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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 31)

Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don’t ‘play political games’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433686001_6073431448001-vs Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don't 'play political games' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b88ceba8-a344-50a8-92e7-dc408063d307 article

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Thursday and said she was working on bipartisan legislation to close “loopholes” in the background check system. She mae the case for Democrats and Republicans finding common ground on gun control.

“If we can come together working with President Trump working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle and say that if you advertise the sale of a firearm over the Internet there should be a background check, that makes sense to me,” Collins said.

The senator said she wouldn’t support the recent House bill — calling it an overreach — but did say that background checks were something to unite around.

“I’m working with Sen. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin and with the White House on making sure that we close some loopholes in the background check system to ensure that people with criminal records or who are mentally ill can not purchase firearms,” she said.

6 PHILADELPHIA OFFICERS WOUNDED IN SHOOTING

Calls to address gun violence are still echoing following a shooting during a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month, and a dramatic standoff in Philadelphia on Wednesday in which six officers were wounded.

Collins made a case for why now is the time for some sort of legislation.

JESSE WATTERS: DEMS POLITICIZING PHILADELPHIA SHOOTING

“I think the difference this time is we had three incidents so close together. Then look at what happened in Philadelphia as well. And we have the president saying that he is on board. And so my hope is that the Democrats truly want a solution and some progress and that they’re not going to play political games with this issue,” Collins said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433686001_6073431448001-vs Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don't 'play political games' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b88ceba8-a344-50a8-92e7-dc408063d307 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073433686001_6073431448001-vs Sen. Collins on gun control: Solution is possible if Dems don't 'play political games' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b88ceba8-a344-50a8-92e7-dc408063d307 article

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Trump bashes NH protester: 'That guy’s got a serious weight problem'

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump bashes NH protester: 'That guy’s got a serious weight problem'

President Trump and his former communications director of 11 days got into a heated Twitter war over after Anthony Scaramucci criticized the president’s visit to Dayton and El Paso. Buzz60

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump insulted a protester’s weight Thursday evening at his rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” Trump said as several protesters were escorted out of the arena. “Go home. Start exercising.”

“Get him out of here please. Got a bigger problem than I do,” Trump continued. “Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?'”

More: Donald Trump holds New Hampshire rally to tout economy amid market slide, recession fears

Senator Corey Lewandowski?: Donald Trump likes the idea; many Republicans don’t

Rally attendees also began booing at the protesters and chanting “USA!” Trump was interrupted by the protesters after criticizing Democrats for describing political opponents as “fascists and Nazis.” 

Seconds after criticizing the protester’s weight, Trump went back to his remarks, immediately telling his supporters “our movement is built on love.”

Although Trump often slams protesters at his rally, he has never commented on their weight.

Trump’s weight is at 243 pounds, according to his annual psychical earlier this year — up four pounds from last year. In January 2018, he was at 239 pounds.

Over the weekend, Trump was insulted for his weight by 2020 Democratic candidate Andrew Yang.

More: Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were barred from visiting Israel. Here’s what we know

While speaking at the Iowa State Fair, Yang mocked the president’s wight.

“Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that — because he is so fat,” he said.

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Authorities release names of 6 cops wounded in Philadelphia standoff

Westlake Legal Group Philly2 Authorities release names of 6 cops wounded in Philadelphia standoff Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 411a7063-a73b-5414-a213-f97391e04284

Philadelphia Police Thursday identified the six officers who were wounded the day before in a harrowing shootout that lasted more than seven hours.

Joshua Burkitt, 26, a two-year veteran, was shot in the left hand. Michael Guinter, 32, a 12-year veteran, was shot in both arms. Shaun Parker, 32, an 11-year veteran, suffered a graze wound to the head. Nathaniel Harper, 43, a 19-year veteran, was shot in the left leg. Ryan Waltman, 42, a 12-year veteran, was shot in the right hand. Justin Matthews, 31, a 3-year veteran sustained a graze wound to the left leg.

All six officers were treated and released from local hospitals Wednesday night.

PHILADELPHIA STANDOFF: POLICE DISPATCH AUDIO REVEALS TENSE MOMENTS DURING HOURS-LONG ORDEAL

The standoff began Wednesday when officers attempted to serve a drug warrant, and ended shortly after midnight Thursday when the suspect suffered after firing more than 100 rounds.

The suspect was identified by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner as Maurice Hill, 36. Krasner said Hill had an extensive criminal history, including drug, gun and robbery charges. Krasner said Hill should not have been on the streets but stopped short of saying there was any specific failure by law enforcement.

“I think it’s fair to say the criminal justice system, imperfect as it is, did not stop this terrible incident,” he told reporters at a news conference Thursday.

PHILADELPHIA POLICE SHOOTING SUSPECT HAS ‘EXTENSIVE’ CRIMINAL HISTORY, POLICE SAY

Pennsylvania prison officials said a man with the same name and date of birth served about 2½ years on drug charges before being paroled in 2006 and served more than a year for aggravated assault and before being released in 2013.

State court online court records indicate that man had multiple arrests in Philadelphia and adjacent Delaware County between 2001 and 2012, producing convictions for crimes including perjury, fleeing and eluding, escape and weapons offenses.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain told reporters that Hill was prohibited from possessing firearms because of past convictions.

Hill’s lawyer, Shaka Johnson, said Hill called him during the standoff asking for help surrendering. Johnson then called Krasner, and the two men patched in both Hill and the police commissioner, according to Krasner.

Hill told Johnson he wanted to make it out alive to see his newborn daughter and teenage son again.

President Trump weighed in on the shootout Thursday morning, saying the gunman “should never have been allowed to be on the streets.”

“He had a long and very dangerous criminal record,” he wrote in the tweet. “Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence — must get much tougher on street crime!”

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McSwain said Thursday that the standoff was precipitated by a disrespect for law enforcement that the district attorney Krasner is championing.

“This vile rhetoric puts our police in danger,” McSwain said, adding that Krasner “routinely calls police and prosecutors corrupt and racist.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Philly2 Authorities release names of 6 cops wounded in Philadelphia standoff Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 411a7063-a73b-5414-a213-f97391e04284   Westlake Legal Group Philly2 Authorities release names of 6 cops wounded in Philadelphia standoff Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc article 411a7063-a73b-5414-a213-f97391e04284

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Trump All But Endorses Corey Lewandowski For New Hampshire Senate Bid

Westlake Legal Group 5d55686d2200003100f61879 Trump All But Endorses Corey Lewandowski For New Hampshire Senate Bid

MANCHESTER, N.H. ― President Donald Trump waded into the New Hampshire Senate GOP primary on Thursday and talked up his former aide Corey Lewandowski, who has expressed interest in taking on Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen next year.

“He was the first one who talked about us possibly winning the whole big ballgame. And he’s tough. And he’s smart … so we’ll see what happens. He would be fantastic,” Trump said at a rally in Manchester, referring to Lewandowski, who was seated with his family in the audience.

The controversial former Trump campaign manager would be an unusual and risky choice for Republicans as they seek to recapture the Senate seat. After being fired from the Trump campaign in 2016, the longtime New Hampshire political operative founded a lobbying shop in Washington, with an extensive list of foreign clients ― joining the very “swamp” his former boss promised to clean up. 

Though he’s perhaps best known for grabbing and bruising then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields in 2016, Lewandowski has done a number of other troubling things in recent years, including mocking an immigrant child with Down syndrome and supporting new voting restrictions in New Hampshire that he openly admitted would help Trump win the state in 2020.

Top Republican officials in the state dumped on the idea of a potential Lewandowski run before Trump’s rally in Manchester on Thursday, warning him to stay out of the race, according to reports from The Daily Beast and Politico

“He’s part of Trump’s cadre of thugs. If he were to run and become the nominee, it would be an outrage,” former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) told The New Hampshire Union-Leader in an article published earlier this week.

It’s also unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his affiliated PACs would go along with a Lewandowski Senate bid. Two other, relatively baggage-free candidates have already announced their intention to seek the GOP nomination: retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc and Bill O’Brien, the former speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Bolduc said Trump possibly endorsing Lewandowski for Senate didn’t bother him.

“The president has the right to endorse anyone he wants to … I welcome them,” he told HuffPost on Thursday as he greeted Trump supporters in line at the rally outside Southern New Hampshire University Arena.

But Democrats sought to highlight the former Trump aide’s lobbying work in a statement on Thursday.

“Corey Lewandowski is a shadow lobbyist with a nefarious client list that includes foreign interests, which is why New Hampshire Republicans and even Gov. Chris Sununu have been keeping their distance,” New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman Josh Marcus-Blank told HuffPost. “Lewandowski, with his record of violence, will make an already nasty Republican primary even worse.”

The party could benefit from Lewandowski entering the race because of his deep ties to Trump. Though the president’s approval rating in New Hampshire is steady, he’s seen a drop in approval among independents, who make up 40% of the state’s voters. 

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Ninth Circuit rejects Trump’s bid to limit accommodations to children detained at border

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a rejection of the Trump administration’s bid to limit accommodations for immigrant children detained at the border, ruled Thursday that the children must be given adequate food, clean water, soap, and toothpaste.

A three-judge panel from the left-leaning court tossed out the U.S. government’s challenge to a lower court ruling that stated authorities had failed to provide safe and sanitary conditions for the children in line with a 1997 settlement.

The settlement, known commonly as the Flores Agreement, stated that migrant children – whether accompanied by their families or not – could not be held for longer than 20 days.

Westlake Legal Group AP19227659620577 Ninth Circuit rejects Trump's bid to limit accommodations to children detained at border fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/enforcement fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 1f3e126b-17f7-551c-b023-1cba8ed1b7d1

FILE: Immigrants play soccer at the U.S. government’s newest holding center for migrant children in Carrizo Springs, Texas.  (AP)

U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled in 2017 that officials had breached the settlement after young immigrants detained at the border said they had to sleep in cold, overcrowded cells and were given inadequate food and dirty water.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BOOSTS ABILITY TO DENY GREEN CARDS TO IMMIGRANTS USING WELFARE PROGRAMS

At a June hearing, a U.S. government lawyer argued that officials weren’t required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, under the agreement’s requirement that facilities be “safe and sanitary. The appellate judges disagreed.

“Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety,” the panel wrote.

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The issues at border detention have dated back years, but have drawn increased attention as the result of an ongoing rise in the number of children and families, mostly from Central America, arriving on the southwest border.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19227659620577 Ninth Circuit rejects Trump's bid to limit accommodations to children detained at border fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/enforcement fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 1f3e126b-17f7-551c-b023-1cba8ed1b7d1   Westlake Legal Group AP19227659620577 Ninth Circuit rejects Trump's bid to limit accommodations to children detained at border fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/enforcement fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 1f3e126b-17f7-551c-b023-1cba8ed1b7d1

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Trump reportedly asked White House counsel to look into buying the territory.

Westlake Legal Group 5d55ed0f3b0000df16dc4e33 Trump reportedly asked White House counsel to look into buying the territory.

President Donald Trump is reportedly interested in buying Greenland, an ice-covered island melting before the world’s eyes.

That’s according to a report Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, which spoke to sources familiar with Trump’s conversations on the matter. According to them, the president has repeatedly said he’s interested in acquiring the autonomous Danish territory situated between the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans.

Though Trump spoke with “varying degrees of seriousness” about the possible acquisition, the Journal reported, the president is at least serious enough about it to have asked White House counsel to look into it for him.

Trump may have gotten the idea in his head last spring at a dinner with associates when one of them mentioned that Denmark, which funnels $591 million in subsidies to the 56,000-person territory every year, was struggling to provide that financial assistance and that the U.S. should seek ownership.

“What do you guys think about that? Do you think it would work?” Trump asked the room, the Journal reported. The source present viewed the remark as more of a boastful joke than a serious question.

Denmark, meanwhile, has made no indication that it wants to sell off the island.

It’s not clear what about Greenland has supposedly sparked Trump’s curiosity. The island may be a rich source of rare mineral and energy sources, including iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, uranium and oil, though experts say more research needs to be done to know the island’s full potential. 

The U.S. has some defense stakes there, too, including its northernmost military holding, Thule Air Base.

And of course, buying Greenland would give Trump the glory of adding an 811,000-square-mile island to the U.S., giving him a legacy that neither President Harry Truman’s nor President Andrew Johnson’s administrations could claim after their failed attempts to buy Greenland from the Danes. 

Trump is scheduled to visit Denmark next month, though the White House has only said the trip is to “participate in a series of bilateral meetings and meet with business leaders.”

Greenland’s fate with climate change, however, hangs in the balance. Though Trump has repeatedly expressed disbelief in the realities of soaring global temperatures, scientists say the island could eventually be plunged underwater as a result of its rapidly melting ice sheet. Industries there have already started to take a hit. 

The island saw staggering melting last month when Europe’s record-high temperatures moved northward and formed a heat dome over Greenland. In July, it lost 197 billion metric tons of ice; that’s about three times the 60-70 billion metric tons scientists normally expect to see melt there.

Petteri Taalas, the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, pointed to the July melt as a dire consequence of global warming.

“This is not science fiction,” he said. “It is the reality of climate change. It is happening now and it will worsen in the future without urgent climate action.”

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Economic Trouble Signs Hang Over Trump’s Trade War

Westlake Legal Group 15DC-TRUMPECON-facebookJumbo Economic Trouble Signs Hang Over Trump’s Trade War United States Economy Trump, Donald J Recession and Depression International Trade and World Market Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Reserve System Customs (Tariff)

WASHINGTON — Against the backdrop of mounting evidence that the global economy is weakening, President Trump is caught between his desire to pursue the trade war with China he promised to win and his need to keep the economy humming as the 2020 election approaches.

That conflict explains some of the messaging from Mr. Trump in public and on social media in recent days as market gyrations undermine the confidence of investors.

The president has insisted that his tariffs on Chinese imports are hurting only China, telling reporters on Thursday that “the longer the trade war goes on, the weaker China gets and the stronger we get.” The main thing threatening American prosperity, he has said repeatedly on Twitter, is the Federal Reserve and its refusal to act expeditiously to lower interest rates.

But economists say the tariffs are causing damage unacknowledged by the administration, with slowing growth in China and an economic downturn in Germany, a big exporter to China, becoming apparent this week. Sticking with the trade war could bet the health of the economy on the Fed’s ability to provide a sufficient buffer if a global downturn sets in.

“The president seems to be playing a dangerous game,” by stirring “stuff up just enough to get the Fed to cut interest rates,” said Phil Levy, the chief economist at Flexport, a freight company.

Official administration forecasts continue to project that the economy will grow even faster this year than it did last year, when it was fueled by tax cuts. That outlook is rosier than any mainstream private forecaster has offered. Several forecasters have increased the odds of a recession’s hitting next year.

After the German and Chinese economic reports, the bond market responded with trading patterns that have often presaged a recession. And economic data from the United States on Thursday showed that industrial production declined in July and that the manufacturing sector had shrunk over the last year.

Outwardly, administration officials have been sanguine. A senior administration official said in an interview on Wednesday evening that analysts and investors were “going overboard” on recession fears. The administration points to economic data underscoring the strength of the American consumer, like retail sales numbers released on Thursday morning. The figures showed consumers spent at a hotter pace in July than expected, driven in part by a sale for Amazon Prime members.

In an email on Thursday, the acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Tomas Philipson, said, “The U.S. economic outlook remains strong despite slowing global growth.” He cited the strength of the services sector, which makes up the bulk of the American economy, and strong consumer spending powered by increased wage and productivity growth.

Still, White House officials were paying close attention to the movements of the bond market on Thursday for additional signs of strain, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Officials said they remained hopeful that the economy could still meet the administration’s growth targets if they continued their deregulation efforts, if Congress passed a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and if some kind of agreement was reached with China.

On Twitter on Thursday, Mr. Trump accused journalists of trying to “crash the economy” but insisted that it was too strong for that to happen.

Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, told Fox News on Wednesday that the “underlying fundamentals of the U.S. economy are solid as a rock” but criticized the Fed for keeping interest rates too high. He said Mr. Trump’s decision this week to delay putting some tariffs on Chinese goods would, by helping to keep consumer prices in check, “give the Federal Reserve more room to run in terms of lowering rates.”

When Mr. Trump postponed the planned duties on electronics and toys, softening the full force of his next round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports, he cited the potential impact on consumers heading into the holiday shopping season. But some of his advisers and aides immediately started thinking about how the move would play out at the Federal Reserve, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The theory was this: The tariff delay, by helping hold down inflation, might make the Fed more likely to cut interest rates. Mr. Trump often says lower rates would put the United States on a more level playing field with global competitors, many of which have rock-bottom borrowing costs that keep their currencies comparatively cheap, an advantage for exporters.

Delaying some of the tariffs, however, may actually have taken pressure off the Fed to act by increasing the chances that China and the United States will reach some sort of a deal before the full set of penalties take effect. In fact, while Wall Street forecasts had begun to point to a half-percentage-point rate cut in September, expectations of just a quarter-point cut increased after the tariff delay was announced.

Fed policy was not crucial to the decision to delay tariffs — that centered on consumers and the economy, according to people familiar with the deliberations — but the report that it is on advisers’ minds is noteworthy. It suggests that for at least some White House advisers, one consideration in shaping and selling trade policy is keeping the central bank pointed toward interest-rate cuts.

The Fed cut rates in July for the first time in more than a decade, partly in response to mounting risks from the trade war and a global economic slowdown. It signaled that it might make further cuts if global risks persisted and inflation stayed low.

Administration economists have continued to predict, as recently as July, that the economy will grow at a 3.2 percent rate this year, up from 2.5 percent last year. (Officials will complete a revised forecast at the end of October.) But if economic growth continues at its current pace through the fall, Mr. Trump will need a rapid acceleration — to more than 5 percent growth in the fourth quarter — to hit his administration’s initial target for this year.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “China is not our problem, though Hong Kong is not helping. Our problem is with the Fed. Raised too much & too fast.”

But the main threat to United States growth, most economists say, is slowing economic expansion abroad and the possibility that Mr. Trump’s trade war will intensify the global pullback and chill investment and expansion domestically.

“I don’t know if he’s necessarily doing this just to get the Fed to cut,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior United States rates strategist at TD Securities, but the trade war “puts the Fed between a rock and a hard place,” because it wants to avoid playing into politics but must also protect the economy.

It is possible that Mr. Trump could extract the rate cuts he would like by escalating his dispute with China further, imposing even more tariffs. The president hinted on Thursday that such a course was possible.

“We would be able to step it up,” he said. “I’ve been very mild about it, very, very mild. There’s a long way I can go.”

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Trump’s Hong Kong Caution Isolates Him From Congress, Allies and Advisers

Westlake Legal Group 15dc-diplo2-facebookJumbo Trump’s Hong Kong Caution Isolates Him From Congress, Allies and Advisers United States International Relations Trump, Donald J State Department Republican Party International Trade and World Market Human Rights and Human Rights Violations Hong Kong Protests (2019) Democratic Party Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s cautious distance from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has left him politically isolated from both parties in Congress, the State Department, European allies and his most hawkish advisers at the White House.

Despite ringing declarations of support for the protesters from leading Democrats and Republicans as well as European officials, Mr. Trump has shown little sympathy for the mass demonstrations against China’s encroaching political influence on the former British colony. And in his almost-singular focus on his showdown with Beijing over trade and tariffs, Mr. Trump is ignoring the view of his conservative advisers, who believe that China’s authoritarian model threatens American interests worldwide.

Speaking to reporters as he headed to a campaign event on Thursday, Mr. Trump was complimentary toward China’s president, Xi Jinping. “I really have a lot of confidence in President Xi,” Mr. Trump said, predicting that if the Chinese leader met with protest leaders, “things could be worked out pretty easily.” Mr. Trump offered no words of support for the goals of the protesters, which include preventing China’s repressive political system from subsuming Hong Kong’s open society.

Two senior administration officials said top foreign policy advisers to Mr. Trump have pressed him to take a more forceful public stand on Hong Kong as the pro-democracy protests have escalated, along with police violence against them. One tough internal critic of China’s government is Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who in an interview on Wednesday with Voice of America used far stronger language than Mr. Trump has about the protests.

“The Chinese have to look very carefully at the steps they take, because people in America remember Tiananmen Square, they remember the picture of the man standing in front of the tanks,” Mr. Bolton said, referring to the 1989 demonstrations that China’s government brutally repressed, killing hundreds of unarmed people. “It would be a big mistake to create a new memory like that in Hong Kong,” Mr. Bolton added.

The State Department, also using language tougher than the president’s, issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was “staunch in our support for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong,” sympathetically noting the protesters’ “broad concerns about the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

Mr. Trump has conspicuously avoided that kind of language as he seeks to negotiate a trade agreement with Beijing. On Twitter and in comments this week, he has sounded ambivalent about the Hong Kong unrest, saying that he hopes “it works out for everybody, including China.”

Mr. Trump has also shown sympathy for Mr. Xi. In a tweet on Thursday, he called the Chinese leader “a great man who very much has the respect of his people,” who can bring the Hong Kong crisis to a “happy and enlightened ending.” To many of the Hong Kong protesters, Mr. Xi is an untrustworthy tyrant determined to squelch their political freedom.

Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is also in sharp contrast to the words of Republicans and Democrats, who are warning Mr. Xi of grave consequences, including congressional action, should he order a bloody 1989-style crackdown. Fears of such a response grew this week after images circulated online of a buildup of Chinese military forces near Hong Kong, which Beijing says is part of a long-planned exercise.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a North Carolina Republican who often advises Mr. Trump on foreign policy, tweeted on Tuesday that “30 years after Tiananmen Square all Americans stand with the peaceful protesters in Hong Kong.’’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in a statement that the protesters “have inspired the world with the courage and determination with which they are fighting for the freedom, justice and true autonomy that they were promised.”

Similar rhetoric has come from European allies. “I do support them, and I will happily speak up for them and back them every inch of the way,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain said of the protesters last month, arguing that China must honor Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Mr. Trump’s language shows little connection to his administration’s stated intolerance for China’s political repression. An official national security strategy that the Trump White House released in December 2017 declared Beijing to be a strategic competitor whose political system must be confronted along with its economic and military strength. The document quotes Mr. Trump as saying that the United States will “raise our competitive game” to “protect American interests and to advance our values.”

The drama in Hong Kong is only the latest example of Mr. Trump’s disinclination to let human rights and democracy complicate his diplomacy. He has taken no position on recent mass protests in the streets of Moscow, which have constituted the most open challenge in years to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, with whom Mr. Trump has a friendly relationship. Mr. Trump also rarely criticizes the repressive practices of several other governments with which he has forged close alliances, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Poland.

The crisis in Hong Kong has cast a particularly bright spotlight on the role of western democratic values at a moment when authoritarian politics are on the rise across the globe. Mr. Trump’s critics call this a vital moment to reassert American leadership.

“If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere,” Ms. Pelosi said in her statement.

“Our democratic allies are looking to us for leadership,” said Daniel Kliman, a former Pentagon official and director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.

Mr. Trump’s defenders say he has good reason to tread carefully. One is that Mr. Trump has limited tools for backing up any tough words; it is unthinkable that the United States military would come to the protesters’ rescue.

Another is that China’s government has openly accused the United States of instigating the protests as part of a covert regime-change strategy, and support from the White House could play into Beijing’s narrative. The Chinese state news service Xinhua reported on Thursday that China’s Foreign Ministry office in Hong Kong had condemned “certain U.S. politicians for colluding with the extremist and violent offenders” there.

“Western leaders have a fine line to walk: supporting the democratic aims of Hong Kong protesters without feeding paranoia in Beijing that the demonstrations are a foreign conspiracy to divide and weaken China,” said Jessica Chen Weiss, a China scholar and professor at Cornell University. “As for Trump, his actions speak louder than his words.”

President Barack Obama faced similar concerns in June 2009 after a wave of pro-democracy uprisings emerged in Iran. Mr. Obama was relatively restrained in his commentary about the Iranian protests, largely because of fears that expressions of support would play into the hands of Iranian leaders who insisted that the protests had been stirred up by the Central Intelligence Agency. But Mr. Obama still made clear his support for the protesters’ goals, saying that “the democratic process — free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected.”

Nor would Mr. Trump be the first American president to tread carefully when it comes to the internal affairs of China. Human rights groups criticized Mr. Obama for failing to more forcefully challenge Mr. Xi’s clampdown on civil society during his administration. And Mr. Obama’s then-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, told reporters on her first trip to Beijing that, while Washington must press Beijing on its values, “pressing on those issues can’t interfere” with such other priorities as the economy and climate change.

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CVS Is Reportedly a Major Donor to Trump’s 2020 Campaign

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Top Jewish Leader Slams Israel’s Ban Of Omar, Tlaib: Democracies Do Not Hide’

The leader of America’s largest Jewish denomination is criticizing Israel’s decision to bar two Democratic congresswomen from entering the country. 

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said the move to block Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from visiting Israel was “wrong, full stop.”

“Democracies do not hide; they can protect their security and well-being and also celebrate robust debate and engagement in the public square,” Jacobs said in a statement on Thursday. 

The Muslim congresswomen were planning to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank on a tour to highlight the plight of Palestinians. Both politicians were banned from entering Israel on Thursday over their support for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Supporters of the movement say it uses nonviolent, economic pressure to protest Israeli policies and advocate for Palestinians’ rights. Critics insist its ultimate aim is to delegitimize Israel. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d55e5503b00004b00dc4e2f Top Jewish Leader Slams Israel’s Ban Of Omar, Tlaib: Democracies Do Not Hide’

ASSOCIATED PRESS  In this Feb. 5, 2019 file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar sits with Rep. Rashida Tlaib at the Capitol in Washington.

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that it would “show great weakness” if Israel allowed the congresswomen to visit, claiming they “hate Israel & all Jewish people.” 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that Tlaib and Omar’s trip itinerary “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Reform movement’s rabbinical arm, has condemned the BDS movement. In his statement, Jacobs said that he doesn’t agree with Omar and Tlaib about BDS. 

Still, Jacobs said he believes the strongest response to the congresswomen would have been to meet them head-on, “rather than to draw the curtains and hide.” 

“Israel should use the opportunity afforded by the representatives’ visit to demonstrate why BDS is wrong and fails to offer a reasonable path forward in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Jacobs said.

<img class="image__src" src="https://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/5d55e3ca3b00004d00dc4dc7.jpeg?cache=f8gy3a5q5a&ops=crop_7_26_556_481,scalefit_720_noupscale" alt="Rabbi Rick Jacobs&nbsp;is president of the Union for Reform Judaism.”>

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Rabbi Rick Jacobs is president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

The rabbi said both Netanyahu and Trump acted “recklessly.” Jacobs called on Netanyahu to reverse his decision and “use this opportunity to demonstrate Israel’s thriving democracy to the world.”

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, leader of the Reform movement’s social action arm, also called on Netanyahu to reverse the decision.

 About one-third (35%) of all American Jews identify with the Reform movement ― making it by far the largest Jewish denomination in the U.S. However, this progressive stream of Judaism has a small footprint in Israel. The country’s chief rabbinate doesn’t recognize the Reform Jewish movement as a legitimate branch of Judaism. 

American and Israeli Jews also tend to have differing ideas about the prospect of peace in the region, according to a 2016 survey from the Pew Research Center. Most Israeli Jews don’t believe Israel can peacefully coexist with an independent Palestinian state (45%) ― while most American Jews (61%) are optimistic about a two-state solution.

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