2-year-old shot dead in Philadelphia day after 11-month-old survives being shot 4 times

WPVI(PHILADELPHIA) — A 2-year-old girl is dead after being shot in the back of the head when someone opened fire on a house in North Philadelphia on Sunday. The shooting came less than 24 hours after an 11-month-old survived when shot four times in the city.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The shooting took place at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The mother of the child, 24, was also struck by gunfire in the head and back and is in stable condition. A 33-year-old man is in critical condition after being struck in the stomach, police said.

Authorities said the house seemed to be targeted in the shooting, with someone shooting from outside the home.

Police are looking for surveillance video from the area to help in the investigation. No one has been arrested and no description of a suspect has been released.

The 11-month-old was struck at about 8 p.m. Saturday while in the back of a vehicle being driven by the child’s stepmother, police said. The child was struck in the head, chest and back in the shooting and taken to Einstein Medical Center in critical condition.

No arrests have been made in that shooting either.

Phildelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police is offering $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

 Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “disgusted” by the violence Sunday afternoon.

“Outraged, disgusted, and heartbroken by the violence this weekend that claimed the life of an innocent 2-year-old and left another infant fighting for his life,” he said in a series of tweets. “My prayers are with their families and communities during this tragic time.”

“Philadelphians should not live in fear of violence that could take away a child’s life,” he continued. “But for too many, this is a sad reality. With the unabated flow of illegal guns and drugs, we must do whatever we can locally to address violence and help residents.”

He added, “We’ll have teams in the neighborhoods impacted by this weekend’s violence to provide support and trauma-informed care. The @PhillyPolice department is conducting a full investigation and will have whatever resources they need to bring these perpetrators to justice.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

‘You have no idea’: Prince Harry, Meghan on their struggle living in the spotlight

ABC(LONDON) — Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, gave an unprecedented glimpse into the struggles they face as newlyweds and new parents under the glare of the public spotlight.

“It’s hard,” Duchess Meghan told ITV News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby for the documentary, “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.” “I don’t think anybody could understand that.”

“In all fairness I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand and hear,” said Meghan, who was the California-born star of “Suits” when she met Harry. “But when I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’”

Tune into “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” hosted by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 10 p.m. ET, on ABC Television Network.

“And I very naively — I’m American. We don’t have that there — [I said], ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not in any tabloids,'” said the duchess. “I didn’t get it. So it’s been, yeah, it’s been complicated.”

“Harry & Meghan: An African Journey” — which airs in the U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 10 p.m. ET, on ABC Television Network — follows the couple during their 10-day tour of Southern Africa earlier this month.

 High moments on the tour — which included their son Archie’s meeting human rights activist Desmond Tutu and Meghan’s engaging with women in South Africa as a “woman of color and as your sister” — are featured in the film. Yet, the documentary also explores what has been happening behind the scenes for the couple.

Bradby later described Harry and Meghan in an essay about the documentary as “a couple who clearly feel under the most extreme pressure and seem, at times, to be buckling beneath it.”

Meghan spoke candidly to Bradby about what she described as unfair treatment by some members of the British press.

 “The biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy but I thought it would be fair,” she said. “And that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile but, I don’t know, just take each day as it comes.”

Meghan, who has seen endless headlines splashed about her family and herself, also brought up fairness when asked about the counter argument that, yes, she faces public scrutiny but she also lives a life of power and privilege.

“If things are fair, that completely tracks for me if things are fair,” said Meghan, who wed Prince Harry last year. “If I do something wrong I’d be the first one to go, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I would never do that,’ but when people are saying things that are just untrue and they’re being told they’re untrue but they’re allowed to still say them, I don’t know anybody in the world who would feel that that’s okay. And that’s different than just scrutiny. That’s, what would you call that? That’s a different beast. It’s really a different beast.”

“And I think the grass is always greener,” Meghan added. “You have no idea. It’s really hard to understand what it’s like. I know what it seems like it should be. It’s a very different thing. That’s okay. The good thing is I’ve got my baby and I’ve got my husband and they’re the best.”

When asked whether she thinks she can continue on with the pressures of her very public life, Meghan described an ongoing conversation she says she has with Harry.

“I’ve said for a long time to H — that’s what I call him — it’s not enough to just survive something. That’s not the point of life,” Meghan said. “You’ve got to thrive. You’ve got to feel happy.”

“I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I tried. I really tried,” she added. “But I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.”

The documentary was underway at the same time that Harry and Meghan announced legal action by Meghan against a British tabloid over privacy concerns.

Shortly after they left South Africa, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Harry had also started legal action against some U.K. media outlets with regard to “the illegal interception of voicemail messages.”

 Before any of that was made public, Harry spoke to Bradby about the pressures he feels to protect his family today, more than two decades after the 1997 death of his mother Princess Diana in a Paris car crash that involved paparazzi.

“My mum clearly taught me a certain set of values of which I will always try and uphold despite the role and the job that sometimes that entails, if you know what I mean,” Harry said. “But I think, I will always protect my family and now I have a family to protect.”

“So everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day and that’s not me being paranoid that’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past,” he said. “And if anybody else knew what I knew, be it a father, be it a husband, be it anyone, you’d probably be doing exactly what I’m doing as well.”

One of the most poignant moments of Harry and Meghan’s trip came when Harry retraced Princess Diana’s footsteps at a former active landmine minefield in Angola.

Harry described his mom’s death to Bradby as a “wound that festers.” He said dealing with the pressure of his royal life and the grief over his mother’s death is something that takes “constant management.”

“I thought I was out of the woods and then suddenly it all came back and I suddenly realized, no, actually this is something that I have to manage,” he said. “Part of this job and part of any job, like everybody, means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of the stuff but, again, for me and for my wife of course there’s a lot of stuff that hurts, especially when the majority of it is untrue.”

“But all we need to do is focus on being real and focus on being the people that we are and standing up for what we believe in,” Harry continued. “I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum.”

 Harry has in the past credited his older brother, Prince William, with encouraging him to seek help for his mental health in the years after their mom died.

British tabloid headlines have more recently suggested a rift between the two brothers, the only children of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Harry addressed the rumors in his interview with Brady.

“Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it’s under … stuff happens,” he said. “But look we’re brothers. We’ll always be brothers.”

“We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me,” Harry added. “We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy but I love him dearly.”

“The majority of the stuff is created out of nothing but as brothers it’s just as I said, you have good days, you have bad days,” he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

Elizabeth Warren to release long-sought-after plan to fund Medicare for All

undefined undefined/iStock(WASHINGTON) —  Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she will put out a plan in the next few weeks that details how she intends to pay for Medicare for All, answering a long-asked question about whether or not raising middle class taxes would be an inevitable part of the proposed health care plan.

“I didn’t get a question today about Medicare for All, but I want to say a word about it before we go any further, and that is this — every single person who is running for president of the United States, on the Democratic side right now, knows that families are getting crushed by the cost of health care. They also know that the cheapest possible way to make sure that everyone gets the health care that they need is Medicare for All,” she began, speaking to a crowd of supporters on the campaign trail in Iowa.

“That’s why I support Medicare for All,” she said. “What I see, though, is that we need to talk about the cost. And I plan, over the next few weeks, to put out a plan that talks about, specifically, the cost of Medicare for All and specifically, how we pay for it,” Warren said.

She offered up the news about the incoming plan at the end of her speech and after taking a few questions from voters in the crowd.

Warren has repeatedly been asked how she intends to pay for Medicare for All if elected, but so far has only offered the answer that total costs would go down for middle class families. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the 2020 candidate from Vermont who wrote the Senate bill outlining the single-payer, government-run health care system, has said that middle class taxes would go up but premiums, deductibles and co-payments would be eliminated, reducing total costs.

In Iowa on Sunday, Warren said her campaign had been working on the question about “what’s possible” and “how you pay for it” for months. Over those months, she has hedged on the question of raising middle class taxes dozens of times, always saying that costs will go up for the wealthy, but costs will go down for middle class families, despite Sanders’ clear answer on the question.

Warren’s announcement comes on the heels of the fourth Democratic debate, where her 2020 opponents attacked her for a lack of details on whether taxes will go up for middle class families under her version of the plan. Warren ducked direct answers by saying her plan would overall “lower costs for middle class families.”

“I think there are, have been, many estimates about what the cost would be and many different payment streams, and I’ve been working on how to get the exact details to make that work,” Warren said Sunday. “I’ve been a co-sponsor of Medicare for All from the beginning. You know, one of the things that happens when you do lots of selfie lines, is you get to hear from a lot of different people, and what they talk about is how the cost of health care is crushing their families.”

In the recent debate, Sanders noted that he thinks it’s “appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up.”

“Well at least that’s a straightforward answer,” responded South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who supports a health care plan with both public and private options. “But there’s a better way.”

It has previously been reported that her campaign was looking into different options to pay for the health care plan, including Sanders’ option laid out in the bill. Warren, however, disclosed for the first time Sunday that they were nearing a plan about pay-fors that will soon be in writing.

She maintained that it was not a change in her support of Medicare for All, but a piece of the plan she’d been working on for a long time.

“And I’m getting close. It’s just got a little more work that it needs on it before it’s released,” Warren told reporters Sunday.

T.J. Ducklo, spokesperson for fellow front-runner Joe Biden, chided Warren in a statement following her announcement.

“It’s mystifying that for someone who has put having a plan for everything at the center of her pitch to voters, Senator Warren has decided to release a health care plan only after enduring immense public pressure for refusing to do so,” Ducklo said. “We hope her plan will be straight with the American people about how much middle class taxes will go up to pay for the $30+ trillion it will take to fund Medicare for All.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

Thomas D’Alesandro III, brother to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has died

Poligrafistka/iStock(BALTIMORE) — Thomas D’Alesandro III, the brother of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has died at the age of 90.

“My husband Paul and our entire family are devastated by the loss of our patriarch, my beloved brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III,” Pelosi wrote in a statement.

The former mayor of Baltimore died Sunday due to stroke complications, according to The Baltimore Sun.

 Tommy was the finest public servant I have ever known,” Pelosi wrote in her statement. “His life and leadership were a tribute to the Catholic values with which we were raised: faith, family, patriotism. He profoundly believed, as did our parents, that public service was a noble calling and that we all had a responsibility to help others.”

D’Alesandro served as the mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971 and Pelosi described him as a “champion of civil rights” and he “worked tirelessly for all who called Baltimore home.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement, “Baltimore lost another devoted public servant today in Thomas “Young Tommy” D’Alesandro III. As the city’s 42nd mayor from 1967 to 1971, he will long be remembered for his leadership in divisive times, and for his efforts to root out disctimination and rebuild the city he loved.”

He is survived by his wife Margaret, his five children and grandchildren who “are praying for him at this sad time,” according to Pelosi’s news release.

D’Alesandro’s death also comes as the city of Baltimore was already mourning the death of long-time U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. The 68-year-old died on Thursday.

Cummings will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday ahead of a funeral service in Baltimore on Friday.

Funeral arrangements for D’Alesandro were not immediately available.

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Posted On 20 Oct 2019

Controlled demolition takes down 1 crane looming over New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel

WGNO(NEW ORLEANS) — Crews have conducted a controlled demolition at the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans to bring down two cranes standing at the site.

Video of the demolition showed a brief explosion followed by one of the cranes toppling to the ground. The other crane appeared to remain standing after the smoke cleared.

The demolition was originally planned for Friday but was delayed until Sunday.

Three workers were killed and dozens more people were injured after the cranes collapsed on Oct. 12. The cranes were a source of major concern as they continued to sway after the accident.

City officials ordered an evacuation of the area surrounding the partially collapsed hotel, located on the edge of the historic French Quarter, on Sunday morning. Demolition crews attached small explosives known as energetic materials to the cranes in an effort to bring them down in the same place as where they were standing several stories above the ground.

The remains of two the deceased are still inside the unstable building, and first responders hope to retrieve them once the demolition was complete.

Ten of the injured victims have filed a lawsuit against five companies involved in the construction.

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Posted On 20 Oct 2019

Trafficking ring involving thousands of turtles uncovered by Florida wildlife officials

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission(WASHINGTON) — Florida wildlife officials have uncovered a trafficking ring of thousands of smuggled turtles following a long-term undercover investigation.

Two suspects have been charged for poaching the turtles, most of them native to Florida, and selling them illegally, according to a news release by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Many of the turtles ended up in international markets, including those in Asia, officials said.

The FWC launched the investigation in February 2018 after receiving a tip from the public. Investigators determine that a “ring of well-organized wildlife traffickers” was catching and selling the turtles to large-scale reptile dealers and illegal distributors, who would then ship most of them overseas on the black market, according to the release.

One of the suspects, 39-year-old Fort Myers resident Michael Boesenberg, allegedly directed others to collect the turtles in “large numbers.” Once they “had enough,” they would then sell them to a buyer with links to Asian markets, FWC officials said.

The turtles were sold wholesale for up to $300 each and retailed for as much as $10,000 in Asia. In one month alone, an estimated $60,000 worth of turtles were trafficked out of Florida, according to the FWC.


While the turtles were mostly sold for cash, the poachers would occasionally trade them for marijuana products, officials said.

The poachers would target habitats known for specific species of turtles and “depleted the species so much” that they had to expand to other parts of the state, according to the FWC. Lee County, the primary location of the poachings, was the most heavily impacted, but the affect on the wild turtle population overall stretched beyond the state.

“Wild turtle populations cannot sustain the level of harvest that took place here,” said Dr. Brooke Talley, the Reptile and Amphibian Conservation Coordinator for the FWC. “This will likely have consequences for the entire ecosystem and is a detriment for our citizens and future generations.”

Turtles are one of the most threatened animal groups on the planet, Dr. Craig Stanford, Chairman of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, said in a statement.

“The illegal trade of turtles is having a global impact on many turtle species and our ecosystems,” FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton said in a statement. “We commend our law enforcement’s work to address the crisis of illegal wildlife trafficking.”

More than 600 turtles were returned to the wild as a result of the investigation, and about half of those are now part of a long-term monitoring project by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, which has been conducting research on them for almost 20 years, officials said.

About two dozen turtles were at first quarantined and released at a later date, but a handful of them were retained by a captive wildlife licensee, since they were not native to the area, officials said.

The illegal commercialization of wildlife ranks fourth in trafficking in the U.S. behind guns, drugs and human smuggling, according to the release. Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth $19 billion annually, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Col. Curtis Brown, head of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, described the thwarting of the trafficking ring as “a significant win for conservation.”

ABC News could not immediately reach Boesenberg or an attorney for him for comment. The other suspect who was charged was not identified.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

Man missing after falling into sinkhole and getting swept away in drain pipes

Phoenix Fire Department(PHOENIX) — Crews from the Phoenix Fire Department have returned from helping local authorities search for a man who fell into a sinkhole and was swept away in a storm drain.

The incident happened last Monday when a large sinkhole opened up in Hermosillo, Mexico, and the man was swallowed up by it and carried away by the underground water currents.

Phoenix, a sister city to Hermosillo, sent technical advisers from the Phoenix Fire Department to help with the rescue operation on Friday morning, according to ABC Phoenix affiliate station KNXV. The group returned from assisting the authorities in Hermosillo this weekend.

Officials said that there are several different drainage pipes that the missing man could have been carried through so authorities are currently searching those pipes in hopes of finding him.

Authorities from Jaurez were also sent to Hermosillo to assist with the Phoenix Fire Department and other local authorities, according to KNXV, citing a press conference that was streamed by news organizations in Mexico.

“The Phoenix Fire Dept advisory team along with Councilman Nowakowski and Councilwoman Guardado have returned safely from Hermosillo Mexico. The team was able to assist and lend their technical expertise to the responders in Hermosillo in a complex rescue operation of a missing adult male that fell into a sink hole and was swept underground into a storm drain. Through our Sister Cities program, and with the generosity of Cutter Aviation, our members were able to make the trip and ensure operations were conducted effectively and safely,” the Phoenix Fire Department said in a post on Facebook.
Additional details regarding the incident were not immediately available. The man is currently still missing.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

Man beats peeping Tom to death after catching him outside girlfriend’s window

iStock(DELRAY, Fla.) — A Florida man has been arrested after catching a peeping Tom outside of his window and beating him to death.

Victor Vickery of Delray, Florida, faces a manslaughter charge in the death of 57-year-old Asaad Akar in the incident that occurred in July of last year, according to ABC’s Miami affiliate WPLG.

Vickery was getting intimate with his girlfriend in a bedroom in her Fort Lauderdale home, according to the arrest report obtained by WPLG, when they heard a scratching noise coming from outside the window.

Vickery went outside to go and inspect the source of the noise and allegedly found Akar standing partly naked by the window.

A fight then broke out between Vickery and Akar while Vickery’s girlfriend called the police.

Akar, who allegedly had a previous criminal record for prowling, was taken to the hospital after the altercation but died in the hospital from his injuries less than two hours later.

Vickery told police that he has had to call the authorities to report a peeping Tom on the premises before.

Vickery was arrested and charged with Akar’s death on Thursday and is now being held behind bars on a $100,000 bond while he awaits trial.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

The National Zoo says bye bye to Bei Bei: 4-year-old panda to leave for China on Nov. 19

iStock(WASHINGTON) — The expected move is part of an agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, which dictates that any giant panda cub born at a U.S. zoo be sent to a breeding program in China after their fourth birthday. Bei Bei follows in the pawprints of his sister, Bao Bao, who left in 2017, and his brother, Tai Shan, who left in 2010, in an effort to breed more of the giant panda species in their native homeland.

“Bei Bei is part of our family,” Steve Monfort, director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, said in a statement on Friday. “Our team has cared for him, learned from him and, along with millions, loved watching him grow. We’re sad he’s leaving, but excited for the contributions he will make to the global giant panda population.”

A fan-favorite at the zoo, visitors have watched Bei Bei in person and via “panda cam” grow from a small cub to a 240-pound bear since his birth on Aug. 22, 2015. To celebrate Bei Bei’s first four years of life in the district, the zoo is hosting a farewell celebration dubbed “Bye Bye, Bei Bei” from Nov. 11 to Nov. 18.

With less than a month left until his departure date, zookeepers are busy preparing Bei Bei for the 16-hour nonstop flight from Washington to Chengdu. Zoo officials said Friday they will first get Bei Bei accustomed to his travel crate by having him walk through it every day before having him spend short periods of time inside with the door closed.

A panda keeper and a veterinarian will accompany Bei Bei on a dedicated B777 FedEx aircraft and offer him treats while he’s in the crate, from bamboo and apples to cooked sweet potatoes and biscuits. FedEx has experience transporting giant pandas including the successful transfers of Bei Bei’s older siblings to China and Bei Bei’s parents to Washington.

Once Bei Bei arrives in Chengdu, his new keepers will accompany him to his new habitat at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. Keepers from the National Zoo have also said they will stay with him until he settles in.

“We have known since the day Bei Bei was born he would be moving to China.” Smithsonian Zoo spokesperson Devin Murphy said at Bei Bei’s fourth birthday celebration on Aug. 22. “It’s also a really exciting milestone for us so we want him to move to China and become part of the breeding program and eventually have cubs and hopefully maybe one day some of those cubs will be released into the wild.”

Bei Bei will join the giant panda breeding program in China when he reaches sexual maturity, likely between the ages of 5 and 7.

The National Zoo has worked on a breeding program with Chinese scientists since the U.S. received its first pair of pandas as a gift following President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. It is one of just three American zoos — including Zoo Atlanta and Memphis Zoo — that currently have agreements with China to host giant pandas. Earlier this year, the San Diego Zoo sent back its remaining two giant pandas when their lease with China ended and was not renewed.

Bei Bei’s parents, Mei Xing and Tian Tian, are the National Zoo’s only breeding giant panda couple since 2000. Though the original 10-year, $10 million lease agreement with China to study the pair has been extended multiple times, it’s now set to expire on Dec. 7, 2020. It’s entirely up to China whether to recall its pandas or not.

According to the National Zoo’s website, around 1,800 giant pandas currently live in the wild, while another 300 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature changed the status of giant pandas from endangered to vulnerable in 2016, reflecting the species’ comeback in recent years.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 20 Oct 2019

White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney doubles down on denying he admitted to Ukraine quid pro quo

iStock(WASHINGTON) — White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney dug in on his claim that he had not admitted there was a quid pro quo in regard to U.S. military aid for Ukraine and investigating Democrats.

The admission days earlier, during a Thursday press briefing, had contradicted President Donald Trump’s consistent denials about a key subject of the House impeachment inquiry.

“That’s not what I said,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s what people said that I said.”

But at a press briefing at the White House on Thursday, Mulvaney had recounted that the president told him he didn’t want to send Ukraine “a bunch of money and have them waste it, and have them spend it, have them use it to line their own pockets.”

“Those were the driving factors,” Mulvaney told reporters in the White House briefing room. “Did he also mention to me in the past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it and that’s why we held up the money.” (The “server” reference is to a debunked conspiracy theory that Trump has long clung to: that the Democratic National Committee’s hacked email server was being held in Ukraine — and that individuals in Ukraine were behind an effort to sabotage his 2016 election. Last month, Trump’s own former homeland security adviser called the theory “completely false.”)

“So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he ordered you to withhold funding to Ukraine?” ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked.

“‘Look back to what happened in 2016,’ certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with the nation,” Mulvaney said. “And that is absolutely equivalent.”

“What you described is a quid pro quo,” Karl pressed. “It is: funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democrats’ server happens as well.”

“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney answered.

Mulvaney issued a statement later Thursday evening after his admission set off a political firestorm, in which he claimed the press had decided to “misconstrue” what he had said — despite reporting using the actual words he spoke in the White House briefing room hours earlier.

On Sunday, Mulvaney pointed out that he himself never used the term “quid pro quo.”

“Reporters will use their language all the time,” he said. “So my language never said quid pro quo.”

Trump said Friday he thought Mulvaney had “clarified” his initial remarks. “I think he clarified it,” Trump said when a reporter asked him about Mulvaney’s comments, before pivoting to off-topic comments about a visit to Texas the day before.

On Sunday, Mulvaney also said he had listed just two reasons the Trump administration had held up aid for Ukraine — misgivings about corruption and concerns other countries had not contributed enough of their own aid to Ukraine. On Thursday, though, he had actually listed a third reason: wanting Ukraine to cooperate with the Department of Justice investigation into the 2016 election.

Mulvaney said he was referring to the DOJ’s investigation into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He suggested that the DOJ’s look at the origins, led by U.S. attorney John Durham, was examining the debunked conspiracy theory about the DNC server. The DOJ has not said it was looking into the issue of the DNC’s server, despite what Mulvaney said, and on Thursday, a senior DOJ official said that, “If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us.”

On Sunday, Mulvaney said that the look at the DNC server was not linked to aid. “It wasn’t connected to the aid, and that’s why I think that people got sidetracked,” Mulvaney said.

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Posted On 20 Oct 2019