#Mueller May Have Quit, But The Democrats Won’t Give Up On Their #Trump #Impeachment Dreams! Whos Campaign Does This Really Hurt?
How Robert Mueller may have set the tone for the 2020 election
As Mueller bows out, more Democrats call for Trump’s impeachment
If Robert Mueller thought his only public remarks since being appointed special counsel would put the Russian collusion allegations and Democrats’ calls to impeach President Trump to rest, he was mistaken. If anything, … See More Mueller’s statement Wednesdaymay have assured that the debate over whether to impeach Trump will be a dominant issue heading into the 2020 president election.
Speaking from the Justice Department, Mueller announced the closing of his office and told reporters he did not plan to testify before Congress. He explained that his team did not have the “option” to charge President Trump with a crime, citing longstanding Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. However, Mueller also stressed that there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” with regard to whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
On the question of obstruction, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.” Prominent Democrats seized on Mueller’s words to call for Trump’s impeachment. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said that all options were “on the table” and that it was up to Congress to hold Trump accountable for any alleged crimes. 2020 Democratic presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Beto O’Rourke all called for impeachment proceedings to begin.
Pelosi under new impeachment pressure
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walked a fine line on Wednesday as she tried to assure party colleagues that lawmakersin the House will continue looking into impeaching President Trump, while advocating against rashness. Pelosi, speaking hours after Mueller’s statement, praised his work but promised to continue investigating Trump. The House speaker has maintained that Democrats should not begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, but has faced increasing pressure from members in her caucus to reverse course. Fellow Democrats have accused Pelosi of holding off on impeachment for political reasons.
Mystery over USS John S. McCain ‘out of sight’ directive as Meghan McCain blasts Trump
A mystery continues to surround a reported U.S. military email that called for the USS John S. McCain to be “out of sight” during President Trump’s recent visit to U.S. troops stationed in Japan, where the ship was docked. On Wednesday, both President Trump and acting Defense SecretaryPatrick Shanahan denied any knowledge of the order, which led to the ship’s name first being covered with a tarp and then being obscured by a paint barge prior to Trump’s visit over Memorial Day weekend. The Wall Street Journal, which reported the story, directlycontradicts Shanahan. The Journal cites an unnamed U.S. official as saying that Shanahan was aware and approved measures to ensure the ship did not interfere with the president’s trip.
The ship is named for the father and grandfather of the late U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III, with whom Trump had feuded prior to the Arizona Republican’s death from cancer last year at age 81.The Journal feature apparently infuriated Meghan McCain, daughter of the late senator, who tweeted, in part, the following: “Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads [sic] incredible life … Trump won’t let him RIP. So I have to stand up for him.”
Private company building border fence gets cease-and-desist order
A legal dispute unfolded this week between private contractors who have built a half-mile fence between a New Mexico city and Mexico, and the mayor of that city who is arguing that the fence didn’t get proper authorization. “We Build the Wall,” began construction of the border fence on private land in Sunland Park, N.M., last Friday using money raised through crowdfunding, the Dallas Morning News reported. The city shares a border with El Paso, Texas, and Mexico. The company had planned to finish construction by Friday, but Sunland Park’s Mayor Javier Perea said Tuesday that the 18-foot fence surpasses the city’s maximum height of 6 feet. On Wednesday, he issued a cease-and-desist order.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo faces backlash for appearing to mock armed rape survivor
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo responded to several critics who slammed him Wednesday over a tweet they said appeared to mock a National Rifle Association (NRA) member and rape survivor. Kimberly Corban appeared in an NRA ad advocating her Second Amendment right after going into detail how she survived a rape when she was 20 years old. “I’m a mother of two, and if a predator or anyone else tries to harm me or my family, they have to come through my firearm first,” Corban said. Cuomo reacted to the ad, tweeting “Only in America.”
Gregg Jarrett: The two faces of Robert Mueller, and Trump’s presumption of guilt.
LAPD employee contracts contagious bacteria that causes deadly typhoid fever.
Ashton Kutcher testifies in trial of alleged serial killer accused of murdering his friend.
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Stocks slump to three-month lows, bonds rally, as recession fears rise with trade war.
AOC’s minimum wage push to land her behind the bar once again.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said Tuesday that her experience as someone with “Midwest values” helped her bond with Jewish Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
“There are a lot of opportunities to focus on the things that unite us if you’re willing to see those opportunities,” Omar said in an interview on The Nation’s podcast “Next Left.” “I am someone who is always trying to find where the common ground with people and connect with people.”
“In the case of Jan and I, just mothers who you know, are from the Midwest who represent districts from the Midwest with Midwest values. Who both come from backgrounds of being religious minorities, understanding the struggle of having both of our faiths being attacked and people really being hunted down and killed because of it,” Omar said about Schakowsky.
The two wrote an op-ed together in the wake of the Poway synagogue shooting in California about the necessity of coming together to fight white nationalism.
“As a Muslim American and a Jewish American elected to the United States Congress, we can no longer sit silently as terror strikes our communities. We cannot allow those who seek to divide and intimidate us to succeed. Whatever our differences, our two communities, Muslim and Jewish, must come together to confront the twin evils of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence,” the congresswomen said in their op-ed.
While writing against anti-Semitism, Omar has her own history of anti-Semitic comments.
In February, Omar attacked the American-Israel Political Action Committee, saying they were paying off U.S. politicians to be pro-Israel. She apologized and said her comments were anti-Semitic.
Later that month, Omar said that people were pushing “for allegiance” to Israel in a comment that was criticized as an anti-Semitic dual-loyalty trope.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?” Omar said at a progressive town hall.
“I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee,” Omar said later on Twitter. “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”
Omar has refused to back down from her comments since her initial apology, claiming anti-Semitism is a right wing force and charges of anti-Semitism against her are meant to silence her.
Leaked documents showing financial improprieties at the National Rifle Organization have spurred calls for the resignation of CEO Wayne LaPierre, Rolling Stone reports.
The NRA has been under increasing public scrutiny since a whistleblower leaked documents May 10 showing allegations by former NRA president Oliver North the group was facing an “existential threat” in the form of legal bills. Another document appeared to show LaPierre billed $275,000 for wardrobe purchases at a clothing boutique in Beverly Hills and more than $250,000 in luxury travel.
The NRA is a nonprofit and is supposed to operate its finances with the best interest of the organization in mind, not for the benefit of any executives or board members.
Since the document dump, New York Attorney General Letitia James and the IRS opened an investigation into the organization’s finances and tax-exempt status.
Firearms instructor Rob Pincus, owner of I.C.E. Firearms Training, told Rolling Stone the leaked data was a “smoking gun.”
“There’s a vast majority of the American gun ownership community that was ready to believe that all the accusations of malfeasance and irresponsibility were just ‘fake news,'” Pincus said. “No, this is real. We wish it weren’t that way. But we have to deal with that as fact. Having these documents out in public gives us the evidence.”
Source: NewsMax America
FILE PHOTO: Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace speaks during the county commission meeting in Grants, New Mexico, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Adria Malcolm/File Photo
May 21, 2019
By Daniel Trotta
(Reuters) – The National Rifle Association was more deeply involved than previously disclosed in the formation of a movement that encouraged county sheriffs not to enforce some gun-control laws, a U.S. gun-control advocacy group said on Monday, based on public records it obtained.
Under the so-called Second Amendment sanctuary movement, county sheriffs in at least four states have vowed to refuse to enforce laws that they consider to be infringements on the U.S. constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
The movement has been widespread in New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Illinois, where elected sheriffs and county commissioners have taken particular exception to “red flag” laws designed to take guns away from people legally deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
The Brady group focused its public records search on New Mexico, where earlier this year 25 of the state’s 33 counties passed resolutions to support sheriffs who refuse to enforce firearms laws they consider unconstitutional.
The NRA on Monday denied playing any role in the sanctuary movement, saying it only communicated with New Mexico sheriffs about defeating state gun-control legislation by drafting editorials, analyses and fact sheets that were shared among the sheriffs.
Critics have questioned the legality of the sanctuary movement, saying sheriffs should enforce laws set by the legislature and leave it to courts to interpret them.
Promoting or blocking legislation is what the NRA does. Advocating that law-enforcement officers defy the law would invite more scrutiny from its opponents.
Brady said it received 1,600 documents under New Mexico’s public records act, including 24 email correspondences between the NRA and Tony Mace, the Cibola County sheriff and chairman of the New Mexico Sheriffs Association (NMSA), a group that both promoted the sanctuary resolutions and lobbied against gun-control bills in the state legislature.
“The documents Brady acquired reveal that the NRA was actively involved in the NMSA’s efforts in drafting the (sanctuary) Declaration; recruiting sheriffs to lobby state and political politicians to oppose the GVP (gun-violence prevention) bills and to adopt so-called Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions; and encouraging sheriffs to not enforce state laws,” Brady said.
The Brady report comes at a time when the NRA has been under increasing public scrutiny. It is under investigation by New York state authorities about its finances and just emerged from a bruising power struggle in which NRA President Oliver North stepped down after threatening to reveal allegations that NRA leaders engaged in financial improprieties.
Brady provided Reuters a sampling of the emails which showed three conversations between the NRA and the New Mexico Sheriffs Association about how to defeat gun-control legislation. The emails provided did not explicitly tie the NRA to the sanctuary movement.
Mace on Monday denied any NRA involvement in promoting the sanctuary movement but said he openly coordinated with the NRA in fighting gun-control legislation.
It is a fine distinction. The sheriffs association was fighting against the laws with the NRA’s help. At the same time, the sheriffs were vowing not to enforce the laws.
“We have always said that they need to enforce the laws that are on the books,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said, calling the Brady report “misinformation” and a distraction.
When the sanctuary movement was spreading through counties in New Mexico in February and March, Mace sought to distance himself from the NRA in interviews with Reuters at the time, denying that he was strategizing or coordinating with the NRA.
“We’re not part of the NRA,” Mace said at the time. “They do what they do and we’re doing what we do.”
But he did allow that sheriffs consulted with NRA lobbyists and received NRA advice on legislation.
“There was nothing secret about what was going on,” Mace said on Monday. “You could see us talking with the NRA lobbyists in the balconies and you’d see us talking with them in the hallways. I’m not trying to distance myself from the NRA.”
The sanctuary movement spread in New Mexico while the legislature debated a slate of gun-control bills, including a red-flag law. In the end, two bills passed, one expanding background checks and another protecting victims of domestic violence. They take effect July 1.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Bill Tarrant and Rosalba O’Brien)
In a rural pocket of New Mexico, Sheriff Ian Fletcher is fighting back against new state firearm laws he calls unconstitutional, decrying “out-of-state gun control groups” in a column the local Catron Courier newspaper published this spring.
“These measures make it harder for law-abiding New Mexicans to exercise their Second Amendment rights, waste scarce law enforcement resources, and do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” the column said.
Fletcher’s missive is part of a campaign among representatives of at least 75 cities and counties nationwide that call themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, opposing enforcement of gun background checks and emergency protection orders.
The only problem: He didn’t write the column; a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association did.
Fletcher says the letter was passed to him by a sheriff’s association and that he’s not “the NRA’s puppet.”
“I didn’t have any direct contact with the NRA, but the letter was probably a little more articulate than I might have been,” Fletcher, who is depicted with an AR-15 on the county’s official website said. “It wasn’t a cut and paste job. I read it and agreed.”
The nation’s firearm debate is playing out in these rural counties, where sheriffs hold broad policing authority, as well as in Denver’s suburbs, where a Republican sheriff is facing recall for backing new laws.
Three flashpoints came in recent days. On one side are groups like the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which exposed the NRA-written columns Monday, and the Giffords Law Center, which released a new analysis of the firearm suicide rates in Second Amendment sanctuaries. On the other are gun rights groups, like those that organized a protest against the new laws at Colorado’s capital Saturday that drew hundreds waving “Don’t tread on me” flags and signs that read “We the people will not give up our guns.”
Colorado passed a so-called “red flag law” in May, becoming the 15th state in addition to Washington, D.C. to do so. Similar legislation is pending in 20 other states.
The proposal failed in New Mexico. The laws allow family, roommates or law enforcement to petition the court for a temporary order to seize firearms from someone deemed to pose a significant danger to themselves or others. An emergency 14-day order can be issued for imminent risk, and a yearlong prohibition of firearm possession can be ordered.
Brady staff suspected the NRA was backing sheriff opposition to the new laws and requested thousands of internal emails using public records laws. The other two papers Brady identified through the emails were the Silver City Daily Press and Deming Headlight, a USA TODAY Network property.
Kris Brown, Brady’s president, said the NRA and the sheriff’s associations were “tied at the hip, going so far as to let the gun lobby essentially run the sheriff’s campaign against these laws in secret.”
Generally, newspaper editors attempt to verify the provenance of letters to ensure their accuracy before publication. The Courier’s editor said she wasn’t surprised to learn that Fletcher’s column was written by the gun rights group.
“It doesn’t really matter because he agrees with those sentiments,” Shannon Donnelly said. “Because it’s in our opinion section I don’t have a problem with him having it ghostwritten.”
The Headlight, which ran an identical piece by Luna County Sheriff Kelly Gannaway, added an editor’s note after learning that the column was written by the NRA and encouraged guest writers to submit original content.
NRA officials defended sending around the sample letters to the editor.
“This is a distraction being pitched to reporters by the Michael Bloomberg-financed gun control lobby in response to the public’s strong opposition to their extreme gun control measures,” said Catherine Mortensen, an NRA spokeswoman. “They are trying to draw attention away from the fact that the New York-style gun control they are pushing on New Mexicans will make law-abiding citizens less safe and won’t do anything to deter criminals.”
Report ties opposition to suicide rates
Opposition to new laws comes from counties with some of the highest firearm suicide rates in the nation, according to the report by Giffords, a gun violence prevention group named for former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, severely injured during a mass shooting in Arizona in 2011.
The analysis focused on counties in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico and Washington that have directed their sheriffs to ignore new state laws if they deem them unconstitutional. County resolutions there include language referencing “tyrants throughout history” and say that there is no “persuasive evidence that ‘gun control’ laws actually reduce crime.”
“There’s irony that the folks most resistant to these life-saving laws are in areas with constituents are at the highest risk.”,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel at Giffords.
The report points to places like Custer County, Colorado, where the firearm suicide rate is 32 per 100,000 – four times the state’s average according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In February, the county’s board of commissioners passed a resolution that said the state’s new red flag law is: “in direct conflict with provisions of due process, as outlined in the 4th Amendment, and contradict the right to bear arms.”
Firearms account for more than half of the state’s suicides, according to the Colorado Health Institute.
Colorado’s law kicked off a wave of resolutions and recall efforts of legislators and sheriffs supporting it. A state gun rights group already has challenged the law in court.
Another group, “Rally for our Rights,” has targeted recalls of Tom Sullivan, the Democratic lawmaker who backed the state’s red flag law and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, a Republican who supported it.
The debate is intensely personal at times. Sullivan’s son, Alex, was killed in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012 and Spurlock’s deputy, Zack Parrish, was killed in a 2017 shooting, responding to a man with long-standing mental health problems. The new Colorado law is named after him.
In statements to USA TODAY, Sullivan vowed to fight the recall and said he “won’t be bullied by the gun lobby,” and Spurlock said the effort would fail because “the Douglas County citizens support him wholeheartedly.”
Robert Wareham, an attorney in Spurlock’s county, is leading the recall effort and said the law authorizes no-knock warrants to seize firearms that could be abused by spiteful family members. He discounted its impact on suicides.
“People are going to commit suicide whether they have a gun or another method,” Wareham said. “The suicide problem in Douglas County is tough, with affluent, educated white men taking their lives –but that’s a mental health issue and the firearm just expediates a method. Taking guns away won’t solve this.”
Decades of research indicate firearms are the most lethal means of suicide nationwide and the best target for new policy, said Matt Miller, an epidemiologist at Northeastern University.
“The hypothesis that if guns aren’t available someone will find an equally lethal way to take their life seems reasonable, but it falls flat when you look at the data,” Miller said.
Suicide rates nationwide, gun and non-gun, vary from one state to another four-fold – much more fluctuation than any other cause of death.
And that variation, Miller said, is driven almost exclusively by gun suicides. In homes with at least one gun, the risk for suicide is three to four times that of homes with no firearms. Gun suicides are about 90% likely to end in death, Miller added, compared to about 5% or fewer deaths related to pills or cutting.
“Gun owners aren’t more suicidal and don’t have higher rates of mental illness or suicide attempts,” he said, “but they have much higher rates of death if they do attempt.”
Legal fight, jail on horizon
Naming counties “sanctuaries” references sheriffs in left-leaning counties that have resisted enforcement of federal immigration policy. But those local efforts seek to sidestep federal law, while the firearm laws come from state statutes.
Attorneys general in Washington, New Mexico and Colorado have signaled that sheriffs who refuse to enforce the state law will encounter legal headaches.
In Washington, Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued a sternly worded letter that individual chiefs, sheriffs and towns could be held liable if someone illegally obtained a gun and used it to do harm.
In Colorado, newly-elected Attorney General Phil Weiser said sheriffs unwilling to enforce the law should resign.
He pointed to Indiana, with a similar population, which processes about 100 “extreme risk protection orders” to temporary seize firearms – so many counties would issue about one every three years. Last year about 1,700 orders to temporarily seize firearms were issued by judges around the country, according to data from the Associated Press.
“Counties passing these resolutions word them in a way that’s symbolic: instructing sheriffs not to enforce an unconstitutional law – and I agree, but this law is not unconstitutional,” Weiser told USA TODAY. “People get into law enforcement with a commitment to serve and save lives and I predict once this moves from the abstract to concrete cases with real people, it’s going to look a lot different to them.”
In Weld County, the opposition from Sheriff Steve Reams stems from the search and seizure provisions in the state’s new law – and less from broader Second Amendment concerns. He said the law threatens the wide discretionary berth afforded to law enforcement to prioritize laws, something he can sidestep by opting not to have any of his deputies ever petition for a red flag order.
“There’s no other order where we’re to go out and confiscate firearms with a search warrant,” Reams said. “And at that first issuance, the defendant isn’t there to defend themselves in court — it’s an entirely new body of law and it’s troublesome.”
In addition to passively ignoring the law, he said he’s prepared to fight the law either in court, or from a jail cell.
“If a judge said go confiscate these guns and that person wasn’t afforded due process I could not abide,” he said, “and if a judge ordered me to jail for violating the order, that’s the punishment I’d be willing to face.”
Every election since the 2005 release of “Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith” has involved an online spectacle of whoever lost the election claiming that democracy was nearing an end. If you turn the lens specifically to “Star Wars” Twitter, you’ll see a wall of tweets sharing this image and iconic quote from a distraught Sen. Padmé Amidala. “So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause,” she says.
George Lucas liked to say in promoting the film that the failed democracies of history were often not taken over by autocrats, but given away to them with popular support. This is true. However, it’s worth looking at what precipitated the “thunderous applause” in the first place. What gave Chancellor Palpatine the mandate to end democracy and the Jedi Order in one fell swoop?
The Jedi attempted what can only be described as a coup, a forceful removal of Palpatine with the intent to take control of the Senate temporarily. It’s hard to encapsulate just how wrong-headed this was for the Jedi to attempt. They did so on the grounds that Palpatine was a Sith Lord and playing both sides in a galactic civil war. Instead of taking what evidence they had and presenting it to the Senate, which would presumably launch investigations, they moved to depose him immediately. It’s reasonable to conclude that they viewed Palpatine as illegitimate not chiefly because he orchestrated a phony war, but because of his religious affiliation as a Sith, the Jedi’s mortal enemies.
In our own world, President Trump has been alleging a conspiracy against him for two years now. There was the Mueller probe, launched for the Trump campaign allegedly colluding with a foreign power to win the 2016 election. There were reports that administration officials and military leaders discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president.
Trump and his team have used all of this to push a narrative of a “deep state” rejection of democracy and the voters’ will. He went so far as to boast at the 2019 NRA annual meeting in Indianapolis that “they attempted a coup, didn’t work out so well,” going on to say overthrows have been attempted against him.
Despite all of this, the system has worked. No collusion, no coup!
Imagine, for a moment, that when Anakin Skywalker went to Mace Windu in “Episode III” with the revelation that Chancellor Palpatine was a Sith Lord, and instead of “moving quickly” the Jedi Council considered how to use the system. Mace Windu was a blatantly anti-democratic character in the saga. He rightfully distrusted politicians, but seemed to hold the Senate itself in contempt. In earlier discussions about the possibility of removing Palpatine from office, Mace was the first to suggest that the Jedi would have to take control of the Senate to manage the transition. Yoda responds, “To a dark place this line of thought will carry us,” and yet Mace enacts this course of action later on in Yoda’s absence.
Why not consult Mon Mothma? Or Bail Organa? There are thousands within the Galactic Senate who could have helped build political support for Palpatine’s removal and handled the transition of power. It was precisely Windu’s insistence on immediate removal of Palpatine, which failed, that gave the chancellor and Sith Lord the political capital to stand before the Senate a near-victim of assassination and call for martial law.
The Jedi were already in poor standing with the Senate and broader public after years of a brutal war they foolishly agreed to help lead. All it took was evidence they attempted to step outside of their military assistance role and subvert the political process to call for their elimination. Palpatine didn’t even have to lie to do this.
It is mostly true what Windu said of Palpatine, that he “controls the Senate and the courts, he’s too dangerous to be left alive.” Palpatine had accrued enormous power and corrupted the system top to bottom, and he also held the ultimate trump card in a clone army programmed to kill the Jedi at a moment’s notice.
Democracy is incredibly fragile, and there’s nothing its adherents dislike more than attempts by some to game it. It’s hard to imagine “thunderous applause” for a Jedi massacre without Windu’s coup to rally behind.
Process matters. You can look back to the saga of troubles for Trump.
Stephen Kent (@Stephen_Kent89) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is the spokesperson for Young Voices and host of “Beltway Banthas,” a Star Wars and politics podcast in D.C.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence acknowledges the audience at the 148th National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
May 3, 2019
By Tim Ahmann
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday the Federal Reserve should consider cutting interest rates given the absence of inflation in the economy, joining President Donald Trump and Trump’s top economic adviser in pressuring the central bank.
“There’s no inflation; the economy is roaring,” Pence said in an interview with CNBC. “This is exactly the time, not only to not raise interest rates, but we ought to consider cutting them.”
Pence made the remarks after the government released a report showing strong job growth last month and a drop in the unemployment rate to a more than 49-year low of 3.6 percent — a performance he credited to the Trump administration’s tax- and regulatory-cutting policies.
The independent central bank, whose policymakers pride themselves on standing above politics, held rates steady at a two-day meeting that wrapped up on Wednesday and signaled little appetite to adjust them any time soon.
Trump and the head of the White House National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, have been calling for rate cuts from the Fed for weeks.
On Tuesday, Trump suggested in a tweet that the Fed, which normally adjusts rates in quarter-percentage point increments, should lower them by a hefty full point and buy bonds to drive borrowing costs lower. “We have the potential to go … up like a rocket if we did some lowering of rates, like one point, and some quantitative easing,” he wrote on Twitter.
The public calls for an easier monetary policy from the president and other top White House officials represent a break from the practice of other recent administrations, which had purposely steered clear from commenting on Fed policy.
Asked about the president’s remarks at a news conference on Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank was non-political and did not take them into account.
In an interview with Fox Business Network on Friday, Kudlow said he thought the Fed was mulling a rate reduction, even though Powell had said on Wednesday that the central bank did not see “a strong case” for moving rates in either direction.
“With these low inflation numbers, I think the Fed is actually looking at rate cuts,” Kudlow said. “Our views right now intellectually are not really far apart from the Federal Reserve, best I can determine.”
Trump had hoped to nominate businessman Herman Cain and economic commentator Stephen Moore for two open Fed board seats in an effort to shape the central bank more to his thinking. Moore had publicly advocated rate cuts and Cain was also widely believed to favor an easier monetary policy.
Both men withdrew from consideration, however, amid opposition in the Senate, which would have had to confirm them in the posts.
“I think the president is very interested in bringing fresh ideas to the Federal Reserve Board,” Pence told CNBC.
One top Trump economic adviser, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett, told CNN on Friday he would not be among the nominees the president puts forward.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Makini Brice and Tim Ahmann; writing by Tim Ahmann; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., blamed President Trump Tuesday for creating racist “monsters” just days after the shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in California.
“The occupant of the White House, as my sister Ayanna likes to call him, and his allies are doing everything that they can to distance themselves and misinform the public from the monsters that they created that is terrorizing the Jewish community and the Muslim community,” Omar said Tuesday, referencing Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., at a “Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar” gathering.
“We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated,” Trump said.
After election to the house in 2018, a 2012 tweet from Omar resurfaced stating that Israel has “hypnotized the world.”
In February, Omar claimed the American Israel Political Action Committee was paying off American politicians to be pro-Israel, a comment she later apologized for as anti-Semitic.
Later in the month, Omar was criticized for comments made at a panel discussion on liberal issues where she alluded to the dual-loyalty stereotype of Jewish Americans.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?” Omar said.
A couple days later, Omar doubled down on Twitter.
“I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee,” Omar said in a tweet. “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”
Since her apology in February, Omar has changed her tone, charging both Republican and Democratic leadership of using claims of anti-Semitism as a cover to silence her.