Biden pitches 2 years of free community college in higher-education plan

Political News Biden pitches 2 years of free community college in higher-education plan

crisserbug/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Former Vice President Joe Biden announced his policy for higher education Tuesday morning, laying out a plan to grant two years of free community college to students, and invest $50 billion in high-quality job training programs.

The Biden campaign said that passing legislation to give free access to community college courses would cut the cost of a four-year degree in half. But Biden’s policy shows a sharp contrast between the former vice president and his two top competitors in the polls: Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who have both proposed making four-year public universities free.

Biden has a close connection to community colleges, as his wife, Dr. Jill Biden is a lifelong educator and currently a professor at Northern Virginia Community College. On a call with reporters, Dr. Biden, who had a significant role in shaping Biden’s proposal, talked up the plan as reflective of what she hears from her students about needed educational reforms, and discussed how the plan will benefit the American economy overall.

“What means the most to me is that it comes from listening to educators and students — not telling them what we think they need. It goes beyond tuition and supports a holistic approach to retention and completion,” Biden said.

“When my students have the support they need to actually finish their degrees, they aren’t the only ones who benefit,” she continued. “Their kids do better in school, their families can go from just paying the bills to actually planning for the future and their employers are able to fill critical jobs.”

The plan makes official several policies the former vice president often discusses on the trail about student debt as well. Biden’s policy includes his plan for reducing student loan debt obligations for students who go into the public service sector, allowing $10,000 of undergrad or graduate debt relief per year for up to five years of service.

Biden would also double the maximum amount of Pell grants available to students, including Dreamers, and would allow students making less than $25,000 a year to defer payments on their federal loans without accruing interest. Any student making more than $25,000 would pay 5% of their discretionary income toward their loans rather than the current 10% owed.

The plan would be paid for through the elimination of the stepped-up basis loophole, a type of break on inheritance taxes, and capping itemized deductions for wealthy Americans at 28%, according to the campaign.

None of his plan goes as far as those put forward by Sanders and Warren, who have proposed canceling all or close to all student debt, part of what has earned them tags as being more progressive. But senior advisers for Biden pushed back on the notion that Biden’s plan was not as aggressive as his competitors.

“We reject any premise that his plan is not equally bold as those plans,” an adviser told reporters on a call previewing the policy. The Biden plan reflects the vice president and Dr. Biden’s deep commitment to making sure every child in this country can pursue a bachelor’s degree, but that every child also has a choice between training leading to an industry credential community college, or a four-year program.

“We think of this as a bold solution to grow the middle class and that this is what makes sense for the reason the vice president is running, which is to rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class and this time make sure that everyone has a chance to come along.”

Another major difference between Biden and his competitors’ plans is the cost. Biden’s plan would cost $750 billion over 10 years, a much smaller sum than Sanders’ plan, which calls for $1.6 trillion for student loan forgiveness alone, and Warren’s plan, which carries a price tag of $1.25 trillion.

Biden’s plan would also allocate $70 billion for investments in historically black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions and tribal colleges and universities.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019

White House letter to Pelosi pushes back on impeachment probe, stops short of calling for vote

Political News White House letter to Pelosi pushes back on impeachment probe, stops short of calling for vote

OlegAlbinsky/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The White House sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday calling into question “points of irregularity in the investigation.”

In the letter, attorneys for the White House write to House Democrats that, “Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it.”

Among the arguments, the White House raised concerns that House Republicans are unable to call witnesses as part of the growing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. In almost all congressional proceedings, the rules are set by the majority party including calling of witnesses and hearings.

However, the letter stopped short of demanding Pelosi call a vote of the House.

She responded with a statement on Tuesday night.

“This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections,” Pelosi wrote in her statement. “Despite the White House’s stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to ‘protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.'”

Democratic leaders of several House committees have been issuing requests and subpoenas calling for documents and testimony from several administration and State Department officials as part of their ongoing investigation into whether or not to bring articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. The impeachment efforts were spurred by a whistleblower complaint about a conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Voldymyr Zelenskiy which alleged improper conduct by the president.

The Trump administration has been actively blocking testimony since the start of the probe.

House Democrats issued subpoenas for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and five other State Department officials in late September requesting documents related to the department’s role in facilitating meetings between Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, and Zelenskiy. Pompeo responded to the request in a letter stating his intention to block the testimony.

Despite Pompeo’s objection, Kurt Volker, the former special envoy for Ukraine, was deposed behind closed doors last week. Republicans have cited the committee’s failure to release the entirety of Volker’s testimony as a reason they oppose further depositions taking place.

In response to Pompeo, Democratic Chairmen Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings wrote that “the failure of any of these Department employees to appear for their scheduled depositions shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.”

Giuliani is also the subject of a subpoena for documents, which he was compelled to produce to Congress by Oct. 15. He has not yet responded to the subpoenas and cited “substantial constitutional and legal issues” that must be considered before he decides how to respond.

And earlier Tuesday, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was blocked from appearing for voluntary testimony, prompting House Democrats to announce that they would issue a subpoena for his testimony and documents.


PAC Letter 10.08.2019 by ABC News Politics on Scribd


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Posted On 08 Oct 2019

The allegations about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, explained

Political News The allegations about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, explained

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour(WASHINGTON) — In December 2013, Vice President Joe Biden descended the steps of Air Force Two in Beijing, where a mix of Chinese officials and U.S. diplomats awaited him on the tarmac. He was flanked by a gaggle of aides – and his son, Hunter Biden.

The goal of Vice President Biden’s diplomatic visit was to tamp down rising tensions in the region. The goal of Hunter Biden’s visit remains unclear.

He insists he only traveled on the vice president’s plane to escort his teenage daughter, who also flew on Air Force Two, though he later conceded that he met with some business associates in a social capacity during his time there. But President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, insist there was more to it.

“The Biden family was PAID OFF, pure and simple!” Trump tweeted Sunday, echoing an accusation raised by Giuliani — even if the facts suggest otherwise. Trump added on Twitter that Hunter Biden “got 1.5 Billion Dollars from China despite no experience and for no apparent reason. There is NO WAY these can be legitimate transactions?”

President Trump has faced backlash for his effort to encourage Ukraine to investigate Vice President Biden, the fallout from which has led to an impeachment inquiry in Congress.

But in recent days, the president has turned his attention to China, and specifically Hunter Biden’s involvement in negotiating a deal to create a joint-investment fund between his company, Rosemont Seneca, and a Chinese state-run bank. Last week, Trump called on Beijing to launch an investigation into the Bidens.

Neither Hunter Biden nor his father has been accused of any illegal activity in China, but to some extent, ethics experts agree with Trump’s point about the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly in light of Joe Biden’s diplomatic role toward the geopolitical rival.

Yet several of President Trump’s accusations — including specific figures he has cited — exaggerate and misinterpret the realities of Hunter Biden’s arrangement with the investment firm.

It is true that at the time of his visit to Beijing in late 2013, Hunter Biden was engaged in business there as a participant in a company called Bohai Harvest RST. The corporation formed a novel Chinese-American investment fund that involved the Bank of China, a Chinese state-owned entity.

The Beijing-based firm’s website described the venture as being “sponsored” by the Bank of China, and securities filings in the U.S. say the investment fund was created in an effort “to focus on mergers and acquisitions, and investment in and reforms of state-owned enterprise.”

Reports at the time indicated Bohai Harvest RST sought to raise $1.5 billion – not that the Bidens pocketed $1.5 billion from the deal, as Trump and Giuliani suggested.

A lawyer for Hunter Biden, George Mesires, told ABC News the fund has a registered capital of $4.2 million, and Hunter Biden holds a 10% stake, meaning his committed capital is worth $420,000. It was not immediately clear whether he invested that money himself or whether his 10% stake serves as compensation for his directorship.

Mesires insists Hunter Biden has yet to receive a financial return on investment, adding that he only became a minority stake-holder in the company in October 2017 – after Joe Biden was no longer vice president. Prior to then, he served as an unpaid director.

Furthermore, while Giuliani claimed the Bohai Harvest RST deal was inked “12 days after [the Bidens] returned from a trip to China,” Mesires said the agreement was signed months earlier, in June, and it was a Chinese business license that was issued shortly after his visit to Beijing in December 2013.

Hunter Biden continues to play an active role in the investment fund, according to his lawyer, but the genesis of his relationship with the Chinese remains unclear. On Monday, the South China Morning Post reported that Bohai Harvest RST’s chief executive said he “was working to produce an explanation about Hunter’s role.”

Ethics experts say his ongoing business ties could present the appearance of a conflict of interest if his father is elected president.

“If Hunter Biden is still connected with [the Chinese investment firm], he needs to get out of that relationship,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a non-profit and non-partisan advocacy group, told ABC News. “And there should be as much clarity as possible about what actually is going on there as well.”

As for the 2013 visit, an attorney for Hunter Biden told ABC News the vice president’s son accompanied his daughter Finnegan Biden on the Air Force Two trip to Beijing and conducted no business during the visit.

But in an interview with The New Yorker published in July, Hunter Biden said he did meet with business partners at Bohai Harvest RST during his time in China. In fact, he said he even organized for one of his associates to shake hands with his father. Afterward, according to the magazine, Hunter Biden and the business associate “had what both parties described as a social meeting.”

“How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them for a cup of coffee?” Biden told the magazine.

Despite Hunter Biden’s dismissal of the matter, the interaction between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s Chinese business associate crossed a line, according to an ethics expert, assuming the vice president knew to whom he was being introduced.

“If [Vice President Biden] did know, it would have been a mistake – an error of judgment,” Weissman told ABC News.

“That said, this is orders of magnitude less consequential than the best ethical lapse of the Trump administration,” Weissman added, particularly with regard to the president’s ongoing financial interest in the Trump Organization, which is now led by his two adult sons.

Trump has been quick to echo Giuliani’s allegations against the Bidens and last week went so far as to call on Beijing to launch a formal probe.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said, “because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

President Trump’s allies have struggled to justify his language in recent weeks, and on Sunday, one of the president’s staunchest defenders in Congress could only brush his comments aside as a joke.

“You really think he was serious about thinking that China is going to investigate the Biden family?” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, rhetorically asked on ABC News’ “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. “Remember, this is the president who’s been tougher on China than any other president.”

The Biden camp, for its part, fired back on Sunday, calling the president “a pathological liar.”

“Soon Trump will run out of countries he can pressure to bail him out politically, and he will lose the old-fashioned way,” read a statement from campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates. “An intervention by his own country — courtesy of the American people — in 2020.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019

5th Democratic debate to be held in Georgia on Nov. 20: DNC

Political News 5th Democratic debate to be held in Georgia on Nov. 20: DNC

Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney Television(WASHINGTON) — The fifth Democratic primary debate will be co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post on Nov. 20 in Georgia, the Democratic National Committee announced on Tuesday.

The exact venue, moderators and format of the debate will be announced at a later date, the DNC said in a press release. The debate will air live on MSNBC. It will also be livestreamed on MSNBC and NBC mobile and digital platforms; on The Washington Post’s website and mobile app; and on Urban One’s digital platforms.

So far, eight candidates have already qualified for November’s debate, based on an ABC News analysis. Those candidates are:

Former Vice President Joe Biden

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

California Sen. Kamala Harris

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders

Businessman Tom Steyer

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

The other 11 candidates have until Nov. 13 at 11:59 p.m. — one week before the night of the debate — to meet the qualifying thresholds to secure a spot on stage.

In order to qualify, candidates have to meet two thresholds, which are slightly higher than the thresholds for the September and October debates.

Candidates must cross one of the two polling requirements and receive donations from at least 165,000 individual donors, an increase from 130,000 for the fall debates, in order to qualify.

For the polling requirements, Democratic hopefuls must earn either 3% or more in at least four polls in national or early state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada — a modest bump from the last round of debates — or secure 5% or more support in two early state polls. For the first avenue of the polling threshold, each of the four qualifying polls must be sponsored by different poll sponsor or — if by the same poll sponsor — must be in a different geographical area. But with far less polling coming from the early states, the DNC is allowing for the two early state polls to be in the same or different geographical areas and from the same or different sponsors for the second avenue.

Qualifying polls must be released between Sept. 13 and Nov. 13.

Party officials also upped the grassroots threshold and — in addition to garnering 165,000 donors — candidates must also receive a minimum of 600 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.

In addition to the eight candidates who’ve already qualified, four others have passed the donor threshold, according to their campaigns: former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

However, only Klobuchar and O’Rourke have made progress on the polling requirement for the fifth debate. Each have one qualifying poll, according to an ABC News analysis.

In a fundraising email sent to supporters from O’Rourke’s campaign this week, the former congressman’s team called out Steyer, who has outspent the other Democratic candidates on advertising by millions.

“Tom Steyer is a billionaire hedge fund manager who already spent a staggering $17.6 million on TV ads trying to qualify for the debates. Now, he’s succeeded in buying his way up there,” according to the email.

All four candidates who have met the donor threshold will have an opportunity to debate again before the November qualifying deadline, which — depending on how they perform — could help them secure additional qualifying polls. They, in addition to the eight candidates who’ve already qualified for November, will participate in the fourth Democratic primary debate on Otterbein University’s campus in Westerville, Ohio, at 8 p.m. on Oct. 15.

The October debate, set to be hosted by CNN and The New York Times, will be moderated by CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett, and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey. The DNC has still not announced the format of the debate, but it will be the first time 12 candidates are on one stage together.

The seven candidates who did not qualify for the October debate are: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak and author Marianne Williamson.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019

Transgender surgery linked with better long term mental health, study shows

stock-eye/iStock(NEW YORK) —  Surgery can be scary for anyone, but gender-affirming surgery for transgender people may provide better long-term mental health benefits, according to new research from the Yale School of Public Health.

Researchers looked at mood and anxiety disorder health care visits, antidepressant and anti-anxiety prescriptions and hospitalizations after a suicide attempt. These measures were assessed for 10 years before and after receiving gender-specific hormone and surgical treatment.

The study found that the likelihood of being treated for a mood or anxiety disorder was reduced by 8% for each year since the last gender-specific surgery.

“This study extends earlier evidence of associations between gender-affirming treatment and improved mental health,” Dr. Richard Bränström, senior author of the study and associate professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, told ABC News.

Compared with the general population, regardless of surgery or hormone treatment, transgender individuals are about six times as likely to have had a mood and anxiety disorder health care visit, more than three times as likely to have received prescriptions for antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and more than six times as likely to have been hospitalized after a suicide attempt, according to the study.

The study showed hormone treatment was not significantly related to any reductions in mental health treatment compared to surgery.

“The exact reason for this we don’t know, but the group diagnosed with a gender incongruence diagnosis receiving hormone treatment, but not surgery, is a very mixed group,” Bränström said. “The process of being diagnosed with a gender incongruence diagnosis and receiving gender-affirming treatment is a long process and it is likely that this process can be stressful.”

That finding puzzled Dr. Dana Rofey, associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, who added, “I am surprised by this and wonder if the right time points [with regards to the transition] were investigated.”

Rofey was not involved in the study.

Doctors say it may be important to first independently assess mental health problems affecting transgender individuals.

“We do not use gender-affirming treatments, either hormones or surgeries, to treat psychiatric disorders like clinical depression or anxiety,” said Dr. Hansel Arroyo, director of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. “These mental health issues should be directly addressed by a mental health provider and can be independent of the presence of gender dysphoria.”

“We know that people who are clinically depressed will often have a bad surgical outcome including poor wound healing, longer hospital stays,” said Arroyo, who was not involved in the study. He suggested that physical healing may become impacted: “People will often have difficulty taking care of themselves post-surgery.”

He continued, “Transgender individuals may also experience worsening of depression and anxiety due to gender dysphoria, social stigma, discrimination and trauma. Providing gender affirming treatments like hormone therapy and surgical interventions then becomes crucial as we know that they do improve the mental health, psychological functioning and quality of life in transgender people with gender dysphoria.”

A potential problem with the study is that it looked at gender-affirming surgeries in a high-income population.

Dr. Anthony Tobia, professor of psychiatry at Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said only focusing on people who can afford treatments may impact the study results.

“Individuals of higher socioeconomic status may have improved long term outcomes and the effect may not be due to the surgery itself,” Tobia, who was not involved in the study, told ABC News.

Bränström said the research shows that transgender treatments transcend the physical appearance and providing access to treatments could lower rates of mental health problems.

“The main message is that, even though transgender individuals are at increased risk of mental health problems, such problems can be reduced with the right support and access to high-quality, evidence-informed treatments,” Bränström said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Oprah Winfrey donates $13 million to Morehouse college

Entertainment News  Oprah Winfrey donates $13 million to Morehouse college


OWN(ATLANTA) — Oprah Winfrey is continuing to give back to HBCUs in a major way.

After donating more than $1 million to the United Negro College Fund for scholarships to historically black colleges last month, Winfrey is now offering her financial support to another historical establishment.

On Monday, Morehouse College announced Winfrey had donated $13 million to her scholarship program at the institution, topping the $12 million donation she made to the Atlanta college 30 years ago. The new contribution now pushes Winfrey’s total investment to $25 million, which is the largest endowment in the college’s history.

After meeting 47 of her Oprah Winfrey Scholars, whom she referred to as “sons,” Winfrey explained why she felt compelled to help the students.

“I understand that African-American men are an endangered species,” she explained. “They are so misunderstood. They are so marginalized.”

“Where and when I can lend support to try to change that image, I do,” she continued. “That is what Morehouse is doing. It is saying ‘This is who we really are.’” 

The college also presented Winfrey with a painting of her likeness, which she reposted on her Instagram along with a video from the event, during which she received roses from her scholars.

“Spent a day marinating in black excellence with these gorgeous, promising, young men at @morehouse1867,” she wrote.

“They honored me with roses, a song, and a portrait for a scholarship fund I set up 30 years ago. Can’t wait to see what they do with their future.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019

Graham plans to invite Giuliani to testify on Ukraine affair

Political News Graham plans to invite Giuliani to testify on Ukraine affair

Matt Anderson/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Tuesday he intends to invite Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, to testify about what he called “corruption in Ukraine” and “other improprieties involving Ukraine.”

In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, Graham, a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, cited “disturbing allegations” made by Giuliani that he said the committee needs to hear more about, in contrast to the House impeachment probe being led by Democrats.

“Given the House of Representatives’ behavior, it is time for the Senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine,” Graham, R-S.C. ,said in his tweet. “Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to inform the committee of his concerns.”

A spokesperson for Graham said it is unclear whether the testimony would happen in public or private.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s ranking member, said she, too, would like to hear from Giuliani.

“I welcome the opportunity to question Rudy Giuliani under oath about his role in seeking the Ukrainian government’s assistance to investigate one of the president’s political rivals,” Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement. “Democratic members have plenty of questions for Mr. Giuliani and this would give us an opportunity to help separate fact from fiction for the American people.”

Other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, though, have previously told ABC News they do not want to hear from Giuliani.

“Rudy Giuliani is rapidly turning into a joke,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in late September.

Giuliani did not immediately reply to request for comment by ABC News.

House Democrats have not sought a hearing with Giuliani in their impeachment inquiry, they say, to avoid a public spectacle, and instead subpoenaed him to provide documents and records to Congress by Oct. 15. He has not yet responded to the subpoenas and has cited “substantial constitutional and legal issues” that must be considered deciding how to respond.

It is not entirely clear which of Giuliani’s comments specifically Graham was referencing, but in his tweets, he cited Giuliani’s concerns surrounding the firing of former Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly sought to advance the theory that Vice President Joe Biden used his position to push Ukraine’s government to fire Shokin in order to shield his son, Hunter Biden, and Burisma, an energy company where his son served on the board, from an investigation.

In late September, Giuliani appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and waved around a stack of documents he said were affidavits that proved that Shokin was dismissed from his post as a result of his investigation into Biden’s son and Burisma.

That was not the only television appearance in recent weeks in which Giuliani has made similar allegations about the firing of Shokin.

Despite Giuliani’s comments, no evidence has emerged to support his theory that there was some sort of “pay-for-play scheme” by Biden related to Shokin’s dismissal. There was widespread criticism of Shokin from several high-profile international leaders, including members of the European Union and International Monetary Fund, who said Biden’s recommendation was well justified.

Giuliani, meanwhile, is not the only person Graham has called on to appear before his committee. He’s also called on the whistleblower, whose complaint about Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s president launched an impeachment inquiry, to come and testify.

“If you want to tell the story about what bothers you, come to this committee and I’ll dare everybody in the Senate to stop me,” Graham said

Graham has also stated on Fox News that the identity of the whistleblower should be made known.

“Here’s what’s going to happen: If the whistleblowers’ allegations are turned into an impeachment article, it’s imperative that the whistleblower be interviewed in public, under oath, and cross-examined,” Graham said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019

Clinton to Trump on 2020 run: ‘Don’t tempt me’

Political News Clinton to Trump on 2020 run: 'Don't tempt me'

adamkaz/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Former Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fired back at President Donald Trump on Twitter on Tuesday, after he teased that she should enter the crowded 2020 presidential race.

Trump wrote that Clinton should try and “steal” the race away from “Uber Left Elizabeth Warren.”

“Don’t tempt me,” Clinton replied. “Do your job.”

The two faced off during the 2016 elections and often had heated exchanges on the debate stage. With Trump suggesting that Hillary was “crooked” and Clinton suggesting that some his supporters were “deplorables.”

Since then, Clinton has often been a foil for the president, a symbol of sorts for what he sees as a cronyism style of government.

Clinton, for her part, has been deeply critical of the Trump administration’s policies on a wide range of topics. On ABC’s “The View” Wednesday she weighed in on whether Trump should face an impeachment inquiry.

“I think it became absolutely unavoidable,” Clinton said of the congressional investigation and impeachment inquiry stemming from Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukraine’s new president on July 25.

“People can argue back and forth about what he might have done or what we think he did on a range of other issues, but this was in his pursuit of his official duties as President of the United States, and that phone call very clearly indicates an effort to not only pressure, but in effect extort the president of Ukraine over much necessary medical military assistance that had already been passed by Congress,” the former secretary of state continued.

Thus far, however, she had not suggested entering the 2020.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019

Following reports on Ukraine call, public support for impeachment probe on the rise, polls show

Political News Following reports on Ukraine call, public support for impeachment probe on the rise, polls show

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) — Since news broke regarding President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which Trump repeatedly urged Zelenskiy to investigate now presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, support for an impeachment inquiry has risen, according to several national polls released in the past two weeks.

The slight bump is also reflected in ABC News partner FiveThirtyEight’s impeachment tracker.

In a Washington Post/George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government poll released Tuesday morning and conducted between Oct. 1 and Sunday, 58% of Americans said that Congress should have begun an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Additionally, 49% of Americans said the House of Representatives should vote to remove Trump from office.

Back in July, in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, only 37% of Americans said that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings.

In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday and conducted between Friday and Sunday, compared to the Post/Schar poll, fewer Americans — 43% — said Trump should be impeached and removed from office. However, in this poll, a combined 55% of Americans either said that there is enough evidence to impeach Trump and remove him from office now, or that Congress should hold an impeachment inquiry to determine if there’s enough evidence to make that determination.

In a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday afternoon and conducted between Friday and Monday, 53% of self-identified registered voters supported the House beginning a formal impeachment inquiry to determine whether or not to bring impeachment charges against Trump.

Like in the Post/Schar poll, support for Trump’s removal from office was lower than support for the inquiry, with 45% of self-identified registered voters saying the president should be impeached and removed from office, and 49% saying he shouldn’t be impeached.

This is the third poll Quinnipiac has released since a series of developments regarding Trump’s actions have been reported on, and since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of an “official” impeachment inquiry of the president.

On Sept. 18, The Washington Post first reported that a whistleblower complaint, which was filed with the inspector general of the intelligence community on Aug. 12, was concerning a phone call with a “foreign leader.”

On the heels of that story, between Sept. 19 and Sept. 23, Quinnipiac was conducting a national poll. In the poll, 37% of self-identified registered voters said that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, and 57% said he shouldn’t be impeached. In this poll, only 4% of Republicans said the president should be impeached and removed from office compared to 73% of Democrats and 34% of independents.

On Sept. 24, after Trump had publicly acknowledged asking Zelenskiy about investigating Biden and his son, but denied there being any quid pro quo in the conversation, Pelosi announced the House would be “moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”

On Sept. 25, the White House released a non-verbatim memorandum of the president’s call, which confirmed Trump repeatedly asked Zelenskiy to work with Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigation Biden and his son.

In a poll conducted by NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist College on Sept. 25, and released on Sept. 26, Americans were split in their support regarding Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry: 49% of Americans approved of the move and 46% of Americans disapproved of it.

But support for the House moving forward with an impeachment inquiry differed depending on party affiliation. Among Democrats, 88% approved of Pelosi’s move; among Republicans, only 6% approved of it; and among independents, 44% approved of it.

On Sept. 26, both the whistleblower’s complaint and the inspector general’s report to the acting director of national intelligence (DNI) about the complaint were declassified and made public. Also on that day, acting DNI Joseph Maguire publicly testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, defending both the whistleblower and the handling of his/her complaint.

In a Monmouth University poll released on Oct. 1, and conducted between Sept. 23 and Sept. 29, 44% of Americans said they thought Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave office.

This was similar to results from a Quinnipiac poll released Sept. 30, which was conducted between Sept. 27 and Sept. 29. Self-identified registered voters were split on whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office: 47% said he should be and 47% said he should not be.

But in both the Oct. 1 Monmouth poll and the Sept. 30 Quinnipiac poll, there was greater support for the House conducting an impeachment inquiry.

In the Monmouth poll, just under half — 49% — of Americans said it was a “good idea” for the House Judiciary Committee to conduct an impeachment inquiry into the president. In the Quinnipiac poll, 52% of self-identified registered voters approved of the House beginning the inquiry to determine whether to bring impeachment charges against Trump.

However, in both the Monmouth poll and the Post-Schar poll released Tuesday, a comparable majority of Americans agreed on the inappropriateness of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy.

Asked about reports that Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son, in the Monmouth poll, 63% of Americans said it was not appropriate for a president of the United States to make a request like that of a foreign leader. In the Post/Schar poll, 62% of Americans said Trump’s phone call asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son was inappropriate.

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Posted On 08 Oct 2019

After GOP backlash, Trump defends Syria moves as he both praises and threatens Turkey

Political News After GOP backlash, Trump defends Syria moves as he both praises and threatens Turkey

MicroStockHub/iStock(WASHINGTON) —  President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended himself against the accusation he has abandoned Kurdish fighters in Syria as Turkey prepares for an invasion — using a series of tweets to lavish praise both on the Kurds and Turkey.

Trump tweeted that, while the United States “may be in the process of leaving Syria … in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters.”

The president has faced harsh criticism from across the political spectrum — including from usually staunch Republican allies in the Senate — for the White House’s announcing Sunday night that the United States would stand aside while Turkey proceeded with an operation in northern Syria.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pointedly warned Trump to “exercise American leadership, while GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, usually a strong Trump supporter, called the decision “shortsighted and irresponsible.” Fellow Republican Sen. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the House GOP leadership, called it was “a catastrophic mistake.”

Graham and Democratic Sen.Chris Coons sent a letter to McConnell Tuesday requesting a briefing “as soon as possible” from the State Department, Pentagon and the intelligence community.

“The President’s decision will have severe consequences for our strategic national interests and reduce American influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia, and Iran,” they wrote.

“We are concerned that this was an abrupt decision taken in the face of reported opposition from military and diplomatic advisers, and that thousands of hardened ISIS fighters and thousands more ISIS supporters currently in detention may become free to fight again as their Kurdish captors turn to defending themselves against a Turkish incursion,” they said.

Trump and the Pentagon on Monday tried to clean up that statement — which made no mention of the Kurds, who have been fighting ISIS alongside the United States — by praising the Kurds and clarifying the United States did not endorse a Turkish operation. Trump threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if the country “does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.”

On Tuesday, Trump attempted to keep that delicate balance between supporting Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, and the Syrian Kurdish fighters, whom Turkey considers terrorists.

While he reissued a threat to Turkey — saying that “any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency” — he also noted the United States has had a “very good” relationship with Turkey and that he had invited its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to the White House next month.

Trump also noted Turkey had been a “big trading partner of the United States” and had freed an American pastor imprisoned there. While he noted Turkey participates in the F-35 fighter jet program, the United States actually announced this year it would be kicking Turkey out of that program for purchasing a Russian missile defense system.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Oct 2019