Politics News
Subscribe To This Feed

Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Conservative co-host of The View Meghan McCain spoke out against Sen. Lindsey Graham's support of President Donald Trump's attacks against progressive Democratic congresswomen on Monday.

"This is what people think all conservatives are now, and we are not," McCain said, adding that "the cowardice" she's seeing from Republicans not speaking out "is embarrassing."

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe," adding that those female lawmakers should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done."

On Fox & Friends Monday morning, Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, declined to denounce Trump's comments and instead called New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and "this crowd" of freshman lawmakers "a bunch of communists" that "hate Israel" and "hate our own country." He went on to say that he thinks "they're American citizens duly-elected running on an agenda that is disgusting, that the American people will reject."

McCain, who said she used to see Graham as an "uncle," said that regardless of "whatever is happening to Lindsey" right now, "this is not the person I used to know."

"My sister wasn't born here. She's as American in every way as I am and everybody else," said McCain of her adopted sister Bridget, who was born in Bangladesh.

"She also has been subjected to many racist political campaigns, which by the way, Lindsey Graham, you were present for. I remember seeing you there when it happened," McCain said. "Seeing you on Fox & Friends was particularly hurtful."

McCain noted that she feels there are some "legitimate criticisms" one can make about the "squad" of freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

"I have never gotten more heat in my entire career, in my entire life, than I have for the criticism of congresswoman Omar's stance on Israel," McCain said. "Stick to the politics."

"The problem is you're making this about race. You're making this about racism. You're making this about what's truly American, and it's all these old racist dog whistles that have plagued this country for so long," she said of Graham's comments.

A frustrated McCain said that "it can't just be me and Geraldo" -- referencing Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera, who voiced his disapproval of Trump's remarks on Twitter -- rebuking Trump's comments.

"Someone has to come out against this. This is petrifying," she said, adding, "It's humiliating for me on TV right now. Someone has to say something other than me and Geraldo."

"Let's stick to issues & steer clear of language that's xenophobic even racist. @POTUS you're better than that," Rivera had written.

The View co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin also spoke out against the president's attacks on progressive Democratic congresswomen.

"This is very dangerous. You don't want to be telling people to go back to their country because if we gotta go, you're going too," Goldberg said Monday.

"If you are not Native American, you don't belong here either," Goldberg added. "They're the first Americans. The rest of us -- whether we got here on top of the boat or beneath the boat -- we all got here from somewhere else."

Hostin called attention to the number of users on Twitter that liked Trump's tweet. "What does that say about those people and the people we live with every single day in our country?" she said.

Hostin recalled a story from her childhood where her grandmother was told to go back to where she came from after speaking to Hostin in Spanish in an effort to teach her the language.

"I remember being told, 'Go back to Africa,' and all this nonsense," she said. "I thought, 'Those people are just hateful and ignorant and racist.' I never thought a day would come when I would hear that from the president of the United States of America. Ever."

On the silence from a large majority of the Republican Party regarding Trump's comments, Behar said that "the Republican leadership is disgraceful right now."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has revealed that he and his wife Amy are descended from slave owners.

In a Medium post published on Sunday titled "Rose and Eliza," O'Rourke released old documents showing the names of two female slaves listed as property owned by his distant relatives in the mid-1800s.

"I was recently given documents showing that both Amy and I are descended from people who owned slaves. Along with other possessions listed in their property log were two human beings, Rose and Eliza," O’Rourke wrote.

The disclosure came after a freelance reporter from The Guardian newspaper obtained documents from showing the presidential candidate’s ties to slave owners, a campaign source told ABC News. Before this, the O’Rourkes were unaware, and the revelation prompted his campaign to conduct their own internal research on the couple’s ancestral ties.

The former Texas congressman said that while he has been talking about the legacy of slavery on the campaign trail, the long-standing issue "now has a more personal connection."

“When this came to light, we felt really strongly and he felt really strongly that this was a story that he wanted to tell, and he wanted to be open about it,” a source working for O’Rourke’s campaign told ABC News.

According to the documents pictured in O'Rourke's post, Andrew Cowan Jasper, his paternal great-great-great grandfather, owned two female slaves in 1850. He also claims Frederick Williams, his maternal great-great-great grandfather, may have also owned slaves in 1860, but notes he is not fully certain they are relatives. The candidate also revealed that his wife, Amy O’Rourke, had an ancestor who owned slaves, and another member of her family was in the Confederate Army.

"They were able to build wealth on the backs and off the sweat of others, wealth that they would then be able to pass down to their children and their children’s children," O'Rourke wrote of his ancestors. "In some way, and in some form, that advantage would pass through to me and my children."

"I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others," he added, referencing the theme of white privilege that he often discusses in town halls as a presidential candidate, and most recently on ABC's The View.

O'Rourke wrote in his post about how the legacy of slavery still affects African Americans today, explaining how everything from Jim Crow, to denial of services, mass incarceration and educational injustice have contributed to the economic disparities in black communities.

In light of his revelation, O’Rourke vowed to continue to support reparations for slavery, though he did not explicitly commit to monetary compensation for African American slave descendants. He did, however, describe his commitment to close the U.S. racial wealth gap if elected.

"As a person, as a candidate for the office of the Presidency, I will do everything I can to deliver on this responsibility," he wrote. "In addition to making significant changes to education policy (immediately address $23 billion in underfunding for minority-majority public schools), economic policy (ensuring equal pay, deploying capital to minority- and women-owned businesses, $25 billion in government procurement to these same businesses), healthcare (universal healthcare and home health visits to women of color to reverse trend in maternal and infant mortality) and criminal justice (police accountability, ending the drug war, and expunging arrest records for nonviolent drug crimes)."

O’Rourke’s post about his ancestry comes at a time when racial economic disparities are among the key issues in the 2020 presidential race, thrusting the reparations debate to the forefront, even for politicians that are not running.

When Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed his own ancestors who owned slaves, he said he opposed reparations for descendants of slaves because no one "currently alive was responsible for that."

“We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, by electing an African American president,” McConnell said.

O’Rourke's blog post was published on the same day as President Trump’s remarks about four Democratic congresswomen of color, who he said should "go back" to the countries they came from after they were critical of his administration.

O’Rourke was among several 2020 presidential candidates who blasted President Donald Trump on Sunday, calling his comments "racist."

"These congresswomen are every bit as American as you -- and represent our values better than you ever will," he tweeted in response to Trump.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump extended his online attacks of progressive Democratic congresswomen on Monday, asking when they will apologize to the U.S., adding a host of new and unsubstantiated charges.

"When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's tweets come a day after he ratcheted up his attacks on the group of freshman lawmakers tweeting that "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" should stop criticizing the government and "go back" to where they came from.

Without naming the lawmakers, he appeared to be referring to what has come to be known as a "squad" of progressive freshman women of color, which includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.

At an event at the White House on Monday afternoon, Trump was asked which congresswomen he was referring to in his tweets, and he said, "You can guess."

Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter Monday saying that his comments are "hallmark language of white supremacists."

"It's important to note that the President's words today, telling four American Congresswomen of color 'go back to your own country,' is hallmark language of white supremacists. Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

The president said to reporters that his remarks were "not at all" racist, adding "if you’re not happy here, then you can leave."

"Do you think those Democratic women are not American," ABC News senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega asked.

He replied, "If somebody has a problem with our country, if someone doesn't want to be in our country they should leave. That's all."

Trump was also asked by reporters if he is concerned that many people have viewed his tweets as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common ground with him.

"It doesn't concern me because many people agree with me, and all I'm saying, they want to leave, they can leave now," Trump responded. "It doesn't say leave forever. It says leave."

Coming to the president's defense on Monday was Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi news site, The Daily Stormer.

"This is the kind of WHITE NATIONALISM we elected him for," Anglin said.

Trump's comments have been widely criticized by Democratic lawmakers, many who have characterized his attacks as racist.

The president's tweets follow a week of contention between the freshman lawmakers and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"I reject @realDonaldTrump's xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation," Pelosi tweeted on Sunday morning.

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power," Pelosi added coming to the defense of the lawmakers despite recent public disagreements.

Top Republicans in Congress have been largely silent on these attacks.

In an interview with the anchors of Fox & Friends on Monday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, justified the president's attacks on those four freshman congresswomen by branding them as "a bunch of Communists" who "hate Israel" and "hate our own country."

"We all know AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists they hate Israel, they hate our own country," Graham said. "I think they're American citizens duly-elected running on an agenda that is disgusting, that the American people will reject."

Later Monday morning, Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., responded to the president on Twitter, writing that "we must be better than comments like these."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, released a statement Monday afternoon saying that Trump's tweets were "way over the line."

"I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus -- especially when it comes to their views on socialism, their anti-Semitic rhetoric, and their negative comments about law enforcement -- but the President's tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the 'places from which they came' was way over the line, and he should take that down," Collins said. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have also weighed in.

"The language that was used to refer to these women was completely unacceptable," May told CNN on Monday morning.

Trudeau told CBC News Network, "That's not how we do things in Canada."

He added, "Canadians and indeed people around the world know exactly what I think about those particular comments."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Phototreat/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration announced on Monday it would limit who could apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that would almost certainly be challenged in court.

The changes were aimed at enabling the U.S. to more quickly reject people's asylum claims, allowing for quicker deportations. Administration officials said the goal was to deter people from trying.

Now, if migrants pass through a country on the way to the United States and don't apply for asylum there, then they are ineligible to seek asylum in the United States, according to the rule.

In a statement, Attorney General William Barr insisted most asylum seekers have merit-less claims -- an assertion that immigration advocates say is not true.

"The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border," Barr said.

According to a rule posted on the Federal Register, the department concluded that people who come from northern triangle countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras initially have to apply for asylum in the country that they first pass through before applying for asylum in the United States.

This rule also applies to children who attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without a legal guardian.

Often times, migrants pass through Mexico on the way to the United States. Last month, 85% of migrants who attempted to cross the border illegally came from a country other than Mexico, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

The Department of Justice is calling it a "new mandatory bar" that asylum seekers have to meet.

However, it appears to be inconsistent with federal law, said John Cohen, a former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security and ABC News contributor.

"The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country's legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger," Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. "This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly."

President Donald Trump and the president of Guatemala were expected to sign an agreement on Monday requiring migrants who travel through Guatemala to claim asylum there, rather than the U.S. But that meeting was postponed.

A senior administration official told ABC News that the meeting is being "rescheduled" and adds that "the United States will continue to work with the Government of Guatemala on concrete and immediate steps that can be taken to address the ongoing migration crisis."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a plan his campaign said would make the Affordable Care Act easier to navigate with more choices for Americans.

The plan would expand upon the Affordable Care Act passed under the Obama-Biden administration and provide a public option for patients to buy into, rather than a "Medicare-for-all" system that several of Biden's 2020 rivals advocate for -- a contrast Biden has already started to draw on the campaign trail.

"We should not be starting from scratch. We should be building from what we have. There is no time to wait. And I that's why I think, what I'm proposing -- and we can do it -- is to keep Obamacare, restore the cuts that have been made, and add a public option," Biden said during an event in Dover, New Hampshire, on Friday. "If they like their employer-based insurance, you get to keep it. The fact of the matter is, all the other proposals make you -- you lose it. Period."

A senior Biden campaign adviser said the he would continue to contrast his plan with those who propose moving to an entirely new system, saying that "is not the way to ensure that people in this country who need more affordable coverage are going to be able to get it."

"You'll certainly see him make a case about, you know, the urgency of having this fight and having it now," the adviser added.

In a video of the announcement released by the campaign, Biden expresses his surprise at so many Democratic candidates opposing the ACA.

"I knew the Republicans would do everything in their power to repeal Obamacare. They still are. But I'm surprised that so many Democrats are running on getting rid of it," Biden said.

The campaign estimates the plan will cost $750 billion over 10 years. Senior advisers said Biden would rescind President Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy, raise the maximum tax bracket to 39 percent and get rid of the capital gains tax loophole for wealthy families with incomes greater than $1 million a year in order to cover the hefty price tag.

The Biden plan deals with four core issues, which include universal coverage: reducing complexities within the system; providing affordable, quality coverage; tackling prescription drug pricing; and ensuring care for low-income areas.

The proposal would get rid of the existing cap on health care tax credits, which is currently given to those making up to four times the poverty rate, which would allow for more middle class families to take advantage of the subsidy. Biden's proposal would also ensure no family or individual pays more than 8.5 percent of their total income for health coverage.

On prescription drugs, Biden's plan would repeal the current law that prevents Medicare from negotiating drug pricing, while also allowing patients to purchase medications from other countries. The proposal would limit launch prices for drugs without any competition and limit price increases for generic drugs.

Biden's plan also would address women's reproductive rights by codifying Roe. v. Wade, limiting the impact of state legislation on a woman's right to an abortion and restoring funding to Planned Parenthood.

Biden's plan specifically states he would repeal the Hyde Amendment as president, which prevents the use of federal funds to be used on abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or harm to the mother's life. Biden made headlines in June when he flipped his position on Hyde in a matter of days, claiming his health care policy was the catalyst for changing his position.

The former vice president would repeal the Mexico City policy that blocks federal funding from organizations that expand the availability of abortion services or aim to decriminalize abortion globally. The plan will also address maternal mortality rates that disproportionately affect black women.

Biden's plan proposes doubling the current federal funding for community health centers in the United States, and improve access to mental health care as well.

According to campaign officials, if elected, Biden would seek to implement the proposal through a combination of executive orders and working with Congress. Biden, who has been critical of some rivals for wanting to pass legislation through executive orders, would reverse Trump's health care-related executive orders and work across the aisle in Congress to build on the ACA.

The campaign officials say they are not worried that the ACA will be struck down by the Supreme Court, believing that it's been upheld twice already and will continue to be upheld as constitutional a third time.

According to a senior Biden campaign official, this initial rollout doesn't complete the former vice president's plan for health care. The campaign expects to release more detailed aspects of the plan going forward, including plans on guns, dealing with devastating diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and addiction.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After President Trump tweeted that "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" should stop criticizing the government and “go back” to where they came from, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the tweets as “xenophobic.”


I reject @realDonaldTrump’s xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation. Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values. Stop the raids - #FamiliesBelongTogether!

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 14, 2019


The president did not explicitly name the congresswomen he was referring to, but said they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." He then went on to say that they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done."

The White House did not respond to multiple requests for clarification on the president's tweets, but the Trump campaign made an attempt to defend the president’s tweets.

Matt Wolking, head of the Trump campaign’s rapid response, tweeted, "Anyone who says the president told members of Congress to go back to where they came from is lying. He told them to 'Then come back and show us how it is done.'"


So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019



....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019 is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019


Pelosi seemed to conclude Trump was referring to four recently-elected and vocal progressive Democratic women -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. and Rashida Tlaib D-Mich.

Only one of the four women, Rep. Omar, is foreign-born, and all are U.S. citizens. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Rep. Pressley was born in Cincinnati, and Rep. Tlaib was born in Detroit.

In defending the members of Congress, who are all women of color, Pelosi slammed the president for wanting to "make America white again."

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power," the speaker tweeted in response on Sunday morning.

Rep. Omar responded to the president in a tweet in which she described her loyalty to the U.S. as one of the reasons she opposes the Trump administration.

"Mr. President, As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States. Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen," Omar said.


Mr. President,

As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.

Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 14, 2019

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also weighed in on Twitter.

"Mr. President, the country I 'come from,' & the country we all swear to, is the United States," she wrote. "You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder."



Mr. President, the country I “come from,” & the country we all swear to, is the United States.

But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2019

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted it was "sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country."

....and the many terrible things they say about the United States must not be allowed to go unchallenged. If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior, then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2019

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Subscribe To This Feed

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- In the nearly two and half years of President Donald Trump's administration, immigration has been both a cornerstone of his administration and election efforts. It's also been a unifying force for Democrats, with the 24 candidates seeking to oust him showing near-universal alignment as they condemn the president's hardline approach on the campaign trail.

This weekend, ahead of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's expected raids in 10 major cities, targeting thousands of undocumented immigrants -- as outlined by Trump -- four 2020 Democrats channeled the anger and stress over the White House's broader immigration agenda before a crowd of nearly 4,000 activists comprising the left flank of the Democratic party, according to event organizers, at the NetRoots Nation annual convention.

On Saturday, in the Philadelphia Convention Center, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called the treatment of immigrants in U.S. custody "abuse;" former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro asserted that the administration must think Americans are "stupid;" Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called the raids "disgusting;" and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he was "morally shocked" after Vice President Mike Pence's visit to a border detention facility in McAllen, Texas on Friday.

"To anyone who's working in this system, understand you abuse immigrants, you physically abuse immigrants, you sexually abuse immigrants, you fail to get the medical care that they need, you break the law of the United States of America and Donald Trump may be willing to look the other way, but President Elizabeth Warren will not," Warren said on stage. "On my first day, I will empower a commission in the Department of Justice to investigate crimes committed by the United States against immigrants."

In a room that was largely home turf for Warren -- the audience greeted her on stage with chants of "Warren" as they stood on their feet -- she was the only candidate to be interrupted throughout the nearly four-hour forum by a group of protesters who sought to turn the conversation to immigration while holding a sign that read, "legalize 11 million/reunify all families."

A couple of attendees in the audience defended the senator during the brief interruption, shouting at the protesters "we're all with you" and "we're on your team."

But then Warren addressed the protesters directly, agreeing with them as she said, "Let's talk about immigration."

Earlier this week, she unveiled her immigration platform which calls for, among other things, the decriminalization of unauthorized border crossings; a stance crowned by fellow candidate Castro.

In the early phases of the Democratic primary, the same progressive wing that elevated the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who was notably absent from the lineup after being heckled by Black Lives Matter activists at the 2015 event, continues to pull the massive field of candidates and the party to the left. But as the 2020 Democrats explore their differences on a host of issues on the trail, before the impassioned liberal audience, they toed the line of the progressive movement, with immigration at the forefront of the conversation.

Seeking to win over the leftist crowd, the presidential hopefuls spouted harsh words against the president over the politically fraught issue of immigration and pitched similar agendas on the topic during back-to-back appearances at the forum.

"[Trump is] betting basically, that there are enough Americans out there, whose fear and paranoia can be stoked in a way that they're going to go out and vote for him," Castro said Saturday. "And what I'm betting with my immigration plan is that there are enough Americans, whether they're white or black or Latino or Asian American, Native American, whether they're rich or poor, whether they live in a big city or a small town, that are going to respond to common sense and compassion, instead of cruelty. That those values of respect and basic humanity are stronger than his fear and paranoia. And so that's what I would use if I'm president United States."

After his Q&A on stage, the former Obama-era cabinet secretary, who has centralized his campaign on immigration reform, spoke with reporters on the sidelines of the event, and said of Pence's trip to Texas, "This administration must think that people are stupid, that they can't see what they see with their own eyes. I'm going to believe what I see with my own eyes. Not what Donald Trump says with his lying mouth. And I think a lot of Americans feel like that."

"What happened yesterday, was that what the vice president thought was going to be a neat little photo opp for him and his colleagues turned into a photo op nightmare, because Americans could see that we're treating people like animals," he said Saturday.

Gillibrand, who was the first candidate to take the stage, signaled that the current administration's immigration policy is one of the catalyzing factors that pulled her into the nominating contest.

"It's one of the reasons why I'm running for president, because I cannot stand how [Trump] demonizes and demeans the most vulnerable in the world. And as president, I would not spend a dime on for-profit prisons to lock up children and families," she said to applause.

Inslee, who was last candidate to appear on stage, told reporters after he wrapped his remarks, "I just was morally shocked that a vice president would say we should be proud of locking children in cages."

"I'm shocked that a vice president would say that any American would think it's humane. ... I find that intolerable. We need humane treatment of people," he continued.

Franco Caliz, an attendee with the advocacy organization Community Change Action and a native of Nicaragua, told ABC News Friday that when it comes to differentiating between the field, "I'm really focused on policy."

"I think oftentimes it gets overlooked in the horserace," he said. "And I think Castro has been a real leader on immigration ... so I think its individual policies are really making a large difference to myself."

Among some of the attendees at this year's conference, who described immigration as a key issue for them amidst the turmoil at the U.S.-Mexico border, their focus appears to be on voting rights, which they suggest will broaden their strategy to counter Trump's hardline approach.

"My heart was grieving for those children in those cages," said Lisa Lima, an activist with the American Civil Liberties Union from Council Bluffs in the early caucus state of Iowa, who said her Mexican-born husband was detained. "If we're going to make change, it has to be at the ballot box. We need to make it accessible for everyone. ... Make that day sacred so people can get to the ballots, make it so people have the right to vote."

Another attendee, Barbara Helmick from Washington, D.C. echoed that sentiment in an interview with ABC News on Saturday, "There's a lot of things around the country that need to be fixed. Nobody should have to wait two hours in line to vote, that that should be easy, there should be no concerns about the validity of our votes."

"All of those voting issues intersect with everything else. It's important to me," she said

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli said that conditions at border detention facilities are "because Congress has let it happen."

"When Congress provides the professionals at the border what they need, success happens. Success being measured as avoiding overcrowding," he told ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on This Week Sunday.

Cuccinelli went on to call for Congress to close "asylum loopholes" to discourage illegal immigration.

Vice President Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers toured two border detention facilities in Texas on Friday. When the vice president toured a newer facility housing children, many nodded when asked if they were comfortable and had enough food.

However, troubling video emerged from his visit to the second facility in McAllen Texas, housing adult men. One detained man told reporters he had been held for 40 days and a report from the Washington Post noted the strong smell of body odor in the air.

"This is very tough stuff," Pence said after interacting with detainees.

The conditions, Cuccinelli said on Sunday, are "a reality of facilities not designed to handle the swamping at the border."

More than 100,000 people have been apprehended for attempting to illegally cross the border in each of the last four months, numbers he said the Department of Homeland Security is trying to manage.

When asked about the alternative of letting people go and then return for court hearings, Cuccinelli argued that’s the wrong alternative.

"They can also go home, which is our preference, when they come illegally here," he added.

He echoed administration claims that many migrants fail to return for asylum hearings when released from detention, but according to The Washington Post, the most recent Justice Department annual figures show that "44% of migrants who were not in custody failed to show up for their court proceedings," a rate lower than the administration had claimed in recent weeks.

Those "claiming asylum with no basis," he said are "clogging a system for legitimate asylum seekers," a process USCIS oversees.

On Friday, President Donald Trump confirmed that immigration raids would begin on Sunday.

"They're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from," Trump said at the White House.

While Cuccinelli declined to get specific on when the expected immigration raids would start, he said on Sunday that "it shows how far we've fallen that it's even news that ICE is doing its job."

He added that ICE agents have a tougher time doing their job when "a lot of people in Congress throw the vitriol at them."

Cuccinelli was named the acting director of USCIS in June. The conservative immigration hardliner is the former Virginia attorney general and was initially critical of Trump during the 2016 election.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After President Trump tweeted that "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen" should stop criticizing the government and “go back” to where they came from, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the tweets as “xenophobic.”

"I reject @realDonaldTrump’s xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation," Pelosi tweeted on Sunday morning.

The president did not explicitly name the congresswomen was referring to, but said they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." He then went on to say that they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done."

Pelosi seems to conclude Trump was referring to four recently-elected and vocal progressive Democratic women -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. and Rashida Tlaib D-Mich.

Only one of the four women, Rep. Omar, is foreign-born, and all are U.S. citizens. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Rep. Pressley was born in Cincinnati, and Rep. Tlaib was born in Detroit.

In defending the members of Congress, who are all women of color, Pelosi slammed the president for wanting to "make America white again."

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power," the speaker tweeted in response on Sunday morning.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the Trump Administration announced Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation raids in order to "make news" and scare the public.

The presidential candidate and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned the government's latest illegal immigration crackdown in an interview with Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on ABC's This Week. Klobuchar's appearance followed a separate interview with acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli on Sunday.

"If you wanted to go after security risks, and there are people who are security risks, why would you alert them and say you're doing this on a Sunday and do it two weekends in a row?" Klobuchar asked. "Why? Because you want to make news, right?"

The senator from Minnesota said ICE and White House officials aim to create fear, distract the public from other issues and use immigrants as "political pawns."

On Friday, crowds were seen rallying across the country to protest the proposed mass roundup and detention of undocumented immigrants that President Donald Trump announced would commence over the weekend.

Beginning on Sunday, federal immigration officers were scheduled to sweep across what was originally 10 cities -- San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Atlanta -- to arrest about 2,000 undocumented immigrants, as outlined by Trump.

"It's not about (getting) people who are security risks deported, it's about scaring everyone in the country. And it is also about changing the news from things like, pharmaceutical prices that are going up at record levels," Klobuchar said, raising a central issue of her campaign.

Klobuchar released a plan on Friday to help seniors tackle rising health care costs.

"This president has made endless promises that he's going to do something about it or that he's going to do something about infrastructure. And we got electric grids catching on fire and levees bursting right now where I am in Iowa," Klobuchar said of a massive power outage in New York City and flooding in the Midwest.

"That's what's happening right now. And that's what happening to people in their real lives."

The issue of how to treat unauthorized border crossings has been a hot topic among the 2020 Democrats since the first debate. Some candidates support decriminalizing them; while others think that's going too far.

On This Week, Karl asked Klobuchar where she falls on the issue.

The twice-reelected senator said she'd look at the statute that makes "improper entry" a federal misdemeanor, a low-level offense, but couldn't say if she'd abolish it. In 2018, the Justice Department issued a "zero tolerance" policy, ordering prosecutors to bring criminal charges against migrants crossing the border illegally.

"I support different enforcement policies," Klobuchar said. "But I don't support open borders and simply getting rid of this statute."

"I think the answer is to have a new president."

Klobuchar has run her campaign with pragmatism as the centerpiece of her moderately liberal policy positions. She reminds voters at each stop that she's from the Midwest, is the first woman to represent her state in the U.S. Senate and knows how to work with Republicans.

In 2018, she won her election over the GOP nominee by 24 points, compared to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who won by less than two in Minnesota in the 2016 presidential election.

She has focused on issues with broad bipartisan support, such as mental health and lowering prescription drug prices. She often describes the ideas of her colleagues further to left as aspirational, but she said she's not an obstacle to liberal policy-making. For example, she's a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, while acknowledging it would need an overhaul before passing it.

Her latest proposal focuses on helping seniors facing high health care costs and weakening retirement resources. She is focusing on expanding resources for care givers, funding greater research on chronic conditions, expanding health care and overhauling Social Security. She has said that she'll pay for it by closing trust fund loopholes that allow the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on inherited wealth.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Sean Rayford/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer, who announced earlier this week that he is running for president, joined ABC's This Week to discuss the early stages of a campaign that he has pledged to spend over $100 million of his own money on to capture his party's nomination.

Steyer defended his recent push for impeachment of President Donald Trump, telling ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that "actual democracy," and more public visibility will boost support for Trump's removal.

"What we've been pushing for in terms of the argument that this president is corrupt, we all now know that. This president is the most corrupt in American history and is a danger to the country and the Constitution -- that argument we have won," Steyer said, brushing off recent polling that shows support for impeachment below 40% among American adults.

"The only way to actually push this the right way is what we've been saying, actual democracy. Get it on TV, let the American people see the facts and let them judge, that hasn't happened," he added.

Steyer also responded to the early criticism he has gotten from some of his Democratic rivals, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who have said his billionaire status is not a qualification to lead the Democratic Party and defeat Trump.

"We have a broken government that has been corrupted by corporate money. We need to push the power back to the American people, to re-take the democracy and I've been doing that successfully -- from the outside -- 10 years," Steyer said before painting those critical of his campaign as "insiders."

"The question is, if we're going to take back this democracy, is someone going to lead it who has successfully done it from the outside, or a bunch of people from Washington, D.C.?" Steyer said, adding that he could "guarantee" that he would continue to fund efforts to register more people to vote and continue to devote resources to the other causes he backs.

Steyer was also pressed about investments the hedge fund he once managed made in coal mines and power plants in countries like Indonesia and China, despite his championing himself as a defender of the environment and as someone who is on the front lines of combatting climate change.

"In our business, we invested in every part of the economy, including fossil fuels. When I realized what a threat this was ... to our environment, and to the people of the United States and people around the world. I changed, I divested from all of that stuff, I left my business, I took the giving pledge to give my money to good causes. And I'm asking every American to do exactly what I did," Steyer said.

To combat the effects of climate change Steyer said the United States has to evaluate and change the entire way.

"The United States needs to change as a society. We need to do a gigantic, across-the-board investment to change how this society runs, what actually powers this society," Steyer said, adding that to reverse the effects of climate change the country needs to address the fossil fuel companies that "dominate our politics" and "don't let us do any of the things we need to do."

Steyer, who has spent years pouring millions of dollars into special causes, such as combatting climate change through outside groups, such as NextGen America, entered the race months after having said at a January press conference that he would not run.

The Californian and former hedge fund manager has more recently made his main mission to gin up support for the impeachment of Trump, spending millions on a national ad campaign through the group NeedtoImpeach, which he founded and funds.

While Steyer said that he will still spend upwards of $50 million through his outside groups, it appears for now he is fully focused on the arduous task of rising through a pack of two dozen Democrats to capture the party's nomination to achieve his goal of removing Trump from office in November 2020.

In his announcement video released earlier this week Steyer focused heavily on what he describes as the corrosive effect money and corporations have had on American politics.

“I think people believe corporations have bought the democracy, that politicians don’t care about or respect them ... but are actually working for the people that rigged the system. Really, what we’re trying to do is make democracy work by pushing power down to the people," Steyer said in a video that features an array of the faces of modern American corporate excess.

For his first stop on the campaign trail, Steyer visited the critical early primary state of South Carolina, where he will have to make quick inroads with the African-American community if he wants to compete with the likes of former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have all made early investments in the state and have visited multiple times.

"In South Carolina, they cut the taxes for big corporations," Steyer said during a campaign stop Friday in Charleston. "And that means they have to cut school bills, they have to cut education itself. They can't afford health care for everybody in the state of South Carolina. That's not because we don't have enough money. That's because corporations and the people who run and own them control our government, and want all the money, and the resources are not spread around the community."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Charlie Leight/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The issue of planned raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rallied a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to the same cause on Saturday, one day ahead of the purported actions.

President Donald Trump has pushed for the enforcement actions against undocumented immigrants for weeks. He first tweeted about the action last month before announcing they would be postponed to a later date.

"It starts on Sunday and they're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from," Trump said Friday at the White House.

The Sunday operation would target only undocumented immigrants with final removal orders, who will eventually be deported, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter.

ICE said in a statement it would not release details out of a concern for safety of its agents, but "as always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security."

Presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., came out strongly against the raids while campaigning in Exeter, New Hampshire, on Saturday.

"Let me say this one final thing because it's a weekend where we have a president using fear to go after people who are all around the country right now we have blended families," Booker said. "People are undocumented or married to an American and have children that are Americans. And we're beginning to tear families apart. Permanently damaging those children while the parent is sent away to a foreign land.

"And it's worse than that," he continued. "You have in my city [of Newark], I know police departments, local police departments, right now you have police, the police officers griping because they used to get cooperation from immigrant communities. And now people are afraid to come and report crimes."

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the first candidate to take the stage at the NetRoots Nation progressive forum in Philadelphia on Saturday and was immediately asked about the reported enforcement action. She also criticized Trump's acceptance of children's treatment at migrant detention centers, referring to the seven children who have died, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I think it's disgusting. I think this president -- the worst thing Trump has done is literally rip apart the moral fabric of this country," Gillibrand said. "He does it every day when he's locking up children, not giving them medicine, clean clothes, clean water, appropriate food, locking up people, separating families. Under this president, seven children have died [in Customs and Border Protection custody]."

Julian Castro, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Barack Obama, said he would do away with ICE entirely at the NetRoots Nation forum.

"I've said that instead of breaking up families, we should break up ICE," he said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., echoed several of her opponents in Philadelphia, saying, "No great nation tears families apart."

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who was in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday and is from the border town of El Paso, Texas, said, "We ensure that there's a safe, orderly, legal process to come work a job, join your family, or flee persecution in this country. That is America living up to its promise to us and to the rest of the world."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill declaring Saturday as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in honor of the Confederate general, slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader.

The governor of Tennessee has been required by law to annually declare July 13 in honor of the general. And Lee said he has no plans to dispense with the tradition.

"I signed the bill because the law requires that I do that, and I haven’t looked at changing that law," Lee told The Tennessean on Thursday.

The law has earned derision from both sides of the aisle.

"I think for many of us that know this has happened have oftentimes wondered when would a governor ask us to assist in helping change the law," state Rep. Harold Love, D-Nashville, who is black, told Memphis ABC affiliate WATN-TV.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, directly addressed the controversy on Twitter Thursday, calling for the law to be changed as well.

"This is WRONG. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general & a delegate to the 1868 Democratic Convention," Cruz wrote. "He was also a slave trader & the 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK. Tennessee should not have an official day honoring him. Change the law."

Forrest was born poor in 1821, but eventually found business success as a plantation owner and slave trader in the 1840s and 1850s. He enlisted in the Confederate States Army in 1861 and was given command of a cavalry unit. He rose through the ranks as a military tactician and eventually became a general in the Confederate Army.

Following the war, he continued as a businessman and joined the Ku Klux Klan soon after its founding. He was the first leader of the KKK, coined the Grand Wizard.

A bust of Forrest remains in the state Capitol in Nashville.

In December 2017, a statue of Forrest riding a horse was removed from Health Sciences Park in Memphis. Memphis has a population more than 60% black -- one of the highest in the nation.

The same law that mandates Nathan Bedford Forrest Day, Tennessee Code 15-2-101, mandates a Robert E. Lee Day for Jan. 19 -- in honor of the famous Confederate general. It also requires an Abraham Lincoln Day, on Feb. 12, and Andrew Jackson Day, on March 15.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE(PHILADELPHIA) -- In the early stages of a 2020 Democratic primary brimming with presidential candidates seeking to outflank each other from the left, some in the field jockeying for the progressive mantle will test their bold ideas before an eager left-leaning base at the NetRoots Nation annual conference this weekend.

Along with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a top-tier candidate in recent polling, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are converging on Philadelphia for the gathering of liberal activists, which has a reputation for channeling progressive energy while pushing lawmakers and candidates to the left on a range of issues.

The last time presidential candidates descended on the annual conference was during the 2016 presidential contest, when runner-up Bernie Sanders’ status as the lone outsider of the progressive wing elevated his populist platform as a foil against the ultimate nominee, Hillary Clinton. Despite moving the party leftward four years ago, the Vermont senator is no longer the progressive standard-bearer in 2020, but instead standing among a parade of contenders, including his friendly rival, Warren, who broadly shares his vision for economic equality.

In 2015, both Sanders and another competitor, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, were met by disruptions and heckling crowds over the emerging Black Lives Matter movement at the NetRoots conference. O’Malley exited the stage amid boos from the audience, and this year, Sanders is reportedly skipping the event entirely.

For decades, Democratic circles have had a longstanding debate over what defines a "progressive," but that conversation saw renewed urgency amid Sanders' unexpectedly competitive challenge to Clinton in 2016.

The two-time presidential candidate’s 2020 policy platform is nearly identical to his 2016 agenda, which emphasizes universal health care and tuition-free public universities as the cornerstones of his campaign. But this time around, many of his ideas are seeing broad support among the rest of the field -- in part due to the man currently occupying the White House.

"[Sanders] actually helped move the party and the party has changed since then, and the context of [President Donald] Trump gives Democrats a little more freedom to go into new places," Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, told ABC News in April.

"In some ways the unconventional, unpredictable and -- some would say -- radical aspects of the Trump presidency, have made some Democrats more willing to say, 'Why do we have to play it safe all the time? Why not be bold?'" Zelizer added.

Those competing in the presidential contest this cycle, many of whom continue to bandy with the term progressive and its myriad of meanings, will appear before some of the most leftist Democrats in the base on Saturday. Before the candidates are set to take the stage, some of the progressive activists that will be in the crowd point to nuanced distinctions in the candidates themselves to determine who is "progressive" -- particularly Sanders and Warren, the two progressive stalwarts -- as they continue to mull who to back to ultimately compete against Trump.

Several attendees at the three-day conference, most of whom work for progressive organizing and activist groups comprising the left flank, said the difference between Warren and Sanders, despite their similarities in ideology or policy, is the former Harvard professor’s outsider status, which makes her the more "practical progressive" who can beat Trump.

"There are only two people in the current field that fit that definition," Brent Simmons, 70, a former civil rights attorney with the NAACP, Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told ABC News Friday. "And that's going to be Bernie Sanders, obviously, but I support Elizabeth Warren as probably the most practical progressive in the field."

Among this cohort of the progressive wing of the party, a number of attendees acknowledge Sanders’ influence on pushing the party to the left and bringing liberal issues to the forefront of national politics, but they also still single out Warren as the one who can win.

"Bernie Sanders, I certainly credit him with setting the agenda, but I think Elizabeth Warren has a better chance of being elected between those two," Simmons said.

"I give Bernie a lot of credit for bringing so many of these progressive values and vision for the country to the forefront in 2016," said Nick Guthman, the son of union organizers who launched Blue Future, a political action committee (PAC) focused on engaging young people in the electoral process. "Obviously, many of his ideas are being put front and center now in the presidential campaign for 2020. ... I particularly like Elizabeth Warren, I think she's putting forward plans and vision for the country that is truly progressive, about also recognizing the realities that we face in our system, both in capitalism and democracy."

"I think when it comes down to actual policies, she has better plans that are more detailed … more thought-out than Bernie Sanders," he added.

"I see Bernie as a career politician. I see him as not a Democrat. I think he's an Independent. And I see Elizabeth Warren as a teacher. Her career has been in teaching. She stepped into politics because she saw a need," said Virginia Harris, a South Philadelphia resident who works in the clean air industry and as a historical author.

But amid the consistent refrains of support for Warren and/or Sanders, over the course of the early months of the primary, several Democrats in the field have claimed the progressive mantle, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

"The definition of progressive now seems to be changing," Biden said in late March when pressed about a previous comment he made on having the most progressive record among the field of 2020 presidential candidates. "It's, 'Are you a socialist? That's a real progressive.' ... I'll stack my position against anybody who has ever run or is running now or who will run."

But in the broader debate about progressivism within the party -- which one attendee at NetRoots said is now an "umbrella term" after so many Democrats used the label -- the epicenter of the conversation among the far-left segment still lies within the divide between Sanders and Warren -- showing how much the liberal base has changed since 2016.

As Franco Caliz, an attendee with the advocacy organization Community Change Action, parsed through the 2020 field, he shared a philosophy that echoed throughout the Philadelphia Convention Center: while there are "quite of few" progressives in the field, Warren is at the top and captured broad support from these progressive activists.

"Biden shows a lot of his voting record comes from the '90s. I think the political climate is shifted pretty dramatically. That’s not the politics that are currently in vogue," he said Friday.

"For me, one of the keys is that Sen. Sanders describes himself as a Democratic socialist and is a socialist pretty proudly, and coming from Nicaragua, a country that has a pretty lengthy history with that particular ideology, [I like] having someone like Sen. Warren, who believes in regulated free markets but free markets nonetheless. ... Capitalism is pretty significant and a much stronger way of reaching out to certain pockets of the Latino community," he continued.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's highly-anticipated congressional testimony about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has been delayed by one week, according to a press release Friday evening.

Mueller will now appear before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, July 24 for two separate hearings.

The testimony before the committee’s was originally scheduled for July 17, but when the Judiciary Committee asked for more time to question Mueller, Mueller asked for more time to prepare. The two sides agreed to allow the additional time and move the hearing back.

Mueller is scheduled to spend three hours testifying before the Judiciary Committee.

“We are pleased to announce that Special Counsel Mueller will provide additional public testimony when he appears before our committees," congressmen Jerold Nadler, D-N.Y and Adam Schiff, D-CA. said in a statement Friday. Nadler heads the House Judiciary Committee and Schiff heads the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"At his request, we have agreed to postpone the hearing for one week, until July 24, at which time Mr. Mueller will appear in public before the House Judiciary Committee followed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” the statement read.

“The House Judiciary Committee will convene on July 24 at 8:30 a.m. with Special Counsel Mueller testifying in public for three hours," the statement continues. "After a brief break, the House Intelligence Committee will convene for additional public testimony beginning at 12:00 p.m."

"All members — Democrats and Republicans — of both committees will have a meaningful opportunity to question the Special Counsel in public, and the American people will finally have an opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Mueller about what his investigation uncovered.”

The Judiciary Committee made its request for more time after some members expressed frustration that only roughly half of its members would be allowed time to ask questions in a two-hour period, sources told ABC News.

Committee Democrats also wanted the extra time after learning the Justice Department would attempt to block their additional request for closed door questioning with two of Mueller's top deputies -- James Quarles and Aaron Zebley. The deputies will not be testifying behind closed doors when Mueller appears.

Judiciary Committee member Steve Cohen, D-TN, conceded to ABC News on Friday that the panel would not get to question Zebley and Quarles.

The ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee released a statement after Democrats announced the format for the Mueller hearing.

“I appreciate news the chairman has taken seriously the concerns Judiciary Republicans raised this week. The new format will allow all Judiciary Republicans to question the special counsel on July 24,” Congressman Doug Collins R-Ga. said in his statement.

Mueller broke a nearly two-year silence when he made a brief public statement at the Department of Justice in late May.

During his comments, Mueller said he had no further plans to speak publicly on matters that were addressed in his more than 400-page report.

"The report is my testimony," Mueller said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Listen Live




On Air Now
Best Country Hits
Best Country Hits
6:00pm - 12:00am
Night Show