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AOC endorses Markey as Kennedy mulls Senate challenge

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WASHINGTON — Bringing her political star power to races for Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday endorsed Democratic Sen. Ed Markey for re-election in Massachusetts as he faces a potential primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a video released by Markey’s campaign that she’s backing the Democratic incumbent as one of the Senate’s “strongest progressives” and her partner on the Green New Deal climate change proposal.

She said she is “proud to enthusiastically support” Markey’s reelection.

“When I first got to Congress and we started to discuss big, bold plans — a solution on the scale of the crisis — many members shied away,” the freshman lawmaker said. “Ed Markey was one of the few people that had the courage to stand up and take a chance.” The Boston Globe first reported the endorsement.

Backing from the influential freshman lawmaker is a potential setback for Kennedy, as Markey has been racking up endorsements and the congressman weighs whether to jump in the race.

A primary in Massachusetts would pit Markey, the longtime lawmaker, against a popular four-term congressman from the iconic political family. He is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.

Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement comes as the liberal newcomer is turning her political attention on congressional races for the House and Senate.

Earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez said she’s skipping presidential primary endorsements, for now. Instead, she told reporters she’s focusing on House and Senate races. She said she’ll be rolling out endorsements “soon.”

“I really want to focus on our congressional endorsements first,” the New York Democrat said this week.

“Our presidential candidates are fabulous, but they take up a lot of attention and so they don’t need my help right now,” she said. House and Senate races, she said, “really need a lot of help and attention.”

Ocasio-Cortez is heading to Colorado next week to headline a fundraising dinner for Democrats in Boulder and participate in activities around the climate strike protests, a worldwide walkout of young people from schools, homes, jobs to demand action on climate change. She also said she would be holding a town hall with a Colorado lawmaker.

Known by her initials AOC, the liberal newcomer toppled a House Democratic leader with a remarkable 2018 primary challenge that stunned Washington.

But putting her political power to work is not without its risks. Lawmakers resent challenges from their peers in primary elections, and some are already warily watching her moves.

A group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez, Justice Democrats, has already announced its support for primary challenges to other congressional Democrats in 2020.



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Amid mounting pressure, Buttigieg calls on McKinsey consulting firm to release his past client list

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Pete Buttigieg on Friday called on McKinsey & Company, the international consulting firm where he worked for nearly three years, to release his list of clients at the company.

Buttigieg’s request for his former employer to release the list comes as pressure mounts on the 2020 Democratic candidate to be more transparent about his years at McKinsey, amid news stories about the consulting firm’s work with controversial clients like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — a federal agency that handles immigration enforcement and deportations.

In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio on Friday, Buttigieg said he felt “that McKinsey should release the client list of the clients that I served.”

“It’s something they can do,” said the South Bend mayor, who worked at McKinsey from 2007-2010. Buttigeig explained that he’d signed a nondisclosure agreement at the firm under which “you promise to keep your client information confidential.”

“But right now I am calling on McKinsey to release that information. Maybe they’re not used to doing that, but they’re not used to having somebody who used to work there being seriously considered for the American presidency,” Buttigieg said. “This information should come up and I’m happy to speak to it when it does.”.

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Buttigieg’s latest comments came one day after The New York Times published an editorial calling on him to reveal more information about his time at McKinsey, including who his clients there were — either by way of having the company release him from his nondisclosure agreement, or by agreeing to a “more permissive” arrangement.

Earlier in the week, The Times reported on how McKinsey had advised the Trump administration on how to carry out its crackdown on immigrants, including providing guidance on “detention savings opportunities” that would help the agency save money by housing detainees in cheaper ways.

When asked by a reporter about Buttigieg’s work at McKinsey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., one of Buttigieg’s main challengers for the Democratic nomination, was asked about the mayor’s involvement with McKinsey at an event Thursday night, chose to call out her rival for his private fundraising events, not specifically his time at the consulting company.

“I think that voters want to know about possible conflicts of interests,” she said. “It is even more important that the candidates expose possible conflicts of interests right now.”

In addition, four immigration advocacy groups have called on Buttigieg to return campaign contributions made by McKinsey employees.

Buttigieg, for his part, told New Hampshire Public Radio Friday that the reports of McKinsey’s dealings with ICE were “disgusting” and evidence of the “amoral turn of mind that increasingly dominates corporate America.”

Later Friday, during a discussion with New Hampshire voters, Buttigieg responded to a question about his time with McKinsey by saying that, “What I did at McKinsey was consulted for clients and my specialties including grocery pricing, and part of it is publicly available because I worked on a project to fight climate change that involved energy efficiency.”

In an interview with NBC News a day earlier, Buttigieg said he had no regrets about his time at McKinsey.

He responded “no,” when asked if he had regrets about representing any of his clients, about whether he’d ever represented a foreign government, and about whether he’d ever represented a pharmaceutical company.

He said his job at the firm “mostly consisted of preparing spreadsheets and PowerPoints.”

NBC News has reached out to McKinsey directly about Buttigieg’s work there.

Amanda Golden contributed.



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Brexit Party: Election candidate run off the road after death threats from far-left

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A BREXIT Party candidate who was sent sick death threats from far left activists was run off the road while campaigning in Doncaster.

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Brexit latest: Brussels DISTANCES itself from Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

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BRUSSELS has repeatedly distanced itself from Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade talks timetable in fresh signs Britain could opt for a no deal.

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