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September 15, 2019

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she approves of how her successors in the Trump administration are handling some of their foreign policy business.

In an interview with CBS' Margaret Brennan that aired Sunday on Face the Nation, Rice praised how the White House is dealing with Iran and North Korea in particular. "Nobody's been able to solve the North Korean problem," Rice said. "I don't have a problem with how they're going about that."

As for Iran, Rice called Tehran the "most dangerous and disruptive regime" in the Middle East. In that case, she said, the administration is correct in pushing back against Iran despite some calls for a less hostile approach to resolve tensions in the region.

In the same interview, Rice was a little more critical of Trump when it comes to matters such as immigration, race, and economic isolationism, but she maintained a measured tone in her responses even then. Tim O'Donnell

September 15, 2019

Beto O'Rourke's pledge during Thursday's Democratic debate in Houston to "take your AR-15" still has people talking, The Hill reports. But it turns out even some Democrats aren't sure it was the smartest thing to say.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) told host Bill Hemmer on Fox News Sunday that O'Rourke's comments were not particularly helpful at the moment, as members of Congress try to enact realistic gun reform. Cicilline also used the opportunity to point out that no one in Congress has proposed confiscation legislatively, and that lawmakers instead are focusing on other reform measures such as universal background checks.

O'Rourke's fellow Democratic presidential candidate, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, said Sunday he thinks O'Rourke's message could play into the hands of gun reform opponents, echoing Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) who said Friday that the O'Rourke clip "will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, also appearing on Fox News Sunday, said "we're not going to allow bad actors who should not have firearms in the first place to be the excuse for a bunch of liberals and socialists to confiscate firearms from law abiding citizens." Read more at The Hill. Tim O'Donnell

September 8, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a Democratic presidential candidate, apologized Saturday for how she responded to a question from a voter who described President Trump's actions as "mentally retarded," saying she didn't hear "the words the man used in that moment, but if I had I would've stopped and corrected him." Harris' critics, however, are not buying the excuse.

Even some Democratic analysts, like Jamal Simmons, said it was "a bad moment." In the video which shows the exchange between Harris and the voter, the senator and the crowd laugh following the man's comments, to which Harris replied, "Well said." While there's no way to know for sure exactly what sparked Harris' laughter, the optics were certainly not great.

Simmons, in an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday, told host Margaret Brennan that he thinks Harris' campaign would have been better served if she admitted to reacting poorly to the question instead of denying that she had heard the man correctly. Simmons did add that dealing with "bad moments" is simply what happens during campaigns. Tim O'Donnell

September 8, 2019

The Taliban won't be meeting with President Trump at Camp David, but the fact that it almost happened in the first place has evoked some heavy criticism.

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, a Democratic presidential candidate, said he's still looking for confirmation an actual meeting was planned, but if Trump was indeed telling the truth he finds it "bizarre." Castro said he's supportive of a negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan, but "it's very odd to invite a terrorist organization like that to Camp David," adding that it's "not in keeping with the way that the United States negotiates."

Castro's fellow Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said the Camp David invite "is another example of the president treating foreign policy like some kind of game show," though, like Castro, she also supports taking a diplomatic approach when it comes to ending the war in Afghanistan.

Trump does have his supporters, of course. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the network rounds Sunday, telling CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union that the U.S. has "an obligation to do everything we can" when it comes to negotiations. However, he also noted that talks with the Taliban are dead for now and, if there are any hopes of reviving them, it will "take more than words" from the Taliban. Tim O'Donnell

September 1, 2019

As Hurricane Dorian makes it way toward the southeastern coast of the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency inches closer to the spotlight. But former FEMA Administrator Brock Long says the agency faces too much pressure.

In an appearance on Sunday's edition of Face the Nation, Long told CBS' Margaret Brennan that FEMA "faces unrealistic expectations by Congress and the American public" and that "we've got to stop looking at FEMA as 911."

Instead Long, who ran the agency from 2017 until earlier this year, believes emergency response should be a "partnership," in which the government should spend more time at the national, state, and local levels better preparing citizens to deal with disasters. He said that insurance, not FEMA, is a person's first line of defense in the case of a hurricane and advocated for teaching financial resilience.

Long also criticized Congress for making FEMA's job impossible, arguing that lawmakers need to convince state and local governments to insure their public infrastructure and incentivize building codes and land use planning. Tim O'Donnell

September 1, 2019

In the wake of yet another mass shooting in West Texas on Saturday, the prospects of new gun legislation dominated the airwaves on Sunday's slate of network shows. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), in an appearance Sunday on ABC's This Week, told host Martha Raddatz that President Trump is "interested in doing something meaningful" when it comes to gun reform.

Toomey, who has co-sponsored a bill to expand background checks on gun sales, said the president hasn't endorsed any specific bill, but the two have reportedly maintained a dialogue. "I can't guarantee an outcome, I don't know where this all ends, but the president is very interested, I am very interested in measures that make it harder for people who shouldn't have guns to get guns, and we're going to take a very serious run at it," he said.

Trump also said Sunday the White House is in the middle of bipartisan discussions on gun legislation, and has been since before Saturday's violence. Trump did add that he doesn't believe stronger background checks could have prevented many of the country's recent mass shootings, instead describing it as a "mental problem." Tim O'Donnell

August 25, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doesn't have a fundamental issue with tariffs — in fact, he's made it clear that he led the fight against "permanent, normal" trade relations with China, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement. But the Democratic presidential candidate doesn't think President Trump is utilizing tariffs in the correct manner.

In an appearance on Sunday's edition of CNN's State of the Union, Sanders told host Brianna Keilar that tariffs are one tool that can be used to fight unfair trade, but added that Trump is handling the entire trade war irrationally. "You do not make trade policy by announcing today that you're going to raise tariffs 'x percent' and the next day by 'y percent'," he said.

In particular, Sanders took issue with Trump attacking Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as an enemy of the American people and denouncing Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Sanders said he would use tariffs himself, but in a "rational way within the context of a broad, sensible trade policy." He did not, however, elaborate much more on what such a policy would look like. Tim O'Donnell

August 25, 2019

President Trump apparently better invest in a facemask soon because former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is officially challenging him in the Republican primary.

Walsh, who recently said somebody needs to punch Trump "in the face every single day," unveiled his campaign on Sunday during an appearance on ABC's This Week.

"We've got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit to be president, and it stuns me that nobody stepped up, nobody in the Republican Party stepped up," he told host George Stephanopoulos. "Because I'll tell you what, George, everybody believes in the Republican Party, everybody believes that he's unfit."

Walsh was also self-critical during the interview, acknowledging that he regrets helping "create" Trump. "The personal, ugly politics. I regret that," Walsh said. "And I'm sorry for that. And now we've got a guy in the White House, that's all he does." Walsh is reportedly going to attack Trump from the right on moral grounds.

He also announced the launch of his campaign on Twitter, joining former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld as Trump's GOP challengers. Tim O'Donnell

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