Users of Bloomberg terminals are funnelled to the Bloomberg 2020 campaign website merely by writing: MIKE. …
A Bloomberg spokesperson said the ‘MIKE’ function had been in place since at least 1997, when it was used to promote Mr Bloomberg’s autobiography Bloomberg by Bloomberg. Two decades later it advertised his book Climate of Hope. The website it currently links to has for years promoted Mr Bloomberg’s personal and political projects before being converted to his campaign site.
The website that users are directed to presents a slickly-produced video narrating Mr Bloomberg’s journey from ‘a middle-class kid who had to work his way through college’ to a billionaire businessman and politician.
It asks readers to register their details to join the campaign team, and contains news of policy announcements — as well as an online shop including $22 ‘I like Mike Bloomberg’ T-shirts.
Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, met in Budapest on Tuesday with a former Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who has become a key figure in the impeachment inquiry. He then traveled to Kyiv on Wednesday seeking to meet with other former Ukrainian prosecutors whose claims have been embraced by Republicans, including Viktor Shokin and Kostiantyn H. Kulyk, according to people familiar with the effort.
The former prosecutors, who have faced allegations of corruption, all played some role in promoting claims about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a former United States ambassador to Ukraine and Ukrainians who disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in 2016.
Trump talked to reporters three times today — appearing alongside Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. All together, the US president spoke to the press for more than two hours today.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House oversight committee are keeping up their messaging campaign against the impeachment inquiry by … photo-shopping chairman Adam Schiff’s face into a poster for the movie “Back to the Future.”
Speaking to reporters just now in London, Trump called Schiff a “maniac,” a “deranged human being” and a “very sick man” for his handling of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump announces G7 summit will be held at Camp David
Trump has now wrapped up his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during which the US president announced the June G7 summit would be held at Camp David.
The president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, had previously announced the summit would be held at Trump’s resort in Doral, Florida, but that decision was quickly reversed amid intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
Ironically, when Mulvaney announced the initial choice of Doral, he claimed that the past G7 site of Camp David had been a “complete disaster.” “In fact, I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G7,” Mulvaney said at the time.
Trump just claimed to reporters that he does not follow the stock market after the Dow hit a one-month low following the president’s comments that he does not have a “deadline” for reaching a trade deal with China.
In reality, Trump has repeatedly boasted about the state of the stock market and has demanded credit for its rallies while shaking off responsibility for its trade-related tumbles.
Sitting alongside Justin Trudeau, Trump said Canada must increase its financial contribution to Nato, suggesting the country should be put on a “payment plan” to up its defense spending for the alliance.
The Canadian prime minister pushed back by pointing out his country has increased its Nato spending by 70% in recent years and insisted Canada is a key partner in the alliance.
Trump told reporters that he thought the initial question about supporting the protesters in Iran pertained to financial support, hence his surpising answer that he did not back the demonstrators.
“We do support them totally and have supported them from the beginning,” Trump said at the start of his news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London.
Trump’s clean-up of his earlier comments aligns the president with secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who has said the US backs the protesters and has tried to keep online communications open in Iran depsite the government’s efforts to shut down the internet.
Trump says he supports Iran protesters (after saying he didn’t)
Trump has just sent a tweet saying he supports the protesters in Iran, less than an hour after the US president said during a news conference with Emmanuel Macron that he did not back the demonstrators.
During his news conference with the French president, Trump was asked whether he supported the protesters, as his secretary of state has expressed. “I don’t want to comment on that, but the answer’s no. But I don’t want to comment on that,” Trump replied.
If the federal appeals court’s ruling stands, House Democrats could have unprecedented insight into Trump’s business dealings. However, the president’s legal team is likely not done trying to fight the order.
Trump’s press conference with Emmanuel Macron has just wrapped up, during which the French president repeatedly challenged the US leader on a number of foreign-policy issues. But Trump stuck by his controversial stances — arguing, for example, that there was a benefit to communicating with Russia because the idea is popular at his campaign rallies.
Sitting next to Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron repeatedly criticized the US leader for his stances on a number of foreign-policy issues, particularly his welcoming of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the Turkish president launched a violent military oepration in Syria.
Trump shocked reporters in London when he responded to a question about whether he supports the protesters in Iran, who have been violently repressed by their country’s government.
The US president initially said he did not want to comment on the situation in Iran but then added offhandedly that he did not support the protesters.
Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said yesterday that the US was supporting the protesters by trying to keep online communications open, despite the Iranian government’s efforts to shut down the internet.
Trump and Macron clash over returning ISIS fighters
Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are speaking to reporters in London as they meet during the Nato summit, and the two world leaders have repeatedly clashed on everything from Russia to the return of Islamic State fighters who have European citizenship.
Trump was insisting European countries need to take back control of those fighters and he joked to Macron, “Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you.”
Macron responded by noting only a small percentage of ISIS fighters originally come from Europe. Trump replied, “This is why he’s a great politician because that was one of the greatest non-answers I’ve ever heard.”
Tom Steyer’s campaign said the billionaire activist has qualified for the December Democratic debate, making him the seventh presidential candidate to meet both the polling and donor requirements to participate.
“After terrific performances in the last two debates and a tremendous amount of earned media over the last month, Tom continues his surge in the early state polls which has led to an increased amount of donors over the last few weeks,” his campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, said in a statement.
Steyer will join Joe Biden, Elizbaeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage. Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang only needs one more qualifying poll to make the cut, and he has nine days to get it.
However, it’s looking increasingly likely that about half of the Democratic presidential field will fail to qualify for the next debate — which could pressure more candidates to withdraw from the race, as Montana governor Steve Bullock and former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak both did in recent days.
House intelligence committee’s impeachment report expected today
Good morning, live blog readers!
Donald Trump is at the Nato summit in London striking fear into stockbrokers’ hearts and insulting world leaders (as we’ve come to expect), but the impeachment inquiry is continuing unabated as the president is abroad.
The House intelligence committee is expected to publicy release its report on the impeachment inquiry today. The report will convey Democrats’ argument that Trump abused the power of the presidency by trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
Republicans on the committee insist the inquiry is just an outgrowth of Democrats’ political animus toward Trump, who did nothing wrong in his communications with Ukraine. This viewpoint was articulated in a report released yesterday by the Republican minority of the intelligence committee. “The fundamental disagreement apparent in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a difference of world views and a discomfort with President Trump’s policy decisions,” that report said.
The president’s allies are pushing back against the investigations of his administration in other ways as well. The Washington Post reported last night that attorney general William Barr has told associates he does not agree with the justice department inspector general’s finding that the FBI was justified to launch the Russia investigation.
However, as the House gets closer and closer to an impeachment vote, Trump’s allies may soon run out of options for protecting the president.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
Trump will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in London before a Nato leaders reception at Buckingham Palace.
David Hale, the undersecretary of state who testified during the public impeachment hearings, will appear before the Senate foreign relations committee at 10 a.m. ET.
Joe Biden will continue his bus tour in Iowa.
The blog will have much more coming up, so stay tuned.
A campaign account for Danielle Stella, a pro-Trump Republican candidate for Congress, was banned from Twitter after it published a violent comment about the Democrat she hopes to unseat next year, Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar.
Stella’s campaign Twitter account, @2020MNCongress, featured at least two posts involving the idea of Omar being hanged, according to the Washington Times, which broke the story of her suspension.
The tweets concerned an unsubstantiated allegation that Omar – one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress – shared sensitive information with Qatar, which then wound up with Iran.
A spokesperson for Omar previously told the Jerusalem Post of the claim: “Since the day she was elected, Saudi Arabian trolls and mouthpieces have targeted Omar with misinformation and conspiracy theories.”
An initial tweet from Stella’s campaign account reportedly said: “If it is proven [Omar] passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged.”
The Washington Times said the account “subsequently tweeted the link to an article that aggregated her remark, accompanied by a crude depiction of a stick figure hanging from gallows”.
The @2020MNCongress account cannot be viewed. Text on the page reads “account suspended” and “Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules”.
In a statement, Twitter told the Guardian: “The account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules.”
Stella said in a statement: “My suspension for advocating for the enforcement of federal code proves Twitter will always side with and fight to protect terrorists, traitors, pedophiles and rapists.”
The Guardian revealed that Stella has been arrested twice this year over accusations that she shoplifted some $2,300 in goods from Target and $40 in items from a grocery, Stella has maintained her innocence.
She has made claims about Omar before, claiming she broke the law by telling immigrants how to avoid authorities. Lawmakers who don’t “uphold the rule of law”, Stella said, should be kicked out of office.
A spokesperson for Omar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since winning election to Congress last year, Omar has attracted rightwing attacks and fringe conspiracy theories as well as outright threats of violence. The congresswoman said this April she faced an increase in death threats after Trump accused her of downplaying September 11.
On 19 November, New York man Patrick Carlineo pleaded guilty in relation to calling Omar’s office and telling a staffer: “Why are you working for her, she’s a [expletive] terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her [expletive].”
Omar, who came to the US as a Somali refugee, appealed for “compassion”.
“As someone who fled a war zone, I know how destabilizing acts of political violence can be,” she said in a letter to the judge. “That his threat of violence relied on hateful stereotypes about my faith only made it more dangerous … it was a threat against an entire religion, at a time of rising hate crime against religious minorities in our country.”
She added: “We must ask: who are we as a nation if we respond to acts of political retribution with retribution ourselves? The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion.”
Lawyers say Trump had already been briefed on complaint
Trump at Mar-a-Lago while Democrats campaign in Iowa
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Democratic representative Stephen Lynch — a member of the House oversight committe, which helped conduct closed-door depositions in the impeachment inquiry — argued in a CNN interview this morning that the testimony from the public hearings has established clearly impeachable behavior on the president’s part.
“If this is not impeachable conduct, then nothing is,” Rep. Stephen Lynch says to @jimsciutto about the impeachment inquiry. “…There’s a greater danger leaving this President in office than taking him out through the legal impeachment process.” https://t.co/QR1x8IYryf pic.twitter.com/ufUbsIktSA
Officials are still unclear about what caused the airspace violation that triggered yesterday’s brief lockdown at the White House and the Capitol, but one Capitol Police source said a “slow-moving blob” on the radar had sparked concern.
CNN has more:
Senior national security officials across the agencies convened to coordinate and monitor the situation after the mysterious ‘blob’ was seen on radar at the Capitol Police command center flying just south of the National Mall, according to a law enforcement source.