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On Tuesday, Melania & Donald Trump hosted a “birthday celebration” at their Trump Tower home for Ann Romney. The Women For Romney event required a $1,000 per person contribution to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
The Huffington Post did not attend the gathering, which reportedly netted more than $600,000 for the Romney campaign, but we stood outside the building and spoke to many of the attendees. Trump is famously skeptical of President Barack Obama’s citizenship, despite ample evidence, including a birth certificate, proving he was born in the United States. So one of the questions we posed to people heading into the fundraiser was simply: Do you agree with Trump that questions remain about Obama’s citizenship? We expected the question to be laughed off.
View the event invitation below (via BuzzFeed):
Well, Mr. Nugent, you could have fooled me given the fact that you have a rather uncanny passion for guns…
Rocker Ted Nugent said Wednesday that he had never and would never threaten anyone’s life.
“That’s ridiculous,” Nugent told radio talk show host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R). “I mean, I’m a non-violent guy, I don’t threaten. I wouldn’t waste my time threatening, I’ve never threatened anyone’s life in my life. I will not threaten anyone’s life. I certainly wouldn’t threaten the life of the president, or anybody in public office, or anybody anywhere.”
Nugent confirmed that he was contacted by the Secret Service, who are investigating his comments during the NRA convention that he would be “dead or in jail by this time next year” if President Barack Obama is re-elected. Nugent, who has a history of inflammatory comments, said the Secret Service was just doing their job in investigating what he called the “preposterous, outrageous, deceitful dishonest claim that I threatened anyone’s life.”
“I respect their duty to do so,” he said. “The rules of engagement for the Secret Service is to respond even when someone as maniacal as a Wasserman Schultz or Pelosi or Boxer or Feinstein” complains.
“They want to shut me up, and it ain’t going to happen,” Nugent said.
UPDATE — 1:25 p.m.:
The Secret Service has also confirmed they will interview Nugent, according to NBC News. Nugent said he will meet with them Thursday, but the Secret Service could not confirm a date.
The former first lady insists she’s stepping down next year, no matter who wins in November. Who should succeed her as America’s most prominent diplomat?
Hillary Clinton is stepping down as Secretary of State next January, regardless of whether President Obama is sworn in for a second term or Mitt Romney is inaugurated for a first. And it looks like Clinton is going out on a high note, says David Graham inThe Atlantic. She boasts “sky-high” approval ratings, was the subject of a flattering “Texts from Hillary” meme (which she very cooly dipped her own toe in), and set the internet abuzz by dancing and drinking beer at a late-night club in Colombia. Really, Graham says, the blazing hot “secretary of cool” will be a hard act to follow. But someone will have to take over at State. Who exactly? A look at five possibilities, if President Obama wins a second term:
1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman had hoped to be Secretary of State in Obama’s first term, but “lost out to Hillary Clinton and Obama’s ‘team of rivals’,” says Joan Vennochi in The Boston Globe. He’s now waging an unofficial but “artful” campaign to get the nod in Obama’s second term. As Secretary of State, Kerry would be powerful enough to “stake out personal turf” and bring his own informed viewpoint to the table. He’s definitely on Obama’s short list, says Leslie Gelb at The Daily Beast. And among the frontrunners, Obama believes “Kerry would travel a lot and successfully, and interfere least with policymaking.”
2. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice
Rice is “perhaps Clinton’s likeliest successor,” says The Daily Beast‘s Gelb. Her “blend of soft and hard line sits well in the Oval Office,” and she’s close to Obama. Rice is also “a rising star in the U.S. political firmament,” says Obadiah Mailafia in Nigeria’sBusinessDay. And as a Rhodes Scholar from a family of prominent economists, she would fit right in at Foggy Bottom. Rice is “not shy in playing a role in foreign policy,” says Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy. And if Obama taps her, it “would signal a redoubling of the effort toward engagement and international diplomacy.”
3. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon
“Donilon is regarded as the wisest policy and political head” on the short list, says Gelb at The Daily Beast. And he appears to want the job. Sticking to the “carefully established informal rules” of jockeying to win the Secretary of State nod, Donlion is said to have suggested Rice for World Bank president — a “justifiable” recommendation, but also one that would remove a top rival from contention.
4. NSC official Samantha Power
The Irish-born Power first went to work for Obama in 2005, when he was a U.S. Senator. Now a human rights and multilateral affairs director in Obama’s National Security Council, Power “could be his next Secretary of State or National Security Adviser,” says Cathy Hayes at Irish Central. Power is an expert on, and staunch critic, of genocide, and she is considered a key architect of Obama’s Libya intervention. But remember, some conservatives and Israel proponents don’t like Power because they consider her pro-Palestinian.
5. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
Our favorite dark horse candidate is Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress and the first black congressman from Minnesota, says Global Grind. He hasn’t been in Congress all that long — since 2007 — but “Ellison would be an excellent choice, [and] his passion alone warrants him worthy of a candidacy.”
Mitt Romney raised eyebrows last night when he suggested President Obama should “get packing” and cable talking heads reacted today.
Tuesday also marked the end of the space shuttle program, as the shuttle Discovery made its way to Washington D.C., mounted atop a Boeing 747, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC’s The Last Word host) and his guests pointed out tonight that the GOP were “outraged” over Hillary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney, but have remained silent over Ted Nugent’s outrageous innuendos about assassinating the President of the United States! In my opinion this is just another example of the GOP’s faux outrage, which they conveniently use to gin up their “not very bright” base.
Ted Nugent’s threatening remarks about President Obama at the annual National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis have earned him a follow-up conversation with the Secret Service.
On Sunday, the singer remarked that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” The Secret Service, which investigates all threats against the President, confirmed to New York Magazine’s Daily Intel blog that they have in fact flagged Nugent’s comment. “We are aware of it, and we’ll conduct an appropriate follow up,” the agent told the magazine.
Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney — albeit reluctantly — via Twitter last month, and at least one Romney, middle son Tagg, was excited about the news. Watch the video of his remarks, courtesy of Right Wing Watch: