Former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News on Monday he still greatly regrets how his once close relationship with Donald Trump deteriorated quickly after he refused to back down from his view there was no Constitutional maneuver to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“I have to tell you that as different as the two of us are, President Trump and I actually forged a close working relationship. He was not just my president. He was my friend,” Pence recalled.
“We literally spent time together every day when we were both at the White House, sometimes up to 4 hours.”
Pence said he and Trump initially parted “amicably” even in the wake of the January 6 riot, but that Trump’s later return to biting public criticisms and accusations against Pence – in terms of his role as presiding officer of the Senate during the electoral count – led him to part ways permanently.
Some Republicans had believed the 1960 Presidential Election in Hawaii represented a precedent for submitting a second slate of electors from states where advocates believed there were errors afoot. That year, then-Republican majority Hawaii saw Republicans approve a slate and Democrats approve an uncertified slate of electors for Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy respectively.
Democrats prevailed in a December recount and sent a third slate of Kennedy electors certified by Republican Gov. William Quinn, which were ultimately accepted by then-Vice President Nixon – sitting in Pence’s position – on January 6, 1961.
Critics further analyzed the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which itself came following Republican President Rutherford Hayes’ disputed election win against former New York Democratic Gov. Samuel Tilden.
“It’s part of what made what happened at the end so difficult,” the Indiana Republican said of how the reaction to that disagreement broke his and Trump’s once strong relationship.
“I knew what my duty was under the Constitution of the United States. I made that clear many times over to the president. But he had legal advisers around him that were telling him something different. And we ended up having to have a disagreement, a very loud disagreement in public.”
“What made that even more difficult is because literally every step of the way – from the day I was added to the national ticket all the way until Election Day 2020 – we had a strong, close working relationship that was built on mutual respect.”
“Last fall, when we got together, We parted amicably. And we spoke a number of times after I left office. But frankly, when the President returned to some of the rhetoric about me and others who had taken a stand for the Constitution, I thought it was best that we just go our separate ways.”
Unlike Biden, he said he and Trump didn’t just “talk” to world rivals like China’s Xi Jinping – they acted:
“We imposed $250 billion in tariffs. We strengthened our military alliances in the region. We maintained freedom of navigation, held them accountable for intellectual property theft,” he said.
Pence cited several other accomplishments he and Trump forged together, notably what he characterized as “rallying back” after the Senate failed to repeal Obamacare by Arizonan John McCain’s famous thumbs-down nay-vote.
“But then to see the way, with the president’s leadership, we rallied back and we cut taxes and really restored the strength and vitality of this country,” he said.
NFL legend Larry Csonka offered a toast to the Washington Commanders after the NFC East squad ended the Philadelphia Eagles’ pursuit of an undefeated season on Monday night.
Csonka was a part of the only NFL team to go undefeated in the regular season and the playoffs when he and the Miami Dolphins did it in 1972.
Tom Brady’s New England Patriots led the team to an undefeated regular season in 2007 but lost to the New York Giants in one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets ever.
The Hall of Fame running back had a beverage in his hand and tweeted a picture of his toast.
“Thank you #WashingtonCommanders As in 2020 when you knocked out the #Steelers I’m a Washington fan tonight!” Csonka wrote.
While the myth around the NFL is that Dolphins players from the ’72 team pop champagne after an undefeated team goes down, the late Don Shula explained in 2011 no such celebration ever happens.
“The champagne story is ridiculous,” Shula told the Cleveland Browns Daily at the time. “People really do think that we’re a bunch of angry old men and we gather and just root for that last undefeated team to get beat and when they do, we pop the champagne. I think the thing that happened is, one year, the last undefeated team got beat and Nick Buoniconti and Dick Anderson lived next to each other in Coral Gables, and they went out in their driveway and opened a bottle of champagne and popped it and toasted to each other. And they were too cheap to invite the rest of us to their party.”
On Monday night, the Commanders put up a tough game and kept Jalen Hurts and the Eagles off the field for enough time to keep their lead.
A missed call and few mistakes from the Eagles also burned them in the end.
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Monday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which took place in the shadow of the G-20 economic conference in Indonesia, revealed troubling aspects of a coming new world order Chinese style and just how wrongheaded and weak Biden is when it comes to understanding the communist Chinese threat.
The first indication of a problem was the optics when the two presidents came face-to-face at the summit.
Biden was seen smiling with his hand extended as he anxiously walked toward his Chinese counterpart who by contrast appeared dour, almost dismissive of the American. The scene could be likened to that of a young subordinate who just saw his boss and hurried his pace to welcome him, while the boss looked down his nose at the young upstart.
It’s safe to say that the scene revealed much about the two men and our emergent relations as global powers. Xi has just came from the 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress which granted him an unprecedented third term as chairman, making him the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao Zedong. Xi intends to aggressively press toward his goal of world dominance and as he told the 20th Congress, “the East [China] is rising while the West [the U.S.] is declining.”
By comparison, Biden came to the Xi meeting weakened by the likely loss of his party’s majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and a host of troubling issues at home including a deeply divided citizenry and a military arguably in decline.
Besides the optics at the summit, what Biden said at the post-meeting press conference on Monday evening demonstrates his priorities and failure to truly understand the Chinese leadership’s intentions.
Biden claimed his conversations with President Xi were “open and candid” and his “intentions and priorities” were made clear to the dictator.
Further, he indicated that he told Xi that he “would defend American values, human rights and compete vigorously,” and he promised the communist leader that America’s China policy hasn’t changed regarding the issue of Taiwan’s status.
Biden failed to mention whether he pressed the Chinese leader on important issues such as the regime’s maligned economic behaviors like its failure to abide by trade agreements, its military aggression in the South China Sea, the supply of precursors used to make fentanyl which annually kills tens of thousands of Americans, the origins of COVID, the rampant stealing of our intellectual property, and whether it will dial back on its well-documented human rights violations.
The president allowed only four questions after his remarks at the press briefing. He was asked whether a Cold War with China is avoidable. “There need not be a new cold war” with China, said Biden. Rather, we are in “competition” with China. That response ignores the contrary history of “unrestricted warfare” China is waging against the West using all Chinese instruments of power such as economic, military, ideological, geopolitical and technological.
On the issue of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, Biden said he does not anticipate “any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan,” even though two weeks ago President Xi vowed to “reunify” the mainland with Taiwan and he would “never promise to renounce the use of force.”
Biden said he “made it clear” to President Xi that our Taiwan policy “has not changed at all.” Yet, on multiple occasions over the past two years, the president confused that policy by promising to defend Taiwan against any communist assault. Yet, Biden insisted that Xi “understood exactly what I was saying.”
Perhaps most distressing is the president’s promise to set up more meetings with Chinese officials to discuss our differences. He took the same approach a year ago in June with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and that didn’t end so well, ask the Ukrainians.
Unfortunately, President Biden is out of his element when dealing with tyrants like Putin and Xi. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said about Biden, he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Biden’s actions regarding China, we have good reason to be skeptical and arguably fearful.
With Democrats somehow keeping control of the Senate in an absolutely awful political environment, Donald Trump is getting the lion’s share of the blame.
So of course he’s announcing his presidential candidacy tonight.
From media liberals and Democrats who can hardly believe their good fortune to some conservative pundits and Republican politicians, the consensus is that Trump took the focus off an unpopular President Biden and made the election all about him.
He was at it again over the weekend, with screeds against Ron ‘DeSanctimonious’ and Glenn ‘Young Kin,’ not to mention Fox, fake news and Old Crow Mitch McConnell, bringing back that slur about his wife, Coco Chow. Trump also claimed without evidence that there was voter fraud in Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly’s win over his guy, Blake Masters, when everyone knew (and endlessly explained) that mail ballots counted after Election Day could enable Democrats to catch up and possibly win.
That Biden’s party could hold the Senate without next month’s Georgia runoff is remarkable. But the president sure would like to have a 51st vote out of the Herschel Walker-Raphael Warnock runoff or Joe Manchin again becomes the Democrat with the biggest nuclear weapon.
With 2020 hindsight it’s clear that what was lost in all the red wave talk (which went far beyond Fox, as I showed on “Media Buzz”) is that younger people turned out in much greater numbers than expected, and that abortion rights drove turnout more forcefully among suburban white women and others.
There was also the preserving democracy argument, and President Biden’s prime-time speech on that issue, which I and others viewed as a missed opportunity while the country was focused on inflation and crime. Turns out Biden may have motivated some folks to get out there.
Every election denier who ran for secretary of state or top elections official was defeated. And there was ticket splitting, with a more conventional Republican like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp winning by a significant margin while Walker was held below 50 percent. There was a lot of hype about Trump-backed Tudor Dixon being in a tight race, but Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer beat her by just over double digits.
Trump was back at it for his Arizona gubernatorial candidate, election denier Kari Lake, who could still win but has fallen a bit further behind as more votes are counted. He said “the great Kari Lake’s easy election win is slowly, yet systematically, being drained away from her,” as if there were something nefarious about continuing the ballot count.
So how will Trump’s telegraphed announcement tonight play out? MSNBC and CNN are likely to provide heavy coverage because they miss the Trumpian ratings of his presidency. The conservative media outlets and commentators – from the New York Post and Wall Street Journal to National Review and Washington Examiner, some of which favor DeSantis, will criticize his candidacy from the right.
Mike Pence, who’s eyeing the race, said in an interview with ABC’s David Muir what everyone in America knows but that he hasn’t uttered until now:
“The president’s words were reckless and his actions were reckless,” Pence said of Trump tweeting that his VP “lacked the courage” to block Biden’s Electoral College circulation.
“The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” Pence said. “I turned to my daughter, who was standing nearby, and I said, ‘It doesn’t take courage to break the law. It takes courage to uphold the law.’”
And listen to Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, a onetime Trump ally, speaking to AL.com:
“It would be a bad mistake for the Republicans to have Donald Trump as their nominee in 2024. Donald Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans.”
What gives? Brooks lost Trump’s endorsement and lost his primary. So can most Republicans only say such things when they’re leaving office.
But slow down – we haven’t heard from the voters yet. For all the times that the media have declared Trump finished, including after Jan. 6, his iron grip on the MAGA base has rescued him.
We don’t even know whether DeSantis will run, and if he does, he’s untested as a national candidate.
If Trump is the nominee, as I’ve been saying for a long time, it’s far more likely that Biden will run as the only person who has beaten him. And all the Democrats who have clamored for a younger candidate have yet to name the person who can beat Trump after a negative onslaught.The New York Times has an intriguing take on this, given that Biden is about to turn 80. While the midterms gave the president a boost, party insiders are deeply worried that Kamala Harris can’t win:
“While there are many other would-be contenders, none of them have impressed the president enough for him to feel comfortable turning the party over to them.
“Some Democrats argue that this is a situation of Mr. Biden’s own making, having failed to successfully groom a potential successor, consciously or not making himself the indispensable man. But either way, it leaves many Democrats circling back to the conclusion that Mr. Biden remains the party’s best choice.“
I don’t think it was a Machiavellian plot, but if DeSantis or some other next-generation Republican wins the nomination, the pressure on Biden to step aside or be primaried will grow.
Or we may see a rematch after all.
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The fault lines for the 2024 elections are already taking shape with the two parties in diametrically opposed positions and there is no greater divide than over parental rights. That stark difference was no more evident than in a tweet from Rep. Eric Swalwell who mocked the notion of parents making major decisions in the education of their children.
The California Democrat insisted that it is akin to “putting patients in charge of their own surgeries? Clients in charge of their own trials?” Swalwell declared: “Please tell me what I’m missing here … This is so stupid.”
What Rep. Swalwell, a lawyer, is missing is called informed consent.
Since he asked for assistance, let’s deal with each in turn.
American torts have long required consent in medical torts. Indeed, what Swalwell seemed to suggest would be battery for doctors to make the key decisions over surgical goals or purposes. Indeed, even when doctors secured consent to operate on one ear, it was still considered battery when they decided in the operation to address the other ear in the best interests of the patient. Mohr v. Williams (Minn. 1905).
In Canterbury v. Spence the court rejected claims that a physician can make key decisions given “the patient’s right of self-determination.” Thus, doctors in the United States do have to secure the consent of patients in what they intend to do in surgeries or other medical procedures. (There are narrow exceptions such things as “substituted consent” or emergencies that do not apply here).
Ironically, California has one of the strongest patient-based consent rules. As the California Supreme Court stated in Cobbs v. Grant (1972): “Unlimited discretion in the physician is irreconcilable with the basic right of the patient to make the ultimate informed decision regarding the course of treatment to which he knowledgeably consents to be subjected.”
While obviously a patient cannot direct an operation itself, the doctor is expected to explain and secure the consent of the patient in what a surgery will attempt and how it will be accomplished. That is precisely what parents are demanding in looking at the subjects and books being taught in school. Moreover, that is precisely the role of school boards, which has historically exercised concurrent authority over the schools with the teachers hired under the school board-approved budgets.
Swalwell is also wrong in suggesting that clients are not in charge of their own trials. Not only must attorneys secure the consent of their clients on what will be argued in trial, but they can be removed by their clients for failure to adequately represent their interests. It would be malpractice for a lawyer to tell a client, as suggested by Swalwell, that they do not control the major decisions in their own cases.
Ironically, the informed consent under defined in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as the “agreement by a person to a proposed course of conduct after the lawyer has communicated adequate information and explanation about the material risks of and reasonably available alternatives to the proposed course of conduct”).
Obviously, lawyers must follow their own ethical and professional judgment in trials, and tactical choices are generally left up to the lawyers. However, the main objectives of the trial remain for the client to “knowingly and voluntarily assume” Metrick v. Chatz (Ill. App. Ct. 1994).
Much like the claim of parents, clients demand the right to reject a plan for trial and the arguments or means to be used at trial. This right of consent is ongoing and can be exercised at any point in the litigation.
Of course, the key to informed consent is that parents are given the information needed to secure their consent. School districts have been resisting such disclosures and pushing back on parental opposition to major curriculum or policy decisions.
What is most striking about Swalwell’s reference to patients and clients is that they, under his educational approach, have far more voice in a wart removal or a parking ticket challenge than the education of their children. If anything, his analogies support the call for greater parental knowledge and consent.
In other words, “what is missing here” is that Rep. Swalwell’s interpretation could constitute both medical and legal malpractice. It may also constitute political malpractice as both parties now careen toward the 2024 elections.
Former President Donald Trump’s expected to make what he’s advertising as a “special announcement” on Tuesday night, which will likely ignite the 2024 White House race.
Trump, nearly two years since his 2020 presidential election defeat at the hands of President Biden, remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP, the most ferocious fundraiser among the grassroots, and the overwhelming current leader in early 2024 GOP nomination polling.
But his 2024 announcement, according to a host of Republican leaders and strategists, is not expected to clear the field of potential contenders for the GOP nomination.
Voices of discontent are growing inside the party, thanks to a growing chorus of criticism blaming Trump for setbacks in the 2018 midterms (when the GOP lost the House majority), the 2020 election (when Republicans lost the White House and the Senate majority), and the 2022 midterms (when an expected red wave failed to materialize).
Longtime leading Republican fundraiser David Tamasi, who bundled for Trump in 2016 and 2020 but no longer supports the former president, told Fox News that “while there might be some pockets of financial support for him,” top dollar donors ” are tired of losing.”
And popular Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, who cruised to re-election last week by double digits, emphasized that a Trump 2024 announcement “does not clear the field.”
Sununu, who hasn’t entirely ruled out a White House run of his own, argued that “anyone who wants to run is still going to run.”
With that in mind, here’s a look at the other major potential contenders in the burgeoning 2024 Republican presidential nomination race.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
After narrowly winning election as Florida governor in 2018, Republican Ron DeSantis won re-election last week in a landslide.
DeSantis, who at age 44 is 32 years younger than Trump, won his first election as governor thanks to a major assist from the then-president. But he’s become a force of his own as he’s built a political brand that stretches from coast to coast.
Florida’s governor has seen his popularity soar among conservatives across the country the past two and a half years, courtesy of his forceful pushback against coronavirus pandemic restrictions and his aggressive actions as a culture wars warrior, as he’s targeted the media and corporations.
While DeSantis for over a year has routinely discounted talk of a 2024 White House bid as he stayed laser focused on his gubernatorial re-election, he potentially dropped some hints last week during his Election Night victory speech.
“We have rewritten the political map,” DeSantis declared. “While our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.”
And he took in the scene as a chant of “two more years! Two more years,” broke out among supporters urging the governor to consider a national run in 2024.
As DeSantis seen his poll numbers in 2024 Republican presidential polls start to rival Trump, and his fundraising prowess match that of the former president, Trump in recent months has targeted the Florida governor. And Trump has turned up the volume on his attacks on DeSantis in the days just before and after the midterms, and debuted a new nickname for the governor: “Ron DeSanctimonius.”
DeSantis has refused to take the bait, electing not to engage with Trump’s taunts.
If DeSantis decides to launch a 2024 campaign, don’t expect an announcement anytime soon. A source in the governor’s wider political orbit tells Fox News any announcement wouldn’t happen until after Florida’s legislative session ends in May.
Former Vice President Mike Pence
Hours before Trump delivers his “special announcement” on the 2024 campaign, his former right-hand man’s much anticipated memoir is making headlines.
In “So Help Me God,” former Vice President Mike Pence showcases successes of the Trump-Pence administration, but also spotlights new criticisms of Trump that will generate plenty of headlines.
And in his first major book tour interview, on Monday on the eve of the publishing of the memoir, Pence revisited the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by right wing extremists aiming to upend congressional certification of Biden’s 2020 victory over Trump, which Pence was overseeing.
“The president’s words [on 6 January 2021] were reckless and his actions were reckless. The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building,” Pence told ABC News.
The former vice president, as part of his crisscrossing the country the past year and a half on behalf of Republicans running in last week’s elections, made numerous stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the first four states to vote in the GOP presidential nominating calendar. Pence, a former congressman and Indiana governor, has been making the moves, such as building relationships in the early voting presidential primary and caucus states, that often precede the launch of an actual White House campaign.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Pompeo, like Pence, has been a very frequent visitor to the early voting states the past year and a half.
“Whether we’ll decide to get in the race and run for president, I can’t answer,” Pompeo, an Army officer stationed in Germany during the Cold War who was later elected to Congress from Kansas before serving as CIA director and America’s top diplomat during the Trump administration, told Fox News during a stop in New Hampshire in September.
But he emphasized “we are doing the things that one would do to be ready to make such an announcement and then to engage with the American people on the ideas that we believe matter,” Pompeo emphasized.
And Pompeo’s political action committee has gone up with ads in the early voting states, another sign he’s seriously mulling a White House bid.
Former ambassador Nikki Haley
Haley, a former two-term South Carolina governor who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the first half of the Trump presidency, is another Trump administration alumni who was very busy during the 2022 campaigning on behalf of fellow Republicans and making numerous stops in the early primary and caucus states.
Haley, like Pence and Pompeo, has demurred when asked if she’ll launch a presidential campaign. But she reiterates “we’ll figure it out. But you know what I’ve said — I’ve never lost a race. I’m not going to start now. If there’s place for me, we’ll put a 100% in, and we’ll finish it.”
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Youngkin was a politician on demand on the campaign trail this summer and autumn, helping fellow Republicans running in the midterms.
Youngkin energized Republicans nationwide a year ago, as the first-time candidate who hailed from the party’s business wing edged out former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe to become the first GOP candidate in a dozen years to win a gubernatorial election in the one-time swing state that had trended towards the Democrats over the past decade.
The governor’s 2022 travels have sparked plenty of speculation regarding his potential national ambitions in 2024.
Youngkin emphasized in a recent Fox News interview that “we’ll have to see how things pan out” as he reiterated that he’s “incredibly flattered by this discussion” and “the fact that my name is in the national mix is pretty overwhelming.”
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina
Scott, a rising star in the GOP, one of the party’s top fundraisers, and the only Black Republican in the Senate, easily cruised to re-election last week to what he’s said will be his final six-year term in the Senate.
While Scott’s repeatedly demurred when asked about 2024, he raised eyebrows last week at his re-election victory celebration by telling the story of how took his grandfather to the polls in 2012, and that his grandfather proudly voted for him as well as for Democratic President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president.
“I wish he had lived long enough to see perhaps another man of color elected President of the United States,” Scott said, before adding “but this time let it be a Republican.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
The popular term-limited GOP governor of blue state Maryland has been a frequent visitor to New Hampshire this year, as well as making stops in Iowa.
Hogan, a vocal Republican critic of Trump who touts that he’s a “commonsense conservative,” told Fox News earlier this autumn that “I think there are 10 people who want to be the next Donald Trump and I think there may be a different lane” for someone like him.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
Cruz, the runner-up to Trump in the combustible 2016 GOP presidential nomination race, has consistently not ruled out making another White House run. He’s stopped a handful of times over the past year and a half in the early voting states and has told Fox News and other news organizations that “when I ran in ’16, it was the most fun I’ve had in my life.”
The conservative firebrand from Texas has also said when it comes to deciding on whether he’ll make another White House run, he’ll “want and see” what Trump decides.
Others to keep an eye on
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who was just re-elected last week, is popular with conservatives and Trump’s MAGA loyalists. Pundits view her as a potential contender if Trump decides against running, and a possible running mate if Trump runs.
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida has repeatedly said he’s running for re-election in 2024. But pundits view the multi-millionaire and the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee this cycle as a potential White House hopeful.
Former two-term Gov. Chris Christie, known as one of the GOP’s best communicators, has no problem speaking publicly about his likely national ambitions, unlike many of the other possible 2024 contenders.
Christie, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate who was the first of Trump’s rivals to endorse him after dropping out of the race, in the wake of the Jan. 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol turned into a very vocal Republican Trump critic.
“I’m definitely thinking about it. I haven’t made any final decisions about what I’m going to do or not do and I won’t make any final decision until next year,” Christie told Fox News Digital earlier this autumn.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a veteran of the 2016 GOP presidential nomination firefights with Trump, last week rolled to a large double-digit re-election victory. The senior senator from Florida has consistently not ruled out making another White House run in the future.
Term-limited Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas is in Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday. Aides tell Fox News Hutchinson “is thinking about his options for” a presidential run and that the governor “will meet with major political players” during his visit.
Hutchinson made a trip to New Hampshire in the spring and told Fox News this past summer that he wants a role in helping to shape the future of the GOP, which “might lead to a presidential campaign down the road.”
NBC News national correspondent Miguel Almaguer hasn’t appeared on the network in 11 days since his explosive report on the Paul Pelosi attack was retracted, but he and NBC News have remained silent since the scrubbing of his report suggesting the House Speaker’s husband may not have been in danger when police arrived.
The ordeal has puzzled NBC News insiders, with some believing the report was squashed because it went against the mainstream narrative. A former senior NBC News executive who worked with Almaguer believes the network needs to explain what’s going on.
“NBC News must be more transparent with its viewers about this error. Who wrote Miguel’s script? Who approved the script? Are he and his producers suspended during an internal investigation? NBC’s silence on this matter speaks volumes. NBC owes it to its audience to be truthful and not cover this up,” the former executive said.
It started when Almaguer went viral after he appeared on the Nov. 4 installment of “Today” and offered stunning revelations of what may have transpired when police arrived to Pelosi’s San Francisco home following a 911 call.
The NBC News report attempted to answer lingering questions about the alleged home invasion that left Paul Pelosi with a fractured skull. Almaguer cited sources familiar with the situation who said the police didn’t know they were responding to the Pelosi residence, Pelosi opened the door but didn’t attempt to escape or declare an emergency, and even walked away from law enforcement and toward his eventual attacker.
Almaguer concluded his report by telling “Today” co-host Craig Melvin “we still don’t know exactly what unfolded between Mr. Pelosi and the suspect for the 30 minutes they were alone inside that house before police arrive. Officials who are investigating this matter would not go into further details about these new details.”
Later in the day as the segment gained prominence on Twitter, Almaguer’s report was erased from all NBC News platforms. It was deleted from social media, and NBC News issued an editor’s note on its website, reading, “This piece has been removed from publication because it did not meet NBC News reporting standards.”
It is unclear what specifically from Almaguer’s report did not meet the network’s “reporting standards.” NBC refused to elaborate, and its digital platforms said the video “expired.”
On Monday, Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer, a former NBC page who has been critical of NBC News’ handling of the ordeal, noticed that Almaguer has been absent since the report was retracted.
“It has been 10 days since @Miguelnbc went on NBC and delivered his Paul Pelosi report, that was ‘expired’ hours later,” Krakauer tweeted.
Indeed, Almaguer did not appear on NBC from the since-retracted report through Monday’s edition of “Nightly News,” according to a search of transcripts using Grabien Media. NBC News did not immediately respond to a series of questions, including whether he was disciplined and what was wrong with his report in the first place.
Hours after Krakauer’s tweet, the Daily Beast reported it had learned Almaguer has been “suspended pending an internal investigation.” Again, NBC News did not respond when asked for comment by Fox News Digital.
Almaguer, who sent nine tweets over the first three days of November, did not tweet from the day before his report was retracted through Monday evening.
Almaguer did not respond to a voicemail left by Fox News Digital.
Another NBC News insider expressed disbelief at the story getting through editors in the first place, saying they “couldn’t believe they’d follow a conspiracy theory days after it was disproven.”
A third NBC News insider told Fox News Digital that something “shady” must have happened but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was.
Others feel the situation could be similar to the 2012 incident when NBC News quietly cut ties with multiple journalists responsible for deceptively editing audio from a 911 call placed by George Zimmerman the night he killed Trayvon Martin. “Today” aired a doctored 911 call that removed the dispatcher asking Zimmerman to describe Martin’s race. The version that aired on “Today” made it seem like Zimmerman said Martin was Black without being asked.
The Zimmerman call was a major media scandal at the time, and NBC News wasn’t particularly transparent at first but apologized after an internal investigation.
Many of the NBC News executives who oversaw the Zimmermann 911 call aftermath – such as then-president Steve Capus – have moved on. But Comcast remains NBC’s parent company, and the Zimmermann 911 call scandal occurred only a few months after telecommunications conglomerate consolidated NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.
Krakauer previously suggested Almaguer could have reported something that was supposed to stay off-the-record, or the veteran reporter was offering an angle the San Francisco Police Department wanted out there.
“Whatever the backstory is, we don’t know it – and it’s incumbent on NBC to be more transparent about the process, and say publicly what, if anything, was inaccurate in the report,” Krakauer wrote. “In the meantime, the rest of the media have pretended it didn’t happen.”
Paul Pelosi’s suspected attacker, a 42-year-old illegal immigrant from Canada named David DePape, is being held without bail on a slew of state and federal charges, including attempted murder. Police recovered zip ties in Pelosi’s bedroom, found glass broken at the rear of the house, tape, rope, gloves and a journal, according to the FBI affidavit.
Paul Pelosi returned home six days after the home invasion that left him with a fractured skull.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn, Michael Ruiz and David Rutz contributed to this report.
In September, an anonymous tipster reported a potential Charleston, South Carolina, sighting of a woman who may have gone missing as a baby from her home in Texas 51 years ago.
Now, the family of missing Melissa Highsmith has renewed hope that she may be alive and well today — but they need to keep her name out there in case there are any more possible sightings.
“We feel like we’re stepping in the right direction,” Jeff Highsmith, Melissa’s 42-year-old brother, told Fox News Digital of the search for his sister more than five decades after she vanished. “We’re moving closer to finding out where she is and what’s going on.”
Melissa disappeared from Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 23, 1971, when she was just 21 months old, according to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which has been working with the Highsmith family to find Melissa and keep her face — a digitally age-progressed face — in the news.
On Nov, 6, for what would have been Melissa’s 53rd birthday, the Highsmith family hosted a “celebration of life” for Melissa at the local police station not far from where she was kidnaped all those years ago.
The Highsmith family also traveled from the Texas to Charleston in October to talk to locals about the case themselves and spread awareness.
“We feel that the trip to Charleston was a good success. We did get to network with some great people that live in the area,” Jeff said. “Two of the ladies that we did meet when we were down there are continuing to try to raise awareness for her in that area.”
The case has garnered media attention from local outlets in both Texas and South Carolina.
“People that live in the area are pretty familiar with the case now. Since we’ve been back, we’ve had four different leads that we have somebody following up on,” Jeff said of the South Carolina trip.
Jeff and Melissa’s mother, Alta, who was recently separated in when she moved to Fort Worth and worked as a waitress in the 1970s, had placed an advertisement in the local newspaper for a babysitter to watch over Melissa — her firstborn — at the time. A woman responded to the ad and agreed to meet Alta at the restaurant where the young mother worked but never showed up.
Later on, the prospective babysitter called Alta and expressed her interest in the job, saying she had a big yard and cared for other children.
Alta hired the babysitter, who picked up the 21-month-old toddler when she was in the care of Alta’s roommate while the young mother was waitressing.
The roommate told authorities that the woman who picked Melissa up was wearing white gloves, sunglasses and a bonnet around her head in the middle of August in Texas, Jeff explained.
“These things just don’t make sense to me,” he said, adding that his mother’s roommate has not responded to the family’s questions since they got together to discuss the case over coffee in 2019.
Highsmith hadn’t been seen since her mother called law enforcement the day she disappeared in 1971. Jeff has his own theories as to what happened and believes she may have been kidnaped and sold to an adoptive family, though authorities have not confirmed that narrative.
NCMEC is asking anyone with information to contact 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
It’s no secret that King Charles and Princess Diana’s seemingly storybook romance turned out to be a nightmare – but one author claims things were much darker behind closed doors.
Christopher Andersen has written a new book about Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son titled “The King: The Life of Charles III.” He spoke to numerous palace insiders, as well as those who’ve known the former Prince of Wales or worked with him closely over the years. His goal was to further investigate the 74-year-old’s “lonely” childhood and military training, as well as several scandals surrounding his relationships that rocked the House of Windsor.
Andersen alleged to Fox News Digital that the marriage between Charles and Diana became so volatile that royal protection officers were wary of all the weapons scattered around the palace.
“He has a huge temper,” Andersen claimed about the king. “I mean, it’s an incredible temper. The tantrums constantly and throwing a bootjack [at her]. It’s a heavy wooden device for putting on hunting boots, and it’s made of iron and wood. He threw it at Diana’s head and just missed her.”
It was Charles’s former valet Ken Stronach who alleged to Andersen that he was in the room “when Charles, in the middle of an argument with Diana, grabbed a heavy wooden bootjack and threw it at her, missing the princess’s head by inches,” as quoted in the book.
“But there are guns all over that palace,” Anderson alleged. “They love shooting parties. So there are shotguns and handguns for security and rifles [for] security forces… they were worried that there was such violence. So many screaming and shouting [and] slammed doors. Don’t forget Diana, when she was three months pregnant with [Prince] William, she threw herself down the stairs and landed at the feet of the queen and Princess Margaret. So there [were] many violent episodes. It could have gotten much worse. And [security] was afraid that not only somebody might commit suicide, that somebody might do harm, [but] we might be talking murder. So they tried to keep the weapons away from the royals.”
Andersen wrote that during the marriage, Charles “had sunk into a deep depression” and thought he “was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” He turned to one of his confidants, Arnold Goodman, and allegedly said, “I have nothing to live for.” Goodman allegedly felt that Charles was “showing the classic signs of depression.” Charles not only believed he was trapped in a loveless marriage, but he feared that a divorce, if it could even be granted by the queen, “would have grave repercussions for his children, the royal family and the monarchy itself.”
According to Andersen, Goodman expressed his concerns to royal protection officers. Ken Wharfe, Diana’s former protection officer, described the atmosphere as “highly combustible.” One bodyguard told Andersen that the clashes between Charles and Diana were “so raw” that “violence seemed inevitable.”
“Posing a special problem was the sheer firepower contained within Highgrove’s walls,” Andersen wrote. “Guns were scattered about the premises – ‘shotguns, rifles, pistols, the whole lot’ – and the detectives in charge of protecting members of the royal family were deeply concerned that ‘in the heat of anger,’ any one of these could be used to commit suicide, homicide or both. There was also a legitimate concern that William and Harry might become collateral damage. Just to be safe, all guns were put under lock and key.”
According to housekeeper Wendy Berry, she witnessed “the slammed doors and pitched battles” that were “the hallmarks of day-to-day life.” One of Charles’ valets alleged that he saw Diana chase Charles “down hallways, up staircases, and from room to room.” It was then that she allegedly asked point-blank, “Why won’t you sleep with me?” Charles sarcastically replied, “I don’t know, dear, I think I might be gay.”
“He was having an affair with Camilla [Parker Bowles],” Andersen explained. “He was not interested in [Diana] anymore. He shut down emotionally toward Diana. I think Diana’s gotten a very bum rap in that, since her death, no one’s really been there to defend her against these charges.”
“She became neurotic, developed an eating disorder and all of these things because of the behavior of Charles and Camilla,” Andersen alleged. “If indeed Camilla hadn’t been in the picture, none of that would’ve happened.”
The trouble between Diana and Charles started long before their so-called fairy-tale wedding. Charles, the heir to the British throne, was allegedly pressed to either end his relationship with then-Lady Diana Spencer or propose. Before the wedding, Diana expressed doubts about walking down the aisle, especially after she discovered a bracelet Charles made for Camilla, his former flame. The marriage became tumultuous, and the unhappy couple had extramarital affairs.
In 1992, Andrew Morton wrote “Diana: Her True Story,” a shocking tell-all about the collapsing marriage. It also detailed Charles’ relationship with Camilla, as well as Diana’s mental health struggles. At the time, it wasn’t confirmed that the princess secretly collaborated with the British author on the book. That same year, it was announced that the couple was separating.
The divorce was finalized in 1996. A year later, Diana was killed from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash at age 36.
Andersen said Charles was devastated by Diana’s passing. When he received the dreaded call, he allegedly clutched the telephone “ashen and trembling.” He then let out “a cry of pain was that so spontaneous and came from the heart.” One witness described it as a “howl of anguish” that was heard down the hall. Palace staff rushed over to Charles’ room and found him “collapsed in an armchair, weeping uncontrollably.”
“Charles is responsible not only for having brought the monarchy to its knees at one point after Diana died, but also rescuing it,” Andersen explained. “I don’t think people realize how really stricken he was by her death. I interviewed the nurses in the hospital who saw him when he came into the room and saw her body for the first time. And he looked like he’d been hit in the face. He reeled back. They thought he was going to faint. They were surprised to see how emotional Charles was after her death.”
Andersen said the grief-stricken Charles was determined to make sure the mother of his two sons would be honored.
“He snapped into action and made sure the queen gave Diana the proper sendoff,” he said.
Andersen noted that it was Charles who convinced his mother to give “the speech of her life” as thousands of mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace. Following Diana’s death, many criticized the royals and insisted the monarchy was doomed.
The queen passed away on Sept. 8 at age 96. Now, Charles faces the task of preserving a 1,000-year-old monarchy. He alienated so many people with his messy divorce from the much-loved “People’s Princess,” but now, all eyes are on him.
“He’s had a lot to do with the trajectory of the monarchy already,” said Andersen. “If [the monarchy] is a success, it’ll be because of him. And if the monarchy goes down the drain, it’ll be because of him. We’ll have to wait and see.”
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. However, a spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital “we don’t comment on such books.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Republicans will meet on Tuesday and vote on their official candidate for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives as conservative hardliners within the House Freedom Caucus signal objections to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy will need to win a majority of the entire conference to become the speaker-designee. The California Republican could potentially face a hurdle presented by the more than two-dozen members of the Freedom Caucus who are pledging to back an “alternative challenger.” However, Fox News learned that no one stood up to challenge the minority leader for the position during a closed-door candidate forum Monday.
Despite the anticipated challenge, McCarthy is likely to win the designation Tuesday. It does not, however, mean that his speakership bid is secured.
To become speaker, McCarthy will need at least 218 votes if the entire 435-member House is seated and voting in January.
Currently, the potential Republican majority looks to be anywhere between 218 seats, the bare minimum needed to control the House, and 228 seats. The latter would constitute a sweep of all outstanding races, including some in which Democrats are favored, but still falls far short of the 60 seats McCarthy predicted could be possible under a GOP wave that never materialized.
“I think we will have far better options than Kevin McCarthy,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “I’m not going to announce anybody else’s candidacy.”
“This is a process-of-elimination exercise,” continued Gaetz. “Right now, any five people for any reason or no reason at all can determine that they have veto power.”
As such, McCarthy’s allies and opponents are watching Tuesday’s internal conference vote closely for his margin of victory.
“If there are only a handful of defections, people will say Kevin [McCarthy] likely has this and his hand becomes stronger,” said a senior aide to GOP leadership. “But if the vote against him is in the double digits, then all bets are off the table.”
Complicating matters is that few know exactly how much cushion McCarthy will have in January because the size of the GOP majority has yet to be called.
“If the GOP majority is 218, he can’t afford to lose a single vote,” said the aide. “If it’s 228, he can probably lose up to 10 votes. All eyes are on the conference vote because that will be the first sign of how strong or vulnerable McCarthy is right now.”
Even if McCarthy does draw double-digit opposition in the conference vote, the California Republican will have at least until January to strike a deal with opponents from the more than two-dozen member House Freedom Caucus.
Made up of hard-line and far-right GOP lawmakers, the Freedom Caucus wants concessions from McCarthy on House rules.
Among its demands are restoring the power to remove a speaker by a vote that could be called at any time; ensuring a floor vote on any amendment if 10% percent of the GOP conference cosponsors it; and reinstating a “majority of the majority” rule under which bills would only advance when supported by most GOP members.
The Freedom Caucus is also pushing for House committees to elect their own chairman, rather than the current process in which the leadership-stacked GOP steering committee is tasked with the responsibility.
“Many of us feel like there’s this illusion of representative government that our citizens have that’s not realistic,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa. There is “this top-down driven program here in Washington, D.C., where leadership calls all the shots, and you just vote on the floor not having been involved in any of the conversations.”
McCarthy’s ability to strike a deal is only possible provided a credible challenger does not emerge.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.