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Bolton touts NATO allies’ $100B military spending spree after Trump push: ‘Unequaled triumph’

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Bolton touts NATO allies' $100B military spending spree after Trump push: ‘Unequaled triumph’

WASHINGTON — National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that an increase in defense spending from NATO allies, after pressure from President Trump, marked a significant victory for the United States and made the alliance stronger.

“The statistics that the NATO secretary general has given us indicate that the Trump push, and that’s what it is, to get NATO members to spend more has resulted in, based on his calculation, over the past two years in $100 billion more being spent by our European allies on defense,” he said. “This is an unequaled triumph and I would argue it makes NATO stronger and that’s exactly what we should be doing.”

NATO CHIEF, IN SPEECH TO CONGRESS, DECLARES TRUMP’S PUSH FOR MORE DEFENSE SPENDING IS WORKING

Bolton spoke at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session on topics spanning U.S. foreign policy, sovereignty and national borders.

Arguing that an “America First” policy can lead to stronger results abroad, he pointed to Trump’s repeated public calls for NATO members to meet their commitment to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. The U.S spends approximately 3.5 percent.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an address to Congress in April that Trump’s message was having an impact.

“After years of reducing defense budgets, all allies have stopped the cuts and all allies have increased their defense spending. Before they were cutting billions, now they are adding billions,” he said.

Stoltenberg said in April that European allies and Canada have spent an additional $41 billion in the last two years and that by the end of 2020, that figure will rise to $100 billion. It was that figure Bolton touted on Tuesday.

“That money will allow us to invest in new capabilities our armed forces need, including advanced fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, missile defense and surveillance drones,” Stoltenberg said in his address to Congress. “This is good for Europe and it is good for America.”

Bolton’s remarks appeared to try and thread the needle between a nationalist “America First” outlook and the kind of muscular foreign policy for which he has long advocated.

“There are threats in the proliferation world that require a very tough attitude, not just for the sake of toughness, but for the safety of the United States of America,” he said.

He went on to tell the gathering that while he approves of “effective alliance structures,” he is more skeptical of supranational governmental bodies that he views as antithetical to democracy and American interests.

JOHN BOLTON SAYS NORTH KOREAN MISSILE TESTS VIOLATE UN RESOLUTIONS

“When someone says ‘The policy of the U.N. taken in votes in the Human Rights Council and other U.N. bodies’ on issues like the death penalty — I couldn’t care less what the policy of the United Nations is,” he said to applause.

The gathering was hosted by the Edmund Burke Foundation to discuss the return of nationalism in the West. Speakers included tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Yoram Hazony — author of the influential 2018 book “The Virtue of Nationalism.” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was scheduled to speak later Tuesday.

Not all aspects of the conference necessarily aligned with Bolton’s worldview. While speakers shared his skepticism of the U.N. and other liberal bodies, many also railed against the sort of foreign policy intervention in the 90’s and post-9/11 era that Bolton often supported.

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Hazony, in his speech to the conference Monday, said that “utopian thinking swept the political right” in the 1990s and “it ruined everything it touched.”

“A generation later much of the Middle East has been set to torch by America’s own hand yet with nothing to show for it but humiliation,” he said.

But Bolton, referring to questions about whether he was a realist, an interventionist, or some other label, rejected many of the tags often assigned to him.

“When pressed, ‘What is your foreign policy and view of the internationalist system?’ — my view is very simple: ‘Pro-American.'”

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in ‘SMEAR story’

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in 'SMEAR story'

President Trump blasted The New York Times over its supposed bombshell report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling on “everybody” involved in the “smear” to resign.

“I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony!” Trump tweeted Monday evening.

“They’ve taken the Old Grey Lady and broken her down, destroyed her virtue and ruined her reputation… She can never recover, and will never return to Greatness, under current Management. The Times is DEAD, long live The New York Times!”

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICIZED FROM BOTH SIDES OVER NOW-REVISED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

Late Sunday, The New York Times walked back an explosive report about a resurfaced allegation of sexual assault by Kavanaugh from his college days. The piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, alleged there was corroboration of an incident in which Kavanaugh, as a college student at Yale, exposed himself to a female classmate at a party.

However, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway — who reviewed an advance copy of the book – flagged an omission and the paper eventually revised the controversial story after being lampooned on social media over the gaffe.

The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she did not recall the purported sexual assault. The newspaper also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no other comment about the episode.

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Trump was asked about whether anyone from The Times should be “fired” over the controversy. He called it a “fair” question but didn’t directly give an answer.

“I think The New York Times made another terrible mistake,” Trump said. “It’s a shame that a thing like that could happen… They used to have a thing called fact-checking. They don’t have fact-checking anymore.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will hold one of his signature rallies on Monday night in New Mexico, a longtime Democratic stronghold his campaign has added to the list of states it hopes to win in the November 2020 election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The last time New Mexico supported a Republican in a presidential race was 2004. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump there by 8 percentage points three years ago.

Trump’s campaign sees an opening in the state with Latinos, who it believes will swing his way despite tough immigration policies, including a crackdown on migrants from Central America and a push to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democrats have criticized those efforts. But a Trump campaign aide said the Republican president could win over Latinos who came to the United States legally and believe others should, too.

“Big crowd expected in New Mexico tonight, where we will WIN. Your Border Wall is getting stronger each and every day — see you in a few hours!” Trump tweeted ahead of his trip.

The campaign also views Trump’s support for the fossil fuel industry as a plus in the state, which is rich in oil and natural gas, said the campaign aide, who declined to be named. Trump is likely to discuss energy on Monday night.

Trump won the White House in 2016 with electoral votes from traditional Republican-leaning states and some surprise Democratic-leaning ones.

The Trump campaign says it wants New Mexico’s five electoral votes to augment the 306 electoral votes the president received in his first election, not create a separate path for victory. A candidate must get 270 electoral votes nationally to win.

Democrats, who did well in New Mexico during the 2018 mid-term elections, are skeptical.

“Last cycle, Democrats crushed Republicans in New Mexico because voters are fed up with President Trump’s toxic healthcare agenda and broken promises,” said David Bergstein, a communications director for the Democratic National Committee focused on battleground states.

“We take nothing for granted, but this GOP strategy looks like they’re concerned about a realistic pathway to 270 electoral votes,” he added.

Trump won electoral-vote-rich swing states such as Ohio and Florida in 2016, while also picking up Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from Democrats.

The campaign says it is eyeing more pickups in 2020, including Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nevada.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown

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California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions

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California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions

California announced Monday that it has added Iowa to the list of states on its ever-expanding “travel ban” list because of that state’s new prohibition against funding gender-transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The announcement by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra means that as of Oct. 4, California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.

Becerra’s authority came from a 2016 California law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that bars state-funded travel to other states that undercut LGBT rights. The list already included Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

WATCH: LIBERAL POLICIES BLAMED FOR WORSENING CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

Conservatives have called the law ineffective, inconveniencing, possibly unconstitutional and hypocritical. The state’s sports teams have turned to private funding to get around the restrictions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming health care,” Becerra said in a statement. “California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.”

The brouhaha began after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that taxpayers could be forced to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law effectively overriding that ruling two months later.

At the federal level, the Trump administration has disputed the idea that sex-based discrimination prohibitions under law include protections for gender identity. The Health and Human Services Department, in May, angered progressive advocates with rules that both allowed doctors not to perform certain operations and stated that “gender identity” was not protected under sex discrimination law in health care.

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Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

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