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Beto vs. Trump: Dueling rallies along the US-Mexico border

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Beto vs. Trump: Dueling rallies along the US-Mexico border

A week after he told Oprah Winfrey that he’d decide on a White House run by the end of the month, Beto O’Rourke will take on President Trump Monday evening in dueling rallies along the U.S.-Mexico border in his hometown of El Paso.

The former three-term congressman from Texas is joining a one-mile march that will end with O’Rourke giving a speech critical of Trump’s push for billions in federal funds to extend a wall along with border with Mexico.

DRAFT BETO UPS PRESSURE ON O’ROURKE TO JUMP IN 2020 RACE

O’Rourke is expected to speak at Chalio Acosta Sports Center around the same time the president is scheduled to take the stage at a rally in support of the wall at the El Paso County Coliseum, which is a just a block away.

“The country will be watching, and it falls on all of us to tell the true story about the border,” O’Rourke said Sunday on Twitter.

O’Rourke and his allies are hoping to display “the reality of the border – a vibrant, safe, binational community that proudly celebrates its culture, history, diversity and status as a city of immigrants.”

“We’re going to present a powerful, positive, message for the country about who we are on the U.S.-Mexico border,” O’Rourke said Monday in a video promoting the march.

EL PASO RESIDENTS BRISTLE AT TRUMP’S WALL CLAIMS

On the other side of the debate, Trump’s campaign put out a video highlighting the need for a wall and featuring El Paso residents.

“Tonight, the President will join the millions of Americans who understand that a southern border wall is essential to border security. El Paso’s example shows that only with a physical barrier can we stop the flow of illegal immigration, drugs, and crime and secure our southern border,” Brad Parscale, campaign manager, said in a statement.

Trump also previewed the speech on Twitter:

The president’s event and the counter-protest with O’Rourke – which was organized by Border Network for Human Rights and Women’s March El Paso – come as Washington barrels toward another possible government shutdown over border security disagreements.

A standoff between the president and Democrats in Congress over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for border wall construction led to an unprecedented 35-day partial federal government shutdown from just before Christmas until late last month. Both sides face a Friday deadline to reach an agreement or face another possible shutdown — Trump also has threatened to declare a national emergency to address what he describes as a security crisis.

For his part, O’Rourke raised an eye-popping $80 million during his 2018 Senate campaign, when he came close to unseating Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Thanks to his better-than-expected performance against Cruz, his spirited message on the campaign trail, and his mastery of social media, there were immediate calls by some Democrats for O’Rourke to run for president.

Weeks later, two national groups sprang up to ‘draft’ Beto into running for the White House. So far, O’Rourke has not made a decision.

Another Texan who has already declared his candidacy for president is also criticizing Trump’s rally in El Paso.

“Tonight, President Donald Trump is going to El Paso, Texas to create a circus of fear and paranoia, like he always does, to tell lies about the border and about immigration,” former San Antonio mayor and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said in a video released Monday. “Don’t take the bait.”

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Huckabee lashes out at Trump critic Romney: ‘Makes me sick’ you could have been POTUS

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Huckabee lashes out at Trump critic Romney: ‘Makes me sick’ you could have been POTUS

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee lashed out at Sen. Mitt Romney after the Utah Republican said he was “sickened” by the level of dishonesty from President Trump’s administration in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Know what makes me sick, Mitt? Not how disingenuous you were to take @realDonaldTrump $$ and then 4 yrs later jealously trash him & then love him again when you begged to be Sec of State, but makes me sick that you got GOP nomination and could have been @POTUS,” Huckabee tweeted Friday.

Earlier in the day, Romney tweeted that it was good news that there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump with collusion or obstruction of justice. The former GOP 2012 presidential candidate then blasted Trump and his campaign for having contacts with Russians.

“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President,” Romney posted.

“I am appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement,” he wrote.

Mueller’s long-awaited report was released Thursday morning and contains nearly 900 redactions. It showed investigators found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. No conclusion was reached on whether Trump’s actions amounted to obstruction.

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Huckabee ran against Romney for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination and is the father of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Romney and Trump’s contentious relationship has been well documented, with both men having exchanged congratulations and insults over the years.

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CNN wanted accusations against Trump to be true, White House spokesman says

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CNN wanted accusations against Trump to be true, White House spokesman says

White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley struck back at CNN host Anderson Cooper on Friday, a day after having a contentious interview with the journalist, saying he would not be lectured by a member of the mainstream media who has been “lying” about President Trump.

“First of all, I’m not going to take a lecture on truth-telling from anybody in the mainstream media who has been lying about this president for the last two years, telling the American people that Donald Trump committed treason which is a crime punishable by death as you well know,” Gidley told “Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham.

ROMNEY SAYS MUELLER REPORT LEFT HIM ‘SICKENED AT THE EXTENT AND PERVASIVENESS OF DISHONESTY AND MISDIRECTION’

On Thursday, Cooper and Gidley went back and forth over the release of the long-awaited Mueller report.

The report showed investigators did not find evidence of collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russia but did lay out an array of actions taken by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction inquiry.

At one point during the interview Cooper asked Gidley if the president lied.

“No, i’m not aware of him lying. He hasn’t lied to me,” Gidley responded.

“I feel bad that you’re scared to say that your boss lied,” Cooper later added.

Gidley accused CNN of wanting accusations of collusion between the president and Russia to be true.

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“The point is, for me to sit there with CNN and listen to them, who they wanted this to be true so badly. So many in the media did, and I understand why they don’t drop it,” Gidley said.

“Because if they did, they would be admitting the fact that the last two years of their life was a complete and total waste.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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DOJ calls Nadler subpoena for full Mueller report ‘premature and unnecessary’

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Gingrich suggests Nadler’s push to further probe Mueller report is an attempt to save his job in the House

The Department of Justice responded Friday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s request for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full and unredacted report, dismissing the request as both “premature and unnecessary.”

DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement that Attorney General Bill Barr provided Mueller’s report on Thursday with only “minimal redactions” and, “in the interest of transparency,” the department had provided certain members of Congress, including Nadler, with a report that had “even fewer redactions.”

NADLER REQUESTS MUELLER TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ‘AS SOON AS POSSIBLE’

“In light of this, Congressman Nadler’s subpoena is premature and unnecessary. The Department will continue to work with Congress to accommodate its legitimate requests consistent with the law and long-recognized executive branch interests,” Kupec continued.

Nadler said in a statement early Friday that he subpoenaed the DOJ for the “full version” of the Mueller report and “underlying evidence,” requiring the department to comply by May 1.

“My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice,” Nadler’s statement read. “The redactions appear to be significant. We have so far seen none of the actual evidence that the special counsel developed to make this case.”

Prior to the release of the long-awaited report, Nadler also made a request that Mueller himself provide testimony “as soon as possible” before his committee to explain his findings in the nearly 400-page report.

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“It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings.”

While there was no immediate response from Mueller, Barr said at a press conference prior to Nadler’s request that he would be open to providing testimony on the report.

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