After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused his father of a “cover-up,” Donald Trump Jr. said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday that Democrats are not interested in working with President Trump on infrastructure or other issues.
“They don’t want him to rack up any wins,” said the president’s oldest son on the deck of the USS New York, adding that, at the same time, Democratic presidential candidates are running on the idea of government “failing” Americans.
His comments came one day after President Trump demanded Democrats end their “phony investigations” before he’ll negotiate with them on issues like infrastructure, as he delivered a fiery statement from the Rose Garden after cutting a meeting short with Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
The president had met for mere minutes with the two Democratic leaders in a session scheduled to discuss a possible bipartisan infrastructure package. But moments before that sit-down, Pelosi accused Trump of having “engaged in a cover-up” regarding the Russia probe.
Trump Jr. asked how his father can deal with Democrats who accused him of collusion with Russia, obstruction of justice and now a cover-up.
“You can’t deal with someone like that. You can’t say we’re gonna deal with infrastructure, but meanwhile we’re impeaching you while that is going on,” he said.
Trump Jr. agreed last week to appear behind closed doors to give testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee concerning Russian interference in the 2016 election. He said he has already given 30 hours of testimony “about nonsense and been fully cleared.”
He blasted committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., for being “too weak to stand up to the Democrats” and going along with their calls for him to testify again.
Trump Jr. said the committee has become more partisan after two Senate Democrats on the committee, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., launched their 2020 presidential campaigns.
Source: Fox News Politics
NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party claimed it won reelection with a commanding lead in Thursday’s vote count, while the head of the main opposition party conceded a personal defeat that signaled the end of an era for modern India’s main political dynasty.
Election Commission data by midafternoon showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 299 out of 542 seats in the lower house of Parliament, with its main rival, the Indian National Congress, ahead in 50 contests.
The data didn’t indicate what percentage of the estimated 600 million votes cast over the six-week election had been counted. Although the final tally was not expected until Thursday evening at the earliest, BJP President Amit Shah claimed a victory, crediting Modi’s leadership.
Modi himself tweeted, “India wins yet again.”
The election has been seen as a referendum on 68-year-old Modi, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose popularity as a social underdog in India’s highly stratified society has endured. Critics have said his Hindu-first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people.
On the campaign trail, Modi presented himself as a self-made man with the confidence to cut red tape and unleash India’s economic potential, and labeled Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, the scion of a political dynasty that lost national power in 2014, as an out-of-touch member of the elite.
Gandhi conceded defeat for his own parliamentary seat to his BJP rival in Amethi, a constituency in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh that had for decades been a Congress party bastion.
Congress, the party of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, ruled India for nearly half a century after it achieved independence from Britain in 1947. In 2014, it won only 44 seats, and was projected to win only slightly more this time.
The BJP’s performance “is absolutely stunning. Modi is the predominant leader in India today. He has pushed everybody else aside. Nobody in the opposition is a match for him,” said political commentator Arti Jerath.
A party or coalition needs a simple majority of 272 seats, or just over half the seats in Parliament’s lower house, to govern.
“Mr. Modi’s going to be the next prime minister, we are very assured of that,” said Meenakshi Lekhi, a member of Parliament running for re-election in New Delhi. Shortly after officials began tabulating the votes, India’s Sensex jumped 2.3% to an all-time high over 40,000, though it closed Thursday off 0.76% at 38,811.
If BJP’s lead holds, it won’t need a coalition partner to stay in power and could even improve its position compared to 2014, when it won 282 seats. This election may mark the first time in the party’s history that it has won two consecutive elections on its own.
World leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, congratulated Modi on Twitter.
“I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia,” Khan tweeted.
Trends in the election data suggest that BJP’s strategy of pursuing an aggressive campaign in eastern India paid off, with the party breaking into the citadels of Trinamool Congress Party in West Bengal state and the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha state. Picking up seats in these two states would compensate for projected losses in Uttar Pradesh in northern India.
The biggest losers appear to be the communists who ruled West Bengal state for 34 years until they were ousted by Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party in 2011. Coalition partners of the Congress-led government in New Delhi between 2004 and 2008, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was leading in only three constituencies and the Communist Party of India in two constituencies.
Outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi, hundreds of people cheered and shouted party slogans, lifting cardboard cutouts of Modi and BJP President Amit Shah into the air as other people played drums and set off fireworks.
Mohit Sharma, a 29-year-old who runs a bathroom fittings business, said India had never had a prime minister like Modi.
“In the past, when leaders after they won elections, they sat in air-conditioned rooms and they never reached out to people, but Modi was never like that. He was always connected to the people through social media,” Sharma said.
Fashion designer Sandeep Verma, 39, said he wasn’t a BJP supporter but voted for the party in the elections.
“A country like India needs a decisive leader and the people did not find that in Rahul Gandhi. There was no alternative to Modi,” Verma said.
The BJP harnessed social media, including Twitter, where Modi has 47.4 million followers, and WhatsApp to reach out to millions of supporters.
Modi also capitalized on a suicide bombing in Kashmir in February that killed 40 Indian soldiers. India retaliated with airstrikes at alleged terrorist training camps in Pakistan, fanning the flames of nationalism and helping the BJP turn voters’ attention away from the flailing economy and onto matters of national security.
As votes were being counted across India, Pakistan’s military said it successfully test-fired a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Tensions with Pakistan “gave him the narrative he needed to counter all these allegations of non-performance, unemployment and rural distress. It reenergized him and enabled him to reclaim his image as a strong leader India needs at this juncture,” Jerath said.
Analysts also said that Modi’s victory could embolden Hindu hard-liners calling for Hindu cultural practice to color more of India’s laws and norms.
BJP candidate Sadhvi Pragya, a Hindu holy woman who is awaiting trial on charges connected to a 2008 bombing that targeted Muslims, and who recently called independence leader Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin a “patriot,” was leading the polls in Bhopal.
At Congress headquarters, a few party workers stood outside looking dejected.
Jagdish Sharma, 50, blamed the counting method, using electronic voting machines, saying “Rahul Gandhi is the crowd’s favorite, but has always lost only due to EVMs. While EVMs exist even Lord Vishnu can’t defeat Modi,” he said, referring to a powerful Hindu god.
Voters cast ballots on some 40 million electronic voting machines, a method India began using 15 years ago after complaints that the manual count of paper ballots was tainted by fraud and abuse. But losing candidates and political parties have raised doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the electronic method, doing so again this week.
Top opposition leaders met with Election Commission officials on Tuesday after videos appeared on social media showing some electronic voting machines being moved. The party officials alleged that the machines were going to be altered, but the commission said the images showed unused machines being moved into storage.
Associated Press journalists Rishabh R. Jain, Bharatha Mallawarachi and Ashok Sharma contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News World
Judge Andrew Napolitano said New York officials cannot go after President Trump’s tax returns “based on hatred.”
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” Thursday, which was broadcasting live from the USS New York, Napolitano weighed in on the constitutionality of a new law, which could lead to the release of the president’s state taxes.
“If the statute was written because Democrats in the state of New York hate the president and want to find a way to invade his privacy or interfere with his presidency, he must challenge the statute and he will prevail,” said Napolitano, adding the Supreme Court “has never upheld a statute based on hatred.”
The New York legislation would lift an existing state restriction on revealing an individual’s tax returns. It says the state Commissioner of Taxation and Finance shall release those returns if requested by the House Ways and Means Committee, Finance Committee, or Joint Committee on Taxation.
Earlier versions of bills in the New York State Senate and Assembly allowed for the request of any New Yorker’s tax returns, but on Wednesday, amendments passed that narrowed the scope to tax returns of certain officials including the president, vice president, members of Congress representing New York, and others.
If Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law, Congress would be able to request someone’s individual’s tax returns from any year, as well as business tax returns for entities in which they have at least a 10 percent voting share.
The host of Fox Nation’s “Liberty File” said the original version of the legislation targeted Trump, but a lawyer advised lawmakers to make it broader so they could have “plausible deniability.”
“What legitimate governmental purpose is served to the state of New York by selectively exposing the private tax returns of one of its taxpayers?” he asked.
Napolitano said the state of New York will have a high legal bar to clear if the law is challenged on the basis that it targets Trump.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Trump mocked Rex Tillerson as “ill prepared” and “dumb as a rock” as he disputed his former secretary of state’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin was more prepared than him during a 2017 summit.
“Rex Tillerson, a man who is ‘dumb as a rock’ and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out-prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
The president’s comments come after The Washington Post reported that Tillerson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Putin, ahead of a key meeting in Hamburg, Germany in 2017, was more prepared for the talks than Trump. A committee aide told the Post that the “discrepancy” in preparation “created an unequal footing” for the talks.
Trump, though, told the Post that he was “perfectly prepared” for his meetings with Putin, saying: “We did very well at those meetings.”
As indicated by the quotation marks inside his tweet, Trump has leveled these insults at his former top diplomat before.
In December, Trump called the former Exxon Mobil CEO “dumb as a rock” following comments he made in an interview with former CBS News journalist Bob Schieffer.
During the sit-down, Tillerson said he and Trump did not share “a common value system” and were “obviously starkly different” in their “styles.”
“When the president would say, ‘Here’s what I want to do, and here’s how I want to do it,’ and I’d have to say to him, ‘Well, Mr. President, I understand what you want to do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law, it violates the treaty, you know. He got really frustrated,” Tillerson said. “I think he grew tired of me being the guy every day who told him he can’t do that and let’s talk about what he can do.”
Trump tweeted in response that he “couldn’t get rid of him fast enough.”
“He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!” Trump tweeted last December.
Tillerson, 66, was fired from the White House in March 2018. In leaving, Tillerson said Washington, D.C., can be a “very mean-spirited town.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview Thursday with “Fox & Friends,” addressed mounting tensions between the United States and Iran — saying the threat from the regime is “real” and “credible.”
“Without getting into specifics, you can be sure that President Trump will ensure that we have all the resources necessary to respond in the event that the Islamic Republic of Iran should decide to attack Americans or American interests,” Pompeo said.
In early May, the U.S. accelerated the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Mideast and sent four B-52 bomber aircraft to the region. The administration has evacuated nonessential personnel from Iraq, amid unspecified threats officials said are linked to Iranian-backed militias in the country.
This all comes as the White House has been pressuring the country with sanctions, and Iran has threatened action of their own — stoking concerns in Washington and beyond about a military confrontation.
“The threat is real,” Pompeo said Thursday. “It’s been credible.”
The White House reportedly is expected to call for up to 10,000 more troops in the Middle East, as well as additional naval ships and Patriot missile batteries.
In recent days, a rocket attack took place in Baghdad’s “Green Zone,” where the U.S. embassy is located, although Tehran has not taken responsibility for it. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency, that he is looking to take on increased wartime powers in order to deal with an “economic war,” sparked by U.S. sanctions and Trump backing out of the Iran nuclear deal. On May 2, the U.S. warned other nations to cease buying oil from Iran, or face sanctions themselves.
When asked if the latest Iranian threats were a response to U.S. sanctions, Pompeo indicated that would be an oversimplification.
“There’s a long history of Iranian terror that long predates our sanctions efforts, so this isn’t just about our sanctions, this is about the nature of this theocratic regime, these kleptocrats in Tehran. We’re determined to push back.”
At the same time, Pompeo touted the success of sanctions against Iran.
“The sanctions have certainly had their intended effect. They have put constraints on the leadership in Iran’s ability to foment terror,” he said. “There are Hezbollah soldiers who are no longer being paid or are being paid a fraction of what they were being paid before. Their ability to expand their terror network in the world has been reduced.”
Pompeo contrasted this with the approach of the Obama administration, which entered into a nuclear deal with Iran, which has been heavily criticized by Trump and other Republicans.
“The previous administration took a different path. They underwrote that government, giving them hundreds of billions of dollars and the ability to put the terror team in place that we’re seeing today,” he said. “The very terror threat that we’re facing. President Trump has taken a very different course of action. We’re determined to stop not only their nuclear program and from them ever getting a nuclear weapon, but to prevent them from building out their missile program and conducting terror campaigns.”
The administration has said that war with Iran is not their goal — and that their actions are about deterrence.
“This is an important mission,” Pompeo said. “We have 40 years of terror coming out of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and President Trump is determined to change the course of that regime.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
BERLIN – Scientists say they have observed wild chimpanzees tucking into an unusual snack: tortoises, whose hard shells they cracked against tree trunks before scooping out the meat.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the University of Osnabrueck said Thursday they spotted the behavior dozens of times in a group of chimpanzees at Loango National Park in Gabon.
It is the first time chimpanzees have been observed eating tortoises, with weaker animals often passing their prey to stronger adults who would break them open and share the meal.
Researchers said one male even ate half the tortoise, then tucked it into a tree fork and came back the next day to finish the leftovers, suggesting chimpanzees are capable of planning ahead.
Source: Fox News World
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says former Vice President Joe Biden is a “doofus” who will become a “very radical Democrat” by the time of the general election against President Trump.
“Unless something dramatic happens the president is going to win, period,” Gingrich said, particularly pointing to the strength of the economy, which has defied experts’ expectations.
“If you remember, he is the most underestimated campaigner in modern America. He is practicing every day. And the country will have a choice between very radical Democrats whose positions are all unpopular,” he added.
The former House Speaker went on to say that Biden, who’s viewed as a moderate Democrat by some, is moving further to the left and by the time of the election he’ll no longer be a moderate.
“Joe Biden will be a very radical Democrat by the time he gets there,” Gingrich said, reiterating his claim that Biden is a “doofus.”
“Joe Biden will be a very radical Democrat by the time he gets there.”
“Of course he is a doofus. This is a guy who had to drop out of his first presidential campaign because he adopted the entire speech from Neil Kinnock about growing up in Wales,” he continued, referring to the plagiarism scandal in which Biden lifted portions of the speech by Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock who then ran against Conservative Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
During the same appearance, Gingrich said Democrats are only concerned about beating Trump, with House Democrats being forced to be confrontational with Trump to appease their base, leaving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a box.
“I think Pelosi is in a box because I think she went into her meeting to say, look, guys, this is really stupid and they collectively said to her, ‘we are doing it,’” Gingrich said in relation to the Democrats’ efforts to begin impeachment efforts.
“The Democrats are saying we have to do this. So, her base is so hungry to take on Trump that they would just run over her if she said no. So she is not trying to dance to a point where she can explain why her earlier no has now led to a yes,” he added.
“Look, I think the Democrats only have one item on their agenda, that’s to beat Trump. I think they are going to run for re-election on the grounds they are not him. And that’s going to be the totality.”
Source: Fox News Politics
KARPENISI, Greece – As balloting for the European Parliament gets underway Thursday, voters over 55 are emerging as a powerful bloc on a rapidly aging continent where younger voters are staying away from the polls in growing numbers.
Greece has one of the oldest populations in the world, with an average age of 44.5 years. Of the 25 fastest-aging countries in the world, all except two are in the EU.
In Athens, the need for political parties to reach out to older voters has spurred a revival of traditional campaigning. Election kiosks are set up in main squares and metro stations, and TV and newspaper ads for the election are flourishing.
In 2014, European voters over 55 had the highest turnout at 51%, while 18- to 24-year-olds had the lowest turnout at 28%.
Source: Fox News World
President Trump slammed Democrats as the “Do Nothing Party” Thursday morning on the heels of a contentious meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, claiming they’re too focused on investigations into his administration to make progress on policy priorities like infrastructure.
“The Democrats have become known as THE DO NOTHING PARTY!” Trump tweeted.
A day earlier, House Speaker Pelosi accused Trump of having a “temper tantrum” when he abruptly ended a meeting on infrastructure and proceeded to address the press in the Rose Garden, demanding Democrats end their “phony investigations” before they can negotiate on infrastructure.
On Twitter Thursday morning, Trump once again accused Democrats of seeking a do-over after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe did not turn up evidence of collusion with his 2016 campaign.
“The Democrats are getting nothing done in Congress. All of their effort is about a Re-Do of the Mueller Report, which didn’t turn out the way they wanted. It is not possible for them to investigate and legislate at the same time,” he said. “Their heart is not into Infrastructure, lower drug prices, pre-existing conditions and our great Vets.”
He added: “All they are geared up to do, six committees, is squander time, day after day, trying to find anything which will be bad for me. A pure fishing expedition like this never happened before, & it should never happen again!”
The president’s complaints come amid numerous congressional investigations into a range of Trump-related topics—including access to his financial statements and records and access to an unredacted version of the Mueller report.
That backdrop made for a tense and ultimately failed meeting on Wednesday with Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Just minutes before the sit-down, Pelosi accused Trump of having “engaged in a cover-up” regarding the Russia investigation.
Trump said her comments and the Democratic-led probes prevented them from negotiating.
“You can’t do it under these circumstances,” Trump said. “Get these phony investigations over with.”
He added that he wanted to negotiate on infrastructure with the two Democratic leaders but “instead of walking happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up.”
He added: “I don’t do cover-ups.”
Later in the day, Pelosi accused the president of committing an “impeachable offense.”
“The fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi said. “And that could be an impeachable offense.”
At the same time, Pelosi this week has scrambled to tamp down calls from rank-and-file Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings against the president. She held a closed-door meeting Wednesday with the Democratic caucus to discuss their battles with the administration.
When asked about her success in persuading members, Pelosi said: “It’s not a question of persuasion. We were just exchanging information and points of view.”
The meeting came as top Democrats have steadily ramped up pressure on the Trump administration. On Tuesday, the Justice Department reached an agreement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to turn over some documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, in a rare de-escalation. But it only came after Democrats issued a subpoena, one of many that congressional Democrats have approved for Trump-related investigations. They’ve also pursued a contempt citation against Attorney General Bill Barr and could do the same for ex-White House counsel Don McGahn.
At the meeting, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neel, D-Mass., presented the latest information on his panel’s probe seeking the president’s tax documents; and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., spoke on the status of her panel’s efforts to obtain information from Deutsche Bank related to the president’s financial situation.
“These are all current examples of progress that was made to get the truth and facts for the American people,” Pelosi said, in an apparent attempt to keep Democrats on track with their existing investigations — and not go the impeachment route.
But as for infrastructure, Schumer accused the president of “looking for every excuse” not to pursue a bipartisan plan.
Last month, Schumer and Pelosi said Trump had agreed to support a $2 trillion infrastructure spending package. But, at the time, they said no decisions were made on how to pay for the plan. The president – a real estate developer before he was elected president – has long sought to strike a big infrastructure deal, but has faced some resistance from conservatives in his party over concerns about the country’s rising debt.
But questions have remained over whether Pelosi and Schumer can strike deal with Trump on infrastructure, as congressional Democrats ramp up investigations of the president and subpoena members of his administration in the wake of the release of Mueller’s Russia report.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
This image posted on the Twitter account of Stechshultsy shows tornado-hit Jefferson City. MO., Thursday, May 23, 2019. .(Stechshultsy via AP)
Source: Fox News National