- Radioactive: Clintons’ Putin profits cause alarm
- Rubio surges to top of Q poll after launch
- Power Play: Can Christie bounce back?
- And the good news is…
- No sleep ‘til Brooklyn
RADIOACTIVE: CLINTONS’ PUTIN PROFITS CAUSE ALARM
It would be one thing for a politician to cash in her influence to get rich. Most do, to one degree or another. But what if a politician used her official position to do favors for her patrons? That starts to sound like something that can cross the line between unseemly and potentially illegal. But what if those favors compromised national security? That’s the incendiary claim made against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in a forthcoming book and laid out in today’s NYT. The author’s allegation, which will air on television for the first time today at 10 a.m. ET on the Fox News Channel, is that Clinton personally benefitted from a deal that would eventually make the United States dependent on Vladimir Putin’s Russia for its supply of uranium.
[Jeb’s next - Peter Schweizer, the author of the forthcoming “Clinton Cash” book tells Bloomberg that his next target is GOP frontrunner Jeb Bush. Schweizer said he and his team have already found “some interesting things.”]
What will they say? - The Times, which like Fox News and the Washington Post, was given advance access to the book and its supporting documentation in order to verify its claims, drops its first story today. There are more bombshells to come, some of which will be revealed in “Special Report with Bret Baier” tonight at 6 p.m. ET, but this opening salvo is devastating. Baier, who has been working on the project for weeks, described the importance of this chapter: “While all of these deals and the money that flowed to the Clintons is complicated, now the nascent Clinton campaign will have to respond with more than just ‘you can't prove it.’ And hovering over all of this is a destroyed email server that many lawmakers now believe may have held the keys to unlock the behind-the-scenes connections between the Clinton Foundation, the family’s personal fortune and the secretary of state.”
[WaPo: “Bill Clinton was paid more than $100 million for speeches between 2001 and 2013, according to federal financial disclosure forms filed by Hillary Clinton during her years as a senator and as secretary of state.”]
Moscow duck - The first installment is about how Canadian mogul Frank Giustra brought the former President Clinton in 2005 to help score a huge uranium deal with the repressive government of Kazakhstan. Giustra would go on to donate $31.3 million to the Clintons’ foundation several months after the Kazakhstan deal. But the company’s stock began to crater after charges of illegal dealings. A Russian interest was willing to shore up the company, but wanted an ownership share, a deal that got the approval of the Clinton State Department. When Putin’s government went for a controlling interest, a move that meant a huge windfall for investors, a cabinet committee on which Hillary Clinton sits, signed off on the deal. Around the same time, Bill Clinton also receives $500,000 for a speech in Moscow from a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin.
[General Electric’s CEO, a major Clinton backer, told shareholders that the company would not release emails related to obtaining help from the Clinton State Department in landing a $1.9 billion power plant deal in Algeria.]
Does it matter? - The Clinton campaign is dismissive of the claims, saying that such connections don’t amount to a conspiracy. But in light of the more than 30,000 emails that Clinton destroyed from her time as secretary of state, their case for multiple beneficial coincidences is hard to prop up. And the stakes here are sky-high. Here’s how the NYT put it: “‘Should we be concerned? Absolutely,’ said Michael McFaul, who served under Mrs. Clinton as the American ambassador to Russia but said he had been unaware of the Uranium One deal until asked about it. ‘Do we want Putin to have a monopoly on this? Of course we don’t. We don’t want to be dependent on Putin for anything in this climate.’”
[Liberal Democrats in the Senate scored a small victory against President Obama’s bid on free trade legislation. The fight will continue as the legislation advances.]
Never mind… - Which Senator said the following in an indignant 2004 floor speech touting their opposition to gay marriage? “[Marriage is] the fundamental bedrock principle that exists between a man and a woman, going back into the mists of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.” Was that Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.? Nope. As Philp Klein reminds us, that was Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE
In a town where people get married and divorced in a matter of hours with Elvis as the only witness few things have staying power, but the iconic sign that welcomes people to Sin City is one of them. The ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign, with its bright lights and classic glamour was designed by Betty Willis in the late 1950s. Willis said in past interviews the sign needed to be as flashy and fabulous as the town it represented. She never copyrighted the sign insisting it belong to the public. In 2009, her work was marked on the National Register of Historic Places. Willis died last Sunday at the age of 91 of natural causes.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 45.0 percent//Disapprove – 49.8 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 30.0 percent//Wrong Track – 60.4 percent
[Watch Fox: New Fox News polls on what Americans think of their choices for 2016, and how the GOP 2016ers match up against Hillary. See the results tonight on “Special Report with Bret Baier” at 6 p.m. ET.]
RUBIO SURGES TO TOP OF Q POLL AFTER LAUNCH
The latest GOPer to join the race for the 2016 nomination is off to a strong start. Sen. Marco Rubio tops the list in the latest Quinnipiac Poll with 15 percent of primary voters believing him to be the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton. Rubio leads by a narrow margin, however, with his fellow Floridian Jeb Bush coming in at 13 percent, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker coming in at 11 percent. Unfortunately for Bush, he does top another, less optimistic category. According to the poll, 17 percent of primary voters will ‘definitely not support him.’ Struggling New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sits high on that list as well at 16 percent. Hillary Clinton beats any other potential Democratic nominees, and leads in a general election matchup against all GOP candidates, but only by a 45-43 margin against Rubio.
Rubio recruits support from gay Republicans?
Reuters: “Marco Rubio, the youthful Republican presidential hopeful who touts himself as the candidate of his party's future, has been making moves to court a socially liberal faction of his party that represents gay conservatives. The Florida senator's staff have held quarterly meetings with the Log Cabin Republicans ‘going back some time,’ their executive director, Gregory Angelo, told Reuters. The meetings with the advocacy group were to discuss legislation, issues and opportunities to ‘partner on,’ Angelo said. Rubio's office declined to comment on the meetings.”
Walker is Rubio’s biggest problem in the path to the nomination, not Jeb National Journal: “But if Rubio is ever going to get a chance to face off with Bush, he has a more pressing problem to deal with first: a brewing collision with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker...Rubio and Walker...are locked in a zero-sum game for the same pool of votes. Both have strong support from the activist wing of the Republican Party while being acceptable to the party's establishment…But while they are the most viable conservative alternatives to Bush, they espouse different visions for the party. At a time when GOP voters are attuned to electability, a choice between Rubio and Walker would require choosing between two paths to the presidency.”
[Sen. Rubio speaks today on the Export-Import Bank at an American for Prosperity event in Arlington, Virginia.]
POWERPLAY: CAN CHRISTIE BOUNCE BACK?
The once frontrunner who fell off the map, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie could be the comeback kid in the 2016 GOP field. His ground game in N.H. is giving him a boost, but is there a path to the nomination? Chris Stirewalt tells us, in 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.
Christie lands big fish - WaPo: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be straining to revive his presidential hopes amid a crowded field, but a super PAC set up to support his likely bid is having some success pulling in major donations. Several donors, including billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, each pledged to give $250,000 to the group, called America Leads, after attending a dinner with Christie at Manhattan’s 21 Club, according to two people familiar with the event.”
“I hate politics where people are like programmed robots. They all sound like Charlie Brown's teacher womp, womp, womp…I’m just going to be myself and if people like it, great, and if not, I can get another job.” - Gov. Chris Christie on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”
GINGRICH ADVISER COACHING KASICH
WaPo: “Robert S. Walker, who chaired Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign, is advising Gov. John Kasich as the Ohio Republican moves closer to jumping into the 2016 race. Walker said in an interview Wednesday that he and Kasich have been in frequent touch in recent weeks as the Ohio governor has ramped up his national political operation and made several trips to early primary states. The two men served in the House together during the Reagan and Clinton years.”
Kasich promises return to New Hampshire – NH1: “Doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, John Kasich says ‘I’ll be back.’ And by ‘back,’ the Ohio governor, who’s seriously considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, was referring to returning to New Hampshire…Kasich’s already made two visits to the first-in-the-nation primary state this year. He was in Nashua over the weekend, joining nearly 20 other GOP presidential candidates and probable contenders at a New Hampshire GOP Leadership Summit. And he was in the Granite State in late March, his first visit since he briefly ran for president in the 2000 election cycle.”
[Gov. Kasich speaks at The Atlantic Summit on the Economy in Washington, D.C. today.]
FIORINA OFFICIAL LAUNCH SLATED FOR MAY 4
WSJ: “Carly Fiorina plans to launch her presidential campaign on May 4, in an online announcement that dispenses with the pageantry that has become de rigueur in 2016 White House runs. Instead, Mrs. Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., will formally declare her Republican campaign online and hold a conference call for the national press, according to a person with knowledge of the campaign’s plans.”
[Fiorina continues her five day Iowa sweep with a breakfast, meet and greet, and dinner with country Republicans.]
AND THE GOOD NEWS IS…
Former White House Press Secretaries Dana Perino and Mike McCurry participate in a lecture at American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. on their experiences working in the White House. Perino will also take questions at the National Press Club. Details here.
THE JUDGE’S RULING
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is a honorable organization intent on seeing justice served, right? Not necessarily. Fox News’ Chief Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano writes in his column this week that there have been several instances FBI agents have broken in the law, and yet have not been held responsible. Read here.
NO SLEEP ‘TIL BROOKLYN
A couple in Brooklyn just earned an interesting title for 2014. According to 311, the complaints hotline in New York, the couple enjoys their intimate bedroom activities with incredible enthusiasm and expresses their gratitude to each other, loudly, causing numerous complaints from the neighbors. But they are not the only ones in Brooklyn enjoying some love. The neighborhood as a whole had the most complaints due to sex noises compared to the other boroughs with 42 registered complaints.
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I could see [Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.] getting so upset about [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and making it her big issue that it could provoke her entering the race, and as Steve [Hayes] said, the one thing she wants to do, Hillary, is to keep Warren out of the race because she is the only one who can challenge her.” – Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Watch here.
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.