Author: Maga First News

Page: 7

FILE PHOTO: Ships and shipping containers are pictured at the port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California
FILE PHOTO: Ships and shipping containers are pictured at the port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 17, 2019

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of leading banks will for the first time include efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions in their decision making when providing shipping company loans, executives said on Tuesday.

International shipping accounts for 2.2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization (IMO), has a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Working with non-profit organisations the Global Maritime Forum, the Rocky Mountain Institute and London University’s UCL Energy Institute, 11 banks have established a framework to measure the carbon intensity of shipping finance portfolios.

The banks involved in the “Poseidon Principles” initiative, which will set a common baseline to assess whether lending portfolios are in line or behind the adopted climate goals set by the IMO, represent around a fifth or $100 billion of the total global shipping finance portfolio.

The results will be published annually in individual sustainability reports and the data will be obtained by banks from borrowers under existing loan agreements.

Although the IMO agreed stricter energy efficiency targets last month for certain types of ships, environmental campaigners are calling for tougher goals.

“We are helping the shipping industry emerge into the 21st century in a responsible way,” Michael Parker, global head of shipping at Citigroup, told Reuters.

‘HUGE ROLE’

Those involved so far are Citigroup, Societe Generale, DNB, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea.

“Banks have a huge role to play here because there is about $450 billion of senior debt that the world’s shipping banks and Chinese lessors grant to the sector and about 70,000 commercial vessels,” Paul Taylor, global head of shipping & offshore with Societe Generale CIB, said.

Banks will in the longer term be more selective about which ships they include in their lending portfolios, bankers said.

“Will there be companies that will find it difficult to get finance as they have less efficient ships, yes, it will be a consequence of it – but it’s not going to be used to look for those companies and somehow find a way of getting them out,” Citigroup’s Parker said.

Oivind Haraldsen, Danske Bank’s global head of shipping, said more institutions would join the efforts to cut the carbon footprint of the sector.

“All of us have to push – we as banks probably have more power than we are aware,” he said.

(Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

Is there a civil war brewing among Democrats over impeachment?

The Five” addressed the topic Monday, with co-host Juan Williams saying Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is motivated to impeach President Trump by “fury” and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is motivated not to impeach him so that Democrats can win in the 2020 elections.

“There is a big difference between impeaching President Trump and removing him from office. And I sometimes think when I hear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speak, it’s out of just, like, a fury at Trump. It really does represent close to 70 percent of the Democratic base, Dana, that would like to see him impeached,” Williams said to his co-host Dana Perino.

“But again there is a big difference between impeachment and having the Senate convict the president and remove him from office.”

PELOSI FLEXES MUSCLE OVER PARTY IN IMPEACHMENT DEBATE, BUT ‘DAM’ COULD COLLAPSE

Co-host Jesse Watters jumped in and made the point that the notion of impeachment was really being pushed by the press.

“The whole news cycle is driven by impeachment through the press. The press wants to book Democrats who want to impeach the president. They invite them on, they say ‘impeach’ and then they do a segment on it,” Watters said pointing out that the much-reported impeachment protests that were scheduled this past weekend were a flop.

HBO’S JOHN OLIVER BECOMES LATEST FIGURE TO TALK UP TRUMP IMPEACHMENT

“Then the media runs a poll on impeachment and then they do a segment on the poll.  Then the media asks Donald Trump about impeachment. He says it, they do a segment. They ask the Democrats running for president about impeachment and then they do a segment.  It’s this self-perpetuating news cycle about impeachment but it’s in a bubble.”

The “Watters’ World” host pointed out that Americans don’t care about the topic.

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“The rest of the country is like, ‘I am going to get a beer on the porch. I don’t care anymore,'” Watters added.

Source: Fox News Politics

FILE PHOTO: An oil rig is seen in the waters on the southern coast of Pengerang
FILE PHOTO: An oil rig is seen in the waters on the southern coast of Pengerang, Malaysia February 26, 2019. Picture taken February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell more than 1% on Monday after more poor Chinese economic figures fanned fears of lower worldwide oil demand.

Brent crude futures lost $1.07 to settle at $60.94 a barrel, a 1.73 percent loss. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 58 cents to settle at $51.93 a barrel, a 1.10 percent loss.

Prices have fallen around 20% since a 2019 high reached in April, in part due to concerns about the U.S.-China trade war and disappointing economic data.

China’s industrial output growth unexpectedly slowed to a more than 17-year low, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday. It grew 5.0% in May from a year earlier, missing analysts’ expectations of 5.5% and well below April’s 5.4%.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping could meet at the G20 summit in Japan later this month. Trump has said he would meet with Xi at the summit, although China has not confirmed the meeting.

“All the major reporting agencies are reporting that demand is going to be weaker,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “That has played into the market malaise. Things we would normally rally off of, we’re not.”

Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowered its Brent price forecast to $63 per barrel from $68 a barrel for the second half of 2019 on faltering demand.

Worries remained about increased tensions in the Middle East following last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The United States blamed the attacks on Iran but Tehran denied involvement.

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday that countries need to cooperate on keeping shipping lanes open for oil and other energy supplies to ensure stable supplies.

Market participants also await a meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, to decide whether to extend a production cut agreement that ends this month.

The group has been considering since last month moving the date of their policy meeting in Vienna to July 3-4 from June 25-26. After a meeting on Monday, Iran’s oil minister said he told his Russian counterpart that he still disagreed with the early July dates but could attend if the dates were shifted to July 10-12, the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency SHANA reported.

OPEC+ agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day from Jan. 1.

In the United States, U.S. oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by about 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July to a record 8.52 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly drilling productivity report on Monday.

(Additional reporting by Noah Browning in London and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Mark Potter and Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

U.S. military releases new images from oil tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman
A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17 shows what the Pentagon says is a view of internal hull penetration and blast damage sustained from a limpet mine attack on the starboard side of the Japanese owned motor tanker Kokuka Courageous in the Guld of Oman in the waters between Iran and Guld States on June 13, 2019. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

June 17, 2019

By Parisa Hafezi and Steve Holland

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.

Reuters first reported plans to send U.S. additional troops to the Middle East earlier on Monday.

Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”

The 2015 accord, which Iran and the other signatories have maintained following Trump’s decision, caps Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium at 300 kg enriched to 3.67 percent.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai, Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and William Schomberg in London, Francois Murphy in Vienna, Robin Emmott in Brussels, and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Writing by Alistair Bell, Grant McCool; Editing by William Maclean, Cynthia Osterman and Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Mursi greets his lawyers and people from behind bars at a court wearing the red uniform of a prisoner sentenced to death, during his court appearance with Muslim Brotherhood members on the outskirts of Cairo
FILE PHOTO: Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Mursi greets his lawyers and people from behind bars at a court wearing the red uniform of a prisoner sentenced to death, during his court appearance with Muslim Brotherhood members on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, June 21, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Nadine Awadalla and Enas al-Ashray

CAIRO (Reuters) – Former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, the first democratically elected head of state in Egypt’s modern history, died on Monday aged 67 after collapsing in a Cairo court while on trial on espionage charges, authorities said.

Mursi, a top figure in the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, had been in jail since being toppled by the military in 2013 after barely a year in power, following mass protests against his rule.

His death is likely to pile up international pressure on the Egyptian government over its human rights record, especially conditions in prisons where thousands of Islamists and secular activists are held.

The public prosecutor said he had collapsed in a defendants’ cage in the courtroom shortly after addressing the court, and had been pronounced dead in hospital at 4:50 p.m. (1450 GMT). It said initial checks had shown no signs of recent injury on his body.

The Muslim Brotherhood described Mursi’s death as a “full-fledged murder” and called for masses to gather at his funeral in Egypt and outside Egyptian embassies around the world.

Mursi’s family previously said his health had deteriorated in prison and that they were rarely allowed to visit.

His son, Abdullah Mohamed Mursi, told Reuters that the family had not been contacted about the details of the burial and were only communicating with the family through their lawyers.

Mursi’s son had said earlier that authorities were refusing to allow him to be laid to rest in the family burial grounds in his native Nile Delta province of Sharqiya.

“We know nothing about him and no one is in touch with us, and we don’t know if we are going to wash him or say a prayer to him or not,” he said.

Amnesty International called for an “impartial, thorough and transparent” investigation into Mursi’s death.

“The news of Mohamed Mursi’s death in court today is deeply shocking and raises serious questions about his treatment in custody,” the group said in a statement. “Egyptian authorities had the responsibility to ensure that, as a detainee, he had access to proper medical care.”

British MP Crispin Blunt, who had led a delegation of UK lawmakers and lawyers last year in putting out a report on Mursi’s detention, slammed the conditions of Mursi’s incarceration.

“We want to understand whether there was any change in his conditions since we reported in March 2018, and if he continued to be held in the conditions we found, then I’m afraid the Egyptian government are likely to be responsible for his premature death,” he said in remarks to the BBC.

DECADES OF REPRESSION

After decades of repression under Egyptian autocrats, the Brotherhood won a parliamentary election after a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak and his military-backed establishment in 2011.

Mursi was elected to power in 2012 in Egypt’s first free presidential election, having been thrown into the race at the last moment by the disqualification on a technicality of millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater, by far the Brotherhood’s preferred choice.

His victory marked a radical break with the military men who had provided every Egyptian leader since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952.

Mursi promised a moderate Islamist agenda to steer Egypt into a new democratic era in which autocracy would be replaced by transparent government that respected human rights and revived the fortunes of a powerful Arab state long in decline.

But the euphoria that greeted the end of an era of presidents who ruled like pharaohs did not last long.

The stocky, bespectacled engineer, born in 1951 in the dying days of the monarchy, told Egyptians he would deliver an “Egyptian renaissance with an Islamic foundation.”

Instead, he alienated millions who accused him of usurping unlimited powers, imposing the Brotherhood’s conservative brand of Islam and mismanaging the economy, all of which he denied.

STATE OF ALERT

Security sources said the Interior Ministry had declared a state of alert on Monday, notably in Sharqiya.

Mursi had been in court for a hearing on charges of espionage emanating from suspected contacts with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which had close ties to the Brotherhood.

A source who was in the court at the time told Reuters that Mursi spoke for around 15 minutes and concluded with a line of poetry about his love for Egypt, before collapsing as the other defendants began banging on the soundproof cage.

His body was taken to the Tora prison hospital, state television reported. A heavy security presence was outside the prison on Monday night.

Mursi’s lawyer said his health had been poor in jail. “We had put in several requests for treatment, some were accepted and others were not,” the lawyer, Abdel-Menem Abdel-Maqsood, told Reuters.

Mursi was serving a 20-year prison sentence for a conviction arising from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012, and a life sentence for espionage in a case related to the Gulf state of Qatar. He had denied the charges.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan mourned his fellow Islamist as a martyr.

“Putting doubts aside, he has become a martyr today with the fulfillment of God’s order. … Our prayers are with him,” Erdogan said.

“Condolences to all my brothers who walked the same path as he did. Condolences to the people of Egypt. Condolences to his family and those close to him.”

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said Mursi had “served Egypt and the (Muslim) nation and the Palestinian cause.”

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, a backer of Mursi and his Brotherhood, tweeted his condolences to Mursi’s family “and to the brotherly Egyptian people.”

Egyptian state media carried brief reports of Mursi’s death that made no mention of his former position as president.

(Reporting by Nayera Abdullah and Enas al-Ashray; Additional reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan and Haithem Ahmed in Cairo, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Ali Kucukgocmen in Turkey; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Toby Chopra and Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

HBO’s John Oliver has become the latest  media figure to back an impeachment push against President Trump.

During Sunday’s episode of his show, “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver went on a 20-minute rant while stopping to explain the mathematics and logistics behind removing Trump from power.

JUSTIN AMASH GOP PRIMARY CHALLENGER: ‘COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS’ TO CONSIDER TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT

Before breaking down the numbers, Oliver ran a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explaining the definition of impeachment and mocked her for referencing the musical Bye Bye Birdie.

“If this situation were to be a musical it wouldn’t be Bye Bye Birdie. It would obviously be Grease, where a rapey guy with weird hair treats women like sh-t and yet somehow gets everything he ever wanted,” Oliver said.

“But I will say, it is true that many people don’t fully understand what impeachment involves. So we thought that tonight might be a good time to discuss what it is, why it may be warranted, and what the risks might be in carrying it out.”

Oliver painstakingly explained the history behind presidential impeachments and pointed out only two U.S. presidents have ever been impeached — Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. Both of whom remained in office. He then walked viewers through the step-by-step process of impeachment, using colored graphs to illustrate his points.

ROMNEY: MUELLER REPORT DID NOT SHOW OBSTRUCTION, ‘I DON’T THINK IMPEACHMENT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO GO’

“Very basically, here is how the impeachment process works,” Oliver began. “Typically it begins with an inquiry in the House of Representatives during which a committee investigates and holds hearings into a president’s conduct. And if a majority decides they found impeachable offenses, they vote to impeach. But that is not the end. That merely moves the process to the Senate where a trial is held. And the president is only removed from office if a two-thirds majority votes for that.”

Oliver took the segment a step further and began running down the list of reasons why Trump should be booted from the White House.

“The Constitution says grounds for impeachment are treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. And that last phrase can trip people up. Even people who might really want to research its exact definition,” he said.

“High crimes and misdemeanors can include acts that are not actual crimes. It is a broad term for serious misconduct,” Oliver added. “And Congress is currently looking into a wide range of Trump’s potential misconduct … but one area where we already have considerable evidence against Trump is obstruction of justice.”

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Oliver claimed Trump committed an impeachable offense when he contemplated removing special counsel Robert Mueller, but remained skeptical about any concrete action being taken against him.

“If a president can shut down an investigation, he can basically do anything with no consequences. It’s a big, big deal,” Oliver said. “The problem is — this has been in the public record for nearly two months now and it’s failed to make much of an impression.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, is emerging as the top candidate to replace outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, according to sources familiar with the selection process.

Grisham, a former Trump campaign aide who has served in the White House since Trump took office, is known as a shrewd tactician loyal to the first family. But significantly, she meets President Trump’s top criteria: that Sanders’s replacement be a woman.

“When he says he wants a woman, he wants a woman,” a source familiar with the selection process told the Washington Examiner.

A second source, a former Trump aide, said “the president really wants to have a woman fill this role,” adding Trump has mentioned both Grisham and former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as possible successors to Sanders.

Grisham, 42, is a beloved East Wing figure and has many supporters close to Trump. In November, she issued an unusual statement calling for the ouster of Mira Ricardel, a National Security Council official with whom the first lady clashed on a trip to Africa. Ricardel quickly lost her job.

A single mother of two sons, she followed Trump to Washington from Arizona, where she worked for state Republicans including then-Attorney General Tom Horne. In 2012, she was part of GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign.

While working as a traveling press secretary on the 2016 Trump campaign, she was so dedicated she did not see her son, Jake — who was then eight — for five and a half months. He older son has now graduated from high school.

A shortlist of four contenders in the aftermath of Sanders’s surprise departure announcement Thursday featured Grisham, Nauert, outgoing Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh, and Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.

But Nauert was forced in February to withdraw from a nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly due to employing a foreign nanny. A source said the issue that derailed Nauert is serious enough to keep her out of the running, however.

“The reasons she had to pull out from the U.N. would be the same reasons she couldn’t do it,” said a source close to senior State Department officials.

The first source said of Grisham: “She handles herself well on TV, but the press secretary job has turned more into a comms than a press role. And there are some people who are good on camera but not so good at communications strategy. She’s a killer on both fronts.”

“[Grisham] would be fine in front of the podium, and she would be fine on strategic issues. I don’t think Sarah was as sharp as her. Grisham won’t hesitate to slide that knife into someone’s back, which is what you need. This is the White House.”

Sanders said she plans to leave at the end of June, establishing a short window to pick her replacement.

Grisham, the first source said, may take a sharper approach to “reporters being unfair” and “people in the administration doing things they shouldn’t.” They imagine Grisham “basically being the president’s press and political secret service — if you need to shiv someone, you do it.”

The second source said Sayegh “is awesome and would be the best choice,” but is not a woman, and that “I don’t hear Hogan being discussed as a real option.” They noted that although Trump seems likely to pick a woman, it was possible Trump could end up “thinking way outside the box” and “further redefine the role.”

Sanders has gone nearly 100 days without an official White House briefing, opting instead for informal driveway gaggles. Trump tweeted this year that he asked Sanders to cease briefings because “the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately.” In another break from tradition, Trump has not filled the vacant White House communications director role since the exit of former Fox News executive Bill Shine in March.

A third source, a former White House official, said they heard Grisham has a “good shot” but that there’s “nothing final.” A fourth source, who worked on the Trump campaign, said “I’ve heard is that Stephanie is open to the position.” Several sources say they have not heard Gidley mentioned as a serious contender.

Though Grisham is said to be the front-runner, it’s possible Trump will be tempted to pick a different woman, particularly if the first lady resists losing her top aide. Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman at the State Department, and several Fox News personalities have been floated as theoretical candidates.

Trump may also be tempted by the prospect of naming the first Hispanic American to the job. But CNN commentator Steve Cortes, who reportedly is under consideration, lacks widespread backing and the preferred gender.

“When the president decides he wants a woman in a role, it is difficult to impossible to convince him of anyone other than a woman,” a source said.

Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, is emerging as the top candidate to replace outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, according to sources familiar with the selection process.

Grisham, a former Trump campaign aide who has served in the White House since Trump took office, is known as a shrewd tactician loyal to the first family. But significantly, she meets President Trump’s top criteria: that Sanders’s replacement be a woman.

“When he says he wants a woman, he wants a woman,” a source familiar with the selection process told the Washington Examiner.

A second source, a former Trump aide, said “the president really wants to have a woman fill this role,” adding Trump has mentioned both Grisham and former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as possible successors to Sanders.

Grisham, 42, is a beloved East Wing figure and has many supporters close to Trump. In November, she issued an unusual statement calling for the ouster of Mira Ricardel, a National Security Council official with whom the first lady clashed on a trip to Africa. Ricardel quickly lost her job.

A single mother of two sons, she followed Trump to Washington from Arizona, where she worked for state Republicans including then-Attorney General Tom Horne. In 2012, she was part of GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign.

While working as a traveling press secretary on the 2016 Trump campaign, she was so dedicated she did not see her son, Jake — who was then eight — for five and a half months. He older son has now graduated from high school.

A shortlist of four contenders in the aftermath of Sanders’s surprise departure announcement Thursday featured Grisham, Nauert, outgoing Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh, and Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.

But Nauert was forced in February to withdraw from a nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly due to employing a foreign nanny. A source said the issue that derailed Nauert is serious enough to keep her out of the running, however.

“The reasons she had to pull out from the U.N. would be the same reasons she couldn’t do it,” said a source close to senior State Department officials.

The first source said of Grisham: “She handles herself well on TV, but the press secretary job has turned more into a comms than a press role. And there are some people who are good on camera but not so good at communications strategy. She’s a killer on both fronts.”

“[Grisham] would be fine in front of the podium, and she would be fine on strategic issues. I don’t think Sarah was as sharp as her. Grisham won’t hesitate to slide that knife into someone’s back, which is what you need. This is the White House.”

Sanders said she plans to leave at the end of June, establishing a short window to pick her replacement.

Grisham, the first source said, may take a sharper approach to “reporters being unfair” and “people in the administration doing things they shouldn’t.” They imagine Grisham “basically being the president’s press and political secret service — if you need to shiv someone, you do it.”

The second source said Sayegh “is awesome and would be the best choice,” but is not a woman, and that “I don’t hear Hogan being discussed as a real option.” They noted that although Trump seems likely to pick a woman, it was possible Trump could end up “thinking way outside the box” and “further redefine the role.”

Sanders has gone nearly 100 days without an official White House briefing, opting instead for informal driveway gaggles. Trump tweeted this year that he asked Sanders to cease briefings because “the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately.” In another break from tradition, Trump has not filled the vacant White House communications director role since the exit of former Fox News executive Bill Shine in March.

A third source, a former White House official, said they heard Grisham has a “good shot” but that there’s “nothing final.” A fourth source, who worked on the Trump campaign, said “I’ve heard is that Stephanie is open to the position.” Several sources say they have not heard Gidley mentioned as a serious contender.

Though Grisham is said to be the front-runner, it’s possible Trump will be tempted to pick a different woman, particularly if the first lady resists losing her top aide. Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman at the State Department, and several Fox News personalities have been floated as theoretical candidates.

Trump may also be tempted by the prospect of naming the first Hispanic American to the job. But CNN commentator Steve Cortes, who reportedly is under consideration, lacks widespread backing and the preferred gender.

“When the president decides he wants a woman in a role, it is difficult to impossible to convince him of anyone other than a woman,” a source said.

The State Department revealed Monday that it has identified “multiple security incidents” involving current or former employees’ handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and that 23 “violations” and 7 “infractions” have been issued as part of the department’s ongoing investigation.

The information came in a letter to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is responsible for overseeing the security review.

“To this point, the Department has assessed culpability to 15 individuals, some of whom were culpable in multiple security incidents,” Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, wrote to Grassley. “DS has issued 23 violations and 7 infractions incidents. … This number will likely change as the review progresses.”

ATTEMPT TO HACK CLINTON EMAILS STUNNED AIDES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, DOCS SHOW

The State Department said it expected to conclude the investigation by Sept. 1, and acknowledged that the probe was unusually time-consuming.

“Given the volume of emails provided to the Department from former Secretary Clinton’s private email server, the Department’s process has been necessarily more complicated and complex requiring a significant dedication of time and resources,” Taylor wrote.

The department also noted that disciplinary consequences were pending.

“In every instance in which the Department found an individual to be culpable of a valid security violation or three or more infractions, the Department forwarded the outcome to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Personnel Security and Suitability (DS/PSS), to be placed in the individuals’ official security file,” Taylor wrote. “All valid security incidents are reviewed by DS and taken into account every time an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information is considered.

“This referral occurred whether or not the individual was currently employed with the Department of State and such security files are kept indefinitely,” Taylor added. “Consistent with the referral policy, for individuals who were still employed with the Department at the time of adjudication, the Department referred all valid security violations or multiple infractions to the Bureau of Human Resources.”

The State Department declined to release the names of the employees, consistent with its procedures. The department promised another update once its review is completed.

NEWLY RELEASED EMAILS SHOW CLINTON TEAM DISCUSSING ‘PRIVATE’ COMMS CHANNEL WITH ISRAEL

Clinton’s private email use has remained in the spotlight, as the DOJ probes potential misconduct in the handling of federal authorities’ surveillance and intelligence operations in 2016.

Last month, a trove of partially redacted FBI documents from the agency’s investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information — a probe known as the “Midyear Exam” — revealed that top Clinton aides were shocked at apparent attempts to hack her private email servers.

The document release revealed numerous episodes in which the Clinton team either suspected it had been hacked or seemingly acknowledged that security measures had come up short.

“omg,” top Clinton aide Huma Abedin wrote to Justin Cooper, the technology pro overseeing Clinton’s private home-based email servers, when he told her shortly after midnight on Jan. 9, 2011, that “someone was trying to hack us.”

FILE: June 11, 2011: Huma Abedin with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lusaka, Africa.

FILE: June 11, 2011: Huma Abedin with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lusaka, Africa. (REUTERS)

And in March, it was revealed that the Justice Department “negotiated” an agreement with Clinton’s legal team that ensured the FBI did not have access to emails on her private servers relating to the Clinton Foundation. Former FBI special agent Peter Strzok testified about the arrangement during a closed-door appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last summer, according to a transcript released this year.

“A significant filter team” was employed at the FBI, Strzok said, to “work through the various terms of the various consent agreements.” Limitations imposed on agents’ searches included date ranges, and names of domains and people, Strzok said, among other categories.

The agreement was reached, Strzok said, because “according to the attorneys, we lacked probable cause to get a search warrant for those servers and projected that either it would take a very long time and/or it would be impossible to get to the point where we could obtain probable cause to get a warrant.”

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chaired the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until 2017 and is now a Fox News contributor, said the arrangement signaled that agents wanted willful blindness.

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“What’s bizarre about this, is in any other situation, there’s no possible way they would allow the potential perpetrator to self-select what the FBI gets to see,” Chaffetz said, noting that the FBI was aware that the servers contained classified information in unclassified settings. “The FBI should be the one to sort through those emails — not the Clinton attorneys.”

The DOJ’s goal, Chaffetz said, was to “make sure they hear no evil, see no evil — they had no interest in pursuing the truth.”

Source: Fox News Politics

President Trump‘s slumping support in some hypothetical 2020 matchups is not cause for concern as the election approaches, according to the RNC chairwoman.

Ronna McDaniel downplayed the importance of polls on “Outnumbered Overtime” Monday, before pointing to a blast from the 2016 past in an attempt to prove her point.

“It’s way too early to be looking at polls,” she said. “Scott Walker was leading heading into 2016 … Scott Walker was the big one to beat.

FOX NEWS POLL: DEMOCRATS WANT A STEADY LEADER, BIDEN LEADS TRUMP BY 10 POINTS

“It was Jeb and then it was Scott Walker.”

Walker was viewed as the favorite among the party’s more conservative base, while he trailed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee among all Republicans in a June 2015 Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Flash forward to the 2020 race, where the latest Fox News Poll shows five Democratic contenders leading Trump in potential head-to-head contests.

Candidates besting Trump in that survey include former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

McDaniel claimed those candidates’ standings will fluctuate as the campaign season continues.

“People come and go and they fade,” she said.

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“Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are going to have these candidates try and contrast with them to make up some ground.”

McDaniel pointed to Warren as evidence the Democratic field’s standings are ever-changing.

“I think Elizabeth Warren is taking some of Bernie’s steam away,” the former Michigan GOP chairwoman claimed.

“I think she’s articulating his message, she’s putting plans forward. She’s definitely rising.”

Source: Fox News Politics


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