Mornings on the Mall 07.22.19 / Larry O’Connor, Amb. Ric Grenell


WMAL’s Larry O’Connor and Amb. Ric Grenell joined WMAL on Monday!

Mornings on the Mall

Monday, July 22, 2019

Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese

Executive Producer: Heather Hunter

5am – A/B/C LUNCH DEBT SHAMING:  Pennsylvania school district tells parents to pay their lunch debt, or their kids will go into foster care (CNN) — The Wyoming Valley West School District in Pennsylvania sent out hundreds of letters this week telling parents who had lunch debt to pay or their children could go into foster care.The letter, which was reviewed by CNN, told parents that there have been “multiple letters sent home with your child” and that no payments had been made. “Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without a breakfast and/or lunch,” the letter read. It also said failure to provide children with food could result in parents being sent to Dependency Court. “If you are taken to Dependency court, the result may be your child being removed from your home and placed in foster care,” the letter read.


  • DNC Raised $8.5 Million In June, Less Than Half Of What Republicans Say They Raised (Daily Caller) — The Democratic National Committee raised $8.5 million in June and has $9.3 million in the bank, according to campaign finance records released late Friday. Both figures are far behind what the Republican National Committee said it has raised. The GOP said it raised $20.8 million in June, and has $43.5 million cash on hand, Fox News reported Wednesday. Republicans also said the party has no debt, while the DNC has $5.7 million in debt, according to FEC records.
  • NYT analysis argues surge in voter turnout in 2020 could buck norm and boost Trump (Washington Examiner) — The New York Times’ Nate Cohn penned an analysis piece that, bucking conventional trends, said that there is an opportunity for higher voter turnout in 2020 to actually benefit President Trump’s odds of being reelected. The UpShot analysis found that instead of the traditional wisdom that higher voter turnout just helps Democrats, there are opportunities and risks for both parties. The author based his findings on voter registration files, the validated turnout of 50,000 respondents to New York Times/Siena College pre-election surveys in 2018, polls of unregistered voters, and census data. High voter turnout typically favors Democrats because younger, nonwhite, and less wealthy voters (who tend to vote more for Democrats) are underrepresented at the polls. But Trump has a base of support among less educated white voters, who are also underrepresented at the polls.


  • Puerto Rico is bracing for what many people expect to be one of the biggest protests ever seen in the U.S. territory as irate islanders pledge to drive Gov. Ricardo Rosselló from office. Hundreds of thousands are expected to take over a busy highway in San Juan this morning to press demands that Rosselló resign over a leaked obscenity-laced online chat the governor had with allies, in addition to federal corruption charges made against his administration. The march in comes a day after Rosselló promised not to seek reelection.
  • Puerto Rico’s governor goes AWOL as protesters gather outside his residence, US officials call to step down (Fox News) — Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló official residence remains under siege as hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered this week outside the La Fortaleza that serves as the governor’s official residence. Puerto Ricans are calling for Rosselló’s resignation after leaked online chats show him insulting women, political opponents and mocking victims of Hurricane Maria, one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit the island territory. Amid the outcry, the media-friendly governor has avoided public appearances since July 11, making only four brief appearances, breaking from his usual three or four lengthy press conferences in addition to multiple media appearances.


  • Lawmakers from both parties will finally have the opportunity to question Robert Mueller about his investigation on Wednesday. The former special counsel is slated to testify consecutively before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees for a combination of five hours. Democratic congressional leaders hope the public hearings can reinvigorate public interest in the report. Republicans intend to use their time to discredit Mueller’s work, arguing that he relied on a biased team of investigators who took over an active FBI investigation of Russian interference tainted by anti-Trump officials.
  • ‘Very substantial evidence’ Trump is ‘guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors,’ House Judiciary Chair says (CNN) — House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Sunday said Robert Mueller’s report presents “very substantial evidence” that President Donald Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” — an impeachable offense. “We have to … let Mueller present those facts to the American people, and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable,” Nadler, whose committee would lead impeachment proceedings, said on “Fox News Sunday.” Democrats plot new plan to press Mueller on Trump’s alleged crimes Mueller, the former special counsel for the Department of Justice and former director of the FBI, will testify before Congress on July 24 after House Democrats issued a subpoena for his appearance. Earlier this year, Mueller concluded a nearly two-year-long investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.Nadler: Let Republicans ‘waste their time’ asking about FBI misconduct (The Hill) — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said Republicans would be wasting their time by asking former special counsel Robert Mueller about FBI misconduct. “Very clear the Trump investigation was not predicated on the so-called dossier, there was nothing wrong with the FISA application, all the things that they’re talking about have been gone through,” Nadler said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If they want to debate or discuss this irrelevancy, let them waste their time. What’s before the American people is the conduct of this president.” Nadler’s remarks came after Chris Wallace asked him whether there was a chance Republicans could benefit more from Mueller’s testimony than Democrats, given that the former special counsel has promised not to go beyond information presented in his report. Mueller is set to appear Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees to testify about his two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by the president in subsequent investigations.


  • Iran has detained 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and some have been sentenced to death, according to the country’s Ministry of Intelligence. The announcement comes as tensions between the U.S. and Iran flare in the Strait of Hormuz and after the release of an audio recording Sunday shed new light on the seizure of a British-flagged tanker at the hands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
  • ‘Alter your course’: Dramatic audio released of Iran seizing British ship (USA Today) — An audio recording released Sunday reveals the tense moments before a British-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces rappelling from helicopters to the ship’s deck. The Stena Impero tanker “was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards …  for failing to respect international maritime rules,” the Iranian forces said after the seizure Friday. Video posted online showed Iranian soldiers in black ski masks sweeping onto the ship in the Strait of Hormuz. In the audio recording released Sunday by the security risk firm Dryad Global, the voice of an apparent Iranian official warns the tanker’s crew to alter course. “If you obey, you will be safe,” the voice says. “Alter your course 3-6-0 degrees immediately.”
  • In an interview with our Larry OConnor, Sec Pompeo confirms a U.S. plan to provide escort for tankers in Strait of Hormuz. “It’ll be countries from all across the world that will participate in this,” Pompeo said “And its mission set is defensive.”

6am – D         Bernie Sanders campaign announces it will cut hours to pay staffers $15 minimum wage, prompting mockery (Fox News) — Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced this weekend he will cut staffers’ hours so that they can effectively be paid a $15-an-hour minimum wage, prompting mockery from critics who say the move is more evidence that Sanders’ plan to raise the national minimum wage is hypocritical and would only lead to less work and more unemployment. The Washington Post first reported last Thursday that Sanders’ field staffers were upset that Sanders championed a $15 minimum wage on the campaign trail, and made headlines for railing against major corporations who pay “starvation wages” — even as his own employees made “poverty wages.” In response, Sanders told The Des Moines Register he was “very proud” to lead the first major presidential campaign with unionized workers, but also “bothered” that news of the internal strife had spilled into the media.

6am – E         Ocasio-Cortez calls for ‘9/11-style commission’ to investigate Trump family separation policy (The Hill) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for a “9/11-style commission” to investigate the effects of the Trump administration policy that led to family separations at the southern border. The freshman lawmaker made the demand while speaking at an immigration town hall in her home district, according The Guardian. Ocasio-Cortez, who has become one of President Trump’s favorite targets, said if the Democrats win back the Senate and White House, the government should convene a special commission to investigate family separations. “The 9/11 commission, they were charged with the investigating and making sure they dug out every nook and cranny of what happened and how it happened in our system,” she said. “And I think that that kind of study is what’s going to be required in order to reunite as many children with their parents as possible. That’s the work that we have to do.”

6am – F         Donald Trump Surprises MAGA Wedding at Bedminster Golf Club –President Donald Trump surprised a couple hosting a MAGA themed wedding at his Bedminster club on Saturday. Trump appeared to cheers and shouts of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “USA!” at the wedding, which featured red MAGA hats and was hosted at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. The president is staying the weekend in New Jersey after hosting a series of fundraisers in the area.  

7am – A    INTERVIEW – LARRY O’CONNOR – Host of The Larry O’Connor Show for WMAL – recapped his trip with Secretary Pompeo to El Salvador and Mexico, plus discussed his interview with the secretary and his questionable food choices.

  • In an interview with our Larry OConnor, Sec Pompeo confirms a U.S. plan to provide escort for tankers in Strait of Hormuz. “It’ll be countries from all across the world that will participate in this,” Pompeo said “And its mission set is defensive.”
  • Sec Pompeo: “as for former leaders engaging in activities that are trying to – that are aimed at undermining American foreign policy, that’s not okay. That’s not appropriate.  And I’ve had conversations with some of them…
  • Sec Pompeo on Joe Biden’s claim that foreign leaders have expressed concern to him over the Trump presidency: “He’s politicking. I’m trying to keep Americans safe.”
  • Sec Pompeo tells John Kerry to sit down and shut up when it comes to Iran policy… He says it more diplomatically than that, of course. “… I’ve urged them at every turn to get off the stage. They had their turn, they had their moment, they made their decision, they did the best they could.”
  • During Pompeo’s visit, El Salvador’s new president says migrant problem ‘starts with us’ (Washington Post) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completed a four-day trip to Latin America on Sunday with an upbeat visit to a country President Trump said “hasn’t done a thing for us” but send criminal migrants and was undeserving of U.S. assistance. “We can’t force them to give us free money,” Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said with a shrug and a smile at a news conference in the capital with Pompeo.
  • Mexico says US noted ‘significant advances’ in curbing migration (Al Jazeera) — Mike Pompeo meets Mexican counterpart before July 22 deadline on deal that removed tariff threats on Mexico’s exports. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recognised the “significant advances of Mexican operations” in reducing migrant flows to the United States, Mexico’s foreign ministry has said. Pompeo on Sunday met Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in Mexico City to discuss migration and trade amid heightened tensions before a July 22 deadline on a deal that removed tariff threats on Mexican exports. Under the agreement, Mexico averted punitive tariffs on US-bound Mexican shipments threatened by President Donald Trump by promising to cut the number of migrants travelling from Central America to the US border within 90 days.


  • Swedish Leader to Tell Trump He ‘Cannot and Will Not’ Intervene in A$AP Rocky Case (Breitbart) — Trump tweeted Friday that he would call Prime Minister Stefan Lofven “to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky.” Rocky has been held in Sweden for weeks as police investigate his alleged involvement in a fight. First lady Melania Trump and celebrities including Kanye West urged Trump to intervene. The Swedish leader said Saturday he was aware Trump “has a personal interest in the case.” Lofven called Trump’s desire for a conversation “certainly positive” and said: “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”
  • 25% Of People Support Using Military Force To Free A$AP Rocky (Daily Caller) — A large percentage of people in a recent Twitter poll support using the military to save A$AP Rocky. In a poll run by the Daily Caller, 25% of the 1,114 voters voted in favor of invading Sweden to free the star rapper. Diplomacy came out on top with 36%, while not doing anything got 32% and tariffs got 7%. Rocky has been held unfairly for weeks in a Swedish jail. He was taken into custody after trying to defuse a situation that ultimately turned physical. As I already wrote, a military rescue operation would almost certainly need to be launched from an aircraft carrier in the Baltic Sea. It would likely go down similar to Operation Acid Gambit, and shouldn’t require more than 20 operators being flown in on stealth Black Hawk helicopters. The whole operation would be over within minutes of our guys showing up. Resistance would be extremely light or completely nonexistent. Swedish guards aren’t going to try to bang it out with our special forces. They’ll immediately back down.
  • Justin Bieber calls out Trump for helping A$AP Rocky but not letting ‘kids out of cages’ (Fox News) — Justin Bieber called out President Donald Trump for helping to free rapper A$AP Rocky from prison in Sweden but seeming to care much less for children being detained at the border. After Trump announced that he’d speak with the Swedish Prime Minister about the country’s treatment of the Grammy-nominated rapper, Bieber, 25, retweeted the POTUS. He then replied Saturday, “I want my friend out.. I appreciate you trying to help him. But while your [sic] at it @realDonaldTrump can you also let those kids out of cages?”
  • Natalie Portman to Play Female Thor in Marvel’s 4th Film in Franchise (E! News) — Natalie Portman is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as…Thor?! The 38-year-old actress had played the Asgardian god of thunder’s love interest and leading astrophysicist Jane Foster in the first two films in the Thor franchise. She sat out movie No. 3, the comedic Thor: Ragnarok. But after footage of her from the second film, Thor: The Dark World, was shown in this year’s Avengers: Endgame, along with a new voiceover. fans speculated the actress would make an official return to the franchise. And they were correct. On Saturday, she made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2019, appearing at Marvel Studios’ panel, where it was announced that she will play the title superhero in the fourth film in the franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder. Chris Hemsworth, who played Thor in the first three films and the Avengers movies, will also return.

7am – D         INTERVIEW – AMB. RIC GRENELL – United States Ambassador to Germany – discussed how the international community is reacting to Iran’s actions.

  • Iran has detained 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and some have been sentenced to death, according to the country’s Ministry of Intelligence. The announcement comes as tensions between the U.S. and Iran flare in the Strait of Hormuz and after the release of an audio recording Sunday shed new light on the seizure of a British-flagged tanker at the hands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
  • Grenell tweet: @RichardGrenell You can’t silence me with your phony political activity arguments. Absurd comments must be corrected so our allies know we don’t run concentration camps at the US border. #USdiplomacy
  • Last week: U. Ministers, Scrambling to Save Iran Nuclear Deal, Play Down Breaches (New York Times) — Scrambling to save the nuclear agreement with Iran, European foreign ministers declared Monday that Iranian breaches so far were not serious enough to take steps that could lead to reimposed international sanctions and a collapse of the accord. That conclusion, reached at a meeting in Brussels, effectively extended a lifeline for the 2015 nuclear agreement in defiance of pressure by the Trump administration.

7am – E   Virginia Democrats vow to boycott Trump if he comes to Jamestown, but their own governor sent the invite (Washington Post) — Efforts to celebrate the origins of American democracy at Jamestown are becoming embroiled in modern politics as Virginia Democrats express outrage over an invitation to President Trump to attend a commemoration later this month. But their party leader, Gov. Ralph Northam (D), had joined with Republican lawmakers to invite Trump to the July 30 celebration at Jamestown marking the 1619 first meeting of representative government in the English colony. Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received invitations last year from Northam, House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and state Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City). “Speaker Pelosi’s office declined the invitation within the last two weeks. The White House has made no announcement regarding the President’s plans,” event organizers said in a news release Saturday morning. The commemoration is being spearheaded by American Evolution, a public-private partnership established by the General Assembly. Democrats reacted angrily on Friday night when word spread that Trump might attend the event, with some top figures vowing to boycott any ceremony attended by Trump, though they said they would otherwise participate.

8am – A   Georgia state lawmaker Erica Thomas now uncertain man told her to ‘go back to where you came from’ (USA Today) — A man accused of telling an African-American Georgia state lawmaker to “go back to where you came from” because she had too many items in the express checkout line at a grocery store disputes her version of events and denies that he said anything racist. Tearing up in an emotional Facebook live video, state Rep. Erica Thomas, who has represented parts of Cobb County, Georgia, since 2015, described the incident on Friday in which she said she “feared for her life” after a white man “verbally assaulted.” “I am nine months pregnant, and I can’t stand up for long, and this white man comes up to me and says…’ you need to go back where you came from!'” she said. In a tweet, Thomas explained her husband was an active duty military service member and exclaimed, “I came from USA!” But on Saturday, Thomas told reporters she was uncertain about the exact phrasing of what Eric Sparkes said to her at the Publix grocery store. “He said ‘go back,’ you know, those types of words,” she said. “I don’t want to say he said ‘go back to your country’ or ‘go back to where you came from’ but he was making those types of references is what I remember.”

8am – B/C   Trump’s campaign offered 10 plastic straws for $15 because ‘liberal paper straws don’t work’ — and they just sold out (CNBC) — There was the Jeb Bush guacamole bowl. Then, the “Grillary Clinton ” kitchen apron. Now, there’s Trump Straws. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is selling 10-packs of branded plastic straws for $15. Why? Because “liberal paper straws don’t work,” the president’s online campaign store asserts. “STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP and buy your pack of recyclable straws today,” the website says. The straws as advertised are nine inches long and bright red — the same shade as Trump’s ubiquitous “Make America Great Again” baseball caps — and they’re branded with a laser-engraved “TRUMP” on one end. The description touts the straws as being reusable, recyclable, BPA-free and made in America. By Friday afternoon ET, the straws had apparently sold out.

8am – D         New York Times ‘Fudged’ Book Sales Data to Put #1 Conservative Book on Kavanaugh at #6. (Newsbusters) — Conservatives have repeatedly protested how The New York Times “Bestseller List” doesn’t live up to its name. We have reported the pattern with David Limbaugh and Dinesh D’Souza. The newest example came from Sean Davis of The Federalist, and the book in question is Justice On Trial by Mollie Hemingway (of The Federalist) and Carrie Severino. The book about the Kavanaugh confirmation shot to #1 on Amazon, but the Times was playing games….again. Davis said they “fudged” it.

Industry sales figures show that the New York Times ignored actual data on nationwide sales in order to depress the rankings not just for the Hemingway/Severino book, but also Mark Levin’s latest book on the corruption of modern journalism.

According to Publishers Weekly, the only public source of point-of-sale data on book sales, “Justice on Trial,” was the top-selling non-fiction book published over the last week.  Mark Levin’s Unfreedom of the Press was #2. But the Times list puts Levin at #5 and Hemingway & Severino at #6. Everything above them on their list sold fewer copies on the Publishers Weekly chart.

8am – E         Wild horse kicks swimsuit-clad tourist in the groin at Maryland beach. (Fox News) — A tourist learned the hard way why it’s important not to ignore local warnings. Footage of the beachgoer in a skimpy swimsuit showed him trying to pet a wild horse at a beach, only to find out why locals advise against it. As the man touched the animal, it kicked him in one of the most painful places for a man to get hit. The incident occurred on Assateague Island, located off the coast of Maryland, The Sun reported. It has not been reported if the man was injured in the incident, although the footage showed him falling to the ground in pain. The horses on Assateague Island are famous among locals and travelers. It’s unclear how exactly they ended up on the island, but according to local folklore, they landed on Assateague after surviving a shipwreck over 300 years ago, The Mirror reported. Regardless of how the animals got there, local authorities want it made clear that they are wild animals and should be left alone. While the nearly 300 horses on the island have become a popular sight among visitors, the local authorities advise beachgoers not to pet or touch the horses. This is not the first incident involving tourists ignoring warnings regarding the horses.




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