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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 272)

Fox News Is Trump’s Chief TV Booster. So Why Is He Griping About It?

Westlake Legal Group 13fox-impeach1-facebookJumbo Fox News Is Trump’s Chief TV Booster. So Why Is He Griping About It? Smith, Shepard Scott, Suzanne Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising Pirro, Jeanine News and News Media impeachment Hannity, Sean Fox News Channel Baier, Bret

Fed up with the coverage on his favorite cable news station, President Trump decided late this summer that a direct intervention was needed. So he telephoned the chief executive of Fox News, Suzanne Scott, and let loose.

In a lengthy conversation, Mr. Trump complained that Fox News was not covering him fairly, according to three people with knowledge of the call. Ms. Scott, who has led the cable network since last year, responded by urging Mr. Trump to sit for an interview with Bret Baier, the channel’s chief political anchor, the people said.

If the conversation placated Mr. Trump — who has taken to calling Fox News “HOPELESS & CLUELESS!” — his public statements in the weeks afterward did not show it.

Irked by their reporting, he taunted the Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who resigned from the network on Friday, and its chief national correspondent, Ed Henry. He declared that the Fox News pollsters “suck” after they found majority support for impeachment and openly pined for the network’s “good old days.”

“@Fox News doesn’t deliver for US anymore,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week.

That tensions exist at all between Mr. Trump and the home of Sean Hannity and “Fox & Friends” has prompted incredulity inside the network and out. Fox News’s star commentators — including Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro — are among the president’s most vociferous media defenders, providing a punditry firewall that Mr. Trump arguably needs more than ever as an impeachment inquiry looms and the 2020 campaign intensifies.

But the president has rarely been satisfied with the adulation he receives from the network’s prime-time and morning opinion shows. Instead, he often fixates on any hint of criticism, deeming the network ungrateful for the high ratings that he attributes to himself.

When Mr. Henry, interviewing the pro-Trump commentator Mark Levin on a segment of “Fox & Friends” in September, suggested that Mr. Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian prime minister could be problematic, the president retweeted more than 20 posts from other Twitter users calling Mr. Henry names like “fake news.” Mr. Trump had sat for an interview with Mr. Henry less than two weeks earlier.

Trump-friendly hosts receive periodic reminders that the president is keeping tabs. At a rally in Minnesota last week, Mr. Trump ticked off the names of his favorite Fox News stars like an announcer at an all-star game. (“Sean’s got the No. 1 show,” he said. “And Laura Ingraham’s knocking them out of the park.”) But he also had a subtle warning for Brian Kilmeade, the “Fox & Friends” co-host who recently questioned Mr. Trump’s decision to remove troops from Syria.

“Brian has gotten a lot better, right?” Mr. Trump asked the crowd. “Brian was a seven, and he’s getting close to 10 territory.”

The president even tried to promote a fledgling Fox News rival, the Trump-friendly One America News, which he praised last week “for your fair coverage and brilliant reporting.”

In cajoling and bullying his closest media allies, Mr. Trump is wielding the total-loyalty litmus test that he has used to keep close associates in line. And the possibility of a vote on impeachment is upping the stakes.

Anthony Scaramucci, who served briefly as Mr. Trump’s White House communications director — and has recently become a vocal critic — invoked a popular story about Lyndon Johnson viewing Walter Cronkite’s reporting as a bellwether for the public mood on Vietnam.

“Fox News is Trump’s Walter Cronkite,” Mr. Scaramucci said in an email. “Once he loses the majority of them, it’s over. He knows it, which is why he is bashing and intimidating them.”

The ties between Mr. Trump and Fox News are so close that many Democrats deem the channel an external arm of the West Wing.

The network and its parent company, Fox Corporation, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his eldest son Lachlan Murdoch, employ former Trump aides like Hope Hicks, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Raj Shah. Mr. Trump installed a former Fox News co-president, Bill Shine, as his deputy chief of staff. (Mr. Shine lasted less than a year in the job and is now an adviser for the 2020 campaign.)

Mr. Trump has made dozens of appearances on the network, the vast majority of his one-on-one interviews as president. And he is a devoted viewer, often tweeting his real-time reactions to Fox News shows.

Stars like Mr. Hannity and Jesse Watters — “my Watters,” as Mr. Trump called him at a Friday rally — have dined at the White House. Mr. Hannity and Ms. Pirro once took the stage with Mr. Trump during a campaign rally in Rush Limbaugh’s hometown, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

At the Fox News headquarters in Manhattan, the closeness has brought unease, with the reporting staff and the opinion hosts increasingly at odds over how to cover Mr. Trump and the impeachment inquiry.

Chris Wallace, the “Fox News Sunday” host, has conducted tough interviews with administration players like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But last month, a guest on Mr. Carlson’s show heckled Andrew Napolitano, the network’s legal analyst, calling him a “fool” for saying that Mr. Trump may have committed a crime. The next day, on his 3 p.m. news program “Shepard Smith Reporting,” Mr. Smith called the guest’s comment “repugnant”; Mr. Carlson fired back with the suggestion that Mr. Smith had a liberal bias.

On Friday, Mr. Smith, the network’s chief anchor and managing editor of its breaking news unit, who had once called out Mr. Trump for “lie after lie after lie,” revealed that he had had enough. In a surprise announcement, he said he would leave the network after 23 years; friends said he was dismayed at the in-house deference given to Mr. Trump’s prime-time cheerleaders.

Such is the scrutiny on Fox News that a theory sprang up on social media tying Mr. Smith’s departure to a meeting last week between Rupert Murdoch and the attorney general, William Barr. In fact, Mr. Smith had been considering an exit for weeks. (It remains unclear what the Barr-Murdoch meeting entailed; aides to both men have declined to elaborate, and the president claimed, in comments to reporters on Friday, that he was unaware of what they discussed.) Still, the Barr-Murdoch meeting hinted at the unusual closeness between a news network and a presidential administration.

Which, to some observers, makes Mr. Trump’s recent gripes all the more inexplicable.

“Blasting Fox, which is one of his last redoubts of a lot of support, makes no sense strategically,” said Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican strategist who has opposed Mr. Trump. “But when he sees a show or comment he doesn’t like, he just reflexively attacks that personality or that journalist.”

Fox News commands a significant audience of Trump supporters. A Pew study found that 40 percent of Trump voters in 2016 cited the network as their “main source” of news about the campaign. Among all voters, 19 percent cited Fox News as their primary news source, the highest of any network. The channel has been the No. 1-rated cable news network over all since 2002.

But Fox News executives see some tactical advantages to Mr. Trump’s jibes.

For one, the rebukes offer a useful rejoinder to critics who deride Fox News as “state TV.” The network has also sought to highlight skeptical Trump coverage to advertisers who may be leery of provocative right-wing punditry. Mr. Carlson and Ms. Ingraham have both faced ad boycotts for offensive on-air comments.

At a panel for advertisers in Manhattan last month, the network gathered Mr. Baier, Mr. Wallace and the news anchor Martha MacCallum to talk about covering the White House. The message: Trump doesn’t own us.

“Contrary to the opinion of some people, he’s not our boss,” Ms. MacCallum said, marveling at Mr. Trump’s criticism of Fox News for airing interviews with Democratic presidential candidates. “It is kind of shocking to hear that he really — that’s the way he thinks about how we should cover the election.”

Mr. Wallace joked about the president’s tendency to compare him unfavorably to his father, the “60 Minutes” legend Mike Wallace, who died in 2012. “He often likes to say about me, ‘You know, I was covered by Mike Wallace, I liked him much more,’” Mr. Wallace told the advertisers. “To which my reaction is always: One of us has a daddy problem, and it’s not me.”

While the anchors have noted their independence from the administration, many opinion hosts have continued to show loyalty. Mr. Hannity has devoted his top-rated prime-time show to denouncing the impeachment inquiry, calling it a “witch hunt” led by “the radical, destructive, delusional Democratic Party.” Ms. Pirro, during a live interview with Mr. Trump on Saturday, concluded by complimenting the president’s stamina. “Do you take vitamins? How do you do this?” Ms. Pirro asked admiringly.

It wasn’t always so cozy. In the 2016 race, Mr. Trump clashed with the network, feuding with its anchor Megyn Kelly after she questioned him at a debate about his derogatory comments toward women. Later, he boycotted a Fox News debate in Iowa, because the network would not remove Ms. Kelly as a moderator. At the time, Ms. Kelly told her viewers that Mr. Trump “doesn’t get to control the media.”

Ms. Kelly has since left Fox News. Mr. Hannity replaced her in the key 9 p.m. time slot. And Mr. Trump has continued working to influence the network.

“With me,” he said of Fox back in 2016, “they’re dealing with somebody that’s a little bit different.”

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Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for US; critics call roundup a ‘human hunt’

A caravan of roughly 2,000 migrants bound for the United States early Saturday was halted by Mexican authorities only a few hours into their journey, according to officials.

The caravan, which consisted of migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, left before dawn from Tapachula, a town in southern Mexico near the Guatemalan border, Reuters reported.

Westlake Legal Group AP19285700669028-1 Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for US; critics call roundup a 'human hunt' fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article a5521a9b-1b59-5b47-8363-310ad83fe222

Migrants depart early in the morning from Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.  (AP)

Many of the migrants who departed from Tapachula early in the morning had been held up there for weeks or months, awaiting residency or transit papers from Mexican authorities.

About 24 miles into their journey, federal police and national guardsmen blocked their path. Most of the group was detained and put on a bus back to Tapachula, while about 150 migrants returned by foot, witnesses said.

JOE GIUDICE’S SHOCKING TRANSFORMATION REVEALED AFTER HE’S RELEASED FROM ICE CUSTODY

The abrupt halt of the caravan stood in stark contrast to last year when waves of U.S.-bound caravans – including one of at least 7,000 people – drew widespread media coverage while immigration officials on both sides of the border struggled to stem the flow.

Under pressure from Washington, the government has been taking a tougher stance in dealing with migrants, and many Mexicans are being less welcoming.

President Trump, who frequently described the caravans an “invasion,” brokered a deal with Mexico in June, promising to avert tariffs on imports if Mexico clamped down on U.S.-bound migration.

Salva Lacruz, from the Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights Center in Tapachula, called the roundup on Sunday a “human hunt” and noted officials waited until the migrants had tired out before forcing them into vans.

Sending the migrants back south was an “exercise in cruelty,” Lacruz said, saying the migrants have come to Mexico because “they need international protection.”

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Mexico’s export-driven economy is highly dependent on commerce with the U.S., and the government has become far less hospitable to migrants.

Mexico has offered refugees the possibility of obtaining work and residency permits to stay in southern Mexico, far from the U.S. border. But those asylum permits are slow-coming in an overstretched immigration system.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19285700669028-1 Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for US; critics call roundup a 'human hunt' fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article a5521a9b-1b59-5b47-8363-310ad83fe222   Westlake Legal Group AP19285700669028-1 Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for US; critics call roundup a 'human hunt' fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article a5521a9b-1b59-5b47-8363-310ad83fe222

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Democrats using Intel Committee to keep impeachment facts hidden from the public, says WSJ’s Kim Strassel

Westlake Legal Group PelosiSchiffAP100719 Democrats using Intel Committee to keep impeachment facts hidden from the public, says WSJ's Kim Strassel Nick Givas fox-news/shows/journal-editorial-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 64be28e7-a6a7-5dd9-b073-3ea58c533f99

Congressional Democrats are skirting the past precedent of using the Judiciary Committee to impeach the president, and are instead relying on the House Intelligence Committee to shroud their work in darkness and keep vital facts hidden from the public, said Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel.

“I think the reason they are doing it through House Intelligence is so that they can keep everything secret, keep this whistleblower identity secret and the nature of some of the claims,” she claimed Sunday on “The Journal Editorial Report.”

“But that’s not very encouraging to the public,” Strassel continued. “I think the other thing they’re doing is not holding a formal vote to have an impeachment inquiry and setting out the rules — they’ve been denying Republicans the right to take part in some of this. These are all at variance with what past probes have done.”

PELOSI, DEMS ‘DUCKING’ RESPONSIBILITY OF IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, KIM STRASSEL SAYS

Strassel also said Democrats have obstructed the White House from participating in the impeachment process and have completely ignored past precedent and normal decorum.

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“The House is not following the usual procedures, not allowing the White House to take part in things like asking witnesses questions or cross-examining them or calling them,” she said.

“Since impeachment is a political tool, the goal of it is to convince the public that you are doing things in a fair and just manner, and they’re certainly not, because they’re not abiding by any of the past courtesies or standards that impeachment probes use.”

Westlake Legal Group PelosiSchiffAP100719 Democrats using Intel Committee to keep impeachment facts hidden from the public, says WSJ's Kim Strassel Nick Givas fox-news/shows/journal-editorial-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 64be28e7-a6a7-5dd9-b073-3ea58c533f99   Westlake Legal Group PelosiSchiffAP100719 Democrats using Intel Committee to keep impeachment facts hidden from the public, says WSJ's Kim Strassel Nick Givas fox-news/shows/journal-editorial-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 64be28e7-a6a7-5dd9-b073-3ea58c533f99

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Joe Biden: ‘No one in my family will have an office in the White House’ or be ‘a cabinet member’ if I’m president

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Joe Biden: 'No one in my family will have an office in the White House' or be 'a cabinet member' if I'm president

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Wednesday for the first time that President Donald Trump must be impeached for alleged abuses of the powers of his office to help his own reelection. (Oct. 9) AP, AP

Altoona, IOWA — Former Vice President Joe Biden said if he is elected president, no one in his family will hold a job or have a business relationship with a foreign corporation or foreign government.

“No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country. Period. Period. End of story,” Biden told reporters in Iowa after giving remarks at a labor conference.

Biden’s remarks to reporters at the United Food and Commercial Workers 2020 presidential forum in Altoona, Iowa, on Sunday came hours after his son, Hunter, announced he would step down from the board of a Chinese private equity firm and committed to not do any foreign work if his father is elected president.

Biden said his son’s lawyers had told him they would be issuing a statement but he did not consult with his son about the statement and only saw it when it was released publicly Sunday morning.

Biden said no one has asserted he or his son have done anything wrong, except President Donald Trump.

Hunter Biden: Will resign from board of Chinese firm, says he won’t serve on foreign boards if Joe Biden elected president

The younger Biden has become a target of Trump’s criticism for his work on the boards of companies in Ukraine and China, although there is no evidence that he engaged in unlawful behavior.

Trump’s request of the Ukrainian president to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings in that country has become the basis for an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House. Democrats allege the request amounted to using the power of the presidency to improperly ask a foreign power to investigate the family of one of his domestic political rivals. Trump has said he did not do anything wrong.

Biden said no news organizations that have investigated his son’s business dealings have found that there was any wrongdoing by the Bidens.

“No one, no one has asserted my son did a single thing wrong. No one has asserted that I have done anything wrong, except a lying president,” Biden told reporters.

‘Whatever happened to Hunter?’: Donald Trump steps up attacks on Joe Biden and his son at Minneapolis rally

Biden’s appearance at the labor forum was his first visit to Iowa since calling for Trump to be impeached last week. Biden is one of the last Democratic presidential contenders to signal his support for the U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Failing to pursue the impeachment inquiry against the president could give future presidents license to engage in unethical behavior, Biden said at the forum.

“If, in fact, the House doesn’t move and let the facts fall where they may, what does the next unethical president, if we elect another one, what does that say they can do?” Biden said. “What’s that say? What’s going to happen? They have to know there’s consequences.”

Biden suggested growing public opinion on impeachment will sway more Republicans in Congress to support it. Several public polls in recent days have found that public support for an impeachment inquiry tops 50%.

“What’s going to change Republican minds in the United States Congress is when their constituents start changing their minds,” Biden told the labor forum. “And you’re seeing it start to happen: More Republican voters, independent voters are saying, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. I didn’t know this.'”

Follow Stephen Gruber-Miller on Twitter: @sgrubermiller

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/13/joe-biden-family-wont-serve-white-house-if-hes-president/3971338002/

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Sen. Van Hollen: Let White House have day in court before reaching ‘final conclusion’ on impeachment

Westlake Legal Group Van-Hollen_FOX Sen. Van Hollen: Let White House have day in court before reaching 'final conclusion' on impeachment Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c94a0a38-4c78-502d-b23d-7900e8831dcd article

President Trump and the White House deserve a fair shake with regard to their impeachment fight with congressional Democrats and should be allowed to produce their own evidence and witnesses, to refute accusations of wrongdoing, said Sen. Chris Van Hollen on Sunday.

The Maryland Democrat senator told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace he’s skeptical of the White House producing exculpatory evidence in response to the Ukraine accusations, but insisted on a fair and impartial process, before he would render judgment on the president’s alleged guilt.

“The evidence is… mounting that he withheld vital U.S. military assistance to Ukraine that they need to stop Russian aggression. In my view, that is an impeachable offense,” he said.

“But — but, the hearings will have to collect the evidence, and the president and the White House will have an opportunity to put forward any exculpatory evidence they want. So I won’t reach any final conclusion until all the evidence is in,” Van Hollen continued. “But the evidence that is in, is very damning of the president’s actions.”

GOP SEN. KEVIN CRAMER SAYS ATTACKS ON TRUMP WILL NEVER CEASE: ‘HATERS ARE GOING TO HATE’

Wallace asked Van Hollen if he thought Senate Democrats could convince enough Republicans to cross party lines to obtain the 67 votes necessary to convict the president if he’s impeached by the House, but Van Hollen refused to speculate and said he plans to wait for all the facts.

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“I’m not going to prejudge anything, because there’s still a lot of evidence to come in,” he replied.

“The evidence about this administration withholding very important military assistance to Ukraine while the president tried through his lawyer, [Rudy] Giuliani, and others to try to get Ukraine to interfere on President Trump’s behalf in an election, as that evidence comes in I hope people take a very close look at it, and ask themselves what would they have been doing and saying if President Obama had done something like that.”

Westlake Legal Group Van-Hollen_FOX Sen. Van Hollen: Let White House have day in court before reaching 'final conclusion' on impeachment Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c94a0a38-4c78-502d-b23d-7900e8831dcd article   Westlake Legal Group Van-Hollen_FOX Sen. Van Hollen: Let White House have day in court before reaching 'final conclusion' on impeachment Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-news-sunday fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c94a0a38-4c78-502d-b23d-7900e8831dcd article

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Hunter Biden to Leave Chinese Company Board, Addressing Appearance of Conflict

Westlake Legal Group 13xp-bidenchina-facebookJumbo Hunter Biden to Leave Chinese Company Board, Addressing Appearance of Conflict Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 Boards of Directors Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter Appointments and Executive Changes

ALTOONA, Iowa — Hunter Biden, whose overseas business dealings have drawn relentless attacks from President Trump and posed a threat to the candidacy of his father, Joseph R. Biden Jr., intends to step down from the board of a Chinese company, BHR, by the end of the month, his lawyer said in a statement on Sunday.

The statement also said that if Mr. Biden were to be elected president, his son would “agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies.”

The decision is the first action the pro-Biden camp has taken that appears to acknowledge the extent to which Hunter Biden’s business practices have created an untenable problem for his father’s 2020 campaign. With the fourth Democratic primary debate only two days away, political strategists said Hunter Biden’s decision to leave the Chinese company could help defuse the issue at a time when some of Mr. Biden’s lower-polling Democratic rivals have suggested his son’s work overseas raises questions about conflict of interest.

“Hunter’s decision won’t stop Trump from spreading debunked conspiracy theories about the past,” said David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s former chief strategist. “But it does give Joe Biden an answer he didn’t have about potential conflicts of interest moving forward.”

There is no evidence Mr. Biden acted improperly to aid his son’s overseas financial dealings in China and Ukraine. Still, many on the Biden team have been gravely concerned about Mr. Trump’s ability to inflict damage with a barrage of baseless claims of corruption against the Biden family, some of which were included in an expansive pro-Trump advertising campaign.

Mr. Biden has consistently ranked as one of the Democratic Party’s leading presidential candidates. But his advantage has slipped in some recent polls, and his fund-raising has lagged his top rivals. Over the last two weeks he has begun to vigorously fight back against Mr. Trump’s criticisms and last week, in a fiery address in New Hampshire, he called for the first time for Mr. Trump to be impeached.

“You go to three foreign governments, not just all about me — three foreign governments, and ask them to come in and interfere in the sovereignty, the sacredness of the American electoral process?” Mr. Biden said Sunday at a union gathering in Altoona, apparently alluding to Mr. Trump’s dealings with Russia, as well as with Ukraine and China. “Come on. Come on. This is outrageous. If in fact the House doesn’t move, let the facts fall where they may, then what does the next unethical president, if we elect one, what does that say they can do?”

The statement on Sunday from Hunter Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, said his client had served only as a member of the board of directors of BHR, an equity investment fund manager, “which he joined based on his interest in seeking ways to bring Chinese capital to international markets.” It was an unpaid position. Mr. Mesires has previously said Hunter Biden became an investor in 2017, taking a 10 percent stake in BHR.

Mr. Trump has said with no evidence that Mr. Biden’s son used political ties to induce China to invest $1.5 billion in a fund he was involved in, an assertion Mr. Biden has denied.

The statement had been in the works for weeks, one Biden adviser said. Separately, a person familiar with the decision said it came at Hunter Biden’s initiative, not his father’s.

Mr. Trump has directed his broadsides against Hunter Biden as he faces an impeachment inquiry in the House, which was spurred by the president’s phone call to the president of Ukraine urging the government to investigate Hunter Biden’s financial dealings there. Subsequently, Mr. Trump publicly called for China to look into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings in that country.

Aides say Mr. Biden has been bracing for weeks for questions about his son at Tuesday’s CNN/New York Times debate. His allies and advisers say that any Democrat who broaches the subject is playing into Mr. Trump’s hands and hurting the party’s cause, and some have suggested Mr. Biden is prepared to make that case if he faces personal attacks, though several of his more prominent opponents have so far been careful to avoid criticizing Mr. Biden’s family.

Still, the national focus on Mr. Biden’s family has become a political vulnerability, some Democrats say, moving him off his campaign message and forcing him to play defense as he faces questions about conflicts of interest.

“It becomes a distraction, and that’s what hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016,” said Bret Nilles, the Democratic Party chairman in Linn County, Iowa, alluding to the scrutiny of Mrs. Clinton’s email practices while she was secretary of state.

The Biden campaign’s strategy has been to push back firmly on Mr. Trump’s claims, and to argue that the president is attacking Mr. Biden because he is concerned about running against him in a general election.

“They can also say, for Democrats who are nervous about it, ‘Hunter’s taken a step to say he won’t be on these boards if the vice president is elected president,’ and they could say, ‘We’ve addressed it and it’s time to move on,’” said Jennifer Palmieri, who was Mrs. Clinton’s communications director in the 2016 presidential campaign. “There are these campaign rituals you have to go through when your campaign does hit a perilous patch like this in order to signal to the press you’re handling it right, and to reassure supporters.”

At the union gathering here on Sunday, Mr. Biden began his remarks by praising Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., for a morning television appearance where he defended “me and my family against these outrageous, lying ads” from Mr. Trump.

“That’s a good man,” he said of Mr. Buttigieg, to applause.

His campaign didn’t respond to several follow-up questions about the younger Mr. Biden’s decision, including about why Hunter Biden didn’t recuse himself earlier.

The last few weeks have been a challenging time for Mr. Biden, aides and allies have said. The Biden family, which is close-knit, has endured painful losses over the years, including the death in 2015 of Mr. Biden’s elder son Beau Biden; Hunter Biden is the former vice president’s only surviving son.

“Before he decided to run, we sat down and had a conversation about how hard it was going to be because we know Donald Trump, we saw what he did in 2016,” said Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close Biden ally. “It’s different when it starts and it’s different when it picks up steam and it’s different when it’s, you know, a direct attack on you and your family.”

But, he said, Mr. Biden is “not going to be surprised” by any attacks on the debate stage on Tuesday, even highly personal ones.

Many Democrats think the Trump children, for their part, warrant tough scrutiny, given their own business dealings overseas.

In the weeks since news broke that Mr. Trump urged the Ukrainians to look into the Bidens, Mr. Biden has held only a handful of public events, spending significant time at fund-raisers as the third quarter of the year drew to a close. He finished the quarter having raised about $10 million less than his two top rivals, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Mr. Biden has also toggled between responding sharply to Mr. Trump and working to pivot back to policy, though he has ramped up his criticisms of Mr. Trump forcefully in recent weeks, and is expected to make the president a major focus of his debate appearance on Tuesday, a Biden adviser said.

Jonathan Martin contributed reporting.

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California high school football player tackles teammate after interception for going the wrong way

A California high school football team spun a unique moment in sports on Friday night oddly similar to Jim Marshall’s iconic gaff as a member of the Minnesota Vikings more than five decades later.

In the third quarter, Antonio Bush, one of the defenders for Fairfield High School picked off an interception from quarterback Jackson Troutt of Rodriguez High School, running it back nearly 60 yards in the wrong direction before one of his own teammates tackled him just before he reached the endzone, preventing a safety.

Fairfield High School defenders were seen pointing in horror as he ran the ball the wrong way.

ILLINOIS FOOTBALL TEAM MAKES BOY, 7, WITH CEREBRAL PALSY HONORARY CAPTAIN FOR A DAY

Luckily for Fairfield High School, defensive back Kha’ron Thrower raced down and tackled Bush before he could score two points for the opposing team. Thrower posted the interception and tackle on Twitter, which he deemed a Sportscenter “not top 10 and top 10” play.

He added on Twitter that it was the first interception for Bush, who had only played in three games going into the contest on Friday.

“That was lil bro [Bush’s] first interception noted that he’s only played 2.5 games do [due] to injury going into that game and that was his first game back off another injury, so I don’t really blame him and that had nothing to do with us losing, lil bro [is] fine and he’ll bounce back,” Thrower said.

THREE DEATHS LINKED TO CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES AS DROPPING WINDS HELP FIREFIGHTERS

Thrower said he talked to Bush after the game who thanked him for his efforts.

“After the game in the locker room he said thank you and I said I got my younging forever,” Thrower wrote on Twitter.

Fairfield would eventually lose the game 14-7 despite the noteworthy tackle by Thrower, bringing their record to 0-7 for the season.

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“We’ve been through a lot of games where we’ve been right on point and we’ve been close, even in games been blown out,” Falcons coach Matsu Matsukado told the Daily Republic after the game. “It seems like we shoot ourselves in the foot or have mental lapses. I know most of these guys are tired because they’re going both ways, but there’s no excuse. We’re not executing as well as we should be.”

Westlake Legal Group Jim-Marshall-wrong-way California high school football player tackles teammate after interception for going the wrong way fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/sports fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 7d33beae-c02f-5f57-97ce-7dae51a957c0

Jim Marshall (70), Minnesota Vikings defensive end, scoops up a fumble by the San Francisco 49ers and starts a 60-yard wrong way run into his own end zone during the fourth quarter in San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 26, 1964. The wrong way run gave the 49ers a two point safety. The Vikings, however, defeated the 49ers, 27-22. (AP Photo/San Francisco Examiner)

In Marshall’s case 55 years earlier, the NFL player recovered a fumble and raced it 66 yards in the wrong direction, giving a safety to the opposing San Francisco 49ers.

Westlake Legal Group Football-1 California high school football player tackles teammate after interception for going the wrong way fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/sports fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 7d33beae-c02f-5f57-97ce-7dae51a957c0   Westlake Legal Group Football-1 California high school football player tackles teammate after interception for going the wrong way fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/sports fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro article 7d33beae-c02f-5f57-97ce-7dae51a957c0

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Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook

A Texas man was arrested Friday on charges that he sent more than a dozen threatening messages to San Antonio’s mayor over two days, leading the mayor’s staff to believe the man could be “the next mass shooter,” according to a warrant affidavit.

Adam Thomas Converse, 25, is facing charges of making a terroristic threat to a public servant and resisting arrest, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e

Police say Adam Thomas Converse resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him earlier this month. (Bexar County Central Records)

According to a warrant affidavit cited by the paper, Converse sent at least 14 threatening messages to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg through Facebook Messenger on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.

“It would be nicer to leave you all dead with no hope of life after death … I want to see people dead,” one of the messages reportedly said.

“People will lose hands, arms, feet, and heads. Don’t even try me,” read another, according to the affidavit.

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Nirenberg’s communications director reported the messages to police, saying that “his office feared (Converse) could be the next mass shooter based on his comments.”

Officers from San Antonio’s Mental Health Unit went to Converse’s residence on Oct. 5 and saw him walk out with a machete on his belt loop, the Express-News reported.

The affidavit said Converse told officers “he was a contract assassin with the government and if he had a license to kill, he would kill people.”

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Police said Converse resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him. He was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation and later arrested.

Nirenberg’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e   Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e

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The Should-Be Solution to the Student-Debt Problem

Westlake Legal Group 11MoneyArt-facebookJumbo The Should-Be Solution to the Student-Debt Problem Student Loans Personal Finances Education Department (US) Credit and Debt Colleges and Universities

With more than 7.5 million student loan borrowers in default and nearly 2 million others seriously behind on their payments, there’s little question that the handful of federal programs designed to help struggling borrowers pay what they can afford aren’t working for everyone.

The idea is simple: Borrowers make payments based on how much money they earn. But these so-called income-driven repayment plans are mind-numbingly complicated. There are four different versions to sort through, all with slightly different rules. They can be tricky to get into and easy to fall out of, yet they’re becoming increasingly essential.

Enrollment in income-driven plans has grown to eight million, a more than fourfold increase from 2013, making it a crucial coping mechanism for a broad population of borrowers. But many of them carry higher balances, suggesting they pursued advanced degrees — an indication that the most at-risk borrowers, who often carry less debt, are not finding their way in.

“There was a narrative that this was going to, if not solve, significantly reduce, the problem around defaults on student loans,” said Mark Huelsman, associate director of policy and research at Demos, a public policy organization. “But we haven’t seen that happen.”

Haley Garberg, a newly married 33-year-old physical education teacher, has been in various repayment plans for nearly a decade. Her first job after graduating in 2008 paid $22,000 annually — a salary that didn’t come close to covering her living expenses and a $700 monthly loan payment. With her parents’ help, she made those payments for a couple of years. But she eventually called her loan servicer and managed to get into a plan that saved her nearly $200 a month — enough wiggle room to afford internet service.

Still, Ms. Garberg was living close to the edge. She moved back with her parents in 2013 to build up her savings as she also dealt with a rare breathing condition that required three surgeries over the following year. A $3,000 insurance deductible meant she had to take out a personal loan to pay her share of the bills, and when she couldn’t afford her inhalers, at roughly $300 to $400 a month, she would do without them. She switched plans again in 2014, and pursued a master’s degree in hopes of boosting her earning power.

“Income-driven repayment doesn’t care that you have 18 bills to pay,” she said.

First instituted 25 years ago, income-dependent repayment was expanded during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. It also grew more complicated. Borrowers must sort through an alphabet soup of income-driven repayment plans: I.C.R., I.B.R. (which comes in two flavors, new and classic), PAYE and REPAYE.

Monthly payments are often calculated as 10 to 15 percent of discretionary income, but one plan costs 20 percent. Discretionary income is defined as the amount earned above 150 percent of the poverty level, which is adjusted for household size. For a single person, the federal poverty level is typically $12,490, so single borrowers generally pay 10 percent of what they earn above $18,735. (After 20 years — sometimes 25 — any remaining debt is forgiven. So far, about 20 borrowers have remained enrolled long enough for that to happen, according to the Education Department.)

But the payment calculation is the same for all borrowers, and doesn’t account for local variations in cost of living. And, as Ms. Garberg discovered, it also doesn’t consider borrowers’ other costs.

“The assumption that nobody should be defaulting because we have I.D.R. is making the false conclusion that I.D.R. is affordable,” said Colleen Campbell, director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research and policy group. Some borrowers with low incomes and low balances often don’t receive any relief because of a quirk in the formula, she said.

Once borrowers are in a program, it can be necessary they stay there: Interest still accrues on many of the loans, meaning those who make zero or low payments for many years can fall deeper in debt. To exit the program could mean jumping up to a higher payment than they had faced before enrolling.

There’s also the psychological toll of watching your debt increase — all while you’re trying to pay it down — that often goes unacknowledged.

“The name of the game is to get out of it as soon as possible,” said Natalia Abrams, executive director of the Student Debt Crisis, an advocacy group. “It’s pretty insidious.”

And experts believe the programs are not reaching the most vulnerable borrowers who could benefit the most.

Those in default don’t look like your stereotypical college student, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. Defaulters tended to be older, nearly half never finished college and their median cumulative student debt held was rather low, at $9,625.

Those enrolled in income-driven plans, however, have much higher balances: an average of $58,000 to $68,000, depending on repayment plan and loan portfolio, according to an estimate from Demos, the public policy organization. That suggests many enrollees may have finished four years of college and worked toward advanced degrees.

Many of the most vulnerable borrowers are probably unaware the income-driven plans programs exist, academics and other experts said, while others may have gotten bad advice.

An audit released by the Education Department in February found that the private companies it hires to service student loans failed to inform borrowers of their repayment options — and may have directed them to less attractive alternatives like forbearance, which allows borrowers to temporarily suspend payments. Another government report delivered similar findings last year, and five attorneys general have sued one of the largest loan servicers for, among other things, failing to guide borrowers into income-driven plans.

Even the repayment calculator provided by the Department of Education has been criticized by student borrower advocates who say it could scare away those who don’t read the fine print. It assumes the borrower’s income will grow 5 percent annually — roughly double the recent historical average — which can make the total cost of repayment look unrealistically high.

Borrower advocates have pushed for changes that would give borrowers more discretionary income and restrain the growth of unpaid interest. They have also suggested automatically enrolling severely delinquent borrowers in income-based plans and streamlining the process to recertify every year, so that borrowers don’t accidentally fall out.

There is broad agreement on making recertification simpler, because those who fall out face higher payments. In 2017, the government proposed easing the process by giving the Education Department permission to access borrowers’ tax information from the Treasury Department, which would save borrowers the hassle of resubmitting their income and other information every year.

There have also been government efforts to make the entire loan repayment process easier, which includes applying to these relief programs. The Education Department has long sought to create a one-stop portal for borrowers, but the loan-servicing industry has resisted.

There have been a variety of proposals to streamline the plans, including in the Trump Administration’s most recent budget, which called for a single income-driven repayment program that could make forgiveness easier to reach for some borrowers while potentially costing others more. So far, no specific proposal for a single program has gained widespread bipartisan traction.

Student debt has been a hot topic on the campaign trail, with Democratic presidential candidates offering various proposals. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senator Kamala Harris of California, for example, have all proposed varying levels of debt forgiveness. And last week, Joe Biden suggested reworking income-based repayment, including by eliminating payments and the accrual of interest for those making under $25,000.

For now, the hodgepodge of income-driven repayment plans remains a cumbersome but necessary tool for all types of borrowers — and far from a solution to the problem of widespread educational debt.

Ms. Garberg recently learned through a company called Summer — which helps students navigate the repayment maze — that she was eligible for lower payments through a different plan, called Revised Pay As You Earn, or REPAYE. That cut her payments to about $240 a month; so far she has paid down about half her debt.

But her recent marriage has added another variable to the loan calculus: her husband. She is nervous about how her payments will change once his income is factored in. And, for now, it might delay another plan.

“I feel like I can’t have kids until my loans are paid off,” Ms. Garberg said. “How do you pay for day care?”

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California bills seeks to ban ‘lunch shaming,’ will guarantee state-funded meals for students

A new California bill hopes that “lunch shaming” will be a thing of the past as it guarantees that students in schools will receive state-funded lunches, even if their parents have failed to pay meal fees.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the new piece of legislation, which bans the process in which institutions deny students a meal of their choice due to unpaid fees.

The law amends the 2017 Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act by requiring schools to invalidate policies that ask officials to give alternative meals to students who have unpaid fees, according to Newsom.

CANDY CORN ORIGINALLY HAD A MUCH SILLIER, MUCH DIFFERENT NAME 

He said students who are given these cheaper “alternative” lunches cause them to stick out from their peers.

Westlake Legal Group school-lunch California bills seeks to ban 'lunch shaming,' will guarantee state-funded meals for students fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro bdfe310e-120a-564f-9f7c-9cb40ad51ef4 article

Middle school students getting lunch items in the cafeteria line.

Newsom said he was inspired by the story of Ryan Kyote, a 9-year-old boy from West Park Elementary who drew attention to how kids at his school were singled out because they didn’t have enough money in their food accounts.

Kyote used his allowance, which totaled $74.80, to pay off his third-grade class’s lunch debt, according to ABC 7.

“‘Creating a California for All’ means ensuring schools are inclusive, accepting, and welcoming of all kids. These bills help move us closer to that goal,” Newsom said in a statement.

Newsom met with Kyoto in August, a meeting the governor declared was an “honor.”

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“This amazing young man saved his allowance and used it to pay his classmates’ lunch debt. For Ryan, it was just wrong that some kids couldn’t afford to eat lunch. He’s right about that,” Newsom said at the time.

Steps to limit the so-called “lunch shaming” have taken root in recent years even before SB 265 was introduced by Newsom.

Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted back in June after hearing of Kyote’s story that he would provide  “year-round universal school meals” if elected president of the United States.

CALIFORNIA BAN ON FUR PRODUCTS IS FIRST IN US

In June, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) introduced The No Shame at School Act, which bans identifying students who can’t pay for their school lunch.

“Across this country, students whose families are struggling to afford school meals are being singled out and humiliated at lunchtime,” Omar said at the time, according to the Hill. “These students are subjected to various shaming practices at schools. Some students have been literally branded with stamps.”

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Napa Valley Unified School District told ABC 7 that students with a negative lunch account still get a hot meal, with prices ranging from $.30 to $3.25.

Westlake Legal Group school-lunch California bills seeks to ban 'lunch shaming,' will guarantee state-funded meals for students fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro bdfe310e-120a-564f-9f7c-9cb40ad51ef4 article   Westlake Legal Group school-lunch California bills seeks to ban 'lunch shaming,' will guarantee state-funded meals for students fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/food-drink fnc David Aaro bdfe310e-120a-564f-9f7c-9cb40ad51ef4 article

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