Wis. Gov. Evers defends independent redistricting commission

On Thursday Feb. 6, 2020 Gov. Tony Evers held a press conference to sign an executive order for a special session which called for the Republican-controlled Legislature to spend $250 million of a state budget surplus on public schools. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

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UPDATED 3:10 PM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is pushing forward with a plan to establish an independent redistricting commission. The Democrat governor defended the move at the National Governors Association meeting in D.C.

The commission will be tasked with creating a map proposal for the state’s upcoming redistricting process, which happens once every 10 years following the census. The governor claimed the independent commission will create a more competitive district map than the GOP-controlled state legislature. He added this new map will be fairer for voters of both parties.

“The People’s Map Commission will visit every congressional district, hear directly from folks across our state and draw fair, impartial maps for the legislature to take up next year,” stated Evers.

However, Wisconsin Republicans have expressed doubts regarding the commission’s impartiality. According to analysts, they will probably approve a map of their own in the state legislature, which has the actual legal power to approve district maps.

This will likely be vetoed by Evers, which could result in a court battle over redistricting in the state.

Original Article

N.H. Gov. Sununu defends President Trump against CNN’s ‘autocrat’ accusation

N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu at the State House in Concord, N.H., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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UPDATED 11:04 AM PT — Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu recently defended President Trump after CNN host Chris Cuomo labeled the commander-in-chief an “autocrat.”

During a debate on Monday, Cuomo questioned how Sununu could support the president’s policies after publicly bucking him for his rhetoric in the past. The New Hampshire leader said its possible to disagree with the president’s methods, while still recognizing that he “gets results.”

Gov. Sununu implied that what Cuomo sees as being “autocratic” is merely the president’s “take-no-prisoners” attitude when it comes to making deals that benefit the U.S.

Sununu pointed out the president’s strongest advantage going into the next election will be the campaign promises that he’s delivered on.

RELATED: Greta Wall Previews N.H. Primary With Faith And Freedom Executive Director

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AOC rips Trump, defends socialism in Spanish-language interview: ‘If president thinks I’m crazy, that’s a good thing’

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 24

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If President Trump thinks she's crazy, "I think that's a good thing," U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Sunday in an interview for Spanish-language television.

Speaking with "Noticias Telemundo” in Las Vegas, where the freshman congresswoman hosted a Spanish-language town hall for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez also claimed Trump is "afraid of women" — most notably "strong" and "Latina" women.

“If the president thinks that I’m crazy, I think that’s a good thing because I think it would be a problem if he said he agrees with my ideas because he has many problems,” Ocasio-Cortez told Noticias Telemundo’s Correspondent Guadalupe Venegas. “He’s racist, he’s anti-immigrant, but more than just that — his administration is corrupt. I think he’s afraid of women – of strong women, of Latina women. The values of the president are very backward.”

“If the president thinks that I’m crazy, I think that’s a good thing because I think it would be a problem if he said he agrees with my ideas because he has many problems.”

— U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

AOC RAILS AGAINST BUTTIGIEG FOR BEING 'FUNDED BY BILLIONAIRES' AFTER ACCEPTING CAMPAIGN DONATION FROM TOM STEYER

In October, Trump called Ocasio-Cortez a “Wack Job” on Twitter, to which she retorted "Better than being a criminal who betrays our country.” The social media spat came as the White House refused to comply with the impeachment inquiry by the Democrat-led House.

Ocasio-Cortez admitted Trump never explicitly told her he fears Latina women, but she claimed he’s demonstrated his fears in Twitter messages and in his State of the Union address back in February.

When asked about concerns that she and Sanders endorse socialism, Ocasio-Cortez sought to make a distinction between what’s viewed as socialism in the United States and in other countries. Venegas referenced Venezuela – where socialist policies, implemented by dictators Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, have forced more than 4 million people to flee an economic and humanitarian crisis in the country since the end of 2015, according to figures released by the UN Refugee Agency.

“When the president or other people want to say this, the first I say is look at the politics, the proposals because we’re not advocating for complete control of the economy. We’re talking about basic human economic rights – education, health care, a worthy salary,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Here in the United States, those values are called 'socialism.' And for me, that’s a commentary on the present moment in the United States. Things that are human rights are called socialism. It’s very different what we’re seeing here and in other countries.”

Ocasio-Cortez said she supports Sanders because “he understands that this isn’t a campaign about a person. It’s a campaign about our movement for working families in the United States.” She said she’ll ultimately support whichever candidate receives the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination because “we have to get this president out of office.”

“It’s not good for a country as diverse as the United States to have such an intolerant president,” she added.

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Ocasio-Cortez hosted an event in Las Vegas called “Unidos Con Bernie Reunión Política con Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” on Sunday. Nevada will host the third Democratic nominating contest in February following a primary in New Hampshire and a caucus in Iowa early next year. Sanders is dispatching Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed him for the White House in October, to appeal to Nevada’s large Latino electorate and position himself ahead of his progressive rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

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Christianity Today editor defends editorial calling for Trump’s removal

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Trump blasts evangelical magazine calling for his removal from office

Reaction from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

A top evangelical Christian writer defended on Sunday a recent scathing editorial he wrote that called for President Trump to be removed from office.

Mark Galli, the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, said in an interview with CBS’ “Face The Nation” that Trump’s support of causes important to the evangelical community can no longer excuse his actions in other areas and said the president is “morally unfit” to occupy the Oval Office.

“I am making a moral judgment that he is morally unfit or, even more precisely, it's his public morality that makes him unfit," Galli said.

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While Galli admitted that “none of us are perfect,” he added that the president "has certain responsibilities as a public figure to display a certain level of public character and public morality."

“He gives us what we need on 'pro-life' but you've got this bad character,” Galli said. “And the fundamental argument I'm making is we crossed a line somewhere in the impeachment hearings, at least in my mind, that that balance no longer works."

Can President Trump continue to count on support from evangelicals?Video

Galli has drawn criticism for the editorial he published last Thursday, but has refused to back from his criticism of Trump.

In his piece, which was published one day after the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, argued that while Democrats “have had it out for [Trump] from Day One" the facts against Trump are “unambiguous.”

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“The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” Galli wrote. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Friday Lightning Round: Evangelical magazine calls for Trump's removal from officeVideo

He added: "The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies and slanders — is a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."

Despite Galli's criticism, Trump still enjoys solid support among white envangelical voters, with a recent Fox News poll finding that 67 percent of them still approve of his job performance, compared to the overall 53 percent of Americans who disapprove of the president. The poll also found that while 50 percent of voters believe the president should be impeached and removed from office, 67 percent of white evangelicals believe Trump should not even have been impeached.

Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Original Article

Van Drew defends switch to GOP, calls impeachment of Trump ‘weak, thin’

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Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks out for first time since switching parties

Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks exclusively to 'Sunday Morning Futures' after leaving the Democrat Party.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., defended on Sunday his exit from the Democratic Party after he voted against both articles of impeachment – calling the Democrats' arguments for impeaching President Trump “weak” and "thin.”

Van Drew, who last week met with Trump following the congressman's announcement that he was joining the Republican Party, said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he has been mulling over a switch to the GOP for a while, but impeachment was the tipping point for the former Democrat.

"There has always been something in my career that let me know it’s time for a change,” Van Drew said. “I feel good…I feel I did the honorable thing.”

REP. VAN DREW, AHEAD OF EXPECTED PARTY SWITCH, COMPARES IMPEACHMENT TO HOW 'THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES OPERATE

Rumblings of a possible party switch in the midst of Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump caused members of Van Drew's caucus to accuse him of clamoring to cross the aisle in an attempt to save his bid for reelection and led to the resignations of five aides from his office.

A recent internal poll conducted for the Democrats found that 58 percent of primary voters in Van Drew's 2nd Congressional District wanted to nominate another candidate, while only 28 percent said he should be renominated.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew announces he's switched from Democrat to Republican during Oval Office meeting with TrumpVideo

"The final sign for me was, oddly enough, when one of the county chairmen said ‘you have to vote for impeachment,’” Van Drew said. “And that ‘If you don’t, you won’t be able to run in my county.’ It’s not his county, it’s everybody’s county.”

Van Drew went on to call charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress that were leveled against Trump “weak” and “thin” and lambasted his former fellow Democrats for bringing them against the president.

“This impeachment is a weak, thin impeachment,” he said. “It’s been a long, dark shadow on our country.”

“We are supposed to be there for the American people and not for political bickering,” Van Drew said. “It harms our country and it fractures us more.”

RNC to Rep. Jeff Van Drew: Welcome to the party that's getting results for the American peopleVideo

It remains to be seen how Van Drew will vote on legislation now that he is officially a Republican. Out of 659 votes in the 116th Congress, Van Drew and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have agreed only 300 times.

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As a Democrat, Van Drew voted to override Trump's veto of a bill that overturned his emergency declaration for border wall funding and voted to block Trump from withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Accord.

He has also voted to block the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and disapproved of the Trump administration's plan to lift sanctions on three Russian companies.

In addition, Van Drew has condemned comments Trump made about four congresswomen that the president dubbed "The Squad," calling the remarks racist and has pushed back on Trump's attempts to direct courts to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.

“I want to bring people together,” Van Drew said. “I always push for what I believe is right and what is best.”

Fox News Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

Original Article

Schiff defends Democrats’ impeachment case against Trump

closeRep. Adam Schiff defends Democrats' impeachment case against President TrumpVideo

Rep. Adam Schiff defends Democrats' impeachment case against President Trump

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., defended the Democrats' case for impeaching President Trump and slammed his Republican colleagues for allowing the White House to ignore congressional subpoenas.

In an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday,” Schiff said that of the two articles of impeachment brought last week against Trump, he considers obstruction of Congress to be the most serious. The other article brought against the president is abuse of power.

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“I would just say to my Republican colleagues – who appear to be on the verge of shirking their constitutional duty — if they're prepared to say a president can simply say no to any congressional subpoena and tie up the Congress for years in litigation, it is going to have to accept corruption, malfeasance, negligence, misconduct in any future president – Republican or Democrat,” Schiff told Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. “Are we really prepared to go down that road?”

Chris Wallace addresses importance of a free press at Newseum's final public eventVideo

Schiff added: “In many respects I consider this to be the most serious of the articles because it would fundamentally alter the balance of power and allow for much greater misconduct in the chief executive of the country.”

Schiff – who has become arguably the most visible Democratic face in the impeachment process – also balked at the assertion that he was a fact witness and should have been called to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last week. Republicans have consistently called for Schiff to testify amid reports that he, or his staff, had contact with the whistleblower who first reported concerns about Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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“This isn’t about fact witness,” he said. “There are, in fact, members of Congress who are witnesses.

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He continued: Senator [Ron] Johnson [a Wisconsin Republican] had a discussion with the president. Senator [Lindsey] Graham [a Republican from South Carolinia] had discussions with the president about the withholding of aid. They may be fact witnesses. We didn’t seek to call them. We’re not seeking to make a circus out of this.”

A full U.S. House vote is likely to come this upcoming week before Congress adjourns for the year, and the Senate is likely to vote in January or February.

Original Article

White House defends Melania Trump’s public silence on president’s tweet mocking Greta Thunberg

closeTime names Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the YearVideo

Time names Greta Thunberg its 2019 Person of the Year

Magazine pushes climate change narrative by honoring teen activist; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'

The White House is pushing back against claims that First Lady Melania Trump is being hypocritical for criticizing attacks on her teenage son Barron, but not her husband's attack on 16-year-old Greta Thunberg

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Friday that Barron was in a different category from Thunberg because she's a climate activist "who travels the world giving speeches."

Grisham's statement came one day after President Trump attacked TIME Magazine's decision to dub Thunberg "Person of the Year."

"So ridiculous," Trump tweeted. "Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!"

MEGHAN MCCAIN: TIME'S 'PERSON OF THE YEAR' SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE WHISTLEBLOWER, NOT GRETA THUNBERG

After Trump's attack, some accused Melania Trump of hypocrisy given that she had just defended her son Barron against a Stanford University law professor who mentioned him during a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.

"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it," the first lady said in response to a quip by Pamela Karlan.

TIME NAMES GRETA THUNBERG ITS 2019 PERSON OF THE YEAR

The first lady frequently receives criticism over the apparent irony in her fronting the "Be Best" anti-cyber-bullying campaign given her husband's habit of mocking political opponents and others on Twitter.

“It is no secret that the president and first lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do,” Grisham said.

Former first lady Michelle Obama encouraged Thunberg while traveling in Vietnam this week, saying, “don’t let anyone dim your light,”

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Mrs. Obama added: “Like the girls I’ve met in Vietnam and all over the world, you have so much to offer us all. Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on.”

Thunberg responded to Trump's attack by changing her Twitter profile description to describe herself as a "teenager working on her anger management problem."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article