“I think it’s going to be a very tough election as they seem to be these days — probably closer than one would like or expect — partially because we are so divided,” the former secretary of state told former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on an episode of her podcast released Tuesday.
“It’s all pretty bunched up in the top four or five people,” she said of the Democrats running, adding that Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday makes the election even “more complicated.”
Clinton said she never viewed her 2016 candidacy as about herself when Gillard asked her how she got over her loss to President Trump.
“It was about what we would do and how we would do it,” she said. “I like to solve problems. I like to bring people together.”
She told Gillard it was “really difficult” giving her concession speech the day after the election.
“It was such a shock I can’t even describe to you how it made no sense,” she said. “That’s why I wrote a whole book called 'What Happened' because I was trying to figure out what happened because it was just not foreseen. There were things that went on that made no sense to me and others, unprecedented interventions, etc.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says we are not at the stage where judgements in the impeachment inquiry can be made.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has called for several current and former Trump administration officials to be subpoenaed to testify in the chamber's likely impeachment trial for President Trump.
Yet, during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999, Schumer, D-N.Y., roundly dismissed the importance of, and voted against, such witness testimony — suggesting it amounted to "political theater."
“It seems to me that no good case has been made for witnesses,” Schumer said during a press conference on Jan. 27, 1999.
Days later, he argued that there was no reason to call witnesses, saying: “I wonder if the House managers aren’t a little more interested in political theater than in actually getting to the bottom of the facts.”
As with virtually everybody involved in the Clinton-era impeachment on both sides of the aisle, the roles and talking points have reversed now that Trump is facing impeachment for his dealings with Ukraine. Republicans who cheered Clinton's impeachment have condemned Trump's. And Democrats like Schumer are sudden champions of the process.
On Sunday, the powerful New York Democrat penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., outlining the parameters for a weeks-long impeachment trial in the Senate, including proposed witnesses.
“In the trial of President Clinton, the House Managers were permitted to call witnesses, and it is clear that the Senate should hear testimony of witnesses in this trial as well,” Schumer said.
“I propose, pursuant to our rules, that the Chief Justice on behalf of the Senate issue subpoenas for testimony by the following witnesses with direct knowledge of Administration decisions regarding the delay in security assistance funds to the government of Ukraine and the requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine: Robert Blair, Senior Advisor to the Acting White House Chief of Staff; Mick Mulvaney, Acting White House Chief of Staff; John Bolton, former National Security Advisor; and Michael Duffey, Associate Director for National Security, Office of Management and Budget.”
He noted all four of those witnesses were asked to testify in the House impeachment inquiry but did not appear.
“We would of course be open to hearing the testimony of additional witnesses having direct knowledge of the Administration’s decisions regarding the delay in security assistance funds to the government of Ukraine and the requests for certain investigations to be announced by the government of Ukraine, if the President’s counsel or House Managers identify such witnesses,” he continued, adding that the witness testimony time should “be limited to not more than four hours” for House Managers and “not more than four hours for the President’s counsel.”
But Republicans in the Senate have signaled their interest in calling different witnesses — like Hunter Biden and former Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa, both of whom Republicans in the House tried to call only to be blocked by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
At the center of the impeachment inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations—regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
The House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against Trump, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on a party-line vote of 23-17. A final roll call in the full House is expected this week.
A massive impeachment report issued overnight by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., stated: "This continued solicitation of foreign interference in a U.S. election, as well as President Trump’s other actions, present a clear and present danger that the President will continue to use the power of his office for his personal political gain."
Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee chairman, presents his argument for impeaching President Trump by accusing Trump of cheating in another election
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., arguably the most visible face of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, has brushed off GOP criticism that the spectacle leaves him ignoring critical pieces of legislation and his own constituents in California’s 28th District.
But 20 years ago, Schiff was using that same argument when he first ran for Congress against Republican incumbent James Rogan.
“I think impeachment for most people in this district is only the most graphic illustration of an incumbent who has put the national partisan, ideological fights ahead of representing his district,” Schiff, then a California state senator, said during an interview with NBC at the time regarding Rogan’s role in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. “People want to decide this on the basis of who’s going to serve our community.”
Schiff, who ended up defeating Rogan for the state’s 27th District seat in what was then the most expensive House race in history, made his opponent’s involvement in the Clinton impeachment a key talking point during his time on the campaign trail in 1999 and 2000.
“Jim Rogan is in trouble for reasons that have nothing to do with impeachment,” Schiff told the Boston Globe in 1999. “I think a lot of people are unhappy that Jim Rogan has ignored the district for five years.”
He added in an interview with the Associated Press that Rogan’s constituents were “relegated to a lower-tier priority compared to the national, partisan agenda.”
Schiff’s comments are now coming back to haunt him as he runs for re-election next year, with his Republican opponents dredging up such past statements amid his lead role in the impeachment push against Trump.
“Adam Schiff is a total hypocrite,” Eric Early, a Republican attorney challenging Schiff in 2020, told Fox News. “He first ran for Congress opposing impeachment and saying he would fix problems in the district. Now, two decades of completely abandoning our district later, Schiff thinks this impeachment outrage is a good idea, and he still hasn't fixed a single problem in the district.”
“He disrespects America by trying to undo the 2016 election and spends all this time putting on makeup for his next TV hit," Early added. "He's a national disgrace, and California voters deserve better."
Members of both parties who were around for the Clinton impeachment have largely reversed their talking points and general view on the process in light of the Trump inquiry. Republicans, for their part, have adopted the complaints Democrats once used in the late '90s.
But they point to differences, including that then-independent counsel Kenneth Starr's report outlined for Congress 11 counts of potentially impeachable offenses for Clinton. In this case, Democrats have themselves handled the investigation into whether Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rivals while withholding aid.
Another candidate running for Schiff’s seat, Jennifer Barbosa, echoed Early’s comments during a recent interview on “Fox & Friends,” while claiming that Schiff has done nothing to combat the rise of homelessness in his district.
Schiff's 28th congressional district has seen a 12 percent spike in homelessness over the last year, with 59,000 homeless people now living in Los Angeles County, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And 75.2 percent of those homeless citizens are unsheltered and without refuge.
"Adam Schiff has been my congressman since 2012. He became my congressman through the redistricting process," Barbosa, an independent, said. "Since he became my congressman he has not presented any legislation that's become law. In terms of homelessness, what he's done is he's basically rubber-stamped Maxine Waters' bill to deal with homelessness, and her bill essentially replicated the same failed policies that [L.A.] Mayor [Eric] Garcetti has implemented in our city over the past few years."
Schiff’s campaign did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, earlier in the week, during a press conference to announce the articles of impeachment against Trump, Schiff defended both the inquiry into Trump and the speed of bringing forth articles of impeachment.
“We stand here today because the president’s abuse of power leaves us with no choice,” he said.
House Democrats introduce two articles of impeachment against President Trump regarding his interactions with Ukraine.
Former President Bill Clinton, the only living American president to have gone through the same process, weighed in Tuesday on House Democrats' bid to impeach President Trump — saying lawmakers are doing “what they believe is right.”
“They’re doing their job as they see it and we should wait to see it unfold,” Clinton told Fox News while touring a Clinton Foundation program in New York City. “And the rest of us should go about our jobs and do them as we see it.”
Speaking of his wife, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the former president said, “You know my candidate didn’t win. I think it was a big mistake for America. But that’s how the Electoral College works so now we’re going forward.”
Fox News' Courtney Crawford contributed to this report.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who famously lost the 2016 election to now-President Trump, swiftly gave her public support to articles of impeachment against her political rival after they were announced by House Democrats Tuesday morning.
Clinton called the impeachment push necessary for defending democracy.
"We must defend our democracy, and the painful truth is that the occupant of the Oval Office is waging war against it," Clinton tweeted.
Clinton posted the comment along with a video of House Democrats discussing plans to move forward with impeachment articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The former secretary of state and first lady has been the subject of increasing speculation over whether she might make a stunning late entry into the 2020 presidential race, as the crowded field starts to thin.
During a BBC interview in November, Clinton said she is not planning on running, but that she thinks about what it would be like to be president "all the time." When pressed on the issue, she said, "never, never, never say never," and that she's under "enormous pressure" to do so.
Since 2016, Clinton has repeatedly blamed her defeat on a number of factors, including misogyny, Russian hackers and WikiLeaks, and James Comey's public comments about the FBI's investigation of her private email server.
"If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour at a 2017 Women for Women International event.
During an October PBS Newshour interview, Clinton teased that "maybe there does need to be a rematch," and that "obviously I can beat him again," referring her securing a majority of the overall popular vote, while Trump won with a significant majority of the electoral votes needed to win.
When then-President Bill Clinton was being impeached in 1998, she accused Republicans of impeaching with “vengeance” and being “paralyzed with hatred” of the Democratic president.
“Today the Republican majority is not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance," then-House Minority Leader Pelosi declared in December 1998.
She continued, "In the investigation of the president, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear – fairness, privacy, checks and balances – have been seriously violated, and why? Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton. … Until the Republicans free themselves of that hatred, our country will suffer.”
On Thursday, she snapped at Sinclair’s James Rosen – a former Fox News correspondent – when he asked if she hates Trump. The sharp moment came at a press conference when Pelosi announced that the president’s conduct in relation to Ukraine “leaves us no choice but to act” and proceed with articles of impeachment.
"As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love and always pray for the president. And I still pray for the president. And I pray for the president all the time, so don't mess with me when it comes to words like that," Pelosi told Rosen.
The exchange, replete with Pelosi pointing her finger at Rosen, was quickly seized on by Republicans. Trump accused her of having a “nervous fit,” while his reelection campaign posted a mockup video of her shooting lightning out of her fingers in the style of Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine.
Pelosi isn’t the only Democrat to have changed her tune on matters related to impeachment.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who is now leading the impeachment proceedings after taking over from the House Intelligence Committee, has been asked by Pelosi to proceed with articles of impeachment.
But in 1998, Nadler warned that impeachment would “overturn the popular will of the voters” and urged lawmakers not to impeach unless there was bipartisan consensus and overwhelming popular support.
“The effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular will of the voters,” Nadler said on the House floor during the Clinton impeachment hearings. "We must not overturn an election and remove a president from office except to defend our system of government or constitutional liberties against a dire threat, and we must not do so without an overwhelming consensus of the American people.”
Fox New' David Montanaro and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.
SteynOnline.com's Mark Steyn reacts to Speaker Pelosi denying she hates President Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to move on from questions about impeachment during a televised town hall Thursday night, even as she insisted she wasn't bothered at all by polls showing sagging support for the probe against President Trump.
Pelosi, who also claimed former President Bill Clinton was impeached only for "being stupid," made her comments at the CNN event just hours after she appeared at a fiery news conference to direct the House Judiciary Committee to begin drafting articles of impeachment against Trump.
"Can we not have any more questions about impeachment?" Pelosi asked at one point. "I don't mind questions, but to ask me questions through the prism of the White House is like, what?"
Moderator Jake Tapper noted that polls in swing districts show that moderate voters have begun to oppose impeachment, and asked whether Pelosi would regret the proceedings if they ultimately help Trump win re-election.
"This isn't about politics at all," Pelosi insisted. "This is about patriotism. It's not about partisanship. It's about honoring our oath of office. This is the first president that has committed all of these things as the constitutional experts said yesterday. Nobody has ever even come close. Not Richard Nixon even came close to his dishonoring his own oath of office."
"This is the first president that has committed all of these things … Nobody has ever even come close. Not Richard Nixon even came close to his dishonoring his own oath of office."
The Trump campaign highlighted internal polling on Thursday showing that moderate Democrats in districts won by the president in 2016 were turning against impeachment.
"Nancy Pelosi is marching members of her caucus off the plank and into the abyss," Trump 2020 Campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted, alongside polling data. "Impeachment is killing her freshman members and polling proves it."
"Nancy Pelosi is marching members of her caucus off the plank and into the abyss. Impeachment is killing her freshman members and polling proves it."
— Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 Campaign manager
The House is now composed of 431 members, meaning 217 yeas are needed to impeach the president. There are currently 233 Democrats, meaning Democrats can lose only 16 of their own members and still impeach the president. 31 House Democrats represent districts Trump carried in 2016.
Sensing a possible opening, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has ramped up the pressure on these Democrats in pro-Trump districts. As reported by The Daily Caller, the RNC is running ads urging voters to pick a lawmaker who “won’t waste taxpayer $$$ on partisan impeachment.” And, Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Deputy Editor Dan Henninger told Fox News that some of these 31 Democrats are "really reluctant to take this vote," especially now.
Earlier in the day, Tapper pointed out that Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., had broken with party leadership and announced his opposition to impeachment. That means opposition to impeachment is now bipartisan, even as no Republicans have supported impeachment — a blow to Pelosi, who has previously said impeachment would need to be bipartisan.
But, Pelosi made clear her mind had changed on that point.
"The facts are clear," she told Tapper at the town hall. "The Constitution is clear. The president violated the Constitution. And so I think it is important for us to proceed. If we were not to proceed, it would say to any president, any future president, whoever she or he may be, Democratic or Republican, that our democracy is gone, the president is king, he can do whatever he wants in violation of the law, ignoring the acts of Congress, undermining our system of checks and balances."
The speaker also elaborated on her outburst earlier in the day after a reporter asked her whether she "hates" the president. Pelosi, at the time, emphasized that she was a Catholic and does not hate anyone, although she said she felt Trump was a corrupt coward.
"The word 'to hate' a person, that just doesn't happen," Pelosi said at the town hall. "The word 'hate' is a terrible word. You might reserve it for vanilla ice cream for something like that, I'm a chocoholic, but not for a person. And so for him to say that was really disgusting to me. And of course he was quoting somebody else."
Pelosi further argued that Clinton was impeached for "being stupid," in response to Republican claims that Democrats were hypocritical on the issue. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., had blasted impeachment in 1998 as the "undoing of a national election" and argued that it should be reserved for extreme situations.
"Some of these same people are saying, 'Oh, this doesn't rise to impeachment,'" Pelosi said at one point in the CNN event. "Right there, impeaching Bill Clinton for being stupid in terms of something like that. I mean, I love him, I think he was a great president, but being stupid in terms of that, what would somebody do, not to embarrass their family, but in any event, so they did Bill Clinton, now they want me to do George Bush, I didn't want it to be a way of life in our country."
Clinton was impeached by the GOP-held House for perjury and obstruction of justice in December 1998, only to be acquitted by the Democrat-controlled Senate in February 1999. Clinton had been accused of making false statements in connection with a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee, and had falsely denied under oath that he had "sexual relations" or been alone with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
Amid the impeachment effort, lawmakers also have to deal with a looming government shutdown that could take effect Dec. 20 unless Congress passes spending legislation to avoid it. With just over two weeks to do so — and holidays coming soon after — impeachment could find itself on the House's back burner until the new year.
At the town hall, Pelosi said she didn't think "we're headed for a shutdown" this month, and floated the possibility of a continuing resolution to delay the issue.
"But I hope we don't have to do that," she said.
"I have to admit that today was quite historic," Pelosi added. "It was taking us across a threshold on this, that we just had no choice. I do hope that it would be remembered in a way that honors the vision of our founders, what they had in mind for establishing a democracy."
Fox News' Chad Pergram and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
The group, known as Demand Justice, is led by Hillary Clinton's former press secretary, Brian Fallon, who reportedly indicated support for court packing after Justice Kavanaugh's and Justice Gorsuch's confirmations — both of which he claimed weren't "legitimate."
The ads will appear on Linkedin and Facebook, focusing on the top sponsors of the Federalist Society's annual dinner where Kavanaugh spoke, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
They feature photos of a snarling Kavanaugh, along with Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, a charge he denied.
“The Federalist Society is rebuilding Kavanaugh’s image” through events such as its annual dinner, the ad charges, so why are the law firms paying for it?
Half a dozen prominent firms were targeted after sponsoring the dinner. They included Kirkland & Ellis, where Kavanaugh served as a partner, as well as Sullivan & Cromwell, WilmerHale and Consovoy McCarthy, where a senior partner was recently confirmed as a federal appellate judge.
Demand Justice's ads appeared to represent a growing trend of liberal groups spotlighting donors supportive of President Trump or his agenda. While donor information is often made public, critics have complained that such campaigns were attempts at blacklisting or unfairly shaming donors.
Fallon previously led a failed campaign to block George Mason University from hiring Kavanaugh to teach at its law school. Fallon and his group reportedly paid for Facebook ads that target anyone linked with George Mason University, urging them to sign the petition, in addition to signing a separate petition that calls upon the Democrats in Congress to investigate Kavanaugh.
The Federalist Society declined to comment to the AP. Carrie Severino, a longtime Federalist Society member and policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, called criticism by Demand Justice and other liberal groups a badge of honor.
The Federalist group “is a successful network of conservatives and conservative lawyers that are very effective,” Severino said. Liberal critics “don’t like that,” she added.
The ads came roughly a year after the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh, a politically charged event that involved protests from both activists and Democratic senators. Demand Justice said on its website that it joined activists in November in protesting outside of Union Station, where the Federalist Society event took place.
"You can claim to respect survivors of sexual assault or you can pay for a celebration of Brett Kavanaugh, but you can’t do both," Katie O'Connor, Senior Counsel for Demand Justice, said upon announcing the ad. "Any organization that doesn’t want to be complicit in normalizing Kavanaugh should withdraw its support from The Federalist Society and pledge not to give in the future.”
In a tweet about the event, Demand Justice said Kavanaugh was "credibly accused of sexual assault."
Kavanaugh has denied allegations of misconduct involving Blasey Ford and other women.
Demand Justice's announcement also featured a quote from Shaunna Thomas, Co-founder and Executive Director of UltraViolet, claiming Facebook was "actively funding the public rehabilitation of a serial sexual abuser who should not be serving on the Supreme Court."
"Facebook’s unabashed support of The Federalist Society and Brett Kavanaugh sends a clear signal to survivors everywhere – that Facebook is not on their side. Shame on Facebook and shame on Mark Zuckerberg," she said.
Facebook did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
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.
Media goes into overdrive on impeachment hearings.
Former President Bill Clinton offered President Trump some advice on how to handle the ongoing impeachment inquiry, since he'd experienced similar drama firsthand.
Appearing on CNN, Clinton was asked what "message" he had for Trump as Congress launched its open hearings into his conduct with Ukraine, which had sparked the impeachment probe.
"My message would be, you got hired to do a job," Clinton responded. "You don't get the days back you blow off. Every day is an opportunity to make something good happen."
He continued, "I would say, 'I've got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry and they should just have at it. Meanwhile, I'm going to work for the American people.' That's what I would do."
U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent were the first witnesses to offer their testimony in the open and were grilled for several hours Wednesday over their knowledge of Trump's conduct with Ukraine.
The former secretary of state said during an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live that she hasn't ruled out joining the already-crowded Democratic fray looking to be the nominee to challenge President Trump in next year’s general election.
“I, as I say, never, never, never say never,” Clinton said. “I will certainly tell you, I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.”
Clinton added: “But as of this moment, sitting here in this studio talking to you, that is absolutely not in my plans."
While previous election cycles have seen the list of potential nominees winnow down as the first primaries approach, the 2020 Democratic primary looks different. With no clear front-runner and shifting polls, a number of potential candidates have indicated an interest in launching a late bid for the presidency.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, filed paperwork last week to qualify for the primary in Alabama and has spent the past few weeks talking with prominent Democrats about the state of the 2020 field, expressing concerns about the steadiness of former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign and the rise of liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder has also reportedly been considering entering the primary. Newsweek reported last Friday that Holder had spoken with strategists about a potential run. And on Monday, sources close to former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told The Associated Press that he's mulling a White House run, as well.
If Clinton were to join the race, she would quickly become the biggest figure in the Democratic field. She has twice run for president in the past, losing the Democratic nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 and losing the general election in a close race to Trump in 2016.
Rumors about Clinton entering the 2020 race, however, have been circulating for a while, with Mark Penn, an adviser and pollster to Bill and Hillary Clinton from 1995 to 2008, making waves last year by predicting in The Wall Street Journal that Clinton would return in 2020 as a “liberal firebrand."
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden elects to stay out of the fight between 2020 rival Gabbard and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton; Peter Doocy reports from Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is accusing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of defamation over a recent statement that implied Gabbard was a Russian asset and is demanding that Clinton issue a retraction.
A letter from the Gabbard campaign’s legal counsel insisted that Gabbard is not a Russian asset, and that Clinton knew the statement was untrue when she said it.
“In making the statement, you knew it was false. Congresswoman Gabbard is not a Russian asset and is not being groomed by Russia,” the letter said. “Besides your statement, no law enforcement or intelligence agencies have claimed, much less presented any evidence, that Congresswoman Gabbard is a Russian asset. This fabricated story is so facially improbable that it is actionable as defamation.”
The letter is part of Gabbard’s continuing pushback after Clinton appeared on the podcast Campaign HQ with David Plouffe on Oct. 17. During the conversation, Clinton said, “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. And, that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset. I mean, totally.”
The following day, a CNN reporter asked a Clinton spokesperson if Clinton was talking about Gabbard, to which the spokesperson said, “If the nesting doll fits,” implying that the statement was indeed about Gabbard.
The Gabbard campaign counsel’s letter went on to say that Gabbard is “a patriotic loyal American, a sitting four-term United States Congresswoman and a Major in the United States Army National Guard” and that “she is a loyal American who has taken an oath declaring her allegiance to the United States of America both as a soldier and as a member of Congress.”
Early reports about Clinton’s comments said that the former secretary of state meant that Gabbard was being groomed to be a third-party candidate by Russians, but it was later clarified that she was referring to Republicans. The Gabbard campaign counsel’s letter accused Clinton of putting a “spin” on the statement to avoid liability.
“This Republicans-not-Russians spin developed only after you realized the defamatory nature of your statement, and therefore your legal liability, as well as the full extent of the public backlash against your statement,” the letter said.
“Moreover, the Republicans-not-Russians spin cannot explain away your statement that Congresswoman Gabbard is ‘a Russian asset,’” it continued. “That is, of course, because your Republicans-not-Russians spin is rubbish.”
Gabbard has gone on record stating she has no intention of running as a third-party candidate if she fails to win the Democratic nomination.
The letter concluded by presenting a statement for Clinton to post on her Twitter account, and to send to major media outlets, apologizing. The proposed statement would say that she “was wrong,” made a “grave mistake and error and judgment” and that she "support[s]" and "admire[s]" Gabbard’s work.
Rep. Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, forcefully opposed the impeachment proceedings against former President Bill Clinton — but in an interview Sunday, he struggled to explain why the current inquiry against President Trump is a meaningfully different situation.
Appearing on ABC News' "This Week," Engel, D-N.Y., who leads one of the four panels probing Trump, looked on stone-faced as anchor George Stephanopoulos showed Engel a clip of his 1998 argument against impeachment.
"No one believes that the president will ultimately be removed from office, so we will have dragged this country through a six-month trial in the Senate, and Bill Clinton will still remain president," Engel said in the clip. "What good does that do?"
"Aren't we facing a similar situation right now?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"Well, we're not. First of all, I like the way I looked 20 years ago," Engel responded. "Look, we have a constitutional responsibility, as members of Congress. The president says that Article II of the Constitution allows him to do anything. But Congress is there to — to — to prevent the president from doing things that are illegal."
Engel later expounded on that point, arguing that "the Congress appropriated money for foreign aid for Ukraine, and the president illegally withheld that money, and then threatened the Ukrainians."
Despite the lack of Republican support for impeachment in the Senate, Engel insisted that "it's not a matter of Republican support. It's a matter of what the president did."
Also appearing on "This Week," Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise argued that the current impeachment inquiry has bucked precedent, and doesn't even potentially guarantee the president's counsel the right to call witnesses until hearings move to the Judiciary Committee.
"First of all, this is nothing like the Clinton and the Nixon impeachment," Scalise said. "Both sides got to call witnesses under Clinton and under Nixon. The president's legal counsel was in the room, able to ask questions to the witnesses. … In fact, the resolution they just passed in a very partisan way gives the chairman the full discretion to kick the president’s legal counsel out of the room and to veto any witnesses that we would call. That was in the resolution. "
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, outlined his concerns with the impeachment process on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."
"The closed-door depositions, I'll still be able to be a part of," Jordan said. "But then when they go to the open hearings, it's just the Intelligence Committee. Adam Schiff gets 45 minutes under the resolution that passed on Thursday to ask questions. The rest, the members get five minutes. Adam Schiff gets to call the witnesses he wants. But Republicans have to first submit a list to Adam Schiff to get his approval for any witnesses we or the White House might want. So you can try to put a ribbon on a sham process, but that doesn't make it any less of a sham. It doesn't make it any less unfair in any less partisan.”
In a contentious House Rules Committee meeting that lasted into the night last week, Democrats systematically rejected GOP attempts to alter the ground rules that lawmakers will use as they consider impeachment. The rules were later passed in a sharply divided House vote.
"I think we're all expressing our own frustration here," House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., said as exasperation boiled over.
In a striking scene at the outset of the Rules Committee meeting, Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, who himself was impeached and removed from the federal bench in 1989 for taking bribes, outlined the alleged "high crimes and misdemeanors" that he said Trump had committed.
Later on, Hastings seemed to relish Democrats' ability to ram through their impeachment rules, telling Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall that his substantive arguments would essentially be a waste of time.
"Mr. Woodall, the Latin word that we use as a derivative, 'majority,' came from 'major,'" Hastings said, laughing. "The Latin word for 'minority' came from 'minor.' You understand?"
Republicans send a letter to Inspector General Michael Atkinson demanding to know why the watchdog hasn't said if he's investigating 'a number of leaks of highly sensitive information.'
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson on Thursday formally sought "all email communications" between Hillary Clinton and former President Obama, saying the Justice Department was blocking their release — even though they could shed light on whether the former secretary of state discussed sensitive matters on her unsecured personal email system while she was overseas.
Johnson's letter came as House Democrats approved procedures for their impeachment inquiry against President Trump, saying he may have endangered U.S. national security by allegedly withholding aid to Ukraine for political reasons. Earlier this month, a State Department report into Clinton's use of a private email server for government business found dozens of people at fault and hundreds of security violations.
In a letter to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Johnson, R-Wis., said summer 2016 communications from FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to FBI Director James Comey’s Chief of Staff James Rybicki hinted at the existence of the Clinton-Obama messages that were relevant to the issues raised by her private server.
Johnson noted that on June 28, 2016, a week before Comey’s public statement declaring that "no reasonable prosecutor" would charge Clinton, Strzok wrote, "Jim – I have the POTUS – HRC emails [Director Comey] requested at end of briefing yesterday. I hesitate to leave them, please let me know a convenient time to drop them off."
"I write to request email communications between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama," Johnson wrote, setting a deadline of Nov. 14, 2019. "In January 2018, I requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) produce emails Secretary Clinton sent to President Obama while she was located in the 'territory of a sophisticated adversary.'"
He added: "Given that DOJ acknowledged that they 'are not in a position' to produce emails to the committee that contain 'equities of other executive branch entities,' I ask that, pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, you please provide all email communications between Secretary Clinton and President Obama."
A May 2016 email from Strzok, obtained by Fox News last year, said "we know foreign actors obtained access" to some Clinton emails, including at least one "secret" message "via compromises of the private email accounts" of Clinton staffers. However, last year, the DOJ watchdog slammed Comey for speculating publicly that Clinton's emails had been hacked by foreign actors.
Interviews with intelligence community officials released this past August indicated that senior FBI leaders "seemed indifferent to evidence of a possible intrusion by a foreign adversary" into Clinton’s non-government email server, and that State Department officials allegedly sought to "downgrade classified material found on the server," according to Senate investigators probing the matter.
The information was contained in a letter and interview transcripts sent by the majority staff on Johnson's Homeland Security Committee to senior Senate Republicans including Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The letter also noted that "neither the committees nor the FBI were able to confirm whether an intrusion into the server occurred."
Many Clinton emails already have been released. A batch of unearthed, heavily redacted and classified emails from Clinton's personal email server, published this past March, revealed that the former secretary of state discussed establishing a "private, 100% off-the-record" back channel to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that one of her top aides warned her she was in "danger" of being "savaged by Jewish organizations, in the Jewish press and among the phalanx of neoconservative media" as a result of political machinations by "Bibi and the Jewish leadership."
The 756-page group of documents, revealed as part of a transparency lawsuit by Judicial Watch, seemingly contradicted Clinton's insistence under oath in 2015 that she had turned over all of her sensitive work-related emails to the State Department, and included a slew of classified communications on everything from foreign policy to State Department personnel matters.
The files came from a trove of 72,000 documents the FBI recovered and turned over to the State Department in 2017.
Ivanishvili notably did not criticize Putin during his campaign, despite Putin's invasion of Georgia years earlier — and in 2012, Ivanishvili made headlines for refusing to meet with Clinton unless it was a one-on-one sitdown.
Fox News' Jason Donner contributed to this report.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard rejects suggestion that she is being groomed by Russia to run as a third-party candidate; Peter Doocy reports from Des Moines, Iowa.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, penned an op-ed on Wednesday expressly refuting claims by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that she is "favorite of the Russians" planning to run as a spoiler candidate to help reelect President Trump.
In the Wall Street Journal piece, Gabbard writes that she is running for president “to undo Mrs. Clinton’s failed legacy.” She adds that after she decided to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., over Clinton in 2016, Clinton never forgave the slight.
“The smears have been nonstop ever since,” Gabbard writes.
Earlier this month, Clinton said on David Plouffe’s podcast that a Democratic candidate was being groomed for a third-party run in 2020. Clinton's team later confirmed the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard.
"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," Clinton told Plouffe.
“Whether Mrs. Clinton’s name is on the ballot or not, her foreign policy will be,” Gabbard wrote in the op-ed, writing that many of the Democratic candidates “adhere to her doctrine of acting as the world’s police, using the tools of war to overthrow governments we don’t like, wasting taxpayer dollars, costing American lives, causing suffering and destruction abroad, and undermining America’s security.”
Meanwhile, Gabbard announced last week that she will not seek re-election to Congress so she can focus on her presidential bid.
Is 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton seriously mulling a third stab for the White House?
Clinton’s own comments and actions in recent weeks sparked the Washington buzz, fueling stories that she could possibly enter her party’s nomination race at this late date amid complaints from some Democratic Party insiders who view the current field of contenders too weak or progressive to take on President Trump next year.
Clinton even indirectly took aim at Trump on Friday during the nationally televised memorial service for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who has vocally clashed with the president.
Comparing Cummings to the prophet Elijah, Clinton said to loud applause that “like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel."
Longtime top Clinton adviser Philippe Reines also fueled the flames, saying in interviews this week with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Dana Perino that his old boss had not closed the door on a 2020 bid.
He told Carlson Clinton hasn't closed the door to running, saying she would "think about it long and hard" if she thought she had the best odds of beating Trump — while still calling the scenario unlikely.
“I think it’s somewhere between highly unlikely and zero but it’s not zero. I don’t know how to be more honest than that,” Reines said Thursday on Fox News' ‘Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.’
“To the extent that I talk to her about the race and just in general what she’s up to, I do think she’s been looking and watching wistfully, which is totally understandable given the race she went through in 2016,” Reines said.
The former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state, and the first major-party female presidential nominee, has essentially remained in the spotlight ever since losing the 2016 election and the White House to Trump — yet winning the national popular vote.
But her comments and actions in recent weeks have elevated her relevance in the 2020 campaign to a new level, renewing questions about her role in the race for the White House and sparking some speculation that she still has presidential ambitions despite past claims to the contrary.
The latest episodes include Clinton tweeting “Don’t tempt me” in response to Trump's suggestion about running in 2020; mocking Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders; and arguing without evidence that Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is a “Russian asset” — a swipe that injected her into the 2020 primary battle, even from the sidelines.
A top aide downplayed the 2020 speculation, however.
“The short of it is that she’s on a book tour and is feeling unconstrained about speaking her mind,” longtime Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told Fox News earlier this week. “It’s easy to over-ascribe a strategy about every word she utters, but it’s as simple as that. She’s out there telling the truth.”
But the story went viral on Tuesday, with a New York Times report that Clinton in recent weeks stated she would declare her candidacy if she were certain she would win the race.
The article, headlined “Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’,” noted that about a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered in New York City raised concerns whether former Vice President Joe Biden – a co-front-runner – could stand strong against Trump, and worried about his fundraising struggles and the need to defend his son Hunter Biden over business dealings in Ukraine amid the House impeachment inquiry into the president. Those gathered also said Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were likely too liberal to win the general election.
An adviser close to the Biden world, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely, said the former vice president’s camp is not taking the media reports seriously and they continue to “move ahead.”
And in the crucial first primary state of New Hampshire, a top Democrat says concern with the field and a hunger for another candidate is not a topic of conversation that she's heard.
“I’ve heard nothing about people wishing someone else would get into the race,” said Kathy Sullivan, a longtime Democratic National Committee member and former New Hampshire Democratic party chair.
Sullivan, who backed Clinton in 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns, told Fox News “I’m not taking this seriously. I love Hillary Clinton and I think she’d be a fantastic president but there is a lot of really good people running for president right now. I think it’s too late in the day for someone to get into the race. I don’t take it seriously and I don’t think it’s a good idea and we don’t need to have anyone else in the race right now.”
It is getting late in the game, especially in New Hampshire, where Nov. 15 is the last day for a candidate to file to get their name on the first-in-the-nation presidential primary ballot.
And a longtime Democratic veteran of over 10 New Hampshire primaries noted that “we’ve seen this before. It’s not an uncommon Democratic trait to long for someone who is not in the race. It’s like pre-buyer’s remorse. Shopper's remorse.”
Fox News' Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 24 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
Clinton family associate Sidney Blumenthal has made legal threats to the publisher of a forthcoming book featuring allegations against Democrats in connection with the Russia investigation in an attempt to stop publication, Fox News has learned.
A source familiar with the matter told Fox News that Blumenthal claimed the book – “The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History,” by Lee Smith – was defamatory.
“Blumenthal tried to stop it from being published,” the source told Fox News, saying the Hillary Clinton confidant sent threatening letters to Smith and publisher Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group.
Fox News reached out to Blumenthal, who did not immediately respond.
The book, which is scheduled for release Oct. 29, includes allegations about the origin of the Russia probe and the involvement of Democratic operatives with the unverified anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The source said that the publisher’s legal team found Blumenthal’s legal claim “meritless,” and they intend to release the book as planned.
Center Street has not responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
“The Clinton machine wanted to intimidate Lee,” the source said.
Smith himself would not discuss any purported legal threats, but acknowledged opposition to the book from those in the Clintons' orbit.
“People in the Clinton world are keen for this book not to come out,” Smith said.
Blumenthal has been linked to the Russia investigation in the past, as former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., implied in a 2018 Fox News interview that the Clinton confidant was a key link in the chain of information that helped create the Steele dossier.
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.
Reaction and analysis from Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera and former Schumer aide Chris Hahn.
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says it’s “inappropriate” for 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to be “commenting directly” about her party’s current contenders for the White House.
Yang made his comments while taking questions from reporters Tuesday evening in Hollis, N.H., and Wednesday morning after headlining ‘Politics and Eggs,’ a must stop for White House hopefuls campaigning in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang signs the famed wooden eggs ahead of speaking at 'Politics and Eggs' at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019
His swing through the Granite State comes days after Clinton firmly inserted herself into the 2020 campaign – arguing without evidence that Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is a “Russian asset,” and mocking President Trump’s direct interactions with foreign leaders.
Gabbard, in a blistering video released over the weekend, suggested that Clinton had “smeared” her as payback for the Hawaii congresswoman’s endorsement of Sanders in the marathon 2016 Democratic presidential primary battle.
The former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state, and the first major-party female presidential nominee has remained in the spotlight after winning the 2016 national popular vote but losing the election and the White House to Trump. And she’s served as a longtime foil for Republicans.
But her comments and actions in recent days have elevated her relevance in the 2020 campaign to a new level – renewing questions about her role in the race for the White House and sparking some speculation that she still has ambitions to mount a third bid for president.
Yang said that “nominees of the party from past cycles remain very important figures in the party, in that Hillary would have a lot of value to add.”
But he then emphasized that “she's not a candidate and it strikes me as a little bit inappropriate for her to be commenting directly about candidates since we're all Democrats. And you think that she’d be neutral unless she decided to endorse a particular candidate.”
On health care, Yang announced that “we’re going to release a detailed health care plan in the days ahead.”
And specifically on the "Medicare-for-all" proposal introduced in the Senate by Sanders and backed by Warren, Yang said: “I support the spirit of what Bernie is trying to accomplish. I do think that outlawing private insurance in a very short period of time is a bit too disruptive, and I would not do it.”
He reiterated that “I've been on the record for a long time saying that there would be a role for some private insurers in my plan. I think most private insurers will disappear if we do a good enough job with the public plan, but that there would be some companies that genuinely do add value and adapt to the new circumstances.”
As Yang arrived in New Hampshire, his staff in the state was in the process of expanding. Yang’s team in the crucial early-voting state stood at around 15 at the beginning of the month, but a senior adviser told Fox News they planned to add at least 10 new hires by the end of October or early November.
Yang’s campaign has been fueled by his unconventional style and his push for what he calls the ‘Freedom Dividend,’ a universal basic income system that would pay all adult Americans $1,000 per month. The plan would help Americans cope with the loss of jobs due to the increased impact of automation and artificial intelligence.
Asked if he’d be open to serving as the Democratic Party’s running mate if he fails to win the nomination, Yang told Fox News “my goal is to solve the problems of the 21st century. I believe the best way I can do that is as president. But if it's in some other capacity, I'd be open to that. The goal is really just to make sure that this country is in a condition that I'm proud to pass along to my kids.”
Yang, along with many other of the Democratic presidential candidates, has disavowed outside super PACs as he pledges to combat the influence of dark money in politics. But a new group – called the Math PAC – has vowed to raise and spend at least $1 million in support of Yang’s campaign.
Yang told Fox News and CBS News that “I know very little about the Math PAC, genuinely.”
“I'm not going to try and dissuade them, because we have the rules that we have. After I'm president, I'm very happy to repeal Citizens United and try and do away with super PACs entirely. But given the rules that we have right now, my goal is to compete and to win and so I'm not going to dissuade private citizens from trying to help,” he added.
Yang’s come a long way since the early days of his campaign, when the outsider and first-time candidate was the longest of long shots. He said he now feels like he’s being taken seriously by the Democratic establishment
“I've been thrilled by the momentum that the campaign has gotten; certainly we might have started as something of a newcomer/outsider, but I feel like I'm becoming more and more part of the establishment, as we get more support,” he noted.
But there continue to be moments when the candidate – who’s qualified for all of the presidential primary debates to date – is snubbed by the mainstream media.
His supporters, known as the Yang Gang, have started a trending hashtag on Twitter dubbing what they are calling unfair coverage of the candidate a #YangMediaBlackout. The latest example they cite is The Weather Channel, which did not invite Yang to participate in their climate change special set to air Nov. 7.
“Another mystery, given that by any objective standard, I am either fourth, fifth or sixth in this race. And so why would you invite, I believe, nine candidates or ten candidates and not invite Andrew Yang? I do not know. I have a very extensive climate change plan. I like the Weather Channel just as much as the next American,” Yang told Fox News when asked about the lack of an invite.
Speculation is growing that Hillary Clinton will make a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race after reports published Tuesday said members of the Democratic establishment doubted any of the party’s current top candidates can beat President Trump next November.Original Article
The video is Gabbard's latest response to Clinton's unsubstantiated suggestion that Gabbard was a "favorite of the Russians" in a recent interview. Clinton also claimed without evidence that Russians were "grooming her to be the third-party candidate" in the 2020 presidential election.
"Hillary, your foreign policy was a disaster for our country and the world — resulting in the deaths and injuries of so many of my brothers and sisters in uniform, devastating entire countries, millions of lives lost, refugee crises," and more, Gabbard said.
"Yet despite the damage you have done to our country and the world, you want to continue your failed policies directly or indirectly through the Democratic nominee."
She added: "It's time for you to acknowledge the damage you have caused and apologize for it. It is long past time for you to step down from your throne so the Democratic Party can lead with a new foreign policy which will actually be in the interests of and benefit the American people and the world."
On Sunday, the congresswoman posted a video and said she would not be silenced by Clinton and "her gang of rich, powerful elite."
"If they can falsely portray me as a traitor, then they can do it to anyone — and in fact, that's exactly the message they want to get across to you," Gabbard said. "If you stand up to Hillary and the party power brokers — if you stand up to the rich and powerful elite and the war machine, they will destroy you and discredit your message. But, here is the truth: They will not intimidate us. They will not silence us."
In 2016, Gabbard quit as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to support Sanders, and she accused party leaders of limiting her free speech and tipping the scales to favor Clinton's campaign.
She was warned that her endorsement of Sanders "would be the end of my 'political career' — they said Clinton would never forget," Gabbard said Sunday.
“The short of it is that she’s on a book tour and is feeling unconstrained about speaking her mind,” Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill told Fox News on Monday. “It’s easy to over-ascribe a strategy about every word she utters, but it’s as simple as that. She’s out there telling the truth.”