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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Sunday that she intends to have American schools open for in-person classes this fall, and insisted that this can be done safely despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

“Parents are expecting that this fall their kids are going to have a full-time experience with their learning, and we need to follow through on that promise,” DeVos told “Fox News Sunday,” stressing that “kids cannot afford to not continue learning.”

DeVos said it is “not a matter of if” this happens, but “a matter of how.”

The secretary hold host Chris Wallace that “the CDC never recommended that schools close in the first place,” but she did note that there can be exceptions in areas that are coronavirus hot spots.

“Where there are hot spots in the future, in the fall, of course that has to be dealt with differently,” she said.

DeVos said that students have suffered from not being in a classroom environment this past spring, and that schools should have the ability to help them catch up in the fall.

“They’ve fallen behind this spring, we need to ensure they’re back in a classroom situation wherever possible and whenever possible, and fully functioning, fully learning,” she said.

DeVos also said that by not being in school, there are children with mental, emotional and social issues who are suffering from being stuck at home.

DeVos and President Trump had previously threatened to withhold funding from schools that do not reopen in the fall. Sunday, DeVos reiterated this warning.

“American investment in education is a promise to students and their families,” she said. “If schools aren’t going to reopen and not fulfill that promise, they shouldn’t get the funds.”

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: DeVos vows to have schools open in fall: ‘Kids have got to get back to school’

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration acted within its authority when it expanded exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement for employers to provide insurance coverage that includes contraception — in a victory for Little Sisters of the Poor, the Catholic group that has been at the center of the national debate over the mandate.

The court ruled 7-2 in favor of the Trump administration and the Catholic charity that cares for the elderly in two related disputes against Pennsylvania, which sued over the validity of a rule from the Trump administration that allowed religiously-affiliated groups and some for-profit companies to opt-out of providing contraception coverage to employees.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, ruled that the Trump administration’s challenged rulemaking was aboveboard, and hailed the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas participates in taking a new family photo with his fellow justices at the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst – RC15CF6608B0

“For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother,” Thomas wrote. “But for the past seven years, they — like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision — have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

He added: “We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects.”

Little Sisters of the Poor Sister Constance Veit told Shannon Bream on “Fox News @ Night” earlier this year that following the ACA mandate was “unthinkable.”

“We dedicate our lives to this because we believe in the dignity of every human life at every stage of life from conception until natural death,” Veit said. “So, we’ve devoted our lives — by religious vows — to caring for the elderly. And, we literally are by their bedside holding their hand as they pass on to eternal life. So, it’s unthinkable for us, on the one way, to be holding the hand of the dying elderly, and on the other hand, to possibly be facilitating the taking of innocent unborn life.”

The Supreme Court also ruled in favor of religious organizations in an employment discrimination case Wednesday. And last week it came down with a ruling that states could not ban religious schools from receiving money from state-funded scholarship programs that are available to non-religious private schools.

Lower court rulings had gone against the administration, with a nationwide injunction putting the exemptions on hold. But the Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday amounts to a huge win for religious conservatives who have been battling the ACA’s contraceptive mandate for years.

“It is outrageous that the Obama administration forced a group of nuns to violate their religious beliefs in the first place,” Judicial Crisis Network Vice President and Senior Counsel Frank Scaturro tweeted. “The Court’s decision today upholding that exemption is a victory for freedom of religion and conscience—for the Little Sisters and for everyone. Let’s be thankful that the Little Sisters’ ordeal in court has finally ended.”

Thomas was joined in his judgment by all the justices except for Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday. Ginsburg raised alarms in her dissent that the ruling could put women’s health at risk.

“Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree,” she wrote. “Destructive of the Women’s Health Amendment, this Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer’s insurer, and, absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets.”

There were two concurring opinions, one written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, and another written by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by Justice Stephen Breyer.

In her opinion, Kagan said that she believed the Trump administration had the authority to make the religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate, but that she is suspicious about whether the administration fulfilled “administrative law’s demand for reasoned decisionmaking.”

Loraine Marie Maguire (3rd R), mother provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, stands alongside fellow nuns following oral arguments in 7 cases dealing with religious organizations that want to ban contraceptives from their health insurance policies on religious grounds at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, March 23, 2016. ((SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images))

Kagan argues that Pennsylvania could further challenge the religious exemption as “arbitrary and capricious” in lower courts following Wednesday’s ruling — something that the lower courts did not previously rule on because they had decided that the rule was outside of the administration’s authority.

Alito’s concurrence, on the other hand, argues that Thomas’ ruling did not go far enough and that the court should have ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) requires the religious exemption.

“We now send these cases back to the lower courts, where the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey are all but certain to pursue their argument that the current rule is flawed on yet another ground, namely, that it is arbitrary and capricious and thus violates the APA,” Alito wrote.

He added: “If RFRA requires this exemption, the Departments did not act in an arbitrary and capricious manner in granting it. And in my judgment, RFRA compels an exemption for the Little Sisters and any other employer with a similar objection to what has been called the accommodation to the contraceptive mandate.”

Liberal groups were incensed by the Wednesday decision, which they said was essentially a license to discriminate.

“This is a shameful decision from the Supreme Court,” Bridgitte Amiri, the deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said. “Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it does not grant a license to discriminate. Denying employees and students coverage for birth control will limit their ability to decide whether and when to have a family and make other decisions about their futures. And it will exacerbate existing inequalities, falling hardest on people with the fewest resources and people of color.”

Amiri noted that the religious exemption is just that — an exemption. And most employers will still have to provide birth control in their health care plans under the ACA.

But pro-life groups nonetheless carried the day, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, credited President Trump.

“Today is a major victory for President Trump, who has courageously fought to protect the Little Sisters of the Poor from the Obama-Biden HHS abortifacient mandate,” she said. “We commend President Trump for standing strong for the Little Sisters of the Poor – his record stands in stark contrast to that of Joe Biden, who helped launch this assault as Obama’s Vice President nearly a decade ago.”

The justices this fall will hear a broader challenge to Obamacare, and requests by the current administration and some red-leaning states to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act. It is a move opposed by the Democratic-led House and a coalition of other states.

Author: Tyler Olson, Ronn Blitzer, Shannon Bream

Source: Fox News: Supreme Court rules in favor of Little Sisters of the Poor in ObamaCare contraception case

The single-payer health care plan known as “Medicare-for-all” now enjoys support from more than half of Democrats in the House of Representatives, with top-ranking Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., adding his name to the list of co-sponsors.

The bill, introduced in February by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., calls for the replacement of private health insurance with a government plan covering everyone. Jeffries became the 118th co-sponsor.

“Given the enduring nature of our health care access and affordability crisis, more must be done,” Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

Jayapal celebrated Jeffries’ support the day before his name officially was added to the sponsor list, tweeting that it is “a huge step in the fight for #MedicareForAll!”

The widespread support in the caucus underscores how quickly the party has embraced the costly policy, popular with the progressive base, since the last presidential election.

When she introduced the bill in February, Jayapal described it as “a complete transformation of our health care system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core benefits,” saying it would be “universal care, everybody in, nobody out.” At the time, the bill immediately drew support from 106 Democrats.

Since then, another 12 have added their names, with Jeffries being the latest.

The bill would virtually do away with private insurance by making it illegal for private companies to provide the same coverage as the public plan. Jayapal predicted that by doing away with private insurance plans, approximately 1 million people who work for insurance companies would lose their jobs.

“We have thought carefully about how we’d take care of those folks because we think those people are very important,” Jayapal said during a May town hall at American University.

“We have set aside one percent a year of the total cost of the bill for five years to take care of a transition for employees in the private insurance sector,” she explained. “If they are able to retire, that might be one, pension guarantees, job training so they can move into a different system.”

A Senate version of “Medicare-for-all” has been pushed by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Candidates have split over just how far they are willing to go when it comes to socialized health care. Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., favor a public system that abolishes private insurance, while others such as Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg have called for keeping private options for those who prefer to keep their existing plans.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Majority of House Dems now support ‘Medicare-for-all’

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford announced Sunday that he is running for president as a Republican, becoming the latest to challenge President Trump in the GOP primaries.

Sanford said the Republican Party is facing an identity crisis, and he wants the GOP to take a look at itself and do some soul searching.

“I think we have to have a conversation about what it means to be a Republican,” Sanford told “Fox News Sunday,” claiming the party “has lost our way.”

Sanford specifically made reference to the debt, deficit and government spending. Other conservatives expressed concern about these issues when Trump helped Congress pass a spending bill that increases spending caps and suspends the debt ceiling, allowing for more government borrowing until July 31, 2021. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., blasted his colleagues at the time, saying it “marks the death of the Tea Party movement in America.”

Sanford also challenged Trump’s tactics when it comes to trade, saying that engaging the world when it comes to trade is “one of the hallmarks of the Republican Party.”

He also brought up political culture, which he said has been “damaged” by Trump.

“We need to have a conversation about humility,” Sanford said, blasting Trump’s social media habits by claiming that a tweet “is not leadership.”

Earlier this summer, when Sanford was still deciding whether to run, he admitted, “I don’t think anybody’s going to beat Donald Trump.”

When pressed on why he is running a race that he knows he will likely lose, Sanford said, “this is the beginning of a long walk, but it begins with a first step.”

Host Chris Wallace grilled Sanford on his own controversies, which include a stretch of nearly a week in 2009 during his term as governor, when he disappeared only to eventually admit that he was in Argentina having an extramarital affair. At the time, his spokesperson said Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Sanford said he “profoundly apologized for that,” contrasting his remorse with Trump, who he said does not apologize for anything. Trump poked fun at Sanford after his scandal was brought to light, but Sanford insisted that his campaign against the president was not personal.

Sanford is now the third Republican to announce a run against Trump in the primaries, with former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh previously announcing their campaigns.

After Weld and Walsh stated they were running against Trump, Politico reported that the Republican parties of Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina were looking to scrap their primaries and caucuses.

“Trump and his allies and the Republican National Committee are doing whatever they can do to eliminate primaries in certain states and make it very difficult for primary challengers to get on the ballot in a number of states,” Walsh told Politico. Weld reacted by tweeting, “Donald Trump, by turns arrogant and paranoid, has made no secret of the fact that he wishes to be crowned as president rather than elected. That might be fine in a monarchy, but we overthrew ours two centuries ago.”

Kansas Republican Party Executive Director Shannon Golden, meanwhile, defended the decision, telling Fox News that the state never has Republican primaries when there is a GOP incumbent.

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Mark Sanford announces Trump primary challenge: GOP ‘has lost our way’

Presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., on Tuesday revealed a sweeping $3 trillion plan to combat climate change, calling to “accelerate the end” of fossil fuels and achieve “100% carbon-free electricity” by 2030.

Like the costly and controversial Green New Deal, which Booker co-sponsored in the form of a Senate resolution, Booker’s plan aims to address both climate change and economic inequality.

“To end the real and growing threat of climate change and to create a more just country for everyone, we must heal these past mistakes and act boldly to create a green and equitable future. That’s exactly what I’ll do as president,” Booker said in a statement.

The plan includes an array of executive actions, such as taking on companies that pollute with increased EPA enforcement, requiring all new passenger vehicles to have zero emissions by 2030, and imposing a ban on all new fossil fuel leases. Booker also intends to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and revoke orders from President Trump to approve the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines.

Additionally, Booker wants to push Congress to create a United States Environmental Justice Fund, which would commit $50 billion a year “to advance environmental justice and invest in communities long left behind.” Goals include replacing lead drinking water service lines in residences, schools, and daycares; cleaning abandoned uranium, coal, and hard rock mines; and planting 100 million trees in urban areas that Booker’s plan says suffer disproportionately from air pollution.

The plan sets a goal of 2045 for achieving a completely “carbon-neutral” economy through investments in clean energy such as wind and solar, and “a next-generation smart grid.”

Booker’s plan joins other costly proposals put forth by fellow Democratic candidates.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a Clean Energy Revolution that would involve $1.7 trillion in federal investments and “additional private sector and state and local investments of more than $5 trillion. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke has a $5 trillion climate plan and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has a plan for a Green New Deal that would cost $16.3 trillion in public funds.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Cory Booker unveils $3 trillion climate change plan, creating ‘Environmental Justice Fund’

Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee suggested in a court filing Monday that they have been carrying out an impeachment investigation of President Trump since before Robert Mueller’s report was even submitted, which appears to contradict previous statements by committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Nadler first claimed earlier this month that “formal impeachment proceedings” were underway when he filed a petition to get secret grand jury information from the Mueller report. But Monday’s filing in a separate case looking to compel testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn suggested that it had already started on March 4 — weeks before Mueller sent his report to Attorney General Bill Barr on March 22.

“On March 4, 2019, the Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into ‘threats to the rule of law,’ encompassing alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration,” the filing says, adding that “one critical purpose of the Committee’s investigation is to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President.”

Monday’s motion called for a preliminary injunction or summary judgment so that McGahn would have to testify. McGahn has refused to comply with a committee subpoena, asserting that he has immunity.

The March 4 date is in line with an Aug. 1 op-ed for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel by Rep. Ted Deutsche, D-Fla., but it is in stark contrast with previous claims from the Democratic leadership.

In a Washington Post interview published March 11, Pelosi said, “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.”

According to Monday’s court filing, Democrats were already going down that path a week before that interview went to print.

It was early August when Nadler first told CNN that “formal impeachment proceedings” were taking place, at the same time that he was initiating the case for the secret grand jury material. In May he said during a WNYC radio appearance that “there certainly is” justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, but that it was critical for the American public to agree before launching the process.

“We’re going to have to have the investigation,” Nadler said in response to a question from a caller, adding that he was going to talk to colleagues about the possibility of a formal impeachment inquiry.

Nadler specifically noted in the May appearance that there is a difference between a “formal impeachment inquiry” and holding hearings outside the context of a formal inquiry. He said that there are “functional differences” between holding hearings in an official impeachment investigation and doing so without one, including “legal powers that we wouldn’t have without it.”

Those legal powers include being able to access secret grand jury information, as impeachment investigations have been deemed to fall under an exception that allows disclosure of grand jury material in the context of judicial proceedings.

Nadler’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News questions about when formal proceedings began, or if they are taking place at all.

House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., wrote Monday in a letter to Nadler obtained by Fox News that no such formal proceedings could be taking place, and that Nadler is running afoul of the Rules of the House. According to the letter, Nadler is already preparing for gaining access to the grand jury material by saying that only members of his committee and the House Intelligence Committee could view it. Collins insists that this goes against protocol.

“It is beyond the scope of your authority, absent a vote of the full House, to prohibit other Members of the House from reviewing any materials in possession of the Committee,” Collins wrote, also pointing out that Nadler never received House authorization to conduct a “formal impeachment inquiry.”

“Without these formal steps, the Committee cannot possibly be conducting a ‘formal impeachment inquiry,’ as you claim it is,” Collins said.

In their Monday court filing, the Democrats claimed that their authority for conducting their investigation is derived from their constitutional powers.

“Pursuant to its Article I powers, the Judiciary Committee is investigating Presidential misconduct,” the motion says. “Its investigation is critical to its determination whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President, and will also inform its legislative and oversight functions.”

Democrats argue that McGahn, in particular, must testify because he is “the most important fact witness in the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President.” Their motion states that McGahn’s statements to the Special Counsel’s Office are referenced more than 160 times in Mueller’s report, and that “he is uniquely situated to answer factual questions critical to the Judiciary Committee’s investigation[.]”

This was in reference to the report’s discussion of how Trump allegedly asked McGahn to have Mueller fired – a request viewed by Democrats as an obstruction of justice.

The White House told the committee that the president directed McGahn not to testify, relying on the Office of Legal Counsel’s determination that McGahn could not be compelled to testify regarding his time working for the administration.

The committee argued that “President Trump’s directive that McGahn not testify has no valid basis in law.”

Democrats had attempted to have this case assigned to D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who is handling Nadler’s petition for the secret grand jury material in the Mueller report. Their argument was that because both cases are related to their impeachment investigation, they should be heard by the same judge.

Howell disagreed, stating that while the two cases may have stemmed from the same investigation, the facts and legal issues involved are totally unrelated.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Dem court filing suggests Trump impeachment probe began before Mueller even submitted report

Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh announced Sunday morning that he is running for president as a Republican, challenging President Trump in the GOP primary race, while delivering a blistering attack on the president’s character and qualifications.

Walsh blasted the president for his social media habits and general behavior.

“I’m running because he’s unfit; somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative,” Walsh said. “The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum — he’s a child.”

At the same time, Walsh recognized that he himself is guilty of the same behavior as the president, and even played a part in the division in Washington that led to Trump’s election.

“I helped create Trump,” the Tea Party favorite told ABC News‘ George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired Sunday morning. “I feel responsible for that.”

Walsh claimed that Trump was “tweeting us into a recession” and warned that “he’ll tweet us into war.”

Stephanopoulos called out Walsh for making outlandish statements of his own, including calling former President Barack Obama a Muslim and an enemy. Walsh said Trump “made me reflect on some of the things I’ve said in the past,” acknowledging that at times he “went beyond the policies and idea” and “said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret.”

When asked if he truly believes what he said about Obama, Walsh responded, “God no, and I have apologized for that.”

During the same interview, however, Walsh made a series of personal attacks against President Trump.

“He’s nuts, he’s erratic, he’s cruel, he stokes bigotry,” Walsh said. He accused Trump of not caring about America, saying, “the only thing he cares about is Trump.”

Walsh also cited Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border and to have Mexico pay for it, which has not happened.

“He’s incompetent. He has no freakin’ clue what he’s doing,” Walsh said.

The Trump campaign had far fewer words in response to Walsh’s announcement.

“Whatever,” campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said to ABC.

Walsh, who served one term in Congress, acknowledged that he has very little chance of defeating the president in the primaries, but said he wants to promote a different direction for the Republican Party. Earlier in August, Walsh published a New York Times op-ed about the need for Trump to face a primary challenge. He said the positive response to the piece inspired his decision to run.

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld has previously announced that he is running against Trump in the primaries.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Joe Walsh laments past controversial statements while blasting Trump: ‘He’s a child’

President Trump is defending himself against accusations of racism, claiming he’s just the latest target of a party that plays the “race card,” as he leveled criticism against Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

Trump called out Cummings on Saturday, slamming him as a “brutal bully” for how he spoke to border patrol officials, and said that the congressman’s Baltimore district is in “FAR WORSE” shape than the situation at the southern border. That rebuke resulted in claims of racism from Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but Trump pointed out that he’s hardly the first to get accused of racism, with the speaker herself recently in the middle of a similar controversy.

“Someone please explain to Nancy Pelosi, who was recently called racist by those in her own party, that there is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore. Just take a look, the facts speak far louder than words!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. “The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people,” he added.

The president appeared to be referring to how House Speaker Pelosi was the target of a thinly veiled accusation of racism when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., accused her of “singling out” women of color. That was after Pelosi dismissed Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad” — that includes Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — as being more influential on social media than in Congress. Trump defended Pelosi at the time.

On Saturday, Pelosi stood by Cummings and the city of Baltimore, where she was born, and rebuked Trump, calling his remarks “racist.”

“Rep. Cummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague,” she tweeted. “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also called Trump’s comments “ugly and racist” during a campaign stop on Saturday.

Trump doubled down on his comments against Cummings Saturday afternoon, tweeting, “Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through ‘Oversight.’ He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district!” The tweet included a video purporting to show a rundown area of West Baltimore.

The video included a female voice lamenting that “they’re worried about the kids at the border, but this is how actual American citizens got to live and deal with,” she added.

Trump tweeted a similar-appearing video late Saturday, asking: “.@RepCummings, why don’t you focus on your district!?”

“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily,” Cummings tweeted in response to Trump’s initial criticism. “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

Trump took another shot at Pelosi Sunday morning, saying her San Francisco district was unrecognizable, and that “Something must be done before it’s too late.”

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Trump throws ‘Squad’ feud back at Pelosi after ‘racist’ accusation: ‘Democrats always play the race card’

Rudy Giuliani pointed the finger squarely at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after videos surfaced Monday of people attacking NYPD officers by dousing them with water, saying this “would never happen in a million years when I was mayor of New York City.”

Footage shows separate incidents of people in Harlem and Brooklyn using buckets to splash and dump water over uniformed officers, as the cops calmly walk away. De Blasio condemned the acts as “Completely unacceptable,” and said, “We won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect.” Still, former mayor Giuliani believes the 2020 presidential candidate is part of the problem.

“This is what happens with knee-jerk disrespect for police. It will only get worse until these Left wing idiots are defeated,” Giuliani tweeted Tuesday morning, saying the current “disrespect for the uniform” is the “result of a Democrat-Progressive (Retrogressive)-Socialist Mayor.”

The former mayor had even stronger words Monday night on “The Ingraham Angle,” saying de Blasio was “absolutely destroying the quality of life in this city.”

Giuliani has criticized the mayor in the past over the increase in homelessness in New York City under de Blasio’s administration. Giuliani was known for reducing the number of people living on the streets.

“He’s a disgrace, and even Democrats don’t support him and are embarrassed of him,” Giuliani added, perhaps a reference to de Blasio’s low poll numbers as he campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Mayor de Blasio responded Tuesday afternoon, claiming that Giuliani is at least partly responsible for the tension between police and community members.

“The truth is crime’s NEVER been lower in New York City and that’s because we’re bridging the divide between police and communities — a divide @RudyGiuliani helped create,” de Blasio tweeted.

New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch also called out the city’s leadership after the videos went viral.

“Our anti-cop lawmakers have gotten their wish: the NYPD is now frozen. It’s not the fault of these police officers. It’s the end result of the torrent of bad policies and anti-police rhetoric that has been streaming out of City Hall and Albany for years now,” Lynch said in a statement, adding, “Disorder controls the streets, and our elected leaders refuse to allow us to take them back.”

In one of the videos, someone could be seen throwing a bucket at an officer, hitting him in the head as he appeared to be in the middle of an arrest.

Giuliani warned that crime would not decrease as long as officers are in this environment.

“The way you reduce crime is to have police officers with high morale,” he said. “That uniform should be respected.”

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan called the acts “reprehensible” and said officers do “remarkable” work and that the department has their back.

“Use your discretion — make arrests when necessary — and know that you have our support and full confidence,” he said.

Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison also expressed support for the officers, saying they “have the difficult job of protecting their communities and will not be disrespected while doing so.”

“Although the police department is working on building relationships with the community, there is a line that cannot be crossed,” he said.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Giuliani shreds de Blasio over videos of NYPD officers doused with water: ‘He’s a disgrace’

President Trump’s dream of a celebration showing off America’s military capabilities will become a reality on Thursday, as the president confirmed tanks will play a role in Washington, D.C.’s Fourth of July festivities — and the vehicles were seen being hauled in on a freight train.

An Associated Press photographer spotted the two M1A1 Abrams tanks, along with four other military vehicles, in a railyard at the southeastern edge of Washington. A military official earlier told the AP that the tanks were transported north from Fort Stewart in Georgia.

This comes after the president said Monday: “We’re going to have some tanks stationed outside.”

The vehicles include M1A1 Abrams tanks, the type currently used by American armed forces, as well as Sherman tanks, the kind commonly used during World War II, according to the president. Having tanks rolling down the streets of D.C. had raised concerns due to their weight, with the Abrams tanks weighing upwards of 60 tons each. Trump acknowledged these concerns Monday, without offering many details.

“You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks,” Trump said Monday. “So we have to put them in certain areas, but we have the brand new Sherman tanks and we have the brand new Abrams tanks.”

The military display is all part of the “Salute to America” event that Trump is putting on this Thursday.

“I’m going to say a few words and we’re going to have planes going overhead, the best fighter jets in the world and other planes, too,” Trump said. This includes a demonstration by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted about the upcoming festivities, saying, “The Pentagon & our great Military Leaders are thrilled to be doing this & showing to the American people among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World.”

There will also be fireworks near the Lincoln Memorial, which is where Trump is scheduled to speak.

Democrats, though, are worried that the president will turn the national event into a political rally.

“President Trump’s efforts to insert politics into a celebration of our nation’s history is extremely alarming,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in a statement last month. “Forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for what amounts to a political rally is irresponsible and a misuse of funds. I strongly urge the president to reconsider his proposed event.”

Hoyer was among several House Democrats who wrote a letter to Trump on June 6 asking him to abandon his plans, saying they worry it will “create the appearance of a televised, partisan campaign rally on the Mall at public expense.” In asking the president to reconsider, Democrats accused him of wanting to make the event about himself.

“We’re going to have a great Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. It’ll be like no other,” Trump countered. “It’ll be special and I hope a lot of people come. And it’s going to be about this country and it’s a salute to America.”

Along with the aerial demonstrations, fireworks and other festivities, PBS’s 39th annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert will take place on the West Lawn of the Capitol. It will be hosted by “Fuller House” actor John Stamos and include performances by singer-songwriter Carole King, actress and singer Vanessa Williams, pop star Colbie Caillat and a special appearance by the Sesame Street Muppets. A representative from PBS said “A Capitol Fourth” was not affiliated with Trump’s “Salute to America,” which is to be held at the Lincoln Memorial.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Brooke Singman, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Ronn Blitzer

Source: Fox News: Tanks arrive in DC as Trump confirms July Fourth celebration will feature military display

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