I was stunned to see how dangerous the situation became shortly after President Donald Trump delivered his speech, the fireworks went off and the last night at the Republican National Convention (RNC) came to an end.
It could have been far worse if not for the Washington D.C. Metro Police Officer and other federal law enforcement officials keeping watch over the growing crowds of unstable protestors and rioters outside the White House.
Sen. Rand Paul was targeted walking back to his hotel, while being escorted by Washington D.C. police. In fact, an officer who was escorting Sen. Paul and using his bicycle as a barrier was assaulted by one of the rioters and it was caught on camera.
“Just got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,” said Paul. “Thank you to @DCPoliceDept for literally saving our lives from a crazed mob.”
I, like many others, stayed up late last night to watch President Trump speak. I heard some of the analysts pontificating “was it effective, was it too long, was it this, was it that.”
The Republican Convention by far was hailed an extraordinary success. The only thing, some analysts suggested, was the President’s speech could’ve been a litter shorter. I disagree.
First, if anyone can pull off a speech for more than an hour and half it’s President Trump but more importantly the later the RNC event went on the safer it was for everyone.
The crowds appeared to be smaller than earlier in the night. I believe the situation could’ve been far worse had the event ended hours earlier, so I for one am grateful for Trump’s long and inspiring speech.
As crowds begin to line up early this Friday morning in Washington D.C. protesting what they say is criminal justice reform and racial equality, we must remain vigilant. Innocent protestors, police officers, businesses and citizens going about their own business will get swept up in those that are sure to attempt to riot and destroy the city.
Worse, the fear that the situation could escalate to the point that someone could lose their life is very real. Don’t expect Washington D.C. leadership to do anything. The march in honor of George Floyd, who was killed during an altercation with a Minneapolis police officer is called the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” March on Washington.
Interestingly, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the National Park Service didn’t seem to have a problem with 50,000 plus people marching in close proximity and the the NPS isn’t mandating mask wearing or social distancing during the COVID-19 epidemic.
It makes you wonder when the same Democrats who support this march, were the same ones who railed on Trump for having an outdoor event on July 4th at Mount Rushmore. It feels like COVID-19 doesn’t exist in the Democrat, anti-Trump, reality when it’s something the leftest liberals are planning.
Rev. Al Sharpton will be one of many civil right’s leaders to march on Friday. He says the march is also in remembrance of the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” address from the same spot.
If this is true then all those who are attending should abide by Rev. King’s non-violent protests. It’s the only way to honor one of America’s greatest historical icons.
According to reports the organizers of the march began planning the event in June after the funeral of George Floyd. But the situation could escalate, as police officers who are rightly concerned about the situation have to walk a fine line with those they know are going to attempt to unleash a riot in the city.
We’re lucky to have such an amazing Washington D.C. Metro Police force. The men and women in blue put themselves on the line everyday and the March expected today on Washington is going to be a nerve wracking experience for everyone.
All we can hope for is that it will be peaceful and won’t get out of control. Too many lives have already been lost and there is too much to lose in the future if this doesn’t stop.
We need Democratic lawmakers to get out there and make bold statements asking for peace and speaking out against groups like BLM and Antifa who are behind much of the rioting and destruction in our cities.
If Democratic leaders, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden don’t do this they are part of the problem and as responsible for the destruction of our city.
Those that don’t speak out. Those that instigate calls for violence should be held accountable for whatever destruction is headed our way.
I certainly hope for peaceful protests and a shift in what we’ve been witnessing throughout our nation over the past three months.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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