A New York Times reporter criticized President Donald Trump for using his presidential limo, known as "The Beast," during his visit to the Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.
Reporter Maggie Haberman said, "Using the official apparatus of government for what appears to be a political event."
In response, Haberman was rebuked for her characterization of Trump's activities on Sunday.
Indeed, Trump was not in Daytona for a political event; rather, he was on hand as a VIP guest to give the iconic command of "Gentleman, start your engines" and to lead the field of 40 drivers during the pace laps before the race got under way.
"I'm sorry, but this is just an absurd characterization of what's actually happening here and describing it this way betrays a real bias," Mark Hemingway responded to Haberman.
"To be blunt, get a life, Maggie. Obama went to a #MarchMadness game and that was fine. Relax. I know the #Daytona500 is the opposite of what The Times represents readership-wise, but chill," another person responded.
"Maggie, your unique insights are invaluable. Keep up the solid journalisming!" another critic responded.
"What did you want him to ride in? An Uber?" another person responded.
"Wait until you learn that the president rides in that thing to literal campaign events," another person responded.
"So what do you call it when you use journalism as a politics apparatus for the Democratic Party?" one person mocked.
For someone who has spent $200 million running for president, Tom Steyer can't seem to catch a break.
Steyer has come in seventh and sixth place in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, and the raison d'être of his campaign — namely, that he can go toe to toe with President Donald Trump as a fellow businessman — has little appeal among voters who are generally satisfied with the state of the American economy.
In an interview on ABC News' "This Week," host Martha Raddatz shredded Steyer's candidacy with a single question:
Mr. Steyer, you say that you can take on Donald Trump on the economy, but the latest Quinnipiac national poll again released just this week says 70 percent of voters describe the nation's economy as excellent or good. So how do you convince them that a change is needed when they think they're doing so well under Donald Trump?
Steyer seemed stunned by the question.
After an awkward pause, the billionaire environmental activist said, "I think if you take a look at what he says, everything he says superficially sounds right, but is actually a lie," followed by a series of misleading claims about the gap between the rich and poor.
Raddatz was having none of it and cut off Steyer in the middle of his soliloquy.
"But I want to go back to that 70 percent number. You talk about the wealthy. They're not all wealthy people. Seventy percent say the economy is good and they're doing well," she said.
Steyer, again, was at a loss for words, and rather than responding to the question, he proceeded to attack Raddatz by accusing her of parroting Trump campaign talking points. "Well, I'm just saying, here we are on a show and you're standing up for Mr. Trump's version of the economy. And I'm telling you ..."
Raddatz assertively stopped Steyer dead in his tracks, telling him, "I'm telling you about a national poll. I'm not standing up for anybody. I'm telling you about a national poll."
At that point, Steyer came undone and returned to his claim about two different economies.
"And what I'm saying is this: There is a different story of this economy and this country that has to be told. Mr. Trump has to be faced down about what he's saying on the economy because he is running on the economy ..." he said.
As of the writing of this story, Steyer stands at slightly less than 2 percent in national polls, according to the RealClearPolitics average. That means he has spent $100,000,000 per percentage point in national polling. That's a lot of money for someone who claims to be an expert on economic issues.
When Charles Barry was arrested in Manhattan on Thursday for allegedly stealing cash from people riding the subway, he knew exactly who to thank for his impending quick release from jail.
Barry, who was arrested for the 139th time, immediately thanked Democrats as police transported him Manhattan Central Booking.
"Bail reform, it's lit! It's the Democrats! The Democrats know me and the Republicans fear me. You can't touch me! I can't be stopped!" Barry yelled, the New York Daily News reported.
"I'm famous! I take $200, $300 a day of your money, cracker! You can't stop me!" he also said.
Barry — who has served six stints in state prison and has been arrested six times since Jan. 1 of this year — was thanking Democrats because their efforts to pass bail reform last year meant that Barry would be released from jail without posting bail because the charges against him are nonviolent.
More from the Daily News:
Since the bail law took effect, Barry has been freed three times on supervised release, which did not require him to post bail. He was convicted of a minor charge of bending a MetroCard in a way that would let him on the subway for free, and sentenced to time served.
Police officials said that under the state's former bail laws, Barry would more likely have been held on bail, thereby increasing the number of days he spent in custody.
New York's bail reform law took effect on Jan 1. Critics predicted it would be a boon for habitual criminals, but criminal justice reform advocates said it would provide relief for vulnerable communities.
Chad Prather reflected on a time when Jussie Smollett was "innocent." In this parody video, Prather pressed Smollett on his creative little story and asked if Smollett believed the story he was spewing.
According to Smollett, he was on his way to Subway to purchase a sandwich at 2:00 a.m. on a cold, icy morning. Smollett wove a tale of two MAGA hat-wearing racists who shouted homophobic hate speech at him. The three men allegedly "tussled" for a bit, but the men suddenly ran off and the "attack" was over.
Smollett escaped punishment for filing a false police report. However, according to recent reports, Smollett may be back in hot water.
Here's Chad to tell the rest of the story.
President Donald Trump sure knows how to make an entrance.
The 45th president of the United States wowed NASCAR fans on Sunday at the annual Daytona 500 race in Florida. Thousands erupted into a raucous applause and chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" as Air Force One circled the Daytona International Speedway just 800 feet off the ground.
While speaking on his radio show last week, Limbaugh said, "America's still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband on the debate stage president."
They're looking at Mayor Pete, 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage. And they're saying, OK, how's this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What's going to happen there?
Buttigieg, who is married to a man, responded to Limbaugh's comments during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."
"I love my husband. I'm faithful to my husband. Onstage we usually just go for a hug. I love him very much. I'm not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh," Buttigieg said.
Buttigieg doubled down on his response during a subsequent interview on "Fox News Sunday."
"I'm not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral as well as political leader of the United States," Buttigieg said.
"America has moved on and we should have politics of belonging that welcomes everybody. That's what the American people are for. And I am saddened for what the Republican Party has become if they embrace that kind of homophobic rhetoric," he added.
Andrew Weissmann, a former top lawyer at the Justice Department who played a central role in Robert Mueller's investigation, said Friday the Justice Department has begun a new investigation into several former top FBI officials.
Weissmann, speaking to MSNBC host Chuck Todd, said the Justice Department has swapped its "loser case" against Andrew McCabe — in which the DOJ declined to pursue charges against McCabe for lying to investigators — for a new case against former FBI Director James Comey, McCabe, and Peter Strzok.
"All they did was swapped out a loser case for starting an investigation that is going to be of Comey, McCabe, Pete Strzok," Weissmann said, the Washington Examiner reported.
The investigation is related to the DOJ's review of the Michael Flynn case, Weissmann explained.
Last week, Attorney General William Barr appointed Jeffrey Jensen, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, to investigate the circumstances of the Flynn case, including his interview with FBI investigators.
NBC News reported that Jensen is "broadly" reviewing the case, suggesting latitude in the scope of his inquiry.
The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump may be over, but federal officials are examining the behavior of former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden. At least one major government watchdog believes the younger Biden may find himself in serious trouble.
Hunter Biden's business dealings were at the center of Trump's impeachment case, following the revelation that he was being paid up to $50,000 per month to sit on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas producer, an amount well above the average paid to top executives who sit on major corporate boards.
Moreover, the younger Biden had no experience on energy matters or in Ukraine, further raising suspicions that he was inappropriately leveraging his relationship with his father, who was serving as the U.S. vice president, for his personal financial gain.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton says that Hunter Biden's business activities in Ukraine could land him in hot water with prosecutors at the Justice Department.
In an interview with One America News, Fitton said there is "strong evidence of criminal misconduct" by the younger Biden, as the U.S. Treasury Department has begun turning over confidential bank records related to Biden in response to a request from Senate investigative committees that are scrutinizing his activities.
The Washington Examiner reported the documents requested by Senate investigators are known as "suspicious activity reports," or "banking alerts involving money laundering or fraud, related to Biden and his associates."
Senate investigators have also asked the Secret Service to turn over Hunter Biden's travel records, which Fitton explained could be the beginning of a broader criminal probe.
"This would be the basic investigative work one would do if you were trying to figure out where Hunter Biden was and who he was traveling with during the Obama presidency," Fitton, who recommended that federal investigators also look into Joe Biden's travels to China, another country where his son was working, said.
Fitton also raised questions about Hunter Biden's role with Burisma.
"There's no evidence that it was a legitimate business relationship or that Biden had the background or capability to serve on the board," he said.
Additionally, Fitton explained that "the payments were out of the ordinary and extraordinary, suggesting some other improprieties. Now we have Rudy Giuliani with documents, some of them from court cases here in the United States, suggesting that money he was receiving was, in part, laundered."
"This Biden scandal ain't going away," he said.
A recent poll shows that most Americans seem to agree with Fitton. According to a Politico/Morning Consult survey, 52 percent of voters believe it was inappropriate for Hunter Biden to take the job with Burisma, while only 18 percent said it was appropriate. Fifty-seven percent of respondents also said Biden's relationship with the Ukrainian firm was a scandal, while 19 percent said it was not.
Connecticut high school athlete Chelsea Mitchell finally got her big win.
Mitchell is one of three girls who filed a lawsuit in federal court last week challenging the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference's policy of letting boys compete in girl's sports. She and other top sprinters have consistently lost events to Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, two biological males who identify as females.
A pair of Russian comedians claim they have successfully pranked Sen. Bernie Sanders into believing he was speaking to climate activist Greta Thunberg and her father in an 11-minute phone call.
According to the New York Post, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, who have a history of targeting politicians and high-profile leaders, shared a recording of the phone call on YouTube on Thursday and confirmed the call to the Associated Press.
The call took place in early December, but Kuznetsov said they decided to release it now as a result of Sanders' front-runner status in the Democratic presidential primary.
The conversation began with Stolyarov playing the role of Greta's father, Svante, while a woman posed as the teenage girl discussing with Sanders the possibility of "Greta" endorsing his campaign, WJBL-TV reported.
"Let us continue to talk and when you come to the United States I will bring some people together and we can do some interesting things, and if you wanted to make a statement in support of my candidacy and the program we have outlined for climate change, I would be very very appreciative," Sanders said.
"Greta" also proposes to record a rap song in support of the Vermont socialist along with "singer Billie Eilish and rapper Kanye West."
Sanders welcomed "Greta's" support and said her endorsement would be "terrific." He then attempted to end the conversation, but the pranksters said the teenager is about to visit Russia and asked Sanders for advice on proper protocol during the visit.
The presidential candidate warned "Greta" to be cautious and highlighted Russia's poor record on environmental issues. "I think what you don't want to do is simply walk in there and get used," he said.
"Russia and Putin have been very bad, as far as I know, on climate change," Sanders explained. "They have a lot of oil, oil is important for their economy, they make a lot of money on oil."
"Greta" then turned her attention to Sanders' 1988 honeymoon in the Soviet Union; that's when the Vermont senator caught on to the prank.
"In the Soviet Union in 1988, after you were recruited you were programmed to work for Russia and your memory was erased so the CIA wouldn't track you down," she said.
"This is what you believe?" Sanders responded.
"Yes, you became a sleeper agent of the KGB. Now it's time to wake up and fulfill your mission, become president of the United States, build communism in the United States and work for Russia!" the pranksters said.
Sanders then hung up the phone.
The presidential candidate's campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the call.
Daria Ortiz, the granddaughter of a 92-year-old Hispanic woman who is said to have been murdered by an illegal immigrant in New York that was previously spared deportation under the city's sanctuary ordinance, blasted the controversial policy on Friday.
At a press conference alongside Donald President Trump, Ortiz said her grandmother would still be alive if the New York Police Department had complied with a standing order to turn-over the alleged killer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in November when he was in police custody for a separate matter.
"The tragedy in all of this is the fact that this could have been avoided, had there been no sanctuary law," Ortiz said. "The tragedy is my grandmother is not ever going to be here again."
She added: "The man who was responsible for this should have never had the opportunity to do this."
Ortiz was President Trump’s guest at the National Border Patrol Council where she delivered an emotional tribute to her grandmother, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. The young woman described 92-year-old Maria Fuertes as a "shining example of when people come legally to this country, work hard, and do the right thing and are law-abiding citizens."
Ortiz said Furtes "raised her children and her grandchildren while working hard to give us a future."
As TheBlaze previously reported, Maria Fuertes was sexually assaulted and murdered just steps from her home in Queens on Jan. 6.
Initially, police officers thought her death was the result of a slip-and-fall accident. Upon further investigation, law enforcement officials arrested 21-year-old Reeaz Khan and charged him with raping and then strangling the nonagenarian to death.
According to WABC-TV, Khan is a Guyanese national who was in the country illegally despite having a violent criminal record. He was arrested in November after stabbing his own father. While he was in police custody, immigration enforcement ordered Khan to be detained. Had the NYPD followed the detainer order, Khan would have been turned over to ICE. Instead, pursuant to Mayor Bill de Blasio's "sanctuary city" policy, the alleged violent criminal was released back to the streets.
Following Fuertes' murder, police leaders and federal immigration officials slammed de Blasio's policy as "dangerously flawed."
"Make no mistake, it is this city's sanctuary policies that is the sole reason this criminal was allowed to roam the streets freely and end an innocent woman's life," ICE Acting-Director Matthew Albence said.
"One simple phone call and Maria Fuertes could be alive today," he said
Americans are not the only ones who were exhausted by the Democratic Party-led impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was a key subject of the controversy related to Trump's dealings with his country, says he is ready to turn the page on the scandal and even compared it to a 'soap opera.'
According to the AFP, Zelensky told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday: "After the whole impeachment soap opera, I want to go (to Washington) and start a blank page on our relations."
The Ukrainian president echoed the television series comparison in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. The Federalist's David Marcus reported Zelensky even compared the impeachment process to the hit 1980s soap operas "Santa Barbara" and "Dallas," which were known for their dramatic style.
According to Marcus, during his CNN interview Zelensky severely undermined key arguments by Democrats in their impeachment efforts against Trump. For instance, by stating that he looks forward to meeting soon with Trump, Zelensky throws "cold water" on the suggestion that he was being extorted or unduly pressured in his July 25 phone call with the American commander in chief.
"I'm ready to host him before he hosts me," he told the audience in Munich, which drew applause from attendees.
The Ukrainian leader also pushed back against the notion that his country is corrupt. However, he did acknowledge that his country had suffered from corruption under previous governments. Zelensky also said that his administration is making a concerted effort to fight for transparency.
Government malfeasance was at the center of the impeachment controversy focused on Trump asking Zelensky to address corruption in order to qualify for foreign assistance. Democrats allege that the U.S. had no legitimate interest in cracking down on foreign corruption in the eastern European and that Trump was merely pressuring the Ukrainians to launch a bogus investigation into Burisma, an energy company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, sat on the board.
However, several key witnesses during House impeachment hearings testified that the U.S. had a long-standing policy of demanding that foreign governments, including Ukraine, clean-up their internal affairs before releasing foreign aid. Moreover, no investigation into Biden or Burisma was announced by Ukrainian officials and the country received its foreign aid funds.
On Feb. 5, 2020, the Senate voted to acquit Trump on two articles of impeachment related to the controversy.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered that FBI agents shared "highly classified" intelligence with British spy Christopher Steele during a meeting in Rome just weeks before the 2016 election.
According to the report, senior FBI agents met with Steele, the man who compiled the anti-Trump "dossier" for Hillary Clinton's campaign, in October 2016 in Rome. They gave Steele a "general overview" of Crossfire Hurricane — the name for the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign — as well as info on key Trump campaign members.
Shockingly, the FBI also compensated Steele $15,000 for the meeting and knew that Steele was compiling research for Clinton and Fusion GPS.
Much of the public reporting regarding this meeting has focused on the information Steele shared with the FBI – and the many reasons agents should have doubted its credibility. But largely neglected has been the opposite side of the equation – what the FBI told Steele. The Inspector General reports that the bureau revealed to him much of the highly classified information that it had gathered regarding alleged Trump-Russia links.
Just weeks after "unlawfully" sharing highly classified information with Steele, the FBI severed its relationship with the British spy for leaking information to the media, according to the report.
The IG report states that the breach of classified information was investigated, but action was not taken against the agents responsible.
Instead, "the IG report offers possible explanations for the agent's behavior," RealClearInvestigates noted.
The report, though, suggests the agent had permission to share classified information with Steele, but such permission, if it had been granted, was not properly recorded.
Unfortunately, Office of the Inspector General spokesperson Stephanie Logan declined to comment, RealClearInvestigations reported.
Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced Saturday that he will not endorse his party's presidential nominee — President Donald Trump — in the 2020 election.
Instead, Scott has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.
"I've met with him before, I think a lot of him and his platform so I would be supporting him," Scott said Saturday, WPTZ-TV reported.
In response, Weld thanked Scott for his endorsement.
"I'm a great admirer of @GovPhilScott of Vermont, and am delighted to have his endorsement in the Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday. VT has been well served in the past by Republican governors, and Gov. Scott admirably extends that tradition," Weld said
Scott now becomes the first sitting Republican governor to publicly oppose Trump's re-election. Indeed, Scott has been vocal about his opposition to the president.
Scott, a frequent critic of Trump, said in January that Trump "abused his powers" and shouldn't be in office after the Senate voted to acquit the president on the two articles of impeachment brought against him by the House for delaying nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine in an attempt to force the country to announce an investigation of his Democratic political opponents' actions there.
Weld is the only major Republican who has continued to campaign against Trump. Two others — former Reps. Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Joe Walsh (Ill.) — have already folded their campaigns.
Scott's endorsement came just three weeks before the Vermont primary.
As WPTZ noted, Scott identifies with the libertarian-wing of the Republican Party, as does Weld.
Joe Biden has described President Donald Trump's immigration policies as "an assault on human dignity" and an example of "cruelty and callousness." The former vice president has gone as far to falsely claim that, unlike Trump, he and Barack Obama "didn't lock people up in cages. We didn't separate families."
However, a Mexican-American journalist is taking Biden to task for misrepresenting the Obama administration's immigration policies. In an interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos, the Spanish-language reporter confronted Biden on his distortions.
"At that debate in Houston, you said this about the Obama-Biden administration, and I quote, 'we didn't lock people in cages,' but you actually did," Ramos told Biden, noting that the Trump administration has detained more immigrants.
"We found a picture of an eight-year-old boy from Honduras," Ramos added while handing Biden a photograph of a child detained in an immigration facility.
"This was in 2014 at a detention center in McAllen, Texas," Ramos explained.
Confronted with photographic evidence, a visibly uncomfortable Biden was forced to admit that, despite his past assertions, the Obama administration did detain migrant children.
"Yes, yes, yes and what happened was that all the unaccompanied children were coming across the border. We tried to get them out. We kept them safe and get them out of the detention centers....that were run by Homeland Security and get them into communities as quickly as we can," Biden said.
Ramos, who himself is a fierce critic of Trump's immigration measures, then held up the photo again and told Biden: "Many people will say these are cages."
The former vice president then snapped at Ramos.
"You know you're not telling the truth here about the comparison of the two things," he said.
However, The Hill has reported that Obama and Biden were more aggressive in pursuing deportations than the Trump administration has ever been:
The Trump administration has deported fewer overall people than were deported under former President Obama despite the ongoing crackdown on immigrants without legal status, according to the Washington Post.
While the Obama administration deported 1.18 million people in his first three years, the number of deportations has been a little under 800,000 so far under Trump, according to the Post.
The Obama administration also deported 409,849 people in 2012 alone, while the Trump administration has yet to deport more than 260,000 people in a year, the Post reported.
Moreover, as former Daily Caller writer Benny Johnson reported in 2018, the Trump administration did not initiate the practice of detaining migrants or children along the southern border.
"The policy of prosecuting immigrants for crossing the border illegally has been in place for multiple administrations. The Obama administration prosecuted half a million illegal immigrants and similarly separated families in the process. So did the Bush administration," Johnson wrote.