President Trump slams prosecutors in Roger Stone case, threatens lawsuit over Mueller probe

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he boards Air Force One as he departs Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:50 PM PT — Tuesday, February 18, 2020

President Trump recently slammed federal prosecutors who worked the Roger Stone case and threatened to sue everyone behind the Mueller probe.

In a string of tweets Tuesday, he said the Russia investigation was “badly tainted” and should be thrown out altogether. The president also said it was “illegally set up” based on a discredited dossier as well as forged documents to the FISA court.

The president went on to point out that Mueller lied to Congress when he said he did not come to the White House with the intention of becoming the FBI director.

Meanwhile, the federal judge overseeing the Roger Stone case has declined to delay his sentencing amid calls for a new trial. In a teleconference with prosecutors and the defense Tuesday, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said delaying the sentencing would not be a “prudent” thing to do.

FILE- In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone waits in line at the federal court in Washington. The Justice Department said it will take the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it will seek for Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The judge said she’s considering holding a hearing on the request for a new trial, but added that she wasn’t sure if it was necessary.

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, however, Jackson indicated his sentence wouldn’t go into effect until after she makes a decision on the possibility of a new trial

RELATED: Former Trump adviser launches ‘Pardon Roger Stone’ Committee

Original Article

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov slams U.S. sanctions against Venezuela

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gestures at the end of his visit, as Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez stands behind, at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:43 PM PT — Saturday, February 8, 2020

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slammed U.S. sanctions against Venezuela during his visit to Caracas. Lavrov was joined by President Nicolas Maduro at a press conference on Friday, where he reiterated Russian support and solidarity against pressure by the U.S.

“We have firmly expressed our support to Venezuela’s sovereignty, our solidarity with the Venezuelan leadership and nation in their battle against illegal pressure, which is being imposed by the U.S. and its allies,” he said.

He also vowed to boost bilateral trade between the two countries and to develop cooperation in various sectors.

“It’s also important to develop military cooperation to help Venezuela defend themselves against outside threats,” stated Lavrov. “We reiterate our solidarity with, and respect for, the Venezuelan people against the illegitimate pressure by the United States and those who support such measures.”

The foreign minister added he supports a government backed dialogue as an alternative to uprisings and interventions.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, right, shakes hands with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a photo opportunity at the end of their meeting at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Lavrov is visiting Venezuela in a show of support for Maduro as mounting pressure from Washington threatens to cut off the socialist leader from a key financial ally in Moscow. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Original Article

Rudy Giuliani slams Fox political specialist for ‘spreading lies’

FILE – In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:00 PM PT — Friday, February 7, 2020

Fox News found itself in hot water after Rudy Giuliani accused one of the network’s senior specialists of “spreading lies.” On Thursday, Giuliani tweeted, “I challenge Bryan Murphy to a debate on Fox on the lies he is spreading.”

Murphy is a political affairs specialist on the network’s research team. He recently wrote an internal memo titled “Ukraine Disinformation and the Trump Administration,” in which he questioned the credibility of some of the network’s top commentators and contributors. The memo was then leaked to the public, which prompted backlash.

Murphy accused Giuliani of having “high susceptibility to Ukrainian disinformation.” The former mayor responded by saying, “Fox owes us an opportunity to respond to this attack.”

“I can prove what I’m saying, can he?” asked Giuliani.

The memo went on to target network correspondent and investigative journalist John Solomon. Murphy said Solomon “uses unreliable sources, focuses on stories (that are) part of the disinformation campaign and also misrepresents his sources.”

The final two victims, couple Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova, are attorneys who frequently guest star on the network as commentators. Murphy argued they have ulterior financial motives related to their non-disclosure agreements.

Giuliani said if he gets the opportunity to debate, he may bring Toensing and DiGenova to support him. He added, “All facts are backed up by witnesses, documents and tapes.”

Original Article

President Trump slams Democrats for handling of Iowa caucuses, impeachment

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks to reporters before boarding Marine One at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, for the short flight to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:00 PM PT — Friday, February 7, 2020

President Trump is mocking Democrats after their major failure in Iowa. On Friday, the president tweeted he thinks Democrats should blame Russia again for their problems.

Attached to his statement was a report by the Associated Press, which said they could not determine a winner from the Iowa caucuses. The outlet has said this was due to too many irregularities in the process as well as the tight margin between presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.

President Trump noted no one “knows who the real winner is.”

The president further questioned how Democrats will be able to run U.S. healthcare if they can’t even count votes properly.

“They couldn’t even take a simple tabulation, and yet, they’re telling you how to run the country and how to run healthcare,” he said. “Think of it, all the money the Democrats spent and the votes are fried – they have no idea who won.”

In this Feb. 4, 2020 photo, a pedestrian walks past a sign for the Iowa Caucuses on a downtown skywalk, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The president also spoke out against Democrats’ latest lawsuit against him, which was rejected in D.C.’s Circuit Court of Appeals.

Earlier in the day, he took aim at Democrats in general, saying they have “Trump derangement syndrome.” He said this was on full display when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of his State of the Union speech.

“Well, I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech,” said President Trump. “I thought it was very disrespectful to the chamber, to the country.”

He went on to say the House’s impeachment against him should be expunged because it was “a total political hoax.”

RELATED: President Trump: Schiff And Pelosi Are Lousy, Vicious Politicians

Original Article

President Trump slams top Democrat lawmakers as defense team delivers opening arguments in impeachment trial

President Donald Trump speaks to a bipartisan group of the nation’s mayors in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:05 AM PT — Saturday, January 25, 2020

President Trump blasted top congressional Democrats as his defense team delivered opening remarks in Saturday’s impeachment hearing. In a tweet, the president said, “Our case against lyin’, cheatin’, liddle’ Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nervous Nancy Pelosi…and the entire radical left starts today.”

He encouraged his followers to catch the trial on One America News. He also joked they could tune in to “Fake News CNN” or “Fake News MSDNC.”

House Democrats have argued the president abused his position by soliciting help from foreign country to investigate a political opponent. President Trump has long denied wrongdoing and said he’s confident in his case against them. Prior to the proceedings, he advised his legal team to “just be honest, just tell the truth.”

In this image from video, White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin speaks during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

President Trump’s defense team is expected to lay out a case against allegations of abuse of power by the president. Among those set to speak are White House Counselor Pat Cipollone, Clinton impeachment investigator Ken Starr and attorney Jay Sekulow.

On Saturday, Cipollone slammed the Democrat-led effort as a push to redo the 2016 presidential election. He said Democrats do not have enough evidence to remove President Trump from office and added the Senate cannot make a decision without merit.

“They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country, on your own initiative, and take that decision away from the American people,” he said. “I don’t think they spent one minute of their 24 hours talking to you about the consequences of that.”

In this image from video, White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Sekulow said the team intends to show there is overwhelming evidence the president did nothing wrong. During Saturday’s proceedings, the attorney said disagreeing with the President Trump’s decisions on foreign policy, or whose advice he is going to take, is in “no way” an impeachable offense.

He also accused House impeachment managers of trying to re-litigate the Mueller probe. He suggested they are making false inferences about others’ intentions.

“This case is really not about presidential wrongdoing. This entire impeachment process is about the House managers’ insistence that they are able to read everybody’s thoughts. They can read everybody’s intention, even when the principal speakers (and) the witnesses themselves insist that those interpretations are wrong.” – Jay Sekulow, Counsel for President Trump

The attorney also pointed out the president has placed holds on aid a number of times to foreign countries.

In this image from video, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, speaks during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

Saturday marked the fifth day of the Senate impeachment trial. The legal team is set to argue for three days and will reportedly focus on Joe Biden’s efforts to get Ukraine’s former top prosecutor dismissed on corruption concerns.

RELATED: President Trump’s Legal Team Could Opt For Shorter Defense & Sen. Ernst Blasts Democrats Over Double Standards When It Comes To Ukraine Aid

Original Article

FISA court slams FBI over surveillance applications, in rare public order

closeWhat is the future of the FBI following revealing IG report on FISA applications?Video

What is the future of the FBI following revealing IG report on FISA applications?

Reaction and analysis from Kira Davis, Tomi Lahren, and Rep. Matt Gaetz.

In a rare public order Tuesday, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court strongly criticized the FBI over its surveillance-application process, giving the bureau until Jan. 10 to come up with solutions, in the wake of findings from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

The order, from the court's presiding judge Rosemary M. Collyer, came just a week after the release of Horowitz's withering report about the wiretapping of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"The FBI's handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above," Collyer wrote in her four-page order. "The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable."

Horowitz said he did not find significant evidence that FBI agents were involved in a political conspiracy to undermine Trump's candidacy in 2016. However, the report did find numerous errors and inaccuracies used by FBI agents to obtain permission to monitor Page's phone calls and emails.

While Collyer's order did not specify exactly what reforms the FBI needed to implement to its policies for obtaining permission to wiretap people under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the order did say that the FISA court will weigh in on whether the reforms are deemed sufficient.

"The [FISA court] expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the court," Collyer wrote. "Without it, the [FISA court] cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis."

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

Original Article

McConnell slams door on impeachment trial witnesses

closeMcConnell rips Schumer's requests for Senate impeachment trial: This could set a 'nightmarish precedent'Video

McConnell rips Schumer's requests for Senate impeachment trial: This could set a 'nightmarish precedent'

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell accuses Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer's letter of misquoting the Constitution and misunderstanding the impeachment process.

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: McConnell slams door on impeachment trial witnesses – Congress readies rush vote on porky spending plan – Dems settle union hash to save debate – House GOP stalwart Walker quits after redistricting – Next time, stick with the little trees
MCCONNELL SLAMS DOOR ON IMPEACHMENT TRIAL WITNESSES
WaPo: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday rejected calls from his Democratic counterpart to subpoena new witnesses in a Senate trial of President Trump, calling it ‘a strange request at this juncture.’ McConnell was responding to a letter from Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) seeking testimony from senior administration officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who declined to appear in House impeachment proceedings. The House, meanwhile, was expected to move one step closer to impeaching Trump on Tuesday, as the Rules Committee prepared to meet to set the parameters for the historic debate on Wednesday over Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine. … Two Democratic aides said Tuesday that a procedural measure setting up debate on the articles will empower House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to name managers ‘at any point’ after the House votes to impeach Trump.”
Swing district Dems fall in, setting up Wednesday vote – WSJ: “More Democrats from competitive House districts said they will back the impeachment of President Trump, putting the effort on track to pass this week despite some fears that their position could put their seats at risk. The House plans to vote on Wednesday. With Mr. Trump’s impeachment looking likely, Democratic leaders are also to soon announce which members had been suggested as impeachment managers – essentially prosecutors – during the Senate trial, which is expected to kick off in January. Democrats have largely united behind impeachment. By Monday afternoon, at least 17 from the 31 Democratic-held districts that Mr. Trump won in the 2016 presidential race had announced they would support the abuse-of-power and obstruction of Congress charges, according to a Wall Street Journal survey, with two saying they are opposed.”
Voters not budging – WaPo: “As the House prepares to vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, Americans remain both deeply divided and locked into their positions over which course lawmakers should pursue, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. … Despite the stalemate, most Democrats and Republicans alike expect that a likely Senate impeachment trial will give Trump a fair hearing. Bipartisan majorities, including almost 2 in 3 Republicans, also say he should allow his top aides to testify, something he blocked during the House inquiry. On the eve of the House vote, 49 percent of Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 46 percent say he should not. Those are essentially identical to findings at the end of October, when 49 percent favored impeachment and removal and 47 percent opposed.”
Q Poll: Independents oppose impeachment – Quinnipiac University: “Republicans say President Trump should not be impeached from office 95 – 5 percent, independents say the president should not be impeached and removed from office 58 – 36 percent, while Democrats say President Trump should be impeached and removed from office 86 – 11 percent. Nearly 9 out of 10 voters who have an opinion, 87 percent, say their mind is made up about impeachment, while 12 percent say they might change their mind.”
CONGRESS READIES RUSH VOTE ON PORKY SPENDING PLAN
AP: “House leaders on Monday unveiled a $1.4 trillion government-wide spending package that’s carrying an unusually large load of unrelated provisions catching a ride on the last train out of Congress this year. A House vote is slated for Tuesday on the sprawling package, some 2,313 pages long, as lawmakers wrap up reams of unfinished work — and vote on impeaching President Donald Trump. The legislation would forestall a government shutdown this weekend and give Trump steady funding for his U.S.-Mexico border fence. The year-end package is anchored by a $1.4 trillion spending measure that caps a difficult, months-long battle over spending priorities. … The bill would also increase the age nationwide for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21, and offers business-friendly provisions on export financing, flood insurance and immigrant workers.”
THE RULEBOOK: PEN OR SWORD?
“It is a singular instance of the capriciousness of the human mind, that after all the admonitions we have had from experience on this head, there should still be found men who object to the new Constitution, for deviating from a principle which has been found the bane of the old, and which is in itself evidently incompatible with the idea of GOVERNMENT; a principle, in short, which, if it is to be executed at all, must substitute the violent and sanguinary agency of the sword to the mild influence of the magistracy.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 15
TIME OUT: DNA FROM ABC GUM
Smithsonian: “Some of the first chewing gums, made of birch tar and other natural substances, have been preserved for thousands of years, including a 5,700-year-old piece of Stone Age gum unearthed in Denmark. For archaeologists, the sticky stuff’s longevity can help piece together the lives of ancient peoples who masticated on the chewy tar. The ancient birch gum in Scandinavia preserved enough DNA to reconstruct the full human genome of its ancient chewer, identify the microbes that lived in her mouth, and even reveal the menu of a prehistoric meal. … Birch pitch, made by heating the tree’s bark, was commonly used across Scandinavia as a prehistoric glue for attaching stone tools to handles. When found, it commonly contains tooth marks. Scientists suspect several reasons why people would have chewed it: to make it malleable once again after it cooled, to ease toothaches because it’s mildly antiseptic, to clean teeth, to ease hunger pains, or simply because they enjoyed it.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 26.6 points (no change in points from last wk.)
Sanders: 18 points (↑ 0.6 points from last wk.)
Warren: 14.8 points (↓ 3.4 points from last wk.)
Buttigieg: 9.2 points (↓ 0.8 points from last wk.)
Bloomberg: 5.4 points (first listing)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, USA Today/Suffolk University, NPR/PBS/Marist, Fox News and IBD.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 44.4 percent
Average disapproval: 51.8 percent
Net Score: -7.4 percent
Change from one week ago: ↑ 2.2 points
[Average includes: CNN: 44% approve – 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 43% approve – 52% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk University: 48% approve – 50% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; IBD: 44% approve – 52% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
DEMS SETTLE UNION HASH TO SAVE DEBATE
Fox News: “A tentative agreement has been struck in a labor dispute between food service workers and their employer at Loyola Marymount University that threatened to derail Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate. The food services company Sodexo negotiated late into Monday evening with their employees at Loyola Marymount University to secure a tentative contract agreement. A formal vote is expected to take place on Tuesday. Unite Here Local 11 – the labor union representing the workers – said last Friday that they would picket the debate at the Los Angeles-area school if no agreement was reached with Sodexo. All seven Democratic presidential candidates who qualified for the debate said they wouldn’t cross a picket line to take the stage, which threw the debate into limbo. The three-year tentative agreement includes a 25 percent increase in salary, a 50 percent drop in health care costs, and increases in workers’ job security. All sides are expected to release more details at a Tuesday afternoon news conference in Los Angeles.”
Biden still rising in Q Poll – Quinnipiac University: “In the Democratic primary race for president, former Vice President Joe Biden leads the field with 30 percent of the vote among Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic. Biden is followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 17 percent, Sen. Bernie Sanders with 16 percent, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 9 percent. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has 7 percent, while businessman Andrew Yang and Sen. Amy Klobuchar get 3 percent each. No other candidate tops 2 percent. There is still a lot of room for movement in the Democratic primary as 61 percent say they might change their mind, while 38 percent say their mind is made up.”
New scrutiny for old harassment claims against Bloomberg – ABC News: “Mike Bloomberg has on repeated occasions faced and fought allegations that he directed crude and sexist comments to women in his office, including a claim in the 1990s that he told an employee who had just announced she was pregnant to ‘kill it.’ …[O]ver the years a number of women have alleged in legal filings that Bloomberg’s use of lewd comments around co-workers fostered a frat-like culture at the company he founded and still owns. … Quotes attributed to him in court filings include, ‘I’d like to do that piece of meat,’ and ‘I would DO you in a second.’ Court records reviewed by ABC News indicate that at least 17 women have taken legal action against the company over the past three decades, with three of the cases specifically naming Bloomberg for his role in the company’s culture. None of the cases made it to trial…”
Can Warren and Sanders stay friendly? – NYT: “For center-left Democrats, that’s exactly their hope — that [Warren and Sanders] divide votes in so many contests that neither is able to capture the nomination. Moderates in the party fear that if Ms. Warren or Mr. Sanders pull away — or if they ultimately join forces — the ticket would unnerve independent voters and go down in defeat against President Trump. Interviews with aides from both camps — who spoke on the condition they not be named because they warn their own surrogates not to criticize the other — produce a common refrain. The two candidates are loath to attack each other because they fear negativity would merely antagonize the other’s supporters. The only way to eventually poach the other’s voters, each campaign believes, is by winning considerably more votes in the first caucuses and primaries.”
HOUSE GOP STALWART WALKER QUITS AFTER REDISTRICTING
Politico: “Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) won't seek public office next year, backing off after threatening to primary GOP Sen. Thom Tillis and two members of his own delegation. He announced his decision Monday, a stunning outcome for the ambitious politician just weeks after court-prompted redistricting turned his reliably Republican seat in north-central North Carolina into safe Democratic territory. Walker, a member of House GOP leadership and former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was first elected to an open seat in 2014. In the statement, Walker said he would seriously consider running for Senate in 2022, when GOP Sen. Richard Burr is expected to retire after finishing his current term. Walker initially seemed desperate to remain on the ballot in 2020.”
Dems play favorites in Texas Senate primary – Texas Tribune: “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is endorsing MJ Hegar in the crowded primary to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. The move by the DSCC, the political arm of Senate Democrats, is one of the biggest developments yet in the nominating contest, which has drawn a dozen candidates — some more serious than others but no decisive frontrunners. The endorsement drew pushback from at least four of Hegar's competitors, two of whom accused national Democrats of snubbing more diverse candidates for Hegar, who is white.”
PLAY-BY-PLAY
Walter Russell Mead
: A Burkean landslide in Britain – WSJ
GOP push to reform FISA gains momentum in wake of Horowitz report
Fox News
AUDIBLE: ICONOGRAPHY
“Obviously his hair, obviously just how big he is, and just his eyes. I mean just everything about him.” – NYT photographer Doug Mills in an interview with CBS News explaining why President Trump is the most iconic president he’s photographed.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“I saw you on [Special Report with] Bret Baier discussing the upcoming Democratic debate, and the qualification rules that are preventing some minority candidates from appearing on the debate stage. Aren’t Cory Booker and Julian Castro just asking the Democratic Party for a little affirmative action? It seems hypocritical to me for the Democrats to push affirmative action for everyone else, but not themselves. Your thoughts?” – Kevin Cook, Farmers Branch, Texas
[Ed. note: I don’t know about that, but I do know that the main purpose of political parties is choosing candidates to compete in and, they hope, win elections. It’s reasonable to argue that Democrats would be ill-served in the election to have a white, male nominee in his late 70s when mobilizing younger, female and minority voters is a party. It’s equally reasonable to argue, though, that it’s important for Democrats to have a candidate who can connect with working-class, older white voters who shunned the party in 2016. But those are debates between candidates and campaigns, not for the party itself. I also think the DNC is getting a raw deal here. Their debate thresholds have been, if anything, far too permissive, as evinced by the fact that we’re only seeing fewer than 10 candidates on stage for the first time in December.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
NEXT TIME, STICK WITH THE LITTLE TREES
Fox News: “A driver in England accidentally blew up his car when he lit a cigarette after spraying air freshener inside, officials said. The unidentified man sprayed an ‘excessive’ amount of aerosol spray in his car, which was parked in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on Saturday when he decided to grab a cigarette. Witnesses told the Manchester Evening News they heard an ‘enormous bang’ — and saw the car's windows shatter and nearby buildings shake. The driver reportedly made it out of the car with minor injuries and was treated by first responders, but West Yorkshire Police said in a statement the situation ‘could have been worse.’ ‘The owner of a car parked on that street and had used an air freshener can but not ventilated his car before lighting his cigarette,’ West Yorkshire Police said in a statement. ‘The fumes exploded and blew out his windscreen, along with some windows at nearby business premises.’”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“A standardized math test was given to 13-year-olds in six countries last year. Koreans did the best. Americans did the worst, coming in behind Spain, Britain, Ireland and Canada. Now the bad news. Besides being shown triangles and equations, the kids were shown the statement ‘I am good at mathematics.’ Koreans came last in this category. Only 23% answered yes. Americans were No. 1, with an impressive 68% in agreement. American students may not know their math, but they have evidently absorbed the lessons of the newly fashionable self-esteem curriculum wherein kids are taught to feel good about themselves.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on Feb. 5, 1990.
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

Trump slams Pelosi, says Dems using impeachment for ‘political gain’ after Judiciary vote

closeTrump: Pelosi started impeachment hoax two years before UkraineVideo

Trump: Pelosi started impeachment hoax two years before Ukraine

President Trump points out Nancy Pelosi slipped up when she admitted democrats started impeachment two-years before the Ukraine phone call

President Trump called Speaker Nancy Pelosi a "liar" and accused Democrats of trivializing an impeachment process that should only be used "in an emergency," in his first comments after House Democrats advanced articles of impeachment against him.

"It's a scam. It's something that shouldn't be allowed," Trump said in the Oval Office Friday. "And it's a very bad thing for our country and you're trivializing impeachment. And I tell you what, someday there will be a Democrat president, and there will be a Republican House."

"And I suspect they're going to remember it," he said. "Because [that's what happens] when you use impeachment for absolutely nothing other than to try and get political gain."

JUDICIARY COMMITTEE APPROVES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST TRUMP, AS GOP SLAMS ‘KANGAROO COURT’

Trump insisted he did nothing wrong and blamed the impeachment "hoax" on Democrats looking for any reason to try to oust him from office.

He pointed to Pelosi's recent interview at Politico’s Women Rule Summit, where she pushed back on criticism that the impeachment process was moving too quickly.

“It’s been going on for 22 months. Two and a half years, actually,” Pelosi said.

Republicans have pounced on those comments as evidence Pelosi and House leadership have been plotting impeachment since Trump was elected and were just waiting for another controversy to pounce.

"It showed she's a liar," Trump said of the comments, saying Pelosi got "duped."

"It's a very sad thing for our country but it seems to be very good for me politically … The polls have gone through the roof for Trump."

He continued: "The impeachment is a hoax. It's a sham. It started a long time ago — probably before I came down the escalator with the future first lady."

UNDER-SIEGE DEMS IN TRUMP DISTRICTS KEEP IMPEACHMENT DECISION CLOSE TO THE VEST

Trump’s comments come shortly after the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against him for abuse of power and obstructing Congress in a party-line vote. The full House will vote as early as Wednesday on whether to impeach the president.

Democrats allege that Trump violated his oath of office by pressuring the president of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election when he requested investigations into his political rival Joe Biden and son, Hunter. Trump asked Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky for the investigations in a phone call on July 25 – as the White House put a hold on nearly $400 million in aid.

Trump insists the call was “perfect” and House Republicans have slammed Democrats for trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election for conduct that doesn’t warrant impeachment.

The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday to set up the terms of the impeachment floor debate likely for the following day. Pelosi needs 216 votes — assuming all members are present and voting — to impeach Trump. That would set up a trial in the Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Long before the Ukraine controversy came to light, Pelosi said she wasn’t in favor of impeaching Trump because it would be too rancorous for the country.

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” Pelosi told The Washington Post Magazine in March. “And he’s just not worth it.”

But those remarks were in reference to allegations Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential race. Pelosi got on board with impeachment on the narrower issue of Ukraine.

Trump made his impeachment remarks during an Oval Office meeting with Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benítez, just as he was finishing up a trade deal with China.

“It’s been a wild week,” Trump said.

Original Article

Biden slams Warren, claims she’d rule by ‘executive order,’ refuse to work with GOP to unite country if elected

closeCould Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?Video

Could Biden take 2020 if he promised to only serve one term?

'The Daily Briefing' host Dana Perino reacts to the Biden campaign's bold strategy.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would take the unorthodox approach of ruling “by executive order,” if elected president after she scoffed at the idea of working together with Republicans to unite the country on a slew of her progressive policy proposals.

Top-tier Democratic rivals have begun swiping at each other amid tightening polls ahead of February's presidential primary and caucus in New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively, when the 2020 election season — and the battle to take on President Trump next November — gets underway in earnest.

HOLDING BACK NO MORE, WARREN SLAMS TOP RIVALS BIDEN AND BUTTIGIEG

Biden, who trailed Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in a University of California at Berkeley poll released this week, made the remarks about Warren at a fundraiser in the San Francisco Bay Area — one of three such events he had scheduled for the day in one of the Democratic Party's stronghold regions. He took aim at Warren without mentioning her by name.

“I read a speech by one of my — good person — one of my opponents, saying that, you know, 'Biden says we’re going to have to work with Republicans to get stuff passed,’” Biden said in Palo Alto. “I thought, ‘Well, OK — how are you going to do it, by executive order?’”

“This particular person said, ‘He thinks he can actually unify the country. You can’t unify the country.’ Well, guys, if we can’t unify the country you all ought to go home now, because nothing’s going to happen except by executive order,” Biden continued.

“And last time I knew it, a president is not allowed to say, ‘This is how I’m changing the tax structure; this is how I’m changing the environment.’ … You need to actually get a consensus in the constitutional process,” Biden said. “And we can unify the country.”

"Last time I knew it, a president is not allowed to say, ‘This is how I’m changing the tax structure; this is how I’m changing the environment.’ … You need to actually get a consensus in the constitutional process.”

— Joe Biden

Biden seemed to react to a comment made earlier in the day in New Hampshire by Warren who — also without naming her targets – took aim at Biden before refocusing her remarks on an opponent they have in common, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“We know that one Democratic candidate walked into a room of wealthy donors this year to promise that ‘nothing would fundamentally change’ if he’s elected president,” Warren said of Biden during her address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

Referring to Buttigieg, she continued: “Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I’m not betting my agenda on the naive hope that if Democrats adopt Republican critiques of progressive policies or make vague calls for unity, that somehow the wealthy and well-connected will stand down.”

Elizabeth Warren critiques rivals in New Hampshire policy speechVideo

Warren — who has eschewed fundraisers with top-dollar donors during her presidential bid as she instead focuses nearly entirely on small-dollar grassroots contributions — once again criticized Biden and Buttigieg for mingling with wealthy donors.

Though ranking third in California, Biden remains the narrow Democratic front-runner in national polls, according to the Mercury News of San Jose. Biden also is capitalizing on big-money donors in Silicon Valley after their home-state Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., dropped out of the primary race, according to a report in Politico this week.

On Thursday, Biden appeared at an event at the home of Sarah and Greg Sands, founder of the venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures. He then attended a fundraiser in San Francisco hosted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and her husband, financier Richard Blum, before heading to a third event across the city hosted by attorney Joe Cotchett, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Biden took heat from Warren and Sanders in October for forming a super PAC to accept unlimited donations from billionaires and corporate elites to cure his fundraising woes. He had previously promised not to accept super PAC donations when he first announced his candidacy in April.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Biden raised $38 million from April through September. That figure means Biden falls in fifth place when it comes to fundraising dollars among Democratic presidential candidates. He has only raised about half as much as Sanders, who does not accept super PAC donations.

Biden’s campaign also has struggled with shortcomings in available cash on hand. The most recent federal fundraising report said he has just $8 million in cash on hand compared to Sanders’ $33 million, Warren’s $25 million and Buttigieg’s $23 million.

Democrats are also now contending with the seemingly limitless potential funding of campaign newcomer Michael Bloomberg, a multibillionaire who joined the race in late November — though the former New York City mayor has struggled in the polls.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Tara Prindiville contributed to this report.

Original Article

Holding back no more, Warren slams top rivals Biden and Buttigieg

closeQuestions mount as Elizabeth Warren slips in national pollsVideo

Questions mount as Elizabeth Warren slips in national polls

Did Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's gamble on Medicare for all fail? Reaction and analysis from former Republican Congressman Connie Mack and Fox News contributor Jessica Tarlov.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – In some of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s most pointed remarks in her nearly year-long bid for the White House, the Democratic presidential candidate — who in recent weeks has seen her poll numbers slip — fired away on Thursday at two of her top-tier rivals for her party’s nomination.

And while she didn’t name names, it was crystal clear the progressive senator was taking aim at the two leading center-left candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

WARREN SHAKES UP CAMPAIGN ROUTINE AS POLL NUMBERS SLIP

“No other candidate has put out anything close to my sweeping plan to root out Washington corruption," the Massachusetts Democrat touted as she gave a major address on the issue in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

“Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I'm not counting on Republican politicians having an epiphany and suddenly supporting the kinds of tax increases on the rich or big business accountability that they have opposed under Democratic presidents for a generation,” Warren said in her speech.

The comment was an indirect jab at Biden, who has repeatedly highlighted on the campaign trail that if elected, he can work with Republicans to reach compromise.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts gives an address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, on Dec. 12, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts gives an address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, on Dec. 12, 2019

Warren also took aim at Biden and Buttigieg over their repeated attacks on her push for a government-run "Medicare-for-all" health care system, as well as other progressive policies the populist senator has pushed as she runs for the White House.

“Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I'm not betting my agenda on the naive hope that if Democrats adopt Republican critiques of progressive policies or make vague calls for unity that somehow the wealthy and well-connected will stand down,” Warren said during her address at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.

WARREN PUSHES BACK ON NEW ANALYSIS THAT MATH ON HER WEALTH TAX DOESN'T ADD UP

Warren — who has eschewed fundraisers with top-dollar donors during her presidential bid as she instead focuses nearly entirely on small-dollar grassroots contributions — once again criticized Biden and Buttigieg for mingling with wealthy donors.

"They are spending their time in fundraisers with high-dollar donors, selling access to their time for money. Some of them have spent months blocking reporters from entering those fancy, closed-door affairs,” she said.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

And pointing to Buttigieg without naming him, she said the candidate “calls the people who raise a quarter-million dollars for him his ‘National Investors Circle,’ and he offers them regular phone calls and special access. When a candidate brags about how beholden he feels to a group of wealthy investors, our democracy is in serious trouble.”

Asked after her speech if she’s the only Democratic White House hopeful who can fix what she says is a broken system of government, the senator — again pointing to her rivals — told reporters: "We know how bad the problems are right now. No one is proposing the kinds of solutions that address those problems."

The increased aggressiveness in going after her top-tier rivals appears to be part of Warren’s shaking up of her routine, which also includes altering her format on the campaign trail to include more interaction with voters. The moves come as the one-time co-front-runner in the Democratic nomination race has seen her poll numbers deteriorate the past month in national surveys and, more importantly, in polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, the state that kicks off the primary and caucus presidential nominating calendar.

Thanks to repeated pressure from Warren in recent days, Buttigieg announced on Sunday that he would open up his closed-door fundraisers to media coverage, similar to what the Biden campaign has done this election cycle.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Following Warren’s address, the Buttigieg campaign returned fire.

“Senator Warren's idea of how to defeat Donald Trump is to tell people who don’t support her that they are unwelcome in the fight and that those who disagree with her belong in the other party. We need to move beyond the politics and divisiveness that is tearing this country apart and holding us back,” Buttigieg senior advisor Lis Smith said in a statement.

Fox News reached out to Biden’s campaign, but they declined to respond to Warren’s criticisms.

Original Article

Lisa Page slams Trump after he suggests she got restraining order against Peter Strzok

closeFormer FBI attorney Lisa Page sues DOJ, FBI for publishing her text messagesVideo

Former FBI attorney Lisa Page sues DOJ, FBI for publishing her text messages

Page says leaking her messages to the press was 'not only wrong, it was illegal'; David Spunt reports from the Justice Department.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page slammed President Trump Wednesday after he suggested– without evidence– that she had to get a restraining order against ex-FBI investigator Peter Strzok.

“This is a lie,” Page tweeted in response to his claim. "Nothing like this ever happened. I wish we had a president who knew how to act like one. SAD!”

At a rally in Hershey, Pa., Tuesday evening, Trump spoke at length about Page and Strzok.

LISA PAGE SUES FBI AND DOJ, CITING 'COST OF THERAPY' AFTER TRUMP MOCKED HER SALACIOUS TEXT MESSAGES

“This poor guy, did I hear that he needed a restraining order after this whole thing to keep him away from Lisa?” he asked the cheering audience. “That’s what I heard. I don’t know if it’s true. The fake news will never report it, but it could be true.”

Page and Strzok are frequent targets of the president because of their anti-Trump texts while having an affair as FBI colleagues before Stzrok was released from the Mueller investigation and eventually fired from the FBI.

Their texts also brought scrutiny to their motives with communications like “we'll stop it,” referring to Trump’s candidacy and writing that they have an “insurance policy” for the election.

On Tuesday, Page filed a lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department for leaking her private texts, claiming it was a breach of the Federal Privacy Act.

Page broke her silence earlier this month, saying in an interview that Trump's personal attacks are like "being punched in the gut."

"My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again," she said. "The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It’s not clear where Trump got his information about the restraining order.

Original Article

Trump slams Wray’s response to FISA report, says he’ll ‘never be able to fix the FBI’

closeJudge Napolitano: FISA has been publicly scrutinized for the first time in historyVideo

Judge Napolitano: FISA has been publicly scrutinized for the first time in history

After the release of the DOJ inspector general report, Judge Andrew Napolitano says the real problem is with FISA's secrecy and standards that conflict with the Constitution.

President Trump blasted FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday morning over his response to the Justice Department inspector general's report on the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation and use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The IG report found that while there were a significant number of concerns regarding the FBI's practices in obtaining the FISA warrant and other aspects of the probe, there was no evidence of political bias or impropriety regarding their motives in the investigation. Wray has accepted these findings, but Trump signaled Tuesday he doesn't think Wray is taking the concerns seriously enough.

FISA REPORT DROPS: 7 TAKEAWAYS FROM DOJ WATCHDOG'S RUSSIA PROBE REVIEW

"I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!" he tweeted.

In an ABC interview, Wray highlighted the IG report's conclusion that there was no political bias or improper motive behind the FBI's launching of the Russia probe, stating, "I think it's important that the inspector general found that in this particular instance the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization."

When asked if he had any evidence that the FBI unfairly targeted Trump's campaign, Wray said, "I don't," and appeared to take offense to the notion that the FBI is part of a "deep state."

"I think that's the kind of label that is a disservice to the 37,000 men and women who work at the FBI who I think tackle their jobs with professionalism, with rigor, with objectivity, with courage … so that's not a term I would ever use to describe our workforce and I think it's an affront to them,” he said.

CLICK TO READ THE IG REPORT

At the same time, Wray acknowledged the bureau errors cited in the IG report.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Wray said the report identified problems that are "unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution." He said the FBI would make changes to how it handles confidential informants, how it applies for warrants from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, how it conducts briefings on foreign influence for presidential nominees and how it structures sensitive investigations like the 2016 Russia probe. He said he has also reinstated ethics training.

"I am very committed to the FBI being agile in its tackling of foreign threats," Wray said. "But I believe you can be agile and still scrupulously follow our rules, policies and processes."

This followed a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, in which Wray said, "the FBI accepts the Report’s findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action."

While the IG report went into great detail regarding the FBI's failures during the Russia probe, the conclusion that there was no political bias runs contrary to Trump's theory that Obama administration officials were unfairly targeting his campaign.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Attorney General Bill Barr, meanwhile, issued a lengthy statement in which he heavily criticized the FBI's conduct during the investigation, but made a point to note that "most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials."

Barr specifically praised Wray for his cooperation with the IG investigation, and said he has "full confidence in Director Wray and his team at the FBI, as well as the thousands of dedicated line agents who work tirelessly to protect our country."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Graham slams FBI methods after Horowitz report, says probe plunged into ‘criminal enterprise’

closeSensenbrenner: The 'surveillance state' is out of controlVideo

Sensenbrenner: The 'surveillance state' is out of control

Jim Sensenbrenner, House Judiciary Committee, blasts Adam Schiff and democrats for abusing subpoena power and obtaining the phone records of Republicans and members of the press

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Monday slammed the FBI's investigation into President Trump’s 2016 campaign as a “criminal enterprise” that got off the rails.

Graham delivered his remarks during a news conference in which he reacted to the long-awaited review concerning the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

“Let’s assume for a moment it started out okay. It sure as he– didn’t end okay,” Graham said referring to investigators' efforts to seek a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the early months of the Russia investigation.

“I believe there will be no debate among reasonably minded people, particularly lawyers, about how the system got off the rails, but in my view became a criminal enterprise to defraud the FISA court, to deny American citizen Carter Page his constitutional rights, and to continue an operation against President Trump as president of the United States,” he said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., giving his take on the FISA report during an earlier news conference, said the report put to rest any notion that the FBI’s investigation of Trump’s 2016 campaign was politically motivated.

“This report conclusively debunks the baseless conspiracy that the investigation into Mr. Trump’s campaign and its ties to Russia originated with political bias.”

Schumer again reiterated that the FBI investigation was “valid and without political bias.”

Anticipating that his Republican colleagues will do their “level best to reject the report’s conclusions,” Schumer pointed out that FBI Director Christopher Wray – a Trump appointee – has “already embraced the central findings.”

US ATTORNEY DURHAM OBJECTS TO IG FINDINGS ON RUSSIA PROBE ORIGINS IN STUNNING STATEMENT

He quoted Wray as saying he did not believe the FBI unfairly targeted the Trump campaign.

Schumer also said it was “ironic” that officials including Attorney General William Barr and Graham, who have praised Horowitz in the past, later questioned the report.

“Because the IG issued a report whose conclusions he doesn’t like, Senator Graham ought not to question what he upheld last week,” Schumer said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The report listed multiple errors by the FBI in its efforts to obtain a FISA warrant. The IG probe identified at least 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the Page applications and said a new audit into the FISA process would take place.

Horowitz and his investigators were at times critical of the bureau’s handling of the cast, including for failing to share information that would have undercut claims in those warrants.

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article