Stephanie Stahl reports.
Stephanie Stahl reports.
Fox News host Melissa Francis admitted on Thursday that she doesn’t trust her own network’s polling—conducted by a group considered among the industry’s most trustworthy pollsters—while also claiming on-air that she deliberately misleads pollsters when they call her.With President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by double digits in many national and battleground state polls, a narrative has formed that there are so-called “secret Trump voters” who don’t feel comfortable expressing their support for the president. A recent Monmouth poll in Pennsylvania, which finds Biden up by 13 points, shows that a majority of voters in the state believe a secret Trump vote exists.“The media consistently reports that Biden is in the lead, but voters remember what happened in 2016. The specter of a secret Trump vote looms large in 2020,” Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray wrote upon the poll’s release.During a Thursday afternoon Fox News discussion on Brad Parscale’s demotion as Trump campaign manager, Francis expressed her distrust of political polling by citing her own experience with deceiving pollsters.After fellow Fox host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery said the 2016 polls were “completely wrong” and that current polls are using that same methodology, Francis noted that she is “familiar” with the polls because she has been polled twice recently.“Because I’m not affiliated with a party, I am married, I have three children,” she said. “I think I am a woman of a certain age, so I am sort of the vote that people are looking for. I have a blast when they call me.”“None of the information—sometimes I’m somebody who voted for [New York Mayor Bill] de Blasio but now I was thinking about Trump,” Francis continued. “Sometimes it just depends how I toy with these folks.”After this writer tweeted out a clip of Francis’ comments while asking “are Fox News hosts now claiming they openly lie to pollsters to help push the narrative that all the polls are wrong,” the Fox News personality responded that polling is “garbage.”“Any pollster who calls me - I do not tell the truth,” she wrote. “It’s not their business. But I misled them left and right in equal measure. Polling is in fact garbage. I also do *always* disclose where I work and ask from whom they purchased my information.”When asked whether this meant that she believed her own network’s polls are also “garbage,” Francis replied: “I don’t trust any polling at all based on my personal experience.”Interestingly, despite claiming to find all polling to be “garbage,” Twitter sleuths pointed out that she has a history of boosting polling data that supports various Fox-friendly narratives.According to poll analysis digital outlet FiveThirtyEight, Fox News is rated as one of the most accurate polling organizations, with an A rating. Furthermore, much has been made about the inaccuracy of the 2016 presidential election polls. Post-election analysis, however, shows that the accuracy of the national polls was pretty much on par with every election of the past 50 years. The average of the final polls was also largely in line with Hillary Clinton two-point popular vote win.Beyond that, polling since the 2016 election has been even more accurate. During the 2018 midterm elections, which resulted in a blue wave in the House of representatives, non-partisan polls were far more accurate than any average poll since 1998. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he expected a World Health Organization (WHO) investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus in China to be "completely whitewashed." Nearly 580,000 people globally have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and more than 13 million have been infected following an outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, last year. The Geneva-based WHO said it was sending an team to China in early July to investigate how the outbreak started.
A mysterious explosion and fire at Iran's main nuclear facility may have stopped Tehran from building advanced centrifuges, but it likely has not slowed the Islamic Republic in growing its ever-increasing stockpile of low-enriched uranium. Limiting that stockpile represented one of the main tenets of the nuclear deal that world powers reached with Iran five years ago this week — an accord which now lies in tatters after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from it two years ago. The larger that stockpile grows, the shorter the so-called “breakout time” becomes — time that Iran would need to build a nuclear weapon if it chooses to do so.
People raised more than $100,000 for Lenin Gutierrez, a Starbucks barista who was shamed by Amber Gilles for trying to enforce a face-mask rule.
A chartered commercial aircraft left Dulles airport outside Washington for the South Korean capital, Seoul, where passengers would transfer to another aircraft outfitted for medical operations before flying to the Chinese city of Guangzhou. The flight, only the second of many required to return more than 1,200 U.S. diplomats with their families, was the first since negotiations hit an impasse two weeks ago over conditions China wanted to impose on the Americans, prompting the State Department to postpone flights tentatively scheduled for the first 10 days of July. The U.S. is working to fully restaff its mission in China, one of its largest in the world, which was evacuated in February because of COVID-19.
The U.N. environment chief said Wednesday that “time is running out” to avert an environmental, economic and humanitarian catastrophe from a deteriorating oil tanker loaded with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil that is moored off the coast of Yemen. Inger Andersen told the U.N. Security Council that an oil spill from the FSO Safer, which hasn’t been maintained for over five years, would wreck ecosystems and livelihoods for decades. Houthi rebels, who control the area where the ship is moored, have denied U.N. inspectors access to the vessel so they could assess the damage and look for ways to secure the tanker by unloading the oil and pulling the ship to safety.
A KC-10 Extender aerial refueling tanker, tail number 86-0036, headed to the Air Force's "boneyard" on Monday, with 58 more set to follow it.
The fresh push comes despite increasing warnings from Republican strategists that the message stands to backfire in several ways.
A low dose of radiation to the lungs of COVID-19 pneumonia patients can help them recover more quickly, a small study suggests. Doctors at Emory University in Atlanta treated 10 such patients with lung radiation and compared them to 10 patients of similar ages who received usual care, without radiation. The radiation group was "a little older, a little sicker, and their lungs were a little more damaged ... but despite that we saw a strong signal of efficacy," Emory's Dr. Mohammad Khan told Reuters.
Taiwan's military fired missiles from the air and the island's shore facing China on Thursday in a live-fire drill to demonstrate its ability to defend against any Chinese invasion. President Tsai Ing-wen said, observing the exercise in a helmet and camouflage military fatigues. China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that is part of its territory.
The sign asks customers to “remove your mask or raise both hands high” to avoid being mistaken as a robber. It's a joke, the owner says.
In a statement, the CDC said "hospital-reported COVID-19 data summaries will no longer be provided."
A week after the Supreme Court ruled President Donald Trump is not immune from turning over his tax returns and other financial records to the Manhattan district attorney, the president’s legal team said in a Thursday hearing they intended to keep fighting the “wildly over-broad subpoena”—an argument slammed by prosecutors as a back-door attempt to create temporary “absolute immunity.” Federal Judge Victor Marrero—who originally presided over the case and denied the president’s efforts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from subpoenaing eight years of Trump’s tax returns last year—questioned both sides in a Thursday hearing about what has changed since his previous ruling. In the video hearing, Marrero hinted that he had already addressed the president’s concerns last October and only new information would change his mind. Rudy Giuliani Blows Up Trump’s ‘Audit’ Excuse on Tax ReturnsLast August, Vance’s office issued a subpoena to Mazars, the president’s accounting firm, as part of the investigation into hush-money payments allegedly made to several women before the 2016 election. The president has denied having affairs with these women, but Vance said the financial records dating back to 2011 were crucial to see if business records were falsified and if any tax laws were violated. In a 7-2 decision on July 9, the Supreme Court sided with Vance in the belief that Trump should not get absolute immunity as a sitting president. But they sent the case back to the lower courts for a final decision on the specific subpoena issue. That decision means Trump’s legal team has the right to delay the release of his records before the case is ultimately resolved—which could happen after the November presidential election. On Thursday, William Consovoy, one of the president’s lawyers, pushed back against Marrero’s skepticism, arguing that Vance’s “wildly over-broad subpoena” was not tailored to the DA’s original investigation and was instead “copied verbatim” from the congressional committees who also sought Trump’s tax returns. He said Trump “is still reviewing the subpoena” and his team has not yet decided what arguments they plan to raise in an amended complaint against Vance’s request. Calling the legal action a “fishing expedition,” Consovoy argued Trump was “a target for political reasons.”Supremes: NY Can Get Trump’s Tax Returns, but Not House DemsHe added that while Marrero allowed Vance’s investigation into whether Trump and his company violated state laws with hush-money payments, he must now “focus on the subpoena itself” and narrow its scope.Assistant District Attorney Carey Dunne hit back, arguing that the president’s legal team did not offer “a single recitation of a single new fact” that would sway the judge’s original ruling, and stressed that “justice delayed is justice denied.”“What the president’s lawyer is seeking here is delay,” Dunne said, adding that the president achieves some sort of “absolute immunity” with each day that goes by. “This lawsuit has delayed our collection of evidence. We accept that the president has the right to articulate any new claims, except constitutional immunity. But there's no special heightened standard. It’s like he’s a CEO.”While the federal judge made no rulings on Thursday, he endorsed the schedule the two legal parties had previously agreed on. The president will make whatever arguments he wants about the subpoena in a hearing later this month.“Our office’s position, your honor, is, ‘bring it on,’” Dunne said Thursday. The hearing came a day after Trump’s lawyers, in a joint submission memo with the DA’s office, renewed their year-long effort to block or narrow Vance’s access to the president’s records. In the memo, the lawyers argued Vance’s subpoena was politically motivated and too broad. “The President should not be required, for example, to litigate the subpoena’s breadth or whether it was issued in bad faith without understanding the nature and scope of the investigation and why the District Attorney needs all of the documents he has demanded,” the president’s lawyers said in the 10-page memo. “The parties likely will disagree about the appropriate scope of discovery.”Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance’s Trump Case Hinges on Tax ReturnsTrump has been refusing to release his tax returns for years, overturning a precedent set by the previous six presidents. He argued in federal district court in New York that he couldn’t be subpoenaed in a criminal case because he is a sitting president. The president lost several bids last year in lower courts to stop the subpoenas.“Shunning the concept of the inviolability of the person of the King of England and the bounds of the monarch’s protective screen covering the Crown’s actions from legal scrutiny, the Founders disclaimed any notion that the Constitution generally conferred similarly all-encompassing immunity upon the president,” Marrero wrote in an October 2019 opinion denying Trump’s block and reminding the president’s legal team that the president is not royalty. Similar to his argument against the slew of congressional committees who wanted his finance records, Trump argued that the legal move tried “to compel the production of an enormous swath of the president’s personal financial information.” His legal team slammed Vance for “pointedly refus[ing] to eliminate the president as a target for indictment.”On Thursday, Dunne stressed the president's lawyers have had over a year to dig into the facts of their investigation and there was no “attempt to harass.” He also stressed that their request for the subpoena does not burden Article II of the Constitution—which establishes the executive branch of the federal government. He said that there is no burden because “the Mazars subpoena is not even served on the president. He's not the one responding to it.”“Now that the immunity claims are gone, he does not even have standing for claims that belong only to Mazars. I do not think discovery will be necessary,” Dunne said. A day after the July 9 Supreme Court victory, Marrero asked both Trump’s lawyers and the district attorney teams to inform him of whether further action was needed in light of the landmark decision. Trump’s lawyers, in the Wednesday memo, revealed they plan to argue Vance’s subpoena should be blocked, while the district attorney told Marrero that the president’s team is trying to blow past the limitations of the Supreme Court ruling. Both parties, however, agreed the president should make new challenges to the subpoena by July 27.“It is the president’s position that further proceedings are necessary,” Trump's lawyers said in the memo. “In those proceedings, the president will file a second amended complaint in which he will raise arguments that the Supreme Court held that he may make on remand.”On Wednesday, Vance’s office also asked Marrero in the joint memo to order the president to file any additional arguments as soon as possible in order to not lose evidence “as a result of fading memories or lost documents and the risk that applicable statutes of limitations could expire.” The District Attorney’s Office also asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to immediately release its ruling to lower federal courts, warning that delaying a process that normally takes up to 25 days could thwart the ability for filing of criminal charges.“If the president has anything left to say the ball is now in his court,” the district attorney’s office wrote. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Spacewalking astronauts completed their part of a three-year power upgrade to the International Space Station on Thursday, replacing six more outdated batteries with powerful new ones. It was the third spacewalk in as many weeks involving battery work by NASA's Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy. Behnken and Cassidy swiftly removed six of the remaining old nickel-hydrogen batteries and plugged in three new lithium-ion units.
At least seven ships have reportedly caught fire at Iran's Bushehr seaport, marking what appears to be the latest in a series of fires and explosions around the country -- some of which have hit sensitive sites. Iran's Tasnim news agency says no casualties have been reported. The state broadcaster showed firefighters tackling clouds of smoke at a shipyard at the southern port on the Gulf. The cause is not currently known. There have been several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear, and industrial facilities since late June, including a fire at Iran's underground Natanz nuclear facility. State run media have speculated sabotage or attacks from the United States or Israel. Earlier this month Benny Gantz, Israel's defense minister, said that his country was not "necessarily" behind every mysterious incident in Iran.
In a hour-long speech in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, President Donald Trump claimed Biden wanted to abolish prisons and windows.