Fox News 2024-07-10 20:07:56

Democrat lawmaker suggests bigger issue to voters than Biden’s age after dismal debate


Democrat lawmaker suggests focus on Biden’s mental fitness is ‘ageism,’ ‘ableism’

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said critics of President Biden appear to be rooted in “ageism” and “ableism” rather than his policies.

The Nevada congressman appeared on “CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip” Monday night as some of his fellow Democratic colleagues have called for Biden to step aside following his disastrous debate performance.

Phillip reported a majority of voters, including Democrats, are having doubts about Biden’s ability to serve, to which Horsford responded that the conversation had been bogged down by “ageism,” which he found “interesting.”

“What I find interesting is the issue is more around ageism, ableism, and not what this president, President Biden, has done,” Horsford said. “His age didn‘t keep him from lifting 50% of children out of poverty. His age did not prevent him from passing a bipartisan infrastructure law. His age didn‘t prevent him from passing the bipartisan Safer Communities Act in order to keep our community safe from gun violence. It is his experience and his civility, because he actually cares about the American people.”

Horsford is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) which met with Biden on a virtual call on Monday as the president attempted to assure members of his party that he is up to the job. He reportedly thanked them for their reliable support and promised a mutual sense of loyalty. 

“You’ve had my back, and I’ll continue to have yours,” Biden told the CBC members on the call. 

Fox News Digital’s Lindsay Kornick contributed to this update.

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ABC’s George Stephanopoulos makes bold statement on Biden’s fitness: Can’t serve four more years

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos
revealed he doesn’t think President Biden can serve four more years in office just days after their high-stakes interview. 

TMZ obtained video of Stephanopoulos on the streets of New York City on Tuesday where he was asked whether he thought Biden should step down. 

“I don’t think he can serve four more years,” Stephanopoulos responded. 

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates pointed Fox News Digital to comments made at Tuesday’s press briefing by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who told Fox News’ Peter Doocy that the president is committing to serve a full second term in office. The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

A spokesperson for ABC News told Fox News Digital “George expressed his own point of view and not the position of ABC News.” 

“Earlier today I responded to a question from a passerby. I shouldn’t have,” Stephanopoulous said through a spokesperson.

Stephanopoulos sat down with Biden for the president’s first national interview since his disastrous debate performance last month, which has sparked unprecedented calls from members of the media and even a growing number of Democrats for him to withdraw from the 2024 race.

The ABC interview was widely seen as a test for Biden to show he has the mental capacity to continue his reelection bid. However, the 22-minute sit-down has not eased tensions within his party.

Fox News Digital’s Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this update.

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Biden interviewer: POTUS walked ‘stiffly’ but was ‘engaged, responsive’ to questions

A second interviewer, who has similarly crossed paths with President Biden in the past, noticed in their exchange last year that the president “walked a little stiffly across the room” but was “engaged, responsive and able to address my questions.”

“I will say he was careful not to go on at length with answers,” the second interviewer told Fox News Digital. “It was clear he was trying to edit himself, possibly because he’d been coached to keep answers short.”

Both interviewers expressed frustration about their years-long efforts to get their sit-downs with Biden on the books and pointed out how his team was “upset” that their conversations went longer than the allotted time they were granted.

“They were clearly guarding him carefully,” the second interviewer told Fox News Digital. 

Biden’s inner circle appear to be especially on guard in his post-debate interviews. Two local radio hosts admitted in the past week that they were given questions to ask by the president’s team. One of them has already been ousted from her radio station. 

Fox News Digital’s Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this update.

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Biden interviewers shed light on his frailty behind the scenes: ‘It’s impossible not to notice’

The legacy media has faced intense scrutiny in recent weeks over its past coverage of President Biden, with critics accusing journalists of covering up his mental decline, which was on full display at last month’s presidential debate. 

Perhaps the only members of the media, besides the White House press corps, who have had exposure to the generally media-reclusive president are those who have been able to interview him. Biden has shattered norms by granting fewer interviews than any other American president in modern history. Those reporters able to sit down with him were given a rare window to observe whether Biden’s mental health is as bad as his conservative critics say it is or as good as his liberal defenders claim. 

Fox News Digital reached out to 20 Biden interviewers during his presidency. Only two were willing to speak, on the condition of anonymity. 

The first interviewer, who has had several interactions with Biden over the years, saw that he was “stiffer physically” when interviewing him this year.  

“I noticed this especially in the context of his age and the reports of his being frail. He was,” the interviewer told Fox News Digital. “His eyes were watery, once seemed maybe irritated, a bit glassy.”

“I was left with the impression that he is old, and it’s impossible not to notice this and be focused on it. His voice is so soft,” the interviewer added. 

The interviewer did acknowledge that Biden was “fine with small talk” and that “nothing stood out as unusual” as far as witnessing any mental lapses. 

“I don’t know if it’s what people want as president,” the interviewer said. “But what I’ve seen isn’t as good as his defenders say and not as bad as his haters say.”

Fox News Digital’s Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this update.

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Party over country? Liberal media, celebs admit they will back Biden no matter his physical state

Liberal media figures and celebrities have boasted extreme loyalty to President Biden, no matter his physical or mental state, as the Democratic candidate faces growing calls to drop out of the 2024 election.

Biden’s halting debate performance on June 27 reinforced concerns about his mental acuity and fitness for office, setting off a firestorm of calls from Democratic figures and editorial boards for him to step aside. However, liberal figures from “The View,” MSNBC and Hollywood have doubled down in their support for Biden amid these concerns, with candid remarks about the extremely low standards they have for Biden to ensure their vote.

MSNBC host Joy Reid is one such figure who lashed out at the Democratic Party over the talk of replacing Biden in the debate fallout. On her TikTok account last week, she said she would vote for Biden even if he was “in a coma.”

“Tell me who the nominee is going to be. Let me know when you guys are finished fighting amongst yourseves who I got to vote for in November to keep Hitler out of the White House,” she said. “Just let me know when you guys are finished figuring it out, Democrats.”

“Oh and by the way, if it’s Biden in a coma? I’m going to vote for Biden in a coma. I don’t even really particularly like the guy. A lot of his policies? Don’t like them, [but] he’s not Donald Trump, right? Yeah, Hitler, White House. We keepin’ him out.”

Whoopi Goldberg, another fierce critic of former President Trump, has also been blunt about Biden getting her vote despite growing concerns over his age.

“The View” co-host went viral on Monday for graphic remarks she made on the political talk show suggesting she would support Biden’s campaign, regardless of his physical and mental capability.

“I don’t care if he’s pooped his pants. I don’t care if he can’t put a sentence together. Show me he can’t do the job, and then I’ll say, ‘OK. Maybe it’s time to go,'” Goldberg said.

Goldberg did admit her loyalty could be shifted depending on how Biden performed in the second debate, but defended his poor performance in the June debate.

“I have poopy days all the time, all the time. I step in so much poo you can’t even imagine,” Goldberg said as the crowd chuckled. 

Fox News Digital’s Kristine Parks contributed to this update.

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Newsom takes aim at Democrat defectors who’ve urged Biden to step down

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom
of California, a top surrogate for the Biden re-election campaign, on Tuesday took aim at the small but growing number of Democratic lawmakers urging the president to end his re-election bid. 

“It doesn’t help. Let’s be candid here,” Newsom said as he spoke with reporters in New Hampshire, the third swing state that the governor has campaigned in on behalf of Biden since Thursday.

Asked by Fox News about the political damage from such calls from within the party, Newsom said, “Obviously, it’s not helpful, but it’s a handful of people.”

And the governor emphasized that the “overwhelming majority of the caucus” is still supporting Biden. “Every single stop that we’ve had in the six days that I’ve been out, we’ve had to change venues because there were so many people showing up. They’re not giving in to the cynicism, fear, they’re showing up.”

Newsom spoke with reporters soon after White House officials defended Biden’s health and denied he was ever treated for Parkinson’s disease. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fielded a barrage of questions on Monday afternoon over recent reports that a top neurologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center met with Biden’s physician at the White House in January.

“Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No,” she told reporters after being pressed further on the matter. “Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No, he’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No. So, those are the things that I can give you full-blown answers on.”

Asked if he had any concerns about Biden’s cognitive abilities, Newsom responded, “I don’t.”

“I have spent as much or more time than probably any other governor in the country with him,” Newsom emphasized. “I’ve spent a lot of time with him privately, been with him in many public settings. I was with him just a few days ago with other governors. Been on the phone late at night and early morning, in many, many stressful situations and very casual conversations. And no, I don’t have any doubt about that.”

Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this update.

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Swing state voters say Biden debate performance ‘really impactful’ on their election decision

Voters in New Hampshire
, a key northeastern swing state, say President Biden’s extremely rough performance two weeks ago in his debate with former President Trump will weigh heavily on their decision of whom to support in the 2024 election rematch.

“I’m leaning toward Donald Trump a little bit. Just because, I mean, the debate performance is really, really, really impactful for me, I was really thrown off by Joe Biden’s performance,” a New Hampshire voter named Mario, told Fox News.

Mario and nearly a dozen other voters shared their views as they stopped Monday at a highway rest area about half between the state capital of Concord and Manchester, which is New Hampshire’s largest city.

Mario shared, “I’m not really a Donald Trump person,” adding, “I think Donald Trump is too old, too.”

William Yacopucci, another New Hampshire voter, said Biden has “been an awesome president. I really like him. I think he can still do a good job for the remainder of this term.”

But, he added, “Three or four years from now, he’s going to be that much older. So, though I really, really like him, I think they should give someone else another shot at it.”

New Hampshire voter Al Byrnes told Fox News he “was very sad that President Biden performed like he did, but in the concept of everything, I would still totally back him tomorrow at this point.”

“I do wish that he would drop out of the race, but, I would support him or whoever replaces him. Anything but Donald Trump,” Byrnes emphasized.

Rose, another New Hampshire voter who said she was leaning toward Trump, offered, “Biden doesn’t seem like he knows what he’s talking about.”

But taking aim at the debate performances of both Biden and Trump, she added, “I felt like they were both just talking circles around each other.”

Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this update.

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NATO summit in DC is ‘pivotal’ make-or-break moment for Biden

President Biden must use the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., this week to make his case that he is fit to serve as his party’s nominee, while the Democrats remain skeptical following his debate performance, according to experts.

“This week is pivotal for President Biden, not only because of the intense interest in what he will be saying at his press events but also because this summit provides a clear example of restored American global leadership in support of our nation’s defense,” Joel Rubin, a former State Department official during the Obama administration, told Fox News Digital.

“The long-term bipartisan investment in NATO is paying off, and the president will have a chance, at this summit, to remind the American people about why his approach of building security coalitions with global partners advances both America’s security abroad and our economy right here at home.”

Biden has faced growing resistance to his campaign for re-election ever since his debate against the presumptive GOP nominee, former President Trump, which many deemed a disaster for showcasing the president in a worse light than many anticipated. Trump at one point said, “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence” as Biden appeared to trail off during one of his answers. 

The response to the seeming shortcoming proved resounding. Biden-friendly media outlets, including major newspaper editorial boards, started publishing op-eds to urge the president to hand off his campaign to another candidate. And rumors abound that Democrats in the House and Senate will present letters to the president urging him to reconsider his insistence on running for a second term.

All of that scrutiny will continue in greater magnitude during this week’s NATO summit, which Biden leads in the nation’s capital and must use to show the American public that he can still get the job done, according to a number of members of Congress.

Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital that Biden “must show the American public that he has the ability to serve out the remainder of this term, let alone a future one” as the “eyes of the world” watch the NATO summit. 

“It is on President Biden to show he’s capable and up to the task,” Lawler said. “What we’ve seen in recent weeks doesn’t cut it.”

A spokesperson for Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., referred to recent statements the senator made about Biden and his fitness to serve in which Fetterman called out party members for allegedly looking to abandon Biden after his poor debate showing. During an appearance on Fox News this month, he called the reaction “the dumbest s— I’ve ever heard.” 

“I mean, if you are more inclined to vote for a Democrat or be a Democrat, if you’re willing to walk away from Joe Biden, you’re, by defecting, helping Trump,” Fetterman told Fox News Sunday anchor Shannon Bream, pointing to his own difficult debate that preceded a historic win as proof that it’s possible to recover. 

Fox News Digital’s Peter Aitken contributed to this update.

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Retailer calls police after thieves rampage shelves — city is now going after the store

The City of Sacramento, California’s legal department threatened to fine a popular retail store for public nuisance over numerous calls to police after thieves stole from its Land Park location multiple times, according to a report.

The Sacramento Bee reported that a person with knowledge of the warning who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear they could be retaliated against, said Sacramento officials warned they would issue an administrative fine to the Target at 2505 Riverside Boulevard in Land Park, during the past year.

A police spokesperson confirmed the location to the publication after being asked about the alleged warning.

After learning about the city’s warning and comparable actions across the state, state lawmakers added an amendment to a retail theft bill, outlawing these types of threats toward businesses from authorities.


Gov. Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, and Senator Mike McGuire are pushing a package with 14 bills that tighten penalties on retail theft offenses. The lawmakers believe their legislation will help deal with retail theft crimes, rather than pass changes to Proposition 47.

Last month, California’s Secretary of State announced that petitioners had garnered more than enough signatures to place a measure to reform Proposition 47 on the November ballot. Prop 47, a voter-approved initiative passed in 2014, loosened the penalties for drug and theft crimes in California and has been blamed for California’s rampant theft problems.

Shortly after the measure to reform Prop 47 was approved, legislators in the Democrat-controlled Capitol in Sacramento began debating legislation that they say would address crime in the state. Critics say the move is essentially a “poison pill” that Democrats will use to discourage people from voting to fix Prop 47 in November by arguing that doing so would undo the legislation that combats crime.


“Newsom keeps insisting that reports of theft are dropping – well now we know why. Not only are thieves let off without even a slap on the wrist, but now the victims are being threatened for even reporting crimes,” California Assembly GOP Leader James Gallagher told Fox News Digital. “Everyone can see that Newsom’s pro-criminal policies are a failure – no matter how much his allies try to cover it up.”

Criminal defense attorney Nicole Castronova also weighed in on the matter, telling Fox News Digital politicians in California are leaving citizens out to dry, as “crime begets crime.”

“Lawmakers have allowed smash and grab robberies to terrorize our cities. As a consequence, retailers are leaving major cities in droves – taking jobs with them,” she said.

Castronova explained that losing jobs directly correlates to an increase in crime.


She also said retailers are being victimized by the government for failing to protect them.

“Now the government seeks to silence those retailers and, in turn, manufacturers lower crime rates,” Castronova said. “No citizen should ever be penalized for lawfully calling upon its government for protection.”

Alexander Gammelgard, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, testified during the State Assembly’s first retail theft committee meeting in December, saying he was surprised anyone would ever attempt to make a nuisance case out of someone calling to report a legitimate crime.

“I don’t think there is a place for that,” Gammelgard said.


It is not clear why the city attorney, Susana Alcala Wood, and her office would issue warnings to businesses like Target, seeking assistance from police. Her office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

California State University, Stanislaus criminal justice professor Blake Randol told the Sacramento Bee he found the situation in Sacramento to be disconcerting. He told the publication the city has a responsibility to help residents, and if the city were to threaten public nuisance for reporting crimes, it could deter a business from making a report.

Randol also said city officials may issue warnings to make it look like crime statistics are going down.

“What’s problematic is that what Target is complaining about is a legitimate crime concern,” Randol told the Sacramento Bee. “The city does have a responsibility to be more responsive to the public and be responsive to crime control demands from the public.”


The location in question has drawn criticism from the local community, as reported by a local CBS station.

Sacramento City Councilman Rick Jennings II, city police and the city attorney’s office reportedly put together a plan after seeing the reports, to meet with the retail store and produce a safety plan to mitigate incidents, the Sacramento Bee discovered through a public records request.

“It would be great to be at the store and show what we have actually [been] working on to address the concern raised most recently in all the news this week,” Alex Garcia, a former director of Target’s governmental affairs, wrote in an email regarding past news coverage. The note was sent to Dennis Rodgers, Jennings’ chief-of-staff. 


As a result of the collaboration, the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design was created to address concerns brought up in the reports.

The plan also included “placement of security measures such as alarms, cameras, and security personnel” along with the implementation of “light fixtures, landscaping, wayfinding and space activation measures,” the internal communications reportedly showed.

During the meetings, city officials also got a chance to discuss their “concerns” with Target, which also acknowledged its “problems,” according to a statement from Jennings.

The concerns raised, though, are still vague.

Fox News Digital reached out to both Target and the City of Sacramento for a statement but did not immediately hear back.


The publication reported that data from the police department shows city law enforcement officials saw an increase in theft, robbery and shoplifting at the city’s three Target locations during 2023.

In 2023, Target locations in Sacramento reportedly had 375 calls for service for theft, robbery and shoplifting, compared to the 80 crimes reported for theft, robbery and shoplifting by Sacramento police in 2023.

Biden camp responds to Trump’s golf match challenge — with $1M donation on the line

After the two presidential candidates got into a heated discussion about their golf handicaps, former president Donald Trump now wants to walk the walk.

At his rally at his Doral course in south Florida, the 45th president challenged President Biden to a golf match, even offering $1 million to a charity of Biden’s choice if he were to lose.

“I’m also officially challenging crooked Joe to an 18-hole golf match right here on Doral’s Blue Monster, considered one of the greatest tournament golf courses anywhere in the world, one of the great courses of the world,” Trump said. “It will be among the most-watched sporting events in history. Maybe bigger than the Ryder Cup or even the Masters. 


“And I will even give Joe Biden 10 strokes a side. Ten strokes, that’s a lot. That means 20 strokes, in case you don’t play golf. And if he wins, I will give the charity of his choice, any charity of his choice, $1 million. And I’ll bet you he doesn’t take the offer.”

Biden’s spokesperson, James Singer, fired back.

“Donald Trump hasn’t been seen in public for 12 days, now he’s inviting fictional serial killers to dinner, teasing lil’ Marco Rubio, praising Project 2025 architect Tom Homan, and challenging the President of the United States to golf,” his statement said.

“We’d challenge Donald Trump to create jobs, but he lost 3 million. We’d challenge Donald Trump to stand up to Putin, but he bent the knee to him. We’d challenge Donald Trump to follow the law, but he breaks it. We’d challenge Donald Trump to not destroy our country, but that’s all his Project 2025 aims to do. 

“Joe Biden doesn’t have time for Donald Trump’s weird antics – he’s busy leading America and defending the free world. Donald Trump is a liar, a convict, and a fraud only out for himself – par for the course.”

The golf discussion, perhaps the most viral moment of their June 27th debate in Atlanta, came after Trump said he won two club championships when discussing fitness, while adding Biden couldn’t drive a ball 50 yards.


Biden then alleged that he had gotten his golf handicap down to a six as vice president, and later corrected it to an eight. 

But Trump, an avid golfer, wasn’t buying it. 

“That’s the biggest lie — that he’s a six handicap — of all,” he said. Trump’s handicap has been recorded as low as 2.5.

The debate on golf handicaps might never be settled, but reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau offered to help settle it. 

“Let’s settle this whole handicap debate, I’ll host the golf match on my YouTube.” 


Trump owns several golf courses. Doral has hosted the LIV championship, while his course in Bedminster has also hosted the Saudi-backed tour.

Cleveland Browns great reveals devastating diagnoses: ‘My body gave out on me’

Cleveland Browns great Bernie Kosar, who led the team to three AFC championship game appearances, says he has liver disease and was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. 

Kosar, 60, was placed on a transplant list in late spring, a revelation he made in a recent interview with Cleveland Magazine. 

The former NFL quarterback explained he was diagnosed with cirrhosis 16 months ago, but he said he had a serious health scare at a Thursday Night Football game between the Browns and the New York Jets he attended last season.


“My body gave out on me,’’ he told the outlet. “I really felt like I wasn’t going to make it home from the Jets game. I sucked it up, though, and continued to avoid the doctors until the new year. Then, I went into the hospital and got a massive blood transfusion. It was like, ‘How are you alive? How are you moving? Because your hemoglobin levels are so low.'”

Kosar said he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in February by an independent NFL doctor. 

Kosar’s doctors told Cleveland Magazine he will need a liver transplant eventually. 


“Liver disease does tend to fluctuate,” Dr. Anthony Post, a hepatologist for University Hospitals, said. “So, he’s on that wave thing where it goes up and down. He’s in a good phase right now, but anything bad could happen.”

Kosar echoed that sentiment, adding he’s in a much better place health-wise after undergoing treatment and a change in lifestyle. 

“I wish you could have seen me three months ago,’’ he said. “Actually, maybe not, because I looked like death. I felt like death. E. Coli blood poisoning. Heart trouble. And I really thought I needed the liver transplant ASAP. I was in bad shape.’’


“It’s amazing that you can feel as good as I do despite all this stuff going on,” he added. “I can see that what I’m doing is making a difference. I strongly believe it will continue. Time will tell.’’

Kosar led the Browns to three AFC championship game appearances. He was cut by Cleveland coach Bill Belichick in 1993 and went on to win a Super Bowl as a backup with the Dallas Cowboys. He passed for 23,301 yards and threw 124 touchdown passes from 1985 to 1996. He was a star at the University of Miami before being drafted by the Browns first overall in the 1985 supplemental draft.

Suspected pro-Democrat electioneering raises red flags — GOP calls for investigation

EXCLUSIVE: The entire Michigan House GOP delegation — plus a major committee chair — is demanding answers from a top state official regarding the potential use of federal taxpayer dollars for pro-Democratic Party electioneering.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, led a letter to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson calling for a probe into whether public funds for a federal agency-linked voter registration push may have been “weaponized” to “aid and abet President Biden’s reelection campaign.”

The demands followed Williams’ May subpoena to the Small Business Administration for records relating to actions in a memo forged between the SBA and Benson’s department. 

The memo utilized a 2021 Biden executive order on “promoting access to voting” as its keystone and provided various directives relating to registering voters, according to the letter.


Williams, head of the House Small Business Committee, and the co-signers seek to determine whether there is documentation reflecting allegations the voter registration work done under the memo strategically favors Democrats. 

The letter claims 39 of 52 scheduled small business outreach events in Michigan take place in “counties with the highest populations of demographics targeted by the Democratic National Committee.

“Additionally, 100 percent of the visits to Michigan from the SBA Administrator and Deputy Administrator have taken place in counties with the highest populations of DNC target demographics.”

Williams and co-signers, including Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., questioned the proclivity of efforts occurring in places valued by the Biden administration and campaign.

“The United States is built upon the principle of free and fair elections, but the Biden administration seems to not care about upholding our democracy,” McClain said Tuesday.


“Instead, they’re using the taxpayer-funded SBA to coordinate voter registration with Michigan’s Secretary of State.”

She called that alleged behavior an “abuse of power” that risks future election integrity.

“I will not rest until I get to the bottom of [this],” McClain said.

Williams added that evidence shows the SBA “has the ability to indirectly campaign” for Biden in a must-win state.

“This is a ridiculous — and likely illegal — use of taxpayer resources. I thank my Michigan colleagues for joining me in this effort, and we will not stop until the SBA is completely and totally forthcoming,” Williams said.

The letter cited a covertly recorded April video released by self-described “guerrilla journalist” James O’Keefe, which shows an SBA official claiming Small Business Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman’s travel is at times purposefully targeted to “indirectly campaign” for Biden.

In the video, a Guzman visit to vulnerable Sen. Jon Tester’s, D-Mont., home state is cited. The SBA official in the video notes Tester’s seat is a must-win for a continuing Democratic majority in the upper chamber. 

Citing that context, the letter demanded Benson turn over all documents and communications between her department, SBA officials and external contractors relating to Michigan voter registration.


It also demanded memo-related expense documentation, sources of the expense payments and the name of the state official designated as Benson’s liaison with the SBA.

Benson was also asked to turn over lists of relevant events in Republican House districts with notations about whether that GOP member as well as the state’s two Democratic senators, Gary Peters and Deborah Stabenow, were invited.

“If either of the two senators were invited but a Republican member of Congress was not, please detail the reasoning behind the lack of invitation,” Williams wrote.

In response to past criticisms of the Michigan Department of State’s (MDOS) work under the memo, spokeswoman Angela Benander said the agency enjoys being part of a “first-in-the-nation effort” with the small business community to “play an active role in our democracy.”


“Allegations that this program is being used to drive large amounts of voter activity in a partisan manner are patently false,” Benander said, adding, unsolicited, that criticisms of the voter registration web portal are unfounded due to its minimal use.

Critics, however, have suggested the attention given by a Biden administration agency to a key swing state in this way continues to draw suspicion.

Previously, Guzman said in a statement heralding the memo that it is meant to promote civic engagement and fulfill a Biden administration promise to protect and strengthen democracy.

“Small businesses are busy working on and in their businesses, and by meeting them where they are — on our website and at our small business outreach events — we can help facilitate voter registration and civic engagement so their voices are heard,” Guzman said.

An SBA representative declined to respond to a question about the veracity of O’Keefe’s video.

Alec Baldwin’s wife’s theatrics with their baby a ‘strategic’ move amid trial, expert says

SANTA FE, N.M. Her husband is the actor, but some legal experts believe Hilaria Baldwin staged some theatrics of her own Tuesday morning at a press-swarmed New Mexico courthouse.

With her spouse, Alec Baldwin, facing a felony manslaughter charge, the polarizing yogi showed up to the sun-baked Santa Fe building in a black SUV with the couple’s baby in tow shortly before jury selection got underway.

The toddler, one of the couple’s seven children, was taken out of the car. Hilaria held the baby girl in view of the cameras before quickly handing her off to a caretaker. The baby and the caretaker departed in the same SUV moments later.

Legal observers speculated the Baldwins wanted to humanize the churlish actor in the eyes of the public and perhaps even potential jurors.


“The bringing of the child is unusual because it’s not really a great place for a child,” divorce attorney Christopher C. Melcher told Fox News Digital. “And you’ve got to think, if they have care with a nanny, why bring the child other than for show?”

The Baldwins, he said, knew images of the mother and child arriving at the courthouse would quickly cascade online.

“They could have afforded child care. A courthouse is not really a place for a child. So, it does seem to be strategic.”

— Christopher C. Melcher, divorce attorney

“There’s many people who have to go to court, and they have no child care, and they’re stuck bringing their kid to court,” Melcher said. “That happens quite often. But, you know, this is not the situation with the Baldwins. They could have afforded child care. A courthouse is not really a place for a child. So, it does seem to be strategic.”

WATCH: Alec Baldwin leaves court after jury is selected for actor’s ‘Rust’ shooting trial

Known for his volcanic temper and confrontations with both the press and public, Baldwin’s reputation, some have theorized, could hurt his case.

“As a defense attorney, you always want to humanize someone that’s on trial, to show that they’re more than this incident that’s under a microscope,” said New Mexico-based attorney Elizabeth Bunker. “Having family support can show the jury that a lot of people care about the outcome of this case and can subtly encourage them to really dig deep and pay attention to the facts.”

Bunker cautioned, however, that Hilaria and company’s appearance could also induce eye rolls among Santa Fe residents.

“On the flip side, doing too much empathy-garnering can backfire,” she said. “If there’s any sense of desperation, my experience is that, naturally, jurors will reject anything inauthentic and too performance-like.”


While the artsy New Mexico town has attracted its share of chic residents over the years, one lawyer warned that many locals, including potential jurors, are likely less fixated on celebrity and may even harbor a distaste for the rich and famous.

“The risk is it could backfire if people think you have a nanny 24 hours a day,” said New York-based lawyer Mark Bederow. “Why would you have the baby come out of the SUV just to hand the baby off as though it’s a prop. It could be perceived as a contrived way to garner public support and positive coverage.”

The actor recently announced plans to star in the TLC reality show “The Baldwins,” alongside his wife and kids, which he wrote would showcase his family’s “ups and downs, the good, the bad, the wild and the crazy.”


But the embattled actor, Melcher added, was faced with a largely unwinnable public relations quandary. Hilaria’s absence, he noted, would have spawned questions about her lack of support for her man.

“With the stakes being so high, you would expect that you would have supporters there, close family would be there,” he said. “I think the absence of her would have hurt.” 

PHOTOS: Alec Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, leave courthouse after jury selection

Baldwin’s brother, Stephen Baldwin, also showed up to court Tuesday and sat with Hilaria in the back row of the courtroom. 

After a two-hour delay in the morning, jury selection began around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. A jury of 16, including four alternates, was chosen to hear arguments in the involuntary manslaughter case. Eleven of the chosen jurors are women, and five are men.

Baldwin accidentally fired a gun on the set of the film “Rust” in October 2021, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Facing up to 18 months in jail if convicted, he has pleaded not guilty.

The “30 Rock” actor has insisted that he cocked the gun’s hammer but never pulled the trigger. Prosecutors have countered that the pistol could not have discharged absent Baldwin squeezing off a round.


Trump’s new odds of winning the presidency as Biden faces growing scrutiny

Former President Trump‘s odds of returning to the White House are on an upward trajectory, and President Biden’s chances of re-election are in free fall as the Democratic Party’s presumed nominee faces mounting scrutiny over his ability to serve as commander in chief for another term.

As of Monday, The Economist’s prediction model showed Trump had a roughly 3-in-4 (74%) chance of winning the electoral college in 2024, while Biden had a 1-in-4 (26%) chance.

The model predicts Trump will rack up 310 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win, compared to an expected 228 for Biden. When the two candidates first squared off in 2020, Biden won the presidency with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.


While Trump’s chances have seen a boost of three points and Biden’s dropped by the same amount since Biden’s disastrous performance at the debate between the two candidates on June 27, Trump has held a commanding lead in the forecast for months. But the model shows that in early June, Trump’s odds began to climb steadily while Biden’s plummeted.

Trump is blowing Biden away in the betting markets, too, as the Democrat faces growing calls from within his own party to bow out of the race and allow another candidate to step in.


Prediction market Polymarket’s 2024 presidential election forecast on Tuesday showed that Trump holds a 63% chance of winning the race, while Biden’s odds are at 19%. On the day of the debate, traders on the platform bet Biden’s odds of winning the election at 33%.

Meanwhile, recent polling shows Trump pulling further ahead of Biden post-debate.

A Wall Street Journal poll conducted from June 29 through July 2 found Trump would beat Biden 48% to 42% in a two-person matchup, the widest lead out of Journal surveys since late 2021 and up from a two-point lead in February.


In the survey of 1,500 registered voters, 80% said Biden was too old to run for a second term, including 76% of Democrats. 

Swimmer shares harrowing moment she realized a shark bit off her arm

A woman was immersed in the awe of a reef teeming with life when she slammed into “something” during her snorkeling venture.

“When I turned to my right to see what I had bumped into, I was face to face with a shark,” North Carolina resident Tiffany Johnson told Fox News Digital about the 2017 attack in the Bahamas.

“The bump I felt was when it had literally grabbed onto my arm, so my arm was in his mouth.”

She overcame the sinking feeling of giving up, fought back and finally freed herself, but the shark “completely severed” her arm and left her with “a mangled stump.”


Johnson said her immediate reaction was defeat, as bits of flashbacks of her life played like a slideshow in her head.

“I felt my body release, like giving up,” said Johnson, who described a “sudden strength” that she attributes to God.

“I remember thinking, ‘No, you’re not going to take my life,'” Johnson said, as she did everything she could to free herself from the shark’s clutches. 


And “that’s when it was on for him,” she said. “The shark began to fight and thrash. I’m screaming through my snorkel, but you really can’t utter words. You’ve got the snorkel tube in your mouth.”

No one on the boat knew she was wrestling with death. 

“I yanked his jaws open and my arm kind of just flies out, and I look at it, and it’s gone.”

— Shark attack survivor Tiffany Johnson

She kept fighting, and “One of the times, I yanked his jaws open, and my arm kind of just flies out, and I look down, and it’s gone.”

All that was left was her shoulder and about three-to-five inches of her upper arm.

The entire attack happened like a snap of the finger. 


Johnson and her husband were snorkeling during a cruise excursion – ironically off Paradise Island – when her husband became sick to his stomach.

Within 10 minutes of leaving the water, he threw up on the boat, medical staff tended to him, and the shark snapped Johnson’s arm off. 

After freeing herself, she was on the surface. She tossed her snorkel and screamed. Her husband heard her desperate pleas for help and rushed to her aid.

There were gaps in her memory from the attack, so she relied on her husband’s recollection to fill in the blanks. 


“He said he turned and saw me. I had started to swim back, and I had put my injured arm up out of the water,” Johnson said. 

“It was literally spewing blood everywhere. And that was the sight he saw, and I remember locking eyes with him. 

“The terror on his face was something I’ve never seen before, and he just screamed out, ‘Baby,’ and jumped in the water as I’m trying to get to that boat.” 

At that point, no one had eyes on the shark. 

Johnson remembered being “laser focused” on the boat and said she “felt like it was right behind me.”

“I was praying the whole time, ‘God get me to that boat,’” Johnson said. “My husband met me in the water. I had made it most of the way on my own, and he took me the last 10 feet or so.”


Cruise employees threw a rope to get onto the boat. They were at the ladder, and the shark “launched me from behind,” Johnson said. 

“The captain kind of grabbed my left arm, and I hit the boat. The minute I hit that boat, I felt God’s peace around me like a cloud. 

“Every time I talk about it, I get emotional because it’s like, I can’t even put it into words fully. All I can say is, it felt like a thick, tangible cloud of peace.”

They used towels as a makeshift tourniquet. She lay down during the longest seven minutes of their lives. 

The ship beelined for Paradise Island to get Johnson to a hospital. They reached the island and yelled for help. 


After onlookers’ initial shock, they directed everyone to the main port, which was another 20 more minutes, according to Johnson. 

They finally reached the emergency room, but Bahamian medical care is not as advanced as America’s, and there were passport issues getting back to the U.S. that required the U.S. Embassy’s involvement, Johnson said. 

However, she did. She is alive and thriving. She is an author and helping other shark attack survivors. 

Johnson and her husband are celebrating anniversaries, going on trips and enjoying their lives. 


“I believe wholeheartedly God miraculously saved me,” she said. “Every time I tell that to anybody (what happened in the hospital in the Bahamas) with any kind of medical knowledge, they’re speechless. 

“They’re like, ‘Tiffany, I don’t know how you’re alive. You’re a living, walking miracle. Science can’t explain you. You know you don’t make sense.'”

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