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)

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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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White House officials do not trust China’s reporting on coronavirus infection

A worker wearing a protective suit gestures to a driver outside a tumor hospital newly designated to treat COVID-19 patients in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)

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UPDATED 11:47 AM PT — Sunday, February 16, 2020

White House officials appeared to have suspicions about the accuracy of China’s reporting of coronavirus cases. According to a report Saturday, the U.S. did not have high confidence in the information coming from China regarding the number of those affected by the disease.

This came as a number of officials have expressed doubt that China is being fully transparent, including White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a tv news interview at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last week, Kudlow addressed ongoing concerns following a change in China’s measuring criteria, which added 15,000 cases in a single day.

“We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn’t appear to be,” stated the economic advisor. “It’s the great unknown and I wish we did know more because, you know, this should not be about politics or for that matter, trade.”

Chinese officials said the number of new cases are dropping overall.

RELATED:China Reports Over 2K New Cases Of Coronavirus, 143 Deaths

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Tulsi Gabbard accuses White House of defending Saudi kingdom after NAS Pensacola shooting: ‘Saudi Arabia is not our ally’

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Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, on Tuesday slammed the Trump administration, claiming it defended the Saudi kingdom in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

She also accused President Trump of failing to speak up for “for those families who just lost their loved ones.”

NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING LEADS NAVY INSTRUCTOR PILOTS TO TELL TOP BRASS: 'ARM US'

”This was a terrorist attack that took the lives of three American service members and injured eight others,” Gabbard said in an interview on Hill.TV's “Rising.” “We need to call it for what it is instead of what President Trump has done with his own remarks, with Secretary Pompeo basically putting out messages as though they are the spokespersons for the Saudi kingdom rather than standing up for our country’s national security and what’s in the best interest of our country.”

“Saudi Arabia is not our ally. As president, I will state that very clearly and they will continue to not be our ally as long as they are both directly and indirectly supporting terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and others,” Gabbard said.

Also Tuesday, the Pentagon suspended all 852 Saudi military students at NAS Pensacola after a gunman opened fire there last week, killing three military members and injuring eight others before being shot dead by police. The FBI later identified the shooter as 21-year-old Saudi Royal Air Force Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani. The attack has prompted a broader Defense Department review of all international training on U.S. military bases.

After the attack, President Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Saudi Arabia's King Salman.

“King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Pensacola, Florida….” Trump tweeted Friday. “The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.”
In his initial reaction to the shooting, Trump said: “Just received a full briefing on the tragic shooting at NAS Pensacola in Florida, and spoke to @GovRonDeSantis. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time. We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also tweeted last week.

“I just spoke with Foreign Minister Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia who expressed his condolences and sadness at the loss of life in the horrific attack in Pensacola, Florida yesterday. The families and friends of those killed, and those wounded, will be in our thoughts and prayers,” Pompeo wrote.

Trump has faced backlash in the past over his support for the Saudi royal family in the wake of the slaying of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed and dismembered by Saudi operatives inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last year.

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On Monday, Gabbard – a vocal critic of the Saudi kingdom in the past — announced she won’t be attending the Democrats’ next debate “regardless” of whether she qualifies for the Dec. 19 event in Los Angeles. She had met the donor requirement to qualify for the debate but had yet to meet a requirement that she earn 4-percent support in at least four national or early-state polls approved by the Democratic National Committee [DNC] — or hit 6 percent in two approved early-state polls. The cutoff date is Wednesday.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Bradford Betz and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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Ronny Jackson, former White House doctor and VA nominee, running for Congress in Texas

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A former chief White House physician and one-time troubled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is running for a congressional seat in Texas.

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson filed candidate paperwork in Austin to replace outgoing Rep. Mac Thornberry hours before the Monday deadline, The Texas Tribune reported. He will face 13 other candidates for the Republican nomination.

Thornberry's 13th Congressional District in the Texas Panhandle overwhelmingly voted for President Trump in 2016. The Republican Party of Texas did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

FLASHBACK TO 2018: TRUMP IS IN EXCELLENT PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH, WH DOCTOR SAYS

In this April 2, 2018, file photo, then-White House physician and nominee for Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. Ronny Jackson arrives at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Jackson is running as a Republican in 2020 for a rural congressional seat in Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In this April 2, 2018, file photo, then-White House physician and nominee for Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. Ronny Jackson arrives at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Jackson is running as a Republican in 2020 for a rural congressional seat in Texas. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Jackson, a Texas native, had worked as a White House physician since 2006 and was Trump's surprise choice last year to head the VA. He retired from the Navy last week.

His nomination ran into trouble when allegations of drinking on the job, creating a hostile work environment and overprescribing medications surfaced. He denied any wrongdoing and eventually withdrew his name from consideration.

Trump re-nominated Jackson earlier this year for a second star amid a Pentagon investigation into his conduct.

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Trump called him "one of the finest men I've ever met," noting that he received good evaluations from his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. The promotion was not approved by the Senate.

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In January 2018, Jackson gave Trump a glowing report on his physical and mental well-being in his first medical checkup since taking office, saying Trump was "in excellent health" at the time.

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