Clinton suggests Russians might support Gabbard as third-party candidate
Hillary Clintonhas just donean interviewwithDavid Plouffe, Barack Obama‘s former campaign manager, and wow. She did not hold back.
For starters, the former Democratic presidential candidate suggested that Russia had compromising information, or kompromat, onTrump.
Clinton also said she thoughtJill Stein, the Green Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, was a Russian asset: “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset – I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed. ”
Clinton did offer a suggestion of who the next “Russian asset” might be: Democratic presidential candidateTulsi Gabbard.
Clinton said in an apparent reference to the Hawaii congresswoman: “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. ”
During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Gabbard lashed out against aNew York Times articlethat noted she was frequently mentioned on Russian state media, a surprising trend given that she is polling in the low single digits.
However, the congresswoman has said shewould notlaunch an independent presidential bid if she lost the Democratic nomination.
Fonda holds latest climate protest in Washington
Jane Fondais holding another protest in Washington as part of her “Fire Drill Fridays” campaign, which is meant to bring more attention to theclimate crisis.Watch the Guardian’s live feed below.
The 81 – year-old actresswas arrestedon the steps of the US Capitol last Friday as part of the campaign.
Shetold the LA Timesrecently that she was inspired to act byGreta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist from Sweden who recently condemned inaction to combat the crisis during the UN General Assembly.
Fonda said of Thunberg: “[S] he read the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report and she realized that the crisis was barreling straight at us, like a train, and looked around and people weren ‘ t behaving appropriately. It so traumatized her that she stopped eating. I hadn’t realized that she stopped eating and speaking for almost a year. And that really hit me. ”
Today is a quieter day in the impeachment inquiry, with no closed-door interviews scheduled on Capitol Hill.
The schedule will pick up again starting Tuesday, with acting US ambassador to UkraineBill Taylorspeaking to the House committees leading the investigation.
A Republican congressman who sits on the House foreign affairs committee, one of the three panels leading the impeachment inquiry againstTrump, appeared open to the possibility that the president may have committed impeachable offenses in his conduct toward Ukraine.
However, another House Republican who is a member of the intelligence committee seemed entirely unconcerned that Trump had reportedly delegated his Ukraine policy toRudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer.
Erdoğan says Trump’s letter showed lack of respect
The Turkish president,Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said thatTrump‘s letter to him urging caution in Syria showed a lack of respect, and he warned that he would respond to it in time.
The White House confirmed earlier this week that Trump sent a letter to Erdogan on the situation in Syria. The letter concluded: “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later. ”
Erdogan said the letter was not in line with usual diplomatic customs and showed a lack of respect. The Turkish president, who is meeting withVladimir Putinon Tuesday, said: “When the time comes, necessary steps will be taken.”
The Baltimore Sun commemorated the loss of the city’s longtime congressman,Elijah Cummings, with a front-page story under the headline “A strong voice stilled.”
Cummings, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry againstTrumpas the Democratic chairman of the House oversight committee, represented his Baltimore district for more than 20 Years.
He died yesterday at the age of 68 and has been heralded by many of his fellow lawmakers as a “giant” in fighting to improve American democracy and the lives of his constituents .
Diplomat reportedly tells House he raised concerns about Hunter Biden in 2015
State department officialGeorge Kenttold House investigators leading the impeachment inquiry againstTrumpthat he raised concerns aboutHunter Biden’sforeign business activities in 2015, according to the Washington Post.
George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified Tuesday that he worried that Hunter Biden’s position at the firm Burisma Holdings would complicate efforts by U.S. diplomats to convey to Ukrainian officials the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules surrounding the deposition.
Kent said he had concerns that Ukrainian officials would view Hunter Biden as a conduit for currying influence with his father, said the people. But when Kent raised the issue with Biden’s office, he was told the then-vice president didn’t have the ‘bandwidth’ to deal with the issue involving his son as his other son, Beau, was battling cancer, said the people familiar with his testimony.
Another Post reporter said this of Kent’s testimony:
Romney criticizes Trump’s Syria policy in blistering floor speech
Republican senatorMitt Romneydelivered a blistering critique ofTrump‘s Syria policy in a Senate floor speech yesterday, calling the US abandonment of the Kurds “a bloodstain on the annals of American history.”
But as the Washington Post’s Aaron Blakenoted, Romney also interestingly suggested that Trump may have been bullied into the decision by the Turkish president,Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Utah Republican said: “It’s been… suggested that Turkey may have called America’s bluff, telling the president they are coming no matter what we did. If that’s so, we should know it. For it would tell us a great deal about how we should deal with Turkey, now and in the future. ”
Romney suggested holding hearings to probe how Trump arrived at the controversial decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.
Romney’s criticism, combined with the fact that about two-thirds of House (Republicans) voted in favor of a resolution to condemn Trump’s troop withdrawal, indicates how far apart the president and his party are moving on foreign policy.
Trump takes hits from former top military leaders
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump, who took office bragging that he had assembled a team of “ (my generals) ”to lead his administration, is now receiving severe criticism from at least three former top military leaders – including his former defense secretary, (Gen)James Mattis.
Speaking at the Al Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York, Mattis mocked Trump for his lack of military service and for calling the former defense secretary “the most overrated general”.
Referring to the bone spurs Trump cited to avoid serving in the Vietnam War, Mattis said: “I earned my spurs on the battlefield.Donald Trumpearned his spurs in a letter from a doctor. ”
Trump is taking heat from other former military leaders as well.AdmWilliam McRaven, a former commander of the US Special Operations Command, penned aNew York Times op-edentitled Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President. And retired four-starGenBarry McCaffreyslammed Trump’s Syria policy as “Inexplicable. ”
Given that Trump has no events on his public schedule today, it seems likely his Twitter feed will soon be offering some commentary on these military critics.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Today is the subpoena-imposed deadline for energy secretaryRick Perryand acting White House chief of staffMick Mulvaneyto hand over documents in the impeachment inquiry, but it seems unlikely that they will comply given that they are current Trump administration officials.
- Secretary of stateMike Pompeois in Jerusalem, where he met with Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahuearlier this morning.
- The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group will open in Washington today.
The blog is watching all of that, so stay tuned.
Updated (at 9.) am EDT