Hannity says Biden ‘sucking up’ to AOC and the party’s radicals

Fox News’ Sean Hannity mocked Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden Tuesday for “sucking up” too Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., recently even though the congresswoman hasn’t spoken well of the former vice president in the past.

“[Biden] is now pandering to every corner of this new extreme socialist Democratic party.  Going so far as to describe congresswoman, the real Speaker of the House, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as both smart as hell and brilliant,” Hannity said on his television show.

“She’s been taking a lot of shots at him, he’s sucking up.”

BIDEN PROPOSES BIG CHANGE TO OBAMACARE TO SAVE IT FROM GOP AND FROM ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ CROWD

“This idea that we can go back to the good old days with Obama, with Obama’s vice president. There’s an emotional element to that, but I don’t want to go back. I want to go forward,” Ocasio-Cortez said of Biden in April while appearing on a podcast.

The Fox News host said Biden’s effort to curry favor with the freshman congresswoman and the progressive wing of the party won’t work.

“But here’s the thing, Biden can try and suck up, cozy up to the new extreme left all he wants. They’re never going to accept him. And never going to endorse him in the Democratic primary,” Hannity said.

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Hannity predicted things would get worse for Biden.

“Here’s a prediction Uncle Joe, this is only going to get worse. Remember the questions are only going to get tougher the scrutiny on Biden will only intensify. The question is just how far left is sleepy, creepy, crazy Uncle Joe willing to go to try and appease these out of touch out of control leaders of his party,” Hannity said.

Kellyanne Conway says critics employ Hatch Act to ‘silence’ her support for Trump

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway responded to critics Monday after formally defying a Hatch Act-related subpoena from the House Oversight Committee.

Her opponents are concerned about her effectiveness at her job and hoped to silence her, Conway said Monday on “Hannity.”

“I’m concerned that there’s such a weaponization and politicization of this thing called the Hatch Act,” she said.

The Hatch Act limits political activity by federal workers. Congress approved the Hatch Act in 1939 to limit partisan activity by federal employees to ensure the government functions fairly and effectively.

KELLYANNE CONWAY DEFIES HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SUBPOENA OVER ALLEGED HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS

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The Office of Special Counsel — separate from the office formerly run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller — opened two cases focused on allegations Conway violated the Hatch Act by engaging in “both official and political activity” — during her media appearances and on her Twitter account, @KellyannePolls.

The report stated, “Ms. Conway regularly participated in official media interviews in her capacity as a White House spokesperson to answer reporters’ questions about the Administration. Beginning in February 2019, Ms. Conway, during official media appearances, engaged in a pattern of partisan attacks on several Democratic Party candidates shortly after they announced their candidacy for President,” detailing instances involving Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

The OSC stated that in one Feb. 19 interview on “Fox & Friends,” Conway “insinuated that Senator Booker was ‘sexist’ and a ‘tinny’ ‘motivational speaker,’” and claimed Warren, D-Mass., was “’lying’” about her ethnicity.

Conway said that no matter how heavy the pressure is on her to keep a low profile, she will continue to publicly support the president’s policies.

“They’re not going to silence me,” she said. “They’re not going to take away my First Amendment rights.”

Conway also “attacked” O’Rourke for not “thinking the women running are good enough to be President.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report

Trey Gowdy: Unless Mueller ‘fumbles,’ not much will be learned from testimony

There’s little chance that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will reveal any significant new information about his Russia investigation when he testifies on Capitol Hill later this month, former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy said Friday.

In fact, Gowdy said on Fox News’ “Hannity,” the only significant thing Mueller could possibly say is whether he would have indicted Donald Trump if he were a private citizen instead of president of the United States.

“I think what the Democrats are going to focus on is, had that [Justice Department] policy not been in place [against indicting a sitting president], would you have indicted private citizen Donald Trump? That’s the only thing that can come out of this for the Democrats that would be significant,” Gowdy told host Sean Hannity.

TREY GOWDY: MUELLER DOES NOT WANT TO ‘PARTICIPATE’ IN KEEPING THE RUSSIA STORY ALIVE

Mueller was supposed to appear before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees this coming Wednesday but on Friday his scheduled hearings were postponed until July 24.

Gowdy — a Republican who declined to seek re-election last November after representing South Carolina‘s 4th Congressional District for four terms, from 2011 until January of this year — also advised Republicans to ask Mueller about all the things he “didn’t bother to look for” during an investigation that lasted two years.

“If you’re a Republican,” Gowdy said, “you’re going to want to ask about bias. You’re going to want to ask about what you didn’t look into — and I also have a bunch of friends on that committee. I would spend all of my time getting Mueller to talk about things he didn’t bother to look for.”

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The former chairman of the House Oversight Committee (2017-2019) and House Benghazi Committee (2014-2016) told Hannity that America wouldn’t learn much from the hearings unless Mueller “fumbles.”

“Trust me when I say, Sean … We’re not going to learn a lot unless he fumbles. The answer from my point of view, the Republican point of view, if he fumbles, the answer on why he did not indict Donald Trump, then this thing will continue to go on for another six to nine, twelve months,” Gowdy said.

Judge won’t toss Rep. Duncan Hunter’s corruption case

A judge Monday refused to dismiss federal corruption charges against U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter or move the trial out of San Diego, saying he found no evidence so far that the California Republican lawmaker cannot get a fair trial here.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan in ruling from the bench said Hunter — a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump — easily won re-election to a sixth term in 2018 after being indicted and therefore he should be able to be tried fairly in San Diego County.

Defense lawyers argued prosecutors were politically motivated when they indicted the 42-year-old congressman only months before the 2018 election and the case should be dismissed. Whelan said he found no evidence of that.

Hunter and his wife were indicted in August on charges they used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses ranging from groceries to golf trips and family vacations, and then lied about it in federal filings. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty last month to one corruption count and agreed to cooperate with investigators and could end up testifying against her husband.

Prosecutors have also revealed salacious details about the congressman’s lifestyle, saying he spent campaign money on a string of extramarital affairs with lobbyists and congressional aides.

Hunter’s lawyers argued that the presence of prosecutors tied to the case at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in August 2015 compromised their impartiality and that they should be removed from the case. The government says the prosecutors attended in an official capacity to assist law enforcement. Whelan agreed with the government.

HUNTER’S CORRUPTION TRIAL CAN INCLUDE ALLEGED EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS, JUDGE RULES

Hunter’s attorneys also had asked for the trial to be moved to the Eastern District of California, the location where Trump in the 2016 presidential elections won counties in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.

They said the extensive press coverage — and most of it negative — will make it near-impossible to find impartial jurors in San Diego. Attorneys told the judge one only needs to look outside the courthouse Monday where a dozen or so protesters were carrying signs that read “Lock him up!” among other things. A smaller group held signs in support of Hunter.

Whelan pointed out the media coverage and editorials by The San Diego Union-Tribune did not stop him from winning re-election. But Whelan added that during jury selection, if the pool appears stacked against Hunter, the judge could consider again whether to move the trial.

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The trial begins in September.

In an interview with Fox News last year, Hunter said his campaign made mistakes, that he gave his wife power of attorney when he deployed as a Marine to Iraq in 2003, and that she handled his finances during his last five terms in office.

Trump press secretary: Democrats ‘hate this president more than they love America’

White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday defending the upcoming Fourth of July parade with military tanks and claiming Democrats were being clouded by their hatred of President Trump.

“It is pretty clear at this point that the Democrats in this country hate this president more than they love America, and that hatred has taken many forms in the short period that Donald Trump has been in the White House,” Gidley told guest host Gregg Jarrett.

Gidley accused Democrats of lying about the president’s motives saying he wants only to celebrate the greatness of America.

JOY REID SAYS TRUMP USING TANKS AT 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION AS ‘THREAT’ TO AMERICANS

“First the Democrats lied about collusion, then they lied about the corruption. Then they lied about the crisis at the southern border,” Gidley said, referring to the Russia investigation and the immigration crisis.

“And now, they are lying about the motives of Donald Trump who simply wants to celebrate to the greatest idea ever realized in the history of humankind, and that is America.”

It is pretty clear at this point that the Democrats in this country hate this president more than they love America.

— Hogan Gidley

Gidley said the only reason Democrats had a problem with the celebration is that Trump was involved.

“Democrats refuse to celebrate that greatness, refuse to even celebrate our nation’s independence or the fourth of July simply because it is Donald Trump who is doing the celebrating,” Gidley said.

He defended the celebration, saying it’s not political.

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“I was with the president for quite some time this afternoon talking about the speech and listening to him talk about the themes that he wants to address, and there is not a political bone in the entire speech. I mean, the whole thing is about the greatness of America,” Gidley said.

“That is what this is about, for all Americans. It is not political or about Donald Trump. It is about each of us. That’s what he wants to convey.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill requiring felons pay off fines before regaining right to vote

Florida‘s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a bill Friday requiring felons to pay off their financial obligations before regaining the right to vote, a tactic many critics argue amounts to voter suppression and a modern-day poll tax.

State Republicans introduced the bill after voters passed an amendment in November to give roughly 1.4 million people with felony convictions to right to cast ballots in elections. The measure allowed felons not convicted of murder or sexual offenses to vote once they “complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.”

The language also said felons must complete their sentences, which Republicans interpreted to include paying off fines and fees imposed at sentencing.

FLORIDA: VOTING RIGHTS OF MORE THAN 1 MILLION FELONS RESTORED

Former felons register to vote in Miami on Jan. 8, 2019. (ELINA SHIRAZI/Fox News)

Former felons register to vote in Miami on Jan. 8, 2019. (ELINA SHIRAZI/Fox News)

“Senate Bill 7066 enumerates a uniform list of crimes that fall into the excluded categories and confirms that the amendment does not apply to a felon who has failed to complete all the terms of his sentence,” DeSantis wrote in a memo to Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee.

Democrats argued the bill created unnecessary hurdles voters didn’t foresee when they passed the amendment and that the original intent of preventing felons from voting was to repress the minority vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the NAACP and other groups promptly filed a federal lawsuit over the new law Friday.

“Over a million Floridians were supposed to reclaim their place in the democratic process, but some politicians clearly feel threatened by greater voter participation,” Julie Ebenstein, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. “They cannot legally affix a price tag to someone’s right to vote.”

Experts said granting felons to right to vote could possibly tip the scales in a state where elections can be decided by a small percentage of votes.

Several groups and Democratic presidential hopefuls blasted new law over Twitter.

“Disgusting. My democracy plan would re-enfranchise those who have served their time and left prison—and prevent states like Florida from overriding their rights with Jim Crow-era nonsense,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted.

“The 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed to eliminate the poll tax. Today, FL Gov Ron DeSantis defied the will of people & signed a law depriving thousands of formerly incarcerated persons from voting unless they pay restitution, fines & fees. THIS is why we need to #RestoreTheVOTE,” the NAACP posted.

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When the bill advanced through the Florida House in April, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker called it a “poll tax,” a tool most notoriously used to disenfranchise black voters in the Jim Crow-era south.

Under the law, felons could petition a judge to forgive their outstanding fines and fees in favor of community service or have a victim forgo repayment of restitution.

Dem Debate: Swalwell zings Biden on his age, calls on him to ‘pass the torch’

MIAMI — Democratic presidential hopeful Eric Swalwell, one of the youngest candidates in the 2020 field, took a direct swipe at Joe Biden’s age during Thursday’s debate, calling on the former vice president to “pass the torch” to a new generation of leaders.

The 38-year-old Democratic congressman from California was responding to a question on jobs in the 21st century, when he took the first shot at the primary front-runner.

“I was six years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said ‘it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.’ That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden,” Swalwell said. “Joe Biden was right. It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago, and he’s still right today.”

Swalwell went onto list hot-button issues like gun violence, climate and student loan debt, and said, “if we’re going to solve” the issues, “pass the torch.”

He followed up with a tweet:

Biden, who is 76, let Swalwell finish but fired back with a grin: “I’m still holding onto that torch. I want to make that clear to you.”

“Look we have to make sure that everybody is prepared to get an education. That is why I propose focusing on schools that are in distress, that is why I propose tripling the amount of money we spend for Title I schools, that’s why I call for…universal pre-K, that is why every single person…needs something beyond high school and we should provide for them to be able to get that education,” Biden explained.

Biden laid out proposals like “free community college,” and freezing interest on student loan debt for individuals making less than $25,000 per year.

“We can’t put people in a position where they are not able to move on,” Biden said. “There is a lot that we can do but we have to make continuing education available for everyone so that everyone can compete in the 21st century. We’re not doing that now.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., defended Biden, saying he’s also part of that generation.

Biden is not the oldest in the pack. Sanders is 77 and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is 69.

Should Trump be re-elected, he would be 74 on Jan. 20, 2021—Inauguration Day.

2020 Dems downplay economic gains under Trump, at Miami debate

Democratic presidential hopefuls took pains to downplay economic gains under the Trump administration at the first debate of the 2020 presidential cycle—blasting large corporations and calling for more taxes for the wealthy.

The answers came minutes after the debate began, as 10 candidates squared off in the first debate of the 2020 presidential election cycle at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.

“Who is this economy really working for? It’s doing great for thinner and thinner slices at the top,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said right out the gate.

“When you’ve got an economy that does great for those with money…it is corruption pure and simple. We need to call it out and we need to attack it head-on. We need to make structural changes in our government, our economy and our country.”

Minutes later, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was the first on the debate stage to mention President Trump by name.

“The economy—we know that not everyone is sharing in this prosperity. And Trump just sits in the White House and gloats about what’s going on when there are so many people having trouble paying for college and trouble paying for their prescriptions,” Klobuchar said, laying out her plans to “make it easier” to pay off student loans and attend college.

“Billionaires can pay off their yachts, then students should be able to pay off their student loans,” Klobuchar said.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke then weighed in, blasting the economy, saying it “does not work for everyone”—in both English and Spanish.

And New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also took a swipe at the president, saying: “There is plenty of money in this country, it’s just in the wrong hands.”

But while the Democrats challenged the sense of economic gains in recent years, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee rapid response team sent email blasts and tweets “fact-checking”  and defending the president’s economic record and the creation of “6 million jobs” since Election Day 2016.

Warren was the highest-polling candidate among those on stage Wednesday but others were looking for their breakout moment or to recapture lost momentum, especially contenders like O’Rourke of Texas. Top-polling candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are set to face off Thursday night on the same stage.

The format and sheer number of candidates, though, means candidates have limited opportunity even during two hours of debate to make their case.

The rules, set by the Democratic National Committee, gave candidates 60 seconds to answer questions from the NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo moderators, and 30 seconds to respond to their follow-up questions. The candidates could not give opening statements, but were offered the chance to give closing remarks later in the night.

Also on stage Wednesday:  Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Tim Ryan of Ohio and former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland.

Arkansas judge asks court to allow him to hear death penalty-related cases again

An Arkansas judge is petitioning the state Supreme Court to restore his power to preside over capital punishment-related cases after he was disqualified from those duties following his participation in an anti-death penalty protest two years ago.

In his Monday filing, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who is black, said no white member of the state judiciary has been banned from hearing and deciding an entire category of cases. The document cites the case of a white judge who pleaded guilty to a DWI in 2017 was barred from presiding over similar cases for eight months.

JUDGE VACATES ARKANSAS MAN’S DEATH SENTENCE IN 1994 KIDNAP, MURDER OF TEXAS GIRL

The state Supreme Court removed Griffen from hearing criminal and civil cases related to capital punishment after he was photographed at the April 2017 demonstration outside the Arkansas governor’s mansion. Griffen had blocked the state from using an execution drug the same day as the protest.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, lying on cot, takes part in an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock, Ark., in April 2017. (Cheryl Simon via AP)

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, lying on cot, takes part in an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, Ark., in April 2017. (Cheryl Simon via AP) (The Associated Press)

The photo showed Griffen lying on a cot wearing a button opposing executions and surrounded by people holding signs. He said he was portraying Jesus and participating in a prayer vigil when he was laying on the cot.

“Petitioner has engaged in extrajudicial conduct, in his personal capacity and as a pastor in the religion of Jesus, that involves expression of his personal moral and religious opposition to capital punishment based on his personal and religious conviction that the death penalty is morally — not legally — unjustifiable,” the filing said. “At the same time, petitioner has never made any statement, pledge or promise that committed him to rule for or against any party in any case, including any civil or criminal case involving the death penalty or method of execution.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWMAKERS REPEAL DEATH PENALTY WITH OVERRIDE OF GOVERNOR’S VETO

Griffen’s petition notes that the state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission panel dropped an ethics case against him on the grounds that too much time had passed between the time a complaint against Griffen was filed and when the commission took up the case. His attorneys argue the disqualification violates the state’s Hunt Decree, which requires that judges serving in majority black voter judicial subdistricts exercise the same powers as other judges, and deprives citizens of “their choice of an elected judge from hearing all the matters heard by Circuit Judges under the Arkansas Constitution.”

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Griffen has challenged his removal before. A lawsuit against the state Supreme Court over his disqualification was dismissed last year. A federal appeals court in August decided not to hear the lawsuit and the U.S. Supreme Court left the decision in place earlier this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump refuses to say if he has faith in FBI Director Wray: ‘We’ll see how it turns out’

President Trump on Monday refused to say whether he had confidence in FBI Director Christopher Wray, while acknowledging the two officials have disagreed on some key issues, including whether the president’s campaign was a victim of spying.

In an interview, Trump was quizzed on his level of confidence in the FBI boss.

“Well, we’ll see how it turns out,” he told The Hill, before discussing Wray’s previous claim that he would not use the word “spying” to describe the bureau’s surveillance of figures linked to the Trump campaign in 2016.

President Trump refused to say he has confidence in FBI Christopher Wray, who has previously stated he does not believe the president’s campaign was spied on.

President Trump refused to say he has confidence in FBI Christopher Wray, who has previously stated he does not believe the president’s campaign was spied on. (Associated Press, File)

FLASHBACK: TRUMP TAKES SWIPE AT FBI DIRECTOR WRAP FOR ‘PROTECTING’ RUSSIA PROBE ‘GANG’

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing. You may even disagree with him on that.”

The comments weren’t the first the president has made against Wray, with Trump also taking a swipe at his own FBI director last month.

SPLIT WITH BARR? FBI DIRECTOR WRAY SAYS SURVEILLANCE NOT THE SAME AS ‘SPYING’

“’The FBI has no leadership,'” Trump quoted Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton as saying. “‘The Director is protecting the same gang that tried to overthrow the President through an illegal coup.’ (Recommended by previous DOJ) @TomFitton @JudicialWatch.”

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When asked earlier this year if he believed the Trump campaign was spied on in 2016, Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee: “That’s not the term I would use.

“Lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”