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Republicans tried to bring down Kamala Harris with a stunt — but it failed in the most embarrassing way
What started out as a typical Republican stunt turned humiliating when they tried to attack Vice President Kamala Harris over immigration, but it backfired so badly.
As Huffington Post reporter Jen Bendery noted Wednesday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) accused Harris of being MIA on immigration. He held up a milk carton he mocked up to show Harris' photo with MISSING on it.
"We think it's important the press continues to ask the White House about the extent to which the president has said Vice President Harris is in charge at the border," said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
It seems as if @SteveScalise has a milk carton declaring @vp is “missing.” https://t.co/rQC5pjYGYV— Jake Sherman (@Jake Sherman)1618409495.0
"She refuses to go down," Scalise whined. "But if she's the vice president of the United States and the president put her in charge of this, Vice President Harris needs to go down to the border and see this for herself."
The problem, as Bendery pointed out, is that Scalise was saying this at the same time that Harris was announcing her trip to Mexico.
Scalise went on to falsely claim that she was avoiding it because of something related to President Joe Biden's executive order.
Harris will visit Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador "as soon as possible," she announced from the White House at the same time as the Scalise press conference.
'"The president has asked [Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas to address what is going on at the border, and he has been working very hard at that and is showing some progress," Harris explained.
"I have been asked to lead the issue of dealing with root causes in the Northern Triangle, similar to what then-Vice President [Biden] did many years ago," she went on. "We have plans in the works to go to Guatemala as soon as possible."
The Murdoch-owned New York Post asked last week why Harris was in a Chicago bakery instead of going to the Mexico border. She was apparently getting a snack.
Number two House Republican says GOP won't take action against Matt Gaetz unless 'something really formal' happens
Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), the number two Republican in the House, on Wednesday told reporters the GOP will not take action against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) unless "something really formal" from the DOJ happens. Gaetz has not been charged but admits he is under DOJ investigation.
Asked if he has "confidence" in Gaetz, Scalise told reporters, "Well, you know, we've heard a lot of stories, you know I mean obviously I've read the media reports but there's been nothing that we've seen yet from the Dept. of Justice. If something's going on obviously we'll find out about it."
"You know, right now, it's hard to speculate on rumors, but, you know, if something really formal happened from Justice, we would of course react and take action," Scalise said at the press briefing.
Gaetz allegedly is under DOJ investigation for a possible sexual relationship with a 17-year old girl, and for possible sex trafficking of a minor. He also allegedly used illegal drugs and showed fellow members of Congress on the House floor photos of women he had sex with.
On Tuesday Politico reported federal agents obtained a warrant and seized Gaetz's cell phone late last year.
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Gaetz:
"It's hard to speculate on rumors, but if something really formal happened from Justice we would of course react and take action." pic.twitter.com/cJGjom922o — The Recount (@therecount) April 14, 2021
President Joe Biden, who on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, transformed into a vocal opponent of "forever wars" after being haunted by his vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.
In 2002, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden gave his blessing to the use of force the following year by then president George W. Bush who falsely asserted that dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
For nearly 20 years since, Biden has been explaining himself, facing criticism during the 2020 election campaign both from Bernie Sanders, his leftist rival for the Democratic nomination, and incumbent Donald Trump, who broke with most Republicans by denouncing "forever wars."
And every time, Biden, now 78, took pains to make amends.
"I did make a bad judgment," Biden said at a July 2019 debate.
But Biden insisted he opposed the war and believed that Bush wanted the war authorization to pressure Saddam to let in weapons inspectors.
The historical record reads differently. In mid-2003, Biden said that Bush "has stated his determination to remove Saddam from power" and said he still believed he made the "correct" vote.
Biden's record on war has never been entirely consistent. He voted against the first Gulf War in 1990 that forced Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
But a key factor in his shift of thinking came when his cherished son Beau deployed to Iraq, with Biden thinking not only as a senior policymaker but as a father.
In his speech Wednesday from the White House, Biden said that Beau's service had been his "North star" in deciding on Afghanistan -- and recalled that some soldiers deployed in Afghanistan were not even born on September 11, 2001.
By the time he became Barack Obama's vice president, a very different Biden had emerged.
He forcefully pleaded for a complete pullout of troops from Iraq, which Obama ordered in 2011.
"I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq -- my son was one of them," he said in a presidential primary debate.
While many have described the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a historic blunder by the United States, the 2011 withdrawal has also come under fire by critics who say it led to a vacuum that allowed the rise of the ultra-violent Islamic State extremist movement.
- Critical voice on Afghanistan -
Like the vast majority of Americans, Biden backed the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to root out the Tailban and Al-Qaeda after the devastation of the September 11 attacks.
But Biden became the most persistent voice inside the Obama administration calling for an exit in Afghanistan.
His concerns date from his time as a senator when he reportedly stormed out of a dinner in Kabul with then president Hamid Karzai whom Biden felt was giving short shrift to legitimate US concerns on corruption.
Unlike on Iraq, Biden did not prevail on Afghanistan, with Obama embracing a "surge" of troops for the "good war" on Afghanistan. By 2011, an all-time high of 100,000 US troops were in Afghanistan.
Biden's hesitation extended to the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, with the vice president counseling against the high-risk raid into Pakistan. Obama went ahead with the raid, killing the world's most wanted man and mastermind of September 11.
Richard Holbrooke, the veteran envoy who was in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan at the start of Obama's presidency, recounted a harsh exchange with Biden in his diary, later included in a biography of the late diplomat by George Packer.
Holbrooke, according to his diary account, agreed with Biden that the Afghanistan war was unwinnable but argued that the United States should not abandon the gains made.
Biden rose from his chair in anger. "I am not sending my boy back there to risk his life on behalf of women's rights!" Biden was quoted as saying.
"It just won't work, that's not what they're there for."
© 2021 AFP
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