U.S. A Kenosha man says the Trump-supporting ‘owner’ of a destroyed business in a photo op was actually his predecessor who sold the shop 8 years ago
- Tom Gram, the owner of Rode’s Camera Shop, is accusing President Donald Trump of using his destroyed Kenosha, Wisconsin, business for political gain, TMJ4 reported Tuesday night.
- Gram said he declined to do a photo op with Trump and was then surprised to see the president speaking with the former owner of the business.
- The White House called John Rode III, who still owns the property and building of the business, the „owner” of the shop.
- Rode praised Trump’s response to the protests that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Video: The rise and fall of Donald Trump’s airline
Trump again repeated that he deployed the National Guard when it was the Wisconsin governor
During the tour, Rode praised Trump’s response to the protests in the city.
„I just appreciate President Trump coming today — everybody here does,” Rode said. „We’re so thankful we got the federal troops here. Once they got here things did calm down quite a bit.”
Trump said: „A day earlier would have saved his store.”
Trump added that governors and mayors needed to call for federal help when protests erupted. Last week, after Gov. Tony Evers already deployed the National Guard in Kenosha, Trump said the governor should activate them.
„Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin,” Trump tweeted last Tuesday, a day after the Guard was already activated. „It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST!”
The Guard was activated to mounting protests after Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times by a white police officer last Sunday. Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Evers also wrote a letter to Trump asking him to „reconsider” his decision to visit Kenosha amid the protests and said his presence could hinder the state’s healing.
Gram and the White House didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider. Contact information for Rode couldn’t be located.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to indicate that John Rode III does still own the building of the business.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the 2020 presidential race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden heats up, Attorney General William Barr warned of the potential of substantial fraud in voting by mail — but he omitted necessary context, and states that rely on the process say there is little evidence of such activity.
He also suggested that China poses more of a threat to election security than Russia, even though that was not the conclusion of an official intelligence assessment last month.
Here’s a look at the claims, made in a Wednesday night interview with CNN:
BARR on fraud in the vote-by-mail process: “Elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion.”
THE FACTS: Multiple studies have debunked the notion of pervasive voter fraud in general and in the vote-by-mail process.
The five states that relied on mail-in ballots even before the coronavirus pandemic — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah — have said they have necessary safeguards in place to ensure against fraud and to prevent hostile foreign actors from co-opting the vote. More states intend to rely more heavily on mail-in voting this fall because of the pandemic.
The attorney general cited a report from more than a decade ago from a commission led by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker that said vote-by-mail was vulnerable to fraud. But the commission pointed out in a statement in May that there was little evidence of fraud in states like Oregon that had sufficient safeguards.
Barr also said he was basing on “logic” his concern that a hostile foreign actor could produce bogus ballots for the election. But senior U.S. officials said on a conference call with reporters last week that they had no intelligence to suggest that was happening.
BARR, on the question of whether Russia, China or Iran, has been most assertive in interfering in the election: “I believe it’s China.”
THE FACTS: Barr’s assessment does not line up with last month’s formal statement from the government’s counterintelligence chief, William Evanina.
The statement directly implicated Russia in 2020 election interference by saying it was actively working to denigrate Biden. Its characterization of China’s activities was considerably more nebulous, however, saying it regards Trump as unpredictable and prefers that he not win.
The statement said intelligence officials believed China has been expanding “its influence efforts” to shape the policy environment ahead of the November election and will continue to weigh the risks and benefits of aggressive action. But they did not specifically place China as a more serious threat or allege that Beijing was directly interfering in the election.
Barr said he had reviewed intelligence to inform his assessment on China, which lines up with recent comments from national intelligence director John Ratcliffe and is in keeping with the Trump administration’s position that Beijing presents significant national security concerns for the U.S., particularly when it comes to espionage and the theft of intellectual property from American universities and businesses.
EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.
The revelation that senior Homeland Security officials suppressed a July intelligence bulletin warning of a Russian scheme targeting former Vice President Joe Biden marks the latest development in a „pattern” of politicization within the intelligence community, according to John Cohen, a former senior agency official during the Obama administration.
„I find it really disturbing that the pattern that is becoming clearer and clearer, that actions that are vital to protecting this nation … are just not occurring,” Cohen, an ABC News contributor, told ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on the „Powerhouse Politics” podcast.
„And it’s not occurring,” he continued, „because intelligence professionals are afraid of angering the president or putting something out that’s viewed as being inconsistent with their political narrative.”
On Wednesday, ABC News reported that the Department of Homeland Security blocked publication of an internal bulletin meant to inform various state and federal law enforcement agencies of a Russian scheme to promote „allegations about the poor mental health” of Biden, according to internal emails and a draft of the document obtained by ABC News.
The document mentions Iranian and Chinese efforts to criticize Trump, but focuses on — and takes its title from — Russia’s attacks on Biden’s mental fitness
In a statement to ABC News, a DHS spokesperson confirmed that the product was „delayed,” explaining that it „lacked the necessary context and evidence for broader dissemination.”
News of the blocked bulletin, which Cohen called „highly unusual,” comes on the heels of a controversial decision by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, a loyal ally to President Donald Trump, to halt in-person election security briefings to congressional oversight committees.
Cohen said these two developments risk „undermining the ability of our government to protect against foreign interference.”
„If you are restricting in-person briefings at the same time you are blocking or altering intelligence products so that they either don’t [upset] the president or they support the partisan political narrative or the campaign narrative, then there are rightful concerns that Congress isn’t getting the whole picture,” Cohen said.
The president, who is 74, and his political operations have also taken aim at Biden’s mental acuity, weaponizing the former vice president’s age, 77, and repeatedly raising questions about his „geriatric mental health.” In a statement to ABC News, a Biden campaign spokesperson accused the Trump campaign of „speaking from the same script of smears and lies” as the Kremlin.
Regardless of the rationale for blocking the July bulletin, Cohen said the fact that the Trump campaign has engaged in a similar line of attack against Biden gives the impression intelligence is being „altered or blocked for political considerations.”
„We’re talking about foreign intelligence services planting conspiracy theories and lies into the public discourse to influence how people act on Election Day,” he continued. „The only way you can counteract that is by identifying those that [present] inaccurate information and notifying people. And that’s what this bulletin was intended to do.”
And with just two months until ballots are tallied, Cohen said the intelligence community should be doing more, not less, to inform lawmakers and the American public of efforts by „Russia and other hostile foreign countries … to influence the outcome of the election.”
„This isn’t a time to be restricting information to anybody,” he said.
By Mark Hosenball and Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday defended its decision to withhold circulation of an intelligence report warning that Russia was trying to portray Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as mentally unstable.
A draft of the report, headlined „Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election,” was submitted to the agency’s legislative and public affairs office on July 7, according to ABC News, which first reported the matter.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News on Wednesday that the agency held up the memo because it lacked necessary context and was „very poorly written.” Wolf said both he and career DHS officials had raised questions about the report and that it would be rewritten.
„I’m going to continue to do my job [and] make sure that the information coming out of the department is first rate,” Wolf said.
The draft bulletin reported that Russian state media RT, Sputnik and a Russian proxy website between September 2019 and May 2020 posted allegations about „the poor mental health of 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.”
The draft bulletin cited the proxy website as saying his verbal miscues were symptoms of dementia and not a stutter as reported in U.S. media. Biden, 77, has acknowledged he has been affected by a stutter since childhood.
The bulletin also said that Iranian and Chinese media had published materials questioning the mental health of Republican President Donald Trump, who is 74.
The assertions that Russia, China and Iran planned to interfere in the U.S. elections in November paralleled broad findings made public in late July by U.S. counterintelligence chief William Evanina, which did not mention Russian claims about Biden’s health.
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball and Ted Hesson; Editing by Andy Sullivan, Grant McCool and Richard Pullin)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is pursuing a new mid-range missile prototype capable of going after moving targets at land and at sea, an Army spokesperson has confirmed to Defense News. The effort is meant to fill a gap in the service’s long-range precision fires portfolio that includes the future Precision Strike Missile and hypersonic weapons capabilities.
Another anti-ship missile effort — a cross-domain upgrade to the Army Tactical Missile System — has been delayed due to technical problems, the Army’s Public Affairs Office confirmed in separate correspondence. The Army would not disclose the Cross-Domain ATACMS technical issues, citing operational security, but the service did say a new timeline for delivery is under review. The CD-ATACMS was an upgrade effort initiated by the Strategic Capabilities Office in 2016.
The decision to pursue a new mid-range missile was born out of a strategic fires study conducted by Army Futures Command’s Research and Analysis Center based at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The study was completed earlier this year and designed to “examine future strategic fires capabilities and provide emerging insights to inform procurement options and future materiel capability requirements,” said Robyn Mack, a command spokeswoman.
The study used combatant commander input, tabletop exercises with experts in key theaters, optimization modeling, cost and schedule analysis, and mobility and logistics considerations, she added. It recommended both near-term and long-term investment strategies for fires capabilities that would enable the U.S. to measure up against near-peer competitors.
The Army decided to pursue a mid-range capability to fill a near-term need that will “complement other critical systems” in the service’s LRPF portfolio in support of multidomain operations, Mack said. She could not offer more details on the prototyping effort, as it is still “pre-decisional.”
Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville mentioned at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event in July that the Army would pursue mid-range capabilities.
“We’re going to have mid-range missiles that can sink ships — we think that’s very, very important for the anti-access, area denial capabilities that we may need to face,” he said.
The service planned to pursue a mobile medium-range missile, or MIRM, in fiscal 2020, but canceled that effort in its fiscal 2021 budget request, saving the Army $90 million.
The Army originally planned over the next five budget cycles in FY20 to spend nearly $1 billion on MIRM, which was meant to be a land-based cruise missile with potential use in the Asia-Pacific region to address the medium-range (1,000-kilometer) gap in capability there. The plan was to move into a technology-maturation and risk-reduction phase in FY21.
The Precision Strike Missile — ultimately the ATACM replacement — will address the need to defeat maritime targets at long ranges (currently a range of 499 kilometers), but the Army is first developing a base missile as part of the program. The Precision Strike Missile effort was competitive, but when Raytheon exited the program, it left only Lockheed Martin in the mix. Lockheed has had three successful live-fire test events this year.
The weapon should reach a full-rate production decision in the third quarter of 2024. A critical design review is due in the first quarter of FY22.
WASHINGTON — After a bumpy start, the first Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) that will replace M113 armored personnel carriers for the U.S. Army rolled off the BAE Systems production line in York, Pennsylvania, Aug. 31 in a small virtual ceremony.
The coronavirus pandemic was only the most recent cause for delay, pushing delivery back by one month. The Army struggled with manufacturing problems as the tracked vehicle entered low-rate initial production and the schedule slipped from the originally planned March delivery.
The AMPV program entered LRIP in January 2019, but the program office indicated last year that delivery of the first vehicles would be delayed by two months and the completion of production qualification testing would be delayed by seven months due to tooling and assembly line challenges at BAE’s York facility.
Because of the issues, the Army’s AMPV budget request in FY21 showed the program took a hit. The service indicated it would buy 32 vehicles instead of the 143 planned for the fiscal year, and the program’s budget was cut from $445 million to $193 million.
The current LRIP contract, which was awarded in 2018, is for more than 450 vehicles.
The Army and BAE developed “a production approach that would allow us to incorporate efficiencies during LRIP that modernize manufacturing and increase the overall throughput of the program,” Amanda Niswonger, a BAE spokeswoman, told Defense News last month.
“This included installing new technology and processes such as robotic welding, digital X-ray, and advanced machining. And we worked closely with the Army to update and refine manufacturing processes to incorporate the most modern weld and inspection technology,” she said. “These changes had an impact on our delivery timeline which was not reflected in the original delivery schedule, but continues to meet the Army’s fielding schedule.”
“Finalizing the first AMPV for delivery marks a major milestone for the program and the U.S. Army,” Bill Sheehy, AMPV program director for BAE Systems’ Ground Vehicles product line, said in a Sept. 2 company statement. “The AMPV is designed to meet the Army’s missions for the Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT), and lay the foundation for the future of the battlefield.”
The Mission Command vehicle variant was the first vehicle off the line and will play a central role in the Army’s future modernized network for ABCTs.
“It facilitates digital mission command, taking advantage of increased volume, protection, power and cooling capabilities and provides flexibility and growth capacity for command, control, communications and computer capabilities,” the company statement said.
Other AMPV variants are the General Purpose vehicle, the Mortar Carrier, the Medical Evacuation vehicle and the Medical Treatment vehicle.
“The AMPV family of vehicles provides significant power, mobility, interoperability, and survivability improvements for the ABCT,” Jeremy Tondreault, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Combat Mission Systems, said. “The AMPV has demonstrated outstanding survivability and force protection as well as flexibility and growth for the future.”
According to BAE, the AMPV has completed nearly two dozen Army tests and “has consistently met or exceeded all of its requirements.”