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Sanders nabs top spot in new Dems poll as Pete Buttigieg gains momentum

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Bernie Sanders' stance on key issues, from health care to gun control

A new poll released Monday has Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leading the 2020 Democratic presidential field, ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and more than a dozen other potential White House challengers.

The poll, which was conducted by Emerson Polling, puts Sanders atop the already crowded Democratic field with 29 percent, followed by Biden – who has yet to declare his candidacy — with 24 percent and a surging South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounding off the top three with nine percent.

O’Rourke and Harris garnered eight percent, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pulled in seven percent.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BERNIE SANDERS’ FOX NEWS TOWN HALL 

The polling indicates that Sanders, who will appear Monday evening at a Fox News Town Hall, has a broader appeal than just his Democratic Socialist base and that his message about trade, unions, working families and health care is resonating with Democratic voters. Last week, Sanders launched a revamped “Medicare for All” plan that would replace job-based and individual private health insurance with a government-run plan that guarantees coverage for all with no premiums, deductibles and only minimal copays for certain services. In this latest version, Sanders added coverage for long-term care.

Besides Sanders plucking the top spot in the poll, the other big news from the Emerson survey was the rise of Pete Buttigieg. Affectionately known to his fans as Mayor Pete, the poll is another piece of good news for the once thought-to-be longshot candidate who officially declared his White House intentions on Sunday.

PETE BUTTIGIEG FORMALLY ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RUN

Within hours of announcing his candidacy, Buttigieg’s campaign tweeted that it had received $1 million in grassroots donations.

In a speech announcing his run, Buttigieg highlighted both his progressive values and Midwestern upbringing.

“I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing that nothing like Studebaker would ever come back—but believing that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future,” Buttigieg said in a speech inside South Bend’s Studebaker auto plant. “And now, I can confidently say that South Bend is back.”

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He added: “There’s a long way for us to go. Life here is far from perfect. But, we’ve changed our trajectory, and shown a path forward for communities like ours.”

The 37-year-old Afghanistan War veteran, who has been exploring a White House run since January, now joins the field of a dozen-plus rivals and one that is likely to reach 20 or more.

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Trump’s written — at times snarky — answers to Mueller’s questions revealed

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Why the Mueller report could turn into a never-ending story on the Hill

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and President Trump communicated directly at one point during the long-running investigation into Russian election interference, when the president’s legal team submitted written testimony in response to Mueller’s questions on a variety of topics in November 2018.

And in some cases, Trump and his attorneys brought the sass.

One of Mueller’s questions referred to a July 2016 campaign rally, when Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

That was a reference to the slew of documents deleted from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server — one that prompted numerous accusations that Trump was improperly sending a signal to Russian hackers. Mueller’s report noted that hours after Trump’s remarks, a Russian-led attempt to access some Clinton-linked email accounts was launched, although there was no evidence Trump or his team directed or coordinated with that effort.

“Why did you make that request of Russia, as opposed to any other country, entity or individual?” Mueller’s prosecutors asked.

Mueller’s report noted that after Trump’s statement, future National Security Adviser Flynn contacted operatives in hopes of uncovering the documents, and another GOP consultant started a company to look for the emails.

“I made the statement quoted in Question II (d) in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer,” Trump’s attorneys shot back. “The context of the statement is evident in the full reading or viewing of the July 27, 2016, press conference, and I refer you to the publicly available transcript and video of that press conference.”

Separately, Mueller asked Trump why he previewed a speech in June 2016 by promising to discuss “all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons,” and what specifically he’d planned to talk about.

Trump didn’t hold back.

“In general, l expected to give a speech referencing the publicly available, negative information about the Clintons, including, for example, Mrs. Clinton’s failed policies, the Clintons’ use of the State Department to further their interests and the interests of the Clinton Foundation, Mrs. Clinton’s improper use of a private server for State Department business, the destruction of 33,000 emails on that server, and Mrs. Clinton’s temperamental unsuitability for the office of the president,” Trump responded.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ‘BOMBSHELLS’ THAT FIZZLED? BUZZFEED’S COHEN TESTIMONY SCOOP, THE GOP PLATFORM SWITCH, ETC?

After discussing other events, Trump concluded his reply: “I continued to speak about Mrs. Clinton’s failings throughout the campaign, using the information prepared for inclusion in the speech to which I referred on June 7, 2016.”

In all, Mueller’s 448-page report included 23 unredacted pages of Mueller’s written questions and Trump’s written responses. The special counsel’s team wrote that it tried to interview the president for more than a year before relenting and permitting the written responses alone.

An introductory note included in the report said the special counsel’s office found the responses indicative of “the inadequacy of the written format,” especially given the office’s inability to ask follow-up questions.

Click here for the full exchange between Mueller’s team and Trump.

Citing dozens of answers that Mueller’s team considered incomplete, imprecise or not provided because of the president’s lack of recollection — for instance, the president gave no response at all to the final set of questions — the special counsel’s office again sought an in-person interview with Trump, and he once again declined.

Mueller’s team said it considered seeking a subpoena to compel Trump’s in-person testimony, but decided the legally aggressive move would only serve to delay the investigation.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Mueller report has held America ‘hostage’ for 2 years, Federalist editor says

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Mueller report has held America 'hostage' for 2 years, Federalist editor says

While many analysts are advising Democrats to move on from Mueller report and the issue of collusion, The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway said Thursday it will be hard for America to move on because it’s been “held hostage” by the idea of President Trump colluding with Russia.

“The country was basically held hostage by a collusion theory, a theory that the president of the United States was a foreign agent. This undermined the administration of our government. It totally sidelined the Department of Justice, it hampered our ability to do foreign policy. It was a very negative thing,” Hemingway told “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

MUELLER REPORT SHOWS PROBE DID NOT FIND COLLUSION EVIDENCE, REVEALS TRUMP EFFORTS TO SIDELINE KEY PLAYERS

“There needs to be accountability. We are being given indications there will be accountability for this.”

After two years, a redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday showing investigators did not find proof of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia but revealed an array of controversial actions by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction probe.

Democrats criticized Barr and demanded an unredacted version of the report while Republicans demanded an investigation into how the Russia collusion narrative began.

RUDY GIULIANI ON THE RELEASE OF THE MUELLER REPORT: ‘THIS PRESIDENT HAS BEEN TREATED TOTALLY UNFAIRLY’

Hemingway said the idea that people would just “move on” was “absurd.”

“The American people tolerated this investigation because they were told there was reason to believe the president was a traitor. The idea that we are just going to quickly move on from this like ‘OK, I guess it was our bad, there was no collusion,’ but now we’re trying to go on obstruction is patently absurd,” Hemingway said.

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James Comey tweets he has 'so many answers' after release of Mueller report

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Former FBI Director James Comey had “so many answers” on Thursday following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, after he initially tweeted he had “so many questions.”

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