(FreedomWire.com) – U.S. and China relations continue to be strained. This weekend it was announced that the Chinese have declined a meeting request from the United States.

The requested meeting was for U.S. and China’s defense chiefs to hold a meeting at an annual security forum in Singapore set for this weekend.

The Pentagon shared a statement on Monday, “Overnight, the PRC informed the U.S. that they have declined our early May invitation for Secretary (Lloyd) Austin to meet with PRC Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu in Singapore.”

The Pentagon added, “The Department believes strongly in the importance of maintaining open lines of military-to-military communication between Washington and Beijing to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict.”

Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry put out a statement placing blame on the United States for the declined meeting. Mao Ning a foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters, “The U.S. side should … immediately correct its wrong practices, show sincerity, and create the necessary atmosphere and conditions for dialogue and communication between the two militaries.”

“If the United States says it wants to communicate while suppressing and containing China by any means and imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, institutions, and enterprises, what is the sincerity and meaning of such communication?” Ning shared.

China’s Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu has been under U.S. sanctions since 2018. He was placed under sanctions over the purchase of combat aircraft and equipment from a Russian arms exporter.

Joe Biden had indicated at a summit of major industrial nations in Japan earlier this month that the sanctions on Li may be lifted. The state department later countered Biden and said that was not under consideration.

According to a senior U.S. defense official, since 2021 Beijing has declined or failed to respond to more than a dozen requests for meetings.

It appears that communication between the U.S. and China has been on the rocks since Biden took office. All this is while Russia and China appear to grow closer.

(FreedomWire.org) – After President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that a deal had been reached to increase the debt limit and avoid a default, a number of conservative leaders have raised alarms that the negotiated agreement does not go far enough to address Democrats’ out-of-control spending. Among them is Florida Governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis ripped House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday over the debt ceiling deal, calling it “totally inadequate” when it came to addressing spending.

“Prior to this deal, Kayleigh, our country was careening toward bankruptcy and after this deal, our country will still be careening toward bankruptcy,” DeSantis said to “Fox and Friends” guest host Kayleigh McEnany.

“To say you can do $4 trillion of increases in the next year and a half, I mean, that is massive amount of spending,” DeSantis continued. “I think that we’ve gotten ourselves on a trajectory, really since March of 2020 with some of the COVID spending and totally reset the budget and they are sticking with that and I think that is totally inadequate to get us in a better spot.”

“In Florida, we run big budget surpluses,” DeSantis said of his own governance. “We have a $1.2 trillion economy but our debt is only $17 billion — second lowest per capita in the country,” he noted.

“We make tough choices,” DeSantis said of Florida’s budget decisions, “and we make sure that we look forward to the long haul.”

Contrasting Florida with D.C., DeSantis pointed out that Congress does “these cycles to just get them through the next election, and that’s ultimately one of the reasons why they continue to fail.”

McCarthy released the text of the Fiscal Responsibility Act on Sunday evening, which increases the debt ceiling through Jan. 1, 2025, taking it past the 2024 presidential election. The House is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, following a 72-hour period for members to read the bill, a provision of the rules changes proposed by the Freedom Caucus and agreed to by McCarthy prior to his election as speaker.

The law freezes discretionary spending on non-defense budgetary items at Fiscal Year 2022 levels, adds reforms to permitting for energy projects and places new work requirements on some welfare programs. Many of those provisions were in the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which passed the House of Representatives by a 217-215 vote on April 26.

(FreedomWire.org) – President Joe Biden appeared greatly amused by Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asking about the possibility of a pardon for Donald Trump.

Trump is currently under federal investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is probing the president’s improper retention of government documents after he left office. Smith is also investigating the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in a desperate attempt to stay in office.

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who is challenging Trump for the Republican presidential nomination – would not rule out the possibility of pardoning Trump and some Jan. 6 defendants if he were elected president.

“And if Trump, let’s say, gets charged with federal offenses and you are the president of the United States,” asked Clay Travis, “would you look at potentially pardoning Trump himself based on the evidence that might emerge of those charges?”

DeSantis replied that he’d look at defendants “on a case-by-case basis because I think you’ve got to make sure that there’s a whole bunch of cases that don’t necessarily get headlines.”

He said the Department of Justice has been “weaponized” against conservatives.

On Monday, Doocy asked Biden about the governor’s comments.

“Did you see that Ron DeSantis said that if he became president, he would pardon Trump?” Doocy said to Biden shortly before the president boarded Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House. “Where are you on the idea of the president pardoning Trump?”

Biden laughed in response, raised his hand, and turned away.

“I’ll see you guys,” he said before walking to the helicopter to Delaware. “That’s a great question.”

(FreedomWire.org) – Republicans have expressed outrage this weekend over the news of a tentative debt ceiling deal being reached between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy after weeks of heated conflict.

The news arrived on Saturday night that Biden and McCarthy had agreed in principle to a deal that would raise the country’s debt limit for two years and curb federal spending. McCarthy, backed by a GOP majority in the House of Representatives, had previously refused to agree to a debt ceiling raise without significant spending cuts without raising taxes on the wealthy, while the president held strong, insisting that the debt ceiling should not be used as a bargaining chip.

Among the provisions in the tentative deal are increased work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which notably fall short of the requirements that Republicans had been demanding. The deal would also see non-defense spending remain largely flat for the next few years, not increasing in 2024 and increasing by only 1 percent in 2025. The deal must now pass in both houses of Congress before the projected June 5 deadline, after which the United States would default on its debts for the first time in history.

The tentative deal has seen strong pushback from many Republicans in Congress, with some notable members, like Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, announcing their intention to vote against it.

“Our base didn’t volunteer, door knock and fight so hard to get us the majority for this kind of compromise deal with Joe Biden,” Boebert wrote on Twitter late Saturday night. “Our voters deserve better than this. We work for them. You can count me as a NO on this deal. We can do better.”

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that there are “more questions than answers about the proposed debt limit deal,” and questioned the deal’s provisions concerning defense spending compared to inflation rates.

“For defense, this deal seems to echo the 2011 sequestration disaster,” Graham tweeted on Sunday morning. “Defense spending below inflation in the real world is a cut at a time when national security threats are increasing. I hope I’m wrong.”

“This ‘deal’ is insanity,” Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina tweeted. “A $4T debt ceiling increase with virtually no cuts is not what we agreed to. Not gonna vote to bankrupt our country. The American people deserve better.”

“Heard the call. RINOs congratulating McCarthy for getting almost zippo in exchange for $4T debt ceiling hike was enough to make you [puke emoji],” Representative Dan Bishop of North Carolina tweeted. “(Actually, it’s so bad they won’t give a figure for the debt ceiling hike … only that it’s suspended til Q1 2025. Our bill was a year less.)”

“I listened to Speaker McCarthy earlier tonight outline the deal with President Biden and I am appalled by the debt ceiling surrender,” Representative Ken Buck of Colorado added. “The bottom line is that the U.S. will have $35 trillion of debt in January, 2025. That is completely unacceptable.”

In his own tweet announcing the deal, McCarthy called the tentative deal “worthy of the American people,” and later said to reporters that it would see “historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, [a reining in of] government overreach, [and] no new taxes.”

On Twitter, Biden presented the deal as a “compromise.”

“It is an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people and growing the economy for everyone,” the president wrote. “And, the agreement protects my and Congressional Democrats’ key priorities and legislative accomplishments. The agreement represents a compromise, which means not everyone gets what they want. That’s the responsibility of governing.”

(FreedomWire.org) – The White House and House Republicans have reached an agreement in principle, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Saturday evening.

“We still have a lot of work to do. But I believe this is an agreement in principle that’s worthy of American people, ” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“That’s historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, reignin government overreach. There are no new taxes, no new government programs. There’s a lot more within the bill. We still have more work to do tonight to finish all the writing of it,” he said.

McCarthy said that he will not take media questions “out of respect.”

“I want to brief our members about where we currently are.” he said.

McCarthy refused to offer details on the deal, although some media reports citing anonymous sources claimed that both parties agreed to raise the nation’s debt limit for two years and place spending caps over that time, as well as increase work requirements for food aid.

The final text of the bill, according to the House Speaker, will be ready on Sunday, and voting will take place the following Wednesday.

“I expect to finish the writing of the bill, checking with the White House and speaking to the president again tomorrow afternoon and then posting the text of it tomorrow and then be voted on it on Wednesday.”

Before the announcement, McCarthy announced the deal on Twitter.

“I just got off the phone with the president a bit ago. After he wasted time and refused to negotiate for months, we’ve come to an agreement in principle that is worthy of the American people. I’ll deliver a statement at 9:10pm ET,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter.

The White House earlier confirmed the phone call between President Joe Biden and the speaker, as well as phone calls with Democratic leaders.

“This evening the President spoke with Speaker McCarthy. He spoke with Leaders Schumer and Jeffries earlier today,” the White House stated.

The agreement comes as the Treasury’s cash balance was shrinking at an alarming level, falling below $50 billion on May 24, down from $316.381 billion at the start of the month.

(FreedomWire.org) – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) slammed the Biden administration for ignoring warnings from U.S. embassy officials in Kabul before the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after he viewed a 2021 dissent cable from the diplomats.

McCaul and New York Rep. Greg Meeks, the Foreign Affairs committee’s top Democratic member, viewed the dissent cable and the State Department’s official response this week after McCaul threatened to hold Secretary of State Antony Blinken in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena for the document.

“The dissenters were absolutely right about everything they said,” McCaul told Punchbowl News. “And it was a warning to the administration about what was going to happen and what they needed to do. The dissenters deserve a medal.”

He also said: “Unfortunately, the administration didn’t heed all their warnings and we got what we got.”

When he subpoenaed Blinken in March, McCaul said, “The American people deserve answers as to how this tragedy unfolded, and why 13 U.S. servicemembers lost their lives,” referring to the August 2021 suicide bomb at the Kabul airport during the Afghan withdrawal that killed 13 U.S. troops and at least 170 Afghan civilians.

While the top committee members were able to view the documents in person at the State Department, McCaul is still pushing the agency to allow everyone on the committee to view the materials.

On Thursday, Rep. Green released the following statement after the Biden administration stonewalled the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subpoena to see the Afghanistan withdrawal dissent cable and Secretary Blinken’s response.

“As someone who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, this topic is extremely personal. The Biden administration’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal has left bloodied marks on our nation’s reputation, on Afghanistan, and on our allies. The only salve is accountability. And that is why I have appreciated Chairman Michael McCaul’s steadfast leadership on this issue.

“Unfortunately, Secretary Blinken has yet to allow every member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to view the Kabul Embassy dissent cable that warned the Biden administration against a hasty withdrawal. This lack of transparency is appalling. 

“Because of President Biden’s botched withdrawal, 13 U.S. servicemembers are dead, and many more are injured. Lawmakers must fully understand what advice was given to Biden officials before these decisions were made and how the President responded. 

“The American people deserve answers. They deserve to know why the Biden administration deserted Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night without informing our allies. They deserve to know why Americans were left behind, why promises to Afghan interpreters and allies were broken, and why our servicemembers were treated like sitting ducks at the Kabul airport when a more secure airport 57 miles away could have been used. 

“The Biden administration is trying to brush its misdeeds under the rug. Chairman McCaul and House Republicans won’t let them. We are committed to our oversight duties. If Biden administration officials continue to put barriers in our way, we will tear them down, one brick at a time–no matter how long it takes.”


(FreedomWire.org) – After months of speculation, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially jumped into the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination during a Twitter Spaces session co-hosted by Elon Musk.

In a post-announcement interview on Fox News hosted by his former congressional colleague Trey Gowdy, DeSantis laid out his day-one agenda should he manage to win the presidency.

DeSantis says he would fire FBI Director Christopher Wray on his first day as president.

DeSantis went on to say, “The border, there’s a lot you can do, ripping out President Joe Biden’s anti-American energy policies. You probably could do most of the executive, you’ll probably need to do some of that legislative as well.”

Continuing, he said a priority is “re-constitutionalizing the administrative state.”

“We have a bureaucracy that’s totally out of control. You need to be willing to use Article 2 power to bring the administrative state to heel,” he added. “I will do that.”

“I think Congress also has a role in reigning in the abuses through both the power of the purse and through making sure that they are legislating through clear and defined laws that aren’t delegating huge swaths of power to unelected bureaucrats,” DeSantis said.

He also added: “One thing I think we can do legislatively is national school choice. We’ve done it in Florida, it’s made a huge difference for low-income families.”

DeSantis now faces a battle with the party’s current frontrunner — Donald Trump.

Trump responded to the news on Wednesday evening by trolling DeSantis on Truth Social with a series of posts, images of the recent polling, and even some opinions of social media users.

“I’d like to personally congratulate ‘Rob’ DeSanctimonious on finally announcing that he will be entering the race for President of the United States. Hopefully, he will get the full experience of being attacked by the Marxists, Communists, and Radical Left Lunatics of our Country, without which he will never know the kind of job he is doing. These Lowlifes & Misfits are far worse than the leaders of hostile foreign countries. They must be soundly defeated in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump posted.

“Ron DeSantis’ decision to announce his 2024 White House bid in a conversation with Elon Musk on Twitter on Wednesday will make a typically blunt statement about his campaign, the unruly populism of the modern Republican Party, and an accelerating conservative media revolution,” CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote in an analysis Tuesday ahead of DeSantis’ launch.

Fox News added that DeSantis’ announcement coincided with a meeting he had this week in Miami with top financial backers.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that, in support of DeSantis’s presidential campaign, a prominent political group is gearing up for an extensive voter-outreach initiative.

The ambitious endeavor aims to reach every potential DeSantis supporter in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina at least four times, with an additional fifth contact in the pivotal Iowa caucuses. To accomplish it, the group is preparing a substantial $100 million investment in their outreach efforts.

“As part of a comprehensive on-the-ground organizing operation, the campaign plans to hire over 2,600 field organizers by Labor Day. This substantial number of personnel is quite extraordinary, even for campaigns with substantial funding, highlighting the significant scale and scope of their organizational efforts,” the Times added.

(FreedomWire.org) – CBS Evening News blew one of the many scandals surrounding President Joe Biden wide open when they scored an interview with whistleblower Gary Shapley, who is a supervisory special agent for the IRS.

Shaperly held nothing back hinting at a deep plot with many players trying to protect the Biden family. He said, “There was multiple steps that were slow-walked at the direction of the Department of Justice.”

He added that these “Deviations from normal process each and every time, it seems to always benefit the subject. I took an oath of office, and when I saw the egregiousness of some of these things, it no longer became a choice for me. It’s not something that I want to do, it’s something that I feel like I have to do.”

NORAH O’DONNELL: We turn now to a CBS News exclusive. For more than three years, the Department of Justice has been investigating the President’s son, Hunter Biden, for possible tax crimes.

Last fall, FBI sources told us they had sufficient evidence to bring charges. CBS’s Jim Axelrod spoke to the IRS agent who is blowing the whistle on what he says was preferential treatment in his first public interview. 

GARY SHAPLEY (IRS WHISTLEBLOWER): When I took control of this particular investigation, I immediately saw it was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past. 

JIM AXELROD: Gary Shapley is a supervisory special agent for the IRS. Where he’s worked for 14 years. In January 2020, he was assigned to what he calls a high-profile investigation. Who’s the subject of the investigation? 

SHAPLEY: I can’t confirm or deny the subject of this investigation. 

AXELROD: Why not? 

SHAPLEY: Because, you know, part of the tax secrecy laws don’t allow it. 

AXELROD: Shapley can’t say it, but CBS News has learned the investigation was the probe of Hunter Biden by the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Delaware. Senior Biden administration officials have vowed to let it run its course without interference. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND: Not restricted in its investigation in any way. 

AXELROD: But CBS News has obtained this letter Shapley’s lawyer sent to Congress Monday alleging irregularities in DOJ’s handling of the investigation. Shapley is seeking legal protections from Congress so he can share specifics of his allegations. 

SHAPLEY: There was multiple steps that were slow walked at the direction of the Department of Justice. 

AXELROD: Had you ever encountered that before? 

SHAPLEY: I have not, no. These deviations from normal process, and each and every time, it seems to always benefit the subject. 

AXELROD: Shapley says he decided to blow the whistle after a heated meeting last October with federal prosecutors. 

SHAPLEY: That was my redline meeting. It just got to that point where that switch was turned on, and I just couldn’t silence my conscience anymore. 

AXELROD: Did you let prosecutors know you were unhappy? 

SHAPLEY: I don’t think I can answer that.

AXELROD: Hunter Biden has denied any wrongdoing. 

The IRS agent told us he is a registered Republican. His whistle-blowing is being assisted by an advocacy group with past ties to the GOP, but Shapley says this is not about politics. Why do you want to navigate these waters? 

SHAPLEY: I don’t want to do any of this. I took an oath of office, and when I saw the egregiousness of some of these things, it no longer became a choice for me, it’s not something that I want to do, it’s something that I feel like I have to do. 

(FreedomWire.org) – House Republicans are threatening to file contempt charges against FBI Director Christopher Wray after the agency failed during a closed-door meeting to hand over a document lawmakers subpoenaed.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer detailed how lawmakers are seeking a document from the FBI that allegedly details a “criminal scheme” involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and an unnamed “foreign national.”

Comer threatened to hit Wray with contempt charges.

“They don’t respect anyone in Congress,” Comer said on Fox News. “They’ve been able to get away with this for a long time. The media continues to turn a blind eye. The Senate Republicans continue to fund the FBI. Why would you change your business model when you’re getting everything you want?”

Comer requested the document from Wray on Friday, accusing the agency of interfering with his subpoena launched on May 3 with Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley. The bureau has yet to hand over the document.

“At today’s staff briefing with FBI officials, the FBI again did not produce the unclassified record subpoenaed by Chairman Comer. The Oversight Committee will announce the next steps soon,” said Jessica Collins, a spokeswoman for the committee.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday that he is anticipating that the FBI will turn over a file that is believed to contain evidence of bribery involving President Joe Biden after a weeks-long impasse.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” the California Republican said the potential breakthrough came after he personally spoke with FBI Director Christopher Wray last week, the Daily Wire reports. The conversation pertained to the bureau’s failure to comply with a lawful congressional subpoena for the file.

“I explained to the director that we will do everything in our power, and we have jurisdiction over the FBI, that we have the right to see this document,” McCarthy said during the interview. “I believe after this call, we will get this document.”

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a subpoena with a deadline of May 10 for the file. According to GOP investigators, whistleblower disclosures suggest the existence of a form completed by the FBI, outlining an alleged influence-peddling scheme involving Biden during his tenure as vice president and a foreign national.

On the day of the deadline, the FBI responded to the request, with an official declining to acknowledge the existence of the mentioned record. The response further cautioned against the release of “unverified or incomplete” information that could “harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputational interests, or create misimpressions in the public.”

Even though Christopher Dunham, the acting Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs, expressed in his response a commitment to collaborate with lawmakers to address the issue, Comer appeared dissatisfied.

“It’s clear from the FBI’s response that the unclassified record the Oversight Committee subpoenaed exists, but they are refusing to provide it to the Committee,” Comer said at the time. “We’ve asked the FBI to not only provide this record, but to also inform us what it did to investigate these allegations. The FBI has failed to do both.”

(FreedomWire.org) – McCarthy’s office is fighting against reports on several social media websites that Republicans are demanding that President Biden agree to work requirements on social services programs in an agreement that would raise the debt ceiling.

A headline from Raw Story declared, “McCarthy demands work requirements on ‘all the programs’ including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP.”

Interestingly, the Raw Story article was tweeted by a former Obama campaign official, Jon Cooper.

“Kevin McCarthy is demanding that WORK REQUIREMENTS be added to receive not only Medicaid but also Medicare and Social Security. He doesn’t think Americans have earned their benefits – despite paying into all three programs over the course of their entire working lives,” Cooper wrote in a separate post.

“The plan proposed by McCarthy and other GOP leaders to enforce work-related requirements in these federal benefit programs would not apply to Social Security and Medicare, contrary to information spreading on social media, the speaker’s office confirmed,” reported JustTheNews.

“Work requirements in the SNAP program, commonly referred to as food stamps, apply to adults between ages 18 to 49 without dependents,” JustTheNews reported. “These recipients must work 80 hours a month or enroll in a work-training program, according to the SNAP guidelines on the program’s website. Under the GOP proposal, the age would increase to 55.”

Notoriously liberal groups like Occupy Democrats and Public Citizen are also sharing the false stories about work requirements in the House Republican plan.

“Kevin McCarthy is demanding work requirements for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security,” they wrote.

Republicans have set the record straight over and over again that cuts will not include Social Security or Medicare, but democrats continue to use it as a talking point and scare tactic.