Mornings on the Mall 08.14.19 / Cal Thomas, Gordon Chang, Ken Cuccinelli, Kevin Lewis

Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, China expert Gordon Chang, USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli and WJLA’s Kevin Lewis joined WMAL on Wednesday!

Mornings on the Mall

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese

Executive Producer: Heather Hunter


5am – A/B/C             EPSTEIN UPDATES:

  • Epstein guards suspected of falsifying logs to show they were checking on him: report (Fox News) — Guards at the New York City jail where Jeffrey Epstein is said to have killed himself are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on the alleged sex trafficker and other inmates with greater regularity than was the case, according to a Tuesday report. Surveillance video reviewed after Epstein’s death shows guards at the Metropolitan Correctional Center did not make some of the checks they claimed to have made in their logs, a source told the Associated Press. The federal jail workers claimed they were checking on inmates in Epstein’s unit every half-hour, but investigators now believe that was not the case. The Justice Department on Tuesday said two guards assigned to watch Epstein had been placed on administrative leave.
  • DOJ reassigns warden after Epstein’s apparent suicide. (The Hill) — Attorney General William Barr has ordered the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily reassign the warden at the New York federal prison where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead over the weekend pending federal investigations into his apparent suicide.
  • Two staff members assigned to Epstein’s unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MMC) in lower Manhattan have also been placed on administrative leave, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Tuesday, noting additional actions may be taken if warranted. The Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosed the developments Tuesday afternoon, one day after Barr expressed outrage over Epstein’s death and spoke of “serious irregularities” at the federal prison in New York. “I was appalled — indeed, the entire department was — and, frankly, angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner. We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and that demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said during remarks at a law enforcement conference in New Orleans on Monday morning. “We will get to the bottom of what happened at the MCC and we will hold people accountable for this failure,” Barr said. Kupec said Tuesday that the MCC warden, whose name is Lamine N’diaye, would be reassigned to the bureau’s Northeast Regional Office while the FBI and Justice Department inspector general investigate the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death.
  • ‘You have to ask: Did Bill go to the island?’ Trump encourages reporters to dig deep into Clinton’s relationship with Epstein and find out if former president did stay on pedo billionaire’s private Caribbean island. President Donald Trump cast doubt on Bill Clinton’s claim he had never been to Jeffrey Epstein’s so-called ‘pedophile island’ (Daily Mail) — Donald Trump cast doubt on Tuesday over former President Bill Clinton’s denial that he ever visited Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious ‘pedophilia island.’ The president repeatedly suggested that his predecessor was lying in a statement saying that he had not been to Little St. James, the island owned by the pervert financier, which was raided by the FBI Monday.  Speaking as he was about to board Air Force One from Morristown, New Jersey, Trump declined to answer whether he ‘really believed’ that the Clintons had arranged for Epstein to be killed, a claim he had retweeted after the 66-year-old’s apparent suicide on Saturday morning.  Instead he highlighted Clinton’s repeated flights on Epstein’s private plane, dubbed the Lolita Express, and suggested that the former president’s response to the revelation he was named in the flight logs was misleading. Asked if he believed – as he had tweeted – that the Clintons played a part in the pervert’s death, he replied: ‘I have no idea.’ He went on: ‘I know he was on his plane 27 times, and he said he was on the plane four times.  ‘But when they checked the plane log, Bill Clinton – who was a very good friend of Epstein’s – he was on the plane about 27 or 28 times. So why did he say four times?  ‘And then the question you have to ask is: Did Bill Clinton go to the island? Because Epstein had an island – that was not a good place as I understand it.

5am – D         BUTTIGIEG UPDATES:

  • Pete Buttigieg’s question to woman who shook RFK’s hand takes awkward turn. (Fox News) — Presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg had an awkward campaign trail encounter Tuesday with a woman in Iowa who told him she once met the late-Robert F. Kennedy. The Democrat was campaigning at the Iowa State Fair when a woman approached him and said she met Kennedy in 1968, according to a tweet from a CNN producer. “I shook Robert Kennedy’s hand in 1968,” the woman told him. Buttigieg responded: “So you’re good luck?”“Not really— he was shot a month later,” the woman said.
  • Democrat Buttigieg unveils $80 billion plan to bring internet to all rural Americans (Reuters) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg unveiled an ambitious plan on Tuesday to transform the economy of rural America, including spending $80 billion to provide high-speed internet and $50 billion over a decade to help farmers combat climate change. Buttigieg, 37, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also proposes dramatically increasing teacher pay in rural areas, reducing the shortage of teachers by half and spending $5 billion over a decade to ensure an apprenticeship program in a growing industry is available within 30 miles of every American. Buttigieg was due to unveil his plan as he begins a two-day, seven-county swing through southeast Iowa. The Midwestern state kicks off the Democratic nominating contest in February.

5am – E         U.S. Delays Some China Tariffs Until Stores Stock Up for Holidays (New York Times) — President Trump on Tuesday unexpectedly put off new tariffs on many Chinese goods, including cellphones, laptop computers and toys, until after the start of the Christmas shopping season, acknowledging the effect that his protracted trade war with Beijing could have on Americans. Mr. Trump pushed a 10 percent tariff on some imports to Dec. 15, and excluded others from it entirely, while facing mounting pressure from businesses and consumer groups over the harm they say the trade conflict is doing. The stock market soared after the announcement, following weeks of volatility driven by fears that the standoff between the world’s two largest economies could hamper global economic growth.

6am – A         FREDO CUOMO UPDATE:

  • Flashback: ‘Fredo’ references have actually been used on CNN before a lot!
  • Trump lashes out at Republicans defending CNN’s Cuomo over “Fredo” video: “We never learn!” Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 14 hours ago: It always happens! When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News. But when a Liberal Democrat like Chris Cuomo does it, Republicans immediately come to his defense. We never learn!
  • Trump campaign sells ‘Fredo Unhinged’ T-shirts following viral Cuomo video. (Fox News) — The Trump campaign is selling “Fredo Unhinged” T-shirts following a viral video of CNN host Chris Cuomo’s encounter with a man who apparently taunted him by calling him “Fredo.” The shirt, which is on sale on Trump’s campaign merchandise store for $34, features images of Cuomo’s face from the video. A description of the product reads, “The truth hurts. He totally lost it. Help us annoy Chris Cuomo and buy your ‘Fredo Unhinged Tee’ now!”

6am – B/C     Flights resume at Hong Kong airport after days of protest chaos (Fox News) — Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport Wednesday morning after two days of disruptions marked by outbursts of violence that highlight the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. According to the Associated Press, about three dozen protesters remained camped in the airport’s arrivals area, a day after a mass demonstration and frenzied mob violence forced more than 100 flight cancelations. Additional identification checks were in place, but check-in counters were open and flights appeared to be operating normally.

6am – D         Interview – Cal Thomas – Syndicated columnist – discussed the fallout of Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide and his thoughts on the Hong Kong protests.

6am — E         Olive Garden is selling a lifetime pasta pass for the first time, and it costs $500 (MarketWatch) — The restaurant chain’s Never Ending Pasta Pass, having sold out in mere seconds in the past, is back for a sixth year. Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass is back for a sixth year, and this time they’ve got an upgrade available: a $500 lifetime pass that will be available to 50 fans. The Never Ending Pasta Pass, which costs $100 plus tax, offers guests nine weeks of unlimited pastas and sauces from Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl menu. The deal also comes with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks. Choices include fettuccine and gluten-free rotini pasta, and creamy roasted garlic sauce and marinara sauce. Toppings like grilled chicken or vegetables will cost extra.  

6am – F         Police Arrest Man Who Allegedly Shot Up San Antonio ICE Office (Daily Caller) — Authorities took a man into custody for allegedly firing a gun at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Antonio, shattering several windows. The San Antonio Police Department responded early Tuesday morning to a shooting that took place at a building that houses the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE division and arrived at the scene at approximately 3 a.m. local time. The alleged shooter is believed to have fired several rounds at the building from across the highway, according to local reports. No one was injured, however, several of the building’s windows were broken. Police officers apprehended the man — whose name has yet to be identified — not far from where the shooting occurred. The FBI is handling the case, a San Antonio Police Department spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The FBI’s San Antonio division did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

7am – A         Interview – Gordon Chang – author of “The Coming Collapse of China.” Follow him on Twitter @GordonGChang.

  • U.S. to delay China tariffs on some products, including laptops, cell phones. Relief and rallies on Wall Street after Trump administration delays China tariffs (Fox Business) — Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday after U.S. stocks, especially shares of tech companies and bond yields rallied Tuesday following the Trump administration’s decision to delay tariffs on key Chinese imports. Early in Tuesday’s session, equities turned positive on a report that China’s commerce secretary agreed to conduct a phone call in two weeks with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, according to Reuters. Wall Street then learned that the White House was delaying until Dec. 15 additional tariffs on certain Chinese exports. The announcement was greeted with relief on Wall Street and by retailers who have grown fearful that the new tariffs would wreck holiday sales. Among the products that will benefit from the 3½-month reprieve are such popular consumer goods as cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.
  • Flights resume at Hong Kong airport after days of protest chaos (Fox News) — Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport Wednesday morning after two days of disruptions marked by outbursts of violence that highlight the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

7am – B/C     2020 NEWS:

  • Sanders overtakes Biden in New Hampshire poll. (The Hill) — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leads the Democratic presidential field in New Hampshire with 21 percent in a Gravis Marketing poll released Tuesday. Sanders is followed by former Vice President Joe Biden with 15 percent and by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 12 percent. The poll stands in contrast from the most recent polls in New Hampshire compiled by RealClearPolitics, which have showed Biden leading in the critical primary state, followed by Sanders. Gravis Marketing polled 250 Democratic primary voters on Aug. 2-6 using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The primary question had a margin of error of 6.2 percentage points.
  • Julián Castro buys Fox News ad that blames Trump for El Paso mass shooting (The Hill) — Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro on Wednesday will release an advertisement on Fox News that directly blames President Trump’s rhetoric for the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 people dead. The ad is set to air throughout the day on Fox News in Bedminster, N.J., where the president is residing this week. The Washington Post reported that Castro’s campaign paid $2,775 for multiple spots on Fox News, including “Fox & Friends,” a program frequently watched by Trump. The ad includes Castro, the only Latino candidate among more than two dozen White House hopefuls, fiercely criticizing Trump and his divisive rhetoric on immigration. “President Trump: You referred to countries as shitholes,” Castro says at the beginning of the ad, set in an empty warehouse in Iowa. “You urged American congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists.”

7am – D         Students Sign Petition To Ban ‘Oppressive’ White Stick Figure In ‘Walk’ Signals (Daily Wire) — In Campus Reform’s latest video, Campus Correspondent Ethan Cai asks students at George Washington University if they’d be willing to sign a petition calling for banning the iconic white stick figure in “walk” signals because they are “oppressive.” Most of the students are happy to join the “inclusive” effort.  “As we students cross the street, we are told by the symbol of a white man when it is okay to cross,” Campus Reform’s faux petition reads. “Many students from diverse backgrounds, including individuals of color, gender fluid individuals, and LGBTQA+ individuals, feel oppressed by this.” Students who sign the petition are supposedly letting the university know that they “vehemently urge the University to consider changing the crosswalk signs. “The result: many of the students, and even one university faculty member, are willing to put their signature on the phony petition. While some students seem to be on board because the alternatives provided by Campus Reform are “so cute” and “lit,” most in the video made a point of saying they can “absolutely” see how someone would be offended by the “white man” telling them what to do and felt that changing the sign helped promote “diversity.”

7am – E         You can rent a moped in D.C. starting this weekend. The app-based rentals will cost $1 to start your ride and 25 cents a minute thereafter. (Washington Post) — Good news for moped lovers. Revel, which operates an electric moped rental service in the New York area, is bringing them to the District this weekend, the company announced Tuesday, joining a growing number of transportation companies that are changing the way residents and visitors get around in the nation’s capital. The company is the first to secure a permit to operate mopeds in the city as part of a four-month pilot program and will be allowed to deploy up to 400 vehicles.  Eight other private companies provide scooter and bike services, totaling about 5,600 devices. Revel operates about 1,000 e-mopeds throughout Brooklyn and Queens.  It costs $1 to start a ride, plus 25 cents per minute while riding and 10 cents per minute while parked. A discount is available for qualifying low-income residents. Drivers must be 21 or older and pass a driving background check before they can rent the devices. Revel charges a $19 one-time registration fee to verify a driver’s license and driving record. About 1 out of every 12 applicants does not make it past the screening, the company said. Once the enrollment is complete, the process is similar to renting a scooter or bike: Customers can use the Revel mobile app to find, reserve and unlock a moped — found parked throughout the city. Each Revel can carry up to two riders. All Revels are registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and are equipped with two helmets that riders are required to wear, per company rules and city law. The mopeds have a maximum speed of 30 mph, and drivers must follow all traffic and parking rules. They are not allowed on sidewalks.

8am – A         Interview – Ken Cuccinelli – acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

  • Trump administration releases new “public charge” rule making it easier to reject immigrants  — The Trump administration on Monday issued a long-awaited rule strengthening the ability of federal officials to deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to rely on government aid. Officials described the so-called “public charge” rule as a way to ensure those granted permanent residency are self-sufficient — and protect taxpayers in the process.  “The principle driving it is an old American value, and that’s self-sufficiency,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli told Fox News in an interview. “It’s a core principle — the American Dream itself — and it’s one of the things that distinguishes us, and it’s central to the legal history in the U.S. back into the 1800s.”
  • Cuccinelli gets criticism for claiming Statue of Liberty poem referred to Europeans. (Washington Examiner) — Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli asserted Tuesday that the poem emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty pedestal in New York Harbor referred specifically to immigrants from Europe. Cuccinelli initially faced criticism after he told NPR the poem meant, “Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” Cuccinelli was asked earlier Tuesday on NPR whether the words “give me your tired, your poor” were part of the American ethos. Cuccinelli responded: “They certainly are. Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
  • Pelosi predicts Trump public charge rule will be “swiftly challenged and defeated” (The Hill) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday slammed the Trump administration’s new immigration rule that links an immigrant’s ability to secure residency or a path to citizenship to their use of public programs, predicting it will be defeated in court. “This hateful, bigoted rule is a direct assault on our nation’s proud heritage as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all and a clear attempt to demonize and terrorize the newcomers who make America more American,” the California lawmaker tweeted.

8am – B/C     Fortnite World Cup champ gets ‘swatted’ during live Twitch stream (New York Post) — The Pennsylvania teen who won the Fortnite World Cup last month — pocketing $3 million in the process — was “swatted” over the weekend during a livestream on Twitch, he said. The criminal harassment tactic involves making a false report to police in hopes of getting a SWAT team to bust into a video gamer’s house. “Well, that’s a new one,” Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf told Twitch viewers on Saturday after the incident. “They came in with guns, bro. They literally pulled up,” he said. “That’s scary…The internet’s f—ing crazy.” Giersdorf, 16, was in the middle of playing “Fortnite Arena Trios” with some friends when he stepped away for several minutes to deal with the cops.

8am – D         Interview – Kevin Lewis – Reporter for WJLA ABC7

  • ICE: Undocumented immigrants in Md. rape friend’s 11-year-old sister on separate occasions (WJLA ABC7) — Two undocumented immigrants are accused of raping an 11-year-old girl on different occasions, the common denominator being a friendship with the victim’s older brother. Montgomery County Police have arrested Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29, of Damascus, and Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28, of Gaithersburg, and charged each with second-degree rape. Last month, the victim — now 12-years-old — spoke with a social worker at her middle school in Germantown. Talking through tears, the girl shared the painful details about what both men allegedly did to her.

8am – E         ASAP Rocky found guilty of assault but spared jail in Swedish trial that drew support from Trump, celebs (NBC News) — Rapper ASAP Rocky was found guilty of assault Wednesday by a Swedish court but will avoid further jail time. The rapper was handed a conditional sentence after the court found that the assault was not “of such a serious nature” as to warrant more time behind bars. Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested in Stockholm in July after he and two of his entourage got into a street brawl with a 19-year-old man, Mustafa Jafari. Prosecutors asked the court to convict Mayers, 30, and sentence him to at least six months in jail.



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