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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 86)

How Aramco’s Huge I.P.O. Fell Short of Saudi Prince’s Wish

Westlake Legal Group 04aramco-2-facebookJumbo How Aramco’s Huge I.P.O. Fell Short of Saudi Prince’s Wish Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) Initial Public Offerings Banking and Financial Institutions

Early on Oct. 15, a group of international investment bankers delivered some unwelcome news to top executives of Saudi Arabia’s giant oil company, Saudi Aramco.

The bankers, gathered at Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran, reported that global investors weren’t as bullish on the company’s initial public offering of stock as the officials had expected, said two people who were in the room and three who were briefed on the meeting. That meant Aramco appeared unlikely to reach the $2 trillion valuation wanted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Instead, a banker from JPMorgan Chase, presenting on behalf of the group, explained that investors viewed Aramco as worth $1.1 trillion to $1.7 trillion.

Aramco executives, who hadn’t seen the news coming, were angry. Saudi Arabia was counting on the I.P.O. to attract foreign investment to help diversify its economy away from oil. An Aramco I.P.O. valuation reduced by forecasts of weakening global demand for oil and geopolitical jitters could hurt that effort.

On Thursday, Saudi Aramco priced the I.P.O at 32 riyals, or $8.53, a share, valuing the company at $1.7 trillion. The offering is expected to raise $25.6 billion — a fraction of the $100 billion that Prince Mohammed originally imagined. The company’s shares are set to begin trading Wednesday on Saudi’s stock exchange, known as the Tadawul.

The result was not what Saudi officials had in mind. Rather than being listed in New York or London, shares of Aramco are being sold primarily to investors in Saudi Arabia and in neighboring countries. Some of the international banks hired to underwrite the deal have instead taken on secondary roles, with the I.P.O. share sales being overseen by two Saudi banks and the British bank HSBC.

“The Aramco I.P.O. was meant to be Saudi Arabia’s debut ball to global investors,” said Karen Young, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “Instead, it will be more of a family reunion.”

According to interviews with a dozen underwriters, strategists and others briefed on the I.P.O., who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential negotiations, Aramco’s journey from private to public company was an unwieldy and at times fractious deal-making process. It involved 25 banks, three financial advisers, numerous Aramco company officials, at least two Saudi government committees and the crown prince himself.

The idea to sell shares in state-owned Aramco, the world’s most profitable company, which for decades has been an engine of the Saudi economy, was foundational to Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 plan to modernize that economy. Released in 2016, that blueprint helped vault Prince Mohammed, then the deputy crown prince, to become the heir apparent to his father, King Salman. JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and HSBC were brought in to start the long process of preparing the company for sale to public investors.

The I.P.O. was initially proposed to take place in 2018, but then shelved amid concerns over how highly the company would be valued and where it should list its shares. That year also saw Prince Mohammed come under global condemnation after the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, by Saudi agents in Istanbul. Western intelligence agencies linked the crown prince to the killing, but he has denied involvement.

Then, this year, plans for the I.P.O. were revived.

Over two days of meetings on Sept. 3 and 4, international banks gathered in Aramco’s London offices to pitch the company for roles on the I.P.O. underwriting team.

Many of the banks said they envisioned situations where the company could be worth $2 trillion or more, said four people who attended the meeting, another three who were briefed on it and documents reviewed by The New York Times. Bank of America’s estimates reached $2.5 trillion on the high end, these people added; JPMorgan’s drifted as low as $1.4 trillion, according to the documents and two people with knowledge of their presentation.

Around the same time, Prince Mohammed installed Yasir al-Rumayyan, a close confidant who favored the $2 trillion valuation, as Aramco chairman, replacing Khalid al-Falih, a former Aramco chief executive with an engineering background. Mr. al-Rumayyan, the powerful governor of the kingdom’s $320 billion Public Investment Fund, had discussed the plans with bank officials over the summer.

Then on Sept. 14, on its path to going public, Aramco was jarred by an aerial attack on its production facilities, blamed on Iran, that temporarily cut its oil output in half. The attack underscored the risk of operating in the Middle East, but it did not deter the march to an I.P.O.

Deal makers soon fanned out over Asia, Europe and North America to gauge interest in Aramco by Fidelity Investments, Capital Group, BlackRock and other major investors. To make Aramco more attractive, the banks persuaded it to establish an enormous investor dividend, or annual payout — $75 billion a year.

But in meetings with roughly 80 mutual funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds, underwriters and investors said, potential buyers balked at the $2 trillion valuation, which struck them as too high relative to other major oil companies and in light of low oil prices, climate-change concerns and other geopolitical pressures.

“We felt that a valuation in the range of $1.2 to $1.3 trillion would represent fair value,” or a reasonable price, “but it would need to I.P.O. at less than that to offer decent upside,” or investor profit potential, said Tal Lomnitzer, a portfolio manager at the fund company Janus Henderson who participated in the early investor discussions.

His was in some ways the typical buyer’s position at the onset of a negotiation: to argue for the lowest price in hopes of making money on the purchase if Aramco shares went up in public-market trading. But given the wide gap between views like Mr. Lomnitzer’s and the Saudi government’s $2 trillion expectations, some of the bankers were concerned.

Then came the meeting on Oct. 15 at Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran on the kingdom’s Persian Gulf coast, and one that would follow the next day. Of all the crucial moments in the lead-up to the I.P.O., these gatherings may have been the most tense, according to four people who either attended the meetings or were briefed afterward. It was then that some of the bankers — motivated by the promise of enormous fees for evaluating the oil company’s investment potential and then selling shares to respected investors — clashed with kingdom officials and other advisers who were fixating on an increasingly elusive $2 trillion deal.

The banks, who had been sizing up investor demand for the I.P.O., delivered their findings to Amin H. Nasser, Aramco’s chief executive. Mr. Nasser was angry and taken aback by the news, said two people who were in the room and three others briefed on it later. He pointed out that some of the bankers had promised an Aramco valuation of even more than $2 trillion, and that his company had curbed spending plans and made other changes to accommodate the $75 billion dividend.

After the tense exchange, the bankers piled into cars and drove four hours across the desert to Riyadh to explain their reports, one by one, to Mr. al-Rumayyan, the Aramco chairman, said two of the people who were on the trip.

Mr. al-Rumayyan was also deeply unhappy. During the JPMorgan group’s presentation, according to four people with knowledge of the meeting, he criticized them for talking the valuation down. By the next day, Oct. 16, when the banking syndicate met to regroup, two camps had emerged: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America said that until they could share additional research on Aramco’s finances and hold more detailed conversations with potential buyers, they could not determine what price investors would truly be willing to pay, said three people who were part of the discussion and three who were briefed on it later.

Bankers from Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, who had been working on the deal for years, were skeptical that investors would be willing to pay much more than they were already suggesting. The bankers argued that Saudi officials in charge of the I.P.O. should be given more details on why investors were cooler to the deal than expected. Underscoring that point, said three people who were there, was Franck Petitgas, head of Morgan Stanley’s international division, who asked how the underwriters could, in good conscience, not share the dozens of investor comments the bankers received in their initial meetings. (Through a spokesman, Mr. Petitgas declined to comment.)

Michael Klein, a New York investment banker who was hired to advise Aramco, urged the more forward-looking approach. After another meeting with the bankers, a Saudi I.P.O. committee opted to delay the deal to hold additional investor discussions.

Aramco decided to carry on and on Nov. 3 issued its formal plan to go public. Its prospectus reported enormous profit — $68 billion for the first nine months of the year. But there were also caveats: Those earnings were down 18 percent from the year before, and risk factors to investing in the I.P.O. ranged from concerns over the impact of fossil fuels to the possibility of terrorist attacks.

The banks talked with investors, but their prices didn’t fundamentally change; at meetings held Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 with Mr. al-Rumayyan in Riyadh, banks reported that foreign investors were still valuing Aramco somewhere between $1.3 trillion and $1.8 trillion, according to two people who were there.

Faced with that, the kingdom abruptly canceled a series of more formal investor meetings in Asia, Europe and North America. It relegated most of the American banks to lesser roles and refocused on the plans for a domestic listing.

In the run-up to the I.P.O., interest in Aramco shares in Saudi Arabia appeared strong, buoyed by a substantial marketing campaign and low-interest-rate loans for stock purchases.

Hussam A. al-Saleh, a financial adviser based in Riyadh, predicted last month that most of his Saudi clients would wind up buying shares. Some of the interest stemmed from Aramco’s reputation in the kingdom as a classic stock, he said: “People believe in the company.”

And for the Saudi leadership, the pursuit of a $2 trillion valuation continues.

“It will be higher than the $2 trillion. I can bet that this will happen,” said Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister, who is the half brother of Prince Mohammed, speaking Friday at an OPEC news conference.

“It is the proudest day for Prince Mohammed to celebrate,” he said, referring to the offering. “We kept it to our family and friends.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

How Aramco’s Huge I.P.O. Fell Short of Saudi Prince’s Wish

Westlake Legal Group 04aramco-2-facebookJumbo How Aramco’s Huge I.P.O. Fell Short of Saudi Prince’s Wish Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) Initial Public Offerings Banking and Financial Institutions

Early on Oct. 15, a group of international investment bankers delivered some unwelcome news to top executives of Saudi Arabia’s giant oil company, Saudi Aramco.

The bankers, gathered at Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran, reported that global investors weren’t as bullish on the company’s initial public offering of stock as the officials had expected, said two people who were in the room and three who were briefed on the meeting. That meant Aramco appeared unlikely to reach the $2 trillion valuation wanted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Instead, a banker from JPMorgan Chase, presenting on behalf of the group, explained that investors viewed Aramco as worth $1.1 trillion to $1.7 trillion.

Aramco executives, who hadn’t seen the news coming, were angry. Saudi Arabia was counting on the I.P.O. to attract foreign investment to help diversify its economy away from oil. An Aramco I.P.O. valuation reduced by forecasts of weakening global demand for oil and geopolitical jitters could hurt that effort.

On Thursday, Saudi Aramco priced the I.P.O at 32 riyals, or $8.53, a share, valuing the company at $1.7 trillion. The offering is expected to raise $25.6 billion — a fraction of the $100 billion that Prince Mohammed originally imagined. The company’s shares are set to begin trading Wednesday on Saudi’s stock exchange, known as the Tadawul.

The result was not what Saudi officials had in mind. Rather than being listed in New York or London, shares of Aramco are being sold primarily to investors in Saudi Arabia and in neighboring countries. Some of the international banks hired to underwrite the deal have instead taken on secondary roles, with the I.P.O. share sales being overseen by two Saudi banks and the British bank HSBC.

“The Aramco I.P.O. was meant to be Saudi Arabia’s debut ball to global investors,” said Karen Young, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “Instead, it will be more of a family reunion.”

According to interviews with a dozen underwriters, strategists and others briefed on the I.P.O., who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential negotiations, Aramco’s journey from private to public company was an unwieldy and at times fractious deal-making process. It involved 25 banks, three financial advisers, numerous Aramco company officials, at least two Saudi government committees and the crown prince himself.

The idea to sell shares in state-owned Aramco, the world’s most profitable company, which for decades has been an engine of the Saudi economy, was foundational to Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 plan to modernize that economy. Released in 2016, that blueprint helped vault Prince Mohammed, then the deputy crown prince, to become the heir apparent to his father, King Salman. JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and HSBC were brought in to start the long process of preparing the company for sale to public investors.

The I.P.O. was initially proposed to take place in 2018, but then shelved amid concerns over how highly the company would be valued and where it should list its shares. That year also saw Prince Mohammed come under global condemnation after the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, by Saudi agents in Istanbul. Western intelligence agencies linked the crown prince to the killing, but he has denied involvement.

Then, this year, plans for the I.P.O. were revived.

Over two days of meetings on Sept. 3 and 4, international banks gathered in Aramco’s London offices to pitch the company for roles on the I.P.O. underwriting team.

Many of the banks said they envisioned situations where the company could be worth $2 trillion or more, said four people who attended the meeting, another three who were briefed on it and documents reviewed by The New York Times. Bank of America’s estimates reached $2.5 trillion on the high end, these people added; JPMorgan’s drifted as low as $1.4 trillion, according to the documents and two people with knowledge of their presentation.

Around the same time, Prince Mohammed installed Yasir al-Rumayyan, a close confidant who favored the $2 trillion valuation, as Aramco chairman, replacing Khalid al-Falih, a former Aramco chief executive with an engineering background. Mr. al-Rumayyan, the powerful governor of the kingdom’s $320 billion Public Investment Fund, had discussed the plans with bank officials over the summer.

Then on Sept. 14, on its path to going public, Aramco was jarred by an aerial attack on its production facilities, blamed on Iran, that temporarily cut its oil output in half. The attack underscored the risk of operating in the Middle East, but it did not deter the march to an I.P.O.

Deal makers soon fanned out over Asia, Europe and North America to gauge interest in Aramco by Fidelity Investments, Capital Group, BlackRock and other major investors. To make Aramco more attractive, the banks persuaded it to establish an enormous investor dividend, or annual payout — $75 billion a year.

But in meetings with roughly 80 mutual funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds, underwriters and investors said, potential buyers balked at the $2 trillion valuation, which struck them as too high relative to other major oil companies and in light of low oil prices, climate-change concerns and other geopolitical pressures.

“We felt that a valuation in the range of $1.2 to $1.3 trillion would represent fair value,” or a reasonable price, “but it would need to I.P.O. at less than that to offer decent upside,” or investor profit potential, said Tal Lomnitzer, a portfolio manager at the fund company Janus Henderson who participated in the early investor discussions.

His was in some ways the typical buyer’s position at the onset of a negotiation: to argue for the lowest price in hopes of making money on the purchase if Aramco shares went up in public-market trading. But given the wide gap between views like Mr. Lomnitzer’s and the Saudi government’s $2 trillion expectations, some of the bankers were concerned.

Then came the meeting on Oct. 15 at Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran on the kingdom’s Persian Gulf coast, and one that would follow the next day. Of all the crucial moments in the lead-up to the I.P.O., these gatherings may have been the most tense, according to four people who either attended the meetings or were briefed afterward. It was then that some of the bankers — motivated by the promise of enormous fees for evaluating the oil company’s investment potential and then selling shares to respected investors — clashed with kingdom officials and other advisers who were fixating on an increasingly elusive $2 trillion deal.

The banks, who had been sizing up investor demand for the I.P.O., delivered their findings to Amin H. Nasser, Aramco’s chief executive. Mr. Nasser was angry and taken aback by the news, said two people who were in the room and three others briefed on it later. He pointed out that some of the bankers had promised an Aramco valuation of even more than $2 trillion, and that his company had curbed spending plans and made other changes to accommodate the $75 billion dividend.

After the tense exchange, the bankers piled into cars and drove four hours across the desert to Riyadh to explain their reports, one by one, to Mr. al-Rumayyan, the Aramco chairman, said two of the people who were on the trip.

Mr. al-Rumayyan was also deeply unhappy. During the JPMorgan group’s presentation, according to four people with knowledge of the meeting, he criticized them for talking the valuation down. By the next day, Oct. 16, when the banking syndicate met to regroup, two camps had emerged: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America said that until they could share additional research on Aramco’s finances and hold more detailed conversations with potential buyers, they could not determine what price investors would truly be willing to pay, said three people who were part of the discussion and three who were briefed on it later.

Bankers from Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, who had been working on the deal for years, were skeptical that investors would be willing to pay much more than they were already suggesting. The bankers argued that Saudi officials in charge of the I.P.O. should be given more details on why investors were cooler to the deal than expected. Underscoring that point, said three people who were there, was Franck Petitgas, head of Morgan Stanley’s international division, who asked how the underwriters could, in good conscience, not share the dozens of investor comments the bankers received in their initial meetings. (Through a spokesman, Mr. Petitgas declined to comment.)

Michael Klein, a New York investment banker who was hired to advise Aramco, urged the more forward-looking approach. After another meeting with the bankers, a Saudi I.P.O. committee opted to delay the deal to hold additional investor discussions.

Aramco decided to carry on and on Nov. 3 issued its formal plan to go public. Its prospectus reported enormous profit — $68 billion for the first nine months of the year. But there were also caveats: Those earnings were down 18 percent from the year before, and risk factors to investing in the I.P.O. ranged from concerns over the impact of fossil fuels to the possibility of terrorist attacks.

The banks talked with investors, but their prices didn’t fundamentally change; at meetings held Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 with Mr. al-Rumayyan in Riyadh, banks reported that foreign investors were still valuing Aramco somewhere between $1.3 trillion and $1.8 trillion, according to two people who were there.

Faced with that, the kingdom abruptly canceled a series of more formal investor meetings in Asia, Europe and North America. It relegated most of the American banks to lesser roles and refocused on the plans for a domestic listing.

In the run-up to the I.P.O., interest in Aramco shares in Saudi Arabia appeared strong, buoyed by a substantial marketing campaign and low-interest-rate loans for stock purchases.

Hussam A. al-Saleh, a financial adviser based in Riyadh, predicted last month that most of his Saudi clients would wind up buying shares. Some of the interest stemmed from Aramco’s reputation in the kingdom as a classic stock, he said: “People believe in the company.”

And for the Saudi leadership, the pursuit of a $2 trillion valuation continues.

“It will be higher than the $2 trillion. I can bet that this will happen,” said Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Saudi energy minister, who is the half brother of Prince Mohammed, speaking Friday at an OPEC news conference.

“It is the proudest day for Prince Mohammed to celebrate,” he said, referring to the offering. “We kept it to our family and friends.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

TikTok video of bread being made with baby power, Febreze has internet asking questions

A TikTok video demonstration of bread made out of baby powder, baby oil and a hint of Febreze is eliciting horror online.

“There r so many unhinged ppl on tiktok but this… theres something that feels so chaotic but so calculated im scared,” wrote a Twitter user who shared a version of the video on Wednesday.

The video, which has been viewed more than 2 million times, shows a person pouring baby powder into a mixing bowl, followed by baby oil and egg yolks. Before making the bizarre concoction, the person also sprayed Febreze into the mixing bowl – apparently a substitute for cooking spray.

PENNSYLVANIA TEEN POSTS TIK TOK VIDEO MOMENTS AFTER CAR ACCIDENT WITH FRIENDS 

After all the ingredients are mixed together and the dough-like creation is slathered with an unknown substance (butter, perhaps?), the mixture is placed in an oven. What emerges is what the untrained eye would assume is freshly-baked bread.

Other Twitter users were left horrified and utterly confused.

“The police need to be legitimately called,” one Twitter user commented.

REDDIT USERS SHARE ‘WRONG’ AND BIZARRE WAYS TO EAT CERTAIN FOODS: ‘IT WAS ABSOLUTELY HORRIFYING’

Westlake Legal Group Johnson-Johnson-Baby-Powder-GETTY-cropped TikTok video of bread being made with baby power, Febreze has internet asking questions Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/recipes fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 208c5d61-dd3d-5bdd-ace7-a3c1437228ac

A TikTok video purporting to demonstrate a bread made out of baby powder, baby oil and a spray of Febreze is causing horror online. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“This why my mom say you cant eat by everybody house,” another person wrote.

Another Twitter user said, “She straight up planning on murdering someone with that loaf.”

However, others weren’t buying it and called into question the video’s authenticity.

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“Definitely would of actually been funny if this was the actual result,” a Twitter user wrote.

“It’s def fake!” another person said. “There’s no way baby powder makes bread. They were def switching out ingredients between shots.”

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Westlake Legal Group Johnson-Johnson-Baby-Powder-GETTY-cropped TikTok video of bread being made with baby power, Febreze has internet asking questions Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/recipes fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 208c5d61-dd3d-5bdd-ace7-a3c1437228ac   Westlake Legal Group Johnson-Johnson-Baby-Powder-GETTY-cropped TikTok video of bread being made with baby power, Febreze has internet asking questions Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/food-drink/recipes fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 208c5d61-dd3d-5bdd-ace7-a3c1437228ac

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With Support of Just One Republican, House Passes ‘Historic’ Bill to Restore and Expand Voting Rights

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Pensacola Shooting Updates: Gunman Was a Saudi Military Trainee

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

transcript

‘You Just Don’t Expect This,’ Sheriff Says of Pensacola Shooting

A gunman killed three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida before he was fatally shot by officers. It was the second shooting this week at a Navy base.

“Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie. And as the mayor eloquently put, you just don’t expect this to happen at home. This doesn’t happen in Escambia County, it doesn’t happen in Pensacola. It doesn’t happen to our friends and neighbors who are members of the United States Navy. But it did. And it has. And so for now, we’re here to pick up the pieces.” “This is a tragic day for the city of Pensacola. NAS (Naval Air Station) is incredibly an important part of our community — for 200 years this has been a part of the city of Pensacola — and we’re a military town. Our hearts and prayers are connected to all those that serve us every day, and certainly the expectation that this would happen here at home was unexpected.”

Westlake Legal Group 06pensacola-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Pensacola Shooting Updates: Gunman Was a Saudi Military Trainee United States Navy United States Defense and Military Forces PENSACOLA, Fla. PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii mass shootings DeSantis, Ron

A gunman killed three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida before he was fatally shot by officers. It was the second shooting this week at a Navy base.CreditCredit…WEAR-TV, via Associated Press

Three people were shot dead early Friday at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., and the gunman was a trainee with the Saudi Air Force, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said.

A United States military official identified the suspect as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County said the gunman was killed by a sheriff’s deputy.

“He was training in aviation,” said Capt. Timothy F. Kinsella Jr., the base’s commanding officer, who declined to comment on whether the shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

But Representative Matt Gaetz, whose congressional district includes Pensacola, said he was convinced the shooting, in which eight people were also wounded, was a terrorist act and blamed a lapse in federal vetting of foreign trainees.

“We can safely call this an act of terrorism, not an act of workplace violence,” he told WEAR television.

The Pensacola base has long hosted international students for flight training. A couple hundred foreign students are enrolled in the program, Captain Kinsella said.

Sheriff Morgan said the gunman used a handgun. Unauthorized weapons are not allowed on the base, Captain Kinsella said, adding, “You can’t bring a weapon on base unless you’re part of the security forces.”

King Salman of Saudi Arabia called President Trump to give his condolences and share that Saudis are infuriated by the shooting, Mr. Trump said.

“The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, adding that King Salman also said the gunman does not represent the feelings of Saudis.

In a statement, the Saudi Embassy in Washington said King Salman had directed the kingdom’s security services to cooperate with their American counterparts “to uncover information that will help determine the cause of this horrific attack.”

Vice President Mike Pence said in a message on Twitter that he was “saddened” to hear about the “horrible” shooting.

Governor DeSantis, a Republican, traveled to Pensacola on Friday afternoon. He suggested the government of Saudi Arabia might need to compensate the families of the shooting victims.

“The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims, and I think they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this is one of their individuals,” he said.

Mr. Gaetz, the Republican congressman, said the naval air base “is a huge source of pride for all of Northwest Florida.”

“I know there are places all over the country where, at times, there is tension between a military mission and a community, but in our home, this is who we are,” he said. “This is what we love, and it’s why our hearts break today.”

The base at Pensacola, on Florida’s Panhandle, dates to the 1820s and is considered by the service to be the home of naval aviation. Since World War I, most Navy and Marine Corps aviators and flight officers have begun their flight training there, and it is where the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based.

Among the eight injured were two deputies who were shot, one in the arm and one in the knee, but are expected to recover, Sheriff Morgan said. The base employs more than 16,000 military personnel and 7,400 civilians.

Kathy Bowers, a spokeswoman for Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, said that the hospital had received eight patients. One of the victims transported to Baptist later died, according to Chief Deputy Chip Simmons of Escambia County. Two other victims died on the base, he said.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

“They’re part of the Navy family,” Captain Kinsella said. “They’re part of us, and our heart goes out to those of you who may be affected by this tragedy.”

Officials began receiving calls about the shooting about 6:50 a.m., and the base was put on lockdown. The shooting took place on two floors of a classroom building.

“Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie,” Sheriff Morgan said.

He added that the authorities were not looking for any additional gunmen.

The New York Times

Captain Kinsella said that about 200 international students were training at the base, which has hosted military trainees from other countries for decades.

“In World War II, we had Royal Air Force folks that were training here,” he said.

Aviation Preflight Indoctrination program students hail from countries such as France, Italy and Norway, in addition to Saudi Arabia, which began sending trainees to the base in 1995. They usually train to fly either helicopters or F-15s, according to a Navy pilot familiar with the program.

Mr. Gaetz said it was critical to ensure that allied military officers are familiar with American systems and personnel. “Many of them have gone to work right along our war fighters in the Middle East and all around the world,” the congressman said in a video message on Twitter.

There are often a couple of foreign students in a class of 15 or so; Americans and Saudis go through their initial training together before branching off separately.

“They become naval aviators while they’re here,” Captain Kinsella said.

Jeff Bergosh, an Escambia County commissioner, works at the base as a facilities management contractor. Shortly before 7 a.m., he pulled up to the main road that leads to the gate and noticed dozens of cars, an unusual number, waiting in front of him.

Then dozens of police and emergency vehicles came roaring past, he said, with their “loud sirens and screaming motors,” converging on the base from the roads around him. Alarms were going off inside the base, too, he said.

Mr. Bergosh quickly contacted his nine employees to make sure they were safe. Three of them were already inside, taking cover in a building because of the lockdown. He spoke to them.

“They said they were good,” Mr. Bergosh said. And then they confirmed what he had feared: “It was not a drill.”

More than an hour later, Mr. Bergosh entered the base with other county officials, and they made their way to the scene of the shooting. He saw blood and spent casings. Emergency medical workers had been treating the wounded. A helicopter was on hand for evacuations.

“There were hundreds of personnel,” Mr. Bergosh said. “It was an active crime scene.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 06pensacola-02-articleLarge Pensacola Shooting Updates: Gunman Was a Saudi Military Trainee United States Navy United States Defense and Military Forces PENSACOLA, Fla. PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii mass shootings DeSantis, Ron

Officials began receiving calls about the shooting about 6:50 a.m., and the base was put on lockdown.Credit…Tony Giberson/Pensacola News Journal, via Associated Press

Two mothers who live on the base waited anxiously to return on Friday morning.

Rita, who declined to give her full name, sat in a cherry-red van with her three oldest daughters, whom she had taken off the school bus after the shooting started. Rita said she had heard four shots from her house, but assumed it was training — not an active shooter — until her husband, who works on the base as a substance abuse counselor, had called to ask if she and their daughters were safe.

Rita said she wasn’t able to get back on the base after she picked up her older daughters. She has three younger daughters who remained on the base with their grandmother.

Around 11 a.m., Rita was sitting in her van on the side of the road, parked in front of a bridge that leads to the base. It was blocked off by several police vehicles.

Near her, another mother also waited outside the base with two of her children. Lucy, who also declined to give her last name, said she had called her husband repeatedly after learning of the shooting, but he did not pick up until about the fifth try.

He told her to tell their children that he loved them, she said, and a mix of emotions — anger, sadness, fear — flooded over her. Her family was safe, but she was frustrated to be kept off the base, away from her two other children and her husband. She said her husband had been preparing for a pinning ceremony scheduled for members of the Navy on Saturday.

The first, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Oahu on Wednesday, came as that installation was preparing for the 78th anniversary on Dec. 7 of the Japanese attack that marked the United States’ entry into World War II.

A United States sailor opened fire at a dry dock at the base, the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, fatally shooting two shipyard workers and injuring another before killing himself, the authorities said.

The motive for the shooting is not yet known. It was also not clear whether the active-duty sailor targeted the three shipyard workers — Department of Defense civilians — or fired indiscriminately.

The sailor was assigned to the U.S.S. Columbia, a submarine docked at the shipyard for maintenance, Rear Adm. Robert B. Chadwick II, commander for the Navy in Hawaii, said.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Adam Goldman, Derrick Bryson Taylor, John Ismay, Lara Jakes, Eric Schmitt and Kalyn Wolfe contributed reporting.

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62 members of Latin Kings charged after large scale bust

More than 60 members of the Latin Kings are facing federal charges after the FBI and other agencies took part in a wide-spread bust on Thursday morning, according to officials.

Members of the gang’s East Coast leadership were among those charged in what Joseph Bonavolonta, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said was the “largest takedown” in their office’s history.

The bust, called “Operation Throne Down,” was carried out after nearly four years of infiltration by law enforcement, who recorded high-level conversations through informants and social media posts that could implicate the members, according to Boston.com.

MASTERMIND OF INFAMOUS GOFUNDME HOMELESS SCAM FACING 5-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE

Westlake Legal Group Latin-Kings-Bust-Massachusetts-US-Attorneys-office 62 members of Latin Kings charged after large scale bust fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 600b8822-15f6-5833-b588-540e0d51a0ce

Over 60 members of the Latin Kings are facing federal charges after the FBI and other agencies took part in a wide-spread bust on Thursday morning, according to officials. (Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office)

Over 650 law enforcement agents started making arrests around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday that saw 62 alleged gang members charged. The charges vary from drug trafficking and firearms abuses to RICO conspiracy. To arrest the more dangerous suspects, 10 SWAT teams were deployed by the North Shore Gang Task Force.

Nine of them are in custody, while eight are now fugitives, according to the outlet.

Gang members were reportedly monitored on social media wearing colors of the Latin Kings, flashing gang signs and rapping about drugs or murder in a series of YouTube rap videos. Other videos were reportedly shot at locations where members of the gang were murdered and officials believe some of the lyrics mentioned shooting other gang members, according to Boston.com

Law enforcement also gained access to three confidential sources they say helped them take down the gang leadership.

MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR DEFENDS ‘INTEGRITY’ OF EBT SYSTEM FOLLOWING REPORT OF ABUSE

“To get at gang leadership, you almost always need a highly placed cooperating source,” Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a press conference. “If you don’t have that, it’s very difficult to get the leaders.”

Lelling said they gained an understanding of the gang’s violent ways gradually throughout the investigation.

“Time after time, we uncovered their planning of brazen acts of violence against those who ran afoul of the gang’s manifesto and constitution,” he said, according to the outlet.

During Thursday’s arrests in Massachusetts, police seized dozens of firearms, including machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, as well as six cars, six motorcycles, three jet skis, an ATV, drugs and $38,000.

They also recovered two missing children, a 14-year-old boy from New Bedford and a 16-year-old boy from Fall River.

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“Having taken out most of the leadership, it’s extremely difficult for the gang to regroup in this region” any time soon, Lelling told Boston.com. “It puts us a step ahead of them regionally — for once.”

Westlake Legal Group Latin-Kings-Bust-Massachusetts-US-Attorneys-office 62 members of Latin Kings charged after large scale bust fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 600b8822-15f6-5833-b588-540e0d51a0ce   Westlake Legal Group Latin-Kings-Bust-Massachusetts-US-Attorneys-office 62 members of Latin Kings charged after large scale bust fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 600b8822-15f6-5833-b588-540e0d51a0ce

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‘She Was Traumatized’: Virginia Prison Strip-Searched 8-Year-Old Visiting Her Dad

Westlake Legal Group 5c1a9bc21d00002c0231b104 ‘She Was Traumatized’: Virginia Prison Strip-Searched 8-Year-Old Visiting Her Dad

Reports of Virginia prison staff strip-searching an 8-year-old girl visiting her incarcerated father prompted outrage Thursday, leading state officials to suspend all such searches of minors on Friday.

The Virginian-Pilot was the first to share text messages the child sent her mother about the incident at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, where she went to visit her father with his girlfriend on Nov. 24. In order to see him, prison staff made her strip down completely naked.

“Hey Mom, am so mad the jail had to strip me with all of my clothes off this doesn’t make no sinc (sic)” the girl texted.

Her mother told the outlet that the girl was especially haunted by the strip search because she lives with bipolar disorder, depression and ADHD.

“She’s a minor, she’s a girl. She was traumatized,” her mother said. “She gets emotional, she will break down.”

The Virginian-Pilot did not publish the names of the girl, her mother and her father in order to protect the privacy of a minor. 

The Virginia Department of Corrections said the ordeal never should have happened.

“It is deeply troubling and represents a breach in our protocol,” DOC Director of Communications Lisa Kinney said in a statement to HuffPost. “We sincerely apologize to this child and her family and will be taking immediate disciplinary action against the person responsible.”

Strip searches of minors are “extremely rare,” she said, and in this instance the staffer who signed off on it did not get the proper consent to conduct one.

“Our procedure states that only a parent or legal guardian can approve the strip search of a minor; in this case the adult visitor who signed the consent for the minor to be strip-searched wasn’t the minor’s parent or legal guardian,” Kinney said. “The staff member who authorized the search of the minor following a K-9 alert didn’t have the authority to do so.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Friday said he’s taking steps to suspend strip searches of minors while an investigation into the policy occurs.

“I am deeply disturbed by these reports — not just as governor but as a pediatrician and a dad,” he said in a statement to The Virginian-Pilot. “I’ve directed the secretary of public safety and homeland security to suspend this policy while the department conducts an immediate investigation and review of their procedures.”

For now, the 8-year-old won’t be able to see her dad anymore, the girl’s mother told The Virginian-Pilot.

“Her and her dad have a good relationship … because she gets to go see him every weekend,” she said. “But, at the same time, she went through something that traumatized her. I’m not sending her back there.”

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Impeachment witness who invoked Barron Trump floated by liberal group for Supreme Court

Westlake Legal Group Karlan120519 Impeachment witness who invoked Barron Trump floated by liberal group for Supreme Court Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8d627510-b29b-5853-9907-1c8ab49459aa

A former Hillary Clinton aide’s organization has promoted Pamela Karlan — the Stanford professor who referenced the president’s son during an impeachment hearing this week — as a possible Democratic choice for the Supreme Court nominee, raising more questions about Karlan’s impartiality while testifying during the on-going impeachment inquiry.

Karlan is included in the list compiled by Demand Justice, a progressive group behind recent attack ads surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The group’s leader, Brian Fallon, previously served as press secretary for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and has called Trump’s SCOTUS confirmations illegitimate.

Fallon’s group has been pushing Democrats to release their list of nominees and demanded that the next SCOTUS picks include representatives of academia and other fields, rather than corporate law firms.

“It’s no surprise that radical liberal Pamela Karlan is on the Demand Justice shortlist for the Supreme Court,” Judicial Crisis Network Chief Counsel Carrie Severino said in a statement to Fox News.

PAMELA KARLAN SAYS SHE ONCE CROSSED THE STREET TO AVOID A TRUMP HOTEL IN DC

“Her particular brand of hateful, there-are-no-innocents political warfare defines the liberal elite today,” she said. “Sadly, she is also representative of the alarming nominees the left would put forward if they had the chance. America, take note.”

Severino, who helped push Kavanaugh’s confirmation, previously derided the list as a reflection of progressives’ “radical policy agenda.” “For every specific policy goal that the extreme left wants to implement, Demand Justice has provided a name — or two or three — of an ultra-liberal lawyer who has made that cause a focus of his or her activism,” she wrote in October.

Released that month, the list offered a glimpse into who progressive activists favored for the next Democratic president’s nomination.

Demand Justice did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. In addition to teaching at Stanford, Karlan has an impressive background in the judicial system.

PAMELA KARLAN ISSUES APOLOGY FOR BARRON TRUMP REFERENCE DURING IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

She previously served in the Obama administration as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Demand Justice’s website lists her previous roles as clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, as well as Judge Abraham Sofaer. She received her law degree from Yale.

Conservatives like Severino have long decried the allegedly secretive nature of Democrats’ picks for the court. Earlier in the summer, the group Alliance for Justice pushed an initiative called “Building the Bench,” aimed at identifying progressive candidates for the next president’s nomination.

‘THE VIEW’ HOSTS CLASH OVER LAW PROFESSOR’S BARRON TRUMP JOKE DURING IMPEACHMENT HEARING: ‘SO ILL-ADVISED’

It’s unclear how long Karlan has been considered by progressive groups, but her recent comments are sure to cast a negative light on any future nomination.

Karlan received widespread condemnation from those at the White House, including first lady Melania Trump, who blasted Karlan for mentioning her son.

“The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” Karlan said during Wednesday’s hearing.

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Karlan eventually apologized but she appeared to harbor anti-Trump bias. Besides speaking as a witness for Democrats, Karlan also said she crossed a street in Washington, D.C. in order to avoid Trump’s hotel.

“I came in from the airport yesterday and I got off the bus from Dulles down at L’Enfant Plaza and I walked up to the hotel and as I was walking past what used to be the old post office building and is now Trump hotel,” Karlan told an audience in 2017. “I had to cross the street, of course.”

Westlake Legal Group Karlan120519 Impeachment witness who invoked Barron Trump floated by liberal group for Supreme Court Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8d627510-b29b-5853-9907-1c8ab49459aa   Westlake Legal Group Karlan120519 Impeachment witness who invoked Barron Trump floated by liberal group for Supreme Court Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8d627510-b29b-5853-9907-1c8ab49459aa

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Melissa Francis presses White House spokesman on claim some Senate Republicans could support impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113768079001_6113763808001-vs Melissa Francis presses White House spokesman on claim some Senate Republicans could support impeachment fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4e1c7dde-b7dd-5596-85ed-a8f563a27d8b

Fox News Channel host Melissa Francis pressed a White House spokesman on a Democratic senator’s claim there are some Republicans in the chamber who are considering supporting the impeachment of President Trump.

On Friday’s “Outnumbered Overtime,” Francis played a CNN clip in which Sen. Christopher Coons of Delaware claimed Senate Democrats will be counting on a handful of Republicans to support their cause.

“We will be relying on a small number of Republicans who are pushing back against this idea — who recognize that impeachment is a serious, significant constitutional moment,” he said.

“There are, I believe, a few Republicans who recognize that what President Trump did here was demonstrably impeachable,” the former New Castle County executive continued.

Democrats will need some Republicans to vote with them in order to convict or remove the president from office if the impeachment process makes it to the Senate.

RETIREE CALLED ‘DAMN LIAR’ BY BIDEN SAYS HE JUST WANTED EX-VP TO ‘ANSWER THE HARD STUFF’ ABOUT UKRAINE, OTHER TOPICS

In turn, Francis asked Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley if it was true that some Republicans may be waffling on the issue.

“We’ve already had a vote in the House,” Gidley responded.

Francis then asked if he is confident the Senate will act similarly.

“If it goes there, [Trump] wants a trial,” Gidley said.

In response, Francis pressed further: “But, are there Republican senators who are wavering?”

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“Democrats want this fight — it’s something the president is willing to have,” the aide responded. “Not to my knowledge,” he later said, in regard to Coons’ claim.

Gidley said Trump has met with “hundreds” of congressional representatives and many Senate Republicans — asserting that they are all on board with opposing impeachment.

“This process is a sham,” he said, adding that it is Democrats who should be concerned because of the numerous freshmen lawmakers in that party who won seats in Trump-friendly districts in 2018.

He also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for ignoring the USMCA trade deal currently languishing on her desk, as well as legislation that he said would help all Americans — like infrastructure funding and prescription pharmaceutical reform.

Pelosi, he claimed, is only interested in concentrating her power and taking back the White House.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113768079001_6113763808001-vs Melissa Francis presses White House spokesman on claim some Senate Republicans could support impeachment fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4e1c7dde-b7dd-5596-85ed-a8f563a27d8b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6113768079001_6113763808001-vs Melissa Francis presses White House spokesman on claim some Senate Republicans could support impeachment fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/delaware fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4e1c7dde-b7dd-5596-85ed-a8f563a27d8b

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Rosie O’Donnell defends law professor over Barron Trump joke: ‘I don’t think she did anything wrong’

Westlake Legal Group rosie-odonnell-Getty Rosie O’Donnell defends law professor over Barron Trump joke: ‘I don’t think she did anything wrong’ Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/rosie-odonnell fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 69b22102-a373-5d19-aeea-93b6ea14cace

Rosie O’Donnell does not think Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan owed the First Family an apology after she made a joke about the president’s son at a House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing this week.

O’Donnell, 58, said Karlan’s words were “taken out of context.” Karlan initially received backlash on Wednesday for using Barron Trump’s first name as an example while discussing the Constitution.

ROSIE O’DONNELL AND ELIZABETH ROONEY CALL OFF ENGAGEMENT

Karlan said on Wednesday: “The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”

O’Donnell defended the professor, saying to TMZ: “I don’t think that she did anything wrong. She was trying to say that he’s not a king. You could have a child named Barron but he can’t make him a baron.

ROSIE O’DONNELL GETS CANDID ABOUT HER FEUD WITH WHOOPI GOLDBERG ON ‘THE VIEW’: ‘SHE WOULD JUST SIT THERE’

“She was trying to say that he’s not a king,” the former “View” co-host added.

O’Donnell then continued to bash President Trump, calling him a “terrible human” and a “cruel man.”

On Thursday, “The View” co-hosts debated over Karlan’s words.

‘THE VIEW’ DISHES ON TWITTER FEUD BETWEEN THE CONWAYS, SUNNY HOSTIN PREDICTS A DIVORCE

“Maybe they missed this part but she was not speaking about the child,” Whoopi Goldberg said. “She was speaking about his name and how it played into what he could not do. He cannot take a title. She was not being disrespectful or nasty.”

Melania Trump responded on Twitter to Karlan name-dropping her 13-year-old son.

ROSIE O’DONNELL RAILS AGAINST BIDEN’S CANDIDACY: ‘YOUR TIME HAS PASSED’

“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” the first lady wrote.

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O’Donnell said to TMZ that the nation is in trouble.

“The democracy itself is at stake. So if this is not impeachable, what is impeachable?”

Westlake Legal Group rosie-odonnell-Getty Rosie O’Donnell defends law professor over Barron Trump joke: ‘I don’t think she did anything wrong’ Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/rosie-odonnell fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 69b22102-a373-5d19-aeea-93b6ea14cace   Westlake Legal Group rosie-odonnell-Getty Rosie O’Donnell defends law professor over Barron Trump joke: ‘I don’t think she did anything wrong’ Melissa Roberto fox-news/person/rosie-odonnell fox-news/person/melania-trump fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 69b22102-a373-5d19-aeea-93b6ea14cace

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