A second intelligence official who was alarmed by Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter.
The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry. The second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people said.
Things are spinning all over Washington at a dizzying rate.
Meanwhile with the Democrats…
With Elizabeth Warren either closing in on, or slightly passing, Joe Biden in the latest polls, what impact does Sanders’ sudden hospitalization for stent procedures have on the nomination process?
If Sanders were to withdraw, would his supporters flock to Warren? And if so, would she then become the clear leader for the candidacy?
And if Warren gets the nomination, does she have a better chance of beating Trump than Biden has? She still has yet to clarify her health insurance ideas, even though she is famous for “having a plan” for just about everything else.
There is some concern that if she sticks to the idea of abolishing private health insurance in favor of a mandatory Medicare for All that it will frighten away many voters who like the plans their unions fought for. That could be too much of a sudden upheaval for the complicated U.S. market. On the other hand, if she threads the needle too finely and supports a public option, what Buttigieg calls, “Medicare for all who want it,” and is supported by Biden, Harris, and Klobuchar, that Warren’s supporters might feel sold out. Warren apparently is still saying that she is looking at all options.
The latest poll published Wednesday, conducted by Quinnipiac University, showed Biden as the top choice of 32 percent of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic. Warren came in at 19 percent and Sanders was at 15 percent.
There has been some back and forth this past week, with another poll showing the three much closer.
Also, the deadline for qualifying for the third debate has passed. The debate will include just 10 of the 21 candidates still remaining in the race. They qualified based on recognized polls and unique donations. The next debate will be one night only, on September 12, 2019, and all the major candidates will face each other directly for the first time. The 10 will be (left to right on stage): Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke, and Julian Castro.
There seems to be some rattling going on between the so-called “Bernie Bros” and Warren supporters, where some Sanders supporters are accusing Warren of not really having a concrete position on health care reform, and basically copying Sanders in order to grab the progressives. Warren herself, who has a “plan for everything” still isn’t quite specific about what her health care plan is. She started with an incremental progress position, much like Biden’s public option, and then leaped into “Medicare for All” at the first debate. Some hope Warren and Biden, the top two candidates, can reach a working policy and cooperate together. That would be something.
Flash: Kirsten Gillibrand has withdrawn from the presidential race after not qualifying for the next debate. She says she will endorse another primary candidate, but has not said who yet.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday, complaining about the media coverage of crowd sizes at Elizabeth Warren’s campaign events.
“They do stories so big on … Warren’s crowd sizes, adding many more people than are actually there, and yet my crowds, which are far bigger, get no coverage at all. Fake News!” Trump tweeted.
This is nothing new with Trump of course. He has been fixated on rally sizes since inauguration day when he inflated the number of attendees and had a government photographer edit images of his inauguration to make the crowd size appear larger than it actually was. This led to adviser Kellyanne Conway famously defended the lies as “alternative facts.”
And Trump has lately been using all sorts of inappropriate venues to brag about his rally sizes. Just recently, when visiting a hospital treating victims of the El Paso mass shooting, Trump used the opportunity to talk about how much larger his crowd had been during a rally in in the Texas city months earlier compared to the crowd at a competing rally held at the same time by Democratic presidential candidate and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke (which was a lie).
In the meantime, Elizabeth Warren does seem to be gaining momentum. Monmouth University polls released Monday show both Warren and Bernie Sanders in a virtual tie with front-runner Joe Biden.