Fox News 2024-03-10 01:03:52


Trump recounts emotional meeting with Laken Riley’s family: ‘She was the best’

Former President Donald Trump said he met with the family of Laken Riley backstage before speaking at a rally in Georgia on Saturday.

“I met her beautiful mother and family backstage,” Trump told the crowd in Rome. “They said she was like the best. She was always the best to us. They admit that she was the best, and she was the first in her class. She was going to be the best nurse. She was the best nursing student. She was always the best. She was the brightest light in every room, they told me.”

He added, “She was the whole world to her parents and to her sister and just to the whole family.” 

Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student in Georgia, was allegedly killed by a Venezuelan migrant in the country illegally while she was on a jog on Feb. 22. 

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Trump laid the blame for Riley’s death on President Biden. 

“Biden has implemented a formal policy that illegal aliens who intrude into the United States are granted immunity from deportation,” Trump said. “Thus, when this monster showed up at our border, he was set free immediately under the program. That crooked Joe created it.” 

He added that they were “profoundly honored” to have Riley’s family and friends at the rally. 

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“They’re so incredible,” he continued. “The hearts of hundreds of thousands and indeed millions and millions of Americans and people worldwide, they’re shattered alongside of your beautiful hearts. We share your grief. We share your grief. Thank you, darling. Thank you. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.”

Pastor who prayed before Congress reacts after Dems call him ‘ill-qualified hate preacher’

Who knew prayer could be so offensive to so many? 

That’s exactly the reaction Pastor Jack Hibbs received from several members of Congress after he offered a prayer to open their session several weeks ago. 

Hibbs is pastor of mega church Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, California. House Speaker Mike Johnson invited him to deliver the invocation on Jan. 30, as one of the many guest chaplains who are asked to render a blessing to begin lawmakers’ assemblage.  

In his prayer, Hibbs called for “humility and repentance of national sins in a time of great need.”

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But in a letter addressed to Speaker Johnson, 26 Democrats accused Hibbs afterward of being “an ill-qualified hate preacher” who was pushing a “Christian nationalist agenda,” according to a Roll Call account in mid-February.  

Fox News reached out to the Speaker’s Office for comment.

During a recent episode of “Lighthouse Faith” podcast, Pastor Hibbs reacted to the Democrats’ accusations, saying, “You know, I was honored to pray. And what a lot of people don’t realize is that … two thirds of my prayer was simply lifted, in part, from ancient prayers, so to speak, from 1774.”

Hibbs was referring to the First Prayer of the Continental Congress given by the Rev. Jacob Duche, rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, on Sept. 7, 1774.

It begins this way: “O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee.”

“This is just part of their way of labeling and is void of fact.” 

Reps. Jared Huffman of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin were the top organizers and signers of the two-page letter, according to Rep. Huffman’s website. 

The letter stated in the opening graph that “Pastor Hibbs is a radical Christian nationalist who helped fuel the January 6th insurrection.”

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In a statement to Fox News, Hibbs said, “I’m quite impressed, as I didn’t know I had such power. This is just part of their way of labeling and is void of fact.” 

He also said that “when these progressives speak about ‘radical Christian nationalists,’ they’re using verbiage reminiscent of the rise of the Third Reich under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Hitler, as well as communists, Marxists and socialists, are known to label and vilify those who disagree with their ideologies.”

Author of the recent book, “Daze of Deception: How to Discern Truth from Culture’s Lies,” Hibbs makes no excuses for being a Christian with orthodox — some would say extremely conservative — beliefs. 

Theologian, author and speaker Dr. Alex McFarland, based in North Carolina, said that Christian nationalism is a phrase that the left more or less coined to strike fear in the hearts of liberals to equate it almost as terrorism. 

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Yet McFarland said, “I love God. I love my country. If that makes me a Christian nationalist … I’m proud to be one.”

Hibbs agreed, saying, “The fact is that a Christian nationalist is a Christian who happens to live in a nation … Jeremiah 29:7 says that you should ‘seek the welfare of the city in which I have planted you for the betterment of all.’”

The letter blasts Hibbs himself and what he preaches. 

Yet the letter to Speaker Johnson wasn’t just about what Hibbs prayed before Congress.

The letter blasts Hibbs himself and what he preaches and stands for, saying that the pastor “has a long record of spewing hateful vitriol toward non-Christians, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community. He should never have been granted the right to deliver the House’s opening prayer on Jan. 30, 2024.”

Hibbs is also under fire from the atheist group Freedom From Religion.

It’s calling on the Internal Revenue Service to remove the tax-exempt status of his church after Hibbs endorsed Republican Senate candidate Steve Garvey from the pulpit. 

Morality, deciding what is good or bad, is implicitly founded in religious values, not science.

Hibbs has since apologized for violating laws barring churches from supporting political candidates.

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But Hibbs’ prayer could be yet another example of a clash of orthodoxies in political circles. Roll Call reported that Huffman calls himself a “nonreligious humanist.” 

He, along with Raskin, founded the Congressional Freethought Caucus. 

Its stated mission is to “promote public policy formed on the basis of reason, science and moral values.” That could be the conflict in a nutshell.  

The majority of theologians agree that there is no such thing as a “non-religious” person, that there is no neutral position when it comes to religion; we all have a stake in what may be the grand spiritual narrative of creation. 

Morality, deciding what is good or bad, is implicitly founded in religious values, not science.

As Oxford University mathematician and Christian apologist Dr. John Lennox said in a debate with atheist Richard Dawkins, “Science can tell you what will happen when you put arsenic in your Aunt Tilley’s tea, but it cannot tell whether or not you should.”

Theologian Dr. Timothy Keller, in a sermon on exclusivity, said that “religion in the larger sense is a set of answers to the big questions of life.”

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He noted, “Why are we here? What is right and wrong for human beings to be doing? What’s wrong with the human race, and how can we fix it? How do we decide right and wrong? What should we be spending our time doing?”

He also said, “Nobody can operate in life without a set of answers to those questions. And those answers are at least implicitly religious.”

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Politics today, it seems, has become more of a spiritual battleground than a platform for public servants diplomatically deciding what’s best for the nation.

Hibbs’ conflict with a group of Democrats is just one of the battles in a war of ideals that continues to grow and fester.

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Prime minister stunned when voters reject his bid to redefine family: ‘We got it wrong’

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has conceded defeat in the vote over two constitutional amendments that would have broadened the definition of family and of women’s roles.

Varadkar previously told constituents that the referendum was a chance to do away with “very old-fashioned, very sexist language about women.”

The first of the constitutional amendments asked citizens to expand the definition of family from one founded on marriage to also include “durable relationships” such as cohabiting couples and their children. 

The second of the amendments would replace language around a mother’s roles to “duties in the home” in an effort to recognize care providers.

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Siobhán Mullally, a law professor and director of the Irish Center for Human Rights at the University of Galway, said that the referendum was a “missed opportunity” to provide a more-comprehensive definition of caretakers.

Mullally said that some disability rights and social justice advocates opposed the measure because it was too restrictive in defining caretakers. 

“It was a hugely missed opportunity,” Mullally said. “Most people certainly want that sexist language removed from the constitution. There’s been calls for that for years, and it’s taken so long to have a referendum on it. But they proposed replacing it with this very limited, weak provision on care.”

Varadkar, who pushed the vote, said that voters had delivered “two wallops” to the government.

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“Clearly we got it wrong,” he said. “While the old adage is that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan, I think when you lose by this kind of margin, there are a lot of people who got this wrong, and I am certainly one of them.”

Opponents of the constitutional amendments argued that the concept of “durable relationship” was undefined and confusing and that women and mothers were being “canceled” from the constitution.

“It was too rushed,” said Una Ui Dhuinn, a nurse in Dublin. “We didn’t get enough time to think about it and read up on it. So I felt, to be on the safe side, ‘no, no’ — no change.”

Caoimhe Doyle, a doctoral student, said that she voted yes to changing the definition of family, but no to the care amendment because “I don’t think it was explained very well.”

“There’s a worry there that they’re removing the burden on the state to take care of families,” she said.

The proposed amendments come as Ireland has slowly transformed from a conservative, Catholic country to an increasingly socially liberal society.

The proportion of residents who are Catholic fell from 94.9% in 1961 to 69% in 2022, according to the Central Statistics Office.

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The country of 5.3 million opted to end constitutional limits on same-sex marriage in 2015 and abortion in 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Notorious MLB umpire ejects pitcher from spring training game not once, but twice

Longtime Major League Baseball umpire Ángel Hernández is known for having a relatively low tolerance for criticism.

During Friday’s spring training game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals, Hernández’s short fuse was on full display when he ejected pitcher Lance Lynn twice.

Lynn, who was making his spring training debut, appeared to take issue with Hernández’s strike zone in the third inning. The umpire ejected the right-hander from the exhibition game.

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According to MLB.com writer John Denton’s posts on X, Lynn said Hernández “started chirping at the (Cardinals) dugout and I told him, ‘They know it was a strike.’ He told me, ‘Let’s go!’ And I told him, ‘I have five seconds on the pitch clock and I’ll start whenever I feel like it’. … I threw the next pitch and I was like, ‘There’s a strike!’ And then it was ‘see you later.’’

In a somewhat unusual move, Lynn decided to go to the Cardinals’ bullpen in an apparent effort to get some more work in.

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Hernández was not pleased with Lynn’s unorthodox approach and decided to cut the bullpen session short by ejecting the pitcher a second time.

Lynn allowed four runs on three hits and three walks in two innings of work. He had two strikeouts while throwing 25 of his 44 pitches for strikes.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol also got ejected. Lynn waved at the crowd as they walked together through the outfield toward the clubhouse.

Lynn was part of a World Series title with the Cardinals as a rookie in 2011 and played his first six big league seasons with the team that drafted him. He played with five other teams the past six years before re-signing with St. Louis in November.

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Hernández, who was hired as a big league umpire in 1993, has been controversial on the field at times. He had three calls at first base overturned by video review during Game 3 of the 2018 American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Hernandez helped trigger a viral moment last September when he ejected Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper from a game. An emotional Harper then threw his helmet into the stands.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Chris Hansen says hidden-camera sting operation shows migrant crime is ‘not a hoax’

“Takedown” host Chris Hansen — also known for his longtime show “To Catch a Predator,” which followed police sting operations targeting pedophiles — said his latest project led him to encounter migrants who were soliciting women for sex and others being solicited themselves.

Hansen told Fox News the idea of “migrant crime” is “not a hoax,” but becoming a real problem in some quarters where it has led to alleged criminal sex rings, after MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Jen Psaki mocked the issue being the top concern for voters in Virginia.

Maddow joked it does have a “very contested” border with West Virginia, which led Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., and Gov. Jim Justice to denounce the pundits as “liberal elites” who insult Mountaineers and all concerned Americans.

Hansen said the issue is a serious one for many states far-flung from the border, including Florida, where he recently spent a week undercover with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and his deputies during a child predation and human-trafficking probe.

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“On the human-trafficking side, [there were] 228 people arrested in a week — 10% were illegal immigrant citizens from other countries,” he said.

When asked if those encountered were being trafficked or conducting the trafficking, Hansen replied: “It’s both.”

“In one case… which you’ll see this coming up on True Blue [network], we have two women coming into a hotel room, all on hidden camera being recorded. They cut a deal [for] sex with the undercover,” he said on “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

“Two women — $1,300. And later, after the arrest, they told investigators they had to earn $3,000 a week to pay the people who smuggle them into this country.”

Watters summarized Hansen’s operation as one in which people become “indebted to the cartels that traffic them, and they pay off that debt through a life of crime in the United States.”

Hansen said in the Polk County sting, three Venezuelan nationals were arrested.

“One man, who was pimping these women out, and the two victims of human trafficking,” he said.

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Hansen took issue with claims from the left that crime is down in migrant epicenters, saying that might be true for the overall crime rate, but cited cases of “horrific crimes,” like the alleged murder of Laken Riley by a Venezuelan migrant in Georgia.

Of the estimated 79,000 illegal immigrants who came into the United States with criminal histories, each on average has committed at least four additional crimes, Hansen claimed.

“Suddenly 79,000 turns into 300,000,” Hansen said, adding agencies like the Immigration & Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol want to work to quash the crisis, but policies like those in sanctuary cities prevent them from doing so.

He also recounted speaking with a sheriff of an Arizona border county who claimed as many as 250 children who crossed the border there have become unaccounted for in the nation’s interior.

Watters further cited a recent CBS News interview with former Biden-era Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, who said he has never had a conversation on-the-job with his ultimate boss.

“I was the chief of the Border Patrol. I commanded 21,000 people. That’s a problem,” Ortiz said last month.

Judd, the sheriff whose department Hansen shadowed, had commenced “Operation March Sadness” on Feb. 22, and reportedly arrested 21 illegal immigrants among the 228 netted in the human-trafficking crackdown.

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“We have a crisis at the border, and because of the crisis at the border, we have people that are victimizing illegal folks, forcing them into the sex trade,” Judd said, saying that no one in power pays proper attention to the crisis.

Judd said President Biden’s Homeland Security department gave migrants identification and paperwork allowing them to fly on the taxpayer’s dime.

“You know how Southwest will let your bags fly free? The federal government will let your illegal immigrants fly free,” he said.

FOX News Digital’s Louis Casiano Jr. contributed to this report.

Florida man finally finds out what happened to Marine vet dad who vanished decades ago

A Marine and Vietnam veteran who was found in a shallow grave in a wooded area of Pomona Park, Florida, in December 1980, after being “violently murdered” has been identified, the sheriff’s department confirmed. 

William Irving Monroe III was shot, had blunt force trauma to his chest, and a hairline fracture on the base of his skull, Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach said in a Friday press conference. 

Monroe had been previously known as John Doe #36 and was thought to have been a migrant worker prior to his identification. 

Last June, DeLoach said an identification wasn’t looking likely due to the “degradation of biological samples that we had. However, Othram labs was continuing to build a workable DNA sample and after a significant amount of work on their part they were able to get a viable sample collected from biologicals we had in evidence.” 

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By September, investigators were looking into the genealogy of possible family members related to Monroe, including a potential brother and sister. By January, officials said they had possibly linked the remains to Monroe, “which is promising, because there’s no records of Mr. Monroe after 1979.”

DeLoach said after investigators called Monroe’s brother, they realized he was “not a migrant worker as we’d once thought, but a person who has ties to Putnam County, specifically Pomona Park.”

Monroe’s ex-wife raised their two sons there, including his son, Michael, who was only 8 years old when his father disappeared, and attended Friday’s news conference. Monroe’s other son, Chris, died in a car crash in 1994. 

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DeLoach said for years Monroe’s family thought he had possibly been murdered in the Virgin Islands and “we now know unequivocally that is not the case, and though this may be just a piece of the puzzle, it now gives them the peace to know that we have identified their brother who will be properly memorialized.” 

Monroe’s father had hired a private investigator when he first went missing, DeLoach said, but since Monroe bounced around from state to state before his murder, they had no leads for a missing persons’ investigation. 

Investigators are now turning their attention toward finding a suspect. 

Monroe was last seen at a convenience store in 1980 and a driver for a labor camp said he had picked up a person matching the description of Monroe’s remains around that time. 

“I wanted to get our victim identified because I know every victim has a family,” Capt. Chris Stallings, with the sheriff’s department, told WJXX-TV. 

Monroe’s brother Richard Monroe told the station that William had PTSD from Vietnam and stopped contacting the family in 1980. 

His son Michael told WJXX that his father was his “hero.”

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“I went everywhere with him, so when he was gone, it took a lot out of me,” he said. “I wondered about it my whole life. Just to know he was found and I wasn’t abandoned as a kid… it is overwhelming, I don’t know how else to say it. It’s shocking.”

High school basketball team robbed of trip to championship gives lesson in sportsmanship

Although the Manasquan school district decided to take legal action regarding an egregious referee error, members of the high school’s boys basketball team showed tremendous sportsmanship on Saturday.

The Jersey Shore high school thought they had won a trip to the Group 2 state championship after a buzzer-beater against Camden earlier this week. However, officials gathered afterward and reversed the call, giving Camden a 46-45 victory.

But numerous videos showed that the basket should have counted. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association admitted the “error” but said the decision could not be reversed.

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Manasquan’s lawsuit asked for the championship game to be put on hold, but it took place on Saturday afternoon at Rutgers University, with Camden winning their second title in three years.

Although they weren’t on the court, Manasquan players still made the trip north to the Rutgers campus to watch the game, and when Camden won the title, Squan players gave Camden a standing ovation.

It should be noted that the Manasquan girls’ team are playing in their state final at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon, so perhaps they were there to show school spirit. But it cannot be denied that they showed sportsmanship when they certainly did not have to, considering that they should have been on the court, not in the stands.

Manasquan’s class act came amid backlash the Camden athletic director has received over the last 24 hours.

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On Friday night, a post came from an X account that is purportedly Camden athletic director Will Hickson’s. He said, “See you at Rutgers..” with heart emojis and the 1989 movie poster for Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing.”

Some in the comments viewed the post as trolling, considering the lengths Manasquan has gone in trying to reverse the decision made on Tuesday night. 

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Camden won the state tournament in 2022 but were disqualified from it by the NJSIAA last year after getting into a fight during their county championship game. Last year’s Camden featured two McDonald’s All-Americans in D.J. Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw, both of whom play for Kentucky.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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Gary Sinise describes his 33-year-old son’s final days in heartbreaking detail

In January, actor Gary Sinise lost his son, McCanna “Mac” Sinise, to cancer. He was 33.

Now, Sinise is describing in detail Mac’s final days, explaining that in the week before he died, he finished recording an album that he’d been working on for the last year.

“I bought him his first drum set when he was 9 years old,” he remembered in a conversation with ET. “He played through high school, and then he went to USC Thornton School of Music. He was playing drums all through college and studying songwriting and composition. He created a bunch of pieces of music while he was at college.”

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Sinise added, “He just put them away and didn’t do anything with them. About January 2023, he said, ‘Dad, I think I want to try to finish this music that I worked on all those years ago in college.'”

Mac played the harmonica, having learned it during his cancer battle. Sinise said that the album is currently being pressed and will be available for purchase on the Gary Sinise Foundation website, and that soon it will be available for streaming as well.

“That last week, he finished the record,” he said. “They had a viewing party… It was a joyful day. The following night, I went on television and talked about Mac. Then the next day, I had to call the ambulance and take him to the hospital.”

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The routine wasn’t anything new for the family — Sinise said that his son had been sent to the hospital, stabilized then released “so many times.” He said that he assumed that this trip would be another one of those occasions, admitting, “I wasn’t thinking that this was going to be the time.”

In the last couple of days of Mac’s life, he did realize that the end was near, but he said that Mac “was happy that he’d accomplished what he wanted. That’s what I want people to know about… Mac never gave up. He kept fighting.”

A time came when the fighting got “too tough,” with Sinise saying, “It wasn’t going to get better. It was going to get harder.” Still, “He was at peace. He was happy at the end of his life. He was joyful… He was smiling.”

The actor shared a story, recalling, “I was staying with him at the hospital at the end… I had to step out for something at one point, and I stopped by the nurse’s station on the way in. I said, ‘How’s Mac doing? What’s he’s doing?’ [The nurse said], ‘He’s watching “Forrest Gump” on his phone.’ He was in there watching ‘Forrest Gump.’ It made him feel good. I think it made him feel closer to me sometimes. He would watch it when I was gone.”

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Sinise said that in 2018, Mac began experiencing a significant pain in his tailbone. He wrote it off at first, but when the pain persisted, he went to see a doctor who discovered a “massive tumor” on his sacrum, a bone in the lower back. The tumor was removed, but the next year it came back.

Doctors kept removing the tumors, but more kept growing. As time went on, he remembered Mac getting “more and more seriously ill,” but said that he continued to fight the illness.

“It was not going to get better. There’s no cure,” he said. “We tried 25 different drugs. These are just drugs that are used on other cancers and the doctors kept trying and they said, ‘As long as you want to keep trying, Mac, we’ll keep trying. We’ll come up with something.’ Mac said, ‘I want to keep trying.’ He was an incredible fighter.”

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Eventually, the cancer paralyzed him, something that Sinise said was, in a way, a “blessing.”

He shared, “It was very painful and all of a sudden he couldn’t feel anything from the chest down, so that pain that he was feeling before was gone now, but he couldn’t walk. It’s just the nature of this awful cancer. He was fighting and I wasn’t going to stop fighting for him. I never wanted to think that we were going to lose the battle even though you know that you’re fighting uphill all the way.”

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While he and his family want to share their story, he confessed that it’s “hard to say” exactly what that looks like right now.

“It’s hard to even think like that, because somehow it feels like he’s just on vacation, he’s gonna come back.”

Gisele forgets her pants while posing for red-hot photo shoot after tearing up over Tom Brady

Gisele Bündchen made headlines this week for a new interview in which she discussed ex-husband Tom Brady, but she’s also been hard at work.

The supermodel was seen in Miami, preparing for a Hugo Boss photo shoot. She could be seen walking down the beach in an ensemble of a beige turtleneck sweater, a large knee-length puffy coat, white bikini bottoms and tall black boots.

One photo shows Bündchen bare-faced with her hair in loose waves, walking in the sand with various crew members around her.

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Another features her without the coat, with her back turned to the camera and a drink in her hand.

Yesterday, Brady shared a racy photo of his own.

He posted the picture to his Instagram story, and in the selfie, he isn’t wearing a shirt and his face is unshaven.

“Pool Party where is everyone??” he captioned the photo, also adding two laughing emojis.

Earlier this week, Bündchen did in interview with Robin Roberts, titled “IMPACT x Nightline: Gisele Bündchen: Climbing the Mountain.” During their conversation, she broke down in tears when asked about the end of her marriage to Brady. The two married in 2009, and they divorced in 2022.

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“You didn’t think the marriage would end,” Roberts asked her. “No one goes into a marriage thinking it’s going to end, but it does. You said it was the death of a dream. How are you?”

Bündchen took a deep breath and began to answer, “Well, when you say…” before halting and turning away from the camera.

“Sorry guys, I didn’t know, can I have a little moment?” she asked with a choked-up voice, her hair hiding her face.

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Last year, in an interview with Vanity Fair, the Brazilian model said that the split was “the death of my dream,” adding, “It’s tough because you imagine your life was going to be a certain way, and you did everything you could, you know?”

The couple were together for 13 years and share two children, Vivian and Benjamin. Brady also has an older son with his ex, actress Bridget Moynahan.

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In another portion of the interview, she discussed co-parenting with Brady.

“I think, you know, there’s easier days than other[s], but I think, you know, it’s amazing that the kids — they’re super smart children,” she said. “They know what they can get away with. So I think it’s natural that [they have] different rules and then kids just adapt. And they’re gonna try to do what they want, and I can only control what I do.”

She added, “I think, for me, now it’s really about the balance.”

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Because of their custody agreement, she gets her own time with the children, and so does Brady, which is something that she thinks is “amazing.” She told Roberts that she believes the experience is “more enriching” for them, explaining, “They get to learn from two different worlds and that’s wonderful for them.”

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Stanton contributed to this report.