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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 235)

Payback: Trump Ousts Officials Who Testified Against Him During Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 5e3ee2a12700007b0338b923 Payback: Trump Ousts Officials Who Testified Against Him During Impeachment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exacting swift punishment against those who crossed him, an emboldened President Donald Trump ousted two government officials who had delivered damaging testimony against him during his impeachment hearings. The president took retribution just two days after his acquittal by the Senate.

First came news Friday that Trump had ousted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the decorated soldier and national security aide who played a central role in the Democrats’ impeachment case. Vindman’s lawyer said his client was escorted out of the White House complex Friday, told to leave in retaliation for “telling the truth.”

“The truth has cost Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy,” attorney David Pressman said in a statement. Vindman’s twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, also was asked to leave his job as a White House lawyer on Friday, the Army said in a statement. Both men were reassigned to the Army.

Next came word that Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, also was out.

“I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement.

The White House had not been coy about whether Trump would retaliate against those he viewed as foes in the impeachment drama. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Thursday that Trump was glad it was over and “maybe people should pay for that.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Vindman’s ouster was “a clear and brazen act of retaliation that showcases the President’s fear of the truth. The President’s vindictiveness is precisely what led Republican Senators to be accomplices to his cover-up.”

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., called it “the Friday Night Massacre,” likening the situation to President Richard Nixon’s so-called Saturday night massacre, when top Justice Department officials resigned after refusing to do his bidding by firing a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. (The prosecutor himself was fired anyway.)

Speier added in her tweet, “I’m sure Trump is fuming that he can’t fire Pelosi.”

Senate Republicans, who just two days prior acquitted Trump of charges he abused his office, were silent Friday evening. Many of them had reacted with indignation during the Senate trial when Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead prosecutor, suggested Trump would be out for revenge against the lawmakers who crossed him during impeachment.

Since his acquittal, Trump has held nothing back in lashing out at his critics, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican to vote against him. On Friday, he also took after Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who Trump had hoped would vote with the Republicans for his acquittal but who ended up voting to convict.

Trump tweeted that he was “very surprised & disappointed” with Manchin’s votes, claiming no president had done more for his state. He added that Manchin was “just a puppet” for the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

From the White House on Saturday, the president tweeted that some television coverage portrayed Vindman “as though I should think only how wonderful he was.” Trump said he didn’t know Vindman and had never met or spoken with him but considered him “very insubordinate.”

Sondland, too, was a crucial witness in the House impeachment inquiry, telling investigators that “everyone was in the loop” on Trump’s desire to press Ukraine for politically charged investigations. He told lawmakers how he came to understand that there was a quid pro quo connecting a desired White House visit for Ukraine’s leader and an announcement that the country would conduct the investigations Trump wanted.

Sondland “chose to be terminated rather than resign,” according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official had not been authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Alexander Vindman’s lawyer issued a one-page statement that accused Trump of taking revenge on his client.

“He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril,” Pressman said. “And for that, the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge.”

The White House did not respond to Pressman’s accusation. “We do not comment on personnel matters,” said John Ullyot, spokesman for the National Security Council, the foreign policy arm of the White House where Vindman was an expert on Ukraine.

The Democrats angling to replace Trump took notice of Vindman’s ouster during their evening debate in Manchester, New Hampshire. Former Vice President Joe Biden asked the audience to stand and applaud the lieutenant colonel.

Vindman’s status had been uncertain since he testified that he didn’t think it was “proper” for Trump to “demand that a foreign government investigate” Biden and his son’s dealings with the energy company Burisma in Ukraine. Vindman’s ouster, however, seemed imminent after Trump mocked him Thursday during his post-acquittal celebration with Republican supporters in the East Room and said Friday that he was not happy with him.

“You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. “I’m not. … They are going to be making that decision.”

Vindman, a 20-year Army veteran, wore his uniform full of medals, including a Purple Heart, when he appeared late last year for what turned out to be a testy televised impeachment hearing. Trump supporters raised questions about the immigrant’s allegiance to the United States — his parents fled the Soviet Union when he was a child —and noted that he had received offers to work for the government of Ukraine, offers Vindman said he swiftly dismissed.

In gripping testimony, Vindman spoke of his family’s story, his father bringing them to the U.S. some 40 years ago.

“Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to United States of America in search of a better life for our family,” he testified. “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”’

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, recalled Vindman’s testimony that he would be fine and tweeted, “It’s appalling that this administration may prove him wrong.”

Some of Trump’s backers cheered Vindman’s removal.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., tweeted that Vindman “should not be inside the National Security Council any longer. It’s not about retaliation. It’s because he cannot be trusted, he disagrees with the President’s policies, & his term there is coming to an end regardless.”

News that both Vindman twins had been ousted led Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., to tweet, “The White House is running a two for one special today on deep state leakers.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper was asked what the Pentagon would do to ensure that Vindman faces no retribution. “We protect all of our service members from retribution or anything like that,” Esper said. “We’ve already addressed that in policy and other means.”

Alexander Vindman is scheduled to enter a military college in Washington, D.C., this summer, and his brother is to be assigned to the Army General Counsel’s Office, according to two officials who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Several career diplomats whose testimony during the impeachment hearings also helped Democrats build their case against Trump remain in their posts, in Washington and in Kyiv. The former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, whose ouster in spring 2019 was a focus of the hearings and who testified herself, has recently retired from government service.

AP writers Lisa Mascaro, Matthew Lee, Zeke Miller, Eric Tucker and Bob Burns contributed to this report.

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Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump

Westlake Legal Group image Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 53922c21-7e3f-55ad-98de-dc6d1656fc3a

Democrats are calling on Twitter to take down an edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ripping up the State of the Union address — claiming that it is designed to “mislead” people.

“The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests,” Pelosi Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said.

TLAIB SAYS SHE HELD OMAR’S HAND DURING ‘TRIGGERRING’ MOMENTS AT TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION

“This video is clearly another deceptive effort by @realDonaldTrump to mislead and manipulate the American people,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas

Trump posted the video, made by Turning Points USA, on Thursday that shows the “powerful American stories” that Trump highlighted in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Those clips are interspersed with the moment at the end of the speech where Pelosi tore up the speech.

The video appears to be a continuation of the point made by Republicans that Pelosi, in ripping up the speech, was also ripping up the stories of those Americans that Trump highlighted in the address — including stories of a Tuskegee airman, Americans killed in combat and a military family being reunited.

But Democrats objected to the video, apparently on the grounds that the video implies that Pelosi ripped up the papers immediately after each story was told — which she did not.

The video was also posted to Facebook. Hammill was quizzed by Facebook spokesman Andy Stone about what he found objectionable to the video: “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?”

“What planet are you living on?” Hammill responded. “This is deceptively altered. Take it down.”

Along with Escobar, other lawmakers rushed to condemn the video, and social media platforms for not removing the video. Although all called it deceptive, none said what exactly what deceptive about it.

“.@Twitter must take this misleading video about @SpeakerPelosi down now.,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., tweeted.

“This video is doctored. It has been up, and pinned to the President’s page, for nearly a day. Trump posted it to deceive Americans about @SpeakerPelosi’s actions and record,” Rep. Don Beyer, R-Va., said. “If I posted a doctored video it would be a clear violation House Rules. Twitter should take this down.”

DEM-CONTROLLED HOUSE VOTES TO KILL GOP RESOLUTION CONDEMNING PELOSI FOR RIPPING UP TRUMP’S SPEECH

Republicans, meanwhile, pushed back against the efforts by Democrats to censor the video, and dismissed their complaints.

“They’re arguing it’s deceptively edited to misinform and want twitter to censor it,”  National Republican Senatorial Committee senior adviser Matt Whitlock tweeted. “But.. she tore the speech that had those stories. Repetition to highlight exactly what she was tearing is not “misinformation,” these Reps are gaslighting.”

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The video is the latest controversy in the fallout over the State of the Union. The House on Thursday voted to table a Republican-led resolution to condemn Pelosi.

The vote, which fell along party lines, 224 to 193, effectively killed the measure introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, amid widespread GOP furor over Pelosi’s actions. The resolution called the speaker’s public shredding of the address “a breach of decorum” and said it brought “discredit on the House.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 53922c21-7e3f-55ad-98de-dc6d1656fc3a   Westlake Legal Group image Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 53922c21-7e3f-55ad-98de-dc6d1656fc3a

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Meet the 71-year-old staging a one-man protest in his Trump-loving retirement community

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Matthew Whitaker doesn’t think Dems’ impeachment push is going to stop

House Democrats are likely to continue investigating President Trump, even after his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Saturday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend,” Whitaker said the majority Democrats under Speaker Nancy Pelosi  have powerful oversight tools at their dispoal, including the ability to subpoena witnesses.

TRUMP OUSTS KEY IMPEACHMENT FIGURES SONDLAND, VINDMAN DAYS AFTER SENATE ACQUITTAL

Whitaker recalled his appearance about a year ago at an “oversight hearing,” which he called more of an “an inquisition as to whether President Trump had done anything wrong.”

He told host Pete Hegseth that House oversight investigations into the Trump administration aren’t going to stop.

Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-east-room-2 Matthew Whitaker doesn't think Dems' impeachment push is going to stop Julia Musto fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 6aa0bcc8-e3b4-55e8-88d4-931ad2e06ad9

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate acquitted the president of both articles of impeachment, largely along party lines.

With votes of 52-48 against conviction for abuse of power and 53-47 against obstruction of Congress, the Senate fell far short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to remove the president.

All Democratic senators supported convicting the president on both articles, including moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Doug Jones, D-Ala.

The only party defection, on the abuse of power charge, came from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who declared hours before the final vote that Trump had engaged in as “destructive an attack on the oath of office and our Constitution as I can imagine.”

On Thursday afternoon — hours after the acquittal — the president railed against what he called an “evil” impeachment process to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from supporters.

On Friday, the administration ousted impeachment probe witnesses U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

“It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. This should never, ever happen to another president, ever,” Trump said of his opponents and the impeachment. “It was a disgrace.”

“Where I am and where I live…the people I talk to are saying: ‘Are you kidding me? Why can’t they get anything done for the American people?'” Whitaker said of Democrats.

“It also appears that they are looking for new angles to really fundamentally use the House tools of oversight … for a really bad purpose — that is to score cheap political points against the president and try to weaken him,” Whitaker noted.

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Whitaker, who briefly served as acting attorney general under Trump, said Pelosi will not yield after the president’s acquittal because she wants to appease her far-left base.

“They have lurched left and they have no desire to really serve the people of America,” Whitaker said.

Fox News’ Gregg Re, Chad Pergram, Marisa Schultz, and Jason Donner contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group WHITAKER Matthew Whitaker doesn't think Dems' impeachment push is going to stop Julia Musto fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 6aa0bcc8-e3b4-55e8-88d4-931ad2e06ad9   Westlake Legal Group WHITAKER Matthew Whitaker doesn't think Dems' impeachment push is going to stop Julia Musto fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 6aa0bcc8-e3b4-55e8-88d4-931ad2e06ad9

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7 Takeaways From the Democratic Debate in New Hampshire

Westlake Legal Group 07takeaways-01-facebookJumbo 7 Takeaways From the Democratic Debate in New Hampshire Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

MANCHESTER, N.H. — There was neither a soaring nor shattering moment for the Democratic presidential candidates at their debate on Friday night, but it was still the most contentious one yet, and could influence some New Hampshire voters ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday. Here are seven takeaways from the night.

They clashed from the start.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. questioned the long-term viability of the candidacies of Senator Bernie Sanders and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the two victors in the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Buttigieg swiped at his opponents as Washington insiders.

Mr. Sanders cast Mr. Buttigieg as the candidate of the billionaire class.

Senator Elizabeth Warren hit others on how they were financing their campaigns.

And Senator Amy Klobuchar swung both at Mr. Sanders for his down-ballot impact and at Mr. Buttigieg for being, as she put it, “a cool newcomer.”

The pace and intensity of the debate were befitting a primary that is now at the stage of actual voting — millions of ballots landed in California mailboxes this week — and the urgency, if not desperation, of some campaigns to score big among small donors and generate political momentum after the messy outcome in Iowa.

While the debate was held in New Hampshire, a state with an overwhelmingly white electorate, some of the most intense and memorable moments came as the candidates clashed over race and racism. Tom Steyer pressed Mr. Biden to denounce one of his surrogates. Mr. Buttigieg was, yet again, pressed on his record as mayor. Ms. Warren spoke of the need to address racism beyond the criminal justice system. And Andrew Yang said to Ms. Warren, “With respect, you can’t regulate away racism with a whole patchwork of laws that are race specific.”

The exchanges were among the most passionate of the night, but also a clear nod to South Carolina’s growing importance as a pivotal primary later this month, where black voters will make up a majority of the Democratic electorate.

Mr. Sanders, one of the victors in the Iowa caucuses, found himself in the classic position of a front-runner on Friday night: He faced aggressive questions from moderators; took shots from Mr. Biden, Ms. Klobuchar, Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg; and kept pivoting back to his signature message of sticking it to billionaires and corporations in the name of America’s working class.

He was largely effective throughout, doing nothing that might undercut his standing as a top-tier candidate here.

Perhaps his most interesting moment was a rare admission that “I’ve changed my views” on a key issue: gun control. It was a striking and off-brand comment. The big appeal of Mr. Sanders to his most fervent supporters is that he hasn’t changed his views on his core issues.

Even though Mr. Sanders is leading polls in New Hampshire and Nevada, where the campaign will move next, his rivals’ suggestions that he can’t beat Mr. Trump are still often oblique or couched in the idea that they’d do better. Only Mr. Biden made issue of Mr. Sanders’s gun record, with nobody following up or piling on.

Here’s one way to look at it: The other top candidates believe that the better path to the nomination is by cobbling together a coalition of voters apart from Mr. Sanders’s base, rather than trying to peel his supporters away from him.

Hours after shaking up his campaign structure and days after a disappointing fourth-place finish in Iowa, Mr. Biden took the stage with a seeming renewed sense of purpose and vigor.

He aimed at the top two finishers in Iowa right at the start, though his verve had faded by the end of the debate.

He said that nominating Mr. Sanders would harm down-ballot Democrats with the label of socialism (“That’s the label that’s going to weigh on everybody’s mind with Bernie”) and that Mr. Buttigieg had not proved any real ability to inspire or mobilize black and Latino voters, key parts of the Democratic Party (“He’s the mayor of a small city”).

Mr. Biden is staring down another potential bad finish in New Hampshire, where an overwhelmingly white electorate does not play to what has been his demographic strength among black voters.

“I took a hit in Iowa, and I will probably take a hit here,” Mr. Biden said unprompted. Then he pivoted to inflate expectations for Mr. Sanders directly and Ms. Warren indirectly as neighboring senator.

And while Mr. Buttigieg has found traction for his turning-the-page rhetoric about the future, Mr. Biden — while airing ads narrated by former President Barack Obama — urged a fond remembrance of recent history, arguing the “politics of the past were not all that bad.”

After eight debates, it can be said: Mr. Buttigieg is pretty good at debating.

Once again, he found himself on the receiving end of attacks from across the stage. But at no point did Mr. Buttigieg allow himself to be drawn into a dispute he wanted to avoid.

He ignored Ms. Klobuchar, who was four slots behind him in Iowa. He didn’t engage with Mr. Biden about winning elections. And he told Ms. Warren that the way to prevail is to build the biggest political tent possible, including billionaire donors.

By now, it’s clear Mr. Buttigieg is skilled at building a political umbrella and fitting all of his points underneath it.

While other candidates are aiming to take chunks of his voters away, he has emerged as the candidate focused most on making a general election argument against Mr. Trump — a good place to be in a Democratic primary when ousting the president is most voters’ top priority.

As the calendar turned to 2020, Ms. Warren started selling herself as the “unity candidate,” the person best positioned to bridge the fractious wings and ideological divides of the Democratic Party.

While that message — which at times can sound similar to how Mr. Buttigieg has positioned himself — has a notable potential constituency among the voters, it can prove a challenge to deliver it effectively on a crowded and aggressive debate stage. She set the tone early when she pivoted away from a chance to contrast herself with Mr. Sanders — her chief rival for progressive support — as a supporter of capitalism vs. his democratic socialism.

And so Ms. Warren stayed out of both the fray and the conversation for long periods of time, so much so that her chief strategist tweeted about the speaking time disparity (she ended up speaking fifth most, four full minutes less than Mr. Sanders).

At the debates, she has fairly consistently pursued a strategy of selling herself and her ideas rather than tearing down rivals. The strategy powered her rise last year and, with some exceptions when it comes to Mr. Buttigieg, she has stuck with it, even after a disappointing third-place showing in Iowa.

The biggest punch she threw was at Mr. Buttigieg, on whether his answer about addressing racial disparities under his watch in South Bend, Ind., was sufficient.

“No,” she said flatly. “You have to own up to the facts.”

After finishing fifth in Iowa and polling fifth in New Hampshire, Ms. Klobuchar made sure voters knew one thing Friday: Pick me, or at least don’t pick Pete.

It wasn’t quite the Gov. Chris Christie evisceration of Senator Marco Rubio on the New Hampshire debate stage in 2016, but Ms. Klobuchar laced criticism of Mr. Buttigieg into her answers throughout the night.

He’s too young and too inexperienced, she said. She seemed personally aggrieved about his suggestion that Americans wanted to “change the channel” from the Senate impeachment trial that kept the three senators onstage in Washington while Mr. Buttigieg was “running around Iowa.”

Ms. Klobuchar’s pitch for herself was more simple: She knows America.

In her big finish, wrapped around a question about child poverty, Ms. Klobuchar harkened to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s funeral train. Like Roosevelt, she said, she knows the American stretching to pay rent, or deciding between paying for food or medicine or figuring out child care. Yet even then, she couldn’t resist a shot at Mr. Buttigieg.

“I’m not a political newcomer with no record,” she said. “But I have a record of fighting for people.”

Mr. Steyer was an asterisk in Iowa and figures to be in the low single digits again in New Hampshire. But the billionaire has a real following in the two states that vote later in February, Nevada and South Carolina, where his millions spent on television advertising has juiced his polling numbers.

Mr. Steyer spent most of the debate making a naked play for support from black voters in South Carolina, attacking Mr. Biden for a remark one of his surrogates made and pitching himself as the one candidate focused on reparations for African-Americans.

As a result, Mr. Steyer had a focus he’d lacked in previous debates, when he frequently served as a palate cleanser after back-and-forths between other candidates.

In the process, he successfully forced his rivals to have a meaty discussion about race in America that had been lacking in the previous seven debates.

Yet he closed the debate with a wholesale theft of a campaign slogan used by Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator who dropped out of the presidential contest last month.

Mr. Booker’s “rise together” was plastered across signs and an array of campaign swag.

That didn’t stop Mr. Steyer from appropriating it for himself.

“Imagine the mountain and then we climb it together,” he said. “We are in perilous times. I am asking for your vote. Let’s rise together.”

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Meet the 71-year-old staging a one-man protest in his Trump-loving retirement community

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Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump

Westlake Legal Group image Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 53922c21-7e3f-55ad-98de-dc6d1656fc3a

Democrats are calling on Twitter to take down an edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ripping up the State of the Union address — claiming that it is designed to “mislead” people.

“The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests,” Pelosi Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said.

TLAIB SAYS SHE HELD OMAR’S HAND DURING ‘TRIGGERRING’ MOMENTS AT TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION

“This video is clearly another deceptive effort by @realDonaldTrump to mislead and manipulate the American people,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas

Trump posted the video, made by Turning Points USA, on Thursday that shows the “powerful American stories” that Trump highlighted in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Those clips are interspersed with the moment at the end of the speech where Pelosi tore up the speech.

The video appears to be a continuation of the point made by Republicans that Pelosi, in ripping up the speech, was also ripping up the stories of those Americans that Trump highlighted in the address — including stories of a Tuskegee airman, Americans killed in combat and a military family being reunited.

But Democrats objected to the video, apparently on the grounds that the video implies that Pelosi ripped up the papers immediately after each story was told — which she did not.

The video was also posted to Facebook. Hammill was quizzed by Facebook spokesman Andy Stone about what he found objectionable to the video: “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?”

“What planet are you living on?” Hammill responded. “This is deceptively altered. Take it down.”

Along with Escobar, other lawmakers rushed to condemn the video, and social media platforms for not removing the video. Although all called it deceptive, none said what exactly what deceptive about it.

“.@Twitter must take this misleading video about @SpeakerPelosi down now.,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., tweeted.

“This video is doctored. It has been up, and pinned to the President’s page, for nearly a day. Trump posted it to deceive Americans about @SpeakerPelosi’s actions and record,” Rep. Don Beyer, R-Va., said. “If I posted a doctored video it would be a clear violation House Rules. Twitter should take this down.”

DEM-CONTROLLED HOUSE VOTES TO KILL GOP RESOLUTION CONDEMNING PELOSI FOR RIPPING UP TRUMP’S SPEECH

Republicans, meanwhile, pushed back against the efforts by Democrats to censor the video, and dismissed their complaints.

“They’re arguing it’s deceptively edited to misinform and want twitter to censor it,”  National Republican Senatorial Committee senior adviser Matt Whitlock tweeted. “But.. she tore the speech that had those stories. Repetition to highlight exactly what she was tearing is not “misinformation,” these Reps are gaslighting.”

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The video is the latest controversy in the fallout over the State of the Union. The House on Thursday voted to table a Republican-led resolution to condemn Pelosi.

The vote, which fell along party lines, 224 to 193, effectively killed the measure introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, amid widespread GOP furor over Pelosi’s actions. The resolution called the speaker’s public shredding of the address “a breach of decorum” and said it brought “discredit on the House.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 53922c21-7e3f-55ad-98de-dc6d1656fc3a   Westlake Legal Group image Dems demand Twitter take down edited video of Pelosi ripping State of the Union speech posted by Trump fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox news fnc/politics fnc article Adam Shaw 53922c21-7e3f-55ad-98de-dc6d1656fc3a

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Tucker Carlson: Democrats’ radical immigration legislation would help foreign criminals move to US

Westlake Legal Group image Tucker Carlson: Democrats’ radical immigration legislation would help foreign criminals move to US Tucker Carlson fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4eae4527-dec0-5a00-9195-afa085b80e1e

Thursday night we told you about what may be the single most extreme and disruptive piece of legislation ever to gain widespread support in the Congress in the history of this country. It’s called the New Way Forward Act.

The bill is before Congress right now and has been for almost two months. And yet so far it has been essentially ignored by the country’s major media outlets, which are either too embarrassed of it or too ignorant to cover it. That’s a disservice to you, because it’s nearly impossible to describe just how radical this bill is.

If it becomes law, the bill would remake our immigration system for the expressed purpose of helping foreign-born criminals live in the United States. The bill would allow people who have committed serious felonies in other countries to move here legally. It would make it nearly impossible for federal immigration officials to detain immigrants, no matter how potentially dangerous they are.

TUCKER CARLSON: CRIMINALS WOULD BE PROTECTED FROM DEPORTATION UNDER BILL AOC AND OTHER HOUSE DEMOCRATS BACK

And perhaps most infuriatingly and remarkably, the legislation would require taxpayers to transport deported criminals back into the United States. In other words, you break our laws, you hurt our people, we will send you a plane ticket. We will pay for you to come back.

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It’s utter and total insanity, and yet it’s very popular in the Democratic Party. So far, this bill has 44 Democratic co-sponsors. Some of these people you’ve heard of before: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. They are celebrities, but some co-sponsors are obscure.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, for example, has represented Oregon for decades. Before this, he is may have been known for running the congressional bicycle caucus. And yet, all of a sudden out of nowhere, Blumenauer has decided to wreck the country.

Now we’d like to talk to Earl Blumenauer on this show. We’d like to hear why he supports this bill. We’d like to talk to any of the people who’ve co-sponsored it. We reached out to many of them to come on and defend their views, but not one of them agreed to come.

Why? Because they’re cowards. And yet we think you want to know what they’re doing. The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Jesus Garcia of Illinois, said after introducing the bill: “This is not a radical project. We are simply asking for a fair shot at the opportunity for immigrants to stay in the country they call home. And New Way Forward does just that.”

Garcia added that the bill “would end mandatory immigration detention and the automatic pipeline to deportation through the criminal justice system. It would end deportation for people who have had contact with the criminal legal system. It would end the practices of local police engaging in immigration enforcement and the increased … policing of communities of color. It would decriminalize immigration.”

Garcia said “this is not a radical project.” But of course, the opposite is true. The bill is completely radical. It would transform America into a place you don’t recognize.

Many of the sponsors of this bill come from the fringes of the Democratic Party, as you would expect, but not all of them do. Consider Rep. Andy Levin. Levin represents the suburbs north of Detroit. Levin’s district leans blue, but it’s still essentially bipartisan. Voters there went for Hillary Clinton, for example, by just eight points.

So there’s no chance a majority of Andy Levin’s voters want to send plane tickets to armed robbers in Guatemala so they can move next door. And in fact, nobody wants that, no matter what they claim on Twitter.

Yet, Levin is trying to do that right now, and that’s what’s scary about this bill. It’s happening in the dark. No one is talking about it. Those who dismiss it say it is unlikely to become law – that it will never happen. That’s a mistake. Things change fast in modern America.

On issue after issue, from ending the Second Amendment to banning biological gender, to the open and aggressive racism of identity politics, yesterday’s extremism has become today’s Democratic Party platform. That’s how it works now.

Four years ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., mounted his first campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Vox.com pressed him on why he didn’t back open borders for the world.

Sanders responded by saying: “No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal, which says essentially, there is no United States. It would make everybody in America poorer.”

Of course, Sanders was entirely right, and for that crime, he was savaged by Vox and all the other angry children in wokedom. Resisting the abolition of the United States was – in their view – needless to say, proof that Sanders was a hardened bigot, a racist.

Four years later, Sanders has become obedient. His new platform contains all the usual open-borders rhetoric, ending all deportations, abolishing ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), giving a blanket amnesty to all illegal aliens in the country.

A New Hampshire voter recently asked Sanders why his views had changed so radically. The man who once called lax immigration enforcement a Koch brothers conspiracy, just four years ago, suddenly sounded very much like a Koch brother himself.

Sanders said: “We have 11 million undocumented here. Many of those workers, by the way, are being exploited right now. You know, Trump wants to throw everybody out of the country. If he threw out people out of the country, the price of food in this country would skyrocket. Who do you think is picking the crops and planting all over this country?”

Who’s picking the crops? Actually, machines are picking most of the crops in this country now and planting them, too. Bernie is almost 80 years old, and apparently nobody told him that, but either way, it is still shocking to hear that explanation from a self- described socialist.

So yes, workers are being exploited, but think what avocadoes would cost if citizens had to pick them. It’s nauseating.

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Now Sanders isn’t stupid. He has to know his party’s position on immigration hurts workers and the country, but he desperately wants to be president of the United States. So he goes along with it.

You’re seeing quite a bit of this, by the way. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is supposedly the most moderate man in politics, old Uncle Joe, now is pushing for illegal aliens to get off on drunk driving charges.

Biden, who is competing against Sanders and others for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, said: “You only arrest for the purpose of dealing with a felony that’s committed and I don’t count drunk driving as a felony.”

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The confused ravings of a fading old man? No, hardly. They all think that way now. If Democrats win the 2020 election, some version of the New Way Forward Act will likely become law.

Once again, keep this in mind. Things move fast in this country.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Feb. 7, 2020.

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Westlake Legal Group image Tucker Carlson: Democrats’ radical immigration legislation would help foreign criminals move to US Tucker Carlson fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4eae4527-dec0-5a00-9195-afa085b80e1e   Westlake Legal Group image Tucker Carlson: Democrats’ radical immigration legislation would help foreign criminals move to US Tucker Carlson fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox-news/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4eae4527-dec0-5a00-9195-afa085b80e1e

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Texas teen shot, killed for protecting smaller boy from bully: reports

A Texas 16-year-old boy was fatally shot days after breaking up a fight involving a bully who has been charged with his murder, according to reports.

Arlington police said that after intervening in the fight, Sam Reynolds started having trouble with his accused killer, a boy between 13 and 15, WFAA-TV reported.

Lt. Chris Cook said Sam was shot Thursday in an incident caught on camera at the Pinewoods Apartment complex where he and the suspect lived.

TEXAS TEEN SHOT, KILLED AT HIGH SCHOOL; 2 ARRESTED, POLICE SAY

Westlake Legal Group Apartment-Scene-GOOGLE-MAPS Texas teen shot, killed for protecting smaller boy from bully: reports Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 01d12cf6-f7b3-52ac-b5c8-350e4467a0f4

Pinewoods Apartments in Arlington, Texas. (Google)

“Within just a matter of a couple of seconds, he pulls out a handgun from the rear part of his pants,” Cook told the station. “He points it at the victim and fires one round.”

Sam’s family said he intervened in the fight to protect a smaller boy, the station reported.

CALIFORNIA TEEN KILLED IN GANG-RELATED SHOOTING, 2 PEOPLE CHARGED WITH MURDER, POLICE SAY

He was shot in the chest, Fox 4 Dallas reported.

The station reported that Sam was remembered Friday evening at a candlelight vigil at Arlington High School, where he was a sophomore.

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His mother, Madison Fletcher, told the gathering, “Just, you know, celebrate his life and his memory and, you know, who he was,” according to the station.

Westlake Legal Group Apartment-Scene-GOOGLE-MAPS Texas teen shot, killed for protecting smaller boy from bully: reports Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 01d12cf6-f7b3-52ac-b5c8-350e4467a0f4   Westlake Legal Group Apartment-Scene-GOOGLE-MAPS Texas teen shot, killed for protecting smaller boy from bully: reports Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 01d12cf6-f7b3-52ac-b5c8-350e4467a0f4

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‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode’

On Feb. 8, 1980 “American Gigolo” premiered in theaters, quickly transforming Richard Gere into a sought-after sex symbol and the Armani suit into a fashion-must have.

But for Carole Cook, it was another gig she was eager to take on — one that left an unforgettable impression on her.

The mystery film, directed by Paul Schrader, tells the tale of how a Los Angeles male escort (Gere), who mostly caters to an older female clientele, is accused of a murder he did not commit. The film also stars Hector Elizondo, Nina van Pallandt, as well as supermodel Lauren Hutton, among others.

The movie caused a stir for showcasing full-frontal male nudity, which Gere, now 70, previously told Entertainment Weekly that it happened naturally and wasn’t originally in the script.

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Westlake Legal Group American-Gigolo-Paramount-Pictures-3 ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73

Feb. 8, 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of “American Gigolo” featuring Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Carole Cook and more. (Paramount Pictures)

Cook, who appeared in the film alongside Gere, spoke to Fox News about the original actor who ultimately turned “American Gigolo” down, what it was really like working with Gere, and how she unexpectedly paid tribute to her pal Lucille Ball while filming.

Fox News: Does it surprise you that “American Gigolo” is still getting a lot of buzz 40 years later?


Carole Cook: No, it doesn’t. The reason why I wanted to do it so much was that Paul Schrader wrote it and directed it. He was edgy – I love that word. And Paul Schrader is terrific. So for me, it was fabulous for me to do this. But 40?! I want you to know I was a child star at the time *laughs*.

Fox News: Is it true that John Travolta was originally in the film before Richard Gere?
Cook: That is true. At the time, his manager approached me and said, “There’s a part in the film that I think you should consider.” I said, “Loved to.” And that was that. But then I heard that John Travolta was not doing it.  Then I thoughts, “Oops, there goes the part.” But Paul Schrader met with me anyway. He said, “You still have the part – welcome aboard.” That’s when I then learned of Richard Gere. And this film made Richard a star.

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Westlake Legal Group American-Gigolo-Paramount-Pictures-1 ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73

Supermodel Lauren Hutton starred in the motion picture, which premiered in 1980. (Paramount Pictures)

I wish I could remember which movie John Travolta ended up doing after getting out of “American Gigolo.” But whatever he did, he did it well too *laughs*. They both are still big stars today.

Fox News: What was your first impression of Richard?
Cook: A gentleman. He was so cordial. All my scenes were in his in the movie so I really didn’t get to know anybody else. But he was so friendly right from the beginning. My scenes with him were so wonderful. I do remember that he was always very quiet and so observant.

And apparently, he was carrying the mother lode on that movie! But I’m telling you, he looked fabulous and he was a wonderful actor. I was very impressed with him. He really was there to work and be the best that he could be. And that was good enough. There was no ego.

I remembered how fabulous he looked. When he would get his ensembles together in a scene – oh, how wonderful. I remembered at the time, “This is something you would normally see the woman do in a film. But he made it look so swell.” He made Armani so popular and it’s easy to see why.

SCORPIONS REVEAL INSPIRATION BEHIND ‘ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE,’ FAVORITE ‘CRAZY’ MOMENT ON STAGE

Westlake Legal Group American-Gigolo-Paramount-Pictures-4 ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73

“When Richard looks at you, he really sees you,” Cook tells Fox News of Gere’s acting chops. (Paramount Pictures)

I love doing those intimate scenes with him. He made me feel like a Southern grande dame. And I took to that right away. I almost needed a mint julep after filming a scene *laughs*. It was just swell! When Richard looks at you, he really sees you. And that helped! It certainly inspires you. Let’s not get dirty here. But it does. Forget sexual – he had a very seductive manner to him. You just wanted to talk to him and find out who he really is.

Fox News: What did you think of Paul Schrader?
Cook: I just thought Paul Schrader was wonderful. As I said, he had an edge, which I loved at the time.

Fox News: What did you think of Lauren Hutton?
Cook: She was a very famous model at the time. I thought that was damn brave of her to do that. That was a big part for her to take on. I wished I was able to work with her more closely, but all my scenes were with Richard – not that I’m complaining. But I remember it being a very enjoyable experience.

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Westlake Legal Group Carole-Cook-Richard-Gere-Getty-Reuters ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73

Carole Cook revealed that John Travolta was originally in the film before Richard Gere. (Getty, Reuters)


Fox News: This film is recognized as a mainstream Hollywood movie that showcases frontal male nudity. How shocking was this back then?

Cook: That was the talk all over Hollywood. But I thought it was the men that make the motion pictures, which is why you don’t see frontal male nudity in films. Sure, they’ll have women do all sorts of things and put them in all kinds of positions, but they don’t have the men doing the same because apparently, the men are the ones in charge.

But everyone was talking about it at the time. But even seeing a man where all the gorgeous clothes – generally, that was a woman’s part in a movie. I thought it was daring. I mean, we are still talking about it now. It certainly made Richard’s career. And I guess John Travolta didn’t do so bad himself. *laughs*.

Fox News: What’s a fun fact about the film that would surprise viewers today?
Cook: I actually wore a dress in it that my dear friend Lucille Ball gave me. It was actually one of her favorite dresses to wear. She later gave me the dress and it stayed in my wardrobe… I remember going through my wardrobe one day and seeing it again. I thought, “That’s a perfect dress for the film.”

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Westlake Legal Group American-Gigolo-Paramount-Pictures-2 ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73

“American Gigolo” was directed by Paul Schrader and follows a Los Angeles male escort, played by Richard Gere, who omstly caters to an older female clientele. (Paramount Pictures)

Lucille Ball called me and said, “Well honey, I saw that you wore my dress!” I sure did. I still remember it vividly. It was brown with a brown mink collar. I brought several dresses to the set and Paul chose that one. You may not be stunned by it when you see it, but I thought it was an elegant dress to wear, one that was given to me by a dear friend. And somewhere in my closet, I still have that dress. It’s funny, I have red hair still and I always joke, “Lucille Ball left me all of her old hair dye and I’m almost running out because she didn’t know I was going to live this long!”

Fox News: Have you stayed in touch with Richard?
Cook: I haven’t seen him much over the years. But my opinion of him has held up over the years. In fact, I remember doing the Broadway show “42nd Street” and he was on Broadway too doing “Bent.” We saw each other then and he couldn’t have been nicer. He was also wonderful in the play. It only confirmed it for me – I was right about his acting. Not only does he look good, but he can act! I just have fond memories of working with him. That’s all there is to it.

And I gotta tell you, he looks better with grey hair, I think. He looks fabulous. Well, I guess it’s because I have quite of bit of grey hair under this red dye. That’s gotta be it.

Westlake Legal Group Carole-Cook-Richard-Gere-Getty-Reuters ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73   Westlake Legal Group Carole-Cook-Richard-Gere-Getty-Reuters ‘American Gigolo’ star Carole Cook recalls working with Richard Gere: ‘He was carrying the mother lode' Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/person/john-travolta fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/then-and-now fox-news/entertainment/genres/classics fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 97a37424-35ec-56b9-9e70-19573fb73a73

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