Fox First: Russian fighter jet crashes near its aircraft carrier in E Mediterranean Sea, US officials

Per Lucas Tomlinson

A Russian fighter jet crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after launching from its aircraft carrier near the coast of Syria Sunday, two US officials tell Fox News.

Three Russian MiG-29 fighter jets took off from their Soviet-era aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, and flew in the direction of Syria.  But once airborne, one of the Russian jets appeared to have mechanical difficulties and turned around in the direction of the aircraft carrier.  The Russian jet splashed down in the water while attempting to land.  A Russian rescue helicopter picked up a parachute and the pilot.  The status of the pilot is not clear to U.S. intelligence officials.

The MiG-29 was designed in the late 70s to counter the US Air Force’s F-15 and F-16.  It entered service in the early 1980s.

The news of the crash comes a day after Russian state-media said it is preparing its long range Tu-95 and Tu-160 long-range bombers for imminent strike missions in Syria.  

The Russian Tu-95 “Bear” and Tu-160 “Blackjack,” according to their NATO call signs, have been operating in Syria since 2015 and are based at Engels Air Force base in southern Russia near Kazakhstan.  The Blackjack is a supersonic variable-sweep wing long range bomber.   The Blackjack is a more advanced bomber than its 1950s-era Bear counterpart, which is propeller driven.  

 

DHS Secy Johnson: Updated U.S. terrorism bulletin to remain largely unchanged

Reporting via Matt Dean:

On the latest National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin which DHS will release tomorrow, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson read from the bulletin saying that DHS's basic assessment is that not much has changed from the last assessment. DHS remains concerned about homegrown violent extremists and their ability to attack the U.S. homeland with little or no notice. Johnson added that the most recent events in NYC and NJ reinforce this assessment and noted that the public continues to be of utmost importance in identifying and mitigating threats. 

On election cybersecurity and cyber events that occurred over the course of the election, Johnson said that there were "minor incidents here and there" but nothing significant. He repeated that he and the intelligence community have a great deal of confidence in the security of election infrastructure. Johnson also reiterated his joint statement with DNI Clapper in October attributing certain politically motivated hacking of U.S. interests back to the Russian government. 

On the issue of immigration and border security and how the incoming administration might grapple with these issues, Johnson said that it is already DHS's priority to remove convicted criminals and to deport those apprehended at the border. He added that through his time at DHS ICE's enforcement and removal force has focused more on criminals, noting fewer deportations but that a higher percentage of those deported are convicted criminals. 

Asked to react to Trump's position that would result in the deportation of roughly 3 million people, Johnson attempted to put that figure into perspective saying that that's "the population of Chicago - a lot of people." He added that with anything  you do of that magnitude, "you've got to get funding from Congress." Johnson added that "right now, we're focused on public safety threats."

Ongoing FBI Investigation and Clarification of Reporting

Carlson: Polls are moving away from Clinton

Tucker Carlson, host of Fox and Friends Weekend told viewers on Special Report with Bret Baier that Hillary Clinton's poll numbers are "getting away from her" in light of the FBI reviving a probe of the former first lady's email server.

Normally candidates make their closing arguments in the final week as voters cast their ballots but Donald Trump's political chance has been reinvigorated after last Friday's October bombshell.

"It doesn't mean she's going to lose. But this is not going according to plan," Carlson said. "It's moving in very unexpected way."

The former secretary of state enjoys a bevy of well-known supporters who have hit the campaign trail for her; President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.

At a campaign rally in the battleground state North Carolina, the president brought up Trump's refusal early on to disavow David Duke's backing to which Carlson took umbrage,  "The president today on the trail invoking the KKK, it's as that's some sort of, you know, meaningful part of America."

"It's farther than I've ever seen the president go on behalf of a candidate ever and it's  a measure of how worried they are, really worried."

 

Fox News Electoral Scorecard

The debates were detrimental to Trump, but he’s improved his standing since then and the recent bad news for Clinton only boosts his chances further. The renewed FBI probe into Clinton’s emails may have helped turn the tide for Trump, but he remains underwater in the fight for electoral votes. Clinton is still seen as leading in enough states to get her above 270. Yet, while Trump still has only a narrow path to victory, the last week has certainly made the race more competitive.

The Fox News Decision Team is moving Florida, the biggest prize among the battleground states, from Lean Democratic to Toss Up. The race is now neck-and-neck in the state with some polls showing Trump leading and some showing Clinton ahead. Florida is a must-win state for Trump and he now has a real shot at victory in the Sunshine State. Clinton’s support in the polls has held fairly constant, but Trump has added a couple of points to his average over the last week. It shouldn’t surprise anyone when we’re talking about a state that is so often hot, but the last week of this election season looks to have brought a dead-heat race for Florida and its 29 electoral votes.

We’re shifting Nevada from Lean Democrat to Toss Up. Some recent polling shows the state tightening as we enter the final days of the race. Clinton probably still maintains a slim edge in the Silver State, but the outcome is now more uncertain. About half a million Nevadans have already voted. Democrats currently have an eight-point advantage among those showing up to vote early and those who’ve mailed back their absentee ballots. Local political experts think it looks a lot like 2012 and that could be bad news for Trump – Obama won by almost seven points in 2012. But Republicans made up some ground yesterday in the early vote.  In the end, boosting Republican turnout is essential if Trump is to win big in Nevada.

North Carolina shifts from Toss Up to Lean Democratic. The polls have long been tight in North Carolina, but Clinton has led in 21 of the last 23 polls listed by RealClearPolitics.  Only one Republican pollster has shown Trump leading in the state since mid-September. Romney won here in 2012, but Clinton is seen as having the advantage this year, in part because of her superior ground organization. Trump isn’t giving up on North Carolina – it would be hard for him to win without its 15 electoral votes. Both Trump and Clinton are expected to appear in the state on Thursday. A number of high-profile surrogates from both sides will appear in North Carolina this week, but it’s difficult for Trump to compete with Clinton’s firepower on that front – both President Obama and Vice President Biden are headed to the state.

We’re moving Alaska from Solid Republican to Lean Republican. Alaska is a notoriously hard state to poll. What little recent polling there is doesn’t paint a clear picture for the race.  Some polls show Trump with a narrowing lead and one recent Democratic poll even had Clinton up in the state. We still think Trump has a lead, but there is uncertainty about this state where support for Trump has long been weak. Alaska is a more diverse state than many realize, more than 35 percent of the state is nonwhite, most of that being the large Native American population. In October, both of Alaska's Republican U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, pulled their support for Trump and said he should step aside. Just keep in mind that no Democratic presidential candidate has won Alaska since Lyndon Johnson did so in the 1964 landslide.

If Clinton wins the states we’ve rated Solid Democrat along with the states we see as leaning in her direction she’d have 287 electoral votes. A presidential candidate needs only 270 Electoral Votes to win the presidency so Clinton currently holds a clear advantage. If Trump wins the Solid Republican states along with the states currently seen as leaning in his direction he’d come away with 174 electoral votes. The Toss-Up states, not currently in either candidate’s column, hold only another 77 electoral votes. Winning the toss-up states wouldn’t be enough for Trump, he’d have to win back one or more of the states currently leaning Democratic to reach 270.

The 2016 Scorecard map shows whether we think the state is solidly in a candidate’s column, leaning toward one candidate, or currently a toss-up state.  The solid states are not currently thought to be competitive, the leaning states are still competitive but one candidate appears to have an edge, and the toss-up states are races where neither candidate has a clear advantage.

Adelson pours $25 million into WH race, more may be coming

Per Ed Henry

Fox News has learned that billionaire Sheldon Adelson just committed $25 million dollars to an anti-Hillary Clinton Super PAC to try and help tilt the presidential race and down ballot House and Senate races to Republicans, and there are indications the casino magnate will pony up even more by the end of the week.

Two senior Republican sources familiar with the donation described it to Fox as a “massive” amount of money to be spent during the final week of the presidential race and is a sign that Adelson, who has largely been on the sidelines after initially suggesting he would give $100 million to help Donald Trump, is now going all in on the Republican nominee.

The money will benefit Future 45, a Super PAC launched by the Ricketts family in Chicago, founders of TD Ameritrade. The group has recently been running a television ad in battlegrounds comparing Clinton to Richard Nixon, calling her a “secretive, paranoid politician who destroyed 30,000 pieces of evidence.”

The Republican sources said the contribution was made in the last few days as the FBI re-ignited its investigation of Clinton’s email server, and could spark other big GOP donors – who may have thought the Democratic nominee was coasting to victory just days ago -- to step up their support of Trump in the final days.

Most importantly, one source familiar with the Adelson contribution revealed he is considering pouring as much as another $25 million dollars into the race before Election Day on November 8.

The first major contribution came as Trump visited Adelson’s Venetian resort and casino in Las Vegas for a rally with supporters on Sunday. Trump praised Adelson and his wife, Miriam, without any reference to the money that went to the Super PAC.

“I’d like to thank the owner of this great hotel, and his incredible wife – she’s an incredible woman – Sheldon Adelson,” Trump said to cheers. “Really incredible people and they’ve been so supportive and we appreciate it.”

This is a startling turnaround for the Ricketts and Adelson. The Ricketts initially spent millions trying to stop Trump from getting the Republican nomination, after backing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the GOP primaries.

 

Hurt on FBI probe: “What a way to end this campaign”

Fox News Contributor Charles Hurt told “Special Report with Bret Baier” viewers Monday that the election stakes are high for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, following the announcement of a new Hillary Clinton email probe.

“If, in fact, this goes forward and Hillary Clinton loses the election, and turns out there’s nothing but yoga emails on the server or completely irrelevant, harmless emails, it’s gonna be devastating for the FBI,” said Hurt.

FBI Director James Comey sent a letter about the probe to Congress just 11 days before the Presidential election. Republican Nominee Donald Trump praised the decision, whilst Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton has questioned the timing of the decision from the campaign trail.

The FBI is also making an preliminary inquiry into the business connections of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and two others individuals affiliated with the campaign, Fox News learned Monday.

“I think [the FBI] just raised the stakes a little bit more with this new information about Paul Manafort,” said Hurt. “…What a way to end this campaign.”

Ash Carter "concerned" about Iranian-backed forces in Mosul operation, spox

Per Lucas Tomlinson

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter is “concerned” about Iranian-backed forces participating in the operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters in a press briefing Monday.

“Of course he's concerned and he's seen from past history what some of these forces have done,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.  “At this moment, our support continues to be through the government of Iraq and Prime Minister Abadi.” 

In July, the United Nations blamed Shia-militias for abducting hundreds of Sunni refugees fleeing Fallujah after ISIS was pushed out of the city. 

One of the groups which says it is taking part in the Mosul operation is Kata'ib Hizballah, which the U.S. State Department declared a terrorist organization in 2009.

In the past week, photos have appeared around Mosul of shadowy Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who runs a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.  The US military’s top military officer, Gen. Joe Dunford told Congress last year Soleimani is responsible for killing about 500 American troops in Iraq.  

Cook said the US-led coalition would not be supporting any Iranian-backed Shia militias, but said a “multi-sectarian approach” would be applied to Sunni-majority Mosul. 

“This fight needs to in essence address some of the divisions that led to the rise of ISIL in the first place,” Cook said.

Sunni power Turkey has deployed hundreds of troops outside Mosul without permission of the Shia-government of Iraq in recent months.  The Turkish government says it will protect ethnic Turkmen around Mosul, including Tal Afar, where the Iranian-backed forces say they are headed.

There are reports that Shia-militias have destroyed Sunni mosques in western Iraq in the past few days.

Krauthammer on WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton "Was Obviously Trying to Hide Something"

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said Thursday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that the arguments that Hillary Clinton said she used a private e-mail  for convenience "was ridiculous, she's carrying around a whole lot of devices.  It was obvious she was hiding something." The Latest WikiLeaks revelations from Clinton's Campaign Chairman, John Podesta show  the campaign trying to keep secrets.  Cheryl Mills, a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton reminded campaign members that state department e-mails were part of the public record.

While Krauthammer believes WikiLeaks shows "really dirty business." Krauthammer said "she set it up in 2009 before becoming secretary of state.  So she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see.  So we've been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn't she want people to see?"

Krauthammer went on to say, "Now we know and as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation and it's corrupt, I don't know if it's illegal, but its a corrupt relationship with the State Department."

Krauthammer said, concluding, “ there is a reason that people give donations in large amounts and that's to influence the outcome of decisions.”

Krauthammer Says Trump Is Holding His Own In The Polls Despite Recent Issues

Syndicated Columnist Charles Krauthammer told viewers on Wednesday's Special Report with Bret Baier that with the race tightening, American voters are right back where they started at beginning of the year.

Both candidates stumped in battleground states with Donald Trump in North Carolina and Hillary Clinton in Florida.  New Fox News polls are showing a tight national race with Clinton having a three point lead over Trump but Florida poll shows Trump up by a couple of points in the Sunshine State. 

"The enthusiasm for Trump surely exceeds that on the part of the Democrats for Hillary Clinton," is how Krauthammer explained the close numbers. 

But it's more than that Krauthammer said because "when the bottom dropped out for just a few days of the Trump campaign...Trump could have just disappeared.  He didn't.  He's held his own."

The syndicated columnist was referencing when the Republican nominee was caught on tape making rude remarks about women but Krauthammer believes it's not just those comments that are narrowing the poll numbers, it's the issues that Clinton has been dodging too. 

"There's been this Wikileaks releases which have cumulatively, not individually but cumulatively reinforced the impression of a thoroughly corrupt campaign...and you add ObamaCare, which is an extremely important issue, that swayed two mid-terms elections and crushed Democrats, Krauthammer said.  

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