Fox News 2024-02-04 07:08:03


Former Trump administration official dies days after getting shot during carjacking

Former President Trump administration member Mike Gill recently died from injuries he sustained after he was carjacked in Washington, D.C., Fox News has learned.

Gill, who served as chief of staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), was sitting in his vehicle on Monday night, when a suspect entered his car and shot him. The incident happened in the 900 block of K Street NW at around 5:45 p.m. 

Police have identified the suspect as Artell Cunningham, 28. Authorities say that Cunningham tried stealing another vehicle around an hour later, and then approached others and demanded their keys.

One of those people was Alberto Vasquez, Jr., 35, who Cunningham is accused of shooting and killing in a carjacking at 3rd and N Streets Northeast. Cunningham was later shot and killed by law enforcement.

Gill’s wife, Kristina, broke the news of her husband’s death to FOX 5 DC.

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“It is with profound sadness that I wish to inform the community of the passing of my husband, Mike Gill,” Kristina said in a statement. “His sudden departure has left a void in our lives that can never be filled.”

“In this time of grief, we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community, and extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has reached out to offer condolences and assistance.”

At the time of his death, Gill was working as a senior vice president for Capital Markets at the Housing Policy Council, a nonprofit. He is remembered as a beloved father, husband and friend.

Former CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo called Gill “one of the most wonderful, honest, earnest, and open-hearted persons on this earth.”

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“His life reflects everything that is good and right and true,” Giancarlo told FOX 5. “Words cannot express the tragedy of the loss of this fine man, colleague, and cherished friend. He will be sorely missed and long remembered.”

Carjacking incidents in Washington, D.C., have notoriously risen in recent years, prompting frustration and concern from law-abiding residents. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, was carjacked at gunpoint in October.

In November 2023, D.C. police recorded 250 homicides from January through November — the highest numbers the city had seen since 2003. During the same time period, 908 carjackings had been recorded and 77% involved firearms. 

In December, a 17-year-old named Devonta Lynch was charged with armed carjacking after he allegedly stole an FBI agent’s car.

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According to the Metropolitan Police Department’s website, 53 carjackings have been reported since Jan. 1, and 53% of the incidents involved guns. Only 10 of the cases have been closed.

Fox News Digital’s Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Audrey Conklin and Landon Mion contributed to this report.

Manhattan DA breaks silence days after migrants attack NYC cops

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reacted to the recent attack on New York police officers by a group of migrants in the Big Apple, calling the acts of violence “heinous.”

New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were patrolling Times Square on Jan. 27, when they encountered the group of migrants. The video shows police asking the men to move along.

The footage then showed the two officers holding a person in a yellow jacket down in an attempt to subdue them. The group of suspects were seen kicking the officers before running away.

Darwin Andres Gomez, 19, Kelvin Servita Arocha, 19, Wilson Juarez, 21, and Yorman Reveron, 24, have been identified as the suspects.

Also arrested for the attack were Jhoan Boada, 22, Jandry Barros, 21, and Yohenry Brito, 24.

ILLEGAL MIGRANT FLIPS MIDDLE FINGERS AFTER BEING CHARGED WITH ATTACKING NYPD IN TIMES SQUARE

In a statement obtained Saturday by Fox News, Bragg said that his office, “continues to work with law enforcement to bring everyone responsible for these heinous attacks to justice.”

“It is clear from video and other evidence that some of the most culpable individuals have not yet been identified or arrested, and we are working hand in hand with the NYPD to find and hold them accountable for their despicable acts,” Bragg said.

“We are simultaneously preparing to present charges to the Grand Jury on Tuesday and will update the public as soon as legally permissible,” he added. “We will not rest until every person who assaulted a police officer in this awful attack is held accountable.”

NYPD CHIEF BLASTS MIGRANTS’ ATTACK ON OFFICERS AS MUGSHOTS OF SUSPECTS RELEASED

In another statement on Saturday, NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban called the group of men “cowards.”

“An attack against a police officer is an attack against our entire society,” Caban said. “The NYPD is thoroughly investigating this incident, which saw a group of cowards assault two uniformed officers tasked with protecting our community.”

“We will work tirelessly with the office of the Manhattan district attorney to identify and arrest every person who participated in this event,” he continued.

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Gomez, Arocha, Juarez and Reveron were reportedly charged with assault and released without bail. 

A law enforcement source told the New York Post that the group recently fled to California after giving fake names to a nonprofit group that transports migrants, and that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have since issued warrants for the men.

Brito remains in jail, while Boada, who is also being sought, and Barros were released without bail.

Fox News Digital’s Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Louis Casiano and CB Cotton contributed to this report.

GOP facing worst fundraising crisis since before 1994 Republican revolution

FIRST ON FOX: Democrats have started the election year off on a high note with a vast fundraising advantage over their Republican counterparts, who are facing a shortage of cash and party disarray in crucial swing states.

According to year-end reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) holds nearly three times the cash on hand reported by the Republican National Committee (RNC), and brought in nearly three times as much fundraising in the final month of 2023.

The RNC reported its worst fundraising year since 2013 raising just $87.2 million in 2023, and starting 2024 with just over $8 million in cash on hand. If adjusted for inflation, the RNC’s fundraising was last this low in 1993 — before the 2002 McCain Feingold Act restricted political committee fundraising from corporations and capped donations from individuals.

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The DNC reported $120 million raised in 2023, and a record $21 million in cash on hand, marking a massive $13 million gap between the two committees. It also reported raising $14.7 million in December to the RNC’s $5.3 million.

Although the RNC brought in more direct contributions than the DNC throughout the year, the latter enjoys a joint fundraising agreement with incumbent President Biden’s re-election campaign, as well as its other joint fundraising committees, and overall outpaced the RNC, which does not have a joint fundraising agreement, for much of that period. National committees of either party often see a decline in fundraising during election cycles against an incumbent president of the opposite party.

Republicans are also dealing with disarray in a number of their party organizations in multiple swing states that will be crucial to the party maintaining, or growing, its majority in the House, winning a majority in the Senate and retaking the White House.

STACEY ABRAMS’ ONCE-POWERFUL VOTING RIGHTS GROUP FACES MASSIVE LAYOFFS AS IT STRUGGLES WITH MILLIONS IN DEBT

Last week, the now-former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, Jeff DeWitt, suddenly resigned from the role amid allegations he unsuccessfully tried to bribe GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake not to launch a campaign. The state party also struggled financially throughout last year amid lower contribution levels and hundreds of thousands in legal costs related to the 2020 presidential election.

In Michigan, newly elected state GOP chairman Pete Hoekstra and ousted former chairwoman Kristina Karamo have been battling over who is actually in control of the party, while a number of other state party officials are facing felony charges for their alleged role in a fake electors scheme attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.

In Nevada, Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald was indicted in a similar fake electors scheme, and in North Carolina, the state Republican Party’s FEC report shows that it burned through cash and is now $72,000 in debt.

DISPUTED TRUMP-BACKED MICHIGAN GOP CHAIRMAN INVESTED THOUSANDS IN COMPANY DISPOSING ABORTED FETAL REMAINS

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on advertising by Republican presidential candidates in an effort to secure the party’s nomination, delaying the party an opportunity to coalesce around a single candidate and focus on the general election.

“The Republican National Committee has become a financial dumpster fire at a time when they literally cannot afford it,” DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd told Fox News Digital. 

“With the 2024 field already having blown through millions attacking each other and GOP state parties descending into infighting and heading toward bankruptcy, Republican donors may want to consider just lighting their money on fire themselves rather than wasting time giving it to the RNC,” he added.

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A source familiar with the RNC’s fundraising told Fox News Digital that it raised more than any other Democrat or Republican committee in 2023 except for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) when accounting for direct fundraising and not including transfers from other joint fundraising groups.

The source also said the RNC has already made significant financial investments in staff buildups across 15 battleground states, as well as in early voting and ballot-harvesting initiatives, but did not say whether that was directly related to the party’s low cash on hand.

Fox News reported this week that the RNC raised $12 million in January, more than any month in 2023.

“The RNC is not only raising the necessary funds, but we’re making strategic investments early in battlegrounds to win up and down the ballot this Fall,” an RNC spokesperson told Fox News Digital after publication. “Meanwhile, Democrats have an extremely unpopular agenda, no ground game, and a President sleepwalking his way to defeat in November.”

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

College basketball fans find nifty way to distract opponent at free throw line

Basketball fans know the deal.

When an opponent is shooting free throws, you do whatever necessary — within reason — to make a player miss.

A fan at Oakland University took this strategy to a whole new level.

A group of male Golden Grizzlies fans at a game against Cleveland State were shirtless below a basket in the second half.

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One of those fans also had clippers, and one of the guys took one for the team by actually getting a haircut during the game. 

While Cleveland State’s Tevin Smith was at the free throw line down 19 points, the guy pulled out the clippers, and one of the fans got a buzz cut.

Smith made the first shot, but he missed the second.

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The rest of the shirtless men also had buzz cuts. So, who knows if this had been a thing throughout the game? Either way, it was funny to watch.

If it was a distraction strategy throughout the game, it worked pretty well. Oakland players knocked down all 23 of their free throws, while the Vikings went just 8-for-13 (61.5%) at the line.

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Oakland eventually pulled away for an 83-71 victory.

NBA veteran remains unsigned, can’t secure health benefits for children

Tony Snell’s mission to sign with an NBA team this season has become one of the most widely discussed basketball stories.

The 32-year-old guard plays for the Boston Celtics’ G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics. 

He spent the majority of his nine-year NBA career as a role player. He was pushing to sign with a team by a Feb. 2 deadline to gain retirement benefits for players with at least 10 years of service.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, players with a decade of experience can receive lifetime health insurance for their children. Snell’s two young sons have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and Snell said he was also diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum.

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The NBA does offer two benefit retirement tiers. Once a player reaches three years of experience, he is eligible for individual lifetime health insurance. Players who play ten or more years qualify for premium benefits, which provide lifetime health insurance for family members.

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Friday marked the final day Snell could sign with an NBA team to qualify for his tenth year of service. Snell scored three points in the Maine Celtics’ win over the Grand Rapids Gold Friday.

He has appeared in 14 games at the G League level this season and has averaged 4.1 points. Many G League teams are focused on developing younger players, so playing time is typically hard to come by for older players like Snell.

Earlier this week, basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkely made an impassioned plea for a franchise to sign Snell before the benefits program deadline passed.

“I’m hoping — you know, the NBA’s been great to all of us sitting up here — I hope one of you guys sign Tony so his two autistic kids can get great medical care,” Barkley said during a segment of “NBA on TNT.”

It’s still possible Snell could land with an NBA team next season.

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Snell’s situation has raised awareness about the financial burden associated with caring for people with autism. It’s unclear if the NBA or the players union will reconsider its eligibility criteria or if Snell will be granted an exception.

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Ravens player hit with hefty fine for controversial taunt at AFC Championship game

The NFL has fined Baltimore Ravens receiver Zay Flowers for taunting Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed in last weekend’s AFC championship game. 

After he was tackled on a 54-yard pass play late in the third quarter, the Ravens receiver pushed Sneed’s shoulders to the ground and spun the ball near Sneed’s face. 

Referees called a taunting penalty on Flowers, a pivotal 15-yard infraction that pushed the Ravens backward.

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Flowers later kept the drive alive with a clutch first down, but things turned badly quickly.

Flowers was the target of the first play of the fourth quarter. He caught a pass and tried to get into the end zone, but Sneed got his revenge by punching the ball away just before Flowers crossed the goal line.

The Chiefs recovered the ball in the end zone and eventually won 17-10 to advance to their second straight Super Bowl.

The penalty cost much more than 15 yards in a big game. Flowers was fined $10,927, the NFL announced Saturday.

Flowers also cut his hand after banging it in frustration when he reached the sideline after the fumble. The TV broadcast showed his hand bloodied.

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The rookie, drafted 22nd overall last year, led the Ravens with five receptions for 115 yards in the game.

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He caught 77 passes for 858 yards in his first NFL season out of Boston College.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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Biden quickly wins South Carolina Democratic presidential primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is once again handing President Biden a massive ballot box victory.

The Associated Press on Saturday projected that the president would win South Carolina’s 2024 Democratic presidential primary, with the news service making its call just 23 minutes after the polls closed in the Palmetto State at 7 p.m. ET.

The quick projection came as no surprise, as Biden was expected to trounce his two long-shot Democratic primary challengers, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author and spiritual adviser who’s making her second straight White House run.

“In 2020, it was the voters of South Carolina who proved the pundits wrong, breathed new life into our campaign, and set us on the path to winning the Presidency,” Biden said in a statement soon after the race was called.

BIDEN AIMS TO SOLIDIFY SUPPORT AMONG BLACK VOTERS AT THE BALLOT BOX

“Now in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again and I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the Presidency again — and making Donald Trump a loser — again,” he added.

South Carolina, where Black voters play an out-sized role in state Democratic politics, for the first time led off the party’s official presidential nominating calendar.

And Biden deserved much of the credit, as he orchestrated an upending of the Democratic National Committee’s long-running nominating calendar to place the Palmetto State first.

“If you ever doubt that the power to change America is in your hands, remember this. You proved it. You’re the reason I am president. That’s right. You’re the reason Kamala Harris is a historic vice president,” Biden emphasized last weekend as he spoke at a major South Carolina Democratic Party gathering. 

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Four years ago, the then-former vice president was reeling, after a fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses and a fifth place showing in the New Hampshire primary. 

Biden rebounded with a distant second place finish to Sen. Bernie Sanders in Nevada’s caucuses, which was followed by a landslide victory in the South Carolina primary. Biden’s demolishing of the rest of the field of Democratic rivals — boosted in large part by the support of longtime Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina — rocketed Biden towards the party’s nomination and eventually the White House.

National Democrats for years knocked both Iowa and New Hampshire — which led both national parties’ nominating calendars for half a century — as unrepresentative of the party as a whole because the states have largely Caucasian populations with few major urban areas. Nevada and South Carolina, which in recent cycles voted third and fourth on the calendar, are much more diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire.

While Republicans didn’t make major changes to their 2024 schedule, the DNC last year overwhelmingly approved a calendar proposed by Biden to move South Carolina to the lead position. The president and supporters of the new calendar argued that it would empower minority voters, upon whom Democrats have long relied but have at times taken for granted.

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Plenty of political analysts also saw the move as a thank you from Biden to Clyburn and South Carolina for the role they played in his 2020 election.

Spotlighting the significance of going first in the calendar, South Carolina Democratic Party chair Christale Spain told Fox News “it’s a huge deal.”

While Iowa eventually complied with the DNC, New Hampshire adhered to a half-century-old state law that mandates their presidential primary goes first.

New Hampshire held its primary for both parties on Jan. 23, and the Democratic contest was unsanctioned by the DNC, with no delegates at stake.

Biden didn’t file to place his name on the New Hampshire primary ballot and didn’t campaign in the state. But he still won 64% of the vote in the contest, thanks to a well-funded write-in effort by top Granite State Democrats. 

As ballots continued to be tablulated latte Saturday evening in South Carolina, Biden enjoyed a massive lead over his challengers, winning 96% of the vote. And the president was projected to sweep all 55 delegates at stake.

Asked by Fox News’ James Levinson if it was time for Phillips and Williamson to suspend their campaigns, DNC chair Jaime Harrison said “campaigns have to make their own decisions. I don’t tell anybody when they should drop out.”

But stating the obvious, he added “it looks like Joe Biden’s going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party.”

South Carolina Democratic Party chair Christale Spain, pointing to the president’s dominance in a state where he’s had long ties, told Fox News on Friday that “this primary is contested, but it isn’t competitive.”

Vice President Harris, on the eve of the primary, highlighted the significance of the state’s new leadoff position.

“South Carolina, you are the first primary in the nation and President Biden and I are counting on you,” Harris said at a campaign event at South Carolina State University. 

“Are you ready to make your voices heard?” the vice president asked the crowd gathered Friday at the historically Black university.

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Biden called into a South Carolina Democratic Party celebration after his victory was projected.

“What happened,” he joked, before asking “what kind of turnout did you have.”

“Thanks everybody. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. And you’re not rid of me. I’m coming back,” he said to cheers. 

The president enjoys the support of the DNC as he seeks a second term in the White House, and Harrison, back in his home state, told Fox News Digital on Saturday morning in Columbia, South Carolina that part of Biden’s mission in the primary was to shore up support from Black voters, a key Democratic Party constituency that boosted him four years ago.

“This president wanted to send a signal to black folks, not only here in South Carolina, but across the nation, that we see you, we hear you and you matter. That is why it’s important for the president and the vice president and the first lady and the second gentleman to come into a state and to show up even when they know that they’re going to win. And that they’re going to win decisively,” Harrison said.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Wildly popular ‘world’s coolest dictator’ fires back at Rep. Ilhan Omar after democracy jab

El Salvador voters stand poised to re-elect their current president and self-styled “world’s coolest dictator” Nayib Bukele in a landslide victory after he rehabilitated his country’s crime-ridden reputation.

“The opposition will be able to achieve its true and only plan, to free the gang members and use them to return to power,” Bukele warned in a video that quickly spread across social media and news outlets in El Salvador. 

Bukele’s controversial tenure as leader of the Central American country looks set to continue, thanks to a revamp of the constitutional courts in which he replaced judges with loyalists who ruled that he could run for a second term despite a constitutional ban on reelections. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., called into question the U.S. relationship with El Salvador and urged the U.S. State Department to review its relationship with the Central American country, alleging that Bukele presented “threats to democracy.” 

EL SALVADOR’S BUKELE, AN ANTI-GANG HARDLINER, TAKES REELECTION BID ABROAD

“The Salvadoran people deserve free and fair elections without fear of repression,” Omar wrote on social media platform X. 

A community note on her post noted that Bukele won the 2019 election with a 54% majority and that his crackdown on gang violence has helped cement his immense popularity with a 91% approval rating among voters. 

Bukele shot back at Omar, joking that he felt “honored” to “receive your attacks,” saying he would be very worried if she had backed him in the election. 

Bukele came to power in 2019 and clashed with the Legislative Assembly over policies, including severe restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. His party took control of the national congress in 2021 and started instituting sweeping changes to other branches of government and instituting new laws that allowed him to effectively go to war with the gangs in his country. 

WHO IS GUATEMALA’S NEW PRESIDENT AND CAN HE DELIVER ON PROMISED CHANGE?

Once known as the “murder capital” of the world, El Salvador underwent significant reforms that allowed the government to sweep up alleged gang members by the hundreds and shove them into a rapidly established super prison. 

The prison, built in just months during 2022, can hold up to 40,000 people and has thousands of military personnel guarding it. Bukele made sure to share plenty of video and pictures of the prison and its first few thousands of occupants. 

The measures, which ultimately swept up many potentially innocent men, led to a drop in the murder and crime rates over the following year. Salvadorian Justice and Security Minister Gustavo Villatoro claimed that the country recorded 154 murders in 2023, marking a 70% drop from the previous year. 

That would account for a rate of 2.4 per every 100,000 people, which would potentially rank as the lowest in the Americas, apart from Canada, according to Reuters. 

FORMER PANAMA PRESIDENT’S MONEY LAUNDERING SENTENCE STANDS, LIKELY DOOMING ELECTION PROSPECTS THIS YEAR

During an interview with Fox News Digital in May 2023, Bukele’s vice president and running mate Felix Ulloa claimed his country would “face the problem” of gang violence and urged the United States to invest in the country so that it could continue to crack down on criminals. 

Ulloa argued that if El Salvador and other countries could similarly deal with their crime crises, it would help alleviate the migrant crisis on the U.S. southern border, as many of those who flee to the north do so to escape their crime-ridden homeland. 

El Salvador’s success has boosted Bukele’s popularity so much that other countries, such as Honduras and the Dominican Republic, have looked to replicate the model, which has raised concerns from civil rights advocates.

Ulloa admitted to The Associated Press this week that the government “made mistakes” in detaining thousands of innocent people as part of their regular sweeps, which often profile young men under the fear of gang involvement. 

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Ulloa insisted that El Salvador “is not a police state” but rather “a state that provides security.” Bukele continues to insist that if he loses the election, it would “put at risk” the country’s “war with the gangs.” 

Critics also point to other troubling developments in the legislature, such as Bukele’s efforts to slash the number of municipalities, which could help ensure his victory and party superiority in local and congressional elections in March. 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

Chipotle is offering a special deal for its fans ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering a cheesy deal for its fans ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.

In honor of the Super Bowl kicking off Feb. 11, the fast-casual Mexican food chain is offering a free small side of Queso Blanco with any entrée purchase for an entire week.

Customers can use the promo code QUESO24 for a free small side of Queso Blanco when ordering through Chipotle app or website. 

CHIPOTLE ANNOUNCES FAN-FAVORITE MENU ITEM RETURNING FOR THE THIRD TIME – FIND OUT WHAT IT IS

The deal starts Feb. 5, and can be used once a day until Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 11. It is only valid at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Queso refers to a cheese-based Mexican dip that incorporates peppers. The word queso means cheese in Spanish.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CMG CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC. 2,482.12 +40.73 +1.67%

Chipotle’s Queso Blanco is made using poblano, serrano, and chipotle peppers. Its base is made with aged Monterey Jack and white cheddar cheese.

WOMAN SUES CHIPOTLE FOR $2 BILLION OVER USE OF PHOTO IN PROMO MATERIALS

Chipotle’s Queso Blanco was launched by the company in 2020. The chain previously served a different queso product. 

In a press release at the time, Chipotle said that the cheese dip had “just the right amount of spicy kick.”

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“Queso Blanco’s Monterey Jack cheese is made from dairy supplied by small and mid-size family farms in Wisconsin, adhering to Chipotle’s ‘Food with Integrity’ standards,” Newport Beach, California-based Chipotle said in a 2020 statement.

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will face off in Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11.

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