison.

Fox News' Morgan Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Schiff called ‘hypocrite’ as past comments criticizing Clinton impeachment emerge

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Adam Schiff: A free and fair election in 2020 cannot happen unless Trump is impeached

Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee chairman, presents his argument for impeaching President Trump by accusing Trump of cheating in another election

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., arguably the most visible face of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, has brushed off GOP criticism that the spectacle leaves him ignoring critical pieces of legislation and his own constituents in California’s 28th District.

But 20 years ago, Schiff was using that same argument when he first ran for Congress against Republican incumbent James Rogan.

CHRIS WALLACE INTERVIEWS FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY AND HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIR ADAM SCHIFF ON 'FOX NEWS SUNDAY'

“I think impeachment for most people in this district is only the most graphic illustration of an incumbent who has put the national partisan, ideological fights ahead of representing his district,” Schiff, then a California state senator, said during an interview with NBC at the time regarding Rogan’s role in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. “People want to decide this on the basis of who’s going to serve our community.”

Schiff, who ended up defeating Rogan for the state’s 27th District seat in what was then the most expensive House race in history, made his opponent’s involvement in the Clinton impeachment a key talking point during his time on the campaign trail in 1999 and 2000.

“Jim Rogan is in trouble for reasons that have nothing to do with impeachment,” Schiff told the Boston Globe in 1999. “I think a lot of people are unhappy that Jim Rogan has ignored the district for five years.”

Rep. Adam Schiff lays out findings of House Democrats' impeachment investigationVideo

He added in an interview with the Associated Press that Rogan’s constituents were “relegated to a lower-tier priority compared to the national, partisan agenda.”

Schiff’s comments are now coming back to haunt him as he runs for re-election next year, with his Republican opponents dredging up such past statements amid his lead role in the impeachment push against Trump.

IMPEACHMENT NEEDLE NOT MOVING, MAJORITY OF VOTERS OPPOSE IMPEACHMENT

“Adam Schiff is a total hypocrite,” Eric Early, a Republican attorney challenging Schiff in 2020, told Fox News. “He first ran for Congress opposing impeachment and saying he would fix problems in the district. Now, two decades of completely abandoning our district later, Schiff thinks this impeachment outrage is a good idea, and he still hasn't fixed a single problem in the district.”

“He disrespects America by trying to undo the 2016 election and spends all this time putting on makeup for his next TV hit," Early added. "He's a national disgrace, and California voters deserve better."

House Judiciary Committee debates articles of impeachment against President TrumpVideo

Members of both parties who were around for the Clinton impeachment have largely reversed their talking points and general view on the process in light of the Trump inquiry. Republicans, for their part, have adopted the complaints Democrats once used in the late '90s.

But they point to differences, including that then-independent counsel Kenneth Starr's report outlined for Congress 11 counts of potentially impeachable offenses for Clinton. In this case, Democrats have themselves handled the investigation into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rivals while withholding aid.

Another candidate running for Schiff’s seat, Jennifer Barbosa, echoed Early’s comments during a recent interview on “Fox & Friends,” while claiming that Schiff has done nothing to combat the rise of homelessness in his district.

Schiff's 28th congressional district has seen a 12 percent spike in homelessness over the last year, with 59,000 homeless people now living in Los Angeles County, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And 75.2 percent of those homeless citizens are unsheltered and without refuge.

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"Adam Schiff has been my congressman since 2012. He became my congressman through the redistricting process," Barbosa, an independent, said. "Since he became my congressman he has not presented any legislation that's become law. In terms of homelessness, what he's done is he's basically rubber-stamped Maxine Waters' bill to deal with homelessness, and her bill essentially replicated the same failed policies that [L.A.] Mayor [Eric] Garcetti has implemented in our city over the past few years."

Jim Jordan: Adam Schiff is obstructing the House impeachment inquiry, not TrumpVideo

Schiff’s campaign did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, earlier in the week, during a press conference to announce the articles of impeachment against Trump, Schiff defended both the inquiry into Trump and the speed of bringing forth articles of impeachment.

“We stand here today because the president’s abuse of power leaves us with no choice,” he said.

Fox News’ Nick Givas contributed to this report.

Original Article

‘It’s a disgrace’: Trump comments on DOJ watchdog Horowitz report

closePresident Trump says findings from DOJ inspector general's report are far worse than imaginedVideo

President Trump says findings from DOJ inspector general's report are far worse than imagined

Trump speaks after Department of Justice watchdog releases report on Russia investigation.

Although the long-awaited internal watchdog findings from the Justice Department’s inspector general on Monday undercut his claim that he was the target of a “witch hunt,” President Trump fired back that the report concerning the origins of the Russia investigation showed “an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it.”

"It's a disgrace what's happened with the things that were done to our country … it's incredible, far worse than what I ever thought possible," he said.

He noted it shouldn’t happen to another president, and he called it an embarrassment.

“Never, ever again should this happen in our country.”

Trump asked former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to comment on the IG report, and she said the country should be outraged.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Trump, added: “People lied, and tried to subvert democracy.”

READ: DOJ INSPECTOR GENERAL'S FISA REPORT

The report said that although the Russia probe's launch complied with DOJ and FBI policies, there were "significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised."

Specifically, the report concluded that investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding the probe's launch and efforts to seek a highly controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the early months of the Russia investigation — but faulted the FBI over numerous errors in the application process.

The IG probe identified at least 17 "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in the Page applications, and said they would launch a new audit into the FISA process.

Attorney General William Barr releases scathing statement on inspector general's FISA reportVideo

IG Michael Horowitz and his investigators probed how the unverified anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was used to secure the original FISA warrant for Page in October 2016 as well as other decisions at the outset of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of Russian election interference and the Trump campaign, known within the FBI by the name "Crossfire Hurricane."

The report confirmed that information obtained from Steele was instrumental in the FBI's ability to acquire a FISA warrant on Page, saying the FBI omitted information that allowed them to obtain renewals.

The report revealed that when the FBI team handling the Russia probe first considered getting a FISA warrant for Page in August 2016, FBI attorneys thought it was a "close call" as to whether they had sufficient cause. The following month, right after the FBI received information from Steele, FBI attorneys gave the investigative team the go-ahead.

Horowitz conducted more than 170 interviews involving more than 100 witnesses, including former FBI director James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Russia investigation, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, along with FBI agents and analysts.

Video

“It’s a sad day when a lot of people see that,” Trump added about the IG report. “They know nothing — it was concocted.”

Trump reiterated he was more eager for the report of John Durham, the hand-picked prosecutor selected by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a separate review of the Russia probe.

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Barr rejected the inspector general’s conclusion that there was sufficient evidence to open the investigation.

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article