September 14, 2017

President Trump on Thursday reassured surely trembling Republicans that he "will veto" Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) single-payer health-care bill. Sanders introduced the legislation Wednesday with surprisingly solid backing from the Democratic caucus and to lots of media fanfare, but with almost zero chance of it ever passing Congress.

But Trump, puzzlingly, promised he would put an end to the whole affair from the Oval Office, seemingly implying he believes a bill advocating for a public health-care system paid for by higher taxes and managed at the federal level could: garner a majority of votes in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives; win 60 votes in the Senate, where the GOP controls 52 seats; and be agreed upon by both chambers, who propose it to him for a signature.

Either that, or he needs a little civics refresher, which we've provided below. Kimberly Alters

10:08 a.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been called a less radical alternative to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Her backers think that's the wrong approach.

Instead of aiming to snag Sanders supporters as the 2020 Democratic primaries ramp up, Warren's allies at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee have said their new "Switch to Warren" initiative will actually zero in on Joe Biden's base. That's because Biden's backers "are ready to bolt," PCCC co-founder Adam Green tells BuzzFeed News, and the group is ready to snatch them for Warren.

Biden secured the top spot in Democratic primary polls even months before he started his campaign, while Warren had a relatively dismal showing after launching late last year. Yet in recent weeks, she's been securing third and even second place showings, breaking Sanders' seemingly solid No. 2 rank.

Earlier speculation suggested Warren was stealing voters from Sanders' ranks. But the PCCC, which has more than 1 million members and has been tied to Warren since her 2012 Senate run, sees it differently. "The two big honeypots for Warren are actually Biden supporters and undecided voters" because they want a candidate who can "inspire voters in the general election," Green told BuzzFeed News. The PCCC has already rounded up some of these Democrats who've abandoned their original candidates for Warren, and is collecting their testimonials for the "Switch to Warren" push that began Monday.

While Warren's supporters are eager to discuss their 2020 swap, Warren has so far said it's "too early to talk about polls" that pit her against other primarygoers. Read more at BuzzFeed News. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:58 a.m.

Fox & Friends was not impressed with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's town hall on Sunday.

Buttigieg held a town hall after a white officer in his hometown shot a black man, Eric Logan, on June 16. The town hall was tense with protesters questioning Buttigieg's leadership, especially amid his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

On Monday's edition of the show, host Brian Kilmeade said Buttigieg "looked small when he needed to look big." Guest host Rachel Campos-Duffy questioned Buttigieg's decision to sit behind a desk during the town hall rather than walk around and engage more directly with the assembly, mentioning that she has never seen her husband, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisc.), sit during a town hall — and, believe her, her husband holds a lot of town halls.

"This is a moment for him to prove he's presidential, even just his body language looks weak and out of control," Campos-Duffy said.

Host Steve Doocy also brought up a tweet from former President Barack Obama's chief strategist, which described the town hall as an unanticipated test for Buttigieg — one through which voters would learn more about him.

"So far, so not good," Kilmeade said in response to the tweet.

The segment concluded with the hosts speculating that former President Bill Clinton, late Sen. John McCain, and President Trump would have owned the stage in a way that Buttigieg failed to do. Watch the full clip at Mediaite. Tim O'Donnell

9:24 a.m.

Writer E. Jean Carroll is speaking out in a new interview after accusing President Trump of sexual assault, saying she has put her life on the line in doing so.

Carroll spoke on CNN's New Day after on Friday accusing Trump of sexually assaulting in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s, saying the experience of coming forward is "not easy." While saying she has stayed off the internet, she said she has been told she has received death threats.

"I would never ask another human being to go through this," Carroll said. "I put my reputation on the line. I put my livelihood on the line ... And I put my life on the line." She went on to say that "people have told me I have to be careful."

Trump has denied Carroll's allegation, accusing her of making up the story to sell books. Carroll denied this, saying her book is not about Trump and that "male authors never get this question." She also denied that she's coming forward with her allegation for political reasons.

"I'm barely political," Carroll said. "I can't name you the candidates who are running right now." She added that she is "fed up" and that she "can't believe that he is in the White House," later saying that Trump — and "a lot of guys" — must be held "accountable." Brendan Morrow

8:42 a.m.

Last week, lawyers representing all detained migrant children under the 1997 Flores class-action settlement interviewed detained children at several facilities in Texas, and they brought along a local physician, Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier. They all left with horror stories. "The conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities," Lucio Sevier wrote in a medical declaration obtained by ABC News. She had assessed 39 children under age 18 at U.S. Customs and Border Protection's largest detention facility, Ursula, in McAllen, which she described to ABC News as feeling "worse than jail" and "lawless."

The unaccompanied minors, as young as 2 1/2 months old, endured "extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food," Lucio Sevier wrote, and the teens said they had no access to hand-washing, which she described as "tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease." A flu outbreak at Ursula had sent five infants to the neonatal intensive care unit, and all the children Lucio Sevier saw showed signs of trauma.

Warren Binford, one of the Flores compliance lawyers who visited Border Patrol's facility in Clint, Texas, told The New Yorker about lice outbreaks, the punitive removal of mats and blankets when children lost one of two lice combs they were all using in one cell, and guards creating a food-plied "child boss" to keep other kids in line, among other disturbing incidents.

Binford told The New Yorker that "laws were being broken right and left" and almost all of the 350 children held at the Clint facility "have family members, including parents, in the United States, who are able to and want to take care of their children." Most of the kids were separated from family members, including parents, when crossing the border and lawfully seeking asylum. More than 700 children were separated from their parents between June 2018 and May, federal documents show, often with iffy legal justification. Peter Weber

8:27 a.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden touted his "sensible" immigration proposals and hit President Trump for a re-election strategy he called "morally bankrupt" in an op-ed published Monday.

In the Miami Herald, Biden called on Congress to "make it official" that "DREAMers are Americans," also saying undocumented immigrants in the United States must be "brought out of the shadows through fair treatment, not ugly threats." The U.S asylum system needs to be improved in ways that will "streamline and strengthen it," Biden wrote.

Biden went on to say that it's "imperative" to secure the border by "improving screening procedures at our legal ports of entry and making smart investments in border technology," but not through building a wall, which Biden referred to as a "slogan divorced from reality."

The Democratic presidential frontrunner went after Trump in the op-ed for policies he says are intended to "assault the dignity of the Latin community and scare voters to turn out on Election Day," also saying that the president "invokes racist invective to describe anyone south of the Rio Grande" while describing "horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages" that "subvert American values and erode our ability to lead on the global stage."

Biden published his op-ed three days before he'll head to Miami for the first Democratic presidential debate; he's set to take the stage on the second night, June 27. Brendan Morrow

6:09 a.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will propose Monday eliminating all $1.6 trillion of U.S. student debt and making all public universities, community colleges, and trade schools tuition-free. His plan is broader and more expensive than those offered by fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Julián Castro. Warren's plan, for example, would cost an estimated $640 billion and eliminate up to $50,000 in debt of people earning less than $100,000, effectively wiping out the student loans of 75 percent of borrowers. Sanders proposes to cancel all student debt, including for private colleges and graduate schools..

Sanders says he will pay for it with a tax on stock transactions and bonds. "This is truly a revolutionary proposal," he told The Washington Post. "In a generation hard hit by the Wall Street crash of 2008, it forgives all student debt and ends the absurdity of sentencing an entire generation to a lifetime of debt for the 'crime' of getting a college education." Sanders said his tax on investments would raise $2 trillion over 10 years, though some tax experts call that an optimistic figure.

Critics say the Sanders proposal would primarily help educated Americans, who typically earn more, and more affluent families. Sanders and his supporters say creating programs that help all Americans, regardless of income, makes the programs more politically durable. Peter Weber

4:58 a.m.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a contentious town hall on Sunday to address anger over the June 16 police shooting of a black man, Eric Logan, by a white police officer. Prosecutors investigating the shooting said Logan, 54, approached Sgt. Ryan O'Neill with a knife after O'Neill confronted him for allegedly breaking into cars. But O'Neill's body camera was not on, and many people at the town hall placed the shooting in the broader context of longstanding tensions between South Bend's black community, which makes up about a quarter of the city's population, and its police force, which is now about 5 percent African American.

Buttigieg, who returned to South Bend from campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said he has asked the Justice Department's civil rights division to investigate the shooting and the local prosecutor for an independent investigator. He took responsibility for failing to reform the police department. "The effort to recruit more minority officers to the department and the effort to introduce body cameras have not succeeded and I accept responsibility for that," Buttigieg said. He was joined onstage by Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski.

Buttigieg, 37, has had a sometimes-fraught relationship with his city's black community since he demoted the city's first black police chief during his first term as mayor. "Get the people that are racist off the streets," one woman in the audience said during Sunday's town hall. "Reorganize your department. You can do that by Friday." Buttigieg suggested the attention on this police shooting of a black man might "help us do some good" and said he's not "running away from it," and neither can America. "This problem has to get solved in my lifetime. I don't know of a person or a city that has solved it," he said. "But I know that if we do not solve it in my lifetime, it will sink America." Peter Weber

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