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“There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!” he tweeted Sunday. Cummings’ district is about 55% black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight. Trump’s comments drew swift condemnation from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people.  Trump on Saturday lashed out at Cummings, claiming his Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.” President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his controversial remarks aimed at Rep. Elijah Cumming and called the Baltimore lawmaker a racist. “If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” he added.

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Even though it will add significantly to the national debt, President Donald Trump would prefer that the Senate pass the current budget deal and has acknowledged he will sign the legislation

“When the Democrats won the House, everybody knew we were going to  end up spending more money,”

According to acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney added that the agreement is still a victory for the Trump administration.

“The Democrats wanted to limit our policies on the border, they wanted to limit our policies regarding pro-life, they wanted to limit our policies regarding deregulation — and we won on every single one of those,”

“So, did we spend more money than we wanted to? Yes. Did we get a lot in return. Yes.”

When asked about Trump’s promises as a presidential candidate to quickly balance the budget, Mulvaney quickly deflected all blame for the deficit towards the Democrats.

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Federal prosecutors claim Roger Stone used a “The Godfather Part II” reference to advocate for a witness to lie and motioned to use a clip from the movie as evidence in the trial of the one-time Trump campaign adviser.

“The relevant scene is important context for understanding Stone’s references — including what Stone intended to communicate to the witness and how Stone would have understood the witness’ likely understanding of those messages,” Friday’s motion read.

The evidence will be used to help prove alleged witness tampering “with Person 2” via a text message that read “Start practicing your Pantagele [sic],” according to prosecutors.

“The movie clip makes clear that in his communications with Person 2, Stone used the name ‘Frank Pentangeli’ and the lines spoken by that character to persuade Person 2 to behave as Frank Pentangeli did in the movie, i.e., to falsely tell a congressional committee that he did not have knowledge of incriminating information that could lead to perjury charges,” the motion argued.

“The movie clip shows the jury the image that Stone intended to evoke in Person 2’s mind when he sent those communications. To not show the clip at trial would deprive jurors of significant context for understanding critical messages in this case.”

In “The Godfather Part II,” Pentangeli was to testify about his involvement in organized crime but changed his mind and denied any knowledge of Michael Corleone’s crime family when the mob boss entered the hearing.

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Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., faces a challenge for re-election from a 30-year-old Massachusetts mayor campaigning on the House Ways and Means Committee chairman’s inaction on obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns, NBC News reported. “So, when you look at the timing here, we’re now very unlikely to see any result before the 2020 election, because Congressman Neal dragged his feet. We also have people in New York that have worked tirelessly to give the American people access to his New York state tax returns.” “I think his action is emblematic of a kind of leader, or lack thereof, that’s he’s been over the last 30 years,” Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told NBC News about Neal’s authority to obtain President Trump’s state returns. Rep. Neal has held off using the New York state law to obtain his state tax returns because it might jeopardize the ability to obtain federal returns, according to the report. President Trump filed a federal lawsuit this week to block Rep. Neal from using the state law to obtain the federal return. “I know people here in western Massachusetts, and people around the country, are frustrated with the way in which he’s handled this issue from day one. I mean, Democrats took back the House, and it took [months] to put a letter together. I know it doesn’t take us that long to put letters together at City Hall when we have to look at legal issues. “It’s unfortunate that there are folks who aren’t living what he’s living, making statements and comments and Monday morning quarterbacking the situation,” a source told NBC News of Rep. Neal.

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Recently leaked documents are raising new concerns surrounding Chinese tech giant Huawei. On Monday, leaked internal documents obtained by the Washington Post revealed Huawei worked with a Chinese-state owned tech firm for at least eight years on a variety of projects centered in North Korea. One of those projects included the development and maintaining of the country’s first commercial 3G wireless network.

The detailed spread sheet was shared by a former Huawei employee, who claimed the information is of public interest. However, the person’s identity has not been released out of fear of retaliation.

If the reports are true it would bring up a new conflict between the U.S. and China as such a move would raise questions of whether Huawei, which has used U.S. technology in its components, violated American export controls to send equipment to North Korea.

People walk past a Huawei retail store in Beijing, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The documents appear to confirm what U.S. officials have long feared — that Huawei is a national security risk.

“…you’ve seen…our effort to ensure that the networks in which American information flows are trusted, that we understand where that information is going, who’s the end user, and wanting to make sure the information doesn’t end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

— Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State

This latest development comes after the Trump administration agreed in June to lift some sanctions on the company, allowing U.S. companies to sell certain products to the the Chinese tech giant.

According to the Washington Post, Huawei has not directly responded to the report, but a spokesperson said the company does not have business in North Korea.

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Billionaire Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, wants to “break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government” and take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Steyer’s comments came during a Thursday interview on “CBS This Morning.”  Steyer announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday.

“To me the biggest question facing the United States is not what we should do, but how are we going to break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government,” Steyer said.

He added: “For the last 10 years, I’ve been trying to push power back to the people of the United States.

Steyer, who will reportedly spend $100 million of his own funds on his campaign, said his candidacy is “not about the money.” He maintained it is aimed at “trying to retake the government.”

“This is about retaking the democracy from the corrupt corporate power that is determining what happens in Washington, D.C.”

Meanwhile, Steyer’s campaign to impeach Trump will continue under new leadership during his presidential bid.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Amy McGrath, a Marine combat aviator who narrowly lost a House race to an incumbent Republican in Kentucky, has set her sights on an even more formidable target: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McGrath, whose campaign announcement video in her House race showcased the viral power of social media to raise money and national profile, said Tuesday she will try to defeat one of the most entrenched officials in Washington in McConnell. But she sees him as vulnerable because of his lengthy tenure in Washington, his stance on healthcare, and his taut allegiance to the policies of President Donald Trump.

Her decision to enter the race represents a rare victory for Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who has had difficulty persuading top-tier candidates in other states to take on incumbent Republicans with control of the Senate at stake.

The contest also will test the power of incumbency against a call for generational change, along with a measure of whether Trump’s popularity is transferable.

McGrath, 44, will almost certainly be able to raise enough money to mount a serious challenge to McConnell, 77, but she is still a decided underdog in a state that has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.

“I’ve been always somebody who stepped up to the plate when asked, when I felt like my country needed me, and this is one of those times,” McGrath said in an interview.

She is attempting to repeat her viral moment with a new video, one that leans hard on idealism while also attacking McConnell as the embodiment of a dysfunctional Washington.

“I felt like somebody needs to stand up to him,” McGrath said.

McGrath also reprises one element of her first video, pointedly noting that when, as a 13-year-old girl, she wrote to McConnell to make the case that women should be able to fly in combat, the senator never wrote back.

But her attacks on McConnell and his record carry risks because Trump remains highly popular in Kentucky, and McConnell has pushed through much of the president’s agenda and, perhaps more importantly, his nominees to federal courts, including Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

She said that Kentucky voters are not fans of either political party and they supported Trump in part because of his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, lower drug prices, and deliver a more effective alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

“Those things haven’t happened because of guys like Senator McConnell,” she said.

McGrath lost to Rep. Andy Barr by 3 percentage points in the 2018 midterm election, a race that she had been so confident of winning that she was working on her victory speech as the first returns came in.

She ran up comfortable margins in the heavily Democratic Lexington area, but Barr was able to win overwhelmingly in rural areas. Barr also benefited from a campaign appearance by Trump, rare for a House member. Former Vice President Joe Biden went to Kentucky to campaign for McGrath in what proved to be a failed effort to win back onetime Democrats in rural areas.

Trump also is expected to actively support McConnell and to try to muddy McGrath at least as much as Barr did.

In that race, McGrath, a Naval Academy graduate, foreswore negative attack ads against Barr while he and several outside groups supporting him spent millions of dollars labeling her as “too liberal” for Kentucky. McGrath, who must first win the Democratic nomination, would not show similar restraint against McConnell.

Democrats have prepared briefing books of more than 1,000 pages on McConnell, whose long record and ties to Washington interest groups provide ripe openings for attack. But he also can make the case that he has been able to use his power in Washington for the benefit of the state.

McConnell has in Kentucky a fiercely loyal team of political operatives who are known for hard-hitting campaigns that leave his opponents badly bruised.

Schumer worked hard to persuade McGrath to run against McConnell. Several other would-be recruits, including former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, declined his overtures, and others, like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, passed on Senate races to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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