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Two members of Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign have tested positive for coronavirus, leading his running mate, Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris, to halt travel until Sunday, the campaign announced Thursday.

The Biden campaign statement says the two staffers are a flight crew member and Harris’ communications director. The two staffers are the first coronavirus cases Biden’s campaign has confirmed among its staff. Both Biden and Harris have tested negative for the disease since learning of the infections, according to Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.

The report comes just hours before the Biden and President Donald Trump were originally scheduled to participate in the second presidential debate Thursday, but it was ultimately canceled after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Biden and Trump now have competing townhalls scheduled for Thursday evening instead, though the Oct. 22 debate is still expected to occur.

The Biden campaign says Harris will quarantine in her home until Sunday, suspending campaign activity. Harris has been participating virtually in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett throughout this week.

Committee Leader and Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham announced the committee will vote on Barrett’s confirmation Oct. 22. If confirmed in committee, she would then be placed up for a floor vote in the Senate.

Author: Anders Hagstrom

Source: Daily Caller: Kamala Harris In Quarantine After 2 Biden Campaign Staffers Contract COVID-19

Newly declassified documents have shown that several Obama administration officials now say they saw no empirical evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, contradicting earlier statements they made on television.

Chief among these Obama officials is former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He stated on CNN that President Donald Trump’s campaign was “aiding and abetting” the Russian attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. When the anchor pressed him on the issue he said he was using the term aiding and abetting “colloquially.”

Newly released sworn testimony, however, shows that Clapper told Congress he “never saw any direct empirical evidence” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“That’s not to say that there weren’t concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence …[redacted],” Clapper continued in the transcript. “But I do not recall any instance when I had direct evidence of the content of these meetings. It’s just the frequency and prevalence of them was of concern.”

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

When a Republican congressman asked when whether it was reasonable to assume meetings implied collusion, Clapper deflected.

“I really can’t answer it other than the sort of visceral reaction to why all these meetings with the Russians,” he said. He acknowledged according to National Review that it was not abnormal for incoming administrations to meet with foreign representatives before assuming office, but said “I think there is a line … between that and violating the principle that in this country we traditionally have one president and one administration at a time.”

The lack of empirical evidence wasn’t enough to stop the Trump-Russia collusion from being far worse than Watergate in Clapper’s mind, however.

“I have to say though that I think, if you compare the two, Watergate pales really in my view compared to what we’re confronting now,” he said in 2017.

Clapper wasn’t alone in testifying to the lack of evidence of collusion. House members asked former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Powers whether she had seen any evidence herself.

“I am not in possession of anything—I am not in possession and didn’t read or absorb information that came from out of the intelligence community,” she said according to Fox News.

When a Republican congressman asked when whether it was reasonable to assume meetings implied collusion, Clapper deflected.

“I really can’t answer it other than the sort of visceral reaction to why all these meetings with the Russians,” he said. He acknowledged according to National Review that it was not abnormal for incoming administrations to meet with foreign representatives before assuming office, but said “I think there is a line … between that and violating the principle that in this country we traditionally have one president and one administration at a time.”

The lack of empirical evidence wasn’t enough to stop the Trump-Russia collusion from being far worse than Watergate in Clapper’s mind, however.

“I have to say though that I think, if you compare the two, Watergate pales really in my view compared to what we’re confronting now,” he said in 2017.

Clapper wasn’t alone in testifying to the lack of evidence of collusion. House members asked former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Powers whether she had seen any evidence herself.

“I am not in possession of anything—I am not in possession and didn’t read or absorb information that came from out of the intelligence community,” she said according to Fox News.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power (R) arrives before the United Nations Security Council voted to approve a resolution in South Sudan at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 29, 2016. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice told the same story.

“To the best of my recollection, there wasn’t anything smoking, but there were some things that gave me pause,” she said, “I don’t recall intelligence that I would consider evidence to that effect that I saw … conspiracy prior to my departure.”

Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff also said in March 2019 that there was “direct evidence” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump,” Schiff said on CBS in March 2019.

Schiff at the time was relying on the very testimony from Clapper, Powers, Rice, and others which indicated direct empirical evidence of collusion had yet to be discovered.

Republicans have said they will bring Clapper and other Obama-era officials to testify before the Senate regarding the new revelations, but no official dates have been announced.

Author: Anders Hagstrom

Source: Daily Caller: Obama Officials Said On TV That Trump Colluded With Russia — They Said Otherwise Under Oath

Vice President Joe Biden once again took a majority of delegates in three states that held their presidential primary elections Tuesday night.

Ohio was originally scheduled to hold its primary Tuesday, but Republican Gov. Mike DeWine decided to postpone the vote due to coronavirus. Illinois, Florida, and Arizona each went through with their elections. Biden took roughly 60 percent of the vote in both Florida and Illinois, and also secured a win in Arizona. Florida also sported a boost in voter turnout, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic presidential hopefuls former US vice president Joe Biden (L) and Senator Bernie Sanders greet each other with a safe elbow bump before the start of the 11th Democratic Party 2020 presidential debate in a CNN Washington Bureau studio in Washington, DC on March 15, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Florida was the biggest prize of the night, accounting for 219 pledged delegates. Illinois counts for 155 and Arizona has 67. The night further solidifies Biden’s already commanding lead in the primary.

Ohio is one of four states to delay its primary during the coronavirus pandemic. Maryland, Kentucky, and Louisiana all followed suit. Several cities and states across the country have taken drastic measures to force social distancing, from banning sit-down restaurants to encouraging residents not to gather in groups greater than 10.

The primaries came as President Donald Trump is bending his administration to insulate the economy against the virus. The stock market lost all of its gains since Trump took office over the past three months, and the administration has requested a $1 trillion stimulus bill to get the economy back on track.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin lead the move as Peter Navarro lead efforts to draft a “Buy American” executive order that would allow companies to file certain expenses as tax write offs if they rejoin the American supply chain.

The Results

Florida

  • Joe Biden wins
  • Polls closed at 8:00 p.m. ET
  • 219 pledged delegates

Illinois

  • Joe Biden wins
  • Polls closed at 9:00 p.m. ET
  • 155 pledged delegates

Arizona

  • Joe Biden wins
  • Polls closed at 10:00 p.m. ET
  • 167 pledged delegates

Author: Anders Hagstrom

Source: The Blaze: Biden Shuts Down Bernie Sanders Once Again In Primary Night Marred By Coronavirus

The Democrat-controlled government of Virginia rejected Gov. Ralph Northam’s ban on assault weapons Monday, with the State Senate punting the vote to 2021.

Rather than pass the bill, a Senate committee voted to shelve the legislation and let the state crime commission investigate the issue, according to the Associated Press. The bill is one of eight in Northam’s gun control package, which has caused massive protests in the state. The legislation would have banned the sale of “assault-style” weapons, such as the AR-15, as well as magazines with a capacity of more than 12 rounds. Democrats gained majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly in 2018, in addition to the governorship.

“This is a victory for honest, hard-working Virginians who shared their support for the Second Amendment in rallies on the capitol, in one-on-one meetings with their lawmakers, in letters-to-the-editor, and in phone calls, emails,and texts to their state senators,” NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said in a statement. “We thank the senators on the judiciary committee for listening to their constituents and delivering a bi-partisan defeat of an egregious gun ban that would have criminalized law-abiding gun owners.”

Northam has been largely successful in passing the rest of his gun control package, however, which includes red flag laws, universal background checks, permission for localities to enact more strict gun laws, and limiting gun purchases to one per month.

Roughly 22,000 gun rights advocates protested the package at the state capital on Jan. 20, causing Northam to declare a state of emergency and ban firearms at the capital. Roughly 6,000 followed the ban and went through airport-style security to protest on capital grounds, but the majority stayed outside. Many of them were armed and open-carried rifles.

Author: Anders Hagstrom

Source: Daily Caller: Democrat-Controlled VA Government Rejects Northam’s Assault Weapons Ban

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