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December 10, 2022 1:30 am

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Putin met with Beslan victims mothers – Google Search


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Putin meets Beslan victims’ relatives | News – Al Jazeera

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Sep 2, 2005A group of mothers and other relatives of victims of the Beslan school seizure have held a long-anticipated meeting with Russian President …

Russia: Beslan Mothers Meet Putin At Kremlin

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Sep 2, 2005Vladimir Putin in Beslan after the massacre last year Mothers and other relatives of victims of the Beslan school hostage massacre met with …

Mothers of Beslan victims comment on meeting with Putin

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Michael Novakhov - SharedNewsLinks℠

Европарламент принял резолюцию о признании России страной-спонсором терроризма


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Депутаты Европарламента на заседании 23 ноября приняли резолюцию о признании России страной-спонсором терроризма. Депутаты заявили, что готовят почву для привлечения президента Владимира Путина и его правительства к международному трибуналу.

“Регулярные атаки и зверства, совершаемые Российской Федерацией против гражданского населения Украины, разрушение гражданской инфрастурктуры и другие серьёзные нарушения международного гуманитарного права приравниваются к актам террора против населения Украины и составляют военные преступления”, — говорится в тексте документа.

Россия признаётся в нём страной, использующей методы терроризма во время войны. Страны Евросоюза депутаты призвали разработать новое законодательство, которое позволило бы помещать целые государства в список террористов. Сейчас в террористический список ЕС можно добавлять только организации и отдельных людей.

Депутаты призвали страны Евросоюза организовать поддержку созданию специального трибунала по агрессии России против Украины. Перед голосованием отмечалось, что документ должен стать шагом в судебном преследовании президента России Владимира Путина и его правительства.

Резолюция не обязывает европейские страны к действиям и имеет символическое значение. За неё проголосовали 494 депутата, 44 воздержались, 58 проголосовали против.

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Европарламент принял резолюцию о признании России страной-спонсором терроризма

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Депутаты Европарламента на заседании 23 ноября приняли резолюцию о признании России страной-спонсором терроризма. Депутаты заявили, что готовят почву для привлечения президента Владимира Путина и его правительства к международному трибуналу.

“Регулярные атаки и зверства, совершаемые Российской Федерацией против гражданского населения Украины, разрушение гражданской инфрастурктуры и другие серьёзные нарушения международного гуманитарного права приравниваются к актам террора против населения Украины и составляют военные преступления”, — говорится в тексте документа.

Россия признаётся в нём страной, использующей методы терроризма во время войны. Страны Евросоюза депутаты призвали разработать новое законодательство, которое позволило бы помещать целые государства в список террористов. Сейчас в террористический список ЕС можно добавлять только организации и отдельных людей.

Депутаты призвали страны Евросоюза организовать поддержку созданию специального трибунала по агрессии России против Украины. Перед голосованием отмечалось, что документ должен стать шагом в судебном преследовании президента России Владимира Путина и его правительства.

Резолюция не обязывает европейские страны к действиям и имеет символическое значение. За неё проголосовали 494 депутата, 44 воздержались, 58 проголосовали против.

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Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism — and should be treated that way

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Thus far in the 21st century, any number of terrorist organizations have disgraced the Earth with their unspeakable acts of savagery, including al Qaeda, ISIS and al-Shabaab. Terrorists are usually diffuse groups that are not controlled by an organized government. When a country sponsors repeated acts of international terrorism, it can earn U.S. designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation is the leading terrorist nation of the 21st century and should be officially designated as such.

Putin’s terrorist path began with the brutal subjugation of Chechnya shortly after he assumed power in 1999. He unleashed massive firepower upon civilians for the purpose of terrorizing the population. The objective was to kill so many civilians that Chechen forces would have no alternative but to capitulate. It worked. He later succeeded with the same scorched-earth tactics in Syria as a favor to the Syrian government, which the U.S. has labelled a state sponsor of terrorism. Putin has visited practically every outrage in the war crimes playbook on the Ukrainians in his push to seize their sovereign nation.

The world is familiar with the continual targeting of civilians by Russian forces, including the deliberate attack on the Mariupol theater that killed about 600 people, the July 1 airstrike on a residential area near Odesa that killed at least 21 and a mall attack days earlier in which 19 died. This butchery has been a daily occurrence since the beginning of the Russian onslaught, and it appears to be intensifying. Russia fired twice as many missiles in the second half of June as in the first half.

Russian ground forces routinely engage in criminal activity in occupied areas — rape, theft, murder, torture and the like. When the small city of Bucha was liberated by Ukrainian forces, they found 280 bodies buried in mass graves. Similar atrocities have occurred in other occupied areas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the Russians have “interrogated, detained and forcibly deported” up to 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, including 260,000 children into Russian territory. Putin’s evil words and horrendous misdeeds provide substantial weight to Ukraine’s claims of genocide.

Russia’s “widespread use of weapons that kill, maim and destroy indiscriminately” violates international norms. As a former artillery officer in Vietnam, I’m familiar with cluster munitions, a weapon widely used by Russian forces. These consist of an artillery, missile or bomb canister that bursts in the air, spreading many little bomblets over a wide area. They kill indiscriminately and should never be used in civilian areas. Many of the bomblets do not detonate and can lay on the ground long into the future, waiting to be picked up by a curious child. Because of that, I refused to use them in the Vietnam War.

Russian forces use six types of cluster munitions in Ukraine, both to spread terror and to indiscriminately kill civilians. Most recently, they have used them, along with incendiary devices, to frighten Ukrainian farmers and destroy their grain crops, sabotaging Ukraine’s domestic and export food supplies.

The U.S. is not currently using cluster munitions but should ban their use by our military and call upon Russia to do likewise. To set an example, we should join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. That would give us standing to exert leverage against Russia.

The Biden administration has declared that Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine but seems reluctant to designate the Russian Federation under Putin as a state sponsor of terrorism. However, this issue is not confined just to his country’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. There is Russia’s vicious subjugation of Chechnya, its terrorist acts against Georgia and its scorched-earth hostilities in Syria.

Furthermore, Putin’s war against Ukraine is also a stealth war against NATO nations. A principal reason for his terrorist tactics against Ukraine’s civilians is to drive millions into neighboring NATO nations to strain their economies and weaken their resolve to stand against him. And we should not forget the numerous times Putin and his cronies have threatened Ukraine and NATO nations with nuclear weapons. Nor that Putin often kills his enemies and rivals, both at home and abroad. Putin may have orchestrated the deaths of at least eight foes on foreign soil. The reach of his terrorist activity extends well beyond the borders of the Russian Federation.

A bipartisan group in Congress has been urging the administration to designate the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Resolutions to that effect are currently pending in both Houses. Four countries – Syria, Iran, North Korea and Cuba – currently have that unenviable distinction. All of them are treasured soulmates of the Russian despot.

US democracy just dodged a bullet Climate change is a conservative issue

Russia’s qualifications are clearly comparable, at the very least, to those of these cutthroat regimes. A country should not be exempt from the designation merely because it has large oil reserves and an extensive nuclear arsenal.

The terrorist designation would further tighten economic restrictions on Russia, prohibit a broad range of dual-use exports and require the U.S. to take economic action against countries continuing to do business with Russia. More than anything, it would be a well-deserved recognition of the pariah status that Putin has earned for himself and his country. After all, he is the leading terrorist of the 21st century.

Jim Jones is a Vietnam combat veteran who served eight years as Idaho attorney general (1983-1991) and 12 years as a justice on the Idaho Supreme Court (2005-2017). He is a regular contributor to The Hill.

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Putin is the Terrorist In Chief and is personally responsible for the various terrorist activities around the world carried out at his orders, he sees them as the convenient geopolitical tools – Google Search


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PUTIN’S ASYMMETRIC ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY IN …

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PUTIN’S ASYMMETRIC ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY IN RUSSIA AND EUROPE: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY.

Psychology of Terrorism – Office of Justice Programs

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Our objectives were to explore what questions pertaining to terrorist groups and behavior had been asked by social science researchers; to identify the main.

Russia’s Counterproductive Counterterrorism | CSCE

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How New York City Became a Free-for-All of Unlicensed Weed

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Shops selling weed have proliferated since the state legalized cannabis last year, thriving in confusion over their legality and a lack of enforcement.

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A shop sign reads “Smoker’s World” next to another shop that has a sign that reads “99 cents Pizza.”

Scores of shops claiming to sell cannabis have sprung up throughout New York State over the last year following the legalization of recreational use. Credit…Evelyn Freja for The New York Times

Ashley Southall

By Ashley Southall

Ashley Southall is the city cannabis correspondent.

Nov. 23, 2022, 5:00 a.m. ET

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Austin Garza, a tourist from Dallas, stopped by the flagship store of Weed World Candies in Midtown Manhattan and bought two pre-rolled joints.

Outside, he opened a yellow tube labeled Super Silver Haze. He took out a joint to smoke and offered puffs to passers-by, three of whom obliged.

The store opened in 2019 and had been an outlier among the pizza parlors, novelty shops and officer towers on 7th Avenue between Times Square and Penn Station. But in recent months, several more smoke shops and dispensaries have sprung up on the same strip, illegally selling cannabis products to tourists, city dwellers and commuters.

The sleek dispensaries and tacky bodegas are part of an explosion of unlicensed cannabis shops that have opened in New York over the past year as part of a rush to cash in on the state’s legalization of cannabis before the rules could be set.

Now on the eve of the launch of the state’s legal market, the authorities face growing pressure to address the shops, which have created confusion among everyone from tourists to police officers.

State regulators and some industry insiders have called for the shops to be shut down for fear they undermine the legal market. But supporters of the shops say they are employing people and serving a clientele left waiting for legal retail locations that have been slow to launch. New York legalized cannabis for adult recreational use last year in March.

In the city, the Adams administration has been reluctant to treat the illegal shops with a heavy hand. Kayla Mamelak, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said the city sheriff’s office, a small civil law enforcement agency, has conducted hundreds of business inspections, during which deputies confiscated illegal products, issued fines and made arrests. “Mayor Adams has been clear that no illegal business operations should be tolerated,” she said.

Without a significant change in the landscape, licensed cannabis retailers will be forced into competition with unlicensed sellers.Credit…Evelyn Freja for The New York Times

City authorities have sought to avoid stirring memories of the war on drugs with widespread arrests, said Jeffrey Hoffman, a cannabis lawyer and legalization activist.

“We’ve hit the reset button,” Mr. Hoffman said. “The issue just became how long they were going to let it go.”

State cannabis regulators issued the first retail licenses on Monday, allowing 36 businesses and nonprofits to open dispensaries serving adults 21 and older. State officials have said they hope to have the first retail sales underway by the end of the year.

Without a significant change in the landscape, they will be forced into competition with unlicensed sellers who already have a foothold in the market and can offer lower prices because they do not pay cannabis sales taxes or comply with state regulations.

Since legalization, cannabis shops have surfaced nearly everywhere: two blocks from a police precinct station house in Long Island City, across an intersection from a middle school in Harlem and on top of a subway station in Williamsburg, for example.

Regulators said they were tracking the shops across the state, but refused to estimate how many exist. Industry observers say they appear to number in the hundreds.

“Everybody’s doing what they got to do to get in the market,” Mel Rivera explained from behind the counter at Smoker’s World, which opened in February in Midtown, and sells cannabis edibles and joints, among tobacco and hookahs.

At Weed World, a large acrylic sign advertises strains of indicas and sativas whose quirky names are written in neon colors, along with the letters “THC,” shorthand for tetrahydrocannabinol, the intoxicating compound in cannabis.

However, the owner, Bilal Muhammad, maintains that his business, unlike some newcomers, has only ever sold products made with cannabidiol, or CBD, which comes from the same plant as THC but does not get consumers high, he said.

Yet, CBD and THC both require separate licenses to sell, and Weed World had neither, Mr. Muhammad said. But he criticized the authorities for lumping his company in with sellers hawking potent THC products.

Over the summer, the city seized more than a dozen of his colorfully distinctive trucks. But most of the vehicles were returned after he made arrangements to pay down $670,000 in fines for parking and health code violations, according to Mr. Muhammad. The trucks are in storage in New Jersey, he said.

Smoke shops are not the only places that have popped up selling cannabis. State regulators have also cited a tattoo parlor, an opera house and a beauty salon.

But the smoke shops are particularly concerning, regulators have said, because they give consumers the impression that they are legitimate when in reality they are operating without official oversight.

The owner of Weed World has said that he only sells products with cannabidiol, or CBD. Credit…Evelyn Freja for The New York Times

New York requires all weed sold in the state to have been grown, processed and tested within its borders, a supply chain known as seed-to-sale. But most weed shops in the city sell products in packaging with a California stamp, and some also offer illegal drugs as well as candies and elixirs made with psychedelic mushrooms.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, wrote a letter to Mayor Eric Adams in September expressing concern after more than two dozen unlicensed shops opened on the west side of his district.

“I can’t tell my constituents that these products are safe, or they’re not being sold to minors, or that the strength of the cannabis — for example, when it comes to gummies — is as advertised,” Mr. Hoylman said in an interview.

On top of that, he added, the shops undermine lawmakers’ intention to prioritize people convicted of marijuana offenses for opportunities in the cannabis industry. The illegal shops also skirt taxes that are meant to fund addiction services, education and reinvestment in communities where enforcement was concentrated.

Violence is another concern. The shops, which often keep large amounts of cash on hand, have been targets of robberies and burglaries, which have sometimes escalated to shootings and stabbings.

Julia Deviatkina closed Freaky Dog, a smoking lounge in Brooklyn, after the state published her name and address in a cease-and-desist letter.

“It was unsafe,” she said.

With all of the problems surrounding unregulated cannabis, regulators and some lawmakers have pushed for weed shops to be shut down. But Paula Collins, a lawyer who represents smoke shop and convenience store owners who sell cannabis, said that would be a mistake.

“We have all these shops popping up, everybody’s concerned, and at the same time, we’re missing out on all of this good tax revenue,” said Paula Collins, a lawyer who represents smoke shop and convenience store owners who sell cannabis.Credit…Evelyn Freja for The New York Times

Closing stores would mean layoffs for thousands of workers, many of whom are people of color, she said. And it would unfairly punish owners who have helped to normalize cannabis and buoy the state’s struggling commercial real estate market, she added.

Instead of cracking down on the shops, Ms. Collins said the state should try legitimizing them.

“We have all these shops popping up, everybody’s concerned, and at the same time, we’re missing out on all of this good tax revenue,” she said.

State lawmakers have said they aim to absorb the illegal market into the regulated industry. But regulators have bluntly and repeatedly warned that all unlicensed cannabis sales are illegal, no matter if the cannabis product is gifted following a “donation,” or if the exchange is couched with the purchase of a membership or service.

But some businesses shrugged off the warnings, citing what they perceive as gray areas in the law and a lack of enforcement.

The Empire Cannabis Club, a nonprofit based in New York City and co-owned by a family whose father and a son have served time in prison for marijuana offenses, describes itself as a concierge service that acquires cannabis on behalf of its members, who pay a monthly fee.

Steve Zissou, Empire’s lawyer, said the business model is based on provisions in the legalization law that he interprets as permitting social clubs.

“It’s a legitimate outfit set up under the law as it exists,” Mr. Zissou said. “Don’t you think if they could shut it down, that they would’ve already?”

The city has said a lack of legal clarity has prevented it from going after shops selling weed and called for amendments to the cannabis law.

Mayor Adams, asked about stores at an unrelated news conference last month, said the city’s hands were tied because the law had not caught up to reality. “A police officer can’t just walk in and conduct an apprehension, or an arrest, or confiscate the item,” he added. “There’s a process.”

The Police Department explained in an email to The Times that, in its view, the legalization law does not give officers the authority to make seizures or arrests when they see cannabis displayed for sale or to shut down unlicensed shops.

“The law only provides an enforcement mechanism if an actual sale is observed,” its public-information office said.

Chris Alexander, the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, said that is a common misapprehension among local law enforcement that has surprised him with its endurance.

State law makes it a crime to possess more than three ounces of cannabis or to sell any amount of it. Punishments range from $125 fines to 15-year prison sentences. And some of the same municipal regulations that allowed the city to go after trucks, such as those governing the sale of food, smoking products and worker protections, can be used against storefronts, Mr. Alexander said.

“I think that education has taken more time than I thought it would,” he said, acknowledging that the authorities needed time to adjust to such a major policy shift.

“For an average beat cop who knows that we legalized, he sees stuff happening and he’s like, ‘Well, I don’t know if that’s regulated or not but I know they legalized, so I think that there is less of a role for me,’” Mr. Alexander said. “What we are constantly communicating is ‘no, you still have to help us protect this thing that we’re building’.”

The winds may be changing. Police and sheriff’s deputies conducted raids earlier this month at a cannabis dispensary in Bay Ridge and a smoke shop in Greenwich Village. Investigators arrested one man on felony cannabis possession charges, seized over 200 pounds of illegal tobacco and weed, and levied $8,000 in fines, Sheriff Anthony Miranda’s office said.

“This is a danger to the community,” he told Loud Labs NYC, a local news outfit. He added, “nobody really wants that in their neighborhood.”

But Lance Lazzaro, a criminal defense lawyer, said that his experience handling three similar cases made him confident the charges would be dismissed in court.

“It’s marijuana,” he said. “It’s not the crime of the century.”

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New York City Rat Action Plan – Google Search


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Mayor Adams Signs Legislation to Fight Rats, Build Cleaner City

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City Council passes ‘Rat Action Plan’ – Spectrum News NY1

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Oct 27, 2022In order to combat New York City’s rising rodent problem, the City Council passed a “Rat Action Plan” Thursday.
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NYC officials hope to send the rats packing as Mayor Adams …

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5 days agoMayor Eric Adams signed legislation known as the ‘Rat Action Plan‘ at the sanitation department in SoHo Friday as the next step in …
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Fauci makes final appearance in White House briefing room

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Chief medical adviser to the president Anthony Fauci made his final appearance in the White House briefing room Tuesday as he retires from government.

“I’ll let other people judge the value or not of my accomplishments, but what I would like people to remember about what I’ve done, is that every day, for all of those years, I’ve given it everything that I have and I’ve never left anything on the field,” Fauci said of his legacy.

“So if they want to remember me, whether they judge rightly or wrongly what I’ve done, I gave it all I got for many decades,” Fauci said. 

The longtime health official has worked under seven presidents, serving 54 years with the National Institutes of Health and 38 years as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. But he surged to popularity as one of the leaders of the pandemic response during the Trump administration.

However, his guidance on masks and vaccines has drawn criticism and attacks from conservative lawmakers and officials including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who he frequently sparred with during Senate hearings.

Fauci said COVID-19 is “really, really very important” but called the pandemic “a fragment” of his work in the health space. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lauded Fauci for his leadership in the medical field for decades before she welcomed him to join her “one more time at the podium.”

“For so many Americans throughout our fight with COVID, Dr. Fauci has been a source of information and facts, but Dr. Fauci’s leadership and legacy stretch far beyond the past couple of years,” Jean-Pierre.

“Whether it be HIV AIDS, Ebola or COVID-19, for close to four decades, and under seven Republican and Democratic presidents, Dr. Fauci has always led with the science, and our country is stronger and healthier because of his leadership,” Jean-Pierre said.

Fauci announced earlier this year that he would step down from his position by the end of President Biden’s time in office, but was quick to clarify that he was only retreating from his government role to “pursue the next chapter” in his career. 

“Hard to follow Dr. Fauci, who I would argue has been the most important consequential public servant in the United States in the last half century and a leader and a role model for so many,” said White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha after Fauci stepped away from the podium. “Tony, thank you.”

Fauci reflected on the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, deriding the “divisiveness” that has plagued the pandemic response.

“As a physician, it pains me, because I don’t want to see anybody get infected. I don’t want to see anybody hospitalized. And I don’t want to see anybody die from COVID,” Fauci said.

“Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, doesn’t make any difference to me. I look upon it the same way as I did in the emergency room in the middle of New York City, when I was taking care of everybody that was coming in off the street.”

In his final message from the briefing room, he also urged Americans to get vaccinated and boosted.

“My message, and my final message, maybe the final message I get from this podium, is that please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” Fauci said.

But Fauci may not be able to get far from government in 2023 when Republicans officially take over the House.

GOP lawmakers have promised to investigate Fauci over the country’s COVID-19 response as they ramp up plans to probe the U.S.-Mexico border, allegations against Hunter Biden and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Paul vowed earlier this year to subpoena Fauci’s records if Republicans recaptured the Senate majority. Fauci said he wasn’t relieved that the party failed to take the upper chamber in the midterms because he’d be fine testifying about his actions before Congress.

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Fauci back in August dismissed suggestions that the Republican threats influenced his decision to step away from government.

“I have nothing to hide at all, despite the accusations that I’m hiding something. I have nothing that I could not explain clearly to the country and justify,” Fauci told The Hill’s “In The Know” last week.

Updated 2:43 p.m.

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GOOD RIDDANCE! He should have resigned a long time ago, due to his inability to understand the complexities of the modern epidemics, the roles of media, & the deliberate, man made factors. #Fauci Fauci makes final appearance in White House briefing room thehill.com/homenews/admin…

GOOD RIDDANCE!

He should have resigned a long time ago, due to his inability to understand the complexities of the modern epidemics, the roles of media, & the deliberate, man made factors.

#Fauci

Fauci makes final appearance in White House briefing room thehill.com/homenews/admin…

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Barr warns Trump ‘will burn the whole house down,’ calls for new GOP leader

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Former Attorney General William Bar on Monday called for a new leader of the Republican Party, warning in a blistering rebuke that former President Trump “will burn the whole house down.”

“Unless the rest of the party goes along with him, he will burn the whole house down by leading ‘his people’ out of the GOP,” Barr said in a scathing op-ed published in the New York Post on Monday. 

“Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle, but on his own supreme narcissism,” he added. “His egoism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself — a cult of personality.”

Barr’s comments follow the 2022 midterm elections, where Republicans were expected to see a “red wave” in the House, taking control of the chamber by a wide margin. Some polls before the midterms also showed that Republicans had a good chance of capturing the Senate.

However, Democrats kept control of the Senate, and while the GOP did gain control of the House, the final margin was significantly smaller than anticipated.

Several high-profile candidates who were endorsed by Trump, including Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters (R) and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz (R), lost to their Democratic opponents.

Barr has become a frequent critic of his former boss since leaving Trump’s administration in December 2020. He resigned as attorney general after contradicting Trump’s unsupported claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 election.

Barr has also separated himself from Trump and the rest of the GOP on the subject of the Mar-a-Lago documents case.

Barr has consistently rejected Trump’s claims about classified and sensitive documents recovered after the FBI executed a search warrant of the Palm Beach, Fla., residence.

The former attorney general has said he is “skeptical” of Trump’s claims that he declassified the documents. Barr said that there was “no justification” for taking the documents from the White House and criticized a court’s decision to appoint a special master in the case.

In an interview on Friday, Barr added that the Justice Department likely has a “basis for legitimately indicting” Trump over his handling of the sensitive documents.

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In his op-ed published Monday, Barr acknowledged the Trump administration’s “substantive achievements,” but said he believes it’s “time for new leadership.” 

“It is painfully clear from his track record in both the 2020 election and the 2022 midterms that Donald Trump is neither capable of forging this winning coalition nor delivering the decisive and durable victory required,” Barr said. 

“Indeed, among the current crop of potential nominees, Trump is the person least able to unite the party and the one most likely to lose the general election,” he added.