Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Thursday morning and Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's story of the day: Romance scams swindled people out of more money than any other consumer fraud last year

Here is what's on the president's agenda today:

  • The president participates in a national pro-life conference call
  • The president meets with the secretary of Homeland Security

1159-page deal released

I don't know what's in it and the authors don't want you to know either. They want this sack of sh!t signed ASAP, no questions asked so we can discover the poison pill ex post facto.

Summaries of the legislation say that besides nearly $1.4 billion to build new barriers, there's over $1 billion for other border security programs. That includes money for inspection equipment for border ports of entry. There is more than $400 million in humanitarian aid for detained migrants plus funds to buy aircraft and to hire 600 more customs officers and additional immigration judges.

Like I said you have to pass it, to find out what's in it. A true Pelosi product.

Lawmakers have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to get the agreement through both houses of Congress and signed by Trump before several Cabinet-level departments shut down and hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed in what would be the second partial government shutdown this year.

Oh hell no. The Freedom Caucus is totally hip to this game.

Some of President Donald Trump's staunchest allies in the House of Representatives introduced a continuing resolution on Wednesday as an alternative to the "bad border deal" that will prevent another government shutdown.

The House Freedom Caucus created the short-term funding bill -- to keep funding at current levels for one week -- as an alternative to a government funding bill that a bipartisan conference committee has spent several weeks crafting. The measure was introduced by Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, who expressed frustration that the current legislation "ignores input from experts on our southern border." The one-week time frame would be aimed at providing "time to negotiate more effective border security," Biggs said.

I'll say. "The conference report is projected to be thousands of pages long and was negotiated behind closed doors," said the caucus chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, in a statement. "We believe that Members should be given enough time to read it before voting on it." Right on.

Related:

Lawmakers introduce bill to fund government, prevent shutdown

Congress advances border security bill without Trump border wall

Judge says Manafort lied, plea bargain goes out the window

Oh boy.

In a brief four-page ruling, Judge Jackson determined that Manafort “intentionally made multiple false statements to the FBI, the [special counsel] and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the [ongoing Russia] investigation.”

Chief among the special counsel’s various allegations of dissembling a la Manafort is the idea that the defendant lied about sharing polling data with Russian political operative Konstantin Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign. Manafort admittedly conspired with Kilimnik to tamper with witnesses. And Kilimnik is alleged to have substantial ties to intelligence agencies affiliated with the Russian Federation.

The effect this ruling will have on Manafort's sentence is yet to be determined.

Related:

Manafort bombshell deepens mystery in Russia probe

Garbage Jew-hater congressperson from MN in headlines once again

Rep. Ihlan Omar (D-Minn.), who is an immigrant from the corrupt, sh!thole country of Somalia, was in the headlines yesterday for her grotesque treatment of Elliot Abrams, envoy to Venezuela, during his congressional testimony. Abrams is J_WISH, I might add, and Omar doesn't like J_WS. I hope she will have a very short stint in office.

Anyway, this dummy, who cannot even pronounce the words her handlers wrote for her, was very provocative and hostile to Mr. Abrams, whom she called Mr. Adams. Watch below:

Now, the media who are the gatekeepers of information and instigators of national outrage protect progressive waifs like the illiterate trash Omar. UNLESS...UNLESS...UNLESS...wait for it...the trash turns on the presumed media ally. And that's what happened.

Tater weighs in:

Omar even tweeted some smack at Trump, I guess to keep the heat off her:

Say, wasn't Somalia on the list of countries Trump wanted to stop immigration from? #askingforafriend

My colleague David Steinberg has the 411 on Omar — catch it all here.

Related:

Will an increasingly progressive Democratic Party become steadily more anti-Semitic?

Historical picture of the day:

A U.S. soldier holds the face of a comrade, seriously wounded by a Viet Cong claymore mine on "Hell's Half Acre," near Cu Chi, South Vietnam, Feb. 14, 1966. Three weeks after he arrived in Vietnam this was photographer Charlie Chellappah's last photo. Moments later, a second mine exploded, killing Chellappah and several soldiers. (AP Photo/Charlie Chellappah)

Other morsels:

GET THE MONEY BACK: Trump demands California return $3.5B in federal high-speed rail money

Iranian Children Chant ‘Death to America’ at Revolution Day Rally

Fairfax accuser to meet with law enforcement to detail sexual assault claim

House panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales

Democrats Express Openness To Federal Gun Registry

Oklahoma gun bill to remove permit and training requirements clears House vote

I would think it was more. One quarter say they believe God wanted Trump to become president: poll

What a peach! Menendez threatens to call police on reporter asking about Green New Deal: report

Uh oh, Nobel Peace Prize winner accused of sexual assault by six women

Rep. Adam Kinzinger deployed to U.S.-Mexico border

Suicide bombing in Iran kills at least 27 Revolutionary Guards

Japanese same-sex couples sue for equal marital rights

Wow! Florida man’s $980G refund check from IRS was first clue something was wrong: report

'Horrible joke' about bomb in carry-on bag gets Air Canada passenger, 53, arrested, report says

Lemon calls 'B.S.' after Kaepernick dropped from bill

Authorities say suspect in suitcase death is in US illegally

Congress urged to fully open banks to marijuana industry

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

A lot of the latest updates on the Jussie Smollett story are here:

 According to CWB Chicago, two Chicago brothers are “potential persons of interest” in the alleged hate crime against Smollett:

• At least one of the men has appeared as an extra on Smollett’s show, Empire, which airs on Fox. That man has a YouTube channel featuring three audition reels. In one reel, he performs the part of a man who has received the finger of a loved one in the mail from kidnappers.

• CBSChicago reports that an attorney representing the brothers "expects" charges to be filed against them "before 5:45 p.m. Friday" when the typical 48-hour window of opportunity for prosecutors to either prosecute or release an individual will expire.

• The men, who are African-American, shared a residence in Lakeview about three blocks from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home as recently as one year ago. One of the brothers also lists a home on the South Side.

• Police on Wednesday executed a search warrant at a North Side home, seizing electronics, bleach, a red hat, clothing, and more. The search warrant receipt states that police retrieved proof that both men live in the raided apartment. CWB could not immediately confirm that the raid was at the brother's listed address near the intersection of Ashland Avenue and Belle Plaine Avenue.

Here's the very latest:

There are conflicting reports tonight, it should be noted.

CPD officially says reports that police are investigating a potential hoax are "unconfirmed."

Word on the street is that police are waiting for the two persons of interest to fess up before they can confirm that it was a hate crime hoax.

 

 

Well... well... well...

ABC Reporting...

Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

Multiple sources have told ABC7 Eyewitness News that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of "Empire."

A source familiar with the investigation told the ABC7 I-Team that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson contacted ABC7 to say they are continuing to treat Smollett as a victim and the investigation remains ongoing.

A source briefed on the Smollett investigation confirmed to ABC News that Chicago police are questioning the two persons of interest -- one of whom has appeared on "Empire."

 

First Lady Melania Trump spent much of her afternoon at the Children’s Inn at NIH in Maryland, helping some of the young patients with their Valentine’s Day festivities.

 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

This 40-minute video from the event shows how naturally and graciously the first lady interacts with the children.

The White House today released results of President Donald Trump's Friday physical, showing that other than gaining four pounds, he is in very good health overall. Trump clocked in at 243 pounds versus 239 pounds previously.

A weight of 240 pounds and above for someone of the president's six-foot-three height is considered overweight and last year Trump had been advised to change his diet and get more exercise in order to lose a few pounds.

The results, summed up by White House physician Sean Conley, who conducted the physical along with 11 different board-certified specialists, concludes "it is my determination that the President remains in very good health overall."

 

 

"We have a crisis at the border." —Barack Obama

"If Congress won't act, I will." —Barack Obama

Statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders:

CNBC: Trump will sign spending bill, seek a national emergency and "other executive action" to build wall:

President Donald Trump will sign spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown while declaring a national emergency to try to build his proposed border wall, the White House confirmed Thursday.

"President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement as the Senate prepared to vote on a measure to keep the government open past a midnight Friday deadline.

"The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country," she said.

Pelosi said in a press conference Thursday afternoon that Trump declaring a national emergency would be a national emergency.

ABC's Rob Elgas went on KABC with Dr. Drew discuss the weirdness of Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime today.

One of the newest clues released by police is this tweet by the Chicago PD spokesman which, for the first time, called Jussie Smollett the "alleged" victim instead of just victim.

Are police closing in on a hoax?

Happy Valentine's Day from Jame Gumb!