January 28, 2019

Since announcing Sunday night that he's considering running for president as a "centrist independent," former Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz has come under fire from Democrats worried he'll split the vote and deliver President Trump a victory — and he's gotten taunting encouragement from Trump.

While most people are merely complaining about him online, one heckler decided to tell Schultz to his face that he needs to stay out of politics. While promoting his new book, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America, at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan on Monday night, Schultz was asked about running for president. He started explaining what he meant by "centrist independent," but was soon interrupted.

"Don't help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire asshole!" the heckler shouted. Schultz remained calm, and the man was escorted out. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

1:07 a.m.

Tokyo Olympics organizers are downplaying comments made by a member of the International Olympic Committee who said the coronavirus could cancel the games.

Richard Pound, a member of the IOC since 1978 and its former vice president, told The Associated Press that organizers have a three-month window to decide whether to hold the games, which are scheduled to start on July 24. Pound, who noted he was not speaking on behalf of the IOC, said, "In and around that time, I'd say folks are going to have to ask, 'Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or no?'"

Yoshihide Suga, a Japanese government spokesman, said on Wednesday that Pound's opinion is not shared by the IOC, and organizers are "proceeding with preparations toward the games as scheduled." Catherine Garcia

12:50 a.m.

When you land a new job you're not quite qualified for, you can pick top aides who will help you learn the ropes and get a running start — or you can hire someone with even less experience, thus making you the most qualified person in the room. That latter route seems to be the one taken by Johnny McEntee, President Trump's former body man and new director of the powerful Presidential Personnel Office.

Trump recently hired McEntee, a 29-year-old loyalist with no real personnel management experience, to oversee his post-impeachment effort to purge the executive branch of anyone not loyal to Trump. And McEntee promptly hired James Bacon, a 23-year-old college senior, as one of his right-hand men, Politico reported Tuesday. Bacon does have some experience, despite still pursuing his bachelor's degree at George Washington University: He briefly worked in the Transportation Department's policy arm, as a White House liaison to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and on Trump's campaign.

McEntee replaced Sean Doocey, and Bacon is filling the lead paperwork directorship previously filled by Katie Bullock, who is in her 70s and worked in the PPO for all Republican administrations back to Ronald Reagan's White House, Politico reports.

Last Thursday, Politico and Axios report, McEntee called all the White House Cabinet department liaisons to a meeting at which he asked them to find Trump appointees who may be insufficiently loyal to Trump — officials Trump calls "bad people" and "Deep State," Axios notes. Trump acknowledged Tuesday that his White House has lists of government officials he wants to replace with trusted pro-Trump loyalists, telling reporters in New Delhi he "doesn't think it's a big problem" and he wants "people who are good for the country, loyal to the country."

Last week, Axios reported that the "Never Trump/pro-Trump" lists are being compiled by a network of conservative activists led by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. James Bacon clearly mad the "pro-Trump" list. Peter Weber

February 25, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) watched Tuesday night's Democratic debate, and one thing stood out to her.

"Not a single climate change question," she tweeted. "Horrifying." One of the participants, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), agreed, responding, "A disgrace." The Democratic candidates don't shy away from talking about climate change on the campaign trail; billionaire investor and environmentalist Tom Steyer told voters in South Carolina on Tuesday that climate change is his "No. 1 priority," and if elected, he will declare a climate emergency on his first day in office.

Poll after poll has shown that climate change is a key issue for voters; last week, the Pew Research Center released a survey showing that for the first time in two decades, a majority of Americans believe that tackling climate change should be a main priority for the president and Congress.

Another poll released last week by the nonpartisan nonprofit Climate Nexus found that for Democrats, climate change is one of the two most important issues facing the country right now. "This is the first time in American political history where climate change is not just a top-tier issue, it is the top-tier issue," Anthony Leiserowitz, a senior research scientist at Yale who helped conduct the poll, told The Atlantic. Catherine Garcia

February 25, 2020

In her response to why she would make a better president than Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during Tuesday night's debate in South Carolina, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) compared their plans to expand Medicare-style health care to all Americans. Sanders let his body do the disagreeing, and if this whole president thing doesn't work out, his face has enough expressiveness to anchor, say, an HBO show about a curmudgeonly old man who frequently throws up his hands at the world.

Here's Warren's full answer on why plans and legislative strategy matter, with her face included. Peter Weber

February 25, 2020

A 23-year-old American soldier based in South Korea has tested positive for the new coronavirus COVID-19, the U.S. military announced Tuesday.

The soldier is stationed at Camp Carroll in Waegwan, and is the first U.S. service member to come down with the virus. He is under quarantine at his home, which is off base.

There are 1,146 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Korea, with more than half of the patients living in the city of Daegu. The soldier visited a military base in Daegu on Friday, and then returned to Camp Carroll. There are 28,500 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea, and the military said health professionals are "actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether any others may have been exposed." Troops have been told to avoid nonessential meetings and stay on base, The New York Times reports. Catherine Garcia

February 25, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defended himself against accusations that he is not "pro-Israel" enough, saying he is "very proud of being Jewish" but fully aware of the "suffering of the Palestinian people."

If elected, Sanders would be the first Jewish president. During Tuesday night's debate in South Carolina, he said he once briefly lived in Israel, and "what I happen to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through [Prime Minister] Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country. And I happen to believe that what our foreign policy in the Mideast should be about is absolutely protecting the independence and security of Israel. But you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people. We have got to have a policy that reaches out to the Palestinians."

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is also Jewish, said "the only solution here is a two-state solution. The Palestinians have to be accommodated. The real problem here is you have two groups of people, both of whom think God gave them the same piece of land. And the answer is to obviously split it up." Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) agreed that there has to be a two-state solution, and said President Trump favors Israel by "putting a thumb on the scale on just one side." Israelis "have a right to security," she said, just like Palestinians "have a right to be treated with dignity and have self-determination. ... But it's not up to us to determine what the terms of a two-state solution are. We want to be a good ally to everyone in the region." Catherine Garcia

February 25, 2020

Media insiders are labeling the South Carolina Democratic debate a "disaster" following a messy and often out-of-control evening that frequently devolved into shouting matches between the candidates. The event marked CBS News' first foray into hosting a debate this election cycle, and the moderators — CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King — often appeared to be overpowered by the seven candidates they were supposed to be keeping in line.

TV regulars at rival networks, including former DNC head and Fox News contributor Donna Brazile, Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski, and The View's Meghan McCain, expressed horror over how the night unfolded:

Brian Stelter, the chief media corespondent for CNN, confirmed the industry's general reception of the debate:

Sean Illing of Vox was even blunter: "These are the worst moderators in the history of moderation," he tweeted. Jeva Lange

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