Senate

It seems the former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin is praising the “Deep State” and it’s a role in the current mess with have with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

McLaughlin was referring to the fact that an intelligence officer filed the whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s July call with Ukraine, in which there was a conversation that the Democrats have described as showing Trump inappropriately asked a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 elections by investigating his political rival.

The former intelligence official spoke at an event hosted by George Mason University, joined by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former CIA Director John Brennan. It should be noted that both of whom have been critical of the president.

Also to be pointed out is that this whole impeachment inquiry is just signally more and more every day that the conspiracy theories of a”Deep State” are more likely than ever, confirming Trump’s concerns and Tweets.

“There is something unique you have to agree that now that the impeachment inquiry is underway, sparked by a complaint from someone within the intelligence community, it feeds the president’s concern, an often-used term about a ‘deep state’ being there to take him out,”

Stated by CBS reporter Margaret Brennan

“Well, you know, thank God for the ‘deep state’,”

McLaughlin responded, provoking laughter and applause.

He went on to praise the intelligence community.

“This is the institution within the U.S. government — that with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes — is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth,”

“It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth — it’s engraved in marble in the lobby.”

“With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else,”

These comments came just before the House voted to approve a resolution for ground rules in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Opinion: Looking into this is that this was all over the fact that Trump just wanted to know why Biden was able to pressure Ukraine into dropping a legal case and inquiry into Biden’s son. It’s all a bit odd that our President Trump would be getting impeached over the exact thing that Joe Biden actually did when all Trump did was ask questions. More Double Standards of course! What do you think? Share and leave comments

Follow Peter Boykin – https://t.me/PeterBoykin

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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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Twitter locked accounts belonging to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign and several prominent conservatives Monday, after they posted videos of left-wing protesters gathered outside McConnell’s Kentucky home — with one demonstrator calling for someone to stab McConnell “in the heart” and for McConnell to break his “raggedy” neck. Capitol Hill communications director Ben Goldey said that he, too, had been locked out of Twitter.

“My account was temporarily suspended after posting a video of far-left activists chanting death threats at Senator McConnell,” Goldey wrote on Twitter.

“Meanwhile, @Castro4Congress tweet, targeting his own constituents by name and employer is still up and does not violate Twitter’s Rules.”

“Mitch McConnell has people on his yard threatening to “stab the motherf******” in the heart” & @twitter suspends MCCONNELL from its platform,”

Jennings wrote on Twitter.

“This nation needs to heal & this platform is actively removing voices from the conversation who can help find solutions. Absolute garbage.””Just stab the m—– f—– in the heart,”

Helm said, after a fellow demonstrator referenced a McConnell voodoo doll. Former McConnell aide and political commentator Scott Jennings also called the situation inexplicable.

“McConnell doesn’t care about people who actually do break their necks, who need insulin, who need any type of medication, because they want to stop and prevent health care for all,”

Helm said.

“And that is something that every American out here wants. There’s only a few Americans who don’t want that”

Twitter declined to provide an on-the-record comment. Because the video included an explicit call for violence, and took place steps away from McConnell’s residence, it apparently violated Twitter’s rules for anyone to post the video — including McConnell and his supporters. McConnell, 77, has been resting at home since tripping on his patio fracturing his shoulder on Sunday — and the Team Mitch account posted images showing him at his residence.

In the wake of this weekend’s deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the hashtag

“Massacre Mitch”

trended on Twitter — and some activists took their case to McConnell’s residence. Saavedra added:

“By suspending McConnell’s re-election campaign for exposing the violent rhetoric directed at McConnell, which was allowed to foment on Twitter for days, Twitter is interfering in the 2020 elections in a manner to help Democrats and hurt Republicans.” “This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell,”

McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden said in a statement.

“This is the problem with the speech police in America today.”

On Tuesday, McConnell’s campaign accused New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of encouraging threats against the senator and

“trying to dox some underage kids”

after she blasted a group of McConnell-supporting boys who took a controversial photo with a cardboard cutout of her during a recent Kentucky political event.

The situation quickly spiraled. The Daily Beast posted a tweet claiming that McConnel’s campaign had “essentially” told Ocasio-Cortez that “boys will be boys” — prompting Ocasio-Cortez, and later Newsweek, to falsely imply that McConnell’s campaign had, in fact, used that phrase.

As of late Wednesday, the Team Mitch had not deleted the offending tweet containing the video. Twitter’s policy for accounts violating its rules on certain offending content is to require the account owners to delete offending tweets in order for their access to be restored unless the conduct is so severe it warrants an indefinite suspension.

Golden continued:

“The Lexington-Herald can attack Mitch with cartoon tombstones of his opponents. But we can’t mock it. Twitter will allow the words ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform. But locks our account for posting actual threats against us. We appealed and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video.”

Golden added:

“These young men are not campaign staff, they’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country.”

Its most recent tweet, made late Tuesday, Team Mitch called the threats outside McConnell’s home

“serious calls to physical violence”

and said law enforcement had been notified. The episode prompted the McConnell campaign, known as

“Team Mitch,”

to slam Twitter for political bias, saying the social media platform had effectively blamed the victim. Meanwhile, observers noted, Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro remains active on Twitter, even after he posted the names of San Antonio residents who donated to Trump.

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McConnell tweeted on Saturday that he and the country were “horrified” by the “senseless violence” in El Paso, where a lone gunman opened fire inside a Walmart and left at least 20 people dead and dozens more wounded. Following McConnell’s tweet, another gunman attacked a popular nightlife district in Dayton in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“Mitch McConnell should bring the Senate back into session immediately to pass HR 8, the gun safety bill that has already passed the House,”

Sanders tweeted.

“That’s a first step to addressing our serious gun violence epidemic.”

The measure, HR 8, was passed back in February with overwhelming support from the newly elected Democratic majority and some Republican support.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a leading candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also demanded that McConnell call the Senate back into session and take up a vote of the resolution.

“The House passed HR8, a Bipartisan Background Checks Act, *5 months ago* and the Senate has yet to vote on it,”

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to McConnell’s own tweet.

“It was one of our 1st major priorities after ending the gov shutdown. You’ve been sitting on it since February giving bogus excuses. Care to explain the people why?”

In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for failing to call a vote on a gun reform bill that the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives passed in February.

Ocasio-Cortez called out McConnell in a tweet on Sunday for

“giving bogus excuses”

as to why the Senate hasn’t taken up the measure passed in the House that would tighten background checks for people seeking to purchase a firearm.

Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only lawmaker to call on McConnell to bring the resolution to a vote in the Senate.

The impact of Harris’ move was almost instant: Biden lost some of his lead in the polls while Harris’ numbers climbed.”In response to Senator Biden about the Affordable Care Act, it’s important you understand our ‘Medicare for all’ plan has actually by the architect of the Obama Affordable Care Act been described as one of the most effective ways to bring health care to all,” Harris said at one point during the debate.“Go easy on me, kid,” Biden said, in an apparent reference to the clash between the candidates in Miami last month.Kamala Harris seemed to prove in Miami in June that she was ready to take the offensive against 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.“Senator Biden, your plan will keep and allow insurance companies to remain in status quo, doing business as usual,” Harris said later.“Kid?” came the one-word response from Ian Sams, Harris’ national press secretary.“Fact check: @JoeBiden is not a ‘Senator,’” Bates wrote on Twitter.KAMALA HARRIS ‘GOT IT WRONG’ IN ‘SAD’ ATTACK ON BIDEN, FORMER US SENATOR SAYSFox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPPrior to the debate, Biden had greeted Harris on the debate stage in Detroit.In June, Harris aggressively went after Biden on the debate stage in Miami, criticizing him for comments he had made about his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing.The references to Biden’s days representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate appeared to irk Andrew Bates, the “rapid response” director for Biden’s campaign.So after Biden referred to the 54-year-old U.S. senator as “kid” on Wednesday, it probably didn’t seem like an accident to some when Harris referred to the 76-year-old former vice president as “Senator” at least twice during Wednesday’s debate in Detroit.

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Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.

This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.

2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?

Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”

While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.

3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?

Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.

Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?

The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.

To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)

Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.

5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?

The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.

The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.

6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive

The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.

For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.

7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?

The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.

Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).

Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.

8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?

The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.

9. Can Congress compel disclosure?

Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.

The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?

Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.

In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.

The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.

For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.

“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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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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“Leader McConnell doesn’t have to put the bills that we have proposed . . . or the bill the House has passed, there are bipartisan bills —and we can debate the issue,” Schumer added. “These pundits are lying, lying when they dismiss the work that has been done,” McConnell said, The Hill reported. “They’re lying when they insist I have personally blocked actions which, in fact, I have championed and the Senate has passed. They are lying when they suggest that either party is against defending our democracy.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for complaining about becoming a victim of “modern-day McCarthyism” for blocking two election security bills last week. The comments followed McConnell’s fiery retaliation at critics, accusing them of “lying” and “modern-day McCarthyism” for targeting his block of the Democrat-supported election security measures. But Schumer challenged McConnell: “Prove them wrong.” “If Leader McConnell doesn’t like being criticized on election security, I challenge him: Let’s debate it on the floor with amendments,” Schumer said, The Hill reported. “I challenge him: support additional appropriations for states to harden their election systems. In both cases, Leader McConnell has not done that.” “There’s an easy way for Leader McConnell to silence the critics who accuse him of blocking election security: stop blocking it,” the Senate minority leader said, The Hill reported.

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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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