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Susan Collins flees from reporter when asked if she still believes Trump learned “a very big lesson” | When asked in the Oval Office what “lesson” he had learned from impeachment, Trump said: “Democrats are crooked”

Westlake Legal Group DK384SjAgqYSyJLPQc7fZqsJcEgn4eGFNz5SAlwkNQ8 Susan Collins flees from reporter when asked if she still believes Trump learned "a very big lesson” | When asked in the Oval Office what "lesson" he had learned from impeachment, Trump said: "Democrats are crooked" r/politics

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Buttigieg vies for top spot in New Hampshire

Westlake Legal Group image Buttigieg vies for top spot in New Hampshire fox-news/shows/special-report/transcript fox news fnc/transcript fnc article 8467d753-6a64-5172-b533-c309afe688e5

This is a rush transcript from “Special Report,” February 11, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Here’s by the way, Jesse, you know what, the food up here in New Hampshire, the clam chowder, delicious.


JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, I’ll be there.

DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: All right, set your DVRs. Never miss an episode of THE FIVE. Special New Hampshire Primary coverage begins right now.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Eight Democratic candidates, 24 pledged delegates, and 100 years as the first in the nation primary.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Who will come out on top and who may be calling it quits? This is DEMOCRACY 2020: THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY.


BAIER: We don’t literally don’t have raw vote numbers.

MACCALLUM: They are being let down in such a huge way right now.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: Its top tier candidates spent a lot of time here.

WILLIAMS: But why would you trust any result coming from Iowa?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICS EDITOR: This is really too bad for the state.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: The Iowa Democratic Party has failed them terribly tonight.


BAIER: Good evening. Welcome to New Hampshire. I’m Bret Baier.

MACCALLUM: And I’m Martha MacCallum. It’s an exciting night here. We are coming to you live from the Fox box in Bedford, New Hampshire.

BAIER: And little less than one hour, the first polls close here, and then, all of the polls will close 8:00 p.m. We have “FOX TEAM COVERAGE” to start out the show. Correspondents covering all the major campaigns.

Plus, the finest analysis, opinion, even some predictions along the way.

MACCALLUM: Let’s kick things off now in Manchester, where correspondent Peter Doocy, shows us how the candidates spent this final day. Good evening, Peter.

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER: Good evening, Martha and Bret. Joe Biden predicted last week he’d probably take a hit here, but it won’t be around to feel it. Biden volunteers and well-wishers and staffers from his 10 New Hampshire field offices will watch the results come in tonight by themselves, so he can get a head start on the South Carolina primary.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: — gone. We’re going to head to South Carolina tonight.

DOOCY: That wasn’t the plan when Biden started courting New Hampshire voters.

BIDEN: New Hampshire and I were important. And I plan on winning New Hampshire.

DOOCY: Still, the 77-year-old believes, history is on his side.

BIDEN: Remember, when everybody talks about how everybody won before. Clinton, when lost the first nine events. He get won one, went on Iowa, went onto win the nomination.

Look, the rest of the nation is out there. There’s an awful lot of electoral votes to be had, and we’re going to see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go get them. Go get them.

DOOCY: Some rivals were quick to call out Biden for bailing.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it says that he’s not here to fight for the votes in New Hampshire.

DOOCY: Elizabeth Warren pitched herself today to Biden and Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s supporters at multiple polling places.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any last minute, days for people who are on the fence about you today?


WARREN: Every day. Yes, vote for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, what kind of people here —


WARREN: I got the best chance at beating Donald Trump.


WARREN: because I’m going to bring this party together and I run a core democratic values, and I’m going to fight hard.

DOOCY: Warren has struggled to capitalize on a possible home-field advantage. But the other senator from New England hasn’t.

Bernie Sanders headlined a concert last night and 7,500 people came.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had, by far, the largest a rally than any democratic candidate and the New Hampshire primary has had.

DOOCY: That event was all about reinforcing the senator’s consistency, just ask AOC.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Now, people think that progressive ideals are involved. Who put them involved? Which candidate in this race never took a corporate PAC money ever in their life — in their life? Senator Bernie Sanders.

DOOCY: The second biggest crowds this week have been for Pete Buttigieg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go, Pete. We got this.

DOOCY: Now, the 38-year-old believes he is poised to win a second contest in a row.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Mayor, you’re going to win here today?

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We think so, it feels fantastic. The volunteers are fired up and energy on the grounds waterfalls.

DOOCY: Buttigieg isn’t the only Midwesterner opening for an upset tonight.


DOOCY: Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bloomberg were the surprise winners of tiny precincts where a few dozen ballots were cast at midnight.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The early votes, the midnight polls, and our — any invitation we’re going to have a pretty good night tonight.

DOOCY: There is so much optimism for so many of the candidates except for one.

BIDEN: We’re still mildly hopeful here in New Hampshire, and we will see what happens.


DOOCY: They’re setting up right now behind us for a Sanders watch party that is expected to be big enough to fill up a field house on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

And a signal that the campaign is not just expecting the senator to give a stump speech, but instead, a victory speech. They’ve got something here that they don’t normally have for the senator, a teleprompter. Martha and Bret.

MACCALLUM: Peter, thank you very much. So, some polls will be closing at the top of the hour and other places voting goes on until 8:00 Eastern.

BAIER: While we wait for results, let’s find out what our “VOTER ANALYSIS” is telling us. “FOX NEWS @ NIGHT” anchor, Shannon Bream has that information. Good evening. Shannon.

BREAM: Good evening, Bret and Martha. Our team has been investigating what is motivating voters here in New Hampshire. Here’s some of the biggest things that we’ve seen in our Fox News “VOTER ANALYSIS” election survey of more than 3,000 Democratic primary voters.

The big debate within the Democratic Party, should they nominate a candidate who will restore the system in Washington to the pre-Trump era, or one who will burn it down completely and change how the political system works?

Twice as many as you can see these numbers here want to change the political system. Now, among Bernie Sanders supporters, not surprisingly, nearly 90 percent want the change?

Some candidates have cried foul over the DNC debate roles, and as they’ve changed then, they had the mess in Iowa last week. So, we asked Democratic primary voters here, how much faith they had in the party’s process for picking a nominee. Is it fair? Well, just about six and 10 think it is fair.

Now, among folks backing Bernie Sanders, though, over half of them say they’re actually not confident in this system. Amongst supporters of every other candidate, voters have faith in how the party is picking their nominee this time around.

Now, so, the economy no doubt, President Trump is out there touting his economic record on the campaign trail, who do primary voters here Democrats think can do the best job handling the economy.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the top picks, after that, it’s a pair of billionaires, in Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. And as you know, Bloomberg isn’t even on the ballot here in New Hampshire, although he’s getting a lot of right and attention.

Now, what about foreign policy, who do they think can best handle that job here? Joe Biden is the clear choice, followed by Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren, and Tulsi Gabbard.

One more, how much did Iowa make a difference in New Hampshire? What about Friday’s debate? How did they weigh in? Well, one in five granite staters knew all along who they were going to support. But more than one in three, just days ago, they have just made their decision. Some of them actually as they’re going into the ballot box today.

There’s a whole lot more of our data coming up. So, we’ll be back soon. Bret, Martha, back to you.

BAIER: All right, Shannon. Thank you. As Peter Doocy reported, former Vice President Joe Biden has already pulled up stakes moved on to the next primary calendar stop in South Carolina.

MACCALLUM: Correspondent Mark Meredith is still with us. However, he’s in Nashua. Good evening, Mark.

MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Martha. If Joe Biden supporters decide to show up to this hotel ballroom, as you mentioned, you’re right. They will not be seeing the former vice president take the stage behind me. Instead, there are some video monitors that have been set up. Biden is expected to deliver an address. That way and as Peter mentioned, he’ll be delivering those remarks later tonight in South Carolina.

Now, a top Biden surrogate here in New Hampshire tells Fox News that no doubt, some of his supporters are discouraged by Biden’s decision to leave the state early. It’s unclear there whether or not at this point that means fewer people show up to watch the results come in.

Biden’s poll numbers in New Hampshire have slipped over the last few weeks. Biden’s sister, she is expected to thank those supporters later on tonight in place of the former vice president.

Thank those people that have been working on the ground for the last several months. Biden’s campaign says they do envision more travel ahead past South Carolina, including stops in Nevada. Bret and Martha.

BAIER: Mark, thanks.

MACCALLUM: So, South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is looking for another strong finish after Iowa.

BAIER: His campaign team is in Nashua tonight and hoping for a big celebration there. Correspondent Matt Finn is there as well. Good evening, Matt.

MATT FINN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret and Martha. The doors to this election night party open in about 15 minutes. So far, we’ve seen a small line of supporters forming. But for right now, there is way more members of the media inside of this building.

Mayor Pete’s day began at 6:00 this morning at a voting center in Manchester. And then, we caught up with him a short while later at a polling center in Nashua, where he told the crowd he was feeling fantastic.

And over the past couple of days, Mayor Pete has been greeted by his supporters chanting what has become signature cheers, President Pete and Boot-Edge-Edge, which is the campaign’s humorous attempt to help support us trying to pronounce his last name.

We have seen very energized Buttigieg supporters across this state. Buttigieg clearly has momentum here in New Hampshire. His campaign claims he has held 20 events since Friday, the most of any candidate.

Buttigieg is scheduled to make a stop in Bedford, New Hampshire at any moment, and then, eventually, he will make his way here. Martha, Bret.

BAIER: All right, Matt, thank you.

MACCALLUM: Thanks, Matt. All right, let’s get some thoughts on what to expect once the results start coming in. Joining us our senior political analyst Brit Hume and “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” anchor Chris Wallace.

BAIER: Gentlemen, good evening.


BAIER: Brit, your thoughts on this day.

HUME: I’m certainly struck by this number that we’re — where the voters are telling us that two — the two-thirds of them want major structural change in our country, only one-third want a restoration of how things were. That’s a striking number.

I mean, here we are with record low unemployment — record low unemployment among minorities, you know, times, political battles aside are good in America. And yet, you have this vote.

I think it’s fair to say we have an angry Democratic Party in the state of New Hampshire and probably an angry Democratic Party around the country. And the cause of that is — there’s no doubt about what the cause of that, it’s all about Mr. Trump.

BAIER: And it bodes well for Bernie Sanders.

HUME: Well, I would certainly think it does, indeed, bode well for Bernie Sanders. So, the question we’re looking at tonight, is, you know, who gets to be the alternative? If Bernie Sanders wins as expected and has been widely expected. The betting odds now having people are betting 73.4 percent of the money is being bet on him. Just about 25th Buttigieg — Biden, 0.1 percent — 0.1 percent of the money is being bet on Joe Biden tonight.

MACCALLUM: I mean, I’m wondering who’s going to show up at that party. You know, I mean, you know, the candidate has left, Chris. He’s in South Carolina tonight. I mean, this is striking. It’s really striking, but it’s happening to Joe Biden.



MACCALLUM: Before we know the numbers tonight.

WALLACE: Brit and — has been talking about this earlier tonight that sometimes candidates move on to the next state because they’re trying to carry the momentum from what they did in one state to another state. That’s not what Joe Biden is doing, Joe Biden is getting out of dodge.

I mean, he is carrying zero momentum. And he is basically trying to avoid the carnage of what’s going to happen to him tonight. I’m looking in three stories tonight. First of all, let’s assume that Bernie Sanders wins. What’s his march are going to be? Four years ago, he beat Hillary Clinton by 22 points, 60 percent to 38. So, let’s wait and see just how he does, maybe against Buttigieg, whoever it is.

Second story, Amy Klobuchar. She really does seem to have been the hot candidate, really doesn’t seem to have gotten some momentum from the debate on Friday night. Let’s see how high she rises.

And then, the third is how low Joe Biden falls. I mean, is he going to be third? Is he going to be fourth? Is he going to be fifth? If this guy was the front runner for the last six months if he finishes fifth in New Hampshire? I don’t know how you come back from them.

BAIER: And that’s a huge story, Brit. I mean, he’s a former vice president. He’s campaigning to be a third Obama term, and if he finishes fifth.

HUME: Yes, and I think one of the things that these numbers tell us is, that there’s not a lot of nostalgia among these people for the Obama-era, right? Which is only four years behind us. And he — you know, left office, still wildly popular, great hero to Democrats. And now comes his, you know, his right-hand person, and he’s not getting any traction, and it looks like he could — this could be the — you know, the death knell.

I mean, he’s probably got enough money to keep going for a while, but if he loses that badly here, that’s going to bound to bleed over into South Carolina and Nevada coming Havana — South Carolina coming up. And it’s pretty hard to imagine how you can survive.

MACCALLUM: Doesn’t it also say a lot about the importance of name recognition that initially, he was really the only candidate that anybody knew in this group and he popped to the top right away, but he wasn’t able to back it up with, you know, conviction and a message for the country. And what he was actually going to promise with any candidates.

WALLACE: No, and that’s the thing that I think is so devastating for him with potential results tonight, because he was selling electability. He didn’t have any great new ideas, he wasn’t offering — when you talk about Barack Obama hope and change.

That’s why I think the idea of tying yourself to Obama, there’s a lot of affection for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. But — and I also wonder about the restoration versus structural change.

Nobody wants restoration. Everybody always wants change. And people are always going to vote over the future over the past. And he was offering electability and if he — if it loses, where is the electability argument goes? It’s out the window.

BAIER: Storyline to watch. Gentlemen, thank you. When we come back, President Trump taking aim at Mike Bloomberg.

MACCALLUM: First to road trip, up the road a bit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’re going to a golf class, and so, we — I think there’s around 40 of us here.

MACCALLUM: Yes, so, what do you think about who you might support in the election? Do you have any idea yet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I’m honestly a Trump guy, to be completely honest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I — of Democratic candidates, Pete Buttigieg is my favorite.

MACCALLUM: Interesting. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which was so (INAUDIBLE) and well-spoken, and I think that goes along right.

MACCALLUM: Do you think anything could convince you not to vote for Trump at this point?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not really. Yes, no, I’m pretty set on that.



BAIER: Welcome back to our DEMOCRACY 2020 special coverage of the New Hampshire primary. We’re going to look at some other news stories right now.

MACCALLUM: Beginning back in Washington, where a huge controversy is developing tonight over the sentencing of one of President Trump’s former confidants. Correspondent David Spunt has the details tonight. Good evening, David.

DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Martha and Bret, good evening. Here is the headline within the last few hours, all four prosecutors on the Roger Stone case have withdrawn from that case. Just yesterday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in D.C. asked for seven to nine years to sentence Roger Stone, to put Roger Stone behind bars.

Then, the Department of Justice early this morning said, wait a minute that is too harsh. They are calling for a “far less sentence” but not giving a specific number.

Roger Stone is looking at prison time for witness tampering and lying to Congress. The new U.S. Attorney overseeing the case, Tim Shea is close to eight of Attorney General Bill Barr. He actually just left his post here at DOJ just recently.

A source says once DOJ officials saw the sentencing memo yesterday, they were upset, arguing it was too stiff. Then, came the tweet from President Trump, 1:49 this morning, calling the potential Stone sentence, “a miscarriage of justice.”

The attorney general’s spokeswoman tells Fox News, the decision to change the sentencing guidelines came before the Trump tweet and there was no communication between DOJ and the White House to change those sentencing guidelines.

Then, President Trump mentioned a case in the Oval Office late this afternoon. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That was a horrible aberration. These are the — I guess the same Mueller people that put everybody through hell. And I think it’s a disgrace. No, I have not been involved with it at all.


SPUNT: And there is already fierce blowback on Capitol Hill.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Rule of law in this grand, grand tradition in this wonderful Justice Department is just being totally perverted to Donald Trump’s own personal desires and needs.


SPUNT: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for an independent investigation here at the Department of Justice. Roger Stone will be sentenced next Thursday, February 20th.

And ultimately, at the end of the day, Bret and Martha, DOJ, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, they can say whatever they want, but it’s up to Judge Amy Berman Jackson. She could say, listen, I’m going to give Roger Stone 10 to 12 years behind bars. President Trump did not comment on a pardon those some believe it is possible. Bret and Martha, back to you.

MACCALLUM: Thank you, David.

President Trump is expected to cruise to victory on the Republican side tonight.

BAIER: He’s focusing on touting his first-term success, record, and to build momentum toward reelection in the fall. His team is he’s also taking some swings at a potential November opponent.

Chief White House correspondent John Roberts has that story tonight.


JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: In the Oval Office today, citing a new measure to support STEM education for America’s veterans, President Trump suggesting, while Joe Biden is down from Iowa and New Hampshire, he may not be out.

TRUMP: It’s doubling, it’s mumbling not pretty. I think he can turn around. Yes, I think he has a shot. He’s going to have to work. He’s going to have to work very hard, much harder than they thought.

ROBERTS: The president’s main concern at the moment, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. And a newly unearthed recording from a 2015 Aspen Institute forum where Bloomberg talked about so-called stop and frisk policies.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 95 percent of murders, and murderers, and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, 16 to 25. Put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods.

ROBERTS: In a tweet that was later deleted, President Trump sharing the video, tweeting, “Wow, Bloomberg, is a total racist!” In the Oval Office, the president explaining why he deleted that tweet.

TRUMP: When I put something out and it was so — it was pretty nasty. And I said, you know, I’m looking to bring the country together not divide the country further.

ROBERTS: But he did not back down on his criticism of an apology Bloomberg made in November of last year for continuing stop and frisk.

TRUMP: I watched him pander at a church and practically beg for forgiveness. I wouldn’t have begged for forgiveness. I mean, he was doing his job at the time and then he — when he went up to the church, I thought it was disgraceful.

ROBERTS: In 2016, and again in 2018, President Trump supported the stop and frisk policies that Bloomberg was describing. Praising Rudy Giuliani for implementing the program and bringing crime down.

TRUMP: So, it works, got to be properly applied, but stop and frisk works.

ROBERTS: In a statement today, Bloomberg, again, apologized for not eliminating stop and frisk earlier and took square aim at President Trump, saying, “The President’s attack on me clearly reflects his fear over the growing strength of my campaign. Make no mistake, Mr. President, I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America.”

President Trump today also talked for the first time about the firing of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry. The president suggesting the military may seek to discipline Vindman.

TRUMP: Now, that’s going to be up to the military. We’ll have to see. But if you look at what happened, I mean, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that. But no, I think what he did was just reported a false call.


ROBERTS: Despite President Trump deleting his tweet about Bloomberg, his campaign kept up the drumbeat that what Bloomberg said back in 2015 was racist. The president also asked by Fox News, if he knows who anonymous is? The president saying, he doesn’t want to say, but there is a lot of chatter here at the White House that they have zeroed in on a very strong suspect. Bret, Martha.

BAIER: John Roberts, live in the North Lawn. John, thank you.

Actor Jussie Smollett is facing new legal trouble tonight. A grand jury has returned a six-count indictment, accusing him of lying to Chicago police. The charges stem from Smollett’s assertion that he was the target of a racist and homophobic act attack by Trump supporters in January of last year.

Initial charges against Smollett were dropped, prompting an investigation into why that happened.

MACCALLUM: And the Dow finished off a half a point today after hitting an all-time high. The S&P 500 gained six, NASDAQ up 11, both of those are new record closes.

BAIER: China reported 108 more deaths today from the coronavirus that takes the total past 1,000 deaths in China. There were 2,500 new confirmed cases on the mainland. The total infections are now at almost 43,000.

Here in the U.S., about 200 evacuees flown out of China are being released from quarantine at a Southern California military base after two weeks in isolation.

MACCALLUM: Still ahead tonight, Bret gets reacquainted with some New Hampshire primary voters that he first spoke to four years ago.

BAIER: And as we head to break, from our drone view, an appreciation for this unique event.


BAIER: one of the best parts about covering the New Hampshire primary are the iconic stops. The cities, the towns, the history. Think about how many campaigns have come through all these places.

This is the Nashua City Hall. In this plaza, in January of 1960, John F. Kennedy had his first campaign stop.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States today is a great defender of freedom. If we fail, that cause fails all over the world. If we succeed, the cause of freedom succeed.


BAIER: Our special DEMOCRACY 2020 coverage continues after the break.


MACCALLUM: — in Bedford. We will be here all night for coverage in the first in the nation primary.

BAIER: All of us here took time this week to talk to voters, about what’s driving them, what they care about? And we even managed to reconnect with some New Hampshire voters we talked with four years ago.


BAIER: Last election cycle, firefighter John Bollhardt, backed Bernie Sanders. But now, he’s supporting Joe Biden.

JOHN BOLLHARDT, RESIDENT, NEW HAMPSHIRE: The International endorsed Biden. So, you know, I’m going to support Biden all the way.

BAIER: The most important issue for John is funding for the opioid crisis.

BOLLHARDT: That was a big thing. Knowing Trump took office, he came here to talk to us. Shook our hands, you know, it’s still going on.

BAIER: New Hampshire is among the top four states with the highest numbers of opioid-related deaths. Numbers that tripled from 2013 to 2016.

BOLLHARDT: They are actual people, and they need places to go. They are homeless. They have low income. They need the resources to get better. The treatment, that’s what needs to change, and I think the political people are starting to realize that.

DONNA MORIN: I was researching him a little bit online.

BAIER: We first spoke to a social studies teacher Donna Morin four years ago when she supported Jeb Bush in the Republican primary.

MORIN: I have made a decision in the primary. I even staged this for you. Are you ready? OK, ready? Go Jeb!

BAIER: Really?

MORIN: Yes. I’m for Jeb, and I vote for Jeb in the primary. He knows how to get things done. He’s moderate. He doesn’t seem to have these grandiose stands. He seems to just treat people with a lot of respect.

BAIER: We were in this very kitchen.

MORIN: We were.

BAIER: You at the time were supporting Jeb Bush.

MORIN: You don’t have to rub it in, but yes, I was.


BAIER: Yes, you were.

This time around, Morin, who says climate change is very important to her, is backing Pete Buttigieg.

MORIN: I’m very excited about him. I’m excited about him. I’m excited about Amy, but I’m leaning more towards Pete. I just feel, I think at this time in our country and we need something that’s going to unite us as a nation.

BAIER: And you see that in Mayor Pete?

MORIN: I do. I see just the way he seems to work with people and he seems to be able — he has some progressive ideas, although he doesn’t have the pendulum swinging all the way over to the left. Plus, he’s been in the military, and that’s very important for foreign policy.

BAIER: Mike Boucher owns a family tire shop in Manchester. When we talked in 2016, he was concerned about the future of the business and the economy in the region.

BAIER: Is this area hurting?

MIKE BOUCHER, NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENT: I don’t know if we are hurting as much as other people, but they are hurting. And I think people are just discouraged. You have that one person that worked all their life, lost their job, can’t find another job because things have changed.

BAIER: Mike was undecided when we last spoke before the 2016 primary.

BOUCHER: When I get there, I’m definitely going to vote, and I think I’m going to decide at the last minute. I did vote for Trump.

BAIER: A decision that he says has pluses and some minuses.

BOUCHER: Calling them names is not the greatest thing, but I believe that a lot of his policies I’m in agreement with.

BAIER: The president’s handling of the economy is a big winner for Mike. All he has to do is look back to 2016.

You were hurting at the time?

BOUCHER: Yes. The economy was down, and we were just questioning how things are going to go in the future.

BAIER: So since that time, what does it look for you?

BOUCHER: We’ve been extremely busy. Business has been good. Our sales have gone up. As a family business we are all very happy where we are right now.

BAIER: Boucher says he will vote was President Trump again, especially after he hears some candidates talking about raising taxes.

BOUCHER: You know what is going to happen to the rich. They are going to do what they did before. They are going to take all their money overseas and then there is no money to tax. So it inevitably falls on the middle class, who is the biggest class to pay those taxes. That’s my fear.

ALYSSA ROSS, NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENT: Are you going to do some homework before we go to your appointment?


BAIER: Alyssa Ross is a hockey mom of three. She voted for President Trump in the last presidential election, a choice she finds hard to defend at times.

Four years ago you voted for Donald Trump?

ROSS: I did. I did.

BAIER: And you’re kind of smirking when you say that.

ROSS: Yes. It’s tough to admit. It was tough to admit then, and I really felt like that it was the right decision at that time. I felt he was going to bring the country in a new direction and certainly something different than what Hillary Clinton could have done at the time.

BAIER: Now, though she likes some of those policies, she says President Trump is too divisive.

ROSS: I don’t like Trump personally at all. I think that his approach to things is just wrong. It’s terrible example for children the way that he gets on Twitter and puts things out there. I would be horrified if my children did that.

BAIER: Ross, who has education on her mind the cycle, isn’t sure which candidate to support in the primary or general election, but she does know one thing.

If it’s Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, you are voting for Donald Trump?

ROSS: I’m going to vote to Donald Trump. Nothing to progressive. I think, as troubled as I am with some of the direction that Trump is bringing things from a more conservative perspective, I absolutely do not think this country needs to go in a progressive direction.

BAIER: She is still listening to ideas from more moderate candidates like Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar.

Joe Biden didn’t make the cut?

ROSS: No. I saw Joe Biden over the summer, and everything that he said sounded very old-school and an approach that was very been there, done that, but not in a way that’s going to bring us forward.

BAIER: All the voters we talked to insist their state of New Hampshire takes this vote very seriously.

ROSS: New Hampshire does not look like a lot of other states, nor does Iowa, so you can only draw so many conclusions for what come out of here. But certainly it should and it will give someone the momentum.

MORIN: This is our jam. We get to meet everybody. We get to meet people who would be president. We get to meet congresspeople, senators, governors. They come in and they tell us what they think and they listen to us, or they pretend to listen to us. It’s great.



BAIER: Interesting to look back four years.

MACCALLUM: Really interesting. Very interesting voters with different perspectives, and good to seem them after four years.

BAIER: Yes, exactly.

We will check in with the Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar campaigns when we come back.

MACCALLUM: First, what some other voters are saying about the New Hampshire primary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie is the same person he was all along. And I think he’s going to have to really work hard to sell it, to tell people. I think people confuse socialism with communism.

MACCALLUM: Are you 100 percent for Pete?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m Not 100 percent, but I’m very much leaning towards that. He did a great job in the debate the other night, and he seems to be really gaining great momentum.



BAIER: The voting is almost complete, the results are going to be coming in. Welcome back to Bedford, New Hampshire, and FOX News Democracy 2020 coverage of the New Hampshire primary.

MACCALLUM: So we have team FOX coverage for you from campaign headquarters. First up is correspondent Kristin Fisher who is with the Elizabeth Warren team tonight in Manchester. Good evening, Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening Martha. Senator Elizabeth Warren supporters are fired up and fairly optimistic even though the Massachusetts senator has really struggled in this state despite almost having the homefield advantage here. She’s been on par with Joe Biden in most of the polls, though the two have really employed some different tactics in the final days leading up to tonight.

When Joe Biden went on the attack, Warren talked of party unity. When Joe Biden skipped ahead to South Carolina, Warren stayed here fighting for every last vote. And as you can see she has a huge army of volunteers on the ground across New Hampshire, perhaps the strongest ground game of any candidate in this race, which is why a disappointing finish here tonight would be all the more devastating for the future of her campaign.

We have seen an 11th hour shift and strategy. Over the last few hours both Warren and her campaign has really started finally going on the offensive, criticizing Biden and Buttigieg and really drawing some distinctions between her and Bernie Sanders. But it may be too little, too late, especially with someone like Senator Amy Klobuchar nipping at her heels. And that is where we find my colleague Ellison Barber live in Concord.

ELLISON BARBER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey Kristin. Senator Klobuchar’s staff has been making some of their final touches at the headquarters here. We’ve seen them hanging up some last-minute Amy signs. At some point we expect the senator to come out here and address her supporters. You can see some of the chairs still being set up. We are told her staff will be in a room nearby watching the results. Klobuchar supporters are excited. They think that she could hit her stride in this state, especially with New Hampshire’s independent voters. A key part of Klobuchar’s pitch is that she believe she can pull in all kinds of voters, Republicans, Democrats, independents, people from big cities, the suburbs as well as rural communities.

Klobuchar likes to say that she has the receipts to prove it. In 2016 President Trump’s came within two percent of caring Minnesota. Two years later Senator Klobuchar won reelection to the United States Senate with 60 percent of the vote.

At a Manchester polling location earlier today I spoke to a number of voters who said they were undecided or at least deciding between someone more moderate like Biden or Buttigieg, and then they saw Senator Klobuchar at the debate this week, and they said that is what made them move over and to support Klobuchar. The people here tonight are hoping that she has enough of those people to carry her through in this state. Bret, Martha?

BAIER: Ellison, Kristin, thank you both.

MACCALLUM: So as we told you earlier, some towns will be closing the voting precincts at 7:00 tonight.

BAIER: So let’s get some ideas now about what we can expect once we see those numbers. Bill Hemmer of “Bill Hemmer Reports.”



HEMMER: Nice to see you guys, good evening. Back on the board here we have a grand total of 16 votes now tabulated already. These came in from overnight. It means absolutely nothing, by the way. Klobuchar at eight, Sanders, four, and Elizabeth Warren, four down here. So we will see it populate, and the colors will start to fill in throughout the night.

If you are watching trying to figure out New Hampshire and understand where the votes are going to coming from, I would divide the state into the three different parts. Number one, the southern tier, that’s down here in Rockingham County, a lot of votes down here, bordered with Massachusetts over here and Hillsborough County where we are as well. A lot of votes as you can see based on four years ago. That is one section of the state, southern tier here.

The other section you call maybe the liberal left, where Bernie Sanders did very well in 2016 and may do very well again today. This is the border with Vermont over here and Cheshire County, ran up the numbers four years ago. Up here in Grafton County, very similar for Bernie Sanders. So I’d look at those two areas. And the third area I would point to is what Stirewalt likes to call the capital corridor. This is the county of Merrimack. It has the capital city of Concord, and you could see strength there for maybe a Klobuchar, maybe a Buttigieg, maybe for a Warren. So we will see how that unfolds tonight.

And again, first polls close at 7:00, then you get another batch at 7:30, then all the polls officially are done at 8:00 eastern time, about an hour and 15 minutes from now. But on the calendar, here’s where we need to go. Here’s where we are right now in February, right. It’s Tuesday on the 11th, New Hampshire, 24 delegates at state. Between, you need to get to 2,000 to get the nomination. We got a long way to go, guys, that’s coming up here tonight.

BAIER: Yes, we do. Bill, thank you very much.

MACCALLUM: So when we come back the panel on what’s going to happen tonight and how that will affect the presidential race potentially in the coming weeks.

BAIER: And as we head to break, my conversation with candidate Andrew Yang.


BAIER: How are you feeling?

ANDREW YANG, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel great. You can see the crowds are bigger, the energy is higher. We think we have a ton of momentum.

BAIER: What do you have to finish here, do you know? It’s all about math, but what’s the number here?

YANG: We need to have a really positive result here. We’re saying top four to get delegates out of New Hampshire, that’s a goal.

BAIER: You’ve made a difference just by what you’re talking about. You’ve been on the debate stage. You’ve kind of changed the conversation. Are you happy with that so far?

YANG: Bret, I’m someone who understands the difference between talking about a problem and solving the problem. That’s why I’m running is to actually solve the problem. I’m not going to feel content until we are actually starting to distribute the gains from this economy into more people’s hands.

BAIER: The thing you said a couple times, is it a wakeup call for Democrats in that you have to get together to beat Donald Trump. That seems like an important closing message for you.

YANG: We have to not act like Donald Trump is the source of all the country’s problems. Many of the country’s problems have been with us for years and building up over those years. And to me Democrats acting like if we can get Donald Trump out of office then all will be well, to me isn’t accurate. And I hope that people understand that part of my message.

Let’s fight for a future we will actually be proud to leave to our kids. We can do it. Thank you all so much.

BAIER: Still having fun?

YANG: Yes, I am. My wife was in town yesterday. My boys love the bus in Iowa. So things are good. And you can see all these tremendous people around us. It’s hard not to have a good time.



JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I’m here. I plan on trying to win in New Hampshire. I’m not here to come in second.

New Hampshire and Iowa are important, and I plan on winning New Hampshire.

I’m going to head to South Carolina tonight. We are still mildly hopeful here in New Hampshire.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it says he’s not here to fight for the votes New Hampshire.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You’ll have to ask Joe. I don’t know. All I can say is we will be here tonight.


BAIER: Joe Biden will not, on his way to South Carolina. Mildly hopeful, not the closing pitch most candidates want to be talking about. Let’s bring in our panel, Chris Stirewalt is politics editor here at FOX News, Mary Anne Marsh, former senior advisor to Senator John Kerry, and Byron York, chief political correspondent of the “Washington Examiner.” OK, Mary Anne, it looks like there are a couple of people that are positioned to have a pretty bad night.

MARY ANNE MARSH, FORMER SEN. JOHN KERRY SENIOR ADVISER: Yes, and Joe Biden is at the top of that list. The bookends for Joe Biden in this New Hampshire primary started on Friday night at the debate where he declared he would lose the New Hampshire primary, and ends before the polls close tonight on a chartered jet to South Carolina. It doesn’t get much worse that than. And he’s trying to make the best of a bad situation, but no one is going to have a worse night than Joe Biden tonight.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS POLITICAL EDITOR: I think somebody is going to have a worse night. The person who is going to have the worst night, if we think back to the to the fall when it was Biden and Warren and Warren and Biden, this is where it was going to be always a showdown between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and she’s not even on the front page. She’s not even in the discussion. She represents the neighboring state, the Boston media market. This was supposed to be the place where she could really show her strength, and she has been — it will be hard to knock Joe Biden out of this race because he’s going to run out of money pretty soon, but this will be a terminal event for Elizabeth Warren if she does not do something impressive.

MARSH: So my point to that is Elizabeth Warren, unlike Joe Biden, has a grassroots organization and grassroots money. She can survive forth and go the long haul and stay in it. Joe Biden, on the other hand, as you know, is totally dependent on establishment money, no organization, and no one is more fickle than establishment many people when they see you’re losing.

SCHUMER: You ain’t lying.


MARSH: So they are faint of heart when it comes to writing checks.

MACCALLUM: Byron, what’s on your mind?

BRYON YORK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, “WASHINGTON EXAMINER”: The person in the middle of all that is Amy Klobuchar. And if you look at the polls, for a long time they’ve shown Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg up at the top, and then everybody else pretty far down. And the shock, of course, was that Joe Biden fell into that group, but he did.

The question is, will Amy Klobuchar really over perform that much? If she finishes third, that’s better than fourth in Iowa or fifth in Iowa. But is that really enough strength to just go on? Hey, I finished fifth in Iowa and I improved to third in New Hampshire. I’m not sure it.

MACCALLUM: I think it depends on how many alternatives people are looking for. And it feels to me if we are not going to come out of this New Hampshire primary this evening with a real feel for who’s in charge of how this whole thing plays out, if feels like there’s a lot of storylines including Mike Bloomberg.

BAIER: It feels muddles.

MACCALLUM: It really does.

MARSH: And historically New Hampshire does winnow the field. And tonight we have four candidates, maybe five, who are in double digit somewhere, right, and no one is going to have a huge lead in delegates coming out of this. And then looming on the horizon is the big foot Mike Bloomberg coming in on Super Tuesday, and nobody knows how that’s going to end up.

BAIER: So we on SPECIAL REPORT do the old Candidate Casino, but we adjust it for primaries, which is New Hampshire, New Hampshire Candidate Casino. And you have $100 in chips. You have to bet them. Chris Stirewalt?

STIREWALT: Well, if things go as expected, this is good territory for Bernie Sanders, so you have to put your heaviest stock on Sanders. But Pete Buttigieg has impressed. Even a close second could be really good for him and clarify some of the moderate lane. Amy Klobuchar definitely impresses. But don’t count out Warren. Don’t count her out because what she could really do would be stick it to Sanders down here on the southern tier of the state and over in the seacoast and do some harm to her frenemy.


MARSH: I should have taken Chris’s bet.


MARSH: I’ve $40 on Sanders, $40 on Buttigieg, $20 on Klobuchar. And I put the extra on Klobuchar because the fact is if she does come in third, no one had to make up more real estate than Amy Klobuchar, and she’s done it in about a week.

MACCALLUM: She sure has.

YORK: I’m sorry, this is really fairly simple. So $100 on Bernie Sanders.


YORK: If he wins by a little bit, he wins.

BAIER: We rarely see the black chip.

YORK: There it is.


BAIER: That’s good stuff. But you think, Chris, that if Biden finishes fifth or even sixth?

STIREWALT: Or even fourth. This is becoming an unserious candidacy, and it happening fast. He’s got a high burn rate. He’s too expensive. He’s like a broken-down old Ferrari that you can’t keep on the road, and everybody knows it. And if he can’t get into the top three, he can’t beat the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He is one of the most popular politicians in America today, he well-liked, and can’t get passed the mayor.

MACCALLUM: One of the most telling things between Biden and Buttigieg this week was both of them pointing fingers at each other one and saying, you are not Barack Obama. The truth is neither one of them are.

BAIER: Thank you, panel.

MACCALLUM: Thanks, panel.

BAIER: We will see. We’re going to take a short break.

MACCALLUM: Then hour two of Democracy 2020, and some numbers after this.

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Coronavirus Live Updates: China Is Tracking Travelers From Hubei

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168522579_1dbbda60-52e4-4929-86ba-f376260ad883-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: China Is Tracking Travelers From Hubei Quarantines Politics and Government Cruises Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

China is using people’s cellphones to determine if they have been to the province at epicenter of the outbreak.Credit…Noel Celis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

To combat the spread of the coronavirus, Chinese officials are using a combination of technology and policing to track movements of citizens who may have visited Hubei Province.

Mobile phone owners in China get their service from one of three state-run telecommunications firms, which this week introduced a feature for subscribers to send text messages to a hotline that generates a list of provinces they have recently visited.

That has created a new way for the authorities to see where citizens have traveled.

At a high-speed rail station in the eastern city of Yiwu on Tuesday, officials in hazmat suits demanded that passengers send the text messages and then show their location information to the authorities before being permitted to leave the station. Those who had passed through Hubei were unlikely to be allowed entry.

Other cities were taking similar measures.

Companies in China generally shy away from sharing location data with the local authorities, over fears it could be leaked or sold. And there were some signs that the companies were uncomfortable with the new rule.

China Mobile cautioned that the data should be used cautiously, because it indicates where the phone has been, not its owner. It also doesn’t differentiate between people who briefly passed through a province and those who spent significant time there.

Top officials in Beijing on Thursday expanded their mass roundup of sick or possibly infected people beyond Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, to include other cities in Hubei Province that have been hit hard by the crisis, according to the state-run CCTV broadcaster.

The move comes even amid reports that the mass quarantines in Wuhan have been marked by instances of chaos and disorganization, deepening anxiety and frustration in a city already on edge from a prolonged lockdown.

Last week, the government ordered officials in Wuhan to “round up everyone who should be rounded up,” as part of a “wartime” campaign to contain the outbreak.

In the rush to carry out the edict, officials are haphazardly rounding up sick patients, in some cases separating them from their families and placing them in the makeshift medical facilities, sometimes without providing the medicine or support they need.

Deng Chao, 30, has been in government-imposed quarantine in a Wuhan hotel room for nearly a week. In a telephone interview, he said that although doctors had told him he almost certainly had the coronavirus, he hadn’t yet received the official results from the test that he needed to be admitted to a hospital.

In the meantime, he was getting progressively sicker and finding it more difficult to breathe. He said that several security guards had been stationed at the entrance to his hotel to prevent patients from escaping and that there were no doctors or medicine available.

“This is really like a prison,” he said angrily.

“Send me to a hospital, please, I need treatment,“ he said, in between bouts of coughing. “There is no one to take care of us here.”

For a moment on Thursday, it seemed as if there might be some good news from the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship being held in the port of Yokohama in Japan, when the authorities said they would release some passengers to shore to finish their quarantine.

Instead, Japanese health officials announced the first death from the virus in the country, of a woman in her 80s. It was third death from the virus outside mainland China. The woman had no record of travel there.

Officials also announced 44 new confirmed cases of infection on the ship, raising the total to 218.

Although some passengers will be released early, the pool of those eligible for offshore quarantine is quite narrow: guests 80 or older who have existing medical conditions or are stuck in cabins without windows or balconies.

  • What do you need to know? Start here.

    Updated Feb. 10, 2020

    • What is a Coronavirus?
      It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
    • How contagious is the virus?
      According to preliminary research, it seems moderately infectious, similar to SARS, and is possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
    • How worried should I be?
      While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
    • Who is working to contain the virus?
      World Health Organization officials have praised China’s aggressive response to the virus by closing transportation, schools and markets. This week, a team of experts from the W.H.O. arrived in Beijing to offer assistance.
    • What if I’m traveling?
      The United States and Australia are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who recently traveled to China and several airlines have canceled flights.
    • How do I keep myself and others safe?
      Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

On Thursday, another cruise ship, the Westerdam, which had been denied permission to stop in Japan, Guam, Taiwan and the Philippines despite having no diagnoses of coronavirus, was able to dock in Cambodia.

The outbreak is upending travel plans in the Asia-Pacific region well into the spring.

ForwardKeys, a Spanish company that says it analyzes 17 million booking transactions a day, reported Thursday that the number of flights booked out of China for March and April is about 56 percent lower than at the same point last year.

China’s neighbors are starting to pull back, too. As of Feb. 9, such bookings out of other countries in the Asia-Pacific region were down about 11 percent year over year, excluding trips to mainland China and Hong Kong, which are depressed by travel restrictions and fears over the outbreak.

For the cruise industry in particular, the coronavirus is a public-relations nightmare. The world has looked on as 3,600 passengers and crew members have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess in Yokohama.

“The longer ships like the Diamond Princess stay in the press, the more people who have never taken a cruise before think of cruising as a less than ideal vacation,” said James Hardiman, the managing director of equity research for Wedbush Securities, who follows the industry.

The coronavirus outbreak is expected to result in a drop in global oil demand over the first three months of 2020, the first quarterly drop in more than 10 years.

The International Energy Agency’s report of oil demand, released Thursday, projects a drop of about 435,000 barrels a day over the January-March period — or roughly one-half of 1 percent — compared with the quarter in 2019.

Even with its usual sober language, the agency painted a gloomy picture of the Chinese economy and the broad impact of the outbreak on energy consumption.

In the early stages of the emergency, the agency estimated, China’s domestic air travel fell by 50 percent, while its international air travel fell by an 70 percent

If the epidemic “can be brought under control” in the second quarter, the agency said, the economy will gradually “come back to normal.”

Movie releases have been canceled in China and symphony tours suspended because of quarantines and fears of contagion. A major art fair in Hong Kong was called off, and important spring art auctions half a world away in New York have been postponed because well-heeled Chinese buyers may find it difficult to travel to them.

As China struggles to get the coronavirus epidemic under control, the country is essentially closed for business to the global arts economy, exposing the sector to deep financial uncertainty.

China was the third-biggest art market in the world in 2018, according to last year’s Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, accounting for 19 percent of the $67 billion spent on art that year. The United States, at 44 percent, and United Kingdom, at 21 percent, had the top two spots.

Last week, Art Basel Hong Kong, an annual art fair scheduled for mid-March, was canceled, depriving dealers and artists of a major opportunity to show works to customers based in China and beyond.

“It’s the center of the artistic universe for a week, and it leads to other things during the year,” said Ben Brown, a gallery owner with locations in London and Hong Kong who said his shop has made a big profit every year at the fair.

“Imagine if you had to cancel the Oscars,” he continued. “The film world would carry on, and films would carry on either making money or losing money, but it’s a major blow.”

China is also critical for the movie business. Releases of “Jojo Rabbit” and “Dolittle” — a box-office bomb in the United States that desperately needs foreign sales — are among those postponed in China so far.

Several American ensembles, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra, based in Washington, canceled planned tours of China.

The Centers for Disease Control said on Thursday that a person under quarantine at a military base in San Antonio had tested positive for the virus, bringing the number of confirmed coronavirus patients in the United States to 15.

The person, who was not identified, arrived at the base last week on a State Department-chartered flight and is now being treated in isolation at a hospital in the area.

The patient is the third person under quarantine to test positive, joining two people at a base in San Diego who were confirmed to have the virus this week. In its statement announcing the case, the C.D.C. said that there would likely be more cases over the next few days and weeks.

More than 600 people who left Wuhan after the outbreak began remain under required quarantine at military bases in the United States.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, on Thursday summarily fired two top Communist Party officials from Hubei Province, exacting political punishment for the regional government’s handling of the crisis.

The reshuffling of the party leadership in the province, and its capital, Wuhan, reflected an aggressive effort by Mr. Xi to contain not only the political and economic damage of the epidemic but also any simmering public anger among millions of people locked down now for more than three weeks.

The officials were replaced with protégés of Mr. Xi who have extensive backgrounds in public security.

Jiang Chaoliang, the party secretary of Hubei Province, is the highest-ranking official to lose his job over the handling of the outbreak. He will be replaced by Ying Yong, the mayor of Shanghai.

Before being transferred to Shanghai in a fairly senior role in 2008, Mr. Ying had come up through the political ranks in Zhejiang Province, Mr. Xi’s political base.

The party also ousted Ma Guoqiang, the top official in Wuhan, and replaced him with Wang Zhonglin, formerly the party secretary of the eastern city of Jinan.

Moving to install the officials now, even before the extent of the crisis is clear, underscored the challenge the epidemic has created for Mr. Xi and for his ambitions as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

Wu Qiang, an independent political analyst in Beijing, said in an interview that, “To cope with a crisis that may become more serious in the future, the first thing that they need is highly loyal people.”

The number of people confirmed to have the coronavirus in Hubei Province skyrocketed by 14,840 cases, to 48,206, the government said on Thursday, setting a new daily record. The announcement came after the authorities changed the diagnostic criteria for counting new cases.

Nationally, the new figures propelled the total number of coronavirus cases in China to 59,805 and the death toll to 1,367. The jump in new cases puts extra pressure on the government to treat thousands of patients, many of whom are in mass quarantine centers or in isolation facilities.

The sudden uptick is a result of the government including cases diagnosed in clinical settings, including with the use of CT scans, along with those confirmed with specialized testing kits.

After the sudden change, epidemiologists warned that the true picture of the epidemic is muddled, since accurately tracking cases can tell experts the number, location and speed at which new infections are occurring.

Health experts said the change in reporting was meant to provide a more accurate view of the transmissibility of the virus. The new criteria is intended to give doctors broader discretion to diagnose patients, and more crucially, isolate patients to quickly treat them.

Previously, infections were confirmed only with a positive result from a nucleic acid test. But a government expert said those tests were about 30 to 40 percent accurate. There is also a shortage of testing kits, and the results of these tests take at least two days.

Because hospitals were overstretched and lacked testing kits, many infected patients were told to go home rather than be isolated and undergo treatment.

Many patients displaying symptoms of the coronavirus have complained that they had to wait days, and even weeks, to be tested and receive treatment. Others, including the recently deceased whistle-blower Dr. Li Wenliang, said they had to be tested four or five times before the tests showed a positive result.

A video blogger in the city of Wuhan who had been documenting conditions at overcrowded hospitals at the heart of the outbreak has disappeared, raising concerns among his supporters that he may have been detained by the authorities.

The blogger, Fang Bin, is the second citizen journalist in the city to have gone missing in a week after criticizing the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. The disappearances come as Chinese authorities have clamped down on the news media and the internet in an effort to control the narrative about the escalating crisis.

Mr. Fang began posting videos from hospitals in Wuhan on YouTube last month, including one that showed a pile of body bags in a minibus. In early February, Mr. Fang said in a video message that he had been briefly detained and questioned. A few days later, he filmed an exchange he had with strangers who showed up at his apartment claiming to bring him food.

Mr. Fang’s last video, posted on Sunday, was a message written on a piece of paper: “All citizens resist, hand power back to the people.”

Gao Fei, a resident of a neighboring city who is part of a chat group formed by Mr. Fang on WeChat, the Chinese social media app, said he heard from another member of the group that Mr. Fang was taken away from his apartment by plainclothes officers on Monday. The account could not immediately be verified.

Last week, Chen Qiushi, a citizen journalist and lawyer in Wuhan who recorded the plight of patients and the shortage of hospital supplies, vanished, according to his friends.

About 740 South Korean soldiers were under quarantine on Thursday as the country’s military tried to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus among its ranks.

The quarantined soldiers included those who have visited mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in recent weeks, and those who have been in close contact with relatives or others who have been to China or tested positive for the virus.

South Korea keeps a 600,000-strong army as a bulwark against the threat from North Korea. Most of these soldiers live in communal barracks.

So far, no South Korean soldier has tested positive. The rest of the country has reported 28 confirmed cases, and no deaths. South Korea has reported no new cases in the past two days.

North Korea has said it was also taking measures against the virus but has not released any official figures.

Reporting and research was contributed by Gillian Wong, Chris Buckley, Sui-Lee Wee, Steven Lee Myers, Keith Bradsher, Austin Ramzy, Choe Sang-Hun, Amber Wang, Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Yiwei Wang, Claire Fu, Amy Qin, Elaine Yu, Makiko Inoue, Hisako Ueno, Eimi Yamamitsu, Motoko Rich, Megan Specia, Stanley Reed, Elizabeth A. Harris, Tariro Mzezewa, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Paul Mozur, Niraj Chokshi, Raymond Zhong and Tariro Mzezewai.

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Judge Halts Work on Microsoft’s JEDI Contract, a Victory for Amazon

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164405019_2ee7c54d-b754-4342-ac2a-cf5ed4b03a93-facebookJumbo Judge Halts Work on Microsoft’s JEDI Contract, a Victory for Amazon Microsoft Corp Defense Department Defense Contracts Decisions and Verdicts Cloud Computing Amazon.com Inc

A federal judge in Washington ordered Microsoft on Thursday to halt all work on a $10 billion cloud-computing contract for the Pentagon, in a victory for Amazon, which had challenged the awarding of the contract.

In a sealed opinion, the judge, Patricia E. Campbell-Smith of the Court of Federal Claims, ordered work to stop on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, known as JEDI, until Amazon’s legal challenge was resolved. The 10-year contract was one of the largest tech contracts from the Pentagon, and Microsoft was set to begin work on it this month.

The decision adds to the acrimony surrounding the lucrative deal, which was a major prize in the technology industry, and ratchets up the legal battle around the transformation of the military’s cloud-computing systems. Amazon had been seen as a front-runner to win the JEDI contract, but the Department of Defense awarded it to Microsoft in October.

Amazon protested and said the process had been unfair. The internet giant claimed that President Trump had interfered in the bidding for the contract because of his feud with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and owner of The Washington Post. The Post has aggressively covered the Trump administration, and the president has referred to the newspaper as the “Amazon Washington Post” and accused it of spreading “fake news.”

“This is all setting the stage for a major court fight between Amazon and Microsoft, with the D.O.D. caught in between,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst for Wedbush Securities who has been tracking the JEDI contract. “It’s a political football that’s being kicked around.”

Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s vice president of communications, said in a statement on Thursday that the company was “disappointed with the additional delay” but that it believed “we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require.”

“We believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft,” he added.

Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was disappointed by the decision, which has “unnecessarily delayed implementing D.O.D.’s modernization strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need.” He added that the Defense Department was “confident in our award.”

Amazon did not return a request for comment.

When Microsoft was awarded the contract, the Defense Department was explicit that the bidding process had been correctly executed. “The acquisition process was conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations,” it said at the time. “All offerors were treated fairly and evaluated consistently with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria.”

In public, Mr. Trump has said there were other “great companies” that should have a chance at the contract. But a speechwriter for former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a recent book that Mr. Trump had wanted to foil Amazon and give the contract to another company.

In December, Amazon filed its legal challenge against the awarding of JEDI, saying that Mr. Trump used “improper pressure” on the Pentagon at its expense. The company also argued that its cloud-computing services were superior to Microsoft’s and that it was better situated to fulfill the contract’s technical requirements.

Since then, Amazon has escalated the battle. The company asked the court this week to let it depose Mr. Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Amazon argued that hearing from them was crucial to determine if they had intervened against it in the contract. Mr. Esper had recused himself from the contract award decision in October, citing his son’s employment at IBM, one of the early bidders on the JEDI contract.

“The question is whether the president of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the D.O.D. to pursue his own personal and political ends,” an Amazon spokesman said at the time.

The Pentagon said it was strongly opposed to Amazon’s deposition request. Microsoft said Amazon “only provided the speculation of bias, with nothing approaching the ‘hard facts’ necessary” to demand them.

In another court filing this month, Amazon argued that an injunction was necessary to prevent it from losing the profit it could earn from the contract.

JEDI “will transform D.O.D.’s cloud architecture and define enterprise cloud for years to come,” wrote Kevin Mullen, an attorney representing Amazon in the case.

The JEDI contract has also been in the spotlight because it is viewed as crucial to the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize its technology. Much of the military operates on computer systems from the 1980s and ’90s, and the Defense Department has spent billions of dollars trying to make them talk to one another.

Mr. Ives, the analyst, has said that landing the JEDI contract put Microsoft in a position to earn the roughly $40 billion that the federal government is expected to spend on cloud computing over the next several years.

On Thursday, Judge Campbell-Smith also required that Amazon pay a $42 million deposit that the court will hold in case it later determines that the injunction was wrongfully issued and that Microsoft is owed damages. Amazon must submit a plan for offering the money to the court by next Thursday, and it must agree to redactions to the judge’s order no later than Feb. 27 so that it can be made public.

The preliminary injunction was a “prudent decision” given the complexities of the deal and the monetary stakes, Mr. Ives said, and the $42 million demanded from Amazon would not be a burden for the company.

“It’s less than a rounding error relative to their treasure chest,” he said. He added that he expected Microsoft to prevail in the deal.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed reporting.

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Colorado Democrat proposes replacing ‘illegal alien’ with ‘undocumented immigrant’ in state law

A Colorado state representative reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would remove the term “illegal alien,” which is used in federal law, from the state’s code on public projects.

Democratic Rep. Susan Lontine says that she came up with the idea after a friend bristled at the term during a job training. “She goes: ‘Why are you using that? That’s an awful term,” Lontine recalled in an interview with The New York Times published Thursday.

Westlake Legal Group Susan-Lontine-Colorado-General-Assembly Colorado Democrat proposes replacing 'illegal alien' with 'undocumented immigrant' in state law Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/enforcement fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/politics fnc e48d1638-5494-5c95-abd5-9d3c78a8c7ee article

Susan Lontine

Lontine’s bill would replace the “illegal alien” language with “undocumented immigrant.” Her legislation would add to an ongoing controversy over the term, which some have suggested carries a disparaging connotation.

In September, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights announced that residents could face up to $250,000 in fines if they use terms such as “illegal alien … with intent to demean, humiliate or harass a person.”


“Hate has no place here,” a tweet from the City of New York read. The city’s announcement ticked off a list of offensive ways to address immigrants — including threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or harassing someone for their “limited English proficiency.”

The Associated Press has similarly admonished reporters for using “illegal” as a descriptor for immigrants. The wire service’s 2013 style guide was updated to read: “Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.”


Both President Trump and his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have used the word repeatedly. Sessions specifically directed his Justice Department not to use terms other than “illegal alien,” which he said was based in U.S. code.

“The word ‘undocumented’ is not based in US [sic] code and should not be used to describe someone’s illegal presence in the country,” he reportedly said in an agency-wide email.

Westlake Legal Group Susan-Lontine-Colorado-General-Assembly Colorado Democrat proposes replacing 'illegal alien' with 'undocumented immigrant' in state law Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/enforcement fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/politics fnc e48d1638-5494-5c95-abd5-9d3c78a8c7ee article   Westlake Legal Group Susan-Lontine-Colorado-General-Assembly Colorado Democrat proposes replacing 'illegal alien' with 'undocumented immigrant' in state law Sam Dorman fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/enforcement fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/politics fnc e48d1638-5494-5c95-abd5-9d3c78a8c7ee article

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Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: ‘Not every military action leads to war’

Westlake Legal Group HemmerCotton522 Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war' fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 390adead-2ae8-568d-8084-a255e1c56c66

Senate Armed Services Committee member Tom Cotton, R-Ark., criticized a measure liming President Trump’s authority to order military action against Iran that passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote Thursday.

“Not every military action leads to war with 150,000 troops deployed. We killed one of the world’s worst terrorist leaders last month,” Cotton told “Bill Hemmer Reports,” referring to Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani. “We are not currently invading Iran or occupying a capital,” Cotton said. “There is a range of military action that our commander-in-chief can order to protect our interests.”


Eight Senate Republicans joined all 45 Democrats and both independents to pass the measure, which would require the Trump administration to end all military action targeting Iran within a month after the start of potential hostilities unless Congress expressly approves other measures. The bill must still be approved by the House and is expected to be vetoed by the president.

The Republicans who voted for the measure were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Michael Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Todd Young of Indiana.

“As far as Congress’ role, I agree that Congress plays an important role in keeping this country safe,” said Cotton. “The president is the commander-in-chief under Article Two of our Constitution. Congress has the spending power though and if that Congress doesn’t like that, we can always limit their ability to spend taxpayer funds.”

Cotton added that Democrats are offering “paper resolutions” while actions against people like Soleimani require “iron resolution.”

Hemmer said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., — speaking for the other Republicans who voted against the measure — argued the bill sends the wrong signal to America’s allies and that the entire exercise is a political swipe at Trump.


“The president will veto it and the Ayatollah [of Iran] should take notice,” Cotton warned. “This president is ready to defend the United States. They should not take the risk that [Soleimani] did and learned the hard way last month…not to cross this president.”

Democrats and some Republicans, have argued that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks is outdated and a new authorization must be passed to outline actions against new threats.

Westlake Legal Group HemmerCotton522 Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war' fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 390adead-2ae8-568d-8084-a255e1c56c66   Westlake Legal Group HemmerCotton522 Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war' fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 390adead-2ae8-568d-8084-a255e1c56c66

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Trump Tells Gov. Cuomo To Drop New York State Lawsuits Against Him

Westlake Legal Group 5e45b7da210000f902269898 Trump Tells Gov. Cuomo To Drop New York State Lawsuits Against Him

President Donald Trump demanded Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) drop all New York State lawsuits against him prior to a meeting between the two on Thursday to discuss the suspension of travel programs that would benefit immigrants, along with other New Yorkers.

“He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics,” Trump said a week after the Department of Homeland Security announced it was suspending New York residents from participating in Trusted Traveler Programs such as Global Entry that make it easier to return to the U.S. from foreign trips. The move was in response to New York passing the “Green Light Law,” which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses and participate in the TTP.

Trump implied that the suspension could be lifted with a quid-pro-quo:

“New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harassment, start cleaning itself up, and lower taxes,” he tweeted.

Before the afternoon meeting at the White House, Cuomo said he planned to tell Trump that he would allow federal authorities access to the DMV database for those applying for TTP. Cuomo said the access would be granted on a case-by-case basis, where the state would give federal authorities information of only those who have already “given all sorts of background information,” CNN reported.

“DHS claimed they wanted this information to determine qualifications for the TTP, but it is a sham because they just want access to undocumented immigrants’ personal information, and as the governor said, we are never going to give them that,” Dani Lever, Cuomo’s communications director, told CNN.

The state’s attorney general said New York will sue the administration over the decision to suspend the programs. Attorney General of New York Letitia James also reminded the president that it is her ― not the governor ― who files the lawsuits. 

As of last fall, Trump was juggling 30 different investigations by various congressional, executive branch and state officials related to his business, campaign, inauguration and presidency dealings, The New York Times reported. Eight of those are New York state investigations into the Trump’s family tax schemes, potential underpaid taxes, misuse of charitable assets and the role of Trump’s children in his businesses, among others.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in a tweet that Trump “is publicly admitting that he is holding Global Entry for New Yorkers hostage in exchange for dropping lawsuits against him and his family’s lawbreaking behavior.”

“This is corrupt, illegal, and authoritarian,” she added.  

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Powerful Nevada union declines to endorse a candidate in Dem race in major snub to Biden

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122970940001_6122975752001-vs Powerful Nevada union declines to endorse a candidate in Dem race in major snub to Biden fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc f87bbf1e-191e-552a-8c46-0028f6b30783 article Andrew O'Reilly

In a surprise move, Nevada’s powerful Culinary Union Local 226 decided on Thursday to not endorse a candidate in the Democratic presidential primary – saying instead that it was focusing on raising awareness of issues that concern its members.

“We are going to endorse our goals,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union Local 226, said during a press conference in Las Vegas. “We respect every single candidate right now. We know all the candidates and we respect them all.”

The non-endorsement by the union is seen as a blow to former Vice President Joe Biden, who was hoping that a nod from the union could help jumpstart his flagging campaign following poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.


Biden, who still currently leads the polls in Nevada, is hoping that the next two contests in Nevada and South Carolina – states much more racially diverse than the previous two – will breathe a much-needed lift into his campaign.

The union’s announcement also comes a day after its leadership slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont amid claims that his supporters “viciously attacked” union members after the union publicly warned its members against backing a candidate in the state’s Democratic caucus who supports “Medicare-for-All.”

Argüello-Kline would not comment on the alleged attacks during her press conference, but it’s been reported that Sanders’ supporters have made threatening phone calls to the union and lashed out over social media.


The casino workers’ Culinary Union, a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who work in Las Vegas’ casinos, controls arguably one of the most important voting blocs in Nevada and is expected to play a crucial role in the state’s contest later this month.

The Nevada caucuses are generally decided by who wins the state’s two main population centers of Clark County, home to Las Vegas and the Culinary Union, and Washoe County, where Reno is located. The state has taken on an even bigger role in this year’s election with the muddled contest in Iowa’s caucuses and the close results from this week’s primary in New Hampshire.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122970940001_6122975752001-vs Powerful Nevada union declines to endorse a candidate in Dem race in major snub to Biden fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc f87bbf1e-191e-552a-8c46-0028f6b30783 article Andrew O'Reilly   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6122970940001_6122975752001-vs Powerful Nevada union declines to endorse a candidate in Dem race in major snub to Biden fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc f87bbf1e-191e-552a-8c46-0028f6b30783 article Andrew O'Reilly

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Senate passes measure to curb Trump’s war powers in rare bipartisan vote

Westlake Legal Group Kaine Senate passes measure to curb Trump's war powers in rare bipartisan vote Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 46e99551-f286-51a2-ab65-d70d4b0cb8fd

The Senate on Thursday passed a bipartisan resolution to curb President Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran in rare defiance of the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Eight GOP senators joined all Democrats in a 55-45 vote to pass a war powers resolution that says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

“It’s a rare day here in the Senate,” said Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, fresh off the bitterly partisan impeachment fight. “I wish we didn’t have to say that, but it is. But the Senate just sent a clear shot across the bow: a bipartisan majority of senators don’t want the president waging war without congressional approval.”


The measure now heads to the House. While it is expected to pass there, it’s unlikely there’s the two-thirds supermajority in both the House and Senate needed to override the expected Trump veto.

The eight Republicans who broke with Trump were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Todd Young of Indiana and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

The measure was authored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who said the resolution was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.

“After years of Congress avoiding its constitutional duty on matters of war, I’m grateful that a bipartisan majority of Senators affirmed that the president cannot send our troops into conflict without authorization,” Kaine said.

McConnell called the measure “deeply flawed” in a floor speech Wednesday. “It is too blunt and too broad,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Trump argued in two tweets Wednesday that a vote against Kaine’s proposal was important for national security and pointed to the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.


“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani,” Trump said. “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!”

Tehran responded to the U.S. attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American and Coalition troops. The attack caused traumatic brain injuries in at least 64 U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon has said.

Democrats and Republicans alike criticized a briefing by the Trump administration shortly after the drone strike, saying U.S. officials offered vague information about a possible attack being planned by Iran but no substantial details.

Lee, who called it the “worst military briefing” he’s ever had, said Congress cannot escape its constitutional responsibility to act on matters of war and peace.


“We want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact properly authorized by Congress,” said Lee, noting he agrees with Trump’s foreign policy. “That doesn’t show weakness. That shows strength.”

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Kaine Senate passes measure to curb Trump's war powers in rare bipartisan vote Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 46e99551-f286-51a2-ab65-d70d4b0cb8fd   Westlake Legal Group Kaine Senate passes measure to curb Trump's war powers in rare bipartisan vote Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 46e99551-f286-51a2-ab65-d70d4b0cb8fd

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William Barr Says He Will Not ‘Be Bullied’ in Response to Trump’s Attacks

Westlake Legal Group 13dc-barr-facebookJumbo-v2 William Barr Says He Will Not 'Be Bullied' in Response to Trump's Attacks United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Stone, Roger J Jr Mueller, Robert S III Justice Department Courts and the Judiciary Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — In an extraordinary rebuke of President Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr said on Thursday that Mr. Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department had made it “impossible for me to do my job” and asserted that “I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.”

Mr. Barr has been among the president’s most loyal allies and denigrated by Democrats as nothing more than his personal lawyer but publicly challenged Mr. Trump in a way that no other sitting cabinet member has.

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody,” Mr. Barr said in an interview with ABC News. “And I said, whether it’s Congress, newspaper editorial board, or the president, I’m going to do what I think is right. I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Mr. Barr’s remarks were aimed at containing the fallout from the department’s botched handling of its sentencing recommendation for Mr. Trump’s longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr., who was convicted of seven felonies in a bid to obstruct a congressional investigation that threatened the president.

Mr. Trump’s criticisms “make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Mr. Barr said.

He added, “It’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

People close to the president said they were caught off guard by the interview.

Hours after prosecutors recommended on Monday that a judge sentence Mr. Stone to seven to nine years in prison, Mr. Trump attacked their request as “horrible and very unfair” and as a “miscarriage of justice.” The next day, Mr. Barr and other senior department officials intervened to lower the recommendation.

The episode ignited a firestorm among rank-and-file lawyers at the Justice Department. While the officials blamed the original filing on a miscommunication and said they had intended to correct it even before Mr. Trump assailed it, four of the prosecutors working on the case withdrew. Career prosecutors began to express worry that their work could be used to settle political scores.

Mr. Trump’s opponents escalated their accusations of inappropriate influence when he congratulated Mr. Barr for his decision to step in and ease the sentencing recommendation for Mr. Stone. “Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

The president also accused the prosecutors who had secured a conviction against Mr. Stone of engaging in an “illegal” investigation. He incorrectly accused Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the Stone trial, of placing his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in solitary confinement. Mr. Manafort, who was convicted of monetary fraud in a case that grew out of the special counsel’s investigation, at one point had a jail cell to himself but was not in solitary confinement, and Judge Jackson was not involved in his placement.

And Mr. Trump compared the Stone case to the Russia investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. “Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress,” Mr. Trump said, without evidence.

Mr. Trump reiterated his complaints on Thursday morning, claiming in a tweet that the Stone jury forewoman had “significant bias,” his first rhetorical assault on a juror. He was responding to a Fox News report that the forewoman was an anti-Trump Democratic activist.

Later, in a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera, he railed about the initial decision by Justice Department lawyers to recommend a seven- to nine-year sentence for Mr. Stone.

“What they did to Roger Stone was a disgrace in terms of everything, right from the beginning,” Mr. Trump said.

His complaints about the handling of Mr. Stone’s case have raised concerns from Democrats and critics that he was improperly influencing Justice Department matters.

Mr. Barr quickly became one of Mr. Trump’s trusted advisers after becoming attorney general last February — a reversal of the tense relationship that Mr. Trump had with Mr. Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions.

Mr. Trump soured on Mr. Sessions after he recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation. Their toxic relationship cast a political shadow over the department and strained dealings between the department and the White House.

Tensions eased when Mr. Barr arrived and embraced some of the most divisive aspects of Mr. Trump’s agenda, often serving as a polished and articulate defender of the president against accusations of abuse of power.

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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