The White House deals with a new coronavirus outbreak among the Vice President’s aides, while admitting defeat on trying to contain the spread across the country
The White House deals with a new coronavirus outbreak among the Vice President’s aides, while admitting defeat on trying to contain the spread across the country
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday criticized President Trump’s legal team over their chaotic press conference last week that failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.“You call a gigantic press conference like that — one that lasts an hour — and you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells,” Limbaugh said during his show on Monday. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got…I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference. They promised blockbuster stuff and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”He added, “If you’re gonna do a press conference like that with the promise of blockbusters, then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”He also questioned the role of lawyer Sidney Powell, who was present at the press conference but has since cut ties with Trump’s legal team.Though Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is “not a member of the Trump legal team” or a personal lawyer to the president, Limbaugh argued it’s a “tough thing to deny she was ever part of it because they introduced her as part of it."“She was at that press conference last week,” he said.During the press conference on Thursday, Giuliani claimed to have evidence of a "national conspiracy" to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden, though he said he could not yet release any evidence as the judges presiding over the campaign's lawsuit might object and because his witnesses might face retribution if their names became public. He said he had “at least ten” witnesses ready to describe instances of voter fraud, he couldn’t reveal them publicly because “they don’t want to be harassed.”
The United States’ national security adviser has warned China not to use military force against Taiwan, a day after an unannounced visit to the democratic island by a two-star Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific. Robert O’Brien cautioned Beijing while touring the Philippines and Vietnam, where he spoke to his counterparts about tackling China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, a region of vital shipping routes where it has made multiple disputed territorial claims. The Chinese Communist Party also claims Taiwan, a democracy of 24 million, even though it has never ruled there. It has threatened to annex the island, and in recent months has stepped up military intimidation through air incursions and invasion simulations. “We have very close ties with Taiwan. The president has made it very clear that any attempt to cause Taiwan to unify with China with anything other than persuasion or democratic election, is something that would be extraordinarily consequential for the People’s Republic of China,” said Mr O’Brien. “I can’t imagine anything that would cause a greater backlash against China around the entire world if they attempted to use military force to coerce Taiwan,” he told reporters. The US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taipei but it views Taiwan as a democratic ally in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. It is Taiwan’s biggest arms supplier. The Trump administration has beefed up support for Taiwan in recent months - approving several big weapons sales and dispatching senior officials, including Alex Azar, the US health secretary. This weekend Reuters reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, the director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command, had made a secretive visit. He is believed to be one of the most high-ranking US officers known to have visited Taipei in recent years. The increased US backing for Taiwan has riled China amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea, the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and an ongoing trade dispute. On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry hit back with a warning of its own, demanding the US “immediately stop” all official exchanges and military contacts with Taiwan and signalling that China would make “legitimate and necessary responses” without giving further details. “China firmly opposes official exchanges and military contacts between the US and Taiwan in any form. This position has been consistent and clear. We urge the US side to fully recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue,” said spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Masked law enforcement officers carried out mass raids on the Jehovah's Witnesses across Russia on Tuesday and made a number of arrests as part of a new criminal case against the group, the Investigative Committee said. The law enforcement agency said it had opened an investigation as it suspected the Christian denomination was organising the activity in Moscow of its national centre and affiliates. Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, denied the centre had resumed its activity and said the group was being targeted in a campaign of persecution.
A group of Pennsylvania Republicans filed a lawsuit over the weekend to block certification of the state's election results in an eleventh-hour attempt to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the key battleground state.The emergency petition, filed in state court, takes issue with a voting reform bill that passed Pennsylvania's Republican-held legislature in October last year. The lawsuit claims that the law's allowance of no excuse mail-in voting is "unconstitutional" and seeks to block Pennsylvania counties from certifying their vote results ahead of the deadline on Monday to do so and invalidate millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 election.The group is led by Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly and GOP congressional candidate Sean Parnell, who has not conceded since his defeat this month by his Democratic rival, Representative Conor Lamb. Their suit names Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, the GOP-led legislature, and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar as defendants.Meanwhile, a federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to invalidate millions of votes in Pennsylvania and block the certification of the state’s election results. Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday night that he plans to appeal the decision.About 2.6 million voters in Pennsylvania cast mail ballots in the general election this month. Biden won three out of every four mail ballots cast in the state, according to an analysis of data from Pennsylvania's state department.Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes over President Trump and is expected to be awarded the Keystone State's coveted 20 electoral votes. States have until December 8 to resolve election disputes, and electors will meet on December 14 to formally vote for the next president.Over the past several weeks, Trump has made allegations that voter fraud occurred on a massive scale through mail-in ballots. The president has claimed he won the election and has refused to concede even though his lawyers have not produced evidence of fraud widespread enough to alter the election outcome.
Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for a cruise missile attack against an oil facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.The missile hit a fuel tank at a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. facility on Monday morning, and an Energy Ministry official said the strike caused a fire. The facility is near the King Abdulaziz International Airport.In 2015, the Iranian-backed Houthis seized Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe. The Houthis have used cruise missiles against Saudi targets before, The Associated Press reports, with United Nations and Western officials accusing Iran of supplying the weapons, allegations Tehran has denied.A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Maliki, called the missile attack "cowardly," adding that it "not only targets the kingdom, but also targets the nerve center of the world's energy supply and the security of the global economy."More stories from theweek.com The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel Obama the pretender Marco Rubio blasts Biden White House picks for Ivy League degrees — despite Trump administration's similar credentials
Rush Limbaugh fully reversed course on Monday, trashing the Trump legal team’s unhinged press conference detailing baseless election-fraud conspiracies just days after praising attorney Sidney Powell—whom the Trump team has since disavowed—for dropping “bombs all over the place.”Over the weekend, after Powell claimed millions of votes were stolen from President Donald Trump by corrupted software, Powell gave an off-the-rails interview to Newsmax TV in which she expanded her bonkers conspiracy to include Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state being bribed.With Powell having already come under fire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for failing to provide any evidence for her outrageous allegations, which included claims that late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was involved in stealing votes, Team Trump finally distanced itself from Powell on Sunday evening, saying she “is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”Trump and his legal team weren’t the only people trying to retroactively memory-hole Powell just days after giving over-the-top praise for the QAnon-boosting lawyer’s baseless conspiracies and incessant promises to “Release the Kraken.”During his Thursday broadcast, immediately following the insane news conference—which also featured Giuliani’s hair-dye streaking down his face as he acted out My Cousin Vinny—Limbaugh couldn’t contain his glee over Powell’s debunked theories about Dominion voting software flipping votes to President-elect Joe Biden.“Sidney Powell just dropped bombs all over the place,” Limbaugh bellowed at the time. “For instance, Trump votes were so overwhelming, the number of people who had voted for Trump that the rigged system, this Dominion system with the Smartmatic software melted down. It couldn’t handle, it couldn’t cheat fast enough, it could not overcome the number of legitimate Trump votes.”Repeatedly praising Powell’s “impeccable reputation” on Thursday afternoon, Limbaugh claimed that Powell had “evidence of fraud” and “detailed evidence of communist money” being used to “rig the elections,” telling his listeners that the presser was a “full hour of constant, overwhelming evidence.”Fast forward to Monday: Limbaugh now sings a different tune.“I mean, it’s a tough thing to deny that she was ever a part of it because they introduced her as part of it. I mean, she was at that press conference last week,” he noted, adding that there is no credibly denying Powell's official involvement on Trump's legal team. (Ellis had said Powell was a member of the legal team’s “elite strike force” on Thursday.)“You call a gigantic press conference like that—one that lasts an hour—and you announce ‘massive bombshells,’ then you better have some bombshells,” he added. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got.”Noting that Powell “jumped the shark,” Limbaugh again expressed disappointment in the lack of evidence while throwing the president’s legal team under the bus.“I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference,” he concluded. “They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”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.
The Nevada Supreme Court made Joe Biden’s win in the state official on Tuesday, approving the state's final canvass of the Nov. 3 election. The unanimous action by the seven nonpartisan justices sends to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak results that will deliver six electoral votes from the western U.S. battleground state to Biden. The court action drew extra scrutiny amid legal efforts by the state GOP and Trump campaign to prevent sending vote-by-mail ballots to all 1.82 million active registered voters and then to stop the counting of the 1.4 million votes that were cast.
"He could have accepted the results, but I'm saying, 'Look at the amazing stuff that's done for the news business,'" the CEO said.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.
A metal monolith has been found in the heart of Utah's red rock country by a state employee who was carrying out a count of bighorn sheep. The shiny structure was spotted by a biologist while conducting an aerial survey of southern Utah as part of a programme to double the number of sheep in the area. Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot, was dumbfounded. “That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying," he told the local tv news channel, KSLTV. “I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet high,” he added. “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.” How the monolith got there remains a mystery. According to Mr Hutchings it was not just dropped in place, but firmly planted into the ground. He speculated the piece was a work of art deposited in the middle of nowhere by what he described as a "new wave" artist - perhaps inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey".
The Donald Trump phenomenon is purported to have divided friendships, families, and even marriages. I can attest to this fact in my own suburban Washington household, for this perhaps peculiar professional reason: It has occasioned my wife, the longtime sufferer of all my hot takes, to ask approximately one-thousand times whether I finally feel bad about all the mean things I said about Mitt Romney.The short answer is, yes!Romney, now the junior senator of Utah, has displayed rare courage and integrity throughout this hell-year. Alone among Republican senators (indeed, alone among any senator in history), he crossed party lines to vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government to interfere in our election. And — not alone, exactly, but hardly in plentiful company — he has forthrightly condemned the president for stonewalling the Biden transition and undermining our democracy.These actions have taken real guts. If I were wearing a cap, I would doff it; if I were to meet Romney in person, I would thank him. With this virtual pen in hand, I am applauding him.However: The long answer to the above question is … Heck no!Let me explain why I’m torn.First, it’s essential to remember how radically different our political landscape looked in the Before Times. The outright bigotry and racism of the 2016 Trump campaign had not yet been contemplated, let alone assimilated; for decades, those things were hinted at, dog-whistled, wink-winked — but they were not, in any overt sense, options on the menu given to Republican primary voters. Consequently, it needs to be said that it’s silly to retroactively credit figures in the party for not behaving that badly.So, what was it that bugged me so badly about mainstream, milquetoast Mitt?In 2007 and 2008, Romney, then the moderate one-term governor of Massachusetts (as well as the son of a famously moderate governor of Michigan) ran a primary campaign that was, I still maintain, preposterous. It was predicated on the notion that frontrunner John McCain (who, after a tumultuous summer in ’07, eventually won the GOP nomination) was too moderate. He compromised too often with Democrats (with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; with Ted Kennedy on immigration; with Joe Lieberman on climate change).I understand the imperatives of strategy in winning a primary, when you must appeal to the base before pivoting to the center. But — as I said then and will say again now — I refuse to listen to such an appeal from mainstream milquetoast Mitt. He did not play the Mr. Conservative act lightly; he played it, as he plays everything, stiffly. The act failed. It deserved to fail.Then came 2012. Romney was now something of a frontrunner. He had lost the 2008 primary — but so had McCain, badly, in the general election against President Obama. It was now, in the sequential custom of Republican politics, “Mitt Romney’s turn.” So now he was the one who had to beat back attempts to protect his right flank. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee (am I forgetting anyone? It feels like I’m forgetting someone!) — they all took their shots at Romney; they all exposed weaknesses or wounded him; and they all, one after the other, failed as he had four years before.Without aid of Google, I remember calling Romney a “rancid imposter” (yikes!). With aid of Google, I see that I called his 2012 campaign “breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic” (I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!). I haven’t forgotten about the catastrophic 47 percent video. And I sure haven’t forgotten about the way Romney comported himself in the first innings of the Benghazi fiasco (reminder: He really was breathtakingly cynical).But, with the benefit of both hindsight and five years of Donald Trump, here’s what I’ve come to appreciate about Mitt Romney, a man of obvious high character and basic decency, that wasn’t clear to me then, but should have been: He was trying to hold together a party that was morally coming apart at the seams. Indeed, Romney could see for himself that it was thirsting for a demagogue very like Trump (whose endorsement, it must be noted, Romney accepted). “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” he said in February 2012. “We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.”It took guts to say that then. I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. I should have.When the notional threat of Trump became a reality in 2016, Romney, again, took a stand. In March of that fateful year, Romney warned against nominating a “con man, a fake.” Every word of the speech was born out by the reality of the Trump administration. Not just the bits about Trump’s warped character — but the red flags over Trump’s desire for a trade war and his embrace of prodigious debt.Of course, Romney being Romney, he sullied his righteous stand by agreeing to dine with Trump during the transition, under the guise of possibly being nominated for secretary of state. Predictably, Romney was humiliated. But that was the last time.Very much on his own shingle, Romney won a Senate seat in Utah. From there, he has become one of the bravest and most constructive voices in Republican politics. And while I may regret the excessive tone of some of my criticisms of Mitt Romney’s past, I can say that I look forward to applauding him more often in the future.“Sorry, Mitt”? Not quite.Instead: Go, Mitt, go!More stories from theweek.com Biden's White House: 'Sipping unflavored almond milk' after guzzling vats of Tabasco for 4 years Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life'