MSNBC’s O’Donnell retracts unverified Trump-Russia story, makes on-air apology
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday night retracted a story that directly tied President Trump’s finances to Russia and made an on-air apology for running the unverified report. “Last night on this show, I discussed information that wasn’t ready for reporting,” O’Donnell said. “I repeated statements a single … See More source told me about the president’s finances and loan documents with Deutsche Bank. Saying ‘if true’ — as I discussed the information — was simply not good enough. I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source. Had it gone through that process, I would not have been permitted to report it. I should not have said it on-air or posted it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so.”
High-profile Democrats fail to qualify for primary debates in September
Several struggling Democratic presidential candidates have failed to qualify for the next round of primary debates scheduled in September. Those missing the cut include U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and self-help guru Marianne Williamson. To appear on stage in Houston next month, they had to hit 2 percent in at least four approved public opinion polls while securing 130,000 unique donors.
Hours ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline to qualify, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York announced she was dropping out of the race. In an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Gabbard complained that the Democratic National Committee lacks “transparency” in the debate qualification process.
Omar hit with FEC complaint, accused of paying alleged lover’s travel expenses with campaign funds
The conservative, Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday, alleging that the lawmaker used campaign funds to illegally reimburse her purported paramour for personal travel expenses. The complaint also charges that Omar failed to itemize travel reimbursements as required by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 — and that the travel expenses increased during the same month that Omar’s alleged affair with married Washington, D.C., political consultant Tim Mynett, 38, heated up. Omar has denied that she had an affair with Mynett, and her attorneys have dismissed the FEC complaint as a baseless “political ploy.”
Dorian takes aim at Florida
Hurricane Dorian moved out over open waters early Thursday after doing limited damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and forecasters warn it could hit Florida over the weekend. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Dorian was expected to strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane as it stayed well to the east of the southeastern and central Bahamas over the next two days. The forecast called for the storm to pass near or over the northern Bahamas on Saturday and close in on Florida by Sunday afternoon.
DHS bars Dem staffers from visiting border facilities after ‘rude’ and ‘disruptive’ behavior
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has barred Democratic staffers from the House Oversight Committee from visiting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a planned trip this week after committee staff allegedly were “disruptive” and refused to follow instructions during their last trip. Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., had sent his staff to visit border facilities for “oversight inspections” last week and planned to send staff again to view Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP centers.
DHS has revoked access to CBP facilities for the upcoming visit, citing staff behavior that “interfered” with law enforcement operations — including refusing to leave one site after their scheduled window, skipping some tours and being “rude” to officers. A DHS official said that ICE visits will still be allowed the rest of this week, but with a two-hour time limit.
Uber driver bitten in Georgia attack that left car damaged, woman arrested
A Georgia woman was arrested after police say she was caught on camera attacking an Uber driver — by biting him and trying to damage his car.
Tasheena Campbell, 26, was taken into custody Aug. 20 — days after the incident in which she allegedly attacked driver Yasser Hadi in midtown Atlanta on Aug. 18.
A video uploaded to Twitter of the attacks begins with a woman — identified by WAGA as Campbell — sitting on the hood of a car, breaking off a windshield wiper. Bystanders and Hadi encourage her to stop, before the woman throws a punch at Hadi.
The woman hops off the car and enters the vehicle through the driver-side door while Hadi tries to stop her. “Get out my car!” he shouts, as he pulls the woman out to the ground. The woman tries punching the Uber driver — before biting him, prompting him to scream.
Tasheena Campbell, 26, was charged with battery and criminal trespass following the incident. It’s unclear what sparked the altercation. Hadi said Campbell appeared out of nowhere and randomly attacked him.
“She’s acting weird, she’s acting wild, and she’s on the car hitting it, telling me I need to die, to kill me,” Hadi told WAGA of the encounter. “The pain, I said, “God, just let her take my flesh, I don’t care. I want her to go away from me.”
The Uber driver said the situation is “horrible.”
“She’s hit me in my job, my health and my financial pocket money, it’s hard,” said Hadi, noting he doesn’t have insurance. “I’m in a bad situation. I wish people see this and help.” Campbell was arrested and charged with battery and criminal trespass, according to online records from the Fulton County Jail. She was still in custody as of Thursday.
Kentucky mother Andrea Knabel, a volunteer who searches for missing people, reported missing
A Kentucky mother of two who searches for missing people has now seemingly disappeared herself.
Andrea Knabel, 37, was last seen leaving a relative’s home in the Audubon Park neighborhood of Louisville around 1 a.m. on Aug. 13, according to Missing in America, the organization for which she volunteers.
Around 1:30 a.m., she used her cellphone to call her friend and ask for a ride, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Several security cameras are located in the neighborhood, but many weren’t active when she was in the area.
A friend of Knabel’s told WAVE the single mother “was upset and she needed a ride” — and was too trusting of other people.
“Obviously she was trying to get ahold of people, maybe she got in the car with the wrong person,” said Maricia Kidd, who has known Knabel for 30 years. She noted Knabel’s car was recently totaled in a hit-and-run accident and said she’d been laid off at work.
“Here she is helping to locate people and she comes up missing herself,” said Tracy Leonard, a private investigator and friend of Knabel. “She’s just a super great girl. She helped me locate a missing teen about a year and a half ago.”
The group’s founder, Nancy Schaefer Smith, said that Knabel, a “dedicated member” of Missing in America, is the first volunteer ever to disappear like this.
“She is loved by so many people,” Smith told the Courier-Journal. “It’s all hands on deck. She’s my girl…We’re going to find her.”
Knabel is described as a white female with light brown hair. She weighs between 190 to 200 pounds and is around 5 feet 7 inches tall. She was last seen wearing a “light color tank top and white shorts.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Leonard at 502-618-9337 or Smith at 502-500-3026, or the Louisville Metro Police at 502-574-5673.
Pennsylvania man’s ‘gunlike hand gesture’ toward neighbor was a crime, court rules
A Pennsylvania court ruled Tuesday that making a “gunlike hand gesture” is a crime after a man-made the hand motion during an argument with his neighbor — an act which reportedly made several nearby residents nervous and prompted a call to police.
Stephen Kirchner, 64, made the gesture toward his neighbor in Manor Township in June 2018, according to surveillance video. Kirchner, walking alongside a female neighbor, “stopped, made eye contact with [the male neighbor] and then made a hand gesture at him imitating the firing and recoiling of a gun,” according to court documents.
The action made one neighbor feel “extremely threatened” and he called 911. Another neighbor said she saw Kirchner “put his finger up like he was going to shoot [the neighbor]”, “insecure,” prompting her to call 911.
Kirchner and the female neighbor Kirchner had been walking with previously had issues and confrontations, sparking the neighbor to install six security cameras on his property. At the time of the incident in 2018, the female neighbor had a “no contact” order against the neighbor who felt threatened, court documents indicate.
Kirchner was issued a citation for disorderly conduct following the incident. He said in district court he made the “gunlike” gesture after his neighbor gave him “the finger with both hands.”
The 64-year-old was found guilty, but appealed, arguing the hand gesture didn’t “create a hazardous or physically offensive condition.” Kirchner said he didn’t mean to cause public alarm, and there wasn’t really any harm done to the neighbor or others.
On Tuesday, however, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania found the gesture “served no legitimate purpose, and recklessly risked provoking a dangerous altercation.”
Kirchner was ordered to pay a $100 fine and court costs.
Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman whose district includes El Paso, said earlier on Sunday that he believes Trump is a white nationalist and likened the president’s language to that of Nazi Germany’s
Ryan, a congressman from Ohio, was speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” just hours after a gunman in his home state left nine people dead and dozens more injured when he opened fire on the streets of downtown Dayton’s popular Oregon District. It was the second mass shooting in the country in less than 24 hours, following an attack by a gunman in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart that killed 20 people and left scores injured there.
“We’ve got to do something,” “I’m calling on the president and the Congress to come back in session…let’s do the work in Washington. Do the background check bill that we passed out of the House. We’ve got to ban these assault weapons.”
“Let’s be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is,”
O’Rourke said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“He is an open avowed racist and encouraging more racism in this country.” “This is ridiculous,”
he said. “
Honestly for a guy to drive 10 hours to go kill Mexicans like what happened in El Paso is sickening and I think the environment around anti-immigration, the race issues that are so polarizing today that the president throws gasoline on has got to stop.
”Ryan lumped much of the blame for the shootings on President Trump and the “environment the president has created in the United States.”
“This cannot be open for debate and you, as well as I, have a responsibility to call that out to make sure the American people know what is being done in their name,”
“He doesn’t even pretend to respect our differences or understand we are all created equal. He is saying some people are inherently defected.”
2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Tim Ryan on Sunday called on Congress to immediately head back to session to pass a background check bill for those seeking to buy firearms and called for a ban on the purchase of assault weapons. Ryan added:
“We’ve got to bring this country together, we’ve got to heal and it’s got to start at the top. The president needs to take a leadership role in this, he’s got to stop being so divisive, he’s got to stop tipping his hat to the white nationalists, and sometimes overtly to them, to where he’s talking to some crazy guy who’s going to drive 10 hours to shoot Mexicans.”
Ryan is one of a number of Democratic presidential hopefuls who have singled out Trump’s divisive rhetoric and tough stance on issues like immigration as part of the reason why these recent mass shootings have occurred.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump also said Democratic 2020 hopefuls, specifically former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will lead the U.S. into an “economic sinkhole” if elected. He also claimed America would have experienced a “Great Recession/Depression” if he had not been elected in 2016.President Trump late Wednesday tweeted a response to CNN’s Democratic debate and said none of the candidates would keep up what he sees as momentum in the country.“…It will soon be time to choose to keep and build upon that prosperity and success, or let it go. We are respected again all around the world. Keep it that way! I said I will never let you down, and I haven’t. We will only grow bigger, better and stronger TOGETHER!,” Trump said. “The people on the stage tonight, and last, were not those that will either Make America Great Again or Keep America Great!” Trump began in a series of tweets around midnight. “Our Country now is breaking records in almost every category, from Stock Market to Military to Unemployment. We have prosperity & success like never before..” the president continued. “The people I saw on stage last night, & you can add in Sleepy Joe, Harris, & the rest, will lead us into an economic sinkhole the likes of which we have never seen before. With me, only up!” Trump said before the second debate Wednesday night.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAN ENERGIZED BIDEN PUNCHES BACK AGAINST HARRIS, OTHERS IN HEATED DEBATE
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.
|0 (summary data)
George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush
George W. Bush
|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.
In a visceral takedown, Gabbard charged Harris “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.” “When you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not, and worse yet, in the case of those who are on death row, you blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so. “There’s no excuse for that and the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology.” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, tore into Sen. Kamala Harris,D-Calif., for her tenure as California’s attorney general, saying Wednesday night she owed an “apology” to “people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor.” After Harris’ defense of her tenure as “significantly reforming the criminal justice system” in her state, making it a “national model,” Gabbard continued the tongue lashing. “She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way,” she said.