Trump must keep US troops in Afghanistan, Florida rep says: ‘It will follow us home’

President Trump should not withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who served in the country as a member of the U.S. Army said Friday.

“Half the world’s terrorist organizations still exist there and can attack the United States,” U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said Friday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.” “And if you believe the Taliban’s promises, which I don’t, but if you believe them, how do they have the capability to keep a lid on these groups that the American Army has struggled with?”

On Friday, Trump met with his top security advisers about the way forward in Afghanistan — possibly moving toward a phased withdrawal, something critics warn could lead to the Taliban taking hold of the country once again.

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Waltz, who served as a Green Beret, expressed his concern about neighboring Pakistan and urged Trump not to make the same mistakes that he claims President Obama did with Iraq.

“Right next door to Afghanistan is Pakistan with seven times the population and potential of loose nukes if Afghanistan devolves into chaos,” Waltz said. “Pakistan will go with it.”

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“So I guess my message is, ‘Mr. President, do not be to Afghanistan — please — what President Obama was to Iraq.”

The first-term congressman from the Jacksonville area urged Trump to keep the conflict in Afghanstan to avoid losing more American lives.

“Let’s fight these wars in places like Kabul, [otherwise] it will follow us home,” he said. “I do not want to lose Americans fighting their way back in.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Former Yang staffer explains why he wants Democrat Nadler’s US House seat

A former staffer of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang explained Thursday why he plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., in next year’s Democratic primary.

“The reason I’m running on this platform is we’re going through a fundamental economic shift — the greatest in our history where we’re automating away the most common jobs in our economy,” Jonathan Herzog said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Nadler, 72, has been a member of Congress since 1992 and currently serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He represents New York’s 10th Congressional District, which includes parts of the Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs of New York City.

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“Working in retail is still the most common job,” Herzog explained to guest host Jason Chaffetz. And so we need to enact meaningful solutions to help hundreds of thousands of folks here in New York and especially in the district to transition to this fundamental economic shift.”

Herzog, who announced his candidacy Tuesday, is running on a platform similar to that of Yang, calling for a universal basic income giving citizens $1,000 a month, dubbed a “Freedom Dividend.”

The congressional candidate vowed to beat Nadler by “proposing bold solutions.”

“Putting forth bold solutions that address the challenges of our time is what will bring us across the finish line,” Herzog said.

At one point during the interview Herzog brought up Amazon not paying federal taxes, using it as reason to push for a “Freedom Dividend.”

Chaffetz pressed Herzog on whether he agreed with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., whose criticism of Amazon ultimately led the company to pull out of a plan to build a secondary headquarters in New York City.

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“Do you want Amazon to come to New York, yes or no?” Chaffetz asked.

“Yes, it is good to have job growth,” Herzog said after some prodding.

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.”

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“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.

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.

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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.

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.

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“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.”

Dana Perino: Dems could be looking to ‘chop down’ tallest oak in Biden at debates

Expect Democratic presidential candidates to focus on ‘chopping down’ former Vice President Joe Biden at next week’s debates, says Fox News’ Dana Perino.

“He is the tallest oak in the yard and there are a lot of Democrats that want to figure out a way to chop him down,” Perino told “The Story with Martha MacCallum” guest host Ed Henry Tuesday.

The first debate of the Democratic primary season will be split into two nights, June 26-27. The second nigh features most of the high-polling candidates on the stage, including Biden.

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The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” host said fellow 2020 hopefuls could take the opportunity to try to paint Biden as the past and follow the path of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama by pitching future and progress to the Democratic base.

“Next week at the debates when they start for the Democrats you will see that the shots being taken, not just at Donald Trump… They’ll all do that. But there is going to be a movement for example like a Pete Buttigieg, who’s trying to say that we want the party to go forward. Biden wants to take you backward,” Perino said.

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“And most Democrats the ones who have done very well just think in the past Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. What were their big campaign slogans — hope and change, moving forward.”

The comments came after Biden said he can win states no Democrat has won in presidential elections in decades.

“I plan on campaigning in the South. I plan on — if I’m your nominee — winning Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, believe it or not,” Biden vowed Monday, as he spoke at a gathering in the nation’s capital of the Poor People’s Campaign’s Moral Action Congress.

No Democrat has carried South Carolina in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter more than four decades ago. Biden, who has developed deep ties over the years in the state where he often vacations, enjoys a large lead over his primary rivals in the state’s crucial first-in-the-South presidential primary.

But capturing the conservative state in a general election would be a high hurdle. Republicans have won the state in every presidential election dating back to 1968, except for Carter’s victory in 1976.

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No Democrat has won Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992. And other than Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, North Carolina has been solidly in the GOP column in each presidential election dating back to 1968.

Who ‘unsettled’ who? Jesse Watters and Juan Williams disagree on Trump and Biden’s verbal sparring

Is the verbal sparring unsettling former Vice President Joe Biden or President Trump?

The Five” discussed the possible 2020 presidential election opponents as they continue to take shots at one another Tuesday.

“I would rather run against, I think, Biden than anybody. I think he is weakest mentally,” Trump told reporters.  “Joe Biden is a dummy.”

Biden, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential race, called the president an “existential threat to America” Tuesday in Iowa adding, “This is a guy who does everything to separate and frighten people.”

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On “The Five,” Juan Williams said he thinks Biden is clearly under the president’s skin.

“I’m telling you what’s clear is that Joe Biden had unsettled Donald Trump. What he says Joe Biden is dumb or slow, please,” Williams said.

However, co-host Jesse Watters disagreed, arguing instead that it was Biden who was “unsettled.”

“I think Trump has unsettled Joe Biden because he flip-flopped on China today. He’s had actually China is our competitor and is a huge threat,” the “Watters’ World” host said.

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Co-host Greg Gutfeld argued that Biden will say anything to keep the “spotlight.”

“He is in a bad situation where the more you look, the less you see. He has cruised along as a co-star, secondary character in a sitcom, not the star. Now you know why because he will say anything for the spotlight,” Gutfeld said.

Biden and Trump have repeatedly taken shots at one another in recent weeks, offering a glimpse of what a potential 2020 race would look like.

Biden, though, is leading the Democratic primary field by double digits in recent national polls.

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Nevertheless, Trump said he hopes to run against Biden in the 2020 general election.

Trump, who will be 73 on Friday, has repeatedly said he would “easily” beat Biden in 2020 and has poked fun at the former vice president’s age while giving the 76-year-old new nicknames including “Sleepy Joe” and “1 percent Joe.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Jesse Watters: John Dean’s testimony ‘a stunt’

John Dean’s testimony Monday on Capitol Hill where he discussed the parallels between Watergate and the Russia investigation was nothing more than a “stunt” according to “The Five” co-host Jesse Watters.

“Back to John Dean who they’re calling the star witness. He’s not a star, he’s not a witness to anything,” Watters said Monday.

“No one knows who he is. He is a CNN contributor which makes perfect sense that a CNN guy is a witness in their fake Russia collusion story. He witnessed something almost 50 years ago, so, I don’t know what that adds.”

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Dean, the former White House counsel to Richard Nixon, testified Monday that he sees “remarkable parallels” between Watergate and the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report during a hearing that Republicans panned as a political “show” as they repeatedly challenged the credibility of the witness.

Before the House Judiciary Committee, Dean, an outspoken critic of President Trump, testified that several points in the Mueller report “echo Watergate,” especially relating to the obstruction of justice probe.

Watters dismissed Dean and his relevance.

“Every time the media wants to talk about impeachment or compare something to Watergate, they send a town car over to John’s house.  They bring him into the studio, he says this is worse than Watergate and he’s sent back to his house. It’s a stunt like the bucket of chicken, just like the other felon they had out there. It’s not going to change anything,” Watters said.

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The “Watters’ World” host also accused Democrats of trying to “resuscitate” the Mueller report.

“The Democrats are trying to resuscitate this Mueller report because they don’t have anything else,” Watters said.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Rep. Mark Green says Cohen hearing proves Dems are gunning to impeach Trump

Rep. Mark Green called Michael Cohen a “fake witness” at his hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday and accused Democrats of outwardly aiming to impeach President Trump.

“The Democrats are trying to begin an impeachment process. They started with a fake dossier to get an FBI investigation going and now they’re starting with a fake witness to get the impeachment going,” Green, R-Tenn., told Fox News “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, testified in front of the House Oversight Committee leveling accusations against President Trump that included payoffs and illegal acts.

However, Green said he believed Cohen inadvertently exonerated Trump on various matters including the infamous tape alleged in the anti-Trump dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

“I’ve had many people contact me over the years. I have no reason to believe that that tape exists,” Cohen said at the hearing.

Cohen also addressed rumors of secret abortions and love-child claims saying he had no knowledge of them.

“The real story is what he didn’t say today,” Green told Tucker Carlson.

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“This is the best they got.  This is their star witness. A guy who lied on his bank loans, a guy who lied five times to the IRS, lied to Congress,” Green, who attended the hearings, told Carlson.

Green also addressed Trump’s reported payout to adult-film star Stormy Daniels in order to keep her quiet about an affair.

“Let’s say you’re having an extramarital affair, as many members of Congress do as you know, and your girlfriend tries to extort money from you. ‘I’m going to tell people unless you pay me.’ And you pay her. Is it a crime to crumble in the face of an extortion plot?” Carlson asked Green.

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“Actually there are a lot of debates out there. Most people don’t think it was a crime and most people think that Michael Cohen probably didn’t need to plea to that,” Green responded.

Cohen is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday behind closed doors.

Doug Collins: Omar offered an ‘oops,’ not a real apology

After Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., apologized for her widely condemned anti-Semitic tweets Monday, many Republicans continued to criticize the newly elected congresswoman, doubting her sincerity.

“It’s sort of interesting to me, and from a perspective of apology that I’ve never seen a true apology, for the most part ever come with a but,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said on Fox News Radio’s “Todd Starnes Show.” “‘Oh I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But you know there’s other reasons.’ That’s not an apology, that’s a ‘oops, I wish I hadn’t gotten caught.’”

Omar tweeted a statement Monday apologizing and condemning anti-Semitism. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize,” her statement read.

However, some critics still have a problem with Omar doubling down in the latter part of her apology on her tweet critical of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

“At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the (National Rifle Association) or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,” Omar said in the statement.

President Trump, in a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, said that Omar’s apology was “lame” and that she should resign or at the very least be removed from committees including the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar responded to the president Wednesday on Twitter.

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“You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?” Omar tweeted.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who condemned Omar’s initial tweets, defended her apology.

“They shouldn’t go down this path, they do not have clean hands,” Pelosi told CNN.

Many Democrats have said the president was being hypocritical and cited the recent controversial comments by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and the lack of condemnation from the president.

House Republican leaders responded by removing King from his committee assignments.

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Collins said there should be consequences for Omar’s tweets.

“To have her on the Foreign Affairs, representing what Foreign Affairs looks like is just an amazing thought to me,” Collins told Todd Starnes. “When things are not said properly and things that are said are hurtful there should be consequences for it.”