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Cindy McCain is in Washington, D.C., as President Joe Biden honors her late husband, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who died in 2018.
Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Mrs. McCain said that she still considers herself a Republican, but that the party has serious problems.
"I don't believe my husband would recognize it," she said of the Republican Party. "I do know one thing, he would be fighting like the dickens to pull it back together and bring it back to what it was during previous Republican administrations and previous administrations as well. I'm still a Republican. I believe in the party, and I believe in what we stand for, but right now we've lost our way. And so I'm hoping as the years go on perhaps we can right ourselves and do what Republicans do best and that is work for smaller government but work in a bipartisan fashion."
She went on to herald Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WI) for stand up to Donald Trump and pushing to support American democracy despite the danger it has posed to her political career.
"She's an amazing person, and I have talked with her both on the phone and via email, et cetera, during this time," McCain continued. "And I just think her strength and her ability to look beyond the now and look for what's good for the country, and it may harm her in the end, her political aspirations. But she can sleep at night and know that she did the right thing."
She said that the idea of a peaceful transfer of power is one of the most important things to show American stability and strength.
"Peaceful transfer of power, the way that we govern ourselves, the way we represent who we are, we have got to come back to that," she said. "I know people overseas that I deal with say to me, what happened? Is it going to get better? What's going to happen? And right now I don't have the answer for it. I believe in what President Joe Biden is doing. I'm hoping that he can help right this ship a little bit. We have a long way to go."
See the interview below:
Cindy mccain on the GOP www.youtube.com
Former FBI Director James Comey and his top deputy Andy McCabe faced rate, intensive IRS audits after investigating former President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times.
Comey, whom Trump fired in 2017 while he oversaw the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, and McCabe, who was similarly terminated after investigating Trump over the Coney firing, were selected for a "random" audit known as an "autopsy without the benefit of death," according to the report. Out of about 153 million individual tax returns filed in 2017, only about 5,000 people are selected for this type of invasive audit each year.
Comey and McCabe, along with their spouses, defied the odds, being selected for the audit after being fired. The two men were selected for an IRS research program that uses "compliance research examinations" to try to catch tax cheats. Unlike typical audits, these audits force individuals to produce bank records, copies of checks, receipts and letters effectively recreating their finances for the year in question. The process takes months and often costs thousands in accountant fees.
"Your federal income tax return for the year shown above was selected at random for a compliance research examination," the IRS said in letters to both men. "We must examine randomly selected tax returns to better understand tax compliance and improve fairness of the tax system. We'll give you the opportunity to explain any errors we may find during the examination."
The "minuscule chances" of the top two FBI officials being selected at random raised questions about whether Trump appointees in the government or at the IRS purposely targeted them, noted Times reported Michael Schmidt.
"Lightning strikes, and that's unusual, and that's what it's like being picked for one of these audits," former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the outlet. "The question is: Does lightning then strike again in the same area? Does it happen? Some people may see that in their lives, but most will not — so you don't need to be an anti-Trumper to look at this and think it's suspicious."
A Trump spokeswoman denied any knowledge of the audits.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, a Trump appointee who remains on the job, declined an interview with the Times but said in a statement that he was not involved in any audit.
"Commissioner Rettig is not involved in individual audits or taxpayer cases; those are handled by career civil servants," the statement said. "As I.R.S. commissioner, he has never been in contact with the White House — in either administration — on I.R.S. enforcement or individual taxpayer matters. He has been committed to running the I.R.S. in an impartial, unbiased manner from top to bottom."
The IRS did not specifically comment on the cases but says it forwards any allegations of wrongdoing it receives to the Treasury Department for "further review."
It is illegal under federal law for nearly anyone in the executive branch to request an IRS audit of a specific individual's taxes.
Comey's audit, which lasted over a year, actually found that he and his wife overpaid their federal income taxes and they received a $347 refund, according to the Times.
"I don't know whether anything improper happened, but after learning how unusual this audit was and how badly Trump wanted to hurt me during that time, it made sense to try to figure it out," Comey told the Times. "Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe somebody misused the I.R.S. to get at a political enemy. Given the role Trump wants to continue to play in our country, we should know the answer to that question."
McCabe said his audit found that he and his wife owed a small amount of money, which they paid.
"The revenue agent I dealt with was professional and responsive," McCabe told the outlet. "Nevertheless, I have significant questions about how or why I was selected for this."
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Months before McCabe's audit, Trump publicly questioned McCabe's finances, repeating a false claim about donations that his wife received when she ran for a Virginia state Senate seat.
"Was Andy McCabe ever forced to pay back the $700,000 illegally given to him and his wife, for his wife's political campaign, by Crooked Hillary Clinton while Hillary was under FBI investigation, and McCabe was the head of the FBI??? Just askin'?" Trump tweeted in September 2020.
McCabe was fired by Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018, which cost him his pension shortly before he was set to retire. The Justice Department in October 2021, under new Attorney General Merrick Garland, reinstated his pension and cleansed his personnel record. He was informed his audit was completed last month.
McCabe claimed he was directly targeted for the audit.
"There was no penalties, there was no fines or anything like that, it was really pretty minimal thing in the end. But it's nerve-wracking, you know, it's really, it's really, kind of, you know – it's scary, really, to be … targeted like that," he told CNN. "I don't know what happened here. And like I said, I think they handled the business okay, you know, the person I dealt with was fine, but the question remains, how was I selected for this?"
McCabe called for an investigation into the audits.
"It just defies logic to think that there wasn't some other factor involved," he said.
"No coincidence, for sure. Odds are 30,000 to 1," tweeted Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, warning that "this kind of political targeting is a serious federal crime."
Elon Musk said Thursday that he was helping combat falling birth rates after it was reported that he had twins last year with an executive at one of his companies.
"Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis," tweeted the billionaire tech entrepreneur, who has fathered 10 children.
"A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far," Musk added.
He posted another tweet that read: "I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do!"
The comments came a day after online outlet Insider reported that Musk had twins with 36-year-old Canadian Shivon Zilis, an executive at Neuralink, Musk's brain-implant maker.
She has also worked at other Musk companies including OpenAI and electric car manufacturer Tesla, Insider said.
In April, Zilis and Musk filed a petition with a Texas court for the children to "have their father's last name and contain their mother's last name as part of their middle name," Insider reported, referring to court documents obtained by the publication.
The petition was granted in May, the site said.
The babies, which Insider says were born in November, arrived just weeks before Musk, 51, and music artist Grimes had their second child via surrogate.
They welcomed a baby girl named Exa Dark Sideræl Musk -- although the parents will mostly call her Y.
In total, the chief of Tesla and SpaceX has fathered 10 children, one of whom died shortly after birth.
In May, Musk tweeted a graphic from the Wall Street Journal showing that the average number of babies a US woman has in her lifetime fell from more than 3.5 in 1960 to a little over 1.5 in 2021.
He noted that it was below the 2.1 level that is needed for a generation to replace itself.
"USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for ~50 years," Musk wrote alongside.
Last month, one of his children who recently turned 18 filed a petition in a California court to change her name and gender identity to female.
She cited "the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form" as one of the reasons for the name change, according to the court document.