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‘Saddle Up!’: Koch-backed GOP official and Bundy militants plan to challenge Obama’s monument designation

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Utah’s attorney general is planning to sue the Obama administration over the president’s designation of a new national monument in the state — and anti-government extremists are considering some type of action.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday designated the Bears Ears area in southeastern Utah and Gold Butte in southern Nevada as national monuments, which places wild places or historic lands under permanent protection. Obama’s move has already angered Attorney General Sean Reyes and rancher Cliven Bundy’s supporters.

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Bundy has grazed cattle for decades near Gold Butte but refused to pay for use of federally owned land, and his supporters engaged in a 2014 armed standoff with government agents who were trying to round up the scofflaw rancher’s herd.

His sons led an armed takeover of a federal wildlife preserve at the beginning of this year.

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has tried for years to place Gold Butte under congressional protection and urged Obama to designate the area while Bundy and his sons were jailed as they await trial for their roles in the armed standoff.

Anti-government extremists like the Bundys and Koch brothers-backed elected officials — including Reyes — have found common cause over their objection to federal ownership of public lands.

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The Bundys claim the U.S. Constitution generally prohibits the government from owning land, while Utah lawmakers have passed the 2012 Transfer of Public Lands Act, which was promoted by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council and Koch-backed American for Prosperity.

The 2016 GOP platform called for a reduction of the amount of land managed by the federal government by creating a way to transfer land to individual states — which the Bundys demanded during their armed actions.

Reyes and Utah’s GOP Gov. Gary Herbert are considering a lawsuit, and the state’s congressional representatives may seek to have the Bear Ears designation defunded or rescinded.

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If those efforts fail, Reyes said he hopes the incoming Donald Trump administration will “curtail or otherwise address the designation.”

Supporters of the Bundy family — including Jon Ritzheimer, who’s awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to charges related to the Oregon wildlife preserve occupation — are possibly considering some type of protest action after the president’s designation.

“Saddle Up!!!!!” Ritzheimer wrote on his Facebook page. “President Obama just designated the Bundy Ranch a national monument today! Get your gear ready.”

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Ammon and Ryan Bundy were acquitted for their roles in planning the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Preserve, and they’re scheduled to stand trial in February with their father in connection with the ranch standoff.

A poll taken shortly before Obama’s announcement found that 46 percent of Utah residents do not want the next president to undo the Bear Ears designation, while 40 percent do.


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New testimony adds 2 stunning — and previously unknown — details about the Ukraine extortion

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New testimony released Monday from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Ukraine scandal included at least two new stunning details about the quid pro quo scheme at the heart of the matter.

Overall, the transcripts for depositions of Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, who were advisers to U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, built on the story of that we already know: that President Donald Trump pushed a shadow foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents, a scheme that involved using his office and military aid as leverage over the country in opposition to the official policy.

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Trump blasted for his ‘Endorsement of Doom’ after Sean Spicer loses on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Team Trump had gone all in urging supporters to vote for former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the game show "Dancing with the Stars."

Votes had been urged by RNC officials and Trump himself had urged his 66 million Twitter followers to vote for Spicer.

Despite the full heft of the Trump campaign, Spicer lost on Monday's show.

Trump deleted his failed tweet urging votes for Spicer -- and instead said it was a "great try" by his former advisor.

Looks like this endorsement was as successful as your last one!

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‘He’s misunderstood’: Nikki Haley tells Fox News how Trump is actually a really good listener

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Former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump during a Monday appearance with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Hannity asked the former South Carolina governor if Trump was "misunderstood."

"I do think he’s misunderstood," Haley replied.

"I can tell you, from the first day to the last day that I worked for the president, he always listened, he was always conscious of hearing other voices, allowing people to debate out the issues, and then he made his decision," Haley claimed.

She argued that, "I saw a president that was very thoughtful, looked at all of the issues, made decisions, and it was a pleasure and honor to work with him."

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