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Trump’s campaign against Justice, FBI is working

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On the roster: Trump’s campaign against Justice, FBI is working – I’ll Tell You What: And that’s no bologna – Franken to renounce – ‘Chuck and Nancy’ pass to the White House, take two – Reeking her revenge 

TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST JUSTICE, FBI IS WORKING
 
It would appear that President Trump’s effort to discredit the FBI and the Justice Department amid the investigation into his 2016 campaign is working.

Just 46 p.c of respondents in a brand new CBS News ballot idea that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into “dealings between Trump associates and Russia” is justified, whilst 48 p.c believed the probe to be “politically motivated.”

Why is that? It would appear that many Republicans and Republican-leaning independents merely don’t care if the allegations are true.

Consider that 67 p.c in the similar survey, together with 43 p.c of Republican respondents, imagine “senior Trump advisors had improper dealings with Russia,” and but, simplest part as many GOPers idea the probe was once justified.

You may just see why in staring at Republicans wondering of FBI Director Christopher Wray these days. It would were simple to put out of your mind that Wray was once simplest just lately decided on via Trump himself and showed in August with unanimous toughen of Senate Republicans.

Starting with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Wray discovered himself peppered with questions on corruption and political bias within the company, forcing him to time and again shield the integrity of the brokers who serve below him.

This displays the luck of a two-pronged technique via the White House. While the president’s felony protection crew and reputable spokespeople take a place of believe and cooperation with Mueller, Trump and his out of doors public defenders were waging an all-out campaign against federal legislation enforcement businesses in a tit-for-tat fight with Mueller.

Most successfully, Trump has zeroed in on now not the best way his personal case has been treated, however quite what he says is corruption within the different route and highlighting what Trump says is the cover-up of his 2016 opponent’s felony behavior. 

This is key as it doesn’t require Trump to rely on him and his crew to be in the end cleared within the probe. Rather, it means that all of the device is so shot thru with corruption that it might be unfair to penalize one birthday celebration however now not the opposite.  

A posting to Trump’s Twitter account summed it up well: “Rigged system, or just a double standard?” Either means, Trump’s telling his supporters that they are able to fail to remember Mueller’s findings.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has been a one-man wrecking team in this entrance, bringing consideration to circumstances that recommend political bias within the FBI and Department of Justice. 

He’s been pushing onerous at the tale of the agent who were given yanked off the Trump probe over anti-Trump texts despatched to a female friend ultimate 12 months and these days we discovered the tale of Nunes’ force at the Justice Department over a legal professional who had in the past undisclosed conferences with the pinnacle of a analysis company employed via Democrats to dig grime on Trump.

Both tales have helped Trump’s supporters shift the focal point clear of ultimate week’s revelation that the president’s former nationwide safety adviser was once cooperating with the Mueller probe. As it’s been since we first discovered of the Russian meddling a 12 months in the past, assaults on institutional corruption inside federal legislation enforcement stay the most efficient counteroffensive for the GOP.  

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy is amongst those that have cautioned concerning the risks of conflating political bias with corruption. The argument is that if we settle for the concept people with their very own political beliefs can not examine particular person at the different facet there are many instances that need to be thrown out.

But the crucial now for Republicans is to kick up sufficient mud round federal legislation enforcement businesses to provide some much-needed political conceal. Not simplest do polls display that it’s working, historical past additionally consents. Democrats effectively tarred the probe into corruption within the Clinton White House as a partisan witch hunt.

To make sure that, it’s a part of a bigger development. In 2015, the WSJ/NBC News ballot discovered that 49 p.c of American adults held certain perspectives of the FBI. By this time ultimate 12 months, simply 37 p.c felt the similar means, with 28 p.c going so far as to precise unfavourable perspectives concerning the federal police.

So let’s imagine that the drop in esteem for federal legislation enforcement is simply a part of a bigger development of Americans dropping self assurance in establishments, however there is one thing else occurring right here. Republicans, finally, have normally been those maximum keen to believe police at each and every degree.

Look for this development to accentuate within the New Year as Muller’s probe enters its terminal section. 

THE RULEBOOK: AND HOW! 
“If we mean to be a commercial people, or even to be secure on our Atlantic side, we must endeavor, as soon as possible, to have a navy.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 24

TIME OUT: ‘NO COMPLAINTS’ 
Time: “As the United States marks National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day [today] … annual observances will as soon as once more be sure that Dec. 7, 1941, stays a date that lives in infamy. … As of the 75th anniversary commemorations ultimate 12 months, one estimate discovered that there have been fewer than 1,000,000 dwelling American World War II vets general … survivors who had been in particular provide at Pearl Harbor on that day, that quantity is most probably within the vary of a number of thousand… That’s only one reason Lt. Jim Downing … feels strongly about attending for as a few years as he can. Downing was once 28 on the time of the assault — which makes him probably the most oldest dwelling Pearl Harbor veterans. At the time, Downing was once a member of the Navy … serving at the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor… ‘I’m 104 and I don’t have any lawsuits,’ he instructed TIME, giggling…”

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HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM along with your pointers, feedback or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump internet job-approval score: -20.four issues
Change from one week in the past: down 2.eight issues

[President Trump’s rating is made up our minds via subtracting his reasonable process disapproval score in the 5 most up-to-date, methodologically sound public polls from his reasonable approval score, calculated in the similar style.]

I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: AND THAT’S NO BOLOGNA   
This week Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt speak about the Trump Administration spotting Jerusalem because the Israeli capital, the Alabama Special Election and bologna…? Plus, Chris faces govt shutdown themed trivialities and in finding out why Dana is ‘one of those people’ in the case of giving items. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE

FRANKEN TO RESIGN
Fox News: “Calling it ‘the worst day of his political life,’ Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken mentioned Thursday he’s going to renounce from the U.S. Senate following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against him that ranged from groping to forcibly seeking to kiss ladies. Franken, who mentioned that one of the most lawsuits against him had been ‘simply not true’ and that he recalls others ‘differently,’ additionally took a parting shot at President Trump. ‘There is some irony in the fact that I am leaving office while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,’ he mentioned… About 18 Democratic senators, body of workers and members of the family had been readily available for the announcement. Some sat stone-faced whilst others cried. His body of workers had been coated up at the back of the chamber. Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan was once the one Republican senator provide. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar had been additionally in attendance.”

Minnesota lieutenant governor most probably substitute select – Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is more likely to be Gov. Mark Dayton’s selection to switch Sen. Al Franken if he resigns as anticipated, which might set in movement a cascade of process openings and reshape Minnesota politics. A high-ranking Democratic supply instructed the Star Tribune on Wednesday that Smith, an in depth best friend to Dayton and longtime DFL insider, is his likeliest selection to switch Franken. Under that situation, Smith would function a brief substitute who would now not run for the seat in a November 2018 particular election.”

‘CHUCK AND NANCY’ GO TO THE WHITE HOUSE, TAKE TWO 
Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump is assembly with congressional leaders from each events Thursday to barter on a long-term finances deal as Congress prepares to move a stopgap spending measure to keep away from a U.S. govt shutdown Saturday. The House is anticipated to vote on a two-week spending invoice to stay the federal government open thru Dec. 22, with Senate motion coming via Friday. That measure is supposed to shop for time for Congress and the president to agree on general ranges for protection and non-defense spending for the following two years. Trump mentioned Wednesday shutdown may just occur Saturday as a result of Democratic calls for. House Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi mentioned that Democrats aren’t considering forcing the federal government to near. But she mentioned Thursday that House Republicans must move the stopgap investment with out Democratic votes, calling the invoice a ‘waste of time’ that doesn’t come with investment for preventing the opioid disaster amongst different issues.”

Ryan says Republicans gets to spending cuts subsequent 12 months – WaPo: “House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) mentioned Wednesday that congressional Republicans will goal subsequent 12 months to cut back spending on each federal well being care and anti-poverty techniques, bringing up the wish to scale back America’s deficit. ‘We’re going to need to get again subsequent 12 months at entitlement reform, which is the way you take on the debt and the deficit,’ Ryan mentioned all over an look on Ross Kaminsky’s communicate radio display. ’… Frankly, it’s the well being care entitlements which are the massive drivers of our debt, so we spend extra time at the well being care entitlements — as a result of that’s actually the place the issue lies, fiscally talking.’ Ryan mentioned that he believes he has begun convincing President Trump of their non-public conversations concerning the wish to rein in Medicare, the federal well being program that essentially insures the aged.”

Poll: Independents most commonly dislike GOP tax proposals – 
CBS News: “The Republican tax plan faces opposition from a majority of Americans. Over half disapprove of it – including four in 10 who disapprove strongly, and only one in five Americans expect their own taxes to go down.  Though the plan finds support from Republicans who believe it will help the economy overall, only one-third of Republicans expect their own taxes to go down. Large majorities of all political stripes believe the plan will help corporations and the wealthy, but only one in three believe it will help the middle class.” 

TRUMP JR. MUM ON CALL WITH DAD ABOUT RUSSIA MEETING
WSJ: “President Donald Trump’s eldest son on Wednesday refused to speak about with congressional investigators a father-son dialog previous this 12 months about tips on how to care for fallout from revelations that he met with a Russian legal professional all over the 2016 campaign, consistent with other folks aware of the topic. During the greater than seven-hour consultation with the House Intelligence Committee, Donald Trump Jr. invoked attorney-client privilege when requested for information about a phone dialog he had along with his father after information broke about his assembly with Russian legal professional  Natalia Veselnitskaya, the folks aware of the topic mentioned. The more youthful Mr. Trump has publicly mentioned he met with the legal professional to procure unfavourable knowledge on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Attorneys for each the president and his son had been at the name, which happened someday after a July eight, 2017 New York Times tale concerning the assembly, consistent with the folks aware of the topic.”

Christie claims he was once sacked over Flynn – Politico: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie mentioned Wednesday he was once ousted as head of President Donald Trump’s transition due partly to his opposition to the hiring of Michael Flynn as nationwide safety adviser. ‘I thought it was a significant reason,’ Christie mentioned at an unrelated press convention at his place of job in Trenton. … Christie mentioned it was once transparent those that took over botched the transition, pointing to Flynn’s to blame plea ultimate week to fees of mendacity to the FBI. Christie has lengthy mentioned he had issues concerning the retired three-star Army basic, although he had by no means mentioned precisely why. ‘Suffice to say, I had serious misgivings, which I think have been confirmed by the fact that he pled guilty to a felony in federal court,’ Christie mentioned.”

The Judge’s Ruling: An unobstructed view – Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano explains how the president might be in scorching water: “Obstruction of justice is the interference with a legislation enforcement or judicial continuing for a corrupt objective. Thus, if the president knew of Flynn’s lies to the FBI when he requested [James Comey] to backtrack Flynn, the life of a presidential crime and impeachable offense is dependent upon the president’s frame of mind. If the ‘back off Flynn’ request was once given for the reason that president felt sorry for the overall or as a result of he had concluded that the FBI’s restricted assets could be higher applied discovering terrorists or arresting financial institution robbers, there was once no corrupt reason. But if the reason for the request to Comey was once worry of what beans Flynn may spill … that will be a corrupt reason, and the request could be a criminal offense, in addition to an impeachable offense.” More right here.

‘BE CAUTIOUS’ OF ALABAMA SENATE RACE POLLS
FiveThirtyEight: “Before Election Day ultimate 12 months, we suggested warning… polls aren’t absolute best at even the most efficient of occasions… So what’s our recommendation heading into the Alabama election? Well, it’s the similar — be wary — however for somewhat other causes. A have a look at all U.S. Senate election polls since 1998 displays that their reasonable error… is greater than a share level upper than the typical error in presidential polling. Also, Alabama polls were unstable, this is an off-cycle particular election with difficult-to-predict turnout…So despite the fact that [Roy Moore] is a favourite, Democrat Doug Jones is simply a typical polling error clear of profitable. (Or, via the similar token, Moore may just win conveniently.) … But although Alabama’s particular election had been simply a typical Senate campaign with customary applicants, a lead within the low unmarried digits could be a ways from protected. Simply put, Senate polling has now not been particularly predictive during the last 10 cycles.”

Polls haven’t swayed Ryan – The Hill: “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday reiterated his call for Alabama GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore to drop out of the race over allegations of sexual misconduct, including assault. ‘I think he should have dropped out,’ Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference. ‘Just because the polling has changed doesn’t change my opinion on that, so I stand by what I said before.’”

Moore camp fights again on assault advert, says ‘patently false’ –
 AL.com: “Roy Moore’s campaign calls an ad run by a political action committee opposing him ‘patently false’ and issued cease and desist letters demanding that TV stations stop running it. The PAC, called Highway 31, was formed to support the candidacy of Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones. The ad says, ‘Moore was actually banned from the Gadsden Mall … for soliciting sex from young girls.’ … The Moore campaign says the statement in the Highway 31 ad about ‘soliciting sex’ is a new false allegation. … As for the claim that Moore was banned from the mall because he ‘solicited sex from young girls,’ the Highway 31 PAC cited an article in New American Journal. The article did not name a source for that claim.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY 
Trump pushing Gov. Paul LePage (R) to run against King in Maine Senate race – WaPo

Trump admin asks SupCo to overrule a hard work precedent that is helping unions – WaPo

House passes hid raise gun invoice – Politico

Don’t put out of your mind the soup! An inside of glance of a Sunday for Chris Wallace – Washingtonian

AUDIBLE: L-I-V-I-N 
“I think those are conversations we’re going to have to have. But what have we always said? We don’t ever fear anything. We live our lives.” – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on whether or not the U.S. will ship athletes to South Korea for the Winter Olympics in February. 

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“The only lesson I see being learned from all the sexual harassment allegations in Washington is that people don’t care about it. Republicans did all they could to force President Clinton out and accomplished nothing. Then they acted on their pride and lost a couple Speakers of their own. Now they’ve learned. People don’t care about sexual harassment if it’s their guy. I honestly think Democrats are making a political mistake (not a moral one) by kicking out politicians that would be just fine if they stood up to it. Please don’t get me wrong. As a lifelong Republican this sickens me. But this column is about politics. And all I see is Republicans winning this battle.” – Allen Randal, Las Vegas

[Ed. be aware: That’s no doubt a controversy Democrats were making, together with some brazen few who’ve mentioned so publicly. The argument right here is going that Democrats are needlessly sacrificing their very own whilst Republicans will simply hang the road. They could also be proper in that electorate simply don’t care about sleaze anymore. Or it might be argues, I feel extra persuasively, that Democrats had been merely doing it fallacious ahead of. They by no means, ever will have to have nominated Hillary Clinton. Aside from the most obvious scandals of her personal making, her lively participation in destroying the reputations of the ladies who accused her husband of grievous misdeeds made her uniquely dangerous at prosecuting the case against Trump. I feel Democrats are simplest simply now seeing how nice the fee was once for his or her choice to offer protection to and shield Bill Clinton.] 

“In November, 2016, I held my nose and voted for Trump. On December 12, I am faced with another bad selection, Roy Moore or Doug Jones (I am writing in Luther Strange). I fear when my grandchildren are of age to vote, they will seldom be able to vote for an honest person. Is this what politics in this country will look like for generations to come? Will we be faced again with electing the best of the worst?” – James Douglas, Wetumpka, Ala.

[Ed. be aware: I pay attention you, Mr. Douglas. But I might additionally recommend that in all probability the actual drawback right here isn’t the rottenness of present politicians, however quite the significance they play in our lives. Part of this is the bigger position govt performs, however any other attention is the politicization of EVERYTHING in American existence. Our tradition has traditionally taken quite a dim view of politics and politicians. It fits a republic that holds in suspicion any individual who seeks energy over their fellows. But as our tradition has faltered, we now have positioned expanding inventory within the position of political leaders. The factor is probably not that the politicians have got that a lot worse however quite that we’ve got forgotten to eye them warily sufficient as a species.]  

“Will John Conyers qualify for a hefty congressional pension? Does now not resigning below a cloud disqualify him?” – James Ronan, Lake Wylie, S.C.

[Ed. be aware: Great query, Mr. Ronan! It wouldn’t have mattered climate Conyers had mentioned he was once resigning or retiring or if he had declared himself the shah of Iran. About the one means for a member of Congress to lose his or her pension is to be convicted of sure felonies, usually with regards to public corruption. Conyers, 88, is in line for a $125,000 annual pension (80 p.c of the present pay for a sitting congressman.) In a fascinating wrinkle, Conyers spouse, Monica, who in truth was once convicted of corruption fees and imprisoned for greater than two years for taking bribes as a Detroit councilwoman, might be eligible to proceed receiving after his loss of life. She’s simply 52, so which may be many years of payouts listed to present congressional pay. They may even proceed to be eligible to take part within the federal medical insurance program.]    

Share your colour observation: Email us at
HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please you should definitely come with your title and place of origin.

REEKING HER REVENGE 
KATU: “A package deal thief were given a pungent marvel after messing with the fallacious mother in Hillsboro [Ore.]. The mother, Angie Boliek, instructed KATU she was once bored to death after somebody stole a package deal sporting her son’s Christmas child pajamas. The kid made his personal contributions to her plan for retribution. … When she discovered the package deal was once stolen she were given annoyed. … She taped up a field stuffed with 10 to 15 of her son’s grimy diapers in conjunction with a be aware studying, ‘Enjoy this you thief!’ and left it at the porch Sunday. By Monday night time she mentioned the field was once long gone. How grimy had been the diapers? ‘Well, he’s been ill the ultimate week, so we’ll simply go away it at that,’ Boliek mentioned. … An officer instructed a KATU reporter — whilst giggling — that they don’t have any leads at this level in both the robbery of the pajamas or the No. 2 package deal.”

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this document. Want FOX News Halftime Report for your inbox each day? Sign up right here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based totally in Washington, D.C.

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