Lukas Mikelionis

New York Times opinion columnis Paul Krugman– who once called Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ economic policies “destructive self-indulgence”– is now praising the leading 2020 candidate for “civic virtue” because he’s advocating his policies despite his riches.

Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, offered a defense of Sanders on Thursday following the revelations that the senator became part of America’s one percent, thanks to his 2016 presidential campaign that propelled him to national stardom and wealth.

BERNIE SANDERS RELEASES 10 YEARS OF TAX RETURNS; DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST MADE OVER $560G IN 2018

“A peculiar chapter in the 2020 presidential race ended Monday, when Bernie Sanders, after months of foot-dragging, finally released his tax returns,” Krugman wrote, calling the filings “perfectly innocuous.”

He said that while it seems that “Sanders got a lot of book royalties after the 2016 campaign, and was afraid that revealing this fact would produce headlines mocking him for now being part of the 1 Percent,” he shouldn’t actually hide his wealth.

“Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue,” Krugman wrote, calling such attacks “stupid.”

 “Politicians who support policies that would raise their own taxes and strengthen a social safety net they’re unlikely to need aren’t being hypocrites; if anything, they’re demonstrating their civic virtue.”

— Paul Krugman

The senator’s 2018 tax return revealed that he and his wife, Jane, earned over $550,000, including $133,000 in income from his Senate salary and $391,000 in sales of his book, “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In.”

The filings showed that Sanders has been among the top 1 percent of earners in the U.S. According to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, families in the U.S. earning $421,926 or more a year are part of this group.

NY TIMES’ PAUL KRUGMAN SAYS US PART OF ‘NEW AXIS OF EVIL’ WITH RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA

Krugman’s rare defense of Sanders comes after his relentless attacks on the Sanders campaign during the 2016 election.

In a January 2016 column, Krugman decried Sanders’ idealism, saying “it’s not a virtue unless it goes along with hardheaded realism,” which Sanders doesn’t have.

“Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence,” he wrote.

“Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence.”

— Paul Krugman on Bernie Sanders in 2016

In a blog post the same month, Krugman also declared Sanders’ positions on financial reform and healthcare were “disturbing.”

“And in both cases his positioning is disturbing — not just because it’s politically unrealistic to imagine that we can get the kind of radical overhaul he’s proposing, but also because he takes his own version of cheap shots,” he wrote.

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“Not at people — he really is a fundamentally decent guy — but by going for easy slogans and punting when the going gets tough.”

Source: Fox News Politics

California Republican Devin Nunes told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday evening that the Robert Mueller report shows “Clinton dirt” compiled by former British spy tainted the Russia investigation.

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee said the report on page 11 confirms that the salacious Steele dossier was used as part of the memo that established a scope of the investigation into the supposed collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“When you look at what happened today, remember we talked a lot about the scope memo. What were the directions given to the special counsel?” Nunes said on “Hannity”.

“Well, we now know hidden on page 11, very thinly, still veiled, but we now know they used the Steele dossier, the Clinton dirt, the Clinton-paid-for dirt as part of the memo for the special counsel that directed the special counsel what to do.”

“Well, we now know hidden on page 11, very thinly, still veiled, but we now know they used the Steele dossier, the Clinton dirt, the Clinton-paid-for dirt as part of the memo for the special counsel that directed the special counsel what to do.”

— Devin Nunes

MUELLER REPORT SPARKS NEW DC WAR OVER RUSSIA PROBE: SUBPOENAS, PAYBACK AND MORE

Nunes alluded to the August 2017 “scope memo” issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that was released to the public last year, albeit heavily redacted, that appears to feature allegations made only in the unverified dossier.

The Republican says Mueller’s report now shows that former Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and Paul Manafort were targeted in the probe in part due to the dossier compiled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, whose efforts were funded in part through an opposition research group, Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“On Carter Page and Paul Manafort, that information came from political opponents, the Clinton campaign fed right into the FBI, directed to the special counsel to go investigate what was in the infamous Steele dossier,” Nunes said. “That is the only thing of relevance that was in today’s 450-page report.”

He added: “Rosenstein then directed them to use that dirt, that dossier, which I think makes up the bulk of what is in the scope memo, that we have still yet to be able to see.”

“Rosenstein then directed them to use that dirt, that dossier, which I think makes up the bulk of what is in the scope memo, that we have still yet to be able to see.”

— Devin Nunes

MUELLER REPORT REVEALS CLASHES IN TRUMP’S INNER CIRCLE OVER RUSSIA PROBE

The page 11 of the report details how Mueller was appointed to the special counsel and how Rosenstein directed the scope of his investigation, including targeting Trump’s team members such as Page, Manafort,  George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn.

In the same interview on Thursday, Nunes went on to praise Attorney General William Barr for his handling of the release of the report.

But he also stressed the importance of ensuring that the FBI won’t abuse its powers in the future, urging to take “real action.”

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The Republican earlier this month announced that he’s preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice this week concerning alleged misconduct from “Watergate wannabes” during the Trump-Russia investigation, including the leaks of “highly classified material” and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.

Source: Fox News Politics

The Russia collusion narrative is unlikely to go away even after the Robert Mueller report is released later today, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York predicts.

“A lot of Democrats have invested the last two years of their life in believing that there was collusion between Russia to fix the 2016 election. Don’t think they gonna give it up just because of this,” York told “Fox and Friends”.

“A lot of Democrats have invested the last two years of their life in believing that there was collusion between Russia to fix the 2016 election. Don’t think they gonna give it up just because of this.”

— Byron York

The prediction comes as Washington, D.C. is bracing for the release of the Mueller report that according to Attorney General William Barr didn’t establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

IN MUELLER REPORT’S RELEASE, TRUMP LOOKS FOR VINDICATION, BUT NEW FIGHTS LOOM

York pointed out that after Barr outlined the report’s conclusions in a letter and quoted Mueller stating that the evidence didn’t establish a conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, many Democrats began doubling-down on the collusion charges.

“Immediately people on the left said maybe he couldn’t prove a criminal conspiracy but maybe there was some other sort of conspiracy. Or maybe he couldn’t prove to beyond a reasonable doubt but maybe there is evidence that the rest of us can believe,” York said.

“I really think we have already seen and they already tipped their hands that they are going to continue to believe in collusion.”

“I really think we have already seen and they already tipped their hands that they are going to continue to believe in collusion.”

— Byron York

On the obstruction of justice charges, York says those opposing President Trump will have even more to talk about after the report release as Mueller himself didn’t reach a conclusion about obstruction charges.

“If the Barr summary is pretty accurate, Mueller did not reach a conclusion about obstruction. That’s a question right there. He is a prosecutor. He has all the evidence. Why didn’t he reach some sort of conclusion?” he said.

FOX NEWS POLL: TRUMP POPULARITY HOLDING STEADY AFTER MUELLER SUMMARY RELEASE

“There will be a lot of ammunition, we know that already for Trump’s critics who say that firing James Comey or the Lester Holt interview or something else was proof of obstruction right there in front of our eyes. So I don’t think that argument is going to go away at all.”

Lastly, even if the Mueller report doesn’t find wrongdoing by Trump, it’s unlikely to end the talk of impeachment by Democrats even as the 2020 election nears.

“If you believed in impeachment before the Mueller report, why would you stop believing in it now?,” York said, pointing that there’s a conflict within the Democratic Party on how to proceed with this.

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“You have a lot of the leadership like Nancy Pelosi wanting to move on, these are the more senior people wanting to move on, wanting to focus on the legislative agenda,” he continued.

“But you are going to have the investigative committees, the judiciary committee, the intelligence committee investigating this stuff all the way until the next election.”

Source: Fox News Politics

U.S. and Japanese officials say that speculations that foreign adversaries are after the wreckage of a downed F-35A stealth fighter in Asia are so far unfounded.

The Japanese F-35 stealth fighter jet disappeared from radar over the Pacific Ocean earlier this month during a night training flight.

Some wreckage of the aircraft was found last week. Maj. Akinori Hosomi, the pilot, is missing and the U.S. is assisting in the search.

MISSING JAPANESE F-35 POSES MAJOR SECURITY HEADACHE FOR US IF IT FALLS INTO RUSSIAN OR CHINESE HANDS

The missing jet prompted security concerns and fears that China or Russia could discover the wreckage.

“If one of Japan’s F-35s is sitting at the bottom of the Pacific, we are probably about to see one of the biggest underwater espionage and counter-espionage ops since the Cold War. If it was operating without its radar reflectors pinpointing where it went in may be an issue,” tweeted Tyler Rogoway, editor of The War Zone.

“It could present problems depending on what is recovered, when it is recovered and, above all, in which conditions, after impacting the surface of the water,” Rome-based aviation expert, pilot, and former Italian Air Force officer David Cenciotti told Fox News. “The F-35 is a system of systems and its low observability/stealthiness is a system itself.”

WRECKAGE OF MISSING JAPAN’S F-35 FIGHTER JET FOUND, PILOT REMAINS MISSING

Both the U.S. and Japanese officials, however, dismissed the speculations as unfounded, saying that the U.S. military hasn’t seen evidence of any hostile powers trying to get hold onto the wreckage.

“There has been a lot of wild speculation in the media about other countries racing to find the wreckage,” a U.S. military official told the Stars and Stripes. “To date, we’re not seeing it, but we continue to monitor.”

 “There has been a lot of wild speculation in the media about other countries racing to find the wreckage. To date, we’re not seeing it, but we continue to monitor.”

— A U.S. military official

The official echoed Japan’s Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya remarks to reporters last week, saying there’s no evidence that other governments are seeking for the lost plane.

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“We have been watching the activities of foreign aircraft and vessels in the area surrounding our country 24 hours and 365 days, but we have not confirmed any unusual cases,” he said, according to the outlet.

Fox News’ James Rogers and the Associated Press contributed contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

North Korean state media reported Thursday that the regime no longer wants to see Secretary of State Mike Pompeo involved in nuclear talks, urging the U.S. replace the top diplomat with someone “more careful and mature in communicating.”

The KCNA news agency, the official North Korean state television, quoted Kwon Jong Gun, a senior official at the North’s foreign ministry, who claimed that the situation in the Korean peninsula is currently unpredictable.

NORTH KOREA SAYS IT TEST-FIRED TACTICAL GUIDED WEAPON; KIM CALLS IT ‘EVENT OF VERY WEIGHTY SIGNIFICANCE’

He said that “no one can predict” the situation on the Korean Peninsula as long as the U.S. doesn’t address the “root cause” that forced the regime to develop its nuclear weapons, Reuters reported.

The report didn’t elaborate why the decision was made.

The latest message from Pyongyang comes just a day after the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly watched his country to test-fired a new tactical guided weapon, marking the worsening relations between the regime and the rest of the world following the failed U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam earlier this year.

TRUMP RECIPROCATES AFTER NORTH KOREA’S KIM SAYS HE’S OPEN TO THIRD SUMMIT

The White House told Fox News that they were aware of the earlier report of the test but offered no comment. U.S. officials told Fox News that the missile test was likely a “short-range” test of a small guided weapon and not a large ballistic missile.

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American intelligence agencies, which normally detect the launch of ballistic missiles worldwide, did not detect any test from North Korea, one official said.

“We’re aware of the reports but I have nothing for you at this time,” said Lt. Col. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Kristin Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2019 list reveals exactly who is backing who in Washington, D.C., with former and current Democratic presidential candidates rallying behind Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, penned a short praise for Pelosi for winning back the House and standing up to President Trump.

“Too often it seems we have a surplus of bluster in our national politics and a deficit of action. But then there’s Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Clinton wrote.

“There’s a saying that goes: ‘If you want something done, ask a busy woman to do it.’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi is living proof that when it comes to getting the job done, more often than not, it takes a woman,” she added, noting that under her leadership “Democrats passed the first major gun-safety bill in a generation.”

Warren takes cues from AOC

But while Clinton picked a safe establishment choice, 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren opted to embrace Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman Democrat from New York who has lately been the target of Pelosi’s scoffs over her presumed influence on Congressional Democrats.

“Her commitment to putting power in the hands of the people is forged in fire,” Warren wrote of the self-described Democratic Socialist. “Coming from a family in crisis and graduating from school with a mountain of debt, she fought back against a rigged system and emerged as a fearless leader in a movement committed to demonstrating what an economy, a planet and a government that works for everyone should look like.”

ELIZABETH WARREN DEFENDS CAPITALISM AS ‘FORCE FOR GOOD,’ SPLITTING WITH OCASIO-CORTEZ

“… she fought back against a rigged system and emerged as a fearless leader in a movement committed to demonstrating what an economy, a planet and a government that works for everyone should look like.”

— Elizabeth Warren

Warren added that nowadays “millions are taking cues from” Ocasio-Cortez while just a year ago she was “taking orders across a bar.”

“She reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress, even while armies of lobbyists swarm Washington, in our democracy, true power still rests with the people. And she’s just getting started,” she wrote.

The senator has embraced Ocasio-Cortez since her arrival in Congress, although though she appears to take a completely opposite view on capitalism, calling it a “force for good” while the congresswoman calls it “irredeemable”.

Despite the disagreement, Warren co-sponsored the Green New Deal, a radical overhaul of the economy in a bid to cut emissions, which is estimated to cost up to $93 trillion or $600,000 per household, though she somewhat distanced herself from it following the official launch of the proposal, saying she supports only the “idea” of the proposal.

Christie rediscovers love for Trump

On the Republican side, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie offered his praise for President Trump, for his foreign policy achievements.

“Every modern U.S. President tries to influence the world. President Donald Trump has done this through opposing the NATO countries not paying their fair share, pushing China and our North American neighbors for fairer trade agreements and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement,” Christie wrote.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during an opioid and drug abuse listening session.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during an opioid and drug abuse listening session. (Associated Press)

“His boldest move in this direction is likely his personal efforts on the issue of North Korea. President Trump has, in fact, used the past year to place his imprint on a problem spanning more than six decades,” he continued.

“President Trump deserves great credit for daring to try to personally persuade Chairman Kim to join the family of nations. This approach holds the possibility for history–making changes on the Korean Peninsula to make us all safer.”

 “President Trump deserves great credit for daring to try to personally persuade Chairman Kim to join the family of nations. This approach holds the possibility for history–making changes on the Korean Peninsula to make us all safer.”

— Chris Christie

CHRIS CHRISTIE TELLS COLBERT THAT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER PRESIDENT THAN TRUMP

Christie’s latest praise cements his support for the president. Initially a vicious critic of Trump during the 2016 campaign –even calling him a potential “entertainer-in-chief” – he went on to become one of the leading surrogates for the president.

Yet he fell out with the administration during the transition process after the election and accused Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner of engineering his ouster. He later criticized the administration over its negotiation tactics and personnel.

Earlier this year he also said during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show that would have been a better president than Trump.

Colbert asked Christie about his relationship with President Trump, saying “he’ll throw anybody under the bus,” to which the former governor responded: “You think I don’t know? I got fired from the transition.”

McConnell’s fiery praise for Kavanaugh

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote a fiery tribute to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation last year came after turbulent hearings and allegations of sexual misconduct, slamming “unhinged partisanship” for trying to block his nomination.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 10: (L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence pose for photographs before a meeting in McConnell's office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 10: (L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence pose for photographs before a meeting in McConnell’s office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“When Brett Kavanaugh was named the President’s choice to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy, he was one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in modern history. He had a sterling academic record, impeccable legal credentials and a prolific record of thoughtful and impartial jurisprudence over more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” wrote McConnell.

MCCONNELL UNLOADS ON SENATE DEMS AMID KAVANAUGH PROBE: ‘THEIR GOALPOSTS KEEP SHIFTING, BUT THEIR GOAL HASN’T MOVED AN INCH’

He added: “But when unhinged partisanship and special interests sought to distract the Senate from considering those qualifications, we saw other facets of Justice Kavanaugh’s character shine forth as well.

“But when unhinged partisanship and special interests sought to distract the Senate from considering those qualifications, we saw other facets of Justice Kavanaugh’s character shine forth as well.

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“The country saw his resilience and commitment to public service. We saw his loyal devotion to family and friends. We saw his undeterred reverence for the law, for precedents and for our nation’s highest traditions.”

McConnell played an integral part to make the Supreme Court more conservative, standing behind Kavanaugh even as the allegations of impropriety were disclosed at the very last moments of the confirmation process.

Kamala Harris’ stand for Christine Blasey Ford

As a counterpoint, 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris paid a tribute to the first accuser to step forward with the allegations of misconduct against Kavanaugh.

“Her story, spoken while holding back tears, shook Washington and the country. Her courage, in the face of those who wished to silence her, galvanized Americans. And her unfathomable sacrifice, out of a sense of civic duty, shined a spotlight on the way we treat survivors of sexual violence,” Harris wrote.

KAVANAUGH ACCUSERS ROCKED CONFIRMATION PROCESS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

“Christine Blasey Ford’s ambition wasn’t to become a household name or make it onto this list. She had a good life and a successful career—and risked everything to send a warning in a moment of grave consequence.”

During the confirmation hearing of Kavanaugh, Harris praised Ford and said she believes her allegations that include Kavanaugh allegedly attacking her in the 1980s at a high school party.

“I want to thank you for your courage and I want to tell you I believe you,” the senator told her, “You have bravely come forward and I want to thank you. History will show you are a true profile in courage.”

The battle for Russia collusion

TIME’s list also features dueling tributes among current and former deputy Attorney Generals, with one praising Attorney General William Barr’s “principles” and the other touting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “apolitical” service.

“A brilliant and principled conservative lawyer, Barr brings unique experience to the challenge of working at the intersection of law and politics,” wrote Rod Rosenstein.

“He knows the history, he understands the issues, he respects the employees, and he will defend the principles. With Bill Barr at the helm, the rule of law is secure.”

“He knows the history, he understands the issues, he respects the employees, and he will defend the principles. With Bill Barr at the helm, the rule of law is secure.”

— Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein

TRUMP LEGAL TEAM PREPARES MUELLER COUNTER-REPORT, FOCUSING ON OBSTRUCTION ALLEGATIONS

Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general who was fired by Trump after she refused to defend the administration’s immigration policies, said Mueller’s life was “governed not by a sense of entitlement but of duty.”

“Distinctly apolitical, he confounds those who can’t comprehend a person driven by his all too uncommon values: honor, integrity, humility, service. He is the inverse image of the man he would ultimately come to investigate,” Yates wrote.

“Distinctly apolitical, he confounds those who can’t comprehend a person driven by his all too uncommon values: honor, integrity, humility, service. He is the inverse image of the man he would ultimately come to investigate.”

— Ex-Deputy AG Sally Yates

“Soldier, prosecutor, FBI director, and when our country needed someone to untangle Russian election interference, he served again. Taking daily incoming fire, he neither flinched nor retaliated. He just did his job. For Mueller, it’s always about the work, and never about him.

“Abhorring self-promotion, while the country held its collective breath during his nearly two-year investigation, Mueller uttered not a single public word. And when he finished, he called it as he saw it. He did his duty.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke assailed President Trump as a “racist” for criticizing Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., over her remarks that appeared to downplay the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Speaking at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, O’Rourke said Trump was “hateful” and incited violence against Muslims.

BETO O’ROURKE CONFRONTED AT TOWN HALL ABOUT STINGY CHARITABLE DONATIONS

“He’s trying to incite hatred, Islamophobia and, I would argue, violence against her and other Muslims in this country,” O’Rourke said.

“This is the test of all tests for us. It’s not just that he is partisan, it’s not just that he is divisive. He is hateful. He is racist. He has encouraged the worst tendencies amongst our fellow Americans.

“Unless we can beat him in November of 2020, it will continue. Unless we offer a compelling, profoundly powerful alternative to hatred and division and fear and anger, it will continue.”

“He is hateful. He is racist. He has encouraged the worst tendencies amongst our fellow Americans.”

— Beto O’Rourke

His comments came after Omar’s remarks last month at a Muslim advocacy group’s fundraiser, where she appeared to refer to the 9/11 attacks by saying “some people did something.” The description prompted criticism from Trump, who shared a video of her comments together with the footage of the terror attacks.

But O’Rourke’s latest attempt to directly confront Trump follows his diminishing stardom and the rising stock of Mayor Pete Butttigieg — who has lately received similar media coverage as O’Rourke during the Texas Senate election last year.

SANDERS NABS TOP SPOT IN NEW DEMS POLL AS PETE BUTTIGIEG GAINS MOMENTUM

A new poll released Monday has Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leading the 2020 Democratic presidential field, while former Vice President Joe Biden is in the second place, though he still hasn’t declared his candidacy.

Buttigieg, meanwhile ranked third ahead of O’Rourke, Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, according to an Emerson Polling poll.

This is a downgrade for O’Rourke after he was ranked third in a poll just a few weeks ago. He also raised an eye-popping $6 million in his first 24 hours as a candidate.

Since then, however, he has been subjected to a more critical coverage than during the Senate bid, leading to a decline of his chances.

At another event in Virginia on Tuesday, O’Rourke was confronted by a voter about his charitable giving after his recently released tax returns showed he and his wife gave away just a tiny fraction of their income.

The filings show the couple had given $1,166 to charity in 2017 despite having a combined income of $370,412, which calculates to roughly one-third of 1 percent of their income.

According to a Washington Post reporter, a student who attended the town hall at the University of Virginia asked the former Texas representative why her sister, who was a recent college graduate, donated more to charity while making much less than he and his wife.

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O’Rourke responded by saying he does his best to give back to communities, but noted that some of the ways he gives back are “immeasurable.”

“I’ve served in public office since 2005. I do my best to contribute to the success of my community, of my state, and now, of my country. There are ways that I do this that are measurable and there are ways that I do this that are immeasurable. There are charities that we donate to that we’ve recorded and itemized, others that we have donated to that we have not,” he said.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reportedly hired a top Hollywood talent agency and explored a possibility of writing a book, though the deal appears to have gone nowhere.

Ocasio-Cortez, the self-described Democratic Socialist who got into Congress after defeating prominent Democrat Joe Crowley in her district in November, has come to symbolize the party’s leftward movement.

DOZENS OF DEMS VOTE 95 PERCENT OF TIME WITH AOC DESPITE PELOSI’S CLAIM THAT BLOC IS ‘LIKE FIVE PEOPLE’

Ocasio-Cortez retained the talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and held meetings earlier this year about potentially writing a book, the Daily Beast reported.

The book deal in the end didn’t materialize, with reasons remaining unknown, the report said. It’s also unclear if the book deal will be resurrected at a later date or whether she continues working with the top Hollywood talent agency that reportedly represents the likes of George Clooney, Emma Watson, and Brad Pitt.

The congresswoman’s office neither confirmed nor denied the talks she had about the book deal, according to the outlet. Her office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News.

MINNESOTA’S REP. ILHAN OMAR GETS $250G BOOK DEAL AMID UPROAR OVER HER COMMENTS

Book deals signed by incoming members of Congress aren’t new, although few existing members ink such deals due to strict regulations that prohibit receiving an advance for the book.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota who’s facing multiple controversies, entered a book deal worth up to $250,000, though the exact figure remains unclear, before officially becoming a congresswoman, Forbes reported.

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The book by Omar, the first Somali American to serve in Congress, has the working title, “This Is What America Looks Like,” and will be published by Dey Street. It will touch upon Omar’s upbringing in Somalia, her years as a refugee in Kenya and her subsequent arrival in the United States.

Source: Fox News Politics

Nearly 70 Democrats have been voting in tandem with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s scoffing that the far-left Democratic wing was only “like five people.”

Pelosi downplayed the influence of the new-wave progressives, particularly Ocasio-Cortez, who pushed the party leftwards, during an interview with CBS News’ Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes,” saying that despite the noise, the party is still largely centrist and rejects socialism “as an economic system.”

“You have these wings, AOC and her group on one side,” Stahl told Pelosi, to which the 79-year-old replied: “That’s like five people.”

PELOSI PLAYS DOWN INFLUENCE OF AOC WING OF DEMOCRATS, SAYS IT’S ‘LIKE 5 PEOPLE’

But according to Fox News’ review of voting records using ProPublica data tools, 68 lawmakers voted with Ocasio-Cortez at least 95 percent of the times since January, representing over a fourth of all seats held by Democrats.

The lawmakers voting in tandem with the New York Democrat aren’t just freshman lawmakers, but include a number of other high-profile Democrats.

Presidential candidates Eric Swalwell and Tulsi Gabbard both voted with Ocasio-Cortez 95 percent of the times. Rep. Adam Schiff,  the House Intelligence Committee chair, also voted with her 95 percent percent of the time.

Pelosi’s claim that the progressive caucus represents about “five people” appears to be correct only when counting lawmakers who voted 97 percent of the time with the New York Democrat. Those include Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Donald Payne, D-N.J.

During the CBS interview, Pelosi’s remarks were met with pushback, pointing out that the progressive group has more than five people, to which she responded saying she’s a progressive as well.

PELOSI APPEARS TO TAKE NEW JAB AT OCASIO-CORTEZ, SAYS ‘A GLASS OF WATER’ WITH A ‘D’ COULD WIN THEIR DISTRICTS

She added that congressional Democrats “by and large … know that we have to hold the center, that we have to go down the mainstream,” and said she “reject[s] socialism as an economic system.”

“If people have that view, that’s their view,” she said. “That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”

Pelosi continued taking a swipe at far-left Democrats during her trip to Ireland and the United Kingdom, telling an audience on Monday that both she and Ocasio-Cortez won in districts where “glass of water” with a “D” next to it could win.

“When we won this election, it wasn’t in districts like mine or Alexandria’s,” Pelosi said. “[S]he’s a wonderful member of Congress as I think all of our colleagues will attest. But those are districts that are solidly Democratic.”

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To drive the point home she picked up a water glass next to her and said: “This glass of water would win with a ‘D’ next to its name in those districts.”

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Maya MacGuineas, the president of independent and bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, warned on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning that Bernie Sanders’ proposed policies could cost $20,000 per taxpayer.

“If you look at healthcare, free tuition, family leave, child care – those proposals will all have a price tag of over $20,000 per taxpayer,” MacGuineas said.

“I don’t know whether they plan to finance all of that or add that to the very large national debt, but the costs are certainly high. I know trillion is kind of hard to get your arms around. But when you bring it down per taxpayer, we are talking more than $20,000 increase in taxes.”

“I don’t know whether they plan to finance all of that or add that to the very large national debt, but the costs are certainly high. I know trillion is kind of hard to get your arms around. But when you bring it down per taxpayer, we are talking more than $20,000 increase in taxes.”

— Maya MacGuineas, the president of Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Sanders, the leading 2020 candidate in the crowded Democratic field, sat down at a Fox News town hall in Bethlehem, Pa., on Monday evening to make a pitch for his ambitions transformation of the economy, with universal healthcare at its core.

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But MacGuineas cautioned that Sanders hasn’t yet come up with a way to fully fund the proposals and will only significantly increase the deficit and the expense of the taxpayer.

“None of the things he has been talking about are free, it does worry me when we put these in the context of free healthcare, free college tuition. It’s really important that we put them in the broader budget context of how much would this cost and do we think it’s worth it?” MacGuineas said.

“Because just to anchor the kind of conversation he is starting, we do need to keep in mind that the national debt of the country right now is at near record levels.

“And then we are talking about adding a lot of new spending on top of it. Medicare for all would be one of the biggest new programs that people have ever introduced into the political debate,” she added.

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MacGuineas said that her organization was “incredibly concerned” after analyzing Sanders’ 2016 proposals as they found “the huge gap between the very, very expensive price tag and the kind of pay-fors that he had put out there.” The research suggested Sanders’ 2016 plan was only 45% paid for.

Not much has changed with his 2020 campaign, MacGuineas said, though his current revealed proposals are more detailed and offer a better understanding of how Sanders hopes to fund the programs.

“Still, it’s going to fall short and the numbers aren’t detailed enough to know. My guess is we are still talking about a 10 trillion-dollar hole each after the pay-ffors put there.”

— Maya MacGuineas, the president of Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

“He doesn’t have a plan to pay for Medicare for all yet, but he has introduced option many of which include broad-based tax increases, a lot of tax increases on the wealthy, getting rid of some tax breaks,” she said.

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“Still, it’s going to fall short and the numbers aren’t detailed enough to know. My guess is we are still talking about a 10 trillion-dollar hole.”

Source: Fox News Politics


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