Reporters expecting press secretary Sarah Sanders were surprised to see President Trump, and for the first time ever, walk to the White House press room podium. He was surrounded not by high-level members of his administration, but by border patrol agents identified as members of the border patrol union.
The “briefing” was not an actual press briefing. President Trump refused to take questions, and spoke for just a few minutes. In a stunning move, he allowed Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, to speak. The NBPC is the union that represents federal border patrol agents.
Donald Trump invited National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd to speak at a surprise press briefing.
“Anywhere that you look where we have built walls—they have worked. They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border,” Judd said pic.twitter.com/9ULSK8phUs
— POLITICO (@politico) January 3, 2019
Former DOJ spokesperson for Attorney General Eric Holder, Matthew Miller, and others, scalded Trump for using federal agents for political purposes:
Bringing active federal law enforcement agents to the WH podium like this for a political press conference is a gross abuse of power and does immeasurable harm to the agencies they represent.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 3, 2019
Is it me or is what’s happening at the White House podium right now wildly inappropriate?
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) January 3, 2019
As the president walked away CNN’s Kaitlan Collins shouted, “Will there be no questions [taken] today?” She followed up with this criticism:
It’s not a press briefing if you don’t take questions.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 3, 2019
Needless to say, President Trump was thoroughly trashed in the media and on social media, especially for trying to usurp Speaker Pelosi’s time in the spotlight.
“Donald Trump couldn’t stand it that Nancy Pelosi was the center of attention today,” conservative pundit Bill Kristol said on CNN, “so he had to butt in at 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s pretty disgraceful.”
CNN’s Brianna Keilar added: “To be clear, this is a stunt.”
CNN Senior White House Correspondent:
President Trump leaves briefing room without taking questions — making it crystal clear that it was a political dog-and-pony show, rather than an attempt to answer questions about opening the government. No questions taken by Trump or Sanders in first WH briefing of year.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) January 3, 2019
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 3, 2019
And then there’s this: pic.twitter.com/XMT1XPzYfa
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 3, 2019
First time on-camera briefing in the press room in two years. What a coincidence that he decided to do it on the day Pelosi was elected Speaker. pic.twitter.com/WpE8HdvQYF
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 3, 2019
Trump repeats the same tired talking points to make a case for a wall. He then walks off without taking questions. And with that the briefing ends.
Bizarre, and pointless. pic.twitter.com/J6CcEJ529U
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2019
Someone was unhappy there was so much news coverage of the Democrats today.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 3, 2019
it’s like he can’t stand Pelosi getting all the day’s headlines
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) January 3, 2019
Shame on you for that pathetic stunt in the briefing room. Once again, you acted like a COWARD and refused to take questions. You could’ve just tweeted that BS. You’re never ever EVER getting that moronic wall… #Trump
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) January 3, 2019
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‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad
The imagery is dark. The words are defiant. The message is dystopian. An ad for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis‘s presidential campaign, currently “in turmoil,” features the First Lady of Florida, Casey DeSantis, issuing a warning: “They’re coming after our children.”
The ad never quite says who is coming after the kids, but the video (below) includes clips of President Joe Biden and former Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the war on COVID and the now-retired Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
While it was first released over the summer, it received little attention. Casey DeSantis on Friday reposted her “Mamas for DeSantis” ad. It comes in the wake of the alleged ménage à trois sex scandal involving an unnamed woman who has accused Christian Ziegler, the head of the Florida Republican Party of rape. His wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, who reportedly confirmed the consensual three-way sexual relationship, is Casey DeSantis’ “best friend,” according to Florida Politics publisher Peter Schorsch.
“In America, we’ve witnessed a lot and put up with enough,” Casey DeSantis says in a voiceover at the start of the two-and-a-half minute video.
“We’ve been forced into silence,” she charges, amid a baby crying and a COVID mask being put over a child’s face. “Into compliance.”
“Told that we must ‘trust the science,'” DeSantis continues, in a direct attack on Dr. Fauci, showing him speaking during the height of COVID in the Trump administration.
And in an attack on LGBTQ children and adults, she says: “We’ve been told that we must deny truth. Back down. And look the other way.”
“Enough is enough. When you come after our kids, we fight back. Because there’s nothing we won’t do to protect our children,” she says.
Seconds later, the video shows President Joe Biden declaring, “Our nation’s children are all our children.”
“We will not allow you to exploit their innocence to advance your agenda. We are no longer silent,” Casey DeSantis declares. “We are united. We have finally found our fighter.”
Casey DeSantis praises her husband, saying he will do for America what he did for Florida: “Schools: opened. Parents’ rights: defended. School choice: universal. Critical race theory: prohibited. DEI: stopped. Child mutilation: illegal. Girls’ sports: saved. Communities: protected. Our economy: growing. And freedom: guaranteed.”
In the section where President Biden says, “Our nation’s children are all our children,” Casey DeSantis doesn’t explain that those words came from a White House celebration honoring Teachers of The Year from across the country. The President was praising an Oklahoma Teacher of the Year whose district includes students who speak 62 different languages, so she had to work hard to ensure everyone felt included. She had said, “There’s no such thing as someone else’s child.”
Nor did DeSantis acknowledge that Governor DeSantis’ performance for children has been poor.
The Florida Policy Institute, which says it is “an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization,” in September warned “368,728 youth aged 20 and younger” have been cut from Medicaid. “Because Florida has not expanded Medicaid, the vast majority of those losing insurance during this time have been children, parents, young adults, and new mothers.”
Some critics on social media blasted Casey DeSantis’ remarks.
“Republicans refused to extend child tax credits that pulled 2 million children out of poverty. They resist the idea of free school lunches. Yet they come up with bullshit about their opponents ‘coming after our children.’ Yes, we’re coming after them, to give them a sandwich,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob.
Watch the Casey DeSantis video below or at this link.
The stakes are high. They’re coming after our children.
We need a fighter who will defend the innocence of our children and protect the rights of parents.
He showed it on the debate stage, and he’s the only one with the proven track record to back it up. pic.twitter.com/3Gyezc18L8
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) December 8, 2023
‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court
A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court Friday afternoon largely upheld and reinstated U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s very narrow and limited gag order on Donald Trump for his trial on charges related to his alleged efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order,” reads Judge Patricia Millett unanimous three-judge panel ruling, posted by Lawfare’s Anna Bower. “The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary. For that reason, we affirm the district court’s order in part and vacate it in part.”
The judges upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”
They also upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about (1) counsel in the case other than the Special Counsel, (2) members of the court’s staff and counsel’s staffs, or (3) the family members of any counsel or staff member—if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is highly likely to result.”
The judges removed from the gag order “speech beyond those specified categories.”
“We do not allow such an order lightly,” the judges added. “But Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants.”
Bower explains, “Chutkan’s order would have prohibited statements that refer to special counsel Jack Smith as a ‘thug’ or ‘deranged.’ But the appeals court order does not apply to speech about the special counsel himself.”
CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane sums up the ruling: “Much of the gag order in Donald Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy criminal case in DC is *REINSTATED*.”
Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business
In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.
Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.
“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Watch Doocy below or at this link.
Peter Doocy: “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business.” pic.twitter.com/a5N44hIRrQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
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