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White House chief of staff John Kelly to leave at year’s end

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White House chief of staff John Kelly to leave at years end

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday that chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job by year’s end amid an expected West Wing reshuffling reflecting a focus on the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats reclaiming control of the House.

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, is Trump’s top choice to replace Kelly, and the two have held discussions for months about the job, a White House official said. An announcement was expected in the coming days, the president told reporters as he left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Kelly had been credited with imposing order on a chaotic West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary. But his iron fist also alienated some longtime Trump allies, and he grew increasingly isolated, with an increasingly diminished role.

Known through the West Wing as “the chief” or “the general,” the retired Marine Corps four-star general was tapped by Trump via tweet in July 2017 from his perch atop the Homeland Security Department to try to normalize a White House riven by infighting and competing power bases.

“John Kelly will leaving — I don’t know if I can say retiring — but he’s a great guy,” Trump said. “John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We’ll be announcing who will be taking John’s place — it might be on an interim basis. I’ll be announcing that over the next day or two, but John will be leaving at the end of the year. … I appreciate his service very much.”

Kelly had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that 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. Kelly’s 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.

Lauding Kelly, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the country was “better for his duty at the White House.” He called Kelly “a force for order, clarity and good sense.”

Trump and Ayers were working out terms under which Ayers would fill the role and the time commitment he would make, the White House official said. Trump wants his next chief of staff to agree to hold the job through the 2020 election. Ayers, who has young triplets, had long planned to leave the administration at the end of the year, but he has agreed to serve in an interim basis through the spring of 2019.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.

Word of Kelly’s impending departure comes a day after Trump named his picks for attorney general and ambassador to the United Nations, and two senior aides shifted from the White House to Trump’s campaign.

In any administration, the role of White House chief of staff is split between the responsibilities of supervising the White House and managing the man sitting in the Oval Office. Striking that balance in the turbulent times of Trump has bedeviled both Kelly and his predecessor, Reince Priebus.

White House aides say Trump has developed confidence in Ayers, in part by watching the effectiveness of Pence’s largely independent political operation. Ayers also earned the backing of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers, for taking on the new role, White House officials said.

The Georgia native’s meteoric rise in GOP politics included a successful stint at the Republican Governors Association, time as campaign manager for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s failed White House bid and consultant work for dozens of high-profile Republicans, including Pence.

Ayers, 36, would be the youngest chief of staff since 34-year-old Hamilton Jordan served under Jimmy Carter. Kelly is 68.

Trump had discussed replacing Kelly on multiple occasions, including following the negative publicity surrounding Kelly’s handling of domestic violence accusations against then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Some lower-level White House staffers believed Kelly had lied to them about when he knew of the allegations and when he made clear to Porter that he’d have to leave.

Trump had often tossed around potential replacements, but sensitive to charges that his administration has been marked by record turnover, he said in July that he would keep Kelly in the job through 2020.

But inside the White House, it was viewed largely as an attempt to clamp down on speculation about Kelly’s fate during the midterm elections, rather than a true vote of confidence.

Kelly, too, made no secret of the trials of his job, and often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he’d done before, including on the battlefield. In private, Kelly, whom friends said took the job out of a sense of duty to his country, cast himself as safeguarding the public from an impulsive and mercurial president. Reports of those conversations infuriated the president, who is especially sensitive of attacks on his competence and perceptions he is being managed.

At an event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kelly joked that he missed everyone in the department “every day,” offering a deadpan eye roll and smile that drew laughs and applause.

“At six months, the last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of Homeland Security, but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess,” he joked.

Kelly, who had threatened to quit on several occasions, told friends he would be happy if he lasted until his one-year anniversary: July 28.

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Associated Press writers Michele Salcedo and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

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Follow Miller on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller and Colvin at https://twitter.com/colvinj

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Democrats

Gavin Newsom is proof California is completely lost

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Gavin Newsom is proof California is completely lost

California Governor Gavin Newsom has one of the most prolific string of political failures ever seen in the United States. It seems like everything he touches turns to sludge. San Francisco, where he was on the Board of Supervisors or Mayor for 14 straight years, has become literally covered in human feces and is the homelessness capitol of America. As governor, his short tenure has already seen a state whose economy was crumbling fall further faster. But when it comes to getting elected, he’s a champion.

Why? Because California is completely lost. Those of us who live here realize it’s true. Despite unquestionable evidence that the state’s progressive policies are making things steadily worse, from high-and-still-growing taxes to unprecedented crime rates to the homeless problem that is not isolated to San Francisco, we continue to elect Democrats to drive us deeper into the hole. Despite the high taxes, we’re constantly running on budget deficits. How is this possible for a state so rich?

The answer is in the promises the Democrats make. And unfortunately, they keep many of their promises, which yields billions of dollars spent on a high-speed rail that was ill-conceived if it actually happened. But it didn’t. It’s massive amounts of money that accomplished nothing. Even when the programs “work,” they fail. More money has been spent per capita to stave off homelessness in San Francisco than anywhere else, yet it keeps getting worse.

Perhaps the biggest problem California has is believing the politicians. We get fed rhetoric that is so thick, it must be true because nobody would lie so blatantly. Except they really do lie. One of the latest was so big and ridiculous, even left-leaning PolitiFact had to call Newsom out.

Pants On Fire: Not Even Politifact Is Buying What Gavin Newsom Is Selling On San Francisco’s Homeless Problem

Politifact isn’t exactly the type of fact checking organization that rushes to defend Republicans or to take Democrats to task, so that they decided to take Newsom to the woodshed is worth mentioning.

When a lie is so egregious even your cheerleaders have to balk, you know you’ve gone a bit too far. But don’t expect Newsom to repent and come clean any time soon. As is part of the Democratic playbook, particularly in California, the most likely response is that he’s going to double down on his false claims. That’s what Democrats do when they’re caught in a lie.

If you’re curious, here’s Newsom’s most recent huge lie:

Gavin Newsom’s ridiculous claim: ‘Vast majority’ of San Francisco’s homeless people come from Texas

California Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed the “vast majority” of San Francisco’s homeless people come in from Texas.

San Francisco’s own homeless surveys contradict this. They show a large majority reported living in the city before becoming homeless, and just a fraction coming in from out-of-state.

Newsom’s office pointed to data from San Francisco’s bus ticket program for homeless people. But that defense doesn’t hold up. It shows just a small fraction, less than 7 percent, left for Texas, and doesn’t demonstrate that they originally came to San Francisco from that state.

In the end, we found Newsom made a ridiculous claim.

We rated it Pants on Fire.

Don’t blame California lawmakers for the state’s failures. They’re doing exactly what California residents want. People like Gavin Newsom are only fulfilling their promises to spend more, accomplish less, and keep the Democratic monopoly strong.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

The false narratives behind Portland’s Antifa versus Proud Boys

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The false narratives behind Portlands Antifa versus Proud Boys

Depending on which news outlets you use, there are two primary narratives that are being pushed. Narrative one is, “Far-right group and Antifa clash in Portland.” Narrative two is, “Antifa gets violent. Again.”

The first narrative is what you’ll get from progressive legacy media outlets as they offer cover for the violence being perpetrated almost exclusively by Antifa as they clash with the Proud Boys. The latter is being classified as a “far-right” group, but they’re actually more of an “alt-right” group that does not believe in true conservative principles. Nevertheless, anything “right” is painted by the media as part of the conservative movement, the GOP, and President Trump’s base. This is important to understand because in the narrative the left is painting, their goal is to make the Proud Boys appear to be white supremacist and therefore attached to President Trump because according to their latest agenda, they have to portray him as a racist at every turn.

The second narrative is the reality, and you won’t find it reported this way by many news outlets, even on the right. There’s a disassociation some publications are actively engaged in where they believe reporting that seems to favor the Proud Boys makes the news outlet seem like it’s supporting white supremacy. This is the progressive propaganda machine at work; even conservative journalists are hesitant to lose credibility over perceptions.

Quillette journalist Angy Ngo is reporting live on Twitter. We’ll try to update it as he adds more:

As you can see from Ngo’s reporting, the violence seems to be undertaken exclusively by Antifa. But legacy media will only report it as clashes “between” the two groups and not as violence instigated solely by the side that holds the left’s progressive mantle. All of this is secondary to the overarching narrative they’re driving, that the Proud Boys represent the right and their white supremacy beliefs are defended by the President.

On cue, the President chimed in:

The left pounced, as they’re wont to do, by saying this is evidence the President is sympathetic to the Proud Boys because he singled out Antifa in a “mutual” conflict. What they won’t tell you is Antifa is starting the fights. They’re bringing the weapons. They’re pepper-spraying people. They’re attacking buses. One does not have to believe in the Proud Boys’ rhetoric to realize Antifa is instigating violence here.

As Beth Baumann reported, even journalists are being targeted:

So Much For Being ‘Peaceful’: Antifa Attacks Reporters And Conservatives In Portland (Again)

Not quite seven weeks ago, conservative journalist Andy Ngo was attacked while covering an Antifa protest in Portland, Oregon. Mayor Tom Wheeler ordered police to stand down at the time and received backlash for doing so. The city prepared for the Proud Boys to hold a rally on Saturday, with Antifa showing up to counter protest. Wheeler made it clear that Portland is taking a “zero tolerance” policy during Saturday’s activities.

Despite the warning, Antifa, once again, became violent.

At one point, Antifa protestors had The Washington Examiner‘s Julio Rosas surrounded. They wanted him to report on what was taking place from the other side of the street because he “wasn’t with” them.

Rosas attempted to explain that he was simply reporting on the events for his job but Antifa didn’t care. They thought he was “spying” on them.

The irony in all of this has become a recurring theme between Antifa and their supporters in progressive media and the Democratic Party. They claim Antifa is simply “anti-fascist” while ignoring the fact that they’re the ones using fascism to promote their ideas and to quash opposing ideas. Reports on the ground in Portland demonstrate this clearly.

Here are Rosas’s Twitter reports:

The left’s narratives: (1) Proud Boys and Antifa are equally to blame, (2) Proud Boys are white supremacists while Antifa are anti-fascists, and (3) President Trump support white supremacists. Don’t believe the lies.

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Guns and Crime

‘Sanctuary Sheriff’ Garry McFadden released convicted child molester Oscar Leonardo to protect him from ICE

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Sanctuary Sheriff Garry McFadden released convicted child molester Oscar Leonardo to protect him fro

At some point, Democrats have to come to the conclusion that their little experiment with sanctuary cities has failed. It was supposed to encourage cooperation with the Hispanic community so they’d be more willing to report crimes knowing the people they were reporting won’t be deported. But instead, crime has risen in nearly every sanctuary jurisdiction while cooperation between the communities and law enforcement haven’t gotten any better.

But instead of learning lessons, Democrats are doubling down. One such Democrat is Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden. Known as the “Sanctuary Sheriff” for lording over his county with anti-ICE policies that went against the will of the people, the buddy of Barack Obama has been at the center of controversy for over a year. Now, he’s being questioned about one illegal alien his policy had released, a previously deported convicted child molester who took two additional months for ICE to capture.

“They know if they’re arrested, they’re not gonna be handed over to ICE,” ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said.

Oscar Leonardo sexually assaulted at least one child in McFadden’s district before being granted release. An ICE detainer was in place, which the sheriff’s office ignored. But McFadden doubled down on his policy by saying ICE should have sent an arrest warrant instead of a detainer. Either McFadden is ignorant of the law he’s supposed to uphold or he’s lying for the sake of misdirection as ICE is incapable of issuing warrants. That’s solely done by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sanctuary jurisdictions choose to ignore detainers, and despite their claims that this makes the community safer, there are numerous instances where they clearly made the community less safe. This instance is one of them, but ICE was able to recapture him after wasting two months and countless man-ours. They could have simply picked him up and deported him had McFadden cooperated with ICE. Instead, he chose to put more children at risk by protecting a child molester.

As long as Democrats like Garry McFadden continue to protect child molesters like Oscar Leonardo instead of the American citizens they’re charged to protect, they should not be given a single vote. If they won’t do their jobs, replace them.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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