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Ireland opposition leader ATTACKS Donald Tusk's HELL comments – ‘Time to cool the jets'

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Pete Buttigieg officially announces 2020 presidential campaign

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By Adam Edelman

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, officially announced his presidential bid Sunday afternoon, hoping to make history as the youngest-ever, and the first-ever openly gay, commander in chief.

Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd inside a downtown tech hub that had once been the home of a long-ago-shuttered Studebaker car factory, Buttigieg promised to bring to the country the kind of change and innovation he’d helped to instill in his native South Bend.

“My name is Pete Buttigieg. They call me Mayor Pete. I am a proud son of South Bend, Indiana. And I am running for President of the United States,” he said, prompting a wave of adoring screams from the crowd. “I recognize the audacity of doing this as a Midwestern millennial mayor. More than a little bold — at age 37— to seek the highest office in the land.”

Touting the advances his native city made under his leadership — including a revitalized downtown and slashed unemployment — Buttigieg proclaimed that “South Bend is back.”

And he got in more than a few digs at President Donald Trump, telling the crowd that he was going to “tell a different story than ‘Make America Great Again.'”

“There is a myth being sold to industrial and rural communities: the myth that we can stop the clock and turn it back,” he said. “It comes from people who think the only way to reach communities like ours is through resentment and nostalgia, selling an impossible promise of returning to a bygone era that was never as great as advertised to begin with.”

The highly anticipated announcement marked the latest chapter in Buttigieg’s meteoric rise from the mayor of the fourth-most-populous city in the nation’s 17th-most-populated state to a legitimate presidential contender.

Buttigieg had previously launched a presidential exploratory committee in January, leading to a barrage of television interviews and newspaper articles highlighting his diverse resume. Buttigieg, the son of two Notre Dame University professors, attended Harvard; went on to become a Rhodes Scholar; did a stint at prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company; was elected as the mayor of South Bend at the age of 29; took a leave of absence during his first term to serve in Afghanistan as a naval intelligence officer; came out as gay in a column in his local newspaper a few months before his re-election; was re-elected with nearly 80 percent of the vote; married his partner Chasten in a church ceremony that was live-streamed on the Internet; and wrote a best-selling book.

He spent the months after his exploratory committee launch crisscrossing the country, introducing himself to crowds in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, delivering a highly personal speech about how he wrestled with his sexual orientation, and taking shots at Vice President Mike Pence over his stances on gay marriage and LGBTQ equality.

He joins an exceptionally crowded field of candidates vying for his party’s nomination. There are at least 14 major candidates in the race — 17 if you count three other semi-well known contenders — and almost half a dozen others who could still announce.

Democratic voters and politics watchers, however, have quickly taken notice of the millennial mayor, expressing admiration over his ability to speak seven languages, praising his intellectual ideas like “intergenerational justice,” and embracing a handful of ambitious policy proposals, like abolishing the electoral college.

The money has been coming in, too.

Earlier this month, Buttigieg announced that he’d raised more than $7 million since launching his exploratory committee — a whopping amount for an until-now-relative unknown figure and one that has put him ahead of everyone in the Democratic race in terms of total money raised, except Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Texas Rep Beto O’Rourke and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Last week, a pair of polls put Buttigieg in third place in Iowa (a Monmouth University poll had him getting the support of 9 percent of likely caucus-goers, behind 16 percent for Sanders and 27 percent for former Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to join the race later this month) and in New Hampshire (a Saint Anselm College poll showed him 11 percent, trailing Sanders, who got 16 percent, and Biden, who got 23 percent).

The speed of Buttigieg’s ascent isn’t lost on the newly minted candidate.

“A month ago,” he joked during an appearance last week on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “we were just trying to get people to say my name.”

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Brussels set to CELEBRATE as Finland on course to pick first leftist leader in DECADES

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FINLAND is on course to pick its first leftist leader in two decades after the Social Democrats won first place in advance voting ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary election.

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Trump’s days of immigration statements come under fire

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By Allan Smith

Democrats and Republicans duked it out on the Sunday political talk shows over the Trump administration’s latest immigration policy controversies, which have spilled out into the public over the past few days.

This week, The Washington Post and multiple subsequent outlets reported that Trump administration officials had floated the idea of busing detained immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities as a way to retaliate against the president’s political opponents. Though administration officials quickly said that the idea was pitched and quickly shot down, Trump said Friday that the administration was still contemplating the proposal.

Then, The New York Times, citing three people briefed on the conversation, reported that Trump told acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan last week that the president would pardon him if he faced legal consequences for closing the southwestern border to migrants. It was unclear what Trump meant by the comments, and, according to one of the people briefed on the conversation, it was possible the president meant them as a joke, the newspaper reported, adding that the conversation alarmed Department of Homeland Security officials who were told of it.

In a series of Saturday tweets — some of which remain unclear — Trump went off about immigration policy.

“Just out: The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities,” Trump wrote. “We hereby demand that they be taken care of at the highest level, especially by the State of California, which is well known or its poor management & high taxes!”

The president earlier said Democrats must immediately change immigration laws or else sanctuary cities will have to act to take care of migrants. Trump also said he “never offered Pardons to Homeland Security Officials,” and, in another tweet, claimed the Times didn’t check with his administration before publishing its report on the administration’s plans for sanctuary cities, though Times reporters said they were in contact with the White House.

The immigration policy dustup comes after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned last week under pressure from Trump over his border demands. Claire Grady, the acting deputy Homeland Security Secretary who had been next in the agency’s line of succession, resigned shortly after. The quick level of turnover at the department caused some Republicans to fret over the administration’s handling of the department.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the report about Trump’s conversation with McAleenan “another instance of the President’s contempt for law.”

Calling for an illegal action would be “exactly contrary to the key presidential duty and to his oath, which is to see that the laws are faithfully executed,” Nadler said. “That is the main job of the president, to see that the laws are faithfully executed. For the president to sabotage that goal by deliberately seeking to break the law is unforgivable.”

“It’s part of a pattern of conduct that we certainly have to take a look at after we see [special counsel Robert Mueller’s] report,” he added.

Speaking about the idea of busing immigrants to sanctuary cities, Nadler said that would be a “misuse of presidential power” said said it seemed like an idea that originated in the mind of White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who has taken a lead role in the administration’s immigration policy.

“Probably Stephen Miller, who seems to be the boss of everybody on immigration, ought to come before Congress and explain some of these policies,” Nadler said.

On ABC’s “This Week,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that policy idea “did not go further” after it was first brought up because “there were a lot of challenges and it probably didn’t make sense to move forward.”

“The president likes the idea, and Democrats have said they want these individuals into their communities, so let’s see if it works and everybody gets a win out of it,” she added. “Again, this is not the ideal situation. The ideal solution is simple; it’s for Congress, particularly Democrats in Congress, to sit down with the president, do their jobs, and help us stop this awful crisis that’s taking place at our border.”

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos responded that he was confused why the president liked the idea, saying it could encourage more immigrants to migrate into the U.S.

“Again, this isn’t the president’s plan,” she said. “His top priority is to stop the flow of illegal immigration coming into our country to begin with. Democrats and courts, frankly, keep tying the president’s hands and stopping him from being able to do that.”

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it was an “unserious Congress” that was at the root of the immigration problem. She conceded that Republicans “failed to do their job when they were in charge — no doubt.”

Meanwhile, on the same program, Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash. and a 2020 presidential candidate, responded to Trump’s sanctuary city threats, saying, “You can’t threaten somebody with something they’re not afraid of. And we are not afraid of diversity in the state of Washington.”

“This is yet another act of bombastic chaos that’s simply not going to work for this ineffective president,” he said.



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