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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 6)

NYT updates Kavanaugh ‘bombshell’ to note accuser doesn’t recall alleged assault

The New York Times suddenly made a major revision to a supposed bombshell piece late Sunday concerning a new allegation of sexual assault by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — hours after virtually all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates had cited the original article as a reason to impeach Kavanaugh.

The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she told them she did not recall the supposed sexual assault in question at all. The Times also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no comment about the episode.

The only first-hand statement concerning the supposed attack in the original piece came from a Clinton-connected lawyer who claimed to have witnessed it.

“Editors’ Note: An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party,” the Times wrote.

The note continued: “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

The paper did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News seeking comment.

That explanation didn’t sit well with conservative commentators, who unloaded a torrent of criticism on the left-leaning newspaper.

“Should I be surprised at this point that the NYT would make such an unforgivable oversight?”

— Mark Hemingway

“Should I be surprised at this point that the NYT would make such an unforgivable oversight?” asked RealClearInvestigation’s Mark Hemingway.

Wrote the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy: “Crazy how the ‘one element’ that wasn’t included in the original article was the part where the alleged victim’s friends said she doesn’t remember it happening.”

Westlake Legal Group AP18268671427861 NYT updates Kavanaugh 'bombshell' to note accuser doesn't recall alleged assault Gregg Re fox news fnc/politics fnc article 6089fb17-23be-5053-b942-3e31be7ed108

This undated photo provided by Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence shows Deborah Ramirez. Ramirez went public with allegations that while in his first year at Yale University, Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh placed his penis in front of her and caused her to involuntarily touch it during a drunken dormitory party. Kavanaugh denied the accusation soon after it was reported Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, by The New Yorker magazine. (Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence via AP)

“It’s important to point out that this correction almost certainly would have never occurred if conservative media folks like @MZHemingway  and others hadn’t obtained the copy of the actual book itself the same day the excerpt/article was released,” author James Hasson said.

Throughout the day on Sunday, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Julian Castro, among others, declared that Kavanaugh “must be impeached,” citing the allegation.

The revitalized, longshot push to get Kavanaugh removed from the high court came as Democrats’ apparent effort to impeach President Trump has largely stalled. Trump, for his part, suggested Sunday that Kavanaugh should sue for defamation.

The Times piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, asserted that a Kavanaugh classmate, Clinton-connected nonprofit CEO Max Stier, “saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

The Times did not mention Stier’s work as a Clinton defense attorney, or Stier’s legal battles with Kavanaugh during the Whitewater investigation, and simply called him a “respected thought leader.”

According to the Times, Stier “notified senators and the FBI about this account” last year during the Kavanaugh hearings, “but the FBI did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly.”

However, the Times’ article also conspicuously did not mention that Pogrebin and Kelly’s book found that the female student in question had denied any knowledge of the alleged episode.

“The book notes, quietly, that the woman Max Stier named as having been supposedly victimized by Kavanaugh and friends denies any memory of the alleged event,” observed The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway. “Seems, I don’t know, significant.”

‘PART OF WHAT MOTIVATED’ CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD WAS TO PUT POLITICAL ‘ASTERISK’ ON KAVANAUGH, LAWYER ADMITS

The book reads: “[Tracy] Harmon, whose surname is now Harmon Joyce, has also refused to discuss the incident, though several of her friends said she does not recall it.”

“Omitting these facts from the @nytimes story is one of worst cases of journalistic malpractice that I can recall,” wrote the National Review’s Washington correspondent, John McCormack on Twitter.

McCormack wrote separately: “If Kavanaugh’s ‘friends pushed his penis,’ then isn’t it an allegation of wrongdoing against Kavanaugh’s ‘friends,’ not Kavanaugh himself? Surely even a modern liberal Yalie who’s been to one of those weird non-sexual ‘naked parties‘ would recognize both the female student and Kavanaugh are both alleged victims in this alleged incident, barring an additional allegation that a college-aged Kavanaugh asked his ‘friends’ to ‘push his penis.'”

NEW YORK TIMES DELETES TWEET CALLING UNPROVOKED PENIS THRUSTING ‘HARMLESS FUN’

The Times went on to note in the article that it had “corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier,” but the article apparently meant only that the Times had corroborated that Stier made his claim to the FBI. No first-hand corroboration of the alleged episode was apparently obtained.

Nevertheless, Democrats announced a new effort to topple Kavanaugh. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono — who infamously said last year that Kavanaugh did not deserve a fair hearing because he might be pro-life — said the Senate Judiciary Committee should begin an impeachment inquiry to determine whether Kavanaugh lied to Congress.

Impeaching Kavanaugh would require a majority vote in the Democratic-controlled House, and a highly unlikely two-thirds vote in the GOP-majority Senate would then be needed to remove him from the bench. No Supreme Court justice or president has ever been convicted by the Senate, although eight lower-level federal judges have been.

The long odds didn’t stop 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls from joining in on the effort.

“I sat through those hearings,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.”

During the hearings, Harris strongly implied that she knew Kavanaugh had improperly discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s then-ongoing probe with a Trump-connected lawyer.

Harris provided no evidence for the bombshell insinuation, which went viral on social media and sent the hearing room into stunned silence, even as she directly accused Kavanaugh of lying under oath.

Castro and Warren echoed that sentiment and said Kavanaugh had committed perjury.

FLASHBACK: GRAHAM SAYS DEMS’ KAVANAUGH SMEARS HAVE UNITED REPUBLICANS

FLASHBACK: FOX NEWS POLL SHOWS KAVANAUGH FIGHT HAS REVITALIZED GOP BASE, INCREASED REPUBLICAN INTEREST IN ELECTION

“It’s more clear than ever that Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath,” Castro wrote. “He should be impeached. And Congress should review the failure of the Department of Justice to properly investigate the matter.”

Warren wrote: “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.”

O’Rourke claimed to “know” that Kavanaugh had lied under oath, and falsely said that the new accuser was not known to Senate Democrats or the FBI last year.

“Yesterday, we learned of another accusation against Brett Kavanaugh—one we didn’t find out about before he was confirmed because the Senate forced the F.B.I. to rush its investigation to save his nomination,” O’Rourke said. “We know he lied under oath. He should be impeached.”

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., tweeted in part, “This new allegation and additional corroborating evidence adds to a long list of reasons why Brett Kavanaugh should not be a Supreme Court justice. I stand with survivors and countless other Americans in calling for impeachment proceedings to begin.”

Amy Klobuchar stopped short of calling for impeachment, and instead posted a picture of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford with the words, “Let us never forget what courage looks like.”

DEM SENATOR CITES KAVANAUGH’S ALLEGED PRO-LIFE LEANINGS AS REASON TO DENY HIM A FAIR HEARING 

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, said he backed getting rid of Kavanaugh by any legal means available: “The revelations today confirm what we already knew: During his hearing, Kavanaugh faced credible accusations and likely lied to Congress. I support any appropriate constitutional mechanism to hold him accountable.”

As the calls mounted, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shot back Sunday afternoon on Twitter — and made clear that Kavanaugh wasn’t going anywhere.

“The far left’s willingness to seize on completely uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations during last year’s confirmation process was a dark and embarrassing chapter for the Senate,” McConnell wrote.

He added: “Fortunately a majority of Senators and the American people rallied behind timeless principles such as due process and the presumption of innocence. I look forward to many years of service to come from Justice Kavanaugh.”

The Times’ piece also stated that well before Kavanaugh became a federal judge, “at least seven people” had heard about how he allegedly exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez at a party.

Ramirez had called classmates at Yale seeking corroboration for her story, and even told some of her classmates that she could not remember the culprit in the alleged episode — before changing her mind and publicly blaming Kavanaugh “after six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” the New Yorker reported last year in a widely derided piece.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, then led by Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote in an executive summary of its investigation that it contacted Ramirez’s counsel “seven times seeking evidence to support claims made in the New Yorker,” but that “Ms. Ramirez produced nothing in response and refused a Committee request for an interview.”

Late Sunday, Grassley’s office called out the Times for omitting key details in the story published this weekend.

@NYTimes did not contact Sen. Grassley’s office for this story. If they had, we would’ve reminded them of a few key public facts they omitted,” Grassley’s team wrote. “Despite 7 attempts by staff, Ms. Ramirez’ lawyers declined to provide documentary evidence referenced in the article/witness accounts to support the claims. They also declined invitations for Ms. Ramirez to speak with committee investigators or to provide a written statement.”

Additionally, the FBI separately reached out to nearly a dozen individuals to corroborate the allegations by Ford and Ramirez, and ultimately spoke to ten individuals and two eyewitnesses, but apparently found no corroboration.

The agency’s investigation began after then-Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called for a one-week delay in Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings so an independent agency could look into the claims against him. Flake said the FBI’s probe needed to be limited in length to avoid derailing the proceedings with endless claims and probes going back to Kavanaugh’s high school years.

Kavanaugh, predicted by Democrats during his confirmation process to be a hardline conservative, often sided with liberal justices during the Supreme Court’s last term.

The president, meanwhile, accused the media of trying to influence Kavanaugh. He also went on to say that Kavanaugh should go on the offensive and take on the media for false statements.

“Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!” he tweeted.

Grassley sent several criminal referrals to the Justice Department related to alleged lies submitted to Senate investigators during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process — which could be what the president meant when he wrote Sunday that the DOJ “should come to [Kavanuagh’s] rescue.”

One of those referrals was for now-disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti and one of his clients, Julie Swetnick, regarding a potential “conspiracy” to provide false statements to Congress and obstruct its investigation. Swetnick’s credibility took a hit as she changed her story about Kavanaugh’s purported gang-rape trains, and her ex-boyfriend went public to say she was known for “exaggerating everything.”

Swetnick and Ramirez were just two of several women who had accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process. Ford most notably testified that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her at a party when they were teens, and dubiously asserted that the memory was “indelible” in her “hippocampus” — although no witnesses could corroborate her ever-changing storyeven her close lifelong friend, Leland Keyser, who Ford said had attended the party.

Keyser, according to the Times reporters’ new book, did not believe Ford’s story — and refused to change her mind, despite pressure from progressive activists and Ford’s friends.

“It just didn’t make any sense,” Keyser said, referring to Ford’s explanation of how she was assaulted at a party that Keyser attended, but could not recall how she got home.

Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, was quoted in a new book as saying that Ford was motivated to come forward in part by a desire to tag Kavanaugh’s reputation with an “asterisk” before he could start ruling on abortion-related cases.

“In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court,” Katz said. “He will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important.

“It is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”

The Federalist reported last week that Ford’s father privately supported Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and approached Ed Kavanaugh on a golf course to make his support clear.

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Some claims that surfaced during Kavanaugh’s confirmation fell apart within days. For example, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., received a call from an anonymous constituent who claimed that in 1985, two “heavily inebriated men” referred to as “Brett and Mark” had sexually assaulted a friend of hers on a boat.

The Twitter account belonging to the accuser apparently advocated for a military coup against the Trump administration. The constituent recanted the sexual assault claim on the social media site days later.

Fox News’ Andrew Craft in Plano, Texas, Chad Pergram, and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6025976341001_6025968579001-vs NYT updates Kavanaugh 'bombshell' to note accuser doesn't recall alleged assault Gregg Re fox news fnc/politics fnc article 6089fb17-23be-5053-b942-3e31be7ed108   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6025976341001_6025968579001-vs NYT updates Kavanaugh 'bombshell' to note accuser doesn't recall alleged assault Gregg Re fox news fnc/politics fnc article 6089fb17-23be-5053-b942-3e31be7ed108

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Drew Brees to see hand specialist in Los Angeles after injury during game

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6084818642001_6084808112001-vs Drew Brees to see hand specialist in Los Angeles after injury during game fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 9f141ab9-ab81-56e3-b42e-49f7d8f49dd2

Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints longtime quarterback, will be examined by a hand specialist in Los Angeles after suffering an injury during an earlier game against the Rams.

Brees, 40, was seen after the game with a wrap on his throwing hand that some theorized could mean a ligament injury. Brees told reporters after the game that he was hoping that “it’s not too significant.”

Brees was injured after he hit his throwing hand on Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter.

To many fans, seeing Brees on the sidelines was an unfamiliar sight. ESPN reported that he only missed one start since high school.

Brees said he had X-rays at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but did not want to say anything until after meeting with the hand specialist, which was expected to happen Sunday night. New Orleans is staying on the West Coast with a game at Seattle next Sunday.

Brees was in the shotgun on third-and-8 from the Saints 46 when Donald beat Saints left guard Andrus Peat and got pressure up the middle. Brees’ hand hit Donald on an incomplete throw to tight end Jared Cook.

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“I felt it right away. You might get jammed thumbs or fingers, different things where it swells up. This felt like it was more significant and prevented me from gripping the ball,” said Brees, who was 5 of 8 for 38 yards and an interception.

The Saints lost the game 27-9.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Pelosi, Schumer to Trump: Gun control must include background checks

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6055249043001_6055258878001-vs Pelosi, Schumer to Trump: Gun control must include background checks fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fnc/politics fnc Associated Press article 3ed7bb1f-da14-5554-99df-678180ab12bc

Congressional Democratic leaders warned President Trump on Sunday that any proposal on gun control must include a House-passed bill to expand background checks for gun purchases — or else risk no legislation at all.

In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said they spoke Sunday morning by phone with Trump, who planned to announce as soon as this week what measures he supported.

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y., said they made clear that any proposal lacking the House legislation “will not get the job done” by leaving dangerous loopholes.

“We know that to save as many lives as possible, the Senate must pass this bill and the president must sign it,” they said.

A White House spokesman, Judd Deere, confirmed that Trump spoke with the Democratic leaders at their request and indicated to them a desire to find a “bipartisan legislative solution” but made no commitments.

“The conversation was cordial,” Deere said. “The president reiterated his commitment for his administration to continue work on these issues.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has declined to hold a vote on the bill, which was approved by the Democratic-controlled House in February. He says it’s not clear the Senate would be able to pass the legislation or that Trump would sign it into law.

The bill would expand background checks to cover private sales such as one that allowed a Texas shooting suspect to purchase his weapon before killing seven people last month.

O’ROURKE CLAIMS TRUMP HAS ‘BLOOD… ON HIS HANDS’ AFTER EL PASO MASS SHOOTING

Trump and White House aides have discussed a number of gun-control measures with members of Congress, including steps to go after fraudulent buyers, notify state and local law enforcement when a potential buyer fails a background check, issue state-level emergency risk protection orders, boost mental health assistance and speed up executions for those found guilty of committing mass shootings.

Pelosi and Schumer said they promised Trump that if he endorses the House legislation on background checks and gets McConnell to act on it, they would join the president “for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden.” Their call with Trump, which took place shortly after 11 a.m., lasted about 10 minutes, according to a Democratic aide.

“We will not stop until these bills are passed and our children’s lives are safe,” the Democratic leaders said.

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After a summer of devastating mass shootings, Congress has struggled to reach agreement on legislation to curb gun violence as Trump pledged to protect the Second Amendment and wavered on what kind of bill he wants the lawmakers to send for his signature.

But while the president has waffled publicly on expanded background checks, he has directed his staff to continue to work with lawmakers — including Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — to try to hash out an agreement he can support.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6055249043001_6055258878001-vs Pelosi, Schumer to Trump: Gun control must include background checks fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fnc/politics fnc Associated Press article 3ed7bb1f-da14-5554-99df-678180ab12bc   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6055249043001_6055258878001-vs Pelosi, Schumer to Trump: Gun control must include background checks fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fnc/politics fnc Associated Press article 3ed7bb1f-da14-5554-99df-678180ab12bc

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Behnam Ben Taleblu: Attack on Saudi oil facility shows Trump was right to pull out of Iran nuke deal

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086457485001_6086452566001-vs Behnam Ben Taleblu: Attack on Saudi oil facility shows Trump was right to pull out of Iran nuke deal fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/energy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/counterpoints fox news fnc/opinion fnc c56575f8-5887-55d0-bea0-6d164f098ef6 Behnam Ben Taleblu article

The devastating attack Saturday against a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia dramatically illustrates why the Iran nuclear deal that was accepted by the Obama administration and rejected by President Trump failed to end the Iranian threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.

While the nuclear deal put temporary restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program, it did absolutely nothing to stop Iran’s aggressive conventional and asymmetric military actions against its neighbors and threats against Israel. This is partly why President Trump ultimately withdrew from this deeply flawed agreement.

In fact, the nuclear deal aided Iranian military aggression and support of terrorist groups by lifting international economic sanctions against Iran and freeing up Iranian funds frozen by foreign banks. Iran has supported several terrorist groups in the region, including Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah based in Lebanon, the Palestinian group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip, and the brutal regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

TRUMP: US ‘LOCKED AND LOADED’ AGAINST ATTACKERS OF SAUDI OIL FACILITY ‘DEPENDING ON VERIFICATION’

The attack Saturday on Saudi oil facilities – which temporarily cut Saudi oil production in half – was carried out by either drones or cruise missiles (or a combination of the two), according to news reports. About 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production were interrupted by the Saturday attack, amounting to more than 5 percent of the world’s daily oil supply.

Opinion

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet Saturday that “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia … Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

And President Trump tweeted Sunday night: “Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!”

The president notably refrained from saying who the U.S. government believes is responsible for the attack on Saudi Arabia, but U.S. officials previously pointed to Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is playing a game of three-dimensional chess against the U.S. and its regional partners – a game aiming to induce weakness and irresolution in the face of the Iranian challenge.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels are claiming credit for the strike against the Saudi oil facilities. However, satellite photos released by the U.S. government showed at least “17 points of impact” that officials said indicated the attack came from the direction of Iran or Iraq rather than the Houthi’s home base of Yemen.

Iranian officials denied their government was responsible for the strikes against Saudi Arabia.

In late 2014, the Houthis burst forth from their stronghold in northern Yemen, conquered the capital city of Sanaa, and plunged the Arab world’s poorest country into deep chaos. Since then, humanitarian suffering caused by the Houthi insurgency has mushroomed across the nation on a medieval scale.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a multinational military coalition to restore the U.N.-backed government in Yemen. The Saudis prosecution of the war has made their nation the primary target of international criticism – even as Saudi bases, cities, airports and oil installations come under attack from Houthi rockets, missiles and drones.

Other foreign belligerents have mostly escaped blame.

Iran’s involvement in Yemen is more nefarious. Tehran seeks to co-opt the Houthi insurgency into a tool with which to bleed and bludgeon its regional rival, Saudi Arabia. This competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a struggle for both the sacred and profane: for leadership of the Muslim world, for individual Muslim hearts and minds, for the Middle East regional balance, and for oil.

Iran has provided the Houthis with anti-tank missiles, ballistic missiles of varying ranges, cruise missiles, and suicide drones – which can function as cruise missiles. As a result, Iran has been able to grow the long-arm of Houthi military capabilities, and at a low cost to Iran.

Iranian-supplied weapons allow the Houthi insurgents to strike at the Saudi heartland from a distance and respond to battlefield developments at a time and place of their own choosing.

In additions to the tweets from Pompeo and Trump,

There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.elsewhere on Twitter, there has been increased chatter about, and even video alleging, that the strikes on Saudi Arabia originated in Iraq. If that were the case, Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq, which are part of Tehran’s broad proxy network across the Middle East, would be to blame rather than the Houthis.

Should the thesis of Iraqi involvement hold, it would be a measure of the Houthis’ deference to Iran that they claimed credit for an attack they did not carry out.

It would also be an indicator of Tehran’s tolerance for risk and retaliation in places like Yemen – which is far away, unlike Iraq, which is right next door to Iran.

Conversely, should Iran have launched cruise missiles from its own territory – which is less likely – it would mean Tehran is confident that its adversaries would not respond using military force against the origin of the strikes.

While Iran is known as a ballistic missile powerhouse in the region, copies of its cruise missiles are increasingly winding up in the hands of terrorist groups, be they anti-ship variants with Hezbollah in Lebanon or land-attack cruise missiles with the Houthis in Yemen.

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Either way, the launching of cruise missiles and/or drones at a vital artery of the international economy conveys a broader strategic point: Iran’s threats to oil shipping are not limited to the Strait of Hormuz, where over one-fifth of seaborne traded oil passes daily. This signifies that the regime is comfortable broadening the scope of its harassment from oil tankers at sea to oil installations on land. Consider this an attempt to make good on old threats.

With the blaze of Saudi oil facilities in hindsight, the priority for Washington should not be to covet a high-level meeting with the Islamic Republic on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in coming days. It must be how better to contest Iran’s asymmetric military capabilities, as well as those of its proxies and partners in the region.

Since May, Washington has been hardening and growing its military footprint in the region through enhanced deployments. This process, as well as tough sanctions, should continue.

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Slowing economic pressure, recalling assets – or worse, talking to Tehran only about the nuclear issue – would replicate the mistakes that got the U.S. into the flawed 2015 nuclear deal, which in turn underwrote the expansion of Iran’s regional threat network.

The Trump administration should not make the same mistake as the Obama administration, and should instead continue to hold Iran accountable for its latest hostile actions.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY BEHNAM BEN TALEBLU

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086457485001_6086452566001-vs Behnam Ben Taleblu: Attack on Saudi oil facility shows Trump was right to pull out of Iran nuke deal fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/energy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/counterpoints fox news fnc/opinion fnc c56575f8-5887-55d0-bea0-6d164f098ef6 Behnam Ben Taleblu article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086457485001_6086452566001-vs Behnam Ben Taleblu: Attack on Saudi oil facility shows Trump was right to pull out of Iran nuke deal fox-news/world/world-regions/saudi-arabia fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/energy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/columns/counterpoints fox news fnc/opinion fnc c56575f8-5887-55d0-bea0-6d164f098ef6 Behnam Ben Taleblu article

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Beto O’Rourke hits Pete Buttigieg with expletive-fueled swipe over gun-control comments

Westlake Legal Group ORourke-Buttigieg_AP Beto O'Rourke hits Pete Buttigieg with expletive-fueled swipe over gun-control comments Talia Kaplan fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/politics fnc f61cfe50-dc49-5874-a9ac-e5a2a030788c article

Beto O’Rourke launched an expletive-fueled defense of his call Sunday to ban assault-style weapons and impose mandatory buybacks of AR-15s and AK-47s while also pushing back at critics — including fellow 2020 Democrat Pete Buttigieg.

During last Thursday’s presidential debate, the former Texas congressman said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, and we’re not going to allow it to be used against your fellow Americans anymore.” Three days later, O’Rourke appeared on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” where host Chuck Todd pointed out that there was “a lot of hand-wringing” about the presidential contender’s full-throated call on national TV for confiscating such rifles.

As O’Rourke had put the issue of gun violence at the center of his campaign effort, some fellow Democrats chastised him and were concerned that his statements may have made things harder for gun control supporters as they negotiate with President Trump on legislation to respond to this summer’s mass shootings.

O’ROURKE CLAIMS TRUMP HAS ‘BLOOD… ON HIS HANDS’ AFTER EL PASO MASS SHOOTING

After Todd pointed out that some Democrats were hesitant to support such bans, O’Rourke responded, “I think this just shows you how screwed up the priorities in Washington, D.C. are.”

He then brought up the 22 people were killed in a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso last month.

“Talking to those doctors and trauma room surgeons who treated those victims in El Paso, they said these are wounds of war—that high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hit their systems, just shredded everything inside of them,” O’Rourke said on Sunday. “I refuse to accept that, and I refuse to even acknowledge the politics, or the polling, or the fear of the NRA that has purchased the complicity and silence of members of Congress and this weak response to a real tragedy in America.”

EL PASO SHOOTING FATALITIES NOW AT 22 AFTER VICTIM DIES AT HOSPITAL MONDAY MORNING, POLICE SAY

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and agreed with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., saying the clip of the former O’Rourke’s statement about AR-15s and AK-47s “will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns.” 

Buttigieg said, “Look, right now we have an amazing moment on our hands. We have agreement among the American people not just for universal backgrounds checks, but we have a majority in favor of red-flag laws, high-capacity magazines, banning the new sale of assault weapons. This is a golden moment to finally do something.”

Buttigieg went on to say, “When even this president and even [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell are at least are pretending to be open to reforms, we know that we have a moment on our hand. Let’s make the most of it and get these things done.”

O’Rourke pushed back in a tweet: “Leaving millions of weapons of war on the streets because Trump and McConnell are ‘at least pretending to be open to reforms’? That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place. Let’s have the courage to say what we believe and fight for it.”

He later tweeted, “When candidates say, ‘At least Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are pretending to be interested,’ sh–, that is not enough. Neither is poll-testing your message. Gun violence is a life or death issue—and we have to represent the bold ideas of people all over the country.”

As O’Rourke made his call to take back the rifles on Thursday night, Trump warned at a Republican retreat in Baltimore, “Democrats want to confiscate guns from law-abiding Americans, so they are totally defenseless when somebody walks into their house.”

Trump promised that his party “will forever uphold the fundamental right to keep and bear arms,” which received loud applause.

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Trump and White House aides have discussed several gun control measures with members of Congress, including steps to go after fraudulent buyers and boost mental health assistance. A formal announcement on Trump’s plan is expected as soon as this week.

Fox News’ Ben Florance and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ORourke-Buttigieg_AP Beto O'Rourke hits Pete Buttigieg with expletive-fueled swipe over gun-control comments Talia Kaplan fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/politics fnc f61cfe50-dc49-5874-a9ac-e5a2a030788c article   Westlake Legal Group ORourke-Buttigieg_AP Beto O'Rourke hits Pete Buttigieg with expletive-fueled swipe over gun-control comments Talia Kaplan fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/politics fnc f61cfe50-dc49-5874-a9ac-e5a2a030788c article

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Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman’s shouting: see the video

Surveillance video captured two masked men kicking in the front door of a California house in an apparent burglary attempt — before a woman’s shouts sent them running.

The homeowner, Darren Leggett, told Fox News the home invasion happened Wednesday morning around 8:30 in Pleasanton, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Leggett said he had just left his home to take his older son to school, with his wife — a personal trainer — and nine-year-old son still at home, when the burglars first knocked, then started kicking the front door.

Westlake Legal Group Surveillance-video-1 Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman's shouting: see the video Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 36e03eeb-e8c7-5b01-9261-4e7491de7c3d

Surveillance video captured two masked men kicking in the front door of a California house, then taking off when they realized someone was inside the home. (Darren Leggett)

“To kick the door in, that’s pretty wild. I don’t think that’s ever happened in Pleasanton, that’s pretty weird. That’s something out of a movie,” Leggett told Fox News.

CALIFORNIA LYFT DRIVER OPENS FIRE IN SHOOTOUT AFTER 2 MEN TRIED ROBBING HIM, POLICE SAY

He said his wife, who was in the shower at the time, started to feel the house shaking as the men were trying to force themselves inside.

After hearing her dogs barking continuously and all the banging, Leggett said his wife grabbed a towel and ran downstairs to see what was going on, just as the men kicked open the doors. Leggett’s wife was heard screaming his name from inside the home, and the suspects bolted.

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Leggett said he did not recognize the man who was not wearing a mask in the surveillance video, adding that he thought his home was targeted randomly. He also said his wife would have made it difficult for them to get away with anything. “I wouldn’t want to mess with my wife,” Leggett told Fox News.

Pleasanton Police Lt. Brandon Stocking told KGO-TV that investigators were pursuing several leads. Leggett said the suspects, who he called “very brazen,” were still on the run as of Sunday evening.

Westlake Legal Group Surveillance-video-1 Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman's shouting: see the video Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 36e03eeb-e8c7-5b01-9261-4e7491de7c3d   Westlake Legal Group Surveillance-video-1 Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman's shouting: see the video Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 36e03eeb-e8c7-5b01-9261-4e7491de7c3d

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Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman’s shouting: see the video

Surveillance video captured two masked men kicking in the front door of a California house in an apparent burglary attempt — before a woman’s shouts sent them running.

The homeowner, Darren Leggett, told Fox News the home invasion happened Wednesday morning around 8:30 in Pleasanton, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Leggett said he had just left his home to take his older son to school, with his wife — a personal trainer — and nine-year-old son still at home, when the burglars first knocked, then started kicking the front door.

Westlake Legal Group Surveillance-video-1 Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman's shouting: see the video Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 36e03eeb-e8c7-5b01-9261-4e7491de7c3d

Surveillance video captured two masked men kicking in the front door of a California house, then taking off when they realized someone was inside the home. (Darren Leggett)

“To kick the door in, that’s pretty wild. I don’t think that’s ever happened in Pleasanton, that’s pretty weird. That’s something out of a movie,” Leggett told Fox News.

CALIFORNIA LYFT DRIVER OPENS FIRE IN SHOOTOUT AFTER 2 MEN TRIED ROBBING HIM, POLICE SAY

He said his wife, who was in the shower at the time, started to feel the house shaking as the men were trying to force themselves inside.

After hearing her dogs barking continuously and all the banging, Leggett said his wife grabbed a towel and ran downstairs to see what was going on, just as the men kicked open the doors. Leggett’s wife was heard screaming his name from inside the home, and the suspects bolted.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Leggett said he did not recognize the man who was not wearing a mask in the surveillance video, adding that he thought his home was targeted randomly. He also said his wife would have made it difficult for them to get away with anything. “I wouldn’t want to mess with my wife,” Leggett told Fox News.

Pleasanton Police Lt. Brandon Stocking told KGO-TV that investigators were pursuing several leads. Leggett said the suspects, who he called “very brazen,” were still on the run as of Sunday evening.

Westlake Legal Group Surveillance-video-1 Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman's shouting: see the video Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 36e03eeb-e8c7-5b01-9261-4e7491de7c3d   Westlake Legal Group Surveillance-video-1 Masked would-be burglars scared off by California woman's shouting: see the video Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox news fnc/us fnc article 36e03eeb-e8c7-5b01-9261-4e7491de7c3d

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Ilhan Omar says she’s controversial only because ‘people seem to want the controversy’

Westlake Legal Group AP19255597048809 Ilhan Omar says she's controversial only because 'people seem to want the controversy' fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 81384ce1-fdd8-52bc-908c-f1df60b6eba0

Rep. Ilhan Omar, reacting to outrage over a resurfaced video in which she appeared to compare migrant detention centers to the slave trade, said Sunday she’s “controversial” only because “people seem to want the controversy.”

The Minnesota Democrat’s comments came during an appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” with Margaret Brennan. Asked whether Omar was indeed making that comparison in the video, Omar said, “I’m only controversial because people seem to want the controversy.”

The video, shared by a Republican National Committee Twitter account Saturday, featured Omar speaking to a group about her recent trip to Ghana. She discussed visiting a 400-year-old dungeon where Africans were held captive and separated by gender.

She said a description of the dungeon by a tour guide gave her flashbacks to images she’d seen of Libya – where a slave trade has been ongoing – and images she’d seen of migrant detention camps in the U.S.

“And so, of a story that happened 400 years ago, I constantly had this reminder, this horrifying image of many of the things that were taking place there in that dungeon, now taking place, whether it is taking place in the shores of North Africa or in the shores of the United States.”

OMAR’S DESCRIPTION OF 9/11 ‘TORE MY HEART APART,’ SURVIVING SON OF TERROR VICTIM TELLS HANNITY

Still, Omar insisted later that she meant for the two comparisons to be treated separately.

“There is always an implied intent with every conversation I have,” she said, “and if you listen to the video, one comparison of what the dungeons looked like and people being sold was to what’s happening in North Africa, and the other one was of family separations.”

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Omar continued, “And, of course, we obviously have a crisis here with our family separation policies.”

Asked whether her comments were a direct attack on U.S. border agents, she said: “Absolutely not.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19255597048809 Ilhan Omar says she's controversial only because 'people seem to want the controversy' fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 81384ce1-fdd8-52bc-908c-f1df60b6eba0   Westlake Legal Group AP19255597048809 Ilhan Omar says she's controversial only because 'people seem to want the controversy' fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 81384ce1-fdd8-52bc-908c-f1df60b6eba0

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Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC apartment, police say

Ric Ocasek, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singer whose popular new-wave band, The Cars, helped define the sound of rock music in the late 1970s and ’80s, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Sunday, a police spokesman told Fox News. Ocasek was 75.

His estranged wife, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, found him unresponsive Sunday afternoon at his home in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood, sources told the New York Post, adding that he apparently died of natural causes. Police said there was no sign of foul play.

The Cars’ self-titled 1978 debut album was a smash hit, boosted by singles including “Just What I Needed.” The album helped lead the way for new wave’s influence on rock music throughout the following decade.

The band’s 1981 single “Shake It Up” hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while 1984’s “Drive” hit #3.

“I liked songwriters, I was always attracted to people like Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Gene Vincent in the ’50s, and when the ’60s came, of course I loved The Beatles, but I also loved the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, and Frank Zappa,” Ocasek told The Vinyl District earlier this year. “I certainly always loved a good pop song. I always liked great songs, and it didn’t matter if it was from the Carpenters or Lou Reed. As long as they were done well and they weren’t corny or fake.”

Westlake Legal Group Ric-Okasek-2011 Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC apartment, police say Mike Arroyo fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 315d057f-16e1-50ab-8a0c-9d4616f7bbc3

Ric Ocasek of The Cars perfoming at Lollapalooza 2011 at Grant Park in Chicago. (Tim Mosenfelder/Corbis via Getty Images, File)

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF STARS WE’VE LOST IN 2019

The band broke up in the late-’80s, as Ocasek embarked on a solo career. His 1986 single “Emotion in Motion” was Ocasek’s only song to crack the Top 40 without The Cars behind him.

Ocasek and Porizkova were married for 28 years before their breakup last year. They were said to have met while The Cars recorded the music video for “Drive.”

The Cars were inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, an occasion that saw the band perform together for the first time in years — but without co-founder Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.

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Ocasek, in a Rolling Stone interview, described the performance as “a good cap on the bottle” of his career, which also included painting in his later years.

“It’s kind of weird because it’s like a lifetime. It is a lifetime. I had three families during that time. They are like lives that go by and millions of people and things and artists and writers and business people and fans. … It’s a lot of stuff. It’s been a pretty eventful life, I can say.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Ric-ocasek-Cars-1978 Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC apartment, police say Mike Arroyo fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 315d057f-16e1-50ab-8a0c-9d4616f7bbc3   Westlake Legal Group Ric-ocasek-Cars-1978 Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC apartment, police say Mike Arroyo fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 315d057f-16e1-50ab-8a0c-9d4616f7bbc3

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Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC, police say

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC, police say Mike Arroyo fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 315d057f-16e1-50ab-8a0c-9d4616f7bbc3

Ric Ocasek, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singer whose popular new-wave band, The Cars, left a profound impact on rock music, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Sunday, a police spokesman said. Ocasek was 75.

Ocasek’s estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova, found him unresponsive Sunday afternoon at his home in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood, sources told the New York Post, adding that he apparently died of natural causes.

The Cars’ self-titled 1978 debut album was a smash hit, boosted by singles including “Just What I Needed.” The album helped lead the way for new wave’s influence on rock music throughout the following decade.

The band’s 1981 single, “Shake It Up,” hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while 1984’s “Drive” hit #3.

The Cars were inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, an occasion that saw the band perform together for the first time in years — but without co-founder Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000.

Ocasek described the performance as “a good cap on the bottle” of his career, in a Rolling Stone interview. “It’s kind of weird because it’s like a lifetime. It is a lifetime. I had three families during that time. They are like lives that go by and millions of people and things and artists and writers and business people and fans. … It’s a lot of stuff. It’s been a pretty eventful life, I can say.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group Ric-ocasek-Cars-1978 Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC, police say Mike Arroyo fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 315d057f-16e1-50ab-8a0c-9d4616f7bbc3   Westlake Legal Group Ric-ocasek-Cars-1978 Ric Ocasek, lead singer of new-wave band The Cars, found dead in NYC, police say Mike Arroyo fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/obituary fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 315d057f-16e1-50ab-8a0c-9d4616f7bbc3

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