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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 181)

CNN anchor slams Pence on response to Trump-Ukraine call: ‘We all know’ that he’s ‘lying’

Westlake Legal Group Keilar-Pence_Getty-AP CNN anchor slams Pence on response to Trump-Ukraine call: 'We all know' that he's 'lying' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c6560b9-8df0-5423-bf92-e6fb0f7abe32

CNN anchor Brianna Keilar went after Vice President Mike Pence Thursday for his response to the growing controversy surrounding President Trump‘s phone call with Ukraine, accusing Pence of “lying” about his knowledge of the exchange between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“This is a very pivotal, interesting moment in all of this. He is all in with President Trump on what the president has been saying and as the president admitted, that he asked the Ukrainian president for dirt on his political opponent, Joe Biden,” Keilar said.

Pence gave a full-throated defense of Trump’s conduct on the call to Ukraine, insisting Americans “have a right to know” if there was any wrongdoing from the Bidens.

“The American people have a right to know if the vice president of the United States, or his family, profited from his position as vice president during the last administration,” Pence told reporters in Arizona. “The fact that my predecessor had a son who was paid $50,000 a month to be on a Ukrainian board at the time that Vice President Biden was leading the Obama Administration’s efforts in Ukraine, I think, is worth looking into.”

MSNBC’S MADDOW DECLARES TRUMP WILL BE ‘IMPEACHED,’ SUGGESTS BARR, POMPEO COULD ‘FIND THEIR NECKS AT RISK’

Keilar, however, claimed that Pence had a look of “discomfort” when making those remarks and that the vice president wasn’t being truthful about what he knew about Trump’s conversation with Zelensky.

“We all know for having covered Pence for so long, that Pence is lying, and that he knows that he is,” Keilar said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

“I do not believe that Mike Pence in his heart of hearts … believes that what the president was saying was appropriate.”

Westlake Legal Group Keilar-Pence_Getty-AP CNN anchor slams Pence on response to Trump-Ukraine call: 'We all know' that he's 'lying' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c6560b9-8df0-5423-bf92-e6fb0f7abe32   Westlake Legal Group Keilar-Pence_Getty-AP CNN anchor slams Pence on response to Trump-Ukraine call: 'We all know' that he's 'lying' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c6560b9-8df0-5423-bf92-e6fb0f7abe32

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Blake Shelton celebrates Gwen Stefani’s 50th birthday on social media: ‘I love you so much’

There’s No Doubt that Blake Shelton is head-over-heels in love with girlfriend Gwen Stefani.

The country crooner celebrated Stefani’s 50th birthday with an adorable tribute post on social media that made fans swoon.

BLAKE SHELTON IN NO RUSH TO MARRY GWEN STEFANI, ‘CAN’T IMAGINE’ WORKING ON ‘THE VOICE’ WITHOUT ADAM LEVINE

“Happy Birthday @gwenstefani!!!! I love you so much it’s actually stupid… And possibly illegal in the state of California,” he tweeted on Thursday.

Shelton, 43, and his fellow “The Voice” judge are reaching another milestone in their relationship next month: four years of dating.

The couple first met on the set of “The Voice” in 2014 and sparks quickly flew.

GWEN STEFANI DIDN’T KNOW WHO BOYFRIEND BLAKE SHELTON WAS BEFORE ‘THE VOICE’

“It’s actually shocking that it has already been that long,” Shelton admitted to People in June. “It’s kind of a blur. It still feels like it’s pretty new to me. I guess it is, relatively. Four years isn’t forever, but man, it seems like it just happened in no time.”

Westlake Legal Group Gwen-Stefan-Blake-Sheltoni- Blake Shelton celebrates Gwen Stefani's 50th birthday on social media: 'I love you so much' Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/gwen-stefani fox-news/person/blake-shelton fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 371f5700-6404-542d-8b05-60a233f6ccf7

Gwen Stefani (L) and Blake Shelton started dating in 2015.  (Getty)

If Shelton does throw Stefani a birthday party, he’d have to outdo the amazing pizza party she held at her house for Shelton’s birthday back in June. She also gifted him a huge custom-made sign for his Oklahoma ranch.

Shelton also received handmade birthday cards from Stefani’s kids. Kingston, 13, Zuma, 10, and Apollo, 5 (whom Stefani shares with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale) all spent time constructing their designs.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

“Christmas, birthdays, any kind of holiday — they always sit down and take time to write a message and draw pictures or something,” he said. “Those are the coolest, coolest things, you know? It’s something I never experienced in my life. When they take time and actually make something, it’s pretty cool.”

Stefani was married to Rossdale between 2002 and 2016 while Shelton was married to Kaynette Gern between 2003 and 2006 and Miranda Lambert between 2011 and 2015.

Westlake Legal Group Blake-Shelton-Gwen-Stefani-Getty Blake Shelton celebrates Gwen Stefani's 50th birthday on social media: 'I love you so much' Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/gwen-stefani fox-news/person/blake-shelton fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 371f5700-6404-542d-8b05-60a233f6ccf7   Westlake Legal Group Blake-Shelton-Gwen-Stefani-Getty Blake Shelton celebrates Gwen Stefani's 50th birthday on social media: 'I love you so much' Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/gwen-stefani fox-news/person/blake-shelton fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 371f5700-6404-542d-8b05-60a233f6ccf7

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At least 3 shot at Washington state apartment building; Vancouver police say resident is alleged gunman

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close At least 3 shot at Washington state apartment building; Vancouver police say resident is alleged gunman

At least three people were shot on Thursday at an apartment building in Washington state, and police were negotiating with a suspected gunman.

Vancouver police say a resident of the Smith Tower Apartments, a 170-unit building for people 62 years and older, opened fire in the building’s lobby Thursday afternoon and has barricaded himself in his apartment. 

Authorities are negotiating with the suspect both in the building and by telephone. Police said the active shooter situation was ongoing as of 3:15 p.m. local time, about an hour after authorities urged people to avoid the area. Parts of the 15-story building have been evacuated.

“This is an active shooter situation. We are being very cautious,” said Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

Police say they didn’t have information on the victims’ conditions and didn’t know what led up to the shooting. Local television reports said one person was dead and two injured, though authorities have not made an official announcement.

Austin Studebaker was buying drinks at a Plaid Pantry across the street from the apartment building when he saw “the most cop cars I’ve ever seen in my life swarm in.”

Studebaker said all of the police were carrying rifles and many were wearing body armor. A short time later, Studebaker saw authorities carry a person out on a stretcher with visible blood.

“It’s just weird, and I want to know what’s happening,” he said as he stood behind police tape watching the scene unfold.

Vancouver, just north of Portland, Oregon, has a population of about 175,000 people.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/03/vancouver-washington-shooting-smith-tower-apartments/3858702002/

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GM Strikers Settle In For The Long Haul

LANGHORNE, Pa. ― After the sun went down Monday, Raina Shoemaker dropped four slices of cold pizza onto the grill grate and pushed them over the flame with a stick. When they were warm, she doled out the slices to her General Motors co-workers on makeshift plates fashioned from a torn pizza box. 

Shoemaker, a GM warehouse worker, has been on strike for more than two weeks, much of that time spent in the glow of the fire outside the company’s parts distribution center here northeast of Philadelphia.

The GM employees, all members of the United Auto Workers union, were each assigned to a six-hour picket shift at the warehouse so that the protest could continue around the clock. While Shoemaker wasn’t officially on duty this particular night, there was nowhere else she’d rather have been.

“We are going to win this,” said Shoemaker, who’s worked at the warehouse for four years. “I don’t care what it takes. If I have to frigging support everyone, I will do it. Write that down. We are winning.”

The first prolonged U.S. auto strike in more than two decades entered its 17th day on Thursday, long enough to become dangerous for both sides. GM continues to lose money due to stalled production ― one estimate puts the cost at $1 billion so far ― while workers are starting to feel the squeeze of missed paydays. 

The UAW started distributing strike pay to members on Monday, but $250 per week only goes so far in covering mortgages, groceries and truck payments. Those who could began saving months ago when a strike seemed possible, but many of the newer workers who are on a lower pay scale couldn’t afford to put money away. Every additional day the work stoppage lasts, the more those workers will be tested. Many, if not most, have never experienced a strike before.

The warehouse in Langhorne is a case study in how union members are holding it together now that GM has dug in and the burst of initial headlines has passed. The facility, which sends parts out to GM dealers along the East Coast, employs about 80 union members ― a tiny fraction of the nearly 50,000 on strike around the country. But they drew hundreds of supporters to a rally at the picket line over the weekend, a show of solidarity that stunned some strikers. 

“This Has Brought Us Closer” 

Food arrives at the Langhorne picket site every day ― bags of hoagies and boxes of doughnuts ― so much that the strikers can barely get through it all. The pizza came courtesy of some sympathetic steelworkers. Local members of the Democratic Socialists of America dropped off a load of wood to keep the fire burning. As Shoemaker reheated the pizza, a worker from a nearby Boeing plant showed up with another bundle of wood. He’s been stopping by ever since the strike started. 

“The company had no idea how much support we would get,” said Charlie Correll, who’s 66 and has worked 48 years with GM. “And honestly, neither did we.”

Employees who passed by one another on shift changes for years with little more than a hi and bye, not even knowing names, are now camped out together, planning events and learning about each other’s families. Shoemaker said she decided to give her strike payment check to a co-worker who needs it more than she does.

“GM totally miscalculated,” said Dave Greenhalgh, who’s worked at GM facilities since the early 1980s. “This has brought us much closer. There were people who were on different shifts and didn’t know each other. Now they’re out here on the picket lines together.” 

Workers went on strike to look out for one another, Greenhalgh said, and the divisions between workers inside GM have made for one of the most contentious issues in the negotiations. 

The company had no idea how much support we would get. And honestly, neither did we. Charlie Correll

Although the contract talks are tight-lipped, GM probably wants to expand its use of temporary employees, a category the union believes has been exploited. Workers at the Langhorne facility say the use of temps has not been a major issue there, since most temps tend to get hired on within a few months. But they feel the problem is pervasive at assembly plants, where workers can remain “temporary” for two years or more and sometimes for multiple stints before becoming full-time employees.

Then there is the “in progression” system. In 2007, the UAW agreed to put newer hires on a lower pay scale as the company veered toward bankruptcy. The sacrifice helped keep GM alive, but it created rifts within plants and undermined a central tenet of unionism: equal pay for equal work. The union’s 2015 contract ultimately created a pathway for newer workers to reach the earning levels of legacy employees ― roughly $30 per hour ― but only after they’ve put in eight years. They start around $17 per hour.

Workers at the Langhorne facility said their system is even more complicated. According to Shoemaker and others, employees who came on after the 2015 contract top out closer to $24, because they work in distribution. They refer to one another as first-tier, second-tier and even third-tier, depending on when they started working for GM.

“It’s just not right,” said Correll, a legacy employee because of his long tenure. “They’re making over $10 billion a year [in profits]. Look at what the executives make. You want to cut costs? There’s your start.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d9652e12200007d03dcdecd GM Strikers Settle In For The Long Haul

Dave Jamieson/HuffPost Joel Inocencio waves to a supporter outside the Langhorne GM facility.

“They Wanted Animosity”

UAW members have made cutting down the amount of time it takes to reach the top rate a priority, as well as limiting the company’s use of temps ― both of which could go a long way toward healing divisions between tiers. Members worry that the persistence of a caste system could erode solidarity within the union over time, as different factions have less reason to support one another. After all, why would a newer hire look out for a legacy employee’s interests if he’s paid less for doing the same job?

Pat Sippos believes that was the idea all along. He is 60 and has spent 35 years with GM.

“They wanted animosity down the road,” Sippos said, standing by the bonfire. “They wanted us to be fighting each other.”

Sippos has made the top rate for years and earned a pension, for which newer hires aren’t eligible. But he supports the strike for reasons both philosophical and personal: His son is trying to build a career at the warehouse. Sippos is not worried about his own finances during the strike ― he can tap into his 401(k) without penalty at his age ― but he knows younger workers wouldn’t have the same cushion.

“That’s exactly why I’m still here and why I believe in the strike,” he said. “Anything that affects union brothers and sisters affects me ― and that’s the way people need to look at it.”

The Langhorne facility receives shipments of parts by truck, stocks them in the warehouse, and sends them back out to dealers. The operation relies on outside drivers to distribute the parts. The workers say that UPS drivers, who are Teamsters members, appear to have honored the picket line, cutting down how many shipments can leave the warehouse. FedEx drivers, they say, have continued to come and go.

The workers have maintained two pickets ― one at the quiet employee entrance, where Shoemaker was reheating pizza, and another at the busier truck entrance on the other side.

There have been rumors of scabs from New York working inside, but no one on the picket line knows for sure. Cars with dealer plates have been pulling in and out of the facility, likely GM dealers coming to pick up the parts that aren’t getting to them.

Whatever work is getting done inside probably comes at the hands of very tired managers. Every hour or so on a recent evening, a supervisor would pull out of the employee entrance and give the picketers a friendly honk and wordless wave before heading home. They would want the strike to end almost as much as their employees.

Like any company in the middle of a major work stoppage, GM is weighing the costs of lost production now against the future labor costs they’re resisting at the table. The company also is wondering when rank-and-file workers might start to waver as their bills mount. If the strike persists and workers feel increasingly squeezed, they may become more likely to accept a subpar deal just to get back to work. 

The workers also worry about their health coverage. GM initially moved to cut off health insurance shortly after the strike started, which would force the union to dip into its strike fund to cover COBRA costs. After a round of bad press, the company reversed itself and said coverage would continue uninterrupted. But GM would not commit to maintaining it if the strike drags on.

Sippos has bladder cancer and a round of chemotherapy scheduled next week. He said if there’s any ambiguity regarding his health insurance, he would rather skip the chemo round than be handed a huge bill. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d9656e821000071035217bd GM Strikers Settle In For The Long Haul

Dave Jamieson/HuffPost The Langhorne warehouse employs about 80 UAW members who are on strike.

“A Few Weeks Of Sacrifice”

While a lot of news coverage has faded, many workers believe community support will become even more important as the strike wears on. The local UAW union is made up entirely of GM employees from the warehouse, and it no longer has its own union hall, instead renting a space for meetings. 

Mindy Isser, a Philadelphia-based labor organizer, has been making the trip to Langhorne nearly every day after work, often with friends in tow, to boost morale. She helped raise about $3,000 online to put toward food and strike supplies. She and a friend recently took about a third of that money to BJ’s Wholesale Club to buy food for cash-strapped GM employees. Thirteen workers signed up their families to receive bags of groceries. The majority of them were second-tier employees.

On a recent morning, three strikers held the picket at the truck entrance, in a show of the workforce’s diversity: Kathy Henry, who is white; Jamel Johnson, who is African-American; and Joel Inocencio, a Filipino immigrant. They put down their strike signs briefly to wolf down some egg-and-cheese sandwiches a supporter had just dropped off. They waved whenever a car driving by gave a honk.

“I’m on the downside,” said Henry, who’s worked for GM for 35 years. She gestured to Johnson and Inocencio: “I’ve gotta stand out here on the concrete so these guys can have some job stability.”

Their last paycheck had come a week and a half earlier, and now it was the first of the month ― “bill time,” as Inocencio put it. He was starting to feel pinched financially. He planned on calling his mortgage lender later in the day to explain the strike and ask for leniency. 

“But all of this ― it pays off, just hanging in there,” he said. “It’s a few weeks of sacrifice.”

A manager pulled up in her SUV and rolled down her window. Henry asked her if she missed them inside. The manager made a little heart with her hands.

“Do you miss us?” the manager asked in return.

“Of course we do,” Johnson said.

The manager told them to make sure they were wearing high-visibility vests at night and to stock up on firewood; colder weather is expected to move in within a few days.

“But hopefully this will all be over by then,” she said, before driving away.

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CNN Rejects 2 Trump Campaign Ads, Citing Inaccuracies

Westlake Legal Group 03TRUMPAD-01-facebookJumbo CNN Rejects 2 Trump Campaign Ads, Citing Inaccuracies Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Shokin, Viktor Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising News and News Media CNN Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

The 2020 campaign ad wars have begun.

CNN rejected a pair of provocative ads from President Trump’s re-election campaign on Thursday, saying the 30-second spots deriding the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry — one deeming the effort “nothing short of a coup” — contained inaccuracies and unfairly attacked the network’s journalists.

It is unusual but not unprecedented for television networks to reject a political advertisement from a presidential candidate. On the eve of last year’s midterm elections, major channels, including Fox News, removed a commercial from Mr. Trump’s political team that portrayed immigrants as a violent threat.

But political ads tend to be contentious in the latter stages of a campaign — not 13 months before Election Day. And CNN’s decision could foreshadow a longer conflict between Mr. Trump’s political aides and network executives who are tasked with reviewing the accuracy of the information that reaches viewers.

The Trump ads were recently posted online as part of what the campaign said was a multimillion-dollar advertising buy on national cable stations and digital platforms. One, “Biden Corruption,” repeats unsubstantiated allegations about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s activities in Ukraine.

“Joe Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion if they fired the prosecutor investigating his son’s company,” a narrator intones over grainy footage of Mr. Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate. After referring to Democrats in general, the narrator adds, “And their media lap dogs fall in line,” as clips are shown of the CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo and the network’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The MSNBC host Rachel Maddow appears as well.

No evidence has surfaced that Mr. Biden intentionally tried to help his son Hunter Biden by pushing for the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin. Members of the Obama administration, as well as other international leaders, had sought Mr. Shokin’s removal amid accusations that he ignored corruption claims. Mr. Shokin was voted out by the Ukrainian Parliament in 2016.

[Read about the issues behind the impeachment inquiry here.]

CNN said in a statement on Thursday that the commercial failed to meet its advertising standards. “In addition to disparaging CNN and its journalists, the ad makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN,” a network spokesman said.

Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Mr. Trump’s campaign, responded that the ad was “entirely accurate and was reviewed by counsel.”

“CNN spends all day protecting Joe Biden in their programming,” Mr. Murtaugh wrote in a statement. “So it’s not surprising that they’re shielding him from truthful advertising, too.”

Later, CNN said it had also rejected another Trump ad, “Coup,” which presents the impeachment inquiry as an effort “to undo the election, regardless of facts,” and accuses House Democrats of “fabricating evidence.”

“The ad contains assertions of fact about the whistle-blower complaint that have been refuted by the Intelligence inspector general,” CNN said. “In addition, it is inaccurate to use the word ‘coup’ to describe a constitutionally prescribed legal process.”

[Read more about “coup” claims used by Mr. Trump’s supporters.]

The moves by CNN are likely to inflame longstanding tensions between the news channel and the president, who denounced the network at multiple public appearances this week. At a White House news conference on Wednesday, Mr. Trump called CNN staff members “corrupt people.”

CNN said it had agreed to carry a third commercial submitted by the Trump campaign, which focuses on the president’s accomplishments in office.

Mr. Trump has said his request for help digging into the Bidens was legitimate and part of a “perfect” phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. On Thursday, Mr. Trump publicly asked China to investigate the former vice president.

The impeachment inquiry has spurred a surge in campaign spending since it was announced on Sept. 24. Need to Impeach, a group founded and funded mainly by the billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, said this week that it planned to spend $3.1 million on television and digital ads urging Republican senators to remove Mr. Trump.

The Trump campaign has spent more than $1.6 million to advertise on Mr. Trump’s Facebook page in the past seven days, including as much as $21,000 on the “Biden Corruption” ad, according to the platform’s ad library. Facebook does not fact-check speech from politicians, generally allowing it on the platform “even when it would otherwise break our normal content rules,” Nick Clegg, a Facebook executive and former British deputy prime minister, said in Washington last week.

But Daniel Wessel, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said on Thursday that Facebook should monitor and remove all false ads, including “Biden Corruption.”

“Facebook owes that to its readers,” Mr. Wessel said. “We all have a role to play in combating these lies, and that includes Facebook.”

Mr. Biden’s team weighed in, as well. In a formal letter on Thursday, his campaign manager, Greg Schultz, urged Fox News to reject the Trump campaign’s ad, saying it contained “false, definitively debunked conspiracy theories.”

“We are putting you on notice about the absolute falsity of the advertisement’s claims,” Mr. Schultz wrote.

Fox News responded in a statement: “We are not in the business of censoring ads from candidates on either side of the aisle. Vice President Joe Biden has a standing invitation to appear on any of our platforms.”

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Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs

A Chinese businesswoman who was convicted of trespassing at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida earlier this year had been urged by her handler to target other famous figures including the Clintons and billionaire businessman Warren Buffett, court documents say.

Yujing Zhang, 33, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 22, was caught by Secret Service agents with troves of technology embedded with malware and thousands of dollars in cash after she claimed that she was at Trump’s prestigious club to attend a “United Nations friendship event” that had apparently been canceled. Her bizarre behavior and backstory led to suspicions that she was a Chinese government spy, but she was not charged with espionage or related crimes.

CHINESE WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF TRESPASSING AT MAR-A-LAGO

Zhang apparently purchased a $20,000 travel package from Li Weitian, also known as Charles Lee, who advertised tickets on the Chinese social media site WeChat promising access to events across the U.S. to meet prominent political and business figures.

Lee ran the United Nations Chinese Friendship Association, which is not affiliated with the U.N., and was photographed at least twice with Cindy Yang, a Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner who organized events at Mar-a-Lago.

Upon learning that the event at Mar-a-Lago had been canceled, Lee tried to convince Zhang to attend another event on Wall Street in New York City, text messages between the pair released by the South Florida court Thursday revealed. Bill and HIllary Clinton were scheduled to be there.

“Regarding the event at the Trump’s estate, it’s been put on hold for now. We can forget about it. We have two other activities now. I sent them to you already,” Lee texted Zhang on March 26, four days before she was arrested on the Trump property.

At the time of her arrest, Zhang told federal agents that she did not know that the event had been canceled, a claim contradicted by her messages.

Westlake Legal Group Zhang-text-1 Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc article 144cc0ff-64e0-584d-aeeb-48f5ed62a6f8

Lee urged Zhang to go to “Clinton’s event, Clinton and his wife Hillary,” he said, offering her a ticket for $60,000. “There are politicians and the finance people that you talked about wanting to meet in this event. You can meet with these two famous people in one setting. Hillary was the former Secretary of State, equivalent to the Prime Minister. That is very extraordinary. Er… you can stand in between them and have a photo taken.”

In the same message, Lee also says, “You can also go to Buffett’s event which is particularly for investment and finance,” referring to business mogul Warren Buffett.

Westlake Legal Group Zhang-Text-2 Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc article 144cc0ff-64e0-584d-aeeb-48f5ed62a6f8

Lee also explained to her why the previously scheduled Trump event was allegedly canceled.

“Regarding the Trump’s event, this is what happened. It’s because the Democratic Party has all along been fighting with the Republican Party. He is from the Republican Party. They accused Trump of colluding with Russia. Recently the investigation said Trump did not. He’s not guilty. The media is controlled by the Republic Party– eh, the Democratic Party. That’s why they are in trouble. Trump takes the revenge. So they now join together and attack Trump. … In order to minimize the nonsense, they canceled his events for the time being.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

In subsequent messages, Zhang asked Lee for her money back after hearing of the cancellation but ended up traveling from Shanghai to Florida anyway. Her motives for going to the property and lying to Secret Service agents at Mar-a-Lago remain unclear.

Westlake Legal Group clintons-zhang-trump Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc article 144cc0ff-64e0-584d-aeeb-48f5ed62a6f8   Westlake Legal Group clintons-zhang-trump Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago with malware was apparently asked to target Clintons: docs Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/us fnc article 144cc0ff-64e0-584d-aeeb-48f5ed62a6f8

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Here are 5 questions about the Trump-Ukraine controversy we still don’t have answers to

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Here are 5 questions about the Trump-Ukraine controversy we still don't have answers to

President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate 2020 presidential challenger Joe Biden is increasingly drawing comparisons to former president Nixon’s Watergate scandal. USA TODAY

The country is just over a week into the formal impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats in response to a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump and there’s a lot we still don’t know about the situation.

House Democrats are attempting to uncover more information about Trump’s alleged promises to Ukraine in return for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Here are the unanswered questions about the Ukraine controversy and the attempt to impeach Trump:

When will the House vote on impeachment?

In order for a Senate impeachment trial to take place, the House of Representatives must agree to draw up articles of impeachment, or a list of presidential offenses. This requires the votes of at least 218 Congressmembers.

Some lawmakers have said they hope the House will decide on the articles of impeachment by Thanksgiving.

And while Pelosi has said she wants the impeachment inquiry to move, “expeditiously,” in reality the process could take months before it comes to a vote. 

It’s hard to know when the House will conduct a vote, in part because of the efforts Trump administration officials may exert to combat the impeachment inquiry.

Congressional committees scheduled depositions and a hearing with a handful of officials who may have knowledge of the Ukraine situation even as Congress is scheduled for a two-week recess.

More: Mike Pompeo may be involved in ‘blatant cover-up’ Democrats charge in new salvo aimed at top diplomat

Democrats accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “stonewalling” the investigation after he said he would fight requests to depose State Department workers. Pompeo called the deposition requests “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”

Trump has also threatened litigation against his political opponents.

Who is the whistleblower?

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Here are 5 questions about the Trump-Ukraine controversy we still don't have answers to

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday the White House is “trying to find out” the identity of the whistleblower who has accused Trump of abusing the power of his office and whose complaint is at the heart of the impeachment proceedings. (Sept. 30) AP, AP

Trump has repeatedly tried to cast doubt on the whistleblower’s credibility by claiming that the complaint must have come from someone with political motives

But the identity of the whistleblower, who we know is employed within the intelligence community, remains a secret. Trump has said he is “trying to find out” the identity of the whistleblower and believes he has the right to meet with the individual who filed the complaint.

More: What Donald Trump has said about the anonymous whistleblower

Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said the whistleblower will testify before Congress “very soon,” that testimony will be conducted behind closed doors. Lawmakers and the whistleblower’s lawyers have expressed concerns over the safety and protection of privacy. 

More: How does Congress hear from anonymous witnesses? Trump whistleblower seeks protection from retaliation

What was Rudy Giuliani’s full participation in Ukraine?

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has been among the most vocal about the claims against the Bidens, without evidence.

He has repeatedly acknowledged speaking with Ukrainian officials about Biden. And, he is a central figure in the whistleblower’s complaint.

House Democrats are looking to uncover more details about what Giuliani’s role was in any pressure that was put on Ukraine to provide information on Biden. Giuliani says he met with Ukrainian officials under the instruction of the State Department and reported his conversations back.

More: Rudy Giuliani hires Watergate prosecutor to represent him in impeachment inquiry

He was subpoenaed by House Democrats for any documents related to his communications with Ukraine, including:

  • Any communications or documents related to Trump’s decision, earlier this summer, to withhold nearly $400 million U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. Trump eventually released that money amid bipartisan pressure from Congress. 
  • Documents that would shed light on Trump’s decision to send Energy Secretary Rick Perry, instead of Vice President Mike Pence, to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in May.  
  • Communications Giuliani or his associates had with Attorney General William Barr or others at the Department of Justice about the Ukraine matter. Trump asked Zelensky in the July 25 call to work with Barr on a possible Biden probe. 

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What did Mike Pence know and when?

Vice President Mike Pence has also been under growing scrutiny after a Washington Post report said that a Pence aide was one of the officials that listened in on Trump and Zelensky’s July 25 phone call. The Post also reported that Trump used Pence to put pressure on Ukraine while he pursued other avenues to press the Biden investigation.

Pence met with Zelensky on a trip to Poland last month, but said he did not discuss Biden. He is mentioned exactly once in the whistleblower’s complaint, which said that Trump instructed Pence to cancel a planned visit to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration, and Trump has referenced calls between Pence and Zelensky.

These are all interactions House Democrats hope to receive documents about from the White House.

And, some conservative commentators are wondering if Republican lawmakers will turn on Trump and turn to Pence for self-preservation. If Trump were removed from office, Pence would complete at least the remainder of the term as president.

More: VP Mike Pence backs inquiries into Biden, defends President Trump over Ukraine controversy

Why did Trump try to hide his ‘perfect’ phone call?

The whistleblower’s complaint alleged that White House officials were “directed” to “lock down” records of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky by placing it in a computer system reserved for highly classified information dealing with national security.

Trump and White House officials have sought to discredit the whistleblower and note that the president ultimately released a summary of the call, but they have not publicly explained why the notes of the call were initially squirreled away.

Experts say the higher-security system would have significantly limited the number of people with access to the document. The move could have been an effort to limit a leaks; other calls between Trump and foreign leaders have leaked.

It could have been part of a broader, unknown security policy by the administration. Or, as the whistleblower alleged, it could be White House officials understood the “gravity” of the call and wanted to keep it covered up.

More: ‘Lock down’ of Ukraine call a sign ‘they were at least thinking of a cover-up,’ says former CIA director

Contributing: John Fritze, Maureen Groppe, Deirdre Shesgreen

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/03/trump-ukraine-whistleblower-controversy-5-unanswered-questions/3853915002/

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Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigations

Westlake Legal Group 03diplo-facebookJumbo Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigations Zelensky, Volodymyr Volker, Kurt D United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Giuliani, Rudolph W Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — Two of President Trump’s top envoys to Ukraine drafted a statement for the country’s new president in August that would have committed Ukraine to pursuing investigations sought by Mr. Trump into his political rivals, three people briefed on the effort said.

The drafting of the statement marks new evidence of how Mr. Trump’s fixation with Ukraine began driving senior diplomats to bend American foreign policy to the president’s political agenda in the weeks after the July 25 call between the two leaders.

The statement was drafted by Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department’s envoy to Ukraine, according to the three people who have been briefed on it.

Mr. Volker spent Thursday on Capitol Hill being questioned by House investigators as Democrats pursued their impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s actions. He disclosed a set of texts in September in which Bill Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, alluded to Mr. Trump’s decision earlier in the summer to freeze a military aid package to the country. He told Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

After speaking with Mr. Trump, Mr. Sondland texted back that there was no quid pro quo, adding, “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.”

It was not clear if the statement drafted in August by Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker came up in the closed-door session on Capitol Hill.

The statement was written with the awareness of a top aide to the Ukrainian president, as well as Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and the de facto leader of a shadow campaign to push the Ukrainians to press ahead with investigations that could be of political benefit to Mr. Trump, according to one of the people briefed on it.

The statement would have committed Ukraine to investigating the energy company Burisma, which had employed Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. And it would have called for the Ukrainian government to look into what Mr. Trump and his allies believe was interference by Ukrainians in the 2016 election in the United States to benefit Hillary Clinton.

The idea behind the statement was to break the Ukrainians of their habit of promising American diplomats and leaders behind closed doors that they would look into matters and never follow through.

It is unclear if the statement was delivered to Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, but no statement was released publicly under his name. Around that time, the Ukrainian officials indicated to the Americans that they wanted to avoid becoming more deeply enmeshed in American politics.

The drafting of the statement, which came in the weeks after the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky, was an effort to pacify Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani and normalize relations between the two countries as Ukraine faced continuing conflict with Russia. Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker believed that Mr. Giuliani was “poisoning” Mr. Trump’s mind about Ukraine and that eliciting a public commitment from Mr. Zelensky to pursue the investigations would induce Mr. Trump to more fully support the new Ukrainian government, according to the people familiar with it.

Mr. Giuliani said he was aware of the statement but that it was not written at his behest. He said the statement would include a commitment to investigations of Burisma and the circumstances around the 2016 election.

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Saudi man sentenced to 12 years for hiding attendance at Al Qaeda training camp

Westlake Legal Group iStock-gavel Saudi man sentenced to 12 years for hiding attendance at Al Qaeda training camp Louis Casiano fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc article 68fafa0d-7b16-54f4-a9d6-f73d8e3a17ac

A former Oklahoma resident was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for visa fraud and concealment of his attendance at an Al Qaeda training camp, authorities said Thursday.

Naif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, 35, a Saudi Arabian citizen, was arrested on February 2018 based on a criminal complaint in Oklahoma alleging he’d lied to the FBI and attended terror training sites in Afghanistan.

“The U.S. government identified the defendant after finding his fingerprints on an application to join Al Qaeda that the U.S. military had gathered from the battlefields of Afghanistan,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers of the National Security Division said in a Justice Department statement.

TALIBAN VIOLENCE IN AFGHANISTAN RAMPS UP AS SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS AT LEAST 20

Alfallaj pleaded guilty to possessing a visa obtained by fraud from March 2012 to 2018 and making false statements to the FBI.

Federal prosecutors said he came to the U.S. in 2011 on a nonimmigrant visa based on his wife’s foreign student status. He allegedly lied on his visa application about whether he supports terrorists or terror groups.

The FBI said it found 15 of Alfallaj’s fingerprints on an application to an Al Qaeda training site in Afghanistan leading up to the 9/11 attacks. American forces found the document in an Afghan safe house. It included an emergency phone number associated with Alfallaj’s father in Saudi Arabia.

“We were able to match those fingerprints with fingerprints taken for his U.S. visa application and to determine that he had made false statements in that application in order to conceal his attendance at an Al Qaeda training camp in 2000,” Demers said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

“He also admitted he falsely told federal agents during the December 2017 interview that he had never visited Afghanistan or participated in religious, tactical, or military training outside Saudi Arabia, and otherwise affirmed falsely that all of the answers on his nonimmigrant visa application were true and correct,” the news release states.

In 2013, Alfallaj inquired in an online forum about fighting in Afghanistan or Chechnya, prosecutors said.

He will be deported once he completes his prison sentence.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-gavel Saudi man sentenced to 12 years for hiding attendance at Al Qaeda training camp Louis Casiano fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc article 68fafa0d-7b16-54f4-a9d6-f73d8e3a17ac   Westlake Legal Group iStock-gavel Saudi man sentenced to 12 years for hiding attendance at Al Qaeda training camp Louis Casiano fox-news/us/terror fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox news fnc/us fnc article 68fafa0d-7b16-54f4-a9d6-f73d8e3a17ac

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Trump raised Biden with Xi in June call housed in highly-secure server

Westlake Legal Group Gi7nmdL48O50Ob8MJSIg25flNLd_7U4sOXIVdanKcPU Trump raised Biden with Xi in June call housed in highly-secure server r/politics

Holy shit. This is it. THIS is the bombshell we’ve been waiting for to take the rump down.

Why? Because, up to this point, the rump has been screaming about corruption specifically Ukraine (aka Bidens).

TRUMP SUPPORTERS What say you to this? :::

The fact that he sought dirt on other political opponents; this screams all sorts of dirty rotten scoundrel.

Public perception will TURN on this shit.

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