Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio files libel suit against NYT

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has filed a libel suit against The New York Times and a member of its editorial board.

In a complaint filed Tuesday evening with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the ex-lawman takes issue with a Times opinion piece published just after Arpaio’s loss in the state’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The article — “Well, at Least Sheriff Joe Isn’t Going to Congress: Arpaio’s loss in Arizona’s Senate Republican primary is a fitting end to the public life of a truly sadistic man" — was written by Michelle Cottle.

Arpaio argues in the court filing that “[w]hile the Defamatory Article is strategically titled as an opinion piece, it contains several false, defamatory factual assertions.” The claims made in the article, Arpaio says, were “carefully and maliciously calculated to damage and injure” his reputation Continue reading “Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio files libel suit against NYT”

Trump, defiant, unloads on ’60 Minutes’

President Donald Trump defied climate scientists, intelligence specialists and even his own defense secretary on Sunday evening, capping a week of freewheeling press engagements with a sprawling primetime network television interview in which he portrayed himself as an isolated but eminently empowered commander in chief.

“I always used to say the toughest people are Manhattan real estate guys and blah, blah. Now I say they’re babies,” Trump told journalist Lesley Stahl during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday evening.

“This is the most deceptive, vicious world,” the president said. “It is vicious, it’s full of lies, deceit and deception. You make a deal with somebody and it’s like making a deal with that table.”

Pressed by Stahl on whether the president harbored any regrets from his almost two years in office, Trump cited not his administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” immigration policy, his much criticized response to Continue reading “Trump, defiant, unloads on ’60 Minutes’”

Trump, defiant, unloads on ’60 Minutes’

President Donald Trump defied climate scientists, intelligence specialists and even his own defense secretary on Sunday evening, capping a week of freewheeling press engagements with a sprawling primetime network television interview in which he portrayed himself as an isolated but eminently empowered commander in chief.

“I always used to say the toughest people are Manhattan real estate guys and blah, blah. Now I say they’re babies,” Trump told journalist Lesley Stahl during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday evening.

“This is the most deceptive, vicious world,” the president said. “It is vicious, it’s full of lies, deceit and deception. You make a deal with somebody and it’s like making a deal with that table.”

Pressed by Stahl on whether the president harbored any regrets from his almost two years in office, Trump cited not his administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” immigration policy, his much criticized response to Continue reading “Trump, defiant, unloads on ’60 Minutes’”

Kudlow: Trump ‘very, very serious’ about Saudi punishment

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser did not specify Sunday which retaliatory measures the administration would take against Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is found responsible for the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but he warned of “stern action” and cautioned the royal family to “take the president at his word.”

“Obviously, he is very, very serious,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I’m not going to get ahead of the curve,” Kudlow told host Chris Wallace. “He’ll decide what the appropriate actions are if indeed we find out that Saudis were involved. I don’t know that this morning. Probably nobody knows that just yet.”

Kudlow added: “But take him at his word, if the Saudis are involved, if Khashoggi was killed or harmed or whatever bad outcome here, he will take action. That has Continue reading “Kudlow: Trump ‘very, very serious’ about Saudi punishment”

Trump welcomes released pastor to White House

Sitting beside Rev. Andrew Brunson in the Oval Office on Saturday, President Donald Trump cast the North Carolina pastor’s highly anticipated homecoming to the U.S. as yet another sealed deal his White House predecessors were unable to accomplish.

“I was actually very surprised that we didn’t work this out a couple of months ago, but it started in a different administration, and they were not going to work out anything,” Trump said, hours after the evangelical faith leader stepped foot on domestic soil following two years of imprisonment in Turkey.

“And we took it over, we inherited it, and we have, I think, at this moment, gotten 19 different people out of various countries that were being held,” the president added, going on to reference Egypt’s release in April 2017 of Aya Hijazi — a 31-year-old dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen and charity worker detained in Cairo for nearly Continue reading “Trump welcomes released pastor to White House”

Trump welcomes released pastor to White House

Sitting beside Rev. Andrew Brunson in the Oval Office on Saturday, President Donald Trump cast the North Carolina pastor’s highly anticipated homecoming to the U.S. as yet another sealed deal his White House predecessors were unable to accomplish.

“I was actually very surprised that we didn’t work this out a couple of months ago, but it started in a different administration, and they were not going to work out anything,” Trump said, hours after the evangelical faith leader stepped foot on domestic soil following two years of imprisonment in Turkey.

“And we took it over, we inherited it, and we have, I think, at this moment, gotten 19 different people out of various countries that were being held,” the president added, going on to reference Egypt’s release in April 2017 of Aya Hijazi — a 31-year-old dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen and charity worker detained in Cairo for nearly Continue reading “Trump welcomes released pastor to White House”

Trump backs 2 endangered House Republicans

President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted out messages of support for Republican Reps. Keith Rothfus and Andy Barr — two of the GOP’s most endangered House incumbents — ahead of a Kentucky rally where the president will stump for Barr later in the day.

"Highly respected Congressman Keith Rothfus (R) of Pennsylvania is in the fight of his life because the Dems changed the District Map," Trump tweeted. "He must win. Strong on crime, borders, big tax & reg cuts, Military & Vets."

Trump called Rothfus’ opponent, Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb, "a Pelosi puppet-weak on crime," adding: "BIG ENDORSEMENT FOR KEITH."

Lamb, whose successful insurgent campaign against Republican state representative Rick Saccone earlier this year garnered national attention, represents Pennsylvania’s 18th District in Congress. But he and Rothfus are now vying for the 17th District’s House seat after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court re-drew the state’s congressional map.

Earlier Continue reading “Trump backs 2 endangered House Republicans”

Trump thanks Erdoğan for American pastor’s release

President Donald Trump on Saturday predicted that Turkey’s release of American Rev. Andrew Brunson would improve the diplomatic relationship between its government and the United States, and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his role in delivering the North Carolina pastor.

Trump also reiterated that the U.S. did not make any concessions to Turkey in exchange for Brunson’s return.

"There was NO DEAL made with Turkey for the release and return of Pastor Andrew Brunson. I don’t make deals for hostages," the president wrote on Twitter.

"There was, however, great appreciation on behalf of the United States, which will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!" he tweeted.

In a separate morning post, Trump confirmed that he would be meeting with Brunson in the Oval Office Saturday afternoon.

“It will be wonderful to see and meet him. He is a great Christian Continue reading “Trump thanks Erdoğan for American pastor’s release”

Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to investigate journalist’s disappearance

The State Department confirmed Monday that it has spoken with Saudi Arabia’s government regarding the disappearance of a Saudi journalist last week and petitioned the Middle Eastern kingdom to launch an inquiry into his whereabouts.

Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, vanished after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

"As the President has conveyed, the United States is concerned by his disappearance," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "State Department senior officials have spoken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels about this matter."

The Saudi government maintains that Khashoggi, who has written critically about the Saudi royal family, left the consulate, but his fiancee denied that he had. The Saudi consulate in Istanbul said in a statement last week that it was cooperating with Turkish police in the investigation.

Several news organizations cited anonymous Turkish officials claiming that Khashoggi Continue reading “Pompeo calls on Saudi Arabia to investigate journalist’s disappearance”

Trump uses swearing-in ceremony to apologize to Kavanaugh

President Donald Trump apologized to Brett Kavanaugh and claimed that he was “proven innocent” of multiple sexual misconduct allegations during an elaborate swearing-in ceremony for the new Supreme Court justice.

“I would like to begin tonight’s proceeding differently than perhaps any other event of such magnitude,” Trump said Monday evening in the East Room of the White House, where he announced Kavanaugh’s nomination three months ago.

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of personal and political destruction based on lies and deception,” Trump said. “What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process. In our country, a man or a woman must always be presumed Continue reading “Trump uses swearing-in ceremony to apologize to Kavanaugh”

Trump mocks Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser

President Donald Trump shifted his tone on Tuesday evening and launched into his fiercest attack yet against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor whose allegation of sexual assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh kick-started the FBI’s weeklong investigation of the Supreme Court nominee.

During an extended sequence at his “Make America Great Again” rally in Southaven, Miss., Trump mocked Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, when she described how Kavanaugh allegedly tried to drunkenly force himself on her at a house party in suburban Maryland in the 1980s, when they were both in high school.

“Thirty-six years ago this happened,” Trump told the crowd, before tearing into Ford’s recounting of the assault.

“How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember.’ How’d you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know,’” Continue reading “Trump mocks Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser”

White House slams NYT report on Trump tax schemes

The White House pushed back against an exhaustive investigation published by The New York Times on Tuesday alleging that Donald Trump perpetrated various tax schemes and fraud during the 1990s to bolster the inheritance he received from his parents, calling the report a “misleading attack” on the president’s family.

“Fred Trump has been gone for nearly twenty years and it’s sad to witness this misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, referring to Trump’s late father — a powerful New York real estate developer and housing magnate.

“Many decades ago the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions,” Sanders said. “The New York Times’ and other media outlets’ credibility with the American people is at an all time low because they are consumed with attacking the president and his family 24/7 instead of Continue reading “White House slams NYT report on Trump tax schemes”

‘He was very aggressive’: Kavanaugh accuser describes his behavior at high school parties

Julie Swetnick on Monday leveled a variety of allegations against Brett Kavanaugh from his time in high school, implying that the Supreme Court nominee took part in plying women with alcohol and drugs, without their knowledge, at house parties in the Washington area in the early 1980s.

Though Swetnick said she couldn’t be certain that Kavanaugh was one of the multiple boys who she says raped her at one such gathering, she claimed that he and his friend Mark Judge were at the same party where she was assaulted.

“Before this happened to me, at that party, I saw Brett Kavanaugh there,” Swetnick said in a pre-recorded interview on MSNBC. “I saw Mark Judge there. And they were hanging about the area where I started to feel disoriented and where the room was, and where the other boys were hanging out. And laughing. I could hear them laughing and laughing. Continue reading “‘He was very aggressive’: Kavanaugh accuser describes his behavior at high school parties”

Senators digging in for last stand in Kavanaugh confirmation fight

As Democrats and Republicans in Congress dig in for what could be the final chapter of Brett Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation battle, both parties are pushing hard on behalf of an FBI investigation. Just not the same one.

Democrats, newly emboldened by a tenuous alliance forged with Sen. Jeff Flake, are banking on federal agents’ uncovering evidence to corroborate the accounts of several women who have leveled allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh over the past month.

Republicans — gobsmacked by the eleventh-hour swerve from their Arizona colleague after navigating a near-fatal week for the president’s Supreme Court nominee — are grappling with the unexpected investigation by calling for a separate inquiry into Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee and their leader, Dianne Feinstein of California.

The stakes couldn’t be higher in the coming week on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers in “the world’s greatest deliberative body” are steeling for several days of Continue reading “Senators digging in for last stand in Kavanaugh confirmation fight”

Graham defends Kavanaugh’s testimony: ‘He was hit by a truck’

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday defended Brett Kavanaugh’s combative testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, which opponents of the federal judge have deemed unduly partisan and not befitting of a Supreme Court justice.

“The temperament I saw was a man who was innocent — who was rightly offended by being destroyed for a political purpose,” Graham said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” adding that Kavanaugh “was hit by a truck” after several women emerged over the past month to accuse him of various episodes of sexual misconduct.

“This is not going to be the future of the nomination process in the committee, where you accuse a guy of being a gang rapist, an alcoholic, bumbling, stumbling sexual predator, and you get upset when he forcefully fights back against liberal smears,” the South Carolina Republican told host George Stephanopoulos.

“This will not be the new standard of Continue reading “Graham defends Kavanaugh’s testimony: ‘He was hit by a truck’”

Warren: I’ll ‘take a hard look at’ 2020 run after midterms

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday announced that she would "take a hard look at" a prospective 2020 presidential run following this fall’s midterm elections.

"After Nov. 6 I will take a hard look at running for president," Warren told the audience at a town hall event in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Warren, a star of the party’s progressive wing, has taken several steps in recent months to heighten her national profile. She has recorded ads for a Democratic group aiming to turn statehouses blue, made plans to lend her name to a fundraising email for a Democratic candidate running for Iowa state auditor, and announced a new media strategy to combat her press-averse reputation on Capitol Hill.

So far, no nationally recognized candidates have launched official bids for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

But if Warren does embark on a White House run, she could find herself competing against a primary field stocked Continue reading “Warren: I’ll ‘take a hard look at’ 2020 run after midterms”

Second Kavanaugh accuser cooperating in FBI probe

Deborah Ramirez, who earlier this week accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during their time at Yale University in the 1980s, is cooperating with the FBI in its probe of the Supreme Court nominee, Ramirez’s lawyer said Saturday.

"We can confirm the FBI has reached out to interview Ms. Ramirez and she has agreed to cooperate with their investigation. Out of respect for the integrity of the process, we will have no further comment at this time," attorney John Clune said in a statement. The New York Times first reported that the FBI was investigating Ramirez’s allegation.

President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the bureau to launch an investigation into an allegation of sexual assault leveled against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, who claims that Kavanaugh drunkenly forced himself on her during a house party in Maryland more than 30 years ago, when Kavanaugh was in high school.

Trump authorized Continue reading “Second Kavanaugh accuser cooperating in FBI probe”

Trump: ‘REMEMBER THE MIDTERMS!’

President Donald Trump on Monday urged voters and congressional Republicans gripped by Brett Kavanaugh’s dramatic Supreme Court fight to keep their eyes on the clash that will play out across battleground states in November.

"REMEMBER THE MIDTERMS!" Trump tweeted late Monday evening, following a day that saw the White House and Senate GOP leadership launch a renewed counteroffensive to confirm the president’s pick for the high court in the wake of a second sexual assault allegation leveled against Kavanaugh over the weekend.

"The Democrats are working hard to destroy a wonderful man, and a man who has the potential to be one of our greatest Supreme Court Justices ever, with an array of False Acquisitions the likes of which have never been seen before!" Trump also tweeted.

The president deleted that post 13 minutes later, and issued a new tweet with one correction: “Accusations” taking the place of Continue reading “Trump: ‘REMEMBER THE MIDTERMS!’”

Kavanaugh denies sexual assault allegations on Fox News

Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday took to cable news to offer another forceful defense against allegations of sexual assault from his time in high school and college that are imperiling his odds of ascending to the Supreme Court.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Kavanaugh told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum in a pre-recorded interview with his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, that is set to air later Monday.

The broadcast marks the most extraordinary escalation yet of the full-court press by the White House and congressional Republicans to salvage Kavanaugh’s nomination. He is already set to testify before senators later this week on the allegations.

“I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity,” Kavanaugh told MacCallum. “I know I’m telling the truth. I know my lifelong record and I’m not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process. I have faith in God and I have Continue reading “Kavanaugh denies sexual assault allegations on Fox News”

Kavanaugh confirmation in renewed peril after second assault claim

Brett Kavanaugh’s prospects of being confirmed Supreme Court suffered another major setback on Sunday night when a second woman accused him of sexual assault decades ago, and a prominent lawyer took to Twitter claiming a third woman has "credible information" on the high court nominee.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are investigating another allegation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, according to The New Yorker. Deborah Ramirez, who is 53, told the magazine that when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale in the 1983-84 academic school year, she remembers that he “exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”

Kavanaugh flatly denied the allegation, calling it a last-minute smear. But his confirmation now appears to be in serious doubt. Most Senate Republicans had vowed to push forward with his nomination Continue reading “Kavanaugh confirmation in renewed peril after second assault claim”