Iran attempted missile launch from submarine on Tuesday

Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a submarine in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, two US officials tell Fox News.

The missile test failed, according to both officials.

An Iranian Yono-class “midget” submarine conducted the missile launch.   North Korea and Iran are the only two countries in the world that operate this type of submarine.

In February, Iran claimed to have successfully tested a submarine-launched missile.   It is not immediately clear if Tuesday’s test was the first time Iran had attempted to launch a missile underwater from a submarine.

In 2015, North Korea conducted a successful ballistic missile test from a submarine for the first time. 

Hillary Clinton Speaks at Women's Issues Forum

In her most far-ranging remarks since losing the election in November, Hillary Clinton is speaking out. 

The former Secretary of State spoke at a women's issues forum saying that interference by a certain country was in fact costly to her election run, but that ultimately she was responsible for her loss.

Secretary Clinton also said that FBI Director James Comey and Wikileaks documents hurt her campaign and had the election been held on October 28th she would be the one in the White House today.

Secretary Clinton also noted that hours after the Trump/Access Hollywood tape broke, Wikileaks posted its Podesta emails and noting she doubted it was a coincidence. 

Mrs. Clinton went after President Trump saying there was a clear pattern in what her then-opponent was saying and what Russia was saying at the time.

Clinton ended the interview by mocking Trump's foreign policy on Twitter and noted she is now part of the resistance.

 

Heritage Foundation releases statement on Jim DeMint


Thomas A. Saunders III, chairman of The Heritage Foundation's Board of Trustees, released the following statement to the Heritage staff about a leadership change at the organization:
 
The Heritage Foundation's Board of Trustees, by a unanimous vote, has asked for and received the resignation of Jim DeMint as president and CEO of the organization. The Board elected Heritage Founder Ed Feulner as president and CEO while we conduct a thorough search for his successor.
 
After a comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization, the Board determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation. While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.
 
This was a difficult and necessary decision for the Board to take. As trustees, we have governance and oversight responsibilities for this organization and our 500,000 members.  We were compelled to take action.
 
Heritage has never been about one individual, but rather the power of conservative ideas. Heritage is bigger than any one person.
 
As Chairman of the Board, I wholeheartedly endorse this change. It will make Heritage stronger in the short term and the long run.
 
Heritage is a permanent policy research institution fighting for conservative ideas, as Ed Feulner often reminds us. We remain committed, as ever, to the principles that have made America great: free enterprise; limited government; individual freedom; traditional American values; and a strong national defense. This will continue under the leadership of Ed and his successor.
 
Feulner led Heritage for more than three decades and returns to our organization after serving on President Trump's transition team. There is no one better to guide the ship while we seek our new leader and continue to push for conservative ideas and policies in Washington and around the nation.
 
As conservatives, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us to restore the principles of the American founding. You and the 500,000 Americans who donate to support Heritage have played a crucial role in making our work possible, and I look forward to working with you in the future. As we move forward, the Board of Trustees will be seeking your thoughts and input about our search for the next leader of Heritage.
 
Thanks to your support, our scholars have shaped public policy in a firmly conservative direction for the last 44 years and will continue to do so in the future.
 
I regret not being able to let you know sooner about this change. While we were trying to resolve this matter amicably, we honored our side of the bargain to remain silent.
 
I wanted to ensure that the Board's decision was final before alerting you. Unfortunately, the media ran with speculation about this story before the facts could be disclosed. As a loyal Heritage supporter, I hope that you will understand the reasons that compelled these changes and stand with us in this time of transition.
 
Thank you for all your support and dedication to the conservative cause.
 
Sincerely,
 
Thomas A. Saunders III
Chairman, Board of Trustees
The Heritage Foundation
 

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Omnibus and Health Care This Week in the House

Reporting By Chad Pergram-Capitol Hill

 
Here is the latest on the state of play on the omnibus spending bill and the health care bill.
 
The omnibus seems to be moving. Some conservatives have issues with it. Republicans will need help from Democrats to approve the bill. It's unclear if the GOP will be able to score a "majority of the majority (the so-called and ill-named "Hastert Rule"). Regardless, that bill goes the House Rules Committee tomorrow and to the floor Wednesday in the House. The Senate will handle the bill to fund the government either later in the day Wednesday or Thursday, ahead of the 11:59:59 pm et Friday funding deadline.
 
As such, the House appears to be reserving Thursday as the day to handle the health care measure on the floor..if they can.
 
One source said they were "confident" there would be a vote Thursday. But the same source said they were "not as confident" the bill would pass. 
 
Fox is told they are getting closer. But they are still short. One senior House Republican source expressed concern about the White House predicting when the House may vote…but was even more exasperated by word from the White House that they were five to six votes short. 
 
"You don't announce a whip count. You just don't," said the source. 
 
The whip tally on any major issue is an extremely closely held figure…often just between the whip and a couple of key staffers or other members. Several sources on Capitol Hill openly contested that the vote tally was truly that close. Of the White House, one Republican source said "They just don't know."
 
Moreover, Republicans leadership sources point out that they need more than just one vote to win. They need several. That's because they don't want anyone to be able to point to a given member as casting the deciding vote on health care. Moreover, you always need a cushion, and a handful of "in case of emergency, break glass" votes to bail out the leadership should a vote begin to go sideways. 
 
Republicans want to be ultra-confident that they have the votes on this before they put it on the floor.
 
As to sticking around later this week or next? Fox is told the GOP believes it could actually lose votes..because lawmakers sit around for a few days with nothing to do. So, they may be prepared to wait until later in May to advance the bill if they aren't ready this week. 
 
Republicans are very leery about calling a vote and then having the measure fail on the floor. There are some theories on Capitol Hill now that the GOP should just roll the dice and go with it. But, as they say in the movies, "You play a dangerous game, Mr. Bond." If they call a vote and it fails, they can't put the genie back in the bottle. Moreover, the House GOPers are considering this health care plan under special budget reconciliation rules. Budget reconciliation doesn't mean a lot in the House. But it means EVERYTHING in the Senate. It allows the Senate to sidestep filibusters. THE ONLY WAY THE SENATE CAN PASS A HEALTH CARE BILL IS UNDER BUDGET RECONCILIATION. If the House goes to a roll call vote and fails..they have burned that reconciliation package. You only get one per year. This reconciliation package is technically the one from last year. The GOP needs to reserve "this year's" reconciliation package to do tax reform. 
 
Vice President Pence came to the Capitol tonight to talk to a number of lawmakers. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) huddled with members in a separate office, known as the "Board of Education." So named, the "Board of Education" suite is where legendary House Speaker Sam Rayburn (R-TX) often summoned lawmakers for "bourbon and branchwater" and to "educate" them as to how they should vote. 
 
Ryan spoke at length on the House floor with Rep. Billy Long (R-MO). Long is a no vote..and very conservative. He would be a key member to watch for potential movement. Other members to keep an eye on are Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, JAY-mee herr-AIR-uh BUTT-lerr) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). If any or all of those members flip to yes, that could be a good signal that the GOP has the votes to pass the bill. 
 
It should also be noted that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), out for foot surgery..but not yet resigned..plans to return this week. That helps the cause. 
 
So, all eyes should be on Thursday. 
 

New Fox News Polls: Trump's Handling of Key Issues

By Dana Blanton

A Fox News Poll taken as the Trump administration nears its 100-day milestone gives mixed messages to the president.

President Trump’s job ratings are underwater by three percentage points.  Currently 45 percent approve of the job he’s doing.  That’s down slightly from the 48 percent approval he received when he first took office -- and far below Barack Obama’s 62 percent approval and George W. Bush’s 63 percent approval at this same point in their presidencies. 

Trump’s victory came from voters’ desire for change -- a big part of which was “draining the swamp.”  Yet only 43 percent think the president is succeeding in bringing real change to Washington.  More, 50 percent, say he’s failing.  

Some 46 percent think Trump is keeping his campaign promises in general, while 44 percent disagree

By a 23-point margin, voters say the United States is less respected rather than more respected compared to one year ago (52 percent less vs. 29 percent more). 

That all leads to over half feeling “discouraged” (51 percent) rather than “encouraged” (45 percent) about the next four years.

It also leads some to tune out.  During the first few weeks of the new administration, 52 percent said they were paying more attention to politics (February 2017).  That’s 33 percent now.

Vice President Mike Pence outperforms his boss:  50 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing, while 33 percent disapprove.  Sixteen percent are unable to rate him.

Roughly equal numbers of Republicans approve of Pence (85 percent) and Trump (86 percent).

The new poll has positive news for the White House, too.

Two-thirds of voters approve of Trump using airstrikes to punish Syria for chemical weapons (67 percent). 

The number saying the economy is in “poor” shape is lower than it’s been in more than a decade. 

By an 18-point margin, 52-34 percent, voters see the nation’s job situation improving -- the first time since 2004 that more than half say so.

By a 5-point margin they say it feels like the economy is getting better rather than worse for their family (42-37 percent), and more voters think Trump’s policies are helping the economy rather than hurting it (37 percent vs. 25 percent).

On terrorism, 38 percent think the president’s actions are making the country safer, while 34 percent say less safe. 

Although 53 percent of voters are dissatisfied with the country’s direction, 45 percent are happy with the way things are going -- the highest satisfaction rating since October 2012. 

Satisfaction dropped 46 points among Democrats since the White House changed parties in November -- and jumped 58 points among Republicans. 

Most Republicans also feel encouraged by what they’ve seen to date (84 percent), think Trump is keeping his promises (80 percent), and that he’s succeeding at bringing real change (76 percent).

The president’s best job ratings are on handling ISIS (54-37 percent), terrorism (51-43 percent), and the economy (48-44 percent).  He gets lower ratings for his handling of taxes (40-44 percent), foreign policy (43-49 percent), and immigration (44-54 percent). 

His worst ratings come on health care, where he’s underwater by 21 points (35-56 percent).

Folks want Washington to work on health care.  When asked to pick between reforming the tax system and fixing the health care system, 71 percent prioritize health care.  Just 26 percent say taxes.  Among Trump voters, nearly twice as many say health care tops taxes (64-33 percent).

What do voters want to do with Obamacare?  Over half want all or at least part of the law repealed, while a sizable minority wants the law kept in place or expanded. 

The economy remains the most important issue facing the country.  Twenty-two percent feel that way.  After that, there’s a group of four issues prioritized by about 1-in-10 voters:  health care (13 percent), terrorism (12 percent), climate change (8 percent), and foreign policy (8 percent). 

Of the ten issues on the list, “taxes” comes in last at three percent. 

Fully 80 percent of voters want Trump to succeed -- even if they didn’t vote for him in November.  That nearly matches the 84 percent who felt that way about Obama in his first year.  (The numbers are about the same even among the opposing party:  63 percent of Democrats want Trump to succeed, while it was 67 percent of Republicans for Obama in 2009.)

An overwhelming majority remains happy with their 2016 vote for president, whether they backed Hillary Clinton (95 percent satisfied) or Trump (97 percent satisfied). 

Some 36 percent of voters would vote to re-elect Trump.  Fifty-five percent wouldn’t, including 47 percent who say they’d “definitely” vote for someone else. 

Among Trump voters, 49 percent would definitely re-elect him. 

For comparison, 64 percent of Obama voters said they’d definitely re-elect him in 2009, and his overall re-elect number was 52 percent at this stage.  

But Congressional elections happen first, and Democrats hold the advantage there.  The poll finds that by a 47-42 percent margin, voters back the Democratic candidate in their House district over the Republican candidate.

Among Trump voters, five percent would switch to the Democratic Party in the midterms, while 87 percent would vote for the GOP candidate. 

Meanwhile, 42 percent of voters say Congress should keep investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but over half, 57 percent, say it’s time to move on.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,009 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 23-25, 2017.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.s.

Benson: Buyer's Remorse Aside, Voters still Don't want Hillary Clinton

Guy Benson, political editor of Townhall.com, told viewers on Monday's "Special Report with Bret Baier"  that if Americans are changing their tune about President Trump, it probably still has to do with his then-opponent. 

A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that if voters had a do-over today, even more would vote for Donald Trump, with 43% choosing the current White House occupant and only 40% choosing Hillary Clinton.  

Benson said "you would get a sense from the coverage that there is massive widespread buyers' remorse with President Trump and this poll suggests that that's just not the case."

Benson, a Fox News contributor, stated that certain obstacles still cloud things for the president.   "The Russia stuff is interesting," Benson said.  "It ought to be investigated," he continued. 

The Townhall.com editor said that some disgruntled voters look at FBI Director James Comey's investigation into the former Secretary of State's private e-mail server as foul play but any loss really lies with the candidates themselves. 

Benson explained "I think that what we're seeing now that even with a very controversial president whose numbers in that poll, internally, not very good would still defeat Mrs. Clinton."  As for the new poll numbers,  "maybe she was just a really lousy candidate and people still recognize that," Benson said. 

Steve Hayes: "Trump Administration is going to take on Iran as a threat"

Steve Hayes, Editor and Chief of the Weekly Standard said Thursday on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that the Trump administration is taking a whole new approach to the threat from Iran.  "The Trump administration is going to take on Iran as a threat looking at the nuclear program, looking at terrorism, looking at what it's doing in the region."  Hayes added,  "remember the Obama administration had this chosen, this deliberate policy of decoupling the nuclear talks from everything else Iran does. You heard in Rex Tillerson's comments yesterday, you've heard from other people in the administration, that's over, that's not happening anymore."   Trump has vowed to take a look at the Iran Nuclear deal, which was put in place by the Obama administration.  However, Hayes said the Trump administration is sending mixed messages.  "The reason for it is Iran, as part of this deal got the goods, got the rewards for the deal early and now it's about compliance.  so if the administration tears up the deal Iran has already gotten much of what it took to sign the deal and the United States and people would keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon now want to test the compliance." 

 

NoKo failed missile is KN-17, new type of Scud, US officials tell Fox

By Lucas Tomlinson

U.S. officials tell Fox News the failed North Korean missile was a KN-17, a new type of Scud, which could be used to target ships similar to the one launched earlier this month days before Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

“The only way a Scud gets a new designation is if it is substantially different,” said Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

The KN-17 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile -- not the three-stage, solid-fuel missile that North Korea successfully tested back in February, which caused more concern among Pentagon officials.

Monday, the Pentagon announced it was conducting a new nuclear posture review, two days after North Korea failed to launch a new type of ballistic missile, which exploded four seconds after launch.

The latest failed test over the weekend occurred hours before Vice President Pence touched down in Seoul. On Monday, he visited the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South and warned the rogue communist regime against conducting further tests.

"There was a period of strategic patience. But the era of strategic patience is over. President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out, and we want to see change,'' Pence said.

Aside from the rumblings out of North Korea, Russia recently deployed a ground-based, nuclear-capable cruise missile in violation of a decades-long arms treaty between Washington and Moscow, drawing condemnation from Capitol Hill lawmakers. The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and the then-Soviet Union required complete “destruction” of ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,418 miles and support equipment by 1990. 

On Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland on “Fox News Sunday” if the U.S. played a role in North Korea’s failed test launch over the weekend.

“You know we can't talk about secret intelligence and things that might have been done, covert operations that might have happened. So, I really have no comment on that, and nor should I,” McFarland said.

She added, “I do think we are entering a whole new era, not just with North Korea, but with everybody, with any country, major country, we are entering a cyber platform, a cyber battlefield.”

Krauthammer on Russian Involvement in Syria

Fox News Contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Russia’s continued support of the Assad regime in Syria is “not an affection for Assad or Syria, but because as a result of their involvement, they now have a naval base in the warm water Mediterranean, they have active, very powerful airbase in Syria. They have a presence in the Middle East. They are the power.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Moscow on Tuesday as tensions have flared between the United States and Russia over American airstrikes on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for last week’s chemical weapons attack in Idlib province. The Kremlin has denied suggestions that the Syrian government led by President Bashar al Assad may have been behind the attack.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin went so far as to suggest that Assad was being framed for the chemical weapons attack, saying “"We have intelligence from various sources that similar provocations are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including southern suburbs of Damascus, where they are planning to plant chemicals and blame the Syrian government for using them."

Before arriving in Moscow, Secretary Tillerson reaffirmed the need for regime change in Syria, and criticized Russia for failing to live up to its  obligation in Russian government brokered a deal to remove chemical weapons from Syria saying “ I hope that what the Russian Government concludes is that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad….The Assad regime, the Iranians and Hezbollah -  is that a long term alliance that serves Russia's interests?”

Krauthammer noted that it may be foolish for an American Secretary of State to lecture Russia on its own best interests: “They have displaced the united states, and their entire foreign policy under Putin is to recover the glory and the territory and the influence of the old Soviet Union one piece at a time and it does that by taking away from the United States. It's a zero sum game.

“So, the idea that we're going to persuade them it's not in your interest to stay with Iran and Hezbollah and Assad, who are we to say, of course it's in the Russian interest, they have succeeded in doing it and unless we show them a reason to abandon it, they are not going to leave. “

North Korean Nuclear Threat

By Jake Smith

In 80 days of the Trump Administration, the regime of North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un has launched about half a dozen missiles. In response to the latest test, the USS Carl Vinson has navigated from its destination in Australia to the waters off of the Korean Peninsula.

“Carl Vinson Strike Group, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia,” according to a release by Admiral Harry Harris, Commander United States Pacific Command.

President Donald Trump has called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to assist in diminishing the threat from North Korea. Trump on Tuesday said North Korea “is looking for trouble” and has vowed to “solve the problem without” China.

“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem,” Trump tweeted hinting that a favorable US-China trade agreement could emerge if cooperation between the two powers to de-escalate the North Korean threat is successful.

China has responded by placing a total of 150,000 troops along the Chinese-North Korean border, signaling Chinese officials are attempting to deter a strike against the regime similar to the Syrian airstrike committed last week by the US, according to reports.

This all comes after President Trump’s exclusive interview the Financial Times last month where he said, “China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” Trump said. “And if they do, that will be very good for China. And if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone. If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”

"Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theater but also in the U.S. mainland," North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said to the country in response to the USS Carl Vinson.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea’s acting President, has warned Pyongyang will “wage greater provocations such as a nuclear test timed with various anniversaries.” The next nuclear test could happen as soon as April 15, the anniversary of the communist country’s founding according to reports by The Wall Street Journal. 

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