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Hillary Clinton defends 2016 campaign strategy against Buttigieg critique

Hillary Clinton on Friday defended her 2016 campaign strategy after 2020 Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg criticized his party's previous nominee for being too hopeful and not understanding the struggles of everyday Americans.

"I really do believe that we always have to appeal to our better selves because the wolf is at the door, my friends," Clinton said during an appearance at the 10th Annual Women in the World New York Summit. "Negativity, despair, anxiety, resentment, anger, prejudice, that's part of human nature and the job of the leader is to appeal to us to be more than we can be on our own, to join hands in common effort."

"I was well aware that we had problems that we had to solve, but it's been my experience that anger, resent, prejudice are not strategies," the former first lady, secretary of state and senator from New York added. "They stop people from thinking. They don't enlist people in the common effort to try to find solutions."

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., told the Washington Post in a profile published January that President Trump connected with the concerns of ordinary Americans in a way Clinton did not.

“Donald Trump got elected because, in his twisted way, he pointed out the huge troubles in our economy and our democracy,” he said. “At least he didn’t go around saying that America was already great, like Hillary did.”

A senior Clinton adviser blasted Buttigieg's comments last month via Twitter as "indefensible."

"[Hillary Clinton] ran on a belief in this country & the most progressive platform in modern political history. Trump ran on pessimism, racism, false promises, & vitriol. Interpret that how you want, but there are 66,000,000 people who disagree. Good luck," Nick Merrill tweeted.

"It's pretty simple. Slam HRC...lose my vote," and another who chimed in: "It is unfortunate when people as smart as @PeteButtigieg engage in this fantasy fiction about 2016. And as a gay American it is disappointing because @HillaryClinton ran a campaign which amongst its many values championed our community," Merrill also wrote.

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Chevron expands in oil-rich Permian Basin with $33B Anadarko takeover

Chevron agreed to pay $33 billion for Anadarko Petroleum on Friday, broadening its access to the largest oil region in the continental U.S. as President Trump pushes the country to produce enough fuel to meet its own energy needs.

The deal, which offers Anadarko investors $65 a share in cash and stock, expands Chevron's oil production in the Permian Basin, the oil-rich swath of land in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico that's 250 miles wide and about 300 miles long, as well as deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

"We intend to accelerate activity in Anadarko's Permian acreage," Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, who hopes to complete the deal by the end of this year, told investors on Friday. "Getting more out of the Permian sooner is an important value driver."

For the San Ramon, Calif.-based company, which already controlled 2.2 million acres in the region and is adding 589,000 with the transaction, the driver isn't "getting bigger in the Permian, it's about getting better," Wirth said. That includes the the area's Delaware Basin, where Anadarko has operations.

Late last year, the U.S. Geological Survey identified an estimated 46 billion barrels of oil in two formations in the Delaware Basin, a development that left then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke confident "that American energy dominance is within our grasp."

The U.S. is the world's largest oil producer, outpacing both Russia and Saudi Arabia, thanks largely to technological advances that let producers extract oil from shale formations.

Achieving energy independence was one of Trump's signature campaign promises in 2016, a commitment based on concern that U.S. reliance on oil imports left the country more vulnerable and cost American jobs.

"We're ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country," Trump said when he signed an executive order prompting energy independence just two months after taking office. "We will unlock job-producing natural gas, oil and shale energy."

Anadarko climbed 33 percent to $62.20 after the sale was announced Friday. Chevron, which has a market value of $232.9 billion, has climbed 10 percent this year to $119.76.

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Comedian dies on stage as crowd laughs nervously

Comedian Ian Cognito died during a stand-up act in which he joked about dying on stage and then fell silent while the audience continued laughing, thinking it was a joke.

"Imagine if I died in front of you lot here," Cognito, 60, joked on stage during his set Thursday. Andrew Bird, who runs the Lone Wolf Comedy Club in Bicester England, told the BBC: "Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking. Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say 'boo'."

Audience members were mortified when they learned that had been chuckling at a man dying. "We came out feeling really sick, we just sat there for five minutes watching him, laughing at him," said audience member John Ostojak. He added: "Only 10 minutes before he sat down he joked about having a stroke He said, 'Imagine having a stroke and waking up speaking Welsh?'"

Fellow comedians extended their sympathies on Twitter after hearing the news of Cognito's death, but commented that his demise was in some ways fitting.

“Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was,” said comedian Jimmy Carr.


Comedian Mark Steel said Cognito had "expired in his natural home" and was "a difficult awkward hilarious troubled brilliant sort, a proper comic."

Bird said that dying on stage would have been the way Cognito "would have wanted to go," adding: "Except he'd want more money and a bigger venue"

There is a comedic tradition of dying on stage. In 1984, comedian Tommy Cooper suffered a heart attack in the middle of his set on live television.His assistants and viewers back home thought he was making a joke as he slumped over and then writhed on the ground.

Cognito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, had been performing since the mid-1980s. He won the Time Out Award for Stand-up Comedy in 1999 but never really hit the big time.

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John Yoo: Barr will get to ‘genesis’ of spying allegations; says Assange ‘perfect case for extradition’

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo said Friday he believes Attorney General William Barr will get to the bottom of why warrants were carried out against Donald Trump's campaign and determine whether it was done in good faith or because of a partisan bias.

Barr told congressional lawmakers this week that he is investigating both the "genesis" and the "conduct of intelligence activities" directed at Trump's 2016 campaign. He also raised eyebrows when he said he believed unauthorized "spying" did occur though he seemed to back off of the assertion later.

"I don't get the whole controversy over the word 'spying'," Yoo, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told Fox News. "It is spying. If the government checked your emails or my emails without telling us it was listening to our phone calls we'd think of that as spying. The question is whether is was justified."

SEN. KENNEDY TO DEMS: 'LEAVE BILL BAR ALONE. LET HIM DO HIS JOB'

Yoo also weighed in on the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the charges brought against him by the United States.

"I can't think of a single individual who in the last 10, 15 years has done greater harm to American national security by himself," Yoo said. "He led to, I think, the capture and perhaps death to American agents abroad, to attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq."

ROD ROSENSTEIN SAYS IT'S 'COMPLETELY BIZARRE' TO SAY WILLIAM BARR IS 'TRYING TO MISLEAD PEOPLE' ON MUELLER REPORT

Yoo added that he believes the Assange saga is a "perfect case for extradition."

Assange was arrested in London on Thursday, ending a 7-year stay in Ecuador's embassy. Following his arrest, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Assange had been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for aiding Chelsea Manning, in the cracking of a password to a classified U.S. government computer in 2010.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Assange had been staying up at the embassy in London since 2012, after Ecuador granted him asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden for sexual misconduct allegations.

Source: Fox News Politics

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Greg Craig, Obama White House counsel, pleads not guilty to false statements charges

Greg Craig, former White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday to charges of making false and misleading statements to federal prosecutors related to his work on behalf of Russian-backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

A status hearing for his case has been set for April 15 before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the District of Columbia.

Craig, in an indictment a day earlier, was accused of making false and misleading statements to investigators including those on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Craig is the first prominent Democrat to be indicted in a case that stemmed from Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

GREG CRAIG, EX-OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, INDICTED FOR ALLEGED FALSE STATEMENTS

Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in New York last year, after uncovering alleged misconduct while investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s unregistered lobbying work on behalf of Ukraine.

Craig was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for allegedly falsifying and concealing “material facts” and making false statements to both Mueller and investigators in the Justice Department’s National Security Division’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.

The FARA Unit is responsible for enforcing foreign lobbying laws that require the disclosure of certain overseas activity, including public relations work for foreign entities. At issue were Craig’s 2012 lobbying and media contacts on behalf of Yanukovych, while Craig was a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Yanukovych and Ukraine's government to write a report to assess whether the government's prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko -- a criminal case that was criticized widely as an abuse of power -- was a "fair trial."

In a videotaped statement uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, Craig asserted that the report was "independent," and denied helping Ukraine spin the information it contained. He also strongly denied the charges against him, saying he was "always honest" about his activities.

Craig, speaking directly to the camera, also slammed the prosecution as "unprecedented and unjustified."

OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL FACES POSSIBLE PROSECUTION IN MUELLER-INITIATED PROBE

It was not clear why Mueller -- who prosecuted other Trump officials, including Manafort, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos for making false statements -- did not handle the Craig case himself, and opted instead to farm it out to prosecutors in New York.

Alex van der Zwaan, another former Skadden lawyer, pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators about the report.

Craig faces up to 10 years in prison in all -- up to five years and a possible $250,000 fine for allegedly willfully falsifying and concealing material facts from the FARA Unit and another five years and $10,000 fine for making false and misleading statements to the FARA Unit.

GREG CRAIG'S RISE AND FALL: FROM JOHN HINCKLEY'S LAWYER TO OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL --TO INDICTED POWER PLAYER

Craig's attorneys on Wednesday night told The Associated Press in a statement that the "government's stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion."

On Thursday, the attorneys, William Taylor and William Murphy, told reporters: "This indictment accuses Mr. Craig of misleading the FARA Unit of the Department of Justice in order to avoid registration. It is itself unfair and misleading. It ignores uncontroverted evidence to the contrary. Mr. Craig had no interest in misleading the FARA Unit because he had not done anything that required his registration. That is what this trial will be all about."

Fox News' Jake Gibson, Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

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Shanahan ready to send more troops to the border when Trump asks: ‘Our support is very elastic’

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Friday the Pentagon stands ready to dispatch more troops to the border region if President Trump follows through with his pledge to increase the military presence along the U.S.-Mexico boundary.

Trump said after touring a section of recently upgraded border fencing in Calexico, Calif., last week, “We're going to bring up some more military” to deal with what he said were more than 70,000 illegal migrants rushing the border.

Shanahan said the Pentagon has had conversations with the Department of Homeland Security but has yet to receive a formal request.

“It shouldn't come as a surprise that we'll provide more support to the border,” he said in response to a reporter’s question as he prepared to meet with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “Our support is very elastic, and given the deterioration there at the border, you would expect that we would provide more support.” Shanahan said he anticipates the support will be similar to what the military has already provided with several thousand troops, barrier construction, transport, and surveillance.

Shanahan will meet with a planning team at the Pentagon over the weekend to prepare for the potential request, he said.

“It will follow up with where are we on barrier construction, where do we stand on troops deployed, and then in the areas we anticipate, what type of preliminary plans should we be doing prior to receiving a request for assistance,” he said.

Democrats have been highly critical of the deployment of active-duty troops to the border, and many have cited a leaked internal memo the Marine Corps commandant sent to the Navy secretary warning that unexpected expenses, such as hurricane damage and border operations, could force him to cancel routine training and degrade combat readiness.

But in Senate testimony this week, Gen. Robert Neller insisted his memo was being misconstrued. “To say that going to the border was degrading our readiness is not an accurate statement,” Neller told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Neller’s March 18 memo listed eight categories of unfunded and unexpected expenses. Hurricane recovery was at the top of the list, but a number of expenses were included, such as the raise for civilian employees, which was not in the budget.

“We have a shortfall of just under $300 million, of which the border mission is less than 2 percent,” Neller said. “So my intent was to just simply lay out for my boss what these were and ask for support in trying to figure out how we might fund them.”

Pressed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Neller conceded some Marines, who are not doing the jobs they would normally do, could see a small degradation in their unit readiness, but he said it depended on the unit.

“Some of the units have gone down there and they've done tasks that are more in line with their core mission. Like engineer units or MP units. Aviation units that were assigned to that early on have actually improved their readiness because they are able to fly certain profiles and things,” he testified.

Neller reports to his civilian boss, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, who requested the memo and jumped to Neller’s defense at the hearing.

“The main stress that we were dealing with at the time, senator, was the hurricane, which was imposing the greatest cost on the Marine Corps," Spencer told Warren. "Five hundred men for a month at the southern border is $1.25 million. In my mind, is that affecting my readiness stress? No, it's not.”

Neller said so far border operations have cost the Marine Corps $6.2 million.

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Calls for Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s resignation grow louder amid book controversy

Pressure is mounting against embattled Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, as a second major group in the city on Friday called for her immediate resignation.

The Greater Baltimore Committee’s board of directors wrote Pugh “no longer possesses the public trust or moral authority” to lead the Maryland city.

“This was a difficult decision requiring a great deal of thought, but the GBC believes the Mayor can no longer provide the leadership and effective government that Baltimore needs and deserves at this time,” the committee’s president and CEO, Donald C. Fry said in the Friday statement. “The GBC Board determined that it is necessary for Mayor Pugh to resign so the city can move on, heal and leverage the many positive assets it has going for it.”

BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL CALLS ON EMBATTLED MAYOR CATHERINE PUGH TO RESIGN IMMEDIATELY

The board said it was in the best interest of the city for Pugh to step down from her post because Baltimore needs “a strong Mayor who is laser-focused on the needs of the city, its residents, and businesses and can lead the city forward.”

Pugh, who last week took an indefinite leave of absence from office, is under fire after she reportedly received $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System for her self-authored “Healthy Holly,” a children’s book series.

The university paid Pugh for 100,000 copies of her books between 2011 and 2018 while she was on its board. The books were intended to go to schools and day care centers, however, some 50,000 copies remain unaccounted for and may never have been printed.

Earlier this week, the Baltimore City Council also called on Pugh to step down immediately.

BALTIMORE MAYOR'S $500G DEAL FOR 'HEALTHY HOLLY' CHILDREN'S BOOKS DRAWS SCRUTINY

The 14 members of the Baltimore City Council sent a two-sentence letter to Pugh on Monday urging her to resign, effective immediately. All members of the city council except acting mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young signed the letter.

“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” the council members wrote to Pugh. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Pugh’s spokesman told the Baltimore Sun on Saturday that Pugh intends to return to her post once her health has sufficiently improved.

Fox News' Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Hillary Clinton on Friday defended her 2016 campaign strategy after 2020 Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg criticized his party’s previous nominee for being too hopeful and not understanding the struggles of everyday Americans.

“I really do believe that we always have to appeal to our better selves because the wolf is at the door, my friends,” Clinton said during an appearance at the 10th Annual Women in the World New York Summit. “Negativity, despair, anxiety, resentment, anger, prejudice, that’s part of human nature and the job of the leader is to appeal to us to be more than we can be on our own, to join hands in common effort.”

“I was well aware that we had problems that we had to solve, but it’s been my experience that anger, resent, prejudice are not strategies,” the former first lady, secretary of state and senator from New York added. “They stop people from thinking. They don’t enlist people in the common effort to try to find solutions.”

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., told the Washington Post in a profile published January that President Trump connected with the concerns of ordinary Americans in a way Clinton did not.

“Donald Trump got elected because, in his twisted way, he pointed out the huge troubles in our economy and our democracy,” he said. “At least he didn’t go around saying that America was already great, like Hillary did.”

A senior Clinton adviser blasted Buttigieg’s comments last month via Twitter as “indefensible.”

“[Hillary Clinton] ran on a belief in this country & the most progressive platform in modern political history. Trump ran on pessimism, racism, false promises, & vitriol. Interpret that how you want, but there are 66,000,000 people who disagree. Good luck,” Nick Merrill tweeted.

“It’s pretty simple. Slam HRC…lose my vote,” and another who chimed in: “It is unfortunate when people as smart as @PeteButtigieg engage in this fantasy fiction about 2016. And as a gay American it is disappointing because @HillaryClinton ran a campaign which amongst its many values championed our community,” Merrill also wrote.

Chevron agreed to pay $33 billion for Anadarko Petroleum on Friday, broadening its access to the largest oil region in the continental U.S. as President Trump pushes the country to produce enough fuel to meet its own energy needs.

The deal, which offers Anadarko investors $65 a share in cash and stock, expands Chevron’s oil production in the Permian Basin, the oil-rich swath of land in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico that’s 250 miles wide and about 300 miles long, as well as deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We intend to accelerate activity in Anadarko’s Permian acreage,” Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, who hopes to complete the deal by the end of this year, told investors on Friday. “Getting more out of the Permian sooner is an important value driver.”

For the San Ramon, Calif.-based company, which already controlled 2.2 million acres in the region and is adding 589,000 with the transaction, the driver isn’t “getting bigger in the Permian, it’s about getting better,” Wirth said. That includes the the area’s Delaware Basin, where Anadarko has operations.

Late last year, the U.S. Geological Survey identified an estimated 46 billion barrels of oil in two formations in the Delaware Basin, a development that left then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke confident “that American energy dominance is within our grasp.”

The U.S. is the world’s largest oil producer, outpacing both Russia and Saudi Arabia, thanks largely to technological advances that let producers extract oil from shale formations.

Achieving energy independence was one of Trump’s signature campaign promises in 2016, a commitment based on concern that U.S. reliance on oil imports left the country more vulnerable and cost American jobs.

“We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country,” Trump said when he signed an executive order prompting energy independence just two months after taking office. “We will unlock job-producing natural gas, oil and shale energy.”

Anadarko climbed 33 percent to $62.20 after the sale was announced Friday. Chevron, which has a market value of $232.9 billion, has climbed 10 percent this year to $119.76.

Comedian Ian Cognito died during a stand-up act in which he joked about dying on stage and then fell silent while the audience continued laughing, thinking it was a joke.

“Imagine if I died in front of you lot here,” Cognito, 60, joked on stage during his set Thursday. Andrew Bird, who runs the Lone Wolf Comedy Club in Bicester England, told the BBC: “Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking. Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say ‘boo’.”

Audience members were mortified when they learned that had been chuckling at a man dying. “We came out feeling really sick, we just sat there for five minutes watching him, laughing at him,” said audience member John Ostojak. He added: “Only 10 minutes before he sat down he joked about having a stroke He said, ‘Imagine having a stroke and waking up speaking Welsh?'”

Fellow comedians extended their sympathies on Twitter after hearing the news of Cognito’s death, but commented that his demise was in some ways fitting.

“Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was,” said comedian Jimmy Carr.

Comedian Mark Steel said Cognito had “expired in his natural home” and was “a difficult awkward hilarious troubled brilliant sort, a proper comic.”

Bird said that dying on stage would have been the way Cognito “would have wanted to go,” adding: “Except he’d want more money and a bigger venue”

There is a comedic tradition of dying on stage. In 1984, comedian Tommy Cooper suffered a heart attack in the middle of his set on live television.His assistants and viewers back home thought he was making a joke as he slumped over and then writhed on the ground.

Cognito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, had been performing since the mid-1980s. He won the Time Out Award for Stand-up Comedy in 1999 but never really hit the big time.

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo said Friday he believes Attorney General William Barr will get to the bottom of why warrants were carried out against Donald Trump’s campaign and determine whether it was done in good faith or because of a partisan bias.

Barr told congressional lawmakers this week that he is investigating both the “genesis” and the “conduct of intelligence activities” directed at Trump’s 2016 campaign. He also raised eyebrows when he said he believed unauthorized “spying” did occur though he seemed to back off of the assertion later.

“I don’t get the whole controversy over the word ‘spying’,” Yoo, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told Fox News. “It is spying. If the government checked your emails or my emails without telling us it was listening to our phone calls we’d think of that as spying. The question is whether is was justified.”

SEN. KENNEDY TO DEMS: ‘LEAVE BILL BAR ALONE. LET HIM DO HIS JOB’

Yoo also weighed in on the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the charges brought against him by the United States.

“I can’t think of a single individual who in the last 10, 15 years has done greater harm to American national security by himself,” Yoo said. “He led to, I think, the capture and perhaps death to American agents abroad, to attacks on American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

ROD ROSENSTEIN SAYS IT’S ‘COMPLETELY BIZARRE’ TO SAY WILLIAM BARR IS ‘TRYING TO MISLEAD PEOPLE’ ON MUELLER REPORT

Yoo added that he believes the Assange saga is a “perfect case for extradition.”

Assange was arrested in London on Thursday, ending a 7-year stay in Ecuador’s embassy. Following his arrest, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Assange had been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for aiding Chelsea Manning, in the cracking of a password to a classified U.S. government computer in 2010.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Assange had been staying up at the embassy in London since 2012, after Ecuador granted him asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden for sexual misconduct allegations.

Source: Fox News Politics

Greg Craig, former White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday to charges of making false and misleading statements to federal prosecutors related to his work on behalf of Russian-backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

A status hearing for his case has been set for April 15 before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the District of Columbia.

Craig, in an indictment a day earlier, was accused of making false and misleading statements to investigators including those on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Craig is the first prominent Democrat to be indicted in a case that stemmed from Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

GREG CRAIG, EX-OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL, INDICTED FOR ALLEGED FALSE STATEMENTS

Mueller referred the Craig case to prosecutors in New York last year, after uncovering alleged misconduct while investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s unregistered lobbying work on behalf of Ukraine.

Craig was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for allegedly falsifying and concealing “material facts” and making false statements to both Mueller and investigators in the Justice Department’s National Security Division’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.

The FARA Unit is responsible for enforcing foreign lobbying laws that require the disclosure of certain overseas activity, including public relations work for foreign entities. At issue were Craig’s 2012 lobbying and media contacts on behalf of Yanukovych, while Craig was a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Specifically, Craig and the law firm were commissioned by Yanukovych and Ukraine’s government to write a report to assess whether the government’s prosecution of dissident Yulia Tymoshenko — a criminal case that was criticized widely as an abuse of power — was a “fair trial.”

In a videotaped statement uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, Craig asserted that the report was “independent,” and denied helping Ukraine spin the information it contained. He also strongly denied the charges against him, saying he was “always honest” about his activities.

Craig, speaking directly to the camera, also slammed the prosecution as “unprecedented and unjustified.”

OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL FACES POSSIBLE PROSECUTION IN MUELLER-INITIATED PROBE

It was not clear why Mueller — who prosecuted other Trump officials, including Manafort, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos for making false statements — did not handle the Craig case himself, and opted instead to farm it out to prosecutors in New York.

Alex van der Zwaan, another former Skadden lawyer, pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators about the report.

Craig faces up to 10 years in prison in all — up to five years and a possible $250,000 fine for allegedly willfully falsifying and concealing material facts from the FARA Unit and another five years and $10,000 fine for making false and misleading statements to the FARA Unit.

GREG CRAIG’S RISE AND FALL: FROM JOHN HINCKLEY’S LAWYER TO OBAMA WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL –TO INDICTED POWER PLAYER

Craig’s attorneys on Wednesday night told The Associated Press in a statement that the “government’s stubborn insistence on prosecuting Mr. Craig is a misguided abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”

On Thursday, the attorneys, William Taylor and William Murphy, told reporters: “This indictment accuses Mr. Craig of misleading the FARA Unit of the Department of Justice in order to avoid registration. It is itself unfair and misleading. It ignores uncontroverted evidence to the contrary. Mr. Craig had no interest in misleading the FARA Unit because he had not done anything that required his registration. That is what this trial will be all about.”

Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Friday the Pentagon stands ready to dispatch more troops to the border region if President Trump follows through with his pledge to increase the military presence along the U.S.-Mexico boundary.

Trump said after touring a section of recently upgraded border fencing in Calexico, Calif., last week, “We’re going to bring up some more military” to deal with what he said were more than 70,000 illegal migrants rushing the border.

Shanahan said the Pentagon has had conversations with the Department of Homeland Security but has yet to receive a formal request.

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ll provide more support to the border,” he said in response to a reporter’s question as he prepared to meet with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “Our support is very elastic, and given the deterioration there at the border, you would expect that we would provide more support.” Shanahan said he anticipates the support will be similar to what the military has already provided with several thousand troops, barrier construction, transport, and surveillance.

Shanahan will meet with a planning team at the Pentagon over the weekend to prepare for the potential request, he said.

“It will follow up with where are we on barrier construction, where do we stand on troops deployed, and then in the areas we anticipate, what type of preliminary plans should we be doing prior to receiving a request for assistance,” he said.

Democrats have been highly critical of the deployment of active-duty troops to the border, and many have cited a leaked internal memo the Marine Corps commandant sent to the Navy secretary warning that unexpected expenses, such as hurricane damage and border operations, could force him to cancel routine training and degrade combat readiness.

But in Senate testimony this week, Gen. Robert Neller insisted his memo was being misconstrued. “To say that going to the border was degrading our readiness is not an accurate statement,” Neller told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Neller’s March 18 memo listed eight categories of unfunded and unexpected expenses. Hurricane recovery was at the top of the list, but a number of expenses were included, such as the raise for civilian employees, which was not in the budget.

“We have a shortfall of just under $300 million, of which the border mission is less than 2 percent,” Neller said. “So my intent was to just simply lay out for my boss what these were and ask for support in trying to figure out how we might fund them.”

Pressed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Neller conceded some Marines, who are not doing the jobs they would normally do, could see a small degradation in their unit readiness, but he said it depended on the unit.

“Some of the units have gone down there and they’ve done tasks that are more in line with their core mission. Like engineer units or MP units. Aviation units that were assigned to that early on have actually improved their readiness because they are able to fly certain profiles and things,” he testified.

Neller reports to his civilian boss, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, who requested the memo and jumped to Neller’s defense at the hearing.

“The main stress that we were dealing with at the time, senator, was the hurricane, which was imposing the greatest cost on the Marine Corps,” Spencer told Warren. “Five hundred men for a month at the southern border is $1.25 million. In my mind, is that affecting my readiness stress? No, it’s not.”

Neller said so far border operations have cost the Marine Corps $6.2 million.

Pressure is mounting against embattled Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, as a second major group in the city on Friday called for her immediate resignation.

The Greater Baltimore Committee’s board of directors wrote Pugh “no longer possesses the public trust or moral authority” to lead the Maryland city.

“This was a difficult decision requiring a great deal of thought, but the GBC believes the Mayor can no longer provide the leadership and effective government that Baltimore needs and deserves at this time,” the committee’s president and CEO, Donald C. Fry said in the Friday statement. “The GBC Board determined that it is necessary for Mayor Pugh to resign so the city can move on, heal and leverage the many positive assets it has going for it.”

BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL CALLS ON EMBATTLED MAYOR CATHERINE PUGH TO RESIGN IMMEDIATELY

The board said it was in the best interest of the city for Pugh to step down from her post because Baltimore needs “a strong Mayor who is laser-focused on the needs of the city, its residents, and businesses and can lead the city forward.”

Pugh, who last week took an indefinite leave of absence from office, is under fire after she reportedly received $500,000 from the University of Maryland Medical System for her self-authored “Healthy Holly,” a children’s book series.

The university paid Pugh for 100,000 copies of her books between 2011 and 2018 while she was on its board. The books were intended to go to schools and day care centers, however, some 50,000 copies remain unaccounted for and may never have been printed.

Earlier this week, the Baltimore City Council also called on Pugh to step down immediately.

BALTIMORE MAYOR’S $500G DEAL FOR ‘HEALTHY HOLLY’ CHILDREN’S BOOKS DRAWS SCRUTINY

The 14 members of the Baltimore City Council sent a two-sentence letter to Pugh on Monday urging her to resign, effective immediately. All members of the city council except acting mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed the letter.

“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” the council members wrote to Pugh. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

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Pugh’s spokesman told the Baltimore Sun on Saturday that Pugh intends to return to her post once her health has sufficiently improved.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

The body camera footage showing the death of Justine Damond, the woman who was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer, also showed officers’ vain attempts to save her life.

The chaotic footage was played in court Thursday and showed the unsuccessful efforts to save the 40-year-old woman, who was shot minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape near her home. Damond was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia who had taken her fiance’s last name ahead of their wedding, which was scheduled to happen a month after her July 2017 death.

Former Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor stands trial on murder and manslaughter charges. He was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after being charged in her death.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, is accompanied by his attorneys Peter Wold, not pictured, and Thomas Plunkett, right, as he walks towards the Hennepin County Government Center for opening arguments of his trial Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, center, is accompanied by his attorneys Peter Wold, not pictured, and Thomas Plunkett, right, as he walks towards the Hennepin County Government Center for opening arguments of his trial Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP)

When the body camera footage was played, Damond’s fiancé Don declined to watch. Others members of her family also left the courtroom, FOX9 reported.

The Australian Associated Press reported Minneapolis Judge Kathryn Quaintance barred the media and public from seeing the body camera footage at first but the restriction was lifted after media organizations argued the decision.

WOMAN KILLED BY MINNEAPOLIS OFFICER ‘YEARNED TO HELP PEOPLE’

“The footage on these [body-worn cameras] shows the last moments of human life and the struggles of police and medical personnel to save that life,” Quaintance wrote in a memo, according to the Australian Associated Press. “These moments are well outside the personal experience of most people. Most lay people are not well equipped to take in such visceral and shocking material.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that one officer’s body camera showed Noor and his partner taking turns performing CPR on Damond before firefighters arrived. Another body camera video showed Noor being taken to a supervisor squad. Officer Mark Ringgenberg testified Noor kept asking if Damond was OK.

In this Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Johanna Morrow plays the didgeridoo during a memorial service for Justine Ruszczyk Damond at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.

In this Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Johanna Morrow plays the didgeridoo during a memorial service for Justine Ruszczyk Damond at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. (AP)

“I just told [Noor] not to say anything,” Ringgenberg said. “I don’t remember specifics.”

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Defense attorneys have said Noor was reacting to a loud noise and feared an ambush. Prosecutors have argued there was no evidence Noor faced a threat that justified the use of deadly force.

The head of the city’s police homicide unit, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, testified Thursday that lighting in the alley was bright enough that he could see the officers clearly when he arrived. Defense attorneys have contended that lighting conditions were poor the night Damond was shot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Larry Kudlow, the chief economic adviser to President Donald Trump, said young people embracing socialism will soon find out the ideology doesn’t work,

Kudlow made his comments during an interview on Hill.TV on Friday.

“(Winston) Churchill argued that if you’re not a socialist in your 20s, you have no heart, and if you’re not a capitalist in your 30s, you have no mind,” Kudlow said.

“The reason I say that is, I personally want to talk to the younger group, the millennials, I know I’m an old guy, I want to try to give them the benefit of some experience, and some history.

“They are in the workforce now, and they are matriculating through their careers, and I believe they will discover that the idea of central planning doesn’t work, and it would be devastating to the economy.”

The Hill noted discussions of socialism have become common in political circles.  Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is running for president, is a self-descried democratic socialist. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y., also calls herself a democratic socialist.

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
FILE PHOTO: NFL Football – Super Bowl LIII – New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. – February 3, 2019. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LIII. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

April 12, 2019

(Reuters) – A lawyer for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Friday asked a Florida judge not to make public a video that led to the billionaire being charged in a prostitution sting at a massage parlor, calling the evidence “basically pornography.”

Media companies including ABC and ESPN clashed with Kraft’s defenders, saying the judge would violate Florida’s public records laws by suppressing the video of Kraft receiving sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.

The owner of one of the National Football League’s most successful franchises and winner of this year’s Super Bowl was one of hundreds of people charged in February after an investigation unveiled widespread trafficking of young women at Florida day spas and massage parlors.

The 77-year-old billionaire businessman has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges of soliciting sex and requested a jury trial in March.

William Burck, Kraft’s attorney, argued in Palm Beach County Court that surveillance footage from the spa should not be released to the media because it would violate Kraft’s privacy rights, compromise his right to a fair trial, and interfere in an active criminal investigation.

“It’s basically pornography,” Burck told Judge Leonard Hanser. “There’s no interest in actually seeing the video unless you have a prurient interest in seeing the video.”

Kraft’s attorneys filed a motion to suppress the video in March, further suggesting that police did not have a valid search warrant to collect the video as evidence.

Dana McElroy, an attorney representing the media outlets, argued that sealing the video would violate the state’s public records law.

Kraft apologized for his actions in a written statement issued last month.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN


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