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The Pronk Pops Show 1278, June 20, 2019, Part 1– Story 1: President Trump: “Iran made a very big mistake” — Option A: Strong Message and Done , Option B: One Missile Attack and Done, Option C: Total War With Iran and World Recession Due To Spike in Oil and Gas Prices — Videos — Story 2: Federal Reserve Board Votes To Keep Federal Funds Target Range of 2.25% to 2.5% Waiting For July 2019 Jobs Report and Second Quarter Real GDP Growth Rate Number — Videos — Story 3: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey Joey Biden in Praise of Civility of Democrat Segregationist Senators — Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) Attack Biden — Videos — Part 2– Story 4: President Trump Pushes All The Right Buttons in 2020 Stump Speech in Orlando, Florida — Boom Boom Boom — Send Them Home — MAGA MAGA MAGA — Lock Them Up — Four More Years — Keep America Great — Win Win Win — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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Story 1: President Trump: “Iran made a very big mistake” — Option A: Strong Message and Done, Option B: One Missile Attack and Done, Option C: Total War With Iran and World Recession Due To Spike in Oil and Gas Prices — Videos —

Tucker: Washington is war-hungry

Pentagon releases footage of US drone being shot down by Iran

LIVE: President Trump first comments after Iran shoots down US Drone | June 20th 2019

US is bringing the Iranian economy to its knees: Nile Gardiner

Oil prices rise after Iran shoots down US drone

40% Chance of 2020 U.S.-Iran Military Conflict: Eurasia CEO

Iran shoots down US drone as tensions escalate

Video shows Iran shooting down US drone

Iran says it shot down US drone ‘violating Iranian air space’ amid growing tensions

Iran Shot Down U.S. Drone to Disrupt Trade in Persian Gulf, Senior U.S. Military Official Says

President Trump makes first comments after Iran shoots down U.S. Drone | ABC News Special Report

Iran says it’s ‘ready for war’

Iran shoots down US military spy drone | DW News

Iran says it will breach nuclear deal ‘in days’ as its uranium stockpile limit nears

Is The U.S. Going To War With Iran? | AJ+

Iran’s foreign minister accuses US, Mideast of provoking conflict

Iran’s Zarif thrashes Trump, “US driven by pathological obsession” (Munich Security Conference 2019)

Can air strikes take out Iran’s nuclear facilities?

Did Trump Just Blink or Bluff in Standoff With Iran?

Anthony Halpin

Bloomberg

Was it all a bluff? After news leaked that President Donald Trump approved and then called off U.S. airstrikes on Iran last night, it emerged he’d warned Tehran about an imminent attack while insisting he was against a war.

Today, as airlines began re-routing flights away from the Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the Swiss ambassador, who also represents U.S. interests, for talks.

Was the outreach why Trump abandoned the strikes? Or was this the latest example of the whipsaw approach from a president who’s twice attacked Syria but also backed away from using force after lashing out at Iran and North Korea?

The leak of Trump’s about-face also speaks volumes about the battle for influence in the White House. Hardliners clearly thought they’d convinced him to back a tough response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. Navy drone. Yet Trump was elected on a pledge to pull out of Middle East wars.

The president, who governs with the cliffhanger style of his Apprentice TV show, thrives on keeping supporters hooked on dramatic twists.

But as his 2020 re-election campaign gains steam, the stakes now include the prospect of armed conflict and instability in a region that supplies a third of the world’s oil.

Global Headlines

Biden’s burden | Democratic front-runner Joe Biden is encountering the same pitfalls as other seasoned politicians who’ve found their experience and record can be a liability. The former Delaware senator’s struggles to defend his remarks this week about finding common ground with two segregationists is an early sign of the trouble he could have explaining a complicated voting record and his nostalgia for a Washington collegiality that has steadily diminished since he was first elected in 1972.

Border control | Trump praised Mexico’s efforts to crack down on migrants crossing the border into the U.S. after the two countries entered an agreement aimed at stemming the flow of people entering Mexico from Central America. Mexico will take greater control of its southern border and ask foreigners to register their arrival.

Osaka drama | Before Trump, Group of 20 summits were dull if worthy affairs. This year’s gathering in Osaka, Japan next week promises to be anything but, as the U.S. president holds talks with China’s Xi Jinping after threatening to escalate their trade conflict. The best-case scenario would be a pause in new U.S. tariffs and a resumption of negotiations that broke down in May. The worst-case would be a new Cold War between the two largest economies.

Favorites flushed | European Union leaders cast aside the candidates who’ve dominated the race to head the next EU Commission and will start from scratch less than two weeks before a self-imposed deadline. The decision at a summit in Brussels extends gridlock that has left investors in the dark over a series of critical posts including the next president of the European Central Bank.

Bad air | As climate change tops political agendas from Washington to New Delhi, there’s no solution in sight for the bad air choking Europe’s poorest countries. While the EU has focused mostly on stability in the volatile Balkans, health problems and lost productivity from air pollution cost the continent more than 10 billion euros a year. Obsolete coal plants and cars spew smog and hundreds of thousands of people burn tires, wood and trash to stay warm.

What to Watch

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will go head-to-head in the contest to become the U.K.’s next prime minister as they seek votes from the Conservative Party’s 160,000 grassroots members over the next month. Ukraine’s Constitutional Court threw out a challenge to a decree by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ordering early parliamentary elections. The ruling confirmed a vote will take place next month and a new government should be in place by the fall. Turkey reruns the election for mayor of Istanbul on Sunday, pitting former prime minister and ruling AK Party candidate Binali Yildirim against opposition challenger Ekrem Imamoglu, who was stripped of his narrow victory in the March 31 ballot.

And finally…The U.K. is poised to generate more energy from low-carbon sources than from fossil fuels for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear plants provided 48% of the nation’s power in the first five months of this year. The U.K. has gone without burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, for the equivalent of 80 days so far in 2019, including one stretch of 18 days in a row.

–With assistance from Kathleen Hunter and Daniel Ten Kate.

https://news.yahoo.com/did-trump-just-blink-bluff-100815556.html

Trump says Iran made ‘big mistake’ by taking down US drone

today

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Washington. Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” in shooting down a U.S. drone but suggested it was an accident rather than a strategic error. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” by shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz but suggested it was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation of the tensions that have led to rising fears of open military conflict.

Asked about a U.S. response, the president said pointedly, “You’ll soon find out.”

The downing of the huge, unmanned aircraft , which Iran portrayed as a deliberate defense of its territory rather than a mistake, was a stark reminder of the risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces as the Trump administration combines a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions against Iran with a buildup of American forces in the region.

The drone — which has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737 — entered Iranian airspace “despite repeated radio warnings” and was shot down by Iran, acting under the U.N. Charter which allows self-defense action “if an armed attack occurs,” Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general.

Donald Trump is playing down Iran's downing of an American drone, saying that it might have been a mistake executed by someone just being "loose and stupid." He said it was a "new wrinkle" in escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. (June 20)

Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, appeared to play down the significance of the shootdown.

He cast it as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said that “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”

Shortly before Trump spoke, Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of U.S. Central Command air forces in the region, took a more pointed view of the shootdown in an area where Trump has blamed Iran for attacking shipping vessels.

“This attack is an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping and free flow of commerce,” he said.

The Trump administration has been putting increasing economic pressure on Iran for more than a year. It reinstated punishing sanctions following Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of an international agreement intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from earlier sanctions.

The other world powers who remain signed on to the nuclear deal have set a meeting to discuss the U.S. withdrawal and Iran’s announced plans to increase its uranium stockpile for June 28, a date far enough in the future to perhaps allow tensions to cool.

Citing Iranian threats, the U.S. recently sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region and deployed additional troops alongside the tens of thousands already there. All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.

“We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war,” Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised address.

The paramilitary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone at 4:05 a.m. Thursday when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) southeast of Tehran.

The first U.S. reaction was Trump’s Thursday morning tweet of six forceful words: “Iran made a very big mistake.”

But later, while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump said, “I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down.

He said the American drone was unarmed and unmanned and “clearly over international waters.” It would have “made a big, big difference” if someone had been inside, he said.

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

Taking issue with the U.S. version of where the attack occurred, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that his country had retrieved sections of the military drone “in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.” He said, “We don’t seek war but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters.”

U.S. Gen. Guastella disputed that contention, telling reporters that the aircraft was 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest Iranian territory and flying at high altitude when struck by a surface-to-air missile. The U.S. military has not commented on the mission of the remotely piloted aircraft that can fly higher than 10 miles in altitude and stay in the air for over 24 hours at a time.

One U.S. official said there was a second American aircraft in the area that was able to get video and imagery of the drone when it was shot down.

Congressional leaders came to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room late Thursday with top national security officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.

The Senate’s top Democrat called the downing of the American drone “deeply concerning” and accused the administration of not having an Iran strategy and keeping Congress and the rest of the nation in the dark.

“The president needs to explain to the American people why he’s driving us toward another endless conflict in the Middle East,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she didn’t think Trump wanted war with Iran and the American people have “no appetite” for it either. She said the U.S. needs to be “strong and strategic” about protecting its interests but “cannot be reckless.”

Talking tougher, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called Iran a “murderous regime” and said, “If they’re itching for a fight they’re going to get one.”

“We’re a lot closer today than we were yesterday, and only God knows what tomorrow brings,” said Graham, a Trump ally who talked with the president by telephone.

The senator also focused on the issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, saying its leaders have refused to negotiate after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the international agreement to limit Iranian development of nuclear weapons.

Graham said it’s imperative that the U.S. clearly tell the Iranians that any attempt to increase uranium enrichment will be seen as a “hostile act against the United States and our allies in Israel and will not go unanswered.”

Another factor: This all comes as Trump is launching his re-election campaign. He ran for president promising to bring American troops home from the Middle East and Afghanistan and has repeatedly said he wants to keep America out of “endless wars.”

Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary for President George W. Bush, cautioned against thinking about politics when weighing any response to Iran.

“I suspect a successful limited counter-strike, such as taking out the missile battery that fired at the drone or the sinking of an unmanned Iranian vessel, would be seen as a well-calibrated show of resolve and discipline,” Fleischer said in an interview. He added that “if we do nothing, Iran may strike again thinking it has impunity.”

https://apnews.com/84ad15edb7324472bb867852059a0a7a

Iran shoots down US surveillance drone, heightening tensions

29 minutes ago

In this Oct. 24, 2018, photo released by the U.S. Air Force, members of the 7th Reconnaissance Squadron prepare to launch an RQ-4 Global Hawk at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk on Thursday, June 20, 2019, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over its collapsing nuclear deal with world powers, American and Iranian officials said, though they disputed the circumstances of the incident. (Staff Sgt. Ramon A. Adelan/U.S. Air Force via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. surveillance drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, marking the first time the Islamic Republic directly attacked the American military amid tensions over Tehran’s unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

The two countries disputed the circumstances leading up to an Iranian surface-to-air missile bringing down the U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737 jetliner and costing over $100 million.

Iran said the drone “violated” its territorial airspace, while the U.S. called the missile fire “an unprovoked attack” in international airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf and President Donald Trump tweeted that “Iran made a very big mistake!”

Trump later appeared to play down the incident, telling reporters in the Oval Office that he had a feeling that “a general or somebody” being “loose and stupid” made a mistake in shooting down the drone.

AP Graphic

The incident immediately heightened the crisis already gripping the wider region, which is rooted in Trump withdrawing the U.S. a year ago from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal and imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran. Recently, Iran quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium to be on pace to break one of the deal’s terms by next week while threatening to raise enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels on July 7 if Europe doesn’t offer it a new deal.

Citing unspecified Iranian threats, the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the Middle East and deployed additional troops alongside the tens of thousands already there. All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.

“We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war,” Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised address.

The paramilitary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone at 4:05 a.m. Thursday when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) southeast of Tehran.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami. (Sepahnews via AP)

The drone took off from the southern Persian Gulf and collected data from Iranian territory, including the southern port of Chahbahar near Iran’s border with Pakistan, the Guard said in comments that appeared aimed at showing it could track the aircraft.

The U.S. military has not commented on the mission of the remotely piloted aircraft that can fly higher than 10 miles in altitude and stay in the air for over 24 hours at a time.

Iran used its air defense system known as Third of Khordad to shoot down the drone — a truck-based missile system that can fire up to 18 miles (30 kilometers) into the sky, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Iranian state TV later broadcast video it described as the moment the Guard launched the surface-to-air missile that struck the U.S. drone. Chants of “God is great!” could be heard as a fireball appeared in the darkened sky.

Typically, militaries worldwide call out to errant aircraft entering their airspace before firing. It’s unclear whether Iran gave any warning before opening fire. The U.S. military says Iran fired on and missed another drone last week near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all global oil moves.

The U.S. has been worried about international shipping through the strategic waterway since tankers were damaged in May and June in what Washington has blamed on limpet mines from Iran, although Tehran denied involvement.. On Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Navy showed fragments of mines that it said bore “a striking resemblance” to those seen in Iran

The RQ-4 Global Hawk was at least 34 kilometers from Iranian territory when it was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of the U.S. Central Command. He said it was an attempt to disrupt U.S. efforts to monitor the Persian Gulf region.

But Salami, speaking to a crowd in the western city of Sanandaj, described the American drone as “violating our national security border.”

“Borders are our red line,” the Revolutionary Guard general said. “Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also said the drone entered Iranian airspace, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted it would take its case to the U.N. He later tweeted that Iran retrieved parts of the drone in its territorial waters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged caution, warning any war between Iran and the U.S. would be a “catastrophe for the region as a minimum.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged support for U.S. efforts to halt what he called escalating Iranian provocations.

“In the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us,” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern and urged all parties to “avoid any action that could inflame the situation,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

America stations some RQ-4 Global Hawks at the Al-Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, near the capital of Abu Dhabi. Associated Press journalists saw the drones on the base’s tarmac during a March 2016 visit by then-Vice President Joe Biden. The U.S. military occasionally publishes images from there of the drones, which have a distinctive hump-shaped front and an engine atop the fuselage.

Iran has claimed to have shot down U.S. drones before. In the most famous incident, in December 2011, Iran seized an RQ-170 Sentinel flown by the CIA to monitor Iranian nuclear sites after it entered Iranian airspace from neighboring Afghanistan. Iran later reverse-engineered the drone to create their own variants.

Elsewhere in the region Thursday, Saudi Arabia said Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired a rocket at a desalination plant in al-Shuqaiq, a city in the kingdom’s Jizan province. The state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted military spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki as saying it caused no damage or casualties.

The Yemeni rebel Al-Masirah satellite news channel earlier said the Houthis targeted a power plant in Jizan, near the kingdom’s border with Yemen, with a cruise missile.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, has been battling the Houthis since March 2015 in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation now pushed to the brink of famine by the conflict. In recent weeks, the Houthis have launched a new campaign sending missiles and bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

https://apnews.com/e4316eb989d5499c9828350de8524963

 

 

Story 2: Federal Reserve Board Votes To Keep Federal Funds Target Range of 2.25% to 2.5% Waiting For July 2019 Jobs Report and Second Quarter Real GDP Growth Rate Number — Videos

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Trump slams Fed over interest rate policy

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Trump expected Powell to be a ‘cheap-money’ Fed chairman

S&P 500 closes at new record as Wall Street bets Fed will lower rates, Dow surges nearly 250 points

VIDEO02:12
The S&P 500 just closed at a record high — Here’s what four experts say to watch

Stocks rallied on Thursday, led by strong gains in tech and energy shares, as Wall Street cheered the possibility that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next month.

The S&P 500 surged 1% to 2,954.18, a record close. The broad index also hit an intraday record of 2,958.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 249.17 points higher at 26,753.17. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8% to end the day at 8,051.34.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below 2% for the first time since November 2016. Investors cheered the decline in the benchmark for mortgage rates and corporate bonds.

The energy sector rose more than 2% to lead all 11 S&P 500 sectors higher as oil prices jumped. Tech gained 1.4% after shares of Oracle surged more than 8% on stronger-than-forecast earnings. General Electric’s 2.8% rise pushed the industrials sector up more than 1.6% on the day.

“Markets are based on numbers and perception. If the perception is rates are getting cut, that’s going to drive markets higher,” said Kathy Entwistle, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS. “UBS’ stance up until yesterday was we wouldn’t see any rate cuts this year. Now we see a much larger chance of a 50-basis-point cut.”

The Fed said Wednesday it stands ready to battle growing global and domestic economic risks as they took stock of intensifying trade tensions and growing concerns about inflation. Most Fed policymakers slashed their rate outlook for the rest of the calendar year by approximately half a percentage point in the previous session, while Chairman Jerome Powell said others agree the case for lower rates is building.

Policymakers also dropped “patient” from the Fed’s statement and acknowledged that inflation is “running below” its 2% objective.

Market participants viewed the overall tone from the U.S. central bank as more dovish than expected. Traders are now pricing in a 100% chance of a rate cutnext month, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

With Thursday’s gains, the market has now erased the steep losses recorded by the major indexes in May, which were sparked by trade fears. The S&P 500 and Dow both fell more than 6% while the Nasdaq lost 7.9% last month. The three indexes were up more than 7% for June.

China and the U.S. hiked tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods in May. Stocks turned around this month as traders bet the rising trade tensions, coupled with weaker economic data, would lead the Fed to ease its monetary policy stance.

The Fed’s message on Wednesday sent the 10-year Treasury yield to as low as 1.974% before ending the day around 2.02%. The yield stood at 2.8% in January.

“The FOMC reinforced the market’s conviction,” said Steve Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, in a note. “Barring a dramatic turnaround in the data, the next move is a cut – perhaps even a 50bp reduction.”

The dollar also took a hit against other major currencies. The dollar index dropped 0.5% to 96.65, led by a 0.6% slide in the euro. The yen and Canadian dollar also rose against the U.S. currency.

Energy shares got a boost from higher oil prices. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) climbed 2.2% as shares of Exxon Mobil gained 1.7%. Oil prices surged 5.4% after a U.S. official said a drone was shot down over Iranian airspace.

Meanwhile, Slack shares surged more than 40% in their first day of trading. The stock closed above $38 after setting a reference price of $26.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/stock-market-dow-futures-higher-after-fed-raises-rate-cut-hopes.html

Federal Open Market Committee

About the FOMC

Recent FOMC press conference

June 19, 2019

FOMC Transcripts and other historical materials

The term “monetary policy” refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the Federal Reserve responsibility for setting monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy–open market operationsthe discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations. Using the three tools, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.

Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.

Structure of the FOMC

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members–the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of Banks, one Bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents attend the meetings of the Committee, participate in the discussions, and contribute to the Committee’s assessment of the economy and policy options.

The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings per year. At these meetings, the Committee reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth.

For more detail on the FOMC and monetary policy, see section 2 of the brochure on the structure of the Federal Reserve Systemand chapter 2 of Purposes & Functions of the Federal Reserve System. FOMC Rules and Authorizations are also available online.

2019 Committee Members

Alternate Members

Federal Reserve Bank Rotation on the FOMC

Committee membership changes at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.

2020 2021 2022
Members New York
Cleveland
Philadelphia
Dallas
Minneapolis
New York
Chicago
Richmond
Atlanta
San Francisco
New York
Cleveland
Boston
St. Louis
Kansas City
Alternate
Members
New York
Chicago
Richmond
Atlanta
San Francisco
New York
Cleveland
Boston
St. Louis
Kansas City
New York
Chicago
Philadelphia
Dallas
Minneapolis

 †For the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the First Vice President is the alternate for the President. Return to table

For additional information, please use the FOMC FOIA request form.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc.htm

 

Fed holds rates steady, but opens the door for a rate cut in the future

The action sets up a possible confrontation between Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and President Donald Trump, who has been pressuring the Fed to cut rates. Just Tuesday, Trump said “let’s see what he does” at the Fed meeting when asked if he still wants to demote Powell.

At the post-statement news conference, Powell was asked about his future as chairman. “I think the law is clear that I have a four year term, and I fully intend to serve it,” he said.

The strong majority for this month’s decision contrasted with a sharp difference of opinion on what happens next.

The committee provided an important nod to those worried about slower growth: It dropped the word “patient” in  describing its approach to policy. The characterization was a key part of the Fed “pivot” earlier this year that signaled to the market a more dovish approach to rates.

“The Fed didn’t surprise investors with the decision to maintain rates, but the split vote tells us that a cut is on the way and it’s increasingly likely that will be in July, as bond markets have been hoping,” said Neil Birrell, chief investment officer at Premier Asset Management.

“This was probably the compromise decision — it wasn’t shocking and should offer some reassurance,” Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group, said in a note. “The FOMC will still want to closely monitor the stress fractures from the bond market, middling housing and auto sales numbers, and an increasingly uncertain global economic landscape in the coming months.”

The statement also changed wording to concede that inflation is “running below” the Fed’s 2% objective. In their forecast for headline inflation this year, officials slashed the estimate to 1.5% from March’s 1.8%. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is likely now to be 1.8% from March’s 2%, according to the quarterly summary of economic projections also released Wednesday.

‘In light of these uncertainties’

The committee changed language from its May statement to indicate that economic activity is “rising at a moderate rate,” a downgrade from “solid.”

In their baseline scenario, FOMC members said they still expect “sustained expansion of economic activity” and a move toward 2% inflation, but realize that “uncertainties about this outlook have increased.”

“In light of these uncertainties and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective,” the statement said. The “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” language mirrors a statement from Powell in early June.

Very reasonable to think Fed will cut rates twice this year: Strategist

The committee characterized the labor market as “strong” with “solid” jobs growth, despite May’s disappointing nonfarm payrolls growth of 75,000. The statement further said that household spending “appears to have picked up from earlier in the year.”

The changes came amid what appeared to be little consensus among the committee about where rates go next.

Divided Fed

According to the “dot plot” of individual members’ expectations, eight members favor one cut this year while the same number voted in favor of the status quo and one still wants a rate hike. Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari have led the public discussion about the potential for rate cuts, while other members have been less firm.

Into 2020, the Fed consensus was a bit stronger, with nine members wanting a cut to a funds rate around 2.1%. The direction changes, though, in 2021, with indications of an increase of about a quarter-point, culminating in an expected long-run value of 2.5%. The funds rate most recently was trading at 2.37%.

Traders in the thin and volatile funds market had been pricing in a 26% chance of a cut at this week’s meeting. Later in the year, though, the probability for a July easing rose to 82.5% and the chances of a second cut in December were most recently at 60.4%. The market expects a third cut to come around March of 2020.

While the statement language offered some significant changes, estimates in the summary of economic projections, other than inflation, moved little from March. GDP growth is still expected to be 2.1% for the year – it was 3.1% in the first quarter, and the Atlanta Fed is forecasting a 2% gain in the second quarter. The unemployment rate is now expected to hold at a 50-year low of 3.6%, against the March forecast of 3.7%.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/19/fed-decision-fed-leaves-rates-unchanged.html

10-year Treasury yield drops below 2% for first time since November 2016

Federal funds rate

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Federal Funds Rate compared to U.S. Treasury interest rates

2 to 10 year treasury yield spread

Inflation (blue) compared to federal funds rate (red)

Quarterly gross domestic product compared to Federal Funds Rate.

Federal Funds Rate and Treasury interest rates from 2002-2019

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate. The target rate is chosen in part to influence the money supply in the U.S. economy[3]

Contents

Mechanism

Financial institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007–2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 19 December 2018 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 2.25–2.50%.[9] This represents the ninth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.[10]

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00–0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00–0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[11]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.png

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, the price of borrowed funds – the federal funds rate – falls. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the federal funds rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, the interest rate will normally rise.[12]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[13] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the federal funds rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[14][15]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [16][17][18]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[19][20][21]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[22]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[23]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25–0.50[24]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50–0.75[25]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75–1.00[26]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00–1.25[27]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25–1.50[28]
  • Mar 21, 2018 — 1.50–1.75[29]
  • Jun 13, 2018 — 1.75–2.00[30]
  • Sep 26, 2018 — 2.00–2.25[9]
  • Dec 19, 2018 — 2.25–2.50[31]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and housing fell.[32]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments outside the United States less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  2. ^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions(PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. August 24, 2011. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  3. ^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on April 13, 2001. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  4. ^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. ^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. ^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s”(PDF)Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. ^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007.
  9. Jump up to:ab “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Tankersley, Jim (March 21, 2018). “Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis”The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  11. ^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  12. ^ David Waring (February 19, 2008). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  13. ^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  14. ^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. ^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. ^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. ^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. ^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. ^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. ^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. ^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. ^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  23. ^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  24. ^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  25. ^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Cox, Jeff (March 15, 2017). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  27. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  28. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  29. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. March 21, 2018.
  30. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 13, 2018.
  31. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  33. ^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

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

The Impact of an Inverted Yield Curve

The term yield curve refers to the relationship between the short- and long-term interest rates of fixed-income securities issued by the U.S. Treasury. An inverted yield curve occurs when short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates.

From an economic perspective, an inverted yield curve is a noteworthy event. Below, we explain this rare phenomenon, discuss its impact on consumers and investors, and tell you how to adjust your portfolio to account for it.

Interest Rates and Yield Curves

Typically, short-term interest rates are lower than long-term rates, so the yield curve slopes upwards, reflecting higher yields for longer-term investments. This is referred to as a normal yield curve. When the spread between short-term and long-term interest rates narrows, the yield curve begins to flatten. A flat yield curve is often seen during the transition from a normal yield curve to an inverted one.

Normal Yield Curve

Figure 1 – A normal yield curve

What Does an Inverted Yield Curve Suggest?

Historically, an inverted yield curve has been viewed as an indicator of a pending economic recession. When short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates, market sentiment suggests that the long-term outlook is poor and that the yields offered by long-term fixed income will continue to fall.

More recently, this viewpoint has been called into question, as foreign purchases of securities issued by the U.S. Treasury have created a high and sustained level of demand for products backed by U.S. government debt. When investors are aggressively seeking debt instruments, the debtor can offer lower interest rates. When this occurs, many argue that it is the laws of supply and demand, rather than impending economic doom and gloom, that enable lenders to attract buyers without having to pay higher interest rates.

Inverted Yield Curve

Figure 2 – An inverted yield curve: note the inverse relationship between yield and maturity

Inverted yield curves have been relatively rare, due in large part to longer-than-average periods between recessions since the early 1990s. For example, the economic expansions that began in March 1991, November 2001 and June 2009 were three of the four longest economic expansions since World War II. During these long periods, the question often arises as to whether an inverted yield curve can happen again.

Economic cycles, regardless of their length, have historically transitioned from growth to recession and back again. Inverted yield curves are an essential element of these cycles, preceding every recession since 1956. Considering the consistency of this pattern, an inverted yield will likely form again if the current expansion fades to recession.

Upward sloping yield curves are a natural extension of the higher risks associated with long maturities. In a growing economy, investors also demand higher yields at the long end of the curve to compensate for the opportunity cost of investing in bonds versus other asset classes, and to maintain an acceptable spread over inflation rates.

As the economic cycle begins to slow, perhaps due to interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve Bank, the upward slope of the yield curve tends to flatten as short-term rates increase and longer yields stay stable or decline slightly. In this environment, investors see long-term yields as an acceptable substitute for the potential of lower returns in equities and other asset classes, which tend to increase bond prices and reduce yields.

Inverted Yield Curve Impact on Consumers

In addition to its impact on investors, an inverted yield curve also has an impact on consumers. For example, homebuyers financing their properties with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have interest-rate schedules that are periodically updated based on short-term interest rates. When short-term rates are higher than long-term rates, payments on ARMs tend to rise. When this occurs, fixed-rate loans may be more attractive than adjustable-rate loans.

Lines of credit are affected in a similar manner. In both cases, consumers must dedicate a larger portion of their incomes toward servicing existing debt. This reduces expendable income and has a negative effect on the economy as a whole.

The Formation of an Inverted Yield Curve

As concerns of an impending recession increase, investors tend to buy long Treasury bonds based on the premise that they offer a safe harbor from falling equities markets, provide preservation of capital and have potential for appreciation in value as interest rates decline. As a result of the rotation to long maturities, yields can fall below short-term rates, forming an inverted yield curve. Since 1956, equities have peaked six times after the start of an inversion, and the economy has fallen into recession within seven to 24 months.

As of 2017, the most recent inverted yield curve first appeared in August 2006, as the Fed raised short-term interest rates in response to overheating equity, real estate and mortgage markets. The inversion of the yield curve preceded the peak of the Standard & Poor’s 500 in October 2007 by 14 months and the official start of the recession in December 2007 by 16 months. However, a growing number of 2018 economic outlooks from investment firms are suggesting that an inverted yield curve could be on the horizon, citing the narrowing spread between short- and long-dated Treasuries.

If history is any precedent, the current business cycle will progress, and slowing in the economy may eventually become evident. If concerns of the next recession rise to the point where investors see the purchase of long-dated Treasuries as the best option for their portfolios, there is a high likelihood that the next inverted yield curve will take shape.

Inverted Yield Curve Impact on Fixed-Income Investors

A yield curve inversion has the greatest impact on fixed-income investors. In normal circumstances, long-term investments have higher yields; because investors are risking their money for longer periods of time, they are rewarded with higher payouts. An inverted curve eliminates the risk premium for long-term investments, allowing investors to get better returns with short-term investments.

When the spread between U.S. Treasuries (a risk-free investment) and higher-risk corporate alternatives is at historical lows, it is often an easy decision to invest in lower-risk vehicles. In such cases, purchasing a Treasury-backed security provides a yield similar to the yield on junk bondscorporate bondsreal estate investment trusts (REITs) and other debt instruments, but without the risk inherent in these vehicles. Money market funds and certificates of deposit (CDs) may also be attractive – particularly when a one-year CD is paying yields comparable to those on a 10-year Treasury bond.

Inverted Yield Curve Impact on Equity Investors

When the yield curve becomes inverted, profit margins fall for companies that borrow cash at short-term rates and lend at long-term rates, such as community banks. Likewise, hedge funds are often forced to take on increased risk in order to achieve their desired level of returns.

In fact, a bad bet on Russian interest rates is largely credited for the demise of Long-Term Capital Management, a well-known hedge fund run by bond trader John Meriwether.

Despite their consequences for some parties, yield-curve inversions tend to have less impact on consumer staples and healthcare companies, which are not interest-rate dependent. This relationship becomes clear when an inverted yield curve precedes a recession. When this occurs, investors tend to turn to defensive stocks, such as those in the food, oil and tobacco industries, which are often less affected by downturns in the economy.

The Bottom Line

While experts question whether or not an inverted yield curve remains a strong indicator of pending economic recession, keep in mind that history is littered with portfolios that were devastated when investors blindly followed predictions about how “it’s different this time.” Most recently, shortsighted equity investors spouting this mantra participated in the “tech wreck,” snapping up shares in tech companies at inflated prices even though these firms had no hope of ever making a profit.

If you want to be a smart investor, ignore the noise. Instead of spending time and effort trying to figure out what the future will bring, construct your portfolio based on long-term thinking and long-term convictions – not short-term market movements.

For your short-term income needs, do the obvious: choose the investment with the highest yield, but keep in mind that inversions are an anomaly and they don’t last forever. When the inversion ends, adjust your portfolio accordingly.

Story 3: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey, Joey Biden in Praise of Civility of Democrat Segregationist Senators Eastland (Mississippi) and Talmadge (Georgia) Who Got Things Done — Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) Attack Biden — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers and Big Lie Media Playing Identity Politics and Divide and Conquer — Videos —

Biden’s ties to segregationist senator spark campaign tension

Biden’s ties to segregationist senator spark campaign tension

SUSAN WALSH / AP

Joe Biden was a freshman senator, the youngest member of the august body, when he reached out to an older colleague for help on one of his early legislative proposals: The courts were ordering racially segregated school districts to bus children to create more integrated classrooms, a practice Biden opposed and wanted to change.

“I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s Committee meeting in attemptingto bring my antibusing legislation to a vote,” Biden wrote on June 30, 1977.

The recipient of Biden’s entreaty was Sen. James Eastland, at the time a well-known segregationist who had called blacks “an inferior race” and once vowed to prevent blacks and whites from eating together in Washington. The exchange, revealed in a series of letters, offers a new glimpse into an old relationship that erupted this week as a major controversy for Biden’s presidential campaign.Biden on Wednesday night described his relationship with Eastland as one he “had to put up with.” He said of his relationships with Eastland and another staunch segregationist and southern Democrat, Sen. Herman Talmadge of Georgia, that “the fact of the matter is that we were able to do it because we were able to win — we were able to beat them on everything they stood for.”

But the letters show a different type of relationship, one in which they were aligned on a legislative issue. Biden said at the time that he did not think that busing was the best way to integrate schools in Delaware and that systemic racism should be dealt with by investing in schools and improving housing policies.

The letters were provided Thursday to the Washington Post by the University of Mississippi, which houses Eastland’s archived papers. They were reported in April by CNN.

Biden’s campaign late Thursday issued a statement saying that “the insinuation that Joe Biden shared the same views as Eastland on segregation is a lie.”

“Plain and simple. Joe Biden has dedicated his career to fighting for civil rights,” the statement said.

The controversy over Biden’s comments this week have continued to reverberate at a crucial time in the campaign, with matters of race dominating the political discussion ahead of several prominent gatherings, including the first presidential debate next week and a multicandidate event before black voters in South Carolina on Friday. It has emerged as a complex political problem for Biden, who has been trying to campaign as a civil rights champion while explaining past views that are out of step with today’s Democratic base.

Biden’s Wednesday remarks sparked one of the sharpest intra-Democrat exchanges of the campaign, when Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of his black 2020 rivals, criticized both Biden’s work with segregationists and the language that he used in describing it.

On Wednesday, Biden called Booker. Biden’s campaign also distributed talking points to supporters, emphasizing that Eastland and Talmadge “were people who he fundamentally disagreed with on the issue of civil rights.”

Late Thursday, the former vice president met with a small group that included black members of Congress, one of the participants said.

Divisions also emerged in Biden’s campaign over how he should handle such situations. Aides alternately argued that he simply misspoke in telling the anecdote, that he shouldn’t be telling it at all or that his remarks demonstrate his ability to work with those with whom he disagrees and the words were being purposefully twisted for political gain.

The letters show that Biden’s courtship of Eastland started in 1972, before he had taken office, and that he wrote to the older senator listing his top six committee assignment requests, with Foreign Relations and Judiciary at the top. A few weeks later, Biden thanked Eastland, writing that he was “flattered and grateful” for his help. He also referred to the December 1972 car crash that killed his wife and daughter and injured his two sons.

“Despite my preoccupation with family matters at this time, I intend to place the highest priority on attending to my committee responsibilities,” Biden wrote.

Biden supporters have repeatedly pointed to his efforts on civil rights issues to cast him as a champion of equality. Not only did he share an eight-year partnership with the first black president, he also worked alongside black leaders throughout his career on extending the Voting Rights Act, amending the Fair Housing Act and creating the holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.et in the debate over the merits of busing as a solution to greater integration, Biden’s avowed stance against it put him at odds with some civil rights leaders.

 

 

It was in that context that he courted the support of Eastland — at the time the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — as well as other senators.

In one letter, on March 2, 1977, Biden outlined legislation he was filing to restrict busing practices.

“My bill strikes at the heart of the injustice of court ordered busing,” he wrote to Eastland. “It prohibits the federal courts from disrupting our educational system in the name of the constitution where there is no evidence that the governmental officials intended to discriminate.”

“I believe there is growing sentiment in the Congress to curb unnecessary busing,” he added. The Senate two years earlier had passed a Biden amendment that prohibited the federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare from ordering busing to achieve school integration.

 

“That was the first time the U.S. Senate took a firm stand in opposition to busing,” Biden wrote. “The Supreme Court seems to have recognized that busing simply cannot be justified in cases where state and local officials intended no discrimination.”

In later letters to Eastland, Biden continued pushing his legislation.

“I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s Committee meeting in attempting to bring my antibusing legislation to a vote,” Biden wrote on June 30, 1977.

The next year, he continued to push for antibusing legislation and again wrote to Eastland.

“Since your support was essential to having our bill reported out by the Judiciary Committee, I want to personally ask your continued support and alert you to our intentions,” Biden wrote on Aug 22, 1978. “Your participation in floor debate would be welcomed.”

After Biden’s remarks at the Wednesday night fund-raiser, advisers played down his comments about Eastland as a garbled rendition of a familiar Biden anecdote. In particular, they sought to excuse Biden for saying that Eastland didn’t refer to him as “boy” — an insult leveled at black men — but as “son.”

“He just misspoke,” said one Biden adviser. “The way Biden usually tells the story, he says Eastland didn’t call him ‘senator,’ he called him ‘son,’ ” the adviser said. “Eastland called him ‘boy’ and ‘son’ also. This was Eastland’s way of diminishing young senators.”

In the campaign statement Thursday, Biden’s national press secretary, Jamal Brown, said Biden’s “strong support for equal housing, equal education and equal job opportunities were clear to all Delawareans in the 1970s.”

Biden sought to ensure that black students received “the resources necessary to deliver the quality education they deserved,” he said.

Brown added that throughout his public life, Biden “fought the institutional problems that created de facto segregated school systems and neighborhoods in the first place: redlining, school lines drawn to keep races and classes separate and housing patterns and discrimination.”

Almost the entire Democratic field is set to attend a fish fry Friday night hosted by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a leading black figure in the state and one who has remained supportive of Biden.

It would be the first public appearance Biden is making with the same Democratic presidential hopefuls who have heaped criticism on him for the comment.

In demanding an apology, Booker said Wednesday that Biden’s “relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone.”

Asked about Booker’s remarks by reporters, Biden declined to offer an apology and instead demanded one from Booker. The two men later spoke privately.

“Cory shared directly what he said publicly — including helping Vice President Biden understand why the word ‘boy’ is painful to so many,” said Sabrina Singh, a Booker campaign spokeswoman. “Cory believes that Vice President Biden should take responsibility for what he said and apologize to those who were hurt.”

Biden’s campaign would not elaborate on the call, but it is clear the topic could linger over the coming days.

Biden has scheduled a sit-down interview with MSNBC, his campaign has been sending out talking points to surrogates, and some black supporters are eager to hear the former vice president offer a fuller explanation.

“I think he’s got to address it head on and show people what his line of thinking was,” said Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist in South Carolina who is close with Biden’s team. “I don’t think they need to get off course with their strategy. I just think they have to address it as it comes up and move on.”

Other Biden supporters, however, think he’s taking just the right approach and standing by his long-held beliefs.

I encouraged campaign staff that I know to say: ‘Don’t back off on this. This is precisely why you’re the right guy in the right place at the right time.’ And I was glad to see that he didn’t,” said Dave O’Brien, a longtime Biden supporter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“You know that some of the other issues, he’s got to evolve with the times, which he has,” O’Brien added. “But there are points where you need to make a stand, so I was very glad to see him not back off on this issue.”

https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/joe-biden-james-eastland-segregation-democratic-primary-20190621.htmlPosted: June 20, 2019 – 10:59 PM

Biden not apologizing for remarks on segregationist senators

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Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks at the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress presidential forum in Washington, Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Joe Biden refused calls to apologize Wednesday for saying that the Senate “got things done” with “civility” even when the body included segregationists with whom he disagreed.

His rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, including the two major black candidates in the contest, roundly criticized Biden’s comments. But Biden didn’t back down and was particularly defiant in the face of criticism from New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who said the former vice president should apologize for his remarks.

Biden countered that it was Booker who should apologize because the senator “should know better” than to question his commitment to civil rights.

“There’s not a racist bone in my body,” Biden said. “I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career.”

Speaking on CNN, Booker responded: “I was raised to speak truth to power and that I shall never apologize for doing that. And Vice President Biden shouldn’t need this lesson.”

The firestorm is quickly becoming one of the most intense disputes of the Democratic presidential primary, underscoring the hazards for Biden as he tries to turn his decades of Washington experience into an advantage. Instead, he’s infuriating Democrats who say he’s out of step with the diverse party of the 21st century and potentially undermining his argument that he’s the most electable candidate in the race.

The controversy began at a New York fundraiser Tuesday when Biden pointed to long-dead segregationist senators James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia to argue that Washington functioned more smoothly a generation ago than under today’s “broken” hyperpartisanship.

“We didn’t agree on much of anything,” Biden said of the two men, who were prominent senators when Biden was elected in 1972. Biden described Talmadge as “one of the meanest guys I ever knew” and said Eastland called him “son,” though not “boy,” a reference to the racist way many whites addressed black men at the time.

Yet even in that Senate, Biden said, “At least there was some civility. We got things done.”

A pile on from Biden’s rivals quickly ensued. Booker said he was disappointed by Biden’s remarks.

“I have to tell Vice President Biden, as someone I respect, that he is wrong for using his relationships with Eastland and Talmadge as examples of how to bring our country together,” said Booker, who is African American.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democratic presidential candidate and a white man who is married to a black woman, tweeted: “It’s 2019 & @JoeBiden is longing for the good old days of ‘civility’ typified by James Eastland. Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris, a black presidential candidate, said Biden was “coddling” segregationists in a way that “suggests to me that he doesn’t understand … the dark history of our country” — a characterization Biden’s campaign rejects.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, another 2020 candidate, said, “For the vice president to somehow say that what we’re seeing in this country today is a function of partisanship or a lack of bipartisanship completely ignores the legacy of slavery and the active suppression of African Americans and communities of color right now.”

The tumult comes at a crucial point in the campaign. Biden is still recovering from controversy he sparked earlier this month when he angered many Democrats by saying he didn’t support federal taxpayer money supporting abortion. He later reversed his position.

He’s among the more than 20 candidates who will descend on South Carolina this weekend to make their case to black voters at a series of Democratic events.

Meanwhile, most Democratic White House hopefuls will again gather in Miami next week for the first presidential debate of the primary season. Biden will almost certainly come under fire there for his comments this week.

He sought to defuse the tension on Wednesday by saying he was trying to argue that leaders sometimes have to work with people they disagree with to achieve goals, such as renewing the Voting Rights Act.

“The point I’m making is you don’t have to agree. You don’t have to like the people in terms of their views,” he said Wednesday. “But you just simply make the case and you beat them without changing the system.”

He has received support from some black leaders. Cedric Richmond, Biden’s campaign co-chairman and former Congressional Black Caucus chairman, said Biden’s opponents deliberately ignored the full context of his argument for a more functional government.

“Maybe there’s a better way to say it, but we have to work with people, and that’s a fact,” Richmond said, noting he dealt recently with President Donald Trump to pass a long-sought criminal justice overhaul. “I question (Trump’s) racial sensitivity, a whole bunch of things about his character … but we worked together.”

Likewise, Richmond said, Biden mentioned Jim Crow-era senators to emphasize the depths of disagreements elected officials sometimes navigate. “If he gets elected president, we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate” to overcome filibusters, Richmond noted. “He could be less genuine and say, ‘We’re just going to do all these things.’ But we already have a president like that. (Biden) knows we have to build consensus.”

Biden also drew a qualified defense from Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black senator from his party. Scott said that Biden “should have used a different group of senators” to make his point but that his remarks “have nothing to do with his position on race” issues. Scott said the reaction reflects an intense environment for Democrats in which the desire to defeat Trump means “anything the front-runner says that is off by a little bit” will be magnified.

https://apnews.com/5b57473cfcda44e4b35c8a40759a26fc

The gloves come off in the Democratic primary

This was the week that the battle for the nomination got real.

The tenor of the Democratic presidential primary has verged on courteous from the start: To the extent that Democrats went after Joe Biden, it was usually not by name. And Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren kept their rivalry decidedly civil.

This week, with the first debates of the election season days away, the gentility came to an end.

Biden’s remarks at a New York fundraiser that “at least there was some civility” when he worked with segregationists in the Senate unleashed a torrent of criticism from his rivals and the left. And a story in POLITICO about centrists coming around to Warren as an “anybody but Bernie” alternative set off Sanders and his allies.

“We knew the primary wouldn’t be all puppies and rainbows forever,” said Ben LaBolt, a former adviser to Barack Obama. “And as the debates approach you can see a new dynamic emerging.”

The reaction from Biden’s rivals to his comments was fierce.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose wife is African American, noted that one of the segregationists Biden invoked, James Eastland of Mississippi, would have outlawed his marriage. Sen. Cory Booker, who is black, took offense that Biden seemed to make light of Eastland calling him “son” but not “boy.”

“You don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys’,” Booker said.

Booker called on Biden to apologize but Biden took a different path. Outside a fundraiser Wednesday night, a defiant Biden said he had nothing to be sorry for and that it’s Booker who should apologize for questioning someone without “a racist bone in my body.”

“He knows better,” Biden said.

The crossfire marked some of the most direct and intense exchanges so far of the 2020 primary campaign. And it signals that with less than a week until the first televised debate, the field is done tiptoeing around.

“Running for president is no tea party. It’s a battle. And it is customary for candidates to begin to engage at this stage. The polite preliminaries are over,” said Democratic strategist and former Obama hand David Axelrod. “And since there is generally broad agreement on issues, if not solutions, the disputes necessarily turn on other things.”

In a separate episode, Sanders dispatched a tweet that was viewed as a sideswipe of Warren.

“The cat is out of the bag. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly ‘anybody but Bernie,’” Sanders wrote on Twitter, sharing a POLITICO storyheadlined: “Warren emerges as potential compromise nominee.”

Sanders faced his own backlash over the remark.

“If we had a multi-party parliament, it’d be pretty normal for Sanders and Warren to campaign against each other for leadership in a Social Democratic Party. That said, I still find this move pretty dissapointing [sic] and unnecessary. Draw contrasts if you want, but not like this,” tweeted Waleed Shadid, communications director of the progressive group Justice Democrats.

Shadid later noted that Sanders on CNN said his remark was targeted at the moderate think tank Third Way, and not Warren.

Still, the escalating tensions come as Warren is gaining on Sanders in polls. She leapfrogged him in recent surveys in Nevada and California. And a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed Warren and Sanders virtually tied for second, with Warren, at 15 percent, gaining five points in one month. Biden still led the field at 32 percent.

“Biden’s numbers have held up higher than expected and a number of challengers are going after his gaffes more aggressively than before,” LaBolt said. “Warren has begun eating into Bernie’s numbers and he is trying to fend her off.”

Still, one Democratic veteran of the 2016 campaign, ex-Sanders adviser Mark Longabaugh, said the current tangles are nothing like what he experienced in that campaign. There’s plenty of time for it to get there, but it hasn’t happened yet.

“I don’t know if the gloves are off. I think the gloves may be getting a little loose — pulling out the fingertips to take the gloves off.” Longabaugh said. “Having been through the 2015-16 experience, I gotta tell ya, that was much more combative than anything you’ve seen in this race — not anything close.”

Not far from anyone’s mind are the first debates in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

“While this type of engagement is expected,” LaBolt said, “candidates should be careful not to cross any lines that could significantly damage potential nominees for the general.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/20/2020-election-democratic-primary-1373202

 

 

Part 2– Story 4: President Trump Pushes All The Right Buttons in 2020 Stump Speech in Orlando, Florida –Send Them Home — Lock Them Up — Four More Years — Videos

TRUMP 2020: President Trump Re-Election Campaign Rally – FULL SPEECH

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With Florida rally, Trump aims for a 2020 campaign ‘reset’

Trump to launch 2020 re-election bid in Florida

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Crowds grow for Trump rally in Orlando

People are lining up for President Trump’s event on Tuesday

THE PRESIDENT IS BACK: President Trump Returns From MASSIVE Orlando Rally

The Memo: Can Trump run as an outsider?

President Trump is running for reelection as an outsider candidate. But it’s a knotty challenge for someone who holds the world’s most powerful office.

Trump’s speech in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, which officially launched his 2020 bid, was rife with rhetoric portraying himself — and by extension his supporters — as victims of nefarious elites.

The president said that he and his allies were besieged by a “permanent political class” and “an unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests.”

“Our patriotic movement has been under assault from the very first day,” Trump insisted at one point. Moments before, he told the crowd, “the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently.”

It’s the kind of language that makes Democrats roll their eyes. Trump, they note, is a billionaire property developer, born into wealth, who won the presidency on his first attempt — yet he portrays himself as the tribune of “the forgotten men and women of our country” whom he invoked in his January 2017 inaugural address.

But Trump’s unconventionality might, in itself, help him retain some kind of outsider cachet in a way that is unusual for an incumbent president.

“For any other president, yes, it is a challenge,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who worked for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in the 2016 presidential primaries.

“But Trump is unlike any other president. Trump has been at war with the establishment since the moment he set foot in the White House,” he said.

It is certainly true that Trump was viewed with suspicion by the Republican Party from the time he began his presidential run — and that his language and attitudes are viewed with distaste by much of the Beltway political class.

But dislike for Trump’s personal antics is hardly confined to D.C. elites.

A Pew Research Center poll in March showed pluralities of the public believing that he was not “trustworthy,” “even-tempered” or “well-informed.”

For all Trump’s supposed concern with less affluent Americans, 56 percent of the respondents in the Pew poll said they did not believe he cared about “people like me,” whereas just 40 percent said he did care.

The GOP has largely made peace with him, with former rivals including Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) becoming enthusiastic supporters, congressional dissenters such as former Rep. Mark Sanford(R-S.C.) having been defeated in primaries and Trump now in firm control of the party apparatus.

Skeptics also point to both policies and personnel — from the steep cut in the corporate tax rate in 2017 to the 16-month run of the ethically challenged Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency — as evidence that the swamp has remained undrained under Trump.

But Trump allies are insistent that the president’s feel for the cultural mores of blue-collar America remains a potent and underrated political weapon.

“He is certainly an outsider to the political establishment. They still don’t get him and he is not coming around to their way of thinking,” said Barry Bennett, who worked as a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign. “He may live inside the gates but he does not live inside the establishment. … I don’t know anyone who believes he has become some kind of Georgetown socialite.”

Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump friend, insisted, “I have never ever met anyone, any Trump supporter, who believes anything else besides the fact that he’s an outsider.”

There is clearly a political dividend to be gained if Trump can hold onto his outsider image.

In the recent past, voters in presidential elections have often chosen the candidate seen as less steeped in the ways of Washington.

Former President Obama won election twice as a change agent, initially winning the White House as the first black president and then securing a second term over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the personification of a genteel Republican establishment.

Former President George W. Bush had only a tenuous claim to outsider status, given he was the son of a president — yet his campaign was able to paint then-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as a creature of Washington in the 2004 presidential election.

Before that, former President Clinton used his down-home Arkansas image as a weapon against an incumbent president, Bush’s father, George H.W Bush, and then won a second term over another GOP establishment favorite, then-Sen. Bob Dole (Kan.).

Independent observers acknowledge that Trump’s style, divisive though it is, could help him be seen as much more of a disruptor even than these recent predecessors.

“It’s almost impossible for an incumbent to run as an outsider, but Trump has held onto that credential,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor who specializes in political communications. “He is parlaying that into how he sees himself — running against the Democrats, the media, the elites.”

Republicans, meanwhile, argue that Trump’s outsider image could be especially useful if Democrats pick former Vice President Joe Biden as their nominee.

Biden, in their telling, is much easier to brand as a creature of Washington given his decades in the Senate. There will be a different challenge if Democrats instead choose one of Biden’s rivals who is a fresher face on the national political scene, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sen Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); or more radical, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.).

Trump, billionaire Manhattanite though he may be, has long used the idea that he is sneered at by a snobbish elite to his own advantage.

On Tuesday, he told his supporters that Democrats “want to destroy you.”

It was a stark and visceral remark even by Trump’s standards.

But, after his 2016 victory, even his critics can’t be so sure it won’t work.

https://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/449436-the-memo-can-trump-run-as-an-outsider

A Second Term for What?

Trump can’t win by relitigating 2016 and playing only to his base.

President Donald Trump looks on during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign on June 18.PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

President Trump announced his campaign for a second term at a rally in Orlando on Tuesday evening that recounted his first-term record and 2016 victory before thousands of rapturous supporters. The only thing missing was an agenda for 2020.

The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was. Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile.

Donald Trump Launches Campaign

The President is also right that his opponents have refused to recognize the legitimacy of his election. House Democrats may still try to impeach him for not obstructing an investigation into what wasn’t a conspiracy with Russia. His sense of “grievance,” to quote the media meme about his speech, on that point is entirely justified.

Yet Mr. Trump is asking for four more years, and his preoccupation with vindicating 2016 won’t resonate much beyond his core supporters. Most voters have moved on from 2016, which is why a majority opposes impeachment in every poll. They don’t much care about Mr. Trump’s greatest hits about Hillary Clinton, who alas for the President will not be on the ballot in 2020. They want to know why they should take a risk on Mr. Trump and his volatile character for another term.

This is all the more important given the way his first term has evolved on policy. One paradox is that his main policy successes have come from pursuing a conventional conservative agenda. The failures have been on the issues like trade and immigration that are the most identified with Trumpian disruption.

The economy’s renewed growth spurt came from tax reform, deregulation, liberating energy production and ending the anti-business harassment of the Obama years. His remaking of the judiciary and rebuilding of the military unite Republicans of all stripes. Criminal justice reform was the result of years of spade work on the right and left.

Mr. Trump deserves credit for pursuing all of this despite often ferocious opposition that might have intimidated a different GOP President. That’s true in particular of his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, where U.S. Democratic and media opinion is aligned with Europe’s elites.

On immigration, however, the President missed a chance to strike a deal trading more border security (including his wall) for legalizing Dreamers. He must now confront the asylum crisis at the border with no help from Democrats. On trade, Mr. Trump has disrupted global rules but has put nothing new and stable in their place. Asking voters to believe he’ll do better on these issues in a second term isn’t likely to turn many swing voters his way.

The other paradox of the Trump Presidency is his low approval rating despite a stronger economy. The polls show his approval rating on the economy is above 50% but his overall approval is 44.3% in the Real Clear Politics average. The difference is best explained by Mr. Trump’s polarizing behavior, which has alienated in particular college-educated voters and Republican women. In the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, Mr. Trump is underwater with white college-educated women by a remarkable 20 percentage points.

Mr. Trump may figure he can persuade some of those skeptics by making the Democratic nominee even more unpopular than he is. If the Democrats oblige by nominating Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, that might be possible. But that is making a bet on the other party’s mistake, and a re-election campaign is typically a referendum on the incumbent.

Which is all the more reason to offer voters something more for a second term. He could put Democrats on the spot for high housing prices and homelessness by talking about restrictive zoning for elites and high property taxes. He could offer to reform higher education by making schools responsible for some of the debt of students who can’t repay loans, or invigorate vocational education to help young people who can’t go to college.

He could package health-care proposals to expand choice, reduce prices and make insurance portable; his administration has already proposed some of them. He could advance his theme of “draining the swamp” by offering ideas to reform the civil service. We’d include entitlement reform, but then Mr. Trump has shown no interest and we don’t believe in political miracles.

This is far from an exhaustive list, and Mr. Trump won’t win as a policy wonk in any case. But Mr. Trump also won’t win by relitigating the 2016 election or playing only to his political base. He needs more than he offered voters on Tuesday night.

Opinion: Countering Trump With Reliability, Not Bold Agenda

Opinion: Countering Trump With Reliability, Not Bold Agenda
A Fox News poll has found that Democrats prefer a “steady” candidate to a “big agenda” candidate. But going up against the scale of Donald Trump will be tough, so how do frontrunners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren compare? Image: Getty

‘This election is about you. Your family, your future & the fate of YOUR country’: Trump lays it on the line at 20,000-strong Orlando rally as he kicks off 2020 re-election campaign with his entire family and obligatory digs at ‘Crooked Hillary’

  • The president spent the first half-hour of a Tuesday night rally hammering his old foe Hillary Clinton 
  • Trump said his team wondered if it should hold the rally in a venue which can hold 20,000 people
  • ‘Not only did we fill it up, but we had 120,000 requests… Congratulations!’ the president said to cheers
  • The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, invited the criticism when she wound up an arena of supporters
  • Husband Eric, who spoke after her, had a crowd of more than 20,000 screaming, ‘CNN Sucks!’ 
  • ‘He loves this country and we, as a family, love this country. We’re going to fight like hell,’ Eric said 
  •  Donald Trump Jr. mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours
  • ‘He gets up on the stump. It’s so stupid,’ he said, claiming the ex-VP has four-person crowds 

President Trump spent a Tuesday night rally he’d advertised as a 2020 kickoff hammering his old foe Hillary Clinton for acid washing her emails and failing to deliver on her pledge to beat him, while Democrats vying for the party’s nomination now escaped his wrath.

Noting that he’s under constant media scrutiny, Trump said that he’d be sent to the slammer if he ordered aides to destroy potential evidence.

‘But, can you imagine if I got a subpoena, think of this, if I got a subpoena for emails, if I deleted one email like a love note to Melania, it’s the electric chair for Trump,’ he claimed in a campaign speech in Orlando.

Trump said subpoenas he’s receiving are not about Democratic claims that his campaign may have colluded with Russia.

‘The Democrats don’t care about Russia, they only care about their own political power. They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees, almost everyone that I’ve ever known or worked with,’ he argued. ‘But they are really going after you. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about us, it’s about you. They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election probably in the history of our country.’

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on stage to formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando. He kicked off first official 2020 rally by claiming 120,000 people submitted requests to attend

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on stage to formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando. He kicked off first official 2020 rally by claiming 120,000 people submitted requests to attend
First lady Melania Trump speaks as Trump looks on. Trump's first official campaign rally of 2020 opened much the way his 2016 candidacy ended - with his audience chanting 'Lock her Up!' in a slam on former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton

First lady Melania Trump speaks as Trump looks on. Trump’s first official campaign rally of 2020 opened much the way his 2016 candidacy ended – with his audience chanting ‘Lock her Up!’ in a slam on former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton

Trump's campaign turned the area outside the arena that can seat 20,000 people into a festival-like atmosphere with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time

Trump’s campaign turned the area outside the arena that can seat 20,000 people into a festival-like atmosphere with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time

Michael Boulos, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump Jr. arrive at a rally for US President Donald Trump

FLOTUS Melania introduces her husband at Trump 2020 rally

The president said, ‘They wanted to deny you the future you demanded and the future that America deserved and that now America is getting. Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. They want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable, it’s not going to happen. Not gonna happen.’

Trump claimed that Democrats as a party would use the ‘power of the law to punish their opponents’ if they’re handed the reigns to the country.

‘Imagine if we had a Democrat president and a Democrat Congress in 2020. They would shut down your free speech, use the power of the law to punish their opponents – which they’re trying to do now anyway – they’ll always be trying to shield themselves,’ he claimed. ‘They will strip Americans of their Constitutional rights while flooding the country with illegal immigrants in the hopes it will expand their political base and they’ll get votes someplace down the future. That’s what it’s about.’

Broad attacks on the Democratic Party and ‘radical socialism’ were the most stringent assaults that Trump would levy all night.

He said, ‘More than 120 Democrats in Congress have also signed up to support “Crazy Bernie Sanders” socialist government takeover of health care.

‘He seems not to be doing too well lately,’ the president said as an aside. ‘They want to end Medicare as we know it and terminate the private health insurance of 180 million Americans who love their health insurance. America will never be a socialist country.’

It was his only mention at the rally of one of his most formidable opponents. Former Democratic President Joe Biden was also a footnote in the speech, earning two mentions, as a part of the ‘Obama-Biden’ duo that Trump said ruined American foreign policy and drove down the nation’s economy.

‘Remember the statement from the previous administration? Would need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing? Well, tell “Sleepy Joe” that we found the magic wand. That’s a sleepy guy,’ the president added.

Trump outlined his vision tweeting: ‘Don’t ever forget – this election is about YOU. It is about YOUR family, YOUR future, & the fate of YOUR COUNTRY. We begin our campaign with the best record, the best results, the best agenda, & the only positive VISION for our Country’s future! #Trump2020’

The Trumps said their family has been under attack since the family patriarch declared his candidacy for president in 2015. Jared Kushner, left, Ivanka Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign

The Trumps said their family has been under attack since the family patriarch declared his candidacy for president in 2015. Jared Kushner, left, Ivanka Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign

Donald Trump Jr. channeled his attacks to his father’s current opponents, mocking leading Democratic candidate Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours, and days in some cases, to see the sitting president. Kimberly Guilfoyle, left, and Donald Trump Jr. pictured

Donald Trump Jr. channeled his attacks to his father’s current opponents, mocking leading Democratic candidate Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours, and days in some cases, to see the sitting president. Kimberly Guilfoyle, left, and Donald Trump Jr. pictured

Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center

Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center

Trump rails against Democrats, Mueller and ‘fake news’ at 2020 rally
Trump’s first official campaign rally of 2020 opened much the way his 2016 candidacy ended – with his audience chanting ‘Lock her Up!’ in a slam on former Democratic opponent Clinton.

The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, invited the criticism first. She wound up an arena of supporters with a claim that the media was saying Clinton was going to be the 45th President of the United States days before the election. ‘They have always been wrong,’ she declared.

Attacks on the media as ‘fake news’ and ‘dishonest’ from Lara and her husband Eric, who spoke after her, had a crowd of more than 20,000 screaming ‘CNN Sucks!’ minutes later.

The Trumps said their family has been under attack from one group or another since the family patriarch declared his candidacy for president in 2015.

‘He loves this country and we, as a family, love this country. And guys we are going to fight like hell – our family is going to fight like hell for this country. We will never ever stop fighting, and we will never ever, ever stop winning,’ the president’s son said. ‘And guys, we love you very much. We’re all going to be spending a lot of time in Florida. We’re going to be spending a lot of time in Florida. So we’re going to see you.’

Donald Trump Jr. channeled his attacks to his father’s current opponents, mocking Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours, and days in some cases, to see the sitting president.

‘I don’t know about you, but I look around this room and when Joe Biden’s putting about seven people in an audience, I’m saying, “I think they may be a little wrong with the polling.” But what they hell do I know?’ he said.

National polls show Biden beating Trump in a general election. A Quinnipiac University survey that came out Tuesday found that the former vice president would beat Trump by nine points, 50 – 41, the newly-released poll showed.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would win by a similar margin, 48 – 42, while other top Democrats would perform in the poll’s margin of error.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told DailyMail.com inside the rally that Quinnipiac is ‘c**p’ in response to the latest poll showing bad news in a critical swing state for the controversial president.

Trump had already warned the public that this official launch of 2020 campaign would be 'wild,' after supporters camped out in tents for more than 30 hours to save their places at the front of a massive line that would ensure them floor seats

US First Lady Melania Trump greets US Vice President Mike Pence. Trump set the tone for the monster rally in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

US First Lady Melania Trump greets US Vice President Mike Pence. Trump set the tone for the monster rally in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

Lara Trump takes to the stage before her father-in-law United States President Donald Trump arrives on stage to announce his candidacy for a second presidential term at the Amway Center

Lara Trump takes to the stage before her father-in-law United States President Donald Trump arrives on stage to announce his candidacy for a second presidential term at the Amway Center

Donald Trump Jr. throws hats to supporters at the rally. He mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited for hours

Donald Trump Jr. throws hats to supporters at the rally. He mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited for hours

Trump attacks Democrats at his Orlando rally
Don Jr. brushed off the threat from Biden, 76, as he campaigned for his father, 73, on Tuesday in Orlando. He called Biden and his competitors a ‘clown show’ and gave the Democrat a new nickname. ‘Sloppy Joe,’ he called him, as he hit Biden for flip-flopping.

‘He gets up on the stump. It’s so stupid,’ he said. ‘To his group of about four people in the audience, “Government has failed you.” Usually, as he’s groping someone. It ain’t pretty, but there’s something off with that guy.’

The president’s son said he agrees that government is broken and it’s a problem. ‘The problem is Joe, you’ve been in government for almost 50 years. If government failed you, maybe you’re the problem Joe Biden,’ he said. ‘It’s not rocket science.’

Trump warned the public that the campaign rally would be ‘wild,’ and Don Jr. helped him deliver on the pledge.

He mocked Biden’s pledge to cure cancer, asking, ‘Why the hell didn’t you do that over the last 50 years, Joe?’

Don Jr. blamed the media for giving Biden a pass. ‘Why did not one of them say, “Well, Joe, how exactly are you going to do that?” And why didn’t you do that in the last eight years as vice president and the prior 40 years in government and the Senate?’

His father later claimed that he’d cure cancer in remarks that followed. ‘We will push onward with new medical frontiers. We will come up with the cures to many, many problems, to many, many diseases, including cancer and others and we’re getting closer all the time,’ he said.

Attacks on Clinton and media were a common theme throughout the night, with Trump pausing and waiting for his supporters to cheer, ‘CNN SUCKS!’ and ‘Lock her Up!’ as he talked about the former secretary of state’s acid-washed emails and her loss to him in the last election.

‘It was all an illegal attempt to overturn the results of our election, spy on our campaign, which is what they did,’ he complained.

Trump meets fans after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Miami International Airport in Miami

Trump meets fans after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Miami International Airport in Miami

Vice President Mike Pence, escorted in by Karen Pence, speaks before Trump takes the stage on Tuesday evening

A man holds up a sign as the crowd waits for US President Donald Trump to arrive at a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign

A man holds up a sign as the crowd waits for US President Donald Trump to arrive at a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign

Melania's spokesperson Stephanie Grisham speaks with White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway at the campaign rally

Melania’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham speaks with White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway at the campaign rally

President Trump said as he opened the event that he could feel the ‘magic’ in Orlando – a play on the name of the city’s professional basketball team.

He spoke to supporters in the same arena that the team plays in, which is a venue that can hold roughly 20,000 people.

‘You know, I said, “This is a very big arena for a Tuesday night.” I said, “You know, if we have about three or four empty seats, the fake news will say – headlines: he didn’t fill up the arena.” So I said maybe we shouldn’t take the chance, maybe we shouldn’t go to Orlando, maybe we should go someplace else,’ Trump said in his opening remarks. ‘I said, “No, I think we’ll go to Orlando.” And, not only did we fill it up, but we had 120,000 requests. That means you folks have come out very, very good.’

Supporters camped out in tents for more than 30 hours to save their places at the front of a massive line that would ensure them floor seats at Tuesday evening’s show.

Saundra Kiczenski, a Michigan native who works in retail, waited from 7am on Monday. She said she’d been to rallies in support of the president in 15 states. She spent Monday night on the pavement in a sleeping bag.

‘I took the hotel pillow and slept on the ground,’ she told DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon as she waited to get in.

The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he’d be appearing at in the evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour.

‘The Fake News doesn’t report it, but Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high. Look what is going on in Orlando, Florida, right now! People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild – See you later!’ he tweeted on Tuesday morning.

A cover band with aging rockers who call themselves ‘The Guzzlers’ revved up the crowd under a beating sun at a ‘festival’ the campaign held in an outdoor parking lot, where vendors sold a captive and cramped group sodas, snow cones and Trump umbrellas.

Sweltering heat that topped 87 degrees soon turned to pouring rain, giving the umbrellas a dual purpose for supporters like Richard Snowden who chose to remain.

A resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, Snowden said he’d be ‘remiss’ to have skipped the kickoff. He told DailyMail.com from the comfort of a party-style tent his group had pitched that he’d attended 54 rallies since Trump announced his candidacy for office in 2015.

But even Snowden called himself a pragmatist and said of the president’s reelection odds, ‘I don’t think it’s going to be a cakewalk.’

‘The incumbency will help. He won’t catch them flat-footed this time,’ he observed, as he waited for the rally to begin. ‘And he won’t have the dislike of Hillary working in his favor,’ he said in remarks that proved to prescient.

The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he'd be appearing at in the evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

 

The US President and First Lady Melania Trump are pictured stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida Tuesday

The US President and First Lady Melania Trump are pictured stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida Tuesday

Special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wait for the arrival of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Orlando International Airport

Michael Boulos and Tiffany Trump wait for the arrival of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Orlando International Airport in Orlando

Special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, left, and Michael Boulos and Tiffany Trump, right, wait for the arrival of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday

Donald Trump is putting an advisory on his Orlando rally, saying the official launch of 2020 campaign will be 'wild,' after supporters camped out in tents to save their places in line like they were waiting in line for a free concert with Rihanna

Donald Trump is putting an advisory on his Orlando rally, saying the official launch of 2020 campaign will be ‘wild,’ after supporters camped out in tents to save their places in line like they were waiting in line for a free concert with Rihanna

Supporters of President Donald Trump wait in line hours before the arena doors open for a campaign rally Tuesday

Supporters of President Donald Trump wait in line hours before the arena doors open for a campaign rally Tuesday

Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off

Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off

Determined: The early start was an attempt by the fanatical Trump backers to be at the front of the crowd for the campaign kick-off

Determined: The early start was an attempt by the fanatical Trump backers to be at the front of the crowd for the campaign kick-off

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7156179/Trumps-2020-kickoff-features-media-bashing-attacks-Joe-Biden-old-foe-Hillary-Clinton.html

 

Trump, in 2020 campaign mode, calls Democrats ‘radical’

today

President Donald Trump jabbed at the press and poked the political establishment he ran against in 2016 as he kicked off his reelection campaign with a grievance-filled rally focused more on settling scores than laying out his agenda for a possible second term.

Addressing a crowd of thousands at Orlando’s Amway Center on Tuesday night, Trump complained he was “under assault from the very first day” of his presidency by a “fake news media” and an “illegal witch hunt” that had tried to keep him and his supporters down.

He painted a disturbing picture of what life would look like if he loses in 2020, accusing his critics of “un-American conduct” and saying Democrats “want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it.”

“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he said. Trump made only passing mention of any of the Democrats running to replace him even as he tossed out “radical” and “unhinged” to describe the rival party.

Trump has long railed against the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the ongoing probes by House Democrats in the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s report .

President Donald Trump officially kicked off his re-election campaign Tuesday with a grievance-filled Florida rally. "We're going to keep it better than ever before," he declared. (June 18)

The apocalyptic language and finger-pointing made clear that Trump’s 2020 campaign will probably look a whole lot like his run three years ago. Even after two-and-a-half years in the Oval Office, Trump remains focused on energizing his base and offering himself as a political outsider running against Washington.

Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted Wednesday morning that Trump had raised $24.8 million in less than 24 hours for his reelection.

In his speech, Trump spent considerably more time focused on former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton than on his current 2020 challengers, even though she is not on the ballot.

Thousands of Trump supporters began gathering outside the arena on Monday.

“Trump has been the best president we’ve ever had,” said Ron Freitas, a retired Merchant Marine and registered Democrat from Orlando.

Hundreds of anti-Trump protesters clapped and took photos when a 20-foot (6-meter) blimp of a snarling Trump baby in a diaper was inflated. Some members of the far-right hate group Proud Boys were also spotted marching outside the rally.

Trump aides scheduled the kickoff near the four-year anniversary of the day when the former reality television star and New York tabloid fixture launched his longshot campaign for president with a famous escalator ride in front of a crowd that included paid actors.

Trump spoke fondly of his 2016 race, calling it “a defining moment in American history.” He said that in the years since, he had upended Washington, staring down “a corrupt and broken political establishment” and restoring a government “of, for and by the people.”

He never has really stopped running. He filed for reelection on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration, and held his first 2020 rally in February, 2017, in nearby Melbourne. He has continued holding his signature “Make America Great Again” rallies in the months since.

Trump asked the crowd whether he should stick with “Make America Great Again” or upgrade his slogan. His new one — “Keep America Great” — was greeted with boisterous cheers.

Trump is hoping to replicate the dynamics that allowed him to take charge of the Republican Party and then the presidency as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. In 2016, he successfully appealed to disaffected voters who felt left behind by economic dislocation and demographic shifts. He has no intention of abandoning that mantle, even if he is the face of the institutions he looks to disrupt.

The president underscored that on the eve of the rally in must-win Florida, returning to the hardline immigration themes of his first campaign by tweeting that next week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement “will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

That promise, which came with no details and sparked Democratic condemnation, seemed to offer a peek into a campaign that will largely be fought along the same lines as his first bid, with very few new policy proposals for a second term.

Early Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said Trump’s politics are “all about dividing us” in ways that are “dangerous — truly, truly dangerous.”

Another leading Democratic contender, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, said Trump had delivered “an hour-and-a-half speech of lies, distortions and total, absolute nonsense.”

But those involved in the president’s reelection effort believe his version of populism, combined with his mantra to “Drain the Swamp,” still resonates, despite his administration’s ties with lobbyists and corporations and the Trump family’s apparent efforts to profit off the presidency.Critics have pointed out his constant promotion for his golf courses, both at home and abroad, and note that this daughter, White House senior aide Ivanka Trump, made $4 million last year from her stake in the president’s Washington hotel, which has become a favored destination for foreign nationals looking to curry favor with the administration.

Advisers believe that, in an age of extreme polarization, many Trump backers view their support for the president as part of their identity, one not easily shaken. They point to his seemingly unmovable support with his base supporters as evidence that he is still viewed the same way he was as a candidate: a political rebel.

Trump tried to make the case that he had made good on his 2016 promises, including cracking down on illegal immigration and boosting jobs.

Near the rally’s end, Trump ran through a list of promises for a second term, pledging a new immigration system, new trade deals, a health care overhaul and a cure for cancer and “many diseases,” including eradicating AIDS in America.

https://apnews.com/947182a691e6498ca4488e9fc8f9e4b5

President Trump spent a Tuesday night rally he’d advertised as a 2020 kickoff hammering his old foe Hillary Clinton for acid washing her emails and failing to deliver on her pledge to beat him, while Democrats vying for the party’s nomination now escaped his wrath.

Noting that he’s under constant media scrutiny, Trump said that he’d be sent to the slammer if he ordered aides to destroy potential evidence.

‘But, can you imagine if I got a subpoena, think of this, if I got a subpoena for emails, if I deleted one email like a love note to Melania, it’s the electric chair for Trump,’ he claimed in a campaign speech in Orlando.

Trump said subpoenas he’s receiving are not about Democratic claims that his campaign may have colluded with Russia.

 

A sunshine state of mind! Melania and Donald Trump gaze lovingly at one another as they leave the White House hand-in-hand and head to Florida for the president’s 2020 rally

  • Trump, 73, and Melania, 49, departed the White House together on Tuesday to fly to Florida
  • The President will be officially launching his 2020 campaign with a rally at the Amway Center
  • The first lady wore a summery $2,290 white eyelet Andrew Gin dress with a pair of red and white polka-dot heels
  • She grinned at her husband as they walked hand-in-hand to Marine One
  • Melania is not expected to speak at the event, which will include an estimated 20,000 people

Donald and Melania Trump had a rare romantic public moment on Tuesday as the two left the White House for Orlando, Florida.

The President and first lady walked hand-in-hand across the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One on their way to Trump’s 2020 campaign kickoff rally.

Cameras caught the couple sharing a warm smile as they held onto each other, Trump, 73, dressed in a navy suit and red tie and his 49-year-old wife took advantage of the June heat in a $2,290 summery white eyelet dress from Andrew Gin, and red polka-dot heels.

All smiles: Donald and Melania Trump held hands and beamed at one another as they walked across the White House lawn to begin their trip to Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday

All smiles: Donald and Melania Trump held hands and beamed at one another as they walked across the White House lawn to begin their trip to Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday

Ready to get away! The 49-year-old first lady couldn't wipe the smile off her face as she and the president strolled across the South Lawn

Ready to get away! The 49-year-old first lady couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she and the president strolled across the South Lawn

On their way: They appeared to be in good spirits as they set out for Orlando, Florida+19

On their way: They appeared to be in good spirits as they set out for Orlando, Florida

Hands on: At one point, Trump clasped one of Melania's hands in both of his own+19

Hands on: At one point, Trump clasped one of Melania’s hands in both of his own

The couple isn’t typically much for PDA but shared an intimate smile as they walked passed photographers.

They held each other’s hands, with Trump stopping at one point in order to clasp Melania’s left hand in both of his own.

Melania beat the heat, which is hovering in the mid-to-high 80s in Washington, D.C. today, in a breezy but figure-flaunting white sleeveless dress, which featured a seasonally appropriate eyelet patter with floral cutouts on the top.

She accessorized with a pair of dark sunglasses and red and white pointy-toe pumps. while wearing her brown hair blown out around her shoulders.

The couple, who married in 2005, celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary in January, just one year less than he was married to his first wife Ivana.

The couple grinned as they boarded Marine One and then switched planes for Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

Hot out here: Melania wore a summery white eyelet dress for the occasion, as temperatures soared into the high 80s+19

Hot out here: Melania wore a summery white eyelet dress for the occasion, as temperatures soared into the high 80s

Protection: She shielded her eyes behind a pair of sunglasses+19

Protection: She shielded her eyes behind a pair of sunglasses

High heels: On her feet were a pair of red polka dot pointy-toe pumps+19

High heels: On her feet were a pair of red polka dot pointy-toe pumps

Ready to go: The well-coiffed first lady had her hair and nails done+19

Ready to go: The well-coiffed first lady had her hair and nails done

They’re flying down not to Mar-a-Lago but Orlando, where Trump is kicking off his 2020 presidential campaign at the Amway Center in front of an estimated 20,000 people.

Trump’s campaign is transforming the area outside the arena to have a festival-like atmosphere, with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time.

The most coveted positions are not seats at all, but standing positions near the front of the stage. Backers of the president in that area are likely to get a handshake, a selfie or Trump’s autograph at the event that formally marks the beginning of his campaign for a second term.

All of Trump’s children and his wife Melania will be with him at the event, sources told DailyMail.com, as will the Mike Pence, the president’s running mate and the nation’s vice president.

The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said, but given the president’s tendency to call on people to speak, she could end up addressing the crowd.

Donald Trump, Jr., on the other hand is expected to give remarks before the rally.

Beat the heat: Melania kept breezy in the lightweight dress+19

It will likely also serve her well in the Florida heat+19

Beat the heat: Melania kept breezy in the lightweight dress, which will likely also serve her well in the Florida heat

Staying behind: The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said+19

Staying behind: The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said

Change of plan? The couple's 13-year-old son Barron is also expected to be at the rally, but was not seen traveling with them+19

Change of plan? The couple’s 13-year-old son Barron is also expected to be at the rally, but was not seen traveling with them

Family affair: Trump's adult children — Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, and Tiffany — are also expected to be there+19

Family affair: Trump’s adult children — Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, and Tiffany — are also expected to be there

Melania continued to smile at her husband as they switched planes at Joint Base Andrews+19

Melania continued to smile at her husband as they switched planes at Joint Base Andrews

See ya! Trump waved goodbye as they boarded the plane together+19

See ya! Trump waved goodbye as they boarded the plane together

The president’s eldest son is a frequent presence at campaign events — with and without his father — and often serves as a warm-up act for the president’s supporters. He’s also campaigned and raised money for other Republican candidates since his father entered politics.

His girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality, is also scheduled to be at the rally. She serves as a senior adviser to the president’s reelection campaign.

Senior advisers and family members to the president Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are also expected to be at the rally.

It’s unclear if Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, will be in Orlando. She serves as a senior adviser to the president’s campaign, but is also pregnant with the couple’s second child. She made a state trip to the UK in early June.

It will be 13-year-old Barron Trump’s first appearance at a campaign rally since his father took office.

Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany, who has been less involved than her older siblings in her father’s campaigns and administration, will also be there.

Orlando Trump supporters stakeout spots ahead of rally

Waiting for him: The rally will mark the official launch of 2020 campaign+19

Waiting for him: The rally will mark the official launch of 2020 campaign

Patience: Supporters waited in line hours before the arena doors opened on Tuesday+19

Patience: Supporters waited in line hours before the arena doors opened on Tuesday

Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off

Wild: The Republican incumbent set the tone in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

President Trump release his 2020 campaign ad for re-election

The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he’d be appearing at this evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour.

‘The Fake News doesn’t report it, but Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high. Look what is going on in Orlando, Florida, right now! People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild – See you later!’ he said.

Trump had apparently dropped a claim that ‘thousands’ turned up on Monday, with about 250 people camping overnight. But the numbers grew steadily as temperatures soared in Orlando Tuesday, reaching 87 degrees before an hour-long downpour that soaked a waiting crowd.

A new Quinnipiac poll showed Trump losing Florida to Democratic nemesis Joe Biden. The former vice president would beat Trump by nine points, 50 – 41 per cent, the newly-released survey showed.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would win by a similar margin, 48 – 42, while other top Democrats would perform in the poll’s margin of error

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7155853/Melania-Trump-smiles-warmly-husband-depart-Orlando-campaign-kickoff-rally.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1205, February 11, 2019, Story 1: Fake Fence Funding Fraud — Need $30 Billion To Build 1500 Miles of New Border Barrier and Road or $2 Billion Per 100 Miles of Border Barrier and Road — Videos — Story 2:  President Trump Stands Firm on Demand For $5.7 Billion To Build Nearly 300 Miles of Border Barrier of 1500 New Border Barrier — Democrats Siding With Drug Dealers and Criminal Illegal Aliens Against The Safety and Security of American People — Trump Wins in 2020 If Border Barrier Built — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Approval Rating Hits 52% Despite Big Lie Media’s Two Year Negative Smear Campaign Against Trump — Progressive Propaganda Poop — PooPourri — Videos — Story 4: American People’s Confidence Keeps Rising — Videos

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageLine graph. A near-record 69% of Americans say they expect to better off financially a year from now.Image result for trump approval hits 52%

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Story 1: Fake Fence Funding Fraud — Need $30 Billion To Build 1500 Miles of New Border Barrier and Road or $2 Billion Per 100 Miles of Border Barrier and Road — Videos —

Donald Trump’s wall will be more like 550 miles, not all 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, he says

December 25, 2018 2:11 pm

 President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the government would not reopen until the country has a border wall or fence to stop “very bad criminals” coming into the country.

With a fight over border wall funding keeping the U.S. government shut down, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that construction is set to start on “probably the biggest section” of the wall in Texas next month.

Speaking to reporters on Christmas morning, Trump said the federal government yesterday handed out a contract to build 115 miles (about 185 kilometres) of wall, which represents about a fifth of the total 500 to 550 miles (805 to 885 kilometres) he expects to see constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

WATCH: Trump claims part of border wall built, cites Israel as proof a wall works

He hopes to have all 550 miles built by November 2020, when the next U.S. election rolls around.

“It’s a 2,000-mile border, but much of it has mountains and region where you can’t get across so we’re looking at between 500 and 550,” Trump said.

He also said the government has renovated a “massive amount of wall and, in addition to that — and I think very, very importantly — we built a lot of new wall.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas. We are already building and renovating many miles of Wall, some complete. Democrats must end Shutdown and finish funding. Billions of Dollars, & lives, will be saved!

Trump’s remarks drew some scrutiny on Tuesday morning.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump pledged to build a “great, great wall” on the border and said Mexico would pay for it.

But Tuesday represented the first time he said how much he’d build or made any suggestion that renovating existing barrier would count toward realizing his promise, according to the Dallas News.

READ MORE: Donald Trump would settle for less border wall money: White House

Trump wants $5 billion to build the wall, and that amount would take care of approximately 215 miles — half of which would be replacements, it added.

The cost of a wall along America’s southern border has been pegged at anywhere between $12 billion (Trump’s estimate) and $21 billion (Homeland Security’s estimate).

The idea of building one has repeatedly been criticized, however, with some suggesting that there’s no crisis that the wall would solve. Opponents have also noted previous efforts to strengthen the border that have been cheaper than building a wall.

READ MORE: ‘There is no crisis at the border’: U.S. unauthorized immigration near 12-year lows, report shows

U.S. border apprehensions hit a decade-long high in 2007 and fell every year until 2011, when they started to fluctuate from one year to the next.

Former president Barack Obama also took tough action on the border, which included a $600-million spending bill that helped to pay for more border agents, drones and personnel for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Trump expects to go to Texas for a groundbreaking ceremony next month.

Donald Trump’s wall will be more like 550 miles, not all 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexico border, he says

Beyond the wall: Dogs,
blimps and other things
used to secure the border

 Back to top

Regardless of what “the wall” is made of or how much more of it is ever built, it will always be just one of many instruments in the toolbox of security measures on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Many devices, technologies and personnel work together to prevent drugs and people from illegally entering the United States.

Here are two common scenarios that require completely different tactics.

Sorting contraband from cargo at ports of entry

During “pre-inspection,” while a line of cars is waiting to cross, a drug-sniffing dog alerts its handler to something inside a truck. The vehicle is flagged for secondary inspection.

A cargo scanner scans the truck and the image reveals a suspicious compartment in its bed.

An officer uses a handheld elemental isotope detector to confirm heroin residue. The driver is arrested.

The U.S.-Mexico border has 47 land ports of entry through which about a half-million commercial trucks, cars and pedestrians enter the United States every day. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have the difficult job of expediting traffic while keeping an eye out for illegal crossers and cargo. Everyone and everything undergoes a primary inspection, in which license plates are scanned and passports are checked against Homeland Security data, said Blas Nuñez-Neto, a researcher at Rand Corporation and former senior advisor to the CBP commissioner.

Detecting and tracking people in remote areas

In the middle of the night, a ground sensor detects human footsteps in an area miles from the nearest Border Patrol station.

Agents in a control center check footage from surveillance towers in the area, spot a group of people and track them as they walk.

Other agents in an SUV head toward the area with mobile surveillance gear and night-vision goggles to locate and apprehend the group.

Between ports of entry, Border Patrol agents may be stationed miles apart, so they depend on various types of electronic surveillance to detect and track suspicious activity until they get there. If people move out of surveillance range, agents use classic tracking methods such as following footprints from the last known location.

We wanted to know not just what is there but also the strengths and limitations, so we talked to two experts who provided some perspective: Nuñez-Neto, formerly of CBP, and Adam Isacson, who analyzes border security for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

Physical barriers (a.k.a. “the wall”)

PROS Delay would-be border crossers long enough for agents to catch them.

CONS Largely ineffective in remote areas; susceptible to vandalism; expensive to maintain; obvious and immovable, so people may simply go elsewhere.

About a third of the southern border, nearly 700 miles, is lined with some kind of wall or fence.

Imposing pedestrian barriers comprise about half of that and are most useful in densely populated areas where nearby law enforcement officers can apprehend people quickly. They are made of materials such as bollards, steel slats with mesh panels, fences topped with concertina wire — even rows of carbon steel Vietnam-era helicopter landing mats. Some areas have two or three rows of barriers separated by a Border Patrol road.

[Analysis: The history of U.S. border apprehensions]

The rest of the barriers are mostly low-slung vehicle barriers that stop cars and trucks but not people on foot. Sometimes barriers attempt to funnel people or vehicles to open places where agents can most easily intercept them.

In San Diego, a segment of wall stretches along the U.S. border with Tijuana, Mexico, at right. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Cargo scanners

PROS Very effective; next-generation models will be able to scan vehicles in line before they arrive at a port of entry.

CONS Expensive; require extensive training; more are needed; some date from the early 2000s and need to be upgraded.

Most illegal drugs that come into the United States from Mexico are smuggled through ports of entry, often mixed among legitimate goods, hidden in secret compartments or even in vehicle’s gas tanks.

Large X-ray and gamma-ray scanners identify illicit substances or hidden people by looking for differences in the density of cargo, such as a recent truckload of cucumbers that also contained almost 650 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamine under a false floor. These scanners are mounted next to traffic or on moveable trucks and peer into vehicles horizontally as they pass by. Radiation detection devices are also used.

Ground sensors

PROS Provides ears on the ground rather than just eyes.

CONS Many false alarms because calibrating them to tell a person from, say, a deer can be difficult; smugglers figure out where they are; no tech has reliably detected tunnels.

Buried seismic sensors, often paired with cameras, detect when a person (or animal, car or even a low-flying plane) is moving in the area, and the sensors ideally can differentiate among those things. The sensors ping border agents in a control center so they can take a look at camera footage of the area. Other aboveground sensors and ground-penetrating radar are used to find tunnels.

Aerostats

PROS Can stay aloft for weeks at a time; not thwarted by undulating terrain.

CONS Sidelined by bad weather; radar can’t penetrate thick foliage; expensive to operate; may raise privacy concerns; one once broke loose and wreaked havoc.

Six roughly 200-foot-long unmanned, blimplike aerostats float thousands of feet above key areas of the U.S.-Mexico border. Each carries a downward-pointing radar system that can detect vehicles within a 200-mile radius and send data through its tether to a control station on the ground.

Aerostats are particularly good at detecting low-flying aircraft, such as the ones drug smugglers use, because their radar isn’t blocked by hilly terrain the way ground-based radar can be. And newer, smaller versions fly closer to the ground and carry radar that can better identify people. But Nuñez-Neto said it’s no secret that aerostats can’t fly in bad weather, and “the smugglers can read the weather forecast just as well as we can.”

An aerostat used by the Air and Marine Operations division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Eagle Pass, Tex., in 2017. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Drones

PROS Excellent image quality; Predators theoretically can stay in the air for 24 hours; small drones are portable, agile and quick to deploy.

CONS Expensive; require a lot of manpower; dependent on good weather; raise privacy concernsfor nearby residents.

Since 2006, huge Predator B surveillance drones have patrolled the border from above 19,000 feet, capturing and transmitting live video and detailed infrared and radar images of people on the ground. More recently deployed smaller drones produce even better images, which reportedly are sharp enough to identify a person’s height, weight and hairstyle.

Like aerostats, however, drones can’t fly in bad weather.

Fixed surveillance towers

PROS Most effective in flat, wide-open areas.

CONS Radar can be blocked by hilly and leafy terrain; very visible, so people can see and try to avoid them; require people to monitor the feeds.

“Integrated Fixed Towers” as they are officially called look like TV station towers that soar to 160 feet high. Each is equipped with radar, high-resolution daytime cameras and infrared cameras to monitor up to a seven-mile radius. Their feeds are linked to a control center, where agents can track suspicious people and vehicles over a larger area. Smaller types of fixed towers provide additional camera surveillance.

A Border Patrol surveillance tower stands near the Rio Grande River bank in Hidalgo County, Tex. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Planes and helicopters

PROS Carry some of the most sophisticated surveillance equipment in the CBP’s arsenal.

CONS Expensive; require a lot of maintenance and personnel.

Fixed-wing surveillance planes often have under-mounted infrared cameras and powerful night-vision equipment on board. If radar pings something, Air and Marine officers on board can verify what it is and follow along, alerting law enforcement on the ground.

“There are parts of the border where you don’t want to apprehend as soon as you see someone,” said Nuñez-Neto. “You want to be able to keep eyes on them but let them get to a part of the border where you have the tactical advantage.”

Planes are mostly used for reconnaissance, but helicopters often transport people and help with search and rescue.

A CBP helicopter flies over as a group of men who crossed the U.S. border illegally and tried to run from Border Patrol agents are detained in Mission, Tex., in August 2018. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Satellite surveillance

PROS Another set of eyes.

CONS Expensive to use; can’t penetrate cloud cover; civil liberties concerns on U.S. soil.

Satellite images are used much like images collected by other air surveillance from remote places, Nuñez-Neto said. Agents will compare images taken of the same location at different times to look for changes, such as evidence of new or different patterns of foot traffic. Some people fear satellites will be able to zoom in on individuals.

Radio and cell data surveillance

PROS Can be used for search and rescue.

CONS Communication can be spotty in many areas.

The Department of Homeland Security says law enforcement may use commercially available location data “to identify the presence, but not the identity, of individuals within the border area.” Isacson said narco-traffickers in Mexico and Colombia have been tracked by triangulating their cell signals.

In remote areas, cell coverage is new or nonexistent, so smugglers often communicate by radio or walkie-talkie, and Border Patrol can sometimes intercept their signals.

Mobile surveillance equipment

PROS Mobile; able to operate in extreme places.

CONS Older cameras have bad resolution; some types are not integrated with other systems; not automated, so people need to watch the feeds.

Agents need different types of on-the-go surveillance gear, such as portable radar, daytime and nighttime cameras and thermal imaging equipment that allows them to see for miles in the dark.

The largest and least-agile device in this category is an 80-foot tower on a trailer platform that can be driven (slowly) to new sites. It contains powerful Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) cameras, which send images to a central control center and were responsible for the discovery of at least one smuggling tunnel. (RVSS systems can be mounted on fixed towers, poles and buildings, as well.)

Other devices are truck-mounted, and still others are small enough to be handheld or perched on tripods. Many of the smaller devices don’t link to a control center.

A fixed surveillance tower stands in Mission, Tex. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Specialized gear

PROS Allow agents to be faster and more effective.

CONS Agents in different areas need different equipment; off-the-shelf products rarely work in hot, sandy, windy environments.

Border agents and CBP officers have all kinds of additional devices to help them do their jobs. Among them are Defense Department surplus night-vision goggles, elemental isotype analyzers that can identify illegal substances, medical supplies and even gizmos that lasso the tires of fleeing vehicles. Some gear may be as simple as a stick that taps on cars so that well-trained ears can make sure that certain parts sound hollow, kind of like thumping a melon.

Biometrics

PROS Biometrics are a very effective way to cut through fraudulent documents and identify known criminals or people who may have previously used other identities.

CONS Readers and scanners can be glitchy and wear out quickly; facial recognition tech is new and is already raising privacy and civil liberties concerns.

Fingerprint readers often are used when agents in the field apprehend people and may also be used at ports of entry if officers have reason to believe a person is trying to enter the country illegally.

Biometric options beyond fingerprinting are becoming more robust and more precise, although they are not yet used at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, trials are underway at several airports and at least one seaport in which live photos and passport photos are matched so that your face is basically your boarding pass.

Patrol boats

PROS Can go places along the river that are hard to reach over land.

CONS Loud and easy to hear coming; some parts of the Rio Grande are too shallow to navigate.

While most agents and officers travel in SUVs, some ride ATVs, bikes, horses — and boats.

Air and Marine agents may carry cameras, radar and other equipment that helps them detect, track and intercept unfamiliar boats and look for smuggled goods. They also assist the Coast Guard and other law enforcement with disaster relief, searches and rescue operations.

Boats on the Mexican border are used mostly along the lower Rio Grande at the southern part of Texas. (The Coast Guard has jurisdiction on the coasts, so they’re the ones most likely to intercept drug boats headed to California, for instance.)

A CBP marine unit passes patrols the Rio Grande in August 2018 in Mission, Tex. Mexico is visible across the river. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Dog teams

PROS Fantastic at finding whatever they’ve been trained to detect.

CONS Need lots of breaks, particularly in hot, desert areas; a tiny inhaled dose of ultra-potent drugs, such as fentanyl, can be deadly.

More than 1,500 CBP canine teams work on U.S. borders, and they are extremely successful at sniffing out drugs, weapons, currency and other contraband. They also help find people (and human remains), whether concealed in vehicles or lost in the wilderness.

On the Mexico border, dog teams operate primarily at ports of entry and checkpoints.

Dogs who successfully detect drugs — or people, such as in this simulation in Jamul, Calif. — are often rewarded with extra play time. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Agents and officers

PROS Nothing happens without them.

CONS Very expensive (nearly all the CBP’s budget goes to salaries, said Nuñez-Neto); high turnover rate; months long hiring process.

Notice the word “agent” or “officer” appears in everyone of these descriptions? Without them, all the surveillance, barriers and devices are useless.

“If you don’t have the people available,” Isacson said, “you’re just watching movies of people doing bad things.”

However, hiring and keeping agents can be difficult. Nearly 17,000 Border Patrol agents worked at the southern border as of the end of 2017, down from an all-time high of 18,501 in 2013 according to CBP, despite more money earmarked for hiring.

That’s because the work is tough and dangerous, the pay is not great, Isacson said, and the jobs require living and working in desolate, undesirable areas. Hiring can take months because of rigorous security and background checks, and about 65 percent of applicants reportedly fail a mandatory polygraph test.

Nevertheless, those agents are the one piece of the border security puzzle that is absolutely necessary.

Border Patrol agent Robert Rodriguez reports a smuggler near the Rio Grande River in Hidalgo County, Tex., in August 2018. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

Joe Fox contributed to this report.

About this story

Additional sources: Spokesman Rick Pauza of the Laredo, Tex., office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; CBP documents; General Accountability Office report on border security; Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection photos from CBP Flickr page. Some illustrations are based on references from CBP photos.

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/what-is-border-security/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.98497d4fe0c1

Story 2:  President Trump Stands Firm on Demand For $5.7 Billion To Build Border Barrier — Democrats Siding With Drug Dealers and Criminal Illegal Aliens Against The Safety and Security of American People — Trump Wins in 2020 With Landslide Victory If 1500 Mile Border Barrier Built — Videos

Bipartisan negotiation on funding a border wall hitting a snag

Congress Under Pressure To Reach A Deal As Shutdown Deadline Looms | Sunday TODAY

 

Why the Wall Won’t Work

Donald Trump captured the imagination of many American voters with a single campaign promise. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border,” he boasted in June 2015. For good measure, he added, “And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.” The twin pledges-which followed a tirade about Mexican rapists and drug dealers-neatly captured everything that was either attractive or repulsive to voters in the real estate mogul’s presidential run: bravado, nationalism, and controversy.


Joanna Andreasson

Trump was often criticized for lacking precision in policy ideas, but he had bold and detailed requirements for his wall. It would be 1,000 miles long. (The other 1,500, he said, were covered by “natural barriers.”) He gave various estimates of its height-between 30 and 50 feet, with the most common number being 35. His barrier would be an “impenetrable physical wall” composed of “precast [concrete] plank…30 feet long, 40 feet long.” He also insisted that it would be aesthetically pleasing.While he said after the election that a fence may be appropriate in “some areas,” he added that a wall would be better, and he has since vigorously corrected reporters who describe the project as a “fence.” Throughout the campaign, he described the current fences as a “joke,” implying that he would not only build a superior barrier, but that he would replace the one that exists at some points now.

The History
The president’s proposal has a decadeslong history. After the 1986 “amnesty,” when President Ronald Reagan traded increased border security for the legalization of 3 million unauthorized immigrants, the San Diego Border Patrol constructed a 10-foot welded steel fence along the 14-mile section of the border closest to the Pacific. In 1996, a new law provided funds for a second layer. Despite repeated requests from the Border Patrol for more, by the year 2000 just 60 miles of the southern border had fencing, almost all of which was in urban areas. Only San Diego had a second layer.

After 9/11, border hawks launched another push for fences, with little success. Most immigration enforcement funds were going to a surge in border agents. But President George W. Bush’s push for comprehensive immigration reform, which would have legalized the unauthorized immigrants in the United States, gave the hawks their opportunity. In 2006, Congress approved the Secure Fence Act mandating nearly 700 miles of fencing on the border.

The legal, practical, economic, and moral case against Trump’s border barrier.

The president signed on to the bill hoping to placate the secure-the-border-first crowd and obtain the humane immigration changes that he wanted. This sales job enabled it to pass with bipartisan support from the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The immigration reform never materialized, but fence construction was nearly complete by 2009, and there are now 617 total miles of physical barriers, 36 miles of which have two layers.

Yet the hawks were not placated. They complained that there was no second layer in most places. They stewed that half the fence was just “vehicle barriers”-concrete posts that provide obstacles for drivers but not pedestrians. Moreover, the 317 miles of real pedestrian fences dramatically vary in height and quality. The Border Patrol uses half a dozen types of fencing materials-wire mesh, landing mats, chain-link, bollard, aesthetic, and sheet piling-just to control on-foot crossings. These barriers are mainly a combination of steel posts and bars supplemented in places with wire, ranging in height from 6 to 18 feet.

The Legal Obstacles
Trump has been adamant that his wall will be built “ahead of schedule.” For that to happen, he’ll need to avoid the various legal issues that plagued earlier efforts. Entities other than the federal government-states, Indian tribes, private individuals-control over two-thirds of borderland property. Private parties own the vast majority of the border in Texas, and for this reason, roughly 70 percent of the existing border fence is located in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Almost all of it is on federally controlled land.

The Bush administration bullied property owners, threatening to sue them if they did not “voluntarily” hand over the rights to their land. It offered no compensation for doing so. Thinking that they had no recourse, some people signed off, but others refused. The government then attempted to use eminent domain, a procedure Trump has long defended, to seize their property, but the lawsuits imposed serious delays-seven years in one case.

In 2009, the Homeland Security inspector general concluded that the Border Patrol had “achieved [its] progress primarily in areas where environmental and real estate issues did not cause significant delay.” One intransigent resident had owned his property since before the “Roosevelt easement,” which gives the federal government a 60-foot right of way along the border. He fought the administration, so the fence had until recently a 1.2-mile gap on his land. Border residents fought more than a third of all land transfers, in fact. Because the Constitution promises just compensation for takings, Trump can do little to speed this process.

Native American tribes also have the capacity to stop construction of barriers. The Tohono O’odham Nation, which has land on both sides of the border, has already pledged to fight any efforts to build a wall there. In 2007, when the tribe allowed vehicle barriers to be constructed, the Bush administration ended up desecrating Indian burial grounds and digging up human remains. The new president would need a stand-alone bill from Congress to condemn their land. Senate Democrats can (and likely would) filibuster such an effort.

Even federal lands can be problematic. In 2010, two-thirds of patrol agents-in-charge told the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that land management laws had delayed or limited access to portions of federal lands, for fence building or repairs and other purposes, with more than half stating they did not get a timely response when they requested permission to use the lands. In one case, it took nearly eight months for the Border Patrol to get the OK to install a single underground sensor.

Water rights have also been a problem for the fence. A 1970 treaty requires that the floodplain of the Rio Grande remain open to both sides of the border. The Obama administration attempted to build fences along the river anyway, but the treaty and the river’s floods forced the barrier to be placed so far into the interior of the United States that it has many holes to allow U.S. residents access to their property. These also provide an opportunity for border crossers.

At the same time, the fence can cause Mexico to receive too much water. Even when a fence has holes, which a wall would not, debris can turn the fence into a dam. Thanks to the barrier, some floods have fully covered the doors of Mexican buildings in Los Ebanos, across the Rio Grande, while producing little more than deep puddling on the U.S. side. The International Boundary and Water Commission that administers the treaty has rebuffed the Border Patrol’s attempts to replicate this disaster in other areas of the Rio Grande Valley.

The Practical Considerations
Fences or walls obstruct crossers’ paths, cutting off a straight shot into the interior of the country. But a barrier is not the permanent object that some people imagine. Natural events can knock down parts of a border fence. One storm in Texas left a hole for months. Fences and walls can also erode near rivers or beaches, as the one in San Diego did. And they can be penetrated: Some fencing can be cut in minutes, and the Border Patrol reported repairing more than 4,000 holes in one year alone. They neglected to mention whether that number equaled that year’s number of breaches.

Much of the current fencing can be easily mounted with a ladder or from the roof of a truck. In some cases, border crossers can scale the fence without any additional equipment. One viral video from 2010 shows two women easily climbing an 18-foot steel bollard-style pedestrian fence in less than 20 seconds. Smugglers can even drive over the fence using ramps, a fact that was discovered only when a couple of foolish drug entrepreneurs managed to get their SUV stuck on top. (They took the dope and split.)


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (data); GAO-15-399 (map)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, June 2011

A wall would probably be less easily damaged by man or nature. But in at least some areas, its impassibility could also become a maintenance liability. Border Patrol agents have told Fox News that a border wall would still “have to allow water to pass through, or the sheer force of raging water could damage its integrity, not to mention the legal rights of both the U.S. and Mexico to seasonal rains.” In 2011, for example, a flood in Arizona washed away 40 feet of steel fence.

While not “impenetrable,” a concrete wall would impede efforts to cut through it. Trump has also claimed that no one would ever use a ladder to go over his wall because “there’s no way to get down.” After pondering the question for a second, he then conceded, “maybe a rope.” Nonetheless, the height might discourage some people from attempting to climb it, and it would certainly take them longer to do so, giving Border Patrol agents additional time to reach them.

If not over or through, some crossers may opt to go under. Tunnels are typically used more for drug smuggling, but they still create a significant vulnerability in any kind of physical barrier. From 2007 to 2010, the Border Patrol found more than one tunnel per month, on average. “For every tunnel we find, we feel they’re building another one somewhere,” Kevin Hecht, a Border Patrol tunnel expert, told The New York Times last year. A wall would likely increase the rewards for successful tunneling as other modes of transit grow more expensive.

Trump is unconcerned, asserting that “tunnel technology” will rule out any such subterfuge. Effective tunnel detection equipment is seen as the Holy Grail of Border Patrol enforcement, but the Homeland Security Department’s Science and Technology Directorate has so far concluded that no current technology for detecting tunnels beneath the border is “suited to Border Patrol agents’ operational needs.”

But the biggest practical problem with a wall is its opacity. In fact, many Border Patrol agents oppose a concrete wall for precisely this reason (albeit quietly, given that they were also some of Trump’s biggest supporters during the election). “A cinder block or rock wall, in the traditional sense, isn’t necessarily the most effective or desirable choice,” Border Patrol agents told Fox News. “Seeing through a fence allows agents to anticipate and mobilize, prior to illegal immigrants actually climbing or cutting through the fence.”

The agency is already desperate to switch out the nontransparent landing-mat fences in use in some places. These metal sheets were adapted from helicopter landing pads left over from Vietnam, and while inexpensive, they are ill-suited to their purpose. Popular Mechanics described these parts of the fence as “obsolete, in need of replacement,” noting that they “can be easy to foil since Border Patrol agents can’t see what’s going on on the other side.” If a wall slows down agents as much as it does smugglers and migrants, it provides no advantage on balance.

To put it most simply, border barriers will never stop illegal immigration, because a wall or fence cannot apprehend crossers. The agents that Fox News spoke to called a wall “meaningless” without agents and technology to back it up. Mayor Michael Gomez of Douglas, Arizona, labeled the fence a failure in 2010, saying “they jump right over it.” Former Border Patrol spokesperson Mike Scioli has called the fence little more than “a speed bump in the desert.”

The Efficacy of a Wall
Trump speaks with absolute certainty of a wall’s ability to repel entries, yet the efficacy of the existing barriers has gone largely unstudied. The president is proposing a project likely to cost tens of billions of dollars and to suck up many other resources, and he is doing so without a single evaluation of the barrier. Obviously, any obstacle to passage will reduce entries at the margin. But would other options work better?

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) of the House Homeland Security Committee failed to obtain an answer to this exact question from the Obama administration. Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) concluded in 2013 that “it would be an inefficient use of taxpayer money to complete the fence,” but he gave no indication of how he evaluated the costs and benefits. A 2016 Migration Policy Institute review of the impact of walls and fences around the world turned up no academic literature specifically on the deterrent effect of physical barriers relative to other technologies or strategies, and concluded somewhat vaguely that walls appear to be “relatively ineffective.”

Fences can have strong local effects, and the case for more fencing often relies completely on these regional outcomes. Take the San Diego border sector, probably the most commonly cited success story in this debate.

From 1990 to 1993, it replaced a “totally ineffective” fence with a taller, opaque landing mat fence along 14 miles of the border. This had little impact on the number of border crossers. “The primary fence, by itself, did not have a discernible impact on the influx of unauthorized aliens coming across the border in San Diego,” the Congressional Research Service concluded.

From 1994 to 1996, Operation Gatekeeper doubled the number of agents in the sector to reinforce the fence, but this too had little effect on the number of apprehended migrants. (Researchers use apprehensions as a proxy for illegal immigration because they usually track closely to the number of total entries.) Instead, the apprehensions shifted dramatically away from the areas guarded by western stations at Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, where fences were built, and toward eastern stations. The net flow remained the same.

From 1997 to 1999, when the San Diego sector was reinforced with nine miles of secondary fencing and even more agents were added, the numbers did finally slow. But looking at the apprehension figures, it appears that San Diego simply pushed its problem even further east, to the El Centro, Yuma, and Tucson sectors. Each agent in those places ended up apprehending more people after the fence was built than before.

Ideally, we would perform the same type of before-and-after analysis of the impact of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The problem is that those barriers were rolled out at the same time that Congress almost doubled the size of the Border Patrol, increasing it from 12,000 to 21,000 agents. Moreover, fences went up in many different sectors, making it difficult to isolate the effects. To complicate matters further, this period saw the collapse of the housing bubble, which caused a huge exodus of unauthorized workers back to Mexico.

The Unintended Consequences
The numbers from this period also suggest that counting “reduced crossings” as a victory may be misleading. As the amount of fencing and the number of agents grew, the share of unauthorized immigrants entering illegally fell, but the number entering legally (and then staying illegally) rose.

In 2006, the Pew Research Center calculated that more than a third of all unauthorized immigrants entered lawfully and then simply overstayed their visas. People who come to the U.S. as tourists or temporary business travelers are forbidden from working, so a small number remain after their visa expires to work under the table. For every three border crossers in 1992, there was one overstay. But by 2012, visa overstays accounted for 58 percent of all new unauthorized immigrants. A wall not only will do nothing to stop these people from entering, but it may actually incentivize more people to stick around without authorization.


Border fencing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, June 2011

Using reduced border crossings as the standard of success also obscures the wall’s effect on the total population of undocumented residents in the country.Until the first fence was built in 1990, workers could circulate freely across the border, coming to harvest crops during the summer and then returning home in the winter. They crossed with a goal of bettering their lives south of the border. The 1980s had more total crossings than the 1990s, but because as many people left each year as arrived, the total number of unauthorized immigrants remained roughly constant at about 3 million. The true measure of of a barrier’s efficacy should be not the gross flow but the net flow, taking into account both entries and exits.

Increased enforcement in the 1990s raised the cost to cross the border, which obviously prevented some migrants from crossing at the margin. In fact, the cost of a single border crossing exploded from $500 in 1995 to $3,000 in 2009. Increasing the price of illegal activity is law enforcement’s main measurement of success. The Drug Enforcement Administration would be thrilled to claim it had driven up illicit drug prices 600 percent in a decade and a half.

But this strategy backfired. The increased costs and risks disincentivized people from returning home. In 1996, just as the secondary fencing was going up in San Diego, a majority of new unauthorized entrants left within one year, according to a study by the University of Pennsylvania sociologist Douglas Massey. By 2009-with three times as many agents, 650 miles of barriers, and constant surveillance along the border-an illegal immigrant’s likelihood of leaving within one year had dropped to a statistically insignificant level. Border security had essentially trapped them in.

The illegal population grew in tandem with the increases in smuggling prices, which in turn paralleled the growth in the number of border officers. This process continued from 1990 to 2007, when the housing collapse finally set Mexican migration into reverse.

Massey calculates that as of 2009, 5.3 million fewer immigrants would have been residing in the United States illegally had enforcement remained at the same levels as in the 1980s. He argues that a large guest worker program, similar to the one that the United States last had in the early 1960s, would reduce not just border crossings but the population of immigrants living in this country-seemingly a nationalist two-for-one.

The Price Tag
Congress set aside $1.2 billion for the 700-mile border fence in 2006. It ended up spending $3.5 billion for construction of the current combination of pedestrian fences and vehicle impediments. In 2009, the Border Patrol estimated it would need to spend an average of $325 million per year for 20 years to maintain these barriers. The Congressional Research Service found that by 2015, Congress had already spent $7 billion on the project, more than $11.3 million per mile per decade.

Of course, it hardly makes sense to look at averages, given that half the fence is inexpensive vehicle-only barriers. Of the 317 miles of true pedestrian fencing, the GAO found that construction alone for the first 70 miles cost $2.8 million per mile on average. In the more difficult, non-urban areas, costs grew dramatically: For the next 225 miles, they rose to $5 million per mile on average. In a mountainous region east of San Diego, they hit $16 million per mile. After about 290 miles, the GAO assumed the average cost for the final 26 miles would be $6.5 million.

If Trump backs away from his promise or if Congress ignores his requests for new funding, he may choose to simply build out the existing pedestrian fence for the remaining 683 miles to reach his 1,000-mile goal. Using the $6.5-million-per-mile figure, Congress will still need to front at least $10 billion over 10 years. The entire fence would price out at $18 billion, accounting for inflation. Add in the costs associated with acquiring private land and building in less accessible areas and the price tag goes even higher.

Trump, who still insists that his wall will be not a fence but an “impenetrable physical wall” of concrete, claims that it will cost between $10 billion and $12 billion. In early 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested that a similar amount of appropriations would be needed for the wall. Neither the president nor the speaker has revealed his methodology. But since we know that just building out the existing fence would cost at least that much, the wall will undoubtedly cost far more.

Not only that, but the existing fences were relatively inexpensive to build because they were constructed from materials such as old metal from helicopter landing pads and built low to the ground in some places. Trump has criticized them for, among other things, their inability to prevent tunneling, their materials, their height, and their aesthetics. Trump’s wall would use, according to one engineer’s estimate, more than 1.5 times as much concrete as the Hoover Dam.

For the full 1,000 miles, Trump’s 30-foot wall (with a 10-foot tunnel barrier) would cost $31.2 billion, or $31.2 million per mile, according to the best estimate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers. Two other estimates placed the construction cost of the wall in the $25 billion range. An internal Department of Homeland Security report from February 2017 concluded the project would cost $21.6 billion for “a series of fences and walls” along 1,250 miles of the border. And these are solely upfront construction costs. They don’t include ongoing maintenance, which has accounted for roughly half of the price of the existing barriers over a decade.

The Economic Downside
Donald Trump has insisted from the start of his campaign that Mexico will pay for the wall. When he presented a proposal to Congress to fund the wall’s construction in January, he continued to insist that Mexico would repay the United States. For his part, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has said that he would refuse to pay for any portion of the wall, and the back-and-forth became so heated in January that he canceled a meeting with Trump.

The U.S. president has remained vague about how this reimbursement will happen without Mexico’s cooperation, and his total lack of understanding of basic economic concepts may be contributing to his erroneous belief. “The wall is a fraction of the kind of money…that Mexico takes in from the United States,” he told CNN in April 2016. “You’re talking about a trade deficit with Mexico of $58 billion.” In other words, he seems to be saying that if the Mexican government does not give him the $31 billion or more that it will take to build the wall, Trump will tax America’s business with Mexico. White House Spokesman Sean Spicer intimated something similar in January 2017.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Even if that were to happen, it is simply inaccurate to claim that America’s southern neighbor would be paying for the wall, since the revenue would be coming from U.S. consumers. If the United States imposes a tax on Mexican imports, then people in America buying Mexican goods, from beer to cars, will cover it. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said as much to Trump during a presidential primary debate in January 2016, explaining that the Mexican government “doesn’t pay the tariff-the buyer pays the tariff.” Evidently, the lesson failed to stick.Trump has also floated the idea of cutting off remittances to Mexico of unauthorized immigrants if the Mexican government refuses to pay up. His proposed regulatory method of doing this (claiming that cash wire transfers are actually bank accounts) is legally suspect, but even if it were licit, it would not cover the cost of the wall. Although Mexican immigrants annually send $26 billion to their families in Mexico, only half of the Mexican immigrants in the United States are here illegally, and the majority of the remittances from unauthorized immigrants would likely find a way home through means other than wire transfers.

The Reason
President Trump’s wall would be a mammoth expenditure that would have little impact on illegal immigration. But perhaps that’s not the point. The campaign’s goal was to plant an image in voters’ minds of what making America great again would look like. The president’s goal may now be to create a symbol, an illustration of a nationalism that says to the world that although people of all kinds may want to come here, America was created by and for Americans.

For those who are not nationalists, the wall is a problem. The direct harms are easy to document: the spending, the taxes, the eminent domain abuse, and the decrease in immigrants’ freedom of movement.


Right: Tijuana, Mexico; left: San Diego, California. Public Domain

Even if the wall fails to reduce illegal entries significantly overall, one byproduct of making it harder to enter is that people will choose to cross in increasingly dangerous points along the border (the president’s “natural barriers”). This objective was a purposeful Border Patrol strategy in the 1990s, and it caused the number of deaths to skyrocket as people perished in mountains or deserts. From 1993 to 2005, the number of lives lost in crossing rose from 23 to 500 per year. Since the border fence was built, the number has declined, but the death rate per crossing had more than tripled by 2012.Wasteful security has always been the compromise that non-nationalists give to nationalists to obtain a better immigration system, one that treats people humanely and allows more of them to enter and live here legally. The most optimistic case is that the president builds some kind of barrier and takes credit for the drop in illegal immigration that began a decade ago. Seizing victory, he allows some form of immigration reform palatable to moderate Republicans to pass.

But agreeing to the symbol could be seen as conceding the principle behind it. If Trump understands the costs and the limited benefits of the wall, his true purpose may be to force his opponents to give in to the nationalist viewpoint and spend the ensuing decades building and maintaining its outward sign. Many Republicans, including the president, have adopted a “border security first” philosophy that requires certain metrics to be met before other humane reforms take effect, so the wall could simply be an attempt to move the goalposts for security so far that they can never be reached (especially if Mexico’s reimbursement is a criterion).

Another possibility is that the wall serves as a grand red herring, forcing Trump’s opponents to focus on the symbol while he enforces his true vision in other areas. The president’s executive order mandating the construction of a wall also requires a crackdown on asylum seekers coming to the border from Central America. His order on interior enforcement renders nearly all unauthorized immigrants priorities for removal. He has still further orders planned to undermine the legal immigration system for foreign workers. And of course, he has tried to ban all people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering at all. As his opponents focus on the wall, the Trump administration targets immigrants from every direction.


Congressional Research Service

In a sense, the wall merely represents the Trump administration’s worst instincts and desires. It is harmful, wasteful, and offensive, but an ineffective wall is nonetheless better than the surge of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to round up and deport people that the president also wants. No wall has ever arrested, robbed, battered, or murdered nonviolent people, as immigration enforcement has. A wall will not create an interest group to lobby for itself, endorse nationalist presidential candidates, and demand more power and funding, as the Border Patrol union does.The wall is more than a symbol. It will harm the lives of thousands of border residents and immigrants while wasting billions of tax dollars. But in a world run by nationalists, the one small source of comfort for non-nationalists over the next four years may be the knowledge that it could be worse.

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LATEST POLL: President Trump’s Approval Rating SOARS to 52%

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Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-seven percent (47%) disapprove.

Trump’s highest level of approval since shortly after his inauguration.

The latest figures include 39% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 39% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of 0. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m.  Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump’s job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to beth@rasmussenreports.com .

Total Approval20-Jan-1721-Apr-1724-Jul-1723-Oct-1730-Jan-1801-May-1802-Aug-1801-Nov-1811-Feb-190%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%www.RasmussenReports.comTotal Approve (Trump)Total Approve (Obama)

 

0Approval Index20-Jan-1721-Apr-1724-Jul-1723-Oct-1730-Jan-1801-May-1802-Aug-1801-Nov-1811-Feb-1910%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_feb11

Trump’s approval rating among likely voters soars to his best in 23 MONTHS at 52 per cent after State of the Union address as border-wall shutdown talks intensify

  • Rasmussen Reports poll as Trump at 52 per cent approval, his best showing in 23 months and a higher number than his winning edge in 2016
  • Significant up-swing since government-shutdown low of 43 per cent
  • New numbers were collected in the three days immediately following State of the Union address
  • Asked what Monday’s numbers mean, a senior Democratic House aide confided on background: ‘I don’t know yet if it’s horrible, but it sure isn’t good’ 
  • Polling average is just 42.4 per cent, including mostly those surveys that are open to all Americans; Rasmussen polls only ‘likely voters’

That number is his highest since March 6, 2017, less than seven weeks after he took office. It has been even longer since Trump’s ‘strongly approve’ and ‘strongly disapprove’ numbers weren’t under water. They were even at 39 per cent on Monday.

Overall, 47 per cent of likely voters disapprove of Trump’s Oval Office performance. That’s a low water mark since November 2, 2018.

Monday’s numbers came from surveys conducted during the three weekdays following the president’s State of the Union address.  It’s not unusual for presidents to get a polling ‘bump’ after the high-profile annual address.

Asked what Monday’s numbers mean, a senior Democratic House aide confided on background: ‘I don’t know yet if it’s horrible, but it sure isn’t good.’

The White House, however, seemed pleased. Trump himself tweeted an image of this story at the top of The Drudge Report, an influential news aggregation website.

Donald Trump is gaining ground in the nation's only daily presidential approval tracking poll, surging to 52 per cent – a higher level of popular support than he had on Election Day 2016 and his best poll showing since less than seven weeks into his presidency

Rasmussen's poll had Trump at 46 per cent on the day the three-week government shutdown began; he dipped to a low of 43 per cent in mid-January, but is now at 52 per cent after his State of the Union address

Rasmussen’s poll had Trump at 46 per cent on the day the three-week government shutdown began; he dipped to a low of 43 per cent in mid-January, but is now at 52 per cent after his State of the Union address

President Trump boasted his latest approval number by tweeting an image of this story at the top of The Drudge Report

The principal battle is shaping up, as it was in December, over the preisdent’s demand for money to continue construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats are pledging to yank their purse-strings tight, while Trump has an ace up his sleeve: a threat to declare a national emergency and build the wall with existing funds Congress appropriated last year.

Trump often cites Rasmussen as a rare example of a trustworthy poll, suggesting others are operated by ‘fake news’ outets that are slanted against him.

The president won 46.1 per cent of the votes cast in the 2016 election, prevailing on the strength of a commanding majority in the Electoral College. 

Rasmussen’s Monday numbers suggest Trump could have a majority of Americans behind him and a leg up on his winning position from two years ago.

The president’s approval had been sliding in recent weeks, reaching a low of 43 per cent in the Rasmussen poll as the recent government shutdown wore on.

An average of presidential approval polls maintained by Real Clear Politics now has the president at 42.4 per cent.

That suggests he still has a steep hill to climb at a time when most Americans still blame him and congressional Republicans for the shutdown – and Washington is growing skittish about the possibiity of a repeat performance Friday night.

Trump’s State of the Union address appears to have earned him a ‘bump’ in his approval rating

The most dire polls included in the current RCP average belong to Reuters and Quinnipiac University, which found last week that just 38 per cent of Americans approve of Trump’s work in the White House.

There are three recent polls that show a whopping 57 per cent disapproving of the president.

Leaders of Congress from both parties, however, consistently fare even worse in national polls.

Unlike most broad samples, which draw from all American adults, Rasmussen surveyers accept responses only from self-described ‘likely voters.’ 

The Rasmussen survey since November has been the only national poll that records the public’s assessment of the president’s performance every weekday. Gallup ended its competing daily tracking poll last year and now only reports monthly averages. 

Real Clear Politics maintains a polling average that puts Trump's overall approval at 42.4 per cent, but Rasmussen's survey is the only one of the bunch that excludes people who are not 'likely' U.S. voters ('LV' in the table above)

Real Clear Politics maintains a polling average that puts Trump’s overall approval at 42.4 per cent, but Rasmussen’s survey is the only one of the bunch that excludes people who are not ‘likely’ U.S. voters (‘LV’ in the table above)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6691891/Trumps-approval-rating-likely-voters-soars-best-23-MONTHS-52-cent.html

Story 4: American People’s Confidence Keeps Rising — Videos

Americans’ Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing

Americans' Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 69% expect their financial situation to improve over the next year
  • Optimism about finances over the next year is almost at a record-high level
  • 50% say they are in better shape financially than a year ago

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ optimism about their personal finances has climbed to levels not seen in more than 16 years, with 69% now saying they expect to be financially better off “at this time next year.”

Line graph. A near-record 69% of Americans say they expect to better off financially a year from now.

The 69% saying they expect to be better off is only two percentage points below the all-time high of 71%, recorded in March 1998 at a time when the nation’s economic boom was producing strong economic growth combined with the lowest inflation and unemployment rates in decades.

Americans are typically less positive about how their finances have changed over the past year than about where they’re headed, and that remains the case. Fifty percent say they are better off today than they were a year ago. That 50% still represents a post-recession milestone — the first time since 2007 that at least half of the public has said they are financially better off than a year ago.

Ten years ago, as the Great Recession neared its end, the percentage saying their finances had improved from the previous year was at a record low of 23%. More than half the public, 54%, said they were worse off. Now, with unemployment below 1998 levels and the job market growing steadily, the number saying they are worse off than a year ago has dropped to 26%, the lowest level since October 2000.

Line graph. Half of Americans say they are now better off financially than they were a year ago.

Only 11 times in 109 polls stretching back to 1976 have at least half of those polled said they were in better financial shape than they had been a year prior. Only once in 114 polls going back to 1977 have Americans been more optimistic about their personal finances in the coming year than they are today.

In every one of the 105 Gallup polls since 1977 that asked both questions, more Americans were optimistic about their future finances than said their current finances had improved versus a year prior. On average in those 105 polls, 56% have expected to be better off in the next year, while 39% have believed they were better off than they had been the previous year. For both questions, a substantial percentage of the public volunteered a response of “the same” — indicating either that their finances had not changed in the past year or that they did not expect them to change in the coming year.

Partisanship Plays a Role in Perceptions of Past and Future Finances

Members of most major demographic groups are more likely in 2019 to say their financial situation has improved in the past year than to say they are worse off — with Democrats the one major exception. By 37% to 32%, more Democrats say that compared with a year ago, they are worse off financially rather than better off. However, among some of the key groups that generally vote Democratic, a plurality or majority say they are better off.

  • Sixty-two percent of those under 30 say they are better off; 25% say worse off.
  • Forty-five percent of women say they are better off; 29% say worse off.
  • Forty-five percent of those with annual household incomes of less than $40,000 say better off, 35% worse off.
  • Among liberals, 40% say better off, 31% worse off.

Republicans are at the other end of the spectrum, with 68% saying they are better off, and only 10% saying worse off. Among groups that are more Republican than the national average, 66% of conservatives say they are better off, as do 57% of those with annual incomes of at least $100,000 and 56% of men.

Both Republicans and Democrats significantly changed their perceptions of how they were doing financially when the 2016 presidential election replaced outgoing Democrat Barack Obama with Republican Donald Trump.

The two most recent times the question was asked before Trump’s election, in January 2015 and January 2016, as many Republicans — 37%, on average — said they were worse off as said they were better off. In the two polls since Trump has taken office, one in January 2018 and one last month, a robust majority of 67% have said they are better off, compared with 13% saying “worse off.”

Democrats, who were more than twice as likely to say they were better off (58%) rather than worse off (24%) in the two pre-Trump-election polls, have reversed field, with 35% saying they are better off and 38% saying worse off in the two post-Trump-inauguration polls.

Changing White House Occupants, Changing Views of Personal Finances
Would you say that you are financially better off now than you were a year ago, or are you financially worse off now?
Better off Worse off
% %
2015-2016 polls
Democrats 58 24
Republicans 37 37
2018-2019 polls
Democrats 35 38
Republicans 67 13
Results based on combined January 2015-January 2016 polls and combined January 2018-January 2019 polls
GALLUP

For both Republicans and Democrats, results are more positive over the same time spans for the question asking about financial expectations for the coming year. Though Republicans’ expectations rose after Trump took office and Democrats became less optimistic, majorities from both parties said they expected to be better off in the coming year in both the pre-Trump-election polls and the post-Trump-inauguration ones.

Bottom Line

The United States brought in the new year with a partial government shutdown that stretched through most of January and a growing sense of pessimism about the nation’s economy.

But in spite of the negative turn in the public’s views about the national economic picture, Americans are more upbeat now about their own finances than they have been in years.

Economic conditions can take rapid turns, and lofty expectations can be dashed in the process. But for now, it appears that most Americans believe, at least for their own financial situations, that 2019 will be a good year.

View complete question responses and trends

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The Pronk Pops Show 1198, January 25, 2019, Breaking News — Story 1: President Trump Ends Shutdown and Reopens Government for Three Weeks Until 15 February 2019 — State of the Union Address To Be Given– After Three Weeks Trump May Declare A National Emergency To Fund The 1500 Mile Big Beautiful Border Barrier aka Trump’s Big Beautiful Wall — Videos — Story 2: Mueller’s Massive Move of Desperation to Arrest Roger Stone For Allegedly Lying To Congress and Mueller Investigation — Absolutely No Evidence Trump or Trump Campaign Conspired With Russians — Massive Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: New York States Passes Baby Killing Law — So Much For The Civil Rights of Babies in the Womb — Black Babies Prime Target — Videos — Story 4: Radical Extreme Democrats (REDs): Progressive, Socialist, Communist Activists — Ultimately Will Be Rejected By The Majority of American People — Videos

Posted on January 30, 2019. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Labor Economics, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, National Interest, Networking, News, Obama, People, Photos, Politics, Polls, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: President Trump Ends Shutdown and Reopens Government for Three Weeks Until 15 February 2019 — State of the Union Address To Be Given– After Three Weeks Trump May Declare A National Emergency To Fund The 1500 Mile New Big Beautiful Border Barrier aka Trump’s Big Beautiful Wall — Videos

DEAL REACHED, SHUTDOWN ENDS: President Trump Announces Budget Deal Until Feb. 15

Trump: Deal reached to reopen gov’t for 3 weeks

President Trump announces deal to reopen government [FULL SPEECH from Rose Garden]

State of the Union address postponed until government shutdown ends

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s statement on the Trump shutdown

 

Opinion: Trump-Pelosi war intensifies, foreshadowing two years of chaos

Published 

There are a few things common to all presidents, whichever party they come from. They all think they get unfair media coverage. They all feel like prisoners of the White House and wish they could just go for a walk by themselves or head down to the corner bar. And they all chafe at the constraints on their power, the fact that despite occupying what appears to be the most powerful office in the world, there are all kinds of forces, institutions and people they can’t control and that limit their ability to do what they want.

Few presidents have felt those constraints more acutely than Donald Trump, who spent his professional life leading a private company (with no board of directors watching over him), who plainly views rules and laws as something only little people have to worry about, and who knew almost nothing about how government actually works before taking the job. The idea that some lowly member of Congress can tell him what he can or can’t do is positively infuriating to him. Knowing this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently asked him to provide the State of the Union address in writing or delay it until the government shutdown has been resolved; as we all learned, without Congress’s permission, the president can’t give the speech in its chambers.

And of all the things to keep him from doing, this is among the most painful. At no other moment will Trump have the entire country’s eyes trained on him, with an hour or more to say what he likes and bask in the pomp of the ceremony and the adulation of his servile party.

But, according to reporting by The Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez and Seung Min Kim:

“President Trump said Wednesday that he is pressing ahead with plans to deliver his State of the Union address at the Capitol next week, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request that he postpone the speech amid the partial government shutdown.

“In a letter to Pelosi, Trump dismissed the California Democrat’s concerns about security due to the shutdown.

” ‘It would be so very sad for our country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!’ he said.

“It was unclear how Trump would address lawmakers Jan. 29 as the House and Senate must pass a concurrent resolution for a joint session of Congress to hear the president.”

Pelosi just responded with a terse letter of her own, telling him in no uncertain terms that the speech will not go forward until he agrees to end the government shutdown:

“I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,” Pelosi wrote to Trump. “Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.”

One imagines a dramatic scene as Trump arrives at the House and is told that the speaker is not granting him permission to deliver his address. What happens then? Will he push past everyone (though presumably only Republicans will have shown up), climb up on the dais and start talking? Among other things, Pelosi controls the microphones and the TV cameras, so there wouldn’t be much point.

So what is he actually up to? I’d refer you to this excellent article from The Post’s Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey, which describes how throughout his career Trump has employed a particular mode of negotiation: “He creates – or threatens to create – a calamity, and then insists he will address the problem only if his adversary capitulates to a separate demand.”

Recommended Video

That is precisely what is happening with the shutdown right now. Trump created the calamity, then demanded his wall to bring it to an end. In return, he offered a temporary reprieve for “Dreamers” – the very ones whose future he put in jeopardy when he tried to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It’s like me stealing your car, then saying if you give me a bunch of money, I’ll give it back to you, but only temporarily.

It’s much like how Trump used to deal with vendors and contractors as a builder: Order the work, then, when it’s done, refuse to pay for it and eventually offer them some fraction of what he had agreed to pay in the first place. They often gave in because they were small-business owners who couldn’t match his legal resources and needed the money they were owed.

The State of the Union address is of far less practical consequence than the shutdown, but Trump is being driven by the same impulses. Except Pelosi turned things around on him, exercising her own power to deprive him of something he wanted. You can argue that Pelosi was being petty, though we contend that, given the magnitude of the shutdown crisis, it was perfectly appropriate for the speech to be delayed until the government reopens. But either way, it was utterly intolerable for him.

Trump has an evident need to dominate everyone around him, not just to get what he wants but to show that he’s the big man, the one who deserves everyone’s attention and regard. The flip side is that those in his favor must be almost comically obsequious (as his staff and Cabinet have learned), and those he opposes must be not just beaten but humiliated. (“Who’s going to pay for the wall? Mexico!”) Becoming president has not dimmed that need at all; if anything, he feels it more urgently than ever.

When Pelosi poked him in the way she did, he had to reassert his dominance, to make sure everyone knows that he’s the one who decides if the State of the Union happens, not her. The trouble is that in this case, she does get to decide. Given what we know about her, it’s unlikely that the threat to just show up is going to make her back down.

I’ve argued that for all his self-regard Trump is actually a dreadful negotiator, but this episode shows that it goes further than just being bad at getting what he wants. A negotiation with Trump might not just fail, it can turn into a catastrophe. We’ve already suffered through a few of them, and in the next two years, with Democrats running the House and the special counsel breathing down his neck, Trump will feel more and more constrained. In response, he’s likely to create more crises and more chaos, in the hope that he can emerge from it all on top.

https://www.newstimes.com/opinion/article/Trump-Pelosi-war-intensifies-foreshadowing-two-13556012.php

Story 2: Mueller’s Massive Move of Desperation to Arrest Roger Stone For Allegedly Lying To Congress and Mueller Investigation — Absolutely No Evidence Trump or Trump Campaign Conspired With Russians — Massive Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Roger Stone – BBC HARDtalk 5th February 2018

Roger Stone rips media coverage of his arrest

Exclusive look at FBI raid on Roger Stone’s home

‘I expect to be acquitted and vindicated’: Roger Stone on Mueller indictment

President Trump reacts to Roger Stone’s arrest

Stone on his indictment: This is about silencing me, criminalizing political expression

ALEX JONES (FULL SHOW) Friday 1/25/19: EXCLUSIVE ROGER STONE COMMENTS ON RAID & ARREST

Outnumbered (HD)/1/25/19 Fox News Friday, January 25, 2019

Video shows FBI arrest Roger Stone at his house

Federal agents pour over Roger Stone’s house following arrest by FBI

Roger Stone speaks outside court after arrest in Mueller probe

Alan Dershowitz reacts to Roger Stone’s indictment

Dan Bongino Dismisses Roger Stone Indictment

The Ingraham Angle 1/26/19 [5AM] | Fox Breaking News January 26, 2019

Ep. 902 Mueller Doubles Down on Police State Tactics. The Dan Bongino Show 1/25/2019.

#LionelNation🇺🇸Immersive Live Stream: The Preposterous FBI Raid On Sacrificial Lamb Roger Stone

What does Roger Stone’s arrest mean for the Russia investigation?

Roger Stone Arrest/Mueller Investigation | Rush Limbaugh Show | January 25, 2019

President Trump reacts to Roger Stone’s arrest

Video shows FBI arrest Roger Stone at his house

 

‘I will DEFEAT these charges. I will not bear false witness against the president!’ Defiant Roger Stone walks out of court after being indicted by Mueller for lying to Congress as he slams ‘political’ case and FBI’s pre-dawn raid – to chants of ‘lock him up’

  • Roger Stone, a former longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Facing seven charges including making false statements to Congress and witness tampering
  • FBI agents swarmed his house with guns drawn and took Stone into custody
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller persuaded a judge to keep the indictment sealed because he feared Stone would flee or destroy evidence
  • His lawyer blames ‘forgetfulness’ and insists he’ll fight the charges
  • Stone was released on $250,000 bail after appearing in a Florida federal court, and said he would fight the charges and never turn against the president
  • First post-court interview went to ‘InfoWars’ conspiracy theory radio show; he said arrest was ‘politically motivated’
  • Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee: ‘What did the President know and when did he know it?’
  • Trump responds on Twitter, calling the entire Mueller probe the ‘Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country’ 

Then he lounged in the sun and ate pizza with his attorneys.

He walked out of federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after appearing in front of a judge, hours after FBI agents raided his home with guns drawn and arrested him on charges including lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Stone was sprung from jali on a $250,000 bond and called the InfoWars conspiracy theory radio program to proclaim his innocence. he emerged from the federal court building flashing a V-for victory with both hands raised, Richard Nixon-style.

‘I will plead not guilty to the charges,’ Stone said, shouting over the protests. ‘I will defeat them in court. I believe this is a politically motivated investigation.’

He added: ‘There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the president, nor will I make up lies to ease the pressure on myself. I look forward to being fully and completely vindicated.’

Attorney Robert Buschel, appearing with the defiant Stone, added: ‘He’s leaving, so it’s a good day.’

The media spectacle on the courthouse steps came after FBI agents in tactical bulletproof vests arrested Stone on Friday morning with guns drawn.

They acted after Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed a seven-count indictment from a grand jury impaneled in his sprawling probe of Russian election meddling.

Released: Roger Stone walked out of court flashing V for victory signs in the manner of Richard Nixon

Released: Roger Stone walked out of court flashing V for victory signs in the manner of Richard Nixon

Defiance: Roger Stone first called InfoWars then walked out of the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale to say he would fight the charges, which include lying to Congress and witness tampering

Stone's post-release presser was the biggest media scrum of the day as reporters showed up to cover him as though he were a political candidate

Stone’s post-release presser was the biggest media scrum of the day as reporters showed up to cover him as though he were a political candidate

Fighting talk: A defiant Roger Stone said he would fight and defeat the charges brought by Robert Mueller that he lied to Congress and interfered with a witness

Fighting talk: A defiant Roger Stone said he would fight and defeat the charges brought by Robert Mueller that he lied to Congress and interfered with a witness

Support: Roger Stone appeared upbeat as he called the Mueller investigation 'politically-motivated' in front of scores of reporters and a crowd that included protesters and supporters

Indicted: Despite the smile, Roger Stone – whose attorney Robert Buschel stood beside him – faces a long fight against the Mueller indictment and the possibility of prison

President Trump didn't skip a beat, returning on Twitter to his consistent theme that the Mueller probe is the 'Greast Witch Hunt in the History of our Country' – and raised suspicion that CNN's camera crew was tipped off by someone in federal law enforcement

President Trump didn’t skip a beat, returning on Twitter to his consistent theme that the Mueller probe is the ‘Greast Witch Hunt in the History of our Country’ – and raised suspicion that CNN’s camera crew was tipped off by someone in federal law enforcement

Courtroom sketches from Friday morning show Roger Stone in handcuffs as he was led in, and then standing behind a podium next to his lawyer 

Courtroom sketches from Friday morning show Roger Stone in handcuffs as he was led in, and then standing behind a podium next to his lawyer

The self-described political dirty trickster answered his front door during a dramatic pre-dawn raid with a lead agent shouting: ‘FBI! Open the door! We have a warrant!’ With tactical flashlights shining in his face, Stone confirmed his identity to the agents and was led away in his pajamas.

He said after being freed that a total of 29 agents ‘terrorized’ his wife and his dogs, and that he would have surrendered himself if asked.

As he stood in court, agents were still at his property with a tented tarp erected outside the front door, forming a covered corridor for moving evidence to waiving trucks and vans.

A few hours later, Stone ate pizza and lounged in the sun outside a friend’s house.

In photos obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, the veteran political operative looked relaxed and completely unfazed as he reclined on a wicker chair and chatted casually with a female acquaintance.

The career GOP strategist also ordered pizza delivery for himself and his legal team as they plotted behind closed doors to clear his name.

The silver-haired Stone was still wearing the same navy blue polo shirt he wore to court hours earlier.

Stone is charged with five counts of making false statements, one of witness tampering and one of obstruction of official proceedings.

The FBI also raided Stone’s Manhattan apartment, seizing hard drives and other materials.

Hours after Stone posted bail and left the courthouse, he was spotted at a friend's house chatting with his attorneys

Hours after Stone posted bail and left the courthouse, he was spotted at a friend’s house chatting with his attorneys

Stone appeared to have not a care in the world despite a global swirl of intrigue surrounding his cloak-and-dagger political history

Stone also ordered pizza delivery for himself and his lawyers

Stone also ordered pizza delivery for himself and his lawyers

Roger Stone was a Richard Nixon devotee and assisted the disgraced former president in his final declining years; he later got Nixon's face tattooed on his upper back

Roger Stone was a Richard Nixon devotee and assisted the disgraced former president in his final declining years; he later got Nixon’s face tattooed on his upper back

Mueller asked a judge Thursday to keep Stone’s indictment sealed until his arrest, aguing that ‘law enforcement believes that publicity resulting from disclosure will increase the risk of the defendant fleeing and destroying (or tampering with) evidence.’

The indictment does not charge him with crimes directly related to Russia or with conspiracy to skew the 2016 election, but with what legal experts call ‘process crimes’ – lying to investigators and trying to tamper with their work after being asked about contacts he claimed to have with WikiLeaks around the temt the anti-privacy group published thousands of stolen emails that embarrassed Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

President Donald Trump blared hours after the arrest to his Twitter audience: ‘Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?’

Stone gave his first post-arrest interview to the conspiracy theory radio program ‘InfoWars,’ saying in a phone call that he did nothing wrong and his arrest was ‘politically motivated.’

Trump ally Roger Stone is arrested at his Florida home
CNN aired dramatic video o nFriday morning that showed the pre-dawn raid that resulted in Stone's arrest

CNN aired dramatic video o nFriday morning that showed the pre-dawn raid that resulted in Stone’s arrest

Agents wearing body armor and drawing their weapons swarmed Stone's home in a posh south Florida neighborhood

Agents wearing body armor and drawing their weapons swarmed Stone’s home in a posh south Florida neighborhood

Stone, whose political pedigree dates back to the Nixon administration, is accused of feeding information from WikiLeaks about an email hack to the Trump campaign during the 2016 election

He appealed for cash saying he expected his defense costs to reach $2 million, saying he was going to fight the charge.

‘I predicted for many months that I would be framed on a process charge,’ he said.

‘They are criminalizing political activities.’

When his phone cut out Alex Jones suggested it was the work of ‘them’ because ‘they tap all the phones.’

Grant Smith, an attorney for Stone, said in a statement that the indictment is ‘a clear attempt at silencing Roger. This was an investigation they started as about Russian collusion and now they’re charging Roger Stone with lying to Congress about something he honestly forgot about, and as Roger has stated publicly before, he will fight the charges.’

He said separately that prosecutors ‘found no Russian collusion or they would have charged him with it. Roger stone is vindicated by the fact that there was no Russian collusion. … Roger Stone received no materials from WikiLeaks ahead of the public release.’

Smith added that ‘Stone’s misstatements were due to forgetfulness and were immaterial.’

FBI arrests Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone in Mueller probe
Media circus: Cameras staked out the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday as an SVU said to be carrying Stone arrived

Media circus: Cameras staked out the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday as an SVU said to be carrying Stone arrived

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Friday morning on CNN that the Stone indictment has 'nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Friday morning on CNN that the Stone indictment has ‘nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House’

Familiar: Roger Stone's defiant double V-for victory as he walked out of court was a nod to his first political mentor, Richard Nixon

Familiar: Roger Stone’s defiant double V-for victory as he walked out of court was a nod to his first political mentor, Richard Nixon

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted Friday morning in a CNN interview that the Stone indictment ‘has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House.’

Sanders suggested that prominent Democrats and Obama administration officials have been guilty of the crimes for which Stone was charged.

‘I think the bigger question is if this is the standard, will the same standard apply to people like Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Clapper? Will we see the same people we know have also made false statements, will that same standard apply?’ she asked.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerold Nadler, a New York Democrat, tweeted: ‘Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn… What did the President know and when did he know it?’

There was no Russian collusion, it’s a clear attempt at silencing Roger. This was an investigation they started as about Russian collusion and now they’re charging Roger Stone with lying to Congress about something he honestly forgot about, and as Roger has stated publicly before, he will fight the charges.
Roger Stone attorney Grant Smith

His counterpart in the Senate, ranking Judiary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, said in a statement that ‘the phrase “Trump campaign” appears in the indictment 24 times, with specific details about a senior Trump campaign official reaching out to Stone regarding leaked emails.’

Muller’s work ‘has been thorough and objective, and he must be allowed to complete his job without interference,’ Feinstein said.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee: said separately that the Stone indictment makes clear that his contacts with WikiLeaks ‘happened at least with the full knowledge of, and appear to have been encouraged by, the highest levels of the Trump campaign.’

President Trump tweeted an encouraging message to Stone in December as news spread that Mueller’s team was putting pressure on him.

‘”I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”‘ he wrote.

Loyal: Stone said Wednesday in a Fox news Channel interview: 'No matter how much pressure they put on me, no matter what they say, I will not bear false witness against Donald Trump'

Loyal: Stone said Wednesday in a Fox news Channel interview: ‘No matter how much pressure they put on me, no matter what they say, I will not bear false witness against Donald Trump’

Mueller's team asked a judge to keep Roger Stone's indictment sealed because they feared he might try to flee or destroy evidence if he knew he was being charged with federal crimes 

Mueller’s team asked a judge to keep Roger Stone’s indictment sealed because they feared he might try to flee or destroy evidence if he knew he was being charged with federal crimes

Trump tweeted in May 2017, four months after taking office, that CNN was mistaken in reporting that he still had a close relationship with Stone.

‘Fake News. Have not spoken to Roger in a long time,’ he said then.

Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn… What did the President know and when did he know it?
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerold Nadler, a New York Democrat

Stone renewed his pledge of loyalty to Trump on Wednesday, appearing on the Fox News Channel’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

‘No matter how much pressure they put on me, no matter what they say, I will not bear false witness against Donald Trump. I will not do what Michael Cohen has done and make up lies to ease the pressure on myself,’ he said.

Stone also told Carlson that Mueller is ‘a runaway special prosecutor who is accountable to no one.’

‘My testimony is both accurate and truthful, but I’m not even allowed to have a copy of it,’ he protested.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney who represents the president in matters related to the Mueller probe, said Friday in a statement that the Stone indictment ‘does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else. Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress.’

As Stone makes his court appearance another Trump ally – former campaign chairman Paul Manafort – will also be appearing in a Virginia courtroom.

Manafort, who has already been jailed for conspiracy, is facing new allegations that he lied to members of Mueller’s team while cooperating as part of his plea deal.

As Stone was being processed after his arrest, his home is shown in aerial footage on CNN

FBI agents continued to process the scene after the sun came up Friday, searching Stone's home for evidence supporting the Mueller indictment and hiding their findings from cameras with tents that led to waiting trucks

FBI agents continued to process the scene after the sun came up Friday, searching Stone’s home for evidence supporting the Mueller indictment and hiding their findings from cameras with tents that led to waiting trucks

News crews were kept away from Stone's house after his arrest, but police couldn't stop helicopters from capturing the scene

News crews were kept away from Stone’s house after his arrest, but police couldn’t stop helicopters from capturing the scene

President Trump defended Stone less than two months ago, but denied in mid-2017 that 

President Trump defended Stone less than two months ago, but denied in mid-2017 that

Stone, a Richard Nixon devotee who has the disgraced former president’s face permanently tattooed on his back, has long been portrayed as a central figure in the election interference scandal, but as recently as January 4 told Dailymail.com that he doesn’t expect to be indicted.

‘They got nothing,’ he said of the special counsel’s investigation.

‘They’ve tried hard, but I didn’t do anything illegal. That’s why I’m not worried and I’ll do a public appearance like tonight’s without a problem.’

The Nixon Foundation tried to distance itself from Stone on Friday following his arrest.

‘This morning’s widely-circulated characterization of Roger Stone as a Nixon campaign aide or adviser is a gross misstatement. Mr. Stone was 16 years old during the Nixon presidential campaign of 1968 and 20 years old during the reelection campaign of 1972,’ the foundation said in a statement.

‘Mr. Stone, during his time as a student at George Washington University, was a junior scheduler on the Nixon reelection committee. Mr. Stone was not a campaign aide or adviser. Nowhere in the Presidential Daily Diaries from 1972 to 1974 does the name “Roger Stone” appear.’

Mueller’s federal grand jury met on Thursday, a Justice Department source told DailyMail.com. That’s unusual, given the typical schedule of such grand juries.

The indictment today does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else. Rather, the indictment focuses on alleged false statements Mr. Stone made to Congress.
President Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow

The Justice Department source said the grand jury also met on a Thursday last July, the day before Mueller unsealed an indictment against a dozen Russian agents.

The grand jury had been hearing for months from witnesses linked with Stone. And the House Intelligence Committee, then run by Republicans, voted last year to release a transcript of Stone’s testimony to Mueller.

The indictment says that during the summer of 2016 Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about information held by WikiLeaks that might by damaging to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

That came as the Trump campaign shifted gears from a bruising primary season to months of general election fights against

The campaign official replied to Stone asking him to inquire about potential future release by WikiLeaks, the indictment alleges.

The indictment against Stone was unsealed Friday morning, just before he was arrested at his house

The indictment against Stone was unsealed Friday morning, just before he was arrested at his house

Rep. Jerold Nadler is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; he asked the Nixon-era question 'What did the President know and when did he know it?'

Rep. Jerold Nadler is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; he asked the Nixon-era question ‘What did the President know and when did he know it?’25k shares

On CNN, Sanders refused to address whether Trump 'directed' Roger Stone to contact WikiLeaks

On CNN, Sanders refused to address whether Trump ‘directed’ Roger Stone to contact WikiLeaks

Thousands of emails had been stolen from a Gmail account belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Other records had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers.

The indictment directly quotes a Stone email to Breitbart News Washington Editor Matthew Boyle on October 3, 2016 in which he complains that he ‘would tell [the high-ranking Trump Campaign official]’ about his contacts with WikiLeaks, ‘but he doesn’t call me back.’

That matches, word-for-word, a Stone email cited by The New York Times in November 2018, which cites former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon by name instead of ‘the high-ranking Trump Campaign official.’

Messages sent Friday morning to Bannon, then a future White House senior adviser Steve Bannon, and his public relations adviser Alexandra Preate, who worked alongside him in the White House, went unanswered.

Manafort, now languishing in jail and facing a lengthy prison term for tax and bank fraud, may play a role in the Stone indictment.

It describes the aftermath of ‘the July 22, 2016 release of stolen DNC emails’ by WikiLeaks, and recounts how ‘a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone’ to see if more releases were coming.

Bannon is widely understood to be that official. As the campaign’s CEO, he reported directly to Manafort.

Only Manafort and Donald Trump himself likely had the authority to ‘directed’ his actions.

The question of who gave that order will set off a new round of speculation about whether the president himself could be a Mueller target.

Breitbart News Washington Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle makes a cameo in the Stone indictmenr, in an email from the dirty trickster complaining that Steve Bannon wouldn't return his phone calls about back-channel contacts with WikiLeaks

2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was targeted by WikiLeaks, which released tens of thousands of emails stolen from her campaign chairman John Podesta

Stone allegedly had a back-channel connection with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, giving him advance infformation

Stone allegedly had a back-channel connection with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, giving him advance infformation

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin speculated Friday morning that it ‘could be Donald Trump himself.’

On MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ program, former CIA director John Brennan said the indictment shows ‘an extensive effort to influence the election’ that ‘may have gone to the very top of the Trump campaign.’ The question now, Brennan said, is whether that crossed ‘the threshold from collusion to criminal conspiracy.’

On CNN, Sanders stopped short of denying Trump was involved.

‘I’m not going to be able to provide you some type of insight or legal analysis,’ she said. ‘What I can tell you is that these specific charges that have been brought against Mr. Stone don’t have anything to do with the president.’

Democratic National Committee chairmam Tom Perez said Friday in a statement that ‘[t]he Trump campaign was a willing and active participant in a conspiracy with Russia and WikiLeaks to influence the 2016 election. There are more conspirators yet to be held accountable – and at least one of them is named Donald Trump.’

The indictment indicates that Stone tasked someone referred to as ‘Person 1’ with contacting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for him.

Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle did not respond to an email Friday morning. Friday’s indictment quotes an email exchange between Stone and Boyle, referred to only as a ‘reporter.’

Boyle was granted an Oval Office interview with President Trump during the first weeks of his administration.

Another Stone associate with a cameo in the indictment is New York radio host Randy Credico, who Stone has claimed told him that WikiLeaks had obtained a collection of Podesta’s emails and planned to release them.

Steve Bannon was Trump's campaign CEO beginning in August 2018; the indictment refers to him as a senior campaign official

Steve Bannon was Trump’s campaign CEO beginning in August 2018; the indictment refers to him as a senior campaign official

Conspiracy theorist and suthor Jerome Corsi is referred to in the indictment as 'Person 1'

Conspiracy theorist and suthor Jerome Corsi is referred to in the indictment as ‘Person 1’

‘You are a rat. A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying [to] Rip you to shreds,’ Stone wrote. ‘I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die [expletive].’

‘You should have just been honest with the house Intel committee . . . you’ve opened yourself up to perjury charges like an idiot,’ Credico wrote a month later. ‘Stone responded: ‘You are so full of [expletive]. You got nothing.’

Credico’s attorney confirmed Friday to CNN that his client is ‘Person 2’ in the indictment.

Stone is accused of making ‘multiple false statements’ about his contacts with Wikileaks, and wrongly denying having records of those conversations.

He is also accused of trying to persuade a witness ‘to provide false testimony to and withhold pertinent information from the investigations.’

ROBERT MUELLER’S PROBE SO FAR: EIGHT CONVICTIONS – INCLUDING THREE TOP TRUMP AIDES, A JAILED ATTORNEY AND 25 RUSSIANS ACCUSED

GUILTY: MICHAEL FLYNN 

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in December 2017. Awaiting sentence

Flynn was President Trump’s former National Security Advisor and Robert Mueller’s most senior scalp to date. He previously served when he was a three star general as President Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency but was fired. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his conversations with a Russian ambassador in December 2016. He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY: MICHAEL COHEN

Pleaded guilty to eight counts including fraud and two campaign finance violations in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to further count of lying to Congress in November 2018. Sentenced to three years in prison and $2 million in fines and forfeitures in December 2018

Cohen was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, starting working for him and the Trump Organization in 2007. He is the longest-serving member of Trump’s inner circle to be implicated by Mueller. Cohen professed unswerving devotion to Trump – and organized payments to silence two women who alleged they had sex with the-then candidate: porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. He admitted that payments to both women were felony campaign finance violations – and admitted that he acted at the ‘direction’ of ‘Candidate-1’: Donald Trump. 

He also admitted tax fraud by lying about his income from loans he made, money from  taxi medallions he owned, and other sources of income, at a cost to the Treasury of $1.3 million.

And he admitted lying to Congress in a rare use of the offense. The judge in his case let him report for prison on March 6 and  recommended he serve it in a medium-security facility close to New York City.

Campaign role: Paul Manafort chaired Trump's campaign for four months - which included the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016, where he appeared on stage beside Trump who was preparing  to formally accept the Republican nomination

GUILTY: PAUL MANAFORT

Found guilty of eight charges of bank and tax fraud in August 2018. Pleaded guilty to two further charges. Awaiting sentence

Manafort worked for Trump’s campaign from March 2016 and chaired it from June to August 2016, overseeing Trump being adopted as Republican candidate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He is the most senior campaign official to be implicated by Mueller. Manafort was one of Washington D.C.’s longest-term and most influential lobbyists but in 2015, his money dried up and the next year he turned to Trump for help, offering to be his campaign chairman for free – in the hope of making more money afterwards. But Mueller unwound his previous finances and discovered years of tax and bank fraud as he coined in cash from pro-Russia political parties and oligarchs in Ukraine.

Manafort pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of tax and bank fraud but was convicted of eight counts. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10 charges. A second trial on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent is due in September.  

GUILTY: RICK GATES 

Pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in February 2018. Awaiting sentence

Gates was Manafort’s former deputy at political consulting firm DMP International. He admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government on financial activity, and to lying to investigators about a meeting Manafort had with a member of congress in 2013. As a result of his guilty plea and promise of cooperation, prosecutors vacated charges against Gates on bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, filing false tax returns, helping prepare false tax filings, and falsely amending tax returns.

GUILTY AND JAILED: GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in October 2017. Sentenced to 14 days in September 2018, and reported to prison in November. Served 12 days and released on December 7, 2018

 Papadopoulos was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign foreign policy advisory committee. He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about his contacts with London professor Josef Mifsud and Ivan Timofeev, the director of a Russian government-funded think tank. 

He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY AND JAILED: RICHARD PINEDO

Pleaded guilty to identity fraud in February 2018. Sentenced to a year in prison

Pinedo is a 28-year-old computer specialist from Santa Paula, California. He admitted to selling bank account numbers to Russian nationals over the internet that he had obtained using stolen identities. 

He has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel investigation.

GUILTY AND JAILED: ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN

Pleaded guilty to making false statements in February 2018. He served a 30-day prison sentence earlier this year and was deported to the Netherlands on his release

Van der Zwaan is a Dutch attorney for Skadden Arps who worked on a Ukrainian political analysis report for Paul Manafort in 2012. 

He admitted to lying to special counsel investigators about when he last spoke with Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik.

GUILTY:  W. SAMUEL PATTEN

Pleaded guilty in August 2018 to failing to register as a lobbyist while doing work for a Ukrainian political party. Awaiting sentence

Patten, a long-time D.C. lobbyist was a business partner of Paul Manafort. He pleaded guilty to admitting to arranging an illegal $50,000 donation to Trump’s inauguration.

He arranged for an American ‘straw donor’ to pay $50,000 to the inaugural committee, knowing that it was actually for a Ukrainian businessman.

Neither the American or the Ukrainian have been named.   

CHARGED: KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK

Indicted for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. At large, probably in Russia

Kilimnik is a former employee of Manafort’s political consulting firm and helped him with lobbying work in Ukraine. He is accused of witness tampering, after he allegedly contacted individuals who had worked with Manafort to remind them that Manafort only performed lobbying work for them outside of the U.S.

He has been linked to  Russian intelligence and is currently thought to be in Russia – effectively beyond the reach of extradition by Mueller’s team.

INDICTED: THE RUSSIANS 

Twenty-five Russian nationals and three Russian entities have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States. They remain at large in Russia

Two of these Russian nationals were also indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 11 were indicted for conspiracy to launder money. Fifteen of them were also indicted for identity fraud. 

Vladimir Putin has ridiculed the charges. Russia effectively bars extradition of its nationals. The only prospect Mueller has of bringing any in front of a U.S. jury is if Interpol has their names on an international stop list – which is not made public – and they set foot in a territory which extradites to the U.S. 

INDICTED: MICHAEL FLYNN’S BUSINESS PARTNERS

Bijan Kian (left), number two in now disgraced former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s lobbying company, and the two’s business partner Ekim Alptekin (right) were indicted for conspiracy to lobby illegally. Kian is awaiting trial, Alptekin is still to appear in court

Kian, an Iranian-American was arrested and appeared in court charged with a conspiracy to illegally lobby the U.S government without registering as a foreign agent. Their co-conspirator was Flynn, who is called ‘Person A’ in the indictment and is not charged, offering some insight into what charges he escaped with his plea deal.

Kian, vice-president of Flynn’s former lobbying firm, is alleged to have plotted with Alptekin to try to change U.S. policy on an exiled Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania and who is accused by Turkey’s strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of trying to depose him.

Erdogan’s government wanted him extradited from the U.S. and paid Flynn’s firm through Alptekin for lobbying, including an op-ed in The Hill calling for Gulen to be ejected. Flynn and Kian both lied that the op-ed was not paid for by the Turkish government. 

The indictment is a sign of how Mueller is taking an interest in more than just Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

 INDICTED: ROGER STONE 

Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign official and longtime informal advisor to Trump, was incited on seven counts including obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress about his communications with WikiLeaks.

Stone was a person of interest to Mueller’s investigators long before his January indictment, thanks in part due to his public pronouncements as well as internal emails about his contacts with WikiLeks.

In campaign texts and emails, many of which had already been publicly revealed before showing up in Mueller’s indictment, Stone communicated with associates about WikiLeaks following reports the organization had obtained a cache of Clinton-related emails.

Stone, a former Nixon campaign adviser who has the disgraced former president’s face permanently tattooed on his back, has long been portrayed as a central figure in the election interference scandal, but as recently as January 4 told Dailymail.com that he doesn’t expect to be indicted.

‘They got nothing,’ he said of the special counsel’s investigation.

According to the federal indictment, Stone gave ‘false and misleading’ testimony about his requests for information from WikiLeaks. He then pressured a witness, comedian Randy Credico, to take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify, and pressured him in a series of emails. Following a prolonged dispute over testimony, he called him a ‘rat’ and threatened to ‘take that dog away from you’, in reference to Credico’s pet, Bianca. Stone warned him: ‘Let’s get it on. Prepare to die.’   

Robert Mueller's team accused Stone of trying to hide evidence of his contact with Wikileaks from investigators and trying to convince a witness to lie 

The indictment accuses Stone of lying to a congressional panel in September 2017, telling House Intelligence Committee members that he had never asked an intermediary to contact Assange on his behalf.

‘I did not,’ he replied.

According to the indictment, he had by then asked two people to ‘get to’ Assange, forwarding a request for documents that could damage the Hillary Clinton campaign.

News reports have established that Stone sent similar emails to Jerome Corsi, a well-known conspiracy theorist whose relationship with Stone goes back decades.

Corsi said in November that he had declined a plea agreement from Mueller that would involve a guilty plea to lying about his discussions with Stone.

Corsi confirmed Friday afternoon that he is the Stone associate described in the indictment as ‘Person 1.’

‘I am person number one,’ Corsi told CNN. ‘The statements in the indictment about me are accurate. … They’re consistent with the testimony I gave to the special counselor.’

‘What is contained in the indictment confirms I did nothing wrong.’

Corsi is suing Mueller, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA and the National Security Agency for $1.6 billion, claiming the government violated his Fourth Amendment rights by planting negative information about him in various media outlets.

This week he added the Washington Post, one of the famed newspaper’s reporters and its owner, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, as defendants.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6631785/Trump-ally-Roger-Stone-arrested-Robert-Mullers-Russia-probe.html

 

Story 3: New York States Passes Baby Killing Law — So Much For The Civil Rights of Babies in the Womb — Black Babies Prime Target — Videos

See the source imageSee the source image

NY Bishop Calls Out Cuomo Over State’s New Abortion Law: ‘It Goes Way Beyond Roe vs. Wade’

The Silent Scream [high quality] (The ultrasound of abortion)

The Silent Scream is a 1984 anti-abortion documentary video directed and narrated by Bernard Nathanson, an obstetrician, NARAL Pro-Choice America founder, and abortion provider turned pro-life activist, and produced in partnership with the National Right to Life Committee.[1] The film depicts the abortion process via ultrasound and shows an abortion taking place in the uterus. During the abortion process, the fetus is described as appearing to make outcries of pain and discomfort. The video has been a popular tool used by the pro-life campaign in arguing against abortion,[2] although it has been criticized as misleading by members of the medical community.[3]

Pro-life lawmaker reacts to New York’s new law allowing abortion until birth – ENN 2019-01-24

Lawmakers pass bill to protect abortion rights in New York

The Ingraham Angle (HD)/1/23/19 Fox News Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dean Cain reacts to the left’s push to protect abortion up to birth

Ingraham: Exposing and defunding America’s killing machine

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No sanctuary for pro lifers in Cuomo’s New York: Edict of Eviction

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Ben Shapiro Destroys The Abortion Argument

Reproductive Health Act passed into law in New York State

New York abortion law stirs debate

NYS controversial abortion bill to be voted on

New York Abortion Law: Thoughts from a Catholic Law School Grad

Babies In New York Have To Die So This Can Happen In 2020

Bishop weighs in on new law in New York allowing abortion up until birth – ENN 2019-01-25

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Abortion Laws Across The World | GOOD

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The Suicide of Europe

 

New York Senate Passes Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth

 STATE   MICAIAH BILGER   JAN 22, 2019   |   6:13PM    ALBANY, NEW YORK

The New York Senate passed a radical pro-abortion bill Tuesday that would allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth.

Metro reports the bill passed after abortion activists pushed it for more than a decade in New York. Until now, it failed to pass the state Senate because of Republican lawmakers, but the November election put pro-abortion Democrats in control of both houses.

The vote was 38-24.

UPDATE: Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the bill into law.

A New York Public Radio reporter said she heard a voice shout, “May almighty God have mercy on this state!” in the Senate soon after the vote.

The legislation goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing abortions even when the Supreme Court has said states may regulate them, according to the pro-life leaders. Late-term abortions, which currently are illegal in New York, would be allowed, and non-doctors would be allowed to perform them.

The bill appears to restrict late-term abortions, but it adds a broad “health” exception for abortions after 24 weeks. The exception would allow women to abort unborn babies up to nine months of pregnancy for “age, economic, social and emotional factors, rather than the biological definition of ‘health’ that normally comes to mind,” according to New York Right to Life.

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins celebrated the legislation at a press conference Tuesday, according to the Metro. She claimed the so-called right to abortion is threatened by the new conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

“We thought at that time, that because it was so fundamentally right for women to have autonomy over their body, we thought that it was a barrier we would never have to face again,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Whenever you have something that momentous, there’s always someone who wants to go back to the way things were. So brick by brick, they began to rebuild that barrier. … They were looking for a moment to overturn this decision that changed our lives.

“We’re saying that here in New York, women’s health matters,” she continued. “We’re saying that here in New York, women’s decisions matter.”

Pro-abortion Gov. Andrew Cuomo also supports the bill. He even went so far as to threaten to hold up the budget until the legislature passes it.

The bill, dubbed the Reproductive Health Act, redefines a “person” as “a human being who has been born and is alive,” and describes abortion as a “fundamental right.” This language will allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth in New York.

The legislation poses serious dangers to women’s lives and rights as well. By removing protections from illegal abortions, the bill will open the door for abuses. According to New York RTL, back alley abortionists, abusive partners or parents and others no longer would face charges for illegally killing an unborn baby – even if the mother wanted her child.

“In early December, a resident of Saratoga County was arrested for punching the stomach of a woman who was 26 weeks pregnant in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. The man was charged with abortion in the second degree, but under the RHA, the attacker would not have been charged with a felony,” according to the Catholic News Service.

Protections for babies born alive after botched abortions also would end under the new bill. Additionally, the bill says the state cannot “deny, regulate or restrict” abortion, not even for common-sense reasons such as parental consent for minors, informed consent or limits on taxpayer-funded abortions.

New York State Right to Life predicted that the bill will lead to the suppression of pro-lifers’ freedom of speech and conscience, as well. Doctors and nurses who refuse to help abort unborn babies could lose their jobs, and pro-life advocates could be persecuted for just speaking out for life.

Already one of the most pro-abortion states in America, New York would become even more pro-abortion if the law passes. In 2016, 82,189 unborn babies were aborted in New York, with about half being taxpayer-funded, according to the local news. Of those babies, 1,763 were at least 20 weeks, meaning they may have been viable outside the womb.

Meanwhile, a new poll indicates this radical pro-abortion legislation is not what Americans want. According to a national poll conducted by Marist University, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most of those who identify as Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and a majority of Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.

The Marist Poll follows on the heels of a May 2018 Gallup poll which found that 53 percent of Americans oppose all or most abortions.

https://www.lifenews.com/2019/01/22/new-york-senate-passes-bill-legalizing-abortions-up-to-birth/

New York passes law allowing abortions at any time if mother’s health is at risk
BY CAITLIN O’KANE

UPDATED ON: JANUARY 24, 2019 / 3:30 PM / CBS NEWS

New York state has enacted strong new legal protections for abortion rights. The new law, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, safeguards rights laid out in Roe v. Wade and other court rulings, including a provision permitting late-term abortions when a woman’s health is endangered, The Associated Press reports. The state’s previous law, which had been on the books for nearly 50 years, only permitted abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman’s life was at risk.

Governor Cuomo celebrated the passing of the bill in the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly on Tuesday, which happened to be the 46th anniversary of the Roe decision. “In the face of a federal government intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights, I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session — and we got it done,” Cuomo said in a statement. He directed state landmarks like the spire of One World Trade Center to be lit up in pink to “shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”

“We’re saying here in New York, women’s lives matter. We’re saying here in New York, women’s decisions matter,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

Sarah Weddington, the Texas attorney who successfully argued Roe before Supreme Court, was at Cuomo’s side when he signed the Reproductive Health Act into law.

“Thank you for what you’ve done for women,” Weddington told the governor, lawmakers and advocates.

The Reproductive Health Act replaces a 1970 state abortion law that was passed three years before Roe legalized abortion nationwide.

The new law moves the section of state law dealing with abortion from the penal code to health statutes. It also authorizes midwives and physician assistants to perform some abortions, CBS New York reports.

Abortion rights supporters pushed for years to update the law. When Democrats gained control of the state Senate this year, the act became easier to pass in both chambers. Supporters said the election of President Donald Trump and the nomination of conservative justices helped galvanize efforts to pass this law.

Republicans who opposed the bill offered proposals to create new legal penalties for harming pregnant women. Some critics argued the bill could make it harder for prosecutors to bring charges when a woman is assaulted and loses her pregnancy, the AP reports, although Democrats disputed that. Some opponents also predicted the bill will lead to more late-term abortions.

According to the New York State Department of Health, 285,127 induced abortions occurred in the state between 2012 and 2014. The average number of live births for the same three years was 237,499. Nationwide, the vast majority of abortions take place in the first trimester.

The AP reports nine other states including California, Washington and Oregon have also put protections for abortion rights in their state statutes, to preserve legal access in those states if Roe is overturned.

Editor’s note: The headline on this story has been changed to more accurately describe the new law.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-york-passes-abortion-bill-late-term-if-mothers-health-is-at-risk-today-2019-01-23/

Story 4: Radical Extreme Democrats (REDs): Progressive, Socialist, Communist Activists — Ultimately Will Be Rejected By The Majority of American People — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Rocks at Make America Great Again Rally in Las Vegas Nevada —  Build The Wall With $25 Billion in Funding and Balance The Budget — We Need More Republicans — Videos — Story 2: Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Hits An All Time High — Videos — Story 3: Free U.S.-Led Uncensored Internet and Authoritarian Chinese-Led Censored Internet — Breaking Up Is Hard To Do — Videos — Story 4: American People’s Right To Privacy — National Privacy Law? — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Rocks at Make America Great Again Rally in Las Vegas Nevada —  Build The Wall With $25 Billion in Funding and Balance The Budget — We Need More Republicans — Videos —

President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech at MASSIVE Rally in Las Vegas, Nevada – September 20, 2018

Watch Live! Trump Rally in Las Vegas, NV!

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‘He’s been there’: Trump stumps for vulnerable Sen. Heller

His own political fortunes intrinsically linked to his party holding control of Congress, President Donald Trump on Thursday offered full-throated support for the most vulnerable incumbent Republican senator, while unleashing a torrent of grievances against Democrats and the news media and claiming they are sabotaging his administration.

Trump, appearing at a boisterous rally in Las Vegas, defended his embattled Supreme Court justice nominee, touted the booming stock market, cited progress in talks with North Korea and pledged to build his long-promised border wall, while also making the pitch for Nevada to re-elect Sen. Dean Heller. The president noted that he and Heller – who once said he “vehemently” opposed Trump – did not always get along.

“We started out, we weren’t friends. I didn’t like him, he didn’t like me!” said Trump to laughs. “But as we fought and fought and fought, believe it or not we started to respect each other, than we started to like each other, then we started to love each other.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Ever since I won the election, he’s been there for us,” said Trump, who urged Heller’s re-election because the Republican majority in the Senate is so slim, 51-49, that the GOP would lose its advantage if “someone had a cold.” The president also bestowed one of his signature nicknames on Heller’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, dubbing her “Wacky Jacky.”

Heller returned the praise: “Mr. President, I think you just turned Nevada red today,” he said. Trump narrowly lost Nevada to Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite his deep ties to Las Vegas – he has a golden-hued hotel just off the famed Strip – and repeatedly campaigning in the state.

Trump in particular focused his pitch for Heller on the need to confirm more conservative judges, in particular his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose seat on the bench had been thrown into question by allegations that he sexually assaulted a young woman while in high school more than 30 years ago.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

While negotiations continued over whether his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, would testify next week, Trump, who has taken pains not to criticize Ford in recent days, appeared to break from that strategy in a pre-rally interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on the convention center floor.

“I think it’s a very sad situation,” said Trump, asking: “Why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago? … What’s going on?” While he said Ford should “have her say,” he made clear he was done waiting: “I don’t think you can delay it any longer. They’ve delayed it a week already.”

Trump remained on message at the rally. He did not utter a critical word about Ford, but defended Kavanaugh, saying he was “a great intellect” and “a great gentleman with an impeccable reputation.”

“We have to let it play out but I have to tell you, he is a fine, fine person,” Trump said of the Senate confirmation process. “I think everything is going to be just fine.”

There was one local topic Trump avoided. The Las Vegas rally was held three miles from the Mandalay Bay hotel where a gunman opened fire just over a year ago, killing 58 people and leaving 851 injured.

Trump made no mention of the shooting, though he assured Heller would vote in favor of the Second Amendment.

The rest of the rally was red meat for the crowd, which repeatedly roared its approval for the president but did not quite fill the room at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

As usual, Trump went after the media and many who attended the rally followed his lead. One man stood behind the president’s traveling press corps, repeatedly yelling the word “traitors” at the journalists.

At one point reading from a list of his administration’s accomplishments, Trump spent much of the rally focused on what advisers believe is his – and his party’s – best issue, the strong economy. He took credit for the stock market’s gains and the nation’s low unemployment rate and bragged about boosting the military, while accusing Democrats of doing their best to foster division and stall the growth.

“They are lousy politicians and their policies are terrible,” said Trump, in only his second rally as president in a state he lost two years ago, “but they are good at sticking together and resisting, that’s what they do. You see the signs ‘Resist, Resist.'”

With the chances of Republicans keeping control of the House of Representatives looking increasingly dismal, the White House has fixated on keeping the Senate as a bulwark against any Democratic effort to impeach and then remove Trump from office. Though the Senate midterm map favors Republicans, a few states, including Tennessee and perhaps Texas, could slip away from the GOP.

But no Republican-held seat is considered more endangered than the one in Nevada. The only Republican running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, Heller has been locked in a tight race in an increasingly blue-leaning state.

Though he fervently tried to wrap his arms around the president Thursday, Heller’s relationship with Trump has been tumultuous. Weeks before the 2016 election, Heller infamously said that he was “100 percent against Clinton, 99 percent against Trump,” a remark the president has not forgotten.

Heller drew the president’s ire a year ago when he held up Republican efforts to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. But Trump saved Heller from a costly and damaging primary battle earlier this year by persuading a very conservative primary challenger, Danny Tarkanian, to drop out of the Senate race and instead seek a House seat.

Heller is now in a close race with Rosen, a first-term congresswoman who stands to benefit from a wave of Democratic and female activism fueled by opposition to Trump. And the senator, at times, has struggled to strike a balancing act of praising the president, who remains popular among Republicans, while distancing himself from Trump’s scandals and provocative positions.

“Eighty percent of what this president has done has been very, very good, very positive,” Heller told reporters last week. “The other 20 percent … he has a reality show. I get it. It’s a reality show.”

___

Associated Press writer Michelle Price contributed to this report. Colvin reported from Washington.

___

This story has been corrected to show the Senate is divided 51-49, not 50-49.

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he arrives at McCarran International Airport for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign rally Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump meets with supporters during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump meets with supporters during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Could the Internet Split in Two?

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split: American vs. Chinese

Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do – Neil Sedaka

 

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two  — and one part will be led by China

  • Speaking at a private event hosted by Village Global VC yesterday night, tech luminary and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that the internet will bifurcate into Chinese-led and US-led versions within the next decade.
  • Under Sundar Pichai’s leadership, Google has explored the potential to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, stirring up controversy internally and outside the company.

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

n recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

Former Google CEO claims internet will split between U.S. & China  

Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.

Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.

At the event, economist Tyler Cowen asked about the possibility of the internet fragmenting into different sub-internets with different regulations and limited access between them in coming years. “What’s the chance, say, 10 to 15 years, we have just three to four separate internets?”

Schmidt said:

“I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America.

If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built, the wealth that is being created is phenomenal. Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number.

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

Look at the way BRI works – their Belt and Road Initiative, which involves 60-ish countries – it’s perfectly possible those countries will begin to take on the infrastructure that China has with some loss of freedom.”

The Belt and Road is a massive initiative by Beijing to increase China’s political and economic influence by connecting and facilitating all kinds of trade, including digital trade, between China and countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Schmidt’s predictions come at a time when his successor at Google, CEO Sundar Pichai, has stirred up controversy around the company’s strategy in China.

Reportedly, Google has been developing “Project Dragonfly,” a censored version of its search engine that could appease authorities in China. The project allegedly included a means to suppress some search results, booting them off the first page, and a means to fully block results for sensitive queries, for example, around “peaceful protests.”

What's next for Schmidt?

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In recent weeks, hundreds of Google employees lobbied Pichai for more transparency and signed a letter saying that the reported plans raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.”

Pichai has said that Google has been “very open about our desire to do more in China,” and that the team “has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now,” and considering “many options,” but is nowhere near launching in China.

In a separate discussion last night between Schmidt and several start-up founders, he lauded Chinese tech products, services and adoption, especially in mobile payments. He noted that Starbucks in China don’t feature a register. Customers order ahead online and pay with their phones before picking up their lattes.

A business development leader with Facebook, Ime Archebong, asked Schmidt if large tech companies are doing enough good in the world.

Schmidt replied: “The judge of this is others, not us. Self-referential conversations about ‘Do I feel good about what I’m doing?’ are not very helpful. The judge is outside.”

At several points in the private discussion, Schmidt urged entrepreneurs to build products and services that are not merely addictive, but valuable. He also said not enough companies “measure the right things.” Too many focus on short-term revenue growth and satisfying shareholders, rather than what’s best for their users, society and the long-term health of their companies.

Schmidt was the CEO of Google from 2001, when he took over from co-founder Larry Page, through 2011, when Page reclaimed the reins. He remained as executive chairman of Google and then Alphabet until earlier this year.

Correction: Eric Schmidt did not specify a date by which he believed the internet would bifurcate. He was responding to a question from Tyler Cowen which specified “in the next 10 to 15 years.”

GOOGLE BOSSES HAVE forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers. Emails demanding deletion of the memo contained “pixel trackers” that notified human resource managers when their messages had been read, recipients determined.

The Dragonfly memo reveals that a prototype of the censored search engine was being developed as an app for both Android and iOS devices, and would force users to sign in so they could use the service. The memo confirms, as The Intercept first reported last week, that users’ searches would be associated with their personal phone number. The memo adds that Chinese users’ movements would also be stored, along with the IP address of their device and links they clicked on. It accuses developers working on the project of creating “spying tools” for the Chinese government to monitor its citizens.

People’s search histories, location information, and other private data would be sent out of China to a database in Taiwan, the memo states. But the data would also be provided to employees of a Chinese company who would be granted “unilateral access” to the system.

To launch the censored search engine, Google set up a “joint venture” partnership with an unnamed Chinese company. The search engine will “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all when people enter certain words or phrases, according to documents seen by The Intercept. Blacklisted search terms on a prototype of the search engine include “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin, said sources familiar with the project.

According to the memo, aside from being able to access users’ search data, the Chinese partner company could add to the censorship blacklists: It would be able to “selectively edit search result pages … unilaterally, and with few controls seemingly in place.”

That a Chinese company would maintain a copy of users’ search data means that, by extension, the data would be accessible to Chinese authorities, who have broad powers to obtain information that is held or processed on the country’s mainland. A central concern human rights groups have expressed about Dragonfly is that it could place users at risk of Chinese government surveillance — and any person in China searching for blacklisted words or phrases could find themselves interrogated or detained. Chinese authorities are well-known for routinely targeting critics, activists, and journalists.

“It’s alarming to hear that such information will be stored and, potentially, easily shared with the Chinese authorities,” said Patrick Poon, a Hong Kong-based researcher with the human rights group Amnesty International. “It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk. Google needs to immediately explain if the app will involve such arrangements. It’s time to give the public full transparency of the project.”

ON AUGUST 16, two weeks after The Intercept revealed the Dragonfly plan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the company’s employees that the China plan was in its “early stages” and “exploratory.” However, employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July, days before the project was publicly exposed, that they should prepare to get it into a “launch-ready state” to roll out within weeks, pending approval from officials in Beijing.

“It will completely put users’ privacy and safety at risk.”

The memo raises new questions about Pichai’s claim that the project was not well-developed. Information stored on the company’s internal networks about Dragonfly “paints a very different picture,” it says. “The statement from our high-level leadership that Dragonfly is just an experiment seems wrong.”

The memo identifies at least 215 employees who appear to have been tasked with working full-time on Dragonfly, a number it says is “larger than many Google projects.” It says that source code associated with the project dates back to May 2017, and “many infrastructure parts predate” that. Moreover, screenshots of the app “show a project in a pretty advanced state,” the memo declares.

Most of the details about the project “have been secret from the start,” the memo says, adding that “after the existence of Dragonfly leaked, engineers working on the project were also quick to hide all of their code.”

The author of the memo said in the document that they were opposed to the China censorship. However, they added, “more than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

The memo was first posted September 5 on an internal messaging list set up for Google employees to raise ethical concerns. But the memo was soon scrubbed from the list and individuals who had opened or saved the document were contacted by Google’s human resources department to discuss the matter. The employees were instructed not to share the memo.

Google reportedly maintains an aggressive security and investigation team known as “stopleaks,” which is dedicated to preventing unauthorized disclosures. The team is also said to monitor internal discussions.

“More than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy that has been built around it.”

Internal security efforts at Google have ramped up this year as employees have raised ethical concerns around a range of new company projects. Following the revelation by Gizmodoand The Intercept that Google had quietly begun work on a contract with the military last year, known as Project Maven, to develop automated image recognition systems for drone warfare, the communications team moved swiftly to monitor employee activity.

The “stopleaks” team, which coordinates with the internal Google communications department, even began monitoring an internal image board used to post messages based on internet memes, according to one former Google employee, for signs of employee sentiment around the Project Maven contract.

Google’s internal security team consists of a number of former military and law enforcement officials. For example, LinkedIn lists as Google’s head of global investigations Joseph Vincent, whose resume includes work as a high-ranking agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit. The head of security at Google is Chris Rackow, who has described himself as a former member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s hostage rescue team and as a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

For some Google employees, the culture of secrecy at the company clashes directly with the its public image around fostering tr