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‘Lack of Clear Guidance’ in Helicopter Incident



An investigation into how the District of Columbia National Guard employed a helicopter in the nation’s Capitol the night of Monday, June 1st, found that there was a “lack of clear guidance to the aircrews” — which led to a helicopter using its rotor wash for crowd dispersal, according to the final investigative report viewed by Breitbart News.

Investigating Officer Lane A. Thurgood said in the report:

Based on my finding that there was a lack of clear guidance to the aircrews regarding the purpose, nature and scope of the operation and their authorized and prohibited activities, I recommend that [D.C. Army National Guard] develop processes to prevent such a recurrence.

However, Thurgood did not recommend any punitive actions for the D.C. National Guard — which is the most diverse National Guard in the country, whose leadership includes three African American generals — or for the aircrews involved that night.

The investigation also found that the task force commander in charge of the mission, Brig. Gen. Robert K. Ryan, “did not provide clear guidance regarding the purpose, nature, and scope of the operation and authorized and prohibited activities.” However, the report also said he had received guidance to “flood the box,” and did not recommend any punitive actions for him either.

The report also said some air ambulances used that night were not marked with the Red Cross emblems, in violation of Army and DOD policy, and recommended that emblems be placed on them.

The report highlighted the unique situation unfolding in D.C. that led up to the helicopter incident.

The day before, Sunday, May 31st, was “reportedly the most violent day of civil unrest in D.C. in 30 years,” according to Attorney General William Barr, and President Trump had requested immediate help from more resources, including from the D.C. National Guard.

On Monday, June 1st, “a number” of senior Army leaders gathered at the D.C. National Guard Armory to discuss the evolving crisis, as they had in days prior, the report said.

Ryan had been in the midst of commanding the D.C. National Guard’s coronavirus response effort when he was also tapped by D.C. National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. William J. Walker to take on the mission to protect the city from rioters.

Ryan testified that the intent delivered to him through the chain of command was to “flood the box with everything we have.” That “box” was the federal enclave in downtown Washington.

Ryan said he decided to deploy all available D.C. National Guard aircraft to “show a military presence” and “do observation and command and control [and] inter-agency support.” The decision was in his authority, the report said.

Ryan told the task force aviation commander: “I need you to assist all our special agencies and I need you to orbit around the crowds to disperse any type of looting, mayhem, whatsoever.”

The task force aviation commander passed the order on to the aviation unit’s operations officer to “show a presence there if there is anything kinda crazy going on.”

The aviation unit’s operations officer said he understood that if the National Guard failed to deter unlawful activity on the National Mall, the “82nd [Airborne Division] would be on the streets.” He said Ryan called it “the National Guard’s D-Day.” “That perhaps framed the mission from there on,” he said.

One of the pilots who flew as part of the mission that night also said:

Monday night was going to be a large ramp up of National Guard troops in the city and that was where the urgency was palpable about the need to protect the city, protect the monuments. … If we didn’t do it the 82nd Airborne was going to take over for us and lock down the city. So the clear message that I understood was that it was very, very important that the DC Guard be able to protect the city.

The air assets included three Black Hawks and two Lakotas — four of which were air ambulances that should not have been used for anything other than validated aeromedical purposes. The report said Ryan was not aware of that policy, and the task force aviation commander did not inform him of the policy due to “misunderstandings.”

The report noted that leading up to that evening, the D.C. police chief had warned that anyone who violated the 7:00 p.m. curfew who was not media or had an essential function would be taken into custody, and that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had also issued a warning in a news conference.

The report said, “violence and looting broke out again that evening at various points throughout Washington,” and that the curfew had been in effect “for well more than an hour” before Ryan deployed air assets.

The report said beginning around 8:30 p.m., the five helicopters were ordered to downtown D.C.

The report describes a hectic evening, where the Metropolitan Police Department and other civilian law enforcement agencies working with the D.C. National Guard requested the helicopters to report to specific locations where law enforcement personnel on the ground wanted air assistance. There was even a request to transport an FBI officer.

In addition, the air operations officer that night could only communicate with the Black Hawk crews, who could then communicate to the Lakota crews.

During the incident in question, a Black Hawk helicopter was called to report to one location and observed the use of lasers and fireworks from the crowd on the ground.

The crew hovered at about 150 feet but did not descend further out of the concern its rotor wash would be unsafe for those on the ground. The pilot then called in a smaller Lakota helicopter to “get a better look at things.”

That Lakota came to hover above the crowd at below 100 feet. The moment was captured in numerous photos and videos posted on social media.

The pilot who flew the Lakota said he understood his mission was to provide a presence to deter crime, property damage, and injury.

“Fly low, be loud,” he said. “Helicopters are loud, so it’s distracting and annoying when there’s a helicopter over you.”

Several other pilots and aircrew members said they also remember their mission was to make noise and disperse crowds if it seemed they were getting out of control.

All aircraft returned to their airfield between 11:30 p.m. ET and 1:00 a.m. ET.

A technical adviser to the investigating officer said of the crews:

With the tasking of ‘Flood the Box’ these crews in my opinion demonstrated tremendous tactical initiative and great prudence in judgement to both complete their assigned mission and maintain aircraft control while limiting to the maximum any type of collateral damage (personal/property).

Trump later tweeted:

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.





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Nancy Pelosi Endorses Joe Biden: ‘The Personification of Integrity’



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, calling him “a leader who is the personification of hope and courage, values, authenticity, and integrity,” as the presumptive Democrat nominee faces a sexual assault allegation from his former Senate staffer, Tara Reade.

Pelosi, in a prerecorded video shared Monday to social media, praised Biden as a “voice of reason” with experience in helping enact legislation like the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus program.

“I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president,” Pelosi said. “He knows how to get the job done.”

She added: “When our nation faced the Great Recession, it was Joe Biden who led the implementation – and the accountability – of the Recovery Act, helping create and save millions of jobs. When the Democratic Congress was passing the Affordable Care Act, Joe Biden was a partner for progress in the White House and also championed the Cancer Moonshot.”

Pelosi’s endorsement follows former President Barack Obama, who waited until Biden all but wrapped up the nomination to announce his support for his former vice president.

The House Speaker’s endorsement also comes as new evidence supporting Reade’s assault claim has resurfaced. A 1993 video, dug up by NewsBusters, appears to show Reade’s mother discussing her daughter’s “problems” with a “prominent senator” on CNN’s Larry King Live.

“I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him,” a woman whom Reade identifies as her mother is heard saying.

The call was first reported by The Intercept. The Biden campaign denies Reade’s allegations.

In an interview with the AP, she detailed a 1993 encounter that she says occurred when she was asked by a supervisor to bring Biden his gym bag, as he was on his way down to the Senate gymnasium. She says Biden pushed her against a wall in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building, groped her, and penetrated her with his fingers.

“He was whispering to me and trying to kiss me at the same time, and he was saying, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’” she said. “I remember wanting to say stop, but I don’t know if I said it out loud or if I just thought it. I was kind of frozen up.”

Reade said that she pulled away and Biden looked “shocked and surprised,” and replied, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.”

Reade, who was a staff assistant in Biden’s office at the time, said she wasn’t aware of any direct witnesses to the encounter. She told the AP she did raise accusations of sexual harassment, but not assault, against Biden in multiple meetings with her supervisors, including Marianne Baker, Biden’s executive assistant; Dennis Toner, Biden’s deputy chief of staff; and Ted Kaufman, the senator’s chief of staff.

In a statement provided by the campaign, Baker said that in the nearly two decades she worked for Biden, “I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 





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‘Charlamagne tha God’ Blasts Joe Biden for Not Appearing on Radio Show



Lenard “Charlamagne tha God” McKelvey criticized former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday for not appearing on The Breakfast Club radio broadcast.

McKelvey told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin that the Democrat frontrunner owes his “political life” to black supporters and that his campaign “would be dead” without them. And while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg have all appeared to speak to black voters through his nationally syndicated radio show, Biden has been conspicuously absent.

Asked why he thinks that might be, McKelvey was stumped: “I have no idea,” he answered. “It goes back to what I said: Joe Biden owes black people his political life. You know what I’m saying? So don’t disrespect that base by not showing up, especially when, you know, all your other former opponents did,” he said.

McKelvey also claimed that sources have told him that the decision may have something to do with Biden’s campaign advisers. “I definitely got it on great authority that a lot of the black surrogates around him don’t want him to come on ‘The Breakfast Club’ for whatever reason,” he said.

“Black people saved his life the past couple of weeks,” McKelvey concluded. “His campaign would be dead if it wasn’t for our O.G. Jim Clyburn in South Carolina endorsing him, and all those black voters in the South going out and voting for him,” McKelvey concluded. “Plus, you were the vice president for the first black president. You, in particular, definitely need a black agenda.”



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Americans Sick of President ‘Lies All the Time’



Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Saturday celebrated his big Nevada caucus win with supporters in San Antonio, Texas, declaring that the American people are “sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time.”

Multiple media outlets on Saturday evening called the Nevada race for the socialist senator, and he celebrated with supporters in San Antonio:

“I’m delighted to bring you some pretty good news. I think all of you know we won the popular vote in Iowa, we won the New Hamshire primary, and according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus,” he said as supporters broke out in cheers of “Bernie.”

“No campaign has a grassroots campaign like we do, which is another reason we are going to win this election,” he declared, also proclaiming that he will win the Democrat Primary in Texas and in the general election.

Sanders told supporters that Trump gets “very very upset easily” so “don’t tell him we’re going to beat him in Texas.”

“We are going to win in Texas and across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time,” Sanders said.

“They are sick and tired of a corrupt administration. They are sick and tired of a president who is undermining American democracy, who thinks he is above the law, and who apparently has never read the Constitution in this country,” he continued.

“The American people are sick and tired of a government which is based on greed, corruption, and lies. They want an administration which is based on the principles of justice —  economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice,” he added.

The socialist senator also told his supporters that Trump and his friends “think they are going to win this election”  by dividing people by race, religion, and sexual orientation.

“We are going to win because we are doing exactly the opposite,” he declared.

President Trump reacted to Sanders’ strong showing in Nevada on Saturday, warning him against allowing the Democrat establishment to steal the nomination from him.

“Looks like Crazy Bernie is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. Biden & the rest look weak, & no way Mini Mike can restart his campaign after the worst debate performance in the history of Presidential Debates,” he said.

“Congratulations Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you!”:





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Republicans Plan Legislative Blitz to Back Trump State of the Union Agenda



Republicans in the House are planning a full-scale offensive to back up the agenda President Donald Trump presented during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Beginning with a measure on Thursday from Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Republicans will offer legislation and other measures to support the American successes Trump laid out in his historic address on Tuesday night.

Riggleman presented a resolution for Congress to support Trump’s “Best is Yet to Come” policy blueprint on Thursday, which explicitly highlights the vision Trump detailed in the SOTU.

“Supporting policies that are a part of the ‘Best is Yet to Come’ blueprint, outlined by President Trump during his historic, optimistic State of the Union Address,” the resolution’s text states, specifically quoting several passages from Trump’s address.

The resolution states in part:

Whereas on February 4, 2020, President Trump noted that, “The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.”

It continues, quoting several lines directly from the SOTU address, including: Millions of Americans coming off food stamp rolls; jobs and investment “pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones”; the administration’s promise to stand against socialism and stand up for freedom; the vow to continue “building an inclusive society” by “making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream”; the administration’s commitment to the “One Trillion Trees Initiative”; the administration’s end of the catch-and-release of illegal immigrants; and the administration’s commitment to uphold religious liberty and the “Constitutional right to pray in public schools,” among other examples.

The resolution asks Congress to support policies “that further expands the booming economic growth outlined by President Trump in his State of the Union address” and to embrace the “‘Best is Yet to Come’ policy blueprint for the people of the United States” as outlined in the SOTU.

“This agenda is an optimistic plan to continue the record-setting economic growth we are seeing and provide solutions to problems that ail American citizens,” Riggleman said on the House floor on Thursday.

“It is imperative that Congress step forward and support this agenda as I do,” he added.

“[It’s] an agenda that dramatically lowers prescription drug processionals and raises wages for hardworking Americans. An agenda that will build an inclusive society and make sure every young American has the opportunity to achieve the American dream,” he continued, citing the historically low national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.

“It is clear the economic policies the president has implemented are working. The ‘Best is Yet to Come’ blueprint will continue this growth and build upon it,” Riggleman said.

“The American economy is stronger than ever, and we should work to continue this growth,” he added.

Nevertheless, by advancing the Previous Question on Thursday, House Democrats effectively rejected consideration of the resolution, making it clear on Tuesday night and thereafter that, despite the successes for Americans on a variety of policy fronts, they intend to continue their historic opposition to Trump and his agenda due to personal animosity.

“President Trump delivered an incredible speech with policy goals that can unite the country and grow our economy, and House Republicans want to help him follow through on those goals,” a House GOP aide told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement.

“Everyone in America needs to understand that the Democrats from districts where President Trump won continuously vote for the agenda of AOC and Pelosi instead of supporting our president,” the aide added.

The Democrats’ latest and most severe effort to undercut Trump — the push to impeach him — failed in grand fashion in the U.S. Senate the day after his SOTU address. The Senate voted by substantial margins to acquit the president on all charges brought by the House, which impeached him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

With less than a year from the November elections, Republicans in the House are intensifying efforts to contrast their backing of the Trump agenda with the Democrats’ far-left, socialist vision. In the coming weeks and months ahead, the GOP will embark on a full-scale effort to differentiate themselves from what President Trump calls the “Do-nothing Democrats” and offer different pieces of legislation to support tenants of the “Best is Yet to Come” blueprint in coming weeks.

The GOP needs to take back a net of 18 seats from Democrats in this year’s congressional election in order to retake the House majority from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Democrats. There are 30 districts currently represented by Democrats that Trump won in 2016 and another 20 districts, roughly, that Republicans believe are competitive this cycle.

Putting a focus on policy solutions for Americans — as the president has — could help Republicans contrast their push to help the country with Democrats’ efforts to undermine economic — and other wins — for voters out of partisan spite of Trump.





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Sessions on Impeachment: ‘Dramatic Abuse’ by House — Pelosi Refusal to Send to Senate Shows Lack of Confidence



HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — On Thursday, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, was on the campaign trail in his state’s Tennessee Valley, catching up with voters and local officials about the issues of the day.

Of notable importance was the House of Representatives’ passage of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump a day earlier.

In comments given to Breitbart News, the former U.S. Senator and Attorney General criticized the House of Representatives’ effort on the grounds of substance and called it a “dramatic abuse” by the body.

“I think it has just been shocking to most Americans to see how little substance this is,” he said. “It’s like, is this all there is? After all these vicious charges against the president, it comes down to these vague charges of abuse and obstruction? What does that mean? I think it’s a dramatic abuse by the House of Representatives of the impeachment clause in the Constitution. And it’s not anything the House says it is. Some have tried to say that. But in truth, the Constitution says treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors. Those mean something. It means something other than we had a disagreement with you, and now we’re going to impeach you. This was a horrible, improper act, in my opinion.”

The former U.S. Attorney General also weighed in on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusal at the moment to transfer the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate, where a trial would take place. He said that gesture from Pelosi showed a lack of confidence in the two articles.

“I think there’s no doubt they don’t have confidence in them,” Sessions explained. “They’re not able to defend the charges. You had Professor [Jonathan] Turley, who I have gotten to know, Ken Starr, who is a great lawyer, being a law school dean and was a Clinton special prosecutor, but he says it is nowhere close to impeachable offenses. And Professor Turley does, too. He says it would be the least supported impeachment charge ever in our nation’s history. I’m totally in accord with that. Not sending it over is to me a clear indication that they’re not proud of their work. I said some weeks ago it looked like they were going to force this thing through and slink away, and hope it goes away. They know it doesn’t have legs in the Senate.”

Sessions did not have a recommendation as to whether or not witnesses should be called in the Senate trial. But he added that he did not think witnesses were necessary and pointed out that witnesses were not called in the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999.

“In my opinion, there’s so little substance in this impeachment charge that calling witnesses is not required to fulfill the responsibility of the Senate,” he said. “But I know Sen. McConnell and the White House are talking about that question. I won’t make a recommendation as to what they should do. I think they should think it through, and I think they probably should reach a good decision. I don’t think it’s required. We didn’t do witnesses on Clinton. With Clinton, there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt — all the elements of three different crimes. There’s no crime really charged here. The charges are vague, and they support impeachment for almost anything Congress wanted to do in the future if this is sustained.”

Sessions is the apparent front-runner in a crowded field for the seat he held for 20 years before accepting President Donald Trump’s appointment to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Sessions faces former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R) for the opportunity to run against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) next November.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor





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Support for Impeachment Collapses Among Black, Hispanic Voters



Support for impeaching President Donald Trump has collapsed among Hispanic and black voters—a situation that could doom Democrats in 2020.

A recent national poll released by Emerson College indicates that black Americans, a key constituency of the Democrat Party, narrowly opposes Trump’s impeachment. The poll found that 38 percent of black voters are opposed, while 37 percent are in favor, with 25 percent unsure.

Hispanic voters, meanwhile, were only narrowly in favor of impeachment, 48 percent to 41 percent, with 11 percent unsure. The Emerson poll also found 48 percent of white voters nationally were opposed to impeaching Trump, while 44 percent were supportive.

The results are starkly different from those recorded nationally by Emerson in October. At the time, 58 percent of black voters were in favor of impeaching Trump compared to only 27 percent against and 15 percent unsure. Likewise, 73 percent of Hispanics favored the president’s impeachment in October, while 24 percent were opposed and only 3 percent.

Overall, between the two surveys, support for impeaching Trump dropped 20 percent among black voters and 25 percent with Hispanics. The drops have been accompanied by nearly double digit increases among voters from the two communities telling pollsters they were unsure if Trump’s impeachment was the best recourse.

The polling seems to indicate the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which began televised public hearings this month, has backfired tremendously. When the inquiry first launched, Democrats were eager to prove Trump committed an impeachable offense by suggesting the government of Ukraine investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings within the country.

Right out of the gate, though, the effort was hamstrung by the unwillingness of Democrat leadership, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), to grant Republicans equal questioning time and subpoena power. With Democrats unwilling to give Republicans appropriate say in the proceedings, the vote formalizing the inquiry was conducted on party lines, thereby dooming any hopes of bipartisan respectability.

Congressional Democrats were further hampered by their own star witnesses, nearly all of whom admitted under oath that Hunter Biden’s wheeling and dealing in Ukraine had the appearance of a conflict of interest for his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.

One of the witnesses, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, even admitted on the opening day of the inquiry that he was so troubled by the younger Biden’s decision to join the board of Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma —while his father was overseeing Obama-era policy in the region—that he felt compelled to reach out to the former vice president’s office about the matter in 2015.

The televised hearings seemed to have the exact opposite impact Democrats were hoping to achieve when they first launched the inquiry. Although the Emerson poll did not ask why black and Hispanic voters had changed their minds on impeachment, the rates at which they were following the inquiry hearings could pose an answer.

According to the poll, black Americans were more intently following the impeachment hearings unfolding on Capitol Hill than either whites or Hispanics. Of the black voters surveyed, 73 percent told pollsters they were “watching” the impeachment hearings, compared to only 27 percent who said they were not. Similarly, 70 percent of whites said they were following the hearings, while 29 percent were not. Among Hispanics, the figure was slightly lower, with 60 percent saying they were watching the hearings and 40 percent admitting they were not. The lower level of viewership could be the reason why Hispanics overall still tend to narrowly approve of Trump’s impeachment.

Regardless of the reasoning support for impeachment has dropped, the end result could prove dire for Democrats heading into next year’s presidential election.

In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received 88 percent of the African American vote, as shown by exit polling data from the race. The numbers, although impressive, were significantly lower than the 93 percent Obama garnered in his successful 2012 reelection campaign. Political scientists have attempted to explain the discrepancy by pointing out that overall turnout among black voters was lower in 2016 than 2012. Few, however, have mentioned that Trump’s share of the African American vote was greater than Romney’s, as denoted by the Roper Center for Public Opinion at Cornell University. In fact, the 2016 GOP ticket headed by Trump garnered the highest percentage of black voters since 2004.

Trump’s improved margins among African American voters in heavily urban areas played no small part in his victory. Data from the Michigan secretary of state’s office indicate Trump received 15,000 more votes in Wayne County—where Detroit is located—than Romney in 2012. Even though Trump still lost the county by a substantial margin, the increase helped him eke out a win over Clinton statewide by more than 10,000 votes.

A similar situation played out with Hispanic voters in 2016, but to a lesser degree. Trump won 29 percent of the Hispanic vote on his way to the White House, rising higher than Romney’s 27 percent in 2012. The result shocked many in the media establishment, especially as Trump had run hard on cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

If Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) were to move forward with impeachment, Trump’s numbers with the minority voters could surpass his 2016 margins, provided the findings of the Emerson poll hold. In that instance, Democrats would forfeit any opportunity of pulling states like Michigan back into their column and could even jeopardize their chances in jurisdictions with heavy Hispanic populations, like New Mexico and Colorado.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), the vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, likely had this notion in mind on Monday when suggesting the House abandon its push to impeach Trump and settle for “censure.”

“We are so close to an election,” Lawrence told a local Michigan radio station. “I will tell you, sitting here knowing how divided this country is, I don’t see the value of taking him out of office. I do see the value of putting down a marker saying his behavior is not acceptable.”



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