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California Dem convention heats up as candidates jab Trump, call for impeachment … and contend with hecklers

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California Dem convention heats up as candidates jab Trump, call for impeachment ... and contend with hecklers

Fourteen presidential hopefuls rallied at the California Democratic Convention in San Francisco on Saturday, taking shots at President Trump and outlining their platforms to attract votes from thousands of activists, party delegates and guests in attendance.

They also faced a particularly animated crowd, complete with chants, heckles and even one stage-jumper.

Among the candidates was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist making his second run for the White House. Sanders, I-Vt., boasted of legislative initiatives to raise the national minimum wage and create a government-run universal health care system.

For his own part, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has taken a moderate stance on major policy issues, took aim at ideas like Sanders’, at his own peril.

PELOSI FACES SHOUTS FOR IMPEACHMENT AT CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONVENTION

“If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals socialism is not the answer,” he said. Hickenlooper had to pause numerous times, his remarks interrupted by boos.

The event in California represents a huge opportunity for the dense field of Democratic candidates to appeal to voters and raise money for their campaign bids, with nearly 5,000 people in attendance.

Missing from the lineup of speakers was former Vice President Joe Biden, who instead opted to attend a previously arranged speaking engagement at a Human Rights Campaign event in Ohio.

On her own turf in California, Sen. Kamala Harris used to convention to emphasize the fight ahead.

“It’s a fight for who we are as a people,” she said. “It’s a fight for the highest ideals or our nation. And Democrats, with this president, it’s a fight for truth itself,” Harris said, hitting on the oft-cited claim that Trump has told many lies while in office.

Harris is among the Democratic candidates who have urged lawmakers to initiate impeachment procedures against Trump. (Several of the White House hopefuls have taken that position in the aftermath of the special counsel inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.) She reiterated that call at the summit.

“We need to begin impeachment proceedings and we need a new commander in chief!” Harris said at the closing of her speech.

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But if her remarks were animated, so was the reception from the crowd, which included many activists. At one point, Harris was interrupted by a man wearing a “join the animal rights movement” T-shirt; he jumped up on the stage and snatched the microphone from her as she spoke during MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum.

Harris then left the stage, and the man was carried off by three security officers. At that point, she was able to return and continue her forum.

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Pelosi flexes muscle over party in impeachment debate, but ‘dam’ could collapse

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Pelosi flexes muscle over party in impeachment debate, but ‘dam’ could collapse

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has wielded her power to quash a faction of Democrats rallying for President Trump’s impeachment, but frustrated members within the party say the president is one misstep away from “that dam collapsing,” according to a Sunday report.

Since reassuming leadership over the house, Pelosi has thwarted her party’s liberal wing from going forward with impeachment proceedings, encouraging them to instead focus on other issues like health care.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reflects on President Donald Trump's statement that he would accept assistance from a foreign power. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reflects on President Donald Trump’s statement that he would accept assistance from a foreign power. 
(AP)

“I don’t think there’s anything more divisive we can do than to impeach a president of the United States, and so you have to handle it with great care,” Pelosi told CNN on Sunday. “It has to be about the truth and the facts to take you to whatever decision has to be there.”

Some lawmakers say their deference to Pelosi is out of respect for the speaker’s political expertise, and agree that impeachment would do more harm than good.

NANCY PELOSI TOLD DEMS SHE WANTS TO SEE TRUMP ‘IN PRISON’: REPORT

“She is the single smartest strategist that we’ve ever had…People are not wanting to second guess her because she’s been right on so many fronts,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., told the Washington Post.

But other Democratic lawmakers, like Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., admit they toe the party line out of fear.

“One, you want to be a team player and support the leader’s position, but secondly you’re worried about your own self and…what can happen if you don’t follow along,” Schrader told the paper.

Some argue that President Trump’s defiance of congressional investigators will eventually break the divide between moderate Democrats and its liberal wing.

TRUMP APPEARS TO HAVE INADVERTENTLY INFUSED DEMOCRATIC INVESTIGATIONS AFTER ABC INTERVIEW

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va., described Pelosi’s hold over Democrats as “fragile” because “we’re kind of one event, one piece of explosive testimony, one action by Trump away from that dam collapsing.”

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The Democrats’ pro-impeachment camp howled this week after Trump said in an interview with ABC that he’d be willing to listen if a foreign government had dirt on an opponent. Yet despite the familiar refrain of impeachment, Pelosi didn’t budge an inch on impeachment after Trump’s comments.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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Trump asks Mulvaney to leave Oval Office for coughing during ABC interview

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Trump asks Mulvaney to leave Oval Office for coughing during ABC interview

President Trump was apparently so perturbed by his chief of staff coughing during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office last week, that he asked his staffer to leave the room, according to a transcript from the station.

Trump had been asked a question about his tax returns when someone off camera – identified as Mulvaney – reportedly begins coughing.

“I hope they get it, because it’s a fantastic financial statement,” Trump said Stephanopoulos amid apparent coughing before saying: “And let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer.”

TRUMP SAYS HE WOULD ‘WANT TO HEAR’ DIRT ON 2020 RIVALS FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, SUGGESTS HE WOULDN’T CONTACT FBI

“I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that,” Trump reportedly said of Mulvaney’s coughing. “If you’re going to couch, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy oh boy.”

“Your chief of staff,” Stephanopoulos reportedly clarified.

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The interview, which was broadcast Sunday, proceeded with Trump saying although he wanted people to see his “phenomenal” financial statement, it’s “not up to me, it’s up to my lawyers.”

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Buttigieg says he won’t be first gay president, ‘almost certain’ we’ve had others

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Buttigieg says he won't be first gay president, 'almost certain' we've had others

Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t believe he’ll be the first gay president if elected in 2020.

“I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones,” he told “Axios on HBO.”

“I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.”

FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a grassroots event on Friday, June 14, 2019, in Alexandria, Va.

FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a grassroots event on Friday, June 14, 2019, in Alexandria, Va.
(AP)

Asked if he possibly knew which commander-in-chief was playing for the other team, the Democratic hopeful said: “My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively. But one can only assume that’s the case.”

BUTTIGIEG SAYS TRUMP USING JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AS ‘HIS OWN PERSONAL LAW FIRM’

Buttigieg — who is mayor of South Bend, Ind. — has been rising in the polls as of late. He would be the first openly gay presidential candidate, if nominated next next year.

The 37-year-old has been asked in the past about the possibility of there ever being a gay president, with BuzzFeed posing the question back in March.

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“My gaydar is not great to begin with and definitely doesn’t work over long stretches of time,” he repeated. “I think we’ll just have to let the historians figure that out.”

To read more from The New York Post, click here

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