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Yang hits donation threshold to get city matching funds

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Andrew Yang has enough donations to qualify for taxpayer matching funds, his mayoral campaign said Sunday.

The former presidential hopeful, who launched his bid New York City mayor last month, said he has raised more than $250,000 from donors living in New York City. Under the city’s campaign finance rules, candidates who hit that threshold with at least 1,000 local contributors can get campaign money from the city, with small contributions matched at a rate of 8-to-1.

The campaign expects to take in more than $2 million in public funds, according to a memo issued Sunday, when the city’s Campaign Finance Board verifies the numbers.

In total, the campaign said it has raised over $1 million from all donors, including New Yorkers and non-city residents. Some 11,000 people have donated.

Once verified, Yang will be the fourth Democratic mayoral candidate to hit the matching funds mark, following attorney Maya Wiley, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

“Despite entering the race months, or even years, after other candidates, we have quickly raised over $250,000 in 8:1 matchable donations from New York City residents to qualify for matching funds from the City, the fastest campaign to reach the matching funds threshold in the race,” campaign managers Sasha Ahuja and Chris Coffey wrote in the memo.

The average contribution amount is $84, the campaign said.

Yang has led the handful of public polls that have been conducted so far in the primary race, despite a series of perceived stumbles early in his campaign.

He announced earlier this month he has Covid-19 and has been sidelined from the in-person campaign trail.

Read more: politico.com

Myanmar security forces intensify crackdown on protesters

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YANGON, Myanmar — Security forces in Myanmar pointed guns toward anti-coup protesters and attacked them with sticks on Monday, seeking to quell the large-scale demonstrations calling for the military junta that seized power earlier this month to reinstate the elected government.

More than 1,000 protesters rallied in front of the Myanmar Economic Bank in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, when at least 10 trucks full of soldiers and police arrived and immediately started firing slingshots toward the protesters, according to a photographer who witnessed the events.

The soldiers and police then attacked the protesters with sticks, and police could be seen aiming long guns into the air amid sounds that resembled gunfire. Local media reported that rubber bullets were also fired into the crowd, and that a few people were injured.

Police were also seen pointing guns toward the protesters.

In the capital, Naypyitaw, protesters gathered outside a police station demanding the release of a group of high school students who were detained while joining in anti-coup activities.

One student who managed to escape told reporters that the pupils — thought to range in age from 13 to 16 — were demonstrating peacefully when a line of riot police suddenly arrived and began arresting them. It wasn’t clear exactly how many students were rounded up, but estimates put the figure at between 20 and 40.

Earlier Monday, Myanmar’s military leaders extended their detention of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose remand was set to expire and whose freedom is a key demand of the crowds of people continuing to protest the Feb. 1 coup.

Suu Kyi will now be remanded until Feb. 17, when she will likely appear in court by videoconference, according to Khin Maung Zaw, a lawyer asked by Suu Kyi’s party to represent her. The Nobel laureate remains under house arrest on a minor charge of possessing unregistered imported walkie-talkies.

Suu Kyi’s extended detention is likely to further inflame tensions between the military and the protesters who have taken to the streets of cities across the Southeast Asian nation seeking the return of the government they elected.

Protesters continued to gather across Myanmar on Monday, following a night in which authorities cut the country’s internet access and increased the security presence in major cities seeking to curtail demonstrations.

Thousands of engineers marched on the streets of Mandalay chanting and holding signs that read: “Free our leader,” “Who stands with justice?” and “Stop arresting people illegally at midnight.”

In Yangon, the country’s most populous city, fewer protesters gathered on Monday due to the loss of the internet and reports of military vehicles on the streets. Nevertheless, more than 1,000 anti-coup demonstrators were outside the Central Bank of Myanmar building, where there were also military trucks full of soldiers, riot police, water cannon trucks and armored personnel carriers.

Demonstrators carried placards that read “#SupportCDM #SaveMyanmar.” CDM refers to the civil disobedience movement that has seen doctors, engineers and others in Myanmar refuse to work until the military releases elected political leaders and returns the country to civilian rule.

Some protesters posed for photographs in front of military vehicles while holding red signs that read “Join in CDM.”

When the military seized power, it detained Suu Kyi and members of her government and prevented recently elected lawmakers from opening a new session of Parliament. The junta, led by Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said it stepped in because the government failed to properly investigate allegations of fraud in last year’s election, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won in a landslide. The state election commission refuted that contention, saying there is no evidence to support it.

The military justified its move by citing a clause in the 2008 constitution, implemented during military rule, that says in cases of national emergency, the government’s executive, legislative and judicial powers can be handed to the military commander-in-chief.

It is just one of many parts of the charter that ensured the military could maintain ultimate control over the country it ruled for 50 years following a 1962 coup. The military is allowed to appoint its members to 25% of seats in Parliament and it controls several key ministries involved in security and defense.

An order on Sunday that appeared to be from the Ministry of Transport and Communications told mobile phone service providers to shut down internet connections from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday. It circulated widely on social media, as did a notice said to be from service provider Oredoo Myanmar containing the same details.

On Sunday, ambassadors from the United States and Canada and 12 European nations called on Myanmar’s security forces to refrain from violence against those “protesting the overthrow of their legitimate government.”

They condemned the arrests of political leaders and activists as well as the military’s interference with communications.

“We support the people of Myanmar in their quest for democracy, freedom, peace, and prosperity,” they said in a joint statement issued late Sunday night. “The world is watching.”

Read more: politico.com

White House press aide resigns after threatening POLITICO reporter

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Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo has resigned after making threatening and abusive remarks to a POLITICO reporter, the White House announced on Saturday.

"We accepted the resignation of TJ Ducklo after a discussion with him this evening," press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement, noting that the "conversation occurred with the support of the White House chief of staff," Ron Klain. "We are committed to striving every day to meet the standard set by the president in treating others with dignity and respect, with civility and with a value for others through our words and our actions," she added.

Ducklo issued his own statement via Twitter, acknowledging the conduct and vowing to "learn from it and do better."

"No words can express my regret, my embarrassment, and my disgust for my behavior," Ducklo wrote. "I used language that no woman should ever have to hear from anyone, especially in a situation where she was just trying to do her job."

Ducklo’s resignation came after Vanity Fair reported on Friday about an off-the-record call between Ducklo and Tara Palmeri, a co-author of POLITICO’s Playbook newsletter, who was in the process of reporting on Ducklo’s relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

After the Vanity Fair story was published, Psaki announced that Ducklo had been "placed on a one-week suspension without pay" and that he would no longer be assigned to work with any POLITICO reporters.

Addressing Ducklo’s suspension further at a White House briefing Friday afternoon, Psaki said Ducklo is “the first to acknowledge” that his actions do not meet “the standard of behavior set out by the president, nor is it the standard of behavior set out by me. And I’m his direct supervisor.”

But Psaki also said that Ducklo’s inappropriate remarks toward Palmeri were in the context of “a story related to his personal life.”

“I’m not saying that’s acceptable, but I just want to be clear that it was not about an issue related to the White House or White House policy, or anything along those lines,” she said.

Psaki said she had not discussed the matter with President Joe Biden, and that she had made the decision to suspend Ducklo in consultation with Klain. The punishment, she said, was “a significant step. I’m not aware of a history of that step being taken.”

But Psaki struggled to answer questions regarding Ducklo’s future professional interactions with female reporters who do not work for POLITICO, and she did not explain why Ducklo was only suspended Friday — not when she first learned of his remarks.

Psaki said White House officials and POLITICO editors had until Friday engaged “in a private manner,” and “that was what we felt was appropriate at the time.”

“We raised our concerns about the incident directly with the White House at the time," top POLITICO editors Matt Kaminski and Carrie Budoff Brown said in a statement on Friday. "No journalist at POLITICO—or any other publication or network—should ever be subjected to such unfounded personal attacks while doing their job. POLITICO reporters and editors are committed to forging a professional and transparent relationship with public office holders and their staff and expect the same in return."

Read more: politico.com

Boris Johnson: ‘U.K.-U.S. thinking has been coming together’ in recent weeks

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said he has seen the priorities of the U.S. and his nation “come together” in recent weeks.

Johnson said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that he and President Joe Biden have had two productive conversations since the latter assumed office last month.

“There’s been some important developments in the way the U.K.-U.S. thinking has been coming together in the last few weeks, and particularly on issues like climate change, on NATO, on Iran, but above all, on the ways that the U.S. and the U.K. are going to work together to deal with the environmental challenge that faces our planet,” Johnson said.

Biden in the past has negatively compared the Conservative Party leader to former President Donald Trump. Pressed by host Margaret Brennan on whether he was concerned the two had gotten off on the wrong foot, Johnson did not answer directly.

“I’ve had, I think, already two long and very good conversations with the president and we had a really good exchange, particularly about climate change and what he wants to do,” he responded.

Trump touted comparisons between himself and the British prime minister, who assumed office in 2019 amid turmoil over Britain’s Brexit efforts — and who had the U.S. president’s support on that nettlesome issue.

But the former president also tested the so-called special relationship with the U.K., withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement, despite continued British buy-in on both.

Johnson highlighted climate change and Iran policy as areas where the two countries could work together.

“I think some of the stuff we’re now hearing from the new American administration and from the new White House is incredibly encouraging,” Johnson said.

Read more: politico.com

Coverup claims engulf Cuomo as scandal over nursing home deaths grows

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ALBANY, N.Y. — When Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide told Democratic lawmakers this week why the administration slow-walked information on nursing home deaths, she appeared to be trying to dispel smoldering rumors of a cover-up.

Instead the aide, Melissa DeRosa, threw gasoline on a fire that by Friday had enveloped Cuomo’s legacy of effective leadership during the Covid-19 crisis — something he hoped to parlay into a fourth term next year.

Republicans demanded Cuomo’s impeachment.

There were calls for his top staffers to resign.

And members of the governor’s own party — who had largely muted their criticism amid budget talks — began to turn on him, publicly and forcefully.

“They left us out in the dark every step of the way,” Assemblymember Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, told POLITICO. “That’s why we’re here.”

The administration’s handling of nursing homes is now a full-blown scandal — a stunning reversal for Cuomo, whose early handling of the pandemic and high-profile daily press briefings earned him soaring approval ratings, an Emmy and a book deal.

Now, many fellow Democrats want to write an epilogue.

As Cuomo headed to Washington Friday to meet with President Joe Biden on pandemic response, at least 14 Democrats from the left flank of the state Legislature called for a repeal of the governor’s emergency powers — enacted nearly 11 months ago — that have given him nearly unilateral authority during the pandemic. And momentum appears to be growing in the Legislature to exert more oversight.

“It is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate,” lawmakers said in a statement issued Friday morning.

Cuomo was already facing mounting backlash for his handling of the nursing home crisis. The Wednesday call with DeRosa was designed to repair relationships with frustrated Democrats who said Cuomo was shutting them out of the state’s response.

She told legislators the administration “froze” after the Department of Justice made an inquiry into Cuomo’s management of nursing homes. State officials refrained from releasing the data, she said, because of worry that President Donald Trump was trying to turn the tragedy “into a giant political football.”

“We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said during the meeting, according to a partial transcript.

The comments — first reported Thursday evening by the New York Post, which obtained a recording of the call — drew widespread criticism across New York on Friday and prompted an effort by Cuomo aides to reframe DeRosa’s remarks.

The Justice Department announced last August that it was considering whether to investigate if New York and other Democrat-led states violated nursing home residents’ civil rights by admitting Covid-19 patients to the facilities. Federal officials requested data from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan — which all issued contentious orders to admit medically stable Covid-19-positive patients to long-term care facilities as hospitals were overrun last spring.

While it’s unclear how many nursing homes were subject to the DOJ request — which appeared to focus only on state-run facilities — DeRosa on Friday issued a statement saying the probe trumped New York lawmakers’ requests.

"I was explaining that when we received the DOJ inquiry, we needed to temporarily set aside the Legislature’s request to deal with the federal request first,” De Rosa said in a statement issued Friday morning. “We informed the houses of this at the time. We were comprehensive and transparent in our responses to the DOJ.”

But top Democrats in Albany pushed back on that assertion, saying administration officials had asked for more time to compile the information but had not revealed their specific rationale.

“Other than what was reported in the news, [Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie] had no knowledge of an official Department of Justice inquiry,” Heastie spokesperson Michael Whyland said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement she, too, was not pleased with how Cuomo’s office had handled legislators’ requests for information about nursing home deaths.

“Politics should not be part of this tragic pandemic and our responses to it must be led by policy, not politics,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.

Senate sources say leadership is much closer to limiting the governor’s authority than they have let on publicly.

”We basically had a conference on this executive power stuff on Monday,” one source said, requesting anonymity to speak about closed-door negotiations. “Momentum was moving toward removing executive powers. The latest revelation — this almost slam dunks that.”

The Senate already signaled it may rebuke the Cuomo administration’s handling of Covid-19 in nursing homes, announcing plans to move a series of long-term care bills, including legislation to ensure that the Department of Health updates its regular reporting of nursing home and adult care facility Covid-19-related deaths to include residents who died at hospitals.

When pressed recently on his continued powers, Cuomo has been quick to remind that his authority came with a stipulation that the Legislature does have the ability to challenge any of his decisions, something the body has not attempted since approving them last March.

And it’s unclear whether the enhanced executive authority affected the state’s response to Covid-19 in nursing homes — particularly a March 25 hospital transfer policy which many critics have cited as the reason why thousands of New Yorkers died in the long-term care facilities. (Asymptomatic spread, inadequate protective equipment and lax infection control policies have also been cited as culprits.)

But the cries to rein in Cuomo emerge from months of frustration over the administration’s treatment of the nursing home deaths, legitimized by both a report from state Attorney General Letitia James and a court order that prompted the release of new numbers bumping the state’s long-term care Covid-19 death toll from about 9,000 to around 15,000, when including presumed and confirmed cases.

“It’s something that will complicate an existing political controversy, but it’s not a crime, or anything like it,” said one longtime administration official. “It’s fodder for those who want to keep the issue alive.”

Kim, a vocal critic of the governor’s nursing home response, is the Assembly Aging Committee chair and among those on the now infamous call with Cuomo administration officials. He said he understands the state’s logic but that DeRosa’s characterization doesn’t hold water.

“There was clearly an effort to not share the information, even before the Department of Justice issued that letter,” he said, adding that those questions will likely dominate a budget hearing scheduled for Feb. 25.

Kim said while he “went to bat” for the governor by supporting his request for the emergency powers, he now feels “very disappointed and kind of betrayed.”

Senate Health Committee Chairman Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat who opposed giving Cuomo the emergency powers last winter, said he was not disappointed by the lack of transparency from the governor’s office, because he never expected it in the first place.

“Why would I be surprised?” he said.

Rivera said the meeting with senior staff, which he participated in, actually eased tensions between the administration and legislative Democrats — a detente that now appears to have been shattered.

“When you consider for seven months they had been stonewalling us, and then they actually sat down for what almost amounted to a three-hour meeting with some of the most senior people in the administration, that’s obviously a change in tone,” Rivera said in an interview. “That is the first of what we would hope are many conversations.”

Cuomo has not formally commented on the most recent revelations regarding his administration’s action. The governor was in Washington D.C. for a rare in-person discussion with President Joe Biden regarding the billions of dollars he and other states’ leaders are requesting to support their Covid battles.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked during a Friday briefing if Biden, who has touted the importance of transparency for the nation’s recovery, felt confident in Cuomo’s administration in light of the recent report.

“The president hosted Gov. Cuomo and a bipartisan group of governors and mayors to the White House today to get their perspective from the front lines, not to give anyone a stamp of approval or to seek their stamp of approval,” she said.

Read more: politico.com

Grenell lays groundwork for California gubernatorial run

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WASHINGTON — Richard Grenell, a fierce ally of former President Donald Trump and a fixture in MAGA politics, is interviewing campaign strategists and laying groundwork for a potential run for California governor if the bid to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom goes forward, according to a Republican strategist who has spoken with Grenell about his plans.

The strategist said Grenell, the former ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, told him he plans to announce his campaign once the recall effort qualifies for the ballot, as appears increasingly likely.

A second strategist said Friday that Grenell is also speaking with major Southern California donors about a potential run.

The recall campaign, if it does qualify, would face long odds in heavily Democratic California, which has become more inhospitable to Republicans in the years since Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was recalled in 2003. And Grenell, due to his close ties to Trump, would appear to have a limited constituency in a state that Trump lost by nearly 30 percentage points in November.

Still, Newsom’s public approval rating has slumped amid the coronavirus pandemic. And Grenell’s overtures are reflective of intense interest nationally from Republicans in recalling the Democratic governor of the nation’s most populous state. The Republican National Committee is pouring $250,000 into the effort.

Grenell said in an email that “it isn’t true” that he has begun interviewing campaign staff and strategists and is preparing to announce a run if the recall qualifies. A source close to him said that “it could still go either way.”

Grenell’s entry into the race could instantly reorganize the Republican field in the recall campaign, draining conservative support from other candidates and fracturing Newsom’s opponents along MAGA lines. And it could help Newsom to define the campaign against him as a product of Trump allies.

“It’d just be a disaster,” said Rob Stutzman, a Republican political strategist in California who has been critical of Trump. “That’s a huge gift to Newsom to be able to frame the recall as Trumpists versus him.”

A Grenell candidacy, he said, “increases the odds that the recall just becomes a dead letter.”

It is possible, however, that Grenell could galvanize base Republicans in the state. More than 100 candidates ran to replace Davis in 2003. If the recall qualifies, the field of candidates this year could match or exceed that. And with a field so large, a candidate who can organize even a relatively small segment of the electorate could be successful.

While California’s overall electorate strenuously disapproves of Trump, he has remained popular among Republicans, earning more than six million votes in California. An endorsement from Trump played a decisive role in vaulting Republican John Cox into the 2018 general election, where he lost resoundingly to Newsom.

Grenell’s bona fides with the GOP base may exceed those of Cox. Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio, who speaks with Grenell periodically and hosts a radio show with a substantial conservative audience, said “the lines light up” when Grenell is involved. DeMaio, a critic of former GOP San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer — who has already announced his candidacy — said Grenell would “get the base to show up” in California and argued Grenell’s bluntness could appeal to some independents. And beyond spurring turnout, DeMaio said, Grenell could command a larger fundraising network.

“You have a potential candidate here who, if he ran, would have more name ID than the other names being considered,” DeMaio said, predicting Grenell could quickly raise substantial sums by tapping into Trump’s donor list. “He would actually be able to compete with the Democrat money machine in California.”

Faulconer’s campaign declined to comment on Grenell on Friday. Cox, who is also running, said in a prepared statement, “I like Rick and his international service to the nation speaks for itself. Regardless of who may run, my effort is focused on the solutions desperately wanted by Californians forgotten by the political establishment class like Gavin Newsom and Kevin Faulconer.”

Dan Newman, Newsom’s chief political adviser, said in a text message, “No surprise — Grenell, [conservative commentator Mike] Cernovich, Trump, Faulconer, Cox… it’s a Republican recall to its rotten partisan core.”

Grenell, who has been publicly pummeling Newsom, has been encouraged to run by major Trump donors.

In late January, Grenell penned an op-ed on Fox News ripping into Newsom’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, saying “he cannot be recalled fast enough.” And when the Biden White House weighed in this week against the recall, Grenell wrote on Twitter, “White House now panicking about @recallgavin2020 campaign. Meanwhile, schools closed, gyms closed, churches closed, restaurants only outdoors, vaccine distribution awful, homelessness out of control, rolling blackouts – Gavin’s incompetence will be on the ballot.”

A celebrity among Donald Trump loyalists, Grenell has been a staunch defender of Trump’s nationalist policies and a reliably controversial presence on Twitter, offering biting criticism of reporters and Democrats. A former adviser to U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Grenell also worked for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012. Fox News reported in August that he had joined the Republican National Committee as a senior adviser focused on LGBTQ outreach.

Recall organizers appear close to collecting the 1.5 million valid signatures they will need to qualify for the ballot by mid-March. If they are successful, the recall measure could go to voters later this year.

Read more: politico.com

CNN’s Berman: No ‘Profile in Courage’ for Nikki Haley’s Trump Critique, She’s a ‘Weathervane’

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The liberal media is known to suddenly shower praise on a formerly reviled Republican who turns against the party’s leaders. So you might have expected CNN’s John Berman to heap hosannas on Trump’s former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley this morning.

After all, Politico published an article today in which Haley—also the former Republican governor of South Carolina and a potential 2024 presidential contender — offered pointed criticism of Trump.

She accused him, among other things, of having “let us down” and of going “down a path he shouldn’t have.” Instead, Berman touted it as “a potentially major story” and she said “some remarkable things,” but ultimately it was no “Profile in Courage moment.” 

BERMAN: Let me just read some of the quotes here from Nikki Haley [emphasis added]: “He’s not going to run for federal office again. I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture, she said, matter-of-factly. I don’t think he can. He’s fallen too far.” And this is the kicker. “We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have. And we shouldn’t have followed him. And we shouldn’t have listened to him. We can’t let that ever happen again.” 

Now, I do not think this is interesting as a Profiles in Courage moment, Ross Garber, I do think it’s interesting in a—Nikki Haley, if anything, is a weathervane. I mean, she twists with the political winds to a certain extent her. And she sees the political wind blowing against the former President of the United States. 

So there may be a verdict in the U.S. Senate, but Nikki Haley is giving something of a different verdict here. And that may be what the House managers, that might be what people looking to make an historical record here have been going for all along.

So why was Berman unwilling to show some Sudden Respect for Haley, even when her criticism of President Trump was surely music to his liberal ears? Instead, he was aping Alberta, that “Everything Haley says is being scrutinized by those who have come to question her authenticity.”

Reporters can always question the authenticity of politicians who are jostling to be president. But Tim Alberta started at National Review, so does he have core convictions? John Berman works for CNN, where everyone now ends up sounding like a editorializing echo of the boss, Jeff Zucker. 

Perhaps Berman is just looking to undermine anyone CNN sees as a potential 2024 GOP challenger to President Biden — or shall we say, Harris?

CNN’s Berman claiming that Nikki Haley did not deserve a Profile in Courage for her criticism of President Trump was sponsored in part by Sleep Number, Clear Choice, Liberty Mutual, Chewy, and Sandals.

Read more: newsbusters.org

Tuberville comments help fuel House case against Trump

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville revealed late Wednesday that he spoke to President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, just as a violent mob closed in on the Senate, and informed Trump that Vice President Mike Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber.

“I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go,’” the Alabama Republican told POLITICO on Capitol Hill, saying he cut the phone call short amid the chaos.

Tuberville’s recollection is a new and potentially significant addition to the timeline of Trump’s reaction to the violent mob of his supporters as it stormed the Capitol. Aides to the House impeachment managers, entering the second day of opening arguments, indicated the new details may come up before they rest their case Thursday and turn the trial over to Trump’s defense team.

House Democrats prosecuting Trump’s case in a Senate impeachment trial have emphasized that Trump took little action to address the rioters despite desperate entreaties from his allies. Tuberville’s recollection of the call is the first indication that Trump was specifically aware of the danger Pence faced as the mob encroached on the Senate chamber.

Just as significantly, the call occurred at virtually the same moment Trump fired off a tweet attacking Pence for lacking “courage” to unilaterally attempt to overturn the presidential election results — a tweet that came after Pence and his family were rushed from the Senate chamber.

Senior aides to the House impeachment managers said Thursday that they considered Tuberville’s comments to be new information that confirms their case that Trump abandoned Pence and Congress to the mob rather than attempt to quell the violence.

“It squares with what we already know, that the president knew his vice president was in danger and did nothing,” said one of the aides, adding, “We will have more to speak on that point today.”

It’s long been unclear precisely when Trump learned of the danger that Congress and his vice president faced — though it was broadcast all over live television — but Tuberville’s claim would mark a specific moment Trump was notified that Pence had to be evacuated for his own safety.

The House impeached Trump last month for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection and began mounting their case in the trial Wednesday, the first of two days to present their evidence. The Tuberville call was among their examples to show that Trump remained fixated on stopping Biden’s victory even as it became clear that pro-Trump insurrectionists were ransacking the Capitol. Trump, they said, did nothing to publicly call off the rioters and instead phoned Tuberville to ask him to aid the effort to stop the transition of power.

As House impeachment managers prepare to wrap up their case Thursday, their top aides also previewed a final aspect of their arguments: That in the aftermath of the Capitol violence, Trump showed no remorse for his conduct and incitement.

House managers say the Trump-Tuberville call took place shortly after 2 p.m. Pence was evacuated from the chamber at about 2:15 p.m. and Trump sent his tweet attacking Pence at 2:24 pm. The entire Senate was cleared by about 2:30 pm.

The existence of the call between Trump and Tuberville, though not the specifics, has been previously reported.

The managers noted that while the mob encroached on the Senate chamber, Trump was ignoring his allies’ pleas for him to publicly call them off. Instead, Trump accidentally phoned Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) as he sought to get in touch with Tuberville and request that the Alabama senator continue objecting to the election results in order to buy time. Lee, according to reports in Utah’s Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune and CNN, passed his phone to the newly elected lawmaker for the brief call. Lee on Wednesday night objected on the Senate floor to how his role in the call was portrayed.

Aides to the former president did not immediately return a request for comment.

Burgess Everett and Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.

Read more: politico.com

USA Today Fumes Over NBA’s National Anthem Reversal

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On Wednesday, the left-wingers at USA Today were toasting the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for pulling the plug on the national anthem. Today, they are angry with the league and the team for dropping the ball on wokeness, reversing course and reinstating the Star Spangled Banner league wide.

USA Today SJW Nancy Armour wrote Wednesday that the national anthem should have no place at sporting venues because it drowns out conversations about “real patriotism”:

“Good for Mark Cuban.

“The Dallas Mavericks owner made a decision that is sure to bring howls of outrage, threats to boycott his team and an avalanche of vile and vicious emails. But it was the right decision, and I hope it gives others in professional and college sports the courage, or at least cover, to do the same.”

Another day today, another story. USA Today’s Dan Wolken is beefing that the league “where amazing happens” had double dribbled (see players standing at attention Wednesday in Dallas during the playing of the anthem). By averting a public relations disaster amid a popularity freefall, the woke folks at the NBA are now “just playing scared,” Wolken groans.

Commissioner Adam Silver deserves criticism, Wolken says, for clumsily stumbling “into the rage inferno on the national anthem issue Wednesday by publicly tsk-tsking the Dallas Mavericks the moment word got out that they hadn’t been playing it before games this season.” Wolken also chastised Cuban, the Mavericks’ owner:

“It also goes for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who made the decision as a political statement and didn’t even own up to it publicly until people figured out what was going on, then released a statement calling for ‘courageous conversations’ well after the fact.”

What appeared to be a slam-dunk victory for deconstructionists on Wednesday had instead placed the anthem issue on the front burner of debate, further angering Wolken.:

“Now, whether we like it or not, we’re all going to have to have yet another round of debate about what the national anthem means, whether it should be played at domestic sporting events in the first place and whether the NBA is too woke for the average American.”

By resurrecting the anthem, Wolken says, the NBA is “passively standing on the safest ground possible” and retreating from having “a real conversation about what is right for the league and its players. … Good job, everyone!”

This issue angers Wolken all the more because it’s been four-plus years since former NFL player Colin Kaepernick started the attack on the tradition of honoring America prior to sports events. “The power of the moment has been lost.”

Bad publicity pressured the NBA into enforcing its own rule about playing the anthem before its games tip off, and Wolken writes that “we” have been reduced to serving as “hall monitors watching who is or isn’t participating in rote acts of superficial patriotism.”

Here’s the real rub on the NBA’s strategy, Wolken fumes. “This is a league that gets pummeled consistently from the political right in this country for everything from trying to make a buck in China to players spending free time trying to register voters. It’s also bleeding revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and badly needs to build goodwill with its fans once they’re allowed to come to stadiums again.”

Just trying to make a buck in China is a leftist’s way of excusing the abominable history of LeBron James and the NBA remaining silent over that communist regime’s brutal crackdown on freedom. Their silence protected mega streams of revenue while the less fortunate suffered at China’s dictatorial hands. Shameful.

Though Wolken contends the NBA will lose fans by pandering on the anthem, the truth is the league prefers politics, race and social justice at the expense of what actually happens on the playing courts. This is why declining television viewership preceded Wednesday’s anthem firestorm. Social justice and allegiance to Black Lives Matter are the thorn in the NBA’s side, not its insistence on playing the Star Spangled Banner.

Wolken believes that by attempting to shut down the controversy, the cowardly NBA “covered itself in kerosene and lit a match.” The truth is the woke league had already badly charred itself with its radical politics, though it blinked Wednesday night by re-thinking the national anthem.

Read more: newsbusters.org

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