Tag Archives: Calls

Melania Trump Calls Stormy Daniels ‘Porn Hooker’ in Secret Recording

Melania Trump referred to her husband’s alleged mistress, Stormy Daniels, as “the porn hooker” … while talking to a friend, who was secretly recording her for a book. The First Lady’s former BFF and adviser, Stephanie Wolkoff, just released the…

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Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panel

Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panelHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes Attorney General William Barr accomplished one thing during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.Barr "demonstrated to the American people the contempt that he has for our democracy," Pelosi told MSNBC's Ari Melber. Throughout the hearing, Barr was on the defensive, as Democrats accused him of intervening in the criminal cases of people close to President Trump and questioned him about his role in sending federal agents to cities where anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests are taking place.Pelosi was not impressed by anything Barr had to say, telling Melber, "I just thought he was despicable and so beneath the dignity of the attorney general." Pelosi called Barr out for his "inconsistencies" in "not sending law enforcement in when people invaded the legislature in Michigan" while carrying guns, but saying that in cities where "demonstrators are out on the streets, that's violent."She also said Barr should be "answering for what he did at Lafayette Square," when he ordered that peaceful protesters be pushed out of the Washington, D.C., park ahead of a Trump photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church. Barr denied that tear gas was used against the protesters, and Pelosi called the entire incident "a disgrace. He was like a blob, just a henchman for the president of the United States, instead of the attorney general of the United States of America."Pelosi told Melber she paid particular attention to questions "related to upholding the Constitution of the United States," and felt Barr "fell very short in that regard. He is there to support the president of the United States, Donald Trump, no matter what. He's not the president's lawyer, that was Michael Cohen, and you know what happened to him." > WATCH: @SpeakerPelosi hits back at AG Barr for criticizing her "stormtrooper" comment. pic.twitter.com/iYQ0y6OyD5> > — The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC (@TheBeatWithAri) July 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Rep. Louie Gohmert told his staff he tested positive for coronavirus in person Even mild coronavirus cases can cause lasting cardiovascular damage, study shows Michelle Obama's podcast sounds suspiciously like a stump speech

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AG Barr Calls Black Lives Matter Protests in Portland ‘an Assault’ on U.S. Government in Testy Hearing

AG Barr Calls Black Lives Matter Protests in Portland ‘an Assault’ on U.S. Government in Testy HearingIn his first appearance ever before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr declined to say that political concerns weren’t animating the Trump administration’s use of federal troops to crack down on Black Lives Matter demonstrators.Asked by Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) if he’d discussed the politics of the crackdown with Trump or anyone in his inner circle, Barr didn’t specifically mention the Department of Justice operations but confirmed that the election “comes up” in his conversations with the president. “I’m a member of the Cabinet,” said Barr, “and there’s an election going on.”Pressed further by Nadler on the topic, Barr demurred: “I’m not going to get into my discussions with the president.” Bully Boy Bill Barr is America’s Ultimate Chaos AgentAs well, Barr indicated he views protesters in Portland, Oregon, not as demonstrators demanding Black liberation or defending themselves from an unwanted federal intrusion but as insurrectionists.“What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest,” Barr said in his highly anticipated testimony. “It is, by any objective measure, an assault on the government of the United States.”Later, in response to GOP questioning, Barr thundered “is that OK?” in outlining demonstrators’ alleged offenses against federal officers. “I reject the idea that the Department has flooded anywhere and attempted to suppress demonstrators… We are at the courthouse defending the courthouse, we’re not out there looking for trouble.” Barr’s rhetoric represented the latest escalation by the Trump administration in demonizing the protests, which are part of what has become the largest sustained movement in American history. A Monday statement from the U.S. Marshals, a component of the Justice Department, called elements within the protesters “violent extremists,” a term typically used by the U.S. government to describe domestic terrorists, though a Marshals spokesperson said the reference was unintentional. “In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims,” Barr contended. Democrats fumed through the hearing on what they saw as Barr’s hypocrisy on that count. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) asked Barr whether he was aware of the pro-Trump protests in Michigan targeting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which featured heavily armed demonstrators. Barr said no. “You are aware of certain kinds of protesters, but in Michigan when protesters carried guns and Confederate flags and called for the governor of Michigan to be shot and lynched, somehow you are not aware of that, somehow you didn’t know about it, so you didn’t send federal agents in to do to the president’s supporters what you did to the president’s protesters,” charged Jayapal. The testimony from Barr, which has been more than a year in the making, has been hotly anticipated by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill as an opportunity to litigate a number of his actions as Trump’s attorney general. Over the past year, Barr has overseen a reduction in the desired sentence and then the commutation of Trump ally Roger Stone’s conviction; the withdrawal of the criminal case against another Trump ally, Michael Flynn; the tear-gassing of Black Lives Matter protesters in D.C.’s Lafayette Park; an effort to oust the New York federal attorney handling sensitive investigations into Trumpworld; the transference of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from prison to home confinement; and the deployment of armed, militarized federal agents against protesters in Portland over the objections of local and state elected officials. The growing portfolio of outrages that Barr has assembled has been overwhelming for House Democrats, some of whom have embraced the idea that the only remaining avenue for holding the attorney general—who has already been held in contempt of Congress—to account is to impeach him. But getting Barr on the House Judiciary witness stand, which was originally set for March and then later postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, is widely seen as the first step in whatever House Democrats decide to do next.In his opening statement, Nadler previewed the crux of Democrats’ case by arguing that Barr has been Trump’s fixer. “Your tenure,” Nadler told Barr, “is marked by a persistent war against the department’s professional core in an apparent effort to secure favors for the president.”Barr shot back that he was trying “to reestablish the rule of law.”Trump Administration Plots Crackdown by Feds in Cities NationwideThe attorney general’s handling of nationwide protests proved the focus of the hearing from the beginning. Federal agents, including the Marshals and others from the Department of Homeland Security, cited vandalism against the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland as a justification for their persistent presence. Barr, in his opening statement, called such vandalism the work of “hundreds of rioters.” Yet the federal response has generated the majority of the violence at the protests, which has included shooting protesters in the head with rubber bullets; breaking the hand of an unarmed Navy veteran; frequent pepper-spray dousings and tear-gassings; and street arrests without probable cause by minimally identified federal agents driving unmarked vans. Barr equivocated on whether federal agents can arrest protesters without probable cause, saying they could “not strictly” arrest someone because they were proximate to someone they believed was violent. But he demurred about whether such a thing represented an actual arrest, saying “that would require an intensive review” into each circumstance. It remains unknown exactly how many people in Portland have been arrested by federal agents during the July deployments. At one point, late in the hearing, Barr called pepper spray a “very important nonlethal tool” against “rioters” and added, “When people resist law enforcement, they’re not peaceful.”“There is no precedent for the Department of Justice actively seeking out conflict with American citizens, under such flimsy pretext, or for such petty purposes,” said Nadler. He said Barr “aided and abetted the worst failings of the president.”Elected officials, from Oregon’s governor to both its U.S. senators to the Portland mayor, have denounced the federal presence as a provocative escalation of violence. Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have vowed to remain until the protests are quelled. ‘Shaking in Their Boots’: Trump Wanted a Portland-Style Offensive in ChicagoLast week, Barr justified a coming “surge” in federal law enforcement to Chicago, Albuquerque, and other cities—expected to last through the November election—by citing the Black Lives Matter protests as a source of public disrespect toward police. Black Lives Matter activists and their allies in Chicago are seeking an injunction against the use of Portland-style federal violence. After acknowledging “it is understandable” for Black Americans to distrust police, Barr said it was “an oversimplification” to view “some deep-seated racism generally infecting our police departments.” Defunding police is “grossly irresponsible,” he said, portraying crime as a “massively greater” threat to Black lives than police. Nadler countercharged: “At your direction, Department officials have downplayed the effects of systemic racism and abandoned the victims of police brutality; refused to hold abusive police departments accountable for their actions; and expressed open hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement.”But later in the hearing, Democrats also pressed Barr over his handling of criminal prosecutions stemming from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) repeatedly asked Barr why Stone appeared to get special exceptions for leniency based on his age and conduct. “Can you think of any other cases where the defendant threatened to kill a witness, threatened a judge… where the DOJ claimed those were mere technicalities?” asked Deutch. “Can you think of even one?” Barr raised his voice in response, asserting the judge agreed with his analysis, though the witness in question, Randy Credico, did say he felt threatened by Stone. Democrats also tried to nail down definitive answers from Barr on a number of other subjects, such as whether he believed increased voting-by-mail increased the risk of voter fraud as Trump has alleged. Barr said it did. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) also raised concerns Trump would move the date of the election or even reject the results, given Trump’s arguments about absentee voting and the possibility that final results won’t be known for some time after Election Day. Barr tersely responded, “if the results are clear, I would leave office.” GOP Senators Will Say This Much: Trump Photo Op Wasn’t a Good LookBarr also seemed to dismiss the convictions and guilty pleas reached by Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, saying that the Justice Department would not prosecute “some esoteric, made-up crime, but [rather] a meat-and-potatoes crime.”On Tuesday, Barr—who wrote in his prepared opening statement that he is not “the President’s factotum”—received a warm reception from Republicans, for whom the attorney general has become a hero. The top House Judiciary Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), said last month the attorney general was doing “the Lord’s work.” “Spying. That’s why they’re after you, Mr. Attorney General,” Jordan said on Tuesday, before proceeding to portray the Black Lives Matter protests as violent through an extensive video that showed no police-induced violence.   A day before Barr’s hearing, a D.C. National Guard officer present at the Lafayette Park protest on June 1 told a different House committee that “the use of force against demonstrators in the clearing operation was an unnecessary escalation of the use of force.” Barr has denied accounts placing him in command responsibility for suppressing the protest. But the officer, West Point graduate and Iraq veteran Adam DeMarco, recounted Barr conferring with the Park Police shortly before they advanced to clear protesters from the square for Trump’s photo op. “From my observation, those demonstrators—our fellow American citizens—were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,” DeMarco told the House natural-resources committee on Monday. “Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”Barr, questioned by Jayapal, dismissed his comments. “I don’t remember DeMarco as being involved in any decision-making,” he said, implying DeMarco was not credible since he “ran as a Democratic candidate in Maryland.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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CDC says guidelines for reopening schools are 'not requirements' after Trump calls them 'impractical'

CDC says guidelines for reopening schools are 'not requirements' after Trump calls them 'impractical'After President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at what he called “impractical” and “expensive” guidelines for reopening schools published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency’s director stressed that they are just guidelines, “not requirements.”

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Woman calls police on black couple building patio at their own home

Woman calls police on black couple building patio at their own homeA video of a New Jersey woman calling the police on her black neighbours went viral and eventually spawned a protest outside the woman's home.The incident occurred on Monday when Fareed Nassor Hayat, an attorney and a professor of law at City University of New York, and his wife, Norrinda, were in the backyard building a stone patio.

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Attorney for family of missing soldier calls on Congress to launch investigation against Fort Hood, launches "I am Vanessa" campaign

Attorney for family of missing soldier calls on Congress to launch investigation against Fort Hood, launches "I am Vanessa" campaignAs the search for 20-year-old Private First Class Vanessa Guillen continues, the Guillen family attorney, Natalie Khawam has requested a congressional investigation into Fort Hood and Vanessa’s disappearance. Vanessa was last seen on April 22, 2020, in a parking lot at Fort Hood, in Texas, where she's stationed. Her car keys, barracks room key, identification card and wallet were later found in the armory room where she was working earlier in the day. Her phone is still missing. The U.S. Army

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US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for NYPD to be defunded

US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for NYPD to be defundedThe call to defund police departments in the wake of the George Floyd protests has support from a high-profile voice in the US House of Representatives.New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voiced her support for reducing and redirecting police department funds as a way to address systemic racism and excessive use of force in law enforcement agencies.

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Schumer calls on VA to explain use of unproven drug on vets

Schumer calls on VA to explain use of unproven drug on vetsThe Senate’s top Democrat on Sunday called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain why it allowed the use of an unproven drug on veterans for the coronavirus, saying patients may have been put at unnecessary risk. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the VA needs to provide Congress more information about a recent bulk order for $ 208,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine. President Donald Trump has heavily promoted the malaria drug, without evidence, as a treatment for COVID-19.

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China calls virus lawsuit brought by US state 'very absurd'

China calls virus lawsuit brought by US state 'very absurd'China on Wednesday slammed a lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. state of Missouri over the coronavirus pandemic as “very absurd.” Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the legal action has “no factual and legal basis at all” and repeated China’s defense of its response to the outbreak, which has largely subsided in the country where it was first detected. The ministry and other Chinese government departments have strenuously denied accusations that officials delayed reporting on the extent of the outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, despite reports that worries over political stability were placed above public health concerns.

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North Korea calls for stronger coronavirus measures

North Korea calls for stronger coronavirus measuresNorth Korea called for stronger measures against the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic at a meeting presided by leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported Sunday, without acknowledging whether the country had reported any infections. Officials in Pyongyang and its state media have repeatedly insisted that the North remains totally free of the virus, but Sunday’s report did not make that assertion. The coronavirus epidemic — which has infected more than 1.7 million worldwide — had become “a great disaster threatening the whole mankind, regardless of borders and continents”, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

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Liz Cheney Calls WHO’s Tedros ‘A Puppet of the Chinese Communist Party’

Liz Cheney Calls WHO’s Tedros ‘A Puppet of the Chinese Communist Party’Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) slammed the World Health Organization’s director general Tedros Adhanom for being “a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party” over the organization’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.Cheney, speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, cited Tedros’s kowtowing to Chinese authority in the wake of the outbreak, despite multiple reports detailing how Chinese government officials failed in their response.“The fact that the head of the WHO was unwilling to say, for example, yes, it’s right to cut off travel from China, was unwilling to acknowledge that there was, you know, community transmission, has been touting the Chinese Communist Party line from the beginning of this, tells you that he absolutely should go,” Cheney stated. “And again, you know, we’re in a situation where having somebody who is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party running the WHO is costing lives around the world. And in order for that organization to play anywhere near the role we need it to play, it needs a new director, certainly."Beijing silenced Wuhan laboratories which had realized in December that the coronavirus was related to the deadly SARS virus from 2002-2003, and continued to claim that coronavirus could not be transmitted from human-to-human for weeks after evidence of that fact emerged.The WHO parroted Beijing's line on January 14, tweeting that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus." The WHO also defended China’s multiple drastic alterations to its coronavirus case count, and has not criticized Beijing for refusing to count asymptomatic cases until April 1. Multiple reports have detailed how China backed Tedros’s bid for WHO director general in 2017, after he had worked closely with Beijing as Ethiopia's health minister.On Wednesday, Tedros defended his leadership and the response to the virus, warning that U.S. lawmakers were “politicizing” the pandemic.“Please, unity at national level. No using COVID for political points,” he said. “And then second, honest solidarity at global level and honest leadership from the U.S. and China . . . We shouldn't waste time pointing fingers. We need time to unite."Tedros also added that he was being personally attacked with “racist comments.”“I can tell you personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months. Abuses, or racist comments, giving me names, black or Negro. I’m proud of being black, proud of being Negro,” he stated. “I don’t care, to be honest . . .  even death threats. I don’t give a damn.”President Trump hammered the WHO on Tuesday, tweeting that the organization “really blew it.”> The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020Cheney is not the only lawmaker to single out Tedros for criticism. Last week, Senator Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) called him “a communist” and said Tedros “needs to step down.”

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Putin calls for sanctions 'moratorium' at G20 summit

Putin calls for sanctions 'moratorium' at G20 summitRussian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for sanctions relief during the coronavirus pandemic, telling G20 leaders it was a matter “of life and death”. “Ideally we should introduce a… joint moratorium on restrictions on essential goods as well as on financial transactions for their purchase,” Putin said at a virtual meeting of G20 leaders Thursday. “These matters should be freed of any politics,” Putin added.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Justice Department emergency proposals 'abhorrent'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Justice Department emergency proposals 'abhorrent'The coronavirus pandemic should not be an excuse for the suspension of civil rights, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Sunday.During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez to respond to the emergency proposals submitted to Congress by the Justice Department, including one which would give Attorney General William Barr the power to ask chief district judges to pause court proceedings when the court is overwhelmed by an emergency like the ongoing pandemic.That has set off some alarms because of what it could mean for habeas corpus, Politico reports. People have the constitutional right to appear before a judge after arrest and ask for a release, but there are fears the emergency proposal would allow the court to detain people indefinitely without trial during times of crisis.Ocasio-Cortez told Tapper she finds the idea "abhorrent" and said there's a "long history" of governments using emergencies to strip away civil rights. She argued it's particularly important now to keep an eye out for increasingly authoritarian measures. > On CNNSOTU @AOC tells @jaketapper it is "abhorrent" that DOJ proposed to Congress limiting the right to a speedy trial during the coronavirus crisishttps://t.co/S3Q8liJNMD> > — State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 22, 2020More stories from theweek.com Surgeon general offers 'dire' coronavirus message: 'This week, it's going to get bad' Movie theaters are beginning to reopen in China after coronavirus closings Trump suggests he might soon prioritize the economy over public health

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Hawley Calls for ‘Full, International Investigation’ into China’s Coronavirus Coverup

Hawley Calls for ‘Full, International Investigation’ into China’s Coronavirus CoverupSenator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) on Wednesday warned the Chinese Communist Party that it would have “to pay” for its attempts to coverup the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, and called for a “full, international investigation” to get to the bottom of the situation.“There needs to be a full, international investigation of China Communist Party’s actions that helped turn coronavirus COVID19 into a global pandemic,” Hawley tweeted Wednesday morning.> There needs to be a full, international investigation of China Communist Party’s actions that helped turn coronavirus COVID19 into a global pandemic – and China needs to be prepared to pay other countries for the havoc the CCP has unleashed https://t.co/u1Uo0H0PTj> > — Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 18, 2020The freshman senator was referencing a story that Beijing has attempted to drown out with a propaganda campaign. China on Tuesday stripped press passes from reporters at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post who were stationed in China and Hong Kong, its latest action to escape accountability and international censure over its handling the outbreak.In December, genomics laboratories in Wuhan sequenced coronavirus and discovered it closely resembled the deadly SARS virus which broke out in 2002-2003, but were subsequently gagged by authorities, who ordered them to turn over or destroy the samples.Hawley, a China hawk who slammed the regime for its crackdown on Hong Kong protestors in the fall, has been vocal in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic grew. He sent a letter in January to the heads of four government agencies to ask whether the Trump administration was considering any potential Chinese travel ban to prevent an American outbreak of the coronavirus — a move the White House made soon after.Last month, the senator introduced legislation to reorient medical supply chains and to reduce reliance on China for the manufacture of certain prescription drugs and other medical supplies.

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