March

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#MagaFirstNews 8-26-19

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

China signaled on Monday it was now seeking a “calm” end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S., as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

News of the possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China.

Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the Group of Seven summit in France on Sunday, White House officials rejected suggestions the president was wavering and insisted that his only regret was not implementing even more tariffs on China.

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

President Trump on Monday said the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran and told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he hopes to see a strong Iran. Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations. A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods. The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. The police deployed two water cannon trucks Sunday for the first time during the 11 weeks of protests. – The Associated Press

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Bernie Sanders renewed his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in the top Republican’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, demanding that McConnell stop his “cowardice” and “have the guts” to immediately take up legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, strengthening election security and raising the federal minimum wage. The blistering address in Louisville came as national Democrats, hoping to retake not only the White House but also the Senate in 2020, increasingly have set their sights on the 77-year-old McConnell.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed former Vice President Joe Biden “regretted” making a comment over the weekend about what would have happened had former President Barack Obama been assassinated while on the campaign trail in 2008. The comment stirred up controversy, but a Biden aide said the candidate has used the analogy before when speaking to younger generations who were not alive during the turbulent 1960s. Biden asserted the assassinations of King and Kennedy raised his political awareness and propelled him to run for office.

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

The Wild West came to Midtown on Sunday when at least three armed bandits — one of whom wore what witnesses described as a cowboy hat — bound workers in a massive jewelry-store heist, according to police. The crooks coolly posed as customers at Avianne and Co. in the heart of the Diamond District, browsing the bling before pulling handguns on the four workers in the shop at the time of the high-noon hold-up, cops said. After restraining the workers with zip ties, the robbers raided the safe and display cases, dumping nearly all of the sparklers into at least one duffle bag before high-tailing it out onto surveillance-camera-lined West 47th Street, according to authorities. – Reported by the New York Post


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After the New Zealand mosque shootings in March, Trump was asked whether white nationalism was

“rising threat around the world.”

The president responded:

“I don’t. I don’t really. It’s a small group of people…But it is a terrible thing.”

Castro, speaking to anchor Jonathan Karl, said that only the shooter bears “direct” responsibility. (In a statement released later Sunday, Castro echoed that comment, saying,

“These shooters are ultimately to blame for their actions. They are attempting to terrorize us but I believe that the vast majority of Americans reject this hatred.”

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney denied earlier on “This Week” that Trump had “downplayed” the threat of white nationalism and at the White House in March, Trump remarked,

“Last month, more than 76,000 illegal migrants arrived at our border. We’re on track for a million illegal aliens to rush our borders. People hate the word ‘invasion,’ but that’s what it is. It’s an invasion of drugs and criminals and people. You have no idea who they are.” “At the same time, as our national leader, you have a role to play in either fanning the flames of division or trying to bring Americans of different backgrounds together,”

Castro told Karl.

“Most presidents have chosen to try and bring people together. This president very early on made a clear choice to divide people for his own political benefit. And these are some of the consequences that we’re seeing of that.”

Asked about the March interaction, Mulvaney said Trump has been misinterpreted.

Trump condemned the El Paso shooting early Sunday morning, calling it “hateful” and “an act of cowardice.”

“It’s no accident that, just a few weeks after he announced his 2020 reelection bid, where he was indulging and entertaining this ‘Send her back’ chant,”

Castro said.

“And he’s spoken about immigrants as being invaders. “

He’s given license for this toxic brew of white supremacy to fester more and more in this country. And we’re seeing the results of that.”

Shortly after Beto O’Rourke claimed Sunday that President Trump’s “racism” is what “leads to” violent shootings, another Democratic presidential contender, Julian Castro said

“there’s one person that’s responsible directly” for Saturday’s deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas — “and that’s the shooter.” “God bless the people of El Paso Texas,” “God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.”

Trump said.

Responding directly to Mulvaney’s comments, Castro told Karl,

“You know, it’s so unfortunate that not only our president but his administration can’t rise up to the challenge of leadership in these times.” “We need to acknowledge that this is a problem.”

Buttigieg said, claiming that white nationalism has been “condoned at the highest levels” in Washington. Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

“Right now you see it being echoed by the White House and there is a measure of responsibility that you just can’t get away from,”

he said. Buttigieg cited President Trump’s comment that there were “very fine people” on both sides after a deadly attack at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

“This is terrorism and we have to name it as such,”

Buttigieg said, specifically calling it “white nationalist terrorism” in a conversation with host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” Mulvaney continued:

“I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president. There are people in this country this morning thinking that President Trump was happy by this. That’s a sad, sad state of this nation. He’s angry. He’s upset. He wants it to stop. I don’t think it’s at all fair to sit here and say that he doesn’t think that white nationalism is bad for the nation. These are sick people. You cannot be a white supremacist and be normal in the head.”

In January, Trump wrote on Twitter,

“Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. I just got back and it is a far worse situation than almost anyone would understand, an invasion!”

At the same time, Castro told ABC News’ “This Week,” Trump has embraced “division and bigotry and fanning the flames of hate” as a form of “political strategy.”

Separately on Sunday, Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg pointed specifically to “weak gun safety” measures and white nationalism as the culprits, after the El Paso shooter was linked to anti-Mexican statements.

“I don’t believe that’s downplaying it, look at what he said,”  “Look, this is not the same as international nuclear weapons. This is a serious problem, there’s no question about it. But they are sick, sick people and the president knows that.”

Mulvaney said.

Jared Kushner met with the leaders of Jordan and Israel on Wednesday to outline the administration’s Mideast peace plan on the first day of a five-country tour through the region.It’s not clear if the plan calls for a two-state solution, and it fails to address Israeli occupation, according to Al Arabiya.The administration has been working on the plan for two years.After the meeting in Jordan, Abdullah reiterated “the need to achieve just, comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution,” Jordan’s state news service said, according to Al Arabiya.

TRUMP TO PITCH ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PLAN AT CAMP DAVID SUMMIT WITH ARAB LEADERS: REPORTS

Kushner will leave on Thursday for Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.The Trump administration has invited Arab leaders to a peace summit at Camp David in September to further discuss the plan.​​​​​​​White House adviser Jared Kushner listens during a proclamation signing with President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, March 25, 2019. (Associated Press)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPIsraeli officials were involved in planning the summit but Netanyahu does not plan to attend.Kushner first discussed the “Deal of the Century,” a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, with  King Abdullah II in Jordan before heading to Israel for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Jerusalem Post reported.U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, who attended the Kushner-Netanyahu meeting, said the U.S. believes in “Palestinian autonomy,” according to The Post.

Source

Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.

This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.

2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?

Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”

While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.

3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?

Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.

Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?

The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.

To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)

Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.

5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?

The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.

The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.

6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive

The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.

For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.

7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?

The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.

Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).

Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.

8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?

The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.

9. Can Congress compel disclosure?

Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.

The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?

Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.

In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.

The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.

For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.

54cfc9028d2c4_-_911-tower-collapse

The Franklin Square and Munson Fire District has passed a resolution asking for a new investigation into the events of 9/11.

Commissioners for the volunteer fire department have called for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks due to the “overwhelming evidence” that “pre-planted explosives . . . caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings.”

The resolution, drafted and introduced by Commissioner Christopher Gioia, was unanimously approved by the five commissioners.

Thefreethoughtproject.comreports: “We’re a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force,” said Commissioner Christopher Gioia, adding, “We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won’t be the last.”

According to the report:

The impact of 9/11 on the community extends well beyond the victims and their grieving families. On September 12, 2001, the Franklin Square Fire Department was called in to assist with the massive rescue and recovery effort that was just getting underway. Countless members of the department, including Gioia and Commissioner Philip Malloy (then rank-and-file firefighters), spent weeks on the pile searching in vain for civilians and fellow responders who might still be alive. Today, Malloy is one of thousands suffering chronic health effects.

The department also lost one of its own in Thomas J. Hetzel, affectionately referred to as “Tommy” by the commissioners. Hetzel was a full-time member of the New York Fire Department in addition to serving as a volunteer firefighter in Franklin Square. A touching memorial to Hetzel was on display during the meeting, and Hetzel’s widow, parents, and sister were all in attendance.

“The Hetzel and Evans families were very appreciative of the proceedings,” Gioia commented the day after the meeting. “They know it’s an uphill struggle. But at least they have hope, which is something they haven’t had in a long time.”

The importance of this resolution — especially coming from a legislative body of fire fighters — cannot be understated. The impact of first responders calling for a new investigation over the use of explosives is massive. The naysayers who call those who question the official narrative “kooks” will have a hard time going after fire commissioners.

This move is yet another blow to the highly questionable and hole-filled official narrative. As TFTP reported earlier this year, in another major move from the great folks over at the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and 9/11 victim family members Robert McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, a joint federal lawsuit has been filed to assess any evidence the FBI may have known about that contributed to the destruction of the towers on 9/11 which they may have kept from Congress.

The complaint cites the failure of the FBI and its 9/11 Review Commission to assess key 9/11-related evidence that the FBI can be shown to have had, or been aware of, regarding:

  1. the use of pre-placed explosives to destroy World Trade Center Buildings, 1, 2, and 7;
  2. the arrest and investigation of the “High Fivers” observed photographing and celebrating the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11;
  3. terrorist financing related the reported Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers;
  4. recovered plane parts, including serial numbers from all three crash locations;
  5. video from cameras mounted inside and outside the Pentagon; and
  6. cell phone communications from passengers aboard airplanes.

According to the press release on Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, this is evidence relevant to the 9/11 Review Commission’s and the FBI’s compliance with the mandate from Congress, which should have been assessed by the FBI and the 9/11 Review Commission and reported to Congress. The complaint also cites the destruction by the FBI of evidence related to the “High Fivers.” Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth has joined in bringing the counts that involve the evidence of the World Trade Center’s explosive demolition and evidence related to the “High Fivers,” while the other plaintiffs are party to all counts.

Also, as TFTP previously reported, a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth took place last December when a United States Attorney agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers. Then, in March, the group behind the submission, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, announced the filing of a “petition supplement” naming persons who may have information related to the use of said explosives.

According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the 33-page document contains 15 different categories of persons who may have information material to the investigation, including contractors and security companies that had access to the WTC Towers before 9/11, persons and entities who benefited financially from the WTC demolitions, and persons arrested after being observed celebrating the WTC attacks.

names-redacted version of the petition supplement, which was filed with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on February 14, 2019, has been made available to the public. The un-redacted version filed with the U.S. Attorney today will remain undisclosed in the interest of maintaining the secrecy, security, and integrity of the grand jury proceeding.

As TFTP reported in December, for the first time since 9/11 the federal government is taking steps to hear evidence that explosives may have been used to destroy the world trade centers.

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).

After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.

“We have received and reviewed The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc.’s submissions of April 10 and July 30, 2018. We will comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3332 as they relate to your submissions,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated.

According to the petition, dozens of exhibits were presented as evidence that explosives were used to destroy all three world trade centers.

The Lawyers’ Committee’s April 10th 52-page original Petition was accompanied by 57 exhibits and presented extensive evidence that explosives were used to destroy three WTC Towers on 9/11.That evidence included independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries; numerous first-hand reports by First Responders of seeing and hearing explosions at the World Trade Center on 9/11; expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 both prior to the airplane impacts and prior to the building collapses; and expert analysis and testimony by architects, engineers, and scientists concluding that the rapid onset symmetrical near-free-fall acceleration collapse of these three WTC high rise buildings on 9/11 exhibited the key characteristics of controlled demolition. The July 30th Amended Petition included the same evidence but also addressed several additional federal crimes beyond the federal bombing crime addressed in the original Petition.

The Lawyers’ Committee concluded in the petitions that explosive and incendiary devices that had been preplaced at the WTC were detonated causing the complete collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7 on 9/11, and the resulting tragic loss of life, and that “the evidence permits no other conclusion — as a matter of science, as a matter of logic, and as a matter of law.”

“This Petition Supplement is intended to assist the Special Grand Jury by providing a roadmap for a meaningful investigation into the yet-to-be-prosecuted 9/11 WTC crimesthat the Lawyers’ Committee has reported and documented in our Petitions,” Attorney David Meiswinkle, President of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Board of Directors, said.

Finally, after nearly two decades of ridicule, dismissal, and outright intolerance of information contrary to the “official story” of what happened on 9/11, the public may finally learn the truth of what happened and who was behind it.


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