Things That Matter

Lin-Manuel Miranda Calls Trump A Liar Following Tweet About Democrats Partying in Puerto Rico

The cast of “Hamilton” welcomed audiences in Puerto Rico on Friday, Jan. 11. The cast included Lin-Manuel Miranda as he reprised his title role that catapulted the actor to stardom. Theater critics called opening night an emotional performance as the people of Puerto Rico are still in recovery mode after Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017. The opening of “Hamilton” also included some harsh words by the country’s leader.

President Donald Trump criticized Democratic lawmakers for attending the opening of “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico during the country’s record-breaking government shutdown.

Twitter

During an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, President Trump said that he was “working hard” in the White House while Democrats celebrated in Puerto Rico.

“Nancy Pelosi’s in Hawaii over the holidays…Now she’s in Puerto Rico with a bunch of Democrats and lobbyists enjoying the sun and partying down there,” Trump said on the show. Trump reiterated that point again during a press conference a couple days later in front of the White House.

“I’ve been here all weekend,” Trump said. “The Democrats are in Puerto Rico celebrating something. I don’t know, maybe celebrating the shutdown or something.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda responded to Trump by tweeting that he’s a compulsive liar a day after his partying claims.

@Lin_Manuel / Twitter

Miranda expressed why 36 Democratic lawmakers were invited to the opening weekend of “Hamilton” and said it was important for them to see Puerto Rico still needs help.

“I’m very proud to work with the Latino Victory Fund because you’re here to work, despite what anyone might claim,” Miranda said during a speech at the progressive organization’s summit, according to The Hill. “I know you all saw the blue tarps when your plane landed in Puerto Rico.” He also said, “We brought ‘Hamilton’ here to bring a spotlight to Puerto Rico.”

According to the publication, the blue tarps are temporary roof coverings that were provided to residents by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Proceeds from the Broadway show will go towards benefiting the Hispanic Federation, a Latino nonprofit, and Flamboyan Foundation, an educational program that helps children in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

This is not the first time Miranda and Trump have gone head-to-head.

@Lin_Manuel / Twitter

Miranda and the cast of “Hamilton” have never been fans of the Trump Administration. During a 2016 visit, soon after the presidential election, Vice President Pence attended a performance in New York City in which the the actors basically told him off.

“We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who played Vice President Aaron Burr, said after the performance. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

Trump didn’t like that Pence was called out. He responded to their words with this tweet: “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”

During a press conference after opening night in Puerto Rico, Miranda said, according to the Washington Post, “I just love the island so much, and I just want it to be proud of me.”


READ: These Tweets Show The Impact Trump’s Government Shutdown Is Having On American Families

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

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At Least 17 Dead And Hundreds Injured Following Massive Protests Across Colombia

A massive protest movement that swept across Colombia seems to have paid off – at least in the short term – as President Ivan Duque says that he will withdrawal the controversial tax plan that sent angry protesters into the streets. However, the protests claimed at least 17 victims who died during the unrest and hundreds more were injured.

Now that the president has withdrawn the controverial bill, many are wondering what’s next and will they have to take to the streets once again.

Massive protests claimed the lives of at least 17 people and hundreds more were injured across Colombia.

Unions and other groups kicked off marches on Wednesday to demand the government of President Ivan Duque withdraw a controversial tax plan that they say unfairly targets the most vulnerable Colombians.

Isolated vandalism, clashes between police and protesters and road blockades occurred in several cities on Saturday, and riot police were deployed in the capital.

Rights organization Human Rights Watch said it had received reports of possible police abuse in Cali, and local human rights groups alleged up to 17 deaths occurred.

After a week of protests, the government has shelved the controversial plan.

Faced with the unrest, the government of President Ivan Duque on Sunday ordered the proposal be withdrawn from Congress where it was being debated. In a televised statement, he said his government would work to produce new proposals and seek consensus with other parties and organizations.

President Duque, in his statement, acknowledged “it is a moment for the protection of the most vulnerable, an invitation to build and not to hate and destroy”.

“It is a moment for all of us to work together without paltriness,” he added. “A path of consensus, of clear perceptions. And it gives us the opportunity to say clearly that there will be no increase in VAT for goods and services.”

The tax reform had been heavily criticized for punishing the middle classes at a time of economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The government introduced the bill on April 15 as a means of financing public spending. The aim was to generate $6.3 billion between 2022 and 2031 to reignite the fourth largest economy in Latin America.

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Federal Investigators Executed A Search Warrant On Rudy Giuliani’s N.Y.C. Home And This Is Just The Beginning

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Federal Investigators Executed A Search Warrant On Rudy Giuliani’s N.Y.C. Home And This Is Just The Beginning

Months of investigations on Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani officially came to a head Wednesday morning.

The former New York City mayor’s dealings with Ukraine officials in 2019 have been under scrutiny for months by authorities who have been investigating allegations Giuliani lobbied for powerful Ukrainian interests. The investigations have also looked into claims that Giuliani also solicited the Ukrainian government for damaging information on President Joe Biden when he was running against Trump in the 2020 election.

There is also the matter of allegations that Giuliani attempted to find information on Biden’s son Hunter, who was part of the board of an energy company in Ukraine.

Federal investigators executed a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home on Wednesday morning.

The search was part of a criminal investigation into Giuliani‘s activities with Ukraine. According to The New York Times, “Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump’s personal lawyer.”

Federal agents seized cellphones and other electronic devices as part of the investigation. The search warrant took place around 6 a.m. at Mr. Giuliani’s apartment on Madison Avenue and his Park Avenue office in Manhattan.

The execution of a search warrant against the former president’s lawyer is particularly shocking.

The warrant comes as a major development in the investigation that has been ongoing for some time and examines the former- mayor’s conduct during Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

“It was also a remarkable moment in Mr. Giuliani’s long arc as a public figure,” noted New York Times. “As mayor, Mr. Giuliani won national recognition for steering New York through the dark days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and earlier in his career, he led the same U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan that is investigating him now, earning a reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor who took on organized crime and corrupt politicians.”

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