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Christie Cites Family in Taking Himself Out of Consideration for Chief of Staff

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 20:40

Update, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14, 2018: President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Mick Mulvaney, the top budget official in the administration, will serve as acting White House chief of staff.

***

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took himself out of the running on Friday to be the next chief of staff for President Donald Trump.

Though it was not formally offered, Christie politely declined the potential position, saying it was not the right time for him or his family to undertake such a serious assignment.

“It’s an honor to have the president consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief of staff,” Christie said in a statement provided to The New York Times.

“However, I’ve told the president that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is planning on leaving the position in a few weeks.

Trump has since been working to find a replacement. Christie became the latest potential replacement to decline consideration for the important job.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, has been chief of staff since July 2017.

He had held onto his job for a while after replacing Reince Priebus in the position.

Christie has known the president for decades and was a close ally of his early on.

But as head of his transition team, he was dismissed — and was never offered an expected job in the administration.

“People close to him said the only [job] he had been interested in was attorney general,” The Times reported.

Trump is facing increased pressure to find a new chief of staff; some of the people who seemed to be potential picks have already taken themselves out of the running.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had become a leading candidate for White House chief of staff post, withdraws from consideration https://t.co/3WQkYISPOB

— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 14, 2018

JUST IN: Chris Christie says he has asked Pres. Trump to remove him from consideration for the job of White House chief of staff. https://t.co/rXxZBj4IGo pic.twitter.com/dfd3oHxe89

— ABC News (@ABC) December 14, 2018

Chris Christie met with Trump to discuss chief of staff gig https://t.co/Jv1r54Pq4c pic.twitter.com/4xD86nmJIt

— New York Post (@nypost) December 14, 2018

“Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Tuesday that Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, might stay on briefly into the new year while the president finds a replacement. Trump initially had said Kelly would be gone by year's end.” https://t.co/RCy3QJ1ySo

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 14, 2018

Nick Ayers, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence and reportedly under consideration for the job, said last weekend he planned to leave the administration.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said he wasn’t interested in the position after his name was floated around for the job.

And Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was ruled out by the president after he publicly said he was not interested in the job.

“Christie has a memoir coming out next year, which is expected to touch on his tenure as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey,” the publication noted.

“For Mr. Christie, who has two children in high school, the job [of chief of staff] would have been a personal sacrifice,” The Times noted in its report today.

Also, “Christie has a memoir coming out next year, which is expected to touch on his tenure as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey,” the publication noted.

“During that time, he prosecuted Charles Kushner, the father of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, a task that has since complicated his relationship with the Trump family,” said The Times piece.

This article has been updated. 

The post Christie Cites Family in Taking Himself Out of Consideration for Chief of Staff appeared first on LifeZette.

Director Michael Moore Says Donald Trump Is ‘Profoundly Evil’

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 20:29

As most people know, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore does not like President Donald Trump or the Republican president before him, George W. Bush.

He again reiterated this point on Twitter on Friday.

The “Fahrenheit 9/11” director saw that it was the 10-year anniversary of Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s throwing both of his shoes at then-President George W. Bush at a press conference in Iraq — and decided it was a good time to point out that he thinks both Trump and Bush are evil.

Moore quote-tweeted a video of the incident and wrote, “Happy Shoe Day. Today is the 10th anniversary of this act of civil disobedience by an Iraqi citizen. Thousands of American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians died for a lie Bush and Cheney told. Never, ever wish for this duo over Trump. Both are profoundly evil.”

Happy Shoe Day. Today is the 10th anniversary of this act of civil disobedience by an Iraqi citizen. Thousands of American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians died for a lie Bush and Cheney told. Never, ever wish for this duo over Trump. Both are profoundly evil. https://t.co/YPGNKXnicp

— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) December 14, 2018

Bush, of course, is not in office anymore, yet Moore went out of his way to say this — perhaps because he also wanted to take a shot at President Donald Trump.

Moore’s last film “Fahrenheit 11/9,” an anti-Trump documentary in which he compared the president to Adolf Hitler, was a box office bust.

It took in a mere $614 per theater on its opening day, according to BoxOfficeMojo, and ended up with only $6.4 million domestically.

Even so, Moore continues with his messages.

Back in September, Moore said Trump has “no respect for the rule of law” and that he may end up being the last American president ever.

Last October, when every smartphone in the country got a “presidential alert” from President Trump, Moore said, “Trump gave us a preview of the state of emergency he is creating to justify the end of democracy as we know it. RESIST!”

And in June, Moore seemed to call for violence to stop President Trump.

While appearing on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” he said, “Sadly, Trump is not going to leave. He plans to be re-elected; he loves the term ‘president for life.’ The only way that we’re going to stop this is eventually we’re all going to have to put our bodies on the line. You’re going to have to be willing to do this.”

Check out the trailer to Moore’s latest movie below:

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

The post Director Michael Moore Says Donald Trump Is ‘Profoundly Evil’ appeared first on LifeZette.

Some Critics Use Eastwood’s New Movie to Go After Trump, Conservatives

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 20:20

Some critics of a certain political persuasion are not too happy with Clint Eastwood’s latest movie, “The Mule.”

The film, in theaters today, marks Eastwood’s first time in front of the camera in six years; it’s earned mostly positive reviews from critics so far.

Some people, however, are using the movie as a reason to attack President Donald Trump and other conservatives.

“The Mule” is based on the true story of Leo Sharp, a man who ran drugs for a Mexican cartel well into his 80s.

Before being arrested, he had no criminal record and was known only as a celebrated horticulturalist.

Eastwood’s latest movie is a lot like his other recent works — it’s straightforward and to the point, and it has a lot of questions to ask about family, commitment and individual moral lines.

In addition to being a legendary filmmaker, however, Eastwood is also one of Hollywood’s few outspoken right-leaning thinkers.

He’s never toed the politically correct line and speaks his mind — much to the displeasure of those looking to bubble-wrap art.

Eastwood’s politics mean the temptation to attack him is too great for some critics to resist.

Eastwood’s character in “The Mule” is a man of questionable character. He disappoints his family and friends and often puts himself above others. He’s also of another generation — and he speaks that way.

Some critics don’t like this.

“There’s a word for people like Earl Stone [Eastwood’s character], and that’s ‘problematic.’ Most white Americans have a relative like Earl, who’s old enough to remember a time when good old boys ran the country and everyone else was their inferior,” wrote Variety’s Peter Debruge in a review of the film.

“You sort of tense up in their presence, never knowing what kind of politically incorrect garbage will come spewing out — in this case, when Earl refers to a gang of motorcycle-riding lesbians by the nickname they use for themselves, or tells a group of Latinos that they ‘all look the same’ — and most of us let it slide, accepting that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Debruge continued by saying his personal politics should have basically influenced Nick Schenk’s script for “The Mule.”

“[T]he trouble with ‘The Mule’ is that it invites audiences to laugh along with Earl’s ignorance. From here, it’s no great stretch to imagine a movement — call it ‘Make Hollywood Great Again’ — advocating for movies in which politically incorrect characters like the ones Eastwood has played for most of his career will be free to speak their minds again,” he wrote.

Debruge was not the only person to have Trump on the brain while reviewing “The Mule.”

Related: Clint Eastwood’s Latest Film — Stunning True Story Behind It

In her review for rogerebert.com, Christy Lemire’s thoughts on what may be Eastwood’s final performance became a critique of Trump’s policies and Fox News.

“There’s also an icky, creeping sensation of xenophobia that permeates the film. One could imagine ‘The Mule’ being used as an argument in favor of President Trump’s proposed border wall, given its tone-deaf and one-dimensional depiction of the minorities Earl encounters,” she wrote.

She later added, “Earl is Trump’s proverbial Forgotten Man: Elderly, white and living in the Heartland, he listens to country music and longs for a simpler time before the internet complicated everything. He’s in your movie theater today, but you could easily imagine him on Fox News tomorrow.”

Welcome to 2018, a time when people don’t review movies, but instead review characters in fictional stories depending on certain political leanings.

Of course there are drug dealers shown in “The Mule.” He was running drugs! Leo Sharp’s adventures included a lot of drug dealers; many were Mexican because they were working for a Mexican cartel.

This does not mean Eastwood is saying all Mexicans are drug dealers. All it means is he is staying true to the story he chose to tell.

And since when is having a complex main character a bad thing? Earl Stone is a flawed man. So what? Many great movies have flawed main characters, characters whose imperfections are true to life.

For more on “The Mule,” check out an original song made by Toby Keith for the movie below and read about the story behind the tune here.

The post Some Critics Use Eastwood’s New Movie to Go After Trump, Conservatives appeared first on LifeZette.

Former FEC Member Explains Why Trump Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 18:41

President Donald Trump couldn’t have broken campaign finance laws by allowing a hush-money payment because it was not campaign-related, said a former member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

“The most basic mistake Cohen is making and the media is making, and frankly the U.S. attorney in New York is making, is that the payment of hush money is not a campaign-related expense,” former FEC member Hans Von Spakovsky told host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show” on Friday morning.

“And if it’s not a campaign-related expense, then none of the rules of regulations under the campaign finance law applies to this.”

Trump has been at the center of a special counsel investigation over allegations he broke the law to influence the presidential election of 2016.

His former lawyer Michael Cohen has cooperated with the investigation as part of a plea deal after turning himself in on August 21. He claims the president authorized him to make illegal hush-money payments.

Spakovsky was a member on the commission for a couple of years after getting a recess appointment by President George W. Bush in 2006.

Democrats vehemently opposed his later nomination and claimed he was politically biased before he withdrew in 2008.

He has since worked as the manager for the Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative.

Related: Cohen Attacks Trump — But Insists He’s Now Being Truthful

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been leading the investigation into the president and his associates. Cohen was facing his own legal troubles when he agreed to cooperate with investigators in the hope of getting a lighter punishment.

He was sentenced to three years in prison this week for tax evasion, lying to lawmakers and the hush-money payments.

“For those who say it was a campaign-related expense because it was intended to influence the election, no, there is a limit in the law,” Spakovsky said. “The law says it is not a campaign-related expense if it is a liability of expense that would exist even if the person wasn’t running for office. And clearly, that is the case here.”

Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels as part of the apparent hush-money agreement around the election season.

She claimed to have had an affair with the president, which he vehemently denied. Cohen argued this week that he broke the law out of blind loyalty for the president, who directed him to make the payments. Trump was also accused of using his former lawyer to buy unfavorable stories from the National Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc.

“The U.S. attorney is going beyond what the law requires,” Spakovsky said. “If this wasn’t a campaign-related expense, then none of the rules and regulation apply. There was no problem whatsoever with the National Inquirer making this payment. And the other thing is, even if this was a campaign-related expense and therefore, potentially, the rules and regulations apply, there is a giant media exemption.”

Related: Trump Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Trump has repeatedly said in response to the plea deal that he never directed Cohen to break the law. He claimed that the allegations against him are merely an attempt to embarrass him.

The president also argued that Cohen was and is just trying to protect himself and family from legal pressures.

“I never directed him to do anything wrong,” Trump told Fox News host Harris Faulkner on Thursday. “Whatever he did, he did on his own. He’s a lawyer. A lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing. That’s why you pay them a lot of money. He is a lawyer. He represents a client. I never directed him to do any incorrect or wrong. And he understands that.”

The special counsel team suggested Cohen receive a tough but fair sentence in a court filing on December 7. The filing argued that the punishment should reflect his lies but also his efforts to remediate his misconduct.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said in his ruling that he deserved a harsh punishment before giving him three years.

Check out this video:

The post Former FEC Member Explains Why Trump Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws appeared first on LifeZette.

Migrant Girl Dies After Entering U.S. Illegally with Her Father

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 18:31

“It’s heart-wrenching is what it is, and my heart goes out to the family and all of DHS,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning about the tragic death of a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally with her father.

DHS, of course, is the Department of Homeland Security.

“This is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey,” Nielsen added. “This family chose to cross illegally.”

The girl died of dehydration and septic shock in El Paso, Texas, after she was taken into custody by Border Patrol, many news outlets are reporting.

“They came in such a large crowd it took our Border Patrol folks a couple times to get them all. We gave immediate care. We’ll continue to look into the situation, but again, I cannot stress enough how dangerous this journey when migrants choose to come here illegally,” said Nielsen.

The Department of Homeland Security, in a Thursday night statement, expressed its “sincerest condolences” to the family of the child and said Border Patrol agents “took every possible step to save the child’s life under the most trying of circumstances.”

“As we have always said, traveling north illegally is extremely dangerous. Drug cartels, human smugglers, and the elements pose deadly risks to anyone who comes across the border illegally,” said the statement.

“Border Patrol always takes care of individuals in their custody and does everything in their power to keep them safe. Every year the Border Patrol saves hundreds of people who are overcome by the elements between our ports of entry.”

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the medical team treating the child, we were unable to stop this tragedy from occurring,” the statement continues. “Once again, we are begging parents to not put themselves or their children at risk attempting to enter illegally. Please present yourselves at a port of entry and seek to enter legally and safely.”

The father and his child were reportedly part of a large group of migrants who approached Border Patrol agents in a remote area of the New Mexico desert last Thursday, according to The Washington Post, citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) records.

Hours after she was taken into custody, she began having seizures.

Officials airlifted her to the Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, Border Patrol told The Post.

Homeland Security chief blames migrant girl's death on her family https://t.co/vq69PIFINx pic.twitter.com/uFQYE0A4yl

— New York Post (@nypost) December 14, 2018

A day later, she went into cardiac arrest.

She passed shortly thereafter.

Some on the Left are exploiting the girl’s tragic death for political gain.

“This is a humanitarian crisis and we have a moral obligation to ensure these vulnerable families can safely seek asylum, which is legal under immigration and international law at our borders,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) in a statement, according to Fox News.

“This tragedy represents the worst possible outcome when people, including children, are held in inhumane conditions,” said Cynthia Pompa, advocacy manager for the ACLU Border Rights Center, in a statement.

Still, despite virtue-signaling from the ACLU and others on the Left — who continue to dismiss the rule of law — new numbers from DHS reveal that just nine percent of asylum claims made by individuals from Central America turn out to be legitimate.

Of the remaining 91 percent of those asylum seekers, many people are released on a promise to appear in court.

Instead, they disappear into the country’s interior to live and work illegally, said DHS spokesperson Katie Waldman recently, according to Town Hall.

And that’s worrisome, especially when 92 percent of all aliens arrested by ICE in 2017 had criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, were an immigration fugitive, or were an illegal re-entrant, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is also a part of DHS.

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

The post Migrant Girl Dies After Entering U.S. Illegally with Her Father appeared first on LifeZette.

Did Pelosi Cash In on Her Contentious Trump Meeting?

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 18:06

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is capitalizing on her explosive meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office the other day — in which she refused to budge on border wall funding — by sending out fundraising emails.

Both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) met with Trump on Tuesday at the White House to discuss whether or not they could reach a budget agreement before federal funding expires and a government shutdown commences.

Reporters and cameras captured the first 15 minutes of the raucous meeting as Trump passionately demanded full border wall funding.

The Democratic leaders, however, caved to their progressive bases — and adamantly rejected border wall funding.

“If we don’t get what we want one way or the other … I will shut down the government,” Trump warned.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security because the people of this country don’t want criminals with lots of problems and drugs pouring into the country,” he also said.

But thus far, Schumer and Pelosi are not budging.

“They do not have the votes to pass the president’s proposal for the wall. Nothing is going to change in that regard. I don’t know why we don’t just proceed to keep the government open, so people can be home for the holidays,” Pelosi said Thursday during her weekly press conference.

“Does he want to have government closed forever?” Pelosi also said. “I know he doesn’t believe in government, and I know he doesn’t know that much about what’s at risk if he shuts it down. But there is strong bipartisan support to keep government open and the only obstacle is the president of the United States.”

And now Pelosi — who is still trying to wrangle all the Democratic votes necessary to send her back as speaker of the House in January — is using her resistance to Trump, the border wall and border security to fundraise.

Related: Stephen Miller: Trump Will ‘Win’ the Border Wall Funding Fight

“Never in my life have I backed down from a fight,” Pelosi wrote in an email for the Democratic Party, which The Hill obtained.

“Which is why, after President Trump just: threatened to shut down the government over his immoral border wall; tried to blame a shutdown on our Democrats; and continues to mislead the American people, I’m fighting back with a vengeance — and personally triple-matching all Democratic membership renewals until midnight to make sure we stop him and his Republicans’ disastrous shutdown,” Pelosi added.

“I’m fighting back with a vengeance — and personally triple-matching all Democratic membership renewals,” she wrote.

Pelosi also revealed in the email that she received 62,748 membership renewals from Democrats, The Hill reported.

Although Pelosi and Schumer don’t plan on giving Trump a border wall funding victory, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said Thursday night during an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that Trump “is fighting for American citizens” and that “we are going to win” that fight.

Check out the contentious Oval Office meeting in the video below:

The post Did Pelosi Cash In on Her Contentious Trump Meeting? appeared first on LifeZette.

Cohen Attacks Trump — But Insists He’s Now Being Truthful

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 16:50

Attorney Michael Cohen insisted on Friday morning — while attacking his former client — that he isn’t a villain for eventually cooperating with federal investigators.

“I know the truth, many people know the truth,” Cohen told ABC host George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” in a rare interview. “The truth is — I told the truth. I took responsibility for my actions. And instead of him [Trump] taking responsibility for his actions, what does he do? He attacks my family. And after yesterday, again being before the court and taking the responsibility and receiving a sentence of 36 months, the only thing he could do is to tweet about my family.”

Cohen has faced a host of legal troubles, which eventually led to a three-year prison sentence this week.

But importantly, he caught the attention of the special counsel team, which has been investigating the president. Cohen agreed to cooperate with investigators by providing information about the president and the allegedly illegal activities he participated in on his behalf.

Cohen has admitted to crimes like tax evasion and making hush-money payments as part of a plea deal he made with the special counsel team.

Cohen also took this swipe at Trump during the Friday morning interview: “I think the pressure of the job [as president] is much more than what he [Trump] thought it was going to be. He doesn’t understand the system and it’s sad because the country has never been more divisive. And one of the hopes that I have out of the punishment that I’ve received as well as the cooperation that I have given I will be remembered in history as helping to bring this country back together.”

It’s highly doubtful in this saga that anyone will remember Cohen for bringing the country back together.

Related: Trump Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Trump responded to the Cohen plea deal by insisting he never directed him to break the law.

The president also argued that Cohen was just trying to protect himself and family from the legal pressures.

“Inaccurate,” Cohen said to Stephanopoulos. “He [Trump] knows the truth, I know the truth, others know the truth, and here is the truth. The people of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying. The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”

Cohen drew particular attention for the payments he made in response to an alleged affair — something the president has denied.

Cohen made a payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels as part of a hush-money agreement after she claimed to have had an affair with the president. The claim that the payment was a campaign finance violation is because the payment occurred so close to the election.

Cohen claimed he broke the law out of blind loyalty for the president. He said the president directed him to make the payments and get involved in other questionable activities while working for him — again, something Trump has denied. Cohen also expressed regret as to how much loyalty he gave the president before turning on him under legal pressure.

“It was a blind loyalty,” Cohen said. “It was to a man I admired, but I do not know the answer to it. And I am angry at myself. My family is disappointed that they’ve taught me, my mother, father, right from wrong. And I didn’t display good judgment.”

The day before Cohen’s comments on “Good Morning America,” Trump tackled the issue directly during an interview with Fox News host Harris Faulkner.

He claimed that the allegations against him are merely an attempt to embarrass him. The president also dismissed the claim that he knowingly requested that Cohen do something illegal.

“I never directed him to do anything wrong,” Trump said during the interview. “Whatever he [Cohen] did, he did on his own. He’s a lawyer. A lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing. That’s why you pay them a lot of money. He is a lawyer. He represents a client. I never directed him to do any[thing] incorrect or wrong. And he understands that.”

I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

….stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

….guilty even on a civil basis. Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

Trump added that Cohen did some bad things but that they were unrelated to him.

He noted that the real motive for Cohen was getting himself and his family out of legal trouble. The president seemed to claim that Cohen’s father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, and wife, Laura, could be implicated in crimes.

“Let me tell you the other thing: His father-in-law is a very rich guy,” Trump also said during that interview. “His father-in-law, I thought, was the guy that was the primary focus. Well, what did he do? Did he make a deal to keep his father-in-law out? Did he make a deal to keep his wife, who supposedly, maybe I’m wrong, but you can check it — did he … make a deal to keep his wife out of trouble?”

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been leading the investigation into the president. His team has been primarily interested in whether Trump or his associates colluded with Russian interests to sway the presidential election of 2016.

His team suggested that Cohen’s sentence should reflect his lies but also his efforts to remediate his misconduct in a court filing on December 7.

“I am done with the lying,” Cohen said to Stephanopoulos. “I am done being loyal to President Trump, and my first loyalty belongs to my wife, my daughter, my son and this country.”

Cohen also attacked the president about how he conducts his job by claiming he doesn’t understand how to do it. He noted that the situation is different for him now because he can’t just bark orders as he did when he was a businessman, said Cohen — that now there are different systems in place.

Related: Special Counsel Recommends ‘Substantial’ but Fair Sentence for Cohen

Cohen also drew attention for his involvement in a project to build a Trump hotel in Moscow.

He had previously claimed the talks about the Moscow project had ended prior to the election season ramping in 2016. He admitted in federal court to lying about how much he discussed the proposed Moscow project with the president November 29.

Cohen accepted additional charges as part of the plea deal he reached with the special counsel. He admitted in federal court last month to lying about how much he discussed the proposed Moscow project with the president. Trump responded to the plea deal by calling his former lawyer “weak” — and said that he was just looking for reduced time.

Check out this video:

The post Cohen Attacks Trump — But Insists He’s Now Being Truthful appeared first on LifeZette.

Ronald Reagan Actor Says ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Controversy Has ‘Gone a Little Far’

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 16:24

Yet another familiar face in the entertainment industry is sticking up for the classic song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which has faced heavy criticism in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Radio stations across the country have begun banning the song — with some reversing those bans after public outcries — and social media has been flooded with social justice warriors taking issue with specific lines in the song.

Critics say the song promotes rape culture with lines like “Say, what’s in this drink” and “The answer is no.”

The signature line of the song — “baby, it’s cold outside” — is spoken to the female character after she tells the man she needs to be getting home already.

Supporters of the song — written in 1944 by Frank Loesser — say it’s a playful tune about romantic flirtation between men and women.

Actor Dennis Quaid (pictured above right), who will be playing Ronald Reagan in an upcoming film, is now defending the song and saying the criticisms have “gone a little far.”

“It’s kind of innocent, really,” the actor told Fox News in a recent interview.

“It was written in the ’40s and there’s nothing predatory about it,” he added. “It’s sort of just the relationship between men and women, you know? That’s all.”

Quaid is a musician as well as an actor. He leads the band Dennis Quaid and the Sharks.

Quaid, 64, continued, “It’s sort of a dance and courtship. That’s what that song, to me, is about — at Christmas season.”

The “I Can Only Imagine” star even said he recently performed the song himself on stage.

“I sang that song at the Village Studios Christmas Party the other night,” he said.

Others who have publicly defended “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from mounting criticism include musician and “Stark Trek” actor William Shatner and Deana Martin, the daughter of Dean Martin — someone who famously covered the song during his career.

“It’s just insane. When I heard it, I said, ‘This can’t possibly be.’ You know, it’s a sweet, flirty, fun holiday song that’s been around for 40 years for my dad. He did it in ’59. But when I saw it, I tweeted, ‘I think this is crazy. What do you think?’ And then all of a sudden, it went viral,” Deana Martin recently told Fox News.

She added, “It’s just a sweet, fun song. There’s nothing bad about it.”

Dennis Quaid will next be taking on the role of Ronald Reagan in an upcoming biopic film.

He has said he is “nervous” about the role because Reagan was his “favorite president.”

For more on Quaid’s upcoming role, check out the video below:

The post Ronald Reagan Actor Says ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Controversy Has ‘Gone a Little Far’ appeared first on LifeZette.

Politician Wants to Name an Airport After Oprah Winfrey

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 16:06

If one councilwoman in Nashville, Tennessee, has her way, an airport will be named after media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Metro Council member Sharon Hurt is petitioning Nashville Mayor David Briley to rename the Nashville International Airport after the 64-year-old Winfrey.

Hurt’s push for her request comes after she previously pitched the idea to the airport advisory board in November.

“It’s Oprah. Nashville is in a very unique position to be able to offer that type of recognition to someone that’s very deserving,” Hurt told The Tennessean in a recent interview.

“I think it’s a grand opportunity for us to recognize someone of Oprah’s stature,” she added.

Winfrey actually does have a lot of connection to the city of Nashville.

She attended Tennessee State University and went to high school at East High School.

She also began her career in Nashville.

Despite those connections, Winfrey does not meet the requirements to be able to have an airport named after her. The airport advisory board originally pushed back on Hurt’s idea because their rules stipulate that someone needs to have been dead for two years and have contributed something substantial to the field of aviation.

Hurt previously tried to get a portion of Charlotte Avenue named after Martin Luther King Jr. in March. She was actually successful in that venture.

Her latest proposal would change the Nashville International Airport’s Name to The Oprah G. Winfrey Nashville International Airport.

“I think it’s a grand opportunity for us to recognize someone of Oprah’s stature,” she said.

The airport is already taking on a multi-billion dollar renovation, one of the reasons Hurt is pushing her proposal now.

“Both the president/CEO of the authority and I agree that Ms. Winfrey’s achievements and accolades are too numerous to recite,” a letter from the airport advisory board reads. “However, renaming the airport after Ms. Winfrey does not meet the criteria established by the (airport authority).”

Hurt has brought race into the matter and questioned airport leadership in a letter addressed to the airport’s leaders and the mayor.

“It seems their participation in inclusion and diversity has been deceptive and minimal,” she said.

She added that the airport and its board have “very little to no African-Americans and women.”

Another reason for Hurt’s push for Oprah’s name on the airport could be because Winfrey has become something of a 2020 frontrunner in recent months.

Her public statements have grown increasingly political; and a survey from The Hollywood Reporter found Winfrey to be a top pick to run for president for the Democrats in 2020.

For more on Oprah Winfrey and her 2020 chances, check out the video below:

The post Politician Wants to Name an Airport After Oprah Winfrey appeared first on LifeZette.

Mika Apologizes for Her Pompeo Insult After Trump Targets Her on Twitter

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:35

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski finally apologized on Friday for using a homophobic slur against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday — although she left Pompeo entirely out of her apology.

Brzezinski criticized Pompeo during a segment over his reaction to the murder of The Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.

In particular, Brzezinski reacted to Pompeo’s interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” that same day, in which he denounced the “tragic” murder but emphasized that Saudi Arabia is still “an important ally” of the U.S.

“The Saudis have already paid the price,” said Pompeo. “There are the folks who actually committed the murder — we’ve held accountable. We will continue to do that. No one underestimates how horrible this murder was.”

“I understand that [President] Donald Trump doesn’t care,” Brzezinski reacted. “But why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now?”

“Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on ‘Fox & Friends’ ― is that a patriot speaking or a wannabe dictator’s butt boy?” Brzezinski asked.

The “Morning Joe” co-host’s slur came during a time when people have been actively digging into celebrities’ social media histories trying to find any homophobic or otherwise offensive tweets that are literally years old.

As such, it was no surprise that social media users immediately decried Brzezinski’s homophobic slur.

Photographer and writer G.E. Anderson tweeted, “.@morningmika just asked if Mike Pompeo is a ‘wannabe dictator’s butt boy,’ as homophobic a term as I’ve heard on national morning television. @MSNBC tried and failed to censor it, and did not transcribe her remark in the closed captioning. #journalism.”

“I was with you, @morningmika, right up to the ‘butt boy’ comment. Try ‘toadie’ or ‘lackey’ or ‘stool pigeon’ or ‘a** kisser,’ or ‘traitor,’ but maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia,” Anderson added.

I was with you, @morningmika, right up to the “butt boy” comment. Try “toadie” or “lackey” or “stool pigeon” or “ass kisser,” or “traitor,” but maybe don’t equate homosexuality with Mike Pompeo carrying water for the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia.

— G.E. Anderson (@g_e_anderson) December 12, 2018

Even Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, called out Brzezinski on Twitter.

Grenell is openly gay.

“Outrageous. This is totally unacceptable & deeply disturbing. Sexualizing gay people this way is designed to control them & minimize our worth,” Grenell tweeted in response to Anderson’s tweet condemning Brzezinski.

outrageous. This is totally unacceptable & deeply disturbing. Sexualizing gay people this way is designed to control them & minimize our worth. https://t.co/fQidRbJSxb

— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 12, 2018

After Brzezinski addressed the matter on Twitter on Wednesday, Grenell responded to that with, “Accepting apologies is important. We all fail. But I don’t see that you’ve actually apologized to gays? Your words demean, mock and therefore try to control whole groups by minimizing our humanity. @morningmika.”

accepting apologies is important. We all fail. But I don’t see that you’ve actually apologized to gays? Your words demean, mock and therefore try to control whole groups by minimizing our humanity. @morningmika https://t.co/whNqjHYjfn

— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 12, 2018

Brzezinski had responded to Anderson’s tweet, writing, “Totally agree with you — SUPER BAD choice of words … I should have said ‘water boy’… like for football teams or something like that … Apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY!”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) had appeared on “Morning Joe” during the offending segment.

But Brzezinski directed no apology to Pompeo or to the LGBT community.

Totally agree with you -SUPER BAD choice of words .. I should have said “water boy”… like for football teams or something like that.. apologize to @SenatorDurbin too! SO SORRY! https://t.co/zIqsGdK3Tk

— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) December 12, 2018

President Donald Trump also targeted Brzezinski on Twitter on Thursday, writing, “If it was a Conservative that said what “crazed” Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television … She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings.”

“Congratulations to @RichardGrenell, our great Ambassador to Germany, for having the courage to take this horrible issue on!” Trump added.

If it was a Conservative that said what “crazed” Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

….She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings. Congratulations to @RichardGrenell, our great Ambassador to Germany, for having the courage to take this horrible issue on!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

Brzezinski, who didn’t appear on “Morning Joe” on Thursday, formally apologized to the LGBT community and her network on Friday — but left Pompeo entirely out of it.

Related: Brzezinski Apologizes for Her ‘Wannabe Dictator’s Butt Boy’ Slur About Pompeo

“I want to get to something first. I was off yesterday for a family matter … but I wanted to address a term that I used on this show on Wednesday that was vulgar,” Brzezinski said.

“I knew it right away and I tweeted that it was a terrible choice of words and that I was sorry,” she added.

“But please allow me to say this face-to-face. The term is crass and offensive and I apologize to everyone, especially the LGBTQ community and to my colleagues for using it. It was a mistake,” Brzezinski added.

She then referenced her father, the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security adviser during the Carter administration.

“My father would have found it so unbecoming and disrespectful and he would have told me. I will work hard to be better,” Brzezinski said. “But I just wanted to say on camera, looking the viewers straight in the eye, I am really, really sorry.”

Check out Brzezinski’s apology in the video below:

The post Mika Apologizes for Her Pompeo Insult After Trump Targets Her on Twitter appeared first on LifeZette.

When We Believe, We Gain the Treasures of Heaven

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:46

John 1:1–3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

The above Scripture is a phenomenal statement. John is recognizing that the person of Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God when the worlds were created — when darkness turned into light, when boundaries were established, and when humankind was created out of the dust of the earth.

Jesus Christ was there with God — moving with and in unison with the Father.

All things were made through Him.

In other words, Jesus Christ exercised the full authority and power of God.

In Him was life, and this life was the light of man.

The apostle John continues to say, in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

A lot of people know about Jesus Christ, including unbelievers.

And many Christians can say, “I know that He is God. I know He was in the beginning with God. I know He has the power to create a galaxy with the spoken word of His mouth. I know all these things.”

But the apostle John goes beyond knowledge when he says, “Then we saw Him. He manifested Himself to us, and we saw Him and His glory, as ‘the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’”

In other words, they experienced God — they knew Him personally. They were impacted by Jesus’ willingness to touch their lives in such a profound way that their very lives were changed.

Knowledge is a good thing, but if it doesn’t lead to a personal experience with God, we are not entering into the knowledge of the truth. Knowledge of God alone is not enough. Even the demons had knowledge of who Jesus was — they knew He was the Son of God, and they knew He had power over them, but they did not follow Him.

There is a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. There are many Christians who have not come to the knowledge of the truth within their hearts. They are still living in bondage to behaviors, sins, habits and feelings because they have not come to the place of recognizing the reality — the truth — of the Word of God in their lives.

It’s one thing to know about the Lord and another thing to see Him — to come to the realization of who He is and what He has done for you personally.

The apostle John goes beyond knowledge when he says, “Then we saw Him. He manifested Himself to us, and we saw Him and His glory, as ‘the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’”

There comes a time when the Word manifests and becomes real. Luke 4:15–21 shows a moment of recognition of the reality of the Son of God.

The passage says: “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’”

Imagine being in the synagogue on that day and hearing Jesus, the very Word of God in the flesh, read the Old Testament prophecy about the coming of the Messiah and finish the reading by closing the book and saying to everyone seated in front of Him, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled.”

The people of Israel had been waiting and looking for the time when the Messiah would come.

They had been anticipating the day of their salvation — the day they would be set free. And here Jesus declares their day has come — their freedom is right before their eyes.

How did they respond? Did they jump up and down and praise God for their day of visitation?

No, they did not recognize their moment. They had memorized this specific Scripture — they knew what the Bible taught, but they did not recognize the day of their freedom. The Son of God was standing right before them, and in spite of all their biblical knowledge they did not recognize this moment of truth.

I am reminded of a time that the Lord came to Elijah. He spoke to His dear prophet in the midst of Elijah’s depression. God said to him, “What are you doing here?” In other words, “Elijah, you know who I am! You know I can keep you, you know I have all power, you know I have all authority, and you know I have called you. Elijah, you don’t belong here! You don’t belong in depression. You don’t belong in bondage. You don’t belong in despair. Elijah, you have the Spirit of God in and on you now!”

Today, as believers, we are in a place where our knowledge of God and His Word can be experienced. The truth that we see in God’s Word and have believed for salvation can jump off the page and truly come alive in our hearts and in our sight.

God is speaking to us today just as He spoke to Elijah.

Jesus said that today, right before our eyes, that this Scripture is fulfilled in our hearing. Everything that is mentioned in this passage can be ours.

Our hearts can be healed. Our prison doors can open. We can understand the treasure of heaven that now belongs to us.

Today, His very presence can come alive in our hearts.

Carter Conlon is the senior pastor of Times Square Church in Manhattan, an interdenominational church with over 10,000 people in attendance, representing over 100 different nationalities and 875 home satellite fellowships worldwide. He is the author of the new book, “It’s Time to Pray,” released November 6.

The post When We Believe, We Gain the Treasures of Heaven appeared first on LifeZette.

Boston’s Plastic Bag Ban Represents a ‘Cultural Shift’

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:15

Beantown is focused on bags today — plastic bags, that is.

Phase one of the citywide ban on plastic bags in Boston, Massachusetts, begins Friday, December 14, with inspections first zeroing in on larger, more industrial-sized retail stores.

The first phase of the new ordinance prohibits the use of plastic “checkout bags” in particular, for stores that are 20,000 square feet or larger.

Smaller stores of 10,000 square feet will need to comply by April 1, 2019; stores smaller than 10,000 square feet will too face inspection starting July 1.

The punishment for violation of the new policy is as follows: A retail location’s first offense will warrant a warning. Its second will warrant a $50 fine. And its third will warrant a $100 fine.

Additional violations will continue to result in $100 fines.

Signed a year ago by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the ban on plastic retail bags received unanimous approval by the City Council.

Although the mayor expressed his concern over the new regulation’s possible impact on the poor, he ultimately supported it due to the environmental benefits.

The plastic bag ban is “an opportunity to be good environmental stewards and responsible neighbors,” he said in a statement earlier this week.

Further, the policy is “a big step forward in our work to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, and create a cleaner, greener city.”

Boston’s plastic bag ban begins today. Here’s what you need to know. https://t.co/q3YB9eh8iU pic.twitter.com/HLydHwwWKY

— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) December 14, 2018

Plastic bags are a thing of the past in Boston! You can get a free reusable bag today at the JP @WholeFoods at 9:30am courtesy of @MattOMalley ! #wcvb pic.twitter.com/9UCze3UE5l

— Katie Thompson (@KThompson_WCVB) December 14, 2018

Single-use plastic shopping bags is banned in Boston starting today.

Stores can sell compostable or reusable bags for 5 cents.

Boston is the 60th Massachusetts municipality with a plastic bag regulation.

87 Massachusetts municipalities regulate single-use plastic bags.

♻ pic.twitter.com/F77tnFBOK4

— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) December 14, 2018

The bags that will be required beginning December 14 must be recyclable, compostable, or reusable — and will entail a five-cent charge upon checkout.

“Our goal is to reduce litter and pollution. We want to protect the ocean our waterways. We aim to also reduce greenhouse gasses and reduce solid waste in the waste stream,” the city stated on its website.

“It’s a cultural shift because we’re so used to not bringing bags in to shop,” Inspectional Services Commissioner William Christopher Jr. told the Boston Herald.

If companies feel as if the new regulations will cause certain difficulties, or if they wish to use their already existing supply of plastic bags first before switching over to the more environmentally friendly alternative, they can apply for a temporary exemption.

“We want to protect the ocean our waterways. We aim to also reduce greenhouse gasses and reduce solid waste in the waste stream.”

The new ordinance applies only to checkout bags — so plastic used for newspapers, produce, laundry supplies, and trash will remain acceptable.

Several other towns, cities, and countries have already implemented certain bans or additional taxes on plastic bags, some of which include Seattle, Washington; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, California; the United Kingdom; and Australia.

And check out this video:

The post Boston’s Plastic Bag Ban Represents a ‘Cultural Shift’ appeared first on LifeZette.

Mass Immigration and Good Economics: Why These Things Don’t Go Together

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 12:50

People debate all the time about mass immigration. But what you never hear anybody do is make the economic case for mass immigration. And here’s why: Our country’s economy is becoming more automated and tech-centered by the day.

It’s obvious we need more scientists and skilled engineers. What we’re getting instead are waves of poor people with a high school education or less. They’re nice people; nobody doubts that. But as an economic matter, this is insane.

It’s indefensible, so nobody tries to defend it.

Related: Stephen Miller: Trump Will ‘Win’ the Border Wall Funding Fight

Instead, our leaders demand you shut up and accept it. We’ve got a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer, dirtier and more divided. Immigration is a form of atonement. Previous leaders of our country committed sins. So, we must pay for those sins by welcoming an endless chain of migrant caravans.

That’s the argument. If it sounds like something some dopey sociology professor at Long Beach State thought up while half-drunk in the 1970s, you’re right. That’s pretty much exactly what it is. Yet, somehow, the immigration-as-atonement idea has become the official position of virtually every guilty liberal in the United States: our tech overlords who are also lecturing you; corporate America; Nancy Pelosi; and Paul Ryan.

They all believe this. And anyone who disagrees with them is denounced as a bigot and fired.

What’s so amusing is that nobody ever bothered to explain any of these rules to the people of Tijuana. Tijuana is in Mexico, which means they’re Mexican citizens. By academic definitions popular in this country, they must be oppressed. Nobody on the American left ever imagined the people of Tjuana would display the classic symptoms of white privilege. And yet, when a caravan of Honduran immigrants showed up in their city uninvited, that’s exactly what they did.

“We do know of incidences of Tijuana and [in] other cities, that these people in the caravans are committing crimes,” one protester said. “This is not about racism. We don’t dislike a certain group of people because they’re from another country. We’re here because our government has not taken control of these invasions.”

“Your country has to beware of these people because there are bad people,” another Tijuana man told a reporter.

That sounds like a Trump rally. When did Mexican citizens start talking like this? It’s confusing, and of course, deeply hilarious and satisfying to watch.

When rich liberals tell you that America owes you a comfortable life, nobody should be shocked when you believe them.

What’s more predictable is how leaders of the caravan are starting to behave. Suddenly, they sound like community college professors from Long Beach — entitled, cut off from reality, highly aggressive. On Wednesday, a group of leaders from the caravan marched into the U.S. consulate in Mexico and demanded $50,000 in exchange for returning to their own countries.

Huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Nope. Cynical shakedown artists who’ve been watching too much CNN. No surprise there.

When rich liberals tell you that America owes you a comfortable life, nobody should be shocked when you believe them.

This Fox News opinion piece is used by permission; it’s adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Dec. 13, 2018. Tucker Carlson currently serves as the host of Fox News Channel’s (FNC) “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (weekdays 8 p.m. ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.

Read more at Fox News:
Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay $292K for Trump’s Legal Fees
Greatest Christmas Gift I Can Think Of (Not What You Would Expect)
California Dem Says U.S. Would Win ‘Short War’ Against Gun-Right Advocates

The post Mass Immigration and Good Economics: Why These Things Don’t Go Together appeared first on LifeZette.

Stephen Miller: Trump Will ‘Win’ the Border Wall Funding Fight

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 04:40

President Donald Trump “is fighting for American citizens” by demanding full border wall funding ahead of a potential government shutdown — and “we are going to win” that fight, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller said Thursday night during an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) met with Trump on Tuesday in the Oval Office — in a widely discussed and contentious meeting — to discuss whether or not they could reach a budget agreement before federal funding expires and a government shutdown commences.

Reporters and cameras captured the first 15 minutes of the raucous meeting, as Trump passionately demanded full border wall funding.

The Democratic leaders adamantly rejected that.

“If we don’t get what we want one way or the other … I will shut down the government,” Trump said. “I am proud to shut down the government for border security because the people of this country don’t want criminals with lots of problems and drugs pouring into the country.”

But thus far, Schumer and Pelosi are not budging.

Miller (pictured above left), who plays a key role in helping Trump craft immigration policies, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that “this stand that we’re taking right now with the entire nation watching, and frankly the whole world watching, is a stand that we think we’re going to win.”

“The Democrats are fighting for illegal aliens. Donald Trump is fighting for American citizens. That’s what this whole thing’s about,” Miller said. “This is about sovereignty. It’s about working men and women. It’s about safe communities. It’s about wages, living conditions, quality of life.”

“This is the battle right now right before our very eyes. We are going to win because Donald Trump is not backing down,” Miller also declared.

Trump’s senior adviser also said that “there is no question” that both political parties in America “have contributed to unwise foreign policy, unwise trade policy and unwise immigration policy.”

“Donald Trump came into office and has turned that all around, getting tough on China on trade, renegotiating NAFTA, cracking down on illegal immigration, dealing with unskilled low-wage migration, [and] reorienting our foreign policy,” Miller said. “All these issues, Laura, that have effected working people in our country for decades, he’s turning around.”

“But the Democratic Party of today … is an open borders party,” Miller said.

Miller also called out Schumer for supporting border barrier legislation in 2006.

“And now that his Democrat Party has become the party of open borders and Donald Trump is president, he’s against it,” Miller said.

Related: Pelosi, Schumer ‘Used to’ Care About ‘Poorest Citizens’ Before Prioritizing Illegal Immigrants

When Ingraham asked Miller about Schumer’s mockery of Trump’s campaign promise to force Mexico to pay for the wall, Miller replied, “If Chuck Schumer wants to pass legislation saying that we can pass all of our trade savings on border security, that would be great.”

“In the meantime, the savings from the trade deal will offset the cost of the wall,” Miller said. “And more importantly than all of that, the wall is going to save American lives. It’s going to save American jobs and it’s going to save in the long term hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Trump’s fight to build the wall, secure U.S. borders and enforce immigration laws “is going to be one of the defining issues of the nest two years heading into 2020,” Miller predicted.

“Donald Trump is fighting for working people and he’s fighting to restore the borders around this country that are the essential ingredient for national sovereignty and national success in a way that nobody has who’s held that office — not only in my lifetime, but frankly in the history of this country,” Miller said.

Ingraham also asked Miller about the seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who died after a few hours in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody after facing days of dehydration and exhaustion.

“If you want to stop the horrors on the northward trek — the rape that occurs, the abuse that occurs, the physical assault and the death that occurs — then for the love of God, fund the border wall,” Miller said forcefully.

The post Stephen Miller: Trump Will ‘Win’ the Border Wall Funding Fight appeared first on LifeZette.

Trump Signs Executive Order to Help Impoverished Communities

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 04:30

President Donald Trump took a big step to help disenfranchised communities this week with an executive order.

The president signed an executive order Wednesday to bolster the already existent Opportunity Zones established via the GOP tax bill in 2017.

The intention is to direct resources to the already designated 8,700 Opportunity Zones; businesses in these districts will be subject to less restrictive regulations.

The mainstream media did not provide much coverage of the event that focused on Trump’s work to help minority communities. Unlike some of his executive orders, this one did not air on C-SPAN or on most of the cable news outlets.

Laura Ingraham, host of Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” recognized the president’s accomplishment on Thursday night on her show.

“This means more private-sector money will flow into these high-risk areas and low-development areas,” she said.

“What will that do? In turn, that will deliver jobs.”

“Trump is delivering results for those Democrats who thought they had forever co-opted politically,” she later added. “It all smashes the press’ relentless drumbeat about how the president just doesn’t like black people.”

NBC News did have a piece on the development — and the network’s concern was that President Trump’s private organizations may benefit from a more business-friendly climate.

However, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson refuted NBC’s claims, telling Ingraham on her radio program earlier in the day, “The Laura Ingraham Show,” “The zones were picked by the governors. They were not picked by Jared Kushner. There are all kinds of people in the country who already have real estate in those zones. Will they benefit? Probably. Why shouldn’t they benefit? Why shouldn’t everybody benefit? Why shouldn’t we create win-win situations?”

The executive order the president signed may indicate his interest in helping impoverished communities, but it does not change the fact that the mainstream media have still labeled him racist — as have some others in Washington, D.C., including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.).

Pastor Darrell Scott, CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, said he refuses to buy into the racism narrative.

He supports the president’s order.

“I can sum all of that up in one word and that word is hogwash,” he said on “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday night.

“I can think of a stronger word, but I can’t say it on television,” he added. “I’ve been involved with the president as far as this Opportunity Zone Act goes. For over a year-and-a-half, they’ve all been working very, very hard and yesterday saw the fruition of a lot of planning and a lot of labor-intensive activity working toward this. And this is going to enhance this entire country.”

Niger Innes, the national spokesman for Congress of Racial Equality, also said he was unhappy with the way some on the Left have embraced identity politics and attacked Trump.

“The reason the far left-wing does that is because they have had control of inner-city America for 50 years or longer,” he said. “And they’ve done nothing for the black community, nothing for the Hispanic community, and nothing for the poor working-class white community for years. So what do they do?”

“Every two years or every four years, they will drag out the racism card, which is nonsense,” Innes added. “They say, ‘You’ve got to keep me in power.’ [Rep.] Maxine Waters [D-Calif.] has been in power in her community for decades in Los Angeles, and what has she done for her community other than saying, ‘That guy over there or that woman over there, if they’re white they’re racist?’”

Not every fiscally conservative-minded individual is supportive of the president’s Opportunity Zones, however.

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the libertarian CATO Institute, admitted he is not enamored by the new policy.

“I’m for lower taxes on investment,” he said.

“I’m for equal treatment, though,” he added. We should have lower taxes on investments across the board. The reason why cities like Detroit are poor is because of bad policy, high regulations. Detroit has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. If Detroit lowered its property taxes, it would get more business investment. You don’t need the federal government getting involved here.”

Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.

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Behar of ‘The View’ Suggests ‘Jail’ for Hatch for Not Speaking Out Again Trump

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 03:03

ABC News’ “The View” co-host Joy Behar declared on Thursday that retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) “maybe” should be sent to prison for not speaking out against President Donald Trump.

“I don’t know if you saw this clip of Orrin Hatch, the esteemed, so-called senator from Utah,” Behar said. “I used to like him because he was very friendly with Teddy Kennedy,” she added, referring to the late Massachusetts senator.

Behar then described a clip — that ABC News did not air during the segment — in which she claimed Hatch said he didn’t care if President Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen committed crimes together.

“’I don’t care,’ he said, ‘the president’s doing a good job,” Behar said.

“Where have we come when a senator from Utah is saying, ‘I don’t care if he committed a crime’?”

Behar apparently was referencing a CNN interview with Hatch in which the senator was asked about Trump’s links to Cohen. Hatch said, “All I can say is this: President Trump, before he became president, that’s another world. Since he’s become president, this economy has charged ahead. We’re all better off, the country is better off.”

When the reporter mentioned that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is a Trump appointee, Hatch said, “I don’t care. All I can say is, he’s doing a good job as president.”

“View” co-host Meghan McCain reminded Behar that Hatch is “almost gone” when Behar fired back, “Don’t they care about democracy anymore?”

McCain complimented Hatch’s “hilarious” Twitter account before the show went to a commercial break.

Behar was still fired up and continued the conversation when it returned from the break.

“He is going out of office. He has nothing to lose by speaking, against, truth to power about Trump,” Behar said. “Why does he say, ‘Even if he commits a crime, it’s OK?’ Maybe he needs to go to jail, too.”

Nobody on the panel immediately checked Behar for her comment and the discussion quickly pivoted to the pros and cons of being angry.

Behar appeared to make the comment in jest, and it drew laughter from the audience.

However, Behar has found herself in hot water with political rhetoric in the past.

She essentially has rejuvenated her career with over-the-top anti-Trump rhetoric and last month declared that it would be “a good day for Donald Trump to resign.”

Behar recently apologized after saying “God forbid” Trump lives another 20 years and has come under fire for mocking Vice President Pence’s Christian faith.

She essentially has rejuvenated her career with over-the-top anti-Trump rhetoric and last month declared that it would be “a good day for Donald Trump to resign.”

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the race to succeed Hatch.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood. This Fox News piece is used by permission.

Read more at Fox News:
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The post Behar of ‘The View’ Suggests ‘Jail’ for Hatch for Not Speaking Out Again Trump appeared first on LifeZette.

Stephen Colbert Underestimates Donald Trump

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 22:58

President Donald Trump recently had a viral showdown with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in front of cameras in the Oval Office at the White House.

Among the topics discussed at the transparent meeting: the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Neither the president nor the Democrats showed signs of budging during the meeting.

Some leftists have used moments from the meeting as an excuse to attack Trump’s negotiation tactics.

That would include Stephen Colbert — who at this point would criticize the president of the United States even if he cured cancer.

“Donald Trump is trying to put a positive spin on Donald Trump’s performance, but one person’s not buying that: That’s Donald Trump. Because according to witnesses, Trump ‘stormed out of the Oval Office, had in his hand a folder of briefing papers, and threw them across the room.’ Oh, no! Now how is he going to not read his briefing?” said Colbert on his show on Wednesday night.

The late-night host was referring to mainstream media stories that were, of course, based on “anonymous” sources.

The comedian continued, “Witnesses say that Trump was mainly frustrated with Chuck Schumer, saying that ‘his old New York sparring buddy felt he got the better of him. Goaded him into it.”

Colbert then did a tired impression of the president: “‘Chuck got me this time using my own personal kryptonite: opening my mouth.'”

Colbert continued by saying that Schumer and Trump were essentially just saying the same thing to each other and no progress was made.

“This is the ‘Art of the Deal’ guy, right? This is Mr. ‘Art of the Deal.’ Trump said, ‘Chuck, you want to shut down the government.’ Schumer said, ‘No, sir, you want to shut down the government.’ Then Trump said, ‘Yes, I do. Checkmate.'”

“I’ve only seen negotiating that good one time before,” added Colbert. The comedian then aired a clip from “Looney Tunes” that showed Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd arguing.

In the classic clip, Bugs is trying to convince Fudd that he can’t hunt him right now because it’s “duck season.”

“Rabbit season,” Fudd replies. The two then go back and forth like that.

Let’s remember that the president beat all odds to become chief executive — and that he’s managed to accomplish a whole lot more while in office than any of his critics ever thought he would.

Colbert did what leftists have done for a long, long time: He’s underestimating Trump.

Let’s remember that the president beat all odds to become chief executive — and that he’s managed to accomplish a whole lot more while in office than any of his critics ever thought he would.

If a betting person had to choose between Trump and Schumer, there is no debate at all.

They’d go all in on Trump.

Check out the clip from Stephen Colbert’s program below:

The post Stephen Colbert Underestimates Donald Trump appeared first on LifeZette.

Former U.S. Attorney Explains Why Trump Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 22:33

Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova argued on Thursday that President Donald Trump couldn’t have violated campaign finance laws because he wasn’t informed by his former lawyer Michael Cohen (shown above left).

“Here is where we are legally, and this is what matters,” diGenova told host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

“In order to violate the federal campaign finance laws, you have to do a knowing and willful violation. That means you have to know that you are violating a specific section of the statute.”

Cohen was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison for tax evasion, lying to lawmakers and payments that allegedly violated campaign finance law.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said in his ruling that Cohen  deserved a harsh punishment despite working with an investigation against the president as part of a plea deal.

Related: Trump Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

“Cohen has pleaded guilty to a crime,” diGenova told Ingraham and her radio audience. “But what they did not say in any of the pleadings or in open court is that when the president, a non-lawyer, sought the advice of counsel from his lawyer Michael Cohen about how to handle it, Mr. Cohen recommended these payments. Mr. Cohen never told the president that if he made those payments, that would be illegal and a violation of federal campaign finance laws.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been leading an investigation into whether or not the president or his associates colluded with Russian interests to sway the presidential election of 2016.

Cohen became a person of interest early on in the investigation, given his close connection to the president as his former lawyer.

Cohen drew particular attention for the payments he made in response to an alleged affair the president had (Trump has denied this). Cohen made a payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels as part of a hush money agreement after she claimed to have had an affair with the president. The claim that the payment was a campaign finance violation was because the payment occurred so close to the election season.

“This is why people have lawyers,” diGenova said. “Trump is not a lawyer. He is a business person. He relied on his lawyers. He relies on his lawyers for leases, for building purchases, for finance agreements and how to deal with women who are seeking to extort money from him because of alleged affairs.”

The special counsel team suggested that Cohen receive a tough but fair sentence in a court filing on December 7. The filing argued that the punishment should reflect his lies but also his efforts to remediate his misconduct.

Cohen worked with federal investigators since turning himself in on August 21.

Related: Special Counsel Recommends ‘Substantial’ but Fair Sentence for Cohen

“He [Trump] did exactly what his lawyer told him to do,” diGenova continued on Thursday. “His lawyer, his counsel, did not tell him, according to all the information that is publicly available. Mr. Cohen never told [Trump] that if he made those payments, it would be a crime. That would be the only way the president would have been on notice he’s violating the law.”

Cohen also drew attention for his involvement in a project to build a Trump hotel in Moscow.

He had previously claimed the talks about the Moscow project had ended prior to the election season ramping up in 2016. He admitted in federal court to lying about how much he discussed the proposed Moscow project with the president on November 29.

Cohen accepted additional charges as part of the plea deal he reached with the special counsel.

Trump responded to the plea deal by calling his former lawyer “weak” and saying he was just looking for reduced time.

The president also tweeted about the Cohen sentencing early on Thursday:

I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

….stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

….guilty even on a civil basis. Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

And check out this video:

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U.S. Deficit Reaches Record High After Scheduling Fluke

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 22:19

The United States had a record-high deficit last month, as the rate increased by almost half compared to last year because of a scheduling fluke, according to federal data released Thursday.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury found the deficit increased by 48 percent from the same month a year ago, to $205 billion.

The increase represents an additional $66 billion.

But most of that number is because $44 billion in entitlement payments went out earlier than usual — though current federal policies are driving much of it, too.

The federal government issued benefits early this year for many entitlement programs because of a scheduling issue. Benefits for December usually come on the first of the month, but they went out early because that day fell on a Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

November essentially reflected payments that normally show up the next month.

Related: Trump’s Budget Will Focus on National Debt, Not the Annual Deficit

The November deficit still did show notable increases when extra entitlement payments are taken into account. The data show that the government collected one percent less in revenue, with more individual withholding and a drop in business insurance contributions.

Corporate taxes also dropped by 23 percent — against an 18 percent jump in spending.

MarketWatch reported that the increase in spending primarily came from entitlements and defense. The federal data showed a 35 percent increase in Medicare payments, a 27 percent increase in defense spending, and a 74 percent increase in veterans affairs costs.

President Donald Trump has done a lot to tackle the size of the federal government through his actions to roll back rules and regulations. But he has also championed proposals that increase the deficit dramatically, such as his tax cuts, which he signed into law despite fierce opposition on Dec. 22, 2017.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became the first major piece of legislation that the president signed in his term of office. The law lowers corporate and most individual tax rates while simplifying the code.

The Tax Foundation found the law will result in an estimated $1.8 trillion less federal revenue over the next decade.

Related: What Trump Expects by Giving China a 90-Day Tariffs Break

Trump has also taken aim at existing international trade agreements as part of his promise to ensure domestic workers can compete in the global market.

He has primarily worked to renegotiate existing trade deals but has also put pressure on countries known for cheating agreements, such as China. This has put the country on the edge of a trade war.

The Treasury data found customs duties doubled to $6 billion likely due to the impact of rising tariffs.

The Trump administration has imposed multiple tariffs on the country this year; the latest was a 10-percent tariff on $200 billion worth of imported goods.

China was already hit with $50 billion worth of tariffs earlier this year.

Both countries agreed in early December to a 90-day tariff break in the hopes of resolving their differences.

Check out this video:

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CNN Is at It Again: Says It’s Not Time for Dems to Nominate a ‘White Male’ for President

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 22:17

CNN writer and data analyst Harry Enten continued CNN’s obsession with identity politics on Thursday when he warned Democrats against backing “white male” 2020 presidential candidates and sending them to compete against President Donald Trump.

Enten (shown above right), who also served as a senior political writer at FiveThirtyEight, addressed the issue of “white male” Democratic presidential contenders for at least the second time this week.

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota played the identity politics card on Monday on “New Day” when she directly asked outgoing Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) whether “this is the right time” for a “white guy” like him to run.

“Is it time to have somebody of color and a woman and somebody younger? Or somebody more Establishment?” Camerota asked Hickenlooper. “But as a white guy, are you trying to calculate whether or not this is the right time for you?”

Enten continued that theme on Thursday when he presented his “2020 Power Rankings for Potential Dem Contenders,” as the CNN chyron described it on “New Day.”

Enten said he used his “secret sauce” to come up with the ranking.

Said CNN anchor John Berman (above left) to Enten, “2020 is now. Who is in the best position to challenge Donald Trump? … Give us your top 10 list. This is based on polling and money and also reporting political activity behind the scenes.”

Enten listed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) as number 10, noting that she “has a number of things going for her.”

“She has the large New York media market. She has the most anti-Trump record of any United States senator. She’s a woman, and keep in mind that women won in record numbers in 2018 Democratic primaries,” Enten said.

Number nine was Julián Castro (D), a former secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Obama administration.

Castro, a Latino from Texas, announced on Wednesday he is exploring a presidential run in 2020.

“He’s a Latino, he was in the Obama administration, he ran HUD. He’s an interesting character, but you know, I think in the year of the woman I am a little suspect of having too many men in the upper tier,” Enten said ominously.

Related: CNN’s Camerota Wonders if It’s Appropriate for White Guys to Run in 2020

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was in eighth place. His strength, said Enten, is that he hails from a key Midwest state that Trump carried in 2016.

But Brown as a nominee, according to Enten, would have some serious baggage.

“I will point out, though, [that he’s] another white male. I am very suspect of that this year going into a Democratic primary with women doing well, and the African-American base of the Democratic Party,” Enten said. “I am not sure it’s the time to nominate a white man.”

After listing Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former Vice President Joe Biden (D), and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) — Enten finally came to his top choice.

“[Sen.] Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) remains our number one,” Enten said. “Look — she is in California. She has the big media market. She could appeal to African-American voters. She has a very progressive record and she sort of checks off two boxes, African-Americans and women who were nominated in 2020.”

Check out Enten’s ranking in the video below:

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