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November 11, 2018

The doctored video of CNN's Jim Acosta shared by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was "not altered," White House counsel Kellyanne Conway claimed on Fox News Sunday, just "sped up."

"They do it all the time in sports to see if there's actually a first down or a touchdown," she told host Chris Wallace. "So, I have to disagree with the, I think, overwrought description of this video being doctored as if we put somebody else's arm in there."

Independent expert analysis of the clip commissioned by The Associated Press found changing the speed of portions of the video is exactly how the alteration was accomplished. By speeding up one section and slowing another, the editing made Acosta's movement to block a White House intern's attempt to take away his microphone look more aggressive.

Watch Conway's full interview below; the Acosta video conversation is in the final minutes. Bonnie Kristian

November 4, 2018

The sanctions to be re-imposed on Iran Monday will leave no doubt as to the Trump administration's stance toward Tehran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday.

"[T]he sanctions that will be re-imposed tomorrow are the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo told host Chris Wallace.

"I am very confident that the sanctions that will be re-imposed this Monday — not only the crude oil sanctions, [but] the financial sanctions that are being put in place by the Treasury Department and over 600 designations of individuals and companies in Iran — will have the intended effect to alter the Iranian regime's behavior," he continued. "No one's going to argue that Secretary Pompeo isn't tough on Iran and no one is going to argue that President Trump isn't doing the same."

Trump, for his part, celebrated the sanctions with a Game of Thrones meme on Twitter Friday.

Watch the full interview below; the first half focuses on Iran, after which conversation turns to North Korea and Saudi Arabia. And read about the human cost of sanctions on countries like Iran here at The Week. Bonnie Kristian

November 4, 2018

Democrat Stacey Abrams, who would be the country's first black woman governor if she bests rival Brian Kemp (R) in Georgia, said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday she expects a fair election despite concerns about her state's electoral policies.

"We have seen unprecedented turnout in this race from people who normally do not engage and do not vote. Some of that has been driven by the conversations of voter suppression," Abrams said. "Because one of the best ways to encourage people to use something is to tell them that someone's trying to take it away."

Kemp is also Georgia's secretary of state, and in that capacity he administered an "exact match" policy that required voter registrations to precisely match official documents on file with the state. Kemp has purged 1.4 million voters' registrations since 2012, disproportionately affecting the state's black and Hispanic voters, and the exact match requirement prevented 53,000 of them from re-registering. A judge on Friday ruled against Kemp in a lawsuit concerning the policy.

Watch the full interview below; the election results discussion begins shortly after the one-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian

October 28, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is "more prepared than we've ever been" to keep the midterm elections free of tampering and fraud, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Fox News Sunday.

"The goal here ... is absolutely to assure Americans that their votes will count and their votes will be counted correctly," she told host Chris Wallace. "We will be setting up a virtual situation room on Election Day so we can very quickly support any incident response that's needed, and so we can share any information," Nielsen continued. "We are more prepared than we've ever been, and we will continue to prepare, not just for this election, but for every election to come in the future."

Some reports from Texas and Georgia have suggested faulty voting machines are changing people's input in early voting.

Nielson also addressed Saturday's deadly synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh — her department sent a security adviser to that synagogue in March — as well as the package bombing suspect and the migrant caravan coming up through Mexico. Wallace pressed Nielsen on how caravan members who are women or children could pose a security threat to the United States.

Watch the full interview below; discussion of the midterms begins around the nine-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian

October 21, 2018

Members of Congress were out in force Sunday weighing in on Saudi Arabia's "fist fight" explanation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And while they were united in varying degrees of skepticism about Riyadh's story, lawmakers did not put forward a unified theory of how to respond.

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) labeled the Saudi account "insulting," arguing no one "analyzing this with any type of intelligent background" would believe "a fist fight led to a dismemberment with a bone saw."

He argued for a broad rethinking of U.S.-Saudi relations, including arms sales, over Khashoggi, the war in Yemen, and Riyadh's record on religious liberty.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on CNN explicitly accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of involvement.

Corker argued there "has to be a punishment" if MBS is implicated; on Friday, he mentioned sanctions as a possibility.

On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on NBC the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. should be expelled until the matter is settled.

And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on ABC called for an inquiry into whether President Trump's financial ties to Saudi Arabia could be influencing his changeable response to Khashoggi's death.

Schiff said he expects Trump "to accept the crown prince's denials much as he has accepted [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's denials and [North Korean leader] Kim's denials." Bonnie Kristian

October 14, 2018

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai would like to know what, exactly, is going on in the Trump administration.

"Honestly, I've been talking to ambassadors of other countries in Washington, D.C., and this is also part of their problem," Cui said on Fox News Sunday of dealing with President Trump's team. "They don't know who is the final decision-maker. Of course, presumably, the president will take the final decision, but who is playing what role? Sometimes it could be very confusing."

Cui also addressed the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing. "It's important to notice who started this trade war. We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests," he said. Cui argued trade has been mutually beneficial for China and the United States, concluding, "You have to look at the whole picture."

Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian

October 14, 2018

President Trump sought to downplay the record rate of turnover in his administration in a preview clip of his Sunday evening 60 Minutes interview, but he also suggested Defense Secretary James Mattis might soon leave his post.

"I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is [leaving]," Trump said. "I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth," he continued. "But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington."

Watch the preview clip below. The full interview will air Sunday on CBS at 7:30 p.m. Eastern and 7:00 p.m. Pacific. Bonnie Kristian

October 7, 2018

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is delighted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process is complete. He was less delighted Sunday when Fox News host Chris Wallace suggested the Senate is "broken."

"The Senate's not broken, and we didn't attack Merrick Garland’s background and try to destroy him," McConnell averred. He was referring to his Senate's refusal to hold hearings for former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick in 2016, and drawing a contrast between that and the sexual assault allegations and subsequent investigation brought against Kavanaugh.

"We simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a Senate of a different party than the president, you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential year," McConnell continued. "So what we did was follow tradition, but we didn't attack the nominee. We didn't go on a search and destroy mission."

When asked by NBC's Chuck Todd if he'd like to make this "tradition" a binding rule, McConnell declined. Per Politifact, only four of 25 presidential election cycles in the last century involved an open Supreme Court seat, and in "three of those instances, the Senate confirmed the president’s nominee, and just once — the only election-year court opening in the past 80 years — did the Senate refuse a nominee."

Watch a clip of McConnell's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian

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