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November 10, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) likely didn't appreciate House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-Calif.) denial of a House GOP request to have Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower testify in the congressional impeachment inquiry's upcoming public hearings.

In a Fox News interview Sunday, Graham said he believes it would be beneficial to have Biden testify, but was even more adamant about the whistleblower, whose complaint about President Trump's phone call in July with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spurred the impeachment inquiry. Graham claimed if the House continues to keep the whistleblower's identity under wraps, there's no chance the Senate will find Trump guilty. He said it's "impossible" to bring the case forward fairly, otherwise.

That said, Graham says he's close to certain about the whistleblower's occupation, if not their identity. "When you find out who the whistleblower is, I'm confident you're gonna find out it's somebody from the deep state," he said during the interview. "You're gonna find out that they had interactions with Schiff. This thing's gonna stink to high heaven, and the only reason we don't know who the whistleblower is, is that it hurts their cause." Read more at The Washington Examiner. Tim O'Donnell

November 10, 2019

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued to defend President Trump on Sunday in light of the House impeachment inquiry.

In an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Paul told host Chuck Todd that Trump had "every right to withhold aid" from Ukraine if he believed there was corruption in the country. Paul argued that presidents have always circumnavigated Congress and withheld aid from countries for different reasons, including suspicions of corruption.

The famously non-interventionist senator went on to say that basically everyone in Washington on both sides of the aisle besides himself was trying to get something out of Kyiv, so he's not quite sure where the quid pro quo line should be drawn.

Similarly, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) told Jake Tapper on CNN's State of the Union that he was sympathetic to Trump's concerns over Ukrainian corruption, reiterating that was the primary reason for withholding aid.

Of course, Democrats would argue that Trump and his allies seemed to be far more invested in getting Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rivals stateside than any Ukraine-specific corruption cases. Tim O'Donnell

November 3, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had a good laugh at her fellow Democratic presidential candidate South Bendia, Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg's comments that the race was "getting to be" a two-person showdown between Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

In an interview with CBS that aired Sunday, Harris called the suggestion "naive" and said the mayor should review some history books to remind himself of the fact that elections generally aren't decided this early.

Buttigieg was later asked about Harris' response to his comments and he couldn't help but agree. He said he couldn't remember the exact context that led to his answer, but he thinks "we all know that this is a fluid race, that it's a very competitive race, and that anything could happen." Tim O'Donnell

November 3, 2019

Public hearings are apparently coming to a theater near you.

In the wake of Republican criticism about closed-door depositions, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said Sunday during an appearance on ABC's This Week that "there will be public hearings very, very soon" in the House impeachment inquiry. Likewise, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that his best guess is public hearings will begin in the next two or three weeks.

Himes said a few more witnesses need to be interviewed first before the shift from private to public, but it doesn't sound like that will take very long. As for the witnesses who have already been interviewed, Engel said the transcripts of their hearings will be released to the public, which Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) reiterated to host Margaret Brennan on Sunday's edition of Face the Nation on CBS. Tim O'Donnell

October 27, 2019

As the dust settles around the death of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, questions are beginning to surface about the role of Kurdish forces in the event.

It was a U.S. military operation, though Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who served as the House Intelligence Committee chair, told Jake Tapper during an appearance Sunday on CNN's State of the Union "there's no way we could have done this" without Kurdish forces fighting alongside U.S. forces against ISIS all these years. Rogers added that President Trump "should understand how impactful that was," and "that you can't do it without those allies of which candidly we just walked away from," referring to Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, leaving Kurdish-led forces to face a Turkish incursion, that has since been slowed by a cease-fire.

Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign, concurred.

It's unclear what role the Kurds may have played in helping the U.S. locate Baghdadi before his death — Defense Secretary Mark Esper wouldn't definitively tell Tapper on State of the Union if the Kurds participated in the U.S. operation, but he did admit there was help from "outside partners," leaving Tapper to speculate he was referring to the Kurds, who are Washington's strongest ally in the region. Tim O'Donnell

October 20, 2019

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) are still going after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a continuation of the most recent Democratic presidential debate.

Both candidates appeared on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, where they maintained their support for a public option in their health-care plans. Neither were satisfied with the Warren campaign's efforts to clarify how the senator plans to pay for Medicare-for-all, either. Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar reiterated they are wary of any plan that would kick people off their private insurance.

Klobuchar, for her part, also said her plan, which also includes a non-profit public option, would "build" rather than "trash" ObamaCare. Tim O'Donnell

October 20, 2019

Is President Trump still in the hospitality business or is he the president of the United States? Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says it's a bit of both.

While Mulvaney on Sunday was not indicating that Trump was looking to profit off the 2020 Group of Seven Summit by hosting it at the Trump National Doral Miami resort near Miami, Florida, he did tell host Chris Wallace during an appearance on Fox News Sunday that Trump wanted to put on the "absolute best show" he could for other world leaders because he "still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."

That comment gave Wallace pause since he, like most people, thought Trump was now in the business of running the U.S. government's executive branch. Mulvaney elaborated, explaining that it's a holdover from Trump's pre-Oval Office life, implying that the original choice was a natural reaction, rather than an an actual business opportunity.

After receiving intense backlash from across the political spectrum, Trump announced he's no longer planning to hold the event there, though he wasn't happy about. Mulvaney said he believed it was the right decision to find another site, in the end. Tim O'Donnell

October 13, 2019

It looks like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is beginning to distance himself from his good friend Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) policy-wise.

The two Democratic presidential candidates have always gotten along well and are generally ideological allies, especially relative to many of their primary competitors. But Sanders was pretty clear in an interview that aired on ABC's This Week Sunday that Warren has a ways to go before she's at the same point on the political spectrum.

Sanders praised Warren's tenure as a senator and reaffirmed their friendship, but he said "there are differences" in their platforms, namely the fact that Warren has maintained she is a capitalist "through her bones." He said the country doesn't need more regulation, but rather a "political revolution" and he believes he's the only candidate who will stand up to the corporate elite in the U.S. and say "enough." He said that Warren would speak for herself on the matter, but, for the moment, Sanders, who considers himself a democratic socialist, thinks her adherence to capitalism is reason enough to separate them.

The initial analysis of Sanders' comments seems to be that Sanders recognizes he's falling behind Warren in the race, and understands focusing on where they differ might be his best chance at getting back in contention. Tim O'Donnell

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