Trump slams Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff in tweet, calls him ‘little Adam Schitt’

President Donald Trump is name-calling Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for saying Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general is unconstitutional.

Trump says Schiff shouldn’t complain that Whitaker wasn’t confirmed by the Senate because neither was special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s investigating 2016 election interference and possible ties between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.

The Justice Department appoints special counsels.

Critics contend Trump illegally sidestepped procedure by appointing Whitaker over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who’s been confirmed.

Trump’s tweet calls Schiff “little Adam Schitt.”

Schiff’s response: “That’s a good one. Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?”

Trump on Friday claimed that he, not his lawyers, wrote answers to questions from Mueller. Trump says he’ll submit them soon to Mueller’s team.

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Republican Scott wins Florida U.S. Senate seat after manual recount

(Reuters) – Florida’s outgoing governor, Republican Rick Scott, was declared the winner of the state’s hard-fought U.S. Senate race on Sunday, following a manual recount of ballots in the tight contest against three-term Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.

In the recount of the Nov. 6 election, Scott won by 10,033 votes out of 8.19 million cast statewide, Florida elections officials said on Sunday. Scott took 50.05 percent, compared with 49.93 percent for Nelson, the officials added.

Nelson, first elected to the Senate in 2000, became the latest incumbent Democratic senator toppled in the midterm congressional election in which President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate but lost control of the House of Representatives.

Other incumbent Democratic senators defeated in the election include Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

Scenes of thousands of people across the state reviewing ballots during the recount process had brought back memories of Florida’s 2000 presidential recount, which ended only after the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in, effectively handing the presidency to Republican George W. Bush.

“I just spoke with Senator Bill Nelson, who graciously conceded, and I thanked him for his years of public service,” Scott said in an emailed statement.

The statement ended, “Let’s get to work.”

Nelson’s office said he will issue a statement later on Sunday.

Scott, who was prevented by state law from running for a third term as governor, emerged from the vote with a lead of less than 0.5 percentage points, which prompted a recount of the ballots. Republicans including Trump made allegations, without offering evidence, that the process was marred by fraud.

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The battle between Nelson and Scott and the race to replace Scott as governor both were closely watched contests in which Democrats had hoped to topple Republicans. On Saturday, Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican rival Ron DeSantis, an ally of Trump, in the governor’s race, which also went to a recount.

Scott, 65, entered politics from the business world, having amassed a personal fortune as a healthcare executive. He dipped into his wealth to help finance his campaigns, winning the governorship in 2010 and 2014 by about 1 percent of the vote.

Nelson, 76, has been a fixture in Florida politics since he won a seat in the state legislature in 1972. He then served in the U.S. House of Representatives and has held state Cabinet posts.

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Donald Trump won’t commit to keeping John Kelly as chief of staff

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t committing to a previous pledge to keep chief of staff John Kelly for the remainder of his term, part of widespread speculation about staffing changes that could soon sweep through his administration.

Trump, in a wide-ranging interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday,” praised Kelly’s work ethic and much of what he brings to the position but added, “There are certain things that I don’t like that he does.”

“There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault. It’s not his strength,” said Trump, who added that Kelly himself might want to depart.

Asked whether he would keep Kelly in his post through 2020, the president offered only that “it could happen.” Trump had earlier pledged publicly that Kelly would remain through his first term in office, though many in the West Wing were skeptical.

Trump said he was happy with his Cabinet but was thinking about changing “three or four or five positions.” One of them is Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, whose departure is now considered inevitable. Trump said in the interview that he could keep her on, but he made clear that he wished she would be tougher in implementing his hard-line immigration policies and enforcing border security.

The list of potential replacements for Nielsen includes a career lawman, two military officers and former acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement head. But her eventual replacement will find there’s no getting around the immigration laws and court challenges that have thwarted the president’s hard-line agenda at every turn — even if there’s better personal chemistry.

Trump also discussed the removal of Mira Ricardel, a deputy national security adviser who is being moved to another position in the administration after clashes with the East Wing culminated in an extraordinary statement from first lady Melania Trump that called for her removal. The president said Ricardel was “not too diplomatic, but she’s talented” and downplayed the idea that his wife was calling the shots in the White House.

″(The first lady’s team) wanted to go a little bit public because that’s the way they felt and I thought it was fine,” Trump said.

He also dismissed a series of reports that he had been fuming in the week after the Democrats captured the House of Representatives, claiming instead that the mood of the West Wing was “very light.”

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Theresa May warns ousting her won’t make Brexit process any smoother

LONDON — Britain’s besieged Prime Minister Theresa May warned Sunday that a leadership change wouldn’t make Brexit negotiations easier, as opponents in her Conservative Party threaten to unseat her and the former Brexit secretary suggested she failed to stand up to bullying from European Union officials.

As furious Conservative rebels try to gather the numbers to trigger a no-confidence vote, May insisted she hadn’t considered quitting.

“A change of leadership at this point isn’t going to make the negotiations any easier and it isn’t going to change the parliamentary arithmetic,” she told Sky News in an interview.

May added that the next seven days “are going to be critical” for successful Brexit talks, and that she will be travelling to Brussels to meet with EU leaders before an emergency European Council summit on Nov. 25.

An announcement this week that Britain has struck a draft divorce agreement with the EU triggered a political crisis in Britain, with the deal roundly savaged by both the opposition and large chunks of May’s own Conservatives. Two Cabinet ministers and several junior government members quit, and more than 20 lawmakers have submitted letters of no confidence in May. Forty-eight such letters — or 15 percent of Conservative lawmakers — are needed for a leadership challenge vote.

Asked about the attacks directed at her, May said: “It doesn’t distract me. Politics is a tough business and I’ve been in it for a long time.”

Dominic Raab, who quit Thursday as Brexit secretary, said “there is one thing missing and that is political will and resolve.”

“If we cannot close this deal on reasonable terms, we need to be very honest with the country that we will not be bribed and blackmailed or bullied and we will walk away,” he told the Sunday Times.

Many pro-Brexit Conservatives want a clean break with the EU and argue that the close trade ties between the U.K. and the EU called for in the deal would leave Britain a vassal state, with no way to independently disentangle itself from the bloc.

The draft agreement envisions Britain leaving the EU as planned on March 29, but remaining inside the bloc’s single market and bound by its rules until the end of December 2020.

It also commits the two sides to the contentious “backstop” solution, which would keep the U.K. in a customs arrangement with the EU until a permanent trade treaty is worked out. That will serve to guarantee that the border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland remained free of customs checkpoints after Brexit.

Both Britain and the EU want to ensure Northern Ireland’s hard-won peace process isn’t undermined, but reaching an agreement on how to achieve that had long been a key obstacle in the negotiations.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn called the deal a “one-way agreement” in which the EU “calls all the shots.”

He told Sky News Sunday that his party will vote against the deal and demanded that May return to Brussels and renegotiate the divorce agreement.

May’s Conservatives don’t t have a parliamentary majority, and it’s not clear if her deal can successfully pass Parliament.

Raab said that while the agreement was “fatally flawed,” it’s not too late to change that.

“I still think a deal could be done but it is very late in the day now and we need to change course,” he told the BBC.

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FG chief taken to hospital after collapsing at party's Ard Fheis

Fine Gael General Secretary Tom Curran was rushed to hospital yesterday morning after he collapsed on the second day of the party’s Ard Fheis.

Mr Curran took ill just before 9am in the foyer of the Citywest Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin.

A number of Fine Gael members were present when the long-serving secretary general became unwell as the second day of event was about to begin.

It is understood he was in conversation with Fine Gael’s head of research, Terry Murphy and Cork Senator Tim Lombard at the time.

A number of other Fine Gael members were called and asked to provide medical help for Mr Curran as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

These included Dublin Bay South TD Kate O’Connell and Dr Ahmad Jamal, who is in the running for a place on the Fine Gael national executive.

An ambulance arrived soon after and Mr Curran was taken to hospital for further examination. Mr Curran checked out of hospital and returned to the Fine Gael Árd Fheis last night.

Mr Curran has been central to organising Fine Gael conferences and ard-fheiseanna for almost two decades.

In recent months, his focus has been on organising selection conventions for European, local and general election candidates.

Writing in yesterday’s Ard Fheis programme, Mr Curran said: “As we approach the end of the year, we are preparing for the local and European elections which are scheduled to happen in 2019 – and preparing also for a general election, which could happen at any time.

“We must and will be ready. In all three cases, we are dealing with significant boundary changes. “The local elections, in particular, pose a significant challenge, with conventions required in 166 electoral areas. We expect to have the bulk of these completed before the end of the year,” he added.

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Andrea Leadsom tells PM 'more to be done' on draft Brexit deal

Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, appeared to confirm to Sky News that she is among key Brexiteers within the cabinet putting pressure on the PM to rework parts of her agreement.

With her proposed deal continuing to be attacked by a significant number of Conservative MPs, the prime minister is also facing demands to think again from within her top team.

Mrs May will use a live interview with Sky News’ Sophy Ridge tomorrow to push back against her critics and try to sell her draft deal to the public.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will also be appearing on the same programme from 9am on Sunday.

The publication of the proposed agreement this week prompted the resignation of Dominic Raab as Brexit secretary and Esther McVey as work and pensions secretary, with both stating they could not support the terms of the deal.

There were no further cabinet resignations this week, but the remaining Brexiteers at the top of government – dubbed the “pizza club” after the takeaway meals they enjoy while meeting – are understood to have resolved to work together in an attempt to change Mrs May’s deal.

As well as Ms Leadsom, who is said to be organising the group’s gatherings to discuss tactics, their number also includes Environment Secretary Michael Gove, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Ms Leadsom, who stood against Mrs May during the Tory leadership contest in 2016, pointed towards the plan on Saturday.

EU leaders are scheduled to gather in Brussels on 25 November to sign off on the draft Brexit deal, but Ms Leadsom insisted there is still an opportunity to continue to look at the terms of the agreement.

She told Sky News: “I’m absolutely determined to support the prime minister in getting the best possible deal for the UK as we leave the EU.

“There is still more to be done and we do still have more time before the EU Council at the end of the month.

“So, yes, I’m absolutely committed to getting the Brexit that 17.4million people voted for.”

However, speaking in Dublin on Saturday, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned the cabinet group they would have little success in altering the terms of the draft Brexit deal.

“The same UK government, of which they are members, signed off on this agreement only this week,” he said.

Mr Varadkar added: “I don’t see much scope for renegotiation or changes to what’s been agreed.

“There are lots of countries who have interests, lots of countries who have concerns and once you start to make amendments, others want amendments too.

“And you could find very quickly the whole thing unravels.This is an agreement that the negotiators came to last week.

“It’s already been agreed to by the UK government – let’s not forget that – the UK government made that decision at a cabinet meeting during the week.

“I anticipate the European Council will come to the same decision next Sunday.”

There are 22 Tory MPs who have publicly declared, or confirmed to Sky News, they have submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister in the hope of triggering a vote on her leadership.

One of those wanting Mrs May to stand down, Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh, also warned cabinet ministers they would have little success in attempting to change the prime minister’s draft Brexit deal.

He told Sky News: “The scale of the unhappiness in the country and in the party is massive. This is a deal that hasn’t got a chance of going through parliament.

“With respect to my colleagues who are trying to amend it after the fact of their agreement to it, I don’t think it’s amendable in a sufficiently different way.”

:: Watch the prime minister and Jeremy Corbyn on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday tomorrow at 9am.

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Trump Proposes a New Way Around Birth Control Mandate: Religious Exemptions and Title X

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is making it easier for employers to exclude birth control from health insurance benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act, and it has come up with a new justification, saying that female employees can obtain contraceptives at family planning clinics for low-income people.

That, in turn, could increase demand for clinic services, which are already squeezed. The plan is one of several recent proposals that could affect access to birth control, such as requiring the physical separation of services at clinics and strict new rules about insurance payments.

The health law generally requires employers to cover preventive health services, and the government says those include contraceptives for women. Under final rules published this past week, employers can obtain an exemption if they object to some or all forms of contraception based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs” or moral convictions.

In a separate proposed rule, the Trump administration said that women denied contraceptive coverage by their employers would be eligible for the family planning program created by Congress in 1970 under Title X of the Public Health Service Act.

Clinics in that program serve four million people a year, primarily low-income women and adolescents. Clinics must give priority to members of low-income families, defined as those with annual incomes less than or equal to the poverty level ($20,780 for a family of three).

Demand for clinic services already exceeds what can be provided with the available funds, $286.5 million a year.

Under the Trump administration’s proposal, some women would be eligible for free contraceptives regardless of their income.

The proposed rule says that “a woman can be considered from a ‘low-income family’ if she has health insurance coverage through an employer” that, for religious or moral reasons, refuses to cover the contraceptives she seeks.

Administration officials said the proposed rule, issued by Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, would meet the needs of women while deflecting legal challenges to the president’s birth control policy.

The proposed rule will “preserve conscience protections” for employers and provide free or low-cost family planning services for women who need them, the administration said.

But Clare Coleman, the president and chief executive of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, which represents many clinics, said the proposal would “hijack Title X programs and use their limited federal funds to subsidize employers’ refusal to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement.”

Groups that have fought the contraceptive coverage mandate, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns, praised the policy.

“It shows that the government has ways of delivering contraceptive services without conscripting the Little Sisters of the Poor to help,” said Mark L. Rienzi, the president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the nuns in several court cases.

Gregory S. Baylor, a lawyer at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group, said: “With these regulations, President Trump kept his promise that people of faith would not be bullied on his watch. At the same time, contraceptives will remain readily available to those who wish to use them.”

The latest moves by the administration will face close scrutiny after Democrats take control of the House in January.

Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, has tried to block the new family planning rule. Her efforts were stymied by Republicans this year, but Ms. Lowey is in line to become the chairwoman of the committee next year, giving her more leverage over the administration.

Federal law, unchanged since 1970, says that Title X funds cannot be used in “programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” The current rules, adopted by the Clinton administration in 2000, say that clinics must give pregnant women an opportunity to receive information and counseling on prenatal care, infant care, adoption and “pregnancy termination.”

The Trump administration has proposed sweeping changes to those rules to “ensure that federal funds are not used to fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.”

Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, has criticized the move, saying “the Trump administration is working furiously to turn back the clock on women’s rights.”

President Trump has also proposed eliminating the requirement for clinics to provide abortion-related information, counseling and referrals on request. As a result, the administration said, Title X funds would be available to “health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion-related activity such as counseling and referrals.”

Under the current rules, clinics that receive Title X funds must provide a broad range of “medically approved family planning methods.” The Trump administration’s proposal would delete the words “medically approved.” The proposal also makes clear that clinics would not have to provide every effective method of contraception.

In contrast, insurers and employer-sponsored health plans are generally required to cover all forms of contraception that have been approved for women by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Trump administration is also proposing stringent rules to require the physical separation of family planning and abortion services at clinics that offer both. Federal health officials estimate that 10 percent to 20 percent of Title X sites do not comply and would have to spend an average of $20,000 each to meet the proposed requirement.

Mr. Trump would like to go even further. His goal, he told an anti-abortion group in May, was to “prohibit Title X funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers are allowed to cover abortions but cannot use federal money to help pay for the coverage. Insurers are allowed to send consumers a single monthly bill itemizing the amount of the premium earmarked for abortion and for other coverage, and consumers can pay the entire premium with one check.

The Trump administration proposed this month to tighten requirements for separate billing and payment. Insurers would have to send the bills in separate envelopes with separate postage, or in separate emails, and consumers would be instructed to make separate payments by check or electronic funds transfer.

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Evangelicals, Looking to 2020, Face the Limits of Their Base

WASHINGTON — After Democrats delivered a resounding counterpunch to President Trump at the polls, one of his most reliable voting blocs — social conservatives — now faces the repercussions of its uncompromising support for Mr. Trump’s agenda.

That result is mixed: Social conservatives are celebrating a slightly expanded Republican majority in the Senate, which advances their top priority, confirming conservative judges, as well as their anti-abortion rights agenda. But steep Republican losses in the House, particularly in suburban areas, have some strategists reflecting on how to proceed as they pivot their efforts to re-electing Mr. Trump in 2020.

“Social conservatives need to maximize turnout from the base and expand the map by stressing the softer side of the faith agenda: education reform, immigration and criminal justice reform, and anti-poverty measures,” said Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which has extensive outreach to conservative evangelicals in battlegrounds across the country.

“This will help with suburban women, millennials and minorities,” he said.

That approach, if followed, would be a stark departure from the issues social conservatives have championed since they wed themselves to Mr. Trump as a candidate. The Republicans’ white, religiously conservative base has motivated its troops for Mr. Trump around opposition to abortion rights, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court and support for Israel.

This cycle, that strategy largely worked on the Senate level, but was not enough to stem Republican losses in congressional districts, particularly in suburban areas.

[Read about how gains in the Senate heartened social conservatives]

Any meaningful shift is purely conceptual at this point. White evangelicals, more than almost any other constituency, have repeatedly chosen to support Mr. Trump wholeheartedly to advance their cultural priorities, despite occasionally bristling at his character and approach to race, immigration and women.

When the administration separated immigrant children from their families at the border, for example, some white evangelical leaders voiced concern but did not fault Mr. Trump, even as some women in their ranks expressed more discontent.

In this month’s election, three-quarters of white evangelical voters again supported House Republican candidates, on par with the percentage that did so in the previous two midterm cycles, according to national exit polls.

In a divided Congress, social conservatives have little hope of advancing their legislative priorities, like ending Planned Parenthood funding or banning abortion after 20 weeks. But many are instead emphasizing their success at the judicial level and seem only minimally interested in adjusting their focus.

“If you ask social conservative voters, would you be willing to accept Nancy Pelosi as speaker for two more Supreme Court justices, I suspect they would make that trade,” said Dan Schnur, a former longtime Republican strategist who is now an Independent. “A short-term congressional loss for social conservatives is almost certainly offset by a long-term judicial gain.”

In today’s polarized political environment, reaching out to the middle is also not as effective as playing to one’s base, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian activist group.

“Very few people anymore are in the middle,” he said. “Barack Obama brought us to this point more quickly because of the extreme policies that he pushed. Trump, with the support of evangelicals, has worked to move the pendulum back.”

Asked about dissatisfaction among some women, young people and nonwhite voters who could continue to erode the edges of the evangelical base, Mr. Perkins said he was not worried. “I’m not saying there’s not a need to pay attention to that, but it’s not like that is going to be the deciding factor,” he said.

Even though some of the places where Republicans lost, including in Arizona, Nevada and areas of the Midwest, are not traditional social conservative strongholds, some on the religious right do not see Democratic pickups as long term.

For Mr. Perkins, Martha McSally lost her Senate race in Arizona, for example, because she was not conservative enough and the base did not see her as a champion for its causes.

In Florida, where a dramatic recount is playing out in the Senate race, white evangelicals increased their share of the electorate, from 21 percent in 2016 to 29 percent this year, according to exit polls, and their share also increased in Missouri and Indiana, though by smaller amounts.

In Iowa, where Democrats unseated two Republican representatives, Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader, a conservative evangelical group based in the state, praised evangelicals for showing up “in force” for the races that mattered most. Republicans kept control of the governorship and the statehouse, he pointed out, enabling them to advance anti-abortion policies locally.

“We wanted to ensure that the sanctity of life was positioned to win,” he said, noting that his group focuses on state-level races.

But Mr. Vander Plaats also said it might be important to learn from the signals voters sent to Washington of dissatisfaction over Mr. Trump’s tone and the country’s divisiveness, even as they want to continue his policies.

“If we are going to be successful in 2020, we are going to have to thread that needle,” he said.

In Mississippi, where Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican, faces a runoff, the social conservative voter mobilization effort is largely absent, a sign they are confident the G.O.P. will hold the seat.

Though sizable, social conservatives are just one part of the Republican base; for others, this election is a reminder that their party’s future, and its internal fractures, remains in question as Mr. Trump and his base continue to redefine the G.O.P.

Social conservatives need to prioritize legislation that appeals to the entirety of the party, not just to special segments, said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a coalition of congressional members who stand for conservative economic and national security policy. Several of the group’s members, including Representatives Jeff Denham, Carlos Curbelo and Steve Knight, lost competitive races last week.

“We hope they would join us in realizing this is how we get back into the majority in the House,” she said of social conservatives. “We cannot afford to lose suburban areas.”

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Edmonton MP threatens legal action against Twitter users accusing him of having links to well-known racist

The Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Griesbach has threatened to take some Twitter users to court after they accused him of being a racist for associating with a far-right political commentator.

Bashir Mohamed, a 23-year-old Edmonton man who describes himself as an “active citizen,” received a notice from MP Kerry Diotte’s lawyer that said if the two tweets listed in the letter weren’t retracted by 5 p.m. MST on Nov. 7, 2018, further legal action would be taken.

In the tweets, Mohamed pointed out Diotte’s relationship with political commentator Faith Goldy, highlighting past social media posts the MP has made in support of the former Toronto mayoral candidate.

Goldy is a former reporter for The Rebel. She was fired by the far-right online media outlet after appearing on The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi podcast. She was also a candidate for mayor in Toronto’s recent municipal election.

Mohamed’s tweets referenced a pair of pictures that show Diotte with Goldy in February 2017 and May 2016.

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Mohamed told 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen Show that what he wrote came out of frustration over Diotte’s refusal to distance himself from Goldy or denounce her views.

“When I got this letter, it was a bit interesting because I knew that he was seeing this criticism and he was seeing people asking to explain these tweets.”

On Nov. 5, Mohamed said he received the notice from Diotte’s lawyer.

“You know such statements to be inflammatory and untrue,” the notice reads. “You are also fully aware of the danger of releasing such libelous and slanderous statements on a medium such as Twitter, given the ability of your statements to be replicated and rebroadcasted by others.”

Listen below: Bashir Mohamed on The Ryan Jespersen Show

Mohamed said he has retained his own legal representation and is committed to seeing this through.

“Politically, I think it’s kind of awkward for there to be a long court case where Diotte has to explain why he’s not a racist,” Mohamed said. “I think it just looks bad for them politically. But… I don’t think they were expecting someone to be committed to, you know, challenge them.”

At least one other Edmontonian — 22-year-old Haiqa Cheema — has received the same letter from Diotte’s lawyer. She also posted a tweet calling Diotte a racist.

Mohamed said he’s not going to back down.

“I don’t know if he’s listening, but if you are — Kerry Diotte — I am 100-per-cent committed to walk this path with you and to see you in court if that’s what you decide to do. But I also hope that you at least take down those tweets, or acknowledge them, because you used to be my MP and I just hope that we can have some better representation.”

Mohamed said the deadline to retract his tweets has come and gone, and so far he hasn’t received a followup from either Diotte or his lawyer, Arthur Hamilton.

Global News has reached out to Diotte, Hamilton and Goldy for a response and so far has not received a reply.

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House ethics panel censures two lawmakers in misconduct probes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee on Friday censured one lawmaker for sexually harassing women and another for mishandling accusations of sexual misconduct against his chief of staff.

The panel found Democratic Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, who did not run for re-election and will not be in the new Congress that is seated in January, had sexually harassed women.

Three women testified Kihuen made unwanted physical and verbal advances from 2013 to 2017. Although Kihuen denied the allegations, the panel said it had found the women credible.

“It saddens me greatly to think I made any woman feel that way due to my own immaturity and overconfidence. I extend my sincere apologies to each of these women,” Kihuen said in an emailed statement.

The ethics panel separately said Republican Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, leader of the conservative breakaway group known as the House Freedom Caucus, failed to act adequately upon complaints from female staff members about his then-chief of staff, Kenny West, in 2013 and 2014.

The staffers said West stared at them inappropriately, touched them when it was not wanted and made unprofessional comments. The panel found Meadows had paid West for two months after he stopped working and ordered the congressman to repay $40,625.

Meadows’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and West could not immediately be reached for comment.

The House and Senate have not yet finalized legislation intended to boost protections for congressional staffers facing workplace harassment.

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