Alleged Fraud in USA Presidential Elections Will Be Investigated

Washington, Jan 25 (Prensa Latina) US president Donald Trump called for a major investigation into alleged fraud in the November 8 elections.

In those elections, the Republican tycoon defeated the Democrat aspirant Hillary Clinton by the electoral vote, but he lost in the popular vote.

According to Trump, the investigation will include 'those registered to vote in two states, the illegal ones, and even the voters registered to vote that were dead (and many of them for a long time).'

'Depending on the results, we will strengthen voting procedures,' the head of state said in his personal Twitter account.

Before his victory, Trump repeatedly denounced that the elections were rigged in Clinton's favor by the massive vote of millions of undocumented immigrants, dead people and those who exercised their right to vote in two or more states.

Several lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and reporters have rejected the president's statements because in their view there is no evidence of electoral fraud.

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‘Trump’s love-hate with media: They don’t trust each other, but desperately need each other’

The media has never been as adversarial with a sitting president as we see today with Trump, said political cartoonist Ted Rall. He hasn’t done much to ingratiate himself to the media because he doesn’t trust these people, he added.

US President Donald Trump has accused the media of 'dishonest' reporting. Speaking at the CIA's Headquarters in Langley, Virginia he claimed reporters understated the numbers of supporters present during his inauguration. Trump said that one network had estimated a turnout of 250,000 on the National Mall.

RT: A war with the media looks like being a central hallmark of the new US administration, just days after it came to power. What’s your take on that?

Ted Rall: It is as close to war as you’re ever going to see in American politics, at least in recent memory. There has never been a time when the media was as adversarial with a sitting president as we’re seeing today. Certainly, within the modern era, the closest president who never had a very close relationship with the media, to say the least, was Nixon. Even at the height of the Watergate scandal, when the media had turned pretty decidedly against him, it was nothing like this. Now there is not even the slightest modicum of respect or any sense from either side that there is any kind of trust or good will, whatsoever. If war exists, if war is possible, then this is war. At this point, it is a question of semantics. There is no doubt about it – we’re in uncharted territory when it comes to the relationship between Trump and the media at this stage.

RT: Why do you think mass media is so hostile toward the new US president?

TR: There is a lot of blame to go around at this point. Certainly, if you’re President Trump – he has cause to think that the media doesn’t like him. And the media doesn’t. They have it out for him throughout this campaign. It is an interesting relationship because they covered him extensively; they covered him more than any other Republican candidate; they covered him more than they covered Hillary Clinton during the general election, and now they have turned against him.

They viewed him as playing the role of the class clown, who was going to be fun for a few quotes and to bring in ratings, which everything he did, that he said and pronounced did bring in ratings. And then they were horrified to discover that he might actually win, and even more horrified, when he did win the presidency. There is obviously a general alliance with the Democratic Party that many members of the media adhere to, and that is part of the issue. But a lot of this has to do with temperament.

Now that said, Trump certainly hasn’t done much to ingratiate himself to the media. He hasn’t talked too much to them. He hasn’t opened himself up much; he hasn’t been transparent; he hasn’t given press conferences; he hasn’t given the kind of access that members of the media and the national media, who cover presidents and perspective presidents, expect. If you think about precedents, like when you think about for example George W. Bush, when he was running for office, he was well liked by the media, because he used to go and glad-hand reporters in the back of the bus. Trump is just not that personality. He doesn’t trust these people and keeps them at arm's length. And they know that. So neither side trusts or likes each other. It has been that way for a long time. But it is a love-hate relationship because they both desperately need each other.

RT: Do you think, being US President Trump will win this so-called battle between him and the media?

TR: The president has a lot of power in the American system, especially at this stage in US history. But at the same time, I wouldn’t be so quick to say that Trump will definitely win. The media has tremendous power. You can’t really govern in the US without, at least a tacit amount of support from the media. If he wants to be a successful president, or for that matter if he wants to remain president for the full four to eight years that he’s been elected to, is going to have to do better in terms of reaching out to the media and forming alliances. Otherwise, he is just not going to make it this entire way. The way the system is set up just doesn’t allow it. 

RT: Seems like covering Donald Trump, the US mass media acted in a different way, comparing to the coverage of the previous presidents. Do you agree?

TR: Yes, I think that is right – the media showed that its disconnection from a big broad swath of Americana not only during the general election against Hillary Clinton but even during the primaries, for example, with the way that they responded to Bernie Sanders treating him as a curiosity. They did the same thing with Donald Trump. They didn’t try to get into the heads of the people who were supporting him. Most people who supported Trump were voting not for Trump, they were voting against the system – to send a message that enough was enough and that were tired of being ignored and having their interests ignored. Members of the establishment media still don’t get it, and neither does the Democratic Party. And that is part of what is going on here: two sets of people talking past one another.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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Shaken, Republicans Move to Criminalize Peaceful Protests

Republicans have all but admitted their fear of social and civil unrest and are now cashing in on President Donald Trump's ascent to power.

Expecting full resistance ahead, Republican legislators across five U.S. states are desperately trying to push through legislation that would criminalize and discourage peaceful civil disobedience.

The bills, introduced in North Dakota, Minnesota, Washington, Michigan and Iowa, all focus on the blocking or obstruction of traffic and non-violent resistance to police intimidation.

RELATED: North Dakota Republicans Want to Protect Drivers Who Hit DAPL Protesters

Shaken by the successes of Black Lives Matter activists and water protectors at Standing Rock in recent highway shutdowns, authorities have vowed to crack down on dissidents by increasing fines and jail sentences.

In the worst of cases, this can be up to US$10,000 and at least a year in prison, as would be the case if Minnesota lawmakers are successful in passing a bill targeting peacefully “obstructing the legal process.”

According to a Minneapolis civil rights attorney speaking to The Intercept, this is one of the “most alarming” cases, with dramatic penalties for what amount to be “minor (acts of) resistance to police.”

“The statute is very heavily abused by police to charge people with crimes in response to minor resistance to police based on good faith disagreements with what they are doing,” Jordan S. Kushner wrote in an email. “It is frequently used in response to people who verbally challenge or try to observe/record police at protests."

Many of the other bills focus on highways closures.

In North Dakota, Republican bill co-sponsor Rep. Keith Kempenich wants to let drivers who kill protesters blocking highways go free as long as they do it accidentally or negligently. His proposal is in direct response to the Standing Rock protesters.

“If you stay off the roadway, this would never be an issue,” Kempenich told the Star Tribune.

Minnesota has also responded to the success of Black Lives Matter in closing highways in recent months by classifying those actions as “gross misdemeanor,” an offense carrying a year in jail and a US$3,000 fine.

In Washington, where Democrats control both houses of the legislature, it has been suggested that protesters be labeled as “economic terrorists.” Iowa has also focused on protesters blocking transit routes, The Intercept reported.

These desperate actions by Republicans, undoubtedly cashing in on President Donald Trump’s recent ascent to power, are nothing more than a troubling attempt at quashing protests, civil liberties advocates have said.

Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed this apparently increasing trend is “deeply troubling.”

RELATED: Protesters Face Increasing Criminalization in Trump Era

“A law that would allow the state to charge a protester $10,000 for stepping in the wrong place, or encourage a driver to get away with manslaughter because the victim was protesting, is about one thing: Chilling protest,” Rowland noted.

Kushner, who’s represented Black Lives Matter activists in the past, agreed the bills are a politicized attempt to “cater to the general public hostility.”

“The goal is to criminalize protesting to a greater degree and thereby discourage public dissent,” he said.

Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota all have Republican-dominated legislatures, and therefore may face the most difficult challenges ahead.

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Ethics Lawyers to Sue Trump over Foreign Payments

Attorneys for the plaintiffs will include Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in Republican President George W. Bush's White House.

A group including former White House ethics attorneys will file a lawsuit on Monday accusing President Donald Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit, brought by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, will allege that the Constitution's emoluments clause forbids payments to Trump's businesses. It will seek a court order forbidding Trump from accepting such payments, said Deepak Gupta, one of the lawyers working on the case.

Trump does business with countries like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the group noted in a statement.

"When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman," it said.

The case is part of a wave of litigation expected to be filed against Trump by liberal advocacy groups.

The impending lawsuit was earlier reported by the New York Times.

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Cuba-US: Will Trump Brake the "thawing" with Cuba?

Since Donald Trump's victory in last November elections many questions surfaced in that and other fields.

A journalist from EFE, commented this Thursday that since the reestablishment Cuban-American diplomatic ties, “remarkable breakthrough have been achieved”.

All these before the magnate Donald Trump assume the U.S. presidency.

Extreme right-wing spokesmen of Cuban origin based in Miami have attempted sabotage the assignment of funds for the eventual opening of an embassy of Washington in Havana.

They have also made public that they will hinder the appointing of the new ambassador.

But, the EFE journalist wonders to what extent it interests to revert the diplomatic thaw with Cuba?

In hardly 24 months, 18 bilateral agreements have been signed, three signed only 48 hours prior the taking possession of Trump.

She highlights "the urgency with which both countries have closed agreements since the multimillionaire's win in November."

She assesses more the fact when Trump has favored to revert the approach if Cuba doesn't negotiate a better agreement and agrees makes concessions in human rights.

Passed those threats, specialists consulted by EFE indicate something really striking: the evolution of the "thaw" is not opposed so far with the new president's ideas.

Equivalent to say more clearly?

The answer was given by the president of the Academy of Latin American Studies from Harvard University, Jorge Domínguez.

"The true benefits of Obama’s measures are high and good for the United States", he said to EFE.

He was even stronger when he added:

Our understandings for the preservation of endangered species, oil spills, health and research, or signed agreements to fight drug traffic, are suitable for both countries, "without any political cost."

Domínguez also said that the agreement signed in August on civil aviation allows to renew direct commercial flights between both parts, which were stopped since 1963.

Thus far, the main beneficiaries with this a step were the North American airlines.

According to Domínguez, Trump’s known relationships with the managerial sector slip a large stone before those who seek to make void the aforementioned transaction.

Hence the following question arises:

On a scene as the one exposed do the sectors from Washington and Miami have the door wide open to impose their intentions against Cuba?

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US Groups Ask Trump to Continue Normalization With Cuba

Several US organizations sent today a memorandum to President-elect Donald Trump to urge him to continue normalizeng relations with Cuba.

In the text titled US Politics to Cuba: the case of the commitment, the signatory institutions point out the advantages of continuing the rapprochement with the island and the possible negative consequences of reversing that course, spelled out the organization Engage Cuba.

According to that group, which promotes better ties between the two countries, the memorandum was sent to Trump after his nominee as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the policy changes with the Caribbean country will be examined.

In the document, signatories affirm that a close assessment will confirm constructive engagement - including the reduction of trade and travel barriers - as the best strategy to boost US employment and exports.

According to organizations such as the Cuba Study Group, US-Cuba Business Council, Latin America Working Group, National Foreign Trade Council and Engage Cuba, progress towards normalization is the greatest opportunity to reduce irregular migration and improve border management, among other benefits.

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Health Law’s Repeal Could Raise Costs and Number of Uninsured, New Report Says

WASHINGTON — Repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. A repeal could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, the report said, while causing individual insurance premiums to double over that time.

The budget office analyzed the probable effects of a Republican bill repealing the law like the one approved in Congress, but vetoed early last year by President Obama.

The C.B.O. report, released after a weekend of protests against repeal, will only add to the headaches that President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans face in their rush to gut President Obama’s signature domestic achievement as they try to replace it with a health insurance law more to their liking.

Republicans cautioned that the report painted only part of the picture — the impact of a fast repeal without the Republican replacement. They said the numbers in the report represented a one-sided hypothetical scenario.

“Today’s report shows only part of the equation — a repeal of Obamacare without any transitional policies or reforms to address costs and empower patients,” said the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah. “Republicans support repealing Obamacare and implementing step-by-step reforms so that Americans have access to affordable health care.”

But that replacement bill has yet to be produced, and existing Republican plans, such as one drafted by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, now selected to be Mr. Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, have yet to be scrutinized by the budget office, the official scorekeeper of legislation.

The bill that the budget office analyzed would have eliminated tax penalties for people who go without insurance. It would also have eliminated spending for the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies that help lower-income people buy private insurance. But the bill preserved requirements for insurers to provide coverage, at standard rates, to any applicant, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

“Eliminating the mandate penalties and the subsidies while retaining the market reforms would destabilize the nongroup market, and the effect would worsen over time,” the budget office said.

The office said the estimated increase of 32 million people without coverage in 2026 resulted from three changes: about 23 million fewer people would have coverage in the individual insurance market, roughly 19 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage, and there would be an increase in the number of people with employment-based insurance that would partially offset those losses.

The estimates by the budget office are generally consistent with projections by the Obama administration and by insurance companies.

In its report, the budget office said that repealing selected parts of the health care law — as specified in the earlier Republican bill — would have adverse effect on insurance markets.

In the first full year after enactment of such a bill, it said, premiums would be 20 to 25 percent higher than under current law.

Repealing the penalties that enforce the “individual mandate” would “both reduce the number of people purchasing health insurance and change the mix of people with insurance,” as younger and healthier people with low health costs would be more likely to go without insurance, the budget office said.

The Republican bill would have eliminated the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the subsidies for insurance purchased through Affordable Care Act marketplaces, after a transition period of about two years.

Those changes could have immediately increased the number of uninsured by 27 million, a number that would gradually increase to 32 million in 2026, the budget office said.

Without subsidies, the budget office said, enrollment in health plans would shrink, and the people who remained in the individual insurance market would be sicker, with higher average health costs. These trends, it said, would accelerate the exodus of insurers from the individual market and from the public marketplaces.

As a result, it said, about half of the nation’s population would be living in areas that had no insurer participating in the individual market in the first year after the repeal of marketplace subsidies took effect. And by 2026, it estimated, about three-quarters of the population would be living in such areas.

Republicans have complained bitterly about the reduction in health plan choices for consumers under the Affordable Care Act. But the effects projected by the budget office would be much more severe.

While writing the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, lawmakers continually consulted the Congressional Budget Office to understand the possible effects on spending, revenue and insurance coverage. The current director of the budget office, Keith Hall, who signed the report issued on Tuesday, was selected and appointed by Republican leaders of Congress in 2015.

Chris Jacobs, a conservative health policy analyst who once worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill, said the Trump administration could, by regulation, mitigate some of the effects on insurance markets and premiums described by the budget office.

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Trump to Enter Office as Most Unpopular President in at Least 40 Years, Poll Finds

Donald Trump enters office as the most unpopular of at least the last seven newly elected presidents, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds, with ratings for handling the transition that are also vastly below those of his predecessors.

Forty percent of Americans in the national survey approve of the way Trump has handled the transition, half as many as the 80 percent who approved of Barack Obama’s preparations to take office. Trump also far trails George W. Bush (72 percent transition approval), Bill Clinton (81 percent) and George H.W. Bush (82 percent) on this measure.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Similarly, just 40 percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, approve of most of Trump’s cabinet choices -- trailing his four predecessors by anywhere from 19 to 26 percentage points.

Identical to these ratings, just 40 percent see Trump favorably overall. That’s 21 points behind Obama’s departing favorability rating (his best since November 2009) and by far the lowest popularity for an incoming president in polling since 1977. Previous start-of-presidency favorability ratings have ranged from 56 percent for George W. Bush to 79 percent for Obama.

Consider the flipside: Just 9 to 20 percent saw Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or Obama unfavorably as they took office. It was 36 percent for George W. Bush. It’s 54 percent for Trump.


Even with those weak ratings, Trump garners high expectations on some issues: Six in 10 Americans expect him to do an excellent or good job on the economy and on jobs alike, and 56 percent expect him to do well in handling terrorism.

On the economy, Trump may get tailwinds: Fifty-one percent say it’s in excellent or good shape, the most since October 2006 in ABC/Post polls. Even still, 63 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track -- a view on which Democrats and Republicans have essentially swapped positions since the election, with the biggest change for the party that won the White House.

Positive expectations for Trump drop to around 50 percent on three other issues -- helping the middle class, handling the deficit and making Supreme Court appointments. Expectations go negative on four more -- handling health care, international crises, race relations and issues of particular concern to women. Expectations of Trump are more negative than positive by 24 points on women’s issues, 37-61 percent, and by 17 points on race relations, 40-57 percent.


More generally, skepticism about Trump is extensive: Sixty-one percent of Americans lack confidence in him to make the right decisions for the country’s future. Obama was rated as poorly on this measure in the midst of his second term. But he started his presidency with the opposite result -- 61 percent confidence.

Fifty-two percent also see Trump as unqualified for office. Still, in a positive trend for him, that’s down from a peak of 64 percent in June.

Results are informed by opposition to many of the incoming administration’s policy plans. Out of eight such policies tested in this survey, majorities support three: Deporting undocumented immigrants who’ve committed crimes (most popular by far, with 72 percent support), renegotiating the NAFTA trade agreement (57 percent) and punishing companies that move jobs overseas (53 percent).

Support goes below 50 percent for repealing Obamacare (a split, 46-47 percent, support-oppose), building a wall on the border with Mexico (37 percent support), withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran (37 percent), barring entry to most Muslims who aren’t U.S. citizens (32 percent), and quitting the Paris climate treaty (31 percent). (On Obamacare, two-thirds of those who favor repeal say the law should be replaced with a new one at the same time.)

It’s notable that large majorities oppose two proposals that have been signatures of Trump’s political rise -- barring entry of non-U.S. Muslims (63 percent opposed) and building a wall across the border with Mexico (opposed by 60 percent).

Opposition peaks, at 66 percent, to another idea, providing tax breaks for privately funded roads, bridges and transportation projects that would then charge tolls for people who use them.

Another likely policy debate may pose its own risks for Trump. He’s proposed an across-the-board tax cut. Seventy-five percent in this survey support a tax cut for middle- and low-income Americans, but support falls to 48 percent for a business tax cut and just 36 percent for cutting taxes paid by higher-income Americans.


Among other issues:

• Just 35 percent approve of the way Trump’s handled the issue of campaign email hacking, while 54 percent disapprove. Nearly two-thirds think Russia was behind it, and among them, seven in 10 think Russia’s goal was to help Trump win the election. Forty-three percent see Trump as “too friendly” toward Russia; about as many say he’s handling this well.

• Neither the media nor Trump are well rated in their handling of one another, but Trump fares considerably less well. Americans divide essentially evenly on whether the news media are treating Trump fairly or unfairly. But they see Trump’s treatment of the news media as unfair rather than fair by a substantial 57-38 percent margin.


Evaluations of Trump’s proposed policies and expectations for his presidency vary widely, with no division more prominent than the one between political partisans.

One of the largest rifts by party emerges on Trump’s planned wall along the Mexican border: Seventy-two percent of Republicans support it, most saying they do so strongly, while 87 percent of Democrats are opposed, nearly three-quarters strongly. Partisans split similarly on repealing the Affordable Care Act, with eight in 10 Republicans in favor and three-quarters of Democrats against.

In terms of expectations, nearly all Republicans expect Trump to do an excellent or good job handling the economy and job creation alike, while fewer than three in 10 Democrats say the same. Democrats are the least optimistic about Trump’s potential handling of the health care system, with just 9 percent giving him at least a “good” prospective rating. That compares with 87 percent of Republicans.

Not all of Trump’s plans are welcomed as universally by GOP partisans: Fewer than half of Republicans support the public-private infrastructure plan proposed by his advisers or his previous intention to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. (He’s now said he has an “open mind” about the deal.) For their part, fewer than a quarter of Democrats support either.

Some divisions echo the election. White men without college degrees, a strongly pro-Trump group, support repealing the 2010 health care law by 65-27 percent, while white women with a college degree -- who narrowly backed Clinton -- mirror them in opposition, 35-63 percent. The pattern repeats in expectations for Trump’s handling of race relations; nearly two-thirds of non-college white men have high expectations, while as many college-educated white women have low ones.

Race itself is a key factor: Compared with whites, nonwhites are 36 points less likely to expect much from Trump in job creation and 30 points less likely to think he’ll do well on race relations. And while support for building the Mexican border wall has increased among whites from 42 to 50 percent since September, it remains extremely unpopular among Hispanics, with just 11 percent support.

There’ll be much measurement of Trump’s job approval in the years ahead, and the best stand-in for that gauge now is approval of his handling of the transition. This peaks at 77 percent among Republicans, 68 percent among strong conservatives and 61 percent among evangelical white Protestants. But it’s just 45 percent in the states Trump won in the presidential election, as well as 42 percent among political independents, with 50 percent disapproving.

Further, whites, a group Trump won by a 20 points in the election (per the exit poll), approve of his work on the transition by a 10-point margin, 52 to 42 percent. That ranges from 64 percent approval among non-college white men to 36 percent among college-educated white women. Seventy-five percent of nonwhites disapprove, including 85 percent of blacks and 76 percent of Hispanics.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 12-15, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-37 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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