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Gavin Newsom, during his speech at the Vatican on climate change, accuses Trump of 'open corruption'

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Gavin Newsom, during his speech at the Vatican on climate change, accuses Trump of 'open corruption'

Gov. Gavin Newsom accused former President Trump of “open corruption” in a speech Thursday at a climate summit of Catholic officials and international leaders, elevating his criticism of the Republican leader in the hallowed halls of the Vatican.

The California governor referenced news stories alleging that Trump recently solicited campaign donations from oil executives and at the same event vowed to walk back climate protections if elected in the 2024 presidential contest.

“He openly asked them for $1 billion to roll back the environmental progress of the Biden administration, environmental progress that we’ve made over the course of the last half century,” Newsom said. “Open corruption. A billion dollars to pollute our states, to pollute our country, and to pollute this planet and roll back progress.”

The governor spoke at a three-day “From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience” summit organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

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Newsom said he decided to call out Trump by name at the international gathering of governors, mayors and policy experts because he felt stories about Trump’s meeting with oil executives didn’t get enough attention.

“It’s an expression of my sincerity about how serious I take this moment and how consequential it is,” the governor said about the possible negative effects on climate change if Trump returns to the White House.

His comments were also strategic. Climate change isn’t necessarily driving American Catholics to the polls, but drawing attention to an accusation of pay-to-play political corruption might resonate more with Pope Francis’ supporters in the U.S. More than 50 million Americans identify as Catholic.

Newsom’s appearance is likely to elevate his position as a climate leader on a world stage.

Gov. Gavin Newsom attends the “From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience” summit.

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(Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press)

With temperatures and carbon emissions rising worldwide, the aim of the conference is for local and state governments to share best practices about fighting climate change and adapting to hotter temperatures, rising seas and a more volatile environment.

Parts of Newsom’s talk matched the tenor of a critique of the oil industry he delivered last fall at the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in New York.

“It’s because of the burning of gas, the burning of coal, the burning of oil,” Newsom said at the Vatican. “We have the tools. We have the technology. We have the capacity to address the issue at a global scale and they’ve been fighting every single advancement and we have got to call that out.”

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Bob Salladay, Newsom’s top communications advisor, said his candid assessment earlier in New York of the industry, which he said was playing everyone for fools, caught the attention of the Vatican and is one of the reasons he was invited to speak at the climate summit.

The setting of his speech, in a carpeted auditorium at the Vatican that typically houses gatherings of bishops, drew a stark contrast to the marbled floors and renaissance murals that lined the walls and ceilings of Clementine Hall, where Newsom spoke with Pope Francis on Thursday morning.

In an address to government leaders and climate scientists in Clementine Hall, Pope Francis cast the destruction of the environment as an offense against God.

“This is the question: Are we working for a culture of life or for a culture of death?” Pope Francis said.

Newsom and his wife, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, sat in the second row of the audience in an Apostolic Palace near St. Peter’s Basilica.

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A pope’s body is placed in the hall for private visitation upon his death. It’s also the same room that former President Obama visited in 2009.

 New York's Gov. Kathy Hochul greets Pope Francis.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul greets Pope Francis on Thursday in Vatican City.

(Riccardo De Luca / Associated Press)

Pope Francis called the refusal to protect the most vulnerable who are exposed to climate change caused by human activity a “grave violation of human rights.”

He said around 1 billion people in wealthier nations “produce more than half the heat trapping pollutants” of the world. Poorer people, he said, contribute less than 10% and suffer 75% of the resulting damage.

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Pope Francis also took a shot at fossil fuel companies.

“An orderly progress is being held back by the greedy pursuit of short-term gains by polluting industries and by the spread of disinformation, which generates confusion and obstructs collective efforts for a change in course,” Francis said.

The governor called the pope’s address “remarkable.”

“I knew what I was going to say already, but he said it before I said it,” Newsom said.

After Francis’ speech, Newsom and Siebel Newsom walked along an aisle of ornate stone tiles to the front of the room, where the governor briefly spoke with the leader of the Catholic Church. The governor said the pope commended his administration’s work on the death penalty.

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The governor said he was struck by the pope’s support for what Newsom described as a difficult decision to issue a moratorium on the death penalty and close California’s execution chambers in 2019.

At the time, more than 700 people were on death row. Newsom met with families of some of the victims who had been killed by the inmates.

“It was nice that he brought up the issue and thanked California for the direction we’re going,” Newsom said.

Newsom’s action ran counter to the expressed will of California voters, who over the previous six years had rejected two statewide ballot measures to repeal the death penalty.

A procession of attendees also greeted the pope, who took time to shake hands with every person in the room.

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The pope signed a planetary compact after his speech, which Newsom and other government leaders also signed Thursday.

Wade Crowfoot, California’s Natural Resources secretary, described the compact as an unprecedented agreement among international governors, mayors, Indigenous leaders and scientists to work together to confront climate change with a focus on resiliency and equity.

Crowfoot and Lauren Sanchez, Newsom’s top climate advisor, also participated in hours of meetings at the conference on Wednesday.

Newsom is hosting a state climate summit in Southern California this fall as a continuation of the work at the Vatican conference. The state will be inviting local leaders and experts from California.

“We’re taking the torch of subnational leadership back to California, where it belongs, to convene scientists, local governments and leaders to tackle the climate threat that is the existential crisis of our time,” Sanchez said.

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Some environmentalists in California said Newsom’s rhetoric on the global stage is not entirely matched by his actions at home. Though Newsom has championed many environmental measures and has waged a battle with oil companies as governor, he proposed cutting $3.6 billion for climate-related programs to help address the state budget deficit.

Susan Stephenson, executive director of a religious environmental advocacy organization called Interfaith Power and Light, took issue with a recent decision by Newsom’s appointees on the California Public Utilities Commission that she said would slow the use of rooftop solar power.

“He’s saying a lot of the right things,” Stephenson said. “And it is not matched by the urgency of action that we need as climate change is worsening.”

Newsom has also received criticism from some Republicans for traveling abroad instead of staying home to focus exclusively on California’s problems.

That was not the sentiment of a Democratic couple from Riverside who saw Newsom and his wife on a tour of the Roman Forum after the speech. They said they were surprised to see the governor in Rome.

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Walter and Susan Davis said they believe in climate change and support the governor coming to deliver the speech, which they called “a real reason.”

“That’s what I’m talking about,” Walter Davis said.

Times Sacramento Bureau Chief Laurel Rosenhall contributed to this report.

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Biden rakes in big bucks last month, but haul is far short of Trump's massive May fundraising

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Biden rakes in big bucks last month, but haul is far short of Trump's massive May fundraising

President Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $85 million in May, which is their second-best month of fundraising this election cycle.

But the money raised by Biden and the DNC is far short of the staggering haul raised by former President Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee last month.

In announcing their May fundraising figures on Thursday evening, the Biden campaign also highlighted that they had a massive $212 million cash-on-hand as of the end of May. 

“Our strong and consistent fundraising program grew by millions of people in May, a clear sign of strong and growing enthusiasm for the President and Vice President every single month,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement. 

BIDEN STRIKES GOLD IN CALIFORNIA, ONE WEEK AFTER TRUMP’S MASSIVE HAUL IN THE BLUE BASTION 

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President Biden’s re-election campaign scolded MSNBC and CNN on Wednesday for ignoring a “Black Voters for Biden-Harris” rally in Philadelphia. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Biden’s announcement came on the final day the presidential campaigns had to file their May fundraising figures with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

But the Trump campaign didn’t wait for the deadline to tout its May fundraising haul.

The former president’s campaign announced two and a half weeks ago that they and the RNC, fueled in part by the former president’s guilty verdicts in his criminal trial, combined hauled in a stunning $141 million in fundraising in May.

That was up from the $76 million they raised in April when they topped President Biden and the Democratic National Committee for the first time in their 2024 election rematch. 

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Donald Trump arrives to Trump Tower after being found guilty

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower on May 30, 2024 in New York City after being found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. (Felipe Ramales for Fox News Digital)

Spotlighting their grassroots appeal, the Trump campaign said that the average dollar donation was $70.27 with 25% of the donors in May being first time contributors to the former president’s 2024 run.

The Trump cash announcement came in the wake of what his campaign showcased as “record-shattering” fundraising immediately after he was found guilty of all 34 felony counts in the first trial of a former or current president in the nation’s history.

The former president’s campaign highlighted that in the first 24 hours following Thursday evening’s verdict, they and the RNC hauled in nearly $53 million in fundraising, which counted towards May’s total. 

BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON HELP BIDEN RAISE BIG BUCKS 

The Biden campaign also raised funds off of the Trump verdict, and a source familiar told Fox News that “the 24 hours after the verdict were one of the best fundraising 24 hours of the Biden campaign since launch.”

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Biden’s May haul came without any major fundraising events headlined by the president. The Biden campaign says that a majority of its May fundraising came from grassroots donors. 

The campaign has been using its funds to build up what appears to be a very formidable ground operation in the key battleground states and announced hours earlier on Thursday that they had hired their 1,000 staffer. The Biden campaign enjoys a large organizational advantage over team Trump when it comes to grassroots outreach and get-out-the-vote ground game efforts.

Biden v Trump

File photos of President Biden (left) and former President Trump ((AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson and Evan Vucci))

“The money we continue to raise matters, and it’s helping the campaign build out an operation that invests in reaching and winning the voters who will decide this election,” Chavez Rodriguez highlighted.

Biden’s campaign appears to enjoy a large cash-on-hand advantage over Trump, whose campaign didn’t report their cash-on-hand amount in announcing their May fundraising. The campaigns are not legally required to report those figures until the end of July, following the close of the second quarter of fundraising.

Biden enjoyed a $146 million to $88 million cash-on-hand advantage over Trump at the end of March, following the close of the first fundraising quarter of the year.

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Trump has been aiming to close his fundraising gap with Biden, who had regularly been outpacing Trump in monthly fundraising.

Trump at a rally

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump walks to the podium at a campaign event Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Racine, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Trump’s April haul was boosted by a record-setting $50.5 million that the former president’s campaign raked in at a single event early in the month with top dollar GOP donors that was hosted at the Palm Beach, Florida home of billionaire investor John Paulson.

Both candidates have held top dollar fundraising events so far in June.

The president set a new Democratic Party fundraising record – according to his campaign – as he hauled in over $30 million at a star-studded fundraiser on Saturday in Los Angeles with former President Obama, Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and late night TV talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

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Obama smiles with Biden

President Joe Biden (L) laughs with former President Barack Obama onstage during a campaign fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

And he brought in $8.1 million at a fundraiser at the Northern Virginia home of former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, where he was also joined by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and former Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the Democrats’ 2016 standard-bearer.

Meanwhile, Trump’s team touted that they hauled in roughly $27.5 million during a fundraising swing by the former president in California and Nevada a week ago.

Fundraising, along with public opinion polling, is a key metric used to measure the strength of a candidate and their campaign. Money raised can be used to build up grassroots outreach and get-out-the-vote operations, staffing, travel and ads, among other things.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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Fox News and others sign on to carry CNN's presidential debate

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Fox News and others sign on to carry CNN's presidential debate

Broadcast and cable networks, including Fox News and ABC, are falling in line to carry the simulcast of CNN’s presidential debate on June 27, the first general election face-off of this cycle between President Biden and former president Trump.

The cooperation marks a first among the typically fierce competitors.

Since 1988 and until now, presidential debates were organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates and presented across multiple outlets. The commission controlled the choices of venues and moderators, with different networks handling the technical aspects of the broadcasts.

The campaigns for the presumptive 2024 nominees bypassed the commission this year and agreed to two debates produced by individual networks. The first will be moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash at the network’s Atlanta studio, while ABC will produce and carry the second event on Sept. 10. The running mates — Vice President Kamala Harris and Trump’s to-be-determined veep pick — are expected to meet on CBS.

Some outlets pushed back on CNN’s requirements for the simulcast, which include running the network’s logo on screen and referring to the event as the “CNN Presidential Debate” in all promotional spots and press releases.

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But Fox News followed its rival’s conditions, announcing its plans Thursday. The coverage, including analysis and opinion commentary, will be called “Fox News Democracy 2024: CNN Presidential Debate.”

Fox News Media will present the event on the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, the Fox broadcast network and the company’s streaming service Fox Nation.

Shannon Bream, anchor of “Fox News Sunday,” will lead the coverage on the broadcast network. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will handle the event on cable. Pro-Trump “Fox & Friends” weekend co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy will give her take on Fox Nation.

While Fox News is respecting CNN’s guidelines, its conservative commentators have taken a typically critical tone of the network ahead of the event. In discussing the debate on Wednesday, prime time host Sean Hannity referred to Tapper as “Fake Jake” and the network as “Fake CNN.”

Based on recent history, Fox News may end up with the largest audience for the debate. In the first 2020 debate sanctioned by the commission and airing across multiple networks, Fox News had 18 million viewers, the largest share of any outlet. The total among all networks, according to Nielsen, was 73 million viewers.

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ABC News has announced its intent to carry the simulcast — also streaming live on Hulu — with anchors David Muir and Linsey Davis overseeing the analysis. CBS News made its plans official Thursday, with evening news anchor Norah O’Donnell leading the coverage. She will be joined by “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King, chief political analyst John Dickerson, and “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan.

A representative for NBCUniversal News Group said it will carry the event on NBC, MSNBC and Spanish-language network Telemundo. Nexstar’s cable network NewsNation, Scripps News, and right-wing channel Newsmax have also signed on, their representatives said..

The debate is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. (Pacific) and run 90 minutes with two commercial breaks, another first for general election presidential debates, which in the past have run commercial free. The outlets carrying the simulcast are not allowed to use the breaks for commentary and analysis. CNN has said that the feed will be pulled from any outlet that violates that agreement.

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Biden admin won't say whether it plans to contact family of Maryland mom allegedly killed by illegal immigrant

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Biden admin won't say whether it plans to contact family of Maryland mom allegedly killed by illegal immigrant

The Biden administration will not say whether it has plans to reach out to the family of Rachel Morin, a Maryland mother of five who was allegedly raped and murdered by an illegal immigrant last year.

Randolph Rice, an attorney for the Morin family, told Fox News Digital on Thursday that Patty Morin, Rachel’s mother, had yet to be contacted by an official from the Biden administration.

Fox News Digital reached out to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the White House seeking information on whether they planned to make contact with the Morin family after Patty Morin told Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that no one from the administration had contacted her or her family about the death of her daughter.

No response was given to Fox by the White House or DHS about Morin’s comments or whether they are planning to contact the family.

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR ‘INFURIATED’ BY MURDER OF RACHEL MORIN, REFUSES TO CRITICIZE BIDEN FOR MIGRANT CRIMES

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From left to right: President Biden, Rachel Morin and Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas. (Getty Images)

In a statement, a DHS spokesperson said, “The Department cannot publicly comment on an ongoing criminal investigation. That said, anyone who commits a horrific and senseless crime, like the one this individual is accused of, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law. Our hearts go out to Rachel Morin’s family.”

The White House offered condolences to the loved ones of Rachel Morin in a statement this week but would not say what steps it would take to secure the border when asked by a Fox News Digital reporter. 

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Rachel Morin,” a White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “We cannot comment on active law enforcement cases. But fundamentally, we believe that people should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law if they are found to be guilty.”

Rice told Fox that former President Trump reached out to Patty Morin on Thursday morning and that the two had a 20-minute conversation about her daughter.

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Patty Morin said in a press release offered by her attorney that she was “deeply touched by President Trump’s kindness and concern.”

“He was genuine and truly wanted to know how our family was coping,” she added. “He asked about Rachel and showed honest compassion for her untimely death. His words brought comfort to me during this very difficult time.”

Morin, 37, was reported missing in August by her boyfriend, who said she never returned after going out for a run on the Ma & Pa Trail, a pedestrian trail, in Bel Air, a quiet and typically safe town about 28 miles northeast of Baltimore, on Aug. 5, 2023.

BROTHER OF WOMAN ALLEGEDLY KILLED BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT SPEAKS OUT: SHE WAS A ‘JOY TO BE AROUND’

Victor Martinez Hernandez and Rachel Morin

Victor Martinez Hernandez, 23, was arrested in the murder of Rachel Morin.

Her body was found on a trail the following day.

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Victor Martinez Hernandez, the illegal migrant suspected of murdering Morin, was arrested on June 14 after a lengthy 10-month investigation into Morin’s murder. He was charged with rape and first-degree murder.

Hernandez, who has reportedly been in the U.S. since February 2023, was apprehended while “casually sitting” at a bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police said he arrived in the U.S. only a month after he allegedly murdered a young woman in El Salvador. His DNA was also linked to a March home invasion in Los Angeles, where a mother and her 9-year-old daughter were assaulted, according to authorities.

“We all suspected that Rachel was not his first victim,” Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler said during the arrest announcement last weekend. “It is my understanding that this suspect, this monster, fled to the United States illegally after committing the brutal murder of a young woman in El Salvador a month earlier in January of 2023.”

Rachel Morin arrest sign

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland posted signs at Ma & Pa Trail heads on June 17, 2024, announcing the arrest in the August 2023 murder of Rachel Morin. (Harford County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

Hernandez was expected to be extradited to Maryland on Thursday to face charges. He was scheduled to leave Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday morning and arrive at Martin State Airport between 12:30 and 1 p.m., the Harford County Police Department confirmed.

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Following his arrival in Maryland, the 23-year-old will be taken to the Harford County Detention Center, police said.

Fox News’ Michael Lee, Bailee Hill and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.

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