NSC reassigns official to Energy Dept., Trump admin. dismisses rumors regarding op-ed

Photo via Victoria Coates official Twitter.

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:40 PM PT — Thursday, February 20, 2020

A National Security Council official has been reassigned to another part of the administration after her loyalty was called into question. On Thursday, the NSC confirmed Victoria Coates will leave her post as deputy adviser and join the Energy Department.

This came after the White House dismissed rumors Coates was suspected of being the anonymous author behind an anti-Trump op-ed.

“White House leadership rejects rumors that have circulated recently and does not put any stock in the suggestion that Victoria Coates is the author of ‘Anonymous: A Warning’ or the related op-ed in the New York Times,” stated one senior official. “Dr. Coates’ transition to the Department of Energy has been in the works for several weeks, and reflects the continued trust and confidence the administration places in her as she takes on this sensitive role at the Department of Energy, where she will continue working to implement the president’s agenda.”

A report from Axios this week claimed the circumstances surrounding her removal were tied to her strained relationship with top NSC staff. It alleged others in the administration believed she was behind the New York Times piece and were pushing for her removal.

FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, the south side of the White House is pictured before President Donald Trump arrives. Victoria Coates, a top official on the National Security Council, is being reassigned amid fallout over the identity of the author of the inside-the-White House tell-all book by “Anonymous.” (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

The issue has since been addressed by the president.

“I know all about Anonymous, I know a lot about the leakers too,” he said. “When I want to get something out the press, I tell certain people and it gets out there.”

In the meantime, the NSC has announced Coates will begin her new role on Monday, where she will reportedly ensure the close alignment of national security and energy policy.

“We are enthusiastic about adding Dr. Coates to DOE, where her expertise on the Middle East and national security policy will be helpful,” stated Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. “She will play an important role on our team.”

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HHS Official: U.S. can’t confirm coronavirus is related to Chinese bioweapon research

In this Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, photo, medical workers transfer a new coronavirus patient at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. Chinese authorities on Monday reported a slight upturn in new virus cases and hundred more deaths for a total of thousands since the outbreak began two months ago. (Chinatopix via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:05 PM PT — Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A top Trump administration official recently shot down rumors suggesting the coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon. While speaking to reporters at an event in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, the assistant secretary for health said they currently have no information to prove it is a manufactured virus.

Admiral Brett Giroir’s response came after members of Congress questioned the claim by China that the disease came from an animal at a market in Wuhan. The Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary went on to say health officials are trying to confirm that information amid work toward a cure.

“What we have done with our policies is we’ve bought time and time is really important,” he stated. “We have a very good diagnostic test devised by the CDC and you know there were some things that needed to be worked out in some of the controls, but it is a good diagnostic test.”

The Trump administration reportedly offered to send scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the virus in China more than a month ago, but Chinese leaders have yet to approve.

So far, the coronavirus has spread to more than 71,000 people globally and has killed nearly 2,000 people in China.

RELATED:More passengers to leave cruise ship in Cambodia after coronavirus tests

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Top White House official: Bloomberg abused “stop-and-frisk”

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters during his visit in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:27 PM PT — Sunday, February 16, 2020

A top White House official said Michael Bloomberg abused the “stop-and-frisk” policy during his years as New York City’s mayor. Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short said in an interview Sunday, “stop-and-frisk” was enforced fairly under Bloomberg’s predecessor Rudy Giuliani.

However, Short said under Mayor Bloomberg, the number of arrests of African-Americans significantly increased. This came after President Trump criticized Bloomberg for his version of “stop and frisk,” despite supporting the policy in general.

Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian associate of Rudy Giuliani who is awaiting trial on charges that he made illegal campaign contribution, walks out of federal court, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mariela Lombard)

Short claimed Bloomberg took the policy to the extreme.

“The president has said under Rudy Giuliani he thought ‘stop and frisk’ was applied legitimately.” stated Short.

Bloomberg has repeatedly apologized for alleged racial profiling as part of “stop and frisk,” but he insists the policy helped bring down crime rates in New York.

RELATED: President Trump: Bloomberg Is A Mass Of Dead Energy

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Ex-Trump campaign official Rick Gates sentenced to 45 days in jail, probation in Mueller probe

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Andy McCarthy: Mueller 'paid too much' for Gates' plea

Former U.S. attorney Andy McCarthy says the 'slap on the wrist' that Rick Gates received in exchange for his testimony in the fraud trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort makes it difficult for prosecutors to minimize his importance to their case.

Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in jail and three years of probation, after pleading guilty as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Gates was also fined $20,000 and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service. He will be allowed to serve his jail time intermittently on a schedule he works out in the future.

The sentencing came after Gates gave a short statement accepting responsibility for his actions, in remarks before District Judge Amy Jackson in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

Gates' hearing had been postponed several times since 2018, with Mueller's team citing Gates' cooperation in "several ongoing investigations." He was a former associate of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and had cooperated extensively in the case against his former partner.

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The cooperation seemed to smooth the way for more lenient treatment. The Justice Department last week said it would not oppose his recent request for probation due to his assistance, and praised Gates for his cooperation in several cases on Tuesday, in advance of Jackson's decision.

Gates, who worked closely with Manafort, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to one count of conspiracy against the U.S. and one count of making false statements to FBI agents. The counts related to his role concealing millions of dollars he made from lobbying work he and Manafort had done for Ukraine.

MANAFORT SENTENCED ON FOREIGN LOBBYING CHARGES

The plea deal was far narrower than what Gates originally faced — a host of conspiracy, false statement, fraud and other charges leveled against both him and Manafort. The special counsel's eventual move to back off most of those charges for Gates signaled federal prosecutors were yielding good information from him as they pursued a bigger case against Manafort.

Gates had intimate knowledge of Manafort’s years of political consulting work in Ukraine, and testified in the latter's trial.

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Manafort was sentenced in March to a total of roughly seven years in prison, in connection with two cases. A federal jury in Virginia convicted him on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, while he pleaded guilty in a Washington court to charges related to foreign lobbying and witness tampering.

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China criticizes U.S. for expelling Chinese diplomats

File – The U.S. and Chinese flags are pictured side by side. (Andy Wong/AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:21 AM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

China is urging the U.S. to reconsider the expulsion of two Chinese diplomats from the country. In a statement Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the U.S.’s accusation against the diplomats is “contrary to the facts” and has lodged complaints with U.S. officials.

According to reports, two diplomats drove up to an entry checkpoint at a “sensitive military installation” in Norfolk, Virginia. Instead of turning around, the diplomats drove further into the base before being stopped.

“We strongly urge the U.S. to correct its mistakes, reverse its decision and protect the legitimate rights and interests that relevant Chinese diplomats are entitled to under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” stated Geng Shunag spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

U.S. officials say they believe the incident was a test of the security at the installation, however, Chinese officials say the diplomats did not understand the guard’s instructions. This come as tensions over spying activity between the two countries is reportedly escalating.

RELATED: U.S. Expelled Chinese Officials After They Drove Onto Military Base: NYT

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Trump names Secret Service official Anthony Ornato as new deputy chief of staff for operations

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 7

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President Trump named U.S. Secret Service Deputy Assistant Director Anthony Ornato as his new Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations on Saturday.

“I have worked with Tony for 3 years – he will do a fantastic job!,” the president tweeted. “Thank you to Dan Walsh for his great service, and congratulations to Tony!”

While serving as Special Agent in Charge, Ornato accompanied the president to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in North Korea to meet with the country’s leader Kim Jong Un in June. False reports had circulated that Trump walked into North Korea without Secret Service protection.

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The White House said last month that Walsh would leave the office of operations, which plans foreign trips for the Trump administration and allocates resources for White House aides.

The role is one of three White House Deputy Chief of Staff positions and serves just under the White House Chief of Staff. The other two positions are Principal Deputy Chief of Staff, a role filled by Emma Doyle, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination, currently Chris Liddell.

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Walsh was one of the few current White House officials who had served the Trump administration since its inception; he had been a government employee for nearly three decades. Walsh has now accepted a job in the private sector, according to The Washington Post.

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