The sobering 18th anniversary for the 9-11 attacks had barely begun, when a loud explosion rocked the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A plume of smoke rose over central Kabul shortly after midnight, and sirens could be heard. Inside the embassy, employees heard this message over the loudspeaker, “An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound.”
Officials gave the all-clear about an hour after the blast and reported no injuries. The NATO mission, which is nearby, also said no personnel had been injured.
The attack was the first major action in Kabul since President Trump announced Monday that peace talks with the Taliban to end America’s longest war are “dead.” Over the weekend, Trump abruptly canceled planned meetings with Afghan and Taliban leaders at Camp David. The Taliban had claimed responsibility for two car bombings last week, one of which killed an American soldier.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera that Trump would regret turning his back on peace talks. “We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan. One was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations,” said Mujahid. “If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it.”
White House insiders have said that Trump initiating the meeting in the first place was instrumental in his firing of John Bolton as his National Security Adviser. Bolton had opposed the meeting.
The War in Afghanistan Always Had Ties to 9-11
The 9/11 anniversary is a sensitive day in Afghanistan’s capital and one on which attacks have occurred. A U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 attack toppled the Taliban, who had harbored Usama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader and attacks’ mastermind.
In the nearly 18 years of fighting since then, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan soared to 100,000 and dropped dramatically after bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan in 2011.
In addition to the rocket attack on the Embassy on 9-11, last week there were several Taliban ordered bombings including an attack which killed 16 and injured 100, mostly civilians, and an attack Thursday which killed two soldiers and ten civilians.
The Taliban had said they issued the attacks to gain leverage in their negotiations with the US, demanding that all of the approximately 20,000 U.S. and NATO troops leave Afghanistan as soon as possible.
The Afghani government had been critical of any sort of peace agreement, largely because the Taliban had demanded Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani be shut out of the negotiations. “Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless,” said Ghani last week. “Afghans have been bitten by this snake before,” added his advisor Waheed Omer.
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband, Ahmed Hirsi, wants out and is ready to file for divorce from the controversial freshman congresswoman. This according to a longtime friend of the couple, who has been speaking to the New York Post.
The unnamed source told the New York tabloid that Hirsi is disgusted with Omar’s behavior and is poised to file for divorce after the revelation in a bombshell court filing that she allegedly had an affair with DC political consultant Tim Mynett.
The Minnesota congresswoman and her husband allegedly separated in March, and Omar asked Hirsi to divorce her around that time because she didn’t want to file the papers — but Hirsi refused, telling her if she wanted a divorce she should do it herself, said the source, who has known both parties for 20 years.
But now, the husband allegedly changed his mind after Tim Mynett’s wife last week filed bombshell divorce papers claiming her husband was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative. The source tells the Post that Hirsi is angry that he had been made to look the fool by the allegations of the extramarital affair.
“I’m surprised he hasn’t filed already,” the source told The Post, adding that Hirsi was “very confused” in the wake of the bombshell allegations, but that he claims that he still loved his wife and was reluctant to expose their three children to a public divorce battle.
The freshman congresswoman, 37, insisted she and Hirsi, 39, were still together and denied the charge she was dating Mynett in an interview with CBS affiliate WCCO, on the day back in August that Mynett’s wife filed for divorce.
However, the Post has confirmed that Omar and Hirsi have been living apart since March — around the same time she was spotted having dinner with Mynett at a California restaurant — with Omar moving into a luxury condo in downtown Minneapolis and their split an “open secret” in town.
The family home they shared in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood — nicknamed “Little Mogadishu” for its large Somali population — appears to be abandoned, with the curtains drawn and cobwebs growing over the front porch, when a Post reporter visited last week.
Hirsi, a senior policy aide to a Minneapolis city councilwoman, is reportedly bouncing between friends’ houses and stays at the luxury condo when Omar isn’t in town, with the kids also spending time with a grandfather, the source said.
Omar’s Marriage History a Tangled Web
Omar and Hirsi were first engaged in 2002. But the duo never legally married; instead, they wed in a traditional Muslim ceremony and had two children before splitting up in 2008, Omar has said.
The next year, she married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, whom she described as a “British citizen,” records show. They split up in 2011 and Omar and Hirsi got back together and had a third child in 2012, records show.
In 2017, Omar finally officially divorced Elmi. She legally wed Hirsi the next year. But they began experiencing marital problems shortly after Omar assumed office, said the source.
However, public documents obtained by The Post raise discrepancies in the timeline of Omar’s marriages to Hirsi and Elmi.
Documents suggest Omar never stopped living with Hirsi — even after they ended their religious marriage and she was legally married to Elmi. In February 2009, when Omar legally married Elmi, she listed their marital address as a property in Columbia Heights, a suburb in Minneapolis.
However, just three months later, Hirsi used the same Columbia Heights property as his personal address on business filings for his One on One Cafe Lounge.
Two months later in August 2009, Omar began studying political science at North Dakota State University.
Omar and Hirsi moved to North Dakota together with their two children, according to a 2013 article in Twin Cities Daily Planet, even though she was supposed to be estranged from Hirsi and married to Elmi.
In traffic violations from 2008 to 2012 — the entire time Omar was married to Elmi — the congresswoman and Hirsi also listed their address as the family home in Cedar-Riverside, suggesting they never stopped living together.
The congresswoman has refused to comment on both the affair allegations and the discrepancies in her marriages — dodging questions from a Post reporter at an event in Minneapolis last week.
In a bold move Senator Lindsey Graham has pressed the Justice Department to declassify material related to Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The South Carolina Republican’s letter sent to Attorney General William Barr was discussed during a recent interview Monday on Fox News.
Asked what he wants to know, Graham said, “As much declassification as possible. I want the public to see the process in real time. I want the FISA warrant applications to be revealed to the public as much as possible.”
More than 400 pages of redacted FISA documents related to one-time Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were released on July 21, 2018.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is concerned the FBI and Justice Department misled the FISA Court in late 2016 and 2017, by relying on an unverified anti-Trump dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele to wiretap Page.
The so-called “Steele Dossier” was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Investigators into the origins of the “Mueller Probe,” say the author’s bias against President Trump were never made clear in the FISA applications, and they have demanded accountability.
Democrats countered that the FBI acted appropriately, saying the Justice Department and the FBI “met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis for probable cause.”
“Manipulation and Bias”
Graham said he is “looking for a pattern of manipulation and bias” and mentioned former FBI Director James Comey, who was strongly rebuked in an inspector general report on the handling of his memos documenting conversations with Trump.
Attorney General Barr has said he is working closely with Horowitz, whose FISA report is expected to be released very soon. The attorney general has tasked U.S. Attorney John Durham with leading a review of the origins of the Russia investigation and has been granted broad authority to declassify documents related to the endeavor.
As we reported earlier, Graham has said that he predicts that Horowitz will give “chilling testimony” in front of his committee about his highly anticipated report on potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, once the report is public.
Struggling Democratic frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to have a blood vessel burst in his left eye while recently participating in CNN’s town hall on climate change.
A broken blood vessel in the eye, also known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, can be caused by several things, including high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, blood thinners, or even excessive stress.
Biden, 76, has long been plagued by health issues. In 1988, he suffered an aneurysm that burst and required him to undergo emergency surgery. The then-senator was so close to death that a Catholic priest began preparing to administer the sacrament of last rites. Months later, surgeons clipped a second aneurysm before it burst. Biden then took a seven-month leave from the Senate following the surgery. Describing the operation, he once said, “They literally had to take the top of my head off.”
The former VP’s wife, Jill, said in her recently released autobiography Where the Light Enters, that at the time, she feared her husband would never be the same. “Our doctor told us there was a 50-50 chance Joe wouldn’t survive surgery,” she wrote. “He also said that it was even more likely that Joe would have permanent brain damage if he survived. And if any part of his brain would be adversely affected, it would be the area that governed speech.”
Could this be the cause of Biden’s recent spate of gaffes and verbal blunders, and does it cast troubling doubt on his fitness to be president?
Biden Has Many Reported Health Issues
Doctors removed a benign polyp during a colonoscopy in 1996. In 2003, Biden had his gallbladder removed.
He suffers from asthma and allergies and takes a prescription drug to lower his cholesterol. He has also taken medication for an enlarged prostate.
Biden hasn’t disclosed his medical history since 2008, when doctors found he had an irregular heartbeat.
However, despite this and the ongoing mental gaffes, his wife and others close to Biden nevertheless maintain that he is “a picture of health.”
If he were to win the 2020 presidential election, Biden would be the oldest president ever to be inaugurated.
“Ilhan Omar stole my husband!”
That is the shocking claim made by Washington DC mom, Dr. Beth Mynett. Mynett says her husband, a political-consultant, dumped her for Omar, according to a bombshell divorce filing obtained by The NY Post.
Mynett says her cheating spouse, Tim Mynett, told her in April that he was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative — and that he even made a “shocking declaration of love” for the Minnesota congresswoman before he left his wife, for the Muslim Freshman Congresswoman. This, according to the divorce papers submitted in DC Superior Court on August 27.
The physician, 55, and her 38-year-old husband — who has worked for left-wing Democrats such as Omar and her Minnesota predecessor, Keith Ellison — have a 13-year-old son together.
“The parties physically separated on or about April 7, 2019, when Defendant told Plaintiff that he was romantically involved with and in love with another woman, Ilhan Omar,” the court papers say.
“Defendant met Rep. Omar while working for her,’’ the document states. “Although devastated by the betrayal and deceit that preceded his abrupt declaration, Plaintiff told Defendant that she loved him, and was willing to fight for the marriage.
“Defendant, however, told her that was not an option for him’’ and moved out the next day, the papers say.
Omar’s own marriage has been under scrutiny amid allegations that she married her brother and committed immigration fraud. Omar called that allegation “absolutely false and ridiculous.”
The freshman Congresswoman married her husband, Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, in 2002 during a faith ceremony, but did not legally marry at the time. The couple had two children before they separated in 2008. The next year, Omar legally married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. The two split in 2011. The same year, Omar and Hirsi reconciled, but did not legally divorce until 2017. Omar and Hirsi had a third child together in 2012 and legally married in early 2018.
Omar Continues to Ignite Controversy and Draw Ire of Both Parties
Omar continues to attract controversy, and she is drawing the ire of even members of her own party. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., called out members of both parties last week, claiming they helped further anti-Semitism in the nation’s “political dialogue.”
“The growing anti-Semitism in our political dialogue is repugnant,” Nadler said. He pointed to Trump’s comments about “disloyalty” in Jews who voted for Democrats, as you might expect from the long-time foe of Trump. However, Nadler also pointed to a vile cartoon forwarded by Omar and the two progressive Congresswomen, who have already been in the news for a failed attempt to enter Israel.
Omar has been criticized for tweeting in 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Omar and fellow freshman Muslim Congresswoman, Rashida Harbi Tlaib were also two of just a handful of Democrats who voted against an overwhelmingly approved measure opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. When Omar countered that measure with her own resolution, she likened boycotts to those against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
That action prompted the State Department to update the definition of anti-Semitism to include “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Gee, what a surprise! News outlets are reporting that video security footage from the corridor outside of Jeffrey Epstein’s cell from the night he “committed suicide” is “unusable.”
The Washington Post was the first to report that “some video footage taken outside criminal financier Jeffrey Epstein’s cell the night of his death was deemed ‘unusable’ by investigators.”
Epstein died allegedly by his own hand in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) earlier this month, prompting a federal investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. Both the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office are investigating.
According to the Washington Post story one of the cameras in the hallway outside of Epstein’s cell captured “unusable footage,” though it is unclear what about the footage made investigators deem it “unusable.” Clearer footage was apparently captured in the vicinity by other cameras, The Post’s report said.
Since Epstein’s death, the MCC has been under fire for several incidents of alleged broken protocol, including guards reportedly sleeping on their shift, Epstein being housed alone, and the prison facing severe staffing shortages.
Epstein’s Lawyers Not Confident In ME’s Conclusion of Suicide
After the cause of death was deemed a suicide by the New York chief medical examiner, Epstein’s defense team said in a statement that they were “not satisfied” with the conclusion and blasted the “medieval conditions” of the federal prison, blaming their employer’s death on those alleged broken protocols.
Soon after the ME’s conclusions, Epstein’s defense team announced that they would be conducting an independent investigation alongside the federal probes, saying that they would use legal action, if necessary, “to view the pivotal videos — if they exist as they should — of the area proximate to Mr. Epstein’s cell during the time period leading to his death.”
Now, it is some of those very videos that “coincidentally” are found to be “unusable.”
Epstein was charged in July with conspiracy and sex trafficking of minors. He was transferred to suicide watch after he was found unconscious with bruises around his neck but was taken off constant observation in late July.
He was found dead in his cell a little less than two weeks later.
According to reporting by Fox News, federal prosecutors are in the final stages of making a decision on whether to charge former FBI official Andrew McCabe over the circumstances that led to his firing from the bureau last year.
A source close to the process told Fox recently that McCabe has had a “target on his back” because of the Justice Department inspector general findings against him over his actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, as well as his role in the surveillance warrants against Trump campaign associates during the Russia investigation. McCabe is a former deputy and acting director of the FBI.
Fox’s report comes after the — The New York Times first reported on these developments. The Times piece said that McCabe’s lawyers recently met with DOJ attorneys who would handle a prosecution, which seems to be an indication of a possible indictment of McCabe.
McCabe’s legal team and the Justice Department declined to comment on the Fox report. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. also has not responded to a Fox News request for comment.
When and Why Was McCabe Fired
If you recall, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 after the Justice Department inspector general report found that he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a leak to The Wall Street Journal regarding an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
Fox’s unnamed source confirmed that the inspector general files on McCabe went to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is handling the “Investigation of the Investigators” probe which is looking into the origins of the Russia case, so that Durham can investigate McCabe’s actions.
Earlier this month, McCabe sued the FBI and the Justice Department over his firing, arguing it was part of Trump’s plan to rid the bureau of leaders he perceived as disloyal to him.
The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and then AG Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the Pesident’s wishes.
The stated reason for the firing was that McCabe had misled investigators over his involvement in a news media leak, but McCabe says the real reason was “his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man.”
Fox says that McCabe has been singled out for attacks by the President since before he was elected, after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, during an unsuccessful run for the state senate there.
McAuliffe is a close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who was being investigated at the time for her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state.
For his part, McCabe has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has said the inspector general’s conclusions relied on mischaracterizations and omissions, including of information favorable to McCabe.
This past weekend, former U.S. congressman Joe Walsh, became the second Republican to challenge President Donald Trump for the party’s 2020 White House nomination. Walsh is currently a conservative talk show host.
Despite the President’s enormous popularity among most Republicans, Walsh has often criticized Donald Trump as “a bully who is unfit for office,” and he used those very words as he announced his bid to take on Trump in 2020.
“I’m running because he’s unfit,” Walsh, 57, told ABC’s “This Week” program. “Somebody needs to step up.”
Adding, “He’s a bully and he’s a coward and somebody needs to call him out. The bet … of my campaign is that there are a lot of Republicans that feel like I do. They’re afraid to come forward.”
Walsh won a House of Representatives seat from Illinois as a candidate of the Republican Party’s fiscally conservative Tea Party movement in 2010 but was defeated by Democrat Tammy Duckworth in his 2012 re-election bid. After leaving Congress, he became a Chicago-area radio talk show host.
Walsh is the second disaffected Republican to try to take on Trump. William Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, is also vying to unseat Trump, but his candidacy has so far failed to gain any real traction.
Former U.S. Representative and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford said in July he was considering a primary challenge because of the rising federal debt.
An Uphill Fight to Take on Trump
Like most Republicans, Walsh was once a Trump supporter but says he turned against the President partly because of Trump’s allowing the federal deficit to burgeon, because Trump became too close to Vladimir Putin, the authoritarian leader of Russia, and because Trump is a “racial arsonist who encourages bigotry and xenophobia to rally his base.”
Walsh was also formerly a harsh critic of President Barack Obama but Walsh now says he regrets his incendiary anti-Obama remarks.
Any Republican challenger will face a formidable re-election effort mounted by Trump, who has consolidated his grip on the party’s national and state machinery. A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Aug. 19-20 showed 87% of Republicans approve of his performance in office.
Walsh said he was undeterred. “I think this thing … will catch on like wildfire,” he said. “I’m a conservative,” Walsh added. “And think I there’s a decent chance to present to Republican voters a conservative without all the baggage.”
Is the long-standing love affair between Fox News and President Donald J. Trump hitting some rough waters?
The President said over the weekend that he “was unhappy,” with Fox News, and that “something is going on over there.”
The comments came in response to a question tossed at Trump about the network’s recent survey showing the President losing head-to-head matchups against four of the top Democratic presidential primary candidates. Trump’s full reply to the reporter was “There’s something going on at Fox [News], I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.”
The President quickly added that he didn’t “believe” the poll, adding, “Fox has changed. My worst polls have always been from Fox.”
He then went on to complain about how Democrats had barred the network from hosting or televising the party’s 2020 primary debates and signaled a warning about the general election cycle.
“And I think Fox is making a big mistake,” the president said when asked about the polling and the network’s leadership. “Because, you know, I’m the one that calls the shots on that — on the really big debates.”
A New Target?
President Trump railing against the news media is nothing new, but the usually “Trump Friendly” Fox News has rarely been the target of his ire. But, lately, Trump has increasingly lumped in Fox News with the rest of his “enemies” for what he views as unfavorable coverage.
Earlier this year he had admonished his “favorite network” for providing a forum for 20202 Democratic candidates. Trump took jabs at Fox News over the network’s town halls with Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders in April and Pete Buttigieg in May.
The polls in question that caused the current spat between Trump and Fox showed Trump’s approval rating in the low 40s and had him losing by six or more points to Democratic 2020 rivals Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Of course, Trump questioned the veracity of the polls, but he seemed more upset that Fox had the audacity to report the actual results of its own poll.
The President also teed off on Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, who Trump said, “has never said a positive thing” — following up on a tweet earlier in the day in which he called Williams “pathetic,” “nasty” and “wrong.”
However, like all lovers that have a bit of a falling out, Trump went on to list “his partner’s” good qualities, following up his comments outside of Marine One on Sunday with, “I’m certainly happy [with]– I think Sean Hannity, and Lou Dobbs, and I think Tucker Carlson and Laura and Jesse Watters, and Jeanine. We have a lot of great people.”
When it comes to healthcare, Democratic 2020 hopeful Kamala Harris seems to still be struggling to get her story straight. What she truly believes seems to vacillate, especially when she is speaking to a group of wealthy donors at a fundraiser in the Hamptons, and not the American public on the debate stage.
The Daily Beast among other outlets has reported that the Democrat had waffled once again on her support for Medicare for All. “I support Medicare for All,” she told the crowd of wealthy donors. But as you may have noticed, over the course of the many months, I’ve not been comfortable with Bernie’s plan, the Medicare for All plan.”
This despite being the cosponsor of Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill. What really seems to have Harris backpedaling faster than a rewinding video of Lance Armstrong is one of the proposed legislation’s major features — the elimination of private insurance.
In late July, she finally released her own version of a “Medicare-for-all” bill, which, in a departure from Sanders’s proposal, would maintain a role for private insurance within a universal public system. Why would she do that? As her rival and bill’s cosponsor Bernie Sanders might say, “it’s all about the Benjamins.”
In other words, Harris, who unlike Bernie who has made elimination of for-profit insurance a key part of his vision for healthcare – is afraid to piss off wealthy donors and corporate interests. In fact, David Sirota, a Sanders campaign adviser, wrote in his newly minted newsletter, Bern Notice, “The Harris flip flop is a reminder that while Medicare for All received an enthusiastic response at Bernie’s Fox News townhall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — it doesn’t get that kind of response on the big dollar fundraising circuit in the Hamptons.”
The debate between Harris and Sanders on the healthcare issue is partly about a difference between Sanders’s proposal, which would eliminate private insurance, and Harris’s, which would preserve a role for insurers in the health care system. But by seizing on Harris’s remarks — and the venue where she made them — the Sanders campaign is connecting their healthcare plan to their candidate’s larger argument on corporate greed.
Harris Has Been All Over the Map on Healthcare
Harris really has been all over the place on Healthcare. Before she released “her plan,” it was nearly impossible to get any consistency from the candidate on healthcare. As stated earlier, she signed on to Sanders’s single-payer Medicare-for-all bill, and soon after, she was on the trail, publicly backing his idea to get rid of private insurance entirely, saying “let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on,” at a CNN town hall in January. She then walked that back, saying that she meant getting rid of “bureaucracy.”
Later on in April, at another CNN townhall, she emphasized that there would be some role for private insurance under Sanders’s bill, even though the Sanders Medicare for All Act would reduce private insurance’s role to things like cosmetic surgery or premium hospital rooms. And then, during the Democratic debate in June, Harris raised her hand when NBC’s Lester Holt asked, “Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favorite of a government-run plan?”
But she then walked that back to say she misunderstood the question, saying she personally would prefer to enroll in public insurance.
In fact, since becoming an upper-tier contender for the Democratic nomination, every time she seemingly endorsed the actual bill she cosponsored, she’s eventually walked it back.
On the other hand, Sanders has remained steadfast in painting corporate America as the “enemy of the people.” He sees a for-profit health care system as fundamentally broken. His campaign platform is centered on fighting the greed of major corporate interests, whether pharmaceutical companies, the fossil fuel industry, or private insurance industry.
In a speech about Medicare-for-all in June, he pledged to reject money from the insurance and drug companies, and called on other presidential candidates to do the same.
For Sanders’s campaign — healthcare, like everything else is all about his perceived influence of the wealthy. But, in Harris’s case he may be right given her propensity to flip-flop on the issue.