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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 261)

Soldier who amputated leg to save tank crew: ‘It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me’

For one soldier, losing a leg in a freak accident is far from a tragedy. It’s an inspiration.

In fact, Army Spc. Ezra Maes, 21, says it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to him.

“I’ll probably say that for the rest of my life,”  he told Fox News this week.

“Every day I wake up and look at it, and I remember how close I was to losing it all. And I’m still here,” he said. “I managed to survive, and this is just the scar I walked away with.”

Westlake Legal Group Ezra-Maes-2-US-Army Soldier who amputated leg to save tank crew: 'It's the best thing that's ever happened to me' Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/us fnc article 1c6d23ae-97ab-5016-859f-9b928f5f9dd9

Spc. Ezra Maes undergoes physical rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army Medical Center’s cutting-edge rehabilitation center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. (U.S. Army photo by Corey Toye)

Maes was on a weeklong rotation in Slovakia while deployed to Poland last year. The armor crewman served as a loader for the main cannon of an M1A2 Abrams tank.

He and two crew members fell asleep in the tank one night only to wake up with the hulking machine slowly rolling downhill at 5 mph.

They quickly learned the parking brake had failed. The crew went through all the emergency procedures to get the tank to stop, but nothing worked, Maes recalled.

“We held on and hoped one of the trees stopped us,” he said. “And it did, for the most part.”

The tank picked up speed, rumbling up to 30 mph, but was slowed after hitting several trees, eventually crashing into an embankment.

Thrown across the tank, Maes’ right leg became lodged in the gearing under the tank. The driver smashed his head through the driver’s hatch and broke his back, and his gunner dislocated her leg and had a “nasty-looking cut on her inner thigh,” Maes said

84-YEAR-OLD US ARMY VET CHALLENGES TSA AGENT TO 10 PUSH-UPS BEFORE HONOR FLIGHT

“I was pretty sore but not knocked out,” he said.

Maes focused on helping the other injured crew members. After seeing the cut on his gunner’s leg, he knew “we had to get it fixed right away.”

He started twisting and turning while lodged under the turret gearing, thinking his uniform was stuck.

“I felt a pop and a rip, and thought, cool, I tore a uniform piece off,” Maes said.

Then he noticed it wasn’t just his uniform that came off. Maes had self-amputated his leg to become dislodged from the gearing.

He did his best to spring into action but was quickly losing blood.

“I almost fainted on my way out” to help the crew, Maes recalled. They used their belts as tourniquets and started shock procedures, splashing cold water on their faces — “buddy aid,” Maes said.

The tank’s radios had been knocked out in the crash and their cell phones were dead or broken — except one.

Westlake Legal Group Ezra-Maes-1-US-Army Soldier who amputated leg to save tank crew: 'It's the best thing that's ever happened to me' Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/us fnc article 1c6d23ae-97ab-5016-859f-9b928f5f9dd9

Sgt. Aechere Crump and Pfc. Victor Alamo visit with Spc. Ezra Maes during their recovery at Brooke Army Medical Center. Crump and Alamo survived the tank accident with Maes in early 2018. (Courtesy Photo)

“That’s when we heard mine go off,” Maes said.

The gunner crawled to the phone and gave it to Maes, who summoned rescuers.

“Once they found us, it turned into a bunch of big jokes and laughs,” he said. “We were so happy to be getting care, and that we weren’t dead.”

When someone collected his severed leg, Maes managed to quip: “Hey, bring that back, I want it!”

Maes was taken to a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, then back overseas to San Antonio, Texas. He was later taken to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston.

The specialist, who grew up in Colorado and New Mexico, has since been immersed in physical and occupational therapy at the Center for the Intrepid, the medical center’s outpatient rehabilitation center. He does yoga up to three times a week, kayaks, works with service dogs — about anything he can do, he does, Maes said.

“It’s the most comprehensive care you can imagine,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group Ezra-Maes-4-US-Army Soldier who amputated leg to save tank crew: 'It's the best thing that's ever happened to me' Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/us fnc article 1c6d23ae-97ab-5016-859f-9b928f5f9dd9

Candace Pellock, physical therapy assistant, with Spc. Ezra Maes at the Center for the Intrepid. (U.S. Army photo by Corey Toye)

He’s in the process of being fitted for a long-term prosthetic leg. It’s a permanent implant, similar to a dental implant, that will allow him to “clip in and go,” he said.

Iniitially stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, in December 2016 after enlisting in the Army, Maes said he’s been given a second chance.

Maes, whose great-grandfather served in the Army, can now take his time and decide what to do next with his life. A big part of that will be inspiring and motivating people who are in similar situations.

“Your outlook can change everything. It’s 100 percent perspective,” he said. “I try and help as many people as possible who are in worse situations.”

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Westlake Legal Group Ezra-Maes-3-US-Army Soldier who amputated leg to save tank crew: 'It's the best thing that's ever happened to me' Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/us fnc article 1c6d23ae-97ab-5016-859f-9b928f5f9dd9   Westlake Legal Group Ezra-Maes-3-US-Army Soldier who amputated leg to save tank crew: 'It's the best thing that's ever happened to me' Melissa Leon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox news fnc/us fnc article 1c6d23ae-97ab-5016-859f-9b928f5f9dd9

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Tulsi Gabbard backed by 2020 Democrat candidates in Hillary Clinton ‘Russian asset’ row

Westlake Legal Group yang-williamson-gabbard-clinton-AP Tulsi Gabbard backed by 2020 Democrat candidates in Hillary Clinton 'Russian asset' row Julia Musto fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc b792fc7f-653d-5b23-9520-a4c0b722f95c article

2020 Democratic candidates Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang are backing Representative Tulsi Gabbard, D-H.I., after Hillary Clinton accused her of being a “Russian asset.”

In a podcast with former Obama adviser David Plouffe, Clinton said she wasn’t “making any predictions, but [she thinks Russians] have got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

“She’s the favorite of the Russians” she added, saying they “have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

Clinton has since backed out of a speaking appearance at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, where Gabbard was scheduled to speak.

Gabbard pushed back on Clinton as “queen of warmongers [and the] embodiment of corruption” in response to Clinton’s allegations.

On Friday she told Tucker Carlson on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that the former Secretary of State is waging a smear campaign against her because “she knows she can’t control me.”

She also accused Clinton of having “blood on her hands” after the Iraq war she “championed.”

“Their blood is on her hands. That’s why she’s smearing my character and trying to undermine my campaign,” she said.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FOX NEWS APP

Yang and Williamson are two candidates running for the Democratic ticket who took Gabbard’s side in the feud.

Yang wrote in a tweet: “Tulsi Gabbard deserves much more respect and thanks than this. She literally just got back from serving our country abroad.”

Williamson chimed in: “The Democratic establishment has got to stop smearing women it finds inconvenient!” Adding, “the character assassination of women who don’t toe the party line will backfire.”

“You deserve respect and you have mine,” she told Gabbard.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker just posted a wide-eyed gif reacting to Gabbard’s rebuttal.

Westlake Legal Group yang-williamson-gabbard-clinton-AP Tulsi Gabbard backed by 2020 Democrat candidates in Hillary Clinton 'Russian asset' row Julia Musto fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc b792fc7f-653d-5b23-9520-a4c0b722f95c article   Westlake Legal Group yang-williamson-gabbard-clinton-AP Tulsi Gabbard backed by 2020 Democrat candidates in Hillary Clinton 'Russian asset' row Julia Musto fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc b792fc7f-653d-5b23-9520-a4c0b722f95c article

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India police say ‘cunning serial killer’ arrested in deaths of 6 family members

Westlake Legal Group cyanide-iStock India police say 'cunning serial killer' arrested in deaths of 6 family members Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c3ee964-635b-533d-8325-50bd07d51546

Police in India say six members of a family were killed with cyanide by a church-going relative motivated by greed, according to reports Saturday.

The police in Kerala are now describing 47-year-old Jolly Joseph as one of India’s most cunning serial killers, who spiked soups, snacks and medicinal drinks with cyanide that she gave her victims over a 14-year period, The New York Times reported.

“I just pray that we can bring my family members justice. You don’t know what it does to me as a daughter, as a sister, to see my loved ones’ remains after so long, taken from their graves,” said Renji Thomas, Joseph’s ex-sister-in-law, according to the paper.

SAMUEL LITTLE MOST PROLIFIC SERIAL KILLER IN US HISTORY, FBI SAYS

Thomas is the sister of Roy Thomas, who was married to Joseph in 2011 when he died suddenly after retching violently in a locked bathroom, the paper reported. Joseph said it was a heart attack that killed him.

Authorities say Joseph has confessed to the six killings, the Times reported.

The other victims were her father-in-law, her mother-in-law, her husband’s uncle, a 2-year-old niece, and the wife of her current husband.

The victims’ bodies were being exhumed as part of the investigation.

On Saturday, Joseph’s request for bail was rejected by a court in Kerala, Gulf News reported. She has been jailed since her arrest Oct. 5.

NEWBORN INDIAN GIRL FOUND BURIED ALIVE IN CEMETERY: REPORT

Two accused accomplices were also denied bail.

One is a jewelry store clerk who police say helped Joseph carry out some of the killings, the Times reported.

The other is a goldsmith, who is alleged to have provided the cyanide.

Police believe Joseph acted out of greed, eliminating those who stood in the way of her inheriting valuable property held by the family she married into.

The case broke open as Joseph and her sister-in-law battled over family property in court and Joseph turned over an autopsy report showing her husband died of cyanide poisoning, the New York Post reported.

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Joseph was able to keep the autopsy findings for years, the paper reported.

Westlake Legal Group cyanide-iStock India police say 'cunning serial killer' arrested in deaths of 6 family members Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c3ee964-635b-533d-8325-50bd07d51546   Westlake Legal Group cyanide-iStock India police say 'cunning serial killer' arrested in deaths of 6 family members Robert Gearty fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c3ee964-635b-533d-8325-50bd07d51546

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Nigel Farage: Parliament doesn’t represent public opinion on Brexit

Westlake Legal Group FARAGE-CROP Nigel Farage: Parliament doesn't represent public opinion on Brexit Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc dbdd014c-b318-52ab-97e2-2ef3716d59e3 article /FOX NEWS/SHOWS/Your World Cavuto/Interviews

Most members of Parliament don’t accurately represent the opinions of the nation when talking about leaving the European Union (EU), Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said Saturday.

Appearing on “CAVUTO Live” with host Neil Cavuto, Farage said that while he wants Brexit “more than anybody,” the right move here would be to leave Boris Johnson’s Brexit and “take back our independence,” claiming Johnson’s deal is more like a new EU treaty that would bind Britain and lead to more negotiations and acrimony.

“I’m pleased that Boris wants Brexit, but this is just not the right way,” he told Cavuto. “But, he’s not the real problem. The real problem, of course, is that we have a country that voted ‘leave’ and still wants to leave; most members of parliament want to remain.”

BREXIT VOTE DERAILED AT LAST MINUTE BY REBEL LAWMAKERS; BORIS JOHNSON PLEDGES NOT TO NEGOTIATE A DELAY

In a major blow to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.K. lawmakers voted Saturday to postpone a decision on whether to back his Brexit deal with the European Union, throwing a wrench into government plans to leave the bloc at the end of this month.

At a special session of Parliament intended to ratify the deal, lawmakers voted 322-306 to withhold their approval on the Brexit deal until legislation to implement it has been passed.

The vote aims to ensure that the United Kingdom can’t crash out of the EU without a divorce deal on the scheduled October 31 departure date. However, it means Johnson must ask the EU to delay Britain’s departure since Parliament previously passed a law compelling him to do that if a Brexit divorce deal were not passed by Saturday.

The government still hopes it can pass the needed legislation by the end of the month so the U.K. can leave on time.

“Opinion polling is very, very clear,” said Farage. “If you give people the binary choice ‘do you want to leave with a clean break Brexit or remain in the European Union’ there is a very, very comfortable lead for those who want to leave — bigger than we had in the referendum three years ago.”

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE FOX NEWS APP

“So, the British public are firm on this. Our politicians don’t reflect it,” he stated.

“My message to the prime m inister is rather, Boris, than pushing through a very bad new EU treaty better to play for time, let’s get a new general election and then hopefully we get a parliament that reflects the country and not just the career politicians currently sitting behind me,” he concluded.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group FARAGE-CROP Nigel Farage: Parliament doesn't represent public opinion on Brexit Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc dbdd014c-b318-52ab-97e2-2ef3716d59e3 article /FOX NEWS/SHOWS/Your World Cavuto/Interviews   Westlake Legal Group FARAGE-CROP Nigel Farage: Parliament doesn't represent public opinion on Brexit Julia Musto fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe/brexit fox-news/topic/the-european-union fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc dbdd014c-b318-52ab-97e2-2ef3716d59e3 article /FOX NEWS/SHOWS/Your World Cavuto/Interviews

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DeMario Davis jokes he might send Pope ‘Man of God’ headband after supportive tweet

Westlake Legal Group Pope-Francis-Demario-Davis-AP-Getty DeMario Davis jokes he might send Pope 'Man of God' headband after supportive tweet Sam Dorman fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/pope-francis fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/fox-nation fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c23b9bc-617e-54f1-a6d8-dee572d0a6e7

New Orleans Saints linebacker DeMario Davis said he might send Pope Francis one of his signature “Man of God” headbands after the Holy Father tweeted out his thanks for the team’s faith.

“It was a huge blessing,” Davis told Fox Nation host Raymond Arroyo in an interview that aired Friday.

“I liked it even more because I feel like it kind of flowed off our ‘Our Man of God’ thing … so now I got to send the Pope a ‘Man of God’ headband,” he said.

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Davis raised more than $60,000 for St. Dominic Hospital by selling “Man of God” and “Woman of God” headbands after facing a $7,000 fine for wearing his own during a game.

POPE FRANCIS’ INADVERTENT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PRAYER GOES VIRAL BEFORE TEAM’S CLOSE VICTORY

After the linebacker pledged to give 100 percent of the proceeds away, the NFL revoked his fine and, along with a matching grant, Davis was able to direct $120,000 to the hospital.

Describing his reaction to the initial fine, David said he felt “conflicted.” “Should I continue to wear it because of the messaging or would I follow the rule? Which would bring ultimate glory to God?,” he explained on Fox Nation’s “Laura and Raymond.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Pope Francis apparently heard about Davis’ efforts and tweeted thanks on Sunday.

“Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints,” he said, alongside an emoji with the team’s logo. “They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.”

Westlake Legal Group Pope-Francis-Demario-Davis-AP-Getty DeMario Davis jokes he might send Pope 'Man of God' headband after supportive tweet Sam Dorman fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/pope-francis fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/fox-nation fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c23b9bc-617e-54f1-a6d8-dee572d0a6e7   Westlake Legal Group Pope-Francis-Demario-Davis-AP-Getty DeMario Davis jokes he might send Pope 'Man of God' headband after supportive tweet Sam Dorman fox-news/sports/nfl/new-orleans-saints fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/pope-francis fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/fox-nation fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c23b9bc-617e-54f1-a6d8-dee572d0a6e7

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Pergram: Dems want another independent counsel, about 80 percent chance they’ll hold impeachment vote

Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Schiff Pergram: Dems want another independent counsel, about 80 percent chance they'll hold impeachment vote Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc b78a34c2-8ac4-5ad7-9587-0cbb19c0ed61 article

Chad Pergram, Fox News’ Senior Producer for Capitol Hill, said on Thursday that he thought there was about an 80 percent chance that Democrats would proceed with a vote on impeaching President Trump.

“I would put it at 80 percent right now,” Pergram said during Thursday’s “Hemmer Time” podcast.

His comments came just after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., held a press conference in which she pushed back on the idea that she needed to hold an official vote.

President Trump has been pushing Congress to hold a vote, apparently believing Democrats were either disingenuous or setting themselves up for a political catastrophe by pushing impeachment.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE ‘HEMMER TIME’ PODCAST

According to Pergram, Pelosi may have signaled her disposition towards impeachment when she sat with the press and, after discussing policy issues, allowed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to answer questions related to impeachment.

KEN STARR: MULVANEY WAS ‘PRETTY CLOSE’ TO ADMITTING UKRAINE QUID PRO QUO, MAY BE ‘UNDER OATH’ SOON

“I think that was a very symbolic act by the Speaker. Actions speak louder than words,” Pergram told Fox News host Bill Hemmer.

Pelosi, he speculated, could have been “completely punting to Schiff” or trying to distance herself from the potential political fallout. “Was this a way to kind of say, alright, Adam, ball’s in your court — don’t screw this up and if you do, it’s not on me?” Pergram asked.

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At the end of September, Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry after months of resisting Democratic calls to do so amid the Russia investigation. It wasn’t until details surfaced surrounding Trump’s July call with Ukraine that she announced an inquiry.

Pergram told Hemmer that Democrats wanted another independent counsel like former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who effectively closed his part of the Russia investigation in the summer of 2019.

Pergram noted that prior impeachment proceedings — for former Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon — involved special prosecutors who provided evidence for committees.

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“Here, they’re not taking Robert Mueller’s work. We’re into a different silo of information here — even though those silos may be cousins, Ukraine and Russia,” Pergram said.

“And so, while most of this work is in the Ukraine silo, very little of it dealt with Robert Mueller … if you talk to Adam Schiff, he’ll tell you this, that they are doing the work of the independent counsel because that doesn’t exist in this model right now and they’re saying if Bill Barr, the attorney general, was on the ball, he would have appointed an independent counsel to look into this issue,” he added.

Listen to the full interview on the latest episode of “Hemmer Time” here, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Schiff Pergram: Dems want another independent counsel, about 80 percent chance they'll hold impeachment vote Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc b78a34c2-8ac4-5ad7-9587-0cbb19c0ed61 article   Westlake Legal Group Pelosi-Schiff Pergram: Dems want another independent counsel, about 80 percent chance they'll hold impeachment vote Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc b78a34c2-8ac4-5ad7-9587-0cbb19c0ed61 article

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Rep Francis Rooney announces retirement, wants to be a ‘model for term limits’

Westlake Legal Group Francis-Rooney-AP Rep Francis Rooney announces retirement, wants to be a 'model for term limits' Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c67bb1bc-2c5f-56c5-b18e-47d29859c592 article

Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., became the latest in a long line of Republican lawmakers to announce their retirement in 2020, saying that he already accomplished what he sought to do as Florida’s representative.

Fox News host Leland Vittert had asked Rooney on Saturday if viewers should consider him one of the Republicans who wouldn’t run for re-election in 2020.

“Yes, you do. I’ve done what I came to do,” he told Vittert on “America’s News HQ.”

He pointed to his efforts in getting money for Everglades projects and getting an offshore drilling ban passed to protect Florida.

“We’ve gotten all the major projects underway,” he said.

He added that he wanted to be a model for term limits.

“People need to realize … this is public service, not public life,” the second-term congressman told Vittert.

The Florida congressman previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under former President George W. Bush.

Rooney told Vittert that he was “really tired” of the intense partisanship in Washington but wasn’t tired of having to answer for President Trump’s conduct.

MULVANEY COMMENTS SEIZED ON BY CRITICS SAYING IT’S PROOF OF UKRAINE QUID PRO QUO

Rooney’s announcement came as he expressed skepticism of President Trump’s July call with Ukraine and sought more information in House Democrats’ official impeachment inquiry surrounding the issue.

Rooney clarified, however, that his retirement won’t change the way he proceeds with impeachment, arguing that politicians should do the right thing at all times.

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He also pointed to White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s comments, which he said was an explicit admission of a quid pro quo with Ukraine. “I think Mulvaney clarified, there is a point there,” he said.

President Trump has maintained the impeachment inquiry was a form of “harassment” and that his call with Ukraine was well within the scope of his legitimate powers as president. Democrats have alleged that the phone call showed troubling evidence of Trump leveraging foreign aid in order to force Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election.

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When Vittert asked Rooney whether other Republicans felt the same as him, Rooney indicated some did but he mostly felt like an “island.”

“I really felt like I’ve been on an island for some time,” he said, pointing to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., not passing offshore drilling legislation for Florida. At that point, he turned to former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for help.

Westlake Legal Group Francis-Rooney-AP Rep Francis Rooney announces retirement, wants to be a 'model for term limits' Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c67bb1bc-2c5f-56c5-b18e-47d29859c592 article   Westlake Legal Group Francis-Rooney-AP Rep Francis Rooney announces retirement, wants to be a 'model for term limits' Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c67bb1bc-2c5f-56c5-b18e-47d29859c592 article

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‘There’s a perception of impropriety’: Former White House officials say Doral G-7 breaks precedent

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'There's a perception of impropriety': Former White House officials say Doral G-7 breaks precedent

W.H. Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, during a press conference at the White House, announces the 2020 G7 summit will be held at Trump Doral in Miami. White House

WASHINGTON – The selection process for next year’s G-7 summit of leading industrial nations is a stark departure from past precedents for selecting the site, former administration officials say. 

Former Barack Obama and George W. Bush administration officials said the Trump Doral resort should not even have been under consideration because of the perception of conflicts of interest. 

Their comments to USA TODAY came after White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s Thursday announcement that the 2020 G-7 summit of leading industrial nations would be hosted at the Trump National Resort in Doral, Fla., was met with fury from Democrats and at least one Republican senator. 

In a statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler called it “among the most brazen examples yet of the President’s corruption,” and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told reporters it was not appropriate to use taxpayer dollars at a Trump resort.

In a press briefing about the administration’s search process, Mulvaney argued they had used the same criteria as previous administrations, but “it became apparent at the end of that process that Doral was, by far and away – far and away – the best physical facility for this meeting.”

The Trump National Doral resort is owned by the Trump Organization, a collection of business entities owned mostly by President Donald Trump, though it is unclear what degree of involvement he has in the management in the company.  

More: W.H. Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defends hosting G7 summit at Trump property

More: Dems debate, Trump’s acts on Turkey and impeachment heats up: The week in politics news

‘You wouldn’t even look at the property’

“You wouldn’t even look at the property because it doesn’t matter if it’s the best property on Earth. There’s a perception of impropriety,” said Johanna Maska, who handled the Obama administration’s advance preparations for the 2012 G-8 in Camp David, Md. 

She noted that while Hawaii and Chicago had been under consideration for the 2012 G-8, they had taken all possible steps to work with city vendors and avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Though, “I guess it’s a little different when the vendor is your family,” she said. 

Greg Jenkins, who worked on the Bush administration’s advance preparations for the 2004 G-8 in Sea Island, Ga., said that administration would have never considered holding the event at a venue like the Bush ranch in Texas. 

“I mean, to be handed a list of places, like ‘oh, look at that. Looks like the only place it’s going to work in all of America is a place that happens to be owned by the President.’ Right. Well, that’s not a coincidence at all,” said Greg Jenkins, who worked on the Bush administration’s advance preparations for the 2004 G-8 in Sea Island, Ga. 

How a summit is planned

Summits like the G-7 are a massive undertaking, with delegations following every world leader and thousands of journalists from international press corps descending on the location. 

According to Maska, the “host country has a lot of control” over the planning of summits of world leaders like the G-7 or the G-20, unlike other summits like those for NATO, which have strict guidelines. 

There are “a number of different pressing, different staff needs, different leader needs, security needs, and all of those are taken into account,” she explained.

It has to be a secure venue, with private entrances, she noted. One would not want to hold it in a hotel with lots of glass windows, she explained.  

Other major concerns would be potential locations for photo ops, for each delegation to have a working space, and locations for leaders to meet up with each other.  

Jenkins said that in the Bush administration, it was at least a two-step process to identify a venue. 

“We identified a bunch of venues around the country that would be just candidates to be considered,” he explained. “And we did what essentially a lot of desk-side research first, to cull the list,” before anyone flew out to visit sites. 

Mike Ready, who oversaw security coordination for the Secret Service for large events like the G-7, said they would have assessed “The security impact on where we’re going. Is it something that we can secure easily? Or is this something that’s going to be, you know, a severe challenge or maybe have a major impact on the community be there?”

More: White House: Next G-7 meeting will take place at Trump’s Doral facility in Florida

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More: House Judiciary Committee to investigate Trump’s desire to use his Doral resort to host next G-7 summit

A city prepares

Despite some earlier reports, the city was not entirely blindsided by the announcement. 

The Trump administration had advised the city of the possibility of the G-7 being held there last June after news had leaked, Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez told USA TODAY.

The city had budgeted about $311,000 for potential overtime pay and equipment for officers in the event the G-7 were to be held there, he said. 

Since June, though, the mayor said he had not had any contact with the Trump administration or the Secret Service, nor had his police chief been in contact with the administration.

Since the announcement, he had one “brief conversation” with a staffer in the White House Intergovernmental Affairs Office.

He looked forward to seeing the G-7 come to Doral, though, calling it a “great opportunity for us to showcase ourselves to the rest of the United States and the world.” 

Bermudez said he was a former Democrat, now a registered Republican who had voted for Trump in 2016, though the city’s mayoral position was nonpartisan. 

Past precedent

The hosting of a summit of world leaders at a resort with ties to the presidency is not without precedent. The 1976 G-7 summit was held at a resort in Puerto Rico owned by Laurance Rockefeller, the younger brother of then-Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.

Nelson Rockefeller, as CBS News reports, took much more extensive steps to disclose his financial dealings and released a dozen years of tax returns once he became vice president. 

Trump, however, has not released his tax returns. 

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Cher offers pay legal bills for fired security guard who used racial slur

Cher has offered to pay the legal bills for Marlon Anderson.

In a tweet on Friday, the singer said she’ll cover the expense of any lawsuit the black Wisconsin high school security might file after he was fired for using a racial slur while telling a student not to use that word.

Anderson said a disruptive student at Madison West High School used the racist term on Oct. 9.

Westlake Legal Group AP19290844303707 Cher offers pay legal bills for fired security guard who used racial slur Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/cher fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 52a479f2-f685-5f76-b624-823d02723978

Marlon Anderson poses for a photo Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 in Madison, Wis. Anderson, a security guard at a Wisconsin high school, was fired after he says he repeated a racial slur while telling a student who had called him that word not to use it. He has filed a grievance seeking his job back. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP))

He repeated the word as he admonished the student, who is also black, not to say it.

Madison schools have a zero-tolerance policy on racial slurs and fired Anderson.

CHER SAYS DEMOCRATS DON’T KNOW HOW TO WIN IN 2020

The Grammy-, Oscar- and Tony-winning artist says she’s sad at such disrespect, especially after the death Thursday of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Students at the high school skipped school on Friday to protest Anderson’s firing.

CHER SLAMS JOE BIDEN OVER HYDE AMENDMENT STANCE

Anderson has filed a grievance looking to get his job back.

It’s unclear whether the student faced disciplinary action for their use of the slur.

The Associated Press and Fox Business contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group cher Cher offers pay legal bills for fired security guard who used racial slur Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/cher fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 52a479f2-f685-5f76-b624-823d02723978   Westlake Legal Group cher Cher offers pay legal bills for fired security guard who used racial slur Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/cher fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 52a479f2-f685-5f76-b624-823d02723978

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Dems introduce legislation to block G7 summit at Trump’s Doral resort

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-106b258ce9e94643b1db337c9452602a Dems introduce legislation to block G7 summit at Trump's Doral resort Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5d0398cd-8544-51c0-8802-6c63b706a495

A trio of House Democrats introduced legislation Friday to block President Trump from hosting next year’s G7 summit at one of his Florida resorts.

Reps. Lois Frankel from Florida, Bennie Thompson from Mississippi and Steve Cohen from Tennessee proposed the Trump’s Heist Undermines the G-7 (THUG) Act. A companion bill sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., will be introduced in the Senate, according to lawmakers.

The House bill would prohibit funding for the three-day summit at Trump National Doral Golf Club in June. It would also require Trump to submit to Congress documents related to the decision to host the summit at Doral, lawmakers said.

“[Trump] is unashamed of his corruption,” Frankel said in a press release. “He is abusing the office of the presidency and violating law by directing millions of dollars of American and foreign money to his family enterprises by holding an important meeting of world leaders at his Doral resort.”

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made the announcement on Thursday that next year’s G7 meeting will be held at Doral June 10-12.

Mulvaney said the decision will save taxpayers millions because the resort will provide its services at cost.

Democratic lawmakers claimed Friday that past G7 summits have cost “upwards of $40 million.”

ANDREW MCCARTHY: TRUMP DORAL RESORT PICK FOR G-7 A ‘REAL UNFORCED ERROR’

Doral was selected out of 12 potential sites to host the international gathering, with Trump personally recommending his resort. Mulvaney told reporters Thursday it was “the best place.”

When questioned about the optics of hosting the event at a Trump resort — and any potential financial gains the president might realize as a result — Mulvaney said the Trump brand “doesn’t need any help.”

“The Trump family made their money before they went into politics,” he said.

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Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Julia Musto contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-106b258ce9e94643b1db337c9452602a Dems introduce legislation to block G7 summit at Trump's Doral resort Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5d0398cd-8544-51c0-8802-6c63b706a495   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-106b258ce9e94643b1db337c9452602a Dems introduce legislation to block G7 summit at Trump's Doral resort Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5d0398cd-8544-51c0-8802-6c63b706a495

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