News Headlines 6/14/22

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PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS ‘DETACHED FROM REALITY’: Donald Trump’s attorney general says the former president was “detached from reality” in the days following his 2020 election loss and had no interest in hearing the facts about his allegations of election fraud. In videotaped testimony aired yesterday by the House January 6th investigative committee, former Attorney General William Barr said he had found no evidence to support the allegations, and told the president so in a meeting in the Oval Office.

Bill Barr: [“He went off on a monologue saying that there was now definitive evidence involving fraud through the Dominion machines, and a report had been prepared by a very reputable cybersecurity firm, which he identified as Allied Security Operations Group. And he held up the report, and he asked that a copy of it be made for me, and while a copy was being made, he said ‘this is absolute proof that the Dominion machines were rigged. The report means that I’m going to have a second term.’] SOUNDCUE (:35 OC . . . a second term.)

Barr was dismayed by the content of the report, which he said looked amateurish and lacked any supporting information.

Bill Barr: [“I sat there flipping through the report and looking through it, and to be frank, it looked very amateurish to me. It didn’t have the credentials of the people involved but I didn’t see any real qualifications and the statements were made very conclusory, like ‘these machines were designed to engage in fraud,’ or something to that effect. But I didn’t see any supporting information for it.] SOUNDCUE (:27 OC . . . information for it.)

Barr concluded that the president had “become detached from reality” if he believed the “crazy” allegations about election fraud.

Bill Barr: [“I was somewhat demoralized because I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff he has lost contact with, he has become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff. On the other hand, when I went into this and would tell him how crazy some of these allegations were, there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.”] SOUNDCUE: (1.90 OC ..the actual facts were.)

  • The second day of the televised hearings sought to prove that Trump and some of his campaign staff used baseless claims of election fraud to raise millions of dollars for a so-called Election Defense Fund. There was no such fund, the committee said. The money went straight into a Super PAC set up by Trump two days after the election. The campaign took in $100 million in the week after the election. 
  • Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, concluded: “So, not only was there that big lie, there was the big rip-off. Donors deserve to know where their funds are really going. They deserve better than what President Trump and his team did.”
  • The committee attempted to establish that Trump’s “big lie” culminated in a call to action to his supporters to come to Washington to force the U.S. Congress to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.
  • In other testimony, a number of witnesses testified in no uncertain terms that Trump lost the election. The witnesses included the former Fox News politics reporter who called the Georgia election for Biden.
  • Lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared to be drunk when he urged the president to declare victory on election night, according to Trump advisor Jason Miller. Trump took Giuliani’s advice over that of his other advisors.

BEARS ROAR ON WALL STREET: Stocks took a dive again yesterday, officially entering “bear” territory. Investors are worrying over the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates even more than expected this summer in order to cool inflation. The Dow Jones Average dropped 876 points to close at 30,517. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is down 20% since its January high point, indicating a bear market.

FLOODING CLOSES YELLOWSTONE: A torrential rainstorm has forced the closure of Yellowstone National Park at least through Wednesday. Visitors and staff in the worst-hit northern end of the vast park were evacuated while workers dealt with road and bridge failures and mudslides. The park span parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)