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Dom Calicchio

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At least 13 members of Joe Biden’s campaign staff have made donations to a group that helps Minneapolis protesters get out of jail on bail, according to a report.

The staffers posted on Twitter that they contributed money to a group called the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which opposes the practice of making people who are arrested pay money to avoid pre-trial imprisonment, Reuters reported.

Biden himself opposes cash bail, comparing it to a “modern day debtors prison,” campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters.

But the campaign would not comment on whether the staffers’ donations were made in coordination with the former vice president’s campaign, the report said.

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, the Minnesota Freedom Fund raised about $20 million over four days, Forbes reported.

Prior to Floyd’s death, the group had raised only about $75,000 to $80,000 so far in 2020, the report said.

Celebrities who’ve helped spread the word about the group include singer and actress Janelle Monae and actor Seth Rogan, both of whom have pledged to match donations, Forbes reported. But the group has since announced it is no longer soliciting donations and urges people to instead donate to Floyd’s family or African-American community organizations in the Twin Cities area.

Responding to Reuters about the Biden staffers, the Trump 2020 Campaign said it was “disturbing” that Biden’s staff “would financially support the mayhem that is hurting innocent people and destroying what good people spent their lives building.”

In a statement Saturday, Biden called protests following the death of Floyd “an utterly American response,” saying such actions were “right and necessary” given the circumstances of Floyd’s death in police custody.

But Biden spoke against the violence and looting that has accompanied the protests.

“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response,” he said. “But burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this story.

Author: Dom Calicchio

Source: Fox News: Biden campaign staffers donate to group that bails out jailed Minneapolis protesters: report

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid their respects Thursday evening to two U.S. Army officers who were killed this week in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The president and first lady traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where they watched as flag-draped coffins containing the bodies of Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, were removed from a military aircraft.

The Trumps and a small group of aides and military personnel bowed their heads in prayer, then saluted or held a hand over their heart as a U.S. Army carry team transported the coffins.

Trump has described witnessing the transfer of remains of fallen military personnel as “the toughest thing I have to do” as president.

Both Knadle, of Tarrant, Texas, and Fuchigami Jr., of Keaau, Hawaii, died Wednesday when their helicopter crashed as they provided air cover for ground troops in Logar Province in eastern Afghanistan. Both were assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami died Wednesday in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when their helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground. (U.S. Army)

The crash brought this year’s U.S. death toll in Afghanistan to 19, excluding three noncombat deaths, The Associated Press reported. More than 2,400 Americans have died in Afghanistan since military operations began there in 2001.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, but the U.S. military has dismissed that as a false claim. The crash remains under investigation.

Those accompanying the president and first lady included Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Army Sgt. Major Michael Grinston and actor Jon Voight, who came at Trump’s invitation after being honored at a White House ceremony earlier in the day.

The trip to Dover was the president’s second this year and third overall since taking office. In January, Trump paid his respects to four Americans who were killed by a suicide bombing in Syria, and in February 2017, shortly after taking office, Trump attended a transfer service for a Navy SEAL who was killed during a raid against al-Qaeda in Yemen.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Author: Dom Calicchio

Source: Fox News: President Trump, first lady pay respects to Army officers killed in Afghanistan crash

Some Republicans in Congress on Friday reintroduced a proposal calling for a ban on burning the American flag – and they’ve already won an endorsement from President Trump.

“All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!,” the president wrote in a Twitter message Saturday.

The proposal is being sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and in the House by Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas. It calls for the U.S. Constitution to be amended so Congress would have “constitutional authority to ban the desecration of the United States flag.”

“The American Flag is a symbol of freedom – and it should always be protected,” Daines wrote Friday.

Added Cramer: “A flag worth dying for is a flag worth protecting.”

“Adding a Constitutional amendment to protect this symbol of freedom and liberty is not an attack on another Constitutional amendment,” he continued, “rather, it is an affirmation of the unifying principles our nation stands for.”

The amendment would be necessary because the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that flag-burning is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The new proposal was reintroduced Friday, which was Flag Day – and coincidentally President Trump’s 73rd birthday.

President Trump arrives to speak at a “Salute to Service” dinner, July 3, 2018, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. (Associated Press)

Critics on social media were quick to attack the proposal. Here are some samples:

According to the Washington Times, amendments can be added to the Constitution if two-thirds of both the House and Senate agree on a proposal and then three-fourths of the states ratify it, or if two-thirds of state legislatures call a convention to propose changes to the Constitution, and then three-fourths of the states ratify the change.

Author: Dom Calicchio

Source: Fox News: Trump backs bill to ban flag-burning: ‘A no brainer!’

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