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Anxious Democratic Governors Urge 2020 Field Not to Veer Too Far Left

July 19, 2019 at 6:49 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

“After claiming governorships from Republicans in seven states last year, including in crucial presidential battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Michigan, Democratic governors should have good reason to celebrate,” the New York Times reports.

“But there was as much anxiety as optimism when the governors gathered for their annual fund-raising retreat on Nantucket last weekend and grappled with why a party that won with a pragmatic message in 2018 is now veering sharply to the left.”

“A group of governors are alarmed that their party’s presidential candidates are embracing policies they see as unrealistic and politically risky. And they are especially concerned about proposals that would eliminate private health insurance.”



Iran denies Donald Trump claim that US destroyed drone in strait of Hormuz

Source: The Guardian

US president says USS Boxer took ‘defensive action’ against unmanned aircraft amid heightened tensions between countries

Julian Borger in New York

Fri 19 Jul 2019 07.30 BST


The drone incident was first revealed by Donald Trump, who said that USS Boxer took defensive action after the unmanned vehicle came within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down.


However, Iran denied Trump’s claims. The deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, tweeted: “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS [unmanned aerial system] by mistake!”

The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted a military spokesman, Gen Abolfazl Shekari, as saying that “all Iranian drones that are in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz[…] have returned to their bases”.

The contradictory claims came as Gibraltar’s supreme court extended the detention of the Iranian ship Grace 1 for 30 days, in a move that suggests talks between Iran and the UK over the terms of the ship’s release are not progressing.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/18/trump-us-warship-iran-drone-strait-of-hormuz

Trump took heat from Melania and Ivanka over racist chants at rally

By WEIJIA JIANG CBS NEWS July 18, 2019, 7:05 PM

Last Updated Jul 18, 2019 8:12 PM EDT

Washington — CBS News has learned President Trump took a lot of heat from his family over the racist chants at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday. He heard from first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka and Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr. Trump on Thursday disavowed the chants of "send her back" and said he tried to stop it. "Well, number one, I think I did, I started speaking very quickly," he said.

But the video tells a different story. The president stands in silence for nearly 15 seconds, looking around the arena. When Mr. Trump resumed his speech, he made no mention of the chant, which started after he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar. The rally left Republicans once again answering for the president.

CBS News learned that Mr. Trump spoke to several members of his inner circle about how to react to the chant. He weighed the pros and cons of softening his tone, worried supporters would not like it.


Four Pinocchios for Trump's claim he tried to stop 'Send her back!' chant about Omar

Fact Checker Analysis

Trump falsely claims he tried to stop ‘Send her back!’ chants about Rep. Ilhan Omar

By Salvador Rizzo
July 18 at 3:02 PM

“I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. ... I think I did [try to stop the chant]. I started speaking very quickly.”

— President Trump, in remarks at the White House, July 18

At a Trump campaign rally Wednesday, the crowd broke into an extended chant — “Send her back!” — about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

The president had been attacking Omar, a Somali American immigrant and practicing Muslim, with false claims for days. We just gave him Four Pinocchios for claiming she supports al-Qaeda.

Trump said he tried to stop the “Send her back!” chants by quickly resuming his speech. This will be a short fact check, because video of the rally totally debunks his claim.

The Facts


The Pinocchio Test

Trump got this ball rolling with his tweets and remarks telling Omar and other lawmakers to “go back” to their countries. Video of the rally shows Trump did not try to stop the “Send her back!” chants about Omar. He stood passively onstage and waited for the chants to die down on their own before resuming his speech. Within seconds, he was back to criticizing Omar. Minutes later, he suggested again that Omar and other critics leave the United States.

Another Four Pinocchios.


Trump Is No George Wallace. He's Worse.

By John Judis

July 18, 2019 10:29 am

I keep seeing comparisons between Trump’s racial appeals and George Wallace’s 1968 campaign. Here’s the AP’s Steve Peoples and Zeke Miller: “Not since George Wallace’s campaign in 1968 has a presidential candidate — and certainly not an incumbent president — put racial polarization at the center of his call to voters.” Someone here can correct me if my memory is failing me, but in 1968, Wallace did not make explicit racial appeals.

Wallace talked about state’s rights and the ability of “big government” to dictate whether schools should segregate. In his opening appearance in 1967 in Meet the Press, he said he did not favor “segregation in any phase of our society in any state of this union,” but favored the states being allowed to “continue to determine the policies of their domestic institutions themselves.” His voters often understood his appeals in racial terms, but he was careful not to frame his appeal in white vs. black terms.

Trump’s appeal is much more explicit and personal. Wallace, in retrospect, was a conventional politician who reflected and then later rejected the mores of his time and region. Trump is much more of an irresponsible demagogue. He did not rise out of a political movement the way that, say, Hitler or Mussolini did, but is a peculiar product of our celebrity and social media culture. He’s a bad person — a man lacking in conscience — in a way that Wallace, as his turn later against his segregationist past showed, was not.

I have mixed feelings about the politics of this latest outburst: on one hand, it tempts Democrats into an over-reaction, particularly on issues like immigration; on the other hand, it reinforces the aversion of many voters, including erstwhile Republican voters, to having such an individual represent the country as its and their president.



Top Democrats Fear Violence Against Omar After Incendiary Trump Rally

By Cristina Cabrera
July 18, 2019 3:07 pm

A number of Democratic leaders in the House are worried about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) safety after President Donald Trump’s rant about her at a rally led racist chants of “send her back” from the crowd.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Thursday that she’d spoken to the House sergeant-at-arms about Omar’s even before the rally, possibly referring to her announcement in April after Trump tweeted 9/11 footage to attack Omar.

House Assistant Democratic Leader Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), the fourth ranking Democrat, told Politico that Trump was “instilling fear.”

“It’s going to instill violence,” he said.


Here's Who Else Is Implicated In Unsealed Trump Hush Money Probe Docs

By Tierney Sneed
July 18, 2019 2:01 pm

Newly unsealed documents from the investigation into Michael Cohen give a tick-tock of who Cohen was allegedly calling and messaging as he scrambled to pay off a porn star who claimed to have slept with Donald Trump. And one document, a warrant application, explicitly names the individuals whom the FBI believed were in contact with Cohen as the pay off was arranged.

The flurry of activity started after the Washington Post, on Oct. 7, 2016, released a 2005 tape of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Cohen has since pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations associated with the payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels, while the Justice Department has concluded its investigation into who else was involved in the scheme.

Here are the additional people — besides President Trump himself — who were implicated in the search warrant application, which dates back to April 2018.

Hope Hicks

The unsealed docs note that Hope Hicks — the Trump campaign’s national press secretary — was on early October phone calls with Trump and Cohen, as Cohen put in motion the hush money payout scheme. The warrant stops short of saying whether the payoffs were discussed on any of the October calls Hicks specifically was on.



4 Key Moments When FBI Alleged Trump Was Aware Of Hush Money Scheme

By Matt Shuham
July 18, 2019 3:54 pm

Newly unredacted documents released on Thursday reveal just how in the loop President Trump was as his then-personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen tried to keep an alleged affair between Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels under wraps ahead of the 2016 election.

FBI search warrant applications show several phone calls and text messages that appear to link Trump to Cohen’s efforts to pay off Stormy Daniels.

Here are the four key moments:

Cohen was in contact with Trump as Cohen made initial calls to kill Stormy Daniels’ story

Around the same time the Washington Post published video of Trump bragging about assaulting women on the set of NBC’s “Access Hollywood” on Oct. 7, 2016, the FBI alleged, Stormy Daniels was in talks with media outlets to tell her story “about her alleged relationship with Trump.” Michael Cohen also recalled hearing from Daniels’ counsel around this time that news outlets were pursuing the story.


Dershowitz writes panicky op-ed in anticipation of a New Yorker 'hit piece' about him & underage...

Dershowitz writes panicky op-ed in anticipation of a New Yorker ‘hit piece’ about him and underage girls

Published 55 mins ago on July 18, 2019 By Brad Reed

Trump-defending attorney Alan Dershowitz has written an op-ed for right-wing publication Newsmax that reveals the New Yorker is working on an expose about him and women who have accused him of having sex with them when they were under 18 years old.

In the op-ed, Dershowitz accuses New Yorker editor David Remnick of commissioning “a hit piece against me for the explicit purpose of silencing my defense of President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the State of Israel.”

Dershowitz then claims, without offering any evidence, that “Remnick explicitly told people that I must be silenced because mine has been the most persuasive voice in favor of what Remnick feels pose dangers to values he holds dear, and that he will use the credibility of The New Yorker to accomplish this goal.”

“Four years ago, a woman who I had never met was ‘pressured’ — her word — by her lawyers to falsely accuse me of having underage sex with her,” Dershowitz writes. “They expected a big payday, but I was able to prove from travel records that I could not have been on the Caribbean island, New Mexico ranch, or other places where she perjuriously claimed we had met… Having seen the initial accusation demolished, her lawyer told people he was trolling for a second accuser because ‘two is better than one.’ This time they ‘found’ a real doozy: a woman who had tried to get the New York Post to publish her claim that she had sex tapes of Hillary and Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Richard Branson.”

Dershowitz’s op-ed concludes by warning his supporters to not believe anything written about him whenever the story is finally published. “So when you read The New Yorker attack on me, read it with an understanding of its source, motive, and methodology,” he says. “Remember that you are not reading The New Yorker of old that had well-earned credibility. You are reading a glossy version of the National Enquirer, with partisan and personal agendas.”



Alan Dershowitz Touts His 'Sexual Probity' in War of Words with Accuser's Lawyer

by Matt Naham | 9:59 am, July 18th, 2019

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has time and again denied allegations that he knew about and participated in Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s alleged child sex-trafficking operation. While alleged Epstein victim Virginia (Roberts) Giuffre claims that Dershowitz had sex with her while she was a minor and working for Epstein, Dershowitz has repeatedly and emphatically denied this, saying he’s never met Giuffre.

But this hasn’t just been a fight between Dershowitz and Giuffre: Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies and Dershowitz have also been locked in a war of words. That spat escalated on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, hours before a federal judge was set to make a decision about Epstein’s bail.

Dershowitz accused Boies of attempting to “destroy” his reputation, and said that he would put his “sexual probity up against David Boies’s any day of the week.”

“He’s now trying to destroy me and destroy my reputation, destroy my economic situation, destroy everything,” Dershowitz told WSJ.

Boies responded that such claims are “absurd” and that Dershowitz is just trying to “make this between him and me.”

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