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October 8, 2019

NEWS OF THE DAY

Trump Abandons Our Allies

Trump’s Gross Abuse of Power

Fourth Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

DNC November Debate Threshold

Democratic Party Agenda

DNC WAR ROOM

Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda

Election Security

Trump’s Failure To Address Gun Violence

Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

Working Families Aren’t Benefiting From The Economy

Trump Obstacles To Securing 270 Electoral Votes


NEWS OF THE DAY


Trump Abandons Our Allies

  • Trump recklessly abandoned Syria’s Kurds, one of our most effective and reliable partners in the Middle East, after a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan.

    • The U.S. strategy to contain and ultimately retake ISIS’s stronghold in Syria was effective only because of the tens of thousands of Kurdish fighters fighting on the ground.


  • Trump’s impulsive decision is divorced from any strategy and apparently coordinated with few, if any, within his own administration. It will only create more volatility in the region, and could potentially contribute to the resurgence of ISIS.


  • Trump and his family have long displayed unexplained deference to Erdogan, who presided over the launch of Trump properties in Istanbul, from which the president has earned millions.

    • Trump’s decision only benefits Erdogan, inviting questions about whether this is a form of payback—or a downpayment for future investments.

    • We know that Trump has shown a pattern of placing his own personal interests ahead of our national security. 


  • One thing is clear: ISIS will be emboldened and our Kurdish partners will no longer be there to keep the terrorist group down. Just as importantly, every current and potential partner will have even more reason to doubt America’s credibility and resolve going forward. 


Trump’s Gross Abuse of Power

More and more news about Trump’s gross abuse of power continues to come out. In fact, there is so much bad news that it can be hard to keep up. Here’s the latest, in case you missed it:

  • This morning, the Trump administration continued to obstruct the House inquiry by preventing Ambassador Sondland from sitting for his deposition, making it even more clear that the White House is engaged in a cover-up.

    • Trump took ownership of the order to block Sondland’s testimony, which came from the State Department.

    • Sondland reportedly called Trump after another senior diplomat texted him that it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” After speaking with Trump, Sondland replied that the president had been “crystal clear” that there were “no quid pro quos of any kind” — the same text that Trump is now claiming exonerates him.


  • A second whistleblower with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s phone call came forward this weekend.


  • Trump openly called for China and Ukraine to open investigations into a political opponent. Meanwhile, the president continues to boast about having “tremendous power” over China in trade negotiations.

    • Trump previously spoke to China’s president about his political rivals, in another call that was stored on the White House’s highly secure computer system intended for sensitive national security secrets.

    • Top White House officials refuse to say that they have not raised investigations of Trump’s political rivals as part of trade talks with China, or that it won’t be part of the negotiations beginning this week.


  • Recently released text messages show an explicit quid pro quo in Ukraine -- security assistance and a White House meeting in exchange for Ukraine opening an investigation advantageous to Trump’s reelection.”

  • Two Trump administration diplomats worked with Rudy Giuliani to write a draft statement for the Ukrainian government that would have committed them to pursuing investigations into Trump’s political rivals.


  • Trump ordered the removal of the Ukraine ambassador after complaints from Giuliani that she was undermining his work to get Ukraine to investigate his political rival.


  • Mike Pence is now tied up in Trump’s abuse of power scandal. He reportedly received the transcript of Trump’s call within hours of it ending. Pence also told the Ukrainian president that U.S. aid was being withheld while demanding more aggressive action on corruption, days after Trump’s call asking for an investigation.

    • If you hear Pence tell it, he had no idea that Trump was pushing Ukraine to investigate one of his political rivals, but his denials don’t pass the smell test. Pence saw the transcript, his aide was on the call, and Giuliani had been bragging about a quest for an Ukrainian investigation of a political rival for months. 


  • Pompeo confirmed that he was listening in on the call where Trump pressured the Ukrainian president, despite previously suggesting he had no knowledge of the call, and he is stonewalling the House’s impeachment inquiry and intimidating witnesses to prevent them from testifying, creating the appearance he is trying to cover something up.


  • Attorney General Barr held private meetings with foreign officials seeking their help to discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.


  • The intelligence community’s inspector general released a statement pushing back on allegations that the whistleblower’s knowledge was entirely “hearsay” -- he had “direct knowledge” of some information -- and on the Republican conspiracy theory that the whistleblower form was recently changed -- it wasn’t. 


  • A former advisor to the Ukranian president said that it was a “well-known fact” Trump wanted compromising info on his political opponent, and that the Ukrainian president knew critical U.S. aide was at stake.


  • It wasn’t just Ukraine and China. Trump also pressured the UK and Australian governments to help Attorney General Barr gather information to discredit the Mueller investigation, potentially helping his reelection. Attorney General Barr even traveled to Italy to meet with officials there as part of the effort to discredit the investigation.


Don’t get distracted by Republican lies and misinformation. Trump committed a gross abuse of power. Here’s a recap: 

  • Donald Trump used the power of the presidency, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and potentially the U.S. attorney general in an attempt to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. 


  • As soon as Ukraine’s new president was elected, the White House made clear that Zelensky’s correspondence with Trump depended on his willingness to “play ball.” 


  • In mid-July, Trump ordered the U.S. to cut off critical security assistance to Ukraine -- an ally that was invaded by Russia a few years ago, and typically receives bipartisan support from our government. 


  • In late July, Trump talked with Ukraine’s president. Among other things, he asked Ukraine to investigate DNC servers in Ukraine (a debunked conspiracy theory) and brought up reopening an investigation that could influence the 2020 election in his favor. 


  • Coming out of the July phone call, Ukraine understood what they were supposed to do. Ukraine’s readout from the call showed they had gotten the message that Trump would help them if they helped him.


  • White House officials knew at the time how disturbing Trump’s abuse of power was, and immediately worked to cover it up. Trump’s inner circle intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call -- part of a larger pattern of the Trump administration abusing the systems used to store classified information to protect political sensitive issues.


  • Contrary to Trump’s cries of “fake news,” the inspector general of the intelligence community has already stated clearly that this allegation “appears credible” and is supported by information outside of the whistleblower complaint. A second whistleblower with firsthand knowledge has come forward and can corroborate information in the initial complaint. 


  • Trump has admitted multiple times to the central claim of his abuse of power, and he went even further asking China to also investigate his political rival and  interfere in our election, on national television.


Fourth Democratic Presidential Primary Debate

  • Last week, the DNC, CNN, and The New York Times announced that 12 candidates have been invited to participate in the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate. 


  • Based on the qualification criteria agreed to by the DNC, CNN, and The New York Times and announced in May 2019, the following candidates have been invited to participate in the fourth primary debate:

    • Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sec. Julian Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mr. Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Mr. Andrew Yang


  • The DNC, CNN, and The New York Times previously announced that the fourth debate will take place on October 15 at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.


DNC November Debate Threshold

  • The DNC announced the qualification criteria for the November presidential primary debate.

 

  • The qualification threshold for the fifth debate requires candidates reach a relatively low grassroots fundraising requirement and a polling requirement:

 

  • Candidates must receive donations from at least 165,000 unique donors, with 600 unique donors in a minimum of 20 states. That’s a moderate increase from the 130,000 donor requirement in place for the September/October debates.  

 

  • The polling threshold has also increased but the new criteria gives candidates two pathways to meet the polling requirement. Candidates must either receive 3% support in four national or early state polls, or 5% in two early state polls.  

 

  • The threshold continues to be generous and fair. By November, candidates must be able to demonstrate this relatively basic level of broad-based support.

 

  • The DNC has said, since 2017, that the threshold would go up as we get closer to voting because candidates must show progress. It’s been this way in previous cycles for both parties.

 

  • At 3%, the general polling threshold is still below the margin of error of the vast majority of reputable polls.  

 

  • Candidates who go on to be competitive in the primaries, let alone win the nomination, have polled well above 3% in October and November of the year before voting begins.

 

  • Candidates are not being asked to average their polls, as has been done in many past cycles. This means that candidates that might have 0% in multiple polls would not be penalized, and could still make the debate stage.

 

  • The polling window is two months long. The DNC’s list of acceptable poll sponsors is longer than ever before, and the polls the DNC uses are more diverse than ever before.

 

Democratic Party Agenda 

  • Trump calls Democrats the “Do Nothing Party.” The reality is that Democrats in Congress have actually done a lot, but Trump has opposed their legislation, and it has stalled in McConnell’s legislative graveyard, despite broad support from voters. 


  • Here’s a look at some of what Democrats have done:

    • House Democrats passed the Raise the Wage Act to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    • House Democrats passed the American Dream and Promise Act to provide hardworking immigrants a much deserved pathway to citizenship.

    • Democrats passed a disaster relief bill.

    • House Democrats passed the Equality Act to prohibit discrimation based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    • House Democrats passed a package of bills to protect people’s access to health care and help make prescription drugs more affordable.

    • House Democrats passed a bill to restore net neutrality.

    • House Democrats passed the Climate Action Now Act to take action to protect our climate and create economic opportunities.

    • House Democrats passed legislation to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act.

    • House Democrats passed legislation to require background checks for all gun sales.

    • House Democrats passed legislation to help close the gender pay gap.

    • House Democrats passed historic anti-corruption reform.

    • House Democrats passed election security legislation to strengthen our election systems against foreign interference.


  • While Democrats are working for the American people, what has Trump done lately? 

 

DNC WAR ROOM

 

Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda

  • Last week, the Trump administration announced that it will deny visas to immigrants who cannot prove they will have or can pay for health insurance within 30 days.

 

  • It was also reported that Trump proposed shooting migrants and arming military personnel at the border with bayonets. It is unfathomable that Trump had to be told that this is not allowed.

 

  • The bottomless cruelty of this administration is immoral, disgraceful, and antithetical to everything we stand for as a nation. 

 

  • Asylum seekers and immigrants deserve to be treated with basic human dignity and decency, but Donald Trump and his Republican allies continue to demonize them to divide the American people.

 

  • Trump has separated families at the border. He has tried to detain children indefinitely. He creates fear and chaos by targeting immigrant families with raids. And he has even targeted documented immigrants who pay taxes and play by the rules.

 

  • There is no moral justification for Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and no excuse for the trauma they will inflict on immigrant families.

 

  • At a time when our country needs a president who will unite us, all Trump wants to do is attack Latino and immigrant communities.

 

  • Democrats believe diversity and compassion are our nation’s greatest strengths, and we will keep fighting these inhumane attacks at every turn.


Election Security

  • Last week, Putin joked about interfering in U.S. elections, but this wasn’t a joke. We already know that Russia is trying to interfere in our elections. Trump’s response? He reportedly told the Russians that he was not concerned about Russia’s election interference.

 

  • It’s clear that Trump does not take our national security seriously, and cannot be trusted to protect our democracy. 

 

  • Trump has repeatedly refused to bring up Russia’s election interference with Putin. He’s downplayed Mueller’s warning on Russia’s ongoing interference when asked about it, and now we learn he’s practically inviting them to interfere again.


  • The Senate Intelligence Committee released its bipartisan report on election security, which found “extensive” Russian election interference that targeted all 50 states, and our election infrastructure was unprepared. The report emphasized that more needs to be done.


  • Despite this, Trump continues to downplay Russia’s election interference and refuses to hold them accountable, while Mitch McConnell blocks legislation to bolster our election security.


  • We know Russia and other foreign actors are already hard at work trying to interfere in our upcoming election. Yet Trump and Republicans have ignored their patriotic duty, and refused to take the necessary steps to secure our elections.


Trump’s Failure To Address Gun Violence

  • Trump is not serious about addressing gun violence. The White House has been unable to provide any clarity on Trump’s position, and Trump is now looking for excuses to abandon the issue entirely. 

    • Trump is trying to blame Democrats for standing in the way of gun reform, but House Democrats have already passed legislation to expand background checks while Trump has refused to give any indication to lawmakers of what he would support.

 

  • Trump must act to stem the endless massacres from gun violence. Instead, he refuses to support the House-passed bill to expand background checks and has failed to provide any guidance on what gun reform measures he would support.

    • Trump met with the head of the NRA about securing their financial support in exchange for halting any consideration of further measures to stop gun violence.

 

  • We’ve heard a lot of talk from Trump about taking gun violence prevention seriously, but it’s all been lies and empty promises. Trump has only shown that he stands in lockstep with the NRA.

    • While Trump has put a former NRA lawyer on the team drafting gun reforms and metwith Wayne LaPierre, anti-gun violence advocacy groups say the White House has ignored their attempts to work with them on gun reform proposals.

    • Trump said last week “we are working with the NRA” on gun safety, but not Democrats in Congress.

 

  • Trump said he supports background checks, but after speaking with the NRA, Trump backed off his push for new legislation and took universal background checks off the table.

    • We’ve seen this show before -- Trump told Parkland school shooting victims and their families that he would fight for them, stand up to the NRA, and support a comprehensive gun reform bill. Instead, he chose to side with the NRA over the vast majority of Americans who support commonsense gun reforms.

 

  • All we’ve heard from Republican lawmakers are their ‘thoughts and prayers.’ Republicans have refused to talk about these recent mass shootings or seriously address the issue of gun violence in America. 

 

  • While Republicans refuse to take action, Democrats will continue to fight for commonsense reforms. There’s a reason why a majority of Americans trust congressional Democrats rather than Trump to handle gun laws.

 

  • Americans are sick of this charade. The vast majority of Americans support commonsense gun reforms to ensure that tragedies like the shootings in Texas and Dayton never happen again. It is long past time for Trump and Republicans to join Democrats in taking action.

 

Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

  • Trump repeatedly promised that he’d make health care “much less expensive,” provide “much better coverage,” and “take care of everybody” -- but that hasn’t happened. Instead, Trump’s only made things worse. 

    • The uninsured rate increased last year for the first time since the ACA’s passage.


  • Trump has spent the entirety of his presidency sabotaging Americans’ health care and relentlessly trying to repeal the ACA. He keeps saying he’ll come out with a new, better replacement plan, but has offered nothing.

    • Republican officials say the Trump administration is giving up on a health care plan entirely and is instead focused on “damage control” - a response to the fallout if he succeeds in his lawsuit to overturn the ACA and its preexisting conditions protections. 

    • But let’s be honest - the White House never had a plan besides destroying the ACA and ignoring the tens of millions of people who will lose their health care if Trump gets his way. The White House’s only plan is to take their health care away.


  • Now, despite millions more Americans lacking health care coverage and costs continuing to go up because of their sabotage, Republicans say that they will once again try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if they win in 2020.

 

Working Families Aren’t Benefiting From The Economy

 

 

  • Confidence in the economy is falling. Americans’ confidence in the economy fell to the lowest level in three years and small business confidence dropped to a six-month low. 

    • A majority of Americans believe a recession is likely in the next year -- and they blame Trump’s policies by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

 

  • Trump promised he’d raise workers’ wages, boost job creation, bring back manufacturing, and put more money in the pockets of working families — none of that has happened.

    • The manufacturing sector lost 2,000 jobs last month, and wage growth slowed to the weakest level in more than a year.

    • His erratic trade policies have cost 300,000 jobs so far, and 2019 is on pace for the slowest year of job growth since 2010.

    • The manufacturing industry continued to contract last month and reached its lowest level in over a decade.

    • Business investment contracted last quarter, including a major drop in investment in structures like factories.

    • Working families could lose $1,000 per year on average as a result of Trump’s erratic trade policies, which his administration said wouldn’t hurt consumers.

 

  • Trump promised his tax law would pay for itself and that it would benefit workers — but that didn’t happen either.

    • The deficit for FY 2019 rose to nearly $1 trillion, $205 billion more than a year ago and the highest in seven years.

    • Trump’s tax law failed to boost job creation as he promised it would.

 

Trump Obstacles To Securing 270 Electoral Votes

  • We take nothing for granted and are building the infrastructure to win tight races in battleground states across the country. Trump’s reelection campaign faces major obstacles in securing reelection that Democrats are preparing to capitalize on:

    • Trump’s standing and Democratic victories across “the blue wall.” In 2018 Democrats won statewide elections in PA, MI, WI, OH and MN by significant margins. Public polling shows the challenges he faces in this region: he is 12 points underwater in PA; only 36 percent say they would reelect him in MI; his net approval has dropped 17 points in WI; he’s 9 points underwater in OH; and he is 11 points underwater in MN.

    • Trump faces challenges in attempting to expand his map. In NV last cycle, Democrats won the Senate, gubernatorial and attorney general races (Jon Ralston wrote there is “not one indicator -- not one -- that Trump could flip NV”); in CO, Democrats won every statewide race in 2018; and in VA, Republicans have not won a presidential race since 2004.

    • In 2018, Democrats made traditionally Republican states more competitive -- Trump can’t take anything for granted. In AZ, Democrats won three statewide races (in addition to flipping four seats in the state House); in GA, Democrats came within 2 points of winning the governor’s race; and in NC, Democrats hold the governor’s mansion and broke the GOP supermajority in the legislature in 2018 -- in fact “every single Republican in the N.C. House of Representatives from the Raleigh and Charlotte suburbs lost except one.”

    • Florida, Florida, Florida. Democrats are investing earlier than ever before. Through programs like Organizing Corps 2020, Florida Democrats already have 90 field organizers on the ground -- and the FDP has announced a multi-million dollar voter registration program along with a year-round voter protection department. In 2018, Florida Democrats elected their first Democratic cabinet officer since 2006, flipped two congressional seats, sent the largest legislative delegation to Tallahassee in over 20 years and flipped county governments in Hillsborough, Orange and Miami Dade.

    • The DNC is laying the groundwork to defeat Trump in the general election. We’ve launched: Organizing Corps 2020 — an unprecedented, multi-million dollar investment to train the organizers across seven battleground states, with a special focus on communities of color; the War Room, a joint effort of the DNC’s communications, research and digital departments that drives rapid response against Trump (the DNC’s research department is home to the most comprehensive research file on Trump); and a state-of-the-art, cloud-based data warehouse along with the new Democratic Data Exchange.

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