ABC - Politics News
Subscribe To This Feed

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a video released Thursday morning, former Vice President Joe Biden formally announced he's running for president in 2020 -- ending months-long speculation about his intentions.

Biden becomes the 20th Democrat to enter the 2020 race, and enters as a high-profile candidate, with decades of experience.

He will hold his first event as a candidate in Pittsburgh on Monday.

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. #Joe2020

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2019

Following his formal announcement, Biden's first television interview will take place on ABC's The View on Friday.

He and his wife Dr. Jill Biden will also sit down with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, ahead of his Pittsburgh event. The interview will air on GMA Tuesday.

Throughout the 2018 midterms, Biden cast the upcoming elections as a "battle for the soul of America."

In a field that boasts a number of vocal progressive candidates, Biden's bipartisan approach may make it difficult for him to gain support with the liberal wing of the party.

"Middle-Class Joe" isn’t backing away from his bipartisan roots.

"Vice President Biden believes to his core that you can disagree politically on a lot and still work together on issues of common cause, especially issues as essential as the fight against cancer," Biden spokesperson Bill Russo told ABC News earlier this year.

One of the first challenges to Biden's candidacy will be answering tough questions on allegations from some women who have said that the former vice president made them feel uncomfortable in past interactions by touching them without their permission.

On Wednesday, his Democratic rival, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, signaled that Biden "is going to have to directly answer to voters" on the allegations.

This will be Biden's third run for president. He previously ran in 1988 and 2008, before serving as vice president to Barack Obama.

Biden was one of the youngest people ever elected to the Senate, when he won his race in 1972 at 29 years old.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

code6d/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- German banking giant Deutsche Bank has begun turning over financial records related to its business with President Donald Trump, in response to a subpoena from the New York attorney general’s office, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News on Wednesday.

As one of the Trump Organization’s most reliable lenders in recent years, Deutsche has come under scrutiny from several investigative bodies examining the president’s personal finances.

The New York attorney general’s office subpoenaed Deutsche Bank in March for records related to Trump's unsuccessful NFL bid and several other Trump Organization projects -- including Trump International Hotels in Chicago, Washington and Florida -- another source familiar with the matter told ABC News at the time.

Earlier this month, the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees jointly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank as part of their ongoing investigation into President Donald Trump’s financial dealings and concerns about foreign influence over the Trump Organization.

In December 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to the German bank, though the nature of Mueller’s request was not clear.

The New York attorney general’s investigation is based, in part, on the testimony of Trump’s one-time personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who claimed that Trump had -- in the past -- defrauded insurance companies by misrepresenting the value of his assets.

In court documents filed Monday as part of a lawsuit against House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., attorneys for Trump and the Trump Organization called Cohen’s testimony a "political stunt" and "one of the worst examples of the House Democrats’ zeal to attack President Trump under the guise of investigations."

The bank has previously said it was cooperating with ongoing inquiries as appropriate.

Both the New York attorney general’s office and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. CNN first reported Deutsche Bank’s cooperation in the probe.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump vowed to fight against the opioid epidemic and took credit for recent progress combating the public health emergency at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta on Wednesday.

"Everyone here today is united by the same vital goal, to liberate our fellow Americans from the grip of drug addiction and to end the opioid crisis once and for all," the president said.

"My administration is deploying every resource at our disposal to empower you to support you, and to fight right by your side. That's what we are doing. We will not solve this epidemic overnight, but we will stop -- nothing is going to stop us," Trump said.

Combating the opioid epidemic has been a top domestic policy prioity for the administration and a focus of the first lady's Be Best campaign that has found widespread, bipartisan support. The Trump administration secured $6 billion in new funding over the next two years to combat opioid abuse. Earlier this month, HHS announced a $350 million plan to reduce opioid deaths by 40 percent in three years in certain communities.

Earlier Wednesday, speaking from the South Lawn, the president also claimed credit for progress combating the epidemic.

"It's a big problem, it's a big addiction, and we're handling it," Trump said. "The doctors are working with us, the labs are working, the clinics are working, the pharmaceutical companies are working with us, and we've made a tremendous amount of progress."

Despite the president's claims of progress, the statistics surrounding the epidemic remain staggering: On average, 130 Americans die each day from opioid overdose and opioids were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths), per the Centers for Disease Control.

The president also claimed -- without providing specifics -- that the problem is down "17 percent from last year."

White House spokesperson Judd Deere clarified the president's statement and noted that since President Trump took office, "the total number of opioid prescriptions dispensed monthly (by retail and mail-order pharmacies) has declined by at least 17%."

Before speaking in Atlanta, the president was introduced by the first lady, who referenced the work she has done with her Be Best campaign.

"I have seen firsthand both the medical and personal results of this crisis. I have visited hospitals and treatment centers around the country. I have met with doctors, nurses, mothers, and children," the first lady said. "We will continue to raise awareness of the dangers of opioids to unborn babies. We are also committed to supporting more treatment facilities that have both bond of addiction with the bond of love between a mother and her child."

“My husband is here today because he cares deeply about what you are doing to help the millions of Americans affected by the opioid epidemic.”

The president also veered off script during his remarks, and claimed that he was victim of a rigged system when talking about foreign pharmaceutical company drug pricing.

“At long last we’re stopping the drug companies in foreign countries from rigging the system,” Trump said. “I know all about the rigging the system because I had the system rigged on me."

He also touted the work of drug-sniffing dogs like German Shepherds who work alongside CBP officers at the border.

"Dogs do a better job than four hundred million dollars worth of equipment," Trump said. “We have a lot of dogs and they’re great dogs and we cherish them.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

jgroup/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- In recent months before resigning from her position, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was prevented from convening senior cabinet meetings at the White House on potential future Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 U.S. elections, two senior administration officials familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Nielsen, whose department is charged with defending U.S. infrastructure including elections against cyber attacks, had been sounding the alarm publicly before the 2018 midterms. After the midterms, she pushed for the White House to convene a cabinet meeting to address the issue head-on, but the White House "refused," according to one of the officials, forcing DHS to start convening meetings with principals on its own.

Nielsen was also told by White House staff the issue did not need to be brought to Trump’s attention, according to the official.

"The White House didn’t want to focus on the issue at a principals level, period," the official told ABC News.

The last in-person principal-level cabinet meetings on the issue occurred before the November 2018 midterm elections, and since then there have been none, according to three senior administration officials. One said there have been smaller discussions about the topic among top national security officials.

“We are far, far better prepared than we were in 2016, but we are still way behind where our adversaries are. It’s clear the administration hasn’t made foreign interference a high enough priority. That’s a feeling felt throughout the interagency," one of the officials said.

The New York Times first reported on Wednesday White House pushback to Nielsen’s efforts. The Times reported that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Nielsen specifically not to bring it up to the President, reportedly telling her it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.”

In a statement to ABC News, Mulvaney said, “I don’t recall anything along those lines happening in any meeting, but unlike the Obama administration, who knew about Russian actions in 2014 and did nothing, the Trump administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections, and we’ve already taken many steps to prevent it in the future.”

The Obama administration did take some action against Russian election interference including private warnings and sanctions.

A spokesperson for the DHS did not respond to a request for comment. Garrett Marquis, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement, “National Security Council staff leads the regular and continuous coordination of the whole-of-government approach to addressing foreign malign influence and ensuring election security.

“Any suggestion that this Administration is giving less than full-throated effort to secure America’s elections is patently false,” he said.

The redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report sent to Congress last week laid out both what he described as Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, as well as Trump’s concern that acknowledgment of that interference could undercut his electoral victory.

“After the election, the President expressed concerns to advisors that reports of Russia’s election interference might lead the public to question the legitimacy of his election,” the report said.

Even in the lead up to the midterm election lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including intelligence officials expressed frustration over what they saw as the administration's lack of clear strategy to combat more Russian interference.

After the publication of the Mueller report, experts said it was “sobering” to see all of Russia’s efforts to undercut American society and the political process all in one place.

The U.S. intelligence community and previous Mueller indictments had already accused Russia of three interference efforts in 2016: a hack-and-leak operation that targeted democratic figures, a widespread online influence campaign designed to sow social and political discord in the U.S. and cyber attacks targeting election infrastructure itself, such as voter databases. But last week, the Mueller report laid out, in narrative detail, the push by the Kremlin to weaken American democracy – a strategy that officials and experts say continues today.

The 2018 midterm elections did not see the hack-and-leak strategy or any especially significant attacks on voting infrastructure, but foreign online influence operations continued unabated, an intelligence community assessment said. Top U.S. security officials have been vocal in their warnings that Russia, potentially along with China, Iran and others who learned dark lessons from 2016, are likely to take aim at the 2020 race.

“The risk of election interference by a foreign government is an existential national security threat,” John Cohen, a former senior Department of Homeland Security official and current ABC News contributor, said after the Mueller report’s release. “While some agencies like the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Cyber Command are working to mitigate this threat, the U.S. government can and must do more to address the threat to our election process, but that requires visible leadership from the White House and the president himself.”

Former Trump campaign advisor Chris Christie told the ABC News podcast “The Investigation” on April 18 that if he were speaking to the president he would tell him to “shift focus” now to the 2020 threat – both for practical and political reasons.

“You know, bring in [CIA Director] Gina Haspel and [FBI Director] Chris Wray, bring in the DNI [Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats] and say, ‘Listen, we now have a roadmap for what the Russians did, what are we doing to prepare for the 2020 election? I authorize you to do everything it is you need to do to protect the integrity of that election and we’ll work with Congress to make sure… if you need additional funding that you’ll get it in order to protect the integrity of our elections.’

“I have often thought that that would be a really productive thing for him to do, and a smart thing for him to do politically,” Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and current ABC News contributor, said.

Last week another spokesperson for the White House National Security Council declined to comment on Trump’s personal interest in Russian interference, but pointed to moves by the administration to counter foreign election interference, from broadening offensive cyber rules to paving a pathway for sanctions for those “determined to have interfered in a United States election,” to the Department of Justice indictments against suspected Russian operatives.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that he would warn his Russian counterparts about the “steadfast requirement that Russia not engage in activity that impacts the capacity of our democracy to be successful."

“And we will make very clear to them that this is unacceptable behavior and as you’ve seen from this administration, we will take tough actions which raise the cost for Russian malign activity,” he said. “And we’ll continue to do that.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Declaring the Mueller investigation “the most thorough investigation, probably, in the history of our country,” President Donald Trump on Wednesday called the subpoena for his former White House counsel Don McGahn “ridiculous” and argued his team shouldn’t be subject to any further inquiry.

“I say it’s enough,” the president told reporters as he left the White House Wednesday morning with first lady Melania Trump for a trip to Atlanta.

“The subpoena is ridiculous. We have been -- I have been the most transparent president and administration in the history our country by far,” Trump said, repeating his usual claim that there was collusion, no obstruction, and that any potential wrongdoing was perpetrated by Democrats.

The president also seemed to be suggest that the Mueller probe, in its thoroughness, also cleared him of any questions related to his taxes and financial holdings.

“Mueller, I assume, for $35 million, checked my taxes, checked my financials, which are great by the way, but they checked my taxes and they checked my finances I assume,” Trump said.

But despite the president's assumption, there is no indication the president’s personal finances were a target of Mueller’s investigation, which focused on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and questions of obstruction of justice.

Asked a second time about the subpoena for McGahn and White House plans to resist, the president said “we are fighting all the subpoenas,” arguing that all the investigative efforts from congressional Democrats are politically motivated.

“These aren't like impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020. They're not going to win with the people that I see, and they’re not going to win against me. The only way they can maybe luck out, and I don’t think that’s going to happen, the only way they can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Moussa81/iStock(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Iowa's longest-serving Republican state lawmaker has switched to the Democratic Party, citing President Donald Trump's behavior and the GOP's shift to the right.

State Rep. Andy McKean, who was first elected to the Iowa legislature in 1978 and has served in both chambers, said Tuesday that despite the disappointment from friends and colleagues, his support of the Republican Party's standard-bearer -- Trump -- was becoming untenable in light of the 2020 election.

"The time comes when you have to be true to yourself and follow the dictates of your conscience," the 69-year-old former lawyer said at a press conference Tuesday. "For me, that time has come."

Specifying the reasons for his split, he pointed to the Trump administration's fiscal, foreign and environmental policies and the president's fomenting of what he called "hateful rhetoric and actions," all of which he said the U.S. will "soon pay a heavy price for."

McKean said the phenomenon in the White House is part of a broader shift in politics in which partisanship is favored over moderation, which made him "increasingly uncomfortable" with the Republican stance on a myriad of issues.

"If this is the new normal, I want no part of it," McKean said.

The Iowa House is now composed of 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats. The shift in balance follows a five-seat gain by Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections.

McKean's defection prompted a critical response from Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufmann, who said McKean is "about to feel the headwind" of Trump's support in his district.

"It's disappointing that he felt the need to deceive Iowans," Kaufmann said in a tweet. "If the people of District 58 can't trust him on something as simple and fundamental as what party he belongs to, how can they trust him on any issue."

Jessica Post, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said in a statement, "Representative McKean didn't leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left him -- and their loss is our gain."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump threatened anew to shut down a portion of the southern border on Wednesday after reports that a group of Central Americans traveling north had been partially detained by Mexican officials.

"Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military," Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning.

The president has threatened to close the southern border or portions of it before. It's also not the first time he's placed the responsibility on Mexico to do more to stop people in so-called "caravans" -- large groups of migrants traveling north together and largely reported to be mostly women and children from Central America seeking refugee -- from arriving at the U.S. border.

Trump largely backed off his most recent calls to close the southern border in early April, instead giving Mexico a one-year warning to apprehend more Central American migrants. At the time, Senate Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, publicly warned the president against acting on his threat. Closing the border would have a "potentially catastrophic economic impact," McConnell warned.

While shutting down U.S. border crossings would not stop the vast majority of unauthorized arrivals, who mostly cross illegally between border stations, it would halt the flow of trade between the U.S. and Mexico, which totaled $611 billion in 2018, or $1.67 billion per day. More than 40 percent of all fruits and vegetables brought into the U.S. come from Mexico, for example, according to data from the Department of Agriculture.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Edward Linsmier/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Jane Castor made history on Tuesday, becoming the first openly LGBTQ mayor elected to lead Tampa, Florida.

Castor, the city's former chief of police, swept her opponent, retired banker David Straz, with 73% of the approximately 53,000 votes cast, according to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections' unofficial results.

"How exciting is this?" Castor said Tuesday night to a cheering crowd as she raised her hands in the air. "The next mayor of Tampa!"

With endorsements from organizations that advocate for LGBTQ rights, such as the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida Action PAC, Castor joins a growing number of openly LGBTQ elected officials nationwide.

According to the Victory Institute's Out for America database, which tracks LGBTQ representation among elected officials, just 0.13% of elected officials nationwide identify as LGBTQ. That's compared to about 4.5% of U.S. adults in 2017, according to a Gallup poll.

Castor joins 37 openly LGBTQ mayors nationwide, three of whom are in Florida, according to the Victory Institute.

In fact, Castor had already made history in Tampa before winning the mayor's race. She was the first woman and first gay woman to serve as Tampa's police chief; she worked in the department for 31 years, beginning as a beat cop, according to her campaign website.

Castor touted her record of reducing the city's crime rate, and campaigned on improving Tampa's infrastructure, transportation and economy. During her victory speech Tuesday night, she thanked her family, staff and supporters for the landslide victory.

"That sends a resounding message to our community," Castor said. "No, it sends a resounding message to the nation that Tampa celebrates its diversity and lifts everyone up in a positive way."

LGBTQ representation increased nationwide with the 2018 midterm elections, raising the number of openly LGBTQ members in Congress to 10.

And increased LGBTQ representation has a chance to reach the country's highest office, as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, announced his presidential run earlier this month.

But like Castor told her supporters in Tampa Tuesday night, "there is so much yet to be done."

Currently, there is no federal law protecting LGBTQ Americans from discrimination, such as being denied housing or fired from their job, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear three cases this fall involving employment discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. The court's ruling could determine whether federal civil rights protections extend to LGBTQ people.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon's new policy placing limits on the military service of transgender members went into effect, and one transgender ROTC cadet said he lost his military scholarship at the University of Texas due to the Trump administration's policy.

But Tuesday night, reveling in her victory, Castor was focused on the future of what a city such as Tampa could be.

"If you stand with me, I'll take us there," Castor said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump met with Jack Dorsey, the CEO of his favorite online platform, Twitter, on Tuesday in the Oval Office.

“Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general,” the president said, of course, in a tweet. "Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!"

But just hours before, Trump complained in a series of tweets that Twitter is "discriminatory" and accused the tech giant of playing "political games."

The president has accused social media companies like Twitter of silencing conservatives on their platforms, yet still it appears to remain his favorite way to communicate with the public. From his time as a public citizen to his role in the White House, the president has tweeted or retweeted on the Twitter platform over 40,000 times. In an administration that has not exactly been known for consistent communication, his often-daily tweets have become one of the most reliable ways this White House shares information.

 Trump’s tweets range from mundane musings about golf or Fox News to major policy announcements or personnel changes, forcing journalists, politicians, world leaders and even members of his own administration to keep a close eye on whatever pops up from the @realDonaldTrump handle.

Still, Trump threatened during a press conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro last month that he wanted to "get to the bottom" of potentially discriminatory practices on Twitter.

"Things are happening, names are taken off, people aren't getting through, you've heard the same complaints and it seems to be if they are conservative, if they're Republicans, if they're in a certain group there's discrimination and big discrimination," Trump said. "I see it absolutely on Twitter and on Facebook which I have also and others."

There has been no evidence of any kind of discriminatory practices, but Trump has balked at lost followers after Twitter did a purge of suspicious accounts. Many of those accounts were used by Russian agents to interfere in the 2016 election, but conservatives have complained that they have mostly targeted right-leaning voices. According to the Washington Post, the president complained about his loss of followers during his sit-down meeting with Dorsey at the White House.

"Jack had a constructive meeting with the President of the United States today at the president's invitation,” Twitter said in a statement. "They discussed Twitter's commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis."

This was the first time the Twitter CEO met with Trump at the White House.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner made the case that the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election have been “way more harmful” to American democracy than Russia’s campaign to meddle in the election.

“If you look at what Russia did, buying some Facebook ads to try and sow dissent and it’s a terrible thing but I think the investigations and the speculation that’s happened for the last two years has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple of Facebook ads,” Kushner said, downplaying Russia’s concerted effort to sway the election in then-candidate Trump’s favor.

Kushner made the remarks an interview at the TIME 100 Summit Tuesday.

Kushner expressed a sense of vindication that – after sitting for what he said was approximately 9 hours sitting for interviews with the special counsel’s office and multiple interviews with Congressional investigators – Mueller’s investigators did not find evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Everything that the president’s been saying everything that I’ve been saying for two years has now been fully authenticated,” Kushner said.

While the special counsel did not find evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, Mueller’s report said investigators did find "numerous links — i.e. contacts — between Trump campaign officials and individuals having or claiming to have ties to the Russian government" and a concerted effort on Russia’s part to meddle in the campaign.

Kushner also said he will presenting the president with a “detailed proposal” on immigration within the next week or two.

“My father in law asked me to work on this topic, it’s not one I came to Washington to work on,” he said, and made the case that the president’s views on the topic have been portrayed in an overly negative light.

“I do believe the president’s position on immigration has been defined by his opponents as what he’s against as opposed to what he’s for,” Kushner said.

The Trump administration’s approach to the border has been largely characterized by the president’s persistent push to build a southern border wall and saw the most public backlash following the implementation of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that resulted in thousands of family separations.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Mark Makela/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Tuesday morning, "The View" co-hosts analyzed the controversial comments Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., made on restoring voting rights to incarcerated felons, like the Boston Marathon bomber, during his town hall.

Five Democratic presidential candidates took part in hour-long back-to-back town halls over five hours on CNN Monday night. In addition to Sanders, Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Peter Buttigieg, were the candidates who participated in the question-and-answer session.

During the town hall, Sanders was faced with a question focused on restoring rights to convicted terrorists and sex offenders.

"I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy," Sanders responded, when asked whether or not felons currently behind bars should be allowed to vote. "Yes, even for terrible people."

"Once you start chipping away and you say, 'Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,' you're running down a slippery slope," Sanders added.

On "The View," Joy Behar agreed with Sanders on resolving inmates' voting rights based on the level of their crime, saying it's not "practical" to decide who does and doesn't get to vote while in jail. "Either you have to get everybody to do it or nobody."

Noting that voting rights are really a state issue, co-host Sunny Hostin said her main concern regarding vote restoration for inmates is that "the laws of our country are disproportionately applied to people of color. And so there's real disenfranchisement of the African American vote, the Latino vote, so you're talking about 6.1 million African Americans that the vote is taken away from every single year."

Whoopi Goldberg added, "if you've done your time, you have – we hope – been reformed, you've been changed, you've been grown. If they let him out, that means they feel his time is up, and he gets to become the American citizen again."

During Sanders' town hall, he recognized his stance on voting right would likely receive backlash, and it "will be just another" opposition ad in his life.

Speaking out directly on the idea of terrorists like the Boston Marathon bomber receiving the right to vote while serving time, Meghan McCain called the idea "disgraceful."

McCain added that "it is not hard to put lines between terrorists and people who commit low level crimes."

"It doesn't sound good," Behar observed about Sanders' comments. "It'll be used in a campaign ad against him."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has arrived at a federal penitentiary facility, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Manafort is now serving out his 81-month sentence at United States Penitentiary Canaan just outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is scheduled for release on Christmas 2024.

The federal penitentiary that now houses Manafort is, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a high-security prison with an adjacent minimum security facility. It was not immediately clear which facility housed Manafort and a public information officer for USP Canaan would not comment on his location. The public information officer simply confirmed that Manafort was at the penitentiary.

The spokesperson also said that while Manafort was being held at Canaan, this does not necessarily reflect where he will permanently be held.

Attorneys for Manafort did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During Manafort’s sentencing hearing in Virginia, his attorneys requested that he be designated to federal prison camp at Cumberland, Maryland, a minimum security facility.

The judge in that case agreed with the recommendation, calling it "consistent with his security needs."

Manafort was sentenced by two different federal judges, one in Washington, D.C. and one in the Eastern District of Virginia for crimes including unregistered foreign lobbying, bank fraud, tax fraud and witness tampering, all unrelated to his time serving on the Trump campaign.

Though Manafort was just sentenced for his crimes last month, he’s been in custody since mid-July 2018 after the judge in his Washington case revoked his bail and remanded him to pre-trial detention.

Manafort was briefly held at Northern Neck regional jail before the judge in his Virginia case ordered Manafort to an Alexandria, Virginia jail in July.

He remained in that facility after a jury in Virginia found him guilty on eight counts and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining 10 in August 2018. He subsequently remained there after he pleaded guilty to crimes in the District of Columbia in September.

During sentencing, Manafort received credit for time already served, reducing his time in the facility from 90 months to 81.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The chairman of the House Oversight Committee is threatening to hold a Trump administration official in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for testimony in the panel’s White House security clearance investigation, the first move of its kind from the Democrat-led House.

In a statement, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said former White House official Carl Kline did not appear for a Tuesday deposition, and that he and the White House “stand in open defiance of a duly authorized congressional subpoena with no assertion of any privilege of any kind” by Trump. If Democrats follow through on Cummings’ plans, Kline would become the first Trump administration official to be held in contempt of Congress.

If Democrats follow through on Cummings’ plans, Kline would become the first Trump administration official to be held in contempt of Congress.

Kline’s attorney, Robert Driscoll, said his client takes the committee’s concerns “seriously”, but questions the “validity” of the subpoenas.

"My client and I take seriously the concerns of the Committee and the Chair,” Driscoll told ABC News in a statement. “We also take seriously the direction of the White House not to attend today's hearing and the opinion, expressed by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, about the validity if the Committee's subpoenas given the restriction placed by the Committee. Chairman Cummings is zealously playing the role he should in our constitutional system and we bear no ill will towards him. We will continue to review the proceedings and make the best judgments we can."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

While Republicans have repeatedly threatened to rebuke top Trump administration Justice Department officials in a standoff over Russia-probe related documents and information, they never proceeded to officially do so on the floor. Kline, the former White House personnel security director who now works at the Defense Department, was accused by a whistleblower of granting high-level security clearance to Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and the president’s son-in-law, and other White House officials against the recommendations of administration security specialists.

According to Driscoll, Kline was instructed “not to appear” before the committee this week by the White House, despite the subpoena from Cummings.

“With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him,” Driscoll wrote in a letter to the committee Monday evening obtained by ABC News.

Cummings on Tuesday blasted the White House’s position, accusing them of not producing “a single piece of paper” or witness to the House for any of the committee’s investigations this year.

“Based on these actions, it appears that the President believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight,” the chairman said. A spokesperson for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Republican on the panel, said Kline had offered to appear voluntarily and accused Cummings of working to discredit the White House.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Scott Eisen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan moved the ball forward regarding speculation surrounding a possible primary challenge against president Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying he's seriously considering a White House run, even if he's in no rush to officially jump in just yet.

The widely popular Republican governor furthered speculation with a speech in the key primary state of New Hampshire on Tuesday, telling the "Politics & Eggs" crowd that gathered at New Hampshire Institute of Politics that he's currently mulling over a run for the White House.

"A lot of people have been approaching me, probably since around my inauguration in late January. People have asked me to give this serious consideration and I think I owe it to those people to do just that. That’s what I’m doing," Hogan said.

Hogan is the latest potential 2020 hopeful to speak at a “Politics and Eggs” event, which has become a required stop for anyone seriously considering a White House run, and the outspoken Trump critic took a few veiled swipes at the current president during his appearance.

The governor and outspoke Trump critic also weighed in on the Republican National Committee pledging full support behind the president while taking some swipes at the president.

"I was pretty critical of that. Not that the Republican National Committee doesn’t have the right to support the sitting president. But to change the rules and to insist 100% loyalty to the dear leader it just didn’t sound much like the Republican party that I grew up in," the governor said.

Following the event, Hogan also weighed in on last week's report from special counsel Robert Mueller, calling it "very disturbing."

"It certainly did not completely exonerate the President as he said. There were some very disturbing stuff found in the report, and just because aides did not follow his orders, it's the only reason we don't have obstruction of justice," Hogan told reporters.

"...Maybe there was not collusion with the Russians, which, there was a lot of hype about that from the Democrats for a long time and so now he gets to say that didn't happen. But there was some really unsavory stuff in the report that did not make me proud of the president, and there's certainly nothing to crow about and nothing to celebrate in that at all," he added.

Hogan quipped at the start of his address that he's "not here to make any official announcements today," jokingly noting that he "just thought that April would be a beautiful time to visit New Hampshire.”

If Hogan jumps into the race, which he says he's in no rush to do and could wait as late until November to decide, he'd become the second Republican to challenge Trump for the party's presidential nomination after former Governor Bill Weld's announcement earlier this month.

When asked about Weld jumping into the race already, Hogan said he was glad to see it, but noted that his position as a current government official puts him in a different situation.

"Bill Weld, I think is a wonderful guy, and I talk to him just before he launched, but he’s not a sitting governor. It’s a different calculus for me," Hogan said.

"But I obviously have very strong concerns about the future of my party and the future of the country," he added. "I’m going to take as much time as it takes to make that decision."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- ABC News has confirmed that Joe Biden will announce he’s entering the 2020 race Thursday morning in a video.

The announcement will mark Biden’s third run for the presidency and he enters the field in the top spot in several polls. The former vice president brings the crowded Democratic field to record-breaking

Biden brings a long career in public service to his presidential bid, which began in 1972 when he was elected to the Senate in Delaware. Biden served in the Senate for nearly 40 years, where he served as chair of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees, before becoming vice president in 2009.

Biden is likely to face scrutiny for some of his past policy positions including his anti-bussing legislation in the 1970s, his role in the 1994 crime bill, and his handling of the Anita Hill hearings as chairman of the Judiciary committee.

Biden has taken steps to acknowledge these past issues ahead of his run. During a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Biden said the country needs to do more to acknowledge the racism built into ‘every aspect of our system.”

Biden also acknowledged his role in 1980’s drug legislation that disproportionally hurt minorities by creating longer mandatory minimum sentencing for crack cocaine than powder cocaine.

“It was a big mistake when it was made. We thought, we were told by the experts that crack — you never go back; it was somehow fundamentally different. It’s not different,” he said. “But it’s trapped an entire generation,” Biden said at the National Action Network’s MLK breakfast in January.

In March, Biden spoke about his role in Anita Hill’s testimony during Supreme Court Justice’s Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings.

“To this day, I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved,” Biden said, while speaking at the Biden Courage Awards, an event to honor students who’ve intervened to prevent sexual assault.

New controversies could also provide a challenge to Biden’s candidacy, including some women who say that Biden made them feel uncomfortable in past interactions by touching them without their permission.

Biden posted a video acknowledging that ‘social norms are changing’ and promising he would be "much more mindful," calling it his "responsibility."

Biden first ran for president in 1988 but dropped out of the race just a few months later after reports of plagiarism arose. Biden used elements of a speech by a British politician as his own, without attribution. In an interview with ABC News, Biden explained the scandal as "Stupid. My mistake. Born out of ignorance, thinking I didn't have to prepare."

The former vice president also sought the 2008 Democratic nomination, dropping out after receiving less than 1% of the vote in the Iowa Caucus, and failing to win any delegates.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Congrats to Wings 4U in Cushing!!!!!! The Winner of Wing Wars 2019!!!!!!

Listener Poll
Calf Fry, May 2nd-4th at The Tumbleweed. Which night are you looking forward to the most?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Find Us On Facebook