Trump hits back at Warren, claims she took a ‘bogus DNA test’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday renewed his attacks on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), calling her a "complete and total Fraud" for taking a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry and demanding she apologize.

The senator, who has spoken about her links to the indigenous tribe throughout her career, released documentation on Monday in which a genetics professor stated that there was “strong evidence” that Warren has Native American heritage “6-10 generations ago."

The move, seen largely as a precursor to a 2020 presidential run, sought to quell the months-long spat between Trump and Warren. But the backlash the senator received from some Native Americans only ignited the feud further.

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Trump again used his favorite moniker for Warren, which she and many Native Americans have derided as a racial slur.

"Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, Continue reading “Trump hits back at Warren, claims she took a ‘bogus DNA test’”

Democratic senators demand Pompeo reverse visa denials for LGBTQ diplomats’ partners

Twenty Democratic senators on Thursday urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reverse course on the "unnecessarily cruel" decision to end an Obama-era policy that granted visas to the same-sex partners of LGBTQ diplomats whose unions are not recognized by their home countries.

In July, the U.S. mission to the United Nations informed foreign delegations that beginning Oct. 1, the State Department would no longer issue G-4 visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials who are not legally married, reversing a policy that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had instituted.

The Democratic senators — led by Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Chris Coons of Delaware — expressed concern over the policy change, saying it would permit discrimination toward the diplomats. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also signed the letter.

"In too many places around Continue reading “Democratic senators demand Pompeo reverse visa denials for LGBTQ diplomats’ partners”

Trump: We’re ‘probably getting closer’ to finding out what happened to Khashoggi

President Donald Trump said Thursday he is "probably getting closer" to finding out what happened to vanished journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose alleged disappearance in Turkey last week at a Saudi Arabian consulate has stirred renewed tensions over the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who had been living in exile in the United States and writing for The Washington Post, did not appear to leave the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after entering it to finalize divorce paperwork so he could marry his fiancee. Khashoggi has been a vocal critic of the Saudi royal family, and his whereabouts, as well as whether he is still alive, have been the subject of much speculation in the days since his disappearance.

Trump and other administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have been public in their demands that the Saudi government offer answers regarding Khashoggi’s Continue reading “Trump: We’re ‘probably getting closer’ to finding out what happened to Khashoggi”

Turkey to search Saudi consulate for disappeared journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The foreign ministry of Turkey said Tuesday it will conduct a search of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered to fill out paperwork but apparently never returned from.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who was living in exile in the United States and writing opinion columns for The Washington Post, has been a vocal critic of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has extensive intimate knowledge into his inner circle. While the Saudi government alleges that Khashoggi left the consulate after his visit last week, his fiancee maintains that he never did. Media reports have called into question whether the journalist is still alive.

A probe Turkey launched into the case is now expanding with the cooperation of the Saudi government, which reportedly agreed to a search of its Istanbul consulate.

"Although consular premises are inviolable according to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the receiving state Continue reading “Turkey to search Saudi consulate for disappeared journalist Jamal Khashoggi”

White House: Kanye West will have lunch with Trump on Thursday

Hip-hop mogul Kanye West will have lunch with President Donald Trump and meet with top administration adviser Jared Kushner at the White House this week, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday morning.

“Kanye West is coming to the White House to have lunch with President Trump and he will also meet with Jared Kushner," said in a statement issued via the White House press pool. "Topics of discussions will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago.”

West’s meeting with the president is scheduled for Thursday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in an email to POLITICO, confirming an earlier New York Times report.

West has come under significant criticism, especially from within the hip-hop and African-American communities, for his outspoken support for Trump in recent months. The rapper wore a "Make Continue reading “White House: Kanye West will have lunch with Trump on Thursday”

House Dems slam ‘cruel’ visa denials for diplomats’ same-sex partners in letter to Pompeo

House Democrats are denouncing the Trump administration’s recent decision to deny visas to partners of LGBTQ diplomats, writing in a letter sent Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the policy change "sends the wrong message that the U.S. is not welcoming of all people."

The State Department on Monday halted the issuing of G-4 visas to same-sex partners who are not legally married, reversing a policy instituted by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009. In a note sent to foreign delegations in July, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations argued that the about-face was intended to bring the department’s policy in line with that of the United States, citing the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that recognized marriage equality as constitutional.

But House Democrats, led jointly by Reps. Brad Schneider (Ill.), David Cicilline (R.I.), Ted Deutch Continue reading “House Dems slam ‘cruel’ visa denials for diplomats’ same-sex partners in letter to Pompeo”

Hillary Clinton laughs at Kavanaugh’s claim of ‘revenge’

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday balked at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s claim that the allegations of sexual misconduct against him are being carried out as part of "revenge on behalf of the Clintons," saying such a declaration "deserves a lot of laughter."

During the 9-hour hearing last week that gripped the country, Kavanaugh testified that Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations had been a "calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election." He also referenced his work on the Starr report that helped pave the way to former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and said that he was the victim of revenge for the Clintons.

When asked about the statement at The Atlantic Festival on Tuesday, Clinton laughed.

"I thought it was part of the whole of his very defensive and unconvincing presentation," Clinton said. "I told someone later, ‘Boy, I tell Continue reading “Hillary Clinton laughs at Kavanaugh’s claim of ‘revenge’”

Woman who confronted Flake ‘relieved’ he called for delaying Kavanaugh vote

Maria Gallagher, who on Friday confronted Sen. Jeff Flake with her story of sexual assault, said she was "relieved" when the Arizona Republican called for an FBI investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Gallagher, a resident of New York, stood next to Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, earlier Friday as the two held open the doors of an elevator Flake was taking on his way to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Soon after, Flake said he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate floor, but he said he wanted a vote in the full body delayed for one week while the FBI investigated the allegations.

"I feel relieved that @JeffFlake seems to have heard my and @AnaMariaArchil2’s voices in the Senate elevator today," Gallagher tweeted. "We absolutely need an FBI investigation and for him and all Senators to vote NO. Continue reading “Woman who confronted Flake ‘relieved’ he called for delaying Kavanaugh vote”

Judiciary Republicans’ personal information published during Kavanaugh hearing

The personal information of several Republican senators who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee was published online in the middle of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony before the panel Thursday.

The information — including home addresses, phone numbers, and personal email addresses — appeared on the Wikipedia pages of Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

A spokesperson for Hatch confirmed that the additions, which were quickly deleted from the Wikipedia pages, contained the lawmaker’s real personal information.

"It’s shocking that someone would post Senator Hatch and other Judiciary Committee Republican’s personal information, including home addresses, putting their families in danger," said Matt Whitlock, communications director for Hatch. "That it’s happening as they ask questions in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing is just another sign of how terrible this process has gotten."

A spokesperson for Graham would only say that his Continue reading “Judiciary Republicans’ personal information published during Kavanaugh hearing”

Three GOP governors call for delaying Kavanaugh vote

Three Republican governors called for the Senate to delay or forgo a vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court ahead of a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill to examine sexual assault allegations against the nominee.

Larry Hogan of Maryland, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and John Kasich of Ohio are part of a small faction of Republicans who are calling for independent probes to investigate the three public allegations that have come to light since Kavanaugh’s July 9 nomination, even as the majority of their colleagues in the Senate have argued for pushing through the process.

"The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are sickening and deserve an independent investigation," Baker said in a tweet as the hearing began. "There should be no vote in the Senate."

Kavanaugh has denied all allegations of misconduct. Kasich said Wednesday an independent probe was "in the best interest of Continue reading “Three GOP governors call for delaying Kavanaugh vote”

Subtle jabs to laughs: Here’s how world leaders reacted to Trump at the U.N.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United Nations now feels "like home," but his speech to the yearly assembly in New York didn’t exactly get a warm reception from world leaders gathered there.

From thinly veiled jabs during their speeches to full-on laughter when he was at the dais, many world leaders condemned Trump’s rejection of “globalism” and what he sees as a broken international system in need of reform.

Here’s a round-up of how world leaders reacted to Trump during the General Assembly gathering.

French President Emmanuel Macron

Macron, who has cozied up to Trump in the past and invited him to a military parade in Paris on Bastille Day in 2017, rejected Trump’s foreign policy vision and said in his own speech that “no single one of us can effectively combat inequalities."

The French leader also defended the Paris agreement on climate change, from which Continue reading “Subtle jabs to laughs: Here’s how world leaders reacted to Trump at the U.N.”

Comey says he’s not worried about Trump releasing his texts

Former FBI director James Comey said he’s not worried by President Donald Trump’s order to the bureau to release a slew of his text messages, saying he "wasn’t a big texter" when he was at the law enforcement agency.

Trump’s sudden Monday move to release Comey’s communications also included an order to declassify 20 pages of a 2016 surveillance application targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and to release Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s notes related to the Russia probe.

“Personally, I don’t care, I wasn’t a big texter,” Comey told St. Louis Public Radio in a Wednesday interview, adding that he also wasn’t concerned about anything he said in emails becoming public. “I have a separate worry, which is institutional…You don’t want to do anything in disclosing information that’s connected to an intelligence investigation that would either screw up pending investigations or send a message to future sources Continue reading “Comey says he’s not worried about Trump releasing his texts”

Rubio asks DOJ to probe John Kerry’s meetings with Iran

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday asked the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into former Secretary of State John Kerry’s private meetings with top Iranian officials, which Trump administration officials have characterized as undermining U.S. interests.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rubio asked the department to determine whether Kerry violated federal laws including the Logan Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The statutes prohibit unauthorized individuals from negotiating with foreign governments and require disclosures by anyone acting on behalf of a foreign government, respectively.

“As you know, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism, and the State Department continues to characterize the regime in Tehran as ‘the foremost biggest state sponsor of terrorism’ in its annual reports on international terror,” Rubio wrote. “The American people deserve to know that U.S. laws are enforced regardless Continue reading “Rubio asks DOJ to probe John Kerry’s meetings with Iran”

Pompeo accuses Kerry of ‘unprecedented’ meddling in U.S. foreign policy

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday blasted his predecessor, John Kerry, for holding “beyond inappropriate” private meetings with Iranian officials, asserting that Kerry was undermining U.S. foreign policy in an “unprecedented” manner.

Pompeo’s comments came after President Donald Trump alleged in a tweet that Kerry’s meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif were “illegal,” a claim Kerry has dismissed.

“What Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented,” Pompeo said in a short news conference at the State Department. “This is a former secretary of state engaged with the largest state sponsor of terror.”

He added: “You can’t find precedent for this in U.S. history. And Secretary Kerry ought not to engage in that kind of behavior.”

A spokesperson for Kerry quickly blasted the accusations as "alternative facts," calling Kerry’s behavior perfectly in line with all of America’s former top diplomats.

"Secretary Kerry stays in Continue reading “Pompeo accuses Kerry of ‘unprecedented’ meddling in U.S. foreign policy”

FBI’s Wray: Americans ‘can have confidence’ in elections

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday assured Americans that they could have confidence in the U.S. election system during the November midterm elections despite efforts from the Russian government to undermine it.

Wray gave his pledge in a rare on-camera interview, the first since he took the helm of the federal law enforcement agency in August of last year. Wray confirmed that the Kremlin continued to try to influence democratic processes less than two months shy of the midterms by engaging in “information warfare.”

“I think Americans can have confidence in our election system,” Wray told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell when asked whether voters could be sure the election will be fair. “What [the Russians] do is sow both inaccurate information, disinformation, it’s a kind of information warfare, and then propaganda: exaggerated half-truths, distortions.”

“We have law enforcement investigations that lead to charges,” he added, referring to how Continue reading “FBI’s Wray: Americans ‘can have confidence’ in elections”

Biden mocks Trump for denying Puerto Rico death toll

Former Vice President Joe Biden mocked President Donald Trump on Thursday for questioning Puerto Rico’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria.

Biden, in a speech in Washington on labor and the economy, contested the pair of tweets that Trump wrote earlier in the day, in which the president said that “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico” and that Democrats had fabricated the number, engaging in “bad politics” to tarnish his reputation. The former vice president accused Trump of willingly ignoring the issues facing the United States.

“By the way, there’s no problems in America, everybody is doing well, things are fair and decent, and no one died in Puerto Rico,” Biden quipped in his introductory remarks.

As the initial waves of Hurricane Florence lashed the Carolinas early Thursday, Trump was unable to move on from criticism of the federal response to Maria, which Continue reading “Biden mocks Trump for denying Puerto Rico death toll”

Bolton’s shot at global court draws ire of U.S. allies, foes

The foreign offices of France and Germany on Tuesday reaffirmed their support for the International Criminal Court following national security adviser John Bolton’s remarks that the court could face severe repercussions, including sanctions, should it pursue an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan.

Bolton blasted the court as “illegitimate” in a Monday speech, his first major one since arriving in the White House. The remarks drew opposition from a French foreign ministry spokeswoman who affirmed her country’s support for the ICC.

“The creation of the ICC, to judge those responsible of the gravest crimes, represented an important step in the fight against impunity to which we are, along with the United States, very committed.” Agnes von der Mühll said in a statement. “The Court should be able to act and exercise its prerogatives without obstacles, independently and impartially.”

A second rebuke came from the German Continue reading “Bolton’s shot at global court draws ire of U.S. allies, foes”