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November 16, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Sunday it's "lunacy" to allow Muslim refugees fleeing Syria into the United States, but says the borders should be open for Christians.

"There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror," he told reporters Sunday. "If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation." In 2014, Cruz told Fox News that Syrian refugees should be allowed to settle in the U.S., The Washington Post reports, but now says they should go to countries in the Middle East with Muslim majorities.

Cruz's sentiments were echoed by fellow Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday the United States should "focus our efforts as it relates to refugees on the Christians that are being slaughtered." Neither Bush nor Cruz was able to explain how they would determine if a refugee was Christian, Muslim, or another religion.

Lavinia Limon, president and chief executive of the U.S. Commission for Refugees and Immigrants, told the Post she's surprised that supporting refugees is no longer a nonpartisan issue. "The definition of a refugee is someone fleeing oppression," she said. "They're fleeing terrorism. They've experienced what happened in Paris on a daily basis." She is also upset to hear the candidates want to divide refugees by religion. "That's the same distinction that ISIS makes between Muslims and Christians," she said. "It's playing into their hands." Catherine Garcia

1:45 a.m.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Monday said if elected president, she will give Congress 100 days to "get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws," and if they "fail to do it, then I will take executive action."



The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate made this promise Monday night during a CNN town hall in New Hampshire. Her executive action would require anyone who sells more than five guns a year conduct background checks on people purchasing guns; allow the ATF to take away the license of any gun dealer that breaks the law; and no longer let fugitives from justice be able to purchase handguns or other weapons.

Harris decried the fact that students of all ages have to go through school shooting drills, and blasted Congress for failing to act when it comes to protecting kids from mass shootings, saying there are "supposed leaders who have failed to have the courage to reject a false choice, which suggests you're either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone's guns away." There needs to be "reasonable gun safety laws in this country," she added, "starting with universal background checks and renewal of the assault weapons ban." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

1:09 a.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) says she had a perfectly legitimate reason to stand up for frozen pizzas in school cafeterias, but still regrets taking a stand on the issue.

While answering questions during a CNN town hall in New Hampshire on Monday, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was asked about a 2010 letter she sent to the USDA, complaining about a new rule that would no longer count tomato sauce on frozen pizzas served in school cafeterias as a vegetable.

Klobuchar said she wasn't defending the pizzas, but rather farmers and businesses in Minnesota. "We were in the middle of the downturn, and it was a little more, I would say, complex in terms of the language," she said, adding that this was "fair criticism." In 2014, Klobuchar told The New York Times it was a mistake to send the letter, and she told the town hall audience she still regrets mailing it. The bigger issue, she added, is nutrition, and the "need to have healthier foods in kids' lunches." Catherine Garcia

12:44 a.m.

Luke Walton, the former coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and brand new head coach of the Sacramento Kings, has been accused of sexual assault, ABC 7 Los Angeles reports.

The news station obtained court documents showing that sports reporter Kelli Tennant is suing Walton, accusing him of sexual battery, sexual assault, and gender violence. Tennant said the incident took place in Walton's hotel room while he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors. Tennant said she wanted to show him her new book, and once in the room, Walton allegedly forced himself on her twice before she was able to escape.

The Kings released a statement saying the team is "aware of the report" about Walton and "gathering additional information." The Lakers said the alleged incident took place before he became coach, and "at no time before or during his employment here was this allegation reported to the Lakers. If it had been, we would have immediately commenced an investigation and notified the NBA." Catherine Garcia

12:17 a.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for the House to impeach President Trump after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was released Thursday. In a CNN town hall Monday night, she explained why impeachment is more important than politics, telling moderator Anderson Cooper, "There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution."

Warren read the entire redacted Mueller report right away, she said, and "three things just totally jump off the page. The first is that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump. ... Part 2, Donald Trump welcomed that help," and "Part 3 is when the federal government starts to investigate Part 1 and Part 2, Donald Trump took repeated steps, aggressively, to try to halt the investigation." If any other American "had done what's documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail," she said.

Mueller decided he couldn't charge Trump with a crime, saying "in effect, if there's going to be any accountability, that accountability has to come from the Congress," Warren said. "And the tool that we are given for that accountability is the impeachment process. This is not about politics; this is about principle."

"I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and so did everybody else in the Senate and in the House," Warren said. "If there are people in the House or the Senate who want to say that's what a president can do when the president is being investigated for his own wrongdoings or when a foreign government attacks our country, then they should have to take that vote and live with it for the rest of their lives."

Julian Castro has joined Warren in calling for impeachment and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said at her CNN town hall Monday that "Congress should take the steps toward impeachment," but other 2020 Democrats have been more cautious. Peter Weber

12:15 a.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced on Monday she plans to "get something done when it comes to student loans," but it doesn't involve eliminating debt or making four-year public colleges tuition-free.

During a CNN town hall in New Hampshire, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told university students in the audience she wishes she could "staple a free college diploma under every one of your chairs," but that's impossible and she has to tell them "the truth."

Instead, Klobuchar said under her plan, Pell Grant programs would be expanded, community college would be free, and graduates would be able to refinance their student loans. "Everything that I have proposed to you, I have found ways to pay for it that I think makes sense, that we can actually get done," she said.

Earlier in the day, another Democratic presidential contender, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), revealed that she has a plan to get rid of student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans while making two-year and four-year public colleges tuition-free. Catherine Garcia

April 22, 2019

When asked during a CNN town hall on Monday if the Boston Marathon bomber, terrorists, murderers, and sex offenders should have the right to vote, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that since the United States is a democracy, he believes even "terrible people" should be able to cast ballots.

Sanders added that "once you start chipping away and you say, 'Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,' you're running down a slippery slope."

Sanders supports letting people who are currently incarcerated vote, he explained, because they are paying their price to society and the government "should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy." Catherine Garcia

April 22, 2019

A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the practice of using tire-chalking to mark how long a car has been parked is unconstitutional.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit decided this violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable searches," and is a form of trespass requiring a warrant, The Washington Post reports. Parking enforcement officers use tire-chalking to track how long a car has been parked; once it's determined the car is in violation of time limits, a ticket is issued, bringing in revenue for the city.

The appeals court based its decision on a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, which found that police must get a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a suspect's vehicle.

Attorney Philip Ellison of Saginaw, Michigan, brought the case after his law partner received a ticket while sitting in his car, which had been chalked. Ellison wrote about this on Facebook, and a friend, Alison Taylor, commented that she had received 15 tickets due to tire-chalking. Ellison filed a civil rights lawsuit against Saginaw on Taylor's behalf; the case was first thrown out by a district court, before being reversed by the appeals court. Catherine Garcia

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