Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee said Tuesday that Democrats pushing to impeach President Trump may be trying to delegitimize his election.

Speaking to the “Fox News Rundown” podcast, Lee said: “They will be perhaps intentionally delegitimizing President Trump’s election, they’ll be cheapening the process by bringing forward allegations that in my view are nowhere near worthy of impeachment charges and they’ll be diverting all attention … attention that could otherwise be devoted to something else.”

He said the impeachment call wouldn’t benefit any Americans “except maybe… a small handful of people in the media. Primarily the media on the left, and a few politicians on the left.”


Some of the Democrats vying for the White House in 2020 have been clamoring for impeachment proceedings against Trump, but many of their congressional colleagues — who would have to manage such efforts — signaled they were far more wary. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week has urged rank-and-file Democrats to proceed with caution.

The split reflected tensions that could emerge in coming months between Democrats on Capitol Hill and those seeking the party’s presidential nomination.


Lee, who also spoke Tuesday morning on an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” said the push to impeach Trump could backfire as it did in the process involving then-President Bill Clinton in the ’90s.

“We can look back on the Clinton impeachment,” he said. “I said that was not the finest hour of either the Republican party or the republic itself. I don’t think anyone really gained much by that, and I think we ought to learn from that today.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee lashed out at Sen. Mitt Romney after the Utah Republican said he was “sickened” by the level of dishonesty from President Trump’s administration in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Know what makes me sick, Mitt? Not how disingenuous you were to take @realDonaldTrump $$ and then 4 yrs later jealously trash him & then love him again when you begged to be Sec of State, but makes me sick that you got GOP nomination and could have been @POTUS,” Huckabee tweeted Friday.

Earlier in the day, Romney tweeted that it was good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump with collusion or obstruction of justice. The former GOP 2012 presidential candidate then blasted Trump and his campaign for having contacts with Russians.

“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President,” Romney posted.

“I am appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement,” he wrote.

Mueller’s long-awaited report was released Thursday morning and contains nearly 900 redactions. It showed investigators found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. No conclusion was reached on whether Trump’s actions amounted to obstruction.


Huckabee ran against Romney for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination and is the father of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Romney and Trump’s contentious relationship has been well documented, with both men having exchanged congratulations and insults over the years.

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Donald Trump repeatedly pushed people affiliated with his presidential campaign, including Michael Flynn, to hunt down Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s private emails, according to the special counsel’s report released Thursday.

At a July 2016 campaign rally, Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” referring to emails Clinton said had been deleted from her private server.


According to an excerpt from the Mueller report, “Trump asked individuals affiliated with his Campaign to find the deleted Clinton emails. Michael Flynn, who would later serve as National Security Advisor in the Trump Administration – recalled that Trump made this request repeatedly, and Flynn subsequently contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails.”


Among those Flynn contacted were Peter Smith, a veteran Republican operative and opposition researcher who raised at least $100,000 from donors to dig into Clinton’s emails.

Another person Flynn reached out to was Barbara Ledeen, a longtime Senate staffer who worked for Sen. Chuck Grassley while he was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.


Clinton’s emails have been at the center of controversy for years. Her lawyers claimed she deleted approximately 33,000 emails because they were personal and not government-work related. However, Republicans have long thought those emails were improperly deleted and have demanded they be disclosed to the public.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was released Thursday. It showed investigators did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia – as Attorney General Bill Barr declared last month – but revealed a host of controversial actions by the president that were investigated as part of the obstruction inquiry.

Fox News’ Cyd Upson contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., feuded  on Twitter over a disaster aid package that would aid Puerto Rico.

Scott tweeted out a clip of his appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, when he spoke about the relief bill.

“To me this is all politics. This is Chuck Schumer saying that he cares more about Puerto Rico than President Trump does. I think we should have passed the bill that Sen. Shelby had done,” Scott told “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper.

Scott met with Trump at the White House Thursday along with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., to discuss a possible deal with the commander-in-chief on relief to Puerto Rico. Trump is feuding with the island’s Democratic officials and reportedly railed against aid to Puerto Rico at a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans last month.

The island was slammed by back-to-back hurricanes in 2017.

Scott called out Schumer in the tweet, saying he need to “stop these political games.”


Schumer responded to Scott by asking how the freshman senator could support the bill “that strips needed help from the island and is opposed by PR’s [Puerto Rico] governor?”

“Why not stand up for both PR & Florida, and have the courage to tell Trump to leave no community behind?” the minority leader wrote.

In a tit-for-tat, Scott retaliated, saying, “This is a great example of why people hate politics. Not only did Sen. Schumer block a bipartisan bill, now he’s lying about it. Our bill doesn’t strip funding for P.R. It includes $600 mil in nutrition assistance funding for P.R. that I fought to get in the bill.”

The feud didn’t end there. Schumer again responded to Scott, saying Trump took “all aid for Puerto Rico but nutrition assistance out of the bill.”

“The bill has none of the long-term recovery & resilience aid PR has asked for repeatedly. Stop the bull. Stand up to the President. Help all communities rebuilding from disaster,” Schumer fired back.

Scott responded by accusing Schumer of refusing to give Puerto Rico help in order to “prolong a political fight with Trump.”

“I’m working with the Rs, Ds and the President to get a deal done. But it shouldn’t have taken this long. FL’s been waiting 6 months. The truth is, you’re more than happy to give Puerto Rico nothing if it helps prolong a political fight with Trump. That’s shameful,” Scott responded.

He shared a Politico article on the feud calling it “personal.”


“It’s personal when Sen. Schumer blocks billions for FL’s Panhandle after the devastation of Hurricane Michael. It’s personal when he blocks Nutrition Assistance funding for Puerto Rico after they cut benefits. No more games. Time to get this done,” he wrote.

After Scott narrowly won his Senate bid over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., he said in a speech on the Senate floor that he would be “a voice for the people of Puerto Rico.”

Earlier this month, a bill that would have given relief to those states affected by natural disasters failed 44-49 in the Senate. The $13 billion package would have “provided $600 million for Puerto Rico’s food stamp program,” NBC News reported. An alternative that was proposed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Schumer was similar in the aid provided to Puerto Rico “while freeing up grant funding from the Department of House and Urban Development that has already been allocated to the island,” Politico reported. Democrats were blocked by Republicans from bringing it to the floor.

In a recent op-ed that was published in the New York Daily News, Schumer wrote that relief for the island “shouldn’t be locked away in the U.S. Treasury because of bureaucratic red tape.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Source: Fox News Politics

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, lambasted a top Twitter exec on Wednesday over alleged censorship of conservative users, with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., accusing Twitter and Facebook of being “anything but transparent.”

Cruz led off a hearing of the panel’s subcommittee on the Constitution by saying that “a great many people agree that the pattern, the anti-conservative bias and the pattern of censorship we’re seeing from big tech is disturbing. The question of remedy is a more complicated one. … It’s a thorny legal question. It’s a thorny policy question.”

“By almost any measure,” Cruz added later in his remarks, “the giant tech companies today are larger and more powerful than Standard Oil was when it was broken up [in 1911]. They are larger and more powerful than AT&T when it was broken up [in 1982]. And if we have tech companies using the power of monopoly to sanction political speech, I think that raises real antitrust issues.”


Twitter Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy Carlos Monje Jr., who sat on a panel with Facebook Public Policy Director Neil Potts, bore the brunt of questioning from Cruz and his colleagues. In his testimony, Monje apologized to Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., for Twitter’s decision in October 2017 to block one of her campaign ads, in which she claimed to have “stopped the sale of baby body parts” by Planned Parenthood.

“We made the wrong call,” Monje said to Blackburn. “We develop policies governing advertisements that run on Twitter that try to balance allowing our advertisers to promote messages with protecting individuals who did not ask to see that ad. I am sorry.”


Monje ran into more trouble when Hawley asked him about the suspension of recent high-profile accounts, including one for the recently released film “Unplanned,” about a Planned Parenthood clinic director-turned-anti-abortion activist.

“The individual who started the @UnplannedMovie account had previously been suspended for breaking our rules and as a result, our automated systems flagged that account and it was taken down for an hour,” answered Monje, who attempted to shake off a follow-up from Hawley about whether the company would make its content review protocols public.


“You say now, you’ve admitted that there is human involvement in these decisions, that there are, in fact, numerous people involved, there are protocols, but you won’t make them public, is that right?” Hawley asked.

“I told you why @UnplannedMovie was banned – was taken down for an hour,” Monje shot back, ” and I’ve told you why [conservative writer and radio host] Jesse Kelly was kicked off the platform, and if you want more details, you can ask him.”

Hawley then asked Monje if Twitter would commit to a “third-party audit” of “potential bias” on the platform, a question Monje declined to answer.

“This committee hearing again today shows that you’re anything but transparent, and you apparently have no interest in becoming transparent,” Hawley said. “This is a huge, huge problem, and I would hope for the sake of the customers you serve and the values you purport to represent, that you would change your behavior and to change your commitments to providing a neutral, unbiased platform for all users in this country.”


Cruz turned his attention to Monje again later in the hearing to ask about restricting the visibility of conservative personalities in search results, a practice sometimes called “shadow banning.” Monje denied that Twitter engaged in the practice, but admitted that the company would “downgrade” users’ posts “if we have signals that indicate that a person is being spammy, meaning they are using multiple accounts to do the same thing, if they are using automated activity, but we’re not 100 percent sure that they’re breaking our rules, if they’ve been abusive, then what we will do is make it harder for that content to be found.”

“When you downgrade a tweet, do you notify the person that you’ve downgraded?” asked Cruz.

“I’d have to get back to you on that, sir,” Monje answered.


“OK, I believe the answer is no, and if the answer is no, that as far as I can tell is indistinguishable from shadow banning,” Cruz fired back. When Monje pointed out that a downgraded user’s followers were still able to “find what that person tweeted,” the senator responded, “But if it’s downgraded so far fewer people see it, that is exactly what is being alleged on shadow banning.”

A representative from Google was also scheduled to appear at the hearing, but the committee rejected the company’s proposal to send its head of conservative outreach Max Pappas, a former Cruz staffer. Cruz announced that he would hold a separate hearing focused solely on Google at a later date.

Fox News’ Guerin Hays and Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke out in harsh terms against “Medicare for All’’ Tuesday at the American Hospital Association (AHA) conference in Washington, D.C.

McConnell called the proposal, backed by the Democrats’ progressive wing, a “radical, one-size-fits-all attempt to remake the health sector.”

He described it as a scheme and told hospital industry leaders that it would be serious bad news for them. “You should not be the guinea pigs in some far-left social experiment,” he said.

One of the most outspoken lawmakers in support of the policy, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., used Medicare for All as part of his platform in his 2016 presidential campaign, and is expected to use an updated version of the proposal for his 2020 run.

According to a 2018 poll conducted by Reuters, 70 percent of Americans, in additional to 52 percent of Republican voters, supported the proposal.


Since then, however, the numbers have declined. According to polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, support for the policy has dropped as concerns arise that it could lead to higher taxes and longer waits for health care.

McConnell reiterated sentiments from his AHA conference speech in a tweet, referring to the policy as “Medicare for None” and claiming that it would “slap a $32 trillion tab on Americans.”


“Democrats’ ‘Medicare for None’ would slap a $32 trillion tab on Americans, and that’s just a rough estimate for the first decade. And competing private insurance policies — like the ones that 180 million Americans currently use — would be banned outright,” the tweet read.

At the close of McConnell’s remarks, he encouraged hospital and health care system leaders in the room to rally together and make their way to Capitol Hill to speak out against this proposal to Democrats in Congress.

Source: Fox News Politics

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Monday that Democrats pushing for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on the Russia investigation should also insist on making public all information related to the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state and other controversies dating back to the Obama administration.

“The Democrats want all the Mueller information, but seem to be turning a blind eye to other investigations where Congress and the public have yet to see every bit of information that’s out there,” Grassley said on the Senate floor. ” … That leads me to believe their request for Mueller-related documents is a political ploy.”

Democratic lawmakers have called for the release of the full Mueller report since Attorney General William Barr submitted a four-page letter to Congress last month summarizing the special counsel’s “principal conclusions” that there was no proof of a criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign and that it was an open question whether Trump had tried to obstruct the Russia investigation. Barr’s letter said that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined Mueller’s evidence was insufficient to support an obstruction allegation.


Barr has promised to release the full Mueller report, with redactions, by mid-April. House Democrats last week approved subpoenas for Mueller’s entire report and any exhibits and other underlying evidence that the Justice Department might withhold.

“The Justice Department Inspector General produced to Congress a highly classified document [in June 2018] relating to the Clinton [email] investigation,” Grassley said. “That document makes clear the Justice Department and the FBI still ought to produce information to Congress and answer more questions.”

The report referenced by Grassley concluded, among other points, that then-FBI official Peter Strzok and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page had “cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the [Clinton] investigation and the investigation’s credibility” by exchanging messages detailing their dislike for then-candidate Donald Trump. The report also found that Comey and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had committed “error[s] in judgment” during the investigation, with Comey coming in for particular criticism due to “insubordinate” behavior.

Grassley also said lawmakers should “see every piece of evidence, including evidence connected to how the Russia investigation started … I’ve requested documents related to [Christopher] Steele, his dossier and campaign-related [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant] applications … If Congress is going to review the Mueller report and all underlying information, it should be able to review information relating to how the Russia investigation started. So, will the Democrats join me in that effort and support my request?”

Grassley, a former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, previously had requested information from the FBI and Justice Department about a variety of topics, including the Clinton email investigation and the FBI raid of a whistleblower who claimed to have documents related to Clinton and the sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to a Russian subsidiary.


“If the Democrats want to be consistent,” Grassley said, “they’ll have to treat Clinton, Uranium One and Russia-related investigations the same. Anything less than that reeks of political gamesmanship and sets a clear double standard. …

“If you want to be taken seriously in this country, you have to be consistent,” Grassley concluded. “My attitude and approach is straightforward and nonpartisan. Let’s see it all. Clinton, Uranium One, Russia. All of it. Let it hang out. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Sen. Mitt Romney, once a thorn in the side of President Trump, said Sunday that Democrats’ calls for the president to release his tax returns were “moronic.”

“I’d like the president to follow through and show his tax returns,” Romney, R-Utah, told NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “But, I have to also tell you, I think the Democrats are just playing along his handbook, which is going after his tax returns through a legislative action – it’s moronic. That’s not going to happen.”

“So, he’s going to win this victory,” Romney added. “He wins them time after time.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, once a thorn in the side of President Trump, said Democrats' calls for the president to release his tax returns were “moronic.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, once a thorn in the side of President Trump, said Democrats’ calls for the president to release his tax returns were “moronic.” (Getty/AP, File)


House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., asked the IRS last week to provide six years of Trump’s personal tax returns and the returns for some of his businesses.

Neal, one of only three congressional officials authorized to request tax returns, requested Trump’s personal and business returns in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. He asked for returns covering 2013 through 2018. He also asked for the documents in seven days, setting an April 10 deadline.

Trump’s lawyers have argued the Democratic request “would set a dangerous precedent” if granted.

Trump broke with precedent when he chose not to release any tax returns as a presidential candidate. He said he would not release the information because he is under audit, something he reiterated last Friday while visiting the U.S-Mexico border.

“I’m under audit. When you’re under audit you don’t do it,” Trump said.

IRS officials have said taxpayers under audit are free to release their returns.

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Sunday reiterated Trump’s point, and accused Democrats of engaging in a “political stunt” and wanting “attention.”

“That is not going to happen and they know it,” Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.” Asked whether he believe Democrats would ever view the president’s returns, Mulvaney replied: “Oh no, never. Nor should they.”


Mulvaney tried to cast the issue of the president’s taxes as old news, saying it was “already litigated during the election” and the American people “elected him anyway.”

He also said the law provides for lawmakers to review individual tax returns but “political hit job is not one of those reasons.”

Fox News’ Bill Hemmer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

A former aide to Hillary Clinton is facing backlash for mocking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over video of the Kentucky Republican falling down, though others on social media pointed out that McConnell had survived a bout of polio as a child.

Adam Parkhomenko, a Democratic strategist who served in Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, shared a video on Wednesday of McConnell falling while stepping onstage at a campaign event.

The video included the theme music from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which is a commonly used meme on social media. He shared it again on Thursday in hopes of reaching one million views.

Many pointed out on social media that McConnell had polio as a child and that paralysis from the disease has had a lasting effect on the lawmaker. Others slammed Parkhomenko for his “disgusting” tweet:


Parkhomenko, however, has doubled down, blasting journalists for running to McConnell’s defense.

He did vow to delete his tweet if McConnell “stops trying to take away coverage from those with pre-existing conditions or…in general.”


The office of Sen. Majority Leader McConnell did not immediately comment.

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Wednesday that closing the U.S.-Mexico border, as President Trump has lately threatened, would be devastating to the Lone Star State and jeopardize “millions of jobs [that] depend upon trade with Mexico.”

“Of course, we should secure the border. We must,” Cruz said in a statement. “Our broken immigration system and years of unwillingness to secure our southern border has produced a security and humanitarian crisis. … But the answer is not to punish those who are legally crossing the border. The answer is not to punish Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses.

“Closing legal points of entry would harm American commerce and legal transit between Mexico and the United States, and leave coyotes and human traffickers to roam free in the wilderness of our unsecured border.”

The senator’s statement came a day after Trump appeared to back off on his border threat, saying he was happy with steps Mexico has taken in recent days to prevent a wave of Central American migrants from entering the U.S.

“Let’s see if they keep it done,” the president said of Mexico. “Now, if they don’t, or if we don’t make a deal with Congress, the border’s going to be closed, 100 percent.” He also said that he might only close “large sections of the border” and “not all of it.”


Trump added that his posturing was “the only way we’re getting a response.”

That echoed remarks by the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday that Trump’s border threat was a way “to pressure everybody” into finding a solution to illegal immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday that her department was treating the situation at the border as a “Cat 5 hurricane disaster.” Earlier in the day, Homeland Security officials declared, “The system is on fire” and spoke of a “systemwide meltdown” during a conference call with reporters.


Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months, with border agents on track to make 100,000 arrests or denials of entry in March, a 12-year high. More than half of those are families with children, requiring extra care.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), more than 76,000 migrants were detained in February, marking the highest number of apprehensions in 12 years. That figure includes more than 7,000 unaccompanied children.

More than 36,000 migrant families have arrived in the El Paso region in the 2019 fiscal year, compared with about 2,000 at the same time last year, according to CBP data.

Fox News’ Victor Garcia and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

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