WATCH | ‘I’m a Hindu

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Nov 19, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Saturday said his ‘Hindu' faith motivated him to launch his presidential campaign. Ramaswamy was addressing the ‘The Family Leader' forum organised by The Daily Signal platform along with fellow contenders Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

“My faith is what gives me my freedom. My faith is what led me to this presidential campaign…I am a Hindu. I believe there is one true God. I believe God put each of us here for a purpose. My faith teaches us that we have a duty, a moral duty to realise that purpose. Those are God's instruments that work through us in different ways, but we are still equal because God resides in each of us. That's the core of my faith,” Ramaswamy said.

Ramaswamy also shared the video of the interaction between him and the panel on his X profile with the caption: “Last night I was asked about my Hindu faith. I answered honestly”.

“I grew up in a traditional household. My parents taught me family is the foundation. Respect your parents. Marriage is sacred. Abstinence before marriage is the way to go. Adultery is wrong. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Divorce is not just some preference you opt for…you get married before God and you make an oath to God and your family,” Ramaswamy told panel moderator Family Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats.

Family Leader is an influential Christian organisation from Iowa.

Three candidates — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — sat side-by-side at a festive Thanksgiving table for a “family discussion” in Des Moines.

A report by the Associated Press said that the presidential contenders addressed each other by their first names and at times noted where they agreed. They discussed their foreign policies on Israel, China and the Russia-Ukraine war while focusing on religious liberty and agriculture, but the interactions between them were friendly.

Leading Republican contender former US President Donald Trump did not attend the event.

Source: News18
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Can Trump and Biden Bring Down the Two-Party System

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 14, 2023
Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the first 2020 presidential debate in Cleveland, Sept. 29, 2020. PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

‘You’re just scum" is probably as fitting an apothegm for our current state of political discourse as “It’s morning again in America" was almost 40 years ago.

Nikki Haley's expression of exasperation with her sedulously repellent rival Vivek Ramaswamy at last week's presidential debate captured well the low, dispiriting quality of post-Reagan American politics.

Scum was her spontaneous description of Mr. Ramaswamy. Others can probably think of appropriate but even ruder ones.

A long, long time ago, in 2022, Mr. Ramaswamy was a promising arrival on the political scene, a youthful and gifted entrepreneur with a classic American success story, ready to put his many talents at the disposal of the American people. I interviewed him several times and was impressed. He wrote passionately on these pages and elsewhere about reversing the retreat from the American values of political and economic freedom. But his performance on the campaign trail and in debates has betrayed that promise. Last week he capped a yearlong descent into the gutter by seeking political advantage in publicly rebuking another Republican for her parenting skills.

The transformation of Mr. Ramaswamy from brilliant young outsider of principled views and fresh energy to a parody of the most cynical, self-promoting and calculating opportunist is thus complete: from George Bailey to Elmer Gantry in less than 12 months.

But the real question is whether he has read the tenor of American politics better than others—or whether there is still hope.

There remains a narrow path away from the national tragedy of a 2024 rematch between Donald Trump, Mr. Ramaswamy's role model in nastiness, and Joe Biden, a palpably incapable incumbent staring into the abyss of senility.

On the Republican side, while Mr. Trump retains a huge lead, the dreamers can still see a way he can be unseated. State polls in Iowa and New Hampshire give him a smaller advantage than national surveys. Somehow, if the remaining no-hopers would accede to the inevitable, maybe Ron DeSantis and Ms. Haley between them could deliver a double blow to the former president in the first two primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, and then one—presumably Ms. Haley, given that her home state of South Carolina is next—could emerge as the clear challenger to a front-runner who by that time will be appearing in more courtroom dramas than Perry Mason.

It still sounds like a bit of a long shot. And on the Democratic side, similar dreams that Mr. Biden might step aside for a more plausible alternative also seem far-fetched—not least because of the absence of a plausible alternative.

But the dream lives on—and moves on to Plan B: a third-party candidate who might save the nation.

That a very large number of Americans are hungry for some alternative from the seemingly inevitable is not in dispute. It's telling that somewhere between 10% and 20% of those polled say they will vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a famous name. But he's peddling conspiracy theories and quackery, disqualifying him as a genuine alternative.

So inevitably other names surface. Last week Joe Manchin set the dovecotes fluttering with his announcement that he won't run again for his West Virginia Senate seat.

There's much to like about Mr. Manchin. He seems to be the authentic Regular Joe, as distinct from the ersatz one who occupies the White House. He has crossover appeal. In 2018 he won re-election as a Democrat in a state Mr. Trump won twice by around 40 points—though it's probably important to note (and germane to his decision to step down) that recent polls had Mr. Manchin losing re-election heavily. For a Democrat he talks sense about American energy supply, economics, national security and political culture, though he went along with a deficit-exploding fiscal package that went by the Orwellian name of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The possibility in our current political moment is a strange inversion from the last time a serious third-party contender ran. In 1992, the two main party candidates were both, for all their flaws, plausible and mainstream political figures. Bill Clinton was the New Democrat who had repudiated much of the unelectable left-wing extremism of his party in the 1970s and 1980s. He might have campaigned promising a big stimulus, but he reversed course and governed on fiscal prudence. George H.W. Bush was the model of genteel moderate Republicanism, a successful president ambushed by a brief moment of national angst.

Yet Ross Perot, campaigning on the single issue of deficit reduction, might have done even better than his 19% he got if he hadn't—thanks to a weird and apparently paranoid grudge against the Bush family—seemed just too unorthodox for the presidency.

In 1992 then we had two main party candidates who essentially campaigned and governed from the center, almost bested by a third-party eccentric focused on a single issue.

This time around we have two main party candidates who in their different ways are outside the historical mainstream, unorthodox and extreme, and a potential third-party candidate who embodies a craving for orthodoxy. If the third party came as close as it did in 1992, could it get even closer in 2024?

Source: Live Mint
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Vivek Ramaswamy targets Nikki Haley with

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 09, 2023
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis licks his lips back and forth as former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy argue on either side of him at the third Republican candidates' US presidential debate (REUTERS)

US Presidential Poll debate: Barbs flew between Republican presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday during a televised debate. War of words spiraled into the 'Battle of the Heels, Part 2' as the unfiltered Vivek Ramaswamy lobbed a personal insult at ex-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the only female candidate on stage.

Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Governor RonDeSantis were involved in a heated exchange on US foreign policy - that news agency AFP called a "first in Republican debates" - when the Indian-origin Vivek Ramaswamy branded Nikki Haley a "Dick Cheney in three-inch heels".

"Do you want a leader from a different generation who is going to put this country first or do you want Dick Cheney in three-inch heels? Because you've got two of them on stage tonight," Vivek Ramaswamy said in reference to Haley and DeSantis, while invoking the Republican former vice president (Cheney) who was known for his neoconservative views.

Cheney was a foreign policy hawk, and former President George W Bush's vice president. The reference to former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney was part of criticism of his rivals' foreign policy stance; this includes Nikki Haley backing funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

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The attack on Nikki Haley was also a reference to her leaving public office to accept a position on the board of American aerospace giants Boeing; she stepped down in March 2020, less than a year later, in opposition to federal support for the company during the global coronavirus crisis.

Notably, Nikki Haley - who also exchanged 'heel' swipes with DeSantis last week, amid talk he wears lifts to seem taller - snapped, "(I wear) five-inch heels... and I don't wear them unless you can run in them."

The Republican candidates during the heated arguments also talked about the TikTok ban in the United States. Vivek Ramaswamy alleged the Nikki Haley's daughter had used the Chinese short video app.

"You might want to take care of your family first," Vivek Ramaswamy told Nikki Haley.

While DeSantis did not respond to Vivek Ramaswamy's remark, Haley shot back, adding under her breath, "You're just scum."

"Leave my daughter out of your voice," she added.

Meanwhile, Vivek Ramaswamy held forth on Israel's war on the Palestinian people and the Hamas' terror attack last month, notably which was a subject all Republican challengers appear united and Nikki Haley said she would "finish" Hamas.

... Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself. I would tell him (Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) to smoke those terrorists on his southern border..." Vivek Ramaswamy thundered, "(if elected President) I will smoke the terrorists on our southern border.

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GOP Debate Takeaways

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Nov 09, 2023
Republican presidential candidates weighed in on how Israel should handle Hamas, at the third GOP debate held in Miami on Wednesday, advising Benjamin Netanyahu to take all necessary measures to destroy Hamas. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

MIAMI—Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has shown momentum in recent weeks, came under sustained attack in Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate as she competes with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to be the leading alternative to former President Donald Trump.

She also delivered several of her own shots at DeSantis, who tried to float above the fray, but engaged with her on China, energy policy and a handful of other issues. Their confrontation was amplified after a closely watched poll showed Haley and DeSantis tied for second in Iowa, where nomination balloting starts Jan. 15.

But second place may not be worth much given Trump's commanding lead in the polls. After an opening question that asked candidates to make a case against Trump, who skipped the event, the debate centered on testy exchanges between those on stage.

“You're just scum," Haley said at one point to biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, after he said her daughter had used TikTok, amid a discussion of banning the widely popular Chinese app.

Here are key takeaways from the debate, moderated by Lester Holt and Kristen Welker of NBC News and Hugh Hewitt of the Salem Radio Network:

Rivals Try to Slow Haley

Haley was a top target throughout the evening as others tried to slow her momentum. She took heat over her foreign-policy positions, attempts to spur Chinese investment in her home state and earnings from Boeing and other corporate boardships.

In relation to China, Haley threw a punch at DeSantis as she called for an end to all formal trade relations “until they stop murdering Americans from fentanyl, something Ron has yet to say that he's going to do."

DeSantis responded by saying Haley had welcomed China into South Carolina, “gave them land near a military base" and “wrote the Chinese ambassador a love letter saying what a great friend they were." Haley noted a Florida economic development arm had sought to attract Chinese investment.

Haley hit DeSantis again by calling him “liberal" when it comes to environmental matters. “Just own it, if that's the case," she said. “But don't keep saying that you are something that you're not." DeSantis in response alluded to how Floridians have for years resisted oil drilling and protecting the state's environment.

Major Foreign Policy Differences

The candidates were largely aligned on support for Israel in its war with Hamas. But divisions emerged on continued funding for Ukraine.

“America can never be so arrogant to think we don't need friends," Haley said, continuing to advocate for Ukraine. Russia and China, she said, are “salivating" over waning U.S. support.

DeSantis questioned the level of aid being proposed and said European nations need to “step up" and give more. Ramaswamy went further, saying “Ukraine is not a paragon of democracy."

Other Candidates Vie for Attention

Haley and DeSantis, who were positioned at the center of the stage, were flanked by Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Scott, who has struggled to stand out in previous debates, was slightly more assertive, taking advantage of a smaller field. But he also declined at times to give direct answers and likely did little to help himself. Christie also didn't find a breakout moment.

Ramaswamy gained attention after the first debate, but has failed to build momentum. Asked about the front-runner, he instead attacked the media and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “We have become the party of losers," he said.

Ramaswamy also talked about avoiding mistakes of the “neocon establishment," alluding to a growing isolationism in the GOP. He took a shot at both Haley and DeSantis asking, “Do you want a leader from a different generation who is going to put this country first or do you want Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels, in which case we've got two of them on stage now?"

Haley later corrected Ramaswamy: “They're 5-inch heels and I don't wear them unless you can run in them."

Abortion Splits Field

The debate played out against a backdrop of some big Democratic wins in elections a day earlier that left some Republicans questioning whether President Biden will be as easy to defeat in 2024 as they've thought. Abortion played heavily in those elections.

Haley and DeSantis tried to strike a balance, at least rhetorically, on the issue.

“I stand for a culture of life," DeSantis said, while adding he understood some states would differ in their policies. The governor, who earlier this year signed a 6-week ban, said antiabortion advocates were caught “flat-footed" on referendums, such as one Ohio voters approved on Tuesday establishing a right to abortion.

Haley called herself “unapologetically pro-life," but also said she didn't fault people for having a different view. “Let's find consensus," she said. “We don't need to divide America over this issue any more."

Scott challenged Haley and DeSantis to “join me in a 15-week limit" at the national level. Haley responded that she “would support anything that would pass because that would save more babies," but wouldn't commit to a specific limit.

Trump takes hits, offers own programming

As his challengers debated, Trump spoke to supporters at a rally in nearby Hialeah as he continued to run out the clock on a narrowing field of rivals struggling to dent his massive lead.

The former president flexed his status in the race and mocked the low ratings for the previous debate. “Every time I'm indicted I consider it a great badge of honor because I'm being indicted for you," he said, referring to his legal problems.

But even as many analysts view him as the eventual nominee, politics can take unknown turns. For 77-year-old Trump, that could be a conviction in one of those cases or health reasons.

Candidates were each given a chance to make the case why they, not Trump, should take the nomination. DeSantis said the former president is a “a lot different guy than he was in 2016" and said he failed to complete the border wall and added to soaring federal spending.

Haley suggested Trump has gotten “weak in the knees" when it comes to U.S. involvement abroad. “I don't think he's the right president now," she said, adding, “He put us $8 trillion in debt." Christie said the party will fail if it nominates Trump. “Anybody who is going to be spending the next year and a half of their life focusing on keeping themselves out of jail in courtrooms cannot lead this party or this county," he said.

Alyssa Lukpat contributed to this article.

Write to Alex Leary at alex.leary@wsj.com and John McCormick at mccormick.john@wsj.com

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What to Watch in the Third Republican Presidential Debate

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Nov 08, 2023
What to Watch in the Third Republican Presidential Debate

The Republican presidential primary debate stage Wednesday evening will shrink from seven to five participants, but the central character—former President Donald Trump—will still be absent and is likely to keep benefiting as his challengers beat each other up.

The third debate starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time and will be moderated by Lester Holt and Kristen Welker of NBC News and Hugh Hewitt of the Salem Radio Network. It will air on broadcast and cable television and be streamed on NBCNews.com and Rumble.

Here is a closer look at how the candidates will likely tackle the two-hour session at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County:

Nikki Haley

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has moved up in polls in recent weeks, is likely to be a top target as others try to slow her momentum.

Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have both boosted their criticism of her, and the former United Nations ambassador will likely be in the center of the action. If attacks start flying in her direction, don't be surprised to hear her drop a “bless your heart," a popular Southern phrase Haley likes that she has described as a “nice way of kicking with a smile."

Strong reviews for Haley's two previous debate performances have boosted her standing with some donors and GOP voters. The emergence of the Israel-Hamas war has also given her foreign-policy experience some added shine.

An Iowa Poll late last month showed Haley tied with DeSantis for second place in the state that will host the first nominating contest on Jan. 15. Both are well behind Trump, who also enjoys a massive lead in national polls of the GOP field.

Haley and DeSantis have sparred in recent days over China and her efforts as governor to recruit Chinese companies to South Carolina a decade ago. Hawkish stances toward China are a staple on the GOP campaign trail, as the Asian giant becomes a greater economic and military threat to the U.S.

Ron DeSantis

DeSantis enters the debate having secured the prized endorsement of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday, a boost in a state he has staked his hopes on. Reynolds argues that Trump can't win a general election, though some new polling shows him beating Biden in a number of key battleground states. DeSantis remains in a challenging position in the race, as his poll standing declines and he encounters fundraising challenges. He has done well in the debates, but will continue to be compared with a formidable Haley.

The Florida governor will likely look to draw contrasts with Haley, particularly on China. He is also likely to play up efforts in support of Israel, including helping arrange to fly people to the U.S. This week, the Florida Legislature is taking up a DeSantis-pushed bill to expand state sanctions against Iran over its support for Hamas. DeSantis may also criticize Trump for skipping the debate, while accusing the former president of failing to achieve key promises, such as building the border wall.

DeSantis intends to mainly stick to his core messaging, aides said, promoting his record as governor and arguing he is solely qualified to topple Trump. He has tried to appeal both to Trump supporters and those who want someone else, and he has struggled to pull it off. He needs a better-than-average night to capitalize on the good news he got in Iowa.

Donald Trump

So far, Trump hasn't paid a price for skipping the debates. He argues that with such a large lead he shouldn't have to endure attacks from his opponents, and he also hasn't signed the required pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee if it isn't him. Still, he is likely to be a focus of attention on the debate stage.

Trump will look again to take some of the spotlight by holding a rally in Hialeah, Fla., not far from Miami. The biggest threat to Trump may be his myriad legal problems, which are proving costly and could carry jail time if he's convicted. DeSantis recently said it would be “fatal" for the GOP if Trump is convicted and also the nominee, but will he or others go farther? So far, Trump has benefited from suggesting the prosecutions are politically motivated, prompting Republican voters to rally around him.

Tim Scott, Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina has struggled to stand out in the previous debates and needs a more assertive performance if he wants to remain viable. He was backed by just 7% in the Iowa Poll, even though he has heavily focused his campaign in that state and aggressively tried to win over the evangelical Christians who dominate its caucuses. Scott, who was appointed to the Senate in 2012 when Haley was governor, has mostly tried to stay above the fray in previous debates. With fewer participants on the stage, it should help reduce some of the cross-talking that has played out in the previous sessions. His campaign is hoping for a slugfest between Haley and DeSantis, so Scott looks more appealing.

Vivek Ramaswamy, the wealthy biotech company founder who has sold himself as essentially a younger version of Trump, saw an increase in curiosity about his candidacy following the first debate in August when he aggressively asserted himself into almost every debate question. He's likely to be combative again, especially with Haley, given that the two seem to have developed some animosity during the campaign. His isolationist foreign-policy views tend to run counter to hers, including on assistance to Ukraine.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a strong debater with a long history of knowing how to throw a political punch, is expected to keep his focus on Trump. It often means he is booed by GOP audiences, but he still managed the same level of support in Iowa—4%—as Ramaswamy and he hasn't even actively campaigned in that state this year.

Missing Candidates

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson won't be on stage, after they failed to meet the Republican National Committee's donor and polling requirements for participation. Both are barely registering in state or national polls, and Hutchinson also failed to qualify for the second debate.This is also the first debate since former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the race.Additional departures before the Iowa caucuses wouldn't be surprising, although both Ramaswamy and Burgum are wealthy individuals who can afford to heavily self-finance their campaigns.

Write to John McCormick at mccormick.john@wsj.com and Alex Leary at alex.leary@wsj.com

Source: Live Mint
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Judge Chutkan Gags Donald Trump

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Oct 17, 2023
Former US President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate (Photo: AP)

Donald Trump is running a 2024 presidential campaign based on grievance, and on Monday he earned another talking point: Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a “tailored" gag order barring Mr. Trump from disparaging witnesses, prosecutors and court employees in the case against his efforts to undo the 2020 election in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.

“Mr. Trump can certainly claim he's being unfairly prosecuted," Judge Chutkan said during the hearing, according to the Journal's report. “But I cannot imagine any other criminal case in which a defendant is permitted to call the prosecutor deranged, or a thug, and I will not permit it here simply because the defendant is running a political campaign."

She's right that no court would put up with Mr. Trump's broadsides if he were any old defendant. To protest the New York civil fraud case against him, Mr. Trump this month posted a picture of the judge's clerk next to Sen. Chuck Schumer, while mocking her as “Schumer's girlfriend." That resulted in a gag order focused on court personnel. “Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them under any circumstances," the judge said.

Yet there also has never been a criminal defendant like Mr. Trump, who remains, in spite of it all, the leading political opponent of the sitting President. Judge Chutkan's written gag order hadn't arrived by our deadline, but during the hearing she appeared to be cutting it mighty fine.

Mr. Trump will be permitted to attack former Vice President Mike Pence, who's running against him, “but he may not criticize Mr. Pence about the events in this case," she said, according to the Washington Post. Hang on: If Mr. Trump shows up to the next Republican primary debate, on Nov. 8, he has to say “no comment" if Mr. Pence pushes him about Jan. 6?

That sounds like core political speech and different from insults toward court functionaries. The same goes for special counsel Jack Smith, who's a political figure in his own right, and who shouldn't be immune from criticism. If Judge Chutkan thinks it's over the line for the defendant to call Mr. Smith a “thug," what about saying he's “politically motivated"? Mr. Trump pledged to appeal the gag order, and the First Amendment questions aren't frivolous.

Also, how is Judge Chutkan prepared to punish infractions? She could fine or even jail Mr. Trump, though that would only feed Mr. Trump's persecution campaign narrative. The better part of wisdom might have been for Judge Chutkan simply to let Mr. Trump continue to yell into the internet to his heart's content, or at least until he started specifically targeting jurors or court staff.

Our guess is that Mr. Trump welcomes the gag order, notwithstanding his protests. It fuels his main campaign theme that Republicans should vote for him because he is a martyr for them. A Trump spokesman on Monday called Judge Chutkan's order “another partisan knife stuck in the heart of our Democracy by Crooked Joe Biden, who was granted the right to muzzle his political opponent."

What many of Mr. Trump's critics don't understand is that most Republicans don't like the former President's churlish behavior. What they like even less, however, is the idea that Mr. Trump's fulminations against Mr. Smith might be reason to jail him.

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Right-wing Group Uses Joe Biden’s Younger Brother Frank’s Nude Selfie

Posted By: Preeti Dabar Posted On: Oct 11, 2023

The right-wing nonprofit group Marco Polo, an organisation headed by former US president Donald Trump's White House aide Garrett Ziegler, found a nude selfie of Frank Biden, the US President Joe Biden's younger brother, on a dating site, mostly used by gay people and has used it to bring the Biden family under scrutiny ahead of the elections.

“I've absolutely no comment. I could care less. I haven't even looked at it. They must have hacked my phone. Anything that is a revealing picture of some kind is between Mindy and me. I really don't want to start my day off this way. Definitely didn't post it anywhere,” Frank Biden said.

Mindy Ward is Frank Biden's partner and both of them have been together since 2010. He was earlier married to Janine Jaquet, a journalist from Delaware, but the two divorced in the 1990s.

Frank is a Florida-based non-attorney senior adviser for the Berman Law Group.

The photo emerges at a time when Republicans are pushing for a probe into the president and his close relatives and their business dealings.

The selfie of Frank Biden is from 2018 and was shared in the same year on GuysWithiPhones.com. The website is a platform for males to share photos of their bodies and receive comments in return. It is not strictly for gay men only.

Frank is 11 years younger than the US President. He admitted that the picture on the website is his but he denied posting it himself, saying his phone must have been hacked. The right-wing nonprofit group Marco Polo has been focused on finding evidence of alleged corruption within the Biden family.

Several Republican lawmakers like Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene have pushed the US House of Representatives to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

The probe into whether Biden's son, Hunter, and brothers have used their ties to the president and the former vice-president has not led to any clear evidence of such misconduct. The US President Biden denied discussing Hunter or his brothers' business dealings with them.

Source: News18
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr Quits Democratic US Presidential Nomination Race

Posted By: Ramesh Sharma Posted On: Oct 10, 2023

Robert F. Kennedy Jr said Monday he was quitting the race for the Democratic US presidential nomination to run as an independent — a move that could shake up a tight election by syphoning votes from the main candidates.

A rematch between President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump is by far the most likely scenario in 2024, and a third-party hopeful taking even a few votes from Biden in swing states could spell disaster for the Democrat.

Many analysts however believe that Kennedy, a long-time anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and a darling of the right-wing US media, would harm Trump more than Biden.

“I've come here today to declare our independence from the tyranny of corruption which robs us of affordable lives, our belief in the future and our respect for each other,” the son of Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of John F. Kennedy told supporters in Philadelphia.

“But to do that, I must first declare my own independence: Independence from the Democratic Party, from all other political parties.”

The 69-year-old former environmental lawyer has long identified as a Democrat, and invoked his assassinated father in an anecdote about the 1968 campaign trail.

“I haven't made this decision lightly. It's very painful for me to let go of the party of my uncles, my father, my grandfather and both of my great-grandfathers,” he added.

Kennedy was introduced by his wife of nine years, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Cheryl Hines, who said her husband was ready to make the country better for all Americans and “bring them together.”

But he has proved more popular among Republicans than Democrats in opinion polling — he is languishing on an average of less than 15 percent in major primary polls, 47 points behind Biden.

Embraced by conspiracy theorists on the far right such as Alex Jones and Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn, Kennedy has claimed that AIDS might not be caused by HIV and that wifi causes cancer and “leaky brain.”

He has blamed antidepressants for school shootings and said chemicals in tap water could make children become transgender.

He ignited a firestorm of criticism in July over claims that Covid-19 was “ethnically targeted” at Caucasians and Black people, while Ashkenazi Jews and the Chinese were spared.

Last week, liberal academic Cornel West ended his Green Party candidacy in favor of an independent run. Many Biden allies see the 70-year-old African American philosopher as a bigger threat than Kennedy.

Four of Kennedy's siblings nevertheless released a statement calling his announcement “dangerous” and “deeply saddening.”

“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgement,” they said.

Republicans called Kennedy a “Democrat in Independent's clothing.”

“He is your typical elitist liberal and voters won't be fooled,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

Source: News18
Related Posts: 2024 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS,DONALD TRUMP,JOE BIDEN,ROBERT F KENNEDY JR

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US Prez Joe Biden Quizzed in Separate Classified Documents Probe Published 23 minutes ago

Posted By: Preeti Dabar Posted On: Oct 10, 2023

US President Joe Biden has been questioned as part of an investigation into the handling of classified documents found at his home and former private office, the White House said Monday.

The 80-year-old Democrat voluntarily gave the interview on Sunday and Monday, at a time when the president was also dealing with the fallout of a deadly attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The US attorney general appointed a special counsel in January to look into the handling of the secret files, which dated from Biden's time as vice president under president Barack Obama and immediately afterwards.

“The president has been interviewed as part of the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur,” White House Counsel's Office spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement.

“The voluntary interview was conducted at the White House over two days, Sunday and Monday, and concluded Monday.”

Sams added: “As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation.”

He referred further questions to the Justice Department.

US media said the fact that Biden himself had been interviewed showed that the investigation was likely nearing its end. Special Counsel Hur's team had previously carried out extensive interviews among Biden's staff, ABC news said.

The probe involves documents found in the possession of Biden, who was vice president under Obama when the papers were removed from the White House.

Records were first unearthed in a private think tank office, where Biden used to work in Washington after his time as vice president, in November 2022.

More documents were found in the president's Wilmington, Delaware garage — next to his Corvette sports car — on December 20. Another set of files was then discovered in his home library on January 12.

Back in January, Biden dismissed the probe, saying there was “nothing there.”

But mushrooming scandals over the handling of secret files have become an unexpectedly big issue in the 2024 US presidential elections.

Former president Donald Trump, Biden's likely Republican opponent next year, separately faces trial over the alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office.

The special counsel in that case, Jack Smith, says Trump allegedly took classified documents to his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida and refused to return them.

Trump, 77, pleaded not guilty in June to charges of unlawfully retaining national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.

The prosecutor in that case has asked for a 2024 trial, one of a number that Trump faces on various charges which include trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden.

And Trump's vice president, Mike Pence, revealed in January that he too had uncovered documents marked as classified at his home.

Republicans have been trying to draw parallels between the Trump and Biden document cases, crying foul over what they say is special treatment meted out to the current president.

Biden and his family meanwhile face a host of their own legal issues, which threaten to add to concerns about the Democrat's low approval ratings and his age.

Republicans have launched an impeachment investigation over his son Hunter's business dealings with Ukraine and China, claiming without having shown any evidence so far that Biden senior benefited from them.

Hunter Biden meanwhile faces yet another special counsel probe into tax fraud and gun possession.

Source: News18
Related Posts: 2024 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS,CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS,JOE BIDEN

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US Prez Joe Biden Quizzed in Separate Classified Documents Probe Published 9 minutes ago

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Oct 10, 2023

US President Joe Biden has been questioned as part of an investigation into the handling of classified documents found at his home and former private office, the White House said Monday.

The 80-year-old Democrat voluntarily gave the interview on Sunday and Monday, at a time when the president was also dealing with the fallout of a deadly attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The US attorney general appointed a special counsel in January to look into the handling of the secret files, which dated from Biden's time as vice president under president Barack Obama and immediately afterwards.

“The president has been interviewed as part of the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur,” White House Counsel's Office spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement.

“The voluntary interview was conducted at the White House over two days, Sunday and Monday, and concluded Monday.”

Sams added: “As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation.”

He referred further questions to the Justice Department.

US media said the fact that Biden himself had been interviewed showed that the investigation was likely nearing its end. Special Counsel Hur's team had previously carried out extensive interviews among Biden's staff, ABC news said.

The probe involves documents found in the possession of Biden, who was vice president under Obama when the papers were removed from the White House.

Records were first unearthed in a private think tank office, where Biden used to work in Washington after his time as vice president, in November 2022.

More documents were found in the president's Wilmington, Delaware garage — next to his Corvette sports car — on December 20. Another set of files was then discovered in his home library on January 12.

Back in January, Biden dismissed the probe, saying there was “nothing there.”

But mushrooming scandals over the handling of secret files have become an unexpectedly big issue in the 2024 US presidential elections.

Former president Donald Trump, Biden's likely Republican opponent next year, separately faces trial over the alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office.

The special counsel in that case, Jack Smith, says Trump allegedly took classified documents to his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida and refused to return them.

Trump, 77, pleaded not guilty in June to charges of unlawfully retaining national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.

The prosecutor in that case has asked for a 2024 trial, one of a number that Trump faces on various charges which include trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden.

And Trump's vice president, Mike Pence, revealed in January that he too had uncovered documents marked as classified at his home.

Republicans have been trying to draw parallels between the Trump and Biden document cases, crying foul over what they say is special treatment meted out to the current president.

Biden and his family meanwhile face a host of their own legal issues, which threaten to add to concerns about the Democrat's low approval ratings and his age.

Republicans have launched an impeachment investigation over his son Hunter's business dealings with Ukraine and China, claiming without having shown any evidence so far that Biden senior benefited from them.

Hunter Biden meanwhile faces yet another special counsel probe into tax fraud and gun possession.

Source: News18
Related Posts: 2024 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS,CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS,JOE BIDEN

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After McCarthy Mutiny

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Oct 09, 2023

The race to replace the ousted Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives intensifies this week amid questions over whether anyone is capable of unifying the chaotic party's warring factions.

Kevin McCarthy was ousted in a stunning mutiny last week orchestrated by the far right, leaving efforts to avert a looming government shutdown in a tailspin.

It also raised serious questions over continuing US aid to war torn Ukraine and, more immediately, over Congress' ability to respond quickly to a crisis like the attack on Israel.

“McCarthy was removed,” Representative Matt Gaetz, a leader of the mutiny, told NBC's “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “because he made multiple contradictory promises to people (in both parties) that ultimately could not be reconciled.”

Bracing for more of the disarray that marked McCarthy's eviction, House Republicans are due to host a “candidate forum” Tuesday to pick their new standard-bearer, followed by a vote behind closed doors Wednesday.

The speaker has to be approved by the full House, however — with both Democrats and Republicans voting — and there is no timeline for a floor vote, leaving the lower chamber in limbo.

“I don't have a lot of advice for my House colleagues, other than this: Follow your heart, but take your brain with you,” Republican senator John Kennedy told NBC News.

And he smilingly advised his tense House colleagues “to be sure to take your meds.”

Two declared candidates — McCarthy's longtime deputy Steve Scalise and firebrand Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan — have been furiously working to lock in support, but a clear frontrunner is yet to emerge.

Jordan's quest to secure the gavel won the coveted endorsement of former president Donald Trump, who has said he is open to a short-term role as caretaker speaker as the race plays out. He plans to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday, he said.

According to House rules, the speaker does not have to be a member of the chamber, and Trump, who is running for president, has said he would consider taking the gavel for a “30, 60 or 90-day period.”

His offer is not seen as a serious possibility, however, and there has been no broad show of support from Republicans for the ex-reality TV star — who is facing multiple criminal prosecutions — to take the helm, even temporarily.

There would have to be a change in the Republican-drafted rules in any case, as indicted suspected felons are barred from leadership positions.

Trump's endorsement of Jordan appeared to end speculation of his own involvement, although he has not publicly canceled plans for the Washington swing.

Any hopeful for the office of speaker will need 217 votes, with the House made up of 221 Republicans — and 212 Democrats intent on voting for their own leader, Hakeem Jeffries.

Jordan, a far right populist, told Fox News his priority would be codifying language that says “no money can be used to process or release into this country any new migrants.”

But his reticence over sending Ukraine more aid could hurt him with centrists, analysts say.

Gaetz, for his part, insisted Sunday that the squabble over the speakership would not hinder America's ability to support Israel following the attacks from Gaza.

“There is no ask from Israel that we are unable to meet because it's going to take us a few days to pick a new speaker,” he said on NBC.

But with the House paralyzed by the leadership drama and Senate in recess for another week, the November 17 deadline for passing a 2024 budget to avoid the government shutting down is beginning to worry lawmakers.

Many believe Congress will be forced to pass another stopgap funding measure to keep federal agencies open at 2023 spending levels, a repeat of the September 30 compromise that led Republican right-wingers to oust McCarthy.

Source: News18
Related Posts: KEVIN MCCARTHY,REPUBLICAN PARTY,US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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