It seems Hillary Clinton still isn’t over her 2016 election defeat.
In a fiery op-ed published in the Washington Post, the former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president charged Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlined: “a serious crime against the American people.”
“Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It documents a serious crime against the American people,” the piece begins.
Clinton — who admitted early in the column, “this is personal for me, and some may say I’m not the right messenger” — then discussed the man who defeated her in 2016, and seemingly warned her party against pushing for impeachment.
“The debate about how to respond to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack — and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law — has been reduced to a false choice: immediate impeachment or nothing. History suggests there’s a better way to think about the choices ahead,” she wrote.
“My perspective is not just that of a former candidate and target of the Russian plot. I am also a former senator and secretary of state who served during much of Vladimir Putin’s ascent, sat across the table from him and knows firsthand that he seeks to weaken our country.
“I am also someone who, by a strange twist of fate, was a young staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate impeachment inquiry in 1974, as well as first lady during the impeachment process that began in 1998. And I was a senator for New York after 9/11, when Congress had to respond to an attack on our country. Each of these experiences offers important lessons for how we should proceed today.”
Clinton continued in the piece to call on Congress to “hold substantive hearings that build on the Mueller report and fill in its gaps,” and said the country needs “clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship.”
Clinton’s op-ed was published after Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray explained why he believes the former secretary of state is “exactly wrong” to claim President Trump would have been indicted if he weren’t president.
Ray said he believes the report disputes that, adding that Barr speaking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller prior to the release of the report — and his press conference — only further weight on the opposite side of Clinton’s claim.
“That is why the attorney general, before the report was released to the public went back to the special counsel apparently on more than one occasion, as he said in his press conference,” Ray said during a Wednesday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
He continued, claiming the purpose of going back to Robert Mueller was “to inquire about” whether the reason why Trump wasn’t indicted is that he’s sitting president.
“The answer that came back is, no, that is not what I’m saying,” Ray said.
“So I know people in some quarters don’t want to listen to what the attorney general actually said but while that is a reasonable question, Hillary Clinton has it exactly wrong. That is not the reason.”
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McCain tweeted Wednesday: “Joe Biden is a wonderful man and dear friend of the McCain Family. However, I have no intention of getting involved in presidential politics.”
Her daughter, “The View” host Meghan McCain retweeted the remarks.
Biden officially announced his candidacy for president Thursday in a video message, capping off weeks of reports that he will join the crowded Democratic field. Biden unsuccessfully ran for president in 1988 and 2008.
McCain’s comment comes after a report in the Washington Examiner that said the McCain family would support Biden. The report cited sources close to the family.
“The source said they expected Meghan McCain to speak out in favor of Biden should he get the nomination, but a Cindy McCain endorsement could come sooner,” according to the Washington Examiner.
During the 2016 presidential election, Sen. John McCain withdrew his support for then-candidate Donald Trump following the “Access Hollywood” tape. Trump recently criticized McCain by saying he was not “a fan” of the late senator. McCain died in August 2018 after a battle with cancer. Trump has made a habit of attacking McCain, even after his death.
Fox News’ Liam Quinn contributed to this report.
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A progressive political group that boosted New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s bid for Congress last year vowed to oppose former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, blasting him as part of the “old guard” and accusing him of standing in opposition to the “center of energy” in the Democratic Party.
“While we’re going to support the Democratic nominee, we can’t let a so-called ‘centrist’ like Joe Biden divide the Democratic Party and turn it into the party of ‘No, we can’t,’” the group Justice Democrats said Thursday.
Biden announced his candidacy for president Thursday. He enters a crowded field of Democratic contenders aiming to unseat President Trump — nearly 32 years after he announced his first campaign for president. The campaign is Biden’s third bid for the White House, having also unsuccessfully run in 1988 and 2008.
“The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can’t be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today,” Justice Democrats said. “The party needs new leadership with a bold vision capable of energizing voters in the Democratic base who stayed home in 2016.”
The group added: “Joe Biden stands in near complete opposition to where the center of energy is in the Democratic Party today.”
“Democrats are increasingly uniting around progressive populist policies like ‘Medicare-for-All,’ a Green New Deal, free college, rejecting corporate money, ending mass incarceration and deportation. We don’t need someone who voted for the Iraq War, for mass incarceration, and for the Bankruptcy Reform Act while voting against gay marriage, reproductive rights, and school desegregation,” Justice Democrats said.
According to its website, Justice Democrats says its mission is “to elect a new type of Democratic majority in Congress, one which will create a thriving economy and democracy that works for the people, not big money interests.”
The attacks could foreshadow the looming clash between the progressive and establishment wings of the party: Biden, along with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who enjoys the support of Democratic Socialists in the party — have consistently topped the polls in the race for the Democratic nomination.
Fox News’ Lillian LeCroy and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker’s tax returns show most of his wealth stems from lucrative speaking engagements and royalties.
Booker, the 2020 candidate who has yet to make a splash in the crowded Democratic field, released 10 years of tax returns on Wednesday after numerous other candidates released their records in recent weeks.
The New Jersey senator reported income of $152,715 in 2018 for his salary, $22,781 in taxes which amounts to an effective tax rate of 15 percent, significantly lower than Sen. Kamala Harris’ 37 percent or Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 26 percent.
Most of Booker’s wealth comes public speaking fees and royalties, including $2 million in speaking fees between 2009 and 2014, nearly $1 million in royalties from 2015 to 2017 after the release of his book, “United.”
But the lower effective tax rate may have something to with Booker’s sizeable charitable donations. In 2018, he donated $24,000 to charity. In total over the 10-year period, the senator donated nearly $460,000 to various organizations and causes.
This appears to be significantly more in proportion than his opponents like Sanders or former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who faced questions over his household giving to charity just $1,166 in 2017, or about 0.3 percent of their income that year.
At the same time, more than half of those donations made by Booker came in 2013 amid criticism of his role in the founding of a social media company called Waywire, prompting him to give massive amounts of stock to charities in his city.
The New York Times revealed that Booker’s wealth at the time – $5 million – consisted mostly of shares in the company.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff has been slammed after saying prisoners are “most affected by unjust laws” while endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ idea to allow convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and other violent criminals to vote in elections.
“What’s the reason NOT to let incarcerated people vote? Shouldn’t the people most affected by unjust laws have some say in electing people to change them?” Saikat Chakrabarti said on Wednesday.
His comment came in the wake of Sanders’ eyebrow-raising admission earlier this week that he believes felons, including terrorists and those convicted of sexual assault, should have a right to vote.
The comments by the chief of staff of Ocasio-Cortez drew an immediate backlash for the use of words “unjust,” many questioning whether he suggests terrorists or other violent criminals were actual victims.
“Who knew the law against putting a bomb by an 8 year-old (sic) and blowing people up was unjust?” tweeted NRA spokesperson Dana Dana Loesch.
“Yes, because the ONLY people in prison on felony sentences are the victims of unjust laws,” tweeted journalist Nate Madden. “You know, like the ones against rape, murder, kidnapping and terrorism.”
A few hours later, Chakrabarti doubled down in another tweet, this time naming an example of “unjust” laws, yet dismissing the significance of giving voting rights to the Boston marathon bomber.
“Marijuana possession is one law I consider unjust affecting thousands. Are you seriously arguing that one vote from the Boston bomber would be enough to change our terrorism laws?” he asked.
The tweet was ridiculed again for being flippant about terrorists or other violent offenders being given a right to participate in elections.
“‘One vote from the Boston bomber.’ Hard to believe this debate is happening, but it’s only going to get crazier,” National Review editor Rich Lowry tweeted.
“‘We should let convicted terrorists vote because their vote likely won’t matter anyways!’ is certainly a take,” seconded another Twitter user.
During a CNN town hall on Monday night, a Harvard student asked Sanders, the leading 2020 candidate, if his position on expanding voting rights to felons in prison would support “enfranchising people” like the Boston Marathon bomber as well as those “convicted of sexual assault,” whose votes could have a “direct impact on women’s rights.”
The Vermont senator argued that the Constitution says “everybody can vote” and went on to declare that “the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”
Other Democratic candidates such as Sen. Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke somewhat toyed with the idea as well, with but drew a line at people who committed “extreme types of crimes.”
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President Trump on Thursday insisted he “never” told former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying he could have done it himself, and had the “legal right to do so,” despite the special counsel’s report saying he instructed McGahn to have Mueller removed.
“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself,” Trump tweeted early Thursday.
“Nevertheless, Mueller was NOT fired and was respectfully allowed to finish his work on what I, and many others, say was an illegal investigation (there was no crime), headed by a Trump hater who was highly conflicted, and a group of 18 VERY ANGRY Democrats. DRAIN THE SWAMP!” he continued.
The president’s tweets come following a battle between Capitol Hill and the White House related to McGahn’s testimony. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed McGahn to appear before his panel after he was featured prominently in Mueller’s report. The president has vowed to block that subpoena, and any others for current and former officials coming from Congress.
Mueller’s nearly 500-page report revealed that the special counsel did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia—a conclusion Trump has touted and repeated for days.
“No collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said on Wednesday.
But despite his comments, Mueller did not come to a conclusion on the matter of whether the president obstructed justice—rather, the report revealed an array of controversial actions and requests made by the president that were examined as part of Mueller’s obstruction inquiry.
McGahn’s interview with investigators factored prominently into this section, including a claim that McGahn disobeyed Trump’s call to have him seek Mueller’s removal.
“On June 17, 2017, the president called [White House Counsel Don] McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report stated, referencing the Watergate scandal.
The report also revealed that when the media reported of the president’s request for McGahn to have Mueller removed, the president directed White House officials “to tell McGahn to dispute the story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed.”
“McGahn refused to back away from what he remembered happening,” the report said.
The report went on to explain that two days after the initial request to McGahn, the president made another attempt to “affect the course of the Russia investigation.”
Nadler subpoenaed McGahn this week, but the White House has vowed to fight back against congressional Democrats issuing subpoenas for administration officials.
“The subpoena is ridiculous. … I have been the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “We’re fighting all of the subpoenas…Look, these aren’t like, impartial people. They are Democrats trying to win in 2020.…They’re not going to win against me.”
He once again declared the probe found “no collusion and they also came up with no obstruction,” adding: “I thought after two years we’d be finished with it, no—now the House goes subpoenaing. They want to know every deal I’ve ever done.”
Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined that the evidence found in the investigation was “not sufficient” to establish an obstruction-of-justice charge. But Mueller’s report seemingly left the decision on obstruction up to Congress—intensifying their already existing investigations into the president.
Nadler slammed the administration in response to reports that they’d fight the McGahn subpoena.
“The Committee has served a valid subpoena to Mr. McGahn. We have asked him to supply documents to the Committee by May 7 and to testify here on May 21. Our request covers the subjects described by Mr. McGahn to the Special Counsel, and described by Special Counsel Mueller to the American public in his report. As such, the moment for the White House to assert some privilege to prevent this testimony from being heard has long since passed,” he said in a statement.
Nadler added: “I suspect that President Trump and his attorneys know this to be true as a matter of law—and that this evening’s reports, if accurate, represent one more act of obstruction by an Administration desperate to prevent the public from talking about the President’s behavior. The Committee’s subpoena stands.”
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“The core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America — America — is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Biden announced in a tweet early Thursday.
Biden, 76, is the latest Democrat to enter the crowded race for the White House against President Trump. A former senator from Delaware, Biden has emerged as a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination — topping the polls alongside self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Here are three things to know about the former vice president as his campaign journey begins.
He first bid for the presidency came over three decades ago
Biden’s announcement on Thursday marks the beginning of his third campaign for the White House.
As a 45-year-old senator from Delaware, Biden launched his first campaign in 1987 at the Wilmington train station. The first campaign didn’t last long, ending after it became public that he had plagiarized a speech from a British politician, according to the Delaware News Journal.
His second bid began in 2007, but he dropped out in 2008 after failing to gain enough support. Biden ultimately went on to serve as vice president for two terms under Barack Obama.
In 2016, there was much speculation that Biden would again announce a bid for president, but he decided against running for personal reasons. His son, Beau, had died in 2015 after battling brain cancer.
His choice of transportation is the Amtrak train
Aptly nicknamed “Amtrak Joe,” Biden had long been a fixture on the rail line between his home in Delaware and his office in Washington D.C.
Biden began taking the train home every night to care for his two sons after his wife and daughter died in a car accident in 1972, according to the Washington Post.
He carried on the Amtrak tradition throughout his decades-long Senate career. Biden’s affinity for the train gained national attention when he became Obama’s running mate in 2008.
He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
In January 2017, outgoing President Obama surprised Biden with the President Medal of Freedom in an emotional ceremony.
“To know Joe Biden is to know love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully,” Obama said.
Biden tearfully accepted the honor.
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Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie struck back at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Wednesday, calling her accusations that the Trump administration wants to privatize the VA “nonsense.”
“I won’t be rude to the congresswoman and say that it is nonsense, but I will say it’s nonsense,” Wilkie said on “Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream.”
“If we are privatizing VA, we are going about it in a very strange way,” Wilkie said. “I presented to the Congress a $220 billion budget, the largest budget in the history of the department. We are undergoing basic reforms to make the VA a modern, 21st-century health care administration. But what we are doing is opening the aperture on choice, so that our veterans remain at the center their own health care, and if VA can provide what they need, we will give them the opportunity to go out into the private sector.”
Ocasio-Cortez claimed during a New York town hall event last week that the VA “isn’t broken” despite the scandals that have plagued the agency over the last decade and claimed the Trump administration aimed to “privatize” health care for veterans.
“That is the opening approach we have seen when it comes to privatization, it’s the idea that this thing that isn’t broken, this thing that provides some of the highest quality care to our veterans somehow needs to be fixed, optimized, tinkered with until we don’t even recognize it anymore,” Ocasio-Cortez said, in comments first reported by the Washington Examiner.
“They are trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they are trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations, and, ultimately they are trying to fix the VA for a for-profit health care industry that does not put people or veterans first,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“And so we have a responsibility to protect it.”
The congresswoman’s comments were aimed at Trump administration efforts to expand choice and private health care options in the VA health care system.
President Trump reacted to the congresswoman’s comments by taking credit for turning around the VA.
“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is correct, the VA is not broken, it is doing great. But that is only because of the Trump Administration. We got Veterans Choice & Accountability passed,” Trump tweeted.
Wilkie defended the Trump administration and supported the president’s response on Twitter.
“The other part of our comments or they were answered by the president, who said that under this administration, the VA isn’t broken. The scandals that she referred to happened in another administration,” Wilkie said.
“I can say, as someone who’s been accused of being a historian, no president in the post-World War II era has put the veterans at the center of his campaign and administration until President Trump did it. We are seeing this in the way the VA’s moving forward.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
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President Trump on Wednesday said Democrats have largely given up on the Southeast and are deliberately stalling relief efforts for farmers and other residents who were affected by Hurricane Michael in October.
“The Democrats don’t care about Georgia. They don’t care about Alabama,” Trump said during a brief appearance at an opioid abuse summit in Atlanta. “They don’t care about numerous other states.”
Georgia lawmakers have proposed a $14 billion relief package for victims of Hurricane Michael, which also devastated the Florida Panhandle in October. But efforts to put legislation forward have stalled in Washington amid infighting.
Democrats, in turn, have accused Trump of neglecting Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory that was devastated by a pair of hurricanes in late 2017, in favor of Georgia.
“Pitting Americans in Georgia against Americans in Puerto Rico is fundamentally wrong and wholly unnecessary,” said former Georgia House Minority Leader and Senate candidate Stacey Abrams. “Georgia families and farmers deserve better leadership, and they deserve real relief now.”
“It continues to be beyond me, when we have over a dozen states affected by this storm, we cannot get this done,” Kemp, a Republican, said. “Our folks in South Georgia feel like we’ve forgotten them. I can assure them we have not.”
Trump called Democrats’ inability to pass disaster relief aid a “terrible thing,” but expressed confidence that “we’re going to get it done, and a lot of that money goes to farmers, and that’s what we’re doing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden, in an online video on Thursday, officially declared his candidacy for president in 2020, capping off weeks of intrigue and media speculation and enters a crowded field of Democratic contenders to unseat Trump in the 2020 election.
The former Delaware Senator has for weeks been rallying potential donors in an effort to gain momentum, noting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Beto O’Rourke managed to raise $6 million within 24 hours of launching their candidacy.
“The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy…everything that has made America — America –is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” he tweeted early Thursday.
Biden is expected to follow up the announcement with his first high-dollar fundraiser in the Philadelphia home of Comcast executive David Cohen Thursday evening and appear at a local union hall in Pittsburgh on Monday.
In June of 1987, Biden launched a bid for the 1988 Democratic nomination. The then-senator from Delaware was considered one of the stronger candidates in the emerging Democratic field. But three months into his campaign, he faced newspaper headlines that he had plagiarized a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock. The incident sparked a controversy, knocking Biden out of the race well before the start of the primaries and caucuses.
Biden ran a second time for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 cycle, declaring his candidacy in January of 2007. Despite his long record, his campaign never caught lightning in a bottle.
There were also some well-publicized gaffes, including his description of then-Sen. Barack Obama.
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” The comments quickly spelled trouble for Biden, forcing him to apologize.
Biden’s bid was also overshadowed by Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who ended up battling each other in an historic and marathon quest for the nomination. Biden dropped out of the race after coming in fifth in the Iowa caucus, grabbing less than one percent of the vote.
But seven months later, Obama selected Biden as his running mate. The pair won the November 2008 election, and were re-elected in 2012.
Biden seriously considered another run for the White House in 2016, but grappling with the death of his eldest son Beau, the Vice President announced in October of 2015 that he would not launch a campaign.
Speaking from the podium at the Rose Garden, Biden explained that he had been emotionally drained by the death of his son and stressed that “nobody has a right … to seek that office unless they’re willing to give it 110 percent of who they are.”
But the decision not to run haunted him. He noted in early 2016 that he regretted not running “every day.”
Donald Trump’s upset victory over Clinton in the 2016 presidential election changed the dynamic for Biden. He soon became a vocal critic of the Republican in the White House, and speculation sprang up that Biden would consider a final presidential bid in 2020. Trips to New Hampshire in 2017 and to Iowa, South Carolina and Iowa in 2018 fueled the flames.
Biden dropped a major hint of his pending 2020 campaign in early March. After walking to the podium at the at the annual convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) to chants of “run Joe, run,” by the union crowd, Biden said “I appreciate the energy you showed when I got up here. Save it a little longer. I may need it in a few weeks.”
The comments brought a standing ovation from the mostly blue collar audience that Biden feels he can count on as he runs for president.
In early April, Biden told reporters “I am very close to making a decision to stand before you all relatively soon.” Asked why the hold-up, Biden quickly answered, “The hold-up is to put everything together.”
At the time, Biden also pushed back against the perception that he’s a moderate in a party that’s increasingly moving to the left. He defended himself, saying he’ll stack his record against “anybody who has run or who is running now or who will run.”
And highlighting his early public push for same-sex marriage during the Obama administration, he stressed “I’m not sure when everybody else came out and said they’re for gay marriage.”
Biden was born on November 20, 1942, and lived in Scranton, Pennsylvania for ten years until moving with his family to Delaware. He became an attorney in 1969 and was elected to the New Castle City Council in 1970. He won what was out the outset a long-shot election to the Senate two years later, becoming the sixth-youngest senator in the nation’s history. He was re-elected six times before resigning in 2009 to take on the duties as vice president.
During his nearly four decades in the Senate, he was a longtime member and former chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. He also served as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
But Biden’s role as Judiciary Committee chair in 1991 during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas is arguably more controversial today than it was at the time nearly three decades ago.
In March he lamented the impact of “white man’s culture” and bemoaned his own role in the hearings that undermined witness Anita Hill’s credibility. Biden said that Hill, who is black, should not have been forced to face a panel of “a bunch of white guys” about her sexual harassment allegations against Thomas, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush.
“To this day I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” he said. “I wish I could have done something.”
But his comments elicited derision by many women, who argued that as the chairman of the committee, he had the power to do something.
Biden married his wife Neilia in 1966. In 1972, soon after his election to the Senate, his wife and their daughter Naomi were killed in an automobile accident. Sons Beau and Hunter Biden survived. He married his second and current wife Jill five years later.
Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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