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Dem Congresswoman Rips ‘Ill-Conceived’ DNC Lawsuit Against Trump Campaign: ‘I’m Not Very Supportive Of It’

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier (Calif.) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Friday the Democratic National Committee's new lawsuit against the Donald Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks is "ill-conceived." Blitzer started his interview by asking whether the lawsuit lends credence to the idea that the Russia investigation is sour grapes from the Democratic Party. "I think this lawsuit is ill-conceived," Speier said. "And I'm not very supportive of it." "I'm not interested in a political tit for tat, I'm interested in getting to the truth and if there's criminal conduct that's been engaged in, holding people accountable," she continued. When Blitzer asked if she thought it was a "big mistake" that DNC chair Tom Perez was filing this lawsuit, Speier said, "I'm not supportive of it, whether it is a mistake or not, we'll soon find out." Speier went on to say that information currently in the public domain, which is what the lawsuit is based on, is not enough to conclude any kind of conspiracy. "Do you think this lawsuit runs the risk of stepping on Robert Mueller's investigation?" Blitzer asked. Speier doubted that possibility and said, "I don't think that the DNC has been able to do anything more than speculate based on the statements and their complaint." The post Dem Congresswoman Rips ‘Ill-Conceived’ DNC Lawsuit Against Trump Campaign: ‘I’m Not Very Supportive Of It’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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CNN Chief Political Analyst On DNC Lawsuit: ‘100 Percent Stunt’

CNN political reporter Gloria Borger called the Democratic National Committee lawsuit Friday against the Donald Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks a "100 percent stunt." "They want to get in the act, obviously they want to keep the story moving," Borger said. "This is nothing new, everyone has been, every Democrat has been charging that the Trump campaign was in collusion with Wikileaks, et cetera." In the lawsuit, the DNC alleged the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks conspired to interfere in the 2016 presidential election to elevate Trump. Borger thinks the DNC's intentions are less than pure. "Honestly, it's just a way to raise money. That's what it is, that's what they're trying to do," she said. Some Democrats seem less than enthused about the lawsuit. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), up for re-election in 2018, called it a "distraction." The post CNN Chief Political Analyst On DNC Lawsuit: ‘100 Percent Stunt’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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North Korea Says It Will Stop Nuclear Tests, Abolish Test Site: KCNA

By: Cynthia Kim SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea will suspend nuclear and missile tests effective immediately and abolish a nuclear test site in the northern part of the country in a bid to pursue economic growth and peace on the Korean peninsula, state media said on Saturday. North Korea leader Kim Jong Un said in a statement his country no longer needs to conduct nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests because it has completed weaponizing nuclear arms, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. The post North Korea Says It Will Stop Nuclear Tests, Abolish Test Site: KCNA appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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D.C. Democratic Lawmaker Donated to Event Where Farrakhan Denounced Jews

D.C. City Councilman Trayon White Sr. (D.) donated to an event in Chicago where National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan again denounced Jews. White donated $500 from his constituent services account to the Chicago event known as "Saviours’ Day," the Washington Post reports. Campaign finance law dictates that the constituent services account's privately-raised funds must be used on D.C. residents. White denied knowing about the payment. However, the account's treasurer, Darryl Ross, said otherwise. "He said to me, ‘I want you to make a payment to the Nation of Islam for Saviours’ Day,’" Ross told the Post. "So I went on the website to get the information I needed in order to make the payment." The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance has demanded that White turn over all documents pertaining to the donation for investigation. If found to have improperly spent the funds, White could be fined. At the Saviours' Day convention, Farrakhan said "powerful Jews are my enemy" and that Jews controlled the FBI. White has a history of praise for the Nation of Islam and has been embroiled in a series of scandals where he has made anti-Semitic comments. He made a visit this week to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum but asked questions revealing little knowledge about the Holocaust and wound up leaving early. The post D.C. Democratic Lawmaker Donated to Event Where Farrakhan Denounced Jews appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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State Department Releases Annual Human Rights Report, Says Abortion Isn’t ‘Human Right Under International Law’

The U.S. State Department on Friday released the first human rights report under the Trump administration, revealing it replaced a section previously titled "reproductive rights" that focused on access to contraception and abortion in each country. The change from Obama-era policy involves the inclusion of a new section titled "coercion in population control," which includes issues like involuntary sterilization, the Washington Post reports. In what is likely to be the most controversial change, the report strips a section labeled "reproductive rights" that previous reports included for every country outlining access to contraception and abortion, as well as maternal mortality rates. In its place, every country now has a section called "coercion in population control," documenting involuntary or "unethical" sterilization. The inclusion of reproductive rights as a separate section for every country is a legacy of the Obama administration. It was introduced in the 2011 report released the following year, at the end of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. State Department officials said the phrase increasingly became viewed as a loaded term in the United States, with both opponents and supporters of legalized abortion viewing it as a code word for abortion. Ambassador Michael Kozak, a senior official with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the bureau that releases the report, spoke during a press conference following the report's release and was asked specifically about the shift. "So just to be clear just on that, so taking out the language about those cases therefore means that the U.S. doesn’t believe that the inability for women to get an abortion physically or by law is an abuse of human rights?" the reporter asked. "That – correct, under the previous administration and this one and the one before that. We have never taken the position that abortion was a right under – a human right under international law," Kozak said. "This is supposed to be internationally recognized human rights, and it’s an issue on which – some countries prohibit abortion, some countries, like our own, pretty much no restriction on it, and we don’t say one of those is right and one of those is wrong. We don’t report on it because it’s not a human right." "It’s not a diminishment of women’s rights or the desire to get away from it," Kozak said. "It’s a desire to get away from using a term that has different meanings." Another change that has drawn attention and berating from critics of Israel is the department stopped using the phrase Occupied Territories to describe Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, according to the Post. State Department officials said that reports issued by other parts of the government no longer refer to the West Bank and Gaza as the Occupied Territories and that the human rights report is just catching up to what is now standard practice in the administration. David M. Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel and a supporter of the settlement movement, has urged the State Department to drop the term. Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan highlighted some countries with the worst human rights records, including Syria, North Korea, China, Burma, Iran, Venezuela, Turkey, and Russia. Sullivan also mentioned improvements in Uzbekistan, Liberia, and Mexico. "In conclusion, let me say America leads the way globally to promote human rights," Sullivan said. "We will also continue to impose consequences on those who abuse human rights." "Over the past year, through the Russia Magnitsky and Global Magnitsky sanctions programs, we have undertaken some of our most aggressive measures yet," Sullivan said. "No human rights abuser, no matter where in the world, is out of our reach. The Human Rights Reports are a significant part of that overall effort." The State Department is mandated by Congress to produce a report with human rights information on every country annually. The post State Department Releases Annual Human Rights Report, Says Abortion Isn’t ‘Human Right Under International Law’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Broward County Sheriff Facing No-Confidence Vote from His Deputies: ‘The Morale is Gone’

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel faces a "no-confidence" vote from the union representing his deputies in the wake of his department's widely criticized handling of the Parkland school shooting. The Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association has informed Israel of its decision to hold the vote, which will take place electronically beginning Friday through April 26. Union president Jeff Bell told CNN, "There is a complete failure at the sheriff's office and he doesn't recognize it." One of Israel's deputies, Scot Peterson, failed to enter Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 and engage the shooter, even though he was on campus as the massacre unfolded. The Broward County captain who came upon the scene initially told deputies to form a perimeter around the scene, rather than enter the school and engage the shooter, as they had been trained. In addition, Israel's office fielded multiple calls before the shooting warning about the alleged perpetrator, Nikolas Cruz, being a potential school shooter. Israel has been defiant about his department's actions, saying it wasn't his responsibility that Peterson was derelict in his duty. He also told CNN host Jake Tapper in a contentious interview on Feb. 25 that he had provided "amazing leadership" to the agency. "Do you think that if the Broward County Sheriff's Office had done things differently, this shooting might not have happened?" Tapper asked. "If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books," Israel said. The Wednesday before that interview, Israel participated in a town hall on guns hosted by Tapper. During the raucous event, Israel praised students pushing for gun control and debated National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch. The vote on Israel comes at a time where there exists a "lack of leadership that has crushed morale throughout the agency," the announcement from the deputies association says. One example is mixed messaging from leadership and confusion over department policies, such as its active shooter policy, Bell said: One example, he says, is the active shooter policy, which states a deputy "may" go into a building and engage the shooter to preserve life. But in training, Bell says, deputies learn to enter the site of the shooting and confront an active shooter. Deputies have to make split-second decisions, he said, so their guidance and training should be identical. He also talked about policies that he says don't make sense. For example, if a citizen loses his balance and a deputy reaches out to stop the fall, he says, policy requires the deputy to file a "use of force" report. "The laws are there that allow you to do your job; but the policies make it so paperwork-heavy that no one wants to do their job anymore," Bell said. According to CNN, one elected sergeant and one elected deputy from each of the county's 22 districts and specialized units have voting power. The vote is symbolic but will give Israel, a Democrat, a sense of where he stands with his department's rank-and-file. "Some of his best supporters are being vocal against him," Bell said. "The morale just disappeared. The morale is gone." The law enforcement response to the Parkland shooting is the subject of multiple state investigations. The post Broward County Sheriff Facing No-Confidence Vote from His Deputies: ‘The Morale is Gone’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Chelsea Clinton Pushes Back on ‘False’ Claim in New Book, Says She Didn’t Pop Champagne on Election Night

Chelsea Clinton on Friday called out New York Times reporter Amy Chozick for claiming the former first daughter popped Champagne on the night of the 2016 presidential election and poured it into Hillary Clinton campaign staffers' glasses. The Times published an excerpt of Chozick's new book—Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling, which will be released on Tuesday—discussing the Clinton campaign's experience on election night. "Things were already looking bad when Chelsea Clinton popped the Champagne," Chozick writes. "It was just after 9 p.m. on election night and she was having her hair and makeup done in the family's suite at the Peninsula hotel. She stopped to pour what somebody told me was Veuve Clicquot into everyone's glasses, figuring that in a couple of hours Donald Trump's run of early victories in red states (West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama) would end and the map would turn back in her mom's favor." Clinton fired back on Twitter, telling Chozick that her account of events is "false" and that she "would have been happy" to say what happened that night if she had asked. "Hi @amychozick! The 1st line ("Things were already looking bad when Chelsea Clinton popped the Champagne") is false," Clinton wrote. "I would have been happy to tell you that if you'd asked, which you didn't. Looking forward to the correction once you fact check. Thanks!" Hi @amychozick! The 1st line ("Things were already looking bad when Chelsea Clinton popped the Champagne") is false. I would have been happy to tell you that if you’d asked, which you didn’t. Looking forward to the correction once you fact check. Thanks! https://t.co/gqppfDEEW1 — Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 20, 2018 Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton loyalist and former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, responded to the former first daughter's tweet by taking a shot at Chozick for calling him a "possible sociopath" in her book. "Careful Chelsea. If you have the audacity to criticize Amy's practices she might label you a misogynistic sociopath," Reines tweeted. Careful Chelsea. If you have the audacity to criticize Amy’s practices she might label you a misogynistic sociopath.https://t.co/T0aOWmu5tB — Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) April 20, 2018 Reines also linked to a Jezebel article that included his response to Chozick's book. "I haven't read the book so I'm just working off what you sent. Given the topic let me make clear this is ON the record. Please include in its entirety," Reines said. "Amy deserves credit for confessing. Because anyone who's seen Thank You for Smoking knows the problem isn't Aaron Eckhart's language or behavior, it's Katie Holmes's ethics and tactics. I said it then, I'd say it again today. Oh, one more thing: she and Caroline [Carolyn] Ryan should know this about my own book I'm currently writing: there are tapes. And unlike some, I don't bluff." The post Chelsea Clinton Pushes Back on ‘False’ Claim in New Book, Says She Didn’t Pop Champagne on Election Night appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Fundraises Off Columbine Anniversary

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, who is running for governor of Colorado this year, on Friday sent an email that fundraises off the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. "Today is the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School," Polis says in the email. "I remember watching the news in horror, shocked that something so terrible could happen anywhere, but especially in my home state." Polis touts how, in the wake of the 1999 school shooting, Colorado "took action" by closing the gun-show loophole, banning high-capacity magazines, and passing universal background checks. "Sadly, Republicans in Congress have failed to show the same courage in the face of the NRA that we've shown here in Colorado," he adds. "These tragedies continue to take place every single day—in the form of both heavily reported mass shootings and the under reported gun violence that happens daily." "I've fought the gun manufacturing lobby in Washington for a decade, and as governor, I'll be ready on day one to take them on here in Colorado," Polis concludes. The email ends with a large "DONATE" button linking to a page where readers can donate up to $100 to the Polis campaign. The email also contains several links to a list-building page where readers can give Polis their name and email, which then directs them to the same donation page. The post Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Fundraises Off Columbine Anniversary appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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McCaskill: DNC Lawsuit Against Trump Campaign Is ‘Silly Distraction’

Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D., Mo.) office responded on Friday to the Democratic National Committee lawsuit against the Trump campaign, calling it a "silly distraction." Early Friday, the DNC filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit alleging the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and Wikileaks conspired to elect Donald Trump president. "During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump's campaign," DNC chair Tom Perez said in a statement. "This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for president of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency," he continued. A McCaskill spokesperson told St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Chuck Raasch that the Missouri senator considers the lawsuit a distraction. @clairecmc spox tells me and @stltoday that McCaskill considers #dnclawsuit a "silly distraction." — Chuck Raasch (@craasch) April 20, 2018 McCaskill is up for reelection this November in a state Trump won by 19 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. The senator faces a fierce challenge from presumptive Republican candidate Josh Hawley, the current Missouri Attorney General. The post McCaskill: DNC Lawsuit Against Trump Campaign Is ‘Silly Distraction’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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Al Qaeda Using Google Maps to Plan Jihadist Attacks

The al Qaeda terror organization is using Google Maps to plan precision jihadist attacks across the Middle East, according to a new propaganda video released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that features a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who has since returned to the terror group after being freed from the prison, according to a new report from a regional media monitoring organization. Al-Malahem, the media arm of Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, released on Friday a propaganda video featuring Sudanese national and former Gitmo detainee Ibrahim Al-Qusi, a onetime financial asset for al Qaeda who was arrested in December 2001 and spent more than 10 years as a convicted terrorist in Gitmo before being released to Sudan in 2012. Al-Qusi appears to be one of many former Gitmo inmates who returned to the battlefield after being freed from Gitmo. In the newly released video featuring al-Qusi, "AQAP also documents the training, planning, and execution of a series of operations targeting security forces, checkpoints, and military bases in multiple locations using different tactics including martyrdom operations, commando raids, shelling, shootings, and assassinations," according to a new report from the Middle East Media Monitoring Institute, or MEMRI. "In the planning of one operation, an AQAP commander used a tablet computer and Google Maps," according to MEMRI, which provided screenshots and full report on the situation to the Washington Free Beacon. Al-Qusi takes direct aim at the United States and its alliance with the United Arab Emirates, or UAE in the video footage, which calls for new terror attacks. "After accusing the UAE of leading the war against Islam by building prisons and detention centers where men and women are imprisoned and by killing innocent people in Yemen, the video featured Al-Qusi saying: ‘Today, the U.S. is trying to use a new card and a new [pair of] shoes from its [collection]: the government of the UAE and its treasonous army,'" according to MEMRI's research. The AQAP video honors "dozens of martyred AQAP member" and commends local jihadist fighters in the Abyan province in Yemen for "implementing sharia laws, promoting virtue, preventing vice, and securing the city." "The video then said that the U.S. was using Arab governments to wage war on the mujahideen, and presented video and audio recordings of prominent jihadi officials and preachers such as late Yemeni-American sheikh and AQAP figure Anwar Al-‘Awlaqi and Abu Al-Hassan Al-Bulaidi. Al-Bulaidi is a late official from Al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb who condemned Muslim rulers and accused them of betraying the Muslim ummah," according to MEMRI. The post Al Qaeda Using Google Maps to Plan Jihadist Attacks appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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