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Former Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie called on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, to resign Monday, telling reporters that her congressional district deserves to be "fully represented."
Abercrombie, a Democrat who also spent nearly 20 years in the House of Representatives, told reporters that he found Gabbard's multiple missed votes on the House floor due to her ongoing 2020 presidential bid unacceptable. He specifically cited Gabbard's recent missed vote on an omnibus spending bill, as well as her "present" vote on President Trump's impeachment.
According to the website govtrack.us, Gabbard missed 88.7% of the 141 House votes taken in the past three months.
Gabbard voted "present" on both articles of impeachment — the only lawmaker to do so. All Republicans and two Democrats — including one who has since switched parties to the GOP — voted against the articles.
"Throughout my life, whether through serving in the military or in Congress, I’ve always worked to do what is in the best interests of our country. Not what’s best for me politically or what’s best for my political party," Gabbard said last week. "After doing my due diligence in reviewing the 658-page impeachment report, I came to the conclusion that I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no."
She previously announced she will not be running for reelection in 2020, choosing instead to focus on her White House bid. She posted a video in October announcing the move and expressing gratitude to the people of her district.
At his press conference, Abercrombie said Gabbard must resign her seat “the sooner the better” because “she’s missing votes on almost everything."
The former governor is also the campaign co-chairman for Hawaii State Sen. Kai Kahele of Hilo, a Democrat seeking to succeed Gabbard next November. The district, which covers the entire state except for urban Honolulu, has never elected a Republican.
Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, the state's other U.S. representative, voted in favor of impeaching Trump.
A Gabbard representative didn’t immediately respond to messages from the Associated Press on Abercrombie's call for her resignation.
Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks exclusively to 'Sunday Morning Futures' after leaving the Democrat Party.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., defended on Sunday his exit from the Democratic Party after he voted against both articles of impeachment – calling the Democrats' arguments for impeaching President Trump “weak” and "thin.”
Van Drew, who last week met with Trump following the congressman's announcement that he was joining the Republican Party, said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he has been mulling over a switch to the GOP for a while, but impeachment was the tipping point for the former Democrat.
"There has always been something in my career that let me know it’s time for a change,” Van Drew said. “I feel good…I feel I did the honorable thing.”
Rumblings of a possible party switch in the midst of Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump caused members of Van Drew's caucus to accuse him of clamoring to cross the aisle in an attempt to save his bid for reelection and led to the resignations of five aides from his office.
A recent internal poll conducted for the Democrats found that 58 percent of primary voters in Van Drew's 2nd Congressional District wanted to nominate another candidate, while only 28 percent said he should be renominated.
"The final sign for me was, oddly enough, when one of the county chairmen said ‘you have to vote for impeachment,’” Van Drew said. “And that ‘If you don’t, you won’t be able to run in my county.’ It’s not his county, it’s everybody’s county.”
Van Drew went on to call charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress that were leveled against Trump “weak” and “thin” and lambasted his former fellow Democrats for bringing them against the president.
“This impeachment is a weak, thin impeachment,” he said. “It’s been a long, dark shadow on our country.”
“We are supposed to be there for the American people and not for political bickering,” Van Drew said. “It harms our country and it fractures us more.”
It remains to be seen how Van Drew will vote on legislation now that he is officially a Republican. Out of 659 votes in the 116th Congress, Van Drew and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have agreed only 300 times.
As a Democrat, Van Drew voted to override Trump's veto of a bill that overturned his emergency declaration for border wall funding and voted to block Trump from withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Accord.
He has also voted to block the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and disapproved of the Trump administration's plan to lift sanctions on three Russian companies.
In addition, Van Drew has condemned comments Trump made about four congresswomen that the president dubbed "The Squad," calling the remarks racist and has pushed back on Trump's attempts to direct courts to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
“I want to bring people together,” Van Drew said. “I always push for what I believe is right and what is best.”
Fox News Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.
Warren – who has eschewed fundraisers with top-dollar donors during her presidential bid as she instead focuses nearly entirely on small-dollar grassroots contributions – slammed Buttigieg for holding big bucks fundraisers. Buttigieg quickly shot back that he was the only candidate on the stage who’s net worth isn’t in the millions.
The verbal fist-fight kicked off with Warren taking aim at two of her top-tier rivals – Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Most of the people on this stage run a traditional campaign and that means going back and forth from coast to coast to rich people and people who can put up $5,000 or more in order to have a picture taken … and in order maybe to be considered an ambassador,” Warren emphasized.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., right, speaks as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Buttigieg responded by pointing to President Trump’s vast re-election campaign war chest, saying, “They’ve already put together more than $300 million … This is our only chance to defeat Donald Trump and we shouldn’t try to do it with one hand tied behind our back.”
Defending his mingling with top-dollar donors, Buttigieg added that “I’m not going to turn away anyone who wants to help us defeat Donald Trump.”
Warren shot back – highlighting that Buttigieg recently held a fundraiser “that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900 a bottle wine.”
“Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” she stressed.
Firing back, Buttigieg said, “I’m literally the only person on this stage who’s not a millionaire or a billionaire.”
“This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass,” Buttigieg added. “Senator, your net worth is 100 times mine.”
“I do not sell access to my time,” Warren responded. “I don’t meet behind closed doors with big-dollar donors.”
Buttigieg counter attacked, noting that Warren transferred millions of dollars to her presidential campaign that she initially raised at big bucks fundraisers during her 2018 Senate re-election bid.
“Your presidential campaign right now, as we speak, is funded in part by money you transferred having raised it at those exact same big ticket fundraisers you now denounce,” Buttigieg stated. “Did it corrupt you, senator? Of course not.”
The verbal fireworks between the two candidates is the latest chapter in their recent feud.
Thanks to repeated pressure from Warren, Buttigieg a week ago announced that he would open up his closed-door fundraisers to media coverage, similar to what the Biden campaign has done this election cycle.
And Buttigieg's campaign returned fire, urging Warren to release her tax returns from before 2008, when she had corporate clients similar to the giant corporations she now rails against. Warren — under pressure — announced that she earned nearly $2 million from private legal work since 1986.
Warren’s increased aggressiveness in going after her top-tier rivals comes as the one-time co-front-runner in the Democratic nomination race has seen her poll numbers deteriorate the past month in national surveys and, more importantly, in polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, the states that kicks off the primary and caucus presidential nominating calendar.
"I am on my way to the United States House floor to impeach President Trump," she said with a wide smile. She also panned the camera towards what appeared to be her staff. Someone could be heard laughing and shouting "woo!" in apparent celebration.
Tlaib famously pledged earlier this year to "impeach the motherf—-r," giving Republicans fodder to discount House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim that impeachment was a "somber" and "solemn" duty.
Pelosi, D-Calif., led her chamber in impeaching the president on Wednesday. House Democrats passed the articles of impeachment along partisan lines as Pelosi and others wore dark colors, apparently to mark the sad tone of the event.
Republicans derided the display on Twitter, expressing doubts about Pelosi's insistence that Democrats were being "solemn" about the historic vote.
"Democrats pat themselves on the back, shamelessly proud of their dishonest manipulation of the truth and a vote that has torn this country apart," Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted. "This will go down as the weakest case for impeachment in history, justifying the founders’ fears of politically driven impeachment."
"Watching @SpeakerPelosi and House Democrats pretending they were somber about #impeachment was comical," Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., tweeted. "It was a foregone conclusion because — as you can see — they just couldn't help themselves. #Hypocrites"
Pelosi, one of the party's highest-ranking officials, had to shoo away applause on the House floor after she announced the vote for article one of impeachment. Her office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on Tlaib's video.
Rep. Mike Johnson on House preparing historic floor vote on Trump impeachment.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote that President Trump is a threat to the Consitution and should be removed from office, according to the committee's 658-page report on the articles of impeachment resolution against Trump that was submitted early Monday.
The majority wrote that President Trump abused his office by soliciting the interference of Ukraine in the 2020 election and then obstructed the impeachment inquiry into his conduct.
The report was released at 12:30 a.m. ET., and included a dissent from the committee's minority that called the case for impeachment "not only weak but dangerously lowers the bar for future impeachments."
Trump is accused, in the first article, of abusing his presidential power by asking Ukraine to investigate his 2020 rival Joe Biden while holding military aid as leverage, and, in the second, of obstructing Congress by blocking the House’s efforts to probe his actions.
The president insists he did nothing wrong and blasts the Democrats’ effort daily as a sham and harmful to America.
Nadler wrote that Trump should be removed and "disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
The committee's vote was strictly along party lines, and the floor vote is expected to be similar, with a few exceptions. No Republicans have so far signaled that they will support the articles of impeachment, but a small handful of Democrats who represent GOP-leaning districts have said they may join Republicans in voting against them.
Omar campaigns for Sanders; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders returned on Friday to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, the high-profile and progressive firebrand member of Congress.
It was the congresswoman’s first time on the campaign trail with Sanders since she formally endorsed his Democratic presidential nomination bid at a rally in Minneapolis last month.
In her speech introducing Sanders, the congresswoman highlighted how she and Sanders have been labeled by the media and many political pundits as radicals.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota joins Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at a campaign event in Manchester, NH on Dec. 13, 2019
“If believing that 500,000 Americans should not be forced into medical bankruptcy every single year is radical, then we’re proud to be radical,” Omar said as she continued to list a number of examples of why “we should all be proud to be radicals.”
Omar is a member of a group of first-term female progressive House members of color who are collectively known as "the Squad." In addition to Omar, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan have also endorsed Sanders.
The fourth member of the group — Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — has endorsed Sanders' populist rival for the nomination, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Pressley was set to speak later Friday at the same event where Sanders and Omar were also speaking: an awards and fundraising gala for the New Hampshire Young Democrats.
Omar has repeatedly been embroiled in controversy during her brief tenure in Congress — including over comments about Israel and Jewish Americans that many Republicans and some Democrats considered anti-Semitic. Her comments have also created division among Democrats regarding U.S. policy toward Israel.
There were no demonstrations against Omar at the Southern New Hampshire University event, and people in the mostly pro-Sanders crowd that Fox News spoke to didn’t appear concerned or bothered that the senator was accompanied by the controversial congresswoman.
On the eve of the arrival of Sanders and Omar in New Hampshire, the state GOP issued a statement from a Republican state representative criticizing state Democrats.
"New Hampshire Democrats have really gone too far," Rep. Judy Aron said. "By bringing noted anti-Semite and opponent of Israel Rep. Ilhan Omar to New Hampshire, Democrats are showing how anti-Israel the modern Democrat base is.”
Sanders mostly delivered his standard stump speech, but he did take aim at President Trump over climate change — specifically at the Republican incumbent’s criticism on Thursday of Greta Thunberg, the teen climate change activist who was named Time’s Person of the Year.
Trump, who was named Time’s Person of the Year in 2016 and was on the shortlist for this year’s honors, took to Twitter to mock the Swedish teenager after she beat him out for the honor.
“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” Trump tweeted.
Thunberg, who has Asperger's syndrome, has spoken publicly about the social challenges it creates.
Taking aim at Trump at his event in New Hampshire, Sanders said: “On this issue, what he is doing by claiming that climate change is a hoax, by actually attacking Greta Thunberg — what he is doing is not only endangering our country but the entire world."
Sanders' mention of Trump’s jab at Thunberg elicited boos from the crowd.
At a speech in Alexandria, Va., Bloomberg highlighted his goals – ensuring 80 percent clean electricity by the end of his second term in the White House, and moving the country toward 100 percent clean energy by 2045 or 2050.
Among the first steps Bloomberg says he’ll take if he’s elected president would be ending all subsidies for fossil fuels, implementing stringent carbon and health pollutant standards for new gas plants, and putting a halt to construction of a new generation of fossil power plants.
Bloomberg also pledges to prioritize communities that have suffered most from coal pollution or have been left behind in the transition to clean energy.
In announcing his plan, Bloomberg is taking aim at President Trump, criticizing the GOP incumbent for a lack of commitment to tackling climate change.
“The president refuses to lead on climate change, so the rest of us must. I’ve been all-in on this fight for more than a decade – and having helped close more than half the nation's dirty coal plants, having cut New York City's carbon footprint by 14 percent, having led a coalition of cities, states, and businesses committed to the Paris Agreement, I know that we can win,” Bloomberg said.
“We’ve proven that you can transition to clean energy and strengthen the economy at the same time. As president, I'll accelerate our transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy,” he said.
Trump vowed to save the coal industry as he campaigned for president in the 2016 election. The president’s had mixed success in the White House in following through on his pledge.
But openly targeting the industry remains politically risky in certain swing states, including Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Bloomberg’s poured millions of his own money to fund the effort to fight climate change.
The candidate, who’s made the issue a central pillar of his presidential campaign, spoke in person at the beginning of this week at a United Nations global climate conference in Spain, while the official U.S. delegation kept a lower profile at the gathering.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg teamed up with former Gov. Jerry Brown in California as part of the efforts of America's Pledge, a coalition of governors, mayors, governors, leaders in the business world, and others focusing on meeting global climate goals.
Climate change has been one of the leading issues in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. It was a top issue for Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, who dropped his White House bid earlier this autumn. And it's a top issue for current candidate Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental and progressive advocate and organizer.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz delivers an opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining his report on alleged FISA abuses.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in his long-awaited report on the FBI's Russia investigation that there was no evidence of political bias in the probe's launch — but he made clear during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that this does not let anyone off the hook.
To the contrary, Horowitz said during Wednesday's hearing that while he did not make a determination as to motive, he is referring officials to the FBI and Department of Justice for further review.
"[O]ur final recommendation was to refer the entire chain of command that we outline here to the FBI and the Department for consideration of how to assess and address their performance failures," Horowitz said during his opening statement.
Horowitz also called for "individual accountability" for officials. He went into some specifics when committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked about an attorney who worked on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, a key component of the IG's review.
Graham identified the attorney as Kevin Clinesmith, and brought up anti-Trump text messages he had sent in the past, including "Viva la resistance."
The attorney was found to have altered an email to say that Page had not been a CIA source, when in fact he had been working with them. This ultimately led to the FBI renewing the FISA warrant against Page while leaving exculpatory evidence out of their application.
"What motivated him to do that?" Graham asked.
"It is unknown as to precisely why he did it," Horowitz said, "but we reference in here the text messages you mention and we have not made a determination but rather, as we note in here, when we learned this we notified the Attorney General and the FBI Director and referred it to them."
Later in the hearing, when asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., about the lack of evidence of political bias in the Russia probe, Horowitz made clear that this finding pertained more to the initiation of the investigation, not everything that happened afterward.
"It gets murkier, the question gets more challenging, senator, when you get to the FISA," Horowitz said.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) shares his reaction to the House Judiciary Committee issuing two articles of impeachment against President Trump for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. He also weighs in on the GOP's biggest takeaways from the impeachment inquiry.
In his first public remarks since Democrats formally announced articles of impeachment against him, President Trump called the two charges leveled against him “weak” and said the only reason Democrats agreed to a modified North American trade deal was because of impeachment.
Speaking on the White House lawn before departing for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Trump called it a “disgrace” to “make impeachment out of nothing,” while touting both the strength of the economy and recent polling that showed him ahead of his Democratic rivals in the 2020 presidential race.
Trump’s comments came hours after House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against the president on Tuesday morning, saying that his actions toward Ukraine “betrayed the nation.” The specific charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the Capitol, said they were upholding their solemn oath to defend the Constitution. Trump responded angrily on Twitter: “WITCH HUNT!”
Voting is expected in a matter of days by the Judiciary Committee and by Christmas in the full House. The charges, if approved, would then be sent to the Senate, where the Republican majority would be unlikely to convict Trump, but not without a potentially bitter trial just as voters in Iowa and other early presidential primary states begin making their choices.
In the formal articles announced Tuesday, the Democrats said Trump enlisted a foreign power in “corrupting” the U.S. election process and endangered national security by asking Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, while withholding U.S. military aid as leverage. That benefited Russia over the U.S. as America's ally fought Russian aggression, the Democrats said.
Trump then obstructed Congress by ordering current and former officials to defy House subpoenas for testimony and by blocking access to documents, the charges say.
Shortly after Democrats introduced the articles of impeachment, the White House and Democrats announced reached an agreement on the revamped U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“There is no question of course that this trade agreement is much better than [the North American Free Trade Agreement]," Pelosi said when announcing the agreement, saying the pact is “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration."
Trump said the revamped trade pact will “be great" for the United States.
“It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions — tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!,” the president said in a tweet.
A U.S. House vote is likely before Congress adjourns for the year, and the Senate is likely to vote in January or February. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote on the trade deal will likely occur after an expected impeachment trial in the Senate.
Fox News' Kelly Chernenkoff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Buttigieg's difficulties with police and the black community started early in his first term as mayor of South Bend; senior correspondent Mike Tobin reports.
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is calling on a consulting firm he used to work for to release a list of clients he was assigned, and to release him from his nondisclosure agreement — while releasing a summary of his work there, amid concerns about potential conflicts of interest if he were elected president.
“I believe transparency is particularly important under the present circumstances in our country, which is one of the reasons why I have released all tax returns from my time in the private sector and since,” the South Bend, Ind. mayor said in a statement. “I am today reiterating my request that McKinsey release me from this agreement, and I again make clear that I authorize them to release the full list of clients I was assigned to serve."
“This company must recognize the importance of transparency in the exceptional case of a former employee becoming a competitive candidate for the U.S. presidency,” he said.
Buttigieg worked for McKinsey & Company between 2007 and 2010, but many of the details of his time there have not been revealed, with Buttigieg citing an NDA he signed. But questions have only increased as Buttigieg has entered the presidential race and moved up the polls — with some showing him in second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
The campaign says it inquired about the confidentiality agreement in both June and November — and asked for Buttigieg to be released from it, but says that so far it has not been agreed to by the company.
“The bulk of my work on these teams consisted of doing mathematical analysis, conducting research, and preparing presentations. I never worked on a project inconsistent with my values, and if asked to do so, I would have left the firm rather than participate,” he said.
The 37-year-old said in his statement that while some are calling on him to break the agreement, it is important to keep his commitment.
“Now more than ever, however, I also understand the American people deserve to know these kinds of details about their president's background in order to gain and hold that trust. So, I am asking McKinsey to do the right thing in the name of transparency,” he said.
In a press release, the campaign has provided a timeline of his work at the company, without getting into specifics barred by the NDA.
According to that timeline, Buttigieg worked in places ranging from Michigan, where he worked with a non-profit insurance provider in 2007, to California — where he worked with an environmental nonprofit group in 2009.
From 2008-2009, he worked in Connecticut on a project co-sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, other environmental groups and several utility companies.
The pressure is likely to remain on Buttigieg as he remains a top tier candidate. During a presidential forum in Waterloo Friday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested to Buttigieg, “You should break the NDA,” to distinguish himself from President Trump.
Booker – one of only two remaining black candidates left in the still large field of Democratic White House hopefuls – said Friday in an interview on SiriusXM that “it’s sort of stunning at times that we are still revisiting these sort of tired tropes." He added: "The fact that they don’t understand is problematic.”
Booker spoke soon after Bloomberg said in an interview that aired hours earlier on "CBS This Morning" that Booker is “very well-spoken.”
Presidential candidate<a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/cory-booker" href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/cory-booker"> Sen. Cory Booker </a>says he was taken aback by <a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/politics/2020-presidential-election" href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/politics/2020-presidential-election">2020 Democratic nomination </a>rival<a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/michael-bloomberg" href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/michael-bloomberg"> Mike </a><a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/michael-bloomberg" href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/michael-bloomberg">Blomberg’s</a> description of the <a data-cke-saved-href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/cory-booker" href="https://www.foxnews.com/category/person/cory-booker">New Jersey senator</a> as well-spoken. (AP).
The former New York City mayor and multi-billionaire business and media mogul — who’s already spent more than $50 million to run TV campaign commercials in the two weeks since launching his White House bid — was asked in the interview about recent criticism by Booker, who was visibility upset earlier this week after his good friend Sen. Kamala Harris of California ended her White House bid. Booker said "there’s more billionaires in the 2020 race than there are black people."
With Harris out of the race, Booker and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick are the two remaining black candidates. Besides Bloomberg, billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer is also running for the nomination.
Asked about Booker’s criticism, Bloomberg said in the CBS interview that "Cory Booker endorsed me a number of times, and I endorsed Cory Booker a number of times."
"He's very well-spoken. He's got some good ideas. It would be better the more diverse any group is, but the public is out there picking and choosing, and narrowing down this field,” he added.
Bloomberg’s “very well-spoken” description of Booker quickly received criticism on social media.
Booker – in his interview – said that “this is part of the campaign and lots of people say things that they wish they could take back and I’m sure people, if Mike gets it now and I hope people around him are talking to him about why that plays into what is for the black community in particular just, these are signs of frustration that we continue to deal with.”
Booker pointed to the numerous blackface controversies this year and added “I don’t think folks understand with Kamala dropping out of the race, why so many people, friends of mine and family members of mine who weren’t even supporting her, found insulting, not being in this race with her qualifications, her experience, her talent and her gifts and other people are — who frankly are, very bluntly, do not have her same record.”
The senator emphasized that “I think that what we as a party have to understand is that we can’t win without the, not just African-American vote, but we can’t win without the enthusiastic support of black voters.”
Booker also spotlighted his long working relationship with Bloomberg, saying, “Mike and I have known each other for a long time. When I was first becoming the mayor of the city of Newark, he gave me a tremendous amount of practical support and so I just have a great deal of regard for him as somebody who helped me help the city of Newark.”
Bloomberg, speaking with reporters after a campaign event in Augusta, Ga., later on Friday, highlighted that Booker “was on the board of my foundation. Cory Booker endorsed me three times. I endorsed him three times. We campaigned. We have stayed friends.”
But he added that “I probably shouldn’t have used the word. I can tell you he is a friend of mine. He is a Rhodes scholar. I envy him and he certainly can speak for himself.”
The news brought back memories of a campaign controversy from the 2008 presidential election cycle, when then-Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware described rival candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois as the “first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
The comment created a firestorm of criticism, and Biden later apologized, saying "I deeply regret any offense my remark in the New York Observer might have caused anyone. That was not my intent and I expressed that to Sen. Obama."
Regardless of that controversy, the following year after he captured the Democratic presidential nomination – Obama named Biden as his running mate. And Biden went on to serve as vice president under Obama for eight years.
Congresswoman Debbie Lesko uses Nadler's words to argue against any impeachable offense during House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to cancel any upcoming hearings related to President Trump's impeachment inquiry because it violated Nadler's "own standards for any impeachment proceedings," she wrote in a letter to him on Wednesday.
During the hearing, Lesko quoted Nadler from an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Nov. 26, 2018, when he outlined three questions that needed affirmation before impeachment could be pursued.
"Number one, has the President committed impeachable offenses? Number two, do those offenses rise to the gravity that's worth putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment proceeding? And number three, because you don't want to tear the country apart," he said at the time.
"You have to be able to think at the beginning of the impeachment process that the evidence is so clear, of offenses so grave, that once you've laid out all the evidence a good fraction of the opposition, voters, will reluctantly admit to themselves they had to do it," Nadler said. "Otherwise, you have a partisan impeachment which will tear the country apart. If you meet those three tests, I think you do the impeachment."
"Not one single Republican voted on the impeachment inquiry resolution or on the Schiff report reveal the opposite is true," Lesko said. "In fact, what you and your Democratic colleagues have done is opposite of what you said had to be done."
Lesko parroted her Republican colleagues, calling the impeachment inquiry "partisan" and a "sham," and accusing Nadler and the Democratic caucus of embarking on an investigation "all for political purpose."
The congresswoman concluded by asking the Republican's sole witness, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, "Has Chairman Nadler satisfied his three-prong test for impeachment?"
"With all due respect to the chairman, I do not believe that those factors were satisfied," Turley said.
Nadler officially entered Lesko's letter into the record, in which she urged him to "follow your own advice and cancel these hearings."
In his closing statements, Nadler pointed to the three-part test for impeachment and insisted that "all three parts of that test have been met."
"The president asked a foreign government to intervene in our elections, then got caught, then obstructed the investigators. Twice," Nadler said. "Our witnesses told us in no uncertain terms that this conduct constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors, including abuse of power," he added.
Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli discusses efforts being made to secure the southern border.
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli fired back at former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Thursday after the Democrat forced Cuccinelli to leave an event Thanksgiving eve, with Cuccinelli claiming O'Malley's "sad" and "shocking" outburst was so vitriolic his neck veins were "bulging."
Cuccinelli, in a lengthy statement to Fox News, recalled Wednesday night’s incident, which took place at the Dubliner—an Irish pub on Capitol Hill where he and O’Malley were attending an event with fellow graduates of Gonzaga College High School before O’Malley’s “shame-invoking tirade” forced Cuccinelli to leave.
“I arrived at The Dubliner to meet with some of my Gonzaga classmates last night, Cuccinelli said in the statement. “As I walked up to one of the bars among several in The Dubliner to order my Guinness, I heard screaming and cussing behind me to my left, which I did not immediately take notice of other than the fact that it was louder than everything else in the pub.”
Cuccinelli continued: “When I turned to look I saw O'Malley and he was obviously screaming at me. For a moment I thought he was trying to be funny, as we've met before, which I thought was strange. It was immediately clear that he was cursing and screaming for real, to the point of veins bulging on his neck.”
Cuccinelli added that O’Malley had “also inspired one or two of his (apparent) buddies to join in the cussing assault,” which the Trump official said he attempted to ignore. Cuccinelli said he proceeded to attempt to order at a different bar within The Dubliner, but that O’Malley followed him.
“[A]t which point O'Malley pushed his way through the small group to confront me face to face, still cursing me, the President, and my Italian ancestry and he got right up in my face, bumped up against me and invited me to take a swing at him,” Cuccinelli recalled, adding, “at which point I said ‘Martin, one of us has to rise above this, and it's obviously not going to be you.’”
Cuccinelli noted that some of O’Malley’s comments about Trump's immigration policy were “odd” due to the fact that “they applied to President Obama's policies, a fact he clearly did not appreciate me pointing out (without screaming it, btw).”
Cuccinelli said, on a “positive” note, he saw a friend, who happens to be a Democrat, and, in what he said appeared to be “an attempt at de-escalation,” that friend approached the two and “forced some friendly conversation in between Martin and I.”
Cuccinelli said he engaged in a short conversation and walked away to a separate area of the bar to see several other Gonzaga graduates and “high school buddies who happened to be there.”
“Martin's behavior was as sad as it was shocking,” Cuccinelli said. “I learned on the other side of the pub that Martin's screaming was so loud that people on the other side of the pub heard him. I also learned from others who have known Martin for years that while his behavior was shocking, it was not new to them.”
Meanwhile, after the incident O’Malley defended his actions to The Washington Post, which first reported on the incident, noting that he and other graduates were blasting Cuccinelli due to the former Trump administration immigration policy that separated families at the Southern border.
“We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages — certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga,” O’Malley said in a text to the Post, adding that Cuccinelli is “the son of immigrant grandparents who cages children for a fascist president.”
A patron of the bar, Siobhan Arnold, who's identified as a Villanova University media relations associate, tweeted late Wednesday describing the incident.
“Martin O’Malley just drove Ken Cuccinelli out of the Dubliner in DC w/ a passion-laced and shame-invoking tirade on behalf of immigrant refugee children!!!” Arnold tweeted late Wednesday.
“O’Malley was shouting,” Arnold told the Post. “I don’t think Cuccinelli was responding. I think he’s like, ‘Time to go. Just got here and I’m leaving.’ He pretty much retreated.”
Cuccinelli has been known as one of the Trump administration's most vocal immigration hardliners. He was appointed acting deputy DHS secretary earlier this month under new acting Secretary Chad Wolf, after serving as acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director. Cuccinelli, along with acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, had been one of the favorites among immigration hawks to lead the department.
Cuccinelli is not the first Trump administration official to be harassed for his work involving enforcement of President Trump’s immigration policies.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was repeatedly heckled for her role in the administration, and was forced, last year, to cut a working dinner short at a Mexican restaurant in Washington after protesters harassed her, shouting “shame!” Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was also forced to leave a Virginia restaurant during the same time period. Those incidents took place after Trump signed an executive order to stop the administration’s controversial family separation policy.
The president has repeatedly said that the administration has no plans to reinstate that policy and has sought to place blame on former President Barack Obama instead.
“Obama separated the children, just so you understand. President Obama separated the children,” Trump said in April. “The cages that were shown, very inappropriate, they were built by President Obama and the Obama administration –not by Trump.”
“The press knows it, you know it, we all know it,” he said. “I’m the one that stopped it.”
Initial images of cages with children inside that spread on social media last year indeed were from the Obama administration. The photos, taken in 2014 by The Associated Press, were wrongly described as illustrating imprisonment under the Trump administration.
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong cheered President Trump and members of Congress for passing two laws that support the months-long uprising that has crippled the city while Beijing's anger over the legislation was on full display, calling the move a "nakedly hegemonic act" before summoning the top American diplomat in the country in protest.
The protests in Hong Kong started in June in response to, in part, an extradition bill that would have sent alleged criminals to China to stand trial. The bill never went forward, but the protests remained and only grew in size and violence since June.
Trump signed the bills, which were approved by near-unanimous consent in the House and Senate, even as he expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China's President Xi Jinping.
Up until Wednesday's announcement, Trump did not indicate whether or not he would sign the bill. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to answer a reporter's question about the president's leanings as recent as Tuesday.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., requires that the U.S. conducts yearly reviews into Hong Kong’s autonomy from Beijing. If ever found unsatisfactory, the city's special status for U.S. trading could be tossed.
"I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong," Trump said in a statement. "They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all."
The statement did little to calm Beijing. The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement that the bill will only "strengthen the resolve of the Chinese people, including the Hong Kong people, and raise the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the U.S."
The statement continued, "The US side ignored facts, turned black to white, and blatantly gave encouragement to violent criminals who smashed and burned, harmed innocent city residents, trampled on the rule of law and endangered social order."
The statement, which was obtained by Reuters, said the U.S. plot "is doomed" and threatened vague "countermeasures."
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office called the U.S. the "largest black hand causing chaos in Hong Kong."
Carrie Lam's administration said it "strongly opposes and regrets" the laws, according to London’s Independent newspaper. Her office said "Democracy is alive and well" there and pointed to the recent elections that overwhelmingly favored antigovernment candidates.
Protesters, however, cheered the bill and, according to the New York Times, see the measure as a warning to Beijing and Hong Kong.
"I hope it can act as a warning to Hong Kong and Beijing officials, pro-Beijing people and the police," Nelson Lam, 32, told the Times. "I think if they know that what they do may lead to sanctions, then they will become restrained when dealing with protests. We just want our autonomy back. We are not their foe."
Every mile of new border wall gives the men and women of Border Patrol a fighting chance to impede, deny and interdict bad things and bad people coming into the county, says Mark Morgan, acting CBP commissioner.
DONNA, Texas — As the Trump administration ramps up its efforts to build 450-500 miles of border wall by the end of next year, new Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf toured new construction this week, and declared that such efforts to combat illegal immigration are “common sense.”
“Simply put – walls work,” the new acting DHS chief said Thursday, speaking to reporters in Rio Grande Valley sector and surrounded by Border Patrol agents. “We have seen over and over again that when we construct a wall, illegal activity goes down. We saw it in the 1990s in San Diego, and we are seeing it today in El Paso.”
Wolf took over the role from former Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan this month, and has so far shown no sign of backing down or changing course on delivering on Trump’s central 2016 campaign promise.
“It’s common sense,” he said. “No one disputes that we should give our men and women in the military the best equipment to keep them safe and to keep our country safe. Why should things be any different for the men and women of the Border Patrol, who are protecting our homeland?”
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf tours new border wall construction in Texas. (Adam Shaw/Fox News)
The administration has been ramping up efforts over the summer to secure critical strips of private land in order to enter a new phase of construction — where they are not just revamping existing structures, but constructing “new linear wall” where no structure existed before.
The wall has faced significant challenges, including the securing of private land, legal challenges, as well as almost entirely united bloc of Democratic support against the wall in Congress. In September, the Supreme Court sided with the administration in lifting a freeze that halted plans to use Pentagon money for wall construction — giving the administration more money to work with.
It has also faced reports that smugglers may be able to cut through the border wall with easily-purchasable power tools. U.S. border agents told The Washington Post that smugglers have been using reciprocating saws to cut through steel and concrete. The saws could cut through beams, regardless of their material, in just a few minutes, they said. The administration has said that no structure is perfect, with Trump arguing "you can cut through anything."
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf tours new border wall construction in Texas. (Adam Shaw/Fox News)
On Thursday, Wolf said that so far 83 miles of new wall have been built. While critics note that much of that mileage is revamping existing wall, officials have argued that some of the structures it replaces are so flimsy — including Normandy-style landing mats — that it is essentially new wall.
“When we tear down 1970s era landing mat wall that is seven-eight feet high and you put up what's behind us, that's not replacement wall — that is a new wall that is a new physical infrastructure,” he said. “So I don't agree with the assertion that we’re simply replacing wall by constructing what's behind us in places that have never had this type of physical infrastructure.”
And it is an overpowering structure. While still under construction, the 30-foot structure towered over both Wolf and the officials who accompanied him on the tour. Officials also call it a "border wall system," noting that it includes lighting, cameras as well as roads with which to be able to access different parts of the wall quickly.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf tours new border wall construction in Texas. (Adam Shaw/Fox News)
Wolf said that 110 of the 450-500 miles will be built in RGV, and said that they have funded and built more wall in the first three years of the Trump administration. He also dismissed claims by Democrats that the wall is a "vanity project," saying it had been recommended repeatedly by border agents who called it a "game changer."
One Border Patrol official touring with Wolf agreed.
President Donald Trump phones into 'Fox & Friends' to react to the impeachment inquiry testimony, upcoming FISA report release, 2020 Democrat primary race and more.
President Trump, during a wide-ranging interview Friday morning with “Fox & Friends,” called for a Senate trial should the House impeach him and pressed for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the whistleblower and others to be called as witnesses.
Calling into “Fox & Friends” after a packed week of hearings where a parade of witnesses alleged high-level involvement in efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrats while aid was withheld, Trump blasted the inquiry as “a continuation of the witch hunt” and downplayed the impact of the testimony.
“There’s nothing there,” Trump declared, claiming "there should never be an impeachment" and he “doesn’t know” the majority of the witnesses.
But following a meeting with senators a day earlier, the president announced on the show that if the House impeaches, "Frankly, I want a trial."
He stressed that Senate trial would provide the opportunity to call other witnesses — including Hunter Biden, whose dealings in Ukraine were at the heart of what he wanted investigated out of Kiev, and especially Schiff.
“There’s only one person I want more than, where’s Hunter, and that is Adam Schiff,” Trump said.
Blasting Schiff's dramatized reading (later described as a parody) of the now-infamous phone call with Ukraine's president and challenging his claims not to know the whistleblower, Trump said: "I want to see Adam Schiff testify about the whistleblower."
He went on to say he also wants to hear from the "fake whistleblower," saying he and "everybody" know the identity and alleging they filed a "false report" on his July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I want the whistleblower, who put in a false report, to testify,” Trump said, adding that he believes the individual “is a political operative.”
At the center of the impeachment inquiry, which began in September, is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Kiev. That call prompted the whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community inspector general, and in turn, the impeachment inquiry in the House.
The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and witnesses have claimed shows a "quid pro quo" arrangement. Trump denies that.
Schiff, D-Calif., is leading impeachment inquiry proceedings in the House, and concluded five days of public hearings late Thursday.
This week, the House Intelligence Committee heard testimony from aide to Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Williams; National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman; former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Amb. Kurt Volker; former National Security Council aide Tim Morrison; ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland; Pentagon official Laura Cooper, State Department official David Hale; State Department official David Holmes and former National Security Council senior director Dr. Fiona Hill.
The president claimed Friday that he “hardly knows” Sondland, who testified for hours on Wednesday. Sondland said that there was, in fact, a “quid pro quo” tying a White House meeting to the push for investigations — concerning former Vice President Joe Biden's role ousting a prosecutor who had been looking into Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma, where his son Hunter worked on the board. Sondland described a potential quid pro quo linked to the military aid, but said he never heard that directly from Trump.
Trump also said he did not know Volker, while saying he “only had a couple of conversations with [Sondland].”
“He was really the ambassador to the E.U., and all of a sudden, he’s working on this,” Trump said.
But Sondland and Hill testified this week that the president tasked Sondland with Ukraine efforts.
Trump also went on to blast Holmes, who testified on Thursday that he overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland on July 26.
“How about that guy with the telephone? I guarantee that never took place,” Trump said. “I have really good hearing and I’ve watched guys for 40 years making phone calls and I can’t hear the other side.”
Trump also went on to blast fired U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who testified before the committee last week, calling her “an Obama person,” and saying she was “rude.”
“This was not an angel, this woman, and okay, there were a lot of things she did that I didn’t like, but I just want you to know, this is not a baby we’re dealing with,” Trump said.
During Yovanovitch’s hearing last week, the president criticized her record via Twitter—a move which Schiff, Yovanovitch and others characterized as witness intimidation.
Meanwhile, Trump maintained that there was “no quid pro quo” and that he wanted “nothing” from Ukraine.
Should the House introduce articles of impeachment, all that is needed to impeach Trump is a simple majority vote by those lawmakers present and voting. But at that point, removal from the Oval Office is hardly a certainty. The Senate would have to hold a trial.
While some Senate Republicans have voiced concerns about Trump's actions, impeachment does not at this stage appear to have enough support in the Senate to threaten Trump in the long run. Most GOP senators have stopped short of condemning the president for his controversial phone call, while others have outright defended him.
The president, though, touted the GOP's unity on Friday.
"The Republican Party has never been more unified," Trump said. "In the Senate and the House, Mitch [McConnell], Lindsey [Graham], I could name 20 names up there."
He added: "The Republicans, I have never seen anything like it, they're sticking together."
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller sits down with 'Watters' World.'
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, whom progressives have blamed for the president's hard-line immigration agenda should be removed from his position.
"Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency," Clinton tweeted before promoting a letter calling for Miller's removal, signed by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and NAACP.
The letter was produced by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a nonprofit coalition of "more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States," according to its website.
The letter accused Miller of supporting white supremacy and stoking bigotry during his career.
"Supporters of white supremacists and neo-Nazis should not be allowed to serve at any level of government, let alone in the White House," it read. "Stephen Miller has stoked bigotry, hate, and division with his extreme political rhetoric and policies throughout his career. The recent exposure of his deep-seated racism provides further proof that he is unfit to serve and should immediately leave his post."
The SPLC, a liberal nonprofit known for accusing conservatives of "hate," claimed last week that Miller sent emails "promoted white nationalist literature and racist propaganda" to conservative news site Breitbart in 2015 and 2016 when he was working for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
Miller did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
"Every day Hillary Clinton was in office WAS an actual emergency," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to Fox News. "Lest we forget her policies helped create a massacre in Benghazi, Libya, a humanitarian disaster in Syria, and the rise of ISIS in Iraq. Stephen Miller is dedicated to this country and I am proud to work alongside him every single day with the goal of making our nation even greater. He is a friend and colleague, and we are lucky to have him in the White House."
Following the publication of the SPLC's report, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called for Miller's ouster. "Each day we allow a white nationalist to be in charge of US immigration policy is a day where thousands of children & families [sic] lives are in danger," she said. "This year alone, under Miller’s direction, the US has put almost 70,000 children in custody."
After Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a fellow "Squad" member, criticized Miller, Trump quoted someone accusing her of targeting "Jews."
The SPLC report also claimed that Miller shared white nationalist websites, a “white genocide”-themed novel, xenophobic conspiracy theories and eugenics-era immigration laws that Adolf Hitler lauded in “Mein Kampf.” The report concludes the emails show that Miller used these ideologies to “as an architect” for Trump administration immigration policies, included the travel ban, zero-tolerance police, which resulted in the separation of children at the border, and undocumented immigrant arrest quotas.
Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes delivers an opening statement to the public impeachment hearing featuring testimony from Jennifer Williams and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, panned the way the press covered last week's impeachment hearings in an opening salvo defending President Trump on Tuesday before nine more witnesses publicly testify this week.
Nunes called stories about allegations of Trump colluding with Russia for assistance in the 2016 election and more recent stories about allegations he attempted to arrange a quid pro quo with Ukraine — American military aid for investigations that would benefit Trump — "preposterous" and labeled the press "puppets" for the Democratic Party.
"If you watched the impeachment hearings last week you may have noticed a disconnect between what you actually saw and the mainstream media accounts describing it," Nunes said in his opening statement before testimony got underway Tuesday. "You saw three diplomats who disliked President Trump's Ukraine policy discussing secondhand and thirdhand conversations about their objections with the Trump policy."
House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Devon Nunes, R-Calif., gives a opening statement before Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
"But what you read in the press were accounts of shocking, damning and explosive testimony that fully supports the Democrats accusations," Nunes continued.
Nunes went on to list several stories about alleged Russian collusion that were debunked before returning to his attacks on the press.
"With their biased misreporting on the Russia hoax, the media lost the confidence of millions of Americans, and because they refuse to acknowledge how badly they botched the story, they've learned no lessons and simply expect Americans will believe them as they try to stoke yet another partisan frenzy," he said.
What the press and Democrats are ignoring, Nunes said, were "crucial questions" Republicans have pushed to have answered.
Nunes asked to what extent the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry coordinated with Democrats and Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and what the whistleblower's political beliefs are, among other things.
In contrast, Schiff gave a subdued opening statement rehashing the testimony of the first week's witnesses before giving committee members a directive for how to handle the day's hearings.
"If [Trump] sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his reelection campaign and did so by withholding official acts — a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid — it will be up to us to decide whether those acts are compatible with the office of the presidency," he said.
Tuesday’s sessions at the House Intelligence Committee started with Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, an adviser with Vice President Pence’s office.
The witnesses, both foreign policy experts, previously said they listened with concern as Trump spoke on July 25 with the newly elected Ukraine president. The government whistleblower’s complaint about that call led House Democrats to launch the impeachment inquiry.
Democrats allege that Trump withheld almost $400 million in military aid and a meeting in the Oval Office from Ukraine in hopes of leveraging Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky to investigate Burisma Holdings and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. 2020 contender Joe Biden's son, Hunter, worked for Burisma despite having few qualifications pertaining to Ukraine or energy. The election interference theory has been largely discredited.
Republicans and Trump have used multiple lines of defense against the impeachment inquiry, arguing that Democrats are not affording Trump proper due process, that the aid was eventually delivered even without any investigations and that Democrats have been searching for an issue to impeach Trump on since he was elected. Specifically, Republicans have pointed out that the Ukraine whistleblower's lawyer openly called for a "coup" and impeachment around Trump's inauguration.
Nunes' statement Tuesday also touched on another GOP defense of Trump — that the president controls foreign policy and the diplomats testifying under subpoena in Democrats' impeachment hearings simply "disliked" his Ukraine policy.
Fox News' Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Voters have to be 'rooted in reality' says former President Barack Obama.
Former President Barack Obama is facing a new wave of criticism from the Democratic Party's left flank after cautioning Democrats about going too radical with their policy proposals — in the latest sign of a growing rift between the popular 44th president and the party's activist base.
Obama on Friday warned 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls to pay attention to what voters actually think, claiming at a gathering of Democratic donors that most of them don’t want to “tear down the system” and that many Democrats “just don’t want to see crazy stuff.” Members of his party soon turned on him, using the hashtag #TooFarLeft.
“I’m #TooFarLeft because I want kids to be safe in school. I’m #TooFarLeft because I want people to live in dignity. I’m #TooFarLeft because I seek justice and equality. I’m #TooFarLeft because I think healthcare and housing are human rights,” tweeted former Hillary Clinton adviser Peter Daou, who started the hashtag.
Daou clarified Sunday evening that the slogan "isn't primarily about Obama for me, though he was the catalyst for the tag."
It quickly went viral, used by other liberal Democrats such as Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Celebrities weighed in as well. Former “Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer claimed a "far left" position is necessary to counter an existential threat to humanity.
“I am #TooFarLeft because I believe that we cannot let greed cause the collapse of the ecosystem that supports all human life on earth,” he tweeted.
This is not the first time Obama has taken a stance against the leftward drift of the party or been on the receiving end of criticism for allegedly being too moderate.
During a discussion at the Obama Foundation Summit held at the Illinois Institute of Technology in October, Obama explained that the world is more complicated than people realize and urged politically active Americans to be practical if they want to be effective.
“This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke, and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama said.
Several Democratic presidential candidates have taken veiled shots at Obama’s administration this year while targeting his former vice president, Joe Biden — especially regarding health care and immigration.
Over the summer, before he dropped out of the race, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said Biden should “absolutely” answer for the Obama administration’s deportation record.
And now Harris may be facing another problem: A second report Friday described internal strife at Harris’ Baltimore campaign headquarters, with several aides calling for campaign manager Juan Rodriguez’s resignation following his late October decision to lay off field staffers in several states and dedicate Harris' already dwindling campaign war chest to a seven-figure TV ad campaign before the February Iowa caucus.
Harris and Bloomberg were deadlocked in a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Nov. 12-14. Though not yet a declared candidate, Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire business and media mogul, launched a massive $100 million digital ad campaign Friday targeting President Trump.
In the poll, both Harris and Bloomberg fell behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., who polled at 6 percent, and Sen Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who polled at 13 percent. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led the Demicratic field tied at 19 percent support.
Rodriguez said in an Oct. 30 campaign memo obtained by Fox News that several dozen people would be laid off at the campaign's Baltimore headquarters — as would volunteers in New Hampshire, Nevada, and California — in an effort to go "all-in" in Iowa. He also said the campaign aimed to dedicate $1 million to a media campaign in the weeks before the Feb. 3 caucus, a figure now considered unlikely given Harris’ lackluster funding.
Three additional staff members were laid off and another quit in recent days at Harris’ campaign headquarters in Baltimore, unnamed aides told Politico on Friday. They said several aides have approached campaign chair Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister, to force Rodriguez to step down, claiming his failed leadership is responsible for the campaign’s recent troubles.
One official said Harris’ current campaign structure has “No discipline. No plan. No strategy.”
“It’s a campaign of id,” the official continued. “What feels right, what impulse you have right now, what emotion, what frustration.”
But others defended Rodriguez, saying he’s been loyal to Harris even before she first announced her candidacy in June. They pointed fingers at Maya Harris, who shared leadership responsibility with Rodriguez.
“From the outset of this race, he has had all the responsibility with none of the authority. He’s been managing this race with at least one, if not two, hands tied behind his back,” a senior campaign official told Politico of Rodriguez. “He would never undermine her. He’s just not that guy.”
The Politico report cited 12 individuals – who were either current or former campaign staffers or donors – who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Harris has been crisscrossing the country to try to salvage support. Her campaign has struggled to regain traction after an initial stand-out moment in the race during the first Democratic debate in June when she challenged Biden, a frontrunner, over comments he made about segregationist U.S. senators and school busing. Harris struggled in the second debate after Biden and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, challenged her record as California's attorney general. She struggled to shine in subsequent debates.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.