Former Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar has announced that her husband has been hospitalized due to complications of being infected with COVID-19.
My husband has coronavirus. I love him & not being able to be by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease,” Klobuchar tweeted. “So many are going through this & much worse. I pray for him & you & meanwhile I will do all I can to get help to the American people.”
In a longer statement on the site, Medium.com, Klobuchar said that she and her husband, John Bessler, had been in “different places for the last two weeks” and that because she was “outside the 14-day period for getting sick,” doctors advised her that she did not need to be tested.
Klobuchar, a former 2020 presidential candidate who has since dropped out of the race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden, said her husband had grown quite ill.
After a persistent temperature and a “bad, bad” cough, Bessler began coughing up blood, Klobuchar said, prompting him to get a coronavirus test and a chest X-ray.
He checked into a hospital in Virginia and “now has pneumonia and is on oxygen but not a ventilator,” Klobuchar said.
Xuehua Peng, also known as Edward Peng, a naturalized American citizen originally from China, was sentenced for conducting espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, the US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday.
Peng was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and fined $30,000 by a US District Court judge in California on Monday.
Prior to his arrest, Peng, 56, had been working as a tour guide for Chinese tourists in the San Francisco Bay Area. But when he wasn’t showing his beloved countrymen the Frisco sites, he acted as a courier for classified US national security documents and money on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS), China’s equivalent of the CIA.
According to the DOJ, in 2015 Peng was approached by an MSS agent during a trip back home to China. The agent told Peng that he could make use of his American citizenship to help the Chinese government.
Between 2015 and 2018, Peng would leave MSS money and instructions for Chinese spies at five “dead drops” in hotel rooms in San Francisco and Columbus, Georgia. He would then depart for several hours, during which time a Chinese spy would come, retrieve the MSS’ money and communiques, and leave documents behind. Peng would then return and retrieve the documents. In this way, he never had to meet with any of the spies face to face, and thus hoped to evade detection.
Peng would then take the documents with him on trips to Beijing and deliver them to the MSS.
The FBI, which grew suspicious of Peng’s activities, set up hidden cameras in the hotel rooms and filmed him picking up the documents, and also monitored his phone calls with MSS agents.
During the course of his trial, Peng pleaded guilty, confessing to voluntarily working for the MSS.
It seems ironic that for the past several years, the United States has been obsessed with Russia as the government that is supposedly intent on sabotaging the American political system from within. While actual evidence of Russian interference has been hard to come by, here we have actual proof of Chinese efforts to undermine US national security – and yet you won’t be hearing much about that in the mainstream media.
In an increasingly rare showing of bipartisanship, Congress has moved very quickly to send two coronavirus-related spending bills to President Trump’s desk in two weeks and is feverishly working to put together a third, blockbuster package that could be worth upward of $1 trillion.
Trump’s signing of the second coronavirus bill, which will provide $100 billion worth of paid sick leave, unemployment help and free virus testing to Americans, comes as the coronavirus pandemic is hitting close to home on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, were the first two members of Congress to test positive for the disease officially known as COVID-19.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement on his diagnosis. “We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
Congress is certainly working together. The Senate managed to pass the House coronavirus bill without amendments by a 90-8 margin, sending it to Trump’s desk just two days after the House passed a technical fix to the legislation.
The expedited passage of the House legislation was a stark departure from the usual interaction between the chambers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the self-styled “Grim Reaper” for the House’s “socialist agenda,” has been at odds with House Democrats since they took control of the lower chamber in early 2019.
However, in this case he seemed to put that all aside, saying on the Senate floor, “This is a time for urgent bipartisan action, and, in this case, I do not believe we should let perfection be the enemy of something that will help even a subset of workers.”
And even before the Senate ushered through the second bill, members of Congress and the Trump administration were falling over each other to offer up ideas for another piece of legislation.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, each proposed different ideas for how the government could send checks directly to Americans who are financially strapped because of the economic slowdown. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., confirmed Tuesday on Sirius XM’s “The Michael Smerconish Program” that a “one-time distribution of $1,000 to every adult citizen” was “being seriously discussed.”
Gabbard, by the way, has just finally announced that she will be ending her campaign for president, saying on Wednesday, “Today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together.”
Bernie Sanders had better listen for the fat lady singing, because it’s all but over for the independent senator from Vermont.
Joe Biden totally crushed Bernie Sanders in Florida, adding to a series of decisive wins that leaves the self-described democratic socialist with no realistic path to securing the Democratic presidential nomination.
Several outlets called the state for the former vice president as soon as final polls closed. At 8 p.m. EST, with 62% of precincts reporting, Biden had 60.9% of the vote, while Sanders had a dismal 22.6%.
Despite the state accounting for 219 nominating delegates to the Democratic National Convention, neither candidate visited the state in person in the days before the primary due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, Biden had “virtual town halls” via video conference and Sanders held a digital “fireside chat.” Normal campaign operations were also interrupted, with staff members working from home rather than going door-to-door to encourage voters to go to the polls – all due to concerns about the corona virus.
The Vermont senator, though, had little chance in the state, even before the pandemic swept the country. Primary polls showed Biden consistently leading Sanders by 30 to 40 points.
Sanders’s February comments in support of Fidel Castro’s repressive regime in Cuba likely also hurt his chances of ever gaining any ground in the state.
“It’s unfair to simply say, ‘Everything is bad.’ You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program,” Sanders said in a 60 Minutes interview.
Two freshman Florida House Democrats, Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, condemned Sanders’s comment. The state is home to an estimated 1.5 million Cuban Americans.
The decisive win will increase Biden’s delegate lead on Sanders. Before the Tuesday primaries, Biden had a lead of about 153 delegates. Delegates are allocated proportionally based on the vote in congressional districts and statewide, meaning that winning by a large margin translates to a greater delegate advantage.
By the end of the evening, it was also clear that Biden racked up primary wins over Sanders in Arizona and Illinois as well, making his delegate lead for the Democratic presidential nomination all but insurmountable before the party’s scheduled convention in July.
A total of 1,991 delegates is needed to win the Democratic nomination at the party’s national convention this summer.
Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was unsuccessful in his bid for Florida Governor – losing to then Congressman Ron DeSantis in a surprisingly close race. Gillum – an African American — was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. Some have even promoted him as a potential vice-presidential candidate. There has been talk of future high office and even a Cabinet position if a Democrat wins the White House. Gillum was more recently hired as a contributor to CNN News.
All that is not looking very good today.
Responding to a call, police found Gillum with two other males in a room at the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach. Police were called to the scene to check out a report of an overdose by one of the other individuals. Bags of crystal meth were found at the scene.
According to the police incident report, “Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate with officers due to his inebriated state.” Medics were called “to conduct a welfare check on Gillum.”
In a statement to the Miami Herald, Gillum said he was in Miami to attend a friend’s wedding – and admitted that he had drunk too much alcohol. He denied using meth at that time or at any time.
In his statement, Gillum said:
“I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement. I’m thankful to the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts. I will spend the next few weeks with my family and appreciate privacy during this time.”
But as they say … the plot thickens.
The other two men who were in the room at the time were Travis Dyson, 30, and Aldo Mejias, 54. Mejias said he had loaned his credit card to Dyson to rent the room and arrived later to find Gillum vomiting in the bathroom and Dyson overdosed. It is believed that Mejias called police for help with Dyson – who was subsequently hospitalized.
In a statement to the Miami New Times, Dyson cast doubt on Gillum’s cover-story to the Miami Herald. The Times said Dyson seemed “confused’ about Gillum’s public statement. Dyson said, “I personally was not celebrating a wedding. I don’t know if [Gillum] was in town for a wedding. He did not mention that… we’ve been friends for a while.” Friends?
According to media reports, Dyson is listed on a website – rentmen.com – as a gay escorts. Of course, this does not establish the nature of the Gillum-Dyson friendship, but it does raise questions that beg to be answered. Gillum is alone, stumble-down alcohol drunk – if that is what it was — in a hotel room with bags of crystal meth in the company of a gay escort who was not involved in any wedding celebration AND who has overdosed on the meth — and we are expected to accept this as some innocent happenstance.
In his official statement, Gillum begs to have his privacy respected. I am sure he does. But he has chosen PUBLIC life in politics and the media. He cannot not now hide behind pleas for privacy. As the expression goes, Gillum has some ‘splaining to do.
FOOTNOTE: Gillum has now entered a rehab program.
So, there ‘tis.
A rocket barrage killed two American soldiers, an infantryman and an airman, late on Wednesday at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad.
The same attack also killed a British soldier, and twelve other troops were injured. Military spokesman US Army Colonel Myles Caggins said that an investigation of the damage inflicted in the attack is still ongoing.
This attack brings the number of American servicemen killed this week in Iraq thus far to four. Two Marine Raiders were also killed in a battle against ISIS forces on Sunday.
An Iraqi officer noted that this was the twenty-second attack on US forces in Iraq since late October.
While US officials did not accuse any specific group of carrying out the attack, Shi’ite militias backed by Iran are the likeliest culprit. One such militia, Kataib Hezbollah, carried out an attack on the US base in Kirkuk in December that killed an American military contractor. President Trump ordered an airstrike on a convoy carrying Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in retaliation, killing him, which prompted Iranian missile attacks on US bases in Iraq in January. More than 100 American troops were injured in those attacks.
The assassination also led to the Iraqi Parliament voting to demand that all American and coalition soldiers leave the country, although that decision has yet to be ratified by the government, which is in a state of transition following the resignation of the last administration following large protests in December.
The Iranian leadership has vowed “severe revenge” for the death of General Soleimani. General Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, warned that there would be further attacks by Iran and the groups it supports against American forces and its coalition allies in testimony before the House on Tuesday.
The US currently maintains a force of approximately 5,000 soldiers supporting Iraqi government forces in the country.
Donald Trump says that Sen. Chuck Schumer will be facing some “trouble” for the threats he recently made aimed at Supreme Court justices.
The president hinted that Senate Minority Leader Schumer could face consequences for his controversial remarks on two conservative Supreme Court justices.
At an abortion rights rally on the steps of the Supreme Court last week, the top Senate Democrat made remarks that critics saw as a threat against conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” the New York Democrat said.
In a tweet early Monday, Trump said there would be “trouble ahead.”
Schumer did make a rather lame attempt to walk back his comments late last week, claiming that he misspoke.
“Now, I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They didn’t come out the way I intended to,” he said Thursday. “Of course, I didn’t intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court.”
“I shouldn’t have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I would never do such a thing,” he added.
Schumer’s original comments prompted a rare rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts, who called Schumer’s criticism “inappropriate” and “dangerous.”
What do you think of the shocking news of the mysterious death of an Obama era whistleblower? What’s that? You haven’t heard anything about this? That is not surprising, being that the mainstream media has been characteristically silent about the apparent “suicide” of Philip Haney.
Haney was a whistleblower against the Obama administration. He was found dead on February 21 with a single gunshot wound, near a California highway. Investigators have said the scene appeared to look like a suicide.
However, in an interview last week, Haney’s pastor suggested his death might have been a murder rather than a suicide.
“No I do not believe he was suicidal, I do not believe that,” said Pastor Grey Young. “…You have a man that was planning to get married, a man who was very devout in his Christian faith, a man who had a lot of incredible projects in the works.”
Young went on to recount his last conversation with Haney before his death, which led him to believe Haney was excited about his future.
“Our last message together basically was ‘hey. I can’t wait to share with you this incredible thing that’s happened’ and he was very excited about it,” he stated.
Young believed Haney’s excitement was over his forthcoming his book entitled, “See Something, Say Nothing — A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad.”
The book was set up as an interview about Haney’s experience working for the Department of Homeland Security and allegedly preventing hundreds of potential terrorist threats. More importantly, the book details Haney’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he claimed federal law enforcement showed “willful blindness” to Islamic attacks in America.
Days after Haney’s death, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office announced the case will likely be a lengthy investigation.
“The individual assessment by the deputies arriving on the scene and their supervisor is the start of the investigation, it is not the end,” stated county Coroner Martin Ryan. “And we have not made any conclusions as to the cause and manner of death.”
For now, details about the investigation into Haney’s death are limited, but the FBI is working with local authorities to determine an official cause of death.
This is a developing story. Watch these pages for more details as they emerge
The GOP says the report of their investigation into Hunter Biden is coming soon – and the results are not going to be pretty for the son of the former VP, or his father!
A top Republican has announced to the press that he will release an interim report on his findings connected to his investigation of Burisma Holdings and its connection to Joe and Hunter Biden.
Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee told reporters earlier this week that the public can expect an interim report on the committee’s investigation into Burisma within one or two months. Johnson argued that Democrats should want to have some answers about Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma before casting their votes for Joe Biden.
“These are questions that Joe Biden has not adequately answered,” Johnson said. “And if I were a Democrat primary voter, I’d want these questions satisfactorily answered before I cast my final vote.”
The elder Biden surpassed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate count after a strong Super Tuesday performance and seems to now be the clear frontrunner. Johnson said that Biden’s surge makes his committee’s investigation into Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings all the more significant, but denied that he is investigating the situation solely because of the election.
“My investigations are not focused on the Bidens. They’re just not,” the senator insisted. “But I can’t ignore them because they’re part of the story. They made themselves part of the story. If there’s wrongdoing, the American people need to know it. If there is no wrongdoing or nothing significant, the American people need to understand that as well.”
Republicans have questioned why Burisma gave Hunter a high-paying position on the company board despite him having little experience in the energy sector and a well-documented problem with drug use. At the time, Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts in Ukraine, leaving critics, including President Trump, to wonder if the company used the younger Biden to leverage the former vice president.
Prior to making the announcement of the impending interim report, Johnson sent a memo to his committee announcing that they would be considering a subpoena against employees of Blue Star Strategies, which represented Burisma’s interests in the United States while Hunter Biden was on the board. Johnson said the subpoena would investigate the claims that Burisma “sought to leverage Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of Burisma to gain access to, and potentially influence matters at, the State Department.”
Several Democrats have criticized Johnson for escalating the investigation into the Bidens just as the vice president’s campaign takes off.
“I am concerned to see that in the Senate there seems to be a renewed interest in furthering these bogus Russian narratives through the use of their investigative powers. I just think it’s so deeply destructive to be effectively working in a concert with Russian propaganda artists,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said.
Joe Biden’s campaign told Politico that Johnson had done the campaign a “favor” by “admitting that he is abusing” his position to investigate Burisma and the Bidens.
Johnson argued that such an investigation was standard for the committee, saying, “I don’t know why any member of my committee would vote against a subpoena that’s just looking for records from a U.S. consulting firm.”
Johnson and fellow GOP Senators, on and off the committee, insist that the timing of this probe has nothing to do with the election calendar. But the renewed focus on Biden, coinciding with his surge to frontrunner status, has alarmed House Democrats as they brace for an all-out GOP assault on Biden and his son over an issue that was litigated at length during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), stood by the investigation, saying in a brief interview that the probe isn’t related to Biden’s candidacy, “this has nothing to do with the election” because the committees have been investigating Ukraine’s alleged role in the 2016 election since 2017.
“They may be coming together now, but that’s not how it started,” Grassley said.
On the heels of Sen. Ron Johnson of the Senate Homeland Security Committee announcing that he will soon release an interim report of his investigation into Hunter Biden and Ukraine energy company, Burisma Holdings, President Trump has said that Hunters involvement with Burisma will be the key campaign issue, should his father become his party’s nominee.
Even as the former VP surged to being the new Democratic frontrunner after a remarkable comeback on Super Tuesday, the president said he sees no way for Biden to answer questions about his family’s ties to Burisma. Concerns have been raised over claims Biden pushed for the removal of a Ukrainian special prosecutor in order to protect his son, Hunter, who was on Burisma’s board at the time.
“That will be a major issue in the campaign. I will bring that up all the time because I don’t see any way out,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview that aired Wednesday night. “I don’t believe they’ll be able to answer those questions.”
President Trump went on to say the Bidens are “totally corrupt” and slammed the mainstream media for failing to call them out.
Biden won 10 of the 14 states that were up for grabs on Super Tuesday. He has roughly 577 delegates as of now, while Sanders stands at 510.