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Former Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Peter Barca launches congressional comeback bid

A Democrat who represented southeast Wisconsin in Congress in the 1990s before going on to become a leader in the Assembly and state revenue secretary announced Thursday that he’s running for Congress again.Peter Barca announced his bid against Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, who is seeking a fourth term. Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, previously represented by former House Speaker Paul Ryan, leans Republican but was made more competitive under new boundary lines adopted in 2022.The seat is a target for Democrats nationally as they attempt to regain majority control of the House. It is one of only two congressional districts in Wisconsin that are viewed as competitive. The other is western Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District held by Republican U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden.WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT JUSTICES QUESTION HOW MUCH POWER LEGISLATURE SHOULD HAVERepublicans hold six of Wisconsin’s eight congressional seats.Barca, 68, previously held the 1st Congressional District seat from 1993 to 1995. He had previously considered running again for the seat after Ryan stepped down in 2018.Barca is the first well-known Democrat to get into the race. National Democrats are expected to back Barca’s campaign. The primary is Aug. 13.Barca, in a statement announcing his campaign, said his long record of public service showed that he was a fighter for working families and contrasted himself with a “do-nothing, dysfunctional Congress.””We need someone to step up and start going to bat for our families again,” he said.The Steil campaign said in a statement that Barca has “put his political career ahead of Wisconsin families” over the past 40 years. The campaign also faulted Barca for opposing a 2016 bill that would have banned sanctuary cities and for voting in 1993 for a budget bill in Congress that raised the gas tax.National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Mike Marinella branded Barca as a “sacrificial lamb” who has “put his out of touch policies ahead of Wisconsinites.”Steil was elected in 2018 by 12 percentage points, and won reelection by 19 points in 2020 and 9 points in 2022.Barca was elected to serve in the state Assembly from 1985 until 1993 when he resigned after winning a special election to Congress. After he lost in 1995, former President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as Midwest regional administrator to the U.S. Small Business Administration.He was elected again to the Assembly in 2008 and served as Democratic minority leader from 2011 to 2017.Barca was leader of Democrats in 2011 during the fight over collective bargaining rights. While his Democratic colleagues in the Senate fled to Illinois in an attempt to block passage of a bill that effectively ended collective bargaining for public workers, Barca helped organize a filibuster in the Assembly that lasted more than 60 hours.Barca stepped down as minority leader, in part over grumbling from fellow Democrats over his support for a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing company that had planned to locate a massive facility in his district.Barca left the Assembly in 2019 when Gov. Tony Evers tapped him to be secretary of the state Department of Revenue. He resigned last month.
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Rand Paul says email exchange between top Fauci aide and EcoHealth ‘looks like a cover-up’

Newly released emails between a top colleague of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the president of a non-governmental organization being funded to conduct coronavirus research in Wuhan, China, said the group had over 700 identified but un-sequenced coronaviruses in its lab when its government grant was first pulled in 2020.On Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., highlighted a series of email exchanges between Fauci’s top adviser, Dr. David Morens, and EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak that showed Daszak feared permanently losing government funding.An April 2020 email from Morens alleged that Fauci was “fully aware” and “involved in some sort of damage control,” possibly to help keep EcoHealth from losing its federal grant.Paul said in an interview with Fox News Digital that the emails show “they all realize that if Fauci’s been funding Daszak for years through EcoHealth, and if it looks like they’re implicated in the pandemic, this wouldn’t be good for Fauci or EcoHealth.”HIGH-RANKING FAUCI ADVISER USED PERSONAL EMAIL TO AVOID FOIA REQUESTS, DISCUSS COVID ORIGINIt is unclear exactly what “damage control” Morens was referring to. In April 2020, the Trump administration and the National Institute of Health (NIH) ended EcoHealth’s grant, but that decision was reversed, and they still get funding to this day. The email from Daszak also claimed the organization was in possession of more than 15,000 samples at the lab in Wuhan.Fauci continued to publicly push to discredit theories of a potential lab leak that could have initiated COVID-19 as this information was relayed from EcoHealth. Paul said the new email revelations are “important” because they add more color and context between Fauci and EcoHealth’s public message “shaping” about its gain-of-function research and their private “concerns.””One of the main arguments that Fauci and others make is that there is no published virus that could have been COVID or manipulated to become COVID,” Paul explained.FAUCI ADMITS SOCIAL DISTANCING NOT BASED ON SCIENCE, ‘SORT OF JUST APPEARED'”That may or may not be true. But the thing is, is that if there were 6 or 700 of these that are in the library or waiting to be sequenced, there’s a possibility COVID-19 was one of those, or something similar to COVID-19 was one of the viruses and was manipulated in the lab,” Paul said, referring to the “700 unknown viruses” Daszak referenced in the emails. “It’s important that as this information comes out, we find out all of the things that was known at that time,” Paul said, adding that in private, Fauci was “very concerned” about gain-of-function research in Wuhan. Howerver, he said, “the concern privately is much different than publicly where they tried to shape the message,” referencing Fauci’s public comments that the virus had to have originated in nature and not a lab.  “To a lot of us looking at it, it looks like a cover-up,” Paul said. RAND PAUL CLAIMS ‘SMOKING GUN’ TIES FAUCI, NIH TO RESEARCH WITH ‘DESIRE’ TO CREATE COVID-TYPE VIRUSIt is unclear whether Morens is still employed with NIH. Paul said his office has made several attempts to learn his employment status, but NIH has not given him a response. In an April 12 press release, EcoHealth responded to news reports on emails apparently obtained via a whistleblower and released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, claiming that any allegations that communications between EcoHealth and NIH were “inappropriate” or “part of a cover-up” are “false.” Included in those tranches of emails were the ones Paul pointed to on Tuesday.”[T]hey show clearly that EcoHealth Alliance was appropriately communicating with senior staff at the NIH, or who formerly worked at NIH, to try to identify ways to reinstate a grant that had been terminated unexpectedly and arbitrarily, then suspended with onerous conditions,” EcoHealth said in a statement. “The grant was subsequently reinstated by NIH, and EcoHealth Alliance is currently working under this grant to conduct critical scientific research to prevent future pandemics,” it said. On April 16, the Select Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio., subpoenaed Morens for additional correspondence related to COVID-19 from Morens’ personal Gmail account, alleging he used the private account to evade FOIA laws.”Dr. David Morens purposefully evaded FOIA laws to give his ‘best-friend’ EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak non-public, internal information that had the potential to undermine the operations of the United States government. This is not only highly concerning, but it is also likely illegal,” Wenstrup said in a press release.”The subpoena for Dr. Morens’s personal email communication will ensure that the truth about this federal records violation is brought to light,” he said.CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPMorens has agreed to testify in front of the select subcommittee at a public hearing later this year, the press release said.The NIH, EcoHealth, Fauci, Daszak and Morens did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment. 
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GOP rebels derail Johnson’s border security pitch over fury at $95B foreign aid plan

A meeting to advance Speaker Mike Johnson’s latest border security bill abruptly ended on Wednesday night without a vote on whether the measure will hit the House floor.”Sorry, not sorry, for opposing a cr—y rule that is a show vote / cover vote for funding Ukraine instead of border security,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, wrote on X after the meeting imploded.He’s one of three Republican foreign aid hawks on the House Rules Committee, which is the final barrier before a piece of legislation hits the House floor.It comes as conservative rebels in the House GOP conference criticize the speaker’s decision not to link border security measures to his $95 billion foreign aid plan. ‘DEFINITION OF INSANITY’: FRUSTRATED HOUSE REPUBLICANS BLAST GOP REBELS’ THREAT TO OUST JOHNSONJohnson told lawmakers on Wednesday that the House would consider separate foreign aid bills on Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific and a fourth bill including various foreign policy provisions. If passed, they would be sent to the Senate in a combined package.To appease Republicans concerned about not using it as an opportunity to crack down on the border crisis, he also unveiled a separate bill similar to H.R.2, the comprehensive immigration and border enforcement bill House Republicans passed last year but which the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to take up. He said that bill would go through procedural hurdles parallel to the foreign aid bills, rather than alongside them.JOHNSON LIKELY FORCED TO GET DEM HELP ON FOREIGN AID PLAN AS REPUBLICANS DECRY LACK OF BORDER MEASURESIn a remarkable moment toward the end of the meeting, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the committee, acknowledged that the bill has no support from Democrats and likely no future in Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Senate. He also pointed out that the three conservative rebels on the panel would likely vote against the bill as well – meaning it would not even survive their committee.”We’ve been here. We’ve done this already. We know what the Senate is going to do. And my three colleagues, who I know have been expressing some discontent about what’s going on here, I mean, maybe we can end this hearing. I mean, I think if the three of you vote ‘no’ on this rule, we’re done,” McGovern said.He pointed out that Roy called it a “watered-down, dangerous cover vote” and asked him, along with Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Ralph Norman, R-S.C., if they planned to vote in favor of advancing the bill. Massie and Roy would not say, with Roy adding, “I think I’m pretty well publicly not in favor of what’s going here.” Norman said he would oppose the bill.The hearing soon recessed without a conclusion.Foreign aid and aid to Ukraine, specifically, have proven to be politically fraught topics for Johnson as he navigates a historically slim House majority and new threats from fellow Republicans to trigger a vote on his ouster.MASSIE THREATENS TO OUST SPEAKER JOHNSON IF HE DOESN’T STEP DOWN OVER FOREIGN AID PLANJohnson has argued that tying U.S. border measures to foreign aid, especially Ukraine, would kill its chances of passing .”We want the border to be part of every single thing we do here,” he told reporters on Thursday morning, adding, “We don’t have the votes. If you put Ukraine in any package, you can’t also do the border because I lose Republican votes on that rule. My friends don’t get it.”He was initially aiming for a Saturday vote on the foreign aid bills as well as the measure on border security. It’s not clear how the Wednesday evening chaos will affect that schedule.Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report
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Trump hush money trial: Juror excused after saying she does not think she can be fair

One of the jurors selected and sworn in earlier this week to serve on the jury for former President Trump’s criminal trial was excused Thursday morning after she said she no longer believed she could be fair. Seven jurors were selected and sworn in on Tuesday during the second day of jury selection. The court does not meet on Wednesdays for the Trump trial, and it reconvened for the third day of jury selection on Thursday morning. Juror #2, a woman who lived on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and works as a nurse, returned to court Thursday morning and said that after further thought, she had concerns about being fair and balanced in the case. FORMER AG BARR RIPS ‘POLITICAL’ TRUMP HUSH MONEY CASE, SAYS ‘REAL THREAT’ TO DEMOCRACY IS PROGRESSIVE LEFT”I definitely have concerns,” she said, noting that her family and friends questioned if she was serving on the jury. “I don’t think I can be fair.” She also said she thought that “outside influence” would “interfere.” The woman also noted that she did not want aspects of her identity to be reported. Judge Juan Merchan excused her and warned the press about covering the trial. “You can write about anything on the record, but apply common sense when writing about jurors using physical descriptions and descriptors,” Merchan said.POTENTIAL TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL JURORS BEING ASKED 42 QUESTIONSMerchan directed the press to refrain from writing about anything that can be observed with eyes in order to “ensure jurors remain safe.””We lost what would have been a good juror,” Merchan said, adding that she was “afraid of being intimidated.” After the departure of juror #2, six jurors have been sworn in. Twelve more jurors are needed before opening arguments can begin. Former President Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution” and maintains his innocence. The former president is expected to testify during his trial. “I tell the truth,” Trump said last week, when asked about his possible testimony. Trump is the first president in United States history to stand criminal trial. This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 
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Maine lawmakers approve several gun safety bills after deadliest shooting in state’s history

The Maine Legislature approved sweeping gun safety legislation including background checks on private gun sales, waiting periods for gun purchases and criminalizing gun sales to prohibited people before adjourning Thursday morning, nearly six months after the deadliest shooting in state history.Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and the Democratic-led Legislature pressed for a number of gun and mental health proposals after the shooting that claimed 18 lives and injured another 13 people, despite the state’s strong hunting tradition and support for gun owners.”Maine has taken significant steps forward in preventing gun violence and protecting Maine lives,” said Nacole Palmer, executive director of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition, who praised lawmakers for listening to their constituents.MAINE SHERIFF’S OFFICE TO DISCUSS CONTACT WITH GUNMAN PRIOR TO LEWISTON MASS SHOOTINGThe governor’s bill, approved early Thursday, would strengthen the state’s yellow flag law, boost background checks for private sales of guns and make it a crime to recklessly sell a gun to someone who is prohibited from having guns. The bill also funds violence prevention initiatives and opens a mental health crisis receiving center in Lewiston.The Maine Senate also narrowly gave final approval Wednesday to a 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases and a ban on bump stocks that can transform a weapon into a machine gun.However, there was no action on a proposal to institute a “red flag” law. The bill sponsored by House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross would have allowed family members to petition a judge to remove guns from someone who is in a psychiatric crisis. The state’s current “yellow flag” law differs by putting police in the lead of the process, which critics say is too complicated.Lawmakers pushed through the night and into the morning as they ran up against their adjournment date, which was Wednesday. But it didn’t come without some 11th-hour drama. Lawmakers had to approve a contentious supplemental budget before casting their final votes and didn’t wrap up the session until after daybreak.The Oct. 25 shooting by an Army reservist in Lewiston, Maine’s second-largest city, served as tragic backdrop for the legislative session.Police were warned by family members that the shooter was becoming delusional and had access to weapons. He was hospitalized for two weeks while training with his unit last summer. And his best friend, a fellow reservist, warned that the man was going “to snap and do a mass shooting.” The shooter killed himself after the attack.Republicans accused Democrats of using the tragedy to play on people’s emotions to pass contentious bills.”My big concern here is that we’re moving forward with gun legislation that has always been on the agenda. Now we’re using the tragedy in Lewiston to force it through when there’s nothing new here,” said Republican Sen. Lisa Keim. “It’s the same old ideas that were rejected year after year. Using the tragedy to advance legislation is wrong.”But Democrats said constituents implored them to do something to prevent future attacks. They said it would’ve been an abdication of their responsibility to ignore their pleas.”For the sake of the communities, individuals and families now suffering immeasurable pain, for the sake of our state, doing nothing is not an option,” the governor said in late January when she outlined her proposals in her State of the State address. Those in attendance responded with a standing ovation.
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Trump lawyers tried to subpoena Stormy Daniels, but instead this happened

Former President Trump’s legal team says it tried to serve ex-pornographic actress Stormy Daniels with a subpoena as she arrived for an event at a bar in a New York City bar last month, but she refused to accept it. A process server working for Trump’s lawyers said he approached Daniels with papers demanding information related to a documentary recently released about her life and involvement with Trump but was forced to “leave them at her feet,” according to a court filing made public Wednesday.Daniels is expected to be a key witness in Trump’s hush money case, where he is facing over 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. The trial marks the first time a former president will stand trial over criminal charges. TRUMP CALLS HUSH MONEY TRIAL ‘ASSAULT ON AMERICA’ AS CASE OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF”I stated she was served as I identified her and explained to her what the documents were,” process server Dominic DellaPorte wrote. “She did not acknowledge me and kept walking inside the venue, and she had no expression on her face.”DellaPorte said he tried to serve Daniels prior to a screening of the documentary film “Stormy” at the 3 Dollar Bill nightclub in Brooklyn.Trump’s lawyers are asking Judge Juan M. Merchan to force Daniels to comply with the subpoena. In their filing, they included a photo they said DellaPorte took of Daniels as she strode away.THE TRUMP TRIALS: HERE’S WHERE EACH CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST THE FORMER PRESIDENT STANDSDaniels’ lawyer Clark Brewster described the requests as an “unwarranted fishing expedition” with no relevance to Trump’s criminal trial. He claims they never received the paperwork”The process — instituted on the eve of trial — appears calculated to cause harassment and/or intimidation of a lay witness,” Brewster wrote in an April 9 letter to Merchan, according to The Associated Press. Brewster didn’t immediately reply to a message from the news organization seeking comment.The encounter came just weeks before the high-profile case kicked off in Manhattan. Seven jurors have been seated so far and jury selection is set to resume Thursday.The trial will focus on payments made by Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to Daniels ahead of the 2016 election which Trump ended up winning. Daniels is expected to testify that the $130,000 payment was to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006.Trump has denied the affair and pleaded not guilty to the 34 charges against him.Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor, but prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with an intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which would be a felony.Fox News’ Emma Colton and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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Jill Biden praises agreement to make it easier for military spouse federal employees to work overseas

Jill Biden said Wednesday that allowing federal employees who are military spouses to work from overseas is a “national security imperative” that is long overdue.The first lady spoke at a White House ceremony she hosted with Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, who signed a permanent memorandum of agreement between their departments to ease approvals of remote work under the Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas program for these employees.The agreement was among steps to help military families that President Joe Biden outlined in an executive order he signed in June at Fort Liberty in North Carolina. It also is an outgrowth of the first lady’s work with Joining Forces, her White House initiative to support military and veteran families.FIRST LADY JILL BIDEN REPORTEDLY URGING THE PRESIDENT PRIVATELY TO END THE WAR IN GAZA: ‘STOP, STOP IT NOW’Jill Biden said she shared stories the spouses told her with her husband and he took action.”A critical part of the executive order is allowing military spouses who work for the federal government to take jobs with them” when their spouse is deployed overseas, Jill Biden said. “With today’s agreement, we’re making that a reality. It’s common sense, it’s simple and it’s long overdue.”Hicks and Verma signed the agreement in front of an overwhelmingly female audience seated in the East Room. Hicks handed her pen to the first lady.Jill Biden said military spouses also serve the United States even though they don’t wear a uniform and that the government has a responsibility to serve them, too.”This isn’t just a moral obligation,” she said. “It’s a national security imperative.”The first lady said the principle of an all-volunteer military, which is the case in the U.S., is put “at risk when we force our service members to choose between their love of country and the families who serve alongside them. We must give them the support they need to choose both.”Military spouses face a 21% unemployment rate that has not significantly changed over the past decade, according to information from the White House. More than 16,000 military, veteran and surviving spouses work across federal departments and agencies.Jill Biden cracked a joke at the beginning of her formal remarks, saying she was really excited because “like so many of you, I am a working spouse of a government employee.”Biden teaches English and writing two days a week at Northern Virginia Community College.
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Top New York City mayor Adams aide slapped with second sexual harassment lawsuit: report

A top aide to New York City Mayor Eric Adams was slapped with a second lawsuit alleging discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation on Wednesday, according to reports. Timothy Pearson, a former NYPD inspector who led the Mayor’s Office of Municipal Services Assessment, is being sued by retired NYPD sergeant Michael Ferrari in a lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday. It comes after retired NYPD Sgt. Roxanne Ludemann claimed harassment and retaliation against Pearson in a March lawsuit after allegedly rejecting his unwanted advances. Ferrari does not claim to be the subject of unwanted advances from Pearson but does say he witnessed or was told of Pearson sexually harassing female colleagues in the services assessment office, including Ludemann. The suit says Ferrari was assigned by a higher-up to monitor Pearson’s behavior around women in the office, Politico reported. “The hostile work environment surrounding the sexual harassment carried over to every member of the team regardless of gender,” the complaint says. NYC MAYOR ERIC ADAMS RESPONDS TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS: ‘THIS DID NOT HAPPEN’After a confrontation about the sexual harassment allegations against Pearson with another leader, Ferrari said he was demoted back to patrol, costing him $2 million in lost salary and pension earnings and prompting him to retire from his 16-year career at the NYPD, the New York Daily News reported. Fox News Digital reached out to the mayor’s office for comment on the lawsuit, but they did not immediately respond.The complaint also alleges Pearson made a comment to Ferrari and another officer, Lt. George Huang, complaining when a migrant shelter was scrapped in Orchard Beach in October 2022 due to heavy flooding after the contractors who handled the project were already paid by the city. “Do you know how these contracts work?” Pearson said, according to the complaint. “People are doing very well on these contracts. I have to get mine. Where are my crumbs?”NEW LAWSUIT ALLEGES NYC MAYOR ERIC ADAMS DEMANDED SEX ACTS FROM POLICE OFFICER IN EXCHANGE FOR CAREER HELPThe lawsuit said Pearson from then on was called “Crumbs” behind his back around the office. According to the Daily News, Ferrari, Ludemann and Huang went with Deputy Chief Miltiadis Marmara to the mayor’s Municipal Services Assessment unit, which started in June 2022 to inspect city agencies.”I had no intention of retiring before 20 years, but after Chief Marmara was removed for standing up for my co-worker, I was not going to stay,” Ferrari, a Duke University graduate from Long Island, told the Daily News. “At the whim of Tim Pearson, all of our careers were turned upside down.””The common thread in these lawsuits is Pearson is basically a free agent able to pull strings inside the NYPD without any oversight,” John Scola, the lawyer for both Ferrari and Ludemann, told the Daily News. An NYPD spokesperson said, “We will review the lawsuit if and when we are served.””We hold all public servants to the highest standards,” a City Hall spokesperson told the Daily News. “We will review the lawsuit.”
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Chinese Embassy defends TikTok against potential forced sale in meeting with congressional staffers: report

The Chinese Embassy has held meetings with Capitol Hill staffers to protect TikTok from a potential forced sale, according to a report.The meetings took place with Chinese diplomats after the House passed legislation with an overwhelming bipartisan vote last month that would force Chinese divestment from TikTok or see the app banned, Politico reported.Two congressional staffers, one from the House and the other from the Senate, told the outlet on condition of anonymity that the Chinese Embassy initiated contact and downplayed national security concerns over TikTok.In one meeting, the embassy said that banning the social media app would be harmful for U.S. investors who hold ownership of parent company ByteDance, according to Politico.MOST AMERICANS SUPPORT HOUSE PLAN TO BAN TIKTOK IF IT ISN’T SOLD, POLL FINDSIn another meeting, Chinese diplomats argued that TikTok was being treated unfairly because it is a Chinese company and that other companies outside of China would not be treated the same way, the staffers told the outlet. TikTok told Politico in a statement that its report was “absurd” and that the company had no knowledge of any meetings between the Chinese Embassy and congressional staffers. The Chinese Embassy told Politico in a statement that it was lobbying for all Chinese companies to be treated fairly, not just TikTok.Fox News Digital reached out to the Chinese Embassy for comment but did not immediately hear back.FCC COMMISSIONER SAYS TIKTOK IS A ‘CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER’ TO US NATIONAL SECURITYThe legislation, led by House China Select Committee Chair Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., would block TikTok in the U.S. if ByteDance does not divest from it within 165 days of passage. It would also require it to be bought by a country that is not a U.S. adversary.TikTok’s critics have long called the social media app a national security threat. They have cited concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to leverage its power over ByteDance to access sensitive user data, even in the U.S., something the company has denied. Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
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Polish president meets with Trump in New York City amid criminal trial

Former President Donald Trump continues to meet with foreign leaders, even as his criminal trial is underway in New York.Trump met with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday in New York City to discuss the Ukraine-Russia conflict and NATO defense spending.The pair were photographed entering Trump Tower, where Trump told reporters, “He’s done a fantastic job and he’s my friend.”TRUMP TRIAL: JURY SELECTION TO RESUME IN NEW YORK CITY FOR 3RD DAY IN FORMER PRESIDENT’S TRIAL”We had four great years together,” Trump said. “We’re behind Poland all the way.”Trump and Duda spoke for over two hours, which the Polish president called a “friendly meeting in very nice atmosphere.”It’s only the latest high profile meeting with foreign leaders for the former president, who has previously spoken with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbá in March and Argentinian President Javier Milei in February.TRUMP SAYS CRIMINAL TRIAL IS HAVING A ‘REVERSE EFFECT,’ AS HE CAMPAIGNS AT NEW YORK BODEGA, VOWS TO SAVE CITYLast week, Trump also hosted British Foreign Secretary David Cameron at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.Jury selection in Trump’s historic and unprecedented criminal trial stemming from charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is expected to resume Thursday morning.Bragg has charged Trump, the 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee, with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump is the first president in United States history to stand criminal trial.The charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.Trump has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He has blasted the trial as pure politics, a “political persecution,” and maintains his innocence. The former president is expected to testify during his trial.By the end of jury selection on Tuesday, seven jurors had been selected and sworn in. The jury pool so far includes four men and three women, all living in New York City. Their professions include law, finance, nursing, technology and more.Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
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