Man who says he killed 93 women is America’s deadliest serial killer, FBI says
Authorities say Samuel Little, 79, serving life in California prison, has confessed to the murders
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the man who claims to have killed more than 90 women across the United States is the most prolific serial killer in the country’s history.
In a news release on Sunday, the FBI said Samuel Little confessed to 93 murders. Federal crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible, and officials have been able to verify 50 confessions so far.
Investigators also provided new information and details about five cases in Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada and Louisiana.
The 79-year-old Little is serving multiple life sentences in California. He says he strangled his 93 victims between 1970 and 2005.
Many of his victims’ deaths were originally deemed overdoses, or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes. Some bodies were never found.
Since you’re here…
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.
With reporters in the United States and in bureaus around the world, The Guardian offers a unique voice and outsider perspective. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.
Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.
We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable.
Current and former spies are floored by President Donald Trump’s fervent defense of Russia at this year’s G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
“It’s hard to see the bar anymore since it’s been pushed so far down the last few years, but President Trump’s behavior over the weekend was a new low,” one FBI agent who works in counterintelligence told Insider.
At the summit, Trump aggressively lobbied for Russia to be readmitted into the G7, refused to hold it accountable for violating international law, blamed former President Barack Obama for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and expressed sympathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One former senior Justice Department official, who worked closely with the former special counsel Robert Mueller when he was the FBI director, told Insider Trump’s behavior was “directly out of the Putin playbook. We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office.”
A former CIA operative told Insider the evidence is “overwhelming” that Trump is a Russian agent, but another CIA and NSA veteran said it was more likely Trump was currying favor with Putin for future business deals.
Meanwhile, a recently retired FBI special agent told Insider that Trump’s freewheeling and often unfounded statements make it more likely that he’s a “useful idiot” for the Russians. But “it would not surprise me in the least if the Russians had at least one asset in Trump’s inner circle.”
“It’s hard to see the bar anymore since it’s been pushed so far down the last few years, but President Trump’s behavior over the weekend was a new low.”
That was the assessment an FBI agent who works in counterintelligence gave Insider of President Donald Trump’s performance at this year’s G7 summit in Biarritz, France. The agent requested anonymity because they feared that speaking publicly on the matter would jeopardize their job.
Trump’s attendance at the G7 summit was peppered with controversy, but none was more notable than his fervent defense of Russia’s military and cyber aggression around the world, and its violation of international law in Ukraine.
Trump repeatedly refused to hold Russia accountable for annexing Crimea in 2014, blamed former President Barack Obama for Russia’s move to annex it, expressed sympathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin, and castigated other G7 members for not giving the country a seat at the table.
Since being booted from the G8 after annexing Crimea, Russia’s done little to make up for its actions. In fact, by many accounts, it’s stepped up its aggression.
In addition to continuing to encroach on Ukraine, the Russian government interfered in the 2016 US election and was behind the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy in the UK. US officials also warn that as the 2020 election looms, the Russians are stepping up their cyberactivities against the US and have repeatedly tried to attack US power grids.
“What in God’s name made Trump think it would be a good idea to ask to bring Russia back to the table?” the FBI agent told Insider. “How does this serve US national-security interests?”
Trump’s advocacy for Russia is renewing concerns among intelligence veterans that Trump may be a Russian “asset” who can be manipulated or influenced to serve Russian interests, although some also speculate that Trump could just be currying favor for future business deals.
‘We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office’
A former senior Justice Department official, who worked closely with the former special counsel Robert Mueller when he was FBI director, didn’t mince words when reacting to Trump’s performance at the G7 summit: “We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office.”
“There is no fathomable explanation for why the president said these things,” the former official said. “Letting Russia off the hook for bullying smaller countries and then blaming Obama for it? It’s directly out of the Putin playbook.”
While arguing for Russia to be invited back into the G7, Trump said the country would be helpful in addressing hot-button issues like Iran, Syria, and North Korea and that the alliance was better off with Russia “inside rather than outside.”
But Russia is a staunch ally of Syria’s Assad regime, and it’s also cozied up to Iran in recent years. US military and intelligence officials view Russia as one of the US’s foremost rivals and believe it generally stands in opposition to American interests.
Glenn Carle, a former CIA covert operative and frequent Trump critic, told Insider there’s been “no question” in his mind for years that the president is behaving like “a spy for the Russians.”
“The evidence is so overwhelming that in my 35 years in intelligence, I have never seen anything so certain,” Carle said, adding that he’s spoken with several intelligence veterans about the matter in the four years since Trump first launched his presidential campaign, many of whom believe Trump’s actions are a threat to national security.
“Intelligence assets become convinced to be spies for multiple reasons,” Carle, who specialized in getting foreign spies to become turncoats when he was at the CIA, said in an earlier interview with Insider. “It might start with kompromat or financial hooks, and the asset may be convinced he is acting as a patriot until he becomes accustomed to his role.”
“Trump clearly responds favorably to praise,” he said. “And over the years, the handling officer — Putin, in this case — realizes what the asset wants, and that’s what they provide. Trump wants to be told he’s the greatest, so that’s what you tell him, over and over again, until he comes to believe that is the motivation for his actions.”
‘A useful idiot’ or ‘currying favor’
Frank Montoya Jr., a recently retired FBI special agent, told Insider it’s “hard not to think the Russians have an asset in the White House.”
But he added that Trump’s freewheeling and often false statements imply he’s “not playing with a full deck on any matter of state these days. Still, those same delusions are what give me pause when conclusions are reached about the likelihood he is a Russian asset.”
“Useful idiot is more like it,” Montoya said. But he added that given the abundance of meetings and contacts between Trump associates and Russians before, during, and after the election, “it would not surprise me in the least if the Russians had at least one asset in Trump’s inner circle.”
Robert Deitz, a former top lawyer at the CIA and the National Security Agency, agreed that Trump was catering to Putin’s interests, but he disagreed on why.
“I think what’s going on right now is an Occam’s razor scenario,” he told Insider, referring to the philosophical theory that the simplest explanation for an event is often the correct one.
“Trump wants to do deals with Russia when he leaves the presidency,” Deitz said. “We already know he was interested in building a Trump Tower in Moscow before and during the election. The best way of doing a deal with Putin is to be nice to him, so I think what Trump is doing is currying favor.”
He emphasized, however, that regardless of Trump’s motives for being subservient to Putin, “it’s still harmful” to US interests.
“When Trump goes to bed each night, what do you think his last thoughts are: the welfare of the United States, or the size of his bank account?” Deitz added.
Trump’s defense of Putin at the G7 summit didn’t go unnoticed in Russia.
According to The Washington Post, one show on the state-run Rossiya-1 network played a celebratory soundtrack as it showed six video clips of Trump demanding that Putin be given a seat at the table.
The Russian media analyst Julia Davis said that Kremlin-controlled media reacted to Trump’s G7 performance with laughter and mockery.
This isn’t the first time the president has been accused of working to advance Russia’s interests ahead of the US’s.
Perhaps the sharpest example of this was when Trump and Putin held a bilateral summit in Helsinki last year. After the meeting, Trumpstunned the US national-security apparatus and foreign allies when he sided with Russia over the US intelligence community, blamed “both sides” for the deterioration of US-Russia relations, and praised Putin as being “extremely strong and powerful.”
In 2017, Trump refused to accept the US intelligence-community finding that Moscow meddled in the 2016 race to propel Trump to the presidency.
That May, he fired FBI director James Comey, who was overseeing the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election interference and cited “this Russia thing” as the reason. Two days after firing Comey, Trump shared classified intelligence with two Russian officials in the Oval Office and told them firing Comey had taken “great pressure” off of him.
Shortly after, the FBI began investigating whether Trump was a Russian agent.
Like this post? Spread the word and share it on social media.
Moscow Mitch McConnell The Trumpian And Putin Bitch
This letter to you today is not the type of letter that I ever thought I would need to write but it has become very clear that these thoughts and opinions need to be vocalized. First, Mitch McConnell is one of my home states two Senators, the other being Rand Paul so I have been reading up on Moscow Mitch for a long time now and the more I learn about this douche bag the sicker I get of him. I am going to pop some realities at you about this man then simply think what you will. I know that many folks won’t care if everything I say was to be proven to be the total truth beyond a doubt and some of you will probably get even more pissed off at him than you are now.
Mr. McConnell has already stated that he is running for re-election in the November 3rd, 2020 election cycle. He was born on February 20th of 1942 so if he wins re-election as our state Senator he would be just barely shy of his 79th birthday when the new cycle begins letting him be in Office until just shy of his 85th birthday. This would also be his 8th term in the Senate and the reality is that he is the second most powerful person in our Nation so for a person as power hungry and money hungry as he is I believe that he will try to stay in Office until the day he dies.
Now, lets talk about our Nations elections that is and has been fixed by Russian interference since at least 2016. Our security agencies have proven that the Russian government at the direction of Mr. Trumps good friend President Putin have been trying to ‘fix’ all of our elections even at the State level. Even though Mr. Trump supposedly won the most electoral votes in 2016 he did lose to crooked Hilary by more than 3 million actual votes. But think about what I am getting ready to discuss with you about 2016, even during the primaries. The CIA, FBI and NSA all know that Russia was infiltrating the elections in all 50 States. Do you remember how most folks thought that Trump was nothing but a joke running for the Office of President, then he started winning primaries? What if he actually didn’t win most or any of those primaries, Putin did? Think about it, why would Putin wait until the main election to start fixing things for his puppet Trump? Really, if Russia hadn’t fixed the State and Federal elections Mr. John Kasich would probably be our President now. But, then again if the DNC hadn’t fixed the Democratic primaries for crooked Hilary Senator Bernie Sanders would probably be our President, but certainly not this idiotic Clown we have now.
Now, back to Moscow Mitch and why he won’t allow any bill to be brought to the Senate floor that would help stop the Russian interference in our next set of elections. First, he using his position as the Head of the Senate to totally nullified the existence of the Federal Congress. Anything and everything that the Congress has passed and sent onto the Senate he has not allowed it to hit the Senate floor for a vote. This is why he is the second most powerful person in our Nation. He is controlling not only the Senate but the House also. There is good reason why he doesn’t want to stop the Russians form messing up our elections, as the votes get fixed for Trump to win, the Republican Senators win riding Trump’s coat tails. As long as this is allowed to continue the Republicans will control the Senate thus keeping McConnell in this high perch of power. In other words it behooves him personally ego wise and financially to not stop the election interference. Just like Mr. Trump has sold out America and all of our people to Mr. Putin, so has Moscow Mitch.
Like this post? Spread the word and share it on social media.
WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, who was long viewed as heir to the leadership of Al Qaeda and who had repeatedly threatened to attack the United States, is dead, according to two American officials.
Hamza bin Laden was killed in the past two years, during the Trump administration, but it took time to confirm his death, the officials said.
In February, the State Department announced a $1 million reward for information about his whereabouts. However, by then, Mr. bin Laden had been killed — but his death had not yet been confirmed by the military and intelligence agencies.
The United States government had a role in the operation that killed the younger Mr. bin Laden, but it was not clear precisely what that role was. Details, including where it happened, were scarce. The officials discussed his death on the condition of anonymity because it involved sensitive operations and intelligence gathering.
The location of Mr. bin Laden had been the subject of public speculation. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of Al Qaeda, including Mr. bin Laden, fled to Iran, where they were detained. Since then, Mr. bin Laden had been reported to be in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region, as well as in Syria, analysts and former officials have said.
After the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in a SEAL Team 6 raid in Pakistan, Hamza bin Laden was being groomed for the top leadership role in Al Qaeda by two of his father’s top lieutenants. He married a daughter of one of them.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Julian E. Barnes is a national security reporter based in Washington, covering the intelligence agencies. Before joining The Times in 2018, he wrote about security matters for the Wall Street Journal. @julianbarnes•Facebook
Adam Goldman reports on the F.B.I. from Washington and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. @adamgoldmanNYT
Like this post? Spread the word and share it on social media.
Capital One said Monday personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers, of more than 100 million individuals was compromised in a massive data theft that led to the arrest of a Seattle woman.
The FBI arrested Thompson Monday for the theft, which occurred between March 12 and July 17, court records show. Among the data allegedly collected from a company cloud-based server were Social Security and bank account numbers.
The bank said “the largest category of information” accessed from applicants who applied for credit cards between 2005 and 2019 was personal information including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income. About 140,000 Social Security numbers were accessed and 80,000 bank account numbers from credit card customers, Capital One said.
Other data that was obtained includes credit scores, limits, balances and “fragments of transaction data from a total of 23 days during 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
Capital One said in a news release that “100 million individuals in the United States and approximately 6 million in Canada” were affected.
The breach was discovered on July 19 and the company said it “immediately fixed the configuration vulnerability that this individual exploited and promptly began working with federal law enforcement.”
“While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One chairman and CEO, in a statement. “I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”
Last week, Equifax reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 states on the 2017 breach that affected approximately 147 million Americans.
Like this post? Spread the word and share it on social media.
This story contains descriptions of graphic content.
(CNN)The families thought they were donating the bodies of their loved ones to a company that would send them to medical researchers to help find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
But when federal authorities raided the Arizona facility of the Biological Resource Center in January 2014, they made a horrific discovery: bodies piled atop one another, buckets full of body parts and other unsettling scenes, details that came to light recently when a former FBI agent gave a statement for a lawsuit.
Thirty-five relatives of people whose bodies were supposed to be donated for science research between 2010 and 2014 have sued officials who worked at Biological Resource Center in Maricopa County or its facility in Illinois.
The grim discoveries were detailed in a civil lawsuit which was first filed in 2015, has been amended several times and is headed for trial this fall in a Phoenix court. It alleges officials deceived relatives who donated the remains of their loved ones and the company conspired to traffic bodies and body parts for profit.
A raid unveils body parts
In January 2014, federal authorities spent a week going through the now-shuttered facility, making horrific discoveries.
In a statement given in May, Mark Cwynar, who was an assistant special agent in the FBI’s Phoenix office, testified that during the raid he saw body parts stacked in all parts of the facility, including many in freezers, without any tags identifying them. He says he saw a bucket full of heads, arms and legs.
One torso had its head removed and a smaller head was attached in a ” ‘Frankenstein’ manner,” he says. The torso was hung from a wall, the lawsuit said.
The relatives suing the company allege it would “mutilate and desecrate those bodies so they could sell the bodies and body parts for profit to enrich themselves.”
The lawsuit says plaintiffs checked a box on a form that said, “No, I do not authorize Biological Resource Center to use this bequest for such special non-medical projects,” only to find out years later bodies were used for other purposes.
Bodies were sold to the Department of Defense, according to the lawsuit.
“These bodies were literally used as crash test dummies, which meant they were used in experiments involving exposures to destructive forces, e.g. impacts, crashes, ballistic injuries and blasts,” the lawsuit says, adding the statement is based on evidence gathered for an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General. The plaintiffs acquired the information through a public records request, the lawsuit says.
In 2016, the Army told Reuters, the military reviewed “heavily redacted forms or forms signed by an agent of BRC that indicated consent.” Reuters reports it is Army policy not to use bodies if a donor didn’t approve use in military research.
Plaintiff says he made his wishes clear
Troy Harp, one of the plaintiffs, told CNN he was very clear with Biological Resource Center that he wanted the remains of mother and grandmother to be used for scientific research, perhaps in a lab where students could learn from the remains.
“Not for a morbid dissect Frankenstein party,” Harp said.
Now he wonders whether the company really sent him their cremated ashes.
“We don’t even know who we have in our boxes. None of us do,” he said.
His mother suffered from severe arthritis and was in a wheelchair for 25 years. Harp said the hospice facility she was in referred him to Biological Resource Center. She died in 2013, a year after Harp’s grandmother died.
Attorney Michael Burg said the issue is people never consented to the way the bodies were allegedly used.
“This is a horrible situation where these vulnerable people are taken advantage of,” he said.
CNN has attempted several times by phone to reach Stephen Gore, the former owner and operator of the company, for comment but has not yet heard back. He pleaded guilty to one count of illegal control of an enterprise in 2015, and received a sentence of four years probation, according to news reports.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include the man who operated a similar Biological Resource Center facility in Illinois, the assistant medical director at that site, and two companies that did business with Biological Resource Center.
CNN has been unable to reach any of the defendants or their lawyers for comment.
The lawsuit appears headed for resolution in the fall. Lawyers will return to court August 13 for a status conference. The trial is tentatively scheduled to begin October 21, online court records show.
CNN’s Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.
Like this post? Spread the word and share it on social media.
The release of the previously redacted documents came one day after the judge in the case disclosed that prosecutors had concluded their probe into Cohen’s campaign finance crimes.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, leaves the hearing room during a recess for lunch as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Feb. 27, 2019.Mandel Ngan / AFP – Getty Images
By Tom Winter and Adam Edelman
The FBI believed then-candidate Donald Trump was closely involved in a scheme to hide hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump, court documents from the closed campaign finance case against former Trump-fixer Michael Cohen show.
The documents, released Thursday, describe a “series of calls, text messages, and emails” among Cohen, Trump, Trump campaign aide Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson — an attorney for Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford — and David Pecker, an executive of the company that published the National Enquirer.
“I have learned that in the days following the Access Hollywood video, Cohen exchanged a series of calls, text messages and emails with Keith Davidson, who was then Clifford’s attorney, David Pecker and Dylan Howard of American Media Inc. (“AMI”), the publisher of the National Enquirer, Trump, and Hope Hicks, who was then press secretary for Trump’s presidential campaign,” an FBI agent investigating the matter wrote in the released documents.
“Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access Hollywood story,” the agent said.
The unsealed documents say Hicks called Cohen at 7:20 p.m. on Oct. 8, 2016 — the first time she had called him in weeks — and that Trump joined the call seconds later. The conversation lasted four minutes. Hicks and Cohen spoke privately after Trump left the call and, after that, Cohen phoned Pecker. Moments after that conversation ended, Cohen received a phone call from Howard, the chief content officer of American Media. After that call, Cohen rang Hicks back, ended that call, and then took another from Pecker. At 8:03 p.m., according to the unsealed court documents, Cohen called Trump. They spoke for eight minutes.
The two would speak again Oct. 26, the day when Cohen would wire $130,000 to an escrow account that would eventually be sent to Daniels’ attorney as payment for the agreement to secure her silence. The first call was at 8:26 a.m. for three minutes, and the second came at 8:34 a.m.
The last phone call between Trump and Cohen described in the documents took place at 11:48 a.m. on Oct. 28 and lasted about five minutes. Later that day, Cohen’s and Daniels’ attorneys confirmed that the paperwork for the agreement for Daniels’ silence was complete.
The FBI agent wrote in the document that the information came from a review of Cohen’s telephone records and under warrants to obtain Cohen’s emails. In addition, the documents say the FBI questioned Hicks about her involvement.
In a statement from jail, Cohen said, “As I stated in my open testimony, I and members of the Trump Organization were directed by Mr. Trump to handle the Stormy Daniel’ matter, including making the hush-money payment.”
“The conclusion of the investigation exonerating the Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and the Department of Justice,” Cohen said.
He added that a statement a day earlier from Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, was “completely distorted and dishonest.”
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, accused Sekulow of having “issued a misleading and false statement” and asked him to answer two questions.
“Is it not a fact that SDNY prosecutors found President Trump to have directly and coordinated the commission of felony involving campaign finance federal laws?” Davis wrote in a statement. “Is it not also a fact that upon his loss of purported immunity as President of the United States, he is subject to arrest, incarceration and trial for that trial?”
On Wednesday, Sekulow said, “We are pleased that the investigation surrounding these ridiculous campaign finance allegations is now closed,” adding, “We have maintained from the outset that the president never engaged in any campaign finance violation.”
The release of the previously redacted documents comes a day after the federal judge in the case disclosed that prosecutors had concluded their probe into Cohen’s campaign finance crimes and ordered the release of search warrants tied to the case.
Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, is serving a three-year prison sentence for a slew of crimes, including breaking campaign finance laws by hiding payments to Daniels and another woman who also claimed she had an affair with Trump.
“The campaign finance violations discussed in the materials are a matter of national importance,” Judge William Pauley III said in court papers, denying the government’s request for limited redactions. “Now that the government’s investigation into those violations has concluded, it is time that every American has an opportunity to scrutinize the materials.”
The New York probe has long been viewed as potentially perilous for Trump and his associates. The judge’s disclosure is the clearest indication yet that federal investigators have concluded their investigation of possible campaign finance crimes involving Cohen and likely any of Trump’s other business associates or family members.
Tom Winter is a New York-based correspondent covering crime, courts, terrorism, and financial fraud on the East Coast for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Adam Edelman is a political reporter for NBC News.
Like this post? Spread the word and share it on social media.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DAILY BEAST NEWS SITE)
Acosta, Who Cut Deal With Epstein, Tried to Slash Anti-Trafficking Program by 80 Percent
His proposal came under fire at the time from a congresswoman who noted his sweetheart deal with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Washington Bureau Chief
On Jan. 2, 2018, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta released a statement commemorating the beginning of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, recommitting his department’s mission to “ending practices that harm individuals, families, and communities.”
“We must act to end exploitation and abusive labor practices at home and abroad,” the statement said.
Absent from that statement was the fact he had already tried to cut a program by nearly 80 percent inside the Department of Labor dedicated to combating human trafficking, along with child and forced labor, internationally. And two months later, he would return to Congress to advocate for a second budget to cut the program just as deeply.
His proposal came under fire from a congresswoman who noted a chapter from Acosta’s past: As U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida, Acosta granted a sweetheart deal that allowed convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein to plead to one count of prostitution and serve out 13 months of an 18-month sentence prison sentence (in which he was allowed leave to jail to go to the office most days) despite allegations he molested and trafficked countless underage girls.
STAND BY YOUR MAN
Why Trump Is Standing by Acosta on the Epstein Plea Deal
The cut to the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB)’s budget in the 2020 budget —reducing the funding level to $18.5 million, attracted the attention of Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), who asked Acosta about the department’s responsibilities as they related to human trafficking during a hearing about his department’s funding request in April 2019.
“The problem is a large one the Department of Labor recently issued a report and it actually detailed 1,700 recommendations that could be looked at around the world to address this,” Acosta told Clark.
“That is excellent,” Clark responded, with a smile. “And I know that there are hundreds of thousands of adults and children who are victims of sex and labor trafficking in the U.S., glad you are looking at it, glad you’ve detailed a comprehensive strategy.”
Her smile disappeared.
“But you’ve also proposed a budget cut, almost 80%, 79% to ILAB where this work is done, bringing its budget from $68 million to just 18.5 million,” she said. “I’m sure you’ve come prepared to justify this cut to us but it doesn’t go unnoticed that this isn’t the first time that you’ve ignored human trafficking.”
“How can we expect you, the Labor Secretary to fight for American workers if you couldn’t even fight for these girls?” she asked, as Acosta initially stared at her blankly.
Send The Daily Beast a Tip
The Daily Beast
The International Labor Affairs Bureau’s office of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking has several functions, including producing an annual authoritative, congressionally mandated report on child labor and human trafficking globally as well as maintaining a list of products and source countries that the office has reason to believe use child and forced labor. It also helps fund programs in countries through civil society organizations and others non-governmental groups to address the root of child labor and trafficking, according to a source with knowledge of the bureau’s operation.
RELATED IN POLITICS
Why Trump Is Standing by Acosta on the Epstein Plea Deal
Trump Now Claims ‘I Was Not a Fan’ of Jeffrey Epstein
Shocker: Thrice-Married President No Good at Vetting
The Department of Labor did not respond to a request for comment as to why this program chosen for cuts, but a 2017 press release announcing the department’s 2018 budget request states the government will save, “$68 million by refocusing the Bureau of International Labor Affairs on ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Clark said the attempt to defund this program “ speaks to the priorities of this administration and specifically the Secretary Acosta that they would in essence make the bureau inoperable.”
“This is the program within the Department of Labor that really promotes a fair global playing field for workers in the United States and specifically it does it by looking at forced labor for children and human trafficking all that sexual exploitation that sadly we see too often,” she said.
She added, “What it showed me is that Secretary Acosta has a pattern of not recognizing the priority of these issues. He certainly did that in Florida when he chose the powerful and the wealthy over child victims and a 53-page indictment that had been put together by his office.”
Advocates have also decried recent decision by the Department of Labor to stop issuing certain visas to victims of human trafficking or other workplace crimes until the victims consult with another law enforcement agency like the FBI.
Erika Gonzalez, an attorney with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, told The Daily Beast the change means victims will have to jump through “a lot more hoops” to get the relief they need. She compared the policy change to the Epstein plea deal, which Acosta did not clear with the billionaire’s victims before accepting.
“What the Epstein case shows is when these policies around human trafficking are implemented, they’re not necessarily considerate of the impact on the victims themselves,” Gonzalez said. “With the Department of Labor asking the FBI to look into [workplace violations] first, they’re adding another barrier for victims of trafficking to access the services the Department of Labor has.”
Other anti-trafficking organizations went further, saying the Epstein case shattered their trust in Acosta’s ability to protect victims of sex and labor exploitation. ECPAT-USA, and anti-child-trafficking organization, wrote a letter to Trump this week calling for Acosta to be fired.
“How can you in good faith be trusted to carry out labor laws when you can’t even enforce sex trafficking laws among children?” Joe Huang-Racalto, ECPAT’s government relations director, told The Daily Beast.
“With the scourge of labor trafficking in this country, the refusal to address recruiter fees, and companies that aren’t playing by the rules, we should [be able to] depend on the Secretary to enforce them—and we don’t.”
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was shot and killed Wednesday night during a confrontation with U.S. Marshals that led to a tense situation between MPD officers and a crowd on a Frayser street.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified the man shot as Brandon Webber, 20. TBI is in charge of investigating the incident.
Officers with the U.S. Marshal Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force came into contact with Webber, who was wanted on multiple felony warrants as he was getting into a vehicle in the 2000 block of Durham in Frayser on Wednesday.
The details of the charges in those warrants was not immediately clear, but Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said the warrants were for “violent felony offenses, from an incident that occurred June 3, 2019, in Hernando, Miss.”
RELATED STORY Memphis Mayor answers questions on last night’s Frayser violence
A source close to the investigation confirmed the charges are related to an incident in which a Hernando man was shot and his car stolen by a man. The suspect had met the victim on Facebook and was test-driving the vehicle after saying he wanted to buy it.
While officers attempted to stop Webber, he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officer’s cruisers multiple times before jumping out with a weapon. The officers opened fire, striking and killing the man.
After the shooting, Memphis police officers at the Old Allen Station received a call to assist the U.S. Marshals. MPD officers were not involved in Webber’s shooting.
Around that time, a large group started gathering on the scene and several individuals began throwing concrete rocks and bricks at officers and squad cars. Fire officials also said windows were broken out of a fire station, though no firefighters were hurt.
In a post on Facebook, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said a concrete wall outside a business was torn down.
Video shows one man using a chair to hit a police cruiser, and a WREG reporter at the scene was knocked to the ground by a man.
The violence reportedly led officers to call in back up as well as don protective clothing.
Authorities confirmed at least 25 officers received some sort of injury and they were forced to set up a triage unit on the scene for the officers who had been hurt. They were eventually forced to use a chemical agent to disperse the crowd.
“What I need now is for everyone to stay calm,” Police Director Michael Rallings said during a news conference early Thursday morning. “If your home or car was vandalized during these acts, you need to call police. If you witnessed acts of violence or vandalism you need to call police.”
Thursday morning, Strickland said Rallings made the right call to disperse the crowd because of violence against officers and the media. He also praised Memphis Police officers and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies for exercising restraint at the scene.
Three people were arrested after the chaos: Eddie Richardson, Kleston Beverly and Joshua Taylor.
Police said each of the men were among the people causing problems at the scene and refused to leave when told to disperse. Taylor, 19, even laid on the ground and told officers, “ya’ll gonna have to lock me up today.”
Taylor was charged with inciting a riot and riot, while Richardson and Beverly were charged with disorderly conduct.
The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement that the agency would conduct an internal review after the state completes its investigation. The agency said they would not release the names of deputy marshals involved in the shooting until the conclusion of all investigations.
Shelby County Schools said Thursday that Webber was a 2017 graduate at Central High School.
“Shelby County Schools has received information about a planned vigil near the school. As a proactive measure, we have deployed additional security personnel to Central HS and provided grief counselors to multiple schools in the area to assist students and staff. Our priority is to ensure our school is secured and students and staff feel safe,” the district said.
Greg McCullough, principal at Central High School, said in a statement, “My heart is broken over the news regarding the death of Brandon Webber.
“Brandon worked hard during his time at Central where he graduated in 2017. I remember that he was a very talented art student. He seemed to really love his experience at Central High and he engaged well with others. My prayers go out to the Webber family during this devastating time.”
(As is normal, Rudy Giuliani has it backwards, every single person I have spoken to has absolutely ZERO RESPECT for Giuliani and total respect for Mr. Comey. But then again, THE TRUTH is never THE TRUTH with Giuliani!)(OPED by oldpoet56)
Rudy Giuliani: ‘No one really respects’ James Comey
Rudy Giuliani says “no one really respects” ex-FBI director James Comey “or wants to hear from him.”
The late-night put-down came Friday after Comey bashed Attorney General William Barr, tweeting that the AG is “sliming his own Department.”
“If there are bad facts, show us,” Comey’s tweet continued. “An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.”
Giuliani, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, made his retort about an hour later.
“Someone should tell Jim Comey no one really respects him or wants to hear from him,” the former New York City mayor tweeted. “The Dems wanted him fired when he violated DOJ ethics in slimming Hillary. Rs believe he committed perjury and abused his power as FBI Director.”
Barr on Friday vowed to uncover the origins of the investigation of the Trump campaign. He previously characterized the investigation of Trump staff as “spying.”