Fox News 2024-04-20 01:03:53

White House defends Biden’s claim his uncle was eaten by cannibals

During his visit to a war memorial near his hometown in Pennsylvania, President Biden appeared to imply his uncle was eaten by cannibals after his plane was shot down during World War II.

“He flew single-engine planes, reconnaissance flights over New Guinea. He had volunteered because someone couldn’t make it. He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time,” President Biden said. “They never recovered his body.”

On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged that President Biden’s maternal uncle, Ambrose Finnegan, who he refers to as “Uncle Bosie,” did die in WWII when his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, but confirmed he was not eaten by cannibals, as Biden seemed to suggest on two separate occasions during his visit on Wednesday.

When asked about his comments on Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed the President was having an “emotional moment” when he made his remarks.


“The president had an emotional and I think a symbolic moment. He had an opportunity as president to honor his uncle’s service in uniform. He had an opportunity to be there as president, you know, to speak to people that put their lives on the line on behalf of this country,” Jean-Pierre said.

She went on to explain what Biden’s comment meant.

“So his uncle, who lost his life when the military aircraft he was on crashed in the Pacific after taking off near New Guinea. The president highlighted his uncle’s story as he made the case for honoring our sacred commitment to equip those we send to war and take care of them and their families when they come home,” Jean-Pierre said. “And as he reiterated, the last thing American veterans are or the last thing Americans should be called are suckers and losers. And those types of words should not come from a commander in chief, as we have in the past.”

Jean-Pierre’s last statement was in reference to former President Trump, who President Biden claimed called soldiers “suckers and losers.” 

Trump was alleged to have made the comments as he was set to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a trip to France in Nov. 2018 while he was president.

The allegations, sourced anonymously in The Atlantic, described multiple offensive comments allegedly made by Trump toward fallen and captured U.S. service-members, including allegedly calling the World War I dead at an American military cemetery in France as “losers” and “suckers” in 2018.


“This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter about the comments made against him. 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Fox & Friends”  that he was with the president for a good part of the trip to France. “I never heard him use the words that are described in that article,” Pompeo said.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that she was part of the discussion about visiting the cemetery. “This never happened. I have sat in the room when our President called family members after their sons were killed in action and it was heart-wrenching. … I am disgusted by this false attack.”

Fox News’ Peter Doocy continued to question Jean-Pierre about President Biden’s comments about his uncle, acknowledging that Second Lieutenant Ambrose Jay Finnegan was a war hero, but stating that the Pentagon said, for unknown reasons, the plane was forced to ditch in the ocean. 

“Both engines failed at low altitude. Why is President Biden saying he was shot down? There’s no evidence of that. And why is he saying that his uncle was eaten by cannibals? That is a bad way to go,” Doocy questioned.


“He lost his life. It’s not. Look, I’m not, we should not make jokes about this,” Jean-Pierre said.

Doocy reiterated that it wasn’t a joke, but said again, that is what Biden said. 

“I mean, your last line is, it’s for a laugh, it’s for a funny statement. And he takes this very seriously. His uncle, who served and protected this country, lost his life serving. And that should matter. You have a president that lifts our U.S. troops, our American veterans every day. Who thinks about them? Who actually thinks they’re all heroes? And they are,” Jean-Pierre sparred back. 

Doocy asked one more time why he used the term “cannibalism” as Jean-Pierre gave her last comment.


“I think you’re missing the point. The point is you have a president that lifts up American veterans, who lifts up our U.S. service members. And that’s what matters. He understands how critical and how important it is to be commander in chief,” Jean-Pierre finished. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Judge rules on Trump team’s motion to delay hush money trial, scolds attorneys

Breaking News


Motion for delay denied in Trump NY criminal hush money trial

A motion to delay former president Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial was denied on Friday, according to documents obtained by Fox News.

As Trump’s defense team went before Judge Merchan, they also filed an emergency appeal to the NYS appellate division to delay the hush money trial while he appeals his motion to move the case out of Manhattan.

The trial will begin on Monday morning.

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Trump says his hush money trial is a ‘witch hunt’

During day four of former President Donald Trump’s NY criminal hush money trial, he stated again that this is a “witch hunt.”

“Everything you heard in there, this is a witch hunt by your worst judges, Democrat judges. You take a look at it. Engoron is a whack job. What he did was a disgrace, he’s being reviewed by the appellate division and I hope they do justice,” Trump said.

He added that his trial is a threat to democracy.

“Frankly, what took place with the A.G., a crooked A.G. Letitia James, who campaigned on the fact that “I’m going to get Trump, I’m going to get Trump.” That’s all she said for two years and it’s people don’t want to see this stuff,” Trump said.

Trump continued by taking jabs at President Biden and the disaster facing his administration.

“This is a giant witch hunt to try and hurt a campaign that’s beating the worst president in history. Biden is the worst president in the history of our country, beating him by a lot. And this is the only way they think they can win. But it’s not going to work,” Trump said.

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Trump says the ‘only way’ Dems ‘think they can win’ is with trials: ‘It’s not going to work’

Former President Trump said Friday that keeping him confined to a courtroom is “the only way” Democrats “think they can win” the 2024 election.

But the presumptive Republican presidential nominee declared that “it’s not going to work.”

Trump spoke to the press after the sitting in court for the fourth day of his criminal trial.

“This is really a concerted witch hunt very simple. Everything you heard in there, this is a witch hunt by your worst judges, Democrat judges. You take a look at it,” Trump said.

Trump said there are “violent criminals all over the streets of New York” and said “nothing” happens.

Trump also railed against judges who have ruled against him in civil cases, like New York Judge Arthur Engoron, who ruled Trump was liable for fraud after a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Trump has appealed the decision. Trump called Engoron “a whack job.”

Trump also blasted federal Judge Kaplan, based in New York, who ruled he had to pay tens of millions of dollars to E. Jean Carroll for defamation earlier this year.

“What’s happening here with the judicial system is an outrage and all over the world they’re watching it. And all over the world they’re seeing it,” Trump said. “This is a giant witch hunt to try and hurt a campaign that’s beating the worst president in history.”

Trump blasted Biden, saying he “is the worst president in the history of our country,” and said he is “beating him by a lot” in the polls.

“And this is the only way they think they can win,” Trump said. “But it’s not going to work.”

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Judge chastises Trump team for challenging his decisions, tells former president to sit back down

Judge Juan Merchan slammed former President Trump’s defense attorneys Friday for challenging each of his decisions during the first week of the historic criminal trial.

Merchan chastised Trump attorneys for filing pre-motion letters to challenge his rulings, and firmly stated that the trial would begin Monday with opening arguments.

Merchan said Trump’s lawyers cannot continue to submit pre-motion letters for the court to reconsider every decision.

“The defense is literally targeting every singe decision…There comes a point where you have to accept my rulings. The court’s decision is clear,” Merchan said. “We’re going to have opening statements on Monday morning. This trial is starting.”

Trump attorney Susan Necheles asked prosecutors to give the names of the witnesses they expect to call next week.

Merchan fired back saying: “Whether you get the name or not, you’re not going to delay the trial.”

Bragg’s office said unless they are ordered to, they will not share witness names with Trump’s defense. Prosecutors said they would agree to release one name to defense counsel Sunday night. They also warned that if Trump tweets or posts on social media about the name of the witness, they will not share the information with them for the remainder of the trial.

Before Merchan left the bench, former President Trump attempted to stand up.

“Sir, can you please have a seat?” Merchan said to the former president.

Trump sat back down.

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Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial identified, in critical condition

The New York Police Department has identified the man who lit himself on fire outside of the courthouse of former President Donald Trump’s ongoing trial.

The individual, identified by the NYPD as Maxwell Azzarello, was captured lighting himself on fire about 30 feet from the courthouse on Friday afternoon.

The NYPD held a press conference immediately after the shocking incident occurred, revealing  Azzarello used an “alcohol based substance thats used for cleaning” to ignite the fire. Officials also confirmed that no other bystanders, including the individuals who attempted to extinguish the flames, were seriously injured.

Azzarello was reportedly moved to a burn unit where he remains in “critical condition,” NYPD officials said.

Officials described a manifesto that appears to be written by Azzarello where he wrote about researching a global “ponzi scheme.”

In the document published online before the incident, Azzarello also alleges a “totalitarian con” and apologized to “friends and family, witnesses and first responders” for “inflicting this pain upon you.”

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Man sets self on fire outside Trump NY trial

A man set himself on fire at a protest outside the Manhattan courthouse where former President Trump is on trial for alleged hush money payments. 

Fox News’ Eric Shawn reported live on the air as the man self-immolated in the protest area about 30 feet from the courthouse. The protest took place in a small park across the street. 

Police threw blankets over the man in an attempt to extinguish the flames. Sirens were heard as Shawn reported live from the scene. 

“There was panic and screaming, obviously, when this happened,” Shawn reported.

The man appeared to be moving his arms as he was attended to by EMT and paramedics. His identity and condition are currently unknown. 

Police were seen engaging with the man as he was lying on the ground receiving medical attention. He was pulled onto a stretcher and placed in an ambulance to take him to the hospital. 

Shawn described the scene as one of “shock and horror” with flames reaching as tall as 15 ft. into the air.  

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Jury selection complete in Trump NY trial

Five more alternate jurors have been seated in former President Trump’s hush money payments trial on Friday, completing jury selection.

The individuals join the other 12 jurors and first alternate who were sworn in during jury selection proceedings on Thursday. 

An alternate juror listens to the testimony, just like all the other jurors, but doesn’t join in the deliberations unless one of the main jurors needs to drop out or is removed.

Judge Juan Merchan said that opening statements in Trump’s historic criminal trial can begin as early as Monday once jury selection was completed.

The judge instructed jurors not to discuss or research the case before sending them home for the weekend.

Fox News’ Maria Paronich and the Associated Press contributed to this update.

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Juror who claimed father is lifelong friend of former NJ Gov. Chris Christie is excused

A potential juror who said she had connections to both former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has been excused.

The woman said her father is a lifelong friend of Christie, who ran against former President Trump in the 2016 and 2024 Republican primaries, and that she works at the same company as Cohen’s son, although they’ve never crossed paths. The juror said she initially thought she could remain impartial but realized she could not.

“I feel so nervous and anxious right now,” the juror told the court, becoming emotional and starting to cry.

“I don’t want to waste the court’s time,” she said. “I thought I could do this. This is so much more stressful than I thought it was going to be.”

The judge called her to the bench. After a brief exchange, she was excused.

Cohen is expected to testify as a witness against Trump. The payments he made to former pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 are the basis of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment, which alleges Trump falsified business records to cover up payments to keep Daniels quiet about their previous sexual affair ahead of the 2016 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied the affair took place.

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Emotional moment as juror with criminal conviction is dismissed

Attorneys and others in the courtroom appeared emotional after a potential juror in Trump’s hush money trial broke down into tears as she disclosed her previous criminal conviction on drug-related charges.

The woman, who was disqualified from serving on the case, previously lived in Massachusetts and is a mother to four adult children with three grandkids. She said she doesn’t pay attention to or watch the news, had no political views, and believes people should be held accountable for their actions because off what she went through. 

When it was her turn to speak, the woman told the court, “I’m sure I’m going to be disqualified,” before she talked about serving 2.5 years in prison on a drug-related conviction about 10 years ago. 

She started to cry as she discussed her crimes and said, “you guys keeping calling me back for jury duty and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be here.” 

Her emotional outburst prompted Judge Merchan to call a sidebar at the bench. After coming back, she apologized for crying.

When the potential jurors were dismissed for a 10 minute break, the judge reminded reporters that the woman was very brave and shared deeply personal things about her life. He specifically asked, “please be kind.” 

When the court reconvened, the judge said the woman who had been convicted of a crime would be disqualified from serving on the case. She was called back into the courtroom and the judge thanked her for being brave and open. He said that being convicted of a crime does not preclude her from serving on a jury, but that she needs a certificate and could not serve on this case because she does not have one. 

If the woman obtains the certificate, she may serve on a future jury depending on the nature of the crimes, the judge said.

As the judge explained why the woman cannot serve, Trump was seen craning his neck over his shoulder to look at her. 

On her way out of the courtroom, the woman said, “thank you … good luck.” 

Fox News’ Maria Paronich and Brendan McDonald contributed to this report.

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‘Overtly political’ Trump trial risks eroding Americans’ faith in judicial system, experts say

As a Manhattan courtroom braces for the unprecedented trial of former President Donald Trump, legal minds examine how the case — considered by some experts to be legally weak and politically motivated — could erode trust in America’s justice system. 

The 45th president and presumptive GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential election was charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to adult actress Stormy Daniels to conceal their alleged extramarital affair.

But experts tell Fox News Digital that the “overtly political” nature and hollow legal grounds of the case could erode “respect and trust” in the rule of law that could take “a very long time” to restore. 

“In my view, the prosecution that is currently underway against former President Trump in New York City is the most overtly political of the four criminal cases pending against him,” John Malcolm, former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Georgia, told Fox News Digital.

He noted that Bragg had run for office touting the number of times he had sued Trump and vowing to go after him if he was elected as DA.

Malcolm said Bragg had taken a relatively minor record-keeping charge that usually results in a civil fine or, at most, a misdemeanor – or which the statute of limitations ran a long time ago – and “ginned up” a 34-count felony indictment, claiming that the alleged false business entries had been intended to cover up the existence of another crime. 

John Shu, a constitutional law expert who served in both Bush administrations, agreed with that sentiment, telling Fox News Digital that the prosecution “is particularly egregious because he…never would have twisted the law in this way in order to bring a similar case against a Democrat former president, and also because Bragg repeatedly either has refused to prosecute violent criminals or retail store thieves who hurt innocent New Yorkers or allowed them to plead out to minor charges.”

Fox News Digital’s Brianna Herlihy contributed to this update.

Posted by Chris Pandolfo

Biden mocks Trump for legal woes: ‘A little busy right now’

President Biden took a jab at his presumptive Republican rival for the presidency while campaigning in Pennsylvania.

Biden made the remark while speaking at the United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday.

“Under my predecessor, who’s a little busy right now, Pennsylvania lost 275,000 jobs,” Biden said while boasting of his economic policies’ benefit to blue collar workers.

United Steelworkers endorsed the Biden-Harris ticket last month, applauding the president’s investments in “worker-centered trade policy.”

“President Biden proved time and again during his first term that he stands with working families,” USW International President David McCall said in the March announcement. 

He added, “His vision and leadership allowed our nation to strengthen workers’ access to collective bargaining, grow the middle class, and embark on a path to widespread prosperity.”

While Biden is on the road campaigning, Trump is currently stuck in New York City for his criminal trial surrounding alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels during his successful 2016 presidential campaign. 

Trump has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. It is the first ever criminal trial of a former president.

Fox News Digital’s Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this update.

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‘Trojan horse jurors’ are biggest concern in Trump trial: Jonathan Turley

Constitutional law professor and
Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley
reacted to the jury selection process for former President Donald Trump’s hush money payments trial on Thursday.

Turley warned that the jury pool in Manhattan may be “heavily weighted, obviously, with people who have strong opinions against Trump.” 

“Only about 12% of the people in this area voted for Trump. The jurors you have to worry about are the ones who are sort of Trojan horse jurors. They’re the ones who are hiding bias that doesn’t appear on social media or are involved in any formal charges,” Turley said on “America Reports.” 

“Those are the ones you have to worry about, that they’re so motivated by their dislike for Trump that they’re willing to lie on the stand. Now, we have seen jurors who have later been found to have misrepresented their histories in a couple of prior cases involving Trump associates. In both those cases, the judges in Washington, DC refused to reconsider the verdict. And so this is a very important stage to try to filter out these types of jurors.”

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Breaking News

Two potential alternate jurors excused after admitting inability to be impartial

Two potential alternate jurors were excused Friday morning after they admitted they’d have trouble remaining impartial during former President Trump’s trial for alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.

One woman told the judge and attorneys present she has severe anxiety and may not be able to be fair and impartial. She said the longer the trial continues and the more people who know she is a juror could exacerbate her anxiety. A second woman said that after  introspection, she “can’t be impartial.” 

“I want to be … but after listening to the questions posed to prospective jurors, and asking those questions to myself, I don’t think I can be impartial,” she said. 

Two other women were questioned as the court seeks to fill positions for five alternate jurors.

Twenty-two possible jurors are being brought in to court as jury selection continues. As many as five alternate jurors must be selected before jury selection is over. One alternate was already sworn in at the end of the day Thursday.

Fox News’ Maria Paronich and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Trump trial Day 4 underway as Judge Merchan takes bench

Judge Juan M. Merchan took the bench and said “good morning” to former President Donald Trump, who is seated in a Manhattan courtroom as day four of his first criminal trial begins.

Yesterday, 12 jurors and one alternate juror were selected for Trump’s hush money payment trial. Prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on Friday asked for five additional minutes for juror questioning as they pick the remaining alternates. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys will have 35 minutes to question potential jurors this morning.

Judge Merchan, who appeared to be in a jovial mood Friday morning, granted the request and joked, “we’re also still working on the temperature.” Trump had complained about the “freezing” courtroom earlier this week and reporters noted the room feels even colder today.

Trump did not look at prospective jurors as they entered the courtroom. He appeared stoic and stared down at papers on the defense table as photographers snapped photos before the proceedings began. 

Fox News’ Brendan McDonald and Maria Paronich contributed to this update.

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Trump demands judge remove gag order before walking into court

Former President Trump on Friday demanded that the judge in his hush money payments case remove a gag order that prevents him from speaking publicly about witnesses in the trial.  

“I am not allowed to speak,” Trump said in brief remarks before he entered the Manhattan courthouse. He asserted his constitutional rights were stripped away by the judge and that he cannot respond to “lies” told about him in the press during his trial.

“The gag order has to come off. People are allowed to speak about me, and I have a gag order just to show you how much more unfair it is. And the conflict has to end with the judge. The judge has a conflict. The worst I’ve ever seen,” Trump said.

Judge Juan Merchan last month imposed a gag order on Trump, due to his “prior extrajudicial statements.” Merchan said they established “a sufficient risk to the administration of justice.”

Merchan ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about witnesses concerning their potential participation or about counsel in the case — other than Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg — or about court staff, DA staff or family members of staff.

Merchan also ordered that Trump cannot make or direct others to make public statements about any prospective juror or chosen juror.

Bragg filed a motion Tuesday to hold Trump in contempt of court for allegedly violating the gag order with a series of social media posts relating to two known witnesses in his criminal trial — Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

Bragg is urging Manhattan Judge Juan Merchan to also warn Trump that “future violations” of the gag order can be punished “not only with additional fines, but also with a term of incarceration of up to thirty days.” 

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this update.

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Kevin O’Leary rips ‘sheer stupidity’ of Trump trial, says it hurts the ‘American brand’

“Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary slammed Trump’s hush money trial in New York City, arguing the case is based on “sheer stupidity” and hurts the “American brand.” 

O’Leary addressed his take on the validity of the criminal case during “Outnumbered” as jury selection continues. 

“I have a different take on this case. And I just want to preface my words saying before I comment, I’ve talked about these cases in New York now for months… Every time I bring this up, I get all this Trump stuff. Forget about Trump, okay? We don’t do this in America, but we don’t go after the office of the president with porn star cases. We give a broad swath of latitude. If you’re an ex-president and you murdered somebody, I get it, or been accused of murder… But what is this? This hurts the American brand. I keep saying that,” O’Leary said.

“I was in Geneva last week. 150 countries represented there. Everybody is talking about this saying, ‘What is this porn star thing?’ This is an American president. This is the office of the United States of America’s highest office, and we’re doing this? This is sheer stupidity,” he continued. 

“And I’ll tell you what should happen. This should be pushed until after he wins or doesn’t win. This should not be part of this election cycle at all. And this is not a Trump-loving comment. This is about the American brand, where I bring capital from all around the world to invest here. We look like clowns. I hate this.” 

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Trump says criminal trial is having a ‘reverse effect’ during campaign stop at New York bodega

On Tuesday, after the second day of Trump’s hush money trial ended, the former president made a campaign stop at an Upper Manhattan bodega, where he vowed to “straighten out New York.”

Trump visited the bodega after spending hours in downtown New York City courtroom for the second day of his criminal trial stemming from charges brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The presumptive GOP presidential niminee declared his trial for alleged hush money payments is having a “reverse effect” as a large crowd chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” and “Four more years.” 

Trump blasted the trial and charges against him, saying it is “rigged,” “all politics,” and “coming out of the [Biden] White House.” 

“It makes me campaign locally, and that’s okay,” Trump said. “We’re doing better now than we’ve ever done, so I think it’s having a reverse effect.” 

“We’re going to come in – Number one, you have to stop crime and we’re going to let the police do their job. They have to be given back their authority. They have to be able to do their job,” Trump said. “And we’re going to come into New York. We’re making a big play for New York, other cities, too. But this city, I love this city.” 

Trump said New York has “gotten so bad in the last three years, four years.” 

“And we’re going to straighten New York out. So running for president, we’re putting a big hit in New York – we could win New York,” Trump said. 

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Who is Judge Juan Merchan?

Manhattan Judge Juan M. Merchan, 61, is presiding over Trump’s hush money case. 

Merchan, originally from Colombia, has served on the New York Supreme Court since 2009, overseeing felony criminal cases. He previously served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office in the 1990s and worked in the New York State Attorney General’s office, among other roles. 

Merchan has previously overseen high-profile cases, including in 2012 the case of the “soccer mom madam,” when a woman named Anna Gristina was charged with running a high-end prostitution ring in Manhattan. He also presided over the Trump Organization’s 2022 criminal trial involving charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records, and he is currently overseeing a case involving Trump-supporter Steven Bannon on charges that he defrauded donors to build a wall along the nation’s southern border. 

Trump has railed against Merchan on Truth Social, including last month when he called on the judge to recuse himself and cited Merchan’s daughter and her work as a political consultant for Democratic politicians. 

“Judge Juan Merchan, who is suffering from an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome (whose daughter represents Crooked Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, and other Radical Liberals, has just posted a picture of me behind bars, her obvious goal, and makes it completely impossible for me to get a fair trial) has now issued another illegal, un-American, unConstitutional ‘order,’ as he continues to try and take away my Rights,” Trump posted on Truth Social last month after he was given a gag order limiting what he could publicly say about the case. 

Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton contributed to this update.

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Controversy: Manhattan DA Bragg upgrades misdemeanor Trump charges to felony

Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor violation in New York, but prosecutors are set to argue that former President Trump falsified his business records to cover another crime, which upgrades the charges to a felony.

Legal experts have weighed in that prosecutors will argue that Trump’s alleged actions were to ​​conceal campaign finance crimes.

Some who spoke to Fox News Digital expressed skepticism over the DA’s office linking the case to campaign finance crimes, with the Heritage Foundation’s senior legal fellow Zack Smith saying that prosecutors are trying to “bootstrap essentially what would ordinarily be misdemeanor charges into felony offenses.” 

“Some of the charges he’s trying to bring are false records charges against Donald Trump. Which are ordinarily misdemeanors, unless they were done in furtherance of another felony — simply to cover up another felony. And in this case, as I understand it, Alvin Bragg is saying that the other felony was a federal campaign finance violation. So, you simply have a state prosecutor pursuing a state case against Donald Trump, based on a federal felony offense that the federal government, the Justice Department itself, declined to pursue,” Smith told Fox News Digital in an interview earlier this month. 

The Justice Department in 2019 “effectively concluded” its investigation into Trump’s payments. In 2021, the Federal Elections Commission, the agency dedicated to enforcing campaign finance laws, announced that it had dropped a case looking into whether Trump had violated election laws for the payment to Daniels. 

Former FEC member Hans Von Spakovsky underscored to Fox News Digital in another interview that both the FEC and DOJ had declined to pursue the case, yet a local DA is working to prove that Trump violated federal law. 

“The [FEC] looked at this and said that this settlement was not a violation of federal law. The Justice Department also has criminal enforcement authority over federal campaign finance laws, and the Justice Department has also not considered this a crime,” Von Spakovsky said.

“And so you have this local DA claiming there’s a violation of federal law, when the two federal agencies with enforcement authority over that law say, ‘Well, no, there there was no violation of federal law.’ And look, I say that as a former commissioner on the FEC. My job as a commissioner was to enforce federal campaign finance law, and this is simply not a violation of federal law,” he added. 

Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton contributed to this update.

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What are the charges in Trump’s hush money case? Could he go to prison?

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Trump’s indictment in April of 2023 on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The charges stem from checks reimbursing Michael Cohen over a roughly 12-month period for paying Stormy Daniels in 2016. Cohen was separately arrested in 2018 and pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress. He was sentenced to three years in prison and has since been released. 

Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor, but prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with an intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which would be a felony. 

The charges against Trump carry more than a decade in prison, if he is convicted on the counts.

Legal experts across the nation have weighed in that it is unlikely Trump would face a long prison sentence, if convicted, speculating that the 45th president would instead be given probation or up to four years in prison if found guilty by the jury, Fox News previously reported.

Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton contributed to this update.

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Tracing the origins of Trump’s hush money case

The origins of former President Trump’s hush money case data back to October of 2016, when Trump was still just a candidate running against Democrat Hillary Clinton. 

The case is based on a $130,000 payment Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen made to former pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels. 

The case is also expected to feature two other payments, including a $30,000 payment to a Trump Tower doorman who claimed that Trump fathered a child out of wedlock, and arranged a $150,000 payment through a tabloid publisher to a former Playboy model named Karen McDougal, who also claimed she had an affair with Trump and sold her story to the tabloid. Trump has also vehemently denied these allegations. 

Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen, and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses.   

“During the election, TRUMP and others employed a ‘catch and kill’ scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged last year. “TRUMP then went to great lengths to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws.”

“Catch-and-kill” schemes are understood as tactics used by media and publishing companies to buy the rights of a person’s story with the intention of burying the information.

Fox News Digital’s Emma Colton contributed to this update.

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Jury selection to resume Friday to pick remaining alternates

Defense attorneys and prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will question a third panel of potential jurors Friday in former President Trump’s hush-money case to select the remaining alternates.

On Thursday, 12 jurors and one alternate juror were seated after a long and arduous process that saw two jurors dismissed. At least one more alternate is needed before the historic criminal trial of a former U.S. president can begin. Those selected must attest that they can set aside their personal views and impartially weigh the charges against Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution,” and maintains his innocence. The former president is expected to testify during his trial.

“I tell the truth,” Trump said last week, when asked about his possible testimony.

Trump is the first president in United States history to stand criminal trial.

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Trump says Biden ‘should be in jail’ and ‘on trial,’ while blasting NY case

Former President Trump
declared it is President Joe Biden who “should be in jail” and “be on trial,” while blasting the case against him and saying “the whole world is watching this New York scandal,” as he left court after the third day of his historic and unprecedented criminal trial. 

The former president, shortly after a full jury was selected to hear arguments from his defense attorneys and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as he seeks to make his case, stood in the hallway of the courthouse and addressed the press. 

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, held a thick stack of news articles from a range of different news outlets and media organizations. 

Trump said “every one of them” knows the case is “very unfair” and a “very bad thing.” 

“The whole world is watching this New York scandal,” he said, calling it a “spectacle.” 

“It is political and it is a shame—it is a shame,” he said. “And I am sitting here for days now from morning until night in that freezing room—everybody was freezing in there—and all for this.”  

The former president blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as “out of control” and said Judge Juan Merchan who is presiding over the case is “highly conflicted.” 

“The whole thing is a mess,” he said. 

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Swimsuit model ditching bikini weather over left-wing policies — and migrating south

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass publicized LA4LA during a State of the City address on Monday, when she called on the “the most fortunate” to contribute “personal, private sector and philanthropic funds” to combat the homeless crisis in the city.

The campaign pleads for wealthy California residents to offer funds, so city officials can move the over 40,000 homeless people from the streets of Los Angeles into housing.

“I quite frankly feel a little bit taken advantage of when I, too, have had to struggle and to create my own opportunities through hard work and education,” Kristen Louelle Gaffney, Sports Illustrated model and resident of San Diego told Fox News Digital over the phone. “Why should somebody have a piece of my hard work?”

Gaffney, a graduate of Sonoma State University and originally from San Jose, financially supported herself through a college education.


“I came from nothing,” she said. “I think the most my parents did financially for me was pay for a tank of gas and maybe some groceries here and there in college.”

“We were very, very poor,” Gaffney said.

While Gaffney maintains that she and other California residents have already contributed plenty financially through taxes, she pointed to families cared for by single mothers, veterans and the elderly as the first homeless demographics that she believes should receive free housing.

“Drug addicts should be last on the list,” she said. “We should be focusing on the people that need help. Yes, but let’s create more opportunities and less systems that are ‘hand out’ systems that people are absolutely taking advantage of.”


Gaffney added, “How can we create opportunities for these, specifically, single women raising children?”

In 2023, 65% of the homeless families in Los Angeles were led by a single mother, according to Gitnux.

In 1990, 196 homeless and 194 housed poor families in Los Angeles were studied by the National Institutes of Health. The study found that of these families, homeless and housed poor mothers were, on average, 29 years of age and had two or three children.

The report states that, at the time, Los Angeles had approximately 35,000-50,000 homeless people.


In 2023, it was reported that there were over 50,000 unsheltered homeless people in Los Angeles, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

“You’ve taken enough from us, and you’re only showing me that it’s getting worse,” Gaffney said of homelessness. She credits her frustration to both President Biden and Gov. Gavin Newsom and their policies.

Gaffney is skeptical of where the billions of dollars previously allocated for solving LA homelessness has gone. She says that she has not seen a positive change in chronic homelessness in Los Angeles, which is spreading far outside the city and onto the campuses of her children’s school.

“The more we claim, and I use the word claim very strongly, that we’re helping these people, it seems like the situation is getting worse,” she said.

In February, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced “over $188 million for FY 2023 renewal and new projects to the Los Angeles Continuum of Care,” which includes various housing projects, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

A total of $1.4 million was to be earmarked for 47 beds for domestic violence survivors experiencing homelessness, according to the source.

“We’re constantly giving,” Gaffney said. “What more do you want from us?”

As a result of the seemingly incurable homeless crisis in LA, many Americans are uprooting their lives in The Golden State and relocating elsewhere.

Gaffney and her husband, former NFL running back Tyler Gaffney, are only one family on their way out.

The duo, and their three children, are migrating south to Nashville, Tennessee. The homeless crisis, accelerated cost of living, taxable income and an unsafe environment are only a few of the reasons the Gaffney family is moving clear across the country.

“A lot of people come to LA thinking this is the land of my dreams, this is the land of opportunity, this is where I can create something and make a name for myself,” Gaffney said. “LA homelessness…there’s nothing like it. I’ve been on the East Coast, I’ve been on the West Coast, I’ve been in the Bay Area.”

“This is the dirtiest I’ve seen our cities,” she said.


Several teens shot when school tradition takes violent turn: ‘What is our world coming to?’

Five people were shot in Greenbelt, Maryland, during a high school senior skip day party at a park, police said in a Friday evening press conference. 

The shooting happened at Hanover Parkway in Prince George’s County. 

Hundreds of students were gathered for the party before shots rang out around 2:30 p.m., Greenbelt Police Chief Rick Bowers said. 

“My heart breaks for them. These are just kids trying to have a good time,” Bowers said of the victims, who ranged in age from 16 to 18. 


One of the victims was in critical condition, he said, while the others are in stable condition. 

“This is a horrible, tragic, senseless act that happened today,” he added. “There is no reason that this occurred. These were seniors or senior skip day.” 


Greenbelt Mayor Emmett V. Jordan echoed Bowers’ sentiment. 

“If a group of high school students can not get together and have a good time, what is the world coming to?”


Bowers said no arrests have been made, but police believe there is one suspect who escaped when the shooting started. 

“I’m pretty upset by this,” Bowers added as he, Jordan and the city manager vowed to catch the suspect while appealing to the public for help. 

Homeowners in blue state face growing crisis as 2 more insurers announce exit

Two more insurance companies are ending property insurance coverage in California, adding to the growing list of insurers fleeing the state in what has become an escalating crisis.

Tokio Marine America Insurance Co. and Trans Pacific Insurance Co., both owned by Japanese firm Tokio Marine Holdings Inc., filed notices to California’s Department of Insurance saying the companies would cease offering homeowners insurance and umbrella policies in the Golden State.

The move will impact more than 12,500 policyholders, who can expect non-renewal letters starting July 1.


“Given the small segment of personal lines business we write and escalating costs, we cannot sustainably support personal lines coverages and do not plan to return,” Tokio Marine Holdings said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “We remain committed to commercial lines in California – and across the country – and supporting our agents and customers with exceptional service through this transition.”

FOX Business reached out to Tokio Marine Holdings for comment.

The decision is the latest blow to California property owners, as insurance companies continue to raise rates for customers or discontinue coverage.

In 2022, insurance giant AllState paused its sales of new home insurance policies in California due to wildfires and higher costs of doing business in the state.


State Farm followed suit last year, saying it would stop accepting new home insurance applications in California due to “historic” increases in construction costs and inflation

After State Farm announced last month that it would cut 72,000 home and apartment policies in California because of inflation, regulatory costs and increasing risks from catastrophes, California’s insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, told KCRA, “This is a real crisis.”


According to KCRA, seven of the 12 largest insurance groups in California have either paused or restricted new homeowner policies in the past year.

FOX Business’ Chris Pandolfo and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.

Beijing half-marathon winner stripped of medal after suspicious video surfaces

He Jie, China’s top long-distance runner, was stripped of his first-place medal from the Mengniu Beijing Half Marathon on Friday after an investigation concluded that three other runners from Africa had purposely slowed down to let him pass. 

Organizers announced the decision after footage from the race went viral over the weekend. Video evidence from the final moments of the race showed He trailing behind Kenya’s Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat and Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu. 

Mnangat told BBC Sport Africa that the group had not been not running competitively, but rather as pacemakers for He.  



An investigation into the incident found that four runners had, in fact, been invited by a race sponsor to serve only as pacemakers, but the main organizers were unaware of this. The fourth had dropped out before completing the race. 

“We deeply and sincerely apologize to the world and to every part of society, that we did not discover and correct the mistakes in time at this race,” the statement read. 


All four runners, including He, were disqualified and forced to return their medals and award money. 

Zhong’ao Lupao Sports Management Co, the main organizer, also lost its right to host the event as a result. 


He won the Asian Games men’s marathon last year and holds the Chinese national record in the event after finishing the Wuxi Marathon with a time of two hours, six minutes and 47 seconds. He finished last weekend’s race with a time of one hour, three minutes, 44 seconds. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Justice Department releases report on origins of FBI’s anti-Catholic memo

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been exonerated by a Department of Justice review that found investigators did not intend to target traditional Catholics as potential “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

The Justice Department Inspector General review noted, however, that analysts “incorrectly conflated” an investigative subject’s religious views with his alleged domestic terrorism activities. 

Findings from the 120-day review, which was handled by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz and ordered by Congress, were outlined in a letter sent to members of Congress on Thursday.

An FBI Richmond, Virginia, internal memo, titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities,” was leaked in January 2023 and drew instant criticism from Republicans, who demanded immediate answers from the agency.

According to the inspector general’s report, the memo, which has been dubbed the “Richmond Product,” was circulated amid an investigation of a potentially violent individual who was identified in the report as “Defendant A” and has since been arrested.


Though Defendant A was not been identified in the report, the dates and details of the case match the case against Xavier Lopez, who was indicted on federal weapons charges last June.

The FBI had been monitoring the suspect since 2019 due to his extremist views on social media, according to the inspector general’s review. 

The review stated that the suspect expressed neo-Nazi rhetoric and described himself as a “Catholic clerical fascist.” The FBI said he wrote in a letter to a family member that he needed to “build guns, explosives, and other forms of weaponry” in order to “make total war against the Satanic occultist government and the Zionist devil worshiping bankers who control it.”

The indictment against Lopez did not mention the church he attended or that he was monitored ahead of his arrest in November 2022, when a search of his apartment uncovered Molotov cocktails and firearms he was not allowed to possess. Lopez was on probation at the time after pleading guilty to felony vandalism for slashing tires.

Though the investigation was appropriate, the inspector general’s review criticized aspects of the memo warning about potential extremism within certain Catholic churches that was shared by the FBI’s Richmond field office.

“The [FBI Inspection Division] report found that although there was no evidence of malicious intent or an improper purpose, the [memo] failed to adhere to analytic tradecraft standards and evinced errors in professional judgment, including that it lacked sufficient evidence or articulable support for a relationship between RMVEs (Racially Motivated Violent Extremists) and so-called RTC (Radical Traditional Catholicism) ideology; incorrectly conflated the subjects’ religious views with their RMVE activities, creating the appearance that the FBI had inappropriately considered religious beliefs and affiliation as a basis for conducting investigative activity; and reflected a lack of training and awareness concerning proper domestic terrorism terminology,” the inspector general noted.

One of the FBI analysts involved in the creation of the memo maintained that the goal was to enable FBI Richmond to conduct outreach to these “faith communities to make them aware of what we would call warning signs to radicalization, for the protection of everybody.” 

The inspector general noted in his assessment that he and his team “did not find evidence that anyone ordered or directed” the individuals responsible for crafting the memo “to find a link between RMVEs and any specific religion or political affiliation … or that there was any underlying policy direction concerning such a link.”

The inspector general said a review of text messages and other conversations had between those who crafted the memo at the time “did not identify any evidence of discriminatory or inappropriate comments by them” about the church in question in the FBI’s investigation “or individuals who practiced a particular religious faith or held specific political beliefs.”

The inspector general also noted that he and his team did not find evidence that the FBI took any investigative steps involving the church except to monitor the suspect’s interactions. Investigators said they interviewed church members about the defendant’s alleged intent to incite violence.


“We found that FBI Richmond used these investigative techniques to obtain information about Defendant A and not to prepare the Richmond DP or collect intelligence more generally,” Horowitz wrote.

Based on findings by the FBI Inspection Division, the inspector general noted that the FBI “instituted corrective actions, including expanding training on analytical tradecraft standards and domestic terrorism terminology, enhancing review and approval requirements for intelligence products involving a sensitive investigative matter, and formally admonishing the employees involved.”

“We did not assess, and therefore do not comment on, the corrective actions taken by the FBI,” he said.

Following Horowitz’s report to Congress, the FBI released a statement applauding him for his work and concluded that it aligns with their past remarks on the incident.

“We thank the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General for its review. The FBI has said numerous times that the intelligence product did not meet our exacting standards and was quickly removed from FBI systems,” the agency said. “We also have said there was no intent or actions taken to investigate Catholics or anyone based on religion; this was confirmed by the findings of the OIG.”

“The FBI’s mission is to protect our communities from potential threats while simultaneously upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans. We do not conduct investigations based solely on First Amendment protected activity, including religious practices,” it added.

Lopez was indicted in June 2023 in federal court on one count of possessing ammunition while a convicted felon and one count of possessing destructive devices. In March of this year, he pleaded guilty to possessing destructive devices. His sentencing is scheduled to take place in September.


Horowitz noted that there were preliminary discussions with the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Strategic Unit to draft a similar memo to send to more field offices, but “those discussions ended following the [memo] becoming public.”

Fox News’ Thomas Phippen, Jake Gibson and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

Morgan Wallen breaks silence on Nashville bar arrest and addresses fate of his tour

Morgan Wallen broke his silence on Friday, nearly two weeks after he was arrested in Nashville for allegedly throwing a chair off a rooftop bar. 

The country star took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to denounce his actions while reassuring fans his One Night At A Time tour will continue as planned.

“I didn’t feel right publicly checking in until I made amends with some folks,” Wallen wrote on his social media. “I’ve touched base with Nashville law enforcement, my family, and the good people at Chief’s. I’m not proud of my behavior, and I accept responsibility.”

He added, “I have the utmost respect for the officers working every day to keep us all safe. Regarding my tour, there will be no change.” 

On April 7, Wallen, 30, was charged with three felony counts by the Metro Nashville Police Department after a chair he allegedly threw off the roof of the six-story Chief’s bar landed on Broadway near two police officers.

“At 10:53 p.m. Sunday evening, Morgan Wallen was arrested in downtown Nashville for reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He is cooperating fully with authorities,” Wallen’s attorney, Worrick Robinson, told Fox News Digital.

The singer was booked for the arrest at 12:36 am, then was released at 3:29am. His bond was listed at $15,250.

A photo of Wallen outside the bar with police was published by TMZ. 


Court documents show Wallen’s first court appearance has been set for the morning of May 3. Later that night, he has a scheduled concert at Nissan Stadium in Nashville

Wallen only recently kicked off his “One Night at a Time” tour in Indianapolis on April 4, and he is scheduled to perform throughout the country with Bailey Zimmerman, Nate Smith and Lauren Watkins opening.

Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson and Jon Pardi are just a few country stars set to join Wallen on tour this summer. 

This weekend, Wallen is scheduled to perform Saturday on the University of Mississippi campus – his first concert since his arrest in Nashville, Tennessee.

The show at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium also marks his return to Ole Miss after last year’s mishap where Wallen abruptly canceled his performance after the opening acts had already finished and just minutes before he was slated to take the stage. 

“After last night’s show I started losing my voice so I spent the day resting up, talking to my doctor and working through my vocal exercises trying to get better,” he explained in an Instagram story at the time. “I really thought I’d be able to take the stage and it kills me to deliver this so close to showtime, but my voice is shot and I am unable to sing.”


Wallen added, “I am so sorry, I promise you guys I tried everything I could.”


Following the cancelation, one fan filed a lawsuit against Wallen on behalf of ticket buyers and sought compensatory damages for a possible class-action lawsuit. The suit was voluntarily dismissed the following day.

Fox News Digital’s Tracy Wright contributed to this report.

WATCH: People travel from all over to see gun store’s ‘udderly’ adorable employee

A gun store in Maine has quite the new hire on its hands: a baby cow.

The calf named Kade is now the “shop pet” of A&G Shooting, a gun store in Fairfield, Maine.

Fairfield is a small town in central Maine, located near the city of Waterville. 


Kade’s backstory is somewhat sad. 

His “mom had rejected him, so he was shivering and cold and [lying] in some mud in the woods, and we found him,” Adam Hendsbee, owner of A&G Shooting, told Fox 22 Bangor. 

Hendsbee and his wife brought the Miniature Zebu calf into their home to keep him warm and safe. 

After they nursed Kade back to health, Hendsbee decided to put him to work at A&G Shooting. 


The calf’s “duties” at the store include inspecting products and receiving snuggles, said Fox 22.

Unsurprisingly, tiny Kade has become a local draw. 

The pet is a “celebrity” in Fairfield — and is available for pictures, pets and cuddles whenever he is in the store, Hendsbee told Fox 22. 

Kade is also apparently quite an agreeable coworker. 

“He brings in a lot of smiling faces and a lot of kids — [he] gets the newer generation into stuff and makes the gun shop aspect a little warmer,” Payton Atwood, an employee at A&G Shooting, told Fox 22. 


Alessandra Varricchio, a customer who came in specifically to see Kade, said he was “so adorable.” 

“Cows are my favorite animal, so it’s nice to have him here,” Varricchio told Fox 22. 

Miniature Zebus are a rare and critically endangered breed of cattle, notes the website for Oklahoma State University’s Department of Animal & Food Sciences. 


As the name suggests, the animal’s “most notable characteristic is their small size.” 

A full-grown miniature zebu is about three to three-and-a-half feet tall, and a bull like Kade is expected to weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, said Oklahoma State University. 

As long as I can fit him in the car, he’ll go wherever with me

Comparatively, a black Angus cow will weigh well over 1,000 pounds. 


Kade’s size will dictate how long he is employed at A&G Shooting, said Hendsbee. 

“For the next few months, I would say he’s going to be a staple here. As long as I can fit him in the car, he’ll go wherever with me,” he told Fox 22. 


Fox News Digital reached out to A&G Shooting for further comment. 

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