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Reached by text message, Braddock refused to say whether he made any threats about Luna to the person who recorded him, Erin Olszewski.

Asked repeatedly via text if he mentioned Russian-Ukrainian hit squads, Braddock wouldn’t give a yes or no answer, saying he had not heard the recording and that it’s “allegedly me … there is no proof of that.” He also suggested the recording “may even be altered and edited.”

“This is a dirty political tactic that has caused a lot of people a lot of stress and is completely unnecessary,” he said.

Olszewski denied editing or altering the recording. She said she made it because she was concerned about Braddock’s “unhinged” dislike of Luna that he had previously expressed. After she made the recording just after midnight last Wednesday, she promptly turned it over to St. Petersburg, Fla., police and gave a heads-up to her friend Luna, who filed a petition for an injunction against Braddock. Luna received a temporary restraining order against him last Friday. Braddock filed to run Monday.

In the recording, Braddock early in the call brought up the alleged assassins. He also made rambling statements about getting financial help from fellow Freemasons or by somehow importing millions of dollars from Malta and Gibraltar.

“I have access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians,” he said about three minutes into the call, adding “don’t get caught out in public supporting Luna. … Luna’s gonna go down and I hope it’s by herself.”

Braddock went on to explain that he didn’t think Luna could win in the general election. Luna, an Air Force veteran and former model who went on to become a conservative activist, won a crowded GOP primary in the state’s 13th Congressional District last year but lost the general election to Crist.

It’s unclear exactly why Braddock has such dislike toward Luna. The two do not appear to have any previous connection to one another, and Braddock is a lower-tier candidate in an increasingly crowded race for Crist’s seat. Already, two state lawmakers and a former Obama administration official have entered the race, with others expected to jump in.

The threats, claims of assassins and political backstabbing put an only-in-Florida stamp on what was already shaping up to be a wild midterm of congressional races. Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz in the Panhandle is still batting back accusations in an ongoing federal sex trafficking probe.

Democratic Rep. Val Demings is leaving her Orlando seat to run for Senate, causing a mad scramble to replace her. And the state is getting an additional congressional seat that is certain to lead to another crush of candidates after redistricting before next year’s elections.

Olszewski, who initiated and recorded the call just after midnight on June 9, said she phoned Braddock at his insistence because he kept trying to get her to appear on a health care panel for an event he was organizing.

Olszewski, a nurse by training, became a conservative figure last year after penning a book called “Undercover Epicenter Nurse: How Fraud, Negligence, and Greed Led to Unnecessary Deaths at Elmhurst Hospital,” which some in the health care industry have called disinformation.

After having a few conversations with Braddock, however, Olszewski said she became concerned that he wanted to use her to advance his candidacy and that he left her “threatening” messages about Luna that sounded “unhinged.”

With such a closely divided Congress currently in Democratic control, Braddock said on the recorded call that the “pivotal” St. Petersburg-based district will take on outsized importance in 2022 to keep America from devolving into a “communist-socialist s—hole.” When Olszewski asked him why he had Russians at the ready, Braddock indicated they were to stop Luna.

“My polling people are going to charge me $20,000 to do a poll right before the primary. And if the poll says Luna’s gonna win, she’s gonna be gone. She’s gonna disappear,” Braddock said in the recorded call, pledging Olszewski to secrecy. “For the good of our country, we have to sacrifice the few. … For the better or the good of the majority of the people, we’ve got to sacrifice the few.”

Later in the call, Olszewski asked what would happen if “Luna is gonna win” and Braddock assured her that wouldn’t happen.

“She’s gonna be gone. Period. That’s the end of the discussion. Luna is not an issue,” he said.

Olszewski pushed him, asking “how do we make her go, though? I just don’t understand that.”

“I call up my Russian and Ukrainian hit squad, and within 24 hours, they’re sending me pictures of her disappearing,” he replied. “No, I’m not joking. Like, this is beyond my control this point.”

Asked if the killers were snipers, Braddock described them as, “Russian mafia. Close-battle combat, Tech 9s, Mack 10s, silencers kind of thing. No snipers. Up close and personal. So they know that the target has gone.”

Olszewski said that threats like the ones Braddock made “you can’t take lightly. Normal people don’t say these things.”

Olszewski called Braddock on one smartphone and recorded video of the call with another, occasionally displaying his name and number on the video to show it was him on the call. POLITICO also

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obtained a separate recording, a voicemail message, Braddock left with a consultant in which his phone number was identical and voice seemed to match the information Olszewski shot in her video.

In Florida, it’s a third-degree felony to record another person without their knowledge. But Olszewski said that St. Petersburg police told her she had nothing to worry about in recording the conversation and turning it over to authorities. A spokesperson for the St. Petersburg police declined to comment on the recording or whether it was legally recorded.

Braddock, though, indicated he was ready to sue Olszewski.

“The folks in possession of whatever recording they think they have of myself or someone else (which may even be altered and edited) will be facing civil damages suit(s) when the paperwork is file [sic] with the county and felony charges after I file with the local police department,” Braddock said in his text message to POLITICO. “I strongly advise not to get involved because the civil suits will continue to be filed until people stop sharing them because whomever is on the recording did not consent to be recorded in my humble opinion.”

In her filing for an injunction, Luna also mentioned how Braddock claimed in the call with Olszewski that two other potential Republican candidates in the race, Amanda Makki and Matt Tito, had formed an alliance with him to stop Luna. Braddock briefly posted the petition for the injunction on his Facebook page Friday but then took them down.

Both Makki and Tito denied the claims of an alliance with Braddock and each of them criticized Luna for mentioning their names in the injunction she filed against Braddock.

“The fact she dragged me through the mud, after not seeing or talking to me after 11 months, it really calls into question her judgment,” said Makki, who ran unsuccessfully in the GOP primary against Luna in 2020, despite earning the endorsement of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Tito, also, was displeased with the fact that he was named in the injunction.

“This is a total political hit job. I wasn’t served. I’m not in legal trouble,” he said. “Luna doesn’t want me to get in the Republican race because she knows I’ll beat her. I’m a better candidate. She’s trying to wipe me out of the race, trying to embarrass me, intimidate me, smear my name so she has a wider path to the nomination.”

In the call, Braddock mentioned that he offered Tito a job on his campaign to keep him on the sidelines, but Tito said he had no intention to work for Braddock.

James Blair, a spokesperson for Luna, said she wouldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation. But he suggested Makki had “sour grapes” for losing the primary last year to Luna. And he faulted Tito because he “immediately blamed the woman” by accusing Luna of a political hit job.

“The content of the protective order filed is based upon Mr. Braddock’s own threats, actions, and statements,” Blair said. “I understand that Mr. Braddock is the one who stated he is working with Mr. Tito and Ms. Makki, so perhaps they should take it up with him instead of attacking the person he said he was going to kill if that’s what it took to keep her from winning.”

In her petition for the restraining order, Luna made it clear that she took Braddock’s threats seriously.

“I do not feel safe and am currently in fear for my life,” Luna wrote, according to a copy of it.

Olszewski, too, said Braddock sounded dangerous. At one point, Braddock even said he was scared himself.

“Don’t be on the f—ing wrong side of supporting Luna because if you’re near her when the time comes, I just don’t want that to happen to you because you’ve got kids,” Braddock said on the call. “So don’t be associated with Luna under any circumstances. Please. And do not repeat this anybody because both of us will be in jeopardy if you do. I’m not just blowing smoke here. I’m f—ing being dead ass serious and it scares the s— out of me, too.”

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Donald Trump

Mary Trump hints on Trump Running For President In 2024

“…Donald gets the message that if he runs, he can’t lose…”

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Mary Trump has changed her tune about the possibility of her uncle, Donald Trump, running for president again in 2024.

Trump’s niece – one of his most vocal critics – has repeatedly cast doubt on the idea. But two things now point to a possible run, she told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday.

“I thought that (he wouldn’t run again) for a long time because he lost so badly to Joe Biden that I didn’t think that he’d ever want to put himself in a position of losing again,” said Mary Trump.

“And I think that would have been the case, if not for two things,” she continued.

Trump said her uncle “still seems to be getting away with everything, right?”

Second, the GOP “is trying to engineer a system in which the minority can come into power, because of all of these… voter suppression bills that are being passed in every single state,” she said.

“So, If they are successful in… rigging the system even more in their favor and Donald gets the message that if he runs, he can’t lose… then I’m not so sure and that’s pretty depressing,” she added.

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Donald Trump

Trump’s Ohio Candidate Wins Republican Primary Election

“Tonight, Republicans across Ohio’s 15th Congressional District sent a clear message to the nation that President Donald J. Trump is, without a doubt, the leader of our party,” Carey said in a statement.

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A candidate endorsed by Donald Trump won a special Republican primary race for a U.S. House seat in Ohio on Tuesday, bolstering the former president’s efforts to steer election outcomes heading into the 2022 congressional races.

Coal industry consultant and lobbyist Mike Carey defeated 10 other candidates in a crowded GOP primary to replace former Representative Steve Stivers, who resigned in May to lead the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, according to results from The Associated Press. Carey will now face state Representative Allison Russo, who won the Democratic primary, in the Nov. 2 special general election to fill the seat.

In a special Democratic primary for another open congressional seat in Ohio that became a proxy fight between the party’s progressive and centrist wings over support for President Joe Biden, establishment-backed Shontel Brown defeated Nina Turner and 11 other candidates, according to the Associated Press.

Carey’s victory comes a week after Susan Wright, whom Trump endorsed to replace her late husband, former U.S. Representative Ron Wright, lost a runoff election in Texas to Republican state Representative Jake Ellzey. Trump has regularly said that almost every candidate he supports wins easily and that his endorsement is the most powerful and sought-after in politics.

Another Trump-backed candidate losing in consecutive weeks would have prompted questions about the former president’s political operation and ability to influence 2022 midterm election races, as well as his grip on the Republican Party as he holds out the prospect of running again for president in 2024.

“Tonight, Republicans across Ohio’s 15th Congressional District sent a clear message to the nation that President Donald J. Trump is, without a doubt, the leader of our party,” Carey said in a statement.

In the special Democratic primary to replace Marcia Fudge, who resigned in March to become Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, Brown, a Cuyahoga County councilwoman and Democratic chairwoman, topped Turner, who was a national co-chair of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. Brown will face Republican nominee Laverne Gore in the Nov. 2 special general election, but the Cleveland-area district is solidly Democratic.

Turner had the backing of Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while Brown was supported by establishment Democrats such as 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, whose endorsement of Biden helped him win the party’s nomination.

Brown build an early lead with the absentee and in-person votes cast before Tuesday and held off Turner’s support with votes cast on Tuesday, according to unofficial totals reported by AP. Spending for television and radio ads by Brown and outside groups supporting her in the final eight days before the primary topped that for Turner, according to Medium Buying, a firm that tracks ad spending.

In the Republican primary for Stivers’ seat, Trump joined a tele-rally for Carey, a consultant at American Consolidated Natural Resources Inc. and past president of the Ohio Coal Associati on, on July 20 and again on Monday night, and a Trump-based super PAC reported spending more than $417,000 on TV and digital ads, text messaging and emailing in a last-minute push for Carey, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

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“A lot of people are watching this one, it’s a big deal. So please get out and vote for Mike Carey,” Trump said on Monday. In a statement after Carey’s victory on Tuesday, Trump called it a “great Republican win” for Carey and said “thank you to Ohio and all of our wonderful American patriots.”The latest in global politicsGet insight from reporters around the world in the Balance of Power newsletter.EmailSign UpBloomberg may send me offers and promotions.

There were other prominent GOP endorsements competing with Trump’s. Stivers backed Ohio Representative Jeff LaRe and aired campaign ads for him; Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and his affiliated super PAC supported former state Representative Ron Hood; the Republican organization of Franklin County, which includes Columbus, endorsed state Senator Stephanie Kunze; and Ruth Edmonds had the backing of the Right Women PAC led by Debbie Meadows, wife of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Bob Peterson, a farmer who has represented parts of the district as a state senator, touted endorsements from 150 local GOP leaders and Ohio Right to Life.

The sprawling district encompasses all or parts of 12 counties and includes Columbus suburbs and parts of rural Appalachia. Trump carried the solidly Republican-leaning district with 57% of the vote in 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government.

Carey won 37% of the vote unofficially with 96% of precincts reporting, according to AP, easily topping Hood, Peterson and LaRe, who all had about 13% in an August race with low turnout. Carey was on track to win all but one of the counties in the district.

Before Tuesday’s primary, Carey had cited a June poll of likely GOP primary voters by Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio that showed his support jumped from 20% to 52% when voters were told about Trump’s endorsement.

“When people know that President Trump has endorsed me, they’re going to vote for me,” Carey said.

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biden administration

Rep. Waltz slams Biden for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan while Navy veteran remains Taliban hostage

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Florida Rep. Michael Waltz slammed the Biden administration on Tuesday for giving away all “leverage” by pulling American troops from Afghanistan while Navy veteran Mark Frerichs remains a Taliban hostage. 

Waltz, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and is a Green Beret veteran of the war in Afghanistan, stressed that he’s growing more concerned about Frerichs being left behind as the U.S. moves to withdraw its military from Afghanistan by Sept. 11. 

Mark Frerichs is a contractor from Lombard, Illinois, who is believed to have been held for more than a year by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network. Frerichs, a former Navy diver, was living in Kabul for a decade working on construction projects as an engineer when he was abducted, the Washington post reported. 

“The last American troops have pretty much gone home and the Biden administration has given away all of our leverage,” Waltz, R-Fla., told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. 

“The thing the Taliban wanted the most, and they’ve been asking for it for 20 years, is for American troops to leave.” 

Waltz then noted that the troop withdrawal was not conditioned on Frerichs’ release from custody, which is fueling concerns that the U.S. could lose bargaining power to get him home once its military presence is removed.

“You would have thought before President Biden just yanked everyone out, and we’re seeing the collapse that’s happening now in Afghanistan as we speak, they at least could have gotten one American in exchange,” Waltz stressed. 

Taliban forces are reportedly gaining momentum, pushing the Afghanistan government’s forces out of several districts and taking control of various weapons and military vehicles in the process, while the U.S. withdraws from the country.

U.S. Central Command announced last month that the drawdown is more than 90% complete and handed over seven facilities to the Afghan military. 

The deterioration of the situation on the ground and the resurgence of the Taliban comes nearly 20 years after the U.S. and international forces entered Afghanistan to oust the Taliban, which had harbored Usama bin Laden. 

President Joe Biden’s plan is to fully withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, on the 20th anniversary of the Al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. planned by bin Laden that led to the lengthy war.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, the Associated press reported that the Biden administration has said it regards the return of hostages to be a top priority.

For Frerichs’ family, the failure to make his return a factor in the withdrawal of troops is a source of frustration, as is the fact that the Trump administration signed a peace deal in February 2020, just weeks after Frerichs disappeared in Afghanistan while working on engineering projects in the country.

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His sister, Charlene Cakora, reportedly said in a statement in April that the military withdrawal “puts a time stamp on Mark.” 

“My heart breaks for the family,” Waltz said on Tuesday. “You can imagine as they saw that announcement how they felt and their frustration and mine too.” 

He added that he had learned that Frerichs’ family “has repeatedly asked to see President Biden to make their case personally and have been declined.” 

Frerichs’ home-state senators, Illinois Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, had raised concerns about Frerichs’ situation in a letter to the president earlier this year.

Waltz said “it’s incredibly frustrating” that if Frerichs is located, U.S. helicopters, drones and special forces may not be readily available for a rescue mission. 

The U.S. has not disclosed much about Frerichs’ status, but confirmed in April that active discussions with the Taliban were taking place, according to the Associated Press. 

State Department spokesman Ned Price reportedly said in a statement that U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is working closely with Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, “has continued to press the Taliban for Mr. Frerichs’ release, and continues to raise his status in senior level engagements in Doha and Islamabad.” 

“We place a high priority on Mark Frerichs’ safety and will not stop working until he is safely returned to his family,” the statement continued. 

Sorce : Fox News

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