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Government watchdog: Trump aide Conway should be fired for political comments

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Trump aide Conway repeatedly violated U.S. law, U.S. investigators find

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaks with the news media after giving an interview to Fox News outside of the White House in Washington, U.S. May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis – RC1B3C864400

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. government watchdog agency on Thursday recommended Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, be fired for repeatedly violating U.S. law with political comments while serving in the White House.

The White House immediately rejected the special counsel office’s ruling.

A statement from the Office of Special Counsel cited Conway’s comments in television interviews and social media posts as violations of the Hatch Act, a 1939 law prohibiting executive branch employees from engaging in some political activities. The president, vice president and certain other senior officials are exempted.

The OSC referred to disparaging comments Conway made about Democratic presidential candidates.

“Given that Ms. Conway is a repeat offender and has shown disregard for the law, OSC recommends that she be removed from federal service,” the statement said.

Conway is one of Trump’s most loyal aides and fiercest defenders and is leading White House efforts on reducing deaths by opioids. Trump likely would be loathe to have her leave the White House right when he is cranking up his re-election campaign.

White House deputy press secretary Steven Groves said the OSC action violated Conway’s constitutional rights to free speech and due process and was pushed by media pressure and liberal organizations.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott

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Emergency aid bill challenges Pelosi’s grip on Democrats

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Emergency aid bill challenges Pelosi’s grip on Democrats

A $4.5 million House bill aimed at providing more funding to migrant families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border is posing a challenge to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grip on her party, as its liberal faction argue that the bill doesn’t go far enough while moderates worry that pushing for perfection will result in inaction at the border.

Calls for more funding at the border come amid reports that children detained entering the U.S. from Mexico are being held under harsh conditions. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News on Monday that the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is dire. Azar said HHS shelters are at capacity and the budget is not there to increase it unless Congress acts.

Customs and Border Protection Chief Operating Officer John Sanders told The Associated Press that Border Patrol stations are holding 15,000 people – more than three times their maximum capacity.

A $4.5 trillion House bill aimed at alleviating circumstances like these is up for a vote Tuesday, but liberal Democrats are calling for provisions to strengthen protections for migrant children, and challenge the Trump administration’s border policies. Democrats met on Capitol Hill with Pelosi late Monday to try and reach a compromise. The meeting reportedly eased some Democratic complaints.

PELOSI TELLS NEW YORK CROWD ‘VIOLATION OF STATUS’ NOT A REASON TO DEPORT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Asked before the meeting about her concerns that Democrats’ push for perfection might result in inaction at the border, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called it “a delicate situation.” Afterward, she appeared to have left the door open saying: “My main goal is to keep kids from dying,” before calling the humanitarian bill a “short-term” measure.”

But others weren’t swayed. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said after the meeting: “We cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system. We are not just asking for simple changes to be made into this bill, but to go back to the drawing board and really address this from a humanitarian issue.”

The White House accused lawmakers in a letter earlier Monday of trying to undermine its efforts at the border, arguing that the House package does provide enough money to toughen border security or funds for Trump’s proposed border wall.

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Congress plans to leave Washington in a few days for a weeklong July 4 recess. While lawmakers don’t want to depart without acting on the legislation for fear of being accused of not responding to humanitarian problems at the border, it seems unlikely that Congress would have time to send a House-Senate compromise to Trump by week’s end.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Laura Ingraham: Media, Democrats, and Pelosi ‘misleading’ on illegal immigration

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Laura Ingraham: Media, Democrats, and Pelosi 'misleading' on illegal immigration

Fox News host Laura Ingraham blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for “using children to get her way” in regards to illegal immigration.

“Note her typical emotional ploy, using children to get her way. Except when she wants their lives ended,” Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle” Monday in response to a clip of Pelosi taking credit for delaying President Trump’s ICE raids.

TRUMP DELAYS PLANNED ICE RAIDS TO SEE IF CONGRESS CAN SOLVE BORDER CRISIS

“When I spoke to the President, I said ‘Look, I’m a mom, I have five kids, seven, nine grandchildren and children are scared,'”Pelosi said Monday in New York.

“No one wants any child ever to be afraid, ever. It is tragic, and it really shouldn’t happen. And kids of American criminals, they suffer here too because of the mistakes of their parents. And parents coming illegally, again tragic but now comes the consequences for the whole family sometimes. Or at least there should be consequences if the rule of law means anything,” Ingraham told her audience.

The host criticized Pelosi for not taking care of American citizens first and use San Francisco as an example.

“Nancy doesn’t need to go far, does she, from San Francisco to see suffering and desperation. We have seen all those stories. Maybe she should focus on fixing that before throwing rocks,” Ingraham said.

Ingraham also blasted Democrats for remaining silent on the issue when former President Obama faced the same accusations.

“But where were the Democrats? Where were their outrage before Trump came into office?” Ingram said before playing a clip of Obama.

“Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they will get sent back, more importantly they may not make it,” President Obama said in 2014 interview with ABC News.

PELOSI FLEXES MUSCLE OVER PARTY IN IMPEACHMENT DEBATE, BUT ‘DAM’ COULD COLLAPSE

Ingraham blasted the media, Democrats and Pelosi for misleading the public.

“Now, do any of you remember Nancy Pelosi firing off angry tweets in demanding a change in Obama policy or criticizing these allegedly inhumane conditions?” Ingraham said.

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“Don’t be deceived by the media coverage where the motive images you are seeing because it happened years ago and the Democrats were silent.”

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Hannity: Democrat 2020 presidential candidates looking to be the ‘most radical’

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Hannity: Democrat 2020 presidential candidates looking to be the 'most radical'

Fox News host Sean Hannity previewed this week’s Democratic primary debate,  calling the Democratic Party “unhinged” and “extreme.”

“2020 Democrats are ramping up their radicalism. They want to be the most radical. Let me be clear, what we’re witnessing from this new extreme socialist Democratic Party, this is beyond socialism even, it is unhinged,” Hannity said on his television show Monday. “It is beyond impractical. It is divisive and destructive to the country.”

‘THE VIEW’ HOST SLAMS MAYOR PETE FOR TOWN HALL PERFORMANCE

Hannity played a multitude of clips highlighting what he felt were the more extreme elements the Democratic presidential candidates were promising and he went after South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg who has been criticized over his handling of a police officer shooting a African-American man, highlighting racial tensions in the city.

“Buttigieg has been a total absentee mayor and a failure,” Hannity said. “He’s hardly ever in South Bend.”

Hannity  warned his viewers the that Democrats have moved even further left and want to take the country in a direction beyond even what the Obama administration had wanted to.

STIREWALT: SANDERS AND WARREN IN A ‘LUNATIC DERBY’

“Instead of sticking to any principles real agenda real policy that will help the forgotten men and women that got destroyed under the Biden-Obama economy, the extreme left now has gone further out to the fringe pandering to every corner of the Democratic Party,” Hannity said.

The host blasted candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for supporting reparations for gay Americans and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., for saying he would meet with controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

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“Of course specifics aren’t a priority for the new radical Democrats and they’re not going to tell us how to pay for anything they’ll say and do anything to try and get elected, to take away every person’s fear with false promises and lies that really are about their power,” Hannity said,

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