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Biden tells Black voters Trump wanted to tear gas them during ‘peaceful’ George Floyd protests

President Biden, while drumming up support from Black voters in Philadelphia on Wednesday, said former President Trump wanted to tear gas those who "peacefully protested" George Floyd’s murder in 2020.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris appeared at Girard College, a predominantly Black boarding school in Philadelphia, thanking Black voters for helping to clinch presidential victory in November 2020.

During his speech, the president focused on items that his administration worked on to better the lives of Black voters, including the elimination of lead pipes for safer drinking water; the removal of pollution near fenceline communities; affordable high-speed internet; and the protection of the Affordable Health Care Act.

"A promise made, and a promise kept," Biden said.

2024 REMATCH: TRUMP AIMS TO EXPAND THE MAP IN HIS BATTLE WITH BIDEN

As he made his pitch to the room, Biden pulled no punches toward his chief opponent in the presidential election.

Biden told the crowd that Trump called Jan. 6 rioters patriots and that he wants to pardon every one of them.

"Let me ask you: What do you think [Trump] would have done on Jan. 6, if Black Americans had stormed [the Capitol]," Biden asked. "I don’t think he’d be talking about pardons. This is the same guy who wanted to tear gas you as you peacefully protested George Floyd’s murder."

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital.

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In May 2020, public protests and demonstrations in Philadelphia in response to the death of Floyd and against alleged police brutality started out as peaceful assemblies before turning violent.

The violence involved defacing an iconic statue of famed former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, demonstrators climbing atop glass fixtures near the SEPTA subway entrance, and at least a dozen storefronts along the popular Chestnut and Walnut street corridors getting looted or defaced.

Several Philadelphia Police Department vehicles were reportedly set ablaze in the vicinity — as well as a Pennsylvania State Police cruiser — and a Starbucks was seen engulfed in flames on Dilworth Plaza, which sits along the west rampart of City Hall.

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Police officers ultimately equipped themselves in riot gear before reportedly confronting a crowd near the Municipal Services Building at 16th and Arch streets. The officers were said to have pressed the crowd back as they threw projectiles, and tried to push through the police line by using a fence.

As a result of the initial night of protests, over a dozen police officers were injured and a mandatory curfew was put in place.

The White House did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital seeking clarification on Biden’s remarks about the protests being peaceful.

Protests and riots broke out across the nation in the spring and summer of 2020, after Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis police custody.

Fox News Digital's Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

2024/05/29 21:06

Kansas Gov. Kelly to call special legislative session over tax cuts

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced Wednesday that she will call a special legislative session on tax cuts beginning June 18.

The move comes after the Democratic governor vetoed three Republican plans to cut taxes this year, setting up a high-stakes election-year tussle with the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature.

"I am committed to working with the Legislature to deliver responsible, sustainable tax cuts for all Kansans," Kelly said in a statement. "A special session provides the opportunity for bipartisan collaboration on comprehensive tax relief that does not threaten Kansas’ solid fiscal foundation. By working together, we can swiftly come to a compromise to put more money back into Kansans’ pockets."

KANSAS BILL CRACKING DOWN ON FOREIGN LAND OWNERSHIP VETOED BY DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR

Lawmakers this month sent Kelly a proposal to cut income, sales and property taxes by a total of $1.45 billion or more over three years. She vetoed the measure after the Legislature adjourned, blocking lawmakers from attempting to override her.

Kelly and Republican leaders have agreed on eliminating state income taxes on retirees’ Social Security benefits, which kick in when they earn $75,000 a year. They also agree on reducing a state property tax for schools and eliminating the state’s already set-to-expire 2% sales tax on groceries six months early, on July 1.

But almost half of the cuts in the latest bill were tied to changes in the personal income tax. The state’s highest tax rate would have been 5.57%, instead of the current 5.7%.

GOP leaders have grown increasingly frustrated as they’ve made what they see as major concessions, including giving up on moving Kansas from three personal income tax rates to one.

All 40 Senate seats and 125 House seats are on the ballot in this year’s elections, and Democrats hope to break the Republican supermajorities in both chambers. Both parties believe voters will be upset if there is no broad tax relief after surplus funds piled up in the state’s coffers.

2024/05/29 18:11

Trump urges Judge Merchan to 'save his reputation' by dismissing trial

Judge Juan Merchan can "save his reputation" if he dismisses the NY v. Trump case, former President Donald Trump said Wednesday in remarks outside the Manhattan courtroom. 

"The confusion is nobody knows what the crime is because there's no crime. Nobody knows what the crime is. The D.A. didn't name the crime of the moment. They don't know what the crime is. That's what the problem is. It's a disgrace. This thing ought to be ended immediately. The judge ought to end it and save his reputation," Trump said Wednesday evening. 

Trump's comments came after jury deliberations began Wednesday. 

Since those deliberations began, the jury has sent Merchan two notes, including asking to rehear his instructions. In New York criminal cases, juries are not allowed to receive copies of jury instructions or witness transcripts. 

TRUMP SAYS JUDGE MERCHAN HAS WAY TO GAIN BACK ‘RESPECT’ DESPITE PRESIDING OVER ‘WITCH HUNT’ TRIAL

Trump is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors worked to prove that Trump falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to quiet her claims of an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. 

"The judge, who, as you know, is very conflicted and corrupt. Because of the confliction, very, very corrupt. Mother Teresa could not beat these charges. These charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged," Trump said late Wednesday morning as jury deliberations kicked off. 

COHEN'S BOMBSHELL ADMISSION COULD LEAD TO HUNG JURY, IF NOT ACQUITTAL: EXPERT

"The whole country is a mess, between the borders and fake elections, and you have a trial like this where the judge is so conflicted, he can't breathe. He's got to do his job. … it's a disgrace. And I mean that, Mother Teresa could not beat those charges. But we'll see. We'll see how we do." 

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN ADMITS TO STEALING TENS OF THOUSANDS FROM FORMER PRESIDENT'S BUSINESS

Trump has repeatedly called on Merchan to recuse himself as well as dismiss the case, including last week when he said Merchan could "gain back respect" if he dismissed the case. 

NY V. TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE'S CONSIDERING CONGRESSIONAL RUN

"This case should be dropped by the judge. I think the judge, if he did, that… could gain the respect back. The appellate court has to step in, something has to happen. Think of it, the Republican Party, one of the two great parties, nominates somebody to be their candidate. And that candidate now has been sitting here for almost five weeks in a freezing cold icebox listening to this stuff," Trump said May 20. 

Court will continue on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., when Merchan will again address jury instructions, followed by the jury resuming deliberations.

2024/05/29 18:03

Trump son-in-law Michael Boulos meets with dozens of Arab leaders in an effort to curry favor

Around 40 Arab-American leaders in the key swing state of Michigan came together with two top Trumpworld figures as the presumptive Republican nominee and President Biden both seek its delegate prize in November.

The Trump campaign told Fox News Digital the meet-up — which featured Michael Boulos and former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell — was not organized by the campaign.

Boulos, son of Lebanese billionaire Massad Boulos, is married to Tiffany Trump. The elder Boulos was also in attendance, according to published reports.

The meeting took place at an Italian restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Troy, according to the Detroit Free Press, which counted Syrian-American physician Dr. Yahya Basha among its attendees. 

Basha voted for Biden, donated to his 2020 bid and kept a photo of him in his office, but last week he helped organize Boulos and Grenell’s dinner instead, according to the paper, which quoted him as calling the meeting "positive" and a "first step in the right direction."

Another attendee said Trump’s "Abraham Accords" Mideast peace deal was a noted topic of conversation and well-received by the group.

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When asked about the meeting, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign said that although it was not an official event, they will continue to communicate to Arab-American voters about Trump’s successes in the Middle East and policies that "brought that region historic levels of peace and stability."

"We understand supporters of President Trump had a meeting in Michigan. While the meeting was not requested on behalf of the campaign, we share the belief that Biden's failed Middle East policies have brought death, chaos and war to the region," Brian Hughes, the campaign representative, told Fox News Digital.

"That failure led tens of thousands of Democrats to vote 'uncommitted' in Michigan's recent primary."

Reports of another meeting on May 17 between Arab American groups and Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Foggy Bottom "wasn’t positive," according to the Detroit paper.

In a statement about the meeting obtained by New York City broadcaster NY1, Biden campaign rapid response director Ammar Moussa called Trump the biggest threat to the Muslim and Arab community."

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Moussa told the outlet Biden, by contrast, is "working tirelessly towards a just and lasting peace."

Biden's conundrum in Michigan was described earlier this year by Rep. Hillary Scholten, D-Mich., to Politico as "an impossible situation," as the president tries to balance seeking support from moderate and union Democrats while not alienating progressives and the state's large Muslim and Arab populations.

His headwinds from flipping the state back to the Democrats’ column in 2020 have been buffeted as of late by the more than 100,000 Democratic voters who voted "uncommitted" in the party’s February primary.

The president has been criticized by the state’s sizable Muslim population over his handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, as prominent Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — who is of Palestinian descent — branded him an "enabler of genocide" over the matter.

Fox News Digital reached out to the Biden campaign for official comment for purposes of this story.

Trump, meanwhile, seeks to win back the support of the Great Lakes state, a feat he accomplished in 2016 when he became the first Republican since George H.W. Bush to do so.

2024/05/29 17:55

Rafah offensive by Israel didn't cross Biden's 'red line,' White House says

White House officials told reporters that Israel’s airstrike on Rafah on Sunday that killed two senior Hamas terrorist leaders and dozens of civilians does not violate President Biden’s "red line," mainly because the strike did not represent a major ground operation.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby addressed reporters during a White House press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, during which time he was asked a barrage of questions about the attack on the southern Gazan city of Rafah, and when the U.S. will change its stance on Israel’s attacks.

Israel conducted an airstrike on a Hamas compound in Rafah on Sunday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed.

One reporter asked Kirby about the attack, which struck an encampment in a densely populated area.

ISRAELI TANKS ROLL INTO CENTRAL RAFAH FOR FIRST TIME IN GAZA WAR

Kirby told the reporter the whole area of Rafah is densely populated and that a million people had evacuated the area.

The reporter asked how the strike did not violate a "red line" laid out by the president.

"We don’t want to see a major ground operation," Kirby said. "We haven’t seen that at this point."

Kirby continued to say the White House does not want to see a single innocent life taken.

NETANYAHU RESPONDS TO STRIKE THAT KILLED HAMAS TERROR LEADERS, CIVILIANS: ‘INVESTIGATING THE INCIDENT’

Reporters continued to press Kirby on the matter, asking if Biden had a personal limit that needed to be reached before stepping in or changing his stance.

"The president has been very clear and very direct about what our expectations are for Israeli operations in Rafah specifically, but in Gaza…we don’t support, we won’t support a major ground operation in Rafah," Kirby said. "And, we’ve been very consistent on that, and the president said that should that occur, then it might make him have to make different decisions in terms of support. We haven’t seen that happen at this point."

Kirby explained that a major ground operation involved tens of thousands of troops or thousands of troops moving in a coordinated set of maneuvers against a wide variety of targets on the ground, "in a massive way."

ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE ON RAFAH KILLS 2 TOP HAMAS COMMANDERS, DOZENS OF CIVILIANS 

U.S. officials have not seen Israeli troops move in that way, according to Kirby.

He called the events on Sunday a "very tragic" airstrike, and it was not the first in recent days or weeks.

"Nobody was asking me about red lines a week or so ago when there were other airstrikes in Rafah that didn’t cause civilian casualties," Kirby said. "This is an airstrike. It’s not a major ground operation. It’s different. Now, again, we’re not taking anything at face value, either. We’re not on the ground."

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., was asked on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" on Wednesday whether Israel had crossed the U.S. "red line" for future weapons support following the strike in Rafah.

BIDENN'S HOLD ON ISRAEL WEAPONS SHIPMENT STUNS RETIRED US GENERAL: ‘THIS IS A TURNING POINT’

Fetterman, who has irked the left with his staunch support of Israel, said the images from the region were "heartbreaking," but they represent a hard truth about the conflict.

Fetterman called Israel a key ally and said he would absolutely trust and work with someone like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Hamas leaders and other key players in the region.

"It's a very difficult situation in Gaza. But I do believe that Hamas [cannot] be allowed to operate if there's going to be any enduring peace in this situation," Fetterman said.

Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum, Bradford Betz and Trey Yingst contributed to this report.

2024/05/29 17:37

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