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The Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018, Story 1: Oldest American, Cigar Smoker, Whisky Drinker and World War II Veteran, Richard Overton, Robbed of Savings and Identity in Austin, Texas — Videos — Story 2: American People vs. Hate America Democrats (HAD) Who Want To Abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) = Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers + Big Lie Media + Progressives + Socialists + Communists Should Move To Mexico — With The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States –Videos — Story 3: President Trump Rising In Polls — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Computer, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Labor Economics, Language, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mexico, Monetary Policy, Networking, People, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Presidential Appointments, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rifles, Scandals, Science, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Sexual Harrasment, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Space Program, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

 

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Story 1: Oldest American, Cigar Smoker, Whisky Drinker and World War II Veteran, Richard Overton, Robbed of Savings and Identity in Austin, Texas — Videos

Thieves drain Richard Overton’s personal bank account

Oldest veteran in US, 112, robbed of savings, identity, family says

Austinite Richard Overton, ‘Nation’s Oldest Veteran’ needs help | 12/2016

Richard Overton, oldest living veteran, turns 112

Street Renamed for Oldest Living WWII Veteran on His 111th Birthday

“Mr. Overton” A documentary about Richard Overton (ORIGINAL)

109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile | Short Film Showcase

Richard Overton, 111, ‘just keeps living’

Oldest WWII vet relishes cigars, celeb status

 

12-year-old Austin resident, our oldest living veteran, robbed of savings, identity

Someone is impersonating the oldest man in America.

Family members of Richard Overton, the 112-year-old World War II veteran who lives in Austin, learned that his personal bank account had been drained on Friday.

“Someone set up a bogus account, got his Social Security number and accessed his personal checking account,” said Volma Overton, who is Overton’s third cousin.

<p><span style="font-size: 1em; background-color: transparent;">U.S. Army veteran Richard Overton, shown just before his 112th birthday, smokes one of his many daily cigars at his Austin home.</span></p>(Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer)

U.S. Army veteran Richard Overton, shown just before his 112th birthday, smokes one of his many daily cigars at his Austin home.

(Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer)

According to Volma, whoever accessed the money used it to buy savings bonds with Treasury Direct, and has been doing so for a few months.

“This is going to be a setback for Richard,” Volma said. “It was a significant amount of money.”

Thankfully, the bank account was not connected to Overton’s GoFundMe page, which finances his 24/7 in-home care. Since its inception in December 2016, the page has raised more than $320,000, though a large portion of that money has already been spent.

Once it’s gone and the caregivers go, Volma fears Overton will, too.

Volma said he and a friend would sort out this money issue. He filed a police report on Friday.

As for Overton, he’s still doing the things he loves, and recently celebrated his 112th birthday on May 11. He’s the oldest man in America, verified by the Gerontology Research Group, and the oldest U.S. veteran

When the weather is nice, Overton sits on his front porch. His friends call it his “stage.” He’ll hum with the birds, snoop on his neighbors and wave at honking cars. Best of all, it’s where he smokes most of his 12 daily cigars, and sometimes drinks his favorite drink, a whiskey and Coke.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2018/06/29/112-year-old-austin-resident-oldest-living-veteran-robbed-savings-identity

Richard Arvin Overton

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Richard Arvin Overton
Mr- Overton 2013-08-07 15-58.jpg

Overton in 2013
Nickname(s) Arvin
Born May 11, 1906
(age 112 years, 50 days)
Bastrop County, Texas, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service 1940–45
Rank US Army WWII T5C.svg Technician fifth grade[1]
Unit 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion (Colored)
Battles/wars World War II

Awards Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
ArmyQualExpert.JPGExpert Rifle Marksmanship Badge

Richard Arvin Overton (born May 11, 1906) is an American supercentenarian who at age 112 years, 50 days is both the oldest verified surviving U.S. war veteran and the oldest living man in the United States. He served in the United States Army during World War II. In 2013, he was honored by President Barack Obama.[2][3][4][5] He currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Early life and education

Overton was born in Bastrop County, Texas[6] to Gentry Overton, Sr. (1877–1920) and Elizabeth Franklin Overton Waters (1876–1939).

Military and civilian career

Richard Arvin Overton, during military service in the 1940s

Overton enlisted into the U.S. military on September 3, 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.[7]

He served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945, including stops in HawaiiGuamPalau and Iwo Jima. He left the U.S. Army in October 1945 as a technician fifth grade.[8]

Overton worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Department of the Treasury (now part of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts) in Austin. He was married twice but never had children.[9]

Later life

Overton gained media attention during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend when he told Fox News he would spend his Memorial Day “smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee.”[10][11]

On that same Memorial Day, Overton met with Texas Governor Rick Perry.[12] Overton was also invited to the White House where he met with President Barack Obama, and to the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was singled out by name for praise by the President.[5][13][14]

During an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies on March 24, 2017, Overton was honored during a half-time break.[15]

Overton is the subject of a 2016 documentary, Mr. Overton, in which he is interviewed about his daily routine, thoughts on his longevity, and his military service.[16][17] On May 3, 2016, he became the oldest surviving American veteran after the death of Frank Levingston.[18][19][20][21]

On May 11, 2016, Overton became a supercentenarian.[6]

Military Awards

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Badge Combat Infantryman Badge
1st Row Army Good Conduct Medal American Defense Service Medal
2nd Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal
Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge
Unit Award Army Meritorious Unit Commendation

Personal life

Overton lives in Austin, Texas. In November 2015, he was hospitalized there for pneumonia at the age of 109.[22]

A week after celebrating his 111th birthday in May 2017, he was once again hospitalized for pneumonia.[23]

In August 2017, Overton was hospitalized in Austin for pneumonia in both of his lungs.[24]

He is a Protestant and reportedly drive elderly women with him to Church every Sunday. [1]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile – Short Film Showcase”YouTube. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  2. Jump up^ Royce-Bartlett, Lindy (November 11, 2013). “Oldest World War II vet Richard Overton, 107, honored by President Obama”. CNN.
  3. Jump up^ Thuman, Scott (November 11, 2013), Richard Overton honored by President Obama on Veterans DayWJLA-TV
  4. Jump up^ Toppo, Greg (November 10, 2013). “Oldest living WWII vet to meet with Obama”USA Today.
  5. Jump up to:ab “Oldest known WWII veteran honored at Arlington ceremony”. Fox News Channel. November 11, 2013.
  6. Jump up to:ab Staff (May 11, 2016). “Nation’s oldest living WWII Combat Veteran Richard Overton turning 110”. fox7austin.com. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  7. Jump up^ National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, U.S.: Ancestry.com Operations Inc:::2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.
    transcription of record here; accessed September 1, 2015.(subscription required)
  8. Jump up^ Arvine, Richard Overton (2013). “Richard Arvine Overton Collection”memory.loc.gov. Veterans History Project. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  9. Jump up^ “America’s oldest living WWII veteran turns 112, fueled by cigars, Dr Pepper and coffee”. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  10. Jump up^ “America’s oldest veteran to spend quiet Memorial Day at Texas home”. Fox News Channel. May 26, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  11. Jump up^ Golgowski, Nina (May 25, 2013). “America’s oldest vet, aged 107, who saw comrades fall in WWII to spend Memorial Day with cigars and whiskey-stiffened coffee”Daily Mail. London. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  12. Jump up^ “Oldest living WWII vet meets Gov. Perry”YouTube. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  13. Jump up^ Jackson, David (November 11, 2013). “Obama: ‘We will never forget’ veterans”USA Today.
  14. Jump up^ President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, White House, November 11, 2013
  15. Jump up^ Carbaugh, Dane (March 24, 2017). “Spurs honor Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. veteran at Military Appreciation Night”ProBasketballTalk. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  16. Jump up^ “Mr. Overton – GI Film Festival | Reel Stories! Real Heroes!”gifilmfestival.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  17. Jump up^ “LA Shorts Fest”lashortsfest.com. Retrieved 11 February2018.
  18. Jump up^ Villalpando, Roberto (5 May 2016). “The man who was America’s oldest World War II veteran has died”ajc. COX MEDIA GROUP. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  19. Jump up^ “Oldest US WWII veteran dies at 110”RT International. TV-Novosti. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2018The mantle of the oldest living WWII veteran has passed to Richard Arvine Overton, 109, of Austin, Texas
  20. Jump up^ Johnson, Dionne (4 May 2016). “Frank Levingston, Nation’s Oldest WWII Veteran, Dies at 110”KLFY. Nexstar Broadcasting. Retrieved 11 February 2018Richard Arvine Overton is now the oldest surviving American World War II veteran.
  21. Jump up^ CHUCK, ELIZABETH (May 2016). “America’s Oldest Veteran Richard Overton Celebrates 110th Birthday”Staff. NBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  22. Jump up^ “Austinite Richard Overton, nation’s oldest WWII veteran, hospitalized”. Statesman.com. November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  23. Jump up^ Hall, Katie (May 19, 2017). “UPDATE: Richard Overton, oldest vet and Austin resident, diagnosed with pneumonia, family says”Statesman. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  24. Jump up^ Lauren Reid (August 10, 2017). “Richard Overton taken to hospital for pneumonia”. Fox 7 Austin. Retrieved August 12,2017.

External links

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

Story 2: American People vs. Hate America Democrats (HAD) Who Want To Abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) = Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers + Big Lie Media + Progressives + Socialists + Communists Should Move To Mexico — With The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States –Videos

Trump blasts movement calling to abolish ICE

Tucker: Dems plan- fire cops, redefine lawbreaking

Is the Democrats’ blue wave starting to boomerang?

Ingraham: Democrats racing to the left

Kurtz: Why the ‘Abolish ICE’ crowd could hurt the left

Democrats look to abolish ICE

Will Democrats lose black voters by calling for an end to ICE?

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Calls to Abolish ICE

ICE director has message for Democrats on his last day

Democrats’ new rallying cry: ‘Abolish ICE’

Abolish ICE Movement Growing Rapidly

‘Donald Trump’s Own Police Force’: Tucker Battles Supporter of Abolishing ICE

Kellyanne Conway on growing calls to abolish ICE

Malkin slams Dem candidate wanting to ‘abolish ICE’

Gillibrand: ‘America’s women need to speak out and stand up’ on Trump Supreme Court nominee

Hurt: New crop of Dem candidates are ‘Communists’

Is the Democrats’ blue wave starting to boomerang?

Shapiro: Next wave of Democrats will be closer to Sanders

Tucker: Trump has convinced Dems to destroy themselves

Judge Jeanine: The rise of socialism

Trump: Waters’s ‘ranting and raving’ will make voters ‘flee the Democrats’

President Trump DONALD JOHN TRUMPTrump: Democratic voters will support Republicans because of ICE criticismConey Barrett, Kavanaugh among candidates who met with Trump: reportTrump administration recommends against allowing China Mobile access to US marketMORE on Tuesday predicted that Rep. Maxine Waters‘s (D-Calif.) “ranting and raving” about his administration would drive people away from the Democratic Party, repeating his assertion that the California lawmaker is becoming the “face” of the party.

“Crazy Maxine Waters, said by some to be one of the most corrupt people in politics, is rapidly becoming, together with Nancy Pelosi, the FACE of the Democrat Party,” Trump tweeted. “Her ranting and raving, even referring to herself as a wounded animal, will make people flee the Democrats!”

Trump’s tweet was his latest going after the California congresswoman, who has emerged as one of his fiercest critics in Congress. He has repeatedly claimed in recent weeks that she has come to symbolize the Democratic Party and its intense opposition to his agenda.

The president’s latest string of attacks on Waters began after the congresswoman encouraged opponents of Trump to push back againstadministration officials when they are seen in public.

The issue surfaced after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Lexington, Va., restaurant because of her position in the Trump administration.

 

CAPS – Harris Poll on Immigration and Foreign Policy

June 28, 2018

Immigration, North Korea, trade & tariffs, and the Russia investigation are addressed in the June 2018 poll by the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard (CAPS) and The Harris Poll.

Political Climate

At 47%, Donald Trump’s approval is the highest it’s been in over a year, and has been trending up steadily since March of 2018. The President’s approval on specific issues has also seen a bump – approval numbers on stimulating jobs (58%), his handling of the economy (57%), fighting terrorism (57%), foreign affairs (47%), and administering the government (45%) are at the highest recorded by this poll. Only his handling of immigration (46%) failed to reach a new high.

Optimism in the direction of the country is also at its highest since the beginning of the Trump presidency, but still lags below majority approval. Today, 39% of voters say the U.S. is on the right track, the highest recorded in the CAPS-Harris Poll, compared to 52% who say it is not. Forty-seven percent of voters also express confidence in the direction of the economy (compared to 39% who say it is off on the wrong track), and 69% believe the U.S. economy is strong today – the highest recorded number for this confidence variable.

Immigration

Although American voters are sympathetic to immigrant families being separated at the border, they demand stronger border security and immigration enforcement. Voters do not believe that families ought to be separated when they cross illegally (88%), and they support the Trump administration’s late policy reversal, allowing families to stay together (71%), even if it was done unilaterally through an executive order.

A majority of voters want immigration reform (73%) and secure borders (76%). Voters also want stricter enforcement of immigration laws (70%). Voters support prosecuting immigrants who cross the border illegally (53%) and sending these immigrants home (64%). A majority (55%) also stand against so-called “catch and release” policies.

North Korea

Voters credit the Trump Administration with positive steps in the relationship with North Korea, but remain uncertain about prospects of denuclearization. A majority approve of the way the United States is handling North Korea (59%), and the summit (74%), while being optimistic that it offers a viable path for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons (57% — compared to 47% in March 2018).

What do voters really think about the likelihood of a denuclearized Korean peninsula? Only 30% put the odds at better than one in two, and 37% say the odds of a denuclearization agreement coming about is less than 25%. Over half of voters say success here should earn the president a Nobel Peace Prize (52%). The voting public does not make this an easy endeavor; less than half (48%) want the U.S. to reduce troop levels in South Korea when negotiating a deal with North Korea.

Tariffs and Trade

The American voting public is uncertain about tariffs. They support the idea of loosening tariffs on goods from countries to negotiate better trade terms (59%), but oppose threatening tariffs on good from G7 countries if they don’t take steps to reduce the U.S. trade deficit (51%); they support the use of tariffs to reduce the trade deficit and keep jobs in the U.S. (55%), but over 4 in 10 voters are concerned higher consumer prices (45%).

Reaction to President Trump’s participation in the G7 Summit is mixed. American voters are uneasy about Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on G7 imports – 40% say this action could results in concessions from other G7 countries, but 45% believe it could result in a trade war. Americans did not find Trump’s criticism of Justin Trudeau appropriate (58%), and do not support readmitting Russia without first punishing it for annexing Crimea (37%).

Voters support a more aggressive stance when trading with China, however. When asked whether China should be punished for forcing U.S. technology companies to give up trade secrets in order to sell to Chinese consumer markets, 66% say that China should be punished. Two-thirds (68%) support taking actions to correct the trade deficit with China, only 32% say not to do so out of the risk of a trade war.

Russia Investigation

Only a third (35%) of voters believe the independent counsel has found evidence of collusion. In fact, at least half of voters believe the special counsel should wind down the investigation on collusion (53%) and obstruction (50%). In light of the Inspector General report, they believe the FBI should be investigated on how it handled the Trump-Russia probe (58%). Sixty-one percent say there is evidence of bias in the FBI, and 64% would like to see a special counsel appointed to investigate.

However, President Trump does not get a pass. A majority of voters believe that his firing Comey constituted obstruction of justice (54%), and 61% would like to see him testify in front of special counsel Mueller.

For more information on the June poll, go to the CAPS/Harris Poll website for the detailed results, and please visit The Hill (thehill.com) for first look analysis of all polls.

The CAPS/Harris Poll website will be updated throughout the week with more information about the poll.

ABOUT THE JUNE 2018 CAPS – HARRIS POLL

The survey was conducted by The Harris Poll online within the United States from June 24-25, 2018 among 1,448 registered voters.

The results reflect a nationally representative sample. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, and education where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

The poll was supervised by Harvard Professor of Government and CAPS Faculty Director Stephen Ansolabehere, Mark Penn, and Dritan Nesho.

Harvard Assistant Professor of Government Jon Rogowski contributed to this month’s CAPS-Harris Poll.

Stephen Ansolabehere has 25 years’ experience conducting survey research and experimental research in the field of political science.

Mark Penn is a former presidential pollster and has 40 years of polling experience.

Dritan Nesho is a fellow at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science and has over 11 years of polling and data analytics experience.

https://caps.gov.harvard.edu/news/caps-harris-poll-immigration-and-foreign-policy

Party Affiliation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Logo.svg

Logo of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Badge of a U.S. Homeland Security Investigations special agent.svg

HSI Special Agent badge
Flag of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.png

Flag of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Abbreviation ICE
Motto “Protecting National Security and Upholding Public Safety”
Agency overview
Formed March 1, 2003; 15 years ago
Preceding agencies
Employees 20,000+ (2016)
Annual budget $7.6 billion (2018)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency United States
Operations jurisdiction United States
Constituting instrument
General nature • Federal law enforcement
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executives
  • Thomas Homan (Acting), Director of ICE
  • Peter T. Edge, Acting Deputy Director of ICE and Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  • Matthew Albence, Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)
Parent agency U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Website
ice.gov

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a law enforcement agency of the Federal government of the United States under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE has two primary components: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ICE is charged with the investigation and enforcement of over 400 federal statutes within the United States and maintains attachés at major U.S. diplomatic missions overseas.

The current Director of ICE is Ronald Vitiello, serving in an acting capacity. The officeholder is appointed at the sub-cabinet level by the President of the United Statesconfirmed by the U.S. Senate, and reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security.[2][3] Until July 2010 the title had been “Assistant Secretary.”[4] ICE has recently received substantial criticism over their internment of migrant children into what have been described as detention camps.‍[5] Ronald Vitiello was named as the agency’s Deputy Director on June 30, 2018. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said he will also serve as acting director.[6]

History

ICE headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was formed pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, following the events of September 11, 2001. With the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, the functions and jurisdictions of several border and revenue enforcement agencies were combined and consolidated into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Consequently, ICE is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, and the second largest contributor to the nation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The agencies that were either moved entirely or merged in part into ICE included the investigative and intelligence resources of the United States Customs Service, the criminal investigative, detention and deportation resources of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Protective Service. The Federal Protective Service was later transferred from ICE to the National Protection and Programs Directorate effective October 28, 2009. In 2003, Asa Hutchinson moved the Federal Air Marshals Service from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ICE,[7] but Chertoff moved them back to the TSA in 2005.[8]

Organization

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is responsible for identifying and eliminating border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security vulnerabilities. There is an estimate of about more than 20,000 ICE employees in approximately over 400 offices within the United States including 46 other countries.[9]

The organization is composed of two law enforcement directorates and several support divisions each headed by a director who reports to an Executive Associate Director.[10] The divisions of ICE provide investigation, interdiction and security services to the public and other law enforcement partners in the federal and local sectors.

Structure

  • Director
    • Deputy Director
      • Enforcement and Removal Operations
        • Removal Division
        • Secure Communities and Enforcement Division
        • Immigration Health Services Division
        • Mission Support Division
        • Detention Management Division
        • Local Field Offices
      • Homeland Security Investigations
        • Domestic Operations Division
        • Intelligence Division
        • International Operations Division
        • Mission Support
        • National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center
        • National Security Investigations Division
      • Management and Administration

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

HSI Special Response Team (SRT) members training using armored vehicle at Fort Benning in Georgia.

HSI special agents investigate a range of issues that threaten the national security of the United States such as human rights violationshuman smugglingart thefthuman trafficking, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, document and benefit fraud, the manufacturing and sale of counterfeit immigration and identity documents, transnational gangs, financial crimes including money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, trade-based money laundering (including trade finance and Kimberley Process investigations), computer crimes, including the production and transportation of child pornography via the Internet, import/export enforcement, trafficking of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other merchandise, and international Cultural Property and Antiquities crimes. HSI agents can be requested to provide security for VIPs, and also augment the U.S. Secret Service during overtaxed times such as special security events and elections.

HSI was formerly known as the ICE Office of Investigations (OI). HSI agents have the statutory authority to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8), U.S. customs laws (Title 19), general federal crimes (Title 18), the Controlled Substances Act (Title 21), as well as Titles 5, 6, 12, 22, 26, 28, 31, 46, 49, and 50 of the U.S. Code. HSI has more than 6,500 special agents, making it the largest investigative entity in the Department of Homeland Security and the second largest in the federal government.

Intelligence

The Office of Intelligence is a subcomponent of HSI that employs a variety of special agents and Intelligence Research Specialists to facilitate HSI’s tactical and strategic intelligence demands. Collectively, these intelligence professionals collect, analyze, and disseminate intelligence for use by the operational elements of DHS. The Office of Intelligence works closely with the intelligence components of other federal, state, and local agencies. Many HSI field offices assign intelligence analysts to specific groups, such as financial crimes, counter-proliferation, narcotics, or document fraud; or, alternatively, they can be assigned to a residential intelligence unit, known as a Field Intelligence Group (FIG). HSI agents assigned to FIGs generally focus on Human Intelligence (HUMINT) collection.

International Operations

HSI special agents aiding with rescue effort for the 2010 Haiti earthquake

International Operations, formerly known as the Office of International Affairs (OIA), is a subcomponent of HSI with agents stationed in 60 locations around the world. HSI’s foreign offices, known as Attaché Offices, work with foreign governments to identify and combat transnational criminal organizations before they threaten the United States. IO also facilitates domestic HSI investigations by providing intelligence from host countries, conducting collateral investigations, and facilitating international investigations conducted by field offices within the United States.

Special Response Teams

Seventeen HSI field offices maintain a Special Response Team (SRT) that operates as a federal SWAT element for the office’s area of responsibility (AOR).[11] SRT was founded under the U.S. Customs Service as the Warrant Entry and Tactical Team (WETT) and were renamed to SRT in 1998.[11] The SRT handle HSI’s high-risk arrest and search warrants, barricaded subjects, rural area operations, VIP protection, sniper coverage for high-risk operations, and security for National Security Events. HSI’s active SRTs are located in Tampa, Miami, Arizona (Phoenix), New Orleans, Houston, New York, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Juan, Detroit, San Francisco, El Paso, Chicago, San Diego and Washington, D.C. There is also a team of instructors and coordinators stationed full-time in Columbus, Georgia. These teams primarily deploy to handle high-risk operations, but also assist in events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake 2010, and other natural disasters around the globe.

SRT is a collateral duty open to HSI agents assigned to an office with a certified team. To qualify, candidates must pass a physical fitness test, qualify with multiple firearms by shooting 90% or better in full tactical gear, and pass an oral interview process. If a candidate passes these stages and is voted on the local team, they are then designated “Green Team” members and allowed to train with the certified team members. Green Team members are eventually sent to the SRT Initial Certification Course at the Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs, Tactical Operations Unit (OFTP/TOU)Fort Benning, Georgia, where they must pass additional physical fitness, firearms, scenario-based and written assessments.[12] Out of approximately 6,500 special agents, there are currently only approximately 250 certified SRT members nationwide.

HSI SRTs often conduct training exercises with various federal, state and local teams, and also assist other teams during national events or large-scale operations that require multiple high-risk scenarios to be conducted simultaneously. The working relationship between the SRTs and the U.S. Department of Defense‘s U.S. Special Operations Command has led to SOCOM providing the SRTs with excess Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), firearms, and other gear designed for the U.S. Tier One groups.

Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)

ICE ERO officers deporting a man to Mexico.

ERO is responsible for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws and ensuring the departure of removable immigrants from the United States. ERO uses its deportation officers to identify, arrest, and remove immigrants who violate U.S. immigration law. Deportation officers are responsible for the transportation and detention of immigrants in ICE custody to include the removal of immigrants to their country of origin. Deportation officers prosecute immigrants for violations of U.S. immigration and criminal law, monitor cases during deportation proceedings, supervise released immigrants, and remove immigrants from the United States.[13] Deportation officers operate strategically placed Fugitive Operations Teams whose function is to locate, apprehend, and remove immigrants who have absconded from immigration proceedings and remain in the United States with outstanding warrants for deportation. ERO manages the Secure Communities program which identifies removable immigrants located in jails and prisons. Fingerprints submitted as part of the normal criminal arrest and booking process will automatically check both the Integrated Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division and the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) of the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT Program.

ERO was formerly known as the Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO).

Office of State, Local and Tribal Coordination (OSLTC)

OSLTC is ICE’s primary outreach and communications component for state, local and tribal stakeholders. It is responsible for building and improving relationships, and coordinating activities with state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies and through public engagement. It also fosters and sustains relationships with federal, state and local government officials and coordinates ICE ACCESS programs (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security).

Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA)

OPLA provides legal advice, training and services to support the ICE mission and defends the interests of the United States in the administrative and federal courts, including representing the government of foreign nationals for the purpose of removal (previously known as “deportation”) process.

Office of Professional Responsibility

OPR is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving employees of ICE. OPR preserves the organizational integrity of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by impartially, independently and thoroughly investigating allegations of criminal or serious administrative misconduct by ICE employees worldwide. Additionally, OPR inspects and reviews ICE offices, operations and processes so as to provide executive management with independent reviews of the agency’s organizational health. In this role, OPR assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of ICE in carrying out its mission.

Former units

The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) was aligned into ICE shortly after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. On October 16, 2005, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff officially approved the transfer of the Federal Air Marshal Service from the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the TSA as part of a broader departmental reorganization to align functions consistent with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Second Stage Review” findings for:

  • consolidating and strengthening aviation law enforcement and security at the Federal level;
  • creating a common approach to stakeholder outreach; and
  • improving the coordination and efficiency of aviation security operations.

As part of this realignment, the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service also became the Assistant Administrator for the TSA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE), which houses nearly all TSA law enforcement services.

The Federal Protective Service (FPS) was moved from the General Services Administration (GSA) to ICE upon the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The FPS was later moved out of ICE to the National Protection Programs Directorate.

Originally a part of the U.S. Customs Service’s Office of Investigations, the Office of Air and Marine (then called the Air and Marine Interdiction Division) was transferred to ICE in 2003 during the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, becoming the Office of Air and Marine Operations. Due in part to a 500 million dollar budgetary dispute between CBP and ICE, in 2004 ICE Air and Marine Operations was transferred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CBP Air and Marine still works closely with ICE to support the agency’s domestic and international law enforcement operations.[14][15][16][17]

The Office of Detention Policy and Planning was responsible developing and maintaining ICE’s National Detention Standards, which set out detailed rules for how immigration detainees were to be treated differently than criminal inmates.[18] In April 2017, President Donald Trump decided to close the office and to stop including the standards in new jail contracts.[18]

Assistant Secretaries and Directors

No. Picture Name Took office Left office Notes President
Assistant Secretary
1 Michael J. Garcia - official portrait.jpg Michael J. Garcia March 2003 September 2005 George W. Bush
John P. Clark
Acting
September 2005 January 2006
2 Julie myers lg.jpg Julie Myers January 4, 2006 November 14, 2008
John torres lg.jpg John P. Torres
Acting
November 17, 2008 May 12, 2009
Barack Obama
Director
3 John t. morton ice director.jpg John T. Morton May 12, 2009 July 31, 2013 Barack Obama
John Sandweg
Acting
August 1, 2013 February 21, 2014
Thomas-winkowski-md.jpg Thomas Winkowski
Acting as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
March 16, 2014 December 23, 2014
4 Saldana.jpg Sarah Saldaña December 23, 2014 January 20, 2017
DanRagsdale1.jpg Daniel Ragsdale
Acting
January 20, 2017 January 30, 2017 Donald Trump
Senate Hearing on Immigrations Issues (26854903300) cropped.jpg Thomas Homan
Acting
January 30, 2017

Training

Newly hired ICE law enforcement personnel receive their training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. To meet division specific academic and practical instruction, the ICE Academy varies in length from 4 to 6 months depending on the position. Furthermore, following graduation, all ICE law enforcement personnel undergo additional post academy training, as well as career-continuous training. Specific course curriculum is kept confidential, but both ERO and HSI new hires undergo training related to basic law enforcement tactics, immigration law, firearms training, emergency response driving, and Constitutional law. HSI agents also receive training regarding U.S. customs law, warrant service, advanced tactics, undercover operations, criminal interrogation, weapons of mass destruction, and other subjects routinely encountered by HSI agents in the field. ERO deportation officers undergo several weeks of intensive Spanish language training prior to graduating.

Equipment

An Air and Marine Operations (AMO) UH-60 Black Hawk supporting an HSI operation

HSI Special Response Team (SRT) drug raid during Operation Pipeline in Arizona.

HSI special agents and ERO deportation officers are issued the SIG Sauer P320C pistol chambered in the 9mm cartridge, as their primary sidearm. Secondary weapons are on a list of authorized weapons published by the agency to its agents and officers. They also may be assigned the Remington Model 870 shotgun or the Colt M4 carbine. Agents can also be assigned the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun.

ICE operates the only nationwide radio communication system in the federal law enforcement community. The system, known as the National Law Enforcement Communications Center (NLECC) is Motorola-based and employs a technology specifically designed for ICE known as COTHEN (Customs Over The Horizon Network). Consequently, HSI special agents, ICE officers, and authorized subscribers are able to communicate with one another across the nation using NLECC’s strategically placed repeaters and high-speed data lines. The center, commonly referred to internally as Charlie-100, is based in Orlando, Florida.[19]

Investigative programs

ICE special agent detaining a suspect

National security

The National Security Division monitors the conduct of field enforcement operations in the investigation, detection, interdiction, prosecution, and removal of foreign-born terrorists, terrorist supporters, and hostile foreign intelligence agents located within the United States. This branch also has operational oversight of all HSI special agents assigned to the 103 Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), provides continuous support to all counter-terrorism investigations and HSI field offices supporting those counter-terrorism efforts and provides actionable proactive counter-terrorism lead information, in furtherance of preventing and disrupting terrorist cells made up of foreigners domestically and abroad.[19]

Transnational gangs

In February 2005, ICE began Operation Community Shield, a national law enforcement initiative that targets violent transnational street gangs through the use of ICE’s broad law enforcement powers, including the unique and powerful authority to remove criminal immigrants, including illegal immigrants and legal permanent residents.[20] Under Operation Community Shield, ICE:

  • Partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, in the United States and abroad, to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach in conducting criminal investigations and other law enforcement operations against violent street gangs and others who pose a threat to public safety.
  • Identifies violent street gangs and develops intelligence on their membership, associates, criminal activities and international movements.
  • Deters, disrupts and dismantles gang operations by tracing and seizing cash, weapons and other assets derived from criminal activities.
  • Seeks prosecution and/or removal of immigrant gang members from the United States.
  • Works closely with our attaché offices throughout Latin America and foreign law enforcement counterparts in gathering intelligence, sharing information and conducting coordinated enforcement operations.
  • Conducts outreach efforts to increase public awareness about the fight against violent street gangs.

Drug trafficking

HSI agents share concurrent jurisdiction with the FBI and DEA in the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act. HSI agents investigate drug trafficking organizations who import their products across the U.S. air, land and water borders, as well as their smuggling methods, which include the use of high-speed vessels, cargo containers, aircraft, commercial trucking, commercial vessel and human carriers. HSI agents enforce a wide range of federal drug statutes, and unlike DEA and FBI, can also use Title 19 of the U.S. Code to prosecute drug smugglers for the importation of drugs.

HSI drug trafficking investigations are often worked under the auspices of HSI-led Border Enforcement Security Taskforces (BEST), High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) groups, and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Through Memorandum of Understanding agreements, HSI’s primary focus is the importation and subsequent trafficking of illegal drugs, while domestic production and sale is the focus of the DEA.

Cyber crimes

The Cyber Crimes Center (C3) Child Exploitation Section (CES) investigates the trans-border dimension of large-scale producers and distributors of images of child abuse, as well as individuals who travel in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors. The CES employs the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children through the use of websites, chat rooms, newsgroups, and peer-to-peer trading. These investigative activities are organized under Operation Predator, a program managed by the CES. The CES also conducts clandestine operations throughout the world to identify and apprehend violators. The CES assists the field offices and routinely coordinates major investigations. The CES works closely with law enforcement agencies from around the world because the exploitation of children is a matter of global importance.[21]

C3 brings the full range of ICE computer and forensic assets together in a single location to combat such Internet-related crimes as:

  • Possession, manufacture and distribution of images of child abuse.
  • International money laundering and illegal cyber-banking.
  • Illegal arms trafficking and illegal export of strategic/controlled commodities.
  • Drug trafficking (including prohibited pharmaceuticals).
  • General Smuggling (including the trafficking in stolen art and antiquities; violations of the Endangered Species Act etc.)
  • Intellectual property rights violations (including music and software).
  • Immigration violations; identity and benefit fraud

C3 consists of four sections, three of which provide cyber technical and investigative services, the Cyber Crimes Section (CCS), the Child Exploitation Section (CES), and the Digital Forensic Section (DFS). The fourth section, the Information Technology and Administrative Section (ITAS), provides the technical and *operational infrastructure services necessary to support the other three C3 sections. The center is a co-location of special agents, intelligence research specialists, administrative support, and contractors, all of which are instrumental in operational and technical continuity. Within each section, there are various program managers assigned to certain programmatic areas. These program managers are responsible for supporting ICE Internet investigations through the generation and the dissemination of viable leads. Program managers are available to provide guidance and training to field agents as well as to other law enforcement (foreign and domestic) upon request.[21] Strategically located HSI Field Offices have their own Cyber Forensics Laboratories staffed by Computer Forensics Agents (CFAs). These CFA’s are HSI special agents who have been extensively trained in cyber investigative techniques and protocols.

The CCS is responsible for developing and coordinating investigations where the Internet is used to facilitate the criminal act. These investigations include fraud, theft of intellectual property rights, money laundering, identity and benefit fraud, the sale and distribution of narcotics and other controlled substances, illegal arms trafficking and the illegal export of strategic/controlled commodities and the smuggling and sale of other prohibited items such as art and cultural property. The CCS is involved in the development of Internet undercover law enforcement investigative methodology, and new laws and regulations to strengthen U.S. Cyber-Border Security. C3 supports the ICE Office of Investigation’s (OI) domestic field offices, along with ICE foreign attachés offices with cyber technical, and covert online investigative support.[21]

  • Operation Apothecary: The CCS, the HSI Commercial Fraud Section and the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center have partnered together and launched a comprehensive Internet pharmaceutical initiative designed to target, arrest and prosecute individuals and organizations that are involved in the smuggling of counterfeit pharmaceuticals of a controlled and non-controlled nature as well as scheduled narcotics via the Internet. The focus is also on the affiliates of the rogue pharmacies that are typically operated by criminal enterprises whose sole purpose is to generate large sums of money, with no regard to the health and welfare of the public.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: The CCS has encountered thousands of web sites based in the United States, as well as foreign that are engaged in the sale of counterfeit merchandise (including music and software) via the Internet. The CCS continues to work closely with the National IPR Coordination Center, the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) at the DOJ, and industry representatives to identify web sites responsible for the sale of the counterfeit items.
  • Arms and Strategic Technology: The CCS works to prevent proliferate countries, terrorists, trans-national criminals from obtaining strategic materials, funds and support and to protect the American public from the introduction weapons of mass destruction and other instruments of terror from entering the United States.
  • Identify Fraud Initiative: The availability and use of fraudulent identification documents has always been a concern to the law enforcement community. While traditionally available from street sources, fraudulent identification and travel documents, of all types, are also readily available for sale via the Internet. In the post 9/11 world, fraudulent identity and travel documents are of an even greater concern to ICE because of the alarming threat they pose to ICE’s primary mission of protecting the United States, and its citizens, from threats arising from the movement of people and goods into and out of the country. With addressing these documents and their threat in mind, the CCS has sought to identify sources for fraudulent identity and immigration documents on the Internet.

Child exploitation

ICE arrests child predators in Operation iGuardian (Tampa, Florida)

The C3 CES investigates large-scale producers and distributors of images of child abuse as well as individuals who travel in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors. The CES employs the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children through the use of websites, chat rooms, newsgroups and peer-to-peer trading. The CES also conducts clandestine operations throughout the world to identify and apprehend violators. The CES assists the field offices and routinely coordinates major investigations. The CES works closely with law enforcement agencies from around the world because the exploitation of children is a matter of global importance.

  • Operation Falcon: A joint international images of child abuse investigation initiated by ICE that identified 39 websites distributing child pornography. Further investigation led to the arrest of 1,200 international downloader’s and more than 300 U.S. customers. Nine individuals from the United States and Belarus were identified and charged as the principals in this investigation. All principals were convicted on various charges related to money laundering, structuring and the production and distribution of images of child abuse.
  • Operation Mango: An extensive investigation that closed down a beachside resort owned by U.S. citizens in Acapulco, Mexico, which offered children to sexual predators. The resort was a haven for pedophiles that traveled to the facility for the sole purpose of engaging in sex with minors. The proprietor of the business was convicted. As a result of this investigation and others, Mexico’s federal government recently created a task force to address crimes against children in the country.
  • Operation Save Our Children[22] inadvertently shut down 84,000 legal subdomains of adult pornographic websites in an excessive seizure which led to criticism of the DOJ’s ex parte warrant process and potential abuse.[23]
  • Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force: Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice Programs, ICAC Task Force comprises 45 task forces. The task forces were created in cooperation with the DOJ ICAC to provide reporting, a means to provide a virtual pointer system for Child Exploitation and images of child abuse cases and secure collaboration for various Federal, State, and Local law enforcement organizations, task forces, and affiliated groups around the world. DHS/ICE strongly supports the efforts of the ICAC task forces as demonstrated by ICE special agents being active members of the ICACs throughout the United States. The Northern Virginia/Metro DC ICAC is housed at the DHS/ICE C3.[21]
  • Operation Predator: ICE developed Operation Predator in 2003 to identify, investigate and arrest child predators and sexual offenders. Operation Predator draws on ICE’s unique investigative and enforcement authorities to safeguard children. Coordinated nationally and internationally, Operation Predator brings together an array of ICE disciplines and resources to target these child sex abusers.

As part of the effort, ICE has created a National Child Victim Identification System in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the FBIU.S. Postal Inspection ServiceU.S. Secret Service, the Department of Justice, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces and other agencies.

Arms trafficking

As the primary U.S. agency in export/import investigations, HSI combats illegal trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives that fuels violence both domestically and internationally. HSI arms trafficking investigations often focus on preventing the procurement of munitions by drug cartels, terrorists, human rights violators, foreign adversaries, and other transnational criminal organizations. HSI’s investigative strategy includes the identification and prosecution of criminal networks and individuals responsible for the acquisition and movement of firearms and other dangerous weapons from the United States, as well as the seizure and forfeiture of money and valuable property derived from or used to facilitate this criminal activity.

Case samples

  • In September 2016, ICE deported Rwanda national Leopold Munyakazi, a suspect of Rwandan genocide.[24]
  • January 31, 2018, ICE deported Amer “Al” Adi Othman of Ohio in a “highly irregular rebuke of Congressional Authority” according to Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio. Othman was deported to Jordan despite having lived in the United States for nearly 40 years, married and having two children. Othman was to be Ryan’s guest at the State of the Union Address on January 30, 2018, and due to his ongoing detention, his seat was left empty.[25]

Immigration law

Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) allows ICE to establish increased cooperation and communication with state, and local law enforcement agencies. Section 287(g) authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Under 287(g), ICE provides state and local law enforcement with the training and subsequent authorization to identify, process, and when appropriate, detain immigration offenders they encounter during their regular, daily law-enforcement activity.[26]

The 287(g) program is extremely controversial; it has been widely criticized for increasing racial profiling by police and undermining community safety because unlawful immigrant communities are no longer willing to report crimes or talk to law enforcement.[27]

The 287(g) program is one of several ICE ACCESS (ICE “Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security”) programs that increase collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement agents.[28]

Additionally, an immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that DHS issues to a federal, state and local law enforcement agency (LEA) to inform them that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual and to request that the LEA notify ICE prior to the time when the individual would otherwise be released. The new detainer form includes:

  • A request that the LEA provide the detainee with notice that ICE intends to assume custody;
  • Emphasis that LEAs may only hold an individual for a period not to exceed 48 hours and a notice advising individuals that if ICE does not take them into custody within the 48 hours, they should contact the LEA to inquire about their release;
  • Directions for individuals who may have a civil rights or civil liberties complaint regarding ICE activities; and
  • Emphasis that the existence of a detainer should not impact or prejudice the individual’s conditions of detention.

The new form also allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.[29]

ICE has played a key role in investigating and arresting citizens suspected of possessing and distributing child pornography.[30] Because the vast majority of child pornography is produced outside the United States, HSI special agents utilize their authority to investigate persons and groups that traffic in this type of contraband, the importation of which via traditional mail or internet channels constitute violations of customs laws.[citation needed]

Detention centers

ICE operates detention centers throughout the United States that detain undocumented immigrants who are apprehended and placed into removal proceedings. About 34,000 people are held in immigration detention on any given day,[31] in over 200 detention centers, jails, and prisons nationwide.[32] Due to the United States detention bed quota, mandated by congress, that number will increase rather than decrease. The quota mandates at least 34,000 immigrants be held in detention each night. This is the sole law enforcement agency in the US with a minimum quota.[33][34]

In 2006, the T. Don Hutto Residential Center opened specifically to house non-criminal families. Other significant facilities are located in Lumpkin, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Elizabeth, New JerseyOakdale, LouisianaFlorence, Arizona; Miami, Florida; SeattleYork, PennsylvaniaBatavia, New YorkAurora, ColoradoAguadilla, Puerto Rico, and all along the Texas–Mexico border.

List of detention centers[35]
Alabama Etowah County Detention Center
Arizona Central Arizona Detention Center
Eloy Detention Center
Florence Correctional Center
Florence Service Processing Center
Pinal County Jail
California Adelanto Detention Center
Lerdo Detention Center
Mira Loma Detention Center
Otay Mesa Detention Center
Sacramento County Jail
Santa Ana City Jail
West County Detention Center
Yuba County Jail
Florida Baker County Detention Facility
Broward Transitional Center
Glades County Detention Center
Krome Detention Center
Wakulla County Jail
Georgia Atlanta City Detention Center
Irwin County Detention Center
North Georgia Detention Center
Stewart Detention Center
Illinois Jefferson County Justice Center
McHenry County Jail
Tri-County Detention Center
Iowa Hardin County Jail
Kentucky Boone County Jail
Louisiana LaSalle Detention Center
Oakdale Detention Center
South Louisiana Detention Center
Maryland Worcester County Jail
Massachusetts Bristol County Jail
Plymouth County Correctional Facility
Suffolk County Jail
Michigan Calhoun County Jail
Monroe County Jail
Minnesota Freeborn County Jail
Ramsey County Jail
Sherburne County Jail
New Mexico Albuquerque Immigration Office
Otero County Processing Center
Texas Dallas Immigration Detention Center
T. Don Hutto Residential Center
El Paso Processing Center
Houston Immigration Detention Center
Johnson County Detention Center
Laredo Detention Center
Polk County Detention Center
Port Isabel Detention Center
Rolling Plains Detention Center
South Texas ICE Processing Center
West Texas Detention Facility
Washington Tacoma Northwest Detention Center

Deaths in detention

ICE has counted 107 deaths in detention from October 2003 to 2007. The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union recently obtained documents detailing the circumstances of these deaths, under the Freedom of Information Act. “The documents show how officials—some still in key positions—used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse,” The New York Timesreported.[36] The deaths in detention included the following cases:

  • Boubacar Bah, a 52-year-old tailor from Guinea, was left in an isolation cell for more than 13 hours after falling and suffering a head fracture before an ambulance was called. His family was not notified for five days of his injury.[37] A video shows Bah in the medical unit, before medical personnel sent him to the isolation cell. In the tape, his hands are handcuffed behind his back, he is face down, and he calls out repeatedly in his native language, Fulani: “Help, they are killing me!” Telephone and email records show that ten agency managers based in Newark and Washington discussed how to avoid the cost of his care and unwanted media attention. They considered sending Bah back to Guinea and reviewing his canceled work permit to see if it would be possible to get Medicaid or disability benefits. Eventually, they decided to release him to cousins in New York who objected that they had no way to care for Bah; however, days before this release was planned, Bah died.[36]
  • Nery Romero was a 22-year-old Salvadoran immigrant with no previous history of mental illness who committed suicide in his cell in the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey. At the time of his detention, he was recovering from surgery in which metal pins had been placed in his leg, seriously broken in a motorcycle accident, and was taking strong prescription painkillers. According to Romero’s cellmates and family, authorities failed to provide Romero with painkillers despite his repeated requests.[36] In a letter written to his mother shortly before his death, Romero stated: “I’m in hell. They don’t give me nothing for my pain.”[38]
  • Sandra Kenley of Barbados, who did not receive treatment for a uterine fibroid tumor, died at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia in December 2006. An autopsy determined the cause of her death was acute coronary insufficiency due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease.[39][38]
  • Abdoulai Sali died of an untreated kidney ailment in the Piedmont Regional Jail in Virginia.[38]
  • Young Sook Kim died at the New Mexico Regional Jail in Albuquerque of pancreatic cancer in September 2006. She had asked for weeks to receive medical care, and died the day after she was taken to a hospital.[40]

Corporate contracts

Engineering and construction firm Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) released a press statement on January 24, 2006, that the company had been awarded a no-bid contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to support its ICE facilities in the event of an emergency. The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a one-year base period with four one-year options. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005. The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, the company said.

ICE Air

ICE Air is the aviation division of ICE that charters aircraft or books commercial flights to send deportee back to their home countries.[41] There are 10 aircraft used to send deportees and has a working list of 185 countries.[41]

Deportees have legs and arms secured while boarding, handcuffs removed during flight and all shackles removed upon disembarking.

Criticisms

Sexual abuse

The Intercept published a report by the DHS Office of Inspector General revealing that 1,224 sexual abuse complaints while in immigration custody were filed between January 2010 and June 2017. Contrary to ICE’s claims, only 3% of these complaints were investigated.[42]

Record number of deportations

Between 2009 and 2016, President Obama deported a record 2.4 million immigrants, earning him the nickname “Deporter-In-Chief” by Janet Murguía, the president of National Council of La Raza.[43][44] According to ICE data, about 40% of those deported by ICE in 2015 had no criminal conviction, while majority of those convicted were guilty of minor charges.[45]

Separation of migrant children from their families

A crowd of protesters hold a sign saying "Immigrants Stay Trump Pence Must Go"

A protest against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Philadelphia, June 2018.

As part of the 2018 Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, nearly 2,000 minors were separated from their parents while trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border and placed in detention centers.[46][47] Rolling Stonelikened these centers to “prisons” while The Houston Chronicle reported that a movement swelled online to call them “concentration camps.”[48][49] Similarly, former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush compared the images of the centers to U.S. Japanese internment camps during the Second World War.[50] 16 out of 34[51] of the centers located in Texas had previously been cited by Texas officials for more than 150 health violations.[52][relevant?]The former head of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Sandweg, was critical of child separation, telling NBC News, “You could easily end up in a situation where the gap between a parent’s deportation and a child’s deportation is years,” and that many children might never see their parents again.[53]

See also

International agencies comparable to ICE

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement

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President Trump discussed his tariff strategy with a focus especially on automobiles during a Fox News interview that ran yesterday, the same day Canada began imposing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

Most Americans (58%) were apprehensive in March that Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would lead to a trade war.

Border security remains the focus of vitriolic political rhetoric.

Despite President Trump’s efforts to toughen border enforcement, voters still think it’s easier for illegal immigrants to get into the United States and stay here than in much of the rest of the world.

But voters have stronger faith in the government’s efforts to tighten border security these days than they did in the past, though they still believe more can be done — especially Republicans.

Should children born in the United States to mothers who are not legal residents or U.S. citizens, be granted legal status in this country? We’ll tell you at 10:30 what voters say.

For Republicans, Donald Trump’s presidency will go down in the record books as a successful one. But for Democrats, Trump’s time in the White House won’t be praised.

(More below)

20-Jan-1727-Mar-1730-May-1703-Aug-1706-Oct-1713-Dec-1721-Feb-1826-Apr-1802-Jul-180%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%www.RasmussenReports.comTotal Approve (Trump)Total Approve (Obama)

With a batch of decisions that favored conservatives and the announced retirement U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the high court closed its term last week with its highest favorability ratings in several years.

The Russian soccer team upset Spain yesterday to advance to the quarter-final round of World Cup play being hosted in Russia. But U.S. interest in soccer remains a mixed bag, with younger Americans more likely to watch than older Americans, and an overall decline in recognition of the event.

See What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls.

(More below)

-520-Jan-1727-Mar-1730-May-1703-Aug-1706-Oct-1713-Dec-1721-Feb-1826-Apr-1802-Jul-1810%20%30%40%50%60%www.RasmussenReports.comStrongly DisapproveStrongly Approve

Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.

To get a sense of longer-term job approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.\

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_jul02

Voters Think It’s Easier for Illegals to Get In, Stay In Compared to Other Countries

Friday, June 29, 2018

Despite President Trump’s efforts to toughen border enforcement, voters still think it’s easier for illegal immigrants to get into the United States and stay here than in much of the rest of the world.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is harder to enter the United States illegally compared to most other nations. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say it’s easier, while 26% say the level of difficulty is about the same. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 25-26, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/june_2018/voters_think_it_s_easier_for_illegals_to_get_in_stay_in_compared_to_other_countries

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1097, Story 1: Both House Republican Immigration Bills Do Not Have Enough Support to Pass House — Democrats Concerned More For 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens That Invaded The United States Than American Workers and Their Children — Fund and Build The Wall and Enforce Immigration Laws With Deportations and Removals — No Amnesty — No Citizenship — No Legal Status — No Chain Migration For Illegal Aliens — Videos –Story 2: Foreign Actors Gained Access To Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Email Server Including Classified Documents — Videos

Posted on June 25, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Senate, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, United States of America, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Both House Republican Immigration Bills Do Not Have Enough Support to Pass House — Democrats Concerned More For 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens That Invaded The United States Than American Workers and Their Children — Fund and Build The Wall and No Amnesty, Citizenship, Legal Status or Chain Migration For Illegal Aliens — Videos —

Trump suggests GOP is wasting time with immigration bill

Trump says Republicans should stop “wasting their time” on immigration

Trump blames Democrats on immigration as GOP fails to pass bill

Girl on TIME cover wasn’t separated from mom, family says

Tucker Monologue on Illegal Immigration

Lou Dobbs and Judge Jeanine Pirro House Speaker Paul Ryan needs to go: Judge Jeanine Piro

Should Congress focus on building Trump’s border wall?

Tucker: Dems don’t want honest discussion about immigration

I won’t be running for House speaker: Rep. Meadows

House to vote on two immigration bills. Will they pass?

Does Paul Ryan want to pass Trump’s agenda?

INGRAHAM: A BORDERLESS WORLD

Trump says he won’t sign moderate immigration bill

Rep. Scalise on immigration: Democrats don’t want to solve the problem

Tucker: The Left does not care about family separation

Nielsen holds contentious White House briefing amid immigration policy backlash

Sessions defends zero tolerance immigration policy

Ingraham: Faux liberal outrage, destruction of rule of law

Immigration Histrionics & Academy Award Crocodile Tears — Lionel on Real News With David Knight

Immigrant Children, Broken Borders, Blame and Bluster: Harsh Words, Rhetoric and Failed Policies

Immigration Derangement Syndrome | Dave Smith and Stefan Molyneux

Kellyanne ERUPTS after CNN’s Host Plays GUT-Wrenching Audio of Immigrant kids taken from Parents

Ann Coulter Claims Child Migrants Detained at US Borders Are ‘Child Actors’ | Good Morning Britain

Border patrol agent: Kids are treated humanely

Ingraham Angle Friday June, 22 2018 – Border Crisis Policy | FOX News Tonight 06/22/2018

Ben: This is EXACTLY Why People Don’t Trust the Media!!

Guess who employs the most illegal immigrants

Published on May 30, 2014
A new report by the New York Times reveals that the US government is using illegal immigrants detained in detention centers as cheap labor. Sometimes they pay them $1 a day, sometimes not at all. The work is only supposed to benefit the detention centers, but meanwhile immigrants are being used to package meals for prisoners at other jails. Detractors are calling it a hypocritical, unlawful practice that bends many rules on the book. The Resident discusses.

Undocumented and Underage: The Crisis of Migrant Children

Published on Aug 13, 2014
Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Between October 2013 and May 2014, authorities at the US-Mexico border began detaining underage migrants at an alarming, never-before-seen rate. During this period, thousands of underage migrants ended up in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facilities along the border. Capacity at CBP detention facilities was overwhelmed by the influx of migrants, who predominantly came from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. As overcrowding became more severe, conditions for the migrants worsened. Lacking proper installations and sufficient personnel at the facilities, Department of Homeland Security officials began to release underage migrants into the custody of family members in the US, and cited them to attend immigration hearings at a later date. The situation is similar in Mexico. The flow of underage migrants in the border region has increased rapidly, and shelters for child migrants report that the Central American population they care for now outnumbers the population of Mexican children. VICE News travelled to the border between Texas and Tamaulipas to speak to people who have been detained on both sides of the border. They told us about their reasons for crossing the border, how they were detained, what their stay was like inside the detention centers, their plans for the future, and their fears. Now migrants have two options: return to their country, where they could be killed by gang-related violence, or attempt to enter the United States again, hoping that their luck will change, and they will achieve their American dream.

House GOP Leaders Forced To Again Delay Vote On Compromise Immigration Bill

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., leaves after meeting with reporters before a House showdown on immigration, at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders delayed a vote on the “consensus” immigration legislation Thursday afternoon as they scrambled to convince enough GOP lawmakers to support the measure.

The vote on that bill was initially rescheduled for Friday morning. But after a closed-door meeting that lasted more than two hours, leaders delayed it even further — to next week, according to several House Republican sources.

A more hard-line immigration bill came up for a vote earlier Thursday, as part of a compromise approach crafted by Republican leaders to satisfy GOP lawmakers’ competing immigration demands.

That measure failed, as expected, but the 193 votes it earned was far more than Republican leaders had anticipated. That development emboldened supporters of the more conservative measure to demand some items from their version be added to the leadership’s bill.

“We just had a bill that got 193 though, though, without really any help, in my opinion, any real significant help,” said Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry. “The attorney general didn’t come while it’s been sitting here for six months. The homeland security secretary didn’t come while it’s been sitting here for six months. And it got 193 votes. That seems like a pretty good starting point.”

Both Cabinet members made trips to Capitol Hill in recent days, as did President Trump, who told Republicans he backed both immigration bills. Trump’s approval didn’t do enough for Perry and other holdouts. “I appreciate the president’s opinion and his input. But I worked on the bill a little bit,” Perry said. “To me, we voted today on a bill that I thought was more indicative of where the people are and what the president originally ran on.”

In addition to the policy divides, several GOP lawmakers felt that they didn’t know what was in the “consensus” bill as it was still being tweaked hours before they were scheduled to vote on it.

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, one of the moderate members who has been working with leadership to craft the compromise bill, said the delay will give members a chance to clarify details of the bill.

“Immigration policy is complex. Most members are not expert at it,” Curbelo said. “I think the more members understand this bill the more comfortable they will become with it.”

Curbelo said members have raised questions about how it would address issues like border security and visas for those immigrants who are in the country illegally after being brought here as children, commonly known as DREAMers.

Members were also confused because leaders were forced to update their hastily written bill after a $100-billion error was discovered. The House Rules Committee was forced to hold a special hearing at 10 p.m. Wednesday because the bill contained nearly $125 billion rather than the roughly $25 billion leaders intended to include for a border wall President Trump promised the U.S. would build during the 2016 presidential campaign.

GOP committee members were able to quickly remedy the mistake but the incident sowed further doubt among skeptics who already worried about the contents of the sweeping legislation.

Thursday evening’s Republican meeting was devoted to answering many of those basic questions. “We should have done this first before we put a bill together,” said Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta. “It would have avoided what we’re seeing right now.”

The stalemate and delay underscore how far apart Republicans remain on immigration. If the issue continues to highlight disagreements within the Republican conference, it could ratchet up pressure on Ryan to step down as speaker.

Since President Trump ended the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, last September and punted its future to Congress, lawmakers have failed to reach a consensus on any legislation to deal with the program or with the administration’s push for stepped-up border security measures.

Ahead of the votes, Ryan conceded that the goal of bringing the likely doomed measures up for a vote was to prevent moderates from gathering more signatures on a measure known as a discharge petition, which would force votes on their own set of immigration bills.

“Because a discharge petition would have brought legislation to the floor that the president would have surely vetoed, it would have been an exercise in futility,” Ryan explained. “But a lot of our members want to be able to express themselves by voting for the policies that they like, so they can express their votes on the floor.”

If the leadership-backed immigration bill goes down, Ryan may face increased calls to vacate his leadership post before the year’s end. Conservatives have argued that the issue of immigration was a driving force in Trump’s 2016 presidential victory and voters expect the party to follow through on the promise to enact more hard-line policies policing the southwest border. Ryan is not running for another term but has vowed to remain as speaker through the end of the year.

Conservatives have been frustrated for months with the way leadership handled immigration. Freedom Caucus Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Ryan should have allowed committees to draft an immigration bill and vote on it using what is known as regular order.

Jordan told reporters that the collapse this week is further evidence that some of his Republican colleagues are unwilling to back hard-line immigration proposals that were a central part of Trump’s campaign in 2016 and the GOP platform more broadly.

“The simple answer is not enough Republicans are willing to do what we told the American people we were going to do when they elected us,” Jordan said. “The reason it’s not going to pass is not enough members are willing to do what we said. Plain and simple.”

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/21/622229439/house-immigration-bills-set-for-thursday-votes-expected-to-fail

 

Hardline immigration bill fails in the House

The House on Thursday rejected a hard-line immigration bill — introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) — after leadership postponed a second vote on a compromise measure written with centrists.

The 193-231 vote came a day after President Trump signed an executive order ending the controversial practice of separating children from parents who cross the border illegally.

Every Democrat and 41 Republicans voted against Goodlatte’s bill.A second vote on the compromise measure has been delayed until Friday as leaders seek to rally support for it.

There will also be a conferencewide meeting on immigration at 4:30 p.m., which will give GOP leaders one last chance to rally the party around the legislation and convince the remaining holdouts to get on board with the plan.

The compromise measure would provide a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 millions “Dreamers,” provide $25 billion for Trump’s border wall and other security measures, and prevent families from being separated at the border.

Trump’s Wednesday executive order, a rare reversal for the president, followed days of bipartisan — and global — condemnation of his “zero tolerance” policy toward families crossing the border illegally.

Trump has made immigration a signature issue of his administration, and he blames Democrats for the situation at the border.

House leadership had expressed pessimism on the chances for either Goodlatte’s legislation or a second compromise bill written with centrists, both of which come as the growing crisis at the border dominated headlines.

The hardline measure faced sharp pushback from both Democrats and moderates, who took issue with a number of provisions including its cuts to legal immigration.

Both bills have the support of the administration.

The vote effectively killed a discharge petition — introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) in April — that would have circumvented leadership and forced votes on four separate immigration proposals. The bill with the most votes over 218 would have then been sent to the upper chamber. 

The discharge petition, backed by moderates Republicans and most Democrats, nearly had its required number of backers, forcing leadership’s hand in bringing forth the Thursday votes.

Goodlatte’s bill would have provided funding for a wall along the southern border, ended the diversity visa lottery program, limited family-based visas, created an agriculture guest worker program require employers to use the E-Verify program — a pivotal provision in garnering conservative support — and allowed for the administration to cut funding toward sanctuary cities. 

—Melanie Zanona contributed.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/393460-hardline-immigration-bill-fails-in-the-house

Goodlatte Immigration Bill Fails to Pass Through House

by Sean Moran

The House of Representatives failed to pass the Donald Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration reform bill on Thursday.

The House failed to pass H.R. 4760, the “Securing America’s Future Act,” with a vote tally of 193-231. Forty-one Republicans voted against the immigration bill and no Democrats voted for it.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) sponsored the legislation. The House Freedom Caucus has lobbied House Republican leadership for months to vote on the measure. The Goodlatte bill, which is more conservative than the Ryan-sponsored immigration bill, received 193 votes despite little lobbying and whip support from House Republican leadership.

At a press conference earlier on Thursday, the House Freedom Caucus decried the House leadership’s “broken” promises that fast-tracked the vote for an amnesty bill pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan while ignoring the Goodlatte bill.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said that the leadership’s push for the Ryan amnesty bill compared to the Goodlatte bill is “exactly what’s broken with Congress.” The Idado conservative said that the Goodlatte bill “should have been pushed.”

Labrador continued, suggesting that the “leadership team that decided that a committee was not wise enough to get 218” votes to pass through the House. Labrador said that the leadership “meddled with the bill.”

Former Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) that the House Judiciary Committee “did not get to vote in the committee.” Jordan contended that the Goodlatte bill would have “passed unanimously.”

Jordan told Breitbart News in an interview earlier this week why conservatives support the Goodlatte bill. Jordan said:

It’s the one that done with what’s consistent with the election. It says it will build the border security wall, end chain migration, stop the visa lottery, deal with sanctuary cities, reform the asylum law — right down the list of everything we know needs to happen and move to a merit-based [immigration system] and then we will deal with the DACA population.

The House will likely vote on the Ryan amnesty bill on Friday. In contrast, Jordan said that the Ryan bill is inconsistent with the 2016 Trump election mandate.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/06/21/goodlatte-immigration-bill-fails-to-pass-through-house/

House GOP abruptly scraps planned vote on troubled immigration bill, saying it could pass next week

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IG Report shows foreign actors gained access to Clinton emails

Hillary Was Hacked And They Found It All – She’s In Serious Trouble Over ‘1 Secret’

FBI Email Reveals Foreign Actors Accessed Clinton’s Emails

Hostile foreign actors did obtain access to Clinton emails

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6-19-18 Mark Meadows (R-NC) Questions DOJ IG a Hillary Clinton Email Investigation

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FBI may have modified witness reports, misled DOJ watchdog with ‘false information,’GOP Rep says

GOP lawmaker charges FBI with changing witness forms in Clinton probe – 247 news

Rep. Meadows Q&A – Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election

Rep. DeSantis Q&A – Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election

Breaking Down The Justice Watchdog’s Report On Hillary Clinton Email Probe | Katy Tur | MSNBC

IG Report shows foreign actors gained access to Clinton emails

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Rep. Jordan: There’s a different standard for politically connected

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Jeanine Pirro reacts to Bill Clinton’s meeting with AG Lynch

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Why did AG Lynch secretly meet with Bill Clinton?

WOW! IG Horowitz Probing Reports McCabe Demanded FBI Agents Change Interview Summaries

 

But her emails? You’re dang right her emails.

When the Justice Department inspector general’s report revealed that former FBI director James B. Comey had used a personal email account to conduct official business, Hillary Clinton claimed vindication. “But my emails,” she tweeted.Yes, Madam Secretary, your emails.In fact, the overlooked bombshell of the report is the inspector general’s confirmation that classified information contained in Clinton’s emails was in fact compromised by foreign intelligence services, and that Clinton had recklessly emailed President Barack Obama using her unsecured personal email from the territory of a hostile foreign adversary.Before the report was released, we knew from Comey’s July 2016 statement that Clinton’s private emails included “seven e-mail chains [which] concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received.” We also knew that the FBI “also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail.” Comey further declared, “We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account.” And he speculated that, given how “extremely careless” Clinton had been, it was “possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”Well, it turns out, the FBI knew with certainty at the time that hostile actors had in fact gained access to classified information via Clinton’s emails. According to the inspector general, a special review of the Clinton email investigation in 2017 by the Office to the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) found that, before Comey’s 2016 statement, “the FBI . . . successfully determined classified information was improperly stored and transmitted on Clinton’s email server, and classified information was compromised by unauthorized individuals, to include foreign governments or intelligence services, via cyber intrusion or other means” [emphasis added].The initial draft of Comey’s 2016 statement said it was “reasonably likely” that hostile actors had gained access to Clinton’s private email account. Moreover, the inspector general quotes FBI agent Peter Strzok as commenting on that “It is more accurate to say we know foreign actors obtained access to some of her emails (including at least one Secret one) via compromises of the private email accounts of some of her staffers” [emphasis added]. These facts were inexplicably left out of the final statement.

 2:37
Key takeaways from the inspector general’s Comey report

The Fix’s Callum Borchers analyzes the key takeaways from the Justice Department inspector general’s report on former FBI Director James B. Comey.

We still don’t know the full extent of the damage Clinton caused, because the inspector general reports that the FBI intentionally chose not to follow every potential lead of compromised classified information. The report notes that “Strzok further stated that the FBI’s ‘purpose and mission’ was not to pursue ‘spilled [classified] information to the ends of the earth’ and that the task of cleaning up classified spills by State Department employees was referred back to the State Department.”

We also learned new details about Clinton’s recklessness and willful misconduct in using her private email. The final version of Comey’s statement did note that Clinton “used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries.” But we did not know at the time that the original draft included one more sentence: “That use included an email exchange with the President while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary.” According to the inspector general, “This reference later was changed to ‘another senior government official,’ and ultimately was omitted.”

When I worked in the George W. Bush White House, and traveled to certain foreign countries with the president, we were required by the Secret Service to remove the batteries from our BlackBerrys, place them in a sealed plastic bag, and leave them on Air Force One for the duration of our visit to prevent foreign adversaries from hacking into the White House email system. But Clinton was so cavalier that she actually used not her government communications device, but her unsecured private email to communicate directly with the president of the United States from the territory of a foreign adversary. By emailing Obama directly from hostile territory, she put both her own email system and the president’s at risk of foreign intrusion.

Many Democrats blame Comey’s July 2016 statement for causing Clinton irreparable harm in the election. But we now know Clinton’s actions were worse than what Comey presented to the American people. Just imagine if his statement had been full and complete.

Read more from Marc Thiessen’s archivefollow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

‘Foreign Actors’ Accessed Clinton’s Emails, House Committees’ Memo Finds

Hillary Clinton speaks at the IBEW union hall in Commerce, Calif., May 24, 2016. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

“Foreign actors” accessed Hillary Clinton’s emails, including one that was classified “secret,” according to a memo produced by two Republican-led House committees and obtained by Fox News.

The memo details the findings of congressional investigators who looked into whether the Department of Justice made politically motivated decisions over the past two years with respect to the Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations.

“Documents provided to the Committees show foreign actors obtained access to some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified ‘Secret,’” the memo says. The private accounts of Clinton staffers were also breached by unnamed foreign actors, according to the memo.

The memo also notes that the “secret” classification, which was applied to at least one of the hacked emails, refers to information that, if disclosed, could “reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.”

An internal FBI email sent in May 2016 by Peter Strzok, who was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe for demonstrating political bias, corroborates the contents of the memo.

“We know foreign actors obtained access” to some Clinton emails, Strzok wrote in the email, obtained by Fox News.

Stay Updated with NR DailyNR’s afternoon roundup of the day’s best commentary & must-read analysis.

Strzok, who served as a key investigator in the Clinton email probe, also asserts that foreign actors accessed at least one “secret” message “via compromises of the private email accounts” of Clinton staffers.

Strzok’s statement exceeded those of former FBI director James Comey, who said in July 2016 that hostile actors accessed the email accounts of people with whom Clinton regularly conversed on her personal account. Comey made that conclusion public while announcing he would not recommend that charges be brought against Clinton for her handling of classified information as secretary of state.

The House committees chastised Comey for reaching an outcome that was “predetermined” in deciding not to charge Clinton before he had interviewed her and other key witnesses. The memo they produced also questions Comey’s interpretation of the law, which held that because there was no evidence of “intent” on Clinton’s part, she could not be charged.

“Mr. Comey, as the FBI Director, was the chief investigator, not the prosecutor. It was not up to him to determine what a ‘reasonable prosecutor’ would do with the evidence the FBI had collected,” the memo says.

The Department of Justice inspector general is expected to release a report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation to Congress Thursday afternoon.

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/hillary-clinton-email-accessed-foreign-actors/

 

FBI may have modified witness reports, misled DOJ watchdog with ‘false information,’ GOP Rep says

The FBI may have “edited and changed” key witness reports in the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations, a top House Republican charged in a hearing into FBI and Justice Department misconduct Tuesday.

Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C, also raised the possibility that the FBI misled the DOJ watchdog in an attempt to hide the identities of FBI employees who were caught sending anti-Trump messages.

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees were questioning Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz over his bombshell report into FBI and DOJ misconduct during the Hillary Clinton email probe.

“The other thing that I would ask you to look into, there is growing evidence that 302s were edited and changed,” Meadows told Horowitz. “Those 302s, it is suggested that they were changed to either prosecute or not prosecute individuals. And that is very troubling.”

OTHER HEARING DRAMA: DEM REP WARNS OF GOP PLOT TO OUST DEPUTY AG ROSENSTEIN ‘ON FRIDAY’

So-called “302s” are reports on witness interviews compiled by federal investigators. Horowitz said later he has additional information suggesting that the witness reports were changed after-the-fact in both the Clinton and Russia probes — a particularly alarming possibility given the IG report’s findings of bias in those investigations.

Horowitz suggested that the IG is reviewing information concerning modified 302s, saying his office intended to “follow up” on the matter.

In a dramatic moment, Meadows then directly asked Horowitz whether two anonymous FBI employees identified as making anti-Trump statements in the IG’s report were named Kevin Clinesmith and Sally Moyer.

Horowitz refused to confirm the employees’ identities, which the FBI has declined to publicly reveal, citing the supposed sensitivity of their counterintelligence matters.

But Meadows suggested that justification may have been a sham.

“If that’s the reason the FBI is giving, they’re giving you false information.”

– GOP Rep. Mark Meadows

“They don’t work in counterintelligence,” Meadows said. “If that’s the reason the FBI is giving, they’re giving you false information, because they work for the [FBI] general counsel.”

SEVEN KEY TAKEWAYS FROM DOJ IG REPORT ON CLINTON PROBE MISCONDUCT

In the IG report released last Thursday, the two unnamed anti-Trump FBI employees reacted with shock and dismay at Trump’s election.

“I am numb,” one wrote on Election Day. “Viva le resistance,” the lawyer wrote later, in response to what he would do now that Trump had won.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/20/fbi-may-have-modified-witness-reports-misled-doj-watchdog-with-false-information-gop-rep-says.html

 

Hillary Clinton email controversy

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The Hillary Clinton email controversy was a major public controversy arising from the use by Hillary Clinton of her family’s private email server for official communications during her tenure as United States Secretary of State rather than official State Department email accounts maintained on secure federal servers. Those official communications included over 100 emails which contained classified information (but did not have classification markings) at the time they were sent, as well as 2,093 emails which were not marked classified but would retroactively be ranked as “confidential” by the State Department. Post-election analyses of media coverage during the 2016 presidential campaign show that the Clinton email controversy received the most extensive coverage of any topic.[1][2][3]

The controversy unfolded against the backdrop of Clinton’s 2016 presidential election campaign and hearings held by the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi. Some experts, officials, and members of Congress contended that her use of private messaging system software and a private server violated State Department protocols and procedures, as well as federal laws and regulations governing recordkeeping. In response, Clinton said that her use of personal email was in compliance with federal laws and State Department regulations, and that former secretaries of state had also maintained personal email accounts, though not their own private email servers.

After allegations were raised that some of the emails in question contained classified information, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated an investigation regarding the origin and handling of classified emails on Clinton’s server. FBI Director James Comey identified 110 emails as containing information that was classified at the time it was sent, including 65 emails deemed “Secret” and 22 deemed “Top Secret”. None of these had classification markings. However, as noted in Clinton’s non-disclosure agreement, unmarked classified information should be treated the same as marked classified information. An additional three email chains contained “portion markings”, simply a “(C)” indicating “Confidential” in front of one or more paragraphs. These were not included in Comey’s list of 110 because the State Department failed to confirm they were classified at the time they were sent. Clinton told the FBI she did not know the meaning of “(C)”. Nearly 2,100 emails on the server were retroactively marked as classified by the State Department. In April 2018, Comey said that it was possible that his decision to announce the re-opening of the investigation was influenced by the fact that he thought it extremely likely that Clinton would become the next President.[4]

News reports indicated that while some of the emails contained information that the government considered classified to the highest levels, the information was “innocuous” and not “particularly sensitive” because the emails discussed matters that were simultaneously available in the public domain—such as in newspapers—but the government “owning agency” that acquired that same information by secret means maintains and enforces the classification status nevertheless.[5][6][7] The Los Angeles Times reported in October 2015, “Critics, including many current and former officials, have argued for years that the government classifies too much information, often for reasons that have little to do with actual security threats.”[7]

In May 2016, the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General released an 83-page report about the State Department’s email practices, including Clinton’s. In July 2016, Comey announced that the FBI’s investigation had concluded that Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling her email system but recommended that no charges be filed against her. On July 6, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that no charges would be filed. US presidential candidate Donald Trump used the nickname Crooked Hillary to criticize Clinton primarily in relation to the email controversy.[8]

On October 28, 2016, just days before 2016 election day, Comey notified Congress that the FBI had started looking into newly discovered emails that may be pertinent to the case. On November 6, Comey notified Congress that the FBI had not changed its conclusion, reached in July, regarding Clinton’s emails.[9] Comey’s decision to hold a speech concluding that Clinton was “extremely careless” in the summer of 2016 and then just days before the 2016 election announce the re-opening of the investigation were both highly contentious, with critics saying that Comey violated Department of Justice guidelines and precedent, and that he prejudiced the public against Clinton.[10] Clinton herself, as well as other observers such as Nate Silver, argued that Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation days before the election date was a factor in her loss in the 2016 presidential election. On June 14, 2018, the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General released its report into the FBI and DOJ’s handling of Clinton’s investigation.[11]

Background

Clinton’s use of BlackBerrys

Clinton holding a Blackberry phone in 2009

Prior to her appointment as Secretary of State in 2009, Clinton and her circle of friends and colleagues communicated via BlackBerry phones.[12] State Department security personnel suggested this would pose a security risk during her tenure.[13] The email account used on Clinton’s BlackBerry was then hosted on a private server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York, but that information was not disclosed to State Department security personnel or senior State Department personnel.[14] It proved impractical to find a solution, even after consulting the National Security Agency, which would not have allowed Clinton to use her BlackBerry, or a similarly unsecured device, linked to a private server in her home.[15]

Setting up a secure desktop computer in her office was suggested, but Clinton was unfamiliar with their use[16] and opted for the convenience of her BlackBerry,[17] not the State Department, government protocol of a secured desktop computer. Efforts to find a secure solution were abandoned by Clinton,[15] and she was warned by State Department security personnel about the vulnerability of an unsecured BlackBerry to hacking.[18] She affirmed her knowledge of the danger, and was reportedly told that the Bureau of Diplomatic Security had obtained intelligence about her vulnerability while she was on a trip to Asia, but continued to use her BlackBerry outside her office.[19]

Domain names and email server

A screenshot of the Outlook Web App login page that is displayed when navigating to Clinton’s email service

At the time of Senate confirmation hearings on Hillary Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State, the domain names clintonemail.com, wjcoffice.com, and presidentclinton.com were registered to Eric Hoteham,[20] with the home of Clinton and her husband in Chappaqua, New York, as the contact address.[21][22] The domains were pointed to a private email server that Clinton (who never had a state.gov email account) used to send and receive email, and which was purchased and installed in the Clintons’ home for her 2008 presidential campaign.[23]

The email server was located in the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, from January 2009 until 2013, when it was sent to a data center in New Jersey before being handed over to Platte River Networks, a Denver-based information technology firm that Clinton hired to manage her email system.[24][25][26][27][28]

The server itself runs a Microsoft Exchange 2010[29][30] server with access to emails over the internet being delivered by Outlook Web App. The web page is secured with a TLS certificate to allow information to be transmitted securely when using the website. However, for the first two months of its use – January 2009 through March 29, 2009 – the web page was reportedly not secured with a TLS certificate, meaning that information transmitted using the service was unencrypted and may have been liable to interception.[19]

Initial awareness

As early as 2009, officials with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) expressed concerns over possible violations of normal federal government record-keeping procedures at the State Department under then-Secretary Clinton.[31]

In December 2012, near the end of Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, a nonprofit group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a FOIA request seeking records about her email. CREW received a response in May 2013: “no records responsive to your request were located.”[32] Emails sent to Clinton’s private clintonemail.com address were first discovered in March 2013, when a hacker named “Guccifer” widely distributed emails sent to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal, which Guccifer obtained by illegally accessing Blumenthal’s email account.[33][34][35] The emails dealt with the 2012 Benghazi attack and other issues in Libya and revealed the existence of her clintonemail.com address.[33][34][35]

Blumenthal did not have a security clearance when he received material from Clinton that has since been characterized as classified by the State Department.[36][37]

In the summer of 2014, lawyers from the State Department noticed a number of emails from Clinton’s personal account, while reviewing documents requested by the House Select Committee on Benghazi. A request by the State Department for additional emails led to negotiations with her lawyers and advisors. In October, the State Department sent letters to Clinton and all previous Secretaries of State back to Madeleine Albright requesting emails and documents related to their work while in office. On December 5, 2014, Clinton lawyers delivered 12 file boxes filled with printed paper containing more than 30,000 emails. Clinton withheld almost 32,000 emails deemed to be of a personal nature.[32] Datto, Inc., which provided data backup service for Clinton’s email, agreed to give the FBI the hardware that stored the backups.[38]

As of May 2016, no answer had been provided to the public as to whether 31,000 emails deleted by Hillary Clinton as personal have been or could be recovered.[39]

A March 2, 2015 New York Times article broke the story that the Benghazi panel had discovered that Clinton exclusively used her own private email server rather than a government-issued one throughout her time as Secretary of State, and that her aides took no action to preserve emails sent or received from her personal accounts as required by law.[40][41][42] At that point, Clinton announced that she had asked the State Department to release her emails.[43] Some in the media labeled the controversy “emailgate”.[44][45][46]

Use of private server for government business]

According to Clinton’s spokesperson Nick Merrill, a number of government officials have used private email accounts for official business, including secretaries of state before Clinton.[47]

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said that: “For some historical context, Secretary Kerry is the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a state.gov email account.”[40] John Wonderlich, a transparency advocate with the Sunlight Foundation, observed while many government officials used private email accounts, their use of private email servers was much rarer.[48]

Dan Metcalfe, a former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, said this gave her even tighter control over her emails by not involving a third party such as Google and helped prevent their disclosure by Congressional subpoena. He added: “She managed successfully to insulate her official emails, categorically, from the FOIA, both during her tenure at State and long after her departure from it—perhaps forever”, making it “a blatant circumvention of the FOIA by someone who unquestionably knows better”.[40][49]

According to Harf, use by government officials of personal email for government business is permissible under the Federal Records Act, so long as relevant official communications, including all work-related emails, are preserved by the agency. The Act (which was amended in late 2014 after Clinton left office to require that personal emails be transferred to government servers within 20 days) requires agencies to retain all official communications, including all work-related emails, and stipulates that government employees cannot destroy or remove relevant records.[40] NARA regulations dictate how records should be created and maintained, require that they must be maintained “by the agency” and “readily found”, and that the records must “make possible a proper scrutiny by the Congress”.[40]Section 1924 of Title 18 of the United States Code addresses the deletion and retention of classified documents, under which “knowingly” removing or housing classified information at an “unauthorized location” is subject to a fine, or up to a year in prison.[40]

Experts such as Metcalfe agree that these practices are allowed by federal law assuming that the material is not supposed to be classified,[47][50] or at least these practices are allowed in case of emergencies,[41] but they discourage these practices, believing that official email accounts should be used.[40]

Jason R. Baron, the former head of litigation at NARA, described the practice as “highly unusual” but not a violation of the law. In a separate interview, he said, “It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario—short of nuclear winter—where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business.”[41][51][52] Baron told the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2015 that “any employee’s decision to conduct all email correspondence through a private email network, using a non-.gov address, is inconsistent with long-established policies and practices under the Federal Records Act and NARA regulations governing all federal agencies.”[53]

May 2016 report from State Department’s inspector general

In May 2016, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General Steve Linick released an 83-page report about the State Department’s email practices.[54][55][56] The Inspector General was unable to find evidence that Clinton had ever sought approval from the State Department staff for her use of a private email server, determining that if Clinton had sought approval, Department staff would have declined her setup because of the “security risks in doing so”.[54] Aside from security risks, the report stated that “she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”[57] Each of these findings contradicted what Clinton and her aides had been saying up to that point.[58][59][60] The report also stated that Clinton and her senior aides declined to speak with the investigators, while the previous four Secretaries of State did so.[54]

The report also reviewed the practices of several previous Secretaries of State and concluded that the Department’s recordkeeping practices were subpar for many years.[54] The Inspector General criticized Clinton’s use of private email for Department business, concluding that it was “not an appropriate method” of document preservation and did not follow Department policies that aim to comply with federal record laws. The report also criticized Colin Powell, who used a personal email account for business, saying that this violated some of the same Department policies.[54] State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the report emphasized the need for federal agencies to adapt “decades-old record-keeping practices to the email-dominated modern era” and said that the Department’s record-retention practices had been improved under the current Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Clinton’s successor.[54] The report also notes that the rules for preserving work-related emails were updated in 2009.[61]

Inspector General Linick wrote that he “found no evidence that staff in the Office of the Legal Adviser reviewed or approved Secretary Clinton’s personal system”, and also found that multiple State employees who raised concerns regarding Clinton’s server were told that the Office of the Legal Adviser had approved it, and were further told to “never speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again”.[62][63][64][65]

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon issued a statement saying: “The report shows that problems with the State Department’s electronic record-keeping systems were long-standing” and that Clinton “took steps that went much further than others to appropriately preserve and release her records.”[54] However, the Associated Press said, “The audit did note that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had also exclusively used a private email account…. But the failings of Clinton were singled out in the audit as being more serious than her predecessor.”[66] The report stated that “By Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the department’s guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated, Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives.”[66]

Server security and hacking attempts

Encryption and security

In 2008, before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, Justin Cooper, a longtime aide to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, managed the system. Cooper had no security clearance nor expertise in computer security.[67] Later, Bryan Pagliano, the former IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, was hired to maintain their private email server while Clinton was Secretary of State.[68][69] Pagliano had invoked the Fifth Amendment during congressional questioning about Clinton’s server. In early 2016, he was granted immunity by the Department of Justice in exchange for cooperation with prosecutors.[70] A Clinton spokesman said her campaign was “pleased” Pagliano was now cooperating with prosecutors.[71] As of May 2016, the State Department remained unable to locate most of Pagliano’s work-related emails from the period when he was employed by that department under Secretary Clinton.[72]

Security experts such as Chris Soghoian believe that emails to and from Clinton may have been at risk of hacking and foreign surveillance.[73] Marc Maiffret, a cybersecurity expert, said that the server had “amateur hour” vulnerabilities.[74] For the first two months after Clinton was appointed Secretary of State and began accessing mail on the server through her Blackberry, transmissions to and from the server were apparently not encrypted. On March 29, 2009, a digital certificate was obtained which would have permitted encryption.[19]

Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael T. Flynn,[75] former United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates,[76][77] and former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morell[78][79] have said that it is likely that foreign governments were able to access the information on Clinton’s server. Michael Hayden, former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency said “I would lose all respect for a whole bunch of foreign intelligence agencies if they weren’t sitting back, paging through the emails.”[80]

Hacking attempts

Clinton’s server was configured to allow users to connect openly from the Internet and control it remotely using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services.[74]

It is known that hackers were aware of Clinton’s non-public email address as early as 2011.[81] Secretary Clinton and her staff were aware of hacking attempts in 2011, and were reportedly worried about them.[82]

In 2012, according to server records, a hacker in Serbia scanned Clinton’s Chappaqua server at least twice, in August and in December 2012. It was unclear whether the hacker knew the server belonged to Clinton, although it did identify itself as providing email services for clintonemail.com.[74] During 2014, Clinton’s server was the target of repeated intrusions originating in Germany, China, and South Korea. Threat monitoring software on the server blocked at least five such attempts. The software was installed in October 2013, and for three months prior to that, no such software had been installed.[83][84]

According to Pagliano, security logs of Clinton’s email server showed no evidence of successful hacking.[85] The New York Times reported that “forensic experts can sometimes spot sophisticated hacking that is not apparent in the logs, but computer security experts view logs as key documents when detecting hackers,” adding the logs “bolster Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that her use of a personal email account […] did not put American secrets into the hands of hackers or foreign governments.[73][85][86]

In 2013, Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazăr (aka “Guccifer“) distributed private memos from Sidney Blumenthal to Clinton on events in Libya.[87][88] In 2016, Lazăr was extradited from Romania to the U.S. to face unrelated federal charges related to his hacking into the accounts of a number of high-profile U.S. figures,[89] pleading guilty to these charges.[90][91] While detained pending trial, Lazăr claimed to the media that he had successfully hacked Clinton’s server, but provided no proof of this claim.[92] Officials associated with the investigation told the media that they found no evidence supporting Lazăr’s assertion,[93] and Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said “There is absolutely no basis to believe the claims made by this criminal from his prison cell.”[94][95] FBI Director James Comey later stated in a congressional hearing that Guccifer admitted his claim was a lie.[96]

According to security researchers at Secureworks the email leak was caused by Threat Group-4127 (TG-4127), which targets governments, military, and international non-governmental organizations. CTU researchers believe the group was gathering information for the Russian Government.[97][third-party source needed]

Classified information in emails

In various interviews, Clinton has said that “I did not send classified material, and I did not receive any material that was marked or designated classified.”[98] However, in June and July 2016, a number of news outlets reported that Clinton’s emails did include messages with classification “portion markings”.[99][100] The FBI investigation found that 110 messages contained information that was classified at the time it was sent. Sixty-five of those emails were found to contain information classified as “Secret”; more than 20 contained “Top-Secret” information.[101][102] Three emails, out of 30,000, were found to be marked as classified, although they lacked classified headers and were only marked with a small “c” in parentheses, described as “portion markings” by Comey. He added it was possible Clinton was not “technically sophisticated” enough to understand what the three classified markings meant.[103][104][105]

Clinton personally wrote 104 of the 2,093 emails that were retroactively[106][107][108] found to contain information classified as “confidential.”[54][109] Of the remaining emails that were classified after they were sent, Clinton aide Jake Sullivan wrote the most, at 215.[106]

According to the State Department, there were 2,093 email chains on the server that were retroactively marked as classified by the State Department at the “Confidential” confidential level.[110][111] TG-4127 accessed Hillary for America Campaign Gmail accounts through spoofed login pages. Victims thought they were standard pages and hackers were able to access their email account.[97][third-party source needed]

State Department inspector general reports and statements

A June 29, 2015, memorandum from the Inspector General of the State Department, Steve A. Linick, said that a review of the 55,000-page email release found “hundreds of potentially classified emails”.[112] A July 17, 2015, follow-up memo, sent jointly by Linick and the Intelligence Community (IC) inspector general, I. Charles McCullough III, to Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, stated that they had confirmed that several of the emails contained classified information that was not marked as classified, at least one of which was publicly released.[112]

On July 24, 2015, Linick and McCullough said they had discovered classified information on Clinton’s email account,[113] but did not say whether Clinton sent or received the emails.[113] Investigators from their office, searching a randomly chosen sample of 40 emails, found four that contained classified information that originated from U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).[113] Their statement said that the information they found was classified when sent, remained so as of their inspection, and “never should have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system”.[113]

In a separate statement in the form of a letter to Congress, McCullough said that he had made a request to the State Department for access to the entire set of emails turned over by Clinton, but that the Department rejected his request.[113][114] The letter stated that none of the emails were marked as classified, but because they included classified information they should have been marked and handled as such, and transmitted securely.[114]

On August 10, 2015, the IC inspector general said that two of the 40 emails in the sample were “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” and subsequently given classified labels of “TK” (for “Talent Keyhole”, indicating material obtained by aerial or space-based imagery sources and NOFORN).[115] One is a discussion of a news article about a U.S. drone strike operation.[115] The second, he said, either referred to classified material or else was “parallel reporting” of open-source intelligence, which might still be classified by the government “owning agency” that sourced the information by secret means even though the same information was also available in the public domain.[115][116][117] Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the letter, and questioned whether the emails had been over-classified by an arbitrary process. According to an unnamed source, a secondary review by the CIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency endorsed the earlier inspectors general findings concluding that the emails (one of which concerned North Korea’s nuclear weapons program) were “Top Secret” when received by Clinton through her private server in 2009 and 2011, a conclusion also disputed by the Clinton campaign.[118]

The IC inspector general issued another letter to Congress on January 14, 2016. In this letter he stated that an unnamed intelligence agency had made a sworn declaration that “several dozen emails [had been] determined by the IC element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, and TOP SECRET/SAP levels.” Other intelligence officials added that the several dozen were not the two emails from the previous sample and that the clearance of the IC inspector general himself had to be upgraded before he could learn about the programs referenced by the emails.[119][120][121] NBC News reported on January 20, 2016 that senior American officials described these emails as “innocuous” because—although they discussed the CIA drone program that is technically classified TOP SECRET/SAP—the existence of the CIA drone program had been widely known and discussed in the public domain for years. These officials characterized the IC inspector general as unfair in how he had handled the issue.[6]

On January 29, 2016, the State Department announced that 22 documents from Clinton’s email server would not be released because they contained highly classified information that was too sensitive for public consumption. At the same time, the State Department announced that it was initiating its own investigation into whether the server contained information that was classified at the time it was sent or received.[122]

In February 2016, State Department IG Linick addressed another report to Under Secretary of State Kennedy, stating his office had also found classified material in 10 emails in the personal email accounts of members of former Secretary Condoleezza Rice‘s staff and in two emails in the personal email account of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.[123][124] None of the emails were classified for intelligence reasons.[125] PolitiFact found a year earlier that Powell was the only former secretary of state to use a personal email account.[126] In February 2016, Clinton’s campaign chairman issued a statement claiming that her emails, like her predecessors’, were “being inappropriately subjected to over-classification.”[123]

FBI investigation

July 2015 – Security referral

The State Department and Intelligence Community (IC) inspector generals’ discovery of four emails containing classified information, out of a random sample of 40, prompted them to make a security referral to the FBI’s counterintelligence office, to alert authorities that classified information was being kept on Clinton’s server and by her lawyer on a thumb drive.[113][114] As part of an FBI probe at the request of the IC inspector general, Clinton agreed to turn over her email server to the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as thumb drives containing copies of her work-related emails. Other emails were obtained by the United States House Select Committee on Benghazi from other sources, in connection with the committee’s inquiry. Clinton’s own emails are being made public in stages by the State Department on a gradual schedule.[127][128][129]

Clinton’s IT contractors turned over her personal email server to the FBI on August 12, 2015,[28] as well as thumb drives containing copies of her emails.[130][131]

In a letter describing the matter to Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Clinton’s lawyer David E. Kendall said that emails, and all other data stored on the server, had earlier been erased prior to the device being turned over to the authorities, and that both he and another lawyer had been given security clearances by the State Department to handle thumb drives containing about 30,000 emails that Clinton subsequently also turned over to authorities. Kendall said the thumb drives had been stored in a safe provided to him in July by the State Department.[132]

August 2015 – Investigation continues; email recovery

On August 20, 2015, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan stated that Hillary Clinton’s actions of maintaining a private email server were in direct conflict with U.S. government policy. “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee had followed government policy,” he said, and ordered the State Department to work with the FBI to determine if any emails on the server during her tenure as Secretary of State could be recovered.[133][134][135]

Platte River Networks, the Denver-based firm that managed the Clinton server since 2013, said it had no knowledge of the server being wiped. “Platte River has no knowledge of the server being wiped”, company spokesman Andy Boian told the Washington Post. “All the information we have is that the server wasn’t wiped.”[136] When asked by the Washington Post, the Clinton campaign declined to comment.[136]

In September 2015, FBI investigators were engaged in sorting messages recovered from the server.[137] In November 2015, the FBI expanded its inquiry to examine whether Clinton or her aides jeopardized national security secrets, and if so, who should be held responsible.[138][139]

Conflicting media sources sized the FBI investigation from 12[140] to 30 agents[141] as of March 2016.

May–July 2016 – Public statements

In May 2016, FBI Director James Comey said that Clinton’s description of the probe as a “security inquiry” was inaccurate saying “It’s in our name. I’m not familiar with the term ‘security inquiry'” and “We’re conducting an investigation … That’s what we do”.[142]

In late June 2016, it was reported that Bill Clinton met privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on her private plane on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Officials indicated that the 30 minute meeting took place when Clinton became aware that Lynch’s plane was on the same tarmac at the airport. When the meeting became public, Lynch stated that it was “primarily social” and “there was no discussion of any matter pending for the department or any matter pending for any other body”. Lynch was criticized for her involvement in the meeting and was called on by some critics to recuse herself from involvement in the FBI’s investigation of the email case. In response, she stated “The F.B.I. is investigating whether Mrs. Clinton, her aides or anyone else broke the law by setting up a private email server for her to use as secretary of state”, but “the case will be resolved by the same team that has been working on it from the beginning” and “I will be accepting their recommendations.”[143][144][145]

On July 1, 2016, the New York Times reported in the name of a “Justice Department official” that Attorney General Loretta Lynch will accept “whatever recommendation career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton’s personal email server.”[143]

Clinton maintained she did not send or receive any confidential emails from her personal server. In a Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders on February 4, 2016, Clinton said, “I never sent or received any classified material.” In a Meet the Press interview on July 2, 2016, she stated: “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now, I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”[146][147][148]

July 2016 – Investigation concludes

On July 5, 2016, FBI Director Comey announced in a statement he read to press and television reporters at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, that the FBI had completed its investigation and was referring it to the State Department with the recommendation “that no charges are appropriate in this case.”[149][150][151] He added, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”[149][150]

With regard to mishandling of classified information, Comey said, “there is evidence that they [Clinton and her team] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” The investigation found 110 emails that should have been regarded as classified at the time they were sent; another 2,000 emails were retroactively classified which means they were not classified at the time they were sent.[152] Comey said that “any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding … should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”[153][154]

The FBI learned that Clinton used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, both sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. The FBI did not find “direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain … was successfully hacked”; they assessed it “possible that hostile actors gained access” to it.[149][151] Investigators found that State Department employees often used private emails to conduct business. Comey noted, “We also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.”[155]

On July 6, 2016, Lynch confirmed that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers while secretary of state would be closed without criminal charges.[156]

October 2016 – Additional investigation

In early October 2016, FBI criminal investigators working on a case involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner allegedly sending sexually explicit texts to a fifteen-year-old girl discovered emails from Weiner’s estranged wife, Huma Abedin, vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, that they considered potentially relevant to the Clinton server investigation. FBI officials reportedly decided to disclose the development despite its potential effect on the pending presidential election to preempt the possibility that it would be leaked in another way.[157]

On October 28, 2016, Comey informed Congress that “in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to the investigation.” He said the FBI will take “appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He added that the FBI “cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant.”[158] The FBI obtained a new search warrant to allow them to review Abedin’s emails.[157]

Comey informed Congress of this additional investigation despite having been advised by Justice Department officials that such an announcement would violate department policies and procedures, including a policy not to comment on investigations close to an election.[159] Comey later explained, in a letter to FBI employees, “We don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed.” Law enforcement sources added that he feared he would be accused of concealing relevant information if he did not disclose it.[159]

News of this renewed investigation being revealed shortly before the U.S. presidential election led to the announcement being described as an “October surprise“,[160] and prompted statements from both the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Donald Trumprepeated his characterization that Hillary Clinton’s email usage as secretary of state was “worse than Watergate.”[161][162] Clinton called for the FBI to immediately release all information about the newly discovered emails and said she was confident the FBI would not change its earlier conclusion that there is no basis for criminal prosecution.[163] Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she was “shocked” by the letter, saying it “played right into the political campaign of Donald Trump.”[159]

On November 6, in another letter to Congress, Comey stated that, after working “around the clock” to review all of the newly discovered emails, the FBI had not changed the conclusion it reached in July.[164][165][166] An unnamed government official added that the newly discovered emails turned out to be either personal or duplicates of emails previously reviewed, and that Comey’s letter represents a conclusion of the investigation.[167] The following day, stock and currency markets around the world surged in response.[168][169][170]

On November 12, during a conference call to top donors, Hillary Clinton attributed her presidential election loss to Comey’s announcements, saying they stopped her momentum.[171] In January 2017, the US Justice Department started an investigation of Comey’s announcements.[172]

Senate probes Loretta Lynch interference

According to Comey’s June 8, 2017, testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had asked him to downplay the investigation into Clinton’s emails by calling it a “matter” rather than an investigation. He said the request “confused and concerned” him. He added that Lynch’s tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton also influenced his decision to publicly announce the results of the FBI probe.[173][174][175]

On June 23, 2017, several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee opened a bipartisan inquiry into whether former Attorney General Lynch interfered in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.[176][177]

Internal State Department investigation

On July 7, 2016, the internal State Department resumed its review of whether classified information had been mishandled. The review had been suspended until the completion of the Justice Department investigation.[178][179]

Department of Justice Inspector General’s report

The Inspector General of the Department of Justice (IG) launched an investigation into how the DOJ and FBI had handled the investigation into Clinton’s email. On June 14, 2018, the IG issued a report that was highly critical of Comey’s actions.[11] Regarding his July press conference, in which he criticized Clinton even while announcing the investigation was over, the IG said it was “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions (about the press conference) from his superiors”, and that “we found none of his reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established Department policies.”[180] Comey’s October decision to send a letter notifying Congress that the investigation had been re-opened one week before the election was described as “ad-hoc” and “a serious error in judgment”.[180] However, the IG concluded that prosecutorial decisions in the Clinton case were consistent with precedent and were not affected by bias.[181]

Opinions of journalists and experts

According to the New York Times, if Clinton was a recipient of classified emails, “it is not clear that she would have known that they contained government secrets, since they were not marked classified.”[98][113] The newspaper reported that “most specialists believe the occasional appearance of classified information in the Clinton account was probably of marginal consequence.”[23] Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said that inadvertent “spillage” of classified information into an unclassified realm is a common occurrence.[23]

Reuters‘ August 2015 review of a set of released emails found “at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails,” that include what the State Department identifies as “foreign government information”, defined by the U.S. government as “any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.” Although unmarked, Reuters’ examination appeared to suggest that these emails “were classified from the start.”[98] J. William Leonard, a former director of the NARA Information Security Oversight Office, said that such information is “born classified” and that “[I]f a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession.”[98]According to Reuters, the standard U.S. government nondisclosure agreement “warns people authorized to handle classified information that it may not be marked that way and that it may come in oral form.” The State Department “disputed Reuters’ analysis” but declined to elaborate.[98]

The Associated Press reported, “Some officials said they believed the designations were a stretch—a knee-jerk move in a bureaucracy rife with over-classification.”[115] Jeffrey Toobin, in an August 2015 New Yorker article, wrote that the Clinton email affair is an illustration of overclassification, a problem written about by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his book Secrecy: The American Experience.[182] Toobin writes that “government bureaucracies use classification rules to protect turf, to avoid embarrassment, to embarrass rivals—in short, for a variety of motives that have little to do with national security.”[182] Toobin wrote that “It’s not only the public who cannot know the extent or content of government secrecy. Realistically, government officials can’t know either—and this is Hillary Clinton’s problem. Toobin noted that “one of Clinton’s potentially classified email exchanges is nothing more than a discussion of a newspaper story about drones” and wrote: “That such a discussion could be classified underlines the absurdity of the current system. But that is the system that exists, and if and when the agencies determine that she sent or received classified information through her private server, Clinton will be accused of mishandling national-security secrets.”[182]

In an analysis of the Clinton email controversy published by the Brookings Institution, Richard Lempert wrote that “security professionals have a reputation for erring in the direction of overclassification.”[183] Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the liberty and national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, says that “The odds are good that any classified information in the Clinton emails should not have been classified,” since an estimated 50 percent to 90 percent of classified documents could be made public without risking national security.[183] Nate Jones, an expert with the National Security Archive at George Washington University, said: “Clinton’s mistreatment of federal records and the intelligence community’s desire to retroactively overclassify are two distinct troubling problems. No politician is giving the right message: Blame Clinton for poor records practices, but don’t embrace overclassification while you do it.”[183]

House Oversight Committee hearing

On July 7, 2016, Comey was questioned for 5 hours by the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Comey stated that there was “evidence of mishandling” of classified information and that he believed that Clinton was “extremely careless; I think she was negligent”. He defended the FBI’s recommendation against bringing charges because it “… would have been unfair and virtually unprecedented …”[184][185]

Responses and analysis

Clinton’s initial response

Clinton addressing email controversy with the media at the UN Headquarters on March 10, 2015.

Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill defended Clinton’s usage of her personal server and email accounts as being in compliance with the “letter and spirit of the rules”.

Clinton herself stated she had done so as a matter of “convenience”.[186]

On March 10, 2015, while attending a conference at the headquarters of the United Nations in Manhattan, Clinton spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes.[187] Clinton said she had used a private email for convenience, “because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”[188][189] It was later determined that Clinton had used both an iPad and a BlackBerry while Secretary of State.[188][190][191][192]

Clinton turned over copies of 30,000 State Department business-related emails from her private server that belonged in the public domain; she later explained that she instructed her lawyer to err on the side of disclosure, turning over any emails that might be work-related. Her aides subsequently deleted about 31,000 emails from the server dated during the same time period that Clinton regarded as personal and private.[193][194][195] State Department employees do have the right to delete personal emails.[196]

Clinton has used humor to try to shrug off the scandals.[197][198] In August 2015, when asked by a reporter whether she had “wiped” her server, Clinton laughed and said: “What? Like with a cloth or something? I don’t know how it works digitally at all.”[199] In September 2015, Clinton was asked in an interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show about the content of the emails. She laughed it off, saying there was nothing interesting and joking that she was offended people found her emails ‘boring’.[200]

Later responses

Clinton’s responses to the question, made during her presidential campaign, evolved over time.[182][201]

Clinton initially said that there was no classified material on her server. Later, after a government review discovered some of her emails contained classified information, she said she never sent or received information that was marked classified.[182] Her campaign claimed other emails contained information that is now classified, but was retroactively classified by U.S. intelligence agencies after Clinton had received the material.[202] See also the section above on the May 2016 IG report for a number of Clinton statements that were contradicted by the report, and how she and her supporters responded afterward.

Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said: “She was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified.”[202] Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri has “stressed that Clinton was permitted to use her own email account as a government employee and that the same process concerning classification reviews would still be taking place had she used the standard ‘state.gov’ email account used by most department employees.”[115][203] Palmieri later stated: “Look, this kind of nonsense comes with the territory of running for president. We know it, Hillary knows it, and we expect it to continue from now until Election Day.”[24]

In her first national interview about the 2016 presidential race, on July 7, 2015, Clinton was asked by CNN‘s Brianna Keilar about her use of private email accounts while serving as Secretary of State. She said:

Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing… Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation. I had one device. When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.[204]

On September 9, 2015, Clinton apologized during an ABC News interview for using the private server, saying she was “sorry for that.”[205] Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on September 27, 2015, Clinton defended her use of the private email server while she was secretary of state, comparing the investigations to Republican-led probes of her husband’s presidential administration more than two decades ago, saying, “It is like a drip, drip, drip. And that’s why I said, there’s only so much that I can control”.[206]

Clinton and the State Department said the emails were not marked classified when sent. However, Clinton signed a non-disclosure agreement which stated that classified material may be “marked or unmarked”.[207][208][209] Additionally, the author of an email is legally required to properly mark it as classified if it contains classified material, and to avoid sending classified material on a personal device, such as the ones used exclusively by Clinton.[210]

Clinton maintained that she did not send or receive any confidential emails from her personal server. In a Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders on February 4, 2016, Clinton said, “I never sent or received any classified material.” In a Meet the Press interview on July 2, 2016, Clinton stated: “Let me repeat what I have repeated for many months now, I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified.”[146][147][148]

In an interview with Fox News in late July 2016, Clinton stated “Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.” The Washington Post awarded Clinton four “Pinocchios”, its worst rating, for her statement saying “While Comey did say there was no evidence she lied to the FBI, that is not the same as saying she told the truth to the American public.”[211][212][213]

Democratic response

In August 2015, the New York Times reported on “interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members” on the email issue.[214] The Times reported, “None of the Democrats interviewed went so far as to suggest that the email issue raised concerns about Mrs. Clinton’s ability to serve as president, and many expressed a belief that it had been manufactured by Republicans in Congress and other adversaries.”[214] At the same time, many Democratic leaders showed increasing frustration among party leaders of Clinton’s handling of the email issue. For example, Edward G. Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, a Clinton supporter, said that a failure of the Clinton campaign to get ahead of the issue early on meant that the campaign was “left just playing defense.”[214] Other prominent Democrats, such as Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, were less concerned, noting the campaign was at an early stage and that attacks on Clinton were to be expected.[214]

At the October 2015 primary debate, Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, defended Clinton, saying: “Let me say this. Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right. And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!”[215][216] Sanders later clarified that he thought Clinton’s emails were a “very serious issue”,[217] but Americans want a discussion on issues that are “real” to them, such as paid familyand medical leavecollege affordability, and campaign finance reform.[216]

Republican response

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said, in a statement regarding the June 30, 2015 email releases, “These emails … are just the tip of the iceberg, and we will never get full disclosure until Hillary Clinton releases her secret server for an independent investigation.”[218] Trey Gowdy said on June 29, 2015, that he would press the State Department for a fuller accounting of Clinton’s emails, after the Benghazi panel retrieved 15 additional emails to Sidney Blumenthal that the department had not provided to the Committee.[219]

On September 12, 2015, Republican Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson, chairmen of the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security committees, respectively, said they would seek an independent review of the deleted emails, if they were recovered from Clinton’s server, to determine if there were any government related items among those deleted.[136]

Comparisons and media coverage

Analyses by Columbia Journalism Review, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School show that the Clinton email controversy received more coverage in mainstream media outlets than any other topic during the 2016 presidential election.[1][2][3] The New York Times coverage of the email controversy was notoriously extensive; according to a Columbia Journalism Review analysis, “in just six days, The New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails as they did about all policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election (and that does not include the three additional articles on October 18, and November 6 and 7, or the two articles on the emails taken from John Podesta).”[1]In attempting to explain the lopsided coverage, the Columbia Journalism Review speculates, “In retrospect, it seems clear that the press in general made the mistake of assuming a Clinton victory was inevitable, and were setting themselves as credible critics of the next administration.”[1]

Media commentators drew comparisons of Clinton’s email usage to past political controversies. Pacific Standard Magazine published an article in May 2015, comparing email controversy and her response to it with the Whitewater investigation 20 years earlier.[220]

In August 2015, Washington Post associate editor and investigative journalist Bob Woodward, when asked about Clinton’s handling of her emails, said they remind him of the Nixon tapes from the Watergate scandal.[221] On March 9, 2015, liberal columnist and Clinton supporter Dana Milbank wrote that the email affair was “a needless, self-inflicted wound” brought about by “debilitating caution” in “trying to make sure an embarrassing e-mail or two didn’t become public”, which led to “obsessive secrecy.” Milbank pointed out that Clinton herself had justifiably criticized the George W. Bush administration in 2007 for its “secret” White House email accounts.[222][223]

On Fox News Sundaypolitical analyst Juan Williams contrasted the media coverage of Clinton’s emails to the coverage of the 2007 Bush White House email controversy which he claimed received “just about zero press coverage”.[224] PolitiFact found Williams’ assertion to be “mostly false”, concluding “We found hundreds of articles and television transcripts referencing the issue. Still, Williams has something of a point that compared to the extensive recent coverage of Clinton’s use of private email, media coverage of the 2007 Bush White House email controversy was thin.”[224]

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial opining that “the only believable reason for the private server in her basement was to keep her emails out of the public eye by willfully avoiding freedom of information laws. No president, no secretary of state, no public official at any level is above the law. She chose to ignore it, and must face the consequences.”[225][226] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry wrote in The Week that “Clinton set up a personal email server, in defiance or at least circumvention of rules, with the probable motive of evading federal records and transparency requirements, and did it with subpar security.”[227]

On November 2, 2016, Fox News anchor Bret Baier reported that according to Fox’s anonymous sources the FBI had discovered that Clinton’s private server had been hacked by “five foreign intelligence agencies”.[228][229][230] Baier further reported that according to an anonymous source an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation was “likely” to lead to an indictment of Hillary Clinton.[228][229] On November 4, 2016, he acknowledged that his assertions were a mistake, saying, “indictment obviously is a very loaded word”, and that he was sorry.[231][228][229]

House Select Committee on Benghazi

On March 27, 2015, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, asserted that some time after October 2014, Clinton “unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean” and “summarily decided to delete all emails.”[232][233] Clinton’s attorney, David E. Kendall, said that day that an examination showed that no copies of any of Clinton’s emails remained on the server. Kendall said the server was reconfigured to only retain emails for 60 days after Clinton lawyers had decided which emails needed to be turned over.[234]

On June 22, 2015, the Benghazi panel released emails between Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal, who had been recently deposed by the committee. Committee chairman Gowdy issued a press release criticizing Clinton for not providing the emails to the State Department.[235] Clinton had said she provided all work-related emails to the State Department, and that only emails of a personal nature on her private server were destroyed. The State Department confirmed that 10 emails and parts of five others from Sidney Blumenthal regarding Benghazi, which the Committee had made public on June 22, could not be located in the Department’s records, but that the 46 other, previously unreleased Libya-related Blumenthal emails published by the Committee, were in the Department’s records. In response, Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill, when asked about the discrepancy said: “She has turned over 55,000 pages of materials to the State Department, including all emails in her possession from Mr. Blumenthal.”[236] Republican Committee members were encouraged about their probe, having found emails that Clinton failed to produce.[236][237] Clinton campaign staff accused Gowdy and Republicans of “clinging to their invented scandal”.[237]

In response to comments that House Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made on September 29, 2015, about damaging Clinton’s poll numbers,[238] Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi threatened to end the Democrats’ participation in the committee.[239][240][241]Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced an amendment to disband the committee, which was defeated in a party-line vote.[242] On October 7, the editorial board of The New York Times called for the end of the committee.[243] Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) took step towards filing an ethics complaint, calling the committee “the new McCarthyism”, alleging it was violating both House rules and federal law by using official funds for political purposes.[244] Richard L. Hanna, (R-NY),[245] and conservative pundit Bill O’Reillyacknowledged the partisan nature of the committee.[246]

Hillary Clinton’s public hearing before the House Select Committee on Benghazi

On October 22, 2015, Clinton testified before the Committee and answered members’ questions for eleven hours before the Committee in a public hearing.[247][248][249]

The New York Times reported that “the long day of often-testy exchanges between committee members and their prominent witness revealed little new information about an episode that has been the subject of seven previous investigations…Perhaps stung by recent admissions that the pursuit of Mrs. Clinton’s emails was politically motivated, Republican lawmakers on the panel for the most part avoided any mention of her use of a private email server.”[247] The email issue did arise shortly before lunch, in “a shouting match” between Republican committee chair Trey Gowdy and two Democrats, Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings.[247] Late in the hearing, Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio accused Clinton of changing her accounts of the email service, leading to a “heated exchange” in which Clinton said that she had erred in making a private email account, but denied having dealt with anything marked classified, instead seeking “to be transparent by publicly releasing her emails.”[247]

Freedom of Information lawsuits

Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State

Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch, an conservative activist group, filed a complaint against the Department of State in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on September 10, 2013, seeking records under the federal Freedom of Information Act relating to Clinton aide Huma Abedin (a former deputy chief of staff and former senior advisor at the State Department).[250][251] Judicial Watch was particularly interested in Abedin’s role as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consulting position which allowed her to represent outside clients while also serving at the State Department. After corresponding with the State Department, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014.[250] On March 12, 2015, in response to the uncovering of Clinton’s private email account, it filed a motion to reopen the suit, alleging that the State Department had misrepresented its search and had not properly preserved and maintained records under the act.[250] U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted the motion to reopen the case on June 19, 2015.[252][253]

On July 21, 2015, Judge Sullivan issued supplemental discovery orders, including one that Clinton, Abedin, and former Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Mills disclose any required information they had not disclosed already, and promise under oath that they had done so, including a description of the extent Abedin and Mills had used Clinton’s email server for official government business.[254][255]

On August 10, 2015, Clinton filed her declaration, stating “I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State”, and that as a result of this directive, 55,000 pages of emails were produced to the Department on December 5, 2014.[256][257][258] She said in her statement that Abedin did have an email account through clintonemail.com that “was used at times for government business”, but that Mills did not.[256][257][258] The statement was filed as Clinton faced questions over fifteen emails in exchanges with Blumenthal that were not among the emails she gave to the department the previous year. She did not address the matter of those emails in the statement.[257] On September 25, 2015, several additional emails from her private server[259] surfaced which she had not provided to the State Department.[259][260][261] These emails between Clinton and General David Petraeus, discussing personnel matters, were part of an email chain that started on a different email account before her tenure as Secretary of State,[259][260][261] but continued onto her private server in late January 2009 after she had taken office.[259][260][261] The existence of these emails also called into question Clinton’s previous statement that she did not use the server before March 18, 2009.[262]

In February 2016, Judge Sullivan issued a discovery order in the case, ruling that depositions of State Department officials and top Clinton aides were to proceed.[263] On May 26, 2016, Judicial Watch released the transcript of the deposition of Lewis Lukens,[264] on May 31, 2016, the transcript of Cheryl Mills,[265] on June 7, 2016, the transcript of Ambassador Stephen Mull,[266] and on June 9, 2016, Karin Lang, Director of Executive Secretariat Staff.[267]

The testimony of Clarence Finney, who worked in the department responsible for FOIA searches, said that he first became curious about Clinton’s email setup after seeing the Texts from Hillary meme on the Internet.[268]

Jason Leopold v. U.S. Department of State

In November 2014, Jason Leopold of Vice News made a Freedom of Information Act request for Clinton’s State Department records,[269][270] and, on January 25, 2015, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to compel production of responsive documents.[269][270][271] After some dispute between Leopold and the State Department over the request, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered rolling production and release of the emails on a schedule set by the State Department.[272][273][274]

Over the next several months, the State Department completed production of 30,068 emails, which were released in 14 batches, with the final batch released on February 29, 2016.[275] Both the Wall Street Journal and WikiLeaks independently set up search engines for anyone who would like to search through the Clinton emails released by the State Department.[276][277]

It was revealed in October 2017 that during the 2016 US Presidential election, Cambridge Analytica funder and GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer had proposed creating a searchable data base for Hillary Clinton emails in the public domain and then forwarded this suggestion to several people, including Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, who personally emailed a request to Julian Assange for Clinton’s emails.[278] Assange responded to the report by saying he denied Nix’s request.[279]

The emails showed that Blumenthal communicated with Clinton while Secretary on a variety of issues including Benghazi.[218][280][281][282]

Associated Press v. U.S. Department of State

On March 11, 2015, the day after Clinton acknowledged her private email account, the Associated Press (AP) filed suit against the State Department regarding multiple FOIA requests over the past five years. The requests were for various emails and other documents from Clinton’s time as secretary of state and were still unfulfilled at the time.[283][284][285] The State Department said that a high volume of FOIA requests and a large backlog had caused the delay.[283][286]

On July 20, 2015, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon reacted angrily to what he said was “the State Department for four years dragging their feet”.[286] Leon said that “even the least ambitious bureaucrat” could process the request faster than the State Department was doing.[287]

On August 7, 2015, Leon issued an order setting a stringent schedule for the State Department to provide the AP with the requested documents over the next eight months.[285] The order issued by Leon did not include the 55,000 pages of Clinton emails the State Department scheduled to be released in the Leopold case, or take into account 20 boxes given to the State Department by Philippe Reines, a former Clinton senior adviser.[285]

Other suits and coordination of email cases

In September 2015, the State Department filed a motion in court seeking to consolidate and coordinate the large number of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits relating to Clinton and Clinton-related emails. There were at the time at least three dozen lawsuits are pending, before 17 different judges.[288][289]

In a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia order issued on October 8, 2015, Chief U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts wrote that the cases did not meet the usual criteria for consolidation but: “The judges who have been randomly assigned to these cases have been and continue to be committed to informal coordination so as to avoid unnecessary inefficiencies and confusion, and the parties are also urged to meet and confer to assist in coordination.”[289]

In 2015, Judicial Watch and the Cause of Action Institute filed two lawsuits seeking a court order to compel the Department of State and the National Archives and Records Administration to recover emails from Clinton’s server. In January 2016, these two suits (which were consolidated because they involved the same issues) were dismissed as moot by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, because the government was already working to recover and preserve these emails.[290]

In March 2016, the Republican National Committee filed four new complaints in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stemming from Freedom of Information Act requests it had filed the previous year. These new filings brought the total number of civil suits over access to Clinton’s records pending in federal court to at least 38.[291]

In June 2016, in response to the Republican National Committee’s complaints filed in March 2016, the State Department estimates it will take 75 years to complete the review of documents which are responsive to the complaints.[292] It has been observed that a delay of this nature would cause the documents to remain out of public view longer than the vast majority of classified documents which must be declassified after 25 years.[citation needed]

See also

References

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Points To Double Standard and Hypocrisy of Disney’s CEO Bob Iger in Cancelling Roseanne and Apologizing To Valerie Jarrett — No Apologies For President Trump — Roseanne Fans Should Turnoff ABC Television and Boycott Disney Movies — Progressive Propaganda — Videos — Story 2: Who is Valery Jarrett? Spygate Unindicted Co-conspirator of Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Addresses Supporters in Tennessee — Videos

Posted on May 30, 2018. Filed under: Abortion, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Elections, Empires, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Hate Speech, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Impeachment, Independence, Islam, Killing, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, Obama, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: President Trump Points To Double Standard and Hypocrisy of Disney’s CEO Bob Iger in Cancelling Roseanne and Apologizing To Valerie Jarrett — No Apologies For President Trump — Roseanne Fans Should Turnoff ABC Television and Boycott Disney Movies — Progressive Propaganda — Videos —

See the source image

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Trump finally weighs in on Roseanne row saying he NEVER got an apology from ABC for the ‘HORRIBLE statements made and said about me’

  • ABC cancelled Roseanne’s show Tuesday following her Twitter criticism of former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger called Jarrett to apologize for the remarks
  • Trump complained he’s never received an apology call from Iger; the White House said he was complaining about bias in the media 
  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: ‘The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said’
  • Trump mused: ‘Maybe I just didn’t get the call?’ 
  • Iger quit Trump’s business advisory board last year and also considered challenging the president in the 2020 election 

President Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy with a complaint Wednesday that he never got an apology from ABC for the ‘for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC.’

It was uncertain which statements from the TV network Trump was referring to, although White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said he was referring to media bias.

Trump has not spoken to Barr since her firing, according to the White House.

‘I’m not aware of any conversations that have taken place. The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her press briefing Wednesday afternoon.

President Trump was calling out media bias in his tweet on Bob Iger, the White House said

'The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her press briefing Wednesday afternoon

‘The president is merely calling out media bias. No one is defending what [Roseanne] said,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said her press briefing Wednesday afternoon

Sanders expanded on what the president was angry about, citing ESPN anchor Jemele Hill calling Trump a white supremacist, comments made on ABC’s daytime talk show ‘The View,’ and ESPN’s hiring of Keith Olbermann, who regularly tweets criticism of Trump.

ABC News and ESPN are owned by the same parent company, Disney.

‘Where was the Bob Iger’s apology to the White House staff for Jemele Hill calling the president and anyone associated with him a white supremacist? To Christians around the world for Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness? Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant against the president on “The View” after a photo showed her holding President Trump’s decapitated head?’ Sanders asked.

‘And where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous explicative laced tweets attacking the president, calling him a Nazi, and even expanding Olbermann’s role after that attack against the president’s family. This is a double standard is speaking about. No one is defending her comments. They’re inappropriate but was the point he was making.’

Hill voluntarily left her role as a co-anchor of ESPN’s SportsCenter, to work on ESPN’s Undefeated, an online vertical focused on race, sports, and culture. ESPN disavowed her tweets on the president.

Behar publicly apologized in May for mocking Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith and suggesting that his religious views made him mentally ill. She had said of Pence: ‘It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness.’

Griffin also apologized for her photo shown on ‘The View’ holding a bloody, decapitated head of the president. She later took the apology back.  Asked if she took the photo too far, she said: ‘No, not now. Not when I see his policies.’

Olbermann is known for his liberal views. Last week ESPN announced he was returning to the airwaves for his sixth stint at the network. He regularly refers to Trump as a Nazi in his tweets.

ABC said Tuesday that it was cancelling Barr’s television show just hours after the comedian assaulted Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett on Twitter.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy with a complaint Wednesday that he never got an apology from ABC with an apology for the 'for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC'

President Donald Trump weighed in on the Roseanne Barr controversy with a complaint Wednesday that he never got an apology from ABC with an apology for the ‘for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC’

It was uncertain what statements from the TV network President Trump was referring to but it could be about a retracted Brian Ross report or his twitter war with Jimmy Kimmel

It was uncertain what statements from the TV network President Trump was referring to but it could be about a retracted Brian Ross report or his twitter war with Jimmy Kimmel

ABC cancelled Roseanne Barr's show Tuesday after the comedian insulted former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett

ABC cancelled Roseanne Barr’s show Tuesday after the comedian insulted former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett

ABC released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, calling Barr’s tweets ‘abhorrent, repugnant, and inconsistent with our values’.

‘We have decided to cancel her show,’ Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, announced.

Disney CEO Bob Iger also tweeted about the decision, saying: ‘There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.’ Disney owns ABC Television Group.

Barr was widely condemned after she tweeted that Jarrett looked like the ‘Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby’.

Iger reportedly called Jarrett before the network announced the cancellation to apologize to her.

‘He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,’ Jarrett told MSNBC.

Trump, in his tweet Wednesday, complained he never got a call from Iger with an apology.

In June of last year, Iger quit Trump’s business advisory council, protesting the president’s withdraw from the Paris climate deal. Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned at the same time.

Iger confirmed to Vogue magazine in April that he had thought of challenging Trump in 2020 with a presidential bid but decided instead to focus on his work at Disney, which had just purchased 21st Century Fox.

‘The thought I had was coming from the patriot in me, growing up at a time when we respected our politicians not only for what they stood for but because of what they accomplished,’ Iger told the magazine. ‘I am horrified at the state of politics in America today, and I will throw stones in multiple directions. Dialogue has given way to disdain. I, maybe a bit naively, believed that there was a need for someone in high elected office to be more open-minded and willing to not only govern from the middle but to try to shame everyone else into going to the middle.’

Trump railed against the network last year after ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross incorrectly reported that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would testify that Trump had instructed him to make contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay in December of 2017.

‘We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,’ ABC News said in a statement at the time. ‘The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.’

Trump celebrated the suspension when it happened.

‘People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of @ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused – many millions of dollars!’ Trump said in a tweet at the time.

The president also has gotten into a Twitter spat with comedian Jimmy Kimmel, whose late night show appears on ABC.

In March, Trump mocked Kimmel for hosting the ‘lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.’

‘Thanks, lowest rated President in HISTORY,’ Kimmel tweeted back.

Oscar ratings this year did hit a nine-year low after four consecutive years of decline.

President Trump complained Disney CEO Bob Iger never called him to apologize. Iger, who had considered challenging Trump in 2020, is pictured here in early May at the premiere of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

President Trump complained Disney CEO Bob Iger never called him to apologize. Iger, who had considered challenging Trump in 2020, is pictured here in early May at the premiere of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

Former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said Disney CEO Bob Iger called her to apologize and to say he was cancelling Roseanne Barr's show

Former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said Disney CEO Bob Iger called her to apologize and to say he was cancelling Roseanne Barr’s show

Barr’s iconic comedy show was a ratings juggernaut when it premiered on ABC to a whopping 25 million viewers in April.

Ratings dropped steadily thereafter, with last week’s season finale garnering 10.33 million viewers.

ABC initially ordered 13 episodes for the second season and said the show would move away from its controversial politics and focus on family.

The president has commented on soaring ratings that Barr’s show had in the past, however, giving himself a pat on the back for the 18.2 million viewers that premiere of the reboot raked in.

‘Even look at Roseanne, I called her yesterday. Look at her ratings! Look at her ratings!’ Trump declared at an Ohio rally in March. ‘I got a call from Mark Burnett, he did The Apprentice. He’s a great guy. He said, ‘Donald, I called just to say hello and to tell you did you see Roseanne’s ratings?’ ‘

Trump says he asked Burnett, ‘ ‘How big where they?’

‘They were unbelievable. Over 18 million people. And it was about us,’ the president boasted.

Barr is a longtime Trump supporter who endorsed him in his 2016 campaign.

The White House originally said on Tuesday the president was dealing with other matters and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wouldn’t comment on the Roseanne cancellation.

Sanders told reporters riding with the president to Tennessee on Air Force One, ‘That’s not what the president’s looking at.

‘And I think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now, certainly, that the president’s spending his time [on]when it comes to policy,’ she said of the controversy.

The show most recently came under fire for featuring an episode in which Barr’s character believes her new Muslim neighbors are terrorists.

Roseanne’s mention of the ‘Muslim brotherhood’ in her Tuesday tweet seems to be due to the long-running conspiracy theory that Jarrett is Muslim.

Jarrett, who was Obama’s senior adviser during his presidency, was born in Iran to American parents and lived in Shiraz for six years.

The family had moved to Iran because her father was part of a program that sent American physicians to help developing countries. He ran a children’s hospital.

There has never been any indication that Jarrett or her parents are Muslim.

Barr later claimed the comment was a ‘joke.’

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted some of the offensive comments posted by Barr during her racist Twitter rampage that ultimately led to her show being cancelled.

Despite clearly retweeting one of Barr’s posts on Tuesday, the son of President Trump denied that he retweeted anything that was anti-Semitic.

The tweet in question was one in which Barr called billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, who is Jewish, a ‘nazi’ who ‘turned in his fellow Jews.’

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted some controversial Roseanne Barr tweets but the president's son denied he was anti-semitic.

Donald Trump Jr. retweeted some controversial Roseanne Barr tweets but the president’s son denied he was anti-semitic.

Barr had tweeted the false conspiracy theory about Soro, which has been pushed by alt-right activists, after she claimed that Chelsea Clinton was married to one of the billionaire’s nephews.

After Clinton clarified that she wasn’t related to Soro, Barr fired back with an apology that included the anti-Semitic claims.

‘Sorry to have tweeted incorrect info about you!I Please forgive me! By the way, George Soros is a nazi who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth-were you aware of that? But, we all make mistakes, right Chelsea?’ Barr tweeted.

‘Soros’ goal; the overthrow of us constitutional republic by buying/backing candidates 4 local district attorney races who will ignore US law & favor ‘feelings’ instead-and call everyone who is alarmed by that ‘racist’.’

Those two tweets were the ones then retweeted by Don Jr.

The President’s son made his denial on Twitter as he referenced a Page Six story detailing the retweets.

‘Page Six is doing what they normally do, lying and obfuscating. They know full well that I did not RT anything that was anti-semitic, but I guess facts don’t matter when you’re a dishonest, clickbait rag. #FAKENEWS,’ he tweeted.

Shortly after Barr’s show was cancelled, talent agency ICM Partners revealed they were dropping her as a client.

‘We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,’ ICM said in an internal note to employees that was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.

‘What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency.’

‘Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.’

It appears the cancellation of the show will also affect the cast’s Emmy prospects, as ABC revealed it is suspending the show’s FYC (For Your Consideration) campaign.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5787629/Trump-weighs-Roseanne-row-saying-NEVER-got-apology-HORRIBLE-statements-ABC-made.html#ixzz5H1dwUZo7

Canceled: Blue-collar ‘Roseanne’ family reflected perspective of Trump voters

Radio host hits industry’s double standard: ‘If you are a left-winger, you can say whatever you want’

This image released by ABC shows Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman in a scene from the comedy series &amp;quot;Roseanne.&amp;quot; Expect &amp;quot;Roseanne&amp;quot; to cool it on politics and concentrate on family stories when it returns for the second season of its revival next year. ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey noted that as the first season went on, the focus shifted from politics to family. She said that direction will continue next season. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP)
This image released by ABC shows Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman in a scene from the comedy series “Roseanne.” Expect “Roseanne” to cool it on politics and concentrate on family stories when it returns for the second season of … more >

Roseanne Barr’s attempt to bridge the political divide came crashing down Tuesday, when ABC canceled her rebooted hit sitcom hours after the television star had sent a racially tinged tweet.

The cancellation comes as a blow to President Trump’s supporters who said “Roseanne” accurately represented their political perspective.

Responding to a comment about Valerie Jarrett, a former aide to President Obama, Miss Barr tweeted, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” She initially defended the tweet as a “joke” — noting that “ISLAM is not a RACE, lefties” — but then issued an apology to “Ms. Jarrett and all Americans.”

“I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks,” Miss Barr tweeted. “I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”

But it was too little too late. Within hours, ABC announced that “Roseanne” would not return for a second season.

Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, said there was “only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing to do.”

Ms. Jarrett said that Mr. Iger personally called her to let her know the show would be canceled. She said the situation was a “teaching moment.”

“I’m fine,” she said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Everyday Racism” town hall. “I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense.”

Later Tuesday, Miss Barr took to Twitter again after her supporters criticized ABC, “The View” co-host Joy Behar and ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, The Associated Press reported.

“I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me,” Miss Barr tweeted. “It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please.”

The sitcom, which ended the first season of its successful reboot last week, portrayed the blue-collar Conner family struggling to make ends meet, buried under mountains of credit card debt and unable to afford rising health care costs.

The family also was divided by the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath.

In the reboot’s opening episode, Roseanne Conner defends her vote for Mr. Trump in an argument with her sister, Jackie, who wears a “Nasty Woman” T-shirt.

“He talked about jobs, Jackie,” Roseanne says of the president. “He said he’d shake things up. I mean, this might come as a complete shock to you, but we almost lost our house the way things are going.”

The nine-episode reboot drew massive ratings and was the season’s top scripted show on broadcast television.

The opening episode drew more than 18 million viewers, the largest audience for a sitcom in more than three years, and averaged more than 10 million viewers per episode.

Mr. Trump even said he called Miss Barr to congratulate her on the show’s success.

ABC faced significant pressure to cancel the show in the hours after Miss Barr’s tweet.

Before the show was canceled, several people affiliated with “Roseanne” said they were leaving in response to Miss Barr’s tweet.

The comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer for the show, said in a brief tweet that she would “not be returning.”

Emma Kenney, who portrayed Roseanne’s granddaughter on the show, said she called her manager on Tuesday morning to quit the show, only to find out that it already had been canceled.

“I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed,” Miss Kenney tweeted. “The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable.”

Sara Gilbert, who returned to play Roseanne’s daughter in the show’s reboot, said Miss Barr’s comments were “abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.”

“This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love—one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member,” Miss Gilbert tweeted.

Miss Barr’s talent agency, ICM Partners, also said it had dropped her.

“What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency,” the group said in a statement. “Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barris no longer a client.”

Civil rights activists also were applying pressure on ABC to pull the plug.

DeRay Mckesson, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, questioned how desperate the network was to “profit from Roseanne’s racism?”

“We know racism sells in this country, it always has,” Mr. Mckesson tweeted. “But you don’t have to participate in it. This apology is meaningless. Cancel Roseanne.”

In a tweet, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Miss Barr’s comments were “racist and inexcusable. ABC must take action NOW!”

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, said Miss Barr’s comments were “appalling and reminiscent of a horrific time in our history when racism was not only acceptable but promoted by Hollywood.”

“We applaud ABC for taking a stand against racism by canceling Roseanne today,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement following the show’s cancellation. “We commend the network and its president Channing Dungey for placing the values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for humanity above ratings.”

Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, said ABC “did the right thing.”

“There is not any room in our society for racism or bigotry,” Mr. Lewis said in a statement.

Yet some say there is a double standard in the entertainment industry when it comes to offensive speech.

Radio host Clay Travis wondered why Mr. Olbermann continues to be employed by ESPN, which also is owned by Disney, despite his habit of going on profanity-laced Twitter tirades directed at Mr. Trump. Mr. Travis said Disney has treated “very similar speech dissimilarly based on whether or not it agrees with the content.”

“If you are a left-winger, you can say whatever you want and you have no punishment for anything you say,” Mr. Travis said on Fox Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage.” “The moment you are conservative and you say anything, you get fired.”

Greg Gutfeld, co-host of Fox News’ “The Five,” said ABC was justified in canceling “Roseanne.” But he also wondered why Joy Reid, who apologized for writing homophobic articles on her now-defunct blog, continues to have a show on MSNBC.

“Joy Reid has got an amazing second chance going right now after a paper trail of homophobia,” Mr. Gutfeld said.

Indeed, Ms. Reid was one of the commentators MSNBC enlisted on Tuesday to react to the cancellation of “Roseanne.”

“It’s fraught because, I think for a lot of Roseanne’s fans who now are really sort of in a big Venn diagram with Trumpfans, they see this as no big deal, that this is something that you should be able to say,” Ms. Reid said on “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” “Why can’t you say it? It’s just jokes. Why are people taking it to heart? That’s part of the problem, is that you have a certain set of people who feel that you should be able to speak this way.”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/may/29/roseanne-canceled-sitcom-family-reflected-trump-vo/

 

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Ivanka Trump is pictured unveiling engraved stonework carrying her father's name on the wall at the embassy today

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageUS President Donald Trump made the decision, which tossed aside decades of precedent, in December as he recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital 

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Story 1: United States Moves and Opens Embassy in City of Truth — Jerusalem, Israel — Death Toll Over 50 In Gaza and Climbing — Videos

U.S. Embassy opening: Moving is a step towards peace

US Jerusalem embassy opening fallout

A breakdown of the controversy over the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

Deadly clashes on Israel border ahead of U.S. Embassy opening

How are Palestinians reacting to the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and violence in Gaza?

U.S. Embassy opens in Jerusalem, while Palestinian protesters are killed

Thank You President Trump’ on Walls of Jerusalem on Eve of Embassy Move

 

“Thank You President Trump.” That was the message projected onto the ancient walls of Jerusalem, together with the American and Israeli flags, on the eve of the formal transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem on Sunday evening.

Inside those walls — most recently rebuilt by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman I in the 16th century — tens of thousands of young Israelis danced and sang at the Western Wall plaza in honor of Yom Yerushalayim (“Jerusalem Day”), the 51st anniversary of the reunification of the city during the Six Day War of 1967.

This year, due to the peculiar nature of the Hebrew calendar — which combines both lunar and solar elements — the Hebrew date of Jerusalem Day fell one day before the Roman date of Israel’s 70th anniversary on May 14.

May 14 is also the 70th anniversary of the date that U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized Israel, which is the reason the embassy transfer was scheduled for that date. (Israel celebrates its Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar, which fell in April this year.)

 

The coincidence of Jerusalem Day and the embassy move — plus Israel’s victory early Sunday morning in the Eurovision Song Contest — meant that the city has been in a state of celebration for several days, culminating in the dedication of the embassy move on Monday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. local time (9:00 a.m. EDT and 6:00 a.m. PDT in the U.S.).

 

An official in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Breitbart News at a reception Sunday evening that the mood in his department was “somewhere between ecstatic and euphoric.”

In the modern center of the city, American flags and Israeli flags hung side-by-side, along with signs thanking President Trump and declaring him a “Friend of Zion.”

“Trump is Number One!” shouted one Israeli to Breitbart News reporters on the scene. It was a sentiment widely shared in a country that has seen so much hardship and struggle, and which feels that it finally has a friend in the White House — “the best friend Israel ever had,” as one Israeli put it.

The mood was even reflected in Israeli sports. Beitar Jerusalem, the local soccer team, officially renamed itself Beitar “Trump” Jerusalem in honor of the U.S. President.

Trump supporters also took out a massive wrap-around ad in the Jerusalem Post on Monday morning thanking President Trump for delivering on his promises to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and to end the Iran nuclear deal.

Across Israel, there was the repeated refrain: “He does what he says.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2018/05/13/thank-president-trump-walls-jerusalem-eve-embassy-move/

 

‘Big day in Israel. Congratulations!’ Trump tweets jubilantly at official opening by Jared and Ivanka of U.S. embassy in Jerusalem – as bloody day of violence sees Israeli snipers kill 52 and injure 2,400

  • US moving embassy from Tel Aviv today after Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December  
  • Israeli snipers have killed scores of protesters near the Gaza border with more than two thousand injured
  • Mass protests taking place with Palestinian government accusing Israel of committing a ‘terrible massacre’
  • Comes after al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri called for group’s followers to carry out jihad against the US 
  • Russia says embassy move risks increasing Middle East tension as Turkey says US is now ‘part of the problem’ 
  • The Arab League is planning to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss America’s ‘illegal’ embassy move 
  • US President’s son-in-law and Middle East envoy Jared Kushner said opening showed US could be trusted and that when ‘Trump makes a promise, he keeps it’
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Donald Trump rededicated the United States’ to its alliance with Israel on Monday as the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem officially opened.

Trump in a video address said that the U.S. will ‘always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace’ while honoring the nation and the city it claims as its capital as a ‘testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people.’

‘We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors,’ Trump said in a video address. ‘May there be peace.’

In a tweet shortly after he said, ‘Big day for Israel. Congratulations!’

Neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were there see the realization of their campaign promise that they would relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pence is headlining a celebratory event at the Israeli embassy in Washington, instead.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, both White House advisers, were part of a delegation of senior officials that included Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that made the trip.

The U.S. delegation had arrived Sunday evening in Jerusalem to mass protests over the foreign policy shift.

Israeli snipers have killed scores of Palestinians and wounded thousands more as 35,000 protesters rallied against the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem overseen by Donald Trump‘s Middle East envoy Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka.

A 14-year-old was among 52 shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 war between the Jewish state and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.

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Ivanka Trump is pictured unveiling engraved stonework carrying her father's name on the wall at the embassy today

The festivities in Jerusalem were a stark contrast to the bloodshed on the Gaza border

Flashpoint: Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered for protests against the US embassy opening today and dozens were killed amid clashes with Israeli troops. Crowds are seen sprinting away from tear gas during a clash with Israeli security forces east of Jabalia near the Gaza border

Flashpoint: Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered for protests against the US embassy opening today and dozens were killed amid clashes with Israeli troops. Crowds are seen sprinting away from tear gas during a clash with Israeli security forces east of Jabalia near the Gaza border

Israeli leaders and a U.S. delegation including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump (pictured) and Jared Kushner, have attended the opening of the embassy, relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a controversial decision

Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka (right) and husband Jared Kushner (left) joined Benjamin Netanyahu for the opening of the embassy this afternoon

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka (right) and husband Jared Kushner (left) joined Benjamin Netanyahu for the opening of the embassy this afternoon

White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump (right) speaks alongside US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the opening ceremony

White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump (right) speaks alongside US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during the opening ceremony

A child who has been affected by tear gas is rushed to medics at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue along the Gaza border todayA child who has been affected by tear gas is rushed to medics at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue along the Gaza border today
A protester screams in agony as he is picked up by fellow Palestinians during deadly clashes along the Gaza border today. The death toll continued to climb this morning as anger mounted over the US embassy opening in Jerusalem

A protester screams in agony as he is picked up by fellow Palestinians during deadly clashes along the Gaza border today. The death toll continued to climb this morning as anger mounted over the US embassy opening in Jerusalem

Palestinian protesters carry an injured man who was shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel today

Palestinian protesters carry an injured man who was shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel today

An elderly Palestinian man falls to the ground amid reports he had been shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip's border

An elderly Palestinian man falls to the ground amid reports he had been shot by Israeli troops during a deadly protest at the Gaza Strip’s border

Huge crowds of protesters hid behind clouds of smoke from burning tyres but at times were forced to run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops

A Palestinian throws a rock in response to Israel's intervention during a protest to mark 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948 and against the decision to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

At least 2,400 more have been injured with hundreds of them by live bullets, according to Gaza officials as the Palestinian government accused Israel of committing a ‘terrible massacre’ and Amnesty International called the bloodshed an ‘abhorrent violation’ of human rights.

Trump President tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognized the city as Israel’s capital in December – a decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis.

Russia said today it feared the embassy opening would increase tension in the Middle East while Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan warned the US it had forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now ‘part of the problem rather than the solution’.

As deadly clashes continued, Trump said in a video address aired at the opening that the embassy has been a ‘long time coming’ and that the U.S. had ‘failed to acknowledge the obvious’ for many years. He added that ‘today, we follow through on this recognition’ and that the new embassy was opening ‘many, many years ahead of schedule.’

Trump also said his ‘greatest hope’ is for peace and that he ‘remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement’. His on-in-law Jared Kushner said the opening showed the US could be trusted and that ‘when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it’.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the international community must bring those responsible to justice, in a post on Twitter.

‘Shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire in #Gaza must stop now,’ Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein wrote in a message carried on the UN human rights Twitter account.

‘The right to life must be respected. Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account. The int’l community needs to ensure justice for victims.’

A wounded Palestinian woman is evacuated by men wearing gas masks and high-viz jackets as protests turned violent today

A wounded Palestinian woman is evacuated by men wearing gas masks and high-viz jackets as protests turned violent today

Palestinian protesters carry the wounded during clashes near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza Strip

Palestinian protesters carry the wounded during clashes near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza Strip

Israel's armed forces had warned anyone approaching the fence would be risking their lives. By early this afternoon 37 protesters had been killed and the death toll has now risen further

Israel’s armed forces had warned anyone approaching the fence would be risking their lives. By early this afternoon 37 protesters had been killed and the death toll has now risen further

A medic tries to hold an injured man's mouth open as they take him away from the clashes in a stretcher 

A medic tries to hold an injured man’s mouth open as they take him away from the clashes in a stretcher

A wounded female Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated on a stretcher by emergency workers at Qalandya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah

A wounded female Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated on a stretcher by emergency workers at Qalandya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah

A woman appears to be giving protesters medical assistance as she tends to them while they sit on the ground during clashes along the border with Israel

Protesters used a horse and cart as they carried wounded Palestinians away from the conflict this afternoon as it emerged at least 37 had been killed and hundreds more injured

Protesters used a horse and cart as they carried wounded Palestinians away from the conflict this afternoon as it emerged at least 37 had been killed and hundreds more injured

Inside the event, the president’s daughter delivered an official welcome telling attendees after her father’s video address: ‘On behalf of the 45th President on [sic] the United States of America, we welcome you officially and for the first time to the Embassy of the United States here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Thank you.’

She joined Mnuchin in unveiling the embassy seal and plaque commemorating her father’s involvement in the occasion.

Her husband, Jared, delivered a rare speech at the embassy opening, as well, in some of his most lengthy public remarks since joining his father-in-law’s administration.

Acknowledging his wife in his remarks, he said, ‘Ivanka, thank you for all the great work you do to help so many people in our country and throughout the world — including me, so I love you.’

‘I am so proud to be here today in Jerusalem, the eternal heart of the Jewish people, and I am especially honored to be here today as a representative of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,’ he said.

Highlighting Trump’s decision last week to leave the Iran nuclear agreement and the pledge he fulfilled in moving the embassy, Kushner said, ‘While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American embassy, once in office this president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.’

‘The United States is prepared to support a peace agreement in every way that we can,’ he told the audience. ‘We believe that it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give.’

Kushner said the U.S. ‘recognizes the sensitivity’ around Jerusalem, home to three religions, including Islam.

‘While the challenges to peace are numerous, I have personally seen that the determination of the leaders throughout the region and throughout the world remains steadfast,’ Trump’s chief peace negotiator said.

At the White House, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah blamed Hamas for the violence in Israel on Monday. He said he did not believe that the violence would undermine the United States’ positioning on a peace agreement.

‘The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas. Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response,’ he asserted.

Shah demanded that Hamas stop its ‘cynical exploitation of the situation’ that has lead to the deaths.

The president’s spokesman said that embassy opening is ‘about following through on what the President promised and believes.

‘I think we’ve for decades you know walked on eggshells, pretending that Jerusalem isn’t the capital of Israel when it obviously is. And this is just a recognition of reality.’

Shah said the ‘peace plan will be brought forward at the appropriate time, and it can be evaluated on its merits.

‘We don’t think it impact the peace plan,’ he said of the deaths in Gaza.

Palestinians carry an injured protestors to safety as one man kneels on the ground holding his head as violence erupted on the Gaza strip today

Palestinians carry an injured protestors to safety as one man kneels on the ground holding his head as violence erupted on the Gaza strip today

A severely injured man is carried. Israel's armed forces had warned anyone approaching the fence would be risking their livesA severely injured man is carried. Israel’s armed forces had warned anyone approaching the fence would be risking their lives
American and Israeli delegations have begun a festive ceremony to mark the opening of the new U.S. Embassy (pictured) in Jerusalem. U.S. Ambassador David Friedman welcomed the crowd. 'Today we open the United States embassy in Jerusalem Israel,' he said to warm applause.

American and Israeli delegations have begun a festive ceremony to mark the opening of the new U.S. Embassy (pictured) in Jerusalem. U.S. Ambassador David Friedman welcomed the crowd. ‘Today we open the United States embassy in Jerusalem Israel,’ he said to warm applause.

Israeli soldiers walk amidst smoke from a fire in a wheat field near the Kibbutz of Nahal Oz, along the border with the Gaza Strip today

A wounded Palestinian women is carried from the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue following the decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

A wounded Palestinian women is carried from the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue following the decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

A group of Palestinian men carry their injured friend to an ambulance by stretcher during clashes with Israeli soldiers

A group of Palestinian men carry their injured friend to an ambulance by stretcher during clashes with Israeli soldiers

‘President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history,’ he said, in forceful remarks. ‘Today, the embassy of the most powerful nation on earth, our greatest ally, the United States of America, today its embassy opened here.’

Netanyahu firmly declared: ‘We are in Jerusalem, and we are here to stay.’

‘Thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises.’

Netanyahu made a reference to the conflict on the Gaza border as he said in his speech that ‘our brave soldiers are protecting the borders of Israel as we speak, we salute them all.’

‘The truth is that Jerusalem has been and always will be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state,’ he said.

President Trump said earlier on Monday that it would be ‘a great day for Israel’ as the U.S. embassy prepared to open in Jerusalem.

‘The United States remains fully committed to precipitating a lasting peace agreement,’ he said in a video address.

He steered clear of the controversy over the relocation of the embassy, while noting, ‘We continue to support the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including at the Temple Mount.’

‘Today also demonstrates American leadership. By moving our embassy to Jerusalem, we have shown the world once again that the United States can be trusted,’ he said.

‘We stand with our friends and our allies, and above all else, we’ve shown that the United States of America will do what’s right,’ he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara were among those attending the opening ceremony today

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara were among those attending the opening ceremony today

Ivanka Trump's husband Jared Kushner was among the speakers as the embassy was officially opened this afternoonIvanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner was among the speakers as the embassy was officially opened this afternoon

Jared Kushner embraces both his wife, Ivanka

Jared Kushner embraces Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu during the opening ceremony today

Jared Kushner embraces both his wife, Ivanka (left) and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during the opening ceremony today

A ceremony to inaugurate the US embassy in Jerusalem has started with Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump (centre), both top aides to President Donald Trump, attending. The event took place as Palestinian officials claimed 37 protesters had been killed in a 'massacre' along the Gaza border

A ceremony to inaugurate the US embassy in Jerusalem has started with Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump (centre), both top aides to President Donald Trump, attending. The event took place as Palestinian officials claimed 37 protesters had been killed in a ‘massacre’ along the Gaza border

As deadly clashes continued this afternoon, Trump said in a video address aired at the opening that the embassy in has been a 'long time coming'. His daughter Ivanka as pictured walking ahead of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the ceremony today

As deadly clashes continued this afternoon, Trump said in a video address aired at the opening that the embassy in has been a ‘long time coming’. His daughter Ivanka as pictured walking ahead of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the ceremony today

Ivanka Trump smiles as she poses for photographs next to engraved stonework carrying the name of her father, US President Donald Trump

Ivanka Trump smiles as she poses for photographs next to engraved stonework carrying the name of her father, US President Donald Trump

Ivanka shared two photos of herself and Jared sharing a meal with GOP Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Dean Heller, and Lindsey Graham

Ivanka shared two photos of herself and Jared sharing a meal with GOP Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Dean Heller, and Lindsey Graham

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured) has said Jerusalem will always be the "eternal, undivided" capital of Israe

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured) has said Jerusalem will always be the ‘eternal, undivided’ capital of Israe

The embassy opening coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

Trump in December announced that he would follow through on the pledge to move the embassy that U.S. presidential candidates have repeatedly made and then reneged on.

The Republican president said he would ‘move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem’ in keeping with a decades-old U.S. mandating the relocation.

Presidents have typically signed a waiver every six months to skirt the requirement. Trump signed it his first year in office.

After a process that was expected to take up to four years, the U.S. said it would outfit a consulate in Jerusalem as an embassy while a new one is constructed.

‘We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors’: President Trump celebrates the opening of U.S. embassy in Jerusalem from afar

Donald Trump said it was ‘a great day for Israel’ on Monday as the U.S. embassy was officially declared open in Jerusalem.

‘We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors,’ Trump said in a video address.

It has been a ‘long time coming’, he added.

Trump said that the U.S. had ‘failed to acknowledge the obvious’ for many years, adding that ‘today, we follow through on this recognition.’

Trump added that the new embassy was opening ‘many, many years ahead of schedule.’

The embassy move has enraged the Palestinians. Trump said he remained committed to ‘facilitating a lasting peace agreement.’

Trump said the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem had been a 'long time coming' as he spoke in a pre-recorded video message 

Trump said the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem had been a ‘long time coming’ as he spoke in a pre-recorded video message

Trump stressed a close bond with Israel. He also said he was ‘extending a hand of friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors.’

Neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence were there to see the realization of their campaign promise that they would relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Pence is headlining a celebratory event at the Israeli embassy in Washington, instead.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, both White House advisers, were part of a delegation of senior officials that included Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that made the trip.

Ivanka Trump, in an official welcome, after her father’s video address, told attendees: ‘On behalf of the 45th President on [sic] the United States of America, we welcome you officially and for the first time to the Embassy of the United States here in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Thank you.’

Jared Kushner delivered a rare speech at the embassy opening, highlighting Trump's decision last week to leave the Iran nuclear agreement and the pledge he fulfilled in moving the embassy

Jared Kushner delivered a rare speech at the embassy opening, highlighting Trump’s decision last week to leave the Iran nuclear agreement and the pledge he fulfilled in moving the embassy

Acknowledging his wife, Kushner said, 'Ivanka, thank you for all the great work you do to help so many people in our country and throughout the world - including me, so I love you'

Acknowledging his wife, Kushner said, ‘Ivanka, thank you for all the great work you do to help so many people in our country and throughout the world – including me, so I love you’

Kushner delivered a rare speech at the embassy opening, as well, highlighting Trump’s decision last week to leave the Iran nuclear agreement and the pledge he fulfilled in moving the embassy.

‘While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American embassy, once in office this president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it,’ Kushner said.

Acknowledging his wife, Kushner said, ‘Ivanka, thank you for all the great work you do to help so many people in our country and throughout the world – including me, so I love you.’

The U.S. delegation arrived Sunday evening in Jerusalem to mass protests over the U.S. foreign policy shift.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not make the trip, either, but said Sunday in an interview that aired on Fox News that ‘the American people in that region are secure’ and ‘we are comfortable we’ve taken action that reduces that risk.’

Upon the arrival of the U.S. delegation on Sunday, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, both Jewish, received a blessing from Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef.

‘Great to join the friends of Zion for an amazing evening commemorating the dedication of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel,’ Ivanka wrote in a tweet after landing.

The embassy opening coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

As the ceremony took place this afternoon, the Israeli army revealed that warplanes had struck a Hamas facility in Gaza during bloody protests.

The military said it carried out five airstrikes after militants exchanged fire on three separate occasions with soldiers.

Brigadier General Ronen Manelis turn out by Monday afternoon was about 40,000. He said the army viewed that number as a ‘failure for Hamas.’

He said the army noticed there were more women at the front of the protest than in past rallies and accused Hamas of paying people to protest.

This morning, the Israeli military said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to place an explosive device by the border fence in Gaza during mass protests.

The shooting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah came as the army said an Israeli aircraft had bombed a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli troops came under fire. No Israeli casualties were reported.

Amnesty International called the violence today an ‘abhorrent violation’ of human rights.

‘We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law and human rights in Gaza…. This must end immediately,’ the London-based human rights group said on Twitter.

‘This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes,’ Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther said in a separate statement.

‘As violence continues to spiral out of control, the Israeli authorities must immediately rein in the military to prevent the further loss of life and serious injuries.’

Amnesty made the statement ‘responding to reports that dozens of Palestinians have been killed’ in the protests over the US embassy move.

At one point the Israeli armed forces used drones to drop tear gas canisters in a bid to disperse the crowds of tens of tousands

At one point the Israeli armed forces used drones to drop tear gas canisters in a bid to disperse the crowds of tens of tousands

The drone could be seen releasing gas canisters during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Jabalia

The drone could be seen releasing gas canisters during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Jabalia

Palestinians were forced to run for safety as the gas canisters containing tear gas were fired from drones overhead today

Palestinians were forced to run for safety as the gas canisters containing tear gas were fired from drones overhead today

Witnesses said Israeli drones had also dropped incendiary materials earlier in the day, setting ablaze tyres that had been collected for use in a planned Gaza border protest.

Witnesses said Israeli drones had also dropped incendiary materials earlier in the day, setting ablaze tyres that had been collected for use in a planned Gaza border protest.

Drones unleashed canisters full of tear gas in the hope of dispersing the huge crowds today. The clashes have left scores dead

Drones unleashed canisters full of tear gas in the hope of dispersing the huge crowds today. The clashes have left scores dead

The drone tactic was deployed as festivities were taking place for the opening of a new US embassy in Jerusalem today

The drone tactic was deployed as festivities were taking place for the opening of a new US embassy in Jerusalem today

The drone tactic was deployed as festivities were taking place for the opening of a new US embassy in Jerusalem today

According to local reports, Israel employed specialist drone racers to drop tear gas

According to local reports, Israel employed specialist drone racers to drop tear gas

‘The rising toll of deaths and injuries today only serves to highlight the urgent need for an arms embargo,’ Luther added.

‘While some protestors may have engaged in some form of violence, this still does not justify the use of live ammunition.’

The European Union’s foreign policy chief is calling on Israel to respect the ‘principle of proportionality in the use of force’.

Federica Mogherini said that all should act ‘with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life’ and added that ‘Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest.’

At the same time, she insisted that Hamas must make sure demonstrators in Gaza are peaceful and ‘must not exploit them for other means.’

The dramatic scenes today came after al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri last night called for followers to carry out jihad against America.

In a new message, he said America’s decision was evidence that negotiations and ‘appeasement’ have failed Palestinians as he urged Muslims carry out jihad against the United States.

Trump ‘was clear and explicit, and he revealed the true face of the modern Crusade, where standing down and appeasement does not work with them, but only resistance through the call and jihad,’ Zawahiri said, according to a transcript provided by the SITE monitoring agency.

Violence: This was the scene as a man used a sling to hurl rocks towards Israeli forces along the Gaza border today

Violence: This was the scene as a man used a sling to hurl rocks towards Israeli forces along the Gaza border today

In the line of fire: Israeli soldiers are pictured lying in position looking out over the Gaza border 

In the line of fire: Israeli soldiers are pictured lying in position looking out over the Gaza border

The Israeli army responded by throwing tear gas towards protesters, sending huge crowds scattering this afternoon

The Israeli army responded by throwing tear gas towards protesters, sending huge crowds scattering this afternoon

Taking cover: Palestinians throw themselves to the ground as tear gas is hurled towards them during fierce clashes today

Taking cover: Palestinians throw themselves to the ground as tear gas is hurled towards them during fierce clashes today

The celebrations in Jerusalem were a stark contrast to the bloodshed along the Gaza border where tens of thousands of Palestinians protestedThe celebrations in Jerusalem were a stark contrast to the bloodshed along the Gaza border where tens of thousands of Palestinians protested
A Palestinian woman tries to fly a kite during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza Strip

A Palestinian woman tries to fly a kite during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza Strip

The US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem today after months of global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis. Israeli snipers killed a Palestinian man as protests got underway this morning. Pictured: A protester running past burning tyres

The US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem today after months of global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis. Israeli snipers killed a Palestinian man as protests got underway this morning. Pictured: A protester running past burning tyres

US President Donald Trump made the decision, which tossed aside decades of precedent, in December as he recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinians burned tyres this morning ahead of mass protests at the Gaza border today

A Palestinian demonstrator lies on the ground as smoke billows from burning tyres during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City this morning

A Palestinian demonstrator lies on the ground as smoke billows from burning tyres during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City this morning

The announcement and the opening of the embassy sparked new chaos in Jerusalem, which the Israelis and Palestinians both claim as a holy site.

Still, the Trump administration says it is still charging ahead with a plan to bring peace to the region. A U.S. official told the Washington Free Beacon in advance of the embassy opening that the White House intends to unveil the deal that Trump’s son-in-law has taken a lead role in putting together in the coming months.

‘We’ve been working hard and want to give the plan the best chance for success,’ a senior official told the publication. ‘We want to get a lasting deal that is livable for both parties.’

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was not on the trip and has been the point person for the Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korea, said the Middle East peace process is ‘is most decidedly not dead,’ in spite of the unrest that boiled over on Sunday.

‘We’re hard at work on it. We hope we can achieve a successful outcome there as well,’ he said.

Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton said the administration believes the embassy move will enhance the peace process because it’s a recognition of reality.

‘I think it will make it easier. It’s a recognition of reality. If you’re not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that’s where the American embassy should be, then you’re operating on a completely different wavelength,’ Bolton said.

Kushner likewise said in his speech on Monday at the embassy: ‘When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth.’

‘I believe peace is within reach, if we dare to believe that the future can be different from the past, that we are not condemned to relieve history, and that the way things were is not how they must forever be,’ he said. ‘It will not be an easy road, and it will be filled with difficult moments and tough decisions, but if we dream big and we lead with courage, we can change the trajectory for millions from hopeless to boundless.’

Medics were seen carrying Palestinian protesters away from the scene on stretchers as violence escalated this morning 

Medics were seen carrying Palestinian protesters away from the scene on stretchers as violence escalated this morning

Dozens have been injured - some of them seriously - by Israeli gun fire, according to Gaza's Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives

Dozens have been injured – some of them seriously – by Israeli gun fire, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry after the army warned that anyone attempting to approach the security fence would be risking their lives

Protests intensified on the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding, as loudspeakers on Gaza mosques urged Palestinians to join a 'Great March of Return'. Black smoke from tyres burned by demonstrators rose into the air at the border

Thousands gathered in five spots along the border in protest at the embassy move, while sporadic clashes also erupted with Israeli soldiers

Thousands gathered in five spots along the border in protest at the embassy move, while sporadic clashes also erupted with Israeli soldiers

Thousands of Gaza residents headed toward the border with Israel on Monday, drawing Israeli fire in a potentially bloody showdown as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem

Thousands of Gaza residents headed toward the border with Israel on Monday, drawing Israeli fire in a potentially bloody showdown as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem

Protesters set tires on fire, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air at several spots along the border, while the Israeli military said protesters assaulted the border fence

Protesters set tires on fire, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air at several spots along the border, while the Israeli military said protesters assaulted the border fence

The protest in Gaza was to be the biggest yet in a weekslong campaign against a decade-old blockade of the territory. The march was also directed at the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

The protest in Gaza was to be the biggest yet in a weekslong campaign against a decade-old blockade of the territory. The march was also directed at the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv has infuriated the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital

The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv has infuriated the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted 'what an amazing day! Thank you @POTUS Trump' ahead of the opening

J Street, a liberal advocacy group pursuing Middle East peace, said the Trump administration had hurt the prospects of a deal with the embassy relocation in a scathing Monday statement called it a ‘victory for the far-right agenda of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu – but not for the long-term interests of Israelis, Palestinians or the United States.’

‘This move has only undermined the prospects for peace, exacerbated tensions and undercut US standing as an effective mediator,’ J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said. ‘This isn’t policy – it’s pandering to a narrow political base.’

The largest Jewish lobbying organization in the U.S., AIPAC, which has supported the move, noted that it was approved by Congress 1995 in a sweeping vote. It prodded other countries to follow the United States’ lead.

‘America was the first nation to recognize the independence of the Jewish state, and it is particularly appropriate that our country is once again taking the initiative to strengthen our relationship with Israel and its standing in the world. We urge other nations to follow the Unites States’ lead and also locate their embassies in Israel’s capital,’ it said.

Palestinian men carry an injured protester during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Jabalia

Palestinian men carry an injured protester during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Jabalia

A wounded Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip

A wounded Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip

Violent clashes erupted along the Gaza Strip's border hours ahead of the controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, leaving several Palestinians dead from Israeli fire and hundreds more wounded

Violent clashes erupted along the Gaza Strip’s border hours ahead of the controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, leaving several Palestinians dead from Israeli fire and hundreds more wounded

Crowds built throughout the day in the Palestinian enclave less than 60 miles away from Jerusalem and sealed off from Israel by a blockade

Israel's military said 'approximately 10,000 violent rioters are currently assembled in a number of locations along the Gaza Strip border and thousands more are gathered by the tents approximately half a kilometre away from the security fence'

Israel’s military said ‘approximately 10,000 violent rioters are currently assembled in a number of locations along the Gaza Strip border and thousands more are gathered by the tents approximately half a kilometre away from the security fence’

Around 1,000 police officers were being positioned around the embassy for the inauguration. Israel's army said it was almost doubling the number of troops surrounding Gaza and in the occupied West Bank

Around 1,000 police officers were being positioned around the embassy for the inauguration. Israel’s army said it was almost doubling the number of troops surrounding Gaza and in the occupied West Bank

A masked protester holds his hand in the air as he stands in front of burning tyres near the  Gaza-Israel border in Khan Yunis

A masked protester holds his hand in the air as he stands in front of burning tyres near the  Gaza-Israel border in Khan Yunis

By midafternoon, at least 18 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed while over 500 were wounded by Israeli fire, Palestinian health officials said

By midafternoon, at least 18 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed while over 500 were wounded by Israeli fire, Palestinian health officials said

Anger: Protesters torch tyres and wave Palestinian flags amid violent clashes along the Gaza border this morning

Anger: Protesters torch tyres and wave Palestinian flags amid violent clashes along the Gaza border this morning

The date of the inauguration is deeply symbolic to both Israelis and Palestinians. The US said it chose the day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment

The date of the inauguration is deeply symbolic to both Israelis and Palestinians. The US said it chose the day to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment

Security has been tightened around Jerusalem ahead of the embassy opening this afternoon. Pictured: A road leading to the embassy

Security has been tightened around Jerusalem ahead of the embassy opening this afternoon. Pictured: A road leading to the embassy

As tensions mounted today, the Arab League said it will hold emergency talks on Wednesday to discuss Washington’s ‘illegal’ decision.

The meeting will focus on ‘ways of countering the illegal decision by the United States to move the embassy to Jerusalem’, the organisation’s deputy secretary general for Palestinian affairs, Saeed Abu Ali, said.

He told reporters the permanent representatives of members of the Cairo-based Arab League would meet ‘at the request of the state of Palestine’.

Police and the Israeli military had planned major security deployments today.

Around 1,000 police officers were positioned around the embassy and surrounding neighbourhoods for the inauguration, said spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Israel’s army said it would almost double the number of troops surrounding Gaza and in the occupied West Bank.

Early this morning, witnesses said Israeli drones dropped incendiary materials, setting ablaze tires that had been collected for use in a planned Gaza border protest.

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said the army had bolstered its front-line forces along the border, but also set up additional 'layers' of security in and around neighbouring communities to defend Israeli civilians in case of a mass breach. He said there had already been several 'significant attempts' to break through the fence

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said the army had bolstered its front-line forces along the border, but also set up additional ‘layers’ of security in and around neighbouring communities to defend Israeli civilians in case of a mass breach. He said there had already been several ‘significant attempts’ to break through the fence

A Palestinian protester hurls stones at Israeli troops during protests near the Gaza border this morning

A Palestinian protester hurls stones at Israeli troops during protests near the Gaza border this morning

Israelis began celebrating on Sunday, as tens of thousands of marched in Jerusalem, some holding American flags, to mark Jerusalem Day.

The annual event is an Israeli celebration of the ‘reunification’ of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

Beyond the disputed nature of Jerusalem, the date of the embassy move is also key. May 14 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

The following day, Palestinians mark the ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

Palestinian protests are planned on both days.

Gaza residents streamed to the border area Monday for what is intended to be the largest protest yet against a decade-old blockade of the territory. Israel's military says it will stop a possible border breach at all costs, warning protesters that they are endangering their lives

Gaza residents streamed to the border area Monday for what is intended to be the largest protest yet against a decade-old blockade of the territory. Israel’s military says it will stop a possible border breach at all costs, warning protesters that they are endangering their lives

Israeli troops firing from across a border fence have shot and wounded two Palestinians as a protest near the Gaza border gets underway

Israeli troops firing from across a border fence have shot and wounded two Palestinians as a protest near the Gaza border gets underway

Near Gaza City, hundreds gathered about 150 yards from the fence. A reporter witnessed two people being shot in the legs

Near Gaza City, hundreds gathered about 150 yards from the fence. A reporter witnessed two people being shot in the legs

Israel's army warned Gaza residents they will be risking their lives if they approach the border with leaflets dropped by jets warning its forces will 'act against every attempt to damage the security fence or harm IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians'. A Palestinian is pictured throwing some of the leaflets in the air

Israel’s army warned Gaza residents they will be risking their lives if they approach the border with leaflets dropped by jets warning its forces will ‘act against every attempt to damage the security fence or harm IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians’. A Palestinian is pictured throwing some of the leaflets in the air

WHY THE US MOVED ITS EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM

The United States opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.

The opening ceremony was timed to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary.

The initiative was driven by President Donald Trump, after he broke last year with decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump said his administration has a peace proposal in the works, and recognising Jerusalem as the capital of America’s closest ally had ‘taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table.’

The US opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians. The initiative was driven by Trump, after he broke last year with decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

The US opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians. The initiative was driven by Trump, after he broke last year with decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrated Trump’s decision, but the move upset the Arab world and Western allies.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a ‘slap in the face’ and said Washington could no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.

Initially, a small interim embassy will operate from the building in southern Jerusalem that now houses US consular operations, while a secure site is found to move the rest of the embassy operations from Tel Aviv.

WHY DID TRUMP RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL, AND ANNOUNCE THE EMBASSY WILL BE MOVED THERE?

There has long been pressure from pro-Israel politicians in Washington to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and Trump made it a signature promise of his 2016 election campaign.

The decision was popular with many conservative and evangelical Christians who voted for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, many of whom support political recognition of Israel’s claim to the city.

Trump acted under a 1995 law that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem, but to which other presidents since then – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – consistently signed waivers.

WHY DOES JERUSALEM PLAY SUCH AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT?

Religion, politics and history.

Jerusalem has been fought over for millennia by its inhabitants, and by regional powers and invaders.

It is sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and each religion has sites of great significance there.

Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognised internationally. Palestinians feel equally strongly, saying that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The city even has different names. Jews call it Jerusalem, or Yerushalayim, and Arabs call it Al-Quds, which means ‘The Holy’.

But the city´s significance goes further.

At the heart of the Old City is the hill known to Jews across the world as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims internationally as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary. It was home to the Jewish temples of antiquity but all that remains of them above ground is a restraining wall for the foundations built by Herod the Great. Known as the Western Wall, this is a sacred place of prayer for Jews.

Within yards of the wall, and overlooking it, are two Muslim holy places, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was built in the 8th century. Muslims regard the site as the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.

The city is also an important pilgrimage site for Christians, who revere it as the place where they believe that Jesus Christ preached, died and was resurrected.

WHAT IS THE CITY’S MODERN HISTORY AND STATUS?

In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the then British-ruled Palestine should be partitioned into an Arab state and a Jewish state. But it recognized that Jerusalem had special status and proposed international rule for the city, along with nearby Bethlehem, as a ‘corpus separatum’ to be administered by the United Nations.

That never happened. When British rule ended in 1948, Jordanian forces occupied the Old City and Arab East Jerusalem. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it.

In 1980 the Israeli parliament passed a law declaring the ‘complete and united’ city of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. But the United Nations regards East Jerusalem as occupied, and the city’s status as disputed until resolved by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

DOES ANY OTHER COUNTRY HAVE AN EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM?

In March Guatemala’s president, Jimmy Morales, said that his country will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 16, two days after the US move.

Netanyahu said in April that ‘at least half a dozen’ countries were now ‘seriously discussing’ following the US lead, but he did not identify them.

In December, 128 countries voted in a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution calling on the United States to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel´s capital. Nine voted against, 35 abstained and 21 did not cast a vote.

WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN NEXT? HAS JERUSALEM BEEN A FLASHPOINT BEFORE?

Since Trump’s announcement there have been Palestinian protests and wider political tensions.

Arab leaders across the Middle East have warned the move could lead to turmoil and hamper US efforts to restart long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

More than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops in Gaza during a six-week border protest due to culminate on May 15, the day after the US Embassy move and when Palestinians traditionally lament homes and land lost with Israel’s creation.

Although the clashes have not been on the scale of the Palestinian intifadas of 1987-1993 and 2000-2005, violence has erupted before over matters of sovereignty and religion.

In 1969 an Australian Messianic Christian tried to burn down Al-Aqsa Mosque. He failed but caused damage, and prompted fury across the Arab world.

In 2000, the Israeli politician Ariel Sharon, then opposition leader, led a group of Israeli lawmakers onto the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif complex. A Palestinian protest escalated into the second intifada.

Deadly confrontations also took place in July after Israel installed metal detectors at the complex’s entrance after Arab-Israeli gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there.

Source: Reuters

Team: The White House advisers attended the inauguration along with other Washington delegates, including US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan (third from left in black) and Treasury Mnuchin (center)

Team: The White House advisers attended the inauguration along with other Washington delegates, including US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan (third from left in black) and Treasury Mnuchin (center)

A US delegation in Jerusalem includes Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides. She posted a picture of the couple on Twitter with Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara as she thanked the Israeli Prime Minister for his hospitality at a welcome reception

White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump reportedly received a blessing from a rabbi who previously compared black people to monkeys

White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump reportedly received a blessing from a rabbi who previously compared black people to monkeys

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) spoke at a reception welcoming the US delegation attended by both Ivanka and Jared

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) spoke at a reception welcoming the US delegation attended by both Ivanka and Jared

Ivanka and Jared were seen arriving to a reception for the US delegation. She posted this photo on Instagram

Ivanka and Jared were seen arriving to a reception for the US delegation. She posted this photo on Instagram

Trump ‘feeble minded’ over embassy move, says Iran

Iran has denounced President Donald Trump as ‘feeble-minded’ over Monday’s controversial move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, calling for resistance from the Palestinians and the international community.

‘America has entered a crisis of strategic decision-making that looks at the international arena immaturely and adventurously,’ said parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a key establishment figure, at a conference on the Palestinian situation in Tehran.

‘I believe the current US president is not capable of identifying and judging the long-term consequences of his actions,’ he added.

The United States was due to open its new embassy in Jerusalem — known as Al-Quds in Iran — later on Monday amid widespread Palestinian anger and praise from Israelis.

‘Spur-of-the-moment and uncalculated actions cannot continue in today’s world. Feeblemindness is costly for statesmen and they will eventually have to pay the price,’ Larijani said.

Iran is a key backer of Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas, and opposition to Israel has been a central tenet of its regime since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Larijani called for an ‘immediate reaction’ from Palestinians, Islamic countries and the international community — including boycotts and official complaints to the United Nations.

The US ‘must not think that such actions… can remain without a response,’ he said

There have already been weeks of protests and clashes along the Gaza border, with 54 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire there since March 30.

No Israelis have been wounded and the military has faced criticism over the use of live fire.

Israel says it only opens fire when necessary to stop infiltrations, attacks and damage to the border fence, while accusing Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the blockaded Gaza Strip, of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence

Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

In the decades since 1967, international consensus has been that the city’s status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

He has argued that it helps make peace possible by taking Jerusalem ‘off the table’, but many have pointed out he has not announced any concessions in return from Israel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said the US was ‘hard at work’ on the peace process, which he declared was ‘most decidedly not dead’.

Trump’s initial decision led to a series of protests in various Middle Eastern and Muslim countries.

Meanwhile, Britain has no plans to move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and still disagrees with the U.S. decision to do so, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Monday.

‘The PM said in December when the announcement was first made that we disagree with the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement.

The British embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it,’ the spokesman told reporters.

He was speaking on a day when the United States was due to open its embassy in Jerusalem, an event that has led to Palestinian protests.

Israeli gunfire killed two Palestinians and wounded at least 35 other protesters along the Gaza border on Monday, health officials said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - part of a Washington delegation - this morning posted a photo of himself on Twitter with a plaque dedicating a square outside the new US embassy in Jerusalem

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – part of a Washington delegation – this morning posted a photo of himself on Twitter with a plaque dedicating a square outside the new US embassy in Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump made the decision, which tossed aside decades of precedent, in December as he recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital 

US President Donald Trump made the decision, which tossed aside decades of precedent, in December as he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The US is not the first embassy to open in Jerusalem – and won’t be the last

When the United States opens its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday it will be the most high-profile diplomatic inauguration in the holy city, but not the first nor the last.

Several countries, mainly African and Latin American, have previously had their ambassadors based in Jerusalem and some are expected to return.

After the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Ivory Coast, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Kenya severed relations with Israel in protest and closed the doors of their embassies in Jerusalem.

They later renewed relations but moved their missions to Tel Aviv.

In 1980 Israel enacted a law declaring Jerusalem, including the mainly Palestinian eastern zone, its ‘complete and united’ capital.

The United Nations Security Council branded the move illegal and adopted a resolution calling on ‘those states that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions’.

A Stars and Stripes flower bed outside the new US embassy compound in Jerusalem

A Stars and Stripes flower bed outside the new US embassy compound in Jerusalem

The Netherlands, Haiti and several Latin American countries complied.

Costa Rica and El Salvador returned to Jerusalem in 1984, but left again in 2006.

In the wake of Trump’s announcement on December 6, some at least are heading back – and Israel is hoping for more.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has said his country’s embassy will move to Jerusalem on May 16, and Paraguay’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday it would follow suit.

The Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement that Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes would attend the opening ceremony, which would take place ‘by the end of the month’.

Romania’s government, supported by the speaker of its parliament, has adopted a draft proposal to move its embassy, which would make it the first European Union member to do so.

But Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who has frequently clashed with the government, opposes the move in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and has called for Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s resignation.

On a visit to Jerusalem last month, Dancila acknowledged that at this stage she did not have ‘support of all parties as we would wish’ to carry out the embassy move.

Czech President Milos Zeman has said he too would like to see his country’s embassy transferred to Jerusalem.

He did not reveal any firm plan, however, and the government has only announced the reopening of its honorary consulate in Jerusalem and the establishment of a Czech cultural centre in the city.

On the other side of coin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas his country would not move its Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem, official Palestinian media reported.

The EU is sticking firmly to the international community’s decades-long position that sovereignty in Jerusalem can only be decided by negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Shortly after the Trump announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Brussels for talks with EU foreign ministers.

‘I believe that all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem,’ he told them, earning a chilly response from the bloc’s foreign policy head Federica Mogherini.

‘He can keep his expectations for others, because from the European Union member states’ side this move will not come,’ she said.

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See the source image

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Number of People Receiving Medicare (2016): *

Total Medicare beneficiaries

• Aged

• Disabled

 56.8 million

• 47.8 million

•   9.0 million

Part A (Hospital Insurance, HI) beneficiaries

• Aged

• Disabled

 56.5 million

• 47.5 million

•   9.0 million

Part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance, SMI) beneficiaries

• Aged

• Disabled

 52.1 million

• 43.9 million

•   8.2 million

Part C (Medicare Advantage) beneficiaries   17.6 million
Part D (Prescription Drug Benefit) beneficiaries  43.2 million

·        Totals may not add due to rounding.

Medicare Eligibility:

  • Individuals ages 65 and over, who are eligible for Social Security payments
  • Individuals under 65 with a disability, who receive Social Security cash payments
  • People of all ages with end-stage renal disease

Average Benefit per Enrollee (2016):

Total: $12,829

  • Part A: $4,968
  • Part B: $5,558
  • Part D: $2,304

Status of Medicare Trust Funds (2016): *

Medicare Trust Funds (billions): HI (Part A) SMI

(Part B) (Part D)

Total
Assets at end of 2015 $193.8 $68.1   $1.3 $263.2
Total income in 2016

Payroll taxes
Interest
Taxation of Benefits
Premiums
General Revenue/Other

$290.8

$253.5
7.7
23.0
3.3
3.3

 $313.2  $106.2

—– —–
2.1   0
— — —–
72.1   13.8
239.0    92.4

$710.2

$253.5
9.8
23.0
89.1
334.7

Total expenditures in 2016

Benefits
Administrative Expenses

$285.4

$280.5 
     4.9

$293.4  $100.0

$289.5 $99.5 
      3.9     0.5

$678.7

$669.5 
     9.2

Net change in assets $ 5.4   $19.8   $6.3 $31.5
Assets at end of 2016 $199.1 $ 88.0    $7.6 $294.7

*Totals may not add due to rounding

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A (HI) Financing and Tax Rate:

Financing: Primarily financed by payroll taxes

  • Tax rate paid by employee: 1.45%
  • Tax rate paid by employer: 1.45%
  • Total tax rate paid by both employer-employee: 2.90%
  • Total tax rate paid by self-employed: 2.90%
  • Beginning in 2013, workers pay an additional 0.9 percent of their earnings above $200,000 (for those who file an individual return) or $250,000 (for those who file a joint income tax return)

Medicare Part A Benefits (2018):

Hospital Benefits – Initial deductible: $1,340

– Daily co-insurance:

  • $0 (1st ~ 60th day)
  • $335 (61st ~ 90th day)
  • $670 (91st ~ 150th day, lifetime reserve days)
Skilled Nursing Facility Benefits – Deductible: $0

– Daily co-insurance:

  • $0 (1st ~ 20th day)
  • $167.50 (21st ~ 100th day)
  • – No benefits starting the 101st day
Home Health Services Benefits – No deductible

– 20% of Medicare –approved amount for durable medical equipment

Hospice Benefits – Deductible: $0

– Up to $5 co-payment per prescription for outpatient drugs for pain and symptom management

Medicare Part B

Financing:

  • About 25% by monthly premiums;
  • About 75% from general federal revenues

Medicare Part B Benefits (2018):

Coverage: Physician and outpatient care, medical supplies, home health, and preventive services
Standard Monthly premiums: The standard Part B premium is $134.00. However, most people who receive Social Security benefits will pay less ($130 on average) because Part B premiums increased more than the cost-of-living increase for 2018 Social Security benefits. Monthly premiums have been means-tested since 2007.

If Your Yearly Income in 2016 was You Pay
File Individual Tax Return File Joint Tax Return
$85,000 or below $170,00 or below $134.00
$85,001 – $107,000 $170,001 – $214,000 $187.50
$107,001 – $133,500 $214,001 – $267,000 $267.90
$133,501 – $160,000 $267,001 – $320,000 $348.30
above $160,000 Above $320,000 $428.60
Initial deductible: $183.00
Co-pay: 20% of covered expenses
Penalty for late enrollment : 10% of monthly premium for each full 12 months of late enrollment for life (Exception: late enrollment due to cancellation of an employer-sponsored group insurance)

Medicare Part D

Financing:

• About 13% by monthly premiums;

• About 78% from general federal revenues

• About 9% from state payments and interest

Medicare Part D Benefits (2018):

Coverage: Outpatient prescription drugs
Monthly premiums: The national base beneficiary premium for 2018 is $35.02. As of 2011, monthly premiums are mean-tested.

If Your Yearly Income in 2016 was You Pay
File Individual Tax Return File Joint Tax Return
$85,000 or below $170,00 or below Plan Premium
$85,001 – $107,000 $170,001 – $214,000 $13.00+Plan Premium
$107,001 – $160,000 $214,001 – $320,000 $33.60+Plan Premium
$160,001 – $214,000 $320,001 – $428,000 $54.20+Plan Premium
above $214,000 Above $428,000 $74.80+Plan Premium
Annual deductible $405*
Co-insurance: 25% of drug costs between $405 and $3,750*:
Coverage gap: 44% out-of-pocket spending for generic drug costs between $3,750~$5,000*. A 65% discount is available on covered brand-name prescription drugs at the time of purchase.
Extra help: Benefit for people with income less than $18,210 for an individual ($24,690 for a married couple living together) and up to $14,100 in resources ($28,150 for a married couple).
Note: Individual states might apply different criteria for extra help.
Penalty for late enrollment: 1% of the national average premium for each month not enrolled for life (Exception for late enrollment due to having prescription drug coverage that is as good as Medicare’s).

* Varies by individual plans and indexed to the annual percentage increase in Part D expenditures thereafter.

Supplemental Insurance

Medigap:

  • Each state offers up to 10 standard plans.
  • Starting June 1 2010, plans E, H, I, or J are no longer available to buy. People who already have one of these plans are able to continue with it. Also, Plans M and N are new policies introduced in 2010.
  • 23% of all Medicare beneficiaries have a Medigap policy.

Medicare Savings Programs:

Benefit for dual eligibles (those who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid benefits):

·   20% of Medicare beneficiaries received Medicaid in 2017.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries
(QMBs)
– Entitled to Medicare Part A

– Asset test

  • Not exceeding $7,560 for an individual;
  • Not exceeding $11,340 for married couples

– Monthly income limit: Most states: $1,032 for an individual or $1,392 for a couple

– Coverage: Medicare Part A & B premiums, deductibles and coinsurance.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMBs) – Entitled to Medicare Part A

– Asset test:

  • Not exceeding $7,560 for an individual;
  • Not exceeding $11,340 for married couples

– Monthly income limit: Most states: $1,234 for an individual or $1,666 for a couple

– Coverage: Medicare Part B premiums only

Qualifying Individuals
(QIs)
– Limited number of beneficiaries per year

– Entitled to Medicare Part A

– Asset test:

  • Not exceeding $7,560 for an individual;
  • Not exceeding $11,340 for married couples

– Monthly income limit: Most states: $1,386 for an individual or $1,872 for a couple

– Coverage: Medicare Part B premiums only

Medicaid Only
(Non QMB, SLMB, or QI)
– Entitled to Medicare Part A and/or Part B and are eligible for full Medicaid benefits

– Typically, these individuals need to spend down to qualify for
Medicaid or fall into a Medicaid eligibility poverty group

– Coverage: Full Medicaid benefits, Medicare cost-sharing
liability

Note: Individual states might have less restrictive criteria for dual eligibility.

Medicare Advantage (MA):

  • Eligibility to choose a MA plan: People who are enrolled in both Medicare A and B, pay the Part B monthly premium, do not have end-state renal disease, and live in the service area of the plan.
  • Formerly know as Medicare+Choice or Medicare Health Plans.
  • Benefits are provided by private insurance companies.
  • Premiums, cost sharing, and coverage vary by plan.
  • 18.4 Million enrollees (32% of all Medicare enrollees) in 2016.

http://www.ncpssm.org/our-issues/medicare/medicare-fast-facts/

 

WATCH LIVE: President Trump to discuss lowering drug prices

Trump announces plan to bring drug prices “back down to Earth”

HHS Secretary Alex Azar On President Donald Trump’s Drug Price Plans | CNBC

Trump unveils sweeping plan to lower prescription drug costs

White House press briefing with Sarah Sanders | Friday, 11 May 2018

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Part D Options When You Don’t Take Prescription Drugs

Medicare Part D Stages of Your Journey

Medicaid

HHS Sec. Alex Azar Presents “The Most Comprehensive Attack On Prescription Drug Affordability In History”

Following Friday’s announcement on lowering prescription drug costs, Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained the president’s new 50-point plan to lower health costs at the White House press briefing:

(You can watch Sarah Sanders answer questions for Friday here)

“There are over 50 actions that we have in — in the blueprint. And this is, again, not one-and-done, OK? We are learning. We are open. We’re hearing. We want to — we want this to be an active, ongoing process. This doesn’t get solved tomorrow. It’s going to take years of restructuring this system, but these are big. They’re bold steps. This is the most comprehensive attack on prescription drug affordability in history by any president,” Azar explained.

Trump’s plan, called “American Patients First,” seeks to increase competition, improve negotiation and create incentives to lower list prices of prescription drugs. It also includes rebate-sharing in Medicare drug plans, promoting generics and copycat versions of drugs and requiring drug manufacturers to publish list prices for drugs in television advertisements.

AZAR: Thank you, Sarah. Good afternoon, everyone. Well, as the president said earlier, we need a system for prescription drug prices that puts American patients first and one that takes case of America’s patients and doesn’t take advantage of them. What I wanted to do was try to just put a frame together for the actions that you’ll see in the blueprint and what the president and I talked about today to – so you just have a sense where we’re going here.

There are four major problems that we face. The first is high list prices for drugs. The second is government rules that get in the way of plans getting good deals for our senior citizens in our Medicare program. The third if foreign countries free riding off of American innovation. And the fourth is high out of pocket costs, especially for our seniors.

So, as you heard from the president today, this administration has already made a lot of progress in this regard. So, in the first year and a half in office the FDA has approved more generic drugs than ever before in history saving $8.8 billion in the first year. We also changed Medicare’s reimbursement rules to bring down the out of pocket spending for senior citizens saving them $320 million out of pocket on the drugs that they buy each year.

That work and the work that we’re laying out now in the president’s blueprint, it’s focused on four strategies to help fix this very complex problem that we face. First, increase competition. Second, increased and better negotiation. Third, incentives to actually lower list prices. And, fourth, lowering out of pocket costs.

So, first, it’s crucial that we have more competition in the prescription drug markets. That means we need a vital and vibrant generic drug industry and generic drug market. We need to foster and nurture a new competitive biosimilar generic drug market. Those are the generics essentially for those really complex, expensive biologic medicines. AZAR: We need to foster and nurture that. We also have to get after pharma companies who engage in anti-competitive practices and try to block the entry of generics or biosimilar products to market by, for instance, blocking access to their product so they can’t do the studies they need to do in order to get approval of an affordable generic or biosimilar market.

So, we’re going to go after all these kinds of abuses. Second, we’ve got to bring more private sector negotiation and better tools to our Medicare program so we get the best deals.

The Part D drug discount program for senior citizens is now 15 years old. I was there when we created it and helped to launch it. And when we did it, it was the — it was — it still is a great program, but it had the best tools, it was the best at negotiating great deals for our senior citizens.

And really was able to drive type formularies that were very efficient, and that’s what’s helped keep the cost of that Part D drug plan down below forecast and constantly low premiums throughout its time. But, over 15 years as so often happens with government programs, it got frozen in place.

And the private sector kept adapting and learning, especially after the economic crisis in 2007 how to control drug spend even better, OK? Part D stayed more static. We need now to bring the same tools that are available to the private sector to those Part D drug plans so they can negotiate better.

We need to unleash them so they can drive great deals for our seniors. We also have another part of our program, a major part which is called Part B. These are the drugs the physician administers. Mentioned those in the Rose Garden.

Those are — these right now are paid basically on a list price plus a markup. They send us a bill, we write a check. There’s no negotiation involved in that at all and the President has proposed in his budget, and we are reemphasizing we have got to figure out ways to move those drugs, especially the high cost ones into the private Part D drug plan negotiations.

So that we can get a deal and start getting bargains on that for our seniors and for taxpayers, we need to look at other mechanisms. And you’ll see that in the blueprint, some other ones that also help us negotiate better deals there for those plans.

Third, and this is a very complex area. Right now we have to bring incentives to lower list drug prices, OK? Right now, every incentive in the system is to increase and have high list drug prices. Because everybody in the system except the patient and the taxpayer is wetting their beak along the way.

They’re getting a — they’re getting a percent of that list price. List price goes up, list price higher, everybody makes more money along the way, so that it’s just — the math just works that way. We need to try to flip the incentives backwards so that financially it makes less sense to increase prices.

So one of the things we’re going to do, the President — I talked about this in the Rose Garden, is that we are having the FDA look at how we can require, in direct to consumer TV ads, that you have to disclose the list price of your drug.

We believe it’s an important part of fair balance, that if you’re telling a patient, activating a patient to have a discussion with their doctor about a drug, telling them all the good things that drug can do for them, it’s material and relevant to know if it’s a $50,000 or a $100 drug.

Because often that patient is going to have to bear a lot of that cost. In addition, we have in Medicaid and Medicare some key incentives that we can turn around on list prices. As part of Obamacare, one of the deals with the pharma industry was capping the statutory rebates on drugs in the Medicaid program at 100 percent.

We are going to work with Congress to look at overturning that cap on rebates. That again will make the math work so that when you increase your list price, it’s going to cost more money if you’re a pharma executive thinking about raising prices. AZAR: We’re also proposing — we want to think about some really creative ideas of — in our programs of reversing those incentives. So right now in our drug discount program, if you have a drug that fits into one of these protected classes, it’s almost impossible for the drug plan to negotiate and get any kind of discount from you, OK?

Well, that’s a — that — everybody gets that. What if, instead, we say, “You only get to be in that protected class if you haven’t raised your list price in the previous 18 months”? What if we say, “You can be exempt from these specialty tiers, where you — where the patient has to pay a lot out of pocket, but only if you haven’t increased your list price in the previous 18 months”? So a lot of tools like that.

The other big area we have to look at is the entire system of rebates that we have with pharmacy benefit managers. We are calling into question today the entire structure of using rebates as the method of negotiating discounts in the pharmacy channel, because right now, every incentive is for the drug company to have a very high list price, and to negotiate rebates down, often in a very nontransparent way.

What if, instead, we said, “No rebates. Flat price, fixed price in the contracts”; take away this whole, what’s called the gross-to-spread that removes that, and makes people indifferent to what the list price is in — in — in that system, and takes away the incentives, where even the pharmacy benefit manager makes money from higher list prices?

We also have a — a real issue that we’ve got a look at, which is the role of compensation for pharmacy benefit managers. They’re taking it now from both sides. They’re getting compensated by their customers, the insurance companies, but they’re also getting compensated by the drug companies they’re supposed to be negotiating against. They’re getting rebates, and keeping some of the rebates. They’re getting administrative fees.

Should we move to a fiduciary model, where the pharmacy benefit manager works for the insurance company or the individual, and only is compensated by the insurance company or individual; forbid renumeration from the — from the pharmaceutical company, so that it’s all completely on one side there, complete alignment of interest?

And then finally, how do we lower out-of-pocket drug costs? Well, as the president talked about it, we’re going to get rid of — we’re going to get rid of these gag rules, OK? Right now, some pharmacy benefit managers are telling pharmacists, “You’re not allowed to tell the patient that if they paid cash for this generic drug, it would be cheaper for you than if you run it through your insurance.” We think that’s unconscionable, and in part D, we’re going to work to — we’re going to work to block that.

We also think it’s a right, that when you’re sitting there with your doctor, you ought to be able to know what your out-of-pocket is for drug you’re going to be prescribed under your precise drug plan, and you ought to have that information. And you ought to have information on what competing drugs are that your doctor’s not prescribing, and what you would pay out-of-pocket for that. And that ought to be across the part B plan, and the part D plan.

Let me give you an example: You’re in with a doctor. This doctor has an infusion clinic, OK, as part of their office. OK, so they write you a drug that might be an infused drug. You might have a $300 co-pay for that. Well, wouldn’t you like to know that if the doctor instead wrote you a self-injectable drug, you’d have a $20 co-pay? And you could at least have an informed discussion. So we think that kind of informed consumer on out-of-pocket will also help drive real savings in the system.

So these are just some of the measures. There are over 50 actions that we have in — in the blueprint. And this is, again, not one-and-done, OK? We are learning. We are open. We’re hearing. We want to — we want this to be an active, ongoing process. This doesn’t get solved tomorrow. It’s going to take years of restructuring this system, but these are big. They’re bold steps. This is the most comprehensive attack on prescription drug affordability in history by any president. And I’m just grateful President Trump is, you know, standing behind us to — and — and encouraging us to do these kind of bold measures.

So with that said, let me open it up to questions.QUESTION: There’s a tremendous number of moving parts in — in this blueprint, many of which will require legislative action. How much of this works without the rest? Do you have to do it all, or can you do just part of it?

And — and how much can be done through executive action versus legislation?

AZAR: That’s a great question. Most of this, we believe, can be done by executive action. Now, we are more than happy to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis, so many of these solutions ought to be attracting bipartisan support. We all acknowledge this. These are problems we have to deal with.

But we believe most of these actions are steps that we can take using our regulatory authorities, especially with the power in the Medicare program.

They are — few of them are interdependent, and so it’s not as if any one is requiring a preceding act, there. We think we can attack many of these steps.

It is complex, though. It is very — because the system is rocket science. It’s unbelievably complex. And this — it is a very sophisticated approach, hitting at so many of the financial and business levers behind the system.

Instead of throwing just sort of political speak at this as — as it would have been easy to do, it’s a very business mindset focus on how do you actually change the underlying financial levers here to genuinely solve the problems?

That’s what the president wants. He wants it to actually solve the problem and lead to results.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary?

AZAR: Hi.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you. How soon will consumers actually see lower drug prices?

AZAR: Yes, so already they’re seeing lower drug prices from that historic level of generic drug approval last year. That’s almost $9 billion a year from all those generics on the market. The cuts that we made on how we reimburse on Medicare drugs, $320 million a year from that already; As we make more of these — we’re going to — we are — we are certainly moving forward with any of these changes to make sure that they’re going to see it in the pocketbook right away.

You know, let’s — so it — it’ll — it’s going to take time. Some of this will take regulatory action. We’ll have to go through the administrative process.

But I can tell you, as soon as I walked out of the Rose Garden — you know what the first question the president and the chief of staff had was?

QUESTION: (Inaudible)?

AZAR: When’s the execution? I want the execution framework. We’re going to have a meeting next week on the timelines and getting it all done.

So there’s…

QUESTION: Is it a matter of weeks or is it months, that consumers could actually see that benefit?

AZAR: It’s — it’s going to be months for the kind of actions that we need to take, here. Again, this is — this is — it took decades to erect this very complex interwoven system.

We’re talking about entrenched market players, complex financial arrangements that have — would have to be redesigned.

So I don’t want to overpromise that, somehow, you know, on Monday, there’s a radical change. But there’s a deep commitment that this is — this is fundamental, structural change that we’re talking about, to — to our system.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary?

AZAR: Yes?

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much (ph). India is making a lot of jokes (ph). (Inaudible) how India is going to be effected to this (inaudible) today?

Also, at the same time, next month is Yoga International Day announced by the United Nations and the prime minister of India. How yoga can help — maybe you don’t need any drugs if you have yoga?

AZAR: Well, I’ll stick with the first one, which is the generic — which is generic drugs. Generic drugs, competition in our system is absolutely vital. That’s why — deep commitment of the administration to remove any anti-competitive barriers to generic competition.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary?

AZAR: Yes?

QUESTION: You talked about calling into question the entire rebate structure.

AZAR: Yes.

QUESTION: Specifically what steps are you doing to — now, and when might consumers see change on that?

AZAR: Yes. So as part of the blueprint, we’re releasing a request for information that’s the initiation of seeking input. This is — this is the restructure — this is the possible restructuring of a major sector of the economy.

One doesn’t do that lightly. It’s beginning a national dialogue with the public, with — with stakeholders, with Congress on — if we were to do this, if we were to outlaw rebates, say in the Part D Drug Discount Program, and instead require that the products be discounted at a fixed price.

So, for instance, just to explain how this works now, let’s say you have $1,000 drug. You go to the pharmacy benefit manager and say, hey, if you cover my drug, I’ll give you a 30 percent rebate on that after the fact if any of your patients use this. OK, so a $300 rebate on that.

What this would say is instead of that, you would have to negotiate and the contract would say you get reimbursed $700 this year, and then maybe $702 next year, if — for — for some inflation. So, it’s fixed and indifferent than to list price. So this game — what goes on now is frankly, a bit of a game, which is the drug company negotiates this 30 percent rebate and then, the next day, increases price 30 percent.

And it’s — it’s this game of chase that goes on. Instead, fix price, make everything indifferent to this list price and all the fees not be based on — on a percent of this artificial list price, which for so many people is like the rack rate on the back of your hotel room door. You know, almost nobody pays it. But too many people now in the health care system are paying it, and they’re suffering from that.

QUESTION: But, any timeline for this, like how long it’s going to take, or?

AZAR: Well that’s a — so, this is out today and we’re going to seek comment. And we want to learn. And then we’ll — we’re going to — we’re going to move forward on that if it makes sense. And we need to learn how to restructure — restructure things.

I believe that even one pharmacy benefit manager just yesterday talked about this precise issue of restructuring their contracts to get out of this rebate spread conundrum that the world is in. So I believe it’s doable and I think it will have tremendous systemic impact. Yes.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, there are a couple of notorious examples in the last couple of years of drug companies buying drugs that have been on the market for years and suddenly raising their prices extraordinarily.

AZAR: Yes.

QUESTION: Is there anything in this blueprint that addresses that…

AZAR: There is, yes.

QUESTION: … For example, the — the EpiPen situation a couple years ago?

AZAR: There is. So, one of the elements on increasing the power of negotiation that we’re doing in this plan is if a sole-source generic drug — which is what these instances that have gotten so much attention in the past several years, this is when you have one generic drug out there.

And if there is any increase in price by a sole-source generic, we are going to allow the drug plan to reopen their drug formulary immediately and take action against that drug, whereas right now they have to wait the — for the end of the year on the new plan cycle. They can immediately go after that drug, come up with alternative drugs or create preferential treatment for other drugs right away, if there’s any increase in price of a sole-sourced generic.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary?

AZAR: Yes.

QUESTION: Yes. So you’re talking about the increases in drug prices, while in areas like Maryland and Virginia insurers are talking about double digit health insurance premium increases. There’s a Maryland regulator that’s said something like the ACA is in the death spiral and echoing past words (ph) of the president. What are you doing to deal with that? Does HHS just accept these premium predictions as reality? What are you doing to reduce those costs?

AZAR: So — so, some of these premium submissions right now, it is the very beginning of a process that happens with state regulators around — around those insurance designs. These price increases were happening under President Obama. They continue because of the structural infirmities in how Obamacare was designed.

This is why the president has been so adamant about producing alternative, affordable options for patients because for so many — the 28 million forgotten men and women in this country have been forced out of the individual market. And they’re sitting there without insurance, even though they were promised they would have accessible, affordable, competitive insurance that they could keep.

You know, 6.7 million Americans paid $3.1 billion in the Obamacare taxes for the privilege of not buying insurance they couldn’t afford and didn’t want. And 80 percent of them make $50,000 or less.

So we’re trying to bring short-term plans as an option for people. We’re trying to bring association health plans out of the Labor Department as options for people. The president is just — We want to keep looking for more options to get people out of some of the traps that the — the Obamacare system has created of these high-cost and uncompetitive plans for people.

Yes?

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I have a question about another issue at HHS — HHS (ph), actually. Justice Department has indicated the department is set to change an Obamacare rule that would bar medical practitioners from denying mental treatment to transgender people, including gender reassignment surgery. Will HHS repeal that rule?

AZAR: I’m not familiar with that — with that particular issue, so I’m going to — I’m — I’m going to talk about drug price. I’m not familiar with that. I’ll look into that when I get back over to the department. Thank you.

Yes?

QUESTION: Thank you. So you talked about Medicare Part B, negotiating better — better prices. That is same thing that the president referred to when he said that other countries’ socialized Medicare — medicine systems are — are ripping us off. Why is that OK for Medicare, but not for other countries?

AZAR: So the difference is — the difference is having entities negotiate in a competitive environment. So what happens in some of these socialist countries? I dealt with them in the past. What they do is they say, “You don’t come into this country unless you pay this low price, and here’s — here’s a low, below-market, noncompetitive price. You either pay it, or you don’t come into this country.” And they don’t really care if the people of their country don’t get access to that drug, and the people aren’t informed, even, that they don’t have access to that medicine in these — in these ration systems.

And so that’s completely different from what we’re doing, where we’re harnessing the power of the private negotiating market to negotiate deals.

So for instance, the way Part D works, the system that we want to try to emulate and use tools from in that Part B, is one drug plan might say, “I’m not going to cover this drug because I didn’t get a good enough deal,” and then another plan might cover that drug because they think they got a good enough deal. But the key is, the senior citizen’s in the driver’s seat. They get to say, “All right, then I’m going to choose. I need that drug. I’m going to buy this plan, and I’ll pay the premium for that plan, because I want insurance there.”

You know, if you’re in a socialized country, it’s one-size-fits-all. You can’t exit, except gone and — getting on an airplane to America, where you can get access to that medicine.

So yes?

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you. When people hear about this plan, read about this plan over the upcoming days, they’re presumably going to learn about yourself as well, and they might say, “Wait a minute. Somebody who was a pharma executive is now going to be the one in charge of lowering drug prices.” How is that going to work? Your pitch to Americans, that they can trust you to oversee this effort would be what?

AZAR: I’d say trust us by our actions, and by the deeds in the blueprint: over 50 action plans that are hard-hitting. It’s the hardest-hitting plan ever proposed by a president across the entire spectrum of every player in this industry to drive down drug prices, and make drugs more affordable. And this is exactly — I know this from having been on the other side, running a drug company, in these — and these issues, which is, I actually looked at, if you could lower drug prices. It didn’t work for any one company. You —

This is how perverse the system is: You put yourself at a disadvantage in the system by having a lower-list-price drug than others, again, because every player in the system makes more money as a percent off of that list price. This is precisely why I’m so excited to be here in government, with the knowledge that I’ve got, and this team has about how we can change the rules of the road, and actually change the system, so that we can reverse those incentives to make that work, make those choices work, bring down drug prices, and make things more affordable.

Trump Promises Lower Drug Prices, but Drops Populist Solutions

Image
The plan announced by President Trump and Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, on Friday would give private entities more tools to negotiate better deals on behalf of consumers, insurers and employers.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Friday to “bring soaring drug prices back down to earth” by promoting competition among pharmaceutical companies, and he suggested that the government could require drugmakers to disclose prices in their ubiquitous television advertising.

But he dropped the popular and populist proposals of his presidential campaign, opting not to have the federal government directly negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare. And he chose not to allow American consumers to import low-cost medicines from abroad.

He would instead give private entities more tools to negotiate better deals on behalf of consumers, insurers and employers.

Speaking in the sun-splashed Rose Garden of the White House, Mr. Trump said that a “tangled web of special interests” had conspired to keep drug prices high at the expense of American consumers.Everyone involved in the broken system — the drugmakers, insurance companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others — contribute to the problem,” Mr. Trump said. “Government has also been part of the problem because previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse. But under this administration we are putting American patients first.”

His proposals hardly put a scare into the system he criticized.

Ronny Gal, a securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said the president’s speech was “very, very positive to pharma,” and he added, “We have not seen anything about that speech which should concern investors” in the pharmaceutical industry.

Shares of several major drug and biotech companies rose immediately after the speech, as did the stocks of pharmacy benefit managers, the “middlemen” who Mr. Trump said had gotten “very, very rich.” The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index rose 2.7 percent on Friday. CVS Health, which manages pharmacy benefits for many insurers and employers, finished up 3.2 percent.

Mr. Trump and other Republicans are eager to show an achievement on health care this year to counter arguments by Democrats who say that Americans are losing coverage because of Mr. Trump’s efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Soaring pharmaceutical prices are directly hitting consumer wallets, and high-profile cases — like the sudden jump in the price of EpiPens or the jailing of the hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, who greatly increased the price of a drug under his control — have turned pharmaceuticals into a hot political topic.

Many of Mr. Trump’s ideas can be put into effect through regulations or guidance documents. Some will require legislation.

Republicans in Congress welcomed the president’s attention to high drug prices and promised to review his proposals, which Mr. Trump said would “derail the gravy train for special interests.”

Democrats embraced the opportunity to push health care back to the center of the political debate.

“President Trump offered little more than window dressing to combat the rising cost of drugs — a problem that is pinching the pocketbook of far too many Americans,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said after the speech. “We Democrats have offered a better deal on prescription drugs through true transparency, Medicare Part D negotiation, and a cop on the beat to police and stop exorbitant price hikes.”

After supporting some of those same proposals on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump pivoted to a different approach. He said his administration would provide new powers for Medicare’s private prescription drug plans, known as Part D, to negotiate lower prices but he would not use the purchasing power of the federal government to conduct direct negotiations. He said he would make it easier for pharmacists to inform patients of cheaper alternatives and would speed the approval of over-the-counter drugs “so that patients can get more medicines without prescription.”

Mr. Trump also denounced foreign countries that he said “extort unreasonably low prices from U.S. drugmakers” so that their citizens often pay much less than American consumers for the same drugs.

“America will not be cheated any longer, and especially will not be cheated by foreign countries,” Mr. Trump said. He directed his trade representative to “make fixing this injustice a top priority” in negotiations with every trading partner.

“It’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all,” Mr. Trump said.

It is not clear why higher profits in other countries would be passed on to American consumers in the form of lower prices, and officials in those countries pushed back hard.

“With our price regulations, drug companies are still making profits — just lower profits than in the United States,” said Dr. Mitchell Levine, the chairman of Canada’s Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, which reviews prices to ensure they are not excessive.

The administration floated several ideas that could radically change the marketing of prescription drugs.

Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, said the Food and Drug Administration would explore requiring drug companies to disclose list prices in their television advertisements.

The government, he said, will consider whether to “outlaw rebates” — the discounts and price concessions that are a key link in the drug supply chain. Pharmacy benefit managers are hired by insurers and large employers to negotiate lower drug prices, but they also receive rebate payments from drugmakers, creating a potential conflict of interest, the administration said.

Mr. Trump said he would end “the dishonest double-dealing that allows the middleman to pocket rebates and discounts that should be passed on to consumers and patients.”

Mark Merritt, the president and chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents drug benefit managers, said the real problem was the high prices set by drugmakers.

“Getting rid of rebates and other price concessions would leave patients and payers, including Medicaid and Medicare, at the mercy of drug manufacturers’ pricing strategies,” Mr. Merritt said.

Thomas M. Moriarty, an executive vice president of CVS Health, said his company already offers clients the option to share rebates and discounts with consumers when they fill prescriptions.

Experts said some of the president’s ideas could help lower drug prices.

“It’s framed as a pro-competitive agenda, and touches on a range of government programs that the administration can change through regulation — so that the president can take unilateral action,” said Daniel N. Mendelson, the president of Avalere Health, a research and consulting company. “The trick here for the administration is to do something visible before the midterm elections, so they can take credit for an action that reduces drug prices for consumers.”

Mr. Trump’s “blueprint to lower drug prices” has four main themes: increasing competition in drug markets; giving private plans more tools to negotiate discounts for Medicare beneficiaries; providing new incentives for drug manufacturers to reduce list prices; and cutting consumers’ out-of-pocket costs.

The administration would lower out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients by requiring prescription drug plans to pass on some of the discounts and rebates they receive from drug manufacturers. Patients could see those savings at the pharmacy counter. At the same time, Medicare officials say, there could be a modest increase in premiums for Medicare drug coverage.

Health policy experts like this idea because it reduces the burden on patients with serious chronic illnesses and spreads the expense of needed medications across the entire insured population.

But Democrats said Mr. Trump’s policy prescriptions fell far short of what was needed, especially next to the populist promises he made during the 2016 campaign.

“I think very expensive champagne will be popping in drug company boardrooms across the country tonight,” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, who has been investigating drug prices for the last year. “The president is apparently abandoning his campaign promise to authorize Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies to lower prices.”

Administration officials were somewhat defensive about the president’s plan, saying it was bold and significant even though it was not what Democrats wanted — or what candidate Trump favored.

In a round of television interviews on Friday, Mr. Azar said the president’s plan included “over 50 different initiatives — very sophisticated, the kind of thing you’d expect from a C.E.O. like Donald Trump, getting at the real heart of the business problem.”

Mr. Azar said the president’s plan would “unleash those who negotiate for us with the greater powers of the private sector” to obtain good deals.

In trade negotiations, the White House wants to put pressure on other countries to increase the prices of brand-name drugs, with the expectation that pharmaceutical companies would then lower prices here at home.

America’s trading partners “need to pay more because they’re using socialist price controls, market access controls, to get unfair pricing,” said Mr. Azar, a former top executive at the drugmaker Eli Lilly and Company. “And they’re doing it on the backs of their patients. God help you if you get cancer in some of these countries.”

Other nations, also struggling with high drug prices, scorned Mr. Trump’s advice on this issue.

“Drug manufacturers in the United States set their own prices, and that is not the norm elsewhere in the world,” a spokesman for the 28-member European Union said on Friday. “E.U. member states have government entities that either negotiate drug prices or decide not to cover drugs whose prices they deem excessive. No similar negotiating happens in the U.S.”

Katie Thomas contributed reporting from Chicago, and Peter Baker from Washington.

6 Takeaways From Trump’s Plans to Try to Lower Drug Prices

Image
Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, and President Trump announced a “blueprint” to try to lower drug prices.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

President Trump has the power to sink pharmaceutical stocks with a single jab about high drug prices.

But in a much-anticipated speech on the topic on Friday, Mr. Trump largely avoided the issues the industry fears the most, such as allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, or allowing Americans to import drugs. Investors noticed: Stocks of major drug companies rose after his speech, as did those of pharmacy benefit managers, or the “middlemen” that Mr. Trump said were getting “very, very rich.”

As the health care world parsed the president’s newly released “blueprint” to lower drug prices, the overarching insight seemed to be this: The drug industry’s formidable lobbyists had won some key victories, even if they did not escape entirely unscathed. Many proposals were light on detail and will need action by Congress to become real.

Yet Mr. Trump won some praise for having taken a stab at tackling such a complex and vitally important issue to many Americans.

Here is a rundown of the key proposals unveiled on Friday.

Lower drug prices for older people

On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump embraced allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of the drugs it buys for older people, an issue traditionally supported by Democrats but long opposed by Republicans — and the powerful drug industry.

Friday’s proposal falls far short of that goal. But it does include some ideas for giving the government better leverage in negotiating with drug companies. It calls for exploring whether to allow Medicare drug plans to pay different amounts for the same drug, depending on the illness involved. And it would experiment with “value-based purchasing” in federal programs, essentially a money-back guarantee in which a drugmaker promises to refund money if a medication does not work as expected. Drug companies and insurers are increasingly entering into these kind of arrangements, although the evidence is far from clear that they lower costs.

The administration also reiterated earlier proposals: making generic drugs free for some low-income older people on Medicare and allowing people to keep a portion of the rebates that are normally pocketed by the insurers that manage the Medicare drug program.

Persuade other countries to pay more

One key proposal would involve pressuring other countries to raise their prices for prescription medicines. Drug prices in the United States are the highest in the world; many countries with centralized health care systems have successfully negotiated lower prices from pharmaceutical companies.

Mr. Trump, echoing the longstanding position of the drug industry, has said these companies are “free-riding” off the ingenuity of American corporations, and that high drug prices in the United States are subsidizing innovation that benefits the whole world.

The Trump administration plans to work with several federal agencies to address what it described as this “unfair disparity.”

But it is unclear whether other countries would be willing to raise their prices, or whether doing so would lead drug companies — which are beholden to shareholders hungry for profit — to lower prices in the United States.

Require drug ads to include the price

Prescription drug commercials are ubiquitous. But what if those ads had to disclose the drug’s price? That is something the Trump administration says it wants to explore.

The idea would certainly grab attention, and fear of a consumer backlash could pressure some drugmakers into dropping their prices.

But the notion poses a lot of issues For one: which price? The list price, which is about what a pharmacy would charge if someone paid for the drug in cash? Or the discounted price that insurers and employers pay? Most consumers have health insurance and pay a much smaller out-of-pocket cost, although that can still add up to thousands of dollars a month.

Other questions include whether such a requirement would survive a First Amendment challenge, and whether posting a high sticker price — which few ultimately pay — could dissuade patients seeking out a necessary drug.

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Oleg Deripaska

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oleg Deripaska
Дерипаска Олег Владимирович.jpg

Deripaska in 2012
Born Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska
2 January 1968 (age 50)
DzerzhinskNizhny Novgorod OblastRussian SFSR
Residence Moscow, Russia
Citizenship Russia
Cyprus[1]
Alma mater Moscow State UniversityPlekhanov Russian Academy of Economics
Occupation Chairman of Supervisory Board of Basic Element Company
Net worth DecreaseUS$3.7 billion (April 2018)[2]
Spouse(s) Polina Yumasheva (m. 2001)
Children 2
Awards
Website Basic Element
Deripaska.com

Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska (Russian: Оле́г Влади́мирович Дерипа́ска; born January 2, 1968)[3] is a Russian oligarch of Jewish descent, aluminium magnate and philanthropist.[1] He is the founder and owner of one of the largest Russian industrial groups Basic Element. He was the president of En+ Group and United Company Rusal, the second largest aluminium company in the world,[4] until 2018.[5]

After graduating from Moscow State University with a degree in physics, Deripaska became a metals broker specialized in trading aluminium before expanding into energy, machinery, financial services and agribusiness. In 2000, Deripaska founded Rusal, the result of a partnership between Sibirsky Aluminium and Roman Abramovich‘s Millhouse Capital.[6] In 2007, Rusal merged with SUAL Group and Glencore International AG to form UC Rusal, with Deripaska as chairman.[7]

He was once Russia’s richest man, worth $28 billion, but nearly lost everything due to mounting debts amid the 2007–08 financial crisis. As of May 2017, his wealth was estimated by Forbes at $5.2 billion.[8] Deripaska is also known for his close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as his connection to American political consultant Paul Manafort, whom Deripaska employed from at least 2005 to 2009.[9]

Deripaska is also the founder of Volnoe Delo, Russia’s largest charitable foundation, and is reported to have donated more than $250 million to mostly educational causes. He is married to Polina Yumasheva, step-granddaughter of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and daughter of Valentin Yumashev, Yeltsin’s son-in-law and close advisor.

Deripaska was also granted Cypriot citizenship in 2017.[1]

Education and early career

Early life

Deripaska was born in DzerzhinskNizhny Novgorod OblastSoviet Russia and grew up in Ust-LabinskKrasnodar Krai. His parents were from Kuban[10]. He is of Russian-Jewish ancestry.[11]. Deripaska grew up on the family’s small farm, where from the age of 5 or 6, he learned how to live off the land from his grandparents,[12] who primarily raised him after his widowed mother, an engineer, had to leave to find work.[13] Deripaska credits his grandparents for teaching him the discipline of hard work along with farming.[12] Both his grandfathers fought in the Second World War; one was killed in battle and buried in a mass grave in Austria, the other returned to Russia after the war ended.[14]

Deripaska’s first job was at the Ust-Labinsk plant where his mother worked. At age 11, he became an electrician’s apprentice doing maintenance on electrical motors.[14] Deripaska acquired a passion for reading; his favorite authors were Mayne Reid and Jack London.[14]Today, Basic Element’s headquarters contain walls of books, reflecting Deripaska’s lifelong love of reading.[14] His talent for math allowed him to enroll at the physics faculty of Moscow State University in 1985.[12] One year into his studies, he was conscripted into the armed forces and served in the Soviet army’s Strategic Missile Forces[12] in the Trans-Baikal area, Siberia, from 1986–1989.[14]

Education

In 1993, Deripaska graduated with honors in physics from Moscow State University;[15] however, the collapse of the Soviet Union greatly eliminated academic funding and made it impossible for him to continue his studies as a theoretical physicist.[14] There were no stipends or grants for students either. “We had no money. It was an urgent and practical question every day. How do I earn money to buy food and keep studying?” he recalls.[14] In 1996, he earned a master’s degree from the Plekhanov University of Economics.[13]

Early career

At the age of 25, teaming up with fellow physicists, engineers and rocket scientists, Deripaska set up his first metal trading company, VTK. He adopted a systematic, scientific approach to commodity trading. “I represented companies that were buying and selling raw materials”, Deripaska said.[12] Deripaska undertook export arbitrage, buying metal at low Russian prices and selling it abroad at significantly higher international market prices. Deripaska traded primarily through the Baltic state of Estonia as the Russian system of export licenses was in disarray.[12] “I started my business at an unusual moment in history. The country in which I was born raised had disappeared, although the new country was not fully formed. The first one gave me an excellent education; the second one gave me the chance of success”, Deripaska recalled in an interview with Metal Bulletin.[14]

He used nearly all his arbitrage and trading profits to acquire his initial package of shares in the Sayanogorsk Aluminium Smelter in Southern Siberia.[16] Between 1993 and 1994, Deripaska bought vouchers and shares in Sayanogorsk, and accumulated a 20% stake in the factory, becoming the biggest individual shareholder after the Russian State — to the annoyance of the plant’s Communist-era bosses.

In 1994, Deripaska became director general of the plant at the age of 26.[12] In 1997, the smelter became the core asset of Sibirsky (Siberian) Aluminium Group.[17] Deripaska was general manager and the main shareholder of the Sayanogorsk Smelter (1994–97) and held the post of president of Sibirsky Aluminium Investment Industrial Group (1997–2001), which later became the core asset of RUSAL.[18]

Growth with RUSAL

RUSAL went on to become the largest aluminium producer in the world, until the China Hongqiao Group surpassed it in 2015. In 2010, under Deripaska’s leadership, Rusal became the first Russian company to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.[14]

Beyond metals, which remain at the core of his diversified industrial holding, Deripaska has acquired stakes in a wide range of companies in various sectors, including energy, manufacturing, commercial vehicles, auto components, financial and insurance services,[19]leasing businesses, construction,[20] aviation, and agriculture. Among his assets are a Siberian power company EuroSibEnergo,[21] that is Russia’s biggest private energy company; Ingosstrakh, one of Russia’s largest insurance companies; GAZ Group, a producer of cars, trucks and buses, agricultural business (Kuban Agro Holding);[22][23] and transport companies, such as a cluster of airports in the Krasnodar region, including Sochi and Krasnodar.[24] All these assets form part of the diversified investment and industrial group Basic Element.[25]

In fact, Basic Element built several Olympic facilities for 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, including the Coastal Olympic Village, Imeretisnkiy sea port, Doubler of Kurortny Avenue in Sochi, renovation of the Sochi International Airport. The total investments account for over $1.4 billion.[26]

Later business career

EN+ Group

The group was formed in 2006, with Oleg Deripaska as President and controlling shareholder.[27] The EN+ Group is a diversified mining, metals and energy groups. It owns a majority stake in UC Rusal (48.13%[28]) and in EuroSibEnergo. EN+ also holds interests in SMR, one of the world’s largest ferromolybdenum producers.

In 2017, it reported adjusted core earnings of $2.3 billion, on revenues totaling $9.8 billion.[29] Due to ongoing recovery in the commodity industry, EN+ Group announced plans to be listed at the London Stock Exchange in the first half of 2017.[30] EN+ could be valued between $10 billion and $12 billion.[30]

Basic Element

Deripaska is the sole owner and Chairman of Supervisory Board of Basic Element, a diversified investment group established in 1997. Basic Element’s assets are concentrated in five sectors: energy, manufacturing, financial services, agriculture, construction and aviation. The major assets include United Company RUSAL[31] the world’s largest aluminium and alumina producer; GAZ Group, an automotive companyIngosstrakh, the country’s oldest insurance company; Bank SOYUZ (Банк «СОЮЗ»);[32] Aviakor aircraft manufacturer; EuroSibEnergo (ЕвроСибЭнерго), an investment and energy supply company;[21] Glavmosstroy (Главмосстрой), a construction company;[33] Kuban Agroholding, an agricultural company;[22] and Basel Aero, an aviation business comprising the four largest airports in the Krasnodar territory (in joint venture with Changi Airports International).[24]

Basic Element owns companies and subsidiaries in Russia, the CIS countries, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin America. It employs as many as 250,000 people.[25]

Metals and mining

RUSAL

United Company RUSAL is the world’s second largest aluminium company. It was the largest until it was overtaken by China Hongqiao Group in 2015. UC RUSAL accounts for almost 7% of the world’s primary aluminium output and 7% of the world’s alumina production. UC RUSAL was formed through a series of mergers and acquisitions.

In 2000, Deripaska’s Sibirsky Aluminium and Roman Abramovich‘s Millhouse Capital created a partnership to manage the aluminium and alumina assets they controlled, and founded RUSAL.[34]

In 2003, businesses led by Deripaska increased their stake in those companies under common management to 75% by acquiring half of the interest managed by Millhouse Capital.[35]

In 2004, the consolidation of RUSAL’s ownership by companies related to Deripaska was completed with the acquisition of the remaining 25% equity interest in RUSAL managed by Millhouse Capital.[34]

In order to ensure a stable supply of alumina to its smelters, several mergers and acquisitions were accomplished by RUSAL under Deripaska’s guidance. At the beginning of the 2000s, RUSAL acquired bauxite mines in Guinea, a country with the world’s largest bauxite reserves. Subsequently, RUSAL acquired a stake in an alumina refinery in Australia. After the merger with Glencore, bauxite and alumina assets in Jamaica, Italy and Ireland were added to RUSAL’s portfolio. These transactions converted RUSAL from a company with few supplies of the raw material bauxite into a vertically integrated corporation.[36]

In parallel, Deripaska invested significantly in the operational improvement of smelters inside Russia. He said, “We consolidated the industry, and located bauxites that do not exist in Russia. We established the company that became the leader of industry in less than twelve years. But to become the number one alumimium producer in the world, we had to improve our operations practice. To apply the