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Former NY Mayor Bloomberg to forgo 2020 White House bid, will focus on climate change

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Former NY Mayor Bloomberg to forgo 2020 White House bid, will focus on climate change

(Reuters) – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. president in 2020 but will instead launch an effort aimed at combating climate change, he said on Tuesday.

Former New York City Mayor and possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A billionaire who could have sunk millions of his own dollars into a campaign, Bloomberg had publicly toyed with running and has become a vocal critic of Republican President Donald Trump. He spent millions of dollars last year helping Democrats retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives in congressional elections and has invested in advocating for sweeping gun-control laws.

Bloomberg, 77, made his 2020 announcement in an opinion piece on the site of Bloomberg News, the company he runs.

He said he was mindful of the difficulty of prevailing in the Democratic Party nominating primary process, especially given the leftward turn the party has taken in recent years.

“I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election,” Bloomberg wrote. “But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”

A former Republican and independent, Bloomberg would have run as a more moderate candidate among the progressives who currently dominate the 12-member field, which so far largely consists of sitting U.S. senators.

“Many people have urged me to run,” he wrote. “Some have told me that to win the Democratic nomination, I would need to change my views to match the polls.”

Any path to the nomination for Bloomberg would have been complicated by the entry of former Vice President Joe Biden, another moderate, into the race. Biden has said he will decide soon whether to mount a run.

Other possible candidates such as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas are also considering jumping in.

CLIMATE PUSH

Rather than running, Bloomberg said he would use his massive personal fortune – estimated at more than $50 billion – to launch a new climate change push, Beyond Carbon, with the goal of moving the nation away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy sources.

Bloomberg already backs another effort, Beyond Coal, dedicated to shutting down coal-fired power plants. In 2014, the United Nations appointed him the first special envoy for cities and climate change to work with cities globally to combat global warming.

He has ripped Trump as a “climate denier” for pulling the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

“I’ve come to realize that I’m less interested in talking than doing,” Bloomberg wrote. “And I have concluded that, for now, the best way for me to help our country is by rolling up my sleeves and continuing to get work done.”

Bloomberg also founded Everytown for Gun Safety, the nonprofit advocacy group originally known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which has focused on requiring universal background checks for firearms purchases.

The group has backed candidates for office who support universal checks and argued against those who oppose them, as well as supporting state-level gun-control initiatives.

Reporting by James Oliphant and Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney

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Bernie Sanders’ hiring of non-American campaign advisers may violate federal election laws, complaint says

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New spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders won't be able to vote for him in 2020 -- she's an illegal immigrant

Bernie Sanders was hit a complaint this week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisery positions.

A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.

NEW SPOKESWOMAN FOR BERNIE SANDERS WON’T BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR HIM IN 2020 — SHE’S AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

Maria Belén Sisa, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary who joined the campaign last month, was among the staffers named in the complaint, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Sisa claims to be an illegal immigrant whose residency is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for assisting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Sisa recently caused an uproar after invoking an anti-Semitic “dual allegiance” trope of Jewish Americans while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and questioning whether American Jews, including Sanders, were loyal to the United States.

The complaint notes that Sisa not only got a salary from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, she also contributed money to it and is now serving in “an advisory position” in the 2020 campaign – all of which are “direct and serious violations” of federal election laws.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint reads.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations.”

— The complaint

BERNIE SANDERS AIDE DEFENDS OMAR WITH TERM SEEN AS ANTI-SEMITIC, APOLOGIZES

According to the FEC rules, foreign nationals, who aren’t lawfully admitted permanent residents, cannot directly or indirectly participate in political campaigns. Such individuals are also barred from making political contributions.

The complaint also names two other foreign nationals on the Sanders’ 2016 campaign, immigration activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who worked as the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist and press secretary for Latino outreach, respectively.

“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016,” the complaint continued.

“There is reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”

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The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate both the 2016 and the current presidential campaigns and take action to curb the violations.

“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” the complaint read. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

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Democrats vow to keep investigating Trump despite Mueller's conclusions, no new indictments

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Congressional Democrats vowed Friday to keep investigating President Trump, his family, and associates despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapping up his Russia investigation with no new indictments.

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‘There needs to be a reckoning’ for those who spread Russia collusion narrative: Mollie Hemingway

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MSNBC’s Chris Matthews livid over Mueller report: ‘How could they let Trump off the hook?’

Those who spent the last two years pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election need to be held accountable, the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway argued Friday.

Earlier in the day, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in its report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice and it was announced that no new indictments would be forthcoming.

During Friday’s All-Star panel segment on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Hemingway — along with Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti and Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason — weighed in on the breaking news that reverberated throughout Washington.

MUELLER SUBMITS LONG-AWAITED RUSSIA PROBE REPORT TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

“The people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government … and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable.”

— Mollie Hemingway, senior editor, the Federalist

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Mason told the panel that there’s likely “some relief” in the White House, particularly from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser. And while he insisted it was “too early” to draw major conclusions, he later added that those who attacked Mueller’s credibility throughout his investigation will have to walk back their hostility if he concludes that there was no collusion, including President Trump.

Meanwhile, Continetti suggested that the Mueller report could be the “greatest anticlimax in American history,” and that the entire investigation could be “for nothing” because it was “an investigation without a crime.” He did, however, insist that the “battle will continue” as the White House will fight Congress on transparency of the Mueller findings.

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