Talia Kaplan


Baltimore was ‘under Democrat leadership for over 50 years and unfortunately, we have gotten nothing in return,’ Klacik says

Black voters “are definitely listening” to President Trump’s message “and it is resonating,” Kimberly Klacik, the Republican woman running for the Baltimore U.S. House seat held by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, who was a Democrat, told “Sunday Morning Futures” in an exclusive interview.

Klacik, made the comment after host Maria Bartiromo pointed to the results of a new Hill-HarrisX poll, which found that President Trump’s support among Black voters increased nine percentage points in the Aug. 22-25 survey, which included the first two days of the Republican National Convention.

Bartiromo asked Klacik what she believes “the Trump administration has done for the minority communities?”

“This is an administration that actually has real results coming into the community,” Klacik, who suggested that Democrats don’t care about Black voters in a viral campaign ad and took aim at Joe Biden in her speech during the first night of the RNC, said.

In her speech at the Republican Convention, Klacik accused the Democratic nominee of believing that Black Americans “can’t think for ourselves.”

“A lot of people don’t talk about the fact that the criminal justice reform is something that many Black Americans thought President Obama would tackle. He failed to do that,” Klacik said on Sunday. “He didn’t even attempt to do it.”

In Dec. 2018, President Trump signed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill, marking a major legislative victory on an issue that garnered bipartisan support. The decisive passage marked a win for Trump as well as his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who advocated for the bill in the face of some conservative resistance.

The First Step Act gave federal judges more leeway when sentencing some drug offenders and boosted prisoner rehabilitation efforts. It also would reduce life sentences for some drug offenders with three convictions, or “three strikes,” to 25 years.

Klacik pointed to The First Step Act on Sunday saying, “We have a lot of people that have been incarcerated and they were incarcerated during the tech boom.”

“What they need is skills and training when they come out because they can actually apply then for careers, not just jobs and that’s what we need in the area, we need careers,” she said.

She also noted that President Trump is “doing much more with ‘Opportunity Zones.’”

“He’s hit $75 billion thus far, he’s going to do even more in these communities and neighborhoods that Democrats left to decay and some of those neighborhoods are right there in Baltimore city so people see results when it comes to President Trump,” Klacik said.

She then compared the Republican Convention to the Democratic Convention as said Republicans “seem to be the party of optimism and hope.”

“We talked about things that we’re going to continue to do,” Klacik said. “President Trump talked about things that he’s been doing and he’s going to continue to do and that’s what’s important.”

“We’re done with the pandering,” she continued. “We saw many major cities paint Black Lives Matter on the streets. We don’t want just paint on the streets, we want careers, we want opportunity and we want equality and I think people are understanding that you’ll get that from President Trump rather than what we had in the past.”

She added that Baltimore was “under Democrat leadership for over 50 years and unfortunately, we have gotten nothing in return.”

She noted that “the homeless problem is terrible, we have a 20% poverty rate, we had the riots back in 2015 and we still have [the] same problems.”

Klacik, 38, is running against Rep. Kweisi Mfume, 71 in a rematch of the April special election that followed Cummings’ death in October. Mfume held the 7th District seat for a decade before Cummings, leaving office in 1996 to become president of the NAACP.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Megan Henney and Judson Berger contributed to this report.

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: Baltimore GOP House candidate Kimberly Klacik: Trump’s message ‘is resonating’ with Black voters

Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy told Fox News Monday that he thinks “most people are smart enough” to see through House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to withhold the articles of impeachment against President Trump from the Senate.

“If he [Trump] really is an existential threat to the republic, if he really has committed conduct that should result in his removal from office, then why would you not go ahead and send it on to the Senate?” Gowdy, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked on “The Daily Briefing.”

“The Constitution gives the House no role in deciding how this trial takes place,” Gowdy told host Dana Perino.

“It is exclusively within the providence of the Senate. I think most of my fellow citizens will see through this ‘let’s hurry up and impeach him and then sit on the indictment for god knows how long.’ I think most people are smart enough to see through that.”

Pelosi stunned Washington last week with her decision to withhold the articles — which accuse Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine — as she sought to pressure the Senate to agree to certain terms for a trial. In an unusual press conference Thursday, Pelosi, D-Calif., defended her decision while calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a “rogue leader.”

McConnell on Monday said Pelosi’s delay in sending articles of impeachment is an “absurd” position to take, saying the speaker “apparently believes she can tell us how to run the trial.”

“I wish this were a judicial proceeding, but keep in mind if it were, then [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff would not have been leading the investigation, 60 House Democrats would not have made up their minds before the first syllable of the [Robert] Mueller [Russia] report,” Gowdy said Monday. “I mean you had Eric Swalwell [House Judiciary Committee member] investigating the president while he was trying to become the president. So you would never have that in a real judicial proceeding.”

“I wish that it were like a judicial proceeding, but it’s not,” Gowdy added. “The jury has already made up its mind.”

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: Trey Gowdy: If Pelosi thinks Trump is an existential threat, why is she sitting on articles of impeachment?

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s explosive exit from a White House meeting last week “unbecoming of a speaker,” adding that “a leader stays in the room and solves the problem.”

Speaking on “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo, McCarthy, R-Calif., who was at Thursday’s meeting that ended abruptly with a walkout at the White House, said, “I’ve been in many of these meetings. This is a pattern of the speaker. When she doesn’t want to come to a solution she really is unbecoming of a speaker, throws a fit and leaves a room.”

The administration called in congressional leadership for the meeting, which was held against the backdrop of the fast-moving impeachment inquiry. They were set to discuss the situation in Syria after the House had just voted, 354-60, to overwhelmingly oppose the president’s announced U.S. troop withdrawal, a rare bipartisan rebuke.

The move has opened the door for a Turkish military attack on Syrian Kurds who have been aligned with the U.S. in fighting the country’s long-running war.

A Democrat familiar with the meeting, who spoke anonymously to The Associated Press, said Trump started off by bragging about his “nasty” letter to Turkish President Recep Erdoğan. In the letter, Trump warned Erdoğan not to be “slaughtering” the Kurds.

Pelosi then reportedly mentioned the House vote and Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate leader, started to read the president a quote from former Defense Secretary James Mattis explaining that U.S. troops need to stay in Syria to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State fighters.

The conversation between Schumer, Pelosi and Trump then escalated, with the president calling the House speaker “a third-rate politician,” according to Schumer.

The genteel Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House Majority Leader, then interjected, “This is not useful.” Hoyer and Pelosi left the meeting and from the White House driveway, Pelosi told reporters Trump was having some kind of “meltdown.” She told reporters they had to leave because Trump was unable to grasp the reality of the situation.

She later insisted Trump botched the insult, calling her “third-grade” rather than “third-rate.”

Later, on Twitter, Trump said Pelosi was the one who had a “total meltdown” and called her “a very sick person!” He also tweeted a picture from the room and wrote, “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!”

On Sunday, McCarthy explained his account of what happened at the meeting to Bartiromo.

“The president starts the conversation and this is a bipartisan, bicameral meeting, and he’s handing a letter out that is a letter that he sent to the president of Turkey, Erdoğan, about not entering that area, about protecting the Kurds,” McCarthy said.

“As each elected official gathers that letter, they start to read it, they pause, it’s something they have not seen before, The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, turns it over and, sitting directly across from the president, sets it right down on the table to make a point to him that she’s not going to listen to him.”

He went on to say, “And what’s really creeping in to all this is impeachment. She couldn’t put that aside for one moment to talk about the security of an issue that [we] should be one person with, that we are all speaking together with, one voice. But it was impeachment.”

McCarthy added, “And if you watched her and Senator Schumer, they said the exact same thing over and over until they felt they were at the moment that on their own script they’re supposed to get up and walk away.”

McCarthy told Bartiromo that the other Democrats in the room at the time stayed after Pelosi left.

“We had really a productive, normal meeting,’ McCarthy said. “The only common denominator that disrupted this all was the speaker of the House.”

McCarthy also told Bartiromo he sent a letter to Pelosi with ten questions about impeachment.

“This is the process used for President Nixon and President Clinton,” MCCarthy said, explaining some of the questions he had asked.

“Do you have due process? Is the president’s attorney, counsel able to be in the room, cross examine? Are they able to bring witnesses forward? Are both sides able to have [a] subpoena process? And you know what happened? She only answered two of them.”

Pelosi announced after meeting with the House Democratic caucus on Tuesday that there will be no vote — at least for now — on the launch of formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

“There’s no requirement that we have a vote, and so at this time we will not be having a vote,” Pelosi said. “We’re not here to call bluffs — we’re here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious.”

Despite Pelosi’s claim that there was no “House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry,” several previous impeachment inquiries have been launched only by a full vote of the House — including the impeachment proceedings concerning former Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Last month, Pelosi unilaterally held a news conference announcing that impeachment proceedings were in progress. House rules do not require a vote to begin an impeachment inquiry, but it remains unclear whether the courts will agree that an impeachment inquiry has begun without such a vote. If courts do not find that a formal inquiry is in progress, they could curtail Democrats’ evidence-gathering efforts.

Speaking on “Sunday Morning Futures” McCarthy said, “We’ve never taken a vote about impeachment inquiry and the reason that is so important, every American lends their voice for two years to their representative. Right now one person is having all the power, instead of the people across America actually having a say in this process.”

“And now they are actually having [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff, who has lied numerous times to the American public, in charge of this process and they’re denying members of Congress from even being in the room or hearing the transcripts and reading them of what’s being said.”

He went on to say, “Adam Schiff controls who can come into the room. So members who are on the Judiciary Committee and others aren’t even allowed in the room. And members who have to vote on this come down to the committee and they can’t even read the transcripts. How is this fair?”

McCarthy said Pelosi should commit to holding a floor vote on the impeachment inquiry.

“She’s not going to bring an impeachment inquiry, something we’ve always done in the past. And remember what we‘re talking about. You’re changing the fabric of America, you’re changing what Democracy has said only because of your own political views? That is what is wrong,” McCarthy told Bartiromo.

“You want to trust Democracy and from a very important standpoint here we need due process in this. A Republican speaker made sure this process happened with President Clinton. A Democrat speaker made sure this process happened with a Republican president. So why can’t she follow the same process with what is such a serious question that’s before us? It’s because she’s letting politics play into it.”

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: Rep. McCarthy: Pelosi is failing to meet basic standards of due process

President Trump presents Staff Sgt. David Bellavia with the Medal of Honor

Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia becomes the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the nation’s highest military award.

President Trump presented the Medal of Honor on Tuesday to former Army Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia for his actions as a squad leader in Fallujah, making him the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the recognition.

President Trump said Bellavia demonstrated “exceptional courage to protect his men and defend this nation.”

During Operation Phantom Fury in 2004, Bellavia’s platoon was pinned down while clearing a block of houses. Bellavia then exchanged his M16 rifle for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and entered the house where his squad was trapped to provide cover fire so the soldiers could exit safely, the White House said.

“A Bradley Fighting Vehicle arrived to help suppress the enemy, but it could not fire directly into the house,” it added in a statement. “Then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia re-entered the house… and assaulted insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades.”

There, he engaged five different fighters, pursuing them through the house until the threat was neutralized.

“That remarkable day, then-Staff Sergent Bellavia rescued an entire squad, cleared an insurgent strongpoint, and saved many members of his platoon from imminent threat,” the White House said.

“This operation was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War,” Trump said at the ceremony on Tuesday. “For three days straight, David and his men kicked down doors, searched houses and destroyed enemy weapons never knowing where they would find a terrorist lurking next.”

Trump said on the night of Bellavia’s 29th birthday, which was the third night of the mission, “his squad was tasked with clearing 12 houses occupied by insurgents, [a] very dangerous operation.”

When they arrived at the tenth house, the president said two men inside, who were hiding behind concrete barricades, opened fire.

Trump said the husband and father of three “leapt into the torrent of bullets and fired back at the enemy without even thinking.”

“David took over,” the president added.

“He provided suppressive fire while his men evacuated, rescuing his entire squad at the risk of his own life,” Trump continued. “Only when his men were all out did David exit the building.”

Trump said at that point, “the fighting was far from over.”

He said militants on the roof fired at the squad. Bellavia then encountered an insurgent who was about to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at his squad, the president said. “David once again jumped into danger and killed him before he had a chance to launch that grenade.”

Trump said the violence continued, but, “Bleeding and badly wounded, David single-handedly defeated the forces who attacked his unit and would have killed them all had it not been for the bravery of David.”

Trump said 12 service members who were with Bellavia during the dangerous mission were in attendance at Tuesday’s ceremony, as well as family members of the five service members who did not survive.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony on Tuesday, Bellavia described receiving the Medal of Honor as “overwhelming.”

He said Operation Phantom Fury “is impossible to think about.”

Bellavia told reporters he was proud to be an Iraq War veteran and said it has been “an absolute honor to serve in the U.S. military.”

Referring to becoming the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, he said, “This entire thing, I can’t even comprehend it.”

He added, “I want to thank my Army for giving me purpose, meaning and direction.”

“As a boy he would listen to stories from his grandfather a World War II veteran and hero in his own right, who earned a Bronze star in the Normandy campaign,” Trump said at the ceremony.

He added, “As David remembers, his grandfather’s stories were always vivid with [a] source of pride.”

He went on to say, “There was a nobility and purpose in the infantry and David saw that at a very young age. ‘I wanted to be what my grandfather was,’ David would often say. ‘I wanted to be part of this noble adventure.’”

In 1999 Bellavia followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and joined the United States Army Infantry, the president said.

Bellavia’s 99-year-old grandfather watched the ceremony from Jamestown, N.Y.

“David, today we honor your extraordinary courage, we salute your selfless service and we thank you for carrying on the legacy of American valor that has always made out blessed nation the strongest and mightiest anywhere in the world,” the president said at the ceremony.

Bellavia was released from the Army in August 2005 after serving for six years and has been awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. He wrote about the battle in a 2007 book, ”House to House: An Epic Memoir of War .

Bellavia now hosts a radio talk show on WBEN in Buffalo, N.Y. He said on-air Friday that the experience of being chosen for the Medal of Honor is “very uncomfortable and awkward,” but noted that he wants to represent Iraq War veterans, who have not had a living Medal of Honor recipient.

“When you go to basic training, you clean your weapons and you read the citations of these recipients and it’s like they’re superheroes,” Bellavia said. “They’re not real. … I can’t get my head around it. I still can’t.”

The White House said Bellavia “continues to serve the military and veteran communities through a number of philanthropic organizations.”

Bellavia lost a 2012 Republican primary to Rep. Chris Collins. His name is in play once against as Collins’ potential successor as the representative — whose trial on insider trading charges is pending — decides whether he will run for reelection in 2020.

The Medal of Honor can trace its inception back to the Civil War.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: Trump presents Medal of Honor to former Army staff sergeant who rescued entire squad in Iraq

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