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WATCH: AG Barr spars with a reporter during news conference ahead of Mueller report release

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:45
Attorney General William Barr sparred with a reporter during a brief press conference Thursday in which he laid out the release of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into the Russia probe.

Nadler requests Mueller testify before House Judiciary Committee 'as soon as possible'

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:37
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Thursday requested Special Counsel Robert Mueller appear before his committee “as soon as possible”—and no later than May 23.

Ex-FBI assistant director on Mueller report: ‘We need to take a look at how this started’

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:35
A former FBI assistant director said the investigation by the Inspector General into the origins of the Russia probe will uncover the motives from past high ranking members of the bureau and it’s something that every American citizen should want to see as well.

Trump invokes ‘Game of Thrones’ to mock opponents over Mueller report

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:34
President Trump on Thursday turned to “Game of Thrones” for inspiration as he mocked his political opponents ahead of the release of the special counsel’s report on the Russia investigation -- declaring that it was “Game Over” for them.

Mueller team knew Russia collusion charges were 'hoax', Dan Bongino says

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:23
Fox New contributor Dan Bongino sounded off on Thursday morning in the wake of imminent Robert Mueller’s report release, saying that even the Special Counsel knew the probe into the collusion was a “hoax.”

Barr affirms Mueller probe found no evidence of Russia-Trump collusion, prepares to release report

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:06
Attorney General William Barr on Thursday affirmed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians during the 2016 presidential election, as he tangled with reporters at a press conference shortly before releasing Mueller's report to Congress and the public. 

Chaffetz on release of Mueller report: 'Democrats are scrambling… I think it's part of their demise’

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 09:01
Former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz (R) believes Thursday’s release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's much-anticipated Russia report will “exonerate Mr. Trump.”

What time will the Mueller report be released? What to know about the document dump

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:40
Both lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the general public are on pins and needles as they prepare for Attorney General William Barr to drop a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's full report on the Russia investigation Thursday.

Michael Cohen vows to fill in Mueller report’s redactions, ‘tell it myself’

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:20
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on Thursday promised to fill in the blanks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, hours before a redacted version of his report was due to be made public.

Dems will try to 'connect the dots' to push back against 'ultimate trump card' in Mueller report: Brody

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:12
President Trump's supporters can expect to hear the same liberal talking points of collusion, obstruction, and cover-up following the release of the redacted Mueller report, a political analyst told Fox News.

Media rip Barr in advance for holding a news conference

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:11
Even before William Barr's appearance at the Justice Department this morning, he had been utterly vilified—for the sin of showing up to answer reporters’ questions.

AG William Barr speaks about Mueller report ahead of its release -- live blog

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 07:58
Attorney General William Barr will lead a press conference Thursday ahead of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election and its ties to the Trump campaign.

Barnes & Noble offers free Mueller report download

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 07:49
Barnes & Noble began is offering curious readers a chance to view special counsel Robert Mueller's full report on the Russia investigation as soon as Attorney General William Barr drops the 400-page document early Thursday.

Mueller should testify, Dems should be able to 'ask him whatever they want:' Judge Nap

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 07:40
Special Counsel Robert Mueller should testify before Congress and answer lawmakers’ questions regarding his report of the Russia investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Judge Andrew Napolitano said.

Trump blasts Russia probe as ‘hoax’ and ‘harassment’ ahead of Mueller report release

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 07:31
President Trump sought to get out ahead of Thursday's release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report by branding the Russia investigation anew as “the greatest political hoax of all time.” 

Is the Trump Administration Helping the Saudis Build a Bomb?

Cato Recent Op Eds - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 07:20

Doug Bandow

President Donald Trump went dancing with the Saudi royals in Riyadh, where he tried to sell America’s principles in exchange for a mess of weapons contracts. Since then, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become Saudi Arabia’s lead PR counsel in America. The Pentagon is the Saudi regime’s premier armorer.

Now Energy Secretary Rick Perry is acting as chief nuclear procurer for the Saudis. “By ramming through the sale of as much as $80 billion in nuclear power plants,” The New York Times warned recently, “the Trump administration would provide sensitive knowhow and materials to a government whose de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has suggested that he may eventually want a nuclear weapon as a hedge against Iran and has shown little concern for what the rest of the world thinks.”

Obviously, Trump has not endorsed a Saudi nuclear weapon. However, his administration’s ongoing attempt to provide the Kingdom with nuclear technology raises serious questions about U.S. policy.

The crown prince can’t be trusted with a bone saw, let alone nuclear weapons.

America’s relationship with Riyadh has long been fraught with tension, inconsistency, and hypocrisy. The faux friendship revolves around oil, the lifeblood of the Western economy. However, the fracking revolution turned the U.S. into an energy super-supplier, and other hydrocarbon sources have since emerged. And if Washington stopped routinely sanctioning other governments for not following its dictates, oil producers such as Iran, Russia, and Venezuela would be supplying international markets, further reducing Riyadh’s importance.

American officials like to promote the Saudis’ antediluvian absolute monarchy as the foundation for Middle East stability. Alas, the price is unrivaled repression. Despite the crown prince’s reputation as a social reformer, he so far has not relaxed the Kingdom’s totalitarian political or religious controls one bit.

And that brutality has not guaranteed stability. Saudi Arabia looks brittle, an artificial, antiquated governing structure held together by tyranny and bribery. In time, it will likely lose to demands for justice, equality, and democracy, which have doomed a host of other corrupt, brutal, Mideast dictatorships, most recently Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.

Outside of the country, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has pursued a wild and reckless strategy of regional domination. Even Senator Lindsey Graham, perhaps the United States’ most war-happy lawmaker, has called MbS “crazy,” “dangerous,” and a “wrecking ball.”

The KSA has backed radical Islamists in Syria, subsidized the al-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, used troops to sustain Bahrain’s dictatorial Sunni monarchy, isolated Qatar, kidnapped and murdered Saudi critics in foreign nations, invaded Yemen, intensified the Mideast’s long-running sectarian conflict, and promoted General Khalifa Haftar’s attack on Libya’s internationally recognized government. MbS is even willing to court war with Iran if he believes it’s necessary for regional domination.

Moreover, the Saudi royals are not Westerners in different dress. They have poured $100 billion into the promotion of intolerant fundamentalist Wahhabism around the world, including in Yemen, where a Saudi-Emirati coalition has allied with radical jihadists against the Houthis, who had opposed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Nuclear weapons would further embolden MbS. Currently there is no active nuclear program. Nevertheless, suspicions about Riyadh’s intentions are legion. A decade ago, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz told U.S. officials that if Iran acquired a nuke, “we will get nuclear weapons.” Last year, MbS said, “If Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

Nevertheless, the Trump administration is pushing the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. And no one seems to know what safeguards will be imposed and whether MbS will abide by those limits. “There’s a legitimate question over whether such a government could be trusted with nuclear energy and the potential weaponization of it,” worries Senator Marco Rubio. Senator Jeff Merkley agrees: “The last thing America should do is inadvertently help develop nuclear weapons for a bad actor on the world stage.” The two are pushing legislation that would give Congress the final say over any sale.

The transfer of nuclear reactors is usually not controversial, so long as it’s accompanied by a cooperation agreement under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette insists, “We won’t allow them to bypass 123 if they want to have civilian nuclear power that includes U.S. nuclear technologies.” Legislators remain wary, however, complaining that seven permits, called “Part 810 authorizations,” have been issued to firms to provide nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without notification to Congress. “I believe the Saudis saw an opportunity with Trump and [son-in-law Jared] Kushner to conclude this rapidly on their terms, holding out the promise of major purchases,” charges Thomas Countryman, head of the Arms Control Association.

In fact, the Saudis, in contrast to the Emiratis, want to enrich uranium, which offers a principal opportunity to divert nuclear materials for military use. And Riyadh hasn’t agreed to any weapons inspections. As a result, if the Saudis come to believe they “need” a bomb—and their criteria might broaden over time—any peacetime program could automatically be turned into one for military development.

Admittedly, America’s refusal to deal might not stop Riyadh. Prince Turki al-Faisal has pointed to China, France, Pakistan, and Russia as other options, a point that’s been echoed by administration officials. Even so, Washington should not aid, even inadvertently, another nation, especially such a repressive and aggressive power, in acquiring nuclear weapons. The consequences would be grave, including to America’s nonproliferation credentials.

Prince al-Faisal also pointedly included “our friends in Pakistan” as a nuclear power option. But Islamabad could provide more than peaceful energy. Riyadh might purchase weapons directly from the cash-strapped and unstable Pakistan government—especially since the Saudis financed the Pakistani nuclear program. Doing so would cause an international furor, but for years, A.Q. Khan, father of the Pakistani bomb, has essentially operated a Nukes “R” Us open to the world. When confronted, Islamabad closed down Khan’s market, but with the right incentives it might be convinced to accept another client.

Six years ago, Israel’s former head of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, claimed that Pakistan had already produced and set aside weapons for Riyadh. Gary Samore, who advised President Barack Obama on nonproliferation, observes, “I do think that the Saudis believe that they have some understanding with Pakistan that, in extremis, they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan.”

The Trump administration’s fixation on Iran has malformed American policy towards the rest of the Mideast, including Saudi Arabia. The United States should not take sides in the bitter Sunni-Shia rivalry that lies beneath the Saudi-Iran conflict. It certainly shouldn’t treat Saudi Arabia as a permanent and trusted ally. The latter shares neither values nor interests with the United States, and is aggressively pursuing dangerous imperial ambitions.

Washington should drop its support for MbS’s irresponsible policies and be on guard against the Kingdom’s possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. A Saudi bomb would unsettle the region, guarantee a Middle Eastern nuclear arms race, and encourage sectarian conflict. MbS can’t be trusted with a bone saw, let alone nukes.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.

Left will continue to 'believe in Russia collusion' even after Mueller report release, Byron York says

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 06:43
Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York made a prediction Thursday morning that the Russia collusion narrative is unlikely to go away even after the Robert Mueller report is released later today.

Fox Nation takes you behind the scenes of Bernie Sander's Fox News town hall

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 06:28
See how the Bernie Sanders Town Hall was put together and how the anchors prepared.

Maxine Waters calls Barr a 'lackey and a sycophant' for Trump

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 05:47
While some of her fellow Democrats were questioning the credibility of Attorney General William Barr over his handling of the Robert Mueller report, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., took that criticism to another level.

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