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AOC warns of ‘very real risk’ of Trump win in 2020, says frustration with Pelosi is ‘quite real’

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AOC warns of 'very real risk' of Trump win in 2020, says frustration with Pelosi is 'quite real'

In her first Sunday morning show appearance since taking office in January, New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned that there is “very real risk” President Trump will win re-election in 2020, and acknowledged that progressive frustration with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also “quite real.”

The comments struck an unusually defensive tone for the 29-year-old progressive firebrand, as Democrats seek to winnow their large list of 23 presidential contenders. Ocasio-Cortez also spoke bluntly on her initiative to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars most federal funding for abortion — and 2020 Democrat frontrunner Joe Biden’s abrupt reversal on the issue earlier this month.

“I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News’ Jon Karl on “This Week” Sunday. 

“I think that if we elect a president on half-measures that the American people don’t quite understand — the agenda of a president, you know, that says we’re fighting for higher wages but we don’t want a $15 minimum wage, fighting for education but we don’t want to make colleges tuition-free, fighting for women’s rights, et cetera, but we don’t want to go all the way with that, then I think we have a very real risk of losing the presidency,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.

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Responding to an NBC News poll showing growing support for an impeachment inquiry, Ocasio-Cortez called an impeachment investigation a “constitutional responsibility.” That prompted Karl to press Ocasio-Cortez on reports that progressive Democrats are frustrated with Pelosi, D-Calif., who has resisted calls for impeachment proceedings.

“I think it’s quite real,” Ocasio-Cortez. “I believe that there is a very real animus and desire to make sure that we are — that — that we are holding this president to account.”

A growing progressive anger has also targeted Biden, who said earlier this month he could “no longer support” the Hyde Amendment, which he had backed for decades. Biden said the law makes a woman’s right to an abortion “dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”

The Hyde Amendment prevents the government from providing abortion funding except in cases of rape, incest, or when the health of the mother is at stake.

ABORTION ACTIVIST ACCUSES BIDEN OF INTIMIDATION: ‘I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO HIT ME’

Last week, an abortion activist questioning Biden on his Hyde Amendment flip-flop said he got in her face and attempted to grab her arm. “I thought he was going to hit me,” the activist said, after posting a brief viral video and photo of the encounter. The activist also noted the numerous accusations by other women that Biden has made them uncomfortable in close personal encounters.

The Biden campaign did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the matter.

“It’s not the 70s anymore,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an email to backers on Saturday, building support for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment. “This is 2019, and none of our leaders should be willing to stand by a policy that disproportionately harms low-income Americans and people of color just to suit the interests of anti-choice zealots. That ends now. We’re going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment, and let people access the care that they need. Sign your name if you stand for repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

On Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez said Biden’s new stance was the bare minimum for a Democrat candidate in 2020. As recently as the last presidential cycle, the Hyde Amendment enjoyed mostly bipartisan support.

“Well, I’m encouraged by the fact that he is now against the Hyde Amendment. I think that that’s where — I think it’s a very base level where all candidates need to be,” Ocasio-Cortez told Karl. “I’m excited to be introducing a repeal of the Hyde Amendment via amendment — we’ll see where it goes — for incarcerated women and the maternal and reproductive health care of incarcerated women is — it should be guaranteed as it is with all women in the United States. And so I think it really depends — and that’s really what the Hyde Amendment is about.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued: “We’re talking about 50, 51 percent of the American public being impacted by the realities of the Hyde Amendment.”

But Democrats risk overplaying their hand on the issue, analysts warn, even as an increasing number of conservative-dominated states pass aggressive pro-life measures. A recent article in Slate by William Saletan, titled “Abortion Funding Isn’t As Popular As Democrats Think: Recent polls debunk much of what progressives believe,” contains a sobering analysis of the issue for the Democrat field.

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“In every poll, a plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions,” Saletan wrote. “In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority.”

Saletan concluded that while most Americans generally agree with Democrats on the issue of abortion and don’t support defunding abortion clinics, the recent progressive push goes too far.

“On the question of direct payments [for abortion],” Saletan wrote, “most voters agree with the GOP. If Democrats make that question a litmus test, they’ll regret it.”

Nevertheless, last week Illinois enacted a sweeping pro-choice law that eliminates spousal consent, waiting periods, criminal penalties for abortion providers and restrictions on abortion facilities, such as licensing requirements and health and safety inspections. It also repealed the state’s Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act and establishes “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law, of this State.”

The Thomas More Society, a pro-life law firm based in Chicago, declared the bill tantamount to “legalizing the death penalty, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies.”

Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in ‘SMEAR story’

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in 'SMEAR story'

President Trump blasted The New York Times over its supposed bombshell report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling on “everybody” involved in the “smear” to resign.

“I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony!” Trump tweeted Monday evening.

“They’ve taken the Old Grey Lady and broken her down, destroyed her virtue and ruined her reputation… She can never recover, and will never return to Greatness, under current Management. The Times is DEAD, long live The New York Times!”

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICIZED FROM BOTH SIDES OVER NOW-REVISED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

Late Sunday, The New York Times walked back an explosive report about a resurfaced allegation of sexual assault by Kavanaugh from his college days. The piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, alleged there was corroboration of an incident in which Kavanaugh, as a college student at Yale, exposed himself to a female classmate at a party.

However, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway — who reviewed an advance copy of the book – flagged an omission and the paper eventually revised the controversial story after being lampooned on social media over the gaffe.

The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she did not recall the purported sexual assault. The newspaper also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no other comment about the episode.

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Trump was asked about whether anyone from The Times should be “fired” over the controversy. He called it a “fair” question but didn’t directly give an answer.

“I think The New York Times made another terrible mistake,” Trump said. “It’s a shame that a thing like that could happen… They used to have a thing called fact-checking. They don’t have fact-checking anymore.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will hold one of his signature rallies on Monday night in New Mexico, a longtime Democratic stronghold his campaign has added to the list of states it hopes to win in the November 2020 election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The last time New Mexico supported a Republican in a presidential race was 2004. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump there by 8 percentage points three years ago.

Trump’s campaign sees an opening in the state with Latinos, who it believes will swing his way despite tough immigration policies, including a crackdown on migrants from Central America and a push to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democrats have criticized those efforts. But a Trump campaign aide said the Republican president could win over Latinos who came to the United States legally and believe others should, too.

“Big crowd expected in New Mexico tonight, where we will WIN. Your Border Wall is getting stronger each and every day — see you in a few hours!” Trump tweeted ahead of his trip.

The campaign also views Trump’s support for the fossil fuel industry as a plus in the state, which is rich in oil and natural gas, said the campaign aide, who declined to be named. Trump is likely to discuss energy on Monday night.

Trump won the White House in 2016 with electoral votes from traditional Republican-leaning states and some surprise Democratic-leaning ones.

The Trump campaign says it wants New Mexico’s five electoral votes to augment the 306 electoral votes the president received in his first election, not create a separate path for victory. A candidate must get 270 electoral votes nationally to win.

Democrats, who did well in New Mexico during the 2018 mid-term elections, are skeptical.

“Last cycle, Democrats crushed Republicans in New Mexico because voters are fed up with President Trump’s toxic healthcare agenda and broken promises,” said David Bergstein, a communications director for the Democratic National Committee focused on battleground states.

“We take nothing for granted, but this GOP strategy looks like they’re concerned about a realistic pathway to 270 electoral votes,” he added.

Trump won electoral-vote-rich swing states such as Ohio and Florida in 2016, while also picking up Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from Democrats.

The campaign says it is eyeing more pickups in 2020, including Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nevada.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown

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California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions

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California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions

California announced Monday that it has added Iowa to the list of states on its ever-expanding “travel ban” list because of that state’s new prohibition against funding gender-transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The announcement by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra means that as of Oct. 4, California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.

Becerra’s authority came from a 2016 California law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that bars state-funded travel to other states that undercut LGBT rights. The list already included Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

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Conservatives have called the law ineffective, inconveniencing, possibly unconstitutional and hypocritical. The state’s sports teams have turned to private funding to get around the restrictions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming health care,” Becerra said in a statement. “California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.”

The brouhaha began after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that taxpayers could be forced to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law effectively overriding that ruling two months later.

At the federal level, the Trump administration has disputed the idea that sex-based discrimination prohibitions under law include protections for gender identity. The Health and Human Services Department, in May, angered progressive advocates with rules that both allowed doctors not to perform certain operations and stated that “gender identity” was not protected under sex discrimination law in health care.

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Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

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