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Donald Trump says the NBA has become a ‘political organization’ after Jacob Blake


President Donald Trump mocked the National Basketball Association Thursday when asked about the player-driven protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Asked about the protest during a FEMA briefing on Hurricane Laura, Trump said he didn’t ‘know much’ about the protest, then proceeded to attack the league. 

‘I don’t know much about the NBA protest. I know their ratings have been very bad. Because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly,’ he said. For Trump, a former realty TV star, calling out someone for low ratings is a deep slight. 

President Donald President Trump said the NBA's TV ratings have been 'very bad' when asked about player-driven protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer

 President Donald President Trump said the NBA’s TV ratings have been ‘very bad’ when asked about player-driven protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer

‘But I don’t know too much about the protest. But I know I know their ratings have been very bad. And that’s unfortunate,’ he continued.

‘They’ve become like a political organization and that’s not a good thing. I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or the country,’ Trump said.

Trump spoke hours after the Milwaukee Bucks kicked off a protest that spread throughout the NBA and other sports leagues.

Three NBA playoff games were postponed Wednesday, in a walk-out that spread to the WNBA and Major League Baseball.  

Eric Trump, who helps run the Trump Organization, was on hand for the president's FEMA briefing following a campaign fundraiser at the president's Washington, D.C. hotel

Eric Trump, who helps run the Trump Organization, was on hand for the president’s FEMA briefing following a campaign fundraiser at the president’s Washington, D.C. hotel

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attend a briefing on Hurricane Laura in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters, in Washington, DC, USA, 27 August 2020. Hurricane Laura made landfall early in the morning on 27 August as a Category 4 Hurricane

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attend a briefing on Hurricane Laura in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters, in Washington, DC, USA, 27 August 2020. Hurricane Laura made landfall early in the morning on 27 August as a Category 4 Hurricane

Trump has yet to specifically comment on the police shooting of Jacob Blake. He did speak about the nights of violence on the streets in Kenosha, on Day Four of a political convention that has featured appeals for ‘law and order.’

‘We will put out the fire. We will put out the flame,’ He said. ‘We will stop the violence very quickly,’ Trump pledged.

Soon after Trump made his first comments on the protest, former Vice President Joe Biden accused him of ‘rooting for more violence, not less’  as a way to boost his reelection campaign.

Trump has yet to specifically condemn the 

 Trump spoke after top advisors also spoke dismissively about the protests. 

 Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner took a dig Thursday at professional basketball players who cancelled their scheduled playoff game in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

Kushner, who like Trump expanded a real estate empire built by his father, pointed to the wealth amassed by top NBA players, while Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short dismissed the protest saying: ‘I don’t think we care.’

The prominent White House officials spoke after the National Basketball Association postponed games amid protests over the shooting and the protest spread to MLB and MLS.

LeBron James, the sport’s biggest star, tweeted: ‘F*** THIS MAN!!!!WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.’ 

Blake was shot seven times in the back during an encounter with police – an event that prompted three nights of street protests and violent clashes.

Asked if the White House supported the players, Kushner said: ‘Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.

‘So they have that luxury, which is great,’ he told CNBC‘s Squawk Box.

'Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,' Jared Kushner said when asked about the NBA walk-out in response to the killing of Jacob Blake

‘Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,’ Jared Kushner said when asked about the NBA walk-out in response to the killing of Jacob Blake

‘Look I think with the NBA there’s a lot of activism and I think that they put a lot of slogans out but I think that what we need to do is turn that from slogans and signals to actual action that’s going to solve the problem,’ he said.

Then Kushner went on to name four Trump administration policies: criminal justice reform, opportunity zones meant to steer investments into distressed communities, school choice, historically black colleges. 

He didn’t specifically mention protesters’ complaints about police shootings of minorities. Kushner has been a key negotiator on criminal justice reform meant to reduce sentences for nonviolent offenders. 

‘People don’t like seeing what’s happening in a lot of these cities. President Trump has been very strong in saying we don’t want violence in these cities,’ Kushner said.

He spoke hours after the Milwaukee Bucks staged a walkout of their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Two other NBA matchups were also postponed, and the WNBA and Major League Baseball also postponed games.

Short conducted cable TV interviews hours after Pence warned at his Republican convention speech that ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’

The convention rolled on amid a fourth night of protests in Kenosha, and the arrest of a suspect in the killing of two people who was immediately identified as having attended a Trump rally in Des Moines in January. 

Short fielded repeated questions about why Pence didn’t speak out specifically agains the shooting of Blake, the latest police shooting to rock the nation. 

‘He said specifically he wants to bring an end to the violence,’ said Pence.

Asked if the administration supports the protest, Short responded: ‘Look I don’t know that you’re going to see the administration weigh in on that tone way or the other. In my mind it’s absurd, it’s silly,’ he said. 

Mike Pence chief of staff Marc Short said of the NBA walk-out: 'I don't think we care'

Mike Pence chief of staff Marc Short said of the NBA walk-out: ‘I don’t think we care’

Demonstrators march in the streets on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23

Demonstrators march in the streets on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23

Benches sit empty at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Benches sit empty at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

 Short spoke after the basketball protest proliferated into one of the most widespread in the history of U.S. sport.  

Bucks players said in a statement released Wednesday: ‘Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.’

‘When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable.’ They continued: ‘We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.

‘We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable,’ said the statement. 

Speaking hours after his initial comments, Kushner softened his criticism and said he would reach out to NBA great LeBron James.

‘I think that it’s nice that they’re standing up for the issue, but I’d like to see them start moving into concrete solutions that are productive,’ Kushner told Politico. And again, President Trump in this White House is willing to work with them,’ he said.  

Aug 26, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Grounds crew work on the field as Black Lives Matter video plays on the scoreboard before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. at Oracle Park

Aug 26, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Grounds crew work on the field as Black Lives Matter video plays on the scoreboard before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. at Oracle Park

Demonstrators protest the shooting of Jacob Blake on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A police officer shot Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children. The shooting sparked three consecutive days of rioting in the city

Demonstrators protest the shooting of Jacob Blake on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A police officer shot Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children. The shooting sparked three consecutive days of rioting in the city

Former President Barack Obama commended the players and coaches including Doc Rivers

Former President Barack Obama commended the players and coaches including Doc Rivers

The statements from the White House came hours after the Republican Convention was organized around a ‘law and order’ theme.  A line of speakers pointed to unrest in the streets.

”There’s looting, chaos, destruction and murder. People who can afford to flee have fled,’ said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Michael McHale, who heads the National Association of Police Unions, called the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket ‘the most radical anti-police ticket in history.’ 

Pence unequivocally sided with law enforcement. ‘And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we’re not going to defund the police, not now not ever,’ he said.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Thursday: ‘The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety, and law and order.’





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TikTok will be sold in a $20-30billion deal ‘in the coming days and Oracle is favored buyer’


TikTok will be sold in ’48 hours’ and Trump-backed Oracle is the ‘favored buyer with a $20billion cash and stock deal’ – as Microsoft and Walmart team up for their bid

  • TikTok’s US arm will be sold in the next 48 hours to either Oracle – owned by Trump donor Larry Ellison – or Microsoft
  • According to sources cited by The Wrap, Oracle’s offer is $10bn cash and $10bn in Oracle stock 
  • Under their terms, 50% of TikTok profits will go back to ByteDance – their Chinese owner – for the next two years 
  • Microsoft has teamed up with Walmart to strengthen its bid after ByteDance US investors questioned it 
  • Trump set a November 12 deadline for the video app to be sold to a US company
  • He claimed that it was a national security risk so many Americans used the app when it was owned by a Chinese parent company  
  • He previously endorsed Oracle as a buyer, calling it a ‘great company’ 
  • TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer stepped down, allegedly because he was cut out of the sale negotiations  

TikTok will be sold to a US company in the next 48 hours, sources close to negotiations say

TikTok will be sold to a US company in the next 48 hours, sources close to negotiations say 

TikTok will be sold within ‘coming days’ to either Microsoft and Walmart or Oracle, in a $20-30billion deal that comes three months before Trump’s deadline for the Chinese-owned video app to be sold to a US entity. 

Both Microsoft and Oracle expressed interest in the app after Trump ordered ByteDance, the Chinese tech company that owns it, to sell it to a US entity or risk losing all its American customers. 

He said it was a national security risk because it had access to more than 100million Americans’ data. 

On Thursday it emerged that Microsoft and Walmart were teaming up in their bid. It came after fears among US investors in ByteDance questioned whether they’d have a place in a Microsoft sale. 

The Wrap cited sources who said Oracle was the preferred buyer and that their offer – which has the backing of Trump – is $10billion in cash and $10billion in Oracle stock. 

Half of TikTok’s profits will go back to ByteDance for two years, their sources said. 

Larry Ellison, who owns Oracle, is a Trump donor. Trump backed Oracle as the buyer earlier this month, calling it a ‘great company’ and saying: ‘I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it.’

In a statement announcing their partnership with Microsoft on Thursday, Walmart said it was eager to be involved in the app which has merged e-commerce with social media and video. 

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is a billionaire Trump donor

Microsoft founder Bill Gates previously called the app a 'poisoned chalice'

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is a billionaire Trump donor (left). Microsoft founder Bill Gates previously called the app a ‘poisoned chalice’ 

President Trump (pictured last night at the RNC with First Lady Melania Trump) gave the Chinese company until November 12 to make a sale or have it banned in the US, one of its largest markets

President Trump (pictured last night at the RNC with First Lady Melania Trump) gave the Chinese company until November 12 to make a sale or have it banned in the US, one of its largest markets 

Shares in Microsoft and Walmart rose on Thursday as news of their joint bid emerged

Shares in Microsoft and Walmart rose on Thursday as news of their joint bid emerged

Shares in Microsoft (left) and Walmart (right) rose on Thursday as news of their joint bid emerged 

‘We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses. 

Oracle's stock was marginally down

Oracle’s stock was marginally down 

‘We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US Tik Tok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators,’ the company said in a statement. 

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been hesitant about the deal, referring to TikTok as a ‘poisoned chalice’. 

Microsoft’s stock jumped three percent on Thursday as news of the imminent sale emerged. Walmart’s rose by two percent. 

However according to reports, Oracle is being backed both by ByteDance’s US investors and by the White House. 

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital- two major US investors in ByteDance – were pushing Oracle’s bid over Microsoft’s. 

TikTok Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer has left the company

TikTok Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mayer has left the company

It has also been reported by CNBC that TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quit after being cut out of negotiations surrounding the sale.  

Announcing his resignation, Mayer wrote in his memo: ‘In recent weeks, as the political environment has sharply changed, I have done significant reflection on what the corporate structural changes will require, and what it means for the global role I signed up for.

‘Against this backdrop, and as we expect to reach a resolution very soon, it is with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company.’

It was reported previously that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg planted the seed for Trump to ban the app during a meeting in September last year.

Instagram, one of Facebook’s companies, recently launched Reels to compete with TikTok.





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Disturbing new footage shows gunman, 17, ‘shooting dead his first victim’ in Kenosha


Disturbing new footage has emerged which appears to show the police-obsessed gunman charged with the murder of two Black Live Matter protesters in Kenosha shooting dead his first victim before running away.  

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Antioch, Illinois, some 20 miles from Kenosha, where riots over the shooting of Jacob Blake have been raging now for four nights.  He is accused of killing two people at the protests on Tuesday night while trying to ‘defend’ the city. 

On Wednesday Police Chief Daniel Miskinis appeared to blame Tuesday night’s violence on people breaking the curfew, telling a press conference: ‘Last night, in a situation that began peaceful and turned somewhat unruly … persons who were out after the curfew became engaged in some type of disturbance and persons were shot. Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened.’

The two men who were killed were Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, about 15 miles west of the city. The wounded person, Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis, about 30 miles northwest of Kenosha, was expected to survive, police said. 

Videos from Tuesday night’s protests had already shown a gunman, later identified as Rittenhouse, being tailed by protesters as he ran down a street. The videos show the gunman stumbling and falling before firing three of four shots hitting at least two people. Huber was later identified as the man killed in this incident.  

Now a new earlier clip appears to shed light on how the ordeal unfolded after a first victim was shot in the head outside a nearby auto garage. The man, now named as father-of-one Rosenbaum, is pictured on the ground while the gunman stands nearby. 

The video show the gunman running away in the moments after the gunshots rang out. He could be heard saying: ‘I’ve just killed somebody.’ It is then the second and third shootings, seen in the initial video shared widely Wednesday, are thought to have happened after protesters chased the gunman.  

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Disturbing new footage has emerged which appears to show the police-obsessed gunman, left, charged with the murder of two BLM protesters in Kenosha shooting dead his first victim before running away

Disturbing new footage has emerged which appears to show the police-obsessed gunman, left, charged with the murder of two BLM protesters in Kenosha shooting dead his first victim before running away

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Antioch, Illinois, some 20 miles from Kenosha, where riots over the shooting of Jacob Blake have been raging now for four nights. He is believed to be circled left in the left image and right the right image

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Antioch, Illinois, some 20 miles from Kenosha, where riots over the shooting of Jacob Blake have been raging now for four nights. He is believed to be circled left in the left image and right the right image

Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people at the protests on Tuesday night while trying to 'defend' the city. The gunman and his victim are circled red in footage from Tuesday evening

Rittenhouse is accused of killing two people at the protests on Tuesday night while trying to ‘defend’ the city. The gunman and his victim are circled red in footage from Tuesday evening 

The two men who were killed were Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, pictured, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, about 15 miles west of the city

Anthony Huber has been identified as one of the men who was shot dead during the protests on Tuesday night

The two men who were killed were Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, and Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, about 15 miles west of the city. The wounded person, Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis, about 30 miles northwest of Kenosha, was expected to survive, police said. 

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first degree intentional homicide following the shooting death of two protesters in Kenosha on Tuesday. Social media photos show the teen had a strong admiration for law enforcement and guns

Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois and charged with first degree intentional homicide over the shooting death of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin last night. He will be extradited for a hearing on Friday in Wisconsin - where anyone 17 and over is treated as an adult

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first degree intentional homicide following the shooting death of two protesters in Kenosha on Tuesday. Social media photos show the teen had a strong admiration for law enforcement and guns 

Facebook removes ‘Kenosha Guard’ militia group with 3,000 members asking ‘patriots to take up arms and defend our city tonight from the evil thugs’

Facebook on Wednesday launched an investigation into a group called ‘Kenosha Guard,’ containing 3,000 members, after it had promoted an event encouraging armed civilians to take to the streets to defend the city on Tuesday. 

The militia group had hosted an event titled, ‘Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property’, according to screen grabs obtained by The Verge.

‘Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from the evil thugs?’ the group said in a post.

‘No doubt they are currently planning on the next part of the city to burn tonight.’

In a statement to the website, Facebook confirmed it had deleted the group for violating its policy, but said it had not found any evidence linking Rittenhouse to the group or event.   

‘At this time, we have not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the shooter followed the Kenosha Guard Page or that he was invited on the Event Page they organized,’ the company said. 

‘However, the Kenosha Guard Page and their Event Page violated our new policy addressing militia organizations and have been removed on that basis.’

A member of the group also told The Verge it was unaware if the shooter ‘was answering the Kenosha Guard Militia’s call to arms.’ 

‘Just like with the shooting of Jacob Blake, we need all the facts and evidence to come out before we make a judgement. God Bless and stay safe Kenosha!’ the statement said.     

The shooting of father-of-six Blake 29, had sparked the protests in the city against police brutality and racism. He was struck from behind at point-blank range in a hail of bullets fired on Sunday by police who were following him with guns drawn as he walked away from officers to his car and opened a door to the vehicle. 

Three of his young sons inside the automobile – aged three, five and eight – witnessed their father being gunned down, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Blake family. 

His shooting comes three months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday authorized the deployment of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops in the city of 100,000. 

Guard troops from Arizona, Michigan and Alabama were coming to Wisconsin to assist, Evers said Thursday. He did not say how many.

In Washington, the Justice Department said it was sending in more than 200 federal agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

The White House said up to 2,000 National Guard troops would be made available. 

The Justice Department also announced that the U.S. attorney’s office and FBI would conduct a civil rights investigation into the shooting of Blake, in cooperation with Wisconsin state law enforcement agencies. 

In a another clip from Tuesday night onlookers were filmed desperately trying to put pressure on the injured man’s head wound with a t-shirt as they yelled: ‘We’ve got to keep him alive’ and ‘put pressure, put pressure.’ 

It is not yet clear what happened in the lead up to the initial shooting but police fear it may have stemmed from a conflict at a gas station between ‘self-styled militias’ defending local businesses from looters. 

Separate videos that captured the other two shootings showed a group of protesters tailing the gunman as he ran down the middle of the street. Someone in the crowd can be heard asking ‘What did he do?’ and another responds that the man had shot someone.  

The videos show the gunman stumbling and falling in the street before one pursuer took a flying kick at him, while another appeared to strike him with a skateboard. 

The gunman fired three of four shots from a seated position, hitting at least two people, including one who fell over clutching his chest and another who stumbled away putting pressure on his arm, according to the videos.   

As the crowd scattered, the shooter stood up and continued walking down the street as police cars arrived.  

He then walks towards police vehicles with his hands in the air as other protesters yelled at the cops to arrest him, claiming he’d just shot two people. 

The teenager was not arrested until the following day and is in now custody, charged as an adult. 

Groups that had taken to Kenosha’s streets with long guns were nowhere to be seen early Thursday following somber protests and no widespread unrest for the first night since the weekend police shooting of Blake. 

There were no groups patrolling Kenosha’s streets with long guns Wednesday night as there had been during previous nights’ protests. 

Protesters also stayed away from a courthouse that had been the site of standoffs with law enforcement. Unlike the previous two nights, when dozens of fires were set and businesses were ransacked and destroyed, there was no widespread unrest. 

On Tuesday, shortly before Rittenhouse opened fire, he gave an interview to right-wing news outlet The Daily Caller.  

Armed with a rifle slung across his body, the teen, who in January sat front row at a Trump rally in Des Moines, Iowa, told the reporter he was a certified EMT and explained he was patrolling the streets of Kenosha to provide medical attention to anyone in need and was helping protect local businesses from looters and rioters. 

‘People are getting injured. Our job is to protect this business and part of my job is to also help people,’ Rittenhouse said of his militia.  

‘If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way,’ added Rittenhouse, who was seen earlier guarding a local car shop with a group of armed militia members. 

‘That’s why I have my rifle because I can protect myself, obviously. I also have my medkit.’

He also claimed he had been ‘de-escalating’ a potentially violent situation earlier in the night, during which he and the rest of his vigilante crew ordered protesters to leave a church that they had targeted.  

When asked if the outcome would have been different if police officers responded to the scene instead, Rittenhouse replied: ‘I feel like there would be a lot more casualties and a lot more people injured.’

‘So I think the police are fine where they’re at and [should] let us run the medical, because EMS is not coming in’, he continued. ‘Us citizens, we need to help each other.’  

Blake, who is a father of six, is now in a stable condition in hospital after undergoing surgery

Blake, who is a father of six, is now in a stable condition in hospital after undergoing surgery

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, pictured with his fiancée and a young daughter, died Tuesday evening

Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, pictured with his fiancée and a young daughter, died Tuesday evening

A new earlier clip appears to shed light on how the ordeal unfolded after one man was shot in the head outside a nearby auto garage. The victim is pictured on the ground on the left while the gunman stands nearby

A new earlier clip appears to shed light on how the ordeal unfolded after one man was shot in the head outside a nearby auto garage. The victim is pictured on the ground on the left while the gunman stands nearby

The videos showed the gunman running away in the moments after the gunshots rang out and he could be heard saying: 'I've just killed somebody.' It is then the second and third shootings, seen in the initial video, are thought to have happened after protesters chased the gunman.

The videos showed the gunman running away in the moments after the gunshots rang out and he could be heard saying: ‘I’ve just killed somebody.’ It is then the second and third shootings, seen in the initial video, are thought to have happened after protesters chased the gunman.

Cellphone videos from the scene in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday night show a white man brandishing a semi-automatic rifle in a confrontation with demonstrators following a shooting just moments earlier where a man was shot in the head. Protesters chased the gunman down the street before one kicked him to the ground

Cellphone videos from the scene in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday night show a white man brandishing a semi-automatic rifle in a confrontation with demonstrators following a shooting just moments earlier where a man was shot in the head. Protesters chased the gunman down the street before one kicked him to the ground  

Another man could be seen hitting the gunman over the head with a skateboard before struggling with the gunman as gunshots rang out and people fled from the scene

Another man could be seen hitting the gunman over the head with a skateboard before struggling with the gunman as gunshots rang out and people fled from the scene  

The gunman appeared to fire a shot at the man brandishing the skateboard while he was still lying on the ground. The man who initially kicked the gunman to the ground can be seen running (right) as the gunshots broke out

The gunman appeared to fire a shot at the man brandishing the skateboard while he was still lying on the ground. The man who initially kicked the gunman to the ground can be seen running (right) as the gunshots broke out

The man with the skateboard stumbled away from the gunman clutching his chest (right) as another man appeared to put his hands up in front of the shooter

The man with the skateboard stumbled away from the gunman clutching his chest (right) as another man appeared to put his hands up in front of the shooter

In a press conference addressing the shooting, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told reporters it was possible the gunman was part of an armed militia that had earlier asked the department if they could become part of the police force to help protect the city. In Wisconsin, it is legal for people 18 and over to openly carry a gun without a license but it is not legal for anyone under 18 to own a gun. 

Beth said: ‘And I’m like, ‘Oh, hell no.’ What happened last night is the perfect reason why I wouldn’t.’ 

The sheriff called it a ‘scary thought’ that untrained members of the public might ever be given the same duties or privileges as police. 

‘Oh, hell no. What a scary, scary thought that would be in my world,’ he said.

But footage from the night shows police thanking a group of armed militia that Rittenhouse was a part of and giving them water.  

‘We appreciate you being here,’ an officer was heard saying to the group over a loudspeaker. 

The sheriff later defended officers by saying, ‘Our deputies would toss water to anybody.’  

In a photograph posted by his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, he is wearing what appears to be a blue law enforcement uniform as well as the kind of brimmed hat that state troopers wear. 

Records show that in January 2017 his mom claimed a classmate of her son’s had been calling him ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid’ and threatening him as she sought an order of protection from police. 

Police-obsessed gunman, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, charged with murder of two BLM protesters during Kenosha riots sat front row at a Trump MAGA rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in January this year

Police-obsessed gunman, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, charged with murder of two BLM protesters during Kenosha riots sat front row at a Trump MAGA rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in January this year

Much of Rittenhouse's Facebook is devoted to praising law enforcement, with references to Blue Lives Matter - the movement that supports police

He also previously participated in a youth public safety cadet program (pictured), according to social media

Much of Rittenhouse’s Facebook is devoted to praising law enforcement, with references to Blue Lives Matter – the movement that supports police. He also previously participated in a youth public safety cadet program (right), according to social media



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Democrats release 58-page document on Trump business practices


The House Oversight Committee on Thursday released a detailed examination of Donald Trump’s web of financial assets and alleged conflicts of interest – including ‘hush payments’ to porn star Stormy Daniels – hours before the president was to make the case for his reelection to the nation at the Republican convention.

The detailed 58-page look at the president’s financial structure and business relationships was a legalistic counterpoint to the more public counter-programming being delivered by Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris Thursday afternoon. 

‘President Trump’s complex and opaque financial holdings, consisting of hundreds of interconnected business entities, is unprecedented for a president in the modern era,’ the panel wrote. ‘So is his refusal to divest those assets, a stark departure from longstanding norms established by past presidents.’

Among the complex financial arrangements committee investigators spell out in their legal memo are the ‘hush’ payments that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels – an issue that went unmentioned at Joe Biden’s convention. 

The House Oversight Committee put out a 58-page letter on President Trump's financials, business structure, and 'hush' payments to porn star Stormy Daniels on Day Four of the Republican convention

The House Oversight Committee put out a 58-page letter on President Trump’s financials, business structure, and ‘hush’ payments to porn star Stormy Daniels on Day Four of the Republican convention

The committee says the White House has failed to produce any documents in response to their requests for information on the hush payments.

The memo cites 2019 testimony about the payments to Daniels as well as third party payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also alleges she had an affair with Trump.

‘Mr. Cohen testified that he arranged hush money payments to Ms. Daniels and Ms. McDougal at the direction of President Trump. To corroborate his testimony, Mr. Cohen provided the Committee copies of numerous reimbursement checks signed after the President took office by President Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and [Trump Organization executive] Allen Weisselberg, including checks issued prior to the President’s 2017 financial disclosure omitting the liability,’ the committee wrote.

It also points to Cohen’s testimony that Trump routinely altered estimated assets and liabilities – a charge that New York state prosecutors are investigating.

‘These financial statements revealed that the President’s personal and business financial affairs were more complex and opaque than previously understood, leading to expanded concerns that the closely-held nature of the President’s businesses and the interrelated nature of his personal and business assets and liabilities were not being adequately reported under existing law,’ according to the committee.  

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the third night of the Republican National Convention, at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the third night of the Republican National Convention, at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland

The committee also mentions 'hugh' payments that went to former Playboy cover model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump

The committee also mentions ‘hugh’ payments that went to former Playboy cover model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump

The committee cited testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen about both the hush payments as well as his claims that Trump inflated the value of assets on financial statements

The committee cited testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen about both the hush payments as well as his claims that Trump inflated the value of assets on financial statements

The committee compared information compiled by the Mazars accounting firm with Trump’s 2015 financial disclosure. It ‘identified numerous apparent discrepancies between the President’s assets and liabilities on the Mazars documents and his self-reporting to federal ethics officials.’

Mazars is the accounting firm that received subpoenas from House committees as well as prosecutors that brought cases to the Supreme Court, although it remains tangled in appeals and process in lower courts.

The justices dealt a stunning blow to Trump by ruling that he cannot claim immunity from all investigation to stop his bank and his accountants from handing over the tax returns going back to 2011.

The court ruled 7-2 that Trump is not immune as president from subpoenas, in an opinion that tested both the power of local prosecutors and Congress to obtain information. Trump called the Supreme court ruling against him a ‘witch hunt.’

In making the case for getting Trump’s tax returns, the committee notes attacks on Cohen by Trump allies as bolstering the need to get information on paper.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a 58-page memo Thursday

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a 58-page memo Thursday

The Oversight Committee is investigating the Trump hotel in Washington and whether it constitutes an emolument outlawed in the Constitution

The Oversight Committee is investigating the Trump hotel in Washington and whether it constitutes an emolument outlawed in the Constitution

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairs the committee, whose probes began under the late Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairs the committee, whose probes began under the late Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland

‘In an op-ed published the day before the hearing, then-Ranking Member Jim Jordan and then-Representative Mark Meadows called Michael Cohen a ‘liar’ and wrote: ‘Giving Cohen a congressional platform is … flatout offensive to anyone who seeks the truth,’ the panel notes.

To make the case for getting the returns, the panel claims it is pursing a variety of ‘remedial legislation,’ and cites 18 ethics bills that have been filed. It also says it wants to tighten financial disclosures and pursue legislation to prevent a president from profiting from his or her office. 

Trump’s lawyers have described the legislative push a front for a plan to acquire politically damaging information. 

The committee then runs through a litany of reports on ways in which Trump might be benefit from foreigners or foreign entities, including through a luxury hotel in Washington, D.C. leased from the federal government. 

Trump attended a fundraiser there on Thursday, and the hotel was a hub of activity from Trump family members and cabinet officials for fundraisers Wednesday night that included a bourbon tasting with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The committee takes its look all the way forward to Trump’s 2019 financial disclosure, which he only filed recently after getting extensions.

‘Despite the law’s requirement that he report gifts totaling more than $390 from a single source, President Trump only belatedly acknowledged his receipt of free legal services from Rudy Giuliani over a two-year span in a footnote,’ it writes of the former New York mayor who advised and defended Trump during impeachment.

The footnote said: ‘Rudy Giuliani provided such pro bono publico counsel in 2018 and 2019. In any event, Mr. Giuliani is not able to estimate the value of that pro bono publico counsel; therefore, the value is unascertainable.’

But Trump did not similarly amend his 2018 form.

‘Mr. Giuliani has represented foreign interests, including those with pending matters before the U.S. government, at the same time as he provided free legal services to the President, raising serious questions about foreign interference and undue influence on the President and self-dealing by Mr. Giuliani,’ according to the committee.

It also referenced a range of public reporting on Trump’s businesses while in office, including the Secret Service renting golf carts in Bedminster, New Jersey for $179,000, and ‘unexplained’ increases in Trump’s net worth.

In a nine-month period between 2012 and 2013, Trump’s net worth jumped by $4.2 billion. 

In a 2012 report by Mazars, Trump claimed the earlier statement did not ‘reflect the ‘value of Donald J. Trump’s worldwide reputation’ and that the ‘goodwill attached to the Trump name has proven financial value in that potential users of real property around the world have demonstrated willingness to pay a significant premium for ownership or use of a Trump related residence.’

It also points out omissions and misstatements in Trump’s disclosures. A 2012 claim said he owned 2,000 acres at his Virginia vineyard, but land records put the acreage at 1,200 and a website says it owns 1,300.

The committee says it needs Trump’s returns to continue its investigation into the former Old Post Office build that the Trump Organization leased for its luxury hotel in D.C.

The General Services Agency relied on three-years of Trump financials in awarding the bid.

‘Based on the Committee’s preliminary review, President Trump’s financial statements created by Mazars and provided by Mr. Cohen do not appear to have been either audited or certified, which raises questions about what information President Trump submitted to GSA to win the lease award,’ according to the document. 



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US Election 2020: Bush, McCain and Romney aides back BIDEN


Scores of Republicans who worked for the party’s last pre-Trump presidential nominees – Mitt Romney, John McCain and George W. Bush – are backing Democrat Joe Biden. 

They’ve been putting out shows of support this week in the run-up to President Donald Trump formally accepting Republican renomination, which he’ll do Thursday night from the White House at the conclusion of the virtual Republican National Convention.   

‘What unites us now is a deep conviction that four more years of a Trump presidency will morally bankrupt this country, irreparably damage our democracy, and permanently transform the Republican Party into a toxic personality cult,’ wrote members of the group Romney4Biden in a statement released Thursday.   

100 ex-staffers of the late Republican Sen. John McCain (left) endorsed Democrat Joe Biden (right) in the run-up to President Donald Trump accepting his party's renomination Thursday night

100 ex-staffers of the late Republican Sen. John McCain (left) endorsed Democrat Joe Biden (right) in the run-up to President Donald Trump accepting his party’s renomination Thursday night 

The 30-plus alumni of now Sen. Mitt Romney said they feared that re-electing President Donald Trump would 'permanently transform the Republican Party into a toxic personality cult'

The 30-plus alumni of now Sen. Mitt Romney said they feared that re-electing President Donald Trump would ‘permanently transform the Republican Party into a toxic personality cult’

More than 200 of President George W. Bush's former staffers signed onto a letter advising Americans to vote for Joe Biden, arguing that President Donald Trump's White House pushes 'disrespect and outright hate'

More than 200 of President George W. Bush’s former staffers signed onto a letter advising Americans to vote for Joe Biden, arguing that President Donald Trump’s White House pushes ‘disrespect and outright hate’ 

The 30-plus Romney alumni were joined by more than 100 ex-staffers of McCain and more than 200 former Bush aides all to back Biden. 

The McCain-for-Biden effort was led by Mark Salter, a prominent author and speechwriter who also served as McCain’s chief of staff. 

In The Washington Post Thursday, Salter wrote how McCain’s ‘Country First’ mantra guided the late senator’s ex-aides to endorse Biden, who they believe will act in a bipartisan way to solve big problems. 

‘We are convinced that Biden’s election is in the national interest,’ Salter wrote. 

He said the group was against Trump because of the president’s ‘inept leadership’ in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and his ‘disinterest in American values,’ pointing out the president’s ‘tolerance for despots and his hostility to allies.’ 

‘His divisive rhetoric and enmity toward those he perceives as adversaries have exacerbated political and social divisions at a time when Americans should be uniting to confront the serious challenges that threaten all of us,’ Salter said. 

Salter added that ‘it has become increasingly clear that Trump’s personal qualities – his lack of self-control, his chronic dishonesty, his inattention to his duties and his self-obsession – render him temperamentally unfit for the White House.’ 

While an endorsement and an opinion piece in The Washington Post may not do much to move the dial, an allied group, Republican Voters Against Trump, is using the McCain brand to make a play for Arizona. 

An ad, ‘Country First,’ launched Thursday and showcases the difference in tone between McCain and Trump. 

The New York Times reported that the group will air the spot on television in Arizona, which Democrats believe they might be able to turn blue for the first time since 1996. 

There’s also an important Senate race in the state with Republican incumbent Sen. Martha McSally being challenged by Democrat Mark Kelly, an astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived the 2011 Tucson shooting. 

The group 43 Alumni for Biden also put out a statement Thursday hitting Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but also for his cruelty. 

‘As a nation, we have lost our moral compass. Children should never be separated from their parents and caged for seeking asylum in the U.S. It is cruel and inhumane,’ said the letter, first reported by Politico.  

The group said that the ‘onslaught of insults and vulgarity’ needed to stop. 

‘Our children are watching us,’ the letter said. ‘If we explain away misogyny and racism as political tactics we are complicit in normalizing completely inappropriate behavior. This is not who we are as a nation.’ 

The Bush alumni noted that while Americans want a successful country, they questeioned how that was possible ‘if what we see modeled from the White House is disrespect and outright hate.’  

‘Joe’s kindness is sorely needed right now,’ the group argued. ‘He famously treats the train operator with the same dignity as his fellow senators.’   

Earlier this week, a spokesman for Bush said the ex-president wouldn’t be endorsing in this year’s presidential election and, so far, Romney hasn’t crossed the aisle to back Biden, despite being in Trump’s doghouse for months over his pro-impeachment vote. 

Cindy McCain, the widow of the late senator and presidential hopeful, narrated a video at last week’s Democratic National Convention about her late husband’s friendship with Biden, but she didn’t appear at the virtual DNC to make an official endorsement. 



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Donald Trump will call Joe Biden ‘extreme’ in RNC speech to crowd of 1,500 at the White House 



Good evening, America.

It is an honor to speak to you tonight from the hallowed grounds of Fort McHenry. The site of the very battle that inspired the words of our national anthem.

Those words have inspired this Land of Heroes ever since.

It was on this site 206 years ago when our young Republic heroically withstood a ferocious naval bombardment from the most powerful empire on earth.

They came to crush our revolution, to divide our nation, and to end the American experiment.

The heroes who held this fort took their stand for Life, liberty, freedom and the American flag. Those ideals have defined our nation.

Yet they were hardly ever mentioned during last week’s Democratic Convention.

Instead, Democrats spent four days attacking America. Joe Biden said we were living through a ‘season of American darkness.’

But as President Trump said, ‘where Joe Biden sees American darkness, we see American greatness.’

In these challenging times… our country needs a president who believes in America. Who believes in the boundless capacity of the American people to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and defend the freedoms we all hold dear…America needs four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House!

Before I begin, allow me to say a word to the families and communities in the path of hurricane Laura.

Our administration is working closely with authorities in the states that will be impacted and FEMA has mobilized resources and supplies for those in harm’s way. This is a serious storm. We urge all those in the affected areas to heed state and local authorities.

Stay safe, and know that we’ll be with you every step of the way to support, rescue, response, and recovery in the days and weeks ahead.

Four years ago, I answered the call to join this ticket because I knew that Donald Trump had leadership and the vision to make America great again.

For the last four years, I have watched this President endure unrelenting attacks and get up every day and fight to keep the promises he made to the American people.

So, with gratitude for the confidence President Donald Trump has placed in me, the support of our Republican party, and the grace of God, I humbly accept your nomination to run and serve as Vice President of the United States.

Serving the American people in this office has been a journey I never expected. A journey that would not be possible without the support of my family, beginning with my wonderful wife Karen, a lifelong school teacher, an incredible mother to our three children and an outstanding Second lady of the United States. And WE couldn’t be more proud of our three children: Marine Corp Captain Michael J. Pence, his wife Sarah, our daughter Charlotte Pence Bond, author and wife to Lieutenant Henry Bond, who is currently deployed and serving our nation in the United States Navy and our recent law school graduate daughter Audrey and her fiancée, who like so many other Americans, had to delay their wedding this summer, but we can’t wait for Dan to be a part of our family. In addition to my wife and kids, the person who shaped my life the most is also with us tonight, my mom Nancy. She’s the daughter of an Irish immigrant, 87 years young, mom follows politics closely. And truth be told, sometimes I think I’m actually her second-favorite candidate on the Trump-Pence ticket. To mom and to my father looking down, thank you, I love you.

Over the past four years, I’ve worked closely with our President. I’ve seen him when the cameras are off. Americans see President Trump in lots of different ways but there’s no doubt how President Trump sees America. He sees America for what it is… a nation that has done more good in this world than any other . . . a nation that deserves far more gratitude than grievance . . . and if you want a president who falls silent when our heritage is demeaned or insulted, then he’s not your man.

We came by very different routes to this partnership and some people think we’re a little bit different. But I’ve learned a few things watching him deal with all we’ve been through these past four years. He does things his own way, on his own terms. Not much gets past him and when he has an opinion, he’s liable to share it. He’s certainly kept things interesting, but more importantly, he’s kept his word.

In a city known for talkers…President Donald Trump is a doer. Few presidents have brought more independence, energy, and determination to that office.

Four years ago we inherited a military hollowed out by devastating budget cuts, an economy struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the great depression… ISIS controlled a land mass twice the size of Pennsylvania and we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values like freedom of religion, and the right to life.

That’s when President Trump stepped in.

From Day one, he kept his word. He rebuilt our military, created the Space Force, the first new branch of our armed forces in 70 years… and we returned American astronauts to space on an American rocket for the first time in nearly a decade.

And after years of scandal that robbed our veterans of the care they earned, President Trump kept his word. We reformed the VA … and veterans choice is now available to every veteran.

Our armed forces and our veterans fill this land of heroes and this historic fort. Tonight we have among us.. four recipients of the Medal of Honor… 6 recipients of the Purple Heart and a Gold Star mother, of a gallant Navy SEAL … wounded warriors from Soldier Strong, a group that serves injured veterans … We’re honored by your presence. Thank you for your service.

With heroes just like these we defend this nation every day and we’ve taken the fight to radical Islamic terrorists on our terms on their soil.

Last year, American armed forces took the last inch of ISIS territory, crushed their caliphate and took down their leader without one American casualty. Earlier this year, I was there when President Trump gave the order to take out the world’s most dangerous terrorist.

Iran’s top general will never harm another American again because Qassem Soleimani is gone.

My fellow Americans you deserve to know, Joe Biden criticized President Trump following his decision to rid the world of both of those terrorists. But it’s not surprising because history records that Joe Biden even opposed the operation that took down Osama Bin Laden.

It’s no wonder Bob Gates, Secretary of defense under the Obama Biden Administration said Joe Biden had ‘been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.’

So, we’ve stood up to our enemies and we’ve stood with our allies.

Like when President Trump kept his word and moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Israel, setting the stage for the first Arab country to recognize Israel in 26 years.

And closer to home, appointed more than 200 conservative judges to our federal courts, supported the right to life and all our God given liberties including the second amendment right to keep and bear arms.

But when it came to the economy, President Trump kept his word and then some…to pass the largest tax cut and reform in American history, rolled back more federal red tape than any admin, unleashed American energy and fought for free and fair trade.

in our first three years, Businesses large and small created more than 7 million jobs, including 500,000 manufacturing jobs. America became a net exporter of energy for first time in 70 years.

Under President Trump, unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, hit their lowest levels ever!

On this 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, I’m proud to report that under President Donald Trump we achieved the lowest unemployment rate for women in 65 years and more Americans were working than ever before.

In our first three years, we built the greatest economy in the world. We made America great again.

And then the coronavirus struck from China.

Before the first case of coronavirus spread within the United States, President Trump took the unprecedented step of suspending all travel from China.

That action saved an untold number of American lives. And bought us time to launch the greatest national mobilization since World War II. President Trump marshalled the full resources of the federal government and directed us to forge seamless partnerships with governors across America in both parties. We partnered with private industry to reinvent testing and produce supplies and we’re now conducting 800,000 tests per day… have coordinated the delivery of billions of pieces of Personal Protective Equipment… And we saw to the manufacture of 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. And no who required a ventilator was ever denied a ventilator in the United States. We built hospitals, we surged military medical personnel and enacted an economic rescue package that saved 50 million American jobs.

As we speak we’re developing a growing number of treatments, including convalescent plasma that are saving lives all across the country. Last week, Joe Biden said ‘no miracle is coming.’ What Joe doesn’t seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles and we’re on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.

After all the sacrifice in this… year like no other – all the hardship– we are finding our way forward again.

But tonight, our hearts are with all the families who have lost loved ones. We mourn with those who mourn, and we grieve with those who grieve. And this night I know millions of Americans will pause and pray for God’s comfort to each of you

A country doesn’t get through such a time unless its people find the strength within. The response by doctors, nurses, first responders, farmers, factory workers, truckers, and everyday Americans who are putting the health and safety of their neighbors first has been nothing short of heroic.

Veronica Say-ez put on her scrubs and went into work day in and day out in one of New York’s busiest hospitals. She stayed on the job until it was done. Her brother William is a New York City firefighter. and they’re emblematic of heroes all across this country. You’ve earned the admiration of your fellow Americans, and the thanks of a grateful nation.

Thanks to the courage and compassion of the American people, we are slowing the spread, we are protecting the vulnerable, we are saving lives, and we are opening up American again.

Because of the strong foundation that President Trump poured in our first three years, we’ve already gained back 9.3 million jobs over the last three months. And we’re not just opening up America again—we’re re-opening America’s schools. I’m proud to report that my wife Karen, a lifelong school teacher, will be returning to her classroom next week.

To all the heroic teachers, faculty, and staff…You have our thanks.

In the days ahead, as we open up America again and open up America’s schools, I promise you we’ll continue to put the health of America first.

And as we work to bring this economy back, we all have a role to play and we all have a choice to make.

On November 3rd, you need to ask yourself: Who do you trust to rebuild this economy? A career politician who presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression? Or a proven leader who created the greatest economy in the world.

The choice is clear to bring America all the way back, we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House.

My fellow Americans, we are passing through a time of testing. For in the midst of this global pandemic, just as our nation has begun to recover, we’ve seen violence and chaos in the streets of our major cities.

President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest, tearing down statues is not free speech. Those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Last week, Joe Biden didn’t say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country.

 

Let me be clear: the violence must stop – whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha.

Too many heroes have died defending our freedoms to see Americans strike each other down.

We will have law and order on the streets of America.

President Trump and I know the men and women that put on the uniform of law enforcement are the best of us. They put their lives on the line every day.

People like Dave Patrick Underwood was an officer of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service, who was shot and killed during the riots in Oakland, California. We are joined tonight by his sister Angela. Angela, we grieve for your family and are grateful for his service. And America will never forget Dave Patrick Underwood and his service and sacrifice to this nation.

The American people know we don’t have to choose between supporting law enforcement, and standing with African American neighbors to improve the quality of life in our cities and towns.

From the first days of this administration, we have done both.

And we will keep doing both for four more years in the White House.

Joe Biden says America is systemically racist. And that law enforcement in America has a, quote, ‘implicit bias’ against minorities.

And when asked whether he’d support cutting funding to law enforcement, and he replied, ‘Yes, absolutely.’

Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading to unsafe streets and violence in America’s cities.

The hard truth is… you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. Under President Trump, we will stand with those who stand on the Thin Blue Line, and we’re not going to defund the police – not now, not ever.

My fellow Americans, we are passing through a time of testing. Soon, we will come to a time for choosing.

Joe Biden has referred to himself as a ‘transition candidate.’ But many are asking: A transition to what? Last week, Democrats didn’t talk much about their agenda, and if I were them, I wouldn’t want to either.

Bernie Sanders, did tell his followers that Joe Biden could be the most liberal President of modern times, and confirmed that, quote, ‘Many of the ideas we fought for, that just a few years ago were considered radical, are now mainstream’ in the Democratic Party.

At the root of their agenda, is the belief that America is driven by envy, not aspiration — that millions of Americans harbor ill-will toward their neighbors, instead of loving our neighbors as themselves. The radical left believes the federal government must be involved in every aspect of our lives to correct those American wrongs. They believe the federal government needs to dictate how Americans live, how we should work, how we should raise our children — and, in the process, deprive our people of freedom, prosperity, and security. Their agenda is based on government control; our agenda is based on freedom.

Where President Trump cut taxes—Joe Biden wants to raise taxes by nearly $4 trillion.

Where this President achieved energy independence for the United States. Joe Biden would abolish fossil fuels, end fracking, and impose a regime of climate change regulations that would drastically increase the cost of living for working families.

Where we fought for free and fair trade this President stood up to China and ended the era of economic surrender.

Joe Biden has been a cheerleader for communist China – wants to repeal all the tariffs that are leveling the playing field for American workers and actually criticized President Trump for suspending all travel from China at the outset of this pandemic.

Joe Biden is for open borders; sanctuary cities; and free lawyers and healthcare for illegal immigrants. President Trump has secured our southern border and built nearly 300 miles of the wall.

Joe Biden wants to end school choice. President Trump believes every parent should have the right to choose where their children go to school regardless of their income or area code.

Joe Biden supports taxpayer funding of abortion right up to the moment of birth. President Donald Trump has been the most pro-life President in American history.

When you consider their agenda it’s clear: Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for a radical left.

The choice in this election has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher.

Last week, Joe Biden said democracy is on the ballot but the truth is… our economic recovery is on the ballot, law and order is on the ballot. But so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country.

It’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or more Democrat. The choice in this election Is whether America remains America.

It’s whether we will leave to our children and our grandchildren a country grounded in our highest ideals of freedom, free markets, and the unalienable right to life and liberty — or whether we will leave to our children and grandchildren a country that is fundamentally transformed into something else.

We stand at a crossroads, America.

President Trump set our nation on a path to freedom and opportunity from the very first day of this administration. But Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline.

President Donald Trump believes in America and the goodness of the American people, the boundless potential of every American to live out their dreams in freedom. Every day, President Trump has been fighting to protect the promise of America. Every day, our President has been fighting to expand the reach of the American dream. And on everyday, President Donald Trump has been fighting for you. Now it’s our turn to fight for him.

On this night, in the company of heroes, I am deeply grateful for the privilege of serving as Vice President of this great nation. I pray to be worthy of it. And I will give that duty all that is in me.

In the year 2020, the American people have had more than our share of challenges, but thankfully we have a President with the toughness, energy and resolve to see us through. Those traits run in our national character… as that invading force learned on approach to this fort on September 1814. Against fierce and sustained bombardment, our young country was defended by heroes, not so different from those with us tonight. The enemy was counting on them to quit. But they never did. Fort McHenry held. And when morning came our flag was still here.

My fellow Americans, we are going through a time of testing. But if you look through the fog of these challenging times, you will see… our flag is still there.

That Star – Spangled Banner still waves ove’r the land of the free and the home of the brave. From these hallowed grounds, American patriots in generations gone by did their part to defend freedom. Now it’s our turn.

So let’s run the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents, fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire …let’s fix our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith and freedom…and never forget that ‘where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,’ That means freedom always wins….

My fellow Americans, thank you for the honor of addressing you tonight and the opportunity to run and serve as your Vice President again. I leave here today inspired. And I leave here today more convinced than ever that we will do as Americans have done through our long and storied past, we will defend our freedom and way of life in November of 2020, we will re-elect our president and principled Republican leaders across this land…and with President Donald Trump in the White House for four more years, and Gods help…we will make America great again, again.

May God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.



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Melania plotted ‘Operation Block Ivanka’ to keep her out of swearing-in pics on Inauguration day


Melania Trump plotted to keep Ivanka Trump out of the photos of President Donald Trump taking the oath of office on Inauguration Day with her ‘Operation Block Ivanka,’ a new book claims.

The first lady approved seating arrangements for the inauguration platform that would keep Ivanka Trump out of the camera shot during the moment her father was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

The plot is unveiled in Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book forthcoming book ‘Melania & Me,’ an excerpt of which was published in New York Magazine. The memoir comes out September 1. 

Wolkoff writes that: ‘Ivanka texted me a photo of Barack Obama’s swearing-in, his hand on the Bible, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha standing to his left. She wrote, “FYI regarding the swearing in. It is nice to have family with him for this special moment.”’

But, instead, Wolkoff and the incoming first lady launched ‘Operation Block Ivanka’ to keep the first daughter out of the shot. 

The two women went to great lengths to thwart Ivanka.

They took advantage of Wolkoff’s position on the inauguration planning committee to gain advance information on how the day would play out in order to make their scheme work. 

Melania Trump plotted to block Ivanka Trump from being in photos of President Trump taking the oath of office on Inauguration Day, in what was dubbed 'Operation Block Ivanka'

Melania Trump plotted to block Ivanka Trump from being in photos of President Trump taking the oath of office on Inauguration Day, in what was dubbed ‘Operation Block Ivanka’

Melania Trump wanted an image like the one above - with her Trump and their son Barron

Melania Trump wanted an image like the one above – with her Trump and their son Barron

A forthcoming memoir about first lady Melania Trump - seen above with President Trump on night three of the Republican National Convention - details her tense relationship with Ivanka

A forthcoming memoir about first lady Melania Trump – seen above with President Trump on night three of the Republican National Convention – details her tense relationship with Ivanka

Wolkoff, a former Met Gala planner and personal friend of Melania’s, was tapped to help produce Inauguration Day and the events surrounding it. 

Using her position, she had an executive of her company, WIS Media Partners, take detailed notes on the inauguration platform at the U.S. Capitol building during one of the walk throughs that proceed such events. Walk throughs allow organizers and staff of the attendees to do a practice run of how the day will play out. It allows all the details of the day to be worked out: what time people arrive and in what order, where they will sit, and how the day will play out in precise order.

Using the detailed sketch her employee drew up of the platform on the East Front of the Capitol, where Trump was sworn in with his family and VIP guests behind him, Melania and Wolkoff were able to work out where the cameras would be located on and how the chairs for the family should be positioned to get the images they wanted.

‘Using his sketch, we were able to figure out whose face would be visible when Donald and Melania sat in their seats, and then when the family stood with Chief Justice John Roberts for Donald to take the oath of office,’ Wolkoff wrote. ‘If Ivanka was not on the aisle, her face would be hidden while she was seated. For the standing part, we put Barron between Donald and Melania.’

Melania and Wolkoff then arranged for Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, to be stand next to Melania instead of Ivanka, further keeping her out of the shot.

Wolkoff blames ‘exhaustion and stress’ for some of the drama but also acknowledges the pettiness of it.

‘Yes, Operation Block Ivanka was petty. Melania was in on this mission. But in our minds, Ivanka shouldn’t have made herself the center of attention in her father’s inauguration,’ she wrote.

A wide shot of the swearing-in on Inauguration Day shows Ivanka Trump positioned near the back of her siblings

A wide shot of the swearing-in on Inauguration Day shows Ivanka Trump positioned near the back of her siblings

Ivanka Trump can be seen behind Melania Trump on the inaugural platform at the U.S. Capitol

Ivanka Trump can be seen behind Melania Trump on the inaugural platform at the U.S. Capitol

A rare shot of Ivanka and Melania together on Inauguration Day - this was taken at the viewing stand in front of the White House where the first family watched the inauguration parade go by

A rare shot of Ivanka and Melania together on Inauguration Day – this was taken at the viewing stand in front of the White House where the first family watched the inauguration parade go by 

She notes their Operation Block Ivanka was a result of the first daughter trying to control the schedule for inauguration day and make sure her family – husband Jared Kushner and their three children – had prominent positions on the big day.

‘It was Donald’s inauguration, not Ivanka’s. But no one was brave enough to tell her that. Melania was not thrilled about Ivanka’s steering the schedule and would not allow it. Neither was she happy to hear that Ivanka insisted on walking in the Pennsylvania Avenue parade with her children,’ she noted. 

Wolkoff’s book gives legitimacy to years of talk of a rivalry between Melania and Ivanka that has accumulated in an intense, competitive relationship between the two women.

The two most prominent women in President Trump’s life – his 50-year-old wife and his 38-year-old eldest daughter – have little overlap in the White House complex: Ivanka Trump, who serves as an adviser to her father, has an office in the West Wing. Melania Trump works out of the East Wing on the opposite side of the building.

They have never hosted a joint initiative or event. And are rarely seen together at events.

Mary Jordan’s book ‘The Art of Her Deal’ portrayed a tense, at times combative, relationship between the two with Melania calling Ivanka ‘Princess’ and Ivanka referring to her stepmother as ‘portrait.’

Jordan’s book also claimed Ivanka tried to have the First Lady’s Office be renamed the First Family’s Office, which the White House has denied.

Wolkoff confirms that Melania refers to her stepdaughter as ‘Princess’ and paints an unflattering portrait of Ivanka trying to amass power and prestige at her stepmother’s expense.

She offers details about Ivanka such as this: ‘I received an email from her office. “I notice that Ivanka’s car is not part of the family motorcade. Is there any way to add that?” It. Never. Ended.’

Melania Trump was also reported to be annoyed Ivanka Trump wanted to walk with them in the inauguration parade

Melania Trump was also reported to be annoyed Ivanka Trump wanted to walk with them in the inauguration parade

Instead, the adult children marched further back: Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump

Instead, the adult children marched further back: Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump

Wolkoff, a Manhattan socialite, is a longtime event planner for some of the highest-profile fashion events in New York City. In addition to her work on the Met Gala – know as fashion’s biggest night – she also orchestrated Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s Lincoln Center expansion and has worked closely with legendary Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

It was during her work at Vogue that she met Melania. The then-Melania Knauss was a model dating Trump and about to be launched into society at the Met Gala. Trump proposed to Melania at the 2004 event. Then-Vogue fashion director André Leon Talle traveled to Paris with her to help her pick out her wedding dress.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff's book 'Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady' will be released on September 1

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady’ will be released on September 1

‘Before her Vogue makeover, Melania was a very pretty young woman who seemed like she was playing fancy dress-up – more a brunette Marilyn Monroe than a Jackie O. After Melania’s makeover, André Leon Talley’s achievement, she was transcendent, high fashion, editorial worthy,’ Wolkoff writes in her memoir.

‘And the more time I spent with Melania, the more I genuinely liked her. Being with her was like having the sister I never had before – but a really confident, perfectly coiffed, ultimate older sister. In her world, nothing was a big deal, and everything was just as it should be. Just being with her made me feel good. She had her s*** together!,’ she added.

The two women became friends. In addition to her work on the inauguration, Wolkoff was one of Melania’s first hires for her East Wing staff, where she had a contract position instead of being a fulltime government employee.

Wolkoff recounts how, in January 2017, it was just her and Melania’s then-chief of staff Lindsay Reynolds working in the vast suite of East Wing offices when Reynolds got notice that some of Kushner’s staff were coming to look at office space on their turf.  

At the time of the incident, Melania Trump was still living in New York, where she was spending the first part of 2017 so Barron could finish out the school year. 

Turf wars are common in the White House under every administration where the cramped, crowded office space is at a premium.  The East Wing, however, is usually the purview of the first lady’s office and areas under her control, such as the office that coordinates White House tours. There are other auxiliary offices there, such as the military liaison office.

But Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were looking to move their people in. 

‘The West Wing wasn’t big enough for the Kushners. They wanted the East Wing as well,’ Wolkoff writes.

‘I called Melania to tell her what was going on, and she said, “This is ridiculous! You have to do something!”,’ she recounted. 

‘I dug into my bag; pulled out my red Sharpie and yellow Post-it notes; scribbled “conference room,” “chief of staff,” “deputy of advance,” etc., on them; and slapped them on the office doors. By putting our mark on each office, Jared’s people couldn’t very well say, “Well, if no one’s using it … we’ll take it,”‘ Wolkoff wrote.

A person who worked on the transition team denied that Ivanka and Kushner tried to take East Wing office space, telling DailyMail.com it didn’t happen.

She also describes a conspiracy to keep Melania Trump from hiring the full amount of staff a first lady needed, using the budget and staff vetting process ‘like a weapon to prevent Melania from filling them.’

She argues Ivanka enlisted then-chief of staff Reince Priebus, his deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh and influential staffer Hope Hicks to help her efforts.

‘Ivanka was relentless and was determined to be the First Daughter Lady and to usurp office space out from under Melania; she wanted to be the only visible female Trump on the premises, and she was actively using her influence with Katie Walsh, Reince Priebus, and Hope Hicks to thwart our efforts,’ Wolkoff says.

‘Ivanka wasn’t playing by the rules, but she never, ever, got in trouble,’ she added. 

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff's memoir has tapes of Melania Trump speaking ill of Trumps; above Pamela Gross Finkelstein, Judith Giuliani, Melania Knauss Trump and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff attend a luncheon in New York together in 2006

 Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s memoir has tapes of Melania Trump speaking ill of Trumps; above Pamela Gross Finkelstein, Judith Giuliani, Melania Knauss Trump and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff attend a luncheon in New York together in 2006

David Wolkoff, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania Trump and Donald Trump at an event in New  York in February 2008 - Wolkoff served as an informal, unpaid adviser to Melania in the East Wing until she left amid the controversy surrounding the inauguration

David Wolkoff, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania Trump and Donald Trump at an event in New  York in February 2008 – Wolkoff served as an informal, unpaid adviser to Melania in the East Wing until she left amid the controversy surrounding the inauguration

Wolkoff’s memoir, ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady,’ is the first book to come from a former member of the first lady’s inner circle.

Melania Trump has been the subject of two biographies by journalist – CNN’s Kate Bennett’s ‘Free Melania’ and The Washington Post’s Mary Jordan’s ‘The Art of Her Deal’ – but Wolkoff was a longtime personal friend to the first lady.

The two women had a falling out over Wolkoff’s work for the inauguration and reports on how much money she was paid for the gig. 

Wolkoff left the East Wing in February 2018 after news reports showed that her firm, WIS Media Partners, received a $26 million payment for its work on the inaugural.

The firm in turn spent $24 million on subcontractors, a person familiar with the inaugural planning told DailyMail.com at the time. The source said Wolkoff provided ‘the whole look and feel – the creative vision’ for 18 or 20 inaugural events.

Her personal take from Trump’s inaugural committee was reported to be about $500,000 while the rest went to other producers working on the event. 

Melania Trump dismissed her from the East Wing with an email. 

‘I am sorry that the professional part of our relationship has come to an end, but I am comforted in the fact that our [friendship] far outweigh[s] politics,’ the first lady wrote. ‘Thank you Again! Much love.’

Wolkoff’s book will address the financial controversy but it will also be about the loss of her friendship with the first lady.

Additionally, she reportedly has tapes of Melania Trump trashing her husband Donald Trump and his adult children, with the harshest words coming for Ivanka,   according to media reporter Yashar Ali.

He did not have details of the statements Melania Trump allegedly made but noted they will be in Wolkoff’s book. He added that Wolkoff taped the first lady without her knowledge. 

Ali tweeted: ‘In her book, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff quotes the First Lady making disparaging remarks about Ivanka Trump and some of the president’s other adult children. She even makes some negative remarks about her husband, President Trump.’  

Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s current chief of staff, said she’s never heard the first lady make any disparaging remarks about President Trump or the first family.

‘No. I’ve never heard Mrs. Trump say anything disparaging about the family,’ Grisham told MSNBC’s  Hallie Jackson on Tuesday. 

‘They’re a close-knit family. She’s talked about them many times publicly,’ she added.

Grisham was dismissive of the speculation that the first lady trash talked the family.

‘I’ve heard a little bit about this book. I don’t know much about it. It sounds like it’s just another one of those books that unfortunately people are writing,’ she said.

Grisham also noted if the first lady was recorded without her knowledge it was ‘unfortunate’ that she would be taken advantage of by a friend. 

‘If there were any recordings taken it’s really unfortunate to take advantage of somebody’s trust like that while being a friend, but I don’t know much about the book. We’re focused on the work we’re doing,’ she said.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff came under investigation for her role in planning Donald Trump's 2016 presidential inauguration - she's seen with Melania Trump at a January 2017 dinner ahead of the inaugural

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff came under investigation for her role in planning Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential inauguration – she’s seen with Melania Trump at a January 2017 dinner ahead of the inaugural

The book will address some of the most controversial and infamous moments involving Melania Trump, including Stormy Daniels claim she had an affair with Trump, which he has denied, and that infamous jacket she wore: ‘I really don’t care, do u?’

The pre-order blurb for the book hints at a string of revelations. 

‘How did Melania react to the Access Hollywood tape and her husband’s affair with Stormy Daniels? Does she get along well with Ivanka? Why did she wear that jacket with “I really don’t care, do u?” printed on the back? Is Melania happy being First Lady? And what really happened with the inauguration’s funding of $107 million? Wolkoff has some ideas,’ the description says. 

‘What Melania wants, Melania gets’ – reads the tag line in the book’s description on Amazon.com.

Wolkoff, the former director of special events at Vogue who headed nine Met galas, met Melania Knauss in 2003 and ‘had a front row seat to the transformation of Donald Trump’s then girlfriend from a rough-cut gem to a precious diamond,’ the book’s description reads. 





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Moment five South Carolina deputies shot armed man


Sheriff’s deputies have released bodycam footage of the moment they fatally shot an armed man in the back while he tried to escape them in South Carolina. 

Michael Culbertson, a 26-year-old white man wanted for reckless driving and resisting arrest, died in the shooting by Greenville County deputies on July 11. 

The footage shows Culbertson reaching for a firearm before he is shot in a hail of bullets with five of the seven deputies firing at him as he tried to run away. 

Culbertson fell to the ground and his own ammunition supply was discovered on the road before he was taken to hospital and pronounced dead, authorities said.   

Bodycam footage released this week by Greenville County sheriff's deputies shows the moment 26-year-old Michael Culbertson was fatally shot

Bodycam footage released this week by Greenville County sheriff’s deputies shows the moment 26-year-old Michael Culbertson was fatally shot 

The deputies involved in the shooting have been cleared of violating Greenville County policy, Sheriff Hobart Lewis said. 

However, a state criminal investigation into whether shooting Culbertson was justified is still ongoing.

The sheriff’s office released the edited body camera footage with commentary from its own deputies on Tuesday. 

Captain Michael Brown said the shooting unfolded at around 5pm on July 11 after deputies tracked down Culbertson in their unmarked vehicle. 

Culbertson had ‘multiple active warrants for his arrest’ for reckless driving, resisting arrest, failure to stop for blue lights and interfering with police, Brown said, and his death ended two days of searching for him.   

The footage starts with the deputies jumping from the back of their van to confront Culbertson, with one officer yelling: ‘Let me see your f***ing hands’.  

Within three seconds, Culbertson was reaching for his pocket to retrieve a weapon with his right hand – prompting one of the officers to open fire.  

After failing to arrest Culbertson the previous day, sheriff's deputies tracked him down in an unmarked van before jumping out to confront him

After failing to arrest Culbertson the previous day, sheriff’s deputies tracked him down in an unmarked van before jumping out to confront him 

Officers said Culbertson was reaching for a firearm in his right pocket, prompting five of the seven deputies to open fire at him

Officers said Culbertson was reaching for a firearm in his right pocket, prompting five of the seven deputies to open fire at him 

There was a brief pause after the first shot as Culbertson keeps running and appears to try to shift the gun in his right hand, while holding a cell phone in his left. 

Then a barrage of shots from deputies is heard and seen as Culbertson falls to the street about 10 seconds after the first officer jumped from the van. 

The footage then shows a 9mm handgun and a magazine containing ‘multiple rounds of ammunition’ lying on the ground near Culberton’s body as deputies run up and begin first aid. 

Deputies carried out CPR until emergency services arrived on the scene and took Culbertson to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

Michael Culbertson (pictured) was wanted for reckless driving, interfering with police, failing to stop for blue lights and resisting arrest

Michael Culbertson (pictured) was wanted for reckless driving, interfering with police, failing to stop for blue lights and resisting arrest 

‘Culbertson’s actions led to the deputies taking the necessary force that unfortunately led to his death,’ said Greenville County sheriff Hobart Lewis. 

The State Law Enforcement Division investigation into the shooting continues.

The names of the deputies have not been released. Two were in uniform and five others were part of a special team to arrest fugitives, authorities said.

Deputies tried to arrest Culbertson the day before the shooting, but he evaded arrest, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators then spoke to his family, and Culbertson’s grandfather, who lives a few houses away from where he was killed and took a call from his grandson as a deputy stood near enough to hear the conversation.

Culberton refused to say where he was, but told his grandfather ‘I’m not going to jail. They’ll have to kill me,’ Carey Reese said.

Reese told The Greenville News he thinks that comment led deputies to decide to shoot at his grandson instead of trying something else.

‘Michael had a mouth,’ Reese said.

Culbertson called his grandfather three more times, but Reese did not answer.

‘I could just kick myself. I didn’t talk to him. That would have been the last chance I could have talked to him,’ Reese said.  

Five of the seven officers opened fire at Culbertson, but an investigation by the sheriff's office has been cleared of violating Greenville County policy

Five of the seven officers opened fire at Culbertson, but an investigation by the sheriff’s office has been cleared of violating Greenville County policy 

Sheriff's deputies said a loaded 9mm handgun and a magazine containing several rounds of ammunition were recovered from the scene

Sheriff’s deputies said a loaded 9mm handgun and a magazine containing several rounds of ammunition were recovered from the scene 

Incidents such as this have been under severe scrutiny in recent months following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and resulting wave of protests against police brutality. 

The most recent wave of anger has surrounded the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who is in hospital after being shot seven times at point-blank range by police. 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice yesterday gave its first official account of Blake’s shooting, saying he had a knife ‘in his possession’ when he was shot. 

But anger over the shooting has led to nightly protests in Kenosha, which ended in further gunfire on Tuesday night that left two people dead. 

NBA players are leading an unprecedented wave of sports walkouts against racism and police brutality in the wake of the shooting. 

President Donald Trump announced he was deploying federal law enforcement and National Guard troops to Kenosha ‘to restore law and order’. 

Democratic rival Joe Biden meanwhile said he has spoken to Blake’s family, and promised them ‘justice.’ 

‘What I saw on that video makes me sick,’ Biden said of the shooting footage. ‘I told them justice must and will be done.’ 



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RNC: Jared Kushner says NBA players’ striking is a ‘luxury’


Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner took a dig Thursday at professional basketball players who cancelled their scheduled playoff game in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

Kushner, who like Trump expanded a real estate empire built by his father, pointed to the wealth amassed by top NBA players, while Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short dismissed the protest saying: ‘I don’t think we care.’

The prominent White House officials spoke after the National Basketball Association postponed games amid protests over the shooting. Blake was shot seven times in the back during an encounter with police – an event that prompted three nights of street protests and violent clashes.

‘Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,’ said Kushner, asked if the White House supports their position. 

'Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,' Jared Kushner said when asked about the NBA walk-out in response to the killing of Jacob Blake

‘Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,’ Jared Kushner said when asked about the NBA walk-out in response to the killing of Jacob Blake

‘So they have that luxury, which is great,’ he told CNBC.

‘Look I think with the NBA there’s a lot of activism and I think that they put a lot of slogans out but I think that what we need to do is turn that from slogans and signals to actual action that’s going to solve the problem,’ he said.

Then Kushner went on to name four Trump administration policies: criminal justice reform, opportunity zones meant to steer investments into distressed communities, school choice, historically black colleges. 

He didn’t specifically mention protesters’ complaints about police shootings of minorities. Kushner has been a key negotiator on criminal justice reform meant to reduce sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Mike Pence chief of staff Marc Short said of the NBA walk-out: 'I don't think we care'

Mike Pence chief of staff Marc Short said of the NBA walk-out: ‘I don’t think we care’

Demonstrators march in the streets on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23

Demonstrators march in the streets on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As the city declared a state of emergency curfew, a fourth night of civil unrest occurred after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on August 23

Milwaukee Bucks players walked out of their scheduled playoff game in protest Wednesday

Milwaukee Bucks players walked out of their scheduled playoff game in protest Wednesday

Benches sit empty at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Benches sit empty at game time of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Aug 26, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Grounds crew work on the field as Black Lives Matter video plays on the scoreboard before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. at Oracle Park

Aug 26, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Grounds crew work on the field as Black Lives Matter video plays on the scoreboard before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. at Oracle Park

Demonstrators protest the shooting of Jacob Blake on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A police officer shot Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children. The shooting sparked three consecutive days of rioting in the city

Demonstrators protest the shooting of Jacob Blake on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A police officer shot Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children. The shooting sparked three consecutive days of rioting in the city

Former President Barack Obama commended the players and coaches including Doc Rivers

Former President Barack Obama commended the players and coaches including Doc Rivers

Kushner made the comment on CNBC as protests in Kenosha spread

Kushner made the comment on CNBC as protests in Kenosha spread

‘People don’t like seeing what’s happening in a lot of these cities. President Trump has been very strong in saying we don’t want violence in these cities,’ Kushner said.

He spoke hours after the Milwaukee Bucks staged a walkout of their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Two other NBA matchups were also postponed, and the WNBA and Major League Baseball also postponed games.

Short conducted cable TV interviews hours after Pence warned at his Republican convention speech that ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’

The convention rolled on amid a fourth night of protests in Kenosha, and the arrest of a suspect in the killing of two people who was immediately identified as having attended a Trump rally in Des Moines in January. 

Short fielded repeated questions about why Pence didn’t speak out specifically agains the shooting of Blake, the latest police shooting to rock the nation. 

‘He said specifically he wants to bring an end to the violence,’ said Pence.

Asked if the administration supports the protest, Short responded: ‘Look I don’t know that you’re going to see the administration weigh in on that tone way or the other. In my mind it’s absurd, it’s silly,’ he said.

Short spoke after the basketball protest proliferated into one of the most widespread in the history of U.S. sport.  

Bucks players said in a statement released Wednesday: ‘Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.’

‘When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable.’ They continued: ‘We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.

‘We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable,’ said the statement. 

Speaking hours after his initial comments, Kushner softened his criticism and said he would reach out to NBA great LeBron James.

“I think that it’s nice that they’re standing up for the issue, but I’d like to see them start moving into concrete solutions that are productive,’ Kushner told Politico. And again, President Trump in this White House is willing to work with them,” he said.

Four time NBA Most Valuable Player James tweeted Wednesday: ‘F*** THIS MAN!!!!WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.’

The statements from the White House came hours after the Republican Convention was organized around a ‘law and order’ theme.  A line of speakers pointed to unrest in the streets.

”There’s looting, chaos, destruction and murder. People who can afford to flee have fled,’ said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Michael McHale, who heads the National Association of Police Unions, called the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket ‘the most radical anti-police ticket in history.’ 

Pence unequivocally sided with law enforcement. ‘And under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line and we’re not going to defund the police, not now not ever,’ he said.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Thursday: ‘The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety, and law and order.’





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Vladimir Putin has formed ‘special force’ and says he is ready to intervene in Belarus


Vladimir Putin forms elite ‘spec ops force’ to intervene in Belarus if protests ‘get out of control’

  • Vladimir Putin said is he will intervene in Belarus if protests ‘get out of control’  
  • He confirmed Russia has created a reserve police force to send to the country
  • Added that move would honour joint defence pact Russia has with Belarus
  • Country has been hit by weeks of protests demanding President Alexander Lukashenko leave power, after election widely-seen as fraudulent

Vladimir Putin has formed an elite special operation force ready to intervene in Belarus if ‘extremist elements’ are judged to have ‘crossed the line’ .

The Russian President said he acted after a conversation with Alexander Lukashenko, in which the incumbent president of Belarus asked if Russia would stand by its commitments to defend his country.

‘I said that Russia will fulfill all its obligations,’ Putin said from Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 after the overthrow of the pro-Russian government.

Vladimir Putin has said he is ready to intervene in Belarus if protesters 'get out of control' and begin burning cars or looting shops

Vladimir Putin has said he is ready to intervene in Belarus if protesters ‘get out of control’ and begin burning cars or looting shops

Putin, speaking from Crimea which was annexed by barely-disguised Russian troops in 2014 (pictured), said he has formed a special force to complete the task

Putin, speaking from Crimea which was annexed by barely-disguised Russian troops in 2014 (pictured), said he has formed a special force to complete the task

‘Lukashenko asked me to form a certain reserve of law enforcement officers, and I did it,’ he added.

‘But we agreed that it will not be used until the situation starts to get out of control.’

Asked by reporters for the Russia-1 TV channel what ‘crossing a line’ would mean, Putin gave the examples of ‘burning cars and looting’.

Lukashenko has been facing unprecedented protests against his rule following an August 9 election in which he claimed victory with 80 per cent of the vote.

However, the result was widely viewed both at home and abroad as rigged, and western leaders have refused to acknowledge it.

Belarus is a close ally of Russia, and Lukashenko is a personal friend of Putin. The two countries share a mutual defence pact, while the two men play ice hockey together.

World leaders including President Donald Trump have warned Putin that they are watching events in Belarus closely for any sign of Russian intervention.

Putin said he acted after Alexander Lukashenko (pictured together) asked him to honour the mutual defence pact that exists between Russia and Belarus

Putin said he acted after Alexander Lukashenko (pictured together) asked him to honour the mutual defence pact that exists between Russia and Belarus

Thousands of marchers took to the streets of Minsk after August 9 elections which Lukashenko claimed to have won with 80 per cent of the vote, but which are widely seen as fraudulent

Thousands of marchers took to the streets of Minsk after August 9 elections which Lukashenko claimed to have won with 80 per cent of the vote, but which are widely seen as fraudulent

Should Putin move forces in to the neighbouring country, it would trigger the worst crisis in Europe since the annexation of Crimea.   

Belarus borders three NATO states: Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. 

Lukashenko has accused the alliance of building up forces on his border, while NATO chiefs have insisted that the moves are merely defensive.

It is believed a Russian force has been on standby for at least one week as Belarus sees massive protests against Lukashenko.

Puitin cited a “union state” of Russia and Belarus, which has a customs union and defence protection element.

‘Of course we have obligations to Belarus,” he said. ‘And [Lukashenko] asked me in that respect: He asked to be given relevant help when it was needed.

‘I said that Russia will comply with all its obligations.’

He said: ‘As members of the Union State we are obliged to provide each other help in protecting sovereignty, the external borders, and in protecting stability.’



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