Fox News 2024-03-15 16:05:51


Trump lawyer reacts to judge’s Willis disqualification ruling: ‘Prosecutorial misconduct’

The lead attorney representing former President Donald Trump in his Georgia election interference case says the decision from a judge that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis must either step aside or fire special prosecutor Nathan Wade does not lend “appropriate significance” to their “prosecutorial misconduct.” 

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee issued the ruling Friday after hearing evidence presented by lawyers for co-defendants in the case who had accused Willis of having an “improper” affair with Nathan Wade, whom she hired to help prosecute the matter.  

“While respecting the Court’s decision, we believe that the Court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits, testifying untruthfully about when their personal relationship began, as well as Willis’ extrajudicial MLK [day] ‘church speech,’ where she played the race card and falsely accused the defendants and their counsel of racism,” Sadow said in a statement obtained by Fox News. 

“We will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place,” he added. 

JUDGE RULES FANI WILLIS MUST STEP ASIDE FROM TRUMP CASE OR FIRE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR NATHAN WADE 

McAfee said the defendants “failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor.” 

“However, the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team — an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options,” he wrote. 

FULTON COUNTY ETHICS BOARD WON’T HEAR COMPLAINTS AGAINST FANI WILLIS 

He went on to say that his finding is “by no means an indication that the Court condones this tremendous lapse in judgment or the unprofessional manner of the District Attorney’s testimony during the evidentiary hearing.” 

The co-defendants had alleged that Willis benefited financially by hiring Wade because they were in a pre-existing relationship when he was hired in 2021 and would vacation together.  

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Both Wade and Willis denied they were in a romantic relationship prior to his hiring and that the couple would split the costs of their shared travels; Willis said she reimbursed Wade for her share of the trips in cash. 

Fox News’ Kathleen Reuschle contributed to this report.

Police advise residents to leave car keys outside to avoid confrontation with thieves

As car thefts have spiked in Toronto, Canada, local police are prescribing new safety measures so that locals can avoid violent encounters with thieves.

One of the recent bits of advice included Toronto Police telling residents of the town of Etobicoke to leave their car key fobs near the door to avoid being attacked in their homes by potential burglars.

According to police, the number of car thefts in the city has more than doubled in recent years. In 2023, more than 12,000 vehicles were reported stolen. In 2019, just over 5,000 were reported stolen.

PORCH PIRATES STOLE 260 MILLION PACKAGES THIS YEAR; RETIRED COP EXPLAINS WAYS TO PREVENT IT THIS CHRISTMAS

Thieves have begun breaking into houses to steal keys in order to steal cars, prompting controversial prevention advice from Toronto Police Constable Marco Ricciardi at an Etobicoke town hall last month, according to City News.

During the town hall, Ricciardi advised that residents leave their car keys near the front doors of their houses so that they do not have to confront violent criminals, who he noted often have “real guns.”

He said at the Feb. 27 meeting, “To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your FOBs at your front door. Because they’re breaking into your home to steal your car. They don’t want anything else.”

“A lot of them that they’re arresting have guns on them. And they’re not toy guns, they’re real guns. They’re loaded,” he added.

Toronto Police sent out a memo clarifying these comments on March 13. The memo, published on the official Toronto Police Service website, also provided additional “Home Invasion Prevention Tips.”

PORCH THEFT A GROWING CONCERN AS ONLINE HOLIDAY SHOPPING PUTS $74 BILLION IN GOODS AT RISK: REPORT

It stated, “An officer at a recent community meeting suggested that people leave the keys to their vehicle in a faraday bag by the front door. While well meaning, there are also other ways to prevent auto theft motivated home invasions.”

“For additional context, in Toronto, home invasions and break and enters for auto theft occurrences rose 400 percent in 2023. Police are concerned about an escalation in violence, where all sorts of weapons and firearms are being used to steal vehicles, and that includes during home invasions,” the page added, before listing other safety tips. 

This included instructions to “Park vehicles in garage, if possible,” “Ensure your driveway is well lit and keep exterior lights on all night,” “install a home security system – activate alarm on STAY when home and AWAY when out,” and “Do not post on social media when you will be away on holiday.”

Toronto Police responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Thursday, reiterating that Ricciardi’s comment was “well meaning, and for context, was in response to the increasing number of violent home invasions and break and enters related to vehicle thefts.”

A recent report from local outlet “City News Toronto” detailed how police in the York region of the city have been passing out doorstops as extra security against burglars that have been kicking in doors. 

Local reporter Michelle Mackey stated, “Doorstops have been handed out to some residents in an effort to prevent door kick break-ins to steal car keys.”

A local resident told the outlet that being handed one of these doorsteps made her feel that her area was “very high risk” for break-ins.

Police in other parts of Canada have been slammed for giving unorthodox advice for locals dealing with criminals. Quebec’s local police force, Sûreté du Québec (SQ) advised residents in January not to share footage of thieves stealing packages from their porches to social media, stating that “could be a violation of private life.”

SQ Lt. Benoit Richard stated, “If you get some proof that somebody might have stolen something, call the police, give that proof to the police. We’ll do the investigation, bring that person to justice and file some charges.” 

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‘Negligence’ by Caribbean police blamed in murders of Americans on yacht

Three Caribbean prison escapees, who allegedly killed an American couple, were placed in the wrong cells that were less secure, despite warnings they were dangerous and flight risks, the Grenada prime minister said this week.

Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 23, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, were supposed to be placed in individual jail cells that had a “secure locking mechanism,” Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said.

Instead, they were “in a corridor” with burglar bars that suspects bent and broke free from South St. George Police Station on Feb. 18, according to Mitchell, who added that four officers were arrested. 

“It is clear that had the men been placed in the individual locking cells which had proper functioning locking mechanisms, they would not have escaped or had the opportunity to escape,” the prime minister said. “The investigation concluded … human error, primarily in the form of negligence, played a pivotal role in the escape.”

SUSPECTS IN AMERICANS’ CARIBBEAN YACHT HIJACKING CHARGED WITH MURDER, RAPE OF MISSING COUPLE

The fleeing suspects hijacked Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel’s yacht during a violent altercation that allegedly included Brandel’s rape. 

The retired couple from Virginia were allegedly thrown overboard somewhere between Grenada, where the suspects escaped, and the island of St. Vincent, where they were ultimately recaptured. 

SUSPECT IN AMERICANS’ CARIBBEAN YACHT HIJACKING SHOT DURING ARREST, 2 OTHER FOUNDS HIDING: REPORTS

“So far,” four officers were arrested and charged with several crimes under the country’s Police Act, including making a false statement, permitting the escape of prisoners and breaches of the Standing Orders, the prime minister said. 

“It is also clear that the leadership at the station is a matter that requires attention as well, and the commission of police has commissioned an investigation into the role of leadership at the time (of the escape),” Mitchell said during a March 13 press conference. 

Despite the negligence and arrests, Mitchell expressed his support for law enforcement and said “disrespecting the police will not be tolerated.”

WATCH BLOODIED SUSPECT’S ARREST

Authorities still have not found Hendry or Brandel’s bodies in the 70-plus miles of water between the two islands. 

Last week, the suspects were returned to Grenada, where they were all charged with two counts of capital murder, escaping lawful custody, housebreaking, robbery and two counts of kidnapping. Stanislaus was also charged with rape. 

BLOODIED SUSPECT IN MISSING AMERICANS’ CARIBBEAN YACHT HIJACKING TOSSED INTO TRUCK DURING ARREST, VIDEO SHOWS

Robertson was shot by police on St. Vincent during his arrest. 

Police said he reached for an officer’s gun, according to Searchlight and other local outlets, but he denied this narrative during his court appearance. 

“I never wrestle with no officer,” he reportedly told the judge. “The officer throw me on the ground and just shoot me on me foot, you understand? I never wrestle with no police, you understand?”

Tribute to Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel

The beloved couple’s yacht – “Simplicity” – was docked off Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, a popular tourist hot spot that the couple sailed to, when the suspects allegedly took the vessel by force as part of their getaway.

Their sons, Nick Buro and Bryan Hendry, talked about their parents’ impact on them and others in previous interviews. 

BLOOD FOUND ON KIDNAPPED AMERICANS’ YACHT DURING CARIBBEAN PRISON ESCAPE: ‘PRESUMED DEAD’

“Ralph and Kathy lived a life that most of us can only dream of,” they said in a heartfelt message.

They sailed off the eastern coast of the United States and “made friends with everyone they encountered, singing, dancing and laughing with friends and family.”

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“That’s who Ralph and Kathy were and that’s how they will be remembered in our hearts,” they said. “We live in a world that at times can be cruel, but it’s also a world of profound beauty, wonder, adventure, love, compassion, caring and faith. 

“Our parents encompassed all those values and so much more.”

Former Google exec gives stark warning about tech company’s AI model

A former Google executive revealed that investors are “deeply frustrated” that the scandal surrounding their Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) model is becoming a “real threat” to the tech company.

Google has issued several apologies for Gemini after critics slammed the AI for creating “woke” content. 

The Production Board CEO David Friedberg, a former Google executive, weighed in on the controversy on the technology podcast, All-In, which he co-hosts with fellow entrepreneurs and investors Chamath Palihapitiya, David Sacks and Jason Calacanis.

Many investors are “deeply frustrated and angry” that AI could hurt Google’s monopoly, Friedberg said.

GOOGLE GEMINI USING ‘INVISIBLE’ COMMANDS TO DEFINE ‘TOXICITY’ AND SHAPE THE ONLINE WORLD: DIGITAL EXPERT

“The real threat to Google is more so, are they in a position to maintain their search monopoly or maintain the chunk of profits that drive the business under the threat of AI? Are they adapting? And less so about the anger around woke and DEI,” Friedberg explained.

“Because most of the investors I spoke with aren’t angry about the woke, DEI search engine, they’re angry about the fact that such a blunder happened and that it indicates that Google may not be able to compete effectively and isn’t organized to compete effectively just from a consumer competitiveness perspective,” he continued.

“So investors are banging the table.”

GOOGLE CO-FOUNDER SAYS COMPANY ‘DEFINITELY MESSED UP’ ON GEMINI’S IMAGE GENERATION

Google halted Gemini’s image generation feature last month after users on social media flagged that it was creating inaccurate historical images that sometimes replaced White people with images of Black, Native American and Asian people.

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. fell by up to 4.4% the week after the disastrous rollout of Gemini. This dip was equivalent to losing more than $70 billion in value.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised the company was working “around the clock” to fix the AI model, calling the images generated “biased” and “completely unacceptable.” 

The company launched an update to Gemini last week that allows users to edit inaccurate responses and give people “more control.”

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Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo, Lindsay Kornick, Breck Dumas and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

Actress confesses Matt Damon breakup left her ‘totally heartbroken’

Minnie Driver wishes she could give her younger self a hug.

During a recent appearance on “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” the actress opened up about the range of emotions she was feeling while at the Oscars in 1998, when she was nominated for best supporting actress for her work in “Good Will Hunting.”

When the host brought up a recently resurfaced clip on Instagram of Driver reacting to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s acceptance speech for writing the movie in which she looks upset, the actress shared feeling “super super overwhelmed,” saying her recent breakup was a big contributing factor.

“We’d recently broken up. I was nominated, he was nominated, the movie was so amazing. He had a new girlfriend. I was totally heartbroken, but I think anyone who’s been heartbroken can understand, it’s like the last thing you want is everybody having a window in on that and it was so public,” she explained. 

‘GOOD WILL HUNTING’ STAR MINNIE DRIVER WAS TOLD SHE WASN’T ‘HOT ENOUGH’ TO STAR IN FILM: ‘IT WAS DEVASTATING’

She continued: “The reaction when they won, and they cut to me because there was a camera right in the face of the poor young 25-year-old girl, who’s about to burst into tears.”

Driver originally commented on the Instagram video of the moment, writing “My face” with a number of laughing emojis.

Matt had ended our relationship a few weeks before this, and was at the Oscars with his new gf,” she explained in another comment. “I was devastated. Wish I could have celebrated more as it was an amazing moment for all of us, and for this wonderful film !”

The actress shared with Hudson that she felt compelled to explain her state of mind in the video, as it was the first time she had seen any video of her reaction, saying it was “so raw and so vulnerable” that she had to comment.

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When a screenshot of her watching Affleck and Damon during their speech appeared on the screen, Driver couldn’t help but feel sorry for her younger self, saying, “Oh my God, my little face,” and that she just “want[s] to wrap [her] arms around that young woman and hug her,” and let her know that everything will work out for her.

“From this vantage point, you know, 20/20 vision much later in my life,” she told Hudson. “I wish I could have told her ‘Honey, it’s cool. Like you can celebrate and life’s going to be great and beautiful and hard and amazing, and you’re going to love again. It’ll be fine.”

Driver and Damon met on the set of “Good Will Hunting” and dated for around a year. Following their breakup, Damon went on to date Winona Ryder, Odessa Whitmire and Luciana Barroso, whom he would go on to marry in 2005.

The actress dated Josh Brolin, who she was briefly engaged to in 2001, and Timothy J. Lea, who she welcomed her son, Henry, with in 2008. She is currently romantically linked to Addison O’Dea.

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“I tell [the story of our relationship] with love, because that was just a sweet romance that was just a sweet love affair in the center of all of that stuff, but had a combustible ending, which then became the focus,” she told Entertainment Tonight in May 2022. “Another thing that my parents taught me, was there just isn’t any time to sit around feeling resentful or angry, just have to get on and everybody had a beautiful life.”

Dad buys Mustang for son battling cancer, gets offer from Ford CEO

A teenager who is fighting a valiant battle against cancer has received a few gifts that have put a big smile on his face. 

Joseph Tegerdine, 18, of Springville, Utah, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma bone cancer in May 2019. 

At just 13 years old, Tegerdine’s knee pain, originally thought to be simple growing pains, turned out to be cancer. 

After completing chemotherapy, he had a rotatinplasty to treat the knee bone tumors, as SWNS reported.

TEENAGE BRAIN CANCER PATIENT MISSES HOMECOMING, SO THE HOSPITAL THROWS A SURPRISE DANCE FOR HER

But in January 2022, cancer was also found in his lungs and his hip.

Kerry Tegerdine, Tegerdine’s mother, told Fox News Digital on Thursday that her son had surgery and chemotherapy to treat the disease. 

In Feb. 2024, cancer was again found in his lungs — causing the family to begin completing some bucket list items for their now-18-year-old son.

MORE YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE RECEIVING CANCER DIAGNOSES, STUDY FINDS — ESPECIALLY THIS TYPE

“Joseph is gearing up for radiation to slow the growth, and we’re focusing on making memories and doing bucket list items for him,” his mom said.

One of those bucket list items included owning a Ford Mustang — something Kerry Tegerdine told Fox News Digital that her husband, Joe Tegerdine, recently made happen.

“Joe knew that Joseph has always wanted a Mustang and wanted to work to buy it,” she said.

“But we know that he doesn’t have the time to earn enough to buy it himself — so Joe went out and bought it.”

“Dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this.”

The father wrote in a post on X, “For those wondering why I’d buy my 18yr old son a 330hp Mustang, well, he’s been given months to live and can’t work long enough to buy one himself. His comment on the way home: ‘Dad, I’m going to squeeze a few extra months of life just to be able to drive this.’ #cancersucks

Kerry Tegerdine said her son’s reaction to the gift of the sports car was just amazing.

“Joseph said, ‘The Mustang is my dream car, and I feel freaking fantastic!’” she recalled to Fox News Digital.

She also told Fox News Digital that Ford Motors, specifically CEO Jim Farley, gifted Joseph Tegerdine a Mustang driving session at its performance racing school.

Ford North America communications director Mike Levine told Fox News Digital on Thursday that Farley reached out to Joe Tegerdine after seeing the tweet of his excited son with his Ford Mustang. 

THE FORD MUSTANG WAS THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR SPORTS CAR OF THE PAST DECADE WITH 1 MILLION SALES 

In a tweeted response, Farley shared his condolences for what the Tegerdines were going through — then offered Joe and Joseph Tegerdine the chance to drive a Ford Mustang Dark Horse on the track. 

That’s something that’s typically only offered to those who own the special-edition car. 

The pair, in April, will visit the performance racing school in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As of 2023, the Mustang was named the bestselling car in the world for eight years straight, according to S&P Global Mobility. 

Over a million Mustang vehicles were shipped to customers from 2013 through 2022, with the all-time tally of 10 million crossed in 2018. 

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While the vehicle is exported to over 100 countries, the vast majority of sales are in the U.S.

The Tegerdine family recently traveled to Japan together. 

They continue to plan more bucket list experiences together for the near future.

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In a follow-up post on X, dad Joe Tegerdine wrote, “My son also values his quality of life. He’d rather live the heck out of a few months, than be confined to a bed or wheelchair suffering for years.”

Gary Gastelu contributed to this report.

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Home foreclosures are soaring nationwide — and rising fastest in these 5 states

Home foreclosures rose again in February as Americans continue to grapple with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis

That is according to a new report published by real estate data provider ATTOM, which found that there were 32,938 properties in February with foreclosure filings, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. That marks an 8% increase from the prior year, although it is down 1% from the previous month.

“The annual uptick in U.S. foreclosure activity hints at shifting dynamics within the housing market,” said ATTOM CEO Rob Barber. “These trends could signify evolving financial landscapes for homeowners, prompting adjustments in market strategies and lending practices.”

However, the number of foreclosure completions fell in 28 states in February. Lenders repossessed 3,397 properties in February, down 14% from the previous month and 11% from the prior year. The biggest declines took place in Georgia, where completed foreclosures fell 52%, and in New York, with a decline of 41%. 

401(K) ‘HARDSHIP’ WITHDRAWALS SURGE TO ANOTHER RECORD AS HIGH INFLATION STINGS

Still, foreclosures surged in other states. In South Carolina, foreclosures surged 51%, while Missouri saw a 50% jump and Pennsylvania a 46% increase. Foreclosures in Texas rose 7%, and in Indiana they climbed 0.8%.

Although foreclosures are rising, they remain well below the levels recorded during the 2008 financial crisis. 

But the problem could soon get worse as high home prices, mortgage rates and property taxes bite Americans.

MORTGAGE CALCULATOR: SEE HOW MUCH HIGHER RATES COULD COST YOU

Housing affordability is the worst it’s been in decades, thanks to a spike in home prices and mortgage rates. Combined, the two have helped to push the typical salary required nationwide for homeownership up to $106,500 – a stunning 61% increase from the $59,000 required just four years ago, according to Zillow.

There are several reasons to blame for the affordability crisis.

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The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hike campaign sent mortgage rates soaring above 8% for the first time in nearly two decades last year. Rates have been slow to retreat, hovering near 7% as hotter-than-expected inflation data dashed investors’ hopes for immediate rate cuts.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 6.74% this week, Freddie Mac reported, well above the pandemic-era lows of 3%.

Even though mortgage rates are nearly double what they were three years ago, home prices have hardly budged. 

That is largely due to a lack of available homes for sale. Sellers who locked in a low mortgage rate before the pandemic began have been reluctant to sell, leaving few options for eager would-be buyers.

5-time DUI driver charged with murder following hit-and-run, prosecutors say

A California man who has five prior DUI convictions is now facing a murder charge after allegedly hitting and killing a pedestrian this week while driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Jonathan Lopez, 31, was seen “drinking alcohol and flipping officers off” after leading law enforcement on a short pursuit Tuesday following the fatal incident in Orange, California, in the Los Angeles area, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. 

“An innocent man is dead because someone without a license who has been prohibited from driving because of his extensive DUI history decided to ignore every warning he was ever given that drinking and driving can be deadly and get behind the wheel while intoxicated,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “It is clear this individual has absolutely no regard for human life and no respect for the rule of law.” 

“Not even jail time could prevent him from putting his own selfish actions over the lives of everyone else on the road that day,” Spitzer added. 

SAN FRANCISCO PROTESTERS WHO BLOCKED BRIDGE TO DEMAND ISRAELI CEASE-FIRE WILL AVOID JAIL TIME 

The district attorney’s office said Lopez, from Orange, has five prior DUI convictions dating back to 2011. 

He has now been charged with felony counts of murder, hit-and-run with permanent injury or death, evading while driving recklessly, DUI with three or more priors and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, the office added. 

The victim in Tuesday’s incident has not yet been publicly identified, but Lopez faces a maximum sentence of 18 years to life if convicted on all charges, prosecutors say. 

CALIFORNIA SERIAL BANK ROBBERS BUSTED AFTER 6 HEISTS IN MULTIPLE CITIES, POLICE SAY 

The Orange Police Department said the victim, an adult male, was found midday Tuesday with “traumatic injuries lying in the roadway.” 

“Witnesses reported the pedestrian was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk when he was struck by a northbound gray sedan,” according to police. “The sedan then fled the scene.” 

The vehicle Lopez allegedly was driving, described by police as having “major front-end damage,” was located by detectives 10 minutes later.  

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“He then led police on a short high-speed pursuit, running a red light and three stop signs before being arrested,” the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said. 

GOP senator rips Bernie Sanders’ for push to reduce workweek

A 32-hour workweek could be on the horizon for millions of Americans, but one GOP senator says that the plan “will never work.”

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., criticized the 32-hour workweek proposal that his Democratic colleague Sen. Bernie Sanders put forth, arguing that “productivity would go down” as a result, during an appearance on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” Thursday.

“If you’re wanting to take advice from a place like this that now is borrowing $1 trillion every six months, I’d say don’t put much credence in the people that [have] been committee chairs or running this place to take advice for Main Street,” Sen. Braun said.

Sen. Sanders’ bill, titled the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act, would reduce the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours over four years by lowering the threshold for overtime pay for non-exempt employees. 

STUART VARNEY: BERNIE SANDERS BELIEVES ALL BUSINESS IS BAD

The legislation would require overtime compensation at time and a half for workdays longer than eight hours, and overtime pay at double a worker’s regular pay for workdays longer than 12 hours.  

The Indiana senator argued that the shortened week proposal should never be pushed as a mandate and that small businesses shouldn’t be hit with this “nonsense.”

BERNIE SANDERS TANGLES WITH REPORTER OVER QUESTION ON 32-HOUR WORKWEEK: ‘I CAN YELL AS LOUD AS YOU’

In a press release, Sanders said “moving to a 32-hour workweek with no loss of pay is not a radical idea.” The Vermont senator went on to add that “today, American workers are over 400 percent more productive than they were in the 1940s. And yet, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages than they were decades ago. That has got to change.”

“This place is getting less productive, productive over time,” Sen. Braun stressed. “Our economy is [has] now got more government jobs than we’ve ever had where they don’t even come into the buildings to work,” he said.

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FOX Business’ Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report