Don’t Be Fooled: Omar-Tlaib & Isreal: Katie Pavlich

 

 

Opinion

Don’t Be Fooled, Omar and Tlaib Maliciously Set Up Israel Ban

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Posted: Aug 16, 2019 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.

Don't Be Fooled, Omar and Tlaib Maliciously Set Up Israel Ban

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh  

On July 17, 2019, Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar introduced a pro-BDS movement resolution on Capitol Hill. Her colleague, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, co-sponsored the resolution and compared the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to how the Nazis treated European Jews during World War II. She made the horrific and false accusation during a speech on the House floor.

One day later, Omar and Tlaib announced they were planning a trip to Israel. Coincidence? Hardly.

The order and timing of events here is crucial and proves their goading of Israeli officials was a set up from the beginning.

Omar and Tlaib know Israel has longstanding law and policy barring supporters of the BDS movement from entering the country. It is regularly deployed against BDS activists.

By introducing a pro-BDS resolution in Congress and then a day later announcing a planned trip to Israel, they knew their chances of getting rejected by the Israeli government were high, if not guaranteed.

This enabled them to put Israel in a difficult position with two choices: 1. Violate the law by giving them special treatment and then allowing them to actively campaign against the country’s existence and interests within its own borders 2. Reject them and be accused of bigotry and racism, defacto “proving” allegations from Omar and Tlaib about bigotry, apartheid and unequal treatment. In other words, bad PR. This lose-lose scenario was purposely provided in bad faith.

There are other indicators Omar’s and Tlaib’s announced trip to Israel was carefully calculated.

Just last week a congressional delegation of 72 lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, made an official trip to Israel. They met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and leaders of the Palestinian Authority. Omar and Tlaib refused to go. Instead, they developed their own itinerary and titled it “U.S. Congressional Delegation to Palestine.” Omar and Tlaib don’t believe Israel has a right to exist, so much so they couldn’t bear writing down the country’s name.

Ultimately, a decision had to be made.

“No country in the world respects America and the American Congress more than the State of Israel. As a free and vibrant democracy, Israel is open to critics and criticism with one exception: Israeli law prohibits the entry into Israel of those who call for and work to impose boycotts on Israel, as do other democracies that prohibit the entry of people who seek to harm the country,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a released statement.

“Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress. Only a few days ago, we received their itinerary for their visit in Israel, which revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy,” he continued. “The itinerary of the two Congresswomen reveals that the sole purpose of their visit is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it. In addition, the organization that is funding their trip is Miftah, which is an avid supporter of BDS, and among whose members are those who have expressed support for terrorism against Israel. Therefore, the minister of interior has decided not to allow their visit, and I, as prime minister, support his decision.”

Graciously and despite her radical ties, Tlaib was granted the option to apply for a humanitarian visa to visit her family.

“If Congresswoman Tlaib submits a humanitarian request to visit her relatives, the minister of interior has announced that he will consider her request on the condition that she pledges not to act to promote boycotts against Israel during her visit,” Netanyahu continued.

Right on queue, Omar engaged in gaslighting, accused the entire country of bigotry and delegitimized Israel’s standing as a democracy.

“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government. Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress.  Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories,” Omar said in response. “Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.”

“The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation,” she continued.

Democrats quickly came to her defense to trash the decision, failing to acknowledge the reasons for the denial.

“MoC are frequently asked to visit Israel to “see things for ourselves. But Netanyahu choosing to ban the only 2 Muslim women in Congress from entering tells the US that only *some* Americans are welcome to Israel, not all. Trump is exporting his bigotry &making matters worse,” fellow “squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chimed in.

“Trump & Netanyahu are afraid to have @reprashida & @ilhan witness first-hand the brutality & dehumanization Israel’s occupation inflicts on the Palestinian people. This bigoted president is working to extend his Muslim travel ban to Members of Congress,” Democrat Congresswoman Betty McCollum tweeted.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel.  The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President,” Speaker Pelosi lamented.

Mission complete.

These actions push the Democrat party even further away from the long-established alliance with Israel, which is exactly what Omar and Tlaib want. It’s one thing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who used to be an advocate against BDS and declared the movement anti-Semitic, is right about.

“It will only hurt the U.S.-Israel relationship and support for Israel in America,” Schumer said.

Omar and Tlaib weren’t denied entry to Israel because they are Muslim, they were denied entry because they are tied to terrorism, actively support the BDS movement and do not believe the country has the right to exist. It’s not complicated. It is simple. They won’t be visiting Israel for these reasons, but, they already knew that.

Trump Isn’t The One Dividing Us by Race : Heather MacDonald

Trump Isnʼt the One Dividing Us by Race

WSJ 8/19/19, 5(22 PM https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-isnt-the-one-dividing-us-by-race-11566158729?mod=hp_opin_pos_2 Page 1 of 3

Long before the El Paso massacre, President Trump’s political opponents accused him of sowing “division” with his “racist language.” Mr. Trump “exploits race,” “uses race for his gain,” is engaged in a “racially divisive reprise” of his 2016 campaign, stokes “racial resentments,” and puts “race at the fore,” the New York Times has reported over the past several months. Yet Mr. Trump rarely uses racial categories in his speech or his tweets. It is the media and Democratic leaders who routinely characterize individuals and groups by race and issue race-based denunciations of large parts of the American polity. Some examples: “As race dominates the political conversation, 10 white Democratic candidates will take the stage” (the Washington Post); Mr. Trump’s rally audiences are “overwhelmingly white” (multiple sources); your son’s “whiteness is what protects him from not [sic] being shot” by the police ( Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ); white candidates need to be conscious of “white privilege” (South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ); “white supremacy manifests itself” in the criminal-justice, immigration and health-care systems ( Sen. Cory Booker ); “ Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri” ( Sen. Elizabeth Warren ); whiteness is “the very core” of Mr. Trump’s power.

He hardly mentions it, while his adversaries are obsessed with ‘whiteness’ and ‘white privilege.’ “predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness” (Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Atlantic). Liberal opinion deems such rhetoric fair comment, even obvious truth, not “racially divisive.” America’s universities deserve credit for this double standard. Identity politics dominate higher education: Administrators, students and faculty obsessively categorize themselves and each other by race. “White privilege,” often coupled with “toxic masculinity,” is the focus of freshmen orientations and an ever-growing array of courses. Any institutional action that affects a “person of color” is “about race.” If a black professor doesn’t get tenure, he’s a victim of discrimination; a white professor is presumed to be unqualified. That interpretive framework explains asymmetries in how the political and media elites analyze the Trump phenomenon. Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, recently denounced Mr. Trump’s “almost daily attacks on black and brown people.” But “almost” and “black and brown” are superfluous. Mr. Trump’s attacks on his fellow 2016 candidates —and on more-recent adversaries as homogeneous as Robert Mueller, Rep. Adam Schiff, Joe Biden and Ms. Warren—were as nasty as anything he’s directed at Rep. Elijah Cummings or Rep. Ilhan Omar. But according to the academic template, to criticize a “person of color” is inevitably “about race.” Mr. Buttigieg ran afoul of this rule after firing South Bend’s black police chief for secretly taping officers’ phone calls. The idea that the mayor fired the chief because he was black is absurd, yet Mr. Buttigieg inevitably faced charges of racial insensitivity. Likewise, advocates and the media deemed Mr. Trump’s nonracial denunciation of Baltimore’s leadership racist. Never mind that the victims of the city’s almost daily drive-by shootings are black. Race shields minority politicians from criticism. Ms. Warren recently provided an unwitting summary of academic identity politics. Mr. Trump’s “central message” to the American people, she declared, is: “If there’s anything wrong in your life, blame them—and ‘them’ means people who aren’t the same color as you.” She has in mind a white “you,” but change the race and you encapsulate the reigning assumption on college campuses—that white people are the source of nonwhite people’s problems, and any behavioral or cultural explanations for economic disparities are taboo. The academy’s reflexive labeling of nonconforming views as “hate speech” has also infiltrated popular rhetoric against Mr. Trump. The president’s views on border control and national sovereignty are at odds with the apparent belief among Democratic elites that people living outside the country are entitled to enter at will and without consequences for illegal entry. To the academic and democratic left, however, a commitment to Trump border enforcement can only arise from “hate.” Such a pre-emptive interpretation is a means of foreclosing debate and stigmatizing dissent from liberal orthodoxy. Identity politics, now a driving force in the Democratic Party, celebrates the racial and ethnic identities of designated victim groups while consigning whites—especially heterosexual white men—to scapegoat status. But its advocates should be careful what they wish for. If “whiteness” is a legitimate topic of academic and political discourse, some individuals are going to embrace “white identity” proudly. To note the inevitability of white identity politics in no way condones the grotesque violence of men like the El Paso killer. But the dominant culture is creating a group of social pariahs, a very small percentage of whom— already unmoored from traditional sources of meaning and stability, such as family—are taking their revenge through stomach-churning mayhem. Overcoming racial divisiveness will be difficult. But the primary responsibility rests with its main propagators: the academic left and its imitators in politics and mass media.

Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.” Copyright © 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved This copy is for your personal,

D-Day President Donald J. Trump speech June 6, 2019

President Donald Trump commemorated the 75th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday and delivered the following speech in honor of those “thousands [who] sacrificed their lives” for liberty:

President Macron, Mrs. Macron, and the people of France; to the First Lady of the United States and members of the United States Congress; to distinguished guests, veterans, and my fellow Americans:

We are gathered here on Freedom’s Altar. On these shores, on these bluffs, on this day 75 years ago, 10,000 men shed their blood, and thousands sacrificed their lives, for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty.

Today, we remember those who fell, and we honor all who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization.

To more than 170 veterans of the Second World War who join us today: You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. You’re the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. (Applause.)

Here with you are over 60 veterans who landed on D-Day. Our debt to you is everlasting. Today, we express our undying gratitude.

When you were young, these men enlisted their lives in a Great Crusade — one of the greatest of all times. Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious, eternal struggle between good and evil.

On the 6th of June, 1944, they joined a liberation force of awesome power and breathtaking scale. After months of planning, the Allies had chosen this ancient coastline to mount their campaign to vanquish the wicked tyranny of the Nazi empire from the face of the Earth.

The battle began in the skies above us. In those first tense midnight hours, 1,000 aircraft roared overhead with 17,000 Allied airborne troops preparing to leap into the darkness beyond these trees.

Then came dawn. The enemy who had occupied these heights saw the largest naval armada in the history of the world. Just a few miles offshore were 7,000 vessels bearing 130,000 warriors. They were the citizens of free and independent nations, united by their duty to their compatriots and to millions yet unborn.

There were the British, whose nobility and fortitude saw them through the worst of Dunkirk and the London Blitz. The full violence of Nazi fury was no match for the full grandeur of British pride. Thank you. (Applause.)

There were the Canadians, whose robust sense of honor and loyalty compelled them to take up arms alongside Britain from the very, very beginning.

There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, and the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commandos, soon to be met by thousands of their brave countrymen ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valor. (Applause.)

And, finally, there were the Americans. They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities, and the forges of mighty industrial towns. Before the war, many had never ventured beyond their own community. Now they had come to offer their lives half a world from home.

This beach, codenamed Omaha, was defended by the Nazis with monstrous firepower, thousands and thousands of mines and spikes driven into the sand, so deeply. It was here that tens of thousands of the Americans came.

The GIs who boarded the landing craft that morning knew that they carried on their shoulders not just the pack of a soldier, but the fate of the world. Colonel George Taylor, whose 16th Infantry Regiment would join in the first wave, was asked: What would happen if the Germans stopped right then and there, cold on the beach — just stopped them? What would happen? This great American replied: “Why, the 18th Infantry is coming in right behind us. The 26th Infantry will come on too. Then there is the 2nd Infantry Division already afloat. And the 9th Division. And the 2nd Armored. And the 3rd Armored. And all the rest. Maybe the 16th won’t make it, but someone will.”

One of those men in Taylor’s 16th Regiment was Army medic Ray Lambert. Ray was only 23, but he had already earned three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars fighting in North Africa and Sicily, where he and his brother Bill, no longer with us, served side by side.

In the early morning hours, the two brothers stood together on the deck of the USS Henrico, before boarding two separate Higgins landing craft. “If I don’t make it,” Bill said, “please, please take care of my family.” Ray asked his brother to do the same.

Of the 31 men on Ray’s landing craft, only Ray and 6 others made it to the beach. There were only a few of them left. They came to the sector right here below us. “Easy Red” it was called. Again and again, Ray ran back into the water. He dragged out one man after another. He was shot through the arm. His leg was ripped open by shrapnel. His back was broken. He nearly drowned.

He had been on the beach for hours, bleeding and saving lives, when he finally lost consciousness. He woke up the next day on a cot beside another badly wounded soldier. He looked over and saw his brother Bill. They made it. They made it. They made it.

At 98 years old, Ray is here with us today, with his fourth Purple Heart and his third Silver Star from Omaha. (Applause.) Ray, the free world salutes you. (Applause.) Thank you, Ray. (Applause.)

Nearly two hours in, unrelenting fire from these bluffs kept the Americans pinned down on the sand now red with our heroes’ blood. Then, just a few hundred yards from where I’m standing, a breakthrough came. The battle turned, and with it, history.

Down on the beach, Captain Joe Dawson, the son of a Texas preacher, led Company G through a minefield to a natural fold in the hillside, still here. Just beyond this path to my right, Captain Dawson snuck beneath an enemy machine gun perch and tossed his grenades. Soon, American troops were charging up “Dawson’s Draw.” What a job he did. What bravery he showed.

Lieutenant Spalding and the men from Company E moved on to crush the enemy strongpoint on the far side of this cemetery, and stop the slaughter on the beach below. Countless more Americans poured out across this ground all over the countryside. They joined fellow American warriors from Utah beach, and Allies from Juno, Sword, and Gold, along with the airborne and the French patriots.

Private First Class Russell Pickett, of the 29th Division’s famed 116th Infantry Regiment, had been wounded in the first wave that landed on Omaha Beach. At a hospital in England, Private Pickett vowed to return to battle. “I’m going to return,” he said. “I’m going to return.”

Six days after D-Day, he rejoined his company. Two thirds had been killed already; many had been wounded, within 15 minutes of the invasion. They’d lost 19 just from small town of Bedford, Virginia, alone. Before long, a grenade left Private Pickett again gravely wounded. So badly wounded. Again, he chose to return. He didn’t care; he had to be here.

He was then wounded a third time, and laid unconscious for 12 days. They thought he was gone. They thought he had no chance. Russell Pickett is the last known survivor of the legendary Company A. And, today, believe it or not, he has returned once more to these shores to be with his comrades. Private Pickett, you honor us all with your presence. (Applause.) Tough guy. (Laughter.)

By the fourth week of August, Paris was liberated. (Applause.) Some who landed here pushed all the way to the center of Germany. Some threw open the gates of Nazi concentration camps to liberate Jews who had suffered the bottomless horrors of the Holocaust. And some warriors fell on other fields of battle, returning to rest on this soil for eternity.

Before this place was consecrated to history, the land was owned by a French farmer, a member of the French resistance. These were great people. These were strong and tough people. His terrified wife waited out D-Day in a nearby house, holding tight to their little baby girl. The next day, a soldier appeared. “I’m an American,” he said. “I’m here to help.” The French woman was overcome with emotion and cried. Days later, she laid flowers on fresh American graves.

Today, her granddaughter, Stefanie, serves as a guide at this cemetery. This week, Stefanie led 92-year-old Marian Wynn of California to see the grave of her brother Don for the very first time.

Marian and Stefanie are both with us today. And we thank you for keeping alive the memories of our precious heroes. Thank you. (Applause.)

9,388 young Americans rest beneath the white crosses and Stars of David arrayed on these beautiful grounds. Each one has been adopted by a French family that thinks of him as their own. They come from all over France to look after our boys. They kneel. They cry. They pray. They place flowers. And they never forget. Today, America embraces the French people and thanks you for honoring our beloved dead. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.

To all of our friends and partners: Our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war, and proven in the blessings of peace. Our bond is unbreakable.

From across the Earth, Americans are drawn to this place as though it were a part of our very soul. We come not only because of what they did here. We come because of who they were.

They were young men with their entire lives before them. They were husbands who said goodbye to their young brides and took their duty as their fate. They were fathers who would never meet their infant sons and daughters because they had a job to do. And with God as their witness, they were going to get it done. They came wave after wave, without question, without hesitation, and without complaint.

More powerful than the strength of American arms was the strength of American hearts.

These men ran through the fires of hell moved by a force no weapon could destroy: the fierce patriotism of a free, proud, and sovereign people. (Applause.) They battled not for control and domination, but for liberty, democracy, and self-rule.

They pressed on for love in home and country — the Main Streets, the schoolyards, the churches and neighbors, the families and communities that gave us men such as these.

They were sustained by the confidence that America can do anything because we are a noble nation, with a virtuous people, praying to a righteous God.

The exceptional might came from a truly exceptional spirit. The abundance of courage came from an abundance of faith. The great deeds of an Army came from the great depths of their love.

As they confronted their fate, the Americans and the Allies placed themselves into the palm of God’s hand.

The men behind me will tell you that they are just the lucky ones. As one of them recently put it, “All the heroes are buried here.” But we know what these men did. We knew how brave they were. They came here and saved freedom, and then, they went home and showed us all what freedom is all about.

The American sons and daughters who saw us to victory were no less extraordinary in peace. They built families. They built industries. They built a national culture that inspired the entire world. In the decades that followed, America defeated communism, secured civil rights, revolutionized science, launched a man to the moon, and then kept on pushing to new frontiers. And, today, America is stronger than ever before. (Applause.)

Seven decades ago, the warriors of D-Day fought a sinister enemy who spoke of a thousand-year empire. In defeating that evil, they left a legacy that will last not only for a thousand years, but for all time — for as long as the soul knows of duty and honor; for as long as freedom keeps its hold on the human heart.

To the men who sit behind me, and to the boys who rest in the field before me, your example will never, ever grow old. (Applause.) Your legend will never tire. Your spirit — brave, unyielding, and true — will never die.

The blood that they spilled, the tears that they shed, the lives that they gave, the sacrifice that they made, did not just win a battle. It did not just win a war. Those who fought here won a future for our nation. They won the survival of our civilization. And they showed us the way to love, cherish, and defend our way of life for many centuries to come.

Today, as we stand together upon this sacred Earth, we pledge that our nations will forever be strong and united. We will forever be together. Our people will forever be bold. Our hearts will forever be loyal. And our children, and their children, will forever and always be free.

May God bless our great veterans. May God bless our Allies. May God bless the heroes of D-Day. And may God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

Breitbart News

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U. S. Attorney General Robert Barr’s letter to the U.S Congress

attorney general

The Attorney General

Washington, D.C.

March 24, 2019

The Honorable Lindsey Graham Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate
290 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Jerrold Nadler Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives
2132 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Doug Collins
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives
1504 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:

As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.

The SpecialCounsel's Report

On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a "confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election." Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.

The report explains that the· Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.

The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel's report.

Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The Special  Counsel's report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel's investigation was whether any Americans - including individuals associated with the Trump campaign - joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."1

The Special Counsel's investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.

The second element involved the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government  in these efforts, despite multiple. offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.

Obstruction of Justice. The report's second part addresses a number of actions by the President - most of which have been the subject of public reporting - that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a "thorough factual investigation" into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion - one way or the other - as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as "difficult issues" of law and fact concerning whether the President's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. . The Special Counsel states that "while this report does not conclude that· the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

The Special Counsel's decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves itto the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel's office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel's obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel's final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.2

In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that "the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President's intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President's actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department's principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of­ justice offense.

Status of the Department's Review

The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel's report will be a "confidential report" to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to "matter[s] occurring before [a] grand jury." Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B). Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C.

  • 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of . a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.

Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released iri light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.

*          *          *

As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that "the Attorney General may determine that public release of' notifications to your respective Committees "would be in the public interest." 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.

Sincerely,

William P. Barr
Attorney General

1 In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign "coordinated" with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined "coordination" as an "agreement-tacit or express-between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference."

2 See A Sitting President's Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. 222 (2000).

 

 

State of the Union Speech February 5,2019….is Strong

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-state-union-address-2/?utm_source=link

Remarks by President Trump in State of the Union Address

Issued on: February 6, 2019

February 5, 2019
9:07 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States — (applause) — and my fellow Americans:

We meet tonight at a moment of unlimited potential. As we begin a new Congress, I stand here ready to work with you to achieve historic breakthroughs for all Americans.

Millions of our fellow citizens are watching us now, gathered in this great chamber, hoping that we will govern not as two parties but as one nation. (Applause.)

The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It’s the agenda of the American people.

Many of us have campaigned on the same core promises: to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers; to rebuild and revitalize our nation’s infrastructure; to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs; to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern, and secure; and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.

There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage, together, to seize it. (Applause.) Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country. (Applause.)

This year, America will recognize two important anniversaries that show us the majesty of America’s mission and the power of American pride.

In June, we mark 75 years since the start of what General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the “Great Crusade” — the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II. (Applause.) On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the sky, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea, to save our civilization from tyranny. Here with us tonight are three of those incredible heroes: Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik. (Applause.) Please. Gentlemen, we salute you.

In 2019, we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon. Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin. (Applause.) Thank you, Buzz. This year, American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets. (Applause.)

In the 20th century, America saved freedom, transformed science, redefined the middle class, and, when you get down to it, there’s nothing anywhere in the world that can compete with America. (Applause.) Now we must step boldly and bravely into the next chapter of this great American adventure, and we must create a new standard of living for the 21st century. An amazing quality of life for all of our citizens is within reach.

We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before. (Applause.)

But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution, and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good. (Applause.)

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.

Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness. (Applause.)

Over the last two years, my administration has moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of both parties over many decades.

In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before. There’s been nothing like it. We have created 5.3 million new jobs and, importantly, added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do. But the fact is, we are just getting started. (Applause.)

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades and growing for blue-collar workers, who I promised to fight for. They’re growing faster than anyone else thought possible. Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. (Applause.) The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office. And we are considered, far and away, the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Not even close. (Applause.)

Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. (Applause.) African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. (Applause.) Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. (Applause.) More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country — 157 million people at work. (Applause.)

We passed a massive tax cut for working families and doubled the child tax credit. (Applause.)

We virtually ended the estate tax — or death tax, as it is often called — on small businesses for ranchers and also for family farms. (Applause.)

We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty. (Applause.) And to give critically ill patients access to lifesaving cures, we passed, very importantly, Right to Try. (Applause.)

My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure. (Applause.) Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers thanks to our historic reductions in taxes and regulations. (Applause.)

And we have unleashed a revolution in American energy. The United States is now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. (Applause.) And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy. (Applause.)

After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on Earth, by far, and America — (applause) — America is again winning each and every day. (Applause.)

Members of Congress: The state of our union is strong. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: That sounds so good. (Laughter.)

Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before.

On Friday, it was announced that we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone — almost double the number expected. (Applause.) An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations. (Applause.)

If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.

We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad. This new era of cooperation can start with finally confirming the more than 300 highly qualified nominees who are still stuck in the Senate. In some cases, years and years waiting. Not right. (Applause.) The Senate has failed to act on these nominations, which is unfair to the nominees and very unfair to our country.

Now is the time for bipartisan action. Believe it or not, we have already proven that that’s possible.

In the last Congress, both parties came together to pass unprecedented legislation to confront the opioid crisis, a sweeping new farm bill, historic VA reforms. And after four decades of rejection, we passed VA Accountability so that we can finally terminate those who mistreat our wonderful veterans. (Applause.)

And just weeks ago, both parties united for groundbreaking criminal justice reform. They said it couldn’t be done. (Applause.)

Last year, I heard, through friends, the story of Alice Johnson. I was deeply moved. In 1997, Alice was sentenced to life in prison as a first-time non-violent drug offender. Over the next 22 years, she became a prison minister, inspiring others to choose a better path. She had a big impact on that prison population, and far beyond.

Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing, and the need to remedy this total injustice. She served almost that 22 years and had expected to be in prison for the remainder of her life.

In June, I commuted Alice’s sentence. When I saw Alice’s beautiful family greet her at the prison gates, hugging and kissing and crying and laughing, I knew I did something right. Alice is with us tonight, and she is a terrific woman. Terrific. Alice, please. (Applause.)

Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny. Thank you very much, Alice. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Inspired by stories like Alice’s, my administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the FIRST STEP Act into law. Big deal. (Applause.) It’s a big deal.

This legislation reformed sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed the African American community. The FIRST STEP Act gives non-violent offenders the chance to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens. Now states across the country are following our lead. America is a nation that believes in redemption.

We are also joined tonight by Matthew Charles from Tennessee. In 1996, at the age of 30, Matthew was sentenced to 35 years for selling drugs and related offenses. Over the next two decades, he completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, and mentored many of his fellow inmates.

Now, Matthew is the very first person to be released from prison under the FIRST STEP Act. (Applause.) Matthew, please. Thank you, Matthew. Welcome home. (Applause.)

Now, Republicans and Democrats must join forces again to confront an urgent national crisis. Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland, and secure our very dangerous southern border.

Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business. (Applause.)

As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for this tremendous onslaught.

This is a moral issue. The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security, and financial wellbeing of all America. We have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. This includes our obligation to the millions of immigrants living here today who followed the rules and respected our laws. Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways. (Applause.)

I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally. (Applause.)

Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country.

No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls, and gates, and guards. (Applause.)

Meanwhile, working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration: reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools, hospitals that are so crowded you can’t get in, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net. Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate; it is actually very cruel. (Applause.)

One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country. Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide-open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Tens of thousands of innocent Americans are killed by lethal drugs that cross our border and flood into our cities, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl.

The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in at least 20 different American states, and they almost all come through our southern border. Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City. We are removing these gang members by the thousands. But until we secure our border, they’re going to keep streaming right back in.

Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens. I’ve gotten to know many wonderful Angel moms and dads, and families. No one should ever have to suffer the horrible heartache that they have had to endure.

Here tonight is Debra Bissell. Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada home by an illegal alien. They were in their eighties, and are survived by 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.

To Debra, Heather, Madison, please stand. Few can understand your pain. Thank you. And thank you for being here. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

I will never forget, and I will fight for the memory of Gerald and Sharon that it should never happen again. Not one more American life should be lost because our nation failed to control its very dangerous border.

In the last two years, our brave ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 killings or murders.

We are joined tonight by one of those law enforcement heroes: ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez. When Elvin — (applause) — thank you.

When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent. Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking.

Elvin says that, “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve [really] done my job.” Thanks to his work, and that of his incredible colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from the horror of this terrible situation, and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars. (Applause.) Thank you, Elvin.

We will always support the brave men and women of law enforcement, and I pledge to you tonight that I will never abolish our heroes from ICE. Thank you. (Applause.)

My administration has sent to Congress a commonsense proposal to end the crisis on the southern border. It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling, and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.

In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built. (Applause.)

This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by the border agents as having the greatest need. And these agents will tell you: Where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down. (Applause.)

San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in our country. In response, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.

The border city of El Paso, Texas used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country. Simply put: Walls work, and walls save lives. (Applause.)

So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.

As we work to defend our people’s safety, we must also ensure our economic resurgence continues at a rapid pace. No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year. (Applause.)

You weren’t supposed to do that. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before. (Applause.)

Don’t sit yet. You’re going to like this. (Laughter.)

And exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Really great. And congratulations. That’s great.

As part of our commitment to improving opportunity for women everywhere, this Thursday we are launching the first-ever government-wide initiative focused on economic empowerment for women in developing countries.

To build on — (applause) — thank you. To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount: reversing decades of calamitous trade policies. So bad.

We are now making it clear to China that, after years of targeting our industries and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end. (Applause.) Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and now our Treasury is receiving billions and billions of dollars.

But I don’t blame China for taking advantage of us; I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen. I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China. But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs. (Applause.) Thank you.

Another historic trade blunder was the catastrophe known as NAFTA. I have met the men and women of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire, and many other states whose dreams were shattered by the signing of NAFTA. For years, politicians promised them they would renegotiate for a better deal, but no one ever tried, until now.

Our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the USMCA, will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers like they haven’t had delivered to for a long time. I hope you can pass the USMCA into law so that we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expand American agriculture, protect intellectual property, and ensure that more cars are proudly stamped with our four beautiful words: “Made in the USA.” (Applause.)

Tonight, I am also asking you to pass the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an American product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the exact same product that they sell to us. (Applause.)

Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure. (Applause.)

I know that Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill, and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity.

The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and to protect patients with preexisting conditions. (Applause.)

Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018, drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years. (Applause.)

But we must do more. It’s unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, this is unfair, and together we will stop it — and we’ll stop it fast. (Applause.)

I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients, finally. (Applause.)

We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs way down. (Applause.)

No force in history has done more to advance the human condition than American freedom. In recent years — (applause) — in recent years, we have made remarkable progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Scientific breakthroughs have brought a once-distant dream within reach. My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. We have made incredible strides. Incredible. (Applause.) Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond. (Applause.)

Tonight, I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind: the fight against childhood cancer. (Applause.)

Joining Melania in the gallery this evening is a very brave 10-year-old girl, Grace Eline. Every birthday — (applause) — hi, Grace. (Laughter.) Every birthday since she was four, Grace asked her friends to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She did not know that one day she might be a patient herself. That’s what happened.

Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer. Immediately, she began radiation treatment. At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 for the fight against cancer. (Applause.) When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered — they loved her; they still love her — with tears in their eyes as she hung up a poster that read: “Last day of chemo.” (Applause.) Thank you very much, Grace. You are a great inspiration to everyone in this room. Thank you very much.

Many childhood cancers have not seen new therapies in decades. My budget will ask Congress for $500 million over the next 10 years to fund this critical lifesaving research.

To help support working parents, the time has come to pass School Choice for Americans’ children. (Applause.) I am also proud to be the first President to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave, so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child. (Applause.)

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. (Applause.)

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. (Applause.) And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

The final part of my agenda is to protect American security. Over the last two years, we have begun to fully rebuild the United States military, with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year.

We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. (Applause.) Finally. Finally. For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by friends of ours, members of NATO. But now we have secured, over the last couple of years, more than $100 billion of increase in defense spending from our NATO Allies. (Applause.) They said it couldn’t be done.

As part of our military build-up, the United States is developing a state-of-the-art missile defense system.

Under my administration, we will never apologize for advancing America’s interests.

For example, decades ago, the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capability. While we followed the agreement and the rules to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. It’s been going on for many years. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps — (applause) — we really have no choice. Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can’t — in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far. (Applause.)

As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Our hostages have come home, nuclear testing has stopped, and there has not been a missile launch in more than 15 months. If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. (Applause.)

Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam. (Applause.)

Two weeks ago, the United States officially recognized the legitimate government of Venezuela — (applause) — and its new President, Juan Guaidó. (Applause.)

We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom, and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair. (Applause.)

Here in the United States, we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. (Applause.) We are born free and we will stay free. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!

THE PRESIDENT: One of the most complex set of challenges we face, and have for many years, is in the Middle East. Our approach is based on principled realism, not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress. For this reason, my administration recognized the true capital of Israel, and proudly opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem. (Applause.)

Our brave troops have now been fighting in the Middle East for almost 19 years. In Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 7,000 American heroes have given their lives. More than 52,000 Americans have been badly wounded. We have spent more than $7 trillion in fighting wars in the Middle East.

As a candidate for President, I loudly pledged a new approach. Great nations do not fight endless wars. (Applause.)

When I took office, ISIS controlled more than 20,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria — just two years ago. Today, we have liberated virtually all of the territory from the grip of these bloodthirsty monsters.

Now, as we work with our allies to destroy the remnants of ISIS, it is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.

I have also accelerated our negotiations to reach — if possible — a political settlement in Afghanistan. The opposing side is also very happy to be negotiating. Our troops have fought with unmatched valor. And thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a possible political solution to this long and bloody conflict. (Applause.)

In Afghanistan, my administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban. As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troop’s presence and focus on counterterrorism. And we will indeed focus on counterterrorism.

We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement, but we do know that, after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace. And the other side would like to do the same thing. It’s time. (Applause.)

Above all, friend and foe alike must never doubt this nation’s power and will to defend our people. Eighteen years ago, violent terrorists attacked the USS Cole. And last month, American forces killed one of the leaders of that attack. (Applause.)

We are honored to be joined tonight by Tom Wibberley, whose son, Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, was one of the 17 sailors we tragically lost. Tom, we vow to always remember the heroes of the USS Cole. (Applause.) Thank you, Tom.

My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime in Iran. It is a radical regime. They do bad, bad things.

To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. (Applause.)

And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed by us on a country.

We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants “Death to America” and threatens genocide against the Jewish people. (Applause.) We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed. With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.

Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer. And he was very successful. Timothy has just had his 12th surgery, and he is going in for many more. But he made the trip to be here with us tonight. Officer Matson, please. (Applause.) Thank you. We are forever grateful. Thank you very much.

Tonight, we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor, Judah Samet. He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began. But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall, more than seven decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps. Today is Judah’s 81st birthday. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: (Sings “Happy Birthday.”) (Applause.)

MR. SAMET: Thank you!

THE PRESIDENT: They wouldn’t do that for me, Judah. (Laughter.)

Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train and told they were going to another camp. Suddenly, the train screeched to a very strong halt. A soldier appeared. Judah’s family braced for the absolute worst. Then, his father cried out with joy, “It’s the Americans! It’s the Americans!” (Applause.) Thank you.

A second Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau. He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks. “To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.” They came down from Heaven.

I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the Second World War. One of them was Herman Zeitchik. But there is more to Herman’s story. A year after he stormed the beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of the American soldiers who helped liberate Dachau. (Applause.) He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on Earth.

Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight, seated side-by-side, here in the home of American freedom. Herman and Joshua, your presence this evening is very much appreciated. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you.

When American soldiers set out beneath the dark skies over the English Channel in the early hours of D-Day, 1944, they were just young men of 18 and 19, hurtling on fragile landing craft toward the most momentous battle in the history of war.

They did not know if they would survive the hour. They did not know if they would grow old. But they knew that America had to prevail. Their cause was this nation and generations yet unborn.

Why did they do it? They did it for America. They did it for us.

Everything that has come since — our triumph over communism, our giant leaps of science and discovery, our unrivaled progress towards equality and justice — all of it is possible thanks to the blood and tears and courage and vision of the Americans who came before.

Think of this Capitol. Think of this very Chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, and defeat fascism, to secure civil rights, and to face down evil empires.

Here tonight, we have legislators from across this magnificent republic. You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii; from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona; from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California. Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.

What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered?

I ask the men and women of this Congress: Look at the opportunities before us. Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead. Our most exciting journeys still await. Our biggest victories are still to come. We have not yet begun to dream.

We must choose whether we are defined by our differences or whether we dare to transcend them.

We must choose whether we squander our great inheritance or whether we proudly declare that we are Americans.

We do the incredible. We defy the impossible. We conquer the unknown.

This is the time to reignite the American imagination. This is the time to search for the tallest summit and set our sights on the brightest star. This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

This is our future, our fate, and our choice to make. I am asking you to choose greatness.

No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.

We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny that one nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise, and the light and the glory, among all the nations of the world.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 10:29 P.M. EST

The Socialist That Could……..

The Socialist That Could

By Kimberley A. Strassel……

The Re­pub­li­can Party has a se­cret weapon for 2020. It’s es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive be­cause it’s stealthy: The De­moc­rats seem obliv­i­ous to its power. And the GOP needn’t lift a fin­ger for it to work. All Re­pub­li­cans have to do is sit back and watch 29-year-old Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez . . . ex­ist.

AOC, as she’s bet­ter known, to­day ex­ists largely in front of the cam­eras. In a few months she’s gone from an un­known New York bar­tender to the de­mo­c­ra­tic so­cial­ist dar­ling of the left and its me­dia hordes. Her mega­phone is so loud that she ri­vals Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the face of the De­mo­c­ra­tic Party. Re­pub­li­cans don’t know whether to ap­plaud or laugh. Most do both.
For them, what’s not to love? She’s set off a frat­ri­ci­dal war on the left, with her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, this week slam­ming the “rad­i­cal con­ser­v­a-tives” among the De­moc­rats hold­ing the party “hostage.” She’s made friends with Je­remy Cor­byn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, who has been ac­cused of anti-Semi­tism. She’s called the Amer­i­can sys­tem of wealth cre­ation “im­moral” and be­lieves gov­ern­ment has a duty to pro­vide “eco­nomic se­cu­rity” to peo­ple who are “un­will­ing to work.” As a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of New York, she’s mak­ing Cal­i­for­nia look sen­si­ble.

On Thurs­day Ms. Oca­sio-Cortez un­veiled her vaunted Green New Deal, com­plete with the de­tails of how De­moc­rats plan to reach cli­mate nir­vana in a mere 10 years. It came in the form of a res­o­lu­tion, spon­sored in the Sen­ate by Mass­achusetts’ Ed­ward Markey, on which AOC is de­ter-mined to force a full House vote. That means every De­mo­c­rat in Wash­ing­ton will get to go on the record in fa­vor of abol­ish­ing air travel, out­law­ing steaks, forc­ing all Amer­i­can home­own­ers to retro­fit their houses, putting every miner, oil rig­ger, live­stock rancher and gas-sta­tion at­ten-dant out of a job, and spend­ing tril­lions and tril­lions more tax money. Oh, also for gov­ern­ment-run health care, which is some-how a pre­req­ui­site for a clean econ­omy.

It’s a GOP dream, es­pe­cially be­cause the me­dia pre­sented her plan with a straight face—as a le­git­i­mate pro­posal from a le­git­i­mate leader in the De­mo­c­ra-tic Party. Re­pub­li­cans are thrilled to treat it that way in the march to 2020, as their set-piece ex­am­ple of what De­moc­rats would do to the econ­omy and av­er­age Amer­i­cans if given con­trol. The Green New Deal en­cap­su­lates every­thing Amer­i-cans fear from gov­ern­ment, all in one bonkers res­o­lu­tion.

It is for starters, a mas­sive plan for the gov­ern­ment to take over and mi­cro­man­age much the econ­omy. Take the cen­tral plank, its dik­tat of pro­duc­ing 100% of U.S. elec­tric­ity “through clean, re­new­able, and zero-emis­sion en­ergy sources” by 2030. As Ron Bai­ley at Rea­son has noted, a 2015 plan from Stan­ford en­vi­sion­ing the goal called for the in­stal­la­tion of 154,000 off­shore wind tur-bines, 335,000 on­shore wind tur­bines, 75 mil­lion res­i­den­tial pho­to­voltaic (so­lar) sys­tems, 2.75 mil­lion com­mer­cial so­lar sys­tems, and 46,000 util­ity-scale so­lar fa­cil­i­ties. AOC has been clear it will be gov­ern­ment build­ing all this, not the pri­vate sec­tor.

And that might be the easy part. Ac­cord­ing to an ac­com­pa­ny-ing fact sheet, the Green New Deal would also get rid of com­bus­tion en­gines, “build charg­ing sta­tions every­where,” “up­grade or re­place every build­ing in U.S.,” do the same with all “in­frastructure,” and criss­cross the na­tion with “high-speed rail.”

Buried in the de­tails, the Green New Deal also promises gov­ern­ment con­trol of the most fun­da­men­tal as­pects of pri­vate life. The fact sheet ex­plains why the res­o­lu­tion doesn’t call for “ban­ning fos­sil fu­els” or for “zero” emis­sions across the en­tire econ­omy—at least at first. It’s be­cause “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of fart­ing cows and air­planes that fast” (em­pha­sis mine).

This is an ac­knowl­edg­ment that planes don’t run on any­thing but fos­sil fuel. No jet fuel, no trips to see granny. It’s also an ac­knowl-edg­ment that live­stock pro­duce meth­ane, which has led cli­mate alarmists to en­gage in “meat­less Mon­days.” AOC may not prove able to erad­i­cate “fully” every fam­ily Christ­mas or strip of ba­con in a decade, but that’s the goal.

Fi­nally, the res­o­lu­tion is De­mo­c­ra­tic math at its best. It leaves out a price tag, and is equally vague on what kind of taxes would be needed to cover the cost. But it would run to tens of tril­lions of dol­lars. The fact sheet as­serts the cost shouldn’t worry any­one, since the Fed­eral Re­serve can just “ex­tend credit” to these projects! And “new pub­lic banks can be cre­ated to ex­tend credit,” too! And Amer­i-cans will get lots of “shared pros­per­ity” from their “in­vest-ments.” À la Solyn­dra.

At least some De­moc­rats seem to be aware of what a dan­ger this is, which is why Ms. Pelosi threw some cold wa­ter on the Green New Deal this week. They should be scared. Ms. Oca­sio-Cortez is a freight train gain­ing speed by the day—and help­ing Re­pub­li­cans with every pass­ing minute.

Much has changed for the better-Trump will not get the credit

Townhall columnists Victor Davis Hanson

Opinion
Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016 — Not That Trump Will Get Credit
Victor Davis Hanson

Posted: Jan 30, 2019 4:00 PM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Much Has Changed for the Better Since 2016 — Not That Trump Will Get Credit

The news obsesses over the recent government shutdown, the latest Robert Mueller arrest and, of course, fake news — from the BuzzFeed Michael Cohen non-story to the smears of the Covington Catholic High School students.

But aside from the weekly hysterias, the world has dramatically changed since 2016 in ways we scarcely have appreciated.

The idea that China systematically rigged trade laws and engaged in technological espionage to run up huge deficits is no longer a Trump, or even a partisan, issue.

In the last two years, a mainstream consensus has grown that China poses a commercial and mercantile threat to world trade, to its neighbors and to the very security of the United States — and requires a strong response, including temporary tariffs.

The world did not fall apart after the U.S. pulled out of the flawed Iran nuclear deal. Most yawned when the U.S. left the symbolic but empty Paris Climate Accord. Ditto when the U.S. moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In retrospect, most Americans accept that such once controversial decisions were not ever all that controversial.

There is also a growing, though little reported, consensus about what created the current economic renaissance: tax cuts, massive deregulation, recalibration of trade policy, tax incentives to bring back offshore capital, and dramatic rises in oil and natural gas production.

Although partisan bickering continues over the extent of the upswing, most appreciate that millions of Americans are now back again working — especially minority youth — in a manner not seen in over a decade.
CARTOONS | Steve Kelley
View Cartoon

The Supreme Court and federal judges will be far more conservative for a generation — as Trump’s judicial nominations are uniformly conservative, mostly young and well qualified.

For all the acrimony about illegal immigration, the government shutdown over the wall and the question of amnesties, most Americans also finally favor some sort of grand bargain compromise.

The public seems to be agreeing that conservatives should get more border fencing or walls in strategic areas, an end to new illegal immigration and deportation for those undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Liberals in turn will likely obtain green cards for those long-time immigrants here illegally who have a work history and have not committed violent crimes.

Both sides will be forced to agree that illegal immigration, sanctuary cities and open borders should end and legal immigration should be reformed.

Americans have paradoxically grown tired both of costly overseas interventions and perceptions of American weakness that led to the Libyan fiasco, the Syrian genocide, the rise of the ISIS caliphate, and Iranian-inspired terrorism.

Today U.S. foreign policy actually reflects those paradoxes. The public supports a withdrawal from the quagmires in Afghanistan and Syria. But it also approved of bombing ISIS into retreat and muscular efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

Two years ago, most Americans accepted that the European Union and NATO were sacrosanct status quo institutions beyond criticism. Today there is growing agreement that our NATO allies will only pay their fair share of mutual defense if they are forced to live up to their promises.

Europe is not stable and steady, but torn by Eastern European anger at open borders, Southern European resentment at the ultimatums of German banks, and acrimonious negotiations over the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.

Most Americans have now concluded that while the EU may be necessary to prevent another intra-European war, it is increasingly a postmodern, anti-democratic and unstable entity.
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Media Call Kamala Harris, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods ‘Black’ — But Not Naomi Osaka?
Larry Elder

Trump has not changed his campaign reputation for being mercurial, crass and crude.

But what has changed is the media’s own reputation in its hysterical reaction to Trump. Instead of empirical reporting, the networks and press have become unhinged.

When reporting of the presidency has proved 90 percent negative, and false news stories are legion, the media are no longer seen as the remedy to Trump but rather an illness themselves.

Since 2016, polls show that Americans have assumed that the proverbial mainstream media cannot be counted on for honest reporting but will omit, twist and massage facts and evidence for the higher “truth” of neutralizing the Trump presidency.

When asked on “The View” why so often the liberal press keeps making up facts, “jumps the gun” and has to “walk stuff back when it turns out wrong,” Joy Behar honestly answered, “Because we’re desperate to get Trump out of office. That’s why.”

Trump’s popularity is about where it was when he was elected — ranging on average from the low to mid-forties. But many of his policies have led to more prosperity and address festering problems abroad.

And despite the negative news, they are widely supported, even — or especially — if Trump himself is not given proper credit for enacting most of them.

Brexit:The Future of US-Britain Relationship

Townhall columnists Armstrong Williams

Opinion
Brexit and the Future of US-Britain Relations
Armstrong Williams

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Brexit and the Future of US-Britain Relations

The future of Brexit, England’s historic divorce from the European Union, hangs in a precarious balance. Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan failed miserably when put to a vote in the British Parliament. May’s “soft exit” proposal failed by a whopping 230 votes, prompting many to predict that May’s tenure as prime minister was officially doomed. However, the next day, members of Britain’s labor party failed to mount a no-confidence vote, which would have challenged her continued leadership. As things stand, May remains the leader, and Britain remains committed to exiting the European Union.

But the stakes for all involved just got higher. At issue is the reality that a significant portion of the British GDP — approximately 12 percent — comes from trade with the EU. Britain, having invoked Article 50, has until late March to negotiate a deal to leave the union or face a “hard exit,” which would essentially cut Britain off from all trade within the EU.

At stake for the United States is our own trading relationship with the EU and, perhaps more importantly, our ongoing “special relationship” with Great Britain. At this point, the U.S. has signaled that it is ready to enter into a beneficial bilateral trade, relationship with Britain, which makes sense, after all. The U.S. is already Britain’s most significant trading partner. Many U.S. nationals work at British companies and vice versa. Investments between the countries amount to an estimated $1 trillion.

There is, however, more to the special relationship than the economic benefits of trade. England has been America’s primary contact with the EU, facilitating America’s priorities vis-a-vis Europe and NATO. Part of Britain’s discomfort with the EU’s structure was Germany’s ascendance as Europe’s most important economic and political power. England has longstanding antagonism toward Germany, dating back to World War I, and German excesses in World War II are still on the minds of many Britons, who do not want to live under Germany’s shadow. As England continues to attempt to gracefully leave the EU, the U.S. will have to develop other allies within the union, which will potentially diminish Britain’s influence upon the U.S. with respect to European affairs.

Some U.S. political conservatives fear that Britain leaving the EU provides an opening for antagonistic forces such as Russia, which has been courting many of the Southern and Eastern European nations with access to Russia’s vast natural resources. It also remains to be seen whether the EU can even survive in its current state without a strong Britain anchoring it to a pro-West stance.

Trade, however, remains the big ape in the room. While a considerable amount of Britain’s trade is with the EU, the growth of this trade has averaged about 1 percent over the past five years, while British trade with the rest of the world has rapidly expanded. Once unfettered from the EU, Britain has the leverage to make even more substantive bilateral and (in some cases) multilateral trade deals with the world’s emerging economies.

As things stand today, the World Trade Organization rules are facing a brave new world. The EU’s technocratic, rigid and red tape-laden trading policies are ill-suited for a rapidly evolving global economy. The WTO dispute resolution mechanism, on the other hand, is woefully inadequate to protect intellectual property or the rising tide of protectionism, especially given China’s volatile trade policies. Furthermore, most of the trading policies adopted by both the U.S. and Britain do not directly punish countries that refuse to open their economies to goods coming from the two countries. President Donald Trump as already drastically reoriented U.S. trading policies to force its largest trading partners — China, Canada and Mexico — to open their economies to U.S. goods and services or face significant reciprocal trade barriers. Despite heavy criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, evidence shows the Trump’s trade policy is moving the process along in terms of forcing China to come to the table to make a better deal.

At the end of the day, Britain leaving the EU is about expressing the democratic will of the British people, who voted to leave the union. As one of the world’s oldest democracies, Britain is showing the world that the elites in government should not decide matters of national concern; the will of the people should dictate how they are governed. Europe’s technocratic centralized administration proved to be not only ineffective in staving off economic crises — its intended purpose — but impervious to the democratic instincts of the European people.

The U.S. is facing similar tension, with Americans largely rejecting centralized government control and overregulation and seeking to instead vest more power in local governments. The Trump administration has already eliminated more tedious pieces of regulation in its first two years than any other president in recent history. The soaring U.S. economy is seen as proof that unfettering businesses and citizens and allowing them to act in their own economic interests is a potentially powerful tool for economic progress. With growth rates in Europe stagnating around 2 percent, England is right to question whether it is in its best interests to remain within the union. The U.S. can support Britain by continuing its robust trade and investment relationship and by leading by example.

Kirstjen Nielsen and Rep. Gutierrez

Kirstjen Nielsen: Rep. Gutierrez Used “Fighting Words,” It’s “Not Professional”
Posted By Ian Schwartz
On Date December 21, 2018

FNC’s Shannon Bream spoke with Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen about the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and the latest on the border wall on Thursday’s edition of ‘FOX News @ Night.’

“First of all, calling me a liar, fighting words, it’s not appropriate, it’s not professional, it’s not accurate,” Nielsen said of her exchange with Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

“So, I think my whole exchange, I say I found to be offensive but mostly offensive on behalf of — again, 240,000 men and women who get up every day to enforce the law. The law says, if you come here illegally, it’s a crime. That’s what we did. We tried to enforce the law,” Nielsen told FOX News host Shannon Bream.

Transcript, via FOX News:

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS: Well, few know more about the policies like the new one announced by DHS on immigrants seeking asylum or the border wall, than Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She joins us now on this very critical day for the president’s immigration policies.

Madam Secretary, great to have you with this.

KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Great to see you.

BREAM: OK. So, let’s talk about what was rolled out today. A bit of this is that people seeking asylum, coming through Mexico, to the U.S., not Mexicans but other — citizens of other countries, they will be turned around to wait in Mexico —

NIELSEN: Yes.

BREAM: — while there asylum is pending here in the U.S.

NIELSEN: That’s exactly right. It will do a couple of things. One, it will decrease immigration, which is what we have been trying to do. Two, it will help us focus on those who have a legitimate claim. Three, it will reduce those that don’t because what we can find, as you know, one of their biggest concerns is we’ve had a 3,000 percent increase in asylum claims and, unfortunately, only one and ten are actually granted asylum.

So, this will help reduce data and let us focus on those who need it, but reduce the overall illegal flow.

BREAM: OK. So, reading a little bit about concerns about how this will work in Mexico, the logistics there. “The Washington Post” has a piece saying: because asylum cases can drag on for months or years, it’s unclear how migrants would remain safe with access to food and shelter, or how they would access legal services. It also remains unclear how Mexico will sell the deal to a domestic audience which has resisted the idea of embracing tens of thousands of Central American migrants.

Also in that piece, “Washington Post”, they say this: Adam Isaacson, a border security analyst at the Washington office on Latin America says: Wait times for asylum hearing are now routinely exceeding 1,200 days. That’s three years. Is Mexico really prepared to host hundreds of thousands of people for that long while they wait for overworked U.S. asylum judges to get to these people’s cases?

NIELSEN: So, what we did was we took this as unilateral action, as you know, under statutory authority. But, of course, we let the Mexicans know we were going to do it and we’ve been having discussions for quite some time.

So, in return, they’re offering shelter, they’re offering education, they’re offering medical care. They also, by the way, are offering asylum. And this is important because, again, for those who really need asylum, we encourage them to do it as soon as possible in that journey.

They are also offering work permits and in some cases, very specific jobs, about 20,000 job offers that they collected and offered. So, what we expect that the numbers will actually go down substantially because you need asylum, you can get it in Mexico. If you need a job, you can get a job.

So, we are really talking only about a very small portion who will continue to feel that they need to get asylum in the United States.

BREAM: Because this was a unilateral action, how confident are you in their ability and their willingness to do this long term when we are talking about years of a wait for people?

NIELSEN: Yes. So the next up, of course, is more legal paperwork. So, we’ll work on a technical agreement with them, but we have our teams working on that now.

I’m very optimistic. They take human rights very, very seriously. They take protection of migrants very, very seriously. That is why we are calling it “The Migrant Protection Plan” on our side.

So, we will work together to make sure that those are abided by.

BREAM: Is any of this in concert with a $10.6 billion in aid packages announced earlier this week through, I believe, the State Department helping Central America and some specific portions of Mexico as well? Is that part of the sweetening the pot for them that they would want to help on an arrangement like this?

NIELSEN: Yes, I think the aid is something that President Lopez Obrador campaigned on, something he feels very strongly about. It’s something that we’ve been talking to the Mexicans and Central Americans about for a quite some time because as we reduce the pull factors in the United States, we also want to reduce the push factors there — so, to help stabilize.

So, they are happening at the same time. But they’re both part of larger conversations we’ve been having for quite some time.

BREAM: OK. So, this is just the latest rounded what has been going on at the border. I mean, for months, there have been tensions there, there have been all kinds of events that we’ll talk about but the president has talked about wanting this to be a tougher crackdown on immigration, illegal immigration in the border.

NIELSEN: Yes.

BREAM: Here’s what he told our Chris Wallace.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you happy with Kirstjen Nielsen at DHS?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I like her a lot, I respect her a lot, she’s very smart. I want her to get much tougher and we’ll see what happens there. But I want to be extremely tough.

BREAM: Is this part of the getting tougher? How’s the relationship now?

NIELSEN: Well, first of all, this is not something that happened overnight. So, this is something that I’ve been working very hard on for a very long time, most of the time that I’ve been secretary of DHS.

But the president and I have a great relationship. Look, he’s making it clear every day, he will protect Americans, he will secure the border, and he wants to make sure that we all do everything we can to do just that.

BREAM: OK. You know there will be legal challenges to this. There have been to any number of things this administration has done. We are waiting on numerous fronts, a number of different legal venues and courts that are ruling.

We have a ruling out of a federal judge here in D.C., Judge Sullivan, who was pushing back on this idea that people cannot come here saying they fear gang violence or domestic violence. He said that violates the law and you are going to have to take those people.

NIELSEN: So, we are reviewing that court case. What that was, was that was a case that former attorney general took, basically was a matter of A.B. (ph) is the one that he’s talking about.

But this goes to the heart of asylum. Asylum is a discretionary grant and it’s made to be made one by one. So, we should review one by one.

So, what the attorney general in that case was trying to reverse is giving groups asylum based on a claim. Now there is a particular social group that is one of the five reasons for asylum. So, if you qualify there, you qualify there. But when it comes to those particular issues that were raised in that case, he was suggesting, let’s look at them one by one and make sure they meet the law.

BREAM: OK. So, let’s talk about the wall itself. Obviously, it is the center of a contentious, raging battle on Capitol Hill over funding and whether or not it’s going to trigger a government shutdown. But you know there are critics on the right who think the president is not standing up to something that he said repeatedly during the campaign that he would do, which is get this wall built, it’s going to be a physical, it’s going to happen.

“Breitbart” writing this: The big, beautiful border promise during the 2016 campaign is being built as a see-through barrier of seal slats.

They point to the president’s descriptions of that. They go on and call it Trump’s concession and rhetorical turnaround. It comes after Hill Democrats use their leverage on the business first leadership of the GOP and among Trump’s Hill outreach deputies to repeatedly block construction of his favorite concrete wall.

Has a wall change? Is the president making a concession? How would you characterize it?

NIELSEN: First of all, I would say walls work. We know they do. We’ve seen it in San Diego. We’ve seen in (INAUDIBLE). Everywhere we have that physical infrastructure, we see illegal immigration dropped by 95 percent.

The president will continue to advocate for what the men and women of the border patrol say they need. And this is what it is. It’s a physical infrastructure along with the technology and personnel that go to it.

Important thing to understand as there is 2,000 miles of border. So, what we need in one location is not the same as what we needed another location. In fact, we have a floating wall. We would not need that and other places. Some places, we have a levee wall.

So, the wall isn’t changed, it’s just going to meet the operational requirements as described and articulated by the Border Patrol agents and that’s what the president continues to advocate for. We’ve got to get the wall done.

BREAM: OK. Much more to discuss. Stick around. Thank you for the first portion, but we’re going to have a whole lot more with the secretary. We’ll be right back.

****

BREAM: We are back now with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She joins us on this very critical day for the president’s immigration policies.

And you saw there, Madam Secretary, we’re just discussing the case in California where somebody had been deported multiple times, had numerous criminal allegations in the past — firearms, drugs, violence, all kinds of things, not held on an ICE detainer because the law enforcement officials there in California say they can’t because of century city policies, gets out, wreaks havoc.

What options do you have?

NIELSEN: You know, this is — actually, this is a particular issue that’s of great concern to both the president and Department of Homeland Security. We actually are the largest federal law enforcement agency in our country. We have thousands and thousands of sworn officers.

This concept of cities pitting federal law enforcement against state and law enforcement is not — not only puts the safety and security of our officers, our officers at risk, but the communities themselves that they are trying to serve.

Sanctuary cities is an example of a misunderstanding of what it means to cooperate with the federal government. In this case, all we ask is that when you are releasing a convicted criminal, you let us know. We will then come pick them up in a secure and safe area, we will not put the community at risk, we’ll not put the officers at risk and then we will be able to do our job.

So, there’s — it’s a misunderstanding but it’s turned into a political fight. I hope that we can continue to work with state and local governments to work through this. But it is vital that law enforcement be able to work with law enforcement.

BREAM: OK. So, let’s talk about the case of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal. It’s captured headlines. Everyone seems horrified across the board about the fact that this young girl died.

Now, there were reports that her father told the Guatemalan consulate, he has a very specific native dialect. I mean, Spanish is not his first language. But he said to the consul that he thanks the officials who help them, he wanted to think that first responders, he thought at least according to the consul that everything that could be done was done for her despite her passing.

There are number of attorneys now who have stepped up and have said that they are representing this family and they have questions. That includes one of them, the attorney Enrique Moreno, he says, they said that Jakelin and her dad were not given water during the roughly eight hours they were detained at the Antelope Wells port of entry waiting to be taken to the Border Patrol station. He says the attorney that he doesn’t understand why Jakelin, whose father said she was sick and vomiting, wasn’t examined before she was taken on a bus from New Mexico to Antelope Wells port of entry to the Border Patrol station about 90 miles away.

NIELSEN: So, I can speak to that but I can tell you is that the father told our agents on the scene. Unfortunately, that this was part of a large group, about 160 migrants. They approached the border in the middle of the night, unfortunately in the middle of nowhere. We have three Border Patrol agents who were able to apprehend them.

I should pause and say, we saved 4,200 migrants each year because often the border patrol might not be there as they make this journey, in this case, the middle of nowhere. So, what we do know is when the father’s first spoke to the agents, he did not indicate, he said there was nothing wrong. Food and water was provided.

Then later, we had two busloads, because keep in mind, this is 90 miles from any infrastructure. So, the first one that went was UACs. That’s our protocol, we take care of them first. This child was with her father, who did not indicate there was any distress.

Once the child got on the bus, he did indicate that she was vomiting. Then the Border Patrol agent did everything they could to take care of her. They got her as quickly as possible to an area where she could receive medical care, actually revived her twice. They enable the father to get to the hospital. He didn’t fit into the air flight because it was small.

BREAM: As she was taken.

NIELSEN: As she was taken.

And, you know, I really — I commend them. It’s an extraordinary difficult job. This has had them very hard. It’s a terrible tragedy. One death is way too many.

But the CBP really did everything they could to care for this child.

BREAM: Can you tell us what will happen next, as far as the investigation? Who will oversee it? What kind of timeline there will be for some concrete answers?

NIELSEN: Sure. So, CBP itself immediately opened up its own investigation that now has been transferred over to the inspector general for the department. So, CBP will be working with him, as will we come I do find out what we can do to strengthen procedures. But again, middle of nowhere, middle of night, no infrastructure, makes it extraordinarily difficult to give care to somebody who unfortunately in this case turned out to be very sick.

BREAM: We want to ask of your reaction, word that the defense secretary is going to retire. It’s common that there are changes to an administration a year or two end (ph). Can you tell us anything about your plans or reactions to his decision to leave?

NIELSEN: Secretary Mattis has proven to be an incredible partner of ours. We’ve signed a monumental memorandum of agreement between our departments to work on cybersecurity together. He certainly has been very supportive of our border security mission.

He helps us with our counterterrorism mission, as we look to fight the terrorist abroad so they don’t come here. So, the home game and away game, we work very closely together. I have complete admiration and respect for him and have so enjoyed working with him.

BREAM: I want to ask you about something else. I mean, this headline, I’m going to be frank, it struck me as a bit sexist, from the “Washington Examiner.” It says: Nielsen expected to be forced out of DHS when protector Kelly leaves White House. They quote someone saying they don’t expect that after General Kelly departs that you would stay.

That was just my initial reaction as a woman, that you would need a protector or someone to keep you safe at the White House. How do you respond to something like that?

NIELSEN: Well, first of all, I’m still here, still doing my job, still doing the job that I swore an oath to do. It is a bit sexist.

But you know, I find this fascination with all the politics at the White House and intrigue to just be disappointing, because there’s a lot of work we have to do at DHS. We have 240,000 men and women every day wake up to secure this country. So, I will continue to support them and continue to secure the homeland.

BREAM: And part of your job is being on the Hill. I want to play a little bit of what Congressman Gutierrez had today talking about shame on everybody who was doing anything to separate children and families and give you a chance to respond. Here’s what he said today.

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: Shame on everybody that separates children and allows them to stay at the other side of the border fearing death, fearing hunger, fearing sickness. Shame on us for wearing our badge of Christianity during Christmas and allow the secretary to come here and lie.

BREAM: Your response?

NIELSEN: Well, I think I said in the hearing — first of all, calling me a liar, fighting words, it’s not appropriate, it’s not professional, it’s not accurate.

But, secondly, again, we had no policy to separate families to the extent that parents were separated from children, just as in the Obama administration, just as in the administration before, happens in three instances, when the child welfare is at risk, secondly, if the parent has committed a crime, needs to be taken to a criminal area where we wouldn’t want to take a child, or it’s a person who is not related to the child, which unfortunately we have.

We’ve had a great increase in fraud because they know if they grab a kid, in some cases, they can come to the border, the smugglers and traffickers teach you that you can get in.

So, I think my whole exchange, I say I found to be offensive but mostly offensive on behalf of — again, 240,000 men and women who get up every day to enforce the law. The law says, if you come here illegally, it’s a crime. That’s what we did. We tried to enforce the law.

BREAM: Well, we know that many of them are on the front line spacing dangerous situations every day and they do this willingly. So, we thank those who are willing to come up and serve their country in that way.

General Mattis Resignation Letter

Here’s Exactly What Mattis Said to Trump
GOP Presidential Staff December 21, 2018 Government

Dear Mr. President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model – gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.