Fox News 2024-04-07 10:08:22


Trump raises more than $50 million at fundraiser, smashing records for a candidate

Former President Trump‘s campaign team says it raised more than $50 million at a Saturday evening’s GOP fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida, smashing records for a Republican or Democratic candidate.  

“It took three Democrat presidents to raise $25 million and one president to raise over $50 million, Donald J. Trump,” campaign spokesperson Danielle Alvarez boasted. 

Heavy-hitters

Saturday’s fundraiser took place at a private home in Palm Beach, hosted by billionaire and hedge fund founder John Paulson. Among the 100 or so guests will be heavy-hitters like casino mogul Steve Wynn, Bigelow Aerospace Founder and President Robert Bigelow, and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. 

“The response to our fundraising efforts has been overwhelming, and we’ve raised over $43 million so far,” Paulson said in a statement. “There is massive support amongst a broad spectrum of donors.”

Speaking briefly to reporters as he arrived at the event with his wife, Melania Trump, the former president said, “this has been some incredible evening before it even starts because people – they wanted to contribute to a cause of making America great again, and that’s waht’s happened.” 

Though the fundraiser is expected to take in tens of millions, Trump still needs to close the gap with his Democratic rival, incumbent President Biden, who is reported to have around $192 million on hand compared with just over $93 million for Trump. 

Biden event snags $26M

Biden’s campaign said he raised more than $26 million during a fundraising appearance late last month at New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. 

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The president’s re-election campaign called the money raised at the star-studded event — which set a record for a single fundraiser — “historic.”

Trump’s event, billed as the “Inaugural Leadership Dinner,” sends a signal of a resurgence for the former president and Republican Party fundraising. 

Trump initially struggled to attract big donors when he launched his campaign and some lined up to support the other Republicans who challenged him in the presidential primary. But as Trump racked up easy wins, leveled the field and became the party’s presumptive nominee, the GOP has solidified behind him.

Contributions to the event will go toward the Trump 47 Committee, according to the invitation, a joint fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee, state Republican parties and Save America, a political action committee that pays the bulk of Trump’s legal bills. 

Big contributions

In an unusual arrangement, the fundraising agreement directs donations to first pay the maximum allowed under law to his campaign and Save America before the RNC or state parties get a cut.

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Guests are asked to contribute $814,600 per person as a “chairman” contributor, which comes with seating at Trump’s table, or $250,000 per person as a “host committee” contributor. 

Both options come with a photo opportunity and a personalized copy of Trump’s coffee table book featuring photographs from his administration, “Our Journey Together.”

Three of Trump’s former rivals for the GOP nomination — South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — are expected to appear as “special guests.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former US defense secretary makes ominous prediction about attack from Iran

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said Iran is likely to retaliate against Israel for a recent missile strike that hit Tehran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the strike, which killed senior Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Reuters cited a Lebanese security source as the first to identify Israel as the responsible party, to which an Israeli military spokesperson responded, “We do not comment on reports in the foreign media.”

In an interview on CNN, Esper predicted Iran will take action against Israel, but on a limited scale to avoid wide-scale war in the Middle East.

“They are going to act,” Esper said Friday. “They’re going to feel the need, to uphold their dignity, to maintain credibility with their proxies, throughout the region, and to really meet the demands of hardliners, within the theocracy that wants to see something done.”

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“But on the other hand, they’re not going to want to make this a wider war,” he continued. “They don’t want to escalate. They know that a major conflict with Israel, let alone Israel and the United States would be disastrous for Iran. So, I suspect that they will limit the attack to Israel, Israeli targets.”3

Iran has said it reserves the right “to take a decisive response” after the purported Israeli strike, which killed six other Iranian military advisers in addition to Zahedi. 

A senior Biden administration official told Fox News Digital that President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the threat from Iran on Thursday. 

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“Our teams have been in regular and continuous contact since then. The United States fully supports the defense of Israel against threats from Iran,” the official said. 

Two U.S. defense officials said U.S. force posture has not changed in the Middle East since before Israel’s air strike in Damascus. The U.S. is monitoring the situation given the increased rhetoric from Iran, but has not made any changes to prepare for a significant attack. 

“Nothing has changed from a force projection standpoint,” one official said. 

US TROOPS WARNED TO BRACE FOR RETALIATION FROM IRAN AFTER STRIKE KILLS TOP COMMANDERS

Though Israel has not taken credit for the strike on Iran’s consulate, the IDF has made several operational changes, such as canceling leave for any IDF personnel and calling up additional reservists to bolster the force’s air defense systems on Israel’s northern border, The Telegraph reported.

Israel has also suffered widespread GPS disruptions on applications, with some users shown to be in Lebanon’s capital Beirut, which Israeli outlet Haaretz reported as deliberate attempts to confuse Israeli drone threats. 

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IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari reiterated the multifaceted conflict Israel is fighting, saying, “We are in a multi-front war. We are looking not only at Hamas but all our enemies. We look at all fronts and all threats in order to be ready for any scenario.” 

Fox News’ Liz Friden, Fox News Digital’s Peter Aitken and Reuters contributed to this report.

Brace yourself for 8 bizarre experiences during Monday’s rare celestial phenomenon

A rare occurrence in orbit could lead to some strange happenings here on Earth.

The North American solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, is expected to hit totality in 15 U.S. states.

What can Americans expect to happen in the sky as well as on the ground?

SOLAR ECLIPSE 2024: WHERE AND HOW TO VIEW THE RARE ORBIT HITTING THE US

Here are eight weird things that could happen during a solar eclipse.

1. Baily’s beads

Baily’s beads is a strange effect that occurs as the moon closes in on the sun during a solar eclipse.

The phenomenon, viewed safely with proper eyewear, is a sliver of light at the edge of the eclipse, often referred to as the Diamond Ring Effect.

Just as the moon covers or begins to uncover the sun, onlookers might be able to view this “interesting edge effect,” Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist Dr. Bill Blair told Fox News Digital. 

In “the phenomenon known as ‘Baily’s beads’ … the sun can actually peak through lunar valleys right along the edge of the moon’s limb,” he said. 

Eclipse viewers can maximize their chances of seeing effects like this by traveling along the “edge” of the total eclipse zone, Blair suggested.

2. Animal behavior

During a solar eclipse, wildlife species have reacted as if day suddenly turned to night.

FOR SOLAR ECLIPSE ON APRIL 8, SOME US SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED FOR THE DAY 

During an eclipse, local animals and birds often “prepare for sleep or behave confusedly,” according to the University of Dallas.

Both physical and auditory animal behaviors will shift during the eclipse, National Geographic noted in an article.

“The early onset of darkness disrupts animals’ circadian rhythms, sparking a possible chorus of owl hoots, cricket chirps or even coyote calls, depending on the eclipse-viewing location,” NatGeo wrote.

Because of this expected shift in sound, NASA has released its Eclipse Soundscapes Project, prompting eclipse viewers to pay attention and record differences in animal behaviors in their area.

FOR SOLAR ECLIPSE SAFETY, HERE’S WHAT DRIVERS SHOULD NOT DO ON THE ROAD DURING THE RARE EVENT

“Reports of these atypical animal behaviors date back centuries, but the effects of an eclipse on plant and animal life are not fully understood,” NASA wrote in an article. 

“The NASA-funded Eclipse Soundscapes Project will collect the sights and sounds of a total solar eclipse with help from interested members of the public to better understand how an eclipse affects different ecosystems.”

3. Strange shadows

The changing orientation of the sun’s light can cast some pretty cool shadows on Earth.

Light that filters through the leaves of trees has been observed to leave crescent-shaped shadows as eclipse totality closes in, Blair shared.

NASA also recommends the use of a pinhole projector to view images of the crescent sun.

These pinhole cameras can also be used during the partial phases of the eclipse instead of wearing protective glasses, according to Blair.

SOLAR ECLIPSE 2024: FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT SHARES WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FROM SPACE, HOW TO SAFELY VIEW IT YOURSELF

“Even more impressive, if you have a colander or a big soup spoon with small holes in it, hold it up, and you will get a whole bunch of little eclipses,” he said.

During total eclipses only, special shadow bands can be seen in the seconds before totality.

Shadow bands can show up across plain-colored surfaces, appearing as thin, wavy lines of alternating light and dark, as NASA noted.

The effect is similar to the sheen of a swimming pool.

4. Colder weather

The weather during a solar eclipse could change rather quickly.

Local temperatures could drop more than 20 degrees near eclipse totality, the University of Dallas said.

This is because when sunlight fades, the weather starts to cool down.

NASA reported that a 2001 eclipse in Zambia dropped the air temperature by nearly 15 degrees.

5. Windy conditions

In addition to temperature changes, a solar eclipse could bring windy weather.

A 2016 study by the University of Reading found that eclipse events could pick up wind speeds and change wind directions.

8 THINGS YOU SHOULD BRING TO A SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWING 

“As the sun disappears behind the moon, the ground suddenly cools, just like at sunset,” University of Reading professor Giles Harrison wrote in a press release. 

“This means warm air stops rising from the ground, causing a drop in wind speed and a shift in its direction, as the slowing of the air by the Earth’s surface changes.” 

6. Radio interference

Eclipse events are known for interrupting radio frequencies.

This is because of the “sudden reduction in solar radiation reaching Earth’s atmosphere,” said NASA.

“Since the ionosphere contains charged particles (ions and electrons) and is responsible for reflecting and refracting radio waves, changes to the ionosphere can also affect radio communications and navigation systems,” NASA wrote in an article.

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This alteration in the ionosphere can change how radio waves “propagate through it,” NASA reported, which can cause signal fading, absorption and refraction.

7. Solar prominences

Solar prominences are rare but could appear during a solar eclipse.

Onlookers, with appropriate safety eyewear, might be able to spot the solar corona peeking out from behind the moon’s shadow.

The effect will look similar to flower petals framing the moon – but the prominence is an extension of the sun’s surface in a red, glowing plasma loop, according to NASA. 

These prominences loop hundreds of thousands of miles into space; scientists are still researching how and why they form.

8. Appearance of other planets

As the moon will shadow the sun’s light, some other stars and planets could be visible.

The Planetary Society reported that Venus may appear bright to the sun’s right or bottom right.

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Jupiter, which will appear dimmer, could be seen to the left or upper left of the sun.

What appears will be dependent on weather conditions per location, but astronomic features that shine brightest will have the best chance of showing up, according to Live Science.

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Senate candidate posts earth-shaking claim about NJ quake, quickly deletes after backlash

Green Party member U.S. Senate candidate for New Jersey Christina Amira Khalil went viral after posting a theory to social media that the earthquake that rocked New York and New Jersey on Friday was caused by climate change.

Prominent social media users mocked the post, which also received an X “Community Note” fact check providing the real reason for the event.

Khalil took so much criticism for the post that she ended up deleting it and switching her account to “protected” mode so that the public couldn’t view her posts any longer. 

STRONG NEW JERSEY EARTHQUAKE FELT IN NYC RATTLES ‘VARNEY & CO.’ STUDIO WHILE ON AIR

Following the 4.8 magnitude earthquake that was felt New York, New Jersey, and other northeast U.S. states, Khalil posted on X, “I experienced my first earthquake in NJ. We never get earthquakes. The climate crisis is real. The weirdest experience ever.”

The aspiring politician’s theory went viral only hours after it was posted, gaining millions of views thanks to the help of big accounts sharing it for the sake of mocking it on their feeds.

Users like GOP Congressman Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, laid into the progressive politician’s post, writing, “Holy crap. I was just joking about people blaming climate change and then this genius pops up. A Senate candidate no less!”

TAIWAN EARTHQUAKE: RESCUE OPERATIONS ONGOING AS DEATH TOLL REACHES 12

Conservative commentator Paul Szypula wrote, “Senate candidate Christina Amira Khalil just said that ‘climate crisis’ caused today’s earthquake in New Jersey. Climate doesn’t cause earthquakes — they’re caused by tectonic plates shifting. This woman is a moron.”

Pro-Trump influencer “Brick Suit” wrote, “Christina Amira Khalil, a U.S. Senate candidate from New Jersey, blocked me after I asked her to explain her position that today’s earthquake in New Jersey was caused by ‘the climate crisis.’ What a snowflake.”

The Babylon Bee Editor-In-Chief Kyle Mann joked, “Gonna have a call with my Babylon Bee writers to figure out how we failed to come up with ‘the earthquake was caused by climate change’ before the libs did.”

Conservative author Carmine Sabia wrote, “The hilarious part is, she’s doubling down on this climate, change and earthquake link with links to stories. Earthquakes have been happening for billions of years. But now it’s the climate. I keep telling you these people are not serious. Pay no attention to them.”

Prominent right wing influencer account “The Rabbit Hole” provided an observation, stating, “Random earthquakes can be attributed to climate change but we can’t point out the obvious connection between crime rates rising in 2020 to depolicing movements like BLM.”

In addition to the mockery, Khalil received an official “Community Note” fact-checking her post. It stated, “NJ is located near a fault line, and has often experienced earthquakes.”

After seeing all the ridicule, the candidate replied in a follow-up post, stating, “Pretty cool, I upset a lot of bots.”

However, she eventually deleted the post and locked her account so that the public couldn’t see its activity. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Khalil for comment. 

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Never-Trumpers eye return to former president as Biden failures pile up

Some Republicans who said they would never support former President Donald Trump again appear poised to do just that come November, as they feel President Biden’s policies and leadership cannot be allowed a second term. 

“It is not an enthusiastic vote,” Eric Levine, a former Nikki Haley supporter, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “I am left with no alternative.” 

DEMS BLASTED OVER LEAKED MEMO THAT SAYS ‘QUIET PART OUT LOUD’ ABOUT VOTER REGISTRATION EFFORTS

Levine, a prominent Republican fundraiser, penned an essay to his vast network of fellow GOP donors and activists last week, informing them that despite his initial resolve after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots to “never” support Trump again, he would be doing just that. 

He led his memo by writing, “The adage of ‘never say never’ is a wise one.”

GOP strategist John Feehery said it will depend “how horrified they are by Biden’s policies” whether “never-Trump” Republicans return to him. 

This was the case for Levine. He described his decision-making process as such: “I think it was more that I’m so offended by Biden. What am I going to do?” 

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For Levine, it was never a choice between Biden and Trump. Rather, it was whether he would stay home on Election Day or return to Trump. 

“Some will clearly go back to Trump,” explained Republican strategist Doug Heye. He noted this happens after primaries and is “what campaigns call ‘coming home.’” 

“But no one knows what that number is,” he added. With the likely Trump-Biden rematch shaping up to be competitive, that exact number could make the difference. 

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Andrew Smith, Director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, said it was “too early” to know, but noted that “voters have a great ability to rationalize why they are voting for their party’s candidate rather than vote for the candidate from the other party.”

“I think as we get closer to the election, after Labor Day, I believe most anti-Trump voters from the primaries will end up supporting Trump,” he predicted. 

When Levine sent the memo to his Republican network, he was surprised by the volume of responses he received. “Shockingly, on the extreme of the [Never-Trumpers], it was a split,” he said. 

“There [were] a number of folks who said, ‘Yeah, I guess we have to’ [support Trump].”

Many Trump-averse Republicans had flocked to Haley leading up to the Republican primaries. 

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According to various exit polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Haley pulled in significant percentages of independent voters as she appeared more moderate than her opponents on the campaign trail. Her coalition was unique, garnering support from disaffected Republicans who were likely exhausted by Trump. She even managed to draw some Democratic support in some states, where those voters could participate in Republican primaries. 

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, endorsed Haley ahead of the state’s primary, where she garnered 43% of the vote. But In March, he shocked some when he announced his plan to vote for Trump, despite his previous criticisms of the former president. “Post-primary, the vast majority of folks always come back,” he said.

“People will go to Trump because Biden has blown it that bad for himself and his party,” he said. According to him, they recognize that it’s about “whether you support a Republican agenda — a Republican administration.”

Biden’s campaign has actively sought to win over Haley’s supporters. The president’s team even put out a 30-second ad in battleground states asking those voters to “save America” and “join us.” 

In contrast, Trump’s campaign hasn’t made any such specific effort to attract Haley’s coalition. 

“Telling your own voters to pound sand isn’t smart,” noted Heye. 

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said, “No amount of gaslighting from the Biden campaign can make voters forget Biden’s bloodbath he has brought all across America.” 

“Biden is hemorrhaging support from Black voters, Hispanic voters, and almost every other part of his base because of his disastrous policies and failed presidency. Meanwhile, President Trump’s support continues to grow,” he added. 

BIDEN HOLDS NARROW LEAD OVER TRUMP IN NEW POLL DESPITE CONCERNS HE’S ‘TOO OLD’ FOR A SECOND TERM

Marlys Popma, a prominent Iowa Republican operative who endorsed Haley during the Iowa caucuses, said Trump’s lack of outreach may not put off Haley supporters because “when the hardcore reality sets in” people will say, “‘I’m going to vote for Trump because his policies are right.'”

Levine said he couldn’t imagine Republicans who supported Haley choosing Biden in November. “I don’t see how any Nikki Haley voter can go from Nikki Haley to Joe Biden,” he said. “Everything Nikki Haley stands for, Joe Biden is against.”

But Republican strategist David Kochel, a former adviser to Mitt Romney, offered another prediction: “I think a big number will either not vote in the presidential or will vote for Biden or a third party.” 

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Gunner Ramer, Republican Accountability PAC political director, called it “disappointing yet unsurprising” to see a “member of the GOP elite” cowering and supporting Trump, in reference to Levine. 

Ramer’s organization recently launched an anti-Trump series of ads in pivotal Midwest swing states as it looks to prevent him from winning a second term. 

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

LSU football coach reacts to women’s basketball team national anthem controversy

LSU athletics were thrust into the spotlight over whether programs should be on the field or the floor for the national anthem.

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry urged state officials to enact a policy that requires student-athletes to be present for the national anthem after the LSU women’s basketball team received harsh backlash for missing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before its game against Iowa.

Landry then doubled down on his remarks in an interview on “America Reports.”

LSU football coach Brian Kelly reacted to Landry’s comments Saturday.

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“I saw it. I know everybody has had their comments about it. I know we put out a statement, (LSU athletic director) Scott Woodward put out a statement as well,” Kelly said, via The Advertiser. “I think our football players would echo this — is that if, at any time, we’re required to be out there, we’ll be wherever we’re told to be. And that’s the bottom line. If our administration wants us out there for the national anthem, we’re going to stand proudly for the national anthem.

“It’s just the way that it has been scripted. And I’ve been doing this for 33 years. On my hand, I can tell you how many times I’ve been out for the national anthem in 33 years. That’s not to say we’re against what the governor is saying.

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“We understand where the governor is coming from. We’ll re-look at the policies, and I stand by what Scott has said. I look back at the Army game and how proud we were of that moment to have Army in our stadium. What we did to that stadium to show our patriotism and patriotic backing. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get past this pretty soon.”

LSU women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey said it wasn’t intentional that the women’s team wasn’t out for the anthem.

But Landry said the team skipping the anthem underscores a bigger problem in college sports.

“I’m not calling out the players or coach Mulkey. I support coach Mulkey. My statement said that. I think this is a bigger question,” Landry said on Fox News Channel. “This is a bigger problem for collegiate sports nationally and in Louisiana. I just sent out a letter to each one of our college boards telling them that those college boards should put in place a policy that respects the national anthem. 

“The national anthem is as much a part of American sports as is the actual game that’s being played. And the fact that there is not a policy, and it says, ‘Listen, these players are going to be out there and respect the flag and respect those that go out there and protect us is really disrespectful in and of itself.’

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“So, it’s unfortunate that LSU was not there at that particular time. Iowa was on the field — that highlighted the particular problem. And what we’re going to do is work in Louisiana. Say, ‘Listen, college athletes need to understand that in order to be truly united, in order to truly have civics and civility, we all need to be united under one flag and respect that anthem.’”

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

New Jersey’s Dem governor under fire for his response to historic quake that rattled state

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy came under fire after he did not return to the Garden State following the historic earthquake on Friday that left residents rattled.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, N.J.-R, spoke with “FOX News Live” on Saturday after Murphy did not issue an on-camera address to residents, despite a few TV and phone interviews, including an interview Saturday with CBS.

“We haven’t heard from the governor — and you know, on a lighter side, Arthel, there are those that say maybe it’s good he didn’t come, because every time he’s in New Jersey, he’s increasing taxes, tolls, fees and subsidizing illegals,” Van Drew told “FOX News Live” co-anchor Arthel Neville

“But on a serious note, he wasn’t at a world summit for world peace. I mean he was at a Democratic convention — basically an association of democratic governors who were probably working on ways to make more democratic governors,” he said.

4.8 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE STRIKES NEW JERSEY, SHAKING BUILDINGS IN SURROUNDING STATES

Van Drew said that residents were forced to look to New York leadership for guidance during the natural disaster — rather than their own governor.

“So I think he could have taken maybe even 12 hours out to come back to New Jersey. Our folks in New Jersey really had to look to New York — to New York officials — and what they were saying,” Van Drew said. “Even though the actual earthquake was centered in Lebanon, New Jersey, in the northwestern part of the state.” 

The Republican representative said Murphy could have easily traveled back to his state to assure residents that they were safe.

“It would have been a nice symbol if he came back and said, ‘you know what, everything’s going to be OK. I want to personally review the infrastructure myself, see what the team has done, and then he could have gotten back to the convention, the association that he was at,” Van Drew said.

FOX WEATHER SPEAKS TO NJ RESIDENTS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE’S EPICENTER

It’s just good for people to know that their leaders are there during times of problems.

— New Jersey Representative Jeff Van Drew

“So I personally was a little disappointed that he didn’t make it. It’s just good for people to know that their leaders are there during times of problems,” he said. “And even though, in, you know, the world scheme of earthquakes, with what California sees or some other states — this was not huge — it was the biggest earthquake the state of New Jersey has had almost in a century and a half. I wish he had been there.”

Fox News has reached out to Murphy’s office for comment.

On Saturday, the governor wrote on X that the state’s emergency operations center was deactivated on Saturday morning.

“Our State Emergency Operations Center has deactivated as of 10:00 a.m. today,” Murphy wrote. “We have had no reports of major damage to structures, roadways, or infrastructure as a result of yesterday’s earthquake.”

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The earthquake measured at least 4.8 magnitude and struck near Lebanon, New Jersey, at 10:23 a.m. on Friday, about 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia, according to the USGS. 

An estimate indicates the quake might have been felt by more than 42 million people in 14 states from Maine to North Carolina. More than two-dozen aftershocks have been felt since.

More than 152,000 Americans reported feeling shaking to the USGS.

Jewish students speak out after ‘out of control’ antisemitic incident on university campus

A group of “out of control” pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a town hall at Rutgers University on Thursday, shouting anti-Israel slogans like “one solution, intifada revolution” and forcing officials to end the meeting early as they and Jewish students were ushered out by police, a student told Fox News Digital this weekend. 

The student, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and administrators “ran away,” “leaving behind the Jewish/pro-Israel students to deal with an unruly and obviously antisemitic crowd, whose attention turned to the Jews after the administration left.” 

They said police then ushered students out the back door because it was too dangerous to exit the front door. 

Cory Rothbort, an attorney with Mazie Slater & Freeman, who is representing student Rivka Schafer along with another student, called it a “horrifying experience” for the Jews in attendance. 

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Rothbort said the Jewish students had gone to the town hall to “get some answers from President Holloway, they wanted to know what he was going to do to help protect them on campus, and instead they were met with the very same conduct that they were looking for protection from.”

Video Schafer took of the town hall shows pro-Palestinian protesters begin chanting after Holloway said the school will not be severing ties with Tel Aviv University, a school with which it has a relationship. 

2 referendums

Rothbort said the town hall was hosted by the Rutgers University Student Assembly, which had also put two BDS referendums up for a vote on severing ties with Tel Aviv University and divesting from anything connected to Israel. 

BDS is a Pro-Palestinian movement that stands for “boycott, divest and sanction” and “it is targeted solely at the one and only Jewish state of Israel,” Rothbort told Fox News Digital. “It is meant to economically isolate and basically discriminate against the Jewish state.”

He said numerous states, including New Jersey, have adopted anti-BDS legislation that state the “government will not finance or provide pension money or do business with any company that promotes or supports BDS.” 

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Rothbort said that Rutgers’ administration was told that a BDS referendum could “inflame antisemitic conduct,” but “Rutgers said they weren’t going to do anything.”

Joe Gindi, another Jewish student who attended the town hall, told Fox News Digital, “It’s been a tough couple of months since Oct. 7 at Rutgers. I was not prepared for a protest. No Jewish students brought banners or flags, no Jewish students shouted or anything or disrupted the event. We were just there to hear a town hall.” 

He said he has experienced previous incidences of antisemitism and even testified in front of the House Committee on Education. 

He said RUSA’s referendums “stirred the pot in a way that we just haven’t seen at Rutgers. The number of incidents, the scale of some of these incidents is just unfathomable.”

‘Civic practice’

Holloway emailed students defending the decision not to shut down the referendum, Rothbort said. “In it, he cites one of the reasons: he says I basically trust student government, and two, I expect students to engage in responsible civic practice.” 

In addition to the meeting, Rothbort said Schafer was also targeted by pro-Palestinian students at her dorm the same week the BDS referendum went up for a vote. When she woke up one morning to find flyers, “put up outside her room and throughout her entire dormitory on every floor of her face and pro-Palestinian language connected to the BDS referendum.”

She filed a report with the Rutgers University Police Department, but told the New York Post she felt “completely unsafe” and “targeted” for her religious beliefs. 

‘Targeted’

“It was very clear they were targeting her right where she sleeps, and it was an intimidation tactic, a message to both Jewish students, as well as Rivka, that ‘Don’t support Israel, we know where you sleep,’” Rothbort said. “That is the definition of a biased conduct, and so I’ve been helping Rivka navigate those waters.” 

Gindi called Schafer’s flayer incident a “level of intimidation that it’s sickening We haven’t had anything like that at least at Rutgers before.” 

Despite the incident, Schafer went to the town hall. 

“Rivka is a very brave individual and Rivka was not going to allow these individuals keep her quiet and suppress her ability to support Israel,” he added. 

Rothbort said he had learned from students that much of the antisemitic behavior isn’t out in the open, but rather through “typical school bullying behavior” such as group chats through text, WhatsApp, or other online messaging applications. 

Antisemitic incidents

He said Schafer was in a chess group chat one time “and all of a sudden, the president of the chess group shared some messages out of the blue basically saying boycott Israel, don’t let your tuition money go to murderers or genocide.” He said Schafer told him, Now I can’t participate in chess club, I’m not welcome here.”

He said there have been other antisemitic incidents on campus. 

COLUMBIA PROF WHO CALLED OUT CAMPUS ANTISEMITISM SAYS SCHOOL INVESTIGATING HIM 

“How can you have a culture where chanting for a one-state solution is acceptable? How can you have a culture where chanting to globalize the intifada or long live the intifada or there is only one solution, intifada revolution? I mean that is antisemitic that is targeting Jewish people,” Rothbort said. 

He said Rutgers has defended its “inaction” on “First Amendment grounds and saying you have a right to say what you want to say. Well, that’s not true. The First Amendment doesn’t protect all sorts of speech, and it doesn’t protect all sorts of conduct. It doesn’t protect speech that incites violence, and it doesn’t protect hateful conduct.” 

“It was very clear they were targeting her right where she sleeps, and it was an intimidation tactic, a message to both Jewish students, as well as Rivka, that ‘Don’t support Israel, we know where you sleep.'”

— Cory Rothbort, attorney for Rutgers student Rivka Schafer

Schafer hasn’t made the decision to sue the school yet. “We’re evaluating our options and there’s an ongoing criminal investigation,” Rothbort explained. 

Rutgers and other colleges “can’t keep putting their head in the sand and say, ‘Well, we can’t do anything about it,’ citing First Amendment rights,” Rothbort said. “You have an obligation and a legal obligation to prevent your students from being bullied, intimidated, harassed and discriminated against because of their religion or other characteristics.”

Gindi said that while most people left the town hall through the emergency exits, “I actually refused to go with the majority of the group. I refused to let these bullies intimidate me to the point where I had to leave through the emergency exit, so I refused, I went through the main exits at my own leisure.”

He added that he is “grateful” to Holloway for “really sticking up and defending the university’s relationship with Tel Aviv University and calling out the horribleness of BDS. I have so much respect for him for that and I really, really thank him for standing with the Jewish community at least in this regard.” 

Rutgers told Fox News Digital in a statement about the town hall incident: “Students who objected to President Holloway’s belief that the BDS movement is both wrong and counter-productive and who disagree with his support for continuing Rutgers’ partnership with Tel Aviv University disrupted a meeting of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) where the president was discussing topics of interest to RUSA.” 

“The RUSA leaders ended the meeting and President Holloway, with his driver who is a Rutgers University police officer, and other attendees left the meeting without incident.” 

‘Engagement, not isolation’

On April 1, Holloway said in a statement: “On the question of divestment, I think the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is wrong. I believe in engagement, not isolation. I believe that enlightenment comes from involvement and that lasting progress and peace are the outcomes of diplomacy and discussion. Please also know that the University’s Joint Committee on Investments has authority over investment policy. A request for divestment from companies doing business in Israel was presented to that committee in 2020, and it did not move forward. 

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“Our partnership with TAU adds to our fundamental academic and research mission. This relationship was first established in 2016 and will continue at the HELIX, our new research facility in downtown New Brunswick. I traveled to Tel Aviv in 2021 with a delegation from New Jersey to renew the memorandum establishing the partnership and to show my commitment to global academic exchanges and to international engagement. Rutgers has relationships like this with universities all over the world, and they help move our mission forward.”

Chick-fil-A taunted by another fast food chain with spicy Sunday showdown

Shake Shack appeared to throw some shade towards Chick-fil-A when announcing a free chicken sandwich only-Sunday promotion during the month of April.

“Here at Shake Shack, we pride ourselves on our Chicken Shack which is available 7 days a week,” the fast food restaurant chain wrote in a press release, appearing to point at Chick-fil-A’s closed on Sunday policy.

The burger joint pointed to their antibiotic-free chicken — apparently highlighting Chick-fil-A’s recent announcement that they are shifting from antibiotic-free chicken starting this spring.

“With crispy, white-meat chicken breast over lettuce, pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo on a toasted potato bun, this sandwich outshines its competition. And what makes our Chicken Shack even better, is that it’s made with antibiotic-free chicken, something not everyone can say these days…,” Shake Shack quipped.

CHICK-FIL-A SET TO SWITCH FROM ANTIBIOTIC-FREE CHICKEN

The New York-based chain touted its antibiotic-free chicken in a poster.

“Eat More Antibiotic-Free Chicken,” Shake Shack announced.

Chick-fil-A said that their switch from antibiotic-free chicken came due to supply reasons.

CHICK-FIL-A ROLLS OUT NUGGET-TOPPED PIZZA PIES AT MARYLAND TEST KITCHEN: ‘LOVE BEFORE BITE’

“As we look to the future, the availability of high-quality chicken that meets our rigid standards has become a concern. This change enables us to not only ensure we can continue to serve high-quality chicken, but also chicken that still meets the expectations our customers count on us to deliver,” a Chick-fil-A spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

People can score the Chicken Shack (Shake Shack’s chicken sandwich) for free on April 7, 14, 21 and 28 at participating locations.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SHAK SHAKE SHACK 101.21 +0.88 +0.88%

To apply the promo, customers must place a $10 minimum order on an in-store kiosk, the Shake Shack app or the restaurant’s website. 

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Entering the code CHICKENSUNDAY will earn one free sandwich per order.

Fox News’ reached out Shake Shack and Chick-fil-A for comment.

Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.