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Kamala Harris, eyeing 2020, slams Trump over the shutdown

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By Dartunorro Clark

Sen. Kamala Harris said Friday that she plans to make a decision “soon” about whether she will seek the presidency in 2020.

“I believe our country wants and needs some leadership that provides a vision of the country in which everyone could see themselves,” Harris said on MNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked why she wants to be president.

However, the California Democrat has sidestepped questions about when she would officially toss her hat in the ring. Her Senate colleague, Elizabeth Warren, announced her candidacy earlier this month in what is expected to be a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

Harris was on the program to promote her memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” which was published this week. In the book, Harris addresses the liberal critiques of her record as a prosecutor as she nears a decision on whether to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

Harris slammed the president during the interview over his role in the partial government shutdown, which is nearing the end of its third week. Trump is demanding billions to build his long-promised border wall, which Democrats have rejected, leading to the budget impasse that has resulted in the shutdown.

“The president is holding the American people hostage over this vanity project,:” Harris said. “This is a crisis if his own making.”

The senator said that the president, who has floated the idea of declaring a national emergency as a way of bypassing Congress to build the wall, is using “political manipulation” in the fight over the wall and putting national security at risk.

“(Trump) is choking the very people who are responsible for making sure we have public safety on a day-to-day basis,” she said, referring to the thousands of unpaid workers at the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI.

“It’s actually harmful on daily basis to real people,” she added.

Harris called on other lawmakers and the American people to speak out and put pressure on the administration to accept legislation that would reopen the government.

“People have to speak up. There is power in that,” she said. “There is power in elected members of the United States Congress speaking up in the interest of their constituency and the American public.”

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Tory leadership race tracker: How Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart fared after BBC debate

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TORY leadership candidate Rory Stewart has suffered a massive drop in support following the BBC debate on Tuesday evening – whilst Boris Johnson is looking more popular than ever.

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Hope Hicks testifies before House committee behind closed doors

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former aide Hope Hicks arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee.

Democrats planned to focus their questions on what they say are five crimes of obstruction of justice established by the Mueller Report against Trump, as well as campaign finance violations involved with alleged election-year hush money payments.

Her appearance marks the first time a former Trump aide has come in to answer questions before that panel as part of Democrats’ obstruction of justice investigation. A transcript of the interview will be released, though it may not appear for several days.

Other issues Democrats plan to question Hicks about include Trump’s conduct and attitude towards former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump’s reaction when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, among others.

In a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Tuesday evening, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted that Hicks was not legally required to provide testimony regarding her time working in the White House.

“Ms. Hicks is absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as a senior adviser to the President,” he wrote.

Nadler dismissed those claims. “I reject that assertion” regarding blanket executive privilege, he said in a response released late Tuesday night, adding that after the panel poses questions to her, “we will address privilege and other objections on a question by question basis.”

Hicks’s testimony comes after the Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena last month for her appearance. She previously served as White House communications director and the White House director of strategic communications after a stint as a senior aide on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The White House directed Hicks and another former White House aide earlier this month not to hand over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House.

Mike Memoli contributed.



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Commons erupts in fury as SNP's Ian Blackford brands Boris Johnson 'racist'

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford sparked fury in the House of Commons after he branded former foreign secretary Boris Johnson “racist”.

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