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Donald Trump's inauguration: Here's a list of members of Congress who are not attending

In the run-up to the inauguration of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president, more than 40 Congressional Democrats have said that they will not attend the ceremony on Friday.

While many said earlier that they did not plan to attend the inauguration, more legislators joined the list after a dust-up this weekend between Trump and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).

Lewis said in an interview last week that he did not plan to attend the inauguration because he did not see Trump’s victory in November as “legitimate” due to “interference by the Russian government.”

Trump countered on Twitter saying Lewis was "all talk" and "no action," and that the metro Atlanta-area district he represents is "crime-infested."

Lewis came to prominence during the civil rights era when he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. Lewis was among the protesters in the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965 who was beaten by Alabama State Troopers when they clashed at the Edmund Pettis Bridge near Selma.

Lewis also boycotted the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001. He told The Washington Post then that it would be “hypocritical to attend Bush's swearing-in because he doesn't believe Bush is the true elected president."

According to inauguration organizers and District of Columbia officials, more than 800,000 people are expected to be in Washington for Friday’s ceremony.

Here is a current list of legislators who have confirmed they will not be there.

• Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)

• Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

• Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.)

• Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.)

• Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.)

• Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.)

• Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)

• Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)

• Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich)

• Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.)

• Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

• Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.)

• Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.)

• Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio)

• Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)

• Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

• Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.)

• Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

• Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)

• Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)

• Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)

• Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)

• Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)

• Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)

• Rep. José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.)

• Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)

• Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.)

• Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)

• Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.)

• Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)

Here are some others who have announced they would be skipping the ceremony.

• Former President George H.W. Bush, (due to his age)

• Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

• Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

• Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Here are some others who have announced they will attend the ceremony.

• Former President George W. Bush

• Former First Lady Laura Bush

• Former President Jimmy Carter

• Anson Chan, Hong Kong’s former chief secretary

• Former President Bill Clinton

• Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

• Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

• Former United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage

• The Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and son of Billy Graham

• Rabbi Marvin Hier, the leader of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

• Ohio Gov. John Kasich

• Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the United States

• Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, (D-Mass.)

• New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez

• Sen. Ed Markey, (D-Mass.)

• Rep. Jim McGovern, (D-Mass.)

• Rep. Seth Moulton, (D-Mass.)

• The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

• Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, the leader of Great Faith Ministries International in Detroit

• Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.)

• Paula White, a televangelist

Sources: The Washington Post; The Associated Press; The New York Times; Twitter; USA Today

Drowned fox preserved in block of ice

It’s an eerie sight — a fox that apparently drowned in the Danube River is encased in a thick block of ice and is on display in a small town in Germany, ABC News reported.

>> Read more trending stories

Franz Stehle told German news agency DPA that he came across the fox earlier this month. He said the animal fell through the frozen surface of the Danube River and drowned.

Stehle, who said he was a hunter, had the frozen fox retrieved from the river last week and put it outside his home in Fridingen, a small town in southern Germany.

The sight serves as a warning of the dangers of the icy river, Stehle told DPA.

Stehle said finding an animal frozen was not unusual, adding that he has discovered frozen deer and wild boars several times, ABC News reported.

Frozen fox, via @dailydoseofjess pic.twitter.com/GJoUbmptHS— James Kelleher (@etienneshrdlu) January 14, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Coat exchange in England helps keep homeless warm

A paramedic in the United Kingdom who was concerned about the homeless suffering through freezing weather set up a coat exchange outside of Colchester Library, and her act of kindness has gone viral.

>> Read more trending stories

Fay Sibley told EssexLive that she became concerned about the homeless people living in her neighborhood after weather forecasters predicted up to 4 inches of snow. On Jan. 8, she decided to place a clothing rack outside the Colchester Library with a note that read "Need a coat? Take one. Want to help? Leave one."

Three full rails of coats were donated that day, EssexLive reported, and Sibley’s photographs of the exchange have been shared to social media and have gotten the attention of the area’s representative to Parliament.

"I wish I could take credit for the idea but I saw a similar thing on a Yorkshire Facebook page,” the 30-year-old said. "I shared the post and started thinking what a wonderful idea it was, and why can't we do this elsewhere? I just decided to do it.

"Then I took a picture of what I've done and popped it on Facebook and asked people to share it," she told ABC News.

Sibley called the response as "incredible", with Will Quince, MP for Colchester one of many to share her pictures.

"I have been overwhelmed and hopefully we will get even more momentum," Sibley told EssexLive.

Sibley's older sister Jo has been helping her collect coats to be added to the rack daily, ABC News reported.

"She had a little idea where she thought maybe it'll stay there for a couple of days, and I think it's actually amazing to see how quickly it's grown," Jo told ABC News.

Sibley said the coat exchange takes very little time and helps people who are in need.

"It takes so little time investment for me," she said. "My main hope is that people think they can go do this too. It's a simplistic pay-it-forward gesture. It's something we can all do."

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Jo Bailey Jo Sibley Colchester's #coatexchange has made it all the way to the USA!!!Posted by Fay Sibley on Friday, January 13, 2017

Well done @FaySibley https://t.co/zcYmZgL0pQ— Will Quince MP (@willquince) January 12, 2017 <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Flight 666 lands in HEL on Friday the 13th

For passengers on one flight, it was one creepy Friday the 13th coincidence. 

>> Read more trending stories

Finnair Flight 666 took off from Copenhagen around 1:07 p.m. local time and landed in HEL, or or Helsinki Airport in Finland, at 3:41 p.m. local time, according to Flight Aware.

>> Related: Friday the 13th: What's so unlucky about 13

It's unclear if it is truly a coincidence or the airline Finnair was having a little fun, but it certainly is a bit spooky on Friday the 13th. 

According to The Guardian, this is not the first time this has happened - on Friday 12, 2013, a Finnair Flight numbered 666 also flew from Copenhagen to Helsinki.

7 things to know now: Investigation into Comey, DOJ; Sunny Obama bites girl; Tommy Allsup dies

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. IG investigation: The inspector general for the Justice Department has opened an investigation into actions by the DOJ and the FBI in the months leading up to the presidential election, including whether FBI Director James Comey followed bureau procedures in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails. The IG investigation, in part, will focus on whether Comey should have announced in the days just prior to the election, that agents would be reviewing a batch of emails between Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin.

2. House vote today: The House is expected to vote today on a measure that will make it easier to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have yet to say what they would replace the health care bill with, but have said they don’t intend to leave  the 20 million Americans who use the insurance program without coverage.

3. Ending “wet foot, dry foot”: On Thursday President Barack Obama ended an immigration policy that had said any Cuban who could make it to U.S. soil could stay and become a citizen. The end of the policy, known as “wet foot, dry foot,” came after negotiations with the Cuban government. “Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who attempt to enter the United States illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, consistent with U.S. law and enforcement priorities," Obama said in a statement.

4. New monuments: President Obama designated three sites as national monuments Thursday. The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four girls were killed when a white supremacist bombed the building in 1963, and the city’s Kelly Ingram Park where protestors clashed with police using dogs and water hoses to fight them, were among the sites chosen.

5. Not so Sunny: A teenager visiting the White House Monday was bitten by President Obama’s dog, Sunny. The dog bit the girl under her eye. The bite required stitches to close, according to reports. The 18-year-old was tended to by the Obama family doctor.

And one more

It was a toss of a coin on a snowy day in February that saved Tommy Allsup’s life. Allsup was a guitarist with singer Buddy Holly’s band, and that coin toss kept him off the plane Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson died in when it crashed in an Iowa field corn field in 1959. Allsup, according to his family, said he believed he was spared for a reason. Allsup died Wednesday, due to complications from a hernia operation. He was 85 years old. 

In case you missed it

Way cool science experiments for the day.

Australian broadcasters bicker over similar outfits

It’s almost a cliché that two women can become mortified if they are wearing the same outfit to a party. Apparently, that’s also the case in Australian television.

>> Read more trending stories

Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock and sports reporter Julie Snook were recorded having a wardrobe argument that escalated into a bickering fashion statement.

While both broadcasters later downplayed the incident and even joked about it, it has turned into "must-see TV" and has gone viral on the internet. 

Leaked off-air footage shows Sherlock perturbed that Shook and psychologist Sandy Rea all were wearing similar outfits moments before going live for a Nine News Now Chatroom segment Wednesday, according to Mumbrella. All three women were in different studios and Sherlock appeared upset. 

"I need Julie to put a jacket on because we’re all in white. I asked her before we came on — Julie, you need to put a jacket on," Sherlock said as the clip begins.

Snook tried to explain she did not have time to find a jacket, but was cut off as Sherlock told her "Come on, I told you two hours ago." 

At this point, Sherlock took out her phone and told Snook she would call the wardrobe department to "get something." 

 "Amber, if it’s an issue I can get on out of here (the studio)," Snook said. 

"It is an issue," Sherlock said. "Go and grab a jacket." 

The bickering continued as Rea, listening to the exchange, shifted uncomfortably in her seat. 

After a few moments, the camera went dark. When the lights came back on, Snook was wearing a black blazer. As the segment went live, Sherlock warmly introduced Rea and Snook. 

"Live TV can be a pretty stressful beast, at times," Sherlock later told 9Honey. "It’s never much fun rocking up to work or to a party in the same outfit as one of your colleagues or friends. I probably overreacted with the pressure of presenting a live news bulletin."

"Amber and I are good friends and I really enjoy working with her," Shook told 9Honey. "News is a fast-moving environment and sometimes these things happen."

Social media posters were quick to make fun of the exchange, and for a short time Sherlock locked her Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

"It worked for the Bee Gees," one Twitter poster wrote, posting a photograph of the Gibb brothers in white. 

Even news rivals could not resist comment. Channel Seven host David Koch told News.com.au that he was sympathetic. 

"It is funny, we laugh at it, but I would hate for anyone to publicly show what we get up to during commercial (breaks)," he said. 

News.com.au did not disclose whether Koch was wearing white.

who knew that watching two women fight over the fact they're all wearing white would be so amazing pic.twitter.com/vr0w7RmfET — G💰 (@oneofthosefaces) January 12, 2017 Amber Sherlock currently yelling at her refrigerator that it needs to put a jacket on. Dishwasher is fine, she told her already. — Adam Richard (@adamrichard) January 12, 2017 It worked for the Bee Gees! #AmberSherlock #WardrobeWillBeFurious pic.twitter.com/stj4xffKlc — Michael Smyth (@MichaelSmyth_) January 12, 2017 Ok. Someone is gonna need to put a jacket on!!! #channel9 #ambersherlock pic.twitter.com/PV58DAHTJF — Joel Gelding (@JoelGelding) January 12, 2017

WATCH: Inflatable backpack saves snowboarder during avalanche

An inflatable backpack saved a snowboarder from disaster during an avalanche Wednesday in western Canada.

>> Read more trending stories

Tom Oye posted a terrifying helmet-cam video of his brush with death in the Brandywine area of Whistler, British Columbia, on his Facebook page, where it has more than 5.6 million views and more than 45,000 shares.

Oye had received the backpack as a gift last month from friends. On his Facebook page, accompanied by a video, the Australian native said the idea behind the avalanche airbag backpack was "to make you the biggest object and tumble you to the top in a big slide, provide a little trauma protection while you’re tumbling, and then create an air pocket if you do get buried to keep you alive a little longer until you’re rescued."

"They're a serious piece of safety gear and have a price tag to match so I'm so humbled by all you who made it happen."

And lucky.

David Cote, a local snowmobile guide, was just around the corner from the avalanche and witnessed the tail end of the slide around 10 a.m. PT, according to CBCNews.

"You could just see him sort of on the surface," he told CBC. "It's hard to say exactly if he would've been buried without it, but I think he's quite lucky that he had the avalanche airbag on."

Cote, who has more than a decade of experience on the mountain, told CBC he was testing the area for avalanche risk about 10 minutes before the slide. He said it was a risky day to be on the mountain.

"Some of the results we were seeing from our tests were quite scary ... it was very reactive," he told CBC.

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gzSTYEvCFTU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> To all my awesome homies who pitched in to get me a surprise early birthday present while I was home, I'm sure you had absolutely no idea what the hell it was you were buying me, so here it is. It's an avalanche airbag backpack, and the idea is to make you the biggest object and tumble you to the top in a big slide, provide a little trauma protection while your tumbling, and then create an air pocket if you do get buried to keep you alive a little longer until your rescued, they're a serious piece of safety gear and have a price tag to match so I'm so humbled by all you who made it happen. An extra special thanks to Stuart Roydhouse aswell for making it happen. You can all now call me safety Steve.🤘Posted by Tom Oye on Saturday, December 17, 2016

Obamacare: What did the Senate do last night?

Early Thursday morning, the Senate passed a measure that is the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."

The nonbinding budget measure, which passed 51-48, will make it easier for future legislation to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The 2010 law set up exchanges to sell health care polices to millions of Americans who could not get health care insurance because of pre-existing conditions or because they could not afford it. The legislation also poured billions of dollars into states’ Medicaid programs for the poor.

In the past two years, many major insurance companies have pulled out of the exchanges, because they claim they lost too much money paying claims without bringing in enough new, healthy payers to make up a profit.

The House is expected to vote on the measure Friday. While Republicans hold the majority there, some GOP members have said they want to see a plan to replace the ACA before they vote to repeal it.

Here’s a look at the process to dismantle Obamacare that began with the vote early Thursday:

Why is the vote significant?

Thursday's Senate vote was a procedural oneNo law was passed. What was passed was a budget resolution bill. Included in that legislation was a procedure that set up special rules that will allow a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act to move forward. The procedure is known as reconciliation. 

The rules will let portions of a bill to repeal the ACA to move forward with only a simple majority vote in the Senate. That means that instead of requiring 60 votes to move legislation, it will take only 51 votes.

There are 52 Republicans in the Senate this term.

Wednesday’s vote was one to begin debating a 2017 budget. That is the first step in repealing the ACA.

What does reconciliation do?

Under reconciliation, certain legislation cannot be held up by a filibuster, a delaying tactic used to block legislation or procedural votes. A filibuster can happen when a senator is recognized to speak on the Senate floor. He or she may speak as long as they wish, potentially holding up a vote on legislation. It takes a motion known as cloture to end a filibuster.

A cloture motion requires a three-fifths majority (60 votes out of the 100 votes in the Senate) to end a filibuster. First, however, 16 senators must present the motion, then a day must pass before the motion is considered. If the motion passes – that is 60 senators vote to end a filibuster – 30 more hours of debate is still allowed.

Democrats used reconciliation in part to get the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

Does reconciliation works with all legislation?

Reconciliation is only allowed with budget issues, legislation that has to do with federal spending or taxes. Reconciliation bills are not subject to a filibuster in the Senate. Debate is limited to 20 hours under Senate rules.

So the repeal of the ACA is a done deal now?

No, it isn’t, and here is why. To replace the ACA requires legislative action that has nothing to do with the budgeting process.

Much of the replacement of the law would take place outside of the reconciliation process. Since it would be outside of the that process, it would be subject to filibusters, thus Republicans would need Democratic votes to get over the 60-vote filibuster threshold. (Remember, there are only 52 Republican Senate members).

What’s the next step?

On Friday, the House is expected to pass the budget measure passed by the Senate Thursday.

What are some of the replacement plans? That is something that is not known yet. According to Politico, there is a Jan. 27 deadline for a draft of the legislation that would replace the ACA. Some senators want to push the deadline to March 3.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday that Republicans hope to get a plan on the new legislation to President-elect Donald Trump by the end of February.

Some Republicans want to see what is being proposed before they consider repealing the ACA. No replacement legislation has been made public.

7 things to know now: Trump news conference; Obamacare; how old is the moon

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Civilians killed: The U.S. military said Thursday that 33 civilians were killed by U.S. forces during a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan last November. According to a statement from the military, the investigation "determined, regretfully, that 33 civilians were killed and 27 wounded" as troops responded to fire from "Taliban who were using civilian houses as firing positions." The civilians were killed when the military launched airstrikes on the village of Buz-e Kandahari.

2. Obamacare repeal: The Senate took a step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act Wednesday night. The Republican-backed budget measure passed on a 51-48 vote. The House is scheduled to vote on the measure on Friday. So far, lawmakers have not released a plan that would replace the health care legislation known as Obamacare.

3. Trump's press conference: During a contentious press conference Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump said he is separating himself from his business interests, leaving the running of his company to his sons and an “ethics advisor.” Trump said he has instructed his sons not to speak to him about any aspect of the business. His lawyer said Trump would find out about deals the company is making from newspaper or TV reports like everyone else. In other news from the press conference, Trump shouted down a CNN reporter calling the network “fake news” after it broke a story about an unsubstantiated report that Russia has intelligence information that is damaging to Trump on personal and financial levels.

4. More hearings: Confirmation hearings continue Thursday for the people Donald Trump has selected for cabinet positions. Secretary of State-nominee Rex Tillerson faces a second day of questioning, while James Mattis (secretary of Defense), Ben Carson (secretary of Housing and Urban Development) and Mike Pompeo (director of the Central Intelligence Agency) will face senators in separate confirmation hearings. Click here for a schedule of hearings.

5. Microsoft suit: Two men who used to work for Microsoft are suing the company claiming they suffer from PTSD after viewing “inhumane and disgusting content” with being given little or no psychological support. The two were online moderators for the company, people who screen content posted on the sight for images of child sexual abuse, murder and other crimes, The Guardian reported. According to the lawsuit, one of the men says he cannot look at a computer screen, and one had a mental breakdown. The story says the sight of their own children, an adult who looks like a “potential abuser” or kitchen knives is enough to spark a psychological reaction.

And one more

It may not be blue or made of cheese, but the moon sure is old. Scientists reported Wednesday that they believe the moon is 4.51 billion years old, based on an analysis of rocks and soil collected by Apollo 14 astronauts. It was believed that the moon was between 100 million to 200 million years old, but testing of zircon collected on the moon’s surface showed it was much older than that. According to scientists, the moon was created from material that was knocked off of the Earth.

In case you missed it

 

Read Rex Tillerson's opening statement during the Senate confirmation hearing

Here is the opening statement secretary of state-designate Rex Tillerson gave before the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

"I am honored to have the backing of Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz from my home state of Texas. I also want to thank Senator Nunn for his commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, and Secretary Gates for his service to eight presidents and his own leadership as President of the Boy Scouts of America.

Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and Members of the Committee, it is an honor to appear before you today as President-elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of State and to seek the approval of this Committee and the full Senate for my confirmation.

I would like to first introduce members of my family who are here today. These are the most important people in my life, and I want to express my gratitude to them for all their love and support over the years. First, my wife of over thirty years, Renda, who has always kept the homefires burning during my many trips abroad. My sister Jo Lynn Peters, a lifelong high school educator in Texas and Alabama. My younger sister Dr. Rae Ann Hamilton, a family practice physician in Abilene, Texas, and my brother in law Judge Lee Hamilton, a State District Judge in Abilene, Texas. I am grateful and proud they are with me today.

I come before you at a pivotal time in both the history of our nation and our world.

Nearly everywhere we look, people and nations are deeply unsettled. Old ideas and international norms which were well-understood and governed behaviors in the past may no longer be effective in our time.

We face considerable threats in this evolving new environment. China has emerged as an economic power in global trade, and our interactions have been both friendly and adversarial. While Russia seeks respect and relevance on the global stage, its recent activities have disregarded American interests. Radical Islam is not a new ideology, but it is hateful, deadly, and an illegitimate expression of the Islamic faith. Adversaries like Iran and North Korea pose grave threats to the world because of their refusal to conform to international norms.

As we confront these realities, how should America respond?

My answer is simple. To achieve the stability that is foundational to peace and security in the 21st century, American leadership must not only be renewed, it must be asserted.

We have many advantages on which to build. Our alliances are durable and our allies are looking for a return of our leadership. Our men and women in uniform are the world's finest fighting force, and we possess the world's largest economy. America is still the destination of choice for people the world over because of our track record of benevolence and hope for our fellow man. America has been indispensable in providing the stability to prevent another world war, increase global prosperity, and encourage the expansion of liberty.

Our role in the world has also historically entailed a place of moral leadership. In the scope of international affairs, America's level of goodwill toward the world is unique, and we must continue to display a commitment to personal liberty, human dignity, and principled action in our foreign policy.

Quite simply, we are the only global superpower with the means and the moral compass capable of shaping the world for good.

If we do not lead, we risk plunging the world deeper into confusion and danger.

But we've stumbled.

In recent decades, we have cast American leadership into doubt. In some instances, we have withdrawn from the world. In others, we have intervened with good intentions but did not achieve the stability and global security we sought. Instead, we triggered a host of unintended consequences and created a void of uncertainty. Today, our friends still want to help us, but they don't know how. Meanwhile, our adversaries have been emboldened to take advantage of this absence of American leadership.

In this campaign, President-elect Trump proposed a bold new commitment to advancing American interests in our foreign policy. I hope to explain what this approach means and how I would implement that policy if confirmed as Secretary of State.

Americans welcome this rededication to American security, liberty, and prosperity. But new leadership is incomplete without accountability. If accountability does not start with ourselves, we cannot credibly extend it to our friends or our adversaries.

We must hold ourselves accountable to upholding the promises we make to others. An America that can be trusted in good faith is essential to supporting our partners, achieving our goals, and assuring our security.

We must hold our allies accountable to commitments they make. We cannot look the other way at allies who do not meet their obligations; this is an injustice not only to us, but to longstanding friends who honor their promises and bolster our own national security.

And we must hold those who are not our friends accountable to the agreements they make. Our failure to do this over recent decades has diminished our standing and encouraged bad actors around the world to break their word. We cannot afford to ignore violations of international accords, as we have done with Iran. We cannot continue to accept empty promises like the ones China has made to pressure North Korea to reform, only to shy away from enforcement. Looking the other way when trust is broken only encourages more bad behavior. And it must end.

We cannot be accountable if we are not truthful and honest in our dealings. Some of you are aware of my longstanding involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. One of our bedrock ideals is honesty. Indeed, the phrase "on my honor" begins the Boy Scout Oath, and it must undergird our foreign policy.

In particular, we need to be honest about radical Islam. It is with good reason that our fellow citizens have a growing concern about radical Islam and murderous acts committed in its name against Americans and our friends.

Radical Islam poses a grave risk to the stability of nations and the well-being of their citizens. Powerful digital media platforms now allow ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terror groups to spread a poisonous ideology that runs completely counter to the values of the American people and all people around the world who value human life. These groups are often enabled and emboldened by nations, organizations, and individuals sympathetic to their cause. These actors must face consequences for aiding and abetting what can only be called evil.

The most urgent step in thwarting radical Islam is defeating ISIS. The Middle East and its surrounding regions pose many challenges which require our attention, including Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There are competing priorities in this region which must be and will be addressed, but they must not distract from our utmost mission of defeating ISIS. Because when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Defeating ISIS must be our foremost priority in the Middle East.

Eliminating ISIS would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our Homeland and our allies. The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran. But defeat will not occur on the battlefield alone; we must win the war of ideas. If confirmed, I will ensure the State Department does its part in supporting Muslims around the world who reject radical Islam in all its forms.

We should also acknowledge the realities about China. China's island-building in the South China Sea is an illegal taking of disputed areas without regard for international norms. China's economic and trade practices have not always followed its commitments to global agreements. It steals our intellectual property, and is aggressive and expansionist in the digital realm. It has not been a reliable partner in using its full influence to curb North Korea. China has proven a willingness to act with abandon in pursuit of its own goals, which at times has put it in conflict with America's interests. We have to deal with what we see, not with what we hope.

But we need to see the positive dimensions in our relationship with China as well. The economic well-being of our two nations is deeply intertwined. China has been a valuable ally in curtailing elements of radical Islam. We should not let disagreements over other issues exclude areas for productive partnership.

We must also be clear-eyed about our relationship with Russia. Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests. It has invaded Ukraine, including the taking of Crimea, and supported Syrian forces that brutally violate the laws of war. Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia.

But it was in the absence of American leadership that this door was left open and unintended signals were sent. We backtracked on commitments we made to allies. We sent weak or mixed signals with "red lines" that turned into green lights. We did not recognize that Russia does not think like we do.

Words alone do not sweep away an uneven and at times contentious history between our two nations. But we need an open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions, so that we know how to chart our own course.

Where cooperation with Russia based on common interests is possible, such as reducing the global threat of terrorism, we ought to explore these options. Where important differences remain, we should be steadfast in defending the interests of America and her allies. Russia must know that we will be accountable to our commitments and those of our allies, and that Russia must be held to account for its actions.

Our approach to human rights begins by acknowledging that American leadership requires moral clarity. We do not face an "either or" choice on defending global human rights. Our values are our interests when it comes to human rights and humanitarian assistance.

It is unreasonable to expect that every foreign policy endeavor will be driven by human rights considerations alone, especially when the security of the American people is at stake.

But our leadership demands action specifically focused on improving the conditions of people the world over, utilizing both aid and economic sanctions as instruments of foreign policy when appropriate.

And we must adhere to standards of accountability. Our recent engagement with the government of Cuba was not accompanied by any significant concessions on human rights. We have not held them accountable for their conduct. Their leaders received much, while their people received little. That serves neither the interest of Cubans or Americans.

Abraham Lincoln declared that America is "the last best hope of Earth." Our moral light must not go out if we are to remain an agent of freedom for mankind. Supporting human rights in our foreign policy is a key component of clarifying to a watching world what America stands for.

In closing, let us also be proud about the ideals that define us and the liberties we have secured at great cost. The ingenuity, ideas, and culture of Americans who came before us made the United States the greatest nation in history. So have their sacrifices. We should never forget that we stand on the shoulders of those who have sacrificed much, and in some cases, everything. They include our fallen heroes in uniform, our Foreign Service Officers, and other government agents in the field who likewise gave all for their country.

If confirmed, in my work for the President and the American people I will seek to engender trust with foreign leaders and governments, and put in place agreements that will serve the purposes and interests of American foreign policy. The Secretary of State works for the President and seeks to implement his foreign policy objectives. To do that I must work closely with my Cabinet colleagues and all relevant departments and agencies of the administration to build consensus. Let me also stress that keeping the President's trust means keeping the public trust. And keeping the public's trust means keeping faith with their elected representatives. I want all the members of this committee to know that, should I be confirmed, I will seek to be responsive to your concerns.

I am an engineer by training. I seek to understand the facts, follow where they lead, and apply logic to our international affairs. We must see the world for what it is, have clear priorities, and understand that our power is considerable, but it is not infinite. We must, where possible, build pathways to new partnerships, and strengthen old bonds which have frayed.

If confirmed, I intend to conduct a foreign policy consistent with these ideals. We will never apologize for who we are or what we hold dear. We will see the world for what it is, be honest with ourselves and the American people, follow facts where they lead us, and hold ourselves and others accountable.

I thank you for your time and look forward to your questions."

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