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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s 2015 Video Refutes Chief of Staff Kelly’s Allegations

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A video released Friday shows White House Chief of Staff John Kelly should have fact-checked himself before he accused Florida Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of bragging about securing money for her district during a 2015 ceremony devoted to a pair of slain FBI agents.

The  April 15, 2015, video remarks by Rep. Frederica Wilson in contrast to Kelly’s account shows she praised the agents at the center of the dedication ceremony for the new FBI field office in Miramar. The video posted Friday by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel shows Wilson never took credit for the tax dollars that went into the project — as Kelly stated Thursday in the White House briefing room.

The White House countered the video proof when asked about Kelly’s inaccurate version of Wilson’s 2015 speech, specifically Kelly’s original attack against the four-term congresswoman.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to change the narrative by issuing a statement, with a new take on Kelly’s critique, saying Wilson “shouldn’t have made the naming ceremony about her.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson unveils a plaque dedicating the FBI field office in Miramar on April 15, 2015. José A. Iglesias el Nuevo Herald File Photo

Wilson never mentioned “money” or “constituents” in her 2015 remarks in the video. Washington had already approved the funding for the $194 million complex in Miramar before Wilson was elected to Congress in 2010.

During a press briefing Friday, Sanders claimed Kelly had been referring to off-camera comments allegedly made by Wilson, but gave no proof. When confronted with a reporter’s request that the chief of staff should answer questions about his statements on Thursday, Sanders cautioned the reporter against questioning Kelly on the issue.

“I think that if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate,” Huckabee Sanders said. “There was a lot of grandstanding. He [Kelly] was stunned that she [Wilson] had taken that opportunity to make it about herself.”

The video posted by the Sun-Sentinel shows Wilson, who is recognizing fellow members of Congress in the audience. In her remarks, Wilson touted passing her bill so quickly as “a miracle, to say the least,” thanks to her and colleagues being in “attack mode.” She praised the agents who Kelly said on Thursday had deserved the attention that day.

“Today it is is our patriotic duty to lift up Special Agent Benjamin Grogan and Special Agent Jerry Dove from the streets of South Florida and place their names and pictures high where the world will know that we are proud of their sacrifice, sacrifice for our nation,” she said in the video.

“It is only fitting that their names should be placed on the same mantle with the letters FBI. Because Special Agent Grogan and Dove embody the sacred motto of which the agency has become known. Please repeat it after me: Fidelity. Bravery. And integrity.

Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D) fired back at White House chief of staff John Kelly in an exclusive CNN interview on Friday.

The congresswoman, refuting Kelly’s claims said he lied about her taking credit for securing funding for an FBI field office two years ago.

“I was not even in Congress in 2009 when the money for the building was secured,” Rep. Wilson said on Friday’s CNN’s “New Day.” Driving her point she added… “So that’s a lie. How dare he. However, I named the building at the behest of then-FBI Director James Comey, with the help of then-House Speaker John Boehner, working across party lines. So he didn’t tell the truth.”

Before the exclusive with CNN on Friday’s “New Day”, the congresswoman had already debunked Kelly’s false allegations in a Miami Herald article on Thursday night.

Slamming the congresswoman during the White House press briefing—the chief of staff said he was “stunned” by Wilson’s public comments at the ceremony dedicating the building. Kelly’s allegations of Wilson were centered on an FBI field office in Miramar, Florida. The Miramar office was dedicated to agents Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove, killed during a 1986 shootout with bank robbers south of Miami.

Kelly claimed in the press room briefing that Wilson said: “she got the money” for the new building during the 2015 opening. Photo credit: CBS News

Taking offense to Kelly’s impassioned defense of President Trump, Rep. Wilson said the former Marine general “needs to stop telling lies on me.”

During his remarks Thursday the chief of staff, whose own son was killed while serving in Afghanistan said, “Wilson is an ‘empty barrel’ who makes noise.”

The ongoing exchange between the congresswoman and the White House escalated on Friday after Kelly [in Thursday’s press briefing] denounced Rep. Wilson’s public criticism of President Trump’s comments during a phone call with the widow of fallen soldier Sgt. La David Johnson.

Rep. Wilson criticized Trump during the “New Day” interview on Friday morning for the phone call to the pregnant widow of Green Beret Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four soldiers, killed two weeks ago in Niger, saying it was “not a good message to say to anyone who has lost a child at war.”

Rep. Wilson, a close friend of the family for years, was in the car with Sgt. Johnson’s family when President Trump called on Tuesday. She said that Trump told Sgt. Johnson’s widow that “you know that this could happen when you signed up for it … but it still hurts.”

The aunt of the fallen soldier, Sgt. La David Johnson’s confirmed that the family took President Trump’s remarks on the phone call as disrespectful.

“There’s nothing to misinterpret,” Rep. Wilson said on Friday. “He said what he said; I just don’t agree with it. I just don’t think that’s what you should say to grieving families.”

President Trump accused the congresswoman of flat-out lying and denied Rep. Wilson’s account before Kelly came to his defense, to clarify what he instructed the president to say. Late Thursday, Trump attacked the congresswoman for listening in on the call. Rep. Wilson, was with the Johnson family while traveling to the Miami International Airport to claim Sgt. Johnson’s body.

“The Fake News is going crazy with wacky Congresswoman Wilson (D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!” Trump tweeted on Thursday evening.

Rep. Wilson said on Friday’s “New Day” that she wants to shift the focus on receiving more information on the Niger attack back to the Pentagon.

“My emphasis today is on my constituents’ and helping them lay our hero to rest,” she said. “That’s where my head is today. I’m also concerned about Sgt. La David Johnson and his last moments. I want to know why he was separated from the rest of the soldiers.”

Miramar mayor Wayne Messam, who also spoke at the 2015 FBI dedication ceremony, said Friday that Wilson did not engage in any grandstanding either on or off camera.

“I heard no one give any suggestion that she was grandstanding or even made it about herself,” Messam said. “The thought never even came across my mind until all of this discussion.”

U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger in an ambush, West Africa on Oct. 4, 2017. (Reuters/U.S. Army Special Operations Command handout)

 

By LeNora Millen     10-21-17

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Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired by Morgan Stanley for Alleged Misconduct

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Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired by the financial services firm Morgan Stanley following allegations of misconduct, NBC confirmed on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley declined to say specifically what prompted the firing. The allegations were presented after a woman who was not employed at the firm accused Mr. Ford of acting inappropriately in a professional setting.

Mr. Ford’s termination reported by HuffPost as an exclusive has been challenged by the former Congressman as “false claims.”

Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman, was fired from his position as a managing director at the financial services firm Morgan Stanley for what the company described as behavior “inconsistent with our values.”CreditMike Groll/Associated Press

In a statement provided by his lawyer, Mr. Ford denied the sexual harassment allegations, stating in a tweet on Thursday that he will be bringing legal action against the reporter, for making false claims against him, as well as Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination.

“This simply did not happen,” Mr. Ford wrote. “I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.” He added that socializing with members of the press was part of his job, and said that “false claims like this undermine the real silence breakers.”

Mr. Ford served five terms in Congress as a Democrat representing a Tennessee district after first being elected in 1996—serving as Congressman from 1997 to 207.

He joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and senior client-relationship manager in 2011 as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser at Bank of America.

Amid the heightened scrutiny of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toppling key figures in the entertainment and political arena, Mr. Ford is the latest high profiled man to lose his job in recent days for similar allegations.

Time magazine on Wednesday named the “Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year. They shared personal stories about harassment and assault and sparked the #MeToo movement.

According to Time, the #MeToo became a hashtag, a movement, a reckoning. But it began, as great social change nearly always does, with individual acts of courage.

In a tweet acknowledging his thoughts on the “Silence Breaker” quite pointed in his statement, Mr. Ford said the following in regards to news of his firing on Thursday, “This simply did not happen.  I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.”

In another tweet, Mr. Ford spoke about his professional demeanor and his tremendous respect for the brave women speaking out “in this important national dialogue.”  Mr. Ford was pointed in stating that false claims alleged against him “undermine the real “Silence Breakers.”

Mr. Ford appeared as a frequent guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” MSNBC – which is owned by NBC 4 New York’s parent company.

“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr.,” a spokeswoman for MSNBC said. “During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”

LeNora Millen            12-7-17

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s Morning Show ‘News One Now’

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TV One is canceling Roland Martin’s morning show “News One Now,” Roland made the announcement in a tweet Wednesday.

“Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year,” Martin tweeted.

Martin, who thanked audiences for their support, said the last episode will air on Dec. 21.

Roland Martin’s morning show “NewsOne Now” was cancelled due to budget cuts according to various reports from reliable sources.

“They called a meeting on Wednesday and told the staff they were canceling the show. They’re having significant financial problems and they have to scale back,” a source said. “After four years of award-winning programming and distinguished service to our viewers as the only black daily newscast on television, the network has made the difficult decision to suspend the production of NewsOne Now as a daily morning news show. The last live show is scheduled [Dec. 21],” TV One’s interim GM, Michelle Rice wrote in a memo.

Host of “News One Now” Roland Martin speaks on stage during ColorofChange.org 10 Year Anniversary Gala. (Rob Kim/Getty Images for ColorOfChange)

The news of “NewsOne Now” cancellation shocked Martin and staffers according to sources. The network had recently expanded the morning show to two hours in September.

The memo added: “While we will continue our long-standing partnership with Roland Martin to ensure his important voice can be heard across all Urban One platforms examining issues of importance to the black community, we regret this decision adversely affects several of our valued colleagues whose positions will be eliminated with the suspension of the show.”

The network issued a statement on Twitter that read, “We are committed to providing quality news to our viewers and to our long-standing relationship with @rolandsmartin #NewsOneNow who will continue to have a voice on #TVOne.”

LeNora Millen         12-07-17

 

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Editor Picks

President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

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Why declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is so controversial?

The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If the United States declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it would be seen as prejudging that question, deciding an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations and breaking with the international consensus on the holy city.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital also moves the United States one major step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.

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