Schumer asks for probe into delay of Harriet Tubman $20 bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., requested an investigation Wednesday into why the Trump administration postponed plans to redesign the $20 bill, which included replacing President Andrew Jackson with iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

In a Wednesday letter to the Treasury Department’s inspector general, Schumer asked officials to look into why the department pushed back the redesign and whether political considerations played a role in the decision.

TRUMP’S ADMIRATION FOR ‘SLAVEOWNER’ JACKSON HALTED TUBMAN $20 BILL, CNN HOST SUGGESTS

 Harriet Tubman, pictured sometime between 1860 and 1875.(Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

 Harriet Tubman, pictured sometime between 1860 and 1875.(Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

“Shortly after the Trump Administration took office … all mentions of the Tubman $20 bill were deleted without explanation from the Treasury Department’s website,” Schumer wrote. “We do not know the real reason for these decisions, but we do know that during his campaign, President Trump referred to efforts to replace President Jackson’s likeness on the front of the $20 note as ‘pure political correctness.’”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Congress in May that efforts to put Tubman on the $20 bill are being delayed until 2028 because of security concerns such as counterfeiting.

MSNBC ANALYST MAKES BIZARRE CLAIM THAT MNUCHIN ‘BASICALLY’ SAID ‘I HATE BLACK PEOPLE’ WITH HARRIET TUBMAN DECISION

“It is my responsibility now to focus on what is the issue of counterfeiting and the security features,” Mnuchin told lawmakers. “The ultimate decision on the redesign will most likely be another secretary’s down the road.”

On Friday, Mnuchin called suggestions that the process was being deliberately delayed “completely erroneous.”

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In his letter, Schumer called any unnecessary delay to honor Tubman on the $20 note “improper and unacceptable.”

“If the Empire State Building could be completed in 13 months almost 100 years ago, the 21st century Treasury Department ought to be able to get this job done in a reasonable period of time,” he wrote.

Tubman escaped from slavery in 1849 and played a key role in the Underground Railroad. She helped guide over 300 slaves to freedom and also served as a spy and a scout for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report. 

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.

LATEST POLL NUMBERS IN 2020 DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION RACE

“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.

Linda McMahon: Trump critics pointing to poll numbers forgetting what happened in 2016

Trump critics pointing to President Trump’s less than ideal 2020 poll numbers are forgetting what happened in 2016, according to Linda McMahon.

Not only are they missing the point, but McMahon said those concerns about Trump’s reelection prospects are largely unfounded on Monday on “The Story.”

“Doesn’t it sound a little bit like it did four years ago at about the same time?” the America First Action chairwoman asked host Ed Henry.

“How is Trump ever going to win? Well, he did win. He just absolutely surprised a lot of the pundits, and they were all wrong.”

FOX NEWS POLL: BIDEN UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN DEMOCRATIC RACE

On Monday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough became the latest in a chorus of critics to question the president’s viability in 2020.

“Considering everything that’s happened over the past several years, I must say I’m completely at a loss at how he thinks he’s going to get where he needs to go to get reelected again, while he still just keeps playing to that small base,” he said.

A Fox News Poll released Sunday showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup by double-digits, and four other contenders by single digits.

Henry asked McMahon what she thought of Trump falling behind the former Delaware senator.

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“If you want to roll back the clock a little bit and look, how did it look with Reagan? He was behind. How did it look with Clinton? He was behind and he won again,” she said.

“I really do think that polls, at this particular point, we’re not really putting much faith in them.”

The Latest: Protesters refuse to leave Hong Kong streets

The Latest on protests in Hong Kong against an extradition bill (all times local):

8:30 a.m.

Protesters in Hong Kong have refused police requests to clear the streets.

A policewoman using a loudspeaker asked them to cooperate Monday morning as police lined up several officers deep and faced them.

A woman in black speaking for the protesters responded with her own microphone. She said they were not blocking anyone from getting to work and would leave only after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam came to hear them out.

Police removed some of the barriers protesters had set up but refrained from using force. The protesters later put the barriers back and remained.

They are among hundreds who stayed overnight after a huge protest Sunday against a bill that raised fears about China’s control of Hong Kong.

___

8:15 a.m.

Hong Kong police and protesters are facing off Monday morning as authorities try to clear the streets of a few hundred people who stayed near the city government headquarters after massive demonstrations that stretched deep into the night.

The police asked for cooperation in clearing the road. Protesters responded with chants, some kneeling in front of the officers. The move came after activists rejected an apology from the city’s top leader for her handling of legislation that has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in this former British colony.

Nearly 2 million of the city’s 7 million people turned out on Sunday, according to estimates by protest organizers. Police said 338,000 were counted on the designated protest route in the “peak period” of the march.

Strong quake hits island chain off New Zealand; no tsunami

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck an arc of islands off New Zealand on Sunday, and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said it may cause only minor sea level changes in some coastal areas.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake hit a spot about 873 kilometers (541 miles) northeast of Ngunguru, New Zealand, a town of about 1,400 people. It occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

The area the quake struck is called the Kermadec Islands, about 800 kilometers (497 miles) northeast of New Zealand’s North Island.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management cleared New Zealand of a tsunami threat moments after issuing a beach warning.

The Kermadec Islands, a volcanic archipelago, are prone to earthquakes. The islands are a dependency of New Zealand and lie at the western edge of the Kermadec Trench.

There are no permanent settlements on the islands.

Machete-wielding 11-year-old foils North Carolina home invasion

An 11-year-old boy in North Carolina struck an intruder in the back of the head with a machete to foil a home invasion on Friday, according to reports.

The boy, who was home alone, answered a knock on the front door and saw a woman standing there. Simultaneously, a man broke into the home through a window and used the homeowner’s pellet gun to force the child into a bedroom closet.

HOME ALONE: POLICE SAY 11-YEAR-OLD HIT INTRUDER WITH MACHETE

The boy escaped the closet and grabbed a machete, using it to strike the man in the head.

He reportedly kicked the child in the stomach but the boy did not give up, swinging again at him but missing. The man again kicked the boy, and began to grab several items, including a television and a PlayStation, but fled the home without the electronics when he realized he was bleeding, according to a news release from the Orange County Sherriff’s Office.

The woman and a second man provided the getaway vehicle for the three intruders and drove away.

Police responded to a 911 call after 11 a.m. when the break-in occurred, and alerted local hospitals to be on the lookout for someone with a head wound.

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When 19-year-old Jataveon Dashawn Hall, checked into UNC Hospital in Hillsborough, authorities were alerted. He’s due in court on Monday, facing charges of breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assaulting on a child under 12 years old.

Additional charges are pending against Hall and the two other suspects.

Julián Castro: Americans will look back at Trump and ask ‘what in the hell was wrong with that president?’

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro predicted that Americans in 20 years would ask what was “wrong” with President Trump when he expressed willingness to receive opposition research from foreign governments.

“I think you know, a few years from now — whether it’s 10 years from now, 20 years from now — we’re going to look back on this as Americans — not Republicans or Democrats or liberals or conservatives — and say ‘What in the hell was wrong with that president?'” Castro, a 2020 hopeful, told Fox News during a town hall on Thursday.

Trump, on Wednesday, was criticized after he indicated that he would be willing to listen to foreign opposition research without notifying the FBI.

Castro added himself to the long list of Democrats criticizing Trump over those comments. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump’s remarks “appalling” and accused Republicans of trying to make money by staying silent about his “unethical” behavior.

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During Thursday’s town hall, called Trump’s remarks “unprecedented.” “I think it’s safe to say we have never seen that kind of moment in American history — and that’s not a good thing.”

Fox News host Martha MacCallum had asked Castro about how Trump’s comments were different from Democrats funding the controversial Steele dossier, which was compiled by a former British spy and used Russian sources.

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After Castro initially seemed to dodge the question, Fox News anchor Bret Baier pressed him on the perceived “double standard.”  Baier pointed to Brian Fallon, former spokesman for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying he would have had “no problem” passing the Steele dossier along to reporters.

Castro responded by talking about a situation involving former Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and suggesting that people should move on from Clinton because she wasn’t on the ballot for 2020.

‘Jeopardy!’ icon Ken Jennings jokes he has a James Holzhauer voodoo doll, says faceoff would be ‘irresistible’

With James Holzhauer coming just shy of landing the top spot in regular-season “Jeopardy!” earnings last week, Ken Jennings — the man who owns the show’s longest winning-streak and highest winnings — can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing he’ll remain atop the program’s leaderboard.

On Wednesday, Jennings and actress Sherri Shepherd visited “Access” to chat about their new show titled, “Best Ever Trivia Show.”

During their exchange with Kit Hoover and guest co-host Howie Mendel, the “Jeopardy!” legend revealed that while he was rooting for Holzhauer’s domination, deep down he hoped the professional sports gambler wouldn’t touch his historical mark set in 2004.

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“Honestly, I was cheering for this guy because before I was a ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant, I was a fan of the game – and you just want to see it played at a high level. So, I’m cheering for this guy because he’s elite. He’s fantastic,” said Jennings before teasing: “And I had a little James voodoo doll at home, and I’d poke him in the brain with this pin!”

“God spoke and said it so, he didn’t want anybody to beat Ken Jennings,” Shepherd, 52, added.

“God is okay with somebody coming within one day of my record, but then God is like –,” Jennings chimed in while simulating a buzzer-press and making a zapping noise.

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When asked if the two “Jeopardy!” Jedi would ever face off, Jennings, 45, said “You know, I would love to do it, but it’s been 15 years since I was in ‘Jeopardy!’ shape.”

The computer scientist and author was immediately interrupted by Mandel, 63, who wisecracked that there were “no excuses” before telling Jennings that a meeting between the geniuses would be enticing.

Ken Jennings said an 'Jeopardy!' game between him and James Holzhauer is 'inevitable.'

Ken Jennings said an ‘Jeopardy!’ game between him and James Holzhauer is ‘inevitable.’ (Getty Images/AP)

“I think it would be irresistible for ‘Jeopardy!’” Jennings raved. “They always have tournaments where they bring people from the past back. It’s gonna be a Pay-Per-View event. Me and James and the computer from the evil IBM computer, and we’re gonna get in the ring.”

‘JEOPARDY!’ CONTESTANT SETS NEW SINGLE-GAME CASH WINNINGS RECORD

“I would pay for that,” Shepherd retorted. “But, you both had different strategies for how you got your answers. That’s what I think is fascinating about watching both of them.

Holzhauer, 34, finished his reign last Monday with $2,464,216, which included the $2,000 he earned in his final game. That total comes short of the record set by Jennings, who earned $2,520,700 within 74 victories in 2004.

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Still, since Holzhauer made his debut competing on the game show in early April, he has shattered multiple records. He surpassed $1 million in the shortest time ever in April and most notably, he broke the show’s record for single-day cash winnings on April 9th’s episode.

Before Holzhauer came along, the one-day record was held by Roger Craig on September 19, 2010, when he took home $77,000 in a single game.

Since Holzhauer’s prize was won in California, the gambler is expected to have paid up his obligations as a non-resident.

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Additionally, as a resident of Nevada, which charges no state income tax, Holzhauer is expected to have taken home about 52 percent to 53 percent of his winnings – which would net him between $1.2 million to $1.3 million, Richard McGowan, associate professor of the practice in the finance department at Boston College, told FOX Business last week.

Fox News’ Mariah Haas and Fox Business’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.

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.”

BIDEN TO SLAM TRUMP AS ‘EXISTENTIAL THREAT’ DURING DUELING IOWA STOPS

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.