High Crimes

The Pronk Pops Show 1402, February 25, 2020, Story 1: Progressive Panic Pandering Propaganda — Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Coronavirus Goes Global — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger — Are You In Fear of Your Life — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chains — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos — Story 3: Neither Government Dependency Nor Country Dependency Are Reliable When A Real Crisis Hits — United States Gets Most of Its Drugs From Communist China and India — Cheap But Risky and Maybe Deadly — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1402 February 25, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1401 February 24, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1400 February 21, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1399 February 14, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1398 February 13, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1397 February 12, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1396 February 11, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1395 February 10, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1394 February 7, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1393 February 6, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1392 February 5, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1391 February 4, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1390 February 3, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1389 January 31, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1388 January 30, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1387 January 29, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1386 January 28, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1385 January 27, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1384 January 24, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1383 January 23, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1382 January 22, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1381 January 21, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1380 January 17, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1379 January 16, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1378 January 15, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1377 January 14, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1376 January 13, 2020

Pronk Pops Show 1375 December 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1374 December 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1373 December 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1372 December 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1371 December 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1370 December 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1369 December 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1368 December 4, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1367 December 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1366 December 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1365 November 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1364 November 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1363 November 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1362 November 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1361 November 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1360 November 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1359 November 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1358 November 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1357 November 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1356 November 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1355 November 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1354 November 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1353 November 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1352 November 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1351 November 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1350 November 1, 2019

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If by Rudyard Kipling – Inspirational Poetry

If—

Launch Audio in a New Window

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

If – Rudyard Kipling (by John Hurt) with lyrics

{youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow5xbBnOU2A]

Story 1: Progressive Panic Pandering Propaganda — Chinese Communist Coronavirus SARS CoV-2 or (COVID-19) Goes Global — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger — Are You In Fear of Your Life — If — Videos

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Feb 21, 2020

Coronavirus Epidemic Update 24: Infections in Italy, Transmissibility, COVID-19 Symptoms

The coronavirus conspiracy: is there a cover-up in China?

Influenza: An Update on the Disease and Laboratory Diagnosis [Hot Topic]

Coronavirus Epidemic Update 25: Vaccine Developments, Italy’s Response, and Mortality Rate Trends

Influenza (Flu) Explained Clearly – Diagnosis, Vaccine, Treatment, Pathology

Increase of influenza B seen with this year’s flu outbreak

The 2020 Flu Season So Far

Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020

Daniel B. Jernigan, MD1; CDC COVID-19 Response Team (View author affiliations)

View suggested citation

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States.

What is added by this report?

Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. The U.S. government and public health partners are implementing aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this virus and the outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, and has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States (1). As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside mainland China (1). There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States. Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. This report summarizes the aggressive measures (2,3) that CDC, state and local health departments, multiple other federal agencies, and other partners are implementing to slow and try to contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. These measures require the identification of cases and contacts of persons with COVID-19 in the United States and the recommended assessment, monitoring, and care of travelers arriving from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. Although these measures might not prevent widespread transmission of the virus in the United States, they are being implemented to 1) slow the spread of illness; 2) provide time to better prepare state and local health departments, health care systems, businesses, educational organizations, and the general public in the event that widespread transmission occurs; and 3) better characterize COVID-19 to guide public health recommendations and the development and deployment of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. U.S. public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, and CDC is coordinating efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners. Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action by CDC, state and local health departments, health care providers, and communities.

Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission. How easily the virus is transmitted between persons is currently unclear. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath (4). Based on the incubation period of illness for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses, as well as observational data from reports of travel-related COVID-19, CDC estimates that symptoms of COVID-19 occur within 2–14 days after exposure. Preliminary data suggest that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems might be at greater risk for severe illness from this virus (5).

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COVID-19 Cases in the United States

As of February 23, 14 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one), and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these 14 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19. An additional 39 cases were reported among repatriated U.S. citizens, residents, and their families returning from Hubei province, China (three), and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan (36). Thus, there have been 53 cases within the United States. No deaths have been reported in the United States.

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CDC Public Health Response

As of February 24, 2020, a total of 1,336 CDC staff members have been involved in the COVID-19 response, including clinicians (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists), epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers, and coordination staff members. Of these CDC staff members, 497 (37%) have been deployed to 39 locations in the United States and internationally, including CDC quarantine stations at U.S. ports of entry, state and local health departments, hospitals, and U.S. military bases that are housing quarantined persons, as well as WHO and ministries of health around the world. CDC staff members are working with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other public health authorities to assist with case identification, contact tracing, evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19,* and medical management of cases; and with academic partners to understand the virulence, risk for transmission, and other characteristics of this novel virus.

CDC teams are working with the Department of Homeland Security at 11 airports where all flights from China are being directed to screen travelers returning to the United States, and to refer them to U.S. health departments for oversight of self-monitoring. CDC is also working with other agencies of the U.S. government including the U.S. Department of Defense; multiple operational divisions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Administration for Children and Families; and the U.S. Department of State to safely evacuate U.S. citizens, residents, and their families to the United States from international locations where there is substantial, sustained transmission of COVID-19, and to house them and monitor their health during a 14-day quarantine period.

Specific guidance has been developed and posted online for health care settings, including for patient management; infection control and prevention; laboratory testing; environmental cleaning; worker safety; and international travel. Guidance is updated as more is learned. To prepare for the possibility of community spread of COVID-19, CDC has developed tailored guidance and communications materials for communities, health care settings, public health, laboratories, schools, and businesses. Chinese and Spanish versions of certain documents are available.

Information for travelers. Several recent travel notices have been posted by CDC to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that could affect travelers’ health.§ A Level 3 travel notice (avoid all nonessential travel) for China has been in effect since January 27. On February 19, Level 1 travel notices (practice usual precautions) for travelers to Hong Kong and Japan were posted. On February 22, the Level 1 travel notice for Japan was raised to Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions). A Level 2 travel notice was posted for South Korea on February 22, which was updated to Level 3 on February 24. Level 1 travel notices were posted for Iran and Italy on February 23, and then updated to Level 2 on February 24. In addition, CDC has posted information for travelers regarding apparent community transmission in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, and recommendations for persons to reconsider cruise ship voyages in Asia.

Airport screening. As of February 23, a total of 46,016 air travelers had been screened at the 11 U.S. airports to which all flights from China are being directed. Since February 2, travelers to the United States who have been in China in the preceding 14 days have been limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and others as outlined in a presidential proclamation. Incoming passengers are screened for fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Any travelers with signs or symptoms of illness receive a more comprehensive public health assessment. As of February 23, 11 travelers were referred to a hospital and tested for infection; one tested positive and was isolated and managed medically. Seventeen travelers were quarantined for 14 days because of travel from Hubei Province, China, an area that was designated as high risk for exposure to COVID-19**; 13 of these 17 have completed their quarantine period.

Persons under investigation (PUIs). Recognizing persons at risk for COVID-19 is a critical component of identifying cases and preventing further transmission. CDC has responded to clinical inquiries from public health officials, health care providers, and repatriation teams to evaluate and test PUIs in the United States for COVID-19 following CDC guidance. As of February 23, 479 persons from 43 states and territories had been or are being tested for COVID-19; 14 (3%) had a positive test, 412 (86%) had a negative test, and 53 (11%) test results are pending.

Laboratory testing. As part of laboratory surge capacity for the response, CDC laboratories are testing for SARS-CoV-2 to assist with diagnosis of COVID-19. During January 18–February 23, CDC laboratories used real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to test 2,620 specimens from 1,007 persons for SARS-CoV-2. Some additional testing is performed at selected state and other public health laboratories, with confirmatory testing at CDC. CDC is developing a serologic test to assist with surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the U.S. population. The test detects antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]G, IgA, and IgM) indicating SARS-COV-2 virus exposure or past infection. In addition, CDC laboratories are developing assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antigens in tissue specimens. Finally, following CDC’s establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, CDC shared virus isolates with the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository to securely distribute isolates to U.S. public health and academic institutions for additional research, including vaccine development.

Repatriation flights from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. During January 29–February 6, the U.S. government repatriated 808 U.S. citizens, residents, and their families from Hubei Province, China, on five chartered flights. At the time of departure, all travelers were free of symptoms for COVID-19 (fever or feverishness, cough, difficulty breathing). After arriving in the United States, the repatriated travelers were quarantined for 14 days at one of five U.S. military bases. CDC and U.S. government staff members monitored these travelers’ health. As of February 23, 28 (3%) of these persons developed COVID-19-related symptoms and were evaluated for infection; three were found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were referred for medical care and isolation. As of February 24, the remaining 805 travelers had completed their 14-day quarantine.

On February 3, passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined off Yokohama, Japan; a passenger who had recently disembarked in Hong Kong was confirmed to have COVID-19, and ongoing transmission was identified on the ship. By February 16, a total of 355 cases of COVID-19 had been identified among passengers and crew,†† including 67 U.S. citizens or residents. As a result, during February 16–17, the U.S. government assisted in the repatriation of 329 U.S. citizens or residents from the ship. These travelers returned on two chartered flights. As of February 23, 36 (11%) of these repatriated persons had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are under appropriate medical supervision. The remaining repatriated persons are in quarantine for 14 days. CDC is working with the U.S. embassy in Japan and the Japanese government to support U.S. passengers and crew who remained in Japan.

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Discussion

COVID-19 is a serious public health threat. Cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, primarily in travelers from China and quarantined repatriates, and also in two close contacts of COVID-19 patients. Currently, COVID-19 is not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities. If sustained transmission in U.S. communities is identified, the U.S. response strategy will enhance implementation of actions to slow spread in communities (2,6). Implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene will become increasingly important.

Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces). These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities (6). However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available (7,8). These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities (2,6). Mitigation measures implemented in China have included the closing of major transport hubs and preventing exit from certain cities with widespread transmission, cancellation of Chinese New Year celebrations, and prohibition of attendance at school and work (5). However, the impact of these measures in China has not yet been evaluated.

In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators are working on development of candidate vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. In China, multiple clinical trials of investigational therapeutics have been implemented, including two clinical trials of remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug.§§ An NIH randomized controlled clinical trial of investigational therapeutics for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the first investigational therapeutic to be studied is remdesivir.¶¶ In the absence of a vaccine or therapeutic, community mitigation measures are the primary method to respond to widespread transmission and supportive care is the current medical treatment.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the “common cold,” are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged ≥6 months should receive an annual influenza vaccine; vaccination is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza (9). To decrease risk for respiratory disease, persons can practice recommended preventive measures.*** Persons ill with symptoms of COVID-19 who have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recent travel to countries with apparent community spread††† should communicate with their health care provider. Before seeking medical care, they should consult with their provider to make arrangements to prevent possible transmission in the health care setting. In a medical emergency, they should inform emergency medical personnel about possible COVID-19 exposure.

Areas for additional COVID-19 investigation include 1) further clarifying the incubation period and duration of virus shedding, which have implications for duration of quarantine and other mitigation measures; 2) studying the relative importance of various modes of transmission, including the role of droplets, aerosols, and fomites; understanding these transmission modes has major implications for infection control and prevention, including the use of personal protective equipment; 3) determining the severity and case-fatality rate of COVD-19 among cases in the U.S. health care system, as well as more fully describing the spectrum of illness and risk factors for infection and severe disease; 4) determining the role of asymptomatic infection in ongoing transmission; and 5) assessing the immunologic response to infection to aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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Corresponding author: Daniel B. Jernigan, eocevent294@cdc.gov, 770-488-7100.

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1CDC COVID-19 Response Team, CDC.

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The author has completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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* Criteria to guide evaluation and testing of patients under investigation for SARS-CoV-2 include 1) fever or signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person, including a health care worker, who has had close contact with a patient with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days of symptom onset; 2) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person with a history of travel from Hubei Province, China, within 14 days of symptom onset; or 3) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization in any person with a history of travel from mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset. Additional information is available at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00427.asp and https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00426.asp.

 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

§ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

 Office of the President. Proclamation on suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting 2019 novel coronavirus. Washington, DC: Office of the President; 2020. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/external icon.

** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-china.html.

†† https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200216-sitrep-27-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn = 78c0eb78_2pdf iconexternal icon.

§§ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04257656?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 1external iconhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04252664?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 2external icon.

¶¶ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04280705?cond = COVID-19&draw = 4&rank = 22external icon.

*** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html.

††† https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html.

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References

  1. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report–34. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200223-sitrep-34-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=44ff8fd3_2pdf iconexternal icon
  2. Holloway R, Rasmussen SA, Zaza S, Cox NJ, Jernigan DB. Updated preparedness and response framework for influenza pandemics. MMWR Recomm Rep 2014;63(No. RR-6). PubMedexternal icon
  3. Reed C, Biggerstaff M, Finelli L, et al. Novel framework for assessing epidemiologic effects of influenza epidemics and pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis 2013;19:85–91. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  4. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet 2020;395:507–13. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  5. The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19)—China, 2020. China CDC Weekly 2020. Epub February 17, 2020.
  6. Qualls N, Levitt A, Kanade N, et al.; CDC Community Mitigation Guidelines Work Group. Community mitigation guidelines to prevent pandemic influenza—United States, 2017. MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66(No. RR-1). CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  7. Hatchett RJ, Mecher CE, Lipsitch M. Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007;104:7582–7. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  8. Markel H, Lipman HB, Navarro JA, et al. Nonpharmaceutical interventions implemented by US cities during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. JAMA 2007;298:644–54. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  9. Dawood FS, Chung JR, Kim SS, et al. Interim estimates of 2019–20 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness—United States, February 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:177–82. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon

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Suggested citation for this article: Jernigan DB. Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 25 February 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6908e1external icon.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm

 

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients

TO THE EDITOR:

Figure 1.Viral Load Detected in Nasal and Throat Swabs Obtained from Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, may progress to a pandemic associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV, which caused a global epidemic with 8096 confirmed cases in more than 25 countries in 2002–2003.1 The epidemic of SARS-CoV was successfully contained through public health interventions, including case detection and isolation. Transmission of SARS-CoV occurred mainly after days of illness2 and was associated with modest viral loads in the respiratory tract early in the illness, with viral loads peaking approximately 10 days after symptom onset.3 We monitored SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in upper respiratory specimens obtained from 18 patients (9 men and 9 women; median age, 59 years; range, 26 to 76) in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, including 4 patients with secondary infections (1 of whom never had symptoms) within two family clusters (Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org). The patient who never had symptoms was a close contact of a patient with a known case and was therefore monitored. A total of 72 nasal swabs (sampled from the mid-turbinate and nasopharynx) (Figure 1A) and 72 throat swabs (Figure 1B) were analyzed, with 1 to 9 sequential samples obtained from each patient. Polyester flock swabs were used for all the patients.

From January 7 through January 26, 2020, a total of 14 patients who had recently returned from Wuhan and had fever (≥37.3°C) received a diagnosis of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) by means of reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction assay with primers and probes targeting the N and Orf1b genes of SARS-CoV-2; the assay was developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Samples were tested at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirteen of 14 patients with imported cases had evidence of pneumonia on computed tomography (CT). None of them had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan within 14 days before symptom onset. Patients E, I, and P required admission to intensive care units, whereas the others had mild-to-moderate illness. Secondary infections were detected in close contacts of Patients E, I, and P. Patient E worked in Wuhan and visited his wife (Patient L), mother (Patient D), and a friend (Patient Z) in Zhuhai on January 17. Symptoms developed in Patients L and D on January 20 and January 22, respectively, with viral RNA detected in their nasal and throat swabs soon after symptom onset. Patient Z reported no clinical symptoms, but his nasal swabs (cycle threshold [Ct] values, 22 to 28) and throat swabs (Ct values, 30 to 32) tested positive on days 7, 10, and 11 after contact. A CT scan of Patient Z that was obtained on February 6 was unremarkable. Patients I and P lived in Wuhan and visited their daughter (Patient H) in Zhuhai on January 11 when their symptoms first developed. Fever developed in Patient H on January 17, with viral RNA detected in nasal and throat swabs on day 1 after symptom onset.

We analyzed the viral load in nasal and throat swabs obtained from the 17 symptomatic patients in relation to day of onset of any symptoms (Figure 1C). Higher viral loads (inversely related to Ct value) were detected soon after symptom onset, with higher viral loads detected in the nose than in the throat. Our analysis suggests that the viral nucleic acid shedding pattern of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 resembles that of patients with influenza4 and appears different from that seen in patients infected with SARS-CoV.3 The viral load that was detected in the asymptomatic patient was similar to that in the symptomatic patients, which suggests the transmission potential of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients. These findings are in concordance with reports that transmission may occur early in the course of infection5 and suggest that case detection and isolation may require strategies different from those required for the control of SARS-CoV. How SARS-CoV-2 viral load correlates with culturable virus needs to be determined. Identification of patients with few or no symptoms and with modest levels of detectable viral RNA in the oropharynx for at least 5 days suggests that we need better data to determine transmission dynamics and inform our screening practices.

Lirong Zou, M.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Feng Ruan, M.Med.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Mingxing Huang, Ph.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Lijun Liang, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Huitao Huang, B.Sc.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Zhongsi Hong, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Jianxiang Yu, B.Sc.
Min Kang, M.Sc.
Yingchao Song, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Jinyu Xia, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Qianfang Guo, M.Sc.
Tie Song, M.Sc.
Jianfeng He, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Hui-Ling Yen, Ph.D.
Malik Peiris, Ph.D.
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Jie Wu, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.

This letter was published on February 19, 2020, and updated on February 20, 2020, at NEJM.org.

Ms. Zou, Mr. Ruan, and Dr. Huang contributed equally to this letter.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001737

Coronavirus illustration - CR: Maurizio De AngelisTo assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access.

Media queries

For media enquiries in relation to content published below, please contact pressoffice@lancet.com.

Focus

A modelling study published in The Lancet estimates that Egypt, Algeria and South Africa are at the highest risk of importing new coronavirus cases in Africa. The three countries are estimated to have the most prepared health systems in the continent and be least vulnerable. However, the authors call for increased resources, surveillance, and capacity building to be urgently prioritised in countries with a moderate risk which are more likely to be ill-prepared to detect cases and limit transmission.

Research

View more…

Case Report

Clinical Picture

Correspondence

Data sharing

The Lancet journals endorse the Wellcome Trust Statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Register to receive email updates:

Infographics

Explore our infographics on the first published information on COVID-19 cases in Wuhan.

 

Comment

News

Editorial

Obituary

Novel Coronavirus Information Center

Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)
3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)

Welcome to Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center. Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19 and its temporary title 2019-nCoV). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients. Under the ‘Research’ tab you will find the latest early stage and peer-reviewed research from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press, as well as a link to the Coronavirus hub on ScienceDirect, where you will find every article relevant article to Coronavirus, SARS, and MERS freely available. Under the Clinical Solutions tab you will find resources for nurses, clinicians and patients, including FAQs on symptoms.


Introduction

Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier

Recent events have shown us (again) how rapidly a new disease can take root and spread. Such events are accompanied by an explosion of clinical and epidemiological information and research. The goal of this website is to open whatever resources we can to help public health authorities, researchers and clinicians contain and manage this disease. We will provide continually updated resources from Elsevier’s content and experts. Our resources span scientific and medical journals and textbookseducational products, and a variety of other resources, like travel precautions from the CDC and media posts of interest to our community. We have also created a  interactive global map of experts based on Scopus data.

Read more


Expert guidance and commentary

COVID-19: Seeking reliable information amid uncertainty

By Ian Chuang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Elsevier

Medicine is continuously evolving in terms of refining, revising and discovering new knowledge. This is heightened in importance and compressed in timeframe during a crisis such as the current viral outbreak of the COVID-19.

The COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan, China, has exceeded more than 71,000 confirmed cases and over 1,700 deaths since the first case was detected in December 2019. As of February 18, the number of confirmed cases in Singapore has risen to 77. The World Health Organization (WHO) has termed this current epidemic as a global emergency, and it is a public health responsibility at a massive scale.

Read more

JAMA Medical News Podcast: Coronavirus and Beyond: Responding to Biological Threats

The 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak exemplifies ongoing biothreats to global security, as each new threat tests principles of preparation and response at national, regional, and clinical levels. Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses biosecurity with Angel Desai, MD, JAMA Fishbein fellow. Listen to the interview

6 of the most common coronavirus questions the media is asking

By Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, Professor and Chair, Clinical Laboratory Program, Texas State University | Feb 6, 2020

As an infectious disease and clinical microbiology expert, Prof. Rodney E. Rohde of the Texas State University College of Health Professions receives daily calls from the media, government and university officials, and public health and professional organizations asking him about the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak. In this article, he shares some of the most common questions and his responses.

Read more

Interactive map: global disease outbreak experts

The map represents the most active institutions researching disease outbreak and control. We ran a search in Scopus — a source-neutral abstract and citation database of over 75 million records — for publications researching the coronavirus and related diseases such as SARS from 1996 to the present (Feb 6, 2020). We then used the resulting ~22,000 publications to identify the researchers and institutions that are working in these areas. The map shows the 500 most prolific global institutions, along with the 200 most prolific Chinese institutions by publication count.

Click on a pin to see more about the institution, the numbers of researchers and their publications. Then link through to the researcher’s profiles in Scopus to learn more about their areas of expertise.

Explore the interactive map here


Video: Novel Coronavirus Update

Livestreamed on Feb 6, 2020

JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Baucher, MD, interviews Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Key facts for clinicians

By Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier | Updated Feb 21, 2020

Background: In December, China notified the World Health Organization of several cases of human respiratory illness, which appeared to be linked to an open seafood and livestock market in the city of Wuhan. The infecting agent has since been identified as a novel coronavirus, now called SARSCoV-2 (initially called 2019-nCoV). Although the virus is presumed zoonotic in origin, person-to-person spread is evident. Novel Coronavirus associated infection is now designated as COVID-19. Cases have now been reported in many parts of mainland China and in other countries in Asia, Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, Australia, Asia Pacific and North America. Travel within China has been restricted and travel to and from China markedly reduced. Screening of travelers is being implemented in other countries and quarantine measures have been enacted under some circumstances. Despite these precautions, it is anticipated that more cases will be seen both inside China and internationally.

Read more

Clinicians need reliable and current information to combat novel coronavirus

By Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, Consultant, PracticeUpdate, Elsevier

Coronaviruses are incredibly diverse, found in many animal species, and are commonly encountered in clinical practice during the cold and flu season, yet many primary care clinicians are not familiar with these respiratory pathogens. We rarely test for them, and when we do it’s usually when we’re looking for something else. Moreover, we have no specific treatments for these viruses.

Read more


Elsevier Clinical Solutions

We’ve selected content from ClinicalKey, Clinical Solutions Nursing, Interprofessional Practice and Patient Education collections to share what we know to date about the novel coronavirus.

Clinical Overviews on ClinicalKey

Clinical Overviews are easy-to-scan clinically focused medical topic summaries designed to match the clinician workflow. Elsevier’s Point-of-Care Editorial team develops Clinical Overviews through a process that includes review and revision by a medical editor; peer reviews performed by subject matter experts; a production review to ensure consistency in style, grammar, and punctuation; and a final evaluation by the editor-in-chief.

Clinical Skills for Nursing

Clinical Skills for Nursing provides the highest quality evidence for nursing practice procedures for nurses to care for patients. Our Isolation Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment checklists align with CDC and OSHA guidelines:

Interprofessional Care Plans

These Interprofessional Care Plans provide an evidence-based and individualizable Interprofessional plan of care to manage fever and the possible development of pneumonia, which is consistent with the presentation of this virus. Using an interprofessional approach to patient care that aligns current evidence with the individual needs of the patient results in improved patient care outcomes.

Patient engagement resources

Patient engagement resources use plain language to support shared decision-making between patients and healthcare providers. The goal is to deliver the right message in the right way at the time the patient is most ready to learn. The following resources provide an overview of the novel coronavirus to help patients and their families understand their risk, identify signs and symptoms, and prevent it from spreading:


Video overview of Coronavirus from 3D4Medical – Watch now:

https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Cause

SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) – virus identified in 2003. SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus from an as-yet-uncertain animal reservoir, perhaps bats, that spread to other animals (civet cats) and first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002.

Transmission

An epidemic of SARS affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8000 cases in 2003. Since then, a small number of cases have occurred as a result of laboratory accidents or, possibly, through animal-to-human transmission (Guangdong, China).

Transmission of SARS-CoV is primarily from person to person. It appears to have occurred mainly during the second week of illness, which corresponds to the peak of virus excretion in respiratory secretions and stool, and when cases with severe disease start to deteriorate clinically. Most cases of human-to-human transmission occurred in the health care setting, in the absence of adequate infection control precautions. Implementation of appropriate infection control practices brought the global outbreak to an end.

Nature of the disease

Symptoms are influenza-like and include fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhoea, and shivering (rigors). No individual symptom or cluster of symptoms has proved to be specific for a diagnosis of SARS. Although fever is the most frequently reported symptom, it is sometimes absent on initial measurement, especially in elderly and immunosuppressed patients.

Cough (initially dry), shortness of breath, and diarrhoea are present in the first and/or second week of illness. Severe cases often evolve rapidly, progressing to respiratory distress and requiring intensive care.

Geographical distribution

The distribution is based on the 2002–2003 epidemic. The disease appeared in November 2002 in the Guangdong province of southern China. This area is considered as a potential zone of re-emergence of SARS-CoV.

Other countries/areas in which chains of human-to-human transmission occurred after early importation of cases were Toronto in Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Hanoi in Viet Nam.

Risk for travellers

Currently, no areas of the world are reporting transmission of SARS. Since the end of the global epidemic in July 2003, SARS has reappeared four times – three times from laboratory accidents (Singapore and Chinese Taipei), and once in southern China where the source of infection remains undetermined although there is circumstantial evidence of animal-to-human transmission.

Should SARS re-emerge in epidemic form, WHO will provide guidance on the risk of travel to affected areas. Travellers should stay informed about current travel recommendations. However, even during the height of the 2003 epidemic, the overall risk of SARS-CoV transmission to travellers was low.

Prophylaxis

None. Experimental vaccines are under development.

Precautions

Follow any travel recommendations and health advice issued by WHO.

https://www.who.int/ith/diseases/sars/en/

 

China’s early warning system didn’t work on covid-19. Here’s the story.

Lies and coverups halted vital information.

Feb. 24, 2020 at 4:13 a.m. CST

Chinese authorities have placed an estimated 760 million people into lockdown as part of an epic campaign to contain the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of Sunday, there were over 77,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,500 deaths in China, mostly in Hubei province. Wuhan, the provincial capital and the epicenter of the outbreak, has been hard hit.

Why did China’s CDC system, once touted as among the world’s best disease control programs, fail to help contain the virus early on? And what has the crisis exposed about China’s system of governance? Here’s what you need to know.

China built a system to prevent another SARS crisis

In the aftermath of the 2003 SARS crisis, China invested heavily to improve its system for infectious disease control and prevention. These measures included new laboratories and a nationwide Infectious Diseases Reporting System, as well as new laws on infectious diseases control and public health emergencies. The reporting system is extensive, covering all of China’s more than 2,800 county-level jurisdictions.

This sentinel system for infectious diseases helped China tackle various outbreaks — including H1N1avian flu and malaria. Successive China CDC directors have taken great pride in this system. In a March 2019 interview, Gao Fu, the China CDC director general, said he was “very confident that the SARS incident will not recur. This is due to our country’s well-built infectious disease surveillance network; we can block the virus when it appears.”

The system worked, according to local authorities

The Wuhan Health Commission (WHC) began to release information on its website on the atypical pneumonia cases on Dec. 31, 2019.

But local authorities didn’t tell the full story

The China CDC official line, however, suggests a different timeline. According to Feng Zijian, deputy director general of the China CDC, the direct reporting system was “not activated that expeditiously.” In fact, the award to Zhang for reporting on Dec. 29 reminds us that the pre-Dec. 29 cases were not reported, let alone filed into the disease reporting system in real time.

Two separate sources reveal that Gao himself was the real sentinel of the coronavirus outbreak. In the evening of Dec. 30, Gao Fu noticed from scanning group-chats that the WHC had just issued two internal notices on atypical pneumonia cases. Alarmed that such information had not been submitted to the national reporting system, he called the Wuhan CDC head and learned that the number of cases was well above the threshold for reporting. Troubled by what he heard — and didn’t hear — Gao immediately alerted the National Health Commission (NHC) leadership. The following day, Dec. 31, the NHC dispatched a national team of experts to Wuhan to investigate.

Local authorities also silenced whistleblowers

As the national team was on its way to Wuhan, the WHC issued its first public statement about the atypical pneumonia outbreak, reassuring the public that the health administrations and hospitals were managing the situation well. Of the 27 cases, “seven were critical, but the rest were stable and controllable, including two that … are expected to be discharged.” In fact, the latest retrospective study by China CDC reveals there were already 104 cases, including 15 deaths, in December.

In contrast, on Jan. 2, health authorities in Singapore and other countries began to screen passengers from Wuhan.

The case of Li Wenliang has captured global attention. Early on Dec. 31, the Chinese doctor was reprimanded by WHC and the Wuhan Central Hospital he worked at for spreading false rumors about SARS-like cases on Dec. 30. Police later forced him to sign a document promising not to spread “false rumors” again. Other doctors were also admonished for “irresponsible behavior that caused social panic and disrupted Wuhan’s development and stability.”

Systemic fissures contributed to further delays

Local officials, including Wuhan’s mayor, blamed their inadequate public disclosure on the need to secure approval from above. But the truth is more complicated. We now know that on Dec. 30, a joint Hubei-Wuhan CDC investigation team concluded that there were no clusters of cases but there were nonetheless a family of several members that became infected.

Had China CDC experts seen this report — or engaged with the infectious disease doctors at the major Wuhan hospitals — they would likely have recognized earlier that the virus was spreading from human to human. Three crucial weeks would elapse before a new national experts team, including Zhong Nanshan and Gao, finally concluded that the coronavirus was highly contagious.

The infectious diseases sentinel system only works if the hospitals and local health administrations actively engage with it and contribute to the information. In Wuhan, the system failed, monumentally. The failure has laid bare the inherent tensions of a reporting system that is also beholden to the political imperatives of provincial and municipal Communist Party bosses.

For now, President Xi Jinping has replaced the top leaders of Hubei and Wuhan. China remains in the midst of an unprecedented and enormously costly effort to contain covid-19. While the Chinese leadership can lay some of the blame for the crisis on local missteps, a more effective public health emergency response system will depend on encouraging information flows and realigning institutional interests.

Dali L. Yang is the William C. Reavis Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His research has emphasized governance and regulation in China.

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/24/chinas-early-warning-system-didnt-work-covid-19-heres-story/

Updated COVID-19 (Coronavirus) statistics

Data update dates: World Health Organisation: 25 Feb | Hubei: 25 Feb | China: 25 Feb

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is the number 1 issue facing investors at the moment. Given issues with data from China, we have put together these charts (updating throughout the day) to highlight the data from outside of China. Often the final data point will only include countries which have reported that day and so will change throughout the day. 

NOTE: China has re-classified statistics at least three times. There are also numerous revisions to prior numbers. We have made some adjustments to the charts below to normalise these statistics where possible, but treat China and Hubei data with scepticism. We now use both suspected and confirmed cases in Chinese ratios. 

COVID-19 cases caught outside of China

Whilst at first most cases of COVID-19 outside China were people who had flown from China to another country, we now seeing transmission of the virus outside of China taking off:

Source of new Covid-19 cases

Number of new Covid-19 cases

 

Total Covid-19 cases outside China

 

Given that a single cruise ship made up the bulk of cases outside China in early February, it is still useful to look at cases with and without that ship.

Total Covid-19 cases caught outside of China

New Covid-19 cases caught outside China each day

The average incubation period of COVID-19 probably less than a week (but could be as much as 24 days), and then an additional 3-4 days before diagnosis. So, you would expect measures like quarantines and travel restrictions to take around 10 days before showing up in statistics.

Time to doubling

This is an examination of how long it takes for cases or deaths to double.

Days taken for Covid-19 cases outside China to double to double

Number of days for Covid-19 cases and deaths in China to double

 

Winter is here

If we limit cases to only those caught in a particular country, exclude China, and then split countries into:

  • Winter countries: Northern Hemisphere Countries currently in winter (including Vietnam as the domestic transmission cases are in the north)
  • Summer/Equatorial countries: Southern Hemisphere countries currently in summer or Countries near the equator where temperatures are relatively high all year

Covid-19 cases by season

Covid-19 cases by season

Note: Countries near China are more likely to have contact with Chinese citizens and these countries are in winter which probably distorts this data.

New and total COVID-19 case numbers in Hubei, the rest of China

Our analysis (and the analysis of many others) suggests reporting of COVID-19 cases in Hubei province were under-reported.

Then, on the 7th of February, China changed its definition of how it is reporting new cases to exclude patients who test positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. This means up to 80% of cases might no longer be reported. On the 13th of February Hubei reclassified how it classifies cases. On 20th February Hubei reclassified again. All changes affect the quality of the data. Confirmed + suspected cases in China are our key measure.

We are tracking data from Hubei and the rest of China separately. We are sceptical of the China data, but there is some information in the series.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in China

On 7 Feb China made some adjustments to how they report data. Below we have made an estimate of what the case count might look like if China did not make this adjustment:

Extrapolated and suspected Covid-19 cases in Hubei province

Extrapolated, suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases in China province

 

New confirmed Covid-19 cases in China

Daily change in confirmed & suspected Covid-19 cases

New and total Coronavirus death toll in Hubei, the rest of China, and the rest of the world

Total Covid-19 death toll in China

 

New daily Covid-19 deaths in China

 

Total Covid-19 deaths outside China & Iran

COVID-19 Mortality Rate using lag periods

The mortality rate is where we can see distinct differences in data. Dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases during the early stages of an outbreak is very misleading. People who were diagnosed today with the disease are still alive, but they still might die from the disease in the coming days.

A better way is to compare the current deaths to the number of cases from “x” days ago. We still don’t know how many days we should be looking back. The stats so far suggest that the median days from the first symptom to death is 14. But with a broad range from 6 to 41. And, we don’t know how long on average after the first symptom a person would take to become a case.

The below charts show the death rate if the right period to look back is 4, 8 or 12 days. Using data without Hubei, a mortality rate of somewhere between 0.5% and 3% is likely.

In recent days, data from Iran has skewed the results. There is likely a significantly larger outbreak in Iran than what is being reported. We have started showing our mortality rates for the rest of the world excluding Iran.

For more on what this means, see our article on understanding COVID-19 statistics

 

China Covid-19 mortality rate using different lag periods

 

Hubei province Covid-19 mortality rate using different lag periods

 

Worldwide Covid-19 mortality rate

More Analysis

See our latest investment view and here for our latest podcast. Keep in mind that the economic impact is not particularly related to the number of deaths, more important is the disruption to business which already looks to be significant.

Data sources

This is a list of some of the main data sources we use:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/  Probably the best one

https://ncov.dxy.cn/ncovh5/view/pneumonia  Faster than worldometers for Chinese data, but slower on rest of the world data

http://www.nhc.gov.cn/yjb/pqt/new_list.shtml Official source for Chinese Data. Explains data adjustments.

http://wjw.hubei.gov.cn/fbjd/tzgg/ Official source for Hubei Data. Usually comes out a few hours before the China data.  Doesn’t always explain adjustments.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports The slowest to update, but the most authoritative in our view. More consistent with definitions than other sources.

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 The prettiest pictures, but one of the slower sites to update. I don’t find the charts that useful.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MEDCRAMvideos has a daily youtube wrap-up

https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisMartensondotcom has a daily youtube wrap-up

Updated COVID-19 statistics and analysis

Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chain — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos —

Coronavirus outbreak could threaten a US recession: Michael Farr

A coronavirus outbreak in the US could be cause for global recession: Moody’s Mark Zandi

Wait to buy the dip until there’s bigger shift in risk aversion, strategist says

Kudlow: Not hearing Fed will make panic rate moves due to virus

Former Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher on the economic effects of coronavirus

Gottlieb on coronavirus spread: ‘We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg’

[youube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rel6TDmAnbE]

Allianz’s El-Erian: Resist the inclination to buy the coronavirus-driven dip

The slowdown still isn’t fully baked in these stocks, Jim Cramer says

Jim Cramer: These are the five things investors must consider after a major sell-off

Bond market telegraphing more rate cuts this year

Markets rocked for second straight day, Dow down 1,900 points total

How Badly Will the Coronavirus Hurt China’s Economy?

The Economic Effects of Coronavirus Are Spreading Says El-Erian

Supply chains are going to have massive disruptions if outbreak continues to build: Strategists

Big Tech tumbles: Apple, Microsoft, Facebook are in correction territory

The David Knight Show – (HD) 02/17/2020 – China Corona-Effect: Destroying, Hoarding

Keiser Report 1506

Toilet Paper

Civil forfeiture in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

Civil forfeiture in the United States, also called civil asset forfeiture or civil judicial forfeiture,[1] is a process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. While civil procedure, as opposed to criminal procedure, generally involves a dispute between two private citizens, civil forfeiture involves a dispute between law enforcement and property such as a pile of cash or a house or a boat, such that the thing is suspected of being involved in a crime. To get back the seized property, owners must prove it was not involved in criminal activity. Sometimes it can mean a threat to seize property as well as the act of seizure itself.[2] Civil forfeiture is not considered to be an example of a criminal justice financial obligation.

Proponents see civil forfeiture as a powerful tool to thwart criminal organizations involved in the illegal drug trade, with $12 billion annual profits,[3] since it allows authorities to seize cash and other assets from suspected narcotics traffickers. They also argue that it is an efficient method since it allows law enforcement agencies to use these seized proceeds to further battle illegal activity, that is, directly converting value obtained for law enforcement purposes by harming suspected criminals economically while helping law enforcement financially.

Critics argue that innocent owners can become entangled in the process to the extent that their 4th Amendment and 5th Amendment rights are violated, in situations where they are presumed guilty instead of being presumed innocent. It has been described as unconstitutional by a judge in South Carolina[4][5]. Further, critics argue that the incentives lead to corruption and law enforcement misbehavior. There is consensus that abuses have happened but disagreement about their extent as well as whether the overall benefits to society are worth the cost of the instances of abuse.

Civil forfeitures are subject to the “excessive fines” clause of the U.S. Constitution‘s 8th amendment, both at a federal level and, as determined by the 2019 Supreme Court case, Timbs v. Indiana, at the state and local level.[6]

History

Legal origins

The idea of going at people through their property has a long history. The theories are quite old. The prevalence of the practice is comparatively recent.

— Daniel C. Richman, Fordham Law School, 1999[7]

Civil forfeiture has a history dating back several hundred years with roots in British maritime law to the British Navigation Acts around the middle 1600s. These laws required ships importing or exporting goods from British ports to fly the British flag; ships that failed to do this could be seized regardless of whether the ship’s owner was guilty of doing any wrongdoing.[8] It was easier to seize a vessel than try to apprehend an owner on the other side of the ocean,[9] as explained by Supreme Court justice Joseph Story:

… (A) vessel which commits the aggression is treated as the offender, as the guilty instrument or thing to which the forfeiture attaches, without any reference whatsoever to the character or conduct of the owner. (The seizure of the ship is justified by …) the necessity of the case, as the only adequate means of suppressing the offense or wrong, or insuring an indemnity to the injured party.

During the later Colonial years, forfeiture practices by the Crown officials using writs of assistance were one of the many activities that angered colonists, who saw the writs as “unreasonable searches and seizures” that deprived persons of “life, liberty, or property, without due process”.[9] The early Congress wrote forfeiture laws based on British maritime law to help federal tax collectors collect customs duties, which financed most of the expenses of the federal government in the early days of the republic.[8] Seizures allowed government to confiscate property from citizens who failed to pay taxes or customs duties.[7] The Supreme Court upheld these forfeiture statutes in situations where it was virtually impossible to get hold of guilty persons on the high seas while possible to get hold of their property.[8] During much of the 19th century there was not much attention paid to forfeiture laws.[8]

Prohibition era

During ProhibitionDetroit police inspect equipment suspected of being used to make alcohol; under civil forfeiture laws, police could seize the equipment without having to charge any owners with a crime.

Government used forfeiture during the Prohibition years 1920–1933.[8] Police seized vehicles and equipment and cash and other property from bootleggers.[7] When Prohibition ended in 1933, much of the forfeiture activity ended as well, and modern forfeiture was an “infrequent resort” until the last few decades.[9]

War on Drugs (1980–present)

Civil forfeiture activity increased substantially in the past thirty years.[10] It stepped up forfeiture during the War on Drugs during the early 1980s and onwards.[8] It became harder for criminal organizations to launder dirty money by means of the financial system, so drug cartels preferred bulk payments of cash.[11] Illegal drugs are a big business; one estimate was that the annual profit from selling illegal drugs was $12 billion, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.[8] The initial intent, similar to methods used to try to fight alcohol trafficking and use during the Prohibition era, was to use civil forfeitures as a weapon against drug kingpins.[12]

According to journalist Sarah Stillman, a major turning point in forfeiture activity was the passage of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984.[13] This law permitted local and federal law enforcement agencies to share the seized assets and cash.[9] Civil forfeiture allowed federal and local governments to “extract swift penalties from white-collar criminals and offer restitution to victims of fraud”, according to Stillman.[9] From 1985 to 1993, authorities confiscated $3 billion of cash and other property based on the federal Asset Forfeiture Program, which included both civil and criminal forfeitures.[13] The methods were supported by the Reagan administration as a crime fighting strategy.

It’s now possible for a drug dealer to serve time in a forfeiture-financed prison after being arrested by agents driving a forfeiture-provided automobile while working in a forfeiture-funded sting operation.

— Reagan attorney general Richard Thornburgh in 1989.[9]

The politics of civil forfeiture were somewhat unusual. The federal forfeiture laws were introduced and pushed through by Republicans in the 1980s, with support from some Democrats; but efforts to reform forfeiture laws have also come from the right,[14] as libertarians in Congress have focused on the basic idea as offensive to property rights.[14] In many areas civil forfeiture adversely affects persons from minorities and low-income communities, in which the typical seizure is less than $500, and Democrats have also been critical of civil forfeiture programs.[14] The ACLU has also been a long time opponent.[14]

Forfeiture was used for purposes other than trying to discourage illegal drug activity, such as attempts in New York City to discourage drunk driving. Forfeiture rules were used to confiscate cars of intoxicated motorists.[7] In such instances, there are two types of cases: a criminal case against the drunk driver as a person, and a civil case against the property used to facilitate the drunk driving, specifically their car.[7] Critics contend that the punishment can be “deemed out of proportion with the offense”; for example, after a drunk driver is arrested and convicted and possibly imprisoned, is it proper to punish him or her additionally by civil forfeiture means by confiscating a $50,000 car?[7] Civil forfeiture has been used to discourage illegal activities such as cockfightingdrag racinggambling in basements, poaching of endangered fish, securities fraud, and other illegal activity.[9]

A chart showing that payouts are growing, according to the equitable sharing arrangement. Source: United States Justice and Treasury Departments.

Courts helped set up the legal framework to help law enforcement stem the drug tide while sometimes trying to rein in abuses. A 1984 law set up the equitable sharing arrangement in which state and local police can share the seizures with federal agents.[15] While the 1993 Supreme Court case Austin v. United States ruled that a forfeiture could be considered as an excessive fine,[16] the court upheld the principle of civil forfeiture generally.[8] A 1996 Supreme Court decision ruled that prosecuting a person for a crime and seizing his or her property via civil forfeiture did not constitute double jeopardy, and therefore did not violate the Constitution.[16] However, in 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that civil forfeiture was not permitted if the amount seized was “grossly disproportional” to the gravity of the offense.[7]

Legislatures played a role as well. Since the 1990s, the number of federal statutes permitting government forfeiture doubled from 200 to 400.[15] In 2000, lawmakers passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, or CAFRA, which stipulated protections for individuals and increased the level of proof required.[15] Critics said that the new guidelines did not require poor persons to have free access to legal services.[15] CAFRA guidelines suggest that if a claimant wins a civil-forfeiture case, that some of the legal fees paid to recover the property are partially payable by the government.[15] CAFRA was supposed to raise government’s burden of proof before seizing property.[17] CAFRA meant if government loses a forfeiture challenge, government must pay the victim’s attorney costs, but often victims are unaware of this fact, so they fail to hire lawyers thinking the cost will be prohibitive.[17]

Police forces heeded instruction from a law enforcement consultant named Joe David who had an “uncanny talent for finding cocaine and cash in cars and trucks”, according to one report.[18] Officers trained in David’s so-called Desert Snow stop-and-seizure techniques raked in $427 million from highway encounters during a five-year period.[18] A contract allowed David’s consulting firm to keep 25% of the seized cash.[18]

But when innocent owners were sometimes ensnarled in seizure proceedings, it spurred criticism. In the early 1990s, San Francisco-based defense attorney Brenda Grantland organized a group called Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (which spells the letters FEAR), with branches in New JerseyVirginiaCalifornia, and Massachusetts.[13] Debate about reforming civil forfeiture procedures happened in the late 1990s but after public scrutiny died down, lawmakers quietly relaxed the reforms at the behest of police groups and prosecutors without much public debate.[10]

Civil forfeiture was used successfully on many occasions. For example, it was used to seize assets by corrupt foreigners, such as against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who stole money from the African nation of Equatorial Guinea and was convicted.[19] Overall, the pattern in recent decades has been a substantial increase in forfeiture activity. According to government records, Justice department seizures went from $27 million in 1985 to $556 million in 1993 and $4.2 billion in 2012.[9]

In 2015, Eric Holder ended the policy of “adoptive forfeiture”, which occurred “when a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law” due to abuse.[20] Although states proceeded to curtail the powers of police to seize assets, actions by the Justice Department in July 2017 have sought to reinstate police seizure powers that simultaneously raise funding for federal agencies and local law enforcement.[21]

Legal background

Civil versus criminal forfeiture

Civil
forfeiture
Criminal
forfeiture
Police against
thing
or in rem
Police against
person
or in personam
Legal test is
Preponderance of evidence
Legal test is
Beyond a reasonable doubt
Court can weigh
defendant’s taking
the 5th in their decision[22]
Court can not
do this[22]
Assets returned if owner proves innocence Assets returned if prosecution cannot prove guilt
Example:
United States v. Forty-Three Gallons of Whiskey
Example:
United States v. John Doe

Civil procedure cases generally involve disputes between two private citizens, often about money or property, while criminal procedure involves a dispute between a private citizen and the state, usually because a law has been broken. In legal systems based on British law such as that of the United States, civil and criminal law cases are handled differently, with different tests and standards and procedures, and this is true of forfeiture proceedings as well. Both civil and criminal forfeiture involve the taking of assets by police.

In civil forfeiture, assets are seized by police based on a suspicion of wrongdoing, and without having to charge a person with specific wrongdoing, with the case being between police and the thing itself, sometimes referred to by the Latin term in rem, meaning “against the property”; the property itself is the defendant and no criminal charge against the owner is needed.[1]

In contrast, criminal forfeiture is a legal action brought as “part of the criminal prosecution of a defendant”, described by the Latin term in personam, meaning “against the person”, and happens when government indicts or charges the property that is either used in connection with a crime, or derived from a crime, that is suspected of being committed by the defendant;[1] the seized assets are temporarily held and become government property officially after an accused person has been convicted by a court of law; if the person is found to be not guilty, the seized property must be returned.

The tests to establish the burden of proof are different;[15] in civil forfeiture, the test in most cases[23] is whether police feel there is a preponderance of the evidence suggesting wrongdoing; in criminal forfeiture, the test is whether police feel the evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a tougher test to meet.[3][15]

If property is seized in a civil forfeiture, it is “up to the owner to prove that his cash is clean”.[3] Normally both civil and criminal forfeiture require involvement by the judiciary; however, there is a variant of civil forfeiture called administrative forfeiture, which is essentially a civil forfeiture that does not require involvement by the judiciary, which derives its powers from the Tariff Act of 1930, and empowers police to seize banned imported merchandise, as well as things used to import or transport or store a controlled substance, money, or other property that is less than $500,000 value.[1]

Justification

The Supreme Court has generally upheld the principle of civil forfeiture.

According to the Justice Department, there are three main justifications for civil forfeitures:

  1. Punishment and deterrence. To punish and deter criminal activity by depriving criminals of property used or acquired through illegal activities.[22]
  2. Enhance police cooperation. To enhance cooperation among foreign, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, through the equitable sharing of assets recovered through this program.[22]
  3. Revenue for law enforcement. As a byproduct, to produce revenues to enhance forfeitures and strengthen law enforcement.[22]

Since a prosecutor can charge a person with a crime in a criminal case and charge his or her things in a civil case, issues such as double jeopardy have been raised. Further, there has been debate about whether seizures of property are considered as a fine or as a punishment in a legal sense. The distinction was clarified by the Supreme Court in United States v. Bajakajian, which decreed that a criminal forfeiture could be considered as both a type of fine and a punishment, while a civil forfeiture was not intended as a punishment of a person but rather a “legal fiction of punishing the property”.[24] As a result, the court decreed that civil forfeitures that served as remedial were not considered as a type of fine.[24][25]

The United States Supreme Court has upheld the principle of civil asset forfeiture at the federal level.[10][26] The Court ruled in Austin v. United States (1993) that such civil forfeiture, treated as punitive actions, are subject to the Excessive Fines clause of the Eighth Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled in Timbs v. Indiana (2019) that protection against excessive fees in civil forfeiture is also incorporated against state and local government.[27][28]

In addition, there are more than 400 federal statutes that empower police to take assets from convicted criminals, as well as from persons not charged with criminality.[15] Sometimes the seizures happen as a result of different government agencies working together, such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice.[29] Police at national and state levels cooperate in many instances according to procedural laws known as equitable sharing. In addition, there are laws that make it difficult for criminals to get dirty money clean by methods of money laundering; for example, law requires that cash deposits greater than $10,000 to a bank account be reported by the bank to the federal government,[30] and there have been instances in which repeated cash deposits under this amount have looked suspicious to authorities even though they were done legitimately, leading to civil forfeiture seizures directly from a bank account. What has caused controversy is when the property of innocent persons is seized by police who believe that the seized items were involved in criminal activity.

A June 2019 study found that more equitable sharing funds do not translate into more crimes solved, not improving overall police effectiveness. Such funds also do not lead to less drug use. And forfeiture rates are linked to local economic performance, increasing when the local economy suffers, suggesting that such tactics are more geared towards raising revenue, not fighting crime.[31]

Prevalence

Although there are accessible statistics of seizures at the federal level, it often happens that the totals of forfeitures from both criminals and innocent owners are combined; for example, one report was that in 2010, government seized $2.5 billion in assets from criminals and innocent owners by forfeiture methods,[15] and the totals of assets seized incorrectly from innocent owners was not separated statistically. Further, since the United States is a federal republic with governments at both the national and state level, there are civil forfeiture seizures at the state level, which are not tracked and recorded in any central database,[11] which make it difficult to make assessments, since state laws and procedures vary widely. According to The Washington Post, federal asset forfeiture in 2014 accounted for over $5 billion going into Justice and Treasury Department coffers, while in comparison, official statistics show that the amount stolen from citizens by burglars during that same year was a mere $3.5 billion.[32]

Methods

Civil forfeiture begins when government suspects that a property is connected with illegal drug activity, and files a civil action:[22]

The government simply files a civil action in rem against the property itself, and then generally must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property is forfeitable under the applicable forfeiture statute. Civil forfeiture is independent of any criminal case, and because of this, the forfeiture action may be filed before indictment, after indictment, or even if there is no indictment. Likewise, civil forfeiture may be sought in cases in which the owner is criminally acquitted of the underlying crimes …

— Craig Gaumer, Assistant United States Attorney, 2007[22]

Properties that can be confiscated include real estate property such as a house or motel, cars, cash, jewelry, boats, and almost anything[15] suspected of being related to the manufacture and sale and transportation of illegal controlled substances, such as:

  1. controlled substances[22]
  2. raw materials needed to make them[22]
  3. containers to hold them[22]
  4. vehicles to transport them[22]
  5. information for manufacture and distribution, such as books, records, and formulas[22]
  6. money and other valuables “used or intended to be used” to buy or sell them[22]
  7. property facilitating illegal transactions[22]
  8. chemicals needed to make them[22]
  9. machines for making capsules and tablets[22]
  10. drug paraphernalia[22]
  11. firearms[22]

Traffic stops

A motorist stopped by police in Tennessee.

In a civil forfeiture case in the United States, the state is the plaintiff and a thing is the defendant—in this case, the thing is $25,180 cash that was seized by police under suspicion of being involved in illegal activity. In legal terms, it is an in rem case (against a thing) as opposed to an in personam case (against a person). Here is the docket for a real case that happened after police seized money.

From 2006 to 2008, currency deposits alone exceeded $1 billion for each year. Source: the Institute for Justice[33]

One method of intercepting funds is by highway interdictions, typically along highway routes suspected to be used regularly by drug smugglers, often between Mexico and the United States.

News media have reported many examples:

  • Mandrel Stuart was not charged with a crime and there was no evidence of illegal activity but police seized his money because they assumed it was drug-related:[34]

    Mandrel Stuart and his girlfriend were on a date driving on Interstate 66 … The traffic stop on that balmy afternoon in August 2012 was the beginning of a dizzying encounter that would leave Stuart shaken and wondering whether he had been singled out because he was black and had a police record. Over the next two hours, he would be detained without charges, handcuffed and taken to a nearby police station … stripped of $17,550 in cash … earned through … a small barbecue restaurant … he was going to use the money that night for supplies and equipment.

    — report in The Washington Post, 2014[34]
  • Javier Gonzalez was carrying $10,000 cash in a briefcase and got pulled over in Texas; deputies handed Gonzalez a waiver, that if he signed over the money and did not claim it later, he would not be arrested, but if he refused to sign the waiver, Gonzalez would be arrested for money-laundering.[17] Gonzalez signed the waiver wondering if the officers were real “officers of law” and wondering if he got robbed, but later sued the county, which lost, and returned his cash plus paid him $110,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees.[17]
  • Matt Lee of Clare, Michigan, was driving to California with $2,500 cash when pulled over by police in Nevada, who seized almost all of the cash under suspicion that it was a “drug run”; Lee hired an attorney who took half as his fee, leaving Lee with only $1130 remaining.[34]

    I just couldn’t believe that police could do that to anyone … It’s like they are at war with innocent people.

    — Matt Lee, interviewed in The Washington Post, 2013[34]
  • Tan Nguyen. In 2008, a federal judge ordered $50,000 returned to a man after police seized the money during a traffic stop in Nebraska, after reviewing a recording of the seizure in which a sheriff’s deputy suggested that we “take his money and, um, count it as a drug seizure”.[15] Tan Nguyen’s $50,000 was confiscated by police during a traffic stop, and the county agreed to return the funds after a legal challenge.[35]
  • In May 2010 a couple was driving from New York to Florida and they were stopped by police because of a cracked windshield.[34] During questioning, the officer decided that $32,000 cash in the van was “probably involved in criminal or drug-related activity”, seized it, shared it with federal authorities under equitable sharing.[34] The victim hired a lawyer to get back the seized money who urged settling for half of the seized amount, and after the lawyer’s fees, the victim got back only $7,000.[34]
  • A 2013 The New Yorker piece detailed abuses in Tenaha, Texas, where police would target out-of-state drivers using rental cars, often not issuing traffic tickets, and disproportionately pulling over African Americans and Latino-Americans.[9] Police sometimes ask stopped motorists to sign “roadside property waivers”, which, unless signed, threaten criminal charges unless valuables are handed over; the waivers say, in effect, that victims will not contest the seizure in exchange for not being arrested.[9]

If a passing motorist does not sign a waiver and it becomes recorded as a legal case, the case names are often unusual.[9] In a civil forfeiture case, the asset itself is listed as the “defendant”.[15] For example, one case was titled State of Texas v. One Gold Crucifix, based on a traffic stop in which a woman was pulled over, no charges were filed, but this item of jewelry was seized.[9] Another case name was United States v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency.[30]

The Washington Post analyzed 400 seizures in 17 states that were examples of equitable sharing arrangements.[34] Police stop motorists under the pretext of a minor traffic infraction, and “analyze” the intentions of motorists by assessing nervousness, and request permission to search the vehicle without a warrant; however, of the 400 seizures studied by The Washington Post, police did not make any arrests.[34]

Other cash seizures

Cash has been seized in peculiar circumstances. For example, New York businessman James Lieto’s $392,000 in cash was seized by federal authorities, since his legitimate funds mixed up with illegal funds in an armored car that was seized by an FBI probe.[15] Lieto had to wait until the government’s criminal case was finished before he could get his money back, which took considerable time, and caused considerable financial hardship and stress.[15]

Police have broken into homes. In March 2012, in the middle of the night, without a warrant, New York City police burst into the home of Gerald Bryan, ransacked his belongings, ripped out light fixtures, arrested him, and seized $4,800 of his cash, but after a year, the case against him was dropped.[10] When Bryan tried to get back his money, he was told it was “too late” since the money had already been put into the police pension fund.[10] Victims of forfeiture often find themselves faced with fighting in a “labyrinthine” procedure to get their money back.[10]

In May, 2013, IRS agents seized $32,821 from the account of a restaurant owner in Arnolds Park, Iowa, on suspicion of tax evasion,[36] but the seizure was contested by lawyers from the Institute for Justice.[37][38]

The IRS is increasingly taking money from legitimate businesspeople who … run an honest cash business and make frequent cash deposits … The government doesn’t allege that she evaded taxes. The government doesn’t allege that she was depositing money from an illicit source. She’s simply depositing her own lawfully-earned money … that she gets from customers in her restaurant …

— Institute for Justice attorney Larry Salzman, 2014[37]

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been seizing cash from passengers on domestic flights. Agents seized $209 million in cash from travelers at the 15 busiest airports from 2006 to 2016, according to an investigation by USA Today.[39] Agents seized $82,373 from a passenger, transporting her father’s life savings, while boarding a domestic flight, despite any indication of criminal activity or drug use or charges, leading to a lawsuit to get the funds returned.[39]

Seizures of real estate

Prosecutors threatened to seize a motel, similar to this one owned by the Caswell family, when there was illegal drug use on the premises in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Police can seize not only cash from cars but real estate such as a person’s home. For example, homes have been seized even if someone other than the homeowner on the premises committed drug crimes without the owner’s awareness.[10] If the IRS suspects that property is involved with crime, or has been produced as a result of crime, then it has a pretext with which to seize it.[30] From 2010 to 2013, two motel owners were under constant threat of their property being seized after there were incidents of drug selling on the motel premises.[2] A judge ruled in 2013 that the owners could keep their motel since the owners did not know about the illegal activity and took all reasonable steps to prevent it.[2]

I’d like to see this law done away with, or heavily modified … This law, where you are presumed guilty and have to prove yourself innocent, is completely backward from any other law I’ve ever heard of. It’s hard to believe the government has that kind of power. It’s ridiculous. Prosecutors abuse it, and the average person can’t afford to fight it.

— Russell Caswell, motel owner, 2013[2]

Police seized a house on the pretext that it was being used for selling drugs, after a couple’s son was arrested for selling $40 worth of illegal drugs.[12] In another case, homeowners Carl and Mary Shelden sold their house to a man who was later convicted of fraud, but because of the real estate transaction, the Sheldens got caught up in a 10-year legal battle that left them “virtually bankrupt”; after years, they finally got back their house but it was in badly damaged condition; the Sheldens had done nothing wrong.[13]

Seizures of vehicles

In Detroit, men suspected of hiring prostitutes had their automobiles seized.[10][13] An owner’s sailboat was taken after he was caught with a negligible amount of marijuana.[13] Members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were charged with fraud after knowingly selling counterfeit goods at an asset forfeiture auction.[40]

Seizures of firearms

Five states (CaliforniaConnecticutIndianaNew York, and Oregon) have statutes that allow law enforcement officials to seize a person’s firearms without a warrant or court order if there is probable cause the individual is mentally unstable or may use the weapons to commit a crime. The weapons are to be held in the custody of the law enforcement agency until the case against the individual is dispositioned in a court of law; or the weapons must be returned to the owner if no criminal charges are filed within the timeframe specified by law. In practice, some law enforcement agencies in these states have been known to either sell or destroy seized firearms without compensating the owner after the legal matter that led to the initial seizure has been settled.[citation needed]

Seizures of funds in a bank account

The government can seize money directly from a bank account. One way this happens is when there are large numbers of cash deposits that government investigators suspect are structured as a way to avoid deposits exceeding $10,000, since deposits greater than that amount must be reported to the federal government. But it can happen that legitimate businesses have regular large deposits of cash. In one instance, the Internal Revenue Service waited for large deposits to be placed into an owner’s bank account, and then forced the bank by legal means to surrender it to the agency by means of a secret warrant;[30] authorities took $135,000 from Michigan restaurant owners, named the Cheung family, who made cash deposits from their Chinese restaurant.[29] In another instance, a businessman in New Jersey made repeated cash deposits to save for purchasing a house; each payment was below the $10,000 threshold for reporting to the government, but there were 21 deposits over a period of four months, which caused government to suspect that criminal activity was involved; as a result, the IRS seized $157,000 and the businessman was forced to hire an attorney to get his funds returned.[15] Officials seized $35,000 from the bank account of a grocery store “without any warning or explanation” in 2013.[29]

Contested seizures

After police and authorities have possession of cash or other seized property, there are two ways in which the seized assets become permanently theirs: first, if a prosecutor can prove that seized assets were connected to criminal activity in a courtroom, or second, if nobody tries to claim the seized assets.[41] What happens in many instances is that the assets revert to police ownership by default. If a victim challenges the seizure, prosecutors sometimes offer to return half of the seized funds as part of a deal in exchange for not suing.[17] Sometimes police, challenged by lawyers or by victims, volunteer to return all of the money provided that the victim promises not to sue police or prosecutors; according to The Washington Post, many victims sign simply to get some or all of their money back.[34] Victims often have “long legal struggles to get their money back”.[34] One estimate was that only one percent of federally taken property is ever returned to their former owners.[42]

Statistics

Asset forfeitures selected years
Year Total forfeitures Notes
1986 $93.7 million DOJ’s Asset
Forfeiture Fund
[8]
2004 $567 million [3]
2005 $1.25 billion [15]
2007 $1.58 billion [11]
2008 $1.6 billion DOJ Asset Forfeiture
fund
 took in
$1 billion
[3][8]
2010 $2.50 billion [15][15]

Statistical evidence suggests a strong upward trend in recent years towards greater seizure activity. In 1986, the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund took in $93.7 million; in 2008, it took in $1 billion.[8] Much of this growth happened in the past decade; one analysis suggested that seizures had grown 600 percent from 2002 to 2012.[42] From 2005 to 2010, government seizures of assets from both criminals as well as innocent citizens went from $1.25 billion to $2.50 billion.[15] Federal authorities seized over $4 billion in 2013 through forfeiture, with some of the money being taken from innocent victims.[29] In 2010, there were 15,000 cases of forfeitures.[15] Over 12 years, agencies have taken $20 billion in cash, securities, other property from drug bosses and Wall Street tycoons as well as “ordinary Americans who have not committed crimes”.[42] One estimate was that in 85% of civil forfeiture instances, the property owner was never charged with a crime.[10] In 2010, there were 11,000 noncriminal forfeiture cases.[15] In 2010, claimants challenged 1,800 civil forfeiture seizures in federal court.[15]

States

Standards of proof in state forfeiture laws
Source: Institute for Justice[43]
Note: “9” means most protection for citizens
State Standard Rank
Alabama Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Alaska Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Delaware Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Massachusetts Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Missouri Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Rhode Island Prima facie/Probable cause 1
South Carolina Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Wyoming Prima facie/Probable cause 1
Georgia Probable cause/Preponderance 2
North Dakota Probable cause/Preponderance 2
South Dakota Probable cause/Preponderance 2
Washington Probable cause/Preponderance 2
Arizona Preponderance 3
Arkansas Preponderance 3
Hawaii Preponderance 3
Idaho Preponderance 3
Illinois Preponderance[44] 3
Indiana Preponderance 3
Iowa Preponderance 3
Kansas Preponderance 3
Louisiana Preponderance 3
Maine Preponderance 3
Maryland Preponderance 3
Michigan Preponderance 3
Mississippi Preponderance 3
New Hampshire Preponderance 3
New Jersey Preponderance 3
Oklahoma Preponderance 3
Pennsylvania Preponderance 3
Tennessee Preponderance 3
Texas Preponderance 3
Virginia Preponderance 3
West Virginia Preponderance 3
Kentucky Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
New York Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
Oregon Preponderance
Clear & convincing
4
Colorado Clear & convincing 5
Minnesota Clear & convincing 5
Nevada Clear & convincing 5
Ohio Clear & convincing 5
Utah Clear & convincing 5
Vermont Clear & convincing 5
California Clear & convincing
Beyond a reasonable doubt
6
Wisconsin Preponderance of the Evidence (greater weight of the credible evidence).
Florida Beyond a reasonable doubt[45] 7
Connecticut Criminal conviction
required before seizure[46]
8
North Carolina Criminal conviction
required before seizure[47]
8
Montana Criminal conviction
required before seizure[48]
8
Nebraska Criminal conviction required
before seizure[49]
9
New Mexico Abolished[48] 9

Civil forfeiture varies greatly state by state. An analysis by Sarah Stillman in The New Yorker suggested that states that place seized funds in neutral accounts, such as MaineMissouri (which puts seized funds in accounts for public education), North Dakota, and Vermont, have been much less likely to have major scandals involving forfeiture abuse.[9] States like Texas and Virginia and Georgia, which have few restrictions on how police use the seized funds have had more scandals, as have states that allow the Equitable sharing program. With Equitable Sharing, state police can “skirt state restrictions on the use of funds”, according to Stillman.[9] In Florida, using Equitable Sharing, the small village of Bal Harbour raked in at least $71.5 million in three years by its vice squad by carrying out an undercover money laundering sting operation, but in the end, made no arrests.[9] In 2019, Arkansas enacted a new law that requires felony conviction before forfeiture of related assets with few exceptions.[50]

Florida
Allows Equitable sharing between state and federal agencies.[9]
Georgia
There are few restrictions on how police use seized assets.[9] Georgia investigators found more than $700,000 in “questionable expenses” by Camden County’s sheriff between 2004 and 2008, including a $90,000 Dodge Viper and a $79,000 boat.[14]
Maine
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Maryland
In Maryland, police forfeitures were $6 million in 2012 and $2.8 million in 2013.[41]
Minnesota
Minnesota passed a law in 2014 forbidding authorities from confiscating a suspect’s property unless they have been convicted of a crime or plead guilty to committing it.[51]
Missouri
Seized funds go into accounts earmarked for public education.[9]
Montana
In June 2015, governor Steve Bullock signed a law requiring authorities to first get a criminal conviction before seizing property through civil forfeiture.[48]
Nebraska
State civil forfeiture standard was beyond a reasonable doubt[8] but in 2016 it was changed to require a criminal conviction first before any assets could be seized.[49]
Nevada
There were allegations that Nevada police unlawfully took tens of thousands of dollars from motorists.[35]
New Mexico
Government took $800,000 from a used car dealer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and held his money for many months before giving it back, but the seizure had an adverse effect on his business and on the owner’s health.[29] In 2015, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill into law making Civil Forfeiture illegal in New Mexico. The prohibition does not apply to property directly connected to the commission of a crime (e.g., money or property obtained through drug trafficking, or stolen property)[48][52]
New York
New York City ransacked a home, seized cash, but it was later returned.[10]
North Carolina
Abolished civil forfeiture almost entirely.[47]
North Dakota
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Oklahoma
Seized funds or property are forfeited if any connection to any drug crime is proved by a preponderance of the evidence. Once forfeited, the seizing agency can keep and use the funds largely at its discretion. Due to the lack of any state reporting or centralized accounting, no accurate total of seizures is available, but estimates tend to run in the tens of millions each year, much from known drug trafficking corridors such as Interstate 40.[53] Notable abuses of forfeiture funds include prosecutors paying off student loans and living in seized houses rent free.[54]
Pennsylvania
In Philadelphia, it is often the homes of African-Americans and Hispanics who are targeted by civil forfeiture abuses; what happens in many instances is that a child or grandchild who doesn’t own the home is nabbed on a drug-related offense, and police use this as a pretext to seize the entire home.[9] In Philadelphia, authorities made thousands of “small-dollar seizures”; in 2010, the city filed 8,000 forfeiture cases, which amounted to $550 for the average take.[12] From 2002 to 2012, Philadelphia seized $64 million by means of its forfeiture program, a total that was more than that seized by Brooklyn and Los Angeles combined.[12]
Texas
In Texas, in Jim Wells County, authorities seized more than $1.5 million during a four-year period mostly off of U.S. Route 281, described as a “prime smuggling route for drugs going north and money coming south”.[17] Seized cash is a third of the budget of the sheriff’s department, allowing it to buy more equipment, high-powered rifles, and police vehicles.[17] There are few restrictions on how police use seized funds.[9] In some counties in Texas, 40% of police revenue comes from forfeitures.[9] Texas, with many smuggling corridors to Mexico, and police seized $125 million in 2007.[3]
Vermont
Seized funds go into neutral accounts.[9]
Virginia
Few restrictions on how police use seized assets.[9]
Washington, D.C.
Victims seeking to get their seized property back in Washington, D.C., may be charged up to $2500 for the right to challenge a police seizure in court, and it can take months or years for a decision to finally happen.[9]
Wisconsin
State civil forfeiture standard is preponderance of the evidence (Wis Stat sec. 961.555(3).

Controversy

Civil forfeiture has generated substantial controversy.

Proponents

FBI special agent Douglas Leff argues that civil forfeiture is a necessary tool for law enforcement to combat money laundering by criminal operatives.

Proponents argue that civil forfeiture tactics are necessary to help police fight serious crime.[42] It is seen as a vital and powerful weapon in the continuing battle against illegal drugs,[13][26] and effective at discouraging criminal activity.[15][30] It makes it easier for law enforcement to fight organized crime when they had trouble imprisoning offenders, since they could deprive them of their property and income when it is much harder to prove their guilt in a court of law.[10]

Prosecutors choose civil forfeiture not because of the standard of proof, but because it is often the only way to confiscate the instrumentalities of crime. The alternative, criminal forfeiture, requires a criminal trial and a conviction. Without civil forfeiture, we could not confiscate the assets of drug cartels whose leaders remain beyond the reach of United States extradition laws and who cannot be brought to trial. Moreover, criminal forfeiture reaches only a defendant’s own property. Without civil forfeiture, an airplane used to smuggle drugs could not be seized, even if the pilot was arrested, because the pilot invariably is not the owner of the plane. Nor could law enforcement agencies confiscate cash carried by a drug courier who doesn’t own it, or a building turned into a “crack house” by tenants with the knowing approval of the landlord.

— Gerald E. Mcdowell Chief, Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section, Dept. of Justice, 1996, writing in The New York Times[26]

The head of the asset forfeiture section of the Department of Justice said that civil forfeiture of cash from innocents was insignificant compared to the “thousands of traffic stops” that bust major drug money couriers.[17]

What’s troubling to you? That a drug trafficker who’s bringing money from the U.S. to Mexico, who’s carrying hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars in cash in their pickup truck, who just sold dope and crack and cocaine to children in your playgrounds, and his money is being taken away? That troubles you?

— Richard Weber, US Justice Department, 2008[17]

Police used civil forfeiture laws to help return swindled funds to their owners. Photo: Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff.

Civil forfeiture has been used to restore money stolen by fraud and other schemes by corrupt politicians.[55] Civil forfeiture targets cybercrime, fraud, and scams in high finance at Wall Street, and money-laundering on a global scale.[42] It enables police to have sufficient power to “return money to crime victims” in instances of swindling or fraud.[15] Civil forfeiture laws were helpful in enabling authorities to seize and return swindled funds by the Bernard Madoff fraud.[15]

Proponents argue that government has sufficient safeguards in place so that individuals can challenge seizures if the need arises.[17] Justice William H. Rehnquist said in a Supreme Court decision that federal forfeiture in drug-related cases was not a punishment but served nonpunitive purposes such as encouraging people to be careful that their property was not used illegally.[16] A lobbyist for the Maryland State Police named Thomas Williams argued that bills to require police to keep better records of seized property would cost law enforcement more time and money, and that trying to track seizures by multi-agency task forces would not be easy.[41] Proponents say that when claimants contest the seizures, they rarely win back their money, suggesting that the “system is working properly”.[15] Proponents say the system is monitored to make sure seizures are properly done.[15] In addition, the funds enable police forces to equip themselves further for more effective crime prevention; for example, a $3.8 million drug bust let officers equip their cars with $1,700 video cameras and heat-sensing equipment for a seven-member force.[13]

Critics

Critics include citizens, defense attorneys, and advocates for civil rights.[13] They point to serious instances of abuse in which innocent owners have been victimized.[42] Critics are from both sides of the political spectrum, from left-leaning groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and right-leaning groups such as The Heritage Foundation.[15] The main criticisms of civil forfeiture proceedings are as follows:

  • Flawed judicial process. Critics suggest that civil forfeitures are mostly “devoid of due process”.[30] Arguments have been made that the seizures violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution since owners have few means to challenge the seizures.[51] They see some seizures as assaults against individual rights.[29] Critics argue that criminals are treated better in the courts than innocent owners who have property seized, since criminals are often told they have a right to an attorney, and that the beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof is much higher in criminal trials than in civil trials.[30] Burden of proof is shifted to victims to prove innocence.[8] Victims of civil forfeiture are considered guilty until proven innocent, thereby turning the principle of innocent until proven guilty on its head.[12][29][30] Because it is part of the civil justice system, there are no attorneys provided for defendants as can happen in some criminal trials; people who can not afford an attorney have slim chances of recovering their property.[12] Most cases are never heard by a jury or judge since victims are unable to fight the seizures by hiring a lawyer.[29] In contrast to principles of open justice, seizures are often done through sealed documents with a lack of transparency.[42] Clinical law professor Louis Rulli of the University of Pennsylvania said that a piece of property does not have the same rights as a human: no right to an attorney, no presumption of innocence.[9]
  • Excessive punishment. Justice John Paul Stevens said in a single dissenting vote in 1996 that civil forfeiture of a house, in which marijuana had been illegally processed, was an example of an excessive fine, and a violation of the Eighth Amendment, although the majority of the court disagreed.[16]

Critics contend that the lure of cash tempts police towards subverting the rules for personal gain.

  • Motivates police misbehavior. Critics contend that the system is set up in a way as to incentivize “perverse behavior” by “predatory government agencies”.[30] It makes it possible for government officials to seize property such as cash, vehicles, houses, and jewelry from people without ever convicting them for wrongdoing in a court or even charging them with a crime.[29] The cash and assets are a major temptation for police to presume that activity is illegal. Critics say the huge amount of money involved have a distorting effect on police, such that they are more interested in seizing cash rather than illegal drugs.[3] Seized assets can be used for police office expenses, new equipment, vehicles.[3] The profit motive, in which police can keep 90% or more of profits, “forms the rotten core of forfeiture abuse”.[8] Prosecutors and police have a strong incentive to seize property since the funds can be used to pay expenses of the District Attorney’s office, including salaries. Over a ten-year period, the forfeiture money collected was $25 million in Philadelphia, with seized funds being used to pay salaries for people working in the District Attorney’s office.[12] When funds are returned to the victim, it can happen that the funds come out of taxpayer money, not out of police funds such as a pension fund.[10] Seized amounts of money have gone for new police equipment, parties, travel expenses, training seminars, sometimes held in distant locations such as Las Vegas or Hawaii.[10] A Texas prosecutor used $25,000 in seized cash to take his office staff including spouses and a judge on a vacation to Hawaii.[10] There are no penalties for wrongful seizures, particularly when taxpayers pay when ill-gotten gains from innocent citizens must be returned, so there is an incentive to “find” a drug-related issue when police come across cash.[10] The incentives work against police seizing drugs but push them to seize cash instead:

If a cop stops a car going north with a trunk full of cocaine, that makes great press coverage, makes a great photo. Then they destroy the cocaine … If they catch ’em going south with a suitcase full of cash, the police department just paid for its budget for the year.

— Jack Fishman, former IRS agent, criminal defense attorney, 2008[3]
  • Innocent owners ensnared. Critics argue that innocent owners suffer emotionally and financially.[34]
  • Difficult to challenge seizures. The process forces property owners with limited financial abilities to have to hire attorneys and take time and money simply to “prove their innocence”.[30] Victims must actively fight to recover their seized property; if they do nothing, or wait, then they will lose everything.[30] If victims do not seek help from sympathetic lawyers such as those of the Institute for Justice, they can sometimes be offered to have a fraction of their property returned as part of a deal; critics have described the IRS as “bullies” practicing “extortion” against innocent citizens.[30] Procedures to get money back are often fraught with difficulty.[10] Retrieving seized property can be a “bureaucratic nightmare” where victims meet not with a judge or jury but with a prosecutor.[12]
  • Arbitrary punishments. Critics suggest that civil forfeitures can be arbitrary, varying significantly from one case to another; for example, Alan Finder in The New York Times wondered whether it was “fair that one driver loses a car worth $45,000 and another loses one worth $700?”, if each situation resulted from drunk driving arrests.[7]
  • Unfairly targets poor and politically weak persons. Many victims of civil forfeiture are “poor and politically weak” and unable to mount a sustained battle in the courts to get their property returned.[51]
  • Subverts state law. Local and state police often cooperate with federal authorities in what has been called equitable sharing agreements.[14] Since many states have laws restricting or limiting civil forfeitures, as well as requiring higher standards of proof before property can be taken, local police can sidestep these rules by treating the suspected criminal activity as a federal crime, and bringing in federal authorities.[14] As a result, after the seizure, local and federal agencies share the proceeds with 10% to 20% of it going to the federal agency and the remainder to the local police force.[14] Accordingly, equitable sharing “effectively subverts the will and intent of the state legislatures” and has been criticized by prominent civil rights attorney and property rights advocate Scott Bullock as being a “complete violation” of the principle of federalism.[14]
  • Extent of abuse. Proponents and critics differ about the extent of cases in which innocent persons had their property seized. Proponents argue that the cases are few in number, while critics contend that many instances of abuse happen without awareness by the public as a result of the signing of waivers, victims not challenging seizures for lack of knowledge, and other reasons related to a general lack of judicial transparency. The Baltimore Sun made reports that in 2012, half of victims with seized assets were not convicted of a crime.[41]

Efforts at reform

Comedian and political commentator John Oliver did a sixteen-minute segment on his show Last Week Tonight in 2014 discussing civil forfeiture.

There have been numerous reports in the media about systemic abuse of civil forfeiture. USA Today described it as “an increasingly common—and utterly outrageous—practice that can amount to legalized theft by police”.[56] Reporter Sarah Stillman writing in The New Yorker interviewed numerous police officers, lawyers, prosecutors, justices and plaintiffs around the United States and found that many had reservations that innocent Americans were being abused.[9] The New Yorker published a “sprawling investigation” about how cities abuse civil forfeiture to “bolster their cash-strapped coffers by seizing the assets of the poor, often on trumped up charges”.[10] Comedian John Oliver devoted a presentation to a satirical exposure of civil forfeiture in 2014.

Organizations working for reform, as well as helping individual victims, include the Institute for Justice, a libertarian nonprofit law firm in Washington, D.C., which works to end civil forfeiture abuse.[30] It has helped numerous clients recover property seized by the government.[30] The Institute of Justice is helping one forfeiture victim sue the federal district court as well as the mayor, district attorney, and police commissioner in Philadelphia.[12] Scott Bullock, senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, advocates that civil forfeiture should be abolished except for use in enforcing maritime and customs laws, and require that any seizures be linked to criminal convictions of specific people.[57] If that is not possible, Bullock recommends that seized revenues be placed in neutral funds such as drug treatment efforts, that standards of proof for law enforcement be raised to ensure that police provide “clear and convincing evidence” of wrongdoing, that the burden of proof should be moved to government to prove wrongdoing, that seized assets should be tracked such that information is easily accessible by the public, and that the equitable sharing arrangement be abolished.[57] Sometimes victims turn to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for legal assistance in winning back their seized property.[42]

There has been opposition to civil forfeiture in some lower courts.[16] There have been attempts by lawmakers to introduce legislation to prevent abuses based on civil forfeiture procedures; one proposal was to raise the standard of proof necessary before property could be seized, and require government to prove that an owner of property was involved in an illegal criminal activity before such seizures could happen.[14] There have been class action lawsuits against authorities, such as one in East Texas by black and Latino drivers; the suit alleges that police took $3 million from 2006 to 2008 in 140 separate incidents.[35] One reform effort is to require authorities to keep better records about seized assets.[41]

In 2015, the New Mexico legislature outlawed civil forfeiture.[52] Also in 2015 a number of criminal justice reformers, including the Koch family foundations and the ACLU, announced plans to advocate the reduction of asset forfeitures due to the disproportionate penalty it places on low-income wrongdoers; the forfeiture of private property in such cases often results in the deprivation of the majority of an individual’s wealth.[58]

As civil forfeiture may not be allowed a new practice has emerged. By classifying valuables such as cars, cellphones, and wallets with cash as evidence the police can keep them and by making it very difficult and time consuming to get them back. After 120 days the police can sell the items.[59]

Marijuana legalization and forfeiture

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been using civil forfeiture as one way of funding their efforts to combat the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, which continues to be illegal to possess under Federal law as of 2019.[60][61] According to government figures, the DEA collected $18 million in 2013 as part of its Cannabis Eradication Program.[62] Proponents in favor of legalizing marijuana have objected to this practice, which includes DEA seizures of properties in which marijuana is used and sold. A bill has been proposed in the United States Congress to eliminate this source of funding.[63][64] As more states progress towards legalizing marijuana for medical use and for recreational use, there are more businesses to sell marijuana, sometimes called dispensaries or “weed shops”. A report in The Guardian in 2015 suggested that such shops operated in a “tricky gray zone”, so that even in the 23 states where medicinal cannabis is legal, such dispensaries can be “wiped out by a single visit from law enforcement”.[65] While state law may recognize such establishments as having a legal purpose, federal law does not recognize this, and conflicting interpretations can emerge, which can result in properties being confiscated.[65] It has sparked controversy and, in some instances, public outrage.

See also

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States

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The Pronk Pops Show 1393, February 6, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Speaks At National Prayer Breakfast — Slams Pelosi and Romney For Using Their Faith To Justify Their Actions — Faith Based Adoption — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Acquitted Forever By Senate Takes A Well Deserved Victory Lap Over Failed Coup Attempts By Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Nobody Including Democrats Are Above The Law — American People Demanding The Indictments of The Conspirators — The Trump Way — Videos — Story 3: DNC Chair Demands Iowa Recheck The Vote Count and Bernie Sanders Won By More Than 8,000 — Videos

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Story 2: President Trump Acquitted Forever By Senate Takes A Well Deserved Victory Lap Over Failed Coup Attempts By Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Nobody Including Democrats Are Above The Law — American People Demanding The Indictments of The Conspirators — The Trump Way — Videos —

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President Trump Delivers Remarks

President Trump delivers remarks at White House | USA TODAY

‘The Five’ on Trump taking marathon victory lap after his acquittal

 

This linguist studied the way Trump speaks for two years. Here’s what she found.

Keiser Report: Canceling Debt to Avoid Economic Crisis (E1320)

Ep. 1548 David Stockman on Impeachment, the Democrats, the Fed, and More

 

Triumphant Trump lashes out ‘horrible person’ Pelosi and attacks ‘dirty cops’ in wild post-acquittal speech as he slams ‘Mueller top scum’ Russia probe and ‘evil’ impeachment as ‘all bulls**t’

  • President Trump gathered his political allies in the White House’s East Room Thursday to celebrate being acquitted on impeachment charges
  • Trump held up a copy of the Washington Post that said ‘Trump Acquitted’ in large font, saying it’s the ‘only good headline I’ve ever had in the Washington Post’ 
  • At the top of his speech, Trump called out the ‘leakers and liars’ and then name-dropped former FBI Director James Comey 
  • He bad-mouthed a number of individuals including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff 
  • He again went after FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, while also slamming Hunter Biden and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe
  • Then Trump went around the room and complimented the Republicans who supported him, giving brief remarks about each one 
  • Trump spoke for more than an hour and didn’t use a teleprompter, though used swear words more than once 
  • ‘This is a day of celebration because we went through hell,’ Trump told the crowd, who gave him a standing ovation 

President Trump celebrated his Senate acquittal on Thursday with a freewheeling speech at the White House where he blasted the ‘vicious and mean’ Democrats, attacked ‘evil and dirty’ cops, thanked his ‘very good friends’ for their support and apologized to his family for what he put them through.

‘This is a day of celebration because we went through hell,’ he told a packed room of about 200 supporters in the East Room of the White House.

The president spoke – without the use of a teleprompter – for a little more than hour that veered back and forth between thanking his allies and blasting his enemies.

He began his remarks with his favorite hit term on the investigations into him and his presidency: ‘witch hunt.’

‘We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops. It was a leakers and lawyers. This should never happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it,’ he said.

And he ended with an apology to his family, including young son Barron.

‘I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people,’ he said. ‘And Ivanka is here, my sons, my whole family. And that includes Barron. He’s up there, he’s a young boy.’

Ivanka left her seat in the audience to come up to the podium and hug her father after his apology. First lady Melania Trump did the same.

‘I just want to thank my family for sticking through it. This was not part of the deal,’ the president said.

Trump also name-dropped those he blamed for impeaching him, re-upping his litany of attacks against the same people he has blamed since the first investigation of his presidency started.

Former FBI Director James Comey was the first opponent who came up.

‘Had I not fired James Comey – who was a disaster, by the way – it’s possible I may not have even been standing here right now,’ Trump said. ‘When I fired that sleazebag, all hell broke out,’ he later added.

He blamed the top FBI officials for his problems. ‘It was the top scum, and the FBI people don’t like the top scum,’ he said.

The president also had choice words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, Sen. Mitt Romney, Hunter Biden, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe – and the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

SCROLL DOWN TO READ TRUMP’S FREEWHEELING SPEECH IN FULL 

President Trump hoisted up a copy of the Washington Post in the East Room Thursday, marveling at the paper's good headline

President Trump hugs his daughter Ivanka Trump at his victory speech in the White House's East Room Thursday

President Trump hugs his daughter Ivanka Trump at his victory speech in the White House’s East Room Thursday

First lady Melania Trump (left) kisses President Trump (right) at the end of his speech Thursday in the East Room

First lady Melania Trump (left) kisses President Trump (right) at the end of his speech Thursday in the East Room

The president, showing off the 'Trump acquitted' headline, said he might even frame this copy of the Washington Post

President Trump addressed a crowd of allies at the White House Thursday after being acquitted by the U.S. Senate

President Trump was surrounded by his political allies at the White House Thursday as he took a victory lap on being acquitted on impeachment charges by the GOP-led Senate

President Trump went around the room and complimented his political allies, while describing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as 'vicious' and 'horrible' x

President Trump (left) had first lady Melania Trump (right) come onstage at the conclusion of his hour-long, free-wheeling speech where he talked about impeachment

Ivanka Trump (right) listens to her father President Trump (left) speak a day after the conclusion of the Senate's impeachment trial

Comey’s May 2017 firing led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller who took over the Russian interference probe.

The president referred to the Russia probe as ‘all bulls***’ to the East Room crowd.

That investigation wasn’t directly related to why Trump was impeached – over a scheme to hold up around $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the president to announce investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden.

Trump attacked the former vice president’s son for his work on the board of a Ukrainian gas company and for a Chinese hedge fund. He also reiterated his argument his July 25 phone call with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was perfect.

‘He’s a new president, seems like a very nice person, by the way. His whole thing was corruption. He’s going to stop corruption. We have a treaty, a signed treaty that we will work together to root out corruption in Ukraine. I probably have a legal obligation … to report corruption. They don’t even think a corrupt way son who made no money, that got thrown out of the military, that had no money at all, is working for $3 million upfront, $83,000 a month. And that’s only Ukraine. Then goes to China, picks up $1.5 billion. Then goes to Romania, I hear, and many other countries. They think that’s okay. Because, if it is, Ivanka in the audience? Boy, my kids could make a fortune,’ he said.

The East Room was filled with the president’s Republican Congressional and political allies. Lawmakers like Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik and Matt Gaetz, who all vocally defended the president during the House impeachment investigation. GOP senators who voted to acquit him were there too, including Chuck Grassley, Mike Lee and, of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump had personalized shout outs for many of them:

  • Mitch McConnell: ‘Great guy. Great guy. He’s a tough guy to read. I’m good at reading people. A tough guy to read.’
  • Jim Jordan: ‘When I first got to know Jim I said, “Huh, never wears a jacket. What the hell is going on?” He’s obviously very proud of his body. And they say where he works out with the congressmen, senators, they say when Jim works out, even though he’s not as young as he was, when he works out, the machine starts burning.’
  • Steve Scalise: ‘He got whacked, my Steve. Right? I went to the hospital with our great first lady that night. Right, honey? We saw a man who was not going to make it. He was not going to make it. The doctor — I told him, his wife, I said, “She loves you.” “Why did you say that?” Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.’ 
  • Elise Stefanik: ‘I didn’t realize, when she opens that mouth, you were killing them, Elise! You were killing them!’
  • John Ratcliffe: ‘If we were doing a remake of “Perry Mason,” the man I get — there is nobody in Hollywood like this.’ 
  • Matt Gaetz: ‘Sometimes controversial, but actually he’s not controversial. He’s solid as a rock and a friend of mine.’ 

The president’s impeachment legal team came in the room before Trump and was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience and shouts of ‘Bravo!’ 

Trump, too, was greeted by a crowd on its feet.

He held up a copy of the Washington Post in triumph as his supporters cheered him on.

‘It was the only good headline I’ve ever had in the Washington Post,’ Trump said, showing off a newspaper with the words ‘Trump acquitted’ in large typeface across the front. Trump said he might even frame it.

President Trump and Melania Trump leaving after his remarks

IN THE AUDIENCE: Reps. Doug Collins (center) and Elise Stefanik (right) were invited to attend Thursday's White House address by President Trump. Both lawmakers defended him during the impeachement saga

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at President Trump's East Room address Thursday

During the speech, the president praised certain Republican lawmakers who defended him, including Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York

Rep. Matt Gaetz is seen entering the Whtie House's East Room Thursday prior to President Trump addressing the nation on his impeachment acquittal

Rep. Matt Gaetz stands as he is acknowledged by President Trump during a speech that lasted longer than an hour

Rep. Matt Gaetz stands as he is acknowledged by President Trump during a speech that lasted longer than an hour

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham (center) greets Rep. Matt Gaetz (left) in the White House's East Room on Thursday

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee who loudly defended President Trump during the impeachment hearings, wore a 'Quit, Mitt' button to the White House Thursday

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway chats with White House guests before President Trump appeared in the East Room Thursday

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is photographed in the East Room before the president delivered remarks

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is photographed in the East Room before the president delivered remarks

Republican political allies filed the White House's audience Thursday including (from left) Rep. Mark Meadows, Sen. Bill Cassidy, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Devin Nunes. Nunes is Rep. Adam Schiff's GOP counterpart in the House Intelligence Committee

First daughter and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump reacts to her father's speech in the White House's East Room Thursday

Attendees of President Trump's East Room speech included (from left) second lady Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General Bill Barr

Attendees of President Trump’s East Room speech included (from left) second lady Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General Bill Barr

 

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham previewed the president's remarks on Fox News Channel Thursday morning

He had nicer things to say about those in the room.

TRUMP SHOUT OUTS

The president offered his thanks to many people during his remarks:

Melania Trump

Ivanka Trump

His sons and specifically Barron

Attorneys Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow

Sen. Tim Scott

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Rep. Jim Jordan

Rep. Elise Stefanik

Rep. Mark Meadows

Rep. Doug Collins

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Sen. Josh Hawley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Sen. Mike Braun

Sen. Bill Cassidy

Sen. John Barasso

Sen. Mike Lee

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy

Sen. Kelly Armstrong

Rep. Jim Banks

Rep. Andy Biggs

Abraham Lincoln

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Debbie Lesko

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Rep. Mike Johnson

Rep. Devin Nunes

Rep. John Ratliffe

Rep. Steve Scalise

Matt Schlapp

Rep. Bradley Byrne

Rep. Scott Perry

Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, got some attention from the president, in part because Lee’s counterpart, Sen. Mitt Romney, had voted alongside Democrats on voting in support of one article of impeachment.

Trump told Lee to deliver a message to the people of Utah: ‘Tell them I’m sorry about Mitt Romney.’

‘We can say, by far, Mike Lee is the most popular senator in the state,’ Trump said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee who also loudly backed the president during impeachment hearings, was spotted wearing a ‘quit Mitt’ button to the White House event.

Trump complimented another Judiciary Committee member, Rep. John Ratcliffe, for being straight out of Central Casting.

‘If we’re doing a remake of Perry Mason,’ he said, nodding at Ratcliffe. ‘There’s nobody in Hollywood like this.’

The president also suggested that Rep. Steve Scalise became more attractive after recovering from a gun shot wound.

‘You weren’t that good looking,’ Trump said. ‘You look good now.’

The president also talked of Scalise’s wife’s devotion to the Louisiana Republican, as Trump had met her when her husband was in the emergency room.

‘A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn,’ Trump remarked.

Trump also made colorful comments about Rep. Jim Jordan, another prominent defender.

‘When I first got to know Jim I said, heh, he never wears a jacket, he’s obviously very proud of his body,’ the president said.

Jordan was a collegiate wrestling champion and later a college-level coach.

The Ohio Republican did wear a jacket to Trump’s speech Thursday.

Trump also asked lawmakers to stand up if they had something to say.

That prompted retiring Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, to briefly stand and say, ‘This reflection today is a small reflection of the support you have.’

‘We got your back,’ Meadows said.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told a Fox News Channel audience Thursday what to expect from his remarks – that the president had previewed himself when he slammed Pelosi and Romney at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.

‘He is going to be honest,’ Grisham told Fox News, ‘going to speak with honesty and with humility and he and the family went through a lot. I think he’s also going to talk about just how horribly he was treated and, you know, that maybe people should pay for that.’

PEOPLE DONALD TRUMP CRITICIZED

The president also criticized many people in his speech:

Sen. Mitt Romney

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Adam Schiff

Rep. Jerry Nadler

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Former FBI director James Comey

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill

Hunter Biden

Lisa Page

Peter Strzok

Andrew McCabe

Christopher Steele

Bob Mueller

Sen. Chuck Schumer

Hillary Clinton

‘People should be held accountable,’ she added.

The president went after Pelosi and Romney for using their faith to justify their actions in the impeachment process during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

And, in his remarks later that day in the East Wing, he stood by what he said at the breakfast.

‘I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away and I’m saying things that a lot of people wouldn’t have said, but I meant everything. I meant every word of it,’ he said.

At the breakfast, the president did not mention the two by name but his meaning was clear.

‘I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that’s not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on. I will be discussing that a little bit later at the White House,’ he said.

Romney was the lone Republican to find Trump guilty on one article of impeachment: abuse of power. He said in his remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday that it was his faith – Romney is a devout Mormon – that led him to that decision.

Pelosi, a devout Catholic, has repeatedly said she prays for the president. She was seated at the head table during Trump’s remarks and shook her head at one point during them. She pursed her lips a few times as he spoke. The speaker launched the impeachment inquiry into the president in September.

Back at the White House, Trump had no problem uttering Pelosi’s name. He called her a ‘vicious horrible person’ and said that Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the Democrats’ House impeachment managers, was a ‘horrible person.’

‘She may pray, but she prays for the opposite,’ Trump said of the speaker.

At the prayer breakfast, the president admitted he was having trouble liking his political enemies now that his impeachment trial is over.

‘We are grateful to the people of this room for the lovely show to religion, not one religion, but many religions. They are brave, they are brilliant, they are fighters, they like people and sometimes they hate people. I’m sorry. I apologize. I am trying to learn. Not easy. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing, and you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy, folks. I do my best,’ he said.

Donald Trump slammed Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney for using their faith to justify their actions in the impeachment trial and inquiry

Donald Trump slammed Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney for using their faith to justify their actions in the impeachment trial and inquiry

Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the opposite of the head table from President Trump

Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the opposite of the head table from President Trump

Speaker Pelosi sat grimed during President Trump's remarks

Speaker Pelosi sat grimed during President Trump’s remarks

President Trump addressed impeachment at the top of his remarks

Trump was acquitted on both articles of impeachment by the Senate on Wednesday, bringing to a close the fourth month, contentious process that led to a new level of bitter relations between the White House and congressional Democrats.

Harvard professor Arthur Brooks, in his key note address at the breakfast, urged those present not to hold political enemies in contempt, but to do as Jesus preached and ‘love your enemies.

‘I don’t know if I agree with you,’ Trump said to Brooks when it was his turn to speak. And then he proceeded to launch his attacks on Pelosi and Romney.

The president addressed the impeachment inquiry at the top of his remarks and, earlier, had triumphantly held up newspaper headlines announcing his acquittal. The audience cheered his move.

‘My family, our great country and your president has been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation,’ Trump said.

‘They know what they are doing is wrong but they put themselves far ahead of our great country. Weeks ago and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, fortitude, and strength to do what everyone knows was right,’ he added.

The president and the speaker were meeting for the first time since the impeachment verdict at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.

Trump walked to the head table to applause and held up the front pages of USA Today and The Washington Post with their oversized headlines proclaiming his acquittal by the Senate.

‘Acquitted’ read USA Today. ‘Trump Acquitted’ was the Washington Post’s headline.

Pelosi stood and clapped as President Trump entered the room. She simply looked on as he displayed the newspapers declaring him acquitted.

President Trump waved around a USA Today headline proclaiming his acquittal on impeachment

President Trump waved around a USA Today headline proclaiming his acquittal on impeachment

He also waved the Washington Post front page

Speaker Pelosi spoke before President Trump at the breakfast

Speaker Pelosi led a prayer for the poor

Both the president and the speaker were seated at the head table but on opposite sides of the podium.

They did not interact.

Trump shook hands with his side of the head table when he entered the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast and did not walk over to the other side of the podium, where the vice president and the speaker were seated.

Pelosi spoke first, leading a prayer for the poor. The president head bowed during her prayer. He did not applaud when she was done.

Vice President Mike Pence, when he arrived ahead of the president, shook hands with the speaker and sat a few chairs down from her.

Several members of Congress and members of the president’s Cabinet attended the annual breakfast.

‘The lord works in mysterious ways. I do not think he could have picked a better day to bring us all together,’ House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said in his prayer.

The president thanked McCarthy and the breakfast hosts in his opening remarks.

Mitt Romney cited his faith as the reason for his guilty vote on Trump

‘Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,’ the president tweeted.

Romney cited his faith as one of the reasons for his guilty vote. He voted to acquit the president on the second charge: obstruction of Congress.

‘The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator juror, I swore an oath before god to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before god as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced,’ Romney said.

And the Republican senator from Utah acknowledged he expected to feel the president’s wrath for his decision.

‘I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before god demanded it of me?,’ he said.

It was also the first time Trump and Pelosi met since Tuesday’s State of the Union address when Trump refused to shake her hand at its beginning and she ripped up the text of his remarks at its conclusion.

After the president finished giving his annual address Tuesday night, Pelosi stood up and ripped the pages in half, dropping them on her desk.

The extraordinary clash between the two started when with Trump snubbed Pelosi’s outstretched hand after he came into the House chamber.

Trump handed Pelosi a copy of his speech when he reached the speaker’s dais – the same place she presided over his impeachment vote two months ago – but simply turned away as the Speaker took her copy of his speech, then stood in front of a chamber which echoed with cries of ‘four more years’ from Republicans – and where Democrats sat stone-faced.

Pelosi was visibly taken aback after Trump turned away from her offer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped apart her copy of President Trump's State of the Union address after he finished speaking on Tuesday night

Earlier, Trump delivered an astonishing snub to Nancy Pelosi as he started his State of the Union speech Tuesday, ignoring her as she offered him a handshake

Earlier, Trump delivered an astonishing snub to Nancy Pelosi as he started his State of the Union speech Tuesday, ignoring her as she offered him a handshake

After the Senate acquitted the president on Wednesday, Pelosi said after the vote that the president remains a ‘threat’ that the House will continue to combat through its lawsuits against the administration and with the public.

‘Sadly, because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the President remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to. The House will continue to protect and defend the checks and balances in the Constitution that safeguard our Republic, both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion,’ she said in a statement.

DONALD TRUMP REMARKS ON IMPEACHMENT ACQUITTAL

Well, thank you very much.

Thank you. Thank you.

Wow.

Well, thank you very much, everybody. Wow. We’ve all been through a lot together. And we probably deserved that hand for all of us, because it’s been a very unfair situation. I invited some of our very good friends, and we have limited room, but everybody wanted to come. Kept it down to a minimum. Believe it or not, this is a minimum. But a tremendous thing was done over the last number of months. Really, if you go back to it, over the last number of years. We had the witch hunt, it started from the day we came down the elevator. Myself and our future first lady, who is with us right now.

Thank you, Melania.

And it never really stopped. We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops. It was a leakers and lawyers. This should never happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it. Some people said no, they wouldn’t have. But I can tell you, at a minimum, you have to focus on this because it can get away very quickly, no matter who you have with you. It can get away very quickly. It was a disgrace. Had I not fired James Comey, who was a disaster, by the way, it’s possible I wouldn’t even be standing here right now. We caught him in the act. Dirty cops. Bad people. If this happened to President Obama, a lot of people would have been in jail for a long time already. Many, many years. I want to start by thanking some of — I call them friends because, you know, you develop friendships and relationships when you are in battle and in war, much more so than, “Gee, let’s have a normal situation.” With all we’ve gone through, I think we’ve done more than any president in any administration. Really, I say, for the most part, Republican congressmen and congresswomen and Republican senators — we’ve done more than any administration in the first few years. You look at all the things we’ve done. I watched this morning as they tried to take credit for the stock market.

Think of that. Let me tell you, if we didn’t win, the stock market would have crashed. The market was going up a lot before the election because it was looking like we had a good chance to win. It went up tremendously from the time we won the election to the time we took office, which was November 8th until January 20th. That’s our credit, that’s all our credit. Leading up to that point was our credit, because there was hope. One of the reasons the stock market has gone up so much in the last few days is people think we are doing so well. They liked the state of the union speech.

It really is, it’s a true honor. Making the state of the union speech, I was with some people who have been around. They’ve been all over the world. One of them is a highly sophisticated person. They said, “You know, no matter where you go in the world, it doesn’t make any difference. There is nothing like what I witnessed tonight. The beauty, the majesty of the chamber. The power of the United States. The power of the people in this room.” Really, amazing. I don’t think there’s anything like that anywhere in the world. You can go to any other country, any other location, any other place. It’s the beauty of everything. It’s what it represents, and how it represents our country. I want to start by introducing some of the people that are here. I know some are going to be left out, but they work so hard. And this is really not a news conference, it’s not a speech. It’s not anything, it’s just — we are sort of — it’s a celebration. Because we have something that just worked out. I mean, it worked out. We went through hell unfairly, did nothing wrong.

Did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit.

Not purposely, but I’ve done things wrong. This is what the end result is.

So… [holds up front page of The Washington Post] You can take that home. Honey, maybe we’ll frame it. The only good headline I’ve ever had on “The Washington post.”

But every paper is the same. Does anybody have those papers does anybody have them? They are like that. So I appreciate that. But some of the people here have been incredible warriors. They are warriors. There’s nothing from a legal standpoint — this is a political thing. Every time I say, “This is unfair, let’s go to court,” they say, “Sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics.” We were treated unbelievably unfairly. You have to understand, we first went through “Russia, Russia, Russia.” It was all bullshit.

We then went through the Mueller report. And they should have come back one day later. They didn’t, they came back two years later after lives were ruined. After people went bankrupt. After people lost all their money. People went to Washington to help other people. Bright eyed and bushy tail, they say they came, one or two or three people in particular. But many people, we had a rough campaign.

It was nasty. One of the nastiest, they say. They say Andrew Jackson was always the nastiest campaign. They actually said we topped it. It was nasty both in the primaries and in the election. But you see, we thought after the election it would stop. But it didn’t stop, it just started. Tremendous corruption. Tremendous corruption. So, we had a campaign — little did we know we were running against some very, very bad and evil people with fake dossiers, with all of these horrible, dirty cops that took these dossiers and did bad things. They knew all about it. The FISA courts, should be ashamed of themselves. It’s a very tough thing. And we ended up winning on the “Russia, Russia, Russia.” It should have taken the one day, it took years. Then Bob Mueller testified. That didn’t work out so well for the oversight.

But they should have said that first week, because it came out. Is that right, Jim Jordan? They knew the first two days, actually. Is that right? They knew we were totally innocent. But they kept it going, mark. The kept it going forever. Because they wanted to inflict political pain on somebody that — I had just won an election, a lot of people were surprised. We had polls that said we were going to win. We have the “Los Angeles times” were going to win. But it was going to be close. We did win. It was one of the greatest wins of all time. And they said, “Okay, he won.” I wrote this down because that was where a thing called an insurance policy — to me, when I saw the insurance policy, and that was done long before the election.

It was done when we thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. By the way, Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for millions. Millions of dollars, the fake dossier. Now Christopher Steele admits that it’s a fake. Because he got sued by rich people. I should have sued him, too. But when you are president, people don’t like suing. I want to thank my legal team, by the way.

Not for that advice, but for other.

Pat, Jay, you guys, stand up.

Great job. Right at the beginning, they said, “Sir, you have nothing to worry about. All of the facts on your side.” I said, “You don’t understand, that doesn’t matter. That doesn’t matter.” And that was really true. They made up facts. A corrupt politician named Adam Schiff made up my statement to the Ukrainian president. He brought it out of thin air, just made it up. They say he’s a screenwriter, a failed screenwriter. Unfortunately he went into politics after that.

Remember, he said the statement? “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” I didn’t say that. Fortunately for all of us here today and for our country, we had transcripts. We had transcribers, professional transcribers. Then they said, “Oh, well, maybe the transcription is not correct.” But Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and his twin brother, right? We had some people, really amazing. But we did everything. We said, “What’s wrong with that,” they didn’t at this word or that word. It didn’t matter. “At it.

They’re probably wrong, but added ” now everybody agrees they were perfectly accurate. Tim Scott — I don’t know if Tim is here, but he said, “Are –” he was the first want to call me. “Sir, I read the transcript. You did nothing wrong.” And, Mitch, he stayed there right from the beginning. He never changed. Mitch Mcconnell, I want to tell you. You did a fantastic job.

Somebody said, “You know, Mitch is quiet.” I said, “He’s not quiet. He’s not quite.”

He doesn’t want people to know him. And they said, “Is Mitch smart?” And I said, “Well, let’s put it this way. For many, many years, a lot of very smart — bad, in many cases, sometimes good — people have been trying to take his place. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never even heard the subject come up, because they’ve been wiped out so fast.”

This guy is great and I appreciate Mitch. He has also given us 191, now. 191 federal judges. Two supreme court judges. Up to 191. Great guy. Great guy. He’s a tough guy to read. I’m good at reading people. A tough guy to read. I told him – my wife would say, “How do you do with Mitch?” And I’d say, “Uh, I don’t know.”

That’s what makes them good, when you can read somebody. Fantastic job. He understood right from the beginning this was crooked politics. This was crooked politics. How about all these people? They are running for office. They are saying the worst things about me, like eight senators on the democratic side. Most of them got wiped out. They got 1% or less. Most of them got less. They decided to go home. “Let’s go back to California. Let’s go back to –” wherever they came from. “Go back to New York.” How about that? Our New York Senator, Gillibrand. “Let’s go back to New York.” After they get nothing. Then they take an oath that they will be fair, that they will be reasonable come all the different things. They are not fair. But here’s the beauty, we have four left. They are saying the most horrendous things about me. It’s okay, it’s politics. And then they are supposed to vote! On me! They are trying to replace me, and then they are supposed to be voting. So I think — I mean, I think it’s incredible. So, Mitch, I want to thank you very much. Incredible. We have some of your folks here, they are incredible people. They’ve been great from the beginning. Again, you are out of session, unfortunately. I only told these folks, “Let’s do this today.” We did a prayer breakfast this morning. I thought that was really good. In fact, it was so good, it wiped us out. By the time we finished, this will wipe that one outcome of those statements.

I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away and I’m saying things that a lot of people wouldn’t have said, but I meant everything.

I meant every word of it. We have some of the folks that are going to be leaving right after this. They work hard, and they did work hard. Though Bill Cassidy, senator, stand up, Bill. What a guy.

Great man. When I need to know about health insurance and pre-existing conditions and individual mandates, I called Bill.

Or I call Barrasso. Those two guys, they know more than anybody. A man who just became a senator. He’s a little bit like me. We have a couple of them. Very successful guy in business, and he said, “What the hell? I’ll run for the senate,” from Indiana. And he ran. I saw him on television, destroying his opponent in a debate. I said, “This guy could win.” I got behind him, and Mike Braun, you have done some great job. Thank you very much.

Tough! A man who got James Comey to choke. And he was just talking in his regular voice. He’s the roughest man — she’s actually an unbelievable — and I appreciate the letter you sent me today. I just got it. He’s got this voice that scares people.

You know, people from Iowa can be very tough. We are doing very well in Iowa, but I tell you, Chuck Grassley. “You tell me, what did you say,” he wasn’t being rough, that’s just the way he talked.

That’s when — I think that’s when Comey announced he was leaking, lying and everything else. He choked! Because he never heard anybody talk like that. I wish you got angry, you could have gotten the whole ball game. He would have said, “I give up!” Chuck Grassley is an incredible guy.

And a man who — you know, he was running against a tough, smart campaigner. We learned how good she was, right? She was a great campaigner. In fact, by the end of the campaign, I thought she was more for me than you were, Josh.

I was worried. She was saying the greatest things about me. You know I’m talking about I went to a great place, Missouri. And I said, “Who do you have to beat her?” And they said, “Well, we have four people.” I said, “Let me see them.” Can you imagine can make I’m interviewing people for the United States senate, this is what I do. Where have I gone? But I love it. We get great people. The first when I met with Josh Hawley. After about 10 minutes and said to the people, “Don’t show me anybody else, this is the guy.” He was the attorney general, ditto phenomenal job in the state. Highly respected. And Claire Mccaskill. The theory was you couldn’t beat her. Great campaign-the art. Remember last campaign, she was always going be taken up. People say, “How did that happen chemicals go it didn’t happen with him. I’m putting this in the archives is 1 of the best ads I’ve ever made. She tried to convince people we are best friends, but Josh ended up winning by five or six points. You are unbelievable, you were tough, and you are something. One of the greatest supporters of the impeachment hoax with Josh Hawley. He was incensed, actually. He was incensed at what they were doing and what they were doing. I had some who said, “I wish you didn’t make a call,” and that’s okay. If they need that. It’s incorrect. It’s totally incorrect. And you have some who used religion as a crutch. They never used it before… An article written today, “Never heard him use it before.” But today, it’s one of those things. It’s a failed presidential candidate, so things can happen when you fail so badly running for president.

But Josh Hawley, I want to thank you. You were right from the beginning. Man, did I make a good choice. Thank you, Josh. Tremendous future. A man who is brilliant, and who actually was deceived, to an extent. Comes from a great state, Utah, where my poll numbers have gone through the roof. And one of the senators’ poll numbers — not this one — went down big.

You saw that, Mike? Mike Lee is a brilliant guy. He’s difficult.

Whenever — we do sign a lot of legislation, it’s big and it’s powerful, but it sort of — everybody has to approve it. I see 99 to one. 99 to one. I say, “Don’t tell me who’s the one.”

“Is it Mike?” “Yes.”

And he always has a good reason for it, too come by the way but he is, he’s incredible. Right at the beginning, he knew we were right, Mike. I appreciate it very much. Fantastic. Say hello to the people of Utah, and tell them I’m sorry about Mitt Romney. I’m sorry. Okay?

We can say that Mike Lee is by far the most popular senator from the state. But you’ve done a fantastic job, Mike. In many ways. In many ways. A young woman who I didn’t know at all, but she has been so supportive. And I’ve had great support from other people in that state. She has been so supportive, and she has been downright nasty and mean about the unfairness to the president. Kelly Loeffler, I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

She started very early on. We have — I don’t know if we have other senators here, but we’ve got a hell of a lot of congressmen. I will go over them quickly. They’ve also been — it helped when we won, 197 to nothing. That’s got to be a first, Kevin, right? Is that, like, a first? Republicans have this image. I say Democrats are lousy politicians because they have lousy policy. Open borders, sanctuary cities. They have horrible policy. Who the hell can — oh, the new policy is raise taxes. They want to raise taxes. All my life, I wasn’t in politics, but I would say if you are a politician you say you want to lower taxes. They want to raise taxes. They have open borders, sanctuary cities, Reeser and Brady’s taxes, get rid of everybody’s health care, 180 million people in the United States — and they are really happy. And we are going to give you health care the cost more money if the country could make in 30 years if it does really well. That’s one year. I always said, they are. They do two things. They are vicious and mean. Vicious. These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago. When she said, “I pray for the president, I prefer the president.” She doesn’t pray. She may pray, but pray for the opposite.

They don’t pray at all. They do vicious — they stick to give it prehistorically. I’m not talking about now. They stick together like glue. That’s how they impeached, because they had whatever the numbers — 220 people. So they don’t lose anybody. They will be able to impeach anybody. You could be George Washington, you could have just won the war, and they would say, “Let’s get him out of office.

“They stuck together and they are vicious as hell. And they will probably come back for more, but they may not, because the Republican party’s poll numbers, Mitch, have now gone up more than any time, I think, since 2004 or 2005. You know what happened then. But in normal times, decades, you would call it — that was an unusual time. It was for a very short period. The Republican party’s poll numbers — and Donald Trump’s poll numbers of the highest I’ve ever had.

It’s no way to get your poll numbers up. Because from my family’s standpoint, it’s been very unfair for my family. It’s been very unfair to the country. Think of it. A phone call. A very good phone call. I know bad phone calls. This is a phone call where Merritt don’t like many people

— I think Mike Pompeo was probably on the call. Many people were on the call. They even have “Apprenti come” bring up a favorite word of my current apprentice. They have apprenti on this call. There many people. In the case of Ukraine, he’s a new president, seems like a very nice person, by the way. His whole thing was corruption. He’s going to stop corruption. We have a treaty, a signed treaty that we will work together to root out corruption in Ukraine. I probably have a legal obligation, Mr. Attorney, to report corruption. They don’t even think a corrupt way son who made no money, that got thrown out of the military, that had no money at all, is working for $3 million upfront, $83,000 a month. And that’s only Ukraine.

Then goes to China, picks up $1.5 billion. Then goes to Romania, I hear, and many other countries. They think that’s okay. Because, if it is, Ivanka in the audience? Boy, my kids could make a fortune.

It’s corrupt. But it’s not even that, it’s just general corruption. The other thing is mentioned in the call. Something I’ve told Mike Pence, our great vice president. I would tell him all the time, and I told him when he went on the trip. Because he was over there. He never mentioned anything about this, when you hide your meeting. It’s a terrible thing. I told Mike, I said, “Mike, we are giving them money, and you are always torn about that because we have our country to build. We have our cities to build and our roads to fix. But we are giving the money. Tell me, why isn’t Germany paying money? Why isn’t Frantz? Why isn’t the United Kingdom paying money? What aren’t they paying money? Why are we paying money? Is that the correct statement to find out what the hell is going on.” I told that all my people come on B. Asked that question. Why isn’t Germany paying? Why is the United States always the sucker?” Because we are a bunch of suckers. But that’s turning around fast. But it makes it harder when stuff like this happens. Because you want to focus, and you want to focus perfectly. Think we could have done, if the same energy was put into infrastructure, prescription drug prices. Think of what we could have done. And I’m now talking both sides. Think of what we could have done if we had the same genus. Because it’s genius. I will say, it’s genius on the other side. Maybe even more so, because they took nothing and brought me to a final vote of impeachment.

That’s a very ugly word to me. It’s a very dark word, very ugly. They took nothing. They took that phone call that was a totally appropriate call — I call it a perfect call, because it was — and they brought me to the final stages of impeachment. But now we have that gorgeous word. I never thought a word would sound so good. It’s called, “Total acquittal.” Total acquittal.

So, I want to come if I could real fast , just introduce a few of the people. I have to start with Kevin. Man, did you do a job. Lucky you are there. It wouldn’t have worked out. If you don’t have the right people, I tell you, Kevin McCarthy has done an incredible job. He loves his job, he loves his country. I’ll tell you what, Mitch and Kevin, they love what they do. Mitch wouldn’t even tell you he liked it.

Mitch, do you like it? “I don’t know.”

He’s the greatest poker player, right? And Kevin would say, “I love it.” Right? And I will say, you are going to be Speake of the house because of this impeachment hoax. And I’m going to work hard on it.

I’m going to try to get out to those trump areas that we won by a lot. You know, in ’18, we didn’t win back. We just won two seats in North Carolina. Two wonderful seats in North Carolina that were not supposed to be won. But I went and I made speeches, and we had rallies, and we did a great job and we won. We took two seats, nobody writes about that.

If we had lost them they would have been the biggest stories of the year. We are going to go, we are going to do a job, and we are going to enact a lot of seats. People are very angry that Nancy Pelosi and all of these guys — Nadler, I’ve known and much of my life. He has fought me in New York for 25 years. I always beat him. I had to beat him another time, and I will probably have to beat him again. If they find I happened to walk across the street and maybe go against the light or something, “Let’s impeach him!”

So I’ll probably have to do it again, because these people have gone stone cold crazy. But I’ve beaten him all my life and I will beat him again if I have to.

But what they are doing is very unfair. Very unfair. So, Kevin McCarthy has been great. So, a few names, right? If you want, you can raise and I will say, “Great, love to have you, wonderful.” But we will do the best we can. I have Mike evident but my cabin is different, I appoint them. I didn’t see all of them helping so much. They were running there, various bureaucracies. My cabinet is great and they are all here, but today is the day to celebrate these great warriors. They are great warriors, they really fought hard with us. Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota. Kelly, thank you, great job.

Jim Banks of Indiana. Jim, thank you, great job.

Andy Biggs. Where is Andy? Boy, oh, boy, Andy.

There’s a guy. He’s tough. I hear we are doing well in Arizona, huh? Going good, yeah? I saw a poll that was very good. For me. I think Martha is going to do — we have some states that are going to be not easy, but Arizona has been great and we are stopping illegal aliens from coming in.

We are putting up walls. New Mexico, too, the state that’s never been in play for Republicans, is totally in play. Nevada is really looking good. We are doing well. We are going to have a great — there is more spirit. I will say this, there is more spirit now for the Republican Party, by far, than the Democrats. Mike pence just got back from a place, a beautiful place that Chuck Grassley knows well. Iowa. And he was talking about this fiasco, the Democrats — they can’t count some simple votes, and yet they want to take over your health care system. Think of that. We also had an election out there, we got 98% of the vote. Have two people running, you know. I guess to consider them nonpeople, but they are running. One of them was the governor. One was a congressman. They are running. We’ve got 98% of the vote, and everybody from the media was saying, “Who are those crowds over there?” They expected to be competitive for everybody’s running because they want to enact. And it was Trump. Right, Mark Meadows? It was Trump. This was the trump crowd. Actually, a lot of my guys went there. They went to Iowa, and a lot of friends went there. They say the spirit for the Republican party right now is stronger, I think, than it’s ever been in the history of our country.

I think it’s stronger than it’s ever been. And that includes honest Abe Lincoln. A lot of people forget, Abe Lincoln — I wish you were here, I give him one hell of an introduction.

But he was a Republican. Abe Lincoln, honest Abe. Bradley Byrne, Alabama. What a great place.

Thank you, Bradley. A man who has been an unbelievable friend of mine and spokesman, and somebody who I really like.

And I know, Kelly, you are going to end up liking him a lot. Something’s going to happen that’s very good, I don’t know. I haven’t figured out yet. But Doug Collins. Where is he?

You have been so great. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. Really, an amazing job. A young man who is born with a great gene, because I know his father and how great a politician he was. He’s from Florida. Sometimes controversial, but actually he’s not controversial. He’s solid as a rock and a friend of mine, Matt Gaetz. Thank you, Matt.

Great job. All right. This guy. So, he is the NCAA wrestling champion when he was in college a couple years ago. That’s a big deal. That means in all of college, you are a champ. You the best. His record was ridiculous, nobody could beat him. I see it, every time I see it. When I first get to know him, Jim Jordan, when I first got to know Jim I said, “Huh, never wears a jacket. What the hell is going on?”

He’s obviously very proud of his body.

And they say where he works out with the congressmen, senators, they say when Jim works out, even though he’s not as young as he was, when he works out, the machine starts burning. It’s a different form of a workout event us, right, sonny? There he is, look at that guy. One day and looking, he looks tough. I’m looking at those years. And I say, “Those years have something going on there.” I said, “Did you ever wrestle?” “I did.” He doesn’t talk, but I checked. This guy was a champion top wrestler.

When I had the top — I had all of the teams. By the way, your super bowl champions are coming. I think next week, or soon. Very soon. Every one of them want to be here. The coach loves us. The coach is great. Andy Reid.

Every one of them want to be here. People love it. But we had all of the NCAA championship teams here. They had the golf, the basketball, they had every team here. And one of the teams was wrestling. The wrestling team. Was that Penn state? And Penn state won the title, they have a great team. I walked up with Jim, and it’s like I didn’t exist.

Those wrestlers, they grabbed him, they love Jim Jordan, and we love you, too. Because you are some warrior.

A woman who became — we have a couple of women that became stars. You two. I always like the name, Lesko.” I so that face, I had the cards, seven opponents. You have no idea how much the public appreciates how smart, how sharp you are. This, I can’t tell. They just said, “You know, she’s really good, she’s really talented.” I said, “Let’s go.” We worked with her, she won her race. Tough race. It’s no longer tough. What she does out there is incredible. Arizona loves her. But you are so incredible, representing — I don’t see me, representing our country and getting us out of this impeachment hoax. We did was incredible. So, Debbie, please stand up. Debbie Lesko.

A man who I became very friendly with. I don’t know why. You ever have it where — I’ll ask the media. Certain people call, you take the calls. Other people call, if they don’t have information, they won’t take anybody’s call. Both are people call, and this is a guy who — he’s just a very special guy. His wife, I actually like better than him, to be honest.

Because he doesn’t know that I know that he didn’t actually support me right from the beginning, but she did.

And on my worst day — right? On my worst day, my worst, I won’t tell you why it’s my worst day, she got a bus, got many of the buses, and women all over well, Mark was sort of semi-supporting another candidate. Which he ended up leaving very quickly. I don’t think he had a choice, because of your wife. So thank her. Mark Meadows is an extra ordinary guy. The only problem is I guess he’s announcing that she would only win by 40 points, but he is announcing that he is not running this time. You have somebody good to run? Is somebody going to win your district by at least 20 points, please? Okay. But he’s a tremendously talented man. Not just as a politician, as a human being is incredible. And during these horrible times

— the way he worked, and Jim, and all of you guys, the way they worked was so — it was like their life was at stake. So many. Ron DeSantis is another one. He worked so hard. He called me, he said, “Sir, I would like to run for governor.” I said, “Governor? I don’t want you to run. I like you –” “No, I want to run for governor.” I said, “Well, if I have to. How can I support you, you are at three.” He had no money. Somebody else had $22 million in cash. I said, “If it’s important, I’ll do it.” These and great warrior. By the way, he ran, I endorsed him, his numbers went through the roof. The men who he beat, who was expected to win back easily, called me after the race. He said, “You endorsed him and it was like a nuclear bomb went off. There was nothing I could do.” He never even spent his money, he saved it. But Ron DeSantis is another one. And now he’s the governor of Florida. By the way, he’s a great governor. He is a very popular governor. His numbers are in the 70s, and he’s done a great job. But, mark, I want to thank you very much.

Fantastic job, thank you very much. Mark Meadows.

And Mike Johnson of Louisiana. Where’s Mike? Central casting, what a job. You can represent me any time. You can represent me anytime. Thank you. What a job you’ve done. Thank you, Mike. And a man nobody’s ever heard of except the other side. He’s the other side’s worst nightmare. This guy goes down into dungeons and basements, he will find a document no matter what. He’s the most legitimate human being, he’s the hardest worker. He’s unbelievable. He took tremendous abuse. The media, and the other side, the bad ones, the leakers, the liars, the dirty cops they, they want to destroy him. They tried, but he wouldn’t let it happen. In a certain way, he was the first one. Wouldn’t you say? This was the first guide. Came out of nowhere. He’s saying, “These people are corrupt.” He is still saying it. He was unbelievable. Devin Nunes. Unbelievable.

That’s so true, Devin. He would come in and say — I didn’t even know them. I just heard there was this congressman who just kept going into a basement come into files. He knew something was wrong. You felt it, right? Now we know a lot more than we knew then, right? You never thought it was as bad as it is, and hopefully we are going to take care of things, because we can never, ever allow this to happen again.

Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Scott, thank you. Thank you, Scott. Really great. I’m doing very well over there, by the way. Just so you — a man who is — central casting, if I’m going to pick Perry mason, I’m going to do a remake of “Perry mason.” Other than Bill Barr, I would pick the sky. But I would pick Barr first. John Ratcliffe. If we were doing a remake of “Perry mason,” the man I get — there is nobody in Hollywood like this. John Ratcliff.

Such a great lawyer. Incredible guy, incredible talent. Just a great lawyer. We appreciate it. He gets on that screen and everybody says, “I agree.” The other side folds up so fast, we’ll probably be using a lot of you in the next year. We’ve been fantastic, John. We appreciate it. Thank you very much. I meant it was braver than me and braver than all of us in this room. He got whacked. He got whacked, my Steve. Right? I went to the hospital with our great first lady that night. Right, honey? We saw a man who was not going to make it. He was not going to make it. The doctor — I told him, his wife, I said, “She loves you.” “Why did you say that?” Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.

I would say, “How is he doing?” ?” She couldn’t even talk, she was inconsolable. “Not good.” “I’m going home now.”

She was a total mess. She was really devastated. It really looked like he had a 20, 25% chance — I think you set a record for blood loss. And Steve Scalise, actually — honestly, I think you’re a better looking, more handsome now. You weren’t that good looking, you look good now

He looks better now, can you believe it? I don’t know what the hell that is.

Better now.

What a guy. And he was practicing for the baseball game against the Democrats, right? And this whack job started shooting. Hurt Roger. I don’t know if Roger is here. Heard a heard a number of people. Steve was the second baseman. He went down, and it was terrible. I mean, I saw the whole thing, and it was terrible. Fortunately, you had to cope brave policeman with you because of your high position in congress. You had to policeman and they were amazing. A man and woman. They came in, they didn’t have rifles. They were supposedly against a pretty good sharpshooter with rifles, good equipment. All they had was a gun. They started coming in from the outfield, shooting. They are so far away, that a handgun is not preferred. This guy has a rifle, he’s hitting people, and he was going to move up, and there was no out. If he had been able to move up, there was no way to get out. The entrance was a single entrance way on the other side where he was. So everyone went into the dugout, ran into the dugout. But Steve was really hit badly in the stomach. With a bullet that rips you apart. It was supposed to do that, it rips you apart. These two people came, charging forward. Boom, boom, boom. And one of them — you know who? One of them, him, got the shooter. Hit him. And then got him.

Killed him. From long distance. It was amazing. If you didn’t have those two people, you could imagine. Right? You could imagine what would happen. Melania and I went to the hospital that night, and he was in such bad shape. He’s been working ever since, so hard. Six months ago, they had a baseball game at the national — I’m watching. It’s on television. It’s just. It’s a game, you want to win it. Right? Steve is second base. The poor guy can’t even walk. Do you remember Bobby Richardson for the New York Yankees? He was known for range, Louis. He had the greatest range. If the ball at the shortstop, Bobby Richardson is the second baseman. Bobby Richardson would feel the ball. If it went to first base, he was sure which first base and paint had unbelievable range. This was not Steve Scalise.

Steve had no range.

1 foot, and he has to fall down. Right? He was trying to get better. I don’t know who the hell put you on the field.

And this is a true story. The game starts, and the first pitch, Steve is standing there at second base and the guy is really in bad shape. And I said, “This is terrible.” A ground ball, shot, is hit to second. And Steve, I didn’t have time to think through much, but I said, “This is not good. That ball is going toward him.” And this guy stopped that ball, caught the ball. He’s now laying down. He throws the ball to first base, he gets them out. I said — it’s the most incredible thing. I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Right? And he gets him out, and they then took him out of the game. Which was a very wise thing.

Because you could ever do that again in a million years.

But you aren’t going to let that all go through — I don’t care if it was hit by the greatest of all time. Right? That ball is not going through you, because you are a warrior. Steve is fantastic. You are fantastic. You and Liz, Kevin, what a group. I mean, what a group. I got lucky. Because you need the right people. I fired the wrong people, it may be a different story. Maybe we’d be celebrating something else. But I really want to thank you. Steve Scalise. And Elise, you — I just read this story. Most incredible, what’s going on with you, Elise. I even said — I was up campaigning, helping. I thought, “She looks good, she looks like good talent.” But I didn’t realize, when she opens that mouth, you were killing them, Elise! You were killing them!

Elise, and there’s a big story in “The New York Post.” I love “The New York Post.” They treat me well. There aren’t many of you do, but today they are treating you well. I even had a great headline. “New York Times,” “Washington post.” I had all these great headlines. Maybe we should just send it right there. We had a great story yesterday in the post that people from all over the country are contributing to her campaign. They were so enthralled with the way you handled yourself. What you said, the way you said it. I’ll always be your friend. It’s really an amazing story. What a great future you have. What a great future, thank you.

The first lady agrees, by the way. The first lady agrees. And Michael turner, you can represent me any time. Where is Michael? Where is he? You can represent me. How good were you?

There’s another “Perry mason” type, I think.

What do you think, John? Michael, you are fantastic, and we appreciate it. Brad Wenstrup. Where is Brad?

Brad. Great, great job. It’s a big day. All the lawyers stayed behind. Lee Zeldin, how good are you?

How good are you? Man. And Louis, your name — they didn’t give me your name. If I didn’t announce Louie — whoever the hill made this list, I’ve got to get rid of them. If I wouldn’t have announced Louie, it might have been the end of the presidency. Louie, you have been so great. So tough and so smart. I got it. But Louie has been amazing. He’s a tough guy, a smart guy. He’s streetwise like crazy. We love Texas. We are with you all the way, Louie. We are with you all the way. Thank you very much.

So that’s the story. We have a great group of warriors, and there are others left. I guess, probably — I’m sure I didn’t mention a few. I apologize if that’s the case. How is CPAC doing, good? Stand up, will you? He’s the one who said, “You should run.”

Right? Matt said — it’s like five years ago, six years ago. I made a speech, and then they do some kind of a straw poll. Who made the best speech? And he said I made the best speech, out of all these professionals — I hate to say this, with all these professional politicians, they voted that by far the best speech was trump. He calls me and said, “We should run for politics.” I said, what do I know about politics,” we learned quickly at our country has ever done better than it’s doing right now.

But thank you, Matt.

So that’s the story. Even treated very unfairly. Fortunately we have great men and women that came to our defense. If we didn’t, this would have been a horrific incident for our country. When you have Lisa and Peter, the lovers, the FBI lovers.

I want to believe the path you threw out for deputy director Andrew McCabe. That’s the office. There’s no way he gets elected, meaning me. “There’s no way he gets elected.” This is Peter to Lisa. He’s probably trying to impress her, for obvious reasons.

“There’s no way he gets elected. But I’m afraid we can’t take the risk.” Think of this. In other words, if I get elected, they can’t — they, two lowlifes, they can’t take the risk. Think of it. That’s where it came up. The greatest word of all, “Insurance policy.” But he says, “I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. She may lose.” “It’s like an insurance policy, in the unlikely event you die before your 40. In other words, if I won, they were going to do exactly what they did to us. They were going to try and overthrow the government of the United States. A duly elected president. If I didn’t fire James Comey, we would have never found this stuff. Because when I fired that sleazebag, all hell broke out. They were ratting on each other, they were running for the hills. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see what happens. It’s in the hands of some very talented people. We are going to have to see what happens.

But I can tell you, in my opinion, these are the crooked-est, most dishonest, dirtiest people, I’ve seen. They said — this is Strzok — “God, who were he should win, 100 million to one.” This is about me. This is an agent from the FBI. Look how they let her off. 33,000 emails, deleted. Nothing happens to her. Nothing happens. It’s unbelievable. But think of that read “God, Hillary should win.” These guys are investigating Hillary. They go to work for Mueller, the two of them. And when Mueller found out that everybody knew that they were 100% this way, he let them go. But they deleted all of their emails and text messages. So when we got the phone, they were all deleted. Could you imagine the treasure trove? Of the illegally deleted so they left, Bob Mueller, he had to look but he didn’t have a lot of other things. Always had to look. Mr. G-man. I love the FBI and the FBI loves me, 100%. It was the top scum, and the FBI people don’t like the top scum. So think of that, 100 million, he’s investigating me. And then, “God, trump is a loathsome human being, isn’t he?” These are the people looking at me. I’m really not a bad person. And Page said , “Yes, he’s awful.” How would you like to have that? This is the good stuff. This stuff, there’s stuff 100 times worse than that. These are all dirty people. And now I just heard that they are suing the United States of America. Because they were interfered with.

Just not going to let it happen “We cannot let this happen to our country.

So, I’m going to leave now. I don’t know if any of you have anything to say. You could say it, but this is sort of a day of celebration, because we went through hell. I’m sure that Pelosi and Crying Chuck — the only time I ever saw him cry was when it was appropriate. I’ve known them for a long time. Crying Chuck. I’m sure they will try and cook up other things that go through the state of New York. Other places. They will do whatever they can. Instead of wanting to heal our country and fix our country, all they want to do, in my opinion, it’s almost like they want to destroy our country. We can’t let it happen. Jim Jordan, did you want to say something cannot go ahead. Mark Meadows? Huh? My?

[Mark Meadows comment: I just want to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country.]

This was a highly partisan situation. Pelosi said — I copied it down exactly. Before the impeachment. She wanted to impeach from day one, by the way. Don’t let it fool you. “No, impeachment is a very serious thing.” I said, “She wants to impeach, watch.” “The impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan.” Bipartisan? It was 170 to nothing. The one failed presidential candidate, and I call that half of the vote because he actually voted for us on the other one.

But we had one failed presidential candidate. That’s the only half of what we lost. So, we had almost 53 to nothing. We had 197 to nothing. And the only one that voted against was a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency. But she said, “It has to be something so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan.” “I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.” She was right about that. “And it’s just not worth it.” That was Nancy Pelosi a year ago. I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame. As I said, if we can put this genius to work on roads and highways and bridges and all of the things we can do, prescription drugs. You know, we had — secretary Azar is here, and I want to thank you for this — we had the first time in 51 years where drug prices actually came down last year. First time in 51 years. We can do working with both parties in congress would be unbelievable. It would be unbelievable. All we can do. I know Chuck Grassley is working very hard on it, and Mitch is working very hard on it. We can do is incredible. What we can do just generally. We’ve done so much without it. We rebuilt our military, we’ve cut regulations at a level that nobody thought possible. We will always protect our second amendment, we all know that. I just want to tell you that it’s an honor to be with you all.

I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people. And Ivanka is here, my sons, my whole family. And that includes Barron. He’s up there, he’s a young boy. Stand up, honey. Ivanka, thank you, honey.

I just want to thank my family for sticking through it. This was not part of the deal. I was going to run for president, and if I won, I was going to do a great job. I didn’t know I was going to run and then when I got in I was going to have to run again and again and again. Every week, I had to run again. That wasn’t the deal, but they stuck with me. I’m so glad I did it, because we are making progress and doing things for our great people that everybody said couldn’t be done. Our country is thriving, our country is just respected again. And it’s an honor to be with the people in this room. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7974859/Trump-goes-leakers-liars-acquitted.html

Story 3: DNC Chair Demands Iowa Recheck The Vote Count and Bernie Sanders Won By More Than 8,000 — Videos

DNC chair calls for Iowa to recanvass caucus vote, says ‘enough is enough’

The results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses were delayed after there were problems with a smartphone app.
Image: Tom Perez

Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks on stage ahead of the fourth Democratic primary debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2019. Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file.Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file

By Phil Helsel

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is calling on Iowa Democratic officials to immediately recanvass Monday’s caucus vote after days of uncertainty and growing concerns about “inconsistencies” found in the data.

“Enough is enough,” Perez said in a tweet. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”

A recanvass is essentially a double-checking of the vote. Iowa officials would have to hand -audit the caucus worksheets and reporting forms to ensure that they were correctly calculated and reported.

In a statement released later Thursday, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price did not address the request from Perez and instead said that the party would take on a recanvass if any of the presidential campaigns request it.

“We owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results,” Price said, noting that officials “identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors. This is an ongoing process in close coordination with precinct chairs, and we are working diligently to report the final 54 precincts to get as close to final reporting as possible.”

As of Thursday morning, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was clinging to the narrowest of leads in Iowa over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with 97 percent of the caucus vote released.

Buttigieg was at 26.2 percent and Sanders had 26 percent, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., running behind the pair of leaders at 18.2 percent. Former Vice President Joe Biden had 15.8 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at 12.2 percent and other candidates were in low single digits.

Sanders told reporters Thursday that he is not concerned about the DNC’s call for a recanvassing.

“We won an 8-person election by some 6,000 votes,” Sanders said. “That is not going to change.”

Klobuchar told NBC News on Thursday that she supported the process.

“You have to make sure that every single vote was counted,” she said. “Sometimes in caucuses things can be close.”

Iowa Democratic caucus results are not actual votes cast. The percentages, based on partial returns of the estimated number of state convention delegates won by each candidate through the caucus process, are known as state delegate equivalents, or SDEs.

The totals were put out by the Iowa Democratic Party over the past two days after chaos over the caucuses Monday night. More data may be released Thursday.

NBC News has not called a winner in the first-in-the-nation contest.

In addition to the estimates of convention delegates, the Iowa Democratic Party also released two other numbers:

In voters’ initial candidate preference at the caucuses, Sanders had 24.7 percent, or 42,672 votes, and Buttigieg took 21.3 percent, or 36,718 votes.

In voters’ reallocated preference, Sanders had 26.5 percent, or 44,753 votes, and Buttigieg had 25 percent, or 42,235 votes. The reallocated preference is the raw tally taken after the caucus process known as realignment. If a caucusgoer’s initial candidate preference did not receive enough support to meet the precinct location’s viability threshold (15 percent in most caucus locations), the caucusgoer is allowed to shift his or her support — or realign — to another candidate who did attain viability.

Results from the contest were delayed by what organizers said was a problem with a smartphone app. Final tallies had been expected that evening, but instead, partial results were released Tuesday and the remainder Wednesday.

Nevada’s Democratic Party, which had planned to use the app for its Feb. 22 caucus, said a day after the fiasco in Iowa that it would not use the app after all. The state’s Democratic Party said Tuesday that it had previously developed backup plans for its reporting systems and was in the process of “evaluating the best path forward.”

Cybersecurity experts who examined a public version of the smartphone app told NBC News it contained technical and design flaws and appeared to have been rushed into use.

Caucusgoers gathered Monday at nearly 1,700 sites across Iowa to tally support for their preferred candidates. As the delay stretched on into Tuesday, candidates came out to give speeches that sounded a lot like declarations of victory despite no numbers to support or refute them.

The state has 41 pledged delegates up for grabs, and the high-stakes contest traditionally plays a major role in determining who is a legitimate contender in the race.

Even with only a little more than 90 percent reporting in Iowa, Buttigieg on Wednesday night continued to tout the caucus as a win, telling a New York fundraiser that “we remain in the lead.”

“There is just no question that Monday in Iowa represents an astonishing victory for our vision, for our candidacy and for this country,” the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor said according to a pool report.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/buttigieg-sanders-neck-neck-iowa-nearly-all-votes-reported-n1131261

Story 4: Americans Satifaction With Life Highest in Forty Years and With Economy Highest in 20 Years — Gallup Poll — Videos

New High of 90% of Americans Satisfied With Personal Life

New High of 90% of Americans Satisfied With Personal Life

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Americans’ satisfaction with personal life highest in four-decade trend
  • Two in three Americans say they are very satisfied, also a new high
  • High-income households, Republicans, married adults the most satisfied

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nine in 10 Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in their personal life, a new high in Gallup’s four-decade trend. The latest figure bests the previous high of 88% recorded in 2003.

Line graph. Americans’ satisfaction with their personal lives, 1979-2020.

These results are from Gallup’s Mood of the Nation poll, conducted Jan. 2-15, which also recorded a 20-year high in Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy. The percentage of Americans who report being satisfied with their personal life is similar to the 86% who said in December that they were very or fairly happy — though the happiness figure, while high, is on the low end of what Gallup has measured historically for that question.

Despite some variation, solid majorities of Americans have reported being satisfied with their personal life over the past few decades, with an average of 83% satisfied since 1979. The historical low of 73% was recorded in July 1979, as the effects of that year’s oil crisis took a toll on U.S. motorists. During that poll’s fielding dates, then-President Jimmy Carter delivered his “malaise speech,” which was interpreted by some as placing blame on Americans themselves for the rough economic spot the country was in.

2019 survey on 10 aspects of Americans’ lives found that they are most satisfied with their family life, their education and the way they spend their leisure time — and least satisfied with the amount of leisure time they have, their household income and their job.

Two in Three ‘Very’ Satisfied With Direction of Personal Life

Gallup has asked a follow-up question since 2001 to measure the extent to which Americans are satisfied or dissatisfied with their personal life. The 65% of U.S. adults who are currently “very satisfied” marks a new high in the two-decade trend.

The more nuanced satisfaction ratings reveal that the relatively small four-percentage-point drop in personal satisfaction from 2007 to 2008 — as the global economic crisis unfolded — obscured greater movement (12 points) in the percentage “very” versus “somewhat” satisfied.

Line graph. Americans’ level of satisfaction with their personal life, 2001-2020.

Income, Political Party, Marital Status the Biggest Factors in Satisfaction

Household income, political party affiliation and marital status are associated with the largest subgroup differences in Americans’ satisfaction with their personal life.

Roughly 95% of Americans who live in high-income households, who identify as Republicans and who are married say they are satisfied with their personal life — and about three in four among each of these groups are very satisfied.

Meanwhile, adults in low-income households are the least likely to say they are satisfied with their life, followed by Democrats and unmarried adults. Among each of these groups, small majorities report being very satisfied. Low-income Americans hold the distinction of having the lowest percentage very satisfied.

Smaller differences in personal satisfaction are seen by race and gender. Whites are a bit more likely than nonwhites to say they are satisfied (92% vs. 86%, respectively) or very satisfied (67% vs. 59%) with their personal life. And men report slightly higher levels of satisfaction than do women.

U.S. Satisfaction With Personal Life, by Subgroup
Ranked by % Satisfied
Satisfied Very satisfied
% %
$100,000+ 96 76
Republicans 93 80
Married 93 74
College graduate only 93 71
Men 92 67
Postgraduate 92 66
Age 18-34 92 62
$40,000-<$100,000 92 66
Whites 92 67
Age 55+ 90 67
Have children under 18 90 68
Have no children under 18 89 64
Some college 89 63
Independents 89 60
Age 35-54 87 63
High school or less 87 62
Women 87 63
Nonwhites 86 59
Unmarried 86 56
Democrats 86 56
<$40,000 80 54
GALLUP, JAN. 2-15, 2020

Bottom Line

It’s likely no coincidence that Americans’ heightened satisfaction with their personal life comes as confidence in the U.S. economy and their personal finances are also at long-term or record highs. That two in three Americans are very satisfied is reflective of this upbeat moment in time, and whether these sentiments carry through the coming decade will be something to watch.

The vast majority of Americans in all major demographic and political subgroups are content with the way their lives are going, but the additional question on how satisfied they are provides more insight. Some groups — wealthier households, Republicans, married people — report especially high levels of satisfaction, while lower-income Americans, Democrats and those who are unmarried report more tepid satisfaction.

View complete question responses and trends.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/284285/new-high-americans-satisfied-personal-life.aspx

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1392, February 5, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Delivers 2020 State of The Union Address — Videos — Story 2: Lacking Trump Impulse Control — Petulant Pelosi Ripping Up President Trump’s 2020 State of The Union Address– Insults American People and Honored Guests — In Your Guts You Know Pelosi Is Nuts — Trump on Crazy Nancy — Videos — Story 3: Senate Acquits President Trump of Both Articles of Impeachment: Articles 1 Abuse of Power: 52 Votes Not Guilty and 48 Votes Guilty and Articles 2 Obstruction of Congress: Not Guilty 53 Votes and 47 Votes Guilty — Videos —

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Story 1: President Trump Delivers 2020 State of The Union Address — Videos

President Trump Departs From the White House to the US Capitol for the State of the Union Address

State of the Union 2020: Highlights from Donald Trump’s speech

WATCH: Trump recognizes Tuskegee airman and his great-grandson | 2020 State of the Union

TISSUES PLEASE: President SURPRISES Rush Limbaugh with PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

Trump reunites military family at State of the Union

WATCH: Trump recognizes former hostage Kayla Mueller’s parents | 2020 State of the Union

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Trump surprises 4th grader with SCHOLARSHIP!

FULL STATE OF THE UNION: Trump delivers an ‘OPTIMISTIC’ & ‘INSPIRATIONAL’ address

House Chamber chants ‘Four More Years’ as Trump takes the dais

Live Feed: State of the Union

Hannity: SOTU offered powerful contrast between two very different Americas

WATCH: Trump does not shake Pelosi’s hand before State of the Union | 2020 State of the Union

Nancy Pelosi tears up Trump’s speech script behind him

House GOP leaders discuss Pelosi’s behavior at State of the Union

Gutfeld on the acquittal

Read the full text of Donald Trump’s 2020 State of the Union as he makes his case for re-election, lashing out at ‘socialists’ and saying: ‘The best is yet to come!’

Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow citizens: Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback.

Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results.

Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again!

America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright. The years of economic decay are over.

In just 3 short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline, and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny.

We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back! I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been.

Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world – and it is not even close.

Our borders are secure. Our families are flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And for all these reasons, I say to the people of our great country, and to the Members of Congress before me: The State of our Union is stronger than ever before!

From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.

Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American. We are advancing with unbridled optimism and lifting high our citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs — 5 million more than Government experts projected during the previous administration.

The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century. Incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my Administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country.

If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witness to America’s great economic success.

The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.

African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded. The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added. The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.

The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low. Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.

A record number of young Americans are now employed. Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls.

Under my Administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.

In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce. Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47 percent — 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent.

After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 percent pay-increase since my election.

Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our Nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible — this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer confidence has reached amazing new heights.

All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 percent.

Jobs and investment are pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts. In other words, wealthy people and companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas that have not seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, energy, and excitement.

This is the first time that these deserving communities have seen anything like this. It is all working! Opportunity Zones are helping Americans like Army Veteran Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, Ohio. After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house, and his family — he was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones.

He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. Tony: Keep up the great work.

Our roaring economy has, for the first time ever, given many former prisoners the ability to get a great job and a fresh start.

This second chance at life is made possible because we passed landmark Criminal Justice Reform into law. Everybody said that Criminal Justice Reform could not be done, but I got it done, and the people in this room got it done.

Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far.

With the tremendous progress we have made over the past 3 years, America is now energy independent, and energy jobs, like so many elements of our country, are at a record high. We are doing numbers that no one would have thought possible just 3 years ago.

Likewise, we are restoring our Nation’s manufacturing might, even though predictions were that this could never be done.

After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my Administration with thousands upon thousands of plants and factories being planned or built.

We have created over half a million new manufacturing jobs. Companies are not leaving; they are coming back. Everybody wants to be where the action is, and the United States of America is, indeed, where the action is.

One of the single biggest promises I made to the American people was to replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal. In fact, unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that I decided to run for President.

Following NAFTA’s adoption, our Nation lost one in four manufacturing jobs. Many politicians came and went, pledging to change or replace NAFTA — only to do absolutely nothing. But unlike so many who came before me, I keep my promises.

Six days ago, I replaced NAFTA and signed the brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law.

The USMCA will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers, and factory workers.

It will also bring trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher degree, but also to a much greater level of fairness and reciprocity.

This is the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong backing of America’s labor unions. I also promised our citizens that I would impose tariffs to confront China’s massive theft of American jobs.

Our strategy worked. Days ago, we signed the groundbreaking new agreement with China that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the United States of America.

For decades, China has taken advantage of the United States, now we have changed that but, at the same time, we have perhaps the best relationship we have ever had with China, including with President Xi.

They respect what we have done because, quite frankly, they could never believe what they were able to get away with year after year, decade after decade, without someone in our country stepping up and saying: Enough.

Now, we want to rebuild our country, and that is what we are doing. As we restore American leadership throughout the world, we are once again standing up for freedom in our hemisphere.

That is why my Administration reversed the failing policies of the previous administration on Cuba. We are supporting the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to restore democracy.

The United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people.

Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland. All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom!

Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.

To safeguard American Liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States Military. We have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and every other form of military equipment — all made in the United States of America.

We are also finally getting our allies to help pay their fair share. I have raised contributions from the other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled.

And just weeks ago, for the first time since President Truman established the Air Force more than 70 years earlier, we created a new branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Space Force.

In the gallery tonight, we have one of the Space Force’s youngest potential recruits: 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an eighth grader from Arizona. Iain has always dreamed of going to space.

He was first in his class and among the youngest at an aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy, and then, he has his eye on the Space Force.

As Iain says, ‘most people look up at space, I want to look down on the world.’ Sitting beside Iain tonight is his great hero. Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one century ago. Charles is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen — the first black fighter pilots — and he also happens to be Iain’s great-grandfather.

After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back to a country still struggling for Civil Rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam.

On December 7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago, I signed a bill promoting Charles McGee to Brigadier General.

And earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee: Our Nation salutes you. From the pilgrims to our Founders, from the soldiers at Valley Forge to the marchers at Selma, and from President Lincoln to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Americans have always rejected limits on our children’s future.

Members of Congress, we must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver for the American people.

The people are the heart of our country, their dreams are the soul of our country, and their love is what powers and sustains our country.

We must always remember that our job is to put America first! The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships.

The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students remain on waiting lists. One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah’s mom Stephanie is a single parent.

She would do anything to give her daughter a better future. But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s Governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children. Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening.

But there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice!

Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received. Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act — because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.

Every young person should have a safe and secure environment in which to learn and grow. For this reason, our magnificent First Lady has launched the ‘Be Best’ initiative — to advance a safe, healthy, supportive, and drug-free life for the next generation, online, in school, and in our communities.

Thank you, Melania, for your extraordinary love and profound care for America’s children.

My Administration is determined to give our citizens the opportunities they need regardless of age or background. Through our Pledge to American Workers, over 400 companies will also provide new jobs and education opportunities to almost 15 million Americans.

My Budget also contains an exciting vision for our Nation’s high schools. Tonight, I ask the Congress to support our students and back my plan to offer vocational and technical education in every single high school in America.

To expand equal opportunity, I am also proud that we achieved record and permanent funding for our Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on Earth. Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just 5 years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives.

Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions — that is a guarantee. And we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.

The American patient should never be blindsided by medical bills. That is why I signed an Executive Order requiring price transparency. Many experts believe that transparency, which will go into full effect at the beginning of next year, will be even bigger than healthcare reform.

It will save families massive amounts of money for substantially better care. But as we work to improve Americans’ healthcare, there are those who want to take away your healthcare, take away your doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely.

One hundred thirty-two lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system, wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million Americans. To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know: We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare!

Over 130 legislators in this chamber have endorsed legislation that would bankrupt our Nation by providing free taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens, forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the world who unlawfully crosses our borders.

These proposals would raid the Medicare benefits our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration. This is what is happening in California and other States — their systems are totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable amounts of money.

If forcing American taxpayers to provide unlimited free healthcare to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, then stand with the radical left.

But if you believe that we should defend American patients and American seniors, then stand with me and pass legislation to prohibit free Government healthcare for illegal aliens!

This will be a tremendous boon to our already very-strongly guarded southern border where, as we speak, a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built. We have now completed over 100 miles and will have over 500 miles fully completed by early next year.

My Administration is also taking on the big pharmaceutical companies. We have approved a record number of affordable generic drugs, and medicines are being approved by the FDA at a faster clip than ever before.

I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down. And working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels.

I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly.

I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.

With unyielding commitment, we are curbing the opioid epidemic — drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Democratic women shout down Trump over healthcare at SOTU address

Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the Coronavirus outbreak in China. My Administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.

We have launched ambitious new initiatives to substantially improve care for Americans with kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, and those struggling with mental health challenges.

And because the Congress funded my request, we are pursuing new cures for childhood cancer, and we will eradicate the AIDS epidemic in America by the end of the decade.

Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness. Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis.

This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet.

Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our Nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I will now ask the First Lady of the United States to please stand and present you with the honor. Rush, Kathryn, congratulations!

As we pray for all who are sick, we know that America is constantly achieving new medical breakthroughs. In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter.

Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother Robin in the gallery.

Ellie and Robin: We are so glad you are here. Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life.

Thanks to modern medical wonders, 50 percent of very premature babies delivered at the hospital where Ellie was born now survive.

Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie. That is why I am asking the Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neo-natal research for America’s youngest patients.

That is also why I am calling upon the Members of Congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies.

Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!

As we support America’s moms and dads, I was recently proud to sign the law providing new parents in the Federal workforce paid family leave, serving as a model for the rest of the country.

Now, I call on the Congress to pass the bipartisan Advancing Support for Working Families Act, extending family leave to mothers and fathers all across the Nation.

Forty million American families have an average $2,200 extra thanks to our child tax credit. I have also overseen historic funding increases for high-quality child care, enabling 17 States to serve more children, many of which have reduced or eliminated their waitlists altogether.

And I sent the Congress a plan with a vision to further expand access to high-quality childcare and urge you to act immediately.

To protect the environment, days ago, I announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together Government and the private sector to plant new trees in America and around the world. We must also rebuild America’s infrastructure.

I ask you to pass Senator Barrasso’s highway bill — to invest in new roads, bridges, and tunnels across our land. I am also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed internet, including rural America.

A better tomorrow for all Americans also requires us to keep America safe. That means supporting the men and women of law enforcement at every level, including our Nation’s heroic ICE officers.

Last year, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 violent assaults, and 2,000 murders.

Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens.

In Sanctuary Cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed.

Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the Sanctuary City of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman.

The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free.

If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today. The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole State to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants — with catastrophic results. Here is just one tragic example.

In December 2018, California police detained an illegal alien with five prior arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. But as required by California’s Sanctuary Law, local authorities released him.

Days later, the criminal alien went on a gruesome spree of deadly violence. He viciously shot one man going about his daily work; he approached a woman sitting in her car and shot her in the arm and the chest. He walked into a convenience store and wildly fired his weapon.

He hijacked a truck and smashed into vehicles, critically injuring innocent victims. One of the victims of his bloody rampage was a 51-year-old American named Rocky Jones.

Rocky was at a gas station when this vile criminal fired eight bullets at him from close range, murdering him in cold blood.

Rocky left behind a devoted family, including his brothers who loved him more than anything.

One of his grieving brothers is here with us tonight. Jody, would you please stand? Jody, our hearts weep for your loss — and we will not rest until you have justice. Senator Thom Tillis has introduced legislation to allow Americans like Jody to sue Sanctuary Cities and States when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly policies.

I ask the Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act immediately.

The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans — not criminal aliens! In the last 3 years, ICE has arrested over 5,000 wicked human traffickers — and I have signed 9 pieces of legislation to stamp out the menace of human trafficking, domestically and around the globe.

My Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure the southern border of the United States.

Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again.

My Administration has ended Catch-and-Release.

If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed. We entered into historic cooperation agreements with the Governments of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

And as the wall goes up, drug seizures rise, and border crossings go down. Last year, I traveled to the border in Texas and met Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz.

Over the last 24 months, Agent Ortiz and his team have seized more than 200,000 pounds of poisonous narcotics, arrested more than 3,000 human smugglers, and rescued more than 2,000 migrants. Days ago, Agent Ortiz was promoted to Deputy Chief of Border Patrol — and he joins us tonight.

Chief Ortiz: Please stand — a grateful Nation thanks you and all the heroes of Border Patrol.

To build on these historic gains, we are working on legislation to replace our outdated and randomized immigration system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values.

With every action, my Administration is restoring the rule of law and re-asserting the culture of American freedom.

Working with Senate Majority Leader McConnell and his colleagues in the Senate, we have confirmed a record number of 187 new Federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written.

This includes two brilliant new Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. My Administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the Constitutional right to pray in public schools. In America, we do not punish prayer.

We do not tear down crosses. We do not ban symbols of faith. We do not muzzle preachers and pastors.

In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the Glory of God!

Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across our country.

So long as I am President I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In reaffirming our heritage as a free Nation, we must remember that America has always been a frontier nation.

Now we must embrace the next frontier, America’s manifest destiny in the stars.

I am asking the Congress to fully fund the Artemis program to ensure that the next man and the first woman on the moon will be American astronauts — using this as a launching pad to ensure that America is the first nation to plant its flag on Mars. My Administration is also strongly defending our national security and combating radical Islamic terrorism.

Last week, I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Recognizing that all past attempts have failed, we must be determined and creative in order to stabilize the region and give millions of young people the change to realize a better future.

Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS — the bloodthirsty killer Al Baghdadi — is dead!

We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker.

Kayla once wrote, ‘Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.’

In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself.

After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, Al-Baghdadi murdered young Kayla. She was just 26 years old.

On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended Al Baghdadi’s miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room.

He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team, that so perfectly carried out the operation, had given their mission a name — ‘Task Force 8-14.’

It was a reference to a special day: August 14th — Kayla’s birthday.

Carl and Marsha, America’s warriors never forgot Kayla — and neither will we. Every day, America’s men and women in uniform demonstrate the infinite depths of love that dwells in the human heart.

One of these American heroes was Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake. On his second deployment to Iraq in 2008, Sergeant Hake wrote a letter to his 1-year-old son, Gage: ‘I will be with you again,’ he wrote to Gage.

‘I will teach you to ride your first bike, build your first sand box, watch you play sports and see you have kids also. I love you son, take care of your mother. I am always with you. Dad.’

On Easter Sunday of 2008, Chris was out on patrol in Baghdad when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

That night, he made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Sergeant Hake now rests in eternal glory in Arlington, and his wife Kelli is in the gallery tonight, joined by their son, who is now 13 years old. To Kelli and Gage: Chris will live in our hearts forever.

As the world’s top terrorist, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, women, and children. He directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq, and was actively planning new attacks.

That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States Military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever.

Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life!

In recent months, we have seen proud Iranians raise their voices against their oppressive rulers. The Iranian regime must abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop spreading terror, death, and destruction, and start working for the good of its own people.

Because of our powerful sanctions, the Iranian economy is doing very poorly. We can help them make it very good in a short period of time, but perhaps they are too proud or too foolish to ask for that help. We are here. Let’s see which road they choose. It is totally up to them.

As we defend American lives, we are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East. In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are underway.

I am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent. It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency.

These are warfighters, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. We are working to finally end America’s longest war and bring our troops back home!

War places a heavy burden on our Nation’s extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her 2 children — 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan.

Amy works full time, and volunteers countless hours helping other military families. For the past 7 months, she has done it all while her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. Amy’s kids have not seen their father’s face in many months.

Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and peace — we thank you. As the world bears witness tonight, America is a land of heroes.

This is the place where greatness is born, where destinies are forged, and where legends come to life.

This is the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur.

This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and so many more.

This is the country where children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo.

The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth.

Our ancestors braved the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, raised up the skyscrapers — and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in all of human history.

And we are making it greater than ever before! This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance. We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the pathfinders.

We settled the new world, we built the modern world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.

America is the place where anything can happen! America is the place where anyone can rise. And here, on this land, on this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come true!

This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored.

Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made.

The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!

Our spirit is still young; the sun is still rising; God’s grace is still shining; and my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come!

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless America.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7968011/Read-text-Donald-Trumps-2020-State-Union-makes-case-election.html

Story 2: Lacking Trump Impulse Control — Petulant Pelosi Ripping Up President Trump’s 2020 State of The Union Address– Insults American People and Honored Guests — In Your Guts You Know Pelosi Is Nuts — Trump on Crazy Nancy — Videos

Conway shreds Nancy Pelosi, calls her a child for ripping Trump’s speech

Pence reacts to Pelosi’s ‘new low’ at the State of the Union

Don’t Let #NancyPelosi Dilute or Take Away From President Trump’s Brilliant #StateOfTheUnion Address

USA: Trump slams “crazy” Nancy Pelosi and Democrats for “violating Constitution”

Story 3: Senate Acquits President Trump of Both Articles of Impeachment: Articles 1 Abuse of Power: 52 Votes Not Guilty and 48 Votes Guilty and Articles 2 Obstruction of Congress: Not Guilty 53 Votes and 47 Votes Guilty — Videos

See the source image

Trump acquitted by Senate on both articles of impeachment

Watch Live: Senate now voting on two articles of impeachment

Senators Find Trump ‘Not Guilty’ Of Abuse Of Power Impeachment Article | NBC News

Senators Find Trump ‘Not Guilty’ Of Obstruction Of Congress Impeachment Article | NBC News

WATCH: Sen. Romney’s full statement on Trump’s impeachment trial | Trump impeachment trial

Republican Romney Says He’ll Vote to Convict Trump

Ted Cruz: The Democratic party is defined by Trump hatred

Tim Scott calls impeachment a ‘flawed, failed, fictional’ attempt to remove Trump

Lankford: Dems’ goal was to drag out impeachment as long as possible

Graham: Impeachment ends when Trump is re-elected and Pelosi, Tlaib are fired

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The Pronk Pops Show 1391, February 4, 2020, Story 1: Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) Sweep The Iowa Caucuses Based on Partial Results — Buttigieg (26.9%), Sanders (25.1%), Warren (18.3%), and Moderate Left of Center Biden Just Makes Cutoff with (15.6%) For Now — Results Subject To Change — Videos — Story 2: President Trump To Deliver The State of Union Speech — Trump Promises Accomplished and 2020 Agenda —  Videos — Story 3: Trump Hits Gallup Approval Rating of 49%! — Videos — Story 4: President Trump To Award The Medal of Freedom to Conservative Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh — Great Choice — Videos

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UPDATED February 5, 2020

See the source image

Finally: The result the nation had been waiting for - and it confirmed Pete Buttigieg's daring victory speech was based in reality - although two-thirds of results have still to come throughSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) Sweep The Iowa Caucuses Based on Partial Results — Buttigieg (26.9%), Sanders (25.1%), Warren (18.3%), and Moderate Left of Center Biden Just Makes Cutoff with (15.6%) For Now — Results Subject To Change — Videos

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Democrat says ‘systemic racism’ to blame for low turnout in Iowa caucuses

OMG the Democrat meltdown in Iowa just keeps getting worse. In addition to the technical glitches that embarrassed Democrats worldwide, they are trying to pin the blame on Iowa in their latest effort to alienate voters. Democrat consultant Zerlina Maxwell told Craig Melvin on MSNBC that the low Democrat turnout in Iowa was because “white children are not in the cages.” WHAT?!? Of course, many Latinos are white, but beyond that she has insulted all those good progressive Iowans who thought they were just as good as the radical Dems in California and New York. Guess again!

Partial results released after glitch delays Iowa caucus numbers

2020 Iowa caucuses end in debacle

Trump reacts to Iowa chaos as he prepares for State of the Union address l ABC News

Trump reacts to Iowa chaos as he prepares for State of the Union address l ABC News

 

Pete Buttigieg IS ahead in Iowa caucus results as Democrats FINALLY unveil two-thirds of votes – with Bernie Sanders in second place and Joe Biden in distant FOURTH

  • Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend mayor, declared himself victor of the Iowa caucuses even though there were no official results
  • On Tuesday afternoon almost 24 hours after the caucuses began the state Democratic party finally unveiled results from two-third of precincts
  • They dramatically revealed that Buttigieg, 38, IS in the lead for state delegates, the key measure of success
  • He was on 26.9% with Bernie Sanders on 25.1%, Elizabeth Warren on 18.3%  and Joe Biden on 15.6%
  • But the final vote result puts Bernie Sanders just ahead of Buttigieg in the second round votes – the raw popular vote
  • The caucus system works like the electoral college so it is possible to lose the popular vote but win the overall result
  • The results are bad news for Joe Biden who was in fourth on 15.6%  and a mixed picture for Elizabeth Warren on 18.3% 
  • Amy Klobuchar said she did ‘incredibly well’ on Tuesday night but was in fifth on 12.6%
  • Bernie Sanders’ campaign put out numbers that put him in the lead, but the senator said ‘we are not declaring victory’ like Buttigieg’s campaign 
  • Iowa Democratic Party chair Troy Price apologized for the disaster and moved rapidly off stage after saying he promised the data was accurate 

Pete Buttigieg is leading Democrats in the first big batch of Iowa election data released finally released Tuesday by the state party after a faulty app botched Monday night’s caucus results.

Buttigieg, 38, who declared Monday night that he would be ‘victorious,’ was leading the field with 26.9 per cent of delegates, the key measure of success, according to the first batch of returns, with 62 per cent of precincts reporting.

He was followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, at 25.1 per cent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, at 18.3 percent. Joe Biden was at 15.6 percent in the returns.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, from neighboring Minnesota, was in fifth place, with 13 per cent of the vote. She has been banking on a strong performance in in Iowa to vault her to the national stage.

Andrew Yang, who has drawn big crowds of young Iowans, was at just 1 percent. In Iowa’s controversial caucus system, candidates who draw less than 15 per cent are not deemed viable, and supporters are required to caucus for other candidates.

But the other measure of success –  final round votes – put Buttigieg narrowly in second place to Bernie Sanders with 27,030 votes to the Vermont senator’s 28,220.

Buttigieg addressed the results at his Tuesday night rally in Laconia, New Hampshire.

‘They are not complete, but a majority is in, and they show our campaign in first place. So, we don’t know all of the numbers, but we know this, a campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money, just a big idea,’ he said.

Buttigieg, the first openly gay major party candidate, choked up talking about what the results meant to him.

‘It validates for a kid somewhere in a community wondering if he belongs or she belongs or they belong in their own family that if you believe in yourself and your country, there is a lot backing up the belief,’ he said.

Finally: The result the nation had been waiting for - and it confirmed Pete Buttigieg's daring victory speech was based in reality - although two-thirds of results have still to come through

Sorry about that: Troy Price, the chair of the Iowa Democratic party, promised the results were accurate - but admitted the process had been 'unacceptable'

I won it (so far)! Pete Buttigieg's dramatic gamble to claim victory in Iowa began to pay off on Tuesday afternoon as the first results from two-thirds of precincts put him narrowly ahead of Bernie Sanders

‘And now, we come to new Hampshire. A state that famously thinks for itself, and as we enter this new phase and this week ahead to convince New Hampshire to support this vision and then go on, I have never been more confident in our campaign, in our team, and in the vision that brought to us this point.’

But Sanders offered no concession. His campaign adviser Jeff Weaver said: ‘We want to thank the people of Iowa. We are gratified that in the partial data released so far it’s clear that in the first and second round more people voted for Bernie than any other candidate in the field.’

The news came after nearly 24 hours of chaos, after the Iowa party failed to release the results after experiencing widespread technical difficulties that were attributed to an app that allowed precinct chairs to report election information.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price apologized for the snafu that upended Democratic politics.

‘The bottom line is that we hit a stumbling block on the back end of the reporting of the data but the one thing I want you to know: we know this data is accurate,’ he said.

He reassured Americans about the outcome, after multiple candidates put their spin on the results.

‘The one thing they will say is that the underlying data that — the raw data — is secure. It was always secure. This was a coding error in one of the pieces on the back-end, but the raw data, the data that has come in, is secure,’ he said.

‘We have been working day and night to make sure that the results are accurate,’ he pledged, after party officials told stunned media in Iowa that it would not release results Monday night.

He called the reporting that occurred ‘unacceptable’ and said he was sorry. ‘As chair of the party, I apologize deeply for this,’ he said in a televised news conference.

 The strong performance by Buttigieg came as he was ridiculed by other party members for declaring victory before the results were in. Rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders put out his own unofficial count Monday night that had him leading the field in areas tabulated by his staff.

In fact, at least as far as the first 62 per cent precincts were concerned, it is Buttigieg who is the unofficial leader.

‘It took longer than we expected,’ he said of the count.

Price wouldn’t say when the full 100 per cent of results would be available.

When asked about President Trump’s allegation the results were rigged, Price responded: ‘We have said all along, that we would make the caucuses more transparent, and this year, we are reporting out more data than we have ever reported before and in addition to that, we have paper trails that we have never had before. So we will take the time to verify the results, but the results are based off of what happened in the precincts last night.’

And he wouldn’t say if he would resign as party chair over the fiasco, Price demurred.

‘When I ran for chair, I made a commitment to see the caucus process through. That is what I am working on. That is what I will continue to work on, and whatever happens that, it is to be determined.’

‘Anyway, thank you all, folks, the results are coming in, and we will see you later,’ he concluded as he ended his press conference in Des Moines, moving rapidly off stage.

The event was packed with reporters who stayed behind to cover the turmoil in Iowa, even as the candidates hastily made their way to New Hampshire for political events.

At the same time, Democratic presidential candidates put their own inexact spin on the Iowa caucuses Tuesday morning as they headed to campaign events across New Hampshire.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts spoke almost as soon as she landed in New Hampshire – the next big battleground on the political calendar – declaring herself satisfied with her performance after flying direct from Des Moines.

‘When I left Iowa, I said it was too close to call, and it still is, but I feel good,’ she told reporters. ‘It is good to be in New Hampshire.’ She declared her own organization, with hundreds already deployed across the country, up to the task.

‘This is an organization that is built for the long haul,’ she said.

All down to the paperwork:

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who declared himself 'victorious,' continued to talk up his performance, which he called 'phenomenal,' on Tuesday in Manchester, New Hampshire

Buttigieg, who declared himself ‘victorious’ and said his backers ‘shocked the nation’ in a Monday night speech continued to talk up his performance, which he called ‘phenomenal.’

‘They said we shouldn’t even be here. And now, here we are, in the position that we are in, coming into New Hampshire for what we think will be another historic night a week from today,’ he said, referencing Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Buttigieg was the first of his rivals to wake up and do an early TV interview, speaking to CBS. He had a morning event set for Manchester and made a coffee stop in Nashua. Warren had an event planned in Keene, former Vice President Joe Biden had one set for Nashua, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had an evening rally on tap just outside of Manchester.

The Sanders campaign put out numbers in the early hours of Tuesday representing tallies from 40 per cent of precincts across Iowa showing the Vermont senator ahead of Buttigieg in all three ways results can be tallied.

Buttigieg then put out his own information.  It showed him getting 28 per cent of state delegate equivalents in Iowa, which would be a strong showing – but did not reveal whether another candidates did better and who did worse.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager and a top adviser on the senator’s 2020 campaign, gave new tallies to reporters Tuesday afternoon before the campaign plane took off for the Granite State. The new numbers represent 60 per cent of caucus sites, Weaver said.

On first alignment Sanders got 29.08 per cent, Buttigieg got 21.63 per cent, Warren came in third with 19.51 per cent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar came in fourth with 12.27 per cent and Biden, long considered the party’s frontrunner, came in a shocking fifth place with just 12.04 per cent.

The way the Iowa caucuses work is that if candidates don’t get 15 per cent of caucusgoers at a particular precinct they’re not viable to earn delebates, so the second set of numbers are the percentages that reflect voters’ second-place preferences.

For those, the Sanders campaign still had their guy on top – with 29.4 per cent of the vote. Sanders is again followed by Buttigieg at 24.87 per cent and Warren, at 20.65 per cent. In the second tally, Biden gets more support than Klobuchar. He’s at 12.92 per cent and she’s at 11.18 per cent, according to the Sanders campaign.

‘We anticipate that this will hold,’ Weaver told reporters, according to The Intercept.

Sanders also spoke.

‘Obviously, I am disappointed,’ the Vermont senator expressed. ‘I suspect I speak for all the candidates, all of their supporters and the people of Iowa that the Iowa Democratic Party has not been able to come up with timely election results.’

‘I can’t understand why that has happened, but it has happened,’ Sanders added.

Asked about Buttigieg’s rush to victory, Sanders said, ‘I don’t know how anybody could claim this as a victory.’

‘We are not declaring victory,’ he also said, explaining that his campaign was sharing internal numbers for the sake of ‘transparency.’

Klobuchar said in Manchester that ‘we know that we did incredibly well’ in Iowa.

‘We won a bunch of precincts and delegates, places we didn’t expect to win and we’re feeling good,’ Klobuchar added.

Biden advisor Symone Sanders blasted Iowa for blowing its handling of results in comments to reporters in New Hampshire Tuesday.

‘The app failed last night. The backup phone process failed last night.  You couldn’t drive your ballot to the Iowa Democratic Party last night,’ she fumed. ‘The process, there were grotesque, grotesque breakdowns in the process and the integrity in this election.

‘We implore the Iowa Demoratic party to get it right,’ she said. Asked about candidates declaring victory, Sanders said: ‘It’s just not accurate. There is no data. Victory is determined by state delegate equivalencies, ladies and gentlemen. We don’t have any of those right now.’

‘Iowa is the beginning and not the end,’ she said. ‘We have to wait for the data, frankly. The Iowa Democratic party is being implored to get it right,’ she told DailyMail.com in Nashua.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) briefly talks to reporters after arriving on a flight from Iowa to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport February 04, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire

Joe Biden's campaign rolled out the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of JFK

Biden rolled out the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late John F. Kennedy and who President Barack Obama named ambassador to Japan.

Kennedy called Biden the Democratic Party’s ‘best bet to win the White House, keep the gains we made in the House, and put the Senate in play.’

Andrew Yang, whose campaign slogan is M.A.T.H. – Make America Think Harder –  stopped short of trying to massage the numbers absent information, with his supporters not reaching a 15 per cent viability threshold in some precincts.

‘We’re very excited to get results like the rest of the country,’ said Yang.

There are 21 campaign events scheduled for the Democratic contenders – including Tulsi Gabbard and Deval Patrick – on Tuesday throughout the state, according to a New Hampshire candidate tracker.

In Nashua he had a cup of joe with the town’s mayor, Jim Donchess.

He was optimistic results from Iowa would be in Tuesday although he declined to answer a question from reporters with him about whether it was premature to declare himself the winner.

‘Well, I think it’s safe to say no one in the country is more impatient than I am to hear the official results from the party, but we’ve also put out the results that we’ve got from over 1,200 districts our precinct organization reported based on the procedure that they were trained to do. And based on that, it was a phenomenal night for us,’ he told CBS This Morning on Tuesday.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg emerged in New Hampshire Tuesday morning as the Democratic presidential contenders moved on to the next contest

Buttigieg had coffee with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and other voters

‘We don’t know all of the results. But we do know that by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa: you have shocked the nation. Because by all indications we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,’ Buttigieg told cheering supporters – in the kind of statement that might ordinarily follow a strong measure of public information.

Instead there was no official result in any form, and the Iowa Democratic Party rushed out a statement promising that they had not been hacked and would now be using paper results with a count which will stretch into daylight on Tuesday morning.

Biden’s campaign issued a letter from its lawyers warning that the results could not be trusted – but did not say how they believed they had performed.

But Buttigieg, a Harvard and Oxford-educated former McKinsey management consultant who was a Naval Reserve intelligence officer in Afghanistan, swept in with a move of extraordinary daring.

He told his supporters in Des Moines they had started a movement. ‘You joined your names to say that the time has come to turn the page and join a new chapter in America,’ he told them.

‘With hope in our heart and fire in our bellies we are going on to New Hampshire, on to the nomination and on to chart a new course for this nation we love!’ he said.

He spoke at a made-for-TV victory celebration, with supporters cheering on an elevated platform. All it was lacking was evidence from state party officials that he had won the most support.

‘No results have been released,’ noted CNN’s Anderson Cooper after his network aired Buttigieg’s speech.

Buttigieg, 38, had performed well in many state precincts, including one on the Drake University campus nearby where he held his rally – although he trailed Warren on the first ballot.

At another caucus site that DailyMail.com observed, this one in Norwalk, Iowa, near the Des Moines airport, Buttigieg came in first, with Klobuchar and Sanders also winning delegates.

Pete Buttigieg claims victory in Iowa before results are announced

I've won! The daring moment Pete Buttigieg delivered a full-blown victory speech despite no official results being released as the entire counting process was plunged into crisis with no results delivered

I’ve won! The daring moment Pete Buttigieg delivered a full-blown victory speech despite no official results being released as the entire counting process was plunged into crisis with no results delivered

I did it - trust me... Pete Buttigieg takes to the stage in Des Moines to declare 'by all indications we are victorious' and promise 'we go on to New Hampshire and to the nominaiton'

The real official results: How the candidates fared – at exactly the moment Pete Buttigieg declared victory

'You have shocked the nation': Pete Buttigieg made a bold victory speech saying 'by all indications' he was 'victorious' - but with the results in crisis after an app which was supposed to make reporting results simple crashed, the only thing his rivals would agree with was his verdict that Iowa shocked the nation

Power move: Pete Buttigieg declared himself 'victorious' in a daring speech which came after his four main rivals did not do so - with the absence of official results not holding him back

I've won: The Buttigieg campaign said privately that it had its own data, allowing the former South Bend mayor to claim he had come top at the same point that official results gave him the same rating as every other candidate: 0.0%

He will be first gentleman: Pete Buttigieg embraced his husband Chasten and called him the future first gentleman as he gave a victory speech with no official results underlying it

His remarks followed other Democrats who tried to put the best face on the night, but in a far more restrained form.

‘The Iowa Democratic Party is working to get these results – to get them straight,’ said Biden at his own caucus-night party.

‘We’re going to walk out of here with our share of delegates,’ saying he didn’t know exactly,’ he said, hedging. He said indications are that ‘it’s going to be close.’

‘We don’t know exactly what it is yet, but we feel good about where we are,’ said Biden.

TRUST US, WE WEREN’T HACKED: DEMOCRATS’ PANICKED STATEMENT

Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure said: ‘We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results.

‘ In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report.

‘This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion.’ 

Klobuchar also found ways to express optimism absent any pubic information about how she fared.

‘We know there’s delays but we know one thing. We are punching above our weight. My heart is full tonight,’ she said at a rally outside Des Moines.

‘Somehow and some way I’m going to get on a plane to New Hampshire,’ she said.

Klobuchar declared: ‘We have beaten the odds every step of the way.’

Sanders, who surged in polls in the run-up to the caucuses, also held back.

‘Let me begin by stating that I imagine, have a strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced,’ he said.

‘And when those results are announced, I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa.’

The fiasco unfolded after caucusing around the state started at 7pm Central Standard Time. Three hours later, not a single precinct’s results were officially in.

‘We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,’ Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure said in a statement. ‘This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion.’

The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results,’ McClure added. Earlier, other Iowa officials had pointed a finger at the app.

Des Moines County Chair Tom Courtney told the Associated Press that it was ‘a mess’ and organizers were having to call in the results to the party.

CNN reported that party officials are meeting with representatives from the campaigns.

This is the first year that three separate results were to be released to the public. The number of caucus-goers who initially came to support candidates, then the second vote – how caucus-goers re-aligned if their candidates weren’t viable. Finally, the number of delegates won by each candidate will be reported.

Each of the precincts is using ‘presidential preference’ cards for the first time, so there will be a paper trail of the vote.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign said they had tallied results from around 40 per cent of precincts themselves, and found the Vermont senator coming out on top in both initial vote count, votes after eliminations and number of delegates won

Elizabeth Warren delivered an optimistic speech following the non-result, though stopped short of claiming any kind of victory as chaos reigned over the ballot count

Biden's camp warned that early results cannot be trusted and urged supporters to wait for the official counts to come in. He suggested the results would be 'close' but that he would be coming away with a share of delegates

Amy Klobuchar claimed her campaign is 'punching above our weight', despite having no results to off Monday night

Amy Klobuchar claimed her campaign is ‘punching above our weight’, despite having no results to off Monday night

Andrew Yang will be hoping his campaign gets the support it needs to continue after final votes counts are released Tuesday

Andrew Yang will be hoping his campaign gets the support it needs to continue after final votes counts are released Tuesday

Shadowy app behind vote-count chaos in Iowa

‘Inconsistencies’ with an app that was supposed to track the results of the Democrat caucuses in Iowa threw the vote into chaos overnight – with zero per cent of precincts reporting early Tuesday.

The app was created by Shadow, Inc., a technology firm that was created in January last year after data and messaging service Groundbase was acquired by Democrat non-profit ACRONYM.

Shadow’s CEO Gerard Niemira, product manager Ahna Rao and COO James Hickey all worked on the Hillary for America campaign which was defeated by Donald Trump in 2016.

Other staff include alumni of Obama’s presidential campaign, as well as Google, Apple and the DNC.

How the results will be done: The hand-filled ballots which are now going to be used by the Democrats to work out the results of the Iowa caucus

What is going on? Bernie Sanders supporter David Soll, who had traveled from Rockford, Illinois, to campaign for the socialist candidate, was among those caught up in the results fiasco

First to the microphone: Amy Klobuchar rushed in front of the cameras as the scale of the fiasco became clear and said that while she did not know the results, she was sure her campaign had 'punched above our weight'

Down - but is he out? A left-over Joe Biden sign at the Drake University Olmsted Center in Des Moines

Ready for the caucus: At Hoover High School, voters headed to the basketball court to show their support for their favored candidate
Ready for the caucus: At Hoover High School, voters headed to the basketball court to show their support for their favored candidate

Ready for the caucus: At Hoover High School, voters headed to the basketball court to show their support for their favored candidate

Can I count on you? Elizabeth Warren speaks to voters - and one of their children - at a Des Moines caucus

Feeling the Bern: A Sanders volunteer is ready to persuade fellow Iowans at the Maple Grove Methodist Church in Des Moines

How it works: The Kellogg fire station is ready with locals asked to line up under their first preference. Anyone who backs a candidate under 15% is then asked to move to one of the candidates who scored over 15%.

How it works: The Kellogg fire station is ready with locals asked to line up under their first preference. Anyone who backs a candidate under 15% is then asked to move to one of the candidates who scored over 15%.

Here to vote: Registration at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, just before the 7pm starting point for the caucus

Ready for Bernie: Volunteers prepare to try to persuade caucus-goers that they should back their candidate, who is ahead by a tiny margin in the polls

Bernie Sanders won the support of 14 out of the 15 caucus-goers at the 'satellite' caucus in Ottumwa, Iowa Monday at noon. The group was largely Ethiopian immigrants who work at a nearby pork processing plan

Democratic caucus voting gets underway in Iowa

How to understand the Iowa Caucuses (and why there may be more than one ‘winner’)

The Iowa caucuses  are essentially small local meetings where neighbors and strangers stand up to show their support for a particular candidate, and to persuade others to join them. Iowa’s 41 national delegates are up for grabs, but the real stakes for the candidates are all about momentum.

The caucuses are the first opportunity for Democrats to express their preferences in what´s been a long and tumultuous primary. They set the tone for the monthlong sprint through the early primary states, after which the field of candidates is typically culled. The winner usually receives a boost in media attention and fundraising that can propel them through subsequent contests. An unexpectedly bad performance, meanwhile, can hobble a candidate.

Attendees hold letters reading Caucus during a campaign event in Coralville, Iowa

Attendees hold letters reading Caucus during a campaign event in Coralville, Iowa

The caucuses don´t always pick the eventual nominee, but for Democrats they´ve been more predictive – every winner since 2000 has gone on to become the Democratic nominee. And historically, they´ve been known to catapult underdog candidates´ campaigns to prominence – like they did with Barack Obama in 2008, or Jimmy Carter in 1976.

WHERE AND WHEN DO THEY TAKE PLACE – AND WHO PARTICIPATES?

The caucuses begin at 7 p.m. CST on Monday. Democrats gather in school gymnasiums, union halls and community centers – known in caucus parlance as precincts. There are 1,678 precincts in Iowa this year and an additional 99 satellite precincts, which are for caucuses held outside of the state or at different times of the day and in locations that may be more accessible to those with disabilities or those who have to work during the main event.

Some precincts could have hundreds of Iowans show up, and some may have fewer than 10. The 2008 Democratic caucuses set a record when nearly 240,000 Iowans turned out; this year, party operatives are expecting turnout to be big, but likely not record-breaking.

Any registered Democrat who will be 18 by election day can participate, which includes 17-year-olds with an upcoming birthday. And Iowans can newly register or switch their party registration at their caucus site the day of – so campaigns have been courting disaffected Republicans and new voters across Iowa.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A CAUCUS?

There are essentially two rounds of voting in the caucuses.

When all the caucusgoers at a precinct have signed in, the attendees elect a caucus chair, who directs the proceedings. Representatives of the campaigns have an opportunity to stand up and give a last-minute pitch for their candidate, and then the caucuses begin, with a process known as the ‘first alignment.’

That´s where attendees gather in the designated area for their favored candidate. In most precincts, any candidate that receives the support of 15% of the people in the room is considered ‘viable’ and moves on to the next round of voting. Caucusgoers who chose a viable candidate on their first round are locked in and can´t choose a new candidate on the second.

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg's shadow is cast on the Iowas state flag in Coralville, Iowa

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s shadow is cast on the Iowas state flag in Coralville, Iowa

Supporters of candidates who didn´t meet that threshold, however, have four options: They can support a viable candidate, or join with supporters of another non-viable candidate close to 15% support to get them to viability. Alternately, they can try to entice supporters of other non-viable candidates over to theirs to get them over the threshold. Or, they can go home.

This part of the caucuses – known as realignment – is the most crucial, and typically the most chaotic, portion of the night. Well-organized campaigns have volunteers, staffers and surrogates working the room, trying to win over caucusgoers from opposing campaigns. It´s part of the reason why having staff and surrogates who know their area and have built a community there is so important for the campaigns.

At the end of realignment, the caucus chair takes a final count of the room, and transmits the numbers to the Iowa Democratic Party.

Changes from 2016 will allow for additional reporting of caucus results

Changes from 2016 will allow for additional reporting of caucus results

HOW ARE THE RESULTS CALCULATED?

The results in each precinct are used by the Iowa Democratic Party to calculate what´s known as the ‘state delegate equivalent,’ or how many delegates each candidate gets at the Iowa Democratic Party convention. That number ultimately translates to how many of Iowa´s 41 national delegates each candidate gets at the national convention.

HOW ARE THIS YEAR´S CAUCUSES DIFFERENT FROM YEARS PAST?

For the first time, caucusgoers will record their choices on a slip of paper, which they´ll sign to certify their support. The caucus leaders will collect those presidential preference cards and turn them into the Iowa Democratic Party, and they´ll be used if any candidate requests a recount.

This year, there are only two rounds of alignment, rather than the multiple rounds in years past, and supporters of a viable candidate after the first alignment are locked in to that candidate. In previous caucuses, every attendee could choose a new candidate on each realignment.

The satellite caucuses are new, and the Iowa Democratic Party is allowing attendees to check in early rather than at their precinct site, a move aimed to cut down on the long lines and wait times in years past.

But the biggest change is the change in how the Iowa Democratic Party will report its results. Previously, they only released the state delegate equivalent numbers; now, they´re releasing the raw totals from the first and second alignments, as well as the state delegate equivalents.

The Associated Press will be deciding the winner based on state delegate equivalents – but with more data being released, the campaigns have signaled they plan to spin the numbers in their favor, whatever the eventual result.

 – Associated Press

This is how they do it: Caucus goers fill in preference cards as a permanent record of votes

What counts: At the West Des Moines Christian Church, an election official counts up support

To young to back me: Elizabeth Warren greets a young supporter at Roosevelt High School, Des Moines

Rivals: A Joe Biden and a Pete Buttigieg precinct captain go head to head at Maple Grove Methodist Church in West Des Moines. The two moderates are both behind Bernie Sanders

Read for Buttigieg: The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, has his supporters ready to push for support in Roosevelt High School

Something to show for it: One voter was knitting her way through the caucus at Maple Grove Methodist Church in West Des Moines

WHO ARE THE 11 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

MICHAEL BENNET 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 56

Entered race:  May 2, 2019

Career: Currently Colorado senator.  Educated at elite St. Albans preparatory school and was a Capitol Hill page before graduating Wesleyan and Yale Law School. Was law clerk and worked in Clinton’s Department of Justice then moved to Colorado in 1997 as managing director of billionaire Philip Anschutz’s investment company. Was chief of staff to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, then superintendent of Denver Public schools. Appointed to vacant Colorado Senate seat in 2009, held it 48.1 to 46.4 in 2010 and 50 to 44.3 in 2016

Family: Married to environmental attorney Susan Daggett, with three daughters – Halina, Anne and Caroline. Was born in New Delhi while to diplomat father Douglas Bennet, who went onto be CEO of NPR and a Clinton assistant secretary of state. His grandfather, also Douglas, was an economic adviser to FDR. Mother Susanne is retired elementary school librarian whose parents were Holocaust survivors. Brother James is editor of the New York Times opinion section

Religion: Says he was raised with Jewish and Christian heritage; no known adherence

Views on key issues: Moderate who does not endorse Medicare for all or – so far – Green New Deal. Strongly pro-choice and pro-gay rights, leading to 2010 Senate victory. Pro raising minimum wage. Wants citizenship pathway for ‘dreamers.’ 

Would make history as: First Colorado president

Slogan: Building Opportunity Together 

 

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

MIKE BLOOMBERG

Age on Inauguration Day: 78

Entered race: November 24, 2019

Career: Currently multi-billionaire CEO of Bloomberg PL, the financial information firm he founded in 1981 and which remains a private company. Educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, he became a Wall Street trader at investment bank Salomon Brothers and was laid off in 1981, walking away with $10m in stock which he used to set up his own financial information firm, now one of the world’s largest. Three times mayor of New York 2002 to 2013, running first as Republican then as independent; had to get term limits suspended for final term. Once flirted with running for mayor of London where he has a home; holds an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Has spent large amounts on philanthropy in line with his political views as well as on political campaigns

Family: Born in Brookline, MA, to first-generation Jewish immigrant parents whose own parents had fled Russia. Divorced wife of 18 years, Susan Brown-Meyer, in 1993; former couple have daughters Emma, who has a son with her former boyfriend, and Georgina, who has daughter Zelda with her husband Chris Fissora. The child has a portmanteau surname, Frissberg. Partner since 2000 is Diana Taylor, former New York state banking commissioner, 13 years his junior

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Self-professed fiscal conservative, although painted as a Democratic moderate by other conservative groups. Opposed to Medicare for all. Social progressive who backed gay marriage early, but has flip-flopped on marijuana legalization, most recently opposing it.. Wants firm action on climate change. Fiercely in favor of gun control. As New York mayor banned smoking in public places and tried to outlaw large sugary drinks. Backs increased immigration. Apologized for his stop-and-frisk policing strategy as mayor

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president; richest president ever; first New York mayor to become president

Slogan:  Fighting For Our Future

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics; his father was Maltese-American. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president. First veteran of post-World War II conflict 

Slogan: A Fresh Start For America

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: Let’s Get To Work

DEVAL PATRICK

Age on Inauguration Day: 63

Entered race: Told friends he was running on November 13, 2019

Career: Currently a managing director of Bain Capital. Awarded scholarship in eighth grade to Massachusetts boarding school Milton Academy, becoming first in his family to go to college.  Harvard law grad who twice failed the bar before working for NAACP then private practice where he represented Mike Tyson’s rape victim Desiree Washington. Assistant attorney general for civil rights in Clinton administration then Texaco and Coca-Cola and sub-prime lender Ameriquest executive. Ran for Massachusetts governor as outside candidate in 2006 and won, becoming first African-American in role, won a second term 48-42.

Family: Born in Chicago, his jazz musician father Pat Patrick left mother Emily Wintersmith when he was three when he fathered a Patrick’s half-sister with another woman. Patrick married wife Diane Bemus, an attorney, in 1984; they have two adult daughters, Sarah and Katherine. Sarah is married to a former Italian soldier Marco Morgese; their son Gianluca is the Patricks’ first grandchild. Katherine came out as lesbian in 2008 and married Alisha Lemieux in 2016. 

Religion: Presbyterian 

Views on key issues: Moderate who championed social liberal policies and embraced Obamacare. Boosted transportation spending and increased state gas taxes to pay, speaking out against climate change. Unclear where he stands on Medicare for All and Green New Deal. Pro-gun control, proposing ban on multiple gun sales after Sandy Hook.

Would make history as: No obvious claim 

Slogan: To be announced 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

TOM STEYER 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63

Entered race: July 9, 2019

Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, same as rival Andrew Yang, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats’ biggest single donors

Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his wife would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor

Religion: Episcopalian

Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels

Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever

Slogan: Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

ANDREW YANG

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018

Career: No current job. Went to public school in New York where he describes being bullied with racial slurs, then elite Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school – same as rival Tom Steyer. Brown and Columbia Law graduate who abandoned career as an attorney then started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America

Family: Married to wife Evelyn with two sons, one of whom he has said is on the autism spectrum. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students

Religion: Reformed Church

Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision. Wants a state monitor to crack down on ‘fake news.’

Would make history as: First Asian-American president 

Slogan: Humanity First

AND THE 18 WHO HAVE WITHDRAWN   

CORY BOOKER, New Jersey Senator 

Entered race: February 1, 2019

Quit: January 13, 2020 

STEVE BULLOCK, Montana governor 

  • Entered race: May 14, 2019 
  • Quit: December 2, 2019

JULIÁN CASTRO, former Housing Secretary

  • Entered race: January 18, 2019
  • Quit: January 2, 2020 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York senator

  • Entered race: January 16, 2019
  • Quit: August 28, 2019

BILL DE BLASIO, New York City mayor 

  • Entered race: May 16, 2019
  • Quit: September 20, 2020

JOHN DELANEY, former Maryland Congressman

  • Entered race: July 8, 2017
  • Quit: January 31, 2019 

MIKE GRAVEL, Former Alaska governor

  • Entered race: April 2,2019
  • Quit: August 2, 2019 

KAMALA HARRIS,California senator  

  • Entered race: January 21, 2019
  • Quit: December 3, 2019 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, Former Colorado governor

  • Entered race: March 4, 2019
  • Quit: August 15, 2019 

JAY INSLEE, Washington governor 

  • Entered race: March 1, 2019
  • Quit: August 21, 2019

WAYNE MESSAM, mayor of Miramar, Florida 

  • Entered race: March 28, 2019
  • Quit: November 20, 2019 

SETH MOULTON, Massachusetts congressman

  • Entered race:  April 22,2019
  • Quit: August 23, 2019

RICHARD OJEDA, former West Virginia state senator

  • Entered race: November 12, 2018
  • Quit: January 25, 2019

BETO O’ROURKE, former Texas congressman

  • Entered race: March 14, 2019 
  • Quit: November 1, 2019  

TIM RYAN, Ohio congressman

  • Entered race: April 4, 2019
  • Quit: October 24, 2019

JOE SESTAK, former Pennsylvania congressman 

  • Entered race: June 23, 2019
  • Quit: December 1, 2019

ERIC SWALWELL, California congressman

  • Entered race: April 8, 2019
  • Quit: July 8, 2019  

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, author

  • Entered race: November 15, 2018
  • Quit: January 10, 2020 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7967099/Pete-Buttigieg-ahead-Iowa-caucus-results-Democrats-FINALLY-unveil-two-thirds-votes.html

 

Iowa Democratic Party chair apologizes for results reporting delays, calling process ‘unacceptable,’ as 62% results released

The Iowa Democratic Party, shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday, released the first caucus results of the presidential candidates.

The results were long delayed after the Monday night caucuses, causing sharp critiques, confusion and recriminations. 

“I apologize deeply for this,” said party chair Troy Price, adding he would soon announce 62% of results were ready to be reported. He said the delay was unacceptable.

“We hit a stumbling block on the reporting of the back end of the data,” he said, “but we know this data is accurate.”

The results, once released, showed former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading the field with 26.9% of state delegate equivalents. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders followed with 25.1%. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was in third at 18.3%. At 15.6%, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (12.6%) made up the rest of the top five.

The party, under pressure the modernize the caucuses and make them more transparent, added a new app for reporting results, new ways of reporting results and new back up systems. Those systems failed on Monday night.

Live results updates:

This file will update

Barbara Rodriguez

@bcrodriguez

Inbox: Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price has scheduled a meeting to address reporters shortly. Headed there now.

Barbara Rodriguez

@bcrodriguez

Here at this press filing area for address from Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price. It was supposed to begin at 3:45p central.

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Story 3: Trump Hits Gallup Approval Rating of 49%! — Videos

Trump Job Approval at Personal Best 49%

Trump Job Approval at Personal Best 49%

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Approval among Republicans hits 94%
  • Poll shows highest party polarization on record
  • Half of registered voters say Trump deserves to be re-elected

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has risen to 49%, his highest in Gallup polling since he took office in 2017.

Line graph. President Trump’s job approval is at a new high of 49%.

The new poll finds 50% of Americans disapproving of Trump, leaving just 1% expressing no opinion. The average percentage not having an opinion on Trump has been 5% throughout his presidency.

Trump’s approval rating has risen because of higher ratings among both Republicans and independents. His 94% approval rating among Republicans is up six percentage points from early January and is three points higher than his previous best among his fellow partisans. The 42% approval rating among independents is up five points, and ties three other polls as his best among that group. Democratic approval is 7%, down slightly from 10%.

The 87-point gap between Republican and Democratic approval in the current poll is the largest Gallup has measured in any Gallup poll to date, surpassing the prior record, held by Trump and Barack Obama, by one point.

The Jan. 16-29 poll was conducted in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial that will likely result in the president’s acquittal. The poll finds 52% of Americans in favor of acquitting Trump and 46% in favor of convicting and removing him from office.

In addition to possibly reflecting sentiment regarding his impeachment, Trump’s increased approval rating may also result from other issues, including:

  • The recent military action in Iran. More Americans in the new poll approve (53%) than disapprove (45%) of the U.S. military action that resulted in the death of a leading Iranian military general. Iran retaliated but, despite fears of escalation, no further military action has been taken by either side.
  • Foreign trade. During the poll’s field period, Trump also signed the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • The economy. Americans’ confidence in the economy is higher than at any point in the past two decades. Similarly, national satisfaction is the highest in nearly 15 years.

Sixty-three percent of Americans now approve of the way Trump is handling the economy, up six points from the prior reading in November. It is the highest economic approval rating not only for Trump, but for any president since George W. Bush enjoyed stratospheric job approval ratings in the first few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Trump’s ratings for handling foreign affairs (47%) and foreign trade (50%) are also his best to date.

Republican Party Image Also Improving

As Trump’s job approval rating has improved, so has the image of the Republican Party. Now, 51% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, up from 43% in September. It is the first time GOP favorability has exceeded 50% since 2005.

Meanwhile, 45% of Americans have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, a slight dip from 48% in September.

Additionally, the poll finds 48% of Americans identifying as Republicans or leaning toward that party, compared with 44% Democratic identification or leaning. Recent Gallup polls had shown a fairly even partisan distribution, after the Democratic Party held advantages for much of 2019.

Gallup observed similar public opinion shifts when Bill Clinton was impeached.

  • Clinton’s approval rating spiked to a personal high of 73% after the House impeachment vote, and stayed above his pre-impeachment readings through his acquittal by the Senate in early 1999.
  • A seven-point average Democratic advantage in party identification and leaning in two early December 1998 polls (49% to 42%) swelled to an average 17 points (53% to 36%) in two late December polls after the Dec. 19, 1998, impeachment vote.
  • The latest impeachment saga has had a different effect on party favorable ratings, however. When Clinton was impeached, favorable ratings of the Democratic Party were unchanged (but high, at 57% and 58% in two December polls), while the GOP’s ratings plummeted, falling from 43% pre-impeachment to an all-time low of 31% after the House vote to impeach.

Election Context

Impeachment and a strong state of the nation may have brightened Trump’s election prospects, but U.S. registered voters are evenly divided at 50% as to whether he deserves re-election. When the question was last asked, just before the 2018 midterm elections, 41% of Americans thought Trump deserved a second term.

With the Democratic nomination campaign fully underway, 39% of registered voters say they will vote for Trump regardless of whom the Democratic Party nominates for president, while nearly the same percentage (36%) say they will vote against Trump regardless of whom the Democrats choose. Twenty-four percent of voters say they are waiting to see whom the Democrats nominate.

For their part, Democrats continue to prefer a nominee who can defeat Trump over a candidate closer to them on the issues. Fifty-six percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want the party to nominate a candidate who has the best chance of beating Trump, even if the candidate does not agree with them on the issues they care most about, while 42% want a nominee who agrees with them on the issues but does not have the best chance of beating Trump. The current 14-point margin in favor of electability is smaller than the 24-point gap measured in November, suggesting Democrats may have a harder time settling for the eventual nominee if it’s someone they don’t agree with.

Democrats identify Joe Biden (44%) as the candidate they think has the best chance of beating Trump, followed by Bernie Sanders at 19% and Michael Bloomberg at 10%. Meanwhile, Democrats are most likely to name Sanders (28%) as the candidate who is closest to them on the issues, followed by Biden (20%) and Elizabeth Warren (16%).

Implications

Whether the rise in Trump’s approval rating and the Republican Party’s image is being driven by a backlash against impeachment, the strong economy or other factors may become clearer in the near future. If it is mostly impeachment-based, his approval rating may revert quickly back to pre-impeachment levels, as it did for Clinton. Within two months of his acquittal in February 1999, Clinton’s approval rating returned to where it was before he was impeached, as did the Democratic Party’s advantage in party identification and leaning.

If Trump’s higher approval rating is being driven by Americans giving him credit for improvements in the economy, his support may increase over the course of the year, as it did for Ronald Reagan in 1984, Clinton in 1996 and Barack Obama in 2012. All of those recent presidents held office during periods of sustained economic improvement and were re-elected with job approval ratings of better than 50%.

View complete question responses and trends.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/284156/trump-job-approval-personal-best.aspx

Story 4: President Trump To Award The Medal of Freedom to Conservative Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh — Great Choice — Updates — Videos

See the source image

TISSUES PLEASE: President SURPRISES Rush Limbaugh with PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

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