Sep 20, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Puerto Rico a "colony" of the U.S.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Photo: Mario Tama via Getty Images

New York House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez today called Puerto Rico — a territory that lacks statehood and thus the ability to vote — a "colony" of the United States, claiming that Americans must recognize that the island deserves "real self-determination" in order to fix the root causes of Hurricane Maria's devastation.

Between the lines: President Trump has repeatedly praised the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Maria, despite the disaster resulting in close to 3,000 deaths — a figure that Trump disputes. Today, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's landfall in Puerto Rico, the White House released a statement calling the response a "historic recovery effort" that has helped Puerto Rico make "significant progress" rebuilding the island after the storm.

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.

O'Brien rejects intelligence report of Russia effort to re-elect Trump

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien. Photo: Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien repeatedly rejected on ABC's "This Week" an assessment from a congressional briefing led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election to help President Trump get re-elected.

Why it matters: The report put the Trump administration under fresh scrutiny in regard to steps it has been taking to combat the kind of interference that the U.S. encountered in 2016.

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