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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/person/donald-trump"

Fred Fleitz: Iran’s seizure of two oil tankers was a stupid move – It could boost European support for Trump

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061785538001_6061789128001-vs Fred Fleitz: Iran’s seizure of two oil tankers was a stupid move – It could boost European support for Trump Fred Fleitz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/pentagon fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4b025d3d-7d0a-52da-943e-3ec5a1627627

It has been clear over the past few weeks that Europe’s long-running patience with Iran’s bad behavior is running out. The Islamic Republic’s seizure of two British-operated oil tankers Friday in the Strait of Hormuz was a stupid move that could end that European patience once and for all.

That’s bad news for Iran, but good news for President Trump and his tough Iran policy, and for the U.S.

European leaders have strongly opposed Trump’s Iran policy and his decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY GUARD SEIZES TWO UK-OPERATED TANKERS IN STRAIT OF HORMUZ

The deal, which was supposed to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, was fatally flawed and would have only delayed Iran’s entry into the nuclear club for a few years. And it did nothing to stop Iran’s support for terrorism and other hostile activity in the Middle East.

Recent Iranian provocations – including mine attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, shooting down a U.S drone, and an earlier attempt to seize a British ship this month – have been making it harder and harder for Europe to continue to stand with Iran.

European leaders have also been scrambling over the last two weeks to save the Iran nuclear deal, following Tehran’s recent announcements that it has begun violating the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment.

Iran has said the violations are designed to force European states to stop complying with crippling U.S economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic or get them to compensate Iran for the sanctions.

So with tensions between Iran and Europe at such a high level that European officials were already preparing to throw in the towel, Iran drove tensions up even further by seizing the two British-operated oil tankers Friday.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “These seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region.”

Iran’s new provocation also will drive European and other states closer to President Trump’s Iran policy. Hold-outs to U.S. Iran sanctions could soon drop their opposition. There also could be new European sanctions.

President Trump responded calmly, noting the new Iranian provocation confirmed his warnings about Iran. Trump said: “This only goes to show what I’m saying about Iran. Trouble. Nothing but trouble. It goes to show you I was right about Iran.”

Obviously, the seizure of the British-operated tankers raises tensions in the Persian Gulf region. But it also will do enormous damage to Iran’s interests by driving European leaders toward President Trump.

A major reason  Trump hates the 2015 nuclear deal is that despite the huge concessions the Obama administration offered Iran in the agreement – including over $150 billion in sanctions relief – Iran’s behavior significantly worsened after the deal was announced.

Iran’s harmful actions included sending troops to Syria to fight in support of dictator Bashar Assad in a civil war, stepping up support for terrorism, and increasing military spending. Iran also ramped up its ballistic missile program and has been credibly accused of violating the nuclear deal.

Ignoring intense pressure from the U.S. foreign policy establishment and European leaders, President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and imposed tough sanctions that are denying Tehran revenue it was spending on its military, missile program, nuclear program and terrorism.

Trump is open to U.S.-Iran talks, but only for a better, comprehensive agreement that deals with the full range of threats posed by Iran. The president also rejected Iran’s demand that he drop U.S. sanctions as a condition of starting talks.

With Iran unlikely to agree to talks with the United States, U.S. officials have been struggling to assemble a “coalition of navies” to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf.

Although European states have been reluctant to contribute to this initiative for fear of being drawn into a military confrontation with Iran, the seizure of the British-operated oil tankers may help U.S. officials win European participation.

Iran’s new provocation also will drive European and other states closer to President Trump’s Iran policy. Hold-outs to U.S. Iran sanctions could soon drop their opposition. There also could be new European sanctions.

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Most importantly, President Trump’s restraint in avoiding using military force against Iran – coupled with dangerous Iranian provocations like the seizure of the two oil tankers Friday – may mean that if President Trump decides to attack Iran in the future, he may do so with Europe’s support.

This would be an amazing reversal of fortune for Trump’s Iran policy – a policy that was universally condemned by the foreign policy establishment and Europe just a year ago. Such a reversal is happening because Iran’s responses to President Trump’s policy have been not only stupid, but abysmal failures.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY FRED FLEITZ

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061785538001_6061789128001-vs Fred Fleitz: Iran’s seizure of two oil tankers was a stupid move – It could boost European support for Trump Fred Fleitz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/pentagon fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4b025d3d-7d0a-52da-943e-3ec5a1627627   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061785538001_6061789128001-vs Fred Fleitz: Iran’s seizure of two oil tankers was a stupid move – It could boost European support for Trump Fred Fleitz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/pentagon fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 4b025d3d-7d0a-52da-943e-3ec5a1627627

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Michelle Obama seemingly swipes at Trump amid ‘send her back’ controversy

Westlake Legal Group obama-trump- Michelle Obama seemingly swipes at Trump amid 'send her back' controversy Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 00cc4c69-d9a8-517f-b442-01d5a219042c

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has seemingly taken a shot at President Trump amid his ongoing feud with four progressive congresswomen, saying “there’s a place” for natural-born citizens and refugees alike.

Tensions escalated this week when the president blasted the Democratic “squad,” Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., suggesting on Twitter that they “go back” to the countries they came. All four women are U.S. citizens, with Omar being the only one who was born outside of the U.S.

After exchanging several barbs during the week, Trump continued his attacks during Wednesday’s rally, during which a “send her back” chant aimed at Omar broke out from his supporters.

On Friday, the former first lady tweeted what seemed to be a rebuke of the remarks — while stopping short of mentioning the president directly.

MICHELLE OBAMA: THE NIGHT BEFORE TRUMP’S INAUGURATION WAS ‘VERY EMOTIONAL’

“What truly makes our country great is its diversity,” Mrs. Obama tweeted. “I’ve seen that beauty in so many ways over the years. Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there’s a place for us all. We must remember it’s not my America or your America. It’s our America.”

Her husband, former President Barack Obama, has not commented in on the feud.

While the Obamas have largely avoided weighing in on political matters since leaving the White House, Friday’s comments are not the first time the former first lady has seemingly tweaked Trump.

“The leader of the free world with a tweet can start a war, can crush an economy, can change the future of our children,” she told Gayle King of CBS News at the Essence Festival in New Orleans earlier this month.

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She added the next president needs to have “deep seriousness and focus” and operate “with a clear base of facts and ideas.” She also said she thinks her husband sometimes made the presidency look easy.

“I guess it’s kind of like if the black guy can do it, anybody can do it — and that’s not true. It’s a hard job.”

Westlake Legal Group obama-trump- Michelle Obama seemingly swipes at Trump amid 'send her back' controversy Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 00cc4c69-d9a8-517f-b442-01d5a219042c   Westlake Legal Group obama-trump- Michelle Obama seemingly swipes at Trump amid 'send her back' controversy Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 00cc4c69-d9a8-517f-b442-01d5a219042c

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West Virginia lawmaker calls out Trump for ‘using Lord’s name in vain’ during rally

Westlake Legal Group Paul-Hardesty-Donald-Trump-Reuters West Virginia lawmaker calls out Trump for ‘using Lord’s name in vain’ during rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/west-virginia fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/politics fnc Caleb Parke c254af91-438b-5723-a972-d8e5624dffa1 article

A West Virginia lawmaker is upset with “distasteful comments” President Trump made during his North Carolina rally.  But it had nothing to do with the “send her back” crowd chants directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., that the president disavowed Thursday.

Democratic state Sen. Paul Hardesty, a conservative Trump supporter from coal country, sent a letter to the president saying he was “appalled” the leader of the free world used “god-damn” not once, but twice, during his Wednesday night rally.

OMAR VOWS TO CONTINUE BEING TRUMP’S ‘NIGHTMARE’ AS HUNDREDS GREET HER IN MINNESOTA

The first time was in reference to a business person whom Trump didn’t get along with that reluctantly agreed he is prospering under the Trump administration. Otherwise, he would’ve been “god-damn poor,” Trump said. The second time Trump used it was in reference to how hard the U.S. military would strike Iran if it comes to it.

It didn’t sit well with the West Virginia lawmaker.

“There is no place in society — anywhere, anyplace and at any time — where that type of language should be used or handled,” Hardesty wrote. “Your comments were not presidential. I know in my heart that you are better than that.”

WILL TRUMP SOLIDIFY MORE CHRISTIAN VOTERS IN 2020? THIS EVANGELICAL LEADER THINKS SO

Hardesty concluded by telling Trump to remember it’s “In God We Trust” in the United States, “not curse.”

But the Democratic lawmaker, despite his criticism of Trump, said he remains a supporter today and urged Trump to “reflect on your comments and never utter those words again.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Trump, largely elected by evangelical Christians, has said he will fight for religious freedom. His support has increased among evangelicals, largely because of nominating conservative judges, moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and because of his anti-abortion policies.

Westlake Legal Group Paul-Hardesty-Donald-Trump-Reuters West Virginia lawmaker calls out Trump for ‘using Lord’s name in vain’ during rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/west-virginia fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/politics fnc Caleb Parke c254af91-438b-5723-a972-d8e5624dffa1 article   Westlake Legal Group Paul-Hardesty-Donald-Trump-Reuters West Virginia lawmaker calls out Trump for ‘using Lord’s name in vain’ during rally fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/west-virginia fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/politics fnc Caleb Parke c254af91-438b-5723-a972-d8e5624dffa1 article

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Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism

Westlake Legal Group iran-missle-Getty Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism Jim Hanson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ba1dfe99-874c-5b47-933e-5f954c73acd9 article

When a U.S. Navy ship downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz Thursday it sent an important message to the mullahs who rule the Islamic Republic: aggression has consequences and America will strike back when provoked.

During the Obama administration, Iran’s leaders figured out that President Barack Obama was desperate to secure his place in history by reaching a deal to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

So Iran took advantage of Obama’s desperation. The Iranians engaged in terrorism, supported anti-American and anti-Israel fighters, helped Syrian dictator Bashar Assad wage a civil war, and won Obama’s approval of a badly flawed nuclear deal that simply delayed Iran’s entry into the nuclear club for a few years.

TRUMP: US WARSHIP DESTROYED IRANIAN DRONE IN STRAIT OF HORMUZ

Much to the disappointment of the mullahs, President Trump has made clear he is no pushover. Recognizing that the Iran nuclear deal was a bad bargain he withdrew the U.S. from the agreement and placed crippling economic sanctions on Iran.

Iran is now taking aggressive actions in the Persian Gulf and threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off oil shipments, to get sanctions relief. But unlike Obama, Trump is playing hardball and not giving in to Iranian threats.

In announcing the downing of the Iranian drone Thursday in a defensive action by a Navy warship appropriately named the USS Boxer, President Trump said: “The U.S. reserves the right to defend personnel, facilities, interests.” The president said the drone came within 1,000 yards of the U.S. ship and ignored several calls to stand down.

Trump called the flight of the drone within the USS Boxer’s defensive perimeter a “hostile” action by Iran.

U.S. officials told Fox News that Marines aboard the Navy ship downed the drone with electronic jamming equipment.

The Iranians have been pushing to find how out far they could go before drawing a U.S. response. Now they know.

There have been several months’ worth of provocations by Iran in the shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf and by its proxies in the region. I have previously said that a U.S. response was necessary to let the mullahs know that free transit of all vessels in this waterway is a vital U.S. interest.

President Trump couldn’t let Iran’s latest aggressive action pass without a response if he expects Iran and other nations to respect the U.S. and not conclude they can attack our forces at will, without fear of retaliation

President Trump couldn’t let Iran’s latest aggressive action pass without a response if he expects Iran and other nations to respect the U.S. and not conclude they can attack our forces at will, without fear of retaliation.

The U.S. action knocking the Iranian drone out of commission appears to have most likely fallen within the normal rights of an American ship to protect itself. This was an act of self-defense.

Depending on the amount of time the drone spent probing the defenses of the U.S. ship, the U.S. commander may have had time to send word up the chain of command. But all our warships have rules of engagement allowing them to take action against imminent threats.

This becomes more interesting, however, in light of reports that Iran seized a United Arab Emirates oil tanker and is claiming this was an anti-smuggling operation.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran announced Thursday that it had detained a foreign oil tanker it said had been smuggling fuel – days after a UAE vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

It is unwise to take any statement coming from Iran at face value. In this case, the Revolutionary Guards run a lot of oil smuggling operations themselves, trying to evade sanctions to generate hard currency. It’s possible the UAE ship was a competitor that Iran decided to take out.

But it’s also entirely possible that the seizure of the UAE tanker and the probing of a U.S. Navy ship by the Iranian drone were provocations designed to show Iran can disrupt maritime traffic and energy supplies. That could prompt an increase in oil prices, which would benefit Iran.

There have been hints from the Iranian regime that it is considering negotiations with the U, S. Iran has a long habit of being especially badly behaved prior to any potential talks. This tactic worked well with the Obama administration to help get concessions.

While he would certainly like to make a better nuclear deal with Iran, President Trump does not want to be disrespected or intimidated in the process. But the mullahs don’t seem to have changed their strategy to fit the new sheriff in town.

The Iran nuclear deal approved by Obama did little to stop Iran from its goal of becoming a nuclear power because it had a fatal flaw. Sunset clauses in the agreement would have given Iran free rein to run a fully legitimate nuclear program in as little as a decade. The idea that the Iranians have any intention of making a deal that actually shuts off that path is pretty farfetched.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Still, President Trump is right to explore a new Iran deal – though with a very skeptical eye. But clearly – unlike Obama – Trump’s patience for Iran’s terrorist attacks across the Middle East has run out.

If the Iranians leaders are smart, they’ll realize Donald Trump is no Barack Obama and agree to real changes in their aggressive behavior in the region and a meaningful nuclear deal. Or the Iranians can raise the stakes and see if Trump folds. Obama always did, but Trump is a much better card player and knows he holds a better hand.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JIM HANSON

Westlake Legal Group iran-missle-Getty Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism Jim Hanson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ba1dfe99-874c-5b47-933e-5f954c73acd9 article   Westlake Legal Group iran-missle-Getty Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism Jim Hanson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ba1dfe99-874c-5b47-933e-5f954c73acd9 article

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Joy Behar asks why Trump can’t be charged with ‘hate speech’ after rally

Westlake Legal Group joy-behar-donald-trump-ABC-AP Joy Behar asks why Trump can't be charged with 'hate speech' after rally Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1e3a9b9c-8ca1-53e0-8f14-96ee8aad83be

“The View” host Joy Behar took her anti-Trump talk to another level on Thursday, posing the possibility of the president being charged with hate speech in the wake of Wednesday’s controversial rally.

Behar kicked off the comments by saying she does not understand how President Trump could “get away with” attacking freshmen congresswomen the way he had, before launching into the next part of her diatribe.

“Why can’t he be brought up on charges of hate speech?” Behar asked. She then wondered why the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has repeatedly sued Trump’s administration, hadn’t sued the president over hate speech.

Her comments came after co-host Whoopi Goldberg indicated Trump’s remarks had the potential to create violence against women in the country.

AOC, ILHAN OMAR ACCUSE TRUMP OF ‘SPEWING FASCIST IDEOLOGY’ AFTER RALLY

“He doesn’t acknowledge the fact that what he’s doing is possibly inciting violence towards these women” as well as those who express dissent, Goldberg asserted. “This involves every female in this country.”

Goldberg acknowledged, however, that Trump had the right to make his comments but she and other “View’ hosts would likely face different treatment if they made similar statements.

Their discussion came after a controversial rally in which Trump denounced Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., in front of an audience in North Carolina. “The View” particularly appeared to take issue with Trump’s response to an audience chant, as well as the chant itself, calling for him to send the Minnesota congresswoman back to her native country of Somalia.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Trump later distanced himself from the chant, saying that he disagreed with it. During Thursday’s “View,” co-host Meghan McCain targeted Trump’s familyIvanka Trump and Jared Kushner — for their apparent reluctance to criticize the rally.

“The Trump administration — all of you — Ivanka, Jared, because you’re around my age range, where are you in this?” she asked.

Westlake Legal Group joy-behar-donald-trump-ABC-AP Joy Behar asks why Trump can't be charged with 'hate speech' after rally Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1e3a9b9c-8ca1-53e0-8f14-96ee8aad83be   Westlake Legal Group joy-behar-donald-trump-ABC-AP Joy Behar asks why Trump can't be charged with 'hate speech' after rally Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1e3a9b9c-8ca1-53e0-8f14-96ee8aad83be

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Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061110425001_6061106756001-vs Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 94f4f23a-baff-5946-83ac-8ca8292f1f5e

A U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between the two countries, President Trump announced Thursday.

“The U.S. reserves the right to defend personnel, facilities, interests,” he said.

Trump said the USS Boxer took defensive action after the drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down. The president called it the latest “hostile” action by Iran.

He also called on other countries to condemn what he described as Iran’s attempts to disrupt the freedom of navigation and global commerce in the strategic waterway in the Persian Gulf region.

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman confirmed to Fox News in a statement: “At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz. A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.”

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The president said the drone threatened the safety of the American ship and its crew.

Iran recently shot down a U.S. drone that it said was flying over Iran. Trump called off a planned retaliatory airstrike at the last minute.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061110425001_6061106756001-vs Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 94f4f23a-baff-5946-83ac-8ca8292f1f5e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061110425001_6061106756001-vs Trump: US warship destroyed Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 94f4f23a-baff-5946-83ac-8ca8292f1f5e

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s attack on congresswomen was ‘racist,’ but House Dems shouldn’t censure him

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060162479001_6060167766001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s attack on congresswomen was ‘racist,’ but House Dems shouldn’t censure him fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Andrew Napolitano 25c2e3c1-e9d3-5b1f-b4be-370251a60faa

During the past week, President Trump excited two bitter public controversies by sending and publishing two highly inappropriate and offensively incendiary tweets.

The first of these was aimed at four female members of Congress — each a person of color, and, as members of Congress, each an American citizen. Yet the president said they should go back to the countries from which they came. The second tweet was aimed at Google, which the president argued should be investigated for treason.

The first of these tweets was xenophobic, racist and hateful. The second was just plain ignorant. Together they revealed a level of misguided thinking not heard from the Oval Office since President Richard Nixon’s tapes were revealed.

PELOSI RIPS TRUMP BID TO LINK DEMS TO ‘SQUAD,’ VOWS NOT TO ‘WASTE OUR TIME ON THAT’

Here is the backstory.

For months, four very liberal and highly progressive Democratic members of the House of Representatives — known in the media collectively as “the Squad” — have been taunting Trump over their vast ideological differences. The Squad has also argued that Trump is unfit for office and ought to be removed via impeachment.

As well, the Squad has taunted its leader — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The speaker has wisely distanced herself and the vast majority of House Democrats from the Squad, and she has not taken their bait.

The president, on the other hand, has taken their bait and attacked them personally. The Squad has views of American domestic and foreign policy seriously at odds with even the liberal base of the Democratic Party — hence Pelosi’s occasional public but gentle chastisements.

Pelosi understands that while these congresswomen have every right to advocate for whatever cause they wish, some of their advocacy, if attributed to the national Democratic Party, could enhance the chances of a Republican victory in 2020.

So when Trump attacked the individual members of the Squad based on immutable characteristics — race, gender, place of origin — he succeeded in doing what no Democratic presidential candidate has been able to do thus far. He united the Democratic Party around an issue and against himself.

Politics is not beanbag, but if the great painful lesson of American history has taught us anything, it is that there is no place in our public discourse for racial hatred. The Democrats know this. The president apparently doesn’t.

It gets worse.

We have a president who sounds more like a Mafia don than a statesman and a Congress that wants to pick and choose whose offensive words to condemn.

Now, the House Democrats want to add fuel to this fire by using the power of office to censure the president because of his tweets about the Squad. They have no business doing so. The president’s words — backed up by his incessant repetitions — are condemnable, but they are only words. As Thomas Jefferson once argued, mere words “neither pick my pocket nor break my leg.”

Congress was elected to write laws pursuant to the Constitution. It was not elected to isolate words its members hate and fear and then condemn the speaker of those words.

British parliaments did that to political opponents — domestic and colonial — and our Constitution was written by many who had been the target of parliamentary condemnations and who labored mightily in writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights so that such events would not happen here.

It gets worse still.

Perhaps to deflect the nation’s attention from his vile intemperance about the Squad, the president tweeted earlier this week — solely on the basis of an unfounded allegation by a high-tech supporter of his — that Google has sold technology to the government of China, and so Google should be investigated by the Department of Justice for treason. Such an absurd and ignorant statement would flunk a high school social studies test.

Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution. This, too, like the primacy of the freedom of speech, was essentially the colonists ensuring their experience with British kings’ baseless use of “treason” to justify horrific and bloody acts would not happen again

The constitutional definition states that treason shall consist only in waging war against the United States or in providing aid and comfort to its enemies. The actual phrase in the Constitution is “their enemies,” referring collectively to the states.

The courts have defined enemy — or enemies — as any country or group on which the United States has declared war. Moreover, since only an American citizen can be charged with treason — its essence is a violent rejection of citizenship — it is ridiculous and reckless to suggest that a corporation could.

Where does all this leave us?

We have a president who sounds more like a Mafia don than a statesman and a Congress that wants to pick and choose whose offensive words to condemn. Yet even a condemnation of Trump by the House alone — the Senate seems to work for him — would be legally meaningless and also just words.

Any person faithful to the Constitution should disagree with all these words — the president’s words and the censuring congressional words. But like Voltaire, a patriot will defend to the death the right to utter them.

In America, we don’t punish mere words, and there are no limits on public free speech — “free” meaning free from government interference.

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The whole purpose of the First Amendment command that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” is to encourage and provoke open, wide, robust, unbridled public utterances about the government and those in it, without fear of any governmental consequences.

Our forebears fought a revolution against a king to assure posterity of that.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060162479001_6060167766001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s attack on congresswomen was ‘racist,’ but House Dems shouldn’t censure him fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Andrew Napolitano 25c2e3c1-e9d3-5b1f-b4be-370251a60faa   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060162479001_6060167766001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump’s attack on congresswomen was ‘racist,’ but House Dems shouldn’t censure him fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Andrew Napolitano 25c2e3c1-e9d3-5b1f-b4be-370251a60faa

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Trump hosts victims of religious persecution at White House

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060511203001_6060513827001-vs Trump hosts victims of religious persecution at White House Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/religion/persecutions fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4407dea4-c4d9-5fd4-8504-b5bc89e32248

President Trump met with dozens of victims of religious persecution at the White House on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort by the administration to push for religious freedom abroad.

Twenty-seven people, including Christians from Burma, Vietnam, North Korea, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Sudan, Muslims from Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan and New Zealand, Jewish persecution victims from Yemen and Germany, a practitioner of Cao Dai from Vietnam and a Yazidi from Iraq all joined the president in the Oval Office as part of a four-day conference, called the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Four of the participants were from China, and one, a Uighur Muslim victim, claimed the government has locked devotees in concentration camps.

RELIGIOUS HARASSMENT WORSENING ACROSS WORLD, PEW STUDY SHOWS

U.N. Human Rights Council experts estimated at least 1 million Uighurs have been held in detention centers within China, and at least two dozen countries have urged China to cease the religious persecution of the group that has over 11 million worshippers in the country, as Reuters reported.

The U.S., which already has a tenuous relationship with China over accusations of intellectual property theft, has touted the idea of sanctioning Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party chief of Xinjiang, along with other Chinese officials over the persecution of the Uighurs.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to address efforts to advance international religious freedom, a top foreign policy agenda for Trump, at the final event of the conference on Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said “additional measures” to tackle persecution would be announced at the State Department meeting Thursday.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060511203001_6060513827001-vs Trump hosts victims of religious persecution at White House Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/religion/persecutions fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4407dea4-c4d9-5fd4-8504-b5bc89e32248   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6060511203001_6060513827001-vs Trump hosts victims of religious persecution at White House Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/religion/persecutions fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4407dea4-c4d9-5fd4-8504-b5bc89e32248

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Dems circle wagons around the ‘squad,’ as Omar responds to ‘send her back’ chant

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Omar_AP-FOX Dems circle wagons around the 'squad,' as Omar responds to 'send her back' chant Gregg Re fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc fac9955d-a554-56be-9fb5-02a732a6ce32 article

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., other Democrats, and a slew of commentators united in condemning President Trump on Wednesday night, after the crowd at a North Carolina “Make America Great Again” rally broke out in a striking chant of “send her back” while the president criticized Omar and other members of the so-called progressive Democrat “squad.”

The three words referred to Trump’s tweet on Sunday in which the president said unnamed “Democrat Congresswomen” should go back and fix the “corrupt” and “crime infested places” from which they came and then “come back and show us how it’s done.”

The president later all but affirmed he was referring to Omar, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — all of whom, except Omar, were born in the United States. After a historic floor fight, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives formally condemned Trump’s comments as “racist” on Tuesday.

“Let ’em leave …  they’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said at the rally, doubling down on his earlier comments.

In response on Wednesday evening, Omar quoted civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou on Twitter: “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

She also retweeted a post from California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, calling out the “racist chant” and urging people to “vote, donate & organize like never before” to save “the soul of our country.”

Omar also retweeted Minnesota State Sen. Matt Klein’s message of support.

“Congresswoman Omar is staying here,” Klein wrote. “I welcome your opinions on her policies. But if you think you are more American than her, you don’t know what America is, and it is you that should leave.”

2020 Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris echoed those sentiments.

“It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won’t share it here. It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.”

Added D.C. Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy: “It should go without saying that chanting ‘Send her back!’ about a refugee-turned-fellow-citizen (no matter how stridently you disagree with her & how wrong she may be about basically everything) is indefensible, but I certainly look forward to the hot takes trying to defend it.”

STATE PROBE REVIVES QUESTIONS ABOUT ILHAN OMAR’S MARRIAGE

Town Hall editor Guy Benson agreed, writing, “‘Send her back’ is an appalling chant. Omar is a US citizen. My less-catchy chant would be: ‘Condemn her bigotry, combat her radicalism, and investigate her seriously alleged fraud!'”

In his wide-ranging rally Wednesday, Trump went point-by-point, member-by-member, as he unloaded on the squad. Trump specifically slammed Omar saying she “smeared U.S. service members in ‘Black Hawk Down.’ She slandered the brave Americans trying to keep peace in Somalia” — a dig at her Somali-American heritage.

Trump also said Omar blamed America for the economic crisis in Venezuela and refused to condemn Al Qaeda.

Trump then moved on to his critique of Tlaib, saying she “used the F-word to describe the presidency and your president.”

“That’s not nice, even for me,” Trump said. “That’s not somebody who loves our country.”

The president then took aim at Ocasio-Cortez, whom he mocked for her “three different names” as well as saying she inaccurately described the migrant holding facilities at the southern border as concentration camps.

Of Pressley, Trump said the Massachusetts congresswoman “thinks that people with the same skin color all need to think the same. She said, ‘we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be brown voices, we don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,'” a reference to remarks Pressley gave at a conference this past weekend. “Can you imagine if I said that?”

At the top of his remarks Wednesday night, Trump celebrated the House’s decision to shelve impeachment proceedings against him.

HOUSE VOTES TO KILL REP. AL GREEN’S RESOLUTION TO IMPEACH TRUMP

“I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I ever worked on,” Trump said, referring to an impeachment resolution proposed by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, that was widely opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top Democrats.

“The resolution — How stupid is that? — on impeachment.”

Trump called the 332-95 vote to sideline the impeachment resolution Wednesday “totally lopsided” and a “slaughter,” and instead touted the strong economy and low unemployment numbers under his administration.

“And they want to try and impeach,” he said. “It’s a disgrace.”

Fox New’s Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Omar_AP-FOX Dems circle wagons around the 'squad,' as Omar responds to 'send her back' chant Gregg Re fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc fac9955d-a554-56be-9fb5-02a732a6ce32 article   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Omar_AP-FOX Dems circle wagons around the 'squad,' as Omar responds to 'send her back' chant Gregg Re fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/rashida-tlaib fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc fac9955d-a554-56be-9fb5-02a732a6ce32 article

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Reporter’s Notebook: Unprecedented anger on House floor, but things are looking up

Westlake Legal Group AP19178555270900 Reporter's Notebook: Unprecedented anger on House floor, but things are looking up fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/leadership fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram article 257a775c-3800-5cd3-ad01-04ff891fe16c

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., was fed up.

“I abandon the chair!” fumed Cleaver from the dais in the House chamber Tuesday afternoon.

Members view the gavel which they wield when presiding over Congressional debates like a sacred antique. The gavel is one of the symbols of the House. But disgusted with fellow House members from both sides of the aisle, a boiling Cleaver chucked the gavel onto the rostrum like a baseball player discarding a bat after a questionable third strike.

PELOSI REMARKS ON TRUMP’S ‘RACIST’ COMMENTS RULED OUT OF ORDER AFTER FLOOR FIGHT ERUPTS

The Missourian then stomped off the dais, leaving the House of Representatives without a presiding officer right in the middle of a supercharged debate on a resolution “Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.”

No one could recall an episode where any member, presiding over the House or Senate, had grown so exasperated that they relinquished their post during such a critical moment.

Floor debate on such a divisive resolution required a particular hand on the gavel. Someone who was a Congressional veteran, skilled at moderating testy exchanges. Someone who was fair. Even-keeled. A Zen-like presence who was gentle yet simultaneously firm. So House Democrats tapped Cleaver, a United Methodist minister and former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, for the job.

But Cleaver had had enough.

DEM-LED HOUSE FORMALLY CONDEMNS TRUMP REMARKS DEEMED ‘RACIST’ AFTER DRAMATIC FLOOR FIGHT OVER PELOSI

“We don’t ever, ever want to pass up it seems, an opportunity to escalate,” seethed Cleaver from the chair. “We just want to fight!”

House Rule XXII, Clause 1(b) bars attacks on “the President’s character.” The manual the House uses to this day governing parliamentary discourse – written by Thomas Jefferson himself – bars lawmakers from using language which is “personally offensive to the President.” Another volume on House procedure, Cannon’s Precedents – written by the late Rep. Clarence Cannon, D-Mo., not the late House Speaker Joe Cannon, R-Ill. – prohibits “personal criticism, innuendo, ridicule or terms of opprobrium.”

So one wondered how lawmakers could possibly debate a measure about President Trump’s “racist comments” and keep the discourse between the guardrails.

It was Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., who took issue with the floor speech of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the President’s racist tweets,” said Pelosi on the floor. “To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office.”

Collins asked Pelosi if she cared to re-state her remarks. A defiant Speaker glared at Collins.

“I cleared that with the parliamentarian before I spoke,” was Pelosi’s icy reply.

And with that, for the first time in 35 years, a rank-and-file lawmaker challenged whether the Speaker of the House had breached decorum. Collins argued that Pelosi’s words – designating the President’s tweets as “racist” – crossed the line. The Georgia Republican demanded that Pelosi’s words “be taken down.”

The “taking down” of words is the Congressional equivalent of being pulled over for speeding. You may have done something wrong. But we have to first go to court to determine guilt or innocence. The House periodically tags rank-and-file members when their language violates House standards. But the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill, D-Mass., was the last Speaker to have words “taken down” on May 15, 1984.

O’Neill didn’t appreciate future House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., implying that Democrats were silent as he “challenged their Americanism” while speaking to an empty chamber. O’Neill thundered from the House floor at Gingrich, then a mere backbencher, that he had done “the lowest thing I have ever seen in my 32 years in Congress.”

Then House Minority Whip and future Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., thought O’Neill’s use of the word “lowest” went too far. The House ruled that O’Neill violated House rules and that his words weren’t in order.

It’s customary for the House to bar lawmakers whose verbiage runs afoul of the rules from speaking for the rest of the day on the floor. But despite the breach, Lott deferred to O’Neill and asked the House to permit the Speaker the privilege of addressing the House later. The House obliged.

In December 1973, the late Rep. Bella Abzug, D-N.Y., suggested that an amendment offered by the late Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., was “racist.” Never mind that Dingell sponsored the Civil Rights Act of 1957. At the time, the nation was embroiled in the “energy crisis.” In an effort to conserve gas, Dingell’s plan barred the use of fuel to bus children to school across town. The House ruled that Abzug impugned Dingell and struck her remarks from the record. But the House did not mute Abzug for the rest of that day’s session.

Back to Tuesday …

House custom dictates that a lawmaker whose words are taken down should take a seat in the chamber and wait for a ruling from the chair. But Pelosi left the House chamber after Collins demanded the House adjudicate the Speaker’s language.

COLLINS BLASTS PELOSI’S REMARKS: DEMS PASSED RESOLUTION THEY COULDN’T READ ON HOUSE FLOOR

After Cleaver ditched the dais, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., subbed in the chair, followed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. After nearly two hours of behind-the-scenes quarreling, Hoyer cited the 1984 precedent, which asserted that Pelosi broke the rules. Collins then asked that the House vote to erase the Speaker’s statement. But on consecutive party-line votes, the House voted that Pelosi didn’t violate the code of conduct and could continue to speak on the floor for the remainder of the day.

“We’re going to defend our Speaker,” said one senior Democrat while rushing to the vote.

In other words, the House voted against the precedent set in 1984 – which of course, establishes a new precedent.

Appearing Wednesday on Fox, Cleaver said he had the opportunity to rule against practically everyone who spoke on the condemnation resolution. But he didn’t – until Collins took on the Speaker.

“I allowed it to go along because I thought, ‘OK. We’re not going to start a fight in here,'” said Cleaver, who added that he fled the chair “for my own mental health.”

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Congress was back to brawling Wednesday. The House voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress over the census. The House voted to block an effort by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, to impeach President Trump. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., presided over the contempt vote. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, did the honors for the procedural vote on impeachment.

Despite choleric issues on the floor, perhaps the best news in the House is that neither Maloney nor Pingree deserted the chair.

Perhaps things are looking up on Capitol Hill.

Westlake Legal Group AP19178555270900 Reporter's Notebook: Unprecedented anger on House floor, but things are looking up fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/leadership fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram article 257a775c-3800-5cd3-ad01-04ff891fe16c   Westlake Legal Group AP19178555270900 Reporter's Notebook: Unprecedented anger on House floor, but things are looking up fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/leadership fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram article 257a775c-3800-5cd3-ad01-04ff891fe16c

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