The Pronk Pops Show 1274, June 13, 2019, Story 1: Two Tankers Transitioning The Strait of Hormus  in Gulf of Oman Shelled, Torpedoed and On Fire — Videos — Story 2: Totally Fiscally Irresponsible Democrat and Republican Parties: U.S. Federal Government Spending Totally Out-of-Control Should Exceed $4,000 Billion With $1,000 Billion Deficits For Fiscal Year 2019 and Forever! — National Debt Approaching 100% of Gross Domestic Product By 2020 — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Entitlement, Welfare and Tax Reform Absolutely Must Happen To Avoid Massive Increases in Interest Rates — Videos — Story 3: United States Government To Purchase 478 New Joint Strike Fighter F-35s Lightning II for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and Allied Militaries From and Lockheed Martin for About $34 Billion — Videos — Story 4: What Will Cause The Next Recession In United States — Videos

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Story 1: Two Tankers Transitioning The Strait of Hormus  in Gulf of Oman Shelled, Torpedoed and On Fire — Videos —

Why isn’t the oil market reacting to the oil tanker attacks?

Iran responsible for attack on two tankers: Pompeo

US has video of Iran removing unexploded mine from oil tanker: Report

Iran rejects US accusation of involvement in tanker attacks

U.S. officials: Iran likely behind new tanker attacks

BREAKING – 2 Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman (straight of Hormuz) on fire

Crew have been rescued after abandoning two oil tankers hit by explosions in the Gulf of Oman

US Navy Heads for Oil Tanker Incident in Gulf of Oman

 

Two Oil Tankers Attacked Near Straight of Hormuz

Tanker Attacks In Gulf of Oman Fuel Security, Oil Supply Fears

 

Oil tanker attacks echo Persian Gulf’s 1980s ‘Tanker War’

 Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world’s crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the “Tanker War.”

While the current tensions are nowhere near the damage done then, it underscores how dangerous the situation is and how explosive it can become.

The so-called “Tanker War” involved American naval ships escorting reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf and the strait after Iranian mines damaged vessels in the region. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

U.S. estimates suggest Iran attacked over 160 ships in the late 1980s confrontation.

“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s crude oil passes through the straits,” said Paolo d’Amico, the chairman of the oil tanker association INTERTANKO. “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

So far, six oil tankers have been damaged in suspected limpet mine attacks, explosives that can be magnetically stuck to the side of a ship. The first attack happened May 12 off the coast of the Emirati port city of Fujairah and targeted four tankers. Thursday’s apparent attack damaged two other tankers.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for both incidents, offering a video on Friday it said showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces spirit away one mine stuck to a tanker that didn’t explode in Thursday’s assault. For its part, Iran denies being involved and calls the allegations part of America’s “Iranophobic campaign” against it.

Meanwhile, the owner of the tanker Kokuka Courageous said its sailors saw “flying objects” before the attack, suggesting it wasn’t damaged by mines and contradicting the U.S. military.

Confusion pervaded the start of the “Tanker War” as well.

That conflict grew out of the bloody eight-year war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, which began when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. The war killed 1 million people. The U.S. supported Saddam by providing intelligence, weaponry and other aid.

Iraq first targeted Iran’s shipping and by 1984 attacked Kharg Island, a crucial oil-tanker-loading terminal for Iran. Its air force also attacked ships in the Persian Gulf. After the Kharg attack, Iran began a concerted campaign to attack shipping in the region.

Iraq ultimately would attack over 280 vessels to Iran’s 168, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.

The Iran’s mining campaign began in earnest in 1987. At night, the Revolutionary Guard would drop mines from vessels disguised as traditional dhows, which ferry cargo around the waters of the Persian Gulf.

As attacks targeted Kuwaiti oil tankers, the U.S. ultimately stepped in to protect them. The Soviet Union also volunteered.

https://www.newsday.com/news/world/oil-tanker-attacks-echo-persian-gulf-s-1980s-tanker-war-1.32361954

 

MISCHIEVOUS PLOT’

Iran accuses the US of LYING about the ‘suspicious’ attack on American-linked oil tanker and denies ordering ‘torpedo’ assault

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the “blatant” attacks on two tankers which burst into flames in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

 A huge fire rages on board the Front Altair after it was reportedly hit by a torpedo in the Gulf of Oman

A huge fire rages on board the Front Altair after it was reportedly hit by a torpedo in the Gulf of Oman

 The tanker was one of two ships attacked today sparking an evacuation of all crew members

The tanker was one of two ships attacked today sparking an evacuation of all crew members

 The Pentagon released this image which is says shows Iranian involvement in the oil tanker attacks

The Pentagon released this image which is says shows Iranian involvement in the oil tanker attacks

But Iran has hit back at the “unfounded and reckless” claims and accused the US of “warmongering” as part of a “disinformation campaign”.

“The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots and false flag operations in the region,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said.

“Warning, once again, about all of the US coercion, intimidation and malign behaviour, Iran expresses concern over suspicious incidents for the oil tankers that occurred today.”

It came after Pompeo pointed the finger at Iran and the Pentagon released images and footage as “proof” of Iranian involvement.


What we know so far:

  • Two oil tankers were seriously damaged in the suspected torpedo attack
  • The US believes Iran is definitely to blame for the shocking attacks
  • Tehran has accused America of ‘Iranophobia’ and says it is innocent
  • Almost 50 sailors had to be rescued from the stricken tankers in the Gulf
  • Oil prices surged by 3.5 per cent after today’s suspected terror attack
  • Iran’s foreign minister has branded the explosions as “suspicious”
  • The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is now investigating the suspected torpedo attack

Pompeo said the attacks were part of a “campaign” of “escalating tension” by Iran which posed a threat to international peace and security.

Iran blasted his “inflammatory remarks” and said they amounted to “another Iranophobic campaign”.

“Iran categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms,” the Iranian mission said in a statement.

The hardline Islamic nation added that the US poses the “most significant threat” to the peace and security of the Persian Gulf region.

“The US economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as the massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security,” the statement said.

Iran’s foreign minister later dismissed the US accusations as “sabotage diplomacy”.

 The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous is believed to have been targeted by a magnetic mine

The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous is believed to have been targeted by a magnetic mine

 An aerial picture showing the huge blaze raging on the oil tanker after the attack this morning

An aerial picture showing the huge blaze raging on the oil tanker after the attack this morningCredit: AP:Associated Press

 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the blatant attacks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the blatant attacksCredit: Getty Images – Getty

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in blast at the Islamic state

Both the Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous burst into flames and were forced to evacuate in the troubled region on Thursday.

Reports suggested the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous may have been targeted by a magnetic mine causing a series of massive explosions on board.

The Pentagon released a video that it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the tanker.

This suggests the Islamic Republic may have sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene.

SMOKING GUN?

The black-and-white footage, as well as still photographs released by the US military’s Central Command, appeared to show the limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous.

But the owner has since said the tanker crew saw “flying objects” before the attack, suggesting the ship was not damaged by mines, according to AP.

Pompeo said the US will defend its forces and interests in the region but gave no specifics about any plans and he took no questions.

Hours later it was revealed the US Navy is sending the guided missile destroyer USS Mason to the scene of the attacks.

The USS Bainbridge rescued 21 of the 44 stricken sailors involved in the incident near the Strait of Hormuz.

BRITAIN BLASTS ‘DEEPLY UNWISE’ ATTACKS

Britain is working on the basis that Iran is responsible for the attacks and warned Iran that these actions were “deeply unwise”.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension.

“I have been in contact with Pompeo and, while we will be making our own assessment soberly and carefully, our starting point is obviously to believe our U.S. allies.

“We are taking this extremely seriously and my message to Iran is that if they have been involved it is a deeply unwise escalation which poses a real danger to the prospects of peace and stability in the region.”

Norwegian shipping firm Frontline, which owns the Altair, has denied Iranian reports that the tanker had sunk.

The ship was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands – a US associated state in the Pacific Ocean.

Chartered by Taiwan’s state oil refiner CPC Corp, the huge vessel set sail from the UAE port of Ruwais on Tuesday and was due to arrive in Kaohsiung on June 30.

Speaking to Reuters, the CEO of CPC’s petrochemical division Wu I-Fang said the tanker was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo.”

He said it was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock, which trade sources estimate to be worth more than $30 million.

Gulf of Oman attack- 23 oil tanker crew members filmed safe in Jask after suspected attack

Paolo d’Amico, chairman of the tanker association, Intertanko, said concern was rising for other crews braving the powder keg shipping lanes.

He said: “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the oil supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

It comes as tensions in the Persian Gulf between the United States and Iran are threatening to reach boiling point.

A Saudi-led coalition has described the attack as a “major escalation”.

In recent weeks, Washington has sent a number of battleships to the region in response to what it says are Iranian threats against American interests and its allies in the region.

The Kokuka Courageous – which is owned by Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyohad – set sail from Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia on June 10 and was due to reach Singapore by June 22.

Oil prices rose by 3.5 per cent following news of the explosions, according to reports.

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif branded the explosions as “suspicious” calling them “reported attacks on Japan-related oil tankers.”

He said the incident had happened as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a close American ally.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet said it is aware of a “reported attack” in the area and is investigating.

A statement said: “US naval forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6.12 am local time and a second one at 7.00 am.

“US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance.”

 The incident reportedly happened in the Gulf of Oman this morning

12
The incident reportedly happened in the Gulf of Oman this morning

Speaking about the attacks, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said: “The President has been briefed on the attack on ships in the Gulf of Oman.

“The US Government is providing assistance and will continue to assess the situation.”

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British Navy, urged “extreme caution” and said it was investigating the incident.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of explosions and fires on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. We are in contact with local authorities and partners in the region.”

Authorities do not believe that any British nationals were on the two ships.

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned by reports of explosions and fires on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. We are in contact with local authorities and partners in the region.”

This comes after the US claimed Iran used explosives to blow huge holes in four ships – including two Saudi oil tankers – anchored in the Persian Gulf last month.

The ships reportedly had ruptures measuring up to ten foot across  in their hulls as a result of the May 12 sabotage attacks.

Recent US and Iran tensions

  • May 5: USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force is deployed in Middle East in response to ‘a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings’ by Iran.
  • May 8: Iran vows to enrich its uranium stockpile if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its nuclear deal. The US responds by imposing sanctions on Iran’s metals industry.
  • May 10: The US says it will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran.
  • May 24: President Trump says the US will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops.
  • May 12: The UAE says four commercial ships off its eastern coast “were subjected to sabotage operations,” just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets air false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port.

 Huge plumes of thick black smoke billow from the massive tanker in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected torpedo attack

Huge plumes of thick black smoke billow from the massive tanker in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected torpedo attackCredit: AP:Associated Press

 One of the tankers on fire in the Gulf of Oman following the suspected torpedo attack

One of the tankers on fire in the Gulf of Oman following the suspected torpedo attackCredit: AFP or licensors

 The Front Altair, from the US-linked Marshall Islands, was one of the ships reportedly attacked today near Iran

The Front Altair, from the US-linked Marshall Islands, was one of the ships reportedly attacked today near IranCredit: Shipspotting.com

Two tankers: all you need to know

  • Front Altair was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands
  • It is owned by Norwegian company Frontline and is operated by Dubai-based International Tanker Management
  • The ship was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical product, worth $30m when it was attacked
  • It was carrying 23 crew members who were all rescued
  • The vessel can carry up to 62,849 tonnes of cargo
  • It weighs a staggering 109,894 tonnes
  • Kokuka Courageous was built in 2010 and is flagged to Panama
  • It is owned by Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyo and is operated by BSM Ship Management
  • The ship was carrying 25,000 tonnes of methanol when it was attacked
  • 21 sailors on board were rescued. One suffered minor injuries

They were targeted near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates – with one of the tankers due to be loaded with Saudi crude oil bound for the US.

A Washington-based official told the Associated Press that an American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or its allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

A huge US naval presence has built up in the Gulf over recent weeks amid a fevered standoff between Washington and Tehran.

US intelligence revealed Iran was on the verge of carrying out offensive action to disrupt and attack American and partner interests in the region.

It led to the deployment of US aircraft carriers, Patriot missiles and B52 bombers over recent days.

The general-secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council described the sabotage as a “serious escalation” in an overnight statement.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman called the incidents near the coast of Fujairah on May 12 “worrisome and dreadful” and asked for an investigation into the matter.

US and Iran – a troubled history

  • Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran was one of America’s biggest allies in the Middle East and was led by the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
  • However, since the seismic revolt, Iran has been led by murderous Islamic fundamentalists and tensions with Washington have remained ever since.
  • On November 4, 1979, the Iranian regime took 52 US diplomats hostage in response to President Carter’s administration allowing Iran’s deposed former leader into America.
  • The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days and also included a failed rescue mission which cost the lives of eight US soldiers.
  • In April 1980, the US ended diplomatic relations with Iran – a break which lasted for more than 30 years.
  • In April 1983, Washington blamed the Iranian-funded terror group Hezbollah for carrying out a bombing attack on the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
  • The assault, carried out amid a brutal civil war in Lebanon, killed 17 Americans.
  • In November of that year, two truck bombs in Beruit killed 241 US peace keepers. The US again blamed Hezbollah for the incident.
  • The Clinton White House, in 1995, placed a total embargo on Iran meaning US companies could not trade with the country.
  • And in 2002, George W Bush included the Islamic Republic in his famous “Axis of evil” speech along with North Korea and Iraq.

 The latest explosions in the region come after four ships were attacked with explosives last month in the Persian Gulf

The latest explosions in the region come after four ships were attacked with explosives last month in the Persian GulfCredit: Reuters
 The United States deployed an additional warship to the Gulf
The United States deployed an additional warship to the GulfCredit: AFP

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

The deal is an agreement between the Islamic Republic and a group of world powers aimed at scrapping the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear weapons programme.

It saw Iran agree to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium by 98 per cent.

According to the deal, Iran would receive relief from the US, the European Union and the United Nations Security Council on all nuclear-related economic sanctions.

The agreement was reached on July 14, 2015, and was signed by world powers in Vienna, Austria.

However,  on May 8, 2018, President Trump announced the US would withdraw from the agreement – which he has repeatedly called “insane” and ridiculous”.

America’s withdrawal from the deal mean crippling economic sanctions will once again be placed on Iran – further heightening tensions between the two countries.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9292305/iran-oil-tanker-attack-gulf-of-oman/

 

Tankers ablaze in suspected attacks near Gulf oil chokepoint

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from the Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, one of two vessels hit by suspected attacks in the waters of the Gulf of Oman

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from the Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, one of two vessels hit by suspected attacks in the waters of the Gulf of Oman

Suspected attacks left two tankers ablaze in the waters of the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, sparking fears of a broader conflict and sending world oil prices soaring.

The mysterious incident came amid spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, which pointed the finger at the Islamic republic last month over similar attacks in the strategic sea lane.

The UN Security Council is to hold a closed-door meeting later on Thursday at the request of the United States to discuss the suspected attacks.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority said three explosions were reported on board the Norwegian-owned tanker Front Altair after it was “attacked” along with the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

Iran said its navy rescued 44 crew members after the two vessels, which were carrying highly inflammable material, caught fire.

Footage aired on television showed thick, black plumes of smoke and flames billowing from one of the tankers as it lay out to sea.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the timing of the “reported attacks” was “suspicious”, coming as Japan’s prime minister held talks in Iran.

Suspected attacks involving tankers in Gulf

Suspected attacks involving tankers in Gulf

The US Fifth Fleet, based in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, said its warships had received separate distress calls from each vessel.

The White House said US President Donald Trump was briefed on the suspected attacks and the government was assessing the situation.

UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned the “security incidents” and warned the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf, while the European Union called for “maximum restraint”.

State media in Iran said the incidents happened one hour apart in the early morning.

The Front Altair, a 111,000-tonne vessel carrying ethanol from Qatar to Taiwan, caught fire first off Bandar-e-Jask in southern Iran, the official IRNA news agency said.

“As the ship caught fire, 23 of the crew jumped into the water and were saved by a passing ship and handed over to the Iranian rescue unit,” it said.

Robert Hvide Macleo, chief executive for the ship’s owner Frontline, wrote in a text message to AFP: “I can confirm that the vessel has NOT sunk” and the crew were “all safe”.

– ‘Security incident’ –

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the "reported attacks" on two tankers in the Gulf were "suspicious" as it happened while the Japanese prime minister was having talks in Tehran

The Kokuka Courageous was headed to Singapore from Saudi Arabia with a cargo of methanol, IRNA said.

Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said it had “launched a full-scale emergency response following a security incident” involving the Kokuka.

“The 21 crew of the vessel abandoned ship after the incident on board which resulted in damage to the ship’s hull starboard side,” it said of the vessel owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo Ltd.

“One crew man from the Kokuka Courageous was slightly injured… and is receiving first aid.”

In Tokyo, Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said: “A tanker carrying Japan-related goods was attacked. There were no injuries among the crew members. They got off the tanker. There were no Japanese members.”

Front Altair was reportedly still burning late Thursday, but the fire aboard the Kokuka Courageous was under control extinguished, said an Iranian official involved in the rescue operation.

The incident came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on an unprecedented visit to Iran, seeking to defuse tensions between Tokyo’s ally Washington and the Islamic republic.

– Oil price spike –

World oil prices surged following reports of the suspected attacks, exacerbating tensions in the crude-rich Middle East, analysts said.

“Tension across the Middle East is high — and the attacks on two tankers has further exacerbated the situation, even though there does not appear to have been any damage to the cargos,” said John Hall, chairman of British-based consultancy Alfa Energy.

London’s Brent North Sea oil jumped more than four percent in morning deals before trimming gains.

The strategic Strait of Hormuz

In afternoon trading, Brent for August delivery stood at $61.99 per barrel, up $2.02, or nearly 3.4 percent from Wednesday.

New York’s West Texas Intermediate was up $1.60 or around 3.1 percent at $52.74 per barrel.

The Gulf of Oman lies at the other end of the strategic Strait of Hormuz from the Gulf, part of a vital chokepoint through which at least 15 million barrels of crude oil and hundreds of millions of dollars of non-oil imports pass.

On May 12, four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirati — were damaged in still unexplained attacks off the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

US national security adviser John Bolton said Iranian naval mines were almost certainly behind those attacks without providing any evidence.

The UAE said initial findings of a five-nation investigation delivered to the UN pointed to the likelihood a state was involved.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia warned this month that “terrorist” attacks in the Gulf could imperil global oil supplies, as he sought to galvanise support against arch-rival Iran.

The kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, ratcheted up tensions with Iran after the attacks off Fujairah, which were followed by a drone strike on a key Saudi oil pipeline claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

“We are in a dangerous moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst with International Crisis Group.

“Any miscalculation or misunderstanding risks a spiral toward more direct confrontation,” she told AFP.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7136677/Two-oil-tankers-evacuated-new-incident-Gulf-Oman.html

Iran Has Little to Gain From Oman Tanker Attacks

Julian Lee,
Bloomberg

Two oil tankers have been damaged in a suspected attack in the waters between the United Arab Emirates and Iran as they were leaving the Persian Gulf. This is the second incident in four weeks, and raises the question of who gains what from them.

Fingers will certainly be pointed at Iran as the mastermind behind these events. But the potential benefits to the Persian Gulf nation are outweighed by the risks. And even if Tehran isn’t responsible, it will still suffer the consequences.

The first tanker to report a problem was the Front Altair. It was reported to be carrying 75,000 tons of naphtha, loaded in Abu Dhabi, to Japan, although it was signaling a destination of Kaosiung in Taiwan when it was damaged. The second vessel was the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore with a cargo of methanol.

A person who’s heard local radio transmissions between ships in the region told Bloomberg that a torpedo attack is suspected to have caused an explosion and fire on the Front Altair. The managers of the Kokuka Courageous said in a statement that “the 21 crew of the vessel abandoned ship after the incident on board which resulted in damage to the ship’s hull starboard side.”

Who gains from these attacks?

The obvious answer is Iran. If Tehran is attacking tankers leaving the Persian Gulf – either directly, or through proxies – it sends a message that transit through the world’s most important choke point for global oil flows is not safe without its consent. If Iran is pushed to the brink economically by sanctions, it will not go quietly. Other nations in the region will bear the cost of disruptions to their own oil exports, while America and its allies will have to cope with higher crude prices and disruptions to supplies.

Not since 2005 have the world’s insurers considered shipping in the Persian Gulf so dangerous for oil tankers. Nevertheless, we are still far from the level of tension that existed during the so-called Tanker War of the 1980s, when 451 vessels (259 of them oil or refined petroleum product tankers) suffered some sort of attack in the region, according to a report from the U.S. Naval Institute. The incidents took place during the Iran-Iraq war, and the culprits were forces from both countries.

Then, the U.S. navy resorted to escorting vessels through the Persian Gulf. That would be an expensive operation to repeat and would tie up a large part of the U.S. and allied fleets in the region. It would also raise the cost of the U.S. drive against Iran, which began with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Brent crude was up by as much as 4.45% on Thursday, shortly after news of the attacks broke, although it has since lost some of those gains. The nation’s oil exports have been seriously curtailed by U.S. sanctions, and higher prices are its only route to increasing revenues. But the benefits are likely to be relatively small, given the dwindling volumes and steep discounts that the country probably has to offer to shift its oil.

There is another group that will benefit from the incident – the people who want to see the U.S. step up its campaign against Iran and move from an economic war to a military one. There are plenty of those, both in the U.S. and among its allies in the Persian Gulf and wider Middle East regions.

The timing of the attacks also raises questions.

They come as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Tehran, with the blessing of President Trump. On Wednesday Abe urged Tehran to avoid conflict at all costs and pledged to do his utmost to ease tensions. The tankers damaged on Thursday were carrying cargoes related to Japan,  Hiroshige Seko, minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, said on the ministry’s Twitter feed.

A day earlier, Iran freed a U.S. resident imprisoned on espionage charges.

This would seem very clumsy timing from a country seeing the first tangible signs of any easing of the crippling sanctions imposed by the Americans. But it is absolutely understandable if you’re someone whose ultimate goal is to derail any easing of tensions between the two nations, and to effect regime change in Tehran. Whoever is behind the attacks is no friend of Iran.

–With assistance from Elaine He.

Oil rallies after apparent attack on tankers near Strait of Hormuz, but finish off session high

Oil futures rallied Thursday, as an attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz raised fears of a potential disruption to the global flow of oil, but failed to recoup the previous days losses by the close.

“Supply concern flare-ups are not infrequent occurrences in crude markets,” said Ryan Giannotto, director of research at GraniteShares.

“The nature of these events is that the outcomes are quite binary: either a major supply disruption event transpires or it does not,” he said. “This lack of a middle ground in outcomes stokes fear in commodities markets, but the added risk premium tends to abate rapidly.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery CLN19, -0.33%  rose $1.14, or 2.2%, to end at $52.28 a barrel after tapping an intraday high of $53.45. The gains contrasted with a 4% drop that took the U.S. benchmark down to $51.14 Wednesday, the lowest front-month contract finish since Jan. 14, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-from-five-month-lows-on-reports-of-gulf-of-oman-tanker-fire-2019-06-13

Story 2: Totally Fiscally Irresponsible Democrat and Republican Parties: U.S. Federal Government Spending Totally Out-of-Control Should Exceed $4,000 Billion With $1,000 Billion Deficits For Fiscal Year 2019 and Forever! — National Debt Approaching 100% of Gross Domestic Product By 2020 — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Entitlement, Welfare and Tax Reform Absolutely Must Happen To Avoid Massive Increases in Interest Rates — Videos —

 

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Federal Spending Tops $3 Trillion Through May for First Time; Deficit Hits $738 Billion

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 12, 2019 | 2:25 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

(CNSNews.com) – For the first time in the history of the United States, the federal government has spent more than $3 trillion in the first eight months of the fiscal year, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

The record $3,013,541,000,000 that the federal government spent in October through May of fiscal 2019 was $181,157,920,000 more than the previous record of $2,832,383,080,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars) that the federal government spent in October through May of fiscal 2009.

Total federal tax revenues in the first eight months of fiscal 2019 hit $2,274,902,000,000, which fell $5,612,990,000 short of the record $2,280,514,990,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in total tax revenues in the first eight months of fiscal 2016.

Even with the second highest tax revenues ever collected in the first eight months of the fiscal year, the federal government still ran a deficit for those eight months of $738,639,000,000.

Table 3 of the Monthly Treasury Statement, which summarizes federal receipts and outlays for the current fiscal year to date, indicated the Department of Health and Human Services cost the most money, accounting for $834,346,000,000 in federal spending in the first eight months of the fiscal year. The Social Security Administration cost the second most, accounting for $730,000,000,000 in federal spending during the period.

The Department of Defense was third, accounting for $439,289,000,000 in federal spending.

The combined $1,564,346,000,000 the federal government spent on HHS and the Social Security Administration during the first eight months of the fiscal year equaled 51.9 percent of the record total of $3,013,541,000,000 in federal spending during the period.

The combined $1,564,346,000,000 spent on HHS and Social Security was 3.56 times as much as the $439,289,000,000 spent on the Defense Department.

Story 3: United States Government To Purchase 478 New Joint Strike Fighter F-35s Lightning II for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and Allied Militaries From and Lockheed Martin for About $34 Billion — Videos

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The Reason Poland Sent an Official Request to Buy The F-35 Fighter Jets from the U.S.

The Reason Poland Sent an Official Request to Buy The F-35 Fighter Jets from the U.S. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced May 28 that his ministry sent a letter of request today to the United States regarding Poland’s plan to acquire 32 F-35A fighter jets. I care about replacing post-Soviet gear in the Polish Air Force with the most modern one, Blaszczak said at a defense conference in Warsaw, as reported by local news site Defence24.pl. The ministry aims to replace the Air Force’s outdated Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 jets with fifth-generation fighters. The acquisition is to be carried out as part of Poland’s military modernization program under which Warsaw plans to spend some 185 billion zloty ($48 billion) on new weapons and equipment by 2026. Last April, Blaszczak said that the deal to purchase F-35s was not far away from being signed, as the Polish cabinet was holding the talks in parallel to its negotiations with Washington on the permanent deployment of U S troops to Poland. Warsaw has pitched for the United States to build a military base in the country, offering to allocate at least $2 billion toward the project, dubbed Fort Trump.

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Our 2012 interview with Pierre Sprey a defence analyst who spent 20 years working at the Pentagon and helped designed one of the most successful jetfighters ever, the A10 Warthog. He is a confirmed critic of the F-35.

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Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Reach ‘Handshake’ Deal For Hundreds Of F-35s

If the deal goes through, the company will produce a whopping 478 F-35s. That’s the largest procurement in the Pentagon’s history.

The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a “handshake” agreement on a $34 billion contract to make hundreds of new F-35 fighter jets.

According to a press release from Lockheed Martin, if the deal goes through, the company will produce a whopping 478 F-35s. That’s the largest procurement in the Pentagon’s history.

As a Pentagon spokesperson told The Washington Post, buying the jets in large quantities should allow the Defense Department to lower the average unit cost per plane significantly.

The F-35 program has been repeatedly criticized for its hefty price tag. After all, the estimated lifetime cost of the program is more than $1 trillion.

https://www.newsy.com/stories/dod-lockheed-martin-reach-tentative-deal-for-f-35-jets/

 

Pentagon and Lockheed Martin reach tentative $34 billion deal for hundreds of F-35 fighter jets

One Pentagon official described it as the largest procurement in the history of the Defense Department.


A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft in Berlin. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt (Axel Schmidt/Reuters)

June 11 at 5:22 PM

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement to procure 470 new F-35 fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and allied militaries, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. A finalized contract award is expected in August, officials said.

If the massive order for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is finalized, it will be the largest procurement in the history of the Defense Department. Its value is estimated at $34 billion.

The $34 billion agreement “marks the largest procurement in the history of the Department and provides a best value for our warfighter and taxpayer, incentivizes industry to continuously improve their performance and achieves the lowest F-35 unit prices per aircraft to date,” Vice Adm. Mathias Winter, F-35 program executive, said in an email to reporters.

Buying the jets in bulk should allow the Pentagon to decrease the average unit cost of the plane by about 15 percent, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. And it should bring the cost of the most common F-35 variant below $80 million one year ahead of schedule.

Lockheed Martin program general manager Greg Ulmer touted the company’s cost savings in the most recent contract, which he chalked up to “smart acquisition strategies and a relentless focus on cost reduction.”

“Beating our long-stated goal and delivering an F-35A below $80 million … is a testament to our joint government and industry team ― and we look forward to working with the Joint Program Office to finalize the agreement,” Ulmer wrote in an email.

Both Lockheed and the Defense Department are trying to address decades of criticism from congressional hawks and doves alike, who have characterized the F-35 program as too costly.

Almost since its inception, the F-35 has been a lighting rod for criticism around wasteful defense spending. And it has been a financial bedrock for Lockheed, propelling the Bethesda-based manufacturer to a dominant position atop the defense contracting hierarchy.

Proponents argue that the plane’s stealthiness, advanced sensors, targeting capabilities and extended flying range would make it an important asset in a war against a so-called “near-peer” competitor such as Russia or China.

But it is also the single most expensive military program in U.S. history by a wide margin, leading some to worry it will starve the Pentagon of resources it needs for other missions. The late senator John McCain called the F-35 a “poster child for acquisition malpractice” a “scandal” and a “tragedy” at different points during his tenure as Senate Armed Services Committee chairman.

President Trump also took an interest in the plane early in his presidency when he criticized its “tremendous cost and cost overruns,” and asked the Pentagon to consider buying one of Boeing’s F-18 jets instead. In early 2017, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed a contract that shaved roughly $728 million in costs ― an amount roughly equivalent to cost reductions already in place during the Obama administration.

Even Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who is the acting defense secretary, has criticized the plane.

“The F-35, unequivocally, I can say, has a lot of opportunity for more performance,” Shanahan said in response to questions about whether he is biased toward his former employer.

Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the contract announced Tuesday draws attention to the sheer size of the program. The agreement means Lockheed Martin will benefit from years of taxpayer-funded military contracts, and will be able to confidently plan for the future.

“With contracts you recognize the sheer enormity of the [F-35] program,” Aboulafia said. “We could still see four or five more of these [multiyear production] contracts.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/11/pentagon-lockheed-martin-reach-tentative-billion-deal-hundreds-f-fighter-jets/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ae8a8f28df8e

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The Pronk Pops Show 1247, April 30, 2019, Story 1: Vive Venezuelan Revolution Regime Change — Send In Trump’s Private Army — Central Intelligence Agency — Takeover Oil Fields and Restore Democracy — Cubans and Russians Deported To Country of Origin — Videos — Story 2: Babbling Biden Bowel Movement — A Few Dozen Union Leaders Show Up — Not Very Impressive — Videos — Story 3: Biden Surges in Rigged Polls — Videos — Story 4: A Whole Lot of Unmasking Going On — Artifact of Attempted Deep State Coupe? — Videos

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Story 1: Vive Venezuelan Revolution Regime Change — Send In Trump’s Private Army — Central Intelligence Agency — Takeover Oil Fields and Restore Democracy — Cubans and Russians Deported To Country of Origin — Videos

 

Venezuela’s Guaidó calls for uprising against Maduro

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Venezuela’s President Maduro ‘had a plane on the tarmac’ yesterday and was ready to flee to Cuba before RUSSIA intervened to stop him leaving, US claims after tens of thousands of people hit the streets in support of his rival Juan Guaido sparking violent clashes with military

  • Juan Guaido called for uprising against Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday from the La Carlota airbase in Caracas
  • Mike Pompeo claims Maduro was ready to leave Venezuela as uprising began until the Kremlin intervened 
  • Guaido made the announcement surrounded by troops who then began setting up a defensive perimeter
  • Maduro’s forces fired tear gas before a heavy exchange of gunfire, with protesters caught in the middle
  • Video footage shows a Venezuelan National Guard armoured vehicle plough into a group of protesters
  • Trump administration backs Guaido and his uprising while Putin backs Maduro during talks with top officials

Clashes rock Venezuela as Guaido urges opposition uprising

24 minutes ago

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó took a bold step to revive his movement to seize power in Venezuela, taking to the streets Tuesday to call for a military uprising that drew quick support from the Trump administration but also fierce resistance from forces loyal to embattled socialist Nicolas Maduro.

Violent street battles erupted in parts of Caracas in what was the most serious challenge yet to Maduro’s rule — kicked off with a video shot at dawn of Guaidó, flanked by several heavily armed national guardsmen, urging a final push to topple Maduro.

In one dramatic incident during a chaotic day, several armored vehicles plowed into a group of anti-government demonstrators trying to storm the capital’s air base, hitting at least two protesters.

Still, the rebellion, dubbed “Operation Freedom,” seemed to have garnered only limited military support.

The dramatic events began early Tuesday when Guaidó, flanked by a few dozen national guardsmen and some armored crowd-control vehicles, released the three-minute video shot near the Carlota air base.

In a surprise, Leopoldo Lopez, Guaido’s political mentor and the nation’s most-prominent opposition activist, stood alongside him. Detained in 2014 for leading a previous round of anti-government unrest, Lopez said he had been released from house arrest by security forces adhering to an order from Guaidó.

“I want to tell the Venezuelan people: This is the moment to take to the streets and accompany these patriotic soldiers,” Lopez declared.

As the two opposition leaders coordinated actions from a highway overpass, troops loyal to Maduro fired tear gas from inside the adjacent air base.

A crowd that quickly swelled to a few thousand scurried for cover, reappearing later with Guaidó at a plaza a few blocks from the disturbances. A smaller group of masked youths stayed behind on the highway, lobbing rocks and Molotov cocktails toward the air base and setting a government bus on fire.

An anti-government protester walks near a bus that was set on fire by opponents of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro during clashes between rebel and loyalist soldiers in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Amid the mayhem, several armored utility vehicles careened over a berm and drove at full speed into the crowd. Two demonstrators, lying on the ground with their heads and legs bloodied, were rushed away on a motorcycle as the vehicles sped away dodging fireballs thrown by the demonstrators.

“It’s now or never,” said one of the young rebellious soldiers, his face covered in the blue bandanna worn by the few dozen insurgent soldiers.

Later Tuesday, Lopez and his family sought refuge in the Chilean ambassador’s residence in Caracas, where another political ally has been holed up for over a year. There were also reports that 25 troops who had been with Guaidó fled to Brazil’s diplomatic mission.

Amid the confusion, Maduro tried to project an image of strength, saying he had spoken to several regional military commanders who reaffirmed their loyalty.

“Nerves of steel!” he said in a message posted on Twitter.

Flanked by top military commanders, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López condemned Guaido’s move as a “terrorist” act and “coup attempt” that was bound to fail like past uprisings.

Fireworks launched by opponents of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro land near Bolivarian National Guard armored vehicles loyal to Maduro, during an attempted military uprising in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

“Those who try to take Miraflores with violence will be met with violence,” he said on national television, referring to the presidential palace where hundreds of government supporters, some of them brandishing firearms, had gathered in response to a call to defend Maduro.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the “right-wing extremists” would not succeed in fracturing the armed forces, which have largely stood with the socialist leader throughout the months of turmoil.

“Since 2002, we’ve seen the same pattern,” Arreaza told The Associated Press. “They call for violence, a coup, and send people into the streets so that there are confrontations and deaths. And then from the blood they try to construct a narrative.”

Protesters erected barricades of debris at several downtown intersections about 10 blocks from the presidential palace, but police in riot gear moved in quickly to clear the roads. Most shops and businesses were closed and the streets of the capital unusually quiet, as people huddled at home to await the outcome of the day’s drama.

Guaidó said he called for the uprising to restore Venezuela’s constitutional order, broken when Maduro was sworn in earlier this year for a second term following elections boycotted by the opposition and considered illegitimate by dozens of countries.

Paramedics aid an anti-government protester who was injured during clashes with security forces loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, during an attempted military uprising in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Boris Vergara)

He said that in the coming hours he would release a list of top commanders supporting the uprising. There were unconfirmed reports that Gen. Manuel Christopher Figuera, who heads the feared intelligence agency responsible for keeping Lopez in state custody, was among members of the security forces who had decided to flip.

“The armed forces have taken the right decision,” said Guaidó. “With the support of the Venezuelan people and the backing of our constitution they are on the right side of history.”

Anti-government demonstrators gathered in several other cities, although there were no reports that Guaidó’s supporters had taken control of any military installations.

As events unfolded, governments from around the world expressed support for Guaidó while reiterating calls to avoid violent confrontation.

Bolton declined to discuss possible actions — military or otherwise — but reiterated that “all options” are on the table as President Donald J. Trump monitors developments “minute by minute.”

He said he was waiting for key power brokers including Padrino, Supreme Court chief justice Maikel Moreno and head of the presidential guard to make good on their commitments to achieve the peaceful transfer of power to Guiado.

“All agreed that Maduro had to go. They need to be able to act this afternoon, or this evening, to help bring other military forces to the side of the interim president,” Bolton said. “If this effort fails, (Venezuela) will sink into a dictatorship from which there are very few possible alternatives.”

Elsewhere, Spain’s socialist caretaker government urged restraint, while the governments of Cuba and Bolivia reiterated their support for Maduro.

___

Joshua Goodman in Cucuta, Colombia, contributed to this report.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6975871/Venezuelas-Juan-Guaido-calls-military-revolt-final-phase-overthrowing-President-Maduro.html

 

– Story 2: Babbling Biden Bowel Movement — A Few Hundred Union Leaders Show Up — Not Very Impressive — Videos

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Joe Biden holds first 2020 campaign rally

 

Story 3: Biden Surges in Rigged CNN Polls — 39% Biden, 15% Sanders and No Other Candidates in Double Digits —  Videos

 

Biden surges in primary polls

Former Vice President Joe Biden has surged in the polls since launching his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, opening up a double-digit lead over the rest of the field in two new national surveys.

A CNN poll released Tuesday found Biden jumping 11 points to 39 percent support, a 24-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is at 15 percent support. No other candidate in the race has double-digit backing from respondents.

And a Morning Consult survey released Tuesday found Biden with 36 percent support, followed by Sanders at 22 percent. That’s a 6-point bounce for Biden from the same survey released earlier this month, while Sanders has fallen by 2 points. No other candidate reaches double-digit support in the Morning Consult poll, either.

Biden’s polling strength also extends to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.

A Suffolk University survey released Tuesday found the former Delaware senator in the lead in New Hampshire with 20 percent support, followed by Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 12 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is in fourth place at 8 percent.

If Biden were to win New Hampshire it would be a massive blow to Sanders and Warren, who come from nearby states and are seen as having a home-field advantage in the Northeast.

Biden’s strength in the polls is driven by his broad support from African Americans. Biden has 43 percent support from black voters, according to Morning Consult. Sanders is at 20 percent here, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at 10 percent.

The same holds true in the CNN poll, with Biden hitting 50 percent among nonwhite voters. Sanders is a distant second at 14 percent, and no other candidate is in double-digits.

With Biden emerging as the clear early front-runner, the Democrats lagging behind are increasingly taking shots at him and his decades-long voting record.

Sanders went after Biden with his most direct attacks yet on Monday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

“I helped lead the fight against NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], [Biden] voted for NAFTA. I helped lead the fight against China [on trade], he voted for it. I strongly opposed [the Trans-Pacific Partnership], he supported it. I voted against the war in Iraq, he voted for it,” Sanders said.

President Trump also unloaded on Biden with a series of Twitter attacks, suggesting the president and his political team view the former vice president as a formidable challenger.

The attacks from the White House further help Biden separate himself from the pack of Democrats behind him, setting up an early one-on-one with the president that sets Biden above the fray.

Biden has sought to draw early contrasts between himself and Trump, opening his launch speech by attacking the president’s response to the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

On Monday, Biden rallied union workers at a campaign event in Pennsylvania, a state Trump turned red in the last election for the first time since 1988.

“I’m sick of this President badmouthing unions,” Biden tweeted. “Labor built the middle class in this country … we need a president who honors them and their work.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/441313-poll-biden-surges-in-primary-polls

Biden holds 26-point lead among Dems in new national poll

Days after announcing his presidential candidacy, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 26-point lead over other Democratic contenders, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday.

Biden, who announced his White House bid early Thursday, leads among Democrats and voters leaning Democratic with 38 percent support of those surveyed, according to the poll.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) came in second in the poll with 12 percent support among those surveyed, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with 11 percent, the poll found.

“The Democratic primary race suddenly gets real with a fast start by former Vice President Joe Biden and a very clear indication from voters that he is the only candidate who can send President Trumppacking 18 months from now,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The results of the Quinnipiac University Poll are similar to survey results released Tuesday that showed a surge of support for Biden following his campaign launch. The former vice president far outpaced every other candidate in several polls release Tuesday.

CNN-SSRS poll released Tuesday found that Biden leaped 11 points since last month, earning the support of 39 percent of the Democratic electorate. That poll found Biden holding a 24-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and no other candidate earning double-digit support.

A Morning Consult survey released Tuesday found that Biden rose from 30 percent support earlier this month to 36 percent support. That poll found Sanders’s support at 22 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 419 Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters from April 26 to 29 and has a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/441399-biden-holds-26-point-lead-among-dems-in-new-national-poll

Story 4: A Whole Lot of Unmasking Going On — Artifact of Attempted Deep State Coupe — Videos

 

NSA Reports 75% Increase in Unmasking U.S. Identities Under Foreign Surveillance Law in 2018

The National Security Agency, responsible for electronic eavesdropping, disclosed the identities of people or entities that are normally redacted in intelligence reports

 

A sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md. PHOTO: PATRICK SEMANSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The National Security Agency revealed to federal agencies the identities of almost 17,000 U.S. residents or corporations whose information was collected under a foreign surveillance law in 2018, registering about a 75% increase in unmaskings over the previous year, according to an annual transparency report released Tuesday.

The NSA, responsible for electronic eavesdropping, disclosed the identities of people or entities that are normally redacted in intelligence reports—in response to specific requests from other government agencies to reveal the identities, a process known as unmasking.

In 2018, NSA said it unmasked 16,721 U.S. identities caught up in intelligence intercepts produced by a foreign intelligence law, the report said. It unmasked 9,529 in 2017 and 9,217 in a 12-month period across 2015 and 2016.

The surge in the number of unmaskings last year was fueled in part by an effort to determine the identities of victims of cyberattacks from foreign intelligence agencies, according to Alex Joel, head of civil liberties and transparency at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which released Tuesday’s report.

Mr. Joel, in a call with reporters, said there were a number of varied factors—including world events and evolving threats—that could result in statistical fluctuations in a given year for a certain type of surveillance.

Unmasking is a term used when the identity of a U.S. citizen, lawful resident, or corporate entity is revealed in classified intelligence reports. Unmasking is designed to be only used for national-security reasons, such as helping officials assess intelligence by providing the identity of someone two foreign spies may be discussing on a call. But the process is governed by strict rules across the U.S. intelligence apparatus that make it illegal to use unmaskings for political purposes or to leak classified information.

The practice has become a politically charged topic in recent years, as President Trump and some Republican allies in Congress have repeatedly accused the Obama administration of improperly using surveillance information—including unmasking the redacted names of Mr. Trump’s transition team members—for political gain. Former intelligence officials have repeatedly denied those accusations, and no evidence has been provided publicly to support them.

The unmasked information was collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows U.S. intelligence agencies to collect certain categories of foreign intelligence information from international phone calls and emails of terrorism suspects and other perceived security threats. Information from that surveillance is often shared with relevant federal government agencies with the names of any U.S. persons redacted to protect their privacy, unless an agency requests that identities be unmasked.

Privacy advocates have long criticized the law for allowing broad surveillance that can implicate Americans and doesn’t require individualized warrants, while U.S. intelligence officials have defended it as among the most valuable national-security tools at their disposal.

A single intelligence report could contain a lengthy list of identities that a government agency would ask to have unmasked, including the victims of large-scale foreign intelligence operations. In that case, each individual person or entity would be counted separately, Mr. Joel said. As a result, the NSA shared only 1,379 reports last year containing identities that were revealed.

The report showed the number of foreigners targeted under the law continued to rise in 2018 to 164,770, about 35,000 higher than the previous year.

But information about Americans that was incidentally collected dropped to 14,374—down from nearly 17,000 in 2017 and less than half the total collected two years ago. Incidental collection can occur in a number of ways, including when a U.S. person communicates with a foreign target under surveillance.

Congress passed legislation in January 2018 that renewed the surveillance authority for six years with minimal changes, which Mr. Trump signed into law.

The transparency report released Tuesday also showed that the NSA had gathered in 2018 fewer metadata records of domestic phone calls and text messages—about 434 million compared with the 534 million collected in 2017. But the latest figure includes records collected both before and after the NSA had to purge its database last year, meaning NSA recollected a large amount of those records and counted them twice, Mr. Joel said.

The NSA purged its database after learning it was receiving information it wasn’t authorized to obtain, including data about phone numbers not connected to any surveillance target. Metadata include the numbers and time stamps of a call or text message but not the contents of the conversation.

The law that governs that phone metadata program is due to expire in December. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the NSA had recommended to the White House that it let the program lapse due to logistical and legal burdens and that the White House hadn’t yet made a policy decision on the matter.

In a possible reflection of the phone system’s waning importance—compared to other surveillance programs that saw a rise in phone use—analysts at the NSA obtained orders to gather records about only an estimated 11 targets last year, down from 40 in 2017, the report said.

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1031, August 27, 2017, Breaking News, Story 1: President Trump Announces Bilateral United States and Mexico Trade Agreement — “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — Pro Growth Deal — Videos –Story 2: Iran Claims Control of Straight of Hormuz — Videos — Story 3: Pope Francis Was Informed of Sexual Abuse Allegations of Predator Priests in Catholic Church In Particular Prominent Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Remained Silent and Covered Up Abuse Until Now — People Lose Trust in Catholic Church Leadership and Coverup — Conspiracy of Silence —  Pope Should Resign — Videos — Story 4: Arizona Senator John McCain Dies of Cancer at Age — Rest in Peace — Congress Should Repeal and Replace Obamacare — No Excuses Acceptable — Videos

Posted on August 27, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Impeachment, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Medical, Medicare, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pope Francis, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Security, Senate, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Breaking, Story 1: President Trump Announces Bilateral United States and Mexico Trade Agreement — “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — Pro Growth Deal — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

Trump announces new US-Mexico trade deal

Canadian economy can’t survive well without a US deal: Wilbur Ross

Canada re-enters trade talks with US after Mexico deal

US, Mexico trade deal is a great start: Rep. Reed

Could Congress get in the way of the US-Mexico trade deal?

Will the US-Mexico trade deal benefit American workers?

Canada responds to US, Mexico trade deal

Kevin Hassett on trade negotiations with Mexico

Trump Considering Separate Trade Deals With Canada, Mexico

US-Mexico trade agreement is designed to shore up supply chain: Peter Navarro

Larry Kudlow: We are becoming growthier

 

Trump announces US-Mexico agreement to `terminate´ Nafta

The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US President Donald Trump made the claim after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which he has called a “disaster”.

Mr Trump said he would replace it with a deal more favourable to the United States called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.

The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US President Donald Trump made the claim after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which he has called a “disaster”.

Mr Trump said he would replace it with a deal more favourable to the United States called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.

Donald Trump says he will `terminate´ Nafta (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump says he will `terminate´ Nafta (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House

@WhiteHouse

President @realDonaldTrump: “It is an incredible deal for the workers and for the citizens of both countries.”

But the Trump administration still needs to negotiate with the third partner in Nafta, Canada, to become part of any new trade accord.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was on speakerphone as Mr Trump made the announcement in the Oval Office and said he hopes Canada will eventually be incorporated into the deal.

Without Canada, America’s second biggest trading partner, it is unclear whether any new US trade agreement with Mexico would be possible.

Mr Trump said that he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“If they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump put pressure on Canada by threatening to tax Canadian auto imports and to leave Canada out of a new regional trade bloc.

Nafta reduced most trade barriers between the three countries. But Mr Trump and other critics say it encouraged US manufacturers to move south of the border to exploit low-wage Mexican labour.

Talks to overhaul the agreement began a year ago and have proved contentious.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A big deal looking good with Mexico!

US and Mexican negotiators worked over the weekend to narrow their differences. The Office of the US Trade Representative said that Mexico had agreed to ensure that 75% of automotive content would be produced within the trade bloc (up from a current 62.5%) to receive duty-free benefits and that 40% to 45% be made by workers earning at least 16 US dollars an hour.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, said: “Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners. Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed Nafta agreement.”

Mr Austen said the Canadians had been in regular contact with the Nafta negotiators.

CSPAN

@cspan

President Trump: “They used to call it NAFTA. We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement. We’ll get rid of the name NAFTA.”

Full video here: https://cs.pn/2MCmIiY 

“We will only sign a new Nafta that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” he said, adding that “Canada’s signature is required”.

Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas, hailed the “positive step” but said Canada needs to be party to a final deal.

“A trilateral agreement is the best path forward,” he said, adding that millions of jobs are at stake.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6103397/Trump-announces-US-Mexico-agreement-terminate-Nafta.html

 

Dow jumps more than 250 points, Nasdaq hits 8,000 as US and Mexico strike trade deal

Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal, potentially removing a source of uncertainty that had been plaguing investors for months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points as Caterpillar outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 points for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to hit a record high with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors.

“The market has been buffeted with a lot of headwinds lately, and the biggest one is trade,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. “If you were to take trade out of the picture, you would have a smoother ride higher in this market.”

President Donald Trump said the deal would be called The United States-Mexico Trade agreement, leaving behind the 24-year-old NAFTA name. “The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA,” he said. Trump added that the deal with Mexico is also very special for farmers and manufacturers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the deal must be approved by Congress before being implemented.

Stocks hit all-time highs — these experts break down what investors should do next  

The comment comes after Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday both countries were close to resolving key differences on trade. This would pave the way for a new deal between the two longtime trade partners. “We’ve continued making progress,” Guajardo said.

Trump tweeted earlier on Monday that a deal with Mexico was “looking good.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A big deal looking good with Mexico!

Shares of Caterpillar and Boeing rose 2.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Their stocks are considered trade bellwethers because of their large exposure to overseas markets. Shares of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler also rose.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
The Mexican peso rose 1.2 percent against the dollar.

Dan McMahon, director of equity trading at Raymond James, said the positive trade news “allows for more room to run” in the market, but noted that equities are also benefiting from a typically slow time in the year. “There’s nothing [else] going on today,” he said.

Investors have been grappling with trade worries over the past few months as the U.S. takes a more protectionist stance toward its economy and trade deals under the Trump administration. The U.S. has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth in Mexican and Chinese imports, to which Mexico and China have retaliated.

Bank shares surged, led by gains in Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase. Goldman rose 3.4 percent while Morgan Stanley jumped 3.8 percent. Citigroup advanced 2.6 percent and J.P. Morgan climbed 2 percent. The SPDR S&P Bank exchange-traded fund (KBE) rose 0.7 percent.

Global markets were also buoyed by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He said he sees “further, gradual” rate hikes ahead. The Fed chief said at the Jackson Hole Symposium in Wyoming that the central bank would likely continue with its policy tightening if the economy continued to strengthen.

Powell’s comments lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes to record highs in Friday’s trading session. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5 percent on Monday, while the German Dax climbed 1.2 percent.

In Asia, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), reintroduced a policy adjustment aimed at supporting the yuan. The move, coupled with Powell’s comments, sent the Shanghai Composite up by 1.9 percent overnight.

Tesla shares dropped 2 percent after CEO Elon Musk gave up efforts to take the company private.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/27/us-stocks-to-open-higher-after-powell-signals-further-rate-hikes.html

Two cheers for Trump’s trade agreement with Mexico


President Trump talks with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on the phone on Monday. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
August 28 at 7:09 PM

The best thing that can be said about President Trump’s latest trade initiative is that it moves the United States back toward the kind of agreements Trump unwisely blew up when he became president.

So, two cheers for Trump’s revamped free-trade agreement with Mexico, announced Monday, and the one he may get soon with Canada. He wants to rebrand the package, of course, so that it’s not called NAFTA (“bad connotations!”). But the preliminary update includes labor and environmental standards somewhat like those that President Barack Obama wanted to add to NAFTA — and made the centerpiece of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump scuttled.

Trump seems readier to compromise these days with Europe, too, another positive shift after 20 months of intermittent trade tantrums. He hasn’t yet embraced Obama’s broad, market-opening vision of a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP), but maybe Trump will get there eventually, too. In recent months, he has been talking about mutually abolishing tariffs, which would be a good start.

You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy-free . . . I mean, that would be the ultimate thing,” Trump enthused in June at the Group of Seven summit, in between taking swings at his trading partners. For once, he was entirely right.

The financial markets, which Trump touts as a proxy for success, have been roaring this week at the prospect that we may see new trade agreements, rather than the trade war Trump had threatened. The virtuous economic cycle (solid expansion, wage growth and continued low inflation) may be good news for Trump, but it’s also good news for everyone else.

The real importance of Trump’s Mexico move is that it clears the debris so the White House can concentrate on the bigger battle worth fighting — for fairer trade with a rising China that has tried for decades to rig the game in its favor. Europe and other trading partners should be our natural allies in this negotiation, for they, too, have suffered from China’s selfish policies.

President Trump on Aug. 27 said trade negotiations with Canada would result in tariffs or a “negotiated deal” in announcing a new trade agreement with Mexico. 

What Wall Street seems to be hoping is that Trump will resolve the little trade spats and marshal his forces for the more consequential ones. Allianz economist Mohamed El-Erian said Monday on CNBC that he sees a 60 percent chance that Trump’s aggressive policies will produce “fairer trade” for the United States. The puzzle for investors, he cautioned, is “how much damage would we incur in the process of winning this.”

Trump has often misdiagnosed the China trade problem. It’s not the sheer size of the U.S. trade deficit with China — though that was a staggering $375 billion last year, or about 65 percent of the total U.S. trade deficit. This raw number disguises the fact that China’s current-account surplus has been declining sharply as a percentage of its overall economy, from 9.9 percent of its gross domestic product in 2007 to about 1.4 percent last year. (The International Monetary Fund projects that China’s surplus will continue to decline steadily, to 0.4 percent of GDP in 2022.)

The China problem isn’t how much it sells us but that it won’t allow U.S. companies or investors fair access to its markets — and that it steals every bit of intellectual property that it can.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made this case Tuesday on CNBC: “We need better market access to China. We need reciprocal trade. And these are issues that our allies in the G-7 agree with us on. . . . This can’t be a one-way transaction where they have free trade here and we have no trade there.”

The Obama administration was heading in the right direction on this one, as well, by trying to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty with China that would open markets for American companies and protect them from theft. Trump chucked that, too, but he now seems to be reprising his own amped-up version.

Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist at the IMF, cautioned against “Pyrrhic” victories in trade in a recent Financial Times article. He explained: “The U.S. imports aluminum . . . which contributes to its trade deficit with China. But cheaper aluminum imports facilitate one of the U.S.’s biggest and most distinctive exports: aircraft. Restricting aluminum imports would not only hurt aircraft exports, it would make the global division of labor less efficient.”

Trump was elected by a country that doubted the global trading system was benefiting the ordinary worker. The answer to that popular anger wasn’t to wreck the system but to fix it. Too often during his presidency, Trump has looked like a wrecker. But this week, on Mexico, he claimed the unusual and welcome role of repairman.

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

Has Trump ended NAFTA? Not just yet.

Trump announces trade agreement with Mexico

In announcing a trade agreement with Mexico on Aug. 27, President Trump called it “a big day for trade” and said it would not be called NAFTA. 

August 27

President Trump announced Monday that he’s “terminating” the North American Free Trade Agreement, and boasted that he and Mexico just struck “maybe the largest trade deal ever made.”

Actually: Trump can’t unilaterally kill NAFTA; this is only a possible step toward any new trade deal involving Mexico; it’s probably not a good step; and it may not actually lead to any new deal at all.

In other words, it’s precisely the puffery we’ve come to expect from a president who doesn’t understand what his own administration is doing, or doesn’t care.

Trump campaigned on fixing our “stupid” trade deals, including NAFTA. And, at more than two decades old, this tripartite pact with Canada and Mexico does indeed require sprucing up.

The global economy has changed since the early 1990s. NAFTA doesn’t address major industries that barely existed (if they existed at all) when the agreement was negotiated, such as e-commerce. It also didn’t do much for labor or environmental standards.

Indeed, politicians have been vowing to update NAFTA for years.

Back in 2008, Barack Obama also campaigned on a promise to renegotiate NAFTA. He ultimately did, in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The 12-country trade pact included Canada and Mexico among its signatories, and contained extensive language modernizing trade rules (including a whole chapter on e-commerce) and raising labor and environmental standards.

Alas, one of Trump’s first acts in office was to pull out of TPP. Worse, he subsequently lobbed new tariffs in virtually every direction, including at our allies in North America. The fallout from Trump’s trade war-mongering has unquestionably hurt Canada and Mexico, as well as U.S. firms.

But on Monday, Trump proclaimed this front in his trade wars was over. We allegedly have a new deal with Mexico, he said — a bilateral agreement that will replace NAFTA, and leave Canada cowering in fear.

“A lot of people thought we’d never get here,” he declared.

But in truth, “here” is pretty close to where we were before.

There is still no signed Mexico deal. And, unfortunately for Trump, he does not actually have authority from Congress to split NAFTA into two separate bilateral deals.

Additionally, most of what’s in NAFTA is implemented by statute. That means that no matter what Trump says, most of its provisions will live on unless and until Congress actually, you know, passes a new trade law. Which a Republican-led Congress doesn’t seem keen to do, at least if the new law in question is more protectionist than the one we have.

Congress also isn’t the only barrier to ditching NAFTA in favor of separate bilateral trade agreements. Canada and Mexico have each said that any new trade pact that results should include the involvement of all three countries.

In fact, during Trump’s Monday Oval Office event, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said no fewer than four times that he still expected Canada to be part of any final agreement.

He even closed his call by saying: “We’ll be waiting for Canada to be integrated into this process.”

So did the recent round of discussions between Mexico and the United States produce any results?

Sort of. But it’s hard to call it progress.

The United States and Mexico seem to have resolved some of their differences, including on automotive “rules of origin.” These complicated new rules would add burdensome requirements for any cars that could be imported into the United States from Mexico without tariffs.

Based on what we know so far, these requirements would likely require an enormous expansion of the administrative state (not something Republicans usually support), raise the cost of cars to consumers, and possibly reduce the number of cars assembled in North America — which is, of course, the opposite of their intended effect.

In fact, nothing announced thus far suggests the stuff we got Mexico to agree to would help the United States increase car exports to Mexico at all. “For autos, I am worried that the main outcome is a changing of the rules to allow us to trade less with Mexico,” Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow Chad P. Bown tells me.

And that’s if the deal actually goes through. Lots of hurdles remain, including within Mexico. The Mexican government has indicated that it wants any new deal signed before its next president takes office on Dec. 1.

That time frame effectively gives Trump exactly four days to get Canada on board since Trump must give Congress 90 days notice for a coming trade deal. If Trump wants to deliver on his campaign promises — and get any sort of trade deal, which he seems to desperately want ahead of the midterms — he’d best stop self-applauding and get back to work.

Fast.

 

Story 2: Iran Claims Control of Straight of Homuz — Videos

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Iran has full control of Gulf and Strait of Hormuz

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Iran launches ships into Strait of Hormuz

 

Iran says it has full control of Gulf, U.S. Navy does not belong there

by Reuters
Monday, 27 August 2018 11:53 GMT

 Iran has full control of the Gulf and the U.S. Navy does not belong there, the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Alireza Tangsiri, was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Monday.

Tehran has suggested it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries’ oil exports in retaliation for U.S. sanctions intended to halt its sales of crude. Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes.

Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it. Closing the strait would be the most direct way of blocking shipping.

“We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said in the quote, which appeared in English translation on Tasnim.

He added, “All the carriers and military and non-military ships will be controlled and there is full supervision over the Persian Gulf. Our presence in the region is physical and constant and night and day.”

Separately, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Iran’s enemies would not prevail in a conflict.

“The enemies are strictly avoiding any conflict with Iran because they know that it will not be beneficial for them,” Jafari said, according to Tasnim.

Tension between Iran and the United States has escalated since President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and reimposed sanctions.

Senior U.S. officials have said they aim to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most senior authority in the Islamic Republic, said last month that he supports the idea that if Iran is not allowed to export oil then no country should export oil from the Gulf. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Dale Hudson and Peter Graff)

http://news.trust.org/item/20180827115338-hpqo0

Story 3: Pope Francis Was Informed of Sexual Abuse Allegations of Predator Priests in Catholic Church In Particular Prominent Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Remained Silent and Covered Up Abuse Until Now — People Lose Trust in Catholic Church Leadership and Coverup — Conspiracy of Silence —  Pope Should Resign — Videos —

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“Many People Have Lost Trust” – ENN 2018-08-28

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More than 1,000 children were victims of priest abuse, according to grand jury report

Former Vatican representative to the US says Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and calls on the pontiff to RESIGN

  • Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wants Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page letter that the Pope knew of McCarrick’s sex abuse allegations in 2013 
  • Vigano, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016, said he personally told Pope Francis about the allegations 
  • He said the Pope covered for McCarrick and made him his ‘trusted counselor’ 
  • A priest said he warned church officials about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sex abuse
  • Father Boniface Ramsey wrote a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in June 2015
  • The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him to lead a child sex abuse protection commission
  • O’Malley said in response that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 
  • He apologized to the pastor and anyone whose concerns were reflected in it
  • Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he abused an altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with seminarians

A former Vatican representative to the United States is calling on Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page testament that he knew of the sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick but covered them up.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016 said that Pope Francis knew of the allegations as early as 2013, according to the National Catholic Register.

Vigano said in his letter that he personally told Pope Francis that McCarrick was accused of inappropriate behavior and Pope Benedict XVI imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance.

According to Vigano, during a June 2013 meeting the Pope asked him what kind of man McCarrick was like. Vigano said he replied: ‘He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.’

He alleged that the Pope was trying to find out if he was an ally of McCarrick or not.

A former Vatican representative for the United State is calling on Pope Francis (pictured on Saturday in Ireland) to resign 

A former Vatican representative for the United State is calling on Pope Francis (pictured on Saturday in Ireland) to resign

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (pictured) wrote an 11-page letter accusing Pope Francis and others of covering for McCarrick 

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is seen on December 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C. McCarrick has said he has 'absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse' and believes in his innocence

Vigano told the outlet that Pope Francis ‘continued to cover’ for McCarrick and ‘not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him’. Vigano said in 2009 or 2010, Pope Benedict implemented sanctions that stated McCarrick ‘was to leave the seminary where he was living. He was also forbidden to celebrate (Mass) in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lecturers, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance’.

He said instead of taking action, Pope Francis revoked the sanctions and made McCarrick his ‘trusted counselor’.

Vigano said he sent several letters to Vatican representatives about McCarrick but they fell on deaf ears. He said in his letter that ‘the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy’ and that’s why he’s speaking out publicly.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said he personally told Pope Francis about the abuse 

The letter ended with Vigano asking Pope Francis, and others who allegedly tried to cover up the allegations, to resign. 

‘He (Pope Francis) knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,’ Vigano stated, but although ‘he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.’

‘It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action (regarding McCarrick) to save his image in the media,’ he wrote. 

Vigano wrote that Pope Francis ‘is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren,’ and urged him to ‘acknowledge his mistakes’ and, to ‘set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.’

The former DC nuncio also implicated Cardinals Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and Pietro Parolin as well as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as archbishop of DC.

Earlier on Saturday, Pope Francis traveled to Ireland and addressed the sex abuse claims plaguing the Catholic Church.

‘The failure of ecclesiastical authorities — bishops, religious superiors, priests and others — to adequately address these repugnant crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community,’ Francis said, according to NBC News.

Pope Benedict XVI (pictured) imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance but Pope Francis allegedly revoked the sanctions 

Father Boniface Ramsey (seen above in a CBS interview) said 'virtually everyone knew' about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's alleged sex abuse

Archbishop Sean Cardinal O'Malley (seen above at the Boston College 2017 141st Commencement Exercises at Boston College Alumni Stadium on May 22, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts) apologized Monday and said he didn't see a letter sent to his office in 2015

Church attendance in Ireland has plummeted in recent years as people call on the Vatican to take action and tackle the abuse allegations. The area has also been hit with its own share of scandal after a mass grave was discovered in 1993 at secretive Catholic institutions of confinement for unmarried mothers, prostitutes and other ‘fallen’ women.

At least 796 children were found buried in the grave.

A priest in New York City has also spoken out saying that he repeatedly warned church officials about now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – who was suspended last month over sex abuse allegations.

Father Boniface Ramsey told CBS News this week: ‘I had the impression that virtually everyone knew about it.

‘Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house. There were five beds… and there were six people. Archbishop McCarrick arranged it in such a way that somebody would join him in his bed.’

The priest, an archbishop of Newark at the time, said he was informed about the inappropriate behavior in 1986.

Ramsey wrote in a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, of Boston, in June 2015: ‘Some of these stories were not presented to me as mere rumors but were told to me by persons directly involved.’

The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

O’Malley said Monday that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 concerning McCarrick’s possible inappropriate behavior with seminarians. 

‘I should have seen that letter precisely because it made assertions about the behavior of an archbishop in the church,’ he said.

O’Malley said his priest secretary told the pastor a recommendation to review cases fell outside the commission’s mandate.

He apologized Monday to the pastor and to anyone whose concerns were reflected in the letter.

Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he sexually abused a teenage altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with adult seminarians decades ago. 

McCarrick has said he has ‘absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse’ and believes in his innocence.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6099157/Former-Vatican-representative-says-Pope-Francis-knew-sex-abuse-allegations-against-McCarrick.html

 

Ex-Vatican diplomat calls on ‘sinful’ Pope Francis to resign over sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis should resign for his  “sinful conduct” in covering up sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a retired Vatican diplomat says.

Francis had recently become pope in 2013 when he asked Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò his thoughts on McCarrick, Viganò says in a damning, 11-page open letter published Sunday.

“I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but there is a dossier this thick about him,” Viganò said he told the pope in 2013. “He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests.”

Viganò, who was serving as the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S., told Francis that his predecessor, Pope Benedict, had ordered McCarrick to leave the seminary where he was living and withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.

Viganò, 77, was a hard-line conservative pillar at the Vatican before retiring in 2016. He said Francis dropped the sanctions against McCarrick, a well-known liberal by church standards, and “continued to cover for him.” McCarrick resigned last month amid claims of sexual abuse of an altar boy and seminarians.

More: In Ireland, Pope Francis meets with Catholic Church sex abuse survivors

More: Catholic priest beaten by man saying ‘this is for all the little kids’

More: ‘Men of God hid it all’: Church protected more than 300 ‘predator priests’

The Vatican had no immediate comment on Viganò’s claims but has said the pope acted quickly once he learned that McCarrick was facing credible claims. Francis addressed the global sexual abuse scandal Saturday in a speech in Ireland, where outrage over abuses there have overwhelmed coverage of the pope’s visit.

John Thavis, a former Catholic News Service reporter and author of The Vatican Diaries, says Viganò’s letter doesn’t explain how McCarrick was able to continue his high-profile work in the church at the end of Benedict’s reign if he had truly been admonished by the former pope. He noted that Viganò’s source on Benedict’s actions against McCarrick were based on second-hand information.

Thavis also noted that Viganò “blindsided” Francis two years ago when, during the pope’s U.S. visit, Viganò set up a controversial meeting between the pope and a court clerk in Kentucky who had refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

“The tone of the letter and its content resemble a political hit piece on the pope,” Thavis said. “Sadly, the sex abuse crisis is being used as political leverage by some factions in the church.”

Father Jame Bretzke, a theology professor at Marquette University, noted that conservatives such as Viganò  found their influence diminished when Francis became pope.

“While Viganò was not explicitly fired, he very clearly was ‘replaced’ and he has long been known as a fierce opponent of Pope Francis,” Bretzke said.

That said, the letter calls for a detailed response from the pope, Thavis said.

“I know of no other instance in modern times where a (former) high-ranking church officials has publicly called on the pope to resign,” Thavis said.

Viganò wrote that too many people have been “deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis” and by many pastors who remained silent.

“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Viganò wrote.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/08/26/pope-francis-ex-vatican-ambassador-sinful-pope-should-resugn/1103407002/

 

 

Pope silent on claim he ignored abuse

Catherine MARCIANO

,

AFP

Pope Francis has declined to comment on a claim that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman amid speculation conservative elements in the Catholic hierarchy are using the issue to mount a “putsch” to remove the liberal pontiff.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, on Saturday said he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

But rather than punish McCarrick, who was forced to resign last month, Vigano said Francis had lifted sanctions imposed on him by his predecessor pope Benedict XVI.

“Corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” Vigano said in an eleven-page letter published in the National Catholic Register and several conservative US Catholic publications.

But the pope refused to address the allegation on Sunday.

“I will not say a word about that. I think that the communique speaks for itself,” Francis said on his plane as he flew back from Dublin to Rome.

The timing of the letter’s release — right in the middle of Francis’s landmark trip to Ireland — has raised speculation of a campaign against the Argentinian pontiff by conservatives in the Church.

Francis told journalists to “read the communique attentively and make your own judgement,” referring to Vigano’s letter.

“You have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions,” he went on.

“When a little time has passed and you have the conclusions perhaps I will talk,” he added.

– ‘A putsch is afoot’ –

“Make no mistake. This is a coordinated attack on Pope Francis,” said an editorial article on the website of the progressive National Catholic Reporter weekly.

“A putsch is afoot and if the US bishops do not, as a body, stand up to defend the Holy Father in the next 24 hours, we shall be slipping towards schism,” the author Michael Sean Winters wrote.

“The enemies of Francis have declared war.”

Nicolas Seneze, the Rome correspondent for the French daily La Croix, echoed that there is “a clear desire to attack Francis,” telling AFP that “those who regard Francis as dangerous will stop at nothing.”

Bishop Vigano, 77, who was a papal nuncio in Washington between 2011 and 2016, said that Benedict XVI imposed canonical sanctions against McCarrick in the late 2000s.

McCarrick was forced to leave his seminary and live a life of penance after former Vatican ambassadors in Washington, now dead, reported him for “gravely immoral” behaviour with seminarians and priests.

Vigano claimed Francis asked him about McCarrick when he took office in June 2013, but that the pope ignored his warnings.

He said the pope “knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator,” adding that “he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end”.

The pope accepted the resignation of McCarrick, now 88, in July, making him just the second cardinal ever to lose his status.

During his visit to Ireland on Sunday the pope “begged for God’s forgiveness” for past clerical abuse scandals, which have badly damaged the image of the Church in the Catholic stronghold.

His trip was met with enthusiastic crowds but also protests, with about 5,000 abuse victims and supporters attending a “Stand for Truth” rally in the capital Dublin.

It was the first papal trip to Ireland since John Paul II spoke in front of 1.5 million people in 1979.

– Homosexuality tendancies –

On the plane back to Rome after the two-day trip, the pope also commented on homosexuality. He recommended that parents seek psychiatric help for children who show homosexual tendencies.

France’s Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa attacked those comments as “incomprehensible and indefensible”

The Vatican on Monday rolled back on the pope’s psychiatry idea, and withdrew the comment from its official verbatim record oh his trip.

The Catholic Church’s standing has been badly dented by the abuse scandals. Stronghold Ireland has largely shed its traditional Catholic mores, voting earlier this year to legalise abortion after approving same-sex marriage in 2015.

Multiple probes in Ireland have found Church leaders protected hundreds of predatory priests and former Irish president Mary McAleese revealed this month that the Vatican had sought to keep Church documents inaccessible to government investigators.

The abuse scandals in Ireland are part of a worldwide crisis for the Vatican.

A devastating report earlier this month accused more than 300 priests in the US state of Pennsylvania of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1950s.

The US based Survivors’ Network for those abused by priests (SNAP) said in a statement that if Vigano’s allegations are true “this situation provides a dramatic illustration of the gap between rhetoric and decisive action”.

“Pope Francis has the power, but apparently does not have the will, to effect necessary change,” the group added.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-hold-giant-mass-dublin-abuse-victims-rally-030337491.html

 

Story 4: Arizona Senator John McCain Dies of Cancer at Age 81 of Cancer — Rest in Peace — Congress Should Repeal and Replace Obamacare — No Excuses Acceptable — Videos

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John McCain

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John McCain
John McCain's official Senate portrait, taken in 2009
United States Senator
from Arizona
In office
January 3, 1987 – August 25, 2018
Preceded by Barry Goldwater
Succeeded by Vacant
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
In office
January 3, 2015 – August 25, 2018
Preceded by Carl Levin
Succeeded by Vacant
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Succeeded by Byron Dorgan
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Daniel Inouye
Succeeded by Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Fritz Hollings
Succeeded by Ted Stevens
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 3, 2001
Preceded by Fritz Hollings
Succeeded by Fritz Hollings
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Larry Pressler
Succeeded by Fritz Hollings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona‘s 1st district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by John Jacob Rhodes
Succeeded by John Jacob Rhodes III
Personal details
Born John Sidney McCain III
August 29, 1936
Coco SoloPanama Canal Zone, U.S.
Died August 25, 2018 (aged 81)
Cornville, Arizona, U.S.
Resting place United States Naval Academy CemeteryAnnapolis, Maryland (planned burial site)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Children 7, including Meghan
Parents John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta Wright
Relatives Joe McCain (brother)
Education United States Naval Academy(BS)
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1958–1981
Rank US Navy O6 infobox.svg Captain
Battles/wars Vietnam War (POW)

Awards

John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was an American politician and naval officer who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death. He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the United States Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While on a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October 1967, McCain was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during the war left him with lifelong physical disabilities. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1987 and easily won reelection five times, the last time in 2016.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain also had a media reputation as a “maverick” for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually resulted in passage of the McCain–Feingold Act in 2002. He was also known for his work in the 1990s to restore diplomatic relations with Vietnam, and for his belief that the Iraq War should have been fought to a successful conclusion. McCain chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and opposed pork barrel spending. He belonged to the bipartisan “Gang of 14” which played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.

McCain entered the race for the Republican nomination for President in 2000, but lost a heated primary season contest to Governor George W. Bush of Texas. He secured the nomination in 2008 after making a comeback from early reversals, but was defeated by Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the general election, losing by a 365–173 electoral college margin. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration, especially with regard to foreign policy matters. By 2013, however, he had become a key figure in the Senate for negotiating deals on certain issues in an otherwise partisan environment. In 2015, McCain became Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2017, the year before his death at age 81, he reduced his role in the Senate after a diagnosis of brain cancer.

Early life and military career, 1936–1981

Formative years and education

John McCain was born on August 29, 1936, at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, to naval officer John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta (Wright) McCain. He had a younger brother named Joe and an elder sister named Sandy.[1] At that time, the Panama Canal was under U.S. control.[2]

McCain’s family tree includes Scots-Irish and English ancestors.[3] His father and his paternal grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., were also Naval Academy graduates and both became four-star United States Navy admirals.[4]The McCain family[1] followed his father to various naval postings in the United States and the Pacific.[5]

Altogether, he attended about 20 schools.[6] In 1951, the family settled in Northern Virginia, and McCain attended Episcopal High School, a private preparatory boarding school in Alexandria.[7][8] He excelled at wrestling and graduated in 1954.[9][10] He referred to himself as an Episcopalian as recently as June 2007 after which date he said he came to identify as a Baptist.[11]

Formal portrait of young, dark-haired man in white naval uniform

McCain at the Naval Academy, 1954

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, McCain entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. He was a friend and informal leader there for many of his classmates,[12] and sometimes stood up for targets of bullying.[4] He also became a lightweight boxer.[13] McCain did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects that gave him difficulty, such as mathematics.[4][14] He came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel and did not always obey the rules, which contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899), despite a high IQ.[12][15] McCain graduated in 1958.[12]

Naval training, first marriage, and Vietnam War assignment

McCain began his early military career when he was commissioned as an ensign and started two and a half years of training at Pensacola to become a naval aviator.[16] While there, he earned a reputation as a man who partied.[6] He completed flight school in 1960 and became a naval pilot of ground-attack aircraft; he was assigned to A-1 Skyraider squadrons[17] aboard the aircraft carriers USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise[18] in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.[19] McCain began as a sub-par flier[19] who was at times careless and reckless;[20] during the early to mid-1960s, two of his flight missions crashed and a third mission collided with power lines, but he received no major injuries.[20] His aviation skills improved over time,[19] and he was seen as a good pilot, albeit one who tended to “push the envelope” in his flying.[20]

Four military pilots posed in, on, or in front of, silver jet with United States markings

Lieutenant McCain (front right) with his squadron and T-2 Buckeye trainer, 1965

At age 28 on July 3, 1965, McCain married Carol Shepp, who was a model from Philadelphia.[21] McCain adopted her two young children Douglas and Andrew.[18][22] He and Carol then had a daughter named Sidney.[23][24]

McCain requested a combat assignment[25] and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal flying A-4 Skyhawks.[26] His combat duty began when he was 30 years old in mid-1967, when Forrestal was assigned to a bombing campaign, Operation Rolling Thunder, during the Vietnam War.[21][27] Stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, McCain and his fellow pilots became frustrated by micromanagement from Washington, and he would later write that “In all candor, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots who didn’t have the least notion of what it took to win the war.”[27][28]

On July 29, 1967, McCain was a lieutenant commander when he was near the epicenter of the USS Forrestal fire. He escaped from his burning jet and was trying to help another pilot escape when a bomb exploded;[29]McCain was struck in the legs and chest by fragments.[30] The ensuing fire killed 134 sailors and took 24 hours to control.[31][32] With the Forrestal out of commission, McCain volunteered for assignment with the USS Oriskany, another aircraft carrier employed in Operation Rolling Thunder.[33] Once there, he would be awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for missions flown over North Vietnam.[34]

Prisoner of war

McCain’s capture and subsequent imprisonment occurred on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.[35][36] McCain fractured both arms and a leg when he ejected from the aircraft,[37] and nearly drowned after he parachuted into Trúc Bạch Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.[35] McCain was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hỏa Lò Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton”.[36]

Although McCain was seriously wounded and injured, his captors refused to treat him. They beat and interrogated him to get information, and he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was an admiral.[38] His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.[39][40]

McCain spent six weeks in the hospital, where he received marginal care. He had lost 50 pounds (23 kg), was in a chest cast, and his gray hair had turned as white as snow.[35] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi.[41] In December 1967, McCain was placed in a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live more than a week.[42] In March 1968, McCain was placed into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[43]

In mid-1968, his father John S. McCain Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release[44] because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purposes[45] and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially.[44] McCain refused repatriation unless every man taken in before him was also released. Such early release was prohibited by the POWs’ interpretation of the military Code of Conduct which states in Article III: “I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy”.[46] To prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda, officers were to agree to be released in the order in which they were captured.[35]

Beginning in August 1968, McCain was subjected to a program of severe torture.[47] He was bound and beaten every two hours; this punishment occurred at the same time that he was suffering from dysentery.[35][47] Further injuries brought McCain to “the point of suicide,” but his preparations were interrupted by guards. Eventually, McCain made an anti-U.S. propaganda “confession”.[35] He had always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he later wrote, “I had learned what we all learned over there: every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine.”[48][49] Many U.S. POWs were tortured and maltreated in order to extract “confessions” and propaganda statements;[50] virtually all of them eventually yielded something to their captors.[51] McCain received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.[52]

McCain refused to meet various anti-war groups seeking peace in Hanoi, wanting to give neither them nor the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory.[53] From late 1969, treatment of McCain and many of the other POWs became more tolerable,[54] while McCain continued actively to resist the camp authorities.[55] McCain and other prisoners cheered the U.S. “Christmas Bombing” campaign of December 1972, viewing it as a forceful measure to push North Vietnam to terms.[49][56]

McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years until his release on March 14, 1973.[57] His wartime injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.[58] After his release from the Hanoi Hilton, McCain returned to the site with his wife Cindy and family on a few occasions to come to grips with what happened to him there during his capture.[59]

Commanding officer, liaison to Senate and second marriage

McCain was reunited with his family when he returned to the United States. His wife Carol had suffered her own crippling ordeal due to an automobile accident in December 1969. As a returned POW, McCain became a celebrity of sorts.[60]

White-haired man in thirties sitting in a chair, pack of cigarettes readily available

Lieutenant Commander McCain being interviewed after his return from Vietnam, April 1973

Lieutenant Commander McCain greeting President Richard Nixon in May 1973

McCain underwent treatment for his injuries that included months of grueling physical therapy.[61] He attended the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. during 1973–1974.[62] McCain was rehabilitated by late 1974 and his flight status was reinstated. In 1976, he became commanding officer of a training squadron that was stationed in Florida.[60][63] He improved the unit’s flight readiness and safety records,[64] and won the squadron its first-ever Meritorious Unit Commendation.[63] During this period in Florida, McCain had extramarital affairs and his marriage began to falter, about which he later stated, “The blame was entirely mine”.[65][66]

McCain served as the Navy’s liaison to the U.S. Senate beginning in 1977.[67] In retrospect, he said that this represented his “real entry into the world of politics and the beginning of my second career as a public servant.”[60] His key behind-the-scenes role gained congressional financing for a new supercarrier against the wishes of the Carter administration.[61][68]

In April 1979,[61] McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, whose father had founded a large beer distributorship.[66] They began dating, and he urged his wife Carol to grant him a divorce, which she did in February 1980; the uncontested divorce took effect in April 1980.[22][61] The settlement included two houses, and financial support for her ongoing medical treatments due to her 1969 car accident; they would remain on good terms.[66] McCain and Hensley were married on May 17, 1980, with Senators William Cohen and Gary Hart attending as groomsmen.[21][66] McCain’s children did not attend, and several years would pass before they reconciled.[24][61] John and Cindy McCain entered into a prenuptial agreement that kept most of her family’s assets under her name; they would always keep their finances apart and file separate income tax returns.[69]

McCain decided to leave the Navy. It was doubtful whether he would ever be promoted to the rank of full admiral, as he had poor annual physicals and hadn’t been given a major sea command.[70] His chances of being promoted to rear admiralwere better, but McCain declined that prospect, as he had already made plans to run for Congress and said he could “do more good there.”[71][72]

McCain retired from the Navy on April 1, 1981,[73] as a captain.[34] He was designated as disabled and awarded a disability pension.[74] Upon leaving the military, he moved to Arizona. His numerous military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, two Legion of MeritsDistinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and Prisoner of War Medal.[34]

House and Senate elections and career, 1982–2000

U.S. Congressman

McCain set his sights on becoming a congressman because he was interested in current events, was ready for a new challenge, and had developed political ambitions during his time as Senate liaison.[66][75][76] Living in Phoenix, he went to work for Hensley & Co., his new father-in-law Jim Hensley‘s large Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship.[66] As vice president of public relations at the distributorship, he gained political support among the local business community, meeting powerful figures such as banker Charles Keating Jr., real estate developer Fife Symington III (later Governor of Arizona) and newspaper publisher Darrow “Duke” Tully.[67]In 1982, McCain ran as a Republican for an open seat in Arizona’s 1st congressional district, which was being vacated by 30-year incumbent Republican John Jacob Rhodes.[77] A newcomer to the state, McCain was hit with charges of being a carpetbagger.[66] McCain responded to a voter making that charge with what a Phoenix Gazette columnist would later describe as “the most devastating response to a potentially troublesome political issue I’ve ever heard”:[66]

Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.[66][78]

McCain won a highly contested primary election with the assistance of local political endorsements, his Washington connections, and money that his wife lent to his campaign.[67][66] He then easily won the general election in the heavily Republican district.[66]

McCain in 1983, during his first term in the House of Representatives

In 1983, McCain was elected to lead the incoming group of Republican representatives,[66] and was assigned to the House Committee on Interior Affairs. Also that year, he opposed creation of a federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but admitted in 2008: “I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support [in 1990] for a state holiday in Arizona.”[79][80]

At this point, McCain’s politics were mainly in line with President Ronald Reagan; this included support for Reaganomics, and he was active on Indian Affairs bills.[81] He supported most aspects of the foreign policy of the Reagan administration, including its hardline stance against the Soviet Union and policy towards Central American conflicts, such as backing the Contras in Nicaragua.[81] McCain opposed keeping U.S. Marines deployed in Lebanon, citing unattainable objectives, and subsequently criticized President Reagan for pulling out the troops too late; in the interim, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing killed hundreds.[66][82] McCain won re-election to the House easily in 1984,[66] and gained a spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[83] In 1985, he made his first return trip to Vietnam,[84] and also traveled to Chile where he met with its military junta ruler, General Augusto Pinochet.[85][86][87]

Growing family

In 1984, McCain and Cindy had their first child together, daughter Meghan, followed two years later by son John Sidney (Jack) IV, and in 1988 by son James (Jimmy).[88]

In 1991, Cindy McCain brought an abandoned three-month-old girl needing medical treatment to the U.S. from a Bangladeshi orphanage run by Mother Teresa.[89] The McCains decided to adopt her and named her Bridget.[90]

First two terms in U.S. Senate

McCain’s Senate career began in January 1987, after he defeated his Democratic opponent, former state legislator Richard Kimball, by 20 percentage points in the 1986 election.[67][91] McCain succeeded longtime American conservative icon and Arizona fixture Barry Goldwater upon the latter’s retirement as U.S. senator from Arizona.[91]

White-haired man in suit greets dark-haired man in suit in formal setting, as gaunt, well-coiffed woman looks on

President Ronald Reagan greets John McCain as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on, March 1987

Senator McCain became a member of the Armed Services Committee, with which he had formerly done his Navy liaison work; he also joined the Commerce Committee and the Indian Affairs Committee.[91] He continued to support the Native American agenda.[92] As first a House member and then a senator—and as a lifelong gambler with close ties to the gambling industry[93]—McCain was one of the main authors of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,[94][95] which codified rules regarding Native American gambling enterprises.[96] McCain was also a strong supporter of the Gramm-Rudman legislation that enforced automatic spending cuts in the case of budget deficits.[97]

McCain soon gained national visibility. He delivered a well-received speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention, was mentioned by the press as a short list vice-presidential running mate for Republican nominee George H. W. Bush, and was named chairman of Veterans for Bush.[91][98]

McCain became embroiled in a scandal during the 1980s, as one of five United States senators comprising the so-called Keating Five.[99] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in lawful[100] political contributions from Charles Keating Jr. and his associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, along with trips on Keating’s jets[99] that McCain belatedly repaid, in 1989.[101] In 1987, McCain was one of the five senators whom Keating contacted in order to prevent the government’s seizure of Lincoln, and McCain met twice with federal regulators to discuss the government’s investigation of Lincoln.[99] In 1999, McCain said: “The appearance of it was wrong. It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”[102] In the end, McCain was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee of acting improperly or violating any law or Senate rule, but was mildly rebuked for exercising “poor judgment”.[100][102] In his 1992 re-election bid, the Keating Five affair was not a major issue,[103] and he won handily, gaining 56 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic community and civil rights activist Claire Sargent and independent former governor, Evan Mecham.[104]

McCain with President George H. W. Bush in 1990

McCain developed a reputation for independence during the 1990s.[105] He took pride in challenging party leadership and establishment forces, becoming difficult to categorize politically.[105]

White-haired man, elderly white-haired woman, young boy, young girl, short-haired woman holding roses, all in front of sign showing a ship's silhouette

The 1992 christening of USS John S. McCain at Bath Iron Works, with his mother Roberta, son Jack, daughter Meghan, and wife Cindy

As a member of the 1991–1993 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, chaired by fellow Vietnam War veteran and Democrat, John Kerry, McCain investigated the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, to determine the fate of U.S. service personnel listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.[106] The committee’s unanimous report stated there was “no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.”[107] Helped by McCain’s efforts, in 1995 the U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam.[108] McCain was vilified by some POW/MIA activists who, despite the committee’s unanimous report, believed large numbers of Americans were still held against their will in Southeast Asia.[108][109][110] Since January 1993, McCain has been Chairman of the International Republican Institute, an organization partly funded by the U.S. government that supports the emergence of political democracy worldwide.[111]

In 1993 and 1994, McCain voted to confirm President Clinton’s nominees Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg whom he considered to be qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court. He would later explain that “under our Constitution, it is the president’s call to make.”[112] McCain had also voted to confirm nominees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.[113]

McCain attacked what he saw as the corrupting influence of large political contributions—from corporations, labor unions, other organizations, and wealthy individuals—and he made this his signature issue.[114] Starting in 1994, he worked with Democratic Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; their McCain–Feingold bill attempted to put limits on “soft money“.[114] The efforts of McCain and Feingold were opposed by some of the moneyed interests targeted, by incumbents in both parties, by those who felt spending limits impinged on free political speech and might be unconstitutional as well, and by those who wanted to counterbalance the power of what they saw as media bias.[114][115] Despite sympathetic coverage in the media, initial versions of the McCain–Feingold Act were filibustered and never came to a vote.[116]

The term “maverick Republican” became a label frequently applied to McCain, and he also used it himself.[114][117][118] In 1993, McCain opposed military operations in Somalia.[119] Another target of his was pork barrel spending by Congress, and he actively supported the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, which gave the president power to veto individual spending items[114] but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1998.[120]

In the 1996 presidential election, McCain was again on the short list of possible vice-presidential picks, this time for Republican nominee Bob Dole.[103][121] The following year, Time magazine named McCain as one of the “25 Most Influential People in America”.[122]

In 1997, McCain became chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee; he was criticized for accepting funds from corporations and businesses under the committee’s purview, but in response said the small contributions he received were not part of the big-money nature of the campaign finance problem.[114] McCain took on the tobacco industry in 1998, proposing legislation that would increase cigarette taxes in order to fund anti-smoking campaigns, discourage teenage smokers, increase money for health research studies, and help states pay for smoking-related health care costs.[114][123] Supported by the Clinton administration but opposed by the industry and most Republicans, the bill failed to gain cloture.[123]

Start of third term in the U.S. Senate

In November 1998, McCain won re-election to a third Senate term; he prevailed in a landslide over his Democratic opponent, environmental lawyer Ed Ranger.[114] In the February 1999 Senate trial following the impeachment of Bill Clinton, McCain voted to convict the president on both the perjury and obstruction of justice counts, saying Clinton had violated his sworn oath of office.[124] In March 1999, McCain voted to approve the NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, saying that the ongoing genocide of the Kosovo War must be stopped and criticizing past Clinton administration inaction.[125] Later in 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Awardwith Feingold for their work in trying to enact their campaign finance reform,[126] although the bill was still failing repeated attempts to gain cloture.[116]

two men in uniform

Photo of McCain’s father and grandfather that appeared on the cover of his 1999 family memoir

In August 1999, McCain’s memoir Faith of My Fathers, co-authored with Mark Salter, was published;[127] a reviewer observed that its appearance “seems to have been timed to the unfolding Presidential campaign.”[128] The most successful of his writings, it received positive reviews,[129] became a bestseller,[130] and was later made into a TV film.[131] The book traces McCain’s family background and childhood, covers his time at Annapolis and his service before and during the Vietnam War, concluding with his release from captivity in 1973. According to one reviewer, it describes “the kind of challenges that most of us can barely imagine. It’s a fascinating history of a remarkable military family.”[132]

2000 presidential campaign

McCain announced his candidacy for president on September 27, 1999, in Nashua, New Hampshire, saying he was staging “a fight to take our government back from the power brokers and special interests, and return it to the people and the noble cause of freedom it was created to serve”.[127][133] The frontrunner for the Republican nomination was Texas Governor George W. Bush, who had the political and financial support of most of the party establishment.[134]

McCain focused on the New Hampshire primary, where his message appealed to independents.[135] He traveled on a campaign bus called the Straight Talk Express.[127] He held many town hall meetings, answering every question voters asked, in a successful example of “retail politics”, and he used free media to compensate for his lack of funds.[127] One reporter later recounted that, “McCain talked all day long with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus; he talked so much that sometimes he said things that he shouldn’t have, and that’s why the media loved him.”[136] On February 1, 2000, he won New Hampshire’s primary with 49 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent. The Bush campaign and the Republican establishment feared that a McCain victory in the crucial South Carolina primary might give his campaign unstoppable momentum.[127][137]

Chart with three data lines

McCain’s Gallup Poll favorable/unfavorable ratings, 1999–2009[138]

The Arizona Republic would write that the McCain–Bush primary contest in South Carolina “has entered national political lore as a low-water mark in presidential campaigns”, while The New York Times called it “a painful symbol of the brutality of American politics”.[127][139][140] A variety of interest groups, which McCain had challenged in the past, ran negative ads.[127][141] Bush borrowed McCain’s earlier language of reform,[142] and declined to dissociate himself from a veterans activist who accused McCain (in Bush’s presence) of having “abandoned the veterans” on POW/MIA and Agent Orange issues.[127][143]

Incensed,[143] McCain ran ads accusing Bush of lying and comparing the governor to Bill Clinton, which Bush said was “about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary”.[127] An anonymous smear campaign began against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, and audience plants.[127][144] The smears claimed that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains’ dark-skinned daughter was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a “Manchurian Candidate” who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days.[127][139] The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.[139][145]

McCain lost South Carolina on February 19, with 42 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent,[146] in part because Bush mobilized the state’s evangelical voters[127][147] and outspent McCain.[148] The win allowed Bush to regain lost momentum.[146] McCain would say of the rumor spreaders, “I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.”[90] According to one report, the South Carolina experience left McCain in a “very dark place”.[139]

McCain’s campaign never completely recovered from his South Carolina defeat, although he did rebound partially by winning in Arizona and Michigan a few days later.[149] He made a speech in Virginia Beach that criticized Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, as divisive conservatives,[139] declaring “… we embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community. But that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders.”[150] McCain lost the Virginia primary on February 29,[151] and on March 7 lost nine of the thirteen primaries on Super Tuesday to Bush.[152] With little hope of overcoming Bush’s delegate lead, McCain withdrew from the race on March 9, 2000.[153] He endorsed Bush two months later,[154] and made occasional appearances with the Texas governor during the general election campaign.[127]

Senate career, 2000–2008

Remainder of third Senate term

McCain began 2001 by breaking with the new George W. Bush administration on a number of matters, including HMO reform, climate change, and gun legislation; McCain–Feingold was opposed by Bush as well.[116][155] In May 2001, McCain was one of only two Senate Republicans to vote against the Bush tax cuts.[155][156] Besides the differences with Bush on ideological grounds, there was considerable antagonism between the two remaining from the previous year’s campaign.[157][158] Later, when a Republican senator, Jim Jeffords, became an Independent, thereby throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats, McCain defended Jeffords against “self-appointed enforcers of party loyalty”.[155] Indeed, there was speculation at the time, and in years since, about McCain himself leaving the Republican Party, but McCain had always adamantly denied that he ever considered doing so.[155][159][160] Beginning in 2001, McCain used political capital gained from his presidential run, as well as improved legislative skills and relationships with other members, to become one of the Senate’s most influential members.[161]

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, McCain supported Bush and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.[155][162] He and Democratic senator Joe Lieberman wrote the legislation that created the 9/11 Commission,[163] while he and Democratic senator Fritz Hollings co-sponsored the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that federalized airport security.[164]

In March 2002, McCain–Feingold, officially known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, passed in both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush.[116][155] Seven years in the making, it was McCain’s greatest legislative achievement.[155][165]

Red rocks landscape of Arizona with McCain image added, on uppper half; cartoon illustration of pigs inside brown barrels on lower half

McCain’s Senate website from 2003 to 2006 illustrated his concern about pork barrel spending.[114]

Meanwhile, in discussions over proposed U.S. action against Iraq, McCain was a strong supporter of the Bush administration’s position.[155] He stated that Iraq was “a clear and present danger to the United States of America”, and voted accordingly for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002.[155] He predicted that U.S. forces would be treated as liberators by a large number of the Iraqi people.[166] In May 2003, McCain voted against the second round of Bush tax cuts, saying it was unwise at a time of war.[156] By November 2003, after a trip to Iraq, he was publicly questioning Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, saying that more U.S. troops were needed; the following year, McCain announced that he had lost confidence in Rumsfeld.[167][168]

In October 2003, McCain and Lieberman co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act that would have introduced a cap and trade system aimed at returning greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels; the bill was defeated with 55 votes to 43 in the Senate.[169] They reintroduced modified versions of the Act two additional times, most recently in January 2007 with the co-sponsorship of Barack Obama, among others.[170]

U.S. President George W. Bush with Senator McCain, December 4, 2004

In the 2004 U.S. presidential election campaign, McCain was once again frequently mentioned for the vice-presidential slot, only this time as part of the Democratic ticket under nominee John Kerry.[171][172][173] McCain said that Kerry had never formally offered him the position and that he would not have accepted it if he had.[172][173][174] At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain supported Bush for re-election, praising Bush’s management of the War on Terror since the September 11 attacks.[175] At the same time, he defended Kerry’s Vietnam War record.[176] By August 2004, McCain had the best favorable-to-unfavorable rating (55 percent to 19 percent) of any national politician;[175] he campaigned for Bush much more than he had four years previously, though the two remained situational allies rather than friends.[157]

McCain was also up for re-election as senator, in 2004. He defeated little-known Democratic schoolteacher Stuart Starky with his biggest margin of victory, garnering 77 percent of the vote.[177]

Start of fourth Senate term

In May 2005, McCain led the so-called Gang of 14 in the Senate, which established a compromise that preserved the ability of senators to filibuster judicial nominees, but only in “extraordinary circumstances”.[178] The compromise took the steam out of the filibuster movement, but some Republicans remained disappointed that the compromise did not eliminate filibusters of judicial nominees in all circumstances.[179] McCain subsequently cast Supreme Court confirmation votes in favor of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, calling them “two of the finest justices ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court.”[113]

File:Jsm2.ogv

Speaking on the Senate floor against earmarking, February 2007

Breaking from his 2001 and 2003 votes, McCain supported the Bush tax cut extension in May 2006, saying not to do so would amount to a tax increase.[156] Working with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, McCain was a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components. The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was never voted on in 2005, while the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed the Senate in May 2006 but failed in the House.[168] In June 2007, President Bush, McCain, and others made the strongest push yet for such a bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, but it aroused intense grassroots opposition among talk radio listeners and others, some of whom furiously characterized the proposal as an “amnesty” program,[180] and the bill twice failed to gain cloture in the Senate.[181]

By the middle of the 2000s (decade), the increased Indian gaming that McCain had helped bring about was a $23 billion industry.[95] He was twice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, in 1995–1997 and 2005–2007, and his Committee helped expose the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.[182][183] By 2005 and 2006, McCain was pushing for amendments to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that would limit creation of off-reservation casinos,[95] as well as limiting the movement of tribes across state lines to build casinos.[184]

Middle-aged man in military uniform talking with older man in casual civilian clothes, at night

General David Petraeus and McCain in Baghdad, November 2007

Owing to his time as a POW, McCain was recognized for his sensitivity to the detention and interrogation of detainees in the War on Terror. An opponent of the Bush administration’s use of torture and detention without trial at Guantánamo Bay (declaring that “even Adolf Eichmann got a trial”[185]), in October 2005, McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005, and the Senate voted 90–9 to support the amendment.[186] It prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantánamo, by confining military interrogations to the techniques in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogation. Although Bush had threatened to veto the bill if McCain’s amendment was included,[187] the President announced in December 2005 that he accepted McCain’s terms and would “make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad”.[188] This stance, among others, led to McCain being named by Time magazine in 2006 as one of America’s 10 Best Senators.[189] McCain voted in February 2008 against a bill containing a ban on waterboarding,[190] which provision was later narrowly passed and vetoed by Bush. However, the bill in question contained other provisions to which McCain objected, and his spokesman stated: “This wasn’t a vote on waterboarding. This was a vote on applying the standards of the [Army] field manual to CIA personnel.”[190]

Meanwhile, McCain continued questioning the progress of the war in Iraq. In September 2005, he remarked upon Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers‘ optimistic outlook on the war’s progress: “Things have not gone as well as we had planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers.”[191] In August 2006, he criticized the administration for continually understating the effectiveness of the insurgency: “We [have] not told the American people how tough and difficult this could be.”[168] From the beginning, McCain strongly supported the Iraq troop surge of 2007.[192] The strategy’s opponents labeled it “McCain’s plan”[193] and University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said, “McCain owns Iraq just as much as Bush does now.”[168] The surge and the war were unpopular during most of the year, even within the Republican Party,[194] as McCain’s presidential campaign was underway; faced with the consequences, McCain frequently responded, “I would much rather lose a campaign than a war.”[195] In March 2008, McCain credited the surge strategy with reducing violence in Iraq, as he made his eighth trip to that country since the war began.[196]

2008 presidential campaign

White-haired man speaking at podium, with group of people behind him, some holding blue "McCain" signs

McCain formally announces his candidacy for president in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2007

McCain formally announced his intention to run for President of the United States on April 25, 2007, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.[197] He stated that: “I’m not running for president to be somebody, but to do something; to do the hard but necessary things, not the easy and needless things.”[198]

McCain’s oft-cited strengths as a presidential candidate for 2008 included national name recognition, sponsorship of major lobbying and campaign finance reform initiatives, his ability to reach across the aisle, his well-known military service and experience as a POW, his experience from the 2000 presidential campaign, and an expectation that he would capture Bush’s top fundraisers.[199] During the 2006 election cycle, McCain had attended 346 events[58] and helped raise more than $10.5 million on behalf of Republican candidates. McCain also became more willing to ask business and industry for campaign contributions, while maintaining that such contributions would not affect any official decisions he would make.[200] Despite being considered the front-runner for the nomination by pundits as 2007 began,[201] McCain was in second place behind former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani in national Republican polls as the year progressed.

McCain had fundraising problems in the first half of 2007, due in part to his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was unpopular among the Republican base electorate.[202][203] Large-scale campaign staff downsizing took place in early July, but McCain said that he was not considering dropping out of the race.[203] Later that month, the candidate’s campaign manager and campaign chief strategist both departed.[204]McCain slumped badly in national polls, often running third or fourth with 15 percent or less support.

White-haired man in dark suit looks on as gray-haired man in dark suit holds hand and greets blonde-haired woman in medium-colored suit, all in front of a white building.

President Bush meets with the McCains as he endorses him for President, March 5, 2008

The Arizona senator subsequently resumed his familiar position as a political underdog,[205] riding the Straight Talk Express and taking advantage of free media such as debates and sponsored events.[206] By December 2007, the Republican race was unsettled, with none of the top-tier candidates dominating the race and all of them possessing major vulnerabilities with different elements of the Republican base electorate.[207] McCain was showing a resurgence, in particular with renewed strength in New Hampshire—the scene of his 2000 triumph—and was bolstered further by the endorsements of The Boston Globe, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and almost two dozen other state newspapers,[208] as well as from Senator Lieberman (now an Independent Democrat).[209][210] McCain decided not to campaign significantly in the January 3, 2008, Iowa caucuses, which saw a win by former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee.

McCain’s comeback plan paid off when he won the New Hampshire primary on January 8, defeating former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney in a close contest, to once again become one of the front-runners in the race.[211]In mid-January, McCain placed first in the South Carolina primary, narrowly defeating Mike Huckabee.[212] Pundits credited the third-place finisher, Tennessee‘s former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, with drawing votes from Huckabee in South Carolina, thereby giving a narrow win to McCain.[213] A week later, McCain won the Florida primary,[214] beating Romney again in a close contest; Giuliani then dropped out and endorsed McCain.[215]

On February 5, McCain won both the majority of states and delegates in the Super Tuesday Republican primaries, giving him a commanding lead toward the Republican nomination. Romney departed from the race on February 7.[216] McCain’s wins in the March 4 primaries clinched a majority of the delegates, and he became the presumptive Republican nominee.[217]

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Had he been elected, he would have become the first president who was born outside the contiguous forty-eight states. This raised a potential legal issue, since the United States Constitution requires the president to be a natural-born citizen of the United States. A bipartisan legal review,[218] and a unanimous but non-binding Senate resolution,[219] both concluded that he is a natural-born citizen. If inaugurated in 2009 at the age of 72 years and 144 days, he would have been the oldest U.S. president upon becoming president,[220] and the second-oldest president to be inaugurated after Reagan at his second inaugural.[221]

McCain addressed concerns about his age and past health issues, stating in 2005 that his health was “excellent”.[222] He had been treated for a type of skin cancer called melanoma, and an operation in 2000 for that condition left a noticeable mark on the left side of his face.[223] McCain’s prognosis appeared favorable, according to independent experts, especially because he had already survived without a recurrence for more than seven years.[223] In May 2008, McCain’s campaign briefly let the press review his medical records, and he was described as appearing cancer-free, having a strong heart, and in general being in good health.[224]

McCain clinched enough delegates for the nomination and his focus shifted toward the general election, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fought a prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination.[225] McCain introduced various policy proposals, and sought to improve his fundraising.[226][227] Cindy McCain, who accounts for most of the couple’s wealth with an estimated net worth of $100 million,[69] made part of her tax returns public in May.[228] After facing criticism about lobbyists on staff, the McCain campaign issued new rules in May 2008 to avoid conflicts of interest, causing five top aides to leave.[229][230]

When Obama became the Democrats’ presumptive nominee in early June, McCain proposed joint town hall meetings, but Obama instead requested more traditional debates for the fall.[231] In July, a staff shake-up put Steve Schmidt in full operational control of the McCain campaign.[232] Rick Davis remained as campaign manager but with a reduced role. Davis had also managed McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign; in 2005 and 2006, U.S. intelligence warned McCain’s Senate staff about Davis’s Russian links but gave no further warnings.[233][234][235][236]

Throughout the summer of 2008, Obama typically led McCain in national polls by single-digit margins,[237] and also led in several key swing states.[238] McCain reprised his familiar underdog role, which was due at least in part to the overall challenges Republicans faced in the election year.[205][238] McCain accepted public financing for the general election campaign, and the restrictions that go with it, while criticizing his Democratic opponent for becoming the first major party candidate to opt out of such financing for the general election since the system was implemented in 1976.[239][240] The Republican’s broad campaign theme focused on his experience and ability to lead, compared to Obama’s.[241]

Todd Palin, Sarah Palin (behind a podium), Cindy McCain, John McCain together on an outdoor stage during daytime, crowd holding blue-and-white "McCain Palin" signs around them

The Palins and McCains campaign in Fairfax, Virginia, following the 2008 Republican National Convention on September 10.

On August 29, 2008, McCain revealed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his surprise choice for running mate.[242] McCain was only the second U.S. major-party presidential nominee (after Walter Mondale) to select a woman for his running mate and the first Republican to do so; Palin would have become the first female Vice President of the United States if McCain had been elected. On September 3, 2008, McCain and Palin became the Republican Party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees, respectively, at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota. McCain surged ahead of Obama in national polls following the convention, as the Palin pick energized core Republican voters who had previously been wary of him.[243] However, by the campaign’s own later admission, the rollout of Palin to the national media went poorly,[244] and voter reactions to Palin grew increasingly negative, especially among independents and other voters concerned about her qualifications.[245] McCain said later in life that he expressed regret for not choosing the independent Senator Joe Lieberman as his VP candidate instead.[185]

On September 24, McCain said he was temporarily suspending his campaign activities, called on Obama to join him, and proposed delaying the first of the general election debates with Obama, in order to work on the proposed U.S. financial system bailout before Congress, which was targeted at addressing the subprime mortgage crisis and liquidity crisis.[246][247] McCain’s intervention helped to give dissatisfied House Republicans an opportunity to propose changes to the plan that was otherwise close to agreement.[248][249] After Obama declined McCain’s suspension suggestion, McCain went ahead with the debate on September 26.[250] On October 1, McCain voted in favor of a revised $700 billion rescue plan.[251] Another debate was held on October 7; like the first one, polls afterward suggested that Obama had won it.[252] A final presidential debate occurred on October 15.[253]

During and after the final debate, McCain compared Obama’s proposed policies to socialism and often invoked “Joe the Plumber” as a symbol of American small business dreams that would be thwarted by an Obama presidency.[254][255] McCain barred using the Jeremiah Wright controversy in ads against Obama,[256] but the campaign did frequently criticize Obama regarding his purported relationship with Bill Ayers.[257] McCain’s rallies became increasingly vitriolic,[258] with attendees denigrating Obama and displaying a growing anti-Muslim and anti-African-American sentiment.[259] During a campaign rally in Minnesota, Gayle Quinnell, a 75-year old McCain supporter said she did not trust Obama because “he’s an Arab”,[260] McCain pointedly replied to the woman, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”[259] McCain’s response was considered one of the finer moments of the campaign and was still being viewed several years later as a marker for civility in American politics.[258][261] Down the stretch, McCain was outspent by Obama by a four-to-one margin.[262] Meghan McCain said that she cannot “go a day without someone bringing up (that) moment,” and noted that at the time “there were a lot of people really trying to get my dad to go (against Obama) with … you’re a Muslim, you’re not an American aspect of that,” but that her father had refused. “I can remember thinking that it was a morally amazing and beautiful moment, but that maybe there would be people in the Republican Party that would be quite angry,” she said.[263]

Results of the presidential election

The election took place on November 4, and Barack Obama was projected the winner at about 11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; McCain delivered his concession speech in Phoenix, Arizona about twenty minutes later.[264] In it, he noted the historic and special significance of Obama becoming the nation’s first African American president.[264] In the end, McCain won 173 electoral college votes to Obama’s 365;[265] McCain failed to win most of the battleground states and lost some traditionally Republican ones.[266] McCain gained 46 percent of the nationwide popular vote, compared to Obama’s 53 percent.[266]

Senate career after 2008

Remainder of fourth Senate term

Following his defeat, McCain returned to the Senate amid varying views about what role he might play there.[267] In mid-November 2008 he met with President-elect Obama, and the two discussed issues they had commonality on.[268] Around the same time, McCain indicated that he intended to run for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010.[269] As the inauguration neared, Obama consulted with McCain on a variety of matters, to an extent rarely seen between a president-elect and his defeated rival,[270] and President Obama’s inauguration speech contained an allusion to McCain’s theme of finding a purpose greater than oneself.[271]

Barack Obama speaking in foreground at an indoor event with an American flag in background; John McCain behind him, somewhat of focus

U.S. President Barack Obama and McCain at a press conference in March 2009

Nevertheless, McCain emerged as a leader of the Republican opposition to the Obama economic stimulus package of 2009, saying it had too much spending for too little stimulative effect.[272] McCain also voted against Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor—saying that while undeniably qualified, “I do not believe that she shares my belief in judicial restraint”[273]—and by August 2009 was siding more often with his Republican Party on closely divided votes than ever before in his senatorial career.[274] McCain reasserted that the War in Afghanistan was winnable[275] and criticized Obama for a slow process in deciding whether to send additional U.S. troops there.[276]

McCain also harshly criticized Obama for scrapping construction of the U.S. missile defense complex in Poland, declined to enter negotiations over climate change legislation similar to what he had proposed in the past, and strongly opposed the Obama health care plan.[276][277] McCain led a successful filibuster of a measure that would allow repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy towards gays.[278] Factors involved in McCain’s new direction included Senate staffers leaving, a renewed concern over national debt levels and the scope of federal government, a possible Republican primary challenge from conservatives in 2010, and McCain’s campaign edge being slow to wear off.[276][277] As one longtime McCain advisor said, “A lot of people, including me, thought he might be the Republican building bridges to the Obama Administration. But he’s been more like the guy blowing up the bridges.”[276]

Man in office with old-style furnishings

McCain in his Senate office, November 2010

In early 2010, a primary challenge from radio talk show host and former U.S. Congressman J. D. Hayworth materialized in the 2010 U.S. Senate election in Arizona and drew support from some but not all elements of the Tea Party movement.[279][280] With Hayworth using the campaign slogan “The Consistent Conservative”, McCain said—despite his own past use of the term on a number of occasions[280][281]—”I never considered myself a maverick. I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities.”[282] The primary challenge coincided with McCain reversing or muting his stance on some issues such as the bank bailouts, closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, campaign finance restrictions, and gays in the military.[279]

When the health care plan, now called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed Congress and became law in March 2010, McCain strongly opposed the landmark legislation not only on its merits but also on the way it had been handled in Congress. As a consequence, he warned that congressional Republicans would not be working with Democrats on anything else: “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”[283] McCain became a vocal defender of Arizona SB 1070, the April 2010 tough anti-illegal immigration state law that aroused national controversy, saying that the state had been forced to take action given the federal government’s inability to control the border.[280][284] In the August 24 primary, McCain beat Hayworth by a 56 to 32 percent margin.[285] McCain proceeded to easily defeat Democratic city councilman Rodney Glassman in the general election.[286]

In the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, McCain voted for the compromise Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,[287] but against the DREAM Act (which he had once sponsored) and the New START Treaty.[288] Most prominently, he continued to lead the eventually losing fight against “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal.[289] In his opposition, he sometimes fell into anger or hostility on the Senate floor, and called its passage “a very sad day” that would compromise the battle effectiveness of the military.[288][289]

Fifth Senate term

While control of the House of Representatives went over to the Republicans in the 112th Congress, the Senate stayed Democratic and McCain continued to be the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As the Arab Spring took center stage, McCain urged that the embattled Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, step down and thought the U.S. should push for democratic reforms in the region despite the associated risks of religious extremists gaining power.[290] McCain was an especially vocal supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya. In April of that year he visited the Anti-Gaddafi forces and National Transitional Council in Benghazi, the highest-ranking American to do so, and said that the rebel forces were “my heroes”.[291] In June, he joined with Senator Kerry in offering a resolution that would have authorized the military intervention, and said: “The administration’s disregard for the elected representatives of the American people on this matter has been troubling and counterproductive.”[292][293] In August, McCain voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved the U.S. debt ceiling crisis.[294] In November, McCain and Senator Carl Levin were leaders in efforts to codify in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that terrorism suspects, no matter where captured, could be detained by the U.S. military and its tribunal system; following objections by civil libertarians, some Democrats, and the White House, McCain and Levin agreed to language making it clear that the bill would not pertain to U.S. citizens.[295][296]

In the 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries, McCain endorsed former 2008 rival Mitt Romney and campaigned for him, but compared the contest to a Greek tragedy due to its drawn-out nature with massive super PAC-funded attack ads damaging all the contenders.[297] He labeled the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision as “uninformed, arrogant, naïve”, and, decrying its effects and the future scandals he thought it would bring, said it would become considered the court’s “worst decision … in the 21st century”.[298] McCain took the lead in opposing the defense spending sequestrations brought on by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and gained attention for defending State Department aide Huma Abedin against charges brought by a few House Republicans that she had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.[299]

A group of about ten men walking along a road

The “Three Amigos” walking in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan in July 2011: McCain (second from left), Lindsey Graham (second from right in front), Joe Lieberman (right in front)[300]

McCain continued to be one of the most frequently appearing guests on the Sunday morning news talk shows.[299] He became one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, saying it was a “debacle” that featured either “a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable” and that it was worse than the Watergate scandal.[301] As part of this, he and a few other senators were successful in blocking the planned nomination of Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State; McCain’s friend and colleague John Kerry was nominated instead.[302]

Regarding the Syrian civil war that had begun in 2011, McCain repeatedly argued for the U.S. intervening militarily in the conflict on the side of the anti-government forces. He staged a visit to rebel forces inside Syria in May 2013, the first senator to do so, and called for arming the Free Syrian Army with heavy weapons and for the establishment of a no-fly zone over the country. Following reports that two of the people he posed for pictures with had been responsible for the kidnapping of eleven Lebanese Shiite pilgrims the year before, McCain disputed one of the identifications and said he had not met directly with the other.[303] Following the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack, McCain argued again for strong American military action against the government of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and in September 2013 cast a Foreign Relations committee vote in favor of Obama’s request to Congress that it authorize a military response.[304] McCain took the lead in criticizing a growing non-interventionist movement within the Republican Party, exemplified by his March 2013 comment that Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Representative Justin Amash were “wacko birds”.[305]

Kerry (far left) and McCain (center-right) with members of the Saudi Royal Family after greeting the new King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, January 2015

During 2013, McCain was a member of a bi-partisan group of senators, the “Gang of Eight“, which announced principles for another try at comprehensive immigration reform.[306] The resulting Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 passed the Senate by a 68–32 margin, but faced an uncertain future in the House.[307] In July 2013, McCain was at the forefront of an agreement among senators to drop filibusters against Obama administration executive nominees without Democrats resorting to the “nuclear option” that would disallow such filibusters altogether.[308][309] However, the option would be imposed later in the year anyway, much to the senator’s displeasure.[310] These developments and some other negotiations showed that McCain now had improved relations with the Obama administration, including the president himself, as well as with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and that he had become the leader of a power center in the Senate for cutting deals in an otherwise bitterly partisan environment.[311][312][313] They also led some observers to conclude that the “maverick” McCain had returned.[309][313]

McCain was publicly skeptical about the Republican strategy that precipitated the U.S. federal government shutdown of 2013 and U.S. debt-ceiling crisis of 2013 in order to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act; in October 2013 he voted in favor of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, which resolved them and said, “Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”[314] Similarly, he was one of nine Republican senators who voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the end of the year.[315] By early 2014, McCain’s apostasies were enough that the Arizona Republican Party formally censured him for having what they saw as a liberal record that had been “disastrous and harmful”.[316] McCain remained stridently opposed to many aspects of Obama’s foreign policy, however, and in June 2014, following major gains by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive, decried what he saw as a U.S. failure to protect its past gains in Iraq and called on the president’s entire national security team to resign. McCain said, “Could all this have been avoided? … The answer is absolutely yes. If I sound angry it’s because I am angry.”[317]

McCain addresses anti-government protesters in KievUkraine, pledging his support for their cause, December 15, 2013.

McCain was a supporter of the Euromaidan protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his government, and appeared in Independence Square in Kiev in December 2013.[318] Following the overthrow of Yanukovych and subsequent 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, McCain became a vocal supporter of providing arms to Ukrainian military forces, saying the sanctions imposed against Russia were not enough.[319] In 2014, McCain led the opposition to the appointments of Colleen BellNoah Mamet, and George Tsunis to the ambassadorships in Hungary, Argentina, and Norway, respectively, arguing they were unqualified appointees being rewarded for their political fundraising.[320] Unlike many Republicans, McCain supported the release and contents of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in December 2014, saying “The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.”[321] He added that the CIA’s practices following the September 11 attacks had “stained our national honor” while doing “much harm and little practical good” and that “Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.”[322] He opposed the Obama administration’s December 2014 decision to normalize relations with Cuba.[323]

As the 114th United States Congress assembled in January 2015 with Republicans in control of the Senate, McCain became chair of the Armed Services Committee, a longtime goal of his.[324] In this position, he led the writing of proposed Senate legislation that sought to modify parts of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 in order to return responsibility for major weapons systems acquisition back to the individual armed services and their secretaries and away from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.[325] As chair, McCain has tried to maintain a bipartisan approach and has forged a good relationship with ranking member Jack Reed.[324] In April 2015, McCain announced that he would run for a sixth term in Arizona’s 2016 Senate election.[326] While there was still conservative and Tea Party anger at him, it was unclear if they would mount an effective primary challenge against him.[327] During 2015, McCain strongly opposed the proposed comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, saying that Secretary of State Kerry was “delusional” and “giv[ing] away the store” in negotiations with Iran.[328] McCain supported the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh,[329] saying: “I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed.”[330]

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wenmeets with U.S. Senate delegation led by McCain, June 2016

McCain accused President Obama of being “directly responsible” for the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting “because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures.”[331][332]

McCain campaigning with former Governor Romney in Mesa, Arizona during his 2016 re-election campaign

During the 2016 Republican primaries, McCain said he would support the Republican nominee even if it was Donald Trump, but following Mitt Romney’s March 3 speech, McCain endorsed the sentiments expressed in that speech, saying he had serious concerns about Trump’s “uninformed and indeed dangerous statements on national security issues”.[333] Relations between the two had been fraught since early in the Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016, when McCain referred to a room full of Trump supporters as “crazies”, and the real estate mogul then said of McCain: “He insulted me, and he insulted everyone in that room… He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured… perhaps he was a war hero, but right now he’s said a lot of very bad things about a lot of people.”[333][334] Following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the party on May 3, McCain said that Republican voters had spoken and he would support Trump.[335]

McCain himself faced a primary challenge from Kelli Ward, a fervent Trump supporter, and then was expected to face a potentially strong challenge from Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.[336] The senator privately expressed worry over the effect that Trump’s unpopularity among Hispanic voters might have on his own chances but also was concerned with more conservative pro-Trump voters; he thus kept his endorsement of Trump in place but tried to speak of him as little as possible given their disagreements.[337][338][339] However McCain defeated Ward in the primary by a double-digit percentage point margin and gained a similar lead over Kirkpatrick in general election polls, and when the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy broke, he felt secure enough to on October 8 withdraw his endorsement of Trump.[336] McCain stated that Trump’s “demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults” made it “impossible to continue to offer even conditional support” and added that he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, but would instead “write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president.”[340][341] McCain, at 80 years of age, went on to defeat Kirkpatrick, securing a sixth term as United States Senator from Arizona.[342]

In November 2016, McCain learned of the existence of a dossier regarding the Trump presidential campaign’s links to Russia compiled by Christopher Steele. McCain sent a representative to gather more information, who obtained a copy of the dossier.[343] In December 2016, McCain passed on the dossier to FBI Director James Comey in a 1-on-1 meeting. McCain later wrote that he felt the dossier’s “allegations were disturbing” but unverifiable by himself, so he let the FBI investigate.[344]

On December 31, 2016, in TbilisiGeorgia, McCain stated that the United States should strengthen its sanctions against Russia.[345] One year later, on December 23, 2017, the State Department announced that the United States will provide Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities”.[346]

Sixth and final Senate term

McCain chaired the January 5, 2017, hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee where Republican and Democratic senators and intelligence officers, including James R. Clapper Jr., the Director of National IntelligenceMichael S. Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command presented a “united front” that “forcefully reaffirmed the conclusion that the Russian government used hacking and leaks to try to influence the presidential election.”[347]

In June 2017, McCain voted to support Trump’s controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia.[348][349]

Repeal and replacement of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was a centerpiece of McCain’s 2016 re-election campaign, and in July 2017 he said, “Have no doubt: Congress must replace Obamacare, which has hit Arizonans with some of the highest premium increases in the nation and left 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties with only one provider option on the exchanges this year.” He added that he supports affordable and quality health care, but objected that the pending Senate bill did not do enough to shield the Medicaid system in Arizona.[350]

In response to the death of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of organ failure while in government custody, McCain said that “this is only the latest example of Communist China’s assault on human rights, democracy, and freedom.”[351]

In September 2017, as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar became ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority, McCain announced moves to scrap planned future military cooperation with Myanmar.[352]

Brain tumor diagnosis and surgery

File:John McCain returns to Senate and delivers remarks on July 25, 2017.webm

McCain returns to the Senate for the first time following his cancer diagnosis and delivers remarks on July 25, 2017, after casting a crucial vote on the American Health Care Act.

McCain underwent a minimally invasive craniotomy at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 14, 2017, in order to remove a blood clot above his left eye. His absence prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.[353] Five days later, Mayo Clinic doctors announced that the laboratory results from the surgery confirmed the presence of a glioblastoma, which is a very aggressive brain tumor.[354] Standard treatment options for this tumor include chemotherapy and radiation, although even with treatment, average survival time is approximately 14 months.[354] McCain was a survivor of previous cancers, including melanoma.[223][355]

President Trump made a public statement wishing Senator McCain well,[356] as did many others, including President Obama.[357] On July 19, McCain’s senatorial office issued a statement that he “appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective.” On July 24, McCain announced via Twitter that he would return to the United States Senate the following day.[358]

Return to Senate

McCain votes no on repealing Obamacare by giving a thumbs down.

McCain returned to the Senate on July 25, less than two weeks after brain surgery. He cast a deciding vote allowing the Senate to begin consideration of bills to replace Obamacare. Along with that vote, he delivered a speech criticizing the party-line voting process used by the Republicans, as well as by the Democrats in passing Obamacare to begin with, and McCain also urged a “return to regular order” utilizing the usual committee hearings and deliberations.[359][360][361] On July 28, he cast the decisive vote against the Republicans’ final proposal that month, the so-called “skinny repeal” option, which failed 49–51.[362]

McCain did not vote in the Senate after December 2017, remaining instead in Arizona to undergo cancer treatment. On April 15, 2018, he underwent surgery for an infection relating to diverticulitis and the following day was reported to be in stable condition.[363]

Committee assignments

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Senators Joni ErnstDaniel Sullivan, John McCain, Tom CottonLindsey Graham, and Cory Gardnerattending the 2016 International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit in Singapore

Caucus memberships

Death and funeral

McCain’s family announced on August 24, 2018, that he would no longer receive treatment for his cancer.[366] The next day on August 25, at 16:28 MST (23:28 UTC), he died with his wife and family beside him at his home in Cornville, Arizona, four days before his 82nd birthday.[367][368][369][370]

McCain will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on August 29 (McCain’s birthday), followed by a service at North Phoenix Baptist Church on August 30. His body will travel to Washington to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol on August 31, before a service at the Washington National Cathedral on September 1. He was a “lifelong Episcopalian” who attended, but did not join, a Southern Baptist church for at least 17 years; memorial services were scheduled in both denominations.[371][372] He will be buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery, next to his Naval Academy classmate Admiral Charles R. Larson.[373]

Tributes were widely given on social media, including from Congressional colleagues, all living former Presidents – Jimmy CarterGeorge H. W. BushBill ClintonGeorge W. BushBarack Obama – and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.[374][375][376] Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, German foreign minister Heiko Maas, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and former Vietnamese ambassador to Washington Nguyen Quoc Cuong, also sent condolences.[377][378][379][380] Colonel Trần Trọng Duyệt, who ran the Hỏa Lò Prison when McCain was held there, remarked “At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance. Later on, when he became a US Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote [Vietnam]-US relations so I was very fond of him. When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family.”[381] His daughter, Meghan McCain shared her grief, stating that she was present at the moment he died.[382] Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after McCain.[383]

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has the authority to appoint McCain’s interim replacement until a special election is held in 2020 to determine who will serve the remainder of McCain’s term, which ends in January 2023.[384] Under Arizona law, the appointed replacement must be of the same party as McCain, a Republican.[385] The potential appointees include McCain’s widow Cindy, former Senator Jon Kyl, and former Representatives Matt Salmon and John Shadegg.[386][387]

Prior to his death, McCain requested that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama eulogize him at his funeral, and asked that President Donald Trump not attend.[388][389] Trump reportedly rejected the White House’s plans to release a statement praising McCain’s life, and he said nothing about McCain himself in a tweet that extended condolences to McCain’s family. [390] In addition, the flag at the White House, which had been lowered to half-staff the day of McCain’s death, was raised back to full-staff the next day.[391] As of two days after McCain’s death, the White House had not issued a proclamation for flags to be flown at half-staff until his interment, contrary to the custom to honor a prominent American official, which has usually included a Senator who dies in office.[392] Many governors, both Democratic and Republican, have ordered flags in their states to fly at half-staff until interment.[393]

Political positions

Chart, with jagged pink and blue lines

McCain’s congressional voting scores, from the American Conservative Union (pink line; 100 is most conservative) and Americans for Democratic Action (blue line; 100 is most liberal)[394]

Various advocacy groups have given McCain scores or grades as to how well his votes align with the positions of each group.[395] The American Conservative Union has awarded McCain a lifetime rating of 82 percent through 2015, while McCain has an average lifetime 12 percent “Liberal Quotient” from Americans for Democratic Action through 2015.[396] CrowdPac, which rates politicians based on donations made and received, has given Senator McCain a score of 4.3C with 10C being the most conservative and 10L being the most liberal.[397]

The non-partisan National Journal rates a Senator’s votes by what percentage of the Senate voted more liberally than he or she, and what percentage more conservatively, in three policy areas: economic, social, and foreign. For 2005–2006 (as reported in the 2008 Almanac of American Politics), McCain’s average ratings were as follows: economic policy: 59 percent conservative and 41 percent liberal; social policy: 54 percent conservative and 38 percent liberal; and foreign policy: 56 percent conservative and 43 percent liberal.[398] In 2012, the National Journal gave McCain a composite score of 73 percent conservative and 27 percent liberal,[399] while in 2013 he received a composite score of 60 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal.[400]

Columnists such as Robert Robb and Matthew Continetti have used a formulation devised by William F. Buckley Jr. to describe McCain as “conservative” but not “a conservative”, meaning that while McCain usually tends towards conservative positions, he was not “anchored by the philosophical tenets of modern American conservatism.”[401][402] Following his 2008 presidential election loss, McCain began adopting more orthodox conservative views; the magazine National Journal rated McCain along with seven of his colleagues as the “most conservative” Senators for 2010[403] and he achieved his first 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union for that year.[394] During Barack Obama’s presidency, McCain was one of the top five Republicans most likely to vote with Obama’s position on significant votes; McCain voted with Obama’s position on such votes more than half the time in 2013 and was “censured by the Arizona Republican party for a so-called ‘liberal’ voting record.”[404]

From the late 1990s until 2008, McCain was a board member of Project Vote Smart which was set up by Richard Kimball, his 1986 Senate opponent.[405] The project provides non-partisan information about the political positions of McCain[406] and other candidates for political office. Additionally, McCain used his Senate website to describe his political positions.[407]

Cultural and political image

White-haired man standing at podium and speaking and gesturing with outstretched arm and an outdoor venue

Speaking in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Memorial Day, 2008, wearing his Purple Heart

Four people in a room

McCain and his wife Cindy watch in 2011 as their son Jimmy pins aviator wings on their son Ensign John Sidney McCain IV.

Public opinion of John McCain[408]

McCain’s personal character was a dominant feature of his public image.[409] This image includes the military service of both himself and his family,[410] the circumstances and tensions surrounding the end of his first marriage and beginning of second,[24] his maverick political persona,[114] his temper,[411] his admitted problem of occasional ill-considered remarks,[91] and his close ties to his children from both his marriages.[24]

McCain’s political appeal was more nonpartisan and less ideological compared to many other national politicians.[412] His stature and reputation stemmed partly from his service in the Vietnam War.[413] He also carried physical vestiges of his war wounds, as well as his melanoma surgery.[414] When campaigning, he quipped: “I am older than dirt and have more scars than Frankenstein.”[415]

Writers often extolled McCain for his courage not just in war but in politics, and wrote sympathetically about him.[58][409][413][416] McCain’s shift of political stances and attitudes during and especially after the 2008 presidential campaign, including his self-repudiation of the maverick label, left many writers expressing sadness and wondering what had happened to the McCain they thought they had known.[417][418][419][420] By 2013, some aspects of the older McCain had returned, and his image became that of a kaleidoscope of contradictory tendencies, including, as one writer listed, “the maverick, the former maverick, the curmudgeon, the bridge builder, the war hero bent on transcending the call of self-interest to serve a cause greater than himself, the sore loser, old bull, last lion, loose cannon, happy warrior, elder statesman, lion in winter….”[310]

In his own estimation, the Arizona senator was straightforward and direct, but impatient.[421] Other traits included a penchant for lucky charms,[422] a fondness for hiking,[423] and a sense of humor that sometimes backfired spectacularly, as when he made a joke in 1998 about the Clintons widely deemed not fit to print in newspapers: “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? – Because Janet Reno is her father.”[424][425] McCain subsequently apologized profusely,[426] and the Clinton White House accepted his apology.[427] McCain did not shy away from addressing his shortcomings, and apologizing for them.[91][428] He was known for sometimes being prickly[429] and hot-tempered[430] with Senate colleagues, but his relations with his own Senate staff were more cordial, and inspired loyalty towards him.[431][432] He formed a strong bond with two senators, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, over hawkish foreign policy and overseas travel, and they became dubbed the “Three Amigos”.[300]

McCain acknowledged having said intemperate things in years past,[433] though he also said that many stories have been exaggerated.[434] One psychoanalytic comparison suggests that McCain was not the first presidential candidate to have a temper,[435] and cultural critic Julia Keller argues that voters want leaders who are passionate, engaged, fiery, and feisty.[411] McCain has employed both profanity[436] and shouting on occasion, although such incidents have become less frequent over the years.[437][438] Lieberman has made this observation: “It is not the kind of anger that is a loss of control. He is a very controlled person.”[437] Senator Thad Cochran, who knew McCain for decades and had battled him over earmarks,[439][440] expressed concern about a McCain presidency: “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”[437] Yet Cochran supported McCain for president when was clear he would win the nomination.[441] The Chicago Tribune editorial board called McCain a patriot, who although sometimes wrong was fearless, and that he deserves to be thought of among the few US senators in history, whose names are more recognizable than some presidents.[442]

All of McCain’s family members were on good terms with him,[24] and he has defended them against some of the negative consequences of his high-profile political lifestyle.[443][444] His family’s military tradition extends to the latest generation: son John Sidney IV (“Jack”) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2009, becoming the fourth generation John S. McCain to do so, and is a helicopter pilot; son James served two tours with the Marines in the Iraq War; and son Doug flew jets in the navy.[24][445][446] His daughter Meghan became a blogging and twittering presence in the debate about the future of the Republican Party following the 2008 elections, and showed some of his maverick tendencies.[447][448]

Awards and honors

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia awards a National Hero of Georgia order to McCain in January 2010 in Batumi.

GEO National Hero Award BAR.svg
Order of Saint Vladimir, ribbon bar.svg
Order of Freedom of Ukraine.png
Kosovo Order of Freedom.svg
USA Philadelphia Liberty Medal ribbon.svg

In addition to his military honors and decorations, McCain was granted a number of civilian awards and honors.

In 1997, Time magazine named McCain as one of the “25 Most Influential People in America”.[122] In 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Award with Senator Russ Feingoldfor their work towards campaign finance reform.[126] The following year, the same pair shared the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.[449] In 2005, The Eisenhower Institute awarded McCain the Eisenhower Leadership Prize.[450] The prize recognizes individuals whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s legacy of integrity and leadership. In 2006, the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award was bestowed upon McCain by the National Park Trust.[451] The same year, McCain was awarded the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, in honor of Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson.[452] In 2007, the World Leadership Forumpresented McCain with the Policymaker of the Year Award; it is given internationally to someone who has “created, inspired or strongly influenced important policy or legislation”.[453] In 2010, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgiaawarded McCain the Order of National Hero, an award never previously given to a non-Georgian.[454] In 2015, the Kiev Patriarchate awarded McCain its own version of the Order of St. Vladimir.[455] In 2016, Allegheny Collegeawarded McCain, along with Vice President Joe Biden, its Prize for Civility in Public Life.[456] In August 2016, Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, awarded McCain with the highest award for foreigners, the Order of Liberty.[457] In 2017, Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo, awarded McCain the “Urdhër i Lirisë” (Order of Freedom) medal for his contribution to the freedom and independence of Kosovo, and its partnership with the U.S.[458]McCain also received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in 2017.[459]

McCain received several honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. These include ones from Colgate University (LL.D 2000),[460] The Citadel (DPA 2002),[461] Wake Forest University(LL.D May 20, 2002),[462][463] the University of Southern California (DHL May 2004),[464] Northwestern University (LL.D June 17, 2005),[465][466] Liberty University (2006),[467] The New School (2006),[468] and the Royal Military College of Canada (D.MSc June 27, 2013).[469][470][471] He was also made an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin in 2005.[472]

Ancestry

Writings by McCain

Books

Articles and forewords

See also

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018, Story 1: Republican Red Wave Rising Along With Massive Budget Deficits and National Debt — King of Debt Trump 5 for 5 as Fiscal Year 2018 Deficit Breaking Over 800 Billion and FY 2019 Over 1,000 Billion — Giving Obama A Run For Record Deficits and National Debt — Drowning in Debt — Videos –Story 2: Corporate Conspiracy to Censor Conservatives Based On Communist China Censorship — Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Spotify, Twitter, and Big Lie Media — ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN –NYT, LA Times, WP — Progressive Propaganda — Videos — Story 3: United States Reimposes Sanctions on Iran Now and More in November — Videos — Story 4: Poor Trucker Driver Retention Results in Need For More New Drivers — Videos

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Story 1: Republican Red Wave Rising Along With Massive Budget Deficits and National Debt — King of Debt Trump 5 for 5 as Fiscal Year 2018 Deficit Breaking Over 800 Billion and FY 2019 Over 1,000 Billion — Giving Obama A Run For Record Deficits and National Debt — Drowning in Debt —

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Troy Balderson claims victory in Ohio special election

Trump boasts he went ‘5 for 5’ in Tuesday’s elections

President Trump on Wednesday boasted that all five candidates he endorsed in this week’s elections won their races, even as contests in Ohio and Kansas were too close to call.

The president declared victory in a brief tweet: “5 for 5!”

Trump in a second tweet accused the media of downplaying the Republican Party’s record of success in special elections.

“The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered. Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!” he wrote.

The president left out a special election in Southern California to replace former Rep. Xavier Becerra (D) in which no major Republican candidate ran.

Trump also claimed that “as long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!” and said Republicans will “have a giant Red Wave” in November’s midterms “if I find the time” to hit the campaign trail.

Trump sent the messages from his New Jersey golf club, where he is spending the week on vacation.

Troy Balderson, a Trump-backed Republican running in a House special election in Ohio, held a narrow lead over his upstart Democratic challenger after Tuesday night’s voting.The same goes for Republican Kris Kobach, who was less than 200 votes ahead of incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) in Kansas’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

Even if both candidates pull out victories, the close results are not encouraging for Trump and the Republican Party.

Balderson’s district is solidly Republican and has been in the GOP’s hands since 1983. But Republican groups were forced to spend millions of dollars to fend off Democrat Danny O’Connor, and Trump made a last-minute stop in the district to stage a rally for Balderson.

In Kansas, Trump’s endorsement did not give Kobach a decisive edge like it did in Georgia’s gubernatorial primary or in a South Carolina House primary, where it propelled his hand-picked candidates to victory.

Still, Trump’s team sought to portray the results as clear-cut wins.

“Clearly, the president’s support was pivotal in GOP primaries yesterday,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “President Trump is delivering the right kind of leadership, results, and inspiration to unify our party at just the right time to keep America winning.”

Trump-backed candidates pulled off two wins in Michigan, where John James won the GOP Senate primary and Bill Schuette won the party’s nod for governor. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) won the state’s Senate primary.

–This report was updated at 11:22 a.m.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/400881-trump-boasts-he-went-5-for-5-in-tuesdays-elections

Election results in Ohio, Kansas too close to call — live updates

  • Tuesday ended without a clear winner in the final special election before Election Day in Ohio, where provisional and absentee ballots may determine the race’s outcome. The race for Kansas governor also remains too close to call. Four other states, meanwhile — Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington — held primary elections.

    • In Ohio, the race remains extremely close in the special election to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi in Ohio’s 12th District. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Balderson has 50.1 percent of the vote to O’Connor’s 49.3 percent. The result may rely on provisional and absentee ballots.
    • The contest between Trump ally and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer is even tighter. Kobach has a margin of under 200 votes Wednesday morning. This race may not be called for several days.

    Follow live updates of 2018 primary election results below


  • Trump takes credit for victories

    Mr. Trump on Wednesday morning took credit for Republican victories overnight, claiming the media is muting those victories.

    “The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered,” the president tweeted. “Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!”

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered. Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!

    The president again predicted a “red wave” in November.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win! I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I’m doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!

  • Congress set for first Muslim woman

    Rashida Tlaib is set to become the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress after securing the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th congressional district. Tlaib’s grassroots campaign for the House seat long held by former Rep. John Conyers raised more than $1 million.

    She previously told CBSN‘s “Red and Blue” back in May that her background will give her the kind of lens that is currently lacking in the U.S. Congress now.

    “Me being elected is a big message to the whole country that we are part of the got we are part of society and we want to give back just like anyone else,” said Tlaib.

    She’ll be unopposed on the November general election ballot.

  • Ohio special election — too close to call

    The race is extremely close in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, where Democrat Danny O’Connor is facing off against Republican state Senator Troy Balderson. The winner will take over the term of Pat Tiberi, who resigned to work for a business group earlier this year.

    With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Balderson has 50.1 percent of the vote, to O’Connor’s 49.3 percent. The vote may come down to counting provisional and absentee ballots — but that could take days. County boards of elections reported that 3,435 provisional ballots were cast and there were 5,048 outstanding absentee ballots. State law dictates election officials cannot begin counting these ballots until the 11th day after the election, which would be Aug. 18.

    Balderson appeared to claim victory, saying in a statement, “THANK YOU #OH12! I am honored for the opportunity to represent Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. I will work relentlessly for everyone in this district. Congratulations to Danny O’Connor on running a hard-fought race.”

    The NRCC claimed victory for Balderson, although no major news outlet has called the race, and Mr. Trump took credit for Balderson’s edge.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.

    If the vote margin is ultimately within half a point, an automatic recount would be triggered.

    Speaking to supporters late Tuesday night, O’Connor thanked his family and those who came out to vote for him. He did not concede.

    “Tomorrow we rest and then we keep fighting through to November,” O’Connor told supporters.

    Whatever the outcome of the special election race, the two could be running against each other again in just a few months. Both Balderson and O’Connor are the candidates for the November election as well.

    This central Ohio district isn’t a place where Democrats should be competitive, CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe points out. Mr. Trump won the 12th District by 11 points in 2016. Now, 31-year-old O’Connor tightened the race for an open House seat that the GOP has held since the early 1980s.

    GOP Senate Candidate Troy Balderson Campaigns At Local Ohio Fair

HARTFORD, OH – AUGUST 06: Ohio Republican congressional candidate Troy Balderson makes a campaign stop at the Licking County Hartford Fair on August 6, 2018 in Hartford, Ohio.

 SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES

Mr. Trump stumped in Ohio last week before heading to New Jersey for a working vacation, where he told the state’s supporters that they’re the “real elite.”

To date, O’Connor has raised more money than Balderson this election cycle, CBS News’ Caitlin Conant points out. The Congressional Leadership Fund has spent $2.6 million in the race and the NRCC and DCCC have both invested money as well, with the NRCC spending almost $600,000 so far.

Democratic Congressional Candidate Danny O'Connor Campaigns Before OH Special Election

MANSFIELD, OH – AUGUST 05: Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Danny O’Connor greets worshipers during a campaign stop at Oasis Church on August 5, 2018 in Mansfield, Ohio.

 SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES

Balderson insults part of his district

At a campaign event in Zanesville on Monday evening, Balderson attempted to gin up support in his hometown by disparaging Franklin County.

“My opponent is from Franklin County, and Franklin County has been challenging. We don’t want somebody from Franklin County representing us,” Balderson said. Franklin County encompasses a relatively small portion of the district, on the outskirts of Columbus. It is one of the most populous areas of the district, and less Republican than the other, rural counties. Around a third of the vote is expected to come from Franklin County on Tuesday.

O’Connor quickly seized upon Balderson’s comments. “Our district deserves someone who is going to represent all of us,” O’Connor wrote on Twitter, adding that Balderson “just made it crystal clear that’s not him.”

  • Chair of Ohio Democratic Party says there’s a lot of energy

    David Pepper, chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, said there’s a lot of energy on the Democratic side Tuesday night, evidenced by how close the race is in a traditionally red district.

    “This district is gerrymandered for an easy win, no competition … this is Republican Ohio,” Pepper told CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe.

    Pepper said there are a number of races Democrats in Ohio are looking forward to. They key, he said, is to bring in great candidates and talk about issues that matter to to swing voters.

    Pepper said Balderson’s comment disparaging Franklin County will “haunt” him for the next 90 days.

  • Kansas primary results — Kobach, Colyer race too close to call

    Kansas Secretary of State and Trump ally Kris Kobach is hoping to defeat incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

    But with 87 percent reporting at 1 a.m. Wednesday, the race was too close to call. The two remained deadlocked with Kobach leading Colyer by a few hundred votes. That race may not be called until later Wednesday.

    Mr. Trump has voiced his support for Kobach, a firebrand who concerns many Republicans.

    Kris Kobach Campaigns

    American politician Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as he speaks during a fundraiser for his gubernatorial campaign at an unidentified senior citizens center, Emporia, Kansas, October 28, 2017.

     / GETTY IMAGES

    Kobach previously served as the the vice chair of the president’s controversial “voter fraud” commission, which has since been disbanded over states’ concerns that the commission was demanding states hand over voter data, leading to several lawsuits against the panel. Kobach was endorsed by Mr. Trump on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s election, calling him a “fantastic guy” who will be “strong on crime, border and military.”

    Moderate State Senator Laura Kelly is the likely Democratic nominee for governor.

    CBS News rates Kansas’ 2nd and 3rd congressional districts as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November.

    Polling places open at 8:00 a.m. ET and close at 8:00 p.m. ET.

  • Michigan primary results

    In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer is projected to win the Democratic nomination for governor, besting Abdul El-Sayed, who was backed by rising Democratic Party star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    The AP also projected State Attorney General Bill Schuette won the GOP primary, advancing in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Mr. Trump had endorsed Schuette via tweet, saying he will be a “fantastic” governor.

    In the Senate race, incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is running for re-election. She is expected to run against Iraq veteran John James, who was leading in his primary race Tuesday night. Mr. Trump congratulated James late Tuesday night, calling him a “future star” of the party.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    Congratulations to a future STAR of the Republican Party, future Senator John James. A big and bold victory tonight in the Great State of Michigan – the first of many. November can’t come fast enough!

    CBS News also rates Michigan’s 8th and 11th congressional districts as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November’s midterm elections.

    Hillary Clinton recorded a robocall ahead of Tuesday for Haley Stevens in Michigan’s 11th, endorsing Stevens’ experience as chief of staff for the auto bailout during the Obama administration.

    Polls are open from 7 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET in Michigan

  • Missouri primary results — voters strike down right-to-work law

    Missouri has a Senate primary election on Tuesday night — incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is expected to run against Republican State Attorney General Josh Hawley. Mr. Trump stumped for Hawley late last month, calling him a “great young man” and urging supporters that Missouri needed him in the Senate “badly.”

    McCaskill is the clear leader in the Democratic primary, and the AP projected that Hawley would win his race. Mr. Trump tweeted to congratulate Hawley early Wednesday.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    Congratulations to Josh Hawley on your big Senate Primary win in Missouri. I look forward to working with you toward a big win in November. We need you in Washington!

    McCaskill meanwhile is one of 10 Democratic U.S. senators trying to defend their seats in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

    Missouri voters also overwhelmingly struck down the state’s right-to-work law through a referendum.

     

  • Washington primary — results coming in

    In Washington, incumbent Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell is expected to easily win re-election in the fall.

    Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was roughly tied for votes with Democrat Lisa Brown in Washington’s 5th Congressional District. That’s not great for Republicans, who generally perform well in that district. In Washington, the top two vote-getters proceed to November.

    Washington Senator Maria Cantwell Holds Town Hall In Seattle

    SEATTLE, WA – JULY 8: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) speaks during a town hall at Evergreen High School, on July 8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

     STEPHEN BRASHEAR / GETTY IMAGES

    CBS News rates Washington’s 8th Congressional District as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in the November midterms.

    Like California, Washington uses a top-two jungle primary system — regardless of party affiliation, the top two candidates move on to the general election.

    Washington state votes by mail-in ballot with drop boxes and voting centers closing at 11 p.m. ET

  • Which states still have primaries after today?

    Although the majority of states have voted in primary elections, several have yet to pick their nominees. Most of the states hold federal and state primaries on the same day, although New York has its state primary in September, three months after the federal primary.

    Here are the remaining primary elections after today’s primaries in Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Washington:

    August 11 – Hawaii; August 14 – Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont; August 21 – Alaska, Wyoming; August 28 – Arizona, Florida; September 4 – Massachusetts; September 6 – Delaware; September 11 – New Hampshire; September 12 – Rhode Island; September 13 – New York (statewide offices only); November 6 – Louisiana.

  • Salvanto: No “bellwether” out of special election

    CBS News’ Elections and Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto reports that no single district on Tuesday is considered a “bellwether” – whatever ultimately happens on election night will not foretell November.

    He adds that there’s already been a string of special elections in which Democrats have over-performed. Ohio’s 12th district shares a lot of the characteristics of places that are competitive in November, so it will be widely and correctly seen as a test case if it is close, or if the Democrat manages to pull an upset win.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/primary-election-2018-08-07-kansas-michigan-missouri-washington-ohio-special-election/

     

    Trump saved Balderson in Ohio, but he can’t carry the midterms by himself

    Chris Pandolfo
     · August 8, 2018

    Troy Balderson and Donald Trump at rally

    Maddie McGarvey | Getty Images

    President Donald Trump is getting credit for saving the Republican Party from a major embarrassment in Tuesday’s primaries.

    Republican Troy Balderson’s narrow victory over Democrat Danny  O’Connor in a heavily Republican district that Trump won by 11 points in 2016 is a troubling sign for Republicans. A Democrat should not have come within 2,000 votes of beating a Republican in a district Democrats haven’t held since 1983. But were it not for the “shot in the arm to base Republicans across the district” given by Trump’s Saturday rally for Balderson, it’s likely the Democrats might have pulled off another upset victory. Balderson’s pollsters admitted as much to Politico, and “senior Republicans” are panning Balderson as a “poor candidate.”

    The story seems to be that Trump saved an establishment candidate running a milquetoast campaign from disaster. And make no mistake, Balderson was the establishment candidate. He was backed by the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and endorsed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, R-NeverTrump, who featured prominently in Balderson’s closing ads. Balderson favors keeping Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions regulations, and he wants a special pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant so-called “Dreamers.”

    Balderson ran as a pro-Trump Republican in favor of repealing Obamacare and building a border wall, but his reputation as a moderate in that district and Kasich’s support did not match his campaign rhetoric. That was a recipe to suppress rural voter turnout among Trump’s base in rural portions of the congressional district. Turnout was higher in areas with educated suburbanites, a demographic that is more likely to support Democrats, and at the end of the day a Trump +11 district became a nail-biter on election day.

    If Balderson’s pollsters are right and Trump was the deciding factor in turning out enough of his base on election day to win, then this should show Republicans that the Balderson/Kasich moderate Main Street playbook is a loser in the midterms. That’s not what Trump’s base wants, and those voters won’t turn out to vote for Republicans who aren’t offering them anything unless the president himself intervenes.

    Folks, Trump cannot intervene for every single vulnerable House Republican between now and November. If Republicans want to win, they need to follow the president’s instincts and fight on the issues Trump talks about. If Trump talks about having a shutdown fight before the election on funding a border wall as a great campaign issue, Republicans in Congress ought to listen to him. The duck-and-cover, punt-on-tough-votes strategy is not generating enough enthusiasm to win the midterms.

    If Republicans want to win, they need to follow Trump’s lead and fight.

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Twitter REFUSES to block Alex Jones and InfoWars because they have ‘not violated its hate policies’ despite calls for it to follow sweeping bans from Apple, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify

  • Twitter had come under fire for leaving the conspiracy theorist’s accounts active
  • But it claims the podcast host and his site InfoWars have not broken its rules 
  • YouTube joined Facebook, Spotify and Apple in banning Alex Jones’ personal accounts from its platform Monday

Twitter has revealed it will not block controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its site, despite recent bans from competitors Apple, YouTube and Facebook.

A spokesperson said accounts run by the podcast host and his media platform InfoWars will be spared the ban as they have not violated Twitter’s policies.

Users of the microblogging site have criticised the decision, arguing that Twitter is ‘protecting the hate, violence and bigotry’ of Jones and his associated accounts.

The 44-year-old saw his personal and InfoWars content removed from a host of the internet’s biggest sites in an unprecedented series of bans this week.

Apple, YouTube, Spotify and Facebook all announced blocks of the conspiracy theorist’s accounts and content within hours of one another on Monday, citing hate policy violations.

InfoWars, Jones’s right-wing conspiracy website, branded the ‘coordinated effort’ a ‘purge’ designed to censor the site’s provocative messages.

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Twitter has revealed it will not block controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its site, despite recent bans from competitors Apple, YouTube and Facebook (file photo)

Following calls for similar restrictions on Twitter, a spokesperson for the site revealed Jones and his affiliated accounts would remain active.

They told MailOnline that InfoWars and its associated accounts were not currently in violation of Twitter’s rules.

Content that is posted by InfoWars to other social media sites is often not also published to Twitter, they added.

Its policies on hate speech state that it does not tolerate users who harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence other social network users.

Twitter users that violate these rules could find their content deleted, or their access to the account suspended, according to the social network.

But the site has come under fire in recent months over the way it handles accounts that post abusive and threatening tweets – particularly those based on gender and religion – despite last year claiming it would crack down on abusive content.

The site suspended the accounts of several leaders of the far-right group Britain First in December for breaking its rules on hate speech.

It claims to have removed tens of thousands of accounts – many of them affiliated with neo-nazi groups – since it pledged to make Twitter a ‘safer environment’ in November 2017.

Twitter users criticised the microblogging site this week for its failure to take a harder stance on Jones and InfoWars.

Shaun King wrote: ‘OK, @Twitter the ball is in your court. Every other major platform stepped up. Why are you protecting the hate and violence and bigotry of Alex Jones?’

Twitter users criticised the microblogging site for its failure to take a harder stance on Jones and InfoWars

Twitter users criticised the microblogging site for its failure to take a harder stance on Jones and InfoWars

Janice Leonard tweeted: '@Twitter please ban @realalexjones. We do not need to be subjected to his lies. Please'

Janice Leonard tweeted: ‘@Twitter please ban @realalexjones. We do not need to be subjected to his lies. Please’

Following bans from Facebook, Spotify and Apple, pornographic website YouPorn announced yesterday that it would remove any videos featuring Jones from its site. Twitter user Joyce Bolton criticised the microblogging site for failing to follow suit

Following bans from Facebook, Spotify and Apple, pornographic website YouPorn announced yesterday that it would remove any videos featuring Jones from its site. Twitter user Joyce Bolton criticised the microblogging site for failing to follow suit

Ed Krassenstein tweeted: ‘Why isn’t Twitter banning Alex Jones and his InfoWars propaganda? Everyone else is!’

Janice Leonard wrote: ‘@Twitter please ban @realalexjones. We do not need to be subjected to his lies. Please.’

Jones, a right-wing radio host based in Austin, Texas, frequently lands in hot water for inciting harassment against the targets of his political rants.

He claims his shows reach at least 70 million people a week.

WHO HAS TWITTER BANNED IN THE PAST?

Twitter announced in November 2017 it would begin banning accounts affiliated with ‘hate groups’.

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating hate speech rules

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating hate speech rules

The news followed years of criticism from users that the site allowed neo-nazi, white supremacist and other extremist groups to spread abusive messages.

Twitter suspended the accounts of several leaders of the far-right group Britain First in December for breaking its rules on hate speech.

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating rules governing ‘hateful conduct’.

The site announced it would soon undertake stronger measures to crack down on online trolls in May.

Despite sweeping bans, the site has come under criticism for not doing enough to purge itself of abusive users.

Last month, actor Seth Rogan lashed out at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for continuing to verify the accounts of white supremacists.

He tweeted: ‘I’ve been DMing with @Jack about his bizarre need to verify white supremacists on his platform for the last 8 months or so, and after all the exchanges, I’ve reached a conclusion: the dude simply does not seem to give a f**k.’

The theories he has promoted include that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.

He has also promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was faked.

The shooting left 26 children and adults dead at a Connecticut elementary school.

Jones currently faces five lawsuits, including three fronted by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre – which Jones claimed was a hoax run by left-wing forces to promote gun control.

Alex Jones, a right-wing radio host based in Austin, Texas, frequently lands in hot water for inciting the harassment of targets of his political rants. He claims his shows reach at least 70 million people a week 

A number of platforms have recently suspended or removed content posted by Jones and pages tied to Inforwars for violating hate content policies.

Facebook announced Monday that it removed four pages belonging to Jones for posting content that violated its policies around hate speech and violence.

It came just hours after Apple revealed it removed the entire iTunes library for five of Jones’s six Infowars podcasts, including the shows ‘War Room’ and the daily ‘The Alex Jones Show.’

Not long after Facebook and Apple took action, YouTube removed The Alex Jones Channel, which counts close to 2.5 million subscribers.

A twitter spokesperson said accounts run by the podcast host and his media platform InfoWars will be spared the ban hammer as they have not violated the site's policies (stock image)

A twitter spokesperson said accounts run by the podcast host and his media platform InfoWars will be spared the ban hammer as they have not violated the site’s policies (stock image)

WHAT IS TWITTER’S POLICY ON HATE SPEECH?

Twitter says it does not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence other social network users.

Twitter users that violate these rules could find their content deleted, or their access to the account suspended by the social network.

What does Twitter forbid?

According to the company, it will remove any tweets that do the following —

  • Threaten physical violence
  • Promote attacks on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease
  • References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence in which such groups are the primary targets or victims
  • Incites fear about a certain protected group
  • Repeated use of non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes
  • Content designed to degrade a specific user

Twitter users can target individuals or specific groups in a number of manners, for example using the @ mention feature, or tagging a photo.

How does Twitter enforce these rules?

According to the company, the first thing it does whenever an account or tweet is flagged as inappropriate is check the context.

Twitter says: ‘some Tweets may seem to be abusive when viewed in isolation, but may not be when viewed in the context of a larger conversation.

‘While we accept reports of violations from anyone, sometimes we also need to hear directly from the target to ensure that we have proper context.’

Twitter says the total number of reports received around an individual post or account does not impact whether or not something will be removed.

However, it could help Twitter prioritise the order in which it looks through flagged tweets and accounts.

What happens if you violate Twitter’s policy?

The consequences for violating our rules will vary depending on the severity of the violation and the person’s previous record of violations, Twitter says.

The penalties range from requesting a user voluntarily remove an offending tweet, to suspending an entire account.

Spotify also announced Monday it was taking further action against Jones, removing every episode of the Alex Jones Show from the streaming site.

Prior to this, Spotify had only gotten rid of specific episodes of the show, leaving most of the library up on its platform.

Even pornographic website YouPorn announced yesterday that it would remove any videos featuring Jones from its site.

People often post non-pornographic content to porn websites due to their relatively relaxed copyright rules.

Facebook announced Monday that it removed four pages belonging to Jones for posting content that violated its policies around hate speech and violence. It marks an about face for Facebook, which had earlier refused to take down Infowars' content on grounds of free speech

In recent weeks, Facebook and other tech giants have faced repeated backlash over its inaction against the US conspiracy theorist.

However, YouTube, Facebook and Apple all chose to take sweeping action against Jones on the same day, effectively removing his content from their platforms.

A notice on the Alex Jones Channel said the account had been ‘terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.’

‘All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube,’ a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

WHO IS ALEX JONES?

Alex Jones is a controversial radio and podcast host based in Austin, Texas.

Jones says his ‘InfoWars’ shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week.

Among other claims, he has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax.

He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead.

Among other claims, Alex Jones (file photo) has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax. He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead 

Among other claims, Alex Jones (file photo) has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax. He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead

He now admits the shooting occurred but says his claims were free speech. He has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Jones has also claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.

While he began broadcasting his shows in 1999, Jones’ profile has spread from the far-right fringe in recent years.

While running for president in 2015, Donald Trump told Jones his reputation was ‘amazing.’

‘When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.’

YouTube had pulled four down videos hosted by Jones last month for violating its policies around hate speech and child endangerment.

The firm became aware that Jones was continuing to violate its policies and took further action as a result.

YouTube’s initial actions had triggered similar moves by Spotify, Facebook and Apple.

Apple announced its decision on Sunday night. Only one programme provided by InfoWars, ‘RealNews with David Knight’ remained on Apple’s platforms at the time of publication.

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Apple confirmed it had also removed Jones’ podcast for violating its guidelines on hate speech.

Just hours later, Facebook said it had ‘unpublished’ the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page.

Many have pointed out that the timing of Facebook’s ban was peculiar, with the social media firm posting the announcement to its site at about 3 a.m. (PT), according to the Guardian.

It marks a major about face for Facebook, which had said in recent weeks that it refused to ban Infowars on the grounds of protecting free speech on its platform.

Facebook in July banned Jones personally from posting on the platform for 30 days and removed four videos for violating its rules.

At the time, Facebook had warned that it would ban Jones and Infowars’ accounts should they continue to post content violating the company’s standards.

‘As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies,’ Facebook wrote in a blog post.

‘Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.’

Facebook added that while many have criticized Infowars for posting fake news on the site, such as conspiracy theories related to 9/11 and the Sandy Hook shooting, the actions it took were not related to that.

While Jones and Infowars are technically unable to access the site, Facebook said they still have the right to ‘appeal’ the company’s decision.

If neither party appeals or their appeal fails, Facebook will remove the Pages indefinitely.

Facebook said in a tweet last month that banning Infowars’ Pages ‘would be contrary to the basic principles of free speech’ after a CNN reporter asked why the firm had allowed Infowars, which had more than 900,000 followers, to continue to operate on its site.

In July, YouTube slapped Jones’ channel with a ‘community strike,’ blocking him from broadcasting live on the site for 90 days.

Spotify, a music and podcast streaming company, followed suit last week when it removed some specific episodes of Jones’s programmes.

It’s unclear exactly how many episodes were ditched, although the vast majority of content created by Jones remains available to Spotify users.

‘Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of `The Alex Jones Show´ podcast for violating our hate content policy,’ a spokesperson said late Sunday.

‘We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.’

 

85% of Conservatives Believe Social Networks Censor Political Speech, According to Pew Study

Tech companies are seen as supporting liberal views

He may like Trump, but he probably doesn’t trust social networks.
Getty Images

Do technology companies lean liberal when it comes to supporting political views? Respondents to a recent study by Pew Research Center seemed to think so, with 72 percent going as far as to say that they believe social media companies actively censor political views that clash with their own.

Pew surveyed 4,594 U.S. adults between May 29 and June 11, and it found that 43 percent of them believe tech companies support liberal views over conservative views, while just 11 percent felt the opposite and 43 percent saw no bias.

This comes on the heels of Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey “breaking bread” with conservative leaders this week. The Washington Post reported that Twitter’s chief “convened a rare private dinner with Republican leaders and conservative commentators in Washington” last week to “build ‘trust’ among conservatives who have long chastised the company … He defended Twitter against accusations that it targeted right-leaning users unfairly but still admitted that the company has room for improvement, according to the attendees.”

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were much more likely to accuse social networks of censoring political speech than Democrats were—85 percent believe it is likely that social media companies engage in this behavior, and 54 percent consider it very likely, while 64 percent believe tech companies more broadly support liberal views. Meanwhile, 53 percent of Democrats feel that tech companies support both sides equally.

Josh Nanberg, president of political and media consultancy Ampersand Strategies, wasn’t surprised by Pew’s findings, although he did say, “85 percent is high, for sure.”

Nanberg said of the distrust by conservatives, “It builds on a decades-long narrative that’s been pushed first through conservative talk radio, and then Fox News. Social media becomes an echo chamber, where you get most of your news from people who believe what you believe. You’re going to get that message reinforced a lot: If you see it everywhere you go, it must be true.”

Eric Schiffer, chairman and CEO of digital marketing solutions provider DigitalMarketing.com and Reputation Management Consultants, added, “Conservatives see the decisions that are made publicly on silencing leading conservatives’ voices or choices that are made that make them feel like they are not respected. Conservatives feel backstabbed. They look at big tech as devastatingly unfair.”

To say that President Donald Trump uses social media—particularly Twitter—far more aggressively than his predecessors would be an obvious understatement, and that Twitter activity plays a role in firing up Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

“Trump has created a level of distrust for media in general and a groundswell of skepticism from the start,” Schiffer said. “The areas of tech that contain media—Facebook, Google—already start out at a deficit.”

Nanberg added, “It’s not like [Trump] says something on Tuesday that garners a lot of attention: He says something at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday that garners a lot of attention. He’s like a tornado. I think the people who orchestrated the strategy have lost control of it. This is not an overnight sensation.”

The differences were not as drastic when comparing gender instead of politics: 58 percent of respondents believe tech companies support the views of men and women equally, with 33 percent saying they are slanted toward males, with just 8 percent saying they support women over men.

In a more general look at the perception of major technology companies, Pew found that 74 percent of respondents believe their impact has been more good than bad, and 63 percent see that impact as a net positive.

However, just 3 percent believe those companies can be trusted to do the right thing “just about always” and 25 percent “most of the time.” Sixty-nine percent believe tech companies are no more or less ethical than their counterparts in other industries, while 22 percent felt that they are less ethical.

https://www.adweek.com/digital/85-of-conservatives-believe-social-networks-censor-political-speech-according-to-pew-study/

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