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#MagaFirstNews 8-26-19

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

China signaled on Monday it was now seeking a “calm” end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S., as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

News of the possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China.

Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the Group of Seven summit in France on Sunday, White House officials rejected suggestions the president was wavering and insisted that his only regret was not implementing even more tariffs on China.

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

President Trump on Monday said the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran and told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he hopes to see a strong Iran. Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations. A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods. The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. The police deployed two water cannon trucks Sunday for the first time during the 11 weeks of protests. – The Associated Press

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Bernie Sanders renewed his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in the top Republican’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, demanding that McConnell stop his “cowardice” and “have the guts” to immediately take up legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, strengthening election security and raising the federal minimum wage. The blistering address in Louisville came as national Democrats, hoping to retake not only the White House but also the Senate in 2020, increasingly have set their sights on the 77-year-old McConnell.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed former Vice President Joe Biden “regretted” making a comment over the weekend about what would have happened had former President Barack Obama been assassinated while on the campaign trail in 2008. The comment stirred up controversy, but a Biden aide said the candidate has used the analogy before when speaking to younger generations who were not alive during the turbulent 1960s. Biden asserted the assassinations of King and Kennedy raised his political awareness and propelled him to run for office.

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

The Wild West came to Midtown on Sunday when at least three armed bandits — one of whom wore what witnesses described as a cowboy hat — bound workers in a massive jewelry-store heist, according to police. The crooks coolly posed as customers at Avianne and Co. in the heart of the Diamond District, browsing the bling before pulling handguns on the four workers in the shop at the time of the high-noon hold-up, cops said. After restraining the workers with zip ties, the robbers raided the safe and display cases, dumping nearly all of the sparklers into at least one duffle bag before high-tailing it out onto surveillance-camera-lined West 47th Street, according to authorities. – Reported by the New York Post


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“I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings. Immediately,” he said, adding: “The politics of this be dammed. When we look at history at what happened when the president started acting like an authoritarian. The question is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.” “I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn’t end up with an acquittal by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell in the Senate and President Trump is saying he was acquitted by the Congress. I belief we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president. And we can’t do anything that plays into his hands.” But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet was more cautious.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “It’s obvious the president committed the crimes worthy of impeachment.” Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has said her Justice Department, if elected president, would go forward with obstruction of justices charges against Trump, was the first to elaborate. “We all watched the testimony [former special counsel Robert Muelle], I read the report,” she said. “There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this president and he needs to be held accountable. I have seen people go to prison for far less.” Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey agreed. Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development also was in favor of punishment. “I was first of candidate to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said, adding: “I believe that the evidence is plain and clear. And if it goes that far, you’re likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.” The progressive Democrats on the stage Wednesday night for the second round of debates among presidential candidates were all in favor of tossing President Donald Trump in jail.

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stepped off a plane and into a crowd of protesters Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport who chanted “free the children” as he waited for his luggage. The chant was a reference to detention centers at the southern border. The Texas conservative has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump’s border security policies. Cruz can be seen in video posted to Twitter smiling, shaking a few hands and even taking pictures with some fellow travelers as the group chanted.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also resigned from a planning committee in protest. Caucus members said they will also boycott the rest of a weeklong series of events marking the 400th anniversary and have instead planned alternative commemorations Tuesday in Richmond, Virginia’s capital. Trump’s comments about Cummings were the latest rhetorical shot at a lawmaker of color to spark outrage. Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now.” Caucus chair Del. Lamont Bagby said in an interview the group unanimously reached the boycott decision more than a week ago. But he said the president has “continued his attacks” since then and his remarks about Cummings’ district were more of the same. Virginia’s black state lawmakers announced Monday they will boycott a ceremony this week commemorating the beginnings of American democracy because President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend. Trump will join national and state leaders and dignitaries at Tuesday’s event, a commemorative session of the Virginia General Assembly at which Trump is to deliver remarks. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that the caucus was pushing “a political agenda.” “The commemoration of the birth of this nation and its democracy will be tarnished unduly with the participation of the President, who continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders, promulgate policies that harm marginalized communities, and use racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” the caucus said in a statement. The convening of a legislative assembly in 1619 formed the basis of today’s representative system of government in the United States. The Virginia General Assembly is considered the oldest continuously operating legislative body in North America. The caucus’ statement did not specifically mention Cummings but said Trump’s “repeated attacks on Black legislators and comments about Black communities makes him ill-suited to honor and commemorate such a monumental period in history.” When the Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported earlier in the month that Trump would take part in the event, top Democratic lawmakers said they would not attend. Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said at the time that their decision was “disappointing and embarrassing.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said its members would not attend Tuesday’s event in historic Jamestown marking the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere. The boycott comes after Trump’s weekend comments referring to Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore-area district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Tuesday’s events are just one part of a yearlong commemoration called American Evolution meant to honor key milestones in the state’s colonial history, including the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded Africans in English North America. “President Trump passed criminal justice reform, developed opportunity zones securing record-setting investment in distressed communities, and pushed policies that created the lowest unemployment rates ever for African Americans, so it’s a bit confusing and unfortunate that the VLBC would choose to push a political agenda instead of celebrate this milestone for our nation,” she said in a statement.

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A federal judge in D.C. wants President Donald Trump, New York state officials, and the U.S. House of Representatives to come up with a solution that would give the president “very modest relief” in the dispute over a law that allows the release of his tax returns, Politico reports. The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee at the beginning of this month filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department and the IRS in an effort to obtain Trump’s returns. Trump filed a lawsuit against the Ways and Means Committee, New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt to prevent the committee from doing so, arguing the committee lacks a legislative purpose for using the New York law to acquire the taxes. A New York law enacted in early July allows Congress’ tax committees to request public officials’ state tax returns from the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia acknowledged Trump’s concerns that his New York state tax returns could be turned over before the courts have a sufficient amount of time to consider constitutional and legal issues with the request. He gave the parties until 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday to use their “creativity” to reach an agreement. The separate cases were filed in federal court in D.C. this month.

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— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 29, 2019
One of those heroes and an advocate for the legislation was Luis Alvarez, a retired New York Police Department detective who testified before Congress last month to tell of his battle with cancer and nearly 70 rounds of chemotherapy.

“This fund is not a ticket to paradise, it’s to help take care of our families when we cant,” “You all said never forget, well I’m here to make sure that you don’t.”

Alvarez died two weeks later.

President Donald Trump holds up H.R. 1327, an act ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money, after signing it in the Rose Garden of the White House as member of the audience applaud and celebrate, Monday, July 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The bill will extend funds to pay for medical expenses of police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who are experiencing illnesses related to their rescue efforts following the attack.

“This critical legislation would fully fund the September 11th compensation fund to make sure all those exposed and impacted by the related illnesses are thoroughly compensated, and for those conditions diagnosed in the future,” stated Senator Cory Garner (R-Colo.).

“For your entire lives you have gone far beyond your duty to us and today we strive to fulfill our sacred duty to you. We love you, we honor you and we thank you. God bless you all.” — President Trump
President Trump Signs H.R. 1327 https://t.co/r1YBKEX3hY
President Trump signed a bill to extend health funding for the heroes who responded to the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks. He signed the 9/11 victims compensation bill, also known as H.R. 1327, during a ceremony Monday. The move marked an end to weeks of congressional debates.
President Donald Trump holds up H.R. 1327, an act ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money, after signing it in the Rose Garden of the White House as member of the audience applaud and celebrate, Monday, July 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 27, 2019
The Obama-endorsed op-ed ends by telling readers to “expect more.” In the meantime, it remains unclear whether or not an investigation will be launched.
Former Democrat President Barack Obama is pictured. (AP Photo)
— Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman – RNC

Former President Obama and his administration have continued seemingly hypocritical attacks on President Trump despite new scrutiny over his illegal oversight of the Trump campaign.

I’ve always been proud of what this team accomplished during my administration. But more than what we did, I’m proud of how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better. https://t.co/0cfDltjueP
Obama recently seemed to up the ante on his criticism of the president as he took to Twitter to promote an anti-Trump op-ed by the Washington Post over the weekend. In the piece, 149 of Obama’s former White House aides accused President Trump of  “poisoning American democracy.” It also took aim at the president’s supporters by calling them “racist, xenophobic and homophobic.”

The authors also cite “relentless attacks” on the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency, but their attacks on President Trump seem to rebuke Obama’s call for caution on labeling people.

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Papadopoulos specifically requested the Department of Justice look at the dollar bills given to him due to the department’s probe into the origins of the Russia probe, with Papadopoulos being used as a reason to start an investigation. The money is believed to be supplemental evidence as the Justice Department is getting closer to acquiring transcripts of recorded conversations between Papadopoulos and an alleged informant of the FBI — Stefan Halper.

“They were looking to make a conspiracy case, using me with this fake information to then hurt Trump…what they were trying to do is fabricate a conspiracy among the Trump campaign and President Trump using their own people,”

Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos is going to Greece to return ,000 given to him for reasons he believes constitute as entrapment. Papadopoulos claims the money is marked bills, and was given to him in a plot by the Obama-era FBI and CIA to charge him with a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The money aroused suspicion with Papadopoulos, prompting him to turn it into his lawyer where it has been stored in a safe.

“All my work was actually dedicated to undermining Russian influence and interests throughout the world
yet I find myself somehow as Patient Zero of a Russian conspiracy, and that was the moment when I realized how dominant and how manipulative PSYOPs (psychological operations) are,”

said the former Trump campaign aide.

George Papadopoulos, a former member of the foreign policy panel to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, poses for a photo before a TV interview in New York, New York, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegr

Papadopoulos was approached by a man named Joseph Misfud in 2016, who told him about Russian knowledge of dirt on Clinton. Papadopoulos then urged a Department of Justice investigation into the Obama-era FBI’s role in starting the Russia probe and fueling the “collusion hoax.”

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Nonetheless, the incident was used to highlight a lack of coordination between the White House and the intelligence community with Coats often being the bearer of bad news. President Trump was vocal about his disagreements with Coats, reportedly telling him behind the scenes to stay quiet about threats of Russian meddling and even calling him out publicly in certain settings.

“Can you give me an example, other than Donald Trump, where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined? …You can’t find it because, I’ll tell you why, it doesn’t exist.” 

On Sunday, President Trump announced Republican Representative John Ratcliffe will take over as Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Ratcliffe has long been considered to be a Trump ally, but apparently made an impression during his interrogation of Robert Mueller. He had this to say during the hearing:

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., asks questions to former special counsel Robert Mueller, as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The latest change at the DNI could be a sign that the president is looking to downsize the department altogether in order to concentrate on information sharing efforts. Coats is expected to leave the department on Thursday, August 15th with the president saying an active director will be named in the near future.

There’s another shake-up in the Trump administration, with the latest move likely having a trickle-effect throughout the rest of the government.
The Texas congressman was already a rising star in the Republican Party after winning his election with more than 70-percent of the vote in the 2018 midterms. Ratcliffe was facing off against other high profile officials for the job, including chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford. He also challenged Fred Fleitz, the former Chief of Staff for National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., asks questions to former special counsel Robert Mueller, as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Ratcliffe will now be elevated to a post where the current official, Dan Coats, has often been at odds with the president and his administration. Perhaps the most memorable event during his tenure was his response after learning President Trump invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House. When asked about the invitation he laughed and acted as if it were a joke. Coats later said he meant no disrespect to the White House and admitted the exchange was somewhat awkward.

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In January, Coats again was reportedly in Trump’s dog house when he told a Senate committee that North Korea was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, which contradicted the president’s more optimistic view. At last year’s Aspen Security Forum, Coats reportedly angered Trump when he  appeared to criticize the president’s ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer slammed on Sunday President Donald Trump’s choice of Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, The Hill reported. “It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller ” Schumer said in a statement. “If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter that the successor for Coats “must put patriotism before politics, and remember that his oath is to protect the Constitution and the American people, not the President.” Trump had reportedly soured on Coats several times during his tenure. Axios reported that Trump was impressed by Ratcliffe’s performance during his questioning of Mueller at congressional hearings on Wednesday. Sen Eliabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, added in a tweet that “Our Director of National Intelligence should be above partisan politics, speak truth to power, and resist Trump’s abuses of authority. John Ratcliffe doesn’t fit that bill.” It is not yet clear how the Senate overall will react to Ratcliffe’s nomination, according to The Hill.  However, his membership in the House Intelligence Committee will likely appeal to Republican senators.

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