harsh words
June 12, 2019

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) was astonished by President Trump's public admission on Wednesday that if a foreign government offered information on a political opponent, he would take it.

"What Donald Trump said is un-American, unpatriotic, and unbelievable," Lieu told MSNBC's Chris Matthews. "The issue is not oppo research. You can take oppo research. You cannot take it from a foreign power. There is actually a law against this — the Federal Election Campaign Act says that candidates cannot knowingly take anything of material value from a foreign power."

Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he'd "maybe" go to the FBI with political dirt shared by a foreign government, but later said this wasn't something that warranted a phone called to the agency. All of this is proof, Lieu said, that "Donald Trump is selling America down for his own personal benefit." Catherine Garcia

August 30, 2018

If you can't beat 'em, run an attack ad.

That seems to be the tactic of Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democratic candidate running against incumbent Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter in California's 50th District. Last week, Hunter and his wife were indicted on several financial charges, including $250,000 worth of campaign finance violations. But the damaging news hasn't seemed to slow Hunter down at the polls, with one recent poll showing the incumbent ahead 8 points.

Campa-Najjar is aiming to change that. A harsh campaign ad airing until next week calls Hunter's financial violations "unethical and illegal," going on to call the man himself "an embarrassment." "Every citizen has a responsibility to read this indictment," the ad declares, followed by a call to "put country over party" by voting for Campa-Najjar. Watch the spot below. Shivani Ishwar

April 13, 2018

James Comey and Robert Mueller have their fair share of haters, but they can count this verbose congressman on their side.

Things started calmly as Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) explained to CNN on Friday why Republicans are trying to discredit Mueller, the special counsel, and Comey, the former FBI director.

"When the facts are ugly for your man, you attack the character and personality of the person who is pushing those facts," he said, referring to some Republicans' desire to protect President Trump.

But when the CNN host mentioned attacks from Democrats on Comey after Trump's election, things got aggressive. Many people were concerned when Comey publicly discussed the Hillary Clinton investigation, Himes said, but Comey has been "reflective" about that decision.

"So yes, let's have that conversation about whether Jim Comey made the right move in talking about the Hillary Clinton thing," Himes said. "But people will rot in hell for besmirching the reputation, the integrity, and the professional history of these two men."

Watch the whole heated interview below. Kathryn Krawczyk

August 16, 2017

Just two days after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) congratulated President Trump for his statement Monday condemning white supremacists and declaring racism "evil," Graham walked it back. On Wednesday, he released a statement declaring that Trump "took a step backward" at his combative press conference Tuesday "by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer." Heather Heyer was killed at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a man drove a car through a group of counter-protesters.

Graham made clear that he and other Republicans "do not endorse this moral equivalency." "Many Republicans do not agree with and will fight back against the idea that the Party of Lincoln has a welcome mat out for the David Dukes of the world," said Graham, referring to former KKK leader David Duke, who praised Trump's remarks Tuesday.

"Mr. President, I encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in Charlottesville," Graham said in the statement. "Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them." Becca Stanek

July 25, 2017

As the Senate convened Tuesday to vote on a motion to proceed to debating the House-passed health-care bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) fired off a caustic criticism of Senate Republicans' hasty and secretive process. As Sanders underscored in a retweet of Vox's Dylan Scott, the vote Tuesday happened in spite of the fact there was "no final text," " no final CBO score," and "no public hearings."

Sanders deemed the process not just "insulting" — but "undemocratic":

Just as the vote began Tuesday, several uncertain Republican senators came out in support of the motion to proceed. Becca Stanek

July 18, 2017

Fox & Friends on Tuesday questioned how loyal the Republican senators who opposed the GOP-backed health-care bill are to America. The morning after it became clear that Senate Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare does not have enough support to move forward, co-host Brian Kilmeade noted that conservative Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had vowed to "make my hands dirty and make it work somehow," and that moderates like Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) had been concerned by opposition to the bill from outside of Capitol Hill. "So these people are being true to their school, just not true to their party, and maybe not true to their country," Kilmeade concluded.

Then, citing an apparent quote from President Trump that Senate Republicans would "look like dopes" if they couldn't get the repeal and replace done, Kilmeade asked: "Do they look like dopes?"

Ari Fleischer, press secretary to former President George W. Bush, contended that Trump was "right." "It's not a question of being true to your party or true to your country, it's a question of being true to your word," Fleischer said. "They should not have elevated the issue for eight years among Republicans, saying, 'First thing we'll do is repeal and replace,' if they weren't capable of doing it."

Watch it below. Becca Stanek

July 7, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday slammed President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for failing to adequately address Russia's election meddling in their meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Though Trump did raise the topic during his Friday meeting with Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed Trump took Putin's word that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community has reached the conclusion that Russia did interfere.

Schumer contended that Trump not only had an "obligation" to bring up the issue — he had "an equal obligation to take the word of our intelligence community rather than that of the Russian president." "To give equal credence to the findings of the American intelligence community and the assertion by Mr. Putin is a grave dereliction of duty and will only encourage Russia to further interfere in our elections in the future," Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer also made clear that he does not think the decision to "'agree to disagree' is an acceptable conclusion." "For Secretary Tillerson to say this issue will remain unresolved is disgraceful," Schumer said. Becca Stanek

March 2, 2017

Not long after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday he will recuse himself from overseeing any "future or existing" investigations into Donald Trump's presidential campaign, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this doesn't go nearly far enough, and he must "resign immediately."

It was revealed on Wednesday night that last year Sessions, while still a senator and one of Trump's top foreign policy advisers, met with the Russian ambassador to the United States; during his Senate confirmation hearing in January, he declared that he "did not have communications with the Russians" during the campaign. Pelosi said he needed to step down from his position, and was even more forceful on Thursday, releasing a statement that called his recusal "narrow," adding that his "sorry attempt to explain away his perjury" is "totally inadequate."

The Democratic leader went on to say Sessions is "clearly trying to maintain his ability to control the larger investigation into the sprawling personal, political, and financial grip Russia has on the Trump administration," and his "lies to the Senate and to the American people make him unfit to serve as the chief law enforcement officer of our country." Catherine Garcia

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