During an exclusive interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believes that Trump was put on earth by God to help save the Jewish people.
Asked by CBN News if Trump could be like a 2,500-year-old character from the Old Testament that helped save the Jewish people, Pompeo agreed.
“Today’s being Purim, a celebration. Jews worldwide and here in Jerusalem are talking about the fact that Esther 2,500 years ago saved the Jewish people with God’s help from Haman. And now 2,500 years later there’s a new Haman here in the Middle East that wants to eradicate the Jewish people like just like Haman did: the state of Iran. Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?” CBN News asked.
“As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible,” Pompeo replied.
“I am confident that the Lord is at work here,” he added.
President Donald Trump attacked John McCain yet again on Thursday, calling him “horrible” after the late senator’s two daughters urged him earlier that day to leave their father and family alone.
Despite growing calls from Republicans and veterans groups to stop the attacks, the president railed against the late Arizona GOP lawmaker during an interview with Fox Business Network, calling McCain “horrible” for his 2017 vote against a congressional Republican measure to repeal ObamaCare and accused him of handing a dossier of explosive claims about Trump’s ties to Russia to the FBI for “very evil purposes.”
When asked by anchor Maria Bartiromo why he continues to criticize the senator who died seven months ago after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, Trump falsely claimed he was just responding to questions asked by reporters.
“I don’t talk about it,” the president said. “People ask me the question. I didn’t bring this up. You just brought it up. You just asked the question.”
This Trump-Maria Bartiromo exchange on McCain is wild. He calls McCain "horrible."
BARTIROMO: But Mr. President, he's dead, he can't punch back. I know you punch back– TURMP: No. BARTIROMO: –but he's dead. TRUMP: I don't talk about it. People ask me the question. pic.twitter.com/bgdS3sD0el
Trump railed against McCain for 5 full minutes, unprompted, at a campaign-style speech in Ohio on Wednesday, where he complained about not receiving a “thank you” for approving funeral arrangement plans for McCain.
Trump authorized a government airplane to transport McCain’s remains from Arizona to the nation’s capital but the National Cathedral said on Thursday that Trump’s approval was not needed to host the funeral.
Veterans’ groups also expressed outrage on Thursday.
Vietnam Veterans of America National President John Rowan said in a statement Thursday his group is “chagrined” that Trump will not “let a fellow Vietnam veteran rest in peace.”
“This entire dustup is disgraceful, it’s deplorable and it’s destructive,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said on CNN. “It’s bad for our military and veterans community and it’s bad for Donald Trump. This doesn’t help him. I can’t imagine who would support this position, continuing to attack a war hero.”
As President Trump continued to disparage her late husband, Cindy McCain shared a hate-filled message she received from a woman who said she was “glad” the former U.S. senator from Arizona was dead.
McCain took to Twitter to post a screenshot of a private message she received from someone who addressed her using a pejorative and lashed out at both her husband and their daughter.
“Your husband was a traitorous piece of warmongering sh— and I’m glad he’s dead,” the woman wrote. “Hope your Miss Piggy looking daughter chokes to death on the next burger she stuffs down her fat neck too, c–,” the message read.
McCain said she shared the note because “I want to make sure all of you could see how kind and loving a stranger can be.” She allowed the sender’s name to be visible in the screenshot.
“I’m posting her note for her family and friends could see,” McCain wrote.
The Washington National Cathedral on Thursday disputed President Trump’s claim that he had to “approve” the funeral of the late Sen. John McCain (R) after Trump said he did not receive a “thank you” for approving a nice funeral for the late Arizona senator.
“Washington National Cathedral was honored to host the funeral service for Senator John McCain,” a cathedral spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday. “All funerals and memorial services at the Cathedral are organized by the family of the deceased; only a state funeral for a former president involves consultation with government officials.”
“No funeral at the Cathedral requires the approval of the president or any other government official,” he added.
McCain’s funeral was held at the Washington National Cathedral in September.
Trump on Wednesday claimed that he gave McCain “the kind of funeral that he wanted.”
“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president, I had to approve,” he told a crowd at a campaign-style speech in Ohio. “I don’t care about this, I didn’t get ‘thank you’ that’s OK. We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”
President Trump on John McCain: "I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don't care about this. I didn’t get thank you. That's ok. We sent him on the way, but I wasn't a fan of John McCain." pic.twitter.com/hG4XwOiIBO
An assistant principal accused of cornering a transgender student in a bathroom and challenging him to use a urinal to “prove that he was a boy” will be out of his job after at the end of the current school year, reports WOWK-TV.
The board of education in Harrison County, West Virginia, voted unanimously to not renew a probationary contract for Liberty High School Assistant Principal Lee Livengood.
The educator was suspended with pay on Dec. 18 for allegedly storming into the restroom at the school and berating 15-year-old Michael Critchfield.
“He kept asking me why I was in there. [He said] I shouldn’t be in there because I am not a guy, and I told him I am a boy, I identify with this bathroom, and it is my legal right to use this restroom,” the sophomore recalled.
At the end of the confrontation, Livengood reportedly told the teen: “Not gonna lie, you freak me out,” in front of other students, Critchfield said.
The American Civil Liberties Union said 1,100 people signed a petition demanding the board take action.
All board of education staff, including Livengood, will be trained to prevent similar incidents in the future, said Superintendent Mark Manchin.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) admitted that he deliberately exposed his nine children to chickenpox rather than vaccinating them.
“They got the chickenpox on purpose because we found a neighbor that had it and I went and made sure every one of my kids was exposed to it, and they got it. They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine,” Bevin said in an interview Tuesday with Bowling Green talk radio station WKCT.
Last week, a high school senior at Kentucky’s Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy filed a lawsuit accusing the Northern Kentucky Health Department of religious discrimination after he was barred from school because he has not received the chickenpox vaccine.
The chickenpox vaccine is among those required for all children entering kindergarten in Kentucky.
“And I think, why are we forcing kids to get it?” Bevin said in the interview. “If you are worried about your child getting chickenpox or whatever else, vaccinate your child … But for some people, and for some parents, for some reason they choose otherwise. This is America. The federal government should not be forcing this upon people. They just shouldn’t.”
Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician and expert in vaccines and childhood diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in an interview with the Courier Journal that the practice Bevin describes is unsafe.
“We’re no longer living in the 17th century,” he said. “I really recommend to my parents that they vaccinate their children, that they do it in a timely manner, and they recognize they are doing the right thing for their children.”
Philadelphia health officials on Tuesday announced a mumps outbreak at Temple University has increased from 13 to 67 cases.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared Tuesday night that the United States hasn’t been a “very racist country” since the Civil War because we now have a “ton of inter-marriage and even more immigration.”
Carlson, who is currently under fire for making bigoted, sexist and homophobic remarks during shock radio appearances years ago, made the observation while discussing the issue of reparations for American descendants of slavery.
“Because it’s actually not a very racist country, we’ve had a ton of intermarriage, and even more immigration over the 150 years since slavery ended,” Carlson insisted.
As Mediaite notes, “interracial marriage was not fully legal in the United States until the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia.”
Carlson appeared to be making the argument that reparations to the descendants of slaves are unnecessary in a society where racism has been eradicated and where “tons” of interracial marriage is happening.
At one point, Carlson referred to reparations as a “reward,” asking his guest Jason Nichols, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Maryland, “How would you decide who gets rewarded and who doesn’t?”
“Number one I don’t think we should think of it as a reward,” Nichols said. “We should think of it as a debt being paid that has been owed for a long time. The idea of reward or punishment is…”
Carlson cut him off, asking “The money, who gets the money?”
Tucker Carlson: America’s Not Racist Because of Interracial Marriage - YouTube
As the professor tried to explain that reparations would be owed to the descendants of enslaved Africans, Carlson continued to cut him off, asking for “specifics” like “If my ancestors came in 1980, am I on the hook for paying?”
Carlson also asked if reparations could mean an end to affirmative action, but Nichols patiently explained that reparations are meant to address “economic issues that are involved or that came from the institution of slavery,” while “affirmative action and many of the other programs that have been used to address discrimination, a lot of times they are used to address discrimination right now.”
“So let me just be clear, we pay reparations, but we keep affirmative action,” Carlson mused. When Nichols explained that white women have been the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action, Carlson chimed in that “the system has been scammed like no other, nobody should have been a beneficiary,” then attacked Elizabeth Warren.
President Trump on Wednesday resumed his attacks of the late Sen. John McCain, complaining at one point that he “didn’t get a thank you” for giving “him the kind of funeral that he wanted.”
Trump unleashed a five-minute diatribe against McCain, who succumbed to brain cancer last August, during an official White House event intended to highlight manufacturing in Ohio.
“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don’t care about this, I didn’t get a thank you. That’s OK,” Trump told workers at a tank factory in Lima, Ohio, his fourth attack of the late senator in the last five days.
“We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”
Trump complains that John McCain did not come back from the dead to thank him for the nice funeral he held for him pic.twitter.com/6ejtB96axp
During the event Wednesday afternoon, Trump again chastised McCain over his vote in 2017 that helped doom a GOP effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and attacked the Vietnam War veteran over his record on the Iraq War and the military.
“McCain didn’t get the job done for our great vets and the VA,” Trump said. “That’s why when I had my dispute with him I had such incredible support from the vets and on the military.
“We’re in a war in the Middle East that McCain pushed so hard,” he added, referring to the Iraq War.
“Not my kind of guy,” Trump added. “But some people like him and I think that’s great.”
The Chick-fil-A Foundation contributed more than $1.8 million to groups with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, according to newly released 2017 tax filings.
ThinkProgress reports that the foundation, which is almost entirely funded by Chick-fil-A’s corporate treasury, gave “$1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and $150,000 to the Salvation Army,” an increase from their donations to these groups from the previous year.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a religious organization that seeks to spread an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes and requires a strict “sexual purity” policy for its employees that bars any “homosexual acts.” Paul Anderson Youth Home, a “Christian residential home for trouble youth,” teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values.”
The Salvation Army has a long record of opposing legal protections for LGBTQ Americans and at the time of the donations had a written policy of merely complying with local “relevant employment laws.” The organization’s website has since changed to indicate a national policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Chick-fil-A has since said that it will cease donating to the Paul Anderson Youth Home because it “does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all,” but it will continue donating to the two other groups highlighted by ThinkProgress.
Chick-fil-A, which has a rating of zero in the Human Rights Campaign’s Buyers Guide because the company has no pro-LGBTQ workplace policies, publicly opposed same-sex marriage and donated millions to anti-LGBTQ groups before claiming in 2012 that it had “ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.”
In 2015, however, tax returns revealed that the Chick-fil-A foundation had donated more than $1.3 million to the three anti-LGBT groups.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said in a decision issued Tuesday that the Trump administration was wrong to claim last week it could begin to implement a ban on transgender troops, reports The Hill.
In a three-page order, Kollar-Kotelly said her injunction preventing President Trump’s transgender military policy from taking effect remains in place days after the Pentagon released a memo to implement the policy.
Kollar-Kotelly wrote that “defendants were incorrect in claiming that there was no longer an impediment to the military’s implementation of the [transgender policy] in this case.”
Asked whether the order will affect plans to implement the policy on April 12, a Pentagon spokeswoman said the department is “consulting with the Department of Justice on next steps.”
Last week, acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist signed a memo implementing a policy that would ban most transgender people from serving in the military effective April 12.
In Tuesday’s court order, Kollar-Kotelly agreed with plaintiffs in a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, saying the D.C. Circuit Court’s judgment is not final until it issues a mandate after the March 29 deadline passes.
“On October 30, 2017, this court ordered defendants to maintain the status quo as it relates to the accession and retention of transgender individuals in the military. That preliminary injunction remains in place until the D.C. Circuit issues its mandate vacating the preliminary injunction,” she wrote. “Lacking a mandate, defendants remain bound by this court’s preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo.”
The transgender advocacy groups serving as co-counsels in the lawsuit touted Kollar-Kotelly’s order, saying it makes “crystal clear” the Trump administration cannot move forward with the policy.
“The Trump administration cannot circumvent the judicial process just to fast track its baseless, unfair ban on transgender service members,” Jennifer Levi, the director of the Transgender Rights Project of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, said in a statement. “The dedicated transgender troops who show up every day to do their duty and serve their country deserve justice, and that includes requiring this administration to follow the ordinary rules of judicial process.”