Zachary Stieber


The United States on Aug. 2 formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia.

American officials had warned they would withdraw if Russia didn’t correct alleged infractions of the treaty. Both countries suspended their obligations under the pact on Feb. 2 after discussions on the issue proved fruitless.

President Donald Trump said in October 2018 that Russia wasn’t complying with the treaty, including failing to comply with requests to destroy its 9M729 ballistic missiles, which the United States said violated the pact.

“The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House. “We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other.”

In a statement on Friday, the State Department said the withdrawal was “due to the Russian Federation’s continuing violation of the treaty.”

Journalists and military attaches attend a news briefing, organized by Russian defense and foreign ministries and dedicated to cruise missile systems including SSC-8/9M729 model, at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia January 23, 2019. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)
Components of SSC-8/9M729 cruise missile system on display during a news briefing, organized by Russian defense and foreign ministries, at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia, Jan. 23, 2019. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

“Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its noncompliant missile system—the SSC-8 or 9M729 ground-launched, intermediate-range cruise missile,” it added.

According to the department, Russia in the mid-2000s began developing, producing, and testing multiple battalions of the missile the United States says is noncompliant. American officials raised concerns with Russia in 2013.

“Russia subsequently and systematically rebuffed six years of U.S. efforts seeking Russia’s return to compliance,” the department said in the statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on Nov. 11, 2017. (Jorge Silva/AFP/Getty Images)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the media during the NATO Foreign Minister’s Meeting at the State Department in Washington, on April 4, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

“With the full support of our NATO Allies, the United States has determined Russia to be in material breach of the treaty, and has subsequently suspended our obligations under the treaty. Over the past six months, the United States provided Russia a final opportunity to correct its noncompliance. As it has for many years, Russia chose to keep its noncompliant missile rather than going back into compliance with its treaty obligations.”

NATO issued a statement on Feb. 1 backing the United States’ decision.

“Unless Russia honors its INF Treaty obligations through the verifiable destruction of all of its 9M729 systems, thereby returning to full and verifiable compliance before the U.S. withdrawal takes effect in six months, Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty,” the NATO declaration states.

Russia said on Friday that it asked the United States for a moratorium on the deployment of short and intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, reported Reuters.

This undated file photo provided Sept. 19, 2017, by Russian Defense Ministry official web site shows a Russian Iskander-K missile launched during a military exercise at a training ground at the Luzhsky Range, near St. Petersburg, Russia. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP/File)
In this Dec. 8, 1987, file photo, President Ronald Reagan, right, shakes hands with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after the two leaders signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to eliminate intermediate-range missiles during a ceremony in the White House East Room in Washington. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty, File)

“We have proposed to the United States and other NATO countries that they weigh the possibility of declaring the same kind of moratorium on the deployment of short and intermediate range missiles as ours,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia doesn’t want an arms race and vowed that he wouldn’t deploy missiles unless America did so first.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the moratorium request was “not a credible offer” and alleged Russia keeps building missiles.

“There are no new U.S. missiles, no new NATO missiles in Europe, but there are more and more new Russian missiles,” he said.

On Thursday, Trump said he was open to negotiations. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters. “I will say Russia would like to do something on a nuclear treaty and that’s OK with me. They’d like to do something and so would I.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: US Formally Withdraws From Missile Treaty With Russia

The federal government has sent billions of dollars to Baltimore in recent years but the money has been either “stolen or wasted,” President Donald Trump said late July 29.

Writing on Twitter, Trump wrote: “Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy. Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail. The money was stolen or wasted.”

“Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!” Trump added, referring to the Democratic Maryland representative, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Lynne Patton, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that $16 billion in grants was given to Cummings’s district alone in 2018.

Hitting back after former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele, Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young, and activist Al Sharpton accused Trump of not spending properly on improving the city, Patton said during an appearance on Fox News that the administration has tried investing in Baltimore.

“I want to say this expressly to Mayor Young and Michael Steele and Al Sharpton, who today called out the president and said let President Trump put his money where his mouth is. Well, boys and girls, I have a message for you, President Trump has given $16 billion in 2018 alone to Elijah Cummings’s district in federal grants,” she said.

Cummings’ district, the 7th Congressional District, includes portions of Maryland outside Baltimore. It received slightly under $15.7 billion grants and other assistance from the federal government in fiscal year 2018, according to government data analyzed by Newsweek.

“We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration. We have given more money in community development grants than the last administration to Baltimore. My question to you guys is this, what are you actually doing with the money so that it benefits residents in the community for once instead of deep-pocket crooked politicians?” Patton added.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Cummings in recent days over the condition of his district in Baltimore, a city with the highest murder rate in the nation.

Since Trump started highlighting Baltimore on Saturday, there have been a slew of shootings, leaving at least six people dead and others wounded.

Hitting back at charges of racism for talking about the city, Trump wrote late Sunday: “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard!”

“The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe even to new heights of success and glory, but not with King Elijah and that crew. When the leaders of Baltimore want to see the City rise again, I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!” he added.

Before the press conference featuring Sharpton, Trump said he’d known the activist and race provocateur for 25 years and that he used to often ask Trump for favors but that he’s become a “con man” and “a troublemaker.”

“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!” Trump wrote.

Sharpton at the press conference accused Trump of attacking Cummings “in the most bigoted and racist way,” reported CBS Baltimore.

“He attacks everybody. I know Donald Trump, he’s not mature enough to take criticism. He can’t help it. He’s like a child. Someone says something he reacts. He’s thin-skinned and not really matured that well,” Sharpton said.

“But he has a particular venom for blacks and people of color. He doesn’t refer to any of his other opponents or critics as infested. He does not attack their districts. He attacks Nancy Pelosi, he attacks Chuck Schumer, he attacks other whites—but he never says that their districts or that their states are places that no human being wants to live.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump: $16 Billion to Baltimore Was ‘Stolen or Wasted, Ask Elijah Cummings Where it Went’

President Donald Trump said that the records regarding former President Barack Obama’s book deal should be subpoenaed, along with other records, in addition to records having to do with former Secretary of State and failed presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

Trump noted that Congressional Democrats remain focused on investigating him, his administration, and his campaign even after special counsel Robert Mueller was unable to establish collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

“They want to investigate, they want to go fishing and I watched Bob Mueller and they have nothing,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on July 26. “It’s a disgrace. We want to find out what happened to the last Democrat president. Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked into me. From day one they’ve looked into everything we’ve done.”

“They could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records,” Trump added in a video clip gleefully shared by Turning Point USA official Benny Johnson. “Let’s subpoena all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton and all of the nonsense that went on with Clinton and her foundation and everything else.”

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the reported $65 million book deal Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, inked in 2017 included few publicly released details. While Michelle Obama’s memoir was released in late 2018, Barack Obama’s book was pushed back to 2020.

Trump said last month that Obama “certainly must have known” that intelligence agencies were spying on his campaign.

“But you’re going to find that out. I’m not going to make that statement quite yet. But I would say that President Obama had to know about it,” Trump added.

He was later asked, “Do you believe that President Obama spied on your campaign?”

“I don’t know. But hopefully we’re going to find out,” Trump responded.

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Dec. 16, 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A special federal prosecutor, meanwhile, was said in late May to be close to completing an investigation into Clinton.

The president spoke on Friday after a question from a report about House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) planning to use the committee to sue to try to enforce a subpoena against Don McGahn, former White House counsel.

“What they’re doing is a disgrace,” Trump said. “So destructive to our country, and I think that’s why we’re going to take back the House.”

Trump said that he campaigned mostly for Republican Senate candidates or senators up for reelection in the 2018 midterms, but indicated he’d focus more on the House in 2020.

Democrats hold a 241-194 House majority while Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the Senate after gaining two seats in the midterms.

Hillary Clinton speaks in Baltimore on June 5, 2017. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Trump also touched on China while speaking, telling reporters that the country has been making money off of the United States but that is not the case any longer.

“The money that China has taken out of the U.S. has rebuilt China and I don’t blame China, I blame the United States for allowing that to happen,” he said.

Trump said that Chinese officials—and Iran—likely want to wait to see if he wins reelection or they can deal with a Democrat president while championing the “tens of billions of dollars” that America has received through tarriffs.

“We haven’t even taxed China yet compared to what I could do,” he added.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Calls for Probes Into Obama Book Deal, Clinton ‘Nonsense’

President Donald Trump called the so-called “Squad” a racist group who lack intelligence on July 22.

The “Squad” refers to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

Trump took to Twitter to slam the group, writing on Monday morning, “The ‘Squad’ is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart.”

“They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border…And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!” he added.

Earlier in the morning, during an attack against The Washington Post, Trump called the group “four radical left Congresswomen” and said the women “have said very bad things about Israel and our country!”

On Sunday, Trump lambasted the group over remarks they’ve made, writing: “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”

Top White House advisor Stephen Miller, appearing on Fox News on Sunday, noted Pressley’s comments about minorities in America in explaining Trump’s views and how he believes the president isn’t being racist.

“She was saying that if you are—if you’re brown, you have to speak like a brown person; if you’re black, you have to speak like a black person. That’s the kind of ideology the president is rejecting,” Miller said. “If you want to have a color-blind society, it means you can criticize immigration policy, you can criticize people’s views, you can ask questions about where they’re born and not have it be seen as racial.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) (L) poses with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) in Washington on Jan. 3, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks as Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) listen at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 15, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

Pressley, speaking at the Netroots Nation conference earlier this month, said: “I don’t want to bring a chair to an old table. This is the time to shake the table. This is the time to redefine that table. Because if you’re going to come to this table, all of you who have aspirations of running for office.

“If you’re not prepared to come to that table and represent that voice, don’t come, because we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,” she added.

Miller said the president’s issue is the congresswomen repeatedly criticizing America and trying to fundamentally change it.

“These four congresswomen detest America as it exists, as it is currently constructed,” he said. “They want to tear down the structure of our country. They want it to be a socialist, open borders country.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Says ‘Squad’ a ‘Racist Group of Troublemakers’ Who ‘Are Not Very Smart’

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced a bill on July 18 that would label Antifa a domestic terror organization after police in Washington said an Antifa member committed a terror attack on an immigration facility and Antifa members battered a journalist in Portland in broad daylight without being arrested.

“Antifa is a group of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their unhinged agenda through aggressive violence,” Cruz said in a statement announcing the introduction of the resolution.

“Time and time again their actions have demonstrated that their only purpose is to inflict harm on those who oppose their views. The hate and violence they spread must be stopped, and I am proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Cassidy to properly identify what Antifa are: domestic terrorists.”

Cassidy called Antifa “violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism.”

The resolution states that members of Antifa, “because they believe that free speech is equivalent to violence, have used threats of violence in the pursuit of suppressing opposing political ideologies,” and notes that Antifa is known to violently disrupt groups who are demonstrating in public legally.

It also lists incidents where Antifa was involved including the violence during riots in Berkeley in 2017, the beating of journalist Andy Ngo, and the doxxing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

The Senate “calls for the groups and organizations across the country who act under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations” and “unequivocally condemns the violent actions of Antifa groups as unacceptable acts for anyone in the United States,” the resolution states.

Cruz and Cassidy also called in the legislation for the federal government to “combat the spread of all forms of domestic terrorism, including White supremacist terrorism.”

President Donald Trump on July 17 called Antifa “evil” and said it was full of “sick, bad people,” noting the group was part of “the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left.”

Unidentified Rose City Antifa members beat up Andy Ngo, a Portland-based journalist, in Portland, Oregon on June 29, 2019. (Moriah Ratner/Getty Images)

Previous Efforts, Designations

There have been previous efforts to designate Antifa in certain ways, including from lawmakers like Cruz.

After the 2017 violence, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said that Antifa should be designated as a gang.

“They come dressed in uniforms, they have weapons, they’re almost a militia,” he told CBS. “I think we should classify them as a gang.”

“I think we’re gonna have to think ‘big picture’ about what’s the strategy how we’re going to deal with these violent elements on the left as well,” Arreguin added. “We also need to hold accountable and encourage people not to associate with these extremists because it empowers them and gives them cover, we’re going to deal with these violent elements on the left as well.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray said later that year that the group was being investigated by FBI agents.

“We are investigating a number of what we would call anarchist-extremist investigations, where we would have properly predicated subjects of people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on kind of an Antifa ideology,” he said.

Antifa extremists attack a Trump supporter at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 27, 2017. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Wray said the FBI views Antifa as an ideology, not a single movement; the group has dozens of affiliates across the United States and some are more infamous than others, such as the Rose City group called out in Cruz and Cassidy’s resolution.

A confidential assessment by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security obtained by Politico showed that the latter under the Obama administration formally classified the activities of Antifa as “domestic terrorist violence.”

Authorities wrote that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies and known for attacking the police and conservative-leaning groups.

“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official tracking domestic extremists in a state where clashes became common told Politico.

“These Antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the [expletive] out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”

In a previous report from The Epoch Times, the group’s communist origins were investigated.

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Republicans Introduce Bill To Label Antifa Domestic Terrorists After Attack on ICE Facility

A federal appeals court dismissed a case against President Donald Trump on July 10.

The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia brought a lawsuit against Trump, claiming he violated the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution by receiving money from his hotel in Washington.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that Maryland and Washington did not have legal standing to bring the claim, which Trump had asserted when he filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

The so-called clause says government office-holders cannot “accept” any present, emolument, office, or title from foreign officials.

The Trump International Hotel is seen in Washington on March 22, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

“The District and Maryland contend that the President’s ‘continued ownership interest in a global business empire’ provides him with ‘millions of dollars in payments, benefits, and other valuable consideration from foreign governments and persons acting on their behalf, as well as federal agencies and state governments,’ and that the President is therefore receiving ’emoluments’” that are prohibited by the Clauses,” the appeals court panel wrote in the decision.

In deciding to dismiss the suit, the panel noted that “up until the series of suits recently brought against this President under the Emoluments Clauses, no court has ever entertained a claim to enforce them.”

“The District and Maryland have manifested substantial difficulty articulating how they are harmed by the President’s alleged receipts of emoluments and the nature of the relief that could redress any harm so conceived,” the court added.

“The District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies between the parties.”

Even if the court had ruled that the president couldn’t receive money from the hotel, government officials would still patronize the hotel, the panel said.

According to the liberal Center for Responsible Politics, citing Office of Government Ethics documents, Trump’s Washington hotel made $40.8 million in 2018, a roughly $500,000 increase from 2017.

Trump celebrated the dismissal on Twitter.

“Word just out that I won a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt. Unanimous decision in my favor from The United States Court of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit on the ridiculous Emoluments Case,” he wrote.

“I don’t make money, but lose a fortune for the honor of serving and doing a great job as your President (including accepting Zero salary!).”

Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, also sent a statement to news outlets.

“Today’s pair of decisions by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is a complete victory,” he said in the statement. “The decision states that there was no legal standing to bring this lawsuit in the first place. This latest effort at Presidential harassment has been dismissed with prejudice.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Appeals Court Dismisses Emoluments Case Against Trump, President Reacts

President Donald Trump said that it’s crucial to have the citizenship question on the 2020 Census for a range of issues.

“You need it for many reasons. Number one, you need it for Congress, you need it for Congress, for districting, you need it for appropriations, where are the funds going. How many people are there? Are they citizens, are they not citizens? You need it for many reasons,” Trump told reporters in Washington on July 5.

The president said earlier Friday that he was mulling an executive order that places the question on the census.

Trump said that he spoke with Attorney General William Barr on Friday about the situation.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for his Bedminster, N.J. golf club in Washington on July 5, 2019. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

“We have a number of different avenues. We could use all of them or one. We’re doing very well on that. We’re spending 15 to 20 billion dollars on a census. We’re doing everything. We’re finding out everything about everybody. Think of it: 15 to 20 billion dollars, and you’re not allowed to ask them, are you a citizen?” he said.

“And by the way, if you look at the history of our country, it’s almost always been asked. So we’re fighting very hard against the system, that’s a very difficult system but we’ll make a decision. The attorney general is working on that right now.”

Trump said that an executive order is one of four or five options that are on the table, also saying his administration could print the census now without the question and add it on later.

Trump has focused intensely on the issue this week, repeatedly giving updates on the situation. He said that he told government workers to “do whatever is necessary” to get the question on the census, while Department of Justice lawyers indicated they were looking at possible “legally available” paths forward in a conference call with a federal judge on Wednesday.

Lawyers told the judge that the administration was not giving up the fight to add the question to the census, according to a court filing in Maryland. “[I]f a viable path forward is found, DOJ’s current plan would be to file a motion in the Supreme Court to request instructions on remand to govern further proceedings,” the filing stated.

A U.S. Census Bureau letter in a file photo. (Michelle R. Smith/AP Photo)


After the Trump administration announced it wanted the question placed back on the census—it was on for centuries until the 1950s—legal groups challenged the plan, claiming it would lead to illegal immigrants declining to respond to the once-in-a-decade census.

A federal judge in February ruled that the question could be on the census. The Supreme Court in June said that the administration’s rationale for including the question wasn’t sufficient but didn’t close the door on the question being included if the administration provided an explanation for including the question that the nation’s highest court considered appropriate.

Some have said the ruling leaves room for Trump to print the census now with the question on it.

“Completely. Print the census with the question—and issue a statement explaining why—’because we should.’ Done,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said.

“Neither the Constitution nor the Roberts opinion say the question cannot be included,” he added. “The President can add it & SCOTUS didn’t say otherwise—just that it wanted a better rationale than Commerce gave… so POTUS ought to do that.”

One former judge said Trump had the authority to place the question on the census through an executive order.

Steven Schier, a professor of political science at Carleton College in Minnesota, told KTSP that he thinks Trump’s chances of getting the question on the census are around 50/50.

“This has been a central theme of the Trump presidency and the Trump campaign in 2016. It was all about citizenship and immigration. He does not want to let this issue go,” Schier said.

“If there is an avenue by which this ends up on the census, it will be an unprecedented avenue, but on the other hand, we’ve got an unprecedented presidency.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Explains Why He Wants Citizenship Question on Census as He Considers Executive Order

President Donald Trump took aim at the polls on June 12, calling them fake.

“The Fake News has never been more dishonest than it is today. Thank goodness we can fight back on Social Media,” he began in a missive posted on Twitter. “There [sic] new weapon of choice is Fake Polling, sometimes referred to as Suppression Polls (they suppress the numbers). Had it in 2016, but this is worse.”

“The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign which, by the way and despite the phony and never ending Witch Hunt, are the best numbers WE have ever had. They reported Fake numbers that they made up & don’t even exist. WE WILL WIN AGAIN!” he added.

The missive came as a number of polls claimed that Trump would lose against any of the top six Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. Most polls leading up to the 2016 presidential election had Trump losing to his opponent, former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Media outlets and polling companies began pegging Trump’s odds at winning the presidency in 2015, with one claiming in mid-2015 that he only had a 1 percent chance to nab the Republican nomination, much less the general election.

After he won the GOP primary, Trump was repeatedly reported on as a longshot, with the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, and other popular left-leaning outlets reporting that he had little chance of beating Clinton.

The openly liberal and anti-Trump New York Times reported on Oct. 18, 2016, that Clinton had a 91 percent chance of winning. On election day, it said Clinton had an 85 percent chance of winning. Princeton University professor Sam Wang, a top election forecaster, gave Clinton a 98 percent to 99 percent chance of winning.

Nate Silver’s 538, perhaps the most popular data-driven media outlet, had Clinton’s chance of winning at 71.4 percent and Trump’s chance at just 28.6 percent. It said there was just a 10 percent chance that Clinton would win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College, which is what happened. The forecast relied in part on polls from the openly anti-Trump HuffPost, the nonpartisan RealClearPolitics, and other polling firms.

“The polls were largely bad, including mine,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, told 538.

“It is real error and the public’s right to question polls is justified,” added Nick Gourevitch of Global Strategy Group.

Murray told the left-leaning Business Insider: “Polls might not be capable of predicting elections.”

Quanta writer Pradeep Mutalik said that prediction models can provide accurate forecasts “but they depend on a crucial assumption—that the data points are all independent.”

“This year we saw something different: Almost all the swing state polls overscored Clinton’s numbers by two to six percent. This error is called ‘systematic’ or ‘correlated error.’ Since it affected most or all polls, it was probably caused by some common disrupting factor or factors that were outside the well-established and hitherto reliable poll methodology itself. It was this correlated error that completely threw off the prediction models,” he wrote.

It wasn’t just polls, either. Outlets like CNN would report that Trump couldn’t win the office. For example, Maeve Reston wrote on Oct. 14, 2016, that “Trump’s path to the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency is looking more and more impossible by the day.” She used polling, a Republican pollster, and a former Barack Obama adviser to support her claim.

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Slams ‘Fake Polling,’ Says Pollsters ‘Suppress the Numbers’

President Donald Trump saluted, shook hands with, and spoke with every graduating member of the Air Force Academy in Colorado on May 30.

The president traveled to the academy to give a commencement speech and stuck around to salute the graduates one-by-one as they were announced.

That part of the graduation took over an hour. There were nearly 1,000 cadets graduating on Thursday

Trump said he was told he didn’t have to stay for the rest of the ceremony.

“They gave me a choice. They said, ‘Sir, you don’t have to shake any hands, some people do that.’ Some people do that. Those are the smart ones. They’re out of here.” Trump told the audience, prompting laughter.

“You can shake one hand, to the one person, top of the class. You can shake 10, 50 or 100, and you could also stay for 1,000, OK?” Trump added as the crowd cheered.

During the speech, the president praised the cadets for choosing the Air Force.

“To the nearly 1,000 cadets who will soon become Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force: You could have chosen any school, any career you wanted, but you chose a harder path and a higher calling: to protect and defend the United States of America. I know what you’ve been through, and it’s tougher. But you know what? In the end, it’s better. You’re going [to] see. You’ll see,” he said.

“When you choose the Air Force, you choose the noble road of service and duty and devotion. You choose to break old boundaries, and unlock new frontiers, and live life on the cutting edge.”

“And that is what your time at this great academy has been all about: preparing you to do whatever it takes to learn, to adapt, and to win, win, win. You’re going to win so much. You’re going to get so tired of winning, but not really. Not really. We never get tired of winning, do we?” he added.

President Donald Trump speaks during the 2019 United States Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony at Falcon Stadium at the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
United States Air Force Academy cadets celebrate after receiving their diplomas during their graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 30, 2019. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Trump said that only 10 percent of the applicants to the academy are accepted and that many people who think about applying choose not to because of how hard it is to get in. Even for those who are accepted, one out of five do not graduate.

“Only the best survive to the very end. And here, under the majestic peaks of the Rockies, you have risen to every challenge, overcome every single obstacle, and proven yourselves worthy of the bars that will soon adorn your uniform,” Trump said.

“You survived BCT, made it to Recognition, and earned your Prop and Wings. You soared in gliders, piloted aircraft, and launched satellites that are now orbiting way, way above us, looking down on us. You performed advanced research, developed new techniques. You honed your skills as cyber operators, and jumped out of planes thousands of feet above the Earth. Not easy. For America’s airmen, the sky is never, ever the limit.”

The president later noted that he approved funding for 56 new Air Force F-35s, a stealth aircraft, in addition to new Reaper remotely-piloted aircraft and 10 new helicopters, among other things.

“We’re also asking Congress to invest more in hypersonic weapons. We have things under development, the likes of which you’ve never seen; the likes of which you can’t even conceive. Artificial intelligence, nuclear weapons and modernization, and space superiority,” he said. “And we’re soon having, as you know, something that I started. And it started a little slow, and now everybody has embraced it: Space Force. And you’re going to be working with them.”

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Shakes Hand of Every Air Force Academy Graduate Following Commencement Speech

Attorney General William Barr said that special counsel Robert Mueller was wrong when Mueller said he could not recommend charging President Donald Trump with a crime if enough evidence existed.

Mueller, speaking for the first time since the submission of his report to Barr, claimed on May 29 that his team’s avoidance of a traditional prosecutorial decision—a recommendation to press charges or not—was due to Department of Justice policy.

“Under long-standing Department policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view—that too is prohibited,” Mueller said, citing the department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider,” he added.

Barr, the head of the department and therefore Mueller’s boss, said that that simply was not true.

“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” Barr said during an interview with CBS on May 30. Barr said Mueller “had his reasons” for not making a recommendation but declined to explain, adding: “I’m not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.”

Barr said the office’s opinion was relevant but didn’t prohibit what Mueller thought it did.

“The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity,” Barr said.

When Mueller’s team punted on making the decision on obstruction, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stepped in and reviewed the 10 cases Mueller highlighted in his report. They also reviewed other evidence and found there wasn’t enough to conclude that Trump obstructed justice.

Barr was also asked about Mueller seeming to suggest that Congress continue the investigation, which lasted for about two years and cost tens of millions of dollars.

“I’m not sure what he was suggesting,” Barr said. “But the Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress.”

Barr said on May 1 during an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he and Rosenstein were surprised that Mueller’s team didn’t reach a decision on obstruction.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller arrives to make a statement about the Russia investigation at the Justice Department in Washington on May 29, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“We did not understand exactly why the special counsel was not reaching a decision and when we pressed him on it, he said his team was still formulating the explanation,” Barr said of the March 5 meeting he and others had with Mueller.

“We don’t conduct criminal investigations just to collect information and put it out to the public,” Barr added. “I think that if he felt that he shouldn’t go down the path of making a traditional prosecutive decision, then he shouldn’t have investigated.”

Barr’s latest statements come as the department and special counsel’s office issued a joint statement seeking to clarify confusion over Mueller’s comments.

“The Attorney General has previously stated that the Special Counsel repeatedly affirmed that he was not saying that, but for the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice. The Special Counsel’s report and his statement today made clear that the office concluded it would not reach a determination—one way or the other—about whether the President committed a crime,” said Kerri Kupec, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice and Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel’s Office, in the joint statement.

“There is no conflict between these statements,” they added.

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Barr Says Mueller Was Wrong, ‘Could’ve Reached a Decision’ on Obstruction

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