PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Wednesday again apologized for comments he made after the July 4 shooting near the Wawa Welcome America festival, saying he was frustrated and emotional when he made the remarks indicating he looked forward to not being mayor anymore. He said he would not resign, as some have called for him to do, including a few rumored 2023 mayoral candidates. At a 12:20 a.m. briefing outside Jefferson Hospital on Tuesday, less than three hours after two police officers on the Parkway were hit by bullets, Kenney said he constantly worried about big events in th...
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Trump’s weaponization of DOJ notice to pick up his passports negates claim he will ‘do whatever’ to tamp down anger
One week after the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago mansion Donald Trump on Monday made what appear to be false allegations against the FBI, claiming the Bureau "stole" his passports in "an assault on a political opponent." That same day he gave an interview to Fox News repeatedly mentioning the "anger" he says stretches across the country over federal agents' execution of a lawful search warrant and confiscation of 20 cartons of materials that include highly-classified documents, while wrapping that in an offer to "do whatever" to help.
Monday evening Politico reported that FBI agents had taken Trump's passports – swept them up unintentionally. The passports were found by a "filter team" that goes through everything that was confiscated to ensure items like privileged attorney-client communications are not assessed or included as part of their investigation.
The FBI notified Trump's attorneys they had the passports, telling them they could pick them up.
"So Trump team now publicizing this email," from the Dept. of Justice, Politico's Kyle Cheney reports, "which shows: 1) DOJ obtained three passports (two expired, not one, as Trump said) and alerted Trump lawyers 2) They were recovered by a filter team, which weeds out privileged info. 3) Trump publicized this after DOJ offered them back."
"Wow!" Trump declared on his Truth Social social media platform, after DOJ notified his lawyers and told them to pick up the passports. "In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else. This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!"
Meanwhile, on Monday in an exclusive Fox News interview, which appeared to be more a transcription of a statement into interview form with no questions asked and no pushback offered, Trump said he was willing to "do whatever" to help tamp down the anger across the country, anger he and his allies have been fueling.
The Dept. of Justice did not publicize the raid on Mar-a-Lago to the press, Trump did. FBI agents did not even wear the usual blue and yellow outerwear and shirts that say "FBI" when executing the search warrant, and we now know they called ahead to notify Secret Service they were coming.
“Former President Trump said he ‘will do whatever’ he can ‘to help the country,’" Fox News said in its interview Monday, "after the FBI’s raid of his Mar-a-Lago home last week, telling Fox News Digital that the ‘temperature has to be brought down,’ while stressing that the American people are ‘not going to stand for another scam.'”
“The country is in a very dangerous position," Trump told Fox News. "There is tremendous anger, like I’ve never seen before, over all of the scams, and this new one—years of scams and witch hunts, and now this.”
“There has never been a time like this where law enforcement has been used to break into the house of a former president of the United States, and there is tremendous anger in the country—at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Trump repeated. “It is a very dangerous time for our country.”
Fox News also reported that “Trump said he had his representatives reach out to the Justice Department to offer to help amid outrage over the FBI’s unprecedented raid on his private residence last week,” and he “told Fox News that his team ‘has not heard yet’ from the Justice Department on whether they will accept his offer for help.”
“People are so angry at what is taking place,” Trump added again. “Whatever we can do to help—because the temperature has to be brought down in the country. If it isn’t, terrible things are going to happen.”
Peter Strzok, former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, notes: "And it all resolves in a nothingburger. Small interesting note, the DOJ email confirms an expected filter team: that filter agents - not the investigative team - seized the passports. More proof FBI/DOJ are taking extra care to avoid privileged material."
If Trump were interested in doing "whatever" he can do "to help the country," why falsely claim the FBI "stole my three Passports" and call it an "assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country"?
Civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill answers that question.
"So while saying that the 'temperature needs to be lowered,' Trump was elevating the temperature by accusing the DOJ on social media of 'stealing' his passports, when in fact DOJ lawyers are the ones who alerted Trump that they had the passports & had already returned them," Ifill wrote on Twitter. "Awful," she added.
A Texas police department is defending one of its officers for snapping a selfie with vigilante gunman Kyle Rittenhouse.
Thrall police posted the photo, showing the unidentified officer smiling next to Rittenhouse, on their official Facebook page welcoming the teenage gunman who killed two demonstrators and wounded a third during a protest against a police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, reported Fox News.
"Make those stops, you never know who you might meet," the post read. "Today it was Kyle Rittenhouse, welcome to Texas."
The post was shared more than 1,500 times and received more than 1,700 comments, and the department updated the post to respond to widespread criticism.
"I must have missed something," the post read. "I believed that this young man was arrested, charged, indicted and then found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Is this not how our country works anymore? The hate in these comments is terrible, if you have information that is contrary to that I would honestly love to hear it."
Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old at the time and living in Illinois, said he crossed state lines in August 2020 and used a rifle to defend businesses from protesters following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man.
He was acquitted on all charges during a November 2021 trial, and the 19-year-old is reportedly attending Blinn College, a public junior college in Texas, and hopes to transfer to Texas A&M University.
Donald Trump's former personal lawyer says that he thinks the ex-president will try to make Rudy Giuliani the scapegoat for any potential criminal charges that could result from the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Michael Cohen told CNN's Don Lemon that "the next scapegoat is going to be Rudy 'Collude-y' Giuliani."
"I believe that everybody likes a bargain, but Donald Trump really likes a bargain," Cohen said. "And I believe that Rudy is like a BOGO — Buy one, get one half off. They're going to throw him under the bus for Mar-a-Lago. And at the same time, they're going to throw him under the bus for Georgia."
Giuliani is currently the target of a criminal probe in Georgia regarding the 2020 election.
Cohen called Trump "Captain Chaos" and said the former his usual tactic is to "throw as much at the American public that he can in order to confuse them."
"He truly believes that the American public has like a two-day — maybe, if you're bright, a three-day window of remembering what's going on," he said.
Cohen added that Trump is likely a little bit scared.
"He's scared of the documents that they now have possession and control over because this is documentary evidence," Cohen said. "This is evidence that they can use against him."