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Kevin de Leon (left) and Tom Steyer (right). Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democratic activist, has announced he will endorse Kevin de León, Senator Dianne Feinstein's progressive challenger in California, per LA Times.

Why this matters: The endorsement goes against what Steyer previously told Axios, which is that he wouldn't endorse specific Democratic candidates. "We feel as long as they’re good Democrats then we will try to stay out of it," he said back in January. "We have done it very rarely, only if we really feel that there’s a Democrat who doesn’t live up to large D Democratic principles."

Steyer supports de León in part because he represents the growing progressive base under the Democratic Party, particularly on things like immigration rights, health care and climate change. "Our work together on behalf of all Californians has assured me that he would be the champion of California's priorities and values," Steyer said in a statement. "Kevin de León has proven himself to be the best of the next generation."

  • Steyer joins a growing list of notable endorsements for de León, from the Nurses Union to the California Labor Federation, which as 2.1 million members.

But, but, but: Ousting Sen. Feinstein won't be easy — she's served in Congress for 25 years, has $10 million in cash on hand compared to de León's $670,000, and has been leading him in the polls.

The elephant in the room: Impeachment. Steyer has been leading an impeachment campaign for which he is now traveling around the country holding town halls with voters. The question is whether impeachment becomes a litmus test for which candidates he endorses.

  • "This isn’t a litmus test on impeachment, but he’s happy to support leaders who are not afraid to do the right thing and stand up to Donald Trump," said Aleigha Cavalier, NextGen America's communications director.
  • But in a recent email from his Need To Impeach campaign ahead of Steyer's town hall in Iowa, the group called out Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack for voting against Rep. Al Green's impeachment resolution earlier in the year.

Bottom line: Steyer's involvement has the potential to significantly change things for Democrats across the country. He has the financial resources to boost a second-place candidate and his progressive platform matches the activists trying to push the party farther to the left.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.