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Pence: ‘All options remain on the table’ after nixed Iran strike



Pence: 'All options remain on the table' after nixed Iran strike

Vice President Pence joined National Security Adviser John Bolton in warning Iran not to interpret American military restraint as a sign of weakness and doubled down on the U.S.’ willingness to take necessary action.

Pence made this clear in the aftermath of President Trump’s decision to hold off on a potential strike against Iran in response to the Islamic Republic shooting down an American drone in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.


“All options remain on the table,” Pence said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Pence observed that Iran has been “lashing out even more than they usually do” over the past two months, as the Trump administration has increased sanctions.

In light of this, Trump’s decision not to strike back was met with concern, including from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that Iran will indeed take it as a sign of weakness. Graham tweeted on Friday that he appreciates “the difficult decisions” the president has to make, but said, “when it comes to the Middle East, people rightly talk about the ‘Cost of Action’ but they seldom mention the ‘Cost of Inaction.’”

Graham later tweeted that “in some instances, failing to act can prove to be the most dangerous choice of all.”

Pence does not believe that Iran will view Trump’s decision, which was based on expected casualties that would not have been “proportionate” to the damage done by Iran, as a sign that they can get away with whatever they want.

“They understand the military capabilities of the United States of America,” he said, mentioning how Iran stated that they were considering attacking a manned spy plane, but chose not to.

Pence’s remarks come after National Security Adviser John Bolton made similar statements about Iran during a visit to Israel. Bolton warned Iran not to “mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness,” and said Iran did not have “a hunting license in the Middle East.”

The U.S. has responded to Iranian actions, with Yahoo News reporting an American cyberattack against a spy group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. This was reportedly in response to an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Iran denied responsibility for the tanker attack, but Bolton, Trump, and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., all went on record claiming Iran was behind it.


As Pence noted, the escalating tensions with Iran come as President Trump has increased sanctions against the Islamic nation, in an effort to bring them back to the negotiating table after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Trump believes that the agreement, entered into by President Barack Obama, did not go far enough to ensure that Iran would not develop nuclear weapons.

On Saturday, the president announced that he will impose “major” new sanctions on Iran on Monday.

Pence made it clear that the Trump administration is also willing to take a diplomatic approach.

“We are prepared to talk to Iran without preconditions,” he said. Pence described how sanctions have damaged the Iranian economy and said President Trump wants an outcome to the current situation that will be beneficial for Iranian citizens.

“This is a president who hopes for the best for the people of Iran,” Pence said. At the same time, he said the U.S. “will stand up to the Ayatollahs.”


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




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!”


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.


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




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




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.


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.


Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

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