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Howard Schultz: Dems will play ‘spoiler’ if they pick a nominee with socialist values

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Howard Schultz: Dems will play 'spoiler' if they pick a nominee with socialist values

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in an interview with Fox News, said Thursday that Democrats would be at risk of playing a “spoiler” role if they nominate a socialist-aligned candidate to challenge President Trump — as he tries to turn the tables on criticism from the left that he could ruin the party’s 2020 hopes should he run for president as an independent.

The billionaire businessman pointedly pushed back on claims that an independent bid would amount to a spoiler candidacy handing Trump a second term, arguing that voters are looking for a centrist candidate who can bridge the political divide.

“If you want to talk about spoiler, if the Democrats decide in their wisdom to nominate a far-left person who is professing policies … of a socialist — that will be a spoiler,” Schultz said

HOWARD SCHULTZ HITS BACK AT DEMS DECRYING POSSIBLE 2020 BID 

Schultz, who said in January that he is mulling an independent presidential run, has sought to position himself as a centrist alternative to Trump’s controversial policies and the Democrats’ leftward drift. Some Democratic pollsters and analysts have raised concerns over how a candidate like self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or others who have supported big-government policies like the Green New Deal would fare in winning over moderate voters.

Matt Bennett, vice president of Third Way, a center-left think tank, says this “could be trouble” if Democrats aren’t offering a vision of the country that speaks to ordinary voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“The risk is that the eventual nominee goes too far during this primary process and becomes hard to support for a lot of people who might be interested in getting rid of Trump,” he said.

Schultz has sought to position himself as a moderate foil to both parties’ current brand of politics.

“The American people need to hear a lot of voices,” Schultz said. “The two-party system is not working for the American people.”

EX-STARBUCKS CEO HOWARD SCHULTZ WEIGHS 2020 RUN AS INDEPENDENT

The 65-year-old Seattle billionaire, who launched a tour in January to promote his latest book, “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America,” has been the subject of presidential speculation ever since saying when he retired from Starbucks last June that his future could include “public service.”

On paper, Schultz offers a number of qualities that might appeal to voters. He grew up in public housing in Brooklyn, New York, and became the first person in his family to graduate from college.

The former Starbucks chief is also a longtime Democratic donor, contributing to the campaigns of former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, among others. But his story and past Democratic support appear to have not won him any leeway with a Democratic Party singularly focused on taking back the White House from Trump and concerned that any independent run would be to Trump’s benefit.

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Schultz was almost immediately hit with criticism after telling “60 Minutes” back in January that he was considering a White House run, with Democrats from David Axelrod, the former adviser to then-President Barack Obama, to Tina Podlodowski, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Washington state, urging him not to launch a campaign.

“For somebody who is professing to be a lifelong Democrat, I think to be running as in independent in this particular cycle is not a wise thing to do,” Podlodowski said.

The Democratic backlash, however, has done little to dissuade Schultz as he continues touring the country, even as he vows not to do anything to help Trump stay in the White House.

“Let’s just lay it out, the two-party system is broken and not working on behalf of the American people,” he said. “Americans deserve better and we can fix it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Trump says he doesn’t mind if public sees Mueller’s Russia probe report

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Trump says he doesn't mind if public sees Mueller's Russia probe report

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he does not mind if the public is allowed to see the report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing about his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible links to the Trump campaign.

Mueller is expected to send his report to Attorney General William Barr soon.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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Cindy McCain shares hateful message she received about her family, late husband, after latest attack from President Trump

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Cindy McCain shares hateful message she received about her family, late husband, after latest attack from President Trump

Cindy McCain shared a hateful message she received on Facebook from a stranger the same day President Donald Trump continued his attacks on her late husband, John McCain.

McCain, 64, posted a screenshot of the disgusting comment she was sent by a stranger, identified in the picture as “Tiffany Nicole.”

“I want to make sure all of you could see how kind and loving a stranger can be. I’m posting her note for her family and friends could see,” McCain wrote in a tweet accompanying the image.

The sender called McCain a vile name, labeled John McCain as “traitorous” and “warmongering.” The poster also mocked Meghan McCain’s appearance and said she hopes “The View” co-host “chokes to death.”

DONALD TRUMP’S FEUD WITH McCAIN FAMILY ESCALATES: ‘I WAS NEVER A FAN’

Just hours before McCain posted the message on Twitter, President Trump took another shot at John McCain.

“I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” Trump told reporters at the White House, during a meeting with Brazil’s visiting president.

The comments came after Meghan McCain, who on Monday tore into the president during an emotional segment on “The View,” went back on the offensive on social media. The 34-year-old shared a Toronto Star cartoon on Instagram showing her late father’s military medals side-by-side with a collection of pacifiers under the heading “Donald Trump.”

Later in the night, Meghan McCain responded to Trump’s most recent attacks by tweeting, “As my father always used to say to me – Illegitimi non carborundum,” which means “Don’t let the b–tards grind you down.”

MEGHAN MCCAIN SLAMS DONALD TRUMP IN EMOTIONAL ‘THE VIEW’ SEGMENT: ‘HE WILL NEVER BE A GREAT MAN’

Trump has repeatedly tweeted about John McCain in recent days, falsely claiming the late senator graduated “last in his class” at Annapolis and slamming his role in the Russia investigation.

“So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election. He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

On Saturday, the president responded to reports McCain and an associate had shared with the FBI and various media outlets the unverified dossier alleging that Moscow held compromising information on Trump.

“Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier ‘is, unfortunately, a very dark stain against John McCain.’ Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel,” Trump wrote.

MEGHAN McCAIN HAS SHARP RESPONSE TO TRUMP’S JOHN MCCAIN DOSSIER TWEET

New York, NY - 2017: (L-R) Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain on 'The View', a visit for Meghan McCain's birthday, Monday, October 23, 2017. (Photo by Heidi Gutman /ABC via Getty Images)

New York, NY – 2017: (L-R) Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain on ‘The View’, a visit for Meghan McCain’s birthday, Monday, October 23, 2017. (Photo by Heidi Gutman /ABC via Getty Images)

“He had far worse ‘stains’ than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace [of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act] after years of campaigning to repeal and replace!”

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Trump has made a practice of attacking McCain, even after the former Arizona senator’s death in August of last year.

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Trump to host Israel’s Netanyahu March 25-26: White House

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Trump to host Israel's Netanyahu March 25-26: White House

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March 10, 2019. Gali Tibbon/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next Monday and Tuesday, the White House said.

“The president and the prime minister will discuss their countries’ shared interests and actions in the Middle East during a working meeting on March 25,” the White House said in a statement on Wednesday. Trump will host Netanyahu at a dinner on March 26, it said.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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