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Biden cited the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Michigan as being the numbers for the military

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden misspoke during a campaign stop in Michigan, incorrectly saying that over 6,000 U.S. military members have died from the novel coronavirus.

Speaking in Warren, Mich., Biden cited the number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 in Michigan as being the numbers for the military, saying the armed forces had seen 118,984 cases and 6,114 deaths.

Shortly after the event, Biden’s campaign quickly clarified that Biden had mixed up the numbers for Michigan with those from military. As of Wednesday, only seven members of the military had died from COVID-19.

“Vice President Biden has the utmost respect for the men and women of the armed services and believes it’s the sacred duty of our country to properly equip them, look after their families when they’re deployed, and care for them when they return,” Biden’s Deputy Rapid Response Director Michael Gwin said in a statement to Fox News.

Gwin added: “To honor their service, the Vice President carries with him each day a card detailing the number of Americans who have given their lives for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, and frequently cites that number to recognize their sacrifice.”

Biden has taken criticism before for confusing statistics when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, Biden incorrectly said 120 million people had died from the contagion in the U.S.

“People don’t have a job, people don’t know where to go, they don’t know what to do,” Biden said at the time. “Now we have over 120 million dead from COVID.”

As of Wednesday, the U.S. has recorded just over 190,000 deaths from the virus — the highest total in the world.

While Biden appeared to immediately to catch himself after his gaffe in June — the pool video of Biden’s comments cuts off after he made the remark – President Trump’s campaign was quick to jump on the former vice president’s comment.

“Joe Biden is very confused,” the campaign tweeted out. “He’s not playing with a full deck, folks. #BarelyThereBiden.”

Biden’s verbal slip-ups have plagued him throughout his 2020 presidential bid, with the Trump campaign using them as fodder to argue that the presumptive Democratic nominee is unfit for the Oval Office, as well as to draw attention away from Trump’s own mistakes.

The president himself has been hammered by pundits and Democrats for false or misleading claims he’s made regarding the coronavirus pandemic – from his now infamous March 6 declaration that “anybody that wants a test can get a test” to claiming that the Obama administration had left him with bad or old tests for COVID-19 even though there could not have been a test until Trump’s presidency.

Despite Biden’s slip-ups on the stump, he still holds a national advantage in the polls over Trump with the Real Clear Politics average showing the former vice president holding close to a seven point lead over the current White House occupant with the general election less than two months away.

Fox News’ Patrick Ward and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Biden botches military coronavirus death count, campaign says he accidentally cited Michigan number

President Trump on Wednesday signed a memorandum directing more of California’s scarce water supply to farmers and other agriculture interests in the state’s Central Valley, a Republican stronghold.

Speaking alongside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the lawmaker’s hometown of Bakersfield, Trump boasted of how his administration reworked environmental rules to assure more water gets to farmers, while also taking shots at his political rivals – from California Gov. Gavin Newsom to Democratic presidential primary hopeful and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“For too long water authorities have flushed millions of gallons into the Pacific,” Trump said. “I ordered the administration to update outdated opinions which determined water allocation in this state.”

Trump added that he is going “to put a lot of pressure” on Newsom to enact the changes and if the California governor doesn’t follow through then “you’ll get a new governor.”

Trump has long criticized the environmental rules governing the flow of water in California – calling the rules “insane” during a campaign stop in 2016 and pledging that he’d be “opening up the water” for farmers.

The environmental rules are meant to ensure that enough water stayed in rivers and the San Francisco Bay to sustain more than a dozen endangered fish and other native species, which are struggling as agriculture and development diverts more water and land from wildlife.

Environmental advocates and the state say the changes will allow federal authorities to pump more water from California’s wetter north southward to its biggest cities and farms.

The Trump administration, Republican lawmakers and farm and water agencies say the changes will allow for more flexibility in water deliveries. In California’s heavily engineered water system, giant state and federal water projects made up of hundreds of miles of pipes, canals, pumps and dams, carry runoff from rain and Sierra Nevada snow melt from north to south — and serve as field of battle for lawsuits and regional political fights over competing demands for water.

Environmental groups say the changes will speed the disappearance of endangered winter-run salmon and other native fish and make life tougher for whales and other creatures in the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean.

After an initial study by federal scientists found the rule changes would harm salmon and whales, the Trump administration ordered a new round of review, California news organizations reported last year.

The overall effort “ensured the highest quality” of evaluation of the rule changes, Paul Souza, Pacific Southwest director for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement Tuesday.

“We strongly disagree that the proposal will reduce protections for endangered species,” Souza said.

Beyond operational changes in the federal Central Valley Project water system, the administration’s changes allow for more habitat restoration, upgrades in fish hatcheries and the water system itself, monitoring of species and other improvements, Souza said.

Conservation groups have promised new rounds of lawsuits to try to block the redone environmental rules.

“The species really are in much worse shape” than in earlier years, Doug Obegi with the Natural Resources Defense Council said. “We are at the point where we may watch them wink out … potentially in the next few years.”

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Trump signs memorandum diverting more water to California farmers

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, considered one of the possible swing votes in the Trump impeachment trial, announced on the Senate floor Monday night that she “cannot vote to convict” President Trump.

Murkowski, whose comments closed out a day of debate on the floor over the articles of impeachment, said the “Constitution provides for impeachment but does not demand it in all instances.” While most Republican senators are expected to vote to acquit Trump, Murkowski had been considered a possible vote against the president.

In her floor speech, she said Trump’s “behavior was shameful and wrong” with Ukraine but argued against removing him from office, calling for voters to make a judgment in November’s election.

“The response to the president’s behavior is not to disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans and remove him from the ballot,” she said. “The House could have pursued censure and not immediately jumped to the remedy of last resort.”

The Alaska senator added: “The voters will pronounce a verdict in nine months and we must trust their judgment.”

Murkowski made news last week as she opposed calling witnesses in the trial, amid speculation she could side with Democrats to prolong the trial. She told reporters at the time that she was “frustrated and disappointed and angry at all sides.”

A separate swing-vote senator, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, suggested earlier Monday he may not vote to impeach Trump, although he said he had not fully made up his mind. He also used part of his speech on the Senate floor to call for the legislative body to censure Trump instead.

Murkowski’s comments wrapped up a busy day on the Senate floor that saw the House impeachment managers and the president’s defense team give closing arguments before senators began their debate on the articles of impeachment.

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff implored those few Republican senators who have acknowledged Trump’s wrongdoing in the Ukraine matter to prevent a “runaway presidency” and stand up to say “enough.”

“For a man like Donald J. Trump, they gave you a remedy and meant for you to use it. They gave you an oath, and they meant for you to observe it,” Schiff said. “We have proven Donald Trump guilty. Now do impartial justice and convict him.”

“History will not be kind to Donald Trump,” Schiff said, adding that those lawmakers who vote to acquit the president will be tied to Trump “with a cord of steel.”

The president’s defense countered the Democrats have been out to impeach Trump since the start of his presidency, nothing short of an effort to undo the 2016 election and to try to shape the next one, as early primary voting begins Monday in Iowa.

“Leave it to the voters to choose,” said White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

He called for an end to the partisan “era of impeachment.”

Trump was impeached in December on two charges: that he abused his power like no other president in history when he pushed Ukraine to investigate rival Democrats, and he then obstructed Congress by instructing aides to defy House subpoenas.

But key Republicans have decided the president’s actions toward Ukraine do not rise to the level of impeachable offense that warrants the dramatic political upheaval of conviction and removal from office.

The debate on the Senate flor will continue tomorrow with his acquittal in Wednesday’s vote is all but assured.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Lisa Murkowski, swing-vote Republican, says she ‘cannot vote to convict’ Trump

One of the lawyers representing President Trump in his impeachment trial said it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats’ fault for failing to charge Trump with an impeachable offense while praising the Senate for rejecting a call for more witnesses in the trial.

Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor who is one of the lawyers defending Trump in his Senate impeachment trial, argued during an interview on “Fox News Sunday” that House Democrats didn’t charge Trump with a “legitimate crime.”

“If they don’t charge you with a legitimate crime,” Dershowitz said. “It’s the fault of Nancy Pelosi and others for failing to charge an impeachable offense.”

Dershowitz added: “In the criminal context that would be called a victory, a great victory. Here, if they haven’t charged an offense, then maybe he hasn’t been acquitted, but he also hasn’t been charged. He’s in exactly the same situation he should have been in had they done the right thing and not impeached him at all.”

The Republican-controlled Senate voted on Friday against hearing from witnesses in the impeachment trial. Many Republican lawmakers were critical of Trump’s actions, but argued that they did not warrant an impeachable offense.

Trump has repeatedly called his July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “perfect,” but a drumbeat of revelations that continued even after the trial started made that claim harder for even staunch allies to sustain.

The latest revelation came courtesy of an unpublished manuscript from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who writes that Trump tied suspension of military aid to Ukraine to the country’s willingness to undertake the investigations the president wanted.

Dershowitz said on Sunday that it’s up to the American public on Election Day to decide if Trump’s actions warrant him being removed from office, but added that just because something is troubling it doesn’t mean a president should be impeached.

“On Election Day, as a citizen, I will allow that to enter into my decision who to vote for,” Dershowitz said. “But it’s not an impeachable offense. And I was there to argue a constitutional issue, not to tell people who to vote for for president.”

Moderator Chris Wallace also pressed Dershowitz on representing “despised” people. The lawyer’s clients in the past have included controversial public figures like former NFL running back O.J. Simpson, who was accused of murdering his wife, and late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“I was a professor for 50 years, and I have no excuse for not taking cases. I want to be part of cases where nobody else can get — is willing to come in and do the case. I want to be part of controversial cases,” Dershowitz said.

He added: “Look, to me my hero was John Adams, standing up for them, people — the — the — the murderers in the Boston Massacre, and — and accepting all the opprobrium that was heaped upon him because he said, I want to show the king of England that we, in America, believe that everybody’s entitled to a defense. He defended them and it almost destroyed his career and his personal life. He did the right thing. And I’m going to continue to do that for as long as God gives me the strength to defend people who are guilty, innocent, popular or unpopular.”

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Dershowitz: Pelosi, House Dems didn’t impeach Trump for a ‘legitimate crime’

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn moved Tuesday to withdraw his guilty plea for lying to the FBI in the Russia probe, citing “bad faith” by the government.

The court filing came just days after the Justice Department reversed course to recommend up to six months of prison time in his case, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.

But, in Tuesday’s court filing, his legal team said he moved to withdraw his plea “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement.”

“The prosecution has shown abject bad faith in pure retaliation against Mr. Flynn since he retained new counsel,” Flynn’s attorneys wrote in the filing. “This can only be because with new, unconflicted counsel, Mr. Flynn refused to lie for the prosecution.”

The filing continued:”Justice is not a game, and there should be no room for such gamesmanship in the Department of Justice.”

In the court filing, Flynn’s lawyers said the Justice Department is attempting to “rewrite history” by withdrawing its recommendation that he be sentenced to probation and by suggesting he had not been forthcoming or cooperative.

“Michael T. Flynn is innocent. Mr. Flynn has cooperated with the government in good faith for two years. He gave the prosecution his full cooperation,” the attorneys added.

Flynn’s case stemmed from a 2017 FBI interview, in which he was asked about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to making false statements regarding those conversations during his interview, as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28 in a D.C. federal court by Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The judge last December rejected claims from Flynn’s lawyers that he was pressured to plead guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the Russian diplomat. His lawyers also had claimed the government withheld critical evidence that may have favored their client.

“It’s been one atrocity after another,” Sidney Powell, one of Flynn’s lawyers, said on Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday evening. “The recent sentencing note is full of lies.”

The Justice Department wrote in its sentencing memorandum last week that Flynn’s “conduct was more than just a series of lies; it was an abuse of trust.”

The memorandum continued: “The government acknowledges that the defendant’s history of military service, and his prior assistance to the government, though not substantial, may distinguish him from these other defendants. The government asks the court to consider all of these factors, and to impose an appropriate sentence.”

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Michael Flynn moves to withdraw guilty plea, citing ‘bad faith’ by government

As more and more Californians move elsewhere amid rising housing and living costs, the Golden State is on track to lose a seat in Congress for the first time in history.

According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released on Monday, approximately 203,000 people moved out of California between 2018 and 2019 – with the bulk of them heading to other western states like Arizona, Texas and Colorado, where the cost of life is less pricey.

If these numbers hold true in next year’s census count, California would see its number of seats in the House of Representatives drop from 53 to 52. While the loss of one seat would do little to diminish California’s influence in the lower chamber of Congress, there is the possibility that the states Californians are migrating to could potentially pick up a seat – a move that could alter both the local and federal political map.

“It’s got a lot to do with dispersion from California to the rest of the West,” William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the Los Angeles Times. “Arizona, Texas and Colorado are all big destinations for California migrants, and they all are gaining seats.”

Texas has been the biggest recipient over the last few years of the exodus of Californians fleeing soaring living costs and rising taxes, with a recent study finding that 63,175 Californians moved to the Lone Star State in 2017.

The dispersal from California due to the skyrocketing standard of living – and a continuing shift toward the political left – has even given rise to a cottage industry of companies helping conservative Californians resettle in Texas.

“Leaving California is like leaving a bad relationship,” Paul Chabot, the founder of the company Conservative Move, told Fox News. “When you’re gone, you can see all the problems much more clearly.”

The figures from the Census Bureau suggest that Texas could pick up as many as three congressional seats following the 2020 census. Florida stands to gain two seats, while Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon each stand to gain a seat.

Along with California, states including Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia are all projected to lose seats in Congress.

California and Texas – the country’s two most populous states and the sixth and 10th largest economies in the world, respectively – have for decades offered two opposing views of the United States.

Lawmakers in Sacramento and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom believe that higher taxes help fund public universities and a slew of social services in the state, while Texas legislators and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott believe that lower taxes and fewer regulations free residents to reach their full potential. The two states also have taken vastly differing stances on pressing issues ranging from immigration to climate change.

While some conservative strategists see the migration of Californians to red states like Texas and Arizona as a boost for Republicans, there is still the possibility that the population growth in urban hotbeds likes Austin and Phoenix will offset any gains and could potentially turn once solidly red states purple in the near future.

The Census Bureau study found that, overall, the U.S. population grew from 2018 to 2019 by almost a half percent, or about 1.5 million people, with the population standing at 328 million this year. That’s the slowest growth rate in the U.S. since 1917 to 1918, when the nation was involved in World War I, according to Frey.

Regionally, the South saw the greatest population growth from 2018 to 2019, increasing 0.8 percent due to natural increase and people moving from others parts of the country. The Northeast had a population decrease for the first time this decade, declining 0.1 percent due primarily to people moving away.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: California exodus could lead to state losing congressional seat, census estimates find

President Trump on Wednesday signed two bills meant to support human rights and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, drawing a furious response from Beijing’s foreign ministry.

The bills were signed as Hong Kong continues to be gripped by turmoil amid widespread discontent over Chinese rule in the special administrative region. Chinese officials had hoped Trump would veto the bill and the president had expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China’s President Xi Jinping.

“Look, we have to stand with Hong Kong,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” last week, later adding: “But I’m also standing with President Xi. He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy.”

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong. The second bill prohibits export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannons, stun guns and tasers.

“The act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong, and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” Trump said in a statement.

He added: “Certain provisions of the Act would interfere with the exercise of the President’s constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States. My administration will treat each of the provisions of the Act consistently with the president’s constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations.”

The munitions bill was passed unanimously, while Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was the sole House member to oppose the human rights bill. Before Wednesday’s signing announcement, Trump would only commit to giving the measures a “hard look.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said earlier this month the act undermines both American and Chinese interests in Hong Kong.

“We urge the U.S. to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late, prevent this act from becoming law [and] immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” Geng said at the time, adding: “If the U.S. continues to make the wrong moves, China will be taking strong countermeasures for sure.”

On Thursday, a foreign ministry statement described Trump’s signing of the bills as a “hegemonic act,” repeated heated condemnations of the law and vows that China would take “firm countermeasures.” The statement also claimed that all the people of Hong Kong and China oppose the move, but did not specify how Beijing would respond.

Hong Kong kept its advantageous trading status with the U.S. upon its 1997 handover to China by the U.K., in recognition of Beijing’s pledge to allow it to retain its own laws, independent judiciary and civil and economic freedoms.

That independent status has come into question amid moves by Beijing to gradually strengthen its political control over the territory, helping spark months of increasingly violent protests.

Earlier in November, China’s legislature argued it had the sole right to interpret the validity of Hong Kong’s laws after the territory’s court struck down an order banning the wearing of masks at protests. Legal scholars described that as a power grab violating the governing framework known as “one country, two systems.”

With Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government refusing to enter into dialogue or make concessions, the territory’s police force has been given broad powers to quell the protests. That has brought numerous complaints of excessive use of force and the abuse of detainees, along with a near-complete lack of accountability for officers.

In a September report, Amnesty International documented numerous cases where protesters had to be hospitalized for treatment of injuries inflicted while being arrested.

The signing of the act may prove harmful for the administration’s moves to ease tensions with China, but it was widely praised by both Democrat and Republican lawmakers.

“If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. “This bicameral, bipartisan law reaffirms our nation’s commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the face of Beijing’s crackdown. America is proud to stand with the people of Hong Kong on the side of freedom and justice.

“I am pleased that the President signed this legislation and look forward to its prompt enforcement.”

“The signing of this legislation into law ensures the United States finally sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of Hong Kong: We are with you,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. “With the world standing witness to history as the people of Hong Kong risk it all in pursuit of their legitimate aspirations for autonomy and against the erosion of democracy, I am incredibly proud to support the people of Hong Kong with the tools in this powerful new law.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., added: I applaud President Trump for signing this critical legislation into law. The U.S. now has new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho said the bills are “an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights.” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., warned Xi: “Americans despise tyrants and stand in solidarity with Hong Kong. The whole world has seen both the courage of Hong Kongers and the brutality of your Chinese Communist Party. As long as freedom-seekers fill the streets of Hong Kong, the American people will take their side.”

Trump’s signing of the act comes just days after pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong won 269 out of 452 seats in 18 district council races, while pro-Beijing forces, who previously held 73 percent of the seats, won only 30. Voters came out in droves with a 71 percent turnout — up from 47 percent four years ago in the same elections, according to the Electoral Affairs Commission.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Trump signs bill supporting Hong Kong protesters despite strong opposition from China

City employees in San Francisco are now forbidden to take work trips or do business with companies in 22 states that have “restrictive abortion laws.”

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown announced the measure last week.

“Every day in this country, women’s reproductive rights are threatened, and we have to fight back. Just as we restricted spending with states that have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people, we are standing up against states that put women’s health at risk and that are actively working to limit reproductive freedoms,” Breed said in a statement.

She added: “By limiting travel and contracting with certain states, we are sending a clear message to states that disregard the right to abortion.”

The states being blacklisted by San Francisco for their “severe anti-choice policies” are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Nine states – Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas – were already on the city’s list because of their LGBTQ laws and policies.

The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

All 22 states on San Francisco’s list ban abortion after between 13 and 24 weeks, while two of those states have attempted to ban abortion throughout pregnancy and five have attempted to ban abortion at six weeks.

City officials acknowledge that the ban may not provide the financial blow to the states to force them to rethink their anti-abortion measures, but Breed’s office hopes its move will serve as an example for other municipalities to follow suit.

“Although tax revenue from San Francisco alone may not be sufficient to encourage states to rethink their laws, if other cities and states follow San Francisco’s lead, the financial pressure might be enough to prompt policy changes,” her office said.

The move by San Francisco comes a little more than a month after its city council passed a resolution calling the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.” The NRA quickly filed a lawsuit against the city and Breed eventually said in late September that the resolution would have no effect on city policies.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: San Francisco puts 22 states on blacklist for restrictive abortion laws

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is threatening to boycott next week’s Democratic presidential debate amid accusations that the Democratic National Committee and the media are “rigging” the 2020 primary elections against dark horse candidates like herself.

Gabbard, who reached the qualification thresholds for next Tuesday’s debate in Ohio, called the qualifications “arbitrary” and said DNC leaders “are trying to hijack the entire election process.” She said she will decide in the next few days whether she will participate in the debate.

“The DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process,” Gabbard said in a video posted on Twitter. “In order to bring attention to this serious threat to our democracy, and ensure your voice is heard, I am giving serious consideration to boycotting the next debate on October 15th.”

Gabbard’s complaint about the DNC “rigging” the primary election dredges up similar objections from 2016 when the DNC was accused of favoring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“The 2016 Democratic Primary election was rigged by the DNC and their partners in the corporate media against Bernie Sanders,” Gabbard said. “In this 2020 election, the DNC and corporate media are rigging the election again, but this time against the American people in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.”

Gabbard’s move to possibly boycott the debate is a double-edged sword for the candidate, as she would miss the opportunity to reach millions of voters tuning into the debate, while the boycott would draw a great deal of attention to her campaign. The Hawaii Democrat did not qualify for September’s DNC debate in Houston, but has met the criteria of 130,000 unique donors and hitting at least 2 percent in four approval polls to qualify for Tuesday’s debate.

Twelve candidates have qualified for Tuesday’s debate – leaving four who are still in the race on the sidelines.

“They are attempting to replace the roles of voters in the early states, using polling and other arbitrary methods which are not transparent or democratic, and holding so-called debates which are not debates at all but rather commercialized reality television meant to entertain, not inform or enlighten,” Gabbard said. “In short, the DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process.”

To qualify for November’s debate, a candidate must reach 165,000 unique donors and reach 3 percent in four approved polls. So far only eight candidates have hit that mark, with Gabbard not being among them.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Gabbard threatens to boycott Ohio debate, claims DNC is ‘rigging’ primaries

Rep. Adam Schiff presses acting DNI Joseph Maguire over whether whistleblower’s claims should be investigated

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that House lawmakers have reached an agreement with the whistleblower who filed a complaint about President Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify before a congressional committee.

Speaking on ABC News’ “This Week,” Schiff said that the agreement with the whistleblower and his or her lawyers has been settled and that there are precautions being taken to protect the identity of the person amid the criticism from Trump and his allies.

“As with [acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph] Mcguire, that whistleblower will be allowed to come in without White House or DOJ lawyers to tell him or her what they can or can’t say,” Schiff said.

“We are taking all the precautions we can to protect the whistleblower’s identity,” Schiff added. “With President Trump’s threats, you can imagine the security concerns here.”

The whistleblower’s complaint, with its detail and clear narrative, is likely to accelerate the impeachment process and put more pressure on Trump to rebut its core contentions and on his fellow Republicans to defend him or not. It also provides a road map for Democrats to seek corroborating witnesses and evidence , which will complicate the president’s efforts to characterize the findings as those of a lone partisan out to undermine him.

In response, Trump threatened “the person” who he said gave information to the whistleblower as he spoke at a private event in New York with staff from the U.S. mission to the United Nations.

“Who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said in audio posted by The Los Angeles Times. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

Speaking on Sunday also on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Schiff said that the president’s behavior was so “egregious” that House lawmakers were forced to open an impeachment inquiry relating to his call with the Ukrainian leader.

“The gravamen of the offense here is the president using the power of his office to coerce a foreign nation into helping his presidential campaign to once again interfere in our election, and at the same time withholding foreign aid that country so desperately needs to fight off who? The Russians,” Schiff said.

He added: “The situation demands that we move forward with the inquiry.”

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump over his July 25 phone call with Zelensky. Democrats have claimed the president threatened to withhold $400 million in military aid unless Ukraine investigated former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings in the country.

The probe was prompted by a complaint from an intelligence community whistleblower who accused Trump of “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

Pelosi specifically charged that the administration had violated the law by not turning over a whistleblower complaint concerning Trump’s July call with Zelensky. Citing testimony that the director of national intelligence was blocking the release of that complaint, she said: “This is a violation of law. The law is unequivocal.”

Trump had urged Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings — where Hunter Biden was on the board. Shokin himself had been separately and widely accused of corruption.

Schiff on Sunday said that while he expects the White House to push back on the House’s attempts to ascertain information regarding the president’s actions, any attempts to thwart the investigation would be viewed as obstruction.

“The president can’t have it both ways — he can’t both prevent us from getting evidence on these serious underlying crimes, or potential crimes, this serious breach of his oath of office, and at the same time obstruct our investigation,” he said. “Even as he tries to weaken our ability to get facts on one, he’s going to strengthen the facts on the other.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Schiff says agreement reached with whistleblower to testify before House committee

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