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Kelly may depart in expected White House shakeup

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Kelly may depart in expected White House shakeup

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is inching closer to his long-teased major White House shake-up, gearing up for the twin challenges of battling for re-election and dealing with the Democrats’ investigations once they take control of the House.

The biggest piece of the shifting picture: Chief of Staff John Kelly’s departure now appears certain.

Trump announced Friday he was picking a new U.S. attorney genera l and a new ambassador to the U.N. , and at the same time two senior aides departed the White House to beef up his 2020 campaign. But the largest changes were still to come. Kelly’s replacement in the coming weeks is expected to have a ripple effect throughout the administration.

According to nearly a dozen current and former administration officials and outside confidants, Trump is nearly ready to replace Kelly and has even begun telling people to contact the man long viewed as his likely successor.

“Give Nick a call,” Trump has instructed people, referring to Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, according to one person familiar with the discussions.

Like all of those interviewed, the person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.

Trump has hardly been shy about his dissatisfaction with the team he had chosen and has been weighing all sorts of changes over the past several months. He delayed some of the biggest shifts until after the November elections at the urging of aides who worried that adding to his already-record turnover just before the voting would harm his party’s electoral chances.

Now, nearly a month after those midterms, in which his party surrendered control of the House to Democrats but expanded its slim majority in the Senate, Trump is starting to make moves.

He announced Friday that he’ll nominate William Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, to the same role in his administration. If confirmed, Barr will fill the slot vacated by Jeff Sessions, who was unceremoniously jettisoned by Trump last month over lingering resentment for recusing himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation.

Sessions was exiled less than 24 hours after polls closed. But Trump’s broader efforts to reshape his inner circle have been on hold, leading to a sense of near-paralysis in the building, with people unsure of what to do.

Trump also announced that State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is his pick to replace Nikki Haley as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and he said he’d have another announcement Saturday about the military’s top brass.

All this came the same day that Trump’s re-election campaign announced that two veterans of the president’s 2016 campaign, White House political director Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, the director of the office of public liaison, were leaving the administration to work on Trump’s re-election campaign.

“Now is the best opportunity to be laser-focused on further building out the political infrastructure that will support victory for President Trump and the GOP in 2020,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement.

The moves had long been planned, and will give Kelly’s eventual successor room to build a new White House political team.

Kelly was not at the White House on Friday, but was expected to attend an East Room dinner with the president and senior staff.

Ayers, who is a seasoned campaign veteran despite his relative youth — he’s just 36 — has the backing of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers, for the new role, according to White House officials. But Ayers has also faced some resistance. During Trump’s flight home from a recent trip to Paris, some aides aboard Air Force One tried to convince the president that Ayers was the wrong person for the job, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Trump and Kelly’s relationship has been strained for months — with Kelly on the verge of resignation and Trump nearly firing him several times. But each time the two have decided to make amends, even as Kelly’s influence has waned.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, was tapped by Trump in August 2017 to try to normalize a White House that had been riven by infighting. And he had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that had been compared to New York’s Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Trump.

But those efforts also miffed the president and some of his most influential outside allies, who had grown accustomed to unimpeded access. And his handling of domestic violence accusations against the former White House staff secretary also caused consternation, especially among lower-level White House staffers, who believed Kelly had lied to them about when he found out about the allegations.

Kelly, too, has made no secret of the trials of his job and has often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he’d done before, including on the battlefield.

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Associated Press writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

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On Twitter follow Miller at https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller and Colvin at https://twitter.com/colvinj

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Media

CNN hits rock bottom as highest rated show ranks 27th in cable news rankings

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CNN hits rock bottom as highest rated show ranks 27th in cable news rankings

The business of promoting Democrats and bashing on President Trump, also known as progressive legacy media, has achieved new levels of failure for CNN. Their highest rated show on cable news rankings was Cuomo Prime Time. It ranked 27th.

Also included on CNN’s resume of shame is the fact that the bottom 12 of the 52 shows rated belonged to them.

Fox News lead the way with eight of the top ten. MSNBC scored the #4 ranking with The Rachel Maddow Show and #6 with The Last Word with Larry O’Donnell. For Fox News, Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight, and The Five were #1, #2, and #3 respectively.

The President chimed in on CNN’s continued woes:

What makes this funnier is Cuomo’s show is CNN’s top rated, but only because of time slot. He still has half the audience of Maddow, whose audience is lower than Hannity’s. Even CNN’s one bright spot is an epic failure.

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Foreign Affairs

Two asylum-seekers later discovered to be wanted by Mexico on kidnapping, homicide charges

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Two asylum-seekers later discovered to be wanted by Mexico on kidnapping homicide charges

According to many Democrats, anyone coming to the United States who files asylum claims should be released to the interior immediately. That’s the stance of such notable progressives as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren. Among the people they want released, no questions asked, are two separate Mexican asylum-seekers who, as border patrol later learned, were wanted in Mexico on charges of kidnapping and homicide.

Thankfully, border patrol did their jobs properly detaining the asylum-seekers until their request was denied, at which time they were ordered repatriated to Mexico.

Border Patrol Repatriates Two Wanted Felons

EAGLE PASS, Texas – Within the past two weeks, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Del Rio Sector Foreign Operations Branch worked with the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the government of Mexico to coordinate the repatriation of two men wanted by Mexican authorities on kidnapping and homicide charges.

“The U.S. Border Patrol works closely with the government of Mexico to identify fugitives,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Because of that outstanding level of cooperation, these violent criminals were quickly located and returned to Mexico to answer the egregious charges against them.”

Border Patrol agents at the FOB were contacted by Mexican government officials in July regarding two subjects wanted on kidnapping and homicide charges. One of the men was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in November 2018 near Eagle Pass, while the other surrendered to Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in December 2018. Both men made credible fear claims, and were ordered removed by an immigration judge after those claims were denied.

There was no indication prior to contact by Mexican officials that these men were wanted when border patrol picked them up. Had their “reasonable fear” claims been accepted in their hearings, they would have become legal residents of the United States. Only after their claims were denied did news come from Mexico that they were wanted.

Demands by Democrats for immediate release of all asylum-seekers upon processing is the most blatantly dangerous policy they want to inflict on American citizens. You won’t see progressive media reporting this, so it must be spread by conservatives.

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Judiciary

Supreme Court: Ginsburg treated for tumor on pancreas

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Supreme Court Ginsburg treated for tumor on pancreas

Editor’s Note: NOQ Report does not necessarily agree with any biased perspectives of this article from the Associated Press, but it is newsworthy information. We are confident our readers can see see through any clear bias and glean the truth from the facts reported.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has completed radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas and there is no evidence of the disease remaining, the Supreme Court said Friday.

It is the fourth time that the 86-year-old justice has announced that she has been treated for cancer over the last two decades and follows lung cancer surgery in December that kept her away from the court for weeks. December’s surgery was her first illness-related absence from the court since being appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and prompted even closer attention to her health.

As the court’s oldest member, Ginsburg has been asked questions for years about her health and retirement plans. She has also in recent years attracted particularly enthusiastic fans as the leader of the liberal wing of the court, which includes four members appointed by Democratic presidents and five by Republicans. Both liberals and conservatives watch her health closely because it’s understood the court would shift right for decades if President Donald Trump were to get the ability to nominate someone to replace her.

The court kept Ginsburg’s latest cancer secret for three weeks, until she finished radiation treatment. Yet there is no obligation for justices to disclose details about their health, and Ginsburg has generally made more information available than some of her colleagues. Retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, for example, had a stent inserted to open a blocked artery in 2005 but the public only learned about it 10 months later when he returned to the hospital to have it replaced.

The Supreme Court said in a statement Friday that a routine blood test led to the detection of Ginsburg’s tumor. A biopsy performed July 31 confirmed a “localized malignant tumor,” and Ginsburg started outpatient radiation therapy Aug. 5. Ginsburg underwent three weeks of radiation therapy and as part of her treatment had a bile duct stent placed, the court said. Ginsburg “tolerated treatment well” and does not need any additional treatment but will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans, the statement said.

The tumor was “treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the court said.

The statement did not say if the new tumor is a recurrence of the pancreatic cancer Ginsburg was diagnosed with in 2009, or a new cancer that arose. She was also treated for colorectal cancer in 1999.

“It’s certainly not unheard of for the cancer to come back,” but it’s a more dire situation if it’s that rather than a new tumor that was found early enough for effective treatment, said Dr. Michael Pishvaian, a pancreatic specialist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center who had no first-hand knowledge of Ginsburg’s care.

Pancreatic tumors are usually treated with surgery, but she or her doctors may have chosen not to do that for various reasons, and radiation is a standard treatment if surgery is not done, Pishvaian said.

Dr. Alan Venook, a University of California, San Francisco, pancreatic cancer specialist who also has no direct knowledge of Ginsburg’s case, said it’s not possible to know much about her outlook without details from her doctors.

If it is a recurrence that took a decade to form, “that tells me it’s not a very aggressive cancer,” he said. If the cancer is truly limited to the pancreas, “it could have been managed perfectly well with radiation,” he said.

The court said Ginsburg canceled an annual summer visit to Santa Fe but otherwise maintained an active schedule during treatment. She is scheduled to speak in Buffalo next week and at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington at the end of the month.

Before Friday’s announcement, Ginsburg’s most recent known health scare was in December, when she had surgery for lung cancer. The cancerous growths were found when Ginsburg underwent medical tests after she fell in her court office and broke three ribs in November. Ginsburg was absent from the court in January as she recovered from surgery and missed six days on which the court heard a total of 11 arguments. But she returned to the bench in February, and participated in the court’s work during her absence.

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Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione reported from Milwaukee.

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