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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 40)

The Syria-Turkey cease-fire, quid pro quo talk and death of Elijah Cummings: Catch up on a busy Thursday in politics

WASHINGTON – With the passing of a congressional giant, a cease-fire between Turkey and Syria, and new quid quo pro talk from the White House, the nation’s capital was buzzing with news that will have a lasting impact on American politics.

But the rapid-fire of news that came today, including the latest resignation of a Trump cabinet member, could have proven too much to keep track of. 

With that in mind, here’s a round-up of six of the biggest stories from today:

A congressional legend passed away 

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday at age 68 from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges.” 

He was the son of sharecroppers who went on to become a lawyer, judge, and congressman. He had served on Capitol Hill since 1996 and was a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Cummings was outspoken on civil rights and voter access, a passionate promoter of Democratic policies and a fierce critic of the Trump administration. But, Cummings was also noted for his fair and respectful treatment of his Republican counterparts.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that, “In the House, Elijah was our North Star. He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose.” 

Cummings was currently serving as the Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and played a central figure in the House’s ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Cummings in photos:Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings dies at 68

He and the President had a tiff over the summer after the congressman criticized the administration’s handling of migrant detention centers, and his committee authorized subpoenas for senior White House officials’ electronic communications. The president called Cummings a “brutal bully” and said Baltimore, which Cummings represented, was a “rodent-infested mess.”

More:How Elijah Cummings’ unexpected death could affect the impeachment inquiry

More:‘Enough is enough’: The moments that defined the career of Rep. Elijah Cummings

White House touts cease-fire between Turkey and Syria 

Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that Turkey agreed to halt its military assault in Syria for five days in a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that will allow Kurdish forces to withdraw. 

“It will be a pause in military operations for 120 hours,” Pence told reporters at a news conference after a four-hour meeting with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the country.

U.S. troops continue to withdraw from Syria after Trump’s announcement. Some lawmakers and foreign policy experts say the cease-fire announcement has caused confusion in Syria and seems unlikely to hold.

Turkey’s invasion of Syria began shortly after Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region, causing havoc within the country and putting the Kurds, a US ally, in danger. 

Trump touted the deal via tweet just minutes after Pence’s announcement, suggesting that his imposition of sanctions pushed Erdogan to reverse course. 

“This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some ‘tough’ love in order to get it done,” Trump declared online. 

More:Lindsey Graham to President Trump: `I will hold you accountable’ on Turkey’s actions in Syria

More:‘Don’t be a tough guy:’ Donald Trump pens letter to Turkish President Erdogan after Syria phone call

Rick Perry resigns amid Ukraine scrutiny

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has become a focal point of the House impeachment inquiry because of his dealings with Ukraine, resigned Thursday evening. 

Trump said he said he would make the announcement shortly of who the replacement will be. 

“We already have his replacement. Rick has done a fantastic job. But it was time,” Trump told reporters, adding that Perry will stay on until the end of the year. 

Perry is one of Trump’s longest-serving Cabinet secretaries and was a member of Trump’s original cabinet. 

He was subpoenaed last week in the inquiry and is facing a Friday deadline to comply with the congressional subpoenas. House Democrats had demanded he turn over documents related to Trump’s call with Zelensky.

Sondland breaks with Trump in testimony

During testimony before the House impeachment panel investigating President Donald Trump on Thursday, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told lawmakers he was disappointed that he had to consult with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine policy. 

“It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the president’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani,” Sondland said. “Our view was that the men and women of the State Department, not the president’s personal lawyer, should take responsibility for all aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine.”

Pelosi declared a formal impeachment inquiry Sept. 24 after reports about a July phone call where Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Sondland’s deposition under subpoena comes more than a week after the State Department blocked his voluntary appearance before the panels. Trump tweeted that he didn’t want Sondland to go before a “kangaroo court.” 

“I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the President’s 2020 reelection campaign,” his remarks state.

More:House Republicans complain about limited access to closed-door House impeachment investigation sessions

More:Part attorney, part investigator. How Rudy Giuliani’s many roles for Trump could play out in impeachment inquiry

Mulvaney alludes to quid pro quo

The acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged Thursday that financial aid to Ukraine at the center of the House impeachment inquiry was withheld because of the president’s desire for the country to engage in U.S. politics.

During a rare White House press briefing, Mulvaney told reporters, “Did he also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely.”

“That’s it,” Mulvaney said. “That’s why we held up the money,” acknowledging that the White House did, in fact, freeze nearly $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine over Trump’s desire to push Ukraine to investigate “corruption” related to a conspiracy theory involving the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server.

These comments undercut GOP lawmakers and Trump’s assertion that aid was not withheld in exchange for Ukraine’s help in looking into political foes.

“I have news for everybody: get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney stated. 

Mulvaney denied that withholding the aid was linked to the Bidens, though Trump explicitly asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate them during the July 25 phone call.

Leaving a closed hearing, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Mulvaney’s acknowledgment of a quid pro quo “certainly indicates that things have gone from very very bad to much much worse.”

Mulvaney released a statement later Thursday trying to clarify the comments.

More:Trump’s conspiracy theories thrive in Ukraine, where a young democracy battles corruption and distrust

2020 G-7 to be held at Trump resort

The White House announced Thursday that Trump will host world leaders at a G-7 economic summit in 2020 at his Doral golf resort in Miami. 

Democrats and other critics of Trump denounced the decision as nothing more than self-dealing, involving the nation’s foreign policy.

House Democrats said that they will try to make Doral an issue as part of a congressional debate on government spending. The House Appropriations Committee said two provisions in a spending bill would “prevent the President from spending federal funds at Trump properties.”

Hosting the G-7 summit at Doral violates the Constitutional prohibition of emoluments, critics have said, calling it “perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to pay President Trump’s private businesses in order to conduct business with the United States.”

More:Behind-the-scenes discord rattles G-7 summit despite Donald Trump’s claim that all is well

Contributing: William Cummings, David Jackson, John Fritze, Bart Jansen, Deirdre Shesgreen, Courtney Subramanian, Nicholas Wu, and Kim Hjelmgaard.

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Greg Gutfeld and Juan Williams spar over Pelosi walkout: ‘Who is erratic here?’

Westlake Legal Group Juan-Williams-Greg-Gutfeld-THUMB Greg Gutfeld and Juan Williams spar over Pelosi walkout: 'Who is erratic here?' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b8cceaaa-d03c-5bf0-a17e-6c1e2e3b2dc5 article

Juan Williams and Greg Gutfeld engaged in friendly banter on “The Five” Thursday over who “melted down” at a meeting between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the day before.

“So, you say you care about the Kurds. You don’t want the Kurds to die. But you walk out of a meeting because Donald Trump was rude to you,” Gutfeld said, criticizing Pelosi.

KEVIN MCCARTHY: TOP DEMOCRATS WHO WALKED OUT OF WHITE HOUSE MEETING JUST ‘INFATUATED’ WITH IMPEACHMENT

Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced at a news conference outside the White House on Wednesday that they had just walked out of a meeting with President Trump on Syria policy after the president called Pelosi either a “third-rate politician” or “third-grade politician” and told her: “I hate ISIS more than you do.”

“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say,” Pelosi remarked. The White House disputed reports from the meeting.

Gutfeld said Pelosi must not have cared about the Kurds if she was willing to walk out of the meeting.

“It was basically just another strategically political attempt to mess with Trump because why would you leave a meeting if you really cared?” Gutfeld said.

Williams responded by advising Trump not to underestimate Pelosi.

“I think it’s a mistake and it’s a proven mistake to think that Nancy Pelosi is any third rate politician,” Williams said, calling her a  “historic figure.”

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Gutfeld pushed back asking again why she would walk out of the meeting over “name-calling.”

“She’s trying to get something done,” Williams responded. “Who is erratic here? Greg, who’s melting down?”

Westlake Legal Group Juan-Williams-Greg-Gutfeld-THUMB Greg Gutfeld and Juan Williams spar over Pelosi walkout: 'Who is erratic here?' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b8cceaaa-d03c-5bf0-a17e-6c1e2e3b2dc5 article   Westlake Legal Group Juan-Williams-Greg-Gutfeld-THUMB Greg Gutfeld and Juan Williams spar over Pelosi walkout: 'Who is erratic here?' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc b8cceaaa-d03c-5bf0-a17e-6c1e2e3b2dc5 article

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US, Turkey reach Syria cease-fire agreement: Read it here

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095670138001_6095669952001-vs US, Turkey reach Syria cease-fire agreement: Read it here fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7b81d6fa-a562-5e35-b5d1-034688941d13

The U.S. and Turkey reached an agreement Thursday for a cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Below is a joint U.S.-Turkish statement on the deal:

1. The US and Turkey reaffirm their relationship as fellow members of NATO. The US understands Turkey’s legitimate security concerns on Turkey’s southern border.

2. Turkey and the US agree that the conditions on the ground, northeast Syria in particular, necessitate closer coordination on the basis of common interests.

3. Turkey and the US remain committed to protecting NATO territories and NATO populations against all threats with the solid understanding of “one for all and all for one”.

4. The two countries reiterate their pledge to uphold human life, human rights, and the protection of religious and ethnic communities. 

5. Turkey and the US are committed to D-ISIS/DAESH activities in northeast Syria. This will include coordination on detention facilities and internally displaced persons from formerly ISIS/DAESH-controlled areas, as appropriate.

6. Turkey and the US agree that counter-terrorism operations must target only terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, vehicles and equipment.

7. The Turkish side expressed its commitment to ensure safety and well-being of residents of all population centers in the safe zone controlled by the Turkish Forces (safe zone) and reiterated that maximum care will be exercised in order not to cause harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure.

8. Both countries reiterate their commitment to the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and UN-led political process, which aims at ending the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254.

9. The two sides agreed on the continued importance and functionality of a safe zone in order to address the national security concerns of Turkey, to include the re-collection of YPG heavy weapons and the disablement of their fortifications and all other fighting positions.

10. The safe zone will be primarily enforced by the Turkish Armed Forces and the two sides will increase their cooperation in all dimensions of its implementation.

11. The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. Operation Peace Spring will be halted upon completion of this withdrawal.

12. Once Operation Peace Spring is paused, the US agrees not to pursue further imposition of sanctions under the Executive Order of October 14, 2019, Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria, and will work and consult with Congress, as appropriate, to underline the progress being undertaken to achieve peace and security in Syria, in accordance with UNSCR 2254. Once Operation Peace Spring is halted as per paragraph 11 the current sanctions under the aforementioned Executive Order shall be lifted.

13. Both parties are committed to work together to implement all the goals outlined in this Statement.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095670138001_6095669952001-vs US, Turkey reach Syria cease-fire agreement: Read it here fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7b81d6fa-a562-5e35-b5d1-034688941d13   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095670138001_6095669952001-vs US, Turkey reach Syria cease-fire agreement: Read it here fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7b81d6fa-a562-5e35-b5d1-034688941d13

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch will pull team off field if Yankee fans throw stuff again

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Astros manager A.J. Hinch will pull team off field if Yankee fans throw stuff again

SportsPulse: The Nationals are going to their first ever World Series and in the process had one of most historic turnarounds we’ve ever seen in baseball. USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Astros manager A.J. Hinch said it was an ugly scene at Yankee Stadium for Houston outfielders and the bullpen and he would pull his team if fans started throwing objects on the field again. 

“I will pull the team off the field if we get in that situation again,” Hinch said before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.

“It would be a very ugly scene for baseball, a very ugly seen for the Yankees, if one of our guys was hit by something from the upper deck. Something tragic could happen and nobody wants that.”

Astros right fielder Josh Reddick said fans threw water bottles and souvenir baseballs on the field during Game 3 and called the situation “scary.”

“It’s frustrating to see that as a player in the outfield,” said Reddick after Game 3. “We’re usually the ones throwing stuff at you.

“It’s definitely disrespectful, and at the same time, very unsafe.’’

The Yankees also host Game 5 on Friday before the series shifts to Houston, if necessary. 

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What the new Judy Garland biopic and ‘Sid & Judy’ documentary tell us about her life

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close What the new Judy Garland biopic and 'Sid & Judy' documentary tell us about her life

Renee Zellweger stars in the final chapter of troubled Judy Garland’s life in “Judy” USA TODAY

Fifty years after the death of Judy Garland, the star is being reborn via two new films. 

In the biopic “Judy” (in theaters now), Renee Zellweger portrays the fading singer in the dwindling days of her career, performing her final London shows before dying from a barbiturate overdose at age 47.

And in the Showtime documentary “Sid & Judy” (Friday, 8:05 PM ET/PT), rare recordings of Garland’s voice, along with passages from her third husband Sidney Luft’s memoir (narrated by Jon Hamm and Jennifer Jason Leigh), are used to paint a picture of the successes and struggles that followed her from child stardom into adulthood.

Both films answer burning questions about the girl, born Frances Ethel Gumm, who would become the iconic musical star of “The Wizard of Oz” and “A Star Is Born.”

Review: ‘Judy’ only sings with Renee Zellweger’s remarkable Judy Garland

‘I am at a really cool age’: Renee Zellweger opens up about being 50, playing Judy Garland

How much of a stage mom was Judy Garland’s mother?

In “Sid & Judy,” Garland says this in an interview about her mother: “She was truly a stage mother, a mean one (who would say), ‘You get out and sing or I’ll wrap you around the bedpost and break you off short.’ ”

She continued: “(My parents) would argue and fight, and my mother would always use me as a pawn.” By the time Garland’s mother, Ethel, died in 1953, “their relationship had deteriorated so badly,” according to Luft. Less than two months earlier, Garland had prevented her mother from meeting newborn daughter Lorna. 

What was Judy’s real history with prescription meds?

In “Judy,” Darci Shaw plays a young Garland who takes appetite-suppressing “pep pills,” and Zellweger shows an adult Garland who swallows pills to help her sleep.

The star’s real addiction was so serious that as a teenager she was amped on benzedrine to fight exhaustion as she shot musical numbers for Busby Berkeley productions. According to Luft in the documentary, even as an adult, Garland had Tuinal capsules sewn into the lining of robes in an effort to hide her habit. Her drug use led to numerous sick days and at least one near-fatal hospital visit. 

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How did her London shows really go?

In “Judy,” Zellweger plays a Garland who skips rehearsals and stumbles through a final run of Talk of the Town performances in the months leading up to her death. In real life, Garland’s shows did deteriorate over the five-week gig, with her arriving terribly late and getting booed by audiences. The shows were a far cry from Garland’s 1960 London Palladium performance that got raves and was followed in 1961 by a Grammy-winning stint at Carnegie Hall.

What happened to Judy’s husbands and children?

Though only two of Garland’s husbands, Luft and Mickey Deans, get major airtime in “Judy” and “Sid & Judy,” she married five times.

Her first husband, Emmy-winning composer David Rose (married 1941-44), who was 12 years Garland’s senior, remarried and died in 1990. Her “Meet Me in St. Louis” director Vincente Minnelli (1945-51), who fathered Liza Minnelli, remarried three more times and died in 1986. Producer Luft (1952-65 and stoically played by Rufus Sewell in “Judy”), who wrote about his relationship with Garland, fathered Lorna and Joey Luft; he married twice more and died in 2005. Actor Mark Herron (1965-69), who had a lengthy relationship with fellow actor Henry Brandon, died in 1996. 

She married her last husband, club promoter Deans (played by a flirty Finn Wittrock in “Judy”), who was 12 years her junior, in 1969. They were married just three months before her death; he died in 2003. 

Garland’s kids didn’t shy away from show business: Liza Minnelli, 73, has won an Oscar, Emmy and numerous Tony Awards; Lorna Luft, 66, is a singer and actress; and Joey Luft, 64, has also done some performing.

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close What the new Judy Garland biopic and 'Sid & Judy' documentary tell us about her life

At the Los Angeles premiere of the remake of “A Star Is Born,” Judy Garland’s daughter – actress Lorna Luft – says her mother would have enjoyed the new incarnation of the film. (Sept. 25) AP

Why did the LGBTQ community embrace Garland?

In “Judy,” Garland visits the home of two male fans, and sympathizes with them and their fight for gay rights. That scene was contrived for the movie, but in reality, Garland did become an LGBTQ icon.

In “Sid & Judy,” real fans – mostly men and women in Dorothy attire – explain their love for Garland at a screening of “The Wizard of Oz”: “She’s timeless.” “She’s the epitome of hope.” “She had a lot of struggles, but she overcame a lot of them.” “She’s an amazing believer in people.” And “she did love the gays. Married a few gays, right?”

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close What the new Judy Garland biopic and 'Sid & Judy' documentary tell us about her life

“Judy,” star Renee Zellweger says she didn’t think of winning an Oscar while prepping for the part and is happy that the film celebrates Judy Garland’s life. (Oct. 1) AP Entertainment

What did Garland say about the tribulations of fame?

In Garland’s words, per “Sid & Judy,” being a living legend is “lonesome.” 

In an interview with Jack Paar, she says that it’s “like a Statue of Liberty, or something like that, who doesn’t breathe. And so no one calls you on the phone and asks you to dinner. So I just sit by the phone.”

Later, she says, “I’ve sung, I’ve entertained, I’ve pleased your children, I’ve pleased your wives. … I tried my damnedest to believe in that rainbow that I tried to get over and I couldn’t. So what!”

Where is she buried?

Judy Garland’s remains were transferred from Westchester County, New York, to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2017. As shown in “Sid & Judy,” the star’s arrival was celebrated with a “Wizard of Oz” screening at the cemetery on what would’ve been the star’s 95th birthday.

Her final resting place is in the mausoleum, renamed the Judy Garland Pavilion, which has room for family members. Noelle Berman, a Hollywood Forever spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that the move was made after Garland’s fifth husband Deans, who controlled her affairs, died. Garland’s three children live nearby in Southern California. 

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US Marine critically wounded after jumping on grenade has message for Americans: ‘You are worth it’

Retired Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter reflected on his time serving in Afghanistan and discussed how he turned his injury into opportunity in his new memoir, “You Are Worth It.”

Highlighting his book on Fox Nation’s “After the Show Show,” Carpenter shared his motivation behind his work, nine years after his life changed forever.

“Many of the lessons and perspectives that I’ve discussed came because I was forced to search for those silver linings during those long dark and painful nights in the hospital.”

— Kyle Carpenter on Fox Nation

“I wrote this book to transcend all boundaries,” Carpenter said. “I didn’t want only veterans or service members, or people that had been to combat, to only be able to take something from it. I wanted anyone to pick it up and not only be able to understand it, but to take lessons from it.”

“Many of the lessons and perspectives that I’ve discussed came because I was forced to search for those silver linings during those long dark and painful nights in the hospital,” Carpenter continued.

“But now, I’m so thankful that I’ve had these amazing experiences from this bonus round that I’m living to tell people that it’s about perspective and how you look at things and that you can truly come back better and stronger than you were before… and come back smiling,” he added.

Carpenter, 29, is the youngest living recipient of the Medal of Honor and is the eighth living recipient to be honored for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

In the Fox Nation episode, Carpenter opened up about jumping on a grenade to save a fellow Marine’s life in Marjah, Afghanistan, what his act of bravery cost him, and how he found his way out of the darkness.

Westlake Legal Group obama2222 US Marine critically wounded after jumping on grenade has message for Americans: 'You are worth it' Yael Halon fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 9142ebb4-3dbd-537d-bf25-94d1257a8bf7

President Obama bestowing the Medal of Honor on retired Marine Cpl. William ‘Kyle’ Carpenter at the White House in 2014. (AP, File)

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“I jumped on the grenade that was thrown at myself and my friend,” Carpenter explained. “I don’t recommend it,” he joked.

Carpenter sustained critical injuries including multiple shrapnel wounds, along with the loss of his right eye and many of his teeth. He was flown to Walter Reed Military hospital where he underwent more than 40 surgeries, he explained — but he managed to find a silver lining throughout it all.

“With time, heeling, deep thought, [my experiences] became life lessons and many years later, turned into perspective.”

At one point in the segment, Carpenter got emotional as he described waking up five weeks after the blast, surrounded by his family who have been by his side since Day One.

Reflecting on the incident that changed his life in 2010, the retired officer said he had no regrets. When others thanked him for his service and sacrifice, Carpenter had a simple, albeit powerful response: “You Are Worth It.”

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To see the full episode and for more details on Carpenter’s inspiring story, including his strength and fortitude detailed in his new book, join Fox Nation and watch “After the Show Show” today.

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Westlake Legal Group obama2222 US Marine critically wounded after jumping on grenade has message for Americans: 'You are worth it' Yael Halon fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 9142ebb4-3dbd-537d-bf25-94d1257a8bf7   Westlake Legal Group obama2222 US Marine critically wounded after jumping on grenade has message for Americans: 'You are worth it' Yael Halon fox-news/world/conflicts/afghanistan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/marines fox-news/us/military/honors fox-news/us/military/heroism fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 9142ebb4-3dbd-537d-bf25-94d1257a8bf7

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Pelosi, Schumer say Trump ‘is flailing’ after cease-fire deal

Westlake Legal Group split Pelosi, Schumer say Trump 'is flailing' after cease-fire deal Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0b914111-ac8b-55f5-9916-c5a89c21049e

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif.,  aren’t buying the Turkish cease-fire announcement from Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pelosi and Schumer released a statement Thursday saying President Trump is “flailing” in light of his decision to reverse sanctions against Turkey in exchange for a “sham” cease-fire. They asserted this would undermine American credibility and send a “dangerous message” to both allies and adversaries that America’s word is not to be trusted.

Pence and Pompeo announced Thursday that they had negotiated a brief cease-fire with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose nation has stormed into northeast Syria following a decision by President Trump to withdraw U.S. troops from the region. Critics say the president has left Kurds in the region, who had worked with the U.S. to battle Islamic Sytate forces there, vulnerable to the Turkish incursion.

During the cease-fire period, Kurdish-led forces are to pull out of a roughly 20-mile safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border. Under the terms of the deal, Turkey’s military operation in Syria targeting Kurdish U.S. allies will dissipate should the Kurds comply with the evacuation.

“President Erdogan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything.  The Turks have stated that ‘this is not a cease-fire,’ and made clear that they ‘will pause the operation for 120 hours in order for the terrorists to leave’ – referring to the courageous Kurdish fighters who have suffered nearly 11,000 casualties in our fight to defeat ISIS,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote.

Turkey views the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years. Turkey launched an attack in northern Syria because it wants Kurdish soldiers out of the border safe zone. Turkey also wants to resettle Syrian refugees living in Turkey in the safe zone.

TURKEY-SYRIA CEASE-FIRE: SENIOR US MILITARY SOURCE ‘HIGHLY SKEPTICAL’ OF DEAL

“This agreement also does nothing to stop thousands of ISIS prisoners from escaping and shows the president’s complete lack of strategy to defeat ISIS. To say that Turkey and Syria will guard the prisoners is outrageous and puts our homeland security at risk,” the statement continued.

On Sunday the Kurds announced that hundreds of ISIS  supporters had escaped a camp as Turkish forces approached. The detainees apparently attacked the camp’s guards and fled, the Kurdish-led administration said. President Trump reportedly told Democrats in a meeting Wednesday that fewer than 100 ISIS prisoners had escaped as a result of the U.S. pullback and they were the “least dangerous” ones.

RUSSIAN MILITARY PATROLLING SYRIA-TURKEY BORDER AS US TROOPS OFFICIALLY WITHDRAW

“The only beneficiaries of the President’s policies are our adversaries: ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and Iran.  Today’s decision further makes the argument that President Trump doesn’t see Putin as the danger he is to our country,” Pelosi and Schumer continued. News broke Tuesday that Russian military units had deployed to patrol the Turkey-Syria border, sparking fears that Moscow is moving to fill a security vacuum left by the U.S. withdrawal.

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“Next week, the House will pass a strong, bipartisan sanctions package to work to reverse the humanitarian disaster that President Trump unleashed in Syria.  Our service members, our allies and our partners all suffering from the Syrian conflict deserve smart, strong and sane leadership from Washington,” the Dem lawmakers’ statement concluded. The sanctions package will follow a bipartisan 354-60 House vote Wednesday to condemn the president’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria and demand a clear strategy to defeat ISIS.

Westlake Legal Group split Pelosi, Schumer say Trump 'is flailing' after cease-fire deal Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0b914111-ac8b-55f5-9916-c5a89c21049e   Westlake Legal Group split Pelosi, Schumer say Trump 'is flailing' after cease-fire deal Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/mike-pence fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 0b914111-ac8b-55f5-9916-c5a89c21049e

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Rick Perry resigns as Donald Trump’s energy secretary amid Ukraine scrutiny

ALVARADO, Texas – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who has faced scrutiny over President Donald Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, has resigned.  

Perry reportedly informed the president on Thursday as the two flew together on Air Force One to Texas, where Trump is holding several events, including a political rally in Dallas. The president confirmed the news while traveling in the state. 

“We already have his replacement. Rick has done a fantastic job. But it was time,” Trump told reporters, adding that Perry will stay on until the end of the year. 

A member of Trump’s original Cabinet, Perry has come under scrutiny amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to help to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, one of his top political rivals. 

Perry was subpoenaed last week in the inquiry. House Democrats have demanded he turn over documents related to Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump pushed for an investigation of Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who once had business interests in Ukraine.

Perry had led the U.S. delegation to Zelensky’s inauguration in May.

House Democrats had also asked for information related to media reports about Perry’s changes to the management structure at a Ukrainian energy firm in a way that could have benefited officials working with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.  

Westlake Legal Group  Rick Perry resigns as Donald Trump's energy secretary amid Ukraine scrutiny

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‘He lied.’ Ohio voters struggle after Trump promised jobs

Westlake Legal Group cSAp4ADXGfHcUjt2qchbXuhd1iGTrIAZ0UfbuaVHDcQ 'He lied.' Ohio voters struggle after Trump promised jobs r/politics

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Gordon Sondland’s Testimony About The Trump-Ukraine Scandal Defies Belief

Westlake Legal Group 5da8cb5c2100007a1134a48f Gordon Sondland’s Testimony About The Trump-Ukraine Scandal Defies Belief

Ambassador Gordon Sondland told House impeachment investigators on Thursday that he didn’t know President Donald Trump’s interest in Ukraine had anything to do with 2020 rival Joe Biden. Sondland’s explanation is hard to believe.

In his opening statement, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union said he only recently learned that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani may have tried to get Ukrainian officials to probe the former vice president’s dealings in the country.

But it would have been almost impossible for someone working at the highest levels of diplomacy, who claimed Ukraine was an important part of his portfolio, to ignore the signs ― or the headlines.

Even before Trump’s now-infamous July 25 phone call in which he requested that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launch an investigation into Biden, there was a deluge of press coverage about his son Hunter Biden’s work at gas company Burisma Holdings, and Trump’s interest in it. If that weren’t enough, Giuliani and other Trump associates had spent months openly pushing conspiracy theories involving Biden and Ukraine.

In Sondland’s account of events, Trump held a meeting with him, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and then-special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker on May 23 in which it became clear that Giuliani would be the president’s point person on Ukraine.

“I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the President’s 2020 reelection campaign,” Sondland stated.

But it shouldn’t have been hard for Sondland to guess Trump and Giuliani’s interest in Ukraine: Giuliani openly told The New York Times on May 9 that he was traveling to Kyiv to push for an investigation into Biden and Burisma. Giuliani was then forced to cancel his trip amid a public backlash and allegations he was seeking to influence the 2020 election. He blamed the cancellation on “enemies of the president” he claimed were in the current Ukrainian administration.

Days before Giuliani canceled his trip, it was also front-page news in The New York Times that Trump and his associates were focused on the Bidens’ history in Ukraine as they looked at Joe Biden as a potential opponent in 2020. The May 2 report specifically highlighted Giuliani’s role in the effort, pointing out that he had met with both current and former top prosecutors in Ukraine to ask about the Burisma investigation.

“Mr. Giuliani has spearheaded the effort among conservatives to publicize and encourage the new investigation in Ukraine,” the Times reported.

Allegations that Biden had sought to quash an investigation into Burisma had been swirling around conservative media for months after John Solomon, an opinion columnist for The Hill, promoted a series of dubious and poorly fact-checked claims from a former Ukrainian prosecutor. His piece on Biden was shared over 37,000 times and prompted far-right outlets such as The Gateway Pundit to run with the story in multiple follow-up articles.

Solomon, now a contributor for Fox News, was also a frequent guest of Trump favorites on the network such as Sean Hannity. Trump even tweeted out, “John Solomon: As Russia Collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges,” following one of Hannity’s shows in March — the title of a column claiming a conspiracy between Democrats and Ukrainian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The scrutiny of the Bidens in Ukraine and Giuliani’s role in pushing for an investigation intensified in the months after The New York Times story, with The Washington PostThe New Yorker, The Washington Times, BuzzFeed and others all publishing substantial reports on the subject.

Beyond the media coverage, Trump’s most vocal supporters and advisers had made Biden and Ukraine a frequent talking point. Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh, senior adviser Katrina Pierson and rapid response director Andrew Clark all tweeted about the accusations against Biden, as did various other conservative figures and far-right activists.

Despite the wealth of information on Ukraine, the Bidens, and Guiliani’s rabid pursuit of conspiracy theories related to them, Sondland supposedly missed this entire part of the Trump administration’s efforts. He even told Congress that although Giuliani directly mentioned Burisma to him in August, the company’s name didn’t stand out as worth noticing.

His carefully worded statement also neglected to mention exactly when he finally did come to understand that Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine included pushing for an investigation. If you believe his account, it’s a wonder he ever learned about it at all.

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