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July 12, 2018

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) was stunningly defeated in last month's Democratic primary in New York by progressive phenom Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. At the time, he put on a good face, even playing "Born to Run" for her after she'd sealed the spot. But things might not be so friendly beyond the Bruce Springsteen covers, and now Ocasio-Cortez is accusing Crowley of mounting a third-party challenge against her:

New York has a quirky third-party system, which can allow unsuccessful major party candidates like Crowley to be the nominee for a smaller party and therefore still appear on the general election ballot. This was most recently highlighted by Ocasio-Cortez winning a district she didn't even run in as a write-in for the Reform Party. Likewise, Crowley won the Working Families Party line in New York's 14th District, where he lost the Democratic nomination to Ocasio-Cortez.

It had been expected that Crowley would vacate the spot and support his fellow Democrat in the race:

Bill Lipton, state director of the Working Families Party, said he immediately reached out to Mr. Crowley's campaign to request that he vacate the line.

To Mr. Lipton's chagrin, his campaign declined; Mr. Crowley will remain on the ballot in November. "You'd think that given the moment we're in," said Mr. Lipton, "that Democratic leaders would want to help progressive forces to unite." [The New York Times]

Crowley's campaign sidestepped a question about why they are remaining on the ballot. "Joe Crowley is a Democrat," a spokeswoman told the Times. "He's made clear he is not running for Congress and supports the Democratic nominee in NY-14."

Update 9:51: Crowley responded to Ocasio-Cortez's accusation on Twitter, writing: "Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I've made my support for you clear and the fact that I'm not running. We've scheduled phone calls and your team has not followed through. I'd like to connect but I'm not willing to air grievances on Twitter." Jeva Lange

11:30a.m.

President Trump discussed possible changes among his top staff, the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and more in a Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace set to air at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern.

"I have three or four or five positions that I'm thinking about [changing]," Trump said of his Cabinet line-up. "Of that, maybe it's going to end up being two. But I need flexibility." He suggested dissatisfaction with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in particular.

On Khashoggi's death, Trump maintained his skepticism despite Friday's report that the CIA has concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the murder. Even if MBS lied to his face, Trump said, "I want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good." After all, Trump mused, "Who could really know [whether MBS lied]? But I can say this, he's got many people now that say he had no knowledge."

And asked by Wallace to grade his own presidency, Trump gave himself an A+ and inquired if a better mark is possible. "Look, I hate to do it, but I will do it," he said. "I would give myself an A+. Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?" Watch that clip below. Bonnie Kristian

11:04a.m.

Rain is forecast for areas affected by California's deadly Camp Fire in the coming week, with mixed effects anticipated.

The water may help contain the wildfire, which has claimed 76 lives and burned more than 100,000 acres. However, areas already burned lack live plant cover on uneven ground. "It'll bring much-needed relief to the firefighters and to the air quality," Patrick Burke of the National Weather Service told Reuters, "but there's a potential for dangerous mudslides wherever vegetation is burned away on slopes and hills."

More than 1,000 people are listed as missing in connection to the fire, but authorities say that list may contain duplicate names. Some of those listed as missing have called the police to say they are not in any danger, and the total missing count is expected to shrink as further information becomes available. Bonnie Kristian

9:57a.m.

Some of the Central American migrants traveling by caravan across Mexico toward the United States have reached the border city of Tijuana and there stalled, uncertain of their next steps. Many have already been denied entry to the U.S. and are considering their alternatives, like accepting Mexico's offer of jobs and basic resettlement assistance.

"If we had work, we would stay. This has been very tiring," Orbelina Orellana, a mother from Honduras, told Reuters. "I cry a lot to not be able to feed them as I’d like," she said of her three children. "I just want an opportunity."

Complicating the decision is a newly hostile attitude toward migrants in Tijuana, which now has a conservative mayor who has argued "human rights should be reserved for righteous humans," a category from which he excludes the caravan migrants. Some Tijuana residents have scuffled with the migrants and plan to rally against their presence in the city Sunday. Bonnie Kristian

9:46a.m.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) is among many who have called for the resignation of a local official, Leavenworth County Commissioner Louis Klemp, for a remark in which he used the phrase "master race," a concept from Nazism.

Klemp, who is white, told consultant Triveece Penelton, who is black, they were together "part of the master race" because they both have a gap in their teeth. "I don't want you to think I'm picking on you, because we're part of the master race," Klemp said. "You know you've got a gap in your teeth. You're the master race. Don't ever forget that."

Klemp has defended the comment as a joke, and another Leavenworth County official said Klemp has repeatedly used the phrase about gapped teeth in the past. However, Leavenworth's mayor said Klemp has been more inappropriate at other public occasions and this remark demonstrates a lack of "common decency."

"Racial and discriminative language have no place in our society,' Colyer said Saturday, "and most especially when spoken by someone holding public office." Bonnie Kristian

9:31a.m.

One person was accidentally killed and more than 200 injured in large-scale protests against higher fuel taxes in France on Saturday.

An estimated 250,000 people, many wearing yellow safety vests, turned out in about 2,000 locations around the country to block roads and highways. The new tax was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron, and demonstrators called for his resignation. Macron's approval rating was at a dismal 21 percent as of October.

"We are not political people; we do not belong to a union; we are citizens," said one protester near Paris, Didier Lacombe. "The taxes are rising on everything. They put taxes on top of taxes. It is not the tax on gas; it's everything. The injustice is greater and greater."

"The price of fuel is as politically and sociologically sensitive as the price of wheat in the ancient regime," French public opinion researcher Jerome Fourquet told The New York Times. High wheat prices were among the factors leading to the French Revolution. Bonnie Kristian

7:30a.m.

Steve Carrell hosted Saturday Night Live for the third time, and after much teasing over whether he'd ever reboot The Office, he got down to the business of the evening: mocking President Trump in character as Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

"As you know, Amazon just announced the location of its two new headquarters in New York and Virginia, and everyone — except for the people who live there and the people who live in all the places we didn't choose — is thrilled," Carrell as Bezos begins.

He quickly shifted to address the rumors head on: Did he choose these locations, one where Trump grew up and one close to the White House, to overshadow the president? "That's simply not true," SNL's Bezos says. "I chose our locations because they were ideal for growing business, not just to make Donald Trump think about how I'm literally 100 times richer than he is."

And the new locations aren't Amazon's only exciting news, Bezos notes. The company is also debuting delivery drones humanized by suspiciously Trumpian wigs, as well as Amazon Caravan, a special new delivery service exclusive to Trump properties. Watch the full sketch below. Bonnie Kristian

7:09a.m.

President Trump on Saturday downplayed Friday's report that the CIA has concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"They haven't assessed anything yet. It's too early. That was a very premature report," Trump told reporters. "We'll be having a very full report over the next two days, probably Monday or Tuesday," he said, adding that it will include "who did it."

The president also praised Saudi Arabia as "a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development." He has repeatedly resisted calls to end U.S. arms sales to Riyadh over Khashoggi's death and the Saudi military intervention in Yemen's civil war, claiming the economic toll on the United States would be too high. Bonnie Kristian

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