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Poll: Mueller Investigation Approval Drops to New Low

Approval for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has dropped to an all-time low among registered voters, according to a poll released Wednesday. Thirty-six percent of voters now view Mueller in an unfavorable light, up from 23 percent in July 2017 when polling began, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. Broken down by party, 53 percent of Republicans said they view the special counsel negatively, while the number of Democrats who view Mueller unfavorably rose to 24 percent. President Donald Trump and his political allies have upped the criticism directed at the special counsel’s probe, saying it has gone on too long and reached beyond its intended scope. In the midst of continued critiques, the latest poll shows a 26-point increase in unfavorable views among Republicans since polling began 11 months ago. Several Republican leaders have spoken out against the investigation. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) has said that if there is no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, the special counsel’s investigations should end soon. "This has gone on for more than a year," McCarthy told CNN’s "State of the Union" June 3. "Let them walk through their investigation. But if there is no collusion, it’s time to wind this down." Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) also said he wants "to see this thing come to its conclusion," and Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) said "they should wrap it up." Mueller took over the investigation last May after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice. Mueller has publicly landed indictments of 3 companies and 19 people, including 13 Russian nations, in the course of the investigation. Charges include those against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort for tax evasion and bank fraud. Manafort sued to have the case against him dismissed, arguing Mueller overstepped his bounds by charging him for conduct he says is unrelated to Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller has obtained guilty pleas from former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and four other individuals. Flynn admitted to lying to FBI officials about his communication with a Russian ambassador before Trump took office. The special counsel’s favorability fell slightly from 22 percent in July 2017 to 18 percent among Republicans. Fifty percent of Democrats, meanwhile, and 28 percent of Independents view Mueller in a positive light. The poll was conducted June 7-10 among a sample of 1,994 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. The post Poll: Mueller Investigation Approval Drops to New Low appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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California GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Embraces Trump

John Cox, the Republican candidate for governor of California, is embracing the support of President Donald Trump in his bid to become chief executive of the heavily Democratic state. Cox announced at a Republican Party of San Diego County meeting on Monday that Trump will journey to California at some point before November to campaign for him and other Republicans on the ballot, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. In his speech, Cox indicated that he would not run from Trump's endorsement, which came in May, and that he would actively campaign with the president in California. "Gavin Newsom is going to make this race all about President Trump. Well, you know what, I welcome it," Cox said. "President Trump is going to come here and campaign for me and for you!" Cox, a businessman from southern California who previously ran for office in Illinois, surprised political commentators last week by securing a strong second-place finish in the state's gubernatorial primary, which pit members of all political parties against each other on one ballot. The Republican's rise was partially fueled by a high-profile endorsement from Trump and the candidate's ability to tap into the brewing wave of anti-tax sentiment. Cox, who ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination on a platform of eliminating the Internal Revenue Service and slashing taxes, overtook better funded and known candidates, from both political parties, by emphasizing his support for repealing California's recently enacted tax increase on gasoline. The tax hike, signed by incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown (D.) and championed by the overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature, raised the tax levied on gasoline by 43 percent and led to the recall of a Democratic state senator who voted for its passage. Cox seems to be embracing the very issue—the president's support—that many believe Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate who garnered the most primary votes, will make central to his general election strategy. The strategy was on full display not long after the primary votes were tallied. In his victory speech, Newsom said that California's values are "under assault" and that voters would have "a real choice" to make this election cycle "between a governor who is going to stand up to Donald Trump and a foot soldier in his war on California." Newsom even took the added step of sarcastically urging the president to "come campaign" for Cox "as much as possible" in response to a tweet from Trump congratulating the Republican for a solid performance in the primary. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump lost California by more than four million votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The loss, coupled with the president's low popularity rating, has resulted in political consultants opining that Trump could hamper Republican efforts to make inroads in the heavily Democratic state. Cox appears unswayed by such arguments. On the campaign trail, his campaign has not only touted Trump's endorsement, but also the endorsement of Trump's daughter-in-law. In an interview conducted after the primary, Cox said he was "proud" to have garnered the president's backing and believed it was beneficial to his strong showing. "I'm glad the president supported me. I’m proud of that," he said. "I think it helped consolidate the Republican vote." Cox also appears unwilling to allow his opponent to distract the California electorate from the pressing problems at home, by focusing on the politics of Washington, D.C. "Donald Trump did not create the housing crisis, high taxes, and gas tax that we're also going to repeal in November," Cox said "People have to realize the mismanagement of this state has resulted in our lousy quality of life in a wonderful place to live. The political mismanagement is epic." "Gavin Newsom is going to run against the president and make him the issue," he added. "That is a distraction." The post California GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Embraces Trump appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Kathy Griffin Takes Shot at Kevin Hart for Not Going After Trump: ‘That’s a Pu**y Move Because He’s a Black Man’

Kathy Griffin launched a racially tinged attack on fellow stand-up comic Kevin Hart in a new interview, calling him a "pussy" for not mentioning President Donald Trump in his routines despite being black. Griffin spoke with USA Today ahead of her "Laugh Your Head Off" comedy tour beginning Thursday in San Francisco. The title of the special is an unsubtle reference to the infamous photo of her last year holding a severed, bloody head resembling Trump. That story has kept the self-proclaimed "D-list" celebrity in the news ever since. She said she relishes being a "whistle-blower" as a comedian and then took a shot at Hart, who is not known for injecting politics into his routines. "I do feel like this is such an anxiety-ridden time for everyone that there is a thirst for all kinds of comedy," Griffin said. "And look, if you want to not hear about Trump at all, go see Kevin Hart. He doesn't even mention Trump. I personally think that's a pussy move because he's a black man. But I guess he's selling more tickets than I ever will." USA Story omitted the expletive in its story but confirmed to the Free Beacon that's what Griffin called Hart. Griffin appeared to suggest Hart had a responsibility to attack Trump because of his race. For his part, Hart was asked about Griffin's photo controversy last year and attributed it to "comics being comics." "You’re just looking at comics being comics. We always take risks, but sometimes it can be distasteful," he said on ABC's "The View." Griffin added to USA Today she has a "hell of a story to tell" in her new special. "One of the things that's great about being a comedian is you really do get to be a whistle-blower. I like to do it through comedy," Griffin said. "People love to hear these stories, so I'm not going to walk away from it." Griffin is trying to launch a comeback after a disastrous 2017 following the photo and then an ill-advised, tearful press conference alongside celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom. Griffin also lost her gig co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper. Although she was initially apologetic for the picture, she has since said she's no longer sorry about it. Griffin recently said of Trump specifically: "F— him." The post Kathy Griffin Takes Shot at Kevin Hart for Not Going After Trump: ‘That’s a Pu**y Move Because He’s a Black Man’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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NY Times Investigates Reporter Accused of Having Romantic Relationship With Source

The New York Times reported Tuesday it had opened an investigation into its own reporter after the federal government alleged she had a romantic relationship with a source. The Times broke the story last week that the Justice Department secretly surveilled the emails of their reporter Ali Watkins as part of an investigation into the leaks of classified information. Former Senate Intelligence Committee aide James Wolfe was arrested and incited the same day for allegedly leaking information to Watkins over the course of her career at BuzzFeed, Politico, and the Times. The federal indictment claimed Wolfe and Watkins carried out a three-year relationship, beginning when Watkins she was an intern with McClatchy. It is at that point Wolfe is alleged to have started providing scoops to the young reporter. At the time, the college senior was lauded for her role in breaking a story about how the Obama administration was spying on Senate aides. While defending its reporter from government intrusion, the Times announced Tuesday it was "reviewing the work history of Ali Watkins," including her work written before she joined the paper. The inquiry plans to look at "the nature of her relationship with Mr. Wolfe, and what she disclosed about it to her prior employers." Watkins reportedly told the Times about the relationship when she was hired in December, but insisted he "did not provide her with information during the course of their relationship." Contrary to Watkins' claims, Wolfe's indictment claims the government intercepted a text message in which he told her "I always tried to give you as much information that I could and to do the right thing with it so you could get that scoop before anyone else." The Times’ inquiry is being led by personnel staffers Charlotte Behrendt and Andrew Gutterman. Behrendt also investigated reporter Glenn Thrush, who was suspended and demoted following allegations of sexual impropriety. The post NY Times Investigates Reporter Accused of Having Romantic Relationship With Source appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Booker on State of America: ‘If You’re Not Deeply Disturbed,’ You ‘Don’t Love Her Enough’

Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) told a liberal gathering Wednesday that Americans have lost a "sense of common purpose" and the current state of America should break peoples' hearts. "If this country hasn’t broken your heart, you don’t love her enough," Booker said. "If you're not deeply disturbed by what's coming, you got to check your own love." Booker was speaking at the We The People Summit, a liberal gathering hosted by the Communications Workers of America, a union of those working in media and part of the AFL-CIO. Booker said Americans share a "common pain" and have lost their "sense of common purpose." He later added that Americans need to "understand" the country is "one nation, indivisible, with one destiny." "Folks are trying to divide us and cut us up, pin us against each other: poor white folks against poor black folks, poor brown folks against poor black folks," Booker said. "We need to understand this is one nation, indivisible, with one destiny." Booker called "patriotism" a "fine word," but said Americans cannot truly be patriotic unless they love their fellow Americans. "Some people call it patriotism – that's a fine word," he said, "but understand patriotism is love of country, and you can not love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women." Booker has worked to boost his own personal profile as many Democrats count him to be a viable 2020 presidential candidate. The New Jersey Democrat has remained noncommittal to running, saying he would consider a 2020 run further down the road, after the 2018 midterm elections. "My focus right now is two things; my own reelection and making sure we’re in a strong position for that and the 2018 elections," he said. "I think, that passes, I’ll sit down and give a hard consideration about a lot of folks that are talking to me about doing something else." Booker has been strongly opposed to President Donald Trump's administration. He testified against Jeff Sessions' bid to become Attorney General and shouted down Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen during a hearing. The post Booker on State of America: ‘If You’re Not Deeply Disturbed,’ You ‘Don’t Love Her Enough’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Trump: Fake News is ‘Our Country’s Biggest Enemy’

President Donald Trump declared the biggest enemy of the United States to be "the Fake News" in a tweet on Wednesday. Fresh off his nuclear summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump has touted the meeting as a success. He tweeted Wednesday that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea" as a result of his work, and he has been critical of the press for its general disparagement of the summit. "So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN," he wrote. "They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have "begged" for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!" So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN. They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have "begged" for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018 It's the latest broadside by Trump against the press, who he has referred to as "fake news" throughout his presidency for what he views as unfair or inaccurate coverage. Trump has been criticized for already announcing the halting of "war games," or military exercises, with South Korea, a move long sought by Pyongyang. Kim signed a document committing North Korea to denuclearization, but it was light on details and reminiscent of past agreements violated by the rogue regime. Trump's meeting with Kim marked the first time a sitting U.S. president had ever met with a North Korean head of state. Trump showered praise on Kim following their meeting, saying he was smart, talented and "loves his people." The post Trump: Fake News is ‘Our Country’s Biggest Enemy’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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United States to Host FIFA World Cup With Mexico, Canada in 2026

FIFA, an international governing body of soccer, voted Wednesday in Moscow, Russia for a joint North America bid to host the World Cup in 2026, marking the first time since 1994 that the United States will host the World Cup. "Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cu is a rare and important moment to demonstrate that we are all truly united through sport," said Carlos Cordeiro, president of U.S. Soccer and co-chair of the United Bid. This is the first time that all FIFA associations, of which there are over 200, were eligible to vote for the host. The votes were cast at the 68th FIFA Congress on the eve of the 2018 tournament, which will begin in Russia on Thursday with the tournament's official opening ceremony, according to CNN. The United bid won by a 134-65 margin, with one vote for "neither" host. Seven federations — the four bidding nations along with three US dependent territories — recused themselves. The first match of the 2018 tournament, between hosts Russia and Group A rivals Saudi Arabia, kicks off at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) on Thursday. In eight years, the US, Mexico and Canada will play host to the largest edition of the tournament to date — 48 teams playing 80 matches across 34 days. The United States will host 60 of the tournament's matches, including everything from the quarterfinals to the finals, according to the North American proposal. Mexico and Canada will both host 10 games each. Previous hosts were decided solely by the FIFA Executive Committee, which is now known as the FIFA Council, but it has promised to be "more open and transparent" after the 2018 and 2022 bids were controversially granted to Russia and Qatar. President Donald Trump lauded the United States putting together a "strong" bid with Canada and Mexico back in April. "The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup," Trump tweeted. "It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?" The U.S. has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup. It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2018 The president tweeted his congratulations on Wednesday in response to the announcement. "The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work!" he tweeted. The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations – a great deal of hard work! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018 The post United States to Host FIFA World Cup With Mexico, Canada in 2026 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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George Soros Invested $3 Million in New York Times Stock Holdings This Year

Liberal billionaire George Soros purchased $3 million worth of stock holdings in the publisher of the New York Times, filings show. Soros's stock buy included 126,400 shares in the New York Times Company through Soros Fund Management LLC, the billionaire's New York City-based investment firm. The shares were valued at $3,046,000 at the time of purchase and are shown in a May 15 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Soros's investment in the Times was for Class A stock holdings, which are publicly traded, as opposed to its Class B stock, which are privately held. The acknowledgment of the purchase in the mid-May filings from Soros Fund Management appears to be the first time that Soros has invested in the New York Times Company in more than ten years. Soros's fund last reported shares in the company on its 2007 year-end report to the SEC, according to a review of the fund's quarterly reports. Soros Fund Management is the vehicle used by the financier to purchase and sell various company holdings. The Times recently reported that Soros is a partial owner of Justify, the racehorse who won the Triple Crown, through his fund. The senior vice president of communications for the New York Times did not respond to an email inquiry on Soros's stock investments in the company by press time. Michael Vachon, Soros's personal spokesperson and a spokesperson for Soros Fund Management, also did not respond to a request for comment on the purchase. Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Center, said that while the investment is small in relation to the company's overall value, it would be "naive" to "disconnect" the investment from one of the most powerful liberals. "Soros has long had influence or given direct funding to a wide range of journalism operations from NPR to ProPublica," Gainor said. "This is still a big step to be buying a $3-million stake in the top liberal outlet in America." Gainor found in 2011 that Soros pushed a minimum of $48 million into media ventures that include "journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations" over the course of just eight years. This Washington Free Beacon reporter was previously employed by the Media Research Center. Soros disburses funding to a number of groups that then, in turn, push funding to other organizations, making it nearly impossible to trace the true figure, Gainor noted. The post George Soros Invested $3 Million in New York Times Stock Holdings This Year appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Pimp, Brothel Owner Wins GOP Primary for Nevada Legislature Seat

Pimp and brothel owner Dennis Hof won a Republican primary for a Nevada Legislature seat on Tuesday, ousting a three-term incumbent hospital executive. He celebrated his victory alongside famed Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss. Hof is most known for starring in the HBO reality series "Cathouse," which focuses on the lives of workers at Hof's Moonlite BunnyRanch. After defeating incumbent James Oscarson, Hof is favored in his race against Democrat Lesia Romanov in November due to the Republican lean of the district. A Donald Trump supporter, Hof pointed to the president as his guiding light. "It's all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me," Hof told the Associated Press. "He found the way, and I jumped on it." Hof wrote the book The Art of the Pimp and has styled himself "The Trump of Pahrump." According to the AP, Hof wouldn't be the only Nevada brothel owner in office if he wins; Mustang Ranch owner Lance Gilman is a Storey County Commissioner. Prostitution is legal in Nye and Lyon Counties, where Hof operates his brothels. Hof has been all over the map politically. He endorsed libertarian Republican Ron Paul for president in 2008 and 2012, but in 2016 he launched a campaign called "Hookers for Hillary" Clinton. The post Pimp, Brothel Owner Wins GOP Primary for Nevada Legislature Seat appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Illinois Judge Grants Gun-Rights Groups Temporary Injunction Against Deerfield Assault Weapons Ban

An Illinois circuit court judge granted a temporary injunction against the city of Deerfield's new assault weapons ban on Tuesday night. The Lake County judge blocked enforcement of the ordinance which would have levied fines of up to $1,000 a day on residents who did not turn over, destroy, or remove nearly all semi-automatic rifles as well as many handguns and shotguns. A number of gun-rights groups filed suit against the Deerfield gun ban shortly after it was announced. The National Rifle Association supported Guns Save Life's suit while the Second Amendment Foundation filed a separate suit with the Illinois State Rifle Association. The Second Amendment Foundation suit claimed that the Deerfield ordinance violates Illinois state's preemption law that took effect in 2013. Under that statute, all new gun laws must be passed at the state level and localities are not allowed to pass their own. The gun-rights group said it wanted to block the ordinance before it was enforced in order to protect the rights of Deerfield residents. "We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flew in the face of state law," Alan Gottlieb, founder of the group, said in a statement. "The village tried to disguise its extremism as an amendment to an existing ordinance. The ordinance bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense. Worse, still, the ordinance also provided for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines." He went on to say the Deerfield gun ban was evidence that at least some gun-control advocates do want to take people's guns away. "It was outrageous that the ban would levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village," Gottlieb said. "This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.'" The Illinois State Rifle Association said they were "pleased" with the court's ruling. "We will now seek a permanent injunction," the group said in a statement. Deerfield officials said they would honor the judge's ruling and are considering whether or not to appeal the decision. "We are reviewing with our legal team the full written opinion that the Judge entered," the city said in a statement. "We will, of course, honor the order issued by the Court and temporarily not enforce the ordinance; but we are certainly going to review all of the options available to the Village, including the right to appeal the decision to the Illinois Appellate Court." The judge's full opinion in the case was not immediately available. The post Illinois Judge Grants Gun-Rights Groups Temporary Injunction Against Deerfield Assault Weapons Ban appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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