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Democratic White House hopeful Warren wins key progressive endorsement ahead of New York rally

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Democratic hopeful Warren seeks to curb U.S. lobbying, corporate power

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Monday won the endorsement of the Working Families Party, a progressive group with growing political influence that previously backed U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2016 White House bid.

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to members of the media during a town hall at the Peterborough Town House in Peterborough, New Hampshire, U.S., July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

The group’s endorsement of Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, reflected its belief that “sitting on the sidelines” during the Democratic nominating contest is not the best way to beat Republican President Donald Trump in November 2020, said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party.

The organization’s thousands of dues-paying members voted to endorse after interviewing five of the 20 Democratic candidates: Warren, Sanders, former U.S. housing chief Julián Castro and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Their backing of Warren comes as opinion polls show her gaining ground against the contest’s front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, a more moderate candidate.

Warren got nearly 61% of members’ votes, while Sanders drew almost 36% support.

Mitchell said progressive voters face a “tough choice” this year but that “Elizabeth Warren is offering an agenda of real structural change.”

Warren wrote on Twitter that she was “grateful” for the Working Families Party’s endorsement. “Together, we’re going to make the big, structural change we need so that government works for all of us – not just the wealthy and well-connected,” she said.

The endorsement came ahead of Warren’s campaign rally in New York City on Monday evening, an event expected to draw thousands as she delivers a speech on corruption in Washington.

Earlier on Monday, Warren proposed a major rewrite of U.S. laws governing lobbying that she said was aimed at restricting corporate influence and rooting out corruption. In the detailed plan, Warren proposed barring elected officials and senior government appointees from ever becoming lobbyists.

She would also ban U.S. firms from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments, expand the definition of lobbyists to include anyone paid to influence lawmakers, impose new taxes on excessive lobbying by large companies and restrict the ability of industry officials to “dominate” the regulatory process.

The Center for Responsive Politics said in January that companies and others spent $3.42 billion on lobbying in 2018, the highest amount in eight years.

Warren’s plan takes aim at Trump, a real estate developer who as president regularly visits his own hotels, resorts and golf clubs. She would require presidents and vice presidents to place business assets in a blind trust to be sold and require other senior officials to divest assets that could present conflicts.

Trump maintains ownership of his businesses but has ceded day-to-day control to his sons. Last week, Trump, who has refused to release his personal tax returns, said that before November 2020, he would release an “extremely complete” financial report.

Warren noted that T-Mobile US Inc, which won Justice Department approval to merge with Sprint Corp in July, “sent its top executives to the Trump Hotel in DC right after the company announced a merger.”

On Friday, a federal appeals court revived a lawsuit alleging that Trump violated the U.S. Constitution by profiting from foreign and domestic officials who patronized his properties. Trump denies the allegations.

Warren wants to ban lobbyists from all fundraising activities, including hosting events or serving as campaign bundlers, bar senior officials and members of Congress from trading individual stocks and pay congressional staff salaries “competitive” with the private sector. She would bar all federal employees from becoming corporate lobbyists for six years after leaving government.

She would also prohibit courts from using sealed settlements to conceal evidence in cases involving public health or safety and allow the public to sue federal agencies to enforce rules.

Warren cited General Motors Co’s decision more than a decade ago to settle some cases involving deadly ignition switch defects on the condition the terms remain confidential.

Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Joseph Ax in New York City; additional reporting and writing by Amanda Becker in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Peter Cooney and Dan Grebler

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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.

WATCH: LIBERAL POLICIES BLAMED FOR WORSENING CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

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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