The parents of first lady Melania Trump have become citizens, an attorney representing the family confirmed to POLITICO today.
Viktor and Amalija Knavs took the oath of citizenship today in New York City, the attorney said.
The route the couple took to citizenship remains unclear. Michael Wildes, the family’s attorney, has declined to comment on the process, but said in February that they had become permanent residents and were on track to naturalize.
The Knavs’ immigration status has drawn scrutiny amid President Donald Trump’s sustained attack on legal and illegal immigration.
The president in particular has vented about the family-based immigration system, which the administration dubs “chain migration.”
“CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!” Trump tweeted in November after a fatal attack in Manhattan allegedly perpetrated by an Uzbek immigrant. “Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!”
Melania Trump’s own immigration history has raised questions in light of the president’s hard-line views.
Wildes said in a 2016 letter that Melania Trump sponsored herself for a green card as a model of “extraordinary ability” and became a lawful permanent resident in March 2001.
The Associated Press, which first reported on the Knavs’ naturalization, said they arrived and left the ceremony today accompanied by DHS officers.
Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s legal team has responded to the special counsel, the latest effort in ongoing negotiations over a possible interview.
“We have now given him an answer. Obviously, he should take a few days to consider it, but we should get this resolved,” Giuliani said during an interview on the radio show of fellow Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.
“We do not want to run into the November elections. So back up from that, this should be over by September 1,” Giuliani said.
Sekulow confirmed in a statement that the legal team “responded in writing to the latest proposal” from the special counsel, but declined to comment on the substance of the response.
Giuliani had previously told CNN that the team plannedto send its counteroffer to special counsel Robert Mueller regarding a potential interviewon Wednesday.
“It is a good faith attempt to reach an agreement,” Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers on the Russia investigation, told CNN.
The former New York City mayor similarlywould not describe the contents of the counteroffer, except to say that “there is an area where we could agree, if they agree.”
Giuliani wouldn’t say if that area has to do with collusion or obstruction.
The President has previously said that he wants to speak with the special counsel and has insisted there was no collusion or obstruction, while deriding the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
But Trump’s public attacks on the Russia probe have sparked questions over whether his actions could constitute obstruction of justice. Those questions intensified earlier this month when the President calledon Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shut down the investigation, an escalation that Giuliani attempted to downplay as Trump merely expressing an opinion.
The President’s team has sought to limit any potential interview to questions about collusion. But Giuliani told CNNthey would be willing to consider questions relating to any obstruction of justice inquiry as long as they are not “perjury traps,” a phrase favored by the Trump legal team as a way to raise questions about the fairness of the special counsel, though it also speaks to the risks of having the President sit down for an interview.
“For example: ‘What did you say about Flynn?’ ‘Why did you fire Comey?'” They already know our answer,” Giuliani said, referring to former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump abruptly fired in May 2017. The former FBI director later testified to Congress that Trump had pressed him to drop an investigation into Flynn, a claim that Trump has denied.
“If they can show us something in that area that didn’t involve those direct questions, that we don’t consider perjury traps, we would consider it,” Giuliani said, but conceded he “can’t think of what that would be.”
Mueller has indicated to the team that the special counsel wants to ask the President obstruction questions in an interview.
The President’s lawyers had previously offered the special counsel written answers to obstruction questions and limiting the interview to matters before his presidential inauguration, which are largely confined to collusion.
The back and forth over an interview comes as the special counsel investigation faces its first major test in court as Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort stands trial in the Eastern District of Virginia where he is accused of bank fraud, tax evasion and other financial crimes.
Manafort’s case isn’t about the 2016 presidential campaign, but he is the first defendantMueller’s team has taken to trial.
New data from the U.S. Department of Labor published Thursday revealed that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week was the lowest in decades.
“In the week ending February 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 221,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 224,500, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 234,500,” the DOL announced.
Here’s the kicker: “This is the lowest level for this average since March 10, 1973 when it was 222,000.”
Excellent, though just to be clear, the unemployment rate began dropping years ago after the financial crisis of 2007-2008, as seen in the following chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Because of this, Democrats keep trying to attribute America’s current economic boom to former President Barack Obama. But while this might hold true in regard to America’s low unemployment, it doesn’t hold true for other metrics.
“Home ownership: down. Labor force participation: down. Student loans: up. National Debt: up. Health care costs: up. Median family income: flat. People on food stamps: up. Workers’ share of economy: down,” Brad Schaeffer of The Daily Wire pointed out this week, referencing metrics that fell under Obama’s “recovery.”
“These trends do not paint a rosy picture for the working middle class,” he added.
Labor force participation particularly matters in regard to unemployment.
What does it suggest when both the unemployment rate and labor force participation rate drop at the same time as they did during the Obama years?
It suggests that the unemployment rate dropped not because of a change in economic conditions, but because more people dropped out of the labor force pool altogether.
Now take a look at the following labor force participation chart from the BLS:
The labor force participation rate dropped precipitously during Obama’s tenure in the White House. Not until around the time businessman candidate Donald Trump announced his candidacy for office did it begin to tick upward after nearly a decade of trending lower and lower.
Something similar happened with America’s food stamp consumption rate. According to documentation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the number of Americas collecting food stamps ballooned from 28 million in 2008 to 44 million in 2016. Then suddenly in 2017, during Trump’s first year in office, it shrank to 42 million.
In fact, numbers such as these suggest President Donald Trump, not former President Barack Obama, deserves credit for America’s booming economy.
And many economists agree: “A recent survey of economists suggest it is President Trump, and not Obama, who should be taking a bow,” The Hill reported in January, referencing a survey of 68 economists by The Wall Street Journal.
Of the economists surveyed, “A majority said the president had been ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the rising stock market.”
And that’s something everyone should be happy about.
Share this story on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think about this record-low unemployment rate.
Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast for the second time, President Trump stressed the importance of putting God at the center of the country, describing America as a “nation of believers.”
Unlike last year, where President Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment — a provision in the tax code barring churches and nonprofits from endorsing political candidates — the president eschewed political promises in favor of highlighting the importance of faith.
“America is a nation of believers and together we are strengthened by the power of prayer,” Trump said.
The president made reference to America’s God-centered founding, such as the Declaration of Independence referencing God four times. He also noted how our currency boldly declares “In God We Trust” and how our Pledge of Allegiance states, “We are one nation, under God.”
Also referencing the phrase “praise be to God” etched atop the Washington monument, Trump declared, “and those same words are etched in the hearts of people.”
“Our rights are not given to us by men, our rights are given to us from our creator,” he said. “No matter what, no earthly force can take those rights away.”
The president highlighted how “the Lord’s grace” shines in America through acts of service and good deeds. So long as Americans hold firmly to their convictions, Trump said, “our nation can achieve anything at all.”
Then the president shifted to the importance of religious liberty, praising the many Christians, Jews, and “countless Muslims” abroad who have bravely suffered under the persecution of ISIS. He also gave another nod to North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho from his State of the Union address.
“As long as we open our hearts to God’s grace, the land of the free, the home of the brave and the light to all nations,” Trump said, “America will flourish, as long as our liberty, and in particular our religious liberty, is allowed to flourish.”
The keynote speaker that morning was not the president, but rather Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the House Majority Whip, who was hospitalized last year when a crazed leftist opened fire on several GOP lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game. Scalise spoke about how the harrowing incident gave him “renewed faith.”
Move over Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, there’s a new sheriff in town — the U.S. military parade.
Per multiple reports, a plan to showcase the U.S. armed forces in a grand parade down Pennsylvania Avenue is underway at the White House and the Pentagon.
As reported by Politico, President Donald Trump was so impressed with France’s military showcase during last year’s French Bastille Day celebration that he has jockeyed for such an event to take place in the United States.
“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” said a military official speaking on the event. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”
Two officials told the Washington Post that the process of crafting a military parade came after a Jan. 18 meeting at the Pentagon.
White House and Pentagon officials have confirmed that a massive military parade will take place later this year that will showcase the U.S. armed forces,
The Post noted that a military parade is not only a tall order pragmatically, but financially as well.
Shipping military hardware, technology and weaponry to the nation’s capital could cost the government millions, and it is still unclear as to how the event would be paid for.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the news in a statement Tuesday, saying that the president “is incredibly supportive” of the men and women serving in the U.S. military.
“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” Sanders said. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”
And on Tuesday, the Pentagon revealed that the specifics of the parade are currently being worked out.
Back in September, Trump marveled at the military parade that took place during French Bastille Day and praised the spectacle while sitting alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.
“It was military might and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France,” Trump said in September. “And people don’t know what great warriors they are in France, but when you see that and you see all the victories, it was a tremendous thing.”
“To a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July Fourth in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue, if I have your approval,” he added.
The remarks ended with a Trump proposing a little friendly competition.
“I don’t know,” Trump continued as he laughed alongside Macron. “We’re gonna have to try and top it, but we had a lot of planes going over and a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see.”
As noted by Politico, the last American military parade to take place in Washington D.C., occurred in 1991 after the U.S. armed forces defeated the Iraqi army in the Persian Gulf War.
People often like to think about politics in sports terms, as if it’s the closest thing we’ll see to on-field competition in the real world. Even Ted Kennedy, when given a tryout with the Green Bay Packers, said that he was planning to “go into another contact sport, politics.”
(Driving as a contact sport would only come some years later for the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts.)
If you want to speak in sports metaphors, the substitution of Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Sean Spicer is kind of like Lou Gehrig taking over for Wally Pipp on the 1920s Yankees or Kurt Warner replacing the injured Trent Green on the 1999 St. Louis Rams.
Since the change, Sanders has been on a tear, meaning she’s tearing up pretty much every reporter in sight. Whether it was her telling CNN, when asked about Nancy Pelosi’s facial antics at the State of the Union address, that “she looks like that all the time,” or burning Jim Acosta time and time again, she was the perfect choice.
Lest you doubt, take a look at how she managed to deal with American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan in the press room when the question of Trump’s remarks about Democrats sitting during the State of the Union came up.
“They were like death and un-American,” Trump said during a Monday speech in Ohio, according to Independent Journal. “I said you have the lowest black unemployment in the history of our country, it was like…it was a game, you know it’s a game. They play games. They were told don’t even make a facial movement.”
“Un-American. Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much,” Trump said, jokingly.
Ryan brought that up, of course, but also said that the “un-American” part was improper.
“On the next piece, you said, ‘Treasonous was a joke.’ What about un-American? In Washington, over the years with the State of the Union, one side, be it if it’s a Democratic president, the Republicans do,” Ryan asked.
“If it is a Democratic president — you get it. If it is a Democratic president, Republicans say it. If it is a Republican president, Democrats do it. What is so un-American about this this year, after this been going on all these years?”
Sanders scarcely missed a beat. (Scroll down for the video. You’ll be glad you did.)
“I think it is un-American not to be excited about the fact that more people in this country have jobs than they did before,” Sanders said.
“The fact that more people in the country have higher wages than the did before.”
“The fact that the economy is booming like it wasn’t before. The fact that ISIS is being crushed like it wasn’t before.”
“These are things that I don’t care what party you’re from, these are things that every American should be excited about and be able to celebrate.”
Check it out here. It’s classic Sanders in operation.
Perfect. Even at past ceremonies, low black unemployment or the Islamic State group’s decimation would be something to celebrate on both sides. We’ve reached the point where that’s impossible, all thanks to the Democrats. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders eviscerated them.
Like Gehrig for Pipp, like Warner for Green, Sanders came out of the woodwork and has been electric ever since. We salute you, Ms. Sanders. Yet again, press briefings are interesting for the right reasons.
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Donald Trump’s election victory saved the United States from the establishment of an “Orwellian police state” in the hands of Democrats who would have used the same authoritarian tactics “over and over again” to “circumvent the will of the people in future elections,” according to Denzel Washington.
“If the Democrats had won the election, we never would have found out they were using false documents to get warrants to spy on American citizens and political opponents. We never would have known this. Think about it!” said Denzel Washington at a press conference in New York.
“They would have a tool they would use over and over again to circumvent the will of the people in future elections,” said Denzil Washington, who has just been nominated for an Oscar for his film Roman J. Israelm Esq.
The nomination marks the eighth time Washington has been nominated in the best actor category, making him the most-nominated African-American actor of all time.
Asked by a reporter if he was sure the memo released by Congress on Friday was “reliable“, Denzel Washington said, “Hell yeah, it’s reliable. We don’t need to know the nitty gritty to understand exactly what’s happened here.
“We know that a warrant to spy on the Trump team was issued based on media reports, and these media reports were based on information provided by an opposition research firm being paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton.”
“You guys can’t see what is wrong with this? You’re kidding me,” The Equalizer actor said, before adding, “Well I guess you are reporters. How many reporters was it that got caught colluding with the Clinton campaign?”
Addressing the reporters personally, Denzel Washington called them out for refusing to publish anything critical about the Democratic Party.
“I grew up a Democrat. I get it. I know a lot of people who hate Trump with a real passion.”
“But you’ve got to understand that we dodged a bullet when Clinton lost. More than one bullet. We avoided a war with Russia, and we avoided the creation of an Orwellian police state.”
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is available digitally now, with the Blu-ray and DVD hitting shelves Feb. 13.
Vice President Mike Pence also chimed in on Twitter. Pence is from Indiana.
On my way to Alaska. I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Indianapolis @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This was a senseless & avoidable tragedy. This is a great loss for the entire Indiana community. My prayers are with his family in their time of grief. https://t.co/JKkzxakfmE
Trump also tried to raise awareness for one of his big platforms, immigration reform, as more details emerged about the circumstances surrounding Jackson’s death.
So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!
Throughout his term in office, particularly during his final two years, the Islamic Republic of Iran took full advantage of former President Barack Obama’s obvious deference to them in and around the Middle East.
The Iranian fast patrol boats that would routinely harass U.S. Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf and the strategic and narrow Strait of Hormuz, are just one example.
But according to The Wall Street Journal, those harassing activities essentially came to a halt in August of 2017, a move that leftist analysts and experts “baffled.”
Those small Iranian patrol boats, typically armed with mounted .50-caliber machine guns and/or multiple launch rocket systems, would rapidly approach U.S. vessels in international waters and close inwithin shooting distance prior to pulling back once radio calls, flares or warning shots were fired by the harassed ship.
“I hope it’s because we have messaged our readiness,” Army General Joseph Votel told reporters of the cessation of hostile approaches. “It isn’t tolerable or how professional militaries operate.”
The Free Beacon reported that there were approximately 36 such “unsafe” harassing incidents in 2016 and 14 of them occurred in 2017 prior to suddenly stopping in August, a rate of about two incidents per month.
Our readers no doubt recall the most infamous of those incidents which occurred in January of 2016, the day of Obama’s final State of the Union address, in which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps took captive the crews of two U.S. riverine patrol boats and held them for a day, only to release them after Obama’s speech and after they had gleaned as much intelligence as they could from the captured crew and equipment.
But then President Donald Trump took office in January of 2017, and according to Reuters, sent out a not too subtle warning to Iran via Twitter in early February. Trump tweeted that “Iran is playing with fire” and “they don’t appreciate how kind President Obama was to them. Not me!”
Business Insider reported that there were a few more “unsafe” incidents involving swarming Iranian patrol boats through the first part of 2017. Those incidents stopped in August, and there were also other signs that Iran was quietly backing down in the face of Trump’s tough rhetoric and unmistakable commitment to bolstering the pride and strength of the U.S. military.
Indeed, in a change of pace from previous years, Iran test-fired only one medium-range ballistic missile after Trump took office, and appears to have refrained from making any “technical infringements” of the vaunted nuclear deal that Trump has repeatedly threatened to do away with.
Not to mention the much more restrained manner in which the regime dealt with the recent Iranian mass protests as compared to the protests in 2009 which were brutally and murderously put down.
While the media and various analysts and experts wonder aloud why Iran has stopped being as provocative as they were before, Front Page Mag had no problem proclaiming the welcome change as being the result of the “Trump effect.”
Far from how Obama seemingly caved to the Iranians to appease them on a host of issues in a bid to curry favor, Trump has remained steadfast in viewing Iran as an adversary.
His unequivocal support for the military has strengthened the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet stationed in the Gulf, and essentially removed them as a viable target for Iranian harassment going forward, as they fear he might actually retaliate against their provocative actions, a fear they likely never felt under his predecessor.
The mullahs that rule Iran appear to have come to understand that the game changed in 2017 and the new sheriff in town has implemented new rules that aren’t anywhere near as favorable to them as before. The sooner everyone else realizes that too, the better off the world will be.
Share this story on Facebook to let everyone know why Iran isn’t so quick to harass the United States.
What do you think of the Iranians quietly backing down from Trump?
The numbers are in, and President Trump’s State of the Union seems to be sending his numbers through the roof.
A Rasmussen poll taken in the aftermath of President Trump’s State of the Union address has seen a 6 point jump for the president’s approval ratings in the daily tracking poll over the period of just a few days.
Rasmussen reported that 49 percent of likely voters approve of the president vs. 49 percent who disapprove.
“The latest figures include 35 percent who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 38 percent who Strongly Disapprove,” a press release from Rasmussen read. “This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -3.”
These are the highest numbers in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll since March 7 of last year.
His lowest number was 38 percent in August, although he hit 40 percent as recently as Dec. 15.
Rasmussen tends to be among the more right-leaning of the daily tracking polls. Another major daily tracking poll from Gallup is only updated weekly, but showed Trump at 38 percent as of its most recent date, Jan. 28, before the State of the Union. For comparison, Rasmussen was at 43 percent on Jan. 29.
Nevertheless, armed with the Rasmussen poll — as well as a CBS News survey that found 75 percent of those watching the State of the Union agreed with it, including 43 percent of Democrats — the president took to Twitter to celebrate the uptick in the polls.
Rasmussen just announced that my approval rating jumped to 49%, a far better number than I had in winning the Election, and higher than certain “sacred cows.” Other Trump polls are way up also. So why does the media refuse to write this? Oh well, someday!
“Rasmussen just announced that my approval rating jumped to 49%, a far better number than I had in winning the Election, and higher than certain ‘sacred cows,’” the president said, not elaborating on who those sacred cows were.
“Other Trump polls are way up also. So why does the media refuse to write this? Oh well, someday!”
That wasn’t the only good news for the Trump White House from the Rasmussen survey, either.
While taken before the release of the House Intelligence Committee memo, “by a 49 percent to 31 percent margin, voters think a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether the officials handled the investigations of Trump and Hillary Clinton in a legal and unbiased fashion.”
Rasmussen also found that 64 percent “of all voters think Clinton is likely to have broken the law by sending and receiving e-mails containing classified information through a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of State.”
The daily tracking poll is conducted among “500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis” in both telephone and online surveys. The margin of error is 2.5 percent.
Whether or not Trump can see a 6-point jump in other polls remains to be seen, but the fact remains that the president’s State of the Union speech established his bona fides as a communicator. Unfiltered by the media, the president’s agenda seemed to resonate with Americans who had been soured on Trump without actually hearing him. Could this be the start of a major turnaround in the president’s polling fortunes? Only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on President Trump’s State of the Union speech?