3 Arrested in New York Violence After Far-Right Speech

Three people were arrested in New York City following violent clashes after a speech by the founder of a far-right group, and police said Saturday they were reviewing video of the clashes and could make additional arrests.

The violence Friday night followed a speech by Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, at the Metropolitan Republican Club. The male-only Proud Boys describe themselves as “western chauvinists.”

Videos posted on YouTube show clashes between the Proud Boys and groups that were protesting McInnes’ speech.

No serious injuries were reported.

The three arrested face assault charges and were awaiting arraignment Saturday in Manhattan criminal court. Police spokesman J. Peter Donald said the department was reviewing video and would make other arrests as warranted.

Several elected officials expressed outrage over the violence and blamed the Proud Boys, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

More arrests possible

“Authorities must review these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said. “Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York.”

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, a Democrat who is running for state attorney general, said, “I am disturbed and disgusted by the videos I’ve seen of members of the neo-fascist, white supremacist Proud Boys group engaging in hate-fueled mob violence on the streets of New York City.”

City Councilman Rory Lancman, also a Democrat, said video shows police officers were at the scene of an assault by Proud Boys members but did not arrest anyone from the group.

“It is revolting to see white supremacists commit a hate crime on the streets of New York City — in full view of the NYPD — and for none of them to be arrested or prosecuted,” Lancman said.

The Republican club was vandalized ahead of Friday’s speech by McInnes, who is also a co-founder of Vice Media. Statewide Republican officials said the damage included smashed windows, a spray-painted door and a keypad lock covered in glue. A note left at the scene claimed that the damage was “just the beginning.”

Clashes in Portland

Saturday night in downtown Portland, Oregon, fights broke out between protesters with a right-wing group and counter-demonstrators.

The right-wing Patriot Prayer group was holding a Flash March for Law and Order Saturday evening when the counter-demonstrators, some of whom identified themselves as members of the militant group Antifa, confronted them, leading to scuffles, local media reported.

Police in riot gear worked to break up fights and used pepper spray to try to control the crowd, local media reported. Police said officers saw people at the demonstration with hard-knuckled gloves, guns, knives and batons.

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Trump: McConnell ‘Kentucky Tough’ in Kavanaugh Fight

President Donald Trump heaped praise Saturday on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, crediting the veteran Kentucky lawmaker’s political toughness and acumen during the ugly battle that concluded with Brett Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice.

“He’s Kentucky tough,” Trump declared.

Kavanaugh took his seat on the high court this week after overcoming allegations of sexual misconduct dating to his high school and college years. He forcefully denied the charges, and Trump and McConnell firmly backed Kavanaugh as part of their combined quest to populate the judiciary with conservative judges. Kavanaugh could tilt the political balance of the high court in the conservative direction for generations.

“We stuck with him all the way because we knew the facts,” Trump said, speaking of himself and McConnell, Kentucky’s senior U.S. senator.

“There’s nobody tougher. There’s nobody smarter. He refused to cave to the radical Democrats’ shameful campaign of personal and political destruction,” Trump said at a political rally at Eastern Kentucky University before he called McConnell to the microphone.

McConnell returned the compliment and told the president to continue nominating judges and “we’ll keep confirming them.”

​Fierce Democrat opposition

Democrats fiercely and vocally opposed Kavanaugh, opposition that hardened after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. Other women accused him of other sexually inappropriate behavior.

Protesters swarmed Senate office buildings and hundreds were arrested in a futile attempt to intimidate a handful of holdout senators into voting against confirming Kavanaugh. Trump has taken to referring to Democrats who opposed Kavanaugh as an “angry mob.”

Rally in Kentucky

The president flew to Kentucky to campaign for three-term Republican Rep. Andy Barr, who is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, in one of the country’s most-watched House races.

Democrats are focusing on the seat in their drive to regain control of the House. Former Vice President Joe Biden became the highest-profile Democrat to campaign for McGrath when he came to Kentucky on Friday night.

Trump told the rally that a vote for Barr “could make the difference between unbelievable continued success” or failure, and pleaded with his supporters to vote on Nov. 6 to send more Republicans to Congress.

“The only reason to vote Democrat is if you’re tired of winning,” he said. “I need you to get your friends, get your family, get your neighbors, get your co-workers and get out and vote for Andy Barr,” Trump said.

Familiar Trump themes

The president sounded familiar themes during the hour-plus rally, touting the economy’s performance, a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and his plan for a new military branch devoted to outer space, among a host of other issues that led the crowd to cheer him.

He again panned journalists as the “fake news media” and suggested he could live without their attention.

“I’d like to walk into a place one night and not have any of these guys,” Trump said.

With just over three weeks before Election Day, Saturday’s rally was part of an aggressive fall campaign push by Trump to energize Republicans and encourage them to help keep his legislative agenda moving forward by voting to keep the GOP in control of both houses of Congress.

In fact, even before Trump left the stage Saturday night, his campaign announced a three-state Western swing through Missoula, Montana; Mesa, Arizona; and Elko, Nevada, next Thursday through Saturday.

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Trump: McConnell ‘Kentucky Tough’ in Kavanaugh Fight

President Donald Trump heaped praise Saturday on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, crediting the veteran Kentucky lawmaker’s political toughness and acumen during the ugly battle that concluded with Brett Kavanaugh becoming a Supreme Court justice.

“He’s Kentucky tough,” Trump declared.

Kavanaugh took his seat on the high court this week after overcoming allegations of sexual misconduct dating to his high school and college years. He forcefully denied the charges, and Trump and McConnell firmly backed Kavanaugh as part of their combined quest to populate the judiciary with conservative judges. Kavanaugh could tilt the political balance of the high court in the conservative direction for generations.

“We stuck with him all the way because we knew the facts,” Trump said, speaking of himself and McConnell, Kentucky’s senior U.S. senator.

“There’s nobody tougher. There’s nobody smarter. He refused to cave to the radical Democrats’ shameful campaign of personal and political destruction,” Trump said at a political rally at Eastern Kentucky University before he called McConnell to the microphone.

McConnell returned the compliment and told the president to continue nominating judges and “we’ll keep confirming them.”

​Fierce Democrat opposition

Democrats fiercely and vocally opposed Kavanaugh, opposition that hardened after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. Other women accused him of other sexually inappropriate behavior.

Protesters swarmed Senate office buildings and hundreds were arrested in a futile attempt to intimidate a handful of holdout senators into voting against confirming Kavanaugh. Trump has taken to referring to Democrats who opposed Kavanaugh as an “angry mob.”

Rally in Kentucky

The president flew to Kentucky to campaign for three-term Republican Rep. Andy Barr, who is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, in one of the country’s most-watched House races.

Democrats are focusing on the seat in their drive to regain control of the House. Former Vice President Joe Biden became the highest-profile Democrat to campaign for McGrath when he came to Kentucky on Friday night.

Trump told the rally that a vote for Barr “could make the difference between unbelievable continued success” or failure, and pleaded with his supporters to vote on Nov. 6 to send more Republicans to Congress.

“The only reason to vote Democrat is if you’re tired of winning,” he said. “I need you to get your friends, get your family, get your neighbors, get your co-workers and get out and vote for Andy Barr,” Trump said.

Familiar Trump themes

The president sounded familiar themes during the hour-plus rally, touting the economy’s performance, a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and his plan for a new military branch devoted to outer space, among a host of other issues that led the crowd to cheer him.

He again panned journalists as the “fake news media” and suggested he could live without their attention.

“I’d like to walk into a place one night and not have any of these guys,” Trump said.

With just over three weeks before Election Day, Saturday’s rally was part of an aggressive fall campaign push by Trump to energize Republicans and encourage them to help keep his legislative agenda moving forward by voting to keep the GOP in control of both houses of Congress.

In fact, even before Trump left the stage Saturday night, his campaign announced a three-state Western swing through Missoula, Montana; Mesa, Arizona; and Elko, Nevada, next Thursday through Saturday.

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Report: Kushner Likely Paid Little, No US Taxes for Years

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, likely paid little or no federal income taxes between 2009 and 2016, The New York Times reported Saturday, citing confidential financial documents.

The documents were created with Kushner’s cooperation as part of a review of his finances by an institution that was considering lending him money, the Times reported. The Times said that Kushner’s tax bills reflected the use of a tax benefit known as depreciation that lets real estate investors deduct part of the cost of their properties from their taxable income.

The Times report said that nothing in the documents reviewed “suggests Mr. Kushner or his company broke the law.”

Paid all taxes due under law

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, told Reuters Saturday that he would not respond to the newspaper’s assumptions, which he said were “taken from incomplete documents obtained in violation of the law and standard business confidentiality agreements.”

He added, “Always following the advice of numerous attorneys and accountants, Mr. Kushner properly filed and paid all taxes due under the law and regulations.”

The records reviewed by The New York Times did not expressly state how much Kushner paid in taxes, but included estimates for how much he owed called “income taxes payable” and how much Kushner paid in expectation of forecasted taxes known as “prepaid taxes.” The paper said that for most of the years covered, both were listed as zero, but in 2013 Kushner reported income taxes payable of $1.1 million.

Kushner Cos, the family company for which Kushner previously served as chief executive, has been profitable in recent years, the Times said, citing the analysis. Kushner sold his interests in the company to a family trust last year.

The White House and Kushner Cos did not immediately comment Saturday.

Trump tax break

The newspaper noted that the 2017 tax rewrite signed by Trump includes provisions that benefit real estate investors.

Mirijanian said that on tax reform efforts, Kushner “followed his approved ethics agreement and has avoided work that would pose any conflict of interest.”

In December, a group of Democratic lawmakers wrote to Kushner, asking whether in his talks with foreign officials he had ever discussed financing for a deeply indebted property in midtown Manhattan, citing concern he was using his position for financial gain.

Kushner Cos said previously it had more than $2.5 billion in transactions 2017 and has 12 million square feet under development in New York and New Jersey.

Documents released by the White House in June showed Kushner held assets worth at least $181 million, the Associated Press reported. The disclosures also show that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, received at least $82 million in outside income in 2017.

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Report: Kushner Likely Paid Little, No US Taxes for Years

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, likely paid little or no federal income taxes between 2009 and 2016, The New York Times reported Saturday, citing confidential financial documents.

The documents were created with Kushner’s cooperation as part of a review of his finances by an institution that was considering lending him money, the Times reported. The Times said that Kushner’s tax bills reflected the use of a tax benefit known as depreciation that lets real estate investors deduct part of the cost of their properties from their taxable income.

The Times report said that nothing in the documents reviewed “suggests Mr. Kushner or his company broke the law.”

Paid all taxes due under law

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, told Reuters Saturday that he would not respond to the newspaper’s assumptions, which he said were “taken from incomplete documents obtained in violation of the law and standard business confidentiality agreements.”

He added, “Always following the advice of numerous attorneys and accountants, Mr. Kushner properly filed and paid all taxes due under the law and regulations.”

The records reviewed by The New York Times did not expressly state how much Kushner paid in taxes, but included estimates for how much he owed called “income taxes payable” and how much Kushner paid in expectation of forecasted taxes known as “prepaid taxes.” The paper said that for most of the years covered, both were listed as zero, but in 2013 Kushner reported income taxes payable of $1.1 million.

Kushner Cos, the family company for which Kushner previously served as chief executive, has been profitable in recent years, the Times said, citing the analysis. Kushner sold his interests in the company to a family trust last year.

The White House and Kushner Cos did not immediately comment Saturday.

Trump tax break

The newspaper noted that the 2017 tax rewrite signed by Trump includes provisions that benefit real estate investors.

Mirijanian said that on tax reform efforts, Kushner “followed his approved ethics agreement and has avoided work that would pose any conflict of interest.”

In December, a group of Democratic lawmakers wrote to Kushner, asking whether in his talks with foreign officials he had ever discussed financing for a deeply indebted property in midtown Manhattan, citing concern he was using his position for financial gain.

Kushner Cos said previously it had more than $2.5 billion in transactions 2017 and has 12 million square feet under development in New York and New Jersey.

Documents released by the White House in June showed Kushner held assets worth at least $181 million, the Associated Press reported. The disclosures also show that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, received at least $82 million in outside income in 2017.

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Pennsylvania GOP Candidate Threatens to ‘Stomp’ Rival’s Face

The Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania threatened to stomp on the face of his Democratic opponent in a social media video Friday and then walked back his comments, saying he made a mistake in his choice of words.

Republican Scott Wagner is trailing well behind incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf in the polls ahead of the Nov. 6 election, and the video posted on Wagner’s campaign Facebook page was part of an acrimonious battle in one of the most populous U.S. states.

“Governor Wolf, let me tell you what, between now and Nov. 6, you’d better put a catcher’s mask on your face because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” Wolf said in the video.

A few hours later, the video was taken down. Wagner explained: “I may have chosen a poor metaphor. I shouldn’t have said what I said.”

On his Facebook page, Wolf encouraged people to share the original video if they agreed that “Scott Wagner should not be the governor of Pennsylvania.”

The video with Wagner’s threat set off a social media storm and attracted the attention of a few prominent Republicans, including Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“These comments are totally unacceptable. As I’ve said many times before, there is absolutely no place in our politics for this kind of rhetoric, said Scalise, who battled for his life after he was shot by a gunman who opened fire on Republican lawmakers during baseball practice in 2017.

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Pennsylvania GOP Candidate Threatens to ‘Stomp’ Rival’s Face

The Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania threatened to stomp on the face of his Democratic opponent in a social media video Friday and then walked back his comments, saying he made a mistake in his choice of words.

Republican Scott Wagner is trailing well behind incumbent Democrat Tom Wolf in the polls ahead of the Nov. 6 election, and the video posted on Wagner’s campaign Facebook page was part of an acrimonious battle in one of the most populous U.S. states.

“Governor Wolf, let me tell you what, between now and Nov. 6, you’d better put a catcher’s mask on your face because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” Wolf said in the video.

A few hours later, the video was taken down. Wagner explained: “I may have chosen a poor metaphor. I shouldn’t have said what I said.”

On his Facebook page, Wolf encouraged people to share the original video if they agreed that “Scott Wagner should not be the governor of Pennsylvania.”

The video with Wagner’s threat set off a social media storm and attracted the attention of a few prominent Republicans, including Steve Scalise, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“These comments are totally unacceptable. As I’ve said many times before, there is absolutely no place in our politics for this kind of rhetoric, said Scalise, who battled for his life after he was shot by a gunman who opened fire on Republican lawmakers during baseball practice in 2017.

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Trump Vows to Unearth Truth About Khashoggi Disappearance

President Donald Trump declared Friday the U.S. will uncover the truth about what happened to journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, whose possible murder at Saudi hands after disappearing in Istanbul has captured worldwide attention. Trump promised to personally call Saudi Arabia’s King Salman soon about “the terrible situation in Turkey.”

“We’re going to find out what happened,” Trump pledged when questioned by reporters in Cincinnati where he was headlining a political rally.

Khashoggi, a forceful critic of the Saudi government, went missing more than a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkish officials have said they believe he was murdered there. U.S. officials say they are seeking answers from the Saudi government and are not yet accepting the Turkish government’s conclusions.

The Saudis have called accusations that they are responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance “baseless.” Widely broadcast video shows the 59-year-old writer and Washington Post contributor entering the consulate on Tuesday of last week, but there is none showing him leaving.

Separately, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, the State Department said Friday. No details of the conversation were released. 

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Cengiz said Khashoggi was not nervous when he entered the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork required for their marriage.

“He said, ‘See you later my darling,’ and went in,” she told the AP.

Citing anonymous sources, the Post reported Friday that Turkey’s government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered. The AP has not been able to confirm that report.

In written responses to questions by the AP, Cengiz said Turkish authorities had not told her about any recordings and Khashoggi was officially “still missing.”

She said investigators were examining his cellphones, which he had left with her.

Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi left the consulate. He hasn’t been seen since, though his fiancee was waiting outside.

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are important U.S. allies in the region. Trump said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will evaluate whether to attend a Saudi investor conference later this month. 

On Thursday, Trump had said U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia were “excellent” and he was reluctant to scuttle highly lucrative U.S. weapons deals with Riyadh. A number of members of Congress have pressed the Trump administration to impose sanctions on the country in response to the Khashoggi affair.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey on Friday as part of an investigation into the writer’s disappearance. In a statement posted on Twitter, the Saudis welcomed the joint effort and said the kingdom was keen “to sustain the security and safety of its citizenry, wherever they might happen to be.”

Cengiz said she and the journalist would have been married this week and had planned a life together split between Istanbul and the United States, where Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile since last year.

She had appealed for help to Trump, who earlier this week said he would invite her to the White House.

Cengiz didn’t respond to a question about that, but earlier on Friday she urged Trump on Twitter to use his clout to find out what happened.

“What about Jamal Khashoggi?” she wrote in response to a tweet by Trump in which he said he said he had been “working very hard” to free an American evangelical pastor who has been held for two years in Turkey. Andrew Brunson was released late Friday.

Amid growing concern over Khashoggi’s fate, French President Emmanuel Macron said his country wanted to know “the whole truth” about the writer’s disappearance, calling the early details about the case “very worrying.”

Macron said “I’m waiting for the truth and complete clarity to be made” since the matter is “very serious.” He spoke Friday in Yerevan, Armenia, to French broadcasters RFI and France 24.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Berlin was also “very concerned” about the writer’s disappearance and called on Saudi Arabia to “participate fully” in clearing up reports that he had been killed.

Global business leaders began reassessing their ties with Saudi Arabia, stoking pressure on the Gulf kingdom to explain what happened to Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, who was considered close to the Saudi royal family, had become a critic of the current government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old heir apparent who has introduced reforms but has shown little tolerance for criticism.

As a contributor to The Washington Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticism of its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.

Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen.

 

 

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