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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 97)

Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld blast media for focus on Acosta over Epstein

Westlake Legal Group Watters-Epstein-Acosta-Gutfled_FOX-Getty-AP-FOX Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld blast media for focus on Acosta over Epstein Victor Garcia fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc ce9ca20e-a6d3-5c60-9ec4-899f81106eca article

Fox News’ Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld criticized the media and Democrats for focusing on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and not disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on “The Five” Wednesday.

“Why are we talking about Acosta?” Watters asked. “This is a person, Epstein, who is a serial pedophile. We should be talking about him. We should be talking about his victims and why is there no interest in Bill Clinton, an ex-president who flew all around the world with a known pedophile?”

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS ALLEGED WITH THE ACOSTA PLEA DEAL?

In a press conference earlier Wednesday, Acosta explained why Epstein served only 13 months in jail and registered as a sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to two felony prostitution charges, despite facing up to life imprisonment. Epstein was charged this week with sex trafficking and conspiracy during the early 2000s based on new evidence and pleaded not guilty on Monday in New York City federal court.

Acosta claimed that the South Florida U.S. attorney’s office he oversaw at the time had fought for a tougher punishment when state prosecutors were ready to let Epstein “walk free.”

Watters blasted the media for their coverage, saying they don’t really care about Epstein’s victims.

“Why has the media decided to focus on Acosta? It’s just to get a scalp because to me it doesn’t seem like they really care about the victims,” Watters said.

Gutfeld chimed in with his own criticism of the coverage.

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“Because we live… in a media world where objective news and the Democratic consensus are exactly the same. So only [in this world] could a Democratic donor’s perversion reflect badly on a Republican,” Gutfeld said, adding that the focus on Acosta was due to Trump holding the nation’s highest office.

“Why is Acosta the story? Because Trump is president,” Gutfeld said.

Westlake Legal Group Watters-Epstein-Acosta-Gutfled_FOX-Getty-AP-FOX Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld blast media for focus on Acosta over Epstein Victor Garcia fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc ce9ca20e-a6d3-5c60-9ec4-899f81106eca article   Westlake Legal Group Watters-Epstein-Acosta-Gutfled_FOX-Getty-AP-FOX Jesse Watters, Greg Gutfeld blast media for focus on Acosta over Epstein Victor Garcia fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc ce9ca20e-a6d3-5c60-9ec4-899f81106eca article

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U.S. Announces Inquiry of French Digital Tax That May End in Tariffs

Westlake Legal Group merlin_154614540_7e91cd26-4adf-4b03-834e-01280166882a-facebookJumbo U.S. Announces Inquiry of French Digital Tax That May End in Tariffs Wyden, Ron Trump, Donald J Protectionism (Trade) Politics and Government Office of the United States Trade Representative International Trade and World Market Grassley, Charles E Federal Taxes (US) Customs (Tariff) Computers and the Internet

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it would investigate whether a French plan to impose a tax on American technology giants like Facebook and Google amounts to an unfair trade practice that could be punished with retaliatory tariffs, escalating its global trade fight.

The investigation, to be carried out by the United States trade representative, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to shelter American companies, particularly in tech, by taking a more aggressive stance toward allies’ trading practices.

It is likely to further stoke tensions with the European Union, which President Trump has already threatened with auto tariffs and criticized for selling more goods to the United States than it purchases. Mr. Trump has repeatedly said the European Union is worse than China when it comes to trade practices and has lashed out at its top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager, saying she has unfairly targeted Google, Apple and other American companies.

The American action announced on Wednesday is aimed at France, which has moved independently from the European Union to seek a tax on technology companies.

France has proposed a 3 percent tax on the revenues some companies earn from providing digital services to French users, a measure that will target Facebook, Google, Amazon and others whose businesses focus on digital advertising and e-commerce.

French officials expect the annual tax bill for these companies to amount to about 500 million euros, or about $563 million. French lawmakers are scheduled to vote as early as Thursday on the measure, which applies to digital businesses with annual global revenue of more than 750 million euros. France’s General Assembly passed the bill last week, and now it is in the Senate’s hands.

France and other European countries have long been frustrated that digital platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon use financial structures and subsidiaries in low-tax areas to avoid paying taxes in their countries.

The European Commission estimates that digital companies pay an average effective tax rate of 9.5 percent, compared with the roughly 23 percent paid by traditional businesses.

“It’s time for these companies to pay the taxes that they owe,” Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said in December.

French leaders have said the new tax would target companies in Europe and Asia, not just the United States.

European authorities have been the world’s most aggressive regulators of the tech industry — and a persistent source of friction with Washington — penalizing American companies for anticompetitive behavior, tax avoidance and privacy lapses. In 2016, the European Commission ordered Apple to repay $14.5 billion in owed taxes to Ireland, a decision now under appeal, and Google has been fined three separate times for antitrust violations. Last month, Mr. Trump lashed out at Ms. Vestager, saying she unfairly targets American companies. “She’s suing all our companies,” he said on Fox Business Network. “They make it very — almost impossible to do two-way business.”

The European Union has tried to put together a more unified digital tax plan covering the 28-nation bloc, but leaders could not reach an agreement, prompting France to act on its own. Leaders in Spain and Britain have proposed similar measures.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has also tried to work out a deal among countries about taxes from digital companies, but the slow pace of the talks has frustrated European nations.

In a statement, the United States trade representative said that the French tax targeted services “where U.S. firms are global leaders,” suggesting that “France is unfairly targeting the tax at certain U.S.-based technology companies.”

The tax treats companies that pay French corporate income tax differently than those that do not, meaning that it falls more heavily on foreign companies, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, which found that the tax works much like a tariff on foreign goods.

“The design of this new tax suggests it was tailored specifically to impose a financial burden on successful U.S. companies,” said Jake Colvin, the vice president for global trade and innovation at the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents American exporters.

The investigation will be carried out under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a legal provision that gives the president broad authority to retaliate against trading partners. It is the same mechanism Mr. Trump has used to impose sweeping tariffs on China, as well as propose countermeasures against the European Union for allegedly subsidizing Airbus, the French aircraft manufacturer.

The measure will open yet another front in a global trade fight that the Trump administration says it has undertaken to level the playing field with both allies and adversaries. In his dealings with China, the European Union, Mexico, Canada, Japan and other countries, Mr. Trump has repeatedly turned to tariffs, viewing them as the best way to push trading partners to change their practices.

Robert Lighthizer, the Trump administration’s top trade negotiator, said in a statement that the United States was “very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies.”

“The president has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce,” Mr. Lighthizer said.

Major American tech companies, which opposed the French tech tax, cheered the investigation. Jordan Haas, the director of trade policy for the Internet Association, which represents the American industry, said the inquiry was “an important step in exercising American leadership to stem the tide of new discriminatory taxes across Europe.”

Facebook and Google declined to comment.

Lawmakers in the United States have also been critical of France’s push to tax tech companies.

“The digital services tax that France and other European countries are pursuing is clearly protectionist and unfairly targets American companies in a way that will cost U.S. jobs and harm American workers,” Senators Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said in a joint statement.

“We have urged the administration to consider all available tools to address this discriminatory action and applaud the U.S. trade representative for launching an investigation,” the senators said.

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Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Infinite Means’ May Be a Mirage

When federal prosecutors announced sex-trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein this week, they described him as “a man of nearly infinite means.” They argued that his vast wealth — and his two private jets — made him a flight risk.

Mr. Epstein is routinely described as a billionaire and brilliant financier, and he rubbed elbows with the powerful, including former and future presidents. Even after his 2008 guilty plea in a prostitution case in Florida, he promoted himself as a financial wizard who used arcane mathematical models, and he often dropped the names of Nobel Prize-winning friends. He told potential clients that they had to invest a minimum of $1 billion. At his peak in the early 2000s, a magazine profile said he employed 150 people, some working out of the historic Villard Houses on Madison Avenue.

Much of that appears to be an illusion, and there is little evidence that Mr. Epstein is a billionaire.

Mr. Epstein’s wealth may have depended less on his math acumen than his connections to two men — Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post and a notorious fraudster later convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme, and Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire founder of retail chains including The Limited and the chief executive of the company that owns Victoria’s Secret.

Mr. Hoffenberg was Mr. Epstein’s partner in two ill-fated takeover bids in the 1980s, including one of Pan American World Airways, and would later claim that Mr. Epstein had been part of the scheme that landed him in jail — although Mr. Epstein was never charged. With Mr. Wexner, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled longtime associates of the wealthy retail magnate, who was his only publicly disclosed investor.

Mr. Epstein’s firm, Financial Trust Company, has released no audited financial statements or performance reports to back up his claims of investment prowess. In a 2002 court filing, Mr. Epstein said he had 20 employees, far fewer than reported figures around that time. Six years later, he lost large sums of money in the financial crisis. And friends and patrons — including Mr. Wexner — deserted him after he pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008.

Mr. Epstein, 66, is doubtless very rich: His real estate alone — one of Manhattan’s largest private mansions, a Palm Beach estate, a Paris apartment, his own Caribbean island and a huge New Mexico ranch — is worth more than $200 million. His investment firm reported having $88 million in capital from its shareholders in 2002.

He appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts were at the time they were closed.

A lawyer for Mr. Epstein, Reid Weingarten, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Mr. Epstein’s big break came when he was teaching math at the Dalton School, a prestigious Manhattan private school, in the mid-1970s. He had tutored the son of Alan Greenberg, the chairman of the mighty investment bank Bear Stearns, and ended up joining the firm.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157626225_e0373927-4d04-4c1c-ab1c-05238f12ce9f-articleLarge Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Infinite Means’ May Be a Mirage Wexner, Leslie H Sex Crimes Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes Hoffenberg, Steven J. High Net Worth Individuals Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deutsche Bank AG Dalton School Black, Leon D Bear Stearns Cos

Among his valuable properties, Mr. Epstein owns one of Manhattan’s largest private mansions, at 9 East 71st Street.CreditYana Paskova for The New York Times

He left after a few years. Mr. Epstein told Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers in an insider-trading investigation that there were three reasons, according to a 2003 Vanity Fair article. He had been disciplined over lending money to a friend to buy stock, and there were irregularities with his expense account and rumors he was having an affair with a secretary. (Mr. Epstein testified that he had known nothing about any insider trading, and neither he nor anyone else at the firm was charged.)

In 1981, he struck out on his own. He founded his own advisory firm, Intercontinental Assets Group, which he ran out of his apartment on East 66th Street. In 1987, he met Mr. Hoffenberg, then the chief executive of Towers Financial Corporation.

Mr. Hoffenberg said in an interview that he had met Mr. Epstein in New York at the height of the 1980s takeover boom, when Ivan Boesky’s “Merger Mania” was a national best seller. Towers Financial was buying unpaid debt from hospitals, nursing homes and phone companies and trying to collect it — a distinctly unglamorous niche. Mr. Hoffenberg hired Mr. Epstein as a consultant for $25,000 a month, and the two men refashioned themselves as corporate raiders.

Two takeover efforts were spectacular failures. They made a run at Pan Am, and a news release issued by Towers in November 1987 listed their advisers as John Lehman, a former secretary of the Navy; John N. Mitchell, the attorney general during the Nixon administration; and Edward Nixon, former President Richard M. Nixon’s brother. But the bid collapsed after a jetliner exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, which sent Pan Am into bankruptcy.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Hoffenberg also made a run at Emery Air Freight — an “epic failure,” according to an affidavit filed by Mr. Hoffenberg in a 2018 lawsuit against Mr. Epstein, which was brought by investors defrauded in Mr. Hoffenberg’s Ponzi scheme. The suit was dismissed.

One takeover bid involving Mr. Epstein met with success: He told Vanity Fair in 2003 that he had invested $1 million, including $300,000 of his own money, in a raid on Pennwalt, a chemical processing firm in Philadelphia. Pennwalt eventually accepted an offer from a French company that was nearly double the price at which the investor group began acquiring shares, giving Mr. Epstein a profit.

In 1988, when Mr. Epstein was still working for Mr. Hoffenberg, he formed the investment firm that would be the nexus for his connections to powerful people: J. Epstein & Company. One of those people, Mr. Wexner, would become the apparent foundation of Mr. Epstein’s riches.

Mr. Epstein met — and evidently charmed — Robert Meister, the vice chairman of the insurance giant Aon, on a flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla., according to an account by the novelist James Patterson in his nonfiction book “Filthy Rich.”

Mr. Meister, who could not be reached for comment, introduced Mr. Epstein to Mr. Wexner. There appears to have been a near instant rapport.

With Leslie H. Wexner, a retail magnate, Mr. Epstein formed a financial and personal bond that baffled Mr. Wexner’s longtime associates.CreditFred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch, via Associated Press

Robert Morosky, who had been the vice chairman of The Limited, was surprised Mr. Wexner took to Mr. Epstein so readily. “Everyone was mystified as to what his appeal was,” Mr. Morosky said. “I checked around and found out he was a private high school math teacher, and that was all I could find out. There was just nothing there.”

At the time, Forbes estimated Mr. Wexner’s net worth at $1.8 billion, placing him 52nd on its billionaires list. Managing his money would be a lucrative business, but Mr. Epstein did more than that: A corporation controlled jointly by the two men bought a mansion on East 71st Street in Manhattan in 1989 for $13.2 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a Manhattan townhouse, according to property records.

Mr. Epstein was also closely involved with Mr. Wexner in a corporation that oversaw the transformation of New Albany, an Ohio suburb near The Limited’s Columbus headquarters, into a manicured, neo-Georgian utopia. In 1998, they appeared as co-presidents on the New Albany Corporation’s Ohio registration. Both men owned mansions in the community.

“I think we both possess the skill of seeing patterns,” Mr. Wexner told Vanity Fair in 2003. “But Jeffrey sees patterns in politics and financial markets, and I see patterns in lifestyle and fashion trends.

By 1998 — the year he bought Little St. James, a 70-acre island off St. Thomas — Mr. Epstein had renamed his firm Financial Trust Company and moved it to the Virgin Islands. Mr. Epstein said he had told clients that he accepted only investments greater than $1 billion.

A corporate disclosure form from 2002 portrays a less impressive picture. Thomas Volscho, a sociology professor at the College of Staten Island who has been researching for a book on Mr. Epstein, recently obtained the form, which shows Financial Trust had $88 million in contributions from shareholders. In a court filing that year, Mr. Epstein said his firm had about 20 employees, far fewer than the 150 reported at the time by New York magazine.

There were clients other than Mr. Wexner. Mr. Epstein performed some services for the Johnson & Johnson heiress Elizabeth Johnson, showing up as a co-trustee on 14 parcels of land owned in Dutchess County, N.Y. Most of the deeds were recorded in 1998, but Mr. Epstein resigned as a trustee for Ms. Johnson’s revocable trust at the end of that year, according to a document reviewed by The New York Times.

It was also in 1998 that Mr. Epstein took sole possession of the 71st Street mansion. Mr. Wexner conveyed his interest in the corporation that owned it to one controlled by Mr. Epstein for $20 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

By 2003, Mr. Epstein had the means to pledge $30 million to Harvard University to fund a program in evolutionary dynamics, seeded with a $6.5 million gift.

Steven J. Hoffenberg, a onetime owner of The New York Post, was convicted of running a $460 million Ponzi scheme.CreditDanny Johnston/Associated Press

But the financial crisis cost Mr. Epstein some of his fortune, and allegations of sexual abuse with teenage girls cost him some of his friends.

Bear Stearns — the bank that had given Mr. Epstein his start — was still among his investments when the crisis hit. According to a lawsuit he later filed against the bank, Mr. Epstein controlled about 176,000 shares of Bear Stearns, worth nearly $18 million, in August 2007.

Mr. Epstein sold 56,000 shares at $101 each that month. He sold the remaining 120,000 shares in March 2008 as the firm was collapsing — 20,000 at $35 and the rest at $3.04, losing big. He also lost about $50 million in one of Bear’s hedge funds.

By the time Bear Stearns came apart, Mr. Epstein was at the center of his first abuse case. He pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in 2008, receiving a jail sentence that allowed him to work at home during the day but also required him to register as a sex offender.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Wexner said he “severed ties” with Mr. Epstein 12 years ago. But not everyone immediately abandoned Mr. Epstein after he was charged in 2006.

Mr. Epstein was an investor in Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a maker of emission-control products, in 2011 with several people close to Leon Black, the billionaire founder of the private equity firm Apollo Management, including Mr. Black’s four children. It was for that company that Mr. Epstein’s company filed its lone S.E.C. disclosure form.

The company’s current shareholders are not publicly available; it no longer trades on a registered exchange, and does not have to make public filings.

Mr. Epstein was also listed as a director of the Debra and Leon Black Family Foundation until in 2012, although the foundation said he had resigned in 2007. “The inaccuracy was discovered and corrected,” the foundation said in a statement.

In recent years, Mr. Epstein was a client of Deutsche Bank’s private-banking division, which caters to ultrawealthy individuals and families. The bank provided Mr. Epstein with loans and wealth-management accounts, as well as trading services through its investment banking arm, according to two people familiar with the relationship. At one point, compliance officers at Deutsche Bank raised concerns about transactions by Mr. Epstein’s company, because he posed reputational risk to the bank, the people said.

Deutsche Bank managers overruled their concerns, the people said. They noted that there was nothing illegal about the transactions and that Mr. Epstein was a lucrative client.

Earlier this year, the bank ended its relationship with Mr. Epstein.

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Senior Military Officer Accuses Air Force General Of Sexual Misconduct

Westlake Legal Group 5d2681e124000011209352cb Senior Military Officer Accuses Air Force General Of Sexual Misconduct

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior military officer has accused the Air Force general tapped to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of sexual misconduct. The accusation may have an effect on his nomination. Members of Congress have raised questions about the allegations and the military investigation that found insufficient evidence to charge him.

The officer told The Associated Press that Gen. John Hyten subjected her to a series of unwanted sexual advances by kissing, hugging and rubbing up against her in 2017 while she was one of his aides. She said that he tried to derail her military career after she rebuffed him.

The Air Force investigated the woman’s allegations, which she reported days after Hyten’s nomination was announced in April, and found there was insufficient evidence to charge the general or recommend any administrative punishment. The alleged victim remains in the military but has moved to a different job.

“My life was ruined by this,” she told the AP.

The woman asked to not be identified by name. The AP routinely does not name victims of sexual assault.

The accusations against Hyten come at a time when the Pentagon has had an unusual amount of turmoil in its senior ranks, with only an acting defense secretary for the past six months. One of President Donald Trump’s nominees for that position recently withdrew after details of his contentious divorce surfaced. On Sunday, an admiral selected to be the top Navy officer withdrew due to what officials said was an inappropriate professional relationship.

It’s unclear when, or if, Hyten’s confirmation hearing will move forward. It has not been scheduled, despite the fact that the current vice chairman, Gen. Paul Selva, is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.

Air Force Col. DeDe Halfhill, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Hyten’s nomination remains on course.

“With more than 38 years of service to our nation, Gen. Hyten has proven himself to be a principled and dedicated patriot,” she said.

A senior Air Force official said investigators went through emails, conducted interviews and pursued every lead, but did not uncover evidence to support the allegations. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters, added that they also found no evidence that the woman was lying.

Last month, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth sent a letter to acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper asking why Hyten was not removed from his post amid the investigation. The letter, obtained by the AP, raised questions about whether he received special treatment.

The woman making the allegations said she, too, wonders if Hyten received special treatment because of his rank, and she fears her honesty and motives will be questioned because of the circumstances and timing of her allegations.

The woman began working for Hyten in November 2016. Though he is an Air Force general, she is in another military branch, which she asked the AP not to disclose.

The officer said the unwanted sexual contact, kissing and hugging began in early 2017 and recurred several times throughout that year when she was working closely with Hyten. She said she repeatedly pushed him away and told him to stop.

In December 2017, when they were in southern California for the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, Hyten came into her room wearing workout clothes and hugged her tightly and rubbed up against her, according to the woman. She said she told him to leave.

Hyten then asked the woman if she was going to report him. She said she told him no.

The woman said she didn’t report the incidents at the time in order to avoid embarrassment, and out of fear of retaliation. She was also thinking about retiring, and believed Hyten was as well, so she concluded that he would not pose a risk to any other service members.

She later learned that she was under investigation by Strategic Command for what officials said was “toxic” leadership behavior.

That allegation surprised her, she says, because Hyten was familiar with her leadership style and “encouraged” it. He had given her glowing performance reviews, some of which were reviewed by the AP.

“I was not the most popular officer in the command. In fact, one could say I was not popular at all,” she said. “But I was very successful in turning around an organization.”

In her interview with the AP, she showed copies of performance reviews from Hyten in which she was ranked as the top officer out of 71 on his staff. Hyten wrote that she had “unlimited potential to lead and serve with distinction as a multi-star” general.

“Exceptionally competent and committed leader with the highest level of character,” Hyten wrote, adding that “her ethics are above reproach.”

The investigators issued her a letter of reprimand for her leadership and she was removed from her job at Strategic Command. She submitted her retirement.

But military officials in her branch of service determined her retirement was coerced and they rejected it. They then moved her to another senior job in the Washington area.

As she moved into her position, the officer received another negative evaluation by Hyten, which she appealed. During the appeals process, Hyten was nominated for the vice chairman position.

The woman said she decided she couldn’t live with the idea that Hyten might assault someone else if he was confirmed for the job. She reported the sexual misconduct to the Defense Department inspector general.

Because the charges involved criminal sexual assault, the case was referred to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and a formal investigation into Hyten was launched. Several weeks later, Gen. James Holmes, the officer in charge of the investigation, decided not to press charges.

Asked whether she has ever filed similar complaints, the officer said she was one of several who reported a commander for sexual harassment in 2007 in Iraq.

The woman told the AP she believes Hyten has committed “the perfect crime where no one will ever believe me.”

“I’ve already completed a successful career,” she said. “I had nothing to gain from doing this.”

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Tucker Carlson: US rescued Ilhan Omar

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Omar_FOX-Getty Tucker Carlson: US rescued Ilhan Omar Tucker Carlson fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 074055ba-2bf2-51a7-bcef-fc227d24747d

Like many of you, we’ve been watching with amazement and alarm as the leaders of the Democratic Party, day after day, attack the country they say they want to govern.

It’s remarkable, and a very new development. Just a few years ago, even the most liberal Democrats in Congress felt obligated to say patriotic things about America. They may not have felt it, but they said it. Now, it’s routine to hear Democratic presidential candidates question the basic legitimacy of the United States.

Even supposed moderates, like Joe Biden, join in.

That should worry you. No country can survive being ruled by people who hate it. We deserve better. For all of our country’s flaws, this is still the best place in the world. Most immigrants know that and that is why they come here. It’s also why we’ve always been glad to have them here.

WATCH FULL EPISODES OF TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT

But now, there are signs that some people who move here from abroad don’t like this country at all. As we told you last night, one of those people now serves in our Congress.

Think about that for a minute. Our country rescued Ilhan Omar from the single poorest place on Earth. We didn’t do it for the money, we did it because we are kind people. How did she respond to the remarkable gift we gave her?

No country can survive being ruled by people who hate it. We deserve better. For all of our country’s flaws, this is still the best place in the world. Most immigrants know that and that is why they come here. It’s also why we’ve always been glad to have them here.

— Tucker Carlson

She scolded us, called us names, showered us with contempt. It’s infuriating. More than that, it is also ominous. The United States admits more immigrants more than any other country on Earth, more than a million every year. The Democratic Party demand we increase that by and admit far more. OK, Americans like immigrants, but immigrants have got to like us back.

That’s the key, it’s essential. Otherwise, the country falls apart.

REP. ILHAN OMAR CALLS FOR END TO CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

We made that point last night. We will continue to make that point because it’s true and it’s important to say it out loud even if no one else is willing to.

Needless to say, the left went berserk.

In some ways, the real villain in the Ilhan Omar story isn’t Omar, it is a group of our fellow Americans. Our cultural gatekeepers who stoke the resentment of new arrivals and turn them into grievance mongers like Ilhan Omar. The left did that to her, and to us. Blame them first.

— Tucker Carlson

They hate it when you say true things. Ilhan Omar and her allies in Congress immediately demanded that this show be pulled off the air. They didn’t rebut what we said, any of our points, or even acknowledge them. They just try to silence us.

That is how they operate.

READ MORE FROM TUCKER CARLSON

Of course, they called us racist. On one level that is amusing given how absurd the charges. This show, more than any other show on television, has taken an aggressive position in favor of color-blind equality and against racism, particularly the casual racism of the modern left.

We despise the current habit of judging people on the basis of their skin color. It’s wrong. We see that virtually every night. Racist? Now, we are against racism adamantly. Omar consistently puts her own race at the center of the conversation, but to us, it’s irrelevant.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali would, by the standard of identity politics, seem to have everything in common with Ilhan Omar. She was born in Somalia, moved to Kenya and eventually came to this country. Unlike Omar, she loves and cares about the United States. She believes this country is superior to the country she came from.

For saying that, the left despises her. Two Somali immigrants, one among the most impressive people in America. The other, among the least.

ILHAN OMAR ADMITS SHE MAY HAVE FLUBBED FACTS IN DRAMATIC STORY SHE TOLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

It’s not about race. But, of course, Omar and her friends already know that. Nothing they say on the subject of race is sincere. It’s all the hustle designed to get them what they want. Omar has made a career of denouncing anyone and anything in her way as racist. That would include virtually all of her political and personal opponents. It includes even inanimate objects like the border wall, that’s racist. So was the Congress, so is the entire state of North Dakota, she once tweeted.

Omar may be from another country but she learned young that crying racism pays. The bigger question is, who taught her that? She didn’t arrive from a Kenyan refugee camp announcing people as bigots for a political campaign. She wasn’t always a professional victim. That is learned behavior.

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Importantly, she learned it here. In some ways, the real villain in the Ilhan Omar story isn’t Omar, it is a group of our fellow Americans. Our cultural gatekeepers who stoke the resentment of new arrivals and turn them into grievance mongers like Ilhan Omar. The left did that to her, and to us.

Blame them first.

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Omar_FOX-Getty Tucker Carlson: US rescued Ilhan Omar Tucker Carlson fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 074055ba-2bf2-51a7-bcef-fc227d24747d   Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Omar_FOX-Getty Tucker Carlson: US rescued Ilhan Omar Tucker Carlson fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 074055ba-2bf2-51a7-bcef-fc227d24747d

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GOP Has No Plan If Obamacare Is Struck Down. Some Don’t Think It’s Even Possible

The threat to do away with Obamacare is once again on the rise nearly 10 years after it was passed, as a major challenge to the health care law got a sympathetic-sounding hearing in a federal appeals court this week.

If the case does ultimately reach the Supreme Court, and five justices agree to strike down the Affordable Care Act, experts say it would upend the U.S. health care system and strip health insurance from an estimated 20 million people. Many millions more would lose crucial protections they might need in case of catastrophic medical issues ― including coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t appear to be sweating the likelihood of such a scenario, however. Some are pinning their hopes on the courts to reject the challenge, which is backed by the Trump administration, on the grounds that it isn’t serious and is legally moot.

“I actually don’t think the courts are eventually ever going to strike it down,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday. He called the case, which was argued before an appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday, “pretty far-fetched.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a supporter of the law who helped save it in 2017 when Republicans in Congress attempted to repeal it, agreed. 

“It’s my hope and belief that the Supreme Court won’t strike the law down,” Collins said.

Still, the latest challenge to the law has advanced in the courts despite widespread derision from legal experts, including conservatives who helped construct and argue previous challenges to the ACA.

It stands a good chance of being taken up by the Supreme Court next year, smack dab in the middle of the 2020 presidential election, creating another headache for the GOP.

Maybe this is the thing that forces Republicans to come up with a consensus idea of what to do, but we’ve been down this path numerous times without any success on an agreement. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Republicans have tried over and over again to coalesce around a cheaper and less government-focused replacement for Obamacare, and they’ve failed every time. Cobbling together a plan that preserves some of the most popular parts of the law ― such as its guarantees of coverage for people with preexisting conditions, expanded Medicaid coverage, and provisions allowing young people to remain on their parents’ policy until the age of 26 ― without a mechanism like Obamacare is extremely difficult, and maybe even impossible, a fact that even some Republicans acknowledge.

“Maybe this is the thing that forces Republicans to come up with a consensus idea of what to do, but we’ve been down this path numerous times without any success on an agreement,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said Wednesday when asked about the latest legal challenge to the law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made clear that he has no plans to take up broad health care legislation until after the 2020 election. (He said so after Trump, seemingly out of nowhere, pledged earlier this year that Republicans will become known as the “party of health care.”)

But in a sign of how far the politics surrounding Obamacare have shifted, McConnell vowed this week to restore coverage for people with preexisting conditions should the Supreme Court uphold the challenge to the law. 

“We would act quickly, on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced legislation earlier this year aiming to do just that. Republicans are pointing to the bill as evidence of their good faith commitment to those with preexisting conditions. But experts say Tillis’ bill would actually allow insurers to exclude coverage of the preexisting conditions.

Some Republicans also find it lacking.

“It’s my understanding it does not cover essential health benefits and I think those are important parts of the ACA as well, such as mental health, substance abuse, maternity care, etc. But it is a good start,” Collins told reporters when asked about Tillis’ bill on Tuesday.

Westlake Legal Group 5d2666982600004a00044160 GOP Has No Plan If Obamacare Is Struck Down. Some Don’t Think It’s Even Possible

ASSOCIATED PRESS Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed this week to restore coverage for people with preexisting conditions should the Supreme Court uphold the challenge to the Affordable Care Act. 

The challenge to Obamacare that’s before the courts now doesn’t simply threaten some provisions like its protections for those with preexisting conditions. It would eliminate all of the law ―  including its expansion of Medicaid that has benefited millions of people across the country.

Congressional Republicans have fiercely opposed expanding Medicaid even as a number of GOP-controlled states have done so under Obamacare. They’ve called the move costly and unsustainable to the safety net program’s fiscal health in the long run. But they haven’t yet offered a plan that would provide health insurance coverage to a similar number of people as done by Obamacare.

“That would be a real issue, wouldn’t it?” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Wednesday when asked about those receiving health insurance coverage through Medicaid.

“My guess is the court would understand what it’s doing and give time for Congress to act, and then we would have to act. And that would be a good thing,” he added.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said he, too, hoped for a transitional period allowing Congress time to pass a fix if Obamacare is ultimately struck down.

“One thing I do know about this place is it will take whatever time it has,” he said. “Maybe we need something compelling like a decision like this to get everybody to the table and force compromise.”

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McCarthy’s fundraising haul breaks record among House Republicans

Westlake Legal Group Kevin-MCCarthy McCarthy's fundraising haul breaks record among House Republicans Vandana Rambaran fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/leadership fox-news/politics/2020-house-races fox-news/person/kevin-mccarthy fox news fnc/politics fnc ddef7434-ced8-561d-870b-a9ff9646cb89 article

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., broke his party’s fundraising record by taking in $33.7 million through the first half of 2019, according to figures released by his campaign on Wednesday.

McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, raised $10.6 million in the second quarter, adding to his first quarter haul of $23.1 million. In total, McCarthy has more than doubled the funds raised by former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who took in $15 million in the first two quarters of 2018.

Of the $33.7 million, $8.8 million has been allocated to the reelection campaigns of various Republican House members, while $10.7 million has been distributed to the National Republican Congressional Committee and state parties.

“Republicans are on offense, fighting back and winning against the socialist agenda coming from House Democrats,” McCarthy said in a statement.

AOC PUSHES BACK AT PELOSI, SAYS HOUSE SPEAKER’S BELITTLING OF PROGRESSIVES ‘PUZZLING’

The seven-term lawmaker claimed the House Democratic caucus was in “chaos” amid intraparty policy disputes that have “left this majority rudderless and exposed their inability to solve problems on behalf of the American people.

“The substantial resources raised thus far will allow us to take our vision and message to the people,” McCarthy added.

The “chaos” claim appeared to be a reference to tensions between newly-elected Democratic lawmakers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who publicly took aim at freshman progressive members in recent weeks for voting against a $4.6 billion border aid package late last month.

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McCarthy has ramped up travel across the country ahead of the 2020 elections and has met with at least 61 potential House GOP candidates, a spokesman for the minority leader’s office told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group Kevin-MCCarthy McCarthy's fundraising haul breaks record among House Republicans Vandana Rambaran fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/leadership fox-news/politics/2020-house-races fox-news/person/kevin-mccarthy fox news fnc/politics fnc ddef7434-ced8-561d-870b-a9ff9646cb89 article   Westlake Legal Group Kevin-MCCarthy McCarthy's fundraising haul breaks record among House Republicans Vandana Rambaran fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/leadership fox-news/politics/2020-house-races fox-news/person/kevin-mccarthy fox news fnc/politics fnc ddef7434-ced8-561d-870b-a9ff9646cb89 article

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Former Florida prosecutor derides Acosta’s ‘completely wrong’ account concerning Epstein

Former Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer unloaded on Alexander Acosta on Wednesday, saying Trump’s labor secretary was peddling a “completely wrong” account of how Jeffrey Epstein escaped federal criminal penalties in 2008 in a cynical bid to “rewrite history.”

In an extraordinary statement, Krischer alleged for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Florida overseen by Acosta had drafted a “53-page indictment” against Epstein, suggesting the case against the politically connected financier was highly developed before it was abruptly and conspicuously aborted.

Krischer’s remarks came hours after Acosta, in a nearly hourlong press conference, defended his actions and claimed Palm Beach state prosecutors were intent on going soft on Epstein.

“Simply put, the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was ready to let Epstein walk free, no jail time,” Acosta said. “Prosecutors in my former office found this to be completely unacceptable.” Acosta went on to argue that it was his office that secured jail time, restitution and registration as a sex offender.

Krischer left no doubt that this assertion left him livid.

Westlake Legal Group 8a1eb516-ContentBroker_contentid-bfb91ad1d8c04edd8e93e82811867d22 Former Florida prosecutor derides Acosta's 'completely wrong' account concerning Epstein Gregg Re fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8ff8b99d-cdbe-5d5c-b09c-d4ce2d294a9d

This March 28, 2017, image provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)

“As the state attorney for Palm Beach County for 16 years [1993-2009], which included the entire period of the Epstein investigation, I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta’s recollection of this matter is completely wrong,” Krischer began. “Federal prosecutors do not take a back seat to state prosecutors.  That’s not how the system works in the real world.”

DEMS REJECT ACOSTA’S DEFENSE OF 2008 EPSTEIN PLEA DEAL — AND MICHAEL AVENATTI SAYS IT’S ALL A WASTE OF TIME

After outlining his office’s efforts to subpoena witnesses and take evidence to a grand jury, Krischer said Acosta entered into “secret negotiations” with Epstein’s lawyers.

“Subsequently, the U.S. Attorney’s Office produced a 53-page indictment that was abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta. The State Attorney’s Office was not a party to those meetings or negotiations, and definitely had no part in the federal non-prosecution agreement and the unusual confidentiality arrangement that kept everything hidden from the victims,” Krischer said. “No matter how my office resolved the state charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office always had the ability to file its own federal charges.

“If Mr. Acosta was truly concerned with the state’s case and felt he had to rescue the matter, he would have moved forward with the 53-page indictment that his own office drafted.”

Krischer concluded: “Instead, Mr. Acosta brokered a secret plea deal that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.  Mr. Acosta’s should not be allowed to rewrite history.”

Epstein ultimately served only 13 months in jail and registered as a sex offender after pleading guilty to two felony prostitution charges, despite facing up to life imprisonment. Epstein was charged this week with sex trafficking and conspiracy during the early 2000s based on new evidence, and pleaded not guilty on Monday in New York City federal court.

Top Democrats have already rejected Acosta’s explanation and called for his resignation, even as the White House indicated it would stand by the embattled Cabinet official.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News after Acosta’s press conference that the labor secretary “did great” — but reviews from Democrats were decidedly more mixed.

“Secretary Acosta had a chance to do right by Jeffrey Epstein’s victims,” Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline wrote on Twitter. “He failed. Today’s press conference doesn’t change that. The only appropriate thing for him to do now is to resign.”

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine agreed: “Acosta is trying to defend the indefensible. He put a monstrous predator above survivors of sexual abuse, and he’s got to go — period.”

CHRISTINE PELOSI WARNS IT’S ‘QUITE LIKELY’ SOME OF OUR ‘FAVES’ ARE IMPLICATED IN EPSTEIN ARREST

The plea deal spearheaded by Acosta when he was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida required Epstein to pay restitution to dozens of victims, but offered a variety of unusual concessions as part of a non-prosecution agreement.

Westlake Legal Group 0ab9501b-Acosta070919-e1562662858113 Former Florida prosecutor derides Acosta's 'completely wrong' account concerning Epstein Gregg Re fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8ff8b99d-cdbe-5d5c-b09c-d4ce2d294a9d

In this Sept. 17, 2018, photo, President Trump and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta listen during a meeting of the President’s National Council of the American Worker in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

First, the arrangement guaranteed immunity to “any potential co-conspirators” of Epstein — a provision that signaled prosecutors’ willingness to effectively end the federal investigation into potential crimes committed by Epstein associates. And the deal was kept under seal, meaning potential victims would have difficulty finding out about it and objecting to its terms. Some reportedly only found out about the deal from hearing about it on television.

The Miami Herald, in an explosive piece last year, identified several other apparent signs that prosecutors were working closely with Epstein’s team. A top federal prosecutor on the case, A. Marie Villafaña, wrote to Epstein’s lawyer, Jay Lefkowitz, that she would help his client avoid unwanted press attention.

“On an ‘avoid the press’ note … I can file the charge in District Court in Miami which will hopefully cut the press coverage significantly,” Villafaña wrote in September 2017. “Do you want to check that out?’’

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One month later, Lefkowitz personally met with Acosta, his former colleague at top international law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

“Thank you for the commitment you made to me during our Oct. 12 meeting,’’ Lefkowitz wrote in an email memorializing his meeting with Acosta. “You … assured me that your office would not … contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses or potential civil claimants and the respective counsel in this matter.”

The Herald has also reported that Krischer wanted Epstein charged only with “minor crimes.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6057586773001_6057589431001-vs Former Florida prosecutor derides Acosta's 'completely wrong' account concerning Epstein Gregg Re fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8ff8b99d-cdbe-5d5c-b09c-d4ce2d294a9d   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6057586773001_6057589431001-vs Former Florida prosecutor derides Acosta's 'completely wrong' account concerning Epstein Gregg Re fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8ff8b99d-cdbe-5d5c-b09c-d4ce2d294a9d

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GOP Has No Plan If Obamacare Is Struck Down. Some Don’t Think It’s Even Possible

The threat to do away with Obamacare is once again on the rise nearly 10 years after it was passed, as a major challenge to the health care law got a sympathetic-sounding hearing in a federal appeals court this week.

If the case does ultimately reach the Supreme Court, and five justices agree to strike down the Affordable Care Act, experts say it would upend the U.S. health care system and strip health insurance from an estimated 20 million people. Many millions more would lose crucial protections they might need in case of catastrophic medical issues ― including coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate don’t appear to be sweating the likelihood of such a scenario, however. Some are pinning their hopes on the courts to reject the challenge, which is backed by the Trump administration, on the grounds that it isn’t serious and is legally moot.

“I actually don’t think the courts are eventually ever going to strike it down,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday. He called the case, which was argued before an appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday, “pretty far-fetched.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a supporter of the law who helped save it in 2017 when Republicans in Congress attempted to repeal it, agreed. 

“It’s my hope and belief that the Supreme Court won’t strike the law down,” Collins said.

Still, the latest challenge to the law has advanced in the courts despite widespread derision from legal experts, including conservatives who helped construct and argue previous challenges to the ACA.

It stands a good chance of being taken up by the Supreme Court next year, smack dab in the middle of the 2020 presidential election, creating another headache for the GOP.

Maybe this is the thing that forces Republicans to come up with a consensus idea of what to do, but we’ve been down this path numerous times without any success on an agreement. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Republicans have tried over and over again to coalesce around a cheaper and less government-focused replacement for Obamacare, and they’ve failed every time. Cobbling together a plan that preserves some of the most popular parts of the law ― such as its guarantees of coverage for people with preexisting conditions, expanded Medicaid coverage, and provisions allowing young people to remain on their parents’ policy until the age of 26 ― without a mechanism like Obamacare is extremely difficult, and maybe even impossible, a fact that even some Republicans acknowledge.

“Maybe this is the thing that forces Republicans to come up with a consensus idea of what to do, but we’ve been down this path numerous times without any success on an agreement,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said Wednesday when asked about the latest legal challenge to the law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made clear that he has no plans to take up broad health care legislation until after the 2020 election. (He said so after Trump, seemingly out of nowhere, pledged earlier this year that Republicans will become known as the “party of health care.”)

But in a sign of how far the politics surrounding Obamacare have shifted, McConnell vowed this week to restore coverage for people with preexisting conditions should the Supreme Court uphold the challenge to the law. 

“We would act quickly, on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced legislation earlier this year aiming to do just that. Republicans are pointing to the bill as evidence of their good faith commitment to those with preexisting conditions. But experts say Tillis’ bill would actually allow insurers to exclude coverage of the preexisting conditions.

Some Republicans also find it lacking.

“It’s my understanding it does not cover essential health benefits and I think those are important parts of the ACA as well, such as mental health, substance abuse, maternity care, etc. But it is a good start,” Collins told reporters when asked about Tillis’ bill on Tuesday.

Westlake Legal Group 5d2666982600004a00044160 GOP Has No Plan If Obamacare Is Struck Down. Some Don’t Think It’s Even Possible

ASSOCIATED PRESS Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed this week to restore coverage for people with preexisting conditions should the Supreme Court uphold the challenge to the Affordable Care Act. 

The challenge to Obamacare that’s before the courts now doesn’t simply threaten some provisions like its protections for those with preexisting conditions. It would eliminate all of the law ―  including its expansion of Medicaid that has benefited millions of people across the country.

Congressional Republicans have fiercely opposed expanding Medicaid even as a number of GOP-controlled states have done so under Obamacare. They’ve called the move costly and unsustainable to the safety net program’s fiscal health in the long run. But they haven’t yet offered a plan that would provide health insurance coverage to a similar number of people as done by Obamacare.

“That would be a real issue, wouldn’t it?” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Wednesday when asked about those receiving health insurance coverage through Medicaid.

“My guess is the court would understand what it’s doing and give time for Congress to act, and then we would have to act. And that would be a good thing,” he added.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said he, too, hoped for a transitional period allowing Congress time to pass a fix if Obamacare is ultimately struck down.

“One thing I do know about this place is it will take whatever time it has,” he said. “Maybe we need something compelling like a decision like this to get everybody to the table and force compromise.”

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

Donald Trump earns place in history with how America treats migrant children – At a detention center, kids have gone hungry and without beds. They’ve seen outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox. For those watching, this is what a national disgrace looks like

Westlake Legal Group Ynemw43WQJuqqW3tM7tWmyNOFnjonosP3rqHs2P3YoU Donald Trump earns place in history with how America treats migrant children – At a detention center, kids have gone hungry and without beds. They've seen outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox. For those watching, this is what a national disgrace looks like r/politics

This is not a mere disgrace. This is an atrocity.

That’s exactly right. Trump and his administration commit crimes against humanity every single day.

Meanwhile his army of propagandists and supporters argue that the cruelty heaped upon these children is A-OK, that they deserve the inhumane treatment. They rationalize their abject cruelty with the lie that seeking asylum is a crime, or their parents didn’t do it correctly. These lies only compound their crimes.

It’s well past the time to contact your Senators and Representative and insist Congress put an end to the inexcusable cruelty. We may not get anywhere, depending upon who represents us, but we cannot remain silent. It’s time to keep after these people until they do the right thing.

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