Current track

Title

Artist

Current show

MIX 106.9

12:00 am 6:00 am

Current show

MIX 106.9

12:00 am 6:00 am


News

Page: 7

It is slated to be published by Simon & Schuster on July 28.

By

John Santucci
and

Aaron Katersky

June 30, 2020, 8:48 PM
3 min read

3 min read
Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

A judge in Dutchess County, New York, has imposed a preliminary injunction that temporarily prevents President Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, and Simon & Schuster from publishing her forthcoming book.
“Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” is slated to be published by Simon & Schuster on July 28 by the 45th president’s niece, the daughter of his late older brother Fred.

According to a description of the book on Amazon, “she describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office.”
This was the second time Robert Trump, the president’s younger brother, tried to halt the book’s publication. The first attempt, in Queens Surrogate’s Court where the estate of the president’s father was settled, failed when the judge said the outcome would not affect the administration of the estate “one iota.”
While Surrogate’s Court was not the place for the Trump family to pursue an injunction the judge said the family was free to try again in State Supreme Court, which Robert Trump did, in Dutchess County, north of New York City.
Charles Harder, who represents Robert Trump, told ABC News his client was very pleased with Tuesday’s ruling.
“The actions of Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster are truly reprehensible. We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages caused by Mary Trump’s breach of contract and Simon & Schuster’s intentional interference with that contract. Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end,” Harder said in a statement.
“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Ted Boutrous who represents Mary Trump said in a statement to ABC News.
The judge ordered each side to submit papers in the next seven days so he can make a ruling whether to grant a permanent injunction ahead of the scheduled publication date of July 28. Both a representative for Simon & Schuster and an attorney for Mary Trump told ABC News they intend to appeal the ruling.

Crews from Seattle’s transportation department removed some makeshift barriers around the city’s “occupied” protest zone following two fatal shootings in the area

By

The Associated Press

June 30, 2020, 6:53 PM
2 min read

2 min read
Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

SEATTLE — Seattle transportation crews used heavy equipment Tuesday to remove some makeshift barriers around the city’s “occupied” protest zone following two fatal shootings in the area.
Demonstrators, however, dragged couches and other items to replace the structures. People have occupied several blocks around a park and the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct for about two weeks after police abandoned the building following standoffs and clashes with protesters calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

Seattle police Assistant Chief Adrian Diaz said the large, makeshift barriers would be removed in incremental steps to allow traffic to move through portions of a road that had been closed off.
“So far, you know, everything is peaceful this morning so that’s a good sign,” Diaz told The Seattle Times.
There have been increasing calls by critics, Including President Donald Trump, to remove protesters from the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” area east of downtown following the fatal shooting Monday of a 16-year-old boy and the June 20 killing of a 19-year-old man. Protesters insist they should not be blamed for the violence in the area.
Police Chief Carmen Best has said the shootings are obscuring the message of racial justice promoted by protesters.
Nearby businesses and property owners filed a federal lawsuit against the city last week, saying officials have been too tolerant of those who created the zone and that officials have deprived property owners of their property rights by allowing the zone to continue existing.

A New York state judge has temporarily blocked publication of a tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece after the president’s brother sued to stop it

By

LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press

June 30, 2020, 6:29 PM
3 min read

3 min read
Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

A tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece cannot be published until a judge decides the merits of claims by the president’s brother that its publication would violate a pact among family members, a judge said Tuesday.
New York state Supreme Court Judge Hal B. Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York, issued an order requiring the niece, Mary Trump, and her publisher to explain why they should not be blocked from publishing the book: “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” A hearing was set for July 10.

The book, scheduled to be published in July, was written by Mary Trump, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., the president’s elder brother, who died in 1981. An online description of it says it reveals “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.”
The judge said no portion of the book can be distributed before he decides the validity of Robert Trump’s claims. Robert Trump argues Mary Trump must comply with a written agreement among family members that such a book cannot be published without permission from other family members.
Mary Trump’s lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, promised an immediate appeal.
“The trial court’s temporary restraining order is only temporary but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment,” Boutrous said.
“This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in election year, should not be suppressed even for one day,” Boutrous said in a statement.
Adam Rothberg, a Simon & Schuster spokesperson, said the publisher was disappointed but looks forward “to prevailing in this case based on well-established precedents regarding prior restraint.”
Charles Harder, an attorney for Robert Trump, said his client was “very pleased.”
He said in a statement that the actions by Mary Trump and her publisher were “truly reprehensible.”
“We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages,” he said. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”
In court papers, Robert Trump maintained Mary Trump was part of a settlement nearly two decades ago that included a confidentiality clause explicitly saying they would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship,” unless they all agreed, the court papers said.
———
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report from Washington.

The White House faced mounting questions Tuesday about how much and how long President Donald Trump has known about reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as lawmakers called on the administration to share more information and potentially take action.The White House on Tuesday continued to provide briefings to select members of Congress on the intelligence, which a military official told ABC News showed that Russian intelligence officers had over the past year offered to pay Taliban militants to kill American troops.

But the Trump administration resisted providing the wider briefings requested by Democratic congressional leaders and neither Trump nor other White House officials were speaking or answering questions publicly on the matter Tuesday.

SPC Richard Reilly of Chicago, Illinois and other soldiers with the U.S. Army’s 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment patrol with police from Afghanistan’s National Defense Service during a mission to search caves for weapons caches on February 28, 2014 near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
SPC Richard Reilly of Chicago, Illinois and other soldiers with the U.S. Army’s 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment patrol with police from Afghanistan’s National Defense Service during a mission to search caves for weapons caches on February 28, 2014 near Kandahar, Afghanistan.Scott Olson/Getty Images

Republican lawmakers joined their Democratic colleagues in expressing concern that Russia’s actions may have potentially cost U.S. lives, forcing the White House to rush to contain the political fallout of the revelations. Democrats, sometimes joined by those on the other side of the aisle, have long alleged Trump has not responded forcefully enough to Russia’s provocative behavior.
Even as top U.S. intelligence and national security officials issued a series of rare, on-the-record statements emphasizing what they portrayed as the inconclusive nature of the intelligence, new reports called into question why Trump and the White House continued to insist he had not been briefed on the matter.

The Associated Press reported Monday, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that top White House officials were aware of the intelligence early last year and that the information had been included in Trump’s written intelligence briefing, known as the President’s Daily Brief, at the time. It was not clear if the president had actually read the briefing, though.
The AP also reported that John Bolton, who was national security adviser at the time, told colleagues that in March 2019 he had briefed Trump about the intelligence. Bolton declined to comment on the report, during an interview Tuesday with Sirius XM’s “The Joe Madison Show” Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer accompanied by other Democratic House members, speaks during a news conference in the Capitol, after a meeting at the White House on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer accompanied by other Democratic House members, speaks during a news conference in the Capitol, after a meeting at the White House on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The New York Times, citing two unnamed officials, reported that Trump had received a written briefing on the topic in late February. Again, it was unclear if he had read the briefing materials.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that the president had yet to be briefed on the intelligence, noting “the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.”
Asked if the information had not been in the President’s Daily Brief, too, she replied, “He was not personally briefed on the matter.”
The night before, Trump had tweeted, “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or” the vice president. Asked on Monday what Trump meant, McEnany replied, “I have no further details on the president’s private correspondence.”
On Monday night, top intelligence and national security officials released statements – apparently coordinated, using similar language – casting doubt on the reports. U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the administration, including the National Security Council, had “been preparing should the situation warrant action.”
Like O’Brien, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel had tough words for those who leak classified information to members of the press. Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, referring to the Russian military unit said to have been involved, said that the “Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan.”
Rather than brief members of Congress of both parties simultaneously as is standard, the White House has been offering small-group briefings split along party lines.

Donald Trump speaks during a visit to Fincantieri Marinette Marine, June 25, 2020, in Marinette, Wis.
Donald Trump speaks during a visit to Fincantieri Marinette Marine, June 25, 2020, in Marinette, Wis.Evan Vucci/AP Photo

A group of Republican congressional allies were the first to be briefed Monday, followed by a small group of congressional Democrats on Monday morning and a separate briefing for Senate Republicans were also expected later in the morning.

House Democrats emerged from the briefing renewing their call for an all-member briefing from the intelligence community, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer saying the briefing “was not as a substitute” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer’s requests for a full briefing for all Members of Congress.
“The president called this a hoax publicly. Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it is a hoax,” Hoyer said. “There may be different judgments as to the level of credibly but there was no assertion that the information we had was a hoax.”
While the lawmakers refused to discuss details of the briefing due to its secret nature, Schiff emphasized that the briefing fell short – complaining that the “right people to give the briefing really were not in the room.”
“We need to hear from the heads of the intelligence agencies about how do they assess the allegations,” Schiff said. “What can they tell us about the truth or falsity of these allegations? What can they tell us about steps they are taking or undertaking to vet the information they may have?”
Those briefing the House Democrats included National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and three other senior National Security Council officials, according to an aide to Hoyer.
It’s not just political leaders demanding answers. So, too, is the father of a Marine killed in an April 2019 attack.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany calls on reporters during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing room at the White House June 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany calls on reporters during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing room at the White House June 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The father of Cpl. Robert Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York told the AP in an interview that U.S. officials should have immediately addressed the allegations, even if they were just a rumor.

“If this was kind of swept under the carpet as to not make it a bigger issue with Russia, and one ounce of blood was spilled when they knew this, I lost all respect for this administration and everything,” Erik Hendriks said.
The AP has reported that the attack that killed Hendriks and two other Marines in April 2019 is under investigation in connection to the alleged Russian bounties.
GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said Monday he had heard from many military families in his home state who were “livid.” He said Congress must focus on several questions.
“Number one: Who knew what, when, and did the commander in chief know? And if not, how the hell not? What is going on in the process?” he said. “And number two, what are we going to do to impose proportional cost in response?”
He said such a response would amount to Taliban and Russian intelligence operative “body bags.”
ABC News’ Katherine Faulders, John Parkinson and Trish Turner contributed reporting.

Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, fended off a challenge from an upstart progressive, Charles Booker, ABC News projects, nabbing the Democratic nomination on Tuesday to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November.McGrath’s victory comes a full week after voters headed to the polls last Tuesday in the hard-fought Senate primary — a delay brought on by the influx of absentee ballots due to the coronavirus and the tougher-than-expected contest shaped by the national unrest over racial injustice and police brutality.

The race wasn’t expected to be tight just one month ago, but the campaign was upended in its closing weeks by the fallout from the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement, including two in the state of Kentucky since mid-March.
Despite having the backing of national Democrats and a formidable war chest, McGrath found herself in an increasingly competitive battle for the nomination with Booker, 35, the youngest black state lawmaker in Kentucky from the Louisville-area.

Harnessing the energy of the protests and the party’s liberal wing, with endorsements from progressive darlings, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Booker offset McGrath’s advantages with grassroots momentum in the lead up to in-person voting.

Kentucky State Representative and Democratic candidate for Senate Charles Booker speaks with the press outside the only primary election polling place in Louisville, Ky., June 23, 2020.
Kentucky State Representative and Democratic candidate for Senate Charles Booker speaks with the press outside the only primary election polling place in Louisville, Ky., June 23, 2020.Bryan Woolston/Reuters

The race emerged as an electoral test of the impact of the movement — born out of the response to the recent deaths of George Floyd and Louisville’s own Breonna Taylor — on what kind of candidate Democrats want to put forward to meet the moment. It’s also a test for a candidate whose life story reflects much of the themes in the demonstrations.
On the eve of the election, Booker told ABC News that he is poised to deliver a shock to the political world, as his candidacy, he said, reflects the movement and momentum that swept him into contention for the nomination.
“We know that we can do the work to end poverty and to end injustice and to address the racial structural inequity that rob so many people have the chance of doing anything more, the struggle,” he said. “And so we’re fighting back and we’re showing the country and the world what Kentucky is made of … and I’m fired up.”
McGrath even acknowledged that Booker’s personal connection to the energy fueling the demonstrations across the country made him a formidable opponent.
“His life experience. He has a voice for these things. And I think that that’s an important voice. I do believe we need to come together as Democrats to defeat Mitch McConnell,” she said.
But McGrath’s outsider status withstood Booker’s efforts to define her a moderate, more-of-the-same, “pro-Trump Democrat” that is part of the “political establishment.”

Amy McGrath speaks to supporters in Richmond, Ky., Nov. 6, 2018.
Amy McGrath speaks to supporters in Richmond, Ky., Nov. 6, 2018.Bryan Woolston/AP, FILE

McGrath entered the Senate race as the preferred candidate of the party establishment, earning the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in February and establishing her campaign as a fundraising behemoth after launching her Senate bid in July 2019, with more than $40 million in her war chest.

Before Tuesday, it was not clear who would ultimately be handed a victory, since some Kentucky counties, including the state’s two largest, withheld even partial results until June 30, after all mail ballots were tabulated. Earlier on Tuesday, Booker captured both Jefferson and Fayette counties, which cover Louisville and Lexington, but his edge was not enough to counter McGrath’s lead with absentee ballots and some of the more rural parts of the state.
McGrath led Booker 45% to 43% or by just under 12,000 votes, with 95% of the expected vote in.
But now, the former congressional candidate who lost to GOP Congressman Andy Barr in 2018, faces a steeper uphill climb, as she aims to unseat the top Republican in Congress in a state President Donald Trump won by nearly 30 points four years ago.
Within minutes of McGrath scoring her win in the primary, McConnell’s campaign welcomed her into the general election ring, already seeking to cast her as a “tool of the Washington Democratic establishment.”
“Extreme Amy McGrath is lucky to have gotten out of the primary with a victory, but her reputation sustained significant damage all across Kentucky,” said Kate Cooksey, a spokesperson for McConnell’s campaign. “McGrath is just another tool of the Washington Democratic establishment who has no idea what matters most to Kentuckians. It’s clear this self-proclaimed most liberal person in Kentucky who supports government-run health care and abortion even in the ninth month does not represent Kentucky values. Amy, it’s great to have you.”
McGrath, pointing to last year’s race between Democrat Andy Beshear and then-incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, called for Democrats to unite behind her campaign to unseat McConnell, who has been in office for more than 30 years.
“There can be no removal of Mitch McConnell without unity,” she sad in a statement after her win. “He’s destroyed our institutions for far too long. … A year after showing the country that Kentucky won’t hesitate to replace an incompetent and unpopular incumbent Republican like Matt Bevin, let’s do it one more time.”

Conservatives cheered the ruling; teachers unions called it a “seismic shock.”

By

Devin Dwyer

June 30, 2020, 4:47 PM
6 min read

6 min read
Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a victory for advocates of school choice, striking down Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state scholarship program funded by tax credits.
The narrow 5-4 decision, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, said that a “no-aid provision” in the Montana constitution violates the First Amendment. Thirty-eight other states have similar amendments. The ruling could make it easier for religious schools nationwide to obtain public funds.

“The Montana Constitution discriminates based on religious status,'” Roberts wrote. “Montana’s no-aid provision bars religious schools from public benefits solely because of the religious character of the schools.”
“A State need not subsidize private education,” he said, “but once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives to the Senate chamber for impeachment proceedings at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 16, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives to the Senate chamber for impeachment proceedings at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 16, 2020 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Religious and legal conservatives celebrated the ruling.
“This decision blots out a great stain on our history and gives today’s low-income students a chance to attend religious schools of their choice using state-endorsed private school scholarship funds,” said Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal adviser to The Catholic Association.
“The Court’s decision represents an important victory for religious liberty and religious equality in the United States,” U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement.

Public school advocates warned the decision clears the way for more state funding to be shifted toward private, religious schools.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten called it a “seismic shock that threatens both public education and religious liberty.”
The National Education Association, a leading public teachers union, said the decision would harm students. “At a time when public schools nationwide already are grappling with protecting and providing for students despite a pandemic and mounting budget shortfalls, the court has made things even worse opening the door for further attacks on state decisions not to fund religious schools,” said NEA president Lily Eskelsen García.

The statue Contemplation of Justice by sculptor James Earle Fraser stands on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.
The statue Contemplation of Justice by sculptor James Earle Fraser stands on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that LGBTQ people can not be disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In 2015, the Montana legislature approved dollar-for-dollar state tax credits of up to $150 per year to help fund scholarships for low-income children seeking to attend private schools of their choice.
Mothers Kendra Espinoza, Jeri Anderson and Jamie Schaefer, all plaintiffs in the case, say they could not afford tuition payments to send their kids to Stillwater Christian School in Kalispell without the financial aid.
The Montana Department of Revenue blocked the use of the tax-credit supported scholarships for religiously-affiliated education, citing the state’s constitution, which explicitly bans use of public funds – directly or indirectly. After a lengthy legal fight, the state Supreme Court struck down the scholarship program in its entirety.

“Its judgment put all private school parents in the same boat,” wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a dissenting opinion. She and the court’s three liberals argued that elimination of the program altogether precluded any discrimination on the basis of religion.

Montana resident Kendra Espinoza,center, a key plaintiff in a major religious rights case to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, poses in front of the white marble court building with her daughters Naomi, right, and Sarah, left, in Washington, Jan. 19, 2020.
Montana resident Kendra Espinoza,center, a key plaintiff in a major religious rights case to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, poses in front of the white marble court building with her daughters Naomi, right, and Sarah, left, in Washington, Jan. 19, 2020.Will Dunham/Reuters

“If for 250 years, we have drawn a line at forcing taxpayers to pay the salaries of those who teach their faith from the pulpit, I do not see how we can today require Montana to adopt a different view respecting those who teach it in the classroom,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent.
But Roberts, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — all raised in the Catholic Church — concluded that the state’s blanket ban on aid to religious schools while other institutions remained eligible amounts to unconstitutional discrimination.
“The Montana legislature created the scholarship program; the legislature never chose to end it,” Roberts wrote. The court’s decision, he said, “expressly discriminates on the basis of religious status.”

Following a White House briefing Tuesday morning regarding reports that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. military personnel, House Democrats renewed their call for an all-Member briefing from the intelligence community – “so we’d have direct evidence and discussion from intelligence community into how credible they assess the information.”House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called the intelligence a “red flag” and said the American people must understand whether the United States’ relationship with Russia is “compromised by the relationship between the president and Mr. Putin.”

“It either was not waved, or the president ignored the wave,” Hoyer, D-Md., said. “We need to get to the bottom of this. What we need is a briefing by the intelligence community to give us their assessment of the credibility of this information and we need to know from the White House what action would have been taken.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.
House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Democrats were briefed by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the same three officials who briefed a group of Republicans at the White House on Monday.
While there are reports that the bounty program was not fully verified by the U.S., House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff insisted Trump should have been briefed “with caveats.”
“Don’t deprive the president of information he needs to keep the troops safe because you don’t have it sign, sealed and delivered,” Schiff, D-Calif., said. “If you’re going to be on the phone with Putin, this is something you ought to know.”

Adam Schiff departs the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol after the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump concluded on February 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Adam Schiff departs the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol after the Senate impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump concluded on February 5, 2020 in Washington, DC.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Schiff said that as Congress examines the reports on the bounties, Trump should not be inviting Russia into G7 or G8 or “further ingratiating Russia into the community of civilized nations.”
“I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that president hasn’t come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether the Russians are putting a bounty on the heads of American troops,” Schiff said. “And that he will do everything in his power to protect American troops.”
“If there’s a problem with being able to brief the president on intelligence he doesn’t want to hear, that’s a problem for entire country’s national security,” Schiff added.
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel said that if the bounty report “isn’t something to go crazy about, then I don’t know what is.”
“It just makes no sense at all,” Engel, D-N.Y., said. “Why doesn’t the president question Putin? Why doesn’t the president condemn what Putin has done? Why doesn’t the president stand up for the United States? I mean, for God’s sake, these are our soldiers and if we’re not going to protect them, what are we going to do?”
Hoyer said he received a phone call Sunday evening from White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows inviting him to put a group of eight to 10 Democrats together for a briefing at the White House, but he maintained that the briefing “was not as a substitute” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer’s requests for a full briefing for all Members of Congress.
“The president called this a hoax publicly. Nothing in the briefing that we have just received led me to believe it is a hoax,” Hoyer added. “There may be different judgments as to the level of credibly but there was no assertion that the information we had was a hoax.”
While the lawmakers refused to discuss details of the briefing due to its secret nature, Schiff emphasized that the briefing fell short – complaining that the “right people to give the briefing really were not in the room.”
“We need to hear from the heads of the intelligence agencies about how do they assess the allegations,” Schiff said. “What can they tell us about the truth or falsity of these allegations? What can they tell us about steps they are taking or undertaking to vet the information they may have?”
Hoyer added that the White House briefing did not reveal “any new substantive information” and the White House did not assure Democrats that their request for an all-Member briefing would be fulfilled.
Several House Republicans received a similar briefing on Monday, while Senate Republicans planned to attend their own briefing later Tuesday.
House GOP leaders on Tuesday forcefully condemned Russia following briefings on the intelligence regarding their bounties reportedly put on U.S. troops in Afghanistan — using much sharper language than the White House on the subject.
“America’s adversaries should know, and should have no doubt, that any targeting of U.S. forces by Russians, by anyone else, will meet a swift and deadly response,” Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the No. 3 House Republican, said Tuesday.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, defended the Trump administration’s record on Russia – touting the sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles for Ukraine – while slamming what he called the “selective leaking” behind the initial New York Times report and accusing Democrats of “playing politics.”
“The idea that someone would try to do something selective, inside a report, to play games, is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter what party you are in. And we should not play any games with this,” he said.
As Trump faces criticism for not responding to the intelligence suggesting the targeting of U.S. troops, McCarthy offered a defense of the president, calling the safety of service members his “top priority.”
“I’ve been with this president when we’ve gone to Dover. I’ve watched his face. I’ve watched him console families. I’ve spoken with him at night when he has to call families. I will tell you it is his top priority,” he said.

It is only one of the virus-related scams noted recently.

June 30, 2020, 4:03 PM
5 min read

5 min read
Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning of fraudulent COVID-19 antibody tests.
While real tests indicate whether or not an individual was previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, the FBI warns the false tests are not only a method for scammers to give out fraudulent results but also to steal personal information from people who take the fake tests.

A health worker process for COVID-19 antibodies after getting the blood from the patient at the the Diagnostic and Wellness Center, May 5, 2020, in Torrance, Calif.
A health worker process for COVID-19 antibodies after getting the blood from the patient at the the Diagnostic and Wellness Center, May 5, 2020, in Torrance, Calif.Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Scammers, according to the FBI, are also looking for insurance and Medicare information, “which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.”
The FBI urges the public to be aware of “claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified, advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources, and marketers offering ‘free’ COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing.”

Officials urge checking the Food and Drug Administration website, consulting with a primary care physician, using a known laboratory or health care provider, among other recommendations.
This is not the first coronavirus scam officials have sounded the alarm on.
Last week, the Department of Justice warned of fake COVID-19 mask exemption cards.

A ‘Face mask exempt’ card, which features a Department of Justice logo, is seen in a DoJ handout image. Federal officials recently flagged that the group behind the cards are not a government agency and described the cards as fraudulent.
A ‘Face mask exempt’ card, which features a Department of Justice logo, is seen in a DoJ handout image. Federal officials recently flagged that the group behind the cards are not a government agency and described the cards as fraudulent.Dept. of Justice

The cards say in part “I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public. Wearing a face mask posses [sp] a mental and or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) I’m not required to disclose my condition to you.”

The warning, which first came from the United States Attorney’s office in the Middle District of North Carolina, pointed to spelling and other errors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office suggested the message could come in the form of cards, flyers or postings.
“Do not be fooled by the chicanery and misappropriation of the DOJ eagle,” said U.S. Attorney G.T. Martin in a release. “These cards do not carry the force of law. The ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency,’ or ‘FTBA,’ is not a government agency.”
Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is also cracking down on COVID-19 scams.
It says has seized over 885 fraudulent COVID-19 tests, prohibited drugs and counterfeit masks. In May, it partnered with private businesses to protect the American public from COVID-19 fraud.
ABC News’ Eden David contributed to this reporting.