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President Trump is expected to nominate former Virginia attorney general Kenneth Cuccinelli to oversee the nation’s immigration system as the next director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to media reports.

Cuccinelli —  an immigration hardliner — would replace Lee Francis Cissna, who is resigning after pressure from the White House, the New York Times reported. He officially steps down June 1. Trump has long-regarded the country’s immigration system as broken and in need of restructuring.

Cissna had support from a number of groups opposed to illegal immigration, but not from White House officials.

Ken Cuccinelli is reportedly being tapped to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Ken Cuccinelli is reportedly being tapped to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Fox News)

While Cuccinelli has Trump’s support, getting confirmed to the post could be a problem. The Times reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chances were close to zero.

Cuccinelli in 2014 was part of the Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee that supported Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to challenge McConnell in a primary, according to the paper.

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McConnell previously said he opposed Cuccinelli to head the Department of Homeland Security after Kirstjen Nielsen was fired last month.

“I’ve not spoken to him about any of them. I have expressed my, shall I say, lack of enthusiasm for one of them … Ken Cuccinelli,” McConnell told reporters in April.

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Facebook has released a statement amid concerns about its decision not to remove an altered video that went viral — one concocted to make it seem that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was slurring her words.

Although the social media giant triggered a backlash by not taking down the vid, it said it did reduce the content’s distribution and add a disclaimer notifying users that the video was “false.”

“We remove things from Facebook that violate our Community standards, and we don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true,’ the company said Friday, according to ABC7 News.

By Saturday, the video had more than 28,000 comments, nearly 50,000 shares, and at least 2.6 million views. It was posted on Wednesday. Underneath the video’s caption, a long list of articles, from labeled fact-checkers, criticized the video.

CROSSFIT QUITS FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, ACCUSES SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT OF CENSORSHIP, BEING ‘UTOPIAN SOCIALISTS’

It showed Pelosi making controversial comments about Trump’s alleged behavior during an infrastructure meeting that was cut short earlier this week.

The platform clarified that it didn’t think all content deserved to be distributed but allowed some content as forms of expression.

“There’s a tension here; we work hard to find the right balance between encouraging free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community, and we believe that reducing the distribution of inauthentic content strikes that balance,” it said.

“But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn’t mean it should get distribution. In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed.” The platform also outlined how it combated misleading content.

MARK ZUCKERBERG CLAIMS FACEBOOK SECURITY EFFORTS WILL SUFFER IF COMPANY IS BROKEN UP

“We fight the spread of false news on Facebook in a number of ways, namely by removing content that violates our Community Standards, like fake accounts; reducing the distribution of content that does not directly violate Community Standards, but still undermines the authenticity of the platform, by demoting it in News Feed; and empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share by informing them with more context in-product and promoting news literacy,” it said.

The controversy erupted amid already-growing scrutiny surrounding Facebook and other social media companies and the way they handled content on their platform. Facebook and Twitter specifically took heat for apparent bias against conservatives as well as allowing content promoted by Russians during the 2016 election.

Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president for product policy and counterterrorism, said on CNN that her company “dramatically” reduced the video’s distribution and told users the video was false.

“We have acted … anybody who is seeing this video in News Feed, anyone who is going to share it with somebody else, anybody who has shared it in the past — they are being alerted that this video is false,” she said.

FACEBOOK REVEALS HOW OFTEN IT GETS CONTENT TAKEDOWNS WRONG

CNN’s Anderson Cooper pressed Bickert on why she decided to keep the video on the platform.

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“We think it’s important for people to make their own informed choice about what to believe. Our job is to make sure that we are getting them accurate information and that’s why we work with more than 50 fact-checking organizations around the world,” she told Cooper.

She added that the company would remove misinformation related to on-going riots or some kind of threat to physical violence.

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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says the nation’s spy agencies will provide the Justice Department all appropriate information for its review of intelligence activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump claims his campaign was the victim of “spying” and has given Attorney General William Barr full authority to publicly disclose still-secret information collected during the investigation.

Some former intelligence officials and Democrats worry that Barr will cherry-pick intelligence to paint a misleading picture about the roots of the probe.

In a statement released Friday, Coats said he’s confident that Barr will work with “long-established standards to protect highly sensitive, classified information that, if publicly released,” would put U.S. national security at risk.

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President Trump on Saturday ripped into what he described as an “activist Obama appointed judge” after a federal judge blocked the administration’s plan to reallocate money to building a wall on the southern border with Mexico.

“Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction,” he said. “This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking.”

JUDGE TEMPORARILY BLOCKS TRUMP’S BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION PLANS

Trump went on to say that the administration is asking for “an expedited appeal.”

U.S District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam’s ruling late Friday temporarily prevents the administration from using reallocated funds for two wall-related projects in Arizona and Texas by diverting money that Congress has not approved.

Trump declared a national emergency in February and is using that declaration to redirect funding from the Pentagon, after Congress did not agree to the president’s demand for more than $5 billion in wall funding.

“Congress’s ‘absolute’ control over federal expenditures — even when that control may frustrate the desires of the executive branch regarding initiatives it views as important — is not a bug in our constitutional system. It is a feature of that system, and an essential one,” Gilliam, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, wrote in his opinion.

“In short, the position that when Congress declines the executive’s request to appropriate funds, the executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” he said.

Gilliam’s ruling does not stop the Trump administration from using other sources to fund the wall, and he rejected a request by California and 19 other states to prevent the diversion of $600 million in Treasury funds to the wall.

REPUBLICAN LAUNCHES FRESH PUSH TO DEFUND SANCTUARY CITIES AFTER COURTS BLOCK TRUMP

Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, coming after a 35-day government shutdown, was controversial on both sides of the aisle.  A resolution disapproving of the declaration passed both chambers of Congress, but was vetoed at the president’s desk. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called it a “power grab by a disappointed president” in a statement.

Congress had OK’d $1.4 billion for border security, but it wasn’t close to the $5 billion Trump requested.

The White House eyed an additional $8 billion in existing funding that could be moved for the wall, $3.5 billion of which could be shifted over from the Defense Department’s military construction budget via the emergency declaration.

Trump predicted a difficult legal fight when he declared the national emergency, saying he believed it would end up in the Supreme Court.

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“We will have a national emergency, and we will then be sued,” Trump said, adding that the federal appeals courts could well rule against his administration. “Then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court, and hopefully we’ll get a fair shake, and we’ll win at the Supreme Court — just like the [travel] ban.”

The case is one of a number of lawsuits the administration is facing over the declaration. On Thursday, a judge in Washington heard arguments on a lawsuit from the House of Representatives that claims it violates the Constitution.

The judge was considering whether the House can sue the president instead of resolving a dispute through the political process.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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President Trump on Saturday started his four-day visit to Japan by declaring that Tokyo has a “substantial” trade advantage over the U.S. — and that he hopes a future trade agreement will rebalance the situation.

Trump, speaking to businessmen at the U.S. ambassador’s residence, hailed the U.S.-Japanese relationship. He said that the countries are “working together to promote mutually beneficial investment.” and that they are working on a bilateral trade deal.

JAPAN WELCOMES TRUMP WITH A CHARM CAMPAIGN, GOLF AND SUMO

“I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years but that’s OK,” he said. “Maybe that’s why you like me so much.

“But we’ll get it a little bit more fair,” he added. “I think we’ll do that.”

Trump has made rebalancing trading relationships, particularly with China and the European Union, a priority of his administration. He has threatened Japan with tariffs on automobiles and auto parts if Japan does not give ground to the U.S. in talks.

In his speech, he said that he hopes the deal will address the imbalance by removing barriers to U.S. exports and ensuring “fairness and reciprocity” in the U.S.-Japanese relationship. He struck an optimistic note about negotiations, though, and said that “we’re getting close.”

“Just last week, U.S. beef exports gained full access to Japan and to the markets in Japan for the first time since the year 2000,” he said. “We welcome your support for these efforts and we hope to have several further announcements soon and some very big ones over the next few months.”

JOHN BOLTON SAYS NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TESTS VIOLATE UN RESOLUTIONS

As part of that push, he told business leaders that there’s “never been a better time to invest and do business in the United States.”

“Last year for the first time in a decade the United States was ranked the most competitive economy anywhere in the world,” he said, before taking a swipe at the Federal Reserve. “During that year our economy grew. At three percent. And if the Fed didn’t raise interest rates frankly it would have been much higher than 3 percent.“

He went on to tout his administration’s efforts to cut red tape and the strength of U.S. labor markets as he sought to sell the U.S. to potential investors. He told the audience that the U.S.-Japanese relationship “has never been more powerful, never been closer.”

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“If you join in seizing the incredible opportunities now before us in terms of investments in the United States, I think you’re going to see a tremendous return on your investments,” he said.

Trump will become the first head of state to meet Emperor Naruhito on Monday. He will also play golf and attend a sumo wrestling championship match during his visit.

Also on the table is North Korea. National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Trump will talk with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about “making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions are maintained.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reportedly indicated that he was open to differing abortion views within his party, describing the position as a “personal” one.

“Members run and take positions. It’s a personal position, and they have to stake out their own personal position, just as I have,” McCarthy said, according to Vice News on Thursday.

His comments came as he pushed back against Alabama’s restrictive abortion law that excluded exceptions for rape and incest.

McCarthy’s position reflected the personal view of his party’s chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, who told CNN that she would include those exceptions in abortion legislation. McDaniel, however, also said that her party had a broad tent and allowed states like Alabama to craft their own legislation even if it didn’t stricly adhere to her position.

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State-level abortion initiatives — in particular, Alabama’s and New York’s — have put politicians in both parties in tough spots as they faced questions about aspects of the procedure that were seen as the most difficult to defend.

According to Vice, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a prominent conservative caucus, circulated a “messaging guidance” email that blamed the media for creating division in the GOP and directed members to use talking points that supported Alabama’s law.

“While some Republicans may disagree with the timing and/or particular legal strategies being implemented with the various state measures, it is critical our members speak with clarity and conviction about the broader issue of the sanctity and inherent value of every single human life,” the email read.

Claiming that “every single human life has inestimable dignity and inherent value,” it argued that rape and incest didn’t justify abortions.

2020 DEMS JUMP INTO ABORTION FRAY AS LEGAL BATTLE HEATS UP

“Committing a second violent act with abortion to a woman who has already been victimized by an act of rape or incest could phyiscally or psychologically wound her further,” the guidance also argued.

When the president tweeted on the issue, however, he said he supported exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the mother’s life.

“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with three exceptions – Rape, Incest, and protecting the Life of the mother – the same position taken by [former President] Ronald Reagan,” Trump said.

MISSOURI GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL BANNING ABORTIONS AT 8 WEEKS

His tweet reflected a vigorously pro-life agenda and Supreme Court nominees who could overturn longstanding precedent on the issue.

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued over many state laws, including Alabama’s, setting up legal challenges for the court to consider. While it’s unclear how the Supreme Court will rule on the issue, pro-choice advocates have been adamant about politicians defending abortion access.

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But Democrats, like Republicans, seemed to face differences within their own party. Just after Louisiana’s Democratic governor signaled he would sign his state’s “heartbeat” legislation, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus called for “strong primaries” against pro-life Democrats.

While Democratic leaders have indicated it was possible to be pro-life and a Democrat, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., previously made clear that his party was pro-choice.

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As a team of U.S. navy seals prepared to take down the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, Admiral William McRaven had some frank words for his troops.

While recalling that raid during an interview on “Fox & Friends,” McRaven said he treated the raid like “any other mission.” “What I told the guys was, ‘look, it is going to be easy to get overcome by the moment but just do your job.'”

US OFFERS $1M FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO USAMA BIN LADEN’S SON

He told Pete Hegseth that the raid felt different given that if former Al Qaeda leader Usama Bin Laden was in that Pakistani compound, his troops would be taking part in a “historic moment in terms of bringing justice to all those people that were killed in 9/11.”

When Hegseth asked what kept the admiral going, he said the young men and women of the military.

‘AMERICAN TALIBAN’ JOHN WALKER LINDH WILL ‘GET BACK INTO JIHAD’ AFTER HIS RELEASE, ROB O’NEILL SAYS

“If you spend time around the young men and women of the military, you can’t help but be inspired by their courage, their heroism, their sacrifice … all you got to do is spend a little time with them and you’ll get the energy to do the job.”

McRaven was promoting his book, “Sea Stories,” which recounted details from his life of service. He received attention for his book “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World.”

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After Hegseth asked about raising good kids, McRaven praised milennials as the “next greatest generation.”

“I’m probably the biggest fan of the milennials you’ll ever meet and I think that surprises people,” he said. “I hear this that the milennials are pampered and they’re soft and they’re entitled. I’m quick to tell people, ‘then you never saw them in a firefight in Afghanistan’ or ‘you never saw them in a classroom in the University of Texas system trying to improve their life and the lives of their families.”

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As a team of U.S. navy seals prepared to take down the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, Admiral William McRaven had some frank words for his troops.

While recalling that raid during an interview on “Fox & Friends,” McRaven said he treated the raid like “any other mission.” “What I told the guys was, ‘look, it is going to be easy to get overcome by the moment but just do your job.'”

US OFFERS $1M FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO USAMA BIN LADEN’S SON

He told Pete Hegseth that the raid felt different given that if former Al Qaeda leader Usama Bin Laden was in that Pakistani compound, his troops would be taking part in a “historic moment in terms of bringing justice to all those people that were killed in 9/11.”

When Hegseth asked what kept the admiral going, he said the young men and women of the military.

‘AMERICAN TALIBAN’ JOHN WALKER LINDH WILL ‘GET BACK INTO JIHAD’ AFTER HIS RELEASE, ROB O’NEILL SAYS

“If you spend time around the young men and women of the military, you can’t help but be inspired by their courage, their heroism, their sacrifice … all you got to do is spend a little time with them and you’ll get the energy to do the job.”

McRaven was promoting his book, “Sea Stories,” which recounted details from his life of service. He received attention for his book “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World.”

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After Hegseth asked about raising good kids, McRaven praised milennials as the “next greatest generation.”

“I’m probably the biggest fan of the milennials you’ll ever meet and I think that surprises people,” he said. “I hear this that the milennials are pampered and they’re soft and they’re entitled. I’m quick to tell people, ‘then you never saw them in a firefight in Afghanistan’ or ‘you never saw them in a classroom in the University of Texas system trying to improve their life and the lives of their families.”

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Democrats were puffing hot air and criticized the Trump administration because they feared his declassification plan would uncover their dirty deeds, according to Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz.

When “Fox & Friends” co-host Jedediah Bila asked Chaffetz about Democrats’ concerns that President Trump’s plans would hurt national security Saturday, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee responded that it was “hogwash.”

Trump’s plan, Chaffetz argued, would improve Attorney General William Barr’s ability to communicate with intelligence agencies.

“First of all, the attorney general has every security clearance that he could possibly have, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has a counterintelligence component.”

He speculated that Democrats were projecting their own fears about the declassification uncovering troubling activities on their part.

BRENNAN, CLAPPER LASH OUT AT TRUMP FOR DECLASSIFYING 2016 ELECTION INTEL

“I think it’s projection by the Democrats that they’re scared to death that the highest echelons within some of these agencies — specifically [former CIA Director John] Brennan and [former Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper and perhaps [former national security advisor Susan] Rice and some of these other people along the way were doing some things that they shouldn’t have been doing,” Chaffetz said.

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Chaffetz was commenting on Trump’s decision to give the attorney general greater authority in investigating the origins of the Russia investigation.

Chaffetz, on Saturday, suggested that instead of getting criticism, the president should be receiving awards for his efforts at transparency.

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Democrats were puffing hot air and criticized the Trump administration because they feared his declassification plan would uncover their dirty deeds, according to Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz.

When “Fox & Friends” co-host Jedediah Bila asked Chaffetz about Democrats’ concerns that President Trump’s plans would hurt national security Saturday, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee responded that it was “hogwash.”

Trump’s plan, Chaffetz argued, would improve Attorney General William Barr’s ability to communicate with intelligence agencies.

“First of all, the attorney general has every security clearance that he could possibly have, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has a counterintelligence component.”

He speculated that Democrats were projecting their own fears about the declassification uncovering troubling activities on their part.

BRENNAN, CLAPPER LASH OUT AT TRUMP FOR DECLASSIFYING 2016 ELECTION INTEL

“I think it’s projection by the Democrats that they’re scared to death that the highest echelons within some of these agencies — specifically [former CIA Director John] Brennan and [former Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper and perhaps [former national security advisor Susan] Rice and some of these other people along the way were doing some things that they shouldn’t have been doing,” Chaffetz said.

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Chaffetz was commenting on Trump’s decision to give the attorney general greater authority in investigating the origins of the Russia investigation.

Chaffetz, on Saturday, suggested that instead of getting criticism, the president should be receiving awards for his efforts at transparency.

Source: Fox News Politics


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