Talia Kaplan


Joey Rodolfo, the owner of a clothing store in Seattle, Wash., told “Fox & Friends” that he plans to move out of the state, citing “no leadership” and a “socialist” city council as reasons for his decision.

Rodolfo, the co-founder of Buki clothing, made the comments as authorities in Seattle are making preparations to retake the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, or CHOP, after several shootings and a number of other crimes have been reported in what protestors have declared a “cop-free zone.”

Demonstrators moved in and occupied the neighborhood on June 8 after police pulled out of their East Precinct building following more than a week of protests over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, some of which grew violent. Floyd died while in police custody.

On Monday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the city will move to end the police-free zone after two recent shootings, one of which was deadly.

“I will tell you what’s currently happening in Seattle,” Rodolfo said on Wednesday. “We have people in leadership positions where we have no leader.

“We have seen this happen in the private sector and you know what eventually happens without leadership right? Companies usually die in the private sector,” he continued.

“Since we have no leadership and we have a city council that’s so socialist, there really is very, very little support for businesses. As far as the city reaching out to small businesses like ourselves, or any business, there has been zero.

“In fact, most of the attention has been focused on CHOP, making sure that people in CHOP are well taken care of, but there has been absolutely no support or no encouragement for us to reopen our stores and have any significant sense that there will be a future here if we were to keep our businesses in Seattle or the state of Washington.”

Rodolfo said that as a result, he plans to move to another state after 38 years of living in Seattle.

“We are looking at so many options, but Arizona with Governor [Doug] Ducey seems to be a great bet quite frankly,” Rodolfo said.

“There is a lot of support in Arizona for businesses and it just seems like a great state right now.”

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: Seattle business owner says he plans to move due to lack of leadership and ‘socialist’ city council

President Trump called the Russia Probe “the greatest political crime in the history of our country, ” and labeled his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn a hero, in an exclusive interview that aired Sunday with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo.

Trump’s comments, during the interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” come after the Justice Department this month moved to drop its case against Flynn, in a stunning development that follows internal memos being released and raises serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to Flynn’s late 2017 guilty plea of lying to the FBI.

“They [FBI agents] weren’t after General Flynn. They wanted him to lie about me, make up a story,” Trump told Bartiromo. “And, with few exceptions, nobody did that.”

He added, “If I were a Democrat instead of a Republican, I think everybody would have been in jail a long time ago; and I’m talking with 50-year sentences.”

“It is a disgrace what’s happened,” he continued. “This is the greatest political scam, hoax in the history of our country.”

Trump went on to say that “people should be going to jail for this stuff and hopefully a lot of people are going to have to pay.”

He continued, “No other president should have to go through [this] and I’ll tell you, General Flynn and others are heroes.”

Trump also reacted to top Obama administration officials, including former Vice President Joe Biden, purportedly requesting to “unmask” the identity of Flynn — whose calls with the former Russian ambassador during the presidential transition were picked up in surveillance and later leaked.

The list of names was revealed after it was declassified in recent days by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and then sent to GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, who made the documents public.

The unmasking concerns events between the November 2016 election and Inauguration Day 2017.

Unmasking occurs after U.S. citizens’ conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The U.S. citizens’ identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected. However, officials can determine the U.S. citizens’ names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights.

The list revealed that then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made unmasking requests seven times between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 11, 2017. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made three requests from Dec. 2, 2016 through Jan. 7, 2017; and that former CIA Director John Brennan made two requests, one on Dec. 14 and one on Dec. 15, 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey also made a request on Dec. 15, 2016. On Jan. 5, 2017, then-Chief of Staff Denis McDonough made one request, and on Jan. 12, 2017, Biden made one request.

“This was all Obama. This was all Biden. These people were corrupt,” Trump told Bartiromo. “The whole thing was corrupt and we caught them.”

Trump went on to say that “they never thought” that they would get “caught in the act,” adding, “they got sloppy.”

Trump elaborated, telling Bartiromo that he thinks “Comey is a corrupt person… Brennan [is] bad. They’re all bad. Clapper is not a smart guy in charge of intelligence.”

“But here’s the thing: It was impossible for it to happen without the man that sits right in that chair in the Oval Office. He knew everything,” he continued.

Bartiromo then asked Trump, “Do you believe President Obama directed the U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on you?”

“Yes, he probably directed them, but if he didn’t direct them, he knew everything,” Trump said in response.

Trump then brought up text messages between FBI paramours Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which included an exchange about preparing talking points for Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted “to know everything we’re doing.” The pair both worked at one point for Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Remember the Lisa Page text to her lover saying ‘POTUS wants to see everything?’ They’re not talking about me. I wasn’t president. They’re talking about POTUS wants to see everything,” Trump told Bartiromo.

Trump added that “if this happened to Obama instead of me everybody would be in jail for years already.”

“It’s a disgraceful thing,” he continued. “But, we caught them in the act. It’s a beautiful thing. And, every day, we’re seeing more and more information come out.”

He later tweeted Sunday, “The Obama Administration is turning out to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history. Remember, he and Sleepy Joe are the reasons I am in the White House!!!”

In his interview, Trump went on to say that “Comey and all these guys” were “guarding the fort.”

“And once they left, it got easier and easier and now it’s like an avalanche of really bad, call it treason, call it whatever you want, but they tried to take down a duly elected president of the United States,” he said.

Trump also brought up Biden’s appearance on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” last week where the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said that he was “aware” at the time of the investigation started by Obama administration officials into Flynn.

During the interview, ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos pressed Biden, questioning whether he attended the Oval Office meeting on Jan. 5, 2017, where Flynn apparently was discussed.

In response, Biden said, “I was aware that there was—that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else …”

“He could barely speak,” Trump told Bartiromo, referencing Biden’s interview on ABC. “He was on ‘Good Morning America,’ right? And, he said he didn’t know anything about it… right after he said that, it gets released that he was one of the unmaskers, meaning he knew everything about it, so he lied to your friend George Stephanopoulos.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and David Spunt contributed to this report.

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: President Trump discusses bombshell revelations in Flynn case in exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo

President Trump presents Staff Sgt. David Bellavia with the Medal of Honor

Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia becomes the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the nation’s highest military award.

President Trump presented the Medal of Honor on Tuesday to former Army Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia for his actions as a squad leader in Fallujah, making him the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the recognition.

President Trump said Bellavia demonstrated “exceptional courage to protect his men and defend this nation.”

During Operation Phantom Fury in 2004, Bellavia’s platoon was pinned down while clearing a block of houses. Bellavia then exchanged his M16 rifle for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and entered the house where his squad was trapped to provide cover fire so the soldiers could exit safely, the White House said.

“A Bradley Fighting Vehicle arrived to help suppress the enemy, but it could not fire directly into the house,” it added in a statement. “Then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia re-entered the house… and assaulted insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades.”

There, he engaged five different fighters, pursuing them through the house until the threat was neutralized.

“That remarkable day, then-Staff Sergent Bellavia rescued an entire squad, cleared an insurgent strongpoint, and saved many members of his platoon from imminent threat,” the White House said.

“This operation was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War,” Trump said at the ceremony on Tuesday. “For three days straight, David and his men kicked down doors, searched houses and destroyed enemy weapons never knowing where they would find a terrorist lurking next.”

Trump said on the night of Bellavia’s 29th birthday, which was the third night of the mission, “his squad was tasked with clearing 12 houses occupied by insurgents, [a] very dangerous operation.”

When they arrived at the tenth house, the president said two men inside, who were hiding behind concrete barricades, opened fire.

Trump said the husband and father of three “leapt into the torrent of bullets and fired back at the enemy without even thinking.”

“David took over,” the president added.

“He provided suppressive fire while his men evacuated, rescuing his entire squad at the risk of his own life,” Trump continued. “Only when his men were all out did David exit the building.”

Trump said at that point, “the fighting was far from over.”

He said militants on the roof fired at the squad. Bellavia then encountered an insurgent who was about to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at his squad, the president said. “David once again jumped into danger and killed him before he had a chance to launch that grenade.”

Trump said the violence continued, but, “Bleeding and badly wounded, David single-handedly defeated the forces who attacked his unit and would have killed them all had it not been for the bravery of David.”

Trump said 12 service members who were with Bellavia during the dangerous mission were in attendance at Tuesday’s ceremony, as well as family members of the five service members who did not survive.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony on Tuesday, Bellavia described receiving the Medal of Honor as “overwhelming.”

He said Operation Phantom Fury “is impossible to think about.”

Bellavia told reporters he was proud to be an Iraq War veteran and said it has been “an absolute honor to serve in the U.S. military.”

Referring to becoming the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, he said, “This entire thing, I can’t even comprehend it.”

He added, “I want to thank my Army for giving me purpose, meaning and direction.”

“As a boy he would listen to stories from his grandfather a World War II veteran and hero in his own right, who earned a Bronze star in the Normandy campaign,” Trump said at the ceremony.

He added, “As David remembers, his grandfather’s stories were always vivid with [a] source of pride.”

He went on to say, “There was a nobility and purpose in the infantry and David saw that at a very young age. ‘I wanted to be what my grandfather was,’ David would often say. ‘I wanted to be part of this noble adventure.’”

In 1999 Bellavia followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and joined the United States Army Infantry, the president said.

Bellavia’s 99-year-old grandfather watched the ceremony from Jamestown, N.Y.

“David, today we honor your extraordinary courage, we salute your selfless service and we thank you for carrying on the legacy of American valor that has always made out blessed nation the strongest and mightiest anywhere in the world,” the president said at the ceremony.

Bellavia was released from the Army in August 2005 after serving for six years and has been awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. He wrote about the battle in a 2007 book, ”House to House: An Epic Memoir of War .

Bellavia now hosts a radio talk show on WBEN in Buffalo, N.Y. He said on-air Friday that the experience of being chosen for the Medal of Honor is “very uncomfortable and awkward,” but noted that he wants to represent Iraq War veterans, who have not had a living Medal of Honor recipient.

“When you go to basic training, you clean your weapons and you read the citations of these recipients and it’s like they’re superheroes,” Bellavia said. “They’re not real. … I can’t get my head around it. I still can’t.”

The White House said Bellavia “continues to serve the military and veteran communities through a number of philanthropic organizations.”

Bellavia lost a 2012 Republican primary to Rep. Chris Collins. His name is in play once against as Collins’ potential successor as the representative — whose trial on insider trading charges is pending — decides whether he will run for reelection in 2020.

The Medal of Honor can trace its inception back to the Civil War.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Talia Kaplan

Source: Fox News: Trump presents Medal of Honor to former Army staff sergeant who rescued entire squad in Iraq

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