After a week of historic flooding featuring record-high river levels that killed at least three people in the Midwest, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Nebraska Tuesday at the president’s request, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday.
Pence will be joined by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.
“Thank you to First Responders and many volunteers helping those affected!” Sanders added in a tweet announcing Pence’s visit.
The Sarpy County Nebraska Sheriff’s office said at least 500 homes have been destroyed in the floods so far, leaving hundreds of people displaced, The Weather Channel reported Sunday.
One of the two people killed was a 50-year-old Nebraska farmer who was trying to save a stranger trapped in flood waters. James Wilke, 50, drove his tractor onto a bridge in an attempt to save a stranded driver, but the bridge collapsed.
Eighty-year-old Betty Hamernik and a 55-year-old man have also been killed in the flooding, The Weather Channel reported. Two other men remain missing.
President Trump tweeted about the flooding last week.
“Just spoke w/ @GovRicketts,” he wrote. “The people of Nebraska & across the Midwest, especially the Farmers & Ranchers, are feeling the impacts from severe weather. The first responders & emergency response teams have done a great job dealing w/ record flooding, high winds, & road closures.”
The flooding has also displaced residents in nearby Iowa and Missouri.
To help, donations can be made to the American Red Cross of Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.
Source: Fox News National
Vice President Pence, in an exclusive "Fox & Friends" interview Thursday, said Joe Biden “caved to liberal activists” when the former vice president backtracked after calling Pence a “decent guy.”
Pence was asked about Biden’s comments, and then his apparent backtrack, after liberal and far-left Democrats shamed him for defending Pence’s character. He also weighed in on Biden potentially entering the 2020 presidential race.
“Well look, they’ve got an awfully big field,” Pence told “Fox & Friends.” “On the other side, the reality that you see — on the Democrat side, is it’s largely being driven by the most extreme liberal elements in their party, and the way Joe Biden caved in to liberal activists after making a kind comment for me is evidence of the pressure that all of their candidates are going to face.”
Biden’s comment came last month, when he defended Pence for praising President Trump during the Munich Security Conference. Pence was met with stone-cold silence.
“The fact of the matter is, it was followed on by a guy who’s a decent guy, our vice president, who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said, ‘I’m here on behalf of President Trump,’ and there was dead silence. Dead silence,” Biden said during a speech in Nebraska.
But Biden was hit with intense criticism by liberals like former New York City gubernatorial candidate and “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon, who blasted Biden for calling “America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader ‘a decent guy.’”
“Please consider how this falls on the ears of our community,” Nixon tweeted.
Biden took a step back and said: “You’re right, Cynthia. I was making a point in a foreign policy context, that under normal circumstances a Vice President wouldn’t be given a silent reaction on a world stage. But there is nothing decent about being anti-LGBTQ rights, and that includes the Vice President.”
Meanwhile, during the interview, Pence explained that Democrats are “prepared to run on open borders, socialism, abortion on demand infanticide, ‘Medicare-or-all,’ and The Green New Deal,” giving an optimistic forecast for Republicans come the next election cycle.
“And—I like our chances in 2020,” Pence said.
At this point, there are more than a dozen Democrats who have announced they will run for president, with another dozen rumored or considering a White House bid.
Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are among the already-crowded field.
Meanwhile, Biden hinted at a 2020 announcement “in a few weeks” on Tuesday during a speech at the annual convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) union.
“I appreciate the energy you showed when I got up here,” Biden said. “Save it a little longer. I may need it in a few weeks.”
Biden was met with applause and a standing ovation from the audience, but joked: “Be careful what you wish for. Be careful what you wish for.”
Biden, who represented Delaware in the Senate for nearly four decades before joining the Obama administration as vice president, has been moving closer and closer in recent weeks to launching, what could be, his third White House bid.
Sources familiar with his planning told Fox News last week that top advisers to the former vice president are getting their ducks in a row, figuring out a campaign structure and reaching out to veteran Democratic operatives who would be involved. Those sources suggested a campaign launch come April.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., just pulled a move straight out of the movie “Office Space” on Vice President Mike Pence.
Pelosi has decided to revoke the honorary office that former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., gave Pence on the first floor of the Capitol back in 2017.
While Pence rarely used the office, NPR reported that his nameplate was removed from the door and that the space has been reassigned, according to a Democratic aide.
The vice president, who serves as the president of the U.S. Senate and has an office on that chamber’s side, was given the House office shortly after President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017; it was a sign of goodwill between the House, then led by the GOP, and one of its former members.
The space is at the moment sitting empty.
"Room assignments are reviewed and changed at the beginning of every Congress," an aide told NPR.
The House speaker is the only member of Congress to have the power to assign coveted offices in the Capitol Building. Besides revoking Pence’s honorary office, Pelosi has doled out new office space for the White House legislative affairs team in the building.
Source: Fox News Politics
Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly challenged Vice President Pence over President Trump’s foreign policy on Saturday, with Cheney even comparing Trump’s approach to that of former President Barack Obama.
The Washington Post reports that the two clashed at a closed-door retreat hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Georgia, on subjects including the withdrawal of troops from Syria and the tougher stance taken by the Trump administration toward NATO.
Cheney suggested that the 2018 decision to withdraw from Syria was made during “the middle of a phone call” and that “we’re getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us.”
“I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan,” he said.
According to the Post, Pence shrugged off Cheney’s concerns and praised Trump as a “candid and transformational leader.” A Pence spokesman confirmed to the Post that the discussion took place but didn’t comment.
Cheney reportedly said Trump’s stance toward NATO, where he has urged countries to stump up more for their defense budgets, “feeds this notion on the part of our allies overseas, especially in NATO, that we’re not long for that continued relationship, that we’re looking eagerly to find ways where somebody else will pick up the tab.”
“Well, who wrote these softball questions?” Pence joked at one point, in reference to the grilling he was getting.
The clash is an example of the ongoing tension in the Republican Party between the more hawkish Bush-era wing that pushed for U.S. intervention in Iraq in 2003, and Trump’s homefront-focused policies that look to withdraw from conflicts abroad so as to deal with domestic national security issues.
Cheney also expressed concern about Trump’s decision to cancel military exercises with South Korea, and reports he wanted the Germans, Japanese and South Koreans to pay U.S. deployment costs, according to The Post.
Pence reportedly pushed back a number of times, praising Trump and accusing critics of conflating “the demand that our allies live up to their word and their commitments and an erosion in our commitment to the post-World War II order.”
“But we think it’s possible to demand that your allies do more to provide for the common defense of all of our nations and, at the same time, reaffirm our strong commitment – whether it be to the transatlantic alliance or to our allies across the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
Source: Fox News Politics
Vice President Mike Pence on Monday urged a coalition of mostly Latin American countries to freeze the assets of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company in response to violent clashes between security forces and opposition members over blocked humanitarian aid.
Speaking in Colombia on Monday, Pence repeated President Trump’s threat that “all options are on the table” to push out embattled socialist leader Nicolas Maduro, whose re-election is considered invalid by the U.S. and dozens of other countries.
"It’s time to do more," said Pence. "The day is coming soon when Venezuela’s long nightmare will end, when Venezuela will once more be free, when her people will see a new birth of freedom, in a nation reborn to libertad."
Pence was speaking at a meeting with the regional leaders in the Lima Group — a 14-nation coalition of mostly conservative Latin American nations and Canada that has joined together to pressure Maduro.
“We are with you 100 percent,” Pence said ahead of the start of the meeting. “I was to assure you, President Guaido, the tragic events of this past weekend have only steeled the resolve of the United States to stand with you … We will keep standing until your libertad is restored.”
Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month declared himself interim head of state and triggered a power struggle in the South American country, was also in attendance. He asked for a moment of silence for those killed in what he called the “massacre” of the weekend and urged the bloc to consider “all options” in ousting Maduro.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration slapped financial sanctions against Maduro allies.
The Treasury Department announced Monday measures against four governors: Omar Prieto of Zulia, Ramon Carrizales of Apure, Jorge Garcia Carneiro of Vargas and Rafael Lacava of Carabobo state.
“The United States will not stand idly while the people of Venezuela are denied basic necessities and made to suffer needlessly. These actions have consequences,” the department said in a statement. “We reaffirm our call on Venezuelan officials and security forces to allow urgently needed food and medicine to enter and be distributed throughout the country.”
Violent clashes broke out over the weekend across the Colombia-Venezuela border – at least four protesters died while more than 300 were injured as U.S.-backed aid convoys attempted to enter Venezuela to deliver food and medicine.
Trucks were met with tear gas and rubber bullets and at least two went up in flames, which the opposition blamed on security forces and the Venezuelan government on “drugged-up protesters.”
For weeks, the U.S. and regional allies had been amassing emergency food and medical kits on Venezuela’s borders in anticipation of carrying out a "humanitarian avalanche" by land and sea to undermine Maduro’s rule.
The embattled Maduro has denied a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and claimed that aid efforts are part of a U.S.-orchestrated coup attempt against the OPEC member.
Pence announced Monday that the U.S. would be sending another $56 million to neighbors of Venezuela to help them cope with migrants fleeing the nation’s deepening crisis.
The U.S. has already provided more than $139 million in aid to help Venezuela, Pence announced.
At the United Nations, the U.S. has asked the UN Security Council to meet to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, pushing the 15-member block to formally call for free, fair and credible presidential elections in Venezuela with international observers. This move prompted Russia – one of Maduro’s biggest supporters – to propose a rival draft resolution, Reuters reported.
Source: Fox News World
Vice President Mike Pence is traveling to Colombia next week to demonstrate continued U.S. support for the opposition to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Pence’s office says he’ll deliver a speech Monday in Bogota on the humanitarian and security crisis in neighboring Venezuela, and U.S. efforts to help get aid to the country. Pence will meet with Colombian President Ivan Duque as well as Venezuelan families who have sought refuge outside the country.
President Donald Trump and Duque discussed the situation in Venezuela during a White House meeting last week.
The United States and dozens of other countries recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. Maduro told the AP in an interview last week that he will not give up power as a way to defuse the standoff.
Source: Fox News Politics