Mornings on the Mall
Friday, September 27, 2019
Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese
Executive Producer: Heather Hunter
Lori Graf, Ken Cuccinelli, DC Homeland Security’s Chris Rodriguez, Dan Bongino, Newt Gingrich and Larry Michael joined WMAL on Friday morning!
5am – A/B/C WHISTLEBLOWER NEWS:
- The whistleblower complaint that touched off a political firestorm in Washington was released to the public Thursday, alleging President Trump used the “power of his office to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the 2020 election — and that White House officials subsequently tried to “lock down” records of that phone call. The rough transcript of the July call between Trump and Zelensky was already released a day earlier by the White House. It confirmed that Trump sought an investigation from Ukraine into the Biden family, though it did not show the president explicitly leveraging U.S. aid as had initially been suggested in some media reports.
- WHO IS THE WHISTLEBLOWER? According to the Times, the officer, who has since returned to work at the CIA, appears to be an “analyst by training” and “steeped in details” of U.S. foreign policy regarding Europe. Further, he is believed to possess a “sophisticated understanding” of the politics in Ukraine. The Department of Justice on Wednesday confirmed the Office of Intelligence Community Inspector General found that the so-called “whistleblower” not only had second-hand information regarding the call, but also possessed a “political bias” in favor of a “political rival” of President Trump.
- Intel chief defends handling of Trump call complaint, spars with Schiff. (Fox News) – The whistleblower complaint was released by the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee ahead of Thursday’s testimony from Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. During tense testimony, Maguire defended his handling of the complaint while calling the entire controversy “unprecedented.” His frustration showed at the end when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., repeatedly pressed him to agree that the matter should be investigated. Maguire stressed that the committee now has all of the relevant information, and it’s up to them to decide how to proceed.
- Schiff Offers ‘Parody’ of Ukraine Call Transcript, Gets Called Out, Explains, Gets Called Out Again.. and SCENE. (Mediaite) – There was, in Thursday’s House Intel Committee hearing, a line that came up several times, a colorful saying, a metaphor of sorts: We’ve seen this movie. “The American people have seen this movie before,” they said, or “we know how this movie ends,” or some variation on that theme. A fitting affectation considering the show that was put on before the American people, exemplified by the video clips below. And that show started with a fictional account, a monologue, embellished for dramatic purposes, delivered with grave concern and grandiose theater by committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff. The dramatic retelling of the infamous call between between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.
- FLASHBACK ON WEDNESDAY: UKRAINE PRESIDENT DENIES BEING PUSHED: UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY denies that TRUMP “pushed” him to investigate JOE BIDEN & his son: “I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved [in] democratic, open elections of USA. We had, I think, good phone call … I think you read [in the transcript] that nobody pushed me.” President Trump: “In other words, no pressure.”
- WHAT PRESSURE? THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ASSISTANCE DURING CALL: NY Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel @kenvogel Sep 25 The Ukrainians weren’t made aware that the assistance was being delayed/reviewed until more than one month after the call.
5am – D/E Japan Airlines praised by travelers for booking process that shows seats taken by babies. (Fox News) – Take that, babies! It seems that most travelers would rather not sit next to a baby when they’re flying. Now, one airline is helping its customers avoid getting stuck in that situation. Customers flying on Japan Airlines have noticed a unique feature in the booking process. Like most other airlines, the seat selection map shows what spots have already been taken. Unlike others, however, it shows which ones have been reserved for children who are 2 years old or younger. The seating chart has an image of a baby’s face marked on a seat booked for a child, one traveler explained on Twitter. The Japan Airlines website describes their seating process for children, saying, “Passengers traveling with children between 8 days and 2 years old who select their seats on the JAL website will have a child icon displayed on their seats on the seat selection screen. This lets other passengers know a child may be sitting there.”
6am – A Wall Street Democratic donors warn the party: We’ll sit out, or back Trump, if you nominate Elizabeth Warren. (CNBC) – Democratic donors on Wall Street and in big business are preparing to sit out the presidential campaign fundraising cycle — or even back President Donald Trump — if Sen. Elizabeth Warren wins the party’s nomination.In recent weeks, CNBC spoke to several high-dollar Democratic donors and fundraisers in the business community and found that this opinion was becoming widely shared as Warren, an outspoken critic of big banks and corporations, gains momentum against Joe Biden in the 2020 race. “You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, ‘I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me, so I’m going to help President Trump,’” said a senior private equity executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity in fear of retribution by party leaders. The executive said this Wednesday, a day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. A spokeswoman for Warren declined to comment. She tweeted her response to CNBC’s report later Thursday.
6am – B/C Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it will end “catch and release” for Central American families arriving at the border. TUCSON — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced on Monday the end of the practice his department refers to as “catch and release,” with changes coming as early as next week. The term refers to the process in which the federal government must release migrant families, mostly from Central America, apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border into the interior of the United States to begin the process of seeking asylum. That process can take years, given the massive backlogs in the country’s immigration courts. McAleenan made the announcement during prepared remarks before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. “(The Department of Homeland Security) will no longer be releasing family units from Border Patrol Stations into the interior,” McAleenan said. “This means that for family units, the largest demographic by volume arriving at the border this year, the court-mandated practice of ‘catch and release’ due to the inability of DHS to complete immigration proceedings with families detained together in custody–will have been mitigated.” In doing so, McAleenan would be fulfilling President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to end so-called “catch and release.” It follows several steps the Trump administration has taken in recent months to restrict the ability of migrants to claim asylum in the U.S.
6am – D INTERVIEW – Lori Graf, CEO, Maryland Building Industry Association
- A solar panel for every house? Md. suburb to consider California-style mandate. (Washington Post) – Solar panel mandates, a dramatic and hotly debated environmental policy with roots on the West Coast, could be coming to a suburb of the nation’s capital. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) plans to introduce legislation requiring all new single-family houses — and possibly apartments and commercial buildings — to include rooftop solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity, starting in 2022. If Elrich’s measure is approved by the all-Democratic county council, the wealthy suburb of 1 million would be the first major jurisdiction outside California to adopt such a mandate, experts say. While the proposal has plenty of supporters in the liberal county, there are critics, too. They argue that a house-based mandate is an inefficient way to boost renewable energy, could detract from more significant energy-saving policies and may slow construction as well as raise costs in a jurisdiction already gripped by a severe affordable housing shortage. Elrich, a self-described “old-fashioned progressive,” was elected last year over opposition from business groups. They considered him anti-development, in part because of his opposition to high-density projects in areas of the county including downtown Silver Spring. He told environmentalists about the solar-panel requirement at a “climate emergency” town hall on Sept. 14. In a phone interview Wednesday from New York City, where he was attending an international climate conference connected to the United Nations General Assembly session, Elrich said he intends to introduce the law in 2020 and have it take effect two years after that. “If you’re not going to do stuff like this, you’re not going to reach any climate goals,” Elrich said, referring to the county’s resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2027, and 100 percent by 2035. “At some point, you’ve got to act. You can’t just say you’re going to do something.” The head of the Maryland Building Industry Association said the mandate would drive up construction costs and provide only minimal savings on utility bills, given that Montgomery already has stringent building codes in place to ensure that new homes are energy efficient. “If it passes, it’s just going to make things more expensive,” said Lori Graf, chief executive of the association. She said California, deep in the throes of its own housing crisis, should not set the example for Montgomery.
6am – E LAST NIGHT: Hillary Clinton received NARAL’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the NARAL Pro-Choice America 50th anniversary dinner and gave a speech making digs at President Trump
- AT NARAL EVENT LAST NIGHT: Hillary talks about Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment push: “This occupant of the Oval Office poses a clear and present danger to our future, to our democracy.”
- Talks about her time working on the Nixon impeachment: I truly have a life you cannot make up.
- HILLARY: “We have known who Donald Trump is for some time,” Hillary Clinton says at NARAL event. “Now we know that in the course of his duties as our president, he’s endangered us all by putting his personal and political interests ahead of the interests of the American people.”
6am – F Eugene Scalia Confirmed by Senate as Labor Secretary. (NY Times) – The Senate on Thursday confirmed Eugene Scalia, a longtime lawyer representing corporations, to be labor secretary. Mr. Scalia was chosen by President Trump in July, days after Mr. Trump’s first labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, announced that he would resign. He is a son of the Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. The nomination was approved on a 53-to-44 vote along party lines. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the committee that presided over Mr. Scalia’s confirmation, summed up the Republican viewpoint. “Eugene Scalia is well qualified to lead the Department of Labor with a steady hand at a time when workers’ wages are up and unemployment is near record lows,” he said in a statement. But Democrats and labor groups questioned whether Mr. Scalia’s background was consistent with the interests of American workers. “Mr. Scalia’s nomination is a slap to the face of labor because Mr. Scalia’s life’s work has been utterly opposed to the mission of the agency to which he’s nominated,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said Thursday on the Senate floor. Mr. Scalia, 56, has spent much of his career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a prominent corporate law firm, where perhaps his best-known client was SeaWorld. He helped represent the company after a killer whale attacked and killed a trainer in 2010 and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that SeaWorld should have taken additional steps to protect its workers. Mr. Scalia and his team argued unsuccessfully in federal appeals court that the company had sufficient training and safety measures and that it was up to its trainers to manage the remaining risks they faced on the job.
7am – A INTERVIEW – Ken Cuccinelli – acting Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services
- CATCH AND RELEASE: Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it will end “catch and release” for Central American families arriving at the border. TUCSON — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced on Monday the end of the practice his department refers to as “catch and release,” with changes coming as early as next week. The term refers to the process in which the federal government must release migrant families, mostly from Central America, apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border into the interior of the United States to begin the process of seeking asylum. That process can take years, given the massive backlogs in the country’s immigration courts. McAleenan made the announcement during prepared remarks before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. “(The Department of Homeland Security) will no longer be releasing family units from Border Patrol Stations into the interior,” McAleenan said. “This means that for family units, the largest demographic by volume arriving at the border this year, the court-mandated practice of ‘catch and release’ due to the inability of DHS to complete immigration proceedings with families detained together in custody–will have been mitigated.”
- HONDURAS AGREEMENT: U.S. signed an agreement with Honduras to expand bilateral initiatives to confront irregular migration through Central America. This is part of the Trump Administration’s whole-of-government approach to address the Southwest border crisis. The Trump administration announced a migration deal Wednesday that will give U.S. immigration authorities the ability to send asylum seekers from the border to Honduras, one of the most violent and unstable nations in the world. Department of Homeland Security officials reached the accord with the government of President Juan Orlando Hernández, who is embroiled in allegations of government corruption and charges that he and others have been operating the nation as a criminal enterprise — Hernández has been named as a co-conspirator in a major U.S. drug trafficking case.
- REFUGEE ADMISSIONS: Refugee Admissions Part of Overall Humanitarian Relief Efforts says USCIS Acting Director Cuccinelli. WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli today issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s proposed refugee ceiling for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. “The United States is the most generous country in the world when it comes to humanitarian relief efforts, and we are committed to maintaining that leadership position. In keeping with that goal, the President has proposed that we resettle 18,000 refugees from around the world, which will be in addition to the hundreds of thousands of asylum applicants we will process. This domestic support of refugees and asylum seekers is in addition to our commitment of billions of dollars to support refugees and other displaced people around the world in accordance with the President’s 2017 National Security Strategy.
- Trump administration sets lowest cap on refugee admissions in four decades. Again. The State Department said it was slashing the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. from 30,000 — already a historic low — to 18,000. (NBC News) – President Donald Trump’s administration has once again set the lowest cap on refugee admissions in the program’s almost 40 year history, allowing fewer than 20,000 resettlements. The administration will only propose resettlements for 18,000 of the 368,000 asylum and refugee applications it expects to field in the upcoming fiscal year, the Department of State said in a press release Thursday. The proposed number is a fraction of the 85,000 cap proposed by former president Barack Obama in 2016.
7am – B/C INTERVIEW – Dr. Chris Rodriguez- Director of the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMA)
- Climate protesters plan to shut down DC streets again Friday: Here’s where, when, and why. WASHINGTON (WJLA) — After jamming key intersections in DC on Monday, a coalition of groups plans to shut down streets again for two hours on Friday morning, demanding action on climate change. The protests are timed as part a week of international actions including strikes on six continents last Friday and the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. Shutdown DC said 22 different groups blocked 22 intersections in Washington on Monday “as part of the global youth climate strike week of action.” Shutdown DC posted a map on Facebook showing where they plan to protest and block intersections. Shutdown DC is calling for protesters to meet at 7 a.m. Friday at McPherson Square Park in downtown. The demonstrations are planned to last until 9 a.m. The groups are also demanding climate justice, noting that climate change disproportionately hurts vulnerable communities, ethnic groups, and nations more than wealthier ones. After Monday’s street blockages, Black Lives Matter DC released a statement alleging that police treated their demonstrators more harshly than they did other groups in other locations. DC Police and U.S. Capitol Police arrested 32 people in the demonstrations Monday.
7am – D INTERVIEW – Dan Bongino – author of new book “Exonerated: The Failed Takedown of President Donald Trump by the Swamp”
- ABOUT BOOK: “Exonerated: The Failed Takedown of President Donald Trump by the Swamp”: An explosive, whistle-blowing exposé, Exonerated: The Failed Takedown of Donald Trump by the Swamp reveals how Deep State actors relied on a cynical plug-and-play template to manufacture the now-discredited Russiagate scandal. With the cutting analysis and insight he exhibited in his blockbuster bestseller Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump, Fox News contributor Bongino exposes who masterminded the dangerous playbook to take down Trump, their motives, and how a plan filled with faked allegations backfired—forcing investigators to up the ante and hide their missteps and half-truths in a desperate effort to prove a collusion case that never happened. The result? The misguided multimillion Mueller investigation that tore the nation apart, tried to destabilize the presidency and led, as the world now knows, to nowhere!
7am – E OKAY HAND SIGN IS A HATE SYMBOL: The ‘okay’ hand sign has moved from trolling campaign to real hate symbol, civil rights group says. The traditional hand gesture for “okay” is now considered a sign of hatred, along with 35 other signs, by a prominent Jewish civil rights organization that maintains a database of hate symbols. The “okay” sign, which some associate with white supremacy, joins other images and slogans associated with far-right extremism in the Anti-Defamation League’s “Hate on Display” database. The organization also added the “Dylann Roof Bowlcut,” a man with a moon-shaped head and an image of a Jewish man greedily rubbing his hands together. Many of the new symbols in the database are associated with the alt-right, and several are popular on anonymous message boards, including 4chan and 8chan, according to the ADL. Some of the images and slogans have spread to mainstream websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. “These are the latest calling cards of hate,” Mark Pitcavage, senior fellow at ADL’s Center on Extremism, said in a statement. “While some hate symbols are short-lived, others take on a life of their own and become tools for online trolling.” The ADL resisted adding the “okay” symbol to its Hate on Display database, which also includes swastikas, the Aryan Brotherhood’s logo and the Nazi Party’s flag. The idea that the gesture, made by touching the thumb and forefinger, secretly symbolizes white supremacy began as a troll campaign by some segments of the political right and far-right to incite a reaction from liberals and the media.
8am – A INTERVIEW – Newt Gingrich – former Speaker of the House and host of the “Newt’s World” podcast — discussed the impeachment push and his “Inside the Contract with America – 25th Anniversary” Fox special this Sunday night at 8 PM.
8am – B/C CLIMATE NEWS:
- Climate protesters plan to shut down DC streets again Friday: WASHINGTON (WJLA) — After jamming key intersections in DC on Monday, a coalition of groups plans to shut down streets again for two hours on Friday morning, demanding action on climate change. The protests are timed as part a week of international actions including strikes on six continents last Friday and the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. Shutdown DC is calling for protesters to meet at 7 a.m. Friday at McPherson Square Park in downtown. The demonstrations are planned to last until 9 a.m. The groups are also demanding climate justice, noting that climate change disproportionately hurts vulnerable communities, ethnic groups, and nations more than wealthier ones.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger lends electric car to Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old will drive from UN climate summit to Canada. (Newsweek) – Arnold Schwarzenegger has loaned his electric car to 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg so she can drive to Canada for a march against climate change. Thunberg told Scandinavian talk show Skavlan, which has filmed in New York this week, that the offer from the Hollywood movie star and former California governor was “one of the funniest” she’d received. Skavlan said it has been confirmed that the climate activist and her father will take Schwarzenegger’s car to Montreal, Canada where she is set to attend the protest against climate change on Friday. Newsweek has contacted Greta Thunberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s teams for further confirmation. “A lot of people have offered to lend us, for example, their electric car,” Thunberg said on Scandinavian talk show Skavlan. She later added: “One of the funniest offers I’ve received is that Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered me to lend his electric car if I want to.” The 16-year-old has been avoiding flights on her recent travels, which have taken her from Sweden to New York, where she made a passionate speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
- Greta Thunberg wins ‘alternative Nobel’ for environmental work. (CNN) On the heels of her fiery speech at the UN Climate Action Summit, 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been named one of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award winners. The international award, widely known as the “alternative Nobel Prize,” was established in 1980 to “honor and support courageous people solving global problems.” The awards were announced at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday. The official ceremony takes place on December 4. Each of the winners will be awarded 1 million Swedish krona ($103,000). “With the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, we honor four practical visionaries whose leadership has empowered millions of people to defend their inalienable rights and to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth,” said Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Foundation.
8am – D INTERVIEW – LARRY MICHAEL – The Voice of The Redskins – previewed the Washington Redskins at New York Giants game on Sun 9/29 at 1 pm.
8am – E CRAZY SCHIFF:
- Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist. He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it…
- Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump …sound horrible, and me sound guilty. HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public. He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!