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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 40)

Martha MacCallum presses former Schumer aide about Trump quid pro quo claim

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132201520272910000 Martha MacCallum presses former Schumer aide about Trump quid pro quo claim fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1269a9d5-cfd8-5316-b11e-42a6e8e550f2

A former aide to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., maintained that President Trump was trying to hold up defense aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into political rival Joe Biden. However, “The Story” host Martha MacCallum on Friday said the text of the transcript, as cited by guest Christopher Hahn, reflected nothing of the sort.

“The president was so convinced by that theory [that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election] that he withheld aid from Ukraine so they would chase down that theory,” Hahn, now a liberal radio host, claimed.

“I direct your attention to the bottom of page three and the top of page four of the transcript where the president of the United States was holding up aid for an investigation into Joe Biden — and Crowdstrike, which is a company based in California owned by a former Russian who is an American now, who the RNC [Republican National Committee] uses,” he added, referring to the phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

MELISSA FRANCIS PRESSES WH SPOKESMAN ON CLAIM SOME SENATE REPUBLICANS COULD SUPPORT IMPEACHMENT

However, MacCallum said the transcript reflects nothing that ties the U.S. aid to an investigation into Biden, the former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Hahn responded by citing a passage in the transcript that references “a favor.”

“I can’t believe we are about to go through this again,” MacCallum responded. “Right after that [passage] comes ‘you know we went through a lot in 2016.'”

Hahn said another purported problem for Trump is that he allegedly is “trusting Russian misinformation over his own National Security Council.”

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The former Democratic aide claimed the entire exchange portrays the president as “completely incompetent.”

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responded to Hahn’s remarks and claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would be the politician, if any, who would be friendly to Russia because she has not passed a federal budget that he said would provide further aid to Ukraine.

Hahn fired back that Lewandowski should instead prepare to potentially “testify in the Senate” — an apparent reference to a potential Trump impeachment trial in that chamber.

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132201520272910000 Martha MacCallum presses former Schumer aide about Trump quid pro quo claim fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1269a9d5-cfd8-5316-b11e-42a6e8e550f2   Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132201520272910000 Martha MacCallum presses former Schumer aide about Trump quid pro quo claim fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 1269a9d5-cfd8-5316-b11e-42a6e8e550f2

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Media piles on Nikki Haley after misinterpreted Confederate flag remarks go viral

Several members of the media slammed former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley over remarks she made during a recent interview about the Confederate flag.

In a clip that went viral, Haley recalled the dark chapter as the South Carolina governor in the aftermath of the 2015 Charleston church shooting and how the tragedy sparked numerous debates, including the Confederate flag, which she had removed from the state’s capitol building.

“South Carolina fell to our knees when this happened. This is one of the oldest African-American churches. These twelve people were amazing people. They loved their church. They loved their family. They loved their community,” Haley said. “And here is this guy who comes out with his manifesto holding the Confederate flag and just hijacked everything that people thought of.”

“We don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. There’s always the small minority that’s always going to be there. But people saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage. But once he did that, there was no way to overcome it,” she went on.

Haley also described how “the national media” attempted to “define what happened” by making the tragedy about things like racism, gun control and the death penalty, and how she had to push them away to allow her state to grieve.

“We had a really tough few weeks of debate, but we didn’t have riots. We had vigils,” Haley said. “We didn’t have protests. We had hugs. And the people of South Carolina stepped up and showed the world what it looks like to show grace and strength in the eyes of tragedy.”

WASHINGTON POST MOCKED FOR SUGGESTING MELANIA TRUMP COULD BE ‘SENDING CODING MESSAGES’

However, the tweet accompanying her remarks said, “Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about ‘service, and sacrifice, and heritage’ until Dylan Roof ‘hijacked’ it,” omitting how she said “people” in South Carolina felt that way about the Confederate flag, not herself.

Regardless, the tweet sparked heavy backlash to Haley from media critics.

“Remember that brief period of time when Nikki Haley was considered the adult in the Trump Administration? Welp, she just failed 8th grade social studies with this take,” CNN host W. Kamau Bell said.

“Nikki Haley going full MAGA and racist leading up to 2024,” New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali said. “Told ya. This is the only way for a candidate to be appreciated by the Republican Party now. No country for moderates, adults or Never Trumpers. Also the Confederate flag was for treasonous criminals who enslaved people.”

“Hey, Nikki Haley… Confederate flag is no better than a Swastika,” Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart wrote.

Even “The View” conservative co-host Meghan McCain initially attacked Haley.

“This is a deeply insensitive and ignorant thing to say Nikki. There is no room for any defense of the Confederate flag,” McCain wrote in the now-deleted tweet.

WHITE HOUSE ACCUSES NY TIMES  OF ‘BIAS,’ SLAMS IMPEACHMENT COVERAGE ON WEBSITE

Westlake Legal Group Meghan-McCain-Tweet Media piles on Nikki Haley after misinterpreted Confederate flag remarks go viral Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/nikki-haley fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a2a573f8-683a-5964-8f61-dc511f6a8d28

Others rushed to Haley’s defense as the clip continued to spread on social media, calling the tweet “misleading” and pointing out how she wasn’t speaking on behalf of herself.

Haley later responded to the controversy.

“2015 was a painful time for our state. The pain was and is still real. Below was my call for the removal of the Confederate flag & I stand by it. I continue to be proud of the people of SC and how we turned the hate of a killer into the love for each other,” Haley said.

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Among the outlets that ran with the story, Axios deleted a tweet with the misinterpreted quote and updated its report.

“We’ve deleted a tweet saying that Nikki Haley said the Confederate flag represents ‘service, sacrifice and heritage’. Our story has been updated to reflect that Haley said: ‘People saw [the flag] as service, and sacrifice and heritage,'” Axios said.

The Hill was also slammed for a similar tweet, which critics called “wrong” and “a lie.”

Westlake Legal Group Nikki-Haley Media piles on Nikki Haley after misinterpreted Confederate flag remarks go viral Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/nikki-haley fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a2a573f8-683a-5964-8f61-dc511f6a8d28   Westlake Legal Group Nikki-Haley Media piles on Nikki Haley after misinterpreted Confederate flag remarks go viral Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/nikki-haley fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a2a573f8-683a-5964-8f61-dc511f6a8d28

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‘Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White talks taking over hosting duties from Pat Sajak: I was ‘terrified’

Vanna White has stood by “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak‘s side for 30 years, but while he recovered from surgery, it was her turn to sit in the lead seat.

The 62-year-old television personality revealed that she was actually surprised when the game show‘s producers approached her about taking over as host.

“I was like, ‘What? No. You’re kidding, right?’ He goes, ‘No, I’m serious,'” she told Good Morning America. “And my first thought was, ‘There’s no way.’ I don’t pay attention to Pat.”

‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’ HOST PAT SAJAK RECOVERING FROM EMERGENCY SURGERY, VANNA WHITE TO FILL IN

“I’m busy with my letters and my puzzle board,” White joked. “I mean, I’m hearin’ him, but I don’t really pay that much attention.”

She added she was “terrified” but “did it.”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-874774562 'Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White talks taking over hosting duties from Pat Sajak: I was 'terrified' Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8fa7b3d9-2979-52f6-b7cb-0f7d9c29967e

TV personalities Vanna White and Pat Sajak attend The Wheel of Fortune: 35 Years as America’s Game hosted by The Paley Center For Media at The Paley Center for Media on November 15, 2017 in New York City.  (Jim Spellman/WireImage)

“[You] have to be aware of everything that’s going on, where before all I had to worry about was letters,” she explained. “Now I have to carry the whole show, I have to talk to all three players and make sure I get their scores right.”

White will be hosting for three weeks while Sajak recovers from his emergency surgery.

‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’ FANS WANT RULE CHANGE AFTER CONTESTANT LOSES BIG MONEY ON TINY TECHNICALITY

The 73-year-old beloved leader of “Wheel” left a taping in early November after suffering from intense stomach pain.

“Our taping on Thursday was canceled because host Pat Sajak underwent successful emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine,” the show’s Twitter account confirmed on Nov. 8.

“He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work,” the statement said.

White said the moment she learned about her friend’s health issues was “horrible.”

VANNA WHITE ON HOW ‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’ FANS AND HER FAITH HELPED HER GET THROUGH PAST TRAGEDIES

“We’ve been together 37 years, and it’s not the same — we are a team,” she said. “We’re together. It just felt weird with him not being here on the set. You think the worst because you never know when you’re going in for surgery. You never know what’s going to happen.”

White previously filled in for Sajak in 1996 when he suffered from laryngitis.

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“I just can’t imagine doing this show without him, you know?’ she said. “And I hope he feels the same with me.”

So, with White filling in for Sajak, who is taking over her duties of turning the letters?

That’s still not official, but the game show has partnered with Disney for a “Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway,” so expect a few familiar big-eared faces.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-874774562 'Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White talks taking over hosting duties from Pat Sajak: I was 'terrified' Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8fa7b3d9-2979-52f6-b7cb-0f7d9c29967e   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-874774562 'Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White talks taking over hosting duties from Pat Sajak: I was 'terrified' Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 8fa7b3d9-2979-52f6-b7cb-0f7d9c29967e

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Saudi Trainee Kills 3 in Shooting at Florida Naval Base

Westlake Legal Group 06pensacola-01-facebookJumbo Saudi Trainee Kills 3 in Shooting at Florida Naval Base United States Navy United States Defense and Military Forces PENSACOLA, Fla. Military Bases and Installations mass shootings

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A member of the Saudi Air Force armed with a handgun fatally shot three people and injured eight others on Friday morning during a bloody rampage in a classroom building at the prestigious Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., where he was training to become a pilot.

The authorities, led by the F.B.I., were investigating to determine the gunman’s motive and whether the shooting was an act of terrorism.

A United States military official identified the suspect, who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy during the attack, as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. He was one of hundreds of military trainees at the base, which is considered the home of naval aviation.

Six other Saudi nationals were detained for questioning near the scene of the shooting, including three who were seen filming the entire incident, according to a person briefed on the initial stages of the investigation.

The gunman was using a locally purchased Glock 45 9-millimeter handgun with an extended magazine and had four to six other magazines in his possession when he was taken down by a sheriff’s deputy, the person said.

The shooting, the second at a Navy base this week, sent service members scrambling to lock the doors of their barracks or flee the base altogether.

The attack by a foreign national inside an American military installation raised questions about the vetting process for international students who are cleared by the Department of Defense and is likely to complicate military cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia at a time when relations with the kingdom are already tense.

In recent months, President Trump has held fast against bipartisan congressional efforts to rebuke his fierce support for Saudi Arabia and its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has pressed for his kingdom to rise as a global player in international finance and politics.

Mr. Trump said he had spoken on Friday with the prince’s father, King Salman, who called to offer condolences and denounce the gunman’s deadly violence.

“The king said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter and that this person in no way, shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people so much,” Mr. Trump said at a small-business round table in Washington.

Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi vice minister of defense, wrote on Twitter that military trainees — including himself — have trained on United States soil for years as American allies.

“Like many other Saudi military personnel,” he wrote, “I was trained in a U.S. military base, and we used that valuable training to fight side by side with our American allies against terrorism and other threats.”

The shooting shortly before 7 a.m. shook Pensacola, a city proud of its strong military history and teeming with veterans, including the sheriff.

“I’m devastated. We are in shock. This is surreal,” Capt. Timothy F. Kinsella Jr., the base’s commanding officer, told reporters. “The days ahead are going to be difficult when it finally sinks in what has happened here.”

The time of the attack likely coincided with morning muster and the start of daily classes. The classroom building would have been full of junior officers, including American student naval aviators and student naval flight officers.

It was not known whether the six Saudis detained were students in the classroom building, and there was no immediate indication that those filming the incident were connected to the gunman, according to the person familiar with the investigation.

Streets were shut down all along the perimeter of the base, and traffic was paralyzed as ambulances and patrol cars raced toward the scene. The base, which employs more than 16,000 military personnel and 7,400 civilians, remained on lockdown with slow evacuations underway throughout the day.

Jeff Bergosh, an Escambia County commissioner and a facilities management contractor for the base, said emergency vehicles had roared past him as he pulled up to the main road that leads to the gate on Friday morning. Alarms were going off. He contacted his employees inside, who said they were safe and confirmed what Mr. Bergosh had feared: “It was not a drill.”

More than an hour later, Mr. Bergosh entered the base with other county officials, and they made their way to the scene of the shooting. He saw blood and spent casings. Emergency medical workers had been treating the wounded. A helicopter was on hand for evacuations.

Among the eight injured were two deputies who were shot, one in the arm and one in the knee, but were expected to recover. Two victims died on the base, and the other at Baptist Hospital. Their identities have not been released.

Pentagon officials found themselves investigating the second shooting on a military base in less than a week. On Wednesday, a United States sailor opened fire at a dry dock at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Oahu, Hawaii, fatally shooting two shipyard workers and injuring another before killing himself, the authorities said. That attack came as that installation was preparing for the 78th anniversary on Saturday of the Japanese attack that marked the United States’ entry into World War II.

In a statement on Friday, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said he was considering “several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families.”

The base at Pensacola, on Florida’s Panhandle, dates to the 1820s and is where the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team is based. Since World War I, most Navy and Marine Corps aviators and flight officers have begun their flight training there. Captain Kinsella said that about 200 international students are currently in training.

Weapons are not allowed on the base other than for security personnel, the captain said.

The gunman was believed to be enrolled in the base’s Aviation Preflight Indoctrination program. Students in the training hail from countries such as France, Italy and Norway, in addition to Saudi Arabia, which began sending trainees to the base in 1995. The Saudis usually train to fly either helicopters or F-15s, according to a Navy pilot familiar with the program. There are often a couple of foreign students in a class of 15 or so; Americans and Saudis go through their initial training together before branching off for separate training programs.

Dainya Lemoine, 26, a former Marine sergeant who lives about a mile and a half from the base, said that until earlier this year, she worked as an avionics instructor in the building where the shooting took place. Messages on her phone about an active shooter woke her up on Friday, followed by texts from former colleagues inside the Naval Air Training Technical Center, which she described as a two-story building about the size of a hangar.

“We have an active shooter and I think it is a foreign national that did it,” one text said at 7:15. a.m.

Ms. Lemoine said people inside had told her they sheltered in their locked classrooms, as they had been taught. As a young instructor, she said she had taught maybe “over 100” foreign students — from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Spain. She dealt with those students differently from her younger American students: Most of the foreign Middle Eastern students were officers, she said, and answered to a different command structure.

“They are a little bit more mature,” Ms. Lemoine said. “We don’t treat them the same we would treat an 18-year-old student coming from America.”

Still, she added, “I would not talk about deployments to Afghanistan or about things going on in politics. You are walking on egg shells with that whole topic.”

Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican whose congressional district includes Pensacola, said he was convinced, based on what he had been told, that the shooting was a terrorist act, although he declined to say what led him to that belief.

“I’ve had some discussions with law enforcement on the ground, and my assessment after those discussions is that this is unequivocally an act of terror,” he said. Senator Rick Scott of Florida, also a Republican, said the attack should be considered terrorism, regardless of the gunman’s motivation. Both lawmakers called for reviewing future vetting of future foreign military trainees.

The fatal attack could have hardly have come at a worse time for Saudi Arabia. Since his father became king in 2015, Prince Mohammed has struggled to rebrand Saudi Arabia as open to the world and a key partner of the West in fighting extremism.

The kingdom is on the cusp of selling shares of its oil monopoly, Saudi Aramco, an initial public offering expected to be the world’s largest, and is preparing to assume the presidency of the G20, whose summit it is scheduled to host next year.

Early enthusiasm for Prince Mohammed and his promised reforms had already been tarnished after the kingdom’s disastrous military campaign in Yemen and the killing of a Saudi dissident writer, Jamal Khashoggi, by Saudi agents in Istanbul last year. But the kingdom appeared to be trying to move on.

Even if the authorities find no international terrorism connections to the Pensacola shooting, the attack could undermine how the kingdom is perceived abroad, and especially in the United States, where many remember the presence of several Saudi nationals among those who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

One wild card for the Saudis is Mr. Trump, who anointed Prince Mohammed a key player in his plans for the Middle East and stood by the prince when anger over Mr. Khashoggi’s death grew in other parts of the United States government. If the new killings, this time of Americans, tars the kingdom in Mr. Trump’s eyes, it could leave Saudi Arabia with few remaining friends in Washington.

“My guess is that it will not have much impact,” said F. Gregory Gause III, a Saudi expert at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.

“People already suspicious of the Saudis, including lots of members of Congress, will see it as further proof that there is something wrong with the country,” Mr. Gause said in an email. “Those more inclined to see the country as a useful if sometimes difficult partner in American foreign policy in the Middle East will see it as the random act of a deranged individual.”

Kalyn Wolfe reported from Pensacola, Fla.; Patricia Mazzei from Miami; Eric Schmitt from Washington; and Christine Hauser from New York. Reporting was contributed by Ben Hubbard from Beirut; Vivian Yee from Medina, Saudi Arabia; Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Liam Stack from New York; and Adam Goldman and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Washington.

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Missouri mom defends son beating up school bully in viral post: ‘Problem solved’

A Missouri mother’s unapologetic Facebook post on Monday defending her son’s decision to fight back against a bully has gone viral.

Allison Davis posted a selfie picture of her son, Drew, who was suspended from school for “beating up the kid that has been tormenting and bullying him since middle school.”

But rather than being “upset” over her son’s behavior, Davis said she was far from it.

“Not even a little bit,” she said.

“I know as a parent I’m suppose[d] to be upset with him for resorting to violence or getting suspended, but I’m not,” she wrote.

MOM OF CHILDREN FOUND HANGING TOLD 911 DISPATCHER SON WAS BULLIED, ‘DIDN’T WANT TO GO ALONE’

ANGRY MOM CONFRONTS SON’S BULLY IN EXPLETIVE-LACED VIDEO: ‘I’LL RIP YOUR FACE OFF’

Davis said that her son had suffered bullying from the unidentified student for years and, despite repeated attempts to get the school to do something about it, nothing happened.

“When this kid has constantly threatened to beat Drew up along with several of his friends, the school did nothing,” Davis said. “When this kid followed Drew down the hall threatening him and making fun of him AND it was all captured on video, the school did nothing.”

The mother said the student’s bullying only got worse over time, including sending her son threats on social media, voicemails and text messages. Still, she said, the school did nothing.

Westlake Legal Group Shadow-iStock Missouri mom defends son beating up school bully in viral post: 'Problem solved' Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/health/education/bullying fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 8c7b897f-de90-55a3-9699-03ba1329351d

A mother’s unapologetic Facebook post on Monday defending her son’s decision to fight back against his bully has gone viral. (Photo: iStock)

“In middle school, Drew was afraid to walk down the halls because a swarm of this kid and his minions would make fun of and threaten Drew,” she said. “He quit talking to the adults about it because they never disciplined the bully and it just made the situation worse.”

Davis said she sent the school a “lengthy email” earlier this year and “begged” the school to intervene. Their solution, she said, was to have the two sign a “no contact” contract.

So when Drew ultimately took matters into his own hands, Davis said, he was left with no alternative.

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“Drew decided that he would quit relying on the school and the adults who are suppose[d] to protect him and HE would do something,” she wrote. “Three punches and his bully screamed like a baby, his minion friends shut up, and this morning the bully wouldn’t even look at him.”

“Problem solved,” she added.

Davis’ viral post has amassed more than 235,000 likes and more than 138,000 re-shares on Facebook. Many commenters applauded the post and Drew’s decision to stand up for himself.

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“Well done. A human being will only take so much,” one Facebook user commented.

“Sometimes you just got to put your foot on someone’s back side,” another said. “That’s the only way to fix these kind of people. Refuse to be a victim.”

Westlake Legal Group Shadow-iStock Missouri mom defends son beating up school bully in viral post: 'Problem solved' Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/health/education/bullying fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 8c7b897f-de90-55a3-9699-03ba1329351d   Westlake Legal Group Shadow-iStock Missouri mom defends son beating up school bully in viral post: 'Problem solved' Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/lifestyle/parenting fox-news/health/education/bullying fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 8c7b897f-de90-55a3-9699-03ba1329351d

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Selena Gomez and Julia Michaels connected over their ‘sh—ty’ exes while songwriting

Selena Gomez and her longtime songwriting partner Julia Michaels have done some of their best work while reeling over the ex-men in their life who have broken their hearts.

The 26-year-old Michaels discussed her storied professional relationship with Gomez, 27, on Friday as the California singer-songwriter has helped the former Disney standout construct some of her most successful hits, including Gomez’s recent smash “Love You to Lose Me.”

“When [Gomez and I] first started working together [in 2013], it started as me writing the songs,” Michaels told Variety.

She continued: “I walked in to the session one day because she wanted to change some words to the song, and [Gomez] was like, ‘We must be going through the exact same thing because you’re writing everything that I feel.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, cool, you had a s—ty ex-boyfriend too? Let’s go!’”

SELENA GOMEZ REVEALS THIGH TATTOO AFTER AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS PERFORMANCE

In describing her writing process, Michaels said she takes a literal approach to the art, adding that her biggest inspirations come from the conversations she has with loved ones and with herself.

“That helps me figure out what I want to say lyrically,” she told the outlet. “I write everything as if you’re talking to the person you’ve wanted to confront; if you could say it to somebody, why couldn’t you say it exactly how you would in a song?”

HAILEY BALDWIN SLAMS ‘FALSE DRAMA’ AFTER SELENA GOMEZ FEUD RUMORS: ‘THIS HAS TO STOP’

When Gomez premiered “Lose You to Love Me” in late October, fans immediately speculated that the telling record was inspired by her highly-publicized relationship to ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, 25, whom the “Wolves” performer began dating in late 2011 before ending their long-running on-again-off-again relationship for good in March 2018.

Westlake Legal Group jelena-corrected Selena Gomez and Julia Michaels connected over their ‘sh—ty’ exes while songwriting Julius Young fox-news/person/selena-gomez fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 46453aad-0fb5-5117-b0dd-0558dfe1cbdf

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez attend The 2011 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for ESPN) (2011 Getty Images)

Bieber has since married model and “Drop the Mic” host Hailey Baldwin.

Following the release of Gomez’s latest single, the singer took to Instagram to thank fans for their support.

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“Thank you all for standing by my side through the highs and lows,” the singer wrote, referencing her publicized mental health struggles.

“I couldn’t do it without you all and I can’t wait to start my next adventure with you,” she added.

Westlake Legal Group Gomez-Michaels-Getty-AP Selena Gomez and Julia Michaels connected over their ‘sh—ty’ exes while songwriting Julius Young fox-news/person/selena-gomez fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 46453aad-0fb5-5117-b0dd-0558dfe1cbdf   Westlake Legal Group Gomez-Michaels-Getty-AP Selena Gomez and Julia Michaels connected over their ‘sh—ty’ exes while songwriting Julius Young fox-news/person/selena-gomez fox-news/person/justin-bieber fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 46453aad-0fb5-5117-b0dd-0558dfe1cbdf

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Los Angeles Jury Finds No Defamation In Elon Musk’s ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet

Westlake Legal Group ap_19338608186163-198daf3dbf0edafd7f8736e3cd8cc5fbe650a82a-s1100-c15 Los Angeles Jury Finds No Defamation In Elon Musk's 'Pedo Guy' Tweet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (center) arrives at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles this week. Mark J. Terrill/AP hide caption

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Mark J. Terrill/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Los Angeles Jury Finds No Defamation In Elon Musk's 'Pedo Guy' Tweet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (center) arrives at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles this week.

Mark J. Terrill/AP

A federal jury in Los Angeles Friday found that Elon Musk did not defame a British cave explorer when he called him a “pedo guy” in a tweet last year.

The explorer, Vernon Unsworth, 63, had participated in the dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach who had been trapped in a Thailand cave. Afterwards, Unsworth dismissed a plan by Tesla chief executive Musk to rescue the boys using a miniature submarine as a “PR stunt.” Musk responded calling Unsworth a “pedo guy.”

Unsworth said the term was meant to label him as a pedophile and filed a lawsuit seeking $190 million dollars in damages. The jury of five women and three men deliberated for less than an hour before deciding that Musk had not defamed Unsworth.

During the trial, Musk insisted that his remarks were off-the-cuff and that “no one interpreted it to mean pedophile.” Yet in a follow-up to his initial tweet, he wrote another message that read, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” Musk later apologized and deleted the tweets.

Musk also testified that his tweet was provoked by Unsworth who had said of the Tesla CEO’s rescue plan “he can stick his submarine where it hurts.”

The Thai boys and their soccer coach were rescued by divers who put wetsuits and oxygen tanks on them and escorted them out.

Unsworth’s lawsuit also alleged that a Musk employee hired a private investigator to look into the cave explorer’s background and that Musk himself encouraged at least one reporter to find evidence that Unsworth was a child rapist.

But ultimately Unsworth’s lawyers failed to convince the jury that Musk had defamed their client.

Jury foreman Joshua Jones said Unsworth’s team spent too much time on emotional aspects of the case and not enough on the hard evidence.

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Buttigieg Shares Some Details About His McKinsey Work But Stays Mum On Clients

Pete Buttigieg released an overview of his work at the controversial consulting firm McKinsey & Co. on Friday evening after coming under fire for keeping the details of his time there a secret.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor who is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination also publicly called on McKinsey to release him from a nondisclosure agreement about his work there from 2007 to 2010 and allow him to name the clients he worked with during that time.

“I am today reiterating my request that McKinsey release me from this agreement, and I again make clear that I authorize them to release the full list of clients I was assigned to serve,” he said. “This company must recognize the importance of transparency in the exceptional case of a former employee becoming a competitive candidate for the U.S. presidency.”

Here’s the timeline of his work that Buttigieg shared, which describes the type of work he did but does not name any clients:

Westlake Legal Group 5deaf1b6250000c64cd2f722 Buttigieg Shares Some Details About His McKinsey Work But Stays Mum On Clients

HuffPost A timeline of Pete Buttigieg’s work at McKinsey.

His focus at the prestigious ― and controversial ― management consulting firm ranged from consumer goods to government contracts. In 2009, he visited Afghanistan and Iraq on behalf of the U.S. government for a project focused on employment in those countries. 

“I never worked on a project inconsistent with my values, and if asked to do so, I would have left the firm rather than participate,” he said Friday.

He noted that his campaign has reached out to McKinsey on two prior occasions to release him from his nondisclosure agreement but that the company had refused. 

He will not heed calls for him to break the NDA, he stated.

“I understand why some are calling on me to break the agreement,” he said.
“But it’s important to me to keep my word and commitments. I know the American people also want a president who they can trust to do the same.”

Buttigieg’s work at McKinsey has raised some eyebrows because of some of the company’s controversial projects. Earlier this week, several media reports detailed how McKinsey advised U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cut spending on food, supervision and medical care to immigrants in custody to save money. Buttigieg’s former employer also helped ICE develop a plan to accelerate deportation proceedings.

Immigrant rights groups have since called on him to return more than $50,000 in campaign contributions he’s received from McKinsey employees.

The company has also consulted for Saudi Arabia’s autocratic leadership and corrupt groups in South Africa.

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Schiff: Pence aide provided new impeachment evidence — but VP’s office classified it

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Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1171051394_custom-8348b4d7774bf67c187740d6e8aa8b57a857baf5-s1100-c15 Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

US. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meet in New York. Saoul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

US. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meet in New York.

Saoul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

Why the Trump administration delayed nearly $400 millions of dollars in security aid to Ukraine is the question at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Democrats say the president tried to coerce an ally to help him take down a political opponent. Republicans argue it’s a routine use of presidential power.

Interviews with officials and former officials show how the Trump administration’s hold-up of aid to Ukraine was irregular and likely violated U.S. law, but has far-reaching consequences at home and overseas.

Tim Rieser, who has decades of experience with foreign aid, had a front row seat to the process that unfolded this summer. He is a staff director of the Senate subcommittee that handles funding for State Department programs. He also serves as senior foreign policy adviser to Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont.

Rieser usually works behind the scenes advising lawmakers. His Republican counterparts on the House and Senate committees declined to speak with NPR.

The 1974 Impoundment Control Act says a U.S. president can’t unilaterally withhold funds designated for spending by Congress.

“They can’t just simply decide even though Congress appropriated money for X, we’re going to spend it for Y,” he explains.

The way the process typically works, Rieser says, the White House can ask for a delay or to halt funding altogether — but it has to tell Congress.

“We recognize that things do change. Elections happen, governments are overthrown. Policies fail, and it makes sense to revisit them,” Rieser says.

In July, the White House delayed Ukraine’s aid package.

Westlake Legal Group img_0104-8064bd43be842a3cbbddb119d259ff7aba6204ce-s800-c15 Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

Tim Reiser is the Democratic clerk for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations. The White House “never expressed concerns to us about corruption in Ukraine, or frankly anywhere,” he says. Sam Gringlas/NPR hide caption

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Sam Gringlas/NPR

Westlake Legal Group  Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

Tim Reiser is the Democratic clerk for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations. The White House “never expressed concerns to us about corruption in Ukraine, or frankly anywhere,” he says.

Sam Gringlas/NPR

Meanwhile, although the Defense Department had certified that the country was making good on anti-corruption benchmarks, the some $250 million in security assistance the Pentagon had slated for Ukraine hadn’t gone through.

Rieser wondered if that meant State Department aid to Ukraine — another $140 million or so — might be frozen as well. Turns out, it was.

When it comes to congressional funds, it’s “use it or lose it.” So when September arrived, the White House was skirting close to the deadline by which they were legally required to alert Congress to an official reason for the freeze.

Then, someone filed a whistleblower complaint.

The White House released the funds shortly after, on Sept. 11. And by the end of the month, that complaint was public.

In October, Trump explained the delay this way: “We have an obligation to investigate corruption. And that’s what it was.”

Rieser says this is actually part of a broader trend with the current administration. Trump White House budgets consistently tried and failed to slash foreign aid. And the president is not afraid to use diplomatic assistance as leverage.

For instance, when the president worried about migrant caravans at the border, he stopped payment to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador earlier this year.

“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money,” Trump said in April. “And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us.”

But Rieser says the delay on aid to Ukraine was unusual because it involved military assistance that had bipartisan support.

And after seeing the notes from President Trump’s phone call in which he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for a “favor,” Rieser says it was clearly “fundamentally different” from other situations.

“It was to try to obtain information that could be advantageous in a political campaign, which has nothing to do with U.S. foreign policy or national security,” Rieser says.

He doesn’t buy the idea that Trump’s team was essentially vetting the new Ukrainian leader.

“It was laughable. They’ve never expressed concerns to us about corruption in Ukraine, or frankly anywhere,” Rieser says. “To the contrary, we’ve watched as they’ve welcomed to the White House, leaders who are known to be corrupt and ruthlessly repressive.”

There are ways for a White House to express concerns about corruption. And Trump’s isn’t the first Republican administration skeptical of how foreign aid is spent.

In 2002, President George W. Bush announced the Millennium Challenge Account, an initiative to monitor and score countries who received special grant funding from the U.S.

Brad Parks helped run the program from 2005 to 2010.

“We documented over 200 instances of anti-corruption reforms that were encouraged or otherwise incentivized by the U.S. government,” he says. “And I’m not aware of a single instance in which the U.S. government made an ask for a government to investigate or prosecute a particular politician for abuse of power.”

Today, Parks runs AidData — a research lab at the College of William and Mary that tracks foreign aid more broadly.

Over the last 15 years, he says, the U.S. has developed a framework for withholding foreign aid — especially those struggling with corruption.

In 2005, for instance, the U.S. withheld aid from Yemen when the country appeared to be backsliding on reforms. But everyone — Congress and the White House — was in agreement.

“And they would ensure that all the different parts of the U.S. government are singing from the same sheet of music,” Parks says, “trying to reinforce the importance of funding anti-corruption agencies and safeguarding the independence to investigate abuses of power without fear or favor.”

Yemen followed through, strengthening its anti-corruption commission and making government contracts transparent.

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-1181674376_custom-991f47d4f7b6dfae65e36f8e12d0b63567e2f668-s1100-c15 Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions during a press conference at the White House on Oct. 17. Win McNamee / Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Why The Trump Decision To Delay Aid To Ukraine Is Under Scrutiny

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney answers questions during a press conference at the White House on Oct. 17.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Parks says Trump’s handling of Ukraine sends the wrong message abroad.

“One of the things I’m paying close attention to, is whether the signal that other countries around the world will get, is that the U.S. is principally concerned with strength of anti-corruption policies, or if parts of the U.S. government use anti-corruption institutions as tools to be used for very specific political purposes — which could undermine efforts underway for better part of the last decade to encourage clean government.”

That’s why a press conference held in October by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, raised alarms.

When asked whether it was a quid pro quo for the White House to hold up aid unless Ukraine agreed to launch an investigation that might help Trump politically, Mulvaney replied: “We do that all the time with foreign policy. … Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

Sam Berger was among those who were shocked by Mulvaney’s comments.

Berger used to work as a lawyer for OMB under the Obama administration.

From his perspective, the White House did violate the budget law by delaying assistance to Ukraine. (OMB did not respond to NPR’s request for comment.)

Berger says if you look at the testimony from OMB officials during the impeachment inquiry, they say staffers raised concerns about the freeze on Ukraine aid. Two quit, in part because of it.

As for the White House, Berger says, it had a political appointee sign off on the Ukraine aid delay through the summer.

For Berger, this shows the “irregular process” undertaken to “route around career officials.”

“You don’t do that because you’re doing something straightforward legal that you can justify to everyone. You do that because you’re trying to cover up what it is that you’re getting at,” he says. “And so we saw in an irregular foreign policy process led by Rudy Giuliani and others here, we have an irregular budget process.”

“It’s not that the violation of the budget law itself is an impeachable offense. But it’s what it was used for,” he continues. “It was used to extort a foreign power to interfere in our elections.”

Extortion. Bribery. These are the terms that can land a president under threat of impeachment.

But Andrew Natsios, a Republican who headed USAID during the George W. Bush administration, says he does not think that is what Trump has done.

Now at Texas A&M University, Natsios says there are plenty of times he’s disagreed with how Trump handles foreign aid — like withholding support for those Central American countries over migrant policies.

“Did he have the right to do it? Absolutely,” Natsios says. “Was it wise policy? Absolutely not.”

When it comes to the Ukraine aid, Natsios says a crucial factor is the president’s intent. Was the hold on assistance used to personally benefit him?

“You can’t just say you think he did that for this purpose. He can argue, which is what he’s been doing, that he was worried about the level of corruption in the Ukrainian government. You can be skeptical about his reasoning,” he says. “But that is a legitimate question. Whether he had other motives for doing it is a debatable question. Is it impeachable? I don’t think so.”

Ultimately, though, that’s for the Senate to decide.

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