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The Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Participates on Immigration Roundtable and Threat of MS-13 Gangs (Kill, Rape, Control) — Secure Our Borders and Protect Our Communities — Videos — Story 2: Governor Abbott Roundtable Meeting in Stopping Mass Shootings in Gun Free Zones Such As Texas Santa Fe High School Shootings With 10 Dead and 14 Wounded –Videos — Story 3: President Trump Delivers Keynote Address at Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

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Story 1: President Trump Participates on Immigration Roundtable and Threat of MS-13 Gangs (Kill, Rape, Control) — Videos —

What is MS-13?

President Trump participates in a roundtable on immigration. Bethpage, NY May 23, 2018

Trump administration goes after MS-13 gang

MS-13 Gang documentary / America’s Deadliest Gangs

National Geographic – MS13 [Mara Salvatrucha ] : America’s Deadliest Gang – full Documentary HD

Inside MS-13

Why MS-13 is more dangerous than ISIS

Inside Long Island’s war with MS-13

A firsthand look at how MS-13 terrorizes Suffolk County

ICE Chasing Down MS-13 Gang (Compilation)

Gangs of El Salvador (Full Length)

Gang World : MS13 (Full)

Border Patrol arrests MS 13 Gang Member

 

MS-13 spreads to 22 states, fed by 300,000 illegals, DACA recipients, tied to 207 murders

ms-13
In this April 19, 2017 file photo, the casket of Justin Llivicura is carried from St. Joseph the Worker Church after Llivicura’s funeral in East Patchogue, N.Y. Llivicura, 16, was one of four young men found slain in a suspected MS-13 gang killing in a park in Central Islip, N.Y., on April 12. The gang has been blamed for the deaths of nearly a dozen young people in blue-collar Brentwood and Central Islip since the school year began. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman, File)
Frank Eltman

Since 2012, 207 murders have been tied to the gang called “Mara Salvatrucha,” and there are over 500 cases nationwide of MS-13 members being charged in major crimes, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies.


But it can sometimes be hard to deport the illegals involved because about half of the crimes detailed in the report occurred in so-called “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

President Trump has pledged to crack down on the gang and deport those in the United States illegally, and report author Jessica M. Vaughan suggested that it can’t happen soon enough.

Detailing how the gang rebuilt itself under Obama’s open-border immigration policies, she said, “this resurgence represents a very serious threat to public safety in communities where MS-13 has rebuilt itself. The resurgence is directly connected to the illegal arrival and resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths and families that has continued unabated for six years, and to a de-prioritization of immigration enforcement in the interior of the country that occurred at the same time.”

The research she supervised at the immigration think tank found that MS-13 concentrations were in areas where so-called “unaccompanied alien children” were put under Obama, including Virginia, California, Maryland and New York. They included those participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who Democrats in Congress are fighting for.

She cited an example of a Maryland DACA recipient charged with gang activity who urged pals in El Salvador to take advantage of Obama’s policies:

One MS-13 clique leader in Frederick, Md., who had received a DACA work permit and was employed as a custodian at a middle school in Frederick, Md., and who was recently incarcerated for various gang-related crimes, reportedly was told by gang leaders in El Salvador to take advantage of the lenient policies on UACs to bring in new recruits, knowing that they would be allowed to resettle in the area with few questions asked. Several of these unaccompanied minors now have been arrested and incarcerated for various crimes, including a vicious random attack on a sheriff’s deputy in 2015.

Crime, torture and theft are the trademarks of the gang.

“The MS-13 members identified in the cases we found were accused of very serious crimes, including 207 murders. More than 100 were accused of conspiracy/racketeering, and dozens of others were charged with drug trafficking, sex trafficking, attempted murder, sexual assaults, and extortion,” said the report. Vaughan is the center’s policy director.

The report noted the difficulty in seizing and deporting some of those involved because the crimes occurred in many of the 300 sanctuary regions in the nation that don’t cooperate with ICE.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ms-13-spreads-to-22-states-fed-by-300-000-illegals-daca-recipients-tied-to-207-murders

 

Morrelly Homeland Security Center

Bethpage, New York

2:05 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  Great to be here.  Oh, do I know this location well.  That beautiful Bethpage State Park.  I spent a lot of hours there.  Great place.  Thank you very much and good afternoon.

We’re here today to discuss the menace of MS-13.  It’s a menace.  A ruthless gang that has violated our borders and transformed once peaceful neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields.  They’re horrible people, by the way.

Thank you very much to Secretary Nielsen; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — Rod, thank you; Acting ICE Director Tom Homan, who is going to be — I hope you’re going to be with us for a long time.  I’m hearing he’s going to go into a little bit of an easier job, but you won’t be happy.  You won’t be happy.  What a job you’ve done.  Thank you very much, Tom.  And Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, John.

And we also have a couple of folks with us today — Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive.  Wherever Laura may be.  Hi, Laura.

CURRAN:  Hi.

THE PRESIDENT:  How are you, Laura?  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

I want to thank a very good friend of mine for a long time that this area knows very well, the great Peter King.  Thank you, Peter.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Doing a good job.  And he’s fully got my endorsement, even though I assume he has no opponents.  I don’t know if he has any opponent.  Nobody would be that crazy to run against Peter.  (Laughter.)

Congressman Lee Zeldin.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, Lee.  Great job you’re doing.  Thank you for all your help.

And Congressman Daniel Donovan, really known as “Dan,” right?  Dan Donovan.  (Applause.)  He’s been a friend.

For their great leadership in combatting MS-13.  Also, Erin King — you know who I’m talking about — Sweeney.  Where’s Erin?  Where are you?  Where are you?  Hello, Erin.  How are you?  A little bit of a relationship.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  That’s my wife, Rosemary, next to her.

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, Rosemary.  Hi, Rosemary.  See, you say, “That’s my wife.”  I know that’s your wife.  (Laughter.)  Nice to see you.  Thanks, Rosemary.  Thanks for being here.  Thank you very much, Erin.  It’s a great honor to have you.

We’re also grateful to be joined by Commissioner Geri Hart of Suffolk County, and Commissioner Patrick Ryder.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  And they know this threat probably as well as anybody.

We’re especially moved today to be joined by families who have suffered unthinkable heartbreak at the hands of the MS-13 gangs.  I’m truly honored to be joined again by the courageous families who were my guests at the State of the Union.  That was a special evening.  Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas.  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Their beautiful daughters, Kayla and Nisa, were murdered by MS-13 gang members, many of whom exploited glaring loopholes — and we have the biggest loopholes of any country anywhere in the world.  We have the worst immigration laws of any country anywhere in the world.  But they exploited the loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors.  They look so innocent; they’re not innocent.

We are praying for these families with us today, and we pledge to honor the memory of those you lost with action and resolve — and I’ll just add another word — with great success.  And thank you very much for being here.  Thank you so much.  Really appreciate it.  (Applause.)  And they will not have passed in vain, that I can tell you.

MS-13 lives by the motto, “Kill, Rape, and Control.”  That’s actually their motto.  “Kill, Rape, and Control.”  Last month, MS-13 reportedly called for its members here on Long Island, where I essentially grew up.  You know Jamaica, right?  I always said, “Long Island.”  It’s very close.  To call and to see what happened is just incredible.

But they killed a cop for the sake of making a statement.  They wanted to make a statement, so they killed a cop, a policeman.  Here in Nassau County, MS-13 gang members were charged with killing and hacking up a teenager.  And police officers just told me four other young men were brutally murdered recently by MS-13 in Suffolk — Suffolk County.

In Maryland, MS-13 gang members are accused of stabbing a man 100 times, decapitating him, and ripping out his heart.  Police officers also believe the MS-13 members beat a sex-trafficked 15-year-old girl with a bat 28 times, totally disfiguring a beautiful young woman.

In Texas, two MS-13 gang members were charged after kidnapping, drugging, and raping a 14-year-old girl.  They then murdered her and somebody else.

Crippling loopholes in our laws have enabled MS-13 gang members and other criminals to infiltrate our communities, and Democrats in Congress refuse to close these loopholes, including the disgraceful practice known as catch and release.  That’s — you catch them, you write up a little piece of paper that’s meaningless, and then you release them.  And they go all through the country, and they’re supposed to come back for trials.  They never come back — or very rarely.  It’s the rare person that comes back.

Democrats have to abandon their resistance to border security so that we can support law enforcement and save innocent lives.  And I noticed recently, where Democrats — Nancy Pelosi, as an example — are trying to defend MS-13 gang members.  I called them “animals” the other day, and I was met with rebuke.  They said, “They are people.”  They’re not people.  These are animals, and we have to be very, very tough.  (Applause.)

So I’d now like to turn this over to a man — really, he has been a great friend of mine — a tremendous supporter — and I’ve always been a supporter of his, Peter King.  He does an incredible job, and nobody knows this situation and this horror show, and these laws — how bad they are — worst in the world — better than Peter King.  Peter.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you very much.  And let me say what a — (applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Mr. President, what an honor it is to have you back here on Long Island.  As you say, you’re a neighbor.  You were in Suffolk County last year; Nassau County this year.  And you, more than anyone in the country, is highlighting the evil of MS-13.  So I congratulate you.  I thank you for leading this effort.  It’s a — they are horrible, vicious, rotten murderers.  And you are really leading the charge.  And thank you for doing this.  Thank you for assembling all of us here today.  And thank you for mobilizing all the efforts of the federal government behind this.  So thank you very much.

Also, on a somewhat jocular note, let me tell Laura Curran — I want to thank her — I’ll be giving visas to Donovan and Zeldin, to let them into Nassau County.  (Laughter.)  I promise you I’ll get them out of here as soon as I can.  Okay?  (Laughter.)

CURRAN:  They can stay as long as they want.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Okay.  This is a very serious issue.  To have these family members here.  I’ve worked with them; I know what they’ve gone through.

And for anyone who wants to minimize the danger of MS-13, just ask Commissioner Hart, Commissioner Ryder.  They know firsthand exactly what this is all about.

Let me also commend ICE for the great job that they do.  Tom is here and he’s done excellent work in Suffolk County and in Nassau County, working with our Nassau and Suffolk Country Police.

So, Mr. President, you have experts here that can talk.  I just want to, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’re doing.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Peter.  (Applause.)

I do want to say, and I have to pay great tribute to ICE and Border Patrol.  But ICE came in and they are doing a job.  We are taking them out by the thousands.

Now, if we had laws that were proper, they wouldn’t be coming back to the extent, but they’ve taken them out by the thousands.  And it’s way down, but it’s still far too much.  And it’s unacceptable.

So I thought maybe what we’ll do is we’ll go around the table, say a few words, if you might.  We’ll start right here.  You have done a fantastic job and we appreciate it.

Let’s go.  Why don’t we start?  Thank you, John.

CRONAN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  On the very day that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sworn in, you signed an executive order with a very clear directive: reduce crime in America.

And it is my honor to support carrying out your mandate by helping to bring MS-13 to justice and by working to dismantle this gang that’s terrorizing our communities.  I know people in this room are very familiar with the horrifying stats, but MS-13 is one of the most violent and formidable threats that our country faces today.

MS-13 leaders may operate out of prisons in El Salvador but the gang is alive and well in our streets.  It is estimated there are 10,000 MS-13 members in the United States; 2,000 are estimated to be right here in Long Island.  And their ranks are continually being refilled with new emissaries from El Salvador.  MS-13 is infiltrating our high schools, our middle schools, even our elementary schools.

The gang’s brutality, as you alluded to, Mr. President, just cannot be captured by words.  You mentioned their motto, “Kill, Rape, Control.”  They live by that motto.  They kill — murdering their victims, murdering them with machetes, chains, knives, bats, firearms.  They rape — gang-raping young girls, selling them for sex.  They control — killing not just rival gang members but also fellow MS-13 members who are suspected of being cooperators with law enforcement or violated gang rules.

For example, in March, an MS-13 member named Elmer Lopez pled guilty to murdering a fellow gang member who was suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.  Lopez and his cohorts brought their victim to a secluded wooded area in Brentwood, maybe about 15 miles from here, where they took turns slashing and stabbing him to death.  Mr. President, the victim’s skeletal remains were discovered more than four months later.

A few months ago, an MS-13 member, Raul Landaverde-Giron, who also is facing federal charges for illegally — allegedly illegally reentering the company [sic] after he was deported.  Landaverde-Giron was convicted of murdering someone who had fled El Salvador, for Maryland, to avoid a kill order from MS-13.  Landaverde-Giron and his fellow thugs lured that victim to the woods, shot him in the head, and stabbed him in the face and neck.  For his role in the murder, Landaverde-Giron received a promotion from MS-13.

Well, Mr. President, thanks to our criminal justice system, he will also be receiving a mandatory life sentence.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Great.

CRONAN:  And to give one other example, Mr. President — last November, Yerwin Hernandez-Ordonez, a Honduran national, who was illegally in the United States, was sentenced for his role of an MS-13 murder in Virginia.  Hernandez-Ordonez oversaw two young MS-13 recruits.  They were tasked with murdering a rival gang member to gain admission into MS-13.

After two failed attempts to shoot the victim, the victim almost managed to flee.  But Hernandez-Ordonez made sure he didn’t get away.  He chased him down, caught him, and brought him back.  The two recruits then shot their victim in the head and were initiated into MS-13 later that same day.

Mr. President, these and the disgraceful examples that you mentioned in your opening remarks are just a small sample of the unspeakable violence of MS-13.  But we are hitting MS-13 hard, with targeted prosecutions across the country, including right here in Long Island.  We are surging federal prosecutors, surging them to the border to prosecute immigration offenses; surging them to U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country to prosecute violent crimes.  We are working with our partners in Central America — work that has resulted in thousands of arrests of MS-13 members.

We want these savages incapacitated before they can try to cross over our borders.  We cannot — and we will not — permit our country to be a playground for MS-13 to pursue its murderous mission.  Dismantling violent gangs is a top priority of this Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and it will remain such as we continue to use all law enforcement tools at our disposal to rid our streets of the scourge of MS-13.

Thank you, Mr. President.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, John.  Great job.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Great job, John.

Tom?

HOMAN:  Mr. President, I want to — first of all, I want to thank you for your leadership on this issue.  I want to thank the Secretary.  I couldn’t ask for two better bosses that take border security and public safety more seriously than you all.

I also want to give a shout-out to law enforcement officers in this room, the ones that carry a badge and gun every day and put their lives on the line for the communities.  We got a President — unprecedented support for law enforcement, and I thank you guys.  As a 33-year veteran of law enforcement, you’re doing a tremendous job.  You got the backs of law enforcement.  You got their six recruits here.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

HOMAN:  Now, I’m much older and blinder than John, so I got to wear my glasses, because there are some important numbers I want to read to back you up on the statements you made coming here, because a lot of times you’re questioned about it.  So I want to read some numbers.

I want to thank Rod and John for partnership.  They are stepping up.  We are prosecuting more MS-13 members and gang members in the history of ICE.  ICE is working hard to ensure the United States does not become a safe haven for these criminals.  HSI — our criminal investigators at HSI have continued to attack the efforts of MS-13 here, domestically and abroad, which I’ll speak to in a minute.

We have doubled our arrests of MS-13 members under your command, President Trump.  In FY17, the first year, HSI and ICE arrested 896 MS-13 leaders, members, and associates.  They totally arrested — they arrested another 4,800 total gang members throughout the United States, to include MS-13.

Since FY16, ICE has removed nearly 11,000 criminal gang members.  Specifically about New York — the target of MS-13 on Long Island is one of the primary goals of ICE because New York is under attack.  With a cooperative focus on sources and intelligence — our on ongoing initiative — we arrested, in the past year, 300 MS-13 criminal arrests here on Long Island, and more than 40 percent of those we have verified are unaccompanied alien children.  So it is a problem.  There is a connection.

MS-13 terrorizes communities and they commit violent crimes, as you said.  I know you’ve been taken a hit on your comments about animals and MS-13, but I think you’re being kind.  Animals kill for survival; MS-13 kills for sport.  They kill to terrorize, and there’s a big difference there.

We want to push our borders South, so we’re attacking MS-13 where the command and control is in El Salvador.  Our attaché offices in Central America are working very closely with the federal police in El Salvador, along with El Salvadorian prosecutors.  We have arrested and taken off the streets in El Salvador hundreds of MS-13 gang members.

We just did a trip down there.  We took local law enforcement and some prosecutors down there to meet with the federal police and the prosecutors who we’ve totally vetted, they are part of our vetted unit, and we trained them.  We went to one of the prisons down there, where 70 percent of the population in that prison is MS-13 gang members.  These are the worst of the worst.  And because of ICE’s work along the Bureau and Department of Justice, our intelligence and our evidence supplied to the officials in El Salvador put most of their people in that prison — which, if you think about it, we prevented many of these people from getting to the United States, and took them out right there in El Salvador.

We’ll continue to do that.  We’ll continue to work along our Salvadorian and Central American partners to play the away game, and stop most of them before they get there.  I can tell you that ICE is not going to stop making this a priority until we totally dismantle this organization.  We won’t rest until that’s happened.

So I want to thank you again for your leadership.  ICE is on the job.  ICE isn’t going away.  New York, despite your Governor’s comments about ICE, ICE has done a lot for this state, and we’ll continue doing a lot for this state.  We’ve taken nearly 5,000 criminal aliens off the street in New York, and we’re not going anywhere.  We’re going to be here and do our job, and try to make this the safest place that the community is going to have.

Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Tom.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Tom.  Great job.  Thank you.

Rod.  Thank you.

ROSENSTEIN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Under your leadership, Attorney General Sessions has made violent crime and illegal immigration a top priority for the Department of Justice, and we’re making tremendous progress.  We’re working in coordination with Homeland Security and with our other federal partners, as well as state and local law enforcement.

The feedback that we’re getting, as Tom mentioned, around the country, is that state and local law enforcement appreciate their partnership.  It’s an unprecedented level of coordination with federal law enforcement around the country, particularly on this challenge of violent crime and MS-13.

John mentioned that some of the recent cases, the horrific cases we’ve handled in the Department of Justice.  I saw this firsthand when I was U.S. Attorney in Maryland in 2005.  We began using federal racketeering statutes to try and dismantle the MS-13 gang, and we had tremendous success for quite a few years.

What we found in recent years is a resurgence of MS-13 in Maryland, in the D.C. area, and it was fueled by illegal immigration and particularly by the challenge of unaccompanied minor children.  And there are several loopholes in federal law that facilitate this.  They create a particular problem for Homeland Security and for us, with regard to unaccompanied children who enter the United States illegally.

The first is that they are not eligible for expedited removal, which means that — you know, most aliens who enter the United States, if they’re caught within 14 days, within about 100 miles of the border, they can be removed in an expedited basis without needing to see an immigration judge.

But under federal law, all unaccompanied alien children, regardless of nationality, they have to go before a judge.  They cannot be subject to expedited removal proceedings.

The second challenge is that almost all unaccompanied children are released from custody, even if they want to go home.  And the reason for that is that there’s an exception for aliens from Mexico and Canada.  They’re permitted to withdraw their applications and return home.

But for other countries, even if those aliens request to go home, we’re not allowed to do it.  We’re required to put them in immigration proceedings.  And in addition to that, Homeland Security is required to turn them over to HHS within 72 hours, as a result of federal law.  It can take months and sometimes years to adjudicate those claims once they get into the federal immigration court system, and they often fail to appear for immigration proceedings.  In fact, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children each year fail to appear when they’ve been summoned.  They’re released and they don’t show up again.

The third challenge is a consent decree entered by the government in 1997, which continues to burden our efforts to enforce immigration laws.  Under that consent decree, INS, at the time, agreed that illegal alien children would be subject to special rules, special judicial supervision that handicaps DHS’s ability to detain and promptly remove unaccompanied alien children.

And the fourth challenge that we face is that, once released, as you mention, many of them never come back again.  With very few exceptions, once those unaccompanied alien children are released into the community, even if they’re gang members, they will generally remain in the United States.  They frequently abscond and fail to appear for their removal hearings.  Approximately 90 percent of all removal orders each year result from a failure to appear at a hearing.

And according to Homeland Security statistics, less than 4 percent of illegal alien children are ultimately removed from the United States.  So most of them, once they’re released, they’re here to stay.

The consequence of these loopholes, Mr. President, is that, although we’re doing everything we can to combat crime in the United States, we’re letting people in who are creating problems.  We’re letting people in who are gang members.  We’re also letting people in who are vulnerable.  Many of these alien children, who have no parents, no family structure — we’re releasing them into communities where they’re vulnerable to recruitment by MS-13.

And so some of these kids who come in without any gang ties develop gang ties as a result of the pressure that they face from people that they confront in the communities.

So we’re hopeful, Mr. President, that we can get some assistance from the Congress in closing some of these loopholes so that our law enforcement officers won’t have to work so hard, and so we won’t have more victims like Kayla and Nisa.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think that’s great, Rod.  And I think it’s happening.  I mean, I’m seeing a willingness, even, to a certain extent, by the Democrats.  They’re starting to come around, but it’s brutal.  It’s brutal.  As you know better than anybody, it’s a tough situation.  We need the laws enhanced very substantially and very quickly.

Thank you, Rod, very much.  Very nice.  (Applause.)

Patrick.

COMMISSIONER RYDER:  Mr. President, first of all, on behalf of all our Nassau County police officers — and I think I can speak for every officer in this room and in this country — we know we have a President that has our back and supports us every single day when we go out and do the mission that we are tasked to do.

We have about 500 identified MS-13 members in Nassau County.  About 250 of them are active.  And we do that through — everything is evidence-based and through intelligence-led policing.

Last year, in 2017, we had six kids that were murdered in Nassau County by MS-13.  Of those six, one was shot in the face, one was shot in the back of the head, four of them were violently butchered by machetes, and buried in shallow graves throughout our county.

Those victims, three of them were 15 years of age.  Two of them were 18.  Out of the six people that committed these murders, nine people were arrested last year.  Seven of the nine that were arrested were undocumented in this country.  So we have a population of 1.3 million people here in Nassau County; 17 percent Hispanic makeup.  I’ve been to these communities.  I’ve spoken to these people.  I’ve addressed them at town hall meetings.  And our pop cops have been there.  They’re good hard-working people in the community.

Ninety percent of the crime is done by ten percent of the population.  MS-13 is making up a good percent of that 10 percent in that community.  We need to go out at an intelligence way to attack it.  We need to go out with evidence-based approaches.

What I would like to see here in Nassau County — we have a great partnership with Homeland, we have a great partnership with ICE.  They’ve done nothing but support us.  Our U.S. Attorney’s Office and our District Attorney’s Office has been great in the prosecutions.

We need to get a little bit better on our intelligence sharing and information, and that starts at the border where that information can flow up into the states that we know who, why, when, how.  And again, that gives us a better way to approach it, so we don’t burn the bridges and the relationships with those communities that we spent so much time building, that we — they want to come to us and support us.

And the youth programs in those communities — whether it’s a police youth academy, a PAL program — they’re the kids that are being influenced and turned into the gangs, as you heard before.  They’re the kids that we need to reach now, not later — now — before some of these gang members push them into it.

Most of the murders that have occurred here in Nassau County were done because somebody wanted to get into the gang, and part of the initiation was to kill and take a body.  And these are innocent kids that we are out there, lured into these wooded areas with alcohol and the potential of sex and drugs.

If our intelligence is better, if our evidence-based approach is better, and our community relations stay strong, we can make a difference and turn the tide on that.

And we’re going to look to you for all that help, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Patrick.  That’s great.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Great job.  Really good.  You’ve done a fantastic job.

Robert and Elizabeth, we’re going to save you for a couple of minutes.  We want to hear from a couple of these politicians first.  Right?  (Laughter.)  And then we’re going to get to the real story.  We appreciate it.

Dan, go ahead.

REPRESENTATIVE DONOVAN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And I’d remind you, we’re public servants; we’re not politicians.  (Laughter.)

But thank you for your leadership here.  This is our second visit.

THE PRESIDENT:  You are.  (Laughter.)

REPRESENTATIVE DONOVAN:  This is our second visit here to Nassau County.  This is the second time that, through your leadership, you came here — because this community is hurting.

Behind you is a sign that says, “Secure our borders, protect our communities.”  That’s one sentence with a comma in it.  If we do one, we achieve the other.  And it’s the one thing that you’ve been trying to do for the 15 months that you’ve led this nation.  We need border security.  We need tougher immigration laws.  We need to help communities like this.

The examples — I was a prosecutor for 20 years, Mr. President.  I was eight years in the Manhattan’s DA’s Office.  I was Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Bureau where we saw vicious gang assaults and murders.  I was 12 years as the Staten Island District Attorney, as you know.  I have never seen the viciousness like you just described in your opening remarks.

We’re here to help.  These brave people — Pat, John, Rod, the folks on the ground — they’re enforcing laws, but we have to make the laws.  And we learn a lot by listening.  That’s why I’m so grateful that you’re holding this roundtable because a lot of what Lee, Pete, and I will do when we go back to D.C. is take the information we learn here and implement them into our laws.

On the way up with you, the Secretary was describing to us how after someone, a criminal, is convicted and they’re illegal — if their home country doesn’t take them back in six months, we have to release them back in the community.  Well, what country would take back these people that our fellow crime fighters have just described?  Nobody would take them back.  We have to change those laws, Mr. President.

Thank you for your leadership.  Thank you for your commitment to protect our nation.  And thank you for your support of our law enforcement officers.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you very much, Dan.  (Applause.)

And just before — thank you, Dan — just before we get to the Secretary, I have to say that many of these countries we give tremendous amounts of aid to — tens of millions of dollars.  And we’re working on a plan to deduct a lot of the aid, because I happen to believe it’s not so hard.  You know, they’ll let you think that they’re trying to stop this.  They’re not trying to stop it.  I think they encourage people from leaving.  They don’t want the people.  They don’t want the people that we’re getting in that country.

So we’re going to work out something where every time somebody comes in from a certain country, we’re going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them in aid — (applause) — if we give them aid at all, which we may not just give them aid at all.  Because despite all of the reports I hear, I don’t believe they’re helping us one bit.  And maybe that’s the way life is, but they’re not helping us a lot based on the fact that we know where these people are coming from.

So we’re looking at our whole aid structure, and it’s going to be changed very radically.  It’s already started.

All right.  Thank you very much, Dan.  Secretary Nielsen.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Yes, sir.  Thank you.  I might just talk loudly, if that works.

So I just want to thank you, as always, for your leadership on behalf of the largest law enforcement agency in the federal government.  We so appreciate your leadership, your support.

I know Tom, and Tom’s folks do — I always tell them that I will always empower them and support them, but you enable me to do that.  So we thank you always for your leadership.

I want to thank the commissioners.  I want to thank the members of Congress here.  And most importantly, my thoughts and prayers continue to go out the families that are here today.  This obviously should never have happened, and we will leave no stone unturned until we combat it.

I do want to say, horrifyingly, to knit together everything that folks have said before: Seven of the thirteen gang members that murdered these lovely girls were unaccompanied alien children that came into the country.  And the problem with that is, is they come in, they’re recruited, as was described by the Commissioner, but they also come in and they pay a debt.  The smugglers require them to serve in the gangs to pay the debt for the smuggling.

So they’re either forced to join the gangs, or they’re tricked into joining the gangs, or they’re recruited to join the gangs.  So there absolutely is a tie between all the loopholes the Deputy Attorney General described and the resurgence of these gangs in our communities.

The other two loopholes I might have just mentioned; one was just mentioned.  The other one is that we still cannot bar known gang members from coming into our country.  We have to change the law.  We know who they are, we know what they do.  We do not, under the law, have the ability to make them inadmissible on the face of being a gang member.  So we have to change that.

So DHS, as the Director knows, we’re leaving no stone unturned, as I said.  We’re securing our borders.  We’re building your wall.  We’re increasing technology.  You’ve deployed the National Guard.  We have 3,000 apprehensions that are attributed in addition to the fact that the National Guard is there.  We’re enforcing the law.

I also would like to join the Director in thanking everyone here that represents law enforcement for putting your lives on the line every day to help our communities.  (Applause.)  You have tremendous thanks from all of us.

The arrests, under your leadership, are up 42 percent.  So the men and women that you have empowered are out there doing their job every day.  We’re cracking down on fraud.  We have a 315 percent increase in adults who are using children to pose as a family to come into this country illegally.  We cannot have that.  So we’re cracking down on fraud.  We’re cracking down on adults who pretend to be children to come in, because they know that’s a loophole.

And we’re certainly cracking down on the false asylum.  If you want to come here for family reunification, that’s not asylum.  If you’re coming here to seek a job, that’s not asylum.  Those are not legitimate reasons under the law of the United States.  We will not grant you asylum.

We are going after the gangs.  Director Homan talked a lot about that.  We’re protecting children.  We need to protect all the children that do come here.  So we’re increasing background checks to make sure that when we do, through HHS, hand over a child to a sponsor or alleged family member, that they are, in fact, either a family member or somebody who is not a convicted criminal, smuggler, or trafficker.

And finally, we’re pressing Congress, and I will continue to do that.  I had many conversations on the Hill this week.  I have made it my duty.  I appreciate the members being here for that reason.  But we will close these loopholes, and we will take our communities back under President Trump.

So thank you all for being here.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Kirstjen.  Thank you.  Great job.  Thank you.  And thank you for the really great job you’re doing.  I really appreciate it.  Not easy.  Not easy.

Lee?

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  Mr. President, thank you for coming back, again.  This is your second time in less than a year that you’re on Long Island for this purpose.  And the message that gets sent to the victims of MS-13 is certainly being heard and felt by them.  And the message is being heard and felt by the law enforcement officers here on Long Island, who MS-13 has been threatening.  It sends a strong message not only to Long Islanders who care about our community and our public safety, but it also sends a strong message all throughout our entire country.  It’s really important when you run for office that you’re able to keep your promises.  And the effort that you have been showing to ensure the defeat of MS-13 is incredibly important, and it’s recognized.

I was, last week, in Jerusalem, where we were moving an embassy and a promise was being kept.  I was in the Middle East last Christmas, visiting our troops, where ISIS is almost completely wiped off the map in Iraq and Syria.  It’s so important for us to keep our promises.

The message is being sent not to just Long Islanders, but all throughout the entire country.

You have to, when wanting to eliminate a threat, be willing to identify it.  And what we saw with the reaction to — the California sheriff asked you about MS-13, and you responded immediately to that remark and called them “animals.”  And as our Acting ICE Director said, that was a nice way of putting it.  But if you’re not willing to even identify the threat, you have no chance of eliminating it.  Same thing if you want to get rid of the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic — another promise that you’re keeping.

Locally, we have seen many indictments coming down from a great local U.S. attorney’s office.  There is a U.S. attorney here, Rich Donoghue, who I’m a little biased towards.  He’s a former 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper.  But we’re seeing indictment after indictment come down here in the Eastern District, and it’s a product of all of the people who are here at this table, who work for them, working at every level of government.  And we’re about to hear from Ms. Hart, our new police commissioner in Suffolk.  Everyone working together to ensure that this is accomplished is critical.

This issue should transcend partisan politics.  And unfortunately, it’s not right now in Congress.  Nancy Pelosi recently took nine hours on the House floor to celebrate the humanity and the behavior that encompasses what has torn apart the hearts of our families who are here.  As far as sending messages, it’s also an important message to send to congressional Democrats.  You have shown a willingness to compromise on this issue, an uncomfortable — you have put your neck way out there.  And you’re — in a way, you end up negotiating against yourself when the congressional Democrats just refuse to work with you.  It’s obstructionism.

There are people who are in Congress who have pledged to oppose and obstruct everything and anything, saying they cannot work with you, because if they work with you, they’ll legitimize your Presidency.  You were elected President of the United States.  They were elected to serve in Congress.  They took an oath.  They need to protect our constituents here, and they need to protect their own.  They need to work with you, because you’re putting your neck out there on the line.  They need to do it, as well, even if they’re taking a tough vote from their constituency.  (Applause.)

As far as policy issues, we stand with you for stronger border security and interior enforcement.  We agree that there is a need to end catch and release, to end this use of visa lottery.  Beyond just the worst offenses that we’ve heard a lot about are all the other offenses that aren’t the high-profile incidents that we hear about in the national media.  It’s the drug trafficking that takes place here on Long Island and elsewhere.  It’s the sex trafficking that takes place on Long Island and everywhere all throughout our entire country.

So all these policy issues are really important.  Securing entryways is important not just to keep out people who shouldn’t be entering our country illegally, but also keeping things out of our country that should not be entering our country illegally.

And as you know well — and I appreciate your leadership on the heroin-opioid abuse epidemic — that is something that has been a huge impact on Long Island as well.

Finally, we discussed it once before, when you — also, and I like to report back to my constituents: This isn’t just something that we’re talking about while you’re able to come here to Long Island, but also meetings that have taken place at the White House and other efforts that are underway.

But there is a need to have a tool given to our Justice Department, in my opinion, to be able to end our Homeland Security, to be able to revoke the naturalization of someone who, it turns out that they were engaged in gang violence before they received their naturalization.

Or if it’s six months later or two years later, they engage in gang violence, they should have their naturalization revoked.  I introduced, after our last meeting, the Protecting Our Communities from Gang Violence Act, H.R. 5065.  I look forward to working with you on all of this, and I just really want to thank all of the fine, distinguished people who are here at this table.

And also, to everyone watching at home who is standing with our President, it’s an important message to send: Whether you vote for a President or not, his success is our success as Americans.  (Applause.)  And as Americans, you should be rooting for this man to be successful as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Lee.  Thank you.

And you bring up a name, U.S. Attorney Donoghue.  Where are you, please?  U.S. Attorney.

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  He’s out of the country.

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, okay.

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  Otherwise he would be here.

THE PRESIDENT:  I was just trying to figure out why we didn’t introduce him — only because he’s not here.  But he’s doing a great job.

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  Yes, he is.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you very much.

Geri.

COMMISSIONER HART:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today on this important topic.  I represent the hardworking men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department, and I echo my partner Patty (ph) Ryder’s sentiments to thank you for your leadership on this critical issue.

Just two years ago, in 2016, Suffolk County experienced some of the most devastating and tragic events in our county’s history.  On September 13th, 2016, Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, two beautiful young girls, were killed in a senseless, violent, and outrageous manner.  These high school students were murdered shortly after one of the girls had argued with an MS-13 member in school.

Days later, the skeletal remains of three young men were discovered in Brentwood, all of whom are believed to have been murdered by MS-13.  Over the next few months, the murders continued, and culminated, in April of 2017, with the quadruple homicide in Central Islip.

These killings shook our communities and sparked a commitment among the Suffolk County Police Department to form a gang eradication strategy to protect our residents and get these MS-13 members off our streets.

As a result, the Suffolk County Police Department has worked extensively with all our law enforcement partners to implement a multi-prong strategy: enhanced and targeted police presence; increased collaborative efforts to gather, collect, and share intelligence; relentless targeting and enforcement of known MS-13 gang members for arrest, prosecution, and removal; federal prosecutions of MS-13 gang members and its leadership, under the RICO Statute; a strong emphasis on community relations; and significant investments in gang prevention and intervention strategies, with a particular focus on unaccompanied alien children.

Since September of 2016, the Department’s multifaceted approach has resulted in 355 arrests of 235 MS-13 gang members.  There has not been an MS-13 murder in Suffolk County since April of 2017.  MS-13 sustains itself by constantly recruiting new members, and particularly minors.  MS-13 members recruit children placed in communities in Suffolk County through the UAC program.

Since 2014, 4,965 UACs have been placed in Suffolk County, making it the largest recipient of UACs in the nation.  While the vast majority of these children live law-abiding lives, many of them are susceptible to gang recruitment.  They are young, alone; adjusting to a new country, culture, and language; and are seeking a sense of belonging.

This is compounded by the fact that the sponsors of these children, in some cases, prove not to be suitable guardians.  The current vetting and screening system of sponsors is in dire need of improvement.  It’s vital that, if the federal government places UACs in our community, it’s only after proper screening of sponsors followed by measures to ensure proper guardian compliance.  Your assistance in this oversight would be crucial.

As I mentioned, the Suffolk County Police Department has enhanced and targeted police presence and patrols in affected areas in order to effectively destabilize this gang.  We will continue to utilize this strategy and assign manpower wherever it’s needed.  We will not let up.  The Department is committed to eradicating MS-13 from our community.

We are grateful for the commitment and support of the President and the federal government on this important matter.  Within the last year, the Suffolk County Police Department received a grant of $500,000, through the Project Safe Neighborhoods, and I thank you for that.

However, we could certainly use additional funding to assist in offsetting additional policing efforts and costs moving forward.  I can’t miss out on that opportunity.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You’re right.

COMMISSIONER HART:  Mr. President, we appreciate this opportunity to speak with you.  We are committed to having this dialogue further, in order to protect and serve all the residents of Suffolk County.  And I thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Geri.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  And you’re right, and you should get more.

I think what we’ll do is we’ll close it out with Peter later.  But, Robert, I would love to hear from you.  Would love to hear from Elizabeth.  Maybe you go ahead.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

MICKENS:  I’d like to say thank you, Mr. President, for all the hard work that you’ve been doing since you got into office, with help eradicating this gang, help bringing some type of peace to our home — even though it’s still not going to be the same.

For those who don’t know, who haven’t been through this, we have to go through every day.  It’s an ongoing struggle.  It’s not easy for us, especially me, to wake up, look down the hallway, and not see my daughter laying in her bed or me waking her up for school in the morning.  It’s very difficult.

You know, we missed two birthdays of hers.  This would have been they’re graduating year, this year.  And it’s very sad that all these loopholes for all these past couple of years, decades that have been allowing these criminals to come into our country, into our towns, and into our states and do whatever they want, and they feel they could get away with it.

That’s why, Mr. President, I’m glad that you’re at the forefront of this fight and that you’re taking this very seriously.  This is a fight, in my opinion, that should have been happening a long time ago.  I don’t know why it hasn’t.  But thank you for doing what you’re doing right now.  And I do honor what you’re doing, and I believe that you are going to do your best to eradicate this gang and all other gangs.

You know, it’s one thing for children to have a little argument, a little fist fight — walk away the next day.  But to murder another student, your fellow classmate that you see every day, you’re not — in my opinion, you’re not an ordinary human.

You know, whatever they believe to make them do this, to make them gain recognition inside their gang, then come later on to find out that if they do something wrong they will be eliminated also by their own gang members.

These children are not using they head.  I’m not sure if it’s because they’re alone, they’re scared, they’re being pressured.  It’s a lot.  But these children, they really need to stop hurting each other.  Because if these children are our future, we’re not going to have a future.  We really won’t.

And I really do believe that, with the President’s help, and Nassau and Suffolk County Commissioner, and to the other 49 states, we will win this war against MS-13 and other gangs, because our streets should not have to be bloodshed.  Our streets should be filled with children riding bikes, playing kickball, basketball, baseball, whatever they love to do to make them happy.

Us, as parents, should not have to bury our child.  And it’s just hard.  It really is hard.  You know, there’s people every day who question what the President says, and I try to explain to them the best that I can, but they’re not seeing the bigger picture.  It hit home with him because he’s a fellow Long Islander.

And we can’t have children kill children anymore.  You know, we — it’s going to be a division amongst communities, eventually, if this doesn’t stop.  There’s already a division now between protestors and the ones who are sticking behind our President.

As far as the protestors, they’re not seeing the bigger picture because they’re not living the life that we have to go through every day.  If they were to see how we have to live every day, wake up — sometimes I forget and I feel that she is in her room, and I’m ready to go pick on her or do something that a father and daughter would normally do.  They don’t — they’re not living through that.  They’re not living through the pain where, okay, for a while we could be fine; the next thing you know, something that would spark a memory of our loved one, and it could bring us back to times and places that we try not to remember that’s still going to be in our mind until the — you know, until we rest in peace.

And what they have done to us — we have learned to take a tragedy into something positive.  We’re standing here — we’re sitting here, we’re giving speeches, we give comments, we give our concerns, we try to stay active in the community just to reach out to those who may be afraid to speak up or to say something.

And it’s very important for us people in the community to come together with our local law enforcement to help get rid of these members off our streets, out of our schools.  Put them where they belong: in prison.  (Applause.)

And I would like to say, thank you to everybody up here on the panel for all the hard work and the dedication that you’re putting forward to this.

Obviously, this is a very touching subject because there’s immigration involved, but they have to realize America is based off of immigration.  Everybody who came here as an immigrant wanted the American Dream.  The American Dream is still there.  But if you’re going to come here with acts of violence, you can stay in your own country with that, because we don’t need it here anymore.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Robert.  So beautiful.  Thank you, Robert.  Incredible.  That’s incredible.  Thanks.

And the American Dream is coming back bigger and better than ever.  You know that.

And I have to say, the protestors, they’re not so big anymore.  They’re dwindling.  They’re getting it.  Everyone is getting it.  And what you just said is beautiful, and we appreciate it.  Thank you.  Really nice.

Elizabeth, would you like to say something?  (Applause.)  And thank you, Robert.

ALVARADO:  Every day I wake up, I feel like she’s coming home.  But we have to help our children.  We have to educate them.  We have to, you know, look into the schools and make sure that your kids are okay.

My daughter was only 15 years old, and she act like a 30-year-old.  She already knew what she wanted in her life.  And at 5:23, every day of my life, I feel like she’s going to come through that door.  But I know she’s not.

And for her legacy, I will try to do the best I can to educate parents, children, little kids.  If you need to talk to me, and you’re scared, I’m here.  I will always be here, because my daughter wants me to be here.  And I miss her very much.  There’s not one day that goes by that I don’t think about her.

So I just hope that my message comes out, that we all need to be educated on how MS-13 is.  I appreciate everybody’s love and friendship, and meeting the President.  Who would ever thought that I would do that?  But I met remarkable people in my journey, and I hope they stick by me so that we can put a closure to this.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Elizabeth.  Beautiful.  Thank you, Elizabeth.  We will stick by you, too.  We will stick by you.  Thank you very much.

Freddy, do you want to start?  Evelyn, go ahead.

RODRIGUEZ:  I want to thank you for having us here today to discuss what’s been going on here on the Island and throughout the United States.

PARTICIPANT:  Check the mic.

RODRIGUEZ:  Sorry.  I want to thank everyone for being here.  And, Mr. President, thank you again for listening to us and our needs in eradicating these MS-13 individuals.

My daughter Kayla was a beautiful girl.  She had dreams, and they took that away from her.  That’s not right.  And how these kids were murdered, tortured, is unacceptable.  We should not be tolerating this behavior at all whatsoever.

Law enforcement, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication in keeping our kids safe, our communities, and working together as one and helping out each other with information that you guys receive.  And again, thank you, Donald Trump, for supporting our law enforcement to the fullest capacity that they need.

You said the other day that these individuals are animals.  You’re correct.  They are animals in how they kill, how they get these kids and they torture them.  No child should ever, ever have to suffer.  As parents, we have to endure that pain, that numbness every day of our lives.

My daughter, Nisa supposed to be graduating in a couple of weeks.  We’re supposed to be getting, you know, graduation outfits, having a party.  We’re unable to do that.  No parent should ever have to go through this, at all.  We have families here from the four boys from Central Islip: Jose Peña, Jorge (inaudible), Michael, and Jefferson.  Their families are suffering every day, but they thank you for your hard work in trying to make the situation a little bit better.

THE PRESIDENT:  Please stand.  Please.  Please.  (Applause.)

RODRIGUEZ:  People have to realize that these situations originate in school.  It plays out in school, and it comes out into the streets.  We need to focus on what’s happening in the schools.  We have to put in professional educators in there to help the teachers, the school administration how to handle this.  They say they know how to handle it; they really don’t.

Two years, as you’ve heard before, I was fighting with the school district — two years, for my daughter — and they did nothing.  In fact, they lied in my face.

So we can’t tolerate that behavior either, in the schools.  When there’s a problem, they need to notify.  When there’s a threat, they need to notify law enforcement immediately.  They need to get help.  And if they say they have it under control, they’re basically lying in your faces.  They do not have this under control.

These people, these individuals, they know what they’re doing.  They know how to work.  At one point they were called “organized crime.”  They know how to work it.  We need to stop it.

All originates in school, and it plays out in the streets.  And a lot of these kids are innocent.  They don’t know, they don’t have the guidance.  These kids are coming in unaccompanied.  They don’t know who to turn to.  They’re afraid.  They’re coming from a country that they were afraid with their law enforcement — people they couldn’t trust.

Here, we have to make sure that the resources and the programs are there for them.  And the ones that are coming in here unaccompanied, being sponsored, we need to investigate the sponsors to make sure they’re legit.  And that one phone call that they do for a follow up — has to be more than that.  Home visits — making sure that these kids are going in a straight line, they’re not going off of that straight line.  They need to follow rules.

Whether you’re black, white, Hispanic, green, purple, alien out of this space, there is a consequence.  When you do a crime, there’s a consequence.  You’re not going to get off easy.  And especially, especially when you murder a child.  That is unacceptable.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Freddy?  Please.

CUEVAS:  First and foremost, Mr. President and everybody on this panel — there’s too many names I can say at once — I would like to say, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  This is the third time that you visit Long Island — second time, excuse me — and I appreciate everything and all the efforts that everybody is doing back in D.C. as well.

And also would like to thank Peter King as well, for giving us this privilege to have all the heads of the departments and states to come here and realize the problem that we’re enduring.

My daughter was a beautiful girl.  She was a person that was — had achievements, had goals.  And those were taken from her.  She’s not here no longer because of the situation that these individuals — like you said, I think that you used the correct word, “animals,” that they are — took her away from us and destroyed her dream.

We appreciate everything that’s being done, and we just need to tackle the issue stronger.  And hopefully we can eliminate them and make sure that it doesn’t happen again to any of the families or anybody else within our world.

Thank you once again everyone.  Appreciate it.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

Peter.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Again, let me thank you for doing this.  And let me also acknowledge our Town Supervisor Joe Saladino, who is here today and doing a great job.  (Applause.)

And, Mr. President, all I can say is, first of all, thank you for doing this.  It’s beyond description the good you’re doing by this.  I think this is one of the most important and significant events ever on Long Island because it addresses an issue which local people have been facing for a long time.  But for the first time, the federal government at your level — the U.S. Attorney has always been trying, and ICE, and others — but no one from your level has ever, ever given the attention you have.

So I want to thank you very much for what you’re doing.  Thank you for your dedication.  Thank you for always being there.  And they can protest all they want.  We’re with you.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Peter.  (Applause.)

Well, I just want to — I really want to thank all of the families.  And Robert, Elizabeth — so beautiful.  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate that.  That was incredible.  And Freddy, Evelyn, thank you very much.

CUEVAS:  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Not much you can say other than we are really working hard on this problem.  This is a horrible problem.  We’re bringing them out, and our people are rougher than them.  That’s the only language they understand.  It would be wonderful if we could talk nicely and softly, but the only language they understand is that toughness.  And, Tom, you’ve displayed it; your people have displayed it.  Everybody up here has displayed it.  Everybody.

But the records are being set, but they still keep coming in.  We need immigration laws.  We need strong laws.  And we’re going to get them.  It’s moving.  It’s harder and harder for the Democrats to fight it.  Look, I’d like to say it’s just people doing it.  They happen to be Democrats.  They’re very well unified in this regard, but they’re starting to break up now.  Finally, they’re starting to break up.

And the other day was actually a great day, when they were coming to the defense of MS-13.  They’re coming to the defense, and that was the end of them because nobody, nobody understood it.  Nobody.  When they started rationalizing, and — maybe it was the way they grew up.  And maybe it was, but we’re stuck with a big problem.

Again, you heard the numbers.  You heard what a number of the folks have said.  We’re taking them out by the thousands, by the thousands.  And they’re being thrown out of the country.  They’re being put in jails.

When they’re put in jails, that costs us a fortune for years, and years, and years as a country.  But when we throw them out, they go back on the streets; they don’t go anywhere.  The countries don’t want them.  In some cases, the countries don’t take them.  But now, with us, they take them.  With the previous administration, they’d say, “No, we don’t want them.”  With us, it’s a much different deal.  They take them, but you don’t know what they do with them.  Do they let them out?  Do they put them in jail?  Are they incarcerated?  They’re murderers, in many cases.  Are they incarcerated?

So we’re very tough, but we’re getting a lot tougher.  But we do need law changes.  We need those laws to change.  Because we can be really smart and we can really know what we’re doing — which we do — these are all incredible professionals, every one up here; incredible professionals.  But when the laws are no good, the laws are horrible, there’s not much you can do beyond what we’re doing.

We’re down on immigration crossing the border — more than 40 percent.  We were actually down 77 percent.  Our economy is doing so well, people are coming across the border.  The economy is — it’s one bad thing about having a great economy, frankly.  But the economy is doing so well that people are crossing the border.  In many cases, they’re crossing for reasons of good, but in many cases they’re crossing for reasons of really, really bad.

But these people are incredible people.  And I want to thank you all for being here, too.  I know what you’ve gone through.  I just want to thank you very much for being here.

We are making tremendous strides.  We will continue.  And in a not-too-distant future, I feel totally confident that this product — this problem will be eradicated.  We’re not going to have this problem.  I essentially grew up on Long Island.  And when I hear Hempstead and Mineola and all of the places that I know so well, that you can’t walk outside — this used to be where you’d leave your doors unlocked, you’d leave your windows open, always.  And you have gang members now that are so rough, people are afraid to go outside.

We have these trucks coming in; they used to call them “paddy wagons.”  I don’t know what they call them anymore.  What do they call them, Tom?  But we have the ICE guys coming in, and I’ll tell you something — the ICE guys are a lot rougher than the MS-13 guys.  They’re rougher, they’re tougher, and they’re meaner.  (Applause.)  And they throw them into — I don’t want to mention the name of a town, but a town that I know very well.  They throw these guys into these wagons, these rolling jails.  And you have people applauding.  It’s almost like a war, where you’re getting rid of somebody that’s occupying your nation.

And for me to go through and be in this position, and see towns that I’ve known all my life — I grew up here; I know every one of the towns — and it’s unthinkable that it’s almost like an occupied territory, where your children are afraid to go out, and in many cases, if they go out, bad things happen.

But when you see the scene — and I saw it, Tom; I saw it — of guys being thrown right into these wagons, being taken away, and the crowd is cheering — cheering.  And in one way it’s beautiful, and another way it’s terrible that we’re having to even conceivably do that, especially in a place that you’ve known so well all your life that was safe.

I just want to thank the law enforcement, because what they go through and the restrictions that are put on them are incredible:  They got to be nice; they can’t be too tough.  They have to be gentle.  They can’t touch, they can’t do anything.  And they do an incredible job.  And people understand it.

And to law enforcement — I have to tell you, because I’ve gotten to know the heart of this country maybe better than anybody, and that’s why I’m here.  The people out there love you and respect you.  You may read a lot of stuff.  I will tell you, you are the most respected people there are.  (Applause.)  And on behalf of everybody, I want to thank you very much for what you do.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

END

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-roundtable-discussion-immigration-bethpage-ny/

Story 2: Governor Abbott Roundtable Meeting in Stopping Mass Shootings in Gun Free Zones Such As Texas Santa Fe High School Shootings With 10 Dead and 14 Wounded –Videos

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

Second day of Santa Fe shooting roundtable covers mental health and gun regulation

Texas official on school shooting: ‘We cannot…say it’s the gun – it’s us as a nation’

Gov. Abbott leads roundtable discussion on school safety

Alerrt active shooter training may have saved lives in Santa Fe

 

Texas Lt. Governor: Need armed teachers, fewer school entrances

Word for Word: Texas Gov. Abbott: “We Need to Do More Than Just Pray” (C-SPAN)

WATCH: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delivers remarks on Santa Fe school shooting

Police chief discusses school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas

Shooting survivor says shooting was inevitable

Lawyers for Texas shooting suspect speak out

Here are the Texas shooting victims’ stories

New details emerge on how the Texas school shooting was carried out

Pres. Donald Trump remarks on Santa Fe school shooting in speech at the Prison Reform Summit

 

Santa Fe High school shooter studied previous mass shootings and used tactics from them in his own massacre

  • Dimitrios Pagourtzis burst into an art classroom with shotgun, yelling ‘surprise’ 
  • The 17-year-old is in custody and investigators revealed he studied massacres 
  • Among those killed are an art teacher, investigators trying to work out motive
  • Pagourtzis acted alone, spared students he liked so they could tell his story

A teenager who opened fire in a Texas high school killing ten people studied previous mass shootings and used them when carrying out his own massacre, it was reported.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old Santa Fe High School junior, allegedly burst into an art classroom yelling ‘Surprise!’ while brandishing his father’s shotgun and pistol, before opening fire and gunning down students and teachers.

He was taken into custody Friday morning and two other ‘persons of interest’ have also been interviewed by investigators.

Dimitri Pagourtzis, 17, is being held without bond in Galveston County Jail in Texas

Dimitri Pagourtzis, 17, is being held without bond in Galveston County Jail in Texas

Memorials have sprung up around Santa Fe, Texas for those killed in the high school massacre

Two teachers and eight pupils were killed when Pagourtzis allegedly burst into a classroom and yelled ‘surprise’

A source told ABC News Pagourtzis ‘studied previous mass shootings and used aspects of those [attacks] in his own shooting’.

Investigators have also determined that they don’t expect to charge anyone else besides the alleged shooter, sources said.

Substitute teacher Ann Perkins, 64, art teacher Cynthia Tisdale and students Sabika Sheikh, Chris Stone, Kim Vaughan, Angelique Ramirez, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Christian Garcia and Shana Fisher have been confirmed dead.

Pagourtzis also said he spared the students he liked so he could ‘have his story told,’ according to court documents.

Police are now trying to piece together what motive ‘quiet’ Pagourtzis had for carrying out the shooting, the 22nd school shooting in 2018 alone.

A church service was held at Arcadia First Baptist Church near Santa Fe High School on Sunday to honor the lives lost

Angelique Ramirez

Angelique Ramirez (left) and Kim Vaughan (right) were confirmed dead by friends and family on Friday evening

Pagourtzis (circled) was a member of a traditional Greek dance group with a local church

Pagourtzis (circled) was a member of a traditional Greek dance group with a local church

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Pagourtzis wrote about planning the attack in journals on his computer and in his cellphone that police obtained.

‘Not only did he want to commit the shooting but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting,’ Abbott said, adding that Pagourtzis told authorities he ‘didn’t have the courage’ to take his own life.

How the Santa Fe High School shooting unfolded

7.32am – Law enforcement responded to reports of an active shooter

8.02am – Dimitrios Pagourtzis surrenders to cops

8.05am – President Donald Trump tweets ‘School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!’

8.13am –  Santa Fe Independent School District confirms there was an active shooter and the district has initiated a lockdown

8.30am – Santa Fe High School is evacuated

9am – Assistant Principal confirms the shooter had been arrested

9.15am – Suspected explosive devices are found

10am – Law enforcement confirms eight people are dead

10.45am – Death toll updated to between eight and 10

11.18am –  Santa Fe ISD says explosives were found at the high school

Pagourtzis played on the high school’s junior varsity football team and was a member of a traditional Greek dance group with a local Orthodox church.

Acquaintances described him as quiet and unassuming, an avid video game player who routinely wore a black trench coat and black boots to class.

Friends said he had been bullied, including by coaches who told him he ‘smelled bad’.

The other students detained have not been named.

Police were hunting for explosive devices in two homes after finding pipe bombs scattered around the school in the wake of the shooting.

Pagourtzis used his father’s legally owned shotgun and .38-revolver in the massacre, officials said. It’s not clear whether the father knew his son had taken them.

The suspect’s father Antonios Pagourtzis, 63, runs a ship repair and industrial cleaning firm.

He was born in Greece and ‘liked’ NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesh on Facebook.

As well as killing 10, the shooting spree also injured 10 more, including John Barnes, 49, a retired Houston police officer now working as the Santa Fe resource officer who was first to confront the shooter.

The hero cop was shot in the arm and was hospitalized in critical condition after losing significant amounts of blood.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5752409/Santa-Fe-High-school-shooter-studied-previous-mass-shootings-used-tactics-massacre.html#ixzz5GSXCp5IA

 

Mass shootings in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total U.S. deaths by year in mass shootings: 1982 to 2016.[1]

Map of mass shootings in 2015.

There is no fixed definition of a mass shooting,[2] but a common definition is an act of violence — excluding gang killings, domestic violence, or terrorist acts sponsored by an organization — in which a gunman kills at least four victims. Using this definition, one study found that nearly one-third of the world’s public mass shootings between 1966 and 2012 (90 of 292 incidents) occurred in the United States,[3][4] which has more mass shootings than any other country.[5][6][7][8] Using the same definition, Gun Violence Archive records 152 mass shootings in the United States between 1967 and May 2018, averaging eight fatalities per incident when the perpetrator’s death is included.[9]

The overwhelming majority of perpetrators are male and act alone,[10] and they generally either commit suicide or are restrained or killed by law enforcement officers or civilians.[11]

Definition

There is no fixed definition of a mass shooting in the United States.[2] The Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, signed into law by Congress in January 2013, defines a “mass killing” as one resulting in at least 3 victims, excluding the perpetrator.[12][2][13][14] In 2015, the Congressional Research Service defined a mass shooting as “a multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms, within one event, and in one or more locations in close proximity”.[15] A broader definition, as used by the Gun Violence Archive, is that of “4 or more shot or killed, not including the shooter”.[16] This definition, of four people shot regardless of whether or not that results in injury or death, is often used by the press and non-profit organizations.[17][18][19][20][21]

Frequency

Memorial at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which resulted in 59 deaths and 851 non-fatal injuries.

Studies indicate that the rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. Between 1982 and 2011, a mass shooting occurred roughly once every 200 days. However, between 2011 and 2014 that rate has accelerated greatly with at least one mass shooting occurring every 64 days in the United States.[22]

In recent years, the number of public mass shootings has increased substantially, although there has been an approximately 50% decrease in firearm homicides in the nation overall since 1993. The decrease in firearm homicides has been attributed to better policing, a better economy and environmental factors such as the removal of lead from gasoline.[23] However, this does not account for an increase in firearm injuries or suicides, nor explain the increase in mass shootings.

Differing sources

A comprehensive report by USA Today tracked all mass killings from 2006 through 2017 in which the perpetrator willfully killed 4 or more people. For mass killings by firearm for instance, it found 271 incidents with a total of 1,358 victims.[24] Mother Jones listed seven mass shootings, defined as indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed,[25] in the U.S. for 2015.[26] An analysis by Michael Bloomberg’s gun violence prevention group, Everytown for Gun Safety, identified 110 mass shootings, defined as shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm, between January 2009 and July 2014; at least 57% were related to domestic or family violence.[27][28]

Other media outlets have reported that hundreds of mass shootings take place in the United States in a single calendar year, citing a crowd-funded website known as Shooting Tracker which defines a mass shooting as having four or more people injured or killed.[19] In December 2015, The Washington Post reported that there had been 355 mass shootings in the United States so far that year.[29] In August 2015, The Washington Post reported that the United States was averaging one mass shooting per day.[30] An earlier report had indicated that in 2015 alone, there had been 294 mass shootings that killed or injured 1,464 people.[31] Shooting Tracker and Mass Shooting Tracker, the two sites that the media have been citing, have been criticized for using a broader criteria — counting four victims injured as a mass shooting — thus producing much higher figures.[32][33]

Contributing factors

Several possible factors may work together to create a fertile environment for mass murder in the United States.[34] Most commonly suggested include:

  1. A history of adverse childhood experiences (e.g., abuse of children emotionally, physically, sexually) leading to adult criminality[35]
  2. The desire to seek revenge for a long history of being bullied.[36]
  3. Desire for fame and notoriety.[34][3]
  4. The copycat phenomenon.[3]
  5. Failure of government background checks due to incomplete databases and/or staff shortages.[37][38]
  6. Higher accessibility and ownership of guns.[34][3][39] The US has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world with 88.8 firearms per 100 people; the second highest is Yemen with 54.8 firearms per 100 people.[34]
  7. The widespread chronic gap between people’s expectations for themselves and their actual achievement,[34] and individualistic culture.[40]
  8. Mental illness[41][42][43] and its treatment (or the lack thereof) with psychiatric drugs[44]. This is controversial. Many of the mass shooters in the U.S. suffered from mental illness, but the estimated number of mental illness cases has not increased as significantly as the number of mass shootings.[3]

Weapons used

Several types of weapons have been used in mass shootings in the United States including rifles, handguns, and shotguns. In contrast to the rest of the world, where the perpetrator typically has only one gun, more than half of US mass shootings are committed with multiple weapons.[3] While pistols are by far the most prevalent weapons in US mass shootings,[45] AR-15 style rifles have been used in a number of the deadliest incidents, and have come to be widely characterized in the mainstream media as the weapon of choice for perpetrators of these crimes.[46][47][48][49][50]

Deadliest mass shootings

The following mass shootings are the deadliest to have occurred in modern U.S. history (1949 to present). Only incidents with ten or more fatalities are included.[51]

dagger Was previously the deadliest mass shooting
Incident Year Deaths Injuries Type of firearm(s) used Ref(s)
1 Las Vegas shooting 2017 59 (inc. the perp.) 851 Semi-automatic rifles [52][53]
2 Orlando nightclub shooting dagger 2016 50 (inc. the perp.) 58 Semi-automatic rifle and pistol [52][53]
3 Virginia Tech shooting dagger 2007 33 (inc. the perp.) 23 Semi-automatic pistols [52]
4 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 28 (inc. the perp.) 2 Semi-automatic rifle and pistol [52]
5 Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 27 (inc. the perp.)[nb 1] 20 Semi-automatic rifle [54][53]
6 Luby’s shooting dagger 1991 24 (inc. the perp.) 27 Semi-automatic pistols [52]
7 San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre dagger 1984 23 (inc. the perp.)[nb 2] 19 Multiple types of firearms [52]
8 University of Texas tower shooting dagger 1966 18 (inc. the perp.)[nb 3] 31 Multiple types of firearms [52]
9 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018 17 17 Semi-automatic rifle [55]
10 San Bernardino attack 2015 16 (inc. both perps.) 24 Semi-automatic rifles [52][53]
11 Edmond post office shooting 1986 15 (inc. the perp.) 6 Semi-automatic pistols [52]
Columbine High School massacre 1999 15 (inc. both perps.) 24 Multiple types of firearms [56]
13 Binghamton shootings 2009 14 (inc. the perp.) 4 Semi-automatic pistols [56]
Fort Hood shooting 2009 14 [nb 4] 33 (inc. the perp.) Semi-automatic pistols [56]
15 Camden shootings dagger 1949 13 3 Semi-automatic pistol [56]
Wilkes-Barre shootings 1982 13 1 Semi-automatic rifle [56]
Wah Mee massacre 1983 13 1 Multiple types of firearms [57]
Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 13 (inc. the perp.) 8 Semi-automatic pistol and shotgun [56]
19 Aurora shooting 2012 12 70 Multiple types of firearms [56][53]
20 Easter Sunday massacre 1975 11 0 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [58]
Geneva County massacre 2009 11 (inc. the perp.) 6 Multiple types of firearms [56]
22 Palm Sunday massacre 1984 10 0 Handguns [59]
GMAC shootings 1990 10 (inc. the perp.) 6 Semi-automatic rifle [52]
Atlanta shootings 1999 10 (inc. the perp.) 13 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [52]
Red Lake shootings 2005 10 (inc. the perp.) 5 Semi-automatic pistols and shotgun [56]
Umpqua Community College shooting 2015 10 (inc. the perp.) 8 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [56]
Santa Fe High School shooting 2018 10 13 Shotgun and revolver [60]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  2. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  3. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  4. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.

References

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

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott touts immediate plans to stop school shootings, but avoids talk of a special session

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott hosted his first of three roundtable discussions on gun violence at the Capitol Tuesday.

Gov. Greg Abbott (top center, in front of U.S. flag) held the first of three roundtable discussions on school safety in Austin on May 22, 2018, in the aftermath of the Santa Fe high school shooting.  Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After a closed door meeting Tuesday on school safety and gun violence, Gov. Greg Abbott proposed a series of initiatives to prevent future school shootings, though he largely avoided talk of a special legislative session to immediately pass new laws.

The roundtable discussion was the first of three scheduled this week to discuss school safety and gun violence following a massacre at Santa Fe High School last week.

Abbott, a Republican, listed off numerous ideas and suggestions that came out of the three-hour meeting, but focused on four specific ideas that he said could be implemented before students come back to school next fall.

They included trying to provide a grant to the Texas School Safety Center to train local school districts and law enforcement agencies on collaboration, creating a statewide threat assessment system, expanding a Lubbock program aimed at preventing at-risk students from committing violent acts and creating a list of recommendations for all schools on how they can immediately make their schools safer, like re-evaluating entrances and exits and placing law enforcement inside schools.

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“They’re going to be some of the simplest but most effective strategies that can be employed to make sure that our schools are safer places when our kids walk into those schools next August,” Abbott told the press after the meeting.

Other ideas that Abbott mentioned were increasing the number of school counselors, creating incentives for students to share information about potential threats and evaluating an expansion of a state program that arms teachers. He also spoke of a vague idea of mandating parent training to prevent shootings and spoke at length about creating an app that would allow students, parents and law enforcement to monitor school security cameras.

The governor focused largely on what could be done without legislative approval. When asked if a special session was needed to combat the issue of school shootings, as several politicians have suggested, he brushed it off.

“That’s a process question,” he said. “Right now we’re focused on substance issues. We need solutions first.”

Attendees of Tuesday’s discussion included leaders from the Texas House and Senate and the heads of the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of Public Safety. There were also local law enforcement and school officials, including the district attorney who will lead the prosecution against 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the accused shooter in Friday’s killings.

Most of them expressed optimism after the meeting.

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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who raised some eyebrows when he mentioned shortly after the shooting Friday that a possible solution could be to remodel Texas schools to limit the number of entrances and exits — said the meeting exceeded expectations.

“You could feel a unification of voices around the issues he discussed from various school districts and law enforcement,” he told The Texas Tribune.

State Sen. Joan Huffman, a Republican from Houston who leads the State Affairs Committee, and her colleague, Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and chair of the Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee, both echoed Patrick’s optimism after the meeting and were happy with many of the proposals. But Whitmire said they’ll have to be careful to avoid a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

He said that’s especially true when talking about parental involvement; one idea was mandating parental training. It’s important to understand Houston is different than Round Rock, Whitmire said.

“I know a school district in the Houston area that’s got 20,000 students who’ve got undocumented parents,” he said. “So when we try to incorporate parent involvement and hold parents accountable, you’ve got to face reality that some parents are not welcome to the school.”

Wednesday’s discussion will focus on gun regulations, mental health solutions and underlying causes of gun violence, Abbott said just before Tuesday’s meeting. It will include advocates both for and against further gun restrictions, mental health experts and social media experts, he said.

Thursday will be a day for the victims of mass shootings in Texas, including the school shooting in Santa Fe that killed 10 and one at a church in Sutherland Springs last fall that killed 26. The exact list of attendees for Thursday has not yet been released.

Democrats have largely welcomed a discussion on gun violence but criticized the effectiveness of any changes currently proposed by Republican leadership. State Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Friday that the state should also pass universal background checks and require the reporting of stolen guns.

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And in a news release Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said excluding several groups who want stricter gun regulation, including Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives, will limit the potential for meaningful action. Texas Gun Sense, which advocates for further gun restrictions, is expected to attend Abbott’s discussion Wednesday.

After the meeting Tuesday, Abbott said the results of the roundtable shows that politician’s actions are already more than just talk.

“We came up with very solid solutions, and now it’s just a matter of implementing those solutions,” he said

Read related Tribune coverage:

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/22/texas-gov-greg-abbott-discusses-santa-fe-shooting-and-school-safety-be/

 

Story 3: President Trump Delivers Keynote Address at Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala — Videos

President Trump delivers address at Campaign for Life Gala

Susan B. Anthony List’s 2018 Mission: Elections for Life

President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala

 

President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala

Susan B. Anthony List

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Susan B. Anthony List
SBAList.jpg
Founded February 4, 1993
Re-organized 1997
Founder Rachel MacNair[1][2]
Type 501(c)(4) non-profit
Focus Anti-abortion political advocacy
Location
Area served
United States
Members
c. 365,000
Key people
Marjorie Dannenfelser(President)
Emily Buchanan (Executive Director)
Website http://www.sba-list.org

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit[3] organization that seeks to reduce and ultimately end abortion in the U.S.[4] by supporting anti-abortion politicians, primarily women,[5] through its SBA List Candidate Fund political action committee.[6][7] In 2011, it reported it had 333,000 members.[8]

Founded in 1993 by sociologist and psychologist Rachel MacNair, the SBA List was a response to the success of the pro-choice group EMILY’s List, which was partly responsible for bringing about the 1992 “Year of the Woman” in which a significant number of women, all pro-choice, were elected to Congress. MacNair wished to help anti-abortion women gain high public office. She recruited Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham as the first experienced leaders of SBA List. Dannenfelser is now president of the organization and Abraham is chairwoman of the board. Named for suffragist Susan B. Anthony, SBA List identifies itself with Anthony and several 19th-century women’s rights activists; SBA List argues that Anthony and other early feminists were opposed to abortion. Regarding Anthony’s beliefs, the SBA List has been challenged by scholars and pro-choice activists. Anthony scholar Ann D. Gordon and Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr write that Anthony “spent no time on the politics of abortion”.[9]

Founding

The formation of the SBA List was catalyzed in March 1992 when Rachel MacNair, head of Feminists for Life, watched a 60 Minutes television documentary profiling IBM-heiress Ellen Malcolm and the successful campaign-funding activities of her Democratic pro-choice group EMILY’s List.[10][11] MacNair, a peace activist and anti-abortion Quaker, was motivated to organize the Susan B. Anthony List for the purpose of countering EMILY’s List by providing early campaign funds to anti-abortion women candidates.[1][10] Led by FFL and MacNair, 15 anti-abortion groups formed an umbrella organization, the National Women’s Coalition for Life (NWCL), which adopted a joint anti-abortion statement on April 3, 1992.[12]

Also inspired by EMILY’s List, in 1992, the WISH List was formed to promote pro-choice candidates who were members of the opposing Republican Party.[13] In November 1992 after many of the pro-choice candidates won their races to create what was termed the “Year of the Woman“, MacNair announced the formation of the SBA List, describing its purpose as endorsing and supporting women who held anti-abortion beliefs without regard to party affiliation.[14] MacNair determined to challenge the EMILY’s List and the WISH List notion that the top female politicians were primarily pro-choice.[15][16] She said the SBA List would not support right-wing political candidates. “We want good records on women’s rights – probably not Phyllis Schlafly“.[14] The NWCL sponsored the SBA List with $2,485 to create it as a political action committee (PAC)[17][18][19] on February 4, 1993, listing MacNair as the first secretary; the group operated out of MacNair’s office inside a crisis pregnancy center on East 47th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.[19][20][21] The first SBA List public event was held the same month at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Woman’s Party.[22] Organized by founding board member Susan Gibbs, the “kickoff” event raised “more than $9000”.[23]

Susan B. Anthony and early feminist connection

MacNair named the SBA List after the famous suffragistSusan B. Anthony.[24][25] The leaders of the SBA List say that Anthony was “passionately pro-life”.[26][27] According to the SBA list, Susan B. Anthony “called abortion ‘child murder'”[28] This topic has been subject to a modern-day dispute about Anthony’s views on abortion, with scholars and pro-choice activists “concerned that their heroine is being appropriated”.[29] While Anthony deplored abortion, she never worked against it.[9][30] Anthony scholar Ann D. Gordon and Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr say the quotes SBA List cites are misattributed or taken out of context. Gordon said that Anthony “never voiced an opinion about the sanctity of fetal life … and she never voiced an opinion about using the power of the state to require that pregnancies be brought to term”.[29]

History

Early activities and re-organization[edit]

Founding board member Susan Gibbs, later the communications director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, said, of the early years for the SBA List, “None of us had political experience. None of us had PAC experience. We just had a passion for being pro-life.”[22] Shortly after its founding, experienced political activists Marjorie Dannenfelser and then Jane Abraham were brought on board — Dannenfelser served as executive director, leading the organization from her home in Arlington, Virginia.[31] In 1994, the SBA List was successful in helping 8 of its 15 selected candidates gain office.[22] In 1996, only two challengers who were financially backed were elected, while five SBA-List-supported incumbents retained their positions; a disappointing election for the group.[10][22]

In 1997, the SBA List was re-organized by Dannenfelser and Abraham into its current form as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with a connected PAC, the SBA List Candidate Fund.[6] Abraham became president and Dannenfelser held the position of Chairwoman of the Board.[32] The rules for endorsing and financially supporting candidates were tightened: in addition to the politician having to be female, she must have demonstrated a pro-life record (a simple declaration was not enough), and she must be seen as likely to win her race.[10] In 1998, the SBA List began backing male pro-life candidates as well, endorsing three men in a pilot program.[22] One of the three won election to office: Republican Peter Fitzgerald who received $2,910 from the SBA List to assist him in his $12.3 million win over pro-choice Democrat Carol Moseley Braun in a battle for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois.[33][34][35] Abraham served as president from 1997 until 2006 when Dannenfelser became president.

In 2000 the SBA List contributed $25,995 to pro-life candidates in contrast to the pro-choice candidates who received $608,273 from the WISH List or $20 million from EMILY’s List.[36][37]

Recent history

Contributions from supporters grew by 50% from 2007 to 2009.[38] As of December 2009, the SBA List had outspent one of its pro-choice counterparts, the National Organization for Women, in every election cycle since 1996.[39]

In April 2003, Representative Marilyn Musgrave (left) received an award from SBA List President Jane Abraham.

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave joined the SBA List in March 2009 and works as a project director and spokesperson.[40] Musgrave had previously been given a pro-life award in 2003 by the SBA List. The organization tried to keep abortion coverage out of any health care reform legislation in 2009 and 2010.[41] It had targeted Senator Bob Casey to ensure abortion was not covered in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),[42][43]and lobbied for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962[44] The group criticized Senator Ben Nelson for what it called a “fake compromise” on abortion in the PPACA[45] and condemned the Christmas Eve passage of the Senate bill.[46]

The group had planned to honor Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) at its March gala, but after Stupak’s deal with President Obama, in which Obama would issue an executive order banning federal funding for abortion under the bill,[47]Stupak was stripped of his “Defender of Life Award” three days before the gala because of the SBA List’s doubts, shared by the most prominent pro-life groups, about the effectiveness of the Executive Order.[48][49] Stupak had told Dannenfelser, “They [the Democratic leadership] know I won’t fold. There is no way.”[50] On the day of the vote, Dannenfelser said she promised Stupak that the SBA List was “going to be involved in your defeat”.[50] In a statement, Dannenfelser said, “We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so…Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.'”[47] No one received the award in his place, and Dannenfelser instead used the occasion to condemn Stupak.[51] The group dropped its plans to help Stupak fend off a primary challenge[51] from Connie Saltonstall, who was running on a pro-choice platform.[52] Stupak later dropped out of the race, announcing his retirement from Congress.[53]

In 2010, the SBA List hosted events featuring prominent pro-life political figures as speakers, including Sarah Palin, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann.[54][55]

In August 2010, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, the SBA List held a colloquium at the Yale Club of New York City, billed as “A Conversation on Pro-Life Feminism”.[56][57] The event featured a panel of five scholars in the fields of law, philosophy, history, political science and sociology, who discussed various concepts of feminism and the possibility of broadening the spectrum of pro-life political candidates to include those with more centrist fiscal views.[56][58]

An SBA List project, “Votes Have Consequences”, was headed by former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and was aimed at defeating vulnerable candidates in 2010 who did not vote pro-life on key issues, such as health care reform.[59] Under this project, the group endorsed Dan Coats of Indiana for Senate against Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who had voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[60] In January 2011, along with Americans for Tax Reform and The Daily Caller, the organization sponsored a debate between candidates for chair of the Republican National Committee.[61]

Peter Roff writing for U.S. News and World Report credited the SBA List for the passage in the House of an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood of federal dollars for fiscal year 2011.[62] Writing for In These Times, social media activist Sady Doyle wrote that in striving against Planned Parenthood, the SBA List registered its priority as ending abortion rather than helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies.[63]

In March 2011, the SBA List teamed with Live Action for a bus tour through 13 congressional districts either thanking or condemning their representatives for their votes to defund Planned Parenthood of tax dollars in the Pence Amendment. In response, Planned Parenthood launched its own tour to follow the SBA List bus.[64] The SBA List also bought $200,000 in radio and television ads backing six Republicans who voted to defund Planned Parenthood in response to a $200,000 ad buy by Planned Parenthood against the Pence Amendment.[65]

In July 2011, the SBA List held a rally in New Hampshire supporting the New Hampshire Executive Council‘s decision to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood.[66] Spokeswoman Marilyn Musgrave, a former United States congresswoman, said the Council’s decision “really will save unborn lives”.[66] The SBA List has lobbied for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a federal bill which would ban abortions after 20 weeks.[67] Also in 2011, the SBA List founded the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Named after Charlotte Denman Lozier, the Institute has served as the SBA List’s research and education institute ever since.[68]

Strategies

The SBA List employs many strategies in order to attract the public to its mission. Lawyer and Scholar Tali Leinwand explains that the SBA List encourages Republicans not to endorse personhood amendments, and attempts to link the pro-life movement to less controversial causes like opposition to the Affordable Care Act.[69] These strategies, Leinwand argues, attempt to de-stigmatize the pro-life movement.[69]

Elections

The SBA List Candidate Fund primarily endorses pro-life women, and pro-life men running against pro-choice women.[70]

2006 elections

The 2006 midterm elections were very successful for the SBA list. They won 21 of the 38 contests that they endorsed.[71]

2008 presidential election

Sarah Palin on the campaign trail in 2008

The SBA List gained renewed attention during the 2008 presidential election following Sarah Palin‘s nomination for Vice President. They had endorsed her 2006 run for governor of Alaska.[72] In 2008, the SBA List also started a social networking site and blog called “Team Sarah”, which is “dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process”.[73]

Palin headlined the organization’s 2010 “Celebration of Life” breakfast fundraiser, an event which got extensive media coverage and in which she coined the term “mama grizzly“.[74][75][76][77]

According to Politico, Palin’s criteria for endorsing candidates is whether they have the support of the Tea Party movement and whether they have the support of the SBA List.[78]

2009 elections

In September 2009, in a special election to fill an empty House seat in upstate New York, the group endorsed the pro-life third-party Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman over the pro-choice Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, on the stated basis that Scozzafava was an “abortion radical who does not represent the views of the growing majority of pro-life American women”.[79][80] The SBA List joined forces with the National Organization for Marriage in support of Hoffman, spending over $100,000[81] printing literature, making phone calls, and flooding the district with volunteers from across the country.[82]

2010 elections

For the 2010 elections, the SBA List planned to spend $6 million[83] (including $3 million solely on U.S. Senate races[84]) and endorsed several dozen candidates.[85] The SBA List spent nearly $1.7 million on independent expenditure campaigns for or against 50 candidates.[86]

The SBA List conducted a 23-city bus tour to the Congressional districts of self-described pro-life Democrats in OhioIndiana and Pennsylvania who voted for the health care reform bill and to rally supporters to vote them out.[87][88][89] The bus tour attracted counterprotests at some stops, such as one in Pennsylvania where a group called Catholics United accused the SBA List of lying about health care reform.[90]

The organization launched a “Life Speaking Out” petition to urge the Republican Party to include opposition to abortion in its Pledge to America.[91][92] The petition was sent with over 20,000 signatures on it.[93][94]

The organization especially focused on the California Senate race where Carly Fiorina challenged incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer.[95] The group spent $200,000 in support of Fiorina’s campaign during the Republican primary and expected to spend another $1 million for the general election campaign against Boxer.[96] The SBA List partnered with the National Organization for Marriage to air Spanish language TV commercials attacking Boxer’s positions on abortion and gay marriage.[97] The two groups bought $200,000 worth of airtime for the commercial to air in the markets of Los AngelesFresno, and San Diego.[98] However, Boxer prevailed over Fiorina in the November 2010 election.[99]

Other notable endorsements included Sharron Angle, who unsuccessfully[100] challenged incumbent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada; the SBA List endorsed Angle despite having previously endorsed Angle’s primary opponent, Sue Lowden.[101][102] In September 2010, the SBA List launched a $150,000 campaign on behalf of New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte for the Republican primary.[103] Ayotte won the primary to become the nominee,[104] and later prevailed in the general election.[105] In October 2010, the SBA List endorsed Joe Miller, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alaska.[106] The SBA List endorsed Miller after Sen. Lisa Murkowski decided to stage a write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to Miller, and they launched a $10,000 radio campaign to air ads attacking Murkowski for turning a “deaf ear” to the will of voters who voted her out in the primary.[107] Murkowski defeated Miller, who conceded after two months of court battles over contested ballots.[108] 36 of the SBA List’s 2010 endorsed candidates were elected.[109]

Driehaus political ad litigation

In the 2010 campaign, the organization purchased billboard advertisements in the district of Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio that showed a photo of Driehaus and intoned, “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion”[110] The advertisement referred to Driehaus’s vote in favor of the health care overhaul bill.[111][112] The SBA List has taken the position that the legislation in question allows for taxpayer-funded abortion, a claim which was ruled by a judge to be factually incorrect.[113]

In response, Driehaus, who represented Ohio’s heavily pro-life[110] 1st congressional district, filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC), claiming the advertisements were false and violated Ohio election law.[114] The OEC ruled in Driehaus’ favor in a probable cause hearing on October 14, 2010.[115] In response, the SBA List asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against the OEC on the grounds that the law at issue stifles free speech[114][116] and that its ads were based on the group’s own interpretation of the law.[113] The ACLU of Ohio filed an 18-page amicus brief on the SBA List’s behalf, arguing that the Ohio law in question is “unconstitutionally vague” and has a “chilling” effect on the SBA List’s right to freedom of speech.[117][118] A federal judge rejected the SBA List’s federal lawsuit on abstention grounds and allowed Driehaus’s OEC complaint to move forward.[111][119]

After the OEC complaint was filed, the SBA List began airing a radio ad in Driehaus’s district in which Dannenfelser stated that the group “[would] not be silenced or intimidated” by Driehaus’s legal action.[120] Driehaus persuaded the billboard company to withdraw the SBA List’s advertisement, which was never erected.[112] Driehaus lost the seat to Steve Chabot, the incumbent whom Driehaus had defeated two years earlier, in the November general election. Driehaus sued the SBA List in a second case on December 3, 2010, accusing the organization of defamation that caused him a “loss of livelihood”,[121] arguing the “First Amendment is not and never has been an invitation to concoct falsehoods aimed at depriving a person of his livelihood”.[112] The SBA List countered by stating the organization would “continue to defend the truth and the right to criticize our elected officials”.[112]

The List continued to seek to have the law in question overturned; the ACLU joined in the organization’s fight against the law.[122] On August 1, 2011, judge Timothy Black dismissed the SBA List’s challenge to the Ohio law, holding that the federal court lacked jurisdiction since the billboards were never erected and the OEC never made a final ruling[123] and denied a motion for summary judgment by the List in the defamation case, allowing Driehaus’s defamation claims regarding other SBA List statements to go forward.[124] Black also directed the SBA List to desist from claiming on its website that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) subsidized abortion as the law does not directly mention abortion.[125] SBA List argued that its statements were opinions and were thus protected, but the court rejected this argument given that SBA List itself had claimed that this was a “fact”.[126][127]

On August 19, 2011, the SBA List appealed the decision on the Ohio law to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.[128] In May 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the SBA List could not challenge the law under the First Amendment.[129] On August 9, 2013, the SBA List petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the law.[130][131] On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court accepted the case. The Court heard the case on April 22, 2014.[132]

On June 16, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in SBA List’s favor, allowing them to proceed in challenging the constitutionality of the law.[133]

On September 11, 2014, Judge Timothy Black of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio struck down the law as unconstitutional.[134] Black said in his ruling, “We do not want the government (i. e., the Ohio Elections Commission) deciding what is political truth — for fear that the government might persecute those who criticize it. Instead, in a democracy, the voters should decide.”[135]

2011 elections

In October 2011, the SBA List announced it would involve itself in the 2011 Virginia state Senate elections, endorsing challengers Bryce Reeves against Edd HouckCaren Merrick against Barbara Favola for an open seat, Patricia Phillips against Mark Herring, and incumbent Sen. Jill Vogel in an effort to give control of the Senate to pro-lifers to stop the state Senate from being a “graveyard for pro-life legislation”.[136] It also announced it was spending $25,000 against Sen. Edd Houck to expose his “extreme record on abortion”.[137]Merrick and Phillips lost, but Vogel won re-election and Reeves defeated Houck by just 222 votes.[138]

2012 presidential election

In June 2011, the SBA List unveiled a pro-life pledge for 2012 Republican presidential candidates in which signers commit to appointing only pro-life judicial nominees and cabinet members, preventing taxpayer funding of abortion, and supporting legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the fetal pain concept.[139] Candidates Rick PerryTim PawlentyMichele BachmannNewt GingrichRick SantorumThaddeus McCotterHerman Cain, and Ron Paul all signed the pledge, but Mitt RomneyJon Huntsman, Jr., and Gary Johnson declined. Romney’s refusal (he said the pledge might have “unintended consequences”) sparked heated criticism from the SBA List, some of the other candidates, and political observers given Romney’s past support for legalized abortion.[139][140][141] Huntsman said he would not sign any pledges from political groups during the campaign[142] and was criticized by the SBA List as well.[142] Cain initially said he agreed with the first three parts, but objected to the wording in the pledge which said he would have to “advance” the fetal pain bill; he said he would sign it but Congress would have to advance it.[143] Cain later signed the pledge in November 2011.[144] Johnson, who is pro-choice, declined.

The SBA List embarked on a Values Voter Bus Tour in Iowa with the Family Research Council and National Organization for Marriage from August 9–12, 2011, ending the day before the critical Iowa Straw Poll.[145] The tour visited 22 cities and was joined by Pawlenty, Bachmann, and Santorum as well as Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, among other “state and national leaders”.[145][146]

The SBA supported Rick Santorum in the 2012 Republican Party Presidential Nomination by buying $150,000 of advertising for the candidate in Michigan, and organizing a bus tour for the Santorum and his campaign throughout Michigan.[147] After Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, the SBA List declared that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was unqualified for Vice President due to her describing herself as “mildly pro-choice”.[148][149]

In August, SBA released an ad featuring pro-life activist Melissa Ohden who says she survived an abortion in 1977. The ad criticized Barack Obama, claiming that while serving in the Illinois Senate, he voted four times to deny medical care to infants born alive during failed abortion procedures.[150][151] In a 2008 analysis, FactCheck drew a mixed conclusion overall, finding both the SBA List and Obama had made misleading and/or inaccurate comments regarding Obama’s voting record on the topic in question while he served in the United States Senate.[150][152]

2013 Virginia gubernatorial election

The SBA List made the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election a priority for 2013, endorsing Ken Cuccinelli and pledging to spend $1.5 million in the election through its Virginia PAC, Women Speak Out. Cuccinelli was defeated narrowly in the general election by the pro-choice Democrat, Terry McAuliffe.[153][154]

2014 elections

The SBA List is seeking to spend $8 million to $10 million on elections in 2014.[155]

2016 elections

The SBA List spent $18 million in the 2016 elections.[156]

2017 elections

The SBA List endorsed Greg Gianforte in the special election for Montana’s at-large congressional seat in May 2017, and knocked on 31,000 doors to drive voter turnout in the election.[157] SBAL also endorsed Karen Handel in the June 2017 special election for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, spending $90,000 to support Handel.[158]

2018 elections

The SBA List typically endorses Republicans, but in 2018 they endorsed Democrat Dan Lipinski in a primary election against a pro-choice woman named Marie Newman, spending six figures on advertising, direct mail, and a 70-person canvassing team to turn out voters for Lipinski in the primary in March 2018.[159][160] Lipinski is one of the few Democrats left that the group considers an ally, and Dannenfelser called him “a pro-life hero of legendary courage and integrity”.[161][159] According to an SBA List spokeswoman, the group told Lipinski after he voted against the Affordable Care Act due to concerns over taxpayer funding of abortion that they would always be there to fight for him if he ever came under fire,” and said Lipinski “is the model for how we want pro-life Democrats to act in Congress, to choose pro-life principles over party when those two things clash.”[161] Lipinski won the primary by roughly 2,000 votes, and the SBA List, which knocked on 17,000 doors in the district to support Lipinski,[162] was credited with helping to pull him across the finish line.[163][161]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_B._Anthony_List

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1071, Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.9% and U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.8% — Labor Participation Rate Falls To 62.8% Far Below 66-67% Rate For Booming Economy — Number of Americans Not In Labor Force Increased By 410,000 and Hits High of 95,745,000! — Real Reason For .2% Drop in U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates — Mediocre Job Report — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Address Record 87,000 Plus National Rifle Association Members in Dallas, Texas — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

 

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Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.9% and U-6 Unemployment Rate 7.8% — Labor Participation Rate Falls To 62.8% Far Below 66-67% Rate For Booming Economy — Number of Americans Not In Labor Force Increased By 410,000 and Hits High of 95,745,000! — Real Reason For .2% Drop in U-3 and U-6 Unemployment Rates — Mediocre Job Report — Videos

 

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   Last Updated: May 4th, 2018

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for April 2018 is 21.5%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Unemployment Game Show – Are you Officially Unemployed? | Mint Personal Finance Software

Does Government Create Jobs?

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Find a Job – Learn Liberty

Defining the Unemployment Rate

Is Unemployment Undercounted?

Frictional Unemployment

Structural Unemployment

Cyclical Unemployment

What Is the Natural Rate of Unemployment?

Labor Force Participation

Unemployment rate falls to lowest point since 2000

Unemployment rate down to 3.9%, but wages slow to rise

Kevin Hassett on the April jobs report: It’s a strong economy, strong report

Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9% In April | CNBC

April jobs report shows growth, unemployment decline

April Jobs Growth Weaker Than Expected

Labor participation has hit a 38-year low, and that’s a problem

PBS NewsHour

Published on Jul 2, 2015

Transforming America’s Outdated Labor Market

Murray Rothbard on Economic Recessions

The Future of Austrian Economics | Murray N. Rothbard

F A Hayek – Unemployment And The Free Market

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

161,527,000

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 137095 137112 137236 137150 137372 137455 137588 137570 138286 138279 138381 138634
1999 139003 138967 138730 138959 139107 139329 139439 139430 139622 139771 140025 140177
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155357(1) 155526 156108 155404 155564 155742 156011 156124 156019 156383 156455 156301
2015 157063(1) 156734 156754 157051 157449 157071 157035 157132 156700 157138 157435 158043
2016 158387(1) 158811 159253 158919 158512 158976 159207 159514 159734 159700 159544 159736
2017 159718(1) 159997 160235 160181 159729 160214 160467 160598 161082 160371 160533 160597
2018 161115(1) 161921 161763 161527
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.8%

 

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.2 67.2 67.1 67.2
1999 67.2 67.2 67.0 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.1 67.1
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.6 62.3 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.8 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.7 62.7 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8

 

Unemployment Level

6,346,000

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 6368 6306 6422 5941 6047 6212 6259 6179 6300 6280 6100 6032
1999 5976 6111 5783 6004 5796 5951 6025 5838 5915 5778 5716 5653
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12471 11950 11689 11760 11654 11751 11335 11279 11270 11136 10787 10404
2014 10235 10365 10435 9724 9740 9474 9610 9602 9266 8972 9064 8704
2015 8951 8634 8578 8546 8662 8265 8206 7996 7891 7884 7948 7907
2016 7811 7806 8024 7942 7465 7812 7723 7827 7919 7761 7419 7502
2017 7642 7486 7171 7021 6837 6964 6956 7127 6759 6524 6616 6576
2018 6684 6706 6585 6346

 

95,745,000: Record Number Not in Labor Force as Boomers Retire

By Susan Jones | May 7, 2018 | 11:40 AM EDT
A growing number of retirees is pushing up the number of Americans counted as “not in the labor force.”

(CNSNews.com) – The number of employed Americans has broken eight records since President Trump took office, but on the not-so-sunny side, the number of Americans not in the labor force also keeps increasing, breaking six records since Trump took office in January 2017.

Last month, a record 95,745,000 Americans were counted as “not in the labor force,” meaning they are not employed and are not seeking a job, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statics. “This category includes retired persons, students, those taking care of children or other family members, and others who are neither working nor seeking work,” BLS said.

With record numbers of people not in the labor force, the labor force participation rate has remained stubbornly low in recent years.

In April, only 62.8 percent of the non-institutionalized, civilian population over the age of 16 was either working or actively looking for work. This compares with an all-time high of 67.3 percent in the first four months of 2000.

In a March 2018 report, the Congressional Budget Office noted that a lower labor force participation rate is associated with lower gross domestic product and lower tax revenues. It is also associated with larger federal outlays, because people who are not in the labor force are more likely to enroll in federal benefit programs, including Social Security.

This past January, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the labor force participation rate will continue to decline over the next 30 years from the current 62.8 percent to 61.0 percent in 2027 and to 59.2 percent in 2047.

According to that report, “The continued retirement of the baby-boom generation is the most important factor driving down the overall participation rate.” The first Baby Boomers — people born between 1946 and 1964 — turned 65 in 2011.

CBO has identified three factors pushing down the participation rate, and three factors pushing it up in future years, as follows:

On the downside:

— First, younger workers who are replacing Baby Boomers in the labor force tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates.

— Second, the share of people receiving disability insurance benefits is generally projected to continue increasing, and people who receive such benefits are less likely to participate in the labor force.

— Third, the marriage rate is projected to continue declining, especially among men, and unmarried men tend to participate in the labor force at lower rates than married men.

On the upside:

— First, the population is becoming more educated, and workers with more education tend to participate in the labor force at higher rates than do people with less education.

— Second, the racial and ethnic composition of the population is changing in ways that increase participation in the labor force. CBO expects Hispanics to make up an increasing share of the population, which would increase the overall labor force participation rate, and it expects non-Hispanic whites to make up a diminishing share, which would decrease the participation rate — resulting, on net, in an increase.

— Third, increasing longevity is expected to lead people to work longer.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/95745000-record-number-americans-not-participating-labor-force-boomers

The U.S. Labor Market: 2017 Review and Outlook

 by Jed Kolko

The US labor market forged ahead in 2017. Job growth was strong and steady after accounting for hurricanes and extreme weather. Unemployment kept falling and wage growth picked up a bit. Best of all—the labor market recovery reached many of the least well-off, including those who were hurt most in the recession.

Still, the good news hasn’t touched everyone. The biggest short-term challenge is not growth, but distribution—some sectors of the economy and a few regions of the country lagged. Furthermore, the welcome narrowing of some labor market gaps in 2017 might turn out to be temporary. The labor market also faces longer-term challenges from technological disruption and polarization. In short, behind the successes of 2017, we found plenty to watch, wonder and even worry about in the year ahead.

A look back at 2017: leaps and momentum, with room to grow

The labor market made impressive gains this past year. October 2017 was the 85th consecutive month of job growth. So far in 2017, monthly job growth has averaged 169,000—down modestly from previous years, but more than we’d expect after so many years of recovery and expansion. Job growth is also still far ahead of what’s needed to keep up with low working-age population growth.

The result is more people are working. Two key measures improved notably: The U-6 rate, a broad measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those involuntarily working part time, fell from 9.2% in December 2016 to 7.9% in October 2017. And, over the same period, the share of 25–54 year-olds at work rose to 78.8% from 78.2%. Not only are these measures improving, but they’re improving at the same rate or better than they were a year ago. Even after years of gains, the labor market recovery still has momentum.

What’s more, the labor market probably still has room to grow. Granted, the market looks very tight by some measures. The headline unemployment rate (U-3) is 4.1%, its lowest point since the end of 2000. There are nearly as many job openings as unemployed workers. Employers are laying off fewer workers today than in the early 2000s.

But other measures suggest there’s still slack. Several key measures of the labor market haven’t returned to their 2000 levels, including the broad U-6 unemployment rate, the share of people unemployed for more than six months, and the employment-to-population ratio among people of prime working age. These indicators stand in contrast to the measure that gets the most attention—the narrower headline unemployment rate, which doesn’t count people who are willing and able to work but aren’t looking. Thus, the headline rate probably overstates labor market tightness.

Wage trends also point to some remaining slack. Wage growth has averaged 2.6% year-over-year throughout 2017, similar to 2016 and ahead of the pace from 2010 to 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report.

Why haven’t wages risen even faster in 2017 as the unemployment rate has dropped? It’s partly a measurement issue. The measure of wage growth in the jobs report probably understates 2017 wage gains. The BLS releases an alternative measure of wages and benefits that accounts for changes in the job mix—and that indicator has accelerated in 2017. Furthermore, this alternative measure has historically tracked the employment-to-population ratio among prime-age workers closely. Today, this measure of wage growth is what we’d expect for the improving, but not gangbusters, prime-age employment-to-population ratio.

Thus, the headline unemployment rate probably overstates labor market tightness, while wage growth in the jobs report probably understates 2017 wage gains. That means, first, there may be more room for employment to expand. And, second, wage growth is neither quite as slow nor as puzzling as it initially appears.

Even better news: labor market gaps narrowed in 2017

By themselves, solid job expansion, falling unemployment and strengthening wage growth would be reason enough to cheer 2017. But there’s more—the greatest gains have gone to the people who needed them most. The least well-off and those hurt most by the recession typically saw larger employment and wage increases than others. Thus, labor market inequalities narrowed in 2017.

Let’s look first at industries. Over the past year, employment increased most in middle-wage industries, such as couriers and messengers, non-store retailers and homebuilding contractors. Middle-wage industries fared worst during the recession, losing more jobs than both higher- and lower-wage industries. Their newfound strength is a welcome rebound.

Strikingly, after losing jobs in 2016, manufacturing grew 1.3% in the past year, nearly the same pace as employment overall. In addition, wages rose most in lower-wage industries, as they have for several years. Wages in lower-wage industries were up 3.6% in September 2017 year-over-year versus 2.6% in middle-wage and 2.5% in higher-wage industries.

These trends translate to better conditions for people with fewer advantages in the labor market—including those with less education. Whatever the measure—unemployment, earnings or risk from automation—people with more education typically fare better in the labor market. But, over the past year, people with a high school degree or less have notched the biggest employment gains, whether measured by the unemployment rate or the employment-to-population ratio. This group has also had proportionally bigger wage gains than people with a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

Inevitably though, not every corner of the labor market is thriving. Job growth has been slower in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South and West. In fact, ten of the 103 largest metros lost jobs in the past year, including several in the Great Lakes region.

We find laggards not only by geography, but also by sector. Three sectors lost jobs in the past year. Employment in the information sector was dragged down by losses in motion pictures, broadcast outlets and telecoms. The retail sector overall lost jobs, particularly brick-and-mortar stores that directly face online competitors. At the same time, non-store retailers and related industries like couriers and warehouses gained.

The places and industries left behind are not our only labor market concerns. We’ve also got our eye on several big questions for next year.

What to watch, wonder and worry about in 2018

Let’s start with the too-much-of-a-good-thing worry. If the labor market tightens further—or if, as some argue, the market is already so tight that it has little room to grow—what challenges will we contend with? That leads to our first big question:

ONE: How will employers respond to a tightening labor market? Falling unemployment and rising wages for people with less education are drawing in job seekers and raising their expectations. On the Indeed site, searches for full-time work have increased, but not for part-time work. But good news for workers brings challenges for employers. Companies may have to raise wages, relax hiring requirements or invest more in on-the-job training, and they might struggle to fill part-time jobs. Tellingly, more job-seekers are searching using terms like “no background check” and “felony-friendly” jobs. And employers looking for technical workers might also face the additional challenge of future restrictions on immigration to the US and the rising interest of US tech workers in Canadian jobs.

Then there are longer-term concerns. We have big questions about why people remain out of work, whether labor market polarization will increase again and how people whose jobs disappear will manage.

TWO: Will fewer workers be sidelined by illness and disability? The share of prime-age adults who aren’t working because of illness or disability has risen from 2% in 1970 to over 5% today, and the percentages are much higher for adults with a high school degree or less. This long-term trend has worsened with the opioid crisis. Some in this category may never work again. But there is a glimmer of good news: Illness and disability is keeping fewer people out of work today than in 2015. The tightening labor market—especially for less-educated adults—may be lifting wages enough to lure some of these adults back to work.

THREE: Will labor market gaps start widening again? The narrowing of employment and wage gaps in 2017 might not last. Although middle-wage jobs grew fastest in the past year, polarization of the labor force could return. The latest BLS projections point to faster job growth in high-wage and low-wage jobs, with slower growth of middle-wage jobs and for people with a high school degree or less.

Plus, geographic gaps are likely to worsen. Job growth today is faster in larger metros than in smaller metros or rural areas. Future job growth will probably continue to lag in rural areas, where slower-growing occupations are concentrated. In contrast, the fastest-growing occupations are clustered in places like the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Washington DC, and other expensive coastal markets. In particular, higher-paying, cutting-edge tech jobs increasingly are concentrated in top tech hubs.

FOUR: How will workers manage painful disruptions? Hard as it may be to believe, there is less disruption and churn in the labor market today than in the early 2000s and much less than in the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, economists worry that there’s too little job-switching, business turnover and mobility, not too much. Still, for people whose jobs are being disrupted by automation or globalization, the pain is real. And it’s not just factory workers and farmers. Most of the jobs in shrinking occupations are now in service positions like secretaries and data-entry work. People in threatened occupations are looking at opportunities in new fields. On Indeed’s site, we see truckers checking out mining and heavy-equipment-operation jobs, while retail workers are clicking on customer service and sales-rep roles.

Those are some of the questions we’ll be looking at next year. Both the best news from 2017 and some of our top concerns for 2018 are about the distribution of labor market gains, not the overall growth rate. The labor market is entering 2018 with strength and momentum, and these longer-term challenges are moving—as they should be—into the foreground.

https://www.hiringlab.org/2017/12/05/2017-us-labor-market-outlook/

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until           USDL-18-0683
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, May 4, 2018.

Technical information:
 Household data:     (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data: (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:      (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- APRIL 2018


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, and the unemployment
rate edged down to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care,
and mining.

Household Survey Data

In April, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, following 6 months at 4.1
percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 6.3 million, also edged down over the
month. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women decreased to
3.5 percent in April. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), teenagers
(12.9 percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (2.8 percent),
and Hispanics (4.8 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See
tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs declined by 188,000 in April to 3.0 million. (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 1.3 million in April and accounted for 20.0 percent of the unemployed.
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 340,000. (See
table A-12.)

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-
population ratio, at 60.3 percent, changed little in April. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 5.0 million in
April. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were
working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were unable
to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In April, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
by 172,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and
had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 408,000 discouraged workers in April,
little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they
believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.0 million persons 
marginally attached to the labor force in April had not searched for work for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 164,000 in April, compared with an
average monthly gain of 191,000 over the prior 12 months. In April, job gains
occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, and
mining. (See table B-1.)

In April, employment in professional and business services increased by 54,000. Over
the past 12 months, the industry has added 518,000 jobs.

Employment in manufacturing increased by 24,000 in April. Most of the gain was in
the durable goods component, with machinery adding 8,000 jobs and employment in
fabricated metal products continuing to trend up (+4,000). Manufacturing employment
has risen by 245,000 over the year, with about three-fourths of the growth in durable
goods industries.

Health care added 24,000 jobs in April and 305,000 jobs over the year. In April,
employment rose in ambulatory health care services (+17,000) and hospitals (+8,000).

In April, employment in mining increased by 8,000, with most of the gain occurring
in support activities for mining (+7,000). Since a recent low in October 2016,
employment in mining has risen by 86,000.

Employment changed little over the month in other major industries, including
construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing,
information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at
34.5 hours in April. In manufacturing, the workweek increased by 0.2 hour to 41.1
hours, while overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.7 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by
0.1 hour to 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 4 cents to $26.84. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by
67 cents, or 2.6 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $22.51 in April. (See tables B-3
and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised down from
+326,000 to +324,000, and the change for March was revised up from +103,000 to
+135,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were
30,000 more than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional
reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published
estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job
gains have averaged 208,000 over the last 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for May is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 1, 2018,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).


The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018
Apr.
2018
Change from:
Mar.
2018-
Apr.
2018

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,588 256,934 257,097 257,272 175

Civilian labor force

160,181 161,921 161,763 161,527 -236

Participation rate

62.9 63.0 62.9 62.8 -0.1

Employed

153,161 155,215 155,178 155,181 3

Employment-population ratio

60.2 60.4 60.4 60.3 -0.1

Unemployed

7,021 6,706 6,585 6,346 -239

Unemployment rate

4.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Not in labor force

94,407 95,012 95,335 95,745 410

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.4 4.1 4.1 3.9 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.9 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.0

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.1 3.8 3.7 3.5 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

14.7 14.4 13.5 12.9 -0.6

White

3.9 3.7 3.6 3.6 0.0

Black or African American

7.9 6.9 6.9 6.6 -0.3

Asian

3.2 2.9 3.1 2.8 -0.3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.2 4.9 5.1 4.8 -0.3

Total, 25 years and over

3.6 3.4 3.4 3.3 -0.1

Less than a high school diploma

6.5 5.7 5.5 5.9 0.4

High school graduates, no college

4.6 4.4 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.7 3.5 3.6 3.5 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.4 2.3 2.2 2.1 -0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,538 3,279 3,146 2,958 -188

Job leavers

785 780 864 815 -49

Reentrants

2,044 1,948 1,967 2,009 42

New entrants

707 704 625 623 -2

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,300 2,508 2,287 2,115 -172

5 to 14 weeks

2,140 1,906 2,009 2,017 8

15 to 26 weeks

1,087 934 880 1,036 156

27 weeks and over

1,633 1,397 1,322 1,293 -29

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,309 5,160 5,019 4,985 -34

Slack work or business conditions

3,183 3,302 3,005 2,994 -11

Could only find part-time work

1,787 1,541 1,625 1,586 -39

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,406 21,061 21,399 21,258 -141

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,534 1,602 1,454 1,362

Discouraged workers

455 373 450 408

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Apr.
2017
Feb.
2018
Mar.
2018(P)
Apr.
2018(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

175 324 135 164

Total private

174 321 135 168

Goods-producing

16 107 20 49

Mining and logging

11 9 8 8

Construction

-5 67 -10 17

Manufacturing

10 31 22 24

Durable goods(1)

4 26 21 18

Motor vehicles and parts

-0.2 4.4 0.5 -0.9

Nondurable goods

6 5 1 6

Private service-providing

158 214 115 119

Wholesale trade

5.6 3.4 10.3 -9.8

Retail trade

-4.2 46.0 6.2 1.8

Transportation and warehousing

3.0 17.8 15.7 0.4

Utilities

-0.6 1.4 -0.3 1.0

Information

-11 -1 6 7

Financial activities

13 29 4 2

Professional and business services(1)

50 61 39 54

Temporary help services

5.5 22.2 -2.1 10.3

Education and health services(1)

46 32 24 31

Health care and social assistance

44.0 43.8 32.0 29.3

Leisure and hospitality

49 18 8 18

Other services

7 7 2 14

Government

1 3 0 -4

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

149 225 212 208

Total private

149 228 215 208

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.5 49.6 49.6 49.6

Total private women employees

48.1 48.2 48.2 48.2

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.5 34.5 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$26.17 $26.74 $26.80 $26.84

Average weekly earnings

$900.25 $922.53 $924.60 $925.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

106.9 108.9 109.1 109.2

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.6 0.2 0.1

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

133.8 139.3 139.7 140.1

Over-the-month percent change

0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (258 industries)

60.5 70.2 64.1 57.6

Manufacturing (76 industries)

54.6 72.4 64.5 53.9

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2017 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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Story 1: Home Depot Shooting of Two Police Officers and Employee — Killer Captured But Dallas Police Officer Died and One Still in Critical Condition This Morning — Videos —

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Dallas police officer Rogelio Santander dies from injuries

Dallas Police Host Vigil To Honor Memory Of Officer Santander

Procession for Dallas Police Officer Rogelio Santander

Who is Rogelio Santander? Police officer killed in shooting at Dallas, Texas, Home Depot

Man accused of shooting Dallas police officers is brought into Dallas County Jail

One Officer Dead After Dallas Home Depot Shooting | NBC Nightly News

Grieving Dallas police joined by community to mourn officer fatally shot at Home Depot

2 police officers, employee shot at Home Depot

Dallas police officer, 27, dies a day after Home Depot shooting that also wounded his female partner and a civilian store employee

  • Dallas police officer Rogelio Santander, 27, succumbed to gunshot wounds shortly after 8am Wednesday 
  • Officer Crystal Almeida, 26, and Home Depot loss prevention officer Scott Painter, 26, are both in critical condition but improving 
  • Painter’s uncle said Scott, who’s a newlywed, was shot four times
  • Shooting at the Dallas store happened at around 4.30pm Tuesday
  • Loss prevention officer had called police for help when a gunman opened fire  
  • Cops arrested Armando Juarez, 29, following chase and have him in custody on counts of capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant 

The mayor of Dallas announced on Wednesday the passing of a police officer who was wounded in a shooting at a Home Depot on Tuesday, which also injured another officer and a store employee.

According to Mayor Mike Rawlings, officer Rogelio Santander, 27, succumbed to his wounds at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital shortly after 8am. Santander had been with the police force for three years and is the first Dallas officer to die in the line of duty since 2016.

Another officer, Crystal Almeida, 26, remains in critical condition, as is Scott Painter, 26, a loss-prevention officer for Home Depot who also was shot Tuesday. Both are said to be improving.

Officer Rogelio Santander, 27

Fatality: Dallas officer Rogelio Santander (left), 27, passed away from injuries sustained when police say Armando Juarez (right) opened fired inside a Home Depot store Tuesday

Clinging to life: Officer Crystal Almeida, 26 (pictured) remains in critical condition after the shooting but is said to be improving 

Home Depot loss prevention officer Scott Painter (pictured) is in critical condition in the hospital after being shot four times 

Authorities were able to apprehend the suspected gunman, 29-year-old Armando Juarez, just hours after the shooting following a high-speed chase.

Juarez is being held at the Dallas County jail on $1.1million bond. The charges against him now include capital murder, aggravated assault on a public servant, aggravated assault in retaliation and theft of property up to $32,000.

A police spokesman previously said said officers Santander and Almeida were called to the Home Depot by the loss prevention officer reporting a possible shoplifter at around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

According to an employee, Mercedes Espinosa, the cops tried to arrest the man before ‘around seven shots’ rang out.

Espinosa then saw the police officers in a ‘pool of blood’, he told CBS News.

Armando Juarez in a mug shot released before his arrest on Tuesday

 Juarez, 29, is accused of shooting the cops and a loss prevention officer at around 4.30pm on Tuesday in the Home Depot in Dallas, Texas, before fleeing in a white Ford truck. He is seen in a police mug shot released before his arrest, and in store surveillance camera video

The white Ford truck cops say Juarez used to drive away from the Home Depot in Dallas following the incident. It is seen here in surveillance camera footage released by Dallas PD

Home Depot employees comfort one another outside the store in Dallas following the shooting on Tuesday

Home Depot employees comfort one another outside the store in Dallas following the shooting on Tuesday

Scott Painter’s uncle, Jon Painter, told the Dallas Morning News his nephew was shot four times. He and wife Scarlett got married in late October.

Police quickly named Armando Juarez as a ‘person of interest’ and dispatched a helicopter and sniffer dogs to look for him.

Heavily armed officers wearing masks were also seen searching a creek bed behind the store.

At around 9.30pm Juarez was brought into custody following a high-speed case that ended at the intersection of Lemmon Avenue and Versailles Avenue, just 10 miles away from the scene of the shooting.

The suspect pleaded guilty of stealing a car last November and was still wanted by police on Tuesday for skipping a sentencing hearing in February, according to court records seen by WFAA.com.

His grandmother, Janie Longoria, told NBC 5 she ‘backed the blue’ before adding, ‘I couldn’t believe that one of my family could have done that’.

Longoria added that Armando is a ‘sweet, lovable person,’ but that his friends are a bad influence.

Officers comfort each other outside the emergency room at Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday where their coworkers are being treated

A Dallas Police officer walks towards Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday where the three victims are being treated

A Dallas Police officer walks towards Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday where the three victims are being treated

Officers print from the Presbyterian Hospital to their cars on Tuesday evening after receiving an emergency call

Dallas cops are using a helicopter to search for the shooting suspect, who has now been taken into custody

Ruben Juarez, the suspected cop killer’s father, told The Dallas Morning News, ‘there’s no way … [he] could’ve done this,’ and that he doesn’t think his son even owns a gun.

Governor Gregg Abbot tweeted shortly after the shootings: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with @DallasPD and the two officers shot and critically wounded.

‘Texas honors all the men and women who protect and serve our communities, and justice will be served.’

The Home Depot is off the 11600 block of Forest Central Drive in Dallas’ northern suburbs.

The Assist the Officer Foundation has opened a fund to help Dallas police officers.

People watch as the Texas Department of Public Safety rolls in heavy duty vehicles to the Home Depot parking lot on Tuesday

Governor Gregg Abbot tweeted: 'Our thoughts and prayers are with @DallasPD and the two officers shot and critically wounded'

Governor Gregg Abbot tweeted: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with @DallasPD and the two officers shot and critically wounded’

Dallas Police Department tweeted to confirm two officers and a civilian were injured. NBC DFW later quoted 'multiple sources' saying one of the officers had died

Dallas Police Department tweeted to confirm two officers and a civilian were injured. NBC DFW later quoted ‘multiple sources’ saying one of the officers had died

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5657069/Dallas-police-officer-29-dies-day-Home-Depot-shooting.html#ixzz5DvUvE5iN

 

2 Dallas officers, civilian injured in shooting at a Home Depot

  • Police look for a suspect in the shooting of two police officers in Dallas on Tuesday. Dallas Morning News PHOTO


The Dallas Morning News

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DALLAS — Two officers and a Home Depot loss prevention officer were shot Tuesday afternoon at one of the stores in Dallas, police said.

The officers were critically wounded in the shooting at the store in the Lake Highlands neighborhood, near U.S. Highway 75 and Forest Lane, police said. The loss prevention officer’s condition was not available.

Police responded to the Home Depot about 4:15 p.m. when an off-duty Dallas police officer working there detained a suspect and called for assistance for the arrest, Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said.

When the other officers arrived, the suspect “produced a handgun” and shot the two responding officers and the Home Depot loss prevention officer, police said.

The three victims were transported by Dallas Fire-Rescue to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, “where we believe they’re getting the best possible care,” Hall said.

Multiple news outlets reported that at least one of the officers was shot in the head. Officials did not provide details about their conditions or injuries at a news conference Tuesday night, but said all three were in surgery.

The suspect, who is thought to be armed, remained at large Tuesday night after a manhunt that began near the wooded area and the creek behind the store.

Armando Luis Juarez, 29, was named a person of interest in the shooting. He left the Home Depot in a white pickup, Hall said.

“If you see anything, if you know anything, please contact the Dallas Police Department,” Hall said.

At the Forest Lane Station, Dallas Area Rapid Transit passengers were temporarily not allowed to get off or on the trains in an attempt to prevent the suspect from leaving the area, DART spokesman Mark Ball said. Service resumed shortly before 7 p.m. as the searched moved elsewhere.

A baseball game being held across the creek at Lutheran High School was placed on lockdown while police searched for the shooter, KXAS-TV.

“Once again Dallas is at the precipice, looking into the hell of heartbreak as our Police Department was attacked this afternoon,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said at the news conference.

Council member Adam McGough, who represents the area, said he is praying for the officers and their families.

“It’s just more reminder of what a dangerous job they have,” he said.

Casey Phelps of Garland was on her way to pick up a friend from work when she saw flashing police lights behind her on Forest Lane.

“I thought, what did I do?” she said, until she realized they weren’t after her.

She pulled over and got out to see who the officers were chasing and saw a man in a white shirt and shorts emerge from behind a small market nearby.

Seeing the officers, some with guns drawn, he immediately fled back in the other direction, she said.

Aerial footage from the scene showed a man being loaded into an ambulance. At least one person was taken to Texas Health Presbyterian of Dallas.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also responding to the scene.

Less than an hour before the shooting, police officials were at the Fair Park complex to promote more than a dozen officers to new ranks.

“Grant us success in every good endeavor as we serve our community and our nation and our world. Be with us this hour, each and every day,” a sergeant said during the prayer, as the newly promoted officers, their families and their colleagues bowed their heads. “May the Lord keep you and bless you as you go your merry way, amen.”

In February, a Richardson police officer was shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call. Officer David Sherrard was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the department’s history, and the first on-duty officer to be killed in Texas this year.

Last year, a barricaded gunman in Little Elm unleashed a “hail of gunfire” on Detective Jerry Walker and fellow SWAT officers. Walker was the first Little Elm officer to die in the line of duty.

In spring 2016, Euless Officer David Hofer was fatally ambushed while responding to a report of a gunman at a park.

That same month, Fort Worth Officer Matt Pearce was shot seven times while pursuing two robbery suspects. He survived his injuries and eventually returned to duty.

In July 2016, a gunman opened fire on officers protecting protesters in downtown Dallas. Four Dallas officers and a DART officer were killed, and nine others were injured.

Dallas Officer Josh Burns was shot in 2014 while he and a partner were responding to a domestic disturbance in far northeast Dallas.

Before the ambush, the last Dallas officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty was Norm Smith in 2009.

http://www.recorder.com/Manhunt-underway-after-2-Dallas-officers-civilian-injured-in-shooting-at-a-Home-Depot-17088381

 

Before Home Depot shooting, Dallas officers shared ‘car full of laughs’ as partners, best friends

 

Dallas police Officers Rogelio Santander and Crystal Almeida were just rookies, but even veteran cops were envious of their chemistry.

He was the one who cracked the jokes. She was the shy one.

The best friends were inseparable as they patrolled the streets of northeast Dallas in one squad car. Santander did most of the driving. Almeida took the lead on writing reports.

Officers Crystal Almeida and Rogelio Santander
Officers Crystal Almeida and Rogelio Santander

“It was a car full of laughs every day,” said Senior Cpl. John Arnold, their class adviser and fellow northeast patrol division officer.

The partnership ended Tuesday afternoon, when police say a shoplifting suspect with no history of violence shot them and a Home Depot loss-prevention officer as they tried to arrest him.

Officer Rogelio Santander was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon while making an arrest at a Home Depot in Dallas.
Officer Rogelio Santander was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon while making an arrest at a Home Depot in Dallas.

Santander, 27, died Wednesday. Almeida and Scott Painter, both 26, remained in critical condition but were improving and surprising doctors with their recovery.

Devastated by the shooting, Santander’s and Almeida’s supervisors were even more saddened by the fact that it tore apart one of the tightest pairs in the northeast division.

“Those two were like this,” northeast patrol Sgt. Tim Lewis said, crossing his fingers.

Academy classmates usually go their own way after graduation, sorted into different patrol divisions and paired up with unfamiliar officers.

Not so with Almeida and Santander.

“You would be lucky, lucky if you can make it through a career with one good partner,” said Lewis, who’s been in the department longer than a decade. “The relationship that they had, you would be lucky.”

Santander was raised in Dallas. He made up his mind about becoming a cop after hearing a Dallas police officer talk about dangerous drugs at his elementary school.

He went on to attend Skyline High School and Texas A&M University-Commerce before returning to Dallas to join the Police Department. He wanted to become a community police officer for the area where he grew up, Arnold said.

Almeida was raised in El Paso. She played basketball in high school and was well-liked by her teammates, her coach told the El Paso Times.

Crystal Almeida was badly wounded in Tuesday's shooting but is recovering.(Facebook)
Crystal Almeida was badly wounded in Tuesday’s shooting but is recovering.
(Facebook)

“She was always at practice and very dedicated,” Paul Baca told the Times. “No matter what, you can always count on Crystal.”

She’d apply that same dedication to law enforcement.

Almeida worked at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility in Fort Stockton for two years before applying to the Dallas Police Department, where a few of her relatives were officers.

Santander and Almeida joined the department on the same day: Dec. 3, 2014.

Almeida was the quiet one in their academy class, but she wasn’t as shy when it came to training. She enjoyed Tasing a trainer wrapped in a red protective suit and practicing to use a baton, Arnold said.

Santander was patient, and his trainers said he always wore a grin. He even smiled during the dreaded academy tradition of getting sprayed in the face with Mace.

Three summers ago, the classmates-turned-brother-and-sister stood side by side as they recited the oath that officially made them Dallas police officers.

They were eventually assigned to the northeast division, which tends to be one of the busiest patrol areas in the city, after a bid process that takes officers’ work preferences and the department’s needs into account.

“They were as humble as humble pie,” Lewis said.

He often teased Sgt. Shannon Smith, who supervised the pair, that he would someday poach Santander and Almeida to work for him because of how productive they were on the streets.

Officers Crystal Almeida and Rogelio Santander (both at right) were police academy classmates and best friends who happened to be assigned as partners in the northeast patrol division. (Senior Cpl. John Arnold)
Officers Crystal Almeida and Rogelio Santander (both at right) were police academy classmates and best friends who happened to be assigned as partners in the northeast patrol division.
(Senior Cpl. John Arnold)

But they also took time to appreciate the people they worked with. They’d drive downtown to visit their dispatcher and bring her coffee.

Smith shared a moment with them the weekend before they were shot. Over the radio, he asked for someone to bring him a kit to test possible drugs.

“And who shows up?” the sergeant said. “Almeida and Santander.”

The two got to work as soon as they arrived. Santander walked over to the officer who was already there for a rundown of the call as Almeida walked over with the test kit.

“I’ve got some damn good officers,” he told them. “You guys are squared away.”

That was the last time he saw Santander.

Santander and Almeida were shot Tuesday afternoon as they tried to arrest 29-year-old Armando Luis Juarez at a Lake Highlands Home Depot on an outstanding warrant.

Officers arrested Juarez after a five-hour manhunt that ended in a high-speed car chase through the city. He remains in the Dallas County Jail, facing multiple charges that include capital murder, with bail set at just over $4 million.

When Almeida regained consciousness after surgery, the first question she asked was about her partner: How was Rogelio doing?

They had to tell her he didn’t survive.

A private Mass for Santander will be Monday morning at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas. A public visitation is planned from 6 to 9 p.m. at the cathedral, 2215 Ross. Ave.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Lake Pointe Church, 701 E. Interstate 30 in Rockwall, followed by burial at Restland Cemetery, 13005 Greenville Ave. in Dallas.

Smith said he got a chance Thursday to sit by Almeida’s bedside and comfort her, but she ended up comforting him.

She waved as soon as her sergeant walked into her hospital room and told him, “I love you, Sarge” as he held her hand. The 47-year-old man burst into tears.

She pulled him in for a hug and told him she loved him repeatedly.

“I finally had to pull myself together and tell her, ‘Hey, I’m here for you!'” Smith said. “It made my day, my week, my year.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-police/2018/04/28/before-home-depot-shooting-dallas-officers-sharedcar-full-laughsas-partners-best-friends

Story 2: Van Driver Alek Minassian Mows Down and Kills 10 and Injures 14 Pedestrians in Toronto, Canada Monday — Deliberate Terrorist Attack? — Police Officer Hero Who Did Not Shoot Killer — Killer Was Woman Hating Incel or Involuntary Celibate — Mentally Disturbed Mass Killer Motivated By Fear of Rejection By Women — Get Over Your Fear of Rejection — Videos —

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‘I’m sorry’: Toronto van driver’s father apologizes for his ‘women-hating’ son’s rampage that left 10 dead and 15 injured

  • Alek Minassian, 25, is charged with ten counts of first degree murder and 13 of attempted murder for Toronto van attack
  • He made his first court appearance Tuesday, dressed in a white jumpsuit and cuffed behind his back
  • Sitting in the front row was his father Vahe Minassian who sobbed through the brief hearing
  • Vahe told reporters outside court he hadn’t spoken to his son since his arrest
  • When asked if he had any message to send to Toronto, he replied: ‘Sorry’
  • The first of his ten victims has been named as Anne Marie D’Amico 
  • Minassian’s online posts reveal a fixation with Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Roger
  • He also referred to the rebellion of ‘incels’ – a term used to refer to men who have been made ‘involuntarily celibate’ because women will not have sex with them 
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there is ‘no national security’ threat

The tearful father of the Toronto van driver who left ten dead and 15 injured when he drove at a crowd of pedestrians apologized for his son as he left court.

Alek Minassian, 25, made his first court appearance today, wearing a white jumpsuit with his hands cuffed behind him, where was charged with ten counts of first degree murder and 13 of attempted murder.

Sitting in the front row, as the charges were read out against his son, was Vahe Minassian.

Vahe Minassian, father of Alek Minassian, is surrounded by members of the media as he leaves court with a police escort in Toronto on Tuesday 

Vahe Minassian, father of Alek Minassian, is surrounded by members of the media as he leaves court with a police escort in Toronto on Tuesday

Alek Minassian, 25, named by police as the Toronto attack suspect, was a socially awkward computer whiz, friends said

Meanwhile, the first of his ten victims has been named as Anne Marie D'Amico (pictured) an employee at Invesco investment management firm

Alek Minassian, 25, (left) named by police as the Toronto attack suspect, was a socially awkward computer whiz, friends said. Meanwhile, the first of his ten victims has been named as Anne Marie D’Amico (right) an employee at Invesco investment management firm

Vahe was seen quietly sobbing to himself during the brief hearing as the courts confirmed that his son was suspected of mass murder. He appears to be the only family member who came to court.

The suspect’s mother Sona Minassian did not appear to be in attendance.

After Alek Minassian was detained, and ordered to return to court on May 10, his father left the caught looking distraught. Mobbed by a large media pack, Vahe told reporters he hadn’t spoken to his son since his arrest.

And when asked if he had any message to send to Toronto, he replied: ‘Sorry’.

Vahe looked distraught as he left the court after his son's brief hearing on Saturday 

Vahe looked distraught as he left the court after his son’s brief hearing on Saturday

Vahe was seen quietly sobbing to himself during the brief hearing as the courts confirmed that his son was suspected of mass murder

Vic Minassian leaves court after his son Alek's court appearance in Toronto, Ontario

In this courtroom sketch, Alek Minassian (wearing a white jumpsuit, second from left) was in court where he was charged with ten counts of first degree murder and 13 of attempted murder. He is pictured next to Duty counsel Georgia Koulis, left, Justice of the Peace Stephen Waisberg (center), and Crown prosecutor Joe Callaghan (right)

In this courtroom sketch, Alek Minassian (wearing a white jumpsuit, second from left) was in court where he was charged with ten counts of first degree murder and 13 of attempted murder. He is pictured next to Duty counsel Georgia Koulis, left, Justice of the Peace Stephen Waisberg (center), and Crown prosecutor Joe Callaghan (right)

Sona Minassian had previously told a local paper in 2009 that her son had Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Social media posts by her son paint a picture of an angry young man, who was furious that women rejected his sexual advances.

Minassian, an Asperger’s sufferer who dropped out of army training after just 16 days, also spoke admiringly of Santa Barbara shooter and fellow women-hating social reject Elliot Rodger and has been described as a socially awkward tech expert.

In one post, he refers to the rebellion of ‘incels’ – a term used to refer to men who have been made ‘involuntarily celibate’ because women will not have sex with them.

He announced: ‘The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!’ 

Policeman captures ‘armed van driver’ who ploughed into pedestrians

A work crew in protective clothing cleans a sidewalk a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario

A work crew in protective clothing cleans a sidewalk a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario

The front end damage of the van that the driver used to hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday

The front end damage of the van that the driver used to hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday

People sign a memorial after a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk in Toronto, killing at least 10 people

People sign a memorial after a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk in Toronto, killing at least 10 people

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau downplayed the terrorism angle this morning, saying that authorities see no national security threat in the case.

He told a news conference that the incident ‘hasn’t changed the overall threat level in Canada,’ even though it occurred as Cabinet ministers from the G7 nations gathered in Toronto.

Trudeau says Canada will do whatever it can to keep its citizens safe, while staying true to its values.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, he said, ‘We cannot as Canadians choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business.’

‘The events that took place yesterday in Toronto were a senseless attack and horrific tragedy. On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of all those who were killed and we wish a full recovery to those injured and stand with the families and friends of the victims,’ he added, while speaking in front of the House of Commons Tuesday morning.

‘All Canadians stand united with Toronto today.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5652339/Toronto-van-drivers-father-apologizes-sons-rampage.html#ixzz5DvGS5oMd

 

Female finance worker, 20, is first to be identified among 10 who were killed in horrifying Toronto van attack

  • Anne Marie D’Amico, 20, worked as analyst for US-based investment management company Invesco
  • Two South Korean nationals and a Jordanian national are also among the dead  
  • Invesco Canada’s offices are located on Yonge Street, not far from where police say Alek Minassian used a rental van to plow into pedestrians 
  • Midday attack killed 10 people and injured 14 others; Minassian, 25, was captured alive a short time later    

 

One of the 10 people who were mowed down and killed by a van in Toronto on Monday has been identified as an investment analyst working for a US-based firm.

Anne Marie D’Amico, 20, was the first casualty of the van attack to be identified, after the notification of her next of kin.

D’Amico was employed by the American investment management company Invesco, which also has offices on Yonge Street in Toronto, not far from where police say Alek Minassian, 25, deliberately plowed into pedestrians with a white rental van, killing 10 and leaving 14 others injured.

A South Korean news agency reported Tuesday that two Korean nationals are among the dead, and three others are still unaccounted for.

The Yonhap News Agency is citing government officials as saying another Korean national was seriously injured in the incident.

Scroll down for video 

First victim: Anne Marie D'Amico (center) has been identified as one of the 10 people who were run over and killed by a van in Toronto on Monday 

Police say Alek Minassian, 25, used a rental van to plow into pedestrians on a busy Toronto street, killing 10 people and injuring 15 others

D'Amico was among the fatalities

Police say Alek Minassian, 25 (left), used a rental van to plow into pedestrians on a busy Toronto street, killing 10 people and injuring 14 others. D’Amico (right) was among the slain

Meanwhile, the Jordanian Embassy confirmed to CBC News that one of their citizens was among the fatalities.

Invesco Canada President Peter Intraligi confirmed D’Amico’s passing on Tuesday but declined to comment further out of the respect for her family.

D’Amico’s colleague Jon Tam told CBC she was warm and caring, was involved in volunteer work and enjoyed travel in her free time.

‘I’ll definitely be missing seeing that smile around the office,’ he said.

Toronto City Councilor Cesar Palacio said D’Amico was a friend of his daughter, and he remembers her as ‘a brilliant young girl’ who was very active and interested in improving society. He spoke with her parents on Tuesday.

According to a 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report issued by Invesco Canada, D’Amico’s title at the time was business performance management analyst.

The report indicated that she took part in a humanitarian project in the Dominican Republic, as part of which a group of Invesco workers helped build a new house for a local family.

D’Amico volunteered at a Canada-based international humanitarian charity called Live Different. Dave Hamilton, the charity’s manager of school partnerships, remembered her as ‘super-positive, always smiling, a funny person, always up for a challenge, and really wanted to help people out.’

The front end damage of the van that the driver used to hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday, killing 10

The front end damage of the van that the driver used to hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday, killing 10

Police officers stand by a covered body in Toronto after the deadly van attack Monday

Toronto police officer arrests suspect in van attack

‘What I didn’t expect was to have such a deep connection to the family and see first-hand how much this new home truly means to them,’ D’Amico was quoted as saying about her experience.

A white Ryder van was heading south on busy Yonge Street at around 1.30pm and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the vehicle jumped onto the sidewalk and proceeded to mow down pedestrians along a mile-long stretch, without making any effort to stop.

The driver, a resident of the Richmond Hill section of Toronto, was quickly captured in a tense but brief confrontation with officers.

‘The incident definitely looked deliberate,’ Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at a late-night news conference.

Minassian had not been known to police previously. An online social media profile described him as a college student.

Officials would not comment on a possible motive except to play down a possible connection to terrorism, but social media posts attributed to Minassian painted him as a sexually frustrated involuntarily celibate who admired Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger.

In one post, Minassian referred to the rebellion of ‘incels’ – a term used to refer to men who have been made ‘involuntarily celibate’ because women will not have sex with them.

In 2014, Rodger, who was also involuntarily celibate, gunned down six people at the University of California Santa Barbara before killing himself.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5651695/First-victim-deadly-Toronto-van-attack-killed-10-identified.html#ixzz5DvBxlMvp

 

When a Mass Murderer Has a Cult Following

By 

A

Unlike other mass murderers — Dylann RoofAnders Behring Breivik, or even the Unabomber — the suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed ten and wounded 15 others earlier this week didn’t leave behind a manifesto.

Instead, he dropped a brief status update on Facebook: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” To some observers, this must have seemed as cryptic as the Zodiac killer’s coded messages. But to those familiar with the misogynist “incel subculture” the message Alek Minassian was trying to send was crystal clear: his alleged act of terrorism was intended as a tribute of sorts to Elliot Rodger — mass murderer and patron saint of the internet’s “involuntary celibates.”

It’s been nearly four years since Rodger killed six (and then himself) in a rampage in Isla Vista, California — an act that he saw as an act of “retribution” against the women of the world, those “mean, cruel and heartless creatures” who had collectively rejected him, according to his lengthy manifesto, My Twisted World. But the cult of “Saint Elliot” — as his more fervent fans like to call him — is still going strong.

Elliot Rodgers, also known simply as ER by his admirers, has emerged as the patron saint of online misogynists. His likeness has inspired countless memes that straddle the line between lulzy irony and utter sincerity (one widely circulated picture depicts him as a literal saint, his face Photoshopped into a religious painting). ER’s admirers on 4chan and Reddit also celebrate “Saint Elliot Day” on May 23, the anniversary of his murder spree. Others write strange tribute songs to honor their murderous hero. There are Elliot Rodger T-shirts, and Elliot Rodger T-shirt unboxing videos.

The canonization of Elliot Rodger has a certain twisted logic to it. Misogynists, like conservatives more generally, are fans of hierarchy — and tend to believe that those at the top of the heap deserve to be there. This can easily lead to hero worship that strikes everyone else as vaguely absurd: the semi-ironic talk from men of the alt-right about “God Emperor” Trump, or Milo Yiannopoulos’s cringy habit of calling Trump “daddy.” And so it shouldn’t come as a shock that incels feel the same sort of reverence toward Rodger — a guy who went out and did what most incels only dream of doing.

Now, with less than a month to go before this year’s Saint Elliot Day, incels are embracing Minassian as the newest addition to the sainthood. On Tuesday, a commenter on Incels.me posted a picture of a makeshift shrine to the suspected terrorist, complete with a votive candle, hailing him as “our new saint.” “A warrior of incelibacy,” added another commenter, “peace be upon his soul.”

Elsewhere on Incels.me, Minassian’s newly minted fans hailed the newly minted saint for bringing so much media attention to their movement and thereby bringing their darkly misogynist “blackpill” truths to the masses. “Saint Alek’s bravery might have just woken up 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of incels,” one commenter happily proclaimed. “Welcome, men.”

But it’s hard to imagine this new saint taking over Saint Elliot’s top spot. At a time when so much of internet culture is drenched in multiple layers of irony, it’s surprising how dreadfully earnest and dedicated Rodger’s fanboys — and even a few fangirls — tend to be.

In a post from 4chan now circulating as a screenshot, one anonymous channer offered a surprisingly heartfelt tribute to “the Patron Saint of r9k,” a message board on 4chan popular with incels. “Rest in Peace Elliot Rodger,” it began. “Your Day of Retribution was more than a service to society; it was a gift to men like us men who, despite the supposed equality of America, were left to suffer as virgins. The only painful aspect of this otherwise joyous occasion is the knowledge that you’ll never know the extent of the psychological damage you caused. … maybe we can join each other in [the] afterlife and then we’ll have an eternity to spend together discussing the putrid nature of the sluts we so despise.”

The author ended with a poem:

If I should die, think only this of me

That there’s some obscure corner of the internet

That is forever dedicated to Elliot

Rodger’s fans show up in the strangest of places. In the Singles & Dating section of Yahoo! Answers, a young man identifying himself only as Topher wonders aloud if it is somehow wrong that he admires Rodger as much as he does.

“I’ll be 20 years old in November and ever since I was in 6th grade I’ve had trouble getting a girlfriend,” he writes. “It seems that around the time we all hit puberty girls have become picky with the type of guys they’ll go out with. I’m relatively attractive, I have a perfect facial structure with light brown hair that I style with expensive hair products. I have the newest iPhone, I have an Apple Watch, I have a BMW, I have nice clothes and a good amount of money to compliment a girls expensive tastes. Yet for some reason girls are always dating losers who are broke and treat them poorly. … I see happy couples at my college and I want to kill them. … I want to ruin their happiness and kill them all. I know how Elliot felt and I … admire him so much. Is this a bad thing?”

But the creepiest paeans to Rodger are found not on 4chan, not lurking in “some obscure corner of the internet” but rather hiding in plain sight on YouTube, where Elliot Rodger tribute videos have become almost a genre unto themselves. In one such video, Wiz Khalifa’s sentimental “See You Again” from the Furious 7 soundtrack plays over family photos of Rodger, clips from Rodger’s own videos — and surveillance footage of convenience-store customers fleeing in terror as Rodger shot up the store. A YouTuber calling himself Baby Elliot — and using a childhood photo of Rodger as his avatar — has put up no less than three lovingly crafted if decidedly amateur musical tributes to his hero.

In an even more unsettling tribute video, one young Christian explains how much he admires Rodger and understands the murderous impulses that led him to kill — though the video maker assures us that since he has found Christ he won’t himself “go around killing people for fun.”

There are an assortment of original tribute songs — some jokes, some utterly sincere, and still others that could well be either. In one, a man singing so softly he might as well be whispering performs a musical number called “My Twisted World: Official Elliot Rodger Song,” which seems to consist mostly of the phrase “my day of retribution” chanted over and over again. The video from 2015 had garnered 115 views and a single comment: “How stoned were you?”

Rodger is hardly the first murderer with a cult following. He’s not even the first misogynist killer to have been proclaimed a “saint” — that honor goes to “Saint” Marc Lépine, who murdered 14 women in cold blood at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989. But Lépine was never embraced as a “saint” by anyone other than a small handful of extremist Men’s Rights Activists looking to offend as many feminists as possible. Rodger’s fanbase, for better and for worse, is much broader and much less ideological; many of his admirers seem to identify with him much more fully.

This could be in part because he showed us so much of himself in his videos and in his manifesto. When I first saw his videos four years ago in the wake of his attack, he came across as a deeply troubled young man whose manner was a mixture of awkward and arrogant. Watching his videos again today, I can see glimpses of the strange charisma. His awkwardness, to his fans at least, comes across as an appealing sort of vulnerability; his sneering arrogance, no matter how contrived it often seems in these videos, comes across as confidence.

It’s hard to imagine Minassian developing a similarly devoted following. So far he seems a cipher. He left behind no videos that might humanize him to potential fans. His “manifesto” was a short, impersonal paragraph, little more than a mash-up of incel clichés.

Philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach famously argued that religion was in essence a projection of our hopes and desires: “what man wishes to be, he makes his God.” It seems clear that Elliot Rodger’s fans are guilty of a similar sort of projection: in many ways they want to be Elliot, so they have made him their “saint.”

 

Story 3: Mental Disturbed Shooter Travis Reinking Kills Four in Antioch Tennessee Waffle House — Hero Customer Disarms Shooter — Shots

“Hero” describes wrestling gun away from Waffle House shooter

Waffle House Hero Gets Standing Ovation From Tennessee Lawmakers

4 killed at Tennessee Waffle House as police search for seminude suspect

Manhunt for gunman who killed 4 people at a Tennessee restaurant

Waffle House shooting: FULL press conference with ‘hero’ who stopped gunman

Father Proud Of Son’s Heroic Action

I Saw the Light”- Todd Rundgren, Daryl Hall

 

‘He was going to have to work to kill me’: ‘Hero’ diner who saved multiple lives by tackling the Waffle House gunman who killed four wipes away a tear at press conference and shows off burn injuries he suffered by grabbing barrel of the suspect’s AR-15

  • Travis Reinking, 29, is now wanted for murder in the Sunday morning shooting
  • The vehicle the gunman arrived in to the restaurant is registered to Reinking 
  • James Shaw Jr, 29, wrestled the gun away from the shooter and he fled on foot
  • Police said the man was only wearing a green jacket at the time of the shooting 
  • Taurean Sanderlin, 29, Joe Perez, 20, Akilah Dasilva, 23, and Deebony Groves, 21, have all been identified as victims 
  • Reinking was arrested by the US Secret Service in July 2017 after being in a restricted area near the White House and his gun license was revoked 
  • Four of his weapons were seized but his father has admitted to returning them
  • Reinking also told cops that Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone 

The 29-year-old man who stopped a naked gunman after he opened fire at a Tennessee Waffle House on Sunday said he doesn’t feel like a hero.

James Shaw Jr has been identified as the man who wrestled with suspected gunman Travis Reinking.

Reinking, 29, killed four people and injured seven others in Antioch on Sunday morning before fleeing.

Authorities identified those killed in the shooting as 29-year-old restaurant worker Taurean C. Sanderlin of Goodlettsville, 20-year-old restaurant patron Joe R. Perez of Nashville, 23-year-old Akilah Dasilva of Nashville and Deebony Groves, a 21-year-old woman from Gallatin, Tennessee.

Sanderlin and Perez were killed outside the restaurant and Dasilva was critically wounded inside and later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Groves was shot dead inside the restaurant.

Travis Reinking, 29, shot dead four people and injured seven others at the Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday morning before shedding his jacket and fleeing 

Police said many more lives would have been lost if James Shaw Jr (pictured with his gunshot wound at the hospital after the shooting) had not fought Reinking

Shaw Jr, 29, is being hailed a hero after he wrestled the gunman and threw his assault rifle over the counter at Waffle House

Shots rang out at the restaurant (pictured after the shooting) in Antioch, near Nashville, around 3.25am on Sunday, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department

Shots rang out at the restaurant (pictured after the shooting) in Antioch, near Nashville, around 3.25am on Sunday, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department

Reinking was nearly naked, wearing only a green jacket and brandishing an assault-style rifle when he opened fire in the parking lot and then stormed the restaurant 

He was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted List and is described as 6ft 4in and 180 pounds. He is considered armed and dangerous.

He was last seen Sunday around a wooded area near an apartment complex where he lived. Authorities said Reinking could be armed and weren’t ruling out that he had left the area. He was believed to be wearing only pants and no shirt or shoes.

Shaw Jr said he was just trying to stay alive when he tackled the shooter and grabbed his assault rifle, throwing it over the counter.

‘I’m not a hero, I’m just a regular person,’ he said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon while tearing up.

‘I think anybody could have did what I did if they’re just pushed in that kind of cage. You have to either react or you’re going to fold and I chose to react because I didn’t see any other way of me living, and that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to live.’

Hero diner James Shaw Jr managed to grab the rifle and toss it over a counter after the gunman opened fire. Shaw shows off his injured hand after he grabbed the gun barrel

Shaw Jr was visibly emotional as he sat during a press conference for the shooting on Sunday

Distress: James Shaw Jr. breaks down in tears at a press conference in Nashville where he was thanked for his bravery 

Waffle House President and CEO, Walt Ehmer embraces patron James Shaw, Jr. at a press conference discussing the shooting

Shaw Jr was grazed by a bullet and treated for a minor gunshot wound on his elbow

He has since been released from the hospital

Shaw Jr was grazed by a bullet and treated for a minor gunshot wound on his elbow. He has since been released from the hospital

Reinking arrived at the Waffle House parking lot around 3.19am and sat in his pick-up truck for three to four minutes while staring at people inside the restaurant, according to Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron. 

Completely naked except for a green jacket, Reinking opened fire with an AR-15 at 3.25am. The green jacket was later found with two magazines containing AR-15 ammunition. 

‘He clearly came armed with a lot of firepower intending to devastate the south Nashville area,’ Aaron said.

Reinking first fatally shot two people standing outside the restaurant before he entered.

Shaw Jr, a Nashville native who works at AT&T and is a father to a four-year old girl, had been at a club when he and his best friend decided to get some food, he said.

They initially went to a different Waffle House but it was too packed, so they decided to another two miles away.

Shaw Jr said he saw Reinking sitting in truck as he headed into the restaurant.

When the shots first rang out, Shaw Jr thought a stack of plates had fallen to the ground.

Taurean C. Sanderlin
Joe R. Perez
 Restaurant worker Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, and 20-year-old customer Joe R. Perez were among the four shot dead by a gunman at a Nashville Waffle House on Sunday
Deebony Groves
Akilah Dasilva

Deebony Groves, 21, and Akilah Dasilva, 23, were also killed when the gunman stormed in and opened fire with an assault rifle

‘Then the second one happened, then the third one happened, and I saw the Waffle House employees scatter and I saw a person lying on the ground at the entrance of the door,’ he said.

When the gunman entered the restaurant Shaw Jr tried to hide behind a swivel door.

‘He shot through that door and it grazed my arm. That’s when I made up my mind – if it was going to come down to it, he was going to have to work to kill me,’ he said.

Shaw Jr then saw a window of opportunity when the gunman was ‘trying to reload’.

‘I ran through the swivel door, hit him with the swivel door, and the gun was kind of jammed up and pushed down so we were scuffling,’ he said.

‘I managed to get him with one hand on the gun and I grabbed it from him and threw it over the counter.’

Shaw Jr said he didn’t even feel the heat of the barrel when he grabbed the gun. After he got rid of the weapon, he pushed the gunman out of the restaurant.

The gunman fled and Shaw Jr said he didn’t follow because he was scared he might have another gun. Soon after, he flagged down passing drivers to call 911.

Police have since shared a photo of the assault rife that was used in the shooting on Sunday

Police said he arrived at the Waffle House before dawn on Sunday and waited in the parking lot for four minutes before opening fire

Metro Nashville Police Department said Reinking is now wanted for murder and warrants have been prepared

 Shaw Jr said he was sorry he couldn’t save more lives.

‘It wasn’t really a process of thinking, it was more so a now, you have to do this now or it’s not…if I let him load that weapon there wasn’t going to be another window,’ he told News Channel 5.

‘There wasn’t going to be another chance. It was pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel, there was a brick wall behind us and nowhere to go.’

Shaw Jr was grazed by a bullet and treated for a minor gunshot wound on his elbow. His hands were also severely burned from grabbing the assault rifle.

After he was released from the hospital, Shaw Jr changed clothes and attended church with his family. He was joined by Nashville Mayor David Briley.

Shaw Jr said that although he is not very religious, he went to church because he felt there was ‘some divine entity’ looking over him during the shooting.

‘In a tenth of a second something was with me to run through that door and get the gun from him,’ he said during the press conference.

‘You could probably do that 10 times and only come out one time with the outcome I came out with. Something, some divine entity, was looking over me.’

Shaw Jr was also adamant in his belief that he was not a hero, despite being lauded by the police, FBI, and Waffle House executives.

‘I just wanted to persevere,’ he said. ‘I don’t want people to think I’m the Terminator or Superman.’

‘I just figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it. I rushed him and it worked out in my favor.’

‘I don’t want this to be the focal point of my life. I don’t want this to be a major moment in my life, even though I know it’s going to be.’

Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer thanked Shaw Jr and said: ‘You don’t get to meet too many heroes in life but you are my hero’.

Coroners carry out a body from the Waffle House where four died in the early hours of Sunday

Three of the victims died at the scene and a fourth died at the hospital. Coroners could be seen removing bodies from the restaurant on Sunday afternoon 

Three of the victims died at the scene and a fourth died at the hospital. Coroners could be seen removing bodies from the restaurant on Sunday afternoon

More than 80 Nashville police officers continued to search for Reinking early Monday as disturbing reports about the wanted man’s past behavior came to light.

Reinking, who is from Morton, Illinois, was on the radar of both the FBI and Illinois law enforcement.

He was arrested by the US Secret Service for crossing an exterior security barrier near the White House complex in July 2017 and charged with unlawful entry.

Reinking told Secret Service officials he was trying to set up a meeting with President Donald Trump.

After Reinking was interviewed by the FBI and Tazewell Sheriff’s Department, his Illinois gun license was revoked at the request of the FBI.

Four of his weapons were seized by Tazewell authorities, including the AR-15 used in the Waffle House shooting, and the investigation was closed in October 2017.

The guns, however, were eventually returned to Reinking’s father who has since admitted to giving them back to his son. The AR-15 used in the Waffle House shooting was among the four weapons.

Police recovered three of the four guns that were originally taken from Reinking, but believe he is armed with at least one handgun.

Prior to the White House incident, police reports have previously described Reinking as ‘delusional’ and talked about his ‘mental health issues’.

His parents called 911 in 2016 because their son was convinced Taylor Swift was stalking him and he had spoken of killing himself.

‘Travis is hostile toward police and does not recognize police authority. Travis also possesses several firearms,’ a police report said.

Police said arrest warrants charging Reinking with murder have been issued as authorities continue to search for the gunman following the Waffle House shooting

Authorities said a total of eight people were taken to the hospital with injuries, including six who had gunshot wounds

Police said the suspect shot out the front window of the restaurant, leaving many people inside with visible cuts on their faces from glass

Police said the suspect shot out the front window of the restaurant, leaving many people inside with visible cuts on their faces from glass

Police said the suspect shot out the front window of the restaurant, leaving many people inside with visible cuts on their faces from glass.

Witnesses said he ran to a nearby apartment complex, where he is a resident, and put on black pants before entering the woods barefoot.

A SWAT team swarmed his apartment in the morning with their guns drawn and screamed at nearby residents to ‘get back’.

It was declared cleared at 3pm, with no sight of Reinking.

Reinking had moved into an apartment complex near the Waffle House just two months ago, his neighbor Brianna Bolen told the Tennessean.

Authorities also used helicopters and dogs to search a wooded area near Reinking’s apartment.

Reinking is belived to have moved to Nashville in the fall of 2017 and worked in the construction trade.

Authorities said he was fired three weeks ago from one employer and recently received a job from another.

His new boss said Reinking showed up to work on Monday this week but had not been seen since.

Two of the people who died were killed outside of Waffle House and one person was fatally shot inside the restaurant

Two of the people who died were killed outside of Waffle House and one person was fatally shot inside the restaurant

Authorities said a man believed to be Reinking was last seen walking at a nearby apartment complex

He was wearing black pants and no shirt

 Authorities said a man believed to be Reinking was last seen walking at a nearby apartment complex. He was wearing black pants and no shirt

A SWAT team swarmed the gunman's apartment (above) in the morning with their guns drawn

Authorities are currently at the scene of Reinking’s apartment complex (pictured). A neighbor said he just moved in two months ago

Metro Nashville Police used a SWAT team and bomb squad to serve a search warrant at Reinking's apartment 

Metro Nashville Police used a SWAT team and bomb squad to serve a search warrant at Reinking’s apartment

Police were still searching for him amid a steady rain more than 10 hours after the shooting

members with assault weapons could be seen patrolling the neighborhood on Sunday

Witness Chuck Cordero went by the restaurant on Sunday morning to see his friends when the shooting began.

Cordero, 50, said he saw the gunman shoot his friend as well as a man standing at the door of the restaurant.

‘He did not say anything. He pulled up, got out of his car and was all business,’ Cordero told The Tennessean.

‘I couldn’t run, I was so scared. I was crawling on the ground.’

‘From underneath my car I could see that he stood out in front of the restaurant and shot a few shots through the windows, and then he went inside.’

‘I tried to run across the parking lot to get further away and once I got to the other side I looked back and there was a gentleman wrestling with the gunman.’

Cordero called Shaw Jr a ‘hero’.

‘Had that guy had a chance to reload his weapon, there were plenty more people in that restaurant. He really saved some people, I’m positive he did.’

Cordero said there 30 people in the restaurant at the time of the shooting.

FBI investigators arrived at Waffle House as well on Sunday afternoon following the shooting

FBI investigators arrived at Waffle House as well on Sunday afternoon following the shooting

A fourth person died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where one victim remains in critical condition and another is in critical but stable condition

A fourth person died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where one victim remains in critical condition and another is in critical but stable condition

Witness Chuck Cordero, 50, said he saw the gunman shoot his friend as well as a man standing at the door of the restaurant when the shooting began

Waffle House is ‘very concerned’ and ‘gathering all the details’ surrounding the shooting, spokesman Pat Warner said

Waffle House said it was ‘deeply saddened by this tragic incident’.

‘Right now, our first thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we will be there for them in this most difficult time,’ the statement read.

‘This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family.’

‘This morning our city woke up to tragic news, the fragility of life was brought home to all of us by the death of four innocent Nashvillians,’ he said in a statement.

‘Our heart goes out to all the victims and their families and I ask that Nashville continue to pray and rally around them.’

He also called for increased gun control for assault weapons, citing an earlier shooting at a Nashville church that killed one and injured seven others.

‘It’s been only seven months since we had another mass shooting here in Nashville,’ he said. ‘And that is far too frequent.’

‘If we can all just come together for the greater good, we can take these weapons of war off the streets of our country.’

‘Clearly, the victims of this shooting deserve our prayers and our thoughts, but they also deserve leaders who will step up and take action and do something to take these weapons off our streets.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5643825/Three-dead-Tennessee-Waffle-House-shooting-naked-man.html#ixzz5EBBPgiP1

 

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velopThe Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018, Breaking and Developing — Story 1: United States, United Kingdom and France Launched A One Time Attack Against Syria and Assad Regime — American Empire Warfare and Welfare State Military Intervention on False Flag Pretext of Chemical Attack — Where is The Evidence? — Bring All The Troops Home and Have A Big Parade — Videos — Story 2: Invincible Ignorance of Former FBI Directory James Comey: Revealed Partisan Bias And Failure To Disclose Clinton Campaign and DNC Bought and Paid For Opposition Research Was Basis of Surveillance of Trump Campaign! — Videos — Story 3: Rule 8: Tell The Truth, or At Least Don’t Lie — Buy and Read Jordan B. Peterson New Book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — Videos

Posted on April 17, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Afghanistan, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Bombs, Books, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Chemical Explosion, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Egypt, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, France, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Great Britain, Hate Speech, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Iraq, Islam, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Israel, James Comey, Jordan, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Middle East, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Nerve Gas, News, Nuclear, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Qatar, Radio, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scandals, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Syria, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Vietnam, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

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Breaking and Developing — Story 1: United States, United Kingdom and France Launched A One-Time Attack Against Syria and Assad Regime — American Empire Warfare and Welfare State Military Intervention on False Flag Pretext of Chemical Attack — Where is The Evidence? — Bring All The Troops Home and Have A Big Parade — Videos

Edwin Starr – War (w/lyrics + Vietnam War footage)

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, why’all
War, huh, good god
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
Oh, war, I despise
‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives
I said, war, huh good god, why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing say it again
War, whoa, lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker
(War) friend only to the undertaker
Oh, war it’s an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die, ah, war-huh, good god why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker
(War) it’s got one friend that’s the undertaker
Oh, war, has shattered many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can’t give life
It can only take it away
Oh, war, huh good god why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing say it again
whoa, lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker
(War) friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But lord knows there’s got to be a better way
Oh, war, huh good god why’all
What is it good for you tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it
huh good god why’all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it nothing
Songwriters: Barret Strong / Norman Whitfield
War lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Why Trump’s “limited strike” on Syria probably won’t work

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Syria air strikes: Latest updates- BBC News

Jeremy Corbyn: Launching Syria air strikes on humanitarian grounds “legally debatable” – BBC News

Protests in and out of Parliament over UK’s Syria airstrikes | ITV News

Russia’s ambassador to UN condemns airstrikes on Syria – Daily Mail

President Trump Announces Precision Strikes In Syria | NBC News

Mattis: Assad didn’t get the message last year

President Donald Trump Bombs Syria. Again.

Syrian MOAB: The Mother of All Bullsh*t — Here We Go Again, Sparky! Just When You Thought We Learnt

My Response to the Syria Strikes: Unhelpful, but Part of a Larger Situation

Daniel McAdams on What You Need to Know About Syria

Tucker: Why is Washington united behind a war in Syria?

Tucker Carlson Goes on Epic Rant Against War in Syria

Act of War: The Real Reason Syria was Attacked

Trump launches airstrikes on Syria in response to ‘evil and despicable’ chemical attack by ‘monster’ Assad and directly challenges Putin for supporting ‘mass murder of innocents’

  • U.S. President Donald Trump announced ‘precision strikes’ on Syria in a Friday evening address
  • Strikes are in retaliation for a poison gas attack that killed up to 75 people people on April 7
  • Trump said combined operation with France and UK will continue until Assad stops using chemical weapons 
  • Warned Russia and Iran about their association with Assad, saying they’ll ‘be judged by the friends they keep’
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a ‘limited and targeted’
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said the ‘red line’ set by France in May of 2017 ‘had been crossed’
  • Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter: ‘Honorable souls cannot be humiliated’ 
  • Syrian state-run TV said three civilians have been wounded on the attack on a military base in Homs 

 

American, British and French forces launched airstrikes on two chemical weapons facilities and a military command post in Syria on Friday night in retaliation for a chemical attack that left up 75 civilians dead last week.

Donald Trump addressed the U.S. while British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron both gave speeches justifying the use of force.

Trump delivered a national address just after 9 pm EDT as missiles rained down on three sites in Syria. He said he ordered the precision strikes in direct retaliation to Bashar al-Assad’s ‘evil and despicable’ poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma.

‘This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by the very terrible regime. The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air.’ Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. ‘These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster, instead.’

Trump forcefully confronted Iran and Russia for aligning themselves with ‘barbarism and brutality’ and said the United States and its allies in the strike, France and Britain, are prepared ‘to sustain this response’ until Assad discontinues his use of internationally prohibited chemical weapons.

‘What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?’ Trump asked. ‘The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.’

Donald Trump is pictured addressing the nation on Friday evening from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, announcing retaliatory airstrikes on Syria

Donald Trump is pictured addressing the nation on Friday evening from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, announcing retaliatory airstrikes on Syria

The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria

The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night ET

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night ET

A cruise missile is pictured being launched from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean sea towards targets in Syria

A cruise missile is pictured being launched from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean sea towards targets in Syria

Part of the calculation this week has also been gaming out how Russia will respond either in the region or around the world

A chemical weapons scientific research center outside Damascus and a chemical weapons storage site and a command post west of Homs were hit in the attack that occurred in early Saturday morning local time.

Shortly after the assault, the Syrian government tweeted, ‘Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.’

State TV said the country’s air defenses shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus and claimed three civilians were wounded in the attack on the military base.

The strikes carried out by the United States consisted of more than 100 missiles, the Pentagon indicated, with Secretary of Defense James Mattis describing the number as ‘a little over double the number of weapons’ that were used in last year’s air assault on Syria.

That April 7, 2017 attack on a Syrian airbase after Assad’s confirmed use of chemical weapons on civilians consisted of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Mattis said the latest round of strikes ‘sent a very strong message’ to Assad and his ‘murderous lieutenants’ and that ‘right now this is a one-time shot’ driving home a message that conflicted with the president’s.

‘That will depend on Mr. Assad should he decide to use more chemical weapons in the future,’ Mattis said of future strikes.

In a news conference that followed Trump’s remarks, Mattis confirmed that chlorine gas, and possibly sarin, was used by Assad’s forces to poison Syrians a week ago.

It was not immediately clear whether the planes were taking off from an aircraft carrier or a military base on land in video released by the French presidency

Moscow has claimed all along that the chemical weapons attack did not take place and on Friday that it had ‘irrefutable evidence’ that it had been fabricated.

The U.S. meanwhile joined France and the U.K. in pointing the finger for the attack – and their missiles – directly at Assad’s forces.

Mattis said Friday evening that he was ‘confident’ Assad’s regime conducted a chemical weapons attack.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said at an emergency meeting of the Security Council, ‘We know who did this. Our allies know who did this. Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and cover-ups.’

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement

Good evening. As the world knows, the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime.

On April 7th, the regime decided to again defy the norms of civilized people, showing callous disregard for international law by using chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents.

We and our allies find these atrocities inexcusable. As our commander in chief, the president has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

The United States has an important national interest in averting a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, and specifically deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

Last year, in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians and to signal the regime to cease chemical weapons use, we targeted the military base from which the weapons were delivered.

Earlier today, President Trump directed the U.S. military to conduct operations, in consonance with our allies, to destroy the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons research, development and production capabilities.

Tonight, France, the United Kingdom and the United States took decisive action to strike the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure.

Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time, our allies and we have struck harder.

Together, we have sent a clear message to Assad, and his murderous lieutenants, that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable.

The 70 nations in the defeat ISIS coalition remain committed to defeating ISIS in Syria.

The strike tonight separately demonstrates international resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used on anyone, under any circumstance, in contravention of international law.

I want to emphasize that these strikes are directed at the Syrian regime. In conducting these strikes, we have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties. But it is time for all civilized nations to urgently unite in ending the Syrian civil war by supporting the United Nations backed Geneva peace process.

In accordance with the chemical weapons convention prohibiting the use of such weapons, we urge responsible nations to condemn the Assad regime and join us in our firm resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used again.

General Dunford will provide a military update.

Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.

In an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Syria air defenses strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus

Syria air defenses strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus

A fighter jet lands at Akrotiri military British Royal Air Force Base, Cyprus, on Saturday, April 14

A fighter jet prepares to land at RAF Akrotiri, a military base Britain maintains on Cyprus

An RAF Tornado comes into land at RAF Akrotiri after concluding its mission. Four Royal Air Force Tornado's took off to conduct strikes

An RAF Tornado comes into land at RAF Akrotiri after concluding its mission.Four Royal Air Force Tornado’s took off to conduct strikes

Smoke rises above Damascus after the air strikes. The US, Britain and France waged up to 120 air strikes

Smoke rises above Damascus after the air strikes. The US, Britain and France waged up to 120 air strikes

Smoke rises over the capital Damascus after air strikes struck Syria early Saturday, April 14, local time

Smoke rises over the capital Damascus after air strikes struck Syria early Saturday, April 14, local time

Trump said the purpose of the U.S.-led strike was to ‘establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use’ of such chemical weapons. But he said America does not seek ‘an indefinite presence’ in Syria and looks forward to the day when it can withdraw its troops from Syria.

In a statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a ‘limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region.’

‘And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity,’ she said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the ‘red line’ set by France in May of 2017 ‘had been crossed.’

‘We cannot tolerate the trivialization of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security,’ Macron said. ‘This is the direction of the diplomatic initiatives put forward by France at the United Nations Security Council.’

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (right) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford (second from right) brief members of the media on Syria at the Pentagon

A photo released on the Twitter page of the Syrian governments central military media shows anti-aircraft fire through a night-vision device on the outskirts of Damascus

Loud explosions rocked Syria’s capital and and lit up the sky with heavy smoke. Hours later crowds of Assad supporters gathered in the center of Damascus in a show of defiance.

Hundreds of residents gathered in Omayyad Square, many waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns.

‘We are your men, Bashar,’ they shouted.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said that all three areas the coalition ‘struck and destroyed’ were specific to the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.

The scientific research center was used for the development and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology, he said. Another target, a storage facility west of Homs, was a primary location for sarin and precursor production equipment. The third target was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an important command force.

General Dunford said U.S., British and French entrenched naval and air forces were involved, but for operational security, he would not be more specific than that.

The U.S. and the U.K. emphasized that steps had been taken to minimize civilian casualties.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the Assad regime 'crossed a red line' with the chemical attack in Douma. He is pictured centre with close advisers 

French President Emmanuel Macron said the Assad regime ‘crossed a red line’ with the chemical attack in Douma. He is pictured centre with close advisers

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a 'limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region'

‘We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,’ Trump in his address said.

He also said in the remarks that lasted a little more than eight minutes that he had a message for ‘two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime’ — Iran and Russia.

‘In 2013 President Putin and his government promised the world they would guarantee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad’s recent attack and today’s response are the direct result of Russia’s failure to keep that promise,’ he said. ‘Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.’

He added, ‘Hopefully someday we’ll get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not. I will say this, the United States has a lot to offer with the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world.’

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday strongly condemned the attacks on Syria and said Washington and its allies would bear the responsibility of the raids’ consequences in the region and beyond, Iranian state media reported.

‘Undoubtedly, the United States and its allies, which took military action against Syria despite the absence of any proven evidence… will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism,’ Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media.

Russian lawmaker and the deputy head of Russia’s foreign affairs committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said Moscow was likely to call for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the air strikes.

‘The situation is being analysed right now. Russia will demand a meeting of the U.N. security council, I am sure.’

Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered 'precision strikes' on Syria in retaliation for the 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7 (a young victim is pictured)

Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered ‘precision strikes’ on Syria in retaliation for the ‘evil and despicable’ poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7 (a young victim is pictured)

A child receives oxygen through a respirator following a poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma

A child receives oxygen through a respirator following a poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma

A poison gas attack killed up to 75 people that the U.S. and its allies say was carried out by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on April 7 in Douma near Damascus

'These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,' Trump said referring to Assad (pictured)

‘These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,’ Trump said referring to Assad (pictured)

Trump also warned Russia and Iran about their association with the Syrian government. President Putin is pictured on April 12

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FRIDAY NIGHT ADDRESS TO THE NATION

My fellow Americans: a short time ago I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. We thank them both.

Tonight I want to speak with you about why we have taken this action. One year ago, Assad launched a savage chemical weapons attack against his own innocent people. The United States responded with 58 missile strikes that destroyed 20 percent of the Syrian air force.

Last Saturday, the Assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians, this time in the town of Douma near the Syrian capital of Damascus.

This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by the very terrible regime. the evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air.

These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster, instead.

Following the horrors of World War I a century ago, civilized nations joined together to ban chemical warfare. Chemical weapons are uniquely dangerous not only because they inflict gruesome suffering but because even small amounts can unleash widespread devastation.

The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States. The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power — military, economic, and diplomatic.

We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents. I also have a message tonight for two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime.

To Iran and to Russia I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.

In 2013 President Putin and his government promised the world they would guarantee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad’s recent attack and today’s response are the direct result of Russia’s failure to keep that promise. Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.

Hopefully some day we’ll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran, but maybe not. I will say this, the United States has a lot to offer with the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world.

In Syria the United States with but a small force being used to eliminate what is left of ISIS is doing what is necessary to protect the American people. Over the last year, nearly 100 percent of the territory once controlled by the so-called ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been liberated and eliminated.

The United States has also rebuilt our friendships across the Middle East. We have asked our partners to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing large amounts of money for the resources, equipment and all of the anti-ISIS effort. Increased engagement from our friends, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and others can ensure that Iran does not profit from the eradication of ISIS.

America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria. Under no circumstances. As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home and great warriors they are.

Looking around our very troubled world, Americans have no illusions. We cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny. No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East. It’s a troubled place. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place. The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.

In the last century, we looked straight into the darkest places of the human soul. We saw the anguish that can be unleashed and the evil that can take hold. By the end of World War I, more than 1 million people had been killed or injured by chemical weapons. We never want to see that ghastly specter return.

So today, the nations of Britain, France and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality. Tonight I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions.

We pray that God will bring comfort to those suffering in Syria. We pray that God there guide the whole region toward a future of dignity and of peace. And we pray that God will continue to watch over and bless the United States of America. Thank you, and good night. Thank you

Russia’s Ambassador to the United States warned the White House on Friday that military strikes against its ally ‘will not be left without consequences’.

‘Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,’ Anatoly Antonov saidl ‘The U.S. – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries,’ he added.

Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee, said Trump ‘can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time – because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union,’ according to state news agency RIA-Novosti.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in a statement on Facebook, said the U.S. struck Syria when the country finally had a chance at peace.

‘One must be really exceptional to strike Syria’s capital when the country finally got a chance for a peaceful future,’ she wrote.

Israeli officials backed the move, with an unnamed spokesman telling Reuters that the three allies were right to enforce the ban on chemical warfare.

‘Last year, President Trump made clear that the use of chemical weapons crosses a red line. Tonight, under American leadership, the United States, France and the United Kingdom enforced that line,’ the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

‘Syria continues to engage in and provide a base for murderous actions, including those of Iran, that put its territory, its forces and its leadership at risk.’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also backed the attack. ‘Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons in last week’s attack in eastern Ghouta, Syria,’ Trudeau said.

‘Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people. We will continue to work with our international partners to further investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Those responsible must be brought to justice.’

Syrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations

Syrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations

Syrian government supporters chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations in Damascus following the strikes

Syrian government supporters chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations in Damascus following the strikes

Protesters stand outside Trump Tower demonstrating against military strikes in Syria, late on Friday in New York

Protesters stand outside Trump Tower demonstrating against military strikes in Syria, late on Friday in New York

U.S. air strikes had been expected since harrowing footage surfaced of the aftermath of the toxic gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma a week ago. Trump had reacted with a tweet warning Assad and his allies that the action would not go unchecked.

‘Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,’ he declared. ‘President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay.’

Trump told reporters that the list of people he’d punish included Russian President Vladimir Putin, if appropriate.

‘Everybody’s gonna pay a price. He will. Everybody will,’ the U.S. president said.

After Russia rejected a U.S.-sponsored resolution authorizing a probe of the gas attack and vowed to shoot down U.S. missiles fired upon Syria, Trump took aim at the Kremlin.

‘Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!’ Trump tweeted.

The White House left open the possibility of direct, military engagement with Russia after the tweet.

Russia’s deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, just brushed the rebuke off, however, saying, according to state media, ‘We cannot depend on the mood of someone on the other side of the ocean when he wakes up, on what a specific person takes into his head in the morning.’

The French presidency on Saturday released a video on Twitter showing what it said were Rafale war planes taking off to attack targets in Syria

The French presidency on Saturday released a video on Twitter showing what it said were Rafale war planes taking off to attack targets in Syria

It was not immediately clear whether the planes were taking off from an aircraft carrier or a military base on land in video released by the French presidency

It was not immediately clear whether the planes were taking off from an aircraft carrier or a military base on land in video released by the French presidency

Moscow has claimed all along that the chemical weapons attack did not take place and on Friday that it had ‘irrefutable evidence’ that it had been fabricated.

The U.S. meanwhile joined France and the U.K. in pointing the finger for the attack – and their missiles – directly at Assad’s forces.

Mattis said Friday evening that he was ‘confident’ Assad’s regime conducted a chemical weapons attack.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said at an emergency meeting of the Security Council, ‘We know who did this. Our allies know who did this. Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and cover-ups.’

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement

Good evening. As the world knows, the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime.

On April 7th, the regime decided to again defy the norms of civilized people, showing callous disregard for international law by using chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents.

We and our allies find these atrocities inexcusable. As our commander in chief, the president has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

The United States has an important national interest in averting a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, and specifically deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons. 

Last year, in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians and to signal the regime to cease chemical weapons use, we targeted the military base from which the weapons were delivered.

Earlier today, President Trump directed the U.S. military to conduct operations, in consonance with our allies, to destroy the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons research, development and production capabilities.

Tonight, France, the United Kingdom and the United States took decisive action to strike the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure.

Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time, our allies and we have struck harder.

Together, we have sent a clear message to Assad, and his murderous lieutenants, that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable.

The 70 nations in the defeat ISIS coalition remain committed to defeating ISIS in Syria.

The strike tonight separately demonstrates international resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used on anyone, under any circumstance, in contravention of international law.

I want to emphasize that these strikes are directed at the Syrian regime. In conducting these strikes, we have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties. But it is time for all civilized nations to urgently unite in ending the Syrian civil war by supporting the United Nations backed Geneva peace process.

In accordance with the chemical weapons convention prohibiting the use of such weapons, we urge responsible nations to condemn the Assad regime and join us in our firm resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used again.

General Dunford will provide a military update.

Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.

In an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

The Friday night assault earned tepid support from Democrats in Congress who said they are awaiting additional information from the Trump administration about the targets and goals of the strike.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the upper chamber’s Intelligence Committee, said, ‘While the U.S. and our allies must not turn a blind eye to Assad’s vile and inhumane attacks against his own citizens, military action in Syria must be measured, as part of a coherent strategy to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons without further destabilizing an already-volatile region or inadvertently expanding the conflict.’

Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, said that Assad’s weapons attack was a ‘brutally inhumane war crime that demands a strong, smart and calculated response.

But she argued, ‘One night of airstrikes is not a substitute for a clear, comprehensive Syria strategy.

‘The President must come to Congress and secure an Authorization for Use of Military Force by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians,’ the leading House Democrat insisted in a statement. ‘President Trump must also hold Putin accountable for his enabling of the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people.’

Vice President Mike Pence briefed Pelosi and other congressional leaders by phone after skipping a reception and rushing back to his hotel in Lima, Peru.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received calls notifying them of the action before the president’s address, the vice president’s communications director, Jarrod Agen, said. So did Pelosi. Pence was unable to reach Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer until afterward, Pence’s spokesman explained, because the top-ranking Democrat was on a flight.

The vice president was attending a summit in Peru on Friday in Trump’s stead. Trump called off his trip as he mulled how to respond to the attack in Syria.

House Speaker Paul Ryan meanwhile praised Trump’s ‘decisive action in coordination with our allies,’ adding, ‘We are united in our resolve.’

Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain applauded the airstrikes but said ‘they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East.’

‘I hope these strikes impose meaningful costs on Assad. The message to Assad must be that the cost of using chemical weapons is worse than any perceived benefit, that the United States and our allies have the will and capability to continue imposing those costs, and that Iran and Russia will ultimately be unsuccessful in protecting Assad from our punative response,’ McCain said in a statement.

Schumer said the airstrikes were ‘appropriate’ yet cautioned the Trump administration ‘to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.’

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said there ‘is absolutely no question’ the gas attack merits a strong response. However, he said he remains concerned the U.S. will become mired in the ‘horrific and complex civil war that has been raging in Syria.

‘While these joint American, British and French strikes are morally justified against the Assad regime’s gassing of its own people, they take place with no congressional authorization,’ he asserted.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, also said: ‘President Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes against the Syrian government without Congress’s approval is illegal and – absent a broader strategy – it’s reckless.

‘Last week, President Trump was adamant that the U.S. was leaving Syria imminently. This week, he is opening a new military front. Assad must face consequences for his war crimes, but Presidents cannot initiate military action when there isn’t an imminent threat to American lives.’

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said his committee would convene a hearing next week on U.S. policy for the region. ‘The administration needs to begin fully explaining its strategy for the months ahead,’ he said.

‘Military force cannot be the only means of responding to these atrocities. The U.S. must leverage strong diplomacy and serious financial pressure. That’s why, last year, the House led in passing tough new sanctions against Assad and his enablers. The Senate needs to move this legislation to the president’s desk quickly.’

‘I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest’: Theresa May’s statement in full

Theresa May's statement in full 

Theresa May’s statement in full

‘This evening I have authorised British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.

‘We are acting together with our American and French allies.

‘In Douma, last Saturday a chemical weapons attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, in circumstances of pure horror.

‘The fact of this attack should surprise no-one.

‘The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way.

‘And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.

‘This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped – not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons.

‘We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.

‘But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack.

‘So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime.

‘This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change.

‘It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

‘And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.

‘At this time, my thoughts are with our brave British servicemen and women – and our French and American partners – who are carrying out their duty with the greatest professionalism.

‘The speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations.

‘This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat – and it is not a decision I have taken lightly.

‘I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest.

‘We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world.

‘We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none.

‘History teaches us that the international community must defend the global rules and standards that keep us all safe.

‘That is what our country has always done. And what we will continue to do. ‘

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5614593/Donald-Trump-expected-make-major-announcement-Syria-9pm-ET.html#ixzz5CfdpDAFj

 

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Willful blindness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Willful blindness (sometimes called ignorance of law,[1]:761willful ignorance or contrived ignorance or Nelsonian knowledge) is a term used in law to describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally keeping himself or herself unaware of facts that would render him or her liable. In United States v. Jewell, the court held that proof of willful ignorance satisfied the requirement of knowledge as to criminal possession and importation of drugs.[1]:225

Description

Willful blindness is a term used in law to describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally keeping oneself unaware of facts that would render liability.

Although the term was originally—and still is—used in legal contexts, the phrase “willful ignorance” has come to mean any situation in which people intentionally turn their attention away from an ethical problem that is believed to be important by those using the phrase (for instance, because the problem is too disturbing for people to want it dominating their thoughts, or from the knowledge that solving the problem would require extensive effort).

Precedent in the United States

In United States v. Jewell, the court held that proof of willful ignorance satisfied the requirement of knowledge as to criminal possession and importation of drugs.[1]:225 In a number of cases in the United States of America, persons transporting packages containing illegal drugs have asserted that they never asked what the contents of the packages were and so lacked the requisite intent to break the law. Such defenses have not succeeded, as courts have been quick to determine that the defendantshould have known what was in the package and exercised criminal recklessness by failing to find out the package’s contents.[citation needed] Notably, this rule has only ever been applied to independent couriers, and has never been used to hold larger services that qualify as common carriers (e.g., FedExUnited Parcel Service, or the U.S. Postal Service) liable for the contents of packages they deliver.

A famous example of such a defense being denied occurred in In re Aimster Copyright Litigation,[2] in which the defendants argued that the file-swapping technology was designed in such a way that they had no way of monitoring the content of swapped files. They suggested that their inability to monitor the activities of users meant that they could not be contributing to copyright infringement by the users. The court held that this was willful blindness on the defendant’s part and would not constitute a defense to a claim of contributory infringement.

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c Criminal Law – Cases and Materials, 7th ed. 2012, Wolters Kluwer Law & BusinessJohn KaplanRobert WeisbergGuyora BinderISBN 978-1-4548-0698-1[1]
  2. Jump up^ 334 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2003)

External links

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

James Comey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Comey
James Comey official portrait.jpg
7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
September 4, 2013 – May 9, 2017
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Deputy Sean M. Joyce
Mark F. Giuliano
Andrew McCabe
Preceded by Robert Mueller
Succeeded by Andrew McCabe (Acting)
31st United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
December 9, 2003 – August 15, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Larry Thompson
Succeeded by Paul McNulty
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
In office
January 7, 2002 – December 15, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Mary Jo White
Succeeded by David N. Kelley
Personal details
Born James Brien Comey Jr.
December 14, 1960 (age 57)
Yonkers, New York, U.S.
Political party Independent (2016–present)[1]
Other political
affiliations
Republican (before 2016)
Spouse(s) Patrice Failor
Children 5
Education College of William and Mary(BS)
University of Chicago (JD)
Signature

James Brien Comey Jr. (born December 14, 1960) is an American lawyer, who served as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from September 4, 2013, until his dismissal on May 9, 2017.[2]Comey has been a registered Republican for most of his life but has recently described himself as unaffiliated.[3]

Comey was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003, and subsequently the United States Deputy Attorney General from December 2003 to August 2005 in the administration of President George W. Bush. Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to be the Special Counsel to head the grand jury investigation into the Plame affair after Attorney General John Ashcroftrecused himself.

In August 2005, Comey left the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and became general counsel and senior vice president of Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland.[4] In 2010, he became general counsel at Bridgewater Associates, based in Westport, Connecticut. In early 2013, he left Bridgewater to become a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law at Columbia Law School. He served on the board of directors of HSBC Holdings until July 2013.[5]

In September 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Comey to the position of Director of the FBI.[6] In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the FBI’s investigation of the Hillary Clintonemail controversy. His role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, particularly with regard to his public communications, was highly controversial.[7] Some analysts feel that Comey’s decisions might have cost Clinton the presidency. In one of those decisions, he reopened the investigation into Clinton’s emails less than two weeks before the election.[8][9][10] Comey also received heavy criticism from Republicans, in part after it was revealed that he had begun drafting an exoneration letter for Clinton before the investigation was complete.[11]

President Donald Trump dismissed Comey on May 9, 2017.[12][13][14] Statements from Trump and the White House suggested that he had been dismissed to ease the “pressure” Trump was under due to the Russia investigation.[15][16][17] Later that month he arranged for a friend to tell the press about a memo he had written after a February 14 private meeting with the president. It said Trump had asked him to end the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor. The dismissal, the memo, and Comey’s subsequent Congressional testimony were interpreted by some commentators as evidence of obstruction of justice by the President, and became part of a widening investigation by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel appointed to probe Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[18]

Early life

Comey was born in 1960 in Yonkers, New York, to parents Joan Marie Comey (née Herald)[19] and J. Brien Comey.[20] His grandfather, William J. Comey, was an officer and later commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department.[21] The family moved to Allendale, New Jersey, in the early 1970s.[22][23] His father worked in corporate real estate and his mother was a computer consultant and homemaker.[24] Comey is of Irish heritage.[25] He attended Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale.[26] Comey graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1982, majoring in chemistry and religion. His senior thesis analyzed the liberal theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and the conservative televangelistJerry Falwell, emphasizing their common belief in public action.[27] He received his Juris Doctor(JD) from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985.[28]

Early career (1985–1993)

After law school, Comey served as a law clerk for then-United States District Judge John M. Walker Jr. in Manhattan. Then, he was an associate for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in their New York office. He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he worked from 1987 to 1993. While there, he served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and helped prosecute the Gambino crime family.[29]

Clinton administration (1996–2001)

Assistant U.S. Attorney

From 1996 to 2001, Comey served as Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of the Richmond Division of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.[10] In 1996, Comey acted as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee.[30] He also served as the lead prosecutor in the case concerning the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.[31] While in Richmond, Comey served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law.[28]

Bush administration (2002–2005)

U.S. Attorney

Comey was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from January 2002 to the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General on December 11, 2003.[28] Among his first tasks was to take over the investigation into President Bill Clinton‘s controversial pardon of Marc Rich.[30] In November 2002, he led the prosecution of three men involved in one of the largest identity fraud cases in American history.[32] The fraud had lasted two years and resulted in thousands of people across the country collectively losing well over $3 million.[32] He also led the indictment of Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas for bank fraudwire fraud, and securities fraud. Rigas was convicted of the charges in 2004 and in 2005, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Adelphia Corporation was forced to file for bankruptcy after it acknowledged that it took $3.3 billion in false loans. It was “one of the most elaborate and extensive corporate frauds in United States history”.[33][34][35][36]

In February 2003, Comey was the lead prosecutor of Martha Stewart, who was indicted on the charges of securities fraudobstruction of justice, and lying to an FBI agent.[10] She sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems, making $227,824. The next day, the Food and Drug Administration refused to accept the company’s application for Erbitux.[37] In March 2003, he led the indictment of ImClone CEO Samuel Waksal, who pleaded guilty to avoiding paying $1.2 million in sales taxes on $15 million worth of contemporary paintings. The works were by Mark RothkoRichard SerraRoy Lichtenstein, and Willem de Kooning.[38] In April 2003, he led the indictment of Frank Quattrone, who allegedly urged subordinates in 2000 to destroy evidence sought by investigators looking into his investment banking practices at Credit Suisse First Boston.[39] In November 2003, he led the prosecutions in “Operation Wooden Nickel”, which resulted in complaints and indictments against 47 people involved in foreign exchange trading scams.[40]

Deputy Attorney General

NSA domestic wiretapping

In early January 2006, The New York Times, as part of its investigation into domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, reported that Comey, who was Acting Attorney General during the March 2004 hospitalization of John Ashcroft, refused to certify the legality of central aspects of the NSA program.[41] In order for the program to continue, the certification was required under White House procedures.[42]

In March 2004, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert S. Mueller III and Comey threatened the Bush administration with their resignations if the White House overruled the DOJ finding that the domestic wiretapping under the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) was unconstitutional, if such were done without a court warrant.[43] On March 10, 2004, United States Attorney General (USAG) John Ashcroft was being visited by his wife as he was treated in the intensive care unit at the George Washington University Hospital. She solicited Mueller and Comey to join them, and shortly after their arrival, they were joined by Jack Goldsmith of the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and Patrick Philbrin. In Goldsmith’s 2007 memoir, he said Comey had come to the hospital to give Ashcroft support in withstanding pressure from the White House.[44] None of the four visitors wanted the TSP reauthorized. After the quartet’s arrival, Ashcroft refused to give his consent to its extension, despite being pressured at the hospital soon afterward by Andrew H. Card Jr.White House Chief of Staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then-White House counsel and future Attorney General. The two were requesting that Ashcroft waive the DOJ ruling and permit the domestic warrantless eavesdropping program to continue beyond its imminent expiration date. Ashcroft additionally informed the pair that due to his illness, he had delegated his powers as USAG to Comey.[45][42] Comey later confirmed these events took place (but declined to confirm the specific program) in testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on May 16, 2007.[46][47][48][49][50][51] FBI director Mueller’s notes on the March 10, 2004, incident, which were released to a House Judiciary committee, confirms that he “Saw (the) AG, John Ashcroft in the room (who was) feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed.”[52]

Comey and Mueller withdrew their threats to resign after meeting directly on March 12, 2004, with President Bush, who gave his support to making requisite changes in the surveillance program.[53]

Enhanced interrogation techniques

When Comey was Deputy Attorney General in 2005, he endorsed a memorandum that approved the use of 13 enhanced interrogation techniques that included waterboarding[41] and sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, which would be used by the CIA when interrogating suspects.[54][55] Comey objected to a second memorandum, drafted by Daniel Levin and signed by Steven G. Bradbury, which stated that these techniques could be used in combination.[54] Comey was one of the few members of the Bush administration who had tried to prevent or limit the use of torture.[56][57][58]

During his 2013 confirmation hearing, Comey stated that in his personal opinion, waterboarding was torture,[59] the United Nations Convention against Torture was “very vague” and difficult to interpret as banning the practice.[44] Even though the practice was legal at the time,[54] he strongly disagreed with the techniques and as a matter of policy, he opposed implementing them.[55][60] His objections were ultimately overruled by the National Security Council.[61]

Private sector (2005–2013)

In the fall of 2005, Comey announced that he was leaving the Department of Justice.[62] In August 2005, it was announced that Comey would enter the private sector, becoming the General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Department of Defense‘s largest contractor.[63] Comey’s tenure took effect on October 1, 2005,[64] serving in that capacity until June 2, 2010, when he announced he would leave Lockheed Martin to join the senior management committee at Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based investment management firm.[65] Comey received a three million dollar payout from Bridgewater, and his net worth is estimated at 14 million dollars.[66][67] February 1, 2013, after leaving Bridgewater, he was appointed by Columbia University Law School as a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law.[68] He was also appointed to the board of directors of the London-based financial institutionHSBC Holdings,[69] to improve the company’s compliance program after its $1.9 billion settlement with the Justice Department for failing to comply with basic due diligence requirements for money laundering regarding Mexican drug cartels and terrorism financing.[70][71] Since 2012, he has also served on the Defense Legal Policy Board.[72]

Testimony before congressional committees

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy

In May 2007, Comey testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the House Judiciary subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on the U.S. Attorney dismissal controversy.[62] His testimony contradicted that of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who had said the firings had been due to poor performance on the part of some of the dismissed prosecutors. Comey stressed that the Justice Department had to be perceived as nonpartisan and nonpolitical to function.[73]

The Department of Justice, in my view, is run by political appointees of the President. The U.S. attorneys are political appointees of the President. But once they take those jobs and run this institution, it’s very important in my view for that institution to be another in American life, that—because my people had to stand up before juries of all stripes, talk to sheriffs of all stripes, judges of all stripes. They had to be seen as the good guys, and not as either this administration or that administration.[73]

Supreme Court considerations

Politico reported in May 2009 that White House officials pushed for Comey’s inclusion on the short list of names to replace Associate JusticeDavid Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court.[74]Politico later reported liberal activists were upset about the possibility of Comey’s name being included. John Brittain of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law stated, “[Comey] came in with the Bushies. What makes you think he’d be just an inch or two more to the center than [John] Roberts? I’d be greatly disappointed.”[75]

In 2013, Comey was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[76]

FBI Director

Comey, President Obama, and outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller at Comey’s nomination to become FBI Director, June 21, 2013

Comey at the Oval Office following the San Bernardino shooting, December 3, 2015

Obama receives an update from Comey and Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco on the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, June 12, 2016

May 2013 reports became official the following month when President Barack Obama revealed that he would nominate Comey to be the next Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, replacing outgoing director Robert Mueller.[77][78][79] Comey was reportedly chosen over another finalist, Lisa Monaco, who had overseen national security issues at the Justice Department during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.[80][81]

On July 29, 2013, the Senate confirmed Comey to a full ten-year term as FBI Director. He was confirmed by a vote of 93-1. Two senators voted present.[82] He was sworn in as FBI director on September 4, 2013.[83] President Donald Trump fired him on May 9, 2017.[12]

Police and African Americans

Comey at annual FBI and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute conference, May 25, 2016

In February 2015, Comey delivered a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., regarding the relationship between police and the African American community.[84][85] He said that, “At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo – a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups”, mentioning as an example his own Irish ancestors, who he said had often been regarded as drunks and criminals by law enforcement in the early 20th century. He added: “The Irish had some tough times, but little compares to the experience on our soil of black Americans”, going on to highlight current societal issues such as lack of opportunities for employment and education which can lead young black men to crime.[84] Comey stated:

Police officers on patrol in our nation’s cities often work in environments where a hugely disproportionate percentage of street crime is committed by young men of color. Something happens to people of good will working in that environment. After years of police work, officers often can’t help be influenced by the cynicism they feel. A mental shortcut becomes almost irresistible.[84]

In October 2015, Comey gave a speech in which he raised concerns that body worn video results in less effective policing; this opinion contradicted the President’s public position.[86] Days later, President Obama met with Comey in the Oval Office to address the issue.[87] In an October 23 speech at the University of Chicago Law School, Comey said:

I remember being asked why we were doing so much prosecuting in black neighborhoods and locking up so many black men. After all, Richmond was surrounded by areas with largely white populations. Surely there were drug dealers in the suburbs. My answer was simple: We are there in those neighborhoods because that’s where people are dying. These are the guys we lock up because they are the predators choking off the life of a community. We did this work because we believed that all lives matter, especially the most vulnerable.[88]

Comments on Poland and the Holocaust

In April 2015, Comey spoke at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, arguing in favor of more Holocaust education.[89] After The Washington Post printed a version of his speech, Anne Applebaum wrote that his reference to “the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary” was inaccurately saying that Poles were as responsible for the Holocaust as Germans.[90] His speech was also criticized by Polish authorities, and Stephen D. MullUnited States Ambassador to Poland, was called to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[91] Applebaum wrote that Comey, “in a speech that was reprinted in The Post arguing for more Holocaust education, demonstrated just how badly he needs it himself”.[92]

Ambassador Mull issued an apology for Comey’s remarks.[93] When asked about his remarks, Comey said, “I regret linking Germany and Poland … The Polish state bears no responsibility for the horrors imposed by the Nazis. I wish I had not used any other country names because my point was a universal one about human nature.”[94]

OPM hack

In June 2015, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it had been the target of a data breach targeting the records of as many as four million people.[95] Later, Comey put the number at 18 million.[96] The Washington Post has reported that the attack originated in China, citing unnamed government officials.[97] Comey said: “It is a very big deal from a national security perspective and from a counterintelligence perspective. It’s a treasure trove of information about everybody who has worked for, tried to work for, or works for the United States government.”[98]

Hillary Clinton email investigation

On July 10, 2015, the FBI opened a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.[7] On June 29, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton met aboard her plane on the tarmac of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, leading to calls for her recusal. Lynch then announced that she would “fully” accept the recommendation of the FBI regarding the probe.[7] On July 2, FBI agents completed their investigation by interviewing Hillary Clinton at FBI headquarters, following which Comey and his associates decided there was no basis for criminal indictments in the case.[7]

Release of information about the investigation

On July 5, 2016, Comey announced the FBI’s recommendation that the United States Department of Justice file no criminal charges relating to the Hillary Clinton email controversy.[99] During a 15-minute press conference in the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Comey called Secretary Clinton’s and her top aides’ behavior “extremely careless”, but concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case”.[99] It was believed to be the first time the FBI disclosed its prosecutorial recommendation to the Department of Justice publicly.[99] On July 7, 2016, Comey was questioned by a Republican-led House committee during a hearing regarding the FBI’s recommendation.[100][101]

Comey’s October letter

On October 26, 2016, two weeks before the presidential election, Comey learned that FBI agents investigating an unrelated case involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner had discovered emails on Weiner’s computer between his wife, Huma Abedin, and Hillary Clinton.[7] Believing it would take months to review Weiner’s emails, Comey decided he had to inform Congress that the investigation was being reopened due to new information.[7]Justice Department lawyers warned him that giving out public information about an investigation was inconsistent with department policy, but he considered the policy to be “guidance” rather than an ironclad rule.[102] He decided that not to reveal the new information would be misleading to Congress and the public.[103] On October 28, Comey sent a letter to members of Congress advising them that the FBI was reviewing more emails. Members of Congress leaked the information to the public within minutes.[104] Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as the Clinton and Trump campaigns, called on Comey to provide additional details.

The Clinton campaign and numerous former officials and other commentators criticized his decision to announce the reopened investigation.[105][106][107][108][109][110] Law professor Richard Painter filed complaints with the United States Office of Special Counsel and the United States Office of Government Ethics over Comey’s letter to Congress.[111]

The investigators received additional resources so they could complete their review of the new emails before Election Day,[7] and on November 6, 2016, Comey wrote in a second letter to Congress that “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July”.[112]

Comey was broadly criticized for his actions from both the right and the left.[113][114] According to the Clinton campaign, the letters effectively stopped the campaign’s momentum by hurting Clinton’s chances with voters who were receptive to Trump’s claims of a “rigged system”.[115] Statistician Nate Silver said that Comey had a “large, measurable impact on the race”.[116][117][116][8] Other analysts, such as Democratic strategist David Axelrod, said that Comey’s public actions were just one of several cumulative factors that cost Clinton the election.[118][119] On May 2, 2017, Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour: “I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off.”[120] On May 3, 2017, Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election”, but that “honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.”[121][122]

Investigations

On January 12, 2017, the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General announced a formal investigation into whether the FBI followed proper procedures in its investigation of Clinton or whether “improper considerations” were made by FBI personnel.[123]

On July 27, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee decided to request documents related to Comey, including the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton, Comey’s conduct during the 2016 election, and his release of his memo to the press.[124][125] The committee’s Republicans also wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to appoint a second special prosecutor to investigate these issues.[126]

In September 2017, two Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, alleged that Comey planned to exonerate Hillary Clinton in her email scandal long before the agency had completed its investigation.[127] The story was confirmed by the FBI in October, which released a Comey memo dated May 2. Comey interviewed Clinton as part of his investigation on July 2. Former FBI official Ron Hosko reacted saying, “You tend to reach final conclusions as the investigation is logically ended. Not months before.” Donald Trump called it “disgraceful.” In contrast, former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller wrote on Twitter, “The decision is never ‘made’ until the end, even when there’s a 99% chance it is only going to go one way.”[128]

Comey’s original draft of the exoneration stated that Clinton had committed “gross negligence,” which is a crime. However, the language was later changed to “extreme carelessness.”[129] In December, it was revealed that the change had been made by Peter Strozk, an FBI official who would later join Mueller’s probe and be dismissed after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically.[130]

Russian election interference investigation

On the day of Comey’s July press conference, the FBI acquired the Donald Trump-Russia dossier by Christopher Steele.[7] In late July, the FBI opened an investigation into the Trump campaign.[7] Comey asked President Obama for permission to write an op-ed, which would warn the public that the Russians were interfering in the election. The President denied the request.[7] CIA Director John O. Brennan then gave an unusual private briefing on the Russians to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid; Reid then publicly referred to the briefing.[7] Comey, however, refused to confirm—even in classified Congressional briefings—that the Trump Campaign was under investigation.[7] In early October, meetings were held in the White House Situation Room; National Security Advisor Susan Rice argued that the information should be released, while Comey argued that disclosure was no longer needed.[7]

In January 2017, Comey first met Trump when he briefed the President-elect on the Steele dossier.[131] On January 27, 2017, Trump and Comey dined alone at the White House.[131] According to Trump, Comey requested the dinner so as to ask to keep his job and, when asked, told Trump that he was not under investigation. Trump has stated that he did not ask Comey to pledge his loyalty.[131] However, according to Comey’s associates, Trump requested the dinner, asked Comey to pledge his loyalty, twice, to which Comey replied, twice, that he would always be honest, until Trump asked him if he would promise “honest loyalty”, which Comey did.[131]

On February 14, the day after President Trump fired Michael T. Flynn, Comey met with the President during a terrorism threat briefing in the Oval Office.[132] At the end of the meeting Trump asked the other security chiefs to leave, then told Comey to consider imprisoning reporters over leaks and that “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”[132] Comey, as is usual, immediately documented the meeting in a memo and shared it with FBI officials.[132] In his Congressional testimony, Comey clarified that he took Trump’s comment to be “an order” to drop the Flynn investigation, but “that he did not consider this an order to drop the Russia investigation as a whole.”[133]

On March 4, 2017, Comey asked the Justice Department for permission, which was not given, to publicly refute Trump’s claim that his phones had been wiretapped by then-President Obama.[134]

On March 20, 2017, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed that the FBI has been investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and whether any crimes were committed.[135] During the hearing, the White House Twitter account posted “The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process”, which Comey, when then read the tweet by Congressman Jim Himes, directly refuted.[136] Comey also refuted the President’s Trump Tower wiretapping allegations, testifying “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI”.[137]

Representative Chris Stewart asked Comey in the hearing: “Mr. Clapper then went on to say that to his knowledge there was no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. We did not conclude any evidence in our report and when I say ‘our report,’ that is the NSA, FBI, and CIA with my office, the director of national intelligence said anything – any reflection of collusion between the members of Trump campaign and the Russians, there was no evidence of that in our report. Was Mr. Clapper wrong when he said that?” Comey responded: “I think he’s right about characterizing the report which you all have read.”[138] Press Secretary Sean Spicer and a White House tweet then highlighted this testimony as proof that Clapper was “right” there was no evidence of collusion, causing Clapper to release a statement clarifying he had been referring to the evidence as gathered in January and that more investigation is needed.[136]

On May 3, 2017, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said that Russia is the “greatest threat of any nation on Earth … One of the biggest lessons learned is that Russia will do this again. Because of 2016 election, they know it worked.”[139] He also said that Russia should pay a price for interfering.[140]

In early May, a few days before he was fired, Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in funding and personnel for the Russia probe.[13] On May 11, 2017, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he was unaware of the request and stated, “I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately.”[141][142]

Comey had been scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11, but after he was dismissed on May 9, committee chair Senator Richard Burr said that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe would appear instead.[143] Comey spoke before the Committee on June 8.[144][145] His prepared opening statements were pre-released by the Intelligence Committee on their website one day before the official hearings.[146][147][148]

Government surveillance oversight

In his July 2013 FBI confirmation hearing, Comey said that the oversight mechanisms of the U.S. government have sufficient privacy protections.[149] In a November 2014 New York Times Magazine article, Yale historian Beverly Gage reported that Comey keeps on his desk a copy of the FBI request to wiretap Martin Luther King Jr. “as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong”.[150]

In 2016, he and his agency were criticized for their request to Apple Inc. to install a “back door” for U.S. surveillance agencies to use. Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden stated: “Jim would like a back door available to American law enforcement in all devices globally. And, frankly, I think on balance that actually harms American safety and security, even though it might make Jim’s job a bit easier in some specific circumstances.”[151]

Comey, speaking at a cybersecurity conference in 2017, told the audience, “There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach.”[152]

Dismissal

File:'Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI.' (C-SPAN).webm
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Comey: “Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI.”

Trump’s letter firing Comey

President Trump formally dismissed Comey on May 9, 2017, less than 4 years into his 10-year term as Director of the FBI. Comey first learned of his termination from television news reports that flashed on screen while he was delivering a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office.[153] Sources said he was surprised and caught off guard by the termination. Comey immediately departed for Washington, D.C., and was forced to cancel his scheduled speech that night at an FBI recruitment event.[154] Trump reportedly called Deputy Director Andrew McCabe the next day, demanding to know why Comey had been allowed to fly back to Washington on an FBI jet after he had been fired.[155]

On May 10, Comey sent a letter to FBI staff in which he said, “I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.”[156] In the absence of a Senate-confirmed FBI director, McCabe automatically became Acting Director.[157]

Reasons for dismissal

The White House initially stated the firing was on the recommendation of United States Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney GeneralRod Rosenstein, both men whom Comey reported to.[158] Rosenstein had sent a memorandum to Sessions, forwarded to Trump, in which Rosenstein listed objections to Comey’s conduct in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.[159] This allowed the Trump administration to attribute Comey’s firing to Rosenstein’s recommendation about the Clinton email controversy. It was later revealed that on May 8, Trump had requested Sessions and Rosenstein to detail in writing a case against Comey.[160][161]Rosenstein’s memo was forwarded to Trump on May 9 and was then construed as a recommendation to dismiss Comey, which Trump immediately did. In Trump’s termination letter to Comey, he attributed the firing to the two letters from Sessions and Rosenstein.[162][163] On May 10, Trump told reporters he had fired Comey because Comey “wasn’t doing a good job”.[164] White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that the FBI rank and file had lost faith in Comey and that she had “heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision”.[165]

By May 11, however, in a direct contradiction of the earlier statements by the White House, Vice President Mike Pence, and the contents of the dismissal letter itself, President Trump stated to Lester Holt in an NBC News interview that Comey’s dismissal was in fact “my decision” and “I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation [by Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein].”[166][167] Trump later said of the dismissal “when I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.'”[168] In the same televised interview, Trump labelled Comey “a showboat” and “grandstander”.

On May 19, the New York Times published excerpts of an official White House document summarizing Trump’s private meeting, the day after the firing, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. Trump told Kislyak and Lavrov that he “just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job.” Trump added: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off”, further adding “I’m not under investigation.”[17][169][170][171]

According to reports, Trump had been openly talking to aides about finding a reason to fire Comey for at least a week before both the dismissal and the requesting of memoranda from Sessions and Rosenstein the day prior to the dismissal. Trump was angry and frustrated when, in the week prior to his dismissal, Comey revealed in Senate testimony the breadth of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He felt Comey was giving too much attention to the Russia probe and not enough to internal leaks to the press from within the government.[163][172] Shortly before Comey was fired, Comey had requested additional money and resources to further expand the probe into Russian interference into the Presidential election.[13] Trump had long questioned Comey’s loyalty to Trump personally, and Comey’s judgment to act in accordance to a loyalty to Trump.[173] Moreover, Trump was angry that Comey would not support his claim that President Barack Obama had his campaign offices wiretapped.[174]

Reference to tapes

On May 12, Trump tweeted “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”,[175] which the media, political and legal analysts, as well as opposition politicians, interpreted as a threat to Comey.[176]

On June 8, when Comey was asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee about the existence of tapes, he replied “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!” He added that he would have no problem with the public release of any recordings.[177]

On June 22, faced with a subpoena for the tapes that Trump alluded to, Trump issued a tweet stating “I have no idea […] whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”[178] Hours later, when asked to clarify the non-denial denial wording of Trump’s tweet regarding the tapes, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump’s tweet was “extremely clear” and that she did “not have anything to add”.[179]Questions raised for clarification on Trump’s tweet centered principally around whether Trump ever had knowledge of said tapes having ever existed and whether he is simply no longer privy to the knowledge of whether said tapes still exist; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump having made said tapes or recordings, and; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump currently having or previously having had in their possession said tapes or recordings. U.S. Representative for California, Democrat Adam Schiff, stated that Trump’s tweet “raises as many questions as it answers,” and that in any event, the tweet did not comply with the 23 June deadline, and that Schiff would move forward with subpoenas for the tapes, adding that “[r]egardless of whether the President intends his tweets to be an official reply to the House Intelligence Committee, the White House must respond in writing to our committee as to whether any tapes or recordings exist.”[180]

Aftermath

Comey’s termination was immediately controversial. It was compared to the Saturday Night massacre, President Richard Nixon‘s termination of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been investigating the Watergate scandal,[181][182] and to the firing of Acting Attorney GeneralSally Yates in January 2017. Many members of Congress expressed concern over the firing and argued that it would put the integrity of the investigation into jeopardy.[183] Critics accused Trump of obstruction of justice.[184]

In the dismissal letter, Trump alleged that Comey had told Trump “on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation.”[185] Fact checkers reported that while they had no way of knowing what Comey may have told Trump privately, no such assertion was on the public record at that time of Comey directly stating that Trump was not personally under investigation.[186] However, in later Congressional testimony, Comey confirmed that on three occasions he volunteered to Trump that the latter was not personally under FBI investigation.[187][188]

According to Comey associates interviewed by news organizations, Trump had asked Comey in January to pledge loyalty to him, to which Comey demurred, instead offering him “honesty”.[131][189] Comey has indicated he is willing to testify about his dismissal in an open hearing.[190] He declined an invitation from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify before a closed-door session.[190]

On May 11, Acting Director McCabe testified before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does” and that “the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey”. This contradicted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said she had heard from “countless” FBI agents in support of the firing.[191]

On May 16, The New York Times revealed the existence of a memo Comey had written after a February 14 meeting with Trump. It said that Trump had asked him to drop the FBI’s investigation into Mike Flynn, who had been fired as National Security Advisor the day before.[192] Comey later explained that he had arranged, through a friend, for the memo to be shared with the press in hope it might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.[193]

On June 8, 2017, Comey gave public testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his firing. When asked why thought he had been fired, he said he had been confused by the shifting explanations for it but that “I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.”[194] He said that he had made contemporaneous notes about several of his conversations with the president because “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I felt the need to document it.”[194]He said he had not done so with the two previous presidents he had served.

Writings

In August 2017, Macmillan Publishers‘ Flatiron Books announced that it had acquired the rights to Comey’s first book, to be released in spring 2018, in which he will discuss ethics, leadership, and his experience in government.[195] Several publishers had submitted bids in an auction conducted by literary agency Javelin.[196]

In November 2017, the title of his book was revealed to be A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership with a release date of May 1, 2018.[197][198] The release date was moved up to April 17 because of scrutiny faced by the FBI during the Special Counsel investigation.[199] On March 18, presale orders of the not-yet-released book made it the top seller on Amazon.[200] The boom was attributed to a series of Twitter attacks on Comey by Trump, in which Trump claimed that Comey “knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”[201] In response Comey tweeted, “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.”[200]

Comey confirmed that the Twitter account @projectexile7 (later changed to @formerbu), which uses “Reinhold Niebuhr” as its display name, is operated by him.[202]

Post-government life

In the summer of 2017, Comey gave the convocation speech and a series of lectures at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C. During the fall of 2018, Comey will return to his alma mater, the College of William & Mary, to teach a course of ethical leadership. He will be an executive professor in education, a nontenured position at the College. Comey will join assistant professor Drew Stelljes to teach the course during the 2018-2019 academic year.[203]

Party affiliation

Although Comey was a registered Republican for most of his life, he disclosed during Congressional testimony on July 7, 2016, that he was no longer registered with any party.[1] Comey donated to Senator John McCain‘s campaign in the 2008 presidential election and to Governor Mitt Romney‘s campaign in the 2012 presidential election.[204]

Personal life

Comey and his wife, Patrice Failor, are the parents of five children.[205] They have also been foster parents.[206] He is of Irish descent and was raised in a Roman Catholic household.[207][208] Comey subsequently joined the United Methodist Church, and has taught Sunday school.[205] He is 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall.[209]

References

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

Dismissal of James Comey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Letter from President Donald Trump dismissing FBI Director James Comey

James Comey, the 7th director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was dismissed by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.[1] Comey had been criticized in 2016 for his handling of the FBI‘s investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy and in 2017 for the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections as it related to possible collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.[2][3]

Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter in which he stated that he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[4][5][6] In the following days, he gave numerous explanations of the dismissal that contradicted his staff and also belied the initial impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision.[7][8] Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey;[9] it later emerged that he had written his own early draft of the termination letter,[10] and had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it.[11] He also stated that dismissing Comey relieved unnecessary pressure on his ability to engage and negotiate with Russia, due to Comey’s “grandstanding and politicizing” the investigation.[12][13] Trump was reportedly “enormously frustrated” that Comey would not publicly confirm that the president was not personally under investigation.[14] After his dismissal, Comey publicly testified to the Congress that he told Trump, on three occasions, that he was not personally under investigation in the counterintelligence probe.[15]

Shortly after his termination, in a move that he hoped would prompt a special counsel investigation, Comey asked a friend to leak excerpts to the press of a memo he had written when he was FBI Director, recounting a private conversation with Trump in February 2017.[16] According to Comey, Trump had asked him to “let go” of potential charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before.[17][18] In light of the dismissal, the memo, and Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, several media figures, political opponents and legal scholars said that Trump’s acts could be construed as obstruction of justice, while others disagreed.[19][20][21][22]

Following Comey’s dismissal, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian meddling and related issues that Comey had supervised during his tenure.[23] Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt” on numerous occasions.[24] [25]

Background

President Barack Obama (right) and James Comey (left) in the White House Rose Garden, Washington, D.C., June 21, 2013, as Obama announced Comey’s nomination as FBI Director

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President and, since 1972, confirmed by the Senate.[26] Beginning in 1976, the director’s term has been limited to ten years,[27] which is a relatively long tenure that is meant to deter political pressure.[28] The term can be extended with the approval of the Senate. Nevertheless, although the FBI director is appointed for a 10-year term, the president has the power to dismiss the director for any reason.

Before becoming FBI director, Comey, a registered Republican, served in the George W. Bush administration as Deputy Attorney General.[29] He was appointed FBI Director by President Barack Obama.[29] Comey was confirmedby the Senate in 2013 by vote of 93–1.[30]

During his tenure as director of FBI, Comey said there was a need for the Bureau to be independent from politics.[31] But, beginning in 2015 the Bureau became embroiled in investigations that affected the 2016 presidential election.[32] In March 2015, it came to light that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had used a private e-mail server for her work as Secretary of State under President Obama. The FBI launched an investigation to determine whether Clinton had violated the law and whether national security had been jeopardized. In July 2016 Comey announced that he was not recommending that any charges be brought against Clinton. The decision was decried by Republican leaders and candidates, including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. In late October 2016, Comey announced that the investigation was being re-opened because of additional documents that had been obtained. Two weeks later he announced that no new information had been discovered and the investigation was again being closed.[33] The announcement of the re-opened investigation was seen by many observers as unnecessary and harmful to Clinton’s campaign, and the re-closing of that investigation was also met with complaints.[32][34]

On October 7, 2016,[35] the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly stated that individuals working on behalf of the Russian government had hacked servers and e-mail accounts associated with the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks.[36] This would be confirmed by numerous private security experts and other government officials. The FBI launched investigations into both the hackings, and contacts between Trump associates and Russia.

In January 2017, Comey testified to Congress confirming Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and confirmed an ongoing investigation although he refused to comment specifically on the Trump organization. President-elect Trump stated his intention to keep Comey as the FBI director. In March, Comey finally confirmed that the FBI was investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia. He also refuted Trump’s allegations that the Obama administration had wiretapped him.[33]

During the weeks leading up to May 9, grand jury subpoenas were issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, to associates of Michael Flynn for the purpose of obtaining records relating to the investigation of Russia’s role in the election. News outlets became aware of these subpoenas on May 9.[37]

Trump’s dismissal of Comey on May 9, 2017—four years into Comey’s ten-year term[28]—raised the issue of possible political interference by a sitting president into an existing investigation by a leading law enforcement agency,[28] as well as other issues.[which?] Although presidents have occasionally clashed with FBI directors,[38] Comey was only the second director to be dismissed since the Bureau’s foundation.[28] The only other occasion was under “dramatically different circumstances”:[39] in 1993 President Bill Clinton fired FBI Director William S. Sessions after a Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility report—published under Clinton’s predecessor, George H. W. Bush—accused Sessions of tax evasion and other ethical lapses.[40][41]

In May, Comey gave additional testimony before the Senate regarding the Clinton e-mail investigation and the Russia probe.[33] News media reported that Comey had requested additional personnel from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to expand the probe into Russia interference.[42] Commenting on the matter, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe “said he was unaware of any such request” but left open the possibility that Comey had requested the president to shift existing resources to the Russian investigation.[43][44]

The dismissal

Comey‘s official portrait as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

On May 8, 2017, Trump directed Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to provide advice and input in writing.[45] On Trump’s direction, on May 9, Rosenstein prepared and delivered a memorandum to Sessions relating to Comey (Sessions and Rosenstein had already begun considering whether to dismiss Comey months earlier).[45] Rosenstein’s memorandum said that the “reputation and credibility” of the FBI had been damaged under Comey’s tenure, and the memo presented critical quotes from several former attorneys general in previously published op-eds; Rosenstein concluded that their “nearly unanimous opinions” were that Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was “wrong.”[5] In his memo Rosenstein asserted that the FBI must have “a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.” He ended with an argument against keeping Comey as FBI director, on the grounds that he was given an opportunity to “admit his errors” but that there is no hope that he will “implement the necessary corrective actions.”[46] Rosenstein also criticized Comey on two grounds: for usurping the prerogative of the Justice Department and the Attorney General in his July 2016 public statements announcing the closure of the investigation into Clinton’s emails, and for making derogatory comments about Clinton in that same meeting.[47] Both of these actions, he argued, were in conflict with longstanding FBI practice. To Comey’s previous defense that Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict of interest, Rosenstein argued that in such a case, it is the duty of the Attorney General to recuse herself, and that there is a process for another Justice Department official to take over her duties.[48]

Termination letter

On May 9, 2017, President Trump sent a termination letter to James Comey:

Dear Director Comey:

I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.

While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.

It is essential that we find new leadership that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

— Donald J. Trump

Reasons for dismissal

Recommendations of the Attorney General Sessions and Rosenstein

Letter from Atty. GeneralSessions recommending the dismissal

Opinion from Deputy Atty. Gen. Rosenstein (3 pages)

Sessions, in his letter to Trump, cited Rosenstein’s memo as the reason for his own recommendation that Comey be dismissed. In the dismissal letter, Trump cited the recommendations by Sessions and Rosenstein as the reason for Comey’s dismissal.[4][49] Immediately after Trump’s termination announcement. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sessions and other administration associates stated that Trump fired Comey solely on the recommendations of Sessions and Rosenstein.[50]

On September 1, 2017, The New York Times reported that Trump had drafted a letter to Comey over the weekend of May 4–7, 2017. The draft, which is now in the possession Special Counsel Mueller, was dictated by Trump and written up by Trump aide Stephen Miller. It notified Comey he was being fired and gave a several-page-long explanation of the reasons. The draft was described by people who saw it as a “screed” with an “angry, meandering tone”.[10] On May 8 Trump showed it to senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and White House Counsel Don McGahn. McGahn was alarmed at its tone and persuaded Trump not to send that letter. McGahn arranged for Trump to meet with Sessions and Rosenstein, who had been separately discussing plans to fire Comey. Rosenstein was given a copy of the draft and agreed to write a separate memo on the subject. His memo, delivered to Trump on May 9 along with a cover-letter recommendation from Sessions, detailed Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation as the reason to dismiss him. Trump then cited Rosenstein’s memo and Sessions’ recommendation as the reason for terminating Comey.[10] Trump had previously praised Comey for renewing the investigation into Clinton’s emails in October 2016.[51]

Based on other reasons

Several other reasons were soon offered. On May 9, a statement by the White House claimed that Comey had “lost the support” of “rank and file” FBI employees, so that the President had no choice but to dismiss him.[52] However, FBI agents “flatly rejected” this assertion,[53] saying that Comey was in fact relatively well-liked and admired within the FBI.[54] In testimony given to the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabecontradicted the White House’s claim that Comey had lost the confidence of the FBI rank-and-file, saying that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI and does to this day.”[55] Comey, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, objected strongly to Trump’s description of the FBI as “in disarray” and “poorly led”. “The administration chose to defame me, and more importantly the FBI,” Comey said. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”[56][57]

On May 10, Trump told reporters he fired Comey “because he wasn’t doing a good job”.[58] On May 11, Trump said that he was going to fire Comey irrespective of any recommendation from the Justice Department.[59][60] On May 18, Rosenstein told members of the Senate that he wrote the dismissal memo while knowing that Trump had already decided to fire Comey.[61] Rosenstein had been contemplating firing Comey for many months.[45]

Within a few days, Trump and other White House officials directly linked the dismissal to the FBI’s Russia investigation. During a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump told the Russian officials “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job.” He added: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off”, further adding “I’m not under investigation.”[62][12] The comments were recorded in official White House notes made during the meeting.[63][64] On May 11 Trump told Lester Holt in an NBC News interview, “When I decided [to fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story”,[13] while reiterating his belief that there was no proof Russia was behind any election interference.[65][66] White House officials also stated that firing Comey was a step in letting the probe into Russian election interference “come to its conclusion with integrity”.[67][68] White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed the hope that firing Comey would help bring the Russia investigation to an end.[66]

Other reasons have been offered. Insider sources have claimed that Trump was furious at Comey for refusing during March to back up Trump’s wiretap accusations against former President Barack Obama, as well as not defending him from accusations of collusion with the Russian government.[69][70] According to Comey associates interviewed by The New York TimesAssociated Press, and CBS News, Trump had asked Comey in January to pledge his loyalty to him, and Comey declined to make this pledge, saying that he would give him “honesty” and what Trump called “honest loyalty”.[71][72] Trump denied that he asked Comey for his loyalty, but says such a discussion would not necessarily have been inappropriate.[73] On June 7, 2017, during an interview with MSNBC, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that it’s “obviously” inappropriate for the president to ask the FBI director for loyalty.[74] According to sources, Comey’s unwillingness to offer personal loyalty to Trump was one of the reasons for the firing.[70][75] Another source told The Atlantic that Trump fired Comey because Trump was concerned about what Flynn would testify in court.[76] The next day, several FBI insiders said Comey was fired because “he refused to end the Russia investigation.”[77] Prior to the firing, senior White House officials had made inquiries to intelligence officials, such as “Can we ask [Comey] to shut down the investigation [of former national security adviser Flynn]? Are you able to assist in this matter?”[78] After his dismissal, Comey recounted that Trump had told him the following in March 2017: “If there were some satellite associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out there.”[79][80]

Announcement of dismissal

President Trump had the letter dismissing Comey delivered in a manila folder to FBI headquarters[69] in Washington on the evening of Tuesday, May 9, and a press statement was made by Sean Spicer at the same time.[47] Comey was in Los Angeles that day giving a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office, and Comey learned of the termination through a news report being telecast while he was speaking. (Sources said he was surprised and caught off guard by the termination.) Comey immediately left for Washington, D.C., and cancelled another scheduled speech that night at an FBI recruitment event.[81]

Timing of the dismissal

Observers were suspicious of the timing of the dismissal, given the ongoing Russia investigation.[82][83][84] In an interview with CNN, President Trump’s Counselor