Many of the Democrats running for president in 2020 responded to the release of key findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation Sunday by saying his report should go public in its entirety.
The findings, detailed in a letter from Attorney General William Barr, indicated that Mueller did not establish evidence President Trump’s team or any associates of the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election, and did not establish a conclusion on whether the president had obstructed justice.
Democrats who reacted after the release of the Mueller report’s summary included Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
Warren tweeted: “Congress voted 420-0 to release the full Mueller report. Not a "summary" from his handpicked Attorney General. AG Barr, make the full report public. Immediately.”
Booker tweeted: “The American public deserves the full report and findings from the Mueller investigation immediately—not just the in-house summary from a Trump Administration official.”
Gillibrand tweeted: “The Mueller report must be made public. Not just a letter from someone appointed by Trump to protect himself—all of it. The President works for the people, and he is not above the law.”
Harris tweeted: “The Mueller report needs to be made public, the underlying investigative materials should be handed over to Congress, and Barr must testify. That is what transparency looks like. A short letter from Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General is not sufficient.”
Source: Fox News Politics
So many Democrats are running for president the race feels like a March Madness bracket. If it were, the No. 1 seeds would be former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Either would be favored to beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 finals, according to the latest Fox News Poll.
Democratic primary voters were read a list of 20 announced and potential candidates for the 2020 nomination. Biden is the top choice at 31 percent, followed by Sanders at 23 percent.
California Sen. Kamala Harris (8 percent) and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (8 percent) make up a second tier. They are followed by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (4 percent), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (4 percent), and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (2 percent).
The other candidates are the political equivalent of a 16th seed — they receive less than two percent.
Eleven percent are unsure of their picks.
Men, women, whites, non-whites, college graduates, and non-graduate Democratic primary voters all put Biden first and Sanders second. Sanders has the edge among those under age 45, while Biden is first for those 45 and over.
Democratic primary voters are more likely to support a candidate they think can beat Trump (51 percent) than the candidate they like the most (36 percent).
While Biden is technically undeclared, he slipped up and said he is entering the 2020 race. An official April announcement is expected.
Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters want Biden to run, and he is the top choice among those who prioritize beating Trump, followed by Harris, Sanders, and O’Rourke.
Among those who say it is more important to vote for the candidate they like than the one who could win, Sanders is the first choice, followed by Biden.
“Democratic primary voters would welcome Biden into the field, should he run,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican Daron Shaw. “They prioritize beating Trump, and as of now Biden fares best of the more widely known Democratic candidates against Trump.”
The poll also asks Democratic primary voters about policies. Majorities are “very” likely to back a candidate who supports Medicare for all (67 percent) and a 70 percent tax rate on income over $10 million (53 percent). Less than 4 in 10 are very likely to vote for a candidate who supports passing the Green New Deal (37 percent), paying reparations to descendants of slaves (31 percent), and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE (25 percent).
The hypothetical head-to-heads among registered voters show support for Trump stays between 40-42 percent against each Democrat tested. He tops both Harris (39-41 percent) and Warren by 2 points (40-42 percent).
Sanders has a 3-point edge over the president (44-41 percent), but Biden performs best, topping Trump by 7 points (47-40 percent).
The head-to-head matchups between Trump and Sanders, Harris, and Warren are within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Biden’s lead is just outside it.
“There is ambivalence at this early stage of the nomination process,” says Shaw. “Democrats want Trump out any way possible, but they also have a set of public policy preferences that would have been considered way outside of the mainstream even 10 years ago. This has major implications for all candidates and especially for Biden. Democrats like him, they want him to run, and are likely to be impressed Biden currently runs well against Trump, but do they think winning the White House depends on him? If not, the rationale for his candidacy is unclear.”
Finally, 41 percent of Democratic primary voters would rather Trump be voted out of office in 2020 than impeached. That matches the 41 percent who prefer he be impeached and removed before the election.
Now that would be a real bracket-buster.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,002 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide, including 403 Democratic primary voters, and was conducted under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) (formerly named Anderson Robbins Research) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from March 17-20, 2019. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters and plus or minus five percentage points for Democratic primary voters.
Source: Fox News Politics
Democratic Party presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign announced the candidate’s next scheduled visits to Iowa on Saturday – amid talk that the senator from Massachusetts may be viewed as too much of a policy wonk to win the party’s 2020 nomination.
Warren will return to Iowa March 29-30 with plans to speak at a rally in Storm Lake, hold meet-and-greets in Marshalltown and Perry, and attend an organizing event in West Des Moines, FOX 28 of Cedar Rapids reported.
But her focus on breaking up tech giants, ending the electoral college, imposing lobbying bans on elected officials after they leave office and establishing universal pre-K and child care programs – all popular ideas with many Democratic voters – don’t seem to be translating into actual support for Warren, NPR reported.
“You hear from people that [Warren] sort of reminds them of Hillary [Clinton], which they mean in a purely stylistic sense,” Michelle Goldberg, a New York Times columnist, said on the newspaper’s podcast the Argument. “It leads me to wonder: What is the salience of policy in a Democratic primary — or in our politics at all?”
“You hear from people that [Warren] sort of reminds them of Hillary [Clinton], which they mean in a purely stylistic sense.”
"I just don’t know if she would go over nationally," former New Hampshire state Rep. Daniel Hansberry told the Associated Press. He was among 27 current and former state lawmakers who signed a 2015 letter urging Warren to seek the presidency.
"In the Northeast and on the West Coast I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she got a huge vote," Hansberry said. "But I don’t know if she’s too progressive for other parts of the country."
In other words, when it comes time to choose a candidate, many voters may prefer the sizzle rather than the steak.
That concept may explain why Donald Trump topped Hillary Clinton in 2016, Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution wrote soon after that election.
"What Donald Trump did during the campaign was to paint in a very broad brush," Reeves wrote. "Rather than having a debate about immigration policy in the round, [Trump asked], ‘Are you for or against the wall? Are you for or against the Muslim ban?’”
Warren’s failure to catch fire seems reflected in dollars: A federal filing shows she raised at least $300,000 on the day she launched her campaign – far short of the $6.1 million raised by former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, the $6 million raised by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or the $1.5 million raised by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Nevertheless, Warren seems to be sticking with the idea that in 2020 the devil – i.e, the votes – may be in the details.
“The rules of our economy are so rigged in favor of the rich and powerful,” Warren recently told Time magazine, “that we can’t afford to just tinker around the edges. Our fight is for big, structural change.
"The rules of our economy are so rigged in favor of the rich and powerful that we can’t afford to just tinker around the edges. Our fight is for big, structural change."
“This is the time for Democrats to identify exactly what’s broken,” she continued, “and lay out exactly how we’ll fix it.”
Aside from the idea the Warren may be focused too sharply on policy details, others note that many voters may associate Warren with an event that worked against her: Her release of DNA results last October in a bid to prove her claims of Native American ancestry – which won her the derisive nickname “Pocahontas” from President Trump.
Warren ended up apologizing to the head of the Cherokee Nation in early February, amid claims that she had exaggerated her ancestry for personal gain. Then just days afterward, reports surfaced that Warren had claimed Native American heritage on a 1986 Texas State Bar registration form.
Finally, Warren – and yes, some other Democrats in the 2020 field — faces an unfortunate historical fact: Voters seldom back U.S. senators for the presidency, preferring Congress members and governors instead.
When Sen. Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he became just the third sitting senator – behind Warren Harding and John F. Kennedy – to win the White House, Politico reported.
So the obstacles between Warren and the White House would seem to make her potential election as the nation’s first female president even more of an achievement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Bernie Sanders was hit a complaint this week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisery positions.
A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.
Maria Belén Sisa, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary who joined the campaign last month, was among the staffers named in the complaint, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Sisa claims to be an illegal immigrant whose residency is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for assisting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
Sisa recently caused an uproar after invoking an anti-Semitic “dual allegiance” trope of Jewish Americans while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and questioning whether American Jews, including Sanders, were loyal to the United States.
The complaint notes that Sisa not only got a salary from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, she also contributed money to it and is now serving in “an advisory position” in the 2020 campaign – all of which are “direct and serious violations” of federal election laws.
“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint reads.
“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations."
According to the FEC rules, foreign nationals, who aren’t lawfully admitted permanent residents, cannot directly or indirectly participate in political campaigns. Such individuals are also barred from making political contributions.
The complaint also names two other foreign nationals on the Sanders’ 2016 campaign, immigration activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who worked as the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist and press secretary for Latino outreach, respectively.
“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016," the complaint continued.
“There is reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”
The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate both the 2016 and the current presidential campaigns and take action to curb the violations.
“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” the complaint read. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”
Source: Fox News Politics
The Democratic presidential contenders are uniformly calling for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election to be released publicly – while at least one high-profile candidate wants Attorney General Bill Barr to testify on the findings.
Minutes after the news broke Friday afternoon that the long-awaited report had been submitted to Barr, the White House hopefuls quickly fired off statements calling for the Trump administration to ensure the documents go public.
“Attorney General Barr—release the Mueller report to the American public. Now,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Massachusetts tweeted.
“As Donald Trump said, ‘Let it come out.’ I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller’s full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law,” Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California called for “total transparency” – then upped the ante by calling on Barr to testify.
“The Department of Justice launched the Special Counsel investigation to get to the bottom of foreign interference in the 2016 election and any other illegal actions. A declassified report must be made public immediately and Attorney General Barr must publicly testify under oath about the investigation and its findings, and provide all underlying materials to the appropriate Congressional committees,” the former California attorney general said in a statement.
Both Harris, Warren and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey have all started petitions to pressure the administration to release the report – though the White House has deferred to Barr on next steps. Booker also is using the report drop to raise money for his campaign.
“This report should be made public immediately,” he tweeted.
It was a similar sentiment on Twitter from former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas.
“Release the Mueller report to the American people,” he wrote.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said, “report should be made public without any delay. The American people have a right to know its findings.”
And Sen. Amy Klobuchar tweeted “BREAKING: The Mueller report is complete. Attorney General Barr must release the full report to the public. The American people deserve to know the facts.”
Mueller was appointed nearly two years ago to investigate the election tampering and any possible collusion between Moscow and Trump’s 2016 campaign to swing the presidential election in the then-GOP nominee’s favor. Barr and his team are now reviewing the report and creating a summary document that will be sent to Congress, and possibly released.
Former San Antonio, Texas mayor and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro tweeted that the “American people deserve to know the full truth about Russia’s interference in our democracy. The Special Counsel report must be publicly released in its entirety.”
Former three-term Rep. John Delaney wrote the “patriotic action for the Attorney General is to release the entire Mueller Report to the American people. We paid for it and this moment requires transparency.”
Source: Fox News Politics
The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus says that Democrats still support Israel despite numerous Democratic presidential candidates declining to appear at next week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference.
“I can’t speak for the presidential candidates, but what I can speak for is the House Democratic Caucus who clearly are strongly pro-Israel,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told “America’s Newsroom” Friday.
“I’ve been to Israel three times, I recognize that there’s shared values, shared strategic interests that are important. And I think that is the perspective of the overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives.”
Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and many others have said they won’t be attending the AIPAC conference.
MoveOn.org called on the 2020 Democratic candidates to skip the conference, even though in the past all presidential candidates viewed the AIPAC conference as a crucial campaign stop.
Jeffries, who will speak at AIPAC said that a two-state solution supported by AIPAC was also in the best interest of Israel, Palestine and the United States.
“As far as I’m concerned, AIPAC’s position as I understand it remains to robustly support a two-state solution. I think that’s the right approach,” Jeffries said. “That’s in Israel’s best interest, that’s in the best interest of the democratic aspirations of the Palestinian people, that’s in the best interest for America.”
The Democratic congressman also commented on the importance of the Mueller report and said any talk of President Trump’s impeachment was “premature.”
“Whether the report exonerates the president, implicates the president or somewhere in between, the American people deserve transparency,” Jeffries said.
“The case should be compelling, the evidence should be overwhelming and the consensus in terms of public sentiment around impeachment should be bipartisan in nature. That’s a strong standard, that’s the right standard, that’s the standard that I agree with.”
Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
She may have been a top supporter of firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, but Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is on the fence these days when it comes to a series of far-reaching and controversial proposals being embraced by her 2020 Democratic rivals.
The four-term Hawaii Democrat, national guard officer and Iraq War veteran appeared to push back both on calls to eliminate the Electoral College and scrap the Senate’s filibuster rule – two longstanding political traditions and institutions – in an interview Friday.
At the same time, Gabbard highlighted her support for reparations for descendants of slaves.
Asked about the Electoral College, Gabbard said “there are reforms that need to take place to make it so that our votes are being cast and counted and represented in the outcome of our elections. I think there are pro and cons to the existing Electoral College and to getting rid of it. What I would think would be important is for us to have a conversation about how we can best move forward.”
But Gabbard seemed to jab at fellow Democrats, saying, “I think it’s unfortunate that too often these calls for changes come about by the side that has lost or suffered as a result of the Electoral College.”
An increasing number of Gabbard’s rivals for the nomination have been supportive of scrapping the Electoral College and having the national popular vote determine the winner of presidential elections.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton topped then-Republican nominee Donald Trump by nearly 3 million votes in the 2016 election, but Trump won the presidency thanks to his convincing margin in the Electoral College.
Gabbard also is not sold on scrapping the filibuster, the longstanding Senate tradition requiring 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to advance a bill, effectively allowing the minority party to block legislation.
“This is a conversation I think that’s important for the American people to have,” she said.
Gabbard added that it’s “important for us to look at how we solve this or make changes that are not based on partisanship. Often it is the party that is in the minority that is calling for bringing about those changes and then once they get into the majority, they say ‘no, absolutely not. We’re not going to change this.’”
At the moment, the filibuster is actually helping Senate Democrats, enabling its members to slow or stall legislation that the GOP Senate majority and Trump White House might support. The president himself has called for an end to the filibuster, only to be met with opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Democrats hoping to pass a sweeping progressive agenda if they win back the White House are concerned their proposals could get bottlenecked in the Senate, where the Democrats have a shot at winning back control — but have little chance of grabbing a 60-member, filibuster-proof majority.
While Gabbard has reservations about eliminating the Electoral College and the Senate’s filibuster, she’s on board with another controversial idea being pushed by some primary rivals – financial reparations for descendants of slaves.
“I’ve actually co-sponsored a bill – HR40 in the House of Representatives – that would put together a commission that would look at the damage that has occurred because of our country’s dark history with slavery and to figure out what is the best way to bring about those reparations,” she told Fox News. “I think we need to bring about reparations, it’s really a question of what is the right way and how.”
Gabbard was interviewed during a jam-packed three-day swing through New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.
The Granite State was Sanders country in the 2016 Democratic primary. The independent senator from neighboring Vermont crushed Hillary Clinton in the state’s primary, launching him into a marathon battle with the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
Asked how she could compete in New Hampshire for Sanders supporters, Gabbard quickly answered that “this is about something … much bigger than just one person.”
Source: Fox News Politics
The Democratic field of candidates have President Donald Trump running scared — or at least that’s what the director of communications for the Democratic National Committee believes.
Hinojosa defended the ideas expressed by the Democratic Party’s candidates and accused the president of trying to instill “fear in the communities.”
“It’s okay to come forward with bold progressive ideas and have the voters decide who they want as the Democratic nominee,” Hinojosa told co-host Sandra Smith. “So, we’re going to see this process play out but we’re out there talking about the issues while Donald Trump is out there trying to instill fear in the communities.”
She added: “There will be other issues we bring up during the primary and it’ll be up to other voters to decide whether or not they like those ideas.”
The DNC communications director said Democrats were focused on the issues of healthcare and the economy.
Hinojosa also downplayed presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s, D-N.Y., comments this week calling for the expansion of Social Security payments to potentially include people living in the country illegally.
“If you are in this country now, you must have the right to pay into Social Security, to pay your taxes, to pay into your local school system, and to have a pathway to citizenship. That must happen,” Gillibrand said.
“We know that our immigration system is broken, I think Republicans can agree with us on that. But they believe our solution is a border wall and we believe it’s comprehensive immigration reform,” Hinojosa said.
Hinojosa also emphasized Democratic support of Israel even as many Democratic candidates declined invitations to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual Policy (AIPAC) conference next week.
“I don’t speak for each of those candidates but I will say as a whole, as the Democratic Party we will never waver in our support for Israel,” Hinojosa said.
Source: Fox News Politics
In some of his most revealing comments on why he decided against running for president, moderate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg cited his age — but also took aim at the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
"To start a four-year job, or maybe an eight-year job, at age 79 may not be the smartest thing to do. But if I think if I thought I could win, I would have,” the 77-year-old billionaire media mogul explained.
“I just couldn’t see a path to where I could get the nomination,” Bloomberg said Thursday while speaking at the Bermuda Executive Forum in New York City. “It’s just not going to happen on a national level for somebody like me starting where I am unless I was willing to change all my views and go on what CNN called ‘an apology tour.’”
While he’s poured millions of his own money into combating climate change and battling gun violence, the Democrat turned Republican turned independent who last year re-registered as a Democrat suggested that he was simply more moderate than the ever-growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, many of whom are increasingly moving to the left.
Pointing to 76-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s likely to jump into the White House race next month, Bloomberg said, "Joe Biden went out and apologized for being male, over 50, white.”
“He apologized for the one piece of legislation which is actually a pretty good anti-crime bill, which if the liberals ever read it, most of the things they like would be in that bill. They should have loved that. But they didn’t even bother to read it. You’re anti-crime, you must be anti-populist,” Bloomberg added as he took a shot at progressives.
And he also jabbed at former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who last week declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and quickly raised an eye-popping $6.1 million in his first 24 hours as a candidate.
"And so everybody else, Beto, whatever his name is, he’s apologized for being born,” said Bloomberg, which brought laughter from the audience. “I mean, I don’t mean to be unkind. And a lot of people love him and say he’s a smart guy, and some day if he wins I’d certainly support him."
O’Rourke has recently apologized for joking that his wife raised their kids "sometimes with my help," and also has accepted criticism that he’s enjoyed white privilege.
Bloomberg seriously considered launching a presidential bid, and earlier this year he made campaign-style swings through the early voting primary and caucus states. But he announced on March 5 that he would not run for the White House.
Source: Fox News Politics