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August 11, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told NBC's Chuck Todd that domestic racial issues in the United States are now a national security issue during an interview that aired on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.

Harris argued that the issue of race is the U.S.'s "achilles heel," which was exposed by Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Harris said that when Russian operatives were trying to attack the U.S.'s "strongest pillar of democracy" (free and open elections), they "tried out a bunch of different things" before race "caught heat."

Harris' point was that racial issues can't be marginalized any longer. "For those who want to marginalize the conversation about race and racial inequities and say, 'Oh, well, that's identity politics or that's this or that's that.' Guess what? Now it's also a national security issue," she said. "And we need to deal with it." Tim O'Donnell

August 11, 2019

President Trump's retweet of a conspiracy theory linking former President Bill Clinton to millionaire financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has caused a bit of a stir. But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said the president really just "wants everything to be investigated."

Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell on Saturday morning after what has been ruled an apparent suicide, but it has already sparked a slew of conspiracy theories, many of which are directed at Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was also Trump's Democratic opponent in the 2016 general election.

Conway said that the questions surrounding Epstein and any possible co-conspirators in the alleged sex trafficking circuit, which involved minors, are purely "speculative," but that perhaps "there's a public interest in knowing more about that."

Democratic presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) doesn't agree that Trump is merely pursuing justice. He told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's State of the Union that the retweets are "another example" of Trump using his position of power to attack political enemies and as a way to distract from events like last weekend's shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

But even if most Democrats don't approve of Trump giving a platform to conspiracy theorists, that doesn't mean they want Epstein's case over and done with. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said there needs to be a "full investigation" into why Epstein was taken off suicide watch before his death. Tim O'Donnell

August 11, 2019

There was some disagreement on Sunday's edition of CBS's Face the Nation over whether President Trump bears some of the responsibility for last weekend's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was severely wounded in 2017 when a gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, said that it's a "slippery slope" to blame Trump for the violence in El Paso. The 21-year-old gunman in El Paso reportedly confessed to targeting Mexicans during the attack, and police believe that he wrote a racist online manifesto, which spoke of a Hispanic "invasion" of Texas. Trump has used similar rhetoric in the past.

Scalise said that the there is "no place" for attacking people based on their ethnicity, but that Trump was no more responsible for the shooting than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was responsible for Scalise's injuries, referring to the fact that the Alexandria gunman volunteered for Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.

Sanders actually followed Scalise on the program, where he told host Margaret Brennan that Trump's "racist rhetoric" created a "climate" which is fostering hate crimes. He did clarify, however, that he "absolutely" does not think that Trump wants to see people get shot. Tim O'Donnell

August 4, 2019

Back-to-back mass shootings this weekend in El Paso and Dayton have inspired new calls for increased gun regulations, but it's not just the NRA and the Second Amendment that have drawn people's ire.

Several people have placed the blame on President Trump's rhetoric, especially in reference to the El Paso shooting. The suspected gunman, a 21-year-old white male named Patrick Crusius, may have written an online manifesto that described an attack on the border city in response to "the Hispanic invasion of Texas." Trump has spoken in similar terms about the influx of migrants at the southern border, which his administration is trying to curb through construction of a border wall and government raids.

Presidential candidates Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who hails from El Paso, said Trump was responsible for the incidents, and O'Rourke said that he believes Trump is a white nationalist.

Conservative analysts haven't shied away from questioning whether Trump's language played a role in the shootings, either.

Trump condemned the shooting, but did not make any mention of the alleged manifesto. Following a mass shooting in New Zealand in March, which was carried out by a white supremacist, Trump said only a small group of people were white nationalists. Tim O'Donnell

July 28, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson isn't shy about wanting to revamp Washington.

One way she'd do is by creating an entirely new Cabinet-level department, the Department of Children and Youth, Williamson told CBS's Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan on Sunday. This new department would differ from the Department of Education in that it would provide a much more holistic approach toward providing the proper services for children, she said.

Williamson said that while she considers education "extremely important," many children are traumatized before they even start pre-school. As president, she said, she would want to address issues that "go beyond" what's already covered by Washington today, including PTSD and hunger.

"We need more than just educational funding," Williams said. "We need wrap-around services, we need trauma-informed education, we need to deal with the nutrition of our children, the high poverty rates, the violence in our schools." Watch the segment below. Tim O'Donnell

July 28, 2019

President Trump has received his fair share of criticism for his attacks on House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the city of Baltimore. But the White House's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is backing his boss.

Mulvaney appeared on Fox News' Fox News Sunday, where he told host Chris Wallace that Trump's criticism of Cummings had "absolutely zero to do with race." He said that the president was only going after Cummings for his criticism of the situation at the southern border.

Mulvaney wasn't the only GOP voice to weigh on Sunday, though he was the most supportive of the president. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) avoided condemning or supporting the tweets on NBC's Meet the Press, but he did say he was "disappointed" in Cummings for "attacking Border Patrol agents that are trying to do their job."

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who does not work for Trump and does not have to worry about re-election, was more forthright in his criticism. During an appearance on ABC's This Week, he said the tweets were a "bad idea."

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), the only black Republican in the House, was highly critical of Trump's previous racist tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen, but he went easier on the president this time around, arguing that the Baltimore tweets were "different." Hurd, who also appeared on This Week, did suggest that he didn't agree with Trump's style. Tim O'Donnell

July 21, 2019

Remember Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) certainly does.

It was easy to lose sight of during this past week, as stories revolving around President Trump's racist tweets and maritime conflict in the Strait of Hormuz have dominated the headlines, but Mueller is set to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday about his two-year investigation into 2016 Russian election interference.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Nadler, the Judiciary Committee chair, told host Chris Wallace that he doesn't believe the public has moved on from the investigation. He also provided a very brief sneak peek about what type of questions to expect from the Democrats during the hearings. Spoiler: They're going to be very specific.

As for the Republicans? Nadler thinks they'll likely just be wasting their time by asking about alleged FBI misconduct.

At the end of the day, Nadler says, it is Trump's conduct which is under scrutiny, not the FBI's, and Nadler thinks there is "very substantial evidence" pointing toward the president being guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Tim O'Donnell

July 21, 2019

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) had some strong words for President Trump on Sunday.

In appearances on CNN's State of the Union and CBS' Face the Nation, Booker tore into Trump over his racist tweets directed at four democratic congresswomen. A lot of the discourse around Trump's tweets has been about whether Republican members of Congress were willing to condemn them, or the president himself, as racist. Booker, of course, is not in the GOP, but the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate took the discussion to a new level.

In his CNN interview, Booker said Trump "is worse than a racist."

He doubled down on that line in his CBS interview, telling host Margaret Brennan that Trump is "using race like a weapon" to divide the country. He also added that this issue went beyond politics for him — if it had been a Republican on the receiving ends of the insults, Booker says he would react the same way. Tim O'Donnell

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