You are hereFeed aggregator

Feed aggregator


Travelers Chant 'Lock Him Up' As Man In Trump Hat Is Removed From United Plane

Huffington Post News - 46 min 34 sec ago



function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Passengers chanted “lock him up” as United Airlines had a man sporting a Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” campaign hat removed from a flight in Shanghai. The man delayed takeoff for hours as he was escorted from the flight for being belligerent, the airline confirmed in a statement Monday. 


The incident is the latest in a slew of mid-air confrontations this year, with United hitting the headlines for an ugly incident involving a staff member. This time, passengers were reportedly upset with the unnamed man in the Trump campaign hat for refusing to allow anyone to sit next to him on Flight 187, apparently because he had been refused an upgrade.


He became so disruptive that airline staff told passengers to exit the plane so that they could remove him before the flight could travel to its destination in Newark, according to the airline. By the time the plane took off, it had to make an unscheduled stop in San Francisco to replace the crew, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.


In scenes reminiscent of Trump taunting 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton at campaign rallies, videos show people in the terminal at Shanghai Pudong International Airport chanting “charge him” and “lock him up” at the man.


“Obviously, the hat provoked some of the stuff,” Alexis Zimmerman, who was flying back to Newark, told The Washington Post. Zimmerman said he heard the man say, “I know people don’t like my hat.”


Fellow passengers reported the man called other travelers names on the flight, including “moron, “lesbian” and “Hillary.”





He referred to another passenger as “stupid friend over here that don’t know how to speak English,” video shows


It’s unclear what happened to the man in Shanghai.


“We’re grateful for the patience shown by our customers who endured the disruptive behavior of this passenger, as well as the exceptional poise and professionalism of our flight crew,” United said in a statement.



This guy has been delaying my wife's Shanghai to EWR United flt this a.m.. He wants to be dragged off so he can get his 25 million. MAGA hat pic.twitter.com/xWRSmpinpM

— Daniel O'Connell (@DanOfromNYC) May 21, 2017


type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=59159395e4b00f308cf47d97,58fa0c18e4b086ce58980fdd,58ee1d51e4b0145a227cb9fe

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Stephen Colbert Imagines Donald Trump's Postcards Home

Huffington Post News - 1 hour 39 min ago




President Donald Trump’s (spoof) postcards are something to write home about.


On Monday’s “Late Show,” Stephen Colbert imagined the kind of missives that Trump is sending back to his friends and family in the U.S. during his nine-day jaunt to the Middle East and Western Europe.


“I keep getting ‘Hamas’ and ‘Hummus’ confused,” he pens to National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.


Check out the rest of the postcards in the clip above.


type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58d22bd0e4b0f838c62dbc40,591febb2e4b094cdba5456d0,592005c9e4b03b485cb1d6b8,591ff108e4b034684b0ca2b8

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Former Trump Advisor James Woolsey Slams Obama As Manchester Attack Unfolds

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 9 min ago




Former CIA director James Woolsey, who advised Donald Trump during his campaign and transition, used unfolding news of the deadly attack in Manchester, England, to slam the president’s predecessor, Barack Obama.


In comments that Media Matters posted online, Woolsey told Fox News anchor Shepard Smith:  



“Things are kind of coming to a head. I think the radical Islamists ― and I would call them that ― have decided to pick up the pace with the terrorist attacks, and I think we’ll probably see some more.


And we now have a president who is pretty straightforward that he is at war with them. He’s not going to soft-pedal that. He calls them evil. And we haven’t had a situation like that. We did not have in the eight years of the Obama administration a president who wanted to fight and win a war.” 



Smith cut him off. 


“President Obama fought a number of wars and certainly didn’t say that he didn’t want to win them,” he said. “It’s very early, Mr. Woolsey, with great respect, it’s very early to make this a political matter.”


Woolsey continued. 


“He didn’t say that he didn’t want to win them, but I think that’s the way he behaved,” he said. “Seems to me that’s pretty straightforward.”


Woolsey, who was CIA director under former President Bill Clinton, joined the Trump campaign in September and served on the transition team until a couple of weeks before the transition, when he resigned amid what The Washington Post called “growing tensions over Trump’s vision for intelligence agencies.”


 


(H/T Mediaite)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Donald Trump Says 'Evil Losers' Behind Manchester Attack

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 28 min ago


President Trump blasts those responsible in Manchester terror attack as 'evil losers’ pic.twitter.com/CfbJayLglJ

— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 23, 2017


President Donald Trump said Monday’s deadly explosion in Manchester, England was the work of “evil losers.”


“I won’t call them monsters, because they would like that term... they’re losers, just remember that,” he said Tuesday during a press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem after meeting with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Monday.


“We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom,” Trump said. 


The blast at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande killed at least 22 people and wounded over 50, according to U.K. police. Police said the incident is “being treated as a terrorist incident.” 


Trump spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May to offer “condolences and support,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.



We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/u54jWT7v6Q

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 23, 2017


First Lady Melania Trump and First Daughter Ivanka Trump also expressed sympathies for those affected by the attack.



My thoughts and prayers to the families of #Manchester.

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 23, 2017



We stand united with our friends in the UK, and our hearts and prayers are with the victims of this atrocious violence. #RoomForManchester

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 23, 2017


Trump’s visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem is part of his first foreign trip as president. On Monday, he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall. He also met with leaders in Saudi Arabia over the weekend.


The blast comes a little over two months after a deadly terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament in London that killed five people, including the assailant, and injured more than 40. 


Mollie Reilly contributed reporting.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

James Corden Delivers Emotional Tribute To The ‘Manchester I Know’

Huffington Post News - 5 hours 6 min ago




James Corden returned to the “Late Late Show” set on Monday evening to deliver a special message in response to the attack in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert.  


Speaking to the camera on a quiet, empty set, Corden seemed to be on the verge of tears as he acknowledged the victims. 


“It shocks me every time we hear this sort of news that attacks like this can happen, but especially when there will be so many children at this concert tonight,” he said.


An Englishman, Corden spoke about many of the good things that came out of Manchester, from its musicians to its sports to its food, and mentioned that it was also the birthplace of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst.



“But when I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there. And I’m telling you, a more tight-knit group of people you will be hard-pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people with community at its core. And if it was even possible, the spirit of the people of Manchester will grow even stronger this evening.”



See the full segment above.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Israeli Telecom Company Launches Trump Spoof Ad

Huffington Post News - 5 hours 44 min ago




Just in time for Donald Trump’s visit, an Israeli telecom company released a TV commercial that mocks the American president.


The 65-second spot aired for the first time soon after Trump arrived in Israel on Monday.


In the Bezeq commercial, an Israeli tourist visiting the White House — played by actor Gidi Gov — sneaks away from his group to duck into the Oval Office, where he dons a blond wig and puts on the suit and long red tie he finds there.


The tourist is then mistaken for the president by a worried crew of aides who tell the faux Trump that “someone’s broken into the internet. It’s the Russians.”


The tourist keeps up the ruse by spouting the words “tremendous” (several times), “China” and later “crooked Hillary.” The aides are puzzled when he breaks into Hebrew.


The imposter pitches better security and concludes, in English, “Let’s make the internet great again!” (The ad promotes the SmartNet Internet security system.) The aides applaud.


The “real president” then appears in a bathrobe and demands, in a surprisingly Trump-like voice, “What the hell is going on?”


Indeed.


The TV commercial immediately followed Trump’s broadcast press conference alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on two TV channels, The Hill reported. 



Was particularly jarring when my live stream of the Bibi-Trump press conference went straight into this. Hoo boy. #trumpinisrael https://t.co/0Y06mc9pvV

— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) May 22, 2017


The same day, Trump explained to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that “we just got back from the Middle East,” referring to his first stop, Saudi Arabia. The faux pas and the faux Trump ad created a bizarre juxtaposition. 


type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related. Coverage + articlesList=591dae65e4b03b485caf4045

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Program helps boost student fluency in sign language - The Detroit News

Berkley Information from Google News - 6 hours 23 min ago


The Detroit News

Program helps boost student fluency in sign language
The Detroit News
Grosse Pointe Farms — Ashlee Trempus' hands flew silently through the air, her eyes bright and her face expressive. On her computer screen, Geo Roarke responded with a flurry of hand signals of his own. The two sat nearly 2,000 miles apart — Trempus ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

Seth Meyers Trolls Trump Over Middle East Trip Flubs

Huffington Post News - 6 hours 28 min ago




President Donald Trump has been out of the country for only a few days, but “Late Night” host Seth Meyers is already feeling the difference.


“It’s like when you were in school and your bully was out with the flu,” Meyers joked before launching into a recap of the president’s stumbles throughout his trip to the Middle East


In addition to ridiculing Trump over the fact that first lady Melania Trump publicly swatted away his hand, Meyers played a clip of the president telling the press that he “just got back from the Middle East” while sitting next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. 


“No wonder he thought Middle East peace was so easy. He wasn’t accounting for Israel,” Meyers said. “What does he think the Middle East is?” Meyers then mockingly imitated Trump saying, “I had a great weekend. We achieved peace between the Saudis and the Arabians.”


Watch the clip in the video above.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Stephen Colbert Compares Obama's Scandals With Trump's Scandals

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:47pm




A lot has changed in Washington since President Donald Trump took office in January, and that includes the types of scandals coming out of the White House. 


Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” has a look at some of the events that were treated as scandals during Barack Obama’s presidency and how they compare with what’s going on right now. 


Check it out above.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump's Budget Takes From The Safety Net, Gives To The Military

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:00pm



function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump wants Congress to cut food stamps and other anti-poverty programs in order to pay for more military spending and a border wall, according to a budget proposal the White House will formally unveil on Tuesday.  


Trump’s budget for fiscal 2018, a summary of which the administration released late Monday, would plow the savings from welfare cuts into higher military spending and deficit reduction. It also adds $2.6 billion more for border security, including $1.6 billion to construct a physical wall.


The document honors Trump’s unorthodox campaign promise not to cut Social Security or Medicare, but it shows how the president’s domestic agenda is being shaped by Capitol Hill Republicans eager to cancel benefits to supposedly undeserving recipients.


“We need people to go to work,” Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said in a briefing with reporters on Monday. Mulvaney is a former member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.


Mulvaney expounded on the meaning of “Trumponomics,” saying it’s all about rapid economic growth. This budget relies on optimistic growth projections that would help eliminate the federal deficit within 10 years. Though Trump himself hasn’t said a lot about social programs, such as food stamps and disability insurance, Mulvaney said reforming the safety net is key to achieving faster growth.


“If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work,” Mulvaney said. “If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be, if you’re not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work. We need everybody pulling in the same direction.”


White House budgets are generally wish lists that serve as opening bids in annual spending negotiations that are ultimately decided by Congress. The new spending outline is a fuller version of a blueprint the Trump administration unveiled in March, which lawmakers in both parties panned.


The new proposal incorporates Medicaid cuts that were already included in the Republican health care bill approved by the House last month, and it adds more cuts on top. It also includes the very broad outline for tax reform that the Trump administration released in April. And the Trump budget would eliminate federal reimbursement for women’s health care services provided by Planned Parenthood, but it would also create a paid family leave program.


Mulvaney said the paid leave proposal would help people remain attached to the workforce.


“We try and create the environment where people are more comfortable going back to work and staying at work knowing that if they do have a child, they’ll be able to spend time with that child under the paid parental leave program,” Mulvaney said. 


The proposed cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is significant, as the $193 billion reduction amounts to more than a quarter of the food stamp program’s projected cost over the next decade. That’s proportionately bigger than the proposed cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. It’s a much sharper reduction than conservative House Republicans tried to achieve the last time lawmakers debated food aid on the House floor in 2014.  


The proposal would achieve some of the food stamp savings by requiring states to help pay for benefits, which are currently fully funded by the federal government. The burden would give states a strong incentive to limit eligibility for the program, and the budget would give them the flexibility to make changes.


“I believe in the social safety net,” Mulvaney said. “And what we’ve done is not to try and remove the safety net for folks who need it but to try and figure out if there’s folks who don’t need it that need to be back in the workforce.” 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Ready for MoGo? Here's what you need to know to ride Detroit's bike share system - Detroit Free Press

Berkley Information from Google News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:53pm


Detroit Free Press

Ready for MoGo? Here's what you need to know to ride Detroit's bike share system
Detroit Free Press
Detroit's bike share system, known as MoGo, launches Tuesday. Here's what you need to know to ride: MoGo, a name selected to honor Detroit's Motor City heritage and its mobility future, will feature 430 red-and-black bikes at 43 stations in 10 ...
Bike share program hits the streets Tues.The Detroit News

all 3 news articles »

Categories: Berkley Area News

Copycat contractor has criminal past, imitates Bloomfield business - Fox 2 Detroit

Berkley Information from Google News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:51pm


Fox 2 Detroit

Copycat contractor has criminal past, imitates Bloomfield business
Fox 2 Detroit
BLOOMFIELD, Mich (WJBK) - Jeff Petrucci spent 25 years making Bloomfield Construction into a $5 million per year business with an A+ rating in the Better Business Bureau. He was pretty sure that he'd seen it all - until earlier this year. That's when ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

Concrete chunk, size of a basketball, falls on to car on I-696 - Fox 2 Detroit

Berkley Information from Google News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:36pm


Fox 2 Detroit

Concrete chunk, size of a basketball, falls on to car on I-696
Fox 2 Detroit
DETROIT (WJBK) - There are more reports of flying concrete on the freeway in metro Detroit. This time a man claims a chunk of concrete, the size of a basketball, came crashing through his windshield on I-696. "It sounded like a gun shot went off. The ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

Watch Alec Baldwin's 3-Year-Old Daughter Absolutely Master His Trump Impression

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:32pm



function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Like father, like daughter.


Alec Baldwin recently gave his 3-year-old daughter Carmen some pointers on how to pull off the perfect impression of President Donald Trump


Here’s the moment, shared on Instagram by Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria



It's Saturday! Season finale of @nbcsnl ...sound up

A post shared by Hilaria Thomas Baldwin (@hilariabaldwin) on May 20, 2017 at 8:02am PDT




The clip was filmed before Saturday’s season finale of “Saturday Night Live,” in which Baldwin’s Trump led a sing-along of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”


Baldwin’s impression of the president has helped give this season’s “Saturday Night Live” some of its best ratings in years, but the actor has hinted he may not be back on the show in fall. 


“The maliciousness of this White House has people worried, which is why I’m not going to do it much longer, the impersonation,” he said in March. “I don’t know how much more people can take it.”


(h/t RawStory)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Monday's prep roundup: Regina pounds Mercy for A-B softball title - The Detroit News

Berkley Information from Google News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:06pm


Monday's prep roundup: Regina pounds Mercy for A-B softball title
The Detroit News
Monday night's Catholic League A-B softball championship game at Detroit Mercy was a matchup of the last two champions, Farmington Hills Mercy (2016) and Warren Regina (2015). Regina's 14-6 win gave it its second title in three seasons. “The kids just ...

and more »

Categories: Berkley Area News

Trump's Budget Would Cut Planned Parenthood Out Of All Federal Programs

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 9:44pm




The Trump administration’s proposed budget specifically excludes Planned Parenthood from all Department of Health and Human Services programs, apparently the first time a president’s budget has done so, according to the leaked executive summary of the plan. 


Trump’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget “follows through on a campaign promise and prohibits any funding in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood,” the executive summary says. “This prohibition applies to all funds in the bill, including Medicaid.”


The freeze-out apparently goes beyond the House GOP’s plan, which excludes Planned Parenthood only from Medicaid reimbursements. Trump’s budget proposal bars the nation’s largest family planning provider from participating in any federal program, including cancer screening programs funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika virus prevention, HIV/AIDS testing and prevention, Violence Against Women Act grants to prevent sexual assault, maternal and child health programs and sexually transmitted disease and infertility prevention grants. No president has ever attempted to exclude a specific health provider from the entire federal budget.


Trump’s proposed budget also includes $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid, which women disproportionately rely on, as well as massive cuts to food stamps and a supplemental nutrition program for low-income women and infants. Ivanka Trump reportedly managed to include a paid family leave program in the plan, but that relatively small consolation prize does not seem to be appeasing women’s health groups.  


“This is the worst budget for women and women’s health in a generation,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement Monday. “It guts programs designed to help women and their families put food on the table, get the medical care they need, and make ends meet. Gimmicks and misdirection cannot cover up a deadly agenda that would hurt women and prevent access to basic health care in the U.S. and across the globe.”


Planned Parenthood receives roughly half a billion dollars a year from the government, which it uses for preventative health services such as contraception, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment. Federal law already prevents any taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions.  



type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=590b3605e4b05c397686eea7

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Why Trump Allies Want To Talk Impeachment And Dem Leadership Doesn't

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 9:29pm


WASHINGTON ― With President Donald Trump’s approval rating sinking and congressional Republicans pushing a deeply unpopular agenda, Democrats have a real chance to take back the House. But that opportunity is being complicated by one word that is coming up with increasing regularity on the midterm campaign trail: “impeachment.”


That’s the conclusion House Democratic leaders have reached through internal polling, and it’s one that top Republicans, including allies of the Trump administration, shared in conversations with HuffPost.


“In focus groups in swing districts and in Georgia-06 (where a special election is being held this June) ― where we do think Trump is underwater ― people still very much respect the office of the presidency and don’t like the idea of Democrats jumping to any conclusions on such a serious thing,” said Meredith Kelly, communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “even if they don’t necessarily like Trump or think he is doing a good job.”


The party in the minority always grapples with just how oppositional it should be in its effort to regain power. Rarely, however, has the concept of impeachment been so openly, and so early, discussed in the course of midterm elections. And that’s for a reason: Trump, with a seemingly daily appetite for controversy, has invited the focus. But, secondarily, some Democrats worry that by broaching the possibility, they risk ostracizing the swing voters they need to win seats.


“All this talk of impeachment does is it makes Republicans imagine Nancy Pelosi running the House,” said one close Trump ally, who said he and the administration welcomed the impeachment discussion. “You couldn’t ask for a bigger motivator for our base.”


For vulnerable House Republicans, impeachment chatter is the rare salve in a political season that’s devoid of it. Lawmakers say it helps turn the discussion away from their own foibles and allows them to paint Democrats as out of touch.


“It does make them look extreme,” swing-district Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) told HuffPost last week. “It makes it look like it was all cooked in the books or cooked in the recipe before we even started the meal.”


“It certainly doesn’t help a person, or a party, or a movement or an organization when they appear to the average person as being extreme,” Blum added. “Doesn’t help their cause, whoever it might be.”



It makes it look like it was all cooked in the books or cooked in the recipe before we even started the meal.
Republican Rep. Rod Blum of Iowa


Privately, Democratic leaders concede these points and have done their best to keep talk of impeaching Trump to the abstract. Minority Leader Pelosi, for one, has tried to slow down the push, saying she hoped some would “curb their enthusiasm” until Congress has all of the facts. And in recommended talking points to candidates, party leadership has encouraged lawmakers “not to jump to conclusions.”


But there also is a growing ― and sincere ― argument being made among members that the topic simply can’t be ignored amid continued revelations of Trump’s apparent attempts to obstruct an investigation into collusion between his campaign and Russia.


“If it were any other time,” one Democratic aide told HuffPost, “I’d say it would be premature to talk about impeachment without clear evidence, but this is all a fucking circus, and stuff breaks every hour. It’s probably wise to prepare for anything and everything.”


Democrats such as Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Al Green (D-Texas) are at the vanguard of impeachment talk, but there is a growing appetite among other members ― particularly inside the Congressional Black Caucus ― to amplify the calls. In a conversation with HuffPost last week, CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) stopped just short of calling for impeachment himself, detailing the growing list of questions surrounding the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.


“Those are serious questions,” Richmond said. “The logical conclusion with the wrong answers does lead to impeachment. And I think that for some people to be having that conversation right now is really a conversation whether we think this president is committing high crimes and misdemeanors. And if you honestly and objectively look at the facts, there’s reason to be concerned.”


As some Democrats begin to more openly flirt with elevating impeachment as a campaign issue, others are trying to temper expectations about the chances of success. As another senior Democratic aide pointed out, impeachment isn’t something Democrats can just jam through Congress even if they retake the House. It’s a process that requires them to build a case, one that will persuade enough Republicans in the Senate, where 67 votes are required.


“It’s a legal standard,” the aide said. “It’s not an emotion.”


Democrats insist they aren’t divided on impeachment, arguing instead that some lawmakers have reached conclusions before others are ready. “Some people want to just see, get those dots connected, and see where it goes,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said. “So I don’t see any division in our ranks on the issue.”


But as talk of impeachment does gain steam, there is concern that a forceful push ― at least before any sustained investigation into Trump is conducted ― risks jeopardizing the very political and legal processes needed for it to be successful. And there does seem to be a real opportunity for that process to gain momentum. While Republicans say they welcome the impeachment talk as a way of portraying Democrats as a party of the fringe, others have hinted their own discomfort with their president.


When Mother Jones claimed Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) was the first Republican to suggest Trump may have committed an impeachable offense by firing Comey, for example, the office of Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida contacted the magazine to point out that he ― one of the most endangered Republicans in Congress ― had come out earlier.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump's Exhausting First Road Trip

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 8:08pm


President Donald Trump has only just begun his first road trip outside the United States, and he’s already “exhausted,” according to one of his own advisors. This may or may not be true, since anything either Trump or any of his spokespeople say at this point has to be taken with a grain of salt ― especially considering the “exhausted” comment was given as an excuse for a Trump gaffe (more on that in a bit). But this week’s calendar for Trump seems to have been constructed on the theme of: “Any Trump campaign promises left unbroken? Well, let’s see how many we can break in a single week!


Let’s begin with Trump’s reported exhaustion. Trump apparently tried to cut the length of his first trip in half, because nine days on the road was just too much to ask. On Day Two of his trip, he’s already got an advisor explaining a gaffe away because of exhaustion. That doesn’t exactly bode well for the rest of the trip, does it? Especially since he made so much political hay on the campaign trail over the issue of how manly he was ― as compared to “low energy” Jeb Bush and “no stamina” Hillary Clinton. This is all pretty amusing in hindsight, after Trump’s Day Two exhaustion.


The gaffe in question was how Trump described the terrorists he’s fighting. Again, on the campaign trail, he berated President Obama for not using the manly term “radical Islamic terrorism,” which was supposed to be some sort of magic phrase that caused them all to melt into a puddle of water when uttered. Obama used terms like “jihadist terrorists” which is essentially the same thing (”jihadist” is a term specific to Muslim terrorists, after all), but to Trump and his supporters nothing short of “radical Islamic terrorism” would do.


Some within his administration have been pushing to soften this term, since Islamic partners have always been necessary to successfully defeat the terrorists. So Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia, as prepared, was supposed to change this to the more-nuanced “Islamist terrorism.” But either Trump didn’t get the memo or he just isn’t all that good at reading his TelePrompTer, because he read it as “Islamic terrorism” anyway. Or maybe he’s just exhausted, as one of his advisors explained. It was a long flight, and Trump stayed up reading newspapers rather than sleep.


The irony in all of this is that Trump was giving this speech inside one of the most “Islamist” countries on the planet. Iran is the most Islamist Shi’ite country around, and Saudi Arabia is the most Islamist Sunni country around. But Trump saved all his criticism for Iran (where, unlike in Saudi Arabia, women are actually allowed to drive). And then one of his advisors noted approvingly of the absence of protesters on the streets ― apparently not realizing that protesting the royal government can literally get your head chopped off, in the Saudi kingdom.


Trump used to have some very harsh words about the Saudi form of government ― their treatment of gays and women, in particular ― but none of that was on display while he was there. Trump used to berate Hillary Clinton for donations the Clinton Foundation received from Saudi Arabia, which is where he’d usually point out their woeful human rights record. Trump used to call for Clinton to give back all the Saudi donations, in fact. Which made the news that the Saudis will be giving $100 million to a fund championed by his daughter Ivanka all the more surprising. But then again, it was “let’s break all our promises” week, right?


Two other things that both Trump and a whole lot of other Republicans got explosively irate about when President Obama visited the Saudis were Michelle Obama’s refusal to cover her hair and Barack Obama bowing to the Saudi king. So, of course, Melania Trump left her hair uncovered and Donald Trump bowed to the Saudi king. Because it fit right in with the “everything I said while campaigning was a lie” theme of the week.


Then Trump was off to Israel, where he had already broken a key campaign promise. Before he arrived, the White House had already announced Trump had rethought his promise to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. This was probably a wise move (it would be an incredibly provocative act), but it still has to be chalked up as another unkept promise, for Trump.


Today’s big gaffe came out of the blue. Trump, while talking to reporters, added an afterthought, answering a question that hadn’t even been asked. Here’s what Trump had to say:


Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it during that conversation. They’re all saying I did, so you have another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel.

This requires some unpacking, to fully understand the stupidity of it all. First, Trump wasn’t even asked about “that conversation” ― the meeting he had with two top Russian officials in the Oval Office where he shared secrets to brag about the intelligence he got on a daily basis. Second, nobody has ever accused Trump of leaking the fact that the intelligence secrets he shared with the Russians was from Israel. Not one news story made this claim. The damage Trump did was to reveal what city in Syria the intelligence came from, which gave the Russians a big clue as to which country’s intelligence assets were involved. Far from “they’re all saying I did” ― in fact, nobody said Trump did this. He’s the one who got the story wrong. But the biggest stupidity of all was the fact that by bringing this subject up unprompted, while in Israel, Trump has now completely confirmed that Israel was in fact the country involved. Prior to Trump’s statements, it had been an unverified leak to the media, but now it is all but a certainty. Meaning Trump didn’t just blow things when talking to the Russians, he also compounded his error while standing next to Israel’s prime minister.


Remember back during the campaign when his crowds would chant “Lock her up!” and Trump would make the case that Hillary Clinton couldn’t be trusted with the nation’s secrets? Yeah, those were the days. Maybe he’s just exhausted, or something.


Back home, Team Trump is not napping during Trump’s trip. They’re also on track to break as many campaign promises as humanly possible. The official Trump budget will be rolled out this week ― on the same day the Congressional Budget Office releases its analysis of Trumpcare 2.0 (the final bill which passed the House of Representatives). So Wednesday will bring a cornucopia of broken promises! Trump’s budget slashes all the safety net spending that he spent his entire campaign promising he wouldn’t touch, just for starters. And Trumpcare was supposed to be better and cheaper for everyone, but instead the mess that Paul Ryan passed will kick millions off their insurance and hike the prices through the roof if you’ve ever even previously gotten a hangnail. Both Trumpcare and his new budget are in fact breathtaking in the scope of how many Trump promises they’ll break.


Meanwhile, Michael Flynn is attempting to stand on his Fifth Amendment rights by refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents to a congressional committee. He may very well be breaking the law by doing so (”taking the Fifth” doesn’t normally mean you can refuse to produce documents), but it remains to be seen whether Congress will go after him for the crime. But this just brings up the many times Trump berated Hillary Clinton aides for taking the Fifth, because (as Trump explained) if you take the Fifth, it means you definitely have something to hide. So chalk up one more big broken campaign promise, as the first Trump administration official (but likely nowhere near the last) takes the Fifth rather than explain to the American people what Trump and his administration have been up to.


All of this, and it’s only Monday. Trump’s got a full week ahead of him out on the road, so in a few days all of this might seem to be small potatoes. Who knows what Trump will do or say next that’ll get him into trouble? Maybe he’ll question the Pope’s Christianity? Wouldn’t surprise me, at this point. Or perhaps he’ll kindly explain to the Pope that the whole “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” parable actually meant that Jesus was for massive tax cuts for rich people? Nah, that’s too deep for Trump, most likely.


Trump will also meet with NATO, where they’ve been briefed to try as hard as possible not to bore Trump. No, really. Maybe they’re afraid that Trump will return to his campaign rhetoric about them ― back in the campaign NATO was “obsolete,” remember. Trump already broke this promise weeks ago (he declared them “not obsolete” in a fit of magnanimity), but who’s to say he won’t flip-flop again? I could just see him tweeting: “NATO not just obsolete, but BORING too! Sad!”


Trump has only just begun his first road trip. He’s apparently already exhausted, and saying things he shouldn’t (in both countries he’s visited so far ― a perfect record!). He seems determined to break as many campaign promises as possible this week, but that’s mostly good news (because most of his campaign promises were so inane to begin with). It should be an interesting rest of the week, that’s for sure.


Chris Weigant blogs at:


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump Reportedly Asked Intel Chiefs To Publicly Deny Russia Ties

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 8:04pm



function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


Another account of President Donald Trump attempting to push back on the investigation of his campaign’s ties to the Russian government emerged Monday evening, as The Washington Post reported that the president asked two top intelligence officials to deny any evidence of collusion. 


According to the report, Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers to publicly deny that there is any evidence of connections between Trump’s team and Russia. Those requests reportedly came in late March, after then-FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his bureau was looking into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.


Coats and Rogers reportedly rejected the requests.


The Post also said that White House officials sought to influence Comey directly:



In addition to the requests to Coats and Rogers, senior White House officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. The officials said the White House appeared uncertain about its power to influence the FBI.


“Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?” one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.



“The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement emailed to HuffPost in response to the Post article. “The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people.”


Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the report raised “troubling” possibilities:



If latest reports are true, the specter of possible obstruction has grown larger and more troubling. Congress will need to find out. https://t.co/7krSFROnyM

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 22, 2017


The Post’s article is the latest in a series of revelations indicating that Trump and his associates have sought to intervene in the FBI’s Russia probe. 


The cascade of news began May 9, when Trump fired Comey, at first citing his conduct during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Trump later said he considered the Russia investigation while weighing Comey’s future at the Justice Department. 


One week later, multiple news outlets reported that Trump had asked Comey during a private meeting on Feb. 14 to stop the investigation of Flynn, whom Trump had fired the day before.


“I hope you can let this go,” the president said to Comey, according to notes Comey reportedly wrote soon after the meeting.


That revelation sparked concern on both sides of the aisle, and some Democrats raised the possibility that the president’s request could constitute obstruction of justice.  


On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it was appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. Trump attacked the appointment on Twitter, calling the investigation “the single greatest witch hunt” in U.S. political history. 


And on Friday, the The New York Times reported that Trump had described Comey as a “nut job” to Russian officials visiting the White House earlier this month, telling them that firing the FBI director eased “great pressure” on the Russia investigation.


The same day, The Washington Post reported that the FBI is also investigating a current White House official in connection with the Russia probe, in addition to several former campaign officials.


Amid all this, Trump and the White House have denied any wrongdoing and have argued the investigation is detrimental to the country.


“I believe it hurts our country terribly because it shows we’re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country,” Trump said Thursday. “And we have very important things to be doing right now, whether it’s trade deals, whether it’s military, whether it’s stopping nuclear ― all of the things that we discussed today. And I think this shows a very divided country.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Symantec Says 'Highly Likely' North Korean Hacking Group Behind Ransomware Attack

Huffington Post News - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 7:20pm



function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible);


SAN FRANCISCO, May 22 (Reuters) — Cyber security firm Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) said on Monday it was “highly likely” a hacking group affiliated with North Korea was behind the WannaCry cyber attack this month that infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide and disrupted operations at hospitals, banks and schools across the globe.


Symantec researchers said they had found multiple instances of code that had been used both in the North Korean group’s previous activity and in early versions of WannaCry.


In addition, the same Internet connection was used to install an early version of WannaCry on two computers and to communicate with a tool that destroyed files at Sony Pictures Entertainment. The U.S. government and private companies have accused North Korea in the 2014 Sony attack.


At the same time, flaws in the WannaCry code, its wide spread, and its demands for payment in the electronic bitcoin before files are decrypted suggest that the hackers were not working for North Korean government objectives in this case, said Vikram Thakur, Symantec’s security response technical director.


“Our confidence is very high that this is the work of people associated with the Lazarus Group, because they had to have source code access,” Thakur said in an interview.


“We don’t think that this is an operation run by a nation-state.”


Lazarus is the name many security companies have given to the hacking group behind the Sony attack and others. By custom, Symantec does not attribute cyber campaigns directly to governments, but its researchers did not dispute the common belief that Lazarus works for North Korea.


With WannaCry, Thakur said, Lazarus Group members could have boon moonlighting to make extra money, or they could have left government service, or they could have been contractors without direct obligations to serve only the government.


The most effective version of WannaCry spread by using a flaw in Microsoft’s Windows and a program that took advantage of it that had been used by the U.S. National Security Agency, officials said privately.


That program was among a batch leaked or stolen and then dumped online by a group calling itself The Shadow Brokers, who some in U.S. intelligence believe to be affiliated with Russia.


Analysts have been weighing in with various theories on the identity of those behind WannaCry, and some early evidence had pointed to North Korea. The Shadow Brokers endorsed that theory, perhaps to take heat off their own government backers for the disaster.


Beau Woods, deputy director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, said that the Korean used in some versions of the WannaCry ransom note was not that of a native speaker, making a Lazarus connection unlikely.


But Thakur said that some hackers deliberately obfuscate their language to make tracing them harder. It is also possible that the writer in question was a contractor in another country, he said.


Thakur said a less likely scenario is that Lazarus’ main aim was to create chaos by distributing WannaCry.


If the hackers’ main objective was to earn money on the side, that would suggest an undisciplined hacking operation run by North Korea, one that could be exploited and weakened by the country’s many foes.


“The intelligence community will probably take away from this that there is a possibility of splinters in the Lazarus Group, or members who are interested in filling their own pockets, and that could help,” Thakur said.


(Reporting by Joseph Menn and Dustin Volz; Editing by Chris Reese and Mary Milliken)

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion